07/11/2013 Midlands Today


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


revamp on the roads: long term plans for a possible permanent closure of


Birmingham's city centre tunnels. We are not ruling out anything. We are


going into a discussion. We'll be finding out why planners think it


could benefit Birmingham city centre. Also tonight: A week after


she was abandoned, police return to the park where baby Jade was found


and appeal for her mother to come forward. We saw this man stood by


the house, by the front door. You could see he was up to no good.


The cleaner who gave police a crucial tip off and put a convicted


killer back behind bars. One of the world's top jazz


musicians lends his name and his sax to help raise funds to fight cancer.


And considering how things were looking yesterday, there could now


be a better outcome for the weekend. Get the full details later.


Good evening, The A38 tunnels in Birmingham city centre could be


closed permanently as part of major transport reforms. It's just one


idea being looked at as part of a 20 year plan looking at the future of


travel across the city. Every day Birmingham residents make


approximately 2.8 million journeys in and out of the city, but 250,000


of those journeys are less than one mile long. There are also half a


million journeys on public transport across the city every day. Peter


Plisner reports on what these radical proposals could actually


mean for the city and its commuters. This summer's closure of the A38


tunnels for maintenance. Despite fears of gridlock, congestion wasn't


a major issue. Now following that closure, the debate has started on


the exact role of the tunnels ` which is some places are hindering


development. From here, you get a good idea of what the role of the


tunnels is. On this side, a derelict land is being occupied by a car


park. The road is acting as a barrier to develop into the council


wants it to change. At this morning's launch of a new 20`year


vision for transport in Birmingham the future of the tunnels was being


talked about. They are not ruling out anything. We're going into a


discussion was three or four months and all these concerns will come out


in that discussion. Consultants hired by the council to put today's


report together maintain the it can be done. There is an urban motorway


in San Francisco that used to carry more traffic than this road, about


110,000 vehicles a day and one day they decided to close that and turn


it into a fully pedestrianised environment. And San Francisco is


one of the most successful cities in the world. The report also talks


about big improvements to public transport which in some places will


mean less road space for cars. Dual carriageways like this could be


changed into routes like this featuring special public transport


only lanes. This is not an anti`car policy, if I was a car driver in


Birmingham ten years from now, and we had done nothing, I would be


frustrated whatever the time of day I was seeking to come into


Birmingham. Anti`car or not, the improvements have certainly gone


down well with environmentalists. I would describe it as having a vision


of transport that is good for people, for pedestrians, cyclists


are that is refreshing and positive. The City Council will now launch a


major consultation on the ideas put forward in the new transport vision


and it promises to be a lively debate. And Peter's next to the A38


tonight ` this will raise a few eyebrows! How can Birmingham


function without its tunnels? I think the easy answer is it can't


right now but it might not have too. This is one option being discussed


will stop the fact is, this is more likely to become a through route,


saw the junctions being removed. Masshouse Circus on the east side


was raised to the ground 15 years ago, many people said we couldn't do


without that, , but what we have seen since is that the


developments. We also saw it again when the ballroom was built, and


there we saw a roundabout is a plea and replaced by the shopping centre.


We stopped driving is started shopping instead. Even the bus lanes


will mean less space for cars? It has been dubbed anti`car, and bus


lanes are controversial. The last Administration running Birmingham


decided to remove some, what is also not in this report is road pricing,


that will please a fair few drivers. It is not anti`car but through


people. Clearly something has to be done, is a public transport looks


like the answer? They want to get people onto public transport, onto


their bikes and walking. Two roentgen 50,000 journeys every day


by car of less than a mile, the sort of journeys that could be done on


the bike or on foot `` 250,000 journeys.


Well, we've been asking for your views on the 20 year plan ` thanks


for your emails, tweets and Facebook messages.


Coming up, never mind Silicon Valley, is more than being


transferred into the UK 's very own Silicon Hill? `` Malvern.


It's exactly a week since a new born baby was found in a bag in a park in


Birmingham. Now West Midlands Police have released new pictures in the


hope that they'll prompt her mother to come forward. Doctors say Jade


would have died within hours, if she hadn't been found by a local man


walking his dog. Giles Latcham reports.


In the arms not of her mother, but of a nurse at Heartlands hospital in


Birmingham, eight day old Jade, the baby left in a park. In that park in


Stechford today, further efforts to find members of the public who may


have seen something. Since Jade was found in these bushes, police have


carried out extensive house`to`house enquiries, check with hospitals,


medical centres and care homes and followed up missing persons


enquiries as far afield as Manchester, but no avail. So if her


mum is looking at these pictures, wondering what to do and doesn't


want to contact the police, what would you say? You have a beautiful


baby girl, she is doing really well, she has been lavished with toys, but


you need to be with her, you are not in trouble, this is about getting


you reunited with Jade and making sure you are safe and well. Safe and


well, largely thanks to the dog Jade is named after, Jade the German


shepherd was patrolling the park with her owners again a week after


she found the newborn infant. She loves children. I think it is just a


natural instinct. I do think every dog would do that, I think she has


to be kind of special `` I don't think. I hope the baby comes forward


today can be together. Doctors say had she not been found when she was


she may well have died from the cold. Their concern is for mother as


well as child. The baby is fine and in the couple of days, it is really


for mum, she needs to have the same examination and care as the baby has


had to make sure she is well. Jade was found wrapped in a plastic bag


like this one ` police believe sightings of the bag could help the


investigation. A DNA swab's been taken in the hope that identifies


the parents of the baby in the bushes.


Plans have been revealed for a ?36 million manufacturing training


centre in Coventry. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills


will provide half of the funding for the project which will be built on


vacant land at the current Technology site on Ansty Park.


A Birmingham MP has called on the government to investigate how the


Jobcentre in Sparkhill is being run. The Labour MP for Birmingham Hall


Green Roger Godsiff has tabled an early day motion which puts on the


record his concerns that "unusually high" numbers of people are having


their benefits unfairly cut. The Lichfield MP asked the Transport


Secretary today when plans will be drawn up to limit the effects the


proposed High Speed rail link will have on the Staffordshire


countryside. Michael Fabricant is particularly concerned about the


scheme to build a 20 metre high viaduct to take the rail line over


Lichfield. He says he never loses an opportunity to make his point about


objection for this particular viaducts, it was part of a route


realignment which was done to help mitigate the effect, they will be


the opportunity once the bill is deposited for those affected to be


able to petition the Select Committee wants the second reading


has taken place. He'd been on the run for nearly two


weeks, but Alan Giles is back behind bars tonight after he was found


hiding in Alcester. The convicted murderer had been on the run from


Hewell Prison in Redditch. He was finally spotted last night by a team


of cleaners as they left work, who called the police to catch him.


Lindsay Doyle reports. As every detective knows, good


observation is key to solving a crime. As three cleaners were


travelling home from work at Alcester Grammar School last night,


they spotted a prisoner, who's been on the run for nearly two weeks ` in


effect hiding behind a hedge. We saw a police car go down the end of the


road, we have been joking about it, scaring each other, because we were


worried. We thought, has he been caught? My friend said Timmy, let's


follow police car. But we didn't need to, because we saw this man


stood by a house, we could tell it was him. He was trying to hide. So


we pulled up the road and phoned the police. Alan Giles, who's 56, walked


out of an open section of Hewell Prison near Redditch, he was serving


two life sentences for the kidnap and murder of sixteen year old Kevin


Ricketts in 1995. They have done a great job, it's lovely they have


gone out there in the community, big ego wide as ever, looking out for


the safety of the community and for the students of the school where


they work. This has been a town on Monday. It is known that Giles has


connections here. He worked here on day release. No one from the shop


wished to comment today. I thought he would be further away, I knew he


had been working in the shop, I thought he would never come back


here. They were terrified, especially to let the children out,


I wouldn't let my now. I can imagine they are glad he has been caught.


It's hard to think what the children are actually thinking, it's pretty


scary. The end of his time on the run has made social media heroines


of the cleaning ladies of Alcester Grammar School. I shall be giving


them some badges and medals and probably police medals! At badge of


honour indeed. More than 5,000 new jobs could be


created as part of a large`scale regeneration of one of Britain's


first so`called 'New Towns'. The centre of Telford in Shropshire is


being remodelled at a cost of a quarter of a billion pounds ` with


investment from the public and private sector. Hundreds of homes


are also expected to be built over the next five years. Ben Godfrey


reports. Regeneration was a dirty word.


During the economic crash, private investment was hard to find ` and


few councils had the nerve to pump taxpayers cash into large projects.


That has changed ` this is 'Southwater' ` Telford's attempt at


creating a thriving night time economy. We have used two major


contracting groups from the told that area who have got, on average,


170 men, within that there is 15% of local employment. It's costing ?250


million. So far, public money's covered a tenth of the cost ` the


remaining funding for a new cinema, library, restaurants and hotels


comes from private investment. The Communities Secretary was on site `


and on side. Backing Labour`run Telford and Wrekin Council ` which


wants to create 5000 jobs, and further the town's retail and


business footprint. If this was just pure public money, that would be a


terrific waste. You want to involve people, you want to get people, get


some private money in, because that is about the future. Telford has


staked a claim to be the fastest growing town in the Midlands. It is


this reckless and regeneration? It's not, industry brings more GDP in and


we get some of that back into our funding. Through council tax for new


homes, so we are going out of our way to get development here.


Shoppers today broadly welcomed town centre development. This would be a


lift for us. When it's finished, it will be a boost for the town. 50


years after it became a new town, today, the talk is still of


Telford's expansion. This is our top story tonight:


Radical revamp on the roads: long term plans for a possible permanent


closure of Birmingham's city centre tunnels. Your detailed weather


forecast to come shortly from Shefali. Also in tonight's programme


` ambitious plans to be announced later this evening for supporters to


take over Worcester City Football Club and give it a new home. And


restoring the tranquillity of a Shropshire canal ` all thanks to


Lottery money. In recent years, the picturesque


Worcestershire town of Malvern has become the base for a number of


high`tech companies, including defence contractors Qinetiq and the


internet security firm 3SDL. Now an innovation festival's taking place


in the town and there are claims that Malvern is now the UK's cyber


capital. Cath Mackie reports. Welcome to the future. A future that


can be found in Malvern in Worcestershire. We are a software


company, we supplied 50 companies `` countries all over the world. It is


a garden gadget for clearing animal waste. At the Malvern innovation


festival ` even still pictures can come to life ` by way of an app. We


have developed this to enhance the user experience for visitors through


to shopping fruity general information. In the auditorium,


Professor Colin O'Halloran gives a lecture about software security. He


works at a new business which solves software problems. They chose to


base themselves in Malvern. There is a wealth of talent in the Malvern


area which we can use but also draw upon the people in the University,


further afield. The town has been a centre of scientific discovery for


decades. Rumour has it that the word boffin was derived to describe the


brain boxes working on defence projects here during the War. So


innovation isn't a new word in Malvern. It is after all the place


where radar was developed in the 1940s and later infra red and liquid


crystal technologies. And's it's now recognised as the UK's very own


cyber valley. Point is you cannot just stop, in order to be


competitive, you have to keep innovating and it's what we're


trying to encourage. There's been investment in superfast broadband


for companies in the town but for more rural businesses, like Mike


Gogan's, it's still a bone of contention. Just the other day, I


had to send some files after Birmingham, and I used a data


transfer system we have which is called the Royal mail, I posted


them. That must be frustrating. We live in hope! So the lobbying


continues to make sure Malvern remains cyber capital of the UK.


When you want to raise money to help the fight against prostate cancer,


it helps when you can call upon the world's best known jazz sax players.


Courtney Pine has taken time out of his busy touring schedule to help an


old friend and give out a stark message to black men. Michele


Paduano has been finding out more. Meet John Hoo ` he says he's not a


professional, he doesn't practice enough, but he toured for years with


the late great saxophonist, Andy Hamilton.


So when he decided to raise money for prostate cancer, who better to


call than the legend, Courtney Pine. John is not an old boy, he is always


young to me. When he picks up those ex, he always cuts through. `` those


aches. He carriages musicians to play. For the past three years, John


has been treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.


Like many black men, his disease was discovered late. It was in my lymph


nodes, I have got a permanent lake that doesn't perform very well. It's


a serious problem. Men in the black community don't go to the doctor


enough, particularly about their water works. It's roughly twice as


likely to occur in men of African origin than of the Caucasian origin,


it's a double whammy, increased risk and increased risk it will turn bad.


Sunshine gives people the dim indeed, and with the UK climate,


black men struggle to get enough vitamin B12 But there'll be plenty


of sunshine tonight at the Bramall music building as jazz shines a


spotlight on the disease. That concert is at 7:30pm this


evening at the University of Birmingham.


Worcester City Supporters Trust is meeting this evening to try to


secure their club's long term future. Worcester City don't have a


ground after leaving St George's Lane in April and at the moment are


playing their home Games at Kidderminster. Dan Pallett's in


Worcester now ahead of tonight's meeting. So Dan, tell us what's


happening? I'm at Tudor Grange Academy ` the school is on the


Bilford Road and it's in this part of the city where supporters hope to


build a new community based stadium to bring Worcester City back to


Worcester. Rob Crean is the secretary of the supporters trust.


You told us about the plans in April, remind us what they are. Last


time we spoke we were at the old ground, we had no home to go to, we


are planning to ground share with Kidderminster, we thought we needed


an alternative, to get the club surviving so we have looked to at a


planning a patient in with the City Council to build a community`based


stadium within the confines of the city. `` planning application. How


big will it be and how can you pay for it? 4300, and in terms of how we


pay for it, some will come from the sale of the ground, we hope to get


some funding, we will talk about that at the meeting, about making


the Constitution of the club different, encourage more funding


and look for a community share off, try and raise shares to build the


stadium. Getting fans to own the car, that's interesting, we saw the


great crowds in April, over 4000 people, are people still caring and


will you get the club through this period in Kidderminster? We have


realised we can't exist ground sharing forever so we're trying to


get a groundswell of opinion going, get people to support what we're


doing. Suggestion making it a fan zone `` fan owned club, who think


the more involvement we can get the more we can make it a success.


Difficult times for Worcester City, but you can see the fans do care,


that is maybe the way forward. Plans to restore a Shropshire canal


have moved a step closer after the project was awarded money from the


Lottery. The ?160,000 grant is a key step towards securing the ?3.7


million needed to bring the Montgomery canal back to life.


Joanne Writtle reports. The Montgomery Canal runs for 33


miles between Shropshire and Wales and is more than 200 years old. This


section's near Oswestry. 2000 narrow boats travel along this section of


the canal every year. When they get to this section, they have to turn


round and go back again. That's because only eight miles are


navigable here. The rest's fallen into disrepair. Now the Canal and


River Trust has secured ?160,000 of Heritage Lottery money. It paves the


way for a larger bid of ?3.7 million to restore just over a mile. We want


to increase the number of boats we have on the canal, and we also want


to increase access for people who want to use the tow paths for


recreational butties. `` activities. Once canals were crucial in England.


This photograph shows the Montgomery Canal before large parts were ruined


following a breach in 1936. For decades volunteers have worked to


restore this canal. This section's expected to be finished next May.


It's hoped it will link up with the stretch the Heritage Lottery Fund is


set to pay for. I think it's fantastic, it means we can carry on


to the net stage and carry on working slowly but surely so we can


hopefully link up the whole canal. It's been under restoration for 40


years now and we're probably only halfway through the process. As for


boat owners like Tony and Christine Hesslegrave, they're delighted. How


do you feel about the fact they are hoping to do the work? Looking


forward to it very much, the sooner the better! He may have to wait,


though. Work isn't expected to start until 2015.


Much brighter weather`wise today than wet Wednesday. More of the same


please, Shefali. I may be able to comply! It is


looking quite good for the weekend. Generally it is going to be


unsettled, it will also be breezy, if we concentrate on Sunday alone


for Remembrance Day parades and services, compared with what I said


yesterday, there has been a turnaround. It is now looking dry


and sunny, crisp and cold, rather like today, the rain we were talking


of yesterday will arrive later on in the day. Taking a closer look we


have a lot of rain around us, just not across us in the next couple of


days. Having said that, they will be some sharp splinters showers to the


west and the South, these will affect us on Saturday. A ridge of


high pressure builds for Sunday, that's when the rain arrives from


the West, that's later on Sunday, through the course of the night.


This evening, we still have some showers drifting up from the


south`west. They should stay out of the region, for most of us it will


be dry tonight, especially the further east you go. Towards the


North`East, here you could see some patchy frost developing in right


areas, but generally, those of around four to six Celsius. The


showers will be developed `` defected to the North and the South,


so it would be much like today. Temperatures up to about eight to 10


Celsius, maybe a maximum of 11, with a moderate south`westerly breeze.


During tomorrow night, we start to see the rain encroaching from the


West. Perhaps longer bands of rain but they will split into showers


during Saturday itself. Sunday will be dry.


Tonight's headlines from the BBC: In the trial of three marines accused


of killing an Afghan, the court hears a recording of them talking as


the man was shot. A radical revamp of the roads is on


the cards for Birmingham: plans announced for a possible permanent


closure of the A38 city centre tunnels.


That was the Midlands Today. I'll be back at ten o'clock discussing


Birmingham's transport plans with an expert from the University of


Birmingham. Have a great evening.


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