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The headlines this evening... news teams where you are.
42 years on, special posthumous recognition for victims
Get's momentous to know that our city is behind us, a cross-party
It's a single award for all 21 victims as
With a record number of patients waiting on trolleys last week,
Stoke and Staffordshire hospitals are the worst in the country.
Coming soon: black top milk so dairy farmers can get a better
The farmer receives an absolute fair price, the
contracts are fair, it's a very transparent situation.
35 years ago, temperatures were colder here at RAF Shawbury
I'll be finding out why it was a record-breaking year.
Well, I'm not seeing anything that extreme for later this week
but now that we're one step closer to the arrival of snow -
More than 40 years after 21 people were killed
in the Birmingham pub bombings, the victims have been honoured
today by being given the Freedom of the City.
The title is usually given to organisations or people
who have served the city in an exceptional way.
The victims' families were at the Council House today
Here's our Special Correspondent, Peter Wilson.
The families whose loved ones died 42 years ago gathered
Over the years, the pub bomb campaigners often felt
Inside the grand Council chamber of Birmingham's Council House
The City Council confers on the 21 victims...
The granting of honorary freedom of the city is normally conferred
Since the Second World War, it's an honour which has usually
We thought it was an appropriate moment to start to do something
which says we will never in this city actually forget those 21
and that we stand with the families, the surviving families,
Nearly 200 people were injured, 21 lost their lives,
when two bombs exploded in crowded pubs in Birmingham in 1974.
Six Irish men were jailed, their wrongful convictions
Because of the controversy surrounding this case,
it has felt in the past as though the city wanted to forget
But today all of that is forgotten and everyone is describing
21 people were murdered 42 years ago and not only were they buried
but we believe the establishment has tried to keep their memories
and their names and their lives and deaths well and truly buried.
But today Birmingham City Council have confirmed that their names,
their lives and their deaths and their memories will
be for ever invented in the history of this city.
their lives and their deaths and their memories will be forever --
imbedded in the history of this city.
Birmingham now follows Liverpool who also bestowed the freedom
of the city on those who died in the Hillsborough disaster.
It was quite emotional, just seeing the councillors
all together backing our campaign, it was really quite emotional.
It brought a tear to my eye, to be honest.
What we really need now is all the MPs in the West
We have only got about four at the moment.
That would make all the difference, if we got the MPs behind us.
Today was the first time the city has granted
And Peter Wilson is here with me now.
An enormously significant landmark today, but the families' campaign
It certainly does and all three main political parties on the City
Council have given their backing to the families. The inquest into those
thefts reopens later this year but still the issue about -- inquest
into those deaths. But still be issue about the legal funding is at
a stand-off but what was interesting about today was this link with
Hillsborough, all the time the families saying we should be treated
the same as those families who were of course given legal funding. Thank
you. A record number of patients have
waited on trolleys in NHS hospitals in the first week of
the new year, according to data 485 patients waited
more than 12 hours. This time last year only 158
patients had waited that long. But one of the worst affected
for long trolley waits was the University Hospitals
of North Midlands NHS Trust. Last Tuesday, 38 out
of 138 cases in England happened in Stoke on Trent,
on Thursday they had 33 out of 71 cases and on Sunday
they had 20 of the 29 cases. Well our reporter Ben Sidwell
is outside the Royal Stoke University hospital tonight - Ben
why is the situation so bad there? Well, let us try and put this into
context if we can. Between April and September the entire five months,
just 43 people were left waiting for more than 12 hours on a trolley. As
you just mentioned, three days in January, 91. The Chief Executive of
the trust that runs this hospital says it is mainly due to the high
levels of ambulance Conde and his and the fact that patients who are
medically fit, there is nowhere for them to go. They cannot let people
out to get the people in they need to. That speak to Jan, the chief
expected of health watch the aperture, an organisation that
monitor health care here in Staffordshire. For you, this must be
worrying that numbers are going up and up here. Is is extremely
worrying and we are concerned about the pressures on the system and the
fact that people are experiencing these very long waits and it is
worrying for patients and families. We have reported on the sad death of
two people who were on trolleys will so many hours. Numbers going up
here. Is it sadly that it is inevitable that that will happen
here? I am not sure about inevitable but it is a risk. All the work we
have done has shown that things are managed here well and although there
are long waits the right decisions are made about which people to see
quickly and who can wait but the pressures do keep stacking up. He
staff do a brilliant job but they're -- there are always risks. We very
keen to hear about peopleexperiences. Everyone with an
experience can get touch. The problem will not go away soon and
what they are saying here is do not come to the 999 unless you have two.
Levels of violence at Hewell Prison in Worcestershire are "far
too high", according to its latest inspection report.
The prison has two parts - a closed jail which holds more
than a thousand male prisoners and an open section
In the six months between February and August this year,
last year, there were 49 fights involving prisoners
In addition, four prisoners have taken their own lives since the jail
The prison is overcrowded and that's a big problem.
It puts a great strain on all the resources that
Certainly Hewell has seen the number of staff cut in
recent years and that has undoubtedly had an effect.
It means prisoners spend longer in their
cells and that can lead to rising tension.
Two men have been taken to hospital following a fight
in Stoney Lane in Sparkbrook, Birmingham yesterday evening.
One was stabbed in the neck, another in the arm.
Three teenagers, two aged 17 and one aged 19,
have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.
Police are investigating an incident in Birmingham city centre
in which a group of Morris Dancers were accused of racism.
A video posted online shows a confrontation in which a man
repeatedly denounces the practice of some dancers having
One of the Morris Dancers has made a complaint
Birmingham Councillor Brigid Jones has confirmed that none
of the witnesses who gave evidence to Birmingham City Council's inquiry
into the Trojan Horse allegations will have their names
Lawyers acting for teachers facing disciplinary action as a result
of the allegations there was a hard line Islamic plot to takeover city
schools, are pressing for the names of witnesses in the Department
of Education's inquiry, to be made public.
A court's heard a mother of three was strangled by her jealous
ex-partner after embarking on a new relationship.
The body of 26-year-old Wendy Mann was found on her kitchen floor
Leroy Sterling, who's 63, denies murder and the attempted
Our Black Country reporter Ben Godfrey
Wendy Mann had three children with Leroy Sterling,
The court has heard today that Stirling, fuelled by jealousy over
her new relationship with a 53 old man, Trevor Tindale, went to her
flat in West Bromwich, grabbed her, dragged her across the floor and
strangled her. The court has heard today that one month before her
death, Mr Tindale was attacked by Mr Stirling and he was stabbed in the
neck and suffered fractures. Sterling denies murder and attempted
murder. He's been aided by a translator. What forensics evidence
has been presented to the court? A partial DNA profile the court has
heard, was found in blood under the fingernails of Wendy man belonging
to sterling. Also, DNA on a water beaker inside the kitchen. Images
have been shown to the jury today and the prosecution say they detail
the movements of sterling from the murder scene on the day in question
to his own home, where he is apparently carrying a large holdall
carrying children's clothes removed from Wendy's flat. Trevor Tindale
detailed the alleged attack on him. He suspect denied murder and
attempted murder. This trial is due to last a fortnight.
Another attempt to get dairy farmers a better deal has been launched
"Black top" milk is the idea of the Free Range Milk Marketing Board.
They want to offer shoppers milk with a distinctive black cap
which costs 25% more than a standard bottle
with the extra money going direct to farmers.
Our Rural Affairs Correspondent David Gregory-Kumar
was at the launch and he's with me now, so is that the
This is it, this is black cap milk. The people behind this idea hope
that shoppers will soon find this on sale alongside familiar green and
red milk. If Green is semi-skimmed, what does double milk contain? The
farmer receives a fair price. The contract are fair, it is a
transparent situation, which enables the to invest in the best cows,
health and welfare. It is a fair way of doing things. This is an
Australian supermarket milk aisle and look at all the different milk
brands. They all offer shoppers something different. Here we tend to
see just whole, semi and semi-skimmed milk so the experts say
we could have space him for a brand-new milk brand. But will
British shoppers want to pay more? We know that when consumers get the
value of something, they will value it because if you buy a drink in a
pub you don't buy the cheapest beer necessarily, you buy what you like
because you understand what it is and that is what we are doing here.
700 farmers have signed up to this scheme so far and the organisers
hope to push that number up to 1000 in the next few week. I have heard
rumours that things are looking up for dairy farmers with milk prices
increasing. Milk prices are on the rise in general. These are the
official figures in the milk price from the dairy in Warwickshire.
There are several different lines there, different ways to look at
that price but the trend is clear, since the summer last year we have
seen the start of a little bit of a recovery. Not back to levels last
seen in 2013 but going back up nevertheless. But look at the huge
volatility in that price. This is why we are seeing dairy farmers try
all fours of ideas, like black cap milk, to try and survive and even
make money in the dairy game in the face of a roller-coaster milk price.
Thank you. Thanks for joining us
on Midlands Today, this 42 years on, special posthumous
recognition for victims Definitely getting cooler,
but not as cold as it was 1982 was a record breaking
year for Shropshire. Cold winds from Siberia
and lots of snow lead to temperatures falling
to minus 26.1 Celsius, Shawbury ground to a halt,
I'll be speaking to one man We may not be seeing the extremes of
Siberian cold heading our way this week but there is an Arctic blast
and a warning for snow. Details in the upcoming forecast.
Now, it's not your usual kind of building to get a royal opening,
but her Royal Highness, Princess Anne was in Shropshire
today to officially open an incinerator.
The multi million pound project will provide enough electricity
to power thousands of local homes, and even has its own visitor centre.
A royal visit to officially open Shrewsbury's new incinerator.
Tens of thousands of tonnes of non-recyclable household
waste is being processed here to produce electricity.
Officials say the new plant is an important part of the county's
Only 5% of the total rubbish produced in Shropshire goes
into landfill and a few years ago it was 100% going into landfill,
The plant's taken four years to build at a cost of ?63 million.
It operates in a similar way to a coal or gas powered station.
The main difference is that it uses local waste as fuel.
This is where the waste is processed.
It's delivered here by truck, mixed together by these cranes
and then the cranes transport it to the furnace.
90,000 tonnes of waste can be processed here each year and that's
The process produces gas and dust, which are treated to clean them up.
There is not a single health issue with the gas here at all,
so I would live very easily near a plant like that one.
No problem, nothing to worry and don't take my word for it,
you know, the government and a lot of bodies are controlling
The recycling rate across Shropshire has been above the national average
for many years and with this plant now officially opened, it is hoped
Nicola Beckford, BBC Midlands Today, Shrewsbury.
Rugby Union and Wasps' James Haskell is unlikely to be fit to play
The England forward came back from a long injury lay off
on Sunday, but played for just 35 seconds against Leicester before
But Wasps have been praised for putting player welfare first.
He'd waited all season for this - it was over in a flash.
Just 35 seconds into his seasonal debut and James Haskell suffered
And now the England international looks unlikely to face Toulouse
in the Champions Cup on Saturday.
Probably unlikely that he is going to be fit for the weekend at real
Probably unlikely that he is going to be fit for the weekend but real
difficult way to come back obviously but it happens, you know,
but thankfully there is nothing that is going to keep him off
He's laughing and joking about it and he's always the first guy
to give everybody a little bit of stick so here's having
Concussion has been a huge topic in rugby in recent seasons.
Much of that has centred around Wales international George North.
Two years ago he played on after this incident.
Now, any player that loses consciousness
I think the fact that it is a topic and that it is being talked
about can only be a positive thing for us as players but also
for the game as a whole, right from grassroots to the top
The fact that we are talking about it, the fact that people
are having discussions about it surely means that this topic
is going to take some time but hopefully it will move
Solihul GP Dr Lou Lupoli has worked in rugby for 20 years
He says the sport has benefited from re-search into dementia
He says the sport has benefited from research into dementia
Initially there is a risk that having had a head injury
they are less able to make decisions about themselves so they are more
prone to injury and very rarely they may sustain a second head
injury, which can lead to some very catastrophic
So, Wasps must continue their fine form without Haskell.
The top of the premiership and top of the pool
Victory over Toulouse on Saturday and the whole squad will be heading
Firefighters have helped rescue a cat in Walsall.
But this time, it hadn't got stuck up a tree,
It had got stuck in the drainage hole of a communal rubbish bin.
Fire crews and staff from the RSPCA were called in after a member
of the public heard the kitten meowing in Glebe Street on Monday.
The animal was unhurt and has since been nicknamed Dusty.
Not stuck in a bin, but the Blue Rock thrush has been
spotted in the UK for the first time in ten years.
It's taken up residence in Stow on the Wold in Gloucestershire,
attracting hundreds of bird enthusiasts.
Trying to catch a glimpse of history in the making.
These bird-watchers have come from across the country,
all in a bid to see something rarely seen, the Blue Rock thrush.
It's just exactly that, it's the being here
That's like a lifetime tick, if you like.
It is a big adrenaline rush and it's an even bigger adrenaline rush
You know, the guy who found this must have thought, yes!
It's just the seventh confirmed sighting of this bird since 1985.
Bridget Jennings spotted it in her garden just before Christmas
but didn't initially realise its importance.
It looked like a blackbird crossed with a starling, but in the light,
it was a sort of bluey colour and we weren't quite
A picture was posted online and since then,
bird-watchers have been flocking from as far as Singapore.
You know, we didn't realise what a furore it was going to cause,
but with all the twitchers coming and everything, you know,
The appearance has even boosted a charity that
These volunteers have been keeping the bird-watchers fueled
with teas and coffees, raising ?2000 in donations.
No one knows exactly how long the Blue Rock
Experts believe it could stay until the spring.
This week temperatures in Moscow have plummeted to -25 Celsius.
It's hard to imagine it being that cold isn't it?
But actually 35 years ago it was even colder
In fact, it was colder than the South Pole.
Rebecca Wood has been looking into those record
breaking temperatures - she's at RAF Shawbury this
evening where things are, I should think, a little less
Yes, they certainly are. It is a little warmer but not very warm, I
am keeping my coat on! In December 1981 and January 1982 we were down
to minus 20. In Shawbury we drop to minus 20.2. Just a few miles down
the road, they got even colder and that is where I spent this morning.
The West Midlands was blanketed in snow.
Temperatures across the region widely fell to -20
And here at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, a record
It was this weather station where the mercury dropped to -26.1
Celsius and that's still the lowest recorded temperature in England.
Grounds manager Mark Wall remembers the moment
It was just another cold night and of course it wasn't until days
later when all the rest of the data was in from around the country that
actually here, Harper Adams, was the coldest spot in England
Although the official reading was made in Newport,
it was originally attributed to Shawbury, where at the RAF base,
That day, it was too cold to even go out
Everyone turned up for work and made their way to work
but they didn't go out in the aircraft that day.
The base has its own dedicated Met Office staff because not flying
Well, that's down to a series of circumstances.
A perfect storm, whereby you combine all the factors, you have cold air,
ideal cooling conditions, plenty of snow on the ground,
good local geography, so all those factors combined
with the period of cold weather leading up to that,
With heavy snow, travel across the region was virtually
impossible and even the river Avon froze.
There's snow forecast later this week and chilly northerly winds,
we're in for a cold snap, but perhaps not as chilly as 1982.
Thankfully we are a good 20 degrees higher than that at the moment. It
is hard to imagine how it would feel to be that cold but Ian Forshaw was
a lad based here back then. Take me back to 1982. What are your
memories? I can remember one thing, it was so cold that the cold water
pipes froze and they are about one metre underground so people had to
ask neighbours if their taps were working and borrow water from them.
I have heard about diesel in tanks being frozen as well. Some of the
vehicles, there were no additives so somewhere frozen. You took a photo
of recordings of the temperature being taken. They were wearing skis.
Was it really that bad question what the people at the RAF always have a
good sense of humour and one of the gentleman went to work on his
cross-country skis and then the Met office check the temperature. -26.1,
it was cold! Oh yes, very cold. I think for about a week people try to
hibernate more than anything to stay warm. Has anything at Shawbury match
that? In 2010 it was picturesque. It wasn't that temperature but we had a
heavy frost and the whole airfield, the trees around, were very
picturesque. We have some nice calendar pictures that we used
later. This is a Griffin helicopter and this is a Griffin door for all
those Harry Potter fans. I couldn't resist!
And hundreds of you have been sharing your memories of the snow
and cold weather from 1982 on our Facebook page -
thanks so much, here's a small selection of what you've
been telling us. Carol Simpson wrote...
"We were walking on top of 8-foot snowdrifts which had cars
I had to shout out of the window and ask someone to phone my dad
"We were without power and water for days.
It was like the good old days when families spent evenings
together gathered around the fire in one room, actually
So, things looking cooler in the next few days
but not -26 Celsius, I hope.
Today, in contrast, was very mild. We had highs of seven to nine
Celsius and we had variable amounts of cloud, producing an array of
colours, from lilac too great to blue as well. You might want to add
white to that to the time we get to Thursday because we have a warning
in place for the south of the region. This is for localised
snowfall and this is for Herefordshire, Worcestershire honour
Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. At the moment it looks as though it
will produce minor disruption but that could change into something
more substantial by the time you get to that stage. This is what is
causing it, we have two areas of concern, this Arctic blast drawing
in cold air from the Northwest and that is going to combine with an
area of rain and crossing the country and that is during the
course of Thursday. We have to watch the northern extent of this rain and
the southern extent that cold air leading down from that direction
from the Arctic. Things are on a knife edge, really, because it
depends on how they join together and up into one another as to how
much snow we will get. Winds are going to be gusty over the next few
days and it is as those winds drop out on Friday that we could see a
widespread frost. Two areas of concern over the next few days, the
snow in the southern half of the region and a heavy frost on Friday
night into Saturday. Let us take a look at this evening and overnight
and we have got quite a bit of cloud across us right now so it will be
mild tonight, temperatures only boarding to six or seven Celsius.
Dry initially but then we have a warm sector set of fronts moving in
from the West during the early hours and that will bring in light, patchy
rain. This is how we start the day tomorrow, a bit of rain in the
south-east, a few spots in the north of the region but it will be a
mainly dry day. We start to see those gusts kicking in late in the
day. The mildest temperature will be in the morning. Highs of nine
Celsius dropping to four or five. I'll be back at 10.30pm
with your late update. It's back... Let's get ready to
grumble. ..with more belligerence... Can you imagine anything more
diabolical? ..moaning... ..and nonsensical items...
Don't send me a curve-ball, Nigel.