09/12/2011 Midlands Today


09/12/2011

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Hello, welcome to Midlands Today with Mary Rhodes and Nick Owen. The

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headlines tonight: Christmas is cancelled. Hundreds

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are left disappointed as their festive parties are called off in a

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row over money. It is a shame. I mean, that time of the Year

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Christmas, you don't expect people to do stuff like that.

:00:21.:00:24.

Caught on camera, the carer found guilty of trying to steal from a

:00:24.:00:26.

severely disabled man. A Michelin-starred chef gives

:00:26.:00:29.

Birmingham City Council a roasting over the future of the wholesale

:00:29.:00:37.

market. If the market is closed, it will have a massive impact on the

:00:37.:00:40.

city but on a smaller businesses in and around the city, more important

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leave. And for Wembley read Villa Park,

:00:43.:00:53.
:00:53.:00:56.

the ground could host next year's Good evening, welcome to Friday's

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Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight, hundreds of people are

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left disappointed and out of pocket after their works Christmas parties

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are cancelled in a dispute over money. Around 800 people were due

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to attend the festive events at Birmingham's New Bingley Hall

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tonight and tomorrow. Dozens of local businesses handed over

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thousands of pounds in deposits to the organisers, a Solihull-based

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company called Special Events and Parties Ltd. Managers at the New

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Bingley Hall say that cheques paid to them from the company have been

:01:24.:01:27.

cancelled so they've been left with no alternative but to call the

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parties off. Bob Hockenhull reports. Workers at this design company at

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Digbeth in Birmingham are among hundreds who've had their Christmas

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party cancelled. We had guys from Cambridge coming all the way here

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and we had heard tells booked, and we went out of our way and bought

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expensive outfits. For 40 years hours' notice, this is pretty poor

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for an organisation. We have been trying to get hold of them all week.

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Nothing. This dental surgery in Erdington paid �650 for 13 staff to

:02:06.:02:16.
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go to the same event at New Bingley Hall. It has put a bit of a back

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cloud over the practice because everyone was looking forward to

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enjoying ourselves out of the practice for Stock -- out of the

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practice. Tonight and tomorrow nights' cancelled celebrations were

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organised by Solihull-based Special Events and Parties. They promised a

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meal and entertainment including this fun fair at the back of New

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Bingley Hall. Managers at the venue say they've been unable to contact

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the party organisers and have called in the police. It is a big

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thing. I was talking to a client and they are coming from a very bit

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-- big company, and they have already bought their outfits. And

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they are really upset, and she was in tears. That has upset as. It is

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not just party goers that have lost out, New Bingley Hall estimates it

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has lost thousands of pounds by not being able to stage the event. And

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bar and security staff that have been hired still need to be paid.

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The BBC made attempts to contact Special Events and Parties director

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Elaine Reeves this afternoon to no avail. In an email to clients, she

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apologised but said, "We simply cannot cover the cost of running

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these events, we will be issuing refunds to customers who have paid

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as soon as possible." Trading Standards officers have also been

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trying without success to contact the party organiser and gave this

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advice. I think the first thing to do is to put the complaint in

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writing via e-mail or letter. State what the problem is, how much you

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paid for the ticket and when the meal was due to go on. If you don't

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get any joy, if you are in Birmingham, come to us, or your

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local Trading Standards department. New Bingley Hall did manage to

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stage one party organised by the same company last weekend. But it

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looks like the events have come to a premature end, disappointing

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hundreds of would-be Christmas revellers.

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And Bob Hockenhull joins us from outside the New Bingley Hall in

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Birmingham now. What are the chances of people getting their

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money back? Well, the company itself is

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promising refunds in the new year. Trading Standards have given advice

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and they say that people have got a good case if they want to take

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action, not just to get money back, but also for the inconvenience, and

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the police are investigating, so this could become a criminal

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inquiry. This company, Special Events and

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Parties Ltd, it is still taking bookings for Christmas party events

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on its website, not just these ones at New Bingley Hall. What should

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people do if they are worried? I think the best advice is to ring

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the venue where the party is due to take place to see what they have

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got to say and whether they believe the party is going to go ahead. We

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know that Solihull rugby club... Sorry, Solihull Land Rover club is

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due to hold an event in a week, and the ICC are also expected to stage

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an event, so the best thing is for people to ring up and the managers

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here have been on hand in case any partygoers turn up. They haven't

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done so far, but the band did, and they have been turned away and they

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are on their way back to Shropshire. A care worker has been found guilty

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of trying to steal from a severely disabled man she was supposed to be

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looking after. Trevor Thomas from Birmingham relied on 36-year-old

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Michelle Warburton. That was until she was caught on CCTV cameras

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repeatedly trying to crack the code to his safe where he kept his

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benefit money. Ben Godfrey reports. This is care worker Michelle

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Warburton. This footage shows her trying to steal from the disabled

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man who thought he could trust her. Inside this wardrobe is his safe.

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Trevor Thomas is 44 and has dystonia, a neurological disorder

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which means he's confined to a wheelchair. Warburton, from Druids

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Heath, was one of four carers employed privately by his mother

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Pat to provide support at his adapted home. But they suspected

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she was taking money. We have invited her in to Trevor's home,

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and if they person cannot be safe in their home, they cannot be saved

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anyway of. When the family became suspicious, they fitted CCTV

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cameras and it was this technology that exposed Michelle Warburton as

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the carer who did not care. In March, the single mother of two is

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seen entering Trevor's spare bedroom, often closing the door,

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and reaching for his safe containing hundreds of pounds.

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pretended to be vacuuming, trying to get into the safe. She is

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crawling on the floor, looking at my son, to see where he is, before

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she tries that again. I mean, it is so undignified for somebody to do

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that to them. Warburton claimed she was just trying to find a phone

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number. The jury didn't believe her. It has been hard work. And a lot of

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strain on the whole family. It is wicked, really. Trevor says she is

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evil. Because she has manipulated us all. Trevor Thomas has been in

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his own film. Trevor sat through the trial, eager to see the woman

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he once trusted face justice. She'll be sentenced next month.

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Members of Birmingham's Congolese community have been protesting over

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delays in announcing general election results in their homeland.

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Around 100 demonstrators marched through the city to the Mailbox

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complex. It follows clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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between police and opposition supporters, who claim the recent

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election has been marred by fraud. They also accused the BBC of not

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giving enough coverage to events there. We are standing here,

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protesting against things that are happening, the rapes, the killing,

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every single unfairness, and we need our message to come across and

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we have been watching the BBC, and nobody is talking about the Congo.

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Everybody is talking about Russia, Libya, Tunisia, but Congo is not

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mention. Where is the most dangerous place to be right now?

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a statement today, the BBC said BBC News has reported on the elections,

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including pre-election and polling day coverage on radio online and

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correspondents have been sent to cover the story.

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Police in Coventry have launched a murder enquiry after the discovery

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of the body of a woman. Two men, aged 50 and 54, were arrested at

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the scene in Trentham Road in the city. Both remain in police custody.

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A post mortem will be carried out tomorrow. Workers at the Marmite

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factory have been on strike today. It's part of a national day of

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action by staff over changes to the company's final salary pension

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scheme due to be introduced next summer. The company says the

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changes are necessary for the scheme to remain sustainable in the

:09:22.:09:23.

future. A Michelin-starred chef says

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Birmingham's flourishing reputation for fine food could be destroyed

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over uncertainty for the future of the city's Wholesale Market. Glynn

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Purnell hit out after a report suggested the market also supports

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thousands of jobs in related industries. Birmingham City Council

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says a consultation over the future of the market is underway, but

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stresses there are no plans to close it. Joanne Writtle reports.

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A regular produce delivery from Birmingham Wholesale Market to

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Purnell's restaurant in the city centre. But the Michelin-starred

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chef, nicknamed the Yummy Brummie, says uncertainty hanging over the

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market could have a dramatic effect on the city's growing gourmet

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reputation and thwart small businesses who depend upon it for

:10:04.:10:14.
:10:14.:10:17.

supplies. For me, it is going to be a massive threat on ruining our

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reputation. It has taken us years to get the standard. Birmingham has

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been mocked for being the culinary desert and everybody used to drive

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through Birmingham. But now customers, we are a national

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destinations. This is the biggest integrated wholesale market in

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Europe. 1,100 people work here but a study suggests it supports 15,000

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jobs in the wider economy. The study was for the Birmingham

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Wholesale Fresh Produce Association as it fights for its future. The

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author says the 70 businesses here have a global reputation, as well

:10:53.:11:03.
:11:03.:11:05.

as turning over �275 million a year.? The business operation is

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the leading one in the world. When we went to a conference in China,

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we expected to be treated as a poor relation, when in actual fact it's

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markets in Sydney, Helsinki and in China have adopted the Birmingham

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City model as a way of integrated wholesale market into the urban

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environment. Birmingham City Council said there are no plans to

:11:27.:11:37.
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We want to meet with them, get around the table and sort something

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out. We want to be here for the next 150 years. The study claims

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uncertainty has caused occupancy to fall by a quarter. So have plans

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for expanding rural broadband in Herefordshire stalled? That's what

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one organisation is claiming tonight. The Countryside Alliance

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says a year after the announcement of plans, there's still no cash

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from the Government. So far, Herefordshire Council has spent

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�50,000 on a tendering process looking for someone to run the

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scheme. Our Science Correspondent David Gregory is here. David,

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remind us what the Government announced about this.

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OK, so 12 months ago, the Government said there were going to

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be four areas in the UK to be invested in rural broadband, to

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bring up speeds and access. The money is coming out of the licence

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fee. If you cannot remember, here is the answer and. Pilots will go

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ahead in Cumbria and Herefordshire, in the Highlands, and all of this

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will encourage the growth of industries as a key part of the new

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economy we are seeking to build. But that was 12 months ago and

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since then nothing has happened, especially in Herefordshire.

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what is the problem? We wanted to find that out, so they work -- so

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as far as the Countryside Alliance say, things have stalled. The whole

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system is stalling and that we need to look at it again urgently,

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because the need for super-fast broadband is not going to go away

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but it is going to become more urgent. We need to kick-start this

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thing. They have found that the tendering process has cost �15,000

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-- �50,000, but there is no cash coming from the Government to do

:13:39.:13:45.

anything. What is the response from the council? Basically, they say

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that nothing has happened yet but by late spring next year, they

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hoped to have something in night in the tender process. Of is the,

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there is huge demand for this. Thanks, David. -- obviously there's

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a huge demand for this. The man who brokered the deal which

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took Jaguar Land Rover into the ownership of the Indian giant Tata

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says the company's at the start of a great revival. JLR went from

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being on the verge of needing a Government bail out, to making

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billions of pounds in profit in just two years. Lord Bhattacharyya,

:14:15.:14:17.

who founded the Warwick Manufacturing Group, says he's

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confident other Midlands firms can be equally successful. Cath Mackie

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reports. From bust to boom. Jaguar Land

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Rover is arguably the manufacturing success story of the past five

:14:29.:14:34.

years. And the man who helped make it happen is confident the best is

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:14:44.:14:46.

yet to come. I think we are at the start of a great revival. Three

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years ago, Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, an engineer by trade who founded

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the Warwick Manufacturing Group, was key to the transfer of JLR from

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Ford ownership to Rattan Tata of India. When I speak to Tata, they

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always say this is a Midlands icon, and we need to preserve it. He's

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right to be optimistic. In 2008, JLR was on the brink. Now 1,000 new

:15:10.:15:14.

jobs have just been announced and a new �335 million pound engine plant.

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That factory on the i54 site near Wolverhampton will create a further

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2,000 jobs. Lord Bhattacharyya says other Midlands firms can be as

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successful as JLR. What's needed now is more leadership and courage

:15:24.:15:32.

and there are calls too for a rebalancing of the economy. We need

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to rebalance the economy because manufacturing needs to be a bigger

:15:35.:15:41.

part of that. We hoped that Government would help export our

:15:41.:15:45.

way out of recession. It has come grinding to a halt. MP Geoffrey

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Robinson was chief executive of Jaguar Cars in the 70s. If you want

:15:50.:15:54.

to get a general improvement in manufacturing, and in the economy,

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you have got to get away from the cuts, from the deflation and

:15:58.:16:02.

recession. This government isn't turning its back on manufacturing

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but in order to rebalance the economy, you need to recognise

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first of all the Government itself cannot do this, they can only

:16:10.:16:15.

create the environment. In which these companies can do well. Just

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today, the car component firm Metafin Group Holdings in Walsall

:16:17.:16:21.

announced an extra 50 jobs. But 220 jobs are under threat at Tucker

:16:21.:16:23.

Fastners in Birmingham. Manufacturing hope for 2012 will be

:16:24.:16:30.

a delicate balancing act. And there'll be more from that

:16:30.:16:33.

interview with Lord Battacharryya plus a look at the economic outlook

:16:33.:16:36.

for the region in Sunday's Politics Show which starts at midday on BBC

:16:36.:16:39.

One. Still to come in tonight's

:16:39.:16:42.

programme: He may be a pop star but he's also

:16:43.:16:46.

an artist. In fact, if it hadn't been for art, we might never have

:16:46.:16:50.

heard of the Specials. And we've had a bit of everything

:16:50.:16:53.

from the weather this week. Rain, gales, sunshine and even some snow

:16:53.:16:56.

in the Staffordshire moorlands. And next on the menu is the coldest

:16:56.:17:06.
:17:06.:17:09.

night of the season so far. Join me On to sport now and Ian Winter is

:17:09.:17:12.

here with news that a football showpiece event could be on its way

:17:12.:17:16.

to Birmingham. Yes, Villa Park looks set to host

:17:16.:17:20.

to next season's FA Community Shield. The game's normally played

:17:20.:17:23.

at Wembley Stadium but next year the date clashes with the final of

:17:23.:17:28.

the Olympic football tournament. Nick Clitheroe's at Villa Park now.

:17:28.:17:34.

This would be quite a feather in Villa's cap, if it comes off.

:17:34.:17:39.

Absolutely. This was the story that came out today that VeloPark was

:17:39.:17:44.

set to host the FA community Shield August well for next year. That

:17:44.:17:49.

date is important because the final of the Olympic football is at

:17:49.:17:53.

Wembley August 11th, so they couldn't use Wembley for it. Aston

:17:53.:17:58.

Villa have had no comment on this to date. I spoke to the Football

:17:58.:18:01.

Association and they said they didn't want to talk about the

:18:01.:18:05.

process, except to say they were not looking at any cities which

:18:05.:18:10.

were already hosting Olympic football. That rules out Cardiff's

:18:10.:18:15.

Millennium Stadium,, it rolls up Manchester and Newcastle, so

:18:15.:18:19.

realistically that leaves you with the Villa Park at or Anfield in

:18:20.:18:25.

Liverpool. It seems like this is the front-runner in this. Is it too

:18:25.:18:33.

early to say? Let's put it this way. Nobody has laughed at me today.

:18:33.:18:37.

There is a firm no comment all round, but it is not laughed out of

:18:37.:18:42.

court. So I think it is going to happen, but a matter of when. It is

:18:43.:18:47.

a 43,000 seating capacity stadium, it is used to hosting major events

:18:47.:18:52.

from euro 96 to the last cup final, and if you get a London team

:18:52.:18:57.

playing a Manchester team, it is in the middle, the perfect place for

:18:57.:19:01.

the host stadium for that match at the beginning of next season, and

:19:01.:19:07.

if they get that, unlikely as it may seem, there will be no problem

:19:07.:19:14.

with them playing in the Community Shield by the. -- either.

:19:14.:19:17.

If you're amongst the 1,400 Wolves fans heading north to Manchester

:19:17.:19:20.

tomorrow, here's a question for you. What's the biggest crowd that Old

:19:20.:19:23.

Trafford has ever seen? Today, I met a man who gave me a most

:19:23.:19:25.

unexpected answer. Hidden away, deep inside the

:19:25.:19:28.

Wolverhampton branch of Santa's grotto, you'll find a man who's

:19:28.:19:30.

written many weird and wonderful things about his favourite club.

:19:30.:19:33.

Jim Heath is a lifelong fan who's got 20-20 vision about everything

:19:33.:19:43.

and everybody connected with Wolves. We hold the record attendance at

:19:43.:19:52.

Old Trafford, 76,000. That was in 1939, beating Grimsby five-Zil --

:19:52.:19:58.

5-0. In an FA Cup final. there's no way that record will get

:19:58.:20:01.

beaten tomorrow. 13 months ago, Wolves came so close to earning a

:20:01.:20:04.

point at Old Trafford, only for United to score the winner in

:20:04.:20:06.

stoppage time. Huge frustration for Mick McCarthy which was transformed

:20:06.:20:09.

into big satisfaction three months later, when Wolves got sweet

:20:09.:20:18.

revenge with a 2-1 victory at Molineux. How much do you enjoy the

:20:18.:20:23.

challenge of pitting your wits against Sir Alex Ferguson? Always.

:20:23.:20:29.

It is not a tactical battle between me and him. I think the battle is

:20:29.:20:34.

out on the pitch. I enjoy watching my team are pitting their wits

:20:34.:20:37.

against those players because there are some wonderful players. And

:20:37.:20:44.

last year was a wonderful year. It was a fantastic result. I used to

:20:44.:20:48.

watch Man United with my kids and my family and friends, and I have

:20:48.:20:52.

been a fan, so to play them was unbelievable and hopefully tomorrow

:20:52.:21:00.

we can get a good result. It would make my year if we can pull it off.

:21:00.:21:05.

12 months ago they won at Liverpool, now they hope to complete the hat-

:21:05.:21:08.

trick against Manchester United. And if they were to pull it off,

:21:08.:21:13.

the festive season is sure to start with a bang in Wolverhampton. Let's

:21:13.:21:21.

hope so. Is it 31 years since wolves won at Old Trafford? What

:21:21.:21:24.

are the chances? There is no good time to play

:21:24.:21:31.

Manchester United. Mick McCarthy smiled and shook his head, he knows

:21:31.:21:34.

United are always dangers, because of the fact they have been knocked

:21:35.:21:38.

out of the Champions League, they don't have Nemanja Vidic, but they

:21:38.:21:44.

have threat up front, and he has scored many many goals. There is

:21:44.:21:49.

never such a thing as a lost cause with Mick McCarthy. Never a dull

:21:49.:21:52.

moment, either. Port Vale say they're taking legal

:21:52.:21:55.

advice over the collapse of a deal with an American company to invest

:21:55.:21:58.

�8 million in the club. Vale announced in September they were

:21:58.:22:00.

planning to use the money from Blue Sky International for ground

:22:01.:22:03.

improvements and other projects. But the Americans claim they only

:22:03.:22:06.

offered half a million and the deal is now dead.

:22:06.:22:10.

And to keep up to date with how your club gets on over the weekend,

:22:10.:22:13.

including the build-up, full match commentary and reaction, tune in to

:22:13.:22:16.

your BBC local radio station. Finally, the Warwickshire batsmen

:22:16.:22:20.

Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott are both in the England Squad to play

:22:20.:22:26.

three tests against Pakistan in the New Year.

:22:26.:22:29.

Good for them. Nice to think about cricket and

:22:29.:22:32.

sunshine. Horace Panter is best known as the

:22:32.:22:35.

bass player with The Specials, but in his spare time he's also an

:22:35.:22:38.

accomplished artist. In fact, without his love of art, the band

:22:38.:22:41.

would never have existed. He met Jerry Dammers when they were both

:22:41.:22:44.

art students in Coventry and together they formed the band.

:22:44.:22:46.

Tomorrow, Horace's first art exhibition will open in Leamington

:22:46.:22:56.
:22:56.:23:06.

Horace Panter has two passions, art and music. When he's not touring

:23:06.:23:09.

with the Specials, the chances are you'll find him painting at his

:23:09.:23:18.

home in Coventry. There is a yin and Yang. The

:23:18.:23:23.

Specials is frantic and physical activity, whereas I come back here

:23:23.:23:27.

and I can just relax. After leaving the Specials, Horace became an art

:23:27.:23:30.

teacher, a job he remained in for 10 years until the band reformed in

:23:30.:23:38.

2008. But why has it taken so long for him to show his work? I did a

:23:38.:23:43.

couple of paintings, then a few more. And then the attics started

:23:43.:23:47.

to get filled up with bits of board and stuff so there was a question

:23:47.:23:52.

of you have done this, you might as well show it to people. That is

:23:52.:23:55.

what you do with music, isn't it? Tomorrow, Horace's first exhibition

:23:55.:24:05.
:24:05.:24:08.

opens at the White Room Gallery in We had the opportunity to visit

:24:08.:24:12.

Beijing earlier in the year. And I asked her if I could take a photo,

:24:12.:24:18.

and she was thrilled. So I took her photo and then painted her.

:24:18.:24:22.

Sometimes the paintings work and sometimes they don't. But I think I

:24:22.:24:29.

got the essence of this lovely lady. One day, I want to get a print of

:24:29.:24:33.

that and find her, and say, thank you very much. Who do you think

:24:33.:24:40.

will come to see this exhibition? Regular folks. I do not like art

:24:40.:24:46.

being an elitist thing. People are loath to go to galleries, but I

:24:46.:24:51.

want people to go, that is nice, I would like one of those. Horace's

:24:51.:24:59.

exhibition is on until the 24th January.

:24:59.:25:05.

Why are some people so talented? You would have thought that would

:25:05.:25:12.

have been in black-and-white... I will explain later.

:25:12.:25:22.
:25:22.:25:22.

Now, the weather. We hear of It will be an icy night, and a

:25:22.:25:27.

chilly night. The chilliest night of the season coming after what has

:25:27.:25:33.

been a topsy-turvy week. Tonight, it is cold, very cold, and frosty

:25:34.:25:39.

for all of us. There have been some showers around. They have been

:25:39.:25:46.

driven in on a north-westerly breeze. Some of the showers fell as

:25:46.:25:53.

snow. After that, with temperatures plunging away, there is a real risk

:25:53.:26:00.

of ice on pavement so take care. After further South, where we have

:26:00.:26:05.

seen the cloud and clear skies, we will see some haze of blue

:26:06.:26:11.

spreading right across the map, a harsh frost with temperatures

:26:11.:26:15.

around minus three. Out in the countryside, even colder, so a

:26:15.:26:21.

chilly start, cold and frosty but bright and sunny. We will see a lot

:26:21.:26:27.

of sun. After such a cold start, temperatures struggled to recover,

:26:27.:26:33.

so no better than 5 or 6. The next change comes through tomorrow

:26:33.:26:38.

afternoon and tomorrow evening with the cloud thickening, the breeze

:26:38.:26:44.

strengthening. That rain is associated with some weather France,

:26:44.:26:49.

muttering their way in through Saturday into Sunday. -- some

:26:49.:26:57.

weather fronts. That rain clears the way to the South, leaving

:26:57.:27:03.

brighter skies and milder. Next week, another change. A yellow

:27:03.:27:08.

warning for wind, the potential for some gale-force wind late on Monday

:27:08.:27:12.

into Tuesday and some wet weather as well. We have some bright

:27:12.:27:18.

weather, some windy weather, a bit of everything. A topsy-turvy week

:27:18.:27:21.

continues. A look at tonight's main headlines:

:27:21.:27:24.

Standing alone, Britain vetoes a new EU treaty though all of the

:27:24.:27:27.

other 26 countries sign up. And Christmas is cancelled.

:27:27.:27:30.

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