The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
Browse content similar to 29/10/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
weekend. That's all from us. Now the news
where you Hello and welcome to Midlands Today.
The headlines tonight: New journey times revealed for the
high`speed rail network, as the Government announces a revised
business case. We could see an increase of around 50,000 jobs as a
consequence of HS2. That is economic growth we cannot do without.
But it's been revealed the new line won't generate as much money as
first thought. Eight arrested in early`morning
raids, as police investigate a suspected sham`marriage ring in
Wolverhampton. Join the Bone Marrow Register ` a
heartfelt plea from a leukaemia patient whose transplant failed.
There is no reason why it happened to me. Maybe if I were to give it a
reason it would be so why can spread the word now and get people to sign
up and save somebody else's life in the future.
And we'll tell you the tale of this 1,700`year`old coffin, a metal
dectector and a grave`digger. And for those of you who need to be
concerned, it's going to be colder than usual tonight, with the
likelihood of some frost. All the details later.
Good evening. New detail emerged today from the Government on
estimated journey times for passengers using HS2 trains from
stations around the Midlands. The information was released in a new
business case for the proposed line. The first part of the high`speed
rail link will cost more than ?21 billion to build, the line would run
between London and Birmingham. The benefit to the West Midlands economy
would be between ?1.5 and ?3 billion a year, according to a recent report
by accountants KPMG. But it'll be another 13 years before the first
trains run between the two cities. But with a brewing political row,
will the project ever get going? In a moment, we'll hear from our
political editor, but first, this report from our transport
correspondent, Peter Plisner. Back in the driving seat on HS2?
Well, that's where the Government wants to be. Today's publication of
the new business case should move the high`speed rail debate up a
gear. If you look at the moment where the first line runs from and
develop and happening around King's Cross St Pancras, that is the result
of Britain being connected to Europe with a high`speed rail `` railway.
We've known for some time that journey times between London and
Birmingham are expected to be cut from an hour and 21 minutes to just
49 minutes. Now the Government has published figures for other parts of
the region too. A journey from Stafford to London that currently
takes an hour and a quarter is expected to be reduced to 53
minutes. And it's estimated the trip from Cheltenham to Leeds would be
reduced by almost an hour from two hours and 50 minutes to just one
hour 55 mins. In addition to faster journey times, the case today also
rests on the need for more capacity on the rail network. The West Coast
Main Line to London is already incredibly busy but predictions are
by mid`2020, it will be fuller. Today, opening a new logistic depot
in Coventry, Network Rail was adament that HS2 was the only way of
providing the capacity that's needed. If you try to cannibalise
and keep rebuilding things that almost 200 years old, the original
part, that would be a huge mistake. It is much better to leave that for
more local commuter services and freight, and to build a brand`new
long`distance line next to it. Those opposed to HS2 maintain that more
can be done and they say that even today, the new business case is
fundementally flawed. The Government and HS2 have got this thing wrong
and it is disgraceful that they should apply voodoo economics to try
to justify HS2 and purport that this nation needs a high`speed rail and
that without it, the nation will suffer economically. Today there
also was more political debate on HS2 following Labour's threat to
withdraw support from the scheme. In Birmingham, the City Council's
Labour Leader maintains that the party is still behind it. The Labour
front bench are not saying that they are against HS2. In fact, I think
the economic arguments for it are overwhelming. Overwelming or not,
many are still sceptical about merits of HS2, and the publication
of yet another new business case clearly hasn't changed their view.
I'm joined now by our political editor, Patrick Burns. There have
been a number of negative stories surrounding HS2 lately. Do you think
today's announcement is about the Government taking control of the
project? That is certainly what they are trying to do and we have heard
there one of several strong statements from the Transport
Secretary. That is what they are trying to do. And allied to a
recognition that, yes, bringing down the business case lightly and
accepting that speed is not the be all and end all of it. That is a
recognition. The Government did over it the case on speed at the
beginning and not so much the case on capacity, which is the real
issue. That is why the opposition leaders are accusing ministers of
delay and dither on this project. Ed Balls told us on this programme he
would be keeping a close eye on the project costs. Do you think
opposition to HS2 is growing within the Labour Party? A few days after
Ed Balls said that to you, Ed Miliband said to me he was fully in
support of high`speed rail. He understood why his Shadow Chancellor
wanted to keep a close eye on the numbers. I think he was really
saying, I am fiscally prudent, as well as striking a chord with the
anti`HS2 campaigners. The voices raised again this amongst Labour
have been Alistair Darling, John Prescott and Peter Mandelson, and
none of them are directly involved in Labour's decision`making on
this. Labour will soon come to the end of their re`examination of this
project and the Parliamentary Marathon will begin. We will then
see who stands where on this and we hope a bit of clarity on numbers
will show the costs stack up. What about Sir Albert Bore's comments
today ` how significant are they? Very significant. He has written to
the Transport Secretary warning of open warfare is senior figures keep
on speaking sceptically about this, so there is a calculation and this
is what David Cameron was getting at when he said the whole project would
fall if Labour pulled out their support. He is saying, you would
have to blame your own party if this whole thing falls down.
Coming up later in the programme, more than local pride at stake as
Birmingham City and Stoke City go head`to`head in the League Cup.
We'll be live at St Andrews. Eight people have been arrested in
early`morning raids in Wolverhampton as part of an investigation into a
suspected sham`marriage ring. The Government is trying to tighten up
the rules on immigration applications, thousands of which
they believe are based on fake`marriage or civil`partnership.
Our special correspondent, Peter Wilson, has the story.
As dawn broke, a specialist team of 60 police, immigration and National
Crime Agency officers set out for addresses across Wolverhampton. They
were targetting a suspected sham marriage ring involving Eastern
European women and Asian men. An early arrest included one man
suspected of being a fixer. The people we've arrested today are the
Eastern European brides and grooms we suspect of enacting sham
marriages to Pakistani nationals so they can stay in the UK. So, what is
a sham marriage? Usually a ceremony involving a non`European national
marrying someone from the European Economic Area. It enables people to
stay in the UK and work and claim benefits. It's also big business.
?10,000 is often paid to the organisers to fix a sham marriage.
Between ?2,000 and ?3,000 is paid for a European Union bride or groom.
Our previous experience of investigating this sort of
criminality always shows there is an organised element behind this with
an organised crime gang making thousands of pounds from arranging
sham marriages to enable people who would ordinary sleet ordinarily not
the allowed to stay in the UK to stay in the UK. `` ordinarily. The
investigaters have been working closely with the local registrar.
The West Midlands is second only to London for the highest number of
sham marriages in the country. It is very difficult for us as registrars
to take these marriages because they are making a mockery of the
immigration laws and of the marriage act, and that is something we are
very frustrated about. Two men from Wolverhampton went up to Scotland
for a civil partnership ceremony just recently but they, too, have
now been arrested and are now being questioned about sham marriages.
A woman has appeared in court charged with the murder of a man in
Wolverhampton. 53`year`old John Fletcher was found at a flat in the
Market Square on Sunday afternoon. He'd been stabbed. 49`year`old
Caroline Loweth, who is unemployed, has been remanded into custody and
will appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court tomorrow.
A prisoner serving two life sentences for the murder and kidnap
of a teenage boy has escaped from a prison in Worcestershire.
56`year`old Alan John Giles was in an open part of Hewell Prison near
Redditch when he absconded yesterday. He'd been in jail since
killing 16`year`old Quinton student Kevin Ricketts in 1995.
A badger cull in Gloucestershire may not reach its target, even though
it's been extended for another two months. A report by the Government
agency Natural England suggests some badgers may have caused new
outbreaks of TB in cattle, as they were escaping marksmen.
After six years fighting leukaemia, 22`year`old Kathryn Cartwright from
Sutton Coldfield has just months left to live. But she's hoping to
leave a lasting legacy by appealing to everyone to consider donating
bone marrow. Around 325,000 people are currently on the British Bone
Marrow Register. To join, you have to be over the age of 18 and under
49. Once on the register, the chances of being a suitable match
for someone are about one in 100. Sadly, it's too late for Kathryn. No
bone marrow will save her now, as she's suffering with complications
from a liver transplant she had four years ago. She's been speaking to
Sarah Falkland. Her days may be numbered but she
hasn't lost her sense of humour. I've started the day on the front
page of the Sunday Mercury. Next to a picture of a woman in a bikini.
Because, clearly, our stories tie together! Kathryn Cartwright is
blogging about what are likely to be the last weeks of her life. I'm not
scared to die because they won't know. I will be gone. And it will be
fine for me. I don't have to then... Go through what I've seen other
families go through when their children have died. It doesn't scare
me. It just makes me sad. Here in the middle, before she was
diagnosed, Kathryn had always wanted to be a photographer. She never
imagined her own life being told in pictures like this. There have been
more operations than she can remember, pain that she can never
forget. And now she's getting infections her body can't fight.
They can keep treating them but eventually it will get to a stage
where I go in with the temperature and they won't be able to get it to
come back down, and that is when they will know I have only got a few
weeks left. If the quality of her bone marrow transplants had been
better, things may have turned out differently. And it's her dying wish
that others will have more of a chance than she did. Bone marrow
donation is so much easier than people think because they hear the
word transplant and think it means surgery, and my hairdresser thought
it meant it would take somebody saying, how long does it take to
recover? About six months? And they said, it is about a day. `` and ice
said. Bone marrow donation is so much easier than people think. Her
bucket list is getting shorter. A virtual hug from Stephen Fry,
instead of the real one she'd hoped for. A stranger has made her a
glorious cake. What would make her most happy, though, would be if you
signed up to the Bone Marrow Register.
I'm joined now by Simon Bramhall, a transplant surgeon at the Queen
Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. How difficult is it to find the
right donor for bone marrow? Bone marrow donation is difficult. The
process to go through to match donor and recipient is much more complex
than it is with other transplants. For example, the liver transplant
she had. So it is quite difficult. There is a perception that donating
bone marrow is a painful process. Is that the case? I think it can be. I
think doctors do their best to make sure it is relatively pain`free but
it is very short lived and the patient recovers extremely quickly
from it, and in fact, they are back to normal the next day and have a
small plaster on, which is not the same as all transplant procedures,
of course! We have had quite a lot of response on Twitter and the
general consensus is that there is a lack of information, especially
about bone marrow donation. They cite Germany as having one of the
highest registers because children are made aware of it. How important
is donation of organs? It is incredibly important. At least have
the conversation with one of your loved ones and about what your
wishes would be. Whether it be bone marrow or another organ, in the
unfortunate circumstances that could happen where you were going to die.
It is that conversation in the family home that will make all the
difference. Would you support an opt`out rather than opt`in donor
system? I think when you look at it superficially, the path that the
Welsh are going down, in other words, the opt out half, would seem
to be sensible. However, there are a lot of complexities that people
don't realise. So, the legal aspect, the logistic aspects, because you
would have to contact every single person in the country and ask their
permission. You would have to have a very, very good database that is
very secure and I am not sure that in the UK we are particularly good
at keeping national databases particularly secure. So all those
things are very complex. As it currently stands, the system we have
in England and Scotland is probably the right one, although it would be
very interesting to see over the course of the next five years what
the effect of the change in law in Wales will be. Thank you very much
indeed. Our top story tonight ` new journey
times revealed for the high`speed rail network, as the Government
announces a revised business case. Shefali's here with your detailed
weather forecast in just a moment. Also ahead, the volunteers sprucing
up Cannock Chase...ready for Christmas 2017.
If you have a story you think we should be covering on Midlands
Today, we'd like to hear from you. Please get in touch.
Two metal`detector enthusiasts have unearthed an unusual find in
Warwickshire. A rare Roman child's coffin, believed to be
1,700`years`old, was discovered in a field near Atherstone. It's being
called a significant archeological discovery and is now being studied
by experts in Warwick. It was a particularly poignant find for one
of the detectors who's a grave`digger, as Ben Sidwell
reports. It may not look that exciting but
this lead coffin is believed to be one of the earliest Christian
burials anywhere in the Midlands. It is definitely archaeologically
significant because it is unusual for the region and certainly from my
experience, it is quite rare. The coffin is thought to contain the
remains of a young child from a wealthy Roman family who lived in
third`century Britain. Archaeologists in Warwick studying
this rare find say it could answer many questions. There's a lot we can
tell from the technology in the actual coughing construction. There
is a lock that the pathology of the bones can tell us. `` a lot. And it
also tells us something about the way people were behaving at that
time. So what has this cemetery in Nottingham got to do with a coughing
found on the Warwickshire border? Well, for one of the archaeologists
it had more than a small connection to his Dave `` day job. Steve
Waterall works as a grave`digger, although his passion is
metal`detecting. But when he and a fellow enthusiast picked up a signal
in a field near Atherstone, they had no idea they'd just come across the
most significant find of their lives. What a surprise! We knew it
was on a Roman site but, yeah, it was the pinnacle of the day. And as
things have unfolded, this is far greater than we initially thought.
In the village of Witherley, close to where the lead coffin was
discovered, there's plenty of excitement, but also a hope it'll
eventually be returned. I think the general feeling of people I have
spoken to is that they would like it to be returned to the village.
Obviously that is where the child lived. Otherwise they wouldn't have
been buried here in the first place. Archaeologists say it'll be next
week before the coffin is opened to find out what's inside. Only then
will its future be decided. It's a big night for Birmingham City
and Stoke City. They meet in the League Cup and Dan Pallett's live at
St Andrew's right now. There's more than local pride at stake tonight,
isn't there? You are right. Both could do with a win to their mood.
Birmingham City, 20th in the Championship, against Stoke City,
17th in the Premier League. Stoke haven't won since August in the
league. Their problem is a lack of goals but Birmingham City's problem
is even bigger, a lack of money. Here's Ian Winter.
The Midlands storm that never happened yesterday will kick off at
St Andrew's in less than an hour. So, wear thick gloves if you're
planning on staying out late. Like the Birmingham goalkeeper, Colin
Doyle. And if it all comes down to penalties, are you prepared? Yeah!
It is the pressure on the goalkeeper to take that and naughty and you are
not expected to save from 12 yards. They are expected to score. When
they last met in the Premier League three years ago, Nikola Zigic scored
the only goal for Birmingham. But earlier, Ricardo Fuller helped Stoke
win the game 3`2. So tonight, who knows? Between them, Birmingham and
Stoke have taken just 19 points from 22 games in the championship and the
Premier League. No wonder both clubs fancy a good cup run to kick`start
their season. We know it is going to be tough but we are looking forward
to it. It is exciting to have a home tie between these Premier League
teams. We know they will give everything they have got because
their crowd is passionate. So it is not an easy fixture for us by any
stretch of the imagination. Reporters and supporters alike could
be in for a late night if all comes down to penalties. And if it does,
don't nip off early to beat the traffic. Let's speak to someone with
very happy memories of the League Cup. You reach the final in 2001.
How these two clubs would dearly love to get that far. Yes. They
might be able to capitalise later down the line on other teams by
playing a weaker team, so it is a good opportunity for both of them.
Stoke nearly got a good result at Old Trafford last week. That doesn't
bode well for Birmingham? But Birmingham had a great result at
Derby so it is setup for a terrific cup tie. Stoke favourites but so was
Swansea City in the previous round and they lost 3`1. Well, it should
be an electric atmosphere and you never know which way it might. The
Blues won this competition three seasons ago. It is an opportunity
for the clubs away from the top end to go a long way. Yes, it is a great
opportunity to go into Europe, get good funding from this cup.
Hopefully tonight we will see two goods teams and a great top `` cup
tie and a great match. And tonight's game is live on both BBC WM and BBC
Radio Stoke. It's a 7:45pm kick`off. And we're guaranteed a Midlands side
in the quarterfinals. It might seem a bit early to be
thinking about Christmas trees this year, but on Cannock Chase rangers
are already preparing trees for Christmas 2017. Forestry managers
have introduced the traditional pines as a possible source of future
revenue. They're being tended by some of the hundreds of volunteers
who work on the Chase, as Holly Lewis reports.
It started off as a way of filling in gaps where trees had been felled,
but now Staffordshire County Council hopes these Christmas trees on
Cannock Chase might be sold at festive events in the future. We are
always looking at commercial opportunities but what we have to
remember is, Cannock Chase is a nature site, an area of natural
beauty, and the last thing we want to do is spoil it with
commercialism. 2,000 trees have been planted across the Chase and are
being nurtured by volunteers. Over the past four years, more than 500
people have regularly given up their time to help out, from school groups
to pensioners in their nineties. 27`year`old Gavin Evans has been
volunteering every week for the past four years since he saw an advert in
the newspaper. My mother spotted it and I thought I would respond to it,
and I thought, that is the sort of job I have always wanted to do.
Outdoor work, meeting friends, using different tools. Growing Christmas
trees is a labour`intensive business. These small trees were
planted three to four years ago. But it will be even longer before they
are ready to be taken indoors and decorated. Volunteers are essential
to projects like this one. Without the volunteers, this would not be
happening because the county council don't have the money for this sort
of project. Christmas trees will be on sale at the visitors centre from
the end of November. They're bought in every year from Warwickshire but
rangers hope it won't be long before these trees will be lighting up the
windows of local homes and businesses.
It looked a lovely day out there but it was so windy where rivals, tiny
`` I nearly got blown off my bike. `` where I was.
We have a ridge of high pressure building from the south responsible
for that and this is where the winds will be lighter, but those together
with the clearest skies tonight and the drop in temperatures will be to
a touch of Frost, more particularly in the countryside. So we will see
this ridge of high pressure killing off any remaining showers, leaving
us with a dry night and largely clear skies, which will lead to
temperatures dropping as low as one degree in rural spots, and sheltered
areas, which is where we will get the frost. For towns and cities,
those of six to eight degrees. So, a crisp, autumnal start, and chilly
but lots of sunshine to start with, with cloud thickening up from the
West. This will introduce some rain towards the tail end of the day and
two northern parts of the region. This could be quite heavy but for
the vast majority, a dry day, just turning cloudier. It is during
tomorrow evening and night that the and starts to cross the region
towards the East, and as it does, it becomes patchy and lighter, but then
again it ends up dry, clear and cold, so the potential for some
frost in rural spots. On Thursday, we start dry and sunny once again
but we have showers developing through the afternoon with rain for
Friday. This is what I want to draw your attention to. It is Friday that
opens up the door to this weather at the weekend. You will notice a
couple of areas of low pressure moving in from the Atlantic, so
quite an active scene for the weekend. These areas of low pressure
are not going to be as fierce as the ones we had on Monday but they could
be fairly intense, so, all in all, looking at some gusty wind over the
weekend and heavy, blustery showers. But Friday itself, there will be
heavy rain but I think it should clear by the evening and overnight
as we head into the start of Saturday.
Tonight's headlines from the BBC: Bosses from the big energy companies
face MPs' questions about their profits.
New journey times revealed for the high`speed rail network, as the
Government announces a revised business case.
That was Midlands Today. Before we go, a warning that rail services in
and out of Birmingham Snow Hill are severely disrupted tonight following
an incident at Small Heath, so the advice is to check with your train
operator before travelling. I'll be back at 10pm, when we'll be live at
St Andrew's with details of the Cup game between Birmingham City and
Stoke. Have a great evening. Goodbye.