18/01/2012 Midlands Today


18/01/2012

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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today with Nick Owen and Suzanne Virdee.

:00:04.:00:07.

The headlines tonight: Unemployment is up again in the

:00:07.:00:10.

region to nearly a quarter of a million so why are there more than

:00:10.:00:14.

30,000 job vacancies? Whether these jobs just don't fit the aspirations

:00:14.:00:17.

of the people who live and work in this region, it is very

:00:17.:00:20.

disappointing. Our advice was ignored and the

:00:20.:00:23.

Government's strategy may have harmed people - doctors hit out

:00:23.:00:27.

over the handling of swine flu. can't imagine that the special

:00:27.:00:34.

arrangements saved anybody's life or even saved a day of sickness.

:00:34.:00:37.

Angry teachers threaten to go on strike again over plans to turn a

:00:37.:00:41.

primary school into an academy. And at a time when every penny

:00:41.:00:51.
:00:51.:00:57.

counts, how you can tell the real Good evening, welcome to

:00:57.:01:01.

Wednesday's Midlands Today. Tonight, business leaders accuse the

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Government of not acting quickly enough and say confidence is

:01:03.:01:09.

falling as unemployment rises again. The number of people without a job

:01:09.:01:16.

now stands at 243,000. That's up 9,000 on last month's figure. That

:01:16.:01:19.

translates to 9.2% of the workforce which is higher than the national

:01:19.:01:23.

average. At the same time, figures released today by the Department

:01:23.:01:26.

for Work and Pensions show that there are plenty of jobs available

:01:26.:01:29.

with more than 32,500 vacancies being advertised in the region's

:01:29.:01:39.
:01:39.:01:41.

From frontline to phone line. Gareth Towle was a soldier for ten

:01:41.:01:45.

years serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Back on Civvy Street, he went

:01:45.:01:53.

looking for a job. This was not the first place I came to. It is so

:01:53.:01:58.

hard to find a job coming out. I sent about 30 applications out and

:01:58.:02:01.

nothing came back so I am lucky here.

:02:01.:02:03.

He got lucky at Autonet Insurance in Stoke-on-Trent which employs 500

:02:03.:02:09.

people. They've come up with a new way of recruiting staff. We started

:02:09.:02:13.

recruitment innings which allowed people the opportunity to come and

:02:13.:02:18.

talk to us -- recruitment evenings. Sell themselves instead of relying

:02:18.:02:22.

on a CV. The irony at a time of growing

:02:22.:02:25.

unemployment is that job centres across the region have around

:02:25.:02:27.

30,000 vacancies. Employers complain of a skills shortage, but

:02:27.:02:34.

getting a foot in the door is still a problem. It's terrible, I have

:02:34.:02:38.

applied for 20 jobs in the last two weeks. Any feedback was back none

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at all. What are you applying for? Anything really. Cleaning, bar work,

:02:45.:02:48.

shops, factory worker put it seems there is nothing.

:02:48.:02:51.

Just yards away in Worcester city centre, a new retail site's being

:02:51.:02:54.

built. When ASDA advertised 300 jobs here, it was reported that

:02:54.:02:56.

3,500 people applied. The Government's now being urged to

:02:56.:02:58.

kick-start growth by investing in big infrastructure projects to

:02:58.:03:07.

create jobs now. Unemployment is the most serious issue facing the

:03:08.:03:14.

region now. With the eurozone crisis, growing uncertainty and it

:03:14.:03:17.

is likely to get worse for some time to come so if we want to be in

:03:17.:03:20.

a better place next year, and nationally avoid 3 million

:03:20.:03:25.

unemployed, we need to get going now and start soon. This company

:03:25.:03:28.

employs 28 skilled people on the side.

:03:28.:03:31.

What I'm being told is a key issue is confidence, or in this case,

:03:31.:03:34.

lack of it. And it's only when business regains confidence in the

:03:34.:03:41.

economy that they'll start recruiting. What we are reacting to

:03:41.:03:46.

is the news of potential eurozone problems, potential double-dip

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recessions, the problems of banks' lending to each other and that is

:03:50.:03:55.

affected people's confidence. We do not want to get caught out like in

:03:55.:04:04.

200 wait. -- like in 2000 a date. - - like in 2008.

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But with key manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover expanding, and

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the feel-good factor from the olympics and the Queen's diamond

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jubilee, business leaders are hoping 2012 will restore faith in

:04:12.:04:14.

the economy. Joining us now is our political

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editor, Patrick Burns. More disappointing news on the job

:04:16.:04:22.

figures today. What's been the reaction at Westminster? Labour MPs

:04:22.:04:26.

are more than disappointed. Liam Byrne says we are looking at an

:04:26.:04:33.

unemployment emergency. He has a constituency in Birmingham and has

:04:33.:04:36.

one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and it is

:04:36.:04:40.

proof that the Government's measures are not working. But talk

:04:40.:04:44.

to local Conservative MPs and they say that their measures need more

:04:44.:04:49.

time to work through. Things like the work programme, the work

:04:49.:04:53.

experience project and the youth contract. Joining the here at

:04:53.:04:56.

Westminster are a Labour MP for Stoke South, the shadow Justice

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Secretary and Gammon Williamson, the Conservative MP for South

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Staffordshire for -- Gavin Williamson. Birmingham Chamber of

:05:04.:05:09.

Commerce who are not usually the sternest critics, say that you

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should be acted more quickly to arrest this problem. What we are

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doing is addressing this by putting in place things like

:05:18.:05:23.

apprenticeships, 160,000 subsidised new jobs for young people, getting

:05:23.:05:29.

them off unemployment benefit and getting them into proper work and

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430,000 new apprenticeships, that is what we are creating. A solid

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progress that Gavin is talking about? Here we go again,

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unemployment soars in Conservative Government. This is an emergency

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and even in Gavin's constituency, it is up again. This government

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needs to act. But you are saying you would not reverse the cuts so

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you cannot take too much issue with that. We are not saying that. We

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are saying we would need to make cuts, because in 2015, the

:06:02.:06:06.

projected date of the next general election, will inherit an appalling

:06:06.:06:11.

situation we will have to act quickly to reverse that. We have

:06:11.:06:14.

also found that there are around 30,000 vacancies. Does that say

:06:14.:06:19.

something about the absence of skills? Should jobseeker's reassess

:06:19.:06:23.

expectations? We are seeing the Government putting in an enormous

:06:23.:06:27.

amount of effort creating new jobs. Jaguar Land Rover announces they

:06:27.:06:33.

will create new jobs in my constituency and Amazon, private

:06:33.:06:36.

sector companies creating jobs. We need to get the right skills and

:06:36.:06:41.

that is what we are doing with apprenticeships. We are not seen

:06:41.:06:48.

those skills, though. It is ridiculous to say these things

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because what we need to have is a proper programme like we had under

:06:52.:06:56.

Labour where people are trained for those jobs. Thank you to you both.

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Next week, the growth figures which there is lot of speculation for. It

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is likely to show that we are contracting as an economy. It will

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probably not lift the mood but for that, back to you in the studio.

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Coming up later, the caring owner spending thousands of pounds on a

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rescue team to find his beloved pet dog, Alfie.

:07:20.:07:23.

The Government strategy to fight swine flu was "excessive and may

:07:23.:07:28.

have harmed people". That's the claim being made by two senior

:07:28.:07:31.

public health doctors in a new report. They also say their advice

:07:31.:07:34.

was ignored after a cluster of cases of the H1N1 virus in

:07:34.:07:38.

Birmingham. The pandemic in 2009 was the largest of its kind in 40

:07:38.:07:48.
:07:48.:07:50.

years. Here's our health In 2009, Britain's focus was on

:07:50.:07:55.

Welford Primary School, the first hotspot for swine flu. The

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Government's focus was on containing the disease. But within

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four days it had spread through five schools. For public health

:08:00.:08:03.

doctors Andrew Rouse and Jacky Chambers, it became clear that

:08:03.:08:08.

swine flu was a mild disease and the response was excessive.

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time had come to move to the treatment phase of this pandemic

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and we basically, our advice was ignored.

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They claim that a local action plan was overruled. Policies may have

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led to greater infection and treatment delay. New systems were

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set up that simply didn't work. They almost brought to a chaotic

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end, existing hospitals, GPS systems, out of our systems and put

:08:35.:08:39.

lot of people at risk whereas I cannot imagine that the special

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arrangements saved anyone's life or even a day of sickness. Concerns

:08:44.:08:47.

about Tamiflu were also ignored. Their claim, that there was little

:08:47.:08:50.

scientific evidence for giving it to healthy people and that it was

:08:50.:08:53.

unethical to give it to children because it made them ill, were

:08:53.:08:57.

backed up today in the Cochrane Report.

:08:57.:09:00.

The official report into swine flu was by Dame Deirdre Hine. She told

:09:00.:09:03.

me that she was working quickly but she openly and honestly identified

:09:03.:09:12.

deficiencies and lessons to be learnt. The conclusions of that

:09:12.:09:16.

review were really a bit of a whitewash in terms of what needed

:09:17.:09:21.

to be learned and our view is that we still yet have to learn the

:09:21.:09:25.

lessons of how this country dealt with the swine flu pandemic.

:09:25.:09:29.

Government published a new pandemic flu strategy in November in which

:09:29.:09:34.

more emphasis is placed on local decision-making in the early

:09:34.:09:38.

decisions and just finding out how dangerous a virus is and less on

:09:38.:09:41.

trying to contain it. But our doctors argue that it could

:09:41.:09:44.

be worse in future because legislation being considered would

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hand more power to the Secretary of State over public health.

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And our Michele joins us now. Scathing criticisms we heard in

:09:56.:10:02.

your report, have decisions being taken at all? The regional director

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for public health says that those experiences are not her experiences

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and NHS West Midlands has also said they do not accept those

:10:10.:10:15.

experiences. They said there was obviously a need of clear control

:10:15.:10:19.

circumstances because this was a pandemic and you have to have some

:10:19.:10:22.

control from the centre but clearly there are issues to do with the way

:10:22.:10:27.

in which these things are directed. And that they do not have power

:10:27.:10:30.

over trust boards to tell them what to do, they can only guide them.

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are talking about this nearly three years on so why should we care?

:10:35.:10:39.

There are issues about whether people died because of this because

:10:39.:10:42.

people were not taken to hospital because the advice was they may

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have swine flu which is actually a mild disease and they may have had

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something far more serious. Beyond that, an issue to do with the

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future in that the Government has plans to create an organisation

:10:52.:10:57.

called Public Health England which will actually concentrate the

:10:57.:11:02.

powers in a body which is related to government and so it would

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become an organ of the Civil Service and issues happening then

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may happen again and they want the flexibility to be able to have a

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local response to an epidemic. One man has died and another

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suffered a broken arm in an incident at a cement works in Rugby.

:11:16.:11:19.

Emergency services were called to Cemex UK's plant at Lawford Road

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just before 2am this morning. The Health and Safety Executive is

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investigating. Cemex was fined �200,000 over the death of one of

:11:28.:11:30.

its employees in an explosion three years ago.

:11:30.:11:32.

Detectives investigating the murder of a couple in Birmingham say they

:11:32.:11:39.

don't believe the theft of gold was a motive. Avtar and Carole Kolar

:11:39.:11:42.

were discovered at their home in Handsworth Wood a week ago. Last

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night police were granted a further 36 hours to question a 37-year-old

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man arrested on Monday. Teachers furious at plans to turn

:11:50.:11:53.

their school into an academy say they're planning to go on strike

:11:53.:11:56.

next week for the second time over the issue. Education Secretary

:11:56.:11:58.

Michael Gove says, to improve standards, under-performing schools

:11:58.:12:04.

should be run by outside sponsors. A number of secondary schools in

:12:04.:12:07.

our region have already made the switch. Critics say the changes are

:12:07.:12:14.

unfair to families and amount to Montgomery Primary in Sparkbrook is

:12:14.:12:18.

a school, which according to Ofsted, is making satisfactory progress.

:12:19.:12:21.

But the Government says that's not good enough - it's under-performing.

:12:21.:12:26.

Education officials came here with a firm message. The school should

:12:27.:12:34.

be an academy, with sponsorship. The fact that schools are being

:12:34.:12:37.

told by the Government they should become an academy has caused much

:12:37.:12:40.

controversy and this school next Wednesday, Thursday teachers will

:12:40.:12:45.

go on strike. We have asked Birmingham City Council for a, and

:12:45.:12:49.

they said it was a matter for the Government. In a statement, the

:12:50.:12:59.
:13:00.:13:04.

Mohammed Ashraf sympathises with striking teachers. With a daughter

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in Year 6, he's calling for proper consultation. If the Government

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wants to see this big society, and empowering people, why do they

:13:18.:13:28.
:13:28.:13:29.

force people against our wishes or without us having a say?

:13:29.:13:32.

At the Westwood Academy in Coventry, the school cook's been replaced by

:13:32.:13:35.

a former Royal Navy chef. One freedom, the head says, of a

:13:35.:13:37.

comprehensive school becoming an academy last September. A local

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computer firm is a sponsor and Ofsted has just rated its teaching

:13:40.:13:46.

as "outstanding". Suddenly where money would have been top sliced,

:13:46.:13:49.

all that money comes into the school so we have to be much more

:13:50.:13:54.

careful about how we spend that money and look for improvements in

:13:54.:14:01.

services for the children and the catchment area we serve.

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Around a dozen primaries in Birmingham alone could become

:14:03.:14:08.

academies. Campaigners say there's no evidence it'll improve standards.

:14:08.:14:13.

There are virtually no primary school academies in existence so

:14:13.:14:18.

there is no academies. The Government cannot 0.2 successful

:14:18.:14:23.

primary academies because it there are not any -- cannot point too

:14:23.:14:26.

successful. Schools that are improving will

:14:26.:14:28.

still be considered under- performing if new targets for

:14:28.:14:31.

English and maths are not met. The Education Secretary is facing a

:14:31.:14:34.

showdown with his critics, who he's described as "enemies of reform".

:14:34.:14:37.

Staff at the BBC's studios at The Mailbox in Birmingham have begun a

:14:37.:14:44.

24-hour strike. About 80 members of the broadcasting union, BECTU,

:14:44.:14:47.

walked out in protest at plans to transfer jobs and production to

:14:47.:14:49.

Bristol. The move would affect programmes currently made in the

:14:49.:14:54.

city including Coast, Countryfile and Hairy Bikers. Protesters claim

:14:54.:15:03.

it will turn Birmingham into a media ghost town. Moving these jobs

:15:03.:15:07.

to Salford or Bristol says no money, it does not make a better plan,

:15:07.:15:12.

there is nothing strategic about it. They have got a 25 Lydia lease and

:15:12.:15:17.

we have no idea what they are going to do with it. -- a 25 year lease.

:15:17.:15:21.

The BBC didn't want to put anybody up for comment but in a statement,

:15:21.:15:23.

a spokesman said: It is disappointing that BECTU members

:15:23.:15:26.

have gone ahead with industrial action and we remain open to

:15:26.:15:33.

We apologise to our audience for any disruption to service.

:15:33.:15:36.

Still to come in tonight's programme, who'll come out on top

:15:36.:15:40.

as Wolves and Blues prepare to meet again in the FA Cup?

:15:40.:15:44.

Yes, let's hope they're not rained off. It's turning wetter and

:15:44.:15:47.

windier, and as for the temperatures, is that it for the

:15:47.:15:57.
:15:57.:16:00.

mild weather or is there more? Find The price of gold has travelled

:16:00.:16:04.

with investors rushing to buy it as the economy struggles. It has led

:16:04.:16:08.

to a big increase in trying to pass off cheap imitations as the real

:16:08.:16:15.

things. Birmingham's Assay Office is offering courses to pawnbrokers

:16:15.:16:21.

and antique dealers so they do not get ripped off.

:16:21.:16:24.

Buying and selling gold is big business. This firm in Birmingham's

:16:24.:16:27.

Jewellery Quarter has seen turnover increase from �12 million five

:16:27.:16:32.

years ago to �250 million now. But that old saying that "all that

:16:32.:16:37.

glitters is not gold" is ringing truer than ever. One in ten

:16:37.:16:41.

customers are trying to sell fake gold. Five years ago, it was one in

:16:41.:16:51.
:16:51.:16:54.

a 100. It is really shocking, some of the things. Sometimes they have

:16:54.:16:58.

got nine inside a shank but when you tested, sometimes it is just

:16:58.:17:03.

not gold at all. This box of mixed gold is worth

:17:03.:17:13.

�100,000. These 22-carat gold And �100,000 of precious metal goes

:17:13.:17:20.

into a melting pot, and is poured into a mould to make gold bars.

:17:20.:17:24.

The price of gold is around �34 per gram, compared to �10 five years

:17:24.:17:30.

ago. Nearly 70 tonnes of fine gold was scrapped in the UK and Ireland

:17:30.:17:40.
:17:40.:17:42.

At Birmingham's Assay Office people are flocking to a one-day course to

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

learn about the trade. It's thought to be the only one of its kind.

:17:53.:17:57.

originally started a because people ask us. The first course sold out

:17:57.:18:01.

in short notice. This will be followed by another course in two

:18:01.:18:04.

weeks which is already sold out and we are looking desperately for more

:18:04.:18:10.

day it. -- Maude date. The British Jewellers' Association

:18:10.:18:15.

is working on plans for guidelines surrounding buying and selling gold.

:18:15.:18:19.

We are putting together a code of conduct so people buying gold work

:18:19.:18:25.

to a common set of standards. They will keep records of the

:18:25.:18:28.

transactions being taken place and if they have CCTV, they will have

:18:28.:18:30.

images. The Birmingham Assay Office tests

:18:30.:18:34.

and hallmarks precious metals. Experts there are passing tips to

:18:34.:18:37.

others in their one-off courses to protect the reputation of the

:18:37.:18:47.
:18:47.:18:49.

That is fascinating. When John was there and our cameraman, three

:18:49.:18:55.

customers came in with more than �100,000 worth of gold in that time.

:18:55.:18:58.

Astonishing. A dog owner is spending thousands

:18:58.:19:01.

to find his beloved terrier, Alfie, who went missing five days ago.

:19:01.:19:05.

It's thought Alfie is lost in a badger sett but all efforts to find

:19:05.:19:08.

him have failed. Now the worried owner has called in a specialist

:19:08.:19:11.

rescue team whose main task is to find earthquake victims buried in

:19:11.:19:17.

the debris. Joan Cummins reports. Alfie? Alfie?

:19:17.:19:20.

Rod Chivers and his family have been maintaining at a vigil at this

:19:20.:19:23.

disused railway line in Rugby since his pet terrier Alfie disappeared

:19:23.:19:33.
:19:33.:19:33.

on Saturday. It is the not knowing which is destroying me. It was my

:19:33.:19:37.

wife's dog and she died three years ago. It is my lifeline.

:19:37.:19:40.

Alfie had vanished into an entrance hole of a badger sett, before the

:19:40.:19:43.

family could start searching. They had to gain a licence from Natural

:19:44.:19:47.

England who allowed them to employ a drain expert with an underground

:19:47.:19:49.

camera. Despite probing eight meteres of tunnels, no sign of

:19:49.:19:56.

Alfie. Today, four days after his disappearance, the family called in

:19:56.:19:59.

search experts from West Midlands Fire Service. Specialist listening

:19:59.:20:01.

devices and probes usually used to detect casulaties in earthquakes

:20:01.:20:11.
:20:11.:20:14.

were used through the undergrowth. If Alfie is detected under

:20:14.:20:17.

legislation, the firefighters have to get permission to disturb the

:20:17.:20:21.

badger sett. Rod agreed to pay �700 an hour to

:20:21.:20:23.

use the services of the search specialists but despite repeatedly

:20:23.:20:31.

testing the area, there was still no sign or sound of Alfie. With the

:20:31.:20:35.

equipment we have, we have done as much of a search as we can of that

:20:35.:20:39.

back as possible. I am confident if Alfie work there, making any sort

:20:39.:20:43.

of indication, we would have located him. Unfortunately that has

:20:43.:20:48.

not been the case. When you have to accept the inevitable? No, no. He

:20:48.:20:52.

is out there somewhere. We will find him.

:20:52.:20:55.

It's said that dogs are man's best friend. Today demonstrated

:20:55.:20:58.

perfectly by a man determined to stop at nothing to find his best

:20:58.:21:08.
:21:08.:21:12.

We would love to give you some good news, but we cannot yet.

:21:12.:21:15.

And the search for Alfie is continuing tonight. Still no news

:21:15.:21:20.

on his whereabouts at the moment. There's a Midlands derby in the FA

:21:20.:21:27.

Cup tonight. But Wolves against Birmingham City isn't exactly a

:21:27.:21:33.

sell-out. Ian Winter is live at Molineux. A bit quiet for a match

:21:33.:21:39.

night but that is not because it has at 8 o'clock kick-off. Or

:21:39.:21:42.

because it's live on TV. It's typical of a growing trend. Just

:21:42.:21:45.

look at the facts. In 1954, 36,000 were here to see Blues beat Wolves

:21:45.:21:51.

in the FA Cup. Tonight, the crowd could be around one third of that

:21:51.:21:54.

figure. But there's one player who doesn't mind a bit.

:21:54.:21:57.

Coming in from the cold. The nightmare is finally over for

:21:57.:22:04.

Michael Kightly. The Wolves winger has battled back from the same

:22:04.:22:06.

career-threatening injury as Owen Hargreaves, patella tendonitis.

:22:06.:22:13.

That's baffled top surgeons across Europe and beyond. You were such a

:22:13.:22:17.

huge favourite with the bull fans before injury and a lot of them

:22:17.:22:23.

have feared that they would never see playing in a shirt again -- a

:22:23.:22:29.

favourite with the Wolves fans. Happily... I know I am through that

:22:29.:22:33.

and I can hopefully show them that I am still the player I was.

:22:33.:22:37.

COMMENTATOR: And here is Michael Kightly.

:22:37.:22:40.

Kightly's loan spell with Watford proved a huge success. He scored

:22:40.:22:43.

three goals, was Man of the Match half a dozen times, and now he's

:22:43.:22:48.

played the last two games for Wolves. Don't be surprised if he's

:22:48.:22:51.

left out tonight, to be fresh to face Aston Villa on Saturday. And

:22:51.:22:55.

judging from the goalless bore at St Andrew's, it could be a good one

:22:55.:23:02.

to miss. Why it is on TV after the first game, I don't know, after the

:23:02.:23:06.

first game. It was a fairly flat affair pulled up lightning cannot

:23:06.:23:16.
:23:16.:23:21.

10 days ago, fewer than 15,000 fans saw the game at St Andrew's and

:23:21.:23:25.

tonight, the crowd could be even smaller. For those who watched the

:23:25.:23:31.

first one, probably won't come back. At 14,000 not coming already put up

:23:31.:23:35.

the difference is, let me tell you, it will be a barnstorming, rip-

:23:35.:23:40.

roaring Cup tie. Put more pressure on off to win it, they are the home

:23:40.:23:47.

team. -- put more pressure on Wolves to win it. I'm quite looking

:23:47.:23:49.

forward to it. Last season in the Premier League

:23:49.:23:52.

at Molinuex, Wolves beat Birmingham 1-0. No-one would be shocked if

:23:52.:23:58.

You can see the full interview with Michael Kightly on the Midlands

:23:58.:24:03.

Today Facebook page. So, could the clubs do more to encourage fans not

:24:03.:24:11.

to abandon the FA Cup? Jez Moxey is the Wolves chief executive. There's

:24:11.:24:18.

a lot more football today than there was in 1934. It is 24 hour

:24:18.:24:24.

media coverage of the sport. We had to pitch it right, ticket prices,

:24:24.:24:29.

and we have done that tonight. Above all else, we need to play

:24:29.:24:34.

attractive football and win games and they will come. Is there a case

:24:34.:24:38.

for scrapping FA Cup replays altogether? I think if you're not

:24:38.:24:41.

careful, you can dilute the competition too much and I do not

:24:41.:24:47.

think that is an agenda at the moment. We have to make sure that

:24:47.:24:52.

we win and don't have a replay. have slashed the ticket prices.

:24:52.:24:56.

Mick McCarthy has promised an attacking formation. Are you going

:24:56.:25:02.

for it tonight? We have won the FA Cup four times in our history. 4th

:25:02.:25:05.

round for nine consecutive years and we were like to do that again.

:25:05.:25:10.

This time around with Sheffield United, a special club, faced in

:25:10.:25:14.

the next round. Thank you, may the best team win.

:25:14.:25:17.

Don't forget BBC WM has full coverage on tonight's game. And on

:25:17.:25:20.

Friday, we'll have a special profile on Robbie Keane, by his

:25:20.:25:22.

best pal, Matt Murray, before Wolves play Villa in the Premier

:25:22.:25:32.
:25:32.:25:34.

Mick McCarthy is a man who gets things off his mind. He does not

:25:34.:25:36.

sit on the fence! Here's Shefali with the weather

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

We have got some cloud and a bit of light, drizzly rain but that will

:25:47.:25:50.

be over and done with before the heavier stuff piled in. It will be

:25:50.:25:58.

a mild night. The mild conditions are from today and these were our a

:25:58.:26:02.

maximum temperatures. Hereford was the warmest place with highs of

:26:02.:26:09.

around pole Celsius and that is way above the average -- around 12

:26:09.:26:17.

Celsius. This is what we have across us right now. Drizzly rain

:26:17.:26:25.

and cloud. The main band of rain comes in from the West. It will be

:26:25.:26:32.

heavy in places to. The north of the region will be drier than

:26:32.:26:36.

elsewhere and and all of this, feeling mild with lows of around

:26:36.:26:40.

seven Celsius. Hill fog and the breeze will pick up as the rain

:26:40.:26:44.

heads in soap tomorrow morning, quite windy and it will be fairly

:26:44.:26:49.

wet as well. This whole band moves to the south so much drier across

:26:49.:26:54.

all parts by the afternoon. Sunshine as well in between is the

:26:54.:26:58.

cloud breaks up. Temperatures tomorrow with highs of nine Celsius

:26:58.:27:03.

in central and southern parts but as cold ANA's into the North,

:27:03.:27:13.
:27:13.:27:14.

temperatures a bit lower. -- but as cold moves into the North. A warm

:27:14.:27:20.

front moves in through on Friday and we will be into warm sectors

:27:20.:27:23.

are temporarily temperatures pick up on Saturday and showers through

:27:23.:27:29.

A look at tonight's main headlines: UK unemployment hits a 17-year high.

:27:29.:27:32.

Figures for the three months to November show the jobless total hit

:27:32.:27:35.

nearly 2.7 million. And figures for the West Midlands

:27:35.:27:37.

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