26/04/2012 East Midlands Today


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


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


An emotional homecoming for the Mercians after months of gun


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


stage. And I'm live at 200 metre exclusion


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


could explode. We may be in recession but we are


reporting on this famous Leicestershire company where


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


spot one of the only wildlife species where the parents looked


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


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


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


from Afghanistan. The Mercians Second battalion fought several


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


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


troops have arrived at their barracks in Belfast. Our Social


Affairs Correspondent, Jeremy Ball, was there.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


casualties straight away. Before the first round comes over your


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


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


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


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


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


their comrades lost their lives. Private Matthew hassled and died


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


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


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


achieved, then absolutely, everything we have done has been


worth it. This is the official end of the


battalion's force deployment de Helmand province and soon there


will be providing Security much closer to home for the Olympic


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


with their families. And tomorrow, why one


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


in Afghanistan. Police have set up an exclusion


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


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


emergency services say there are dangerous cylinders inside. Fire


crews were called to Willington earlier this afternoon and began


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


happening. And earlier today children at Willington Primary


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


may not all be over until lunchtime tomorrow.


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


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


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


forecast later. Police say the scourge of dangerous


driving in the East Midlands has reached unprecedented levels.


A crackdown in Nottinghamshire resulted in 300 prosecutions in


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


drivers were being stopped for using mobile phones or not wearing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


say there will now be regular crackdowns across the county to


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


Portuguese police have refused to reopen the inquiry into the


disappearance of Madeleine McCann from Rothley in Leicestershire.


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


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


almost five years since Madeleine disappeared and British detectives


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


no evidence to justify relaunching the search.


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


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


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


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


Nottingham although manufacturing has moved to the Far East.


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


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


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


plans. The owners of a sheep farm in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


lost nine of them from Championship animals that have won numerous


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


been fined after inspectors found filthy conditions in the kitchen.


The company that runs the Toby Carvery at Enderby in Leicester


admitted breaching food safety regulations. Inspectors found raw


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


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


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


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


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


more staff. A graduate returned to his former


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


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


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


University of Nottingham. A laboratory that will be the first


of its kind in the world. Quentin Rayner reports.


Today at top chief Executive officer and graduate of the


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


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


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


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


building generates all of its energy from renewable sources.


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


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


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


field. Glaxo SmithKline takes on more graduates from the University


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


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


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


professorship. Just wonderful. Building will start next year and


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


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


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


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


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


rarely allowed inside the factory which turns out millions of packets


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


reporter, Sarah Teale. Everywhere you look, crisps coming


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


seen sustained growth. Anything that keeps British production going


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


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


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


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


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


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


single minute. The factory has witnessed how technology has


improved production. This worker has been here an astonishing 37


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


looking like there could be big changes come the summer.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Championship status. But change is inevitable.


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


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


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


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


Ground. The summer of uncertainty lies ahead.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The cycle race passes through this sleepy village in Leicestershire no


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


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


and increasingly popular sport and leisure activity. A mixed terrain


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


epic. And finally cricket.


Nottinghamshire at the list was a treasure -- up against


Worcestershire and a decent day before the visitors.


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


in search of something more colourful. So she went to


Carsington Water with the promise of something delicate and bright -


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


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


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


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


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


the Derbyshire butterfly recorder. You have given me my volunteer


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Good stuff. Good stuff.


Perseverance pays off. We are staying unsettled for the


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


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


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


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


website for any Updates. This evening we are expecting local


heavy downpours in parts of Derbyshire and North


Nottinghamshire which will cause localised flooding. And it is all


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


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


showers in places but those torrential downpours may give us


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


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


Temperatures struggling throughout Friday. We will not reach double


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


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


bright spells around but also scattered showers. On Sunday,


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