19/03/2012 Midlands Today


19/03/2012

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

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The headlines tonight: Are these the green shoots? Around

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this area, people still want to get up early in the morning and come to

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work. Faces lit up around the region as

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the Olympic torch bearers are announced. I'm hoping I don't fall

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over and do anything silly. A hero for his fundraising.

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Birmingham's Congolese community pray for footballer Fabrice Muamba.

:00:38.:00:41.

And after 70 accidents last year involving horses on the road, a

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petition to Parliament calling for more bridleways.

:00:49.:00:59.
:00:59.:01:08.

I try to stay off the main roads because it it it it is too busy.

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Good evening, welcome to the start of the week with Midlands Today

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from the BBC. Tonight, a big increase in the number of new

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businesses starting up in the region, according to new research

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commissioned by the BBC. The survey, from Experian, says more than

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62,000 new businesses have been set up in this region since 2010.

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That's an increase of just over 19%. Sandwell is one of the region's

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growth hot-spots, but it's also one of the worst areas in the country

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for business insolvency. Our business correspondent Peter

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Plisner reports. A Sandwell based metal fabrication

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firm. It's one of the companies that became insolvent last year.

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Thankfully it's now trading again, although with a trimmed down

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workforce. Quality Manager Simon Casey was one of the lucky ones.

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I have worked here for 23 years. Ever already has bills to pay so it

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was a difficult time. Hopefully we are looking to the future now.

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And this man helped save the firm. Mike Dell is also president of the

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Black Country Chamber of Commerce. He's not surprised that some firms

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are still going bust. It is still very tight, so whether

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trying to bar her from a bank or suppliers, it is very difficult to

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get enough credit so sometimes you get squeezed. You might want to buy

:02:24.:02:33.

materials but can't get credit from suppliers.

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It is not all doom and Liam. The same research also at tells of new

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businesses. In the last two years the number of

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business in Sandwell has risen almost 23%, amongst the highest in

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the region. According to the boss of this firm, Sandwell provides an

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ideal location. We decided to set up here because of the scale of the

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people within the Black Country. Metal has been such a recent

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industry, there are not many people in the country that can do it. The

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Black Country has always had a metal Spedding people there.

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And according to operator Steve Walters, there's another reason.

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They will do a job that other people were

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Sandwell also has it's fair share of firms that send their projects

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abroad, but the number of company's exporting appears to have fallen

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and, again, Sandwell is one of the worst affected, down 0.6%. But here

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there's also some good news. Part of the reason is that some work

:03:34.:03:44.
:03:44.:03:52.

previously done in places like China is now coming back to the UK.

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All. So a mixed picture overall for

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Sandwell, but the good news is all three companies we visited said

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they were expected to be recruiting more staff within the next few

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weeks. Peter Plisner BBC Midlands in Sandwell.

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Later tonight there's a Midlands Today special on the economy on

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BBC1. Presenter Mary Rhodes joins us now. Mary, what are the big

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themes of the debate? It promises to be a lively debate

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between decision-makers and those most affected by decisions. Firstly

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unemployment continues to be a big problem here. Close to one in 10

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looking for a job. Debt, personal debt and the cost of living

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continuing to rise. Many people are struggling to match those bills. We

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also try to be optimistic about growth. There are some reasons to

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be cheerful. People looking for jobs here, what

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are their prospects of the three gamble is that Peter visited a or

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emigrate in the next three weeks. Particularly among young people.

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One in five in the West Midlands without a job. One of the panel

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members from the stone house gang try to help young people into work.

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We asked him if the main problem was a lack of skills. I think it is

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opposite. Our young people are keen to get jobs and they are all

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completely are employable. They have the social and -- social

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skills and qualifications. It is just the experience that they

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sometimes lacked. What is your overriding feeling

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about the economy? Cupboard is are struggling to get

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credit, that is an issue. 62,000 new company is in the West Midlands

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has to be good news, however we are started that a low base. Professor

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David Bey in the keen to put things into context or as.

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It even if we avoid double dip, at the prospects of growth are pretty

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grim. We will not get back to pre- recession levels of output.

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The Independent egg etc. In the West Midlands than anywhere else

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that the country so we can end are an optimistic note.

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And you can see tonight's programme, Our Economy: The Midlands Today

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Debate here on BBC One at 11:05pm. Still to come tonight: After metal

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thefts from hospitals, railways and churches, now car exhausts are

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Hundreds of people are celebrating after being confirmed as London

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2012 Olympic torch bearers when the flame visits the region. The torch,

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which is being made in Coventry, will be carried by around 800

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people as it passes through our region. It'll include the youngest

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torch bearer anywhere in the UK. Dan Pallett reports.

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He's the schoolboy with the eyes of the world on him. Dominic MacGowan

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took centre stage at the Olympic torch route launch today. Rubbing

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shoulders with Boris Johnson and Jonathon Edwards. This summer

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around 8,000 people will carry the Olympic flame. And the 12-year-old

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from Halesowen will be the youngest. I am just hoping I don't fall over

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or do something silly. I'm confident and I hope it goes well.

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And this man's he's not just another jogger. Peter Frazier is a

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ground breaker. The 61-year-old from Leamington Spa

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created history in 1981 when he became the first transplant patient

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to run a marathon. He'd had a kidney replacement three years

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earlier. Now he's to become an Olympic torch bearer.

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The Olympics are such a big event a world come a run together in my

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lifetime. I am at 61 now, but I did not even see the previous Olympics.

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21-year-old Zakia Begum from Walsall cried when she learnt that

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she will be a torch bearer. She has congenital muscular dystrophy.

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Having a disability is not a bad thing and I don't want anyone to

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think that it is. You can do anything.

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Today we fouled out exactly where the torch will be going and that

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included unusual places. The Erlstoke Manor will take the

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torch and hundreds of school children along the Severn Valley

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Railway from Bewdley to Kidderminster.

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This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not only for the

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country, but for the Severn Valley Railway. We are looking forward to

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the opportunity. Jack Picken will have to do the

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leg-work himself. But that's no problem for him. The 12-year-old

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from Sneyd Green on Stoke-on-Trent was chosen for his commitment to

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physical education. Are really are good because only a

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few people in the country have been chosen. I'm really excited, but I

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am nervous at the same time. And while doctors thought 14-year-

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old Matthew Clarke from Bishop's castle, in Shropshire, may never

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learn to walk, he's overcome a number of health problems to earn

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his place as a bearer. The teacher came into my lesson and

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said, can I borrow Matthew, please. I was thinking I had done something

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that didn't know whether it was good or bad. I saw my sister and my

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mum there and I thought, what have I done. They said and had been

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picked to run with the Olympic flame.

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This year's annual dash around Lichfield Cathedral will also be

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combined with the torch route. 2012 will see remarkable Midlanders

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doing remarkable things. One of the major Olympic torch

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events in our region will be in Worcester on Thursday May 24th.

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Thousands of people are expected at the home of Worcestershire County

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Cricket Club - and that's where we find Sarah Falkland this evening.

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Sarah, how is planning going? It is very tranquil and so read

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here tonight. The Cathedral lit up behind me. Come May 24th, this will

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be an Olympic Party Central. There will be a massive stage at the back

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with a cauldron that will be lit by the torch. A Georgia, tell us about

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the party night. There will be a couple of hours of

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celebration including our community choir at they will be singing in

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unique vision is a bore it. It is free? It certainly is. Head of will

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have to apply for tickets in the next couple of weeks.

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Caroline, you have been aroused as a torch-bearer, how happy I you?

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Really excited, it is a real honour. You are up he teacher and former PE

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teacher for the Sunday Times? I was nominated by a past students

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he was a Premiership football player. Do you know which bits you

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will be doing? I don't know yet. I know it is about 300 metres.

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might get the leg that brings you here into the cricket ground.

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would be amazing. You could be lighting the cauldron. That would

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be a dream come true. Thank you very much from both of you. There

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are other parties across the Midlands at that time in Cheltenham,

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Birmingham, Stoke and Coventry. We will be doing a special broadcast

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here for the Worcester party. A huge amount of excitement, isn't

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there? And all the information about where

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you can see the torch in your part of the region is on our Facebook

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page. The Congolese community in

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Birmingham today joined well wishers from around the world in

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praying for former Blues footballer Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a

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cardiac arrest at the weekend. Muamba was a popular figure among

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Congolese ex-pats during his two years at St Andrew's, helping local

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charities and churches. Giles Latcham reports

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In Lozells in Birmingham a salute for a hero. It's nearly four years

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since he left Blues for Bolton, but when Fabrice Muamba needs a haircut

:12:26.:12:36.
:12:36.:12:38.

this is where he comes. He is a very, very good guy. A good guy for

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everyone. Fabrice Muamba was at his wedding

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to her regularly hands out tickets. I pray that everything will be

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alright. Fabrice Muamba played 17 times. He

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forged links in this city that have endured despite his transfer.

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When he arrived in Birmingham he became part of the congregation

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here in a stunt. He still worships here.

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A boyhood friend travels to all of his games. He says his collapses

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shocking because in the Congolese community he is the biggest name.

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For the English, David Beckham is the biggest off. For me and our

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whole community, we love Fabrice Muamba. Everyone. He is always

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smiling, always happy, always speaking everyone. We recognise

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:13:59.:14:02.

that and that is why we support him. We wish him the best.

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At Molineux yesterday, players and supporters joined in applause. A

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lot of man -- a lot of praise for Aric man.

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A man has been injured after an accident on the red before 2pm this

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afternoon. The van collided with a lorry and a car, the driver was

:14:31.:14:41.
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taken to hospital in Coventry. We've heard lots about metal thefts

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from hospitals, war memorials, railways and even church roofs, but

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the latest targets are our cars. Thieves are cutting out catalytic

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converters, which are part of the exhaust system to get the rare

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metals they contain. And it's drivers who are left counting the

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cost. Cath Mackie reports. Cathy Chesworth got in her car the

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other morning, switched on the engine and was horrified. There was

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a big cloud of white smoke pass the passenger door which did not seem

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right. I tried again and it did start.

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Overnight, thieves had stolen the catalytic converter from the car

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parked outside her house in Ewyas Harold in Herefordshire. Absolutely

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gobsmacked to the village like this. This is what the thieves are after.

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The cat, as it's sometimes known, which filters the emissions, is

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lined with precious metals such as platinum. In all, five cars were

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attacked here last week, and in another village, six cars had their

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catalytic converters stolen. Car mechanic Paul Oliver has seen

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the damage first hand caused by catalytic converter thefts. They

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are cutting run out at the front and back ends. By I have seemed

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generally fall by four cars and minibuses and vans. Easy access.

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Inspector Paul Gebbie is another victim. Thieves stole his catalytic

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converter 18 months ago, leaving him with a �500 bill. It is a are

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rebelling problem. It fits in with a larger picture of metal theft

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that a whole country is experiencing. When you commit these

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crimes, you will make a noise so if you ever hear anything please call

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immediately. As for Cathy Chesworth, she now has

:16:32.:16:42.
:16:42.:16:56.

a repair bill of over �300. Still to come tonight: Can you help

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unravel the mystery of up to 45,000 photographs gathering dust in

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Shropshire? And with Spring on the way and

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longer days ahead, do we have the weather to match? I'll be telling

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you later. It's estimated that four million

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people enjoy horse riding in the UK, but there are increasing fears

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about the safety of horses on busy roads. Many riders now feel that

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drivers no longer understand about horses and may not give them a wide

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enough berth. Now a petition is underway calling for more

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bridleways where horses can be ridden in safety. Kevin Reide's

:17:21.:17:23.

report contains images which some people may find upsetting.

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Over the last year there have been around 70 accidents involving

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vehicles and horses on roads in the Midlands, a fact many riders, like

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Kayleigh Strangewood from Shropshire, are becoming

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increasingly concerned about. friends horse has had a card drive

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so close that it chipped up pebbles at it and it then fell over and

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fell underneath the car and caused severe injury.

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A long running poster campaign has been highlighting the dangers, but

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now an online petition has been set up to lobby parliament. It calls

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for the number of bridleways to be increased from 20,000 miles to

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91,000, in line with the number of public footpaths.

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The British Horse Society now records all road accidents

:18:05.:18:08.

involving horses on their website and this map shows some of the

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hotspots - for example in this area near Sutton Coldfield there were

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four accidents in the last year. Accidents are only recorded by

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police if the person involved gets taken to a hospital. There are

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numerous accidents where people and horses are injury at -- injured,

:18:29.:18:33.

but they do not want to leave Ed Balls alone. A lot of accidents do

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not get it all did. More than 12,000 have signed the

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petition and hope a leisurely ride in the future can be just that.

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Sport now, Dan's back and after the excitement of the Olympic torch

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bearer announcements, it's football that dominates tonight.

:18:51.:18:54.

Stoke City's Premier League game at Tottenham on Wednesday will go

:18:54.:18:57.

ahead as planned. Postponement had been a possibility following

:18:57.:19:01.

Fabrice Muamba's collapse during Saturday's game at White Hart Lane.

:19:01.:19:03.

Yesterday, 6,000 Stoke fans travelled to Anfield, but tasted

:19:03.:19:08.

defeat in the FA Cup quarter-finals. Luis Suarez scored first for

:19:08.:19:12.

Liverpool. Peter Crouch made it 1-1 before half-time but there was to

:19:12.:19:18.

be no repeat of last season's trip to Wembley. Stewart Downing

:19:18.:19:21.

clinched Liverpool's place in the semi-finals, mid-way through the

:19:21.:19:27.

second half. The Wolves chief executive, Jez

:19:27.:19:29.

Moxey, has called for a sense of perspective after yesterday's five-

:19:29.:19:32.

goal mauling by Manchester United saw the Molineux side drop to the

:19:32.:19:36.

bottom of the Barclays Premier League. Moxey said the long term

:19:36.:19:40.

goals for the club would not be "damaged" by a turbulent few weeks.

:19:40.:19:46.

Nick Clitheroe reports. When West Bromwich Albion were held

:19:46.:19:49.

to a draw at Wigan on Saturday afternoon it dropped Black Country

:19:49.:19:52.

rivals Wolves to the foot of the Premier League. Only the most

:19:52.:19:55.

optimistic fan would have turned up at Molineux expecting their team to

:19:55.:19:58.

beat Manchester United and climb away from the bottom, but only the

:19:58.:20:02.

most pessimistic was expecting another five goal mauling. After

:20:02.:20:06.

all, United may be top, but they went out of Europe midweek. For 20

:20:06.:20:09.

minutes the game was fairly even until Jonny Evans put the leaders

:20:09.:20:12.

in front. But it was the rush of blood which saw Ronald Zubar sent

:20:12.:20:15.

off for two yellow card challenges which really started the rot. By

:20:15.:20:18.

half-time it was three as confidence visibly drained from the

:20:18.:20:21.

Wolves players. Even the simplest principles of marking went out the

:20:21.:20:23.

window as Javier Hernandez was gifted two further goals at the

:20:24.:20:29.

start of the second half. But with the vocal backing of fans, who were

:20:29.:20:32.

determined to try and lift their team, Wolves at least made it

:20:33.:20:39.

through to full-time without any further punishment.

:20:39.:20:43.

They had a awful lot to swallow this season and took out their

:20:44.:20:49.

frustrations on management rather than players which shows an

:20:49.:20:53.

admirable level of support to the squad. Those fans appreciate it is

:20:53.:20:57.

not their fault. The pundits on Match of the Day 2

:20:57.:21:03.

were in no mood to offer false hope. It is concentration and wanting to

:21:03.:21:06.

do your job. The prospects look very bleak.

:21:06.:21:10.

Wolves have taken just 15 points from the last 78, they've lost six

:21:10.:21:13.

in a row at Molineux for the first time since 1951 and conceded 19

:21:13.:21:18.

goals in five games. But there is hope. They're still just one point

:21:18.:21:22.

adrift of safety and with games to come against Norwich and Bolton.

:21:22.:21:27.

Nick Clitheroe BBC Midlands Today. If Wolves do go down, then

:21:27.:21:30.

Birmingham City could take their place in the Premier league.

:21:30.:21:34.

They're up to fourth in the Championship. One of five teams

:21:34.:21:37.

separated by just a point in the race to make the play-offs with

:21:37.:21:40.

only ten games left. Blues climbed back into those

:21:40.:21:43.

playoff places with Saturday's 3- nil home victory against promotion

:21:43.:21:46.

rivals Middlesbrough. This was Birmingham's 50th game of the

:21:46.:21:49.

season already and they were rarely threatened after Nikola Zigic put

:21:49.:21:54.

them in front at St Andrews. Marlon King ensured the victory with a

:21:55.:21:59.

second just before the hour. But the pick of the goals was scored by

:21:59.:22:02.

Irishman Keith Fahey who celebrated St Patrick's Day with a fine solo

:22:02.:22:12.
:22:12.:22:14.

third for the Blues. Anybody that puts it a good run is

:22:14.:22:20.

capable of getting in the play-offs. There are -- they are 10 a very big

:22:20.:22:23.

games and we are always looking at other results, but the more

:22:23.:22:29.

important are our own. If we can perform like today a on Tuesday, we

:22:29.:22:33.

will give ourselves a chance. Burton Albion's search for a new

:22:33.:22:36.

manager is well underway after the club sacked Paul Peschisolido on

:22:36.:22:39.

Saturday. Their 4-1 home defeat by Torquay was their sixth straight

:22:39.:22:43.

defeat. And their 14th game in a row without a win. Gary Rowett and

:22:43.:22:46.

Kevin Poole will take charge for tomorrow's home game against

:22:46.:22:48.

Northampton. You can see all the Football League

:22:48.:22:53.

goals on the BBC sport website. And tomorrow, we'll have a special

:22:53.:22:55.

feature on the Shrewsbury Town Graham Turner, before their home

:22:55.:23:05.

match against Cheltenham. That is an important game, isn't

:23:05.:23:08.

Shropshire's Archive Service has a problem. Their collection of 45,000

:23:08.:23:11.

photographs charts the history of the county from Victorian times

:23:11.:23:14.

until the present day. But nobody's sure exactly what pictures the

:23:15.:23:18.

collection holds, because it's never been fully catalogued. Now

:23:18.:23:21.

they're hoping the public will step in and help them uncover some

:23:21.:23:25.

hidden gems. Here's James McDonald. More than a century of Shropshire's

:23:25.:23:29.

photographic history is contained in these boxes. And this archive

:23:29.:23:33.

needs help. They want volunteer members of the public to sort

:23:33.:23:42.

through the entire collection. we are offering essentially is to

:23:42.:23:47.

go on a journey of discovery and take a lead of a box and see what

:23:47.:23:49.

they find. A flick through a random folder

:23:49.:23:52.

reveals snapshots of daily life long since forgotten. Who were

:23:52.:23:55.

these women, dancing in the grounds of Shrewsbury Castle? Lord & Lady

:23:55.:23:58.

Barnard, but does anybody know more about them? An Edwardian crowd

:23:58.:24:03.

looks on as two gas balloons take off, but where was this event?

:24:03.:24:06.

a photographic collection particularly, people have looked at

:24:06.:24:11.

them but never had the time to study them. Who knows what might be

:24:11.:24:13.

in there. Volunteers can choose their own

:24:13.:24:16.

village or area to investigate, their local knowledge helping to

:24:16.:24:22.

bring the old photographs to life. You get the feeling that people

:24:22.:24:26.

living in a market out in the centre of the county are still

:24:26.:24:29.

doing the same sort of things and have the same problems that we used

:24:29.:24:34.

Today Wyle Cop in Shrewsbury is a busy street - in that sense not so

:24:34.:24:37.

different to the scene 80 or 90 years ago. This Ironmongers used to

:24:37.:24:45.

stand at number two, today it's an opticians.

:24:45.:24:50.

We have never seen a photo of the shop, we have seen the street, but

:24:50.:24:53.

lot of photo of our premises. There's at least three years of

:24:53.:24:56.

work for the volunteers, perhaps longer. The end result should give

:24:56.:24:59.

us a new view of the county's past. James McDonald BBC Midlands Today

:24:59.:25:01.

in Shrewsbury There'll be a special event at

:25:01.:25:04.

Shrewsbury Library on March the 27th - and there's further

:25:04.:25:14.
:25:14.:25:14.

information on the Midlands Today We were there for the royal wedding

:25:14.:25:23.

last year. There will be a special event at

:25:23.:25:29.

Shrewsbury library on 27th March. There is further information on the

:25:29.:25:33.

Midlands Today Facebook page. And Midlands Today Facebook page. And

:25:33.:25:38.

now the weather.. I sensed things are picking up and

:25:38.:25:42.

the week has barely begun. Tomorrow is the official start of spring and

:25:42.:25:46.

we will be in the British summertime by the end of the week.

:25:46.:25:51.

I can hear some of these saying already, forget about that, where

:25:51.:25:58.

is the rain? I am afraid that is still elusive. We have this high-

:25:58.:26:03.

pressure taking place looming and dominating this week. It will fend

:26:03.:26:09.

off anything remotely wet. So tonight is looking dry with clear

:26:09.:26:13.

spells to begin with. The wind will pick up from the West and introduce

:26:13.:26:18.

cloud across the region. Before that arrives we will see pockets of

:26:18.:26:24.

mist. We then have the odd spot of drizzle out of their care cloud,

:26:24.:26:33.

but mild tonight a run five to six Celsius. Moving on to tomorrow, a

:26:33.:26:38.

great start. Overall at cloudier day for the first day of spring,

:26:38.:26:43.

but we will see it breaks in the cloud through the afternoon. Not as

:26:43.:26:49.

much as today. Temperatures are a well on their own, up to 13 or 14

:26:49.:26:55.

Celsius. It goes through the week and depends on the wind direction

:26:55.:27:01.

and as to what the temperatures will be. We have a cool breeze

:27:01.:27:06.

coming in through the English Channel Wednesday, but in the

:27:06.:27:09.

sunshine temperatures shoot up to sunshine temperatures shoot up to

:27:09.:27:13.

Very nice. A look at tonight's main headlines:

:27:13.:27:16.

A hit and run gunman leaves four dead at a Jewish school in southern

:27:16.:27:18.

France. Three of the victims were children.

:27:19.:27:21.

And are these the green shoots? 62,000 new businesses have started

:27:21.:27:28.

up in the region in the past year. That's all from us this evening,

:27:28.:27:30.

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