23/12/2013 Midlands Today


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


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


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


each day. It is horrendous. Is getting worse.


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


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


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


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


served to homeless people over five years.


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


fans love it! And will these storms ever subside


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


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


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


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


repeatedly ignored court orders to move hundreds of tonnes of waste


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


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


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


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


uncertain. Giles Latcham was in court.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


operate this site has been revoked.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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


should now be served. We are obviously very pleased that


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


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


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


wants that too. The issue from the residents' point


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


life she's only been able to dream of.


Severe stormy weather sweeping up from the south has been causing


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


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


Birmingham now, and our reporter Bob Hockenhull.


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


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


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


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


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


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


at Birmingham Airport have been struggling to land in the high


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


transport, be careful. Thank you.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Godfrey reports on the financial pressure on places like this `


especially those which rely on public funding.


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


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


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


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


that well. The YMCA is facing an anxious wait


as Worcestershire County Council consults over cuts to supported


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


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


Redditch. It would be very difficult to keep


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


money. It eases the pressure on the city,


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


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


them with drug addiction, counselling, alcohol support.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


were hearing in the report about the financial pressures that centres


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


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


I've been working hard to get sponsorship from catering


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


people, access services that sometimes you would never know were


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


speak to the volunteers who are working here over Christmas.


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


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


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


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


investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.


Birmingham rockers Black Sabbath celebrated the climax of their world


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


city where metal music began and where Black Sabbath began is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


sensational. This is our top story tonight: A


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


rubbish tip. Your detailed weather forecast to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


been hoping for. Holly Lewis reports.


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


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


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


her body has accepted her third new liver.


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


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


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


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


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


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


ahead, although the liver later failed.


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


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


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


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


Kate had all three of her transplants at the Queen Elizabeth


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


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


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


is an exceptional patient. Third liver transplant is a


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


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


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


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


Midlands Today, Birmingham. Happy Christmas.


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


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


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


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


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


details. In Birmingham, there was Christmas


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


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


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


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


attending the traditional carol service. The worst Male voice choir


`` the Worcestershire Male voice choir.


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


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


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


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


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


Strictly Come Dancing. Ian Winter reports.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


delivered a stunning performance. Whilst the six million votes were


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Newcastle on Boxing Day. Time for the weather.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


our region, some deposits. Temperatures between two and four


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


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


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


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


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


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


increasing. For Christmas Day, drier. Thank you.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


grimmer last year. And a chiropractor. About half of


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


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


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


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


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


Birmingham's like voices choir.


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