19/09/2011 Midlands Today


19/09/2011

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Hello, welcome to Midlands Today, coming tonight from the site near

:00:05.:00:08.

Wolverhampton that's set to bring thousands of jobs to the region.

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The headlines tonight. Jaguar Land Rover confirm they'll

:00:12.:00:15.

build a new engine plant just off the M54 in Staffordshire, bringing

:00:15.:00:21.

750 jobs to the factory alone. such a vote of confidence in the

:00:21.:00:27.

West Midlands, in manufacturing in this country.

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But is there enough skilled labour in the region to fill the highly

:00:30.:00:34.

specialised jobs? Also tonight, terrorism swoop.

:00:34.:00:39.

Police arrest six men and woman, and search 14 addresses. Some

:00:39.:00:41.

computer equipment and other items are being removed and will be

:00:42.:00:47.

examined in due course. And as the Lib Dems' conference is

:00:47.:00:50.

underway in Birmingham, what do their supporters think of the party

:00:50.:01:00.
:01:00.:01:07.

Good evening and welcome to Midlands Today on the day that car

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giant Jaguar Land Rover confirmed plans to create up to 750 jobs here

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on the outskirts of Wolverhampton. I'm actually standing in

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Staffordshire tonight at the i54 Business Park, very close to the

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M54 motorway. At the moment it's a greenfield site, but within two

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years it will be the home to a �355 million factory building low-

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emission engines. Today's news is confirmation of a remarkable

:01:34.:01:38.

turnaround in Jaguar Land Rover's fortunes. Indian firm Tata bought

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JLR from Ford for �1.5 billion in June 2008, but almost immediately

:01:41.:01:50.

the global financial crisis dramatically hit car sales. Tata

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then announced plans to close one of JLR's massive West Midlands

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plants at either Solihull or Castle Bromwich. But the company did a U-

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turn as sales began to recover and now it employs 21,000 people in the

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UK. With our first report tonight, here's our transport correspondent,

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Peter Plisner. Just a warning of flash photography in his report.

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Desperate to announce some good news, with the Lib Dem conference

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just a few miles away, what better place to do it than Land Rover in

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Solihull. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Secretary

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Vince Cable here to confirm plans for the new engine plant. It is

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such a vote of confidence in the West Midlands, in manufacturing in

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this country. We have been very pleased to work with Jaguar Land

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Rover on this. The Government's putting in just �10 million, a

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modest amount, but according to Vince Cable: It is a demonstration

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of our commitment to it and we want it to succeed. It is part of

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benefits to the wider region. does the West Midlands need a

:03:05.:03:09.

plant? More and more new models are in the pipe land and JLR needs its

:03:09.:03:13.

own supply of engines, hence the reason they are investing. -- in

:03:13.:03:20.

the pipeline. We have always said we would like to get control of a

:03:20.:03:25.

key component of a car, which is in the engine, so it is the next step

:03:25.:03:29.

of our growth strategy. And part of that growth stategy was on display

:03:29.:03:32.

last week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. In all, JLR unvieled three

:03:32.:03:35.

new models including a replacement for the iconic Defender. It's all

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good news for JLR workers like Mike Cox. He's worked here for 16 years.

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It is absolutely superb news of the business. We would never have

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dreamt they would be getting the kind of news we have today a couple

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of years ago. New plants, development. It is fantastic.

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new plant will be the second factory in the Midlands producing

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engines for cars. More than a decade ago, BMW set up similar

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operation near Coleshill, in Warwickshire. This time it's

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Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire that stand to gain.

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am delighted. We have been waiting for this news for months and what

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is really interesting is that in our area, many years ago, we

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started losing jobs to the East, China and other areas. Butterfat

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the growth for demand for Jaguar cars is growing in those markets. -

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- but in fact. The new engine plant and today's ministerial visit

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provides yet more evidence of what is a remarkable recovery from

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recession. If all goes well, the first engines should be produced

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within the next two years. And Peter's here now. It's just an

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empty field at the moment. Can you elaborate on the timetable? Yes.

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Any construction or planning should be easy because this site has been

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designated an enterprise zone. That means relaxed planning laws and

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also a new junction on the M54 needs to be built to improve access.

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We should see this plant up and running within two years, perhaps

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April, May 2013. We're talking about 750 jobs within the factory.

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It does,in fact, mean so many more in the supply chain. What a

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turnaround it is. Yes. It could mean three or 4,000 new jobs.

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Jaguar Land Rover have made it clear but they want to do this but

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it may be fewer in the long term. Just two years ago, they were

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concerned they were on the brink of collapse. Now they are riding on

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the crest of a wave. Sales are being powered ahead by emerging

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markets like India and China. You could argue that the recession is

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over for JLR. Although we are very close to

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Wolverhampton, with the city centre just five miles away, the new

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factory will actually be in Staffordshire. And that's great

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news after the north of the county recently lost out on its bid for an

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enterprise zone to boost business and jobs. But will the area have

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the highly skilled workers needed by Jaguar Land Rover? Or will the

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jobs ultimately go to people from other parts of the UK? Our

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Staffordshire reporter, Liz Copper, has been investigating.

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This is an investment that's been welcomed, supported and celebrated.

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Within months this vacant business park will be transformed. Lying

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adjacent to the M54 motorway, it's hoped this plant will boost the

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county's economy. And the business opportunities will stretch far

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beyond the boundaries of the site itself. Even people coming into the

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area with skilled jobs will hopefully live in Staffordshire and

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spend in Staffordshire, and that will have a knock-on effect on our

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retail and housing. All in all, it is a very positive development and

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very good news was that budget. Today's announcement has been

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greeted with delight. But there is concerned about a possible skills

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shortage. Building these engines require is a highly skilled

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workforce. We are talking about specialised, high-tech

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manufacturing capability, and at the end of the day, not everybody

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can do that. It is a real feather in the cap for the heritage that

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this area has in that sector. are marks with a long, prestigious

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and distinguished history. This investment secures a commitment to

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ensuring they continue to be made in the Midlands.

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With me now is the leader of Staffordshire County Council,

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Philip Atkins. Well, you've certainly got a big smile on your

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:07:46.:07:47.

face! It is absolutely fantastic news for Staffordshire, the

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Midlands and the UK. And it is agencies working together? Yes.

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Since March, we have been working very closely with Wolverhampton

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City Council and others to bring this project to its conclusion

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today and it is good news for the area. It clearly is terrific news,

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but serious questions have to be asked. Where are the skilled

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workers coming from? One of the attractions to the area is the

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skilled work force we have here in the Midlands and in the Black

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Country. But only recently, this area was reported as having one of

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the lowest skill sets? If I was somebody looking at the programme

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tonight, I would certainly start looking to enrol on many courses.

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The schools are there. We have JCB and others as examples of the rich

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engineering culture we have got in the West Midlands. There is also

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concerned that there is not such interest in studying engineering

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any more? Absolutely not! I would encourage anybody to study

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engineering as it is the way to get the economy going again. We have

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750 jobs and there will be thousands more in the supply chain.

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Are we seeing green shoots? I think we are. The motor vehicles being

:09:15.:09:25.
:09:25.:09:27.

built from this engine will drive a or West Midlands economy. It is

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JLR's decision came just ahead of a keynote speech by the Business

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Secretary, Vince Cable, at the Liberal Democrat Party conference

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in Birmingham. Our political editor Patrick Burns is there for us now.

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Patrick, this announcement couldn't have come at a better moment for

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them, could it? It's a timely coincidence. Industrialists could

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hardly contain their excitement about this news. It gives the

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people of the Midlands a boost, recognising that the skills are

:09:58.:10:03.

here. We know that but it is when international companies make those

:10:03.:10:06.

sorts of decisions that we are being recognised for the abilities

:10:06.:10:14.

we have in the Midlands and discreet to see. -- and it is great

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:10:24.:10:33.

to see. It is a fantastic shot in the arm for the West Midlands. One

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of the leading multinationals has decided this is a good place to do

:10:37.:10:42.

business. Given the scale of the problem we have, including in the

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Midlands, how much of a dent will the 750 jobs make? It is just the

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tip of the iceberg. Once the plant is up and running, there will be a

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large supply chain. For every one they have in their main assembly,

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they have 10 supply in. Given the low skills base we have here in the

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West Midlands, is there a danger that this will suck people in from

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Dagenham and Bridgend in Wales, where they currently make the

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engines for Jaguar cars? I have little doubt talking to the trade

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Unionists and MPs that they are absolutely delighted that this will

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help Walkhampton. There is a general problem in the UK of skills

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shortage. But the West Midlands has a long tradition and we want to see

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that industry revived. There are many around here who have the basic

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skills and want to get back into work. For all these slightly

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:11:58.:12:00.

synthetic sideswipes, we are in this together. That is it for now

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from the site. Much more on this story on the Midlands Today

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Facebook page and I will be back later on the programme to get more

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:12:19.:12:21.

from middens motoring expert Professor Bailey.

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Thanks, Nick. Also ahead tonight, as the countdown to London 2012

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continues, the man in charge of the Olympics arrives in Coventry for a

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progress report. And no simple way to describe this

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week. Keep on top of the changes in a full forecast, coming up later.

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Police forensic teams have spent the day searching 14 properties in

:12:42.:12:45.

Birmingham after six men and a woman were arrested in a counter-

:12:45.:12:50.

terrorism operation in the city. The health watchdog whose job is to

:12:50.:12:53.

prevent another Stafford Hospital disaster is now too big and doesn't

:12:53.:12:56.

have enough money. That's the diagnosis of Sir Liam Donaldson,

:12:56.:13:01.

who was the country's Chief Medical Officer for 12 years. Sir Liam also

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told the Stafford Inquiry how he had put photographs of children

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killed by the NHS on a Health Minister's desk to get a message on

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safety across. Our health correspondent, Michele Paduano,

:13:09.:13:11.

reports. Sir Liam Donaldson was Chief

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Medical Officer for 12 years. He told the Stafford Inquiry that when

:13:15.:13:18.

he took on the job, safety wasn't a concept in the health service.

:13:18.:13:21.

Getting the safety message across to health managers was like rolling

:13:21.:13:25.

a boulder up hill. He also told how on one occasion, he put photographs

:13:25.:13:28.

of dead children on Secretary of State for health, Patricia Hewitt's

:13:28.:13:38.
:13:38.:13:39.

Even so, Stafford Hospital campaigners were not impressed.

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don't seem to have moved any way forward with the NHS with regard to

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patient safety. We'll still getting huge amounts of untoward incidents.

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What has he been doing about it? He is at the top. Health watchdogs

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like the one that found problems in Coventry did work. But over time,

:13:59.:14:08.

they stopped inspecting. He is concerned that the Care Quality

:14:08.:14:16.

Commission is not working together and that it might be also -- might

:14:16.:14:20.

be a too big to do the job. One former doctor who knew Sir Liam

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Donaldson as a colleague said this of his performance: They have done

:14:24.:14:28.

a few good things like getting the ban on public smoking. But he has

:14:28.:14:32.

demonstrated how difficult it is in a political environment to achieve

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some of your desired ends. Liam's own verdict is that the NHS

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is improving, but it's got a way to And all the background to the

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Stafford Hospital inquiry is on the BBC Staffordshire website.

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Police forensic teams have spent the day searching 14 properties in

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Birmingham after six men and a woman were arrested in a counter-

:14:57.:15:00.

terrorism operation in the City puts up the police are not

:15:00.:15:03.

revealing the nature of their specific offences but said they

:15:03.:15:10.

work with MI5 to ensure public safety.

:15:10.:15:15.

A green car is lifted on to weigh trailer by forensic teams. It was a

:15:15.:15:19.

similar story at addresses across Birmingham. Police will not confirm

:15:19.:15:23.

details but say they are at 14 addresses. Computer equipment and

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other items have been taken away to be examined. Six men and a woman

:15:28.:15:32.

were arrested at addresses across Birmingham last night. One

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neighbour, who did not want to be identified, told us what he saw.

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They put masks over their heads and put them in the van. The only ones

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I know are the ones who live here, and they are good people. They are

:15:47.:15:52.

not terrorists. Police said the action was needed to ensure public

:15:52.:15:58.

safety. I fully understand that after such a counter-terrorism

:15:58.:16:01.

operation of this size, the public will want to know more details

:16:01.:16:05.

about what we suspect. The main thing for us is to investigate the

:16:05.:16:10.

matter fully, professionally and fairly. Police have revealed,

:16:10.:16:15.

however, that the arrests are not connected with the Lib Dem

:16:15.:16:19.

conference in Birmingham. Suspect of being held for questioning, as

:16:19.:16:23.

is a 22-year-old woman, who was arrested on suspicion of failing to

:16:23.:16:30.

disclose information. Nick Clegg has hit back at his

:16:30.:16:34.

critics at the Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham. He said

:16:34.:16:37.

suggestions he'd betrayed the party by sharing power with the

:16:37.:16:40.

Conservatives were ridiculous. But what about the grassroots? Nearly

:16:40.:16:43.

18 months on from the election, what do local activists and

:16:43.:16:45.

supporters think of the coalition and its leaders? Giles Latcham

:16:45.:16:47.

reports from a Liberal Democrat stronghold.

:16:47.:16:52.

Cheltenham gives off an ambience. It's stately. Serene, even. In the

:16:52.:16:55.

back streets, though, politically, it's a dogfight - Lib Dems against

:16:55.:16:58.

the Conservatives. The parties that share power nationally are sworn

:16:58.:17:07.

enemies here. You have got some lovely coconuts... We joined Lib

:17:08.:17:10.

Dems for their monthly curry night and asked "what price the

:17:10.:17:17.

coalition?" The coalition has been a huge challenge for us. We must be

:17:17.:17:22.

honest. But we think we were right to go in it and we would be right

:17:22.:17:28.

to stay in it. When I am canvassing, people say, we don't like the

:17:28.:17:33.

coalition. When you ask why, it's generally, well, you might as well

:17:33.:17:40.

be a Tory. Obviously, you have got the odd one or two to cannot

:17:40.:17:46.

stomach that we all with the Conservatives. But we have got the

:17:46.:17:50.

ear of ministers, whereas before we did not have the chance to get our

:17:50.:17:54.

views across. His Nick Clegg the minister you

:17:54.:17:59.

would have asked for? Perhaps it is time for him to put his foot down a

:17:59.:18:03.

bit more and make the Lib Dems seem to be more involved with the

:18:03.:18:07.

Government. He is in a difficult position but I think he is holding

:18:07.:18:12.

his own. The town has a Liberal Democrat MP. The council is Lib Dem

:18:12.:18:14.

controlled, but with elections next year, they face a stiff challenge

:18:14.:18:18.

from the Tories. What, then, of the future? We need to celebrate

:18:18.:18:23.

ourselves a bit more and get our message across. Our message to the

:18:23.:18:28.

public that we are not Conservatives. You have only got to

:18:28.:18:31.

look at Northern Ireland and other places where they are in coalition

:18:31.:18:34.

and they are making things happen. We are making things happen here as

:18:34.:18:39.

well so I hope it will continue. We are going to fight the general

:18:39.:18:43.

election on our own corner. before that, they face council

:18:43.:18:48.

elections next May. A stiff challenge from the Tories and a

:18:48.:18:53.

taste of public opinion on the coalition government.

:18:53.:18:57.

Tomorrow we'll be talking to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. If you have

:18:57.:19:03.

a question you'd like us to ask, please get in touch.

:19:03.:19:06.

It was a miserable weekend for our Premier League teams, with only one

:19:06.:19:10.

point from four matches. And if losing wasn't bad enough, they

:19:10.:19:12.

conceded goals galore in the process. Nick Clitheroe reports.

:19:12.:19:15.

It was raining goals in the Premier League this weekend but

:19:15.:19:19.

unfortunately most of them were ending up in the wrong net. Stoke

:19:19.:19:22.

City were surprisingly on the end of the biggest hammering, going

:19:22.:19:25.

down 4-0 at Sunderland yesterday, when nothing went right. Many might

:19:25.:19:28.

have blamed defeat on a midweek trip to Ukraine in the Europa

:19:28.:19:34.

League, but the manager wasn't having it. When you see what

:19:34.:19:39.

happened in Wales to the miners this week and the underground

:19:39.:19:43.

working for what some of my players will earn in a week and they have

:19:43.:19:49.

lost their lives, to make an excuse about it being troubled... We live

:19:49.:19:53.

in a bubble of football and I think sometimes we should burst it and

:19:53.:19:56.

look at the outside world. Swansea City hadn't previously scored in

:19:56.:19:59.

the Premier League since promotion but they put three past West

:19:59.:20:02.

Bromwich Albion at the Liberty Stadium. It was a similar story at

:20:02.:20:05.

Molineux, where Wolves' promising start to the season has been

:20:05.:20:07.

damaged by back-to-back home defeats now. Even Aston Villa's

:20:08.:20:11.

draw with Newcastle wasn't much of a high point, as they failed to

:20:11.:20:14.

hang on to Gabby Agbonlahor's early goal. And life didn't get much

:20:14.:20:17.

better in the Championship, where Birmingham City got soaked before

:20:17.:20:22.

kick-off and then were thrashed by leaders Southampton.

:20:22.:20:24.

And you can see all the Football League highlights involving our

:20:25.:20:27.

clubs, including Shrewsbury's victory at Port Vale, on the BBC

:20:27.:20:37.
:20:37.:20:39.

football website. Warwickshire's Nick Skelton has won

:20:39.:20:43.

his second medal in Madrid at the show jumping championships. He had

:20:43.:20:46.

already helped the British team to win bronze medal in the team event

:20:46.:20:50.

and yesterday he won individual bronze as well.

:20:50.:20:53.

It's now just 310 days until the Olympics comes to Coventry, with

:20:53.:20:56.

the city's Ricoh Arena one of the stadiums being used for the

:20:56.:20:59.

football competition. Today, the man in charge of the games, Lord

:20:59.:21:02.

Coe, visited Coventry to see how preparations are going, Ian Winter

:21:02.:21:08.

reports. His feet have hardly touched the

:21:08.:21:12.

ground since London 20 world got the green light. This afternoon,

:21:12.:21:22.

Lord Coe arrived plaque -- flanked by a small army of persistents and

:21:22.:21:27.

P Rs. He talked to the manager about the challenge of staging 12

:21:27.:21:31.

football games in just eight days. This is a very big opportunity for

:21:31.:21:36.

a youngsters to see international football, and of fact, if you look

:21:36.:21:40.

back at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, it was in games like that

:21:40.:21:48.

that players like Lionel Messi came through. But already football

:21:48.:21:55.

extends way beyond here, even to the capital of Uganda. Many are

:21:55.:22:01.

still buzzing with excitement from their recent visit to Africa. 10

:22:01.:22:06.

students and teachers from five schools in Coventry spent time in

:22:06.:22:09.

Uganda at encouraging youngsters to play sport they have never even

:22:09.:22:14.

heard of, like tennis, rounders and football, as well as rugby.

:22:14.:22:19.

Probably the best week of my life. It was an experience I will never

:22:19.:22:23.

forget. It was topped off with the kids been unhappy. It was quite

:22:23.:22:29.

emotional when we had to say goodbye. Would you go back again?

:22:29.:22:32.

really had to go back again. We're going to raise as much money as we

:22:32.:22:37.

can and hopefully go back so we can help people more. This afternoon,

:22:37.:22:43.

as Lord Coe praised the links between Coventry and Kampala, they

:22:43.:22:47.

learned that 20 athletes are hoping to use Uganda as their Olympic

:22:47.:22:52.

training base. We are not just getting the team to train and

:22:52.:22:56.

disappear, but it makes sense from a sporting point of view and

:22:56.:22:59.

community point of view that we can make a lasting relationship beyond

:22:59.:23:04.

the Games. Next year, the students I been to return with enough funds

:23:04.:23:09.

to provide clean water and more sports equipment. -- students are

:23:09.:23:15.

hoping to return. It is a legacy Lord Coe would be proud of.

:23:15.:23:20.

There's more on the Coventry build- up to the Olympics on the website.

:23:20.:23:30.
:23:30.:23:30.

The weather has a number of factors contributing to make it what it is.

:23:30.:23:35.

We have this low pressure and then a warm front followed by a cold

:23:35.:23:40.

fund. Temperatures will rise, rain will come through and low pressure

:23:40.:23:44.

dominates by midweek. After that, the high pressure starts to move up

:23:44.:23:48.

from the South and that kills off the rain and the wind and it is

:23:48.:23:54.

calm for a time. We could see more rain heading in for the weekend.

:23:54.:23:58.

Tonight and this evening, we are in that warm sector now, so

:23:58.:24:05.

temperatures will not fall very much. The rain gradually moves

:24:05.:24:08.

southwards out of Staffordshire and there could be heavy bursts,

:24:08.:24:13.

particularly to the West. But temperatures only dropping to 13 or

:24:13.:24:18.

13 -- 14 degrees. We will draw in more humid air as well. A warm

:24:18.:24:22.

start to the day with further outbreaks of rain and that main

:24:22.:24:26.

band starts to move southwards. Slightly breezier than today as

:24:26.:24:31.

well. The rain will be easing later on during the day, but the front

:24:31.:24:36.

peps up and livens in the South, says Southern Counties will seek

:24:36.:24:41.

heavy outbreaks in the afternoon and it will linger, probably

:24:41.:24:46.

producing 10 to 50 mm during the day. You can see highs of 20

:24:46.:24:49.

degrees so what will be slightly warmer. On Wednesday, temperatures

:24:49.:24:55.

will start to drop once again to 17 degrees. The wind picks up as well

:24:55.:24:59.

and that low pressure is in command, so we will see gusts of 40 miles an

:24:59.:25:04.

hour over the peaks averaging at around 70 miles an hour for the

:25:04.:25:09.

south-west. But it remains dry and sunny. Fairly dry for Thursday.

:25:09.:25:12.

Brighter spells rather than sunnier ones but temperatures on their way

:25:12.:25:17.

down. Let's take a look at tonight's main

:25:17.:25:24.

headlines. The evictions and Dale Farm on hold after the trouble has

:25:24.:25:29.

won a slight reprieve in court. And Jaguar Land Rover is creating

:25:29.:25:34.

750 jobs and investing �355 million building a new engine plant in

:25:34.:25:38.

Wolverhampton. And on that good news note, let's

:25:38.:25:46.

go back to Nick. Thank you. I have been joined by Professor David

:25:46.:25:50.

Bailey from the Coventry University Business School. We normally talk

:25:50.:25:56.

about grim economic news. What about this? It is amazing! I don't

:25:56.:26:01.

think I have ever spoken to you about he plant closing -- a plant

:26:01.:26:08.

openings rather than a plant closing. Why has this come about?

:26:08.:26:11.

Jaguar Land Rover are doing well and they need to expand and build

:26:11.:26:15.

more engines. Secondly, they need to produce more fuel-efficient

:26:15.:26:20.

engines and that is what they're doing here. There is a great skills

:26:20.:26:24.

base in the West Midlands and they will be able to tap into it.

:26:24.:26:30.

you sure about that? Are we do have a great legacy in engineering, from

:26:30.:26:34.

the skilled graduates we produce to the apprenticeships. So we have a

:26:34.:26:38.

great skills base we can tap into. Do you see this as a pointer to a

:26:38.:26:42.

brighter future in the car industry? Was certainly think it

:26:42.:26:46.

shows how well Jaguar Land Rover are doing in the region. -- I

:26:47.:26:50.

certainly think. They are angered here and they will be producing

:26:50.:26:56.

lots of cars. -- they are anchored. I think it is a great sign for the

:26:57.:27:01.

future. It is a remarkable turnaround? It is brilliant to see.

:27:01.:27:05.

We knew this was a great company. The sector went through a downturn

:27:05.:27:08.

but we knew they could get through it and that they would have a

:27:08.:27:12.

bright future. They have an excellent product range and some

:27:12.:27:16.

great designs in the pipeline coming forward. Thank you so much.

:27:16.:27:21.

That is it from us. It is little more than a field but comeback in a

:27:21.:27:26.

few years' time and you will see a bustling factory up and running, a

:27:26.:27:29.

workforce of hundreds, and who knows how many other operations

:27:29.:27:36.

dragged along behind it in its wake. The site may be the re-emergence of

:27:36.:27:39.

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