25/08/2011 Midlands Today


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In Midlands Today... Out of the violence and destruction - how the


riots have brought communities closer together. They felt that he


was feeling their pain, and that helped the community a lot. Record


GCSE results, but more youngsters are not in education or work.


want to make sure youngsters leave here with the best possible


opportunities. Farmers are urged to be extra vigilant after a spate of


bonfires. And the end of the road for a museum which tells the story


of life on the buses. Good evening and welcome to Thursday's Midlands


Today from the BBC. Tonight, a tribute to the three men who died


in the Birmingham riots. The brother of two of those who died


said he felt honoured that an historic football match between the


national teams of India and Pakistan is being dedicated to


their memory. It is expected that thousands of supporters will turn


out for the game - their first meeting on British soil. All


profits will go to a foundation to honour the murdered men. As Sarah


Falkand reports, it is hoped the match can be held in the city where


the men lived and died. Three murdered men, soon to be honoured


by thousands of football fans. has touched my heart already. I am


going to be very emotional, because they are my brothers. I lost two


brothers, but I have to keep strong for my mother and father. The Blue


Tigers, India's national football team. Never before have they played


the Greenshirts on British soil. a company, we have dedicated this


match to their memory, pledging all profits from the match to a


foundation, if and when this is set up by the families, or a charity of


their choice. Today, we are witnessing an historical event in


the making. A symbol of good well. The match was scheduled for one


week on Saturday, but it has been postponed to allow the families to


mourn. Both of the families and the television company involved say it


would be more appropriate to have the memorial match here in


Birmingham, the home of the three dead men. But at the moment the


company said it is not in negotiation with either of the two


football clubs in the city. Well, since the riots in Birmingham and


elsewhere in the region, police have carried out a total of 534


riot-related arrests. Of those, 164 people have so far been charged


with crimes relating to the violence and looting - a figure


that is certain to rise. But as our correspondent Peter Wilson reports,


out of the violence and destruction, some communities are being brought


Standing together, praying together, one man a Muslim the other a Sikh -


they're also best friends. Tariq Jahan, a Muslim, has become a


symbol of peace since the killing of his son Haroon and the two


brothers Shahzad Ali and Abdul Musavir. Their deaths could have


sparked yet more violence, but Tariq's words of peace quenched the


thirst for revenge. But he only wants to thank others.


To my brothers in the Sikh community, thank you, for the


amount of support I have had. I probably will not get around to


saying thank you to everyone. But anybody who is listening, you have


given me a lot of courage and strength, and a thank you from the


bottom of my heart. The Sikh and Muslim communities


have often mistrusted each other, yet Sikhs now feel closer than ever


before to the Muslim community. He speaks from his heart, please,


don't do it. If somebody else does it, they will be wrong. It will not


be the Government. He has got a good heart, I tell you that. Good


heart, man. I have not seen a man like you in my life.


During the riots, a Sikh religious channel leapt to prominence. Sangat


TV was on everyone's lips. Their lightweight broadcasting equipment


based on mobile phone signals meant they were live in the thick of the


action. Sangat TV's car one night gave a police officer a lift so


that he could help catch alleged looters. But they are not hard-


nosed journalists, and they are working for a channel whose message


is one of peace and togetherness. The brothers, they saw that he was


crying, and they felt that he was part of them, that he was feeling


their pain. I think that helped the community a lot.


One night, they gave a police officer a lift to help him catch


alleged looters. They have got two, three, four guys...


The stars of the channel are now mobbed on the streets of Handsworth.


The service of mankind is of the true worship of God. If you're not


willing to serve mankind, if you're not talking about peace and love


and humility, well then, you need to sort yourself out.


This month has been not only a month of violence but the month of


Ramadan, a time when Muslims fast and pray. Tariq Jahan says just


because the time of peace is ending, it is no reason for people to start


fearing for the future. It is the month of Ramadan, once


this is over, it will be Eid. Everybody will be celebrating. I


cannot see my people going and causing any grief or trouble. I


would say to my people, if they are listening, brothers, no more.


Definitely no more. Tariq's daughter has been comforted


by the fact that her brother died during Ramadan, seen as a blessing


to the faithful. The Muslim who dies in this month


will walk straight into paradise. This book was given to my father by


someone in the crowd who came to pay respects. My brother, my mum,


my dad, we need to have time to ourselves. Me and my dad are trying


to be the rocks of the family. Out of so much pain, a lot of good


appears to have emerged, and the silent majority have made


themselves heard.But their much- anticipated match will now be in be


in memory of three Birmingham men. And Peter is in the studio with us


now. Peter, Tariq Jahan speaks very powerfully for peace. As a Muslim,


he seems to have such an affinity with the Sikh religion - why is


that? He is a Ferdy learned man. He was


brought up in Slough and his family home was actually opposite a Sikh


temple. He used to go in there and eat food, but he would also sit and


listen to the prayers and the teachings, and he picked up a lot


about the Sikh religion. Do you think there are still tensions on


the streets? The police are still investigating, and it could go on


for months or years. Their message tonight to the looters is that


they're coming after them, however long it takes. But at the same time,


Tariq Jahan said to me that he was very grateful to both the black and


white communities. But I am getting calls from the black community,


saying, we are often treated as troublemakers, but we were keeping


our kids at home. We are fearful about our children's safety, and we


do not want them to be depicted as troublemakers.


Still to come tonight... The return of the humble sheep - how they're


helping the Malvern Hills look While 16-year-olds were celebrating


improved GCSE results today, they may be masking the scale of the


problem of young people finding work. 650,000 pupils have been


getting their GCSE results. Pass rates are up for 23rd year running.


But new figures show that so-called NEETs - that's young people not in


education, employment or training - are up by 12,000 in a year in the


region, to 117,000. Ben Sidwell has been looking at today's GCSE


results and at the prospects for 16-year-olds entering a tough jobs


Collecting their GCSE results at Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology


College in Bedworth. For many of these pupils, it seems they have no


option but to stay on in education. With high levels of youth


unemployment, finding a job at 16 is very tough. Currently here in


the Midlands there are over 125,000 young people not in education,


employment or training. The we try to make sure that the


children leave here with the doors open, with the most pathways open


to them. But the economic situation is not good, it is difficult and it


is more challenging than it has been in the past. I got nine A*s


overall. I got what I needed, so I'm happy. I'm just over the moon.


For many, this is the biggest day in their school lives. Most have


got the results they need. But what about those that haven't? Many of


the pupils in Bedworth are relying on their grades to get into


colleges. For those who haven't done as well as hoped, they face a


worrying few weeks. I feel like I have done all right


but I did not do as well as I wanted to do. For now I will have


to do some of them again at the college. There will be that small


minority that have not got the grades they want, or do not want to


go into education, they just want to find a job. There are


opportunities out there, there are apprenticeships and jobs, and we


are here to help them. At Lyng Hall Specialist Sports


College and Community School in Coventry, it's a similar story. All


but a handful are staying on in education - a decision that could


benefit them greatly in later life, according the the head teacher.


My experience is that pupils who leave school now at 16, with just


GCSEs, suffer a significant disadvantage in terms of getting


work which leads to a meaningful career.


Two people who are defiantly staying in education are Alexandra


and Rebecca Morton, from Harborne in Birmingham. The twin sisters,


who go to school at King Edward VI High School for Girls in Edgbaston,


both got 11 A*s in their GCSEs. Just shock and excitement. Yes,


we're just really happy. Both in Bedworth and Coventry, it's


the best GCSE results the schools have ever had, giving these pupils


a good start on their career path. What the future holds is now down


The specialist retailer Floors 2 Go has gone into administration for


the second time in three years. 200 jobs are at risk with the closure


of 53 stores, but another 35 have been sold, saving a further 162


jobs. The company, which has its head office in Birmingham, is the


UK's biggest wood flooring specialist. Managers at Birmingham


airport say plans to restore passenger flights to Coventry could


damage the region's air industry, rather than supporting its


expansion. Proposals are now in place for a runway extension at


Birmingham so the airport can offer longhaul flights to places like


India and China. But chief executive Paul Kehoe says if the


business has to deal with more competition in the shorthaul market,


its already-tight profit margins Five people have been injured after


scaffolding collapsed this afternoon at a Shropshire school.


It happened at the Abraham Darby Academy in Madeley near Telford at


around 4.30pm. Some of the injured were taken to hospital by air


ambulance. There's steal some noises coming


from the building at the moment, employing that it might be moving


still. A lot of people heard a loud crash and came out to find that the


roof part was peeling away from the building and is hanging on on a


Emergency teams have been dealing with a spate of barn fires. In


Staffordshire alone, crews have spent more than 80 hours in the


last month putting out fires on farms. Investigators believe


arsonists are responsible in many cases. They are warning farmers to


be extra vigilant. Here's our Staffordshire reporter, Liz Copper.


On this farm at Betley in North Staffordshire, barns were burned to


the ground last month. Arsonists were responsible for setting alight


800 large bails of hay. It is heartbreaking, in four hours,


you see the season's work reduced to a total mess. It is a lifetime's


work, putting these sheds up with my brother and my family, building


the farm up. It is just absolutely... It knocks your feet


from under you. It's not just in Staffordshire


where there has been a problem. This is the scene of a fire which


broke out yesterday near Dunley in north Worcestershire. Ten fire


engines were needed to bring the flames under control. Crews are


still there tonight. It can take hours, even days, to put these


fires out. They burn so rapidly. And that's because hay being stored


can ignite quickly - and smoulder slowly.


It is difficult to put it out, because sometimes, the bails of hay


are tightly stacked. The building's are liable to collapse as well. And


obviously you have got the surrounding buildings to protect as


well, and also machinery and equipment.


Dealing with these attacks is costly - not just for farmers, but


also for the fire service. They warn that arsonists are putting


Still to come... A big European night for Birmingham City. They've


been waiting 50 years for this moment. Can Blues make dreams come


true for 28,000 fans? It's calmer now but will it remain this way for


the bank holiday weekend? Join me A museum is to close after failing


to buy its premises from Birmingham City Council. Aston Manor Road


Transport Museum couldn't agree on a price for the Victorian tram shed


which houses the museum. Our reporter Jackie Kabler is there now


- Jackie, a sad day for all concerned there?


It is sad. This is one of the beauty restored vehicles they have


got here. This is a 1963 Coventry Daimler boss, one of the lovely old


fashioned ones, with a platform at the back where the conductor used


to stand. The museum gets 10,000 visitors a year, and it used to be


subsidised by the council, until two years ago, when it had to start


paying �43,000 a year rent. Negotiations began with the council


to buy the building. Neither side could agree on exactly how much the


building was what, and we have now got to the point where it looks


like it is going to have to close. I'm joined by the chairman. It is


really sad, but it just became not financially viable...


The demands from the city for a commercial level of rent are


unaffordable. They were in 1990, and they are today. This is why we


have had the agreement up until now. We estimate that each visitor would


need to pay �8 a head to meet the current is the city's aspirations.


�8 a head, when the rest of the city's museums are free.


council says it is very sad that he it has come to this. One councillor


said, despite giving the trustees every chance to come up with a


sustainable plan, they have not been able to do it. What will


happen now? What do you want to happen? We certainly do not want to


close. We would like to think that the city will reconsider their


position, take account of the heritage, the community value and


so on, all the things which are not perhaps accountable in pound notes.


But please consider that and keep Now they're two clubs with very


little experience of European football, but that's all changing


this season. In a moment we will be at Stoke City, but first, Nick


Clitheroe is at Birmingham City, where they're expecting a full


house. I should think the Up nicely, Nick?


Absolutely, the Europa League may not have quite the glamour of the


Champions League, but for Birmingham City fans, this is a


very special occasion. You have got to go back to 1963 for the last


time they were in European competition. They've been waiting


half a century, but these are the sights and sounds that mean big-


time European football is coming to Birmingham City. The Portuguese


side Nacional stand between Blues and a place in the group stages of


the Europa League. It is difficult, Birmingham is a


strong team. It is a typical English team. We work hard, we


prepare hard for a typical English game, a more direct game, and


physical. I thought we were quite strong over there, even with a


slightly makeshift team, we did really well. Hopefully we are


coming into the home game with the fans behind us. Hopefully we will


get into the group stage. Nacional trained at St Andrews


yesterday evening but an empty stadium will be little preparation


for what awaits them tonight. Only 77 away fans are making the trip,


but cheaper ticket prices have ensured the ground will be a noisy


28,000 sell-out. Football people know what an


intimidating place St Andrews can be when it is full, but we have got


to give them something to cheer about. I would expect a very


difficult game, it will be very tough.


A goalless draw in the away leg should give Birmingham the upper


hand tonight. Would you say Blues are favourites to go through, Nick?


I think you have got to say that, after that goalless draw in the


first leg. The booze hit the woodwork three times, but of course,


they would have liked that away goal. If the visitors were to get a


goal tonight, that would put the pressure on Birmingham, but yes, I


would make them favourites, as the home team. Assuming they do make it,


who could they be facing in the next stage? They could come up the


likes -- against the likes of Atletico Madrid, Roma, or Parisse


Air Asia man. So it could be a pretty good quality of opposition


A big night in Europe too for Stoke City. They take a single-goal lead


into their second round Europa League game against Swiss opponents.


Our reporter there is Laura May McMullan. Laura - a full house


tonight? I don't think there will be many spare seats tonight. The


fans has been flocking here in their droves. 24,000 seats have


been sold so far. The manager has been urging the fans to get behind


the team tonight, because he knows that FC Thun will not be a pushover.


They're currently top of the Swiss League, and they have already


beaten Palermo on away goals in the qualifying round. So everyone here


tonight is hoping there will not be an upset.


Stoke have a be a sofa cushion, will they have their full-strength


side out tonight? Any fan will tell you, there are


frustrations surrounding the Stoke squad at the moment, the manager


saying he still needs some more signings. And there has been a


major blow, the manager is without Matthew Etherington and Robert Huth,


neither of whom will play tonight because they were booked last week.


And team news just coming in, Rory Delap will not play, but Jermaine


Pennant will. But another big boost to the team, Matthew Upson makes


his home debut tonight. And he says he believes Stoke will be able to


challenge in Europe. And both those matches are being


covered in full on BBC local radio. BBC WM will have full commentary on


the Blues game - live coverage begins at 7 o'clock. And BBC Radio


Stoke will be at Stoke City's game against FC Thun. Some cricket news,


Warwickshire still have a chance of winning the Championship. They have


A decline in wild flowers on the Malvern Hills has been reversed,


after nine farmers agreed to start keeping sheep there again. The


livestock were removed in 1992 after cases of sheep worrying. But


that meant there were no animals left to eat the scrub. As Bob


Hockenhull reports, their return has been a success in restoring the


natural beauty of the landscape, For nearly 20 years, the hundreds


of thousands of visitors coming to the Malverns wouldn't have noticed


any sheep on the hills. The last farmer removed his flockin 1992 -


fed up with dog attacks and accidents. But now the sheep are


back. It is nice to have those farming


family is back in and to have some younger farmers for the future as


well. Nine farmers are being subsidised


to bring the animals back. In their absence many wild flowers on this


site of special scientific interest disappeared as invasive scrubland


took a hold. Over time, we have cleared some of the scrub and we


have been able to increase the area of grassland, and the wild flowers


have benefited. Where we clear, the sheep keep those areas opened.


Here's perfect example of what this project is all about. The sheep


will eat the scrub, allowing pretty flowers like these to thrive as


they should do. For farmers like Matt Rouse, grazing sheep on the


hills is a return to a centuries- old farming tradition.


grandfather grazed up here, and for a time I worked for the


organisation which runs the hills. So I take quite a bit of pride in


seeing the difference the animals make. It's not all been plain


sailing though. Already Matt has had 13 sheep killed by dogs and 30


maimed. The dog owners are responsible for their dogs, I just


have to pick the pieces up. It is not very pleasant, no. To deal with


the problem, trainer Sue Harper is running classes to teach dogs not


to chase sheep, and give owners the skills to control their pets. She's


already trained more than 200 locals since the sheep were


returned to the hills. I think all dog owners should do it if they go


walking near livestock, because it gives you the confidence to look


after your dog. I never let people get over-confident, I never tell


people you can go through a field of sheep without your dog on the


lead. It is essential that people keep their dog on the lead. Because


after all, it's important the livestock stays here, helping to


provide habitats where wildlife will thrive.


The rain did eventually make an The rain did eventually make an


impact today - but there's more on the way.


But as far as the bank holiday weekend goes, it should become


drier from Sunday onwards It's been quite a messy picture so far this


week for the eastern half of the country, but our attention will


soon turn to this area of high pressure that will be governing


things by the second half of the weekend and take up quite prominent


position by next Tuesday - it all bodes well for then. But tonight,


we can see a cluster of showers to the west and an area of rain


swelling up from the south - we're caught in the middle and may see


bits of both later in the night. Temperatures will be dropping to


their lowest point over the next few hours. Tomorrow morning, the


rain starts to come a bit further west. But the showers will be


pushing further east. During the afternoon they will become quite


widespread. You can see from the darker colours, there are some


fairly heavy downpours. In between, some sunshine, but it will be


cooler tomorrow. As for tomorrow night, the showers come and go, but


we still have a fairly heavy downpours in places. But the wind


will be picking up, bringing more showers for Saturday. So, Saturday


is looking fairly wet, but it does is looking fairly wet, but it does


dry up from Sunday into Monday. Tonight's main headlines - Colonel


Gaddafi issues another call to arms in a radio broadcast from a secret


location. He tells his supporters to come out of their homes and kill


rats. Here, in the wake of the riots, communities come together,


united against violence and destruction. We can just tell you


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