10/10/2013 Midlands Today


10/10/2013

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Welcome to Midlands Today. Stopping forced marriages. Police officers

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are given specialist training. It has highlighted some of the issues

:00:16.:00:24.

around forced marriages. We hear from a former victim who tell us not

:00:24.:00:30.

enough is being done. Also, following the death of Daniel

:00:30.:00:36.

Pelka, a senior judges appointed as special adviser to Coventry City

:00:36.:00:42.

Council. This is a critical friend of a huge amount of experience with

:00:42.:00:48.

all things judicial to do with children.

:00:48.:00:53.

The redevelopment of Birmingham Children's Hospital mental health

:00:53.:00:55.

unit. And the after—school club where they

:00:55.:01:00.

are building an aeroplane. And the weather. There are warnings

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for torrential downpours in the East. Join me

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Good evening. Police officers based at Birmingham Airport are being

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given specialist training to try and spot young people who're being flown

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abroad to be forced into marriage. Last year there were almost 1,500

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known cases of forced marriage in the UK, though the real figure is

:01:33.:01:37.

thought to be much higher. 16% of those cases took place here in the

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West Midlands. And a third of them involved people under the age of 16.

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But tonight, a former victim of forced marriage who now works to

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support young people is alleging that some Asian police officers are

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unwilling to tackle the problem. Our special correspondent Peter Wilson

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has this exclusive report. Birmingham Airport — gateway to the

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rest of the world, but for some, the journey is a nightmare leading to a

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forced marriage. Outside of London, the West Midlands has the highest

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number of such cases in the country. The main terminal at Birmingham

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Airport is the last opportunity for the police to intervene. In some

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cases, females have even hidden metal objects in their clothing

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knowing that security staff would stop them and prevent them from

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leaving the country. Arranged marriages are part of many cultures

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and acceptable when choice is involved. But a forced marriage

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means emotional duress and often violence. West Midlands Police

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officers at the airport are now being trained to help intervene,

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even at the last moment. It is really highlighting some of the

:02:46.:02:50.

issues around forced marriage that the officers were not aware of

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before. It has given them extra information so that they can look

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out for from rubble people and provide assistance to protect them

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—— vulnerable people. Kelly Kaur knows all about forced marriage. At

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15, she was expected to marry a man from India. She ran away from her

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home in Walsall. You have mixed feelings. You are a bit scared, and

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at the same time, you do not want to hurt your parents. She now runs a

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project helping to support young people, but claims not all police

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officers want to help. When you have got your own community working in

:03:26.:03:29.

the police force who do not agree with what we are doing... You are

:03:29.:03:34.

saying some Asian police officers are reluctant to get involved? Some

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will help but a majority of them really think that it should not be

:03:40.:03:44.

happening because it is a tradition, a cultural thing. They

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think you should just go ahead and get married. There was a lot of

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violence, domestic abuse. Back at the airport, the police training is

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provided by Karma Nirvana, a charity set up to confront issues about

:03:59.:04:05.

forced marriages. A father holding a gun at the back of his daughter's

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head who did not agree to a marriage. That can be the

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consequence, death. It can be quite extreme. To intervene in any

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domestic situation takes courage and training. Next year, the Government

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will make forced marriages a criminal offence.

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Joining me now is Superintendent Clare Cowley. Good evening. 1,500

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known cases. Any idea of the true figures of forced marriages? That is

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really hard to quantify. We know that one in six of the national

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numbers take place within the West Midlands but we know from partners

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who receive significant numbers of calls over and above that so we

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believe the problem is more widespread. We heard from Kelly Kaur

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who believes that the majority of Asian officers are unwilling to get

:04:59.:05:04.

involved in intervention. How seriously will take that

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allegation? I would be very concerned not taking allegations ——

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very concerned by an officer not taking these allegations seriously.

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The work we are doing that has led to the training of the airport

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officers has been about making sure front line officers are fully

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informed of the latest position, of the risks, even perhaps ones that

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they may not have been thinking about. Clearly, if any victim of

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honour —based violence or forced marriage does not feel that they are

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being taken seriously, talk to police but also ask partners like

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the charity in the report and they will help. Arranged marriages are

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perfectly acceptable in many cultures though. There is a world of

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difference. The key is how willingly the individual is going into the

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marriage. A very delicate issue. How confident are you that the training

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is appropriate and will take effect? It is something we need to

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constantly reinforce. This is a four—month also operation to raise

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awareness in a range of areas of vulnerability including domestic

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abuse, making sure we constantly revisit the messages with our staff

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so that they understand the risks. And if you have any concerns about

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forced marriage, there's more information and contact details for

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the charities featured on our Facebook page.

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Coming up later in the programme: The 56—year—old who's been told he

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has to move from his lifelong home because the council needs the space.

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The council that was heavily criticised for failings which led to

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the death of Daniel Pelka has appointed a retired High Court judge

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as a special advisor on child protection issues. Four—year—old

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Daniel was murdered by his mother and her partner in March of last

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year. Sarah Falkland has been following events for us. Sarah, tell

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us more about the council appointing this judge. His name is Donald

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Hamilton and he will be starting his first day tomorrow morning. He is a

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retired High Court judge with years of experience of family matters and

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family law. He is coming as a special adviser particularly to the

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council leader who says he is coming at a modest cost and he is confident

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his contribution will be invaluable. He is here as a critical

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friend with a huge amount of experience in all things judicial,

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to do with children, adoption. He will be for me I am sure a very

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sensible and safe sounding board. He will have authority to go anywhere

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and ask any questions. What else was agreed at the special meeting? They

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agreed to push the government to set up a particular Commons select

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committee looking at safeguarding children. They want there to be more

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national debate. They will be writing to all of the city's MPs

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involved tomorrow. They are also changing the make—up of the

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safeguarding board to include two members. There were a few protests

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outside today. What point where they meeting? There were several groups.

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Prevent Child Abuse said the protest up. They are linked to another group

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called Justice for Daniel. These are ordinary people from all around the

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country who want to make their voice known about what happened to Daniel.

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One woman from Hampshire said she cried for a fortnight after reading

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about what happened to Daniel. The woman who set up Prevent Child Abuse

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says she wants a change in the law so that parents, when they say that

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their children are ill or underweight, they are not believed.

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If a child has an illness, the parents need to prove it, either by

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a letter from the GP or hospital. It would stop it ever happening again.

:09:23.:09:28.

One woman who trained social workers said that it would make a real

:09:28.:09:34.

difference if social workers were allowed to way children. They have

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to get a health visitor in at the moment. With all of these horrible

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cases, what is central is that they lose weight dramatically.

:09:43.:09:52.

Plans have been unveiled for a £9 million redevelopment of Birmingham

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Children's hospital's mental health unit. It's the only NHS inpatient

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unit for children in the Midlands and one of the largest in the UK.

:09:57.:10:01.

Bob Hockenhull has been finding out why the new facilities are needed.

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Sophie Flanagan is 11 and knows what it's like to have mental health

:10:04.:10:20.

problems. I was depressed and not eating because I had problems at

:10:20.:10:23.

home with my family. Sophie spent several months being treated by

:10:23.:10:28.

Birmingham Children's Hospital. We used to go into town and sit in the

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park and talk. Sophie's problems aren't uncommon. The charity Young

:10:32.:10:35.

Minds says there's been a 68% increase in young self—harmers being

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admitted to hospital in the last ten years. When you ask a ten or

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11—year—old years ago, they never had a care in the world. Now there

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is so much responsibility and pressure on them, it has changed an

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awful lot. Mental health is becoming more common. With demand for

:10:56.:10:58.

treatment increasing, plans were unveiled today to rejuvenate mental

:10:59.:11:01.

health services for the young. Existing facilities at Parkview

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Clinic in Moseley will be expanded, providing a better healing

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environment and more en suite bedrooms for patients from across

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the region. Mental health is such an important park of what we do at the

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Children's Hospital. We absolutely need to invest in it if the same way

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we would if it was a cancer centre or a heart centre. The patients have

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said that they hate long corridors and bland colours. The new centre

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will have vibrant social areas and bright colours. It'll be four years

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before the revamp is complete. In the meantime, the hospital's

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increasing its home visiting team so youngsters like Sophie get the

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support they need. A knife amnesty will be held in Birmingham following

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a series of recent stabbings. The police Commissioner announced this

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following talks earlier today. Five people were stabbed to death in

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Birmingham in the last six months. A 19th century Birmingham church

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destroyed by a fire has been removed from the English Heritage At Risk

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Register. St Barnabas Church in Erdington was left in ruins after it

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was burnt down by arsonists six years ago. Meanwhile, Coventry's

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14th—century charterhouse has been added to the register. The grade—one

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listed former monastery has been empty for several years, but plans

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are under way for a major restoration.

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Colin Davies has lived in the same council house all of his life. But

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after 56 years and the death of his mother, he's now been told he must

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leave because Dudley Council say they need it for a larger family.

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Friends and neighbours say that he should be able stay in the three—bed

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property he's always called home. We'll have some of your thoughts in

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a moment, but first here's Giles Latcham.

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It's the only home he's known and Colin Davis isn't going without a

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fight. This is where I live now and this is where I was born. In this

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three—bedroom terrace, he was raised with his two brothers and here he

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nursed his mother Edith until her death in July. Her name was on the

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council tenancy and now she's gone the council says he has no right to

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remain. To me, I die here. Why should I go out of the area, to

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think I have all of my family close, the neighbours are wonderful. I know

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everyone. They are all with me. And they were with him outside Dudley

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Council House today along with members of UKIP protesting on

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Colin's behalf. The council though is not for turning. It is always sad

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when someone's mother or parent dies. Currently, Mr Davies is under

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occupying a three—bedroom house that we desperately need for families

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with children. There are 6,000 people on Dudley's housing list. In

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Wolverhampton, 8,800. In Birmingham, 27,000. The estimate for the whole

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of the West Midlands, 79,000. In anyone's language, a huge backlog.

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Ultimately, you cannot have a three—bedroom property being used by

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one person when you have a family down the road who have four or five

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children crammed into two bedrooms. It is difficult but it is the right

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decision and fell on taxpayers, the people playing. The council tells me

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there are thousands of families looking for properties. This is not

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about statistics and number crunching. This is about simple

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humanity and decency. But unless he can convince the council he's an

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exceptional case, Colin will soon be forced to quit the home he loves.

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This has got you talking on our Facebook page. Louise said, although

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it is unfortunate, I tend to agree with the council, they must make the

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most of the housing they have to suit the people they have requiring

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it, even if it means moving people around. Her view is echoed by Carl

:14:58.:15:02.

James. He says, if he only rents and doesn't own, he should move on and

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allow a larger family in there. He can always privately rent a

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three—bed house if that's what he wants. But Geoff Paddock says, his

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house is his home, we should have enough housing stock available that

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old timers can live their lives as they wish. Thank you very much

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indeed for all of your comments. This is our top story tonight:

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Stopping forced marriages — officers at Birmingham Airport given

:15:28.:15:30.

specialist training to spot young people travelling against their

:15:30.:15:32.

will. And the unusual after—school club

:15:32.:15:35.

that's about building more than just confidence. The detailed weather

:15:35.:15:49.

report is also to come shortly. Also in tonight's programme: Back in the

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Midlands and here in the Mailbox, we're chatting to Speedway World

:15:53.:15:57.

Champ Tai Woffinden. Bee populations across the world are

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in trouble and here in the UK numbers have crashed. One reason

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might be disease and for the first time, scientists at the University

:16:04.:16:07.

of Warwick have built a computer model of an outbreak of one very

:16:07.:16:10.

nasty bee disease called American foulbrood. It could be vital in

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helping ensuring our bees have a brighter future. Our science

:16:14.:16:16.

correspondent David Gregory—Kumar is here. David, what is foulbrood?

:16:16.:16:23.

Well, it comes in two varieties — American and European foulbrood. It

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causes very nasty problems for the larvae, the young bees, killing off

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entire colonies. This is an infected hive. Inside these cells, the bee

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larvae is dead, but there are millions of foulbrood spores ready

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to spread the disease further. Stopping these spores spreading

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means burning the entire infected hive. So what the researchers set

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out to do is model how this disease behaves and spreads. We are trying

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to use the data we have showing when and where the disease was spotted to

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work out how the disease is spreading and how it is getting from

:16:59.:17:04.

place to place. Once you understand the methods of transmission, you

:17:04.:17:11.

have a better idea of can —— control strategies that will be effective to

:17:11.:17:19.

diminish the size of the epidemic. It may look a bit basic, but this is

:17:19.:17:23.

the real research. It's based on data from an actual outbreak on

:17:23.:17:26.

Jersey, but this a simulation. These dots are hives and these lines are

:17:26.:17:30.

beekeepers moving between them. This model shows the two most important

:17:30.:17:33.

factors in the spread of the disease — how close the hives are and the

:17:33.:17:37.

beekeepers because the beekeepers can spread the disease as they move

:17:37.:17:43.

around the island. The model shows that what the Government and

:17:43.:17:46.

beekeepers actually did in the real world was the right thing to do. But

:17:46.:17:49.

the scientists say confirming what we already know is a useful result.

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It is always nice if you can have something that says, we should have

:17:56.:18:00.

done this. But from a practical point of view, it is very reassuring

:18:00.:18:04.

to know that what was done was the correct thing. It leads to more

:18:04.:18:09.

confidence in the industry and the ability of them to control things.

:18:09.:18:15.

This is 20 years of data on outbreaks of foulbrood on the

:18:15.:18:19.

mainland. And now the team at Warwick have the maths to understand

:18:19.:18:22.

what happened on Jersey scientists can use the same tools to get to

:18:22.:18:26.

grips with this and other bee diseases. All of which is good news

:18:26.:18:29.

for bees, farmers and those of us who like honey.

:18:29.:18:36.

Indeed it is. Interesting stuff. Hundreds of homeless people from

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across Britain have been taking part in a football tournament in

:18:40.:18:43.

Birmingham with a bit of help from England's most capped player. Peter

:18:43.:18:46.

Shilton made 125 appearances for his country, but this afternoon, he was

:18:46.:18:49.

inspiring footballers who are using the game to help rebuild their

:18:49.:18:53.

lives. Nick Clitheroe reports. From every corner of the land, they

:18:53.:18:56.

had come to the shadow of Spaghetti Junction. Men young and old, women

:18:57.:19:03.

too, who've all found themselves homeless and in need of a fresh

:19:03.:19:06.

start in life. People like Shaun who spent 17 years as a heroin addict

:19:06.:19:10.

but has been clean for more than a decade thanks to the Salvation

:19:10.:19:13.

Army's Vale Street Lifehouse in Stoke on Trent. I owe a lot to them

:19:13.:19:20.

because otherwise I would still be on the streets. Obviously, whenever

:19:20.:19:26.

I have a chance to give anything back, I will do. Stewart was a

:19:26.:19:29.

professional footballer back home in Zimbabwe, but never made it beyond

:19:29.:19:32.

non—league in England. Now he lives at the Harnall Lifehouse in

:19:32.:19:37.

Coventry. It means a lot. I cannot even put the words... It means a

:19:37.:19:43.

lot. It changes a human being's life. The lifehouses are not just

:19:44.:19:48.

about a roof over their heads and food. They also give residents the

:19:48.:19:51.

chance to learn skills or get qualifications. But one of the

:19:51.:19:54.

biggest problems they face after time on the streets is a lack of

:19:54.:19:57.

self—confidence. That's why Peter Shilton, England's most capped

:19:57.:20:00.

goalkeeper, was on hand to give them a penalty shoot out masterclass with

:20:00.:20:04.

belief as one of his key lessons. Confidence in life is about

:20:04.:20:06.

achieving by trying to better yourself and having a goal to work

:20:06.:20:11.

for. People who have problems have lost sight of that. They feel

:20:11.:20:15.

sometimes that there is nothing to work for. Sport gives you that.

:20:15.:20:19.

There was no fairy tale ending as the teams from Coventry and Stoke

:20:19.:20:22.

both went out in the quarterfinals. Instead, the trophy headed down the

:20:22.:20:30.

M5 to Bristol. Congratulations to the Dudley

:20:30.:20:32.

Heathens who won their first national league speedway title last

:20:32.:20:36.

night. They beat Kings Lynn 47—46 in Norfolk to take the grand final

:20:36.:20:39.

100—86 on aggregate. But they're not the only Midlands speedway winners

:20:39.:20:47.

this week. Dan Pallett's with the new world champion Tai Woffinden

:20:47.:20:50.

who's back home after winning the title in Poland. Tai Woffinden,

:20:50.:21:01.

world champion. Are you getting used to that? It has been pretty crazy.

:21:01.:21:08.

Doing a lot of press stuff. I was in the hotel and someone said, I was

:21:08.:21:12.

watching you on TV this morning. Really looking forward to the rest

:21:12.:21:18.

of it. The question I keep getting asked is, how is your collarbone?

:21:18.:21:22.

You have broken it twice and you road with it broken in the last

:21:22.:21:28.

Grand Prix. When your adrenaline gets going, it helps. I just raced

:21:28.:21:33.

through it and dug deep and it paid off. Tell us about some of the

:21:33.:21:38.

sacrifices you and your family had to make. We came out in 2006 and the

:21:38.:21:47.

first three years we were in a caravan. My parents have given up a

:21:47.:21:52.

lot to give me a shot at it and to finally win it is an awesome

:21:52.:21:56.

feeling. It means a lot to your mum because of losing your dad three

:21:56.:22:01.

years ago to cancer. Definitely. I would have loved him to be here but

:22:02.:22:06.

that is life. I am sure he is watching from up there. You are the

:22:06.:22:11.

youngest ever world champion at 23. Have you got fire in your belly to

:22:11.:22:18.

go on and do more? I have won it once and I want to repeated as many

:22:18.:22:25.

times as I can. A few more meetings in England and when that is done, I

:22:25.:22:31.

will worry about my collarbone then. One of those meetings is in

:22:31.:22:36.

Wolverhampton a week Tuesday. It is going to be a good meeting. We will

:22:36.:22:41.

go out there and have a bit of fun and celebrate with the fans. Not

:22:41.:22:46.

everyday you get to see a world champion in action, a week on in

:22:46.:22:52.

Wolverhampton, you can see Tai Woffinden, world champion.

:22:52.:23:05.

If we say after—school club, you'll probably think of chess or maybe a

:23:05.:23:09.

sport. How about building one of these? Pupils from a school in the

:23:09.:23:13.

Black Country have been set the task of building a Boeing aeroplane as

:23:13.:23:16.

part of an aviation challenge. But the skies of Wolverhampton won't be

:23:16.:23:19.

seeing a jumbo jet taking—off anytime soon. Instead, teenagers at

:23:19.:23:22.

the city's North East Academy are constructing a much smaller model

:23:22.:23:25.

from a kit worth £50,000. Laura May McMullen reports.

:23:25.:23:30.

It is not every day you get to build a plane, an actual two seater light

:23:30.:23:34.

aircraft that will eventually take to the skies. But that is exactly

:23:34.:23:40.

what pupils from this school have got the chance to do. Being involved

:23:40.:23:47.

in this project is one of the best things that could ever happen to a

:23:47.:23:51.

young student like me. It is going to make me look like I have tried to

:23:51.:23:57.

get out there and prove myself. You get to have more experience about

:23:57.:24:02.

how to build an aeroplane. Also, I want to be an aeroplane designer so

:24:02.:24:07.

I can get more experience. It improves communication skills and

:24:08.:24:10.

helps you work together as a team. It will help in work life because

:24:10.:24:15.

you need those skills. The school is one of six in the country who won

:24:15.:24:20.

the competition from Boeing to get real hands—on experience. It is to

:24:20.:24:26.

inspire and encourage the next generation of engineers. The country

:24:26.:24:32.

is crying out for more engineers so the whole idea is that these young

:24:32.:24:36.

people get interested in it and look to develop the skills. We have had a

:24:36.:24:44.

couple of students going from the project getting jobs. It has been

:24:44.:24:49.

really successful. The aim of the project is to reach around 2000

:24:49.:24:53.

young people and it is hoped in the next 18 months these pupils will be

:24:53.:24:57.

able to fasten their seat belts ready for take—off. Then there is

:24:57.:25:02.

just the small matter of finding a pilot.

:25:02.:25:10.

Looks like they will have plenty of volunteers for that! A definite

:25:10.:25:11.

change in the air today. There is speculation of warmth

:25:11.:25:22.

returning by the end of the month. But that is not likely this week. We

:25:22.:25:29.

were lucky to get the high pressure and dry conditions with today. Over

:25:29.:25:35.

the weekend, we will be contending with cold and strong winds and rain

:25:35.:25:39.

at times. We are hoping we will not get as much rain as the south—east.

:25:39.:25:43.

There will be torrential downpours there. Anywhere that is on the cusp

:25:43.:25:49.

of that, parts of Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, they could get a

:25:49.:25:57.

knock—on effect. To be honest, the amounts will be small. This evening,

:25:57.:26:01.

we start with clear skies across the region. The winds will ease and

:26:01.:26:06.

temperatures will plummet. In rural parts particularly. With the lighter

:26:06.:26:12.

winds, I think we could see a touch of ground frost. Later on, the cloud

:26:12.:26:18.

will come in from the north—east, introducing rain macro. The winds

:26:18.:26:21.

will pick up again from the north—east through the morning and

:26:21.:26:25.

perhaps draw in and take some of the rain to the west of the region. It

:26:25.:26:30.

will start all and very damp. Compared to today, it will be dollar

:26:30.:26:35.

through the day and the region. The rain will die a way through the

:26:35.:26:41.

afternoon —— it will be dull. Temperatures slightly higher, Nero

:26:41.:26:47.

to normal for the time of year. The winds will temper the value.

:26:47.:26:53.

Tomorrow evening, it bears all the hallmarks to tonight except for the

:26:53.:26:58.

clear skies to begin with. Because of that, temperatures may be

:26:58.:27:06.

slightly higher. Again, you see the rain affecting eastern fringes. As

:27:06.:27:10.

advertised, the weekend, it is looking cold, breezy, dry but the

:27:10.:27:16.

possibility of rain for the south—east to begin with and then

:27:16.:27:20.

the north—west on Sunday. The headlines: The weather is

:27:20.:27:30.

turning cold and we face higher energy costs.

:27:30.:27:33.

Officers at Birmingham Airport get specialist training to spot young

:27:33.:27:39.

people being forced into marriage. I will be back later with more on

:27:39.:27:46.

the specialist adviser being appointed to Coventry City Council

:27:46.:27:47.

following

:27:47.:27:47.

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