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This is East Midlands Today with Anne Davies and me, Dominic Heale.
Our top story tonight - hundreds of jobs to go in a shake-up at Royal
Mail. Almost 200 jobs are to go at
Leicester's world mile centre. Plus, there'll be no Government U-
turn to save jobs at Bombardier. The minister stands firm. We do not
lawfully have the ability to award the contract to the company that
Also tonight, scientists study a new way for new mums to lose weight.
In terms of health we do not want a generation of women who are
overweight just because they had a baby. And armed with bin bags - 200
schoolchildren sweep through a suburb. We are proud to come here
and give back to the environment. First, if you thought it couldn't
get any worse, it just has. Almost 500 jobs are to go as the Royal
Mail shakes up its operations across the East Midlands. That news
came just hours after the Government confirmed that the Derby
train-maker, Bombardier, would not be given a massive contract which
would have saved the jobs of hundreds more. In a moment, an
exclusive interview with the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond,
about the controversial Bombardier decision. But first, let's join
Mike O'Sullivan in Leicester with more on those Royal Mail job cuts.
Good evening. This mail centre is the big loser in these changes
being proposed by the Royal Mail. Around 500 people work here and
there'll 280 job losses. What will happen is that the Leicester Mail
centre here will be closed down. The sorting of the mail will be
transferred to Northampton. Then another smaller office will be
opened in Leicester to handle the delivery side of things. A union
leader here though believes that something like 400 people will
leave, because they just don't want to travel the 35 miles for work in
Northampton. We have 500 members down there. We have 100 drivers or
so, cleaning and catering staff, and most of those jobs will go. So
we are probably talking 500 jobs. Why are the Royal Mail having to do
this? The Royal Mail says one reason that
they have to slim down is because fewer letters are being posted.
They say in the Midlands, the number of items posted have fallen
by more than 400 million since 2006. And they predict a fall of a
further 500 million items by 2015. Well, as if the jobs scene in Derby
wasn't bad enough, just over 180 jobs will be lost there. The
sorting office side of things will go from Derby to Nottingham. The
big office in Derby will remain as a delivery office only. Also the
Ilkeston and Heanor delivery offices will be closed. So what's
the Royal Mail had to say about it today? Well, the Royal Mail said
today another factor is a big investment in new machinery. And
they promise no compulsory redundancies.
To date we have not had to use compulsory redundancy at all and we
do not envisage having to as part of these changes we have proposed.
We are working with the trade unions and the people in Derby and
Leicester and Nottingham to make sure that we support them and their
families and our customers through this change. The Royal Mail says
the final decision on these proposals will be made in the
Autumn. Next tonight, the latest chapter in
the Bombardier story. Union leaders met the Transport Secretary this
morning, to ask him to change his mind about about awarding a �1.4
billion order to the German firm, Siemens. Our Political Editor, John
Hess, is at Westminster now. John, was this the last throw of the
dice? If you listened to the government
today, you certainly wouldn't want to put your money on a possible U-
turn on this. Just hear what the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond
told me a little earlier. We do not have the ability, lawfully, to
award the contract to the company that came second in the competition.
It is as simple as that. It's the first time the Transport Secretary
has spoken to the programme about his controversial decision over
Bombardier. You'll be able to more of it shortly. The interview was
after he had met a delegation of senior trade union officials first
thing this morning, at the Department for Transport.
Determined and resolute - union leaders arrived for talks at the
Department for Transport. We know that in France, Germany and Italy,
no government would conceive of trains for that country been built
elsewhere. The government is supposed to be in charge. Either it
is in charge or frankly, this is a Shambles. The Transport Secretary,
Philip Hammond, had scheduled an hour for the talks. They lasted
twice as long. A sign of hope? Not so. He has said at this stage that
there is nothing further he can do but he also said the process is not
ended and the final contract will not be awarded for another few
months. We would use that time to follow up on a number of issues
were stop we're not going to disappear until we make sure the
government can see the social ramifications of the people of
Derby and beyond. Later in the Commons, the Prime Minister praised
Bombardier. It is a great company with a great future in this country.
But in this case the procurement process was designed and initiated
by the previous government. We were bound by the criteria at a set and
so we have to continue with the decision that was made according to
that criteria. From the outside, the Department for Transport looks
solidly immoveable on the reviewing the Thamelink contract. But there's
still six months to go until the final contract is signed off.
So with the contract still to be finalised, is there any room for
manoeuvre? Not if you listen to the Transport Secretary. The Thames
link contract has been awarded to Siemens as the perfect picture on
the basis of the terms set out in the original tender when it was
delivered. And we do not have the ability lawfully to award the
contract to the company that came second in the competition. It is as
simple as that. How long until you sign it off officially? Siemens has
been appointed as preferred bidder. There will now be a process of
commercial negotiation around the details of the contract and due
diligence which normally takes six months. In that period, is that
time for you to change your mind? It is not possible for me to
intervene in the way that some of the Derby MPs and some of the
unions have been hoping would be possible. It is not possible for me
to simply overturn the proper decision that comes out of an
evaluation of tenders in accordance with the criteria set out in the
original process. We have to stick within the law. What we can do is
make sure that in future restructure contracts in a way that
looks at the wider interests of the UK supply chain, it takes a more
strategic view of the industry in the UK and beyond and managers the
best interests of the taxpayer in the longer term. But what is the
short-term future formed Bombardier? I think there mediant
challenge is they need design and development work to keep their
engineering department busy. They have production operations carrying
on with the London Underground. But we will look to see if there's
anything we can do to help the UK supply chain, whether bringing
forward the dates of future contracts. And Bombardier is a pre-
qualified bidder for the CrossRail project and we will look at if
there's anything we can do to accelerate that process in a way
that may help the UK supply industry. Will the political
pressure is not going to go away. I understand that the mid- Derbyshire
Conservative MP who secured a lot of support from Derbyshire and
Nottinghamshire MPs yesterday will lead a delegation to see David
Cameron on Monday. And the TUC has now given national backing of to a
rally in Derby a week on Saturday in support of Bombardier and their
workers. Still to come on the programme - a
double blow for a special school in Derbyshire. First plans for a re-
build are scrapped to save money. Now they've found asbestos in the
roof of the main hall. An inquest has been told that an
army dog handler died almost instantly when he was shot while on
foot patrol in Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and his dog
Theo were based in Rutland before their deployment to Helmand
Province. The pair had made 14 finds of explosives and ammunition
in five months on the front line. Theo died of a seizure shortly
after Corporal Tasker was killed. A jury will come back to Leicester
Crown Court tomorrow to consider the case of Jodie Pick. The 23-
year-old is accused of killing her seven week old baby daughter at
their home in Broughton Astley. She said she was trying to revive her
daughter by shaking her. The prosecution claimed she grabbed the
baby in a fit of anger. A special school's been forced to
shut its main hall after asbestos was found in the ceiling. It was
discovered when internal roof tiles began to fall to the floor. The
closure has led to the cancellation of school meals and PE lessons. The
building had been due to be replaced, but the plan was scrapped
under Government cut-backs. From Derby, Simon Hare reports.
Today was always due to be a picnic for the pupils at a Fratton Park
community a special school. But they can now expect to have a lot
more sandwiches after asbestos was disturbed in the roof of their main
hall. We go through the hall to get to all the classrooms. And we would
normally have are at lunch there but the school kitchen and the hall
are closed. So it is now sandwiches until everything is repaired.
has fallen down. Can we do games in the hall? No, it is broken. We need
a new roof. They had been plans to rebuild the school on a new site
but that was scrapped with the loss of the building schools for the
future programme. We had the final design and the children had met
with the architects and everything was ready to roll. So it is very
disappointing. But we have to make the most of the building we have
got. There are also trying to raise money to replace the roof of the
schools' room -- swimming-pool which staff say is a vital part of
the education they provide. But the eldest pupils were still hoping to
raise the roof when they hold their pram before the end of term.
A Derby charity which helps children and young people at risk
of sexual exploitation will continue to get Government funding.
Funding for Safe and Sound Derby had been in doubt. Last year the
charity worked with more than 100 vulnerable young people. 18 had
been victims of a gang which was jailed for grooming young women for
sex. The charity will receive a grant of �200,000 over the next
three years. A house at Ilkeston in Derbyshire
has been badly damaged in a fire. More than 20 firefighters spent
around three hours putting out the blaze. They were called to the
house at Eyre's Garden at four o'clock this morning. When they
arrived the first floor was well alight. It's understood that the
occupants of the house had managed to get themselves out.
Apparently you can forget finding time to go to the gym. Scientists
in Nottingham have come up with a programme to help new mums get fit
and lose weight without leaving the house. They're encouraging them to
play interactive computer games at least three times a week. Angelina
Socci reports. It's a full time job looking after
six-month-old Max. And for his mum, Jan, having the time or inclination
to exercise isn't always top of her priorities. Everyone tends to put
on weight when they have had a child and sometimes to not lose it
as quickly as they would like. I think people are quite conscious of
how they look. A recent survey found that 67 percent of women were
anxious about their weight after giving birth and many didn't want
to exercise in public. But now scientists here at Nottingham Trent
University think they may have found a solution. And it involves
playing computer games. But with a difference. A study, which will be
carried out on 20 to 30 new mums, will monitor their weight and body
composition before, during and after a twelve week training period
on a Wii Fit Board. At the end of the 12 weeks we get
them back and do all there scans again. And hopefully we will have
some results to show that this type of intervention is really useful
and beneficial to mothers. A lot of people probably have them at home
and do not use them as much as they thought. I suppose it is just
another thing to try. So while a new baby may bring plenty of joy,
scientists are hoping that this research will also provide a happy
outcome for all the mums taking part.
Still to come on the programme - a taste of Autumn in Mid-July.
If you thought to date was disappointing, wait until the
weekend when it will be cool, wet and windy.
Time for sport, and another day and another signing at Leicester.
Yes, this time Paul Konchesky. He's completed his move from Liverpool
and has already flown out to meet his new Leicester team mates on
their tour of Sweden. The 30-year- old has cost a reported �1.5
million. You might remember he was on loan at Nottingham Forest last
season, but he's now signed a three year deal with their East Midlands
rivals. They have added to the squad recently and they have added
well. The owners look like they are going to give it a good go this
year. Well, Konchesky is Leicester's seventh summer signing.
Derby have added eight, but Nottingham Forest have only brought
in one player so far and there is just four weeks to go until the
start of the season. So with the clock ticking until kick off, how
are things shaping up for our three big teams? Take a look at this.
Well, here we are at Quorn FC in Leicestershire ahead of a big
charity game this weekend. It involves former players from our
local teams, Leicester, Forest and Derby. Today we've got some of the
experts together to debate who will come out on top this season.
I'm Walshy - Leicester City legend. Hi, I'm Phil Gee - former Derby
County. Hi, David Johnson - Nottingham Forest.
Well, they are all strikers, all fighting for their corner of the
East Midlands. So we are putting them to the test in a very special
soccer shoot out. Who will is going to come out on
top this here? I think it will be very interesting. There are new
signings and with the money available I think we will end up
top of the league this year. Walshy thinks Leicester are going
up. Phil wants Cloughie to hit the target of top six this season.
Meanwhile, Forest, like Johnson, are looking a shambles when it
comes to signings. To be fair, he is not wearing his builds! --
builds. Give Forest another week and it will be desperate signings,
and that is what they don't want. It is Nigel Clough's buried season
now. This is the season to judge him. Any fighting between you three
at the weekend to? You cannot get near him at any weight! Derby
winning the shoot out there. And if you want to see the legends in
action, there is game on Sunday in Quorn in Leicestershire and next
weekend at Dunkirk in Nottingham. Golf now, and the biggest
tournament this year starts tomorrow with the strongest British
field ever. Among them, Nottinghamshire's world number two,
Lee Westwood. It's the Open Championship at Royal St George's
in Kent and despite Westwood's great ranking, he's still looking
for his first major title win. Colin Hazelden reports.
It's certainly feels like a long time since the dark days of two
dozen and two. Nine years ago West would was plummeting out of the top
100. But now the number two in the world is in the form of his life.
It is going well, I played well in the US Open, finished third. I had
a decent week. And I will try to feed off that confidence going into
this. A long time since Tiger Woods and his American compatriot is
bestrode the golfing world. The top three now all British. There is
competition but it is nice that an Englishman is number one and Rory
McIlroy is right behind us at number three. The game in Britain
and Europe is incredibly strong at the moment. The journey to top
golfer has been a long one. The leap to major winner can seem like
a chasm but Westwood is not sweating. I would like to win a
major Championship, obviously. But I must be doing something right.
Aren't there or thereabouts and people are expecting a win. It all
starts tomorrow morning and you can't see it on the BBC.
-- you can see it. One of our Olympic greats was in Leicester
today to give school sports a boost. Five times gold medallist, Sir
Steve Redgrave, mucked in with the children at Badgerbrook Primary
School. He's trying to get more young people involved in sport. And
there's nothing like a home Olympics to help inspire them.
Olympics coming to our shores is just fantastic. 26 different sports.
That gives the opportunity of seeing the world's best in their
own capital city and around the surrounding areas. That will
inspire people. And in cricket Andre Adams will stay with his
county until 20 get team after signing a new contract. And not
County's match against Somerset looks finely balanced going into
That is all the sport. Tomorrow is the opener for Lee Westwood.
Fingers crossed. Streets in one part of Leicester
were cleaned up today thanks to 200 local youngsters. Students from
Longslade Community College in Birstall spent the day collecting
litter in the parks and village centre as part of their good
citizenship course. Paul Bradshaw was there.
What a load of rubbish! But then, that's the whole idea. These young
people from the local college descended on the village of
Birstall to tackle litter. It is good to get out of the classroom
and help the community. It makes us realise how much littered there is
a round. It keeps your mind off exam results. It is important that
people see us as responsible. feel proud to come here and give
back to the local environment. Education it is about ensuring
young people grow up to be part of the world a party that is them
taking their rightful place as citizens. It's a scheme the local
council approves of. As part of their GCSE studies, it's hoped the
event will promote understanding of the problem of littering and of
community awareness. Litter is not good for the environment and it is
an eyesore. So anything we can do with colleges is absolutely vital.
And local people were happy to see the clean-up team in action. We are
from New Zealand which is a very clean country so it is great to see
that the young people are taking an interest. It is a great idea.
impressed, never have seen it before. Very impressed. The young
people themselves say the people themselves say the
experience has been a good one. Normally at this time of night week
show some of your pictures. But tonight we have some of the flowers
at Woollaton Hall. Nottingham is entering the East Midlands in Bloom
competition this summer for the first time since winning the
national 'Champion of Champions' title in 2008. Today judges
inspected many sites across the City. They met students at Wollaton
Park and also spoke to those people who've helped to create the flower
beds and exhibits. Tonight we have a lot of cloud
across the region it. There has been the odd light shower around
today. But it will become drier through the evening and the cloud
will start to break up. Temperatures could go down to a
minimum of around seven degrees Celsius in some parts of the region.
There is some rain around as well coming in from the North Sea. And
that is how it tomorrow morning is likely to start. Cloud across the
East but breaking up quite well across the West. It should be a
mainly dry afternoon and warm as well. Friday also starts off
probably slightly better with some sunshine. But then we start to see
the cloud increasing. And also we have low pressure starting to
develop. That gives us quite a wet day on Saturday. The wind also
starting to increase making it feel quite cool over the weekend.
Stronger wind likely on Sunday and the opportunity for a few
thunderstorms as well. Feeling a little more like autumn this