30/01/2014 Midlands Today


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the BBC News at Six, so it's goodbye from me, and on


If Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: Staff


injured and protestors arrested in violent clashes at the University of


Birmingham. Just a small minority have caused trouble. Police describe


it as serious public disorder. We'll be talking live to a protest leader


to find out what they're trying to achieve and whether he condones last


night's violence. Also tonight, a care worker filmed rifling through a


handbag and stealing from the elderly woman she was supposed to be


looking after. It was really hard to watch and to have the know it was


true. How drones and robots are revolutionising agriculture Absolute


screamer: one of seven goals in an absolute thriller at Villa last


night. This match could not be improved upon. And today we finally


got some wintry weather with snow flurries across the West Midlands,


it's all change again tomorrow though as we turn our attention to


flooding. Your full forecast is coming up later.


Good evening. Students clashed with police during a demonstration at the


University of Birmingham that officers said escalated into a


serious public order incident. 13 people were arrested after violence


erupted ` and the university said smoke bombs and fireworks were


thrown, doors were smashed down and staff injured on its Edgbaston


Campus last night. The protest was being staged against rising tuition


fees and low staff wages. Supporters of Defend Education Birmingham


unfurled a banner on the university clock tower and occupied two


buildings. These were the scenes as a rally


turned ugly at the University of Birmingham. Students from around the


country had travelled here. The University said staff were injured,


fireworks and smoke bombs thrown and doors smashed down. Protesters claim


they were "kettled" by police ` something officers strongly refute


Two groups ` Defend Education Birmingham and the National Campaign


Against Fees and Cuts were involved in the rally. I was trapped on a


rooftop forth for hours with the police not letting anyone call. But


the university's Guild of Students has expressed its disappointment.


Graffiti appearing to promote the demonstration was still in evidence


today where we spoke to a student who condemned the protests: they are


a minority and did not represent the student body and they are not


representing students and are damaging university property. How


much damage has been done? There is graffiti. The University has issued


a statement saying that while peaceful protest is part of


university life, they will not condone damage to property. It


emerged tonight that some students are still occupying a building on


campus. A legal notice for them to leave is expected to be enforced on


Monday. I'm joined now from outside


Birmingham University by Michael Chessum, of the National Campaign


against Fees and Cuts. Good evening. People were hurt last night. Do you


defend the actions of your supporters? Violence came


overwhelmingly from police and security guards.


What is the point of the whole thing? We are fighting for a free


and accessible education for everyone which is democratic and


does not rely on exploiting staff and education workers. That was the


message of the protest yesterday and the message of the growing student


movement. The Guild of Students at Birmingham University have distanced


themselves from your protest ` hardly a recommendation. I think the


statement was unfortunate but I think that the message that was


taken out yesterday and spread across the country has an enormous


backing and is very widespread. At the University say you are on your


representative. `` on representative. The student movement


is far more representative of the filling on campus. From one


university to another` Staffordshire University has today confirmed plans


to shut its Stafford campus and move students to Stoke`on`Trent. Nearly


3,000 students will move from the Beaconside site to the university's


main campus by 2016. The university said there would be job losses as a


result of the decision. Here's our Staffordshire reporter, Liz Copper.


Moving from Beaconside is a decision that's been widely anticipated and


widely criticised by some students The decision was made by the


university's Board of Governors. There are a lot of good facilities


but now it is going to stoke and I do not think they will have the


space. The decision was made by the University board of governors. The


university says it has made the decision because it has made


economic sense. The Chair of the Board of Governors wouldn't be drawn


on how many job losses there will be or on the precise plans for the


future of the buildings in Stafford. It is not appropriate or sensible to


have two campuses when we can accommodate all students on one


campus. The priority is to release money and spend it on the right


things for students. This is where most of the university's 9,000


full`time students will study, in Stoke`on `Trent. The university will


be looking at investment needed here to accommodate extra students.


During the transition period help will be offered by their union, the


NUS. I think we have to support students wherever they go. Back in


Stafford, Rich Bishop is a graduate who started a software development


company more than a decade ago. He's now considering moving, too. I am


absolutely gutted. The majority of staff who work here come from the


University but with the university not there any more there is no point


of us being here. The university says it will aim to minimise


disruption to students at a time when competition in the university


sector has never been higher. I'm joined now by Professor Michael


Gunn, Vice Chancellor at Staffordshire University. Good


evening. The town's MP, Jeremy Lefroy, says you've dealt a blow to


Stafford. Can you understand his point of view? We are concentrating


on the student experience and we believe this is important for


students who wish to study with us and for the future of the


University. A successful university and Stoke will benefit the whole of


the county. There's a firm in our report that says it could pull out


of Stafford now ` is it any concern that you could now spark a brain


drain or business drain? We recognise there are downsides and we


do think it is a positive picture but we do recognise the is the


downside for Stafford. We would love to have health sciences pro version


in the town centre. But the University of Staffordshire is now


basically the University of Stoke`on`Trent Is this purely a


financial decision? No, some of our provision will still be in Stafford.


We like to offer provision across the county and we have a campus in


Lichfield and partners in further education colleges that do some of


our degrees across Staffordshire. What do you think this will this do


for the city? It will bring activity for the city and our students will


get a lot out of a vibrant city. They will contribute to the life of


the city. Thanks for joining us this evening. You're watching Midlands


Today from the BBC. I do not see the point in measuring life in terms of


time but in what I achieved. A carer who was caught on CCTV stealing


money from the purse of an elderly woman has been given a suspended


prison sentence. Nadia Summers admitted theft after the suspicious


family of Lynette Nardone installed secret cameras in her Wolverhampton


home. Ben Godfrey reports. Nadia Summers is supposed to be a


carer but how many carers do this? The 24`year`old wastes no time in


rifling through her employer's purse before stuffing three ?20 notes into


her bra. She was supposed to be caring for Lynette Nardone at her


home in South Staffordshire. The 64`year`old suffers from a


neuro`degenerative condition. She took on Summers privately to assist


with everyday tasks, like washing and getting dressed. Lynnette finds


the betrayal too upsetting to talk about. I felt sick and was really


angry that someone any of care and trust in somebody that she was


genuinely fond of did that to her. This afternoon, Nadia Summers, from


Codsall, seen here with the brown bag, ` was given a suspended 12`week


jail term, ordered to do community service and pay Lynnette Nardone


?1000 in compensation. She had nothing to say. I do not know why


she did it is and I do not want this story to tarnish good carers but it


is really tough for everybody involved. The family had suspicions


about Summers stealing from a purse last November and secretly installed


this CCTV system which cost them ?1000. And it's not the first time a


carer has been caught red`handed. These images from 2011 show a carer


trying to steal from a safe. Another family, in Birmingham, targeted for


their money by someone they thought they could trust. Trevor Thomas has


cerebral palsy ` his mother is an advisor on safeguarding adults. She


wants local councils to offer security cameras for families


funding their own care. How can somebody who has communication


problems tell people what is happening to them? Posters have gone


all round the city but we need to understand the our hidden deceitful


people in every profession. Tonight, the question many families are


asking is this. Why should it take CCTV evidence to expose the minority


who really couldn't care less? Could thousands of motorists have


fines they've received for driving in bus lanes in Birmingham


scrapped? More than 80,000 tickets have been issued since new lanes


with cameras were introduced. But, after some drivers appealed, a


traffic inspector's now to decide whether the lanes are fair and


legal. Bob Hockenhull is in the city centre tonight. Bob, explain the


background to this? What are the chances, do you think, that the


council will have to pay back the fines? Many of the drivers have been


caught here, driving southbound on Priory Queensway. Motorists have


complained they couldn't see the signs early enough to avoid the bus


lane.The council's made ?1.7 million pounds in fines in just three


months. The individual fine is ?60, cut in half if paid promptly.Some of


those caught by the cameras have appealed to the Independent Traffic


Penalty Tribunal questioning the legality of the lanes. Now there's


to be a series of hearings at a hotel in Birmingham next month to


determine whether their fines were fair.The adjudicator will hear about


20 cases, some of those appealing have had multiple fines.One of the


main campaigners is Ben Cheney, and I spoke to him a little earlier What


chances are there that the council will have to pay back the fines?


Well while he's here, the adjudicator will make a site visit.


If he agrees the signs don't give ample warning, that will open the


floodgates for many more appeals. When you see these people driving up


from the children's Lane doing a turn that they are not aware is


illegal and that they are being fined repeatedly, that is my


concern, not my ?60 and ?90. What chances are that the council will


have to pay back the findings? The adjudicator is coming to make the


visit and if he decides the signs of not adequate enough that will open


the floodgates. There are a lot of people angry about this and that has


been a case in Colchester where Essex County Council has paid back


in million pounds in fines because the signs were not adequate.


Birmingham City Council is not doing that will stop I've spoken to the


council and it says in its view "the bus lane signs are compliant and


drivers were given plenty of notice that it would be enforcing this,


including a period of grace." This is our top story tonight: Staff


injured and protestors arrested in violent clashes at the University of


Birmingham. Rebecca's standing by to tell us about yet more rain and also


in tonight's programme Forget Robocop, this is Robocrop. A new


cutting`edge tool to help our farmers survey the land And spot`on!


A teenager with terminal cancer who set out to make ?10,000 for the


Teenage Cancer Trust has instead raised more than half a million


pounds for the charity. Stephen Sutton, from Burntwood in


Staffordshire, is combining his incredible fundraising with a list


of ambitions to fulfil ` a bucket list which includes sky diving,


playing the drums in front of 90,000 people, hugging an elephant and


having a tattoo. I am delighted to see that Stephen joins me now in the


studio. ?500,000. How on earth have you managed it? I made a Facebook


page called Stephen's story and the whole community where I live has


rallied around me. The amount of people that have got involved has


been incredible. I have been working very hard organising events and


talks. This is what the Teenage Cancer Trust say about you. How does


that make you feel when people say something like that? I find the best


way to help myself is to help others and I am proud of the feeling I get


by doing this and raising money. The Teenage Cancer Trust supported me


when I needed it. What is your favourite moment? Drumming at


Wembley in front of 90,000 people and crowd surfing on a rubber


dinghy. And the elephant yesterday? I stood next to him and his trunk


came round me. I fed him some bread and we had a good date. Do you ever


say why me? The best thing is not to say why me but try me. It is good to


meet you. Thank you very much. And you'll find more information about


Stephen's remarkable story on the Midlands Today Facebook page. Now,


off to the great outdoors. Could robots and drones replace farmers?


Or at least become an important part of modern agriculture ` monitoring


the harvest from the air as the robots work in the fields? Our Rural


Affairs Correspondent David Gregory`Kumar has been given a


special tour of the cutting edge of farming.


This is the opening of Harper Adams University's ?3 million Agricultural


Engineering Innovation Centre in Newport, Shropshire. And can you


spot what's missing from these tractors and quad bikes? No steering


wheel. What we are looking at is one of our greatest tractors and turning


it into a robotic tractor. We are ticking off the steering wheel and


controls and putting it under computer control. Although a person


is in charge of it, there is no steering wheel. The college at


Newport in Shropshire is building the agricultural robots of the


future. We are getting big tractors coming in which is about economies


of scale. I cannot see tractors being doubled the size in ten years


time. Where can we make savings and efficiencies? This robot is designed


to trundle around a vineyard and check the health of vines. Something


like this could check on weeds and apply weedkiller the individual


leaves. Robots may well be the future but in agriculture the drones


are already here. If you fly over a crop with this technology and give


the data to a scientist, he can look at the imagery and work out what


needs to be done with the soil conditions. The machines are coming


to a field or orchard near you. Dan's here with the sport. What a


cracking night it was at Villa Park! The Villa manager says he is very


proud of his players after last night's match.


By the end of the night, the Villa fans were jubilant. It had all


looked so different 90 minutes earlier. Albion's new Head Coach


Pepe Mel had barely taken his seat before his team were ahead through


Chris Brunt's stunning strike. And when Fabian Delph scored an own goal


to put Albion two up before we'd even played ten minutes Villa Park


was stunned. But just like the reverse fixture at the Hawthorns a


two`goal lead would not be enough for the Baggies. Andi Weimann got


the first one back and we had still only played thirteen minutes. Then


came a huge stroke of luck as Leandro Bacuna's sliced shot flew


off his own face and into the net. If that goal was fortunate Villa's


third was sublime as Delph made amends for his own goal with a


brilliant strike Ben Foster barely saw as it flew past him. But just as


Villa seemed to have control a sweet passing move saw Yussuf Mulumbu draw


Albion level .Six goals and we still hadn't reached half`time. Inevitably


the second half was tenser and tighter but Villa won it when Diego


Lugano fouled Christian Benteke and the Belgian kept his cool under


pressure to clinch a critical victory. It was a great derby game


to play in and we have come out with three points. The score of 30 away


`` 3`0 away is great. It was my first time of going to a football


match in England and I am very excited because I support the love.


`` Villa. It leaves Villa in the top half while Albion are just two


points above the relegation zone. This though was a night that will


live long in the memories of those who watched it, especially if you're


a Villa fan. But Stoke City, like Albion, are


looking over their shoulders after they lost 1`0 at Sunderland last


night. Adam Johnson scored the goal after goalkeeper Asmir Begovic had


only managed to parry a shot. Stoke also has Steven Nzonzi sent off but


were unlucky not to get a draw. This header from Ryan Shawcross was among


a number of good chances they created. So where exactly does all


that leave our three clubs in terms of Premier League survival? Well,


let's take a look at the bottom of the table. This is the bottom seven.


Villa are well above there and are now eight points above the


relegation zone. But Albion and Stoke have just a three point


cushion. And they play Liverpool and Manchester United next. And of


course, the January transfer window closes tomorrow ` but Wolves have


made a signing today. And he's one of their former players. They signed


striker Leon Clarke from Coventry City.


The fee's around ?750,000. He's played for 14 different clubs now.


He scored this hat`trick for Chesterfield. And tomorrow we'll be


watching out for all the transfers in and out of our clubs. We'll have


very latest in our bulletins throughout the day including the


late bulletin at 10.25. Thanks, Dan. And the way the


weather's been lately it's a wonder we've had any sport at all! At least


we had a change from the rain today in central Birmingham ` snow! Quite


heavy for a while and an absolute joy if you were shopping in it, as I


was(!) Time for the forecast and I'm beginning to think you're going


off me, Nick, it has certainly felt a lot colder today ` the first


wintry weather we've had for some time. We even got some snow flurries


as you said. This January was the wettest since records began in 1910.


We have seen twice the average rainfall in the Midlands. But the


temperatures have been above average selectors felt a little milder.


Tonight we have some cold weather to content worth. There could be some


clear spells and some pockets of fog and frost forming. Temperatures have


not climbed very much the said they do not have far to fall but you


could get into minus figures. As we look at the West, the next band of


rain begins to make its way across the country. We have 17 flood


warnings in place already, and 21 flood alerts across the Midlands. If


you're worried you can call Floodline. So tomorrow starts off


cold and dry, but cloud will start to build ahead of the rain moving


in. Winds are also strengthening Tonight's headlines from the BBC.


That rain will be every `` heavy. Temperatures will be better than


today but those winds will pick up so it will feel quite chilly and


that rain will stick with us through tomorrow and finally cleared away.


Showers could start to fall as wintry weather so it will be a


chilly start to Saturday. There will be high spring tides which will


compound the flooding problems or speech and to your forecast during


the weekend. Tonight's headlines from the BBC.


The military arrives to help with flood relief in Somerset, where some


communities have been cut off for weeks: And staff were injured and


protestors arrested in violent clashes at the University of


Birmingham. Police describe it as serious public disorder. That was


the Midlands Today. I'll be back at ten o'clock. Have a great evening.




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