12/01/2012 Midlands Today


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Welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines: Our hearts have been


broken forever. The family of the couple murdered


in their home bake for help in catching the killers. I beg of


you... Catch this person. Who has taken two of my special people away.


Fears for the future of jobs for almost 100 disabled people.


A big rise in petrol theft. Cases are up 50% in the last year. They


don't care. They even look straight into the camera.


And Aston Villa complete the loan signing of Wales favourite Robbie


Good evening. Welcome to Thursday's Midlands Today. Tonight, our hearts


are broken forever. The despairing words of two of the children of a


couple found murdered at their home. Just a day after out -- Avtar and


Carole Kolar were found by their son, a serving police officer, at


two of the children spoke at a press conference this afternoon.


Our lives and our hearts have been broken forever. They were the


sweetest and kindest people. hardest thing anyone can ever do is


tell the children that they are never going to see their


grandparents again. I have a baby, one week old, and I really do not


know where to start. We are all hurting so much inside because they


were so special. Catch this person who has taken two of my special


people away from us. Avtar and Carole Kolar had been married for


40 years. Their friends and neighbours in Handsworth Wood in


Birmingham are finding it almost impossible to comes to terms with


what has happened. There is flash photography in the report.


As the forensic Search widens around the family home, a community


began to mourn. Neighbours were struggling to find the words.


bad. Very bad. There appeared to be more police in Handsworth Wood


today, walking the streets to reassure people that this most


brutal of crimes is almost a rare one -- is a rare one. Avtar and


Carole Kolar have been described as quiet, sweet people. Daljeet Bilkhu


went to score with Carole and has known the family for 40 years.


very good people, both of them. Very soft-hearted. Very friendly


people. It is very sad to see them go. He also lives on Friary Road,


an area he says has seen recent burglaries and thefts of Asian gold.


We have been burgled twice on that road. It was a delight beggary and


luckily no one was at home. West Midlands Police -- it was a


daylight burglary. West Midlands Police are keeping an open mind.


The couple's son Jason is a police officer but the police say they do


not see a link between that and the deaths. It is something we would


consider. No cause of death has been identified yet. Key to the


investigation could be the support of the local, largely Sikh,


community. I would urge anybody who knows anything, any little


information, no matter how small, to come forward. It could be


important in solving this crime. arrests have been made but as the


Kolar family are spread so powerfully of their loss this


afternoon., police say they are following a number of new lines of


inquiry. The sense of grief in this community is seen in these floral


tributes laid throughout the day today, including this bunch of red


roses from the couple's eight grandchildren. The True Brit reads,


grandmother, We Love You To the Moon and back. -- this tribute


reads. For police say postmortem


examinations on Avtar and Carole Kolar will be completed by tomorrow.


Other news. People with learning difficulties fear for their


livelihoods after Birmingham City Council announced a review of the


factory they work in. Around 90 people work for Shelforce, a


council owned door and window manufacturer in Erdington. The city


council says it does not envisage compulsory redundancies but the


factory might not be able to carry on running as it has been. A public


meeting is being held tonight at the Jaguar Sports and Social Club


nearby. Our reporter is there. Workers and families must be very


worried. They are deeply concerned. There


has been a cloud of uncertainty hanging over Shelforce for 18


months now. Just behind me, through those double doors, is around 70 or


80 people, mainly Shelforce workers, and I watched them sit stony-faced


as they were told by Unison that there is a distinct possibility


that they could be significant redundancies. You have to remember,


if they lose their jobs at Shelforce, because of their


learning difficult -- disabilities, they could never get a job again.


Amongst the family's here tonight, Shashank Khanduri's family. He is


30 and has watched -- worked for Shelforce for eight ears. His


mother told me this afternoon that the slowdown in work at the factory


has caused him anxiety. When he is sitting, he will worry. You do not


have to worry, everybody is in the same boat. That sort of thing he


does not understand, and he worries. I can see panic building up on him.


Birmingham City Council tell me that Shelforce has been running at


a loss for several years now and it has been having to subsidise the


business. One possibility, it says, is that it may amalgamated into


another part of the council, or perhaps go into partnership with an


outside firm, what it calls an organisation close to us, in its


statement. With me now is the Labour MP for Erdington, Jack


Dromey. Fighting talk from you this evening. What realistically can be


done? The Birmingham City Council should be ashamed. For 27 years


Shelforce has been a lifeline for the most for Cannes in Birmingham.


The men and women in there, for them work is at the centre of their


lives. -- the most vulnerable in Birmingham. The council has been


running down Shelforce. We need to build up that fine facility and


that means spending some of the hundreds of millions of pounds that


Birmingham spends on capital works on the windows, the doors that have


made by Shelforce. If Labour were in power, you had unprecedented


cuts to make. Something has to go, doesn't it? The unkindest cut of


all is to close or run down a facility employee in the most


vulnerable in our community. They are not responsible for the budget


crisis hitting Britain. It is bankers that are responsible. Why


should the disabled pay the price? It looks like these proposals will


go before the next full council meeting, on February 7th. They are


ending here tonight with a very clear message from the workers and


families. If there is bad news to come, they want to know sooner


rather than later. We will keep you up-to-date.


There has been a significant rise in fuel thefts across the West


Midlands, mostly involving drivers filling up at petrol stations and


driving off without paying. The crime is known as building. In a


new twist, they often switched numberplates to avoid


identification. -- the crime is known as bilking. Last year there


was a 50% rise on the crime compared to the year before.


These women are about to commit a crime. They fill their BMW with


fuel, belt up and drive off. It is known as bilking and it is on the


rise. They do not care. They even look straight into the camera.


number of recorded bilkings across the West Midlands has risen from


3,600 offences to more than 5,000. Police say it is linked to rising


fuel prices. Seven years ago, petrol pump prices across the UK


averaged 87p per litre. Today it is one pan 32. Rising fuel prices make


web more tempting and thieves more sophisticated. This is how it works.


They changed number place so when they are caught on CCTV they cannot


be identified, and many are getting away Scot free. This centre in


Wolverhampton has come up with a solution, tamper-proof screws.


have been offering members of the public a free fitting service so


that our security screws on those numberplates prevent them from


being stolen. Back in Wolverhampton, this garage owner says it is too


little, too late. Last year he lost �6,000 to fuel theft. It is not


something I can claim from an insurance policy. Neither am I able


to claim the due to from the Government, so I have to bear it.


This morning, police released this CCTV image. This man drove off


without paying for �45 worth of This is the car registration.


Anyone with information should contact police.


An inquest has been told that take a retired schoolteacher from


Worcestershire was killed by being a Chris Tapp in the net. 77 you


will Betty Yates -- 77-year-old Betty Yates was found last week at


her home in Bewdley. I know I was recovered at the scene.


The Transport Secretary has dismissed suggestions that high-


speed trains will be exclusively for business customers. Justine


Greening was answering questions in the Commons following her decision


to approve a high-speed rail network between London and


Birmingham. A political editor has been taking it all in Forest. What


exactly have they had to say about these fares on H S two? Philip


Hammond, the former health secretary, got himself into bother


when he suggested that rail services were increasingly likely


to be seen as a rich man's toy. A Birmingham MP invited his successor


as Transport Secretary to distance herself from any suggestion that


High Speed Two would become the exclusive preserve of wealthy


businessmen and women. Can the Secretary of State reject the


previous Secretary's comments that high-speed rail would only be


affordable for business customers? The business case works on an


assumption of standard rail fares, as we have on the current network.


I am absolutely clear in my mind that the way to make high-speed


rail successful is to have as many people use it as possible. We have


been hearing High Speed Two will provide an important to Birmingham


Airport. What we have to remember here is that High Speed Two is also


an integral part of the Government's strategy for UK


aviation. They see it as a way of replacing a lot of the domestic air


services that so many people up and down Britain used to connect into


international routes. So the Transport Secretary was challenged


over the fact that the high-speed link to Heathrow airport will not


be completed until 2030s. second phase will seek a route to


Heathrow. It is wise to point out that the first phase was the


Birmingham Airport also connected - - effectively connected as well.


There are many criticisms of High Speed Two. One of the biggest is


that it will not do much for the wider West Midlands as a Birmingham.


Did anybody raise that? Yes, the Labour MP for Dudley North asked if


she would consider modifying further the route so that it could


actually serve the Black Country. No, she said, flatly. Her decision


on the Reid announced on Tuesday was final but she did say that


places like the Black Country and other areas would benefit because


congestion on existing railway lines would be eased.


Still ahead tonight, a Premier League makeover for Molineux. We


speak to the chairman about his vision for Wolves.


And it has been so mild wizardly, you could be forgiven for thinking


it was spring, but winter bites We will talk about grit and the


grit set off I'll vote could save councils millions of Pounds because


it is aware of recycling. It will prevent more than 30,000 tonnes of


waste going to landfill sites every year.


Burnt wood near Lichfield, one of the areas where sweeping the roads


is no longer just about keeping the neighbour had tidy. It is about


saving money and the environment. 2000 tonnes of this road debris is


sent to landfill every year. If you consider the Midlands, that is an


awful lot of waste that could be recycled. Now the region has the


technology to make it happen. A process that described by its


operators as a giant washing machine has been built at the site


near Wolverhampton. It has cost three-quarters of a million pounds


and is able to separate different components of the waste. It comes


in on a daily basis, fed into the plant and from that we will be able


to derive aggregate score. It is the first time that road sweeping


recycling has been done on such a grand scale. Seven councils in the


West Midlands have teamed up to send their waste here for recycling.


It works out far cheaper than burying it as landfill taxes are


rising steeply. If we can make maximum use of that material, we


will save money to pay years. Four Warwickshire a loner we are looking


at recycling some �10,000 and that is about �800,000. It is estimated


�10 million in total will be saved over seven years, proving the old


adage that where there is a market, there is brass.


That is really good news. It has been another of bad wigs for the


high street with more stores going into administration but when an


independent bookstore announced it was to close after 23 years,


residents decided to do something. They formed a co-operative and are


about to open a bookshop of their own.


The hills and Edward Elgar - just two of the reasons tourists come to


visit Malvern and it is that at the trade that has helped many of the


shops survive during the economic downturn. Not all are so lucky.


This bookstore has had to call it a day after 23 years. Disheartened by


the news, book loving friends decided to start their own shop.


And formed a co-operative. We have all got very varied backgrounds, a


huge range of expertise and interest and we can bring all that


into the one bookshop. Not one of the seven members of the co-


operative has any retail experience, but they already have the premises


and work on their new shop is under way. It is a lot of hard work to be


done and decisions to be made, but we have very different skills to


bring to it and a lot of knowledge. We will all work together and it


will be a success. Malvern has more independently owned shops than most


towns and many like this one are doing well. Open six years ago,


they have had their best Christmas trading figures ever. So can the


co-operative be successful? The man behind the shop believes they have


a chance. The large retailers cannot offer at that level of


service the independent retailers can. If they get that right, they


can do quite well. The bookshop will include a cafe and whole


community events did boost income. Be a co-operative, the financial


risk is spread and all of those involved are being realistic about


the future. We are conscious of the risk but we think it can work. We


will never make a lot of money, but we think we can have an exciting


project that will benefit the town centre. If everything goes to plan,


they hope to open the doors in March.


We can call that the Big Society. Sports time. Robbie Keane can -- 11


years after he almost signed for them, he became an Aston Villa


player today for two months. The record goalscorer has agreed and


loan spell from LA Galaxy and could make his debut against Everton on


Saturday. A warning, this report does contain flash photography.


Robbie Keane posing with an Aston Villa shirt. Many of us expected to


see this in the summer of 1999. But the Villa would not meet the asking


price and he has travelled the world playing football since. Only


now will he put on a Villa kit. will try my best to put on a big


impact and help the team push for what up the table. With my past


experience and knowledge, I can pass it on to younger players.


wonder kid joined Coventry instead all those is ago to become the most


expensive teenager in the Premier League. He scored twice in his


debut for the Sky Blues and has been prolific ever since from Milan


to London and California. Robbie Keane has made a habit of scoring


against Villa, now the fans want to know can he do it for them?


scored over 50 goals for Ireland, he is a very good player. I think


the gold will go flying. He is a top player and proven that over the


years. I look forward to playing with all of them. His arrival


caught the imagination of the media and if he finds the golden touch


again on the pitch, everyone will be happy.


Is Robbie Keane the answer for Villa? Called BBC WM football


phone-in at 7pm. The Wolves chairman Steve Morgan says the team


must do better but he says he will not succumb to the hire and fire


culture with managers. He admits it has been hard redeveloping Molineux


alongside developing his team but he is determined the new ground


will be hosting Premier League football next season. Welcome to


the future. This is how Wolves new �16 million stand well that from


the inside. This impressive computer-generated video was


launched today by the club chairman Steve Morgan. The show's fans the


news facilities. There will be a bar, pub and restaurant and with


building work on course it will be ready for next season. There is no


doubt this news-stand is impressive but some fans feel it is costing


them on the pitch and ultimately the price to pay could be


relegation. It is a juggling act and it is not easy, but it is one


we have to live with. The board is determined to take this club into


the 21st century to offer the facilities it should have a go with


that. That balancing act sea walls one. Out of the Premier League


relegation zone. But Morgan is standing by manager Mick McCarthy


and money is available in the January transfer window. It has


been disappointing. We expected to be better off than we carry our and


we have to do better in the second half. This isn't a hire and fire


club, it is not the way I won any of my businesses. But we do say


what we have to say behind closed doors. One the new will look


It is good to hear a German fronting up. All that has happened


at Birmingham City, we had never heard anything from the board, it


is a shame because they do not talk to us. But it is nice to hear that


from Steve Morgan. Before you go, tell us about


Coventry City. Striker Lukas Jutkewicz is on the


way to Middlesbrough for �1.5 million. Nikola Zigic scored two


goals for Birmingham City last night beating Ipswich 2-1, but he


Scientists, inventor, artist, Leonardo da Vinci's dinners


resonates through history. An exhibition of his work in London


has been a sell-out and there is expected to be a similar buzz when


it comes to Birmingham. It is the first time any of his work has been


shown in the city. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery


is the first venue for a national tour of 10 drawings by Leonardo da


Vinci to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee. It is expected to


attract huge attention. It is the first time we have had works by


Leonardo in Birmingham, so it will create a lot of interest. We think


probably 25,000 potentially, maybe more. The drawings are from the


World Collection at Windsor Castle and the senior curator says it is


amazing to imagine the master holding them 500 years ago.


drawings illustrate all aspects of Leonardo's activity. He was a


painter, sculptor, architect, scientist. I have tried to select


in these drawings examples of every aspect of that. A major exhibition


of Leonardo's work has attracted crowds to the National Gallery in


London with tickets selling out. This display in Birmingham is


smaller and more intimate and free. Visitors will be able to get up


close to some of the work of this world famous artist, architect,


engineer and scientist, engaging at first hand with perhaps one of the


greatest minds of all time. For the last 15 years of his life, Leonardo


regarded himself as a scientist incorporating research in art. This


is how Leonardo looked with a reputation for arrogance. But one


drawing thought to be one of his last is a self portrait of how he


felt as he aged. Kind of grotesque but also a rather pathetic. It is a


study of decay and Leonardo was conscious of his own body failing.


It captures something of Leonardo's sense of imminent death. All the


finishing touches are being made ready for when the doors open to


the public for three months. It will be busy. He was pretty


amazing. That exhibition of those drawings opens at Birmingham Museum


and Art Gallery tomorrow and it is free. Now take a look at the


free. Now take a look at the weather.


For a few days we had experienced way above average temperatures but


because of that the drop will appear more drastic as things


appear more colder. It applies during the days and nights.


Temperatures starting to dip to below average. The reason for that,


we saw a cold front coming through today. Because this high-pressure


positions itself over us, the winds will be lighter, perfect conditions


for frost and fog. All of those elements tonight. Skies clearing


right across the board and temperatures dipping down to minus


one Celsius in raw parts. A frost developing across most parts and


also some fog developing mostly in the south-west of the region. That


could linger because of the light winds tomorrow and if it does so,


temperatures will struggle to lift. Generally a nice day with a lot of


sunshine and it will be dry. It is the temperatures that are the main


concern. Temperatures of six Celsius. Tomorrow night will be


even colder. Skies clearing once again and light winds and


temperatures dropping down to minus one Celsius. For the weekend, at we


pave the way for much colder conditions. Highs of only four


Celsius. But it is looking sunny at least. Thank you.


least. Thank you. Just one main had line tonight: our


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