22/02/2012 Midlands Today


22/02/2012

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

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The headlines tonight: Boost for jobs - the greenfield site that

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offers hope for up to 2,500 thousand workers.

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Businesses that want to design, work with local universities, take

:00:20.:00:23.

advantage of local schools, want to come here.

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A man's charged with the murder of retired teacher Betty Yates. Jess

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Varnish dreams of Olympic glory, but few of her family will have

:00:29.:00:34.

tickets to see her. My view is they need to go to the

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people who have really supported them.

:00:37.:00:47.
:00:47.:00:51.

And the Polar explorer stopped in Good evening, welcome to

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Wednesday's Midlands Today from the BBC.

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Tonight: The hi-tech fightback in the battle

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against soaring unemployment. Work's set to start in September on

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a new business park in Staffordshire which could create up

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to 2,500 jobs. The new park will be aimed at the research and

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technology sector and follows the announcement of Jaguar Land Rover's

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major new plant in the county. Here's our business correspondent

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Peter Plisner. Just a field north of Stafford but within a couple of

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years this site could be helping to create thousands of much needed

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skilled jobs. Close to the M6 it's earmarked for

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a research and technology park and is being planned by Staffordshire

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:01:38.:01:39.

County Council. Real interest from manufacturing businesses. Some

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great success last year. JCB off back to full-strength. -- are back.

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A neighbouring site has already been developed and has attracted a

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number of high profile businesses including this plumbing and a

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heating firm. Its managing director says it's an ideal location. We are

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a national distributor, need good transport links, being a minute

:02:00.:02:05.

away from the M6 is the perfect location. We are within an hour and

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a quarter of London on a fast rail link. And despite the recession

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even here new jobs are being created. Lesley Bateman was made

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redundant from her last job, now she's the company's new HR manager.

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It is a fantastic opportunity for youngsters. We have got the

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University, colleges, all within a 50 mile radius. It is the best

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thing that could happen to this region. Jobs of many business parks

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are seen as vulnerable to the ups and band of the technology but jobs

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on technology parks are seen as much more sustainable because what

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will be produced here will be exported to countries that are

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continually growing giving workers much more Dock -- job security. But

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will the jobs coming here actually be new? NXT, new jobs, jobs

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relocating, also from abroad -- a mixture. We have a lot of those

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will have local employment. Great skill set, a good customer service

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reputation and good value Labour. Plans for the business park follow

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Staffordshire's success in attracting Jaguar Land Rover's new

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engine planned. It's due to be built at the I54 site near

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Wolverhampton. And Peter joins us now. Obviously, ambitious plans in

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Stafford. How realistic is it that those 2,500 jobs will be filled?

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The site has space for seven major businesses and that figure is only

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a projection. It's based on experience elsewhere in the county

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where new business parks have been created. Have to say maybe more

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could also be jobs in the supply chain in the wider region to the

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companies based there. But not all will be new jobs. As you heard the

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councillor say in the film, some jobs will be relocated from

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elsewhere as companies are attracted to the site because of

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it's location and perhaps a need to expand.

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More positive news from Jaguar Land Rover? Tata, the Indian owners

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planning to double the amount they're investing in the Midlands

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brands, said 1.5 billion a year to fund new models both here and

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abroad. The cash could mean thousands of new jobs. Some money

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used for plans to begin producing vehicles in China. Details of a

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joint venture with a Chinese car maker are said to be imminent. Not

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clear how much of that money will be spent here. But research and

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development work on those new models will be done in the Midlands

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:04:46.:04:51.

Police have charged a 47-year-old man with the murder of a better

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Yate. She was found at a remote cottage on the banks of the River

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Severn on January 2nd. Steven Farrer has also be charge of the

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murder of a South Gloucestershire vicar. -- been charged.

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The clergyman and Betty Yates it was stabbed to death in Heron Homes.

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Steven Farrer, 47 years old, has been charged with murdering them

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both. But Yates lived alone in a house beside the River Severn in

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Bewdley. She was found dead days before his 77th birthday. She had

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been stabbed and beaten with her and a walking stick. It was six

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weeks after Betty was found here that there was another murder at,

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at 70 miles away in the neighbouring county of

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Gloucestershire. Police started to think there may be a link. The

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Reverend John Stoddard's body was found just over a week ago in the

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vicarage of the town of Cornbury. He had been stabbed many times. He

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had moved to this small, quiet market town last summer. Before

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then he worked in Essex where he was filmed for the BBC. Both have

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been described as pillars of their community. Candlelit vigils and

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memorial services have been held for both of them. Police believe it

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:06:26.:06:32.

was the same man who took both of It's a controversial police tactic,

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the right of officers to stop and search people in the street who

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they believe may be breaking the law. It can lead to resentment

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among young black people, who are seven times more likely to be

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stopped than white people, according to official figures. In

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Birmingham tonight, a new Civil Rights Card is being launched by a

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lobbying group for the African and Caribbean community. It explains to

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young people why they might be stopped and what they can do if

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they are. Giles Latcham reports. Stopped and searched - important

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powers say the police but their use can anger and antagonise. I know

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you were detained when you are arrested. Daniel's been stopped and

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searched several times, he thinks the power's used disproportionately

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against people of a certain colour or background. Just because people

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are from lower-class backgrounds doesn't mean they are aiming for a

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life of crime. To be in the area and just tarnished with the same

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brush as your neighbour is not right, everybody is an individual

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and has the right to do what they want. A So how about those rights?

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The officers who stop you have to give their names and stations,

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explain the grounds for suspicion and provide you with a written

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record if you want one, rights explained in this pocket sized

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guide produced here in Birmingham. It's the work of solicitors

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involved in a campaign group for the African and Caribbean

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communities. Relationships between the police and community will never

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improve whilst there is a disproportionate and improper and a

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lawful use and exercise of these powers. The latest figures for

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England and Wales show that per 1,000, 125 black people are stopped

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and searched. Compared to less than 50 Asians. And about 20 white

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people, making black people seven times more likely to be stopped.

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The man who oversees West Midlands Police says the force must be

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mindful of the harm the misuse of stop and search can do. It needs to

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carry the public with it on any aspect of policing organisation it

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carries out. Stop-and-search is contentious, necessary, but needs

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to be used appropriately and sensitively. There's anecdotal

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evidence that anti-police sentiment during last summer's riots was

:08:45.:08:55.
:08:55.:08:56.

exacerbated by anger about stop and search. The reality is its use in

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the West Midlands has decreased drastically in recent years, but

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for some it's a power which tests to breaking point the concept of

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policing by consent. Let's talk now to Dr Robert Beckford, author,

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academic and supporter of the civil card scheme who joins us now from

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it's launch event in Birmingham. Good evening. What do you hope

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these cards will achieve? A to empower people within the Community

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to know their rights if they are stopped by the police and to

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encourage the police to do their job, observe the legal framework in

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which they are meant to be working in. How realistic is it that young

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black people will bother to carry one though? We hope it is snazzy

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enough and a portable enough for young people to carry it, given the

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gravity of the situation. It is not really a matter of choice, it is a

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matter of necessity. We need to insure their good police and

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community relations and we feel this will go some way towards

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improving the situation. I have got one here, it is wallet sized.

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Police say stop and search is necessary, it cuts the drug and

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knife crime, do you agree? course it is necessary. But when

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you have a situation where African- Caribbean young people are seven

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times more likely to be stopped in comparison to their white

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counterparts, and in addition 150% increase in stop-and-search amongst

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African Caribbean men, that is not just about police doing their job,

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that is harassment. What effect is that having a young people you talk

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I think it makes you people fear the law in a negative way. Rather

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than having respect for the Lord they fear that the law is corrupt.

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This kind of thing used to happen in apartheid South Africa, you

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don't expect it to see it happening in a modern, democratic society

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like Britain in 2012. Obviously it upsets people, frustrates them.

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Police do say using stop-and-search, they are using it a lot less, what

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is your view? It is not so much about the quantity, it is about the

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quality. It is about having informed approaches to stop and

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search which is intelligence based, rather than racially pro felt based.

:11:21.:11:31.
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The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has paid tribute in the House of

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Commons to a Worcestershire teacher who was killed in a coach crash in

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France at the weekend. Peter Rippington died when the bus he was

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travelling in with a group of schoolchildren plunged to the

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bottom of a motorway embankment on Sunday. A number of children from

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Alvechurch Middle School were injured in the accident. I know he

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was much respected in the local community and at the school, and

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will be hugely missed. The thoughts and seedier -- sincere condolences

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of everybody in the house will be with his constituents and everyone

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affected. Our consular staff in France continue to provide support

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to all those in France. Our ambassador has visited passengers

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in hospital and is liaising with local authorities and will do

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:12:17.:12:23.

everything he can with a fridge or The father of one of our top medal

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hopes at the London Olympics has hit out at ticketing allocations

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for families at this summer's games. Bromsgrove cyclist Jess Varnish is

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gunning for gold, but her family are only allowed two tickets to

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watch her in action. And Jess has four grandparents and two sisters.

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There's nothing better than celebrating a triumph with your

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loved ones and on Friday night Jess Varnish was able to do just that

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after winning gold at cycling's World Cup in London. A minibus full

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of friends and family had travelled down from Bromsgrove for this test

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event for the new Olympic velodrome and they weren't disappointed.

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Jess's blistering start set the stage for Victoria Pendleton and

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together they smashed the world record for the team sprint. Great

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memories for Jess's dad Jim but there's no guarantee he'll be there

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again if the 21-year-old wins Olympic gold in London this summer.

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Because they didn't get any cycling tickets in the public ballot and

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competitors are only allowed two tickets each for friends and family.

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I am using just as an example, but I am sure it is the same for all

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the athletes. They have got a family, appeared at her parents,

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some have got husbands and wives, what about grandparents, sisters

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and brothers? Two tickets on allegation, it isn't really enough

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when the need to be getting a hide our athletes. -- behind. In a

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statement London 2012 said "We believe that it is important that

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those people who have supported the athletes are able to share in their

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However we also want to ensure that the public has the chance to cheer

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on these athletes, so we have to strike a balance on ticket

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availability." On the day there may be vacant seats. I believe you can

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go to certain double-agent and buy a package to go to the velodrome as

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long as you buy a nice hotel. -- travel agent. My view is that

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tickets need to go to the people that really deserve them, the

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people who have supported athletes through their career. So if Jess

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gets the chance to go for gold again at the Olympic velodrome in

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August her family are desperately hoping they'll be there to roar her

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on. I do hope so. The thought of her family not being able to see

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her. You can find all the Olympic

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information you need on the BBC 2012 website. Later in the

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programme, just what the doctor ordered, an explosive storyline for

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the popular BBC1 series made in Birmingham.

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And things are certainly looking up for tomorrow but could the same be

:14:43.:14:50.

said of the weekend? I'll have a full update for you later.

:14:50.:14:54.

A Coventry man who hoped to become the first person to trek solo to

:14:54.:14:56.

both poles has revised his route because of the "unpredictable"

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nature of the Arctic. Mark Wood travelled 612 miles in 50 days to

:15:05.:15:08.

reach the South Pole last month. But instead of skiing to the North

:15:08.:15:12.

Pole from Canada later this year, as he was planning to do, he has

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had to change his plans. Kevin Reide reports. Back home in

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Coventry Mark Wood's still recovering from his epic solo ski

:15:17.:15:27.
:15:27.:15:37.

across the South Pole. In seven weeks he covered 612 miles.

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Q really have to live for the them back. Take every day as it comes.

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Mark had no human contact for 50 days filming himself with a camera

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on the end of a large pole. And he spent Christmas day in his tent

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letting his imagination run wild on this audio blog.

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Hello? My word, it is Father Christmas. I had a visit from

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Father Christmas in my tent. I did, I pretended he came I visited me or

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my own in the tent. With being away so long Mark's fridge is looking

:16:14.:16:17.

pretty sparse but he has got one thing in here, some water all the

:16:17.:16:22.

way from the South Pole. He collected Antarctic water by

:16:22.:16:25.

thawing snow into his flask and hopes to do the same in the Artic,

:16:25.:16:29.

he's setting off for that leg of his epic journey in a few weeks

:16:29.:16:32.

time. It's a harsher place than the south because it's all water and

:16:32.:16:35.

ice, and he recently decided to travel outwards from the pole

:16:35.:16:38.

rather than towards it to take advantage of the natural ice flow.

:16:38.:16:45.

He'll also prepared for the added risk of polar bears. I am fully

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aware it is their environment and the last thing I want to put one

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down, but if one attacked me for whatever reason you need the last

:16:53.:16:57.

line of defence so I do carry a shotgun. He has received many

:16:57.:17:02.

letters of support including this one from the Prime Minister and his

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adventure begins in mid-March. He can find out much more on the

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face but page. Not sure I could do Christmas they

:17:13.:17:23.
:17:23.:17:25.

are my own at the sample. -- Football, and Birmingham City moved

:17:25.:17:28.

another step closer to the Premier League by beating Barnsley last

:17:28.:17:31.

night. It was their 15th match without defeat, and means they're

:17:31.:17:33.

now third in the Championship. Walsall also secured back to back

:17:34.:17:36.

victories, but Shrewsbury Town suffered a setback in their bid to

:17:36.:17:40.

win promotion from League Two. Birmingham City are brim full of

:17:40.:17:42.

confidence. Their last defeat was just before Christmas. But they

:17:42.:17:45.

knew a midweek trip to Barnsley would be a tough test of their

:17:45.:17:52.

promotion credentials. And the Blues rose to the challenge. An

:17:52.:17:56.

early own goal from Rob Edwards set the ball rolling. But when Barnsley

:17:56.:18:01.

equalised ten minutes later Birmingham fought back strongly.

:18:01.:18:04.

Keith Fahey, who's on top of his game, rifled in their second. And

:18:04.:18:08.

it was no more than they deserved when Nathan Redmond wrapped up a 3-

:18:08.:18:11.

1 victory 12 minutes from time. Blues are now lying third after 15

:18:11.:18:14.

games without defeat. At the foot of League One Walsall moved out of

:18:14.:18:17.

the bottom four with a vital victory over one of their

:18:17.:18:19.

relegation rivals Scunthorpe. Florent Cuvelier on loan from Stoke

:18:19.:18:23.

settled the match in the first half. It was feisty affair at the top of

:18:23.:18:26.

League Two. Matt Richards gave Shrewsbury a first half lead at

:18:26.:18:36.
:18:36.:18:40.

Swindon. But this was the key moment. Terry Gornell looked to be

:18:40.:18:43.

fouled, but the referee said no penalty and no red card. Swindon

:18:43.:18:46.

went on to score twice in 12 minutes to go top of the table

:18:46.:18:48.

above Cheltenham who drew 0-0 against Wimbledon. Frustration all

:18:49.:18:51.

round for Shrewsbury and their manager Graham Turner who was left

:18:51.:18:56.

fuming with the referee. That looked a definite penalty, it

:18:56.:19:06.
:19:06.:19:08.

drives you mad. It promises to be a highlight of

:19:08.:19:10.

the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, a flotilla of 1,000

:19:10.:19:13.

boats travelling along the Thames. And taking part will be a

:19:13.:19:15.

narrowboat currently being restored at the Black Country Museum.

:19:15.:19:18.

It's steam powered, it's called The President and it'll be representing

:19:18.:19:20.

Staffordshire at the pageant and it'll take three weeks to travel

:19:20.:19:24.

the 336 miles from the county to London. Bob Hockenhull reports.

:19:24.:19:27.

Dating back to 1909 The President is one of 31 steam powered narrow

:19:27.:19:33.

boats built by Fellows, Morton and Clayton at Saltley in Birmingham.

:19:33.:19:36.

It's the only one that survives and at its permanent home at the Black

:19:36.:19:39.

Country Living Museum, enthusiasts are restoring the vessel for the

:19:39.:19:41.

jubilee celebrations. Staffordshire businesses are paying for the

:19:41.:19:44.

refurbishment so the county can be represented at the Diamond Jubilee

:19:44.:19:47.

flotilla on the Thames. The it is the only coal-fired steam powered

:19:47.:19:52.

narrowboat left in its original position. It is part of the

:19:52.:19:56.

National Historic fleet. Other boats on a late victory, could

:19:56.:20:06.
:20:06.:20:07.

It'll start out from Stoke in April on route inviting interested

:20:07.:20:14.

onlookers aboard as it makes its way to the Capital. If you look at

:20:14.:20:17.

it it is in excess of 100 years of age but it was breakthrough

:20:17.:20:21.

technology in its era. He we are now, going through the county, and

:20:21.:20:25.

it has more miles of canal and any other county in the country, so

:20:25.:20:30.

another reason why we are proud of There are still quite a lot of

:20:30.:20:33.

maintenance to be done before it is ready to meet the Queen, but the

:20:33.:20:37.

crew are confident everything will be ready by April, so the boat can

:20:37.:20:42.

make its journey to London 336 miles in a very sedate three miles

:20:42.:20:45.

an hour. The space taken up by the boiler

:20:45.:20:49.

meant there was limited room for the cargo, so narrowboats like this

:20:49.:20:53.

were reserved for specialist, highly priced goods. One of the big

:20:53.:20:58.

contracts for this boat was being date and spices to HP sauce in

:20:58.:21:03.

Birmingham. And then taking it back to London. It brought here up from

:21:03.:21:08.

the docks, a very valuable cargo and easy to get there quickly. For

:21:08.:21:13.

those who drive on the M1, quickly, London to Birmingham was 56 hours

:21:13.:21:16.

non-stop. In contrast the journey to London

:21:16.:21:19.

in the spring will be much more leisurely taken over several weeks

:21:19.:21:22.

but its cargo of good wishes for Her Majesty will be just as

:21:22.:21:27.

As the countdown to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations continues,

:21:27.:21:37.
:21:37.:21:39.

we'd love to hear your stories if you've ever met the Queen. Email us.

:21:39.:21:41.

Next month it'll be 12 years since television audiences were first

:21:41.:21:44.

introduced to the fictional West Midlands town of Letherbridge, and

:21:44.:21:47.

its medical centre. More than 2,000 episodes later and Doctors still

:21:47.:21:50.

has a regular afternoon slot on BBC1.

:21:51.:21:53.

Produced by our colleagues at BBC Birmingham, the drama's gearing up

:21:53.:21:57.

for a dramatic storyline. And today was an explosive one for crew and

:21:57.:21:58.

cast. Lindsay Doyle joined them on

:21:58.:22:03.

location. A cold, grey morning in Birmingham,

:22:03.:22:06.

forget glamour, this is hard graft, the start of filming of what's to

:22:06.:22:09.

be one of the most powerful storylines Doctors has run in its

:22:09.:22:19.
:22:19.:22:24.

twelve year history. I can tell you that it is very bad. It is a life-

:22:24.:22:30.

changing situation, a life-changing accident. The BBC drama which tells

:22:30.:22:33.

the story of the staff and patients of a fictional practice in the

:22:33.:22:35.

fictional town of Leatherbridge, has never been afraid to tackle

:22:35.:22:41.

dramatic and sometimes controversial storylines. With 220

:22:41.:22:47.

episodes each year it isn't often able to film on such a major scale

:22:47.:22:50.

but it is embarking on one of his biggest story lines ever and this

:22:50.:22:55.

is one of the most expensive episodes they have every shot.

:22:55.:23:00.

have got five camera operators, to sound recordist, camera assistants,

:23:00.:23:08.

a crane in play, specialist crew who have come to fit up the stud

:23:08.:23:11.

vehicle, still scored later, ambulance, fire engine, a lot of

:23:11.:23:14.

people. Centred around leading character

:23:14.:23:17.

Julia Parsons the lead up to today's stunt begins with an

:23:17.:23:26.

argument then disaster. The driver who happens to be a new love

:23:26.:23:29.

interest that is coming into her life, about time too. I know you

:23:29.:23:35.

all agree. She needs a man in her life and terriers, he nearly kills

:23:35.:23:44.

her, or we do know whether he does, he might? Some cot comes out of the

:23:44.:23:54.
:23:54.:23:59.

side road and there is a terrible No, that would be telling. All will

:23:59.:24:09.
:24:09.:24:14.

Quite a way to park. The steaming angry at the foot ball and worried

:24:14.:24:17.

about Julia. And the Doctors episode which Lindsay saw being

:24:17.:24:23.

filmed will be shown on the 14th May.

:24:23.:24:29.

You did appear in doctors didn't you. One episode.

:24:29.:24:36.

Let's talk sensibly and look at the We have done quite well with the

:24:36.:24:40.

temperatures over the last couple of weeks but everything comes to a

:24:40.:24:46.

head tomorrow. Hopefully you will feel the difference as we sit in

:24:46.:24:51.

this one sector. On Friday this called for a start to move through,

:24:51.:24:54.

cold air filtering in behind it. High pressure takes over by the

:24:54.:24:59.

weekend and back to square one. Back to the cold and also back to

:24:59.:25:07.

eat night frost. It will be quite cold. One drawback is that we have

:25:07.:25:10.

all cloud today and we hang on to it tonight. The rain will gradually

:25:10.:25:17.

die away. With that cloud it is quite mild. Temperatures exactly

:25:17.:25:24.

the same as during the day. Very mild. Tomorrow we haven't got a

:25:24.:25:28.

long way to go to achieve this temperatures, quite cloudy to start

:25:28.:25:34.

with. The breeze will start to pick up tomorrow. That will help to

:25:35.:25:41.

break up the cloud, producing brighter, sunny spells. Generally,

:25:42.:25:47.

across the board, looking at 14 or 15. Not a bad day. Fairly cloudy.

:25:47.:25:52.

Some sunny spells. Tomorrow night, almost identical to tonight. The

:25:52.:25:57.

temperatures only a degree also lower. A lot of cloud. It will be

:25:57.:26:02.

dry. Friday, we have a front heading down from the north so we

:26:02.:26:05.

could see some rain perhaps but it is a generally dry picture, quite

:26:05.:26:10.

cloudy, still in the warm sectors are still quite mild. During the

:26:10.:26:14.

weekend, high pressure takes over. The colder air sinks in a rickety

:26:14.:26:23.

temperatures back to normal with A look at tonight's main headlines:

:26:23.:26:26.

A Sunday Times journalist is among dozens of civilians killed in the

:26:26.:26:29.

Syrian city of Homs. Marie Colvin was covering a two week assault by

:26:29.:26:31.

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