14/11/2011 Inside Out West Midlands


14/11/2011

Mary Rhodes asks whether the Government has abandoned Stoke. And on the anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, the Cathedral reveals the stained glass saved from destruction.


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Transcript


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Tonight, the consequences of getting your sums wrong. Did people

:00:06.:00:11.

in Stoke-on-Trent lease their homes because somebody couldn't add up?

:00:11.:00:15.

You come out through your front door and what have you got? An

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empty building site. What can we do? We are stuck.

:00:22.:00:27.

The police are giving safety advice. 100 days after the riots, the

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roving reporter who went into the thick of it finds out if the

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Community is bouncing back I want to find out why this happened and

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if anything has been done to stop it happening again.

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On the anniversary of the Coventry blitz we have got a special report

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from the cathedral. This is Inside Out for the West

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First, could it be possible hundreds of homes in Stoke-on-Trent

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were knocked down because somebody got their sums wrong? We have been

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added up the figures and talking to some of the people displaced by

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demolition in a programme that was meant to regenerate the city. Marc

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Glover Jones used to live in Stoke- on-Trent, and didn't want to move,

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but the council decided to demolish the streets around two men are

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planted jeep -- regenerate the city. He left when vandals started at

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setting light to homes and the pigeons moved in next door. When we

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first moved there it was every the cookhouse, the neighbours looked

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after each other, any problems were dealt with, be the well-built,

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really nice. Didn't want to live anywhere else. He now lives in a

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tall, thin, three-storey house that he and his wife did like as much

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with' Rusty windows, the kitchen needs replacing. He owned his old

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house but the council have a 30% stake in the new one, because he

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couldn't get a mortgage. When he walks past the derelict land he

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once lived he has little confidence in the future.

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Stoke will never improve because things never change, the same

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problems happened time and time again. They are not houses down and

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do nothing with the land. It ends up wasteland.

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A short walk from his old terraced house is this Street. While one

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side of the road is still standing the other side has been knocked

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down or boarded up, leaving bits of wallpaper flapping in the wind.

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Behold regeneration programme stalled halfway through a 15 year

:03:00.:03:03.

plan when the coalition government came in and stop the money. It has

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left people like Florence Walker in limbo, living in a bizarre

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landscape. I spend a fortune on my house over

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the years. Luckily my house is stopping. But the only thing this,

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if you look round the area, it is not a nice area. It looks like a

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living they reached. -- I lived in Beirut. Demolition and compulsory

:03:32.:03:36.

purchases began under Labour to bring the loads -- local have in

:03:36.:03:40.

store up to standard. Many properties were cold and damp.

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A falling population meant one in 10 was a lift in while others

:03:45.:03:50.

belonged to landlords who rented the mat to a transient population.

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It was an attempted to breathe life into the city which had been long

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neglected. Stoke has had 30 years of decline.

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We have not been able to arrest that but we have been able to take

:04:02.:04:10.

the edge off. In future we will not be able to do that. We are looking

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at the kind without government support and a managed decline.

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In the face of bleak predictions of a total housing market collapse, it

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was knocking whole streets full of houses down the best way forward? A

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few weeks ago Prince Charles visited Stoke-on-Trent and ask the

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council or why they were pulling down Victorian heritage homes?

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Could the answer be somewhere somebody couldn't add up? We have

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been doing some number-crunching on the options costed before homes

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were demolished here in Slater Street. They included comprehensive

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renovation or demolition. We have discovered in an assessment for

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renovation a positive figure representing the increased market

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value of renovated homes was actually added to the costs when it

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should have been taken away. That made renovation appear �14 million

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more expensive than it actually was. The council points out the mistake

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was noted in the 2006 public inquiry, but the inspector came out

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in favour -- favour of clearance having decided the future value of

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homes can be them predicted adding householders can be forced to

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renovate them anyway. We have spoken to experts who say you

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cannot do a financial assessment without taking the benefits into

:05:32.:05:36.

account as well as the costs. One even did the sums again, finding

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more mistakes and showing that even if you discount the increase market

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value figure renovation would still have been �9 million cheaper. In

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middle port Ted Owen campaigned to keep the old streets, demolishing

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only those beyond repair. I think Renew had a wonderful opportunity

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with the money they have got to invest in a community in the wake

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of refurbishment. We had it all costed out. He would have cost

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something in the region of �20,000 per property. And to demolish some

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of it, to open up the area, to refurbish another set of Coronation

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Streets if you like, that was the weight it batch that was the way

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forward. -- that was the way forward. Whatever you did was very

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poor. What you did actually was fail. That is what you did. That

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:06:56.:06:58.

For customers of the traditional hole-in-the-wall shop, demolition

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has blighted lives and destroyed communities. To somebody who comes

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in from outside he wouldn't know what Stoke on Trent is about. It

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was about the pottery. Now it is probably known more for the

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football club. The community has just gone. It is just derelict here

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at the moment. All the space needs filling up. In the middle of a

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demolished area the hole in the wall is the last shop selling

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oatcakes in the traditional way, through the window of an ordinary

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house. It has been handled very poorly. They told us originally it

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would be a 15 year plan. Five, seven years down the line, it has

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fallen apart. Everybody has jumped ship. At least people like myself

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are trying to sort myself out and get myself out of here but I don't

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know where to go. At a bit of a loss. You have got to take into

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account at the time at which the programme developed and it wasn't

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just here, it was across a number of northern cities, particularly in

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Stoke-on-Trent, we had 3,000 empty properties and we were losing

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population at the rate of 1,000 residents each year so the trend

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were going the other way, we were going to have more empty properties

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if we didn't do something to stop a complete housing market collapse

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that had happened in parts of Manchester and Salford and

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Newcastle. We needed to do something quickly to get the

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confidence back to developers and residents there we are trying to

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deal with the situation, and put something positive from the

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investment we can put into it. Before they could finish the

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Investment the government stopped the promised money. For Brendan

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Nevin it was a vote of no confidence in the area.

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Ideologically this government doesn't believe in intervention, he

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believes in letting places think or swim. Large parts of the Midlands

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and North of England are not competitive. At the moment they are

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being left to sink rather than swim. The housing minister turned down

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our request for an interview. Instead he issued a statement

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denying abandoning Stoke, saying the money was stopped because

:09:19.:09:22.

renewal wasn't working. He said the government is committed to helping

:09:22.:09:26.

residents who are stranded in derelict neighbourhoods, and had

:09:26.:09:36.
:09:36.:09:37.

announced a �13 million lifeline As the council promises there was

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doomed the action in the areas currently left in number, one idea

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being put forward by Tom Nocher is to allow local groups to take over

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some of the assets and rebuild their communities themselves.

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Attracting funding from ethical lenders and government grants.

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me another option. We have no housing market, local authority

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budgets are eye-watering late high. Developers are up reticent about

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investing in these areas, stepping back. We need to think about

:10:14.:10:19.

creative options. This is what we can test. Realistically, I think it

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will be like this in five, 10 years, I don't think anything will have

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changed. That is the reason I have suggested we try to work with

:10:27.:10:32.

groups to do it. Leaving the land bacon like this is perhaps the

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worst option. We know it rains public resources. We know for many

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bring residents it is not great living adjacent to land like this.

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The impotence -- emphasis has to be an doing something.

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For people still living with strokes boarded-up streets it may

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seem amazing all this could have happened because someone couldn't

:10:56.:11:00.

add up. Many of them don't have any confidence in the future

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mathematical skills of our leaders, both local and national. Ferries

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people have told us things. The main one is down to the fact the

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value of the land with has not on it than with a house on it. People

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are set to make a lot of money. Unfortunately we are in the way.

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They should get their priorities right. Make it a decent area like

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it was before. Not keep saying we are going to do this, do that. And

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get nothing done. Everybody makes these decisions, not one of them

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have to live with it 24 hours a day. We have to.

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You can join in the debate on BBC Radio Stoke tomorrow morning, full

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:12:01.:12:01.

details on our Facebook page. You can also lead your comments.

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It is 100 days this week since the Birmingham riots. He can forget the

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presenter from Sangat TV he drove right into the thick of it?

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I don't care if I lose my life, at the end of the day it is about

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humility, it is ridiculous what is happening.

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Now he is back with a report for Inside Out, and we are asking how

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:12:36.:12:38.

Birmingham is my home, I love this city. But for two days in August

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anarchy reigned. It was a place I didn't recognise. I was here when

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it happened, reporting live. It is like a small war zone at the moment.

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It is really bad. The police are giving the safety advice. The

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:13:05.:13:07.

images we filmed were beamed into They have got him. 100 years --

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days on, I want to find out why this has happened and if anything

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has been done to stop it happening again. I joined at the police as

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:13:25.:13:27.

they tried to track down those Sangat TV is broadcast from the

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back room of a house in Birmingham. It is a satellite channel for

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Britain's Sikh community. Until recently, this was its only news

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:13:46.:13:49.

programme but on 8th August, all Good evening. A large-scale police

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operation is under way tonight after a series of violent

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disturbances... After news came in of the riots, we grabbed the

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cameras and a hit the road. I went live on television for the very

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first time. Do not let your children out. It is really bad. My

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aim was to tell them to stay safe. This is what is happening, please

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make sure you do not come out and look after your property and your

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children. Stay out of trouble. They are running.

:14:25.:14:30.

We were first on the scene, beating the big networks to it. The

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community station became a rolling news channel and soon we became

:14:33.:14:42.

part of the story. When we saw a police officer running after a

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:14:52.:14:59.

group of young men, we offered him This is what we need to do, the

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community. The police are protecting us and doing their job...

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We filmed the arrest and won plaudits at the highest level.

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me praise Sangat TV who helped the police to catch a criminal. But

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that was an exercise in social responsibility by that media

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organisation. 100 days on, I am meeting the officer who grabbed a

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lift with us tonight at the squat where he made the arrest. This is

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the first time I have seen him since. How do you do? Pleasure. It

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is good to see you. It was one of those strange things. We never got

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the chance to have a talk afterwards. I am under no doubts,

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he would have got away if they have not helped. We might still have

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been looking for him now, three months on. He was right here, my

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colleagues and I managed to detain him, arrested him, right there and

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then. At that point, it was get him into the van, into custody, and

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deal with it later. It was only after that that we got the chance

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to sit down and think, those guys it did me a favour. They held the

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catch that guy. You could couldn't ask for anything more than that.

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don't care if I lose my life. At the end of the day, it is about

:16:30.:16:35.

humanity. It is very emotional. It is ridiculous what transient... It

:16:35.:16:40.

was a frightening time and even now I have no idea why people laid

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siege to their own communities. Dr Patrick Tissington has an

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explanation. He is a psychologist from Aston University who studies

:16:48.:16:52.

people's behaviour during crisis. It is interesting. There is a man

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there who has just tried to kick in the door. There is a big grin on

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his face. He is not normally allowed to do that sort of thing.

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He has done it and no one has stopped him. In that moment, what

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he is sharing is a very powerful gesture, it to say, I can do what

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ever I like. It is only that -- when the rest of the crowd realise

:17:15.:17:20.

it is open, they going to see what they can take. They do not take

:17:20.:17:24.

very much, they're not really about stealing the property. What do they

:17:24.:17:28.

are about his power. Being able to get away with things they would not

:17:28.:17:33.

normally be able to. The rioters were not just after a big-screen

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televisions. Many were also after power and status. What they did was

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:17:48.:17:48.

criminal and wrong and it led to I watched Abdul Qudoos agreed but

:17:48.:17:53.

for his two brothers who were hit by a car while at protecting the

:17:53.:18:00.

community from looters. He has lost his life. He was somebody's brother,

:18:00.:18:07.

somebody's son. It was heartbreaking to watch. This was my

:18:07.:18:12.

community too. That gives me the strength... Days later there was a

:18:12.:18:18.

peace rally, designed to bring people together after the riots and

:18:18.:18:23.

prevent a backlash. When I saw Abdul Qudoos there, I embraced him.

:18:23.:18:28.

He told me that our communities must stay together. Has that piece

:18:28.:18:32.

lasted? It is a question I want to ask Mohammed Abbasi who helped

:18:32.:18:40.

organise the rally. There was a lot of tension after the events on

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Dudley Road. Things seemed to calm down a lot. Rather than Asian and

:18:46.:18:51.

black people being at each other's throats, we have come together in

:18:51.:18:56.

many areas. I think people are making a lot more effort, not just

:18:56.:19:02.

a amongst the black and Asian communities, but the wider society.

:19:02.:19:07.

I am proud that communities across the West Midlands have responded so

:19:07.:19:12.

well to the riots. It does not stop there. I have heard people helping

:19:12.:19:16.

shopkeepers too. I am on my way to meet one of the worst affected

:19:16.:19:22.

shopkeepers be during the riots. Let us see how he is coping. Ajay

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Bhatia has spent years building up his business but in less than a

:19:26.:19:35.

minute it was torn apart. We were really so low at that time. I was

:19:35.:19:43.

planning to close the business. The first six weeks, it was so, so bad.

:19:43.:19:48.

I was running around like a headless chicken, talking to people,

:19:48.:19:52.

how are we going to get the money? What is going to happen? The bills

:19:52.:20:00.

are piling up. Eventually, Britain responded. Ajay Bhatia had a royal

:20:00.:20:03.

visit and receive financial help from businesses, the council and

:20:03.:20:11.

members of the public. The response saved his business. After about 40-

:20:11.:20:16.

60 days, things started to happen. Things are getting better, day-by-

:20:16.:20:24.

day. What about the rioters themselves? What happened to them?

:20:24.:20:30.

The hunt for them goes on. This morning, I am joining the police

:20:30.:20:34.

for an early-morning raid as they tried to arrest more rioters.

:20:34.:20:41.

Police! Show yourselves. Birmingham, I watched the police

:20:41.:20:45.

stormed a flat and arrest a suspected looter. It is part of the

:20:45.:20:49.

biggest police investigation in the West Midlands for more than 30

:20:49.:20:55.

years. So far, they have made more than 600 arrests. This is exactly

:20:55.:20:59.

the results I wanted. This is what the police are doing as well. It is

:20:59.:21:04.

brilliant. It is good to see that they are not giving up. Whether it

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is 100 days, another hundred days, they are not going to get away pull

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stop -- get away. 100 days since the burning and

:21:17.:21:21.

riots. 14th November is always something of a sombre night in

:21:21.:21:24.

Coventry as it marks the anniversary of the terrible night

:21:24.:21:28.

when large parts of the city were flattened during World War Two.

:21:28.:21:32.

This evening, a special event is under way at the cathedral which

:21:33.:21:41.

attempts to look to the future. 71 years ago today, Coventry

:21:41.:21:46.

suffered a ferocious attack. Waves of German aircraft targeted be city

:21:46.:21:49.

in one of Britain's worst night of bombing during the Second World War.

:21:49.:21:53.

It was a long, brutal bombardment which left more than 500 people

:21:53.:22:01.

dead and much of the city centre in ruins. Coventry survived, and

:22:01.:22:05.

rebuild itself and today, few obvious signs remain of what

:22:05.:22:10.

happened back then. There is one. Coventry's old cathedral was the

:22:11.:22:16.

most shocking, highest profile victim of the bombing raid. Today

:22:16.:22:21.

its shattered medieval ruins still stand as a striking witness of the

:22:21.:22:26.

city's darkest night. After more than 70 years, the walls of this

:22:26.:22:30.

old place are starting to fall apart. Its future is under threat.

:22:30.:22:35.

I think this site is far too important to lose and capable of

:22:35.:22:40.

achieving more than it does today. Let me show you why I think it

:22:40.:22:48.

Old St Michaels was built towards the end of the Middle Ages and was

:22:48.:22:53.

originally a grand parish church. In fact, it had only been a

:22:53.:22:56.

cathedral for just over 20 years when the bombers struck. Now, what

:22:56.:23:02.

is left is starting to show its age. Where is the crack? When did it

:23:02.:23:07.

happen? It appeared to us in early September... The stonework is

:23:07.:23:11.

cracking and that is expensive to repair. There is a strong feeling

:23:11.:23:14.

that these ruins cannot be allowed to crumble because of what they

:23:14.:23:20.

represent. The ruins stand as something quite powerful, a

:23:20.:23:26.

reminder of war, its costs, the human tragedy of it. Therefore, we

:23:26.:23:29.

have a potential here to continue to develop that been on the site,

:23:29.:23:35.

not just about 1940, but about the ongoing human cost of war among

:23:35.:23:40.

civilian populations. The cathedral authorities want to preserve this

:23:40.:23:45.

place as a monument to war victims in Coventry and far beyond. Old St

:23:45.:23:50.

Michaels is certainly a striking memorial. These ruins have another

:23:50.:23:53.

valuable role to play. They can help us understand more about the

:23:53.:23:59.

history and people of this city. The Cripps are down here? You can

:23:59.:24:06.

see the two doors... -- the crypts. After the war, the cryptics were

:24:06.:24:11.

sealed off. Now they have been opened up, revealing a hidden part

:24:11.:24:17.

of the city. Here we are in the second crypt. It is an amazing

:24:17.:24:22.

space. We know there is another crypt through there. And then there

:24:22.:24:28.

is that? This is very interesting. It is full of rubble, we think from

:24:28.:24:35.

the November Blitz. We think -- we think this crypt was used as a skip.

:24:35.:24:40.

What do we know about it? We know nothing. There is no record. No

:24:40.:24:46.

photographs. We do not know the size of it on anything. What would

:24:46.:24:49.

we gain, what could the excavation of this area and its presentation

:24:49.:24:55.

tell us? About the wealth and investment by the wealthy Coventry

:24:55.:24:58.

merchants into this great apparent Church -- parish church and why it

:24:58.:25:03.

is so big and why we can see from the position of this chapel that it

:25:03.:25:07.

was actually quite a small church when it first started. This was

:25:07.:25:12.

standing on its own. It is a story of the success of Coventry in the

:25:12.:25:17.

late medieval period. That is a story too few people know. It has

:25:17.:25:21.

been forgotten. Old St Michaels can give us a glimpse of commentary in

:25:21.:25:26.

the late Middle Ages. But there is more. It can also shed a multi-

:25:26.:25:30.

coloured light on the city's artistic past. In the Middle Ages,

:25:30.:25:40.

church architecture was a -- with large Gothic windows and the

:25:40.:25:45.

stained glass was an expensive form of art. It told been story of

:25:45.:25:52.

common life. One of the greatest of all of the British Dane Karsten --

:25:52.:25:55.

stained-glass artist came from Coventry. His name was John

:25:55.:26:02.

Thornton. Thornton is probably best known for the stunning great east

:26:02.:26:06.

window at York Minster. His stained glass also adorned Old St Michaels.

:26:06.:26:10.

What few people realise is that much of it survives, or because

:26:10.:26:15.

someone had the bright idea to remove it before the war. The

:26:15.:26:22.

windows were dismantled into more than 2500 pieces, a treasure Hove -

:26:22.:26:26.

- treasure-trove of glass that was forgotten for years. Now we can put

:26:26.:26:31.

the puzzle back together. You have got all kinds of faces here. That

:26:31.:26:36.

would seem to be John the Baptist. A but Saints, with their haloes.

:26:37.:26:43.

Ladies, in contemporary dress will stop bearded men as well. All of

:26:43.:26:48.

the life, the character, the people from the late Middle Ages, when

:26:48.:26:52.

Coventry were at its peak, are still here to be met. If indeed.

:26:52.:26:58.

This is a very important aspect of commentary's heritage which to date

:26:58.:27:03.

has not been very well publicised. It is not often that you can get as

:27:03.:27:09.

close as this to pieces of art, glass art, which were produced in

:27:09.:27:13.

the Middle Ages. What would the value be to the City of Coventry if

:27:13.:27:18.

this class was cleaned, understood, publicised and put on display?

:27:18.:27:24.

would make Coventry a centre where class of great importance could be

:27:24.:27:29.

viewed by all those who are interested in all areas of up art

:27:29.:27:35.

history. It would even be a tourist attraction for the City as a whole.

:27:36.:27:40.

Old St Michaels can tell us a great deal about Coventry's recent and

:27:40.:27:45.

distant past. It has so much to offer, such potential to be useful

:27:45.:27:49.

and inspiring. We should not allow this to slip away. That is why

:27:49.:27:53.

today a campaign is being launched to raise a million pounds for this

:27:53.:27:58.

historic site. Old St Michaels and what it stands sport cannot be lost.

:27:58.:28:03.

But with a shared funding, protection, opening it up to the

:28:03.:28:08.

public, we can optimise and make it useful and then these ruins will

:28:08.:28:18.
:28:18.:28:18.

become a gift for future You can see a special report on it

:28:18.:28:25.

tonight's events at the cathedral on BBC Midlands today at 10:25pm.

:28:25.:28:29.

That is all for now. During the next week.

:28:29.:28:34.

On that next week's programme... Eventually, when you hit the edge

:28:35.:28:43.

of the water, beak abroad will react. After one of the driest

:28:43.:28:47.

Has Stoke-on-Trent been abandoned by the government? Mary Rhodes reports on the city of six towns which has struggled to get back on its feet since the 1970s and asks whether the boarded up houses and derelict sites of Stoke will ever come back to life or if the city is destined for failure. And on the anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, the Cathedral reveals the hidden medieval stained glass saved from destruction, as the ruins make the World Monuments fund watch list for 2012.


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