09/03/2012 Midlands Today


09/03/2012

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

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The headlines tonight: A world first as a hospital here

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performs an operation that'll save thousands of patients.

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I am not saying it is going to be common, but I think it is something

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we will see. Genuine signs of recovery as

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companies take on more workers than expected and report increased

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activity. The positive news is that people

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have come back and they are placing orders again. It is positive for

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the West Midlands. From the Caribbean to the Black

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Country, the first competitors arrive to prepare for the London

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Olympics. And hidden in an attic for 50 years,

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now published for the first time - poignant front line memories from

:00:42.:00:52.
:00:52.:00:56.

Good evening and welcome to Friday's Midlands Today from the

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BBC. Tonight, a world first in heart surgery, performed right here

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in this region. 81-year-old Henry Beirne was too ill to undergo

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normal surgery, so doctors implanted an aortic valve in his

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heart and repaired an aneurysm using a pioneering new technique.

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Surgeons performed the two lifesaving operations together. If

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they'd been done separately, he could've died. Our health

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correspondent Michele Paduano reports on the new technique that

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could now save hundreds of other lives too.

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Meet a medical first. 81-one-year- old Henry Beirne was a ticking time

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bomb. He had a large bulge in a main artery - the aorta - and a

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leaking heart valve. Doctors knew he'd already had a heart bypass,

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had suffered a stroke and had kidney problems, so further surgery

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wasn't possible. But they gave Henry an option.

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It was either that or I would go to the play's upstairs!

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Specialists had worked out that if they repaired his aortic valve, his

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aneurysm could burst from the increased pressure. If they

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repaired the aneurysm, the pressure on the valve could cause sudden

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heart failure, so they decided to do both without open surgery.

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There's double jeopardy. He has got an aneurysm, which is a timebomb,

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as well as the valve. Both things are fortunate, but it is something

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we may see increasingly. I am not saying it is going to be common,

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but it is something we will see because we are treating a much more

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elderly population. Following careful planning, a team

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of doctors used a keyhole technique and went in through the two main

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arteries in Mr Bierne's thighs to reach his heart. While one placed a

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man made valve inside his aortic valve, a process called Tavi, the

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:02:54.:02:54.

other placed a tube inside his aorta to cure the bulge in the wall.

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I knew that was the only hospital which could do it.

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This image of Mr Bierne's insides shows the two repairs.

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Over 170 patients have been treated with this procedure in

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Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Stoke on Trent. They are people who would

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previously have died. Mr Beirne is still able to drive

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and enjoys visiting friends and the odd trip to the pub.

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Just to live as long as I can. Quality of life, really. As long as

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you have got good quality of life, it is the most important, do you

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know what I mean? For his doctors, it means they

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don't have to say so often, "I'm sorry, there is nothing more we can

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do for you." I'm joined now by Dr Peter Ludman,

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who's a consultant cardiologist for University Hospital Birmingham.

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We saw the double there. It is rare, but you are excited, aren't you,

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about the one part of the procedure. Why is that?

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It is a real breakthrough. There are a lot of patience in the

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population getting older, and this lethal disease of a narrowing of

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the main valve through which all the blood from your heart is pumped

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out into your body, this disease can kill you. But it affects

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elderly patients, and they often have other things wrong with them

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as well. So the normal surgery cannot be

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done? It can, but at higher risk. It is difficult for patients in

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their eighties to undergo surgery. It is a big burden for him to

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overcome. How many people could be saved?

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Many hundreds. In the UK, we are performing somewhere between 709

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hundred Procedure per year. It all started in the UK in 2007. --

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between 709 hundred procedures. We always hear that the NHS cannot

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afford these procedures. What will happen in this case?

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We are going to find that this is a cost-effective technology. Patients

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have terrible quality of life with this disease. They are breathless

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and cannot walk around. They repeatedly are admitted to hospital

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in heart failure. If you can fix the Val, they have an independent

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life. They don't go in and out of hospital, and they live longer. If

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you put that into an equation to work out whether it is worth it,

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almost certainly it is going to come out as cost-effective.

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Thank you very much. You're watching Midlands Today at

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the start of the weekend. Later in the programme:

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It's been our driest spell for decades, but why? Hear from the

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experts later! Encouraging news on the economy

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this evening - recruitment in manufacturing and the demand for

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products appears to be on the increase. A survey of companies in

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the West Midlands has seen an unexpected boom. Businesses

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reported they were seeing a rise in orders both in the UK and from

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abroad. But many firms also said they were having to tighten their

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profit margins so they can compete. Bob Hockenhull has the details.

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This company in Birmingham makes products for cars and is one of the

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success stories helping to boost manufacturing output in the West

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Midlands. Lander Automotive has increased its workforce by 100 to

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400 since September as orders grow. It's a far cry from the gloomy

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economic picture that's often been painted in recent years.

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We are really seeing a buoyant market place. In the last six

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months of last year, we introduced �12 million of business into this

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factory. We have another �5 million in next six months.

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The latest research by the Engineering Employers Federation

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reveals many businesses are optimistic - that's compared with

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the last survey, which revealed a drop in confidence caused partly by

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the euro crisis. In the West Midlands, the number of

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firms expecting an increase in orders has gone up from 30% in

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November to 38% now. The number of companies expecting to take on more

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staff has risen from 25% to 29%. Good news, too, for young workers

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like Sam, the first apprentice to be taken on here in 10 years.

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There's a lot of fun of all people out there, and for somebody like me

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to have a good opportunity, it is amazing.

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It's a step in the right direction, but engineering leaders are

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cautious as well as optimistic. We still have significant problems.

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We have got problems in terms of unemployment, so the news that jobs

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will be created is good, but it will be a small dent in the

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unemployment, I am afraid. Even so, the Engineering Employers

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Federation is predicting manufacturing will continue to grow

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throughout this year and into 2013. A mother and her partner have been

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charged with the murder of her four-year-old son in Coventry. The

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boy was found unconscious at a house in the Holbrooks area of the

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city last Saturday. He died two days later in hospital from a head

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injury. The 26-year-old woman and a man, who's 32, will appear before

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magistrates in Coventry tomorrow. A former Roman Catholic priest from

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Staffordshire has been sentenced to 22 years in jail for sexually

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abusing young boys over a period of 18 years. The judge described him

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as "shameless," saying he'd manipulated God's teaching for his

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own devices. 58-year-old Alexander Bede Walsh from Abbots Bromley was

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convicted last month of 21 charges of abuse. The abuse was described

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in court as serial and predatory. Walsh committed the offences while

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working as a priest across the West Midlands. The Archdiocese of

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Birmingham says it's begun the process of removing him from any

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:09:00.:09:01.

standing within the Catholic Church. We have already said that we would

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start the process, which has begun. The archbishop has already said

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again today that his door is open to meet any of the victims of this

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terrible abuse. One of them spoke to me after the case, and I think

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we'll take up the offer. The organisation that represents

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rank-and-file police officers in the West Midlands is warning

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against former politicians filling the role of elected police

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commissioners. The public will vote for who they want to take on the

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new job in each of the region's police forces in November. The

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government says commissioners will set police budgets, decide policing

:09:33.:09:43.
:09:43.:09:43.

priorities, and have the power to hire and fire the Chief Constable.

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I would like to think in the West Midlands that the people who are in

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touch with us are doing so for the right reasons, but I'm sure that

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across the country there are people standing who have not had the

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political career that they wanted and are now seeking out another

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high-profile job in order to fulfil themselves.

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And you can see the full report about police commissioners and what

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their role will be on the Sunday Politics Show, which is on at the

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earlier time of 11 o'clock on Sunday morning.

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Campaigners wanting an elected mayor in Birmingham are warning

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that too few people know the city's holding a referendum on the issue.

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It comes after a Populus poll for BBC WM revealed that more than half

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of the people living in the city were unaware that it was taking

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place in May. BBC WM will be holding a debate on the subject

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this evening, and our political reporter Susana Mendonca is there

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now. So tell us more about this poll.

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There are some interesting findings. As you can see, this place is

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filling up with people wanting to discuss whether Birmingham needs a

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male. That poll shows that 59% of the people asked did not know that

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the referendum is taking place in May. 54% of people said that they

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supported the idea of an elected mayor, and 74% of people said that

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they would be voting in the referendum. I am joined by a couple

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of the panellists. Sir Peter Soulsby, Elected Mayor of Leicester,

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elected last year without a referendum, and David Williams from

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Birmingham Green Party, also a member of Vote No to a Power Freak.

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This poll suggests not a lot of people are interested.

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If you had had a similar poll in less that of months ago, you would

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have had a similar result. If you ask them now if it is the

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democratic way of deciding Ladyship, you get an overwhelming yes.

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David Williams, the poll does suggest people support the idea.

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Does that mean that your campaign in Birmingham is losing ground?

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There's no demand at all for this. This has come from the top. There's

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no demand for many community for a directly affected neer. -- a

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:12:06.:12:09.

He what would you say he's the reason for banning him to have won?

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-- what we do say is the reason for having an elected mayor?

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It works in less than it would work here.

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David Williams. Leadership. You don't agree with this.

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Birmingham is made up of many communities. To have one man, and I

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use the word adviser be because I believe they are all men elected to

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the division, is actually a bad way of going about the democratic

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process. There we must leave it.

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You can hear the debate in full from 7pm on BBC WM.

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As the dry spell continues, you might be wondering if this is a

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sign of a changing climate and if we can expect similar or worse

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conditions in years to come, and what, if anything, we can all do to

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cope with the effects. Ahead of National Climate Week we sent our

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environment correspondent David Gregory to Coventry, and a

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conference of experts from across the Midlands to find out more just

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what is going on. It is tempting to think that

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conferences on climate change produce so much hot air that they

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make the problem worse. But the people here today are at the sharp

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end, some of them thinking up to 40 years in the future.

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The what we see now is how the weather affects the water. We are

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now going through a dry spell. What it shows us is that it paints a

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picture of the type of events we are likely to see more often in the

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future. This is how Severn Trent, for example, are coping today. Just

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a few miles away, they are topping up the reservoir using water from a

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river. Water companies are already talking

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to the regulator about what they plan to do for the next five years

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in terms of infrastructure. But of course, with climate change, they

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are starting to think as much as 40 years ahead. That means spending

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cash on something that has not happened yet. How do the company is

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make sure they don't spend our money on precautions which may not

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:14:17.:14:20.

What we are looking to do is, our approach to adaptation is that we

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are planning to build things that are flexible and adaptable. We can

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build them incrementally over time and if the situation gets worse we

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can accelerate. There are no regrets on those decisions. Right

:14:34.:14:44.
:14:44.:14:45.

now. Everyone is praying for rain. Our reporter is at a reservoir in

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Birmingham. They are lots of other organisations that are worried

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about climate change. These are the ones that have got hardest about

:14:58.:15:02.

this. The two big things in the Midlands are going to be drought,

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this reservoir is looking pretty well, and also flooding. These are

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two things that really worry what a company's. This idea that they have

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a long-term plan but it is small changes, so they can accelerate

:15:17.:15:20.

things if the need to, but do not spend too much money on it if they

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do not need to. You mention this long-term plan, I do any bed, a

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radical idea has to cope with this? Severn Trent published his report

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just a euro. They call for a water trading to be allowed to sell water

:15:40.:15:45.

between regions. The sake regulation has to change and there

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:15:55.:15:57.

is a PR battles to be had there too. There is a lot to be said, but

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there will be benefits to customers from this idea. You said what a

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levels were looking pretty well where you wear, what is the

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situation in the Midlands with water and drought? Next week on

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Tuesday it is the next report from the Environment Agency about the

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drought conditions in the Midlands. I suspect we will see more eyrie

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has to be at higher risk of drought. -- regions.

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Memories from the front line nearly a hundred years ago. A glance into

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the forgotten diaries of a nurse in World War a one. The weather does

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not look like giving us the rain we so desperately need this weekend.

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Is there any end in sight to this very dry spell? Join me for the

:16:43.:16:53.
:16:53.:16:54.

forecast later. Port Vale are now officially in

:16:54.:16:57.

administration after a hearing at the High Court this morning. We

:16:57.:17:04.

pretty much expected this. It is a legal formality. On Tuesday, they

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made their application to move to the High Court. Let us hope that

:17:08.:17:12.

this will be the beginning of their end of the financial troubles. In

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the Premier League, Wolves are facing up a very different set of

:17:16.:17:20.

problems. Team captain Roger Johnson turned up a bit worse for

:17:20.:17:25.

wear for training on Monday. Tomorrow they have a real six-

:17:25.:17:28.

pointer against relegation rivals Blackburn.

:17:28.:17:35.

Just opposite the chippy you will find Crazy Wicks, and inside Crazy

:17:35.:17:38.

Wicks I found Stuart Russell. He is possibly the only man in the

:17:38.:17:42.

Midlands who shares his passion for the will sweat his passion for her

:17:42.:17:48.

scented candles, healing crystals and dreamcatchers. That is a very

:17:48.:17:54.

popular one at the moment. Popular with will stands? Yes. We have a

:17:54.:18:00.

lot of greens and one of the genes is to stay end their Premier League

:18:00.:18:10.
:18:10.:18:11.

-- dreams. A dreamcatcher will trap all its -- or you're bad dreams in

:18:11.:18:21.

its web and they will disappear in the sunlight. Will survive last

:18:21.:18:28.

year by a single point in the final day of the season. -- Wolves. They

:18:28.:18:32.

will not be cheering if the same opponents, Blackburn, achieve a

:18:32.:18:38.

similar result tomorrow. We need to try and go out and the bold and

:18:38.:18:42.

when the game of football. The lads are professional, this is their

:18:42.:18:45.

home pitch and they want to win on their home pitch. Come Saturday

:18:45.:18:51.

there will be ready to go. I will hope until the last game that

:18:51.:19:01.
:19:01.:19:01.

Wolves will stay in this is a -- division. If you can smell blue

:19:01.:19:05.

coconut and white mask in the Stan Cullis Stand tomorrow that will be

:19:05.:19:08.

Stuart Russell. If Wolves are transformed into a fire-breathing

:19:08.:19:12.

dragon against Blackburn, that could be Stuart's dreamcatchers,

:19:12.:19:16.

working hard to keep the club in the Premier League.

:19:16.:19:19.

Anne's to find out if your footballing dreams come true this

:19:19.:19:28.

weekend, you can find the action on your local radio stations.

:19:28.:19:31.

Allsop's local swimming championship can look after lunch

:19:31.:19:36.

and we do at -- put forward to London 2012. Ellie Simmonds became

:19:36.:19:40.

the first person to break a world record at the newer Olympic

:19:40.:19:47.

aquatics centre. She beat her previous best by have the second.

:19:47.:19:56.

have had quite a bad week in my front crawl races. They were not

:19:56.:20:02.

ones that I was happy with and I felt I could definitely swim faster.

:20:03.:20:09.

I just cannot believe it. Even though it was only a world record,

:20:09.:20:17.

I just cannot believe it. Elliott sentences not the only swum

:20:17.:20:27.
:20:27.:20:28.

her -- Ellie Simmonds is not the only scunner, Sascha Kindred also

:20:28.:20:33.

race end of the Men's MC 50m Buttefly Final. With just over four

:20:33.:20:38.

wants to go, boxers from the Commonwealth of Dominica are in

:20:38.:20:46.

Wolverhampton. A new credit -- I unique relationship has been formed

:20:46.:20:48.

between the city and they went state.

:20:49.:20:53.

Hewlett Lucien and rowing Christopher R Dominica's fineness

:20:53.:20:59.

middleweights. They are 4,000 miles from home having a light breakfast

:20:59.:21:09.
:21:09.:21:10.

in Bilston. We have been adjusting to the whole environment, but we

:21:10.:21:19.

are looking to keep up in the common -- coming weeks. I just want

:21:19.:21:25.

to make it to the Olympics. Andrew Pettey is helping them adjust to

:21:25.:21:29.

life in the Black Country. His house is now their training base.

:21:29.:21:33.

They are no trouble. They are very well house-trained. They look after

:21:33.:21:37.

themselves. Dominica is in the Caribbean with a

:21:37.:21:43.

population of just 75,000. A few years ago, Wolverhampton-based

:21:44.:21:47.

boxing coach returned to his homeland and took a humble boxing

:21:47.:21:52.

ring from the city's amateur club. It has inspired a generation of

:21:52.:21:57.

youngsters. Hewlett Lucien and Rowain Christopher are products of

:21:58.:22:03.

this unique relationship. We are giving them every possible

:22:03.:22:08.

opportunity to win. The club itself has been going since 1936 and we

:22:08.:22:13.

are applied of -- proud of a club. Not one of us get a penny.

:22:13.:22:17.

These boxers will be in Wolverhampton until the end of

:22:17.:22:20.

April. Then they will head to Brazil, hoping to make it to London

:22:20.:22:30.
:22:30.:22:31.

2012. I would like to thank her court is for giving us the

:22:31.:22:36.

opportunity to be at the Olympics. We could not fail to miss out on

:22:36.:22:42.

the Molineux, and time FA Premier League picture. And another treat -

:22:42.:22:48.

and the city's brand new bus station. Sadly, that we as a we had

:22:48.:22:52.

time for. These boxers are only really interested in one thing -

:22:52.:23:01.

Olympic gold. It has been revealed that the

:23:01.:23:05.

Olympic torch will pass outside Wolverhampton Boxing Club on June

:23:05.:23:15.
:23:15.:23:16.

30th. Thank you very much. Almost 100 years after the First World War,

:23:16.:23:19.

a starring first-hand account of life on the front line has been

:23:19.:23:27.

published. It has happened almost by accident. Edith Appleton nest,

:23:27.:23:35.

injured and dying soldiers. -- and her staff. Now in association with

:23:35.:23:39.

their Imperial War Museum, her family are able to tell her story.

:23:39.:23:44.

For more than half a century, these diaries lay in a drawer. Now the

:23:44.:23:50.

voice of Edith Appleton has been brought back to life. We have had

:23:50.:23:54.

over 600 through ever hospital today, badly wounded and fearfully

:23:54.:24:03.

collapsed. Edie, as she was known, spend the

:24:03.:24:07.

whole of the First World War as a nurse in France and Belgium. It is

:24:07.:24:12.

a mixture of every day horrors that she was dealing with, and then she

:24:12.:24:15.

would be off on a picnic and writing all this in her diary,

:24:15.:24:24.

beautifully. There are heaps of dead. English, French and Belgian

:24:24.:24:30.

are lying all across the town. This first hand account of the work

:24:30.:24:40.
:24:40.:24:43.

may have remained untold until the Dick was spurred into action.

:24:43.:24:53.
:24:53.:24:53.

At this phone call. It said, these diaries are incredible.

:24:53.:25:00.

When you read the diaries in detail, you know the day after the agonies

:25:00.:25:04.

of the people that she was dealing with. It is very powerful.

:25:04.:25:09.

Sadly, sections of the diary are missing, but what remains is

:25:09.:25:16.

touching and very human. Pc! Thank God for that. It feels very clear

:25:16.:25:24.

to. Perhaps she might be pleased that people were reading her

:25:24.:25:33.

perspective on the war. Edith Appleton's diaries will be handed

:25:33.:25:41.

to their Imperial War Museum for safe keeping and posterity.

:25:41.:25:51.
:25:51.:25:53.

It is bad news for all those farmers growers and perhaps the

:25:53.:25:57.

water companies looking for some rain. This is the set up at the

:25:57.:26:01.

moment, high pressure for the south. Although they will move around a

:26:01.:26:06.

bit, this will be in charge of our weather for the foreseeable future.

:26:06.:26:11.

For the next few days and beyond it will stay dry and very mild.

:26:11.:26:16.

Certainly dry through this evening and to eight. They will be. Spot of

:26:16.:26:20.

drizzle a crossed the moorlands. For the rest of us, some decent

:26:20.:26:28.

spells. A very mild night to come. A fine day tomorrow, that ridge of

:26:28.:26:32.

high pressure still in charge, which means it will be dry. The

:26:32.:26:42.

Clyde will break up quite nicely as well. -- declared. There will be

:26:42.:26:47.

highs of 16 Celsius. It is try again through tomorrow night.

:26:47.:26:52.

Sunday will be dry and bright. Quite a lot of cloud initially. We

:26:52.:26:57.

should see some sunny spells coming through. If you are heading to

:26:57.:27:01.

Birmingham for the St Patrick's Day parade on Sunday then it should be

:27:01.:27:08.

dry and bright. Sunday sunny spells, 14 Celsius. This is the situation

:27:08.:27:12.

as we enter Sunday, the big red of high pressure is still in place. It

:27:12.:27:18.

is a protective bubble. As we head into next week, that will stay with

:27:18.:27:23.

us. If you are looking for a rainy will have to look away beyond the

:27:23.:27:30.

middle of next week. The headlines: the Italian

:27:30.:27:35.

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