04/11/2011 East Midlands Today


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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.


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