03/12/2013 Midlands Today


03/12/2013

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BBC weather website. That is it all from the BBC's News

:00:00.:00:00.

Hello, welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight.

:00:00.:00:08.

As thousands of cannabis plants are grown in suburban homes across the

:00:09.:00:11.

West Midlands, could this be the latest weapon in the fight against

:00:12.:00:19.

drugs? Scratch and sniff cards. Each property that is used as a cannabis

:00:20.:00:25.

farm is not housing a family or other people who are in housing

:00:26.:00:28.

need. We'll be asking an expert about the increasing problem of

:00:29.:00:30.

cannabis farms across the region. Also tonight, a criminal

:00:31.:00:33.

investigation begins into the death of a 90`year`old patient at Stafford

:00:34.:00:38.

Hospital five years ago. One of the best of his generation `

:00:39.:00:42.

the funeral takes place of a Staffordshire soldier killed by a

:00:43.:00:48.

suicide bomber in Afghanistan. He was a smashing guy, a professional

:00:49.:00:53.

soldier. A brilliant dad and a fantastic husband.

:00:54.:00:55.

The new wave of bands known as B`Town, adding a new chapter to

:00:56.:01:00.

Birmingham's rich musical history. And while some are calling it an

:01:01.:01:04.

Arctic blast, others might say it was just a brief windy spell with a

:01:05.:01:07.

dip in temperatures. Either way, it's coming. All the details for you

:01:08.:01:19.

later. Good evening. A surge in the number

:01:20.:01:28.

of cannabis farms on inner`city estates has prompted the council to

:01:29.:01:31.

give scratch and sniff cards to raise awareness among residents. It

:01:32.:01:37.

is hoped they will help police drive drugs off our streets. Birmingham

:01:38.:01:41.

city council say they evicted 20 residents for cultivating cannabis

:01:42.:01:45.

in their homes. West Midlands Police say they have destroyed more than

:01:46.:01:49.

400 cannabis farms at this year alone and with each plant estimated

:01:50.:01:55.

to be worth ?450 each, it is a big business that can ruin communities.

:01:56.:02:00.

In a suburban street in Birmingham, this is what is going on behind

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sealed windows. Cannabis farms. The criminals tapped into the main

:02:07.:02:10.

delicacy supplier, putting the safety of the house and neighbours

:02:11.:02:15.

at risk. This cannabis farm is being destroyed. It is on a lovely

:02:16.:02:19.

residential street in Birmingham. Whilst many people think that

:02:20.:02:23.

cannabis is harmless, these farms are being run by organised crime

:02:24.:02:27.

gangs and the question is, how would you feel living next door to one?

:02:28.:02:34.

This man is still worried about drug dealers in his community after a

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cannabis farm was raided in his street. There are decent people

:02:38.:02:42.

living here. We don't want this problem. I wanted quiet life. I

:02:43.:02:52.

don't want to be living with 90 or a hundred people a day wandering

:02:53.:02:56.

around the block. Birmingham City Council say they have a zero

:02:57.:03:00.

tolerance approach to cannabis farms. They have already arrested

:03:01.:03:05.

people this year. It's not just people having a few plants on the

:03:06.:03:10.

balcony. It is taking over entire properties and bringing undesirable

:03:11.:03:14.

people into the road at all hours of the day. Cannabis scented scratch

:03:15.:03:20.

and sniff cards are now being issued to help the public identify the

:03:21.:03:26.

drugs in communities. But can a scented card be an essential part of

:03:27.:03:32.

a good citizen's toolkit? I wouldn't be able to tell if it was cannabis

:03:33.:03:39.

or not? No. Just a funny, grassy smell. It would register. I don't

:03:40.:03:45.

know what cannabis smells like! Police cannabis disposal experts say

:03:46.:03:51.

the cards are drawing attention to a problem. It is representative of the

:03:52.:03:58.

smell. There are lots of different strains of cannabis but this

:03:59.:04:02.

educates people. Anyone who thinks there may be a cannabis farm in

:04:03.:04:05.

their neighbourhood can contact Crimestoppers.

:04:06.:04:12.

With us as Marcio Dixon who helps people in the community with

:04:13.:04:17.

problems. Good evening. What you think the scratch and sniff cards? I

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agree that the police need to be doing as much as they can to raise

:04:23.:04:26.

the profile that they are doing something about is you. And also

:04:27.:04:30.

involving communities and make them more aware. Do using these will

:04:31.:04:37.

help? Potentially. There will be some people who won't mind

:04:38.:04:40.

contacting the police to let them know information and other people

:04:41.:04:43.

will stay away from that kind of involvement. How big is the problem

:04:44.:04:50.

with the cannabis farms in the immunity? We have seen a lot of

:04:51.:04:56.

people coming through who were using `` you are using cannabis who were

:04:57.:05:01.

not using it before. That may or may not be a direct result of having

:05:02.:05:05.

more cannabis farms around. But with the economic downturn that we have,

:05:06.:05:09.

people look at different ways of being able to earn. We talk about

:05:10.:05:14.

cannabis farms, can you explain what they are? It is a way of describing

:05:15.:05:22.

a place that people have set up. It could be just somebody's living room

:05:23.:05:26.

or bedroom. It could be the entire flat. That has been converted. What

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are the problems for young people taking cannabis? We have seen with

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young people that they are taking cannabis from the age of 12 or 13.

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That young? Yes. People are talking about their drug issues and why they

:05:51.:05:54.

were using from an early age so we are able to see that some people are

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suffering from mental health problems. The jury is still out,

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were they predisposed or has the cannabis sparked that? It is

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difficult to say but some of the impact that we have seen is

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financially, mental health and that fascination `` and the observation

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that people are more withdrawn. Coming up later in the programme,

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why a Warwickshire town's trying to become the first in the region to be

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designated 'dementia`friendly'. For the second time, a criminal

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investigation is underway into the death of a patient at Stafford

:06:36.:06:40.

Hospital. It follows a major review by Staffordshire Police and the

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Health and Safety Executive into death at the hospital between 2005

:06:45.:06:49.

in 2009. The latest investigation will focus on the death of a 90 year

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madwoman in 2008. Liz Kopper joins us from Stafford Hospital. What do

:06:55.:07:01.

we know about this latest case? This is the case of 90`year`old IV barn

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`` IV barn. She came here after she suffered a fall in her home in

:07:13.:07:17.

Stafford. Over the next four days, she had a further three falls at the

:07:18.:07:22.

hospital, commentating in her death. Details of her case are being passed

:07:23.:07:27.

from the police to the Health and Safety Executive who will be taking

:07:28.:07:33.

the X `` examination further. This follows the case of Gillian Astbury

:07:34.:07:37.

where there was an HSE prosecution. In her case, the trust pleaded

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guilty. We are expecting a sentence in the New Year. What further

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details have the police given? They have given us details of the

:07:47.:07:52.

progress of the investigation. You get a sense of the scale and scope

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of that investigation. 209 cases are being looked at. A specially trained

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team of officers is looking at the evidence. All the families have

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their own designated police officer to keep them in touch. So what next,

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lays? The police have another 173 cases to look at and they say it is

:08:18.:08:23.

complicated by the nature of the investigation. In some of those

:08:24.:08:28.

cases, the police have yet to trace relatives of the patient in the

:08:29.:08:32.

hospital. This investigation involves not only the police, also

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the CPS, the Care Quality Commission, the nursing admin `` the

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Nursing and Midwifery Council. So it shows how all`encompassing the

:08:46.:08:50.

investigation is. The funeral is taking place of a

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soldier from Staffordshire who was described as one of the best of his

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generation. Warrant Officer Ian Fisher of the 3rd Battalion, was

:08:59.:09:08.

blown up in how manned. `` was blown up in how manned.

:09:09.:09:17.

A straight talking soldier, one of the best many of us had ever worked

:09:18.:09:24.

with. At Lichfield Cathedral, serving soldiers and old soldiers

:09:25.:09:28.

pay their respects. It has left an entire regiment numb. When he comes

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`` I still keep thinking he will come back on the next flight. He had

:09:41.:09:46.

been a master of Warrior tanks. He had relished the strategy of

:09:47.:09:49.

manoeuvring them to keep his troops say. He was 42 years old. He leaves

:09:50.:09:59.

behind a widow and two young sons. Ian Fisher was the 446 member of the

:10:00.:10:09.

armed forces to be killed in Afghanistan since 1991. The kernel

:10:10.:10:12.

of the regiment said that he had lost count of the number of funerals

:10:13.:10:17.

like this he had attended. `` the Army colonel. As we face a

:10:18.:10:27.

determined and very capable foe, we also need to match and over match

:10:28.:10:33.

him in everything we do. I am very confident that we do `` what we do

:10:34.:10:40.

as an Army is supported by the people whom we serve. Warrant

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Officer Ian Fisher ask for the music from the film Gladiator to be played

:10:47.:10:50.

at his funeral. A soldier to the end.

:10:51.:11:05.

A hundred and forty jobs are at risk after the Birmingham`based

:11:06.:11:07.

stationery firm Osbournes went into administration. Staff at its head

:11:08.:11:12.

office and 20 branches were told today. The company was founded as a

:11:13.:11:16.

printers in the city centre in 1832. All of the stores are being kept

:11:17.:11:20.

open in the run up to Christmas ` and it's hoped a buyer can be found.

:11:21.:11:24.

It has been a difficult time for the high Street which has come and it is

:11:25.:11:27.

in making losses over the last two years. The decision was made by the

:11:28.:11:33.

directors to place the company into administration. That would give it

:11:34.:11:35.

the best chance of finding a positive solution. The Chief

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Constable of the West Midlands has announced he's ending the practice

:11:40.:11:43.

of forcing police officers to retire once they've completed 30 years

:11:44.:11:45.

service. It follows a consultation about the use of the A19 pension

:11:46.:11:49.

regulation which has resulted in 559 officers leaving since it was

:11:50.:11:54.

brought in in March 2011. As well as now being able to keep experienced

:11:55.:11:58.

staff the force also plans to start recruiting next year.

:11:59.:12:04.

Anyone caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs over the

:12:05.:12:08.

festive period is to be named online by West Midlands Police. They're

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also offering 200 pounds to anyone who reports a driver who's

:12:14.:12:17.

subsequently convicted. The names of people charged will be published on

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the police website and on twitter. Protesters from the Midlands

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fighting for the removal of shared space road layouts, where cars,

:12:30.:12:34.

buses and pedestrians have equal priority, have taken their campaign

:12:35.:12:40.

to Westminster. The group, calling itself Sea of Change, want traffic

:12:41.:12:44.

lights put back on various road schemes in Coventry, Warwick and

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Leek town centres. They say they don't feel safe but official figures

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show the crossings are safer than what they replaced.

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This is the film that the campaign group Sea of Change took to

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Westminster. It shows a blind people struggling to deal with so`called

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shared spaces in Warwick and commentary. Coventry resident Jim

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Smallman is featured, he has long campaigned against them. I hope the

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government will listen to our problems. They have taken our lights

:13:18.:13:22.

away. But them back so that we can use our city like we used to. The

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campaign has been organised by Sarah Gayton who became involved when a

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similar scheme was introduced in another town. Blind schema `` blind

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people are being excluded from the city centre. They are staying at

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home. Today, their film was screened to a selected audience including

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MPs, and people from the Dutch embassy from where the idea of

:13:54.:14:01.

shared spaces originated. But it is insisted that traffic lights for

:14:02.:14:06.

strivers to slow down. Statistics show there has been a fall in

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accidents at junctions like these. The speed of cars has also fallen

:14:11.:14:18.

from around 24 mph to 60 mph. In the five years before this was implement

:14:19.:14:22.

it, there were 16 accidents. Since then, it there have been none. It is

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safer than it ever was. The statistics may be stark, but Guide

:14:31.:14:33.

Dogs for the Blind want things to be done. The council have listen to

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some of our suggestions, but they have ignored others. You end up in

:14:40.:14:43.

an area like this that blind and partially sighted people cannot

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access. The council is under pressure to add traffic lights but

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they insist that that would put more people at risk.

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Our top story tonight, as the number of cannabis factories surge ``

:15:01.:15:05.

surges across our region, residents are being given scratch and sniff

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cards they can detect the drug. Your weekend weather forecast comes

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later. Also, a new sound wafting across

:15:15.:15:19.

Birmingham, the new guitar bands known as B`Town. And with the

:15:20.:15:25.

weather getting colder, we find out if the gritters are ready and who

:15:26.:15:30.

decides where and when to send them out.

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If you have a story that we should be covering, please get in touch.

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You can e`mail us or reach us on Facebook.

:15:41.:15:55.

A Warwickshire town is aiming to be the first dimension friendly

:15:56.:15:58.

community. There are millions of people with dementia in the UK with

:15:59.:16:02.

numbers set to rise to 1.7 million in the UK `` I2018. An estimated 21

:16:03.:16:11.

million people in England have a close friend or family member with

:16:12.:16:16.

dementia. The Alzheimer's Society believes more should be done to

:16:17.:16:20.

reduce the stigma, a bit `` amid concerns people with the disease and

:16:21.:16:27.

feel isolated. In the 1960s, Ted Hemming was a male

:16:28.:16:31.

supermodel. His face was seen on billboards around the world. Today,

:16:32.:16:38.

the 75`year`old struggles to recall much of his exuberant youth. Ted has

:16:39.:16:45.

Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia. He grew up in

:16:46.:16:49.

Ulster, and he is here with his wife ready to convince people that

:16:50.:16:56.

dementia can affect anyone. I would come home and found him wandering

:16:57.:17:00.

around. In the end `` in the past, it was not talked about. It was

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like, mental illness, you mustn't say anything. Now it is out in the

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open. From shops to public transport, the Alzheimer's Society

:17:11.:17:14.

is challenging people to create a dimension friendly community. There

:17:15.:17:19.

are criteria, including a willingness to breakdown stigma,

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increasing awareness of the condition and also local health

:17:24.:17:27.

professionals should ensure access to early diagnosis. The Alcesterr

:17:28.:17:35.

campaign opened here two years ago. Families affected me tear to share

:17:36.:17:45.

stories. This woman's mother died a few years ago with the disease. We

:17:46.:17:49.

do singing and dancing, she would have had a go at it. Just because

:17:50.:17:53.

you have dementia, you don't forget what you used to do. Ted Hemming has

:17:54.:17:58.

been used to fronting campaigns but this one is closest to his heart.

:17:59.:18:10.

We are joined by David Ash, Midlands operations manager for the L Simon

:18:11.:18:14.

Society. What is the picture for the West Midlands, do we have a figure

:18:15.:18:23.

for the numbers? The picture around diagnosis rates is varied. 64% of

:18:24.:18:31.

people get a diagnosis but only 32% in other parts get a diagnosis.

:18:32.:18:38.

Herefordshire is the worst for diagnosis in the UK. What do you

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make of the idea of a dimension friendly community? It is a really

:18:43.:18:49.

lovely initiative. The idea being that dimension friendly communities

:18:50.:18:53.

allow people to engage in the community, very often with people ``

:18:54.:19:00.

people with a diagnosis withdrawing to a family unit. A lot of their

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friends do not want to talk to them because it is awkward or difficult.

:19:07.:19:09.

A dimension friendly community mean that more people will be aware of

:19:10.:19:18.

dementia and organisations within the community will also be aware.

:19:19.:19:22.

They will be able to engage in their community and feel more supported.

:19:23.:19:27.

Perhaps this could be done in Herefordshire, why is it so bad in

:19:28.:19:32.

that county? It is difficult to say. Sometimes it is around resources.

:19:33.:19:40.

Sometimes there is no not the organisation. Some councils have put

:19:41.:19:47.

money into memory clinics. A great example of a dimension friendly

:19:48.:19:51.

community is the Courtyard Theatre in Herefordshire which has done

:19:52.:19:55.

loads of work to raise awareness of dementia. But we also need loads of

:19:56.:20:02.

good as Asians to sign up as dementia friends.

:20:03.:20:08.

There is a new type of music in the air to add to Birmingham's musical

:20:09.:20:14.

heritage. Bands like Duran Duran have sold millions of records but a

:20:15.:20:20.

more recent scene has emerged in B`Town, based around guitar bands.

:20:21.:20:34.

The glory days returning the city? In rehearsals for their biggest

:20:35.:20:44.

headline tour so far. Peace are a big band. This scene has been around

:20:45.:20:51.

for a lot longer, people are just starting to notice. The National

:20:52.:21:00.

music and media have labelled the current music scene B`Town. Peace's

:21:01.:21:11.

album has made the top 20. I guess we were lucky, we were always making

:21:12.:21:25.

the first impression a bit. But it is not just Peace glove enjoyed

:21:26.:21:33.

chart success. Swim Deep have also seen their album go top 20. But not

:21:34.:21:38.

everybody in Birmingham wants to be associated with the B`Town band. It

:21:39.:21:43.

started to great with people in Birmingham. There was a backlash

:21:44.:21:47.

with people saying they didn't want to be called a B`Town band. But it

:21:48.:21:54.

had people talking about Birmingham. They were not

:21:55.:21:56.

necessarily have talked about the city before. `` they would not

:21:57.:22:05.

necessarily. Despite the hype, the two biggest musical successes to

:22:06.:22:08.

come out of Birmingham have got nothing to do with B`Town. The

:22:09.:22:11.

re`emergence of black sabbath saw their new album topped the charts

:22:12.:22:21.

across the world. And soul singer Laura Mvula's debut album was a top

:22:22.:22:27.

ten Hill `` top ten hit. She was also a big winner of a MOBO award.

:22:28.:22:38.

Despite getting the publicity, Peace are keen to lose the B`Town label

:22:39.:22:43.

and forge their own identity. No one is ashamed to say that they started

:22:44.:22:49.

in Birmingham, . It hasn't been a hindrance. B`Town may be a fad, but

:22:50.:22:59.

with Peace doing their tool up to `` in front of 3000 fans in Birmingham,

:23:00.:23:04.

the biggest band to come out of the scene could have a much longer

:23:05.:23:11.

appeal. The weather forecast in a moment. It

:23:12.:23:15.

is due to get colder. The gritters will be on stand`by, but who decides

:23:16.:23:24.

where to send them, and when? Last winter, Staffordshire's

:23:25.:23:27.

highways team were coping with freezing temperatures and snow fall

:23:28.:23:33.

between December and April. The team is ready and waiting in case it

:23:34.:23:37.

should happen again. But it is not as simple as watching the forecast.

:23:38.:23:41.

There is a science as to how much grit goes down. This tells us what

:23:42.:23:47.

the weather is going to be like for the next week. We can see that it is

:23:48.:23:52.

going to be cold overnight for the next five or seven days. So we need

:23:53.:23:57.

to get ready for action and we will probably get `` be going out

:23:58.:24:03.

gritting. The data includes the ground temperature and weather snow

:24:04.:24:07.

is likely or not. Unlike regional forecasts, it can forecast exact

:24:08.:24:13.

conditions on different roads. This is one of several weather stations

:24:14.:24:16.

around Staffordshire. It records weather conditions around it which

:24:17.:24:20.

is sent to the depot which knows where to great. Tonnes of great have

:24:21.:24:27.

already been stockpiled with an extra 10,000 tonnes in reserve. That

:24:28.:24:30.

should keep us moving and there is a science about how it works. It is

:24:31.:24:34.

mixed with Brian and molasses to make sure it sticks to the road.

:24:35.:24:39.

What we are trying to do is get the right amount of this, sold, or

:24:40.:24:44.

great, onto the road, mixed to the moisture on the road, so it stops it

:24:45.:24:50.

freezing. It does not stop there. High`tech gritting lorries are

:24:51.:24:54.

helping those that go out to keep us moving. It can control the width of

:24:55.:24:59.

the spread, the angle of the spread and how much we apply. And with the

:25:00.:25:04.

cold weather only just starting, there is a busy few months in wait

:25:05.:25:11.

for our teens. Probably not cold enough for

:25:12.:25:13.

gritting yet, but who knows? The gritters will need to be out

:25:14.:25:23.

later in the week, because it is turning colder. All the hype

:25:24.:25:27.

surrounding the Arctic blast is probably not worth the bother. It is

:25:28.:25:31.

only with us for a brief period of time and it is will `` it will be

:25:32.:25:37.

mainly affecting the Northern part of the country, not the Midlands.

:25:38.:25:41.

This is how I would sum up the next bit of the week, it will be windy on

:25:42.:25:46.

Thursday and colder by Friday. It is this area to the north`east with the

:25:47.:25:53.

tightly packed isobars and the cold from sinking southwards during

:25:54.:25:57.

Thursday. Behind that is the colder air. We can see what is going on in

:25:58.:26:02.

Technicolor and in pictures from this air mass child. Milder air

:26:03.:26:06.

coming across on Thursday but it is on the cusp of his colder air which

:26:07.:26:11.

will be rushing along with these north`westerly winds behind it. That

:26:12.:26:14.

is what is bringing the cold to riches on Friday. Tonight, a lot of

:26:15.:26:24.

cold air with a cold front. That is bringing light, patchy rain. But we

:26:25.:26:28.

are looking at the odd heavy burst in that. It is moving quickly. As it

:26:29.:26:35.

clears, temperatures fall. There is just the slim chance of a bit of ice

:26:36.:26:43.

on untreated services because of the damp and falling to bridges. This

:26:44.:26:47.

rain will be clearing southwards tomorrow morning. Then a largely dry

:26:48.:26:52.

day. Just the odd shower. In a lot of sunshine developing from the

:26:53.:26:58.

North. Ten bridges will rise to about 79 `` seven or nine Celsius.

:26:59.:27:07.

Tomorrow night, the skies were clear so we are looking a fairly

:27:08.:27:11.

widespread frost. It images below freezing in the countryside. ``

:27:12.:27:25.

temperatures below freezing. The headlines. Britain's

:27:26.:27:36.

schoolchildren for further behind in the global classroom. And a surge in

:27:37.:27:40.

the number of cannabis farms across the West Midlands. A criminal

:27:41.:27:45.

investigation into the death of a 90`year`old woman at Stafford

:27:46.:27:47.

Hospital. I will be

:27:48.:27:49.

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