28/06/2011 East Midlands Today


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This is East Midlands Today with Dominic Heale and Anne Davies. Our


top story tonight: Thorntons unwraps some shock news for the


high street. As it celebrates its centenary, the chocolate maker says


it may close up to 180 stores have been there -- over the next three


years nationwide. Or so the news cancer treatment giving hope to


patients, this is the first-of-its- kind in the Midlands. This machine


can hit it, the exact spot we wanted, and not destroy too many


cells. Plus the school that's facing


almost a week of strike action by teachers. And I am at Wollerton


Hall catching up on those who managed to get a secret look at the


Good evening and welcome to Tuesday's programme. First tonight,


more high street gloom for the East Midlands. The chocolate-making firm,


Thorntons, is shedding hundreds of jobs and closing dozens of shops.


The company, which is based at Alfreton in Derbyshire, says it


wants to expand its online business and develop new products. Anne has


more details. The news of the shake-up came at


about 7am this morning. At the moment, Thorntons has 364 stores


across the country. The plan is to close 120 of those, with the


possibility of 60 more being cut. One prediction is that more than


1,000 jobs are threatened, but the company hasn't yet put a figure on


it. James Roberson has been examining the reaction to today's


In Derby this morning, staff at one of the two company-owned stores in


the city were trying to attract customers. The future of this


Thorntons store, and around 120 others nationwide, is now under


review. Over the next three years, dozens of stores could close as


their leases expire. It could mean anything between 750 and 1,100 job


losses. It is a lot of jobs to lose, and a lot of jobs are going the


same way. Were have not got Woolworths, what have we got left?


What are we going to do? Are we going to survive? Are don't think


it is fair to the high street, they keep taking things into these


centres. Thorntons, like other retailers,


has seen the drop in footfall on the high street affect sales at its


shops. That's despite major revamps of stores like this one in


Kingston-on-Thames, and rebranding of products in the last few years.


The hot spring has not been good for selling chocolate. Now the firm


wants to concentrate on other areas of sales that make them less


dependent on those traditional periods like Easter, Christmas and


Mother's Day bus stop it will focus now on online sales. On creating


new lines and slightly cheaper products, and increasing sales


through other retailers. We looked at research and we found that one


supermarket was serving 60 types of chocolate. There was a great threat


an opportunity to businesses like this.


Thorntons has also announced that chocolates produced at its factory


in Somercotes in Derbyshire will not now be distributed by its own


staff. The operation and 134 staff are being outsourced to freight


hauliers, DHL. As Thorntons approaches its 100th birthday, with


belt-tightening on the cards, it seems centenary celebrations at the


With us now is Professor Joshua Bamfield from the Centre for Retail


Research which is based in Newark. What's your reaction to the


decision by Thorntons to shut so many stores? It is a shock reaction


but it is probably irrational in the circumstances given that online


retailing and selling through other stores seems to be much more


successful to them than the existing stores they have got and


trade as Thorntons. If you have got a successful product as they


certainly seem to have, it makes perfect sense to sell it on line


and have a bit of shelf space in the big supermarkets but if this


process continues, our high streets will look very different, won't


they? Yes and Thorntons is one of the most -- more interesting shops.


People will regret Thorntons shops closing. Do you see a point where


maybe it is just supermarkets with sections for Thorntons and things


like that and traditional high- street shops gone? No, I don't


think so. We feel that online will grow by perhaps 20% in retailing


but we think that really the property owners in high streets


have really got to reduce their rent. They have got to bring in


more independent stores because that provide the interest and the


difference compared to other high streets and there needs to be a lot


of remodelling because many retailers complain that existing


high streets, these stores are no longer suitable. To go back to the


product that Thorntons produces, is it good enough in the current


international market? There are rivals for higher end confectionery.


That is true and a few years ago, you could say that Thorntons was


seen as elegance, and the high end of chocolate product. I am not sure


that is the case any more but nonetheless, it is a quality


product. It has a good reputation and you could see they will want to


defend it as hard as possible. have been hearing an awful lot of


shops closing on the high street, is it really bad out there for


retailers at the moment? Yes, Next were told they were running up the


down escalator and we have been seeing figures something like


15,015 1,000 employees have lost their jobs in returning -- 15,000


employees. But things look like they are getting worse. Thank you


for coming to speak to us. And there was another blow for


retailing in Derbyshire as the historic Bennetts store announced


it would be closing one of its shops. One of the country's oldest


department stores, the company has shops in Derby, Ashbourne and


Bakewell. Now the Bakewell store is being closed because of a dip in


trade over the last three years. The other two branches will remain


Still to come on the programme, the secrets of the Batcave. A


tantalising glimpse of the filming And how these pupils are hoping to


get first place when it comes to A young mother has appeared in


court accused of shaking her seven- week-old baby to death. The 24-


year-old denies killing her daughter at the family's former


home in Leicestershire. Victoria Hicks joins us now from the city's


Crown Court. What's the background? The baby was born 6.5 weeks


premature and she died when she was just seven weeks old. The


prosecution told the court that her mother had gone out in the garden


to hang out the washing. She had a cigarette and then returned 10


minutes later to find the baby lifeless in her Moses basket. We


heard the mother's frantic call to the pan at -- paramedics and that


was played to the court. We heard her cry out "my baby is dead, help


me". She thought the baby's big comedown. Tragically the baby's


life-support machine was turned off later that day. The baby's mother


held her head in her hands. The prosecution said no natural cause


for the baby's death other than injuries consistent with having


been shaken. The baby's mother said she shaped the baby to try to


revive her but the prosecution says the injuries were not consistent


with collapsing first and then being shaken. The baby's mother


denies manslaughter and this case Cancer patients in this part of the


world are now benefiting from a new form of radiotherapy. Nottingham


City Hospital is the first in the Midlands to offer tomotherapy. The


multi-million pound machine offers more targeted treatment for head


and neck cancers. Our health correspondent, Rob Sissons, has had


Michael goes for the new form of radiotherapy five days a week with


difficult to target tumours, tomotherapy offers hope for the


cure. I have got one up the right hand side, one at the back of my


tongue and one on the side of my brain. The steamers are being


targeted precisely with tomotherapy. Nottingham City Hospital is one of


only five in the NHS across England which has a machine. We get a


spiral of dose distributed in the patient's body. Michael is one of


the very first patients to use this equipment in Nottingham and


eventually they are hoping to treat up to 30 patients every day.


Although he only has the treatment for minutes, it feels longer.


was tiring afterwards. Late in the afternoon. It is different to what


we have used before and so it is interesting for us. You can see the


salivary glands here... Spare in healthy cells -- sparing healthy


cells of a high dose of radiation can help improvements. We know that


cancer patients do very well indeed after this treatment and it is


among the best in the country. However what we want to do is not


only cure people but help them to live well in the long term.


hopefully after sailing through therapy, Michael wants to go on


Rob is with us now. This is in addition to a existing techniques,


not instead of? Yes, it will offer more options to patients in the


East Midlands. There are gruelling treatment but this is another


option. These cancers are detected early enough, there is a really


good cure rate. A police officer was thrown out of


court today after listening to messages on his mobile phone. It


happened at Leicester Crown Court while evidence was being given


during a murder trial. The officer was asked to leave after he was


seen listening to his voicemail. Public meetings have been held


about plans to set up a drugs rehabilitation centre next to a


primary school. Councillors are considering turning the building,


known as Florence House in Hinckley, into a treatment centre. It would


be next door to a primary school. Last week, many parents said it was


totally inappropriate. The plans have been deferred to allow more


time for public consultations. Work aimed at helping vulnerable


young children in Nottingham has won a national award. The city


council's running several pilot projects aimed at reducing child


poverty. The Early Intervention scheme aims to solve problems


before children start school and save money in the long-term. It's


now been given a national industry award.


The political war of words over this Thursday's national strike by


public sector workers is warming up. Among those due to walk out,


members of Britain's biggest teaching union. But at one


Derbyshire school it'll actually be the third consecutive day of action,


as Simon Hare reports. Beauty therapy trainees at Heanor


Gate Science College were adding a touch of sparkle to their studies


today. But for many pupils there are no lessons today and tomorrow


over plans to turn it into an academy and on Thursday as part of


the national action on pensions. have to be mindful of health and


safety and we just looked at the day's individually and we do the


best we can to work at which students can be in. We planned this


action in March and we postponed because we thought we had an


agreement with the Government, they went back on that, we tried to get


an agreement confirmed with them again. It failed and therefore we


had to take this action today and tomorrow.


Younger pupils have been given extra homework, but the industrial


action has caused problems for some parents. I am on holiday today but


my wife works at another school in the area. If I had been at work


today and if she was at work today, it would have been a real problem.


I can understand the concerns of the parents and the inconvenience


but these are key issues for staff and we have to respect that they


have the right to express their concerns about future Government


policy. A And tomorrow night we'll have more


information on how Thursday's strike is expected to effect the


Earlier today we told you about a family in Nottingham who were


desperate to have a shrub area in front of their home cleared because


they felt it was dangerous. Kay Greensmith contacted us about this


green verge in Arnold that had been left in a state of ruin. Her family


are not as happy stepping out of the front garden because of this


green verge. They say it has been left in a state of ruin and


combined with an uneven footbath, it is posing a serious risk. I am


concerned because when I get out of my car I have got a three-year-old.


She gets the rose bushes in her eyes. She is walking to school


daily and dripping. The steps are not safe. Her mother says she


tripped over a slab and fell. Of the most frustrating part is that


no one is taking responsibility. Every department we speak to passes


you on to another and then back to the original one. Nobody is


accepting responsibility for. we approached the borough council


yesterday, they said it is unclear who has responsibility for the


maintenance of the area but they planned to make the area safe and


tidy. 24 hours later, the area has now been cleared up. It family say


they are delighted and it is a huge The future of Sherwood Pines Forest


Park is to be debated following announcements about cuts to the


Forestry Commission. Last month the Commission was told it will lose a


quarter of its budget by 2015. Tonight members of the public are


being asked to give their views on the future of Sherwood Pines and


can meet those in charge of overseeing the changes.


The Support Derbyshire charity is backing a national campaign to get


free eye tests for those over 60. According to research by Age UK,


nearly 40,000 people in Derbyshire haven't had an eye test for at


least two years. Figures suggest one in every 14 falls suffered by


an elderly person is linked to vision problems.


Two schools in Nottinghamshire are swapping the whiteboard for the red


cross this week. Pupils from East Leake are taking part in a national


first aid competition. But the pressure is really on because


they've won the title for the past English, maths and now first aid.


It's all on the timetable here at Lantern Lane Primary. For months,


these pupils and a group from neighbouring Harry Carlton


Secondary have been given training by St John's Ambulance. Now their


skills will be examined at a first aid competition being held in


London tomorrow. The pupils will be given a variety


of real life settings to deal with. They'll be tested on their


knowledge, the treatment they give and how well they work as a team.


These incidents are only a rehearsal but some pupils have


already had first-hand experience of the real thing. I was in Paris


with my family and my dad got a bee sting and they got it out with a


credit card. I was out in my garden with my own sister and she fell


over and I went inside and washed the wind and put a dressing on.


This morning somebody in my class had a nosebleed and I treated them


for that. Out in the playground, they are the first on the scene.


Because the school is so busy, knowing the difference can save


some money's life and putting those skills and showing their friends


what they can do can make a difference of.


A �1,000 prize is at stake for the winning school. It's an amazing


achievement for the children, they have worked so hard since showing


an initial interest in first aid and there is a competitive element.


We have won for two years at the junior level and they would like to


win again. But more importantly, the chance to


demonstrate how their newly acquired skills could mean the


difference between a life lost and Is that boy all right, he looked


quite poorly! I am useless at that sort of thing, I could not do


anything. A full weather forecast coming up,


are we in for another muggy night? Once the showers clear away, we are


looking at cooler temperatures tonight so hopefully we might get


some sleep tonight! More weather Derby County are close to making


their seventh signing of the summer. The Aberdeen striker Chris Maguire


is expected to finally join the Rams. The 22-year-old is a Scotland


international and was out of contract north of the border, but


he'll still cost around �400,000 because of his age.


And a sixth signing for Notts County too. Left-sided player Jeff


Hughes arrives at Meadow Lane on a free transfer after scoring 11


goals for Bristol Rovers last season.


Derbyshire bowler Steffan Jones will retire at the end of the


season, to take up a job in teaching. The 37-year-old has


turned down a three-year deal to stay at the county as player and


coach. Meanwhile, Derbyshire have been in


cracking form. They got to 367 before reducing Glamorgan to 60 for


five. The hosts have recovered since then. But Derbyshire in


control. He's the man who makes sure that


the Wimbledon fans are always kept in the loop. Mansfield's John Parry


made his name as a top umpire and had the odd run-in with John


McEnroe but now, as far as the visitors to SW19 are concerned,


he's the voice of the tournament. The morning rush for the best seats


in the house. But even at this most genteel of sporting tournaments,


the fans need a little persuasion to keep calm. In the interests of


your own and others' safety, please do not run.


The voice belongs to John Parry and this is his Wimbledon debut behind


the mic. It is pretty awesome when you go live and I am looking out


just before and there is 30,000 people and all the people in the


courts as well. And they do listen, it is nice to have a good audience!


I have not always had that. He might well be referring to his


30 years in the umpire's chair and more specifically when this man was


at his posturing peak. You cannot be serious! That Paul was on the


line. John handled the halcyon days of


John McEnroe, as well as several Wimbledon finals. There was an


infamous confrontation with McEnroe in 1981 but these days he's more


worried about keeping the crowd happy. You have got to develop your


own style. I am trying to be a little bit lighter because it is


entertainment, in a way. It is a fantastic sport and very serious


but people are still coming along for a nice day out so I try to be


cheerful even if the weather is not. When it rains, John's at his


busiest but there's no room for fat fingers whenever the Centre Court


roof is closed. It would be a complete disaster if I hit the


Centre Court button and I suddenly said can I have your attention


please in the middle of a tie-break point, I would probably be on the


red bus up the road by lunchtime. Especially if it was McEnroe who


was on court. Staying with Wimbledon, mixed


fortunes for us in the second round of the boys' junior tournament


today. Josh Ward Hibbert couldn't cope with the Austrian seventh seed


Dominic Thiem and lost in straight sets. But much better for


Nottingham-based Liam Broady. He's 15th seed and comfortably got past


the unseeded French lad Matthias Bourgue six-one, six-four. Safely


into the third round and looking And in case you're wondering what


was going to be said in the hand over that was not, you can check on


If you've been trying to visit Wollaton Hall this week, forget it.


Batman got there first and it's shut for the next few days. They're


right in the thick of filming part of the Hollywood blockbuster


starring Christian Bale at the stately home in Nottingham. No-


one's allowed onto the set of The Dark Knight Rises, but that hasn't


stopped people trying. Quentin Batman's certainly making its


presence felt here. Not only has the crew managed to damage the main


gate, but both the house and grounds are shut for the next few


days as its transformed into Wayne Manor. No-one's allowed on set but


Go on the internet and you'll see footage of a scene being filmed


between Christian Bale and what's thought to be Anne Hathaway, who's


said by those working on the film to look "smoking hot" in her


Catwoman costume. Also captured, the moments shortly


after that truck crashed into one of the main gate posts trying to


get into the park. A graveyard's been built prompting rumours


there'll be a scene where Bruce Wayne visits the graves of his


murdered parents. And someone's got a shot of Batman's new car, a


Lamborghini Aventador, coming in at Rumour has it the stars have been


seen drinking in one of Wollaton's locals.


I have not seen them yet. We have had the film crew, they were in


last night but we have not seen any of the famous ones yet. Who are you


hoping for a? Michael Caine, I would like to see him. To see if he


talks like that in real life. would be nice to see anybody,


Christine Dale, anybody. -- But the bats are in the belfry at


Nuthall apparently. That's where the stars are said to be staying.


have got a friend who works there and he cooked breakfast for Morgan


Freeman, they said he was a really nice guy.


But wait a holy moment. Why aren't they also filming here in Goatham?


Legend has it that ancient tales of madness in this Nottinghamshire


village inspired the dark underworld that is Gotham City. To


What's this? Where's the Lamborghini? I can't rescue Anne in


this. The Joker would just laugh at It is the BBC, the budget has been


cut. And I have been not rescued because I am still here. A fate


worse than death! And now for a A noticeably cooler day-to-day but


we have had a picture of the Millbrook at Shepshed, dry with a


picture of some of the wild flowers. We have got the cloudy skies at the


moment and if you have been travelling on the A one road, there


have been a few lively thunderstorms as well but they have


been moving away. Not many of us expecting anything different from a


cooler, dry night overnight. Tomorrow morning starting off dry


and we will start to see a sunny start, some showers developing into


the afternoon. Many are across the northern part of our region but


some of them working towards their way towards the south. But in the


sunshine, daytime temperatures reaching a maximum of 20 Celsius.


It should feel pleasant if you manage to miss the showers. We have


got high pressure and that will give us some settled weather for


the next few days. We will see variable amounts of cloud but by


the time we get to Thursday and Friday, more sunshine and they may


start to see it changing again. It will stay dry with the high


pressure not moving very far away but then the wind changes direction.


We will see the cloud gradually increasing once again and we have


got the opportunity of things trying to brighten up but daytime


temperatures go back to what they should people this time of year,


about 15 Celsius lower at around 18 Celsius so a bit more bearable on


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