29/07/2013 Midlands Today


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with Nick Owen and Mary Rhodes. The headlines tonight: by 300%, a huge


increase in families looking for help with debt as they are hit by


reforms. When you are stressed out, you can't


eat, and if you don't have money you can't eat. It has affected me in


many ways. we will find out what help is available for hard-pressed


families. Also a hospital too close to 990


patients overnight to ease pressure on staff.


100 police officers back on the beat. After two years of despair for


Wolves fans, the new season starts on Saturday.


It is a very unique setup with Wolves this year but I am confident


and looking forward to the season and I am under no illusions of the


size of the task. And flash floods and thunderstorms


have dominated these past few days but what are the chances of things


Good evening. A charity offering debt advice say they're seeing a


huge increase in the number of people seeking help. Birmingham


Settlement used to deal with 25-30 people a week. But they say that


figure's shot up to 25 a day, with many owing sums running into


thousands. They're blaming the effect of recent welfare reforms and


the popularity of payday loans. This is Leon, not his real name but


in real need of help. He's seriously ill, his spare room means he's


losing out to the so-called "bedroom tax", and the interest on his payday


loans is piling up. I have got the sick pay for a certain amount of


weeks but then that stops. Then the direct debits keep on coming out of


the bank and there was nothing in there to pay it and I am meant to be


eating better but when you are stressed out, you cannot eat because


at the moment I cannot see how I will get myself out of the debt.


This is a very typical case because it is difficult when they are being


put under pressure from all sorts of angles. Benefits, loans, they are


taking out, high fuel bills and water rates, TV licence, it seems


like it is coming at them from everywhere and they are struggling.


In April and May last year, 221 people turned up here looking for


help with their debts. In the same period this year, the figure was 660


people. That's an increase of 300%. With payday loans a major factor.


But those that make those loans say they do so responsibly. A lender


will be looking at your spending patterns and they will give you a


credit check and you will need to be in employment, have a bank account


so there are a number of measures that you will need to meet and that


is why more than eight out of ten people are paying back their loans


in full and on time. For those deep in debt, there is


hope. Matt gave up his job to nurse his terminally-ill father and ended


up owing �45,000. He's got a new job and reduced his debts to �12,000.


His advice? If you bury your head in the sand, it will only get worse.


The stress will get worse and the more stressed you are, the more


difficult it is to deal with your problems so address yourself and


your problems, get help and support. Trouble is, things are tough for the


helpers as well. One of the city's oldest charities, Birmingham


Settlement, recently laid off three workers for lack of funds. This at a


time when they're more in demand than ever.


I'm joined now by Martyn Treadgold, from the six Towns credit union


which helps people across Sandwell and Worcestershire. Just explain how


a credit union operates. They are fully regulated by the financial


authorities. We are run by our members, we take the savings in and


we make loans available at low rates in order to be able to pay a


dividend to the savers. we heard in the report, there has been a huge


increase from that one charity, have you seen an increase coming to you


for help? It is quite curious, in a number of areas, the changes have


been where people suddenly get a change in circumstance, they might


only use a few hours of work a week and those people but have just about


been managing suddenly tipped over the edge and then you get the ones


with the far greater debts. The ones with the thousands of pounds. Tens


of thousands. It is not uncommon, I'm afraid. Wattled percentage have


you seen people coming to you in terms of increased? A lot. Sometimes


as little as just losing a few hours of work a week. They are just about


managing and then you lose a few hours, let alone losing your job.


The payday loan companies have had a bad press of late but if you can


repay it quickly, they can be a godsend because you can get the cash


immediately. Is that the case with credit unions? They are usually in


difficulty already when they use payday lenders. Or their overdraft


is full. So therefore they are already in difficulty. And therefore


what happens at the end of the month they find they cannot pay it back.


Good intentions but they find they can't. And that rolls over and then


suddenly a debt of �300 suddenly becomes �1000. if somebody has debts


of tens of thousands of pounds, they need help quickly, how quickly can


they get help from a credit union? They need a different form of help


there. They need help from citizens advice bureau or the other advice


lines available and they need to get help quickly. Do not delay, don't


wait for the red letters to stack up. And get in front of the fire,


get help quickly. good advice. Coming up later in the programme:


The Stones, the Who, One Direction - just some of the names who've


thrilled the crowds at Wolverhampton Civic Hall - now celebrating 75


100 police officers will be returning to front-line duties well


when West Midlands Police start a new recruitment drive. That will


include 1100 police officers and that has led to some officers being


used in so-called back office roles. This has been the working


environment for scores of West Midlands Police officers recently.


Behind the scenes instead of out working the beat. But 100 of those


bobbies will now return to front-line duties. More police


others on the streets is an encouraging thing, that is what the


public ask us for. Police officers had replaced


civilian workers who are easier to make redundant. But the force says


it's in a position to start recruiting members of the public


again. The new staff will work at front desks and in non-emergency


contact centres, freeing up officers to return to the streets. Freeing


more officers to go back on the beat may be good news but it is against a


backdrop of further cuts announced at the Home Office last month. So


could it perhaps be a temporary measure? It is a short-term win


because while we are putting 100 officers on the street now, that is


100 against a force of around 7400 in total so it is a drop in the


ocean. And further job cuts are to come.


For now, though, increasing council tax funding for the police and


reducing the numbers of non-emergency call centres has led


to a rise in officers available to fight crime. This is a more value


way of ensuring police work smarter so that police can work the training


they have been given rather than be less effectively deployed in jobs


they do not the police powers to carry out.


An extra 50 special constables and 50 community support officers will


also be recruited to boost manpower The former Birmingham City striker


Christian Benitez has died at the age of just 27. It's reported the


Ecuador International suffered a cardiac arrest following


complications after having appendicitis. Known as "Chucho", he


scored four goals in 36 appearances while on loan at the Blues between


2009 and 2010. A motorist believed to be in his 70s


has died after an argument in a car park in Birmingham. The man was


taken to hospital when he collapsed in the Tyseley Community Centre car


park, in Sparkhill yesterday afternoon. A 44-year-old man


arrested at the scene is being questioned by police.


Five people remain in police custody after a 50-year-old man died after


being stabbed. The victim, who has been named locally as Neil Bennett,


was found on Saturday evening on Park End Road near Gloucester Park.


Just hours before, the city had been celebrating its annual carnival. Our


Gloucestershire reporter has the latest.


It was carnival weekend in Gloucester but the celebrations were


muted by the death here on Saturday night. It is thought the victim was


trying to escape from an incident near the city's Park. He made its


way past the funfair which was closed but was found on a road


outside the park by police. first officers on the scene tried to


start CPR, they then found a night so they started resuscitation.


post-mortem has been carried out on the results of that and formal


identification are expected to be released tomorrow. The victim has


been named locally as Neil Bennett, 50 years old who lived here in the


city. As police searched houses nearby,


life got back to normal in Gloucester Park. But the police were


here as well. He had to reassure staff and the public that the murder


was an isolated attack. Our people have worked with the police and we


are up and running again today. The park is a safe place to come. The


funfair is very safe. At a time of celebration, those who work to keep


it safe want to ensure this one incident does not put people off


coming. We have the peace festival happening on Friday, the fireworks


on Saturday and then we have Jamaican independence on Sunday so


lots to look forward to. Police were given more time to question three


people and a further to our already in custody under suspicion of being


A Nursing and Midwifery Council panel has found that two nurses


failed to identify that a patient at Stafford Hospital was diabetic.


Gillian Astbury died in April 2007 because staff failed to give her any


insulin. Ann King and Jeanette Coulson, who are both retired, also


failed to ensure that patient records were up to date. BBC Radio


Stoke's Chris King is following the case. Chris, what happened today?


Neither Ann King or Jeanette Coulson were at today's hearing but both


faced a series of allegations relating to their conduct while


working at the Mid Staffordshire Trust. King left the trust last


year, whilst Coulson retired in 2010. Today a fitness to practice


panel announced which of the claims which date back to 2005 they believe


are true. A lot of the charges related to death of the diabetic


patient Gillian Astbury, didn't they? That's right. Gillian Astbury


was admitted to Stafford Hospital following a fall at home. She was


transferred onto Ward Three where Ann King and Jeanette Coulson were


both senior nurses. The panel found that both women failed to read Mrs


Astbury's notes properly, didn't check her blood sugar levels and


didn't fill out her records either. This meant that Mrs Astbury didn't


receive any insulin, and so fell into a diabetic coma. It's also


worth pointing out here, an internal investigation into what happened was


carried out but it's not clear what the then trust managers did about


it. What else were found to have done? Ann King was found to have


said she'd changed a patient's dressing when she hadn't. One nurse


saying she knew it hadn't happened because she could see dried blood


and pus. She was, however, cleared of ignoring the calls of a patient


who it was claimed died after getting their head stuck in the bars


of a bed. But the panel said a postmortem examination found that


wasn't what killed them. They died of natural causes. Jeanette Coulson


also admitted swearing at members of staff and failing to ensure that


records on the ward were properly maintained. Thank you.


From tonight, people in need of overnight emergency hospital


treatment will no longer be taken by ambulance to Cheltenham. Instead, a


controversial change will mean "blue-light" patients are taken


straight to Gloucester. The change will take effect between 8pm and


8am. One of the reasons is a shortage of emergency department


staff. The casualty department will remain open to walk-in patients.


I am outside the A&E department and there has been a steady stream of


patients walking in, ambulances coming in. The unit is open and


these changes will only come into force from eight o'clock this


evening. With me is local MP Martin Horwood. These changes are


necessary, and they? The people can still walk in all the time, due to a


shortage of emergency doctors and we understand things had to be done but


it is the permanence of this change. We are looking into emergency


recruitment at national level. have looked at evidence that it will


increase the risk that we have not looked at what benefits it will


bring to centralise the two departments and a consultation was


rushed, I think they largely ignored local opinion and I don't think that


is good enough. But the people in charge of this


decision says it will only affect 16 patients per night, but we are short


of emergency doctors. 16 patients a night is nearly 16,000 journeys a


year and although it seems like a short distance, there is good


academic studies which showed there is a measurably increased risk of


death, I'm afraid. For people with things like perforated ulcers,


asthma, appendicitis. All these things carry a higher risk. For


every extra kilometre. That is well evidenced. I have not seen any


evidence back from the trust of the commissioners who took this decision


to say they have done the mathematics and this is the balance


of risk. That is all we are asking for, good evidence and ambition to


restore the service when the recruitment is sorted out. Thank you


very much. This unit is still open, it is only from this evening that


the changes will come into force. Our top story tonight: Up by 300%: a


huge increase in families looking for help as they're hit by welfare


reforms. Your detailed weather forecast to


come shortly. Also in tonight's programme, the latest attraction in


Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter - a �2 million project to turn a


Victorian coffin factory into a heritage centre.


And from Nat King Cole to the Stones to One Direction - celebrating 75


years of top entertainment at This weekend marks the return of the


Football League, with the start of its 125th anniversary season. And


one of the League's founding clubs finds itself kicking off in the


third tier of English football. After back-to-back relegations,


Wolves begin life in League One at Preston following two nightmare


seasons. But is there cause for optimism after a summer of change at


Molineux? Some brought a hat, others an


umbrella. All of them brought fresh optimism for a brave new dawn at


Molineux. Almost 5000 loyal fans will make the trip to Preston on


Saturday, just three months after they bid farewell to the


championship at Brighton. You would never guess that Wolves had been


relegated to league one. Look at this queue, you think you were


selling tickets for the cup final. Four of the young guns were ready


for autographs inside including Lee Griffiths, 23 next month and just


back from scoring 23 goals with Hibernian. Scotland's player of the


year is looking forward to making his name as the new number nine at


Wolves. No pressure? I'm have heard a few fans talking about Steve Beale


and since I have been at Wolves, I know how well he felt that jersey so


I hope I can take it on. He showed his eye for goal against


the Spanish Amir Leaguer, was no disgrace to lose 3-2, their only


pre-season defeat. The new boss is optimistic about the potential of


his new team. Already the clear favourites for the book is to finish


top of league one in nine months time. The link between the players


and the supporters is vital. It is fair to say that has broken down in


recent seasons. A new group now, younger players and the crowd have


responded very well. It is up to us and the players to make sure that we


give them something to sing about starting on Saturday at Preston.


inside, the fans waited to share their promotion aspirations with the


players and outside, the legend Stan Collis look to the skies and hoped


every dark cloud has a silver lining at Molineux this season.


And Ian is at Molineux now. Over 4,000 Wolves fans are expected to


follow their team to Preston on Saturday. That's quite a show of


support after so much despair? Absolutely. These have been the


darkest of times to be a Wolves supporter and that they have sold


4000 for the trip to Preston speaks volumes. Lets make the bane family


over here on the right wing. Keith. George. Simon. Keith, what is it


that makes you keep coming back for more? I wish I knew because I cannot


hear it at the moment. It is a family-run club, we enjoy watching


them week in, week out. We suffer with the other fans and we hope the


players have got the same passion we have and we hope next season will be


really good for the whole community of Wolverhampton. Let's bring Simon


in. Do you think we have copyright man for the job? I have just read


one of his books from his Millwall days and it is a good read and I


hope he can bring the same success at the lower league into Wolves and


learn his trade and take it up a division. The bookies tell me you


are 7-2 favourites to win the title. Would you have a bet? That is a big


question. I have to say yes, I would like to have a bet on them. I


thought we would be up there last year but we were not. On Saturday...


Apologies, that despair of being a Wolves is infectious. If you happen


to know what the cure is, one supporter told us, let us know.


Work has started on a �2 million project to turn a Victorian coffin


factory in Birmingham into a heritage centre. All the fixtures


and fittings of Newman Brothers Coffin Works in the Jewellery


Quarter were still in place when it closed in 1999. Laura May McMullan


is at the factory now. What's going on there? After a 12 year fight to


save this historic copying works here in the Jewellery Quarter, work


has finally started today. But one of the huge tasks has been trying to


raise �2 million for the project. With me is the project leader,


Simon. Why was it important to save this site? It is an incredible piece


of industrial heritage but what makes it really special is that when


it closed in 1999, it seemed they close the door behind them at the


end of an ordinary working day and left everything behind. 100 years of


history. What can people expect to see? It will be like stepping back


into the past and they will be able to see rooms like this with the


machinery working, coughing handles and plates were made here and rooms


like the Shroud room and the Coffin linings, they will be a great deal


to see. Chris, you are leading the conservation work, how important is


this? It is wonderful to be in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter and


work with the conservation trust on this historic building. I am sure it


will be painstaking, but what are you looking forward to? Re-macro


being able to work with the community which is at the heart of


the community. To view the work as it is going on. Talking of this


fantastic inside, the doors will be open in about one year's time.


you. For 75 years, it's seen some of the


biggest names in the music world take to the stage. From Bowie to One


Direction, Robbie Williams to The Who, they've all played the


Wolverhampton Civic Hall. So what's its enduring appeal? Ben Sidwell's


been to find out. Just a warning, bearpit atmosphere. Radiohead and


blow when they first came, Coldplay. You could always telling acts were


For three quarters of a century, the Wolverhampton Civic Hall has been at


the heart of the city's entertainment scene. From rock


bands, to tea dances, to comedy - it's all taken place under this


roof. Literally all the greatest artists have been here since 1938


when the hall opened in 1938. Gary Barlow, Robert Plant, Robbie


Williams have all played here. The Rolling Stones. 1952, Nat King Cole


did his very first tour of the UK here. He opened it in Wolverhampton


with Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine. It was totally packed. Nat


King Cole fell in love with England Not much has changed at the Civic


since those early days and the place looks remarkably similar. That is


until you head up to the dressing rooms. This is one of our dressing


room is one of our dressing rooms here at the Civic. We think the


stars enjoy this, maybe to cool off afterwards and then as Jacuzzi to


finish off. Jonn Penney knows the Civic better


than most, in his younger days as lead singer with Stourbridge band


Ned's Atomic Dustbin they often headlined here. Now. He's in charge


of Press and PR. We finished our touring here and I will ask gig of


the year was always at the Civic Hall. People got wind of the kind of


party show that we finished our year with and so people would travel from


all over the world to come to the last show of the year at the Civic


Hall. But there is one part of the Civic


Hall that very few people have ever seen in its entire 75 years.


This is the organ at the Civic Hall, comprising 6021 pipes. Weighing 32


tonnes in total. It is suspended above the stage. When it was


purchased in 1934, it cost �6,000 and came with a 25 year guarantee.


The Civic Hall is run by Wolverhampton City Council, so with


so many cuts around, just how secure is it's future? The business of the


Civic Hall, all contribute to the rate fund but ultimately everything


comes under question and I know the council is supportive of what we're


doing and they love it, they think it is great. What the future holds,


nobody knows but if it is anything like what has gone before, this


place will be filled with the Sound of music and laughter for many years


It's been Monsoon Monday round here week but it was also saturated


Saturday and Sunday. Not quite epochal proportions but still pretty


bad. Particularly in Staffordshire where we have recordings of 55


millimetres of rain, that is around two inches. These thunderstorms have


been very localised so that was the highest figure that we have


recorded. But we still have a yellow warning in force for the next hour


of more to come. Thunderstorms leading to flash flooding and this


week as a whole will be generally wet with mixtures of heavy showers


and sunshine. Temperatures around the 20 Celsius mark but one Friday


and that will be Thursday -- one Friday and that will be Thursday. --


one dry day. We have got lots of showers across the region and these


will be present over the next 60 minutes and then they gradually fade


away leading to a dry night. Initially we have clear skies but


towards the end of the night the cloud will thicken from the West and


temperatures down to 12 Celsius so a bit pressure tonight under the


clever spells. Tomorrow morning, we start off with some sunshine


particularly further north but the cloud thickening upbringing in the


next band of showers from the south and steadily spreading north through


the day. These could be heavy but I think they will be fewer than today


and there will be less of a breeze. If we get any sunshine, it should


feel pleasant with highs of around 21 Celsius. Tomorrow night we do it


again, repeating that happen with showers dying away and the cloud


thickening up with the next area of rain poised to come from the


south-west and this is towards the end of tomorrow night where it is an


organised band showers so it will Let's recap tonight's top stories: A


new crisis for the NHS 111 helpline - one of its main contractors says


it will pull out. And up by 300%, a huge increase in


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