24/01/2014 Midlands Today


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


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


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


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


Kidderminster Harriers reach out for glory in the FA Cup.


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


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


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


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


firmly on the international sporting map.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


money? Wolverhampton's mayor officially opened the school today


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


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


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


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


are funded by taxpayers. The government says they create more


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


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


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


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


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


is preferential funding and local authority schools are losing out.


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


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


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


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


helped to convert this warehouse into what will soon become the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


educational underachievement in Wolverhampton. If our children are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


education. They will challenge assumptions that other teachers may


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


as a whole. Coming up: Living with multiple


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


Three years ago, Kidderminster Harriers were just hours away from


administration ` but tomorrow they face Premier League Sunderland in


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


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


massive financial boost. Nick Clitheroe reports.


Press conferences aren't normally this crowded at Kidderminster


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


suddenly found themselves at the centre of national attention. For


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to be the giant`killer again tomorrow.


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


chances of Kidderminster toppling another giant? Sunderland are the


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


that gruelling midweek win over Manchester United. So Harriers are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Birmingham will have new striker Albert Rusnak available after


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


League One, might fancy their chances of an upset against


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


tough trip to Chelsea. Yes, striker Kenwyn Jones and


goalkeeper Azmir Begovic could return for Stoke. Chelsea are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


place Liz Copper has been finding out more.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


police began investigations, they discovered this tunnel opening on


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


secret underground tunnel into the shop has been sealed.


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


a foundry in Smethwick, after it went into administration.


Incanite Foundries Limited, which was established in 1920, employed


just over 100 staff when it ceased trading last month.


Three men have been arrested on suspicion of the attempted abduction


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


reports of a white van acting suspiciously close to Perry Beeches


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


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


custody. Police are investigating a car crash


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


looking out for me! Hereford United Football Club have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


plan is affecting him, as Sarah Falkland reports.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


comfortable at home for what time he has left.


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


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


have enrolled so far. Rebecca is ready with your detailed


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


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


And the screenwriter behind the spectacular London 2012 opening


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


festival. On this week's Sunday Politics, the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


about Nicolas Anelka's controversial gesture following his goal against


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


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


decided not to continue their sponsorship of West Bromwich Albion.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


whole thing from 11am on Sunday morning.


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


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


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


generation of aspiring engineers. They've been holding special


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


been finding out. These children might not know it,


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


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


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


children from across Herefordshire are taking part in the workshops,


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


the children are part of the Bloodhound Project, a group


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


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


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


this country and globally of engineers and scientists for the


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


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


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


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


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


awesome. We have some fantastic companies in Herefordshire, in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Jordanne Whiley from Halesowen has become the first British woman to


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


doubles title at the Australian Open in Melbourne with her Japanese


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


town on the map. A literary festival in Shropshire


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


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


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


writer Frank Cottrell Boyce famously collaborated with Danny Boyle to


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


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


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


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


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


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


this year is particularly special because Frank Cottrell Boyce has


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


opening ceremony? An amazing adventure ride and a privilege.


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


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


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


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


Olympics' present back to Shropshire! Oswestry library is the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and damp. Any better for the weekend?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and unpleasant conditions, but things will slowly improve with the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


snow? Tonight's headlines from the BBC:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Arsenal. Have a


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