04/01/2012 East Midlands Today


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


Losers in the battle for Christmas shoppers, and the cities going head


to head to keep our custom. Some stores lost out, others did well


but the uncertainty remains. We're not expecting an easy year. However


we'll do everything we can do to make sure that we're as successful


as we can be. And tit-for-tat car-parking war as


two of our biggest cities compete for the night-time economy.


Also, the street where not one but six houses were burgled in one


night. And as 2011 is provisionally named


as the second warmest year on record, I take a look back at the


year's weather and its effect on Good evening, welcome to the


programme. First tonight, another sign of how


tough it is out there on the high street. The giant fashion chain,


Next, based at Enderby in Leicestershire, says sales in the


run-up to Christmas were disappointing as competitors


slashed prices. And that gloomy picture is also being reported by a


long-established independent department store. In a moment we'll


be speaking to a retail expert to get his analysis of consumer


confidence. But first, this report The sales signs were out early as


some retailers discounted heavily before Christmas. But Bennett's of


Derby have been around a long time, 277 years in fact. It held its


nerve and decided not to discount. Sales of 5% down in one year with a


dip in the final two months. November and December sales were


down a bit on last year which was a bit disappointing but we did not


discount on the run-up to Christmas and a lot of the big boys did, and


heavily. Around 80% of in some cases and I think that attracted


people to discount stores. giant Next chain based at Enderby


also chose not to discount in the run-up to Christmas. The company


says that sales in November and December were disappointing.


Between August and Christmas Eve in the shops were down by about 3% but


online sales were up by around 17%. It is not all doom and gloom, the


company is on target to make profits of �560 million. John Lewis


described its Christmas period as outstanding. And that the High


Cross shopping centre in Leicester, there's a feeling that shoppers


have turned out in force. I don't think we went over budget at


Christmas, we were quite good. Although I have to say that I am


not the best at setting budgets. lost my job just before Christmas


but we are OK. I had about �700 to spend on Christmas presents, I


would about �400 over budget. 2 million people through the doors


in December. On the 27th, we had 95,000 people through. We were 20%


up on last year so a really significant foot fall and this,


people were spending. Back at Bennett, they say it will be


another tough year but with a track record stretching back to the 18th


century, they are taking the long- With us now is Professor Joshua


Bamfield, the director of the Centre for Retail Research. This


phrase, FC -- footfall, that must be good news? I think it is but we


also need to be cautious because the fat you are in the City does


not mean that you are spending money. -- the fact that you are.


Not much has happened to the city centres, it has been a lonely


experience, all those retailers in shopping malls have done very well.


Some shops were really fall before Christmas and some were empty. Have


there been any specifics? It is too early to say that this is what


happened, but independent stores I think have had difficulties.


Suburban stores have had difficulties. People selling


fashion have often had a lonely experience. It is often that half


of the city centre does well rather than the whole. A lot of the sales


started before Christmas. Did that help? All this discounting is


presumably not good for business. Retailers had to discount in order


to bring business in but customers were playing a game with them.


waiting. That is right. We did not see the boost in retail spending


until about 10 days before Christmas leave. And then it went


stratospheric. It did extremely well. But of course, some retailers


from their point of view, Christmas is a two month period rather than


just a ten-day period so the fact that those 10 days were very good


does not mean that the rest of the time has been good. Briefly,


looking forward to 2012, lots of people in our City have invested in


retail, can they look forward to a good year or could we expect


something else? I am sorry to be pessimistic, but at best it will be


flat, probably more likely it is going to be a fall in sales.


Unfortunately more redundancies and so it will be a very, very


difficult year for retailers, customers and the cities in general.


We have to leave it on a SAT note, As we heard earlier, one of the big


growth areas this Christmas was internet shopping. That's prompted


one retailer in Leicester to close one of his shops. He reckons online


sales will continue climbing while those on the high street will fall.


But is he right? Helen Astle reports.


If Irish clothing has been on the streets in Leicester for 13 years -


- Irish clothing has been. But the shop is closing. If we did not


pursue the internet, it would be dramatic. It has affected trade on


the high street. Stock here is now on sale and some has been relocated


to another branch down the road. Tom predicts the been online is the


way forward. We believe the internet is the way to go so that


is the way we will push more into that. Closing one of the shops is


not what anybody wants to do but it is a tough decision. It seems life


on the high street is pretty tough but is everything happening on-


line? Where do you part with your money? You feel for the retailer


but at the end of the day, the differentials are really


significant. It is something like tens of pounds so online seemed a


lot better. It is easier to come and try it on in the high street.


looked at the products on internet, and then bought them in store. It


is there in front of you. A bit of both? Yeah. Meanwhile, at this


coffee shop, he is excited about the new year. 2012 is the lot of


another new business for me which will be men's luxury food where


basically. 80% of those will be sold online. It is 247. In terms of


the high street, you cannot do that -- it is 24/7. The operating costs


being on the high street are obviously huge compared to online.


Here you are going purely on price, then obviously the internet has a


place but if you want to touch and feel and look and compare, the city


So the face of the high street is changing. For retailers, it seems


if he will not online, you are of course. -- off course.


Meanwhile, a tit-for-tat war over parking charges is emerging as


cities fight over what's been dubbed the late-night economy.


While Nottingham has extended on- street parking charges into the


evening and Sunday mornings, the city of Leicester has decided to


Talking through concert dates for the Nottingham harmonic, they are


expecting 150 singers for their next rehearsal but the introduction


of evening charges for city centre street parking has struck a


discordant note. The worst-case scenario, people will come up and


said they were not be able to carry on coming to the choir because


there will be in excess of �150 per year to park. One option would be


to relocate out of the city centre and that would be a real blow


because we have been a city centre choir four years. A Leicester is


lifting evening parking restrictions to attract more people


in. That frustrates Nottingham's business community, they have


commissioned their own inquiry into the impact. Chris has just opened


and wants the council to think again. I think they should think at


reversing their decision and until that has been commissioned by a


those in the retail and private sector and they come up with a


defined solution of what would be the best way forward for parking


for all parties involved. City- centre churches want some


concessions after their protest over the introduction of Sunday


parking charges. Three passes for bell-ringers and class -- clerics,


but for worshippers, the offer of an annual parking permit, at a cost


of �50. Legal action has blocked Sunday and late night street


parking in central London for the moment. There's no talk of legal


action in Nottingham but the city council's Labour leadership may


struggle to Park this controversial issue.


Still to come, why 2012 is a case of deja vu for one East Midlands


Olympian. Don Scott won the silver in boxing at the 1948 London Games.


We'll catch up with him at his home The trial of a police officer has


started, accused of having sex with vulnerable women while he was on


duty. Constable Jasbir Dhanda is alleged to have met women while


patrolling a red light district in Derby. It's also claimed he misused


police computers to find out information about the women. He


denies the charges. Simon Ward 52-year-old Jasbir Dhanda faces a


total of 12 charges involving sex, misusing personal data and drugs.


His trial began at Nottingham Crown Court today. He is accused of


misconduct in public office. The prosecution applied its case today


and say he met the women through his police work and had sex with


them while on duty. It is claimed that two women were vulnerable,


they were prostitutes, had drug problems and lead chaotic lives.


Jasbir Dhanda who is currently suspended from Derbyshire Police


worked at Peartree police station. He patrolled a red light district


in an area of Peartree Crescent. It is claimed he found out that when


the warrants were issued, of a prostitute's houses, he would then


look for them. A third woman also claims they had consensual sex but


she would turn up -- he would turn up in police uniform and claimed he


was on a break. It is claimed that he used police computer to find out


addresses of women. It is claimed this was not in line with his usual


police work and instead used to pursue sexual relationships. Jasbir


A woman has pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and


being armed with a knife at a school in Loughborough. Claire


Pladgeman, seen here on the left in the grey jacket, threatened staff


at De Lisle College on the phone after her son was expelled. The 45-


year-old was arrested by police on school grounds after officers


discovered a knife in the glove compartment of her car. She'll


appear in court for sentencing next month.


The Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police has announced his retirement.


Richard Crompton joined the force in 2004. He says he made the


decision for personal and professional reasons and believes


now is the right time for someone else to take up the reins.


Derbyshire-based adventurer Bryony Balen is in the final stages of her


polar expedition. The 21-year-old from Melbourne is hoping to become


the youngest person to trek to the South Pole. The team celebrated the


New Year with a small tipple. They have around 350 kilometres of


skiing left until they reach the pole. That is still a fair way!


Next tonight, who would you choose to make sure the police do their


job? This year we'll get to vote for the first police and crime


commissioners. They'll set priorities for your local force,


and make sure they serve the public effectively. It's controversial and


some people are very worried about Policing is a tough at balancing


act, protecting the streets, catching criminals and preventing


serious crime as well. The new police and Crown Commissioners will


be in charge of setting priorities. Rick more will stand for election


as Leicestershire's commissioner, he has been a magistrate for more


than 20 years. The obvious thing for me is called


anti-social low-level crime. It really impact on people's lives and


I would bring my business knowledge, my legal knowledge, my knowledge of


the criminal justice system to bear in terms of shaping the strategy.


The winner will replace the police authority which currently holds


Leicestershire's Chief Constable to account. The Government thinks the


new elected commissioner will have a lot more cloud but police


officers think that they are an expensive waste of money and fears


about a low turnout are bound. have got two universities in this


town. If they run a campaign and all the students turned out, that


could swing an election. You could have somebody who is doing it for a


project or somebody with political aspirations could get elected. That


would affect the policing for the entire county. Whoever wins, the


new police and crime Commission -- commissioners could have a great


level of responsibility. Jeremy Ball is with us in the


studio. Just how controversial is this shake-up? It is pretty


controversial. There are worries the police could be politicised if


party politicians get in. Or someone might get elected by


pledging to put a lot more police on the beat, for instance. But that


might force Chief Constables to move them off other important jobs


like solving murders. And this really boils down to worries about


meddling and interference. Isn't that a danger? Well, in a way


that's the whole point. They've got a system like this in the States


and one Government advisor told me it will only work if the


relationship isn't too cosy. Because these elected commissioners


might have to bang their fists to make the police focus on what the


public want. If you don't like what they're doing, you can always vote


them out. The police in Leicester are warning


people to be especially alert after six houses in one road were burgled


in one night. It's believed the thieves got in through insecure


windows or doors. One man had his children's Christmas presents taken,


Peter strive on the east side of Leicester. The residents told me it


has been an unremarkable Street up until now. Not one but half a dozen


families work up yesterday morning to find they had been burgled.


Bobby work at about 3 o'clock yesterday morning to find light on


downstairs. Event in his car. took my kids' stuff, everything. I


can't believe it, it is really bad. The first time I heard this in


Leicester. Six burglaries, really bad. All the burgled houses were on


one side of the street. This family who run a nearby shop found their


house raided just after returning from a wedding in India. All the


kitchen cupboards were open. And then we looked into the side room,


all the suitcases were open and everything was scattered. Other


residents are worried that the burglaries happened while many


people were inside their own homes. Everybody was in bed. Anything


could have happened. I am very upset about it and I hope it will


not happen again. One would be too many but for us to have six


occurrences on a quiet, suburban street, that is very difficult or a


major impact for the community. Four of those were insecure doors


to the property so we are urging residents to do the final security


checks and make sure their doors are locked and windows locked.


police say this number of burglaries is unusual and


burglaries overbought are going down in Leicestershire but they say


anyone with information should ring the emergency 101 number --


burglaries overall are going down. It is time for the sport. Some


lovely Olympic work coming up later The former Nottingham Forest


manager Steve McClaren may soon be back in work. He's confirmed today


he's in talks to return as manager to the Dutch side FC Twente.


McClaren was at Forest for less than four months.


It's angering the fans. But next months's game between Leicester


City and Derby County at Pride Park has been switched from Saturday


afternoon to a Thursday evening. The game's been chosen to be shown


live on Sky. The switch may be causing complaints but there are


few grumbles about Derby at the moment. They were the only team in


the country to win all three games over the Christmas holidays. It is


a great effort from the lads. They are working hard with each other.


When you put everything into the mix together, it is obviously all


the right ingredients and you come up with the result.


In rugby, there's a double injury blow for the Leicester Tigers and


England. Manu Tuilagi's likely to be out for a month, and Louis


Deacon for up to four months. Meanwhile the Tigers seem set to


sign Worcester wing, Miles Benjamin. The 23-year-old averages around a


try every other game. We have spoken to Miles Benjamin but


nothing is signed or sealed. He is one of several players we are


talking to at the moment because after the 1st January, you are


allowed to speak to players from other clubs and we will see what


comes. But, you know, he is a good player and there's lot of good


players and lots of guys on the market as you well know.


It's been a great start to the Olympic year for badminton hopeful


Chris Adcock of Nottinghamshire. He and his partner Imogen Bankier have


beaten the World Champions in straight sets in the first round of


the Korean Open. There'll be no Olympics for one of


Rebecca Adlington's training partners at the Nottinghamshire


Nova Club. 25-year-old Kathryn Wyld is giving up the sport because of a


hip injury. And an injury blow too for


Nottinghamshire gymnast Sam Oldham. He'll miss next week's Olympic test


event in London. $NEWLINE Sam is one of many competitors aiming for


London 2012. But some of our viewers have been there and done it


before. They were at the last London Games in 1948. Tonight we'll


hear about a silver medal-winning boxer from Derby. His speech is


affected by Parkinson's disease. So he asked his daughter to share his


Awarded to the City of London. is the moment Britain's athletes


began dreaming of winning Olympic medals in front of a home crowd.


Just like Derby's Don Scott did in 1948. He was a 20-year-old light


heavyweight boxer then. It was just after the war fare, berry or steer.


Not much was made of it like it is now. They were not given as much


time to train as they do now. There are facilities were not there. --


very austere. He did have a friend that went around with him just


because of the extra rations! extra meat did the trick. He


returned with a silver medal and the chance to be a hero. He was


quite a well-known local boxer anyway. But to come back with the


silver medal was amazing at the time. It did not last very long and


he went back to work at the foundry as a grinder. Don could have his


moment to shine again when the torch relay heads to Derby in June.


My dad has been nominated to carry it for one of the legs. Whether he


will get there is another matter but I don't think he will be


running very far but we will make sure he has got some mobility


scooter or wheels of some description to help him along. If


he gets chosen. New heroes and new memories are about to be created


this summer. Don's family though will certainly not forget his


achievements in a hurry. It is part of my childhood. My dad went to the


Olympics and every four years, the metals come out and everybody will


want to see them. But I didn't win! Don't say you are not proud, we are


all proud of you. Wasn't that lovely?


And tomorrow we hear from a 1948 gymnast and take him on a visit to


1948, how wonderful. You are with us now because of the really weird


weather last year. Everybody thought so. It was a bit unusual.


We had a very warm spring, a very warm autumn and now it has been


named as one of the second warmest years on record. That is using


provisional figures. As we go back to look at 2011, we look at the


effect on the wildlife. Last winter saw lots of snow in the


East Midlands and temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees. Even this


total below seemed surprised. Fast forward to a mild spring and then


this. An autumn bonus. He would not think this was the last day in


September. Just look at the forecast there. One of the hottest


September's on record. A blue sky yet again to get round


off a cracking week. Hot sunshine, temperatures could possibly top 29


degrees. So what happened to 2011? And how


is it affecting things now? I popped down to Attenborough nature


reserve to find out. We went from a situation where this time last year,


this area was completely frozen over and we were having to bring in


fish from the fishmonger's to feed to the rarer birds. And then in


springtime, we had a very warm spring and then the flowers out at


least one month earlier. A shock to the system? Yes, the weather has


been changeable for the past few years. The breeding season got off


very early and things started very well. And then we had the dry month


of June, July and August. Yes, the birds struggled to find enough


insects for their chicks. Problems with some of the war blows. -- some


of the birds. The fact it was warm right through last year has meant


that we have had butterflies flying round in the last couple of weeks


and now we have got things like blackberries, brambles trying to


flower and set fruit now in January. It does turn -- if it does turn


cold, hopefully things will be OK. So these second warmest year on


record provision made for the UK, also the third driest on record for


These are the differences, it was all down to high-pressure blocking


the wet weather systems and sending them up to Scotland. We will


continue to have stronger St winds as we go through this evening.


Thank you to Mike for this picture of a little Robin sheltering from


the wind. We have a yellow warning in place for these gale force winds


we are expecting this evening. We could get gusts of up to 60 mph and


that continues into the early hours of Thursday morning. We are


starting to see the rain coming in and it is fairly heavy and


persistent. We will notice those winds picking up further as we go


through the next couple of hours. The rain will start to break up as


we go through the night and temperatures holding up quite


nicely. Six Celsius is your minimum. The winds will still be gusting at


around 35 mph in Thursday morning. Later on it becomes drier in the


afternoon. Some wintry sunshine, I am sure you will welcome that. A


bit of breeze, with a top temperature of eight Celsius.


Thursday night with the lighter winds and clear skies, we are


expecting frost. And then Friday, the isobars much further apart. My


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