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from the west That
This is East Midlands Today with Dominic Heale and me, Anne Davies.
Tonight, tributes to a little girl killed by the family dog.
Flowers for four`year`old Lexi near the flat where she was attacked by a
bulldog. We have confirmed it is a bulldog. It is not listed under the
dangerous dog at. She was very smiley and beautiful. Also tonight,
the black hole in Derby's budget. Even the Christmas lights could be
cut to save cash. Plus, the building work that is
causing traffic chaos and costing local businesses thousands of
pounds. And, in the driving seat ` the new
man taking over as manager of Notts County.
Good evening, welcome to Wednesday's programme.
First tonight: The mother of a four`year`old girl who was savaged
to death by the family's pet bulldog has paid a loving tribute to her
daughter. Jodie Hudson said her little girl Lexi was bright and
bubbly and will never be forgotten. She had to stab the dog to get it
off her daughter. Meanwhile, the police are still investigating the
circumstances of the attack, as James Roberson reports.
Friends and family coming to pay their respects today to Lexi outside
the Mount Sorrell flat where she lived with her mother. Tributes have
been tenderly put in place by officers guarding the premises. We
can't even begin to imagine what she is going through. We are all here
for her, we are all showing our support, but we are also supporting
each other. Lexi had recently started attending the village
school. Today, and local church minister and her headteacher spoke
about her and how her death has affected the community. I have sat
with her on lunchtimes on occasion and raced with her to see who could
finish the meal first. The child I got to know was very charming, she
was very smiley and absolutely beautiful. You just see the way that
people were caring for each other and hugging each other, just showing
love and care. Our hearts go out to Lexi's mother and her family and
friends. They will be in our prayers. This afternoon, police
talked more about the dog involved, described by them as a bulldog, and
the terrible circumstances faced in the flat yesterday lunchtime by
Lexi's mother as she was alerted by her daughter's screens in the next
room. Her priority was to save Lexi's life and she did use a knife
to get the dog of her. The family had owned a dog for less than two
months and had got it from a re`homing centre two months earlier.
This afternoon, I spoke to the owner of the re`homing centre who said he
is cooperating fully with the police, but cannot co`operate
further until the police have updated him and completed their
investigation. The family had issued this statement: Lexi was a bubbly,
bright little girl. She fought for her life on the moment she was born
as she was premature. She has been taken from us so tragically. She
will be sadly missed. She will be our shining star in the sky and she
will never be forgotten. Family friends say Lexi's mother may never
get over what has happened. Jodie is never going to come back to this
village after this. I wouldn't. I couldn't, it would kill me. It is
just horrible. Police say the dog was not prohibited under the
Dangerous Dogs Act. Their investigation on behalf of the
coroner into these tragic events continues.
Earlier, I spoke to Arthur Rowe of the Bulldog Breeds Council. He told
me that bulldogs have a good temperament and he was shocked by
the news of what had happened to Lexi.
I was very surprised to hear that this was carried out by a bulldog.
We have tried to make enquiries and the police as yet are unable to tell
us whether it was pure bred or even an American bulldog. If it was a
crossbreed, what difference would that make in terms of the dog's
temperament? One of the things you lose when 0
temperament? One of the things you lose when you cross a bulldog with
something else is the equable temperament that the breed has. I
have tried desperately to maintain that the dog has an excellent
temperament and should be a welcome member in any family home. If this
does turn out to have been a purebred bulldog are you concerned
that this would do damage to the reputation of the breed? I am
concerned that it would good Klay do great damage the reputation, because
part of that reputation is built on the character of the dog, and
temperament pays a large part of that.
Next tonight, another day and another story of cuts at one of our
councils. Derby City Council says it's facing a "black hole" in its
budget for the next few years. Staff are being warned of inevitable
redundancies. One of the proposed cuts is the cancellation of
Christmas lights in the city centre next year. Simon Hare is at the
council's headquarters and can give us more detail about what the
council plan to do. Good evening. Derby City Council
says it needs to make savings of ?81 million over the next three years.
That could see the loss of 350 posts in the next financial year alone.
All staff have been warned that they are under threat of redundancy, and
Christmas lights could go. The council also looking at reviewing
quitting. They may have to prioritise main roads, and it is
looking at reducing street cleaning standards across the city. Christmas
lights going up in the city at the moment, but unless sponsors or
donors are found, the authorities are warning there will be no lights
next year. That idea got a mixed reaction on the streets of Derby
today. It gives us hope in the winter time. I would be sad to see
it go. It is sad, but I can understand it with all the cats the
council are experiencing, it won't be a priority. It is not a
necessity. It is overdone, isn't it? Yes. Oh no, I don't know about
that. It destroys the Christmas spirit.
I am joined by Councillor Sarah Russell. It was flower beds in the
summer, now we are talking Christmas lights. Are you trying to make a
political point to national government? No, it is about telling
the people of Derby the truth about our financial position. Every single
discretionary service we provide as the council is under review. The
government has set us a savings target of ?81 million over the next
three years, on top of the ?67 million we have already saved from
our budget. It is a monumental task and we want to engage with the
people of 0 and we want to engage with the
people of Derby about how we face it. You are also making cuts to
gritting, street cleaning, or the things people expect from their
council tax. It is what I would expect to 0
council tax. It is what I would expect to be provided from the
council as well, but those things will be a slight reduction in
service, but we are looking strategically at how we can maintain
the same levels with a reduction in money. The reality is that we are
faced with an unprecedented challenge that local government has
not had before. Central government has launched an attack on local
government. Local government has received the biggest cut of any
government department. Bigger than health, bigger than the NHS. We need
to pull together as a city, focus on the outcomes and realise the task in
front of us. Looking at your shiny new offices here, some people may
ask if you have got your priorities right. Actually, these officers were
planned before we took control last May. We would not have spent the
money in this way, but the other capital programmes like a sports
arena and things in terms of leisure, every single capital
programme 0 leisure, every single capital
programme we have on the table warranty will be reviewed and
scrutinised, and only the things we think are the most important will go
ahead at this stage. Many thanks for joining us.
You're watching East Midlands Today. Later in sport, we're in Italy with
our speed skaters, ahead of the Winter Olympics.
And, it may have been the winter of his discontent, but find out by the
discovery of Richard III's domains could mean a glorious summer for the
region's arts scene. `` remains.
Parents have reacted furiously after finding out that a meeting was
arranged between a convicted paedophile and a head teacher at a
primary school in Mansfield. They're demanding to know why they weren't
told in advance. The meeting was cancelled and the school has
apologised. Quentin Rayner reports. This is the background. Yesterday
morning a meeting was due to take place between the headteacher of the
primary school and a convicted violent child sex offender. The man
is understood to be in his 40s and is a relative of a child at the
school. It is thought the meeting was to discuss concerns over his
past, but it was cancelled after our poor from parents. Many kept their
children away yesterday. Parent say they were only alerted about the
meeting by a letter circulating by a concerned grandparent of a child at
the school. He told us he was warned to stay away from the school by
police or face being arrested by police for breach of the peace. The
school sent a text message to parents telling them the meeting had
been cancelled and apologising for any distress. They said any future
meetings will be held at social care. In a statement, it was said
that had the meeting taken place, arrangements were in place to make
sure that no children would have been harmed. They go on to say that
they would ensure that arrangements to hold multi`agency meetings I
looked at. Reassurance patrols have been in operation, and parents are
now putting together a petition demanding to know the number of
meetings with known sex offenders on school premises.
Another Derbyshire school has been placed in special measures by
Ofsted. An inspection of Alfreton Grange Arts College found weaknesses
in teaching, learning, leadership and the sixth form. But inspectors
say the school's acting head remains determined to improve standards
after taking over in July. Derby's Al`Madinah Free School and
Heanor Gate Science College have also recently been put into special
measures. A Nottinghamshire Police officer has
been sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct on a coach trip
to London. The 31`year`old Sergeant had been at this police march in the
capital in May last year. An internal investigation found he'd
exposed himself on the coach of 51 off`duty officers before carrying
out a "lewd act". He appealed, but his dismissal was upheld.
The Independent Living Fund based in Nottingham, which provides financial
support for thousands of disabled people across the country, is
celebrating a victory in the High Court.
There were celebrations in London today as the Court of Appeal quashed
the Government's decision to close the ILF. It means around 100 jobs
saved at the headquarters in Nottingham. And thousands of people
now won't lose their independence. It is absolutely fantastic news. It
is very early days and it remains to be seen what the end result will be,
but it is rape news for 100 or so people and their families, and great
news for the 19,000 disabled people across the UK who may have their
independence protected now. Now, if you've found yourself caught
in traffic lately, it really shouldn't surprise you because a
satellite navigation company claims Leicester and Nottingham are among
the most congested cities in the UK. Figures for the three months to June
rank Nottingham at 14th. Leicester is at number eight.
As Helen Astle reports, supermarket building works on Melton Road in the
city are proving a particular problem for local businesses.
Traffic queueing at one of the busiest routes into Leicester.
Building work for a new supermarket is well underway, but for residents
and local businesses, it is causing chaos. At a nearby Indian
restaurant, trade has fallen dramatically, losing the business
thousands of pounds. We have lost about 50% of the trade. Any person
can work out that means you have virtually wiped out your profit for
half the year. Everett devoutly, one of the busiest weekends of our year,
we have had 150 people cancel. They don't want to wait in the traffic ``
over the valley. The roadworks are the main talking
point over lunch. There are semi`traffic problems
here. It is ridiculous. It takes 20 minute to come to this restaurant.
We come here with the family for almost every occasion, but we have
had to avoid it. It is a nightmare. Further down the road, it is the
same story. Trade is down by 70%. Here, they have cut their opening
hours, but the business is still losing money. Up to ?3000 a week.
The car wash business has gone down, shop sales have gone down. We are
dipping into reserves to pay staff at the moment. We are struggling, it
is difficult times. All because customers cannot get to us.
Sainsbury's declined our request for an interview. In a statement they
said they are listening to the concerns of local businesses and
they have put more measures in place to help with the traffic. The store
is set to open at the end of the month. Today has been called "Wobbly
Wednesday" ` a comic name given to the day to raise awareness of a
serious and rare eye condition. Nystagmus affects around two to
three people in every 1,000, causing partial sight loss and involuntary
eye movements. A family in Leicestershire is taking part in the
campaign, as Eleanor Garnier reports.
This child enjoys painting, despite suffering from nystagmus. Her eyes
move from side to side. One of her fears her parents have is that she
will be able to 0 fears her parents have is that she
will be able to drive 0 fears her parents have is that she
will be able to drive when she is older, but it also affects her day
to day life. If something is the same colour she won't see it. We
have had numerous bombs on the head. If we go out into public, large
public spaces with lots of people would frighten her because she would
not see any detail. On what has been called wobbly Wednesday, clinicians
in Leicester are raising awareness of the condition. Genetics could be
part of the cause of nystagmus. Researchers at the University of
Leicester, and Doc is at the hospital, hope there will be one day
a year. It is one of the largest centres in the world. The University
is working together with the NHS, researchers with clinicians, and
this combination helps the advance as research can immediately be
applied to patients. We hope that through research and funding,
eventually we will find a cure for something at the moment which is
incurable. They are doing treatment at the moment, trying to slow the
eyes down and help people that suffer with the condition. She has
made this picture, which is being sold today through an online auction
site, or part of raising awareness of nystagmus.
Still to come: We ask you not to be deceived or disheartened by today's
inclement conditions. Hang on in there because I have got
something a little more pleasant at my sleeve for tomorrow. How about a
bit of sunshine? All the details coming up later.
Sport now, and it has been a hive of activity with lots going on.
It has been confirmed that Shaun Derry is the new manager of Notts
County. He is an experienced midfielder, but has never managed.
He will bring in the former Carlisle boss Greg Abbott as his assistant.
We hope to hear from him before the end of our sports bulletin. Staying
with football, and Derby County club captain Shaun Barker will travel to
the United States this weekend as part of the next step on his road to
recovery. Barker suffered a horrendous injury
in March last year, dislocating his kneecap and rupturing nearly all the
ligaments. The 31`year`old defender will spend two weeks with a sports
rehabilitation specialist, to give him the best chance of resuming his
career. Cricket, and Nottinghamshire have
confirmed that James Taylor will captain the Outlaws next season.
Taylor has signed a two`year extension to his contract. The
23`year`old batsman will also be vice captain to Chris Read in the
County Championship. Now, it's a big week for short`track
speed skating. The British team, which is based in Nottingham, are in
Italy for a vital Olympic qualifying tournament. It's a big deal for our
local stars who are preparing for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Ollie Williams reports. Only three months remain until the
beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics. First, we have to get
there, and that is what this week is about. The British team are at
skating for the Olympics futures. For Nottingham's Alex Stanley,
getting to the games is a family affair. I have got my husband at my
brother, and he is now going out with a lease so we are quite close
now. You have someone who is quite understanding with your ups and
downs. Sometimes it was difficult, growing up. We have always been in
the same team. It just feels like more like home when we are
travelling. This week in Italy, and next week in Russia, is the final
push to qualify for the games. The British focus is on Elise Christie,
who has transformed to the world number one. She is growing up, more
experience, she is a lot stronger mentally. You can have a fantastic
first round, but not focus on the second round and go out. You have
got to focus on every race. It is mental attitude, rather than
ability. In a couple of days time, we will find out who has got bad
attitude and who is going to the game.
Back to a top sports story tonight. Shaun Derry has been confirmed as
the new Notts County manager. Kirsty Edwards has just returned to the
office with the first interview with him.
It is almost 16 years since Shaun Derry left Notts County as a
player. Today, she has returned as the new man in charge. He joins me
now. How does it feel to be back here as manager? It is fantastic. It
seems like I've only been away five minutes, walking down these
corridors. I remember that one very well. I am delighted to be back. I
fully appreciate what a huge job I have got to do here. I am confident
I can do it. You join with Notts County bottom of league one. How do
you get them out of that position? We have just had a meeting with the
staff and try to address a few things. Ultimately, it is going to
be an incredible amount of hard work. Attitudes have got to change.
The togetherness of the squad has got to change. Ultimately, it is
going to be hard work and determination. I have achieved
absolutely everything I could achieve within the game for my
ability, and that is what I want these guys to do as well. You have
been on loan at Millwall. Can you play here at all? Well, that's
something that the Chairman and Chief Executive have got to discuss.
Ultimately, I come here as manager and I want to make the right
impression on the players. If I can do that, they might see me out on
the training field. You are certainly a very experienced
player. No experience yet of management, but you will experience
that for the first time here at Notts County.
That's all the sport on the day that Shaun Derry returns to Notts
County. What a busy day.
It's one of Shakespeare's most famous works, but now it seems the
discovery of Richard III's remains in Leicester is influencing how the
work is performed. Archaeological findings from the dig are being used
to adapt a key scene in a new production of the play. Geeta Pendse
explains. Now is the winter of our
discontent. The first major production of Richard third since
the discovery of his remains, and whilst this portrayal of a
villainous and plotting Prince remains true to Shakespeare's
writing, the director here at the Nottingham Playhouse has used new
archaeological evidence to capture his last moments at the Battle of
Bosworth. The archaeological discovery has meant that we have an
absolute click indication of how many blows the King took how he was
probably killed, what weapon probably killed him, and the fact
that he was probably surrounded by men on horseback, hence his cry, a
horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse. Whilst Richard III is amongst
Shakespeare's most acclaimed plays, many considered it a work of Tudor
propaganda, reflecting the thinking of the time. Academics say change
could be a flood. What the discovery may do make us look again at what
Shakespeare takes from the sources and what he invents, and I think it
will animate once again how we understand his version of events. It
is not just the Nottingham Playhouse that has been lauded by the story of
Richard III. If Lester Winters bid to become the next UK city of
culture, there are plans for an outdoor production. But, our
audiences inspired? It is quite a violent end. I think people are a
little bit shaken up by that because it is not just a story any more.
This production will be performed at York Theatre Royal next. Given the
current battle over Richard's final resting place, many here will be
hoping his remains don't follow suit.
What a drama. Now, I would settle for a sunny day. We might just be in
luck. What a day today has been. It has
been miserable. Coles, cloudy and very wet. Once again, we have got a
weather front to thank for that. The rain has really pepped up in the
last couple of hours. It is clearing away, and behind that we get one of
these brief ridges of high pressure, which tends to calm things
down for a little while. This one is timed perfectly for daylight hours
tomorrow. A beautiful autumn day for us tomorrow. It will stay dry
throughout and there will be plenty of sunshine, and that will last
throughout the day as well. We have still got this rain to get through
this evening. The rain has become quite heavy in the last couple of
hours or so. Eventually it will clear to the south, so it is drying
up by around midnight. Behind that the cloud should wake up as well.
Try and clear by the early hours of the morning. That'll allow ten
ridges to fall away, perhaps to four or rural spots. Tomorrow will be
chilly to start, but lots of sunshine from the off tomorrow
morning. Blue skies into the afternoon as well. A little bit of
cloud here and there, but the breeze will pick up later in the day and it
will feel a little cooler. Into Friday, the cloud returns and winds
will pick up, and those showers will return as well, so make the most of
tomorrow. I think we will. It looks lovely,
one of those crisp, autumnal days. That's it from us. Goodbye.