28/03/2012 Midlands Today


28/03/2012

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

:00:10.:00:16.

The headlines tonight. A generation without hope blamed

:00:16.:00:18.

for the riots which terrorised Birmingham and the Black Country

:00:18.:00:22.

last summer. We have got a crisis with young people. A crisis in

:00:22.:00:25.

terms of hope, a crisis in terms of their engagement with society.

:00:25.:00:27.

Hundreds protest in Birmingham over plans to execute a Sikh separatist

:00:27.:00:30.

in India. We will settle for nothing less than Balwant Singh

:00:30.:00:35.

Rajwana being released. Worries over plans for yellow

:00:35.:00:38.

tourist buggies in Stratford. It's claimed it will make the place like

:00:38.:00:41.

a theme park. And with a factory about to be

:00:41.:00:51.
:00:51.:00:58.

built there, helping thousands of Good evening, welcome to

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Wednesday's Midlands Today from the BBC.

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Tonight, August's riots reveal a crisis among our young people. The

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Riots, Communities and Victims Panel report into the causes of the

:01:14.:01:17.

disturbances, which saw three days of violent scenes and looting in

:01:17.:01:19.

Birmingham and the Black Country, was officially published today.

:01:19.:01:22.

Steve Botham, who met the panel when it visited the region, says

:01:22.:01:26.

the riots show a crisis of hope and a crisis of engagement with society

:01:26.:01:28.

among young people which needs to be urgently addressed. Joanne

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Writtle reports now on the reaction here to the panel's report.

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Rioting and looting in Birmingham. A raid on a jewellers in

:01:34.:01:36.

Wolverhampton. Some of the scenes prompting this comment from a man

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heading a community development group in Birmingham. Steve Botham

:01:39.:01:49.
:01:49.:01:49.

met the Riots, Communities and Victims Panel. Within Birmingham,

:01:49.:01:54.

we have a crisis with our young people. It is a crisis in terms of

:01:54.:01:56.

hope and their engagement with society. There are some big

:01:56.:02:02.

questions for society to answer that the report highlights.

:02:03.:02:05.

This was the chaos in Wolverhampton. Hairdresser Louise Johnson won

:02:05.:02:07.

bravery awards after becoming a human shield to protect her

:02:08.:02:16.

business. I was just standing here, swearing.

:02:16.:02:18.

Today, Louise is turning her attention to helping youth. She's

:02:18.:02:27.

just given a full time job to her apprentice hairdresser. Employers

:02:27.:02:30.

should give young people opportunities. The young people say

:02:30.:02:33.

that no one wants to give them a job. When this girl turned up and

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she was so polite and willing to work, I told her I would take her

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Annaliena Clements says not all young people are troublemakers.

:02:47.:02:54.

is kids being stupid. They should not have been out there causing

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trouble and making a mess of their town. They are meant to take care

:02:57.:03:01.

of it, not destroy it. Here in Birmingham, 300 children

:03:01.:03:05.

come to this youth centre. It is open five nights a week. It has

:03:05.:03:10.

suffered a cut in public funding last year.

:03:10.:03:18.

The teenagers here were as shocked as most by the riots.

:03:18.:03:25.

Young people are now losing the way to find out what they won because

:03:25.:03:30.

there is not much out there. that is not much of an excuse.

:03:30.:03:37.

it is not. Parents and need support for their young people. They need

:03:37.:03:42.

help in finding places for young people to go to. There has to be

:03:42.:03:47.

more things are for young people to do. There needs to be more youth

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clubs. They should be here, not rioting.

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Visiting a supermarket in Redditch today, the Labour leader condemmed

:03:59.:04:07.

violence, but said young people needed a stake in society. Nobody

:04:07.:04:13.

nobody excuses criminality. But we do have to understand how our young

:04:13.:04:18.

people can be given a stake in our society. That is what this panel is

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talking about, showing people that there is a better way forward.

:04:25.:04:28.

Criminality and irresponsibility is an acceptable. There is a way

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forward for them where they can make more of their lives.

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Young people like Annaliena Clements are already making the

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most of their lives. Under the watchful eye of a woman brave

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enough to protect her business. Joining us now is James Morris the

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Conservative MP for Halesowen & Rowley Regis.

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What is your reaction to the report? I welcome some of the

:04:56.:05:00.

suggestions in the report, the importance of parents and families

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in bringing up young people so that they have a stake in society.

:05:06.:05:10.

are we let him down young people in our society right now however?

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There are problems in certain areas. That is why the Government has set

:05:15.:05:19.

up this troubled family's unit to support families who are having

:05:19.:05:26.

problems. But we also need to invest in skills, that is why we

:05:26.:05:29.

are increasing the number of apprenticeships for young people so

:05:29.:05:35.

that they have a stake in the future of society. The youth

:05:35.:05:42.

schemes, we saw that project in a report which as having their

:05:42.:05:47.

funding cut. How will that Kate young people off the street? Before

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I was elected, I was a volunteer youth worker myself. I know some of

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the issues here. There are many good voluntary youth support it

:06:00.:06:04.

projects out there. You the support from the voluntary sector is

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excellent and we need to support that. It is not necessarily their

:06:09.:06:15.

statutory sector which provides the best support. Surely the more

:06:15.:06:19.

things out there for young people, the better? We need to be giving

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young people mentoring, and opportunities to take jobs and the

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prospects that are there in the future.

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One in five 18-24 year olds are out of work in this region - 70,000

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people in all. How big a part of the problem is this? We are putting

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�1 billion into the Youth project, we are doubling apprenticeships in

:06:46.:06:50.

my constituency. We are trying to improve the situation for young

:06:50.:07:00.
:07:00.:07:00.

people. Thanks very much indeed. We'd like to hear your views on

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this. What do you think caused last summer's riots in the Midlands? Was

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it poor parenting or different problems in society? Email us or

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our go on our Facebook page and we'll have some of your comments

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later. Still to come in the programme

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tonight. History in the skies over

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Warwickshire, as one of the world's oldest jets takes off once more,

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some 70 years after its first flight.

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Hundreds of Sikhs took part in a march and demonstration in

:07:26.:07:29.

Birmingham today. They were protesting against plans to execute

:07:29.:07:31.

a Sikh separatist who helped assassinate a politician and 17

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other people in a bomb attack in India.

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Balwant Singh Rajwana was due to be hanged on Saturday for his role in

:07:39.:07:44.

the conspiracy to kill the Chief Minister for Punjab in 1995.

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Rajoana has been in prison for 17 years after being convicted of

:07:48.:07:50.

acting as a back-up suicide bomber in the plot. Tonight, the Indian

:07:50.:07:53.

government put the execution on hold. Our reporter Bob Hockenhull

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has been following today's events. The Sikh community on the march

:08:01.:08:04.

through the streets of Handsworth in Birmingham, mobilised by anger

:08:04.:08:12.

over the fate of a prisoner 4,000 Eventually, 1,000 people joined the

:08:12.:08:15.

demonstration outside the Consulate General of India in the Jewellery

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Quarter. They are furious over plans to execute Balwant Singh

:08:21.:08:25.

Rajwana on Saturday. He has already served 17 years after admitting he

:08:25.:08:34.

conspired to murder the Chief Minister for the Punjab in 1995.

:08:34.:08:38.

want to put pressure on the local government and the natural

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Government of the UK to use his influence on the Indian government

:08:42.:08:48.

to stop this execution from taking place. As at this protests and

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faults, along with demonstrations around the world, talks are taking

:08:52.:08:58.

place at the very highest level in India aimed at stopping their

:08:58.:09:07.

execution. Protesters are hoping to put pressure on the Indian

:09:07.:09:13.

government. Tonight, it seems to have worked. India has put their

:09:13.:09:18.

execution on hold. If it had gone ahead, it would have been the first

:09:18.:09:23.

since 2004. People power is the most important power. Once that the

:09:23.:09:28.

people start working and going forward, there is no stopping.

:09:28.:09:35.

should now be released. We want nothing less than release for

:09:35.:09:45.
:09:45.:09:45.

Balwant Singh Rajoana. This is a very controversial case because of

:09:45.:09:51.

the political nation of the Sikh separatist movement at the time,

:09:51.:09:56.

that is one reason we have seen the kind of reactions that we have a.

:09:56.:10:00.

That demonstrations in Birmingham ended police fully without arrests.

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We are trying to minimise disruption, but people have the

:10:05.:10:11.

right to peaceful protest. Hopefully, we have achieved a

:10:11.:10:18.

mixture of both. But six say they will be back on the street if the

:10:18.:10:28.
:10:28.:10:30.

threat of execution is not removed. -- Sikhs.

:10:30.:10:33.

A woman's died following a house fire in Coventry this morning. West

:10:33.:10:36.

Midlands Ambulance Service was called to an address in Willenhall

:10:36.:10:39.

just before 6 o'clock. Crews discovered the body of a woman who

:10:39.:10:42.

was confirmed dead at the scene. Plans for a �120 million casino at

:10:42.:10:45.

Birmingham's NEC have been approved. It will form part of a larger

:10:45.:10:47.

development including a hotel and cinema. Solihull Council have

:10:47.:10:54.

approved the project. The complex is expected to create 1,000 jobs.

:10:54.:10:56.

A man has died following a crash in Shropshire in the early hours of

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this morning. It happened on the A41 near Stanford Bridge at around

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1am. The victim's car left the road and hit a tree leaving him with

:11:03.:11:05.

multiple injuries. He was confirmed dead at the scene.

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They're small, they're yellow and they're causing a stir in our

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cultural heartland. The introduction of a fleet of

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motorised tourist tricycles has caused a row in Shakespeare's

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hometown. A former mayor claims they are

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vulgar and unsuitable for Stratford Upon Avon. Here's Joan Cummins.

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They cost more than �3,000 to buy, but now it is hoped these 50cc

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motorised tricycles will bring an added extra to the tourist

:11:26.:11:36.
:11:36.:11:37.

experience in Stratford Upon Avon. We need to move into the 21st

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century a little bit. It is an historical time, but people can

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still have fun. Stratford has seen its top

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posistion as a tourist destination slipping in recent years, but it is

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hoped this year's World Shakespeare Festival will help re-establish the

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Warwickshire market town on the world map. But the prospect of the

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self-hire vehicles becoming part of the general tourist traffic has

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caused some to describe them as vulgar and simply not fitting for

:12:02.:12:10.

such a world class destination. It is a bit naff, a bit vulgar. But

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people have their own taste. But the town does not have the harder

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to take this on board. We are very fortunate in this town, I do think

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we need to protect it. Shakespeare will be turning in his grave of.

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Drivers have to be at least 21 with a full driving licence, but not

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everyone sees them as a cultural invasion.

:12:37.:12:41.

Stratford's main job is to provide what its visitors want. Our job is

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not to educate people or raise their social status, it is to

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provide them with entertainment and enjoyment while they are here.

:12:51.:12:54.

With plans to introduce electric versions of the three wheelers next

:12:54.:12:57.

year, I asked today's visitors if they were persuaded by the �35 an

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hour buggies. I think it looks fabulous. As long

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as there is not too many of them. Yes, very good. But a bit noisy.

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You do not want to see them on the street. It is yet to be seen

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whether this will improve the situation for tourists in the

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Stratford. But at least parking is free.

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That is a big plus. Free parking. And great in this weather.

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Perfect in this weather. A big rescue operation is underway

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to move thousands of breeding toads from the site of a new car engine

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factory near Wolverhampton. They are being moved before building

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work can continue on the Jaguar Land Rover plant on the i54 site.

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As the name suggests, common toads are widespread and found throughout

:13:50.:13:51.

Britain. They follow the same route back to

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ancestral breeding ponds each spring. In Britain, the common toad

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is protected by law from sale and trade. Ben Godfrey's has been down

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at the pond side. It can be a difficult life being a

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toad. You want to build a colony in a picturesque pond, but somebody

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moves you on before you have a chance to spawn. So these

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volunteers are mounting Operation Rescue. 4,000 mating common toads

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are breeding on the site of Jaguar Land Rover's soon-to-be built

:14:22.:14:32.
:14:32.:14:33.

engine plant, at i54 near Wolverhampton. We have got one here.

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It is covered in month, it was at the bottom of the pond. -- covered

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in mud. The toads have migrated back to the pond to breed. They

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hibernate, but they have will come with a warm weather.

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So far, 1,000 toads have been scooped from the murky depths and,

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for these amorous amphibians, time's pressing. On Monday,

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construction workers move on to prepare the ground on this 120

:15:01.:15:11.
:15:11.:15:31.

hectare site. We are putting him a new M42 junction. -- motorway. This

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is meeting season. But at the Newlove lest it is a quarter of a

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mile away. -- New laugh at messed It's a journey alongside the busy

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M54 to a new toad enclosure surrounded by steel. They get a

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larger pond, some quiet neighbours and just about the tightest

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security they could get at short notice. Ben Godfrey, BBC Midlands

:15:54.:16:02.

Today, Staffordshire. Looks a better place. You can read

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a full report on that on our website.

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Well, we've still got this sensational weather, haven't we? I

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hope Ben isn't going to spoil it! Well, Nick, all good things come to

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an end. After one more very warm day tomorrow, our temperatures are

:16:15.:16:18.

going to slide back to where they should be by the weekend. The

:16:18.:16:28.
:16:28.:16:34.

We are being terribly spot by the weather.

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It's nearly three weeks since Port Vale football club went into

:16:37.:16:39.

administration owing around �3 million. Tonight, the fans are

:16:39.:16:43.

gathering at the ground to hear the latest news on when new owners

:16:43.:16:46.

might take over. Nick Clitheroe is there too. What are the fans likely

:16:46.:16:51.

to discover this evening, Nick? They are going to get the latest

:16:51.:16:55.

briefing from the administrators. It came to ahead at the beginning

:16:56.:16:59.

of March when be found out that the players were not being paid. There

:16:59.:17:04.

was a meeting at the supporters' club when one of the members of the

:17:04.:17:13.

previous club had to leave the meeting. After that, we had the

:17:13.:17:20.

process of the council put in the club into administration. I have

:17:20.:17:27.

one of their administrators here now. What can you tell the

:17:27.:17:31.

supporters tonight? We are going to keep them fully informed of what we

:17:31.:17:35.

are doing. This is really a question and answer session. We

:17:35.:17:40.

have got three parties who have already submitted offers. We have

:17:40.:17:44.

not got a from a favourite at this time. We have not closed of the

:17:44.:17:54.
:17:54.:17:55.

bidding. But I am hoping there will be some good news next week. So you

:17:55.:17:59.

hope to close the door for beds next week? We may impose a deadline

:17:59.:18:04.

for bids. Possibly Friday night, or Monday my day. We will consider

:18:04.:18:12.

those beds and become -- consider those bitters and make a

:18:13.:18:20.

recommendation. That is excellent news. Hopefully, we can start

:18:20.:18:26.

moving forward. It is good news that three beds are in. There will

:18:26.:18:36.
:18:36.:18:38.

be more from the administrators at this meeting. -- bids.

:18:38.:18:44.

Light at the end of the tunnel for Port Vale, hopefully.

:18:44.:18:47.

Shrewsbury Town have praised club staff and the fans for their

:18:47.:18:50.

reaction to a fire which caused the abandonment of last night's home

:18:50.:18:53.

game with Port Vale. The fire broke out in the electric control panel

:18:53.:18:56.

for the floodlights at the Greenhouse Meadow just over an hour

:18:56.:18:59.

into the game. The East Stand had to be evacuated, but no-one was

:18:59.:19:02.

injured. Shrewsbury were winning 1- 0 at the time after James Collins

:19:02.:19:07.

scored. A new date for the game is yet to be arranged.

:19:07.:19:11.

It was a better night for fans of Walsall and Burton Albion who both

:19:11.:19:13.

enjoyed home victories. Walsall moved out of the League One

:19:13.:19:16.

relegation zone with their first win in five games. Emmanuel Ledesma

:19:16.:19:19.

equalised Colchester's early goal and Walsall went in front when Mat

:19:19.:19:22.

Sadler scored just before half-time. A late third from George Bowerman

:19:22.:19:30.

leaves them two points above the relegation places. Burton Albion

:19:30.:19:36.

fans had been waiting 17 games for a win. And it needed an own goal

:19:36.:19:46.
:19:46.:19:57.

from Matt Fish to finally break their drought against Gillingham.

:19:57.:20:03.

The Olympic countdown has begun for a beach volleyball player. She is

:20:03.:20:08.

packing up and heading for the Sam &. But it will be no holiday.

:20:08.:20:14.

Denise John's is embarking on her Olympic dream. That means precious

:20:14.:20:19.

little time at home with her husband. We do travel a lot because

:20:19.:20:24.

there is no indoor beach volleyball court. But we travelled to lovely

:20:24.:20:34.
:20:34.:20:35.

places. This is where where she hopes she will be going. Last year,

:20:35.:20:45.
:20:45.:20:47.

she and her partner finished 4th. The test event for the Olympics was

:20:47.:20:51.

incredible. There was great support from the fans and the British

:20:51.:20:57.

public. Her accent is not what you would expect for someone living

:20:57.:21:01.

near Gloucester. Her nationality has been a controversial Olympics

:21:01.:21:07.

subject. But she says she is definitely British. My dad is

:21:07.:21:14.

British. I grew up with British Customs. I do feel British. I have

:21:14.:21:19.

lived here for five years. I just love being around British people,

:21:19.:21:26.

they have been so welcoming. I love it here and I will definitely stay

:21:26.:21:36.
:21:36.:21:40.

here. If the test is having a cup of tea, she certainly qualifies.

:21:40.:21:43.

A piece of aviation history took to the skies over the Midlands today

:21:43.:21:47.

as a special thank you to a group of dedicated volunteers who have

:21:47.:21:50.

helped to keep it flying. The Gloucester built Meteor T7 is the

:21:50.:21:51.

oldest twin engined jet fighter still airworthy.

:21:51.:21:54.

Kevin Reide was there. Coventry Airport, and takeoff for

:21:54.:21:57.

one of the world's rarest flying jet fighters. There are just five

:21:57.:22:07.
:22:07.:22:08.

Gloucester Meteors still flying and this model T7 is the oldest aged 63.

:22:08.:22:12.

This flight was specially laid on for a team of more than 40

:22:13.:22:20.

volunteers who make sure this aircraft keeps flying. We want to

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

keep that in Britain. It is one of their earliest jets. The media,

:22:31.:22:35.

because they did not feel that their initial in just did not have

:22:35.:22:45.
:22:45.:22:49.

enough power, they put on two. It has an iconic cellaret. -- iconic

:22:49.:22:59.

silhouette. This 89-year-old former RAF pilot

:22:59.:23:02.

flew Spitfires in the Second World War and saw them being phased out

:23:02.:23:05.

for the state-of-the-art Meteor. was moved up. Lone voice in the

:23:05.:23:15.
:23:15.:23:20.

cockpit. -- smooth. This is our anniversary. What a way to spend it.

:23:20.:23:30.
:23:30.:23:31.

It says me buying a present. Meteor is based at Coventry airport

:23:31.:23:36.

and will be flying at air shows of the summer.

:23:36.:23:45.

Happy anniversary. Now it's been another unseasonably

:23:45.:23:48.

warm and beautiful day today, but can it last? Here's Ben Rich with

:23:48.:23:51.

the details. Yes, it has been incredibly warm

:23:51.:23:54.

for March, and I'll have the forecast in a moment. But talking

:23:54.:23:57.

of all things unseasonable, a group of pupils at a school in Birmingham

:23:57.:24:00.

made an attempt on the record for the biggest number of simultaneous

:24:00.:24:10.
:24:10.:24:12.

conker games today. Nearly 800 pupils and staff from King Edwards

:24:12.:24:17.

School took part. The current world record stands at just over 500.

:24:17.:24:20.

It's a game usually played in the autumn of course, but there has

:24:20.:24:22.

been nothing autumnal or even been nothing autumnal or even

:24:22.:24:24.

springlike about the weather recently. In fact, it's been more

:24:24.:24:27.

like summer. Today, we have had some very impressive temperatures.

:24:27.:24:33.

They got up to 21 Celsius in Birmingham. Plenty of other places

:24:33.:24:38.

not far behind that. One of the reasons for that is the sheer

:24:38.:24:44.

amount of sunshine we have had. This is a satellite picture, hardly

:24:44.:24:48.

any cloud. That bank of cloud across Scotland is heading our way

:24:48.:24:53.

across the next few days and that will turn things cloudier and

:24:53.:24:58.

cooler. Turning pretty cool tonight as well. Temperatures are going to

:24:58.:25:03.

drop a way, quite close to freezing in places. There could be a touch

:25:03.:25:08.

of grass frost and some patchy fog tomorrow morning. But that will

:25:08.:25:14.

dissipate very quickly tomorrow. Up similar day with plenty of sunshine

:25:14.:25:18.

tomorrow. Some high cloud by the end of the day. A slightly

:25:18.:25:28.
:25:28.:25:28.

increased a breeze as well. Another beautiful evening tomorrow and a

:25:28.:25:33.

fine, dry night as well. But we will see more cloud spreading in

:25:33.:25:38.

from the north. Quite a lot of cloud on Friday. Things should have

:25:38.:25:42.

brighten up slowly, but it will be cooler, temperatures around 15

:25:42.:25:46.

Celsius. This rage of high pressure that has been in charge of our

:25:46.:25:52.

weather is going to move to the west over the weekend. The wind was

:25:52.:25:56.

which to northerly, bringing Bin cool air and increasing amount of

:25:56.:26:06.
:26:06.:26:06.

cloud. But no sign of any much- needed rain on the horizon.

:26:06.:26:15.

Thank you very much. And earlier in the programme we

:26:15.:26:18.

asked you to get in touch with your views on what caused last year's

:26:18.:26:22.

riots. Lots of comments on our Facebook page.

:26:22.:26:25.

Jane Bremer says, A lack of proper education and the fact that schools

:26:25.:26:28.

and parents aren't able to discipline the kids is the problem.

:26:28.:26:31.

Nick Savage, I think that it is because they are angry about the

:26:31.:26:34.

high unemployment situation. It strikes me that they don't realise

:26:34.:26:37.

that rioting won't help. Dom Nash. The riots were not youth

:26:37.:26:39.

failure only, it was whole of society's failure.

:26:39.:26:42.

Gary Jordan says, Pure greed and criminality - we don't need the

:26:42.:26:45.

report to tell us that. Plenty of decent people are unemployed but

:26:45.:26:47.

didn't go looting. Jake Williams, It would not have

:26:47.:26:50.

happened if they were all in jobs! Young people have got to have a

:26:50.:26:53.

sense of belonging and feel a part of a community.

:26:53.:26:56.

David Ford, When they see the super rich running the country and taking

:26:56.:27:00.

so much from so many while making even more of a fortune, well, it

:27:00.:27:02.

doesn't take rocket science to work out what's going on.

:27:02.:27:10.

Lots of emails too. Lillian Webb says, I find it

:27:10.:27:13.

utterly preposterous that everyone is making excuses for the rioters.

:27:13.:27:15.

These selfish people showed no consideration at all for anyone

:27:15.:27:25.
:27:25.:27:28.

because they know they live in a society which has grown soft.

:27:28.:27:31.

A look at tonight's main headlines. David Cameron says motorists should

:27:31.:27:35.

top up their tanks in case the fuel strike goes ahead.

:27:35.:27:37.

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