23/10/2013 Midlands Today


The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 23/10/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: Police


officers from Warwickshire, West Mercia and the West Midlands on the


rack before MPs over the plebgate affair. Can I say that we have found


your evidence most unsatisfactory? We'll be live in Westminster trying


to get to the bottom of this extraordinary affair all because of


a four letter word. A medical breakthrough as a patient


here becomes the first in the world to undergo pioneering new treatment


for prostate cancer. This is a wonderful opportunity for Birmingham


University, the hospital here and for our prostate cancer patients.


A species at risk ` how 25,000 eels have been released into the River


Teme in Shropshire. A day at work Chloe will never


forget as a top rapper turns up to say well done.


And battered by the rain and winds then soothed by the sun. Whatever


next? Find out later. Good evening. There were more twists


and turns in the so`called plebgate affair today. It may have started


with Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell's ill`tempered comments to


police officers in Downing Street. But it's now become a major issue,


pitting police against politicians. There were apologies for Mr Mitchell


as chief constables from the forces and officers from three of our


forces, West Midlands, West Mercia and Warwickshire, faced tough


questions this afternoon. We'll be going live to Westminster in just a


moment, but first, Giles Latcham on the background to the story and


today's developments. Happy birthday, plebgate. Yes, it's


over a year now since an MP tried to wheel his bike out of Downing


Street, police officers told him to use the side gate. They say he


called them plebs, he says he didn't. What was or wasn't said that


night is the subject of another inquiry. At stake, public image and


reputation. Under questioning from NPs, it was the police on the back


foot. Has this damaged the reputation of the forces? The fact


that we are all here, we have to say, yes, it has had an impact. And


here's the police's problem. Three representatives of the coppers'


union, the Police Federation, from the West Midlands, Warwickshire and


West Mercia, telling reporters last October that Mr Mitchell had refused


to give them an account of what happened in Downing Street. It is


the fact that what the officers recorded at the time Mr Mitchell


says he did not say. Someone is not telling the truth. Unknown to them


Mr Mitchell had recorded that meeting and is heard clearly stating


that he swore but did not use the word "plebs". Those three officers


have since apologised for their conduct, an apology they came under


pressure today to extend to Mr Mitchell himself. I don't think I


can give an apology. I'd suggest you can pour spinning a yarn to the


press that afternoon to get someone out of high public office because


that is clearly what you were motivated to do. There was no


intention to mislead. I do not feel I lied about what went on in the


meeting. We may have said things that could be interpreted as being


misleading but we certainly did not intend to do that. We certainly did


not lie intentionally. A police report found there was no case for


misconduct charges against the officers. In the past hour, the


chief constable has revealed he has asked another force to review the


decision and he said he has offered Andrew Mitchell and unreserved


apology. Confusion on the streets and wariness prevail. I think it


might be a bit hard done by `` he might be. It all seems a bit


extreme. I do not understand what he said. Costing too much money. It


should have been sorted out straight, as soon as possible. The


man at the eye of the original storm, Andrew Mitchell is staying


quiet. Our political editor Patrick Burns


has been following events at Westminster. This has been a


desperate day for the police. That is possibly the one and only thing


on which all of the people in the very dramatic committee hearing


would agree on. A day in which three chief constables with varying


degrees of contrition apologised particularly to Andrew Mitchell. As


we have just heard, this is more than a year after the event itself.


Keith Vaz the chairman was obviously bemused about questioning all three


of them. If you are apologising, to paraphrase, why has it taken you so


long? I think it was the Chief Constable of West Murcia who


probably had the toughest grilling. He had to endure dear initial `` in


due at the initial suffering because his force conducted the initial


investigation into the meeting in Andrew Mitchell's constituency


office on the 12th of October of last year between Mr Mitchell


himself and three representatives of the Police Federation. The


investigating officer who gave evidence this afternoon, his


recommendation was that those individuals should be disciplined


RIBA should face a hearing `` or should face a hearing. The


Independent Police Complaints Commission up to it to gross


misconduct. The investigating officer was asked why the Chief


Constable had said they should not have any case to answer at all. He


said it was because of the floor in the decision`making process that he


now thought the whole issue should be referred via the Inspectorate of


Constabulary to another chief constable. That would add further


time and expense to the whole process. We will leave it there.


Thank you. Coming up later in the programme:


Bringing men together in the battle to beat loneliness ` a new role for


the humble shed. A Birmingham man has become the


first in the world to undergo a new gene therapy for prostate cancer. In


tests, the treatment developed from a cold virus has had startling


results in animals, completely eradicating the cancer. But


68`year`old Bernard Ward was the first human guinea pig. Our health


correspondent Michele Paduano was there to see him.


Meet Bernard, the first person to benefit from decades of research by


hundreds of scientists. But Bernard who has prostate cancer has more


immediate worries. As far as I am aware, this trial is virtually my


only option. You did not have any qualms about giving it a go? Not


when you have no choice. It is this all nothing. `` this or nothing. The


trial at this stage is just to test whether the treatment's safe. This


is a new organism, so the cold virus must be handled by chemists with


precision. But doctors are excited by what it might do. The protein


which stimulates the community came from our animal work. We saw amazing


results when the tumour just disappeared on mice who were


impregnated with cancer cells and treated with this virus which we are


trialling now. The treatment itself is straightforward. After mapping


out the prostate gland, a series of minute pinpoint injections are made


with the virus in an operation that takes just ten minutes. But how does


it fight the disease? The virus contains a gene which attracts the


body's own white blood cells to begin attacking the cancer. The


virus also carries an enzyme, a type of protein, which sits inside the


cancer cells themselves. After two days, the patient is put on a drip


containing a cancer`fighting drug. The drug only works when it reacts


with the enzyme killing the cancer cells. For the doctors at University


Hospital Birmingham who've lived this for 15 years, it's the


equivalent of the moon landings. This must be what it was like all of


those years ago in NASA control for the guys who had worked years on a


project like this, lots of minutiae in science. The Eagle has landed.


Bernard is the first of 20 patients who will be selected. After a couple


of hours, he could go home. As this is a trial, he is being kept in


isolation just in case, but this treatment is seen as less drastic


than other cancer treatments. I was given something beforehand. I don't


know. Now all the doctors can do is wait.


And Michele is here now. This really is a very exciting breakthrough. You


cannot call it a breakthrough yet. We do not know how human beings will


react to it. They may react in a different way to mice. It is seen as


a building block. There is a feeling that the idea of getting the immune


system to work against the cancer is the way forward. `` watches these


times a `` what is the timescale? 15 to 20 years before it gets into


general use. Something more important is going on. We have been


good in Birmingham doing trials for other people. This is a trial made


in Birmingham and it could have economic prospects for the future.


The Chinese are already interested in tie`ups with the University and


the hospital in Birmingham. It's been confirmed the badger cull


in Gloucestershire will be extended for a further eight weeks. Natural


England says it's granted a licence to resume the cull immediately to


try to curb the spread of TB in cattle. Only 30% of the badger


population were killed during the original six`week cull which ended


last week. A man has appeared before Cannock


magistrates charged with two counts of kidnap. It follows an incident at


a hotel in Stoke on Trent last Friday. Saleem Tahir was remanded in


custody until 11th November. The ambulance service in Shropshire


says it's struggling to reach some patients because of a lack of


resources. It's apologised after an elderly woman with dementia had to


wait for over an hour for a crew to arrive. Managers in charge of


funding say they're raising the problem at a national level.


MPs have handed in a petition calling for more network BBC radio


and television production to be returned to Birmingham. Campaigners


estimate the corporation's expenditure in the region is only a


tenth of the amount it receives from Midlands licence fee payers. The


petition was handed to David Jennings, the head of regional and


local programmes. 25,000 eels were released into the


River Teme at Ludlow today to boost numbers of the endangered species.


The idea is to move the eels upstream, past manmade blockages


like weirs. Work is also under way to make our rivers much more eel


friendly and to help them make their migration from our rivers the 5,000


kilometres to the Sargasso Sea. Our environment correspondent David


Gregory`Kumar reports. In the shadow of Ludlow Castle, the


first large`scale Il release in the Midlands. Only about one Il in every


box could survive `` the first large`scale release of eels. They


were donated by the fishermen enjoying a year like no other. The


river turned white with eels. It looked like Ras had covered the


River `` it looked like grass. These were some of the ones caught in the


River Severn. They will not go just to rivers in the Midlands, they will


go to rivers across Europe. The sex is determined by how many eels they


are. Putting these in should mean more breeding females. The magic of


bringing them from the estuaries all the way up to a spot like this, a


wonderful natural river, we hope we can create females in ten to 15


years time that will then swim back down the river in a wonderful wet


October night and make their way all of the way, all of the 4000 miles,


back to the Sargasso Sea. One of the big problems eels face, a rather


picturesque weir. The view is the view that painters have painted for


millennia. It is not very friendly for the eels? We are looking to put


in the fish pass and alongside that, on the eels itself, we are putting


something to allow the eels to slither up the barrier.


Conservationists and fishermen working together to reserve one of


the Midlands most mysterious creatures. Apologies for Andrew


Mitchell in the plebgate affair as MPs face a grilling in the comments


`` as officers face a grilling. The full weather forecast. And this goal


from Coventry City against the league leaders, was it the best of


the night? And sprinkled with stardust as


teenager, Chloe's surprised at work by a top rapper and it's all live on


Radio 1. If you think you have a story we should be covering on


Midlands Today, we would like to hear from you. You can call us or


send us an e`mail, contact us on Facebook or Twitter.


A recent survey found half of adults in this region experience loneliness


at some time or another. Men who've retired or lost their jobs can be


amongst those worst affected. So, could an idea imported from


Australia help? Called Men's Sheds it creates places to get together,


away from the pub. And it's catching on, as Ben Sidwell has been finding


out. If a man's home is his castle, his


shirt is his... . The shed ` a place for a lifelong


hobby, a spot of DIY or just getting away from it all. But this simple


wooden structure is changing and becoming the focal point for a new


male organisation ` Men's Sheds. Having set one up in Aberdeenshire,


Ian Wallace who now lives near Market Drayton is leading a campaign


to get a network of Men's Sheds in Shropshire. We have been developing


things for ladies. Now women are catching up. Men become less


isolated. There is less to freshen. There is less... They become more


active. They use their brains more and muscles. That will of course


have an impact by reducing the load on the National Health Service. In


Stratford`upon`Avon, they call themselves Men In Sheds and actually


meet in an empty shop. Each week the group gather to catch up, chat and


do the odd bit of woodwork. This is just a bringing together of people


so that we can socialise and mix`up and perhaps get involved in doing a


few things for the community. Since 1996, almost 1,000 Men's Sheds have


been formed in Australia. With many more planned across the West


Midlands, Men's Sheds could soon be a very familiar site.


Well, earlier we asked for your thoughts and here are a few of them.


A viewer calling himself Wolfywolf, clearly an alpha male, says he has a


man shed to get away from the Mrs and kids. But he'd love something


like this. Tim Smyth says he'd go but only if they served beer and


called it a pub. Silly idea, he reckons. But Ken Grinnell disagrees.


I would go to a Men's Shed if there was one in my area, he says. Thank


you for getting in touch. Onto football and what a brilliant


night for our teams in League One. Four wins and a draw, 15 goals


scored and plenty of thrills for thousands of fans. The former


Coventry City winger Steve Froggatt travelled to Northampton to watch


his former club beat the league leaders, Leyton Orient. Ian Winter


reports. It breaks my heart because Coventry should be playing in


Coventry. They should be back in the city as soon as possible. It is no


secret, Steve Froggatt hates seeing Coventry playing in Northampton. But


last night he loved watching the young kids at his old club beat the


current league leaders and continue the Sky Blues' surge up the table.


They played at a really high tempo. Fantastic performance. And Froggy's


right. This was the first, a rocket from the Coventry captain Carl


Baker. And this was the second. Even better, perhaps. A cheeky chip from


Frank Moussa. And the Sky Blues ran out worthy winners, 3`1. You have


got to give the credit to the manager and his coaching staff to


have got the best out of the players. Coventry's next game should


be another cracker. On Saturday, they're off to Walsall who're also


on top form. Ashley Hemmings scored twice in last night's 3`1 win at


Swindon. And the Saddlers are now in the play`off zone. Just seven points


behind Wolves who also enjoyed a good night at Molineux. James Henry


tapped in their first against Oldham. And Leigh Griffiths rifled


in his ninth goal of the season to seal a 2`0 victory. Port Vale did


even better away to Crawley. Ben Williamson scored the pick of the


bunch in their 3`0 win at Crawley. And we almost had a clean sweep of


five victories. But this goal from Cristian Lopez wasn't quite enough


to win the match for Shrewsbury against Colchester. It finished 1`1


on a memorable night in League One. Steve Froggatt is on the BBC WM


football phone`in until 7pm. And well done to Burton Albion and


Cheltenham Town who both won in League Two.


For teenager Chloe Woodward today started like any other, working at a


Staffordshire school. Then listeners to BBC Radio 1 heard her get an


award live on air for bravely battling mental health issues. And


it was all a complete surprise to Chloe. Satnam Rana was there to


capture a special moment. There is some flash photography in this


report. A normal working day for Chloe until


this. Congratulations, you are a team hero for 2013. This was the


moment Professor Green revealed she was a BBC Radio 1 team hero. I am


shell`shocked, overwhelmed, excited, so happy. What did you think when


you saw him? I was just like, no. A look of disbelief. The element it I


recognise you and then I was like, my God. And then the excitement


continued. You are going to be on the news tonight as well. What is


happening? Chloe has had a tough few years. She tried to take her own


life over being bullied. Having overcome her mental health problems,


she helped a man and prevented him from committing suicide by sharing


her story. People can relate to it. It is really important to inspire


people. It is an issue close to your heart? It is. My dad committed


suicide. I had not seen him for years. But maybe if someone had


recognised the signs on him, it would not have happened. It is


important to raise awareness. For her mum, Chloe's transformation has


been incredible. Every night, I would think, will she be alive


tomorrow? I could not sleep. It was awful. Now we see her and... What a


change. What a massive change. Today has just been the best day. It has


just been the best day ever. Sorry. I am so pleased for her. Chloe will


be meeting stars at the BBC Radio 1 awards on the 3rd of November. A


sparkling reward for being such a brave and courageous young lady.


Well done to Chloe. Warm and sunny today, but is it the


calm before yet another storm? Here's Shefali.


The weather keeps us on our toes. Drive for now but it will be wetter


by Friday. `` dry for now. Once tomorrow is over, we have the next


weather system raging up from the south`west. This area of low


pressure bringing all of the freakish weather we have been used


to so far. Wet, windy, thunderstorms, a lot of lightning.


It also opens up the gateway to the succession of fronts whipping


through from the West. It could be dry to start on Saturday but that is


still open to question depending on the timing of the fronts coming


through. Another weather system will be ready in the south`west at the


start of next week. Relentless at the moment. Back to this evening,


after the blinding sunshine today and the ridge of high pressure


building, we are looking at a break from tradition with dry and clear


and cooler overnight conditions. Particularly so in the countryside.


Temperatures could dip a lot lower than five degrees. We could see some


mist patches as well developing particularly in the North Eastern


corner of the region. We will have those to start the day tomorrow


morning. Other than that, they should dispose quite quickly as the


sunshine gets to work. A very pleasant day. Plenty of sunshine.


Lots of dry weather. The odd stray shower from the West. Affecting


parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. In the sunshine,


temperatures should rise nicely. A degree or so higher than today. That


is in lighter winds. Feeling very pleasant. Even tomorrow evening


looks dry. The rain will hold off until the early hours of Friday. The


cloud will thicken from the south`west ahead of that. Then this


rain will creep up from the south`west, could be very heavy


around southwestern parts of the region tomorrow night. And again,


temperatures stop to bounce back up because of the cloud and the rain.


Looking further ahead, the weekend, or rather, Friday into Saturday,


Friday starts with heavy rain, heavy blustery showers. Saturday, perhaps


dry until the evening. Tonight's headlines: A shut down at


Scotland's biggest industrial site ` 800 jobs are slashed and more under


threat at the Grangemouth refinery. The Prime Minister pledges to bring


energy bills down by cutting green taxes.


Back now to our top story. The plebgate affair started as a spat


between Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell and a couple of police


officers, but today three of our chief constables trooped before MPs


to explain themselves. Our political editor Patrick Burns


is at Westminster. This is what the Chief Constable for West Murcia had


to say. In the normal process of events, the apology would come at


the end. The timing is just as important as what is said. A


profound unreserved apology for the impact of what this has had on him.


Patrick, a four letter word, not one of the usual suspects. Especially


when you consider Andrew Mitchell has so strenuously denied ever using


the word. The Crown Prosecution Service is currently deciding


whether charges should be brought against police officers who levelled


the accusation in the first place. Significantly today one of Andrew


Mitchell's" server did colleagues Ava Davis has said that it reopens


the question of whether police officers should be equipped with


recording devices on their bodies `` Andrew Mitchell's close conservative


colleagues. One of the committee members at the hearing today pointed


out to the three Police Federation representatives that if Mr


Mitchell's assistant had not taken the precaution of recording the


conversation, none of them would be sitting in the Home Affairs


Committee session today. Where have we got to tonight? ? la macro this


will go on for some time. We can be sure of that `` this will go on for


some time. Next up, John Gaunt. The Gaunt Brothers handle PR for the


Police Federation. He will be questioned next week.


Finally, Birmingham's stunning new library sought its 500,000th visitor


today. The library opened only seven weeks ago, complete with an


amphitheatre and Gardens, it houses hundreds of thousands of books and


has become a popular tourist attraction.


That was the Midlands Today. We will be back at 10pm with the latest on


the plebgate story and an update on the rest of the day's news. Have a


good evening.


Download Subtitles