27/01/2014 Midlands Today


The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 27/01/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: Roofs ripped


off, lightning strikes and hailstorms. The clean up after


widespread damage caused by freak storms. Sparks were flying


everywhere and property on fire. We'll show some of your pictures of


the storms ` and what they left behind. Also tonight; Plagued by


aggressive beggars ` protestors demand action on begging and


prostitution on one of Birmingham's busiest roads. So her road has been


here for a long time and it will continue to be a problem area for us


that we are working to solve. Mind the gap ` Birmingham named one of


the top three cities for economic growth, but there's still a wide


gulf with the capital. A Spanish retirement dream that could turn to


rubble ` the Worcestershire couple who could lose their savings and


their property. And things were a little calmer today ` but there's a


bit of everything to come this week. Starting off wet though, your full


forecast is on the way. Good evening. It lasted under an


hour, but the damage will take weeks to repair. The clean up has been


underway after a violent storm which crossed much of the region. Roofs


were ripped off when what's been described as a mini`tornado struck,


hail turned roads and pavements into sheets of ice, and there were


lightning strikes causing serious damage. Our reporter Bob Hockenhull


has been assessing the impact. Counting the cost of a storm which


has made this house in Stourbridge uninhabitable. Residents on the


estate watched in awe as a bolt of lightning ripped a hole in the roof,


causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage. The hail was coming


down, it was like slow, I was looking out at a massive flash of


light, it made us jump. We saw it hit the lamp, Sparks were flying


everywhere as it hit the roof, it said the property on fire. Emergency


services were on the scene within minutes. Two women were treated for


smoke inhalation but the fire brigade says the consequences could


have been far worse. That would have happened that night, and if they


didn't have a smoke detector in the house, it could have been far more


severe, and as a result of that, we could have been more casualties.


This series of pictures shows the storm as it swept across the


Midlands. Galley Common near Nuneaton in Warwickshire was one of


the worst hit areas. A number of homes were badly damaged. Some


residents had to spend the night in temporary accommodation. The whole


of the Gera 's Reeves had flown across the gardens, hit cars,


smashed cars, it hit my dad's bungalow in two places. The bungalow


over the road, the poor lady was in the bungalow at the time and she


could see the sky through the hole. As the heavens opened and the hail


came down, West Midlands Fire Service control received 40


weather`related calls. Some who witnessed the storm have described


it as being like a mini to danger. But The Met office say it is too


early to say whether it is an accurate description. Conditions


were sufficient for a mini tornado to form but whether it actually


happens is good to take experts quite a long time and a lot of


analysis, so we should find out in the future whether we did have one


or not. The storms caused havoc and some neighbours are planning a


collection to help those who have been forced out of their homes. Do


get in touch to let us know how you were affected by the storm. And if


you have any pictures please do send them to us.


You're watching Midlands Today ` good to have you with us this


evening ` plenty more ahead including: Taking rambling to a


whole new level, we meet the man who's walking every footpath in


Shropshire, that's over 3,000 miles. One of Birmingham's busiest high


streets is being plagued by aggressive beggars who are


intimidating shoppers. Protestors are demanding police tackle begging


and prostitution. It's happening in Soho Road in Handsworth. Lined with


busy shops and restaurants, it runs past West Bromwich Albion's ground


into Birmingham City Centre. Joan Cummins reports. There are more than


300 shops lining the vibrant Soho Road in Handsworth, Birmingham `


it's a focal point for multi`cultural shopping. But now


residents and business have launched an action group saying they're not


prepared to tolerate aggressive begging and prostitution on their


streets. Rachel Toussaint became frustrated and organised the action


group after she was verbally abused by a beggar outside her business. I


don't mind being approached by people begging by people with mental


health issues but it is aggressive begging, people don't understand


that is what is going on and people with mental health issues should you


care for properly and not just left, because they are vulnerable as we


are. CCTV cameras have had to be installed at this temple off the


Soho Road after drunks, drug addicts and thieves abused their open door


policy. The facilities we provide have been misused by some people,


who come in just the drug`taking or to beg for money, or cause a


nuisance to the institution. So we had to be very strict and take extra


security precautions. It's something we didn't want to have been forced


into. One man said, what do you expect? This is the Soho Road. But


others say enough is enough and they want the authorities to take more


action. I wish there was a quick fix but there isn't. Soho Road has been


here for a long time and it will continue to be a problem area for


us. 20 years ago the residents of Balsall heath picketed kerb crawlers


within a year the prostitutes had gone leaving behind an active


community group they say the lesson is that all sides must work


together. It's very much the responsibility of both the voluntary


and statutory partners, and one cannot work without the other. In


Handsworth, though, there is still a desire to help. I feel sorry for


those people, I took a little money at dumb, just to look after them. It


might be scary but I've never come across it. People who use the Soho


Road to be the best in the city known for all the right reasons.


A primary school in Birmingham is giving pupils every Friday afternoon


off, to give teachers time to prepare their lessons. The majority


of parents seem to be backing the school. But an award winning head


teacher says it won't bring good results and that pupils will lose


out in the long run. Our special correspondent, Peter Wilson has been


investigating. Canterbury Cross Primary School in


Birchfield Birmingham is allowing all pupils to leave on a friday


afternoon at 1215, the changes to allow teachers more time to prepare


and plan their lessons. I'm not working full`time, so this is OK for


me, but if the parents are working full`time, it's hard for them. We do


Friday prayers, so it gives kids the opportunity to go to a mosque and


they can pray. I don't get is a bad idea, I don't see why it is in the


news. But while the majority of parents appear happy with that


decision, a few miles away there's a very different approach. Good


afternoon year seven. Liam Nolan is head teacher of not one but by


September, four Birmingham schools, all of them comprehensive. He is


highly critical of the decision to close early on Friday. Our whole


school closing early to prepare lessons isn't good enough. Teachers


need time in the data to their perforation, they certainly have


evening to do that preparation, it is not something we do here `` do


their preparation. The school says they consulted widely before


restructuring this all day. They say the changes mean that the amount of


time that pupils spend on education has increased and that the number of


teachers directly involved with pupils has also increased. With the


permission of his mother I spoke to ten`year`old Aman Khan about the


half day Fridays. We go to clubs and do activities. Do you think you're


missing out on proper lessons? No, no. Canterbury Cross school was


judged good in a recent Ofsted inspection, but with parents facing


fines for taking their children out of school for holidays, timetable


changes like this are likely to remain controversial.


It's been confirmed that a taser was used after a scuffle broke out


between rival factions at Birmingham Crown Court today. West Midlands


Police say it was discharged at a man who then ran away from the


court. Roads in the surrounding area were closed off while officers dealt


with the incident. Birmingham band Black Sabbath has


won a Grammy in Los Angeles for best hard rock/metal performance. They've


just finished a world tour with two dates in the city last month,


playing to 26,000 people. A volume out of a set of the most


expensive books in the world is to go on display at the Library of


Birmingham. Audubon's Birds of America, is a four`book compilation


worth more than ?7 million, and features hundreds of life`size


colour engravings of every American bird species.


An independent report into the economic health of our cities says


Birmingham is one of three cities showing signs of growth. But the


research also suggests that the economic recovery is widening the


gap between London and the rest of the country. Our business


correspondent Peter Plisner reports. Serving up a recipe for success `


and not just in the kitchen. This restaurant is located in


Birmingham's Colmore Business District. It's one of the big growth


areas of the city and here bookings a growing too. I think we reflect


what's happening within the professional sector in the city, we


are used very much for lunchtime trade, we are used for private


functions for firms, and I think we are almost at the coal face of what


is happening. Today's report talks about a ring of confidence within


the city centre ` inside it businesses are performing well.


There is growth and job creation in the city centre. According to the


report, Birmingham is failing to punch its weight according to other


cities. And here's some of the evidence ` just yards from the city


centre, a car park that by now should have been turned into an


office block and a not far away a derelict building. I think the


report is bang on. Over many years, lemming and Manchester haven't


really pulled their weight on a range of things, deployment,


business start`ups, qualifications. And worst still Birmingham appears


to be lagging behind when it comes to new jobs. According to the report


` London has created 14 times more jobs than Birmingham. But the city


leaders maintain that there a reasons why that's happened. London


is bigger than Birmingham but London hasn't gone into recession. That is


the reason for all of this. We have been saying for a long while that


the Southeast, London, is an overheated economy, and we need to


rebalance the UK economy. And one way of doing that ` according to the


report ` would mean more powers being devovled to Birmingham and


away from London. Well that's how it's looking for our


biggest city. What about other areas of the West Midlands? Our reporters


are spread across the region tonight ` we start with Sian Grezcheck in


Coventry. What is the picture there? There's good news and bad news for


Coventry, the bad ` 15% of the working population don't have any


qualifications ` which puts us near the bottom for the whole country.


And that's reflected in one of the lowest employment rates of any major


city. But Coventry's near the top for property price rises. Local


estate agents say that might be because people are more confident in


the housing market these days and are prepared to buy. And we're a


happy lot. Coventry is ranked seventh for increasing life


satisfaction, which suggests we're the happiest city in the west


midlands. Now over to Phil Mccann who has the picture in Stoke.


Over 2,000 new private`sector jobs have been created in Stoke`on`Trent


in the period this report covers ` one of the highest rates of jobs


growth in the country. But a lot of them are low`skilled and low`paid,


and working for employers that originate outside the city.


Stoke`on`Trent is third from bottom for new business start`ups. One of


the reasons according to the Centre for Cities, is the weak city centre.


It's something the council's being trying to change, but in a city


uniquely made up of six separate towns, that's proving very


controversial. My colleague is in Worcester.


The unemployment rate in Worcester is just under 6.5% ` that's better


than both the regional and national average. Nearly a fifth of those are


professional jobs ` a higher percentage than cities like Coventry


or Wolverhampton. In Herefordshire, unemployment is even lower at 5.5% `


and half the county's jobs are in the city of Hereford. There are


developments and new jobs on the way for both cities with a multi million


pound technology park just outside Worcester, and the continued


development of the Old Market site in Hereford. Now we can go to Mark


Elliott for the situation in Shropshire. Here, Telford is up near


the top of the lead for the growth of private companies but it doesn't


offset the number of jobs lost in the private sector `` public sector.


To improve the authors of the report suggest that and focus on services


and improving transport links. The Chamber of Commerce disagrees, it


says that local economy is doing well and manufacturing is the right


area to concentrate on. This is our top story tonight: Roofs


ripped off, lightening strikes and hailstorms. The clean up after


widespread damage caused by freak storms.


Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly ` also in tonight's


programme: FA Cup dreams over for another year, as all five Midlands


teams crash out ` despite a brave performance from non`league


Kidderminster. And one step at a time ` find out


why this man is determined to walk every footpath in Shropshire.


The dream of building a retirement home in Spain has turned into a


nightmare for one Worcestershire couple. Bob and Yvonne Weafer from


Redditch fear they may lose their savings in a row over planning ` and


are trapped in a legal battle about whether their Spanish home was built


lawfully or not. Here's Anthony Bartram. This is Andalusia in


southern Spain, thousands of Brits retire here every year. Bob and


Yvonne Weafer Redditch invested their life savings in the Spanish


property market, hoping to join them. We went to see several


builders and several sites, we had a plot where we could see for miles.


But their dream has been a nightmare for the last nine years when the


regional government in Andalusia declared their house illegal. We


actually had the van but to bring out all the luggage, within days of


that happening, we suddenly read on the Internet that the police had


actually sealed the site off. Their villa is one of almost 300,000


properties caught up in a legal wrangle. The local government gave


them planning permission and the regional government then withdrew


it. TRANSLATION: I have been asked to put together a legal proposition


to the regional government which would change state law and legalise


around 96% of these properties. We have lost around 250,000 euros, to


that for the property, we still are the last payment of the extras. As


both sides work on a solution, the Weafers can only watch their villa


deteriorate as long as there `` as well as their life savings.


And there will be more about the couple's story on Inside Out tonight


at half past seven here on BBC One. Well there was no joy for the


Midlands in the FA Cup this weekend. They're all out. But at least


Walsall could celebrate with a triple Brandy! We'll get onto the FA


Cup in a moment. But first, the race to win promotion from League One.


For Wolves, a valuable home victory keeps them in third place. And for


Walsall, the play`offs are still very much in their sights, thanks to


their young striker Febian Brandy. Ian Winter has been to meet him.


Showing on the laptop this lunchtime. An exclusive invitation


to a Walsall blockbuster premiere, starring Febian Earlston Brandy.


Aged 25 next Tuesday. And today, celebrating a landmark moment in his


football career. Never scored a hat`trick before, this is my first


one, left foot, right foot, header! He is like a bottle of pop, you


shake him up and take the lid off! Midway through the first half Febian


broke the deadlock against Notts County with his left foot, he


finished off a fine flowing move to put Walsall in front. 11 minutes


later, his second goal was even better. This time with his right


foot ` a double Brandy was the perfect tonic for the Saddlers'


travelling fans. And then 11 minutes after that, Walsall broke away down


the left right and Febian leapt like a salmon on the far post to complete


the perfect hat`trick with his head. And still only half`time. This


wasn't just any hat`trick, it was the perfect hat`trick. That's what


they call it! He invites the tackles, people don't like to diving


because he has such quick feet. He is a joy to be around. He was the


only one enjoying a fantastic first half. `` only one. Back in March,


Nouha Dicko spent a month on loan with Wolves from Wigan. Now he's


signed permanently for ?300,000. And he celebrated with a couple of goals


to help his new team earn three points against Bristol City. In the


second half another Frenchman, Bakary Sako, clinched a 3`1 victory.


And that was a fitting tribute to the former Wolves and England


goalkeeper Bert Williams, who'd earlier been given a warm round of


applause, following his death last week, at the age of 93. Back at the


Walsall training ground, Febian Brandy was relaxing before


tomorrow's important home game against play`off rivals Swindon. He


can't promise another hat`trick but if he does score, his famous


celebration will definitely be on show.


So a great weekend for Walsall ` and just as well after all the cup


exits. Five teams involved ` and all five went out. It started on Friday


when Coventry lost 4`nil at Arsenal on Friday. It ended yesterday with


Stoke losing 1`nil at Chelsea. But the team that covered themselves in


the most glory was non`league Kidderminster Harriers. Around 4,000


Kidderminster fans made the journey to Premier League Sunderland. And a


tough task got even harder when they fell behind after just five minutes.


But they fought back and might have even earned themselves a replay but


Ladapo shot just wide. For a while it looked as though Birmingham City


would create a shock against Premier League Swansea City. Well they led


1`0 until the 67th minute but the game then changed very quickly.


Substitute Wilfried Bony scored twice in three minutes to give


Swansea a 2`1 win at St Andrews. And Port Vale fought hard against


Brighton. Chris Robertson equalised at 1`all for Vale. But in the end


Brighton proved just too strong and they won the game 3`1. And Nicolas


Anelka's been defending his controversial goal celebration last


month. Today the Albion striker has thanked those clubs who he says have


offered to sign him in the last few days. They include the Italian side


Lazio. But he added: "Why should I leave my club and England? I did


nothing wrong." Anelka will defend his quenelle gesture at a personal


hearing with the FA at the end of next month. He says he didn't intend


any offence. Thanks very much indeed.


Walking in the countryside is one of our most popular pastimes. But one


rambler is taking his passion to an extreme. Shropshire has the most


footpaths in our region ` Trevor Allison is walking all of them `


that's over 3000 miles. Laura May McMullan joined him, for a short


stretch. Standing at the top of The Cliffe,


it's clear to see why a quarter of Shropshire is an Area of Outstanding


Beauty. Trevor Allison is passionate about protecting his local


landscape. He's one of thousands of ramblers, though, that are being


stopped in their tracks. Due to council budget cuts, he believes


some rights of way are being neglected. The problem is that I


come across are broken dates, locked gates, barbed wire fences, electric


fences. This has been put here by the farmer. The step is loose, it is


quite a big step over this bar. It's a proper style, it has two steps but


it's obvious that this has fallen out of use. A dog owner out walking


on Nescliffe Hill today agreed there are problems. I have had problems


with some styles on public footpath near where I live, I have written


and complained to Shropshire Council. Nothing has been done as


yet. In a recent report by the Ramblers Association, more than


100,000 path problems were reported to councils across England but


hadn't been fixed. Here in Shropshire, a freedom of information


request last July showed there were 13,000 problems that hadn't been


attended to. In a statement Shropshire Council acknowledges that


paths haven't been maintained as well as they have in the past. It


wants to work closely with landowners and community groups and


also increase the number of volunteers. Trevor is three years


into a mission to walk and assess every right of way in Shropshire ` a


journey of 3,500 miles. So far he's been obstructed more than 400 times.


We saw earlier in the programme how freak storms damaged part of the


Midlands over the weekend, some have called it a mini tornado ` but


Rebecca what was it? Actually, what it was was a trough


moving through a hole in maritime air mass. What that actually means


is we have low pressure moving through cold, moist air. That means


that milder air started storm clouds forming, which led to hail, thunder


and lightning. This was happening at the time of the day where


temperatures were at their mildest so it was much more intense. It's a


little calmer as we moved through the next few days. By the time we of


the week, things start start to get much colder. We are heading for our


first cold snap. Those showers, continuing to blow through the


region tonight, some of them will be quite heavy at times. Still plenty


of cloud cover about, which will help temperatures a little bit.


Rather breezy as well. We will see temperatures falling to about three


or four Celsius, but not too cold for the time we wake up tomorrow.


Plenty more showers to come. We start the a rather wet, doesn't


change much, I'm afraid. We will see the sun at times but it will be few


and far between, some showers will be quite heavy as well. Temperatures


will get up to about seven or eight Celsius but the wind is going to


make them feel a little colder. Through Tuesday night, still we keep


those showers. We start to see a little bit of a change. The wind


direction is changing to a southeasterly, that southeasterly


wind is the start of things feeling colder. By Wednesday, it is still


going to be a wet day but it is starting to feel much colder.


Temperatures are taking a tumble. Why Thursday, the wind directions


change to an easterly direction, so it is feeling much colder. We could


see some wintry showers. As we head through towards the end of the


week, those temperatures are continuing to tumble. Wednesday


looking particularly cold. But plenty more rain to come before


that. And that wind strengths are quite strong.


Tonight's headlines from the BBC: Angry residents in Somerset turn on


the environment minister ` they've been flooded for weeks, farms and


homes remain under water. Jude Law gives evidence at the hacking trial


` he finds out for the first time a relative took money from a newspaper


Roofs ripped off, lightning strikes and hailstorms. The clean up after


widespread damage caused by freak storms Edward Harris got in touch on


Twitter and sent us this great picture taken from his kitchen


window in Rugby. Lots of you have been telling us


about the storm. It was certainly very dramatic. That was Midlands


Today. I'll be back at ten o'clock with more on the varying economic


recovery across our region. Have a great evening.


Download Subtitles