05/10/2011 Midlands Today


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Good evening and welcome to Wednesday's Midlands Today from the


BBC. Tonight: Claims that crime will rise as our region's largest


police force deals with cuts. Already this year, crime is down.


An experienced detective has spoken out, as a staff survey leaked to


the BBC revealed low morale at West Midlands Police. A majority of


police staff feel that sense of personal responsibility to provide


the best service possible and now they're feeling frustrated, because


they can. A charity is found over �100,000 after a man died after


being scalded in the bath. Good evening and welcome to Wednesday's


Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight: Claims that crime will


rise as our region's largest police force deals with cuts. An


experienced detective has spoken out, as a staff survey leaked to


the BBC revealed low morale at West The survey, which was completed by


just over a third of the workforce in July, suggests 69% of employees


think that staff morale is not high and that only 31% would recommend


West Midlands Police as a good place to work. It also suggests


that 60% of employees don't feel fairly rewarded in their job.


Tonight the force said crime was falling with last month seeing some


of the best crime fighting figures for a decade. Our special


correspondent, Peter Wilson, has this report.


The West Midlands detective with more than 20 years experience


usually investigates murders and gangland shootings. His comments


come as the force tries to make �126 million savings. We are


calling the detective Andrew. He has asked us to protect his


identity this is not his real voice. With the experience that I have


within the police force, I know that with the smaller amount of


police officers there will be the opportunist people who will take


advantage of it. By reducing the police family so significantly, I


can only foresee that crime will Andrew says the criticism from


politicians during the riots felt like a kick in the teeth to


frontline officers. Morale is very low. Officers were working 20 hours


a day for a week during the riots, coming in, not seeing their family.


The professionalism cuts in. You want to catch the bad guys, but to


have the politicians turn round and say that the police are inflexible


had a massive impact on officers. In June and July this year, a staff


survey of both police and non- uniformed staff revealed poor


morale in the force. More than half say they don't have enough


equipment to do their job properly. 73% said that burracracy was not


being cut, while 72% said that communities were not being better


served or protected. The Deputy Chief Constable and the man who has


been tasked to balance the budget was today giving the force's robust


response. I think that we're working really hard. In September


we dealt with the party conference, dealing with the arrests from the


disorder, a major counter-terrorism operation and robbery this month is


the laws that has been in a decade. Police rank and file staff are not


normally allowed to answer questions about the force. Why have


you chosen to hide your identity, what do you frightened of? I want


to give you honest answers and I feel that if I give you honest


answers and my identity is no one at that there will be repercussions


for me. So will, will crime rise of numbers fall? - - if that police


numbers fall? It is too simple to say that there is an inevitability


about a rising crime. So, he is being honest about its an impact?


This officer is saying thats by hiding his identity he can be


honest. Are you being honest with us? Yes, we are. It is a 20 % drop


on her Budget and that is a big challenge. We need to challenge the


way we work and do things differently. The way the services


delivered will have to change. We were very clear about what those


changes will be. We will continue to protect the public. The majority


of the job losses will be felt by March next year. Tough times ahead


for those working at West Midlands police. Peter Wilson joins us now


from Lloyd House in Central Birmingham, the headquarters of


West Midlands Police. Peter is staff morale at an all time low


because of the changes and cuts that we've highlighted over the


past few weeks? By have been covering the West Midlands police


for more than 20 years and I had no one on many occasions that morale


has been low. They deal with lots of problems and the West Midlands,


but I would like to say that the officer that the spoken to his


knocks somebody who would like to complain. He doesn't to be


reflecting what a lot of frontline officers are thinking and feeling


tonight. What are the politicians saying about this? David Cameron


has said that these cuts have to happen because of the deficits and


the police have to share part of the problems of so many public


organisations. Police officers are having their pay, their pensions


scrutinised and its at the West Midlands police they are facing a


complete reorganisation, so there are a lot of frustrated people, and


in some cases - - in some places angry people. That is the mood here


tonight. Later in tonight's programme:


Taking a gun to the pub - we will be having a closer look at the


forgotten sport of bell target A Birmingham-based housing


association has been fined �135,000 after an elderly man died from


severe burns while taking a bath. Months later another man was


scalded in a bath at a different home run by the same organisation.


A court heard today that the water temperature was not properly


controlled. As Joanne Writtle reports, Anthony Ironmonger's


family read a statement at the end of the case.


Today we should have been celebrating her dad 79th birthday.


Today we're at courts because of the feelings of Midland Heart. We


can only hope that after today the way that the noble people are


looked after will change. family of Anthony Ironmonger spoke


out after hearing at Birmingham Crown Court how he died after


suffering burns in a scalding bath at a support home for vulnerable


people. Summerhill Home, run by a charitable housing association


Called Midland Heart, was here in Birmingham, but has since closed.


The court heard how staff prised open a communal bathroom door after


shouts for help were heard. She was found lying on his side in the


battle of the water still running. He was in distress, saying I am


burning. And member of staff said he was unable to put his


temperature in the water. Anthony Ironmonger suffered 40% burns on


6th December 2007. He died 12 days later. In August 2008, a second man


Kevin Clarke suffered scalds in a bath at another hone run by Midland


Heart. He was discharged from hospital on 17th September. The


company admitted to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and


the prosecution brought by the council. It was fined �100,000


Anne's ordered to pay �35,000 in costs. A spokesman for Midland


Heart said: We offer our sincere apologies to Mr Clarke and to the


family and friends of Mr Ironmonger. We have taken steps to address


potential risks associated with hot water in our independent living


homes." Anthony Ironmonger would have been 79 today.


Two men have been arrested after police were shot at during rioting


in Birmingham in August. Shots were also aimed at a police helicopter


during disorder in the Newtown area of the city. The two men, both aged


20, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Police today also


released CCTV footage in an attempt to trace a third man wanted in


connection with the incident. A 21-year-old man has been arrested


on suspicion of murder in connection with the deaths of three


men during the riots. Haroon Jahan and brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul


Musavir were hit by a car in the early hours of 10th August in


Winson Green. It brings the total number of people arrested in


connection with their deaths to 13. Nine people have been charged.


Lawyers who concealed a report that suggested a young man's death may


have been avoidable said they did it because they were acting in the


best interests of Stafford Hospital. Hospital Trust Secretary and Head


of Legal Services Kate Levy and Trust solicitor, Stuart Knowles,


were at the public inqury to answer questions about their conduct


following the death of a 20-year- old man. Here's our Health


Correspondent, Michele Paduano. The family arrived at the hospital


having had their complaints against the witnesses thrown out. The


solicitors had done nothing wrong. We are angry, upsets. Real mixed


emotions today. For the family it will be a really difficult day to


trying get through. Their son had an accident on his mountain bike.


He was sent home from the hospital and bled to death. But a report by


a senior doctor would said that the debt may have been avoidable was


never sent to the coroner. Kiki Dee as the doctor to take up his report


so because it could cost the family distress or looking bad for the


hospital. She said: Although Kate Beagley father with hindsight the


edited report should have been sent to the coroner, the trust solicitor


disagreed. Neither of them could remember whose decision it was not


descend in the reports. Mr Knowles said he would point out major


feelings, but this case did not There are a lot of questions about


lots of vital evidence that was missed. We are shocked by the


tameness of the inquiry. We have been representations to them, but


they don't think it will alter anything. Quite shocked. Mr Knowles


and mislead the left by a back door to avoid answering any more


questions. Michele joins us now from Stafford. Michele, so how is


it that hospital solicitors can withhold this sort of in


information? It does seem strange, but if you think about a solicitor


working for a big multinational company and perhaps there was some


pollution of a river, you would not expect the solicitors to admit


immediately that there was a problem, and it is the same for


trust solicitors. They say they walk a tightrope and there is a


move towards more openness, but this will have to pick about the


hospital. What rights do coroners have to demand this sort of


information? There is no legal reason why they have to hand over


this information. It is done on the basis of goodwill. I was shocked to


find that out because I always thought that they would have all


the information. Charities are warning they will


have to cut staff after a big drop in donations. They say the current


economic climate, rising bills and living costs mean more and more of


us are holding onto our cash rather than give it to a good cause.


Voluntary organisations are having to think of more inventive ways to


prevent them from folding, as Bob Hockenhull reports.


The Noah's Ark Trust has been supporting bereaved children in


Worcestershire and Herefordshire for 13 years. Being able to talk to


the charity means that we could get our emotions out. We didn't need to


be embarrassed. I got very depressed, so without their help I


don't know what I would have done. But the charity is facing a


shortfall of �18,000 a month. It relies almost totally on donations,


these have reduced considerably. Six out of 12 staff are facing


redundancy. It is terribly tragic. I just don't know where those


children will go. So some people might argue that families should


pay for your services. There are some families who can afford to pay,


and to those families are plies if you can afford to, please do pay. A


lot of children cant afford it. recent survey found that 90 % of


charities were feeling less confident about securing adequate


funding than they were at the height of the recession in 2008.


There are 30,000 fewer paid staff working in charities than there was


12 months ago. Times are not great at the minute. To survive,


charities are looking at new ways of funding. This voluntary


organisation, which provides after- school clubs in Birmingham, sells


recycled products donated by big business to make extra money.


have been working with a small group of other voluntary providers


to think about how we can put together a consortium bids. So, the


signs are many charities will also need to be entrepreneurs if they're


to function effectively. Still to come in tonight's


programme: Shefali has all the details as autumn arrives.


Yes, just in case you've forgotten what it feels like, and who's to


blame you, then a timely reminder The Prime Minister gave his keynote


speech to the Conservative party conference in Manchester today. In


it he warned of the possibility of another global recession, but said


he remained firmly committed to the Government's deficit reduction plan.


Satnam Rana went to politically divided Dudley to find out what


people there made of it. Dudley, the second largest town in


the UK. It is also a town that's politically divided. In the north,


MP Ian Austin holds the labour seat with a majority of 649. In Dudley


South it is Chris Kelly who won the seat from Labour in the last


General Election with a majority of 3,856, a seat Labour had held since


1997. But will opinion be just as divided over David Cameron's


keynote speech? Take the leader of Dudley Council, a local business


leader, some students at Stourbridge College and their


Principal gave their views. froze council tax this year, and


his George said on Monday, we will freeze it again next year, too.


do have some concerns because weld the subsidy is there we can manage


at the funding. If it is removed, we will have to find the funding


someone else. I am disgusted by the idea that we should aim for less


for a child for a poor background than one from a rich one. It is


important that children from deprived backgrounds to get a


chance for exit - - get a chance for information. He did not mention


the costs of universities. He'd did not mention their educational


allowance, which was a fund that helped students who could not miss


the early get to college. We must build a new economy, inventing,


creating, exporting. I would have liked to have seen more about help


for manufacturing businesses, encouraging exports. Also looking


at changes to the tax structure perhaps to encourage businesses to


innovate more. The Prime Minister warned against becoming paralysed


by gloom and fear. In this room at least, that doesn't appear to be


happening. Our Political Editor Patrick Burns


is with us. Let's talk about how this speech will go down in places


such as Dudley. There really isn't much to be optimistic about, is


there? There is not. He accepts that. His words will strike a chord


with the people in Dudley when he said that he knows what an anxious


time it is for people when they turn on the news into reports of


closures and job losses and rising household bills. But he was saying


today is that you don't do anything about that a sinking back into a


cant to culture. You don't degenerate into benefit dependency.


If you can work, due do. There was an implied criticism of businesses


not providing enough apprenticeships. We to understand


that the government will push on things like that in the Autumn


Statement next month. He had a message in his speech to people


planning to go on strike next month in the so called Day of Action?


understands their right to protest, he says, but public sector pensions


are unaffordable. He said that people have to accept that people


are living longer and it is not unreasonable for the taxpayer to


ask a little bit more - - but to pay a little bit more. How do you


feel the speech will have gone down in the Midland marginals? I think


certain things will go down well. Getting public and private schools


to work together, the revamped house building programme. The key


thing will be people feel optimistic in 2015.


Two of the region's best-known buildings have been put on a list


of endangered architecture today. Birmingham's controversial Central


Library has been included as a prime example of the British


Brutalism school of design. The ruins of Coventry Cathedral have


also been added to the World Monument Fund Watch List. It comes


just days after it was revealed the cathedral is in danger of collapse.


Joan Cummins reports. Today the ruins of St Michael's stand in the


shadow of its post-war replacement a testament to the brutality of war,


gutted in 1940 by a hail of incendiary bombs Coventry has


rebuilt and remembered simultaneously, but time itself is


now taking its toll on the medieval sandstone. The old cathedral was


never meant to be open to the elements on the insider. We have


invested huge resources over recent years, but we have run out. Putting


the ruins on an endangered watch list of the world monuments fund


doesn't mean any extra cash, but does highlight the need to support


our cultural heritage. Some things are of such importance that will be


irresponsible not to look after them. The inheritance of our


forefathers, especially on a site which talks about the collective


suffering of people, an ongoing issue, but also a city of 400,000


people of which this building is the hearts, that is important.


Cathedral now resides in prestigous company, such as the Taj Mahal and


the Great wall of China, but visitors to the Cathedral today re-


iterated that this was richly deserved for such a iconic British


landmark. It is a magnificent sight. Whenever we go back to Australia


and showed photographs, many other friends went to come over you and


see it. Very special. Mosques in the City said they want to come


together to raise money for the renovation. They see it is


something important to all people of the city. Next year the new


cathedral will celebrate its golden anniversary, once more put in


Coventry on the map as the City of reconciliation.


If you're off to the pub for a pint this evening, you might well enjoy


a game of darts. But instead of firing arrows, how about air


rifles? We've all heard of beer and skittles, but 100 years ago


Birmingham pubs played host to a very different sport. It was even


more popular than football, and it's still alive today, as Ian


Winter reports. Something's going on at Great Barr


Conservative Club. And it's clearly got nothing to do with David


Cameron, who has been otherwise engaged in Manchester. No, this is


something unusual because bell target shooting is one of those


sports that's rarely seen these days in pubs and clubs across the


Midlands. How times have changed. Back in the early 19 hundreds


virtually every pub in Birmingham had its own bell of target shooting


team. Alan Tidman was only 11 when he first took aim with an air rifle.


60 years later, he's still got a keen eye on the target. When you


score a bull, you get a nice little ring. Bell target shooters have


been aiming for a nice little ding ever since the 1890s when working


men were encouraged to improve their shooting following the Boer


War. Most pubs had their own team and competiton was fierce.


doosra set up by the winners and meal. They had to ship - - they had


pursued for their supper. This Lincoln Jeffrey's rifle was made by


the Birmingham Small Arms Company in 1905 and it's still in fine


working order. But today only 70 bell target shooters remain in Brum.


Amongst them Jenny Boden, arguably the hottest shot at the Walton


Lions Air Rifle club. You have to be very steady and have good


eyesight, definitely. Guns in pubs don't always make a good


combination. But these marksmen take safety very seriouslym and


bell target shooting is still alive in Great Barr.


The former Worcestershire and England pace bowler Graham Dilley


has died at the age of 52 following a short illness. During the late


1980s, Dilley helped Worcestershire win four trophies in three years.


The chief executive at New Road, David Leatherdale, paid tribute to


Dilley saying he played a big part in the club's success and he said


his sudden death had come as a Let's now looking at the weather


forecast. So far this week we've had a drop in temperature since


Monday but the values have still been above average. The extent of


the drop will be far steeper tomorrow, just so that there's no


mistaking that Autumn has at last arrived. Now we're going to start


to see the changes from tonight as this band of rain that's currently


across us starts to work its way in from the north-west. Some of it


will be heavy as the flickers of iridescent colour show. But once it


starts to clear the region we see a change in wind direction to north


westerly and the origins are from a much colder northerly source so


temperatures will drop to around eight celsius or slightly lower


than that. But it's the strength of the winds that prevent values from


falling any lower. There'll be a few showers to end the night, but


for most tomorrow starts dry. Although through the day showers


begin to pile in from the north- west. Some of them quite heavy.


Hopefully we will have some dry weather over the weekend.


David Cameron gives his keynote speech to the Conservative Party


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