27/07/2011 Midlands Today


27/07/2011

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

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Midlands Today with me, Nick Owen, in Birmingham.

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

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

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Olympic action. A bonanza for business as they

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

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

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

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

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in the world will be together in one place.

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

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and admitted 45 other sexual offences against children has been

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

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

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

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

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football matches, three of them kicking off before the opening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Coventry that we cross now to Mary Rhodes.

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

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

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

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

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

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than half a billion pounds. Our Business Correspondent, Peter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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businesses and maybe they will visit the theatre, because the

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Royal Shakespeare Company at special events on. But while some

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

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worried that the opposite might happen. A recent survey suggested

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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major role in helping to deliver the Games too.

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

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

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

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

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

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supplying security fencing, bathroom sings, bicycles, sweat

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

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complete, there are more contracts available with things like

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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opportunities for the Coventry and Warwickshire Olympic experience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the major issues is about hospitality and leisure and tourism

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

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given Syrian Coventry and it is very important that businesses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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acts over the internet. Giles Latcham was in court.

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

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this nursery near his home in Nechells in Birmingham he twice

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

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

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

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He recorded them and then blackmailed them into doing it

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

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

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blackmailed them in terms of committing offences for his own

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

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dangerous and depraved paedophile. You have humiliated, corrupted and

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

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She expressed incredulity that Wilson had been allowed to continue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Quality Commission, which will meet hospital managers within the next

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

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

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

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and was admitted to New Cross hospital in Wolverhampton. He

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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triggered the Care Quality Commission's alert system. Just

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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comfort of their lounge. While construction teams are

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

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

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

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butterflyer from Bedworth is one of our youngest Olympic swimming

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

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

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

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

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buildings impress. Everywhere too, construction workers are trying to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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finished. So what about legacy - a former Wolverhampton schoolgirl

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

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

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

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youngsters to capture the Olympic spirit. The youngsters that time

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

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

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

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

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it's difficult to escape some Olympic excitement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:16:29.:16:39.
:16:39.:16:44.

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

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

:16:49.:16:55.

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

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

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

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look in the West Midlands, Birmingham hosting training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cultural Olympiad. The arts festival which runs alongside the

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

:17:44.:17:49.

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

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

:17:52.:18:00.

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

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

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

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engineered skeleton will look something like this. The robed

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

:18:16.:18:20.

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

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

:18:24.:18:32.

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

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

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featuring stories and testimonies and all over the code could be

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

:18:44.:18:50.

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

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

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

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

:19:05.:19:11.

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

:19:11.:19:15.

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

:19:15.:19:19.

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

:19:19.:19:22.

more traditionally naked version oversees some of the redevelopment

:19:22.:19:25.

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

:19:25.:19:32.

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

:19:32.:19:37.

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

:19:37.:19:42.

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

:19:42.:19:44.

businesses are winning contracts. Lots happening for people to get

:19:44.:19:49.

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

:19:49.:19:54.

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

:19:54.:19:59.

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

:19:59.:20:03.

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

:20:03.:20:10.

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

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

:20:15.:20:18.

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

:20:18.:20:22.

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

:20:22.:20:26.

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

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

:20:31.:20:35.

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

:20:35.:20:39.

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

:20:39.:20:43.

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

:20:43.:20:46.

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

:20:46.:20:50.

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

:20:50.:20:56.

famous woman of Coventry from the Middle Ages.

:20:56.:21:00.

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

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

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

:21:08.:21:14.

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

:21:14.:21:20.

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

:21:20.:21:25.

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

:21:25.:21:29.

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

:21:29.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:38.

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

:21:38.:21:43.

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

:21:43.:21:47.

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

:21:47.:21:51.

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

:21:51.:21:55.

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

:21:55.:22:00.

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

:22:00.:22:03.

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

:22:03.:22:06.

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

:22:06.:22:10.

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

:22:10.:22:14.

community. Their businesses winning contracts. There is a project

:22:15.:22:19.

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

:22:19.:22:24.

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

:22:24.:22:28.

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

:22:28.:22:33.

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

:22:33.:22:36.

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

:22:36.:22:40.

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

:22:40.:22:43.

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

:22:43.:22:48.

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

:22:48.:22:55.

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

:22:55.:23:00.

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

:23:00.:23:02.

studio. So we've learnt about Coventry's

:23:02.:23:05.

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

:23:05.:23:08.

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

:23:08.:23:11.

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

:23:11.:23:15.

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

:23:15.:23:18.

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

:23:18.:23:21.

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

:23:21.:23:25.

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

:23:25.:23:32.

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

:23:33.:23:35.

teammates, was the Sutton Coldfield striker whose goals helped Britain

:23:35.:23:40.

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

:23:40.:23:44.

Birmingham sunshine. Whilst our hockey hero prepared to tackle 12

:23:44.:23:47.

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

:23:47.:23:53.

London 2012. Emily and because of everyone competing for Great

:23:54.:23:57.

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

:23:57.:24:00.

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

:24:00.:24:03.

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

:24:03.:24:07.

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

:24:07.:24:10.

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

:24:10.:24:14.

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

:24:14.:24:17.

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

:24:17.:24:25.

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

:24:25.:24:35.
:24:35.:24:36.

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

:24:37.:24:41.

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

:24:41.:24:45.

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

:24:45.:24:49.

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

:24:49.:24:53.

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

:24:53.:24:59.

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

:24:59.:25:03.

running 159 miles for charity, the exact distance between the

:25:03.:25:07.

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

:25:07.:25:11.

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

:25:11.:25:19.

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

:25:19.:25:27.

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

:25:27.:25:32.

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

:25:32.:25:38.

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

:25:38.:25:42.

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

:25:42.:25:47.

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

:25:47.:25:54.

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

:25:54.:25:57.

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

:25:57.:26:01.

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

:26:01.:26:05.

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

:26:05.:26:09.

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

:26:09.:26:14.

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

:26:14.:26:21.

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

:26:21.:26:24.

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

:26:24.:26:26.

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

:26:26.:26:34.

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

:26:34.:26:41.

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

:26:41.:26:46.

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

:26:46.:26:50.

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

:26:50.:26:53.

Celsius. Thank you.

:26:53.:26:55.

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

:26:55.:27:00.

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

:27:00.:27:04.

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

:27:04.:27:08.

expectations? We have both been lucky enough to

:27:08.:27:12.

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

:27:12.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:19.

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

:27:20.:27:22.

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

:27:22.:27:26.

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

:27:26.:27:31.

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