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Hello, and welcome to Midlands Today with Suzanne Virdee and Nick
Owen. The headlines tonight... Boom-time at Jaguar Land Rover - it
is recruiting 1,000 new workers. The indicates the faith in the
partnership we have seen through the difficult times. -- bid to
vindicate so. -- it the indicates. Anger over plans for night time
shut downs at Stafford hospital's accident and emergency department.
How Olympic dreams for Coventry are turning sour as businesses fear
they could miss out on millions in revenue.
And a poignant link-up between the USA and a Herefordshire village for
Good evening, welcome to Thursday's Midlands Today from the BBC.
Tonight, a boost for the region's car industry, as Jaguar Land Rover
creates one thousand new jobs. All of them will be at the company's
Lode Lane plant in Solihull and recruitment is already underway.
Workers, unions and politicians were united today in welcoming the
news. The expansion comes in the wake of JLR's announcement in
September that it is to build a brand new engine plant near
Wolverhampton. Industry analysts say the growth of the Chinese
market has helped keep sales buoyant at a time when other car
makers have struggled. Here is our Business Correspondent, Peter
Plisner. Another good news day for Land
Rover's Solihull factory. Two years ago workers here feared they might
be facing unemployment. Now they are getting ready to welcome even
more new recruits to the workforce. It is good news for Birmingham,
great news. Long may it last. think it is great, the odds of
investment for us and will hopefully help people who may have
been out of work otherwise. It is good for the city, we have
got to be happy there will be more jobs. You have got to be cheerful.
So, how come JLR is doing so well when all around them the economy is
still in the doldrums? The answer lies in emerging nations like China,
now the world's biggest market for new cars. Here, JLR sales are up
60% this year. Because Range Rover and Land Rover
models are so popular in the far east, workers here cannot build
them fast enough to meet demand. Hence the reason the company needs
to recruit even more staff and quickly.
Today's jobs news comes just weeks after JLR's decision to build a new
engine plant at the i54 business park near Wolverhampton.
That has already meant the promise of 750 new jobs. Earlier this year
440 graduates and apprentices were taken on and well as 1,000
engineers. Now the company is looking for another 1,000 people,
including 200 engineers and 800 production workers.
I think it justifies the faith in the partnership we have seen
through the difficult times, between the management and
workforce at Jaguar Land Rover. It is absolutely brilliant news,
good news for the region. They do something that has been on the back
of the agreement we reached with the company that was forward-
looking and looked at jobs in the West Midlands. It will be jobs
filled by local people who need those jobs.
And people can already apply. We found agencies today taking online
application for jobs that pay more than �11 per hour. According to
JobCentre staff in the Midlands, there is no shortage of takers.
We have 1,300 people looking for these types of posts in the
Solihull a beer, -- the Solihull area, so we are ideally placed to
help these people move into these types of jobs.
Today's JLR announcement follows last weeks 200 jobs boost at
Birmingham Airport. For a region that has higher than average
unemployment, it could not have come at a better time.
And Peter is at the Lode Lane factory in Solihull now. What a
boost, Peter, in such turbulent times.
It certainly is, Nick. This company 18 months ago was losing �1 million
per day, now they're back in profit with global sales are rising and a
variety of new models in the pipeline. It has been a meteoric
rise from recession, but cannot continue? With me is a
representative from the manufacturing advisory service. Can
this rise continue? I think today's fantastic news
represents the return on the Investment Jaguar Land Rover have
made it in researching new products and training staff. As long as the
customers across the world continued to want to buy these
products, yes. But, is it sustainable?
Again, it goes back to the research and development, time and effort
and engineering. Customers want to buy a products that are more
advanced, more luxury with more gadgets, and Jaguar Land Rover are
providing those. What about jobs in the supply
chain? It is even better news, for every
single job created here at Solihull there are 3.5 jobs greeted in the
supply chain. -- created. There are always worries that jobs
could go on abroad in terms of the supply chain and manufacturing, but
we're seeing manufacturing expansion, does that rule it out?
The expansion is across the UK. The Jaguar Land Rover are actively
sourcing from local companies and encouraging them to invest, and the
Investment will maintain those jobs. The 1,000 new jobs here, Jaguar
Land Rover seems to be going from strength to strength.
Thank you very much indeed. Later in tonight's programme...
Building up for the big game - the brickie dreaming of FA Cup glory
The accident and emergency department at the much criticised
Stafford Hospital will shut overnight. The hospital says it has
had difficulty finding consultants because of the hospital's poor
reputation. A&E will close between 10pm and 8am seven nights a week.
It will start on the first of December and last initially for
three months. Our Staffordshire reporter, Liz Copper, has more.
After being under intense scrutiny, this will now be Midlands's only
part time Accident and Emergency department. More than 200 people
had packed into the extraordinary meeting of it was agreed to shut
the Department here overnight for three months.
We have taken this difficult decision on grounds of safety, and
that is the only reason. The announcement follows continuing
concerns from the independent health regulator, the Care Quality
Commission. In June, inspectors warned the hospital to take action
for over staffing. In September, there were two unannounced visits
to Accident and Emergency, when inspectors found the department
shop staffed. By October, it issued a formal warning saying that the
trust must make improvements. Health campaigners have welcomed
the decision. Of course, it is nice to have an
Accident and Emergency department on your doorstep, but if it is not
safe it will need to close. I believe this decision should have
been taken a long time ago. A elsewhere in Stafford, there is
opposition. Please support your local NHS,
please support at Stafford hospital. Members of the Labour Party have
started a position campaigning against the closure. -- a petition.
Like every other hospital that works really well, we will have a
good hospital. There has also been concern in
neighbouring hospitals, including the University Hospital in Stoke-
on-Trent, that they could face closure.
The board says this book should aid be -- training and recruitment.
They aim to make sure that an minimum of cases are diverted to
other hospitals. If a patient was suspected of
having a stroke or heart attack, generally they are already taken to
Wolverhampton or the University Hospital, because having centres of
expertise with more staff leads us to better patient outcomes.
In spite of today's decision, some families remained to be convinced.
Ed looks certain there will be a concerted campaign to reinstate the
24-hour service. Joining us now is the Conservative
MP for Stafford, Jeremy Lefroy. What's your reaction to this?
Good evening. I am extremely disappointed that the board has had
to take this action. By think they had no option today, but it is
obviously very disturbing for the people of Stafford and surrounding
area would depend on it. They have had to close it on
grounds of safety. What can you do about that?
The safety comes from the lack of consultants, which is both a
nationwide problem, there are too few A&E consultants available, and
we're not the lonely hospital suffering from that, but there is
also the specific difficult to we have in recruiting to Stafford.
First of all, I would like to acknowledge the incredibly helpful
support from the Ministry of Defence that has provided us with
some consultant and nursing staff, but I am working with that the
trust to support them in recruiting the staff we need to get our be any
open again full-time as soon as possible. -- our department open
again. How soon do you think it will be
possible? The board said today it would be
three months. Obviously it would be better if it was sooner than that,
but we will have to wait and see. There is a national problem with
the shortage of staff, but I want to support them in whatever way I
can, because we need this department open 247 for the people
of Stafford and the surrounding area, and clearly there will be
pressure on other local hospitals have we continue to be closed at
night. What is being done about this
national problem of a shortage of consultants?
I have raised it with ministers, I think we're talking about a long-
term problem that goes back many years, where in this country we
have not trained enough doctors. The last Government began to remedy
that by opening new medical schools, but we have to begin to train more
of our own doctors and rely less on people coming from overseas.
Thank you for talking to us. Police are appealing for witnesses
after a teenager was killed in a road accident. 13-year-old Hope
Fennell died after she was hit by a lorry on King's Heath High Street
in Birmingham on Monday just after five in the afternoon. Anyone with
information is being asked to call the police.
More pictures of people thought to be involved in the August riots
have been released by police. They want help to identify suspects.
Yesterday 70 officers raided addresses in Wolverhampton and
Birmingham in connection with the disturbances. 15 people were
arrested. West Midlands Police have now arrested 686 people in
connection with the riots. If we can identify new, which you
can see today we can do that, not only locally but people outside the
West Midlands Police area, one in Staffordshire today, and one in
west Devon, we will come to get you, we will a rescue and piggy in front
of the court. -- and puts you in front of the
court. News International Chairman James
Murdoch has publicly apologised to the West Bromwich East MP Tom
Watson after he was spied on by the News of the World. Mr Murdoch told
the Commons Media Committee that he had not been told about it, and it
was not acceptable. Mr Watson was on a list which also included the
Birmingham Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood and her predecessor, Clare
Short. I am aware of the case of Sir
availing Mr Watson, and again under the circumstances I'd apologise
unreservedly for that. It is not something I would condone, not
something I had knowledge of, and not something I think has a place
in the way that we operate. The third public hearing into
proposed changes to parliamentary constituencies has been taking
place in Warwick today. Under the Boundary Commission's plans, the
number of MPs in the region will be cut by five, from 63 to 58.
Hearings have already been held in Birmingham and Ludlow, with another
planned next week for Stafford. The public consultation ends on
December 5th. Business leaders in Coventry say
they are concerned they could miss out on millions of pounds in
revenue because of ticketing arrangements for next years
Olympics. The city is hosting 12 football matches at the Ricoh Arena.
But with just eight months to go anybody using the official short
break provider won't be able to book for Coventry and instead are
likely to be offered events and hotels in London. Kevin Reide has
The Ricoh arena in Coventry is one of few venues outside London where
Olympic events will be held - in total a dozen football matches with
the potential for more than 250,000 fans. But with just eight months to
go, booking a hotel and ticket deal for Coventry through the official
short break provider, Thomas Cook, is not possible.
Good afternoon. Can I book a ticket for Olympic football for Coventry,
please? And a BBC Coventry and Warwickshire investigation has
discovered those inquiring for Coventry deals are likely to be
offered London instead. I called Thomas Cook on three
occasions, they told me there was nothing available for Coventry,
instead I could book to see a match at Wembley and book into a hotel in
London. It is a frustrating situation for
those hosting the games. Although people say they want the
Olympics to come to regions outside of London, in practice making that
happen has proved more challenging, whether it is through bureaucracy
or commercial agreement. The Ricoh, which has its own hotel,
has now reached a deal to sell its own packages. But for other hotels
no such luck. They are not allowed to use the Olympics to advertise
rooms, and instead will have to wait to see if Thomas Cook selects
them. I think it is very unfair. The
Olympics were up to benefit of the country, and all the people very
much needed, I might say. Unfortunately, it is being kept in
London and I don't think it is fair. The opportunities are tremendous.
But many people will go from different countries to sports
venues in different parts of the world. When they get there, not
only do they want to experience what they have gone to see, they
want to experience the area, as well. If they are not going to be
stopping in Coventry, we stand a chance of living �100 million into
the economy. Thomas Cook's area meeting Olympic
officials in December and said they hope to pick hotel and ticket deals
for commentary on sale them. The weekend is just around the
corner. We will be told later exactly what to expect in the
weather. After a week dominated so far by
cloud, drizzle and rain, you would be forgiven for thinking the
weekend was to follow suit. But, The Government is facing legal
action on plans to have the subsidy paid to owners of winter bines and
solar panels. It says so many people are taking advantage of the
scheme it has to make changes. Companies here say that sudden
changes will cost jobs and jeopardise future business. Our
Environment Correspondent has been investigating and looking at the
cost of the subsidy. In South Herefordshire, this energy
company is still trying to take and the News of the Government's recent
cuts in subsidy for solar power and other renewables.
We will probably have to make redundancies and hope that
customers will not have an immediate reaction and feel too
insecure from the Government's behaviour.
There is a scramble to get systems installed before December when the
new tariffs are introduced. We have spent seven days in
complete turmoil, so we are trying to service to customers on our
orders at the moment, to work out what to do going forward to look
after these jobs. It is the huge increase in the
installation of solar panels that has led the Government to change
the rules on feed in Paris once again. How much is the subsidy
costing us? We all pay for it owner energy bills. If the average bill
is around �1,300, �100 goes to support green measures and energy
efficiency programmes, and �1 goes to support the feeding carrots.
Is it still worth installing solar panels? This Kidderminster from
says yes. He waged a war to get someone to
fitted within the next six weeks. You may, it is always worth a phone
call, however you may find the quality may be compromised as a
result of people doing things have really quickly. If you go to a
reliable installer, they will be able to offer you something still
attractive from December onwards. Saw, the month -- next month may be
a busy one for these companies, but what happens next?
What happens next, then? To it will be a bit of a scramble, to be
honest, because everyone is going to try to beat this mid-December
deadline. The baddies for those going ahead,
it is not enough to put the solar panels up, they have to be
registered with your local energy company. That is bureaucracy and
can take some time, so it is a real rush at the moment.
Why does the Government so concerned about this? The argument
is that �1 may become �25 in a few years' time, and more than that, it
says even then it would not generate enough money because so
many are installing solar panels to take advantage of this.
Longer term, I think the except the subsidy would drift down and
disappear. It is these sudden reverses that makes it hard for the
companies to plan long-term. The head of the CBI is tonight going to
call this the latest in a string of own-goals on energy policy for the
Government. It really is a bit of a mess, to be honest.
The first round proper of the FA Cup kicks off on Saturday, putting
full-time professionals against the part-timers of non-League football.
They include the likes of Stourbridge's poll. He was rejected
by Wolverhampton and got work as a builder, but on Saturday helped to
knock out Plymouth Argyle. But the season of mists and mellow
fruitfulness? Certainly mistake, but if there is one thing that can
take Paul Mackie's own's mind of the drizzle that is the thought of
playing Plymouth for the FA Cup. It is an absolute claim massive
Ford Stourbridge. There is plenty more bricks to lay
between now and then. Paul plays for Stourbridge, semi-professional.
He nearly made it as a professional, serving two years as a youth player
at Wolves. He was released aged 18, but now is far from bitter.
Towards the end of my two years, it was not really enjoyable, I was
sitting on the bench and not playing, just training Monday to
Friday and not playing on a Saturday. At Stourbridge I am
playing week-in, week-out and enjoying football.
His boss now is not Mick McCarthy, it is his dad. Paul senior is also
a big fan. On Tuesday he travelled to Kendal to watch him, and he will
be among 700 Stourbridge fans at home on Saturday.
It is an achievement he has never done and it will be great for
parents and fans to walk and watch their local clean -- local team.
Three divisions separate Stourbridge and Plymouth, but
Plymouth are bottom of League Two, having won just twice all season.
After a narrow victories in the first two qualifying rounds for
Stourbridge, they thrashed two team's 5-0. Paul may be a part-time
footballer, but he is still hoping to be in the FA Cup long after the
last apple has fallen from the Yes, we hope he will be, too.
But this is one of the great days at this season, or where the non-
League side to play league sides. It is such an exciting time.
Players have such hunger to beat them. And it is a good time to play
Plymouth Argyle, because they are teetering a bit.
It is the eve of the 11th day of the 11th month, 2011. A time when
we all remember war dead, and one village will pay tribute to 10 more
men than usual. They were American airmen who lost their lives in a
plane crash. Thanks to the painstaking research of two men,
some of the relatives will travel from America this weekend to pay
silent tribute. An autumnal day in the village near
Hereford, but this spot was the scene of carnage in August, 1944.
An American B24 bomber it crashed, killing all 10 crew members, aged
20-25. This is roughly the same location
as this one here. Much of their story remained a
mystery, until two amateur historians who now live nearby a
delved into the past. We have managed to get in touch
with the families of seven of the airmen. We know that three of them
are married. We believe one of them had a child, a daughter, who be
have been able to trace. We knew there were from all different
backgrounds, some farmers, some from university. They came from all
four corners of the US, as well. The American bomber was on a
training exercise at the time, but the men will all members of the
secret 406 night leaflet Squadron. The they used to fly out on their
own at night with no fighter export -- escort.
The planes would be painted black and they would drop propaganda
leaflets over Europe, or supplies to the Resistance, and also agents
behind enemy lines. John was just 16 when he saw the
aftermath of the crash. There were bits and pieces
scattered around. I do remember one thing minus one of the engines had
come adrift and landed a couple of hundred yards away.
On Remembrance Sunday, relatives of one of the men who died will join
villagers who remember the crash to unveil a plaque next to the
Cenotaph here in Burkill. When silence falls at 11 o'clock,
they will be remembering men from the village, and 10 from thousands
of miles away. It seems fitting that, as the
deaths were a result of where it -- as a result of war, whatever the
circumstances it was because of war and the died in our village and
should be remembered. Research at suggests that engine
failure caused the crash, and, pointedly, it appears that this was
the young servicemen's first How dreadfully poignant. A really
emotional day, the family coming in from America, as well.
Let's find out what the weather is going to be doing for the next few
It has been mild so far this week, but to look at it has not been
great. On that front, things will improve. It will become drier,
brighter and stay quite mild. But, we have a double whammy for low
pressure. The first one will bring in rain in the next 24 hours, heavy
rain, and the second arrives during Sunday. And the interim, it will be
quite quiet over the weekend. We saw some breaks through today, with
some bright this, but the cloud will fill-in again today, but
staying largely dry. Where the cloud is lowest over the hills we
could see some mist and fog patches developing. The cloud does stay
mild tonight, temperatures around nine or ten Celsius. Everything
else much the same, quite dull with some rain Kieron Dyer. Waiting in
the wings we have heavier rain, spilling eastwards through tomorrow
evening and overnight. Quite a narrow strip of rain, so we should
not last too long in any one place, but temperatures tomorrow up again
around 13 or 14 Celsius, but winds will be a little brisker. Tomorrow
night, the rain heading eastwards, there are heavier bursts in there.
Another mild night with lows around ten Celsius. The legacy of the rain
tomorrow night is a few showers on Saturday morning, but it should
stay dry for much of the weekend, and the best of the sunshine will
be on Saturday. Highs of 14 Celsius. A look at tonight's main headline
stored mac heading for another recession in Europe - a stark
warning from the EU's proper economy official.
And it is boom time at Jaguar Land Rover - it is recruiting 1,000 new
Rover - it is recruiting 1,000 new workers.
Before we reviewed tonight, neck has some news about why he was not
here last night. I was at an awards dinner in London
for the Association for International Broadcasting, and
Midlands Today was nominated for a sports programme we did.
How did we do? We were highly commended. We got
this wonderful award, and we were up against problems from Australia,
Russia, India, programmes that at Wimbledon in 3D, and the judges
said the BBC provided a thorough insight into the life of a city and