17/01/2014 Midlands Today


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Welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines: A unique opportunity to


rebalance the economy, says the new boss of the HS2. Business is too


concentrated in London. It must be distributed to the north.


But oents say that high`speed rail link will only benefit the cities.


Also: Tackling youth unemployment, military style. Helping young people


to find work. A possible solution to bed`blocking.


A recovery for the frail and elderly. That looks nothing like a


hospital. 348 days to Christmas but filming is under way for Nativity 3.


Starring Martin Clunes and Katherine Tate.


It has been such fun. A lot of laughs. And flying by the seat of


your pants. And a dry day with sunshine to boot,


but is it too good to last? Your full weekend forecast, coming up.


Good evening. The man charged with overseeing the HS2 claim it is will


spread prosperity away from London to the Midlands and beyond. Sir


David Higgins says that Birmingham could be the venue for a new


engineering college to boost jobs and skills, but those living along


the route says that prosperity for others will mean ruin for them.


He is the Australian who delivered the 2012 Olympics. The next


challenge for Sir David Higgins, delivering the ?43 high`speed rail


link. He was in Birmingham, among friends. The leaders of big cities


like Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester, who agree with him that


prosperity in the south`east will travel to the north up the HS2.


Business is too concentrated in London. You have todies bute it to


the north. So when we have less than 40 minutes from BRUM International


to York, those connections will transform how this, not only relates


to London but transform how the north talks to each other.


A college to train the eng niece that build the line could be here at


Washward Heath. Have a look at France and Germany.


Look at what happened when HS2 was introduced there. A network of the


lines in Germany and France. It helped to balance the economy. It


will happen in England. It is here that high`speed rail link


will arrive in Birmingham city centre but should we be looking at


this as less of a gateway, more of a bridge, spanning a north/south


divide? Not according to this opponent of high`speed rail link.


The line would run within yards of his home, slashing its value in a


stroke. I think that the business will still


go to London. Creating more wealth. I accept that some cities will gain


a little, but the areas such as staffed and Stoke`on`Trent are


looking to lose. What of the towns rather than the


big cities? In staffed, they are far from convinced? There is a fear that


these areas will lose out as a consequence of high`speed rail link.


Investment going to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, maybe at the


expense of Stafford. The bill to build high`speed rail


link is still to clear Parliament, but with its Olympic background, Sir


David Higgins understands, that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Lots


more ahead including the Black Country group that forged theet call


careers for 30 years is under threat of closure as the funding is cut.


A couple who have been arrested by West Midlands Police, investigating


the death of their baby daughter in Wolverhampton. The child died at the


city's New Cross Hospital. Our reporter is interest for us.


`` our reporter is there for us. This involved a nine`month`old baby


girl. She, sadly, died here. Her parents, a 35`year`old woman and a


32`year`old man, both from Wolverhampton, were questioned by


the detectives in Wolverhampton. While they were interviewed they


were arrested on suspicion of her murder. They have since been


released on police bail, pending enquiries, we don't yet know the


baby's identity. Ben is there information surrounding


the cause of the death? It is an early stage at the inquiry. We know


that there has been a postmortem examination but it has not yet


determined the exact cause of death. More tests will be conducted.


Speaking to the authorities today, I was told that the family, that this


baby, it was not known to the Social Services. However, when there is a


child death in the city like there has been here it is up to the


safeguarding children's board to determine the cause of death


themselves and to decide if there should be a Serious Case Review.


That is if one or a number of agencies may have been involved with


the family in the lead up to a death. So in the early stages of the


investigation we will know more. A supermarket chain launched an


investigation after a video emerged allegedly showing a cashier racially


abusing a Muslim customer. Footage was posted on the internet after an


argument at a store in Birmingham. Are you having a bad day? This was


the moment when an altercation between a customer and a cashier got


out of hand. A member of the public began filming the argument between


the man and the woman. The woman of Asian appearance, allegedly shouted:


Go on, you Muslim, dime. The video was shot here in Borstal Heath,


Birmingham. The police are concerned and are looking into the stishg


stances. The company here expect a high level of customer service from


the staff. They are disappointed by what appears to be shown in the


video. They also say that they do not condone such behaviour.


Lidl add that they apologise to anyone who has been offended or


upset by the case. Lidl has launched its own investigation. The customers


at the store are mainly Muslim. Three local men told me they were


astonished by the video. I have been shopping there for a


lodge time now. I have never had such a complaint or anyone come up


to me to be abusive. Nothing. It is nothing to do with the religion.


Probably had a bad day. Started arguing, then something happened


after that. So, it is basically, she had a hard day.


The argument between the two people who have not been named apparently


began over plastic shopping bags. A group which helped young people


forge theatrical careers over 30 years is facing closure after the


council that helped to pay for it announced plan to axe the funding.


The City Council is facing cuts of ?123 million. And it say it is can


no long afford to subsidise it. Three years ago this was the UK's


only youth theatre to be awarded a grant of ?100,000, ahead of the


London Games, but today, Wolverhampton Central Youth Theatre


is facing the loss of its ?13,000 council grant.


We raised up to ?22,000. We have created employment opportunities for


young people. Training and apprenticeships, which is so


important at this point when young people are out of work. I would not


want to run a group that is not successful for young people. That is


my life's work. These former members have gone on to


work in the industry as writers and directors.


We literally put Wolverhampton on the map across Europe. There were


boards when we were at a theatre festival in Austria. Without the


impact that the youth theatre had on my life, I can't imagine what I


would be doing now. In the face of ?123 million in


council cuts, one councillor told us there was little choice.


The Government's funding cuts are driving us to make some of the most


difficult and unpalatable decisions we have had to make.


This group in Birmingham is inventive when it comes to funding.


Stage 2 has been going for at that years.


Charitable trusts give us grants, but when putting on a play, one time


we needed lots of toilet paper for a riot scene, we asked a company for


them instead. Back in Wolverhampton, people urged


councillors to rethink. That's the biggest investment you


can make, really, into investing into the young people, they are the


future society for Wolverhampton at the end of the day. They will grow


up and do something great. Of course I care about it. It is important for


our children, for the teenagers. Anything to help them, to help bring


them forward in the future for a better life, of course it is


important. Last year the Central Youth Theatre


travelled to Monaco. They say without public funding to match


other funds that they raise, their future is bleak.


There has been more criticism of the controversial Channel 4 documentary,


Benefits Street. The series, filmed in the Winston Green area of


Birmingham has been condemned for its portrayal of benefit claimants.


There is a lot of political debate around this programme? There was


indeed. Yes, our MPs on the Sunday Politics were keen to talk about the


residents of James Turner Street you don't see. And they were critical of


Channel 4. I feel sorry for the other people


living there. They are hard`working people, that have to live in an


environment where there are obviously people living off the


state, and not having any intention of getting to work.


The film people, preparing to go shoplifting, that is outrageous and


not responsible broadcasting. David, so much comment has been on


social media. A well`known figure on Twitter has been wading in? This is


controversial indeed. Joey Barton has been playing in the Premier


League with Manchester City, Newcastle. He plays for QPR, but he


is a big name on Twitter with 2.4 million followers. This is what he


said as episode two of this programme was aired: Strong evidence


to support the breeding licence theory. And he said that the council


were expected to support them. We put his views on the Facebook


page, fair to say, not a lot who polarise his opinion.


This woman said: So, it is clear Benefits Street has


sparked a major debate. There is more at am Sunday morning.


The army has been running a training scheme in Stoke`on`Trent aimed at


tackling high youth unemployment. Of the seven in the training, five have


been offered work. One is in the process of joining the Reserves. It


is hoped that the four`week course could be launched across the


country. Craig Taylor had not worked for more than a year. The door


opened for him in Stoke`on`Trent, after proving himself during a


week's work experience. It was organised through a pilot army


reserve scheme. I would recommended it. Without the


course I would still be on jobseeker's allowance.


They are keen to get back into the workplace. That showed enough with


the time keeping aspect and how they aplayed themselves to the jobs that


they were given. The army s Midlands Spear Project


was launched in October. During four weeks, recruits were taught


communication, team building and ememployability skills. The aim to


tackle unemployment in the area and recruit for the Reserves.


We gave them the tools to believe in themselves, to motivate and to make


better of themselves. People want to gain employment immediately. I


understand that and get that but sometimes you have to go that little


bit further, especially in a competitive market.


Shaun had not worked for 18 months. He admits he had lost his


confidence. He is grateful for the opportunity.


I was stressing out as I could not find a job. It was very hard.


Thankfully, the course got me the job! Out of seven candidates on the


first course, five people have been given jobs. There is a potential for


a further 20 to gain employment on a second course in March.


It is time for the headlines: A unique opportunity to balance the


economy, says the boss of the HS2. The weather and also ahead:


Three`and`a`half minutes... If you ever truly think. It could change


her life. Lucy May prepares for the final of Open Mic UK. And just


finished off the Christmas cake? We bring a taster of a nativity film to


hit the big screen later this year. Now every year many people are


discharged from hospital to be re`admitted as they were not ready


to go home. Esther Rantzen has opened a new ward run by a hospital


Trust and housing Association it is hoped to prevent bed`blocking around


the country. Great`grandmother Irene from


Birmingham ended up in hospital after a fall. Instead of being


discharged she has come to what the staff here are calling a


reenablement ward. Helping her to regain confidence and preparing for


going home. It has been fabulous. It has.


Nothing's too much trouble for the people at that work here. I have


loved every minute of it. Loved efr minute. I don't want to go home,


really! The converted ward is at the Good Hope Hospital. It caters for 29


ex`patients. They have their own living space and can interact with


others. It is cheaper than keeping people in hospital beds.


People are frail after an episode of pneumonia or illness. We can offer


something that is a transition. We can be more comfortable as can the


patient that they will be able to cope with they get home.


The centre even has its own garden. When the weather is warmer, the


patients are encouraged to come outside, maybe have a barbecue, or


plant some flowers. Today, a champion for the elderly, Esther


Rantzen, opened the facility. She wants all hospitals to adopt the


same approach. It is a different culture here. It


is not the clinical staff helping people but the care staff. There is


a carpet instead of linow and curtains on the windows and pictures


on the wall. It is a domestic steting `` setting. That is


difficult for the hospitals to adjust their brains to.


The ward is jointly run by a housing Association. It has witnessed many


tennants going back and forth to hospital. It was anxious to stop the


growing trend. We have practical things, a variety


of surfaces, carpets, wood, so that people can get used to using walking


aids. It is a venture improving an


important stepping stone for many on the road to resuming normal life.


To sport and villa fans are hoping to see two new faces tomorrow. Good


evening. A place in the starting line`up for Ryan Bertrand. He is


from Chelsea. And the important away game to Liverpool. And Halt has


arrived. And Paul Lambert will try to end a disappointing run.


Ryan Bertrand has played once in the Premier League for Chelsea. So Jose


Mourinho believes he will benefit from playing regular first`team


football with Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season.


It is a fantastic option to come to this club. A massive history and


great fan base. To play a few games here will be a good step.


Ryan is 24, but in the words of Paul Lambert, he has the big game


experience. Last season helping chepz to win the Europa League, the


year before, the champions league. Now is different challenge in the


Premier League, bu as Villa are only five points clear of relegation.


What a debut for him, Liverpool away? Liverpool away... Yeah, well,


I don't envy him to be honest with you! I wish him all the best. I am


holding we can hold up for a draw, but it does not look so good.


Villa's other loan signing, Grant Halt has scored well previously.


The onus is for them to come out and beat us. We have a game plan. If we


stick it, we should be difficult to beat.


The Villa boys, could hardly wish for a more challenging debut.


And interesting with Stoke City, the head`to`head with Tony Pulis and I


understand that there is news on the ownership of Birmingham City? Yes,


they are having talks with an unnamed third party about possibly


selling 24% of the Football Club. Recently Younger said he was not


keen on selling up completely. Now it seems that much`needed investment


could be coming to St Andrew's. And Brentford, and no game for the


Wolves, the pitch is water`logged. Now a few months ago, Lucy May from


Redditch was at university finishing her degree. Tomorrow she is to take


the stage at the NEC in the final of the Open Mic UK. One of the


country's biggest competitions, having beaten thousands of singers


along the way. # If you ever truly think... It is


three`and`a`half minutes that could change Lucy's life forever. Having


seen off 8,000 people already, just 25 now stand between the 21`year`old


from Redditch and the title of Open Mic UK, winner.


It is a big deal. To win would be just ridiculous! I can't explain how


amazing that would be! We would love to be able to see her name up there.


Getting something at the end of it. # You only need the light when its


burning low... With so much at stake, the choice of song is vital.


Lucy's decision, Let It Go. You have to hit the audience with


what you are doing. Previously held in London, the


finals have been moved to the NEC in Birmingham. Although it does not


have the professional of X Factor, Open Mic has been a help for a


number of artists. Like Birdie. And Germane. They have


both had top ten albums. This is a talent rather than a


sub`story. I'm sure I could rustle up a sob story but I don't have one.


I'm not about the story, I'm about the music. I want to be recognised


as an artist. Lucy has been asked to be a part of


a charity single, and hopes, win or lose, that someone watching


tomorrow, will be able to give her the chance to fulfil her dream.


Now, a donkey, Katherine Tate and Martin Clunes. A few of the cast


members who have started working on the third stallment of Nativity.


The film is back and the cameras are rolling in Leamington Spa.


It is meant to be mid`town Manhattan. The bride is Katherine


Tate. I am playing Sophie. She is torn


between two lovers. Basically. You may recognise one of the men at


the alter. I am kicked in the head by the


donkey early on. I lose all of my memory.


Welcome to the mad cap world of the Nativity films. If you saw the


first, you know it was about the children of a school competing for


the best Christmas play. So what is the theme this time? It is flash


mobbing, baby. That is basically singing and dancing and surprising


people in public spaces. For the covery`based director, it is


a family affair. Her mum, dad, sister and daughter are . Her


husband Nick, has co written the music with her. Of course, there are


no scripts. This is an improvised film.


From the spur of your moment, you are thinking on your feet. Trying to


think of something to say. I prefer it, I don't prefer it, I don't hate


it as much as I thought I would. There are familiar faces, Archie the


donkey. It is him that has given the film its title, Nativity 3: Dude,


Where's My Donkey? . At Christmas time you want to feelgood. That


human beings are really nice people, that there is hope.


For this choir for Coventry, University it is the chance of a


lifetime. I have seen a few celebrities so


far. I am taking it as I go. Enjoying the fact I am here with the


choir and stuff. Yeah. During the course of filming they


flash mob everywhere from the Empire State Building in New York to the


live, but who marries who? Does Mr Shephard get his girl? All I can


tell you is that I am currently at the alter with another man...


Actors, they never give much away! That looks like great fun. Now, what


is the chance of a little bit of dry weather over the weekend? Rebecca is


here with the forecast. It could be possible but no sooner


does it dry out than things get wet once again.


It has been glorious, we have seen some wonderful scenes like this


picture from James Roberts. But I don't think it will surprise


you to know that so far in January, we have seen a I above average


rainfall. The temperatures have been two


degrees above where we expect them to be for the time of year. It is a


return to form through the weekend. More rain to come on Saturday. By


Sunday it starts to change a little. Colder. We may see the sun at times.


Tonight it has been a largely dry end to the day. Still some rain.


Clear spells to come. In the clear spells there is mist and fog patches


developing, but not sticking around too long. The rain moves up from the


south. The cloud and the rain to lift the temperatures a little


tomorrow morning. So not so cold a start. The rain does not go anywhere


through the day. Heavy pulses in the morning. A brief lull with dry


spells and the rain to make its way back through after the lunch time.


Temperatures similar to today. Ranging between 8 to 10 Celsius. The


winds are stronger. More rain to come through the night it does not


go anywhere. By midnight it moves to the north. Behind that, the skies


will clear. The wind direction changes to a south`easterly. So it


gets colder. The wind is dropping out. We get widespread frost and fog


patches and icy stretches through Sunday morning. A cold start, the


freezing fog will be difficult to lift. So a cold winter's day to come


on Sunday. In the east we could get patches of sunshine in the day. On


Monday it will be a cold winter day but guess what, the rain is back by


Tuesday. What a surprise. The headlines: The


hunt for the missing three`year`old in Edinburgh, the police say there


was a potential sighting of the little boy. A opportunity to


rebalance the economy says the boss of high`speed rail link.


That was the news from Midlands Today. Have a good evening. Goodbye


for now.


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