13/12/2011 Midlands Today


13/12/2011

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Welcome To Midlands Today. The headlines: the growing gap between

:00:08.:00:12.

the cost of living in the Midlands and pay rises. When we asked them

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for pay rises, it is the economy, the industry is not good.

:00:19.:00:23.

�20 million facelift for Birmingham's n I a venue. We get

:00:23.:00:30.

the cultural and economic benefit. Then the multi-million pounds

:00:30.:00:34.

football training academy hoping to turn out stars of the future.

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And the teenager who had the surprise of her life when a Harry

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:00:49.:01:01.

Potter stuck turned up to meet her Good evening. Has the cost of

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living changed life in the Midlands? The consumer price index

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figures showed inflation of 4.8 % this month, down slightly from last

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month. But in the Midlands, inflation is 10 times the average

:01:15.:01:21.

salary increase. Annual earnings before tax have increased by 0.4 %

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year-on-year. An average full-time salary is now �19,981, what does

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that mean for us in the region? Is all this stopping spending ahead of

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Christmas? Figures are encouraging, up 10 % the number of shoppers

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coming here. A similar picture elsewhere. Crown Gate in Worcester

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up 6% and the boring up 5.5 %, this despite the widening gap between

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wages and inflation. Inflation rising 10 times faster than wages

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and that means some people are struggling.

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Even with today's slight fall in the rate of inflation, prices are

:02:08.:02:11.

still rising and that means continued pressure on family

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budgets. We have to figure out which week we can do the Christmas

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shopping. Dean and Mandy are feeling the pinch. Petrol, gas,

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electricity has gone up and wages have not increased with inflation.

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That has meant drastic action including only running one car.

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What we save on insurance and tax just with one car and with petrol

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just running the one car it is cheaper. They had been forced to

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change the way they shop. We now do a big shop once a month whereas we

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used to do it once a week. We go to the supermarket and filled the

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freezer up with the meat because it is cheaper. This is why they are

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doing that. According to figures, pay packets only rose by 0.4 % in

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the last financial year, while the consumer price index was up by 4.5

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%. But the region's businesses have been hit also. This Foundry is

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where Dean works. Here most workers have not had a pay rise in four

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years. When we asked them for pay rises, it is the economy, the

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industry is not good. Cost of electricity, it still which has

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come in. Prices are rising and bosses are facing a massive 32 %

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rise in their energy bill. That height in energy prices means the

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cost of producing something like this has gone up by 15p and that

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might not sound like much but when you consider they produce 3 million

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cars like this every year it mounts up. So also does the impact on the

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profit margins. It will affect our profit by the end of �330,000.

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Which means that sparks could be flying here next year if there is

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no money in the pot for a pay rise. It is not just rising prices in the

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shops that are worrying. There are increasing levels of fuel poverty.

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Per troy is going up, food is going up, everything is going up and the

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wages are still the same. You are left with less. I cannot save money.

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I am not planning on holidays or anything like that. The price of

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petrol is ridiculous. It seems to go up. They say they bring it down

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but it does not appear so. We do not have the heating on in our

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house in case the bill is sky high. It is hard to live. Perhaps a bit

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of a worrying sign, Santa is not very busy here. With me is Michael

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from the independent retailers Association. Inflation has gone

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down but prices are rising. What effect is that happening? Prices

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are rising faster than in comes and that is causing sales to be subdued.

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Are you surprised we are seeing rising levels of at fault but

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people are not spending much? have been counting the backs of

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people coming to the tales, not as much. There are fewer bags on

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people's arms here. How will Christmas 2011 be remembered?

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will be remembered as a subdued Christmas. Sales are down for

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independents. What about 2012, there are concerns about the

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economy for them. What a member saying? They have the same worry

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that the government does, they need growth but will it arrived? Will we

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see more empty shops in 2000 and fog? We may do in the early part of

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the year because they are under pressure. Thank you. It is 11 days

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to go until Christmas, so plenty of shopping to be had and plenty of

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bargains to be had also. We would like to know how this is

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affecting you. Have you had to cut back? You can comment on our

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Facebook page or e-mail us. We would love to hear your thoughts.

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Still to come: we hear from a doctor who says thousands of lives

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could be saved if more medics knew how to spot blood poisoning.

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New plans for a �20 million facelift at Birmingham's National

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Indoor Arena had been unveiled. The NIA celebrates its 20th anniversary

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and it has hosted more world championship sports events than any

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other arena in Europe. It can hold more than 14,000 people, it has

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staged concerts by international superstars.

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Col play, Sir Paul McCartney, Eurovision - not forgetting a long

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sporting pedigree. 420 years the National Indoor Arena has been

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entertaining the public of the West Midlands and beyond. Maybe it is

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starting to look tired around the edges. Time then for a �20 million

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facelift. Two years of work to create a huge glass frontage making

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the most of its canalside location. Now is the time to invest in the

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NIA. We are doing this to protect the market share, the number of

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great events we attract to the city and through that we get the

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cultural and economic benefit. We get the employment benefit as well.

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Together with a new library it forms part of the council's Big

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City vision for a revamped Central Birmingham and it is the council

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that is landing the NIA the Monday -- money. Its leader Mike Whitby

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:08:24.:08:27.

The point is is where the money comes from. With the council

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cutting millions in spending, not everyone thinks the loan is wise

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off their. This venue brings investment into the venue -- region,

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why not invest in it? Their run many thousands of people losing

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their jobs, we are talking about the council learning 20 million to

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a press these project that could have got the money somewhere else.

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The arena is planning to sell its naming rights to pay off the loan.

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Building work should start late next year.

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I am joined by Emma Gray from Marketing Birmingham. Why do this

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at a time when public money is so tight? It is important that

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Birmingham remains competitive and with this new plant it will help us

:09:18.:09:23.

for the future. It is a plan about the future and how we can remain

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competitive as a business and leisure location. We have had a

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year on year increase on visitor numbers but we need to reinvent

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ourselves and create new products that will bring people back and get

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our profile high. Will the ordinary people of Birmingham benefit?

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benefit is massive. It will provide jobs are but alongside that, when

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you have the big sporting events that happen with in this stadium,

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you get benefits within the hotel sector, restaurants, it is very

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widespread and there is a massive ripple effect. When will all this

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dark? It will start at the end of next year and it is a two year

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project. We think it will fit in well with the major plans that are

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happening within the city in terms of infrastructure. Will there be

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any closures to the NIA well this is going on? There will be

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information about that throughout the website on the NIA to keep

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people up-to-date. It is important that the work happens because it

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really does help from an economic perspective and it helps revitalise

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the city force DUP meanwhile, there has been a further boost to the NIA

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with the news that one of the world's top athletes will be

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competing next year. Four Mar 100 metres record holder

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Asafa Powell has announced his intention to compete in the Grand

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Prix. He will be based in Birmingham with the Jamaican team

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in preparation for the London Olympics.

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A Birmingham bookseller has been sentenced to three years in jail

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after being found guilty of encouraging others to carry out

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violent terrorist attacks. Kingston Crown Court was told some of the

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material sold by Ahmed Faraz contained instructions on how to

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make explosives and kidnap people. The 32-year-old round the Maktabah

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bookshop but it has now closed down. Hundreds of patients will have to

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wait too long to be admitted to hospital according to the West

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Midlands Ambulance Service. Yesterday more than 80 patients had

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to wait more than an hour for the handover from ambulance to hospital.

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All of England's 11 ambulance services experienced delays in

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handing over patience. 10,000 lives could be saved every

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year if doctors and nurses recognise the early signs of sepsis

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all blood poisoning. One doctor is petitioning the government to do

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more. Ron Daniels started his campaign after watching a man died

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following a simple operation. At 37, gem Abbott was fit and

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healthy but he started to feel ill and his body shut down. His wife

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Karen from near Sutton Coldfield is still trying to piece together how

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a vasectomy could lead to the death of her husband, leaving her with

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two young children. The doctor said, there is nothing we can do for him.

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He will lose his hands, arms and legs and he will be her brain

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damaged. The choice was not mind to turn the machine off, the hospital

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made the choice for me. This intensive care doctor was also

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shocked by Jem Abbott's death. By employing specialist staff and

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identify infections early, he believes they are saving 80 lives a

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year. Sepsis is a complex condition which can present to any health

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worker and we need to engage everybody and work with everyone to

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ensure we make this difference. Each year across the UK, 37,000

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people die of sepsis. Sepsis UK believes 10,000 of those could be

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saved and that would save the NHS �170 million in treatment costs.

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The good ideas are being rolled out across Solihull and Coventry but

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things move slowly be in the NHS and the plan now is to lobby

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government. We have an electronic petition. The idea is to engage

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ministers, particularly the Secretary of State for Health to

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ask them to persuade the Department of Health that sepsis needs to be

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taken seriously. All that is in Karon's gift is to try to raise

:13:53.:14:03.
:14:03.:14:03.

You're with Midlands Today this chilly Tuesday night. Still ahead:

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a magic surprise for one school, as the Harry Potter star Rupert Grint

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pays an unannounced visit. And with the first bout of stormy

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weather out of the way, it's a question now of how bad it could

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get on Thursday night. I'll have an update for you of all the warnings

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later. Six Midlands towns and cities are

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set to experience local television for the first time under plans

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unveiled today by the Government. Birmingham is one of 20 "pioneer

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areas" where broadcasting is due to start in 2013. Others are planned

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for Stoke-on-Trent, Stratford-upon- Avon, Kidderminster, Malvern and

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Hereford. Our Political Editor Patrick Burns is here with us now.

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Why are ministers so keen on local TV? They clean kit ties together

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the big themes of this government - localism and the Big Society.

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Instead of the big guns of the corporate world. So the want to

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limit the independent production companies to no more than 25%

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ownership of one of these licences. This has been tried before in

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Coventry and it flopped. Why do they think it will work this time?

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And think those earlier examples were on shoestring budgets. It is

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an expensive business. In this case the BBC has agreed to put �25

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million to support the start-up costs. So the government hoped

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there will be properly resourced and will attract a level of

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advertising and sponsorship. What happens next? Ofcom consult over

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the award of licences on a competitive tendering system which

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should be completed by the summer. After 20 years in a Birmingham tram

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depot, a collection of vintage buses and commercial vehicles is on

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the move. The Aston Manor Transport Museum is relocating to a former

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dustcart production line in Aldridge after the city council

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said it could no longer afford to subsidise its rent. Sarah Falkland

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reports. The last time this old girl was out

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on the open road was 1945. This Morris Dictator is one of several

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renovation projects that needed a low loader to take it from its old

:16:28.:16:38.
:16:38.:16:40.

home in Aston to a new home in Aldridge. They will look after her.

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Where she is going there are people who do lot of preservation work so

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they know what to expect. There will be no more bits falling off!

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It will have taken six weeks in total to clear the Aston museum of

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exhibits. It's the end of an era. I am sad about it but the city

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council put us in a position where we had no other option. And this is

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where the new museum will be created. A former dust cart

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production line in Aldridge soon to grow from a bus refurbishment

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business to a bus manufacturing site. The majority of the buses in

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the collection have managed to get you to Aldridge under their own

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steam. Although a few did have some problems. This 1964 bus broke down

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try to get up the hill. The company's given the museum an

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initial six months rent free - with the hope of a ten year lease to

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follow. The museum will be located in this part of the building and

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the other side is where the production line will go in. There

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will be viewing areas were you can actually see the production in

:17:53.:18:03.
:18:03.:18:04.

process was DUP The vision is that traditional street setting will be

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created as a backdrop for these trusty stalwarts of our highways.

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It's cost around �100 million. And it's been a political hot potato

:18:11.:18:14.

for more than 10 years. But now, the National Football Centre in

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Staffordshire is almost finished. It's due to open next summer, by

:18:17.:18:21.

which time England could be the new European Champions. Ian Winter has

:18:21.:18:27.

been to Burton-on-Trent for a look round.

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Wellington boots, hard hats and yellow jackets. We are all dressed

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up and champing at the bit for our first glimpse of the most famous

:18:36.:18:43.

building site in Britain. The new national football centre covers the

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site of 330 acres in the National Forest and will be a state of the

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art facility. It is the first time anyone has ever built at facility

:18:54.:18:58.

quite like these with the whole of the eastern wall all reinforced

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glass. You will not feel as if you are training in a big shed, you

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will feel as if you're somewhere special. David has been the driving

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force behind this massive project and today had several important

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guests including Paul Foot went from Aston Villa and the England

:19:19.:19:27.

boss, Fabio Capello. And would that, he was whisked away.

:19:27.:19:32.

By the time the national football centre opens next summer, it will

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be the next England manager who gets all the benefits of burgeon.

:19:40.:19:47.

This is the elite pitch, identical in every respect to Wembley.

:19:47.:19:50.

England's senior players will start training here next autumn in

:19:50.:19:54.

preparation for the World Cup qualifying campaign. What does this

:19:54.:20:00.

mean for the Midlands? It is great for the region. We will employ 250

:20:00.:20:10.
:20:10.:20:13.

local people. It helps put us on the map at the heart of England.

:20:13.:20:17.

The FA bought this side with �2 million and three years later their

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plans were shelved. Four years after that they were resurrected

:20:20.:20:25.

and now, costing �100 million, the national football centre is almost

:20:25.:20:30.

complete. So we will watch and wait to see if first-class facilities

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produce a first-class team. Thank goodness! We have waited so

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long for that. Tonight, Walsall aim to reach the

:20:46.:20:53.

first round -- the third round of the FA Cup for the first time this

:20:53.:20:56.

season as they play against Dagenham.

:20:56.:20:59.

It's not everyday that an international film star pops into

:20:59.:21:02.

your school, but that's just what happened in Sutton Coldfield today.

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Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, went

:21:04.:21:07.

along with fellow cast member Oliver Phelps to surprise one lucky

:21:07.:21:14.

pupil, as Ben Sidwell reports. For pupils at Bishop Walsh Catholic

:21:14.:21:18.

School in Sutton Coldfield, it seemed like just another day. But

:21:19.:21:28.

today was different, there was magic in the air.

:21:28.:21:30.

Earlier this year, 17-year-old Sarah Cotter entered an online

:21:30.:21:33.

Harry Potter competition. Today, much to the surprise of herself and

:21:33.:21:41.

nearly everyone at the school, her prize arrived.

:21:41.:21:45.

Pupils had been told there were it's a special Assembly and the

:21:45.:21:48.

special guest would be the Archbishop of San Francisco. But

:21:48.:21:55.

there are about to be in for a big surprise.

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This is one of the most surreal days we have ever had. It is quite

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overwhelming. It is just a very strange experience. In everyday

:22:08.:22:13.

life you do not have that, it is quite unique. And how did the girl

:22:13.:22:23.
:22:23.:22:28.

that made all this happen feel? my God! I don't even have the words.

:22:28.:22:34.

Everywhere Rupert and Oliver went today, there were screaming fans,

:22:34.:22:37.

desperate to capture a momento of the day that two film stars came to

:22:37.:22:45.

their school. Amazing! We have grown up with them, we're all such

:22:45.:22:50.

massive fans. What to think of Sarah for entering this

:22:50.:22:54.

competition? At the everyone will be her best friend! For Oliver

:22:54.:22:57.

Phelps, who plays George Weasley in the films, it was a chance to

:22:57.:23:04.

return home. He was born and grew up in Sutton Coldfield. Of all the

:23:04.:23:09.

places to go in the UK, this is great. I have a horrible members --

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memories of doing cross country on the field over there. Pupils from

:23:13.:23:15.

almost half of the UK's secondary schools entered the competition,

:23:15.:23:18.

which was run by Sainsbury's. And Sarah's victory was one shared by

:23:18.:23:20.

the whole school, with every pupil getting a copy of the new Harry

:23:20.:23:22.

Potter DVD and the school themselves 10,000 vouchers for

:23:22.:23:32.
:23:32.:23:33.

activity equipment. I think they were all remembered

:23:33.:23:40.

this date for the less good acolytes. -- Remembrance Day for

:23:40.:23:50.
:23:50.:24:02.

It is just like that when you turn up to work! It must have been so

:24:02.:24:12.
:24:12.:24:12.

exciting. Now let's take a look at the

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Now let's take a look at the weather forecast.

:24:16.:24:20.

After the wild conditions last night we're not out of the woods

:24:20.:24:25.

yet. There are still warnings for stormy conditions on the Thursday

:24:25.:24:33.

night into the early hours of the mornings. At the moment this area

:24:33.:24:38.

of low pressure seems to be moving further south, in which case it

:24:38.:24:43.

will take those stormy conditions with it. For now the problem is

:24:43.:24:49.

that stream of showers moving into the Bristol Channel. That will

:24:49.:24:53.

contain hail and thunder. We already had reports of wintery

:24:53.:25:00.

showers today across many parts. Those will leave behind wet

:25:00.:25:04.

surfaces and so we're looking at the risk of ice on untreated

:25:04.:25:11.

services. Then tomorrow we have another feature, this rash of

:25:11.:25:21.

showers that will turn up wintery on the hilltops. But those will

:25:21.:25:26.

revert back to rained throughout the day. It is quite a cold day,

:25:26.:25:33.

but not quite so windy tomorrow. Tomorrow night, the wind dies down

:25:33.:25:42.

completely. We are looking at some heavy outbreaks of rain. But we are

:25:42.:25:48.

looking at cloudy conditions. That rain men dies away and on Thursday

:25:48.:25:56.

it is dried with some sunshine. Perhaps some stormy conditions

:25:56.:26:01.

during the night. But Friday is looking mainly dry and for Saturday

:26:01.:26:05.

things start to clear up with some sunshine. But again the potential

:26:05.:26:11.

for some ice and frost during the night as temperatures plummet again

:26:11.:26:15.

night as temperatures plummet again to freezing or perhaps just below.

:26:15.:26:22.

A look at tonight's main headlines: Shoppers have been forced to run

:26:22.:26:27.

for their lives in Belgium as a lone gunman opened fire, killing

:26:27.:26:30.

five people and himself. And inflation may be down but the

:26:30.:26:34.

annual rate is still 10 times higher than the average pay rise in

:26:34.:26:44.
:26:44.:26:47.

the Midlands. And to our top story - news that

:26:47.:26:49.

inflation in the West Midlands is now ten times the average salary

:26:49.:26:51.

increase. Today we've been asking how it's affecting your life. Julie

:26:51.:26:54.

Norton says: "I'm trying to get full time work in the Finance

:26:54.:26:56.

Industry and trying to survive on �65 per week when my gas and

:26:56.:26:58.

electricity is �30 per week and rising!" She describes her

:26:58.:27:07.

situation as "dire". And Simon Lewis has been told he will not

:27:07.:27:17.
:27:17.:27:25.

have a wage increase for two years. Adele Partridge says: "My husband

:27:25.:27:28.

and I are both self employed. We no longer have meals out or takeaways.

:27:28.:27:30.

We don't do any social travelling journeys so that we don't waste

:27:30.:27:33.

petrol. We are selling both of our cars to get a cheaper one. The

:27:33.:27:36.

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