10/04/2012 Midlands Today


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


headlines tonight: As Severn Trent consider selling water elsewhere,


can rural communities survive the drought this summer? Our neighbours


have been struggling and most of them are not farmers. They are


lugging it around in jerry cans. Fighting for survival, RAF Cosford


looking to the business community to save its training base. As the


size of the services reduce under contract out, the industry is


finding it harder to find trained people.


A 12-year-old girl who was attacked by a dog says the police were wrong


to shoot it dead. And what a comeback, the hatrick


hero who gave Kidderminster victory, Good evening. Welcome to Tuesday's


Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight: Severn Trent is in talks


with Anglian Water to help to supply around 100,000 homes in some


of the worst affected areas in England. It would be the first time


such a trade has happened. But in Shropshire, some farms and


households which aren't connected to the mains have been struggling


to get enough water out of the ground for months. They are already


using emergency supplies. So is now really the time for Severn Trent to


be selling off the region's supplies?


In a few moments, we'll be speaking to a climate change expert, but


first Giles Latcham reports on the problems facing part of Shropshire.


In these hills, New Life Is born. Like all life though its dependent


on water and for the Griffiths's among others, after a couple of dry


winters and an unusually dry summer that's a big problem. It is not


just the water that they drink, it is the water that falls out of the


sky and makes the grass grow that the sheep eat. A spring in the


forest which serves the farm keeps drying up and can no longer be


relied on, instead they fill up bowsers wherever they can. We take


for bowsers to my father, who is going to see as more than he wants


to the summer! We also have friends in the village to have offered.


Pipes leading from the guttering up their feed directly into this 1400


lead to a barrister, ready to go out to the fields to supply the


sheep. When your water supply is under threat, it is time to get M


genius. The first borehole they attempted was inside the gate here.


This retired policeman spent �7,000 sinking boreholes searching for


water. When the barns next door were converted to homes his supply


from a nearby spring dried up. So he had to find a fresh one and


install a storage tank to guarantee the flow, but in providence he


trusts. Probably within a couple of years' time, we will get more water


than we'd probably do at the moment, which will then filter water tables.


That is the thing we really need. Between then and now though, there


could be tough times ahead. We are looking at providing central


locations where we can provide it had, so that one of their supplies


run out, they can fill up. It will be community operated. The of


working with the parish council, the fire service, to find the best


locations in the areas at risk. Here, few if any take what comes


out of their taps for granted. Well, joining us now is Dr Ken


Addison, a climate change expert, who lives in Shropshire. Thanks for


joining us, Dr Addison. We've had a load of rain over the weekend, and


indeed today, but it doesn't alter the fact we have a serious


situation on our hands, does it? you're quite right. The fact we've


had a lot of intense Rayner... You can see the River Severn is flowing


fast behind me. A lot of this water is just heading off down to the


ocean. The other ironic thing right now, and this -- and this is when


the crops and gardens are coming into their Rome, the plants will


take a great deal at. So is this the shape of things to come?


Currently, this winter, in the Midlands, we are somewhere between


60 % to 80 % of normal rainfall. We are down a bit. In East Anglia,


where the problems lie, they are down up to 60 % of the normal


winter rainfall. This is due to get worse. Everyone is aware about a


great risk of climate change. It's a common topic these days. If we


look at just the last three or four weeks, we've had wonderful weather,


lots of warm sunshine. That is because an anticyclone had been


blocking out the Atlantic rainfall coming into Britain. That is likely


to be an increasingly recurring feature in the future. By about


2030, this summer rainfall in Shropshire could be between 5% and


15 % less than now. If the International Committee does little


about climate change, we are likely to be down between 40 % and 60 % by


the middle part of this century. It will get worse. Should people,


particularly in remote parts, be taking further steps to conserve


water in the future? From what we've had already this evening, I


think on the demand side, they are doing very well. They are very much


aware of the need to conserve. It is the supply side that is the


problem. As you'll earlier view was pointed out, as the water table


drops, in the mid- to long-term future, that is likely to be


increasingly a problem. About a third of the water that Severn


Trent take out of the catchment is from underground water supplies.


will have to leave it there. Thank you very much.


We're certainly getting some April showers, but will it be enough to


help with our water worries? Shefali has the answer.


Well, the problem with showers is that not everyone gets them,


certainly not the heavier ones. But at least we're not talking of rain


that's mainly nuisance value over the next couple of weeks. There'll


be something more substantial than that and after the fifth driest


March this year in just over a century, we could do with it. I


will have more later. The BBC's learned that RAF Cosford could sell


its training expertise to the business community if the


Government moves its defence operations. There are more than


1,000 trainees at the Shropshire base and a similar number of


civilian staff. RAF Cosford was built during the


Second World War in response to an urgent need to train people for the


front line. Today, it has an uncertain future. Redundancies are


likely under MoD plans to train the military in Wiltshire and no one


has been able to give a firm commitment that it'll continue to


Once a first-class fighter jet, the Jaguar is now a unique training


plane for 1,000 engineers at RAF Cosford. But amid waves of MoD cuts


and re-oganisations, this historic base could lose most, if not all of


it's aircraft training operations. It must change to survive. We're


already training people overseas, we already have trained some


elements of British industry, and as the size of the services reduce


and we contract out more of our services to other people, industry


are finding it harder to find trained people, and its very


expensive to train people, it makes sense to look at options as to how


we can do that in a smarter way, we're in negotiations and its too


early to say what will come from that work. A focus on business


comes as it's emerged that �150 million of taxpayers money was


spent on MoD plans to transfer operations to St Athan in South


Wales. The project was scrapped two years ago because of cost. It is a


large sum of money. Defence has an obligation to make sure it is


providing best value for money to the taxpayers. In the latest plan,


RAF Cosford could lose its role as a Defence Training Centre because


the MoD wants to create a new service at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.


1,100 trainees are continuing to be prepared for service here but for


how long? Luke Dougan's 21. He's hoping for an RAF career after


twice being made redundant on civvy street. I feel quite positive my


job will be kept, purely because in training, they're not going to put


a lot of money into me and then just cut me off. I feel that I'll


do well. Defence is shrinking and therefore the number of trainees


coming through here shrinks and it is inevitable that the size of the


staff will also shrink and we're continuing to look at ways of being


more efficient. To say the base supports the village of Albrighton


is an understatement. It pumps �70 million a year into the local


economy. The uncertainty is causing some problems. If Cosford were too


close that's effectively going to cut the population by half.


Shropshire Council supports efforts to bring new investment into the


base. Given the technical expertise there is at Cosford, without a


shadow of a doubt, I think there's a great opportunity for Cosford to


have a large income generation scheme by selling its expertise to


private companies. The Government's delayed a decision on whether


Cosford could house soldiers returning from Germany until at


least 2020. If it were to happen, the RAF would move out. Senior


officers say they can't give a complete assurance that there'll be


defence training here in five years time.


And BBC Radio Shropshire has a week of special reports from RAF Cosford.


Tomorrow morning, they'll be focusing on what difference the


base has made to the nearby village of Albrighton and what it could


mean if it closed. That's from 7 am on the breakfast show.


A man's been arrested on suspicion of murder following the discovery


of a woman's body at a house in the Black Country. Police visited an


address in Tipton last night, where a young woman was found dead inside


the flat. She's yet to be identified. The 27-year-old man was


detained by police at a railway station in Bristol this morning and


is being brought back to the West Midlands.


A woman accused of murdering a 92- year-old war veteran has been


remanded in custody. William Davis was found with severe head injuries


at his house in Willenhall. 35- year-old Charlotte Frazier-Doody,


who's a neighbour, didn't appear in person at the preliminary hearing


at Wolverhampton Crown Court this morning. She has yet to enter a


plea and was remanded in custody until June 29th.


A girl who was attacked by a dog in Gloucestershire has said it shouldn


't have been shot dead by the police.


The 12-year-old was bitten yesterday afternoon, along with a


man. Police arrested a man after the dog had been killed.


Despenser Road in Tewkesbury, the scene at the start of a series of


events. Police had been called after reports that the dog, a


staffordshire bull terrier, had bitten two people. One of the them


was Sydney Ryan. She knows the dog owners and had gone to see if


everything was OK after seeing the dog running around outside. She


says she wasn't too badly injured and is angry the dog was eventually


shot dead by the police. If they should have either grabbed the dock


and can't do it for trotted with something that put it to sleep for


an hour, and then calmed it down. They said they would have to shoot


it but the dog wasn't exactly going to come down if you have tasted it


twice. -- tasered. Police say their efforts to calm the dog with the


taser gun didn't work and that it had tried to attack the officers as


well. Eventually they tracked it several streets away and felt they


had no option but to shoot it. They say, as a last resort. The report


be had were that it was being aggressive. It had been -- it had


injured two people, one of them quite badly. Police officers were


not able to calm it down because it ran off into one area with children


playing. They thought it was appropriate and necessary to make


sure there was no further harm. Unfortunately, they took the action


they did do which was to shoot the dog. Police are still questioning a


38-year-old man from Gloucester on suspicion of having a dog


dangerously out of control in a public place and for criminal


damage after windows were smashed at the Black Bear pub in the centre


of town. Lambing is a stressful time for any


farmer but this year they have the added complication of a new disease,


the Schmallenberg virus. The disease can affect both cattle and


sheep. It only causes mild symptoms in


adult animals but can have a disastrous effect on unborn young.


It's an effect that only becomes apparent months later in the


lambing season. Our Environment Correspondent joins us now from a


farm in Gloucestershire. David, what is the situation with the


virus in our region? At the moment, there are two


confirmed cases in Warwickshire. Otherwise, we seem to have escaped


unscathed. This is a disease that only becomes apparent as the she'd


start to give birth to the Lambs. With meat is Jake, the farmer here.


No sign of the disease on your farm but you know farmers of -- to have


had it. Yes, I do. There have been nine or 10 cases and it is


distressing, not just for the chic but for the farmers as well. It


should be a time of joy and turning lambs out. To have these deformed


lambs that you have to try and help get out is distressing all round.


There is also a financial loss of having lambs you cannot sell.


is a disease that comes with infected insect from Europe. It is


taking hold in Europe. potential is there, certainly with


climate change, you see it's now in Germany, Belgium and France. It has


been spreading from the south-east of the country, towards our


direction. As we going to this coming year, the period of


infection will not be for us until November or December. But I think


with the climate change, more midges around and more infection


from the livestock this year, the risk is quite significant. It is


not a disease people have to worry about. Absolutely not. And no harm


in being around sheep and cattle. Certainly no problem in eating lamb.


Like many farms at this time, there is an open day here and if you want


to come down and see something happening, check out our Facebook


page. Good to have you with us this


evening. Still to come here on Midlands Today: they're murderously


difficult to ride but here's a unicycle that does the balancing


for you. All part of the Gadget Villagers in Herefordshire are


celebrating after saving their village pub from closure. Dozens of


people have joined in the clean up of The Crown Inn in Dilwyn after


the parish council was handed the keys.


They borrowed the money to buy the site fearing it would be taken over


by developers. Armed with brushes, Hoovers,


Saul's... -- saws and lots of elbow grease. The people of Dilwyn in


Herefordshire set about reclaiming the Crown Inn, their village pub.


It has been a brilliant pub in the past and will be again. It will be


nice to be able to walk back here. When the last tenant left recently


there were concerns the site would be sold to developers so the parish


council stepped in. They borrowed �250,000 from the public works loan


board to buy the pub. We know people use this power band so, we


know it will make a good profit. If we get the right tenant, they will


do well and the community will do well hopefully. The villagers have


big ambitions for this place. Once the pub is up and running they want


to use this building as a shop and have a restaurant at the back. It's


not the first time people here have pulled together. Last year they


saved the village school from closure. How has this place


succeeded? Sheer determination, bloody-mindedness. We are not


prepared to accept and we feel so strongly that the rural community


around the country are under threat. We are not prepared to take it.


is wonderful that people are pulling together and we will make


this a wonderful pub. We all pull together, that is not a community


is for. -- what a community is for. They're inviting applicants for the


tenancy and are planning to open the pub for the village show in May.


Dan's here with the sport, with the story of one of the best football


comebacks in recent memory. Picture the scene. Your team is


trailing 2-0 in a game they must win to keep alive their play-off


dream. There's only four minutes left, so you get away early to beat


the traffic. Then you turn on the car radio to find you've actually


won 3-2. And your super-sub scored a hat-trick. That's what happened


at Kidderminster Harriers yesterday. Lunchtime at the Malt Shovel in


Great Barr. Time for a quick drink with Nick Wright, his brother Billy


and a very special matchball. The same ball that produced a late late


hatrick for the Harriers supersub. The unreal, quality. You are the


best. With 20 minutes left, Kidderminster were trailing 2-2.


And that's when Nick got the nod from the boss to stop warming the


bench, and start worrying the Newport defence. He said to me, go


and do something, anything. He said, do what you can do. With four


minutes remaining, Nick rifled in a penalty to give a glimmer of hope


at 2-1. In the first minute of stoppage time, he scored again to


level the score at 2-2 and then seconds before the final whistle,


Nick triggered pandemonium on the airwaves of BBC Hereford and


Worcester. The key premise is it! It is there. Kidderminster


Harriers! They've won it! The hat trick! It is the stuff of dreams,


isn't it? Dreams are made of those sort of things. It was a great day.


Surely the Harriers boss Steve Burr will never make a more dramatic


subsititution if he's still managing football teams. At the age


of 92. They told me a hat-trick had made the national press but


something is missing! Harriers now have three games left to cement


their place in the play-offs, starting on Saturday when children


under 16 get in free to witness another day of high drama against


Kettering. And as for the missing piece in the jigsaw, look no


further than Billy Wright's scrapbook, on the day his big


brother Nick made hatrick history for Kidderminster Harriers.


After the busy Easter programme, Aston Villa are still looking for


their first home win since Bonfire Night, following yesterday's 1-1


draw with Stoke City. Villa were leading at the break thanks to a


super goal from their Austrian under-21 striker Andreas Weimann.


But Stoke equalised in the second half through Robert Huth, leaving


Villa on 35 points, and still not quite safe from relegation. Home


game, three points, and that would be a huge plus for us and the last


few games. We knew Stoke Wake that type of team to put them away. They


are very difficult to stop. There were contrasting fortunes for our


two Championship sides over the Easter weekend. Coventry City are


now four points adrift of safety after losing 3-1 at relegation


rivals Bristol City yesterday. But Birmingham City are on course for


the play-offs. They led 3-1 at half-time at West Ham yesterday.


They were denied victory when West Ham earned a late penalty for


handball against Chris Burke. And Ricardo Vaz Te scored to draw the


game 3-3. But the Blues they remain upbeat after consolidating their


position in fourth place. Go to the BBC's Board website for more.


-- BBC Sport website. A self balancing unicycle, new


innovative bus stop adverts and hundreds of new ways to use your


smart phone. It's all on display at this year's Gadget Show at the NEC.


Advances in technology are making it easier and cheaper for everyone


to own the latest gadgets and our Business Correspondent, the


ultimate gadget anorak, has been sampling some of the products on


show. As usual packed full of the latest


hi-tech gadgets and gizmos including a new way of advertising


at bus stops. It is giving you technology in the palm of your hand


and you can choose different buttons at the top of your screen.


If I go for through animation, there is a close-up of all of your


dogs jumping into the back of the car. Press this button and all of a


sudden you get the smell of their product, in this case a baked


potato. It adds fund to a normal.. They can be quite dreary first


thing in the morning. Got a smart phone? Then you'll love the latest


in so called Augmented Reality. They led to bring together the


physical and virtual worlds. We are familiar with the internet. In 20


years, it has changed the way we live and work. Now what we are


looking at is the outer net. Fat content will be woven into the


fabric of the real world. We will use our smart phones to see and


interact with it. It is evidence that the mobile phone is changing


our lives. They have accelerometers, gyroscopes, GPS, biosensors and


with all of these sensors in a inexpensive price, it makes the


software that goes on it... It makes it do so much more than just


handle phone calls. But my favourite gagdet at this year's


show has to be the self balancing unicycle. Costing nearly �2,000,


it's expensive but great fun. How does it work? It is simple. You


lean forward to go forward, lean back to go back. The gyroscope


takes care of the balance and off you go. Easier to ride than a


conventional unicyle but as you can see it too takes a bit of getting


used to. I'm still anxious about a tin-


opener! We've been storing up these showers


for months and now April's here, they all come tumbling down. That's


the overriding theme this week, sunshine and showers, and these


showers are likely to be quite heavy on occasion. It should be a


good week for looking out for those thunder clouds, they could be quite


impressive. Low pressure's going to be dominating, the centre of which


is over the North Sea, the showers are caught within those rings but


it's the unstable air that's going to be setting off the thunder


lightening. But the template for the week is set by these first two


days. So during the nights, the showers die out, the skies clear


and in the coldest, sheltered spots we could see a touch of frost. But


in towns and cities, values are a little higher at four Celsius. So a


lovely sunny start to the day but it won't be long before we see the


showers piling in from the north west, the deeper blue centres


indicating where the heavy ones are going to be. They may last a while


with the winds being lighter tomorrow. Temperatures are similar


tomorrow but again, it'll feel colder in the winds. So that's the


drill this week, sunshine and showers by day, drier, clearer and


colder by night with a touch of frost. And very little change in


maximum temperatures through the week until we get to Friday and


A look at tonight's main headlines: Britain can extradite the radical


muslim cleric Abu Hamza to the United States to face terrorism


charges. And as Severn Trent consider


selling water to other regions, rural communities are increasingly


concerned about the impact of the drought this summer.


And just time to tell you before we go tonight, that BBC Radio


Shropshire's talking tomorrow about how the county's getting ready for


the Olympic Games this summer. But are the councils doing enough to


cash in on the tourism opportunities?


BBC Hereford and Worcester will be speaking to the Route Managing


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