17/06/2011 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today with Nick Owen and Suzanne Virdee.


The headlines tonight: Why was an inquiry into three deaths at a


hospital emergency department halted just one day after it


started? Alex McLeish finally swaps Blues for Villa, but will he win


over the fans? Until they're in place, you simply don't know. I


think Villa fans have to try and give him a chance. Salad crops


rotting in the fields through lack of demand, as farmers feel the


impact of the E-coli outbreak. And I follow three men from the


Midlands to Ireland for the World Good evening and welcome to


Friday's Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight, questions are being


asked about why an investigation into emergency care at a major


hospital halted the day after it started. The inquiry followed three


patient deaths at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in


Stoke-on-Trent. It was stopped by Cynthia Bower, the head of the Care


Quality Commission, whose job it is June Harriman seen here at her


daughter's wedding. The 52-year-old grandmother died in January 2009


after twice going to accident and emergency in Stoke-on-Trent. We can


reveal that her family has just received a six-figure sum in an out


of court settlement. She wouldn't have died if they had given her a


scan when she first attended A&E. They would have seen what was going


on in her head. She would have had an 80% of surviving if she had had


that scan. But problems with the accident and emergency department


had been identified at an urgent meeting before Mrs Harriman's death,


and again at a meeting three months afterwards. The minutes of that


meeting show there were three deaths and a near-miss. The Kerner


admitted concern over the death of a child and a man. Patients had


also been sent to a hospice with the wrong drugs and several


outbreaks of the norovirus bug. Heather Wood investigated and


uncovered the catastrophic failings at Stafford Hospital. She was at


the meeting about University Hospitals North Staffordshire where


a green light was given to begin an Cynthia Bower, the Head of the Care


Quality Commission, said she felt that they needed to tackle poor


care quickly. Investigations took to long. She felt that Working


together with parties was the best way forward. Campaigners disagree.


We are talking about very serious issues. People who died. People do


die. You have to be quite hard and disciplined. �2 million was then


invested in these facilities and doctors. The hospital's new


chairman says they had had long standing financial problems. This


organisation faces a major financial challenge. We have made


considerable progress. But we have also been clear that we need to


make sure that patient safety is paramount. This family now has


money, but wishes the money had been around when June Harriman


needed it most. University Hospital North Staffordshire accepts that


some aspects of Mrs Harriman's care did not meet the standards it would


have expected. The Trust has made significant changes to try to


prevent such a tragedy happening again. You're with Midlands Today


from the BBC. Still ahead, how the Government's drive to be green


could drive manufacturing here There are fears that manufacturing


jobs in the West Midlands could be lost because of the Government's


race to go green. Last month ministers unveiled tough new


targets on UK carbon emissions, but the Confederation of British


Industry is concerned it could drive some production out of the


It's a question that's been vexing people - and scientists - for well


over half a century. Nowadays, of course, scientists know a lot more


about our changing climate. There's still some debate about what's


causing that warming, and how much of it is down to greenhouse gas


emissions. But whatever your view on that argument, ministers say


it's time to take action. One of the normal standards is the 1961-


199030 year period. Compared to that we are about one degree warmer.


This means that we definitely have got this significantly so -- a


significant signal it is getting The Government admits its targets


are ambitious. We have to take our carbon emissions from 1990. By 2025


we have to have cut them in half. By 2050 they have to be reduced by


80%. For generations, businesses like this forge in Cradley Heath


have been the lifeblood of the West Midlands economy. The work here is


hard, and hot, and - crucially - it's massively energy intensive.


This firm has been here for 100 years. They still have to heed


metal still incredibly high temperatures. Bath takes a vast


amounts of energy. How well a company like this mid- 21st century


target. We have a duty not to wait energy. -- waste. We have replaced


one firm has already. That will save us �15,000 per year. To do


that for the rest of the furnaces, we're talking about an investment


of six figures. As a company just making profits again after three


very difficult years, we do not have the money. Ministers are


promising help for businesses struggling to cut their energy use,


plus there'll be a review of the targets in 2014. But business


leaders in the region say the Government needs to do more. When


he took power last year, David Cameron pledged he'd lead the


"greenest government ever". But as the West Midlands struggles to


recover from the economic downturn, there are fears that instead of


going green, some businesses might just pack up and go. We're joined


now by Richard Butler, regional director of the CBI. How bad and


effect will it have on businesses? It is likely to have a pretty major


impact. The region is still very reliant on manufacturing companies.


They used loss of energy. This is by the backdoor attacks on energy.


What can businesses do to help themselves? Industries and


companies have already tried to cut their energy use. They are


concerned that it is very difficult to cut back consumption Nani more.


-- anymore. If they want to do it, it is difficult to get money from


the bank. It is a popular thing to be green. But you say it is a bad


time to be green when we're coming from -- out of recession? Exactly.


The timing of this is really poor. If you combine this with other


countries in the world not going down the same route, the United


States, China, they are not going down the same route. We're in


danger of making West Midlands companies uncompetitive compared to


other companies elsewhere in the world. There are companies are good


did quite a lot. But Shakespeare, in the package, they cannot do very


much. We had a major energy conference in London this week. We


are maybe not seeking the Government to do a U-turn, but they


certainly to look at changing the legislation. To look at companies


on an individual basis. Bring in exemptions and rebates for certain


companies. And you can see more on this on The Politics Show on Sunday


at 12 noon, when Patrick Burns will also be finding out whether the


Government's new localism bill really will put power into the


hands of the people. A 16-year-old boy has been jailed for life for


murdering a young man found dead on his doorstep. The man was stabbed


in the heart last July in Erdington. His killer was told he will serve


at least 14 years. A former soldier has appeared in court charged in


connection with an arson attack at a mosque in Stoke-on-Trent. Simon


Beech pleaded not guilty to three charges. He was a serving soldier


at the time of the fire, but he was discharged by the 2nd Battalion,


the Yorkshire Regiment. A second man, Garreth Foster, also faces


three counts in connection with the attack. Both men are due to stand


trial in December. Shortly before nine o'clock this morning, it was


finally confirmed that former Birmingham City manager Alex


McLeish had become the new manager of their bitter rivals Aston Villa.


So how is the former Scotland boss going to win over the large number


of Villa fans who were opposed to his appointment? This is the


biggest decision that Randy Lerner has taken since he bought Aston


Villa. He's staking his previously glowing reputation with the Villa


fans on appointing the boss of their biggest rivals. And if he


wasn't sure how controversial it would be, he was left in no doubt


by Wednesday night's angry protests. So is there any way Alex McLeish


can win back the fans threatening to boycott the club? He is making


the right noises. Alec McLeish spoke about the fantastic heritage


of the club. He said, I can understand why the fans have voiced


concerns. It is down to me to convince them I am the right man to


drive the plot forward. Jonathan Fear runs a popular internet forum


for Villa fans. He believes McLeish can turn supporter opinion around.


He has got to spend well. He has to convince Stewart Downing to stay,


make sure Darren Bent is happy. Settle down the dressing room. Get


rid of those not fighting for the cause and then start winning games.


It is all about results. McLeish spent five years managing Rangers,


and being an Old Firm boss should prepare you for anything. So do


those who followed his fortunes in Scotland think he can cope with the


pressure? If you come from Glasgow and have been manager of Rangers


and have been a player on the Alex Ferguson, and you managed to


dominate both Celtic and Rangers and take what you get from the


terraces, you have to be a strong- minded character. There's also the


ongoing anger from his jilted employers at St Andrew's, who say


they feel badly treated by McLeish and will pursue legal action. But


there was support for the new boss today from the most successful


manager in the Premier League. Sir Alex Ferguson says it doesn't


matter how many fans turn against McLeish "because the experience he


has got, believe me, he will prove that he can do the job". If he


fulfils that pledge this And you can see the full interviews


with both Roddy Forsyth and Jonathan Fear on our Facebook page.


Now let's cross live to Villa Park and Dan Pallett. Dan, angry scenes


at Villa Park this week - any sense that the anger is subsiding? Yes.


In general the supporters we spoke to today say they did not want him


in charge necessarily, but ultimately they are Aston Villa


supporters and they want the best thing for the club. The best way to


do that is to get behind Alex McLeish and the team. Others have


returned their season tickets. Not everybody is happy. The Internet


forums are now talking about being anti- Randy Lerner. There is a lot


of pressure. Randy Lerner really wanted Alex McLeish. Alex McLeish


needs to make a good start, and the fixture computer might have done


him some favours? Absolutely. Reasonably kind. Fulham away in the


first fixture. Back here against Blackburn Rovers and a home match


against Wolverhampton Wanderers. It could have been harder. If he gets


a few wins in those first two games, it will be a lot different. Should


they slip off, the fans are unhappy about the appointment, it cranks up


the pressure. We have to see how he gets on. He has eight weeks to get


his feet under the table. We will hear from him on Monday.


touched on Villa's opening games of the new season there. Elsewhere in


the Premier League, West Brom are at home on the first day of the new


season to the champions Manchester United, Stoke welcome Chelsea to


the Britannia, and Wolves travel to Blackburn. And there are two big


games to kick off the Championship, with Blues starting life after Alex


McLeish at Derby, while Coventry entertain Sven-Goran Eriksson's


Leicester. The fixtures from all 11 of our clubs can be found on the


BBC football website. Thanks for joining us here on Midlands Today.


Coming up, why hundreds of children joined together to recreate the


Shropshire Olympian Festival from 1864. There is rain in the forecast


for the weekend but it's not going to be a washout. Find out the drier


Farmers producing salad crops in the region are feeling the


financial impact of the E-coli outbreak in Germany which has


killed more than 30 people. Crops are rotting in fields, as cheap


foreign imports flood the market. The National Farmers Union say it's


costing the industry millions of pounds. It's the height of the


British salad season and the crop pickers are busy at work on


Valefresco in Hampton Lucy in Warwickshire. But not far away is a


field where the lettuces have been left to rot. We can put a brave


face on this but we have definitely seen a downturn in sales. We cannot


quite pinpoint what is causing it. This is why, according to the


National Farmers Union. It began with the very public destruction of


Spanish cucumbers wrongly blamed for the German E-coli outbreak, and


it led to tonnes of foreign produce flooding the market. There has been


a lot of produce not sold in Germany and not been exported to


countries like Russia. You have got a couple of countries worth of


fresh produce that has been floating around the EU trying to


find a market. That theory was borne out by a trip to Birmingham's


fruit and veg market. You can buy a box of tomatoes for a pound from


Spain. You can buy three cucumbers for �1. But not all of the shoppers


though were tempted by that. There is local carrots, cabbage, cucumber.


I shop regularly at the market and everything here is absolutely


splendid. Even so, the NFU say the German E-coli outbreak has cost


British salad farmers �2.5 million pounds so far and it's getting


worse. To give you some idea of the drop in sales, normally at this


time of year there would be six of these trailers out in the fields


being filled with lettuces. Today there are four. You're here in a


lovely field of letters, nothing to do with Germany. You seem to be


paying the price? Exactly. You have hit the nail on the head. All of


the safety quality assurance systems we have in place, we know


that Anne food is probably the safest in the world. -- our food.


The NFU say they hope to access an EU compensation fund to help the


farmers here who've lost out. With lamb prices at their highest levels


since the seventies, sheep farmers finally have something to celebrate


after a decade largely spent fighting off the effects of foot


and mouth and the blue tongue outbreak. It's against that


backdrop that the Three Counties Show opened in the shadows of the


Malvern Hills today. And Joanne Writtle is there now. There is more


cattle here than any of are time. Dozens of different breeds. --


other time. The sheep farmers are turning their back. Demand for


export lamb is high. But sheep numbers are down after a decade of


hardship. Sheep farmers gathered in the shadow of the Malvern Hills


with something to celebrate. Five years ago lamb prices were �35.


They are now �85. We are receiving good prices but costs are going up.


Margins to remain tight. Prices are good. We have not seen prices like


this for 25 years. It is being driven by a strong export market


into Europe. There are other factors. Sheep numbers are down.


Demand has increased and prices are hive. Farmers are cautious. It is


buoyant but the costs are increasing. Feeding is increasing.


Fertiliser prices has increased. And fuel is increasing. Not such


good news for consumers. UK consumption of lamb has dropped by


20%. At this shop, the price is up by a �5 per kilo. Last year we were


probably buying 12-15 lambs per week. That is down to 628. They are


so expensive. -- 628 lambs. I have to think about buying it now.


has increased. But I have bought it for barbecues and special occasions.


The 900 cattle at the show is a record. It is big business for


exhibitors. It is an opportunity to push out your wares. Obviously


people in the leisure industry can link in with our work. Visitors


come from all over the world. There is a lot more for them to see.


Visitors are being treated to a spectacle of entertainment. The


show is aimed at farming, food and the countryside. This show


generates around �15 million for the local economy. For the farmers,


it is their shop window and the chance to display their hard work.


95,000 visitors are expected. The show is on until Sunday. And all of


the cows, did you notice, are lying down. That means bad weather. I


think it is because it is the start of the weekend and they are


relaxing! On Monday's Midlands Today we met three golfers from


Staffordshire who were all facing the biggest challenge of their


sporting lives. Terry Adnams, Norman Kelly and David Bailey have


been competing in the One-Armed Golf Championships in Ireland this


week, taking on the best players in the world. Ian Winter reports. On


the River Boyne in County Meath, with trim Castle largest in Ireland,


the setting for the film Braveheart. Half-a-mile away I found some of


that same fighting spirit were three men from the Midlands are


competing against some of the world's finest one-armed golfers.


Terry Adnams cannot quite believe he is here. In June 1993 Terry lost


his right arm in a car crash. Naturally he feared his sporting


days may be over. The 18 years later he is making his debut at the


World one-armed golf Championships. Countless hours of dedicated


practice have paid off. For Terry, simply competing in it is world


class company is a personal triumph. I did not really believe that one-


armed golfers could play to the standard these guys can play at.


You have players from all over the place on 6, 7 and 8 handicaps.


Watch closely. This is what Terry is talking about. Alex from Sweden


has a handicap of six. Such as Alastair from Tasmania. 250 yards


down the Ferrer. Those of us to hit -- struggle be hit a golf ball with


two arms, can only admire the skill. I was knocked down by a drunk


driver a number of years ago and had my arm amputated. I had not


played golf before the accident. Goth introduced me to


rehabilitation. It has given me a great focus on life. Michael


O'Grady has won the world title twice before. He is playing David


Bailey from Lichfield for a place in the quarter-finals. Dock became


his passion when he lost his arm in a motorcycle accident at 18. --


golf. He is good, very good, but not good enough to beat his high


res opponent. What has been the most enjoyable week -- thing about


this week? Beginners'! Meeting up with some old friends. -- beginners.


Success in the veterans from Norman Caly from Staffordshire. And a big


surprise for Terry Adnams. Not quite good enough to win the world


title, but a hard-earned trophy which he would defend at the 75th


weren't -- one-armed Championships They had a fabulous time. Well done.


Remarkable, the strength and the control. Astonishing. Now as the


countdown to London 2012 continues, children from across Shropshire


have been learning all about the county's connection to the Olympic


Games. For the first time since 1864, The Shropshire Olympian


Festival has been re-created. Limbering up for a festival of fun,


more than 2000 children from 40 schools across Shropshire have been


learning all about the history of the Olympic Games for the last six


months. I did not know that it was invented. It was just one man. He


wanted to make everybody healthy. We are going to watch the Olympics


in London. Nearby Much Wenlock is the town which inspired the modern


Olympics. The Shropshire Olympian Festival came from Wenlock here to


the Quarry in Shrewsbury in 1864. Today is the first time since it's


been recreated. It is the Cultural Olympiad. This is part of the


celebration. This starts an entire year of celebration. It was a


chance to celebrate the sport, arts and skills of the Victorian era,


but with a modern twist. The traditional piglet catching race


became pig shot putt, and the children couldn't run quickly


enough to scoop up their spuds. Providing inspiration was three


times Olympic champion Dave Moorcroft, who's heading the West


Midlands London 2012 campaign. is great for me having been 23


Olympic Games to know that the modern Olympics began here and


these children are having their Olympic moment today. So just like


the Olympics. Medals were awarded and the children got their chance


to shine. And just like the athletes representing their


countries, the children were proud to represent their schools. Well,


the celebrations are continuing all weekend. On Sunday there's a big


closing ceremony with a thousand- strong choir singing the Olympian


Festival anthem. And of course everyone is being invited to attend


It is all very sporty tonight. We It is not looking too bad for the


weekend. But back to this evening. Tonight it is wet and breezy. That


is because of the rain. It has been patchy through the afternoon. It


will become more persistent tonight before clearing away. We are


looking at lows of around 11 Celsius overnight. It is not too


cold. Going into tomorrow, clear spells behind. Sunshine and showers


at the weekend. Some Sunny spells on Saturday. The showers likely to


be heavy. On Sunday, there will be fewer showers. Breezy with highs of


18 Celsius tomorrow. In the sunshine it will feel fairly


pleasant. As we go into Saturday night, we will see those showers


clearing away. Another mild night. Lowe's into double figures of


around 11 Celsius. -- lows. Sunday will see fewer showers because


there is a ridge of high pressure. It will feel warmer. It is drier,


too. Low-pressure returns on Monday. That means the return of more


unsettled weather. You can keep up with the latest weather updates on


your local radio stations and on A look at tonight's main headlines:


Public sector unions threaten mass walkouts over pay freezes and


proposals to raise the retirement age to 66. And here questions are


being asked after an investigation into the running of a hospital


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