06/04/2012 East Midlands Today


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And now the news for the East Midlands. I'm Maurice Flynn.


First-time buyers and people in housing need who are struggling to


get on the property ladder are being offered a helping hand in


Leicester. Ten flats at the Phoenix Square arts complex have gone up


for sale with the offer of a government-backed loan to cover 20%


of the asking price. Rob showed me the two-bedroomed


flat he has just bought at Phoenix Square in Leicester. His flat cost


�140,000. He has a five-year interest-free loan backed by the


government to help him pay 20% of the cost. It is called FirstBuy.


It has worked for me and I am sure it all work for other people. I


think FirstBuy is a great scheme for people looking to get on the


property ladder who are struggling to find finance to do it.


10 flats at the Phoenix Square complex went on sale as part of


FirstBuy. The cost of the interest free loans is being shared by the


government's Homes and Communities Agency and the developer. The it is


a regeneration company owned by the agency.


There is a lot of desire from first-time buyers, particularly


young professionals. While they can afford to fund the mortgage while


they have got it, they cannot raise the deposit.


At Rob's flat, a homely touch, artificial grass on the balcony. --


artificial grass. It's emerged that a gospel church


in Nottingham has been fined after people living nearby complained


about its services being too noisy. Nottingham City Council brought the


prosecution against the New Generation Church in Basford


following four years of complaints and no sign of improvement. From


nearby homes they recorded the level of singing, music and


preaching coming from the church and found it was over acceptable


levels - often for as long as three hours at a time. The church was


fined �360 by magistrates and ordered to pay legal costs of �600.


A study from the University of Nottingham has made a major


breakthrough in the treatment of appendicitis. A team of scientists


at the Queen's Medical Centre analysed the results of four


patient trials. They found that people with uncomplicated


appendicitis could be treated successfully with medicine. In the


long run it could mean fewer patients needing invasive surgery.


An appendicectomy is one of the most commonly performed operations


in the UK, obit -- over 40,000 people a year have it. And we could


prevent 65% of patients from having this operation, and would be


freeing up a theatre space. Thousands of people gathered in


Leicester earlier today to witness the Passion of Christ. The annual


open-air presentation has been taking place since 2003 and sees


the cast make their way through the city centre, ending at Humberstone


Gate. It costs around �40,000 a year to put on, but regularly


attracts 10,000 spectators - making it one of the biggest performances


of its kind in the country. With the spring lambing season well


under way, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust says this year it's selling


its lambs to local pubs rather than to wholesalers. Selling its own


livestock direct is a simple move, but one that the trust believes


will help it raise more money for local conservation projects.


When Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust said they would deliver effective


habitat conservation on a plate, this may not have been what people


had in mind. But fear not, this is not the end for the Hebridean sheep,


but a way of the trust earning some extra cash.


We have to sell some cheap to maintain a balance, and hopefully


what we intend to do is see a little more money coming back to


offset the cost of running the programme.


The sheep I used to manage habitat. The trust has 600 of them in total,


and it is thought to be the largest flock in the world.


Over the last 10 years, we have changed some of the site. This used


to be dominated by young tree seedlings, the sheep have really


changed that quite a lot, and some of the sites are now looking a lot


better than they were 10 years ago. You may soon be able to order a


plate of Hebridean in your local, but for Nottinghamshire Wildlife


Trust, the regeneration of the county's heathland will still be as


important as ever. An unusual military ceremony took


place in Nottingham earlier today to mark the 200th anniversary of a


famous battle. Troops from the Mercian Regiment, the city's lord


mayor and the regimental mascot gathered to remember Badajoz Day,


the day - In 1812 - that Nottinghamshire troops finally


conquered the Spanish town. Without a Union Flag, they ran a British


Army red jacket up the flagpole instead - an event they re-enacted


today. Being the only infantry unit,


regular or TA, in Nottinghamshire, we certainly feel a strong


connection to it, which is why my platoon is called Badajoz platoon.


It is all about history and remembering where we have come from


and holding that dear to us. On to football, and ahead of a


weekend of Championship action, Notts County have been in League


One action today. The Magpies scored three goals in the second


half to win at Leyton Orient. Vitally, the three points mean they


maintain their push for a play-off place. I'll have those goals for


you in our bulletins here tomorrow. And in tomorrow's other games,


Derby County are at home to Ipswich, Leicester City play Doncaster at


the King Power Stadium and Nottingham Forest host Bristol City.


And Nottingham Forest footballer Garath McCleary goes into


tomorrow's game having been named as the Npower Championship player


of the month. The winger scored four goals in the Reds' 7-3 win


over Leeds at Elland Road last month and has played a key role in


the club's revival in fortune. Forest's manager praised the team


and the 24-year-old's performance. If you go in to a game and you know


you have got goals in the locker, which we know we have, for three


months we did not have a clean sheet and a goal, we could not buy


a clean sheet and a goal, and now we know we have got both. It is a


good recipe, and we are looking forward to the rest of the season.


If your Easter weekend plans depend on the weather, let's check the


Still plenty of snow on the ground in parts - these shots taken


earlier by our cameraman Mark show the scene in Wessington in the


Amber Valley area of Derbyshire. No more snow this weekend, but the


cloud we've had today is going to be sticking with us tonight. It'll


bring a little rain in parts as lows drop to 4 Celsius. Tomorrow


will see any rain or drizzle clearing. It'll be dry with some


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