15/08/2011 Midlands Today


15/08/2011

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Welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: The Chief

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Constable of West Midlands Police attacks the Government for

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criticising tactics in last week's riots.

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The solutions to the events earlier in the week actually sit with in

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our local area. Thousands of letters of condolence

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are sent to the grieving families of three men killed during the

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riots. Overwhelmed by the support nationally and internationally. I

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cannot thank people enough. NHS U-turn, after saying they would

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not pay for this man's obesity operation, bosses agreed to surgery.

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And how a brother and sister saved Good evening. Tonight, the Chief

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Constable of the West Midlands steps into the political row over

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the policing of the riots. Chris Sims said he had been overwhelmed

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by public support for his officers, which he contrasted with the

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criticism coming from Westminster. He also attacked what he called the

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empty slogans of some politicians. His comments come as the Government

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reiterated its commitment to cutting police numbers despite the

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rioting. The first night of looting in

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Birmingham and riot police appear ready to tackle the troublemakers

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at this electrical shop. The only they do not. It was scenes like

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that on this very street with looting under way and riot police

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seemingly holding back that it sparked political debate. Was the

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robust action on the second night police as a politician led?

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Politicians flew back and reflected the public's mood and anger. That

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has incensed the Chief Constable. Very quickly into this event we

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needed to adjust from what I characterised as a public order

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response into something that was appropriate for offending that was

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far more fragmented and the disperse. In a statement he went

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One Midlands MP has come to Chris Sims' defence and says the Prime

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Minister is on dangerous territory. I think it is a misjudgment because

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he is picking a fight with the police before we have got to the

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bottom of the issue. Also, I think it is deeply unfair, you cannot

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behave as an armchair constable. He needs to show some leadership as a

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prime minister. At the electrical shop where �25,000 worth of stock

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was looted, more sympathy for the police. The general feeling on

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Monday was there was going to be trouble in the city centre. Again,

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it was the scale of it, I do not think anyone could have foreseen

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how much trouble there was going to Still the issue, a week on, is how

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the tax payers in the police handled the riots. A good job,

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considering what was going on. Personally, not brilliantly.

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think they did really well. Judging by what was happening in the rest

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of the country I would have thought they would have been up on the ball.

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The West Midlands force still stands to lose over 1000 to

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officers through cuts. Nationally the Police Federation has urged

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politicians to rethink the cuts saying that they could be a

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potential catastrophe if riots erupt again.

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Our political editor joins us now from outside West Midlands Police

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headquarters. The Government say that the police were slow off the

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mark, the police say they were as robust as they possibly could have

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been. The argument is escalating all the time.

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It does seem to be getting sharper with every passing day. One of the

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things that the Chief Constable has also said is that he answers above

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all to the people of the West Midlands. He has said that so far

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as the robustness of the police response is concerned, the 500 plus

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arrests that his force has made speak volumes more than anything

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else. On the other side of this argument, from the Prime Minister,

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David Cameron today has said that we do need to see a bigger response

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on the streets, more officers on the beat, the ability to regroup

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and as he put it, to crack down on the first sign of trouble. But when

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I remind you that of all the police officers in the West Midlands, 20%

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of riot trained, a new factory in things like leave, rotas, in-

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service training, you can see why it would take three days or so to

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scale up their presence and their response on the streets.

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We have got the cuts, we know that Labour won the Government to

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reverse the proposed cuts in police numbers. We are talking 1,200

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officers in the West Midlands force. Is there any sign that Westminster

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are going to think again about this? On the contrary. When you

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talk to ministers they are absolutely adamant that they are

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not going to reopen this debate. David Cameron himself has said that

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even if there were a repeat of the events of last week after the

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economies have been brought through, they would still be able to surge

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it onto the streets in the sorts of numbers we saw in the West Midlands

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last Wednesday evening. One former Midlands Chief Constable, now an

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academic at Cardiff University, says local forces in regions like

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ours are bound to bear the brunt of these police cuts. An awful lot is

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going to come out of local policing. It does not mean that police cannot

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respond to be incidents like we have seen over the last fortnight,

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it means that local day-in day-out policing will be less than it is

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now. We will see some withdrawal from the current neighbourhood

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policing that we now have. Birmingham City Council have been

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meeting in an emergency session this evening, have you picked up

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anything that has come out of the meeting so far? We know that Chris

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Sims is attending it. He has said there will be a debate about its --

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about this. We have heard a lot about tragic victims of this, he

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says they're attracted -- tragic offenders as well. �40,000 for the

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clean-up so far. We want to know what you think

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about the police and politicians. What is your view of the

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Government's decision to press ahead with planned cuts to the

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police service? E-mail us at all call last. We will pick up your

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comments and read them out later in the programme.

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Thousands of letters of support and messages of condolence, including a

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call from Prince Charles, have been received by the families of the

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three men killed in last week's riots. Three men have been charged

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with murdering the men. We are here to pay our respects and

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pray. A grieving father finding comfort

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in the kind Mr of strangers. Tariq Jahan invited me into his family

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home to show me some of the piles of letters he has received from

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around the world offering sympathy for the death of his son Haroon.

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have had thousands, I have read three or four but we have not got

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through to the letters yet. We are still in mourning and preparing for

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the funeral. But I am overwhelmed by the support nationally and

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internationally. I cannot thank the people enough for the kind words

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they have written. 21-year-old Haroon Jahan and

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brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were all hit by a park last

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Wednesday as they guarded a row of shops. The memorial of flowers at

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the scene continues to grow and the shock of what happened is still

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palpable. Zahur Majid met his friend Shazad hours before he died.

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When I met him he gave me a hug. I do not know if he had a feeling...

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It is really upsetting. This book of condolences packed

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with messages of sympathy from family, friends and passers-by. The

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latest one says, we will pray that she will never be forgotten.

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Hundreds more joined a police rally in the City yesterday. To see the

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community together gives me strength in my heart.

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Two men and a teenager have been charged with murdering the three

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friends. Adam King appeared at Birmingham Crown Court. All three

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were remanded in custody. I am grateful to the community for same

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calm and not escalating the situation any further. Thank you

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for your support to and let us hope that nothing like this happens

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again. Tariq Jahan has been praised for his calls for peace in the wake

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of his son's death. He hopes that will continue.

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Earlier today a 7th man was arrested in connection with the

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death. A further three men have been bailed pending further

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inquiries. The number of people arrested by

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West Midlands Police after last week's riots continues to rise. So

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far a total of 522 people have been upheld as information continues to

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form -- poor run. 109 people have been charged so far.

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How has the police investigation gone there? They told me a few

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hours ago that it is going very well. They are arresting people at

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the rate of around 10 a day. They expect that to continue. Today a

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man handed himself in because police published a CCTV image of

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him. Pictures like those on that day she found behind me. -- on that

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found behind me. These people are suspected of all sorts of crimes.

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Earlier I spoke to the Chief Superintendent from Westminster

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police and he said they need the public's help. We're talking about

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very serious offences. People whose behaviour was totally unacceptable.

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I would say to people, have a look at those images, if you recognise

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somebody, these people are people's are sons, daughters, neighbours,

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they have been to school with people, they have worked with

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people, if you can identify them up please contact us and provide us

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with that information. Lots of people have done just that. In

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other news, Birmingham seems to be returning to normal. What about in

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Wolverhampton? It certainly feels like it's going back to normal here

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as well. Let us talk to somebody who knows. Louise Johnson has

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become a hero in Wolverhampton after she stopped looters breaking

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into her shop. How does it feel for you? It is back to normal.

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Wolverhampton people will not let the writers win. These pictures

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behind you, if somebody at home recognises somebody of in those

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pictures, what would you say to them? It is going to be very

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difficult to do if it is family, but I would shock them, they need

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to be taught a lesson. It was not rioting because of the Government,

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it was just stealing trainers, mobile phones, it was destruction.

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How are you feeling yourself? I am glad to hear that. Police will

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continue their work and expect to arrest many more people in the

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coming days. An incredible lady. There is much

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more on this with regular update on A man he was planning to take his

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case Bobby's at the surgery to the European Court of Human Rights has

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been told he can have a bypass. Tom Condliff had made a third request

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of surgery and this time the NHS in North Staffordshire has decided

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that his case is exceptional. This has been Tom Condliff's live,

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staring out of the window. The 62- year-old ex-policeman is a diabetic

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but highly resistant to insulin. Time was running out but the

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gastric bypass operation could change his future. Quality of life

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is far or more important than quantity of life. I was looking at

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a very short life expectancy and hopefully this will give me a few

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more years with my wife -- with my wife and I am really looking

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forward to that. Although guidelines suggest that Mr Condliff

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should have qualified for surgery NHS North Staffordshire set a

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higher Bath. He had to prove his case was exceptional. They said

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they had received a request of funding from Mr Condliff on 10th

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August. They decided that his case differed significantly from the

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rest of the population and he would receive more benefit from having

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the operation and other people would. They are representing Tom

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Condliff said today that the PCT are now classed him as exceptional

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because he has been so resistant and extreme needle phobia however

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he has suffered with these four years and the PCT has known about

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these since March 2010. It was turned down then so I have no idea

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why it has been granted this time. He takes 28 drugs for 13 illnesses.

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It is incredible news for us. Tears of happiness and of hopes for the

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future. The earlier refusal to allow him Cedric had gone to the

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High Court and the Court of Appeal where his lawyers are argued that

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his right to a family life had been breached. He lost. His lawyer still

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intends to take it to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg

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to try to change the law. We wish him all the best with the

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operation. A number of roads were closed in

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Walsall this afternoon after a fire in a derelict tannery building.

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Fire crews were called to look Lower Forster Road. A number of

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buildings were evacuated as well as the arboretum. Local residents were

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advised to close their windows and doors.

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A former doctor from Worcestershire at whose daughter was killed in the

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Lockerbie bombing says he is stepping down from from mine

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campaigning for UK Families Flight 103. Dr Jim Swire says the

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emergence of the group Justice For Megrahi for a campaign on behalf of

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the man convicted of the attack meant he felt it was the right time

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to hand over the work to younger people.

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Businesses in a Shropshire town so they suffered a big drop in trade

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after rival demonstrations were held there at the weekend. Around

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350 members of the English Defence League gathered in Wellington. A

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counter demonstration attracted a further 250 people. 42 arrests were

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made and 10 people have been charged.

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The success story, down on the farm. Saved from developers and now it is

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driving. And critic be warming up? All the

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details coming at -- and could it Football now. Midlands sides can be

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pleased with the start to the Premier League season.

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Just the one defeat. Not too many complaints. Before a ball is kicked,

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there is always a sense of optimism. For fans of our Premier League

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sides, the opening day did not sweep that sense of hope away.

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The new season is a time for fresh starts. New titles on Match of the

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Day and new faces on the team-sheet. After last season's close shave

:17:20.:17:25.

with relegation, a feeling that Wolves can do much better this time

:17:25.:17:30.

around. Goals from Steven Fletcher and Steven Ward gave them a flying

:17:30.:17:35.

start. Not only the first time they have ever beaten Blackburn but the

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first time they have ever come up from behind to win away from home

:17:39.:17:42.

in the Premier League. The centre- back, what a signing that is going

:17:42.:17:49.

to be. West Bromwich Albion did not do so well. They were unlucky in

:17:49.:17:58.

the process. New signing Shane Long Mike -- marked his debut. Overall,

:17:58.:18:03.

there is plenty of cause optimism. There were lots of familiar sights

:18:03.:18:07.

at Stoke City. The noisy home crowd continued to be their 12th man. The

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players made life very uncomfortable for one of the big

:18:10.:18:16.

four. Chelsea had their chances but Stoke were well worth a bet draw.

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Welcome to the Premier League. They said before the game that it would

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be one of his side's toughest away games and it turned out to be back.

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Encouraging for Stoke, to hold a team that is tipped to win the

:18:28.:18:32.

Premier League this time. I think all of the supporters and at Stoke

:18:32.:18:35.

players and management team will be well satisfied with the result.

:18:35.:18:40.

biggest change came at Aston Villa. Alex McLeish's appointment brought

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beat fans onto the streets but the spectators at Fulham gave him their

:18:45.:18:50.

full backing. A goalless draw may not be spectacular but Villa could

:18:50.:18:56.

not stop the home team scoring on any of their away trips last season.

:18:56.:18:59.

Birmingham City pay out on top as our two championship sides met at

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St Andrews. Lukas Jutkiewicz had the best chance in the first half.

:19:05.:19:10.

But it was Birmingham who managed to find a winner. Keith Fahey

:19:10.:19:14.

scored after good work from Adam Rooney. Coventry have lost all

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three games so far this season. All of the goals from the Football

:19:18.:19:23.

League from the weekend are on the BBC sport website.

:19:23.:19:26.

Warwickshire County Cricket Club hope that the success of England at

:19:26.:19:30.

Edgbaston will lead to more famous days at the newly revamped ground.

:19:30.:19:34.

On Saturday, England's and victory over England means they won the

:19:34.:19:38.

series and became the number one team in the world. Next time --

:19:38.:19:45.

next month the they will learn whether the ground has gained other

:19:46.:19:49.

glamourous fixtures. This is the moment many came to see.

:19:49.:19:56.

That is it, end of the game! England's innings and 242 run

:19:56.:20:00.

victory after India means that they are now the world's best Test team.

:20:00.:20:04.

It also proved a triumph for Edgbaston result. This was the

:20:04.:20:10.

first since its million-pound upgrade. 96,000 people came over

:20:10.:20:14.

the four days. For the staff, it was the culmination of months of

:20:14.:20:18.

hard work. It is showing that it is not going to be once every four

:20:18.:20:23.

years if Australia come to visit Edgbaston. We want to see crowds

:20:23.:20:26.

like that year in year out supporting England and not make it

:20:26.:20:30.

dependent on what team England are playing. The feedback from people

:20:30.:20:34.

in terms of the excitement and the fun they had, that means they will

:20:34.:20:38.

hopefully be back again next year. The benefits can be felt elsewhere.

:20:38.:20:44.

At Astwood Bank Cricket Club, England's new status as world No. 1

:20:44.:20:47.

is an inspiration to their youngsters. They want to win every

:20:47.:20:51.

match so they can be the best team in the world. It is like you are in

:20:51.:21:00.

that country and they are number one... It is for you, kind of.

:21:00.:21:03.

encourages the kids to come out and play cricket and hopefully we will

:21:03.:21:08.

get some new starts a target. month, Warwickshire will learn

:21:08.:21:11.

whether they have to impress the England and Wales Cricket Board

:21:11.:21:16.

enough to host future high-profile games. They have bid to host two

:21:16.:21:22.

Ashes games against Australia and with Ashley Giles's Warwickshire

:21:22.:21:25.

side also in contention with the championship, the rebirth of

:21:25.:21:35.
:21:35.:21:38.

Edgbaston is making the headlines. A job well done. It was so

:21:38.:21:44.

successful. A massive turnout. 96,000 people. Not cheap to get in

:21:44.:21:47.

either. People feel they are getting value for money. This time

:21:48.:21:52.

last year, it was a building site. It looks like it was worth doing

:21:52.:22:00.

and hopefully plenty more great days to come.

:22:00.:22:04.

It is five years since a brother and sister from Shropshire saved

:22:04.:22:07.

their family farm from being sold off to developers. Ben and

:22:07.:22:10.

Charlotte Hollins raced almost a million pounds in nine months by

:22:10.:22:15.

selling shares in their business -- raised almost.

:22:15.:22:19.

The farmer is now a thriving thanks to the backing of the local

:22:19.:22:23.

community and their pilots hard work.

:22:23.:22:28.

It was a little help from a lot of people that helped save at Fordhall

:22:28.:22:33.

Farm in Market Drayton from closure. Over 8000 people bought into their

:22:33.:22:38.

idea of supporting a community farm. The farm being community and has

:22:38.:22:42.

been vital. If nothing else, we would not have saved the farm...

:22:42.:22:48.

The pig is knocking the over! 2006, after inheriting the organic

:22:48.:22:53.

farm from their late father, they sold enough shares to achieve their

:22:53.:22:58.

�800,000 gold. Five years on, the business is going from strength to

:22:58.:23:05.

strength. They have gone from having just 20 animals to over 400

:23:05.:23:09.

and all the meat is sold in their new butchery and shops. It looks

:23:09.:23:15.

busy? It is all part of a major renovation thanks to a number of

:23:15.:23:19.

grants and fund-raising from shareholders. They have also built

:23:19.:23:24.

a new cafe and employed people and it seems they have hit on the right

:23:24.:23:29.

ingredient with customers. The post offices are going, pubs are closing

:23:29.:23:33.

and where else is there for people to come and meet? It is rebuilding

:23:33.:23:37.

an economy. They have taken an awful lot of business into the area,

:23:37.:23:42.

they are known nationally and I dare say beyond. It is part of our

:23:42.:23:45.

future that these buys managed to keep their businesses going and

:23:45.:23:52.

build on it. Last year, they also received a �60,000 grant from the

:23:52.:23:57.

Big Lottery Fund to start a community garden. The scheme is

:23:57.:24:01.

invaluable to the rural community and these projects often create

:24:01.:24:06.

jobs and skills and may make people happy about their local area. They

:24:06.:24:09.

want to get involved and make it work for the future. Ben and

:24:09.:24:12.

Charlotte Hollins are now giving advice to other Community farms.

:24:12.:24:17.

They say that funding for rural projects is key to villages

:24:17.:24:27.
:24:27.:24:29.

Great stuff. How lovely to see that working. I remember eating that --

:24:29.:24:34.

are meeting their father many years ago and he was an inspirational man.

:24:34.:24:44.
:24:44.:24:48.

He would be so proud of them. This week is not bad on balance.

:24:48.:24:53.

There are a number of fronts. A warm front is slithering in on

:24:53.:24:56.

Wednesday and Thursday but it depends on how far north it comes

:24:56.:25:00.

whether it will affect us. At the moment it looks like it will not.

:25:00.:25:06.

There is a question mark over that. The headline poll this week is that

:25:06.:25:10.

it is mostly dry after tonight and it is warming up at by the weekend.

:25:10.:25:14.

Temperatures could be into the mid- twenties by then with increased

:25:14.:25:19.

timidity. Tonight, there will be rain coming in from the West,

:25:19.:25:24.

breaking up as it goes but there could be some heavy burst. It will

:25:24.:25:29.

move to the north later tonight. Somehow breaks still affecting the

:25:30.:25:35.

region in the early hours. A lot of cloud and with the south-westerly

:25:35.:25:39.

breeze, but will hold the temperature up. It will be warmer

:25:39.:25:44.

than last night. As the rain comes in, the winds will increase.

:25:44.:25:49.

Tomorrow will be breezy at but it will be also cloudier, especially

:25:49.:25:54.

in the morning. A brighter spells in the afternoon and some outbreaks

:25:54.:26:00.

of rain again here and there. It is going to be a drier day ban tonight.

:26:00.:26:06.

Temperatures up to 20 degrees. As warm as today in spite of the cloud.

:26:06.:26:13.

Wednesday, it is looking dry and fairly sunny. Lighter winds.

:26:13.:26:18.

Thursday looks a little bit cloudier. Friday next Sunday.

:26:18.:26:23.

They look now at the headlines. David Cameron says there has been a

:26:23.:26:26.

slow-motion moral collapse but there is a political row about how

:26:26.:26:31.

to fix the so-called broken society. The Chief Constable of West

:26:31.:26:35.

Midlands police attacks politicians for criticising tactics during last

:26:35.:26:39.

week's riots. On that subject, some of your

:26:39.:26:45.

comments on our Facebook age and emails.

:26:45.:26:48.

"the government are wrong, they are being told so by a senior police

:26:48.:26:55.

officers, trade unions and police authorities, yet the cuts go ahead".

:26:55.:26:58.

"the police do not need more officers, they need to prioritise

:26:58.:27:08.

their work close quite so." by all means get rid of backroom wastage

:27:08.:27:13.

"." cuts in police numbers when they are struggling to control

:27:13.:27:19.

riots is ridiculous "." video of the police tactics, I would say

:27:19.:27:24.

that cardboard cut-outs might be more effect shaul! That would save

:27:24.:27:32.

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