15/02/2012 Midlands Today


15/02/2012

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

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The headlines tonight: Unemployment is up again in the region. It rose

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by 13,000 between October and December last year.

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It's been a real desperation feeling, depressed, like I don't

:00:14.:00:19.

have a purpose. Bring back the traffic lights. A

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family's plea after a man was hit and killed at a rearranged junction.

:00:23.:00:29.

How can a 71-year-old man share a space with a five tonne bus? You

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can't. Nearly 40 years on, the brother and

:00:32.:00:35.

sister of the youngest victim of the Birmingham pub bombs call for

:00:35.:00:39.

an inquiry into exactly what happened.

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Only those who have been there know the grief and suffering that stays

:00:43.:00:48.

with you your whole life. And, after a dry winter, are we

:00:48.:00:58.
:00:58.:01:03.

once again facing a drought? Good evening, welcome to

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Wednesday's Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight, two sides of the

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region's economy. More gloomy unemployment figures, but bumper

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sales for one of our biggest car manufacturers.

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The number of people unemployed in the region has risen by 13,000.

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It's a grim statistic but JLR is bucking the trend, taking on staff

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and celebrating record breaking profits with sales up by 57%. More

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on that in a moment. First let's take a closer look those

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unemployment figures. The overall number of people out of work in the

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final three months of last year final three months of last year

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rose to 247,000. That's 9.3% of the potential working population. Ben

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Godfrey spoke to one man desperate to work but who says he's been told

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accepting a part time job would make him worse off, because he'd

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make him worse off, because he'd make him worse off, because he'd

:01:57.:02:07.
:02:07.:02:07.

Simon and Milligan is an experienced what unemployed retail

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manager. There is absolutely nothing

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available. He left his job after his bank

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changed their mind and with through a previous offer.

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He receives a jobseeker's allowance and housing benefits. He says that

:02:33.:02:37.

if he worked any less than their pay five Arabs per week on the

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minimum wage then it would not match his current benefits. -- 35

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Arrows per week. I will be out of pocket if I take

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on a part-time job. What is the benefit of working?

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The number of people working part- time in the United Kingdom has

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increased by 83,000 over the last quarter. The largest increase since

:03:09.:03:15.

comparable records began in 1992. The Citizens Advice Bureau says

:03:15.:03:21.

that some job seekers are not properly informed.

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If you move from being out of work you must claim additional

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assistance whilst in work. Sometimes people do not understand

:03:29.:03:36.

that. With 9% of the West Midland

:03:36.:03:40.

population unemployed the Government recognises a need for

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reform. We need to build and incentives to

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work in the welfare system. That is fundamental. People find themselves

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better off on benefits and we must move away from that situation.

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Simon says he is now suffering bouts of depression. He does not

:04:02.:04:12.
:04:12.:04:15.

want to be on benefits but is left Luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover

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has announced a major boost in profits and it's partly down to

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soaring sales in China. More cars are now sold in the Far East than

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the UK and they've benefited from the popularity of the new Range

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Rover 'Evoque' model which came out last year. Bob Hockenhull reports.

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Jaguar Land Rover's good fortune continues apace against the

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background of a fragile economy. Latest figures show company profits

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rose by 57% in the last quarter of 2011 to �440 million. All this as

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the company looks to recruit hundreds more workers in the

:04:41.:04:51.
:04:51.:04:53.

Midlands and build a new engine plant at Wolverhampton.

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Success in emerging economies is driving growth. There is a huge

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middle-class in emerging countries keen to show off their wealth and

:05:02.:05:12.
:05:12.:05:14.

what better way than by driving a Range Rover?

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It's not good news for another West Midlands firm though. Brierley Hill

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based Aerospace parts supplier Hampson Industries is up for sale.

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The company founded in West Bromwich in 1947 has �55 million of

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debt. A far cry from the fate of Jaguar Landrover's Indian owners

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Tata. It's reporting overall profits of 41%, paving the way for

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yet more expansion of its car business.

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Later in the programme, find out how grafitti art is being used to

:05:35.:05:45.
:05:45.:05:54.

inspire and empower young men who The family of a pensioner who died

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a month after being hit by a bus have called for traffic lights to

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be re-installed at the junction where the accident happened. 71-

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year-old David Thompson from Coventry was knocked over in the

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city centre after changes had been made to the road system.

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David Thompson, who was partially sighted, was a regular visitor to

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Coventry city centre, but just over a month ago whilst crossing this

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new junction he was hit by a bus. He suffered a catalogue of serious

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injuries and died on Sunday. The junction had previously been

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equipped with traffic lights but they were removed as part of a

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scheme to make it a so called "shared space", a move which has

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angered David's family. How can a 71-year-old man she is a

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space with a five tonne bus? You cannot do that. I am sure of the

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traffic lights where there this would not have happened.

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A police investigation into the incident is on going, and Coventry

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Council say they can't comment whilst that's ongoing. But they did

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point out that there had been three accidents on this junction when the

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traffic lights were here in the five years leading up to their

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removal. Other local authorities where this type of junction has

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been introduced report safety improvements, for example, Ashford

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in Kent has had a similar scheme for more than three years, and say

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there has been a more than 50% reduction in pedestrian and vehicle

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accidents. There were mixed views in Coventry today.

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I think it is all right. We have an attitude where we do not

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give way. Everybody wants to the first.

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If I was driving here I would not know who's right of way it is. That

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would be an issue. The family now hope they will get

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answers from an ongoing police investigation. An appeal for

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witnesses has been renewed. A nursery worker who was jailed for

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life for the rape of a toddler and a string of sexual offences against

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children has had his sentence cut. Paul Wilson, who is 21 and from

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Nechells in Birmingham, was convicted last year of raping the

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toddler from Little Stars Nursery, where he worked for eighteen months.

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Wilson had his sentence cut from 15 years to 13-and-a-half years on

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appeal. French prosecutors have begun an investigation into a Nazi

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deemed stag party at a French ski resort which the local MP, Aidan

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Barclay, attended. There have been calls for the Conservative whip to

:08:44.:08:54.
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The family of a teenager killed in the Birmingham pub bombings nearly

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40 years ago are urging the police to reopen their investigation into

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who planted the bombs. In her first ever TV interview the younger

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sister of Maxine Hambleton says she'll never find peace until the

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killers are caught. Giles Latcham reports.

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We came home from school and discovered that Maxine was there.

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We asked, was she hurt? No, she was killed. Our lives fell apart.

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Maxine was in one of two pubs are bombed by the IRA in 1974. There is

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now no trace but the sense of loss for the family's remains real.

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Maxine Hambleton's older brother is haunted by his memories of the

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night. I gave her a lift into town. There

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were probably only minutes and it. Only those who have been there are

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no their grief and suffering that stays with you all your life. There

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is not aid day that has gone by that I do not think about her.

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The convictions of the six men jailed for the bombings were

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overturned in 1991. So who was guilty? The family's generated a

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petition aimed at reopening the case. A local MP supports them.

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It is about giving closure to the family's. That is what needs to

:10:46.:10:56.
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happen. Everybody has the right to justice.

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There were 21 people killed. Who is investigating for them?

:11:09.:11:13.

The winds that remain open and not everybody is prepared to grieve in

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A Black Country metal dealer has introduced new ways of checking

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customers to help combat the rise in thefts, before the government

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brings in its own legislation. New laws would stop cash in hand

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transactions, making it harder for thieves to sell on stolen goods

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such as lead stripped from roofs. But one trader here isn't prepared

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to wait and is bringing in a register of customers. Dave Smith

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is a regular at the scrap yard but today he is signing up to a

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voluntary Registrar of customers which means that the recyclers hold

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his personal details to help crack down on illegal trading.

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It is a good idea. There are factories being closed whilst

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people are stealing copper. It is a disruption of the whole working

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industry. Customers must also complete legal

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paperwork and the register is used for cross-checking.

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Sadly we cannot take everybody's war but that they are telling us

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the truth. But by voluntary membership of the scheme we know

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that their information is correct, protects the business, and protect

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the customer. That is the way forward for this trade.

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Metal prices have rocketed in recent years. It is easy to see why

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tightening up the industry has become an issue. In West Bromwich

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police are looking of the owners of a distinctive plaque believed to

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have been stolen. It belongs to a family whose

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members fought for their country. It has sentimental value and we

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would like to restore it to its rightful place and also bring any

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offenders to justice for this despicable crime.

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Back at the recyclers the owners say that a plaque like that would

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immediately raised alarm bells if brought in. The police are

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appealing for information. A war reporter has been following that

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story and is with us now. -- hour reporter. Police are keen to

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reunite that black with its rightful owner. But it is turning

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into a mystery. -- reunite the plaque with its owner. It is about

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to family members, Edward Welch and Vere Welch, who fought for their

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country. We have tracked down a picture of another brother who

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fought with the 91st Highlanders. It is thought that the plaque comes

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from Cheltenham because of a marking on it which refers to the

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family home which stood in Cheltenham. The thought is that it

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was in a church in that a rare and that anybody can shed any light,

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police would like to hear from them. Still to come here on Midlands

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Today, the stoppage time penalty that could just be the turning

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point in Coventry City's troubled season. And after such a dry winter,

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there's a desperate need for more rain and it looks as though we

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could get some this week - it's just a question of whether it's

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enough. I'll have more for you later.

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To the question over how much rain we'll get in the next few weeks.

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There's growing concerns about whether the Midlands could be

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heading for a drought. River and reservoir levels are low and,

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behind the scenes, enormous efforts are underway to make sure our taps

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don't run dry. Ahead of a big government summit next week, our

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Environment Correspondent has been investigating. Draycote reservoir

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in Warwickshire. Read-outs in the control room revealed that levels

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have plummeted. Normally at this time of year we

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:15:49.:15:57.

would be at around 80%, instead of 50%.

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This pipe we aim to complete by next week and we will aim to pump

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12.5 million litres of water per day.

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That is five pipes flowing daily and it is one of dozens of schemes

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behind the scenes. Severn Trent are confident that customers will not

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face water restrictions at the moment but the lack of water is

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already causing problems for farmers. It is a patchy picture.

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The river is high enough to top up the reservoir but others are so low

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that extraction licences have been suspended. Bad news for farmers.

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This is an unusual situation. We encourage farmers to fill their

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winter storage reservoirs for the summer. We're still trying to help

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them do that but obviously with this whether there are limitations.

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:17:07.:17:08.

We're getting closer and closer to 11 the programme we were discussing

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unemployment figures, along with the good news for Jaguar Land Rover.

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-- earlier in the programme. We can now talk to the former trade

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minister, Lord Digby Jones. Let's talk about Jaguar Land Rover.

:17:24.:17:34.
:17:34.:17:35.

Fantastic figures. What can other companies learn? They are well

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invested. A modern factory in the modern plant. And a product range

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to die for. They are emblematic of British manufacturing. If you make

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something which Asia once, and which is a good, well-made product,

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you will sell all of them. Our exports are cheaper and the

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customers in Asia, possibly Brazil and America, the want to buy this

:18:05.:18:15.
:18:15.:18:17.

stuff. If we're in Liverpool, or the West Midlands, it is great news.

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It is British... We are very proud, ardent we?

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Just remember that success has many parents, failure is an orphan.

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There were questions previously about whether the parent company

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would continue investing, and whether we had sold out to the

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Indians. Not only have they invested but they have produced

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even more money. Good news from the Bank of England,

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based say they do not expect a double dip recession. Are we on the

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road to recovery? I do not think things will get

:19:01.:19:07.

worse. Inflation is coming down. The employment figures are bad news

:19:07.:19:11.

in one or two ways but if you have a skill, skilled employment is

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going up. It will bump along the bottom but it will not get any

:19:19.:19:23.

worse. What I would say to people watching tonight, if you have got a

:19:23.:19:30.

young person, do not be disheartened. We do not need rocket

:19:30.:19:35.

scientists, but get in the habit of getting a scale. When the economy

:19:35.:19:40.

perks up it will feed through quickly.

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So to recap, I get a scale, and if you are a company, look for a

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market? Yes, and if you have a part-time

:19:51.:19:56.

job, get some benefits, and if you have benefits, get some skills. It

:19:56.:20:02.

does not have to be all-or-nothing. That is important.

:20:02.:20:12.
:20:12.:20:20.

Thank you for talking to us. It's been a long hard season at the

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Ricoh Arena. But one man captured the mood of 15,000 Coventry City

:20:23.:20:26.

fans last night. It was the best feeling I've had in a long time,

:20:26.:20:29.

said Gary McSheffrey, after two successful penalties gave the Sky

:20:29.:20:37.

Blues fresh hope that relegation isn't a racing certainty after all.

:20:37.:20:44.

Coventry City are still fighting for survival. They were tied at 1 -

:20:44.:20:50.

1 until injury time last night when the score but this one are and will

:20:50.:20:57.

lifted off the bottom, now six points adrift of safety.

:20:57.:21:03.

We have for home wins from our last five. This was a good win tonight.

:21:03.:21:10.

We deserve it. The Blues is slapped a couple of

:21:10.:21:20.
:21:20.:21:22.

places to 5th after a goalless draw at home to Hull City. Walsall were

:21:22.:21:27.

defeated at Oldham, they missed out on a point to a last minute penalty

:21:27.:21:36.

miss. Shrewsbury Town impressive home record continued. They are

:21:36.:21:43.

just two points off the leaders. We had lots of possession. We did

:21:43.:21:46.

not open them up as much as we should have done but in the end I

:21:46.:21:53.

thought we deserved it. And port Vale produced the goal of

:21:53.:21:58.

the night. A spectacular volley from Lewis dogs which earned them a

:21:58.:22:08.
:22:08.:22:09.

draw at Bradford City. What's the latest on Wolves search

:22:09.:22:12.

for a new manager? One man has emerged today as the

:22:12.:22:15.

red hot favourite to succeed Mick McCarthy. The bookies are quoting

:22:15.:22:19.

odds of 4/1 that Alan Curbishley will get the job. He's 54 years old.

:22:19.:22:23.

He spent 15 years with Charlton where he twice won promotion to the

:22:23.:22:26.

Premier League. And six years ago, he was being tipped as a future

:22:26.:22:28.

England manager. He also likes the Midlands, having played for

:22:28.:22:33.

Birmingham City and Aston Villa in the early 1980s.

:22:33.:22:37.

And it's sure to be a big night for Stoke City tomorrow, the next

:22:37.:22:40.

chapter in their Europa League adventure. The Spanish giants

:22:40.:22:44.

Valencia are coming to the Britannia Stadium. They're lying

:22:44.:22:47.

3rd in the Spanish Primera Liga, so Stoke must make the most of their

:22:47.:22:50.

home advantage in tomorrow's first leg. But the Potters have lost only

:22:50.:22:54.

once in 10 Europa League games this season. So it could be a

:22:54.:22:57.

fascinating match. Tomorrow, we'll have a full preview of the big game.

:22:57.:23:07.

And of course, there will be full match commentary on BBC Radio Stoke.

:23:07.:23:16.

And their next game is against Crawley, a bet of a contrast!

:23:16.:23:20.

It's normally thought of as a blot on some of our landscape, but this

:23:20.:23:23.

week it could be a force for good. It's being used to inspire young

:23:23.:23:26.

people on one of the region's most deprived housing estates. The

:23:26.:23:28.

Bromford Estate is in the Hodge Hill constituency of Birmingham,

:23:28.:23:31.

where more than 10% of residents are on benefits - the second

:23:31.:23:34.

highest rate in the country. But it's hoped this week's scheme will

:23:34.:23:38.

change attitudes both on the estate and beyond.

:23:38.:23:41.

Graffiti can be a common sight here on the Bromford estate in North

:23:41.:23:44.

Birmingham. But this time it's being done for the right reasons.

:23:44.:23:47.

This cube will eventually become a piece of public art known as

:23:47.:23:53.

"Bromford Dreams". We want to show that the media

:23:54.:23:59.

portrayal of the youth of today is not very true. That stereotype is

:23:59.:24:04.

completely wrong. We can do things to help the community, not destroy

:24:04.:24:08.

This partnership between the University of Birmingham and the

:24:08.:24:10.

youth charity Worth Unlimited has attracted the renowned local

:24:10.:24:13.

graffiti artist Mohammed Ali. He wants to help inspire these young

:24:13.:24:21.

men and encourage them to aim high. It is easy to talk about doom and

:24:21.:24:27.

gloom with the economic situation. But actually, trying to fight

:24:27.:24:33.

against the grain a little bit. young men taking part this week are

:24:33.:24:36.

willing to learn, and try something new. Their background is far from

:24:36.:24:41.

privileged but their attitude is positive.

:24:41.:24:46.

I have learnt lots on the street to be fair. And I have a lot of will

:24:46.:24:51.

power. If you do not do what you have got

:24:51.:24:59.

to do then you will not work for a job.

:24:59.:25:02.

The Cube will eventually go on display at Birmingham Museum and

:25:02.:25:05.

Art Gallery and will bring this group's message to a wider audience.

:25:05.:25:13.

But that audience also needs to be willing to learn.

:25:13.:25:19.

People look at what we have done and it might open their eyes. Not

:25:19.:25:29.

everybody is interested in Brom fought.

:25:29.:25:33.

A handwritten manuscript by Sir Edward Elgar has been discovered by

:25:33.:25:43.
:25:43.:25:45.

council staff sorting through older boxes. It was replayed on the Taras

:25:45.:25:50.

instrument made up of keyboards and bells. Now the council aims to put

:25:50.:26:00.
:26:00.:26:03.

And now the weather. Sightings of daffodils this week but hardly

:26:03.:26:13.
:26:13.:26:13.

surprising that nature is confused. But we will see a temporary drop in

:26:13.:26:18.

temperatures on Sunday. Warm air will desert us temporarily but it

:26:18.:26:25.

should return by next week. Before, a couple of fronts to come through.

:26:25.:26:30.

And there will be rain later in the week. But not nearly enough to

:26:30.:26:35.

allay fears of the potential to rout. Speaking of the cold,

:26:35.:26:41.

temperatures will drop tonight. We are envisaging lend their clear

:26:41.:26:48.

spells than originally thought. -- length hair. We are looking at a

:26:48.:26:56.

touch of ground frost. With that those clear spells we're looking at

:26:56.:27:00.

sunshine in the morning. Gradually throughout the day the cloud will

:27:00.:27:06.

thicken from the north. This front will head from that direction and

:27:06.:27:10.

introduce light rain to parts of Staffordshire by the afternoon. But

:27:11.:27:16.

it will stay largely dry. Reasonable temperatures, are around

:27:16.:27:22.

ten Celsius with light winds from the West. Tonight we'll see the

:27:22.:27:26.

cloud increase across the region and the rain moved southwards. So a

:27:26.:27:36.
:27:36.:27:39.

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