14/03/2012 Midlands Today


14/03/2012

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

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The headlines tonight: A warning that the country's

:00:07.:00:11.

largest colliery may have to close with the loss of 800 jobs.

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It will close in 2014 unless we can cut costs, increase our production

:00:14.:00:18.

and maintain that increased production.

:00:18.:00:21.

Arrested and led to a temporary police station in a supermarket car

:00:21.:00:24.

park. Cracking down on offenders who'd failed to pay fines or obey

:00:24.:00:27.

court orders. The message is that we are working

:00:27.:00:34.

together as criminal justice partners. We will come knocking at

:00:34.:00:37.

your door. You will be arrested and you will be put back before the

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courts. Obesity's blamed for a significant

:00:39.:00:42.

rise in the number of women suffering from cancer of the womb.

:00:42.:00:45.

Womb cancer is one of the most common cancers linked to obesity.

:00:45.:00:48.

And residents in tears after ancient oak trees are chopped down

:00:48.:00:58.
:00:58.:01:05.

to make way for a new shopping Good evening and welcome to

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Midlands Today. Our top story this Wednesday evening:

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Plans have been announced to shut the country's biggest coal mine.

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Daw Mill in Warwickshire is the last deep coal mine in the Midlands,

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employing 800 people. Owners UK Coal are in talks to shut

:01:19.:01:24.

it by 2014 after profits fell. Daw Mill is now the UK's largest

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remaining colliery, but it has been hit by productivity problems. A

:01:29.:01:33.

four month gap in production resulted in losses of �75 million.

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A two year pay freeze for staff was agreed, but the pit has failed to

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meet its targets. So, is this the end of an era for

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coal mining in the Midlands? Joan Cummins has this report. This has

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been talked about for some time. You think it review will happen?

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Who knows? I think it is fair to say that UK Coal have lost patience

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with Daw Mill. I was told today that although there are 800 people

:02:05.:02:09.

working here, the rest of the company across the country, and

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that is around two and half 1000 jobs, have basically been a

:02:14.:02:18.

supporting Daw Mill. It is fair to say that a few years ago, Daw Mill

:02:18.:02:23.

was producing around 70 thousand tonnes of coal a week. At the

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moment, that figure is down to 22,000. What UK Coal have said is

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that they needed very quickly to get back up to 50 thousand tonnes a

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week. What they have also said as they are not planning any future

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development works. That means looking for new faces to crack into,

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if I can use that sort of a man's term. If they do not actually crack

:02:48.:02:52.

in, nothing will happen. But I have been told is that basically, Daw

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Mill has been in what I would call a special message -- special

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measures since before Christmas. Every day, the tonnage that has

:03:02.:03:05.

been said that has been examined and they are trying to find ways of

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increasing it further. More than 800 people worked at Daw

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Mill. It is the last deep mine in the region. For them protection

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Lego -- levels has bought the future of the pit in doubt. This is

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no bluffer taught make people work harder. We need people to work hard

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and be focused on getting protection going. If we are not

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producing coal in a sufficient quantities and a smile is not

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profitable by 2014, it will close. UK Coal say that for Daw Mill to

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have any hope of a future, they must increase production from

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22,000 tonnes a week to around 50,000 tonnes a week. A spokesman

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for one of the mining unions said that closure was not an absolute

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death it. He acknowledged as he put it, that production was in a bad

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way. But he said that although the situation was serious, this was not

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the end of Daw Mill. Minus drop more than half a mile underground

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and then travelled to the coalface. Above ground, today's announcement

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shocked villagers. Daw Mill has been a life-saver for quite a few

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people. By Neil -- I know quite a few people that work out.

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Everything it takes away jobs is sad. Of course it is sad. It is

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taking away fallible jobs. 60 years ago, there were more than 1000

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working pits in Britain. By 1981, this number had dropped to just 21.

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But the thousands of miners that it once worked in the pits have

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dwindled. This nearby area lost its pit in 1967. Local some form of

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minor say the area have suffered. We did not have that camaraderie

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again. We did not have a lot of money. We are all in the same vote.

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Really bad news. I cannot see them chatting it. It is privately owned.

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I think the Government will jump in. The progress of Daw Mill and

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possible survival will be assessed on a weekly basis.

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That news from Warwickshire comes on the day unemployment figures

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went up again nationally, although there was a slight fall in the West

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Midlands. 241,000 people are now out of work

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across the region. That's a rate of 9.1%. That's a drop of 1,000, but

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down 22,000 in the last year. Well, a little earlier, I spoke to

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Professor David Bailey from Coventry Business School. I began

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by asking him what effect the closure of Daw Mill colliery and

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the loss of 800 jobs there would have? I hope it does not close.

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This is an important plant. The biggest left in the UK. It would

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have a big impact on the local community. It would have an impact

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in terms of energy. We need as many different energy sources as

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possible. It is an important place for the country. Why can't they

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make it work? That is a very good question. The management of saying

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there are geological factors which means it is more challenging to get

:06:16.:06:21.

the Coalite than they thought. But also, I think the company has got

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problems in terms of a big pile of debt. It is not clear that they can

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afford to invest in a plan to make it viable. There is a two you been

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do. Management and workers will have the opportunity to come up

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with a better model, but the company will have to restructure.

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Let us have a little look at the bigger jobs picture. A slight fall

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in the number of unemployment in our region. Youth unemployment is a

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big problem. We really do risk having a scarred a generation of

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people who do not find we commend to not acquired skills and continue.

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I certainly think the Government should do much more to try and

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tackle youth unemployment. Next week is the budget. There is an

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opportunity to give tax breaks to companies to take on young workers.

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So unemployment is still worryingly high among young people and often

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getting any kind of structured experience of work is their first

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and biggest hurdle. But in Coventry, some out-of-work youngsters are

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getting that all-important taste of the world of work through an

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unusual route, ice hockey, as Ben Sidwell's been finding out.

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Training of a very different kind. These aren't the latest stars of

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the Coventry Blaze's ice hockey team, they're young unemployed

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people looking to gain new skills in their search for a job. We have

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seen how powerful the ice hockey is as a vehicle to get people engaged.

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We thought we would use that vehicle to try and get them back

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into employment. The club's Community Foundation has

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set up a new �50,000 project, funded by Comic Relief. It's hoping

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the chance to get on to the ice will attract those currently not in

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education, employment or training. Contracts, temporary work, it isn't

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very good if you have got a house and a child to pay for. You need a

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permanent job. A career. But it is not all about ice hockey. There is

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a more serious side to this as well. Training, learning more skills and

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for these guys, the ultimate goal, employment.

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The 23-week scheme includes workshops, placements and volunteer

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opportunities. By the end, they'll have gained a Sport Leadership

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Award and hopefully the tools they need to find work. People find it

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hard. It is hard to find work. I would try and drive a forklift. By

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have been in and out of it. I work for two days on an iron off for

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rain and. There are around 20 young people on

:09:03.:09:06.

this project and there's enough funding for two further courses. It

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may only scratch the surface of the youth employment problem in the

:09:09.:09:12.

city, but for these three, the sport of ice hockey could help to

:09:12.:09:22.
:09:22.:09:22.

And there's a special programme on the state of the region's economy

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next week. Our Economy: The Midlands Today Debate is on Monday

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night, here on BBC One at 11:05pm. Still ahead here on Midlands Today

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this evening: How your weight could be putting

:09:34.:09:44.
:09:44.:09:44.

More than 60 arrests have been made during a police operation targeting

:09:44.:09:47.

offenders who abuse the justice system by failing to pay fines and

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obey court orders. They were brought to a temporary police

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station in a supermarket car park where a new style fast-track

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justice system was used to get them to court within minutes of their

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:10:08.:10:09.

arrest. Andy Newman reports. Justice 2012 staff. The place, this

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car park in Wolverhampton. The issue, non-payment of fines. A

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suspect is led to a mobile police station where, after the briefest

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of legal formalities, they are walked across the tarmac and shown

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to their specially reserved seats in the custody van. Destination,

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the magistrates court. If you were wondering why this is all happening

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on a supermarket car-park, apart from being highly visible, it is

:10:34.:10:38.

much quicker. Offenders come reporter, Serge, process and then

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sent court within minutes. It is fast justice on an almost

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industrial scale. That scared reflected in the resources used.

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This, one of a fleet of 14 arrest teams, scouring the estates of

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Wolverhampton for offenders who what Fletcher the system by failing

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to comply with court or does. Here, a disabled suspect is arrested for

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non-payment of a six-under-par motoring fine. Just more than one

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of six defenders mop up by Operation crackdown. We are working

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together as criminal-justice partners. We will come knocking at

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your door. He will be arrested. He will be back before the courts.

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it is not just about bringing them to book. Also available to

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offenders in the caravan, drugs counsellors offering immediate help.

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It is important to be proactive, target these individuals, have the

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support there for them and work together with the police and

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probation to actually help people move forward. A two pronged

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approach. Fast-tracked justice and immediate help and support. A wake-

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up call for Wolverhampton's wanted. Tomorrow, the team will move to a

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new application. They're not saying where.

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A man's been arrested in the Stoke area of Coventry after he locked

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himself in a vehicle and threatened to set himself on fire. It happened

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at around 11:00am this morning after a debt recovery firm tried to

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seize a minibus. Armed officers were first sent to the scene, but

:12:04.:12:12.

stood down when they discovered the man was unarmed. I saw him and then

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over to his fans. He jumped in. The police and fire engines turned up.

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The next thing you know, there are people coming out on the streets,

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saying there is a man in the van, thrown petrol around. And then I

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drew the -- I drove away, came back a few hours later, the police were

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still there and the next thing I knew, the man ran out of the van,

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back into his house. A 16-year-old girl and a woman have

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been arrested after cocaine worth about �350,000 was found hidden

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inside tubs of chocolate. The pair, both from the Walsall area, were

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detained at Gatwick Airport after arriving on a flight from Antigua.

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They've been bailed until a date in June.

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Obesity's being blamed for a big rise in the number of women with

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womb cancer in the region. Researchers say it's become more

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prevalent than cervical cancer. Research being carried out at the

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University of Birmingham could help victims by using low cost drugs.

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But surgery is the only option for many women, as Katie Rowlett

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Linda Beck is 66, she has womb cancer, and doctors tell her it's

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:13:24.:13:24.

because she is overweight. I've always been big. I'd been a many

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diets are my life. At had died Beatties and staff. -- I had a dire

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BT's And today, in Birmingham Linda's womb is being removed in an

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operation that will take around 2 hours. They carry out around 200

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womb cancer operations every year at the city hospital and if early

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at stage one - the survival rate of 5 years is in excess of 80%. Womb

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cancer has been on the increase. Here in the West Midlands the rise

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has been the steepest with cases up a third in a generation. The reason,

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there are more overweight women here, than anywhere else in the

:13:58.:14:01.

country. Dr Sudha Sundhar carried out Linda's operation as she has

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with so many other women. We know that this increase is going to keep

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on happening. We know that this cancer is one of the most common

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ones are driven by obesity. Certainly, one of the things that

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Spurs us on is the knowledge that many women are going to be

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diagnosed with cancer. This is the only support group for women's

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cancer in the region. Helping those in treatment or recovery: It's been

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a heck of a journey. It's been a horrible. You have to get on with

:14:43.:14:53.
:14:53.:14:56.

it. You have to move on. This group is my lifeline. It's helped me, my

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confidence, to have a purpose to get up at the morning. The positive

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thing is that I have met so many people, thousands of new friends.

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With surgery, survival rates are getting better, but low cost drugs,

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including some designed to treat diabetes, are showing promise into

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treating womb cancer in it's early stages.

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Joining us now from our studio in Oxford is Sean Kehoe, from the

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charity Wellbeing of Women and himself a cancer consultant. Thanks

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for joining us Mr. Kehoe, is this link between womb cancer and

:15:29.:15:39.
:15:39.:15:45.

obesity a surprise? It's not really. The increase is quite significant.

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We are heading towards 8,000 women with this condition. If you have

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that, you retain a more female hormones, that increases your risk

:15:56.:16:04.

of womb cancer. It doesn't seem to have the profile of breast cancer?

:16:04.:16:14.
:16:14.:16:18.

It doesn't at all. Some cancers only affect 80% of women, but they

:16:18.:16:28.
:16:28.:16:28.

do get a greater profile. What are the warning signs? The main sign is

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women after the menopause, having a bleed. They should go to their

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doctor. The vast majority will not have cancer, but they need to be

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investigated. Thank you very much. Still ahead in tonight's programme:

:16:46.:16:50.

The aircraft that blazed a trail for the jet age. Is this the last

:16:50.:16:55.

chance to save them? And if it's rain you want, the wait's almost

:16:55.:16:59.

over. The weekend may not be as warm as the last but it will be

:16:59.:17:09.

wetter and that's what we need right now.

:17:09.:17:13.

What's the best way to run Stoke- on-Trent? That's the question being

:17:13.:17:16.

posed in a debate in the Potteries tonight. Historically the city was

:17:17.:17:20.

part of Staffordshire. With a total population of just over a million,

:17:20.:17:29.

all important services such as education were run county-wide.

:17:29.:17:32.

That changed in 1997 when Stoke on Trent went alone and was given the

:17:32.:17:35.

right to run affairs for its 240,000 citizens. But in an

:17:35.:17:38.

increasingly competitive world, does Stoke have enough clout on its

:17:38.:17:42.

own? Live now to BBC Radio Stoke's political reporter Elizabeth Glinka.

:17:42.:17:51.

What are people saying tonight? you said, that's the question we

:17:51.:17:58.

are going to be posing at BBC Radio Stoke, tonight, in about one hour's

:17:58.:18:06.

time. The city still faces many challenges. It has had control

:18:06.:18:15.

itself, it has an elected mayor, it is hailed as the BNP's jewel in the

:18:15.:18:22.

crown. That has led some people to say it could do better if it was

:18:22.:18:31.

part of a bigger our authority. There is a certain case to be said

:18:31.:18:35.

for Ray Bigger a priority. It would have a much bigger chance of

:18:35.:18:39.

attracting funds that we need to regenerate the area. One of the

:18:39.:18:44.

people who is going to be debating this issue is councillor Sarah Hill,

:18:44.:18:50.

she's a member of the city council. What you think? Would be a benefit

:18:50.:18:57.

from being part of a bigger organisation? I think the point is

:18:57.:19:03.

well made. It is an interesting concept. None of us want to go back

:19:03.:19:13.

to being part of a county council. Finally, what is the answer moving

:19:13.:19:18.

forward? I think the debate is a good opportunity to start talking

:19:18.:19:22.

about what the next 15 years old brass. Things are going to change,

:19:22.:19:26.

given the austerity we have as a country, and how we can make the

:19:26.:19:33.

best use of our resources. I'm Looking forward to it this evening.

:19:33.:19:39.

That debate will start in one hour's time, just down the road. If

:19:39.:19:43.

listeners want to hear the debate, it will be on the Steward Of George

:19:43.:19:53.

programme, both tomorrow and Friday. -- Stuart George.

:19:53.:19:56.

There's anger and disbelief after a much-loved ring of oak trees was

:19:56.:19:59.

felled to make way for a new shopping complex. The local council

:19:59.:20:02.

allowed developers to chop them down after experts said they

:20:02.:20:11.

wouldn't survive being moved. Sarah Falkland reports. I could cry. It's

:20:11.:20:15.

so sad. Ann Turner can hardly believe her

:20:15.:20:18.

eyes - big business has wiped out the ancient ring of oak trees in

:20:18.:20:22.

Shirley Park. She's spent the best part of 30 years trying to protect

:20:22.:20:29.

them from developers Soon to rise from the soil. I walked down this

:20:29.:20:36.

path in the 1940s with my parents. All of a sudden, it is just gone.

:20:36.:20:46.
:20:46.:20:49.

How can you replace the 250-year- old trees? It incredible. Soon to

:20:49.:20:52.

rise from the soil: 36 Parkgate, an �85m shopping and housing

:20:52.:20:55.

development. The supermarket giant ASDA will be at the heart of it and

:20:55.:20:59.

there'll be some 600 new jobs. But what happened to promises to keep

:20:59.:21:02.

the trees? When developers won the right to build, on appeal, last

:21:02.:21:04.

summer, Solihull council stipulated the trees be uprooted and replanted.

:21:04.:21:06.

But in a statement today the But in a statement today the

:21:06.:21:08.

authority said expert opinion showed the trees wouldn't have

:21:08.:21:10.

survived the process...some had suffered fire damage and decay, so

:21:10.:21:15.

had to be felled. But why so had to be felled. But why so

:21:15.:21:21.

quickly residents ask? The reality is that the bird nesting season is

:21:21.:21:24.

imminent, and we have to get on with the removal as quickly as

:21:24.:21:29.

possible. Local MP Lorely Burt's described what's happened here as a

:21:29.:21:32.

betrayal of the people of Shirley. She's angry the trees have been

:21:32.:21:37.

felled before she had the chance to chain herself to one of them. A

:21:37.:21:40.

small piece of oak salvaged from the site is little consolation for

:21:40.:21:44.

Ann and her husband. On Friday there'll be a vigil here for

:21:44.:21:53.

residents to formally say goodbye to the landscape they've held dear.

:21:53.:21:55.

Football and the Birmingham City manager Chris Hughton admits his

:21:55.:21:58.

team is going through a difficult period, after their latest defeat

:21:58.:22:02.

to play-off rivals Leicester. Wade Elliot's penalty put the Blues in

:22:02.:22:05.

Elliot's penalty put the Blues in front. But the lead didn't last

:22:05.:22:08.

long. Jermaine Beckford made it 1-1 before half-time. And then two

:22:09.:22:12.

goals in the last ten minutes sealed a 3-1 victory for Leicester.

:22:12.:22:15.

Birmingham drop one place to eighth in the Championship. But they still

:22:15.:22:18.

have a game in hand on most of the have a game in hand on most of the

:22:18.:22:22.

teams above them. It's a sad day for many West

:22:23.:22:26.

Bromwich Albion fans. Ray Barlow, one of the club's truly great

:22:26.:22:30.

players, has died at the age of 85. Ray was the last surviving member

:22:30.:22:33.

of the Albion team to win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1954. He played

:22:33.:22:37.

almost five hundred games for the club, but only once for England. He

:22:37.:22:40.

was voted in the top 16 players of all-time by West Brom fans. The

:22:40.:22:43.

club said Ray Barlow was a true legend, and a world-class

:22:43.:22:53.
:22:53.:23:00.

footballer. You're a big fan of him once you? -

:23:00.:23:10.
:23:10.:23:11.

- won't you? Bobby Moore said he styled his play on him. I saw him

:23:11.:23:15.

at a charity match. They've been all but abandoned for

:23:15.:23:18.

more than a decade but now some of the country's most historic

:23:18.:23:21.

aircraft are getting a permanent home in Gloucestershire. The Jet

:23:21.:23:24.

Age Museum was split up twelve years ago and the collection has

:23:24.:23:27.

been stored, out of sight, in barns ever since. Sabet Choudhury reports

:23:27.:23:35.

from the planned new home for the museum at Gloucestershire Airport.

:23:35.:23:39.

They were pride of the RAF. Cutting technology built by the Gloster

:23:39.:23:44.

Aircraft Company. But now many of them lie weathered and broken,

:23:44.:23:53.

waiting to be rebuilt for the new Jetage Museum. Some of them have

:23:53.:24:03.
:24:03.:24:08.

deteriorated. The aircraft fuselages made a balsa wood. --

:24:08.:24:13.

made of a balsa wood. It's taken John and other trustees the over

:24:13.:24:19.

ten years to raise the �250,000 pounds they need for the museum.

:24:19.:24:25.

sounds as if it's not much money, in this then aged isn't. To try and

:24:25.:24:29.

raise that money to house old aeroplanes, which people refer to

:24:29.:24:35.

as pieces of rusty metal, is very difficult. In asking people whether

:24:35.:24:40.

they want a museum, everybody wants to have an aviation museum, but

:24:40.:24:45.

then you say, please give us some money, and they say, no. Of course

:24:45.:24:48.

not all of planes are in pieces, some like this Gamecock hidden away

:24:48.:24:51.

in a barn in the countryside is already being re-constructed. Once

:24:51.:24:55.

flown by world war 2 fighter pilot Douglas Bader. Today this is the

:24:55.:25:05.
:25:05.:25:12.

only one of it's kind in existence. Once the museum is open this will

:25:12.:25:16.

be the centrepiece of the museum. A replica of the E28 - the first

:25:16.:25:20.

british jet plane. Built in 1941 in Gloucestershire to test Sir Frank

:25:20.:25:23.

Whittle jet propulsion system. Sidney Dix, now 93, was just a

:25:23.:25:25.

teenager when he worked on the project at the Gloster Aircraft

:25:25.:25:32.

Company. It was the best colour my life. It was like making a model

:25:32.:25:41.

airplane. We have to mark all the ribs on the Template. Sidney is

:25:41.:25:45.

hopeful the new museum, will inspire future generations. Giving

:25:45.:25:55.
:25:55.:25:57.

them a chance to see the wonders that once ruled the skies.

:25:57.:26:00.

I wonder how these guys are looking I wonder how these guys are looking

:26:00.:26:05.

tonight and tomorrow? I will tell you.

:26:05.:26:11.

We had a delay on the sunshine, that put a cap on the temperatures.

:26:11.:26:21.
:26:21.:26:22.

Tomorrow will be the warmest day of the week. We will see some rain

:26:22.:26:26.

coming in from the West, from Friday into the weekend. That

:26:26.:26:32.

produced quite a deluge of rain. It will give us some light relief.

:26:32.:26:36.

Back to the presence, and because of that late sunshine, we are

:26:36.:26:41.

looking at clear skies to start tonight. That's going to lead to a

:26:41.:26:51.
:26:51.:26:52.

cooler night, temperatures dropping to a minimum of two-or three

:26:52.:27:02.
:27:02.:27:02.

degrees -- two-to-three degrees. It will be a cooler night. A cloudy

:27:03.:27:07.

start tomorrow, we will see some sunshine, hopefully it will be the

:27:07.:27:11.

warmest day of the week. Temperatures should reach at 12-13

:27:11.:27:21.
:27:21.:27:23.

degrees. Tomorrow night, the cloud will thicken up. The first signs

:27:23.:27:29.

are rain will appear over Wales. That will hold off for us,

:27:29.:27:32.

appearing on Saturday. Some showers appearing on Saturday. Some showers

:27:32.:27:34.

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