26/04/2012 East Midlands Today


26/04/2012

The latest news, sport and weather for the East Midlands.


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

:00:06.:00:15.

Our top story tonight - hundreds of soldiers return from Afghanistan.

:00:15.:00:19.

An emotional homecoming for the Mercians after months of gun

:00:19.:00:25.

battles with the Taliban. We were getting three or four a-day F1

:00:25.:00:32.

stage. And I'm live at 200 metre exclusion

:00:32.:00:36.

zone because of fears of gas cylinders in a house behind me

:00:36.:00:41.

could explode. We may be in recession but we are

:00:41.:00:45.

reporting on this famous Leicestershire company where

:00:45.:00:51.

business is booming. And I'm here Carsington Water to

:00:51.:00:54.

spot one of the only wildlife species where the parents looked

:00:54.:01:04.
:01:04.:01:06.

nothing like their kids. That is it the sun decides to shine!

:01:06.:01:10.

Good evening. Welcome to Thursday's programme. First tonight - hundreds

:01:10.:01:12.

of soldiers from the East Midlands' largest army regiment have returned

:01:12.:01:17.

from Afghanistan. The Mercians Second battalion fought several

:01:17.:01:19.

hundred gun battles during their six month tour of duty, but

:01:19.:01:27.

commanders say they've made huge progress. The final contingent of

:01:27.:01:30.

troops have arrived at their barracks in Belfast. Our Social

:01:31.:01:40.

Affairs Correspondent, Jeremy Ball, was there.

:01:40.:01:43.

Together again after six long months. It was always going to be

:01:43.:01:51.

emotional. Very relieved. This is my job done because they just want

:01:51.:01:58.

their father! These soldiers first spoke to us before the tour started.

:01:58.:02:03.

They took cameras and came back with powerful video footage. The

:02:03.:02:08.

troops fought more than 130 gun battles to drive the Taliban out of

:02:08.:02:14.

a small part of Helmand that the Afghan government did not control.

:02:14.:02:19.

There were crazy contacts every day, just coming under fire, we took

:02:19.:02:26.

casualties straight away. Before the first round comes over your

:02:27.:02:33.

head you're not a soldier, you're just a normal bloke. But then when

:02:33.:02:37.

they start flying, you're just a businessman. In the first four

:02:37.:02:43.

months we had a lot of engagements with the enemy. After that we just

:02:43.:02:53.

secured the road and cleared it of explosives. We literally drove the

:02:53.:03:01.

Taliban out of there. Generally I think people are happy. But two of

:03:01.:03:06.

their comrades lost their lives. Private Matthew hassled and died

:03:06.:03:16.
:03:16.:03:17.

when his patrol came under in five. -- under gunfire. You walk away and

:03:17.:03:22.

say it does not affect you but of course it does. If you had seen

:03:22.:03:28.

what the potential that country has, how much the British Army has

:03:28.:03:32.

achieved, then absolutely, everything we have done has been

:03:32.:03:39.

worth it. This is the official end of the

:03:39.:03:40.

battalion's force deployment de Helmand province and soon there

:03:40.:03:44.

will be providing Security much closer to home for the Olympic

:03:44.:03:49.

Games. But for now they're just looking forward to spending time

:03:49.:03:57.

with their families. And tomorrow, why one

:03:57.:04:00.

Nottinghamshire soldier left the army, and took his family to live

:04:00.:04:03.

in Afghanistan. Police have set up an exclusion

:04:03.:04:05.

zone and evacuated dozens of houses in a Derbyshire village, because of

:04:05.:04:13.

fears of an explosion. A house caught fire at Willington and the

:04:13.:04:17.

emergency services say there are dangerous cylinders inside. Fire

:04:17.:04:19.

crews were called to Willington earlier this afternoon and began

:04:19.:04:22.

moving out families close to the scene. Our reporter Jo Healey is

:04:22.:04:32.

there and can tell us more. I am at Willington Community Centre,

:04:32.:04:36.

a special centre of which has been set up for people living inside

:04:36.:04:41.

that exclusion zone for cannot go home. The house caught fire at

:04:41.:04:49.

lunchtime today. How serious was it? Well when we arrived we found

:04:49.:04:55.

that the fire involved a much of Michael by the side of the house.

:04:55.:04:59.

Does - a motor vehicle. We were able to quickly extinguished the

:04:59.:05:05.

fire but in the vicinity was an acetylene cylinder which had been

:05:05.:05:12.

exposed to the heat. You are now calling those cylinders? We have a

:05:12.:05:17.

policy that when such a cylinder it is involved in the fire it becomes

:05:18.:05:25.

an explosive risk. So we can pull it for 24 hours. About an hour or

:05:25.:05:30.

so ago people were coming home only to be told by police what was

:05:30.:05:35.

happening. And earlier today children at Willington Primary

:05:35.:05:42.

School were kept indoors. Here at the community centre people allowed

:05:42.:05:46.

deciding what they're going to be doing overnight. What happened to

:05:46.:05:53.

you? I was at work and got a phone call from my son. What are you

:05:53.:05:57.

going to be doing tonight? We might be staying with friends, I'm not

:05:57.:06:05.

quite sure. Basically I came home from shopping and I had just been

:06:05.:06:14.

to pick up my youngest child. I came home to disruption, the area

:06:14.:06:18.

was all cordoned off by fire engines and police cars. I did not

:06:18.:06:25.

know what was happening. You are staying with family tonight? And

:06:25.:06:29.

you're certainly not alone. Derbyshire County Council are co-

:06:29.:06:34.

ordinating this. Tell me what exactly is the council doing?

:06:34.:06:39.

have opened this centre for people who have been evacuated. Quite a

:06:39.:06:44.

few are still returning home from work so we're trying to get contact

:06:44.:06:48.

details. Quite a few are going to stay with friends and relatives so

:06:48.:06:54.

we need to get details to be able to update them. People are coming

:06:54.:06:58.

here to get advice and this could yet go on for a few more hours. It

:06:58.:07:05.

may not all be over until lunchtime tomorrow.

:07:05.:07:08.

Still to come on the programme - flood alerts in the middle of a

:07:08.:07:16.

drought. After a very wet April and in spite of drought restrictions,

:07:16.:07:21.

we have five flood alerts in force. All the details and your full

:07:21.:07:27.

forecast later. Police say the scourge of dangerous

:07:27.:07:32.

driving in the East Midlands has reached unprecedented levels.

:07:32.:07:34.

A crackdown in Nottinghamshire resulted in 300 prosecutions in

:07:34.:07:39.

just one week. And today police calculated that every three minutes,

:07:39.:07:42.

drivers were being stopped for using mobile phones or not wearing

:07:42.:07:52.
:07:52.:07:55.

seatbelts. Carolyn Moses reports. Rush hour for drivers and a rush

:07:55.:07:59.

for police keeping up with those of flouting the rules of the road.

:07:59.:08:04.

Incredibly today on this road in Nottingham, at least 40 cars and

:08:04.:08:09.

lorries were stopped in two hours. That is one every three minutes.

:08:09.:08:13.

This is one road coming into Nottingham and how many roads are

:08:13.:08:19.

their? It tells you the scale of the problem. It is sad to see it,

:08:19.:08:24.

drivers being given fixed penalties, but this is about stopping road

:08:24.:08:29.

deaths and casualties. And there is pressure on the police. Last year

:08:29.:08:33.

saw the number of people killed or Sisley injured on the roads here go

:08:33.:08:39.

up by almost 10%. So now after years of warnings, officers are

:08:39.:08:42.

dropping the softly-softly approach. Drivers are going to be pulled over

:08:42.:08:46.

at roadside checks and you can see the kind of numbers we're dealing

:08:46.:08:51.

with. But it is the only way to get the message across. People use

:08:51.:08:56.

their phones, they do not wear their seatbelts, that his habitual

:08:56.:09:03.

behaviour. I think it is a good idea and is making the roads safer.

:09:03.:09:09.

I should not be using my mobile phones sold McFerran a. If it helps

:09:09.:09:15.

to cut down on accidents it is a good thing. -- so fair enough.

:09:15.:09:24.

puts into perspective. We knew where it from now on? Yes. Police

:09:24.:09:27.

say there will now be regular crackdowns across the county to

:09:27.:09:33.

make sure that drivers do get the message, one way or another.

:09:33.:09:35.

Portuguese police have refused to reopen the inquiry into the

:09:35.:09:40.

disappearance of Madeleine McCann from Rothley in Leicestershire.

:09:40.:09:42.

It comes after Scotland Yard released a new "age-progressed"

:09:42.:09:47.

image showing what she might look like as a nine-year-old. It's now

:09:47.:09:49.

almost five years since Madeleine disappeared and British detectives

:09:49.:09:54.

believe she could still be alive. Portuguese police insist there is

:09:54.:09:59.

no evidence to justify relaunching the search.

:09:59.:10:01.

The Nottingham-based bike maker, Raleigh, has been sold to a Dutch

:10:01.:10:07.

rival in a deal worth more than �60 million. The 125-year-old company

:10:07.:10:12.

started life in a workshop on Raleigh Street. Last year the firm

:10:12.:10:16.

sold 850,000 bikes worldwide. Raleigh bikes are still designed in

:10:16.:10:24.

Nottingham although manufacturing has moved to the Far East.

:10:24.:10:30.

This is 100% good news for the company, the brand and the

:10:30.:10:35.

employees. There will be no job losses as a result of his

:10:35.:10:40.

acquisition. And in fact we will be recruiting to aid our expansion

:10:40.:10:42.

plans. The owners of a sheep farm in

:10:42.:10:44.

Leicestershire say they've been left devastated after a dog killed

:10:44.:10:50.

nine of their new lambs. The attack happened in a field near

:10:50.:10:53.

Lutterworth. The lambs that were attacked were all rare breeds and

:10:53.:10:57.

would have been exhibited in shows over the summer. Tom Brown has this

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report, and you may find some of the images distressing.

:11:04.:11:07.

The sight of a dead lamb is something no sheep farmer wants to

:11:07.:11:12.

see. But this farm or recently found nine of her lambs slaughtered

:11:12.:11:18.

in one of her field. Initially I just felt sick. That was just

:11:18.:11:23.

inside the field gate, Al-Ahram dead with its guts out and it was

:11:23.:11:32.

the most horrific sight. -- at Lamb. Caffrey runs the farm with her

:11:32.:11:38.

father-in-law, Brian. He brought the first she appeared more than 20

:11:38.:11:42.

years ago but has never seen a killing spree as bad as this.

:11:42.:11:46.

are used to life and death as farmers but to have something like

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this reduce preventable, which is just something that comes out of

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the balloon, totally unexpected, it is quite devastating. This is one

:11:57.:12:04.

of more than 400 lambs on this farm but the line but were killed last

:12:04.:12:10.

week for sadly some of the best. These are the show stop and to have

:12:10.:12:14.

lost nine of them from Championship animals that have won numerous

:12:14.:12:18.

prizes, the impact of losing those particular animals is even greater

:12:18.:12:25.

than it would be. I do not blame the dog because it's instinct took

:12:25.:12:31.

over, it is the people who will not control their animals. And his dog

:12:31.:12:36.

cost more than �1,000 to farmers. The police are investigating but

:12:36.:12:43.

the damage to this blog has already been done. -- this clock.

:12:43.:12:45.

Two men will appear in court this week, charged in connection with

:12:45.:12:48.

the stabbing of a man in Nottingham City Centre before Christmas. The

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35-year-old was seriously injured after being attacked on Pilchergate

:12:50.:12:55.

on the 18th of December last year. 30-year-old Mujo Lamaj from

:12:55.:12:57.

Nottingham, and 32-year-old Haleem Saeed from Bramcote, are both

:12:57.:13:04.

charged with the attempted murder. The owners of a pub restaurant have

:13:04.:13:09.

been fined after inspectors found filthy conditions in the kitchen.

:13:09.:13:11.

The company that runs the Toby Carvery at Enderby in Leicester

:13:11.:13:16.

admitted breaching food safety regulations. Inspectors found raw

:13:16.:13:20.

meat and dried blood stuck to fridge shelving. They also found

:13:20.:13:27.

dirty pots and pans on the floor during the visit in 2010.

:13:27.:13:30.

Still to come on the programme - how crisps survived the credit

:13:30.:13:35.

crunch. A rare event - our cameras are allowed inside Leicester's

:13:35.:13:37.

giant Walkers factory, as the firm announces it's taking on over 100

:13:37.:13:47.
:13:47.:13:48.

more staff. A graduate returned to his former

:13:49.:13:53.

university today bearing gifts. In fact, the biggest corporate gift

:13:53.:13:58.

it's ever received. The chief executive of Glaxo-Smith-Kline

:13:58.:14:00.

pledged �12 million to help pay for a new chemistry laboratory at the

:14:00.:14:05.

University of Nottingham. A laboratory that will be the first

:14:05.:14:14.

of its kind in the world. Quentin Rayner reports.

:14:14.:14:18.

Today at top chief Executive officer and graduate of the

:14:18.:14:25.

University of nudging him in front of an important audience set out

:14:25.:14:32.

his simple aim. I want to make people understand the working in

:14:32.:14:36.

Science and Industry is a cool thing to do. The company is to pay

:14:36.:14:45.

much of the cost of the centre of excellence. The carbon neutral

:14:45.:14:49.

building generates all of its energy from renewable sources.

:14:49.:14:54.

Where does this put the University of Nottingham globally in terms of

:14:54.:14:59.

research? The kind of work we are talking about puts Nottingham at

:14:59.:15:03.

the leading edge. It will be one of the world centres in his critical

:15:03.:15:10.

field. Glaxo SmithKline takes on more graduates from the University

:15:10.:15:13.

of Nottingham and from anywhere else. And the company had a

:15:13.:15:18.

surprise in store, announcing it would also pay for a new Chair of

:15:18.:15:24.

chemistry. What a rabbit out of the hat at the end to offer up a new

:15:24.:15:30.

professorship. Just wonderful. Building will start next year and

:15:30.:15:37.

the low for a tree will open in 2014. -- the Laboratory.

:15:37.:15:39.

Britain may have officially gone back into recession, but for one

:15:39.:15:42.

East Midlands company, business is booming. PepsiCo, the firm which

:15:42.:15:44.

owns Walkers Crisps, is investing millions of pounds in its Leicester

:15:44.:15:49.

factory which in turn is creating 110 new jobs. Cameras are very

:15:49.:15:51.

rarely allowed inside the factory which turns out millions of packets

:15:51.:15:57.

of crisps every single day. But today, ours were. Here's our

:15:57.:16:05.

reporter, Sarah Teale. Everywhere you look, crisps coming

:16:05.:16:10.

off the production line. It is like this 24 hours a day, seven days a

:16:10.:16:16.

week. Henry Walker started making the snacks after the Second World

:16:16.:16:20.

War when meeting rationing saw his butchery business fall. Now the

:16:20.:16:23.

site is one of the largest production plants in the world and

:16:23.:16:28.

it is about to get bigger. PepsiCo which now owns Walkers crisps is

:16:28.:16:32.

investing more than �15 million in a new production line. It will mean

:16:32.:16:38.

the creation of 110 jobs. Britain has just gone back into recession,

:16:38.:16:44.

so how good is the news for the economy? It is very good news.

:16:44.:16:48.

Walkers has been in the Leicester area at since the 1940s and we have

:16:48.:16:53.

seen sustained growth. Anything that keeps British production going

:16:53.:16:59.

has got be great news. The company is supplied by 350 different

:16:59.:17:03.

British potato farmers. Once a potato or rides are the factory is

:17:03.:17:09.

peeled, sliced, backed, weighed and boxed up. The process which takes

:17:09.:17:15.

just 20 minutes from start to finish. This factory gets through

:17:15.:17:19.

800 tons of potatoes every single day. It is no surprise when you

:17:19.:17:25.

think that each of these machines reduces 120 packets of crisps every

:17:25.:17:34.

single minute. The factory has witnessed how technology has

:17:34.:17:38.

improved production. This worker has been here an astonishing 37

:17:38.:17:48.
:17:48.:17:49.

years. I enjoy it here, everyone is friendly. In the last month, 27

:17:49.:17:53.

people have retired, clocking up between them some 800 years of

:17:53.:17:59.

service. The company says it hopes the 110 years - it is recruiting

:17:59.:18:09.
:18:09.:18:12.

will have similarly long careers. Time now for the sport.

:18:12.:18:16.

So Nottingham Forest's future in the championship is secure. But

:18:16.:18:20.

that's about all they know for certain at the city ground just now.

:18:20.:18:23.

The Club is up for sale and with no word yet on potential buyers, it's

:18:23.:18:29.

looking like there could be big changes come the summer.

:18:29.:18:33.

The season began with high hopes. Steve McLaren at the helm and a

:18:33.:18:40.

handful of new signings. But within months, McLaren was out and the

:18:40.:18:46.

battle against relegation was on. Those times were tough and that is

:18:46.:18:53.

when you need the support. Challenge on the pitch, a tragedy

:18:53.:18:58.

off bid. The club was plunged into mourning and a decision to put the

:18:58.:19:04.

club up for sale rings their future is far from certain. It has been a

:19:04.:19:11.

terrible and tragic season. It has caused a lot of change which we are

:19:11.:19:19.

still coming to terms with. We are aware that fans are eager to hear

:19:19.:19:25.

what the future holds for the club. A late rally has secured

:19:25.:19:35.

Championship status. But change is inevitable.

:19:35.:19:44.

The loan players will go back to their parent clubs. Some players

:19:44.:19:53.

will not be staying. Some by choice, but we just have to wait and see

:19:53.:19:57.

what the future holds. This has been one of the most dramatic in

:19:57.:20:01.

turbine seasons they have every year -- ever seen here at the City

:20:01.:20:11.
:20:11.:20:15.

Ground. The summer of uncertainty lies ahead.

:20:16.:20:17.

Ice hockey, and there's been some surprise news from Nottingham

:20:18.:20:19.

Panthers. They've axed Captain Danny Meyers, despite him leading

:20:19.:20:22.

them to another cup double this year. Meyers has been at the club

:20:22.:20:25.

for six years in all, becoming a firm fans' favourite in that time.

:20:25.:20:26.

Big disappointment for Leicester's world number one snooker player,

:20:27.:20:29.

Mark Selby. He's been knocked out of the world championships in the

:20:29.:20:31.

first round. He was beaten 10-3 by qualifier Barry Hawkins. Selby has

:20:31.:20:34.

a good excuse though, he's had a neck injury that's meant he's

:20:34.:20:37.

hardly been able to practice for the past month. But it means Selby

:20:37.:20:43.

is now at risk of losing his number one status. Elite cycling comes to

:20:43.:20:47.

the East Midlands this weekend with the Rutland to Melton Cycle Classic.

:20:47.:20:49.

Now in it's eighth year, the 114 mile race around Leicestershire and

:20:49.:20:52.

Rutland is bigger and better than ever with 34 teams and 162

:20:52.:20:59.

competitors taking part from around the world. Paul Bradshaw has more.

:20:59.:21:04.

The cycle race passes through this sleepy village in Leicestershire no

:21:04.:21:09.

less than six times and locals are looking forward to another vintage

:21:09.:21:15.

contest. This event along with many other activities are making cycling

:21:15.:21:21.

and increasingly popular sport and leisure activity. A mixed terrain

:21:21.:21:26.

on offer makes a good draw for competitors and with 34 teams and

:21:26.:21:31.

162 riders from around the world taking part, the race is growing in

:21:31.:21:38.

international stature. Once we get into the small lanes around here

:21:38.:21:45.

some of the crimes are not long but they, sharp and they take a toll.

:21:45.:21:49.

What makes this road race a classic is that it features a little

:21:49.:21:54.

everything, taking road bikes over mad, stones, cobbles and down

:21:54.:21:58.

narrow lanes. It is the only international race of its kind in

:21:58.:22:04.

Britain. It is a complex and a gruelling course which doubles back

:22:04.:22:10.

on itself and covers 114 miles of rough roads around the two counties.

:22:10.:22:15.

With wind and rain forecast for Sunday, we could be in for a mighty

:22:15.:22:22.

epic. And finally cricket.

:22:22.:22:27.

Nottinghamshire at the list was a treasure -- up against

:22:27.:22:33.

Worcestershire and a decent day before the visitors.

:22:33.:22:36.

As spring's been a rather grey affair so far, we have sent Sally

:22:36.:22:39.

in search of something more colourful. So she went to

:22:39.:22:41.

Carsington Water with the promise of something delicate and bright -

:22:41.:22:51.
:22:51.:22:59.

something that says spring has I'm here at Carsington Water in

:22:59.:23:03.

Derbyshire where I have been told third 24 species of butterflies to

:23:03.:23:07.

be seen on this site alone. The problem is that butterflies only

:23:07.:23:12.

come out to play in the sunshine. So will we spot one? Volunteers

:23:12.:23:17.

walk around Carsington Water each week to record butterflies. Kent is

:23:17.:23:26.

the Derbyshire butterfly recorder. You have given me my volunteer

:23:26.:23:33.

butterfly record in sheet. We are walking one of the transit winds

:23:33.:23:37.

and we hope that when people come here they will see the butterflies

:23:37.:23:44.

and record what they see. The sun is trying its best to come out.

:23:44.:23:49.

This is quite a suntrap down here. It is, it is sheltered from the

:23:49.:23:57.

wind and ideal habitat for many of the butterflies. The orange tip is

:23:57.:24:05.

that harbinger of spring. We might just be lucky to see one at this

:24:05.:24:15.
:24:15.:24:16.

time of year. And in a brief moment of sunshine, we managed to spot one.

:24:16.:24:26.
:24:26.:24:28.

It is on a blade of grass, it is really camouflage. I thought it was

:24:28.:24:38.
:24:38.:24:42.

a leaf! When it opens its wings is when you see the orange on the tips.

:24:42.:24:52.
:24:52.:24:58.

That is the harbinger of spring. That was well spotted! My first one.

:24:58.:25:07.

Good stuff. Good stuff.

:25:07.:25:15.

Perseverance pays off. We are staying unsettled for the

:25:15.:25:19.

rest of the week and right through to the end of the weekend. After

:25:19.:25:24.

some significant rainfall in the past couple of days we do have

:25:24.:25:29.

flood alerts in place. The River Trent and a river amber, just parts

:25:30.:25:36.

of those rivers. You can keep an eye on the Environment Agency

:25:36.:25:42.

website for any Updates. This evening we are expecting local

:25:42.:25:46.

heavy downpours in parts of Derbyshire and North

:25:46.:25:53.

Nottinghamshire which will cause localised flooding. And it is all

:25:53.:25:58.

down to this area of rain which has been pretty relentless across the

:25:58.:26:05.

north of the UK today. At the moment, just the scattering of

:26:05.:26:13.

showers in places but those torrential downpours may give us

:26:13.:26:19.

some rumbles of thunder for a time. Staying breezing through the night

:26:19.:26:29.
:26:29.:26:31.

and we go into Friday with the rain across much of the region.

:26:31.:26:35.

Temperatures struggling throughout Friday. We will not reach double

:26:35.:26:42.

figures. And with a north-easterly airflow you will notice it feeling

:26:42.:26:49.

cooler than what we have been used to. Looking to Saturday, some

:26:49.:26:56.

bright spells around but also scattered showers. On Sunday,

:26:56.:27:01.

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