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More than 40 years after 21 people were killed in the Birmingham pub
bombings, the victims have been honoured today by being given
The title's usually given to organisations or people
who've 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 posthumously 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 forever
embedded in the history of this city.
Birmingham now follows Liverpool who also bestowed
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
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.
Our reporter Ben Sidwell is outside the Royal Stoke University
hospital tonight - Ben why is the situation
Well, it has become pretty bad at the moment. Let me try and put it
into context, between April and September last year, at University
hospitals of North Midlands, there were 43 people who waited more than
12 hours on a trolley to have treatment at A If we go to this
January and the first week of this January last Tuesday, 38 out of the
138 cases anywhere in England happened here in Stoke-on-Trent. On
the Thursday they had 33 out of the 71 cases anywhere in England head
and just last Sunday 20 of the 29 cases anywhere in England were here,
so more than two thirds in the entire country happened here where
patients were waiting more than 12 hours. The chief executive of the
trust has said that is due to high levels of ambulance conveyances here
and patients who are medically fit but are unable to be discharged
because there is no waiting care package or anywhere for them to go.
What has been the reaction of patient groups? Well, I have been
speaking to health watch Staffordshire who are an
organisation who monitor health care in the county. They are obviously
very concerned about this and I asked them why they thought it was
happening. We have got a lot more frail,
elderly people in our communities What needs to happen
across the country but particularly here in North Staffordshire
is we have got to get the whole We desperately need more social care
places, we desperately need more people to be able to get home
with the right care and we've got a problem with GPs in Stoke,
there is a great shortage of GPs in Stoke and that means
getting access to those GP Well, the trust say they expect
these pressures to continue for the foreseeable future and the message
is as always if you do not need to come to A please don't, only if it
is a real emergency and a life-threatening emergency or
injury, otherwise get help elsewhere, please. Thank you.
A court's heard a mother of three was strangled by her ex-partner
after she started a relationship with another man.
The body of 26-year-old Wendy Mann was found on her kitchen floor
63-year-old Leroy Sterling denies murder and the attempted
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 1000 male prisoners and an open section,
In the six months between February and August this year,
there were 49 fights involving prisoners and 47 assaults on staff.
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.
Birmingham city councillor Brigid Jones has confirmed that none
of the witnesses who gave evidence to the council's inquiry
into the Trojan Horse allegations will have their names
Lawyers acting for teachers facing disciplinary action as a result
of allegations there was a hard line Islamic plot to take over city
schools have been pressing for the names of witnesses
in the Department of Education's inquiry to be made public.
A new scheme 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
The contracts are fair, it is a transparent situation,
which enables the farmers to invest in the best cows,
Temperatures in Moscow this week have plummeted to -25 Celsius.
Hard to imagine it being that cold perhaps, but 35 years
ago it was even colder than that in Shropshire.
In fact, it was colder than the South Pole.
Rebecca Wood has been looking into those record
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,
so we're in for a cold snap, but perhaps not as chilly as 1982.
Certainly not! Good evening to you. It was quite mild today,
temperatures were up to nine Celsius but there was a lot of cloud around
and plenty of dry weather. To round off the day we had this beautiful
sunset in Staffordshire. However, by Thursday we have got a warning in
place for the afternoon, from the morning actually, for snowfall
heritage, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire. There is a small
chance it could turn into something more substantial and it is being
caused by an area of rain crossing the south of the country, colliding
with colder air streaming down from the North. It is going to be
difficult to pin down the detail. The night, it was mild today and it
will be mild the night under that out. Temperatures will be six or
seven Celsius. Dry initially before we start to the patchy rain from the
West. That is how we start the day tomorrow. Clarity begin with, the
best of the temperatures in the morning then colder north-westerly
winds, which will drag the temperatures down. Then we have the
wind is coming down by Friday, producing a widespread frost in the
Saturday morning. The National forecast is next. With
of the week, and to start the weekend as well. For more on that
snow situation, over to Jay Wynne now.
Quite a lot going on over the next few days. The strong north-westerly
wind will drag some really cold Arctic air across our shores full
stop that will be with us for the next few days. And there will be
some wintry weather and it will be a cold end to the week. In the
short-term, the strong winds pushing the rain away from Scotland. The
winds really picking up in the north and west with frequent showers
following into Scotland and Northern Ireland, some of them wintry over
the higher ground. It will be particularly cold in the wind, which
will be a key feature of things