11/11/2013 Midlands Today


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That is all from the BBC News at Six. Goodbye.


Hello, welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: Tens of


thousands mark Armistice Day across the region. Among them the last


surviving widow of a serviceman from the First World War. I have done


something today that I feel was worthwhile. And we'll be talking to


Worcestershire veterans who've made a film about their experiences in


World War Two, entitled We Did Our Bit. Also tonight: Why the Stratford


MP who's admitted making a mistake with his expenses, is being urged to


make a donation to charity. Five months in prison for the man


who was caught red`handed trying to strangle his neighbour's cat.


The Tamworth goal that beat League Two Cheltenham and fired the dream


of another scintillating cup run. And the sunshine's been glorious


while the rain's been intense. Throw in some frosty nights and you've got


some weather worthy of attention. I'll be here with your forecast


later. Good evening, on the eve of a huge


commemoration that'll mark the centenary of the start of the First


World War. That approaching landmark has seen a surge of respect among


all generations for those who lost their lives in war. Armistice Day,


as opposed to the nearest Sunday to the 11th of November, was first


observed in 1919 following a suggestion by an Australian


journalist. And it's remembered at 11 o'clock, as many will know,


because that's the time the guns fell silent on the Western Front.


The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. But a town in


Warwickshire is thought to have the most continuous record of


remembrance ` 92 years ` and that's where we sent our reporter Ben


Sidwell for the first of two reports on tonight's Midlands Today.


It is the town that will never forget.


At 11 o'clock on the 11th of November, Bedworth fell silent just


as it has for the last 92 years. This is what we are renowned for.


Bedworth was the only one at one time that did armistice arrayed on


the 11th of the 11th. Despite the appalling weather, around 3000


people took to the streets to remember those who made the ultimate


sacrifice. The people are lovely here and they want to remember.


People, from miles around and they have been doing it every year. We


are proud of it. At the National Memorial Arboretum in


Staffordshire, the tributes were led by 93`year`old Dorothy Ellis, the


last surviving was for widow. Her husband's story inspired the book


warhorse. I have done something today that I feel was worthwhile.


For Carol Valentine the town's parade has added emotion. Our son


was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. They always used to tell them about


the armistice parade. His regiment came to attend the parade in his


memory. As the veterans marched through the town, approvals broke


out among the crowd. Here those who lost their lives for their country


will always be remembered. Elsewhere in the region, World War Two


veterans were at the screening of a film featuring their own stories of


horror and heroics. The film called We Did Our Bit is being distributed


to schools, colleges and community groups. Cath Mackie reports.


When your own guns firing, that shakes the ship up. For 11 minutes,


the audience at The Hive in Wester were taken back to a time of courage


and terror. 11 that trends from the Second World War tell their stories


in the film. German planes were coming from North Africa which were


still in their hands and also from Sicily. We were attacked


constantly. Jack joined the Navy age 16. You could join the Navy in those


days at 40. Some of them did six months training. `` 14. A lot of


them were killed. Especially the ones early in the war. The noise was


horrific. Bill Bowkett was part of the day on the Normandy beaches. I


lay there on the beach and thought, I am 18 in a couple of days time.


The film ended at 11 o'clock, a time for reflection. Some of the boys my


own age got killed, got wounded and I never saw them again. A time for


reflection also for today's soldiers. Jamie spent Remembrance


Day in Afghanistan last year, this year he is raising money for the


British Legion. We are doing it for them. It could be us one day. It is


a great honour. So many people are aware of it now. 400 copies of the


veterans film are now available for schools and community groups, for


the stories of sacrifice to live on in the minds of future generations.


Coming up later in the programme: Lifting the lid on the secrets held


inside a Roman coffin found in Warwickshire.


There's mounting pressure tonight on the Conservative MP for


Stratford`on`Avon, Nadhim Zahawi, who's admitted mistakenly claiming


nearly ?6,000 for heating bills. Mr Zahawi says he's 'mortified' by the


error. He's made an unconditional apology and referred himself to the


Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority who'll supervise his


repayment of the money. Our political editor Patrick Burns is


here with us now. It's quite complicated, Patrick. Remind us how


it's unfolded. The story first broke just over a week ago when the Sunday


Mirror revealed that Mr is how we's claims for energy were far higher


than those of any other MP. He explained that they also referred


back to you a billing period for last year and he says the sums


involved were less than he had been claiming for the rant of a flat in


Stratford before he bought the house in question. During the course of


this past weekend as the Sunday Mirror were preparing a follow`up


story, Mr Zahawi issued his unconditional apology. He said he


had been mortified by the mistake to discover the bills in question had


not just spin for the heating of his home but also his stables and for a


mobile home. What has been the reaction in his constituency? He


said he had been humbled by how many expressions of support from complete


strangers. But according to Labour, they say he has lost the trust of


his constituents, local Labour councillors are supporting a


campaign called shame on you, Mr Zahawi, and they are urging him to


donate ?10,000 to age UK. He has referred himself to the


Parliamentary standards authority. Is he under investigation? The


authorities say they are conducting preliminary assessments but it is


bound to revive all those memories of notorious MPs expenses scandals


from the not too distant past. A man's been jailed for 20 weeks for


trying to kill his neighbour's cat. 53`year`old Karl Dyke tried to hang


the cat in the shed at his home in Hereford. He admitted causing


unnecessary suffering to an animal but denied he wanted the cat to die.


Holly Lewis reports. Karl Dyke was caught red`handed


trying to hang his neighbour 's cat in July this year. Mike and Tracey


Lawrence were at home with their children when Tracy saw Karl Dyke


carry their cat to the shed in his garden. They found him dangling the


cat from a home`made noose. I was the last person he was expecting at


that door and when he realised he had been caught in the act, it was


just the look on his face. It was incredible. Karl Dyke had put a rope


on the cat's neck. He claimed he was teaching the cat a lesson for


soiling his garden but Hereford magistrates Fountain guilty of


attempting to kill an animal. During sentencing, it was said the offence


was so severe that only a custodial sentence would suffice. He wilfully


tortured and intended to kill his neighbour 's cat. He was ordered to


pay ?250 compensation to the Lawrence family, court costs and he


was banned from keeping animals for five years. This case had a massive


impact on the family. They were really traumatised so getting a


strong sentence is a victory for them. A 20 year prison sentence, a


ban on owning animals, it is good. Karl Dyke has now moved. Apart from


being timid, the Lawrence cap has suffered no adverse effects from her


own appeal. `` ordeal. Police officers in the West Midlands may no


longer be forced to retire after 30 years service. The A19 pension


regulation was controversial, with some officers retiring against their


will. However, today, the chief constable has announced a review.


Our reporter Giles Latcham joins us now from outside police headquarters


in the centre of Birmingham, Giles, what's brought this about? This has


been a difficult and painful chapter. The chief constable would


say that forcing them to retire was forced upon him by the government


cutting his funding by 20%, but the police are saying they met their


target for savings earlier than anticipated. 559 officers have gone


under this measure but another 779 have gone for a whole variety of


reasons, they had seen the writing on the wall. What has been the


reaction? The police officers union have welcomed the end of the scheme.


They say those left behind have been put under greater workloads and


stress. The police and crime commission concedes that the loss of


all those officers has had an effect. The decision to lose people


has meant we have lost a considerable number of experienced


and capable officers. So when will a decision be made on what happens


next? There will be a meeting in early December. The challenge will


then be for the police to recruit 450 new officers and within that, to


recruit successfully from ethnic minorities because critics say it


does not represent the communities it seeks to serve. The lid has been


lifted for the first time today on a coffin believed to date from Roman


times. It was found by metal detectorists


in a field near Atherstone in Warwickshire last month. Our cameras


were there to capture the moment, as Liz Copper reports.


Revealing a piece of Roman history. It is a delicate operation preparing


the coffin for scientific testing. It was found by two friends using


metal detectors in a field in the Warwickshire border. It is such an


unusual find. There was an underlying excitement as to what


this might tell us. We hope to get an insight into burial rites and


customs of a child buried in the Roman period. We will get an insight


into the environment of the time and we hope to be able to bring back to


life this child. It will take two days to take samples for the


scientist to analyse. This Coughlan may have been hidden for 1600 years


but tests will reveal a staggering amount of detail. They will reveal


much about closing, and drugs used in Roman Britain. The results are


likely to offer new and fascinating insights into our Roman heritage.


Work excavating the contents came to a stop today after experts made an


unexpected find. They are uncovered a child's jet bracelet which would


make the burial even rarer than over surely thought. Archaeologists now


think it is more likely there are more items inside.


Our top story tonight: Tens of thousands across the region fall


silent on Armistice Day ` among them the last surviving widow from the


First World War. Your detailed weather forecast to


come shortly. Also in tonight's programme: The


dream of another exhilarating cup run is on for Tamworth fans after


they beat League Two side Cheltenham at the weekend.


And children flocking to see and hear the acclaimed author who wrote


Warhorse. If you have a story you think we


should be covering on Midlands Today, we'd like to hear from you.


You can call us or send an email. We are also on Facebook or you can


tweet us. We're building up to a big


fundraising night here at the BBC ` Children in Need is on TV, radio and


online this Friday. The money raised goes to help children right across


the world ` and also helps many projects here in the Midlands. It's


a terrible statistic that a quarter of all young people in Britain will


witness violence between adults in their own home. And that has a


damaging effect on children growing up. Joan Cummins has been hearing


about a scheme in Hereford which shows youngsters that domestic


violence is never excusable. More than one in ten children under


the age of 11 have experienced domestic abuse in the home. Studies


show that often the emotional experience can leave youngsters are


vulnerable. Natasha needed help years after her mother was attacked.


He pushed her and she hit her head on our banister and fell to the


floor. I rang an ambulance. I was scared. In Hereford and Worcester,


the crush project funded by children in need has helped more than 300


children this year, and recognise the warning signs of domestic abuse.


Chloe says living with domestic abuse left her feeling isolated and


alone. I cried a lot and I didn't talk to my friends because their


families seemed normal and I thought they would not understand. It made


me feel lonely and I felt down all the time. First loves and teenage


relationships can also turn abusive. Every relationship needs trust, you


need to have respect for each other and you need to be happy. Crush


rebuild the confidence of people like Helen and Kim. It is a relief


off your shoulders and you are happy once you are done. It is a long


process to recover but you will be so grateful you did it. I will not


get myself into anything like that again. It destroys you as a person.


It is estimated that domestic abuse costs the state billions of pounds


every year. Here in the Midlands, projects like Rush are helping to


make a difference in children's lives.


More stories of the help Children in Need is giving children in the


Midlands, in the programme all this week. If you want to fundraise, or


make your own donation, there's a lot more information online, on


Facebook and there's even a Pudsey app. We'll be giving out a phone


line later in the week. Time for sport now and plenty to get excited


about in the FA Cup. Here's Dan. Tonight, in the FA Cup, Port Vale


travel to Gloucestershire hoping to avoid the embarrassment of being


knocked out by short wood United, the smallest club left in the


competition. Three of our non`league teams are safely through, including


Tamworth who've got another home draw in round two. Ian Winter


reports from Staffordshire. Peach boots, electric blue boots, it


is a rainbow of coloured boots as Tamworth march one step closer to


the road to Wembley. Tomorrow night they are back to earth with a bump


in their battle to avoid relegation from the conference. On Saturday


they were on form and one goal was enough to beat Cheltenham. Scored by


Nick Chadwick, on loan from Plymouth. Restore city at home in


the next round. Yes. We were asking for a home side and we got that.


Don't come any bigger than Bristol city. You will still be here for the


Bristol city game? Yes. Hopefully the FA Cup will be a good omen for


me while I am here. Tamworth are not our only non`league team through


to. On Friday Elliot Durrell told us he was confident of scoring against


Crawley and he kept his promise with a penalty. But they lost 2`1. Four `


one was also a popular school for Kidderminster Harriers. And Craig


Westcarr grabbed hold for Walsall as they beat Shrewsbury. Final word on


Tamworth who kept a clean sheet on Saturday thanks to goalkeeper


Cameron Belford. The talking points in the Premier


League were two controversial injury time penalties. West Bromwich Albion


were on course for their league first win at Chelsea in 35 years


before referee Andre Marriner awarded a penalty for this challenge


by Stephen Reid. It allowed Chelsea to draw 2`all. But Stoke were


grateful to get a late penalty and a 3`all draw at Swansea. Referee


Robert Madley spotted a handball. I'm not sure everyone saw it though.


No I think most Stoke fans would agree they were a bit lucky to get


the penalty and a point. As for Albion well understandably


furious. No such problems for Villa and Blues this weekend. No Villa


scored their first goals in seven and a half hours in beating Cardiff


City 2`nil. Leandro Bacuna's spectacular free`kick ended the


drought. Birmingham City got a valuable 3`1 win at Huddersfield to


climb out of the Championship's bottom three. The only sour note was


Kyle Bartley being sent off for his goal celebration. Slightly harsh.


That was harsh! Thank you. Fewer children are reading in their


own time. That's the finding from a recent report into literacy across


the UK. Well this weekend, over a thousand young people gathered in


Birmingham to take part in the Festival of Children's Literature.


It was organised by a deputy head and a school librarian. But can


events like this really make a difference? Our Arts Reporter Satnam


Rana has been finding out. Music, literature and illustration


inspired by the book the sword in the stone and the concert suite that


accompanies it. These young bookworms are part of the Federation


of children's book groups which promotes reading and this was one of


many workshops. Reading is part of everyday life and if you cannot


read, it is something that is really key to how life works. It has helped


me boost my confidence. Reading comes up in everyday life and opens


your mind into different stories. The National literacy trust reported


that one in five children are embarrassed to be seen with a book


so can a festival like this make a difference? I can give you evidence


from headteachers who say getting young people to meet the author, go


back to school and do further works on the books. Author I've got more


poco is there to bring his new book to life. He is passionate about


children's literacy. You cannot expect children to grow up with a


love of literacy if the temples of literature are being closed down in


your community. It is a mixed message so that needs to be stopped,


you need to follow the example of the Brummies. As books here are


brought to life here, it is thought children will follow through with an


enthusiasm for reading. I got drenched again this morning. I


should listen to the weather forecast. You really should but with


it being quite changeable, it is worth keeping a brolly just in case.


A lot milder today which probably made the rain more bearable but by


tomorrow, it will turn a lot colder and with that, we will see mixture


of dry and wet weather. More detail on to that ` this was the warm front


that gave us the rain this morning but this will be the cold front that


keeps that rain coming tonight and introduces colder conditions


tomorrow. High pressure will dip in and out this week and that will give


us calmer conditions for the night. It will not be until Wednesday


night, into Thursday that we see the next band of wet weather. A cold


front keeping the rain gobbling right now. This will nudge into


north`western parts of the region. That rain will start to cross the


region later on tonight. It should start to die out and it will be a


dry end to the night with temperatures down to 9`10dC. We have


clearer skies developing in the north, so by the morning, for the


north of the region, a good deal of sunshine there. The sunshine will


spread further southwards through the afternoon. Temperatures will be


slightly lower tomorrow, between 10`12 Celsius. Those values will


drop drastically through tomorrow night at under clear skies. Lows of


around one `to Celsius in towns and cities. Colder than that in the


countryside. It could be cold enough for not only ground frost but a


touch of air frost as well. You will be greeted by that on Wednesday.


Wednesday itself will be a very chilly start to the date but lots of


sunshine. Fairly decent on Thursday but there is rain in between.


Tonight headlines: Devastated by Typhoon Haiyan ` the Philippines


declares a state of emergency with more than 10,000 people killed.


Actas of remembrance have taken place around the country.


Veterans from Worcestershire watch a screening of a film be made about


their contribution in World War II. And a man from Cheltenham completes


the first ever marathon swim from one end of Britain to another.


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