29/10/2013 Midlands Today


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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.


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