02/12/2011 East Midlands Today


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


Our top story tonight: A council relents after sending a


bill for grave maintenance to the mother of a dead soldier. Teresa


would son was killed two years ago fighting in Afghanistan. Absolutely


horrified they would charge for a fallen soldier. He gave his life


for this country and he should have had that.


Also, gang members handing knives after getting a letter from the


police. Plus, the three warning signs of a


stroke. Is there speech slurred? But, are two other symptoms being a


overlooked? This Christmas very is more than 80


years old but is the oldest decoration in the whole East


Midlands? -- it this Christmas fairy.


Good evening. First tonight, the mother of a fallen soldier has


forced a council to withdraw a bill for hundreds of pounds to maintain


her son's grave. Teresa Woods is now urging all councils to drop


cemetery bills for soldiers killed in action. Tonight, Downing Street


told us it's pleased the council's relented. Helen Astle reports.


Corporal Marcin Wojtak, a corporal in the RAF, he died in 2009 whilst


serving in Afghanistan. He was 24 years old. He isn't buried in


Melton Mowbray and the family chose not have a smaller military


headstone, which would not have incurred military charges, because


they wanted to list his tours of duty so everyone could see where he


had so it. He said to me, if I ever die in Afghanistan, will people


remember me? And I promised him that he would be totally remembered


and I would do everything in my power. And this is my -- one of my


last things I could do for him. family received a bill totalling


�458, a one-off charge for maintenance fees at the ceremony --


cemetery. Absolutely horrified they would charge for a fallen soldier.


I mean, he gave his life for this country and he should have had that


completely free. To research is calling for cemetery fees for all


service personnel to be waived. said to David Cameron, make sure


that all council officers actually wave every single charge and have a


set policy for military families. Of those boys do an extremely


important job and this is the last thing you can do for these families,


not give them the hassle we are having to go through, and not have


to battle, and he can do that by just sending an e-mail to all the


council officers and say, weighed every single charge. A drop done.


Today, the family met the leader of the council, the council that


originally built her. You shouldn't have to be battling for the rights


of your son. It wasn't picked up earlier and I am sorry. The policy


is there, and I am responsible for the fact it wasn't picked up


earlier. As soon as it was spotted, we rectified the situation.


Downing Street spokesman said, we welcome the decision to not charge


Theresa Woods. Teresa is now going to donate �458 to the Royal British


Legion. A little earlier I spoke to Patrick


Mercer MP, a former army officer, who agreed with the council's


decision to waive the fee. Yes, I do. I think this is sensible.


It is not a unique case but it is a most unusual case. And I think the


council have acted with great foresight and sensitive that the.


Do you think there should be a national policy in regards to this?


I don't. I don't think this is something for national government.


When these cases come up, they need to be dealt with on their own


merits and not... There is not one piece of legislation that will fit


all of this. What I would say is the council involved has set a very


good example to follow. Is there a concern, where do you draw the


line? There were other people that give up their lives for this


country, not necessary soldiers. course of their Ara, but I think


the armed forces who volunteered to put themselves in danger and to


accept death as part of the contract, I do think a special case


can be made for them. That is not to say that police officers,


firemen etc, all of them of course should be respected and honoured,


and neither of this category is go out to seek battle, as soldiers,


and airmen. Thank you. A man who almost died after being


stabbed has called on the courts to hand out tougher sentences for


those who carry knives. New figures show that fewer people are being


jailed for possessing an offensive weapon. And as Simon Hare reports,


the police in Derby have just recovered almost 500 knives during


a month-long amnesty. Off the streets and out of harm's


way. Police show of the 483 weapons including swords and machete is


recovered by operation Jagger. It is twice as many as the total


recovered during a similar amnesty to make years ago. -- two years ago.


This man knows more than most about the threat of a knife crime. He


almost died after being stabbed. He had been a bouncer at this pub when


he was attacked by a man he had earlier turned away. 500 knives is


a good result but it is the wrong people that are handing these notes


in. These are young people that are displaying these knives above the


fireplaces. The actually -- the low-life scumbags, the ones that


need to be target, the ones that carry knives, because it is part of


their lives, need to be target it. Some of the home-made knives did


have a sinister purpose. They are used to create violence or injury


to people and I would say to people that if you have got them, there is


no excuse to have this on your person or in your house, because


what would you use them for? They use is for crime and crime and loan.


New figures show that the proportion of people jailed for


carrying a knife has fallen to its lowest level for almost three years.


Just over a 5th of those convicted of possessing a knife or presents


if -- offensive weapon went to prison. People need to get bigger


sentences. It is out of control at the moment.


A paramedic caught breathing in gas and air while on duty for East


Midlands Ambulance Service has been suspended for a year by the Health


Professionals Council. Nigel Moore, who was based in Derbyshire, was


seen using the anaesthetic gas, Entonox, in a fast response vehicle


last September. He told the hearing he'd taken to the gas to relieve


stress. Moore resigned from the service earlier this year. East


Midlands Ambulance Service declined to comment.


Six people have been arrested following a protest at a proposed


nuclear waste site near Stamford. Plans to put low level radioactive


waste at the Kings Cliffe landfill site were given the go-ahead


earlier this year. This morning more than 20 demonstrators gathered


there. Police then moved in to disperse them. Several protestors


had to be cut free after chaining themselves to concrete-filled


barrels. Leicestershire Police say a non-


emergency number introduced last month is already being widely used.


The 101 telephone number is designed to make it easier for


people to report minor crimes and discuss non-urgent matters. The


service is currently dealing with around a fifth of all non-emergency


calls. Officers expect that figure to rise.


Medical researchers in the East Midlands have discovered many


people don't know all the key warning symptoms of a stroke,


Britain's third biggest killer. A Government advertising campaign has


increased knowledge of three signs to look out for, but there are


others that people just don't seem to be aware of. Our Health


Correspondent Rob Sissons has more details.


At the Leicester Royal Infirmary, they have done research into what


people know about strokes. They have found there are two classics


this -- symptoms that a lot of people don't know about. Frank had


one of them but the 71-year-old ignored temporary loss of vision


until he was taken into hospital with abdominal pains, and further


tests revealed a narrowed artery causing sight problems, a site of


many strokes for its doublet was that intermittent and short-lived,


it was a matter of split seconds that your eyesight was distorted.


Sometimes you thought, have I imagined it? Loss of vision is like


a shutter coming down and lifting again. It can be a single episode


or multiple. This professor says it is not just loss of vision that is


a warning sign. Weakness in the leg. I don't mean pain it or pins and


needles. All this sudden, you cannot wait bear on one of your


legs, your leg comes out the way. This at campaign seems to have


raised awareness of classic symptoms. There is also increasing


understanding not only among patients but also the NHS of other


warning signs. The East Midlands Ambulance Service did not triage


patience as -- with leg weakness as patience that would have had


strokes. They have now changed ambulance control and publicity,


and people with leg weaknesses may be treated as having had a strict.


Picking up minor symptoms could prevent a major stroke later.


Officials in the Peak Park say they want to spend extra money trying to


boost local jobs despite having to make massive budget cuts. The Peak


District National Park Authority has to save almost �2 million over


four years. But it says it'll still spend �440,000 creating 50


apprenticeships across the area, protecting planning jobs, and


employing a business advisor for small firms.


A survey of the Derby Hippodrome has found that it hasn't been


seriously affected by last weekend's fire. Firefighters were


called to the Grade II listed building in the early hours of


Saturday morning. The site had been left derelict after being badly


damaged three years ago. A structural survey says that no real


concerns have been raised about the building's stability.


Next year's Summer Sundae music festival in Leicester will be


taking place a week later. It's been put back because of the London


Olympics. The three-day festival at de Montfort Hall will now take


place from 17th-19th August. Last year, it attracted more than 7,000


people. Make a note of it in your diary.


I think that is called a boutique festival - small but perfectly


formed, rather like you. I am going to keep that complement.


A charity says it's so desperate for money it's had to open a shop


to help boost funds. Derby City free advice on debt, benefits and


housing, says it's taken this step because of cuts in council and


Government funding. James Roberson reports.


In the centre of Derby, this charity shop has just opened, and


is run by Derby City Mission, a Christian organisation which helps


addicts and the homeless, but also provides advice on debts, benefits


and housing. The charity says that it has found its former funding


from local authorities has been reduced while central Government is


asking Chad is to are together and bid jointly for funds but often


this bid still failed despite the time and effort put into them.


is the pinch charities are finding. The Government is asking them to do


more as part of the "big society" with less and it is getting


difficult to do that so we are having to diversify. The mission so


is the shop as a way of creating a direct stream of money to keep


their advice service go ing. Money is a bit more scarce. Charities


have to do this to get funding, it is a shame, but they are


resourceful people and it is wonderful to see that kind of


effort into the can unity. charity shop, however, in a crowded


place. There are lots more near this one. Also nearby, businesses


offering finance. The mission hopes their shop can compete for


donations in these times. We hope to have a constant stream of income.


We hope it works. There is more and more need in this area. More people


are finding themselves in debt, more people need benefits, and the


poor are getting more squeezed. When even one of the Three Kings


needs funds, Derby City Mission hopes its shop will last beyond


Christmas. Still to come on the programme:


The fairy that's a festive fixture. In over 80 years, she's never not


been at the top of the tree. Is I suspect she will tell us, too.


He's been described as one of the world's leading artists with some


of his work being sold for over a million pounds. Now, as part of a


touring exhibition, Nottingham Castle is showcasing the sculptures


of Anish Kapoor, a man who's already made a mark on the city.


Whether it is a sculpture designed for the Olympics or Nottingham's


very own Sky Mirror, the artist Anish Kapoor has become famous for


his larger-than-life pieces that play with the was imagination and


perspective. The exhibition at Nottingham Castle is looking back


on his 30 year career, from early pigment pieces inspired by market


stalls to sculptures in unusual shapes and sizes. He is creating


optical illusions, really, which he wants you to explore and discover


for yourself, so it is giving the game away a bit, but a piece like


this when he is working with the architect of the building, you are


not sure. Ins that is best he has carved in the ball or something


protruding out of the space? It changes, and the way you changes --


the way you read it changes as you move around it. Just like the Sky


Mirror, Anish Kapoor loves playing with the idea of mirrors and


reflections. In his world, the image is always distorted and quite


surreal, so that you have no sense of space and perspective. They are


concave forms and they have a focus. As you move, as a viewer, as you


move in and out of that point, it is a mystical point in the middle


of space somewhere, you are almost captivated by the objects and how


it operates in the room. It is 10 years since the Sky Mirror was


installed in Nottingham, creating a well-loved and smart. Now staff


hope visitors will enjoy a spectrum of his work so far. That is great


stuff, isn't it? I love that Sky Mirror.


Grey it talent to. -- great talent.


The Politics Show this Sunday explores a radical proposal to


launch the first co-operative school in the East Midlands. Here's


Chris Doidge. From January, De Vinci Community College will be


part-owned by parents and the wider community. And pupils will get a


seat on the board that runs the school. How will that work and how


do those involved view about the idea?


Will find out. Join Marie Ashby for the Politics


Show from twelve noon on Sunday. All the weekend's football previews


to come, including Derby's game tonight but the big atmosphere will


be at the rugby, Leicester Tigers against Northampton. The big local


derby and not a ticket to be had at Oh, yes. Welford Road will be sold


out. It has been for weeks. Excellent news for the club. When


they build this stadium, they didn't think there was going to be


enough support to keep it going. It has not panned out that way. Every


soldered fixture is a chance to spread Tiger's message. When you


get the fixture list, you look at Northampton. So it is the one that


players look forward to and especially the fans. Times are hard


for everybody and people choose to spend their money elsewhere. But


loyal supporters turn out week in and week out. There are a lot of


season-ticket holders and we appreciate everybody that turns up.


So, it will be full for Tigers first is Saints. It hardly ever


lacks drama. Take the Premiership semi-final at the end of last


season. A punch by manager Lennie and has since defeat, so will they


be thinking revenge? They will have their own motivations and we've got


our The Faith Machine, and we will see how it comes to get the.


that history is a massive thing. The players come through here and


wait with the crowd right above the heads which means they can feel the


energy of the fans as they wind themselves up. You wait in the


changing room and they start banging their feet, clapping, and


you come out and they are roaring. You come down those stairs, 100


years old, it has got that old feel. This is a special thing. When they


arrive on that pitch, they know they are in for a rough encounter.


They always are. It is Tiger's first is Saints.


-- Tigers first is Saints. Nigel Clough's looking to avoid an


unwanted record tonight, a sixth straight defeat, which would be his


worst League run as Derby County manager. In less than an hour, the


Rams kick off at Crystal Palace, who beat Manchester United in


midweek. At least the players are keeping positive.


It is so tight, still. One win and you jump back up there. Two wins


and you are in the play-offs. We try to look forward instead of


putting doom and gloom on the Games. You have got to take the positive


out of it. And you can hear full commentary of


the Rams game tonight on BBC Radio Derby. Their coverage gets underway


in a few minutes' time. We'll have the goals in our late news.


Over the weekend, there's plenty of intrigue for the rest of the East


Midlands. There are games at the top and bottom of the Championship,


and Notts County's FA Cup adventure into non-league territory. Here's


Ross Fletcher. Just over a fortnight ago, Nigel


Pearson was wearing the Hull city tracksuit but tomorrow he returns


to the KC Stadium but as manager of Leicester City. The midweek win


over Blackpool propelled them to the play-off places and Pearson is


prepared for a hot reception at Hull. The focus for me is preparing


for the game. And the sub-plots, of course, I am aware of them and the


reason for a potential distraction. A but we will prepare for the gay.


At the other end, Nottingham Forest scrambling out of the relegation


zone after their home humbling by Leeds, it is a trip to the Brighton


seaside. It is not my is being in the bottom three but we have got a


good squad and good players. And I think, you know, we will be fine,


but we need to, as you say, get some confidence back in and get


some points of. There is no panic at Notts County but a tricky FA Cup


second-round tie at Sutton United on Sunday. In front of a national


TV camera. That is what it is all about. I love it. I enjoy it. It is


another game of football, us against them. A big game for this


club. They beat the same opposition three years ago in the first round.


They are now focused on a repeat performance. All the details on


that plus, of course, all the other rugby, ice hockey and everything


else is on Monday. Leicester Riders are in action tonight on basketball.


Now, it's that time of year again. Ding Dong merrily on high. The


Christmas trees are going up, the decorations are coming out. And one


woman in Nottingham reckons she's got the oldest Christmas fairy in


the East Midlands. I suspect that might be it. Tom Brown reports. At


this house in Clifton, Christmas preparations begin like anywhere


else. Decorations come down from the loft. Some have seen better


days. How about this? A Christmas Ferry which is almost 80 years old.


She was my late grand mal's and then she was passed down to my


mother. And, obviously, my mother passed away, so she is mine and my


brother's little ferry. My brother climbs in a raft -- in the loft, so


we can put her on the Christmas tree. But we do not know what to


put the branches because she is so us look -- so small. This has been


going on for You Us. Festival, you've got to get the lights down.


There is somebody up and a loft that breaks the Christmas lights in


the loft! So when we put it at the top, we say, yes, it is time to put


the lights on. It has survived for 80 years, so how much longer can


she go on? She can do another generation. We hope so. I am


treating her like gold. She will even give you a little wave. She is


so cute. A little wave! Was that your little


fairy wave? Yes.


We asked you in our lunchtime programme if you had any other old


decorations from Christmas' past and you didn't disappoint us. This


Santa Claus is 91 years old and sits on the Christmas tree of


Elizabeth Craig from Melton Mowbray. It belonged to her mother and was


bought for her first tree in 1920. This lovely Christmas angel is more


60 years old and belongs to Donna Oliver from Grantham, after it was


handed from her grandmother. And, finally, John Wood from


Leicester sent us this picture of his Father Christmas decoration. It


was bought by his father in the 1950s and is still used today, even


though he says it's a little worse for wear.


I don't think he looks too bad at all.


So, if you have any very old decorations from Christmas past,


then let us know on Twitter, Facebook or email, at these


addresses. And we will try to feature them before Christmas.


Oh, yes, we will. Have a ferret around in your loft.


Father Christmas coming down from the loft to come up for a start up


to you have any? My mum has a schoolmate decoration,


a shuttlecock angel. I will be putting my Christmas


decorations up, but these are the statistics to do with all term


which has just come to an end. It was the second warmest on record.


Records began in 1910. Many areas across the East Midlands have seen


just half the expected rainfall for the period, so, having said that,


we did wake up to a frost this morning across the East Midlands.


Tonight, we will be much milder with blustery showers and those


strong winds. You can send your weather pictures to us as well. We


can see this next area of rain accompanied by winds heading from


the West. On the radar picture, there have been some showers across


that East Midlands. They will continue and wither the patchy


aspects of rain. Under that cloud and rain, temperatures will be mild.


So, we start off Saturday morning with the rain Clearing. It soon


brightens up with good sunny spells. It will be breezy so hang on to


your Christmas shopping bags! Temperature-wise, up to around nine.


On Sunday, it looks like being largely dry for most of the day but


don't rule out the chance of some showers heading our way from the


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