14/07/2011 Midlands Today


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Tonight we are at the dustcart manufacturers. Business confidence


is growing and exports are up, but economic growth is weak. This


company is doing well, but others aren't. We spent the day with


several other companies on this industrial estate.


This a firm makes high-visibility clothing, but it has not protected


them from be up and down -- from the ups and downs of the economy.


They are being forced to seek out new markets. It has been


challenging, but we were not let it affect us. Staffing levels have


remained the same throughout the downturn, but for some it has been


a worrying time. I have been made redundant twice before. My husband


has just had a massive pay cut, so everyone is concerned. Here, the


music is different. This man set up his business at the height of the


recession. Despite that, it is one of the most successful businesses


on the estate, but the weak economy is having an effect. People are


cautious. They are careful and considered that about what they


spend their money on. And here is a good illustration of how weak the


economy is in some sectors. A wine merchant we featured when we were


last here has gone out of business. The decorators are getting the unit


ready for another customer. Thankfully here, most firms are


still in business. This double glazing firm is doing well, but the


managing director admits that drove his flat. Business is OK, but it is


flat Crowfoot wise. We haven't seen any sense 2008. The report may say


things are getting better, but I cannot see it. Then is no doubt


that confidence is improving, but with the economy still weak, there


is no covering up the fact that we are not out of the woods yet. Still


more pessimism that optimism about the recovery. Earlier, we spoke to


the local MP. He said any companies that want to grow need to make sure


their plans are sustainable. The is an opportunity to be optimistic. It


takes people like myself, the chambers, even some of our media


outlets to make sure this message of confidence is regained and


improved. It is something we need to work together on. Joining me


here is one of the managers of this company. What is the picture here?


The order book is growing and production is going up. A lot of


people have suffered because the council orders have gone down.


is true. They are lagging behind. Most of our new business comes from


the private sector. Our export up? The yes. They are encouraging. --


yes. What about jobs? We have not laid people offer as much as we


could have done when it turned down. When it turned up, we have to


achieve the Bonham's by productivity. What DC for the next


three months? Increased production and order intake. A mixed picture


from here, but we are heading in the right direction.


Thank you. Later in the programme we will hear about an engineering


firm that has just opened a new factory in Telford. Also, a job be


used for the car industry in Shropshire. -- a job be used.


A Shropshire man has been found responsible for a murdering an


antiques dealer in the county 17 years ago. Jurors at Birmingham


Crown Court decided that 59-year- old Robin Ligus killed antiques


dealer Trevor Bradley in 1994. Ligus is facing two further counts


of murder. This is 59-year-old Robin Ligus, a


father of three from Shrewsbury. Today he was found responsible for


killing Trevor Bradley, an antiques dealer from Ludlow, who's body was


found in a burned out car in 1994. In 2009, Ligus was charged with his


murder and also went on trial accused of killing two other men in


Shropshire in 1994 - 57-year-old Brian Coles and 36-year-old Bernard


Czyzewska. Robin like this was considered unfit to enter a plea.


The jury was asked to consider whether he was responsible for that


deaths of those men. The jury said he accepted he had murdered Trevor


Bradley. And they did so after hearing this apparent confession


played in court. The court heard that Ligus is currently serving a


life sentence for murdering pensioner Robert Young in 1994.


jury of six men and six women is still considering the cases of


Brian Coles and Bernard Czyzewska. They will resume their


deliberations tomorrow. There are still more revelations to


come. That's the view of the MP who's played a key role in exposing


the phone hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News International


newspaper empire. In an interview with BBC West Midlands' Hard Talk


programme, Tom Watson said the work he was putting in on it was having


an impact on his family life and causing him to spend less time on


constituency issues. This next report contains flash


photography. A local face thrust into the


spotlight in what has become an international media storm over


phone hacking. We are only halfway through this. We are here because


of one or criminal investigator. Many other investigators were hired


by News International. A stark warning from the West Midlands MP


who has been investigating the News of the World for two years. Can I


ask the Prime Minister to make inquiries as to whether the


families of the victims of 9/11 were targeted? I felt inadequate


because there was nothing I could do. These people would not stop.


People went through out what dustbins, they went into our garage,


upset our neighbours. He went on to become a villainous voice when


hacking first came to light. It won him admirers. Watson has been a


terrier with his teeth in the trousers of Mr Murdoch's


Organisation for several years. He is not afraid and he keeps going.


It is a distressing and hard, but he has hung on. Great accolades for


Tom Watson at Westminster where he is the backbencher of the moment,


but this is his constituency and people wonder whether their local


MP should be focusing on our phone hacking or issues that affect them?


There are lots of things that need doing in West Bromwich. It is


something to fill of the newspapers. He needs to get things done. I am


proud of him. He has done a great job. I wanted to get to the bottom


of phone hacking, but I still want to get legislation on that metal


theft in West Bromwich. There is a day-job but I still find rewarding


and satisfying. His next job - to help quiz Rupert Murdoch, his son


James and Rebekah Brooks went all three have faced a -- when all


three face a select committee next week.


Our political editor is here. Tom Watson says that he has been


distracted. Will that change? could. He says we are only halfway


through all the revelations. His market value on that lucrative


North American lecture circuit will be higher. Also at this whole


firestorm could extend to the News International operation over there.


You can see times are changing for him. He had been giving interviews


to ours and the New York Times. There is also that new hairstyle,


which is always a sign that upward mobility! -- a sign of upward


mobility! What about his position at


Westminster? Well he will be high profile. There is an element of


settling old scores. How did he get so involved? He says it landed in


his lap. He was on the culture committee when these allegations


started to surface and unlike almost everyone else, he felt he


could not turn a blind eye. You felt that dossier it may still just


be a work in progress. Thank you. You can hear that into view in for


by going to a website. -- interview. Walsall council workers began


receiving letters today detailing how much they will gain or lose as


a result of changes to pay grades. The restructuring is being brought


in because of equal pay legislation. Hundreds of employees showed up at


union meetings this afternoon after receiving their letters. One in


five of them face a pay cut. Among those to lose out is 59-year-old


social care worker Margaret Adams from Willenhall.


I have been dropped about �2,500 a year and the night and at once has


dropped. I used to get it for 10 out words and now it is early for


eight hours. 29 years with Walsall council. It is not fair. I am


really angry. The family of a man murdered in his


house as his six-year-old son slept upstairs have made a fresh appeal


to the public to help catch his killers. Police say they are


reopening the inquiry into David Currier's death. He was found with


a stab wound to his leg at his home in Bromsgrove in 2009. Cannabis


plants were found growing at the house and police say his death may


be drugs related. His sister says his little boy talks about his dad


all the time. He says he wishes he could go up


into the sky and bring his daddy back. He often blows kisses into


the air for him. When he gets his suite, he saves some and puts them


on his dad's grave. Soldiers have been describing what


it's like to come under fire from the Taliban. The 3rd Battalion, the


Mercian Regiment, which recruits from the Midlands, are in


Afghanistan helping train the Afghan army and police. So far, 375


British soldiers have died in the conflict. 32 of those were from


this region. In the second of our series of special reports, Louise


Brierley looks at what life is like for them on the frontline.


Soldiers from the Mercian Regiment on patrol on the front line in


Helmand province. For many this tour has been their first


experience of modern warfare and they are never far away from danger.


This is Private Josh O'Hare from Solihull. He was caught in an


incident involving and improvised explosive device. It was pretty


hard to deal with that. Unfortunately, there were at two


casualties. One was killed in action. I was about five minutes


away. I didn't know how many casualties there were or anything.


At base there is not much time before these troops had to leave


again to go back out to protect a local town from the Taliban. This


soldier has completed several tours of duty. If we were not here, the


local communities would be taxed and intimidated. Their children


would be stolen from them, especially their daughters. We


provide a safe thing Baron -- environment for them. Conditions


are tougher with temperatures reaching 15 degrees and they do not


have the luxuries of main bases. The soldier has also completed


several tours. He it is pretty basic. There is no air-conditioning.


We have a well for water and we are on rations. But the guys enjoy it.


For many, the front line is what joining the army is all about, but


for others, it can be overwhelming. I would not mind coming back, but


it is not something I would want to do every day. Is that because of


the conditions? Yes. And obviously getting shot at. A risk these men


face every day. And still to come: do not get comfortable with the


weather because it is going to get changed -- it is going to change.


More later. Now, earlier in the programme we


heard about that positive business survey. There's some more good news


today for car parts firm Stadco, which has opened a new factory in


Telford today. The news comes just weeks after its largest customer


Jaguar Landrover announced record sales and plans to create 1,000 new


jobs in the West Midlands. Manufacturing is well under way at


Stadco's new factory in Telford. 50 new jobs have been created with


dozens of others in associated injuries. 90 % of the part it makes


here and in factories around the Midlands are supplied two car


companies in the UK. There is tremendous optimism about car


manufacturing in the UK and we hope to take advantage of that. It is


good news that parks are being made locally. But it has not always been


such good news. In the depths of the recession this company reduced


its workforce from 1,000 to 600 at sites across the UK, including


Coventry. Now employment is back to levels before the recession. This


man is back in employment after a rough time. He is a supervisor here


in a similar role for a similar salary. I did not see it coming. I


have never been out of work in my life before, but now I have a job.


There is empty space here, but this company says it is expecting growth.


Sport now, and the day that golf fans wait all year for. Today is


day one of the world's oldest and most famous major - The Open. Fans


from across the world have flocked to Sandwich in Kent to see who will


win the famous claret jug. But they could have gone to Rednal, near


I morning, ladies and gentlemen. From a Northfield, Isobel Godfrey.


She was opening up for a different generation. This school has its own


golf course. They are learning how to play fair and support each other.


Today was not just about competition. Support from the Golf


Foundation meant there was tutoring from professional players. Best to


leave it to the experts - the children. It is calm and quiet and


you can just have a game with your friends and have a nice


conversation. We have won at nationals once and we had been


pretty the finals twice. That is why we think we can win today.


it turns out she was right. The tournament was won by the home team,


but perhaps the biggest achievement is that 120 children from inner-


city Birmingham were playing golf. They had better aware that there


than they did at Sandwich. Wool is on the comeback and it is making


our sheep farmers money. We feel better because we have to


share our shoot anyway. It is better to do it when you are making


money. -- away sheep. Three years ago, Simon was getting only 66p for


this fleece and it was costing apparent. Now the price is �2.80.


It is not enough to make wool farming a viable on its own, but it


is a bonus. It is good news. gives us more incentive to go out


and asked for more money. At this shop they are turning back the


clock when it wool meant wealth. It specialises in all kinds of Gollum


products and the market is warming up. I think it is starting to have


such a big comeback in this country. People are realising what an


underrated production wool is. It is versatile. People are loving it


and they realise what a super product it is. A sentiment welcomed


by Simon Edwards and all the other sheep farmers in the region. Some


good news in a sector of Agriculture at that really need it.


And now for the weather. Today was a pleasure, but tomorrow


and the weekend might not be. If you are hoping for rain, then you


will get it. It will be windy with lower temperatures. We see this


area of rain swirling around on beat South eastern corner of the


country. But that is not what is going to affect us. There are


weather fronts coming in from the West. However, tonight will be


clear. Temperatures will drop to a minimum of eight Celsius, but


double figures in built up areas. Tomorrow, it will start sunny and


dry. Through the day the clouds will thicken from the West. That


rain will arrive towards the end of the day, into the evening. It will


not last very long and it is also fairly light rain. Temperatures are


still warm. 21-22 Celsius. Tomorrow night we will see the rain come


through and it will be fairly heavy later on. A look at the main


headlines: Rupert Murdoch and his sons James agreed to appear before


MPs to answer questions about the hacking scandal. And police are


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