04/04/2012 Midlands Today


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


headlines tonight: Winter's sting in the tail, as snow descends on


the region. But startled holidaymakers carry on camping.


Didn't come away on holiday expecting this. It is different.


is typical British weather. A first look at the new truck which could


bring dozens of jobs to the Potteries. To have something from


Britain released in the market at this time I think is really good


news. The stroke victim who says he is being neglected by his council.


He has only been washed four times in three months. And why the Royal


Shakespeare Company is recruiting in Winson Green.


Good evening and welcome to Wednesday's Midlands Today from the


BBC. Tonight: After last week's mini heatwave, winter returns with


a vengeance. Snow fell today over Shropshire, Birmingham and the


Staffordshire Moorlands, some of it heavy. Drifts in some areas were


knee-deep. Strong winds brought power lines down, while snowploughs


were needed to clear the worst affected roads. The wintry blast


caught some holidaymakers by surprise but, undeterred, they


carried on camping. Andy Newman reports.


The British weather - full of surprises. This was the scene in


Staffordshire today - well over six inches of snow. The Leeds to Buxton


Road had to be closed in places. All of this happened with Easter


just around the corner and the hot sunshine of only a few days ago


still fresh in people's minds. What a difference a week makes! Last


week it was deckchair weather, today it is this. The temperature


is forecast to drop well below zero overnight. Not the conditions that


campers had been expecting when they checked into this site for an


Easter break. Butane gas cylinders are definitely in demand as they


try to keep warm. I wasn't expecting it. Were you hoping for


the weather we had last week? definitely. We were out on Sunday


and the weather was glorious. We were wearing T-shirts. For it is


different! It is lovely, really. I have never been away in a motor


home when it has been snowing, so it is a bit different. Glorious,


isn't it? After the last fortnight, this is typical British weather.


Typical yet unpredictable. And for many of us today, a sharp reminder


of that unpredictability. In fact, it is forecast to get milder as we


head for the bank holiday weekend. That is just in case all this has


got you dreaming of a white Easter. Well, as you saw in Andy's report,


the roads in north Staffordshire were severely affected. We're


joined now by Dean Sargeant from Staffordshire County Council's


gritting depot at Leek. So what were the challenges you faced today


as a result of the bad weather? Well, we have been faced with many


challenges today - trees that have fallen on the roads, snowdrifts


because of the high winds and in some areas abandoned vehicles,


which has caused a few problems when we have been trying to plant


sold some of the Ritz. -- supply 0 and put salt on some of the routes.


-- to use snowploughs. We have been out since three o'clock this


morning gritting the roads across the county. We have had snow


blowers and snowploughs out to try to keep people on the move. What


are the plans for this evening and overnight? We have already had


their gritters out this evening. We will continue to monitor the


weather forecast for the rest of the evening and into the early


years of tomorrow. I would encourage any motorist who


experiences hazardous conditions to get in touch with the council and


we will try to rectify the situation as best we can.


Thank you for joining us. So how much longer is it going to go on


for? Shefali can tell us. Not for much longer. The worst of it is


practically over, and that was bad enough, with snow depths in excess


of 20cm and the worst affected areas. At least it won't be


affecting us over the Easter weekend, but I'll have more on that


later. One of the country's most wanted


men has been arrested in Birmingham after a vehicle was car-jacked with


two toddlers still strapped in the back seats. It happened in


Erdington following reports of a burglary. Anthony Bartram is near


the scene for us this evening. So tell us more about what happened,


Anthony. It must have been a terrifying oil


or -- ordeal for this young mother, caught up in the middle of a major


police operation. They were on the trail of three suspected burglars


who fled the scene of a burglary which was reported. They chase


their getaway car to hear. Three men got out of the car, one of them


then dragged a woman out of her car and sped off with a two young


children - a one-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl - still strapped


into their seats in the back. The police changed -- chase that


vehicle and, that about a mile down the road. The children are safe and


well, thankfully. Police now have a suspect in custody from both the


burglary and the car jacking incident.


What do we know about this man? The man involved -- allegedly


involved, is 44-year-old Cedric Brown. He is already on the police


wanted list in connection with a burglary two years ago in Bristol,


a violent incident, we're told, which featured on Crimewatch. He is


now being questioned in connection with all of those incidents. Truck


dealers and service centres have been getting a first look at a new


truck which it is hoped will bring dozens of jobs to Stoke-on-Trent.


The Longton Avia is being backed by a group of Staffordshire


businessmen who are aiming to set up production in the city once


sales are high enough. An order has already been placed ahead of its


official launch to the market. Liz Copper reports.


Arriving in Longton, the truck that bears this town's name, and with it


hopes of economic rejuvenation. Dealers who will be selling and


servicing the Longton truck were in Stoke-on-Trent to see it on the


road for the first time. But how confident are they that there is


room in the market for this new marque made in the Potteries?


very exciting because, to have something that is from Britain to


be released in the market at this time, I think it is really good


news. I think they're coming in difficult conditions but if they


can crack it while it is like this it should be good in the future.


Initially, the trucks will be made here at a factory in pride in the


Czech Republic. But it is planned to shift production to Stoke-on-


Trent as soon as next year. industrial history that this town


has, I think there is an ethos of manufacturing in Longton. I think


people associate that if a truck is built over here it will be built


well. Are there signs that this sector is seeing a recovery? The MP


for Longton also chairs the all- party Freight Transport Group, and


he believes the outlook is encouraging. The response that we


have had from across the country has been incredible. People have


been saying, about time, we have been waiting for a British truck to


be launched. They want details. moving assembly to the Potteries


would generate jobs and benefit the city's economy. Adventure like this


is going to add millions of pounds -- ventures like this will add


millions of pounds to the local economy and employ more people.


Already, the first orders have been placed for these trucks. It is


hoped it is part of a long and illustrious route ahead which will


boost the region's economy. Liz Copper, BBC Midlands Today, Stoke-


on-Trent. And in Midlands Today at 10:25pm, we will have news of a


significant announcement being made this evening by Jaguar at the New


York Motor Show. Detectives investigating the murder


of a 92 year-old man in the Black Country have arrested a 35-year-old


woman. William Davis, a decorated war veteran, was found with head


injuries at his home in Willenhall on Sunday. Police are now


questioning a woman, believed to be local, on suspicion of murder.


The jury's been sent home for the night in the case of Tariq Jahan,


whose son was one of three men killed in last summer's riots in


Birmingham. Mr Jahan's accused of an unrelated assault on a road in


Handsworth last July as he picked up his wife from work. He denies


assaulting a factory worker, Sajjid Ali, and the jury will resume its


deliberations tomorrow. A 33-year-old man has been


sentenced to 16 months in prison after sending a hoax bomb report to


MI5. Ghulan Kibria used the name of his estranged wife to tell security


service officials there was an explosive device at Prince Albert


Junior and Infant School in Aston in Birmingham. The school was


evacuated of more than 800 pupils and staff as a precaution.


A hundred new jobs are being created in the region's computer


games industry. Codemasters are expanding their headquarters in


Warwickshire as well as their development studio in Birmingham.


The company's one of a growing number of high-tech gaming


companies now based in the West Midlands.


A stroke victim says he has been abandoned in his own home. Colin


Bird lost mobility in his arm and leg two years ago he gets 30


minutes of care every morning and evening and says his house doesn't


provide suitable accommodation for his condition. His friends and


family now say that's got to change. Louise Brierley reports. Friends


say that it is hard to believe that people are living in these


conditions in 21st century Britain. Colin Bird is only 46 years old and


has had two strokes in four years. He has been living in this flat in


Yardley Wood in Birmingham for the last few months. Terrible. I can't


do nothing myself any more. city council provide him with half-


an-hour's care in the morning and evening. But friends say that's not


enough. He needs fully assisted living, which is doctors say is


fully agreed. For a man with that level of disability to be left


wanting and starving in modern-day Britain is an absolute disgrace.


Colin has told us he's only been washed four times in the last three


months and has sores around his legs as a result. He also says he


has just �96 a month to live on, which means he often goes hungry.


It's disgusting. Colin should not be here. He should be an supported


housing where he can get the care that he needs. He cannot handle his


finances. I was upset about it yesterday because I hate seeing him


like this. The flat is also not designed for someone in his


condition. Colin's door is double lot. Because of a stroke he cannot


use his arm and that means he cannot lock his door at night. His


bed is broken in two places. Inside his kitchen he has very few


amenities and has to live off of a microwave and a toaster. Birmingham


City Council say this is a complex case and they are satisfied with


the care provided in very difficult circumstances. They say they are


trying to find him more suitable accommodation that would suit his


needs. Colin, meanwhile, is having to rely on the kindness of people


like Chris to get by. I get fed up. I can't do nothing myself. I can't


walk out beside myself. -- out side by myself. Do you think you need


more help? I do, yeah. Luoise Brierley, BBC Midlands TOday,


Yardley Wood. We're joined now by Patrick


Olzowski from the Stroke Association. Thank you for joining


us. What challenges do stroke patients face when they leave


hospital? They want to get back to the sort of life that we all


actually take for granted, whether it is actually saying a loved one's


name were being able to type in a PIN number at the shopping till or,


as one gentleman said to me, he wanted to get back to the Royal


Marines. There is a huge variety of impacts and recovery is possible


but it needs the right support. I gather that the Stroke


Association is releasing a report in the next few weeks - are the


problems among those who need care? I absolutely. We will be releasing


a report at at the start of May. It will be highlighting what is a one-


off largest surveys carried out -- carried out of survivors and their


carers and what the barriers are to recovery. Survivors are telling us


that they are not getting assessed. Assessments should cover the health


and social care needs of individual and they should result in


meaningful action, but survivors are not -- are telling us they are


not getting that. If that places a huge burden on the survivor,


pushing back the possibility of recovery, and also on carers who


are being forced to sacrifice -- sacrifice their own health and


economic well-being to care for a loved one. What impact are the cuts


in social care having? Stroke survivors are finding it


increasingly hard to get access to show to -- social care. Those who


are getting it are actually getting less and less. I would encourage


people who are interested in this to visit our website.


Thank you. There will be more on this on BBC


Radio West Midlands with Adrian Goldberg tomorrow at nine o'clock.


Still to come: Giving people from Birmingham the chance to tread the


boards in Stratford. Time for sport now, and Ian - big news from Port


Vale as they try to move on from their financial troubles. Yes, we


now know that Lancashire businessman Keith Ryder is the man


in pole position to buy Port Vale out of administration. And he's got


a plan to lift the club from the bottom division of the Football


League to the Championship within five years. Nick Clitheroe reports.


I am delighted to announce this morning that the preferred bidder


is Keith Ryder. After a month of uncertainty, today at last Port


Vale supporters learnt the identity of the man who's been chosen from


five bidders to buy the club out of administration. We are sure he has


got the money. He is asking the right questions and has the right


ideas about how to take the club forward. We believe he would be


very good for Port Vale as well as giving us the best price. We are


may not get the full details of his plans until he meets supporters on


the 18th. We do know that he has a programme


to get this club into the championship within five years and


is planning to sit down with the manager, Micky Adams, and talk


about building the team. Mr Ryder For the fans who continue to raise


money to keep the club going in difficult times, it's a welcome day


of positive news. We want to encourage people to go


out and buy season tickets. Let's try to get them up to 5,000. Mr


Ryder now has two key issues to overcome: First, he must convince


75% of the club's creditors to accept his offer, then he has to


pass the Football League's fit and proper person test. Do both and he


should officially be the owner by the end of June. Nick Clitheroe,


BBC Midlands Today, Stoke-on-Trent. Fans will be dying to know more


about him. Yes, and we will, too. He's from


Lancashire, has interests in financial services and the property


business, and he did try to buy into the club last year but was put


off by the boardroom politics. Chris Hughton admitted Birmingham


City had to ride their luck against Burnley last night. But the Blues


manager thought his team deserved to win. On a rain-soaked, blustery


night in Burnley it was Birmingham who scored first, through Marlon


King, his 16th goal of the season. In the second half, the home side


hit back to make it 1-1. But two minutes later the Blues were back


in front, thanks to Jordon Mutch, and they went on to seal a 3-1 away


victory for the second time in five days when David Murphy scored from


close range. Just six games left, the Blues are fourth and still with


everything to play for. There was a major disappointment for


Bromsgrove's Jess Varnish in her Olympic preparations today. Varnish


and Victoria Pendleton could only qualify in fourth place for the


finals of the team sprint at the world cycling championships in


Australia. They were then beaten in the bronze medal match by China and


saw their world record broken by the Germans in the final. On the


eve of the new cricket season, some disappointing news for


Worcestershire. Spin bowler Saeed Ajmal looks unlikely to return to


New Road this summer because of Pakistan's proposed tour of Sri


Lanka. Nevertheless, Worcestershire are still in confident mood after


narrowly avoiding relegation from division one. Ah, the pre-season


photo call. It's just not cricket without one. As traditional as


April showers and Easter eggs. Every year, a few new faces, a lot


of new shirts, and not a single grass stain in sight. Normally,


they take the pictures out here but this year the snappers are forced


to their snapping indoors. And that is because it is cold


outside. Welcome to English county cricket. Michael, what was the


temperature in Adelaide yesterday. It was mid- twenties.


Michael is the captain of South Australia. A prolific batsman who's


just scored the third double century of his career. Now he's


joined Worcestershire for the next couple of months until his fellow


Aussie Phil Hughes arrives at the end of May. Luckily for the men


from Down Under ,the April weather's not always this bad.


Exactly twelve months ago New Road was full of sun cream... And ice


cream. Cold beer... And bare chests to welcome Yorkshire on the opening


day of the new campaign. Six months later, Worcestershire stayed up on


the last day of season. And the Head Coach said it was the biggest


achievement of his cricket career. I always felt that if they could


just survive then they would be a year older, better experienced.


That will be the acid test now. When Steve rang me up, I saw it as


a challenge. There are some great teams playing in this division.


Inside, in the warmth of the Graeme Hick Pavilion... The lads had


changed out of their whites and into their greens. And outside, the


wind howled, the rain blew, and the coach shivered with anticipation.


think it is going to be a day for three sweaters tomorrow, isn't it.


They will be struggling out there if it is like this. Let us keep our


fingers crossed us up I do not like to be pessimistic about anything,


including the weather. Bring it on. Let's hope it's a bit warmer


tomorrow for Worcestershire away to Nottinghamshire in division one.


Likewise for Gloucestershire away to Essex in division two.


I would say take a jumper tomorrow. It is not that unusual for it so be


-- for it to be so cold at the beginning of the season, is it? I


believe there is ice on some of the pitches. Yes, some of them are


frozen over. I cannot remember ever seeing my hot breath on a day in


April. Now, as the countdown to the


Olympics continues, some of the many associated cultural events


tied to the games are gathering pace. The World Shakespeare


Festival 2012 is one of them - it'll be launched later this month.


The Festival will celebrate the Bard's work in more ways than one,


as Kevin Reide reports. The Winson Green area of Birmingham


may seem a million miles from Shakespeare's Stratford but this is


where the Royal Shakespeare Company is recruiting it's latest talent.


They want an all Black cast for a version of Julius Caesar to be set


in Africa. The inspiration has come from a number of places. One is


Nelson Mandela's known appreciation of the play, and another


comparisons between the Ceasers rule in Rome and that of other


African rulers right up to the present day. Recruiting from one


ethnic group may be contentious but the RSC say it needs to to make the


play authentic and realistic adding that it's acting within the law.


One volunteer who hopes to be selected is George Gordon.. Julius


Caesar feels very fitting, given some of the uprisings that have


been happening in Africa. George's one volunteer who could


soon find himself on stage alongside leading black actors.


Shakespeare is associated with using the English language very


effectively. That is my perception, anyway. So it has relevance where


we are in Great Britain. Winson Green is no rent -- no exception to


that. Nor is Birmingham. This incarnation of Julias Caesar will


form part of the World Shakespeare Celebrations much of which are


about spreading the Bard's word as far and wide as possible, for


example there will be performances in his name as far afield as Brazil


and Baghdad. Obviously this year is the Year of the Olympics, and you


would think that is all about sport, but is it it -- but it is actually


about the arts and theatre as well. And just like the Olympics, the


events do not just belong to Britain. The African version of


Julias Caesar is due on stage in Stratford at the end of May, there


are more details on the RSC's website. Kevin Reide, BBC Midlands


Today, Birmingham. And the star of Homeland, David Harewood returns to


Birmingham to work with a group of teenagers from his old school to


perform a section of scenes from Macbeth as part of the World


Shakespeare Festival, and you can see how they get in a special


programme here on BBC 1 at ten past eleven on Sunday 22nd April.


Well it wasn't just the snow that caused problems overnight, the


gable wall of this house in Stoke on Trent collapsed early this


morning. Investigations are now underway to see if the strong winds


affected the structure. But are we heading for better weather?


We had up to 20 centimetres of snow in the worst affected areas. Along


with the wind, it really was awful. Let us not forget that we had some


decent bouts of rain that were desperately needed at the moment.


There is more to come over the weekend. It should be warmer by the


weekend. This is where we are currently at. The isobars will be


listening up in the process, so no more damaging winds after today.


Let's take a closer look at tonight. We can see that the band of rain is


moving to the south. We will see some showers gradually dwindling,


leaving dry and clear spells. Temperatures could get down below


zero again. We could have some frost and ice by the morning


tomorrow. It could be cloudy start to the day, a bit chilly as well.


It will be brighter and drier by lunchtime. The big difference is


the lighter wind, still coming from the north-east, but considerably


lighter. Temperatures will be a couple of degrees higher, up to


about eight or nine Celsius. The cloud will continue to break up


tomorrow night. Temperatures will plunge down to zero in towns and


cities, perhaps as low as of minus four in rural spots. The cloud is


increasing from the north. It will be fair rain -- fairly bright on


Friday, a little rain entering the North Letter Road. It turns cooler


but warmer as we head into the weekend. A look at tonight's main


headlines: Road disruption and power lines down as snow and


blizzards hit parts of the country. There are queues of traffic across


northern England - as tens of thousands are left without power:


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