19/09/2013 Midlands Today


19/09/2013

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

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headlines tonight: Hospitals across the region in special measures are

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to get help from staff working in successful medical centres. A main

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should see real changes in their hospital in a matter of months.

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We'll be hearing from the boss of a hospital in Birmingham who's sending

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her staff to help others raise standards. Also tonight: The

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Birmingham pub bombings — former IRA commander Martin McGuiness says he

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"sympathises" with the families of the victims. My heart goes out to

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all the victims of the conflict. The controversial high speed train line

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is the only way forward, claims the boss of Network Rail. We are pushing

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an existing infrastructure well beyond what it was ever designed

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for, like driving a motor way up and A road.

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After two broken bones, a fight to get fit ready for a shot at a world

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title for Wolverhampton's Olympic medal—winning gymnast. And there is

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the potential for it to warm up quite nicely over the weekend.

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Good evening. Managers from the giant Queen Elizabeth Hospital in

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Birmingham are to lend their expertise to failing trusts to try

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to transform standards. It's part of an NHS plan across the country to

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turn around hospitals in special measures. The plan mirrors the

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"super—heads" scheme which is credited with turning around

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under—performing schools. Critics argue though that the real cause of

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failure is under—staffing, not poor management. George Eliot Hospital in

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Nuneaton has struggled for years. An investigation into death rates found

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problems. Too few staff out of hours, patients being shifted around

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the hospital and no real sense of leadership to put things right. So

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it is looking to this hospital for ideas. At the Queen Elizabeth in

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Birmingham, nurses check how the ward is doing each day. A computer

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system keeps track of everything from infection rates to medication.

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Hello, Mr Jones. The chief executive years says most NHS staff want to

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get things right for patients. But that hospitals labelled as failing,

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that sense of ambition is lost. People get a sense of helplessness

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and hopelessness. But we have seen a really good examples of good care.

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The Queen Elizabeth is seeing more patients from outside Birmingham,

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patients voting with their feet to go to a good hospital. Helping

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improve Nuneaton could improve pressures here. And under these

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contracts bring a little extra money back. But hospitals are big and

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complicated. Experts warn it can be hard to change a legacy. Many

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hospitals have long history of struggling to balance the books,

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achieve high—quality care for patients. It will be a long haul to

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turn these hospitals around. It would be unrealistic to expect any

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turnaround team to achieve quick results. We need to be honest with

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the public, that it takes three to five years to turn around a failing

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hospital. But I am not going to wait that long, and I think members of

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the public should see real changes in their hospital in a matter of

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months. Ministers now they have to show these 11 hospitals how the

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improved. The NHS is under massive financial pressure. It is possible

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that in the next few years, more hospitals may get into difficulties.

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At its best, the NHS is world—class, but there has also been

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increasing interest in why some hospitals are better than others.

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Labour says management solutions will not help close that gap and the

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real answer lies in more nurses on the ward.

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The Queens Hospital in Burton and the George Eliot in Nuneaton were

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amongst those identified as having "fundamental breaches of care".

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They'll now be under the guidance of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in

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Birmingham. Earlier, I spoke to the Chief Executive of the QE, Dame

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Julie Moore, who explained exactly what will be happening. We have come

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up with quite a few ways that we can help the George Eliot Hospital. One

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of the things that we will be doing is getting some of their staff to

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work, their clinical staff, doctors, sisters, so we can learn. The second

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thing is by use of our information system so we understand what happens

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deep inside award down to patient care level. We are going to see if

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we can roll that system out. Is there any danger this is going to

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drain? I will not let that happen because nothing must suffer. We can

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attract very high calibre managers. We have already got a very small

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team of people to undertake this kind of work because we foresaw this

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coming. There are also other people that we have gotten the trust who

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can be used. It is not going to be a huge drain on people. So far, I make

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a lot of telephone calls, but George Eliot stuff coming over to the QED.

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Jeremy Hunt says we should see improvements quite quickly. That is

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quite ambitious, are you happy with that? I am happy with a few months.

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We can start to see some improvements quite rapidly. One of

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the problems is we have labelled these hospitals as failure and I do

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not believe they are. We can talk about struggling trusts, there is a

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variety of reasons why these trusts are struggling. Adding a label can

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lead to a loss of morale and confidence. We need to make staff

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say they can make the improvements they want to. Thank you.

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Meanwhile a key proposal of administrators brought in to decide

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the future of Stafford hospitals being questioned tonight. They want

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to stop babies being born there because there are not enough births

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to maintain a safe and efficient maternity service. But a report to

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be released tomorrow suggests the figures that decision was based on,

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are inaccurate. Our health correspondent Michele Paduano has

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this exclusive report. The last public meeting in Cannock.

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Can cost little benefits from the changes so there were not many

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people here. Those who were were still worried about maternity

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services at Stafford Hospital. I was talking to a new mum and she said

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there is not enough births at Stafford Hospital to sustain the

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service. Is that correct? The report refers to 1800 babies being born in

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Stafford, not enough to keep maternity services there. Leaked

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figures I received today suggest 2400 babies were born in Stafford

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last year. That is more than were born in either Redditch. At the

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moment 2500 births is considered enough. Ideally, a lot more,

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thousands more because the whole direction of travel is towards

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consultant obstetricians. Fully qualified obstetricians on the floor

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of the delivery suite, as many hours a day as possible. This woman is

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worried about the travel risks. A former intensive care nurse who

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needs oxygen, she is meeting with trust administrators next week. I am

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beyond surprised, I am indignant with rage. Having asked the

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professor had he done any risk assessments to find out he actually

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hadn't. This person has a particular model of risk assessment. We have

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done a far more robust risk assessment. Campaigners are planning

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another march a week on Saturday. We are very there —— very nearly there.

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I think we're in a different position. With the administrators

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trying to sort out an effective and sound health care, the public

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mauling is over. Coming up later in the programme:

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School's back, but not for some. We meet the children still waiting for

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the builders to finish. A former IRA commander turned

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politician has offered his sympathy to the families of those killed in

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the Birmingham pub bombings nearly 40 years ago. Martin McGuinness said

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"his heart goes out" to campaigners calling for justice for the 21

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victims. He was visiting England to give a lecture on peace and

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reconciliation. But protestors say, until he names the men who bombed

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Birmingham, his hands are stained with blood. Giles Latcham reports.

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Dignified but determined, a gathering outside a peace Centre in

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Warrington last night set up in memory of two boys killed by the

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IRA. The focus of their anger, a man who once lived by the bomb and the

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bullet. The reception I received your was exceptional. Martin

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McGuinness had been invited to give a lecture. The brother of the

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18—year—old victim of the Birmingham pub bombings says it is immoral. If

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he wants to lord it on the stage, he should be begging for forgiveness.

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He should be giving out the names of perpetrators. Martin McGuinness was

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a senior IRA figure when two IRA bombs exploded in Birmingham in

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1974. In the carnage 21 people died, among them Maxine Hambleton, at 18

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the youngest of the victims. Six men were jailed, but there are

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convictions were subsequently quashed. What did he have to say to

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the protesters outside? I will be the last to criticise them, my heart

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goes out to all the victims of the conflict. What we have to do is

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continue with our work so that we can continue to move away from

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conflict and move forward. This woman was so badly injured that

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night that a priest read her rights. In recent years, she has met former

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IRA men as part of a reconciliation project. She understands the call

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for justice — but the desire too to move on. We have got to talk,

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violence will not get us anywhere. Midlands police are assessing

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whether a new investigation is viable.

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Plans for a new £27 million hospital for Shropshire have been scrapped.

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The Shropshire Community Health Trust has already bought the land

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for the proposed new hospital in Ludlow — but now says it can't

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afford the running costs. A teenager's appeared in court

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charged with the murder of a Birmingham college student

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16—year—old Azim Azam from Billesley was stabbed near a bus stop in

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Moseley on Monday. This morning a 17—year—old from Kings Heath, who

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can't be named because of his age, was remanded in custody and will

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appear in court again next week. The UK Independence Party leader

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Nigel Farage has denied claims by a West Midlands Member of the European

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Parliament that his leadership style is "totalitarian". Mike Nattrass

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resigned from UKIP last week after failing to get on the list of

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candidates to fight next year's European elections. He described

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those who'd been selected as 'cronies' of the leader. But, on the

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eve of his party conference in London, Mr Farage dismissed

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allegations he interferes with candidate selection. It is

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balderdash. When I stood to be the leader of UKIP for the second time I

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said I was not greeted with I had done before. I would rather lead the

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party politically and not manage it or run it on a daily basis. I have

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accented myself totally from the procedure. I have had nothing to do

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with it. And you can see that interview in full on this weekend's

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Sunday Politics, now back in its regular morning slot of 11am here on

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BBC One. And there'll also be an interview with the Labour Leader Ed

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Miliband. The man in charge of Britain's

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railways said today there's no alternative to building the

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controversial 40 billion pound high speed rail line. Network Rail Chief

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Executive, David Higgins, says HS2 is the only realistic option to

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increase capacity on our congested rail system.

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Higher speeds, more capacity and economic growth — that's the promise

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from high speed rail and today saw another major conference — this time

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designed to transform the way people think about the project. Amongst the

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hard hitters invited to speak — the head of Network Rail who maintains

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that UK plc simply can't do without High Speed Rail. We are pushing an

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existing infrastructure well beyond what it was ever designed for. We

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have got freight trains, commuter trains, high—speed, all winning it

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out. We will create jobs and opportunities.

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Today's conference follows the launch of a major government

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campaign highlighting the growth potential of the HS2. One of the

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leading supporters of the project it's time to big up the benefits all

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over again. What if you or a motorist? It gets lorries off roads.

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What if you are a commuter? It frees up capacity for more services and

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more seats. There are an awful lot of benefits that have not been

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grasped. The conference has been taking place just yards from one of

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the proposed HS2 stations. It has been taking place at a time when

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there has been a summer of negative stories about the project, and some

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are questioning whether it will ever happen. At the end of June the

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Department for Transport increased it's estimate of the cost of HS2

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from 33 to more than £42 billion. Then in August the Institute of

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Economic Affairs said the cost could be as high as 80 billion. Later in

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the month the Institute of Directors describe the project as "one grand

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folly" then earlier this month the Public Accounts Committee said the

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Government had "not yet presented a convincing strategic case" for HS2.

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This summer, the number of people who have started to agree with what

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we have been saying all along for three and a half years has reached

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enormous levels. It is time for the government to stop and think again.

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But that seems unlikely. A special bill designed to clear the way for

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HS2 is expected to be debated in parliament at the end of this year.

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And Peter joins us now from a site close to HS2 in the centre of

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Birmingham. Where do we go next for this scheme? There is still a long

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way to go. Public consultations, two are underway at the moment. One of

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them has had to be rerun as the result of a judicial review. Phase

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two is underway, that is due to end in January next year. Phase two

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goals from the West Midlands to Manchester. We have got a hybrid

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build due to begin at the end of the year. And with the Parliamentary

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Bill finally give the go—ahead for HS2? It should do. But there is no

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public enquiry into HS2. The hybrid build process completely replaces

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that. But of the public want to have a say they can petition Parliament.

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There will be scrutiny by various committees in both houses, it all

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takes time. Royal assent for the hybrid bid is due in 2015. We have a

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general election in May, so that'll have to happen otherwise the scheme

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could be delayed. Thank you. Our top story tonight: Hospitals

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across the region in special measures to get help from staff

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working in successful medical centres.

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Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly from Shefali. Also in

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tonight's programme: Why this Olympic medal winning gymnast

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believes getting more youngsters into the sport is his real success.

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And the theatre company that's heading for the hills in Shropshire

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for a unique performance. Pupils at a primary school in the

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Black Country still haven't been allowed to start the new term

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because of delays to building work. Contractors at Brandhall Primary in

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Oldbury have been working on upgrading the school's heating

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system and removing asbestos. But the work's overrun and for parents

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the extra childcare costs are mounting up.

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Half past eight in the morning, and the school run would usually be a

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hive of activity. Ready to go back to school? But at Brandhall Primary

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in Oldbury, just the reception and year six pupils trickle through the

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gates. The school is still closed until Monday due to building work

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overrunning. Nobody knows the ins and outs, especially as parents. We

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have been kept in the dark. I feel for parents to have to take more

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time off work to subsidise the school. They have been standing

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about, they have not kept up to the schedule. Pupils in Year one to Year

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five are two weeks late returning for the new term. A total of 280

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children have been affected. It's also been a huge inconvenience to

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parents having to find and fund extra childcare. Sarah Bradley has

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recently moved and was aiming to start redecorating. Her plans have

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been scuppered because her daughter has to stay at home. I haven't had a

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home work plan at all. We have had to go out and buy things for her to

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learn. It is really awkward her being at home. Instead of school.

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Parents are now being reassured the school gates will be open for every

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pupil this coming Monday morning. Parents will not be compensated. I

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am a parent myself and I would be angry if my children could not go

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back to school on time. Parents are now being reassured the school gates

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will be opened this coming Monday morning.

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Sport now and winning Olympic medals in London last year made stars of

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Britain's male gymnasts. The team were invited to Buckingham Palace

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and Louis Smith went on to win Strictly Come Dancing. But the

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euphoria didn't last long for Wolverhampton's Kristian Thomas

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who's faced a tough battle to overcome injury in time for a shot

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at the world title. Nick Clitheroe reports from Shropshire.

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It's only when you get this close to world class gymnasts that you

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realise the combination of grace and power required to reach the top of

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the sport. That only comes with hours of hard work in the gym at

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Lilleshall's National Sports Centre. But Kristian Thomas is relishing

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being back in training because his post—Olympic year has been disrupted

:20:51.:20:59.

by a broken leg and a broken heel. I suppose there is two ways that you

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can look at it. You can get a bit down in the dumps and not do much

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for a few months or do what I did and say I can't use my leg that I

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can use my upper body. I can progress on other skills and other

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apparat is. They call Kristian the rock of the British team. It was his

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job to keep his nerve in London when the pressure was on and guide the

:21:23.:21:26.

team to that medal. His temperament is exceptional and he is very good

:21:26.:21:33.

under pressure. You will always get 100% from him. And the admiration of

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his team—mates has carried over to the wider public. More than a year

:21:37.:21:41.

on people are still stopping him to offer their congratulations. Even

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when I go to my local gymnasium, I still have parents come up to me and

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say their children have gotten into the sport. It is really special.

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Kristian and his team—mates are off to the World Championships in

:21:59.:22:01.

Belgium later this month. Next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

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is another major target. It's hard work in the gym today that will pay

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off in those competitions. Amazing courage to come back from a

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broken leg and a broken wrist. I always feel the same with

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footballers. Let's talk about the glorious Shropshire countryside. The

:22:29.:22:37.

experiences of women who live and work in the county's hill country

:22:37.:22:41.

are bring brought to life in a unique way. Poetry and theatre are

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being combined with one of my favourite pastimes, a brisk walk in

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the rolling hills. Our arts reporter Satnam Rana put on her walking boots

:22:47.:22:50.

to find out more. Stunning views of the Shropshire

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Hills in Stiperstones, an area of outstanding natural beauty and now

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the setting for In This Place. Cotton grasses, sphagnum mosses. I

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think it has given me more satisfaction than anything in my

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life. It's a piece of audio theatre recounting the stories of 20 women

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who are connected to the landscape, and you experience through

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headphones. We didn't even have to speak. It was like we had found a

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playground. You feel this rising feeling in your chest. It is like

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being children. We really wanted to find a way of celebrating and

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interrogating the role that women have in shaping the local landscape.

:23:30.:23:35.

We didn't want this material to sit in archives. The idea came that we

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could find a creative response to it and do it as a walk were people

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could experience the landscape for themselves. The project has been

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developed out of oral histories captured by a local archivist.

:23:47.:23:50.

Amongst the contributors, Fiona, who works for the Wildlife Trust. It is

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such a precious thing and a special thing to me. It is lovely to share

:23:56.:24:00.

it with other people and to tell them about these experiences and

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hope that they are going to get something out of it and have some of

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these experiences themselves. The hour long walk also incorporates

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visual art by local sculptur Sophia Clist. She has made a visual arts

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trail, she has cast a mould of her own hands out of compost,

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biodegradable, which represents women having a tactile relationship

:24:25.:24:30.

with the Earth. Countryside and land has been part of what people have

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been doing since the beginning, working their way across it to get

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somewhere. From Nipstone Quick through expansive fields and hidden

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woodland this is a unique theatrical experience. There is something quite

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Zen like about listening to the stories. Put them next to this

:24:47.:24:55.

beautiful, rough, raw landscape, and this is theatre and nature working

:24:55.:25:04.

together. The beautiful Shropshire hills. Fabulous, it looks quite

:25:04.:25:11.

nice. Stand—by for some even better news on weather front. There is good

:25:11.:25:18.

news for the weekend. The sunshine burst forth eventually today, which

:25:18.:25:22.

made a world of difference. Sunshine is going to be key to us getting the

:25:22.:25:27.

weekend we want. Now that today is out of the way, we have got this

:25:27.:25:31.

ridge of high pressure building, getting into a fully fledged area of

:25:31.:25:35.

high pressure over the weekend, giving a scam, settled conditions

:25:35.:25:44.

but also a lot of cloud. It will be warmer if the sunshine breaks

:25:44.:25:51.

through, more likely on Sunday the further east you are. This evening,

:25:51.:25:56.

we have got that Sun across, drier conditions as well. Starry skies,

:25:56.:26:06.

temperatures will drop. Down to about seven Celsius. You can see

:26:06.:26:10.

this bank of clouds starting to filter in from the North, holding

:26:10.:26:18.

temperatures at around ten or 11 Celsius. Tomorrow we have got much

:26:18.:26:25.

calmer conditions, that will peck temperatures back to perhaps only 17

:26:25.:26:29.

or 18 Celsius in the south of the region. Not particularly impressive,

:26:29.:26:35.

but at least it will be dry tomorrow and we will see some brightness by

:26:35.:26:39.

the afternoon. Moving on to tomorrow evening, again we have got some

:26:39.:26:45.

cloud which will hold temperatures up to nine or 10 Celsius tomorrow

:26:45.:26:52.

night. It is a largely dry picture. As we head into the weekend, it is

:26:52.:26:58.

Saturday that is going to be fairly cloudy. Sunday is probably the

:26:58.:27:01.

sunniest day. Temperatures on Saturday, 17 to 19 Celsius, average

:27:02.:27:09.

for the time of year. If the sun pops through, temperatures will rise

:27:09.:27:16.

to 20 or 21 Celsius. It will be warm into the start of next week as well.

:27:16.:27:20.

Thank you. Let's recap tonight's top stories: A

:27:20.:27:23.

crackdown is ordered on pension schemes that offer poor value to

:27:23.:27:25.

millions of savers. And NHS managers from Birmingham are

:27:25.:27:28.

parachuted in to help struggling hospitals in the region. We'll be

:27:28.:27:33.

back at 10pm with more about why staff at the Queen Elizabeth

:27:33.:27:36.

Hospital in Birmingham are being sent to help raise standards at

:27:36.:27:39.

hospitals in Nuneaton and Burton—on Trent. Have a great evening.

:27:39.:27:40.

Goodbye.

:27:40.:27:45.

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