27/07/2011 Midlands Today


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With exactly a year to go until the London Olympics, welcome to


Midlands Today with me, Nick Owen, in Birmingham.


And me, Mary Rhodes, in Coventry. The headlines tonight: It's not


just about London - Coventry prepares to host England's first


Olympic action. A bonanza for business as they


scoop half a billion pounds worth of Olympic contracts. It's amazing,


not just for the company, but it puts Coventry on the map as well.


We're also live in London for a tour around the Olympic Park.


of the venues look amazing. Just to think, all of the greatest athletes


in the world will be together in one place.


And, in other news, a Birmingham nursery worker who raped a child


and admitted 45 other sexual offences against children has been


Good evening, welcome to Wednesday's Midlands Today from the


BBC. A year from now the Olympic Games will have already begun here


in the Midlands. The region has the honour of hosting England's first


event of the 2012 games. Coventry is the venue - it's staging 12


football matches, three of them kicking off before the opening


ceremony. Of course, London is the Olympic city, but the Games aren't


just about the capital. As well as football in Coventry, Birmingham


will play host to some of the biggest athletics stars on the


planet - with track and field athletes from the United States and


Jamaica based in the city. The Olympic torch, made by a Coventry


company, will be paraded through the streets of our towns and cities


with stops in Stoke-on-Trent, Worcester and Cheltenham as well as


Birmingham and Coventry. And it's to our Olympic Games venue in


Coventry that we cross now to Mary Rhodes.


Thanks, Nick. I'm at the Ricoh Arena - the home of Coventry City


Football Club. During the Games it will be renamed The City of


Coventry Stadium, when it'll host 12 matches. More about that later.


First though, the big economic boost being provided for the region


by the games. Hundreds of firms here have won contracts worth more


than half a billion pounds. Our Business Correspondent, Peter


Plisner looks at the benefits the games will bring to business in


this region and he's gained exclusive access to the Coventry


factory where the Olympic torch is being made. That is the actual


torture. Although we haven't put the badge on, but that is what you


have got in your hand, basic rate. It's the industrial equivalent of


winning Olympic gold, and Coventry based Premier Group beat off stiff


competition to win the torch contract. It is fantastic. It's a


very prestigious job and we are over the moon. Not surprisingly,


workers are proud too - winning the torch contract also means more job


security. It's amazing, not just for the company, but it puts


Coventry on the map as well. shows the standard of work man that


we have got here, really. Midlands companies are no stranger


to high profile Olympic contracts. Last year it emerged that the


London 2012 games mascots had been designed by a firm in Telford. Now


meet the official Olympic teddy bear again, been made out this the


famous factory in Ironbridge. It's Britain's last remaining


traditional bear maker. Now it's won the right to produce thousands


of Olympic bears - being based on a design from 1948, the last time the


games were staged in London. This is the material we used to make the


teddy bears. This, in particular is the mohair that be used for the


official Olympic teddy-bear. We were in discussion for some time


and became to agreement and I'm pretty sure they were very keen to


have somebody making a teddy bear in this country as opposed to


handing the contract to a mass producer offshore. It all adds up


to a big bonanza for the Midlands. Already �515 million worth of


contracts have been won by just over 300 firms. There are


predictions that even more money could come to the region because of


increased levels of tourism during and after the Olympic Games. Places


like Stratford upon-Avon looks set to become major beneficiaries.


Stratford's already one of the region's top tourist hotpots,


attracting almost five million visitors every year. And next year,


that number's expected to grow. They will come and spend money in


the towns and surrounding areas and they will spend money on our


businesses and maybe they will visit the theatre, because the


Royal Shakespeare Company at special events on. But while some


are looking forward to making money from the Olympics - others are


worried that the opposite might happen. A recent survey suggested


that more than 40% of companies here are concerned about too many


staff taking time off during the Olympics. Amongst them, even the


company that carried out the survey. But here, bosses have come up with


a novel solution. We are cutting back on the load that people will


have to do during the Games, we will spread the work around other


officers. We do have certain rooms set aside to watch events and asked


people to make a contribution to charity while they do so. $WHITE


With just a year to go before the Olympics begins, it's good to know


that Midlands firms are not only prepared, but have also played a


major role in helping to deliver the Games too.


That is a look at the spin-off businesses around the region. Peter


is here now with me. It seems that businesses are feeling very good


here, how do we compare with other regions outside London as far as


the Olympic goes? Better than most, this is the biggest demand won by


any region outside London and the south-east. Midlands firms are


supplying security fencing, bathroom sings, bicycles, sweat


shirts, information signs and doors. Although the construction side is


complete, there are more contracts available with things like


management services to stage the games and even after the Games,


there will be contracts up for grabs as some of that could come to


the Midlands. Thank you. This isn't just a venue for Olympic football,


it is a business in its own right. I am joined by the chief executive


of the arena. How is the stadium faring in terms of a venue? This


hot subject of tickets, are you expecting it to be packs for all of


the 12 games? Yes, we are very excited, this is a great


opportunity, and we are second only to Wembley in terms of ticket sales.


How much capacity is left? People are frustrated they could not get


tickets, is there an opportunity to get seats in the stadium? Very much


so, go to the London 2012 website for tickets and we have got lots of


opportunities for the Coventry and Warwickshire Olympic experience.


Can they come directly to you for tickets? Not quite yet, but in the


next couple of weeks we will be selling hospitality tickets on our


website, but until then, you need to go to the London 2012 website.


Does the legacy of the game's just apply to what happens in London or


can you transfer it to what happens in Coventry as well? Without


question, the economic impact will be significant and for me, one of


the major issues is about hospitality and leisure and tourism


based business. We will have 250,000 people coming to watch: Be


given Syrian Coventry and it is very important that businesses


across the area expand from this. - - coming to watch Olympic events


here in commentary. I'll be back later in the programme


with a look at Olympic preparations here in Coventry, but for now it's


back to Nick in the studio. A nursery nurse worker has been


jailed for life for the rape of a toddler and a string of sexual


offences against children. The judge described 21-year-old Paul


Wilson as dangerous and depraved. He abused the toddler in a toilet


at the nursery and coerced girls as young as 12 into performing sex


acts over the internet. Giles Latcham was in court.


Paul Wilson - highly deviant said the judge, highly manipulative. At


this nursery near his home in Nechells in Birmingham he twice


filmed himself on his phone raping a toddler in his care. Online on


web cameras, using a smokescreen of false identities he coerced girls


aged 12 to 15 into performing sexual acts alone and with others.


He recorded them and then blackmailed them into doing it


again. He has victimised and in a calculated way, targeted the most


vulnerable people in society and he has held them to ransom and


blackmailed them in terms of committing offences for his own


perversion and sexual gratification. The judge told Wilson he was a


dangerous and depraved paedophile. You have humiliated, corrupted and


defiled, she said. You have caused unknown harm to all of your victims.


She expressed incredulity that Wilson had been allowed to continue


working at the nursery after staff raised concerns about his behaviour.


One of them complained direct to Ofsted who said they were sorry


their investigations did not bring to light what was happening sooner.


Birmingham's child safety board is now conducting an inquiry of its


own. Wilson, who pleaded guilty, will serve a minimum of 15 years.


Too many elderly patients are dying - particularly of pneumonia - at


New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton. That's the finding of the Care


Quality Commission, which will meet hospital managers within the next


fortnight. The hospital's had higher than usual death rates for


nearly ten years. Here's our Health Correspondent, Michele Paduano.


Terry Gittos loved to paint. At 82, he was still active, but he fell


and was admitted to New Cross hospital in Wolverhampton. He


didn't come out. It broke my heart. It has ruined by life and left me


with nothing. I have nothing and no reason to live now. A family friend


emailed me in April before he died, distraught that his weight had


dropped to seven stone in six weeks. The deterioration was so rapid. He


went from an actor gentleman to a bag of Bones. I could not


understand how somebody who is supposed to be been cared for, to


me, it looks like total neglect. New Cross Hospital had already


triggered the Care Quality Commission's alert system. Just


days before Terry died, the CTC Cayman, concerned about care and


welfare, and the number of complaints. -- before the Care


Quality Commission came in. There would be an inquiry to thrash out


what went on. The hospital does have one of the best records in the


country for MRSA. Its chief executive accepts mistakes are made,


but doesn't believe the hospital has a problem. I showed him the


email from Mrs Timmins. I don't think we have a problem. And that


is why have asked the Care Quality Commission to come and have a look,


and just before this interview, I actually looked at the indicators


of were the risk rate of every hospital has carried out, and we


are by no means in the red. Statistics experts disagree.


Wolverhampton has had a ratio that has been above the national average


for about a decade. If you add all of the figures together over that


decade, they are significantly high. It's vital to discover whether


others suffered like Mr Gittos. Still to come tonight, Ben Rich


with all the details on the weather. Yes, we've been treated to yet


another fine, dry, and pleasantly warm day. So how long can this


spell of settled summer weather continue? I'll have the full


forecast for the rest of the week, later in the programme.


Welcome back to the Ricoh Arena. In a year it will be renamed the City


of Coventry Stadium for the duration of the Games. The first of


the 12 matches will kick off on Monday 25th July, two days before


the opening ceremony in London. And it's to London we cross now and our


reporter Ben Godfrey who's overlooking the Olympic Stadium. So


Ben what do you think of it? The scale, the size, it's just


magnificent, really. I'll get out of the way as every good tour


guides to do and led to see the Olympic Stadium in all its glory.


80,000 people will witness the opening ceremony in one year's time.


This is one of six venues that has now been completed. The aquatic


centre is the latest one. The run aground, real contrast. A tour


group from the West Midlands came here a few weeks ago, and we had


but four. Some of them will be watching the 2012 Olympics from the


comfort of their land, others will be desperate to compete. -- the


comfort of their lounge. While construction teams are


working against the clock, this tour group of athletes took a break


from training for a glimpse of what might be. Among them, James Burden,


a guest of BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. At the age of 19, the


butterflyer from Bedworth is one of our youngest Olympic swimming


hopefuls. He could be here at the Aquatics Centre. It looks amazing.


All of the venues that amazing. Just to think of all the greatest


athletes in the world been together run one place, there is nothing


better. The Olympic Park is taking shape. From every angle, the


buildings impress. Everywhere too, construction workers are trying to


meet deadlines. This venue has just finished on Friday. BBC local radio


has been following our Olympic hopefuls - BBC WM is with Hannah


Powell, who at the age of 11 began lifting weights, and now at the age


of 18, could make the GB weightlifting team. My family are


really proud. At the moment I am just looking at qualifying. This


election period, when you qualify, a to Z of their hands. To see the


true scale of the site, Rachel Hughes opted for a birds eye view.


A guest of BBC Radio Stoke, Rachel's a member of her local WI.


How excited I knew about the Olympic Games? I didn't tell the


members that I was coming today in case they all wanted to,! There so


much activity! You can see what the stadium will look like when it's


finished. So what about legacy - a former Wolverhampton schoolgirl


wanted to make a point. Tessa Sanderson, her sixth and final


throw! It winds its way out. A lovely long series. Not as far as


her first. Tessa Sanderson won Javelin Gold in 1984 and now trains


youngsters to capture the Olympic spirit. The youngsters that time


working with, creating a pathway for them through Sport and in


learning, that they are getting more active. It is helping them to


find jobs at the end of the day. whether you're an athlete, a


spectator with elusive tickets or in your favourite armchair at home,


it's difficult to escape some Olympic excitement.


So the excitement is building. You were on that guided tour Ben. What


were your impressions of the Olympic Park? Huge in scale.


Incredibly enticing. Let me show you the contrast of landscapes we


have got here. If you look over here, this area was known as stinky


Strangford, a land involved in toxic and contaminated land. Now,


there is an Olympic Park with cleaning buildings. It is all about


the legacy. There are dissenting voices saying the cost of �9


billion to fund it all is maybe excessive at a time of national


austerity. But it was pretty austere in 1948 when the Games were


last in London. But the people I have spoken to date have said this


is extremely exciting. This will be a special event. Is there still


some scepticism, cynicism, do you think? If there is any, certainly,


the organisers, the likes of Lord Coe and former Olympians are here


to install the virtues of these games and say this is not just for


London 2012, it is for the entire country. Lord Coe was saying today,


look in the West Midlands, Birmingham hosting training


activities, all of the heritage, people that are going to volunteer.


Those that will see the torch going through the region. He says this is


absolutely the time to be excited about it. From the Olympic Stadium,


back to you in Coventry. Thanks Ben. As well as hosting


Olympic football and making those 8,000 Olympic torches, Coventry is


also the inspiration for one of the most ambitious elements of the


Cultural Olympiad. The arts festival which runs alongside the


games. Godiva Awakes is a 10 metre high puppet, which will be powered


by a team of cyclists down to London. I went to see how


preparations for that have been going, as well as what the Games


will mean for the City of Coventry. 36 metres of silk, hundreds of


screen prints and thousands of stitches. They'll all make up the


intricate coat for a ten metre high Lady Godiva. The delicately


engineered skeleton will look something like this. The robed


puppet will be propelled by a team of cyclists down to London as part


of the cultural Olympiad. Julia O'Connell and her team of five


artists at Coventry University are designing the coat - to reflect the


heritage of the West Midlands. idea was that I want to feature all


of the stories, it is almost like this used code, a huge book


featuring stories and testimonies and all over the code could be


abolished and embroidered with people's stories and the ideas from


the industries in the region. is that in your hand? This is to


show you, when I was first doing the design, I thought, oh, I only


work on a small-scale, and I made a little prototype. Soup from the


Meaney prettied tied to a more realistic size. The idea is that


she will have robbed Stan hands so she can move to a seven-day journey,


but she will be wearing a six-metre version, which, in case you're


wondering, is his size 54! While Lady Godiva gets a new frock - the


more traditionally naked version oversees some of the redevelopment


work in the City Centre. Tom Clift is part of the City Council's


Olympic team. Apart from a brand new square, what else are the


people of Coventry getting from the Olympic? There are 12 games of


football, the torch relay will be coming here on first July 1920 12,


businesses are winning contracts. Lots happening for people to get


involved in. There is still some cynicism that it is all happening


in London, why should we care in the Midlands and in Coventry? How


do you convince them? London is the host city, but Coventry has taken


part in the biggest events in the world, but to be one hour from


London, why go to London, go and see 2012 in the West Midlands.


big screen is up and running, let's go and have a look. You can watch


all of the different sports at the time of the Games. You can interact


live with the screen on a daily basis and we hope to have a number


of different events to stage their own different experiences. But all


this doesn't come cheap - at �7m is it value for money? I would say


that the Olympics are leaving us with a legacy. Much of what we were


doing is already planned. We are not spending any new money that


hasn't already been set aside for improvements. We're not taking any


money at a fresh budgets to pay for the Olympic improvements. But it


remains to be seen whether that legacy lives on as long as the


famous woman of Coventry from the Middle Ages.


I have moved inside now at the Arena, and as we saw in my report,


the Olympics is not just about sport, it is about arts and culture,


and these dancers are all to do with the West Midlands commitment


to culture and arts. I am delighted that the chairman of West Midlands


2012 was with me. But as they are tightening? It is not just about


sport, the colourful programme has been extensive. These guys are from


the University of Warwick Arts Centre and in the West Midlands be


have a project called Dancing for the Games, and lots of people have


interpreted the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games to dance. It


is all about getting more people to get their moment. Getting there


moment, what does that mean to ordinary people, Mia mortals like


myself? You have competed in three Olympics, what will it mean to the


people of the West Midlands? the people in the schools, the


children, the majority in the West Midlands, they're doing a project


in curriculum time where they are looking at the values of the


Olympics and the Paralympic Games and looking at how the history, the


signs, the mathematics of the Olympic Games is relevant in the


community. Their businesses winning contracts. There is a project


called community gains tried to get as many communities in the West


Midlands to interpret the gains in whatever way is for them. It is


like an Olympic street party. There is clearly true sport, we are


encouraging people to become more involved in sport. Over 500,000


people have taken part in the cultural side of it and many of


those have never done culture before, if you know what I mean.


You have 10 seconds to tell people why they should care about the


Olympics! Because it will be a wonderful moment in the history of


the area, not just because of football in Coventry and to make -


and America, it is everything! is it for me, we're back to the


studio. So we've learnt about Coventry's


important role in the Olympics next year and we've found out how the


whole region's likely to benefit from the first Games in the UK


since 1948. Let's see how other parts of the Midlands are gearing


up, as Ian Winter takes a sporting look around the region.


Rolling back the years in Handsworth Park. I'll never forget


the summer of '92. Watching Jane Sixsmith standing proudly on the


podium in Barcelona. And the good news is, almost 20 years later,


we've hardly changed a bit. Jane, fondly known as Jasper by her


teammates, was the Sutton Coldfield striker whose goals helped Britain


to win bronze. This morning, that same Olympic medal sparkled in the


Birmingham sunshine. Whilst our hockey hero prepared to tackle 12


different sports in one day to celebrate one year to go before


London 2012. Emily and because of everyone competing for Great


Britain because they know it would be a fantastic event on home soil.


But before the serious stuff starts next July, Jane's having a bit of


fun, to encourage all of us to do more exercise. Whether it's 20


minutes of table tennis... Followed by 20 minutes of badminton... It's


hoped that one of the legacies of London 2012 will see more people


simply having a go. And you don't have to be an Olympic athlete to


step out onto the dance mat and increase the fitness of cities like


Birmingham. Life is moving at a more leisurely pace today, the


modern Olympic games were here back in 1820, and the newly bits could


attract people to the Tannen the next five months. It is great all


of the links back to the Olympic Games and the modern Olympic Games.


It is a great opportunity for us to show what the place is all about.


It is everything for me. I will watch the opening ceremony from


beginning to end. And in Stoke-on- Trent, well done to everyone,


running 159 miles for charity, the exact distance between the


Potteries and the Olympic Park. Today, London 2012 suddenly feels


much closer to home. And a warm, dry day it's been for


it all too. More of the same please, Yes, some more to come, Nick.


Weather like this would be nice in a year's time. The rest of this


week is looking quite pleasant staying dry and mild. A lot of


cloud today. It would keep a lot of cloud tonight as well. One word to


clear spells. A Myers night with temperatures no lower than 12 or 13


degrees Celsius in most places. Tomorrow, this is how it looks and


a big picture. High pressure in charge. This weather front, will


reach us later in the day, but because it is squeezed by a high


pressure, not bringing much in the wake of rain at all. A dry start


tomorrow with a lot of sunshine first thing. The cloud will thicken


up as we go through into the afternoon. Particularly in western


parts of the region, Shropshire and Staffordshire. One day tomorrow


with highs of 24 degrees Celsius, 75 Fahrenheit. This little bit of


rain up in the north-west, that is the weather front I was talking


about and that will move to the south-east as we go through


tomorrow night. Into Friday, cloudy and Stam start, but once that


disappears, and nice day with clear conditions. 19, 20 Celsius. A sneak


peek at the weekend, and looking good. Mainly fine and dry with


sunshine at times. Rising temperatures by Sunday and up to 24


Celsius. Thank you.


Thank you. The main headline today, it's one


year to go until the start of the Olympics. Before we go, of final


word from Mary in Coventry, can these Olympics live up to


expectations? We have both been lucky enough to


cover Olympics in the past. You will know what it is like anywhere


their working at it. You cannot help but be caught up in the


atmosphere. Difficult to imagine at the moment that the stadium and


five months time will be packed and there is something different about


football at the Olympics than just coming to were bigger fixtures. And


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