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This is East Midlands Today with Dominic Heale and me, Kylie
Pentelow. Our top story tonight:
Could BMI fall victim to a dogfight between the world's airline giants?
The owner of BA launches a bid for British Midland and its valuable
airport landing slots. For BA, this is a master joke, an
amazing deal because it entrances their position further -- a master
stroke because it entrenches their position.
Also, as a family of seven flee a devastating house fire, a man is
arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Plus, our jobs really going begging? We reveal the number of
vacancies in our region. And connected at last, how a
village was transformed just a week Good evening, welcome to Friday's
programme. First this evening, its name is an
East Midlands icon. But tonight there are fears it could disappear
forever from our skies. British Airways wants to take over
loss-making British Midland. If it does, there are fears tonight that
dozens or even hundreds of jobs from this region could go.
Of course, BMI has been German- controlled for three years, but
could it now vanish altogether? Mike O'Sullivan is at BMI's HQ in
Castle Donington. Good evening from East Midlands
airport. An airport that has been associated with the British Midland
group for decades, built by Sir Michael Bishop as a strong,
independent band before being sold to the German carrier Lufthansa a
few years ago. These days it is losing money but British Airways
still wants to buy it. There are concerns for jobs and the future of
well-known names like BMI Baby. It calls itself the no-frills
airline with tiny fairs. But what BMI Baby really fit into the
British Airways family? British Airways admits its primary interest
is getting its hands on BMI Baby's sister companies, BMI International
and BMI regional. One expert believes a change in ownership
could result in job losses here in the East Midlands. BMI employers
thousands of people in the East Midlands and indeed across the UK,
and what this decision does is throw on certain light on many
people's futures. The impressive Donington Hall is the headquarters
of BMI, a company that prides itself on a high reputation for
quality among business travellers. BMI Baby's offices are based near
Midlands Airport -- East Midlands Airport, but with the BMI group
making a big loss last year, the current air loan at -- the current
owner, Lufthansa, has decided to sell. What British Airways wants
his BMI's lucrative slots at Heathrow. We are excited about the
prospect it gives for growth in the UK, for expanding the network will
operate out of Heathrow and providing critical connectivity to
the emerging markets in Asia. Tonight, the British Airways group
said it would decide how it would deal with BMI Baby after the
takeover, which could be in April next year.
Tonight the British Airways group said it was to only to say what
effect there would be on jobs but there are concerned. I am joined by
Colin Whyat from the GMB union. What is the reaction from workers
at the BMI group? It is to shock, in particular at the head office at
Donington Hall, where the news came out today. What are the chances of
BMI Baby being sold off? You cannot see a full-in sized airline like
that being part of a giant like British Airways? At the time being,
we are not sure, but we are looking into whatever is going to happen.
We want to fight for our members' jobs and we hope BMI Baby will
remain in the East Midlands. have concerns about highly skilled
workers in the BMI Baby group based at East Midlands airport? On the
back of the dreadful news in Derby about Bombardier, there are
hundreds of skilled men at the BMI Baby maintenance department who I
am sure will be concerned about their jobs as we move forward with
this. Thank you very much, Colin Whyat.
That I asked Lufthansa whether it had been reviewing BMI for a while
before deciding to sell, it said it has. I asked them, had they made a
mistake in the first phase in buying the BMI group? That is a
question the spokeswoman refused to answer.
Thank you. A man has been arrested on
suspicion of attempted murder following a house fire. A family of
seven, including a newborn baby, had to flee their burning home in
the early hours. Neighbours have described how they
helped to raise the alarm. From Derby, Simon Hare reports.
Sniffing out the clues, fire and police investigators examine
material at the scene of a house fire. The family home on Buchan
Street in Derby was left gutted. The alarm was raised by neighbours
in the early hours of this morning. I was in the House, about to go to
bed, and then looked through the window and saw some -- saw smoke
coming out from a neighbour's place. I got, they can't be cooking. I ran
downstairs, I shouted, fire! Fire! And the neighbours came out. People
had left before we arrived and we could not be certain that everybody
had escaped, and right through the incident of probably 20 to 30
minutes we still thought the tension in there was a person in
the Olding. It later emerged the teenage boy had already jumped to
safety from an upstairs window, breaking his wrist. I told him not
to jump until I got to him, but he saw the fire and smoke and jumped,
and then I picked him up off the floor and took him into my house so
he was warm. It has been a very serious fire, it has totally booted
the living room, the kitchen, and there is extensive heat and smoke
damage through the rest of the house. This morning fire
investigators brought in dead dog, which can detect traces of
flammable liquids. -- brought in their dog. Several items of
interest were found and have been taken for further testing. Then
police arrested a 39-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area
last night to get in touch. This is East Midlands Today. Still
to come: The lowest rainfall in more than a
century. In just six months, you can see
just how much our rivers have dried The Greek crisis continues tonight,
and the instability around the massively indebted nation is now
having a direct impact in the East Midlands.
One exporter in the region says the financial turmoil came close to
costing him one million euros and it has threatened his business.
Here is our political editor, John Hess.
I am on the but in sheer and Derbyshire border. Athens is over
1,500 miles away -- on the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire
border. But events they have had an impact here. Sid Pepper shows me
the power station that his firm was helping to build in Greece until
the early stages of the euro crisis gripped Athens. At one stage I was
over one million euros outstanding and was so full six months, which
was hurtful. His firm, Arrow Max Structures, employees 22 staff in
the former Cold -- Coll community where jobs are at a premium.
would not have dealt directly with the Greek government, we were
walking -- working for an American corporation who preferred to walk
away and terminate the contract. The people are difficult to work
with, there were violent strikes while I was over there, we used to
have the docks going on strike at short notice with no payback for
the costs incurred. And there is a warning that the you resent crisis
that started in Greece could hit many businesses closer to home. --
the eurozone crisis. There will be less demand for British products
and services because they will be in a recession, perhaps, and
perhaps a long-term a session. there and answered? Things are grim
and worrying and I would say to everybody in the East Midlands, be
aware you are potentially affected by this and think about what you
want to do with your cash and your assets, don't have any money owed
to you by Greeks or Italians right now. If today's G20 deal welds at
the eurozone together, exporters like Sid Pepper will breathe a sigh
of relief tonight. A man has been jailed for the
manslaughter of a cricket fan who was attacked in Nottingham city
centre. 28-year-old James Hodgkinson was attacked outside
Yates's Wine Lodge in the Old Market Square in July. He had
travelled from London to watch the Test match between England and
India. Today, 19-year-old Jacob Dunne was sent to prison for 30
months. An agency which provides care
workers has been warned that it is failing to protect the safety and
welfare of people it is supposed to be helping. Lifeways Community Care
in Oadby, in Leicestershire, has been told to make urgent
improvements in relation to the management of medicines and
supporting workers, or face further action. The agency says it has
reviewed its guidelines and training.
More on jobs now. It is often said there just aren't any jobs out
there. Well, we have collated the job vacancy figures in our region
to see how true that is. In September, there were, in fact,
16,310 job vacancies in this region's jobcentres. In Leicester,
for example, 2,000 jobs on offer. A similar number in Nottingham. In
Derby, threatened with losing the trainmaker Bombardier, jobcentres
have 1,257 vacancies. The picture varies elsewhere. In Charnwood, for
example, there are 761 vacancies. In the Grantham and Stamford areas,
790. But that is not the end of the story. Chris Lawton is from
Nottingham Trent University's business school.
When times are good, vacancies in the JobCentre are about a third of
all vacancies because of the other ways that employers can advertise.
It would be reasonable to expect that JobCentre vacancies are now
still about a third, but we really don't know.
So there could be 50,000 vacancies. Can read say what kind of jobs
could be out there? Yes, we can. Here is a chart showing just that.
Manufacturing, a traditional East Midlands strength, that only
accounts for just under a third of the jobcentre vacancies. The
remainder are either skilled trade or service sector jobs, for
instance in banks, shops, offices, call centres. But do jobseekers
have the right skills? I think vacancies are few and far between,
people need to have specific skills for their jobs. It is important
that the students coming out have the skills to match the jobs that
are out there. One time, we had manufacturing jobs. People were
skilled in machinery, printing, that sort of thing. That sort of
thing we need more of, really. think there are a lot of over
skilled people with qualifications who cannot get the jobs. Some of
the jobs out there are basic menial jobs and a lot of people are
applying, so it is difficult all round, to be honest.
This is the September unemployment figure for our region - 130,700. So
clearly there are plenty of people, in theory, who could fill those
empty posts. Looking at the vacancies data, the
sorts of jobs being advertised as vacant are the kind being
advertised for quite some time. They tend to be in the health
service, things like care assistants, elsewhere in the
services, domestic cleaners or clerical assistants. They tend to
be low-skilled but our jobs that require those softer communication,
customer service skills that might well be more lacking in people who
have been unemployed for quite some time.
Lots of unemployed people, but lots of job vacancies, too. Business
chiefs have told us in the past people lack skills and sometimes
the right work ethic. But the reality seems even more complex
than that. A care home worker from
Loughborough who was jailed for nine months for abusing two
pensioners has had her sentence cut. 38-year-old Dawn Heaney was
sentenced at Leicester Crown Court in August after being convicted of
two counts of ill treatment of a person lacking mental capacity. The
offences happened while she was working at Wymeswold Court, near
Loughborough, in 2009. Today, the Court of Appeal cut her jail term
by three months. A man from Derbyshire thought to be
the oldest in Britain turned 109 today. Earlier this week, Reverend
Reg Dean celebrated his birthday with friends and family, as well as
his old choir. Born in 1902, Reg has said he now wants to go on to
become the oldest man in the world. Happy birthday, Reg.
Next, the lack of rain. Some rivers in the region are getting so low
that they have dried up altogether. The Environment Agency is worried
there may not even be enough water in some rivers for fish to breed.
James Roberson reports. It is ironic that on the day we
want to look at dried-up rivers, it is pouring down. But all of that
rain still amounts to a puddle in a dried-up river. It is a worry for
the Environment Agency's fisheries expect. It should be a raging
torrent at this time of year. It should have returned to its normal
state and be flowing quite merrily. Simon is familiar with this river.
Every year he and his colleagues, using electric loops to stun the
fish, move them from this stretch. The river dries off in the summer,
so there is no water left on the surface for a short length of river.
This year, the removal took place earlier than usual because the
spring had been exceptionally dry. This morning, Simon took me for a
walk along what should have been a riverbank. There is no current.
fact, the river, so full of water and fish in May, is still empty for
nearly four kilometres upstream from here. This has been the driest
12 months in the Midlands on record. The problem for the fish is that
the best areas are in the dry area, so normally the fish would be
getting ready to spawn, and if the river does not come back in the
next couple of weeks, they will miss out on that. It is a great
concern and the impact of felt elsewhere as well as here. We have
other rivers that are dry, and it is a problem for all of the
wildlife that lives along the river. While the agency is working with
farmers and water companies to limit what they take from rivers,
it also says we must think of water as an increasingly precious
resource for all of us, not just these fish.
And a full weather forecast is coming up. As is this: Welcome to
the 21st century. Does a week on the internet really
changed life in the country? The village that reckons it does.
First tonight, no new manager at Leicester City yet. But we do
understand the Thai owners do know who they want now. They have, at
least, a number one target. Natalie Jackson guides us through the
thinking at the King Power. It is 10 days now since Sven-Goran
Eriksson left Leicester City, but there is still no new manager. Why
do you think it is taking so long? Probably because they have want to
make the right decision. There is so much left in this season, we
don't want to make another appointment later on. We want to
get into the Premier League, let's make the decision that takes us up
Lahm. That man could be Nigel Pearson. My sources are telling me
the former Leicester manager is the number-one target. That could
explain the delay, because he is in a job at Hull City. I have got no
control over what happens anywhere else. Not interested in talking
about anything outside of Oz. there has been no contact? Not as
far as I am concerned. 10 days ago, Nigel Pearson was 33-1 with the
bookies. Tonight, he is eight-13. You cannot get a bet on him. He is
a favourite with in the pub. I love my job as a person and a manager.
Whether he comes back, that is up to the club to ask and him to
decide. I have no views about who is coming. If you love him, though,
you would love to see him back? love lots of people! I love my wife,
she is not going to be the manager! There are rumours flying about, but
I don't know. Whoever it will be, I will find out when I shake his hand.
Could Nigel Pearson returned to take over from Sven-Goran Eriksson?
Tonight, sources in hole say they are expecting an approach from
Leicester. But no deal done yet. We shall wait
and see. On to Forest, whose manager Steve
Cotterill faces an emotional weekend. He is taking his Reds team
to Portsmouth, the club he left just a few weeks ago. Speaking of
comebacks, one name that has been missing from the Forest team sheet
for almost a year is striker Dexter Blackstock. But all that is about
to change. He is back in training after recovering from an horrific
injury. Angela has been to see him. It was a tackle that could have
ended his career forever. I was not sure exactly where it was, whether
it was a broken leg or ligament damage, but I knew it was Serie us.
Painful to watch, more painful to bear -- I knew it was serious.
car was from surgery to repair the actual ligament. -- this scarf.
This one is where they took the hamstring. Then they went on to my
other leg. It is amazing what they can give. It has meant an entire
year watching from the sideline. always believed I could come back.
I believed I could come back stronger and probably fitter and
faster than when I left. But it has not always been in easy. With the
play-offs, knowing that I could not help the team, that was difficult.
He has dedicated himself to his recovery, in the gym four hours
every day, amount spent in America for we have, and the work is paying
off. -- for rehabilitation. Hopefully I will be up for
selection, the sooner I can get back the better, but I will not
take unnecessary risk. There have been changes at the top, but their
new boss has nothing but praise for how he has handled himself. I have
seen him, morning and afternoon, working his socks off and he will
get everything he deserves from now on in his like. We hope there is a
lot more luck round the corner for him than he has had in the last 12
month. For now, he will settle for a return to the game be lowered.
see that hard work paying off, to go back on the pitch, to get back
out on the pitch in front of the home fans.
He really has never stopped supporting his team-mates, as well.
Also in action are Derby County. Still suffering their injury woes,
they have a trip to Peterborough to contend with. Notts County host
League One strugglers Wycombe Wanderers at Meadow Lane.
Commentary on all the weekend's games is on your BBC local radio
station. If you can't be there, it's the next best thing. And catch
the goals here on BBC One over the weekend.
In other news, a local twist in cricket's match-fixing saga. Former
Leicestershire captain and England wicket-keeper Paul Nixon has
claimed he was once offered "millions of pounds" to throw a
match in England. Nixon says he was being asked to fix a Leicestershire
T20 game. He says he turned the approach down, spoke to the anti-
corruption team and went about his work as normal. But the story
reveals that the match-fixing problem is probably not limited to
the sub-continent. Just up the road from the
cricketers, rugby's Leicester Tigers welcome Martin
Castrogiovanni and Louis Deacon back for their first Premiership
starts of the season. The visitors are London Irish, as Tigers work to
catch the clubs who raced away from them during the World Cup.
Nottingham are in rugby action, too, away to former Premiership side
Leeds on Sunday. Nottingham Panthers go to Cardiff
Devils tomorrow night before welcoming Fife Flyers to the Arena
on Sunday. Fife have struggled back in the top flight, but have even
more history than the Panthers. Eight years of it, to be precise.
And it is their first League visit for 15 years. A bit of history
being made and we should expect a few Nottingham goals.
Finally tonight, a village in Rutland is at the forefront of a
rural internet breakthrough. Hambleton, on the shores of Rutland
Water, has had a state-of-the-art fibre optic connection installed,
which has vastly improved broadband speeds. Paul Bradshaw went along to
find out more. The web, famously, his worldwide,
but this is Hambleton, standing on a finger of land on Rutland Water.
It is an unlikely place for a digital revolution, but that is
exactly what is happening here. Because it is fibre, end to end,
from where you connect in your house all the way out to the
internet, it is much more reliable and predictable and does not fade
in the afternoons or when it starts to rain. Despite the government go-
ahead to roll out super-fast broadband in Rutland, the locals
have found the money for the upgrade themselves, and the
landlord at the local pub says it has made a difference to try it.
has improved our business significantly. We have businessmen
who will stay, they can work on their computers. This is the way it
is going now. People who stay away for a couple of nights want to
bring their computer to keep in contact with business. The network
speed here is 63 megabytes per second, faster than Japan. The
locals are thrilled. 60 houses in the village, over 40 have taken the
service, 40 people with smiles on their face. I have friends in South
America us, so I can be on Skype to them -- in South America. I have
relatives in Australia as well. do a bit of work from home so it
has made everything a lot easier now. No drop-outs, everything is
there straighter weight. beneath this sleepy road in Rutland
is a soup of it -- information superhighway helping those off the
beaten track get online. Welcome to our world. Junk mail,
crashes, viruses! And you are on Twitter as well!
Yes, you can follow me now. I just press the button and hope it
works! We have had a damp day across the
East Midlands, and the good news is it will turn mainly dry over the
weekend, which is good news. Make what you will of this, Steve Adams
took this photo of a red sky at night last night over Kimberley in
Nottinghamshire. It started raining early on this morning so I would
not put too much stock in what the If we take a closer look, we have
this big clump of showers, working their way through. One or two heavy
ones, some rumbles of thunder in there, too, but they will fizzle
out through the evening. Staying mainly cloudy overnight. If you
have a bonfire tonight, it could be fairly damp. As we go into the
weekend, there will be sold bob in places, low cloud for the rest of
us, but that will break up through the date -- there will be some fog
in places. This rain is part of a front working towards us, it might
just make it into areas like Rutland, but at the moment the
forecast suggests those areas will be staying dry. Into Bonfire Night
proper, you can see that is the warm front that has tried to work
its way towards us. It fails, as things stand, and hopefully that
will be the case as we go through Bonfire Night. If you are setting
up a bonfire, check underneath before you like them in case there
are any hedgehogs hibernating underneath. Into Sunday, you can
see it is staying dry again, a little on the breezy side and
cloudier, too, but keeping under this high pressure as we start next
week. Behind will block the low for now, anyway.