05/02/2014 Midlands Today


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Welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines: Missing from Birmingham


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


later in the forecast. Good evening. Police investigating


the disappearance of a woman who vanished eight months ago have


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


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


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


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


tearful appeal for information about her missing daughter. Joanne


Writtle's report contains flash photography.


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


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


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


police launch a murder inquiry following her daughter's


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


had alcohol problems and needed regular medication for Crohn's


disease. She disappeared in Birmingham eight months ago but what


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


think in the past with my own personal experience the police


sometimes useded to dismiss the disappearance of teenagers and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the football club has a brighter future after shareholders today


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


chairman Carson Yeung, who faces money laundering charges in Hong


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


reports. The Shangri`La Hotel in Hong Kong,


the setting for a special gathering of investors in Birmingham


International Holdings, the company that owns the Birmingham City


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


group and including the club to a right direction and brighter


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Tory Party investigation said he caused deep offence by organising a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


has broken MrBurley. Thank you. The Metropolitan Police have


confirmed that the commissioner has met MP Andrew Mitch toll apologise


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


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


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


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


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


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


has highlighted problems with communication and staffing across


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


Government demands for more information after an official


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


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


overstretched and inexperienced teams lacking supervision, those


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


be eliminated from child protection while staff are unsupervised and


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


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


communication between hospital and health visitors was actually


ineffective. The result of underresourced departments, errors


in decision`making by professionals trying to juggle competing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


social workers statutory body who are investigating further the role


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


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


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


they've implemented appropriate increased supervision and training.


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


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


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


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


believes other sites in the city are available.


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


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


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


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


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


particularly in the West Midlands has been hugely welcome for our


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


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


outcome. This is our top story:


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


man on suspicion of murdering Lisa Bennett.


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


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


greats. And Stoke marks Robbie Williams birthday.


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


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


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


received more than 800 complaints last year from residents about the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


here to stay. Lynne Edwards also wonders, for this


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


floor and putting up posters does not work.


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


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


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


Sandwell? Bob Hockenhull reports. Lightwoods Park in Bearwood,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


everyday the Cannock Chase Orpheus Choir choose to sing in their


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


celebrate the remarkable life of Bert Williams MBE.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


during his 40 years. As pupils from his primary school


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are feeding up from the south tomorrow afternoon, bringing the


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


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


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


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


coil of isobars wrapped around and this indicates winds will be


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


hours of Friday. Thank you. The headlines from the


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


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


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


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


stand down at the `` Burley will stand down at


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