20/09/2011 Midlands Today


The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 20/09/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello and welcome to Midlands Today, with Nick Owen and Suzanne Virdee.


The headlines: As the Lib Dem conference reaches


its climax in Birmingham, leader Nick Clegg urges council workers


not to strike tomorrow. Of course I don't think as a general rule,


striking generally helps. A premium on skills, as firms fear


they could lose workers to the new Jaguar engine plant. There is


always a worry and concern that possibly staff may feel they would


like to go and work there. Security in cyber space. The


teenagers being used to protect government and businesses from


hackers. You put yourself into the mindset of a hacker to see what


they would do to get into a system. And can Shrewsbury cause an upset


against crisis club Arsenal in tonight's David and Goliath clash


Good evening and welcome to Midlands Today from the BBC. First


this Tuesday evening, a strike won't help, says the Liberal


Democrat leader, Nick Clegg. Thousands of council workers are


expected to walk out tomorrow as Mr Clegg gives his keynote speech at


the party conference in Birmingham. Services across the city are likely


to be affected. Mr Clegg said he understood the anger of many in the


public sector but striking wasn't a solution. He was talking to our


political editor Patrick Burns, who began by asking what he would say


to any potential strikers watching tonight. Of course I don't think as


a general rule, striking generally helps. It disrupts the public. It


creates an immense amount of disruption for many, many other


people. Do we understand the strength of feeling? Yes. Do I wish,


as the council would wish, that somehow I could find pots of gold


so I could say, at there, it is all OK. I cannot. It is a time at where


we need to take difficult decisions in this country for Birmingham.


are sitting in one of the constituencies with the highest


employment rate in the UK and we know of growth forecasts have been


reduced further today. Has the time not come for the Government to say,


in changing economic circumstances, we do have to adjust our policies


accordingly? Of course we need to do more, and that is why we have


been talking to us today about plans on how empty homes can be


converted into places people can live in. That will create jobs and


homes for young families in the future. It is why we have announced


a half a billion pound investment fund for investment. I am talking


about transport, housing, a renewable energy, super-fast


broadband. But what is not possible is to some house say, we will tear


up our plans and somehow, hey presto, growth will materialise.


What would happen is that you would have even worse instability, as we


have seen in other countries, which creates even worse unemployment.


Let me put a question to you from one of our viewers. It is from a


careers adviser with very concerned about cuts to those services, and


his question is, does the Government believe that this vital


role can be delivered by a website? Your pure would accept that


connections did not work in a satisfactory way and did not


provide guidance to youngsters who needed it. So we need to change the


system. But he is right to say that we need to make sure that


youngsters are given proper, face- to-face help where they need it,


and we are working on ideas as to how we can best provide that at the


moment. And Patrick joins us now. An


interesting message about tomorrow's strike is that it


wouldn't help? Yes. He did not go into anything that could be a real


criticism. But I think she was trying to get across the message


that he understands how they feel and it is very regrettable.


comment about, I feel your pain but no changed of course, tough talk?


Yes. No second plan and no not getting on top of this debt. But


when he talked about the infrastructure, there was a very


interesting discussion taking place about doing more and creating jobs


in transport and housing, and about broadband internet. So what can we


expect tomorrow? He will take on those arguments that they are going


to be slaughtered on this. People remind his audience why they are


doing this. The extreme economic darkness of the environment we are


in and why they are taking on the responsibility.


So how much disruption is there likely to be to council-run


services in Birmingham tomorrow? UNISON is the union involved and


members are angry about new terms and conditions. Giles Latcham is at


the Council House tonight. Any chance that Nick Clegg's call will


be heeded, Giles? I don't think so, but let's ask. Graeme Horn is from


the Birmingham branch of UNISON. Nick Clegg says, call off the


strike, we need to take difficult decisions now or else we'll saddle


our children with our debts. How do you respond to that? Our members


are some of the lowest paid in public services and they will pay


it -- are facing huge pay cut. These cuts are being focused on


some of the lowest paid in the council. Let's hear from the


Conservative-Lib Dem alliance running the council. They want to


change conditions and reduce pay to help slash their budget, and they


say the choice is stark. The choice is that people will be made


redundant. I think it is better to have a job with some reduction than


no job at all. It is not ideal but we are in a difficult situation


produced by a whole decade of wasting money. The whole country it


has this problem. If this is resolved, it will be by compromise.


Will you accept reduced pay on a smaller scale? We are looking at


consultation. The council has had no talks with us about this since


the last strike. The bottom line is that our members, on very low pay,


cannot afford these very high pay cuts. We are hearing tonight that


there is movement in a separate dispute in Shropshire involving


council staff there. The strike on Thursday is now in some doubt.


Watch this space. And later in the programme, we go


beyond the conference proper, to find out what Hugh Grant and many


others have been saying at scores of fringe meetings.


An estimated 150 supply companies stand to benefit from Jaguar Land


Rover's decision to build its new engine plant near Wolverhampton.


But despite the promise of lucrative contracts, some firms are


concerned they might not be able to find and retain the skilled staff


they need. Our business correspondent, Peter Plisner,


reports. Helping Jaguar Land Rover power


ahead. This Black Country firm already makes engine parts for both


brands, and following yesterday's announcement its chairman is


certainly hoping for more. I am confident that we are competitive


and we are still going to be here, and we hope to be making some of


those parts. Here they make thousands of parts for the


automotive industry every year for a variety of manufacturers. But


even before yesterday's if --'s announcement, finding the right


workers with the right skills was the problem. And here's some of the


evidence. The average age of skilled workers is rising fast.


Geoff Lear's 58 and he's concerned about who will take his place when


he retires. You don't see any youngsters any more. Once the


skills go, that is it. Recruiting people with the skills is an issue


and it is partly an issue because for years we have not been training


enough people. But there's more. This Whitchurch firm has already


lost skilled staff to JLR and is worried about a further exodus to


the new engine plant. As it is only an hour down the road from where we


are, there is always a worry or concerned that staff might possibly


feel they would like to go and work there. That is something we have


all have to deal with. Training specialists admit that it's a


worrying time and say it's also time to take decisive action.


really do believe those skills will come through apprenticeship


programmes and the recruitment of apprentices. A challenge we do have


is that only 17% of the Midlands manufacturing engineering companies


recruit apprentices and we need to increase that. With around two


years to go before the new engine plant opens, the advice to


components firms is that more training, skills and apprentices


must be given a high priority. And Peter's with us now. Jaguar


Land Rover have got to build the factory before they start


recruiting, so is there time for the right number of potential


recruits to be trained in the right kind of skills? Most admit that


it'll be challenging. It takes more than two years to train an


apprentice. There are staff available already, including from


JLR's existing factories, workers from other companies and even those


who are unemployed. But finding so many people in one go won't be easy,


so it's right for people to start thinking about it now. We're also


hearing news today of the possible return of a bit of a legend in


sports cars? A real blast from the past. Remember the old Jensen


Intercepter? I think we have some pictures of what it looked like. It


was built in Coventry in the 1960s and '70s. Well, now a modern


version of this iconic car will be made again in the city. It follows


a decision by CPP Global Holdings. They'll build the car on the site


of the old Browns Lane factory, where Jaguar used to be. It's yet


more welcome news for the Midlands motor industry.


A plan to replace fire control rooms with new regional centres,


including one in the Black Country, ended in complete failure, costing


the taxpayer almost half a billion pounds. The Public Accounts


Committee said it was one of the worst cases of project failure it


had seen for years and was flawed from the outset. The regional


centre for the West Midlands was built in Wolverhampton but it's


never been used. A 22-year-old woman arrested


yesterday in Birmingham on suspicion of withholding


information about suspected terrorism has been released on bail.


Police raided six addresses in the city yesterday in what was


described as the most significant anti-terrorism operation in the


country this year. Six men, aged between 25 and 32, arrested on


suspicion of plotting a terrorist act in the UK remain in custody.


Plans for a controversial mosque in Dudley have been rejected. The


Dudley Muslim Association has accused councillors of Islamaphobia


after the proposals for a mosque in Hall Street were rejected a second


time. The council says its decision was made solely on the grounds of


the scale and design of the building.


Part of Coventry's historic cathedral ruins are in danger of


collapse unless a �250,000 can be found for urgent repairs. The bomb-


ravaged cathedral has come to symbolise the devastation of the


city in the Blitz but the ruins are suffering from decades of exposure


to the elements, as Andy Newman reports.


Battered by the German bombers, now time is taking its toll on the


ruins of Coventry's ancient cathedral. Cracks have appeared on


an exterior wall and there's concern that this whole section is


in danger of collapsing. Obviously we need to start repairs today


because this crack has opened up. It is now being supported by the


scaffolding which is preventing it falling into the street, but it is


a challenge which needs to be fixed today. I think it would be


devastating. I bring children here from school and without it, we are


losing their heritage of our local cities. It is something to show


future generations what was here and what it was like. November 1940,


the aftermath of the Blitz. As much of Coventry is devastated, the


city's catherdral becomes a ruin. What was left of the building has


stood as a symbol of Coventry's endurance. Historians says it's a


symbol worth preserving. What we see today is a very evocative


result of the bombing on 14th November 1940, when the intense


heat of an century bombs told the steel girders and collapse the


arcades in on themselves, and we have a show of St Michael's. But


that in itself is a building of great cultural set -- importance.


He The cathedral ruins attract tourists from across the world.


Next year marks 50 years since the consecration of the new cathedral.


The concern is that unless funds can be raised quickly, future


visitors may arrive to see rather less of a ruin than the one that


stands today. It is actually a very special place,


that. But it has a real solemnity about it.


Still ahead this Tuesday evening, about an hour to kick-off at the


Emirates. Why Lenny the Lion's confident he can roar Shrewsbury


Town to victory against Arsenal. And when it rains it pours, or at


least it will for some tonight. When will it stop and will it


return? More details later. Teenagers are being employed to


combat cyber criminals who hack into the computers of businesses.


The youngsters are on the same wavelength as the hackers, who are


often teenagers themselves. South Worcestershire has become a centre


for many of the security companies operating in the field. Here's Cath


Mackie. Mike Schooling works in a non-


descript office in Malvern but his job is the stuff of Hollywood


movies. Sitting at his computer, this 19-year-old fights cyber


criminals. You put yourself in the mindset of a hacker to try to think


what they would do to get into a system. So you would literally be


doing what a hacker would do legitimately to test it, so that


they cannot get in. Teenager Chris Walker has also been recruited by


Malvern-based 3SDL, who are experts in cyber security. It's a tough job.


The hackers are costing businesses millions like the technology giant


Sony which had data stolen from 100 million customer accounts earlier


this year. For the 3SDL chairman taking on youngsters has


considerable benefits. The people who are often trying to attack us


probably learned their skills when they win youngsters in a back


bedroom, maybe in their early teens. They looked to stay ahead of


technology and so you need to fight fire with fire. They bring a


fearless approach to technology with them. And they work for one of


16 small cyber security companies in this town who are now fighting


for recognition of their work. The Government has said it ranks cyber


security as a top priority and has earmarked �650 million to fight


cyber crime in the UK. And now these small cyber security firms


here in Malvern are lobbying for a share of that investment. It is not


just the big contract as that candidates -- delivers solutions,


but in this space you need to be nimble, says smaller businesses


could be more responsive than the bigger ones. We are competing in a


global market so we have a pretty good reputation in this country for


doing this sort of thing, so we need to leverage off that as much


as possible. Getting help from government is very important.


hope now is any future government investment in Malvern will be


enough to retain the brains that are helping to make the online


world a safer place. Elsewhere in Worcestershire, though,


a centre which is credited with getting hundreds of teenagers off


the streets is facing imminent closure. The Bewdley Youth Cafe was


set up because of concerns the town had little to offer young people.


But financial pressures have seen sponsors pull out and grants dry up,


as Ben Godfrey reports. It's 8am and the Bewdley Youth Cafe


is doing a brisk breakfast trade. If it looks busy, that's because


500 teenagers have signed up. It's not just free food drawing them in.


Some come to search for jobs online, others just come for a chat or a


game of pool. It stops me from being out there and doing bad stuff


like drugs or getting involved with bad people. After school you can


come in and chill out for a bit. The charity says the cafe costs


�70,000 a year to run. Lottery funding has ended and there's been


little interest from local companies. It could close within


months. We do have a problem in this town with under-aged drinking


and if this cafe was not here, I really do think that a lot of the


young children would slip into anti-social behaviour. We have got


a centre down there but they hardly had anything on. Sean Haywood's 15


and was excluded from five schools because of his behaviour but he's


leading a campaign to ensure others don't head the same way. Some of


the people I used to hang around with used to drink and I would be


stuck around that kind of activity. So I have got my head down and


started to work more, and started getting the qualifications I need,


hoping I can get the job I want in the future. This is the only other


youth centre in a town with a population of 10,000. It's run by


the local authority. It was shut when we visited. Some facilities


for young people could disappear within three years. The council is


looking at trimming 1.1 �4 million from its activities budget. Clearly


Bewdley isn't Birmingham. It didn't suffer at the hands of rioters and


will never see the kind of budgets charities there can muster at a


time of indignation. But here, these youngsters say their needs


are just as important. Back to the Liberal Democrat party


conference in Birmingham now, and events on the conference fringe


have assumed a new importance with the Lib Dems, now in a position to


influence policy as part of the coalition government. More than 500


fringe meetings are being held throughout the city. Our political


reporter, Susana Mendonca, has been checking them out.


It's home to the Liberal Democrats for one more day but beyond the


confines of Birmingham's International Convention Centre,


there's a lot more going on - on the fringes. And you have to get up


pretty early in the morning for these kinds of events. This is the


Birmingham Chamber of Commerce fringe event. It's 7am and all


these business people are gathered here to discuss jobs and growth in


the city. There's all sorts of benefits. One is picking up the


atmosphere, what's going one, what's the prevailing thoughts of


the day, which, as a business person, you've got to be sensitive


to, and that may determine how I plan a strategy for UK marketing or


develop equipment. A chance to meet people who can be influential.


a former government minister. Or perhaps a Hollywood actor? Oh, I


only ever play one role. Don't be ridiculous! Hugh Grant, playing the


role of fringe celebrity, here to put phonehacking on the agenda at


one of more than 500 of these meetings. Not quite so glamorous


was Birmingham City Council's fringe on growing the green economy.


But what's the point in them? exchanging, it's networking, it's


finding out what's happening. And it's so important in any political


party to understand what progress is being made. And in between all


those fringe events and conference speeches, Lib Dems can pop in here


to pick up a few goodies. There are around 400 exhibitors inside the


ICC hoping to bend the ears of politicians and activists. And BBC


WM listeners have got in on the act too, when former Lib Dem Party


leader Paddy Ashdown got a grilling at our very own fringe event.


people these days are going to university because they don't know


what else to do. You simply cannot go on funding student fees on the


same basis as you did 40 years ago, 30 years ago. It's impossible to do


that. So the debate doesn't just go on on the conference hall floor.


Well, Susana's at the ICC now. This is the latest in a series of party


conferences hosted by Birmingham. How does this one compare? It feels


a lot smaller than the Conservative Party conference, which was held


here last year. That attracted around 14,000 delegates and


attracted millions of pounds for the local economy. The Lib Dem


Conference has only attracted around 8,000 people in comparison.


A lot of the usual suspects are exhibiting. Charities and teaching


unions. One thing I have noticed is that last year, Marks & Spencer's


and Harvey Nichols had stalls where you could pick up food but this


year they are not here. Instead you can go to the ASDA store!


fringe meetings. What's the most unusual one you've heard of? It has


to be the Glee Club, which happens tonight. This is not the American


television programme. This is where the Lib Dems get together and they


have a bit of a sing-song and basing from hymn sheets. The Lib


Dem MP for Birmingham Yardley plays the piano. I have seen it before


and it really does have to be seen to be believed! It does sound


interesting. Thank you so much. Tuesday night in downtown


Shrewsbury should be rather quieter than normal this evening. That's


because 5,000 excited Shrewsbury Town football fans have travelled


to London for a rather special match. It's the first time the


Shrews have ever played Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, and a shock


result could just be on the cards in the Carling Cup, as Ian Winter


reports. Recognise this face? He is off to


London and he is getting dressed up for the Cup. But Arsenal must be


wary of the Shrews presenting gifts. These are the injured Shrewsbury


players who have been forced to miss the club's big night in London.


But first, let's pause and reflect on Arsenal's recent defensive


blunders. Four at Blackburn, aid at man United. What is going through


your mind? -- 8. Their manager has had an outstanding career and will


continue to do so. He will put it right but we hope he doesn't do


night! In Shrewsbury, they were buzzing with excitement tonight. At


�10 a ticket is a rare chance to see how the other half lives and


possibly even upset Arsenal's expensive array of multi-million-


pound superstars. You have certainly dress the part, Julie,


for tonight? Somebody has to do it! I won't be alone. Destination,


North London. Arsenal, beware, because 5,000 Shrewsbury fans


believe a Carling Cup shop is on the cards tonight. Back at the


ground, as the kit men loaded up the team bus, one question was on


the lips of everybody. How well the Gunners prevent Marvin Morgan from


repeating his wonder goal against Port Vale at the weekend?


disrespect, but that defence looks a bit rocky. You must fancy your


chances of getting a goal? I did see some mistakes at the back on


Match Of The Day at the weekend. Hopefully we can capitalise on that.


With that, he was off to cause more mayhem in the Arsenal defence, and


with a little help from Lady Luck and Lenny the Lion, who knows what


surprises lie in store? Hopefully he will bring them luck.


So much counts on confidence. Marvin Morgan seemed really


confident. Lots and lots for Shrewsbury Town tonight. Had it


goes well. -- hope it goes well. Let's hope they fare better than


Coventry City last night. They lost 3-0 to Ipswich in the Championship.


The first was this own goal from defender Martin Cranie. And they


were two down inside 15 minutes when former Wolves midfielder Keith


Andrews scored. Coventry's miserable night was completed by


Jason Scotland in the second half. The Sky Blues remain 21st in the


table. You probably don't want to see any


more of that if you are a fan! It has been a damp and dreary day


and it is still raining out there. It will be well after midnight


until we see the rain clearing, and before it does it will turn heavy


as well. The rain is running from south-west to north-east. A ripple


of darker blue shows you it is data show that will be affected. By the


early hours, it should be well out of the way. -- it is Gloucester


shirt that will be affected. The clearers bells will give way to


cooler temperatures and we are down to 9, 10 degrees. We are greeted by


a much better day tomorrow than today. There will be blue skies,


sunshine and some showers, mainly affecting the northern parts in the


afternoon. They are just coming in from Wales. Temperatures are rising


to 16, 17 degrees, which is similar to today's values, but with the


added wind coming in from the south-west at around 20 miles an


hour, quite gusty over the hilltops. It will feel cooler. Thursday looks


similar but essentially, it isn't, because the wind will be easing and


temperatures are a couple of degrees lower. Again feeling fairly


cool and the further south you go, probably the odd spot of rain as


well. Essentially dry, though. Friday, a similar day with more


cloud, and then on Saturday, some rain.


A look at tonight's main headlines: The world economy is at risk of a


double-dip recession warned the experts at the International


Monetary Fund. And as the Lib Dem conference which


Download Subtitles