06/09/2011 Midlands Today


06/09/2011

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Hello. Welcome to Midlands Today with Suzanne Virdee and Nick Owen.

:00:09.:00:12.

The headlines tonight: Problems at Stafford Hospital were shocking

:00:12.:00:15.

admits the former Health Secretary, but he didn't know about them, he

:00:15.:00:17.

says, when he approved it for elite status.

:00:17.:00:20.

We gave officers facing rioters plastic bullets says the chief

:00:20.:00:28.

constable, but not a shot was fired. Policing needs to be left with the

:00:28.:00:32.

police, and the consequences of being left on the street can be

:00:32.:00:35.

dangerous to the wider community. Fish rescue as the region suffers

:00:35.:00:39.

its driest summer since 1976. And how the RSC in Stratford has

:00:39.:00:49.
:00:49.:00:57.

inspired a theatre company in Good evening. Welcome to Tuesday's

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Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight: the former Health

:01:02.:01:05.

Secretary tells the inquiry into appalling standards of care at

:01:05.:01:07.

Stafford Hospital that the "shocking events will forever be

:01:07.:01:10.

etched in his mind." Andy Burnham also admitted he put

:01:10.:01:13.

the hospital forward for Foundation status, which meant it could be run

:01:13.:01:16.

independently of the Department of Health on the basis of a four-line

:01:16.:01:23.

memo. Our Staffordshire reporter Liz Copper is in Stafford now. Liz,

:01:23.:01:26.

how have the relatives of patients who died at the hospital reacted to

:01:26.:01:36.
:01:36.:01:38.

Mr Burnham's evidence? This is day 115 of evidence here at the inquiry.

:01:38.:01:42.

I think it's fair to say for the families, this was one of the most

:01:42.:01:46.

eagerly anticipated days of evidence. It was a chance to hear

:01:46.:01:51.

from the man at the heart of Government as events in Stafford

:01:51.:01:56.

unfolded and as decisions were made. Arriving at the public inquiry,

:01:56.:02:00.

which, when in Government, Andy Burnham had argued would not be in

:02:00.:02:04.

the best interests of health care in Staffordshire. He began his

:02:04.:02:08.

evidence by saying the events in Stafford had been shocking and

:02:08.:02:12.

terrible and would be forever etched on his mind.

:02:12.:02:17.

He was questioned about his time as a junior Minister when he'd given

:02:17.:02:21.

support to Staffordshire Hospital's application for Foundation status.

:02:21.:02:25.

Counsel to the inquiry, Tom Kark QC, asked him about a single paragraph

:02:25.:02:29.

in the briefing note he was given. There were just four lines

:02:29.:02:33.

specifically on Mid Staffordshire: "Is that the sum total of

:02:33.:02:40.

information about this Trust" Andy Burnham replied, "Yes, There was a

:02:40.:02:45.

all that was put to me". The inquiry heard the business case was

:02:45.:02:48.

described as marginal but there was a can-do approach. Andy Burnham

:02:48.:02:55.

said, "In retrospect, the can-do attitude was basically a cavalier

:02:55.:02:58.

attitude. Mr Burnham became Secretary of State for Health three

:02:58.:03:02.

months after the highly critical Health Care Commission report into

:03:02.:03:06.

care at Staffordshire Hospital. It was then he had deal with what was

:03:06.:03:10.

described as the aftermath of a pretty explosive report. These are

:03:10.:03:14.

pictures taken by the campaign group Cure the NHS who lobbied Mr

:03:14.:03:17.

Burnham in his constituency following that report's publication.

:03:17.:03:20.

The campaigners gave their reaction to his evidence. These Ministers

:03:20.:03:26.

and MPs - they're living in a bubble, and I think his evidence is

:03:26.:03:29.

exposing that. They haven't really got a grasp of what's going on in

:03:29.:03:35.

the outside world, only what the civil servants tell them.

:03:35.:03:37.

Burnham said improving standards and confidence in the hospital had

:03:37.:03:42.

been his number one job. He said the failings had been local

:03:42.:03:46.

failings by the Trust, the board and senior management.

:03:46.:03:51.

Mr Burnham left the inquiry without making further comment. His former

:03:51.:03:53.

Ministerial colleague, Ben Bradshaw, will be giving his evidence

:03:53.:04:03.
:04:03.:04:06.

tomorrow. As the inquiry resumes after its summer break, it's due to

:04:06.:04:10.

hear from a number of high-profile witnesses now after the former

:04:10.:04:13.

Ministers have given their evidence. We're due to hear from a number of

:04:13.:04:17.

high-ranking Department of Health officials. They're expected to

:04:17.:04:23.

include the former Chief Medical Officer and also the NHS Chief

:04:23.:04:27.

Executive. An inquiry is expected to conclude hearing its evidence at

:04:27.:04:31.

the end of this autumn. Thank you very much indeed.

:04:31.:04:35.

The BBC Staffordshire website has all the background and the very

:04:35.:04:36.

latest information on the Staffordshire Hospital inquiry.

:04:36.:04:40.

You're with Midlands Today. Still ahead:

:04:40.:04:50.
:04:50.:04:51.

Are you ready for the final switchover?

:04:51.:04:54.

It's emerged police officers were issued with plastic bullets as they

:04:54.:04:57.

faced rioters and looters in Birmingham and the Black Country

:04:57.:04:59.

last month. The Chief Constable, Chris Sims, said no shots were

:04:59.:05:01.

fired, but he defended his force's tactics.

:05:01.:05:04.

Our special correspondent Peter Wilson spoke to him during a debate

:05:04.:05:07.

in Birmingham, organised by the BBC, which focused on the causes of the

:05:07.:05:14.

riots. The moment last month when gangs in

:05:14.:05:18.

Birmingham turned their guns on the police. The police released this

:05:18.:05:22.

video partly in response to accusations that they'd stood back

:05:22.:05:26.

while looters plundered shops. The deaths of three men who had been

:05:26.:05:29.

standing on the Dudley Road protecting local businesses put an

:05:29.:05:34.

end to the riot. Last night at the city's town hall almost Thieu

:05:34.:05:39.

people came together to debate the causes and the solution -- thousand

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people came together to debate the causes and the solutions to the

:05:44.:05:48.

unrest. As these events settle on our minds, we need to understand

:05:48.:05:52.

that policing needs to be left with the police and that the

:05:52.:05:57.

consequences of being on the street can be dangerous to the wider

:05:57.:06:03.

community. There is a massive gap between the have's and the have

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not's. This is something that that went... The Radio Four debate

:06:06.:06:10.

looked at a broken society, broken families, dysfunctional politics.

:06:10.:06:15.

In the audience, everyone had a chance to have their say. I don't

:06:15.:06:19.

agree with everything that happened, and I don't say it's right. I don't

:06:19.:06:23.

condone it, but again, it wasn't just gangs, you know? It's easy to

:06:24.:06:31.

label everyone as gang member or a gang or a thug. Like I said, there

:06:31.:06:34.

were university students and athletes stealing and robbing stuff.

:06:34.:06:37.

This debate hasn't been only happening on the stage here at the

:06:37.:06:41.

town hall. The audience themselves have been debating the issues, but

:06:41.:06:48.

everyone is agreed that there is no easy solution, no silver bullet to

:06:48.:06:51.

these problems. No silver bullet, but the police

:06:51.:06:54.

reveal they had been prepared to use plastic bullets. They're part

:06:54.:06:58.

of the tact take that we would deploy if police came under direct

:06:58.:07:06.

fire. During the riots, our cameras captured two young women carrying a

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40-inch flat-screen TV. They gently put it down in a hotel doorway. The

:07:11.:07:15.

debate raged on whether harsh environments or just plain greed

:07:15.:07:20.

had sparked the looting. Many in the audience questioned why greed

:07:20.:07:25.

was good for top people in the City, but not for the poor and

:07:25.:07:27.

marginalised. There were undoubtedly banks that were badly

:07:27.:07:32.

run, and of course we know they have taken taxpayers' money from Us

:07:32.:07:36.

all, but the key thing is, on the whole, these banks were not

:07:36.:07:39.

actually breaking the law, and you have to look at other reasons why

:07:40.:07:44.

things went so badly wrong, and they did. This was not just a forum

:07:44.:07:47.

for politicians and Westminster insiders. It was a public debate.

:07:47.:07:52.

The sense that greed is good has led us down a very, very, very dark

:07:52.:07:56.

and dangerous path, and we should get off it. It's just a lack of

:07:56.:08:01.

morality in society in general. It's what I want and I want to have.

:08:01.:08:05.

The knee-jerk reaction we have had over the past couple of weeks has

:08:05.:08:09.

not actually allowed people to pause and actually think about the

:08:09.:08:13.

practicalities of how you deal with such a disparate number of people

:08:13.:08:17.

causing so much disruption for so many different reasons. A Streamed

:08:17.:08:22.

on to the internet, broadcast nationally on The Today programme,

:08:22.:08:25.

the Midlands audience felt that their voice had been heard, even if

:08:25.:08:30.

the solutions to the riots are complex and many.

:08:30.:08:33.

One of the themes promoted at last night's debate in Birmingham was a

:08:33.:08:36.

need to promote old-fashioned values among young people.

:08:36.:08:40.

But can a so-called back-to-basics approach work?

:08:40.:08:44.

Cath Mackie has spent the day at one inner city school where results

:08:44.:08:53.

suggest it can. I've got to solve those problems to make you

:08:53.:09:00.

successful... A rousing start to the term at Perry Beeches School in

:09:00.:09:09.

Birmingham. Lesson one - taking responsibility. We have a team of

:09:09.:09:11.

teaching staff. It's your responsibility to find out who they

:09:12.:09:16.

are. Four years ago just 21% of pupils here got five GCSE's at

:09:16.:09:19.

grade C or above. Then Liam Nolan took over. This summer the figure

:09:19.:09:23.

leapt to 75%, including in English and maths. This is an inner city

:09:23.:09:26.

school in a deprived part of Birmingham, yet in the space of

:09:26.:09:29.

four years, it went from failing to outstanding, and it says it did it

:09:29.:09:32.

in just three simple words - "respect, discipline and

:09:32.:09:40.

standards." We are a very structured school. Students wear a

:09:40.:09:44.

perfect uniform or they don't come here. They do their homework or

:09:44.:09:47.

they're detained. They do not speak with disrespect, otherwise, the

:09:47.:09:53.

parents sit with us and talk to us about where it's gone wrong, so

:09:53.:09:56.

it's clear where the expectations are. It's a philosophy which has

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won Mr Nolan and his school countless awards and led to an

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invitation to last night's BBC debate on the riots in Birmingham.

:10:01.:10:05.

What we need to do is think quick. We need to engage our young people.

:10:05.:10:11.

You say "we" - is it schools, patients, Government? Yes and I

:10:11.:10:16.

think it's local councils, local support groups, finding things that

:10:16.:10:21.

engage young people. We cannot just churn out pupils with nothing.

:10:21.:10:24.

These youngsters are engaged, but clearly feel let down by society at

:10:24.:10:29.

large. It's not all of us that's doing bad things. It's the certain

:10:29.:10:34.

few. There are those that want to do the right thing. The youth

:10:34.:10:38.

club's funding is gone. It's going to close. What happens to those

:10:38.:10:42.

students who aren't engaged? More than a quarter of those charged in

:10:43.:10:46.

the West Midlands riots were under 18, and now surgeons are planning a

:10:46.:10:48.

campaign aimed at schools to cut knife crime.

:10:48.:10:52.

We see the consequences, and some of them are dire - death, terrible

:10:52.:10:57.

injuries, and we also have to deal with the families afterwards.

:10:57.:11:01.

the focus is very much on the adults of tomorrow. The question is

:11:01.:11:09.

whether they - and society at large - will learn the lessons of today.

:11:09.:11:12.

Joining us now from Westminster is the Conservative MP Paul Uppal,

:11:12.:11:15.

member for Wolverhampton South West, an area that also fell victim to

:11:15.:11:20.

the riots. Thanks for joining us, Mr. We've clearly got to address

:11:20.:11:29.

the adults of tomorrow, but how? As you alluded to in the report, these

:11:29.:11:32.

are long-term solutions. One thing I noticed on the day after the

:11:32.:11:37.

riots, on Wednesday, a lot of young people came with me and helped

:11:37.:11:41.

clean up a lot of the shops and a lot of the damage that was done to

:11:41.:11:45.

the retail units there. They said, we want to show that young people

:11:45.:11:48.

can have a positive contribution. We do want to put something back.

:11:48.:11:52.

So of course, there are problem, but there are also a lot of young

:11:52.:11:56.

people out there who are trying to to do positive things as well.

:11:56.:12:02.

A lot of people are in despair at the way young people don't care,

:12:02.:12:07.

have a built-in no conscience. How do we break through? One thing I

:12:07.:12:11.

liked about that report is the emphasis on the values of respect,

:12:11.:12:15.

discipline and standards. Besides being an MP, I am also a father to

:12:15.:12:19.

three children. I think the most important job I have is to teach my

:12:19.:12:22.

children what is right and what is wrong. I think it's vitally

:12:22.:12:24.

important we address that. If you're not getting discipline in

:12:24.:12:28.

the family, it's important we get it at school. When did we reach a

:12:28.:12:32.

point in this country when it became acceptable and almost

:12:32.:12:36.

fashionable to disrespect teachers? It's about our values. The me-first

:12:36.:12:40.

culture, the celebrity-obsessed culture that we almost have - there

:12:40.:12:43.

are hundreds of thousands of heroes who are watching this programme,

:12:43.:12:46.

people who do the right thing, raise their children, go to work,

:12:46.:12:50.

pay their taxes - those are the values that made this country great

:12:50.:12:53.

and our city and region great. You're in Government, and you have

:12:53.:12:58.

to get that message out to the ones not thinking like that. How? It's

:12:58.:13:02.

important. It's going to take a long time because this ship has

:13:02.:13:05.

been going in one direction for a long time. I think it's important

:13:05.:13:10.

we talk about this, have discussions like this evening and

:13:10.:13:14.

like we did last night. It's important we stress the long-term

:13:15.:13:19.

values rather than the short-term- ism we have had in the past. Thank

:13:19.:13:22.

you very much indeed. Thank you.

:13:22.:13:25.

You can hear more of the Birmingham Town Hall debate on our Facebook

:13:25.:13:28.

page, and you can also join the discussion about the way forward.

:13:28.:13:32.

A round-up of other news now: A 28-year-old man has been arrested

:13:32.:13:35.

on suspicion of attempted murder after a knife attack on a busy

:13:35.:13:38.

street in Birmingham. Police were called to the Hodge Hill area of

:13:38.:13:40.

the city yesterday afternoon following reports of a man lying

:13:40.:13:44.

injured outside a property. The victim was airlifted to hospital.

:13:44.:13:47.

The trial of seven men accused of charges relating to sexual

:13:47.:13:49.

exploitation and child prostitution has collapsed after running for

:13:49.:13:52.

more than three months. A judge at Stafford Crown Court

:13:52.:13:55.

formally discharged the jury from reaching verdicts on 49 charges

:13:55.:13:58.

variously denied by seven men from Wellington and Sutton Hill in

:13:58.:14:04.

Telford. A decision is underway into whether there will be a re-

:14:05.:14:14.
:14:15.:14:15.

trial. It's been fish rescue day in Herefordshire as it was revealed

:14:15.:14:18.

that this region's had its driest summer since 1976.

:14:18.:14:20.

The fish were recovered from the River Teme, the third such

:14:20.:14:23.

operation in the last month after water levels fell to dangerous

:14:23.:14:27.

levels. Kevin Reide reports. The River Teme at the village of

:14:27.:14:30.

Leintwardine in Herefordshire is looking more like a gravel pit than

:14:30.:14:36.

its normal picturesque self. A dry summer and regional weather

:14:36.:14:39.

variations mean the flow has all but gone, and it's not since the

:14:39.:14:42.

famously hot summer of '76 that it's looked quite like this.

:14:42.:14:45.

Well, i'm in right in the middle of the river near to the English Welsh

:14:45.:14:49.

border, and normally it's one to two feet high at this time of the

:14:49.:14:52.

year, but as you can see, it's completely bone dry. The fish are

:14:52.:14:55.

trying to survive in the few remaining small pools, but water

:14:55.:14:58.

quality is poor and they're vunerable to predators. So for the

:14:58.:15:00.

sixth time this year the environment agency is carrying out

:15:00.:15:10.
:15:10.:15:11.

a rescue operation. Well, we use electro--fishing equipment, which

:15:11.:15:16.

puts a small current of electricity into the water, and it just stuns

:15:16.:15:20.

the fish for five to ten seconds, long enough for us to net the fish.

:15:20.:15:24.

The fish in this part of the world are largely unaffected by man. That

:15:24.:15:27.

means they're particularly important as they're classic

:15:27.:15:32.

examples of their species. These brown trout are especially special

:15:33.:15:37.

for this part of the River Teme. They're wild fish. They have not

:15:37.:15:40.

been cross-bred with stocked brown trout, so these are very valuable

:15:40.:15:44.

to us and valuable to their own species, you know, because the

:15:44.:15:49.

genetic strain of them is as pure as you'll get. Other important

:15:50.:15:53.

species like eels and salmon are also being rescued. What we'll do

:15:53.:15:58.

with them is we'll take them down to a bit of river that has plenty

:15:58.:16:03.

of water in it, and they'll be fairly safe and secure. Otherwise,

:16:03.:16:08.

they are going to perish. So far more than 4,000 fish have been

:16:08.:16:11.

rescued, and the Environment Agency says there may be similar

:16:11.:16:14.

situations in other areas. It's asking anyone who has similar

:16:14.:16:23.

concerns about a river near them to call their hot line.

:16:23.:16:27.

A most beautiful part of the world. What a shame.

:16:27.:16:32.

Still to come this evening: Living the dream - one more big

:16:32.:16:33.

amateur tournament, and Andy becomes a professional golfer.

:16:33.:16:37.

And after the driest summer for 35 years, don't knock the rain. Is

:16:37.:16:47.
:16:47.:16:47.

there more on the way? Find out later.

:16:47.:16:50.

It's the end of analogue television in the Midlands tonight. As the

:16:50.:16:53.

second half of our region prepares to make the big switch.

:16:53.:16:56.

Our science correspondent David Gregory's been behind the scenes at

:16:56.:16:59.

our biggest TV transmitter to see what going digital has involved and

:16:59.:17:02.

what it means for the viewer. His report contains some flash

:17:02.:17:12.
:17:12.:17:14.

photography. 860 feet of television engineering

:17:14.:17:18.

- the Sutton Coldfield transmitter. Just like the rest of us, it has

:17:18.:17:22.

been preparing to go digital. Inside the broadcasting bunker,

:17:22.:17:25.

what must be the most famous switch in the Midlands. Tonight at

:17:25.:17:28.

midnight the process begins, and they'll throw this switch and after,

:17:28.:17:32.

what, nearly 50 years, analogue BBC Two will disappear from the

:17:32.:17:38.

Midlands completely. Losing BBC Two, though, is just the

:17:38.:17:43.

start. OK. Today, the Sutton Coldfield and the Trenton

:17:43.:17:47.

transmitterer going to start the switchover process. Overnight

:17:47.:17:52.

tonight, the BBC Two analogue process will get turned off forever.

:17:52.:17:57.

From tomorrow morning, all the BBC services will be available for the

:17:57.:18:01.

first time. It's taken a lot of work behind the

:18:01.:18:05.

scenes to prepare for the switch. At the moment, they're testing the

:18:05.:18:09.

signal, but can't broadcast it. It has to be dumped. That generates a

:18:09.:18:17.

lot of heat and energy. The energy is temporarily channelled away

:18:17.:18:21.

through these big pipes. As well as more channels, some 370,000 people

:18:21.:18:24.

will be able to get Freeview for the very first time, and there is

:18:24.:18:28.

help for those who need it. We have been do tooing a lot of work on the

:18:28.:18:32.

ground working with local groups and organisations to get the word

:18:32.:18:37.

out there about the help scheme because we do write to everyone, up

:18:37.:18:41.

to three times, in fact, but we know people need hear things from a

:18:41.:18:46.

trusted voice or friendly face before they take action. We're

:18:46.:18:49.

telling people at this stage to look out for those that might

:18:49.:18:53.

struggle and let them know there is help available. By the 21st of this

:18:53.:18:57.

month, the Midlands will be totally digital.

:18:57.:19:00.

Thousands of performers from across the globe are to tread the boards

:19:00.:19:03.

at the World Shakespeare Festival. The event, which was launched in

:19:03.:19:06.

London today, is expected to be the highlight of the Cultural Olympiad

:19:06.:19:09.

next summer. More than 50 arts organisations

:19:09.:19:12.

will take part, including the Iraqi Theatre Company performing Romeo

:19:12.:19:22.
:19:22.:19:28.

and Juliet in Baghdad. Ben Sidwell is in Stratford-upon-Avon now. Ben,

:19:28.:19:31.

it sounds like a major event in Olympic year.

:19:32.:19:35.

It is famous across the world. Theatre companies from across the

:19:35.:19:39.

world will be descending on Stratford to perform the works of

:19:39.:19:42.

the bard himself, as I have been finding out today at the launch of

:19:42.:19:47.

the World Shakespeare Festival. Announcing a festival like no other

:19:47.:19:51.

to celebrate the works of William Shakespeare. There is so much

:19:51.:19:54.

creative talent across the globe that have come together for this

:19:54.:19:58.

festival, so it's once a-in a lifetime experience. Everybody's

:19:58.:20:02.

welcome. Next year to coincide with the 2012 Olympics, theatre groups

:20:02.:20:06.

from around the world will come to Stratford-upon-Avon, London and

:20:06.:20:10.

other venues across the UK to perform the bard's works. Many

:20:10.:20:17.

productions will be in the actors' native languages. It certainly is a

:20:17.:20:20.

once-in-my-lifetime. I have never witnessed anything like this, and

:20:20.:20:25.

of course, it's the Olympic Games coming to the UK that has made it

:20:25.:20:30.

possible, really, so you need to take advantage of these moments to

:20:30.:20:35.

celebrate. Rather than Stratford, it was the British Museum in London

:20:35.:20:39.

where details of the World Shakespeare Festival were announced

:20:39.:20:42.

this morning. The British Museum seems a fitting location for the

:20:42.:20:47.

launch of the World Shakespeare Festival. After all, it's here that

:20:47.:20:50.

people come to learn about the history of our country. As far as

:20:50.:20:55.

the arts are concerned, no-one has had a bigger impact around the

:20:55.:21:00.

globe than Shakespeare himself. yeah - he's famous in Iraq, of

:21:00.:21:10.
:21:10.:21:15.

course, and we studied Shakespeare a lot in the theatre or the academy

:21:15.:21:18.

or university - no, we studied in school. It's not just foreign

:21:18.:21:24.

actors who will be involved in the festival. There is the odd

:21:24.:21:27.

midlander too. I have done all right, haven't I?

:21:27.:21:32.

You know, I have always wanted to work at Stratford. It feels like

:21:33.:21:38.

home, and it does the best work in the world, and to be part of the

:21:38.:21:41.

World Shakespeare Festival at the same time, it's a very lovely dream

:21:41.:21:45.

come true on lots of levels. one million tickets for the

:21:45.:21:49.

festival go on sale next month, and just like the Olympics itself, this

:21:49.:21:57.

is likely to be a once-in a lifetime opportunity. Myra will be

:21:57.:22:03.

playing Beatrix in Much Ado about Nothing if you're interested. One

:22:03.:22:07.

man who should be playing the lead role but isn't because of the curse

:22:07.:22:11.

again - broken arm, I am afraid, is Jonathan Slinger. Commiseration on

:22:12.:22:15.

that. Thank you. Looking to next year, I know you have a lot of

:22:15.:22:19.

things in the festival. It must be exciting as an actor. Hugely

:22:19.:22:22.

exciting. We're going to be the focal point for the international

:22:22.:22:25.

Shakespeare community next year. I am going to be very much in the

:22:25.:22:31.

centre of it playing some amazing parts, so I am incredibly excited.

:22:31.:22:35.

With theatre companies coming from around the world with their take on

:22:35.:22:38.

Shakespeare that must be really interesting as an actor to see that.

:22:38.:22:42.

I think more than anything else, it's important. I think we can get

:22:42.:22:46.

stuck in our own ways of doing things and I think in the same ways

:22:46.:22:49.

corporations around the world are having to take on a much more

:22:49.:22:55.

global perspective to get their ideas, their inspiration, to

:22:55.:23:00.

reinvigorate what they do, and to consider the fact that, as Michael

:23:00.:23:03.

Boyd says, Shakespeare is no longer the property of the English. It's

:23:03.:23:07.

very much a global phenomenon, read, performed and adored across the

:23:07.:23:11.

world - it's really important we see other people's take on it.

:23:11.:23:14.

There was some research out today that said 50% of school children

:23:14.:23:18.

across the world - they still study Shakespeare - quite incredible.

:23:18.:23:22.

These are now available at the theatre. And tickets go on sale

:23:22.:23:26.

October the 10th. Get yours quickly. Thank you very much indeed, Ben.

:23:26.:23:36.
:23:36.:23:37.

October the 10th - that's the day - not far away, is it?

:23:37.:23:41.

Sport is just a hobby for most of us with only the very best able to

:23:41.:23:44.

earn a living from it. But, for Andy Sullivan, his dream of doing

:23:44.:23:48.

just that is about to come to true. $$NEWLNIE But first, Andy's facing

:23:48.:23:51.

the ultimate test for any amateur golfer competing for the Walker Cup

:23:51.:23:53.

against the United States. Ian Winter's been to Nuneaton to find

:23:53.:23:55.

out more. The good luck bell above the

:23:55.:23:59.

wishing well at Nuneaton Golf Club. September is sure to be a memorable

:23:59.:24:03.

month for Andy Sullivan. He's about to bid farewell to his amateur

:24:03.:24:05.

status and hello to the high pressure world of professional golf.

:24:05.:24:10.

But first, Andy's heading north.. For a hot date in Aberdeen, where

:24:10.:24:12.

the finest amateur golfers from Great Britain and Ireland are

:24:12.:24:16.

hoping to wrestle the Walker Cup away from the vice like grip of the

:24:16.:24:21.

USA. It's the biggest thing you can do as an amateur. At the start of

:24:21.:24:25.

the season, it was definitely on my to-do list. I am really proud of

:24:25.:24:28.

myself. Just to beat the Americans is satisfaction, but personally, I

:24:29.:24:32.

am my own person. I just hope that we all acquitted ourselves very

:24:33.:24:37.

well up there and perform to the highest level we can. It's the

:24:37.:24:40.

pinnacle of every amateur's career, and it's such a great achievement

:24:40.:24:44.

for someone to do that, and for years to come he could be an

:24:44.:24:48.

inspiration for others. His proud dad has followed his career every

:24:48.:24:53.

step of the way. From the age of ten, he recognised his son's

:24:53.:24:59.

special talent. Now he's ranked fifth in the world's amateur

:24:59.:25:04.

rankings. He has no nerves. He has the right frame of mind to do it.

:25:04.:25:08.

He has the ability to speak for himself. He has a good head on his

:25:08.:25:12.

shoulders. In recent years the United States have had a virtual

:25:12.:25:16.

monopoly on the Walker Cup, but if Andy Sullivan can help Great

:25:16.:25:20.

Britain to a victory this weekend, it will be the perfect ending to

:25:20.:25:25.

his amateur golf career. That would be lovely. Good luck,

:25:26.:25:29.

Andy. Now, what about the weather? It was

:25:29.:25:38.

violent last night, wasn't it? I'm sorry - that's the simple

:25:38.:25:41.

answer. You may have heard me say earlier that it has been the driest

:25:41.:25:46.

summer in the Midlands since 1976, so we really need this week's rain.

:25:46.:25:50.

There were no warnings at the present time, so it's not going to

:25:50.:25:55.

be particularly heavy, so as the fronts go through through the week,

:25:55.:25:58.

they tend to weaken, so splashes here and there. This tightly coiled

:25:58.:26:03.

area of low pressure that starts to move in through the weekend. We'll

:26:03.:26:05.

get more substantial rain perhaps. The winds pick up through the

:26:05.:26:08.

weekend. It was blowy tonight. The winds will come in from the south-

:26:08.:26:12.

west. It's warm air, and the temperatures will pick up from

:26:12.:26:15.

Thursday onwards. Back to tonight, and I think compared with last

:26:15.:26:19.

night, it's going to be much drier. We've got a few showers just to the

:26:19.:26:24.

north, but they're going to tend to die away, peter out later on. It's

:26:24.:26:27.

looking largely dry later with clearer spells. Because of those,

:26:27.:26:31.

it's going to be a little bit cooler than last night with lows of

:26:31.:26:34.

around 11-12C. We have some sunshine to start the day tomorrow,

:26:34.:26:37.

again, the distribution of showers, more particularly towards the north.

:26:38.:26:42.

There is a feed of them coming in through the Cheshire gap through to

:26:42.:26:45.

parts of Shropshire and Staffordshire. Elsewhere, mostly

:26:45.:26:49.

dry. Good deal of sunshine the further south you go. Temperatures

:26:49.:26:53.

are still up today - values of 17- 18C. Coupled with that wind from

:26:53.:26:57.

the west, which is easing down compared to today. It's going to be

:26:58.:27:02.

around 20mph from that direction. It is going to feel a little bit

:27:02.:27:07.

cool tomorrow. As for tomorrow night, that's when we start to see

:27:07.:27:11.

rain working in the from the west. Outbreaks on Thursday. The winds

:27:11.:27:17.

There is going to be a load of county cricket on this week. It's

:27:17.:27:20.

not going to be good for that. headlines:

:27:20.:27:25.

Known criminals were at the heart of the English riots. Ministers

:27:26.:27:30.

blame a broken penal system. Conditions at Staffordshire

:27:30.:27:33.

Hospital were shocking says the Health Secretary, but says he

:27:33.:27:36.

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