06/11/2013 East Midlands Today


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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.


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