03/04/2012 Midlands Today


03/04/2012

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Welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines: jailed for four years,

:00:10.:00:13.

the former leader of Worcestershire County Council is convicted of sex

:00:13.:00:18.

attacks. We would like to apologise for any

:00:18.:00:21.

anxiety felt by either of the victims.

:00:21.:00:30.

The man who diffused the Birmingham riots insists it was self-defence.

:00:30.:00:33.

Businesses talc then Secretary that the government must do more to

:00:33.:00:41.

boost manufacturing. We are going to take time to get things back in

:00:41.:00:45.

order. Children get ready for the first

:00:45.:00:55.
:00:55.:01:01.

Good evening. Welcome to Tuesday's Midlands Today.

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A senior politician and a church minister is jailed for sexually

:01:05.:01:09.

abusing two teenagers. George Lord was leader of

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Worcestershire County Council and to all appearances a pillar of the

:01:12.:01:15.

community. His standing gave him power and influence.

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A judge said today that the 79- year-old had abused his position by

:01:20.:01:24.

assaulting one teenager in a council chamber and later admitted

:01:24.:01:29.

three similar offences involving a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s.

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Found in his office before his fall from grace, George Lord, the one-

:01:34.:01:37.

time leader of Worcestershire County Council was harbouring a

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dark secret. The secret was exposed at Birmingham Crown Court where he

:01:40.:01:45.

was jailed for four years for sexually abusing two teenage girls.

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The first phase was 40 years ago when Lord now 79 was a church

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minister. The court was told that he started crooning the victim in

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the 1970s when she was 11. Heat started indecently assaulting her

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three years later. He told her that they had a special and secret

:02:02.:02:06.

relationship that she could not discuss with anyone. The judge told

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him he had abused his position. You should have been her protector, he

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said, not her abuser. As the leader of the county council

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he held the enormous power. He abused the power to prey on a 19-

:02:19.:02:24.

year-old woman at County Hall in 2010. It is a position of authority

:02:24.:02:28.

and trust which is being manipulated and broken and it can

:02:28.:02:35.

lead to difficulties for victims and their ability to trust people

:02:35.:02:41.

in the future. The victim's parents were in court and they are unhappy

:02:41.:02:51.
:02:51.:02:54.

with the county council's handling The council is now holding an

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inquiry chaired by an independent official. They say that the

:02:58.:03:01.

sentencing of George Lord draws a line under what they say is a

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difficult matter. The chief executive said that employee

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welfare is of the utmost importance and the council has a

:03:08.:03:12.

whistleblowing policy which applies to everyone in the organisation no

:03:12.:03:17.

matter what their position. After sentencing, George Lord's solicitor

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read that a statement. He would like to apologise for any anxiety

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felt by either of the victims. He feels it was appropriate for him to

:03:28.:03:33.

resign as the leader of the Worcestershire County Council in

:03:33.:03:37.

order to preserve the good reputation of the council. George

:03:37.:03:43.

Lord will be placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

:03:43.:03:48.

The judge told Lord from Brahms wrote that he was about to half of

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the four-year jail term before being eligible for all release on

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licence -- from Bromsgrove. Still ahead: the Mercury plummets

:03:58.:04:03.

so it must mean that cricket is Barrack -- cricket is back. Why

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Warwickshire believe this could be their season.

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A father who has appealed for calm and ended the Birmingham writes

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told a court today how he punched a man in self-defence. Tariq Jahan

:04:16.:04:21.

allegedly assaulted Sajjad Ali last July after an argument on a street

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in Handsworth in Birmingham. Tariq Jahan is the man credited

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with helping to stop the Birmingham riots after his appeals for calm.

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I lost my son. Step forward, do you want to lose your son's? Otherwise,

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calm down and go home. He came to national prominence after his son

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and two other young men died when they were hit by a car in Winson

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Green last August. A month before that it is alleged he punched 34-

:04:50.:04:53.

year-old Sajjad Ali to the ground and fractured his jaw in an

:04:53.:04:58.

unprovoked attack. Today Tariq Jahan gave evidence. He said the

:04:58.:05:01.

attack in Factory Road, Handsworth was entirely in self-defence and

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that he was head-butted by Sajjad Ali after a disagreement and

:05:07.:05:10.

punched him once to protect himself. Tariq Jahan told the police that he

:05:10.:05:12.

had lied to police about the incident and said that he had been

:05:13.:05:16.

elsewhere at the time and that he continued to live as recently as

:05:16.:05:22.

last week when he finally made a statement admitting it. He said

:05:22.:05:26.

that he lied may need to protect his wife. He told the court that

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when you start with a lie, you have to make up at the 1000 miles to

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cover the live. He said that when he has started there was no turning

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back. Tariq Jahan's wife Tahira Yasmin also gave evidence

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confirming what her husband had said. The court was told he had

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several previous convictions including one for actual bodily

:05:46.:05:51.

harm for his stepmother. He said it had been an accident. He said he

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deeply regretted what had happened with Sajjad Ali and that it was not

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how he normally behaved. The very significant part back

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Tariq Jahan played in the Birmingham riots was mentioned in

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court today? It was. Tariq Jahan had told the court when he was

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giving evidence that he had been trying to calm Sajjad Ali down

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before the alleged assault. His barrister then said that it was

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similar to what he had done in the Birmingham riots when he appealed

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to the community for calm. When that was mentioned, Tariq Jahan got

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a set and broke down in tears and was so upset that the court had to

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take a break because he felt he could not continue. The prosecution

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said that while everyone has huge sympathy for what happened to him

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during the riots, back must not cloud their judgment. -- that must

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not cloud their judgment. What will happen tomorrow? The defence will

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give their closing arguments and the judge will send the jury out to

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consider its verdict. The judge has told the court that it is expected

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that the trial will not finished until Thursday.

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Leading businesses have been expressing concern about the state

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of the economy to Vince Cable. That is despite a survey today from the

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British Chambers of Commerce which suggests some companies are slowly

:07:15.:07:18.

recovering. Mr Cable spent the day in

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Worcestershire visiting manufacturing firms. Our business

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correspondent reports on whether the talk was more about recession

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or recovery. Hand-made in the Malvern's and a

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perfect place for the Business Secretary to gather intelligence

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about the state of the economy and more.

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Despite being highly desirable, even this man has found the

:07:44.:07:47.

recession challenging and with conflicting surveys on whether the

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economy is recovering, the company's MD is still cautious.

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think in the UK things are extremely tight. Money is tight and

:07:57.:08:03.

a demand in the UK for luxury products is static at the moment.

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What we are trying to do at the moment is look for alternative

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markets particularly in the emerging economies like China.

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Things are not so bad that they cannot invest in its future. The

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Business Secretary also met one of the company's apprentices. The

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skills this man is learning are vital if production of such

:08:24.:08:33.

specialised vehicles is to continue. We learn the old methods of folding,

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Metal finishing techniques. We do not use many modern tools. He is

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one of 10,000 so-called mid- sized businesses here in the UK

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collectively representing 0.2% of all firms in the UK. They employ

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around 20% of all private sector workers say it is vital that

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companies like this are encouraged to grow. Not surprising that the

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message from government then this does is go for growth. If Britain

:09:02.:09:08.

is going to get right on to the fitting economic League, we have to

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get on to exports. It has got to come through business investment.

:09:13.:09:18.

Growth is not a problem that it was the based company, the biggest

:09:18.:09:27.

provider of computerise metal cutting equipment. Here exports are

:09:27.:09:32.

soaring and even UK sales rose by 60% last year. The recession was

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tough for us and business dropped by 80%. Since then things have

:09:35.:09:41.

picked up well. We are pretty optimistic. What about growth? How

:09:41.:09:45.

busy are you? We are now back to manufacturing about 80% of the

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levels we were prior to the recession. A chance to test drive a

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Morgan product and the state of the economy. By all accounts, the

:09:59.:10:02.

Business Secretary left to the region in a more positive mood

:10:02.:10:06.

about money factoring and when he arrived.

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What do you think is the main message Mr Cable will have taken

:10:10.:10:19.

away? I think he was fairly encouraged. We are in the workshop

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where they make the new Morgan car. Already 800 of them have been sold.

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With me tonight is Charles Morgan. Tell me, how well is it more been

:10:31.:10:35.

doing? You said in the film that you are cautious. Where is the

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company going? A if you can produce a new product that is innovative

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and has tradition rather like this model, you will have a worldwide

:10:43.:10:48.

market. We are finding that markets like Germany are really taking off

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on us. We are hoping to go to America with this. The motor market

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generally has been powering ahead. By using map? This is quite an

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expensive car to buy. -- are you seeing that? We are seeing a

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revival of innovation in British manufacturing. In the old days, we

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would end ties foreign companies to set up factory here and create jobs.

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Now the innovation is coming from British companies themselves.

:11:17.:11:22.

Jaguar Land Rover up the road is a perfect example. They have got new

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technology. They have also got the tradition of the 4x4 car up a bit

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like we have got the sports car traditions. We sought in the film

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an apprentice. How important are they to you? Incredibly important

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because they are the energy for the future. Education and the young

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people's attitude means that they are combining technology and hand-

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crafted. You have got the best of both worlds. Computer-aided design

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and also a real skill in terms of the assembly. You cannot have one

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without the other. Many thanks. Looking good. Let us hope it is a

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good sign for elsewhere in the economy.

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Police investigating the murder of a 92-year-old Black Country man to

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say he died as a result of severe head injuries. The former seaman

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William Davis was discovered at his home collapsed in Willenhall on

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Sunday evening. Saying goodbye to a neighbour and a

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friend, just one of a number of floral tributes left outside the

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home of 92-year-old William Davis. If the pensioner died from severe

:12:29.:12:34.

head injuries after being attacked at his home in Hobley Street in

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Willenhall on Sunday afternoon. is highly likely that the person or

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persons responsible may have left the address heavily bloodstained.

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We are appealing to any body that has any information at all about

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friends, relatives, neighbours, who may have been heavily bloodstained,

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who may have been concealing bloodstains on their clothing on

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Sunday afternoon, to please come forward. This afternoon, roads

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remain sealed off in Willenhall as forensic searches continued. Mr

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Davies was last seen at 3pm on Sunday afternoon when neighbours

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went granted depends and tea. They became concerned after not hearing

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from their -- they went round to give him some tea. They found him

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collapsed and call the police just after 6pm. William Davis was a

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veteran at war but to at -- restaurant of the war. He was

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described as fiercely independent. Cliff Shelley who owns the garage

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at the end of the road knows him well. He has been shocked by his

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murder. I used to stop and talk to him and sometimes he would show me

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the medals from when he was in the Navy. He was a really nice guy. I

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am shocked. Police said that initial investigations so no sign

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of a break-in or for Stent -- forced entry. They expect the area

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around his house to remain sealed off for two to three days while

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

A campaign to clear the names of 24 building workers charged with eight

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-- charged with conspiracy after a strike 40 years ago stepped up

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today with a fresh appeal. The Shrewsbury Pickets Campaign is

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being led by a group including actor Ricky Tomlinson, who was

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jailed after a trial in 1973. They are claiming a miscarriage of

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justice, arguing the original case was political and an abuse of power

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by the government. Today was the last chance for

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people to comment on the planned changes to parliamentary boundaries.

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The government wants to reflect changing demographics and ensure

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each constituency has the same number of voters. But for towns

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such as more than, it could mean they are split into two consistent

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-- constituencies. Just a week ago we were getting

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temperatures around the 20 degrees. Very different today, with the

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gritters on standby and warnings of snow on the way.

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A freak event is another way to put it. We have currently got a very

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cold air moving in as I mentioned yesterday, combined with a heady

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period of rain tonight which could produce a fair covering of snow. It

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is going to feel bitterly cold with strengthening wind and a plummeting

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temperatures. I will have a full round-up later.

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Also on a programme, digging for Olympic glory, could your garden

:15:45.:15:55.
:15:55.:15:56.

play a part in separate -- The government is facing yet

:15:56.:15:59.

another court hearing objecting to the plans for a high-speed rail

:15:59.:16:03.

link between Birmingham and London. More are expected before the

:16:03.:16:06.

deadline at the end of the week. Protesters say the government has

:16:06.:16:11.

failed to conduct a proper environmental assessment and made

:16:11.:16:15.

mistakes with its compensation programme. We are joined by David -

:16:15.:16:20.

- David Gregory. While these cases appearing now?

:16:20.:16:24.

The government said yes to HS2 at the start of the year, but there is

:16:24.:16:28.

a three-month window for people to get everything together and push

:16:28.:16:31.

for a judicial review over certain parts of the decision. That is what

:16:31.:16:37.

is happening now. I talked to a group earlier who have raised

:16:37.:16:42.

�200,000 to pay for a judicial review. That has come from

:16:42.:16:48.

individual contributions. May-June a group of councils such as

:16:48.:16:51.

Warwickshire and commentary who have got together to launch a

:16:52.:16:57.

similar challenge. -- they join. I would expect a more before the end

:16:57.:17:02.

of the week. What are the grounds for objection?

:17:02.:17:08.

It falls into two groups, environmental concerns, they are

:17:08.:17:14.

saying that the government has not played -- paid any attention to the

:17:14.:17:17.

environmental impact, and the other one is more complicated, it is

:17:17.:17:22.

about compensation payments, saying that the government's compensation

:17:22.:17:28.

scheme is not clearly set out. That is where things are happening.

:17:28.:17:33.

Later challenges might focus on the route as well.

:17:33.:17:38.

When will these cases be heard? The government gets 21 days to look

:17:38.:17:43.

at what people have objected to him, put their side of things, and the

:17:43.:17:48.

paperwork goes away to a judge. Four months from then, a judge will

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either say no to a judicial review or they will say yes and people can

:17:52.:17:56.

have their day in court. But then is a blockade on this at the moment,

:17:56.:18:02.

so it may take some time. It is just 115 days until the start

:18:02.:18:06.

of the Olympic Games, and if you are not lucky enough to have a

:18:06.:18:10.

ticket, there are still ways to be involved.

:18:10.:18:15.

Dennis the Olympic torch relay, reaching Cheltenham on may 23rd.

:18:15.:18:18.

There will be road closures which means that some schoolchildren may

:18:18.:18:24.

have to be at their desks at 6am. You can brush up on your

:18:25.:18:28.

Shakespeare during Stratford's World Shakespeare Festival. On the

:18:28.:18:34.

same day, Dancing for the Games will begin in Birmingham. On that

:18:34.:18:40.

30th June, contrary's pedal-powered Godiva Awakes puppet heads to the

:18:40.:18:47.

capital. -- Coventry's. And Olympic football starting commentary on

:18:47.:18:51.

25th July. We report on how you can get

:18:51.:18:57.

involved from your own garden. Gardening for the games? Yes, that

:18:57.:19:03.

is what I said. Phil offers a few tips on some patriotic planting to

:19:03.:19:09.

this young audience. How about a red, white and blue window-box? And

:19:09.:19:16.

it is not just about flowers. The idea of having London 2012

:19:16.:19:22.

vegetables foray shed barbecue or salad on the opening night or

:19:22.:19:27.

whatever weekend you cannot manage, or the closing ceremony, the idea

:19:27.:19:33.

has come together with these plants are to create eight celebration of,

:19:33.:19:37.

and it is very exciting bus-stop the event focused on gardening, but

:19:38.:19:44.

it is about more than getting green fingered for the Games.

:19:44.:19:48.

The question is what can you do to get your community in the Olympic

:19:48.:19:54.

mood? They need people to get motivated. It is about waving the

:19:54.:20:00.

flag for Britain and waving it for your community. This is a dress

:20:00.:20:03.

rehearsal for an Olympic qualifying football match at the Ricoh Arena

:20:03.:20:08.

in Coventry later this month. We want to encourage more and more

:20:08.:20:12.

people who have the confidence and the desire to make the Olympics and

:20:12.:20:16.

Paralympics, live in whatever way works for them. It could be about

:20:16.:20:20.

having a party in the street for the opening ceremony, getting the

:20:20.:20:27.

community together and having some gains. -- games.

:20:27.:20:34.

No such shortage of enthusiasm here are. They are aiming to sow the

:20:34.:20:36.

scenes for a rich harvest of community events later this year

:20:36.:20:43.

across the Midlands. -- so the seeds.

:20:43.:20:49.

Let's stay with the sporting scene. News of Stiliyan Petrov?

:20:49.:20:53.

Yes, Randy Lerner has been to visit Stiliyan Petrov to miss him well in

:20:53.:20:59.

his battle to overcome leukaemia. He attended Saturday's game with

:20:59.:21:04.

Chelsea, and received a standing ovation from both sets of fans. He

:21:04.:21:07.

is now being treated in London, where Alex McLeish about him in

:21:07.:21:14.

amazing spirit. He is determined to meet it head-on,

:21:14.:21:19.

and he was talking really positively, and could not wait to

:21:19.:21:25.

get started to try and clear up this illness. I do not know what he

:21:25.:21:29.

is thinking in his head, but he is the captain of Aston Villa and has

:21:29.:21:34.

shown the commitment on the pitch. He is a great leader and he wants

:21:34.:21:40.

to get himself a through this. It does sound as if he is in a

:21:40.:21:47.

positive frame of mind. That is the impression you get from

:21:47.:21:51.

Alex McLeish. He thanked supporters from across the country, saying he

:21:51.:21:56.

has been overwhelmed. But the clubs say they do not be able to give

:21:56.:22:00.

day-to-day bulletins, and they should respect him and his family.

:22:00.:22:04.

We will bring you update as and when the club replace -- release

:22:04.:22:10.

more. Birmingham City can take a step

:22:10.:22:13.

closer to the end-of-season play- offs tonight, they are away at

:22:13.:22:19.

Burghley hoping to repeat their 2-1 victory from earlier in the season.

:22:19.:22:23.

There one of four teams on 63 points, lying 4th in the

:22:23.:22:28.

Championship on goal difference. And we will have full match

:22:28.:22:33.

commentary from 7pm on BBC WM. On to cricket, and Warwickshire say

:22:33.:22:37.

the lessons they learnt from finishing second in last year's

:22:37.:22:40.

County Championship will be crucial in their attempts to go one better

:22:40.:22:44.

this time. The Bears missed out on the title on the final afternoon of

:22:44.:22:49.

last season. The new season starts on Thursday.

:22:49.:22:54.

The Bears have emerged from hibernation, and they are not

:22:54.:22:58.

grumpy. But it is not like Warwickshire's players have been

:22:58.:23:02.

dormant since the summer, pre- season started on November.

:23:02.:23:07.

This time around, they are determined to win the title.

:23:07.:23:12.

It was a big knock for all of us, that last day at Hampshire, and we

:23:12.:23:17.

were very tired and it was a very difficult run-in. But it gave us

:23:17.:23:21.

real impetus going into this year in terms of thinking how we can

:23:21.:23:26.

improve a little bit too maybe get over the line and win it this year.

:23:26.:23:32.

They have already got injury problems. Chris Woakes damaged

:23:32.:23:36.

ankle on a book -- ankle ligaments in Barbados. They will also have

:23:36.:23:40.

other high-profile absentees. Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott orange

:23:40.:23:44.

rancour with England at the moment, and their availability will be

:23:44.:23:49.

limited this summer. Preparation has been meticulous. They have even

:23:49.:23:52.

had check-ups for skin cancer and a sun damage. Now they are raring to

:23:52.:23:58.

The guys were already thinking about next season at the end of

:23:58.:24:04.

last season. We are eager to get back on the pitch, and we are

:24:04.:24:10.

playing a university site this week, but next week it is Somerset.

:24:10.:24:13.

Troughton expects the title race to be wide open, but if Warwickshire

:24:14.:24:17.

are in contention come August, they know exactly what it takes to

:24:17.:24:23.

become champions. I do try and get down and watch

:24:24.:24:30.

their season. They will have fresh impetus this

:24:30.:24:35.

year. I am going to ask you to lay your cards on the table. Will they

:24:35.:24:39.

do it this season? I am worried about them losing

:24:39.:24:44.

Chris Woakes. But they have got new players, and that may compensate.

:24:44.:24:49.

Ashley Giles said the one silver lining is that maybe Chris Woakes

:24:49.:24:55.

will have a break, as cricketers often play all year now. I saw them

:24:55.:24:58.

trudge of the pitch on that last afternoon, and they look to 10

:24:58.:25:03.

years older than last year of -- than today. They want to win it and

:25:03.:25:07.

will not leave anything on the pitch.

:25:07.:25:11.

Their spirit is really good. They had just come back from Barbados

:25:11.:25:15.

where Chris Woakes did his ankle, as they are very much buzzing this

:25:15.:25:20.

time. This time last year they were

:25:20.:25:25.

tipped for relegation, so they are looking in a good way.

:25:25.:25:29.

There are rumours that winter is about to return! Let's find out the

:25:29.:25:39.

Yes, there is snow on the way. We have had snow in June it, and you

:25:39.:25:43.

will find since last week, we will have seen a drop in temperature of

:25:43.:25:48.

around 15 degrees, largely due to a combination of Nordic air and a

:25:48.:25:55.

heady period of rain. We have had a combination of fronts coming

:25:55.:25:59.

through from the north today, and the first has gone through this

:25:59.:26:02.

afternoon and is still there this evening. You can see the last of

:26:02.:26:06.

the rain clearing the east of the region, but you will find that

:26:06.:26:09.

tonight and it through the early hours, the next one will come

:26:09.:26:14.

through from the north. It is more active and will produce heavy rain

:26:14.:26:19.

in the northern part of the patch. It will also bring snow over the

:26:19.:26:24.

highest ground, but the 200 metres. So the Peak District and the

:26:24.:26:32.

Pennines could see some. The Met Office has issued a yellow warning.

:26:32.:26:39.

Arts where it is rain and maybe some sleet and snow. -- elsewhere.

:26:39.:26:43.

It will be a cold night, temperatures down took roughly zero

:26:43.:26:53.

degrees. So they could be some ayes somewhere. -- ice. The snow is

:26:53.:26:58.

confined to to the highest ground, again about 200 metres. Tomorrow

:26:58.:27:03.

will be a bitterly cold day with a lot of Gamestation and higher wind

:27:03.:27:12.

speed. -- a lot of cloud. A huge drop in temperatures, last week we

:27:12.:27:22.
:27:22.:27:26.

saw 21 Celsius. By Thursday it will Run thousands of students could --

:27:26.:27:30.

thousands of students could see tougher A-levels. And the former

:27:30.:27:33.

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