28/11/2013 Midlands Today


28/11/2013

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Transcript


LineFromTo

Louise, thank you. That's all from the BBC

:00:00.:00:00.

Hello and welcome to the programme. The headlines tonight: 950 jobs to

:00:00.:00:09.

go in the Midlands as energy firm NPower closes sites in Stoke on

:00:10.:00:17.

Trent and Oldbury. We are looking at cutting costs and

:00:18.:00:20.

improving customer experience but there are a lot of people impacted

:00:21.:00:22.

by that. I'm live in Stoke, where unions have

:00:23.:00:25.

accused NPower of "serving up a Christmas nightmare".

:00:26.:00:28.

Also tonight, catastrophic failures at Walsall Hospital. Staff failed to

:00:29.:00:31.

follow basic child protection procedures which could have saved a

:00:32.:00:42.

baby's life. It seems the smallest mistake they have made and it had

:00:43.:00:44.

the biggest consequences. Breaking new ground ` the Swedish

:00:45.:00:47.

safety firm investing millions and creating new jobs in a technology

:00:48.:00:50.

park in Nuneaton. From the Sydney Opera House to the

:00:51.:00:53.

Regal Cinema in Evesham ` violin virtuoso Nigel Kennedy.

:00:54.:00:59.

And as shortlived as it was, it was nice while it lasted, but it's out

:01:00.:01:03.

with the mild now and back to the cold. But for how long? I'll have

:01:04.:01:05.

the answers later. Good evening.

:01:06.:01:18.

A major blow to the Midlands, as the energy firm NPower cuts nearly a

:01:19.:01:22.

thousand jobs. 950 employees will be made redundant at sites in

:01:23.:01:26.

Stoke`on`Trent and Oldbury. The company employs just over 2800 staff

:01:27.:01:30.

at ten sites across the region. Earlier this year, the firm cut 300

:01:31.:01:36.

jobs at Kingswinford. In a moment we'll be assessing the impact of

:01:37.:01:40.

today's news and I'll be speaking to a director of NPower. But our

:01:41.:01:44.

coverage begins with Liz Copper, who has been following today's

:01:45.:01:52.

announcements. Arriving at Fenton at first like to

:01:53.:01:55.

hear the news they had been braced for. 550 jobs will go here by June

:01:56.:02:01.

next year. Disappointing, but inevitable, I think. I think

:02:02.:02:06.

everyone expected it. That does not make it feel better. It would have

:02:07.:02:11.

been nice if it had been handled better. I am gutted. Out of work. It

:02:12.:02:18.

will be a hammer blow for the area as an economic entity. And at

:02:19.:02:25.

Oldbury, 400 more jobs will be lost with the closure of one of the

:02:26.:02:28.

country's three officers in the Black Country. The government is

:02:29.:02:34.

promising help. We need to work closely with NPower, understanding

:02:35.:02:38.

their proposals in more detail and then work with the local authority,

:02:39.:02:41.

local MPs and other agencies to make sure those affected can find job at

:02:42.:02:46.

it Jack `` job opportunities that are out there. This is where the

:02:47.:02:52.

jobs will go, outsourced to India. They say they hope to get better

:02:53.:02:56.

customer service. I find it hard to believe they will get better

:02:57.:02:59.

customer service in Bangalore than in Fenton when it comes to meter

:03:00.:03:04.

reading, helping customers, the kind of human conversations that we know

:03:05.:03:09.

customers want. But the company disagrees. It says the changes will

:03:10.:03:12.

drive more efficient customer service. We work in a competitive

:03:13.:03:18.

environment and our job is to keep energy bills low and improve

:03:19.:03:21.

customer service, which is why we are doing this. In Stoke`on`Trent,

:03:22.:03:25.

the economic intact will be keenly felt. Just weeks before Christmas,

:03:26.:03:31.

this is bound to lead to an uncertain festive period for workers

:03:32.:03:35.

and their families. Unions have been critical of the company's timing.

:03:36.:03:41.

Coming a few days before their prices to consumers are going up I

:03:42.:03:45.

over 10%, I feel gobsmacked by what they are doing. We had no idea they

:03:46.:03:52.

would offshore almost 1500 jobs across the UK to India in order to

:03:53.:03:58.

cut costs. The unions have missed helpful staff, who will be facing

:03:59.:04:02.

the New Year looking for new jobs. `` they have promised help for

:04:03.:04:10.

staff. Sarah Falkland is outside NPower's offers tonight. One man who

:04:11.:04:20.

lives just up the road has just said what has been happening today is out

:04:21.:04:24.

of order. I have spoken to some staff this evening. One woman said

:04:25.:04:28.

there were tears in her department and there is a lot of

:04:29.:04:32.

disappointment. But mostly, people did see this coming. Not scale,

:04:33.:04:37.

perhaps, but they saw job losses coming. They were hopes on the

:04:38.:04:41.

introduction of Project Atlas, the new computer system, but that was

:04:42.:04:45.

not to be. Nobody thought the entire call centre would shutdown, and the

:04:46.:04:48.

manner in which they were told has been the twist of the knife. They

:04:49.:04:53.

sat in front of a video message lasting 15 minutes this morning and

:04:54.:04:57.

that is how they found out. Unions say it is a slap in the face for a

:04:58.:05:00.

loyal British workforce. Stoke on Trent and the Black Country

:05:01.:05:03.

have been unemployment black spots for years. Currently 8.5% of people

:05:04.:05:06.

living there are unemployed, that's well above the national average of

:05:07.:05:09.

7.6%. So how can these areas recover? Ben Godfrey reports.

:05:10.:05:21.

Stoke`on`Trent and Oldbury were once the engine rooms of our region's

:05:22.:05:25.

Manufacturing growth. Today's job losses, in the service industry,

:05:26.:05:31.

remind us of its difficult demise. 950 staff are wondering what is next

:05:32.:05:34.

for their careers, and those of their bosses. You are the head of

:05:35.:05:40.

sight. Are you losing your job? I will be going through the same

:05:41.:05:44.

management restructure as the rest of NPower. Places like Oldbury and

:05:45.:05:51.

Stoke are industrial heartlands but they lost thousands of jobs in

:05:52.:05:53.

manufacturing over the last 20 years. It was the service sector,

:05:54.:06:00.

jobs like at NPower, that reinstalled a sense of confidence

:06:01.:06:03.

and employment. But people are worried the bubble is about to

:06:04.:06:07.

burst. We need to bring industry into the area, not services. It is

:06:08.:06:14.

going overseas. What can you do? It is hard to get into work. People

:06:15.:06:20.

will continue to work NPower at two other sites and Oldbury. Business

:06:21.:06:25.

leaders are trying to stay positive. It is bad news, but in the overall

:06:26.:06:29.

context we have an area that has created 2000 jobs in development,

:06:30.:06:33.

and more companies applying and succeeding in at light `` in

:06:34.:06:37.

applying for the regional growth fund. Recruitment companies are

:06:38.:06:45.

preparing for a busy few weeks. They should take heart that the job

:06:46.:06:49.

market has been picking up since August. We have seen a huge number

:06:50.:06:52.

of vacancies coming to the West Midlands. The West Midlands is the

:06:53.:06:58.

fastest`growing job market in the whole of the UK. So the employment

:06:59.:07:04.

landscape is changing again. NPower's restructuring has reignited

:07:05.:07:08.

a debate. Should an improved customer experience come at the

:07:09.:07:11.

expense of local jobs? Joining me now is NPower's

:07:12.:07:18.

Communications Director, Guy Esnouf. Good evening. Customer bills will go

:07:19.:07:24.

up I over 10% on Sunday. Not great timing. You are making more money on

:07:25.:07:29.

that and saving money on job losses. We have to put that in context.

:07:30.:07:34.

People are worried about bills going up, so this action will help to keep

:07:35.:07:38.

bills down. We only control a small amount of the bill, but we have to

:07:39.:07:42.

be responsible to get those costs now when we can. It will also help

:07:43.:07:47.

to improve customer service. I would like to correct a couple of things.

:07:48.:07:52.

Whenever you are in NPower customer and you ring up, you will still get

:07:53.:07:56.

someone in Britain when you call. Firstly, all British voice calls

:07:57.:08:01.

will be from here. Secondly, it whole lot of companies already do

:08:02.:08:05.

this sort of model that we have got. BMW, Marks Spencer, The National

:08:06.:08:13.

Trust, they have exactly this model. But we need to concentrate on the

:08:14.:08:17.

impact on people working for you in the Midlands. We heard some of the

:08:18.:08:20.

employees saying it could have been handled better. Your employees heard

:08:21.:08:25.

they were going to lose their job in a video. We are a major Midlands

:08:26.:08:30.

employer. After this we will still be that all stop we will have 500

:08:31.:08:36.

people in Oldbury. 950 people will have lost jobs. Yes, sadly. That was

:08:37.:08:43.

a hard decision because that is part of our heartland. We wanted to get

:08:44.:08:48.

everybody together today. We are such a diverse company, which has

:08:49.:08:52.

been one of the problems. We needed to get a uniform message. Today,

:08:53.:08:58.

what matters is clarity. There was so much speculation yesterday and a

:08:59.:09:01.

lot of what was said was wrong. We thought we needed absolute clarity.

:09:02.:09:07.

We have a huge unemployment problem in the areas of the black country

:09:08.:09:11.

and in Stoke. Should improve customer service, which is the

:09:12.:09:15.

message you are keen to put out, come at the expense of local jobs

:09:16.:09:20.

and supporting the local economy? Improving customer service is one of

:09:21.:09:23.

the reasons. The other one is keeping down energy bills. We have

:09:24.:09:29.

to balance the interests of customers and employees. That has

:09:30.:09:32.

been hard to do. One of the reasons it has taken so long is that we

:09:33.:09:35.

wanted to make sure we got it right and it did improve that experience.

:09:36.:09:41.

We are still a major employer in the Midlands and we are proud to be.

:09:42.:09:43.

This will actually help that continue. Is there support you can

:09:44.:09:49.

offer these people? We will definitely be helping them. Those

:09:50.:09:53.

who can move to another location in the company, we will certainly help

:09:54.:09:58.

them do that. We can start working with job centres. The government has

:09:59.:10:01.

already said they will be rallying round to try and help and we will

:10:02.:10:04.

play our part where we can. Thank you.

:10:05.:10:07.

And there's more on the NPower job losses and what it means on the BBC

:10:08.:10:10.

News website. Coming up later in the programme:

:10:11.:10:13.

Sentenced to eight years, the former Gloucestershire coroner who stole

:10:14.:10:16.

nearly ?2 million from vulnerable clients.

:10:17.:10:22.

An independent investigation is to be opened into the death of a

:10:23.:10:26.

16`month`old baby, following catastrophic failures at a Walsall

:10:27.:10:30.

Hospital seven years ago. Kyle Keen's father was never told that

:10:31.:10:34.

staff failed to follow basic child protection procedures, which could

:10:35.:10:40.

have saved his life. Michele Paduano reports.

:10:41.:10:46.

Robert Keen says he is over protective of his daughter, Larissa,

:10:47.:10:50.

and there's an empty space they can never fill. Kyle died from a brain

:10:51.:10:55.

bleed after being abused by his stepfather. But Mr Keen was never

:10:56.:10:58.

told that the hospital had found suspicious bruising on Kyle's back

:10:59.:11:01.

and shoulder, but failed to report it to social services. I don't want

:11:02.:11:08.

anybody to go through what I have had to go through, me, my daughter,

:11:09.:11:13.

my family. We do not want anybody else to have to go through this. We

:11:14.:11:19.

want the hospital to follow the procedures and stick to them.

:11:20.:11:22.

It might have made a difference. Mr Keen had also seen bruises on

:11:23.:11:25.

Larissa and baby Kyle. Instead, Tyrone Matthews was sentenced to

:11:26.:11:28.

four and a half years for manslaughter. It started with

:11:29.:11:35.

bruising on his face, all over his head. His arms, his legs. I took

:11:36.:11:47.

pictures. Why did you do anything at the time? I didn't know who to go

:11:48.:11:50.

to. A junior doctor at Walsall Manor

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Hospital warned a consultant on two separate occasions that Kyle should

:11:54.:11:56.

have been referred to social services the week before his death.

:11:57.:11:59.

In 2007, after Kyle's death, the hospital's board minutes wrongly

:12:00.:12:02.

suggest bruising was due to sepsis. In 2009, the findings of a

:12:03.:12:05.

safeguarding review did show the consultant overruled nurses. But it

:12:06.:12:09.

wasn't until 2013 that the hospital finally obtained the complete

:12:10.:12:18.

safeguarding report. The Chief Executive, Richard Kirby,

:12:19.:12:22.

was in it `` not here at the time. He said recommendations were acted

:12:23.:12:27.

upon. The new review is to better establish how this incident was

:12:28.:12:30.

dealt with and whether there are further lessons that can be learned.

:12:31.:12:32.

Dr David Drew was clinical director in the children's department and

:12:33.:12:36.

treated Kyle on the day of his death. He says a second

:12:37.:12:38.

investigation into the whole children's department was carried

:12:39.:12:41.

out in 2010 by the Royal College of Paediatricians, but he was the only

:12:42.:12:48.

doctor allowed to see it. Kyle never figured in their report and we have

:12:49.:12:52.

never been able to find out why, because six months after the review

:12:53.:12:57.

reported, it was suppressed. The trust board was never allowed to see

:12:58.:13:02.

it. And we have now found out that the whole panel was made to sign

:13:03.:13:04.

gags. Robert Keen hopes this independent

:13:05.:13:07.

review will finally establish what happened and whether the trust was

:13:08.:13:13.

sufficiently open. A Coventry man has been jailed for

:13:14.:13:16.

life for stabbing a family of four to death at their home in April

:13:17.:13:20.

2011. 54`year`old Anxiang Du, who also owned a business in Birmingham,

:13:21.:13:23.

was convicted of murdering the Deng family at their home in Northampton.

:13:24.:13:28.

A court was told he'd carried out the attack after losing a ten`year

:13:29.:13:31.

legal case against them. He's been ordered to spend a minimum of 40

:13:32.:13:44.

years in prison. The former coroner for

:13:45.:13:47.

Gloucestershire has been jailed for eight years for stealing nearly ?2

:13:48.:13:50.

million from weak and vulnerable clients. The judge said Alan

:13:51.:13:52.

Crickmore's crimes were the worst case of dishonesty he'd ever seen in

:13:53.:13:57.

a solicitor. Giles Latcham reports. Once a pillar of the Gloucestershire

:13:58.:14:01.

community, Alan Crickmore arrived at Southwark Crown Court, his disgrace

:14:02.:14:06.

complete. Court heard that at his solicitor's practice in Cheltenham,

:14:07.:14:10.

targeted elderly and infirm clients, habitually overcharging and

:14:11.:14:16.

plundering their estates. He built personal relationships with some

:14:17.:14:19.

victims, exchanging birthday cards and gifts. He would bring them back

:14:20.:14:24.

gifts from holiday. Little did they know that they had paid for his

:14:25.:14:27.

holiday with money he had stolen from them. He pilfered nearly

:14:28.:14:33.

?900,000 from a trust set up by a wealthy pensioner to benefit his

:14:34.:14:38.

family after his death. He became a personal friend to the family and we

:14:39.:14:42.

thought he was up standing as a solicitor and County coroner of

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Gloucestershire. When this came to light, it is horrendous. From the

:14:46.:14:50.

estate of a Polish war veteran, you stole ?25,000, the money funding a

:14:51.:14:56.

luxurious lifestyle. Expensive holidays, fine wines and food.

:14:57.:15:01.

Throughout the enquiry, he continued to draw his ?60,000 per year

:15:02.:15:07.

coroner's salary. It was very frustrating. It does not do any help

:15:08.:15:10.

to my budget to pay someone for three years not to work. He

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eventually admitted the theft and another court hearing is planned to

:15:16.:15:20.

establish whether assets owned by his family can be sold to compensate

:15:21.:15:24.

victims. A new scheme to help women who would

:15:25.:15:28.

have been sent to prison has been given extra funding to expand its

:15:29.:15:33.

service. More than half the women in prison last year served sentences of

:15:34.:15:36.

less than six months, but now there is an alternative, as rehabilitation

:15:37.:15:40.

courses are being offered for the first time in England and Wales at a

:15:41.:15:45.

farm near Bridgnorth. Liz Roberts has more.

:15:46.:15:52.

Just four weeks ago, Donna was facing a prison sentence. A homeless

:15:53.:15:56.

alcoholic, she had breached the terms of the license. But instead of

:15:57.:16:01.

custody she was brought to Willowdene Farm. You get therapy

:16:02.:16:04.

twice a week, pretty intense therapy. I have done quite a few

:16:05.:16:09.

courses, and I have certificates to take away. It has given me

:16:10.:16:14.

confidence. I have done my CV, so it has been really good. The farm has a

:16:15.:16:19.

history of providing training and rehabilitation from male offenders,

:16:20.:16:23.

but this is the first time a residential course has been offered

:16:24.:16:26.

for women to keep them out of was an altogether. The majority of female

:16:27.:16:31.

offenders also have children. This enables us to work with them,

:16:32.:16:36.

addressed the issues with therapeutic resources and break the

:16:37.:16:39.

generational effect of offending which gives the children a hope of

:16:40.:16:42.

living a better purposeful lifestyle. The majority of women

:16:43.:16:46.

offenders pose no risk to public safety, and a prison sentence is

:16:47.:16:50.

frequently an ineffective response. So far, just ten women have gone

:16:51.:16:57.

through the programme. It has now been awarded ?48,000 by West

:16:58.:17:00.

Mercia's police and crime commission, so it can double in

:17:01.:17:05.

size. It is down to a partnership with West Mercia probation trust,

:17:06.:17:07.

but there are fears that local expertise could be lost when

:17:08.:17:11.

government plans to privatise the service are brought in next year. It

:17:12.:17:16.

has taken three or four years for us to develop to the point that we have

:17:17.:17:19.

this women's residential programme. It is really making a difference. I

:17:20.:17:26.

will hope whoever wins the contract and succeeds the probation trust

:17:27.:17:29.

want to continue this, but we simply do not know if they will want to, or

:17:30.:17:34.

if it will fit their business plan. The funding will increase capacity,

:17:35.:17:38.

enabling up to 30 female offenders to come here each year. The hope is

:17:39.:17:42.

that this will continue to give more women the chance of a better future.

:17:43.:17:52.

Our top story: 950 job losses/ energy firm NPower

:17:53.:18:00.

is to close site. The weather shortly for the Midlands. Also

:18:01.:18:05.

ahead, nearly six decades at the track`side, Barry, the loyal money

:18:06.:18:09.

to an Harriers member is up for an unsung hero award.

:18:10.:18:15.

Boarded up and abandoned, the sin are now swirling with the sound of

:18:16.:18:26.

Nigel Kennedy. `` the cinema. This is the motor industry research

:18:27.:18:31.

Association near Nuneaton, which is slowly expanding. Today, Swedish

:18:32.:18:35.

firm Haldex announced it is setting up a technical centre on site. The

:18:36.:18:40.

enterprise is expected to grow until 2020, creating new jobs.

:18:41.:18:49.

A specialist in safety systems for heavy goods vehicles, Swedish firm

:18:50.:18:53.

howled X was showing off its latest breaking system. The test tracks and

:18:54.:18:57.

technology make this an ideal site or its future growth. We took a

:18:58.:19:04.

global decision to consolidate our facilities and the UK was high up

:19:05.:19:07.

there because of the services offered on site, and the second

:19:08.:19:12.

point is the quality of the engineers within the region, of

:19:13.:19:15.

which we have managed to secure several. Famous for its role in

:19:16.:19:21.

testing new cars, this site is getting an additional role, helping

:19:22.:19:26.

create new jobs. Costing around ?300 million over the next ten years, the

:19:27.:19:29.

site will be developed and is set become one of Europe's leading

:19:30.:19:34.

research and development sites for the automotive industry. We have

:19:35.:19:40.

created 242 so far, high`tech jobs, highly skilled jobs. It also brings

:19:41.:19:45.

on apprenticeships and graduate training programmes, so ringing in

:19:46.:19:50.

young people and giving them skills. Enterprise zones are designed to

:19:51.:19:55.

attract business to an area by offering things like reduced

:19:56.:19:57.

business rates and a streamlined planning process. Here, they are

:19:58.:20:02.

expecting to create 2000 jobs by 2020. Some have already been created

:20:03.:20:07.

and more will follow as a result of today's announcement. Yet more

:20:08.:20:10.

inward investment for the West Midlands, promising new jobs and

:20:11.:20:14.

helping the region maintain its position as a centre of excellence

:20:15.:20:22.

for advanced automotive engineering. He has been a loyal member of the

:20:23.:20:26.

Nuneaton Harriers for almost 60 years, and during that time, Barry

:20:27.:20:31.

has coached hundreds of athletes. Now he is one of five finalists in

:20:32.:20:36.

our search for the BBC Midland sport's unsung hero.

:20:37.:20:45.

It is fine and dry, cold and crisp, perfect for Barry's training night

:20:46.:20:49.

at Nuneaton Harriers. This evening, the focus is on the 400 metres and

:20:50.:20:53.

the eager bunch are champing at the bit. Got it? He was only 15 when he

:20:54.:21:01.

first ran for the Harriers. He finished last in a four mile road

:21:02.:21:07.

race and nearly threw in the towel. But a club member persuaded him to

:21:08.:21:10.

carry on, and so he did, for the next 59 years. He is my hero because

:21:11.:21:18.

he does everything for the club. He does not think about himself, it is

:21:19.:21:23.

just for the members. He is great, like royalty of the track. Everyone

:21:24.:21:32.

loves him. The stadium is Barry's second home. Five days a week, over

:21:33.:21:38.

59 years, equals countless happy hours spent coaching, cleaning,

:21:39.:21:41.

painting and pushing athletes to achieve their potential. Now the

:21:42.:21:47.

club resident, Barry simply cannot see what this unsung hero fuss is

:21:48.:21:53.

all about. There are times when I think, I have to go down again

:21:54.:21:57.

tonight, oh, no, but when I get here, it is different. There is

:21:58.:22:01.

always a lot of answer, as you might have noticed. Friends that I have

:22:02.:22:06.

made in the sport since being involved with the club, all over the

:22:07.:22:11.

country. Unsung until now, but unappreciated, never. Barry's

:22:12.:22:18.

lifetime of loyal service guarantees the future of Nuneaton Harriers will

:22:19.:22:23.

run and run. We will meet the remaining finalist

:22:24.:22:28.

tomorrow. As one of the world's most famous

:22:29.:22:32.

classical musicians, Nigel Kennedy is more used to performing at huge

:22:33.:22:36.

concert halls, so you would not expect to play in a small cinema in

:22:37.:22:41.

Worcestershire. But that is what he has been doing this week.

:22:42.:22:48.

For the people of Evesham, it was hard to comprehend. It is unheard of

:22:49.:22:57.

before today. This is the first time we have had anything so big here. We

:22:58.:23:01.

are delighted it has been refurbished, and to have such great

:23:02.:23:05.

names is a brilliant opportunity. Forget the Royal Albert Hall, this

:23:06.:23:11.

week, Nigel Kennedy is performing at the Regal Cinema. Fantastic

:23:12.:23:19.

atmosphere, a beautiful, warm audience. It is lovely to be close

:23:20.:23:24.

to the people. It is unusual to be closer to the balcony than you are

:23:25.:23:29.

to the stalls. Five years ago, the Regal Cinema was set to be turned

:23:30.:23:34.

into flats. It now attracts 20,000 people each month, with more than

:23:35.:23:39.

half coming from outside the town. It is the best thing that has ever

:23:40.:23:43.

happened here. It is proof that it was all worth while and if you get

:23:44.:23:46.

your act together, you can create something exceptional. Nigel Kennedy

:23:47.:23:52.

has proved that is possible tonight. But it is not just the fact that

:23:53.:23:55.

they are attracting people like Nigel Kennedy. It is also giving

:23:56.:24:02.

Evesham a much`needed boost. During the four concert run, nearly every

:24:03.:24:11.

hotel in town is full. Nigel is performing at the Regal Cinema until

:24:12.:24:17.

Saturday. Sounding as good as ever. It has

:24:18.:24:21.

been a big day for our former colleague K Alexander, officially

:24:22.:24:25.

made an MBE by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. She was a

:24:26.:24:29.

familiar face on Midlands today for more than 30 years, until her

:24:30.:24:35.

retirement last year. The award is for her services to broadcasting and

:24:36.:24:38.

for her charity work. Let's turn to the weather. At the

:24:39.:24:42.

beginning of the programme you warned that cold weather is coming

:24:43.:24:43.

back. warned that cold weather is coming

:24:44.:24:48.

The shrine and I was not lying. The way that it felt today is how it

:24:49.:24:52.

should feel for this time of year. If you felt the cold recently, it

:24:53.:24:55.

has not been your imagination. We have provisional figures for

:24:56.:25:04.

November and they bear out that it has been colder than normal but also

:25:05.:25:07.

sunnier than usual, for the Midlands at least. But it has also been quite

:25:08.:25:14.

dry. As I said, the cold is making a comeback in the next couple of days.

:25:15.:25:18.

At the same time we should finally get rid of some of the cloud. What

:25:19.:25:25.

is doing this for us is a rush of north`westerly wind that is flowing

:25:26.:25:30.

in behind this incoming cold front. Being a cold front, it would also

:25:31.:25:35.

bring colder air. We will see the changes occurring tonight. The wind

:25:36.:25:39.

will mix everything up. Because we have the cold front passing through,

:25:40.:25:44.

it will introduce more cloud and some light outbreaks of rain or

:25:45.:25:48.

drizzle. But it is not going to amount to much. Under the cloud

:25:49.:25:51.

temperatures will remain above freezing, well above freezing. The

:25:52.:25:59.

wind is also partly responsible for keeping temperatures up. But a lot

:26:00.:26:04.

of the cloud will overlap into the morning, so a fairly dull start to

:26:05.:26:08.

the day. Why the afternoon, the wind will start to take effect and we

:26:09.:26:13.

will see sunshine breaking through. `` by the afternoon. The range

:26:14.:26:16.

should be out of the way but we will see showers flowing in through the

:26:17.:26:19.

Cheshire cat and clobbering the north of the region. Some of these

:26:20.:26:28.

could be heavy. You will find that tomorrow night, everything changes,

:26:29.:26:31.

and into the start of the weekend it will turn cold.

:26:32.:26:37.

Our top story ` the loss of 950 jobs here in the Midlands. Energy firm

:26:38.:26:44.

NPower is to close sites in Stoke`on`Trent and Oldbury. Sarah

:26:45.:26:49.

Falkland is in Stoke`on`Trent. What is the future for the workers? In

:26:50.:26:55.

the short`term, unions will meet with management on Monday. What can

:26:56.:27:01.

they salvage? I don't know. Stoke City council have announced this

:27:02.:27:03.

afternoon that they are launching an emergency task force to help

:27:04.:27:09.

workers. Somebody has launched a Facebook site urging people to

:27:10.:27:12.

boycott NPower if they are angry with the outsourcing to Mumbai. If

:27:13.:27:17.

you are a commuter into Stoke, have a look at the road behind me. It is

:27:18.:27:22.

a very busy road. You could say the writing has been on the wall for a

:27:23.:27:26.

while, because this building always used to carry it illuminated job

:27:27.:27:30.

vacancies. That disappeared a few weeks ago. I did not want a new

:27:31.:27:34.

staff, and sadly they did not want any staff. `` they did not want new

:27:35.:27:40.

staff. I will be back at 10pm. There is

:27:41.:27:46.

plenty more on the BBC News website. Have a good evening.

:27:47.:27:47.

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