06/07/2011 Midlands Today


The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 06/07/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines...


Calls for Government help to create 10,000 jobs in an area where 10 %


of the workforce is unemployed. I am encouraged by the real sense


of leadership and ambition. As fire services look to make big


cuts, how one brigade has managed it already, they say without


putting lives at risk. Can generous Midlanders do it again,


after raising millions for Pakistan, a fresh appeal for famine victims


in Africa. And found by a man with at a metal


detector - after the Staffordshire Good evening. Welcome to


Wednesday's Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight, fighting to bring


thousands of jobs to Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, a Government


minister was today given the hard sell by business leaders desperate


to secure an Enterprise Zone for the area.


That could mean 10,000 new jobs as companies are attracted by lower


companies are attracted by lower business taxes and simpler rules to


stop the competition is fierce, with up to 25 areas in England


chasing 10 zones. Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire


have already missed out once, so will the Government now deliver a


The minister for business, innovation and skills being shown a


test-bed in Stafford. Mark Prisk is on a two day visit to the region


hearing about priorities for job creation and economic growth.


It is really about the ability to kick-start local economies and our


ambition to make sure we balance the economy so that we ensure that


not just services and the south- east, but the Midlands strength is


strengthened. In manufacturing and developing


power transmission, there has been investment in the past few years.


It is Stafford's biggest private sector employee-owned -- employer,


with 2,000 workers and more dependent on the factories and


laboratories. A in developing the complex systems


here, we require many components and products, and we reached out to


the local supply chains in the region and across the country.


This is one of the sites the local Enterprise Partnership hope will


become an Enterprise Zone. Entrap - - attracting employers back will be


the challenge. This is the first time for a generation we have had a


united and determined effort to bring certain businesses into these


three areas. Beforehand, it has been a mix-and-match, with


different councils wanting to do this, that or the other, but this


time we are acting together. There have been previous plans to bring


new economic life into sites such as this, but some experts are


sceptical of the ambitious targets. The Enterprise Zone is to encourage


companies to move there. We may get displacement across the southern


region. Companies already here just moving, and best is not additional


jobs. Transforming the economic landscape will not be easy. The


decision on whether it will be granted Enterprise Zone status will


be delivered by the end of the year. Emir, I spoke to one of the


region's MPs, John Whalley, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North. She


told me what she thought an Enterprise Zone would do for the


area. We need jobs, investment for the


area, and the tax and business rate incentives that would come from an


Enterprise Zone status. Do they really work? Two separate


think-tanks have said they are ineffective and expensive.


There is no one solution to how to get the investment we needed. There


is always a danger there could be displacement from Enterprise zones,


but now Enterprise zones are just about that the only show in town in


terms of getting extra support for job creation in stunt to -- Stoke-


on-Trent, and that is why I and my colleagues across the border are


doing all they can to press for the special status for North


Staffordshire and for this -- the three sites we have identified.


you have any doubts about the areas economic potential?


Are we are looking for sustainable development. We are looking to


attract been technological industries. We want a whole series


of people to come and invest in Stoke-on-Trent. We have a transport


infrastructure, a skilled workforce and an Enterprise Department


working with all local councils to do everything we possibly can to


get Government support for this job creation that is so urgently needed.


Do you really have a skilled workforce? 10% are out of work.


We have people needing jobs, and we have a dedicated and a loyal


workforce. The people of North Staffordshire need this investment.


Joanne Whalley, talking to us earlier from Westminster.


Still ahead... 30 years of the Lichfield Festival, but what is the


Up to 120 library staff could lose their jobs as Warwickshire County


Council tries to save millions of pounds. Staff were briefed today on


plans to make 50 full-time posts redundant. That is the equivalent


of between 80 and 121 jobs. It is hoped the staff can reduce their


hours or take voluntary redundancy. A 22-year-old man has been arrested


for aggravated trespass at a rock local -- aggravated trespass at an


open cast coal mine. Broadcasters have been at the site at UK Coal's


mind, and the company has been trying to remove protesters since


they set up in March last year. Fire brigades -- a fire service in


the region has managed to reduce its expenditure by �1 million in


the past year. A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue


Service attends on average 46 incidents every day. Fire bosses


say the cuts will not compromise community safety and have taken


advice from frontline firefighters. It is important to engage the


workforce, the people doing the job on a day-to-day basis, in that


change process. They see where the inefficiencies are.


The severs has a budget of �42 million per year and needs to save


�4 million over the next four years. The plan is ahead of Segel. I am


quite didn't we are going to make the savings required.


-- ahead of schedule. We will minimise the disruption to


the workforce, protect community safety and in no way compromised


firefighters safety. Area today, the service attended a


collapsed building in Stoke-on- Trent. One big cost-cutting


exercise is reducing the number of fire engines set out to false


alarms. Last year, the service attended more than 5004 farms. They


aim to reduce that by 2,000 this year. At a cost of �250 per call-


out, that will help to save �500,000 per year.


At Sandford community fire station, schoolchildren are being put


through a drill. The fire service say the role of the fire officer


and is changing, and it is now all about education and prevention.


were are all potentially at risk from fire in the home unless we


take simple steps. That is the type of education we


are delivering to young people, to community groups.


The service admits, with savings this large they will have to be job


cuts. Staff will also take a pay cut. It has actually been able to


increase the number of fire stations, from 30 to 33.


The levels of malnutrition among children fleeing Somalia's drought


could lead to agreement tragedy of unimaginable proportions. That is


according to the United Nations. It is the worst drought in 60 years,


and Birmingham aid workers are in Africa now helping with the belief


effort. Our correspondent is at the headquarters of Islamic Relief.


There is a 40,000 strong community from Somalia here in the Birmingham.


We are at one of the warehouses of Islamic Relief. These clothes will


be sent to charity shops across the country to raise their vital funds


needed to buy food, hygiene equipment, water and so on. I am


joined by Jenny Cosgrave from Islamic Relief, and Mohammed Sharif,


a Somalian community leader and analyst. Tell us what you are doing


to help? And Islamic Relief has been working


for many years in the region. We are making sure people have


access to clean and safe water. We have been providing 35,000 people


with clean water, seven litres per day that you need to survive. We


have also been providing food for around 21,000 people, and we have


also been making sure that over 1,300 women and young children have


access to medical care. Describe what their reaction is


within the Somali and community. The Somali people in Birmingham are


very sad and desperate about this campaign. It is horrific at the


moment, and they are thinking about the issue back home, discussing how


they can help. All of the Somalis coming into Birmingham are really


talking about the issue of the drought in Africa.


It is a huge talking-point. Islamic Relief have said an initial target


of �5 million, but of course the Pakistani and -- the Pakistan


appeal last year raised 30 million, so they are hoping to exceed


expectations. A rare collection of Roman coins


dating back well before the time of Christ is to go on show to the


public. They were found by a man using a metal detector. It is the


earliest Roman hoard ever found in the region.


Edge Hill in south Warwickshire, famous for one of the biggest


battles of the English Civil War, and now for the largest discovery


of Roman coins in the region. I have spoken to the person who found


them, who has asked to remain anonymous. He told BT was on the


way home, went the metal detector at me denies. -- he told me he was


on the way home. He said although he was grateful for the treasure,


this is about reminded us of the history of Warwickshire. Buried in


a pot for almost 2,000 years, some 1146 silver coins were uncovered.


Some of them were made almost 200 years before the birth of Christ.


After being verified and catalogued, they are about to be put on display


at the Warwickshire Museum. They told us it is the largest


hoard of early Roman coins in the West Midlands, and probably the


second largest in the country, so pretty significant for Warwickshire.


The detail is incredible, showing a range of Roman emperors, including


Julius Caesar and Emperor neo-. They are also revealing of the


obsession with animals and gods. One of my favourites is this coin,


dated around AD 45. The inscription on it means, we


came, we saw and be conquered. Although the Romans were none to


have some settlements in the county, and the discovery of this Roman


hoard has prompted more questions than answers.


It was a big saving, that is the intriguing thing, he put these


altogether and needed to bury them in the ground? Why did they not


come back? This weekend, the public will be given the first opportunity


to ponder the mystery of the coin treasurer and why it was buried in


A fascinating mystery! There's much more on our Facebook page.


Back in 1982, the relatively unknown acting trio of Stephen Fry,


Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson performed at a new arts event in


Staffordshire. Fast-forward to 2011 and the Lichfield Festival now


enjoys international acclaim. As it celebrates its 30th birthday, what


does the Festival mean to the cathedral city? Our correspondent


has spent the date there. It has been a day of frantic


preparations. It is the 30th Lichfield Festival. Things may be a


little quiet here now but it all begins in earnest tomorrow evening


with more than 500 artists due to perform here, it is promising to be


quite an event. 30 live size pigs, decorated by


schools and community groups to represent 30 years of the Lichfield


Festival. They have had two months to paint them and now they will be


around the city in different venues. There are 30 because it is the 30th


anniversary. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will play


tomorrow night and an opera singer will perform in the cathedral.


Across the city, more than 80 events will be taking place with


more than 500 artists appearing at theatres, hotels and in the streets.


The Staffordshire born poet Laureate to Carol Ann Duffy who is


appearing at the festival has written a special poem. Last year,


10,500 tickets were sold with more than 30,000 tickets attending. The


economic impact of the event is estimated to be around �1 million.


It is certainly something which dry spot for into the city centre to


the businesses, cafes, shops, hotels. It is certainly something


that is welcome for City traders in these tough times. It is one of the


busiest times. We have other festivals as well, but this does


generate a lot of income. It can only be good in this day and age.


Now, they see them here, they seek them there. If you see the festival


paid as he hides at various locations, you will be given two


tickets to the festival -- the festival paid for. I am joined by


the festival director now. It is the 30th anniversary, is it going


to be better? It is certainly going to be big. We have got a whole


range of things, orchestras, international musicians from all


around the world to celebrate with us in Lichfield. We have got


special guests, Michael Moore play ago. We have put many of his books


across the city for people to pick up and take 10. Carol Ann Duffy has


written a special poem. The film producer Lord Puttnam is coming and


also we have an array of world musicians, dancers, comedians and


authors. They are all coming here to celebrate. We also have free


events of people in the local community. There will be a market


this Saturday. Fireworks. And on the 17th, we will meet for a


special festival birthday party. People can come and join us for a


piece of cake and help us celebrate our birthday in style. They are


very important role the festival has for the City? It has an


important cultural role. And it was founded to bring high quality art


here. We also foster the skills of our children and local community.


Plenty of tickets left if you fancy coming along.


Still ahead, an ancient art from Pakistan. How taxi drivers here are


ditching their cabs and jumping on horseback to recreate the sport.


And reports of hail and thunder storms debate. Is there more to


come? -- thunderstorms to date. There is a big Olympic at the me in


sport are tonight. First of all, the opening instalment of what


could be another football transfers are good. It will get resolved


sooner or later. Aston Villa have turned down a �15 million bid from


Liverpool for their England players Stuart Downing. He was the player


of the year last season for Villa. He scored eight goals. He has got


two years left on his contract. It is believed that Villa would want


at least �19 million if they were to sell him. The London 2012


Olympic torch relay will be will be a celebration lasting 70 days. It


will start next May and 8000 people will get the chance to take part.


Their job is to carry the torch, being made in commentary.


-- in Coventry. For the first time in their lives, these bill bumph


from Edgewick Primary School -- these children from Edgewick


Primary School. The London 2012 torch will go on show in Coventry.


8000 more torches will be made, one for each torch-bearer in the relay.


I like it. It is a shiny fast up I like that it has got 8000 bits on


it. Someone else excited to see the taught his Phil Bouser with his son


Harry. He was a torch-bearer during the 2004 Athens Games and has the


souvenir to prove it. You never think you are going to be a torch-


bearer. It was probably the slowest 400 metres I have ever run. You


want to savour the moment. I think the Olympic torch symbolises so


much because the flame is the Olympic Games, probably more


powerful than the rings and other images, it is the flame that comes


from grease and line is the Olympic golden. Anyone can be nominated to


be part of the relay and one way of doing it is to climb into the back


of this Coventry made London taxi. That is what these people have done.


It looks good. Also there today, a man from the Coventry company which


has won the contract to make the thousands of tortures. There has


been so much bad publicity over the past 10 years with companies


closing, unemployment. People have said that Coventry has lost its


skills but they are still here. deadline for internet nomination


has now ended but there is another chance to nominate when the torch


for a Rolls into Cheltenham and Birmingham in August.


Eight athletes have returned home to the Midlands with medals from


the Special Olympics in Greece. The competition was hot, in more ways


than one. The British team were struck down by a nasty virus but


that did not stop them from being Athens Greece, 2011 Special


Olympics. The fireworks may have died, but listen carefully, it is


the jingle jangle of medal on medal. It is music to the ears of Richard


Murphy and Jamie Dancyger. Back home in Bromsgrove, they have just


come back from Athens, to share a host of memories and a clutch of


medals to celebrate their athletics success at the Special Olympics.


Did it live up to expectations? we were going to make history, have


the experience of our lives. Everyone's dream is to become a


world champion, to become the best of the best. We beat the best of


the best. We gave everything we ever had. He won ever forget it?


No Wave. I was almost crying. A great feeling. I cannot believe I


have done it. We met Richard and Jamie three weeks ago as they


prepare to join 7000 athletes with learning difficulties that the


Special Olympics. When they arrive, it was flaming hot and many of the


British team went down with a nasty virus. But nothing could one could


prevent Phil Bouser and Jamie Dancyger from winning medals.


proud moments. You are used to doing it locally, that is fine. But


doing it at a World Games, it is massive. A I am so proud. I was


hoping to get a medal and I did. I was so excited just to be there. A


great honour. They will never forget their Special Olympics


experience but tomorrow they are back to earth with a bump because


Thursday night is training night at the Rylands Centre in Bromsgrove.


Great to meet them. And Richard and Jamie were not the only medal


winners. There were gold medals for gymnasts Richard Hammond and Sarah


Whitehouse, Jane Hinett in the tennis and Briony Johnson in the


badminton. There was a silver for Gwillam Jones in the table tennis


and bronze for Darren Roberts in the badminton.


Well done to all of them. The latest call from Edgbaston in


the Twenty-20. Derbyshire made 162 for 5 in their 20 overs against


Warwickshire. A sport of a very different kind.


It is called tent-pegging and it dates back hundreds of years. It


originates from Pakistan and a group from Birmingham have decided


to try to keep the sport alive. It involves swapping taxis or courses.


Take a small group of cab drivers, give them some well-groomed horses,


add in some very sharp lances and you have got a piece of Pakistani


heritage being played out in a small corner of the Midlands.


This is the sport of tent-pegging, it dates back hundreds of years,


originating from h in military tactics. They used to come out at


night and they used to run, take the 10th, -- take the tent. The end


of the game is spot each rider to try and lance a wooden tent peg out


of the ground. Points are awarded for piercing, picking it up and


carrying a to wait. The pegs are made out of date wood and are from


Pakistan and a specially treated so that it will stick like glue to the


lance. The men on horseback make up Prince Malik's Lancers. They have


got almost 100 years' experience between them. They say that anyone


can take part. People who ride horses, showjumping, cross-country,


dressage, they look very difficult, you have to put the practice in.


This tent-pegging, we have taught lads within four or five weeks.


Each year, they compete at events from across the globe -- ad that


events a round the country. We have to remind ourselves of where it


came from. These people are from Birmingham and Pakistan. They are a


fantastic example of how we can work together to present it.


Today's practice was cut short by the British weather. There was


still time for the next generation of the Prince Malik's Lancers to


give the ancient sport a go. Very impressive indeed. Now the


The cricket is on at Edgbaston. They may be caught out by the rain.


But I think they could be lucky as the match will be ending in half-


an-hour. There have been lively showers across the region. There


have been more in the north where there has been hail and thunder


storms. There have also been thunderstorms in Birmingham itself.


There is more rain overnight. The next wave of rain after yesterday's.


It will be more active and there will be stronger winds with it. The


rain is in the West, heading our way, moving eastwards. Some of it


could be quite heavy. It is breaking up as it moves eastwards.


The north of the region, Staffordshire, will bear the brunt


of the heaviest outbreaks. As it tears later on, there will be more


showers. It will turn windier, gusts of 40 p to 50 mph. There will


be a lot of cloud. A temperatures holding up. There could be 10 to 15


mm of rain. Tomorrow is a day of sunshine and showers once again.


There could be longer spells of rain. They could again be hail or


thunder. It is mild in the sunshine, temperatures up to 19 degrees.


Colder in the showers with the winds picking up.


Let us have a look at the headlines. The Prime Minister promises a


public inquiry into the phone hacking scandal now engulfing the


Download Subtitles