28/06/2011 Midlands Today


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Welcome to Midlands Today. They headlines: Cost of the strike,


market traders say they will lose �5 million if there is a walkout on


Thursday. Our customers will just come and not know what is going on,


especially the people that come on a Thursday. He saved by the surgeon,


the teenager who was stabbed to trying to protect as stranger.


At the moment and I am feeling quite well. A bad day on the High


Street as another famous name faces administration.


And European speedway is most exciting rider on his new role in


Good evening. In less than 48 hours a strike by public sector workers


will bring disruption right across the region. Members of the National


Union of Teachers, The Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the


Public and Commercial Services are striking against pension changes


that will mean working longer and paying more.


Passengers at Birmingham airport could face delays as customs and


immigration officers walkout. Some courts are likely to close and


driving Test could be cancelled. Meanwhile, traders at Birmingham


wholesale markets say up to �5 million will be lost and tons of


food wasted. If it is a separate dispute, but


timed to coincide with the national strikes. Ben Godfrey has been


finding out the impact could be devastating.


It is thought 1000 traders use Birmingham wholesale market


sourcing and then selling produce two businesses across the region,


but the menu at your local restaurant could look lighter as


strike action looms on Thursday. They have businesses to run and


families to feed. Closing the market is not helping. We shall


lose a day's work for no reason. surely they can put a skeleton


staff on. This sprawling site is run by Birmingham City Sam --


Birmingham City Council will also shut but Bullring 24 hours. That is


because cleaners are to strike over pay and conditions and the so-


called Birmingham contract. Trade union says staff are being


asked to sign agreements that break The authority says the contract is


fair and necessary. The market closure well, according to traders,


result and �5 million loss in trade. Workers are unhappy because wage


still has to be paid. There will be impact around to the Bullring.


There will be 100 lorries with no way to go. Birmingham City Council


say they have given traders advance warning. Consider this, they are


already mangoes from Pakistan, flowers from the Channel Island,


Mead from Ireland and fish from Spain.


Traders say they only had about this this morning. They are now


expecting lines of banners at bringing food from around the world


if the traders will not be about to sell. They say, he would want to


eat it? In the last hour, traders have


obtained an injunction to try to prevent the closure of the


wholesale market. Birmingham City Council says it is seeking legal


opinion about its position. The greatest impact of Thursdays


strikes will be on schools. The picture is still developing, but so


far this is how it looks. And Worcestershire, 100 schools are


to close. Birmingham says at least 200


schools will close. Staffordshire, the figure so far is


14. Although that is certain to rise as more headteachers notify


the local authority of closure plans.


There was no sitting on the fence this morning amongst parents


outside this Stoke-on-Trent school. They were either for or against


says a strike in almost equal measure.


You can understand them, but look at the holidays they have. I do


know teachers and I think they need to strike. It is the biggest


national teachers' strike in 25 years. Packmoor Primary is one of


the dozen schools affected. I do find it quite disrupting to the


children. I can't see the government taking a backward step


on it. It is a deep thing, isn't it? Money. These were the scenes in


Birmingham today. Dozens protesting ahead of the strikes and in no mood


for compromise. I am here today because David Cameron is the head


of the government that is attacking our public services need less sleep.


We need to make sure there are enough jobs and pensions for people


to have a sustainable life. If we don't stand up and make a stand, we


do not have a say. A lecturer believes the strikes could go on


for months. If the teachers have a pay freeze and inflation is 5%,


many workers will have had a pay cut by 12%. I believe that anger


and anxiety will mount up. The government would do well to take


note of what is happening. That Fairfax School, the strike started


two days early. Teachers here are angry at plans to turn it into an


academy, but these are the scenes that will be replicated across the


region on Thursday. The local government secretary,


Eric Pickles, said there was no reason for the strikes to go ahead.


It seems to me to be not a sensible or serious thing to do. The we are


there to do something to correct unfairness in this country. We


can't continue as we are, thank goodness people are living longer


so people will have to retire a little bit later.


Byron joined now by the newly elected President of UNISON. UNISON


is not involved in thus strikes on Thursday, it is very likely it will


be later. Do you think you'll have support? I do believe we will. The


public can see for themselves that the services that they want could


be eroded or disappear, that is not what they want. I feel that they do


want to support us. Thousands of people in the private sector have


had their pay frozen, cut, they have sinned pensions changed,


surely there is not going to be that much sympathy for you?


The thing is, in that way, the private sector it is not a right,


is it? We would love to support them in the way that they will


support us. Just because one group has been eroded, you do not want to


do it to the next. We support the private sector in fighting to keep


pensions in the same way that we have. As you know, the nation's


finances are in a mess. The coalition has did do something or


we could end up like Greece. There are alternatives. There is the


Robin tax. There is tax on the bankers bonus. Nobody has talked


about how those bankers are still getting their money than they we


have paid into it. This is what it is about, the deficit we are having


to pay and the bankers getting away with it. How conscious are you that


some Labour MPs are saying to be cautious? There always is a case of


that because they have to be mindful of having public opinion.


And responsibility? Yes, in the same way that we are. We are not


doing this lightly. It is the last resort. People going on strike at


this moment are realising they are striking and not getting paid. They


really strongly believe that the pension, which we have all paid


into, is going to disappear. Thank you very much.


We would like to hear what you think about the strikes. Do you


sympathise? Or de you feel they should carry on working and face up


to what the government calls economic reality?


For the very latest information on school closures in your area, tune


into your local radio station. Good to have you with this. Later


on the programme: Hundreds of thousands of precious books and


artifacts packed up as Birmingham library gets ready for its big blue.


Before that, an update on a story we told you last month about a


former policeman and his son who was stabbed outside their home.


They try to protect a stranger who ran their for help.


Martin Thompson described the ordeal while his son Edward made


ill in hospital. 18 year-old Edward has been recovering well. Even


though he nearly lost his life, he told our reporter he would do the


same thing again. 18 year-old Edward Thompson looks


like any ordinary teenager. It is hard to believe five weeks ago he


was fighting for his life. Edward and his dad are having a quiet


evening in when a youth sought refuge in their home.


It was right between the shoulder blades.


Minutes later both bad and son were stabbed. Edwards suffered the worst


injuries. A punctured lung and four days in intensive care.


I knew it was pretty serious because my dad could not stop


talking to me. When he told me what happened he said I was close to


death. It was such a shock. Martin was also stabbed in his side and


spent two days in hospital. Ironically he did not suffer a


scratch during 30 years as a policeman, but ended up being


knifed outside his front door. doctors say it was a matter of


inches. If it had gone a bit deeper or somewhere else, similar with me,


if if it had not gone into the part it had, I do not think either of us


would be here. The police have described this part of Birmingham


as a good community. All the more shocking that a teenager nearly


lost his life on his own doorstep. Edward has already had to cope with


losing his mother to cancer last year. He plans to study drama. Even


though this ordeal was a drama he could have done without, he says he


would still do the same. If anyone knocks on your door with their life


threatened, you will have the initiative to help them. Two people


have been charged with attempted murder and will eventually appear


in the Crown Court. Other news, the head teacher of a


Coventry primary-school says the death of a four year-old pupil has


come as a shock. The boy died while playing in a school playground at


Grange Hurst School. Despite efforts to revive him, he was


pronounced dead at hospital. The results of the post-mortem on not


yet known. Plans for a casino near Birmingham


have cleared another hurdle with the granting of a licence. It is


expected to form part of a larger development near their NEC. The


�120 million complex is expected to create 1000 jobs.


It was a bad day on the High Street as another chain across the region


warned it is about to call in the administrators.


Many smaller shopkeepers say they are also finding it difficult to


survive. Andy Newman reports from And this in a town which has had


more than its fair share of ups and downs. Kidderminster suffered its


first big hit in the late 1980s. Then it seemed to bounce back, but


now, like many other traditional centres, it is feeling the squeeze.


That will not be helped by the possible loss of another big name


from a high-street. TJ Hughes is the latest national clubs chain to


hit hard times. Its Kidderminster bad -- branch is one of the town's


biggest stores. In will not help the town at all if it closes.


a 33 years all retailing under his belt, he is one of the town's


oldest shop keepers. The High Street in Kidderminster is very


flat at the moment, there are a lot of empty shops, and there seemed to


be shops closing every week. I think really that the people who


own the property in Kidderminster, rather than leave them empty,


should reduce the rent and let them. If John is one of Kidderminster's


retailing veterans, Kevin is a new boy. He opened his shop just nine


months ago, and so far, he has not drawn a single hounding wagers.


has proven to be exceptionally difficult -- difficult. You just


about cover your bills. I think I am one of the lucky ones, there are


a lot out there that are not. Evidence of the unlucky ones is all


around him. His shop is surrounded by vacant units, as Kidderminster


tries to fight back. This Monday is a chance for local people to show


their support for local, independent retailers. Based on


today's experience, they need it. Joan Cummins is in Walsall. Empty


shops are a big issue there, aren't they?


Yes, TJ Hughes behind me came in here 18 months ago, filling the gap


that had been left by will works. The trouble here is that it has one


of our highest rates of empty shops in the region. About 27 %, beaten


only by West Bromwich. Adrian, you are from the council. Why is there


such a problem? One of the reasons is that a number of shops are being


redeveloped, because we did have prime mark and Co of coming back


into the town centre. But we have also had invest when 4th -- from


Marks and Spencers and Waterstone's. How about lowering the rents?


would be great if business rates could be dealt with by the


government to give an incentive for smaller retailers, and bigger ones


as well. Tesco had just opened a few months ago, creating hundreds


of jobs. That is what we need in this economy. A Walsall has more


empty shops and other places. Is it on its knees? No, it is not fair to


say that. But we do need a bit of a pick me up. We knew -- we do have


our new hotel being built, that is a real shot in the armed. We have


stopped traffic here tonight, showing that people do still come.


You just have to want to be here. Still to come tonight:


You may never have heard of him, but he's one of the biggest stars


in one of the most dangerous sports...And also perhaps the


region's super commuter. Rare collection of children's books


and games is carefully being prepared and packed ahead of a move


to Birmingham's new library. The items are worth millions of pounds


and will be an attraction as a new archive centre at the new library


which opens in two years' time. Lindsay Doyle has been to see the


Take a close look, this unique collection of children's books and


games is rarely seen. Hundreds of items, some dating back centuries,


are being packed away at Birmingham Central Library so that


conservation work can be carried out on them before they take pride


of place at the new Library of Birmingham, which opens in 2013.


will have storage that fits the value of these collections, and


enables them to keep them for generations to come. The storage


here is not that good. Conditions are not as good as we would like


them to be. We keep everything as well as we can, but it will be much


better in the new library. The new �188 million library in Centenary


Square is likely to become a major cultural destinations. With 10


levels, it will be connected to the Birmingham Rep, bringing together


the written and spoken word through drama, poetry and performance. And


archive centre will house many of the city's most valuable treasures,


leaving millions of books, photographs and collections will be


on show for the first time. Many of the gains in the collection are


educational, such as this one, which points out stew children


which professions were considered to be used well. The farmer, a


butcher, the dance master and the poet are not thought to be so


useful! I have a strong feeling that broadcasters would have been


considered to be useless! It was donated by private collectors in


the 1950s. It is amongst the first to be restored in order for it to


continue to bring to life that children of long ago.


Birmingham City have begun to sell some of their star names. Cameron


Jerome and Scott Dunn could be on their way out. They could be about


to sell three players to help balance the books after relegation.


Craig Gardner is close to sealing a �6 million move to Sunderland.


Scott Stam and Cameron Jerome could both be moving to Stoke City.


There could be a takeover on the cards at Coventry City. Joe Elliott,


seen here on the left, has been asked to step down following an


approach from for much vice chairman Gary Hoffman. The club say


they have yet to receive a bid. 5,000 people have registered for


this year's Birmingham have Marathon. From now on, it will be


known as the Great Birmingham Run. It has a limit of 15,000 runners


and will take place on 23rd October. Just four months ago, speedway fans


feared that the Coventry Bees had been forced out of the Elite League.


Then, a compromise was reached with the sport's Daventry -- governing


bodies. Now, they have signed arguably the most exciting rider in


Europe. Never seen before on the back lawn


of a suburban semi-detached house in Coventry. At I am from Russia, I


am riding for the Coventry Bees. One a Russian rider, one Polish


mechanic, and one fast bike. People say that Emil Sayfutdinov is the


rising star. He is a very good rider, he is aggressive and


competitive, and maybe one day he will be the world's champion.


he is enthusiastic, he is fast and he is good enough. Two have been in


the Grand Prix and the senior league is just about as good as it


can get. This is why he is such a big favourite. When the tapes go up,


his will to win takes over, often with spectacular results. In


Cardiff, this crash on the first bend proved costly. Much to his


frustration, he was excluded and finished 4th. He looked very angry


to be excluded. Yes, of course. But it is the referee's decision.


Signing Emil Sayfutdinov was a real boost for the Coventry Bees. He is


also pulling in the crowds all over Europe. On Sunday, he flew home to


compete in Poland. But he came back for last night's League meeting in


Wolverhampton. That is a taste of his busy life in the fast line.


Provided he does not lose his passport, he will make his home


debut for the Coventry Bees against King's Lynn on Friday night.


Back now to our top story, the public sector strikes now less than


48 hours away. Earlier we asked for your views and thanks to all of you


who got in touch. Michael Collins says strikes are


the only way to get people to listen.


Steve Grimsley has no sympathy for the union's claim for pension


rights from the taxpayer. Alan Henshaw emailed to say he


supports the strikes: 'The working people of this country did not


cause the financial crisis but they are being used as scapegoats'.


And a final word from Mark Flowers. 'The strike over pensions by


teachers and other public service workers is wrong. They should be


glad that they have pensions at all'.$$NEWLINE A look at tonight's


main headlines: David Cameron addressed Conference leaders in


Birmingham today, and appealed for the strike to be called off.


What is the mood there? It really does depend on which


council used be to. All the Conservative councillors are very


positive and are toeing the line that David Cameron was talking


about. But all that Labour councillors I had been speaking to


were negative. If some of them were saying that David Cameron was a


smoothing over the cracks in his policy, and saying that they have


real sympathy for the workers he will be going on strike. I enjoyed


by Philip Atkins. David Cameron was there talking about how this is


essential, and that this is fair. But for a public sector workers,


they are looking at working for a longer, paying more and getting


less. Do you have sympathy with them? I have sympathy with people


who are coming to terms with the fact that we are living longer, and


that the cost of that pension is going to cost the country more. And


then we have to think about how we get contributions, or whether we


work longer. The discussion has to take place. And I think that is


what the Prime Minister, it is the first time any Prime Minister has


come to their local government conference. That is what he meant.


There will be huge disruption. Should be government not give a bit


of ground? No, I do not think so. Eight is to bigger question to duck.


They could perhaps... I would make a plea that people think about the


effect of what they do. Nick Clegg takes the podium tomorrow.


You can read more about Thursday's national strike day on our


political editor Patrick Burns' political editor Patrick Burns'


blog. Now, a look at the weather. The


showers we have had over the last 24 hours have not been impressive.


Not much rain later this week, and temperatures by the weekend should


be rising, which is good news. The reason for this improvement is


because there is high pressure moving in from the South West by


Thursday. It will drop will winds in from be Warner place. Today, we


will see any remaining showers dying away. The cloud will begin to


break up and leave clear skies overnight. Temperatures dropping


down to secure the -- single figures, around eight or nine


degrees Celsius. Cooler tomorrow morning as well, but there will be


a lot of sunshine. Cloud will move in during the afternoon, that will


bring some showers as well. Temperatures rising to about 20


degrees Celsius, there will still be sunshine between they showers.


From Thursday on words, it starts to improve. Thursday may be a bit


cloudy, but temperatures around 18 degrees Celsius. Gradually climbing


to 22 degrees Celsius on Saturday, slightly above the average for the


A look at tonight's main headlines: A general strike in Greece turns


violent. Demonstrators oppose plans to raise taxes and cut spending.


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