11/09/2013 Midlands Today


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Hello, welcome to Midlands Today with Joanne Malin and Nick Owen. The


headlines tonight: Shock for the staff at Wolverhampton City Council


— a thousand jobs must go. I am extremely angry we are in this


position and I know the workforce shows that anger and sadness. On the


day the latest jobless figures are released, we'll be assessing if


growth is returning to the West Midlands. Also tonight: A six figure


pay—out for a Stafford Hospital patient — after a botched caesarean


left her with permanent injuries. I remembered the nurse asking the


Doctor, what shall I do? He said, just give her a shot. She gave me a


shot of morphine and that stopped me screaming. Remembering the glider


pilots of World War II — as their bravery's finally recognised.


Razor blades in their peaked caps — the story behind the Peaky Blinders


— a new TV drama set in Birmingham. And if days like today are on the


up, then you'd better be prepared. Keep in touch with the forecast


later. Good evening, a thousand jobs are to be lost at Wolverhampton City


council in the next 18 months. It's part of a range of measures to try


to save nearly 89 million pounds. Workers were called to a series of


special meetings today to hear the news. The announcement was made on


the same day that new figures show that unemployment in the West


Midlands is still higher than the national average. We'll have more on


that later, but first BBC WM's Political Reporter Susana Mendonca,


has the latest on the Wolverhampton job cuts.


They piled into this building severance times today to find out


how many of them the City Council plans to axe. The figure, 1000 jobs


to go by 2015. How do you feel as somebody who might lose your job? It


is gutting but we will have to wait and see. We did not realise it was


so many. It is part of the way the government want things to go. The


council are between a rock and hard place. For the people leading this


meeting it was the news they did not want to hear but councils are facing


difficult times. The man at the helm of that decision says his hands are


tied because the City Council has to find £89 million in savings by 2019


because of cuts in central government funding. We are talking


about potentially 50 families in every ward in the city losing


income. We have spent a lot of time in the last two or three years


working with colleagues in Staffordshire to secure the inward


investment of Jaguar Land Rover with 1400 new jobs. What we had to do


here could negate that. But the local Conservative group says it is


the Labour run council and not the government that is to blame. We were


the first to freeze council tax without cutting anything and we have


done that and saved money. Labour are back up to what they are good at


doing, spending the money but not looking to see what the consequences


are. The argument over spending versus cuts has seen protests across


the Midlands. But unions have criticised the way Wolverhampton has


dealt this blow. There has been no consultation on this at the council


at all and the first the unions knew about this was from telephone calls


from the council yesterday. There was more uncertainty ahead as staff


still have a long way to find out which of them will go.


So a worrying time for public sector workers, but a different story in


some areas of the private sector, especially at companies in the


automotive industry. But they're facing their own challenges, as they


struggle to find enough skilled engineers to fill their job


vacancies. Joanne Writtle reports. Specialised work to supply parts for


the motor industry requires skilled engineers and therein lies the


problem. There are not enough of them. Doug started this firm nearly


30 years ago. The last six months he has had vacancies for three


engineers and JLR announced yesterday they would create 1700


jobs. It keeps us on our toes because we do not want to lose


people to J L. We have to hang on to what we have got in way of labour.


Fair is a skilled problem. As the economy recovers we need to make


sure that it is not throttled via the lack of skilled people. This


training company specialises in engineering. The number of


apprentices they to cheer in Coventry and Redding —— Redditch has


been rising to 90 annually. Buses here say the shortage is a national


problem even though a maintenance engineer is paid around £40,000 a


year and senior engineers up to 60,000. The skilled shortage is


significant and growing. Not only is our industry having a real issue, it


is ourselves having difficulty in recruiting young engineers. Rachel


is rare then. Not only a woman engineer in a male world but now a


trainer. Finding this job, I had my hand in the engineering environment


as well as improving my skills. Drew decided against university opting


for a four—year engineering apprenticeship. With employers


looking to push and invest in more engineers, hopefully I can make a


better career for myself. While some engineers may be lowered to small


and firms, some in the industry say it could work in the opposite way


also. Well, joining us now is our Business


correspondent Peter Plisner. Let's start with the skills gap, Peter.


Companies wanting to employ people, people looking for jobs.Surely


people can be retrained or more young people encouraged down the


engineering route with the lure of a good job? They can and lots of


people are but less explain what the skills gap is. There are lots of


older workers but they are not being replaced by younger people to learn


those same skills. More young people are becoming engineers, there is no


doubt about that, but it takes three or four years to train an apprentice


and that is the time when we want have a skills gap. It is not always


attractive to young people either. Things are improving but they are


improving slowly. We still have one of the highest unemployment figures


in the country. Is it as bad as it seems? 9.8% of the population out of


work. It may be levelling off because the official figures suggest


it is rising 7000 in the last quarter, but this data is gathered


by a survey, there is a margin for error. The claimant count, the


number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance, that felt


this month. There are jobs being created but not everyone is skilled


enough to take those jobs. We heard about the thousand jobs going at


Wolverhampton council. Can the private sector take up the slack? It


can but we are still seeing lots of jobs lost in the public sector.


Yesterday, Jaguar Land Rover created 1700 jobs. But service sector is


growing quite fast and that is a good area where some of these public


sector workers could go. And the Sunday Politics will be discussing


the skills gap and the job losses at Wolverhampton City Council with two


of the city's MPs this coming Sunday.


Coming up later in the programme The collapse of a re—cycling firm after


a series of fires. A mother who was permanently harmed


by Stafford Hospital in 2008 when the hospital was at its worst, has


received a six figure payment for her injuries. Candi Kaya suffered


major complications following a caesarean section. Staff failed to


notice her bladder had been damaged by the operation. Here's our health


correspondent, Michele Paduano. Since her injury in 2008, Candi Kaya


has suffered severe depression. The trauma led to the break—up of her


marriage. I am not the same person. I do not want to go out. Not just


practically, it is like you cannot, my freedom has gone. During a


Caesarian, Candy's bladder was ruptured. Her ongoing treatment has


been tough on her family. Staff failed to notice the UN leaking.


Twice she had part of her bowel removed and twice suffered blood


clots. She was always tired and always needing the toilet and she


was never the same. You miss your baby's babyhood. Stabbing pain


one—minute, then it would be burning, then it would feel like


there was a bomb going off inside my stomach. Stafford Hospital has


admitted failure by solicitors say the hospital was slow to accept the


extent of the issues. We were having to fight for issues that we felt


were evident. The quality of care in the maternity unit at Stafford


Hospital has never really been an issue and today its figures are as


good as anywhere in the West Midlands. The Trust has apologised


saying that following this case... Candy is trying to get her life


back. She recognises the staff shortages and staff attitudes


experienced why others at Stafford. Campaigners fighting the cull of


badgers in Gloucestershire have accused the police of harassing


them. Four arrests were made on Monday night and some protestors say


they are being stopped for no reason, claiming officers are being


heavy handed. But Gloucestershire police say they've received no


formal complaints and say protestors should speak to liaison officers


based in the cull zone. A Birmingham singer has been


nominated for the Mercury music award. She is one of 12 finalists


and has been nominated for her debut album, but she is up against tough


competition included David Bowie. A Worcestershire —based recycling


business has gone into administration. The administrators


KPMG have confirmed Lawrence Skip hire is no longer trading. Linseed


oil is that the company site. What has happened today? Today it has


been confirmed that the administrators were called in last


week. This long established company has dealt with waste from both the


commercial and residential sector for many years but two fires in six


months have meant they had become insolvent. KPMG have said they have


had to make 24 employees redundant, H will be kept on in the


short—term. They will also now deal with the sale of the site and are


calling for enquiries. How did the company get into this situation?


Fundamentally it was down to the fires. Two in six months. At the


height of the fire, there were 80 firefighters here. That blaze was


dealt with relatively quickly but a second problem occurred. It


smouldered for weeks and weeks and huge stores of plastics and paper.


Local residents had to keep doors and windows closed during the


heatwave and the damage ran into hundreds and thousands of pounds,


making it untenable for the company to continue, hence the insolvency.


Workers at Wolverhampton City Council told 1000 jobs are to go.


Your detailed weather forecast to come.


They were notorious and violent gang ruling the streets of inner—city


Birmingham 100 years ago. Now they are back on screen. And why it is


Christmas already in one part of the Midlands, we meet the team gearing


up for panto. A Birmingham consultant's beginning a hunger


strike today to draw attention to the plight of the last British


resident to be held in Guantanamo Bay.


Dr David Nicholl says the man — Shaker Aamer — is not a threat to US


or UK security and should be freed immediately. Kevin Reide reports.


911, a day 12 years ago today when the world 's most powerful nation


came under terrifying attack. Hijacked airliners were flown into


high—profile targets. Nearly 3000 people were killed and it led to


America's war on terror. Suspects were arrested all over the world


including British resident Shaker Aamer. He is now at Guant?namo Bay


but has never been charged and is on hunger strike. Now Birmingham


consultant neurologist Dave to David Nicholl is joining him. I have


written to my MP and both the US and UK governments have said for the


last six years he can be released but he is still there. His five—day


fast is purely symbolic and follows other protests like running the


London Marathon dressed in an inmate 's suit. All of us think back on


that day. Those are things Shaker Aamer is not able to do. His son was


born while he was in captive. The protest is been supported by a


former won tonne of Bay detainee Mozambique. He was arrested with a


shocker, but released eight years ago. He has not been released


because there is a belief shack was physically present when British


intelligence agents and the Americans were all complicit and


involved in his physical torture. They are quite concerned about that


hitting the headlines again. Dr Nicholl insists patients will not be


put at risk. He is off work for the last two days of his fast and


hospitals say plans are in place to ensure his safety. The heroism of


the wooden glider pilots of World War Two has been marked at the


National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.


Hundreds of them took part in a series of operations to liberate


Europe from the Nazis and now their contribution is being formally


recognised. Liz Copper reports. An airborne arrival in tribute for the


men who flew over a mini skies. This service honours the pilots. Among


the congregation, 92—year—old Denzel Cooper. A veteran of D—day and are


known. We loaded and unloaded the gliders after D—day 16 times and we


were getting cheesed off with it. When an opportunity came to do an


opportunity, they were there like a rocket. Worrying about what might


happen just didn't exist. They were special people. Very obstinate and


independent. Go for it. With total self—confidence. Gliders were made


of wood and wire on armed. Often under fire, landings were dangerous


and frequently fatal. Many of the glider pilots were volunteers and in


the early years of the Second World War, some of the craft they flew


were donated. Their mission is required immense bravery and that


bravery was marked at today's ceremony. Nearly half the pilots


died either in the course of training or in action. To put people


down where they are required and then participate in the battle on


the ground makes them a unique bunch of men. Baranowski of than 100 and


70 glider pilots still alive. This tribute to ensure their skills and


valour are still remembered. A brand new BBC drama series based


on the exploits of a Birmingham gang around a hundred years ago starts


tomorrow night. Peaky Blinders was partially filmed in the city and


written by a local man. These are just some of the gang members known


as the peaky blinders, who ruled Birmingham streets in the late 18


hundredths. These details are sat in a museum at spa kill police station


for over 100 years but the story of the mob has been resurrected by the


BBC. The ruthless gang whose violent empire was built on protection


rackets and illegal gambling got their name from sewing razor blades


into the peak of their caps to inflict horrific injuries on their


rivals. The peaky blinders is a chilling story of violence and


terror. With us is the writer of the series, Stephen Knight. A rough old


lot. How did you let your imagination get captured? My parents


who grew up in small Heath told me little snapshots of life in those


days in the 20s and my mum was a bookies run as a kid. It gave me an


insight into a world, because all betting was illegal, so I lot of


money was generated and it gave me an insight into a world where there


was nothing written about it. It felt like a secret history and then


when I research did, it was even more fascinating. My mother was


about nine. They're rather lot of people who lived in poverty and


gambling was a way of relieving the monotony. Those streets were


dangerous places. They were. A gang ran a territory and as long as you


were OK with the gang it was OK. You filmed some of it in Birmingham.


Widely due go elsewhere? We use the Black Country Museum but the Second


World War and the planners took away a lot of old Birmingham and we


needed a streetwear of the code really take it over for a period of


time, so we found somewhere in Liverpool. What about the accents in


the film? How difficult were they for the actors to master? It was one


of the things I wanted to get right because historically, the Birmingham


accent is mangled and never done correctly. I took Killian who plays


Tommy, he is the lead gangster. We went to a pub called the Galveston


and we sat around with the people I grew up with and he recorded the


conversation and he's worked and worked and got the hardness and the


speed of the accident. There is almost a feel of a Western in it.


There was an element of the wild West about those days. These men


came back very damaged. There was a lawlessness for at least a decade


after that and the sensibility of a Western is very appropriate. You can


watch the first episode on BBC Two at nine o'clock tomorrow night.


There are just 104 days left until Christmas.I've already started my


shopping, but many of you may not have even thought about it yet. For


some though, the festive season is already in full swing. Costumes need


to be made for Pantomimes up and down the country and our Arts


Reporter Satnam Rana has been to meet one team of busy sewing bees.


It may be September but this Staffordshire costume maker has one


thing on his mind. Christmas panto. Around May, when I have been


designing for a while, I have been known to run round and seeing. Don


is a task with designing 84 costumes for Snow White. This frock, the


wicked Queen has to change into a horrible which so we are having to


develop ways how we can transform her on stage. This is the first part


of it. The second part we have not worked out yet but it will be lots


of magic with silk. From designing costumes to sourcing fabric to


sewing it all up. The work is carried out here in Cheadle. It also


includes a hat for David Hasselhoff. And one for Jimmy wasn't and a cloak


for John Barron men. We have a piece on this design which becomes this


big. It is starting to come together. For ages it has been lots


of little bits. Eventually we will have one big piece. All these


questions will be ready by mid—November so while most of us


robot before Christmas, John and his team will be putting down their


needles until January when it all begins again.


Onto cricket and the weather. It was not very good for the International


at Edgbaston. Let's hope it will get better. That is the rescue one with


one—day international. There is a clearance on the way and it will


still be fairly warm. It was not one today but tonight, it will be warm.


We have a frontal attack from quite a number of fronts over the next few


days. This one clears through tonight then we have another coming


on Thursday. days. This one clears through


tonight then we have This low pressure dominates and by the


weekend, a very intense area of low pressure starting to move in from


off the Atlantic. This will bring in a very intense area of low pressure


starting to move in from off the Atlantic. This will bring in strong


winds. Very active over the next few days. Right now we have this cloud


over us and this is packed with rain which will move south eastwards.


Once it has, it will be much drier towards the tail end of tonight.


Cloud around and a lot of debris from that rain and the moisture and


warmth will mingle to give us hill fog. Temperatures only down on


today. Down to 12 or 13 Celsius. For the morning tomorrow, that resource


should fade away. There will be some affecting eastern parts but


brightness breaking through the middle part of the morning. You can


just start to see the first signs of the next band of rain moving in from


the west. Temperatures will rise to 19 — 21 Celsius. Fairly humid.


Continuing humid through the course of tomorrow night. The rain should


clear and then we have some missed due to the moisture. Let's recap


tonight 's top stories: The latest in the UK is recovering economy. The


number of people out of work nationally falls again. But here


1000 jobs are to go at Wolverhampton council as they try to save £89


million. Thank you for watching. Goodbye.


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