24/08/2011 Midlands Today


24/08/2011

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Welcome to Midlands Today. A big rise in demand for free food,

:00:10.:00:13.

for people who say they cannot afford to feed themselves or their

:00:13.:00:19.

children. There is an increasing need.

:00:19.:00:23.

After the riots, the fund to help shopkeepers who lost business.

:00:23.:00:29.

A ban on drinking alcohol alfresco for over 55s at this housing

:00:29.:00:32.

complex. And Shrewsbury Town at celebrate

:00:32.:00:36.

after knocking at Premier League Swansea City out of the Carling Cup.

:00:36.:00:40.

Be it was a great result for the club, and it really put Shrewsbury

:00:40.:00:50.
:00:50.:00:58.

Welcome to Wednesday's Midlands Today from BBBC. A surge in demand

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for free food from parents struggling to feed their children.

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A Black Country charity which provides free food to vulnerable

:01:06.:01:10.

people have seen a 45% increase in demand since last year.

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It has fed nearly 3500 people in the last six months of this year,

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and that includes 1000 children. The food back is now calling for

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government help. Enough food for three days. Carl is

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one of a growing number of clients at the Black Country Foodbank in

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:01:39.:01:39.

Stourbridge. In 2010 we fed 5324 people. This year, in the first six

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months, we have already fed to 3300, of which 1100 our children. More

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and more families are relying on the food back to survive. There is

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one lady sat on the sofa with me, and she was crying her eyes out.

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She said the problem is the school holidays, they will each be out of

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house and home. Staff noticed a seasonal blip in demand of 28%

:02:08.:02:13.

coinciding with families losing free school meals. More than 40,000

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people under 16 are fed up for free during term-time.

:02:19.:02:24.

Tom is unemployed and living hand to mouth. I was scared, because I

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am not a person who normally asks for help, but the food back put

:02:29.:02:33.

that confidence in to me, because I grew up in care, so I found it hard

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to trust people, and the food back put that trust back into it.

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You can only have a pack like this on three occasions, because the

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ethos behind the food bank is that it is help in times of crisis.

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Candy and Matthew were not aware of the three pack limit.

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Had how will you manage after that? We will be struggling. Just a

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living from day today. It is all you can do.

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There are plans for another two distribution centres to be up and

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running by Christmas. We are joined now by the

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Conservative MP for Stourbridge, Margot James. This really is a sad

:03:15.:03:21.

state of affairs, isn't it, that things have got so bad? Yes, I

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quite agree. It is terrible to think that people are needing help

:03:25.:03:31.

with food, a basic essential, in this day and age. The food back has

:03:31.:03:35.

been running for a few years now, as they do a marvellous job, but as

:03:35.:03:39.

you say, it is very sad that people need the service. The figures are

:03:39.:03:43.

astonishing. Should the Government be concerned that people are having

:03:43.:03:49.

to rely on charity for food? quite agree. I think the government

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are trying to do everything possible to support people who are

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either out of work or on low pay. In what way? We have exempted low-

:04:01.:04:06.

paid people from the public sector pay freeze, we have increased tax

:04:06.:04:10.

allowances so that nearly 1 million people have come out of the tax

:04:10.:04:16.

system altogether. In Stourbridge, we come under Dudley local

:04:16.:04:22.

authority, as they are helping people stay in their homes, and are

:04:22.:04:29.

helping homeowners through mortgage arrears helping services. I get the

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feeling that thousands of people are falling by the wayside. Who

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will rescue them? I agree that there are people on the margins of

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society, and we are very fortunate in the Black Country, having a very

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strong voluntary sector, as witnessed by the food back. I think

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what the government is trying to do through the Big Society is to

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support a the local voluntary organisations as much as we

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possibly can. There is something very wrong -- wrong somewhere. It

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is like the Third World. On another angle, you may be interested to

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know that research shows on average across the board, people waste so

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much food. Odyssey not the people we are talking about, but in

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general. If people stop wasting the food that they purchase, the

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average family of four would save a �50 a month. There is a huge amount

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of waste in our society, and perhaps we should look to that as

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well as supporting the initiatives like the food bank. It is terrible

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that people should need food from a charity, but the point of our

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social services and support is to remove that need, and I think in

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most cases, local government does achieve that aim, but Odyssey as

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you say, there are too many people that for by the wayside.

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-- obviously. Hundreds of teenagers sign-up for eight 21st century

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answer to national service. Does it do the job?

:06:08.:06:11.

Up to �2 million is being made available to businesses in

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Birmingham to help them recover from the riots. It comes as

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shopkeepers are being given advice from the city council about the

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support on offer. Traders have been invited to a

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dropping session at deceiving. -- a drop-in session deceiving.

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They were queuing out the door at lunchtime, loyal customers keen to

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help their favourite sandwich bar get back on its feet. We were

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horrified when we have had -- had heard what had happened. We're all

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doing our bit to help. It is quite terrifying what was going on, but

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it is great it is back. A this is what went on on the first night of

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rioting. The shopfront was smashed to

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business, and stock was stolen and destroyed.

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It is really upsetting. I did not know the full extent until I went

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through the CCTV, and just to see it is unbelievable. The new class

:07:11.:07:15.

is in, so too is the insurance claim.

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Everyone needs support, especially independent businesses who do not

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have lump sums of cash in the bank. Per it is support that this session

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at the council house aims to give. The government is offering a lump

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sum of �20,000 -- �20 million to high-street businesses across the

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country to help them. Birmingham is able to bid for �2 million. Council

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leaders have been advising businesses how to make a claim.

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Across the city in Handsworth, this trade a puts the cost at about

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�20,000. I would ask the city council to support us in any way

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they can. Perhaps they could reduce our council tax, or contribute to

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the losses we have incurred. Nothing has been heard so far.

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the council says it has been proactive, and has visited about

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100 businesses so far, and knows there are more to get straight.

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Giles is at Birmingham Council House for us now. What have trade

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has been telling you? We have heard a lot of sad stories.

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It was very busy earlier, and it has slowed down a little now. The

:08:31.:08:36.

saddest case is those who have been under-insured. This lady found

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herself cowering under the counter of her shop as people ransacked it.

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She was physically attacked, and I know you are still getting over

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that. You have now got to think about your finances. What have you

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heard today to give you hope? Actually, I am very surprised,

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because we can get some help from the council. We cannot claim

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something from the funds, and the council can help us to recover from

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the business. Let us talk to a man from the council. This lady was

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running short. Are you able to help her? I hope so. I believe she has

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said she has received great support. We are here to work with the

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council and our partners to help people. How To Make this allocation

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of money fair? Will make it fair by using our expertise to distributed

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equally. Thank you. If you have not made the session, you can phone the

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council. In Wolverhampton, 19 businesses have been contacted by

:09:55.:10:02.

the council in a similar operation. Dudley Council has announced a �200

:10:02.:10:06.

million regeneration plan for the town centre, zoo and Castle. It

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comes as the Black Country town steps up its efforts to become a

:10:09.:10:15.

city next year to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee. Just one of 26

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towns will be chosen, with Dudley currently lying 5th in the betting

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behind favourites, Reading. The Dudley accounts for 9% of the

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West Midlands population. It has 195,000 residents. Last year,

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650,000 people visited the main tourist attractions, including the

:10:37.:10:43.

zoo and the Black Country Museum. His city status a realistic dream?

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It dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, and is the largest town in the

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Black Country. But now Dudley feels it is time to bid for city status.

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�26 want to be a city, and you are fair. BBC Radio where there today,

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finding out about Dudley and what it has to offer. There is a zoo and

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a castle, and a museum. There is an abundance of industrial heritage.

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But there is no university, or a mainline railway station. And there

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is not a cathedral or a League football club.

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The so why should Dudley bit? have had meetings with people from

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China up for a long time now, as they struggled to work out where we

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are. We are uniquely Dudley, we have our own offer. I think that

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profile will benefit the town and attract investment from overseas.

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Business leaders are backing the bid, particularly those involved in

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tourism. There is an opportunity, and you have to take it. Go

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anywhere in the world, and Dudley Zoo is known. That would help us.

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little over five miles away is Wolverhampton, one of the youngest

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cities in the UK, granted that status by the Queen 10 years ago to

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mark the millennium. We have always been an industrial

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area for the Midlands, and we raised a lot of wealth for the

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country. Now we need the help we can get, and by being a city, that

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will help to do that. But what to the good people of Dudley think

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about all this? We think we are too small to become a city. I do not

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think it is big enough. I think it is great ex back it has always been

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a thriving area. Perhaps it is similar to stun, because we are

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several small towns are grouped into one. -- similar to stamp.

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Dudley has nothing. A final decision will not be made until

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later this year. Until then, everyone is keeping their fingers

:13:06.:13:15.
:13:16.:13:17.

crossed that Dudley will become We have had plenty of contrasting

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views on our Facebook page. Suzanne says, I live in Dudley but do not

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support it. The town is a mess and a depressing place to be. I work

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there and it was vibrant. I avoided as much as possible now.

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Matt Dudley says, I take it is an excellent idea. Dudley deserves to

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be recognised as a city because of its heritage and significance in

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British history. I am proud to live there ensure its name.

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The long-held belief that towns must have a cathedral to become a

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city is simply a myth, dating back to the 19th century.

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Campaigners against the high-speed rail link in the West Midlands say

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they are having to start their petition over again because the

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Government has relaunched its website. Petitions will be

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considered for parliamentary debate if they attract 100,000 signatures.

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This petition did not go through the government website so does not

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qualify. Traders in Tunstall are backing an

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appeal for an alcohol ban. The town's Chamber of Trade says people

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are drinking in the street from early as 9 am, and shoppers don't

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like it. Traders signed petitions calling on the council to enforce

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an alcohol restriction zone. They say they are losing business

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because people feel intimidated. There are people drinking and

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swearing, some of them have got dogs. It is just not a pleasant

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experience coming into town when people like that are around every

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day of the week. Residents of a housing complex for

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those over 55 are being banned from drinking alcohol in communal

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gardens outside their homes. They say the move imposed by a housing

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association imposes upon civil rights. This happened after a row

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between two neighbours. Residents at Bishop Court meet

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inside to discuss the drinking ban imposed outside. When we got the

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letter I wanted to go and sit outside and drink. It follows a

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decision last year after -- stopping them from gathering after

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10pm in their flats. We are being treated like children, patronising

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and demeaning, very much so. It is not on. You cannot talk to people

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like that. You cannot say, there is a communal area but do not commune.

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You have to be in 10 o'clock, it's not on! If we cannot sit at their

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on a summer's day and have a drink, there is something wrong.

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alcohol ban came after a dispute between two neighbours. Residents

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said that had been resolved amicably. Nevertheless, the

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landlord, Staffordshire Housing Association, is investigating.

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There is due to be a meeting between residents and the housing

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association in a fortnight. The tenants what the meeting brought

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forward and the alcohol ban lifted immediately. -- want the meeting.

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For the meantime, be gardens will stay alcohol on three. The only

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thing we do not want people to do is gather in groups and drink in

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the scheme, because of the way that is perceived by residents. We have

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to have it in the interests of every resident. Some people may

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think it is acceptable, but some of it is not, and that is what we have

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to deal West. Until an agreement can be reached, for these tenants,

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the only drinks they will enjoy outside our non alcoholic.

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Still to come... It is marvelous Marvin as Shrewsbury town pull off

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a Carling Cup shock. Will it be worthy of a morning? --

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warming? Find out later. Hundreds of youngsters from the

:17:33.:17:37.

region have signed up for National Citizen Service, which the Prime

:17:37.:17:41.

Minister is hoping to offer to all 16 year olds in the wake of the

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rights. The summer camp, which Mr Cameron says is in the same spirit

:17:46.:17:51.

of national service, is playing here in Birmingham. What is it like

:17:51.:17:55.

for those taking part? Getting young people working

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together and communicating is something at the forefront of the

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Government's agenda, and that is what the national Citizen Service

:18:05.:18:11.

scheme aims to do. Remain in his two -- are the main aim is to plant

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seeds to allow people to work in their communities after they have

:18:15.:18:18.

left the programme, and to get more involved with their society in

:18:18.:18:23.

general. These youngsters are at the Cumbria Outdoors Education

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Centre. 500 teenagers from Birmingham have signed up for the

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three-week course. Across the country in total, there were 11,000

:18:31.:18:37.

places available. Next year, that is being extended to 30,000. David

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Cameron has announced he wants the scheme available to all teenagers

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when they finish their GCSEs. It is something these youngsters approve

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of. It is a good idea. It gives you something to do, positive.

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Hopefully it will look good on my CV. It means we are not bored at

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home and hanging about on the streets. In Birmingham, The

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Challenge Network is one charity delivering the Citizen Service. It

:19:04.:19:09.

was actually responsible for devising a government scheme.

:19:09.:19:14.

truly believe in the Challenge, it actually works and matters. We are

:19:14.:19:18.

working with 3,000 young people across the UK and it is amazing to

:19:18.:19:23.

have an impact on so many young people. It made a difference to

:19:23.:19:27.

this girl. She did the scheme last year and now wants to make a

:19:27.:19:33.

difference in her area. I never thought that it was important to go

:19:33.:19:37.

and ask people on the street in their own city what you can do to

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help. In the second and third week, the teenagers do charity work and

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create community projects. It is hoped it will give them a focus for

:19:48.:19:56.

future success. You can find out more information

:19:56.:20:00.

about the scheme and the reaction to it on our Facebook page.

:20:00.:20:04.

Shrewsbury Town are celebrating a famous victory after knocking

:20:04.:20:07.

Swansea City out of the Carling Cup. It is the first time in 18 years

:20:07.:20:17.
:20:17.:20:19.

they have reached the third round. Introducing MM and JJ, two of the

:20:19.:20:24.

Shrewsbury town's summer signings, who woke up this morning to find

:20:24.:20:29.

the giant-killing was not just a sweet dream after all, it really

:20:29.:20:33.

happened. Marvin Morgan loves the latest gear and he has just started

:20:33.:20:37.

trading in trendy T-shirts and caps with attitude. He has never scored

:20:37.:20:43.

a hat-trick himself but he did get the Shrews: First goal in their

:20:43.:20:51.

famous 3-1 victory over Swansea City. I am from Manchester, so any

:20:51.:20:55.

Manchester club would be a dream. To get a goal against Man City

:20:55.:21:01.

would be a dream. I'm hoping we can get a big club. With 20 minutes

:21:01.:21:07.

left, Mark Wright put Shrewsbury in front. The home fans sensed a shock

:21:07.:21:12.

result was possible. A free-kick sealed the win. It is a great

:21:12.:21:18.

result, said the manager. What was the feeling in the dressing room?

:21:18.:21:23.

It was unbelievable. To win a game like that against a Premier League

:21:23.:21:29.

team, everyone deserved it. Villa Park, Hereford United fans

:21:29.:21:35.

had their own dreams. Their mascot might confident but sadly, it was

:21:35.:21:44.

all a load of bull. It is a tall order tonight? We will do our best.

:21:44.:21:52.

5-2, 2 Aston Villa or something. Miller did not score until 10

:21:52.:21:58.

minutes from time. Eric Lichaj's had his first senior goal for the

:21:58.:22:03.

club. Alex McLeish thanked the Villa fans for their patience.

:22:03.:22:12.

Jimmy Page Bain said, my lads did me proud. -- a Jamie Pitman. Marc-

:22:12.:22:17.

Antoine Fortune scored two goals. World's sealed into round three

:22:17.:22:22.

with a win at Northampton. Tonight's star billing goes to

:22:22.:22:28.

Shrewsbury Town. Morgan and Joe Jacobson will never forget the

:22:28.:22:34.

night they got into the Premier League.

:22:35.:22:38.

More reaction on the BBC Sport website.

:22:38.:22:42.

The country's smallest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is

:22:42.:22:46.

looking to its rich military history as a way of boosting

:22:46.:22:49.

tourism. Cannock Chase is already popular with cyclists and walkers.

:22:49.:22:56.

It's hidden heritage is bringing different visitors...

:22:56.:23:00.

Cannock Chase gets hundreds of thousands of visitors, looking for

:23:00.:23:05.

peace and quiet amongst its vast acreage of trees. In the First and

:23:05.:23:09.

Second World Wars, but Chase had visitors of a different kind.

:23:09.:23:12.

Thousands of soldiers were stationed here and you do not have

:23:12.:23:18.

to look far to uncover the military history. Evidence is all across the

:23:18.:23:23.

Chase today, not least at this cemetery, where nearly 5,000

:23:23.:23:27.

soldiers, mostly German, are buried. All died on British territory. Many

:23:27.:23:32.

died not in battle but from an outbreak of Spanish flu while there

:23:32.:23:38.

were titters of war in 1918. -- why it they were prisoners of war.

:23:38.:23:45.

Local councils have started organising tours. This hot was one

:23:45.:23:50.

of hundreds on Vic Chase in 1915 to house Allied soldiers in military

:23:50.:23:55.

camps. -- Chase. Since then it has been a village hall but has been

:23:55.:24:01.

brought back to become a tourist attraction. This was a centre of

:24:01.:24:05.

the Northern Command were perhaps 40,000 men, at any one time, could

:24:05.:24:10.

be on the camp. In the First World War, perhaps half a million men may

:24:10.:24:15.

have trained here. If you think that this CAB has 40,000, on the

:24:15.:24:20.

first day of the Somme, there were 60,000 casualties, of which 20,000

:24:20.:24:28.

died. It is important not to forget. Today, and volunteers who help with

:24:28.:24:34.

the maintenance of the Chase have been invited to try out the tour.

:24:34.:24:39.

It is our heritage, to remember what things were like and how they

:24:39.:24:45.

lived. I have learned so much in the last hour about the military

:24:45.:24:52.

than in the 40 years I have lived here. There was an American

:24:52.:24:57.

military hospital here in the Second World War. It was also a

:24:57.:24:59.

training ground for the Home Guard. Bringing this rich heritage alive

:24:59.:25:06.

is also a money spinner for the local economy. Visit England have

:25:06.:25:13.

identified heritage as a growth sector. As an attraction run by a

:25:14.:25:16.

Staffordshire County Council and Cannock Chase, we are looking at

:25:16.:25:22.

how we can maximise this to reinvest into our own properties.

:25:22.:25:26.

War history may not be on the minds of people who come here, but it is

:25:26.:25:30.

a rich heritage helping to give the area a beast in tough economic

:25:30.:25:39.

times. -- a boost. Some of that history is very

:25:39.:25:47.

surprising. And it looks so sunny and lovely!

:25:48.:25:57.
:25:58.:25:58.

Lots of uncertainty this week, particularly on Friday. Rain

:25:58.:26:02.

tonight, with a yellow warning. It is not as serious as orange or red

:26:02.:26:07.

but it is urging you to be aware of the likelihood of heavy outbreaks

:26:07.:26:16.

of rain tonight. We have had showers crossing the region. You

:26:16.:26:19.

can see later tonight, the cloud thickens up and the rain starts to

:26:19.:26:27.

head on in from midnight. You can see where the heaviest outbreaks

:26:27.:26:31.

will be. Coventry, into Staffordshire, Stoke, which is,

:26:31.:26:39.

just clipping past Birmingham as well. -- Lichfield. It may miss the

:26:39.:26:44.

north-west of Shropshire. The wind is picking up and it will be a born

:26:44.:26:50.

night. Rain is still around in the rush-hour tomorrow morning, still

:26:50.:26:54.

in the eastern half of the patch. It will clear eastwards from 9

:26:54.:26:58.

o'clock and we will see some brief spells of dry weather and sunshine,

:26:58.:27:03.

followed by a scattering of showers. Some of those could be heavy. As

:27:03.:27:10.

the wind eases they will be slow moving and there could be some rain.

:27:10.:27:14.

Temperatures similar to today. Tomorrow night, it clears up.

:27:14.:27:18.

Friday is on because of rain and showers, so there could be wet

:27:18.:27:21.

weather. -- on the cusp.

:27:21.:27:26.

The hunt is on for Colonel Gaddafi. Libyan rebels launched a massive

:27:26.:27:32.

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