13/11/2013 Midlands Today


13/11/2013

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That's all from the BBC News at Six so it's goodbye

:00:00.:00:00.

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

:00:00.:00:09.

down in our region for a second quarter in a row, but there's still

:00:10.:00:13.

work to be done to plug the skills gap.

:00:14.:00:19.

We are building skills and wider experience and ways of working which

:00:20.:00:22.

will be valued by employers. We visit a Warwickshire college

:00:23.:00:25.

which is trying to tackle persistently high youth

:00:26.:00:26.

unemployment. Also tonight: Struggling to pay the

:00:27.:00:29.

bills ` how the West Midlands has one of the highest levels of fuel

:00:30.:00:34.

poverty in the country. For the first time we are actually

:00:35.:00:40.

facing the reality of thinking about the bills.

:00:41.:00:42.

Making their home debut ` Birmingham City Ladies play at St Andrew's for

:00:43.:00:46.

the first time, for a place in the Champions League quarterfinals.

:00:47.:00:49.

Why would anyone want to swim 900 miles and spend 135 days in the

:00:50.:00:54.

water? We'll ask the first man to swim the length of Britain.

:00:55.:00:58.

After the chill of last night, things staying a little milder

:00:59.:01:01.

tonight, but don't get used to it ` the cold's back tomorrow. Your full

:01:02.:01:03.

forecast later. Good evening. The number of people

:01:04.:01:16.

out of work here in the West Midlands has fallen for a second

:01:17.:01:20.

quarter in a row. Between July and September, unemployment fell by

:01:21.:01:28.

15,000 to 257,000. But at 9.5%, the region's unemployment rate is still

:01:29.:01:32.

higher than the national average. Today, the Deputy Prime Minister,

:01:33.:01:35.

Nick Clegg, said that tackling youth unemployment is a Government

:01:36.:01:40.

priority. We've been to a Warwickshire college which is

:01:41.:01:42.

developing entrepreneurial skills among its students to help them find

:01:43.:01:50.

work. Liz Copper reports. Andy Plester and Graham Bird started

:01:51.:01:53.

their tree`felling business while they were still studying. They

:01:54.:01:57.

combined their college course with commercial experience. Eight months

:01:58.:02:02.

on and they're starting to see the skills they learned turn into

:02:03.:02:10.

profits. We have worries but we thought we would take them in our

:02:11.:02:12.

stride and see how things turned adult. So far, things have gone

:02:13.:02:18.

well. We decided it is the best way to set your business up by far.

:02:19.:02:23.

Personally, I think it is better than working for somebody, being

:02:24.:02:28.

able to work for yourself. Building a business though is tough,

:02:29.:02:31.

especially for students fresh out of college. Starting a business

:02:32.:02:39.

requires skills. But can enter a new real spirit be taught? ``

:02:40.:02:49.

entrepreneurial spirit. When students are following the

:02:50.:02:55.

curriculum, we are building in the skills and experiences and ways of

:02:56.:02:59.

working which will be valued by employers and valuable to them when

:03:00.:03:02.

they leave college and take the next step. These students are preparing

:03:03.:03:12.

for an exhibition next week. Their work will be on show, but also for

:03:13.:03:15.

sale. It's one of the projects designed to help them build

:03:16.:03:18.

entrepreneurial skills. There is a standard and brief we have to meet

:03:19.:03:23.

and it is training as up to be ready for the kind of demands we will get

:03:24.:03:28.

from our clients if we were to work in that role. Trying to look for

:03:29.:03:35.

work experience to get more skills so I know what I need to do when I'm

:03:36.:03:41.

out there. It is very hard as well. You have to have an eye out for

:03:42.:03:44.

customers and consumers and what they are buying and that will

:03:45.:03:50.

escalate you up to think what you can sell and do.

:03:51.:03:53.

Cutting youth unemployment is a continuing challenge. Building

:03:54.:03:55.

businesses which flourish even in economically difficult conditions

:03:56.:04:07.

will help bring unemployment down. Our business correspondent Peter

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Plisner is at the Skills Show at the NEC tonight. It's good news that

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unemployment has fallen again in our region but, as Liz's report showed,

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getting the right skills is key to bringing down youth unemployment.

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What else is being done to tackle that? I think that is exactly where

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the the Skills Show comes in. It is on at the NEC for the next few days.

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Unemployment is down but still work to do. How does the Skills Show

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help? Unemployment is the reason the Skills Show exists. That is together

:04:54.:04:59.

the UK people and youngsters and ability to learn skills. Not just

:05:00.:05:05.

normal education but skills they were able to turn their hands to for

:05:06.:05:12.

the rest of their lives. Is getting skills or academic education more

:05:13.:05:15.

important? Some employers seem to prefer vocational skills. Most of

:05:16.:05:23.

the time people go to university and get a degree and then find they want

:05:24.:05:28.

to do something different. The wonderful thing about the Skills

:05:29.:05:35.

Show is that you can try different things. You could join and

:05:36.:05:39.

apprenticeship or do further education and get the right

:05:40.:05:42.

qualification to allow you to do that skill. When you look for staff,

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what do you look for? I don't put as much emphasis on university degrees

:05:50.:05:57.

as many people. I am looking for passion, desire and the ability to

:05:58.:06:02.

make it happen. There are so many young people who join us. The Skills

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Show is on for the next few days. Saturday is family day.

:06:14.:06:19.

Coming up later in the programme: Learning to trust again ` the

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project in Walsall helping the young victims of sexual predators to

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rebuild their lives. Utility bills are set to increase

:06:28.:06:31.

above inflation for the next 17 years. That's the stark warning

:06:32.:06:34.

today from the National Audit Office. Many are already struggling

:06:35.:06:40.

to pay their energy bills. New figures show a third of

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constituencies in the West Midlands are among the worst for fuel

:06:43.:06:45.

poverty. Here's our political reporter Susana Mendonca.

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John is a teacher. He is out of work at the moment so for the first time

:06:57.:07:00.

in his life he has to choose a dream paying heating or eating. I have

:07:01.:07:07.

decided to cut everything done. It is cold in here. Not as cold as my

:07:08.:07:16.

room but, yes. You are not going to put any seating on. Now. He is one

:07:17.:07:29.

of Birmingham's fuel poor. It is one of `` around one third of the worst

:07:30.:07:35.

places in the UK for fuel poverty are in the West Midlands with seven

:07:36.:07:40.

in Birmingham. My own feeling is we are scratching the surface of the

:07:41.:07:46.

problem and more needs to be done. From our experience, we see a lot

:07:47.:07:49.

more people falling into fuel poverty. Labour says the region has

:07:50.:07:55.

particular problems which makes them back of higher fuel prices worse.

:07:56.:08:03.

There are more disabled people in the West Midlands. There are

:08:04.:08:09.

thousands of homes in fuel poverty. They are afraid of being able to

:08:10.:08:19.

keep to their homes in the winter. `` heat. The government says it is

:08:20.:08:26.

doing what it can to help vulnerable people. It says the idea of freezing

:08:27.:08:31.

fuel prices wouldn't solve things. It is not a freeze, it is a , con.

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Those struggling to top up the meter are hoping for a mild winter.

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The BBC has learnt that the direct rail link between Shrewsbury to

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London is due to restart in May next year. The service was lost in 2011

:08:58.:09:01.

when the Wrexham and Shropshire link was ended. But the Office of Rail

:09:02.:09:04.

Regulation has now accepted a joint proposal from Virgin Trains and

:09:05.:09:07.

Network Rail for a weekday and Sunday service. Initially, trains

:09:08.:09:12.

will only run at off`peak times. Andrea Waldeck from Cheltenham today

:09:13.:09:15.

admitted to smuggling 1.5kg of illegal drugs into Indonesia. But

:09:16.:09:20.

the former police community support officer said she'd been forced to

:09:21.:09:24.

carry the crystal meth because of threats to herself, friends and

:09:25.:09:28.

family. She's on trial in Surabaya after being arrested earlier this

:09:29.:09:32.

year. If she's found guilty of the charges against her she faces the

:09:33.:09:37.

death penalty. The chief executive of New Cross

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Hospital in Wolverhampton has welcomed a new report outlining how

:09:41.:09:43.

accident and emergency services should be changed. David Loughton

:09:44.:09:48.

has already warned that his hospital's A department will

:09:49.:09:51.

struggle to cope with demand this winter and it's already taking 40%

:09:52.:09:54.

more patients than it was designed for.

:09:55.:10:02.

We have 30 more A nurses than last winter, six more A consultants and

:10:03.:10:11.

two more physicians. We are doing the best he can but the department

:10:12.:10:14.

is not big enough to deal with it at the moment. For patients coming year

:10:15.:10:19.

under their own steam, there are lots of alternatives which could be

:10:20.:10:24.

found. There are calls tonight for improved

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safety measures at a pool in the Malvern Hills where two young men

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drowned. A coroner recorded verdicts of accidental death on 17`year`old

:10:32.:10:34.

Russell O'Neill and Justas Juzenas, 22. They died within a week of each

:10:35.:10:37.

other while swimming in hot weather over the summer. Our reporter Giles

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Latcham was at the hearing in Hereford. What was said about

:10:42.:10:42.

safety? The inquest heard evidence about the

:10:43.:10:45.

signs that were in place warning about the dangers of swimming at

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Gullet Quarry at the time of these separate tragedies in July. The men

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who died were a Lithuanian national, Justas Juzenas, and Russell O'Neill,

:11:01.:11:06.

a promising young footballer. His family said they believed the signs

:11:07.:11:09.

weren't as prominent and clear as they should have been. They claimed

:11:10.:11:13.

some of them were obscured by vegetation. They were too upset to

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appear on camera but I spoke to Justas' sister and a representative

:11:18.:11:27.

of the Lithuanian government. Nothing can change this situation.

:11:28.:11:35.

There could be a lot of signs that no one will bring my brother back. I

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will always love him and this place just will remind me about that.

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Signs should be put up immediately on the edge of the quarry or

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anywhere where people go straight from there into the water, saying

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there is clearly no swimming, dangerous water.

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So who's responsible for the quarry pool?

:12:02.:12:03.

The area comes under the responsibility of the Conservators,

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the custodians of the Malvern Hills. Their director attended the inquest

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and gave evidence. Our thoughts are with the family and

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friends. This is a difficult time for them. We have commissioned the

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Royal Society for the prevention of accidents to report on the quarry.

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The coroner said that cold water contributed to both deaths and was

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conceivable that more deaths could coroner. `` car there.

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Thousands of children every year are falling prey to sexual predators,

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either through social media sites or even introductions from friends.

:12:55.:12:57.

Projects such as street teams in Walsall help youngsters rebuild

:12:58.:12:59.

their lives after they've been targeted. Joan Cummins has been

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speaking to two young people who, through funding from Children In

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Need, are learning to trust again. He pretended to be my friend by

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talking to me in a genuine way that made me feel comfortable. If you

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hear in the news that a girl is getting groomed by an older man,

:13:24.:13:31.

it's news but you don't hear about a young lad being groomed by an older

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woman. Many children at risk of sexual exploitation. In Walsall, one

:13:39.:13:47.

charity is trying to help. He tried kissing me and I backed off. It

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happened when I was 15. She was friendly at the start and then she

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beat me up every single time without fail. She broke my nose, it

:14:05.:14:14.

disinfected into my eyes, slashed me with a knife. She went, I hate you,

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I love you. She was promised she wouldn't do it again and it was a

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mistake. Sexual predators groom boys and girls, pretending to be their

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friends are for luring them into a cycle of abuse. I felt I couldn't

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talk to any of my family or anybody. No one really listens to

:14:46.:14:51.

me. I never believe in violence towards a female so I would just

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take it. Young victims often blame you can donate to children in need

:14:54.:15:45.

by calling the summer. Our top story tonight: Unemployment

:15:46.:16:00.

down in our region for a second quarter in a row, but it's still

:16:01.:16:03.

above the national average. Your detailed weather forecast to

:16:04.:16:06.

come shortly from Rebecca. Also in tonight's programme: The

:16:07.:16:09.

seasickness sufferer who decided to swim the length of Britain. We ask

:16:10.:16:11.

him why. And how Scott's work with Mencap has

:16:12.:16:15.

earned him a nomination for a Midlands Sports award.

:16:16.:16:23.

It's a big night of European football at St Andrew's with

:16:24.:16:27.

Birmingham City Ladies in action. They're aiming for a place in the

:16:28.:16:30.

quarterfinals of the Champions League, taking on the Russian side

:16:31.:16:33.

Zorkiy Krasnogorsk. Our sports editor Nick Clitheroe is there now.

:16:34.:16:36.

Nick, it seems incredible they're playing on their home turf for the

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first time? Incredible. They were formed in 1969

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but it is the first time they will play here. Tonight they are hoping

:16:54.:16:59.

for double the usual crowd of four or 5000. It's been a great couple of

:17:00.:17:09.

seasons for the club. They were FA Cup winners in 2012 and have twice

:17:10.:17:12.

been runners`up in the Super League but this is their chance to make a

:17:13.:17:15.

mark in European football. Training night for the Blues Ladies.

:17:16.:17:19.

There's an extra spring in their step and a smile on their faces.

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Because this evening, they get the opportunity to play at St Andrew's

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for the first time. For England international Karen Carney, who

:17:27.:17:29.

joined the club at 11, it's the fulfilment of a lifetime ambition.

:17:30.:17:32.

The last time I was here I was a mascot and I was only allowed on

:17:33.:17:39.

certain parts of the pitch. To have this and all my family they are

:17:40.:17:44.

watching, it would be a dream come true for them and me.

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But that's not the only incentive tonight. Birmingham are on the

:17:50.:17:52.

threshold of a place in the quarterfinals of the Champions

:17:53.:17:54.

League. Their Russian opponents Zorkiy Krasnogorsk imported players

:17:55.:17:57.

from America to try and boost their hopes but it was Blues who won

:17:58.:18:01.

Saturday's first leg 2`0. If you can't win the first ball...

:18:02.:18:05.

They're not taking any chances. Coach Marcus Bignot was taking the

:18:06.:18:09.

players through the good and bad from the first leg before training

:18:10.:18:12.

on Monday. No`one wants to let slip this golden opportunity. We are

:18:13.:18:19.

punching above our weight. We are competing against millions of pounds

:18:20.:18:22.

worth of investment across the continent. To get where we have is a

:18:23.:18:29.

minor miracle in itself. It would be monumental to get to the

:18:30.:18:34.

quarterfinal. I remember when we were playing in a park using cars

:18:35.:18:39.

for lights and now we are playing at St Andrew's, it is a massive

:18:40.:18:42.

achievement to how far the women's game has come.

:18:43.:18:46.

With fans able to pay on the gate at St Andrew's tonight, the club are

:18:47.:18:50.

hoping to set a new record crowd as well.

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And there's full match commentary on BBC WM this evening, from 7pm.

:18:53.:19:01.

Joining me is the Chief Executive of Birmingham ladies. We need to keep

:19:02.:19:11.

them focused on the game but this is another and has to accept. We need

:19:12.:19:21.

to finish the job after winning 2`0. Last season you threw away a 2`goal

:19:22.:19:31.

lead. We need to get over that tonight and get that extra goal.

:19:32.:19:40.

Plenty of players have family and friends tonight. It's nice to see

:19:41.:19:46.

and it's a good family atmosphere here. It is great to be here. You

:19:47.:19:55.

have to wait until March for the next round if you go through. 22nd

:19:56.:20:00.

and 29th of March for the next round. There is a lot of organising

:20:01.:20:05.

to stage a quarterfinal so we will need that time to do it. We finished

:20:06.:20:10.

our season and this is tagged on the end so we need a bit of a break, to

:20:11.:20:16.

be honest. A big night for Birmingham City Ladies.

:20:17.:20:24.

You may have heard about our next guest ` it's a memorable story. Sean

:20:25.:20:27.

Conway from Cheltenham became the first person to swim the length of

:20:28.:20:32.

the UK when he finally made land in John O'Groats on Monday. It took him

:20:33.:20:35.

135 days to swim around 900 miles with an estimated three million

:20:36.:20:43.

strokes. He's here with me now. Congratulations. Why would you put

:20:44.:20:49.

yourself through this challenge? I don't know. One reason was that I

:20:50.:20:57.

was told it couldn't be done. I'm a bit storm so I wanted to prove them

:20:58.:21:03.

wrong. To be fair, there wasn't many an occasion where are those people

:21:04.:21:05.

were almost right but I managed to push through and although I was two

:21:06.:21:12.

and a half month 's law, IFN shall got there. `` I eventually got

:21:13.:21:23.

there. My crew stayed for a lot longer than I'd hoped. Thanks to

:21:24.:21:29.

them. It is a magnificent beard you have. It had a practical use, didn't

:21:30.:21:37.

it? There are loads of jellyfish in the Irish Sea and I realised I

:21:38.:21:45.

wasn't getting stung where the beard was so it helped to protect from

:21:46.:21:56.

jellyfish. What was the worst thing? I suffer from seasickness quite

:21:57.:22:05.

badly so myself and most of the crew weren't very well on the second day.

:22:06.:22:11.

I got over it in the middle and I got seasick at the end again because

:22:12.:22:18.

it was quite rough in Scotland. We might spare people the details if

:22:19.:22:24.

they are eating their tea. So you did this for charity and it isn't

:22:25.:22:27.

the first time you have done something like this. What is next? I

:22:28.:22:35.

would like to run the length of Africa. I think it would take the

:22:36.:22:41.

final box of something. I have done a long cycle and a long swim. I

:22:42.:22:48.

would like to run the length of the UK and I might do that next summer.

:22:49.:22:54.

And taking a few months of two recover.

:22:55.:22:59.

Sport can be a great way of meeting new people and improving confidence.

:23:00.:23:02.

Tonight's nominee for the Newcomer Of The Year at the West Midlands

:23:03.:23:05.

Community Sports Awards is doing just that at Midland Mencap. Kevin

:23:06.:23:08.

Reide joined them for football training.

:23:09.:23:20.

37`year`old Scot from Birmingham has a learning difficulty but it hasn't

:23:21.:23:25.

stopped him from getting into sport. He is a relative newcomer but has

:23:26.:23:30.

become captain of Midland Mencap. They listen to me. We get better

:23:31.:23:39.

every time we play. Taking part in things and being part of a team

:23:40.:23:44.

means an awful lot to him. Regardless of the sport or their

:23:45.:23:49.

setting, he enjoys people's company and sport is a brilliant outlet for

:23:50.:23:54.

that to happen. Tuesday is training and Scott helps runs the sessions.

:23:55.:24:05.

He is really friendly. He is a good captain. He is really good and we

:24:06.:24:14.

have a laugh. People who know him say that football has boosted his

:24:15.:24:17.

confidence and help to bring him out of his shell. He also plays netball,

:24:18.:24:23.

tennis and cricket. I enjoy being with all my friends and doing the

:24:24.:24:29.

exercises and being involved and playing football. Having good fun.

:24:30.:24:41.

It might just be a `` it is not just a football session. It has a very

:24:42.:24:53.

positive influence. Mencap say he is simply a great role model to many

:24:54.:24:57.

others with learning disabilities. Rebecca warned us yesterday we'd be

:24:58.:25:00.

in for a frosty start today. Same again on Thursday?

:25:01.:25:06.

Not quite. Don't put your warm clothes away yet. It will be milder

:25:07.:25:16.

tonight but just for a short period. It was a beautiful day today. This

:25:17.:25:24.

was the scene this morning. Thank you for your pictures. It won't look

:25:25.:25:29.

quite as beautiful tomorrow because it will be a little overcast. Cloud

:25:30.:25:34.

is moving into night and that will help temperatures stay higher. But

:25:35.:25:42.

winds are picking up and changing direction so it will feel colder

:25:43.:25:48.

tomorrow. There is a band of cloud approaching us too much of the

:25:49.:25:53.

afternoon. We may see some rain and the blanket of cloud isn't really

:25:54.:25:57.

going anywhere tonight. Some rain across northern and western parts of

:25:58.:26:04.

the region but most places will stay dry overnight. We have got a wind

:26:05.:26:16.

direction change so it is going to be picking up as we move through

:26:17.:26:21.

tonight into tomorrow morning. We start off with a rain in some places

:26:22.:26:27.

but it will eventually dry out. It is going to feel cold, though. The

:26:28.:26:34.

winds will take the edge off the temperatures. Through tomorrow

:26:35.:26:42.

afternoon the showers will eventually die out and it will be

:26:43.:26:50.

another cool night. The possibility of a touch of ground frost on

:26:51.:27:00.

Friday. It will stay settled for the weekend. On Friday we will see the

:27:01.:27:05.

sun at times but cloud will start to fill in. Saturday is looking

:27:06.:27:20.

cloudier and more rain on Sunday. Tonight's headlines: Unemployment

:27:21.:27:22.

down in our region for a second quarter in a row, but it's still

:27:23.:27:26.

above the national average. That was Midlands Today. I'll be

:27:27.:27:29.

back at 10pm, including the result from St Andrew's. Have a great

:27:30.:27:31.

evening. Goodbye.

:27:32.:27:34.

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