07/02/2012 Midlands Today


07/02/2012

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

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The headlines tonight: Facing a lengthy jail sentence - the Roman

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Catholic priest found guilty of abusing young boys.

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And I am bitter but I also feel sorry because it is help as much as

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punishment that he needs. Anger over supermarket plans which

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residents and traders say will turn their high street into a ghost town.

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We Australia gained this, we want to maintain a market town. Born a

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boy but living as a girl - the 10- year-old convinced she was born in

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the wrong body now campaigning against transgender inequality.

:00:42.:00:46.

And how American giant Coca Cola turned to a gaming firm here for

:00:46.:00:56.
:00:56.:01:00.

Good evening, welcome to Tuesday's Midlands Today from the BBC.

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Tonight - a Roman Catholic priest has been told he'll face a lengthy

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jail sentence after being found guilty of abusing eight vulnerable

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young boys over an 18-year period. Alexander Bede Walsh, who is 58,

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has been convicted of 21 charges of abusing young boys, between 1975

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and 1993. The police officer who led the inquiry said Walsh was

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supposed to be a man of the cloth but he'd shown no compassion, no

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integrity and no humanity. And tonight the Catholic Church has

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said proceedings are under way to de-frock Walsh so he can never work

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as priest again. Alexander Bede Walsh, here on the

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right, was known to thousands of families in the Midlands as Father

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Bede. He used his revered status to abuse boys aged between eight and

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16 in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Michael Clifford was one of those

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victims. The law protects those who have suffered sexual abuse from

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being identified. But he's waived his right to anonymity because he

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says he feels it's important to speak out. He described how he

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feels now towards Walsh, more than 30 years on. I am bitter but I also

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feel sorry for the man because it is help us much as punishment that

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he needs. From what I can see, to this day, they are my feelings

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towards the man. I do want him to be punished but I think he needs

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help as well. How do you feel to what the Catholic Church? Very let

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down because I was put in an institute through no fault of my

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own and they were responsible for my welfare and care my upbringing.

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Walsh spent much of his career, here in the Staffordshire town of

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Cheadle. But his abuse began in Warwickshire - and later it

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continued when he was a parish priest in Coventry. I don't think

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you'd get more serious than this. And man to have entered the

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priesthood, revered organisation, and has abused his position

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massively. This may be only the tip of the iceberg. We may have mothers

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out there, and we have, come forward. The investigation began in

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2009 when it independently to victims contacted the police.

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Following publicity, events T6 more victims came forward. -- eventually

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six more victims. Walsh already had a previous conviction for

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possessing child pornography. He later resigned from his post at a

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parish in Banbury. In North Staffordshire, he'd been a

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respected figure - at this church in Stoke on Trent at mass on the

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first day of his trial, parishoners were asked to remember him in their

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prayers. But tonight the Catholic Church described his crimes as

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"horrendous". This is a horrific case which has shocked and appalled

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me and it has cast a shadow over the lives of many people. Victims

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and their families, fellow priests and the people of the parishes

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where he served as a priest. Walsh will be sentenced next month. The

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judge has already warned him a long jail term is inevitable.

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And you can read more about the background to this case and the

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impact it's had on the victims on our BBC Stoke and Staffordshire

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website. That's bbc.co.uk/stoke. Thanks for joining us this freezing

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Tuesday evening, coming up:. Fighting for understanding and

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acceptance, the 10-year-old who was born a boy but lives as a girl says

:04:39.:04:46.

the media treat her condition as a joke.

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The Midlands is one of the worst areas in the country for the number

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of empty shops, according to a new report by the Local Data Company.

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Wolverhampton is one of the most affected and the city council is

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concerned that people are also being put off shopping there

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because of "chuggers". Chuggers are paid to collect money for charity

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and now the council is introducing a partial ban to allow people to

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shop in peace. We have spoken to people in the City and clearly

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there is a concern about the level of intervention is that people were

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facing a going down Dudley Street, in particular. As a result of that

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we have taken this action to try to regulate the number of chuggers

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allowed on the streets at any one time. Shop vacancies are also on

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the rise as High Street traders are struggling to compete with

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superstores and internet shopping. In one Shropshire town, traders are

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so worried about the impact of a proposed new superstore development

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that they've joined forces to fight it. In the first of our special

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High Street in Crisis reports, our business correspondent, Peter

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Plisner, has been investigating. The busy high street in Newport - a

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market town where until now there's been no real competition from out-

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of-town supermarkets. But that could all be about to change.

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Sainsbury's is planning a huge new store on the outskirts of the town.

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Traders in the High Street are already worried. Anthea Gould runs

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a clothes store. It is all bad foot fault. We need the people to come

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into town to see what we have good and fast to give them the service.

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Meanwhile, at the local bakery the message was clear. The message

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would be safest market town, says the independent retailers. But in

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the High Street itself, opinions seem divided. We're trying to

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support our local traders and it is bad news. I think he will be good

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for the town. Retail experts maintain that the biggest threat to

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the High Street is from outside town shopping and there is evidence

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to suggest that when out of town supermarkets do get the go-ahead,

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places like this are far. This area forms part of the car-park and

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superstore. This is the land that is to be developed, currently a

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greenfield site and local councillors want it to stay that

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way. In May to of traffic this is good to create. You can see the

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work of the road. We are certain that the infrastructure will not

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cater for it. A final decision rests with Telford and Wrekin

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Council - although they say they are still considering objections.

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We will be taking all of their comments into account, looking in

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detail of what they have said. We will also be using our own retail

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consultants to look at the, it's we have received and to evaluate

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whether the supermarket proposals are justified or not. Councillors

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are expected to meeting to discuss the plans, which also includes

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houses and a business park, in the next two months.

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Live now to Peter, who's in Shirley in Solihull, which has a pretty

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busy high street despite having a number of big supermarkets nearby,

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:08:17.:08:20.

so why are some high streets doing OK and others not? In the case of

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Shirley there are two reasons. One is that there are already

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supermarkets on the High Street, which bring people in and increase

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the football. Another reason is that there is free parking. And

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there are some niche product sellers and bay, again, mean that

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people travel into the area and other shops benefit. What more can

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we do to protect the high street? Whitney is Nigel Botterill he was a

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small business troubleshooter. What advice would you give to

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independent stores that are facing the threat of out-of-town

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supermarkets? The shop owners have to adapt or die for. The reality is

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that for 17 years you ran on three things, a big ad in yellow paces,

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at the local paper and word of mouth. That has no change.

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we're working towards social media. Social media is twentieth-century

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word of mouth. How many businesses are engage with Facebook and

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twitter, are they doing events? These are things they can tap into

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to save themselves. How important is social media? I think it is

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crucial, it is where the world is right now. Half the population of

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the UK today is on Facebook and did you are a business you need to be

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there because that is where your customers are. You need to

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communicate with them, get offers through. Tomorrow we will be

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looking at another issue in the High Street, hype rents and rates,

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and the businesses who are going online and abandoning the High

:09:57.:10:00.

Street. Four people, including two teenage

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girls, have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a

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Worcester man who died in an arson attack. Andrew Heath was killed

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just before Christmas when his flat in the Warndon area of the city was

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set on fire. Police say two men aged 19 and 24, and two girls aged

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16 and 17, are being questioned about Mr. Heath's murder.

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Police say a 40-year-old man found murdered in Birmingham was soon to

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get married. Bakhitar Mirawdali died from a wound to his neck. His

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body lay undiscovered for two days at a hostel in Handsworth. He'd

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been granted political asylum but was due to return to Iraq to marry

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his fiancee. Detectives are appealing to members of the Kurdish

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community and local people for help in identifying his killer. It is

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important that we understand what happened in the days leading up to

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the discovery of Mr Mariawdali. He was a very peaceful manner we know

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little about him and his family and we were to urge anybody who knows

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to come forward. It was tragedy that left a little

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boy orphaned and a family distraught. Terri-Ann Barnett and

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her partner Tom Matts were walking down the road when they were

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crushed by falling timber after a lorry crashed and lost its load.

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Now, a year on, their family are suing the haulage firm that left

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the couple's son, Morgan, without a mum and dad and the bright future

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they'd planned for him. Amy Harris reports.

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Morgan Matts playing happily, blissfully unaware of what happened

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a year ago today. Both his parents were killed in an accident.

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Morgan's too young to understand he'll never see them again. It'll

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be up to his nan and auntie to explain: He has recently started

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asking when his money coming back, just said suing because he quarters

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of card. And then afterwards we discussed what to say to him when

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he asks again and we were going to explain to him that they're in

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heaven and that they love him very much. This is one of the last

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photographs taken of Morgan with his mum, Terri-Ann, and dad, Tom.

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Just weeks later they were dead. They were walking along this

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stretch of road in Hereford, moments after dropping Morgan at

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nursery, when a lorry carrying roof joists hit the bridge. The load

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fell and crushed them. A year on, the bridge still bears the signs of

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the accident - there's timber on the wall here. And the driver of

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that lorry has been released from prison after serving half of a one-

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year sentence. The couple's family believe that wasn't long enough,

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but they are pursuing civil action against the haulage company where

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he worked. The load hadn't been measured before leaving so they

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didn't know the height of his load - so because of that we're going to

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sue their insurance company for taking away the 18 years of love

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and support that Morgan's going to lose from his parents. The haulage

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company, Gammonds, wouldn't comment but if they're successful, the

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family want to give Morgan the private education his parents once

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talked about. At the scene, Diane and Claire take Morgan to lay

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flowers. They're determined to give him the happy childhood his mum and

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dad would have wanted and to make sure he never forgets them.

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Still to come this evening. A �500,000 windfall that spruced up a

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museum in the town which inspired the modern Olympics. And as the

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Siberian chill tightens its grip on us - could we be heading for the

:13:36.:13:46.
:13:46.:13:48.

A charity which carries out undercover visits to care homes

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says it's seen evidence of "chronic neglect" in some of Stoke-on-

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Trent's private elderly residential centres. The comments come after

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the city council decided to close two of its specialist dementia

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units last week. Compassion In Care says local authority run homes

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offer a better service and privatisation does not improve care.

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BBC Radio Stoke's political reporter, Elizabeth Glinka, joins

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us from our Stoke studio. What exactly did the charity find that

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warranted so much? What this charity does his pretence to be a

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new customer so that it can get into their homes and see how people

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are being treated. They have been into eight homes in Stoke-on-Trent

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and say they have seen their arrears problems from people not

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being given enough food or water to more serious signs of neglect.

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have seen all sorts of problems in these homes. One thing there was a

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real concern was a resident that was walking around a home totally

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emaciated, her curves were dirty and she was distraught and looking

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for someone to reassure her. And staff just walked past. That makes

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me more concern than ever that they are closing dementia in units.

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These undercover visits came just as the city council announced it

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was closing two specialist dementia homes. They announced that last

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week as part of plans to save �24 million. The charities say that in

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their experience of doing these undercover visits across the

:15:29.:15:32.

country, it is council homes that offer the best care so they say

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this authority should think again. The council are saying how

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residents are our top priority and of the move people we are going to

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monitor them very closely. What is being done to improve the problems?

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To put it into perspective, this charity went into eight homes and

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there are nearly 300 across this city. The charities say they are

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going to be informing the charity watchdog and the watchdog have told

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us that they are happy to hear this information and they will be

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prepared to look at any problems and investigate further if

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necessary. A 10-year-old who was born a boy

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but lives as a girl has started a petition against transgender

:16:20.:16:23.

discrimination. Livvy James has gender dysphoria, which means she

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feels she is a girl trapped in a boy's body. She's now campaigning

:16:27.:16:30.

against what she says are offensive words used in the media when

:16:31.:16:35.

covering such issues. We first met Livvy and her mum last September

:16:35.:16:39.

when she went back to school as a girl for the first time. Cath

:16:39.:16:49.
:16:49.:16:51.

Mackie has been back to meet them. What unearth are the parents up to?

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Livvy James and her mum, Saffy, are visibly upset and angry as they

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read through readers' comments posted in response to today's

:16:57.:17:01.

newspaper reports about them. The family from Worcester have heard

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the insults before, but are fighting back with a petition to

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stop what they regard as transgender discrimination in the

:17:07.:17:17.
:17:17.:17:19.

media. Gender bender, trannie, sex change, gender confused, that is a

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good one. They are not confused, the people writing the stories are

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confused. I don't like reading stuff like that because we are not

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try any or all of that stuff that is put into the newspaper, it is

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complete rubbish. We don't want that being put down. I am really

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frustrated at the moment. Livvy has gender dysphoria and until recently,

:17:42.:17:48.

she lived a double life. At school she was a boy. To herself and her

:17:48.:17:57.

family she was a girl. They have all been pretty calm except for

:17:57.:18:02.

just a few parents and a few children. But you are much happier?

:18:02.:18:08.

Yes, definitely. I would not say it was a mistake. She now attends her

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primary school as a girl. Livvy says she sometimes feels suicidal

:18:11.:18:14.

trapped in the wrong body - her mother says she's behaved like a

:18:14.:18:23.

girl since she was a toddler. frustrates me that people are so

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uneducated that they think I could mould a child to be something that

:18:26.:18:30.

she does not want to be. Livvy will start taking hormone blockers when

:18:30.:18:34.

she's 12 as part of a new trial, but can't have surgery until she's

:18:34.:18:38.

18. More than 600 people have signed her petition, she hopes

:18:38.:18:42.

it'll help other people like her. One of our top gaming firms has

:18:42.:18:46.

been hired by Coca Cola to turn the stars of their adverts into digital

:18:46.:18:50.

fans who react to a Superbowl game just like the real American fans.

:18:50.:18:53.

It's a complicated process, but they've pulled it off, and our

:18:53.:18:56.

science correspondent, David Gregory, has been to find out how

:18:56.:19:06.
:19:06.:19:06.

they did it. The 46th Superbowl between New York

:19:06.:19:09.

Giants and The New England Patriots. A sporting event, but also a

:19:09.:19:13.

vitally important advertising event too. So while Coca Cola paid

:19:13.:19:16.

millions for these painstakingly animated commercials to run on TV

:19:16.:19:20.

during the game. They wanted to do more with these characters and have

:19:20.:19:24.

them watch the game with the fans. Live, for four hours. And to do

:19:24.:19:32.

that they turned to Blitz Games in Leamington Spa. It is something

:19:32.:19:37.

that had never been done before and it was issued a challenge because

:19:37.:19:40.

these of furry creatures. He need for hours of performance out of

:19:40.:19:43.

them, they have to re-read constantly and they have to be

:19:44.:19:46.

pleasant and engaging. These bears are basically very sophisticated

:19:46.:19:51.

puppets. Controlled not by strings, but by video game controllers. The

:19:51.:19:55.

aim is to capture the attention of the 60% of viewers who watched the

:19:55.:20:03.

game on TV while also surfing the web. People watching these big

:20:03.:20:10.

sporting events there are watching other information on smart phones,

:20:10.:20:14.

laptops, and this was where the best lift. They were screened live,

:20:14.:20:20.

reacting to the show as it went on. And the people watching the bears

:20:20.:20:23.

during the Super Bowl? They know that a million different devices

:20:23.:20:27.

were locked on and probably more than one person was watching each

:20:27.:20:31.

of those computers. Frankly, that is much more than Midlands Today

:20:31.:20:35.

gets on a very good day. You know these bears are pretty good at this

:20:35.:20:44.

TV lark - watch the one on the right. After more than four hours

:20:44.:20:48.

of live reaction to the game and the comments of viewers, the bears

:20:48.:20:52.

were a hit. It might not be long before we see something similar

:20:52.:21:02.
:21:02.:21:02.

here. Curious, to say the least!

:21:02.:21:05.

In football, Stoke City have lost their appeal against Robert Huth's

:21:06.:21:09.

sending off on Saturday. It's a big night for Birmingham City and

:21:09.:21:12.

Cheltenham Town in their promotion campaigns. Birmingham will go third

:21:12.:21:15.

in the Championship if they beat Portsmouth at St Andrews, while

:21:15.:21:18.

Cheltenham will be five points clear at the top of League Two if

:21:18.:21:22.

they win at rivals Crawley. The manager isn't setting any promotion

:21:22.:21:28.

targets though. We are not in two starts and stops like that. Just

:21:28.:21:37.

more of the same from the players. It is something like two league

:21:37.:21:42.

defeats in 21 or 22. If we do that, will be promoted. And there's full

:21:42.:21:45.

commentary on the Cheltenham game live on BBC Radio Gloucestershire

:21:45.:21:48.

this evening, coverage starts at just after seven.

:21:48.:21:52.

On to cricket, and the Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell has been dropped

:21:52.:21:54.

from England's one-day squad after disappointing in the Test series

:21:54.:21:58.

against Pakistan. Bell scored just 51 runs at an average of 8 as

:21:58.:22:03.

England lost the series 3-0. The England coach Andy Flower says Bell

:22:04.:22:07.

took the news well and that improved form could see him return

:22:07.:22:10.

to the one-day squad. This summer, all eyes will be on

:22:10.:22:14.

London for the Olympics, but tens of thousands of people are also

:22:14.:22:17.

expected to make the trip to the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock.

:22:17.:22:20.

Its Olympian Games are credited as inspiring the modern Olympics and

:22:20.:22:23.

today, one of the town's main attractions, its museum, opened its

:22:23.:22:30.

doors after a major facelift. Ben Sidwell reports.

:22:30.:22:34.

Followed the 100 years, the Olympic Games have brought the sporting

:22:34.:22:37.

world together. There is a real possibility that it would not have

:22:37.:22:43.

happened without Much Wenlock. Today, after a major makeover, the

:22:43.:22:47.

museum reopened its doors, to tell the story of how it helped shape a

:22:48.:22:52.

Olympic history. We are thrilled that it has been completed with

:22:52.:22:56.

this makeover that makes our artefacts, the metals, the cups

:22:56.:23:00.

that a part of the heritage of the society, now on display for

:23:00.:23:05.

everybody to see, locally, nationally and internationally.

:23:05.:23:11.

museum tells the story of William Brookes and how he started the Much

:23:11.:23:16.

Wenlock Olympian Games. enthusiasm for the collections here

:23:16.:23:21.

has grown over the last few years. With some of the money that we had

:23:21.:23:24.

from Heritage Lottery Fund we have been able to get a lot of those

:23:24.:23:27.

objects conserved so we have been able to make sure that they will

:23:27.:23:35.

still be here for games to come in the future. �500,000 has been spent

:23:35.:23:42.

getting the music time for the share's Olympics. But now how row

:23:42.:23:46.

has broken out over just how often the doors will be open. Despite the

:23:46.:23:50.

major investment it will only be open for 2.5 days up until Easter

:23:50.:23:55.

including just a few hours at the weekend. How many days it will open

:23:55.:24:00.

up to that is still being finalised. Hope he won the new season comes

:24:00.:24:04.

round at Easter time that the news in will be open full-time.

:24:04.:24:07.

Otherwise, why have Heritage Lottery Fund given us money for

:24:07.:24:11.

such a problem thing in a prominent time and it is closed from due for

:24:11.:24:17.

people. It is a one-off opportunity and we cannot afford to miss it

:24:17.:24:21.

because of the economy. It is an economy earner for this part of the

:24:21.:24:29.

world so we have to sort it out. is not all old. The 2012 when lock

:24:29.:24:33.

my Scott is the latest chapter in the history. With tens of thousands

:24:33.:24:40.

of people expected to visit this year, it is hoped that the doors

:24:40.:24:44.

will be able to remain open seven days a week.

:24:44.:24:53.

This get an update on the weather Let us take a quick look at what is

:24:53.:24:57.

going on later in the week. On Thursday night into Friday there

:24:57.:25:02.

has been mention of another clash of cold air with milder which could

:25:02.:25:06.

potentially gives some snow. At this stage it has done it like it

:25:06.:25:10.

for us here in the West Midlands. The mild air will win on this

:25:10.:25:14.

occasion. It is the use Midlands where they could potentially be

:25:14.:25:20.

some snow. Nothing on the scale that we had at the weekend. Just a

:25:20.:25:25.

word of warning if you're heading in that direction. Our main concern

:25:25.:25:29.

tonight is the cold. Temperatures are plummeting and it could turn

:25:29.:25:33.

out to be the coldest night of the winter so far. That is if we get

:25:33.:25:43.

what we are expecting, which is a red minus 12 in more remote spots.

:25:43.:25:47.

We have cloud rolling in from the East later tonight but it will not

:25:47.:25:55.

have much impact because the air is so cold. Temperatures could move to

:25:55.:25:59.

minus four 4 minus five intense or cities. Outside the city limits,

:25:59.:26:04.

temperatures could fall as low as minus eight. It will lead to a

:26:05.:26:12.

widespread and severe frost but it is a dry night. Eight bitterly cold

:26:12.:26:16.

start to the day tomorrow. They could be some brightness but this

:26:16.:26:22.

cloud is moving a little bit quicker. It will stay dry but the

:26:22.:26:27.

cloud will be in the temperatures down. It will be colder than today.

:26:27.:26:31.

Once again tomorrow night is looking very cold and frosty, not

:26:31.:26:39.

quite as cold as tonight. On Thursday, it is looking dry but it

:26:39.:26:49.
:26:49.:26:50.

It is could be perishing for football fans tonight.

:26:50.:26:55.

A look at the main headlines. The Metropolitan Police admit acting

:26:55.:26:59.

unlawfully over the phone hacking scandal. And a Roman Catholic

:26:59.:27:03.

priest from Staffordshire is facing a lengthy jail sentence after being

:27:03.:27:08.

found guilty of abusing young boys. Tomorrow morning, you can have your

:27:08.:27:12.

chance to ask questions and hear from the movers and shakers in your

:27:12.:27:17.

area as they put in the hot seat on the local radio station. On BBC WN

:27:17.:27:23.

from 11 am, they will be joined by their chief constable of West

:27:23.:27:26.

Midlands Police and BBC Hereford and Worcester will be speaking to

:27:26.:27:32.

the Vice-Chancellor's of were State University. On Radio Stoke, bosses

:27:32.:27:35.

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