The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
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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