30/03/2012 Midlands Today


30/03/2012

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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Hello, welcome to Midlands Today with Mary Rhodes and Nick Owen. The

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headlines tonight. Pumping up the prices, petrol

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stations cash in as supplies run low following a week of queues and

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misery. It's ridiculous, people are clearing places out. It's the

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Easter holidays, I am of the the children, doing stuff, so I would

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rather not run out. A Labour big hitter makes jobs his

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priority as the race hots up to become Birmingham's first directly

:00:30.:00:33.

elected mayor. I believe it is time. Our city to come together like

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never before. Shock as the dead-ball world as the

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Aston Villa captain Stilyan Petrov is diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

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An Spaghetti Junction from the air, but this weekend, you can see it

:00:47.:00:57.
:00:57.:00:58.

from a different angle, lying on Good evening, welcome to Friday's

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Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight, prices at the pumps rise

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to record levels as fuel supplies run low following a week of misery

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for motorists. The tanker drivers' strike may be off for now, but the

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aftermath of the rush to top up was being felt across the Midlands this

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evening. Some garages have been emptied of petrol and diesel while

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others are close to running dry, after a huge surge in demand. The

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worst now seems to be over but tonight one garage in Birmingham

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hiked its prices to nearly �1.59 for a litre of unleaded amid fears

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about profiteering. Ben Godfrey has this report.

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Is this a sign of things to come? A petrol station in Perry Barr today

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charging almost �1.64 diesel -- one has 60, for diesel and unleaded.

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Yesterday, it was around �1.59. -- �1.49. The attendant could not

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explain the prices, the manager was not available. It is connected to

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the apparent rush of petrol? For a snapshot of forecourts in the West

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Midlands, we joined the morning commute between Dudley and

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Birmingham. It is not often you see traffic control at a petrol station

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but these are unusual times. Last night, queues stretched for miles

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outside the Studley supermarket, but this morning, commuters were in

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luck. A tanker had delivered at dawn. We have had certain spikes at

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busy times where we have had people supporting the traffic flow. In the

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main, nothing not manageable. we headed to Aldbury. This debt of

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the strike might have receded, but big queues were still forming.

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red light came on so I do need petrels. It is the Easter holidays,

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I am with the children doing stuff, I would rather not have run out.

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is ridiculous, people cleaning paces out. Two miles away on the

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new Birmingham Road, the mayor lorry driver Mike Gallagher. He

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only makes short journeys but is included -- increasingly frustrated

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at motorists. It is �700 worth of these will, if they're all cars, it

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takes ages, you cannot get 10. we have seen on our Knut is much

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longer queues forming at the places where people think they can get a

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cheaper tank of fuel, supermarkets. Private garages are seeing a good

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trade but no different to a normal Friday. In Birmingham city centre,

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a mixed picture. Some pumps drained of diesel and regular unleaded.

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Those stations without supplies say they are confident they will

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receive top pubs throughout the weekend.

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-- pop-ups. What has business be light at the Orrell depot where you

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are? This is Birmingham fuel oils, a family-run company, which has

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capitalised this month on the panic at the pumps. We have had drivers

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coming down from Scotland to collect tanks of diesel. Let's talk

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to be Lee Cattermole from the company, what impact has had on

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business? A big impact, we have bought more fuel than we normally

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would, three times as much. Just to supply to more customers than what

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we would normally. We have kept everyone going, all our customers,

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and taken on new customers and they are happy. We are being told there

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is plenty of oil out there, but people have panicked this week. Do

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you have any sympathy for the motorists? Big sympathy. Fuel is

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expensive and motorists have had to double up on their fuel allowance

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into their cars, people are buying �20, they will have to pockets to

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get �40. Your drivers are not in the United union which is in the

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disputes with the government. A forecourt in Birmingham, �1.59,

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what do you make of that? I do not agree with that, they will get none

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of the total from their customers. We have put hours up by a a couple

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of pence to cover drivers' hours. - - they will get no loyalty from

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their customers. He David Cameron has today tried to call on the

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union unite to cancel the strikes or together, they say they will not

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happen over Easter. And do let us know the latest fuel situation

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where you are and if prices are going up. Get in touch via our

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Facebook page or you can email us. Thanks for joining us this evening.

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Later in tonight's programme: More on the shock news that the

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Aston Villa captain Stilyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute

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One of the region's big hitting politicians has entered the race to

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become Birmingham's first directly elected Mayor. Liam Byrne was a

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senior member of the last Labour government, where he held the job

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as second in command to the Chancellor. Now he's preparing to

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quit the shadow Cabinet for a new challenge in the second city.

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Joanne Writtle is outside the Council House in the city centre

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now. What did Mr Byrne have to say today, Joanne? It was all quite a

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fanfare, he staged a carefully managed press call to declare his

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intention of becoming mayor. His bid his message was that he wanted

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to get the city working. His mantra, he said, was Dobbs, jobs, jobs.

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The shadow Work and Pensions Secretary emerged with a former

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council leader Sir Albert Bore, and his wife and children. The somewhat,

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what am as fit as he threw himself forward to stand as Durman and's

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Meyer, -- the somewhat carnival atmosphere as he put himself

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forward to stand as Birmingham's mayor. We need the mayor to look --

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unlock our potential, and get a few things sorted like getting a city

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back to work. Sir Albert Bore had originally expressed an interest in

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the job himself, but will now drawing surface in -- with Liam

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Byrne. They state -- other people want to get the new nomination.

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will also support to those who will be elected as the nomination, that

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is the Labour Party. I have thrown my hat alongside that of Liam Byrne.

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There is no doubt, with a political big hitter throwing his hat into

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the ring, the race to become Birmingham's first elected mayor is

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hotting up. But before anything can happen, a referendum on whether

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people actually want a mayor in Birmingham and Coventry will be

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held in May. Conservative leader of Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby

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is now said to be warming to the idea, and is seen as the most

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likely Tory candidate. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrat idea it -- MP

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John Hemmings said this. The issue as to whether we should have these

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powers concentrated into one individual is open to people to

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decide. Do we want a dictator for Birmingham or a more democratic

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system, which involves more people? Despite that, John Hemmings said he

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may be interested in the job if there is a yes vote. When Labour

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lost the general election, Liam Byrne hit headlines with his note

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to the new chief secretary to the Treasury declaring there is no

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money left. Ironic that if he becomes mayor, it will be in a year

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whether City Council grapples to save �62 million.

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There is a long road ahead before anyone get close to becoming mayor,

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if at all. 11 cities are having referendums, Birmingham and City --

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commentary in the Midlands, batted on May 3rd, the day of the local

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elections. If people say they want a mayor, there will be a tough

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nomination battle. A fight among Labour in this city with Liam Byrne,

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Gisella Stuart and Sion Simon are fighting it out. It all culminates

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in what is being dubbed a super Thursday on 15th November, when

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people would go to the polls to elect a mayor, and also the new

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Police Commissioner's. They would be replacing the current police

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authorities. The funeral of a Worcestershire

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schoolboy who died during a rugby match has taken place in his home

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village this morning. Luke Chapman, who was 15 and attended Heybridge

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High School in Hagley, died just over a week ago. This morning

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pupils, teachers and members of the public lined the village High

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Street to pay tribute to him as the cortege passed by.

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260 jobs are to be created by a new restaurant, hotel and cinema

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development in the centre of Telford in Shropshire. The �250

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million Southwater Square project will include an 11-screen Cineworld

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cinema, a Premier Inn Hotel and a number of well known restaurants.

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Work is due to start on site in the summer and it's expected to be

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completed by the end of 2014. The Culture Minister has said he

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would regard it as a catastrophic failure if the valuable Wedgwood

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Collection of pottery were to be sold off on his watch. Ed Vaizey

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was speaking on a visit to Stoke on Trent. A legal ruling means the

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museum's treasures face being sold to meet a pension deficit. Our

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Staffordshire reporter Liz Copper has the details.

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The Culture Minister Ed Vaizey had a guided tour of the galleries at

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the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston. He was shown some of the 10,000

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treasures which make up the unique connection. He said it would be a

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catastrophic failure if this precious collection was broken up.

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I think it is essential they stay together, it is unarguable, this

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collection cannot be broken up. It is part of the history of our

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nation and part of the history of this part of the world. It cannot

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be broken up and it has to stay here. To ensure it stays in stature,

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members of the Wedgwood family have begun a campaign. They have

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welcomed the minister's visit. Having him here is important, it

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makes sure people are working hard, it puts pressure on people to work

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out a solution to save this collection forever. In spite of its

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troubles, the trip -- museum is still open for business. Although

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these pieces are being valued, they are still on public display. There

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seems to be a growing consensus, this collection should stay intact

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and in Staffordshire. But exactly how much money needs to be found

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and how much will be raised is still unclear. I am glad the

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Minister agrees with us that the collection need to be preserved as

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a whole and it should remain here in Staffordshire. What we need to

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do is roll up our us leave -- sleeves, think about a fund-raising

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strategy and a future plan for the that. Stage one, work towards the

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collection, stage two, have a viable business models so as many

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people as possible can see this is history. A campaign to save these

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pieces for the nation is now gathering pace.

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Schools in desperate need of repair are urging the Education Secretary

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to announce whether they'll get money for rebuilding programmes.

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Michael Gove had been due to make an announcement in December, but

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the decision on who will get the funding has been delayed. The BBC's

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Sunday Politics in the Midlands has discovered that at least forty

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schools across our region applied for the funding. BBC Coventry and

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Warwickshire's Political Reporter Sian Grzeszczyk's is here now to

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tell us more. So what's this money they're all bidding for? It is the

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replacement for Labour's all buildings calls for the future

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programme which was scrapped and the coalition came to power. Then

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you scream -- scheme, the priority schools building programme, is a

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PFI, there is no clue from the Department of Education as to when

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these schools will get an answer as to whether they will be rebuilt or

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not. What sort of states are the school in? I have been to visit one

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school in the Midlands, it is nearly 60 years old, there ask --

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cracks in the corridors and mould the carpet. The head teachers told

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us she is very frustrated. It seems to be taking a very long time and

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there is not a great deal of clarity about the programme. It is

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a PFI, should we be paying back public money? I do not know if that

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is right for our school anyway. We need any building and we have to do

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something, if that is our only option that is what we will have to

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do. We have to be realistic, so surely some schools have not got a

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chance of getting money. Woodland Academy in commentary are not even

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allowed to apply for the pot of money, because their school is a

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listed building. They are in a real dire situation. They are an academy

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and outside of local authority control, so it is up to the head

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teacher to find the �20 million they need to rebuild the school. He

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had appointed message for the Education Secretary. We have done

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everything you might have expected of us, we are not a failing school,

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we have done what we think we ought to have done and they need to do

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what they need to do it, provide accommodation that Mr Goh would be

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happy for his child to be taught in. -- Michael Gove. We have heard from

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some students from the primary school who have some strong views

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on it. See that on Sunday. There was an afternoon out of

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school for two dozen pupils in Birmingham today intended to show

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them how the police are clamping down on drug crime. They watched as

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a metal crusher destroyed cars used in drug deals, confiscated from

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dealers. Giles Latcham reports. Hardly the wheels of choice for a

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flash and successful drug dealer, these are the low key, day-to-day

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vehicles used to collect or deliver drugs, now confiscated and turned

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into a crushing victory from the police. Our street dealers are not

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driving round in flash motor vehicles, they are driving round in

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vehicles to blend into the community. So by taking them and

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visitor -- risibly destroying them, we are sending a positive message

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to the community. In this part of east Birmingham, the community told

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the police that they wanted drugs to be a priority by the police. In

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recent months, they have arrested 35 people as part of the drug

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fighting operation. This car is about to be turned rather more

:15:39.:15:47.

micro. It was highlighted by the students in local schools, it was

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the pupils that designed the leaflet to hand around and the name

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of the project. Pupils from the near by Waverley School worthier --

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bear to see the school. There is no point in being a drug dealer,

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because the police are going to catch you. What do you think of the

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police taking up car of a drug dealer and crashing it? I think it

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is right, and I think that is a good consequence. Because they are

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affecting our environment. So they should be punished for that.

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Discussions are taking place in school and in the community, what

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they are being told in assembly and what they have seen today, they are

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passing the words round to each other that drug dealing is not a

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good thing to do. So far, 30 people suspected of drug dealing in his

:16:32.:16:37.

neighbourhood have been charged and are due before the courts.

:16:37.:16:39.

Ambassadors from more than a dozen countries visited Worcestershire

:16:39.:16:43.

today. They were attending an event designed to showcase the best of

:16:43.:16:46.

what the county has to sell around the world. It's in response to

:16:46.:16:49.

calls for the UK to increase its exports to help generate growth,

:16:49.:16:58.

jobs and rebalance the economy. Our reporter Cath Mackie was there.

:16:58.:17:04.

It was the day the world came to whisper. I represent tie one.

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Republic of Macedonia. In the air force. Canada. And hereto -- here

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to charm them were local companies. We were the original English water,

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let's chat about that. Worcester -- Worcester Bosch hosted the event

:17:26.:17:30.

which was like speed-skating business. How important is that

:17:30.:17:35.

face-to-face contact? Very, because you make that contact and it is

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more humid -- human. Iconic brands were on show like the Morgan car.

:17:41.:17:47.

Exports from Worcestershire on the increase and this event is to

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showcase what the the area has to offer. The Chancellor wants to

:17:52.:17:55.

double exports by one trillion pounds by the end of the decade,

:17:55.:17:59.

although manufactures have asked him for more help to do that.

:17:59.:18:03.

Getting foreign companies to look beyond London is seen as a start.

:18:03.:18:07.

The way we will and our way out of the current economic situation is

:18:07.:18:17.
:18:17.:18:19.

by growth in international trade, - When you work in London, you get

:18:19.:18:23.

the impression that the economy of this country is the finance

:18:23.:18:26.

industry. It is really heartening to see that there is also

:18:26.:18:32.

production going on. And deals are being done. We just got a very nice

:18:32.:18:36.

order from China, it is nice to be reversing the trend of imports from

:18:36.:18:40.

China, now we are exporting. There are many who are hoping that they

:18:40.:18:43.

can persuade the world that Worcestershire is the place to do

:18:43.:18:45.

business. Still to come in tonight's

:18:45.:18:48.

programme: A closer look at life under Spaghetti Junction, and it's

:18:48.:18:52.

all in the name of art. And it seems that all good things

:18:52.:18:55.

must come to an end and after a beautiful and exceptionally warm

:18:55.:18:58.

week, we see a return to cooler and cloudier conditions this weekend.

:18:58.:19:08.
:19:08.:19:10.

I'll have all the details for you Onto sport now and we start with

:19:10.:19:13.

some shock news from world of football. Dan's here with the

:19:13.:19:16.

details. Yes, desperately sad news from

:19:16.:19:18.

Aston Villa, that their captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed

:19:18.:19:22.

with acute leukaemia. The 32-year- old who joined Villa in 2006 was

:19:22.:19:25.

sent for tests after developing a fever during last weekend's game at

:19:25.:19:30.

Arsenal. But he was told at lunchtime today that he had

:19:30.:19:37.

leukaemia and has already travelled to London to begin his treatment.

:19:37.:19:42.

It has been a strange day. I was at the manager Alex McLeish's

:19:42.:19:45.

news conference at lunchtime and at that point he thought Petrov was

:19:45.:19:48.

suffering with a virus. An hour later though the club released a

:19:48.:19:58.
:19:58.:19:59.

statement confirming their captain had leukaemia. He will get the best

:19:59.:20:04.

medical attention possible. I spoke to him about half an hour ago, he

:20:04.:20:09.

is typical Stan, defined, but I think he is concerned about how

:20:09.:20:16.

will it has affected his loved one. What have the fans been saying?

:20:16.:20:21.

A mixture of shock and surprise. A big game but everyone is talking

:20:21.:20:26.

about Stilyan Petrov. I am sorry for his family, is seen so there,

:20:26.:20:32.

best of luck to him. It is devastating, he has been great for

:20:32.:20:38.

the club. I just pray he did recovers from this, it is shocking

:20:38.:20:43.

news, I did not realise until you just told me. How important has he

:20:43.:20:47.

been? Massive, club captain, you cannot get bigger than that, we

:20:47.:20:55.

want him back. And we've also spoken to the former Wolves

:20:55.:20:57.

midfielder Geoff Thomas who you may remember successfully recovered

:20:57.:21:01.

after being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2003. He says, it just

:21:01.:21:05.

takes you back to when you got diagnosed, you think you have a

:21:05.:21:09.

virus. But he said that treatment in this country is excellent.

:21:09.:21:13.

can say is that there are some tremendous people in this country

:21:13.:21:20.

now, they are leaders in the field in rheumatology and blood cancers.

:21:20.:21:25.

Or you can do is put your life in the hands of the professionals, and

:21:25.:21:29.

what I can say, there are so many good people who will be working

:21:29.:21:36.

hard to make sure he get on the road of recovery. We hope he gets

:21:36.:21:46.
:21:46.:21:48.

better soon, that is the important thing.

:21:48.:21:50.

Worcester rugby club's Premiership status could be assured this

:21:50.:21:53.

evening. If Worcester can win at Leicester, or if Newcastle fail to

:21:53.:21:56.

beat Sale, then they're guaranteed their place in the top tier of

:21:56.:21:59.

English rugby next season. But coach Richard Hill hasn't given up

:21:59.:22:03.

on a top seven finish and that could give them a place in next

:22:03.:22:06.

season's European cup. It was not a reality a while ago, but we have

:22:06.:22:08.

had such a big run since Christmas, bigger wins over Saracens, and a

:22:08.:22:14.

loss as well, suddenly it becomes a possibility. The players get

:22:14.:22:18.

excited because Heineken Cup football was not on the radar, but

:22:18.:22:21.

it is a possibility this year. there'll be full match commentary

:22:21.:22:24.

on the Warriors match against Leicester on BBC Hereford and

:22:24.:22:30.

Worcester from 7:45pm tonight. Our thoughts are very much with

:22:30.:22:34.

Stilyan Petrov and his family tonight.

:22:34.:22:36.

And the fans from all clubs across the West Midlands.

:22:36.:22:40.

Art lovers are being told lie back and think of Brum in a slightly

:22:40.:22:42.

bizarre exhibition to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Spaghetti

:22:42.:22:45.

Junction. It's all part of an art project called Track which forms

:22:45.:22:48.

part of the city's free Fierce Arts Festival. Ben Sidwell's been

:22:48.:22:58.
:22:58.:23:04.

It is one of the most famous road junctions in Europe. Every day, one

:23:04.:23:10.

of -- almost 250,000 vehicles pass through here, many people never

:23:10.:23:14.

giving a second thought of what is underneath. This weekend that will

:23:14.:23:19.

change in the name of art. It is kind of like how we might all

:23:19.:23:23.

imagine an out-of-body experience. You are on your back, drifting

:23:23.:23:28.

along. Although it is only 100 metres or so, it feels much longer,

:23:28.:23:34.

and it is almost like being in a dream. Track is the creation of

:23:34.:23:38.

artist Graham Miller. His idea is to take people on a journey where

:23:38.:23:41.

their visual perspective is dramatically changed. I know what

:23:41.:23:44.

you are thinking, what does Spaghetti Junction actually look

:23:45.:23:54.
:23:55.:24:00.

like the other way around? Why As an artist, I thought one of the

:24:00.:24:05.

things you can do it is a frame things again that already exist. So

:24:05.:24:11.

Track is a way of doing that. It throws the landscape through 90

:24:11.:24:14.

degrees. You have got a radically different view of your world lying

:24:14.:24:21.

on your back. So, Graham, why on earth spaghetti Junction? I have

:24:21.:24:25.

been here underneath before, and I think it is an extraordinary under

:24:25.:24:31.

Bella. Four -- underbelly. It is like an accidental Cathedral, and I

:24:31.:24:40.

like it. Track will be running from tomorrow between 11pm -- 11am and

:24:40.:24:46.

5pm, and it is absolutely free. Fact is sometimes stranger than

:24:46.:24:51.

fiction! Let's have a look at the weather.

:24:51.:25:00.

It is looking cooler for this weekend. We have a lot of cloud

:25:00.:25:05.

behind us, but this week we have had some beautiful weather. Highs

:25:06.:25:10.

of 21 Celsius. For this weekend, it is turning a lot cooler. We have

:25:10.:25:15.

seen 12 -- we will C-class Celsius as a maximum and a lot more cloud

:25:15.:25:23.

around. -- we will seek 12 Celsius. Tonight, we are starting under

:25:23.:25:28.

clear skies, so we will have a few patches of mist and fog forming

:25:28.:25:32.

before the crowd filters in overnight. Some bits and pieces of

:25:32.:25:37.

drizzle by the early hours of tomorrow morning. For tomorrow, we

:25:37.:25:42.

are starting off on a cloudy night, -- cloudy note, and it will stick

:25:42.:25:46.

with us for most of the day and it will feel cooler than it has been

:25:46.:25:52.

through the week. The air is coming from a northerly direction, and a

:25:52.:25:56.

weather front is introducing more cloud. I loved -- a rather grey,

:25:56.:26:02.

damp start. Patchy bits and pieces of drizzle, but it will dry up and

:26:02.:26:08.

we will see a bit of brighter weather edging in from the north by

:26:08.:26:16.

the end of the day. For winds will be light. Overnight on Saturday,

:26:16.:26:20.

the skies clearing, the crowd leaves us and the temperatures will

:26:20.:26:24.

fall very quickly, and much call the night to come. A touch of

:26:24.:26:30.

ground frost. The Sunday -- for Sunday, still under high pressure,

:26:30.:26:38.

After a week of queues on the forecourt, petrol prices from the -

:26:39.:26:46.

- reached record levels, nearly �1.60 per litre at one station.

:26:46.:26:51.

We asked through your comments, on Facebook, it said massive queues at

:26:51.:26:57.

all my local stations, petrels going to �1.43.

:26:57.:27:02.

Queues around Northfield in Birmingham, no fuel and prices up

:27:02.:27:09.

to -- by a few pence per litre. Ordinary unleaded is now �1.48 in

:27:09.:27:11.

Bidford-on-Avon. Profiteering in a crisis.

:27:11.:27:15.

My husband was in a garage yesterday and was told by the

:27:15.:27:20.

cashier that the owner had put up a fully or by five pence per litre.

:27:20.:27:29.

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