17/11/2011 Midlands Today


17/11/2011

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

:00:32.:00:37.

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

:00:37.:00:41.

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

:00:41.:00:50.

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

:00:50.:01:00.
:01:00.:01:05.

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

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

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Birmingham and Amritsar in India involving the budget airline Comtel

:01:11.:01:14.

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

:01:14.:01:20.

financial problems. This afternoon Skyjet, which sold tickets on

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Comtel flights, filed for bankruptcy. Tonight the Civil

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Aviation Authority stepped in to rescue hundreds of people still

:01:28.:01:30.

stranded in India. Problems surfaced when passengers flying

:01:30.:01:33.

home to Birmingham yesterday were asked for cash when their flight

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refuelled in Vienna. Our special correspondent Peter Wilson has

:01:35.:01:42.

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

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

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

:01:49.:01:59.
:01:59.:02:23.

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

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

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:02:41.:02:41.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds

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

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

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

:03:43.:03:46.

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

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

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

:03:51.:03:54.

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

:03:54.:04:04.
:04:04.:04:04.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds

:04:04.:05:07.

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

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

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

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

:05:21.:05:27.

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

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

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

:05:37.:05:40.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:06:15.:06:20.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:07:38.:07:48.
:07:48.:07:52.

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

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

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

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councils say they've exceeded budget targets. In Staffordshire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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worries about child safety. It follows a meeting this afternoon

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

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

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

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

:09:08.:09:18.
:09:18.:09:22.

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

:09:22.:09:32.
:09:32.:09:34.

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

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principles of the Christian faith offering help and support for

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vulnerable people including, victims of domestic abuse, ex-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:10:03.:10:09.

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

:10:10.:10:11.

magistrates yesterday charged with kidnap, false imprisonment, making

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

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

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

:10:27.:10:30.

the President of FIFA to resign after Sepp Blatter claimed racism

:10:30.:10:36.

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

:10:36.:10:39.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:11:59.:12:02.

which has seen Liverpool's Luis Suarez charged with racially

:12:02.:12:04.

insulting the Manchester United defender Patrice Evra taking the

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Kick It Out message into the community seems more important than

:12:07.:12:10.

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

:12:10.:12:17.

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

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

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

:12:28.:12:31.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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happening, and the atmosphere was horrendous. There were people

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

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street and the Queen Square shopping centre in West Bromwich is

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

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other riders have left lasting damage. The perception of members

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:14:57.:15:07.
:15:07.:15:28.

In West Bromwich, street festivals are being organised to entice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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cinema. Tonight, the German Christmas market in Birmingham

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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accommodation, do their Christmas shopping, and eat in the

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

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

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

:17:21.:17:26.

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

:17:26.:17:32.

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

:17:32.:17:38.

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

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

:17:42.:17:52.
:17:52.:17:53.

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

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

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

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

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

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the Gaming and Digital Futures conference at Aston Science Park.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:18:50.:18:54.

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

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

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

:19:03.:19:09.

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

:19:09.:19:12.

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

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

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

:19:22.:19:27.

impact on the West Midlands economy? Yes. Knowledge economy

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businesses tend to be smaller than traditional manufacturers. But it

:19:31.:19:36.

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

:19:36.:19:42.

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

:19:43.:19:47.

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

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

:19:56.:20:01.

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

:20:01.:20:06.

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

:20:06.:20:11.

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

:20:11.:20:16.

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

:20:16.:20:23.

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

:20:23.:20:26.

inspiring a new generation of game designers and where entrepreneurs

:20:27.:20:32.

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

:20:32.:20:42.
:20:42.:20:43.

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

:20:43.:20:48.

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

:20:48.:20:52.

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

:20:52.:20:55.

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

:20:55.:21:05.
:21:05.:21:06.

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

:21:06.:21:10.

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

:21:10.:21:15.

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

:21:15.:21:25.
:21:25.:21:26.

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

:21:26.:21:31.

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

:21:31.:21:35.

life and they learned how to channel their frustrations and

:21:35.:21:39.

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

:21:39.:21:42.

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

:21:42.:21:46.

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

:21:46.:21:51.

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

:21:51.:21:55.

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

:21:55.:22:00.

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

:22:00.:22:05.

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

:22:05.:22:15.

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

:22:15.:22:20.

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

:22:20.:22:30.
:22:30.:22:36.

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

:22:36.:22:41.

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

:22:41.:22:46.

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

:22:46.:22:52.

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

:22:52.:22:56.

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

:22:56.:23:01.

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

:23:01.:23:04.

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

:23:04.:23:10.

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

:23:10.:23:18.

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

:23:18.:23:23.

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

:23:23.:23:29.

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

:23:29.:23:34.

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

:23:34.:23:39.

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

:23:39.:23:46.

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

:23:46.:23:50.

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

:23:50.:23:58.

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

:23:58.:24:03.

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

:24:03.:24:07.

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

:24:07.:24:11.

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

:24:11.:24:17.

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

:24:17.:24:21.

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

:24:21.:24:30.

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

:24:30.:24:35.

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

:24:36.:24:43.

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

:24:44.:24:48.

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

:24:48.:24:55.

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

:24:55.:25:01.

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

:25:01.:25:10.

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

:25:10.:25:18.

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

:25:18.:25:23.

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

:25:23.:25:29.

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

:25:29.:25:35.

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

:25:36.:25:45.
:25:46.:25:46.

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

:25:46.:25:50.

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

:25:50.:25:55.

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

:25:55.:26:00.

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

:26:00.:26:04.

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

:26:04.:26:12.

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

:26:12.:26:18.

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

:26:18.:26:26.

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

:26:26.:26:30.

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

:26:30.:26:34.

clear spells, temperatures will remain slightly lower. Compared to

:26:34.:26:38.

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

:26:38.:26:44.

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

:26:44.:26:49.

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

:26:49.:26:53.

clears, through the afternoon. Sunshine should become more

:26:53.:27:00.

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

:27:00.:27:09.

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

:27:09.:27:13.

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

:27:13.:27:17.

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

:27:17.:27:24.

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

:27:24.:27:30.

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

:27:30.:27:38.

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