14/11/2011 Inside Out West Midlands


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


if anything has been done to stop it happening again.


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


from the cathedral. This is Inside Out for the West


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


once lived he has little confidence in the future.


Stoke will never improve because things never change, the same


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


do nothing with the land. It ends up wasteland.


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


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


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


Behold regeneration programme stalled halfway through a 15 year


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


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


landscape. I spend a fortune on my house over


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


neglected. Stoke has had 30 years of decline.


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


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


at the kind without government support and a managed decline.


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


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


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


council or why they were pulling down Victorian heritage homes?


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


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


were demolished here in Slater Street. They included comprehensive


renovation or demolition. We have discovered in an assessment for


renovation a positive figure representing the increased market


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


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


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


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


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


homes can be them predicted adding householders can be forced to


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


cannot do a financial assessment without taking the benefits into


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


has blighted lives and destroyed communities. To somebody who comes


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that had happened in parts of Manchester and Salford and


Newcastle. We needed to do something quickly to get the


confidence back to developers and residents there we are trying to


deal with the situation, and put something positive from the


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


Investment the government stopped the promised money. For Brendan


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


Ideologically this government doesn't believe in intervention, he


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


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


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


our request for an interview. Instead he issued a statement


denying abandoning Stoke, saying the money was stopped because


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


residents who are stranded in derelict neighbourhoods, and had


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


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


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


some of the assets and rebuild their communities themselves.


Attracting funding from ethical lenders and government grants.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


humility, it is ridiculous what is happening.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


operation is under way tonight after a series of violent


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


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


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


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


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


children. Stay out of trouble. They are running.


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


community station became a rolling news channel and soon we became


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


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


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


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


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


that was an exercise in social responsibility by that media


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


siege to their own communities. Dr Patrick Tissington has an


explanation. He is a psychologist from Aston University who studies


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


visit and receive financial help from businesses, the council and


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


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


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


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


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


Police! Show yourselves. Birmingham, I watched the police


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


biggest police investigation in the West Midlands for more than 30


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


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


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


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


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


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


Coventry as it marks the anniversary of the terrible night


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


rebuild itself and today, few obvious signs remain of what


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


represent. The ruins stand as something quite powerful, a


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


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


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


civilian populations. The cathedral authorities want to preserve this


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


Michaels is certainly a striking memorial. These ruins have another


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


That is all for now. During the next week.


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


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


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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