24/01/2014 Midlands Today


24/01/2014

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Hello and welcome to the programme. The headlines: The first free school

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in country with space for 400 children, but just 20 have enrolled.

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At full capacity, it will be 420, and I feel confident we will reach

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that. We'll ask the local MP if free schools really work. Also:

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Kidderminster Harriers reach out for glory in the FA Cup.

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It's an area that has suffered greatly over the last few years and

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if we can help those people, that makes me feel very proud.

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The secret tunnel that helped burglars get away with a series of

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raids on a charity shop. Bull's`eye for Telford as it lands

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firmly on the international sporting map.

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And all signs point to something a little colder and more wintry next

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week but first, brollies at the ready for a soggy weekend. The full

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forecast coming up later. Good evening. The first free school

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in the Black Country officially opened today but the school, which

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can teach more than 400 pupils, has only 20 children registered so far.

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Free schools are state funded but they're independent of local

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authority control. In the West Midlands, there are now 14 free

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schools ` nine for secondary`age pupils and five primaries. But as

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the number increases, are they going to come out top of the class? Bob

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Hockenhull has been investigating. Welcome to Anand Primary. It's

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Wolverhampton's first free school and, with just 20 pupils, almost

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certainly the city's smallest. You concerned that there are only 20

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pupils? No, I'm happy because they get individual attention, which

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makes it a bit better. It's a sentiment echoed outside on this

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poster. This school is brilliant is the quote from one parent but with

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so much being spent on so few pupils, is it really value for

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money? Wolverhampton's mayor officially opened the school today

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and admitted that if it was under local authority control, it would

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have to close with such a small intake. There's no doubt ` in the

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current climate, you couldn't survive with 20 children. But we

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have to work under the government's policies and guidance. Free schools

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are funded by taxpayers. The government says they create more

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competition and drive up standards. Here at Anand Primary, workers about

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to start on a ?1.6 million extension in anticipation of the day when the

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school, which promotes seek values, which is its capacity of 420 values

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`` pupils. `` Sikh pupils. This icky yellow it is the capacity of 420 and

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when you put it in that light, it is value for money. But some say this

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is preferential funding and local authority schools are losing out.

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You've got schools that are badly funded which cost broadly the same

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but you can't find places for pupils unless you want to send them to a

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free school. That said, there is no doubting the enthusiasm and

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commitment around free schools. At this Birmingham school, parents have

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helped to convert this warehouse into what will soon become the

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children's sports hall. With us now is the Conservative MP

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for Wolverhampton South West, Paul apple. Free schools are very much a

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fried crisp `` Paul Uppal. This is a first step and there will be

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capacity for 420 pupils. We have had issues around education in

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Wolverhampton and I hope this can be a beacon for educational excellence.

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I think it will make up the numbers eventually. People are bit reticent.

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Most of the children who go to that school are not actually tempt two.

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It's open to everybody and will stretch the kids in all sorts of

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ways. The parents love it there. Are free schools as a concept working?

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It's going to take a bit of time. We've had real issues around

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educational underachievement in Wolverhampton. If our children are

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going to make their way in the 21st century, we've got given the best

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opportunity. There will always be those who are sceptical but I

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wouldn't be an MP if I wasn't inspired by a teacher. I'm a local

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lad and went to local schools and colleges. That changed my life

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completely. I enjoy going into schools, saying, "if I can be an MP

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there is no limit to what you can do" . They do say that free schools

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train from other state schools. I think they add to the pool of

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education. They will challenge assumptions that other teachers may

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have but overall, I think it will be better for the city and the country

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as a whole. Coming up: Living with multiple

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sclerosis ` his family accused the council of turning its back on him.

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Three years ago, Kidderminster Harriers were just hours away from

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administration ` but tomorrow they face Premier League Sunderland in

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one of the glamour ties of the FA Cup fourth Round. It's a game which

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will leave lasting memories for the fans and give the football club a

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massive financial boost. Nick Clitheroe reports.

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Press conferences aren't normally this crowded at Kidderminster

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Harriers. But as the only non`league club left in the FA Cup, they've

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suddenly found themselves at the centre of national attention. For

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players who've spent years at this level it's a moment to treasure.

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It's going to be a great occasion for everyone involved ` families,

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friends, the town. It's massive. Everyone wants to talk to you. It's

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good. It's given the town a lift. It's not just about the mass of

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media interest. There was also a massive financial windfall. If there

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is a gate of around 30,000 out of `` at Sunderland on Saturday, that will

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be a massive windfall. In February 2011 the club was on the brink of

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administration and the fans rallied round to save them. Chairman Mark

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Serrell says tomorrow's game is a reward for everyone who fought so

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hard for the Harriers. It's giving something back to the people of

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Kidderminster. It's an area that's suffered greatly over the last few

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years and if we can give those people something to be proud, makes

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me very proud. Around 4,000 fans will follow the team to the North

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East but exactly how strong is cup fever in Kidderminster? It may have

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been market day but the signs were still there that this match has

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gripped the town. Come on, Kidderminster Harriers! I think

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they'll win 2 `1. No`one will give Kidderminster much chance on the

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pitch but if the players want inspiration they just have to look

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at the manager. 26 years ago, Andy Thorn was part of the Wimbledon team

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who pulled off one of the biggest Cup final shocks of all. He'll hope

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to be the giant`killer again tomorrow.

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Ian Winter's here to look ahead to our fourth round ties. What are the

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chances of Kidderminster toppling another giant? Sunderland are the

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odds`on favourites tomorrow. But they're sure to make changes after

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that gruelling midweek win over Manchester United. So Harriers are

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12`1 to win. Last night, we featured Coventry City. If you fancy them to

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pull off a shock away win to Arsenal this evening, the Sky Blues are a

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whopping 28`1. As difficult as it's going to be, we know it's going to

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be difficult. We've got to believe we can go down there and get

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something out of the game. What about Birmingham City and Port Vale?

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Both at home, against teams from a higher division? Yes, the Blues are

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bidding to repeat their League Cup win over Swansea back in September.

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Lee Clarke says his players are excited by the FA Cup. And

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Birmingham will have new striker Albert Rusnak available after

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joining on loan from Manchester City. Port Vale, currently eighth in

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League One, might fancy their chances of an upset against

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Brighton, currently seventh in the Championship. And Stoke City face a

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tough trip to Chelsea. Yes, striker Kenwyn Jones and

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goalkeeper Azmir Begovic could return for Stoke. Chelsea are

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without the injured Fernando Torres. The fourth round kicks`off tonight.

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BBC Coventry Warwickshire are live from the Emirates. Tomorrow, the

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Blues are live on BBC WM. Kidderminster Harriers' game is on

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BBC Hereford Worcester And BBC Radio Stoke is the place to follow

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Port Vale tomorrow, and Stoke City on Sunday. What a weekend!

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A charity shop says it could go out of business after being targeted in

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a series of burglaries. But workers at the Re`Use Centre in Foleshill in

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Coventry were left baffled ` at first ` as to how the thefts took

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place Liz Copper has been finding out more.

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For the charity workers at the furniture shop in Coventry, it was a

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mystery how thieves were breaking in. As they replenished stock, a

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series of burglaries left them puzzled. We had four or five

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weekends in fairly quick succession. There was no damage to the outside

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of the building, no broken windows, no forced the doors, but it was

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obvious someone had been an because of ceiling damage and debris on the

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floor. We had no idea how they were getting into the building. But when

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police began investigations, they discovered this tunnel opening on

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the piece of land opposite the charity shop. It runs all the way

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underground right inside. We discovered this end of the tunnel is

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inside the shop. It's sunk 12 or 15 feet down and leads directly into

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the shop premises. It would give them easy access to everything we

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have in the building. The shops on the site of this old factory and

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it's thought the passageway was used in the manufacturing process. The

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charity is now looking for new premises but, in the meantime, as

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customers browse for bargains, security has been stepped up and the

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secret underground tunnel into the shop has been sealed.

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A round`up of other news now: 90 people have been made redundant from

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a foundry in Smethwick, after it went into administration.

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Incanite Foundries Limited, which was established in 1920, employed

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just over 100 staff when it ceased trading last month.

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Three men have been arrested on suspicion of the attempted abduction

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of a teenager near a school in Birmingham. Police were called after

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reports of a white van acting suspiciously close to Perry Beeches

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School in Great Barr. A16`year`old girl was waiting at a bus stop when

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she was approached. The men, aged between 22 and 41, remain in police

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custody. Police are investigating a car crash

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in Coventry in which a 27`year`old man died. Two cars collided on the

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Ansty Road last night. One of the drivers later died in hospital ` the

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other's been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous

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driving. Nearby homes were damaged by flying debris. I've just moved

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and I sat down in the settee. The wife said, " Christ" ! The window

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had just exploded. The cyclist bounced out and it just missed him

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and hit my window. I was right behind it so I think someone was

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looking out for me! Hereford United Football Club have

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avoided a winding`up order after raising the money to pay their tax

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arrears. The club were due to appear in the Companies Court in London on

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Monday over a bill of ?35,000. The board say they've now paid that

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money. However, the club are asking the fans to help raise an extra

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?10,000 a month for the rest of the season.

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The family of a man with advanced multiple sclerosis say his life's

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being put at risk because the council's refusing to pay for

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round`the`clock care. Billy Bryan is 42, but his MS means he can't feed

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or wash himself. Coventry City Council sends in carers four times a

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day. But his family have been keeping a record of how the care

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plan is affecting him, as Sarah Falkland reports.

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I've had a call`out from my brother and this is the state he is in. He

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can't move his legs and he's wet through.

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Mobile phone footage that Diane Bryan felt compelled to record. I

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felt a bit callous videoing it, to be fair, because I felt I should be

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helping him rather than doing this. But at the same time, I wanted

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people to see exactly what he is going through and what we're having

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to deal with. Her brother Billy is 42. He was

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diagnosed with MS three years ago. Coventry City Council send round

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carers to his flat in Radford four times a day. His mum and sister do

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as much as they can but say he's a danger to himself when he's on his

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own. He's been admitted to hospital more than half a dozen times over

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the past 12 months. You to be prosecuted if you let him die but to

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live like that... I worry about him at night because I know myself, if

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you're lying awake and worried about something... I'm sorry. Billy says

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he feels isolated and lost when's he's at home on his own. It does

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make me a bit sad, because I'm a damaged person. Coventry City

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Council say now Billy's case has been brought to their attention they

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will take action. If we have fallen short, as a local authority, as a

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city council, we apologise unreservedly. But what I'm concerned

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about is not an inquest into past failings but how we can help him and

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his family in the future and that means that his needs are reassessed

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and a package of support is put in which makes his life a bit more

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tolerable. Billy had always wanted to travel. His family realise that's

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unlikely to happen now. But they're determined to make sure he's

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comfortable at home for what time he has left.

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The top story tonight: The first free school in the Black Country

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officially opened today, with the space of 400 children ` but just 20

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have enrolled so far. Rebecca is ready with your detailed

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weather forecast, and also tonight: Science comes alive for youngsters

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at a local school as they create a car that can go at 1000 mph.

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And the screenwriter behind the spectacular London 2012 opening

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ceremony ` find out why he's become patron of a Shropshire literary

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festival. On this week's Sunday Politics, the

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leader of Coventry City Council has said that she doesn't think there's

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likely to be a solution to the ongoing stand`off between Coventry

:16:20.:16:22.

City Football Club and the owners of the Ricoh arena very quickly. The

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ongoing dispute about where the club should play in future was just one

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of the topics to be debated on this week's programme, which is presented

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by David Gregory Kumar. Thanks, Nick, and there was in fact

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a bit of a footballing theme running through this week. Also under the

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spotlight was the importance of watching what you do and say in

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public life. This came up in connection with the ongoing row

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about Nicolas Anelka's controversial gesture following his goal against

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West Ham United last month. As we know Anelka denies the "quenelle" is

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anti`Semitic and plans to put his case to the FA. Sponsors Zoopla

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decided not to continue their sponsorship of West Bromwich Albion.

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Andrew Webb tweeted the Sunday Politics to say he thinks it's the

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media attention which has made it offensive. "Funny how there wasn't

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much coverage when Anelka did it". While Lee Westwood got in touch on

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Facebook to say even if one person was offended, that would be enough

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for Anelka to face a penalty, "as would anybody else making a racial

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gesture in public," which prompted our politicians to give us a timely

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warning. It's very true ` if you're in the public eye, no matter what

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job you do, you have to think very carefully about your actions and

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reactions because this has caused a huge few raw. If you are an average

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person on the street, that's nobody would take any notice. `` a huge

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furore. We also heard from our guest about fracking. You can see the

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whole thing from 11am on Sunday morning.

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Well, this sounds like one of the highlights of the school term to me.

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The team bidding to break the land speed record by reaching an

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astonishing 1,000 miles an hour took time out to inspire the next

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generation of aspiring engineers. They've been holding special

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workshops in Herefordshire for school children, as Ben Sidwell's

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been finding out. These children might not know it,

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but they're currently learning about science and maths. Way more fun than

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having ordinary science lessons. We got to make stuff and then

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experiment it so it's more fun. More than 1,400 primary school

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children from across Herefordshire are taking part in the workshops,

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run by people who know a thing or two about speed. The team teaching

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the children are part of the Bloodhound Project, a group

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attempting to be the first in the world to set an one`thousand`mile an

:19:00.:19:05.

hour Land Speed Record. Everything we're doing relates to science,

:19:06.:19:09.

technology, engineering and maths and we have a terrible shortage in

:19:10.:19:13.

this country and globally of engineers and scientists for the

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future. So by showing this and getting the kids really interested

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in what we're doing, they can follow the project from beginning to end.

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Everything's going to be online and these are hopefully our engineers of

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the future. And for those that excel, the chance to see what 1,000

:19:29.:19:35.

mph is like. It's really cool to have the experience and it's just

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awesome. We have some fantastic companies in Herefordshire, in

:19:42.:19:44.

engineering and manufacturing, and they are doing very well but they

:19:45.:19:47.

need high`level skills and enthusiastic young people to take on

:19:48.:19:51.

apprenticeship programmes. Something like this is so exciting and I'm

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hoping this will really inspire them to think again about the kind of

:19:56.:19:58.

jobs and careers they go into. And for the best budding young engineers

:19:59.:20:02.

` their names will be put on the tail of the actual Bloodhound car.

:20:03.:20:12.

The speed cameras will get a shot at 1000 mph! `` a shock.

:20:13.:20:17.

Jordanne Whiley from Halesowen has become the first British woman to

:20:18.:20:20.

win a Grand Slam final in wheelchair tennis. The 21`year`old won the

:20:21.:20:23.

doubles title at the Australian Open in Melbourne with her Japanese

:20:24.:20:26.

partner Yui Kamiji. The pair were the beaten finalists in the doubles

:20:27.:20:29.

at Wimbledon last summer. Singapore, Marrakesh, Las Vegas and

:20:30.:20:32.

Telford! They're not four towns and cities you'd normally put in the

:20:33.:20:35.

same sentence but this weekend, Telford is taking its place on the

:20:36.:20:38.

world stage for archery. Hundreds of the top archers have their sights on

:20:39.:20:42.

the town, as the Indoor World Cup is being held at the International

:20:43.:20:48.

Centre. Joanne Writtle reports. Las Vegas may be all neon lights and

:20:49.:20:54.

razzle`dazzle but it's also a major host for archery World Cup events.

:20:55.:20:58.

But before competitors head there next month, they complete a leg here

:20:59.:21:07.

` in Telford! The head of the archery's version of FIFA was full

:21:08.:21:12.

of praise for the town. Every country and every place has its

:21:13.:21:16.

charm. The friendly atmosphere and the fact that we are here with 40

:21:17.:21:20.

countries shows that people like to come here. It's the first time the

:21:21.:21:28.

event has been held in the UK. I am thinking of Jesse Broadwater but

:21:29.:21:32.

other than that, I can't think of a name that is not here. This Olympic

:21:33.:21:37.

silver medallist from Mexico is among the big names here at the

:21:38.:21:43.

centre. I like England because I have a good relationship with

:21:44.:21:48.

archers and cultures and I say, why not? I practised at the

:21:49.:22:00.

high`performance centre. For me, it is my second house. Telford may not

:22:01.:22:06.

have the sunshine of Marrakesh or the bright lights of Las Vegas but

:22:07.:22:12.

here, you could be anywhere! There is no doubt the event is a big boost

:22:13.:22:15.

for the town, with many local hotels and businesses benefiting. You will

:22:16.:22:21.

see archers all over the place. I know many people have already come

:22:22.:22:28.

early and done some tourism. Archery Djourou crowds during London 2012

:22:29.:22:32.

and organisers here claim it is one of the fastest`growing sports. ``

:22:33.:22:40.

archery drew crowds. They hope it will put this ordinary Shropshire

:22:41.:22:44.

town on the map. A literary festival in Shropshire

:22:45.:22:47.

has been given the best possible backing from one of the country's

:22:48.:22:56.

most prominent writers. The island is full of noises, sounds and sweet

:22:57.:23:01.

airs that give delight... Children's author and award winning screen

:23:02.:23:03.

writer Frank Cottrell Boyce famously collaborated with Danny Boyle to

:23:04.:23:06.

script the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Now he's

:23:07.:23:10.

agreed to become the patron of the Oswestry Literary Festival. The

:23:11.:23:16.

festival's launched this evening and our reporter Lindsay Doyle is there

:23:17.:23:20.

now. So what have they got planned? Well, this is the fifth literary

:23:21.:23:26.

festival in Oswestry and it will be a march to coincide with the

:23:27.:23:30.

anniversary of the birth of Wilfred Owen in 1893, here in Oswestry. But

:23:31.:23:47.

this year is particularly special because Frank Cottrell Boyce has

:23:48.:23:50.

agreed to be the patron. What was it like to be involved in the Olympic

:23:51.:23:55.

opening ceremony? An amazing adventure ride and a privilege.

:23:56.:23:59.

Exhausting and graining and tense but fantastic. You're not from

:24:00.:24:03.

Oswestry but you do have a connection ` what is it? The thing

:24:04.:24:10.

is that the thing I enjoyed doing the most was the Olympics opening

:24:11.:24:15.

ceremony and Shropshire gave the Olympics to the world so I am the

:24:16.:24:18.

Olympics' present back to Shropshire! Oswestry library is the

:24:19.:24:23.

best little library in Britain, unquestionably. It's like walking

:24:24.:24:29.

into a cinema and I was really thrilled to be there so I've kept up

:24:30.:24:34.

the link and this is a... And there is a connection with one of your

:24:35.:24:40.

children's books. Yes, when the library was closed they had one of

:24:41.:24:43.

my books as a reading scheme for the town. Framed is about art so they

:24:44.:24:53.

did a sunflower growing competition. It was like stepping into the pages

:24:54.:24:57.

of my own book. It was a completely magical thing. Do you think

:24:58.:25:02.

festivals like this are important to encourage kids to read? Yes, and to

:25:03.:25:07.

meet writers and meet each other and feed on the exciting atmosphere.

:25:08.:25:12.

Thank you for joining us. The festival is in March but for now,

:25:13.:25:16.

back to you, Nick. Another glorious January day ` cold

:25:17.:25:19.

and damp. Any better for the weekend?

:25:20.:25:21.

Well, you've actually summed up our weekend quite well there, Nick. It's

:25:22.:25:27.

certainly going to be damp for the next few days, and it's slowly

:25:28.:25:30.

getting colder. There's already rain coming down tonight ` with more to

:25:31.:25:34.

come. Tomorrow is actually looking a little better than first thought,

:25:35.:25:37.

with much of the day staying dry ` even some sunshine ` but I'm afraid

:25:38.:25:41.

by Sunday we're back to the stormy weather. So that band of rain

:25:42.:25:44.

already sitting across us. At times it will get heavy ` but eventually

:25:45.:25:49.

it will clear away. We're pulling in some milder air, so some patchy mist

:25:50.:25:53.

and hill fog is possible by tomorrow morning. Temperatures not falling

:25:54.:26:02.

away too far, either. So we begin our Saturday with some rather murky

:26:03.:26:05.

and unpleasant conditions, but things will slowly improve with the

:26:06.:26:08.

sun managing to burn through that, and we'll even get some breaks in

:26:09.:26:12.

the cloud to give us some sunny spells. But it won't be too long

:26:13.:26:18.

until heavy spells of rain moving. There could be hale and thunder but

:26:19.:26:23.

temperatures make it up to 11. That is going to be quite a breezy day,

:26:24.:26:28.

though. The showers eventually blow away and we'll start to see things

:26:29.:26:32.

clearing through Saturday night. A cold night, though, with

:26:33.:26:36.

temperatures falling away. We could see a touch of frost developing but

:26:37.:26:39.

not for long because cloud starts to spill in, head of the next weather

:26:40.:26:44.

system coming in on Sunday. There is a deep area of low pressure and

:26:45.:26:48.

around that, winds pick up to 40 mph. 15`25 millimetres of rainfall,

:26:49.:27:00.

as well. It's getting colder and any showers we see through Sunday night

:27:01.:27:04.

could be a more wintry, so into next week things are getting colder. It's

:27:05.:27:09.

possible we could see a few more wintry showers. It all depends on

:27:10.:27:13.

this low pressure. If it slips further south, we'll get colder air

:27:14.:27:16.

from Scandinavia, so temperatures are tumbling at Will we see any

:27:17.:27:19.

snow? Tonight's headlines from the BBC:

:27:20.:27:24.

The Conservatives claim take`home pay has risen faster than inflation

:27:25.:27:28.

in the last year. Labour accuse them of fiddling the figures.

:27:29.:27:32.

And a major incident is declared in part of Somerset after three weeks

:27:33.:27:35.

of flooding and more to come. And the first free school in the

:27:36.:27:39.

Black Country with space for 400 children, but just 20 have enrolled

:27:40.:27:41.

so far. That was Midlands Today. I'll be

:27:42.:27:44.

back at ten o'clock with the result from Coventry City's FA cup match at

:27:45.:27:47.

Arsenal. Have a

:27:48.:27:48.

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