17/11/2011 Midlands Today


The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 17/11/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



And if it were going to get hit a lot harder this time. Some


businesses say traders suffering more than 100 days after the riots.


And after more than half a century in the business, why fans are still


going crazy about literature. have done -- have not heard of


anybody that does not want to come to this. Good evening, welcome to


Thursday's Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight: all flights between


Birmingham and Amritsar in India involving the budget airline Comtel


have been cancelled until Monday because of the Austrian airline's


financial problems. This afternoon Skyjet, which sold tickets on


Comtel flights, filed for bankruptcy. Tonight the Civil


Aviation Authority stepped in to rescue hundreds of people still


stranded in India. Problems surfaced when passengers flying


home to Birmingham yesterday were asked for cash when their flight


refuelled in Vienna. Our special correspondent Peter Wilson has


spent the day investigating. This was the moment when passengers on


the Comtel air flight from Amritsar in India to Birmingham were told to


dip into their pockets for cash if they wanted to get home from the


stop over in Vienna. Today, the police and community support teams


were out in force at the request of Takhar Travel Agents. Customers


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds


were frustrated but certainly not This is Mr Takhar speaking on the


Sikh television channel Sangat. He told them that he's dealing with a


lot of stress and chaos, but says the money he has been banking has


gone into the accounts owned by a company called Skyjet who tonight


ceased trading. So who is who? Comtel Air is an Austrian


registered airline. It hires planes from Spanish Company, Mint Airways.


Tickets are reserved through Essex- based Skyjet. No one from Skyjet


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds


was available for comment, but And there is also a lot of people


wondering if in fact they will get their money back, even if they are


able to travel back home, on another airline. Our passengers


being kept fully informed, at the airport? It does not seem to be the


case. There have been very complete -- very few Comtel staff at the


airport. Ground handling is done by Air India, and another partner. We


spoke to the airport director and will we could say was that he was


aware there have been a problem with a flight that had not left,


but he was not aware of the extent of the problem. The authorities in


India have been in touch with the aviation authorities in Delhi, and


the aviation ministry was not aware of what had been happening with


this airline, so what is going to be some time before they come to


grips with the problem and figure out what they are going to do next.


Still to come tonight: As the racism in football row goes global,


we hear of the experiences of one former professional. We have still


got to move forward. We have come a long way, but we still have some


way to go. As councils begin setting their budgets for next year,


some authorities face making more cuts to meet their targets for this


year. There have been warnings the next 12 months could see more


severe reductions in services.It all comes as unions prepare, at the


end of the month, for what could be the biggest mass walk-out since the


General Strike in 1926. Here's Liz Copper. All councils are counting


their costs. Calculating what's been saved and trying to balance


budgets. In Stoke on Trent, more than �5 million of planned savings


this year have still not been achieved. We will all be making


some very difficult choices next year which people will not like.


And there will always be people who will not like the decisions that


we're asking them to support. Shropshire, where there were


protests over plans to change staff contracts, they've announced extra


cuts of 9.5 million to meet their target for 2014. Worcestershire


County Council plans to close more than dozen youth centres. 13 clubs,


including the Youth Cafe in Bewdley, will be sold off, have their leases


terminated or rented out to local schools. Two year-olds Daisy and


Bethany use children's centres in the Potteries which were threatened


and then saved from closure. Their families are preparing to campaign


again. The children's centres have had a reprieve next year, in next


year's budget I think we're going to be cut. A I think we have won to


get hit harder this time and lose some centres, possibly. Some


councils say they've exceeded budget targets. In Staffordshire


they have a �1 million under-spend this year. It is not about going


Caporn and to central government. We can do the job if you let us get


on with it. That is, happily, what central government have said to us.


Council has in Birmingham expect to make a further �20 million of cuts


across the city. But the protest campaigns that began 12 months ago


looks set to continue into the new year. Concerned residents are


holding a vigil in Oldbury in the Black Country tonight because of


worries about child safety. It follows a meeting this afternoon


involving councillors and the police to try to calm fears. Our


reporter Bob Hockenhull is in Oldbury. Bob, what exactly is it


that people are worried about? people have gathered for what has


been a noisy but peaceful protest. People have raised concerns about


some flats just opposite. These are owned by a housing association,


Adullam Homes. The company says it runs the business based on the


principles of the Christian faith offering help and support for


vulnerable people including, victims of domestic abuse, ex-


offenders and young homeless people. This has caused some anxiety in the


community and before tonight's vigil there was a private meeting


involving the police, councillors and residents to try to allay those


worries. I have spoken to a councillor who was at that meeting


and he said that, having had talks, the community has nothing to worry


about. There has been a criminal investigation going on in that area,


then there this week. Yes on Sunday, a 10 year old boy was allegedly


abducted when he went out to the local shops. He was found unharmed


more than two hours later. A 49 year old man appeared before


magistrates yesterday charged with kidnap, false imprisonment, making


threats to kill and sexual assault. He's also charged with abducting an


11 year-old girl in September. He's been remanded in custody until


February. The Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is the latest to call for


the President of FIFA to resign after Sepp Blatter claimed racism


on the pitch should be settled with a handshake. His comments have


dismayed anti-racism campaigners in the game as Nick Clitheroe has been


finding out. Show me another one, show me another one. Earl Barrett


lifted the League Cup with Aston Villa and won 3 England caps but


very early in his career he discovered how racism can scar the


game. So imagine his reaction when he heard these words from the man


who runs world football. They were doing monkey chants when I got on


the ball. At one stage I had bananas thrown on the pitch, so it


was difficult to deal with. Imagine his reaction when he heard this


from the man who wins world football. You may say something


during the match to somebody who is not exactly looking like you but at


the end of the match it is not a problem. This is not, racism is


things outside of the field of play, discrimination. But on the field of


play I deny that it is racism. is obviously there. In these last


few months. Things have happened. It tells you that. There is


something there. There is some kind of discrimination, there. It is


important to know about that, and to see it. Do you think you should


get on the wrong -- should resign? A good one to get into that sort of


argument. It is up to him to make that decision. Especially in a week


which has seen Liverpool's Luis Suarez charged with racially


insulting the Manchester United defender Patrice Evra taking the


Kick It Out message into the community seems more important than


ever. Only when the colour of the shirt is all that matters will Kick


It Out feel their work is really done. Still ahead this evening: how


the computer games industry is offering a �35 million helping hand


to budding video game designers. And it may not music to the ears to


those wanting rain but if the great outdoors is unavoidable over the


next few days, you've got the More than 100 after the summer


riots, some shops are still having problems luring back shoppers. It's


an extra problem to deal with when High Streets are still suffering


from the economic downturn. As our reporter Katie Rowlett's been


finding out, the riots were bad for business. But there are hopes


Christmas will give them a boost. The moment a small businessman was


caught up in the biggest riots the West Midlands had ever seen. They


took the van and burned it out. Dhillon will never forgot those


mintues - when he almost lost everything. At his Sweet shop in


West Bromwich - 3 months on he tells me he's still not replaced


his van and recovery is slow: It could happen again. People are


frightened about that. Lisa is working hard to rebuild confidence.


She is the West Bromwich town centre co-ordinator and had only


just started when the riots happen. I hass had started on the Monday


and on the Tuesday I was at West Bromwich and I had to see what was


happening, and the atmosphere was horrendous. There were people


everywhere, and it was brightening. -- brightening. Away from the high


street and the Queen Square shopping centre in West Bromwich is


the town's biggest indoor shopping area. The managers told me that


other riders have left lasting damage. The perception of members


of the public, they have stayed away. Retailers have said it has


been the worst year of their five- 10 year retail life and it is


difficult for everybody at this present moment. Footfall is in fact


down thirty percent. Normally 110,000 people come through the


doors here every week. Now it's just 85,000. And that means less


money in the pockets of traders. So what can shops do to fight back? In


Birmingham, where the riots were the worst, hopes are being pinned


In West Bromwich, street festivals are being organised to entice


people back. We're doing their entertainment here. Still come down,


there is no riots any more. Come down and enjoy yourself. There are


some bright spots on the horizon. For the first time in five years,


West Bromwich High Street will be lit up by Christmas lights. A


message of hope after what has been at dark you for so many.


Irrespective of the rise these are not easy times for retail outfit


cinema. Tonight, the German Christmas market in Birmingham


opens. This is important to all the retailers in the city centre.


has, these traders have come from Frankfurt, the twin city of


Birmingham. Every year, the market gets bigger and better. It started


with 24 stores. There are now 193. 3 million visitors come and spend


around �90 million in the local economy each year. This is a bigger


event for Birmingham, isn't it? it is. Christmas has officially


started and people come from all over the West Midlands and from all


over the country. It is a huge event. 3 million people came last


year. We expect even more this year. How much of the cash goes back to


Germany and how much stays here? �90 million, if the people come up.


The market draws people here and the Max the author, stay in


accommodation, do their Christmas shopping, and eat in the


restaurants. A large share of the money stays in Birmingham. Is it


that of the Golden to set up, organising it from Frankfurt?


always a challenge. In a few days, we have to set up this big market


in Birmingham. There are bargains this year? There is a crisis in the


eurozone. A I think, at Christmas time, people do not like to think


of the prizes. And the map like to spend money because it is the


playtime of the year. A market is on from today in Victoria Square in


Birmingham, until 23rd December. am feeling all festive now! 193


stores, and 3 million visitors. Stunning figures. Better news on


the jobs front with plans for a �35 million hi-tech integrated site in


Birmingham. The idea is to provide know-how and support to people


starting out in businesses, such as video games. This is the launch of


the Gaming and Digital Futures conference at Aston Science Park.


One of the big teams are so young people can launch themselves into a


career in the gaming industry. People are doing just that,


striking out on their own, but what does that involve? These days, it


means one or two people setting up shop in an incubator like this one


at Aston Science Park. Today is an unusual day because kids from


across Birmingham are here, not just to play, but to pitch their


ideas for a children in need a video game, for a hi-tech challenge.


We have got 48 hours to build a game for three platforms, which is


a huge task, but some people have given up their time to help us do


that. Those people are part of their oxygen incubator, soon to be


going through the exact same process. Supported by the incubator,


they will be pitching their ideas to investors, to get their ideas


off the ground. But can a couple of companies make much of a positive


impact on the West Midlands economy? Yes. Knowledge economy


businesses tend to be smaller than traditional manufacturers. But it


is the new economy, and we need to create jobs. They then to be higher


value jobs, and ones that are the future. And of bombing harm is not


supportive of those industries, then we're going to struggle -- if


Birmingham is not supportive. incubators are a great idea. We set


up in 1990. This was before the Internet, nobody to go to, no


support and many of the games were very successful. But we lost lots


of money from not understanding how to run a business. 48 hours later


and the winning game was being played by the winners. The game is


fantastic. I really like it. raising money for Pudsey Bear, and


inspiring a new generation of game designers and where entrepreneurs


to do it on their own, with a little bit of help from an


incubator. And on David's Blog you can find more details about that.


The address is on-screen now. A charity in Birmingham says BBC


Children In Need is helping them teach new skills to young people


and keep them safe. The Jericho Centre runs out of school


activities, giving young people a focus on life. Break dancing


classes at a church hall in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham.


It might seem like a bit of fun, but it offers a serious alternative


to young people growing up in this inner-city area. With any


discipline, sport or activity, you learn skills that you can apply to


life and they learned how to channel their frustrations and


energy and do something creative. If you are on the board just hang


out on the streets they will see the wrong things because there is a


lot of low-level drug dealing and things like that, so we haven't


projects to keep them off the streets, to provide them with


education, to make better choices with their lights, and to learn new


skills. Eighteen-year-old Luke has grown up in Balsall Heath. He says


the activities he has taken part in have changed his life. When I first


started coming year, I was doing a lot of misbehaviour. Now, when I


first started coming, they gave me cooking lessons. Now I do cooking


at college. That is what motivated me to do it. Children In Need! Yes!


They seemed very happy. All of that is raising money for Children In


Need tomorrow. Get in touch with your BBC local radio station or


with us, to tell us if you are also getting involved. Cliff Richard


fans have spent the night queueing in Birmingham, just to meet him. It


is the only location in the country, where you can get up close and


personal with him. It was here in the Midlands that Cliff Richard


started his first two or more than 50 years ago. We went to meet the


man himself, and his vase. Come on, pretty Baby... 1958, and Cliff


Richard releases his first single. 53 years on, and fans are still out


in force, to meet the man himself, in Birmingham. He is just so sexy.


You cannot beat that, can you? Sally from Leamington Spa was here


at 3am, to make sure that she saw literature. But that is nothing


compared to what they have done. -- that she saw Cliff Richard. I can


do it for three weeks to see him at the NEC. There were plenty of


younger fans into clothing 17-year- old Carl, from Solihull, who


arrived last night. He is an idol of mine. I did not know what the


queue was going to be like. I just had to be first in the queue.


Birmingham has been good to me for years. The first tour that I ever


did with the shadows in 1950 it, we came to Birmingham Town Hall. And


it was one of 12 gigs we did that year. Ever since that time,


Birmingham has been a very friendly place for me, and the Shadows.


Cliff was you to make the fans, and signed DVDs of his latest tour. --


was here to meet the fans. remember those days, because then,


we spent a lot of time touring. We spent a lot of time in a small blue


bus, and something slip in it, too. How was it for the fans? There was


stunning. To die for. And he smiled. Just having his autograph was


amazing. It was well worth the wait. It seems like, after 53 years,


Cliff Richard still knows how to make his fans happy. My first


record was a cliff Richard record. Travelling light. And he was so


Roger, I was not allowed by my parents to see his first two films!


And Sally from Leamington Spa thought he was so poor sexy - to-


die-for! Have you ever at social calendar, with the Children In Need,


may be queuing to see Cliff Richard, then I think you're going to be OK.


We have some weather fronts brushing past us, to the west, but


because of the high pressure to the east, that should kill off the


majority of their effects. It is looking largely dry. Quite mild as


well, with a south-westerly, which is much milder air. The foster


those fronts brushing past us, tonight. -- the first of those


fronts. On the wall, it is a dry night, with increasing amounts of


cloud. It is going to be clearing to the east and when we get was


clear spells, temperatures will remain slightly lower. Compared to


the beginning of the week when we had temperatures of three Celsius,


tonight, we are around nine Celsius. Quite a sunny start for the eastern


half of the region. Further west, more in the way of cloud. That


clears, through the afternoon. Sunshine should become more


widespread. Highs of 14 Celsius, with more of a breeze from the


south. Tomorrow, it is going to be dry and mild again. Another look at


the headlines. Stephen Lawrence's best friend was in tears, as he


told the court about the fatal attack. At the moment passengers on


a flight to Birmingham from India were told to pay up, if they were


wanting to get home. Children In Need comes live from Aston Hall in


Download Subtitles