15/01/2014 Midlands Today


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looks a better day this weekend. That's all from us. It's goodbye


from me. And on Hello and welcome to Midlands Today.


The headlines tonight: The Shropshire family who went to court


and lost over their right to have a summer holiday during school term


time. Because me and my wife both work, it is like a Rolling door. One


is that work, the other is that time. We felt like family time was


needed. Is it fair? We'll be hearing from you. Also tonight: Up for the


Cup ` it's Premier League opposition next time, as non`League


Kidderminster make it through to the FA Cup fourth round. I can't


describe the feeling. It is unbelievable. If you could bottle


it, due would make a fortune. As the row over the TV show Benefits


Street rumbles on, we're live at a public meeting where residents hope


to restore their image. All aboard for a good read. The


primary school that's plumped for a rather unusual library. We try and


encourage outdoor learning. They can come on the boat and read a book.


And today's temperatures may have been above average, but there's


still no escaping the rain. Will we get a break from it soon? Your full


forecast is coming up later. Good evening. Fined nearly ?1,000,


the couple from Telford who to went to court to fight for their right to


take their children on holiday during term time. Stewart Sutherland


took his wife Natasha, their two daughters and son to Rhodes last


October but he hadn't got permission from their schools for the break. He


was fined when they returned to school but refused to pay the local


authority, and today he appeared at Telford Magistrates' Court. Joanne


Writtle reports. Stewart and Natasha Sutherland arrived at Telford


Magistrates' Court to face the consequences of taking their three


children on a weeks holiday during term time. Earlier at home in


Telford, Sutherland said his job with the Ministry of Defence guard


service at Donington had prevented him from taking leave in the school


holidays. I couldn't get the time off over the holiday period. After


five years of being missing out on a summer holiday, I decided I should


take them away from `` for salmon `` family time. It is just as important


as education. The council told us that new, stricter laws that came


into force last September met holidays could only be granted in


term time in exceptional circumstances. This is the couple,


their teenage daughters and their son last September. They said they


booked the holiday a year in advance before the tighter laws came in


play. They appeared in court after twice refusing to pay a fixed


penalty fine. But today, they add omitted failing to ensure their


children attended school regularly, they were ordered to pay in early


?1000 in fines and costs. If the whole country took their time off


over the school holiday, the country would come to a standstill. Able to


put in these laws and policies don't live in the real world. At their


son's infant school, parents had mixed views on term time holidays.


That children's education is important and to take the children


out chewing term isn't right. When you have an office of 30 people time


to get time off, it is awkward. I don't believe children should be


taken out of school or the time but if it is a one off like that, yes, I


think you should be allowed to do that. Sutherland said he had no


regrets. Their first family holiday for five years had been a special


one. Well, this story has caused quite a


debate on Twitter and our Facebook pages. Nearly 19,000 people viewed


the story and we have had hundreds of comments. Thank you for getting


in touch. Carol Everitt Wolliter said "We wouldn't have to take our


children out of school if holiday prices were reasonable during school


holiday time!" Lucy Wilgress told us "Our parents always took us out of


school for holidays and made sure we caught up. It didn't do my education


any harm." But Si Anderson said "Children are at school to learn why


would parents want to disadvantage their kids just for the sake of a


holiday." And we'll have more of your views on this at the end of the


programme. You can send an email to [email protected] We are also


on Facebook or you can tweet us ` @bbcmtd.


Coming up later in the programme: The day that shocked a city ` two


random stabbings later linked with three murders elsewhere.


Soaring high after a famous victory, Kidderminster Harriers are


celebrating after their FA Cup giant killing last night. They beat League


One Peterborough United 3`2 and will now face Premier League Sunderland


in the next round. Last night's win was worth more than ?67,000 to the


non`League club. And today, Harriers sold the man who scored their


winning goal in a deal that could eventually be worth ?1 million. Ian


Winter reports. Back home in Birmingham, after the


best night of his football career, Jack Byrne, Harriers man of the


match dreamt of playing in games like this during 12 months out


injured with a ruptured Achilles. I can't describe the feeling. It is an


unbelievable being. If you could bottle it, dude could make a


fortune. Two goals in four minutes soon half`time turned this Cup`tie


on its head. Michael Gash put Kidderminster level at 1`1. And then


Byrne himself popped in number two. But they saved the best till last, a


real gem from Joe Lolley to clinch a famous 3`2 victory. The perfect way


for the talented young striker to say farewell before joining


Huddersfield Town this afternoon. It's all been


they hopefully will be on sale tomorrow morning. It has been


frantic for the Harriers chairman. After all it's not every day you


reluctantly sell your star player to a Championship club whilst trying to


agree your ticket allocation for the next round of the Cup. Kidderminster


may be the only non`league club involved in the FA Cup but their


fourth`round tie away to premiere sunburnt hasn't been chosen as a


live televised game. That would have brought in ?144,000. Very


frustrating. It is not down to us. But ?145,000. That is an awful


amount of money. That helps us build for the future and it is maybe money


that we wouldn't always send on `` spend on players but on


infrastructure. But to be involved and it is great. It is great. The


only non`league club to be in the FA Cup fourth round is superb. Day you


dream of beating Sunderland? obviously, it is going to be a great


end `` occasion and we have got to enjoy it. I have ever felt something


like it since we played another game 20 years ago. My heart was really


pounding, I just couldn't believe the atmosphere, it was absolutely


Britain. `` absolutely brilliant. The chairman would love to see


Harriers take more than 10,000 fans up to Sunderland. But first, he's


trying to sign a new player from Argentina to fill the gap left by


the sale of Joe Lolley. It's been quite day in Kidderminster And Ian


Winter is here now, a terrific moment for the new manager and the


whole town. It has been amazing night. Well done


to Birmingham City. Let's go to St Andrews.


It has been amazing night. Well done to Birmingham City. Let's go Chris


Burke scored twice in the last few minutes to send Birmingham City


through with a 3`0 victory over Bristol Rovers. Port Vale's blanc


trip to Devon paid dividends with a 3`2 win at Plymouth and they fought


back despite only having ten men. This is what the rail fans had to


say about the win. Thrilled. Gives us a bit more extra money, doesn't


it? Come on the Vale. Well, those fourth`round ties will be played the


weekend off the next. That is in ten days time.


A public meeting's underway in Birmingham this evening in response


to the controversial TV documentary Benefits Street.


A public meeting's underway in Birmingham this evening in The


Channel four programme features the residents of James Turner Street in


Winson Green. The meeting's been organised by the headmistress of the


local school to promote a more positive image of the area. Holly


Lewis is outside the meeting now. Holly, feelings have been running


high since the programme started, what's the atmosphere like tonight?


Well, I think it has been quite a quiet start to the meeting tonight.


Around 80 B will have turned up. More coming even as we are speaking


now and the meeting is being held in the school in the room behind me


here. The second episode of the programme aired on Monday. It


features the residents of this straight and has been criticised for


demonising people on benefits and for showing an un`representative


view of the people on that street by focusing on the more extreme


characters. Some people asked the headmistress of the school here to


hold this meeting and the school is now run by the charity races UK, the


Christian charity and their director Steve Chalke is with me now. What


are you hoping to get from the meeting? We want to give the


opportunity to the community to speak their mind. It is all pent up,


the anger inside them, I have encountered a lot of it. If they can


get it out, it will be like a pressure valve released. The thick


`` the second thing we have to do that is help the community get


beyond it. The anger needs to come out, the voices need to be heard and


we will give everybody a chance to speak so it is... We will get people


to put down their ideas, how people feel let down and at the end of the


evening, I have good news for people and that is that I have been


negotiating with Channel four all day and they just agreed about our


ago that after the last episode of this programme, there is going to be


a studio debate, a question Time debate and the community will be


represented, that is what I have fought for. Some people might say


you have, from London, what do you know about the problems here in


Birmingham? Not a lot. That is why this is about me fighting all day. I


was interviewed by BBC you feel `` national news all day. And I said


what I want is a voice for these people. I will bring you the latest


this evening. Two men have been arrested in connection with slavery


offences after four men were found in squalid conditions in a


Birmingham house this week. There were arrested on suspicion of human


trafficking. Last Friday, a 54`year`old man was charged with


four counts of knowingly numbing `` holding another person in the


savoury of servitude. `` in slavery or servitude.


Police have been given five more days to question two 21`year`old men


from Handsworth in Birmingham on suspicion of terror offences. The


pair were detained at Heathrow Airport on Monday, after flying in


from Istanbul. They were arrested on suspicion of being involved in


terrorist activities in Syria. Virgin Trains has scrapped plans to


run direct services from Shrewsbury to London from May this year because


the proposed timings were said to be unattractive to passengers and


wouldn't have been economically viable. Direct services to the


capital were lost two years ago when the Wrexham and Shropshire Railway


scrapped its daily services. Virgin says talks are ongoing with Network


Rail to identify better timings for its trains that would attract more


passengers. Plans to reassess all people with learning difficulties


who use Staffordshire County Council care centres are to go ahead. The


authority confirmed today it will close centres in Kidsgrove and


console despite protests by campaigners but the council says it


hopes that 70% of users add the remaining centres will no longer


need help. A court's been hearing details today of what led to two


random stabbings in Hereford. Two people were hurt in separate attacks


in the city last April. The stabbings were then linked to three


murders in Cambridgeshire. Our reporter Jo Black has been at


Cambridge Crown Court for us this morning. So, Jo, what's happened


today? We heard about the killer in this story and how she went on a ten


day murderous spree. She has already admitted murdering three men that


she knew in the Peter Barrett area in March of last year. She stabbed


them in the heart and then dumped their bodies in ditches. `` in the


Peterborough area. We heard she showed one of the bodies to a


teenage girl that she knew. We also heard that after she had killed her


second victim, she was heard singing the Brittany the bash Britney Spears


song, I did it again. The project use and say she had helped dispose


of the bodies and covering her tracks. That is why we have two


defendants in the dock here at the Crown Court. Gary stretch and Leslie


Leighton both deny helping the woman dispose of the bodies. Gary stretch


also denies two counts of attended murder in Hereford and this is


because this story started in Cambridgeshire but ended up in


Hereford because Joanna went with Gary stretch and said find me a


victim, I want to have some fun and she randomly stabbed two men in the


street in Hereford. The cord is excited to hear about those attacks


in Hereford, isn't it? `` the court is expected to hear about. we have


heard how the defendants had stolen one of the dogs from one of the


victims to keep it as a trophy and the two of them then went looking


for dog food. Both just the defendants deny `` denied the


charges. Our top story tonight: The


Shropshire family who went to court and lost over their right to have a


summer holiday during school term time. Your thoughts on this to come.


Rebecca's standing by with the weather. Also ahead: A mum and world


class violinist, now she's recognised for bringing classical


music to young people. And join me to find out why this canal boat is


making its maiden four`year judge to dry land. `` its maiden voyage.


Sikh leaders in the West Midlands are to stage a series of meetings to


appeal for calm in their community. It follows yesterday's revelations


that the 1984 massacre at Amritsar's Golden Temple may have been planned


with British help. This region has the biggest Sikh population in the


UK. Here's Bob Hockenhull. It may be 30 years since hundreds


died in an attack on Amritsar's Golden Temple. But the event is


still raw for Sikhs living in the Midlands. Their feelings were summed


up in Parliament today. This is an open wound which will not heal until


the full truth is told. Documents released under the 30`year rule have


suggested a British SAS officer may have helped plan the raid with the


knowledge of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The revelation


has shocked Sikhs living here who're calling for an inquiry announced by


the Prime Minister to be conducted swiftly to allay any tensions.


Thereafter heightened tensions within the community, mainly because


it has come as a complete surprise. We have lived here for many


generations and we are part of British life so we were not


expecting this news at all. What happened 30 years ago is deep in the


Sikh psyche. A series of meetings are being planned to call for calm.


The MP issued this challenge today. You'll macro why doesn't the Priime


Minister ask Leon Brittan and Lord Geoffrey Howe what they agreed with


Margaret Thatcher and whether it had anything to do with the Westland


helicopter deal at the time. I've you'll macro I fear the honourable


gentleman may have gotten conspiracy fear too far on this one. It is


important that the get the bottom of what happened. Seeks here agree and


say that documents leading to the document be made public. Now,


something to many of us will identify with.


The problem of potholes on our roads is on the rise, according to the


RAC. They say call`outs involving problems such as broken suspension


and damaged wheels were up by two`thirds last year. But it's a


constant struggle for councils to keep up. In the West Midlands they


look after around 20,000 miles of road. Each local authority on


average has to deal with 14,000 potholes. We've been asking you


about your experiences on the roads and Sarah Falkland has more details.


We've had a really strong response on this. Lots of you have been in


touch. Richard Hayes from Newcastle under Lyme in Staffordshire said he


hit this at 30mph on his motorbike. It burst the tyre and snapped the


crank shaft. Joanna Middlecote from Hereford sent us this picture of her


tyre damage. She says the council actually filled the pothole the day


she hit it because there'd been so many complaints. Amy Marie Finnegan


told us about a great big hole at the Scott Arms junction in Great


Barr. Her dad went over the handle bars of his bike when he


inadvertently cycled into it. We went to try and find it today, I


think they must have filled it in. Some councils are more proactive


than others. Even Roger Caton snapped these two big potholes on


the high street in Pattingham in South Staffordshire. So, And near to


the Baggies football club, we found this. That's a nasty clank you don't


want to hear. That hole is much deeper than it looks. It measured a


good ten or 11 centimetres. Thanks to Phillip Tovey`Jenkins who told us


the whole of Stratford Rd through Shirley is awful. You're not wrong,


Phillip. It's terrible. We found these quite large potholes on the


Robin Hood island but then coming back into the city, we found this


enormous hole, about 13cm deep. Thankfully so near the side of the


road most cars were managing to avoid. Finally, Katie Oliver form


Newcastle under lyme emailed to say there was a big pothole just off the


kerb in Fenton which alsmost tipped her six`month`old daughter out of


her pushchair. She says she told the council but nothing been done about


it. And finally, Mo Razzak from Sutton Coldfield emailed to say he


and his wife have had damage to their cars totalling ?700. They've


been trying to pursue a claim via Birmingham City Council. The whole


thing has dragged on for three years. Some real shock is there.


In football and away from the FA Cup, Walsall moved into the


promotion playoff positions in League One last night. Sam Mantom's


second half goal was enough to give them a 1`0 victory over Oldham at


the Banks's Stadium. But they were grateful to a penalty save in injury


time by goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell to preserve the victory which takes


them up to sixth. Well done to Walsall.


A world class violinist with the City of Birmingham Symphony


Orchestra has been given an award for bringing classical music to a


young audience. Catherine Arlidge says she was inspired by her own


three children which has now resulted in an Unsung Hero award by


the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Association of British


Orchestras. Our arts reporter Satnam Rana has been to meet her.


It's just another musical morning for Catherine Arlidge and her


family. But this is no ordinary mum. She's an award`winning mum who's


been recognised nationally for her work at the City of Birmingham


Symphony Orchestra. It was her young family which inspired Catherine to


create a programme of educational, toddler and family concerts. It is


quite a good idea. And my mum thought of it. So, I am quite proud


of her. You must be very proud of her. Jess, exactly. I couldn't be


prouder of anyone else in the world as my mum. Cath has worked here for


23 years as a sub principal violinist and is now a board member.


She's been instrumental in putting together innovative Clock on to


Safety Concerts bringing education alive through music. I think we are


custodians of our cultural heritage. We have a duty to communicate that.


If nobody knows Mozart exists, it will be a dreadful future. I think


we have a duty and I think it is not `` an enormous privilege for me


personally to open door and make that fantastic connection for


people. Now a recipient of the Salomon Award, she's one of three


musicians who have been celebrated for their contribution. When you


hear a fantastic orchestra late, you think that is bred music but you


don't think about all the individuals in that orchestra and


all the things that happened to get on to the stage. They have trained


their whole lives to play those intranets so well and that is given


but are also particular people within that orchestra who real heat


`` really help make things happen. And Cath has certainly made music


for young ears. This award is also an illustration of how orchestras


need to connection with the next generation of music lovers and who


knows, some of them may be sitting down there performing with


world`class musicians in years to come.


Primary school teachers are always thinking of creative ways to get


children more interested in reading. A school in Staffordshire has


decided that a new library is the way forward, but rather than go for


bricks and mortar, they embarked on a rather different idea. Laura May


McMullan has been finding out more about their special delivery. I am


so excited! I can't wait for it to get here! I wonder how busy `` how


big it is? Their curiosity and excitement is all down to this. A


40`foot canal boat that's making its way to their school. Why? It's going


to be their new library. This is a first for the school vote. I have


never been asked to do one before but as soon as I got the phone call


call `` I would hope `` I was really pleased we could help with this


project. It's one of dozens of boats that have been built at here at


Hixon in Staffordshire. And it's been all hands to the deck. As well


as being their new library, it will be used for community events. The


people here are already learning about canal heritage in the area. We


want to encourage children to read and we want to make it an exciting


experience for them so we wanted to develop a unique space and that is


what we are doing. Dick School secured ?10,000 worth of lottery


funding for the project. Over the coming weeks, staff and parents will


be furnishing the boat and there is the all`important naming ceremony.


Rosie and Jim. Bertie. Swan Lake. Well, the voting process could take


a while. It is hoped this narrow boat will help to expand the


children's learning. So, is it jolly boating weather? I don't think so.


Here is Rebecca. I don't think so, Nick. Temperatures today haven't


done too badly at all. It has been a very mild day. Up to 12 Celsius


across Worcestershire. It is above average for this time of year and


around six degrees higher than reword this time yesterday so it is


much milder. Over the next few days, it is staying rather


unsettled. We will get some sunshine as will wake up tomorrow morning. We


have had a blanket of cloud sitting across us today. Not much in the way


of sunshine there and it is this area of showers that is moving


across us tonight, bringing with it quite a bit of rain. Most places are


starting to see those showers moving through now. Some of those will be


quite heavy and persistent but as we waited through the night, they will


start to band together, we could see ten millimetres of rainfall off


them. At midnight, they will start to push off, the cloud cover is


helping temperatures, not falling too low, around four or five


Celsius, the overnight low. It won't be a frosty start to Thursday, it


will be a damp one. More showers tomorrow. Some of them could be


persistent and heavy. We will get some breaks in the cloud, we will


see the sun at times so it would be a complete wash`out tomorrow but


there will be hell, thunder and blustery conditions around the


showers. `` they will be hailed. Then, more weight to come through


tomorrow night. We keep these bands of showers rattling through the


region. The cloud cover does help a little bit but it is still going to


be a mixture of wind and rain as we make our way through tomorrow night.


Again, those temperatures would fall too far but with all this rain on


the saturated ground, it is continuing to exacerbate the


problem. No warnings out there but it is worth keeping an eye on it. As


we work our way towards the end of the week, we continue to stay


unsettled. Tonight's headlines from the BBC:


Child abuse to order ` the British men who give online instructions


about what they want done to girls in the Philippines The Prime


Minister says he'll veto any proposal by The Royal Bank of


Scotland to increase pay and bonuses.


And a Shropshire couple are fined for taking their children on holiday


during term time and refusing to pay a fixed penalty. Gary asked, what


about when teachers go on strike, is this not double standards? Jenny


Harris said that as a teacher, she believes children should not be


taken out at term times. Samantha Road, holiday companies ripping you


off. The price of holidays is double in school holidays, it is not fair


when financially it is hard for families anywhere. Thank you for


your comments. I will be back at 10pm with the latest from the public


meeting called over the Benefit Hidden beneath your feet


are magical worlds, home to extraordinary


little creatures. Imagine being able to experience


this wonderland through their eyes. see the incredible adventures


of these miniature heroes


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