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6pm. It's goodbye from me and on BBC One, we join our teams where you
Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: From Coventry
to Rio de Janeiro, Jaguar Land Rover become the first British car maker
to open a factory in Brazil. Brazil is going to be a powerhouse
in South America and the world. We'll ask what the ?240 million deal
means for the business here. Also tonight: Coming into land ` or not.
High winds cause this plane to divert from Birmingham Airport, as
gusts of nearly 70 miles an hour lead to damage across the region.
Who's got a bigger piece of the pie? As the Chancellor makes his Autumn
Statement, we'll find out what it all means for you.
We go inside one of the busiest A departments to find out how it plans
to cope with the pressures of winter. We are working very hard on
recruitment, trying to get in more front`line staff.
And this was the scene at Ellesmere in Shropshire today after a
battering from strong winds. Thanks to Rob McBride for sending in the
photograph. Join me later when I'll have all the latest on today's peak
gusts, and what's ahead. Good evening. Midlands car maker
Jaguar Land Rover is to become the first UK car builder to open a
factory in Brazil. They've signed a ?240 million deal to secure a place
in this growing market. JLR sales in Brazil have shot up by more than 40%
this year to nearly 10,000 vehicles. The new factory near Rio de Janeiro
will be able to produce a minimum of 24,000 vehicles a year. Here's our
business correspondent Peter Plisner.
The Land Rover production line at Solihull. 80% of these vehicles will
be sent to buyers abroad ` and an increasing number of them are now
going to Brazil. The country's growing middle class
has meant it's now the fourth largest car market in the world `
having overtaken Germany last year. Growth for Jaguar Land Rover has
been fuelled recently by the launch of the new Range Rover Evoke. Sales
of that and other models have risen 40% so far this year. Whilst at the
moment a lot of the emerging economies are doing a little bit of
front `` flat`lining, in the medium and long`term Brazil will be ``
powerhouse. Pictures of today's historic signing
in Rio ` JLR's committed to building 24,000 vehicles every year in
Brazil, in a new factory that will cost more than ?200 million.
And Brazil isn't the only place where JLR is active. In addition to
its UK plants, the company already assembles a small number of vehicles
in India, Kenya, Pakistan and Malaysia. It's also considering
building cars in Saudi Arabia. But the first full production outside
the UK will be in China, where the company is currently building a new
factory. While it is good news that Jaguar
Land Rover are expanding again, there are concerns that producing
cars abroad could mean making parts abroad, which could have a
detrimental impact on small firms like this in the supply chain.
At this Black Country gasket maker, they're already worried. It seems to
me that they will take business away from the UK, and we make a large
number of products which go into their motors. It could reduce our
production. But elsewhere, some larger companies
take a different view. This Worcestershire company makes wiring
to heated windscreens. They've decided to follow JLR into China. A
lot more of the work is turning up in the far east. Developing market.
China is a place to be. So the more presence we have got there, the
better. JLR's not the only West Midlands
firm to set up shop on Brazil. Last year, the Prime Minister opened
JCB's factory there. It's been winning big orders ahead of Brazil's
staging of both the World Cup and the Olympic Games.
With me now is Professor David Bailey, from Aston University
Business School. There appears to be no let up in the JLR success story.
Does this Brazilian deal make sense to you?
Absolutely. It is the fourth biggest car market in the world, the luxury
end of things is growing quickly, so we are going to see a big
middle`class emerging who want to drive Jaguar Land Rover cars. Also
the Government is putting in place heavy tax barriers for import `` so
`` other companies are doing it, it makes and `` absolute sense.
Not everyone is thrilled about this deal. Is there a danger that making
investment overseas could take money out of the business in the Midlands?
If they were shifting production there, I would say yes, but they are
expanding it globally, and I think we will see them increasing output
in China, India, Brazil but also here in the UK. There is a big
opportunity for the supply chain in the West Midlands to actually win
more orders. It is whether the supply chain can keep up. J la have
decided to invest in this growing market in Brazil. How do other
businesses get a slice of the action? `` Jaguar Land Rover. We may
be scope for foreign firms to take them over and maybe serve production
in China or even Brazil. The bigger firms can globalise as well and
become international players and serve J `` Jaguar Land Rover around
the world. Briefly, China, Brazil, where next,
do you think? They may look at Saudi Arabia, but there is also a lot of
scope in China and also the new emerging `` emerging economies like
Turkey, Egypt. Coming up later in the programme:
After the murder of his brother`in`law, we meet the
Birmingham man who's won an award for his inspirational work with
teenagers. Strong winds have caused damage and
disruption across the Midlands. Gusts of nearly 70 miles an hour
were recorded, trees came down and plane had an aborted landing attempt
at Birmingham Airport. Lindsay Doyle reports.
The frightening moment an aircraft almost landed sideways as high winds
swept across Birmingham Airport, forcing the pilot to take off again.
The Emirates plane missed its approach and had to circle the
runway before trying again. After missing a second attempt to land,
the plane was forced to divert to Gatwick.
In Birmingham city centre, a woman had to be treated in hospital after
being hit by falling glass in Gas Street.
The German market closed for several hours after the roof of one of
stalls blew off in the high wind ` two people had to be treated by
paramedics. We have been monitoring conditions throughout the day, and
Richard the decision round about 2pm that we should close the German
market, for safety. `` we took the decision.
A driver had a lucky escape after getting out of a car just moments
before it was hit by a tree in Hall Green early this morning. A section
of the road had to be closed while the tree was removed.
In Coventry a tree came down in the Hillfields area, damaging two houses
` luckily no one was injured. The Fire Service say 15 trees fell
across Coventry and Warwickshire. It has gone straight onto the ridge of
the house itself and caused severe damages. Left a gaping hole which we
are now trying to take away the debris and the roof tiles and make
the place safe. In Stoke, the winds caused damage to
several homes and there were reports of trees falling across the
Staffordshire Moorlands. And Lindsay's outside New Street
Station in Birmingham now. What's been the impact on train services?
Thankfully most services are now running normally, with some notable
exceptions. London Midland stopped trains after
a tree fell on a line at Sutton Coldfield. That has yet to be
removed. Cross`country trains tell me that trends in Newcastle upon
Tyne from Birmingham New Street via Sheffield are suspended, and trains
travelling north of Stoke`on`Trent are severely affect the duty
overhead line cables. If you are travelling to Scotland or East
Anglia tomorrow, where more storms are except `` expected, think about
delays. Look online for information. Shefali will have the latest weather
forecast for us here in the Midlands, and of course your BBC
local radio station will continue to have the latest travel and weather
updates. George Osborne has announced a number of measures to
help companies, including a cap on business rate rises. Our business
reporter has been finding out if people in our region like the taste
of it. Throw in the leanest meat, the
cheapest vegetables, and what do you end up with? A pasty fit for an
Autumn Statement. It is a Jamaican patty made by Wade. He is happy that
the Chancellor is capping business rates at 2%, and giving small firms
like his rates relief for another year. That will make sure we can
sustain jobs, that we currently employ local people, and it can
increase our profit margin a little bit better.
For obvious reasons this firm is glad there was no talk of the pasty
tax in `` of budgets gone by. Instead the Chancellor rolled out a
few policies he had come up with earlier. Like making energy bills
?50 per year earlier. This woman is not overly impressed. We have a
house full of children, they leave a light on. I would like to see more
of a difference, we need a reduction in our household bills.
She had a financial adviser Rand today, who had a stark warning for
people in their 40s who will no see their pension age rose to 68 in just
over 20 years' time. The impact is enormous for people in their 40s,
who will say, how can I find that in so little time? It might feel a long
time, but it is not. Some in the Treasury have called it
the Goldilocks of Autumn statements. Not too hot, not too cold. But did
George Osborne get it just right? Time for the taste test.
George Osborne's Autumn Statement, what bits did you like best? The
pension age, terrible. It will mean I worked longer, get paid less. I
was hoping to retire earlier. It will make us more attractive to
employ. Was there anything that you did like? Anything at all? Which
bits did you like? Free school meals. Everybody likes a bargain.
So some support among those digestive what is in and what is
out, but some concern as well. As Mike Di adjusting. `` Di adjusting.
Also in the Autumn Statement came a rare "thank you" from the Chancellor
to two of our backbench MPs. Mr Osborne told the Commons he was
grateful for their campaign to breathe new life into our ailing
high streets. Our Political Editor Patrick Burns has been following
events at Westminster and joins us now. So which MPs are we talking
about? Well, to Conservatives, Paul Uppal
in Wolverhampton South West and Marcus Jones in Nuneaton. If you go
to parts of their constituency, you can see what damage the economic
downturn has done to high streets in towns and cities. Also of course the
immediate effects of the general drift towards online shopping. The
message from the Chancellor is that he has been listening. He has
offered what is in effect a ?1000 discount to small retailers, small
shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, in the hope of leaving life into those
hard hit high streets. Let us consider the wider impact on our
region of this Autumn Statement. I am joined by the shadow Home Office
Minister, Labour MP for Arlington, and the Conservative MP for
Halesowen and Rowley Regis. Given that this is seen as a very
political Autumn Statement, what is in it for your constituents and
other people in marginal seats apart from year after year of squeezes on
living standards? The message is that Britain's economic plan is
working. Clearly there is no `` more work to do, we need to stick to the
plan will make the tough decisions necessary to take `` get Britain's
economic fortunes recovered. But are those pieces of good news really
felt by your constituents? Unemployment is lower in my
constituency than at the time of the last election, we are capping
interest rates, we need to consider `` continuous stimulator growth and
stick to the plan and not go back to the borrowing and debt which got us
into the max in the first place. `` the mess. Look at Jaguar Land Rover
opening in Brazil. A world`class success story rightly expanding
worldwide, and we have been working closely with them. On the economic
plan, this Government is good to have borrowed three years `` more in
three years than Labour in 13 years. But the crucial test is this. The
Erdington couple I spoke to this morning, hard`working family,
finding it really difficult. The husband has twice lost his job. Each
time... Briefly, debt is falling, let us talk let us talk about how
real people out there feel. They are struggling to pay their mortgage and
their energy bills. The clock has beaten us. If you want
more background on this, you can go to my blog.
A 39`year`old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following a
fatal flat fall. He was detained today after the death of a man who
is thought to have plunged from a flat on the eighth floor of a tower
block in Coventry late last night. The victim, thought to be in his
30s, was discovered lying in Eden Street at about 11:20pm by a
passer`by. He died later in hospital. There appears to have been
some sort of disturbance, and subsequent about the mail has been
found outside the tower block with serious injuries. Anyone who was in
the area, resident in the area, in or around 11pm and 11:30pm last
night, who had a disturbance, we would urge them to get in touch.
University Hospital North Staffordshire has the highest demand
in our region for accident and emergency, and has always struggled
to meet targets. Our health correspondent reports.
This is what faces A staff each day. 59`year`old Paul Stanway has
regular breathing difficulties, and has a chest infection. His wife is
in hospital at the same time in intensive care. I have been here
before, and it gets very busy at certain times of the day, in fact
usually any time now. And then in the evening and especially at
weekends. The hospital is investing ?1 million
in more emergency staff. A large working class, ageing population,
made worse by cuts to social services budgets, meant a 10%
increase in work last year. Pressure is growing elsewhere in the region,
particularly in Worcester and Birmingham, but in Stoke they say
they're coping. Last month we achieved 95% of patients being ``
being seen and treated and discharged for the first time in
about seven months. This new 12`bed ward has already
opened with full time staff. It's part of another ?1.75m being spent.
Two wards are having to reopen in the old hospital, which will provide
a further 22 beds. The hospital is still spending ?400,000 over the
next four months in getting a private company to treat patients
who could still be in hospital at home. Hospital at home begins in
January. Patients who come here now count as part of the hospital's
figures. By doing that, this unit here manages to pull the figures up
by about 3% for the whole economy. Which means you could be at a 92%
for our weight. So you are cheating the figures? That is something I
understand people may conclude, but in fact what we have `` what we do
here is monitor the impact of the service we offer on patients.
The hospital is doing everything it can to make this winter better.
BBC News has set up a website dedicated to winter health, with a
particular focus on how hospital A will cope over the coming
months. You'll find full details on the BBC Health website. And BBC
Radio Stoke is spending the week looking at the pressures on staff at
UHNS. Tomorrow morning, they'll hear how midwives cope with 1,500 births
a year. Our top story tonight: Jaguar Land
Rover become the first British car maker to open a factory in Brazil `
a deal worth ?240 million. That very important weather forecast
to come shortly from Shefali ` also in tonight's programme, nearly six
decades at Nuneaton Harriers finally recognised, bashful Barry becomes
the Midlands Unsung Hero. And fabulous from Fabian ` Delph
drives Aston Villa to Premier League victory on the south coast.
When Muhammad Zafran's brother`in`law was stabbed to death,
he started knocking on doors to find out what young people wanted out of
life. The result was a project which has given hope and inspiration to
thousands of teenagers. His work was recognised last night as Community
Project of the Year, at the West Midlands Community Sports Awards.
Peter Wilson has been to meet him. Muhammad Zafran is known to everyone
in this part of south east Birmingham as Zaf. Quietly spoken,
he's organised sporting teams for thousands of young people and
changed people's lives and attitudes. He gives is his
experiences, shows us how we can improve as people, and encourages
us. I met Zaf at the right time in my life. At the moment I am studying
at university, and it is down to Zaf.
Zaf is something of a crime fighter ` he began his work for youth and
community after his wife's brother was stabbed to death in a park in
Sparkbrook. Rather than bitterness towards young people, Muhammad
Zafran decided to try and make a difference. He is only 24. And the
lad who was arrested was 16, and most of the kids who come here, they
are between 15 and 18, so coming here and going round the local
parks, it just shows the lack of activities around the area. Lack of
people who actually want to give the time, and if somebody never stepped
in and did this work, you will probably get a lot of these
circumstances and families going through what we went through.
He's also helped get people jobs, and many claim he's changed their
community. If you've seen the differences that have taken place in
the local community, just than here, within two miles, there used to be
loads of guys making people, and if you come over here now you will see
no gangs. `` modelling. Muhammad Zafran's religion has
guided him, and for his family the motivation to help others continues
to come from the loss of his brother`in`law. I wished I could ``
I wish I could have done this when he was alive, but sometimes it takes
this kind of thing to happen, a calamity, for people to learn that
everyone can live for themselves, but to live for others, but is the
real challenge. The Sports Awards last night also
recognised the dedication of Barry Ewington. From junior runner to
President and coach, Nuneaton Harriers has been a big part of his
life since 1954, all of which earned him the title of Unsung Hero. Nick
Clitheroe reports. For years Barry Ewington has been
coaching athletes of all ages and abilities, just because he loves the
sport. But last night his devotion to athletics, which has spanned 59
years, was placed firmly in the spotlight. The one thing I do when I
am down on the track, I will never leave the track before the athletes
do. And if you are `` I have always said I will be out in the rain for
them if they are out in the rain for me. It is respect for them, working
hard. Barry wasn't alone in being
recognised at the first West Midlands Community Sports Awards at
Villa Park last night. 15`year`old Lauren Rowles from Worcestershire
won the Newcomer of the Year. In February 2012 she was diagnosed with
a rare neurological disorder which left her in a wheelchair, and now
she's one of the finest young wheelchair athletes in the country.
It has been a whirlwind this year, from being able`bodied nearly two
years ago to being where I am in my racing career. It is phenomenal how
far I think I have come. Last night was a chance for
celebration, but this evening Barry will be back doing what he loves
best ` coaching athletes in the cold at the Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton.
On to football and it was an excellent night for Aston Villa, who
became the first team this season to win in the Premier League at
Southampton. Ben Sidwell reports. It's taken 62 games to happen, but
Fabian Delph's first Premier League goal for Aston Villa was well worth
waiting for. It was the highlight of an excellent
away win for Villa, against a Southampton side who before the game
had the best defensive record in the League and were undefeated at home.
It has been awhile since I scored a goal like that, but I think the main
thing was the three points and the togetherness we showed out there.
And if Delph's goal was spectacular, Gabby Agbonlahor's opener wasn't too
bad either. It is great for us. It is another three points on the board
which is great. Villa only had 23% of possession and
three shots on target all night, but scored with all of them ` Libor
Kozak, who was given a start instead of striker Christian Benteke,
heading in their other. Meaning they've now lost just three League
games away from home in the whole of 2013.
There was a familiar face at the Hawthorns, Wimbledon winner and West
Brom fan Goran Ivanisevic had a tennis tournament rearranged so he
could watch the Baggies play at home for the very first time. When Yaya
Toure slotted in a penalty for Man City's third, Goran probably wished
he'd picked a different game. He did see West Brom score though, twice in
the last ten minutes, but it was too little too late.
Stoke City are now just a point behind the Baggies, after a goalless
draw at home to Cardiff. In a match of few chances, Asmir Begovic's late
save ensured the Potters got something out of the game.
Is the wind going to come down? Is the wind
I think the worst is over. The amber warnings have been downgrading to
yellow and for our region, lifted altogether.
Today the strongest gusts recorded went like this.
This is the culprit for today's stormy conditions, but the area of
low pressure which is now moving away to the east, and the ice bars
are slacklining, meaning the winds will become lighter. The rain is
dying out, and the air behind this front begin in behind it is going to
be a lot colder because `` before the high`pressure establishes itself
over us for the weekend. It is good to be quite a different story for
tomorrow. It is good to be the coldest day of the week and a lot
drier. For now, we have a bit of rain, and where the air is called
across the north of the region we could see a bit of sleet developing.
`` where the air is killed. `` killed.
We have got on ice risk, the Met Office 's warning for ice almost
anywhere with a stand which is dropped to below freezing. `` where
temperatures drop. It could turn wintry over the hill tops, but there
is a good of sunshine developing further south, and temperatures will
rise from between four Celsius in the North to seven Celsius in parts
of Hereford and Worcestershire. But only about ten mph as a maximum
wind. Tomorrow night we have a lot of cloud, so that will keep
temperatures above freezing for a change, but it does mean it will be
a bit cloudier over the weekend, but it is turning a little bit milder as
well. Tonight's headlines from the BBC:
First Scotland and now the rest of the UK is battered by a powerful
storm ` two people are killed. Have a good