05/02/2014 Midlands Today


05/02/2014

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Welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines: Missing from Birmingham

:00:00.:00:10.

for eight months. Police arrest a 34`year`old man on suspicion of

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murdering Lisa Bennett. I know in my heart she's no longer with us, but

:00:16.:00:20.

where is she? Police reveal Lisa hadn't touched her bank account

:00:21.:00:23.

since she went missing. Also tonight: A brighter future for the

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Blues. The promise from the owners of Birmingham City after the

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departure of Carson Yeung. The new chairman will take over now and he

:00:33.:00:36.

is a very experienced person. Dishing the dirt. A Black Country

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council promises to get tough on dog muck. They're knowingly doing this

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when they think less people are around, particularly in the winter

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and it's got to stop. We are fed up with it. Farewell to Bert Williams.

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Warm tributes to the former Wolves and England goalkeeper at a packed

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memorial service. He was a wonderful man to the people. If you consider

:01:08.:01:11.

the effects of today's weather and multiply it by three you know what

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to expect before the end of the week. There will be more details

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later in the forecast. Good evening. Police investigating

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the disappearance of a woman who vanished eight months ago have

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arrested a man on suspicion of murder. Lisa Bennett was last seen

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in Birmingham in May last year, in the Northfield area of the city.

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Officers have spent the day searching an address at a block of

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flats after the arrest of a 34`year`old. Lisa's mother made a

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tearful appeal for information about her missing daughter. Joanne

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Writtle's report contains flash photography.

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This is the worst day of my life. I always expected that one day I would

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get a knock on the door to say that Lisa had an overdose or something

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but never expected it to be like this. Janet Bennett speaks out as

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police launch a murder inquiry following her daughter's

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disappearance. Lisa Bennett was a cocaine and heroin addict. She also

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had alcohol problems and needed regular medication for Crohn's

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disease. She disappeared in Birmingham eight months ago but what

:02:24.:02:30.

happened to her is a mystery. I know in my heart she's no longer with us

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but where is she? There's nothing of her. There's no clothes. Just

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nothing at all. It's as if she didn't even exist, but she did. I

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just want to find her and bring her home. And have closure so we can

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grieve. My concern is, and I have to conclude that, she has been in some

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way taken advantage of because I can't see that she's still with us.

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All of the usual things that you and I would do during the course of our

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daily life, make calls, contact your bank, go to the Post Office, she's

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not done any of that. Lisa's family ties are in Staffordshire. Police

:03:19.:03:29.

have searched a flat here in the Bournbrook area of Birmingham. A man

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arrested on suspicion of murder is being questioned. Meanwhile, Lisa's

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sister and mother say she was trying to kick her addiction problems and

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as the search for clues continues tonight, they're desperate for

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information. She ale never be able to sort herself out. `` she will

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never be able to sort herself out. It's not knowing and not being able

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to find her that's the most upsetting part, somebody must know

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what's happened to her, somebody. I just want somebody to come forward

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and... Find her. We want closure. I am joined now by our special

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correspondent Peter Wilson. Can you put things into context for us, how

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often do people go missing? When you look at the figures they're

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absolutely staggering, for a period between 2011 and 12 across England

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and Wales, 280,000 people went missing. That averages out at one

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person being reported missing every two minutes. Here in the West

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Midlands it was 14,500 and national nationally 350 unidentified bodies

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turned up linked to missing people. So would you say the police are more

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professional f you like, about the way thee deal with these cases? I

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think in the past with my own personal experience the police

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sometimes useded to dismiss the disappearance of teenagers and

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especially drug addicts. They are much more scientific now and are

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aware criminals will target people like Lisa Bennett. We have seen very

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high`profile cases of missing people here in our region, what springs to

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mind is the two schoolboys, who disappeared together on Boxing Day

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1996 and just like Lisa Bennett, they haven't accessed any medical

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services or bank accounts and you saw with Lisa's family today the

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terrible heartache that occurs when families don't know what's happened

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to their loved ones. Thank you. You are watching Midlands Today.

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Coming up: Stoke celebrates one of its most famous sons, a Blue Plaque

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for Robbie Williams '40th birthday. The owners of Birmingham City claim

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the football club has a brighter future after shareholders today

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agreed a plan to raise up to ?20 million in new investment. Former

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chairman Carson Yeung, who faces money laundering charges in Hong

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Kong, resigned all his positions at the club yesterday. Juliana Liu

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reports. The Shangri`La Hotel in Hong Kong,

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the setting for a special gathering of investors in Birmingham

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International Holdings, the company that owns the Birmingham City

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Football Club. Its chief executive, Peter Pannu told me that all

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shareholders have agreed to this plan to raise almost ?20 million in

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new money to repay debt and improve the club's finances.

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Trading in the company's shares has been suspended since the then

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chairman Carson Yeung was arrested on money laundering charges in 2011.

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Something it is trying to reverse. If we assume we will have capital,

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we will support the club, the new chairman, we will take over now and

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he is a very experienced person and I am sure he will lead the whole

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group and including the club to a right direction and brighter

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direction. MrYeung, seen here at his trial, stepped down from all

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positions with the company and club this week. He remains the club's

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majority shareholder. A verdict in his trial is expected this month.

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That's potentially good news for the Blues ap the manager Lee Clarke ``

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and the manager Lee Clarke. The club has struggled under Mr Yeung. Fans

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are hoping a change of leadership will put the team on surer footing.

:07:34.:07:38.

Breaking news, a Midlands MP who found himself at the centre of a row

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over a Nazi`themed stag party in France has announced he is to stand

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down at the next election. Aidan Burley was elected as Conservative

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MP for can knock chase `` Cannock Chase in 2010. What has he had to

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say? It's all very positive and makes no mention of the Nazi`themed

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stag party that got him into this mess. It starts by saying that it

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was a wonderful surprise to win Cannock Chase, it was the biggest

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swing of the 2010 election, a majority of around 3,000. It goes on

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to say he has been proud to deliver positive things and it's been a

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privilege to represent the people. In the last paragraph does he go on

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to say after a difficult time that he has decided to announce that he

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will be standing down at the next general election. And so an internal

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Tory Party investigation said he caused deep offence by organising a

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Nazi`themed stag party in 2011. How much damage did that do to him

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politically do you think? I think probably massively. There was an

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enormous furore at the time when the pictures were published. The

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incident was a French ski resort in December of 2011. It was about the

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extent of MrBurley's involvement. There was Nazi saluteking and

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chanting. He did distance himself. `` saluteing. It never really went

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away this incident. He seemed to recover and has been in the Sunday

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papers for the past two contechtive weeks. The `` consecutive weeks. The

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Prime Minister saying it was offensive and foolish. It appears it

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has broken MrBurley. Thank you. The Metropolitan Police have

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confirmed that the commissioner has met MP Andrew Mitch toll apologise

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for the role `` Mitchell to apologise for a role of an officer

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in the plebgate affair. The meeting, described as private, took place

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this afternoon. MrMitchell left his position as Chief Whip after a storm

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of controversy followed a row at the gates of Downing Street.

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A fresh report into the death of four`year`old Coventry schoolboy

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Daniel Pelka murdered by his mother and stepfather nearly two years ago,

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has highlighted problems with communication and staffing across

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child protection agencies in the city. Today's revelations follow

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Government demands for more information after an official

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inquiry into Daniel's death. Joan Cummins joins us from Coventry. What

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more have we learned? We have heard about haphazard record`keeping,

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overstretched and inexperienced teams lacking supervision, those

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were basically the themes of today's 18`page report. Human error cannot

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be eliminated from child protection while staff are unsupervised and

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lacking training, that was one of the quotes. The relationship between

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agencies was described as poor. An example given, that the

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communication between hospital and health visitors was actually

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ineffective. The result of underresourced departments, errors

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in decision`making by professionals trying to juggle competing

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priorities. What has the safeguarding board said? They've

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said that there are no surprises within this report. They've said

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they have 15 recommendations, eight of which are still outstanding and

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today they admitted that there was still work to do be done in the ``

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to be done in the city. What I need to say is that we have identified

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problems around in 2012. I cannot say, and the report on progress

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suggests we cannot say that all of those problems have been resolved.

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So I think no board chair can say always that all children will be

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safe and that similar deaths will not happen. So human error, mistakes

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and yet no one disciplined. Indeed. The board said that discipline isn't

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their remit. The city council said they have referred the matter to the

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social workers statutory body who are investigating further the role

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of social workers in this and they say there's just one social worker

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who was involved in the case still working for them. The Health

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Authority say they have complied totally with all the reviews and say

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they've implemented appropriate increased supervision and training.

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Prime Minister David Cameron today pledged to do what he can to keep

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Dunlop Motorsport in Birmingham. His promise came after Erdington's

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Labour MP Jack Dromey said the tyre firm is threatening to end

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production in the city, putting more than 240 jobs at risk. Mr Dromey

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believes other sites in the city are available.

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Will the Prime Minister join with the Business Secretary and I in

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urging Goodyear Dunlop to look at alternatives and not walk away from

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years of manufacturing history? I was being briefed on this issue

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before coming to the chamber. I am very happy to look carefully at it

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and see what can be done. The recovery of the automotive sector,

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particularly in the West Midlands has been hugely welcome for our

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country. Dunlop is an historic name and brand and I will do everything I

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can to work with the Business secretary and him to get a good

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outcome. This is our top story:

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Missing from Birmingham for eight months. Police arrest a 34`year`old

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man on suspicion of murdering Lisa Bennett.

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Shefali will be along with the forecast. Also, goodbye, Bert.

:13:22.:13:27.

Wolverhampton says a final farewell to one of its all`time footballing

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greats. And Stoke marks Robbie Williams birthday.

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It's a common, revolting and recurring problem ` dog muck. Today,

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a Black Country Council has launched a hard`hitting poster campaign to

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fight dog`fouling on its streets and in its parks. Sandwell Council

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received more than 800 complaints last year from residents about the

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problem. And, in the last six months have issued more than 80 ?75 fines

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to owners who don't clean up after their pets. Today's zero tolerance

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pledge has ` not surprisingly ` sparked plenty of comment on our

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Facebook page. Stacey Wyatt welcomed the posters saying, It's about time

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for Sandwell. If you have a dog and it goes to the toilet in the street

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you should pick it up ` disgusting. Linda Tylee thinks it's impossible

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to police or enforce. As long as there are people who have no common

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decency and allow their dogs to foul in public areas then this problem is

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here to stay. Lynne Edwards also wonders, for this

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to work you actually have to carry out the fines. Spraying signs on the

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floor and putting up posters does not work.

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Diana Powell offers a different solution saying, 30 years ago l had

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problems with this in Leominster and the powers that be put in dog

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wardens ` it worked. So, will the problem finally be sorted in

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Sandwell? Bob Hockenhull reports. Lightwoods Park in Bearwood,

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frequented by hundreds of dogs. But the mess doesn't always get cleaned

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up, to the annoyance of responsible owners. It's all over the pavement

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and everywhere. It's not very nice at all. The council's fed up, too.

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Wardens have issued more than 80 ?75 fines. The warden service receives

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complaints relating to dog fouling, it's a serious problem. It does

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upset me because it costs thousands to clean up. If you see a doggy

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doo... Dog fouling is not a new problem in Sandwell. Bob Carolegees

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tried to persuade owners to mend theirerant ways. Drop it in the bin.

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Lovely and clean. But 25 years later, a new approach to this social

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menace may be tried out. The council is hoping to reward people who

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report offenders. They could get ?50 paid for from the fines. With the

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cuts we face we only have 14 wardens. Sandwell is a big area. I

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am appealing to the public to report this. It's got to stop. We are fed

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up with it. Posters are to be put up warning the public they face fines.

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The move's been welcomed by park users. Looking at the posters

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they're light`hearted in a way, as well as being hard`hitting. It will

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get people to think. Those who have to clean up certainly hope so. It

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costs councils ?22 million a year to deal with dog mess.

:16:37.:16:45.

Wolverhampton said goodbye to one of its true sporting greats today as a

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memorial service was held in the city for the former Wolves and

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England goalkeeper Bert Williams. Bert, who died last month aged 93,

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made 420 appearances for Wolves at a time when the Molineux club were one

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of European football's major forces. Ian Winter reports. It's not

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everyday the Cannock Chase Orpheus Choir choose to sing in their

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scarves. But it's not every day they get a chance to celebrate the life

:17:27.:17:29.

of England's oldest international footballer. Bert Williams, MBE,

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played 420 games in goal for Wolves. It was no surprise to see the

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goalkeepers union out in force to pay tribute. We will never see his

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like again? This man was truly brilliant. For me I am getting on in

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age now, but he became ` I went to his 90th birthday and he was lovely

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and well, well remembered. Certainly by me and a lot of Wolverhampton

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people, yeah. It was an emotional afternoon too for Rachel Heyhoe

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Flint. She's known Bert since she was a young girl growing up,

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passionate about cricket and in love with the Wolves. Today the term

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legend is used so many times but to Bert it really is a legend. If many

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of our modern day sportsmen could emulate the type of behaviour Bert

:18:24.:18:28.

portrayed that could be his legacy. There are one or two players that

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think they're great and they're not. But Bert was a great goalkeeper and

:18:32.:18:38.

was unassuming with it. # Somewhere over the rainbow...

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This was Bert's favourite song, the perfect choice for a man who always

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said he felt so grateful to have played for Wolves, he would have

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played for nothing. His many talents even included writing poetry. My

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life has been a fulfilled dream. You see how lucky I have been.

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No wonder it was standing room only inside St Peter's Church today to

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celebrate the remarkable life of Bert Williams MBE.

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You can read more about the memorial service at St Peter's today on the

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BBC Black Country website. Next week is a major milestone in

:19:29.:19:32.

the life of Robbie Williams, when he celebrates his 40th birthday. And

:19:33.:19:35.

while the singer will be partying at his home in Los Angeles, his home

:19:36.:19:38.

city of Stoke`on`Trent will be holding a series of events in his

:19:39.:19:41.

honour. The celebrations started in the city today and Ben Sidwell is

:19:42.:19:45.

there for us now. It's fair to say they're proud of Robbie, aren't

:19:46.:19:48.

they? Absolutely. Welcome to a secret location in Stoke`on`Trent,

:19:49.:19:52.

but the pictures and some of these awards might give you a clue as to

:19:53.:19:56.

who lives here. It's not Robbie himself, we will find out who it is

:19:57.:19:58.

in a few moments. As you said, today has been all

:19:59.:20:04.

about Robbie and his 40th as I have been finding out.

:20:05.:20:13.

For a lad from Stoke Robbie Williams has done all right for himself

:20:14.:20:19.

during his 40 years. As pupils from his primary school

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sang the songs now known across the world in a city where he was born

:20:24.:20:30.

birthday celebrations began. Until today there hasn't been anything in

:20:31.:20:33.

all honesty and that was the point, it was to get a tourist trail, to

:20:34.:20:36.

get streets named after him. It was to get stuff in the museum belonging

:20:37.:20:41.

to him so people know that this is Robbie Williams' home city. Today

:20:42.:20:46.

the first plaque of the new tourist trail was unveiled. It was at the

:20:47.:20:55.

park where Robbie used to play. We were all praying he was going to

:20:56.:20:58.

be here today because we all really love him and cherish him and really

:20:59.:21:03.

are happy we can do this for him today. He has done a lot for

:21:04.:21:08.

Stoke`on`Trent, for children, his music has taken the world by storm

:21:09.:21:12.

and everyone should look up to him. Fans from across the world will be

:21:13.:21:15.

coming to Stoke`on`Trent this weekend to join in celebrations,

:21:16.:21:19.

among the attractions a collection of paintings from an Italian fan. It

:21:20.:21:25.

doesn't happen every day when you have artwork travel travelling from

:21:26.:21:35.

Italy. It is very important. In the room below the gallery two men who

:21:36.:21:40.

know Robbie well. Scott and Richard have written many songs for him. You

:21:41.:21:46.

can speak ` listen to some star talking about the life and you

:21:47.:21:48.

wouldn't know from their accent or anything they say where they've come

:21:49.:21:54.

from but he has always kept Stoke`on`Trent right at the forof of

:21:55.:22:01.

`` foreof any conversation. He might be celebrating in Los Angeles, but

:22:02.:22:04.

in Stoke`on`Trent there will be quite a party for one of its most

:22:05.:22:11.

famous sons. As Robbie is in LA, we can't speak

:22:12.:22:16.

to him, sadly, but we have the next best thing, his dad, Pete. Thank you

:22:17.:22:20.

for letting us in your home, first of all. Secondly, today has just

:22:21.:22:24.

been fantastic. What have you made of it? It's been the most amazing

:22:25.:22:28.

day, other than the weather which was awful. But so many people turned

:22:29.:22:33.

out for the Blue Plaque ceremony in the park. They gave me a special one

:22:34.:22:42.

to send to Rob which I will do later tonight which I am pleased about.

:22:43.:22:44.

It's the first time anything like this has been done in the city. It's

:22:45.:22:49.

taken a while to recognise him. It's aimmigrationing, they've been ``

:22:50.:22:52.

it's amazing. They've been good the council and the papers, because he

:22:53.:22:58.

is a patron of the hospice here there's so much happening in the

:22:59.:23:02.

future this is just the first one today and then on Friday there is a

:23:03.:23:07.

museum opening. And a big occasion at Port Vale on Saturday. I know you

:23:08.:23:12.

have spoken to Robbie in the last 30 minutes himself, what has he made of

:23:13.:23:16.

it? I just spoke to him before we came on air. He said that he can't

:23:17.:23:21.

get over it, the magnitude of the things that have happened and I

:23:22.:23:24.

spoke to him last week and I told him what was happening and he said,

:23:25.:23:27.

do you think people will turn up? Well, they have. They absolutely

:23:28.:23:31.

have. There's been a lot of people. Plenty more to come, fans from all

:23:32.:23:37.

across Europe will be here in Stoke this weekend. Back to you.

:23:38.:23:42.

Thank you. We are fed up of looking at it and battling through it.

:23:43.:23:48.

Shefali is probably fed up talking about it! Will this carry on?

:23:49.:23:54.

Probably, wind speeds of around 60mph today and up to an inch of

:23:55.:23:57.

rain in the west of the region. I would like to mention the

:23:58.:24:04.

floodline, because you will probably need it in the days to come.

:24:05.:24:12.

We have many flood warnings in force as you probably know and more rain

:24:13.:24:16.

over the next few days. The floodline has changed from a premium

:24:17.:24:23.

rate to non`premium rate. This is how much rain we have to

:24:24.:24:27.

come over the next few days. A couple of inches, and that

:24:28.:24:32.

translates on the pressure chart as this bunched up area of fronts that

:24:33.:24:35.

are feeding up from the south tomorrow afternoon, bringing the

:24:36.:24:39.

first lot of rain. Although I am not underestimating the impact of that

:24:40.:24:43.

it's this beast pushing in from the west Friday night into Saturday

:24:44.:24:46.

that's going to be the more troublesome of the two with the

:24:47.:24:50.

first lot being tamer than this one. You can see why, we have this tight

:24:51.:24:56.

coil of isobars wrapped around and this indicates winds will be

:24:57.:24:59.

stronger with the second lot of rain that comes through. Back to this

:25:00.:25:03.

evening, the rain we have had today is still around. We could see

:25:04.:25:07.

encounter heavy bursts across the north of the region. Eventually this

:25:08.:25:10.

lot is going to start to spill away to the east and leave us with

:25:11.:25:14.

largely dry conditions to end the night and clearer spells, as well.

:25:15.:25:19.

Temperatures will be above freezing. We have no problems with frost. But

:25:20.:25:23.

the winds will calm down as we head into the start of tomorrow. Tomorrow

:25:24.:25:27.

morning is not looking too bad. It's dryer, it's also calmer. But not for

:25:28.:25:31.

long. We have the next deluge sweeping up from the south and this

:25:32.:25:36.

is going to be through the afternoon and spilling into all parts by the

:25:37.:25:42.

end of the day. We are looking at around 15`30 milimetres by the end

:25:43.:25:45.

of it all which should be by the end of tomorrow night into the early

:25:46.:25:48.

hours of Friday. Thank you. The headlines from the

:25:49.:25:57.

BBC: Thousands of homes without power. And missing for eight months,

:25:58.:26:01.

police arrest a 34`year`old man on suspicion of murdering Lisa Bennett.

:26:02.:26:05.

That was the Midlands Today. I will be back at 10.00pm with reaction

:26:06.:26:09.

from the Conservative Club to the news that the MP Aidan bury will

:26:10.:26:17.

stand down at the `` Burley will stand down at

:26:18.:26:18.

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