The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
Browse content similar to 18/07/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
with Joanne Malin and Nick Owen. The headlines tonight: Searching for the
mother of a newborn baby - abandoned on a door step in Worcestershire.
She may be in need of urgent medical attention, and it is important she
is checked over as soon as possible. Also in tonight's programme, the
case for a high speed rail link from London to Birmingham and the north.
The HS2 boss comes to Birmingham to say why she thinks it's a must for
the Midlands. If you travel on the railway as I do, it is already very
crowded. Friends and family remember a
teenager who died after taking a dip in a water-filled quarry.
The final bell for the school forced to shut - ending 80 years of
education. And the Midlands is now officially
on a Level three heatwave alert - Good evening. The search is on
tonight for the mother of a newborn baby boy who was found abandoned
earlier today on a doorstep in Worcester. He'd been wrapped in a
bag. He was taken to the Worcestershire
Royal Hospital where he's being looked after by nursing staff -
they've named him Joseph. The head of midwifery at the hospital says
he's in good health, but stressed it was important that his mother sought
medical attention as soon as possible. Sarah Falkland reports.
Oblivious to the drama surrounding his arrival into the world, baby
Joseph is less than two days old. is being very well looked after by
nursing staff, and he is doing very well.
The baby was dumped here just after 430 this morning. This is the house
of quite a well-known childminder. They rang the door bell, kept their
finger on it for three or four seconds, then left the baby here on
the step. When my wife got to the door there was nobody here, there
was a bag on the doorstop. -- group -- doorstep. There was no sign of
anybody, no footsteps or anything. John's wife has been at the hospital
for much of the day, her daughter, herself a young mother, works
alongside her as a childminder. has said she is pretty sure she will
wake up and nothing will have happened, she is just a bit
emotional about it. At five and a half pounds, Joseph is slightly
overweight but is thought to have been full term. The concern now is
for his mother. We have one priority today, to locate Joseph's mother. We
believe she will be in need of medical attention. We know that the
birth was very recent. It is important she is checked over by a
midwife as soon as possible. She does not have to come to hospital if
she does not want to. I can arrange for a midwife to visit her.
So where is Joseph's mother tonight? The authorities are waiting
for her call. A special number has been set up to
find baby Joseph's mother. It is being staffed by a midwife 24 hours
per day. Coming up later in the programme.
New research in Birmingham into lung cancer which could prolong and
improve the quality of patients' lives.
The Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd has mounted a robust defence of the
project during a visit to the region today. Alison Munro and the board of
high speed rail were in Birmingham to hold their first meeting outside
London. It comes as the plan to build a fast
link from the capital to Birmingham and the north has come under fire
from a series of leading politicians, as well as campaigners
who've opposed it from the outset. In a moment, we'll be hearing from
the Chief Executive, but first here's our Transport correspondent
Peter Plisner. A pop up park outside Birmingham
council house. Not to only thing to pop up today - fresh off the train
from London, the board of HS2 Ltd, here to discuss a variety of issues,
and some of those in favour of the project. The reason we came to
Birmingham first is because we see Birmingham is critical to the whole
high speed rail system in the UK. One board member knows only too well
how high speed rail can change things. Richard Brown used to run
Eurostar services between London, Paris and Brussels. It is about
bringing cities closer together. If you take London to Paris, the French
now call London France's sixth city because of the number of French
people who live there. Later, the board looked around
Birmingham's Eastside, site for the proposed city centre HS2 station.
Here, regeneration has already started, and it's hoped HS2 see that
continue. Today's meeting has been more than
just an opportunity to meet those in the Midlands who have been
supporting HS2, it has also provided an ideal PR opportunity following
weeks of negative publicity. A report from the National Audit
Office said the benefits to the Office said the benefits to the
economy were unclear, while the Public Accounts Committee said the
project had over-optimistic and economy were unclear, while the
Recently the former business secretary Lord Mandelson said HS2
could be an expensive mistake, while the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
suggested spending HS2 money on traditional rail enhancements
traditional rail enhancements instead.
With some in the Labour Party now lukewarm of HS2, would the leader of
Birmingham's Labour-led council still support the project if his
party turned against it? I am going to remain committed to delivering
HS2. It is to the economic advantage of Birmingham and the West Midlands.
Despite recent criticism and the rising costs of the project - there
still are claims that HS2 could create more than 20,000 jobs in the
West Midlands and provide a big boost to the region's economy.
Earlier I spoke to the chief executive of HS2 Ltd, Alison Munro,
the company behind the high speed rail project.
Why did they decide to meet in Birmingham today? High speed rail is
-- HS2 is a major network. We think it is important to get out of those
major cities and talk to local businesses. We are going to have
every other board meeting in cities served by HS2. We are going to
Liverpool next, so we will go around the cities and make sure we are in
touch with the people there and can talk to them about how those cities
can maximise the opportunities that can bring. The amount of money it is
going to cost, that is a daunting prospect. Well, this is the largest
infrastructure project in Europe. The Government has taken a prudent
view in looking at the budget that it sets for HS2, to make sure that
there is a significant contingency for things that might come along in
the future. But the Government is expecting us to deliver the project
well within the cost. Is it all worth it? You only have to look, as
you travel -- if you travel on the railway as I do, you can see it is
already very crowded... Can they not just improve what we have already?
Network Rail conducted a study, looked at the problems that are
going to arise on are always in the future. Their conclusion was that
the only way you can really deal with the long-term issues... What
about the people living in the countryside, who are not going to
benefit? Some of the people can benefit, because the benefits are
spread out throughout the wider region, but the people directly
affected along the route have genuine concerns, we have talked a
lot to them and recently conducted a consultation on our draft
environmental statement which is analogous to put out a lot more
information about the project, to have conversations with people, we
do understand their concerns and have shown that we can incorporate
better into the project. We have been able to move the line -- so we
can address those concerns by talking to local people.
Joining us now from Burton Green in Warwickshire, which is on the
proposed high speed rail route, is Joe Rukin from the Stop HS2
campaign. This scheme is forecast to create thousands of jobs and bring
billions to the West Midlands economy. Why are you not supporting
it? What they are doing at the moment is picking a random number
and sticking the word jobs after it. Today they were saying 50,000 jobs.
That works out as �1 million to create one job. If you gave me �1
million I could create a lot more than one job and a lot quicker than
HS2 will. HS2 does not create those jobs anyway, it just move them
around the country. For example, the report out by KPMG said it would
cost the Southwest 48,000 jobs because it will move to places that
are quicker to get to London. This is all about getting to London
quicker and making sure London remains primate within the economy.
The trouble is, as you as -- as we have heard, there is strong
cross-party support and strong political heavyweights behind HS2.
Are you going to achieve anything? Absolutely. This is the reason that
you are seeing these spin exercise is going on at the moment, but the
political consensus is breaking down. We have now had two former
chancellors of the exchequer coming out against it. Last night a former
rail minister came out against it. Another Lord came out today. The
more and more people find out about what HS2 really means and look
behind the spin, the more people will come out against it and we will
continue getting that message out that this is a vanity project. The
costs will keep going up and up and Two men have been arrested his
afternoon in connection with the explosion near a mosque in Walsall
last month. They're being questioned by
detectives from the West Midlands Police Counter Terrorism Unit.
Police say the men are aged 25 and 22 and are originally from Eastern
Europe. A murder investigation has been
launched following the discovery of two bodies at a house in the Black
Country. Officers forced entry to a house in
Rowley Regis yesterday after concerns were raised about the
couple living there. A 55-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man were
found dead inside. Police say they're not looking for anyone else
in connection with their deaths. It's been another hot and sunny day
across the region - the 12th in succession. The Met Office have
declared we are experiencing what they call a Level three heatwave -
an amber alert. But what does an amber alert mean? Our weather expert
Shefali Oza joins us now to explain. Well, there are basically four
levels in total in this so-called heat/health watch system, and what
they represent are the levels of response to various threshold
daytime maximum temperatures and night-time minimum temperatures, but
on average the threshold is around 30 degrees by day and 15 by night.
So with a Level three alert we've gone up from a 60% to a 90% chance
of those temperatures being met, and of course if you're adversely
affected by the heat - ie. If you're very young or very old or suffering
from chronic diseases then you need to take necessary precautions.
The funeral's taken place of a teenager who drowned in a quarry in
Worcestershire while taking a dip during the hot weather. Russell
O'Neill, who was 17, died earlier this month.
Just a week later another man died at the same spot, and safety experts
met today to consider the future of the site. Around 500 people attended
Russell's service, including team-mates from the football academy
he attended. Cath Mackie reports. It's the pep talk no coach wants to
give. Mark Owen tries to prepare Russell O'Neill's team-mates at
Worcester City Football Academy for the funeral they are about to
attend. I have been doing this job 13 years, and you have your ups and
downs, but you think this day is never going to come. Hopefully it
will never happen again. He used to speak to everyone. It is sad to see
him go, so young as well. The 17-year-old had gone to Gullet
Quarry near Malvern with friends earlier this month. His decision to
go into the water was to prove fatal.
His team-mates performed a guard of honour as his coffin arrived at St
Martin and St Peter's Church in Worcester. Inside it was standing
room only, as 500 people packed the aisles. He will probably be looking
down that you now, saying what is the matter with you? He was just a
good lad. As Russell O'Neill is laid to rest,
the future of Gullet Quarry is being considered. Malvern Hills
Conservators, who are responsible for the land, are meeting the Royal
Society for the Prevention of Accidents today to look at what can
be done. Even as we filmed, shortly after
Russell's death, people were jumping into the quarry to swim, and just a
week later it claimed a second life. People can jump in and get cold
water shock. The depth maybe a lot deeper than you imagined, and then
maybe underwater debris and you cannot swim to safety.
Russell's family have started a petition to get websites advertising
the quarry as a safe place to swim to be taken down, before another
family faces a similar tragedy. Our top story tonight: Police are
searching for a mother after a newborn baby was found abandoned on
the doorstep of a home in Worcestershire.
On the 12th day of the heatwave, Shefali will be here with the
detailed weather forecast shortly. Also in tonight's programme, the
Assistant Chief Constable of West Midlands Police will be joining us
ahead of the EDL Rally this Saturday.
And shutting its doors for the last time, a Shropshire school forced to
The Staffordshire digger maker JCB's announced it's creating 130 new jobs
by spending �5 million in a recruitment drive. The investment
will see new apprentices and graduates join the business this
summer. It comes as the company introduces
the UK's first apprenticeship geared specifically towards international
business. Here's our Staffordshire reporter, Liz Copper.
Learning about the mechanics of the business. These apprentices are
being taught the basics about how diggers are driven. They're among
130 new recruits the company hopes will drive future growth. It is
extremely hard at the moment. I know a lot of people are unemployed, but
I don't know where I would be without this job. It gives me
experience on a job, it gives me a salary. University gives you massive
debts, so with this it is experience and skills I would not learn other
places. Without this apprenticeship, I think I would be looking around
for different colleges and different things to do, still based around
business, because I know how hard it is to get the job without
qualifications. The new business apprenticeship
being launched will be taught here at the JCB Academy in Rochester. The
syllabus has been developed by industry experts. We are not just
producing students with an academic ability, we are producing students
with employability and professional skills. Until now boast
business-related -- most business-related apprenticeships
have lasted two years, but this new one will last four years studying
business-related subjects. It is mixing businesses, -- business,
logistics, and all sorts of activities that give a whole scope
of capability. These apprentices are amongst a
record number joining JCB in a single year. They're part of a plan
to lay the foundations for future economic expansion.
Medics and scientists in Birmingham are to take part in research into
lung cancer that could prolong and improve the quality of patients'
lives. �14 million will be spent identifying different kinds of
tumours and discovering which drugs work best to slow their progress, as
Giles Latcham reports. Lynn does a lot of fundraising these
days. Although she's never smoked, she's got lung cancer - and it's
terminal. She wants others to know it's not
just smokers who get lung cancer, and she wants more research into the
most effective way to treat it. don't have to be over 60. I was in
my 40s when I was diagnosed. I have met people in their 20s and 30s who
have also never smoked. So it can happen to anybody at any time.
Survival rates are notoriously low. 3,400 people are diagnosed with the
disease in the West Midlands each disease in the West Midlands each
year. Of those, 2,900 die in the disease in the West Midlands each
year. Of those, 2,900 die Only 9% year. Of those, 2,900 die Only 9%
survive longer than five years. Researchers and medics in Birmingham
will run a nine-year study into the disease, at a cost of �14 million
paid for by a charity. This is a landmark study. We are looking more
closely at lung cancer than ever before, really trying to understand
its biology, what makes the tumours tick. For many years research into
lung cancer has not progressed much at all. Treatment hasn't developed
much either, but this study promises to reveal just how different
individual lung cancer tumours are. And it offers medics the chance to
tailor treatment for individuals. This is drilling down into the
molecular characteristics of a patient's tumour, and understands
what -- understanding what drives the tumour on.
It won't lead to a cure - but it will help doctors prescribe specific
treatments for specific tumours, This Saturday the English Defence
League will hold a rally in the centre of Birmingham in Centenary
Square - while just a few hundred metres away there will be a
counter-demonstration held by Unite Against Fascism.
On a weekend when the city will be filled with shoppers and families
enjoying the sun, it's going to be a challenge for West Midlands Police.
Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe is here. Why are both these
demonstrations being allowed to go ahead? They are static protests,
there is no legislation that can stop a static protest, only a march.
What we can do is put restrictions on the locations and the timings.
How big an operation will this be for you? This is probably one of the
biggest ever operations West Midlands Police have carried out, I
have over 1000 officers on duty on Saturday dedicated to this
operation. Is it still business as usual for shoppers who want to come
in? We have been working with local traders, communities. We have
successfully policed EDL demonstrations in the past, so
everyone is welcome this Saturday. If you are coming into protest,
please be peaceful. If you are coming in intent on violent
behaviour, you will be arrested. EDL say they chose Birmingham for
the demo because the city has become, their words, a literal
hotbed of Islamic extremist activity. Are they right? We have
had a number of terrorist investigations over the last couple
of years in Birmingham, but the EDL do publish a calendar and they do
move around the whole country and conduct protests. They have been to
Birmingham before and no doubt they will come again. If you have any
more information -- do you have any or information on the story that two
men have been arrested in connection with the explosions on mosques in
Walsall and Tipton. They were arrested this afternoon by a
uniformed officer on the street. We put a protection plan in operation
at all our mosques, increased patrols, and really good local
policing today, two men in custody for those terrorists incidents.
Finally, this weekend, you have officers to manage these rallies,
but do you have the resources to protect the rest of the area?
have officers all over the region, at and coming in from all over the
country. We are ready for Saturday. A Shropshire school that became a
victim of council cuts closes its the only secondary school in the
whole county forced to shut. Last night pupils and teachers, both past
and present, attended a memorial service and concert to mark the end
of almost 80 years of education. Ben Sidwell reports.
In Shrewsbury, The Wakeman is a well-known landmark, the only non
fee paying high school in the town. For almost 80 years it's provided an
education to local youngsters, and more than 600 pupils used to fill
these corridors, but now in its final week of existence there are
just 18 students left. I think it is an unnecessary decision. It is a
waste of talent. It does not save any money, or improve education
across the country. During the last week many former
pupils and teachers have returned to get one last look at their school.
Last night Shrewsbury Abbey was packed for a special memorial
service to mark the closing of The Wakeman. Very upset. Because it is a
lovely school, and they have worked hard. It is sad to see the place
close. Despite a long battle to keep the
school open, Shropshire Council announced its closure in 2011. Of
the 18 teachers still at the school, just three have found jobs. Deep
down, if I was retiring, then I could celebrate. But I am not
retiring, I have been made redundant. And that in itself, that
hurts. We asked Shropshire Council for an
interview, but they refused. However interview, but they refused. However
college, so to mark the closure they commissioned this installation.
Behind me, the names of every single pupil who has been here since 1957,
all 7241 of them. Staff say they want the final week
to be a celebration of the school, before it becomes part of the town's
Sixth Form College in September. So, on the day the region got so hot
it moved into a Level three heatwave category, let's go back to Shefali
category, let's go back to Shefali now on the balcony for the latest
now on the On a day is that we have been
elevated two. -- Level three alerts, temperatures do not reflect it. The
warmest place in the region reached highs of 28.5. This alert is with us
until the end of tomorrow, so as I mentioned earlier, if you are at all
adversely affected by the heat, you need to take adequate precautions.
We are now into the 12th consecutive day of this hot weather, and that
makes it the longest hot spell for seven years, since 2006. According
to latest statistics, we have only had 12% of the month's rainfall, and
77% of the sunshine. There are places that are in desperate need of
water and rain, not to be a killjoy, but there is no sign of that rain
just yet. I was talking of some changes occurring later on in the
week, and we are almost there because that high pressure to the
North West is just manoeuvring its way into position to the north of
the country, and that will change the wind direction to
north-easterly. We have another one night ahead of us, it is looking
clear largely with just the odd wisp of cloud here and there, and the
coolest part of the region is the worst with temperatures dropping to
15 Celsius. Elsewhere though, we could get 17 or 18. Tomorrow, we do
it all over again. We have plenty of hot sunshine there, taking
temperatures to 28 Celsius. That freshening easterly breeze starts to
show its hand, introducing more clout to the eastern half of the
region and making things a little Let's recap tonight's top stories:
David Cameron has welcomed official figures showing a reduction in crime
in England and Wales. Police are searching for the mother of a baby
abandoned on a doorstep. Before we go, a reminder that
traffic in the centre of Birmingham is expected to be delayed when two
road tunnels through the city centre are closed for the rest of the
summer from tomorrow night. The A38 tunnels are being shut for