29/07/2011 Midlands Today


The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 29/07/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Good evening, welcome to the start of the weekend with Midlands Today


from the BBC. Deadline midnight - the final hours of consultation on


the controversial high-speed rail link. It is not only not going to


solve the deep divide, it is going to be worse, it will not help the


environment. A viper in our midst - at the words


of a judge who jailed this man for the terrorist offences. He was a


posting violent, extremist views on land, encouraging people to murder


MPs. Birmingham City admit they have


financial problems, but are adamant it is not a crisis. It could be


Armageddon, but it could be a new start, who knows what is in the


future? 's and a Motown revival, not in


Detroit, but Warwickshire, thanks Good evening. Tonight: vital for


Britain, its economy and its transport network or a blight on


our countryside that will haunt the government? Those are the fiercely


contrasting views of Network Rail and the Countryside Alliance,


who've just added their submissions to the consultation on High Speed 2.


The rest of us have less than six hours to do the same, as the


deadline to have a say on the proposal to build a high-speed rail


link between London and Birmingham ends at midnight. But it'll be the


Transport Secretary who'll have the final word, and he won't be rushed


into making any decisions before the end of the year. Giles Latcham


reports on possibly THE most controversial engineering plan to


affect our region. "Never the twain shall meet" goes


the saying, but today they did. On the last day of the public


consultation we brought together two voices from opposing sides of


the HS2 debate. I can understand what you are coming from. Could one


convinced the other? Night out of 10 train project over inflate day


I accept that usage numbers were higher and then they turned out to


be the case, but the economic benefits from that far exceeded


those that were convicted. This would be developed, there would be


some business parks. This is part of the regeneration. But every


building built here, that is one less in Coventry, Wolverhampton...


It would be enormously beneficial for us to be able to operate, would


work in London that has become a major global city, and do it in the


regions. It is not just the ability to do things over the internet, it


is having face-to-face beatings, being able to get there quickly, it


is really important. If you have a big office in London and a 49


minute trip to Birmingham, why do you need an office in Birmingham?


Many places will say, we don't need that office, we will shut it down,


Precious little common ground, but arguments commonly heard at


roadshows and public meetings across the Midlands since


consultation began in February. The government won't say how many


responses and comments they have had through this consultation


period, but they are due to make a statement based on them by the end


of the year. Ahead of that, their message today was simple - yes, we


can talk about it, but a new line we must have. Anyone who has ever


been stuck in the queue at Euston on Friday night trying to get on a


train to Birmingham or Manchester will know we are rapidly running


out of capacity on the west coast main line, and urgently need a new


line to give additional capacity but those are journeys. This whole


project is a vanity project... of our MEPs was travelling by road,


rallying support for the anti-s. Why was the green bait -- Green


Belt created? It is about to be conurbations, one of the things,


when it has been built, it will make the West Midlands and


Birmingham a satellite of London. The Countryside Alliance say lives


will be destroyed. In London, they want changes to the route.


Consultation will soon be over, but with stakes as high as these, the


arguments continue. Thanks for joining us. Staying off


the street and out of trouble, the teenagers taking to the stage


instead. And we're at one of the country's


biggest dance festivals, which has grown from its beginnings in a


Warwickshire farmhouse to become a An internet blogger from


Wolverhampton has been jailed for 12 years after admitting soliciting


the murder of MPs who'd voted for the Iraq war.


Bilal Zaheer Ahmad, who's 23, was also sentenced for other terror ism


offences at Bristol Crown Court. Our reporter has been following the


case and joins us now. What more can you tell us? This is all to do


with postings he made online last year, specifically after a trial


that had taken place in London. She had stabbed the Labour MP Stephen


Timms, he went on line, posted messages in her support, and said,


revolution Muslim, he said other people should go out and do the


same thing. The judge -- judge described him as a viper in our


midst. Really strong words from Mr Justice Royce and, he said, you


were intent on striking at the heart of our democracy. You report


to be a British citizen, but would you stand for is totally alien to


what we stand for in this country. Strong words, a 12 year sentence,


he was also told that when he is released, he will have to spend at


least five more years on licence. Whatever the police said? They are


pleased, because the offices were the ones in apiarist not long after


those comments. They are particularly worried about online


extremism. People have a right to freedom of speech, but with that


comes a responsibility, they should do that within the law. Ahmad went


beyond the law, he solicited the murder of many people, and it is an


important sentenced today. By sheer coincidence, I happened to be at


the counter-terrorism officers when he was arrested last November, so I


know how important this is, they're taking online extremism very


seriously indeed, not just Islamic extremism, but also from the far


right. Birmingham City's acting chairman


Peter Pannu is flying back from Hong Kong as speculation continues


over the club's financial position. Tonight, another of the club's top


players is all set to leave St Andrew's to reduce the wage bill.


But the Blues insist their bankers are being very supportive. Ian


Winter reports. Something's missing at St Andrew's.


The proud name of Birmingham City is disappearing. But some fans fear


losing a few letters is the least of their club's problems. Even the


signs are coming down at Birmingham City! It is an absolute crisis.


Crisis, what crisis? That's the gist of the latest statement on the


Blues website. Designed to calm fears about the club's financial


position. But this was the fateful moment in May, when the Blues'


owner Carson Yeung realised the Premier League gravy train had been


derailed by relegation. And four weeks later, he was arrested in


Hong Kong on suspicion of money laundering. Frozen assets in the


Far East are causing anxious times at St Andrew's. Acting chairman


Peter Pannu admits the benefactor's legal wrangles does pose some


If the case is proven against him, the Hong Kong government could


seize his assets, and effectively owned Birmingham City Football Club.


It could be Armageddon, but it could be a brand new start, who


knows what is going to be in the future? This pantomime soap opera


that is Birmingham City. Football fan Peter Knowles is keeping a


close eye on developments at St Andrew's, because he's also


stockbroker. I think the chances of them going into administration are


quite slim at the moment. They are still receiving the parachute from


a Sky, which means from a trading perspective, there is money coming


in. It is only if there is no money coming in that I would be worried


if I was at them. So Blues fans will give thanks for those


parachute payments. And offer a little prayer that their absence


from the Premier League will last no more than one season.


Ian joins us live at St Andrew's. What sort of reaction will Peter


Pannu get from the Blues fans? is very difficult to answer. I


understand that Peter Pannu is hoping to be back in time for


tomorrow's kick-off, their friendly against Everton, that hinges on


flight connections. The club say they are where there may be a small


protest, they're not sure the size of it, they haven't secured a shirt


sponsor. That is being offered on a match-by-match basis, although they


point out they have sold over 11,000 season tickets, only 900


less than this time a year ago. is the latest player most likely to


be leaving St Andrew's? They're very latest tonight is that


goalkeeper Ben Foster has been having a medical at the Hawthorns,


and is on the verge of completing a season-long loan to West Brom, with


West Brom's goalkeeper moving in the other direction. Blues fans


always knew that relegation would mean the sale of some of their more


highly paid players, but the fact that Ben Foster is now the 4th big-


name player to be leaving St Andrews is a cause for concern, and


he may well not be the last to leave the club before the end of


August. Thank you. Warwickshire Social Services has


launched an independent inquiry following the murder of a 27-year-


old woman from Gemma Hayter was found naked and beaten on a disused


railway line a year ago. Yesterday five people were found guilty of


killing her. A serious case review began in January to establish


whether any lessons need to be learned.


A murder inquiry's underway after a man died following an explosion in


a garage last weekend. 41-year-old Job Wilding died from severe burns


after a gas cylinder exploded on Gristhorpe Road in Selly Oak in


Birmingham. Another man, who's 35, is in a critical condition. Three


people have been arrested and released on bail.


Teenagers are the most likely to be the victims of street disorder, yet


they're often the first to be labelled the troublemakers.


Now one group is trying to turn around that image by working on a


play called Rough Diamonds. Our reporter Kevin Reide went to


Wolverhampton to see them rehearse. These youngsters at the EYES


project are in a race against time. Next week they'll be performing


their play Rough Diamonds to the public at Wolverhampton's grand


theatre, tackling issues such as racism, teenage pregnancy, and


street crime. Look, mate, I don't know you, so back down, okay?


Backed down! Look! More than 70 young people from all backgrounds


are involved - the aim being to keep them off the streets and out


of trouble, and at the same time uncover natural talent. A lot of


times they haven't identified their talents, learned how to translate


this into marketable skills. This is one avenue where we can all


identify their talents, and they can work on one project together


and see what they can produce. project serves as a beacon of hope


for many young people in Wolverhampton, steering them away


from not only anti-social behaviour but in some cases much more serious


Former gang member Isia Maylor knows only too well the perils of


the streets. The 25-year old has served a prison sentence for gun


crime, but EYES and Rough Diamonds has helped him discover talents he


never knew he had. It's also taught him a thing or two about life.


was in jail, I come out of jail, and... I straightened my ways. I


thought I was bigger than everyone. That isn't the case. We're all


equals. More rehearsals as the countdown begins, but what do those


here feel there needs to be to stop anti social behaviour?? I think


there should be more organisations like this, to help people get off


the street. Things where they can play, knowing there is not going to


be trouble coming to them. More youth centres and organisations,


more clubs that can be due to what you want to do when you grow older.


Although there are two things available, they are not advertised


enough for Curtains are up next Wednesday - a chance for


Wolverhampton to take great pride The positive things going on there.


Good to have you with us this evening - still to come: a soul


legend gives Warwickshire the It's holiday time but if you're not


going away you may be going to a music festival - they're lots of


them going on all over the region and over next six weeks we're going


to be there too meeting the hundreds of thousands of people


that travel to them from all over the country. Today sees the start


of our first big festival of the summer - Global Gathering which has


gone from humble beginnings in Warwickshire eleven years ago to a


multimillion pound world- wide business. Ben Sidwell is at the


festival now. There are some flashing lights.


Welcome to the main stage. The party is well under way. This


weekend 55,000 people will be here to enjoy the festival. It is thanks


mainly to one of music entrepreneur from Stratford upon Avon. I spent


much of the week behind the man behind Global Gathering.


Under way for its 11th year, it is one of the main fixtures of the


music festival calendar but the scenes near Stafford this afternoon


are long way from the tranquillity of the HQ in the Warwickshire


countryside. We have been lucky where we are situated and at the


end of the day if it is not broken, you don't fix it. Everything is


running well at the moment. The offices are great, we are here to


stay. James has won a group of four who came up with the idea for


Global Gathering in the year 2000. He is the boss of the company and


the only remaining member. It was what he did with the testable six


years ago that changed the business forever. We believe it it was a


great festival for five years in the UK and why shouldn't we do


these international events and the countries we targeted to do events


in had not really had them in the past. They all said yes and he we


are five years later doing an international show and they are


doing well. The week leading up to the festival means time in the car


travelling between the office and the festival site making sure


everything is ready. When the headline it goes on on the Friday


night, the sound and lights are great, the crowd goes mad and you


think that is the biggest... The hair on the back of the next stanza.


They arrived in their thousands and I met up with James again. For him,


the next 48 hours are the most important of the whole year. There


is a huge element of risk which mitigates as you get more


established. We have been going 11 years and we know what the fan base


is and we budget accordingly. We're a company that needs to make a


profit. We also make sure we plough money back into the best will.


festival ends on Sunday morning. By Monday, the team will be checking


it has been a financial success before planning begins the next


year. Let's speak to James. We said it is


a multi-million-pound business. You go to some strange places like


South Korea and Belarus. It all gets bored out of reputation, we


have been doing this for 11 years, I have invited people from all over


the world and they have witnessed what we do in the UK and one to


take it to their country. We have worked with some great people and


grown the festival from the Ukraine, five years ago, Russia four years


ago, Belarus and they had seen it in neighbouring countries.


Basically they wanted to do it. have shown music festivals can make


money and do not have to be multinational companies. It is that


having an idea and wanting to deliver something and Petula heart


and soul into it. There is risk, yes, it is financially risky to put


these things on. When you have that amount of people in a field, it


feels amazing. As I said, the festival goes on until the early


hours of tomorrow morning and then they look to do it all again next


year. From Warwickshire, goodbye. The thousands turning out. Just a


week before the start of the new football season, a shock at Port


Vale as their long standing chairman Bill Bratt resigns. He'll


stay on the board. Mr Bratt's been in charge for nearly 10 years, but


fans have vented their anger towards him over a lack of


investment. Laura May McMullan's been finding out where this leaves


the club. There's just eight days to go


before the start of the season and tonight Port Vale are without a


permanent chairman. Today Bill Bratt decided to sever his day to


day ties with the club. For I love the club, I have done what I can.


It has been a difficult time, the past 18 months. I believe it is


right for somebody else to do it. It's been a turbulent time at Vale


Park. Some fans have been protesting for months - accusing


the board of a lack of investment. And last month at an EGM here there


was a vote of no confidence in the board.


Fans have mixed views. It is not just Bill Bratt, it is all of them.


The club needs to move on. The money needs to be found from


somewhere. The higher you are, the harder you fall. I believe in


supporting the club through thick and thin. This was Bill Bratt


talking to me last month. Today he cleared his desk and walked away


after nine seasons at the helm. is not worth the aggravation but


because you love something you do it. We knew at the time the club


would have folded so we mortgaged our houses and put the money in.


has decided to stay on the board for the time being and another


director has now taken temporary control. More importantly the fans


are hoping it won't be another Just to confirm earlier, Ben Foster


has signed on loan for the season for West Bromwich Albion.


The Aviva UK Trials and Championships have just got


underway in Birmingham. They're being held at the newly opened


Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr. The competition is the final throw


of the dice for those athletes hoping to board the Team GB plane


for next month's World Championships in South Korea. And


BBC WM will have coverage of the Championships this evening on DAB


digital radio and it continues on 95.6FM on tomorrow and Sunday.


Stoke city manager Tony Pulis says fitness levels and a lack of new


signings could affect them in Europe. The Potters won the first


leg of their Europa League third qualifying round last night against


Hajduk Split, thanks to a third minute goal from Jon Walters. The


Stoke boss says the match highlighted the need to bring in


new players. We are weak in respect of the depth of the squad but we


want to bring Pale's -- players in he will come straight into the team,


not just to fill this caught up. We want players in the group he will


get straight in the team. But last night's win will also be remembered


for the passion of the visiting supporters. Take a look at this,


the Croation fans didn't let the defeat spoil their visit to the


Potteries - in fact, they kept up their high energy support for their


Most of them took their shirts off. Heavy Metal music and its links to


the Midlands are well known but now the region's gaining a reputation


for Soul. An unknown band's attracting Motown stars of the past


onto British soil, as our Arts and Culture reporter Satnam Rana's been


finding out. Atherstone located near the


northernmost tip of Warwickshire and home to 8 and a half thousand


people, It's most famously known for it's Shrove Tuesday Ball Game.


Every town has its ugly spots but look behind here and there is


They say music unites and nowhere is it more apparent than in here.


Seven Warwicksire lads make up The Stone Foundation - a soul band. Add


in lead singer from Mowtown yester years Joe Harris from The


Undisputed Truth - a 1970s Motown So how did the collaboration


happen? We have turned this place into...


How do you feel? It has been fun. A real thrill to be playing with a


Grammy Award winner. We a council estate kids. The band have already


managed to get airtime on 6 Music and will be performing at The Royal


Albert Hall tonight. But why did Joe Harris decide to come all the


way to rural Warwickshire to get his musical fix? They are doing


some things I used to do a long time ago, the same field, the


camaraderie. These guys have a lot of talent and musical knowledge and


they play the music like those guys in Memphis.


Motown originated in Detroit dubbed Hitsville USA by it's founder Berry


Gordy. It's a still a hit with tourists today. But It's not the


first time the Midlands has been connected Motown - Edwin Star made


Polesworth near Tanworth his home in the mid 1970s. He used to call


me a lot, we had the same producer in Motown and he would get me to


come over and I was like, OK, I will make a date. Strange things


happened, the guitar players here have worked for Edwin Starr.


for Stone Foundation it means their ten year musical journey so far is


at least being noticed - so much so that they'll be supporting The


Now, the weekend weather. It has been quite a cloudy day, we


will spend much of the weekend chasing large amounts of cloud


around. Let's be positive, it will be warm and some sunny spells. We


will see some good breaks developing. Now, we have a weak


weatherfront straddled across southern parts of the region of


bringing the Vale of cloud and spits some spots of light rain and


drizzle. Through this evening, where we have that front we'll keep


things quite cloudy and damp with drizzle in Hereford and Gloucester.


The skies clear and the lowest temperatures of ten Celsius.


Tomorrow morning, for some it will be a cloudy start, especially in


the south with the remnants of the weather front, further north


sunshine from the word go, there will be sunny spells through the


day, quite a lot of cloud but warmer than today, highs of 22


Celsius. Tomorrow evening looks fine if you are having a barbecue.


Some sunny spells to end the day. Sunny spells into Sunday as well.


Thicker cloud works into the West by the end of the day but it will


be warm, highs 25. Next week, turning unsettled, the message is


make the most of the weekend. A look at tonight's main headlines:


The tabloids on trial - two newspapers are fined for contempt


of court - many more have to pay out for libel.


Download Subtitles