17/04/2012 Midlands Today


17/04/2012

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

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headlines tonight: Record financial results from

:00:06.:00:12.

Staffordshire digger-maker JCB, as overseas demand continues to grow.

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I guess if anybody can learn anything from this, think globally,

:00:14.:00:18.

not locally, and value your customers.

:00:18.:00:21.

Thousands of jobs in the offing, as more Black Country sites are

:00:21.:00:24.

earmarked for industrial development. The history of the

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Black Country, the quality of engineering, the skills that are

:00:27.:00:32.

available in the workforce make this area perfectly suited.

:00:32.:00:40.

How the drought means business is drying up on the waterways.

:00:40.:00:43.

And breaking new ground as street dance meets ballet, to welcome the

:00:43.:00:46.

Olympic torch. We feel really privileged and honoured that we've

:00:47.:00:50.

been asked to do this and we just can't wait. We're just going to

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:01:00.:01:08.

Good evening and welcome to Tuesday Midlands Today from the BBC.

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Tonight, record-breaking results announced for one of the region's

:01:11.:01:16.

biggest employers. Staffordshire- based JCB say the reason for their

:01:16.:01:18.

success is globalisation and investment in the world's emerging

:01:18.:01:27.

The company's turnover topped �2.75 billion last year. That's an

:01:27.:01:31.

increase of over a third on 2010. That means the company has earned

:01:31.:01:41.
:01:41.:01:41.

�355 million in the past 12 months, JCB sold more than 69,000 different

:01:41.:01:44.

machines last year, an increase of more than 18,000 on the previous

:01:44.:01:49.

year. This has helped the firm record the highest turnover in the

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firm's 66-year history. Every business wants to do better and

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better but a record year, we are very pleased. Please do JCB and all

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of the employees. Our customers. Great news. Worldwide the company

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now has 22 factories on four continents employing more than

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10,000 people. A new factory about to open in Brazil reflects JCB's

:02:14.:02:16.

commitment to the traditional markets and the important emerging

:02:16.:02:26.
:02:26.:02:28.

economies. First and foremost, we value our customers. We give great

:02:28.:02:31.

product and customer service and if a customer has got a problem, they

:02:31.:02:37.

talk to us. So if anybody can learn anything, think globally, not

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locally, and valued your customers. Pedro Bianchi, from Brazil,

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represents the new type of JCB customer. His building firm already

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has a fleet of construction equipment worth $500 million

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operating across the world but he's new to the JCB brand and keen to

:02:49.:02:59.
:02:59.:03:01.

see what they can offer. We are testing the equipment, as I said.

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They are performing very well and our intention is to buy new

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equipment from JCB. These record profits have not come without some

:03:11.:03:16.

sacrifice. The workforce did agree to a temporary pay freeze. Now that

:03:16.:03:21.

has been lifted and bonuses have been reinstated. Production is at a

:03:21.:03:27.

record high. More than 60 new products go on the market at a

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trade show in Paris today, including the latest 20-metre

:03:29.:03:31.

telescopic handler, perhaps re- inforcing JCB's commitment to

:03:31.:03:38.

continue reaching for bigger and better products and profits.

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Joining us now is Dr Stephen Gruneberg, an industrial economist.

:03:42.:03:48.

Thanks for joining us. Is it right to look at the construction

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industry as a marker for the rest of the economy? Well, sometimes it

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is. But sometimes it lags behind the rest of the economy. In this

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case, we see the construction industry actually leading the rest

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of the economy in that there is investment taking place in plant

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and machinery, like the machinery JCB produces, and that shows

:04:18.:04:20.

confidence in the future. JCB's figures are impressive. What are

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they doing right? They happen to be producing investment goods, and you

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need does before you can actually produce the goods that the

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investment goods producer. What are those? These are goods like

:04:37.:04:40.

buildings and plant and machinery, so you have to invest in those

:04:41.:04:44.

before you can produce the goods people want. Unido factory to

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produce cars before you can produce the cars. -- you need a factory.

:04:50.:04:58.

What can other companies learn from them? JCB have some good practices.

:04:58.:05:02.

They have a financial branch and they can therefore help to finance

:05:02.:05:05.

customers who want to purchase their goods. That is a very clever

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way of going about it, especially when banks are reluctant to lend.

:05:10.:05:14.

So do you think this indicates that the economy has turned a corner?

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think it shows there is confidence in some sectors of the economy

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because life goes on. And as long as you have a Great Britain, you

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will have a construction industry because you need buildings. Thank

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you very much. Still to come in tonight's

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programme, no new mosque in Dudley, as the Muslim Association is told

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to sell the land back to the council.

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And joined me live in Coventry as the Sky Blues battle for survival

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in the championship. Thousands of new jobs are expected

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to be created in the Black Country. It comes as the government-backed

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enterprise zone in Darlaston becomes one of the first in the

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country to be up and running. The sites which are earmarked for

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development cover several derelict plots of land. Companies who move

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there will benefit from a variety of tax breaks and other incentives.

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Here's our business correspondent, Peter Plisner.

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The i54 Business Park just outside Wolverhampton. This site clearance

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work going on today will pave the way for Jaguar Land Rover's new

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multi-million pound engine plant. Like other companies who move here,

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JLR won't pay any business rates for five years and will benefit

:06:25.:06:28.

from relaxed planning laws as part of government plans for a network

:06:28.:06:38.
:06:38.:06:39.

new enterprise zones. Although this was a site that made headlines when

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enterprise zones were first announced, since then, much

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lobbying has gone on to include other parts of that country,

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including this derelict land close to the M6 in Walsall. 15 sites

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across Darleston have been designated part of an extended

:06:53.:06:55.

enterprise zone and business leaders are hoping they'll attract

:06:55.:07:00.

companies who will make and supply parts into the JLR's engine plant.

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The importance is that with only a seven-minute motorway journey

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between the two sides, anybody coming here in this area can be on

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the -- on the i54 Business Park site within a few minutes.

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Estimates suggest that more than 6,000 jobs could be created at both

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i54 and in Daleston within the next three years. And some development

:07:23.:07:26.

has already started. This is another delelict site in Darleston

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which is also part of the new zone. Developers are expecting many more

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enquiries. Yes, there is generally a lot more appetite because of the

:07:36.:07:40.

business rate holiday and a relaxed planning laws. Time will see but it

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should be a big incentive and it is a positive move by the Government

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in the current economic climate. The Darleston enterprise zone opens

:07:47.:07:50.

for business after a decision last night by Walsall Council. It's

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thought to be the first in country to approve plans which allow for

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the crucial relaxation of planning regulations.

:07:56.:07:59.

Detectives investigating the murder of a woman in Worcester have been

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granted a further 36 hours to question a 51-year-old man they've

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had in custody since Sunday. Jacqueline Harrison was 47 and the

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mother of four grown up children. She was found at her flat in the

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Dines Green area of the city on Thursday evening.

:08:16.:08:18.

A teenager's been treated in hospital after robbers broke into

:08:18.:08:22.

her home in Dudley, attacking her and her younger brother. Three men

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forced their way into the house, on Selborne Road, in the early hours

:08:26.:08:29.

of Saturday morning. They woke the 19-year-old victim by forcing her

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from her bed, snatching a gold chain from around her neck, and

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dragging her around the house. She and her younger brother were

:08:36.:08:39.

repeatedly punched and the thieves got away with jewellery worth

:08:39.:08:49.
:08:49.:08:49.

around �15,000. The level of violence offered by the offenders

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was completely and utterly disproportionate, and consequently,

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it has had a massive impact on -- upon the person subjected to it.

:08:57.:09:00.

Controversial plans for a new mosque on a derelict site in the

:09:00.:09:04.

heart of Dudley look to have come to a halt. The High Court's

:09:04.:09:07.

rejected claims that the council's acted unfairly over the project.

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It's ordered the Muslims who own the land to sell it, Giles Latcham

:09:10.:09:13.

reports. Is this the most contentious patch

:09:13.:09:16.

of land in the West Midlands? It was bought seven years ago by

:09:16.:09:20.

Muslims in Dudley as a site for a new mosque and community centre but

:09:20.:09:23.

not a brick has been laid, and following a High Court hearing

:09:23.:09:28.

today, it looks as if it never will. We are bitterly disappointed that

:09:28.:09:34.

the judge has not found in our favour. It's a case which is very

:09:34.:09:37.

high profile and has a lot of public interest. It has been going

:09:37.:09:41.

on for a decade now. And for the town it's become a running sore.

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Far right protestors have staged a series of demonstrations against

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the mosque and it's now hugely divisive, as we found out when

:09:47.:09:57.
:09:57.:09:59.

filming. There you are. People walking along the other side of the

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road had started shouting across at us, clearly angry at us filming or

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about the prospective use of this land for a mosque. The sorry saga

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has seen the council refuse planning permission, that refusal

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being overturned, Muslims scaling down their proposals and at one

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point withdrawing them altogether. They have got a mosque down in

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CastleHill. I think they should stick with that one. They should do

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something to help everyone instead of one ethnic minority in the

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community. I really think they should think what is right for the

:10:34.:10:39.

community on this site, because if you start on another comedy will be

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back to square one. Today the court ruled that the council hadn't

:10:43.:10:53.
:10:53.:10:54.

Or does it? The Muslim Association are supposed to sell the land back

:10:54.:10:59.

to the council within a month but say they are likely to appeal.

:10:59.:11:03.

A Worcester City footballer is due to appear in court next month for

:11:03.:11:06.

making alleged racist comments on Twitter. Midfielder Lee Smith has

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been charged with writing racially aggravated words likely to cause

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harassment, alarm or distress to the public. It relates to tweets

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made on his now deleted social media account last November.

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Police have released the image of a man who's suspected of forcibly

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removing a Muslim woman's face covering and throwing it on the

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floor. They believe the man caught on CCTV was the person who

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approached the 26-year-old from behind in the Touchwood shopping

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centre in Solihull on 3rd March. Police say they're treating the

:11:37.:11:42.

incident as a hate crime. Thieves have stolen a silver plaque

:11:42.:11:46.

from the entrance of the Birmingham Assay office. Staff arriving for

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work said they were devastated when they saw the empty space. The

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plaque has 18-carat gold lettering. The drought is bringing problems to

:11:56.:11:59.

some of the region's leisure businesses which depend on water to

:11:59.:12:03.

make their living. One marina is suffering because of falling water

:12:03.:12:07.

levels and a build-up of silt on the River Avon. Problems, too, for

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a narrowboat hire company elsewhere, as Joanne Writtle reports.

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At Bredon Marina near Tewkesbury the lack of rain is playing havoc

:12:15.:12:20.

for owners Meg Hanlon and her husband Steve. Ten of the 80

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mooring spaces are out of use, meaning a loss of �7,000 in revenue.

:12:25.:12:30.

Ironic, then, that five years ago there was too much water. In fact,

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part of the problem dates back to the floods of 2007. A lot of silt

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got washed into the river and that has raised the river bed and then

:12:43.:12:46.

obviously over the last 12 months, we have had very little rain and

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that means the water level has dropped, so we have very little

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water and some of the birds are starting to sit on the bottom. --

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the boats. They're trying to alleviate the problem themselves.

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And they're also about to fork out thousands of pounds for dredging

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work. We have got some dredgers booked to come in to scoop some of

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the mud off the bottom and get rid of it so it makes it deeper again.

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40 miles away in Warwick, there's plenty of water for people to enjoy

:13:13.:13:16.

narrow boat holidays. But this hire company is being bombarded with

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calls from people who've reserved boats and are worried, and bookings

:13:19.:13:29.
:13:29.:13:29.

are down. There's plenty of water out there. There is some beautiful

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cruising from here with no restrictions, so, no, we don't

:13:33.:13:37.

think we have got an issue. British Waterways say some locks are being

:13:37.:13:40.

closed overnight in the South East to save water, like here in

:13:40.:13:43.

Northamptonshire. But there are no plans to introduce that in the West

:13:43.:13:46.

Midlands. A spokesman for British Waterways said reservoirs had been

:13:46.:13:49.

refilled in the West Midlands, and as a result, the region's canals

:13:49.:13:52.

were open for boaters to enjoy as normal. This holidaymaker said

:13:52.:13:59.

everything was fine. No problems with the water! Back on the River

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Avon, in Bredon, dredging work is due to start in the next week or

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two. But despite that, it's still business as usual here, even if low

:14:06.:14:09.

water levels mean they currently have fewer mooring spaces to rent

:14:09.:14:19.
:14:19.:14:20.

Our reporter has been speaking to groups who manage the region's

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waterways to date. What did they make of the situation on the River

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Avon? A bleak picture for the owners of Bredon Marina which is on

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the River Avon. I have spoken to the Avon Navigation Trust, the

:14:34.:14:41.

group that once -- runs the River Avon. They monitor water levels and

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they say the levels are normal. They say there is no negative

:14:46.:14:51.

effect on leisure there. Why is the Bredon Marina suffering? They say

:14:51.:14:55.

it is because it sits in a backwater and that is wet silk

:14:55.:15:05.
:15:05.:15:05.

gathers and dredging is an imminent solution -- silt gathers there.

:15:05.:15:09.

will British Waterways ensure there are no restrictions imposed on the

:15:09.:15:13.

canal network? As you heard in the report, British Waterways have

:15:13.:15:18.

refilled reservoirs so boaters can continue to use the canal as normal.

:15:18.:15:23.

They are introducing a range of methods to make sure that we

:15:23.:15:27.

conserve water. One of those is introducing a volunteer lock

:15:27.:15:31.

keepers. They will be on various blocks around the region advising

:15:31.:15:36.

people on how to use them. The aim is, a friendly face on the

:15:36.:15:40.

waterways. British Waterways say they are not being complacent and

:15:40.:15:43.

are that they will continue to modern pop -- monitor our

:15:43.:15:49.

reservoirs over the summer. Still to come: is there such a

:15:49.:15:54.

thing as the wrong type of rain? There could be. The problem with

:15:54.:15:59.

downpours is the likelihood of flooding on parched ground. Could

:15:59.:16:05.

we be at risk? If you live in Herefordshire and

:16:05.:16:08.

want to help keep its beautiful countryside up to scratch, your

:16:08.:16:18.

county needs you. Rehearsals have begun for a major

:16:18.:16:22.

open-air concert to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch in the

:16:22.:16:25.

West Midlands. For one Street Dance Group, the

:16:25.:16:29.

event will mean a dream come true when they perform alongside the

:16:29.:16:39.
:16:39.:16:40.

Birmingham Royal Ballet -- ballet. From the classically-trained... To

:16:40.:16:45.

the self-taught. Antics, flight lads from Birmingham will be

:16:45.:16:50.

joining forces with the Birmingham Royal Ballet at Torch Relay Concert

:16:50.:16:57.

in June. Hard to believe they only formed a year ago. We bring a lot

:16:57.:17:01.

of hard hitting choreography routines and we want to show people

:17:01.:17:08.

what we can do and make ourselves generic and show the world what we

:17:08.:17:12.

can do. Ballet it is notoriously disciplined. It is a life of

:17:12.:17:16.

dedication, endurance and a principle will tell you that they

:17:16.:17:20.

never dance without pain. Street dance, well, it is notoriously

:17:20.:17:25.

disciplined, a life of dedication... Get the picture? We go through a

:17:25.:17:30.

lot of pain of in rehearsals and our training. We push for it

:17:30.:17:33.

because it is worth it and we really want to give the best

:17:33.:17:38.

performance we can give. If you are bruised and battered, fight for it.

:17:38.:17:44.

The torch relay concern will bring a fusion of different dance forms.

:17:44.:17:46.

The Birmingham Royal Ballet's new production has been inspired by the

:17:46.:17:51.

Olympic motto, faster, Higher, stronger. A motto which could

:17:51.:17:57.

equally apply to Antics. The lads have never seen a ballet class

:17:57.:18:02.

before. Today a leading principle gave him their knowledge. We are

:18:02.:18:06.

learning from each other. We are borrowing and trying to emulate

:18:06.:18:15.

each other. I think maybe the attire differs sometimes and the

:18:15.:18:20.

venue but actually I am not even sure that the audiences defer any

:18:20.:18:27.

more. To lift his leg up so far and turn around, that was exceptional.

:18:27.:18:36.

Thrilling. Birmingham's finest and best up and coming.

:18:36.:18:40.

The Gloucester rugby head coach Bryan Redpath has announced he is

:18:40.:18:47.

resigning. He will leave Kingsholm with immediate effect. He has been

:18:47.:18:51.

linked with a move to Sale Sharks and has been at Gloucester since

:18:51.:18:55.

2009. It is the time of year when

:18:55.:18:59.

football fans can either start to breathe a sigh of relief or suffer

:18:59.:19:04.

from nerves and sweaty palms as their team battles to avoid

:19:04.:19:08.

relegation. Coventry City desperately need to beat Millwall

:19:08.:19:11.

tonight to have any chance of playing in the championship again

:19:11.:19:20.

next season. Tonight could be the night that the

:19:20.:19:23.

Sky Blues take a giant step towards survival or it could be denied they

:19:23.:19:28.

are relegated. Looking at the league table, Coventry are in the

:19:28.:19:32.

relegation zone in the bottom three and they are four points behind

:19:32.:19:36.

Bristol City. Coventry are here at the Ricoh Arena against the world.

:19:36.:19:41.

If they lose and Bristol City when, it is a seven-point gap with two

:19:41.:19:44.

games to play and the Sky Blues are relegated. It could be a dreadful

:19:44.:19:50.

night for them. One thing we do know according to the manager Andy

:19:50.:19:53.

Thorn is that the fans and the players will be giving it their all.

:19:53.:19:58.

The atmosphere will be as it has been all season... The supporters

:19:58.:20:04.

have been fantastic, right behind the team and giving loads of energy.

:20:04.:20:10.

The boys are desperate to repay them. If they want to give them

:20:10.:20:16.

everything, they are working their socks off. Let us get a fans' i

:20:17.:20:21.

perspective. This season ticket holder and contributed to the

:20:21.:20:27.

website. How nervous I you? I am now. I was resigned after the

:20:27.:20:32.

Bristol defeat. But now I am here at the ground, nerves are starting

:20:32.:20:38.

to kick in. It is a pivotal night. If we win, we could be just a point

:20:38.:20:43.

behind. If we lose, we could be heading for League One. It is quite

:20:43.:20:47.

nerve-racking. First things first, if the sky is blue is get a

:20:47.:20:54.

positive result? They have got a lot of injury problems. All we can

:20:54.:20:58.

do from the stands is do our bit and that the lads and give all we

:20:58.:21:02.

can. Hopefully the team will give 100%. Let us hope they can pull off

:21:02.:21:09.

a victory. Where has it gone wrong this season? That is the question!

:21:09.:21:15.

Lack of investment. There have been a lot of kids who have had to play

:21:15.:21:23.

a bit early. The size of the squad has been crucial. A small squad all

:21:23.:21:27.

season and the injuries are starting to kick in at the working

:21:27.:21:31.

end of the season. I think now we have got players playing with

:21:31.:21:35.

injuries... Let us hope they can play out of their skins tonight. It

:21:35.:21:44.

is one of those nights when you want to be glued to the radio. That

:21:44.:21:54.
:21:54.:21:56.

is as well as watching the match on the television. Fingers crossed.

:21:56.:22:03.

you can hear a full match Coventry of Coventry's match against

:22:03.:22:12.

Millwall on BBC WM. BBC Shropshire and BBC Radio Stoke

:22:12.:22:17.

will have all match commentary of the League Two game between

:22:17.:22:20.

Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale. Another absolutely vital one.

:22:20.:22:24.

Memorabilia from one of the greatest historical figures of the

:22:24.:22:29.

20th century has been sold for more than �100,000 at an auction House

:22:29.:22:33.

in Ludlow. Gandhi it inspired millions and a everything he owned

:22:33.:22:38.

or touched is highly prized by his followers. A few grains of the soil

:22:38.:22:42.

upon which he fell when he was assassinated were sold along with a

:22:42.:22:47.

pair of his classes that he bought in Gloucester and a mobile spinning

:22:47.:22:52.

wheel. Did we hear the figure for the glasses?

:22:52.:22:56.

�34,000 for the glasses. How you authenticate the soil, goodness

:22:56.:22:58.

knows. Hundreds of volunteers have been

:22:58.:23:02.

called on to help but after the countryside in one of our most

:23:02.:23:09.

sparsely populated counties. Teams of volunteers in Herefordshire are

:23:09.:23:13.

helping out at a time when budgets are increasingly stretched.

:23:13.:23:17.

These people are part of what is hoped will become an army of

:23:17.:23:22.

volunteer wardens helping to maintain Herefordshire's rich rural

:23:22.:23:26.

idyll. Today they were clearing an overgrown footpath in the village

:23:26.:23:31.

of Weobley near Leominster. The plan is to get enough residents to

:23:31.:23:34.

create a countrywide movement available on request to preserve

:23:34.:23:38.

the countryside. It is fun and you are helping somebody else. If I can

:23:38.:23:43.

help, I will. There is a lot of satisfaction because when you see a

:23:43.:23:47.

job finished and people are walking by and saying, look what we have

:23:47.:23:53.

got now! We will go along and have a clear-out. The plan is to model

:23:53.:23:58.

the Hereford to project on the Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens, formed

:23:59.:24:02.

in 1968 to help clear foot paths, dig out ponds and repair dry-stone

:24:02.:24:10.

walls. I was a warden. It was a great thing to do. We used to save

:24:10.:24:13.

around 40,000 man hours of work in the Cotswolds that paid people

:24:13.:24:18.

would have had to don't -- had to do or would not have been done. It

:24:18.:24:22.

seemed a shame that there was not something here, a countrywide

:24:22.:24:27.

organisation. One thing Hereford to has a lot of his orchards. With

:24:27.:24:31.

budgets under pressure, it is hoped the volunteers can help maintain

:24:31.:24:37.

them. The volunteers do not want to take work of -- of existing

:24:37.:24:40.

conservation groups but Herefordshire Council says some

:24:40.:24:42.

orchards are neglected and help would be much appreciated,

:24:42.:24:48.

especially as their budget is less than �100,000 for the whole county.

:24:48.:24:52.

The traditional orchards are not really economic because of the time

:24:52.:24:55.

taken on the big trees to do the pruning and general maintenance.

:24:55.:24:59.

They are the ones that tend to be neglected but they are vital for

:24:59.:25:03.

the landscape and wildlife. If there is a group that is able to

:25:03.:25:08.

help out, to take some of the work, but would be really good. Cynics

:25:08.:25:13.

might claim it is conversation -- conservation on the cheap but the

:25:13.:25:16.

volunteers say it is not just the countryside that gets a lot out of

:25:16.:25:23.

it, they do to us. Anyone who wants to join them can find out more at a

:25:23.:25:27.

meeting at the Kindle Centre in Hereford tomorrow evening.

:25:27.:25:30.

Lovely to see beautiful Weobley near Leominster.

:25:30.:25:38.

Now the weather. I got drenched this morning. I had to take all of

:25:38.:25:48.
:25:48.:25:49.

Too much detail. Rain tonight. That will be coupled with a strong winds.

:25:49.:25:54.

We are caught in the clutches of an area of low pressure. The isobars

:25:54.:25:58.

are still very tight. Gusts of up to 50 miles an hour tonight. By

:25:58.:26:02.

tomorrow, we are in the centre of the low-pressure so the winds will

:26:02.:26:08.

be light, adding to our problems because there will be slow more in

:26:08.:26:13.

-- slow-moving showers. Tonight, the rain will arrive by midnight.

:26:13.:26:17.

That will move up from the south- west. The cloud will thicken. It

:26:17.:26:21.

will not reach the North of the region so that will be the driest

:26:21.:26:28.

area tonight. A yellow warning for the south of heavy out pours --

:26:28.:26:33.

downpours are leading to surface water. There could be some hail and

:26:33.:26:37.

thunder in the rain as well. We have had reports of hailed today

:26:37.:26:42.

which looked like snow. It could quite easily create a slippery

:26:42.:26:47.

surfaces tomorrow morning. The rain will turn northwards turning heavy.

:26:47.:26:53.

It will be followed by an army of showers. Some of those could be

:26:53.:26:58.

quite heavy and containing hail and thunder again. Cooler tomorrow.

:26:58.:27:02.

Fairly wet tomorrow night as well. Showers will clear followed by

:27:02.:27:07.

another band of rain. Later in the week, although temperatures are

:27:07.:27:12.

below par, the winds will be lighter. More showers to come.

:27:12.:27:17.

The main headlines: Abu Qatada it could be heading back to jail as

:27:17.:27:21.

the government prepares to deport him.

:27:21.:27:25.

Staffordshire did the maker JCB announces record financial results

:27:25.:27:29.

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