13/07/2011 Midlands Today


13/07/2011

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Welcome to Midlands Today. They headlines tonight: unemployment

:00:10.:00:13.

figures for the region are down, but it is tougher than ever for

:00:13.:00:20.

women to get jobs. I am used to going to work, talking to friends.

:00:20.:00:25.

Joy for some, despair for others as county schools find out which will

:00:25.:00:30.

close and which had been spared. The pain and human cost of life on

:00:30.:00:34.

the front line in Afghanistan. will not get a chance to go back to

:00:34.:00:38.

the UK for the funeral, so saying goodbye at the service was

:00:38.:00:46.

important. And tribute to a living legend - the finishing touches to a

:00:46.:00:51.

statue of the man who transformed the fortunes of Coventry City

:00:51.:00:58.

Football Club. Good evening and welcome to

:00:58.:01:01.

Wednesday's Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight, good and bad news on

:01:01.:01:05.

the jobs front. Unemployment has fallen faster here than anywhere

:01:05.:01:09.

else in the country. The number of people out of work between March

:01:09.:01:16.

and May stood at 226,000 - a drop of 32,000. But the figures also

:01:16.:01:19.

show that men are finding it easier to get new jobs, with 94,000 women

:01:19.:01:24.

still unemployed. In Coventry that's an increasing problem, with

:01:24.:01:29.

women making up 78% of public sector workers. So what is being

:01:29.:01:38.

done to help women who are out of work?

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There are around 35,000 people in Coventry claiming unemployment

:01:43.:01:49.

benefits and a growing number of them are women. This woman, a human

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rights lawyer was made redundant last year after funding was cut for

:01:54.:02:00.

a project that aims, ironically, to get women back into work. The it

:02:00.:02:05.

has been nine months. I have been applying for jobs every day. I get

:02:06.:02:15.

no response, up or do to a high number of applications -- or due to

:02:15.:02:25.

a high number of applications, I am just not considered. This charity

:02:25.:02:34.

has seen an increasing number of women coming to them. I knew the

:02:34.:02:37.

recession was going to make things difficult, but I did not realise

:02:37.:02:41.

almost a year on I would still be looking for work. It is quite bad

:02:41.:02:46.

out there. Jane Niven work for years and the banking industry and

:02:46.:02:49.

sees this as an opportunity to leave the restrictive corporate

:02:49.:02:56.

world. Every day, answering to somebody else, being kicked when

:02:56.:03:04.

you do not do something right. I want something different. Sandra

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Garlick, an employment lawyer, has urged the Chamber of Commerce to

:03:10.:03:14.

set up a forum aimed at women. She believes there are distinct

:03:14.:03:19.

differences between the genders when it comes to unemployment.

:03:19.:03:23.

Women treat losing their jobs different leaf. They are more

:03:23.:03:26.

adaptable to change, probably because they have had to juggle

:03:26.:03:31.

careers with a work-life balance. They tend to look at the fact that

:03:32.:03:35.

they are losing their job as an opportunity to do something

:03:35.:03:41.

different. Coventry has a reputation for literally and

:03:41.:03:44.

metaphorically we building itself over the decades. All the women I

:03:44.:03:48.

have spoken to today said if someone cannot help them, they are

:03:48.:03:53.

more than prepared to help themselves and get them out of this

:03:53.:04:02.

employment crisis. En Westminster Coventry North West

:04:02.:04:06.

MP Geoffrey Robinson secured a special debate on the issues facing

:04:06.:04:12.

women in the City, focusing on pay and jobs. Coventry is a suitable

:04:12.:04:18.

place to use as a further test case for the examination of the impact

:04:18.:04:24.

of unemployment on women. In Coventry, the pay gap between men

:04:24.:04:31.

and women is 10 points higher than the national average. Later in the

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programme we will be switching from the female workers of today to the

:04:36.:04:41.

female workers of tomorrow at the Academy desperately seeking female

:04:41.:04:47.

engineers for the future. False calls in Shropshire had been

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recommended for closure as part of a plan to reorganise education in

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the county. But three other schools under threat had been reprieved.

:04:55.:05:01.

Shropshire has nearly 3,000 fewer pupils than went to school in the

:05:01.:05:07.

county six years ago and that means �10 million less in government

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funding. Ben Godfrey is at one of the schools set to close. What has

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been the reaction? At this call, along with eight

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others, children and staff had been waiting to find out when they will

:05:21.:05:27.

close. Head teachers have told me the uncertainty has led some

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parents to pour their children out, just in case. Today, some clarity

:05:34.:05:39.

from the council. This school has been at the heart

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of the community for 80 years. There are only 41 children, but

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they all love it. A everyone knows each other and it is like a family.

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I like coming here and meeting my friends. If I went to a different

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school I would not be able to see them. This school will close in

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20th September 12, along with three others. No-one has been able to

:06:05.:06:15.
:06:15.:06:16.

show us how children will gain. A lot of the money will go in

:06:16.:06:22.

transporting them to this course. Shropshire council say it falling

:06:22.:06:26.

LINK People numbers and a cut in funding has left it with no

:06:26.:06:33.

alternative. But a day three is the magic number. Three primaries found

:06:33.:06:40.

that they are not going to close. They have a future as a federation.

:06:40.:06:46.

What it does is allow possibilities between the schools. So if you have

:06:46.:06:52.

a couple of small schools, it could be on one day one of the schools

:06:52.:06:55.

literally transport some of their classes of children to another

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venue and they are taught jointly. Then maybe people watching this,

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screaming at the television and saying, closing at a local school

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rips the heart out of the community. How do you respond to that? There

:07:10.:07:14.

is no alternative. We are having to close schools and we will work hard

:07:14.:07:21.

with them and parents to ensure children get the best deal.

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picking up their children, parents at this school were disappointed.

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It will be of huge detriment to the village. My son has come on leaps

:07:30.:07:35.

and bounds since he has been here. But all is not last. There is one

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other option - academy status. application has gone in for academy

:07:41.:07:46.

status. That has gone to one committee and it is now with

:07:46.:07:50.

ministers, who will make the decision. By the end of turned the

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school is hopeful it will know for sure whether this Bell will keep on

:07:55.:08:01.

bringing. So academy status is a possibility here. Other local

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schools are considering free school status to cut ties with local

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authorities. They have to take action soon because come 2012, all

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these buildings behind the could be vacant.

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British forces have been fighting in Afghanistan for almost a decade

:08:25.:08:28.

with 300 serviceman and women paying the ultimate sacrifice. At

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the moment there are 9,500 service men and women fighting the Taliban,

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including many from other region. Louise Brierley is at Camp Bastion

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with the Mercian Regiment. This is Camp Bastion, the main

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place for troops. 20,000 people live here. It is here that I met

:08:55.:09:00.

soldiers from the Mercian Regiment just before they were about to

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board a plane to go home for three weeks. Tragically, one of them

:09:04.:09:09.

would not be joining them. Private Gareth Bellingham was shot dead by

:09:09.:09:16.

the Taliban was on patrol. I am gentamicin a lot. He was a good

:09:16.:09:23.

friend to me. We used to love to have a drink together. He used to

:09:23.:09:29.

come round to my house when we were on leave. I am going to miss him.

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For these men, they know the risks only too well, but after losing a

:09:33.:09:43.
:09:43.:09:45.

friend, suddenly the reality of war comes crashing home. We were just

:09:45.:09:53.

gobsmacked. The regiment padre is the Christian minister of the

:09:54.:10:00.

Mercians. He led a service for Private Gareth Bellingham. In helps

:10:00.:10:04.

the grieving process, which is important for everyone out here.

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They will not get a chance to go to the funeral, so it is important to

:10:09.:10:17.

say goodbye at the service. British personnel have died since

:10:17.:10:23.

the war started in Afghanistan. 32 from out of region. This is where

:10:23.:10:27.

serviceman and women from Afghanistan pay their respects. It

:10:27.:10:31.

is the ultimate tribute for those who have sacrificed their lives for

:10:31.:10:35.

their country. But for now, these men and women have to put death

:10:35.:10:42.

behind them and get on with the job. And there will be more from Louise

:10:42.:10:45.

tomorrow on the BBC WM Breakfast Show, and she will be reporting

:10:45.:10:50.

from the frontline again on Midlands Today tomorrow night.

:10:50.:10:56.

Brockhill Prison in Redditch is to close. The government's announced

:10:56.:11:00.

it will shut in September as part of plans to save money. It's one of

:11:00.:11:03.

three sites that make up Hewell Prison and holds 170 inmates, who

:11:03.:11:13.
:11:13.:11:19.

will be sent to other jails. Now, meet the little boy who was

:11:19.:11:22.

born the wrong way round, quite literally. Kian Hill had all his

:11:22.:11:25.

major organs on the opposite side and was missing a lung, his spleen

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and an appendix. He's spent almost his entire life on wards at

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Birmingham's Childrens' Hospital, but he's now made such a recovery,

:11:31.:11:34.

he's being allowed home tonight for the first time. He has endured

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operations and medical procedures on almost a daily basis. To date

:11:43.:11:47.

there there is cause for celebration. It is a big day for

:11:47.:11:51.

charred macro and his mum because having spent his entire life in a

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hospital bed like this one, tonight he would get to sleep in his own

:11:54.:12:04.
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bed. It will be emotional. I am happy for him. At last, home to

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Sheldon. It is amazing to think we can have him here and start to live

:12:11.:12:18.

a normal family life. It has been a long journey. Last year doctors

:12:18.:12:26.

gave charred macro a 50 % chance of survival. He suffered two cardiac

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arrests and was clinically dead for 30 minutes. They said it bit happy

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-- they said if it happened again, there was a slim chance of him

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pulling through again. Lunch is and will be for some time in liquid

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form and given through a tube, and there is a cocktail of drugs to be

:12:47.:12:56.

administered. Hopefully he will grow up to be a normal toddler, a

:12:56.:13:03.

teenager, but no-one knows how that will pan out. They don't know

:13:03.:13:07.

whether he will always be Osidge in dependent on his ventilator in the

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evening. Next week, charred macro should be able to come home for

:13:13.:13:23.
:13:23.:13:25.

good. Just in time for his birthday. Welcome home to Kian. Still to come

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- a legend cast in bronze. A fitting tribute to Coventry's Jimmy

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Hill. And we get a taste of summer tomorrow, but could it turned sour

:13:35.:13:42.

by the weekend. -- weekend? Find out later.

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Earlier, we reported on the lack of jobs for women. Well for some time

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now manufacturers have complained about a skills shortage and lack of

:13:49.:13:51.

engineers. And the problem's especially acute when it comes to

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encouraging girls to choose a career in engineering. As the JCB

:13:54.:13:57.

Academy nears the end of its first year, our Staffordshire reporter

:13:57.:14:00.

Liz Copper has been to see how a new programme could unearth the

:14:00.:14:10.
:14:10.:14:14.

great female engineers of tomorrow. We need to make it as early as

:14:14.:14:22.

possible. Refusing to conform to expectations, the challenge of

:14:22.:14:27.

these 11 year olds is to build a crane. They have come to the JCB

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academy to get a taste of what engineering is about. Why did they

:14:32.:14:37.

think that girls are put off? in it is a boy's's job because you

:14:37.:14:47.
:14:47.:14:55.

get dirty and it is mechanical. Boys's. This is the end of the

:14:55.:15:05.
:15:05.:15:13.

Academy's first year and boys outnumber girls 9-1. Girls have got

:15:13.:15:22.

great skills and they need to be utilised. Laura Atkins's

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aspirations have taken her into leadership. Engineering and

:15:27.:15:30.

struggles with a skills gap. We do not have enough engineers in this

:15:30.:15:37.

country, but we have a lot of women who are good at maths at school.

:15:37.:15:43.

Back at the Crane making, have any of the girls been persuaded that a

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career in engineering could be for them? Yes, I would like to be an

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engineer. A I might. Now that we have experienced it, it seems like

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fun. Yes, I'd definitely be an engineer. As they test their

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creations the hope is these girls will not be held down by the burden

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of stereotypes and will consider a career in science.

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Most of them looked enthusiastic. Results from one of the UK's

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biggest trials of electric cars have been announced. It took place

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here and involved 50 cars. Although there was much scepticism over

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whether they could replace conventional vehicles, results

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appear to show that for the majority of journeys they can. Our

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Transport Correspondent Peter Plisner joins us now. I am a bit

:16:35.:16:45.

sceptical myself, Peter. Are we all going to go electric?

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These cars will not be ideal for everyone, especially if you are

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making a long journey. But a lot of people make short ones and this

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trial was designed to see how easy it would be to go electric. They

:16:59.:17:09.
:17:09.:17:14.

are small and are becoming a regular sight. A small number of

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people were asked to give up their petrol fuelled cars and go electric.

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The trial also saw the installation of more charging points. Birmingham

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and Coventry now has a network of more than 30 of them. The Midlands

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is becoming a centre of excellence for electric cars. The Indian

:17:40.:17:50.

company Tata has recently set up a new company -- new factory to

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produce their car Tata EV. We are told that 77 % of journeys were

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less than 20 minutes in duration, which is perfect length for

:18:01.:18:08.

electric cars. In the survey most of the cars were parked four Oct 23

:18:08.:18:18.
:18:18.:18:24.

hours a day and the cost was under �1. I have someone with me he took

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part in the trial. It was great. You need to plan your journey

:18:29.:18:35.

carefully so you do not run out of electricity. With me also it is

:18:35.:18:45.
:18:45.:18:49.

Neil Bodger from the CABLED project. These cars can do 70 miles per hour.

:18:49.:18:59.

They go 100 miles between charges. Well electric cars catch on? They

:18:59.:19:06.

are more expensive to buy, but they are cheap to run. Vehicle Leasing

:19:06.:19:14.

will come into play in the future, so they can balance of the purchase

:19:14.:19:18.

price with the running costs. you want more information about the

:19:18.:19:28.

results of this trial, there is more information on a website. --

:19:28.:19:38.
:19:38.:19:50.

on our website. A small Midlands charity is selling

:19:50.:20:00.
:20:00.:20:01.

or water back to us to help the situation in Ethiopia.

:20:01.:20:07.

This 25-year-old finance train they get stuck into his latest project -

:20:07.:20:17.
:20:17.:20:21.

Walter -- bottled water it. -- aid. A percentage of the profits will go

:20:21.:20:28.

to funding water suppliers in Ethiopia. You can also find out

:20:28.:20:33.

exactly who you helped. In this case, a farmer who has to travel

:20:33.:20:39.

for an away up to get clean water. By personalising the bottled water,

:20:39.:20:44.

we hope people will feel more attached to the people they are

:20:44.:20:54.
:20:54.:20:55.

helping. Each bottle sold provides one Ethiopian with clean water for

:20:55.:21:03.

a year. And the return to his old school to make a pitch to their

:21:03.:21:08.

fund-raising committee. -- Andy. think it is a great idea. You can

:21:08.:21:17.

find out exactly who you helped. People can help others instead of

:21:18.:21:23.

buying the water at they normally buy. It is a hit here and as for

:21:23.:21:33.
:21:33.:21:35.

the reception in Ethiopia, they are grateful.

:21:35.:21:37.

In football, delight for Wolves, but disappointment for Birmingham

:21:37.:21:40.

City. Central defender Roger Johnson says he has moved to

:21:40.:21:43.

Molineux from St Andrew's to keep alive his Premier League career. He

:21:43.:21:45.

has signed a four-year contract after completing the �6 million

:21:45.:21:48.

deal this morning. Wolves boss Mick McCarthy says he has been waiting

:21:48.:21:58.
:21:58.:22:00.

two years to get his man. For me it was all about getting back to the

:22:00.:22:07.

Premier League. Relegation was heartbreaking, but I had to do what

:22:07.:22:17.
:22:17.:22:17.

I needed to do. He plays in the same position that manager Mike

:22:17.:22:27.
:22:27.:22:29.

McCarthy played. -- Mick McCarthy. He is terrific, a good defender. He

:22:29.:22:35.

is vocal on the pitch as a leader. That is what I wanted and that is

:22:35.:22:42.

what I have got. Before interviews with Roger Johnson and Mick

:22:42.:22:48.

McCarthy up on Our Facebook page. Stoke City have Sir Stanley

:22:48.:22:51.

Matthews, Wolves have Stan Cullis and Billy Wright and very soon

:22:51.:22:54.

Coventry City will have Jimmy Hill. We're talking about statues. In a

:22:54.:22:56.

couple of weeks time the former Sky Blues manager will officially

:22:56.:23:00.

unveil his own bronze outside the Ricoh Arena, and Ian Winter has had

:23:00.:23:10.
:23:10.:23:11.

exclusive access to Jimmy's statue. Fire up the furnace, turn up the

:23:11.:23:16.

heat and prepared to pour the molten metal. Deep inside the

:23:16.:23:22.

Bronze Foundry in London, her Majesty keeps an eye on it football

:23:22.:23:29.

legend. But before Jimmy Hill was transferred to bronze, he was

:23:29.:23:34.

enshrined in a clay. Nicholas Dimbleby talks with his hands and

:23:34.:23:38.

because Jimmy is an old friend of the family, this commission has

:23:38.:23:43.

been a labour of love. On the stone plinth his name will be carved and

:23:43.:23:48.

at the base there will be a seat said that the statute he's a

:23:48.:23:58.
:23:58.:24:01.

meeting place as well as a tribute -- said that the statue is a

:24:01.:24:11.
:24:11.:24:11.

tribute as well as a meeting-place. Under Jimmy Hill of the Sky Blues

:24:11.:24:16.

was transformed. He got the fans singing and smiling and that is why

:24:16.:24:23.

so many chipped in to pay for the statue. Joe Elliott ran the

:24:23.:24:30.

campaign to raise �100,000 of the statue. We talking to see how it

:24:30.:24:36.

was taking shape. What will Jimmy make of it? He will be delighted.

:24:36.:24:44.

I've been there will be at Tear in his eye. He loves Coventry. --

:24:44.:24:50.

Bates here in his eye. I am sure he will be over the moon.

:24:50.:24:58.

challenge was to make an iconic image and to make it personal to me.

:24:58.:25:06.

What about Jimmy's Ching? It is not as big as you might think. --

:25:06.:25:12.

Jimmy's chin. I am not a great football fan. I will leave that to

:25:12.:25:17.

the critics. Jimmy Hill will be 82 next week, so don't expect him to

:25:17.:25:23.

be sprinting across the pitch. He will be content to unveil his

:25:23.:25:28.

statue, welcoming the next generation of Sky Blues fans to his

:25:28.:25:38.
:25:38.:25:41.

beloved football club. -- sky-blue. A remarkable man. And now for the

:25:41.:25:49.

weather. We are going through this transitory phase will we get a

:25:49.:25:53.

slice up summer and then it is displaced by eight what you would

:25:53.:26:03.
:26:03.:26:18.

not want. At least is the - that Tonight, a good deal of cloud. It

:26:18.:26:28.
:26:28.:26:28.

will be fairly warm. Temperatures down to 9-12 Celsius. Tomorrow,

:26:28.:26:38.
:26:38.:26:41.

fairly dry, apart from the odd fleeting shower were. On balance it

:26:41.:26:50.

will be quite sunny. -- fleeting showers. We have a light north-

:26:50.:26:56.

westerly breeze. Friday, things start to turn. It will be cloudier

:26:56.:27:01.

and rain will arrive from the mid- afternoon onwards. It will be light,

:27:01.:27:07.

but over the weekend we will have prolonged periods of rain. The

:27:07.:27:15.

winds will increase. Temperatures will take and knock back by a

:27:15.:27:21.

couple of degrees. Before we leave, a look at the main

:27:21.:27:25.

headlines: Rupert Murdoch has withdrawn the News Corporation

:27:25.:27:29.

bitter takeover BSkyB. And in the Midlands unemployment is down and

:27:30.:27:33.

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