16/03/2012 Midlands Today


16/03/2012

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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight:

:00:14.:00:17.

It was trialled in Birmingham. Now the first pill for multiple

:00:17.:00:19.

sclerosis will be available on the NHS.

:00:19.:00:21.

Brought home to rest. Hundreds expected for the funeral in

:00:21.:00:24.

Stafford tomorrow of the policeman who killed himself after being

:00:24.:00:31.

blinded by a gunman. He has always been there as a big brother and I

:00:31.:00:36.

put him on that pedestal. He Gold Cup delight. A triumph of

:00:36.:00:38.

timing for the Gloucestershire trained horse Synchronised.

:00:38.:00:41.

And as towns across the region bid for cash to regenerate their high

:00:41.:00:51.
:00:51.:00:53.

streets, can Twitter give Warwick the edge?

:00:53.:00:56.

Good evening and welcome to the start of the weekend here on

:00:56.:01:02.

Midlands Today. Our main story tonight: the world's first pill for

:01:02.:01:05.

multiple sclerosis patients will be funded on the NHS after trials in

:01:05.:01:09.

Birmingham. Gilenya helps prevent severe and painful relapses. It has

:01:09.:01:12.

proved more than twice as effective as the current leading treatment

:01:12.:01:15.

for the disease, for which there is no cure. Around 100 thousand people

:01:15.:01:20.

in the UK have multiple sclerosis. A year's supply of Gilenya could

:01:20.:01:27.

cost �20,000 per patient. It is approved in 55 countries but until

:01:27.:01:29.

now hasn't been available in Britain. Our Health Correspondent

:01:29.:01:32.

has been looking at what the new treatment could mean.

:01:32.:01:37.

Multiple sclerosis patients exercising in Birmingham. Keeping

:01:37.:01:40.

as supple as possible is important in fighting a debilitating brain

:01:40.:01:44.

disease for which there is no cure. Clare Stevenson injects herself

:01:44.:01:49.

once a day, but when that treatment stops working. She relapses with

:01:49.:01:57.

terrible consequences. What it is terrifying. It is like your whole

:01:58.:02:04.

body has gone route out of control. You lose the facility to be able to

:02:04.:02:12.

talk and walk. Anything could be taken from you. But now patients

:02:12.:02:21.

who relapse can look forward to a new treatment. It is something

:02:21.:02:27.

which will stop the relapsing perimetry York and that is great. -

:02:27.:02:35.

- the relapse 0 a courier sort and Multiple sclerosis is caused by the

:02:35.:02:40.

body's own white blood cells. Aggressive cells enter the brain

:02:40.:02:43.

and attack the sheathes around axons. What Gilenya does is to

:02:43.:02:45.

block the aggressive cells from escaping from the lymph nodes,

:02:45.:02:49.

giving the body time to repair itself. It is fantastic and they

:02:49.:02:53.

rarely fills the gap between the very first lines of therapies which

:02:53.:02:58.

have been injectable for some time and we're expecting further

:02:58.:03:03.

progress over several years. I think there's a lot of promise here

:03:03.:03:07.

for multiple sclerosis patients. But there are possible side-effects

:03:07.:03:12.

and it can't be given to pregnant women. The first time people use

:03:12.:03:16.

this, they will be a heart monitor for six hours. Afterwards, they

:03:16.:03:24.

will require an I test. -- eye test. But this type of research which

:03:24.:03:26.

goes beyond just controlling inflammation, is lifting MS

:03:26.:03:28.

sufferers hopes that they can live active lives for longer.

:03:28.:03:31.

Simon Gillespie is the Chief Executive of the MS Society. He

:03:31.:03:34.

joins us now from our London studio. How important a breakthrough is

:03:34.:03:40.

this? Well, I think it is a really good break through. You pointed out

:03:40.:03:44.

in your report that there are many other countries where this is in

:03:44.:03:49.

use, so we're slow off the mark. But the impact of having a suitable

:03:49.:03:59.

pill for MS is a huge step forward. 55 countries have been using the

:03:59.:04:09.
:04:09.:04:11.

struck for quite a while. Why is Italy just available here? Weir

:04:11.:04:17.

23rd out of 26 countries in Europe for the take-up of therapies. -- we

:04:17.:04:25.

are. Whilst Gilenya seems to be very expensive at first, the impact

:04:25.:04:29.

that it is having on making people carry on with normal lives is

:04:29.:04:32.

incredible and will save money in the long term.

:04:32.:04:35.

Still to come tonight: The grow your own revolution and how it

:04:35.:04:39.

could save you hundreds of pounds at the supermarket till.

:04:39.:04:42.

Tomorrow will see the funeral of PC David Rathband in his hometown of

:04:42.:04:47.

Stafford. It is expected hundreds of mourners will turn out to pay

:04:47.:04:50.

their final respects to the officer who was shot and blinded by the

:04:50.:04:53.

gunman Raoul Moat. Our Staffordshire Reporter joins us now

:04:53.:05:03.
:05:03.:05:05.

from Stafford Crematorium. First this is where David

:05:05.:05:10.

Rathband's family will gather tomorrow lunchtime for the funeral.

:05:10.:05:16.

He was found dead last month at his home in Northumberland two years

:05:16.:05:21.

after Raoul Moat shot him. That resulted in him losing his sight.

:05:21.:05:27.

Ever since those dreadful events, his family say they have been

:05:27.:05:31.

struck by the level of support he received from his home town in

:05:31.:05:36.

Stafford. In 2010, he switched on over the Christmas lights. This was

:05:36.:05:41.

the place for he grew up and some where her he had very close family

:05:41.:05:48.

ties. His twin brother has described how David would stick up

:05:48.:05:55.

for him when they were growing up. He would greet me in the morning

:05:55.:05:59.

outside school in the lockers and asked if I was OK. If anyone was

:05:59.:06:05.

picking on me, he would step up and sort it out. He would make sure

:06:05.:06:09.

they stopped bullying me. I was more quiet at school. He has done

:06:09.:06:14.

that throughout his life. He has always been there as a big brother

:06:14.:06:23.

and I put him on that pedestal. of David Rathband's lasting

:06:23.:06:27.

legacies is the charity that he set up. They say they will continue

:06:27.:06:35.

doing work in his memory. There'll be celebrations in

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Gloucestershire tonight after a locally trained winner took the

:06:38.:06:41.

coveted Cheltenham Gold Cup - in fact the horse we featured on this

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programme last night. It meant there was no fairy tale ending to

:06:46.:06:49.

the career of Kauto Star. But it pleased the bookmakers who've taken

:06:49.:06:56.

a hammering during this year's festival.

:06:56.:07:06.
:07:06.:07:11.

MUSIC. This young Irishman sang his heart out for a popular champion.

:07:11.:07:17.

The experts look forward to a classic Gold Cup. Some people say

:07:17.:07:22.

this is a two-horse race, but really there is only one in the

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focus and that his colt will star. -- Kauto Star. Synchronised had

:07:31.:07:38.

travelled 10 miles up the road. It did not take long for Kauto Star's

:07:38.:07:44.

dream to fade away. Two warm applause from those watching, he

:07:44.:07:52.

was pulled up and synchronised pushed on to victory. There was a

:07:52.:08:02.
:08:02.:08:08.

thrilling a finality. It was a 50-1 outsider. A hugely popular winner

:08:08.:08:18.
:08:18.:08:30.

for this local training team. The horse is only seven. He will do

:08:30.:08:39.

nothing but improve. The Gold Cup usually ends in tears of joy and

:08:39.:08:44.

occasionally sadness. Tonight, there will be a sense of relief

:08:44.:08:52.

that out of store -- Kauto Star has returned home safe and sound. His

:08:52.:08:59.

career is now that -- part of folklore.

:08:59.:09:06.

Great race. We were banging our desks this afternoon.

:09:06.:09:09.

We will be back live at Cheltenham a little later in the programme.

:09:09.:09:12.

'60s pop star PJ Proby has been cleared of benefit fraud. The 73-

:09:12.:09:15.

year-old from Twyford near Evesham seen here at an earlier court

:09:15.:09:18.

hearing had denied cheating the benefits system out of more than

:09:18.:09:21.

�47,000. He was found not guilty of all nine charges against him today

:09:21.:09:23.

following the discovery of new evidence.

:09:23.:09:25.

Solihull-based Land Rover has announced record global sales for

:09:25.:09:35.
:09:35.:09:48.

With the deadline just two weeks away, several towns across the

:09:48.:09:51.

region are putting the finishing touches to bids for a share of �1

:09:51.:09:53.

million of Government money. They're hoping to be chosen to

:09:53.:09:56.

become a Portas Pilot. The retail guru Mary Portas has been advising

:09:56.:09:59.

ministers on how to regenerate high streets after surveys revealed more

:09:59.:10:02.

than 15,000 shops have disappeared over the last ten years. The

:10:02.:10:05.

company says strong demand for the new Range Rover Evoque helped push

:10:05.:10:09.

sales above 28,000. That is a rise of 52% compared with a year ago and

:10:09.:10:19.
:10:19.:10:22.

the company's best ever monthly We have to look at the high streets

:10:22.:10:31.

as multi-functional social and shopping streets. This business is

:10:31.:10:39.

award-winning. Who had the ambitious young people are so keen

:10:39.:10:45.

to see others do well. This is about assisting people across the

:10:45.:10:50.

country. It is not single-minded. We want to be able to roll things

:10:50.:10:57.

out across the UK. We feel that we have the drive and the passion and

:10:57.:11:01.

community spirit to put those ideas forward.

:11:01.:11:05.

Increasing rents and fears of increasing business rates are

:11:06.:11:12.

worries for all businesses. In Warwick, one trader is using social

:11:12.:11:17.

media to galvanise local businesses into a powerful lobbying group.

:11:17.:11:21.

There are trying to implement positive change in at the high

:11:21.:11:29.

street. Twitter is a powerful tool. You can do things in 10 minutes

:11:29.:11:33.

that used to take weeks. We have all part of the time talking to

:11:33.:11:38.

each other now. The market square in Warwick might seem like an

:11:38.:11:44.

unlikely location for a high-street revolution, but several towns in

:11:44.:11:51.

our region are all competing for the Mary Portas project. They are

:11:51.:11:56.

determined that their towns will lead the way. Just 12 times will

:11:56.:12:01.

eventually be chosen to take part in a pilot. What this scheme is

:12:01.:12:05.

showing to politicians and business leaders is that the high street

:12:05.:12:15.
:12:15.:12:17.

will unite to show their survival. As well as encouraging businesses

:12:17.:12:19.

to take advantage of new government grants, the British Chambers of

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Commerce is pressing the Chancellor to use his budget next week to

:12:23.:12:25.

scrap a planned increase in business rates of 5.6%. Our

:12:25.:12:28.

Political Editor is here now. How likely is it he will bow to this

:12:29.:12:36.

pressure? It is an automatic increase like the fuel duty

:12:36.:12:43.

increase that we stop protesting against last week. But the

:12:44.:12:50.

Chancellor cannot make exceptions for everyone in every case. There

:12:50.:12:55.

could be a reduction in the burden of corporation tax. Also employers

:12:55.:13:01.

National Insurance contributions. Employers see this as attacks on

:13:01.:13:09.

jobs. We have heard of one place where they have doubled their work

:13:09.:13:18.

force over five years. For the country, it is more to expensive

:13:18.:13:21.

not to employ them. Their choice is between these contributions and

:13:22.:13:27.

more people on benefit. My argument would be to get people in

:13:27.:13:34.

employment and find businesses were young people can work force. And as

:13:34.:13:37.

we have seen, the Labour Leader Ed Miliband has been at Warwick

:13:37.:13:40.

University today, setting out his plans on youth unemployment. What

:13:40.:13:47.

exactly is he proposing? He was addressing his use conference. Many

:13:47.:13:53.

young people were out of a job. His answer is a plan which would

:13:53.:13:57.

guarantee everyone under 25 our job is they have been out of work for

:13:57.:14:02.

at least one year. We tax the bonuses of the bankers and use that

:14:02.:14:06.

money to offer jobs to every young person who has been unemployed for

:14:06.:14:13.

more than a year. There are 49,000 young people in that position in

:14:13.:14:23.
:14:23.:14:27.

the UK at the moment. It -- this is all in the run-up to do in the

:14:27.:14:36.

budget and we will have more on that in the Politics Show on Sunday.

:14:36.:14:40.

And ahead of the budget there is a special programme here on BBC One

:14:40.:14:47.

about the regional economy. That is on Monday evening at 11:05pm.

:14:47.:14:50.

Still ahead: Staffordshire-born actor Neil Morrisey and how 45

:14:50.:14:53.

minutes in make-up transform him every night into Fagin on stage in

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Birmingham. And I will be here with the weather

:14:58.:15:01.

forecast which for the first time in ages includes some rain. But

:15:01.:15:04.

will there be enough for our parched farms and gardens? I will

:15:04.:15:10.

have the details in a moment. With food bills soaring, interest

:15:10.:15:14.

is growing in growing your own. And it can save families a lot of money,

:15:14.:15:17.

whether it is some veg in your garden or perhaps an allotment.

:15:17.:15:21.

Some estimates put the saving on a family food bill at up to �1,300 a

:15:21.:15:24.

year. Interest is such that sales of vegetable seeds are now more

:15:24.:15:29.

than double those of flower seeds. And there are 100,000 people on the

:15:29.:15:32.

waiting list for an allotment. This is our report on making your garden

:15:32.:15:42.
:15:42.:15:51.

work for you. This man is part of a growing band of that producers.

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Maria and Gareth from Coventry are part of a growing band of food

:15:54.:15:57.

producers. Research shows 26% of us now grow our own vegetables.

:15:57.:16:04.

Any savings are a bonus. It is vegetables and we can make jam with

:16:04.:16:11.

our for it. -- fruit. To reflect the growing interest in planting

:16:11.:16:13.

and self sufficiency, the Edible Garden Show at Stoneleigh in

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Warwickshire expects to attract 11,000 visitors this weekend. The

:16:15.:16:18.

event wants to show budding gardeners they don't have to

:16:18.:16:23.

confine their ambitions to traditional crops. We have a

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selection of regular English vegetables that people are growing

:16:25.:16:33.

all over the country. Lettuce, radish and a whole range of things.

:16:33.:16:37.

But there are whole range of things different to this that you would

:16:37.:16:44.

never expect to be able to grow in the UK. Cream tea is one of those.

:16:44.:16:52.

This is like a regular chilly, but they can cope 2-5 degrees. Go you

:16:52.:17:01.

will be able to use lots of chilli peppers. These goals will reduce

:17:01.:17:07.

enough milk to feed a family of five every day. Residents in an

:17:07.:17:10.

increasing number of villages are calling together to rear there on

:17:10.:17:16.

pegs. You not make much money, but you'll get some nice meat and you

:17:16.:17:23.

know the animals will be well looked after. Perhaps more of us

:17:23.:17:28.

will join the Community of many farmers and growers in the coming

:17:28.:17:33.

spring. It is a big weekend for Stoke City.

:17:33.:17:36.

They are just one game away from the FA Cup semi-final which means a

:17:36.:17:40.

return to Wembley for the third time in a year. But it also means a

:17:40.:17:43.

trip to Liverpool to face Steven Gerrard who scored a hat trick this

:17:43.:17:46.

week. One man not shying away from the pressure is former Liverpool

:17:46.:17:51.

ace and Stoke City striker Peter Crouch. He is hoping the Potters

:17:51.:17:54.

can go there and play their cards right.

:17:54.:17:59.

Stoke City are just one game away from a return to Wembley. Liverpool

:17:59.:18:03.

are the favourites to win, but the Potters are hoping they can be the

:18:03.:18:08.

wild card. And there is one man hoping to be shuffled into Stoke's

:18:08.:18:11.

starting 11 on Sunday. He wants to add to his tally of 10 goals this

:18:12.:18:17.

season. He is former Liverpool front-man Peter Crouch. So what

:18:17.:18:21.

does he reckon the odds are for a Stoke City victory? How are Stoke

:18:21.:18:27.

going to combat Steven Gerrard? it is going to be very difficult.

:18:27.:18:37.
:18:37.:18:39.

He's on fire at the moment. He is a top-class player. He is someone

:18:39.:18:48.

that we will have to watch. What will Stoke's strengths be? You've

:18:48.:18:51.

built up an impressive partnership with Jonathan Walters. Yes, he's

:18:51.:18:54.

great for Stoke. We work off each other well. Your England goal

:18:54.:19:04.
:19:04.:19:06.

I have enjoyed playing with him. You're England goalscoring record

:19:06.:19:11.

speaks for itself. 22 goals in 42 games. How do you feel about still

:19:11.:19:17.

not getting the call-up? Yes, I'm frustrated. I've always tried to

:19:17.:19:27.
:19:27.:19:31.

play my best for England. If I am doing well for Stoke City, I hope

:19:31.:19:39.

to catch the manager's I. Playing for England as the best thing in

:19:39.:19:43.

the world. I would love to play in the European Championships. Crouch

:19:43.:19:46.

also talked to me about settling well into the Stoke Squad with the

:19:47.:19:50.

help of the other players. Who is the joker in the pack? Ooh, there's

:19:50.:19:52.

Jonathan Woodgate and Jermaine Pennant. And that's all you're

:19:53.:20:02.
:20:03.:20:07.

that cup quarter final and the rest of the weekend's football action,

:20:07.:20:17.
:20:17.:20:21.

tune into your BBC local radio Let's go back to Cheltenham now.

:20:21.:20:25.

Our reporter is at the racecourse. There have been calls for an

:20:25.:20:28.

inquiry into the deaths of five horses which fell during the

:20:28.:20:37.

festival. What has been the reaction there? Panda lighted to

:20:37.:20:42.

say there have been no more fatalities today he -- and I am

:20:42.:20:52.
:20:52.:20:54.

delighted. But there were deaths earlier in the week. The RSPCA have

:20:54.:20:58.

said they are concerned. The British Racing Authority are saying

:20:58.:21:05.

that they will hold a full inquiry. This week has been very sad. But

:21:05.:21:09.

things like that happen in our sport, I am afraid. In football,

:21:09.:21:14.

the worst that can happen is a red card. Here, the highs and lows are

:21:14.:21:20.

difficult to take. But that is what we all signed up to four Stott as

:21:20.:21:23.

for the racing itself, is there anywhere with the magic of

:21:23.:21:33.
:21:33.:21:36.

I don't think there is. It is 25 years since I first came here.

:21:36.:21:41.

Every year, new racing champions are Crown. There has to be no

:21:41.:21:48.

fairy-tale ending for Kauto Star today, but two local trainers have

:21:48.:21:52.

done well. That was popular with the record-breaking crowd of 70,000

:21:52.:21:59.

people. The village is fast being deserted. The brick makers have

:21:59.:22:03.

gone home. Tomorrow, thousands of punters will start saving up for

:22:03.:22:11.

the Festival next year! Actor Neil Morrisey who was born in

:22:11.:22:15.

Stafford is back on stage in the musical Oliver! At the Birmingham

:22:15.:22:19.

Hippodrome. He is best known for his role in one of the most popular

:22:19.:22:27.

sitcoms of the 90s, Men Behaving Badly.

:22:27.:22:32.

I once built a treehouse but we didn't have trees so I built it on

:22:32.:22:36.

the ground! Neil was brought up in care in

:22:37.:22:39.

Stoke-on-Trent, something he has talked about in a TV documentary.

:22:39.:22:42.

And he can see some parallels between those early years and the

:22:42.:22:47.

troubled youngsters who join Fagin's gang.

:22:47.:22:53.

There are parallels. Thank goodness it was not as bad when I was in

:22:53.:22:59.

care. You had to learn how to pickpocket yourself and there was

:22:59.:23:02.

not an older man to teach you. You made a moving documentary about

:23:02.:23:09.

your teenage years. What was it like to make it? It was difficult.

:23:09.:23:13.

Meeting people that I was in care worth 30 years ago and beating

:23:13.:23:17.

their children for are in care now. There are many similarities. The

:23:17.:23:24.

basic thing is being torn away from your family.

:23:24.:23:29.

It leaves you with a big star. It is the most damaging thing. We

:23:29.:23:39.

tried to deal with that -- we deal with that within the documentaries

:23:39.:23:45.

with me leaving the viewer's hand. I spoke about the system and the

:23:45.:23:51.

various peoples were my life. I couldn't have done it without you.

:23:51.:23:56.

We are very proud of you. Thank you very much. It took one year to

:23:56.:24:05.

shoot, so it was constant heartache. You're approaching 50 this year.

:24:05.:24:11.

am still the child inside. When I walk along the street, I hopped

:24:11.:24:17.

along the wall and try to avoid the cracks in the pavement. Could he

:24:17.:24:21.

never -- could he ever have imagined taking on a role like this

:24:21.:24:31.
:24:31.:24:34.

in Oliver!? No, I could never have considered that will start but you

:24:34.:24:38.

fall into age group. It took a while for them to allow me to

:24:39.:24:44.

audition. It was difficult for them to see me as Fagin. I had to going

:24:44.:24:50.

and sing the songs and back in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber and

:24:50.:24:58.

Cameron Mackintosh. -- act. You are looking good just now, but you want

:24:58.:25:05.

be in one hour. It is a massive job be in one hour. It is a massive job

:25:05.:25:07.

with the make-up. There is a five piece beard and moustache to be

:25:07.:25:15.

glued in place. There are so many attachments. There are two

:25:15.:25:21.

microphones. It takes one hour to put it on and half an hour to put

:25:21.:25:31.
:25:31.:25:34.

it off. And Neil plays Fagin at the

:25:34.:25:36.

Hippodrome until the first of April Hippodrome until the first of April

:25:36.:25:40.

before Brian Conley takes over the role.

:25:40.:25:45.

I will think any of us really want rain at the weekend. But we have to

:25:45.:25:51.

face facts. We need some wet weather and there is little in the

:25:51.:25:54.

forecast. But it will be in the form of showers and there will be

:25:54.:26:04.
:26:04.:26:06.

some sunny spells in between. If we will see some rain overnight. Some

:26:06.:26:13.

bits and pieces of rain overnight. It will stay mild. There is a

:26:13.:26:16.

weather front straddling across our region first thing tomorrow. There

:26:16.:26:20.

is some uncertainty about how quickly this will push away to the

:26:20.:26:27.

east. But I think you should move away fairly smartly. We will be

:26:27.:26:30.

left for sunny spells and bright conditions. Some of the showers

:26:30.:26:35.

could be heavy. Hail and thunder is possible. It all feel too bad and

:26:35.:26:40.

the sunshine. Just a moderate south-westerly breeze. Initially,

:26:40.:26:43.

the showers clear away in the evening and it will be cold

:26:43.:26:47.

overnight. But then more showers push in from the north by the end

:26:47.:26:51.

of the night. Some of those will be with us during the day on Sunday.

:26:51.:26:59.

Perhaps the odd heavy one. Through the day, the showers will gradually

:26:59.:27:02.

become consigned to the south of the region. If you're heading to

:27:03.:27:10.

Liverpool, a lovely afternoon there. The reason for things slowly

:27:10.:27:14.

turning more settles during Sunday is this ridge of high pressure

:27:14.:27:22.

pushing up from the south-west. It will be significant next week.

:27:22.:27:27.

There will be some rain over the weekend, but settled again for next

:27:27.:27:34.

A look at tonight's main headlines: The head of the Church of England,

:27:34.:27:38.

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