19/07/2011 Midlands Today


19/07/2011

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LineFromTo

Good evening. Welcome to Tuesday's Midlands Today from the BBC.

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Tonight: Economically flawed and not commercially viable - that's

:00:08.:00:11.

the verdict of an influential think tank on the proposals for High

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:00:21.:00:24.

Speed 2. Doing nothing simply is not an option. The line which would

:00:24.:00:27.

link Birmingham and London would cost around �17 billion and cut

:00:27.:00:30.

travel time down to 49 minutes. the latest research by the

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Institute of Economic Affairs claims HS2 will cost the taxpayer

:00:32.:00:42.
:00:42.:01:07.

Good evening. Economically flawed and not viable - the conclusions of

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the think tank over the high-speed link between Birmingham and London.

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The Institute is an independent think tank which undertakes

:01:23.:01:26.

research and comments on economic affairs. But those in favour of the

:01:26.:01:34.

high speed railway line have disputed the figures quoted.

:01:34.:01:39.

On the animators drawing board HS2 is flying along at top speed. In

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the real world, it's hit the buffers, again. In an

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uncompromising report the think tank, the Institute of Economic

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Affairs, or IEA, says the high speed rail project is:

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Economically flawed, with exaggerated time savings and

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fraudulent green credentials. The project it says makes false

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regeneration claims about closing the north-south divide. And, above

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all, it's a political vanity project. It's not like defence or

:02:12.:02:15.

help whether benefits are spread across the nation. It will be a

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small number of rich people who will use it and everyone else has

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to pay for it whether they've used it on not. Needless to say the

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report found a captive audience at the Stop HS2 Headquarters in

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Kenilworth. But judging by the first three people we met, views

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remain mixed. Everything I have read about it, it does not make

:02:39.:02:44.

sense. It is not economically feasible. Nobody in the area is

:02:44.:02:48.

going to help. I do not disagree with having a high-speed railway,

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but they don't seem to know what they are doing and I don't think it

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is going to benefit this area at all. I am for it. I think we need

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more high-speed rail links in general. If proof were needed of

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just how emotive this issue is, within minutes of the IEA's

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reporting reaching us, my email inbox pinged to the sound of a

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rebuttal. It was the Yes To High Speed Rail campaign, saying the

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report was full of myths and weak research. And the report failed to

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convince other HS2 supporters, like Richard Butler from the CBI, who

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met me at Birmingham's Millennium Point, close to where the HS2

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terminus would be built. I think the report uses very emotive

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language. The CBI are supporters of High Speed 2. It will bring

:03:37.:03:41.

benefits to the region. The report is missing the point in that we

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need to do something. Doing nothing is not an option. Up grading the

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current system is almost as expensive as High Speed 2.

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public consultation on HS2 ends in just ten days, with a Government

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decision expected at the end of the year. If it gets the go ahead,

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construction could start in 2017. But the arguments around it are

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likely to run on for much longer. With us is a work political editor.

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It is not helped by the computer graphics. Where is the objective

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truth? Everyone in the campaign seems to have an axe to grind. This

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evening, a work Collings on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire have

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established that one of the Co authors of that report just happens

:04:45.:04:54.

to live at Burton Green, which is on the route. The Transport

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Secretary has pointed out that so many of the arguments against high-

:04:58.:05:08.
:05:08.:05:09.

speed rail just happen to come from people who live on the line? How do

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you assess the balance of the argument? There is an interesting

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spread of argument. If you go to the comment section of my block --

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:05:33.:05:57.

blog. Other towns have benefited from a high-speed links. We are so

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short of money and will a shiny new vanity project comes along and

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there are funds available. We will have the report on the consultation

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at the end of the year. Next year the Government really has to make

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decisions, whether to scrap it, modify it ought to press ahead with

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minor modifications, like landscaping and tunnelling. Where's

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your money? I think there will be a high-speed rail system, but it

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depends on the modifications. you. Later in the programme - find

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out how one of our oldest manufacturers is planning on making

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more out of the lucrative export market. And joining on the day that

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Aston Villa Brickfields and new signing and a new shirt. -- reveals

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a new signing and a new shirt. Taxpayers are having to cough up

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for a religious statue after public donations dried up. The statue of

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the Blessed John Henry Newman was due to be erected in a park where

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Pope Benedict XVI held a mass last summer. Although it's expected to

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be a destination for pilgrims the statue's yet to go on display

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because of the concerns over its funding. 6 ft tall and resplendent

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in gold - the statue of John Henry Newman seated with a scholarly gaze.

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It was blessed by the Pope soon after he arrived for the

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beatification mass last September. Organisers had said that pilgrims

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could come here to view the staff are. A 10 months on and it is

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:08:00.:08:18.

nowhere to be seen for such a a There was an awkward stage where

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the piece have been finished and there was not the money to pay

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Furyk. A huge amount of money had to be raised for the papal visit.

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When it came to paying for this, pockets were not deep enough.

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work was commissioned by Birmingham City Council and they have decided

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to make up the difference. The pub we did not raise the money

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initially, but yet the council is putting in public money. We had to

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honour a commitment. There are huge economic benefits ants it improves

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the profile of the city. So what about the statue? It will not go

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ahead because of concerns over vandalism and theft. It can come

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here to the Birmingham Oratory. Ironically this is what the

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artist's great uncle JRR Tolkien was raised by a Catholic priest and

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were later this year Newman's statue could go on permanent

:09:22.:09:32.
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display. Sandwell Council has been told it

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won't receive any money from the government to replace the Building

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Schools for the Future programme which was scrapped last year. The

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project would have seen nine schools in the borough rebuilt or

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refurbished. Instead, local authorities will be invited to

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apply for funding from a new rebuilding programme. The

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government says the fairer system will identify schools around the

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country in most in need of repair. Sandwell Council has called an

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emergency meeting to consider its next option.

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The MoD has announced that the Defence College of Aeronautical

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Engineering at RAF Cosford in Shropshire is to be moved to

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Wiltshire. It follows plans announced yesterday to move Defence

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Technical Training to RAF Lyneham. It's thought the transfer will

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happen in around four years time. Drivers in Gloucestershire are

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being asked to sign up to a safer driving scheme aimed at reducing

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speeding in rural villages. Motorists in Hardwick, near

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Quedgely, are logging on to a website to pledge that they will

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stick to the speed limit. It's hoped the softer approach to

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motorists will encourage them to slow down. If successful the

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project could be expanded elsewhere in the county.

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Parents have staged a protest over a plan to end full-time care at a

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city's council run nurseries. The SureStart centres in Coventry look

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after young children so their parents can go out to work. Many

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are in deprived areas. But the council says it has to make savings

:10:50.:11:00.
:11:00.:11:01.

from its child care budget. They have only known for a week

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that their children's nursery care is under threat, but these parents

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are already letting councillors know how angry they are. Some

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parents will give up work. I have had parents all over the city say

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to me, I'll go on to benefits. Earlier, Samantha Lyle was amongst

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parents who dropped off children at the SureStart in Tile Hill. Taylor

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has build incredible bonds with everyone here. To tear him away

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from it will be catastrophic. have been using the service for

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:11:55.:11:56.

nine years. I have got three children. I love nursery.

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campaigners had been told alternative nursery care is

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available in Coventry, but it will cost up to �20 a day extra and

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parents can't afford it. Some say they will have to give up work if

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full-time nursery care is axed. The council insists cut in this service

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is the least painful way to make savings on the children's care

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budget. We need to target our resource better it so that the most

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vulnerable children in our city can benefit from the help we can give

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them. At the moment, we will not be able to do that so we have to look

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carefully at all our budgets and targets resources more carefully.

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The final decision on the cuts will not be made until the autumn. Still

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to come on the programme: has autumn come early? Find out what is

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happening to our horse chestnut trees.

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A car components factory is to close with the loss of 157 jobs.

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Kongsberg Automotive makes parts for car seats and has been based in

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Burton-on-Trent for more than 50 years. The Norwegian company is

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transferring production to Poland. It is devastating. This is a

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specialist manufacturer and workers have a specialist skill. Some

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people have been here for 30 years. It is a highly skilled UK

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manufacturer, specific to Burton. They are a staple in many country

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kitchens and many of those who have them say they would never swap them.

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So how will Aga devotees react to news the traditional cooking range

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manufacturer is bringing out a new type of cooker? Like many big name

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brands, AGA has struggled during the recession and that's what

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prompted them to add to their range. As our Business Correspondent Peter

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Plisner reports, it could also mean more jobs at the firm.

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The latest production line at Aga's Telford factory. Workers are

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bringing about something of a revolution with the first

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controllable cooker. Opened the door and we have a whole new game.

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Traditionally, the choice was everything on all Aree think of,

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but that is changing. Everyone looks at their bills over different

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economic periods. In addition to that, people are looking at the

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kind of energy they are using. For all the reasons, the right reasons,

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this product scores highly. That should be the case for Aga as well

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as it will boost sales. It has been a difficult time for the company,

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but demand is picking up again and this new product will capitalise on

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it. Aga has been around for 300 years and its cookers up the

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fixture of many country kitchens. Experts agree that innovation is

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key. We need to ensure that all our manufacturers are adding as much

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value as they can to their products and their brands. That is the thing

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that will make the most competitive on an international stage. That is

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where the company is heading. Only 20 % of current products are

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exported. It is hoped the new Caulker will be a recipe for

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success all over the world. - that the new cooker.

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Birmingham City fans are meeting tonight as part of a campaign to

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remove Carson Yeung from the club's board. Yeung was arrested in Hong

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Kong last month to face five charges of money laundering

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involving sums of �59 million. Yesterday his 18-year-old son Ryan

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was appointed to the club's board. Fans are concerned about the Blues'

:16:14.:16:24.
:16:24.:16:27.

finances and how Yeung's arrest could affect the club. There is a

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double unveiling for Aston Villa. They are showing off their new

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shirt and new signing. Our reporter is there now.

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The fans have turned out in numbers, but there has been some concern

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:16:56.:16:57.

over the play at traffic. -- player traffic. They have redressed the

:16:57.:17:07.
:17:07.:17:09.

balance now or wit the signing of Shay Given. I am really excited.

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The last few days I had been raring to go. I had my first training

:17:14.:17:24.
:17:24.:17:24.

session today. It was pretty exciting. We have also spoken to

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the Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish. We are still trying to

:17:31.:17:41.
:17:41.:17:43.

bring in another player. I am not at liberty to mention names. We are

:17:43.:17:47.

hoping to speak to one of the current players. They are getting

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:17:57.:18:01.

ready in their new kit. Let us talk to a former player. Shay Given - is

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he a bonus? Definitely. He is a great guy and a great addition to

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the team. We asked Alex McLeish how much money will be spent on new

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signings. He has argued that some players are like new signings.

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we need to get the best out of the players that we have got and maybe

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give the youngsters a chance. a fresh start with Alex McLeish.

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They did not want him, but the fans have turned out to see him. Aston

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Villa fans are loyal and they have turned out today. Hopefully they

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will be buying a few strips as well. It is good to see them. Everyone is

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starting to get the bars for the new season. I am looking forward to

:18:54.:19:04.
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it. Do you miss it a little bit now that you are not playing? Yes.

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you think Aston Villa can turn the tide? Hopefully. We have been close.

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There will be a few changes, eight new doctrine. Hopefully we can do

:19:25.:19:30.

well in one of the competitions. The new kit will be unveiled in

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about 15 minutes. It seems despite the controversy this summer, Villa

:19:35.:19:45.
:19:45.:19:46.

fans are supporting their club. More than 80,000 cricket fans will

:19:46.:19:49.

be heading to Birmingham next month for the third Test match between

:19:49.:19:52.

England and India. For many, it will be their first glimpse of

:19:52.:19:54.

Warwickshire's new-look, multi- million pound stadium. But this

:19:54.:20:01.

afternoon Edgbaston opened its doors to Ian Winter.

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It has a passing resemblance to a spaceship from Star Trek. Do not be

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:20:17.:20:20.

fooled. This is at Edgbaston, Jim, but not as we know it. -- Edgbaston.

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The home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club has had the mother of

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all makeovers. Builders have been busy creating a world-class Test

:20:29.:20:36.

match arena. Inside the home dressing room there is based for

:20:36.:20:41.

the players to get changed in comfort. It is brilliant. It is a

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world-class facility. All the lads are looking forward to playing here

:20:45.:20:55.
:20:55.:20:59.

regularly. In the Jaguar at sweet, VIPs will be wined and dined.

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needed world-class facilities. We had to make sure that we remain

:21:05.:21:14.

ahead of the competition. The new stadium has cost �32 million and it

:21:14.:21:19.

has raised the capacity of Edgbaston to 25,000 spectators. On

:21:19.:21:23.

the skyline terrace there are spectacular views of Birmingham

:21:23.:21:28.

city centre and the cricket. And in the press box are the best seats in

:21:28.:21:38.
:21:38.:21:39.

the House. So far, they have sold more than 80,000 tickets for the

:21:39.:21:43.

game and that his music to the ears of the driving force behind this

:21:43.:21:49.

massive project. Without this investment, Edgbaston would not be

:21:49.:21:55.

staging international cricket, which would be bad for the club.

:21:55.:22:00.

Monday Prince Philip will officially open the new stadium. In

:22:00.:22:05.

September they will find that if they will host a Test against

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Australia in two years time. It is absolutely breathtaking.

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Now, have you taken a close look at your local conker trees? It may

:22:19.:22:22.

only be July, but many of of our horse chestnuts look as if they are

:22:22.:22:28.

ready for autumn and are vovered in brown, withered leaves. The cause

:22:28.:22:31.

is a tiny moth and now researchers want to track just how far this

:22:31.:22:37.

destructive creature has spread by using mobile phones. And our

:22:37.:22:39.

Science Correspondent David Gregory is with some affected conkers trees

:22:39.:22:44.

in Birmingham now. David, this is all the fault of the leaf-miner

:22:44.:22:51.

moth, yes? Yes. And if you walk through a line

:22:51.:23:01.

of conker trees you notice these tiny moths. As small as a staple.

:23:01.:23:11.
:23:11.:23:13.

Flying about. Now they spend winter in the leaf litter under the trees,

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and now they are rising up.. And laying eggs on the chestnut leaves.

:23:17.:23:19.

And it's the eggs that do the damage, they hatch into

:23:19.:23:22.

caterpillars that mine inside the leaf leaving ugly brown marks. Like

:23:22.:23:28.

autumn has come early. They call so much damage because they have three

:23:28.:23:32.

generations a year. Bees the trees will get progressively Brownite and

:23:32.:23:40.

it looks as if Alton has come early. In Cheltenham, this is the damage

:23:40.:23:50.
:23:50.:23:56.

done by one generation. With this new app, you can take a photograph

:23:56.:24:06.
:24:06.:24:08.

and rate the damage. You can add your location, which the firm does

:24:08.:24:13.

automatically. Finally, there is a question about grounds cover

:24:13.:24:17.

because the scientists are interested in what is going on

:24:17.:24:21.

underneath the tree. Then you send it in. You will not just be helping

:24:21.:24:27.

conker trees. It will preparer so we can understand more about other

:24:27.:24:32.

invading of colonising in sex and blood diseases in the future. So

:24:32.:24:37.

all the information we get now will be invaluable. But this is still

:24:37.:24:43.

the little moth that remains a big problem for a World conker trees.

:24:43.:24:51.

If you don't have a smart phone, you can use a special website to

:24:51.:25:01.
:25:01.:25:02.

track the conker trees in your area. For more information, please look

:25:02.:25:12.
:25:12.:25:18.

at the website. Bonkers about conkers! And now for

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the weather. Kenny believe we are in the middle

:25:26.:25:33.

of July. It has not felt like it today. We have seen some showers.

:25:33.:25:43.
:25:43.:25:44.

As we go into tonight, we expect to see Clairette skies. -- clearer

:25:44.:25:52.

skies. There will be some mist and fog patches. Showers are heavier in

:25:52.:26:02.
:26:02.:26:12.

the east. We are looking at lows of around 11 Celsius. Tomorrow morning,

:26:12.:26:18.

more cloud moving in. There will be more showers as well. There is some

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brightness, but it will be limited, as it has been for the past few

:26:23.:26:33.
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days. Highs before 19 Celsius. Tomorrow night, a similar picture.

:26:41.:26:51.
:26:51.:26:56.

Friday, you can see that low pressure will be around. Dry and

:26:56.:27:06.
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Tonight's main headlines: a Commons hearing on the phone hacking

:27:16.:27:20.

scandal was suspended after a protester tried to attack Rupert

:27:21.:27:25.

Murdoch. And here, a new report says high-speed rail is

:27:26.:27:29.

economically flawed and not commercially viable. That is all

:27:30.:27:34.

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