06/11/2013 Midlands Today


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from the west That


Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: they want


me, I will be saying don't screw this up. We'll be talking to


constituents and finding out what this is likely to mean for MP Mark


Pritchard. Also tonight: The father of a teenager who hanged herself


says more could have been done to help her. Somebody in the system


made us feel as though Chelsea was getting better when in fact she was


actually getting worse. The dangers of everyday household


cleaning products, a campaign to keep children like Zachary say. It


was nasty. In my RA. The speed skaters from Solihull who


are medal favourites for the Winter Olympics.


And it hasn't stopped raining all day. At this rate, flood alerts


could quite easily turn into flood warnings ` but will they? The latest


on the weather coming up shortly. Good evening. A Conservative MP from


Shropshire is threatening libel action tonight against a newspaper


that's accused him of trying to profit by using his parliamentary


contacts. Mark Pritchard, who's been MP for the Wrekin for eight years,


wouldn't be interviewed, but he insists he's done nothing wrong.


He's referred himself to Parliament's Commissioner for


Standards, saying he wants to clear his name. FrontPage and are under


fire. Mark Pritchard is accused of


offering to use his political contacts in Albania to broker a


business deal from which he stood to benefit. He was secretly filmed by


an undercover reporter posing as a businessman talking about the


influence he could bring to bear. I may just be a little council house


lad from a very poor background. Mr Pritchard's a member of the


Parliamentary All`Party Committee on Albania and has longstanding links


to the country. Elsewhere in the recording, the MP asks for a fee of


?3,000 a month for his help building a chain of hotels, plus a percentage


of any deal that's struck. He's said he'll now refer himself to


the MPs' watchdog, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, in an


effort to clear his name. Mr Pritchard didn't want to be


interviewed today but in a statement, he described the


allegations as hurtful and malicious. He denied any wrongdoing


and said the Telegraph had quoted him out of context.


He's obviously confident that he hasn't breached any parliamentary


rules but obviously we're waiting to see what the Parliamentary


Commissioner for Standards report is going to say and obviously for the


association we'll take any necessary action that report will indicate.


Mr Pritchard increased his majority in the Wrekin at the last election.


On a wet Wednesday in Wellington there was no rush to judge.


Your faith in him isn't shaken by these allegations? Not shaken at


all, no. Wait to hear what further news there is in the future. I think


it's yet to be proven because it's gone to the Parliamentary Standards


Committee and therefore I'll wait for them to judge. He says he's done


nothing wrong so I don't know. Yes, I hope he clears his name. If not,


justice will do. Mr Pritchard has sued the Telegraph


for libel in the past and says he's consulting his lawyers with a view


to taking action again. Our political editor Patrick Burns


joins us now. Just how serious a matter is this, Patrick? It's a very


serious accusation. Sufficiently serious for Mr Pritchard to have


wasted no time in referring himself to the Pmtary Standards


Commissioner, in order he says, to clear his name. If he had been using


his parliamentary position to further his business interests that


would be a very grave matter. But that he says is exactly what he


hasn't been doing. The deal he was taped negotiating was for his


advisory company which is on he Register of Members' Interests.


Completely transparent. The commissioner will have to decide


whether or not this arrangement allows a sufficient separation


between his parliamentary and interests. What view will the


Conservative Party be taking about this. Not the sort of headlines


they'd want? They'll say it's a matter for the Parliamentary


Standards Commission but you're right about the headlines. They


revive memories from not too distant past about 'cash for questions' and


'cash for access'. Mr Pritchard points out that he has neither


received any money nor done any political lobbying on behalf of


anyone involved in these negotiations. And what about Mr


Pritchard? You know him, how will he be taking this? He's a very


combative character. He was one of the architects of the biggest Tory


backbench revolt in living memory, the EU Referendum issue. I'm not


surprised he's taking legal advice about suing the Telegraph. Equally


in my experience his actions and words are chosen with great care. So


I'd be very surprised if he didn't feel he was negotiating within the


rules. But that revives the debate over whether or not those rules


should be changed. And he does need to retain the confidence of his


support of his constituency party in Shropshire. Thank you.


Coming up later in the programme: On the voyage to a brave new digital


world. Has Birmingham missed the cultural boat?


The father of a teenager who took her own life says more could have


been done to help her. He was speaking after a serious case review


found failings in the care received by Chelsea Clark. The 13`year`old


girl was found hanged at her home in Wolverhampton two years ago. A


review by the city's safeguarding board says that those involved could


have worked together better to protect her.


Up until four months before her death, Chelsea Clark showed no signs


of the mental health problems which would lead her to take her own life.


But when she was 13, she started self harming which brought her and


her family into contact with health and social services. A serious case


review published yesterday highlighted a number of failings in


communication, record keeping and listening to Chelsea. It is a bit of


a shock when the report does come out and you see how big it is. But I


am in full agreement with everything and feel that Chelsea was let down


by a number of services. The report points to a particular occasion when


she was in hospital. In the spring of 2011, Chelsea was a tattoo to the


children's ward here after taking an overdose. `` was admitted to the


children's ward. She was then discharged despite the report saying


that she would try to take her own life. Someone in the system read


Chelsea wrong, we feel. And made us feel as if Chelsea was getting


better when in fact, she was getting worse.


Less than three months later, Phil and his wife found their daughter


hanged in her bedroom at home. Trust managers say lessons have been


learned. Chelsea was herself articulating their capacity to keep


herself say. We have looked at that and we think we need to concentrate


more on this thing to the views of young people in our care and would


seek to do that much more consistently as again perhaps was


done on this occasion. Two years on and all 30 of the


report's recommendations have been implemented. I know pretty well what


was going to be the report but when the report came out it took it right


back to the day I buried Chelsea. Full Chelsea would be 16 now. For


her family, the report just adds to the painful list of "what ifs".


Joining us now is Lucy Russell, Director of campaigns at the charity


Youngminds. Good evening to you. This was tragic for everyone


concerned. She was clearly crying out for help, but what help is there


for girls like Chelsea? There is help. But sometimes that help is


quite hard to access. That help does not happen early enough and what is


really important is that we look across the spectrum of who can


help. So that actually starts with parents, with teachers, with social


workers with youth workers, and then moves on from there to child and


adolescent mental health services and then onto inpatient units so I


think actually it is not just about crisis services, it is about


everything that leads up to those services as well. And the people


listen enough? I don't think people listen enough and what they don't do


is listen enough to the voices of children and young people as the


report demonstrated. And I think it is very important to listen to young


people and make sure that services take account of what they say.


Something like this, tragedies do happen and it is incredibly sad and


this kind of thing is a very inexact science. We cannot always predict


who is going to tragically take their own life but I think there is


a real point being made here about listening to young people. We


listened to adults but not to children. Early intervention is


crucial. Absolutely. One of the import of this to point out is that


the cuts that are being made to child and adolescent medal health


services are really putting pressure on the services so there is a


shortage of beds, there is not enough care in the community and an


issue with what happened to Chelsea with when she came out of hospital,


why is the cannot bear? So it is making sure the services of the


investment they need right across the board from early intervention


right through inpatient services. Thank you.


A soldier from the third Battalion of the Mercian Regiment, the


Staffords, has been killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan. The


soldier, who's been described as "hugely experienced", was on patrol


in the Kamparack area of Helmand when a car bomb was set off. He's


the eighth British serviceman to be killed in Afghanistan this year. His


family have been informed. The cheap" Warwickshire says he has


been misrepresented by MPs, `` the `` the Commissioner. Andrew Mitchell


has always denied calling PC officers plebs.


A welder who murdered his wife by pushing her downstairs has been


jailed for life. Alun Evans from Kidderminster had been having an


affair. Louise Evans was found with a skipping rope and vacuum cleaner


next to her body to try to make the death look accidental.


Too many children are being accidentally poisoned by cleaning


products according to the Birmingham `based Royal Society for the


Prevention of Accidents. Last year, 600 children alone were accident the


poisoned in Solihull. Many are omitted to hospital due to hospital


`` poisoning. Today, a campaign was launched to highlight the dangers.


Like most two`year`olds, Zachary is inquisitive. But it was his natural


curiosity at home in Great Barr that caused him agony. I had done a load


of washing and put a tablet into the washing machine and we were in here,


me and my husband watching television when I heard Zachary cry


and you know when it you hear it, you know it is bad. So we raced


outside and he had got the liquid tab and squeezed it and it was all


over his eyes. At hospital, the necessary treatment was tortuous.


They used salt solution which is but through into a small tube whereby we


had to hold him down and wrapping up in towels and there was a nurse


there to open his eye and another nurse to feed all the saline


solution in. It was one litre per eye and the whole thing took about


25 minutes, it was horrendous. It was nasty, in my eyes. A campaign by


the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents on the dangers of


household cleaning products was launched in front of families at


Birmingham Children's Hospital. If they are swallowed, they are not


normally a big rob them. They will cause some sickness and diarrhoea,


sometimes they get drowsy but they just did to wear that. The greater


concern is when they get into the eyes and a chemical irritation that


it can cause. We know young people in the home, they are attracted to


their products the `` these brothers because they are in reachable


places. Not even safety caps guarantee safety, people say they


simply reduce the risk by delaying access to what is inside. We try to


keep every cleaning product locked in a cupboard. My three`year`old had


eaten a washing tablet it was a Likud won and he was sick twice.


Back in Great Barr Zachary didn't suffer any lasting damage. But his


mum says she learnt a hard lesson. The guilt was just horrendous. I am


a sensible mother, I put catches on the door and it was just a silly


mistake. Sounds as if Zachary is OK now.


Our top story tonight: A Shropshire MP says he'll sue over newspaper


allegations that he tried to profit from his political influence. Your


detailed weather forecast to come shortly from Shefali. Also in


tonight's programme, a draw takes Wolves to second in the table but it


could have been so much better. And a co`production with US and


English actors heading from Warwickshire to America.


This region is falling behind in grabbing a fair share of cash for


cutting edge innovation and technology. London and cities such


as Bristol and Cardiff are pushing Birmingham out of the digital


limelight. Our science correspondent David Gregory Kumar has been


investigating. Is this a big problem, David, and if so what's the


solution? It could be. "Digital culture" is a phrase that


covers all sorts of arts and creative endeavours from film


making, opera and theatre to coding, the internet and even video games.


And here in Birmingham what the digital cultural life of the city


lacks is a space to come together and meet and swap ideas. And some


sort of big event to kick off new collaborations. And maybe a digital


festival. But maybe this afternoon at the BBC here in Birmingham a


small step to tackling this problem. It's certainly been a spectacular


few years for the cultural life of Birmingham. Massive events like


Olympics`linked The Voyage. And the first ever performance of


Stockhausen's Mittwoch aus Licht. An extraordinary opera featuring


violinists in helicopters. And all reached a much wider audience thanks


to the internet. If we make it at the centre of the work we do and


choose the correct repertoire, we can give people an experience at


home, on demand without them having to come to the venue and reach


beyond geographical boundaries, beyond earning and across the world.


So as everywhere else the Internet is revolutionising our cultural


life. But some uncomfortable truths. Birmingham is falling behind cities


like cardiff and bristol. One problem? No clear place to meet. I


guess I was trying to explain that there is something about the ecology


of the still that is fundamentally different to Birmingham but we have


got a physical space where you can bring film`makers, games designers,


artists, creatives together, technologists, geeks for what of a


better word. To be able to talk about their ideas and discuss ideas


in person. But today's meting may be a small step to helping the city


catch up. You may say, why matter? These


industries generate jobs and income though and if Birmingham has not got


the facilities to hold onto creative talent, it will have long`term


impacts for Birmingham and the wider Midlands. The biggest creative


industry in the UK is the BBC itself and here in BBC Birmingham in the


past 18 months, something described as a whole out of burger making from


the city here. BBC bosses were here today and would not talk to us today


but they do say we should expect an announcement about the future of


programme making here at BBC Birmingham in the next two weeks.


Football now and Wolves missed their chance to go joint top of League One


last night. Twice they took the lead, away to Carlisle, but twice


they were pegged back. So they had to settle for one point instead of


three as the game finished 2`2, leaving fans and the manager


frustrated. Jackets on for a cold night out.


Exactly two years ago, Kevin Doyle was helping Wolves beat Wigan in the


Premier League. How times change. Last night, he was signing in at


Carlisle, where Wolves were looking for their fourth straight victory in


League One. It all started so well. Just eight minutes played when


Bakary Sako put the visitors in front. And thirteen hundred


travelling fans must have thought three points were there for the


taking. But on the half hour, Carlisle were level through Prince


Buaben. It was a wake up call for Wolves, who responded by regaining


the lead just before the break. Leigh Griffith's 10th goal of the


season. In the second half, Wolves failed to raise their game. The


referee spotted a tug on the shirt by Lee Evans. And there were few


complaints. Penalty. Duly scored to give Carlisle a point at 2`2. And it


could easily have been worse, Wolves' poor performance left Kenny


Jackett fuming. The second half performance or that poor, I don't


think we deserved anything out of it, we did well to get a point, we


did well to get it. In the second half, Carlisle wanted it more than


we did. We were in a good position, and we fell away and did not


capitalise. Wolves are couple of points behind Leyton Orient while


they are off to hold on the Saturday for the FA Cup. `` off to Oldham.


Britain's short`track speed skaters are in Italy this week for a vital


Olympic qualifying tournament. The team, including Solihull pair Jon


Ealy and Paul Stanley, are hotly tipped to bring back medals from the


2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. But they have to get there first.


There are only three months to go to the Winter Olympics so this week in


Turin the British team are skating for their Olympic future. Solihull's


Jon Eley has been here before. The 29`year`old is one of the most


experienced members of the team. COMMENTATOR: Terrific stuff of Great


Britain, leaving here. He's a former European champion and has finished


in the top eight at the past two Games and is back with one last bid


for a medal. I am pretty excited. I have got myself into a good bit of


form, the training has been going well and it is exciting times. It is


another Olympic qualifiers but it will be different. The British team


are leaving nothing to chance. They've already been to Sochi in


Russia where the Games will be held next February to prepare. Rising


star Elise Christie is expected to bring a medal home so does Jon


believe he can win one too? I am good enough and if I perform to my


best on the day, I come home with what I want. You go through rounds


of racing so you can have a fantastic first round and then not


focus on the second round and you can go out, you need to focus on the


rounds, every race is important. More than 200 skaters are competing


this week in Italy and next week in Russia but only 32 will qualify for


the Games. We wish them well.


Two countries divided by a common language ` the old joke about


Britain and America. But for 100 years the Royal Shakespeare Company


has been trying to bring the two countries together through a shared


love of the Bard. Now a new transatlantic adaptation of


Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra ` or Tony and Cleo, perhaps ` is to


tour the States. Our Arts Reporter Satnam Rana has been talking to the


Anglo` American cast and crew. Their hateful memory...


A unique union of cast and crew from America and the UK for this adaption


of Anthony and Cleopatra. This version is set in the


Caribbean. It's the late 1700s and the eve of the Haiti revolution


against the French. The show is produced The Royal Shakepearre


Company, Miami's Gablestage and The Public Theartre in New York. This


production comes at a fitting time. Exactly 100 years ago, a company of


actors from Stratford`upon`Avon went across to the United States to tour


for the first time. Shakespeare is the greatest writer in the Western


canon so his work lives on and his work can be interpreted in so many


different ways and productions, reflecting what is happening in our


times. The Royal Shakespare brand is now a shared asset between UK and


the America ` in 2011 the copmany took a flatpack thaetre to New York


for a summer run and Matilda of course has been a Broadway hit. We


have a loyal audience in America. We love going out and flying the flag


for Stafford upon a them and for the West Midlands, and as a consequence,


a lot of our audiences come from North America and back into


Stratford so it is a two`way thing and it is really important to us.


The play has been radically edited by former International Playwright


in Residence Tarell Alvin McCraney. But with a cast of five actors from


here and five from the US how challening has it been? The goal is


to give them their unique flavours and spices to tell one story so that


was my main focus, regardless of whether they had been in the US or


the UK. The play opens tomorrow at the Swan Theatre and will travel to


and Miami and New York from January onwards.


I hope the weather is a bit better for them, how is the forecast


looking? Quite bad, I'm afraid but today we


had plenty of rain as you know and there is still more to come. It is


not over yet. The rain has had an impact slightly and river levels


already, two flood alerts at the moment south of Leominster and for


the River Severn between Tewkesbury and also Gloucester. These areas


will be fundable to flooding if we get any substantial rain. And that


is likely. Over the weekend, showers on Saturday but Remembrance Day


parades, we have got wet and windy weather heading our way from the


West but one piece of good news is that it could turn milder by then as


well. The reason for that is because the system bringing in the rain on


Sunday is a warm sector so we will be nestled in between these are the


editor in them will be quite mild. Back to this evening, in the thick


of it this evening. Lots of rain running through the area but this is


heading east later on in the night, after midnight and by that stage it


should be a lot drier. A good enough cloud across all parts but it will


break in the morning and then we will reach the lowest temperatures


of around five Celsius, towns and cities but colder in the


countryside. I do not think we will see a frost tonight though. The


winds will be light. Tomorrow morning, we are set up nicely for a


good do you love sunshine which will develop through the day to


widespread sunshine for most areas. We cannot rule out showers because


the winds will be stronger from the south`west and the showers could


crop up in the south across Shropshire but temperatures slightly


lower tomorrow because the rain today was what in by a cold front so


the edit behind it is colder. `` rain today was brought in by a cold


front. A cluster of showers developing towards the north`west on


Thursday evening overnight into Friday. Friday, we have got showers


in the West, the same case on Saturday as well, fairly wet there,


the dry it will be in the East but the wet and windy weather heading in


for Sunday. Tonight's headlines from the BBC:


The end of five hundred years of shipbuilding in Portsmouth as the


defence giant BAE cuts jobs across the UK.


A mother's desperate attempts to save her 4`year`old daughter from


being mauled to death by the family's bulldog.


A Shropshire MP says he'll sue over newspaper allegations that he tried


to profit from his political influence.


And the father of a teenager who hanged herself says more could have


been done to save her. If you have a story you think we


should be covering on Midlands Today, we would like to hear from


you. You can call us or send an e`mail. We are also on Facebook or


you can tweet us. And that was the programme macro. I


will be back with the latest news at ten o'clock. We hope to have more on


the death of a long serving soldier on the Mercian Regiment killed in


Afghanistan. He was with the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, the


former Staffordshire Regiment. For now, goodbye.


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