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Welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines: Olympic and dancer, the
2012 games are expected to generate millions for Coventry. We will get
360,000 people coming to watch the football.
Teachers walked out, accusing their headmaster of poor discipline and
failing pupils. It is ridiculous that they are striking over trying
to sort the children Act. It is not helping them by closing the school.
The village that club together to save their pub. To think that a
quintessential English pub has been saved by the community is fantastic.
And they are not being paid. Crisis Good evening. The Olympic effect
and where business will benefit most. Coventry is playing host to
Olympic football, starting with a qualifying game next month. It is
also the city in this region which is seen into embrace the Olympic
spirit. �8 million has been spent redesigning parts of the city
centre but it is estimated events will generate more than �18 million
for the local economy, the most for NECD outside London. The region as
a whole has landed Olympic related contracts worth more than �500
million. D details. 12 football matches and the Ricoh
Arena in the summer are the tip of the Olympic dream for Coventry and
Warwickshire. It is estimated that 2012 will generate almost �80
million for businesses in the city and the surrounding area. From
massive building projects to creating 8,000 torches. This
preserves existing jobs, even with the economic downturn. Some of the
jobs are actually taking workers on. The Godiva Awakes project, part of
the Cultural Olympiad, will not only entertain thousands but has
also created more than 50 jobs for local artists to tasked with
dressing the six-metre high animatronic puppet. It would have
been tougher not having this project and because it has been
over a period of time it has been nice to have those injections of
cash from my client. It has been good for me in these hard times.
For Julia O'Connell, creating a dress for Godiva is more than a job.
It is the opportunity of a lifetime. These are difficult times for
everybody. The recession is biting hard but particularly here in the
Midlands. If we have various events and various activities that will
get us back on the map... 2000 people have already downloaded a
free mobile information programme, an app for smartphones to. It is
designed to keep locals and tourists are in touch with
everything Olympic. We have five gunging �20 million worth of
investments coming into the West Midlands and about �80 million into
Coventry, that would not have come if it were not for the Olympics and
Paralympics. That is money coming into our region because of the
quality that we offer. Images of the Harbour Bridge epitomised the
Sydney Olympics. Now it is hoped that sites like these arches will
become as famous for Coventry. Let's talk to our business
correspondent. He is in our Coventry studio. How exactly have
officials worked out that it is worth �80 million to the city of
Coventry, the Olympics? They have been looking at a variety
of things. 12 football matches, each attracting 36,000 people. It
is estimated each will spend about �100 in the city. Firms have won
contracts worth �10 million. One firm has won that are still just
contract to make the 8,000 Olympic torches. -- that prestigious
contract. Also the torch relay, which will be another boost for the
city, and a big PR boost because there will be pictures of the city
seen all over the world. It is publicity that cannot be bought and
you cannot calculate the value. Let's try to look at the bigger
picture. What will other regions get out of the Olympics? Be sneezes
across the region have won contracts worth �500 million. This
region has won more contracts the then any other region outside
London. There are a variety of events called the Cultural Olympiad,
specially commissioned plays and dance events. There will be a big
boost to tourism as people come as a whistle are coming to the game's
and many people will want to come as London is busy.
You can find out more about what is happening in your area on your
local BBC website. There is a catch down.
Still ahead this evening, the remarkable story of a virtually
forgotten Branagh and why he was barred from competing for his
country. -- a winner.
A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of murder of a four
year-old boy in calmer. Our reporter is there. What more can
you tell us? -- in Coventry. I can confirm that a 26-year-old woman,
thought to be the mother, and has 32-year-old partner, were arrested
on Monday night on suspicion of murder. A four year-old boy was
found unconscious at his home in the Holbrooks area of Coventry in
the early hours of Saturday morning. He died in hospital from a head
wound. At this stage to the police are not releasing the child's name.
By the police working with anyone else? Yes, they are working closely
with the local authority and I can confirm that the child was known to
Coventry social services. There are other children in the family. I am
assured they are safe and unhurt. Speaking to local people in the
area, they say that if -- they say that the family was polished and
they describe them as very private. -- Poles.
Teachers at a school in Birmingham have beyond on strike today at poor
discipline. They say changes to introduce by the head have had a
detrimental impact on the pupils' behaviour. The head says he is
disappointed that the action has gone ahead despite several meetings.
Out on strike, these teachers should be taking lessons at Castle
Vale Performing Arts College, but instead they are on the picket line.
It is not that we want a day off. We would rather be teaching the
kids. We are here because we would rather be teaching the kids and at
the moment we feel we cannot. Teachers say pupils are misbehaving
and management is not listening. Out of 75 secondary schools in
Birmingham, last year, Castle Vale had one of the lowest GCSE results.
29 % of students gained five good GCSEs. That compares to a
Birmingham average of 58 %. teachers are willing to teach.
Personally, I think they are. But there are other teachers that are
not bothered. The most naughty boys swear and disrupt lessons. The head
teacher was in school today but not available for interview. In a
statement, this Court's head, Clive Owen's, said he was disappointed
and disturbed by this action, which he said would damage pupils.
Teachers going on strike is always controversial but what do parents
think? It is ridiculous. They are striking over trying to sort the
kids out and trying to help them. They are not helping them by
closing the school. If the industry are action has to take place
because teachers do not seem to be gaining that respect within the
classroom, then so be it. This is turning into a bitter dispute and
unless both sides reached an agreement, there will be two more
strike days later this month. Since we mentioned it in our lunch
time news, you have been in touch. Here are a couple of Commons. Jude
Drummond says parents should be aware that decisions like this are
not taken lightly. Parents complained that striking damages
their children's education. Wrong. Disruptive children do this.
Teachers want to get on with the important task of educating.
Stewart from Lichfield e-mailed. He says the teachers are being judged
harshly, particularly over exam results, where other Birmingham
schools perform poorly as well. Dring has now is Liam Nolan, a so-
called super head teacher, who made the Perry Beeches School in
Birmingham the most improved school in the country. What do you make of
the walkout by teachers at Castle Vale Performing Arts College?
opinion, teachers do not enter this profession in order to strike. That
is not what they are about. They are great teachers down at Castle
Vale. They must have reached the end of their tether. This is where
discussions have broken down and meetings with unions have obviously
not worked. It is a great shame. The losers are the children and
their education. I understand you were approached to give advice to
the school. Did that happen? Lots of people were approached. About
supporting staff in Castle Vale. It did happen and it was not deemed
appropriate that Perry Beeches be the school to support. So you were
not given the chance to go into this goal to help out? Lots of
people were in discussions. Perry Beeches five years ago had 21 % of
students getting good GCSEs. It was far lower than Castle Vale is.
Perry Beeches could have been a school to hold back? Possibly but
that was not deemed appropriate. Going back to the Commons by
parents and teachers. They are concerned about lack of discipline.
How important is that to educational achievement? It is
really important. It is the whole package. It is about creating young
people who want to learn in a team, in a school where they can be
successful. It is getting staff and students working together. Perry
Beeches has something we work on enormously and that works for us.
And the key word there is respect? Yes, our Respect Agenda is well
known. Later in the programme, how one
failing school in Staffordshire is being turned around, and the
lessons for other schools that need to improve.
Other news. Remploy, which provides work for disabled people, is
planning to close its Stoke-on- Trent factory with the loss of 100
jobs. Remploy factories in Coventry and Birmingham will not be affected.
But 35 others were shut by the end of the year. The Government says
they are not financially viable but Labour has attacked the closures.
These are factors being closed with a number of people for chasing over
the job being over twice the national average. They are up some
of the toughest places in the country to get back into work so we
are saying these is the wrong plan. The funeral of PC David Rathband
will be held in his home town of Stafford later this month. The
police officer shot and blinded by Raoul Moat was found dead at his
house in Northumberland last week. His funeral will take us on March
17th. PC Rathband will be buried in his uniform.
Still ahead, they may have lost but errors pride in Cup defeat for
Blues as they now it look to build on their promotion push.
What A difference a week makes. Last weekend felt like winter. This
one could feel like spring. On average, 16 pubs shut every week
as licensees struggled to make ends meet. Losing the local is perhaps
most devastating in villages, where a pub is not just a place to drink
but a place to meet people. That in mind, villages near Stafford
decided they could not let theirs shut without a fight, and they have
now bought it. Reclaiming their local, a symbolic
moment as the villagers remove the name board are a short lived Indian
restaurant to reveal the building's original identity, a pub that
locals wanted back so much they bought it. If you went back to the
millennium, you could not get in this pub. It was Scholes to
shoulder in here. That kind of tells you what a community we had.
A community they apparently still have. Faced with having no pub in
the village, a group of 26 locals got together to buy the pub at
auction for �199,000. Their aim was to re-open the Holly Bush and run
it as a sort of co-operative. think that a quintessential English
pub has been saved by the community is fantastic. According to the
British beer and pub Association, 16 pubs are closing in the UK every
week. Back in 2009, the figure was 52. Maybe what is happening in this
village is a sign that there is a will out there to reverse that
trend. It is a small village with few facilities, not even a shop.
The closure and now rebirth of its Burney Cup is recognised as a
significant moment. -- it's only pub. Too many facilities have been
lost state to be able to have the pub again is great. Is there any
kind of lesson for other villages? Is this small community have been
brave enough to do it, why shouldn't others follow? It is
hoped to the pub could open relay Tep -- could re-open later this
year. There are also plans for a Back to schools now, and nearly a
third offer a poor education and must improve immediately, according
to a report today from Ofsted, the schools watchdog.
Among them is Churchfields Primary in Newcastle-under-Lyme which was
put into special measures. But under a new headteacher with new
ideas, things are starting to turn around. Here's Ben Godfrey.
These 10-year-olds have got SATS exams this year. They're being
taught maths at a secondary school in Newcastle-under-Lyme because
their primary school is failing. They do high standards of work,
we're going to learn more about maths and English. We don't have to
keep going through things for those who don't know what to do, or most
of us know what to do here. Inadequate teaching, poor pupil
progress - when Ofsted put Churchfields Primary School into
special measures, it couldn't get much worse. This school has been
serving this community since 1903, but because the standards of
teaching and learning were so poor, there was a real risk that in
nothing was done, the school could close for good. We have been
working with teachers... Lynn Jackson is head of Chesterton
Community Sports College. If she can manage a second school and turn
it around, schools that fail in the future could follow a similar model
for success. We have got the specialist input in the run-up to
the exams, so we are really prepared, as well as the fact that
eventually all the children will come to Chester to next September,
so that transition is so much easier for them. Churchfields has
avoided academy status, favoured by the Government for a failing school.
That would only have happened if the Department of Education had not
been happy with the solution we come up with to improve the quality
of the teaching here. They are happy with our solution, so this is
the right one for this school. Parents are relieved progress is
being made. The children are more enthusiastic about coming to school,
there is more information given to parents about what is going on.
have a little boy in year six who is actually looking forward to
going up to the Higher School. the time these nursery children are
ready to leave, they'll have taken their GCSEs, it's the first so-
called "through-school" in Staffordshire.
Here's Ian with the sport. Loads to tell you about. "There's no shame
in losing to a quality team like Chelsea." That's how Chris Hughton
summed up the Blues' FA Cup defeat at St Andrew's. And he was spot on.
It was Birmingham City's 48th game of the season. But it's the final
13 that will make or break their promotion ambitions.
Surely amongst this tangled spaghetti, one of those cables must
be labelled FA Cup shock. That's what the Blues fans were hoping, as
they queued for their pre-match chips, knowing Chelsea were in
turmoil. Some were feeling confident, others weren't quite so
sure. And a few had come to celebrate a rather special 18th
birthday. How good a player will he be in the future? We are keeping it
quiet, we want to make sure he stays with us. Nathan Redmond is
blessed with blistering pace. He's already on the radar of several top
clubs. But Chelsea were in no mood to gift him a goal, birthday or no
birthday. This was the closest that Blues came to scoring in a pretty
even first half. But after the break, Chelsea stepped up a gear
and delivered two killer blows inside five fatal minutes - first
Mata, then Meireles. And Birmingham knew their Cup dream was over.
Goalkeeper Colin Doyle had the personal satisfaction of saving
another penalty, and Jordon Mutch almost made a name for himself near
the end. But the Blues' road to Wembley ran out of tarmac in their
48th game of the season. How would our league position be if
we hadn't been in the Cup? Arguably, we would be in a better position.
But if you asked me by would rather have been in it and done without, I
would say no. I thought we did ourselves proud, it was a good cup
tie. They could have had a few more chances, but they should have put
one to bed. But now it's time to forget the Cup, and focus for the
next 13 games on getting the Blues back into the Premier League.
And they play Coventry next? there is so much to play for for
both teams, of course. Last night, Coventry left it late before
MacDonald scored day equaliser against Crystal Palace. It finished
1-1, but they are still in the bottom three of the championship.
Better news for Walsall? Yes indeed. Three vital points for them, and a
five-goal thriller, all of them coming in the second half. This was
a tremendous strike, followed by another from a John Makin. That
lead didn't last long, and it needed a late header from Annette
Nicholls to clinch a 3-2 victory over Shep of United. -- Alex
Nicholls. A lot about Port Vale? They did well considering their
circumstances. They have been in the news so much this week, the
players are still battling hard on the pitch. Richards got their first
against Burton Albion. But then two late strikes sealed a 3-0 home win.
Site last, some good news to lift the gloom that has been gathering
around them this week. You cannot forget at Shrewsbury Town. They
were dead and buried. It would be rude to leave -- leave them out!
They fought back from 2-0 back this was a good goal, but it wasn't as
good as the second goal, four minutes into stoppage time. Matt
Richards hit a screamer to earn a 2-2 draw and keep them in 4th spot.
You can see all the goals on our website. Thank you.
John Tarrant was a world record holder. A runner who was faster
than many Olympians yet his career took place in almost complete
obscurity. He'd accepted a small amount in
expenses in another amateur sport as a teenager, and rules barring
ANY payment meant he couldn't compete in international
competitions. Now, as Bob Hockenhull reports, a
campaign for a permanent memorial to the so-called "ghost runner" is
gathering momentum. John Tarrant - an extraordinary
athlete who became known as the "ghost runner" for turning up at
races from which he was barred and often winning them. Tragically, the
Amateur Athletic Association stopped John from competing
officially because he'd accepted payment as a teenage boxer - and
that was against the rules. John spent most of his life living in
Hereford - his brother Vic still trains athletes in the city and is
one of those behind a growing campaign to get a statue erected to
the runner who achieved two world records in 40 and 100 mile races.
It would be ideal, and a good memento, because there are not many
people who set world records like John did. He was very fond of
Hereford, as well. He always thought how kind everybody was
towards him. So really, the statue won't just be for John, it will be
for everybody into Derriford. remarkable footage shows John on
the way to one of his victories in the Exeter to Plymouth road race in
the mid 1960s. By then, the ban on him competing in the UK had been
lifted. But John still wasn't allowed to represent his country -
even though he was faster than many Olympians. Anyone from a hard
upbringing, they never give up, they keep trying, and you are
likely to succeed, which he did, everyone else's eyes. Unfortunately,
in those days, the officials were so strict, and rules and
regulations were not like they are now. There is one memorial to John,
this cul-de-sac was named after him in the late 1970s. But many
Hereford people, including local athletes, don't know it is here.
John's story has recently been documented in a story -- a book.
Sadly, the great athlete died of stomach cancer in 1975, aged 42. In
her living room in Hereford, his widow keeps the trophies on display,
pleased that the renewed interest in his career. I think that was
always at the back of his mind, he wanted to be recognised. Because
although he was doing very well in all the races, breaking world
records, he was never accepted, he was never going to run in the
Olympics. Herefordshire Council says it will consider the demands
for a memorial to John, who would have just celebrated his 80th
birthday if he had lived. What an intriguing story. Let's
Sunshine in the end, always a welcome sight, today's reign was
the last proper rain we will see for some time. That was the area we
saw today, so I say goodbye to that. High pressure, dominating for a
lengthy period. Unfortunately, any incoming France will be
significantly weakened, and it is looking largely dry. -- incoming
fronts. Temperatures are on the rise this weekend. A dress-
rehearsal for spring. It really should feel quite pleasant.
Currently, we are in a post a cold front of phrase. We are looking at
large the clear skies tonight, colder than last bite. -- largely
clear skies tonight, colder than last night. We are looking at some
localised air frost, a chilly start the day tomorrow. But it will be a
Sunni one. A better cloud flitting about, but a mainly sunny picture,
and a dry day. Slightly Kallur than today, because we are in that cool
air Mass. Into Friday and the weekend, we will start to see cloud