18/12/2013 Midlands Today


18/12/2013

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let-up. Thank you. That is all from the BBC News at Six. Goodbye. Now

:00:00.:00:00.

Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: A partial

:00:00.:00:07.

victory for Stafford Hospital campaigners, as some services are

:00:08.:00:15.

retained but others downgraded. We came here today and they said the

:00:16.:00:18.

administrators said they had listened to the community, but there

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is nothing there in what they are offering.

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We'll be asking how it will all work, and the impact it'll have on

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neighbouring hospitals. We've spent the day inside the busy

:00:29.:00:31.

University Hospital of North Staffordshire. Will it be able to

:00:32.:00:34.

take up the slack from Stafford? A sharp fall in jobless figures with

:00:35.:00:38.

26,000 fewer out of work, but Birmingham is still the worst city

:00:39.:00:45.

for unemployment in the country. It is wet and windy, and Stoke City is

:00:46.:00:49.

hoping to make it a miserable night for Manchester United.

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And we may have seen plenty of rain today, but could this be the scene

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across us by tomorrow? Full details coming up in the forecast later.

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Good evening. Stafford Hospital is being taken over, but some key

:01:05.:01:11.

services will stay. It's a partial victory for thousands who marched to

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save it, although not everyone's happy. Administrators needed more

:01:15.:01:18.

time to come up with their proposals, such was the strength of

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public opinion. They're now recommending a downgraded maternity

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unit instead of complete closure. A stays, although it won't be 24

:01:27.:01:31.

hours. Other services will be scaled back ` with complicated procedures

:01:32.:01:34.

taking place elsewhere and Stafford used for recuperation and recovery.

:01:35.:01:39.

The hospital's been trying to rebuild confidence since the scandal

:01:40.:01:42.

over dreadful neglect and poor care was uncovered five years ago. It's

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not quite the end of the story, though ` the Health Secretary still

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has to give his approval, and that won't happen until next February at

:01:53.:01:55.

the earliest. Here's our health correspondent Michele Paduano.

:01:56.:02:04.

This is what all the fuss is about, babies and children, where they are

:02:05.:02:08.

born and how they are treated. In the future half of all Stafford

:02:09.:02:15.

babies will still be born in Stafford. For these mums, today's

:02:16.:02:20.

improvements are not good enough. There is still some hope there, we

:02:21.:02:26.

do still have some services, but you cannot guarantee that you will not

:02:27.:02:29.

have complications if you are giving birth, and to have to go elsewhere

:02:30.:02:37.

would disrupt so many lives. It is good not `` not good enough for

:02:38.:02:41.

people with critically ill children. What are they supposed to do? The

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Trust Special Administrators said they had listened to the concerns,

:02:54.:02:58.

and 95% of all patient care will be in Stafford. What we have done I

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believe successfully is to provide Stafford and Cannock with a period

:03:04.:03:08.

of stability, at least four years, when they can work with local health

:03:09.:03:12.

care commissioners and can address the issues that exist here and also

:03:13.:03:20.

elsewhere. Stafford Hospital will get ?90 million in subsidy over four

:03:21.:03:25.

years, and ?40 million refurbishment. A further ?130

:03:26.:03:31.

million will be spent on improving maternity and accident and emergency

:03:32.:03:34.

services in Walsall, Stockton Wolverhampton. This will fund a

:03:35.:03:39.

proportion of our new A department which we have recently started the

:03:40.:03:48.

preliminary construction. We will also have to build an extension to

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our existing maternity units to be able to cope with the consultant

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deliveries. Back in Stafford politicians across the spectrum are

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not happy. We are going to lobby very hard now, the Secretary of

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State for health, because that is where we have to take the fight to.

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And my colleagues in all parties have been fighting very hard for

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this in the last year or so, and we will carry on. We came in here and

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the administrators said they had listened to the community, then we

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listen to the detail of what they are offering and there is nothing

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there. Most babies are not going to be born in Stafford. Our money's had

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to be served elsewhere for new hospitals that could be built here.

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`` going to be set. `` great to be sent. At the end of for years, the

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hospital will study ?15 million in the red.

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The people of the town have been living with this for years, will

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they be happy with this delight? There are people out there who

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clearly think that services should move elsewhere because they will be

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safer there, but they were absent today, one reason being that there

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has been such a groundswell of opinion against the hospital. Let us

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talk to one of the campaigners. How do you feel about what happened

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today? I am very disappointed. It has been made and we have had

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concessions made to us, but I think it is a bit of a fudge. We are told

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we will get midwife led eternity. 50% of the people could still be

:05:42.:05:50.

seen at Stafford Hospital, in reality `` but they have spent a

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huge amount in subsidy on this, you must realise change has to take

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place? We fully agree with that, we know

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there has to be a partnership. Specialised services have to be

:06:02.:06:04.

elsewhere at a larger hospital. We will support integration, we are not

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against that. Tomorrow you are seeing one of the Prime Minister's

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special advisers. What are you going to say? I think we will have a frank

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discussion. We have to look at how the board is going to be formed

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between us and UHNS. Clearly people here are not happy, but Jeremy Hunt

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has not got out of this political messages yet.

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With the trust running Stafford and Cannock hospitals dissolved, Cannock

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will be taken over by Wolverhampton. Stafford Hospital, which is far

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bigger, will be run by the University Hospital of North

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Staffordshire which covers Stoke on Trent. So will it be able to take up

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the slack? Our Staffordshire reporter Liz Copper has been finding

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out. Brandon is three and will be in

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hospital for Christmas. He's one of more than 11,000 patients treated in

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the Children's Centre here every year. The changes announced today

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could see many more children coming here. Parents have concerns over the

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effect for families. It is not brilliant for the parents if they

:07:13.:07:17.

have to travel and travel, but if it is best for the child that is what

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has to be done. There was plenty of festive fun

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today on the children's ward, but nevertheless lingering worries about

:07:23.:07:25.

what the New Year will bring once children will no longer be admitted

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for overnight stays in Stafford. I have six children, and I have had to

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travel from that which today to hear. But I can't imagine having to

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do that with an ill child. The planned changes were among the

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most controversial book forward. The question now is, how big an overall

:07:48.:07:51.

impact will the new arrangements have?

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This is the unit where children are assessed. It's busy, but doctors

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believe they'll be able to cope with more patients. I think we are

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ideally placed to absorb more work because we have become consultant

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led down here. We probably have more consultant time on the shop floor

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than anywhere else in region actually.

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And patients across the region are being reassured the new plans will

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lead to better overall care across Staffordshire ` and increased travel

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times won't be a serious problem. There is a trade`off between coming

:08:23.:08:25.

to really high quality services where you have 40 or 50 paediatric

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specialists for exam will on the ward we are on now, compared to

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three in Stafford. There is this trade`off between accessing a full

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range of services when you have a sick child, and that is very

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traumatic for patients `` parents. Whilst these changes won't satisfy

:08:46.:08:48.

everyone, there is now at least a measure of certainty as plans for

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shaping the future of health care across Staffordshire become clearer.

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Joining us now from our studio in London is the Conservative MP for

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Stafford Jeremy Lefroy. Good evening, Mr Lefroy. So Stafford

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Hospital is being downgraded, but some services retained ` good news?

:09:04.:09:15.

I think it is mixed. I was this boot saying some services, `` would

:09:16.:09:20.

dispute some services, we are talking about a large number of

:09:21.:09:24.

services being maintained. At the beginning of the year we were told

:09:25.:09:28.

there would be no A or maternity or paediatrics and many other

:09:29.:09:32.

services. We have come a long way. It will have on A, there will

:09:33.:09:39.

according to the TSA's report be midwife led maternity, and we will

:09:40.:09:42.

be part of a university hospital with a secure future. But

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particularly there is a big but over services with children and mothers

:09:54.:09:58.

and families. The community have done a tremendous job in getting us

:09:59.:10:01.

to where we are now, but we have further to go because we have to

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make the case that our children deserve to have a 20 four sevenths

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service where they can stay in unless they have to be transferred.

:10:16.:10:19.

But as the case I have been making to Jeremy Hunt this afternoon. What

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sort of vibes did you get from him? He has to make the final decision,

:10:27.:10:30.

he cannot tell me at this stage, but I shall firstly be making the case

:10:31.:10:36.

to monitor because they have too make the case to the Secretary of

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State. `` they have to make the case. And also we need to look at

:10:42.:10:47.

the proposals for maternity. I still believe we need a consultant led

:10:48.:10:51.

maternity service, I think the numbers justify that. And we need to

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look at one or two other areas like the proposals for critical care. I

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think we have moved a step forward today, but not a large enough step

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at all. Plenty more to come before 7:00.

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The problems for ex`servicemen facing the prospect of being

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homeless for Christmas. There's been a sharp fall in

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unemployment in the region although Birmingham remains the city with the

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highest rate in the country. Across the West Midlands, the number of

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jobless fell by 26,000 over the last quarter. It means there are now

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240,000 people out of work here ` or 8.8% of the working population. Ben

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Godfrey has been to Wolverhampton, to look at a scheme helping people

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find jobs when English isn't their first language.

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Bhupinder Mary wants to return to work now her daughter's older. If

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only it were that easy. After four years without a job, she says she's

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facing too many hurdles. The main problem is the language, and

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experience. It is hard. It is very difficult for us.

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She's not alone. For these Asian and Eastern European job`seekers,

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Wolverhampton doesn't feel like a land of opportunity.

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So they've joined the Park Village Employability Scheme. They get jobs

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advice ` nothing new there. But what makes it different is that they'll

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design the sort of training opportunities their community needs.

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Here in Park Village, changing perceptions is the first challenge.

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9% of the working age population is currently claiming job`seeker's

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allowance, but it is also about well`being, in an area where women

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live to an average age of 79, four men it is just 73. My husband has

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not worked since he left school. All the Government plans, and what they

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plan to do, the job centres are full of people anyway so I don't see how

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that can help. I have had a couple of temporary contracts, but nothing

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big. Nothing I can hold on to. There is nothing in Wolverhampton. 30

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years after I left school, people are leaving school in this day and

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age when they cannot live `` read or write. What is going on?

:13:27.:13:31.

Asia Jodin has a masters degree from Poland's top university. She moved

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to Wolverhampton to be near family, but says she's failed to find a job

:13:35.:13:42.

to match her skills. I don't want to go to the factory every day. I have

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a Masters degree, I had a good job over there in Poland, and I want to

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carry on having a better life, and also for my future children I want

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to set the example. Dozens of residents have signed up

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to the scheme, which hopes to coach them into employment within three

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months. Our business correspondent Peter

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Plisner is here now. Encouraging figures, Peter ` why do you think

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they've gone down? The fact is more jobs are being created. If you look

:14:20.:14:23.

at the West Midlands, construction jobs are up, and manufacturing is

:14:24.:14:29.

slightly down, and nationally the art up so that could be a blip.

:14:30.:14:37.

Managing directors I have spoken to so their order books are full and

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they are optimistic about the year ahead. `` they say that their order

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books are full. But Birmingham is still the work `` the worst in the

:14:47.:14:52.

country. Yes, 16.5% of the population are unemployed, the

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highest in the UK, but we have some of the worst blackspots for

:14:57.:14:59.

unemployment, places like Hodge Hill, and Ladywood. More than 20% of

:15:00.:15:09.

the population there is unemployed. There has been lots about this

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so`called skills gap, and a lot is being done to address it.

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Detectives are searching for a beggar who attacked a 25`year`old

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man in Birmingham, blinding him in one eye.

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It happened at Spices restaurant on the Soho Road in Handsworth. The

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offender, who was captured on CCTV, asked for a cigarette and money.

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When he was refused, he stabbed the victim in the eye with an unknown

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weapon. Our top story tonight. A partial victory for Stafford

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Hospital campaigners, as some services are retained but others

:15:47.:15:48.

downgraded. A full weather forecast to come soon

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from Shefali ` not too cheerful, I'm afraid, and also in tonight's

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programme, what these Stoke City legends make of the Potters' chances

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in tonight's cup tie against Manchester United. I can't wait for

:15:59.:16:09.

these fans to get some pleasure, to get some success.

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And our top Christmas tip ` from a team who don't believe in throwing

:16:13.:16:15.

away anything that could bring some festive fun!

:16:16.:16:22.

Servicemen and women can sometimes find it hard adjusting to civilian

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life after a military career. A small proportion end up on the

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streets. Joanne Writtle has been talking to a former Royal Marine

:16:33.:16:35.

who's trying to help, and to an ex`soldier who's been sleeping on

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friends' sofas since leaving the Army six years ago.

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Life in the Armed Forces. Disciplined, often tough, and for a

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few, I've can remain harsh after they have said goodbye to military

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life. Chris Pursehouse served with the

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Royal Artillery for six years. But he's been homeless, sofa surfing,

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since he came out in 2007 ` unable to settle. In pubs I have to sit in

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a place where I can see the front door and the exit and see who is

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coming in and going out. For the last few weeks Chris has

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been living in a hostel for homeless men in Wolverhampton.

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It's run by the P3 charity. Jim Corry is a case worker for those on

:17:30.:17:32.

the streets. He's helped hundreds this year. A few have been

:17:33.:17:40.

ex`servicemen. Probably about six or seven this year. A number of

:17:41.:17:44.

reasons. Some have just come out of the Army, obviously looking for

:17:45.:17:50.

accommodation support. Maybe they have been out of the Army for a

:17:51.:17:54.

number of years but going through relationship work done. Some are

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suffering from post`dramatic stress. `` post`traumatic stress.

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22 miles away in Telford, ex`Royal Marine Steve Wood has a room for a

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homeless ex`soldier. He's also offering to help sort out red tape

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for benefit payments. Don't you think we owe them a hand out now and

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again? I think they deserve it. People have stepped up to bat to

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protect our liberty. It's a two`bedroom house. The other

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room is taken by a man medically discharged from the army. He's not

:18:23.:18:26.

prepared to discuss the details, and wants to remain anonymous. When I

:18:27.:18:32.

try and get a job, and say I have been discharged from the Army, I

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struggle getting a job. The national charity veterans' aide says

:18:43.:18:47.

homelessness amongst ex`soldiers is a small but constant problem, but

:18:48.:18:51.

stresses that most veterans make a successful transition to civilian

:18:52.:18:54.

life. Back in Wolverhampton, ex`gunner

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Chris is being helped by workers at the hostel. He's just completed a

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course with the security industry. And despite everything, he doesn't

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regret joining the Army. I would recommend it to anyone. It is one of

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those things I am glad I did. When you are old and grey, you can sit

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down and say, yes, we did this and all that sort of thing.

:19:18.:19:21.

Football, and Stoke City are hoping to make it through to the semifinals

:19:22.:19:24.

of the League Cup tonight but they'll have to do it the hard way.

:19:25.:19:28.

Their visitors Manchester United are a team rebuilding after the

:19:29.:19:31.

departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, but they still represent the toughest of

:19:32.:19:34.

opposition. Nick Clitheroe is at the Britannia

:19:35.:19:36.

Stadium. Realistically, what are Stoke's chances, Nick?

:19:37.:19:44.

Well, Manchester United are finding life difficult now Sir Alex has

:19:45.:19:47.

gone, and Stoke have already pushed them hard in the Premier League once

:19:48.:19:51.

this season. But they might need some of the spirit of 1972 if

:19:52.:19:55.

they're to make through ` as Ian Winter has been finding out.

:19:56.:20:03.

March 1972, Stoke City winning at Wembley for the first time. Today,

:20:04.:20:12.

Terry Conroy is 67 and lucky to be alive. Two years ago he survived a

:20:13.:20:17.

massive heart attack, and now on Doctor's orders, he joins his

:20:18.:20:22.

team`mate for their weekly walk around the lakes. They are never

:20:23.:20:27.

short of good company, in coding England goalkeeper Gordon Banks. ``

:20:28.:20:32.

including. When the boys of medicine to two

:20:33.:20:37.

went to Wembley, their opponents were Manchester United. We perhaps,

:20:38.:20:46.

Manchester United having a bit of a dip. `` we perhaps caught. If we can

:20:47.:20:54.

overcome United, we can maybe go old `` all the way.

:20:55.:21:00.

When they met in the Premier league in October, Stoke were not overawed,

:21:01.:21:05.

and twice they took the lead. OK, so United one, but the old Potters

:21:06.:21:10.

legends believe it will be a different story with home advantage

:21:11.:21:15.

tonight. Two for stock. Two goals to 14

:21:16.:21:24.

Stoke. What would it mean if/when to get to Wembley again? `` Stoke. I

:21:25.:21:35.

cannot wait for the fans to get some pleasure and some success. So the

:21:36.:21:40.

League Cup has good memories for Stoke City, and beating United this

:21:41.:21:45.

evening would be just the tonic for Terry and Dennis and thousands like

:21:46.:21:49.

them. The big clubs often field weakened

:21:50.:21:52.

teams in this competition. Does that give Stoke a fighting chance

:21:53.:22:02.

tonight? The way this season has started for David Moyes, I don't

:22:03.:22:06.

think he can take any risks. He needs some silverware in the

:22:07.:22:12.

sideboard this season, and I think he is going to play a fairly strong

:22:13.:22:14.

team tonight. Mark Hughes hasn't found it too easy

:22:15.:22:18.

at Stoke since replacing Tony Pulis in the summer. How important is this

:22:19.:22:25.

competition for him? Obviously he has had to come in and try and keep

:22:26.:22:29.

that place in the Premier league for Stoke City, while changing the style

:22:30.:22:34.

as well and trying to play a bit more passing football. That has

:22:35.:22:37.

proved that. It is taking time to adjust. But I think there have been

:22:38.:22:42.

signs in the last few weeks but he is starting to find a system that is

:22:43.:22:47.

going to help. But of course they have a big game against Aston Villa

:22:48.:22:50.

at the weekend, so if they can get through tonight that will give them

:22:51.:22:54.

a boost for that. One thing is for certain, nobody is much greater in

:22:55.:23:02.

job it tonight with the weather. `` enjoy it.

:23:03.:23:05.

It's that time of year when many of our streets are shining with

:23:06.:23:08.

Christmas decorations and lights. Some are truly spectacular, while

:23:09.:23:11.

others bring us festive cheer in the most unexpected places. We sent Bob

:23:12.:23:14.

Hockenhull to meet workers in Birmingham who've put a lot of time

:23:15.:23:18.

and effort into their display ` but really they wouldn't mind at all if

:23:19.:23:21.

you called it rubbish. A recycling tip on a bleak December

:23:22.:23:25.

day. Not everyone's idea of a winter wonderland. But the Lifford Lane

:23:26.:23:31.

centre at Kings Norton in Birmingham has been transformed ` thanks to

:23:32.:23:39.

everyone's Christmas cast`offs. Every single one has been recovered

:23:40.:23:43.

from what would otherwise have been thrown away. The condition of some

:23:44.:23:47.

of the material that gets thrown away is suitable for reuse.

:23:48.:23:52.

The waste controller has entered into the spirit of things too,

:23:53.:23:55.

there's seasonal tunes blasting out all day ` and even a nod to other

:23:56.:24:00.

religions. It's turned a traditional tip into a Christmas hit for the

:24:01.:24:07.

regular users. They love it. They actually bring the children down to

:24:08.:24:12.

see it. They turn up without any waste, just to see the display.

:24:13.:24:18.

The staff are amazed at what people throw away. Some of these figures

:24:19.:24:21.

are in pretty good condition. But what some have dismissed as rubbish

:24:22.:24:27.

have now approved an opportunity to create up perfect Christmas scene in

:24:28.:24:32.

the most unlikely of places. `` a perfect Christmas scene.

:24:33.:24:34.

Around 150 figures destined for destruction have been saved so far `

:24:35.:24:37.

causing delight and a little despair. All this stuff is usable,

:24:38.:24:42.

and you see people throwing stories away, it is quite ashamed. I wish I

:24:43.:24:47.

could queue for longer, but they are so efficient you get through

:24:48.:24:53.

quickly. You feel you are going to somewhere happy. Because the music

:24:54.:25:01.

is happy. You just want to dance! Who'd have thought a load of old

:25:02.:25:04.

rubbish could lift Christmas spirits so high?

:25:05.:25:10.

Let's find out how the weather's looking ` here's Shefali who has

:25:11.:25:13.

some very scary`looking arrows on her weather map today.

:25:14.:25:14.

Tonight's headlines from I could tell you was shocked by

:25:15.:25:27.

yesterday's chart, but it is indicative of what is going out

:25:28.:25:33.

there at the moment. A trampoline was blown onto the tracks at

:25:34.:25:38.

Smethwick, causing delays. Tomorrow it is quite a different story. Some

:25:39.:25:42.

snow is on the way, on higher and lower levels. We are unclear how

:25:43.:25:48.

much we are going to get. But it would lead to a covering on most

:25:49.:25:54.

areas. Before then, some rain to content with. When you see these

:25:55.:25:58.

bright green and yellow patches, you have to be wary where rain is

:25:59.:26:02.

concerned. Also that squeeze on the isobars indicates strong wind. We

:26:03.:26:10.

can see that in close up right now on the chart. There is a ferocity to

:26:11.:26:15.

everything going on tonight, but it is moving along very quickly,

:26:16.:26:18.

because it is being pushed along a 50 mph gusts. Where we do get the

:26:19.:26:25.

torrential garden `` downpours, we could see an inch of rain. But a

:26:26.:26:29.

quieter end to the night, and with clearer skies temperatures will drop

:26:30.:26:33.

to one or three Celsius. At this area is going to be very cold,

:26:34.:26:37.

digging into the region by tomorrow morning. `` but this area. I think

:26:38.:26:47.

it is good to be the worst that will get the accumulations most of all to

:26:48.:26:51.

begin with, because that is where the snow will linger. `` I think it

:26:52.:26:57.

is going to be the West. Then it starts to move eastwards through

:26:58.:27:00.

tomorrow evening, temperatures rising to five to 527 Celsius. ``

:27:01.:27:15.

five two seven Celsius. As for the rest of the week, we have dry

:27:16.:27:19.

conditions on Friday, rain setting in for Saturday but milder by them

:27:20.:27:21.

as well. as

:27:22.:27:27.

Tonight's headlines from the BBC. Sentenced to 35 years, the rock star

:27:28.:27:32.

Ian Watkins is jailed for a string of horrific sex attacks on children.

:27:33.:27:36.

A partial victory for Stafford Hospital campaigners, as some

:27:37.:27:38.

services are retained but others downgraded.

:27:39.:27:43.

See you later at 10pm. Goodbye.

:27:44.:27:47.

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