23/12/2013 Midlands Today


23/12/2013

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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: Six months'

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jail for a company boss who defied orders to remove a mountain of

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rubbish towering over homes. This is the view that we wake up to

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each day. It is horrendous. Is getting worse.

:00:20.:00:21.

Also tonight, all eyes on the dismal holiday weather that's drenched the

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region for much of the day. Rain and high winds have brought disruption

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to Christmas travel plans. We'll have the latest.

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I'm live at the Birmingham Christmas shelter, where 3,500 meals will be

:00:32.:00:34.

served to homeless people over five years.

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Birmingham rockers Black Sabbath on stage back home ` and don't their

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fans love it! And will these storms ever subside

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in time for Christmas? There's a lot to get through over the next day or

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so ` winds, rain and even some snow. Join me later for all the details.

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Good evening. A Black Country businessman's been jailed for six

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months for failing to clear a giant pile of rubbish. Robert McNaughton

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repeatedly ignored court orders to move hundreds of tonnes of waste

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from his yard in Brierley Hill. For four years, residents have had to

:01:28.:01:31.

put up with the eyesore towering over their homes. At its peak, it

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reached a height of 13m ` around 40ft. The cost of clearing it up

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could be as much as ?750,000. But when that will happen is still

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uncertain. Giles Latcham was in court.

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A last taste of freedom for Robert McNaughton, who will now spend

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Christmas behind bars. In his yard at Brierley Hill, hundreds of tonnes

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of household waste and soil piled up to 13m high. For locals, a stinking

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and ugly blot on their skyline. This is the view we wake up to each

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day. It's horrendous. It's getting worse, not better.

:02:07.:02:10.

??BLUE He had the opportunity over the last four years to have moved

:02:11.:02:14.

that stuff of his own speed, and he's made a number of promises, none

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of which have been kept. The Environment Agency have now got to

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the stage where they've got to do something about it, because it's

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just gone on for far too long. Robert McNaughton's licence to

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operate this site has been revoked. He says the landlord has locked him

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out. During a break in the hearing at court, he agreed for the first

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time to be interviewed. I asked him about the misery he has caused for

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the people living around here. I am liable. I intend to get it

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moved. If the judge decides to take my liberty away, I will have to

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serve my punishment. If I keep my liberty, I will continue to try and

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move it ` my best endeavours. But deprived of his liberty he was.

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The judge ordered that a six`month sentence for contempt of court

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should now be served. We are obviously very pleased that

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the court has supported us in this action. The local residents have put

:03:10.:03:14.

up with a lot, and they are frustrated. Our intention has always

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been to get the site cleared, and the judge was very clear today he

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wants that too. The issue from the residents' point

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of view is the fact that we've still got a massive amount of waste that's

:03:27.:03:30.

got to be cleared, and I think that is going to be a separate issue and

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saga altogether. Saga is right. The clear`up could

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cost ?750,000. Another court case is planned to try to get the landlord

:03:39.:03:42.

to stump up. What price this pile of rubbish is still here next

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Christmas? Giles Latcham, BBC. Coming up later in the programme:

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hopes that a third liver transplant can give Kate the chance to live a

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life she's only been able to dream of.

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Severe stormy weather sweeping up from the south has been causing

:04:04.:04:07.

problems on road and rail today. There's been a number of train

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cancellations already. We can go over live to Snow Hill Station in

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Birmingham now, and our reporter Bob Hockenhull.

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Lots of trouble, I'm afraid on the railways, Nick. There are some power

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line problems at Watford, which means that trains in and out of

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Houston have been significantly reduced. Also, from seven o'clock

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tonight, there will be a 50 mph speed limit on network rail's entire

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network, so that means, of course, because of the bad weather. As well

:04:43.:04:47.

as trains, planes have been struggling today, and a lot of lanes

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at Birmingham Airport have been struggling to land in the high

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winds. I gather there has been concern about flooding. That's

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right, Nick. There are three flood `` 33 flood alerts. Not only our car

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users having to watch out, but pedestrians are as well. Many have

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been battling with their umbrellas today. The winds gusted up to 50 or

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60 mph. In Stafford, they have had their Christmas celebrations

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disrupted. A few weeks ago, we filmed the lovely Christmas tree in

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Market Square. If you go back there today, it has been taking down

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because they felt it was unsafe to live it up. Less Christmas cheer in

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Stafford. The messages for all travellers, look at your local

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travel websites and if you do have to go out, travel on public

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transport, be careful. Thank you.

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People who are homeless are always very much in the spotlight at this

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time of year. Mary Rhodes is at a shelter in Birmingham right now. I

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should think it's looking pretty busy there. It certainly is. Thank

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you. They started serving dinner at 6pm here at the Birmingham Christmas

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shelter, so it is very busy at the moment. The shelter opened its doors

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today and will stay open around the clock for the next five days. The

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majority of people in this shelter are homeless, but they also people

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who were just lost or lonely. In a moment, I'll be talking to the chef

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and to some of the people who are using the shelter, but first, Ben

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Godfrey reports on the financial pressure on places like this `

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especially those which rely on public funding.

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When Steve's relationship ended, he was made homeless. He went from

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living in a five`bedroom home in Malvern to a room at the YMCA.

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I'm going to college. Got myself medication, stopped the drinking.

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Helping me to move on and get a flat. Help me because I can't read

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that well. The YMCA is facing an anxious wait

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as Worcestershire County Council consults over cuts to supported

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accommodation. The charity could lose a third of ?1 million, putting

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immense pressure on services and the 150 beds it has in Worcester and

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Redditch. It would be very difficult to keep

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the place safe. I believe it will take someone losing their life

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before people really and actually realise what the impact would be.

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In Birmingham, tough decisions have been taken at this drop`in centre.

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It's struggling with its energy bills and donations. From next

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month, it will no longer offer breakfast to some of the 2,500

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people it supports each year. But others have been more fortunate.

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Last year, more than 400 adults, including ex`offenders and

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recovering drug addicts, were warned they'd be out on the streets of

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Birmingham. The company managing 40 hostels in the city was stripped of

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much of its local authority funding. Now a charity has taken over as

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registered social landlord, and it's become less reliant on council

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money. It eases the pressure on the city,

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which is in a very difficult position financially. We'll be able

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to take on more staff and offer more support to move people forward, help

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them with drug addiction, counselling, alcohol support.

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The reason more than 70 turkey dinners are being served today is

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because these people have earnt it. They spent hours packing supermarket

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carrier bags over the last few weeks for those whose Christmas lunches

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are guaranteed. It's good to have a community and

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good to feel that you're welcome. Look at the food. I didn't think I'd

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have that much on my plate, but it's great.

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Today, charities say they have been pressured into doing more for less,

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but they are determined to survive. BBC Midlands Today, Birmingham. It

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is without doubt, the busiest time here. We are at the height of their

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dinner service. And with the head chef. It's a bit busy at the moment.

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We're doing chicken and a three bean hotpot. Were sitting around 100, so

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we have two do with more than expected. We're just a bit busy. We

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were hearing in the report about the financial pressures that centres

:09:42.:09:44.

like this are not. You are a charity, so where does your money

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and support comes from? Feeding this many people does not come cheap.

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I've been working hard to get sponsorship from catering

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companies, and they have given me the food for free. It's fantastic.

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Costs around for a half thousand pounds to look after everybody over

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Christmas over five days, and I can't believe the generosity of the

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companies. It is amazing. The money you get into your charity, where

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does it go? We work on other services as well, so we have lots of

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things to maintain for the charity. We're always looking for

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entertainment. We are always looking for entertainment. We're buying

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things like TVs so that we can show films and things like that. There

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are lots of things we need it for. Running a charity on its own. Della

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mac lets have a chat with Andy. Why do you come here? You do have a roof

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over your head now, so when you come now? Yellow socialisation. Meet new

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people. Catch up with old friends you only see every year. Another

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good thing when you live on your own is getting out and meeting new

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people, access services that sometimes you would never know were

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there. You were telling me you suffered a lot with mental health

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issues. Is that a common theme with people coming here? Yes. It is a

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common theme with the alcohol and drugs and mental health. I would say

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that is over 60% of homelessness. How important is it having somewhere

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like this to come over Christmas? Really important. It sucks that

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loneliness and boredom. `` stops that loneliness. Thank you. Coming

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back to you, the volunteers that you rely on here. How important are

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they? Very important. We would be up to do this shelter work. We have

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about 45 volunteers each session. We induct about 500, so it is

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absolutely amazing, and we have our rowing team leaders as well. I will

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let you get back to work. Thank you very much. Join me later when I will

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speak to the volunteers who are working here over Christmas.

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A bowling alley has been destroyed by fire in Wolverhampton. At its

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height, more than a hundred fire`fighters were dealing with the

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blaze at Strykers on Shaw Road. Crews were pulled out at one point

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over fears it would collapse. One fire`fighter was injured. An

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investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.

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Birmingham rockers Black Sabbath celebrated the climax of their world

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tour at the weekend with two homecoming gigs. They played hits

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from their 45`year career to more than 26,000 fans. Ben Sidwell went

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to meet the band and their fans, who travelled from around the world for

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a moment of rock music history. Even by Black Sabbath's standards,

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it has been an incredible year. I don't think we knew what to expect,

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really. The whole tour has been great. It's been fantastic.

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2013 has seen the band's first album of new material for 35 years top the

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chart all over the world. They were a constant sell`out wherever they

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played. We realise now that we're not going to live forever, so while

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we can still do it, we will do it. It is a God`given thing to us, and

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we're all still really good at what we do, so may as well do it. Some

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fans queued for over 12 hours before the two homecoming gigs in

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Birmingham, desperate to see the band who have been credited with

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creating heavy metal music. Don't know how long the Sabbath will be

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around anymore, so gotta see them while we can and get good spots.

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Unbelievable. A dream for 20`odd years. At last I've done it. The

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city where metal music began and where Black Sabbath began is

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special, so I've been looking forward to this day all year. But it

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wasn't just fans from England who have made the trip to see Ozzy

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Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler perform in the city where it

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all started for them back in 1968. Just wanted to see Black Sabbath in

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their hometown. I mean, it is nothing like seeing them in Italy. I

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saw them in Melbourne, and they were playing in my hometown, so thought

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I'd come over to see them in their hometown. This is the most

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nerve`wracking gig in the world. We can play everywhere and we end up

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back in Birmingham. No`one, not even the band, know what the future

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holds. Fans are just hoping this will not be the last time they see

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Black Sabbath take to the stage in their home city. Ben Sidwell, BBC

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Midlands Today, Birmingham. I was lucky enough to see them. It was

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sensational. This is our top story tonight: A

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businessman's jailed for defying court orders to clear a giant

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rubbish tip. Your detailed weather forecast to

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come shortly from Shefali`` if you're brave enough to listen. Also

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in tonight's programme: Strictly speaking, a weekend hard to beat.

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Abi ends as the surprise winner on the dance floor while husband Peter

:15:22.:15:27.

nets the winner for Stoke City. And join me at the Birmingham

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Christmas Shelter, where I'll be talking to volunteers who are giving

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up their time to help the homeless. Kate Treveener is able to look

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forward to 2014 after a marathon search to find the replacement liver

:15:45.:15:50.

she so desperately needed. She had her first transplant in 2010 when

:15:51.:15:54.

the donor liver had to be rescued from a burning plane, but it wasn't

:15:55.:15:58.

a success. Another followed and now a third ` and with it the news she's

:15:59.:16:02.

been hoping for. Holly Lewis reports.

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Kate knows all about planning for a big day. But for her, it has always

:16:07.:16:11.

been about finding a perfect match on the organ donor list. Kate, who

:16:12.:16:16.

is 21, is planning a career in the wedding industry after tests show

:16:17.:16:19.

her body has accepted her third new liver.

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It all goes so quick that it's not until now I've sat back and looked

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at it all and realise how much I've been through. When you're in the

:16:29.:16:31.

moment, you're just going with it, so you don't think about what's

:16:32.:16:34.

really going on. In 2010, Kate was already in surgery

:16:35.:16:38.

when a plane carrying her donor liver crashed. The pilot survived

:16:39.:16:44.

and the organ was rescued by a fire`fighter. The transplant went

:16:45.:16:47.

ahead, although the liver later failed.

:16:48.:16:50.

People in the ward were actually bringing me newspapers, and you

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would see people walking down the ward and they were pointing at the

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bed, because everybody on the ward knew it was me. My mum and dad sat

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me down and told me about it. It was like, "OK, then".

:17:05.:17:06.

Kate had all three of her transplants at the Queen Elizabeth

:17:07.:17:10.

Hospital in Birmingham. So far this year, 204 liver transplants have

:17:11.:17:13.

been carried out here, putting Birmingham on course to be the

:17:14.:17:16.

biggest liver transplant centre in Europe. But Kate's surgeon says she

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is an exceptional patient. Third liver transplant is a

:17:24.:17:26.

technically challenging operation, and also from the patient's point of

:17:27.:17:29.

view, they need stamina to recover from such a transplant operation.

:17:30.:17:38.

Kate says this Christmas will be a real celebration, but her thoughts

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will be with the donor families who made her surgery possible. BBC

:17:42.:17:52.

Midlands Today, Birmingham. Happy Christmas.

:17:53.:17:54.

It's almost here. Christmas means church services, presents under the

:17:55.:17:57.

tree, tinsel, turkey and carols, of course. BBC local radio stations

:17:58.:18:01.

across the region have been playing their part by organising a special

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series of carol concerts. And don't worry if you missed them ` there's

:18:06.:18:09.

another chance to hear them on air over Christmas. Rebecca Wood has the

:18:10.:18:20.

details. In Birmingham, there was Christmas

:18:21.:18:23.

spirit and plenty as hundreds of people packed into the city's

:18:24.:18:29.

Cathedral with BBC's presenters also playing their part. BBC Radio

:18:30.:18:33.

Shropshire hosted Carroll's where the congregation was in fine voice.

:18:34.:18:43.

In Stoke`on`Trent, St Peter's Academy accompanied the 900 people

:18:44.:18:46.

attending the traditional carol service. The worst Male voice choir

:18:47.:19:02.

`` the Worcestershire Male voice choir.

:19:03.:19:14.

And this weekend, hundreds packed into the Coventry Cathedral fall the

:19:15.:19:21.

annual concert. There will be back tomorrow and again on Christmas Day.

:19:22.:19:33.

It's been a weekend to remember for the Stoke City striker Peter Crouch,

:19:34.:19:38.

and his wife Abbey Clancey. First, Peter scored the winning goal to

:19:39.:19:41.

beat Aston Villa in the Premier league. Then Abi won the final of

:19:42.:19:47.

Strictly Come Dancing. Ian Winter reports.

:19:48.:19:49.

Santa looked out in the cold as if killing time at the match before the

:19:50.:19:53.

main event on the dance floor. But inside the Brit, there was a real

:19:54.:19:56.

festive flavour. And the perfect gifts arrived four days early for

:19:57.:19:59.

Peter Crouch. Before kick`off, he clearly, had lots on his mind.

:20:00.:20:03.

Hoping he'd score a goal to help Stoke beat Villa, and hoping his

:20:04.:20:06.

wife would score with the judges to win Strictly Come Dancing. Only at

:20:07.:20:09.

Christmas could such a dream come true. And it did. First, Strictly

:20:10.:20:16.

Football. With 20 minutes left, Crouch pounced to seal a 2`1

:20:17.:20:20.

victory. Dancing has never been his forte, but the message was clear.

:20:21.:20:24.

"Please vote for Abi Clancy, because I'd love my wife to win Strictly. I

:20:25.:20:31.

will be honest. I'd like to say I've given her tips, but she is miles

:20:32.:20:34.

better than me. I only have the robot in my locker. Luckily, the

:20:35.:20:37.

robot dance wasn't part of his wife's repertoire, and Abbey

:20:38.:20:39.

delivered a stunning performance. Whilst the six million votes were

:20:40.:20:43.

being counted, she settled down in her deckchair, presumably to watch

:20:44.:20:46.

her husband on match of the day. At the Hawthorns, West Bromwich Albion

:20:47.:20:50.

looked to be heading for their fifth straight defeat when Hull City took

:20:51.:20:52.

a first half lead. Goal...camera...action A ?6,000 bill

:20:53.:20:55.

for Jake Livermore to replace the shattered lens. And four minutes

:20:56.:21:01.

before the end, Albion made it 1`1, thanks to Matej Vydra's first goal

:21:02.:21:04.

for the club, under caretaker coach Keith Downing. If it is a point for

:21:05.:21:14.

Steve Clark, I think the boys wanted to give him something back for the

:21:15.:21:17.

fantastic work he had done for 18 months. So Merry Christmas to the

:21:18.:21:20.

newly crowned winner of Strictly. But whilst she can rest her dancing

:21:21.:21:23.

feet over the festive period, Peter, her non`dancing husband, is off to

:21:24.:21:30.

Newcastle on Boxing Day. Time for the weather.

:21:31.:21:38.

The good news is it won't be. We still have a sticky troublesome

:21:39.:21:45.

period to get through before then. The strongest guts recorded across

:21:46.:21:49.

the region today ranged from between 40 to 60 mph. Very windy there, and

:21:50.:21:58.

unfortunately it will continue for the next four hours. Rainfall more

:21:59.:22:04.

clear`cut, because of the localised nature. This is what was down to. An

:22:05.:22:10.

unusually deep area of low pressure situated towards the Atlantic, and

:22:11.:22:13.

that still has a stranglehold over us. Over the next couple of days,

:22:14.:22:17.

the gaps between these ice bars will `` isobars will widen. This activity

:22:18.:22:23.

will die down over the Christmas period. For Christmas Day, this is

:22:24.:22:27.

how it is looking. It will be cold cock ``, crisper and it may turn out

:22:28.:22:38.

to be ``. This is how it is looking at the moment. Over the next three

:22:39.:22:41.

hours, we will see this rain intensified. It will spread

:22:42.:22:46.

north`eastwards, coupled with those strong winds. Again gusting up to 50

:22:47.:22:52.

mph. You can see that it has all blown out of the way to the east

:22:53.:22:56.

after midnight, so it is looking dry up by that stage. The winds are

:22:57.:22:59.

still with this, however, so those winds will keep those temperatures

:23:00.:23:03.

above freezing, but will still turn a lot colder. Perhaps just outside

:23:04.:23:07.

our region, some deposits. Temperatures between two and four

:23:08.:23:12.

degrees. A chilly start the day tomorrow. It will be quite gusty.

:23:13.:23:17.

Those winds still strong, it but is a lot drier. We will see some

:23:18.:23:21.

showers through the region from time to time. Some could be heavy, but

:23:22.:23:26.

they could be some wintry nests across the highest ground. There

:23:27.:23:28.

will be some sunshine tomorrow. Temperatures rising to five degrees.

:23:29.:23:35.

It turns even colder tomorrow night, so the likelihood of some snow

:23:36.:23:39.

increasing. For Christmas Day, drier. Thank you.

:23:40.:23:44.

Tonight's headlines from the BBC: Much of the UK has been been hit by

:23:45.:23:48.

a fierce storm, with heavy rain and winds disrupting Christmas travel

:23:49.:23:59.

for drivers and rail passengers. It's goodbye and happy Christmas

:24:00.:24:03.

from me as we return to Mary now, who's at the Birmingham Christmas

:24:04.:24:07.

Shelter. Thank you. Many people watching will be volunteering over

:24:08.:24:10.

Christmas. I have two volunteers here. Why did you start volunteering

:24:11.:24:17.

at this shelter? I have been coming for five years and the first year

:24:18.:24:21.

was because I had fallen out of love with Christmas, and I wanted to find

:24:22.:24:25.

something a bit more special about Christmas. I looked on the Internet

:24:26.:24:29.

and found this place and have never looked back. You clearly enjoy it.

:24:30.:24:37.

Yes. You haven't been doing it for as long. I've been doing it for

:24:38.:24:40.

three years. What was the motivation for you? As a Christian, I thought

:24:41.:24:46.

Christmas was about giving, so I wanted to give something back. I

:24:47.:24:51.

wanted to give that time back, and help other people. Speaking to some

:24:52.:24:58.

of the people, not many wanted to go on camera, you are using this

:24:59.:25:02.

shelter, there are common themes going through of mental issues and

:25:03.:25:07.

drug abuse. Is that we find? Yes, I spend a lot of time chatting these

:25:08.:25:12.

people, and a lot of the time, they talk about mental health issues they

:25:13.:25:15.

have had in the past year and things like that, and they just need that

:25:16.:25:23.

help. Along with volunteers, there is a bit of a hierarchy here,

:25:24.:25:29.

because you have been here longer. But you also have services coming

:25:30.:25:32.

here to help people. It is not just about a hot meal. Yes, the Mrs came

:25:33.:25:39.

in earlier. We have had a hairdressers, dentists. We had a dog

:25:40.:25:45.

grimmer last year. And a chiropractor. About half of

:25:46.:25:53.

everybody keep it uses the shelter, thank you for giving up your time.

:25:54.:25:59.

That is it from us. This is the last full programme on Midlands today

:26:00.:26:04.

before Christmas. Under half of all others, to have a very happy

:26:05.:26:08.

Christmas. I will be back with your next news at ten o'clock with the

:26:09.:26:12.

latest on the weather, but we leave you with the beautiful voices of

:26:13.:26:15.

Birmingham's like voices choir.

:26:16.:26:26.

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