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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: Chocolate
giants Cadbury announce a new ?75 million investment in Bournville.
We are trying to create the next generation of manufacturing, and we
think it can only be good news for Bournville. But fears are emerging
tonight jobs could be lost ` we'll be live in Bournville.
Also tonight: Violence at a jail near Wolverhampton was a full`scale
riot, claims a prison officer. There were tables that has been
broken, iron bars lying around. Wires had become trip wires at a
lead level. A Staffordshire hospital begins
using a private company to look after patients at home, so it can
clear beds. Fears for the local economy over a
university's plans to close a campus and move 2,000 students.
And after a couple of pleasant days, don't be fooled, this rather wet
January is continuing with plenty more rain on the way as we head
towards the weekend. Your full forecast coming up.
Good evening. Cadbury, based here in Birmingham,
has announced a major investment in its Bournville headquarters. The
company said the ?75 million upgrade was the first significant investment
at the plant for 30 years. It would include replacing out`of`date
production lines and opening new ones.
Cadbury currently employs about 2,000 workers at Bournville and
union leaders have welcomed the investment. But tonight concerns are
emerging that jobs could go, despite this investment. In a moment we'll
be live in Bournville, but first this report.
Four new production lines within three years for the Cadbury factory,
where costs are high compared with competitors. Both unions and
managers have welcomed the planned investment ` it is one of the
biggest ever at the 135`year`old site. But there are hints the revamp
may lead to cuts in the 2000 strong workforce.
We have been open and honest with the workforce and say that there may
be a reduction in the number of jobs, but that is all up for
consultation. We have got to sit down with them. It is about how we
work and how we change the way that we work at Bournville. We are trying
to do the next generation of manufacturing. We think that the
investment can only be good news. The unions have already been
negotiating the redevelopment for two years. One leader sees today's
annoucement as a potential triumph for the region, comparable with the
resurgence of Jaguar Landrover. This is an acceptance that a lot of
the equipment here is outdated, and we cannot take any extra volume with
the equipment that we have. So we see it as positive, because we can
bring more product back into the site.
Whatever happens, it's clear another chapter is opening in the history of
the world famous chocolate maker. Cadbury's association with
Birmingham dates back to 1824, when John Cadbury opened a grocer's shop
in Bull Street. Among other things, he sold cocoa and drinking
chocolate. In 1879, John Cadbury's son George
drew up plans for the factory in Bournville. Production began in
September of that year More than 130 years later, the business was taken
over by American food giant Kraft in 2010.
At the time, there were concerns the company's new owners would run down
the Bournville site. But business leaders in Birmingham say today's
announcement shows serious commitment.
This is a long`term, sustainable strategy, not a short`term play.
This is a serious investment in their manufacturing capability, so
that they can reduce a state`of`the`art business based here
in Bournville. And Cadbury says this redevelopment will allow it to
compete with the best in the world. And our business correspondent is in
Bournville now. Peter, news tonight that this means jobs could go at
Bournville despite the investment? New technology often does mean fewer
jobs. Of course, machines are more efficient than people. What we are
hearing is that the investment involves the replacement of six old
production lines with four modern production lines, and irrespective
laid and that this could mean 60% of the walk force would go. That is a
worst`case scenario. Even the unions are saying that this is good news, a
potentially ?75 million investment in the Bournville plant. A
much`needed investment in an old plant that is very inefficient.
A senior government minister has been in the region today. What's his
reaction? Danny Alexander, the secretary of
the Treasury, was in the Midlands. He was visiting the Land Rover
plant. I asked him whether he felt it was right that Cadbury 's work
pegging the investment with changes in working practices.
Most workers in Britain want to work with companies to print `` improve
productive day, because that is the way that we will see living
standards increase. So the two things go together. I don't think
there is anything to fear from increased productivity and
investments. There were fears when Kraft took
over in 2010 that factories could close. Does this finally secure the
plant? I think it does mean much more
security for Bournville. Certainly, it is the second began best and that
we have seen here. The first saw Kraft bring in a Centre of
excellence from Switzerland. But many remember the Kraft of York,
where they kept factories open, then four years `` 12 years after the
takeover, they moved the production abroad. The investment here does
make that less likely at Bournville. You're watching Midlands Today.
Still to come: A warning that the horse meat scandal could happen
again. A prison officer has told the BBC
that a disturbance at the Oakwood prison near Wolverhampton earlier
this month was in fact a full scale riot. The officer said inmates set
up tripwires around the building and shouted threats from behind a
barricade. The company G4S, which runs Oakwood, says it was an
incident which was significant, but low`level.
Grey skies over HMP Oakwood, as a fresh testament cuts through the
murkiness surrounding events of January fifth.
Our briefing was that the prisoners were armed and dangerous and that
they had completely taken over an entire wing of the prison.
The words of one of the so`called Tornado Team, the crack squad of
prison officers drafted in to regain control.
There were tables that had been broken, iron bars lying around,
wires had been strung up as trip wires at chest and neck level. These
were people who actively wanted to harm prison officers. As we were
waiting to go in, I heard the prisoners shouting, we are ready for
you, we are going to get you. The prison operators G4S had
previously denied it was a riot. Today, they said it Wwas a
significant event ` no surprise to people living in nearby
Featherstone. It is like a holiday camp. It is not
a prison, because they have all the facilities that they could have at
home. It scares me. I am scared that I live down the road and that
someone might get out. It's needs to be put right. The government needs
to spend more money on security. G4S say any problems at Oakwood are
teething troubles. In a separate development today, the firm said
less experienced staff will now go on exchange programmes to other
prisons and get a ?500 allowance in return. They say things are no worse
at Oakwood than anywhere else. It really can be very frustrating to
operate `` operators such as myself, to see incidents at Oakwood that are
magnified by observers in the media, far more than any incident that
would happen in a long established jail.
But why would inmates here riot? This woman's son is serving time
there on Cedar Wing where the violence broke out.
He is being locked up early. He was getting locked up too early, that is
why they decided to kick off. Apart from a highly critical report
last year from Her Majesty's Inspector of Prisons, there's very
little data on Oakwood. So it's difficult to know what's really
going on behind its walls. Just this week, the Ambulance
Service revealed that there had been hundreds of call`outs here to
Oakwood, twice as much as any other prison in the country.
And since the start of this month, there've been 36 requests for an
ambulance ` either there are lots of accidents here or there's lots of
illness. Or perhaps the truth is that Oakwood is a dangerous place?
And you can hear the full report on Oakwood Prison on BBC Radio four
tonight at 8pm. The Crown Prosecution Service has
said there is insufficient evidence to charge five serving or former
police officers over their roles in a murder investigation. Kevin Nunes
was shot dead in Staffordshire in September 2002. Five men jailed for
murder were freed on appeal after it emerged concerns over the
credibility of witnesses were not disclosed to the defence.
Stan Collymore has reactivated his Twitter account, after complaining
about receiving abusive tweets. His account had been deactivated
overnight after he was sent death threats. Staffordshire Police said
officers had spoken to a 14`year`old in the Liverpool area and a
15`year`old in Bedfordshire, but neither had been arrested.
A wildlife charity has criticised the government's badger cull for the
use of trapping and shooting methods, which it says were not part
of its objectives. Care for the Wild said that in West Gloucestershire
543 badgers were killed through controlled shooting in six weeks,
while 165 were cage`trapped and shot.
Pressure on hospital beds is top of the government agenda this winter
and hospitals are being forced to look for radical solutions. In
Stoke`on` Trent an ?8 million deal has been struck which will see a
private company looking after patients at home, freeing up beds on
wards. Andy Fallows had to have his hip
removed due to a drug resistant infection. He was in hospital for
four weeks, but thanks to this new system he's one of the first
patients to go home. I want my tea at 8pm, like I
normally do. I am not timed to certain times. I am not bored. If I
want to do something, I can do it. He's visited by nurses from health
care at Home, who give him antibiotics four times a day. It's
been trialled in Southampton and means beds which cost the hospital
?580 a day can be freed up. It has done amazingly well in
Southampton. We have currently 36 staff on the team in which we often
will have 42 patients out of the hospital on a daily basis. That
means you have 42 beds in a trust that can be used in different
people. University Hospital Stoke`on`Trent
says that it will be monitoring it very closely.
Patients who are at home are at less risk at home `` four, and of getting
hospital infection. Patients do not want to be sat in hospital if they
can have the same treatment at home. Winter bed pressures meant temporary
wards had to be rerfurbished before Christmas.
This building houses 34 patients, but eschewed to be demolished and a
jewel carriageway going through this. Healthcare at Home will
hopefully free up for two beds Although it has run in Southampton
for three years, this campaigner has concerns about safety and the way
the contract was awarded. And solve the crisis.
To me, it is an initiative that in fact is a loophole that means that
University Hospital North Staffordshire does not have to
tender this work out. Health care at Home will be judged
on whether there are beds available next Christmas.
MPs have voted to release secret papers relating to the conviction of
the Shrewsbury 24. The group included comedy actor Ricky
Tomlinson, who was jailed for his part in picket line disturbances
following a builders' strike more than 40 years ago. The government
said today the documents could be made available next year. MPs from
our region spoke on both sides of the debate.
The Stasi published their files after the burning wall came down in
1989. I think we can. Many constituents say that these people
have been tried and convicted by a jury and many constituents are the
world at that this debate has even been called.
An MP is tonight urging the board of governors at Staffordshire
University not to close its campus in Stafford. The town's Jeremy
LeFroy believes the potential relocation of more than 2,000
students to Stoke`on`Trent would have a "substantial impact" on the
local economy. A final decision will be announced a week today.
The campus at Beaconside in Stafford's seen an increasing number
of students enrolling on courses over the last few years. But
Staffordshire University's carrying out a review of its buildings and
that could mean it moves out of this campus.
Currently, I don't want to move. I am settles and it is a lovely town.
I like the shops and the people, I don't want to move out.
It is further away than where I live. You have to sort out
accommodation again. It is just an annoyance.
It will probably cripple Stafford, because it will take all the
students away. I think it is a really bad idea.
The university's considering moving more students here, to its base in
Stoke`on`Trent. But leaving Stafford would be a mistake, according to the
town's MP. What I am saying to the university
is thinking long term. Don't take a short`term decision. Stafford is an
incredibly strategic position for a university to be in. We are near the
airport and the M6. It is at the heart of the UK.
The university says any changes won't have an impact on second or
third year undergraduates, although first years could potentially be
affected. The university declined our request
for an interview, but said that it is aware of students concerns and
has held meetings to discuss the future. It said it did not want to
pre`empt a decision of its Board of Governors.
Ahead of that decision, what's the feeling in Stafford town centre on
the plans? I benefit, because I am a taxi
driver. I take a lot of students around. Plus, they come into town
and do their shopping. As far as we can see, the students are happy
there and Stafford needs the University.
The university will announce its plans next week, when students will
be told where future investment will be made. It is 6:45pm.
This is our top story tonight: Chocolate giants Cadbury announce a
new ?75 million investment in Bournville, but jobs could be lost.
Brace yourselves for a watery weather forecast from Rebecca.
And also in tonight's programme: Exodus to the capital. Coventry City
set to be roared on by 5,000 fans in tomorrow night's FA Cup tie at
Arsenal. And celebrating 30 years: the
theatre group set up to tell women's stories.
It's 12 months since the horse meat scandal erupted into the headlines.
Shocking revelations followed one after another as major retailers
discovered their beef, pork or lamb actually contained traces, or worse,
of horse. But for some in the Midlands the scandal was actually
good for business. Our Rural Affairs Correspondent David Gregory`Kumar
has been investigating. So David who's done well out of all
this? People like this butcher. Now this
shop near Wolverhampton is part of a farm shop. You can buy the sausages
and steaks and see the pigs and cattle from the windows of the shop.
The owners call it a one link food chain. You can't get more certain
about where your meat has come from when the horse meat scandal broke,
we had a surge in meat sales, because people lost faith in
supermarkets, and decided to go to farm shops where they knew the meat
came from. And sales are still up. They've held onto half their new
customers. So what about the rest of us? This is the change in what we're
eating. As you can see frozen pork, beef and ready meals are all down.
But look at frozen burgers. That's where the horse meat scandal started
and sales are down by just 1%. That's thanks to heavy promotion and
discounting. If it's cheap enough, we'll still eat it.
So who's testing this food? Well not Trading Standards. For example, in
Birmingham Trading Standards have stopped testing for horse meat. They
told us since they didn't detect any further incidences of contamination.
One other reason Trading Standards stopped testing, increasing testing
by food companies themselves. Though of course that does carry a cost.
It is a bit of a business, because it's ?126 per analysis, and if you
can imagine, we take delivery of meat once a week, that means it
would cost ?25,000 a year just to check meat coming in is what it
says. A year after the horse meat scandal
many of us have gone back to buying meat based purely on how affordable
it is. But for a good proportion of shoppers knowing exactly where our
meat has come from is much more important than it was 12 months ago.
This time tomorrow, 5,000 Coventry City fans will be making a bee`line
for North London. They're hoping to witness a big upset in the FA Cup
fourth round. The Sky Blues maybe 55 places below Arsenal, who are
currently on top of the Premier League, but the Coventry camp
remains quietly confident. Training hard for the toughest task
in the round draw. Coventry away to Arsenal sitting pretty on top of the
Premier League. Realistically, Coventry know that they do not stand
a chance, but if Arsenal was to take their foot off the brake, then the
Sky Blues have players. Players like Franck Moussa, who has
30 goals and more to come. Last season, he took his debut when
Arsenal won`1. It is a great opportunity to play football.
Everybody knows about the FA Cup, anything can happen. We have to give
our best shot and go that expecting to get a result out of that. We will
see what our best will give us. I was hoping for Liverpool, but I will
not complain about going back to the Emirates. We have to believe that we
can get something out of the game. There will be cheered on by 5000
fans, but the boss, Steven Pressley, is determined there will have a
night to remember. If you are going to draw this, there
is no better side than Arsenal. It is one of location. We have to go
there with the right mentality. We cannot just go there to make the
numbers up. My players do have an opportunity. Have boots, do travel.
Hoping that tomorrow night is not the end of the road for them. Good
luck to them. And tomorrow we'll be with
Kidderminster Harriers as they prepare to face Premier League
Sunderland in the fourth round on Saturday A memorial
A memorial service will be held in Wolverhampton next month to honour
the Wolves and England goalkeeping legend Bert Williams The
93`year`old, who died on Sunday, made more than 400 appearances for
Wolves in a 14`year career that spanned the club's most successful
era in the 1950s. The service will be held at St Peter's Church in the
city on Wednesday February the fifth.
Have you heard of the popular comedy character Barbara Nice? Well, not
only does she make us laugh, but, in real life, her less manic persona
Janice Connolly is a founding member of the Women Theatre group, which
tackles difficult and often taboo topics. This year the group's
celebrating its 30th birthday. Are you ready now? A stinging start
to this week's comedy class in Wolverhampton. This is one of
thousands of projects that Women Theatre have devised for ordinary
people. It is all devised theatre, so we are making it up ourselves. We
wanted to find stories that were not already been told and, initially, it
was women telling their stories, but now we have men as well. But that is
how it started in the beginning. Three decades on, and Janice
Connolly is still going strong. You have caught me going through my
cupboards. You might be thinking, what are you looking for, Barbara? I
am looking for Anglo`Saxon gold. She is best known as her, the altar ego
Barbara Nice, who was in Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights.
Everyone who does the course will not end up being a performer, but
some people will. People enjoy themselves, and it is good for
well`being. You cannot beat the arts for coming out of yourself and
feeling better when you go home. The odd comedy, Women Theatre have
created work to challenge our perceptions.
I was standing outside the club, trying to pluck up the courage to go
into the disco to find women like me.
Here, stories of a hidden gay past. Homosexuality was seen as a form of
madness. This data is now part of the
cultural identity. They have employed 300 artists and workers.
They have had workshops, reaching out to thousands of people, many
have been empowered and entertained. Rachel is one of the many people who
has attended workshops. It has really boosted my confidence. I have
never done comedy, I was wanted to do it. It came along at the right
time. I have made new friendships, and onwards and upwards for more
comedy nights. At a time when many arts organisations are trying to
make ends meet, Women Theatre are a success story and have 20 to laugh
about. Happy birthday to them. Here is the
weather. Yes, unfortunately, the weather is deteriorating as we go to
the weekend. I will talk about rainfall totals, because we have
significant rainfall in the next few days. We could see ten to 20 minute
metres, then `` millimetres, then the showers on Saturday could be
heavy, and we could have up to 25 millimetres of rain on Sunday. There
are flood alerts in the region, and they could go up. We have had some
showers today, but we will see those moving off, then it is a clear
night. Cabbages will fall away under those
clear skies to begin with, but then we start to see cloud head of the
next band of rain. `` temperatures will fall away. We could see some
icy stretches. In Staffordshire, there is a yellow weather warning
for ice. Tomorrow morning, we will see the
rain sticking with this, temperatures really struggling.
Around three Celsius under that. It will feel cold tomorrow, it will be
breezy. There will be a few clear periods in that rain, but it will
not go anywhere. Eventually, there will be mild air, but we could get
up to eight Celsius where we have been recently. And the rain stays
with us right the way through Friday night. It will get heavy at times,
eventually heading away as we head into Saturday. We will get some mist
and fog patches developing, because there is quite a lot of moisture in
the error was well. It will not be too cold on Saturday, and Saturday
will be the best day of the weekend, but it still will not be a
great day, because although it starts off dry, we get some sunny
spells. Then we have the showers moving through. They will clear away
again, it will be a very cold night as we head into Sunday. Then we have
this area of low pressure moving in. It will have strong guts of wind up
to 40 miles an hour, 25 millimetres of rain. The forecast could change,
but it is not looking good. Tonight's headlines from the BBC.
Some hospital waiting time figures in England can't be relied upon,
according to an official watchdog. And guilty of throwing acid in the
face of a friend ` the woman who disguised herself in a Muslim veil.
Chocolate giants Cadbury announce a new ?75 million investment in
Bournville. There are some fears tonight that 60% of jobs could be
lost. And recent disturbances at a jail
near Wolverhampton amounted to a full scale "prison riot", according
to an officer working there. That was the programme. I will be
back at 10pm with the latest of the Cadbury 's announcement. We will
have more analysis of what this could mean for jobs, and we expect
to hear whether the striker has admitted all denied a football
Association charge about an A star will be born
on The Voice 2014!