11/04/2014 East Midlands Today


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murdering 29 people in the Omagh bombing. The Co-Op Bank has


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


If Tonight, the South Wigston schoolgirl who gave Adrian Mole to


the world. Tributes are paid to the author Sue


Townsend. You are the she was a lovely person.


Another blow to Rosemary Conley's troubled food and fitness empire.


A drawing protests. Protesters set up camp in North Nottinghamshire.


And the London Marathon. We will catch up with some of the runners


taking part, including our very own Mel Coles.


Good evening and welcome to Friday's programme. First tonight, she was as


proud of Leicester as Leicester was of her. Today a host of tributes


have been paid to Sue Townsend, the author, who's died at the age of 68.


Born and raised in the East Midlands, Sue spent most of her life


in Leicester, using it as a setting for her most famous work ` the


Adrian Mole series. Amy Harris reports.


Hapless hero Adrian Mole brought to life on television. He is the


creation of Sue Townsend, whose hugely popular series follows him


from adolescence to maturity, all set in and around her home city. She


charted social history in an ordinary town that was not London.


Over the course of 30 years. She is a national treasure. Adrian Mole


made her name but her the role was originally called something else and


at the University of Leicester's library lies the evidence. This is


one of our prize possessions. This is the only draft manuscript of The


Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole. You will notice that it is actually


Nigel Mole. This presenter met her before the release of the brick and


they have been friends since. I still get overwhelmed thinking about


it. To be just a tiny part in those incredibly well wonderfully funny


and much loved book 's is just wonderful. She achieved worldwide


success following the publication of Adrian Mole books. She was left


blind by diabetes and died after a stroke. She was able to touch people


's hearts through her story telling. She was a real person. Her honesty


came across in her books which have entertained and enchanted millions


of readers. She will go down in history as the Leicestershire


schoolgirl who gave Adrian Mole to the world.


As you heard in Amy's piece, tributes have been paid from across


the country and here's just a few of those quotes from Twitter today.


JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, said she was "so sad


to hear about Sue Townsend. She gave me so many laughs." Comedian Sarah


Millican said she was just about to start reading Sue's most recent


novel, The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year, and will "do so now with a


heavier heart". The actor David Walliams described her as a "comedy


genius" and "a lovely lady". And finally, the writer Caitlin Moran


said she was "one of the funniest women who ever lived".


The Leicestershire`based Rosemary Conley Health And Fitness Company is


terminating its contracts with all franchisees across the country. The


business is already in administration but a lack of cash


coming in has prompted the move. Simon Ward is outside the company's


headquarters at Quorn in Leicestershire. Simon, what's led to


the decision today? There are various parts of the


business empire up for sale. During the recession, less people went to


fitness classes and it has been hard to find new members. Rosemary Conley


and the administrators remain confident and hope they will find a


new buyer. But at the moment the process of terminating contracts is


going ahead. It's a famous brand that is getting


into difficulties. Already in administration, parts of the company


are up for sale. Now it has been revealed more than 120 franchisees


who run Rosemary Conley Food And Fitness clubs are having their


contracts terminated because some were not paying regular fees. The


business requires an income from management services fees payable by


the individual franchisees. A number have not been able to pay for one


reason or another. That means the company cannot continue providing


support to franchisees. Sharon Perdue is one of the franchisees in


Nottingham. She has operated for 19 years. We have been going to classes


for the last ten weeks, trying to keep the smile on our face. The last


week, Rosemary told us on Monday that we would be able to walk away


from our contract. Yesterday, we knew the date, which will be the


17th of April. That was a bit of a relief because we had been in limbo.


Then it was a little scary as well. Rosemary Conley herself is


travelling out of the UK but spoke on the phone. Discussions are


ongoing with a number of parties who are interested in taking the


franchise operation forward. If that doesn't work out, there is a real


opportunity for franchisees to be able to use my name under licence.


Administrators hope the company founder is right and someone steps


in to rescue the business. What is the timescale now?


From next Thursday, business support is being withdrawn from people who


run the clubs. From the 25th of April, the contract will be


terminated. At that point, people will have to stop using the Rosemary


Conley branding although they are hoping to licence the name in


future. There trying to find a buyer for part of the company at least so


it is likely to be a crucial month. Still to come: the row over


freemasonry that sparked a walk`out by county councillors.


And all set for a festival of cycling in Derbyshire. I'm off to


join the fun. A man has been charged with the


murder of a woman in the Normanton area of Derby. Yvette Hallsworth was


found dead on Sunday morning at the back of houses on Hartington Street.


The 36`year`old died of stab wounds. 18`year`old Mateusz Kosecki appeared


before magistrates in the city today and is due to appear again at


Nottingham Crown Court on Monday. A Nottinghamshire Police officer who


was sacked after he was wrongly convicted of rape has been


reinstated today. Trevor Gray was dismissed after being sentenced to


eight years for attacking a woman at her home. That conviction was later


quashed and he was subsequently cleared at a retrial. Yesterday, the


Police Appeals Tribunal ruled that Mr Gray could return to his job.


A teenager from Loughborough has denied preparing a terrorist attack


on his own home town. Today Michael Piggin told the Old


Bailey that he was influenced by the Columbine High School killers. But


he said he only wrote about repeating the attack as a way to


cope with bullying. Our social affairs correspondent, Jeremy Ball,


was in court and joins us from London. What happened today?


Today he was giving evidence for the first time in this trial. He went


into the witness box wearing an Arctic Monkeys t`shirt. And he


quietly took the jury through his side of the story, led by questions


from his barrister. The central plank of Michael Piggin's defence.


That he was simply a bullied teenager who fantasised about


killing as a coping mechanism. But who never intended to go through


with it. What did he say about the claim that


he planned to copy the notorious Columbine high school massacre?


Michael Piggin told the jury that he was influenced by the Columbine


killers. And he admitted that he felt sorry for them because, like


him, they'd been bullied. And he talked about a central piece of


evidence in this case. Detailed notes he wrote called Plans And


Tactics For Operation: The New Columbine. His barrister, Ali Bajwa


QC, asked, "Is this a genuine plan?" Michael Piggin replied, "Of course


not". And he was asked, "Did you approve of what they did?" The


teenager said, "Of course not, no". He also denied that he was serious


about attacking Loughborough mosque, and other targets that he'd named on


a hit`list. And what did he say about weapons


and videos that have been shown to the jury?


Well, he's denied stockpiling weapons for an attack. Instead, he


said he collected airguns and knives, because it was cool. And a


crossbow found by the police was a Christmas present from his nan. He


was also asked about this evidence. A petrol bomb test. He said that was


something he did with his friends, simply for entertainment. And


finally those videos where he made threats on behalf of the Urban


Revolutionary Army. Michael Piggin said they wanted to be seen as an


anti`extremist group, to defend people. But he suggested it was just


teenage bravado. He'll be back in the witness box next week, to face


questions from the prosecution. Anti`fracking campaigners have set


up an eco camp in Nottinghamshire. It's an attempt to block plans to


drill for shale gas at Daneshill, in the north of the county.


The campaigners claim the first application for underground fracking


in the East Midlands is now just weeks away. This report from the


Sunday Politics reporter Helen McCulloch.


In a wood in the north Nottinghamshire, a protest camp is


growing. Ic ame from Scotland and I heard they were setting up here and


I thought with the Robin Hood legends and stuff and the nature


reserve, this would be a good place to try to turn the tide. At the


moment, they are objecting to drilling to extract methane gas from


the coalbed below the ground. With this area potentially rich in shale


gas, it could soon become the next battle ground in the fight against


fracking. We have been told the first application in the East


Midlands could come as soon as the next two weeks. Protesters here are


making plans. Would you like some leaflets? Kat Boettge from the Green


Party is a regular visitor to the camp. She shares concerns voiced by


protesters here. We need strict regulations in place. It is a joke,


isn't it? An absolute joke. To produce 10% of the gas we need in


this country, we are talking about 300 wells every year for the next


ten years. That is 3000 wells drilled over ten years. You tell me


how you will regulate when you drill one mile down, turn left and drill


for another mile. How do you regulate that? But fracking


companies have the backing of the Prime Minister and are casting their


eyes over the East Midlands. The first thing is we have to explore


and establish the presence of shale and ascertain whether or not it is


economically attractive. That will entail at some point having to frack


the well in order to get the gas to flow. Our expectation is that


probably will occur sometime in 2015. Protesters are heading to the


region and the battle lines are being drawn.


And the issue will be debated on the Sunday Politics for the East


Midlands with MPs Jessica Lee and Jon Ashworth. Join Marie Ashby at


the later time of 2.30 this Sunday here on BBC One.


Plans to make it compulsory for councillors to declare if they're a


freemason has led to a walk`out by elected members at one authority.


The man behind the plan says it's to promote greater transparency. But


the Conservative group on Derbyshire County Council says the idea's been


poorly thought out. Simon Hare reports.


Conservative county councillors in Derbyshire walk out of this week's


full meeting of the authority. It follows a motion tabled by Labour's


Andy Botham who feels if she has to declare his membership of a trade


union, others should declare if they are a Freemason. The motion was


passed unanimously and supported by the third majority party. The


Conservatives have walked away and I don't know when they are coming


back. No one from the Conservative group was available for interview


but they made a statement saying that the motion had been thoroughly


worded and was unconstructive and they have not had the chance to


debate it properly. This solicitor has been a Freemason for 50 years.


He says it is nonpolitical and members cannot use it in their self


interest. We must declare an interest if any conflict arises. You


can't ask a Freemason to declare himself when he is involved in any


walk of life. Its ties to the human rights act. Freemasons are proud of


what we do and should promote it but if they are hiding behind secrecy


how can they do that? It will be taken to another council committee


before being confirmed as policy. Yesterday, we had a look inside


Derby's new partly completed velodrome. And it seems if you're a


serious cycling enthusiast or just want to get fitter this summer then


Derby and Derbyshire are the place to be.


Over 100 separate events will take place throughout the city and


county, in a festival of cycling. Some will be light` hearted ` a


celebration of old bikes, good food and fine wine. Others, more serious,


including the gruelling and ultra`competitive Tour de France.


James Roberson reports. Typical. You wait for one Olympian


and two come along at once. Annie Last, who did well at her mountain


biking event in the London Olympics knows all about the value of cycling


in the Peak District. She grew up there. Having great trails and


accessibility on my doorstep meant it was easy to get out and have


great fun and good training and bike riding. The Olympics have hugely


boosted cycling's popularity. Now dozens of events in Derbyshire at


this summer will raise its profile further and hopefully bring visitors


and money to the area. Tourism is already worth about ?1 billion per


annum here so it is big business. The range of events being staged


here over the summer are of national and international importance. It is


hugely important to the national park because this is a cycling


festival that celebrates the landscape, local food, local


communities and heritage. They will be focusing on well dressing, cheese


and the fantastic beer that comes from the Peak District and our


landscape. That's the great thing about it. But it's not just in the


Peak District. Both the opening of the new velodrome and a new bike hub


are happening in Derby this summer. We are very excited that the


velodrome is opening in Derby so that will add another facility to


claim we are a great place for cycling. The highlight must be the


Tour de France. Three times Paralympic gold medal winner Anthony


Katz from Derbyshire says in its brief visit to the Peak District,


the steepest path will be unmissable. Whether you know about


cycling or not, everyone knows the Tour de France. It is such a


spectacle and opportunity to see the best riders in the world going


through the area. Anyone who has the opportunity to have a look, you have


to take the opportunity. We are all set for a summer of cycling. I'm off


on a bicycle made for two, or maybe 3000, with a Paralympian on the


back. Coming later on the programme:


limbering up for the London Marathon.


Hundreds of East Midlanders will be taking part ` among them, our very


own Mel Coles. Find out why, later. And will it be perfect weather for


the marathon or outdoor plans this weekend? Your detailed forecast


shortly. First, Derby County could confirm


their place in the play`offs tomorrow at home to Huddersfield in


front of their home fans. For striker Johnny Russell it would be


so sweet after a tough season with three bad injuries in less than a


year. Kirsty Edwards reports. Just another day on the Derby


training ground but there's one player here who doesn't take a


minute for granted. Johnny Russell is all smiles now. Back in the team


and enjoying their great position in the league. In the past year, he


suffered three serious injuries. It has been a pretty rubbish year, to


be honest. I hadn't missed any games or training through injury and then


I had the leg breaks and a fractured cheekbone and all in the space of


about a year. The latest injury, a nasty fractured cheekbone, saw him


having to wear a protective mask for a while but not even that could


change his approach to the game. I would give 100%. I would never pull


out of a tackle or shy away from anything just because I'd been


injured before. He has been unlucky. His first game, he scored two goals


and breaks his leg. Comes back and gets another injury. He has been one


of the unluckiest players. When he is fit and playing he is a great


asset for us. He says this past year has been his most frustrating but


also the best. The dream of promotion is still very much alive.


Derby is a Premier League team so that's where we want to be. I signed


to be a part of the team that got us back up there. There is still a long


way to go but we feel we are in a good position and hopefully we can


go for it. Fingers crossed all the injuries are now well and truly


behind him. They come in threes, they say. Hopefully that's it done


with. So Derby up in third. Nottingham


Forest meanwhile are down in tenth place without a win in 11 games. But


they are still just four points off the playoff places and up against


QPR tomorrow. Caretaker manager Gary Brazil believes their luck will


change. It is frustrating because obviously when you are doing


something you want to do it well. There is definitely momentum on the


training ground and in the place. I think we need to that win to pick it


up and make it more visible to people outside the club who aren't


there day`to`day. In League One, Notts County continue


their battle to avoid the drop as they face Port Vale at Meadow Lane.


And Mansfield Town are at home to Rochdale.


Rugby, and Geoff Parling will be back in contention for the first


time in months as Tigers take on London Wasps. He has recovered from


a long term shoulder injury and joins Niall Morris on the bench.


In golf Nottinghamshire Lee Westwood is level par after the second round


in the US Masters. On to cycling, and the news that Sir


Dave Brailsford has stepped down as performance director for British


Cycling. Brailsford, from Derbyshire, led the GB team to


unprecedented success including eight gold medals in Beijing and the


London Olympics. After ten years in the role he is leaving to


concentrate on his work for Team Sky which he helped establish and led to


victory in the Tour de France with both Bradley Wiggins and Chris


Froome. What an ambassador for the area.


It's the London Marathon this weekend and hundreds of runners from


the East Midlands will be taking part, many of them raising money for


incredibly special causes. And that includes our very own


weather presenter, Mel Coles. Mel is raising money for a cause very close


to her heart. Also running for a personal reason is father of two


Andrew Dawkins. Sarah Teale has their stories.


A beautiful morning for a final training run for the big day itself.


East Midlands Today weather presenter Mel Coles will be


competing with thousands of others in the London Marathon on Sunday.


She has forecast a tough race but she will be spurred on by a very


special little girl. She is raising money for three`year`old Iris. She


suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy.


How much training have you done? A lot. It has taken every bit of spare


time. I've had to get out there and run and I know that her parents


would love to see her get up one more day. I think in those dark


moments where it has been painful or cold, to get out there on the start


line and be running for Iris means the world, actually. Raising money


for another incredibly personal cause is Andrew Dawkins from


Hucknall. He is running for his sons Freddie and Louie, the only


identical twins in the world with Batten disease. Now aged eight, they


are autistic and blind. Andrew is raising ?20,000 to fund critical


research. Looking for therapies which could come from different


parts of drugs treatment. That's what they're looking for, but


ultimately a cure. In the past four years, researchhas come on so much


more than we would ever imagine. We have hope now and we've got to fight


back. We're going to make a difference for our children and


other children with this disease. We are determined, aren't we? Yeah.


That is something that that Iris's parents can understand. Mel's


marathon run has already helped to raise almost ?4000 for the Muscular


Dystrophy Campaign. They are very close to breakthroughs on a lot of


research that is going on so it can make a huge difference to a lot of


people who do struggle and have quite bleak outlooks. It is hugely


important. Mel is hoping to complete the marathon in under four hours and


there is one factor which will help to put an extra spring in her step


along the route. Your husband is racing as well,


isn't he? How important is it that you beat him? Obviously, it is


critical. I have to beat him. And she will be backed every step of the


way by Iris and her family. Good luck, Mel!


Good luck to everyone who's running, including our athletes like


Paralympian Richard Whitehead and Leicester's long distance runner


Gemma Steel, who's competing in her first ever competitive marathon.


So many worthy fundraisers taking part like Ady Turton from Nottingham


who's running for Beating Bowel Cancer in memory of his mum and


grandfather. If Good luck also to Mansfield District Council


electrician Craig Stinson, Richard Norton who's running a year after


being in an accident at work and Stewart Sale who's running for Hope


Against Cancer. And shout`outs to Gareth Laking raising money for


Brake Road Safety, Colin Brown from Narborough running for the MS


Society, Amy Williams from Buxton competing for Cancer Research.


Send us your pictures too. We'd love to see them. You could put them on


our Facebook page. Time for the weather now.


It is not looking too bad for Sunday. We have some weather


pictures for you. Blue skies and cumulus clouds.


The weekend is looking largely dry with just a little bit of rain


tomorrow briefly. The cloud at the moment will melt away this evening


giving us clear skies through the night which will allow temperatures


to drop. We expect around six Celsius in towns and cities or two


or three Celsius in rural spots. In the Peak District you may get a


little frost. This weather front moves south east as we go through


the afternoon tomorrow bringing more cloud and sunlight, patchy rain for


a time. But it won't amount to much. Saturday starts bright and sunny.


First, we see high clouds developing making the sunshine hazy. Just a few


spots of rain in the afternoon but some of us will get away with a dry


day. A south`westerly breeze. Sunday looks like the sunniest day are of


the weekend. Dry on Sunday, broken cloud with sunshine. A bit more


fresh with the wind on Sunday. High pressure stays with us next week. So


good news for the school holidays. This time next week it is Good


Friday. Will you feel nervous


when this is unveiled? In 2013, the public voted for


a portrait of At times he's interesting,


at times he's very funny, My life is a very happy life


and I'm a very happy person. Will you feel nervous


when this is unveiled? I suppose being the centre


of attention but for ever.


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