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AstraZeneca as they compete over their to Cambridge. I think we could
be a really brilliant team. That is what the UK needs. We ask what
happened in the East the last time these `` to pharmaceutical giants
merge. We will be here later with the tale of two roads.
And the flowers of Flanders ` growers here take inspiration
from the Western front to mark the centenary of the war.
If you're a bio`scientist in Cambridgeshire,
Two of the biggest drugs companies in the world falling over themselves
to praise the city's qualitx of scientific research.
For a second day, the bosses of Pfizer and Astra
Zeneca addressed a parliamentary committee discussing the proposed
But it's not all good news, with Pfizer admitting that
if they win the battle therd would be job losses and a reduction in
Andrew Sinclair watched tod`y's developments at Westminster.
There is no doubt that Cambridge and its skill set is highly sought
after. What worries MPs is, will that skill set still be in Cambridge
in the same number as if the that skill set still be in Cambridge
in the same number as if thd merger in the same number as if thd merger
goes ahead? Pfizer have said they will be committed to Cambridge but
have not said how many staff there will employ. This is a company that
will employ. This is a comp`ny that is a very big employer in the
region. Once again, the team from region. Once again, the team from
Pfizer arrived at Westminster with the message that their mergdr
Pfizer arrived at Westminstdr with the message that their merger with
AstraZeneca would create a powerhouse of science, particularly
in Cambridge. The company rdvealed it was very impressed with oncology
research work, currently behng research work, currently being
undertaken by AstraZeneca staff in the city. That is a real core area
for us and it complements our strengths. We could be a re`lly
winning team putting the best of the two together. AstraZeneca fears that
two together. AstraZeneca fdars that work could move to America if Pfizer
work could move to America hf Pfizer takes over. Once again, a lot of the
questions focused on the detail Would there be fewer jobs in
Cambridge, less investment in the Cambridge, less investment in the
UK? The boss of Pfizer admitted there would be fewer staff hn the
there would be fewer staff in the whole company and less monex for
research, but he said that is happening across the industry. Even
AstraZeneca have shed staff. We are in an extremely competitive world
where governments around the world where governments around thd world
are requiring us to be more productive and efficient. Wd have
productive and efficient. We have two CR research in that point of
view. A more optimistic message from AstraZeneca. They removed it
Cambridge, they said, was underway. There are plans for the future were
There are plans for the futtre were to keep growing and investing in the
city. We are not moving to Cambridge and spending all this money
overnight to reduce the headcount. Cambridge is going to be a
fundamental part of the str`tegy. Cambridge is going to be a
fundamental part of the strategy. It fundamental part of the str`tegy. It
is at the heart of the science agenda. Pfizer says it can be more
specific about plans for Cambridge if it takes over the companx. Many
if it takes over the company. Many politicians and scientists remain
wary. Andrew, why are MPs so worrhed about
this proposed takeover? First of all, they are scarred by melories of
all, they are scarred by memories of the Cadbury 's takeover. Thd
all, they are scarred by melories of the Cadbury 's takeover. The other
the Cadbury 's takeover. Thd other reason is that this country's
economic policies based on the success of the so`called knowledge
economy. We're never going to be a big manufacturing nation ag`in
because we cannot compete with China because we cannot compete with China
and India. But we are very good at science and innovation. Govdrnment
policy has been to do all that is possible to encourage science to
Cambridge and the surrounding area. The problem we have is that science
likes to work in clusters. The worry is that if some of the AstraZeneca
is that if some of the Astr`Zeneca work starts to move to other parts
of the world, other companids in of the world, other companies in
Cambridge and surrounding areas may follow it. Then the worry is that
would be bad not just for the country's economy, but for the
economy of the region. That is why MPs are desperate to get sole sort
of firm reassurance from Pfhzer Thank you.
So what lessons can we learn from previous mega mergers?
Thirteen years ago, the pharmaceutical companies,
Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham, got together to become
After a few years, a major research site was closed.
Hundreds of jobs were lost, as our business correspondent
The East of England is home to what is arguably Europe's most important
is arguably Europe's most ilportant biotech and life sciences cluster.
It boasts more than 250 biotech companies, 100 medical technology
firms and 370 service organisations. firms and 370 service organisations.
It is all within a biotech golden triangle between London, Oxford and
Cambridge. The jewel in the crown would be the new AstraZenec`
would be the new AstraZeneca research and development centre in
Cambridge, due to open in 2016. But there is an equally important jewel
in Stevenage, the GlaxoSmithKline research Centre. This place employs
2300 people and has the job of developing the new drugs pipeline of
Britain's biggest pharmaceuticals company. Behind it is a story which
illustrates the dangers of megamergers in the drugs sector.
illustrates the dangers of megamergers in the drugs sector 13
megamergers in the drugs sector. 13 years ago, Glaxo merged with
SmithKline Beecham. SmithKlhne had a SmithKline Beecham. SmithKlhne had a
major research Centre in Harlow. major research Centre in Harlow.
After a few years, the largdst park After a few years, the largdst park
was closed with the loss of 380 jobs. It shows how difficult it is
to avoid job cuts, even if xou jobs. It shows how difficult it is
to avoid job cuts, even if you have to avoid job cuts, even if xou have
a national merger among two British companies. It is very difficult to
make commitments in advance because you need to give companies the
flexibility to adjust to ch`nging circumstances. And if those
circumstances call for a job cuts, it is often the junior partner who
suffers. Has Harlow recovered since? There are green shoots. As one of
the enterprise zones in the country, we are trying very hard to dntice
companies to relocate to Harlow. We are hoping that eventually there
will be replaced. Harlow still bears will be replaced. Harlow still bears
the scars of a drugs merger. This flagship research building remains
empty as Pfizer's battle for AstraZeneca hots up, Cambridge will
be hoping to avoid a similar fate. A court has heard that two teenagers
were shot dead on a Milton Keynes Luton Crown Court was told both
victims were shot in the head during the execution`style killing
in May two years ago. Two men have already been convicted
of murdering 19`year`old Mohammed Abdi Farah
and 18`year`old Amin Ahmed Ismail. Neil Bradford is at
Luton Crown Court. The prosecution say the mothve
in this case is a familiar one. Rivalry between criminals arising
from the trade of illegal drugs. In May 2011 Mohammed Farrah,
who was 19, and 18`year`old Amin Ahmed Ismail,
were both shot in the head `t close range, in an alleyway on thd
Fishermead estate in Milton Keynes. Today the jury heard
a 999 call made by a local resident, In the recording he tells the
operator he has heard two gunshots As the call continues,
a third shot is heard. The prosecution say it was
administered to ensure In the dock, the accused RA 26 of
Dutch national and a 20`year`old. Opening for the prosecution,
Jonathan Price QC told the jury that there was a chillingly brazen
there was a chillingly brazdn character to these murders. And the
man who died 999 had effecthvely man who died 999 had effecthvely
staged an execution. The prosecution say there are five men involved in
these shootings. Three have already been tried. Two have been found
guilty and another acquitted. The prosecution say they are all part of
the same gang. The jury were prosecution say they are all part of
the same gang. The jury were told that two days after the murder, one
of the defendants flew back to his native Holland. The other defendant
native Holland. The other ddfendant was arrested in 2011 but not
charged. When he found that he was not facing charges, he bought a
one`way ticket to Tanzania. He returned voluntarily in July
one`way ticket to Tanzania. He returned voluntarily in Julx of last
returned voluntarily in July of last year but was arrested at He`throw
year but was arrested at Heathrow and charged with the mark. Both say
they are not guilty and the case will continue tomorrow.
Part of Luton town centre w`s closed to traffic this afternoon
The A505 dual carriageway on Stuart Street was closed to allow
The accident happened at the Castle Street Roundabout.
The cyclist, a man in his late 40s, became trapped underneath the car.
His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
It's been described as the key to the regeneration
The new Corby link road opens in just nine days.
With the closure of Solway Foods and the loss of over 900 jobs, the need
to attract more companies into the town is more pressing than ever.
Today Stuart Ratcliffe became one of the first people to drivd over
In its short life, this road has already attracted its fair share of
attention. Its first salt was cut already attracted its fair share of
attention. Its first salt w`s cut by attention. Its first salt was cut by
the transport minister. Then it took centre stage at the Corby
by`election. Now it is gearing up by`election. Now it is gearhng up
for its key role, to regenerate Corby's economy. It will cldarly
encourage business to go into Corby and maintain its regeneration and
future prosperity, hopefully, and maintain its regeneration and
future prosperity, hopefullx, and growth in the area. The new road
links Corby to Kettering. This is where the new road really whll make
where the new road really will make a difference. This is home to
Corby's euro hope, a large collection of distribution centres.
Very shortly, lorries from there will no longer have two trundle down
the winding road, but will be able to join this new dual carri`geway
taking them to Kettering. The road has cost ?34 million and is just
four miles long but is dual carriageway throughout. The current
route is nearly six miles long, single carriageway and takes traffic
through picturesque villages. It has taken two years to build. With a
wash`out summer of 2012 and this winter being one of the wettest on
record, at one point this project was behind schedule. It was day by
day, are we going to get on, or are we not going to get on? There is
still plenty of work to do on site. Contractors say they are now on`time
and on budget and the road will be ready for its grand opening on the
23rd of May. In football,
Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson blamed his side's poor finishing
for their League One play`off defeat Posh lost 2`1 ` 3`2 on aggregate `
their only goal coming yestdrday from Conor Washington
in injury time. Ferguson admitted his side lacked
the clinical edge over the two legs. It means a second season in League
One for Posh after their relegation Now it's over to Stewart and Susie
for the rest of the programme. A five day weather forecast
to make you smile. Plus a war`time floral tribtte,
inspired by the fields of Flanders. The government has dropped
its strongest hint yet that it is taking steps towards upgradhng one
of the region's busiest roads. Campaigners welcomed comments
at a Parliamentary debate, which could pave the way
for dualling of the A47. The road runs from Great Yarmouth
through Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to Peterborough and the Midlands,
but less than half is dual Today, local MPs raised the state
of the road in Parliament and said unless it is improved drivers
and businesses will continud to If ministers had an open
cheque`book, perhaps the entire stretch of the A47 would be drilled.
Realistically, it is not going to Realistically, it is not gohng to
happen. That said, the government did these local MPs and said that if
you come back in the autumn I made sure you something that will make
you smile. For Dennis, an upgrade to the A47
can't come soon enough. It would save us a good 30,
45 minutes just to get to the A1. His boss runs 23 lorries
from his base near King's Lxnn. A dual carriageway would improve
fuel economy On single carriageway,
our trucks stick to 40mph, It would improve times
and efficiency. An all too familiar sight,
the sheer weight And so today, local MPs queued up
like cars to echo what local An upgrade to this
over`crowded road. I suggest that he does make sure he
gets it in place for the We will have completed stagd two
by the end of July and will be ready to make announcements by thd end
of the Autumn Statement. Campaigners say
the improvements would, within 20 years, generate 10,00 new
jobs and increase economic output From an economic perspectivd
that really is quite expensive. The best we can hope
for is a section between King's Lynn And perhaps reassure
safety campaigners. In Norfolk alone last month,
there was one death and fivd You do get instances, appro`ching
the end of the dual carriageway, When it goes to single,
there can be collisions. It's ended up with
fatal consequences. The chancellor outlined in the
Autumn Statement how much he would Autumn Statement how much hd would
pay towards the day of the road It will come just six months before a
general election. The money is not on the table yet.
A week tomorrow, people from all over Europe will bd casting
Those MEPs will represent half a billion people.
In our region, the electorate will include
thousands of migrant workers, living and paying their way here.
vote in the regional poll, or cast their vote at home.
Today, we spoke to members of the Polish community in Petdrborough
Joanna has been here for seven years.
Britain has given her opportunities Poland never could.
One reason why our Euro MPs will get her vote.
I think I will vote for the British list.
I've lived here for so many years and local matters are more important
All EU citizens have the right to vote, either in the country they
came from, or where they live now, making potentially rich pickings
Figures show that across Peterborough more than
125,000 people can vote in the European elections.
More than 10,000 have moved here from another European country.
But half of those said that rather than vote in their own country, they
At Peterborough's Polish ex`servicemen's club,
a veteran who settled here after the Second World War says it's vital
Isn't it better to achieve the goal of unity?
Instead of on the end of a bomb, or by killing people?
I can't imagine someone would ask me to leave the country
I can't imagine I could be sent back to Poland
because I couldn't find myself in the country I used to live!
A snapshot of the region's tourism industry has revealed the hhghest
The latest quarterly report covering Suffolk and Norfolk shows that firms
are reporting more visits to the region, compared to
And bookings for the early summer are already well up on last year.
And all of that means growing confidence in an industry, which
pumps about ?7 billion into the economy of this region everx year.
If you're looking for reasons why this region is such
a target for tourism, look no further than Lavenh`m
in Suffolk ` recently ranked in the top 20 places in the UK to visit.
This is Shilling Grange ` where 'Twinkle, Twinkle,
The owner has just started ` new B here with his wife.
All of our guests come here and spend money,
If you keep the village alive, more people come back.
It's a ball that's rolling `ll the time.
70 miles away on the coast, the holiday giant Warner Leisure
Hotels has invested heavily in this complex for the over 50s.
A large percentage come back for a second time so we know they like it.
Last year we invested ?2.6 million and we want to invest
The feel good factor isn't restricted to just a few.
The industry is seeing an improvement in positivitx.
An increase in customer numbers and spend.
Tourism is worth over ?7 billion to East Anglia.
In cycling, the spectacle of the women's tour gave this region
publicity and the BBC progr`mme Spring Watch should do the same.
There is momentum, but to ststain it, we need more investment
Think of the First World War and one symbol springs to mind ` the poppy.
A wild flower, it grew in Flanders amidst
Now a nursery in Norfolk has used those same wild flowers to help
the people of Guernsey mark the centenary of the war.
They have sent hundreds of plants to the Channel Islands
for a special display called the Flowers of Flanders.
Linda is passionate about wild flowers.
Her company grows two million every year.
She was given a brief ` go to Flanders, find the wild
flowers of the trenches, grow them and then send them to Guernsey for
We've got daisies which are flowering all over
We also had others flowering everywhere, and the poppy.
Linda's flowers have found ` home in St Peter Port,
The display was unveiled at the weekend by the island's governor,
in memory of the 2,000 Guernseymen who fought on the Western Front
There are buttercups, daisids, thrift and many more.
One of the plants we took, Heartsease,
Its name suggests it was meant to heal a broken heart.
They would have it in posies and grow it in the gardens.
Lots of broken hearts during the wars!
Numbers of wild flowers are declining.
Linda wants her passion to be shared by everyone.
You need the plants to have the insects and the birds.
It's important that they do know, otherwise they'll grow up
Linda's Guernsey displays aren't at their best just yet,
A colourful reminder of the flowers of Flanders.
This is a beautiful scene. Thank you for the photograph. It was a
This is a beautiful scene. Thank you for the photograph. It was ` chilly
start to the day. There was a swing in temperatures. 18 Celsius. It is
going to continue to warm up during the week. At some point this week,
five Freddy, it will look like the week. At some point this week,
five Freddy, it will look lhke some five Freddy, it will look lhke some
places will record highs of 23 Celsius. The cloud should mhlk away.
Celsius. The cloud should milk away. Some chilly temperatures and
poisons. Down to 67 Celsius. The temperatures are not expectdd to go
temperatures are not expected to go quite as more as last night. It is
looking like a warm and bright day. There will be a bit more close
around, but enjoy the sunshhne in the morning. The cloud will tend to
build`up. When we get the stnshine build`up. When we get the stnshine
in the morning it will make things warm up quickly. 17 or 18 ddgrees.
warm up quickly. 17 or 18 degrees. In the afternoon at staying dry and
warm. It will be a cloudy. Towards the end of the week there is high
pressure. It might something is a little cloudy. But it should not
spoil the weekend. Before then, someone temperatures. A bit of close
building on the afternoon on Saturday. It should be later in the
day. Increasing amounts of cloud for Sunday but 31. That sounds lovely.
See you tomorrow. Europe. A community of nations
which can do no wrong. A perfect brotherhood
in which we all share. the benefits are obvious to
being in... Hampering a British recovery
and harping on about climate change. It's time to get out,
it's time to get... It's almost 20 years
since we won Eurovision,