The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
Browse content similar to 17/01/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
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