06/11/2013 East Midlands Today


06/11/2013

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from the west That

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

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Tonight, tributes to a little girl killed by the family dog.

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Flowers for four`year`old Lexi near the flat where she was attacked by a

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bulldog. We have confirmed it is a bulldog. It is not listed under the

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dangerous dog at. She was very smiley and beautiful. Also tonight,

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the black hole in Derby's budget. Even the Christmas lights could be

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cut to save cash. Plus, the building work that is

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causing traffic chaos and costing local businesses thousands of

:00:44.:00:45.

pounds. And, in the driving seat ` the new

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man taking over as manager of Notts County.

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Good evening, welcome to Wednesday's programme.

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First tonight: The mother of a four`year`old girl who was savaged

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to death by the family's pet bulldog has paid a loving tribute to her

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daughter. Jodie Hudson said her little girl Lexi was bright and

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bubbly and will never be forgotten. She had to stab the dog to get it

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off her daughter. Meanwhile, the police are still investigating the

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circumstances of the attack, as James Roberson reports.

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Friends and family coming to pay their respects today to Lexi outside

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the Mount Sorrell flat where she lived with her mother. Tributes have

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been tenderly put in place by officers guarding the premises. We

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can't even begin to imagine what she is going through. We are all here

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for her, we are all showing our support, but we are also supporting

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each other. Lexi had recently started attending the village

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school. Today, and local church minister and her headteacher spoke

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about her and how her death has affected the community. I have sat

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with her on lunchtimes on occasion and raced with her to see who could

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finish the meal first. The child I got to know was very charming, she

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was very smiley and absolutely beautiful. You just see the way that

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people were caring for each other and hugging each other, just showing

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love and care. Our hearts go out to Lexi's mother and her family and

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friends. They will be in our prayers. This afternoon, police

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talked more about the dog involved, described by them as a bulldog, and

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the terrible circumstances faced in the flat yesterday lunchtime by

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Lexi's mother as she was alerted by her daughter's screens in the next

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room. Her priority was to save Lexi's life and she did use a knife

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to get the dog of her. The family had owned a dog for less than two

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months and had got it from a re`homing centre two months earlier.

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This afternoon, I spoke to the owner of the re`homing centre who said he

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is cooperating fully with the police, but cannot co`operate

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further until the police have updated him and completed their

:03:15.:03:19.

investigation. The family had issued this statement: Lexi was a bubbly,

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bright little girl. She fought for her life on the moment she was born

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as she was premature. She has been taken from us so tragically. She

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will be sadly missed. She will be our shining star in the sky and she

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will never be forgotten. Family friends say Lexi's mother may never

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get over what has happened. Jodie is never going to come back to this

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village after this. I wouldn't. I couldn't, it would kill me. It is

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just horrible. Police say the dog was not prohibited under the

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Dangerous Dogs Act. Their investigation on behalf of the

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coroner into these tragic events continues.

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Earlier, I spoke to Arthur Rowe of the Bulldog Breeds Council. He told

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me that bulldogs have a good temperament and he was shocked by

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the news of what had happened to Lexi.

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I was very surprised to hear that this was carried out by a bulldog.

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We have tried to make enquiries and the police as yet are unable to tell

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us whether it was pure bred or even an American bulldog. If it was a

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crossbreed, what difference would that make in terms of the dog's

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temperament? One of the things you lose when 0

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temperament? One of the things you lose when you cross a bulldog with

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something else is the equable temperament that the breed has. I

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have tried desperately to maintain that the dog has an excellent

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temperament and should be a welcome member in any family home. If this

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does turn out to have been a purebred bulldog are you concerned

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that this would do damage to the reputation of the breed? I am

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concerned that it would good Klay do great damage the reputation, because

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part of that reputation is built on the character of the dog, and

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temperament pays a large part of that.

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Next tonight, another day and another story of cuts at one of our

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councils. Derby City Council says it's facing a "black hole" in its

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budget for the next few years. Staff are being warned of inevitable

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redundancies. One of the proposed cuts is the cancellation of

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Christmas lights in the city centre next year. Simon Hare is at the

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council's headquarters and can give us more detail about what the

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council plan to do. Good evening. Derby City Council

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says it needs to make savings of ?81 million over the next three years.

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That could see the loss of 350 posts in the next financial year alone.

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All staff have been warned that they are under threat of redundancy, and

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Christmas lights could go. The council also looking at reviewing

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quitting. They may have to prioritise main roads, and it is

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looking at reducing street cleaning standards across the city. Christmas

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lights going up in the city at the moment, but unless sponsors or

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donors are found, the authorities are warning there will be no lights

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next year. That idea got a mixed reaction on the streets of Derby

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today. It gives us hope in the winter time. I would be sad to see

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it go. It is sad, but I can understand it with all the cats the

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council are experiencing, it won't be a priority. It is not a

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necessity. It is overdone, isn't it? Yes. Oh no, I don't know about

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that. It destroys the Christmas spirit.

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I am joined by Councillor Sarah Russell. It was flower beds in the

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summer, now we are talking Christmas lights. Are you trying to make a

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political point to national government? No, it is about telling

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the people of Derby the truth about our financial position. Every single

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discretionary service we provide as the council is under review. The

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government has set us a savings target of ?81 million over the next

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three years, on top of the ?67 million we have already saved from

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our budget. It is a monumental task and we want to engage with the

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people of 0 and we want to engage with the

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people of Derby about how we face it. You are also making cuts to

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gritting, street cleaning, or the things people expect from their

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council tax. It is what I would expect to 0

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council tax. It is what I would expect to be provided from the

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council as well, but those things will be a slight reduction in

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service, but we are looking strategically at how we can maintain

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the same levels with a reduction in money. The reality is that we are

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faced with an unprecedented challenge that local government has

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not had before. Central government has launched an attack on local

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government. Local government has received the biggest cut of any

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government department. Bigger than health, bigger than the NHS. We need

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to pull together as a city, focus on the outcomes and realise the task in

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front of us. Looking at your shiny new offices here, some people may

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ask if you have got your priorities right. Actually, these officers were

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planned before we took control last May. We would not have spent the

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money in this way, but the other capital programmes like a sports

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arena and things in terms of leisure, every single capital

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programme 0 leisure, every single capital

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programme we have on the table warranty will be reviewed and

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scrutinised, and only the things we think are the most important will go

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ahead at this stage. Many thanks for joining us.

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You're watching East Midlands Today. Later in sport, we're in Italy with

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our speed skaters, ahead of the Winter Olympics.

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And, it may have been the winter of his discontent, but find out by the

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discovery of Richard III's domains could mean a glorious summer for the

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region's arts scene. `` remains.

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Parents have reacted furiously after finding out that a meeting was

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arranged between a convicted paedophile and a head teacher at a

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primary school in Mansfield. They're demanding to know why they weren't

:09:54.:09:58.

told in advance. The meeting was cancelled and the school has

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apologised. Quentin Rayner reports. This is the background. Yesterday

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morning a meeting was due to take place between the headteacher of the

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primary school and a convicted violent child sex offender. The man

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is understood to be in his 40s and is a relative of a child at the

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school. It is thought the meeting was to discuss concerns over his

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past, but it was cancelled after our poor from parents. Many kept their

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children away yesterday. Parent say they were only alerted about the

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meeting by a letter circulating by a concerned grandparent of a child at

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the school. He told us he was warned to stay away from the school by

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police or face being arrested by police for breach of the peace. The

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school sent a text message to parents telling them the meeting had

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been cancelled and apologising for any distress. They said any future

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meetings will be held at social care. In a statement, it was said

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that had the meeting taken place, arrangements were in place to make

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sure that no children would have been harmed. They go on to say that

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they would ensure that arrangements to hold multi`agency meetings I

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looked at. Reassurance patrols have been in operation, and parents are

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now putting together a petition demanding to know the number of

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meetings with known sex offenders on school premises.

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Another Derbyshire school has been placed in special measures by

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Ofsted. An inspection of Alfreton Grange Arts College found weaknesses

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in teaching, learning, leadership and the sixth form. But inspectors

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say the school's acting head remains determined to improve standards

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after taking over in July. Derby's Al`Madinah Free School and

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Heanor Gate Science College have also recently been put into special

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measures. A Nottinghamshire Police officer has

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been sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct on a coach trip

:11:50.:11:54.

to London. The 31`year`old Sergeant had been at this police march in the

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capital in May last year. An internal investigation found he'd

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exposed himself on the coach of 51 off`duty officers before carrying

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out a "lewd act". He appealed, but his dismissal was upheld.

:12:06.:12:13.

The Independent Living Fund based in Nottingham, which provides financial

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support for thousands of disabled people across the country, is

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celebrating a victory in the High Court.

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There were celebrations in London today as the Court of Appeal quashed

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the Government's decision to close the ILF. It means around 100 jobs

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saved at the headquarters in Nottingham. And thousands of people

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now won't lose their independence. It is absolutely fantastic news. It

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is very early days and it remains to be seen what the end result will be,

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but it is rape news for 100 or so people and their families, and great

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news for the 19,000 disabled people across the UK who may have their

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independence protected now. Now, if you've found yourself caught

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in traffic lately, it really shouldn't surprise you because a

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satellite navigation company claims Leicester and Nottingham are among

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the most congested cities in the UK. Figures for the three months to June

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rank Nottingham at 14th. Leicester is at number eight.

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As Helen Astle reports, supermarket building works on Melton Road in the

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city are proving a particular problem for local businesses.

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Traffic queueing at one of the busiest routes into Leicester.

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Building work for a new supermarket is well underway, but for residents

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and local businesses, it is causing chaos. At a nearby Indian

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restaurant, trade has fallen dramatically, losing the business

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thousands of pounds. We have lost about 50% of the trade. Any person

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can work out that means you have virtually wiped out your profit for

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half the year. Everett devoutly, one of the busiest weekends of our year,

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we have had 150 people cancel. They don't want to wait in the traffic ``

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over the valley. The roadworks are the main talking

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point over lunch. There are semi`traffic problems

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here. It is ridiculous. It takes 20 minute to come to this restaurant.

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We come here with the family for almost every occasion, but we have

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had to avoid it. It is a nightmare. Further down the road, it is the

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same story. Trade is down by 70%. Here, they have cut their opening

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hours, but the business is still losing money. Up to ?3000 a week.

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The car wash business has gone down, shop sales have gone down. We are

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dipping into reserves to pay staff at the moment. We are struggling, it

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is difficult times. All because customers cannot get to us.

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Sainsbury's declined our request for an interview. In a statement they

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said they are listening to the concerns of local businesses and

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they have put more measures in place to help with the traffic. The store

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is set to open at the end of the month. Today has been called "Wobbly

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Wednesday" ` a comic name given to the day to raise awareness of a

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serious and rare eye condition. Nystagmus affects around two to

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three people in every 1,000, causing partial sight loss and involuntary

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eye movements. A family in Leicestershire is taking part in the

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campaign, as Eleanor Garnier reports.

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This child enjoys painting, despite suffering from nystagmus. Her eyes

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move from side to side. One of her fears her parents have is that she

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will be able to 0 fears her parents have is that she

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will be able to drive 0 fears her parents have is that she

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will be able to drive when she is older, but it also affects her day

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to day life. If something is the same colour she won't see it. We

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have had numerous bombs on the head. If we go out into public, large

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public spaces with lots of people would frighten her because she would

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not see any detail. On what has been called wobbly Wednesday, clinicians

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in Leicester are raising awareness of the condition. Genetics could be

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part of the cause of nystagmus. Researchers at the University of

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Leicester, and Doc is at the hospital, hope there will be one day

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a year. It is one of the largest centres in the world. The University

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is working together with the NHS, researchers with clinicians, and

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this combination helps the advance as research can immediately be

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applied to patients. We hope that through research and funding,

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eventually we will find a cure for something at the moment which is

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incurable. They are doing treatment at the moment, trying to slow the

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eyes down and help people that suffer with the condition. She has

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made this picture, which is being sold today through an online auction

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site, or part of raising awareness of nystagmus.

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Still to come: We ask you not to be deceived or disheartened by today's

:17:34.:17:41.

inclement conditions. Hang on in there because I have got

:17:42.:17:45.

something a little more pleasant at my sleeve for tomorrow. How about a

:17:46.:17:48.

bit of sunshine? All the details coming up later.

:17:49.:17:59.

Sport now, and it has been a hive of activity with lots going on.

:18:00.:18:07.

It has been confirmed that Shaun Derry is the new manager of Notts

:18:08.:18:10.

County. He is an experienced midfielder, but has never managed.

:18:11.:18:15.

He will bring in the former Carlisle boss Greg Abbott as his assistant.

:18:16.:18:21.

We hope to hear from him before the end of our sports bulletin. Staying

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with football, and Derby County club captain Shaun Barker will travel to

:18:27.:18:29.

the United States this weekend as part of the next step on his road to

:18:30.:18:32.

recovery. Barker suffered a horrendous injury

:18:33.:18:35.

in March last year, dislocating his kneecap and rupturing nearly all the

:18:36.:18:38.

ligaments. The 31`year`old defender will spend two weeks with a sports

:18:39.:18:40.

rehabilitation specialist, to give him the best chance of resuming his

:18:41.:18:45.

career. Cricket, and Nottinghamshire have

:18:46.:18:48.

confirmed that James Taylor will captain the Outlaws next season.

:18:49.:18:52.

Taylor has signed a two`year extension to his contract. The

:18:53.:18:56.

23`year`old batsman will also be vice captain to Chris Read in the

:18:57.:19:02.

County Championship. Now, it's a big week for short`track

:19:03.:19:06.

speed skating. The British team, which is based in Nottingham, are in

:19:07.:19:09.

Italy for a vital Olympic qualifying tournament. It's a big deal for our

:19:10.:19:14.

local stars who are preparing for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

:19:15.:19:23.

Ollie Williams reports. Only three months remain until the

:19:24.:19:26.

beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics. First, we have to get

:19:27.:19:31.

there, and that is what this week is about. The British team are at

:19:32.:19:33.

skating for the Olympics futures. For Nottingham's Alex Stanley,

:19:34.:19:55.

getting to the games is a family affair. I have got my husband at my

:19:56.:20:04.

brother, and he is now going out with a lease so we are quite close

:20:05.:20:09.

now. You have someone who is quite understanding with your ups and

:20:10.:20:13.

downs. Sometimes it was difficult, growing up. We have always been in

:20:14.:20:18.

the same team. It just feels like more like home when we are

:20:19.:20:23.

travelling. This week in Italy, and next week in Russia, is the final

:20:24.:20:26.

push to qualify for the games. The British focus is on Elise Christie,

:20:27.:20:35.

who has transformed to the world number one. She is growing up, more

:20:36.:20:41.

experience, she is a lot stronger mentally. You can have a fantastic

:20:42.:20:49.

first round, but not focus on the second round and go out. You have

:20:50.:20:59.

got to focus on every race. It is mental attitude, rather than

:21:00.:21:06.

ability. In a couple of days time, we will find out who has got bad

:21:07.:21:10.

attitude and who is going to the game.

:21:11.:21:15.

Back to a top sports story tonight. Shaun Derry has been confirmed as

:21:16.:21:19.

the new Notts County manager. Kirsty Edwards has just returned to the

:21:20.:21:23.

office with the first interview with him.

:21:24.:21:28.

It is almost 16 years since Shaun Derry left Notts County as a

:21:29.:21:31.

player. Today, she has returned as the new man in charge. He joins me

:21:32.:21:38.

now. How does it feel to be back here as manager? It is fantastic. It

:21:39.:21:44.

seems like I've only been away five minutes, walking down these

:21:45.:21:47.

corridors. I remember that one very well. I am delighted to be back. I

:21:48.:21:52.

fully appreciate what a huge job I have got to do here. I am confident

:21:53.:21:59.

I can do it. You join with Notts County bottom of league one. How do

:22:00.:22:04.

you get them out of that position? We have just had a meeting with the

:22:05.:22:08.

staff and try to address a few things. Ultimately, it is going to

:22:09.:22:13.

be an incredible amount of hard work. Attitudes have got to change.

:22:14.:22:18.

The togetherness of the squad has got to change. Ultimately, it is

:22:19.:22:22.

going to be hard work and determination. I have achieved

:22:23.:22:29.

absolutely everything I could achieve within the game for my

:22:30.:22:33.

ability, and that is what I want these guys to do as well. You have

:22:34.:22:38.

been on loan at Millwall. Can you play here at all? Well, that's

:22:39.:22:44.

something that the Chairman and Chief Executive have got to discuss.

:22:45.:22:48.

Ultimately, I come here as manager and I want to make the right

:22:49.:22:53.

impression on the players. If I can do that, they might see me out on

:22:54.:22:55.

the training field. You are certainly a very experienced

:22:56.:22:59.

player. No experience yet of management, but you will experience

:23:00.:23:05.

that for the first time here at Notts County.

:23:06.:23:12.

That's all the sport on the day that Shaun Derry returns to Notts

:23:13.:23:15.

County. What a busy day.

:23:16.:23:18.

It's one of Shakespeare's most famous works, but now it seems the

:23:19.:23:21.

discovery of Richard III's remains in Leicester is influencing how the

:23:22.:23:24.

work is performed. Archaeological findings from the dig are being used

:23:25.:23:28.

to adapt a key scene in a new production of the play. Geeta Pendse

:23:29.:23:40.

explains. Now is the winter of our

:23:41.:23:48.

discontent. The first major production of Richard third since

:23:49.:23:52.

the discovery of his remains, and whilst this portrayal of a

:23:53.:23:55.

villainous and plotting Prince remains true to Shakespeare's

:23:56.:24:00.

writing, the director here at the Nottingham Playhouse has used new

:24:01.:24:05.

archaeological evidence to capture his last moments at the Battle of

:24:06.:24:10.

Bosworth. The archaeological discovery has meant that we have an

:24:11.:24:15.

absolute click indication of how many blows the King took how he was

:24:16.:24:19.

probably killed, what weapon probably killed him, and the fact

:24:20.:24:24.

that he was probably surrounded by men on horseback, hence his cry, a

:24:25.:24:29.

horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse. Whilst Richard III is amongst

:24:30.:24:35.

Shakespeare's most acclaimed plays, many considered it a work of Tudor

:24:36.:24:39.

propaganda, reflecting the thinking of the time. Academics say change

:24:40.:24:43.

could be a flood. What the discovery may do make us look again at what

:24:44.:24:50.

Shakespeare takes from the sources and what he invents, and I think it

:24:51.:24:55.

will animate once again how we understand his version of events. It

:24:56.:24:58.

is not just the Nottingham Playhouse that has been lauded by the story of

:24:59.:25:03.

Richard III. If Lester Winters bid to become the next UK city of

:25:04.:25:08.

culture, there are plans for an outdoor production. But, our

:25:09.:25:15.

audiences inspired? It is quite a violent end. I think people are a

:25:16.:25:20.

little bit shaken up by that because it is not just a story any more.

:25:21.:25:27.

This production will be performed at York Theatre Royal next. Given the

:25:28.:25:31.

current battle over Richard's final resting place, many here will be

:25:32.:25:34.

hoping his remains don't follow suit.

:25:35.:25:45.

What a drama. Now, I would settle for a sunny day. We might just be in

:25:46.:25:56.

luck. What a day today has been. It has

:25:57.:26:01.

been miserable. Coles, cloudy and very wet. Once again, we have got a

:26:02.:26:12.

weather front to thank for that. The rain has really pepped up in the

:26:13.:26:18.

last couple of hours. It is clearing away, and behind that we get one of

:26:19.:26:22.

these brief ridges of high pressure, which tends to calm things

:26:23.:26:26.

down for a little while. This one is timed perfectly for daylight hours

:26:27.:26:31.

tomorrow. A beautiful autumn day for us tomorrow. It will stay dry

:26:32.:26:35.

throughout and there will be plenty of sunshine, and that will last

:26:36.:26:38.

throughout the day as well. We have still got this rain to get through

:26:39.:26:43.

this evening. The rain has become quite heavy in the last couple of

:26:44.:26:48.

hours or so. Eventually it will clear to the south, so it is drying

:26:49.:26:52.

up by around midnight. Behind that the cloud should wake up as well.

:26:53.:26:57.

Try and clear by the early hours of the morning. That'll allow ten

:26:58.:27:04.

ridges to fall away, perhaps to four or rural spots. Tomorrow will be

:27:05.:27:09.

chilly to start, but lots of sunshine from the off tomorrow

:27:10.:27:13.

morning. Blue skies into the afternoon as well. A little bit of

:27:14.:27:19.

cloud here and there, but the breeze will pick up later in the day and it

:27:20.:27:27.

will feel a little cooler. Into Friday, the cloud returns and winds

:27:28.:27:33.

will pick up, and those showers will return as well, so make the most of

:27:34.:27:36.

tomorrow. I think we will. It looks lovely,

:27:37.:27:43.

one of those crisp, autumnal days. That's it from us. Goodbye.

:27:44.:27:48.

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