27/11/2013 East Midlands Today


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


Tonight ` anger over an Ofsted blitz on schools in Nottingham. The


coordinated wave of classroom inspections prompt applet `` prompts


a political row. I feel it is probably overdue because Nottingham


has been so far down the league tables for quite a while.


Also tonight, the council control orders that mean life is no walk in


the park for this man and his dog. Plus our bank is accused of pushing


this family run firm to the brink of collapse. You wake at 2am in the


morning worrying about it. And Townhall tweeting. A council


warns its staff about the perils of social media.


`` town Hall. Good evening. First tonight,


teachers' leaders in Nottingham are warning of a slump in staff morale,


after a coordinated 0 warning of a slump in staff morale,


after a coordinated wave of inspections at several city schools.


One Labour politician has described the Ofsted checks as "destructive,


crude and crass". Meanwhile the Education Secretary


Michael Gove has accused Labour local authorities, like Nottingham,


of turning a blind eye to failing schools. Let's get more from


Westminster and our Political Editor John Hess. John, this is developing


into quite a political row, isn't it? It certainly is, because of


state has considerable cloud these days, it can make or break the


career of a headteacher. `` Ofsted. That is why the swoop by Liz on a


secondary schools has caused such concern. The same has happened in


Lambeth in south London, Norfolk Suffolk, other education 0


Lambeth in south London, Norfolk Suffolk, other education areas where


Ofsted for the education performance was under par. My understanding is


that these are the Nottingham schools that Ofsted inspected us on


a school that is yet to be identified. They include City


Council run schools plus academies. One senior Labour source has already


described Ofsted's inspections as a One senior Labour source has already


described Ofsted's inspections sort of bullying, but a city conservative


says the Ofsted inspections are long overdue.


In recent years the number of Nottingham schools have been under


the spotlight. In the recent GCSE league table, six out of the city's


14 state secondaries were in the bottom 6% of the country's schools.


With eight schools targeted in the latest inspections, the focus was on


the education of thousands of pupils who according to can `` Conservative


Councillor Eileen Morley are the real victims of the city's


struggling schools. The important people are the young children. If we


are not helping them to realise their full potential, we are failing


them. Some of the schools had already been


warned they need to improve. This school was worried `` told by


Department of Education officials last November but the `` that the


standard of pupils `` formance was unacceptably low on the school was


told it requires improvement. But tonight the education watchdog


has been criticised by unions in Nottingham.


Ofsted is supposed to be open and transparent, but we feel it is being


used more and more as a political tool. A lot of schools in Nottingham


have decided they want to remain with the local authority, which is


fine, but it does not suit the Government's policy that every


school should become an academy. Ofsted will not comment until the


results are published. But this councillor is under no illusion as


to what may be needed to finally drive up standards. If it takes


special measures to get the best education for our children, and I


think that actually has to happen. Sadly, but yes.


Councillor Eileen Morley. With me is the Nottingham East MP Chris Leslie.


Surely she's right ` given Nottingham's historic poor education


performance, you would expect Ofsted to spring on those schools to find


out 0 0 0 0 to spring on those schools to find


out why? Ofsted have a programme of visits


and they have to focus on schools standards, and parents and teachers


want the best for their children, we all want to focus on school


standards. But none of us have seen the Ofsted report, it is unfortunate


that it is leaking out, so we have to look at what they are saying and


look at the evidence. The Education Secretary is hardly going to be


sympathetic, because the other week he was accusing Labour local


authorities of turning a blind eye to underperforming schools. I hope


this will not become a party political football. The most


important thing is that we are all working together to focus on what is


`` it is that makes the difference to good quality teaching, is it a


resources issue... And leadership and what can be done. There in mind


though that some of those schools as Mac there in mind that some of these


schools are in the control of local authority, some are academies. But


if some of those city schools go into special measures, will that be


a short painfully `` short term pain for a long`term gain. I hope that we


can work with Ofsted to work `` get to the bottom of this, but some of


the Education Secretary's reforms, more unqualified teachers, I am not


sure that if the answer. We should get that Ofsted report


next month. Investigators believe a house fire


in Derbyshire which killed two women and two young brothers was caused by


faulty wiring. It happened on Williamthorpe Road in


North Wingfield a week ago today. Josie Leighton and her sons Tyler


Green, who 0 Josie Leighton and her sons Tyler


Green, who was nine, and older brother Jordan were killed in the


fire. Josie's friend Claire James also died. A seven`year`old girl who


escaped from the fire has now been discharged from hospital and is


being cared for by relatives. Fire officers are trying to


establish the cause of a large fire at a barn in Derbyshire which closed


a major road. Firefighters say the blaze in


Spondon involved 750 tonnes of hay. They were called to Dale Road


between Spondon and Ilkeston late last night. The road was closed for


a time, and firefighters didn't leave until this afternoon. Traffic


on the nearby A52 was also affected by drifting smoke.


Still to come ` is solar energy all it's cracked up to be?


Some householders, like Claire Marsh, believe salesmen are making


misleading claims about the financial benefits of solar panels.


Another complaint now about the Royal Bank of Scotland. A couple


have accused RBS of driving their family business to the brink of


collapse. At one point they had to borrow


?5,000 from relatives and friends to pay staff wages because the bank had


frozen their account. The bank's now holding its own inquiry into its


business methods. Mike O'Sullivan reports.


This fencing manufacturer employed 19 people two years ago, now just


two. The near collapse of the company is being blamed on their


treatment by the RBS bank. One low point, being as to `` being forced


to ask family and friends 0 point, being as to `` being forced


to ask family and friends to chip in to pay the wages. None of these men


are on high money, they have families to support and food bills,


and knowing you cannot pay the bills is so distressing.


Last night we reported claims that the RBS had seized a ?27 million


luxury flats complex from a Nottingham businessman after forcing


his company into administration. The Leicestershire company says the bank


suddenly froze its bank account after withdrawing from a financial


arrangement it had set up for them. Charging ?20,000 in fees.


The company is referring its allegations on to Lawrence


Tomlinson, the Government adviser who has claimed in a report that the


RBS put it and viable companies into default so that it could make more


profit. That whole issue is being referred to city investigators. We


just virtually collapsed overnight, we could not pay suppliers,


customers could not pay us could `` because we could not finish


contracts. It causes arguments, it has split the family, you wake up at


2am in the morning worrying about it. It is just with you 24 hours a


day. The RBS will not comment on


individual cases. It is holding its own inquiry as to how it has treated


its business customers. My, how is the story developing?


Well, this evening I've spoken to Kevin Riley who's the businessman


from Nottingham whose luxury apartments were seized by the RBS.


He's now saying he was a victim of the so`called GRG, part of the RBS


that's at the centre of the allegations unearthed in the


Tomlinson report, saying they destroyed good businesses. Mr


Riley's had a reply back from Mr Tomlinson, who he knows personally.


He's told Mr Riley this affair is getting bigger and bigger, and he's


due to see the boss of RBS next week. Now, I've also spoken to Mr


Tomlinson's people. They say he feels that a lot of business people


feel more comfortable going to him with their concerns because he


understands the issues. Certainly the family I spoke to tonight felt


their complaints about RBS have previously been ignored including by


the Financial Ombudsman, who wouldn't take a look at it because


of the size of the company. In the end, they gave up.


A man who's blind is facing a fine for exercising his guide dog, even


though they're usually exempt from most rules concerning our


four`legged friends. Rules ` yes. But not so`called


"control orders" which are being increasingly used by our councils.


From Newark in Nottinghamshire, Simon Hare reports. Gemma is a


working guide dog. Every day all walks her alongside this disused


well `` railway line. But here, dogs are meant to be kept on a lake.


There is nothing within walking distance that is can parable for


opportunities to exercise her, it is all I have got. `` can parable.


Yesterday a council official threatened him with a fine. I feel


permanently terrified. With these sort of Gestapo tactics which the


council are using. The council says on this occasion it


will not prosecute, but it stands by its policy. I think most people


perceive guide dogs as being some thing a person keeps on a lead. He


lets it roam free and throws balls for it 0


lets it roam free and throws balls for it into the lake. Anglers get


rather upset. Paul has received support from other


dog owners. It is a terrible state of affairs. I have seen this


gentleman for years down here, he is no trouble. These people are so


anti`dog. And to pick on a blind man! How sick can you get? I have so


many sleepless nights worrying about what will happen next. If I have to


pay the price for the rights of other guide dog owners, I do not see


what choice I have. The guide dog for the Blind `` the


guide dogs for the Blind Association say they are willing to work with


poll to find alternative venues nearby for Gemma to get the


exercise. `` to work with Paul. A high court judge has said he's


concerned that the children have been forgotten in a row over the


management of a Leicester junior school.


A judicial review is looking at whether the city council's decision


to replace the governors at Uplands Junior School is lawful. It's after


teachers went out on strike earlier this year in response to a decision


to get rid of a number of teaching assistants. A decision is expected


on Friday. Derbyshire's mobile library service


could be scrapped as part of the council's budget cutbacks.


The County Council says the service currently costs ?720,000 a year.


It's trying to save ?157 million from its budget over the next five


years. The council will discuss the matter next week, before people are


asked for their views on any possible changes.


Next ` selling energy from the sun. There's a warning tonight about the


behaviour of some solar panel salesmen who promise householders


far bigger financial returns than the systems can actually deliver.


Nottinghamshire County Council has revealed that this year they've had


a 97% increase in complaints about the possible mis`selling of solar


energy panels. James Roberson reports.


For Clare, the solar panels should be making her money, instead, she is


going to be paying to a finance company 100 pounds per month for the


next eight years. I feel very upset and very cheated.


This April, she and her husband were contacted by a firm which offered


them social panels on finance. `` solar panels. They said it would


generate ?150 per month, and the finance would be ?94. So that seems


to be a very good will for you? Yes, we would make ?40 per month. We


agreed and signed up straightaway for it.


The solar panel firm promised they would make over ?22,000 in nine


years, but since April they have made just over ?200. That rate will


not possibly cover the ?7,000 they have signed up for. Nottinghamshire


's County Council is backing the couple. They have seen an increase


in complaints this year about civil mis`selling of solar panels by


various companies. `` possible mis`selling. We are asking people to


ensure that they get free quotes, if they are unsure what they are being


told, to ring the consumer advice service and ask them to run through


everything. I thought I had sorted everything out, but these people can


go to the elderly and so the product to them and get them into severe


financial difficulties. Did you know that last year across


the planet 175 million tweets a day were sent? Most probably by Anne.


Tweeting allows us to tell total strangers what we had for Breakfast


` and what we really think of the boss.


And there's the problem. The etiquette of tweeting is still


evolving ` along with the legal consequences of telling the planet


exactly what you think. Perhaps no surprise, then, that one


of our local authorities is now issuing Twitter guidelines to its


councillors. Sumeer Kalyani reports. We can now send our thoughts


worldwide in an instant. The social media revolution has paved the way


for people to communicate at any time from any place to just about


anywhere. But with it comes a warning as well. There are students


who take it too far, and they step over that area and make a mistake


and say the wrong thing that could really damage their university


career and future employment. We can say just about anything we like at


the touch of a screen 0 say just about anything we like at


the touch of a screen via social media. Most of it is harmless, but


it is the "anything" that is getting people worried. I do not really


worry about it. I have never said anything I should not. I think some


people use it in a negative way. You read of other people `` other


people's statuses and think you will regret that.


This is what has prompted Leicestershire City Council ``


Leicester City Council to issue guidelines to its elected members. I


think 0 guidelines to its elected members. I


think Leicester, given we are a large local authority with a


significant number of members and given that the future direction is


that we are going to have more and more councillors using social media,


we felt it was the right time. Social media experts say it is


difficult for people to separate the public life from their private. With


Twitter or Facebook or any other social media tools, you just need to


be careful that whatever you publish if you like, you are putting into


the public domain, and I think that is where people can sometimes fall


foul. With more and more of us joining


social media networks, there is no real push to make people think about


what they share. Still to come ` it's a cracker.


How do you stop moles from digging underground? I don't know. Find out


later. Here is Natalie with the sport.


First, the players at Nottingham Forest say they would like to get


promotion this season for captain Chris Cohen. Chris suffered a bad


knee injury on Saturday and has been ruled out for the rest of the


campaign. Here's striker Simon Cox. Hopefully we can keep performing for


him and be up there towards the end of the season so that he can look at


how well we have been doing. Into League One and Notts County are


still bottom of the table, but manager Shaun Derry has won his


first point since taking the job three weeks ago.


The Magpies drew 1`1 at Bradford City last night. Bradford are in the


top six and Notts showed a lot of heart to get a point. Gary Lidl gave


them a first half lead. In the second Mark Yeates got the Bantams'


equaliser on 69 minutes. And even though Notts had a player sent off,


they hung on. Derry believes the fighting spirit his players showed


will have a lasting effect. In League Two Mansfield Town manager


Paul Cox says it is time his players show their true character and put an


end to their slide. Stags lost at Burton Albion last


night by a goal 2`0. That's a fifth straight defeat for Mansfield, who


are down to 17th in the table now. 2013 is going to be a year


Nottinghamshire's Chris Adcock will never forget. The badminton star


married childhood sweetheart Gabby White, and was reunited with her as


a mixed doubles pairing. And less than a year after being back


together on the court, they've climbed up the world rankings and at


the weekend won a major title in Hong Kong. Kirsty Edwards reports.


A perfect match on and off the court. Chris and Gabby are only the


second English player to win a prestigious super series title. The


pair are now back home and reunited with their other love in life. A


chance to let their achievement sink in. If somebody would have said you


are going to win a super series and then be up to five in the world, it


is something that we are really happy about. To finally do it, I am


still in disbelief. The wind comes just a couple of


months after the pair got married. There has barely been time to settle


into married life. Being a professional badminton player means


living out of a suitcase, with weeks on end away from home. Still got the


medal in the bag. There is not much time to archly unpack and spend more


than three or four nights at home. Dutch map `` actually unpack. But it


is well with it when you win and achieve your goals. We keep looking


at our trophies, and it is quite a surreal feelings. You are moving


house soon, will you have a big trophy Cabinet? That will be nice.


That would be ideal. We got a taste of success last week, and standing


on the top of the podium is a feeling that you cannot explain. If


we could get back that and what into the Commonwealth Games or the


Olympics with the same feeling, that would be a dream come true.


And finally from me, some very sad news. England's oldest surviving


test player and former Nottinghamshire cricket captain Reg


Simpson has died at the age of 93. Reg was one of the biggest sporting


stars in his day. He played 27 test matches for England as an opening


batsman, while in domestic cricket he scored more than 30,000 runs. His


career was disrupted by the war, where he was a pilot, and after his


playing days served the Nottinghamshire committee from for


37 years. Our thoughts are with his family tonight.


Do you groan at terrible cracker jokes every year? Well, they could


be getting better this Christmas because some have been written by


children here in the East 0 because some have been written by


children here in the East Midlands. Yes, pupils at a school in


Sutton`in`Ashfield in Nottinghamshire have had their


rib`ticklers accepted by a national chain of shops. Simon Ward's been to


see them for a bit of a laugh. How does Bob Marley like his


doughnuts? With jam in! The children at this school are hard


at work thinking of more funny lines. The jokes they have written


are now inside Wilkinson's crackers. How do you stop moles from digging


underground? Hide the spades. What you call fish with no eyes? `` Fsh!


. On Christmas morning when they open


their crackers, thousands of people will be reading their jokes. It is


really funny to see how many kids actually write jokes and stuff like


that. People are going to like them, because the children have worked


really, really hard to get different jokes. Why can't a card 0


really, really hard to get different jokes. Why can't a card playful all


`` look out for them in the future. In the meantime, they would just


like to say, `` have a Merry, Merry funny Christmas!


Why did the turkey cross the road? It was the chicken's day of!


High`pressure remains with us, tomorrow is generally drive but


there will be much of a expecting we will not have a sunrise like this.


The 0 will not have a sunrise like this.


The high pressure is sitting out to the west of us, it has been with us


since the weekend and looks to have `` stay with us through the weekend.


But cloud is increasing as we go through this evening. `` that cloud.


It might produce the odd spot of drizzle, but on the whole a dry


night. Where you get the clear spells, you might get a bit of fog


tomorrow morning. Temperatures holding up out `` underneath all


that cloud. But Ford may take its time to clear tomorrow morning, and


you will be lucky to see a few spells of brightness. Thursday


should be mostly dry, temperatures about what they should be for this


time of the year, a high of eight degrees. On Friday this cold front


will sink southwards. The winds will be increasing and turning


north`westerly. Calder feel once that pushes through, feeling a


little bit chilly. `` a colder feel.


Saturday is looking like the best day of the weekend.


We will be able to do our Christmas shopping!


I will be back with the late news. Join me then.


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