27/01/2012 Midlands Today


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Good evening and welcome to the start of the weekend at Midlands


Today. Come to that -- consultants say they are appalled by proposed


cuts they say threaten patient care at the Birmingham hospital.


can't make cuts like that and still have effective, intact services.


Partially paralysed - the motor cyclist injured by a hit and run


driver bags for an apology. All I want is somebody to turn around and


say I'm sorry, it didn't see you, or I am sorry, I wasn't paying


attention. The education secretary different


plans to turn dozens more schools into academies. It is rescuing


those children from years of underperformance.


And farewell to a legend as the cricketing world says goodbye to


Basil don of error of Good evening. Our top story - big


cuts at three hospitals as consultants warn patient care will


be affected. The cuts being proposed by the trust which runs


Birmingham City Hospital, Sandwell General Hospital and Rowley Regis


Hospital are among the largest in the region. �125 million has to be


saved spread over five years. That's an average of 6.5 per cent a


year. The health union Unison claims cuts on this scale will put


patients' lives at risk. But hospital managers said tonight


they're dealing with the challenge. Here's our health correspondent


Michele Paduano. There have been fears about the


trust's future for some time. Last night senior doctors held an


extraordinary meeting to find out. Dr Ken Taylor, a retired doctor,


was at that meeting. Doctors were told about �125 million in cuts


over five years. And no one was safe. They heard all the fact last


night, and I think it was probably shock last night at the enormity of


the situation but they face. You can't make cuts like that and still


have effective, intact services. the next financial year, over 9


million must be saved from the This site in Smethwick is earmarked


for a new "single" hospital. It is only a small part of the cards.


Having won hospital here would greatly improve efficiency. But the


hospital was supposed to have been built by 2010. The latest delay is


caused by the government deciding whether the private financing of


hospitals that are still affordable. There are some doctors who don't


believe it will get built. The chief executive says there is no


Plan B and is confident he will get the new hospital. He wants to


reassure staff that all hospitals have a similar uphill struggle.


think it would be stupid and naive to suggest this is not a tough


agenda. The situation we are facing is the same across the whole of the


hospital sector in the NHS. It is all part of the 20 billion in


savings which everybody is familiar with the that the NHS is required


to make. Patient were worried it today. I'm lucky I am not ill, but


I do worry about people in hospital, it is a worry. At the end of the


day, they have to offer a service, and have the finances are minimised,


how are they going to be able to offer the same service? We are


going to suffer, nobody else. Bebo are losing jobs already.


there's only one certainty. The NHS can't be the same. Is it going to


be the same throughout the region? It is the first time I have heard


of is happening, but we're talking about 4.5% cuts for all hospitals,


that will be taking place, but there is a feeling that district


general hospitals will be hit harder, and politically, people


think there is a desire to squeeze them out of existence in favour of


bigger hospitals. If that is the case, but politicians do have to


come forward with those proposals, because if you're cutting and


captain, they risk a danger to patients save D. What is the impact


likely to be of cutting back budgets on this scale? It is


difficult to say, but 7% of hospitals budget is staff. One


doctor talked about -- 70%. It could be up to a third of staff,


thousands and thousands of people. We are talking serious numbers, and


people do not know how they're going to make these cuts over five


years. Thanks for joining us this evening.


Later in the programme, a big change on the way for the weather


this weekend. Yes, it's certainly looking cold, and you may well have


heard a rumour about some snow! Well, there's a chance, later on


Sunday - but it's a very uncertain forecast. The details, from me,


A motorcyclist left partially paralysed after a hit and run


accident today begged the driver to apologise. John Parsons was left


for dead on a road in Stoke-on- Trent.


His spine was fractured in three places and he now faces months in a


specialist hospital in Shropshire. He's been talking exclusively to


our reporter Joanne Writtle. John Parsons' family have become


his rock since this happened. remember being thrown in the air, I


remember skidding along the ground, banging my lead, -- leg, and it was


torn up for it. The 24-year-old motorcyclist was hit by a car on


the A500 in Stoke-on-Trent. Two weeks on, police are still


appealing for help to trace the driver who left him in the road.


John, from Stafford, has been left partially paralysed, and faces


months in the renowned spinal injuries centre in Oswestry. All I


want is somebody to turn around and say, I am sorry, I didn't see you,


all I'm sorry, I just wasn't paying attention. I am sorry, that is all


I want, somebody to say that. More than anything else. Apart from that,


I don't really care. Department of Transport figures reveal that


travelling over the same distance, motorcyclists are 63 times more


likely to be killed or seriously injured than car drivers. And


although it's not known whether the driver was insured in John's case,


it's estimated that there are over 1.5 million uninsured motorists on


our roads. We understand that in a number of these accidents, it is


the car drivers's fault, and probably it is when the motor


cyclist is going through a blind spot on the mirror of the car


driver, that is when things happen. John's stepfather had this message


for the driver. It might be that the person has done it panicked,


drove off, we were initially very angry that had happened, but if


they actually come forward and speak to the police, we can get


John's case covered. X-rays show John's spine fractured in three


places. But he has recently regained some movement in one leg,


and doctors are optimistic. And before we left, there was another


small breakthrough. Just having the neck brace off and be able to


actually move your neck free is absolutely amazing, to be honest.


We wish him a speedy recovery. The Education secretary Michael


Gove was met by protests today as he visited the first school in


Birmingham to convert to Academy status.


He wants more schools to go the same way, insisting standards will


be raised. But opponents say it's playing politics with children's


education. Here's our political reporter Susana Mendonca.


An English class with a difference. The man up front clearly isn't


there teacher. Did you like the TV show or find it too confusing?


education secretary is discussion and a book called Animal Farm. This


was a foundation school, but converted to become an academy.


great thing about them is that head teachers have more power to raise


standards, so they can vary the school's Bay, the curriculum could


bring in new qualifications, they can pay good teachers more.


there is a positive reaction in this classroom. It does make a


difference to schools, so far it has made the score better.


started GCSEs a year earlier, so you get more of a chance.


government has invited all schools to convert, and so far, 17 have


done exactly that. But not everyone is convinced that academies are a


good idea. Teachers at his primary went on strike this week at the


plans to turn their school into an academy, and many parents there


have been protesting as well. force a school, giving it no-choice,


to say either you become an Academy or we will come inside, remove your


governors, and make it... It is not democratic. But Michael Gove makes


no apology. It is not a state -- is threat to the children, it is


rescuing them from years of underperformance. Whenever you


change things, the people who are associated with failure say they


are criticising us. Yes I am, because they have allowed children


to leave drama school after seven years of state education, incapable


of reading, writing or adding up properly. He had already left by


the time they turned up. Clearly, this is a fight that is not over.


And Susana's outside Ninestiles School in Acocks Green now. We've


heard Michael Gove's case for academies, why are people against


them, Susana? Many other teachers and teaching unions are worried


about a potential impact upon their pay and conditions. They had those


of local authorities, but academies would be outside of local authority


control, so would have to start from scratch. Some of the parents I


had been speaking to think there will be a lack of accountability,


they will not be on parent-governor boards, but had teacher he says


there are the ways parents can get involved. A third area is whether


or not there would be a two-tier system, where the Academy's get


more funding, and the local authority schools do not. Michael


Gove was keen to say today that is not the case. Assuming they are


going to improve standards, how will we know? It is a difficult


question to answer, the critics say there is no evidence that they will


improve standards, the government says there is. But you only know


when you see the results that students get at the end of their


academic career, and at schools, a child start at a young age, bins at


beer GCSEs, so you could be looking at more than a decade of -- ends at


did GCSEs. Thank you. This region, which of course has


always been known as the heart of British manufacturing, has suffered


a bigger industrial slump than anywhere else in the UK. That's


according to latest figures spanning more than a decade.


Now one senior Labour MP has admitted that his government didn't


do enough to help prevent the decline. Our Business Correspondent


Peter Plisner has been to Coventry, a city that was once the centre of


the UK's automotive industry. dawn has broken.


A new dawn for the UK as the 1997 general election sweeps Labour into


power, but it wasn't a new dawn for Things didn't get better for many


of the region's small manufacturing businesses. At this Coventry firm,


the last decade has been a struggle. A real roller-coaster ride, we have


seen good years at the outset, around 2000, 2001, we have seen a


gradual decline, and some of the major companies we used to supply,


household names, have gone. Coventry has had its fair share of


big factory closures. This is the site of the old Peugeot factory on


the outskirts of the city. It's part of the reason that the West


Midlands has seen a 23% decline in manufacturing output over the last


13 years - the biggest decline anywhere in the country. But it


used to be so different - this newsreel footage shows a royal


visit to the Jaguar car plant Brown's lane. But this is what it


looks like today. At Coventry's Transport Museum, there's an


exhibit charting the rise and fall of the city's automotive industry.


It's a good place to find out from experts why the decline in


manufacturing here been so bad here. What he saw sterling may be 20%


overvalued, that affected our export base. Customers really


struggled for much of the period because of that. In and we saw a


run-down and closure of energy Rover. It all begs the question,


did the Labour government do enough to protect manufacturing jobs?


didn't. We have got to be more, we have got to have a different


approach for the future. This is a key point, manufacturing companies


need access to finance and we have got to persuade young people that


it has a bright future. Despite deep recession, employment levels


are rising again. It is good news for a government keen to rebalance


The let's talk to Steve from the chambers of commerce. What is the


problem, what needs to be done to turn things around, some


manufacturers are doing well. think if you go back to the late


1990s and look at my factory which is becoming unfashionable, there


was an obsession with the financial sector and going forward.


Furthermore, the skills were a big issue. What we saw was a further


obsession with wanting to upscale everybody in terms of sending them


to university. Would you make of Labour admitting they did not do


enough to prevent a decline? -- what do you make? Apologies, we


have lost him. We will go back later if we can. Basil D'Oliveira


did not seek... Still ahead for you this evening - tributes to a


sporting great Basil D'Oliviera, who was so much more than just a


fine cricketer. And how one Premier League club's helping disabled


footballers get to the top in their chosen sport.


Details were revealed today of plans to build a home in the


grounds of a Birmingham hospital for families of injured soldiers


and airmen. The 18 bed property at the Queen Elizabeth will cost four


million pounds, to be paid for partly by charities including Help


for Heroes. The idea's to give military personnel injured in


Afghanistan a place where they can spend time with their nearest and


dearest while they recover. Giles Latcham reports.


In the Houses of Parliament a special occasion to herald a


special project - the building of Fisher House - an idea imported


from an American charity who are helping to meet the �4.2 million


cost. Are my trees have stood shoulder to shoulder and our people


have a special relationship. We disagree from time to time but at


the end of the day if there is trouble the other one is always


there. As I said, I do not view it from the American point of view, a


foreign soil, I view this as an extension of family. This car park


at Birmingham's QE Hospital is where Fisher House will be built.


It will be designed like you are in my home, living room, kitchen, a


big family room for people to spend time together but 18 large family


bedrooms. There's already something like it on a smaller scale. This


home three miles away near the old Selly Oak hospital accommodates the


families of soldiers or airmen injured abroad and flown back to


Birmingham's military hospital. When Paul's son Craig lost both his


legs in Helmand just before Christmas, he moved in to be close


to him, along with Craig's girlfriend. From a family 0.22, it


is a good accommodation. It allows us to be here. Close to him and not


travelling a long way to be here. - family point of view. With the


Royal Centre for Defence Medicine's now based at the new Queen


Elizabeth hospital site, there's an opportunity to build a bigger and


better home. And those who care for the injured say bringing family


closer can only aid recovery. Help for Heroes is another charity


contributing to the cost of the building, but more funds are needed


to run it. Work on the QE's home away from home is due to begin in


April. The cricketing world said goodbye


today to Basil D'Olivera - a player who influenced so much more than


the game he graced with bat and ball. More than a thousand people


gathered at Worcester cathedral today for a memorial service to a


cricketer who also played a significant part in the fall of


apartheid in his native South Africa. Ian Winter was there.


It was a few degrees colder than Cape Town but not a sunny as South


Africa. Under blue skies in Worcester it felt like the


cricketing gods were smiling with fond memories of Basil D'Oliveira.


Famous faces mingled with less familiar cricket lovers each with


their own favourite story about a friend they called Basil. We have


been amazed at the response and the cards and everything. You do not


realise, it has been such a long time and so many people remember


him so well. A wonderful gentleman at the time when he had the


political problem of not being selected but a real gentleman as


far as I was concerned in cricket. Basil D'Oliveira learnt cricket in


Cape Town, everyone noticed his remarkable talent except the South


African government he only saw the colour of his skin. You are born in


a certain area and told to live there, you are told where to go to


school and walk buses to use. It becomes part of you. You live in


the system. You cannot measure it against anything. In 1964 at a 32,


he arrived at New Road, fell in love with Worcestershire and stayed


for the rest of his life. I was forced to smile when I read the


Daily Telegraph which said, Basil D'Oliveira, the cricketer who died


n least 80. -- at least 80. Every seat was taken, similarly heartfelt


tributes, so much genuine affection. Some recall the prolific all


rounder with 44 Test caps, others his outstanding success with


Worcestershire. Everyone a knowledge to his unique role in


helping to end apartheid. I wonder how good he would have been if he


came here when he was 20. I think he would have been possibly up with


the greats rather than just a legend. For almost 30 years as a


player and coach, Basil D'Oliveira was synonymous with Worcestershire


county cricket clubs. Today, they gave thanks for the life of a


legend. Ian's still in Worcester tonight. A poignant occasion, Ian,


but one for celebration too? Yes, very celebratory as well. I


was here for a another memorial service and this was different in


style, context and tone. Basil D'Oliveira was 80 after a long


battle with Parkinson's disease. This was a celebration of his life.


And a magnificent turn out at the cathedral. An indication of what a


significant figure he was. I have never seen Worcester


Cathedral so full. There must have been at least to 1000, close to


1,500 people here. Lenny BG's and tributes. Sir Michael Parkinson


said he was an outstanding talent, hard work and will power to succeed.


He was a hero in the battle against apartheid. His former captain said


he was a true legend of Worcestershire cricket and the


former secretary at new road said in many ways Basil D'Oliveira had


reached all lives on his remarkable journey. Full coverage of the


service on BBC Hereford and Worcester tomorrow morning and a


gallery of pictures to look at by looking on to the website. Lovely


to see this archive pictures. In football, West Bromwich Albion are


aiming for revenge when they host Norwich City in the FA Cup tomorrow


after losing to them just two weeks ago in the Premier League. But away


from the cup and Premier League the club does much good work. This week


it was announced The Hawthorns will be the home to a new academy which


aims to produce football stars for the Paralympics. It's already home


to some of the best blind footballers in the land. Now future


internationals will be groomed at West Bromwich Albion to follow in


the footsteps of Paralympics hopeful Darren Harris from


Wolverhampton. There has always been a lot of talent in this area.


I think we have brought some schoolkids along today, 15, 16 and


had split with this investment we will produce some good players for


the future. The club's disability section, Sporting Club Albion, will


become a centre of excellence thanks to a grant of 8 thousand


pounds a year from the football association. And to celebrate first


team players Ben Foster and Nicky Shorey joined in with a session


this week. Blind football is about the sounds, hitting the ball and


every noise of the walls. And with guidance of where the posts are -


Shorey was able to beat Foster with a spot kick. The players are quite


good. I am quite shocked. It is nice to see, you realise how good


they are. The Midlands already boasts excellent facilities for


blind football in Hereford. It's hosted the world cup in 2010 and is


the base for England. Now young players from across the region can


aspire to play for England and dream of Paralympics gold.


That is astonishing. How do they do it? And to keep up with all the


action involving your club this weekend in the cup or the league,


there'll be full coverage on your BBC local radio station. I reckon


you might have to wrap up warm. Yes, temperatures are taking a


tumble as we head into the weekend. A forecasting headache for the end,


snow ought not to snow? For the time being, ice is concerning us. A


yellow warning tonight and tomorrow. Showers are falling, some contain


some wintry stuff, on high ground. They were cleared away, the skies


will clear. Temperatures will plummet. No wonder there is the


risk of slippery surfaces. There might be cloud around tomorrow, in


the south-east with mist and fog. That will clear away and tomorrow


will be a cracking day, fine and dry with blue skies. You need to


wrap up well, highs of five or six. Through tomorrow night,


temperatures plunging again. A haze of blue. A widespread frost and


freezing fog patches. Sunday, quite a quiet day. Cloud, cold with


temperatures at two or three. Sunday evening, things will get


interesting. A battleground in the weather, cold air from the east and


mild air rushing in from the West. This band of rain, did finding --


defining line and where it meets the cold air a spell of sleet or


snow. Some big uncertainty about where it will come. The worst of


the snow will be in the west across Wales but it could first western


parts of our region. On Monday morning, my advice is to stay in


tune with the forecast. Sorry if you heard me coughing is


your report! -- over your report. A look at tonight's main headlines:


The backlash over bonuses - politicians line up to criticise


the Royal Bank of Scotland payout. And as hospital bosses in


Birmingham insist they can safely manage millions in cutbacks,


consultants say standards of care will be affected. And more about


but reduction in manufacturer on the Sunday politics show. You can


read all about it on his blog. It is of course the start of the


weekend. I don't know what you're up to but do you fancy spending it


in Birmingham? That's what the readers of the New York Times'


travel section are being advised to do. Not Birmingham Alabama but


Birmingham, West Midlands. The paper calls city, big-shouldered,


friendly and fun. Among its suggestions are a trip to the


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