06/02/2014 Midlands Today


06/02/2014

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LineFromTo

Peter, thank you. That's all from the BBC

:00:00.:00:17.

Here in the Midlands... Time to draw a line says David

:00:18.:00:22.

Cameron after this stag party cost an MP his political career.

:00:23.:00:29.

He behaved wrongly, he has admitted that and we should move on from

:00:30.:00:30.

that. And hailed a hero ` the security

:00:31.:00:34.

guard who fought off a gang of robbers who were armed with an axe.

:00:35.:00:39.

One year after the Stafford Hospital in quarry and Europe report assesses

:00:40.:00:43.

how its findings have changed the NHS.

:00:44.:00:49.

All of us are focused on what Francis has said and all of us don't

:00:50.:00:52.

want that to happen in our hospitals, so it has had an impact.

:00:53.:00:56.

A moment to treasure for the rest of his life ` a Solihull speed skater

:00:57.:01:00.

chosen to carry the GB flag at the Winter Olympics.

:01:01.:01:02.

I did not expect it, I think there were a lot of strong candidates in

:01:03.:01:05.

our team, great group of guys and girls, so to be selected was

:01:06.:01:07.

fantastic. And when there's a warning up you

:01:08.:01:11.

know it's serious. It's wet out there ` very wet, and set to get

:01:12.:01:15.

even wetter before the weekend. Want to know more? Then join me later.

:01:16.:01:22.

Good evening. The Prime Minister says Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley

:01:23.:01:28.

has done the right thing by standing down. The MP himself has thanked

:01:29.:01:31.

constituents for their overwhelming messages of support. He decided to

:01:32.:01:37.

go in the face of continuing controversy over a Nazi`themed stag

:01:38.:01:40.

night ` something he says he deeply regrets. In a moment, I'll be

:01:41.:01:46.

discussing the fallout from Mr Burley's decision with our political

:01:47.:01:49.

editor Patrick Burns. But first here's Joanne Writtle.

:01:50.:01:51.

David Cameron at a Birmingham school with football pundit Gary Lineker.

:01:52.:01:57.

But with the political storm over Aidan Burley's decision to quit

:01:58.:02:00.

blowing right to the top, the PM spoke out.

:02:01.:02:08.

I think he has made the right decision. He worked very hard in

:02:09.:02:13.

Cannock, particularly on issues like the hospital. Obviously there was

:02:14.:02:19.

that report by David Gold fund found he had `` that found he had behaved

:02:20.:02:23.

foolishly and wrongly and that is why he has made this decision, which

:02:24.:02:27.

I think is the right decision, and we should move on from that.

:02:28.:02:30.

Aidan Burley was a Tory golden boy, winning the Cannock Chase seat in

:02:31.:02:33.

2010 with the biggest swing in the country, ending 18 years of Labour

:02:34.:02:36.

in Cannock. But he was sacked as a ministerial

:02:37.:02:39.

aide after being filmed at a Nazi`themed stag party.

:02:40.:02:41.

In his constituency today, his decision to stand down as MP at the

:02:42.:02:52.

next election was big news. He knew better than to get involved

:02:53.:02:58.

in that, surely! He is so young, and I am sold remember everything.

:02:59.:03:05.

He has been a good MP for the area, particularly when we had the trouble

:03:06.:03:08.

with the hospital. He supported the hospital all the way.

:03:09.:03:15.

Meanwhile, out canvassing, a man most likely to benefit from Aidan

:03:16.:03:18.

Burley's move ` Labour election candidate Janos Toth.

:03:19.:03:24.

He has brought shame to our constituency with the antics he

:03:25.:03:27.

carried out in France. What do I mean by that? We find out recently

:03:28.:03:33.

he purchased a Nazi uniform that he gave to the groom who he was the

:03:34.:03:37.

best man for and then they went partying in France.

:03:38.:03:44.

In the party there is great support for Aidan Burley, with many

:03:45.:03:50.

respecting him as a hard`working MP. At his constituency office in

:03:51.:03:53.

Cannock it was business as usual today, with Mr Burley himself saying

:03:54.:03:59.

in a statement, I am pleased it is all behind me now and I am pleased

:04:00.:04:02.

to serve the people of Cannock Chase over the next 15 months.

:04:03.:04:04.

Aidan Burley spearheaded the campaign to save Cannock Hospital

:04:05.:04:07.

from closure and ran local jobs fairs. But it's unclear what he'll

:04:08.:04:14.

do next, though one man was awash with new ideas.

:04:15.:04:17.

It might be best for him to perhaps start again at something else. He

:04:18.:04:21.

can have a job with me if he wants! For now though, Aidan Burley will be

:04:22.:04:27.

MP until the next election. And our Political Editor Patrick

:04:28.:04:30.

Burns is with me now. Obviously Aidan Burley has been under intense

:04:31.:04:36.

pressure. Was the timing of this decision last night a surprise or

:04:37.:04:39.

was there an element of inevitability about it?

:04:40.:04:42.

I think, really, events had moved decisively against him. First of

:04:43.:04:48.

all, that Conservative Party report we were hearing about which branded

:04:49.:04:52.

his actions stupid and offensive. No less significantly, the Sunday

:04:53.:04:57.

papers that signalled their determination not to let go of this.

:04:58.:05:01.

There comes a point where it is a political judgement, irrespective of

:05:02.:05:04.

the merits of the arguments on either side. Is it possible any

:05:05.:05:09.

longer to limit the damage or will he forever beat high as the man

:05:10.:05:13.

involved in that notorious stag party? `` will he forever be tagged.

:05:14.:05:21.

One MP whose family lost loved ones at an Nazi extermination camp thinks

:05:22.:05:25.

this decision has not come one moment too soon.

:05:26.:05:30.

I think it wouldn't have come to this if, over two years ago, after

:05:31.:05:34.

this party, he had told the truth about what had happened, his role in

:05:35.:05:37.

it, and if he apologised properly at the time I think it would never have

:05:38.:05:42.

to write on. It would never have got to this, it would have been dealt

:05:43.:05:45.

with at the time, I think. It is a shattering fall from grace

:05:46.:05:48.

for someone who was a rising star in the 2010 intake.

:05:49.:05:52.

He achieved the result of the election for the Conservatives, a

:05:53.:05:57.

14% swing in Cannock Chase, a staggering result. He rose very

:05:58.:06:01.

quickly, influential on changes to the police services and towards the

:06:02.:06:06.

end he was actually Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Private

:06:07.:06:11.

Secretary `` Transport Secretary Tony was really on his way before

:06:12.:06:17.

that trip to the French Alps. Where does this leave his

:06:18.:06:22.

constituents for the next 15 months? Well, the Labour council leader in

:06:23.:06:27.

Cannock Chase says he should go now because they would otherwise have a

:06:28.:06:30.

lame`duck MP, but frankly during the latter stages of any Parliament

:06:31.:06:35.

there are plenty of MPs serving out their time, including many who have

:06:36.:06:37.

actually been deselected. That is not a fate that has befallen

:06:38.:06:43.

Aidan Burley and I am sure he will be an active MP and determined to

:06:44.:06:47.

see this out to the end. Coming up later in the programme...

:06:48.:06:50.

Reservoirs overflowing and adding to flooding fears, with even more rain

:06:51.:06:52.

on the way. A security guard has been hailed a

:06:53.:06:59.

hero after fighting off a gang of robbers who were armed with an axe.

:07:00.:07:03.

The police cordoned off a road in Dudley, where the attack took place.

:07:04.:07:06.

The thieves were trying to get money being delivered to a bank ` a so

:07:07.:07:10.

called cash in transit robbery ` a type of crime that is on the

:07:11.:07:13.

increase again. Our special correspondent, Peter Wilson has this

:07:14.:07:15.

report. This is the security guard working

:07:16.:07:21.

for G4S who refused to hand over a box of cash. Three men pounced as he

:07:22.:07:25.

delivered the money to Barclays bank in dudley. `` Dudley. They were

:07:26.:07:31.

armed with an axe. The security guard suffered minor bruising and

:07:32.:07:34.

asked us to protect his identity. The cash vans are very well

:07:35.:07:37.

protected. It's the guards walking from their vans which are often the

:07:38.:07:42.

weak link. It was like a fight, they were

:07:43.:07:46.

fighting, I thought, until I got up and had a look and it was more the

:07:47.:07:51.

gentleman trying to pool something off him, of the security man. The

:07:52.:07:57.

cash box? Yes, he was trying to pull it off and get hold of it.

:07:58.:08:01.

He had something in his hand, as well. I don't know what it was, like

:08:02.:08:06.

an axe. Hours after the attack, the security guard remained at the scene

:08:07.:08:09.

helping the police with their investigation.

:08:10.:08:14.

The security guard would not give me his name. He did say that he was in

:08:15.:08:19.

his mid`50s, that he was a family man and that he had been determined

:08:20.:08:24.

not to give that cash box to the Raiders. I said to him that,

:08:25.:08:28.

clearly, he had been a hero. He said he was simply doing his job. Painful

:08:29.:08:31.

memories. Watching the crime scene, Rod

:08:32.:08:34.

Phillips. 20 years ago he was held up by armed robbers while delivering

:08:35.:08:38.

cash. The advice usually is not to resist.

:08:39.:08:46.

We were taught not to argue with shotguns or baseball bats or

:08:47.:08:49.

anything like that. What injuries did you receive?

:08:50.:08:55.

I received an injured shoulder by a baseball bat.

:08:56.:08:57.

Armed police sometimes escort security vans delivering cash.

:08:58.:09:02.

Nationally, in some areas cash in transit robberies have doubled. But

:09:03.:09:04.

the raiders today fled empty`handed. Parents of children at a Redditch

:09:05.:09:13.

nursery, where a member of staff was arrested, are meeting police this

:09:14.:09:17.

evening. An employee at the Crabbs Cross branch of Bright KIDS was

:09:18.:09:20.

arrested earlier this week and released on bail after a parent

:09:21.:09:25.

contacted officers. The West Mercia police say they have no ongoing

:09:26.:09:28.

concerns for the welfare of children.

:09:29.:09:36.

Hospitals are more focused on quality of care, but the regulation

:09:37.:09:41.

is still complex and confusing. That's the view of independent

:09:42.:09:44.

research to coincide with the first anniversary of the publication of

:09:45.:09:47.

the Francis Report into the failings at Stafford Hospital. Our health

:09:48.:09:49.

correspondent, Michele Paduano, has been to see what has changed in the

:09:50.:09:53.

health service in the last 12 months.

:09:54.:09:56.

These are the people on the front line that make the difference. 60%

:09:57.:10:01.

of all care is provided by health care assistants. In Stoke`on`Trent,

:10:02.:10:03.

they are now being taught about dementia and how to stimulate

:10:04.:10:08.

elderly patients' memories. And one time we were not getting

:10:09.:10:11.

much training, but this has opened a few doors for us, so we are getting

:10:12.:10:15.

a lot more training and, like I say, the staff is improving all the

:10:16.:10:18.

time. Giving patients like Joyce Merchant

:10:19.:10:21.

care and dignity is central. Here they have introduced minimum nursing

:10:22.:10:24.

levels on wards and the chief nurse sits on a national body looking at

:10:25.:10:28.

staffing. All of us are focused on what

:10:29.:10:32.

Francis has said and all of us don't want that to happen in our

:10:33.:10:36.

hospitals, so it has made an impact throughout the country, no doubt,

:10:37.:10:44.

and for probably from a field. `` probably further afield.

:10:45.:10:46.

Nobody is suggesting care is perfect.

:10:47.:10:48.

91``year`old Mary Bradley had received poor care at Stafford in

:10:49.:10:51.

the past but is receiving excellent care today. Her daughter says in

:10:52.:10:54.

Walsall Hospital her mother fell recently and broke a bone. She was

:10:55.:10:57.

covered in dried faeces. The Trust has apologised, saying her care was

:10:58.:10:59.

unacceptable. It was horrendous, to say the least.

:11:00.:11:04.

It was traumatic, it was even worse than deja vu, because with Stafford

:11:05.:11:11.

it was a hygiene problem. With Walsall come across`the`board care

:11:12.:11:14.

was appalling. It's a picture that Ken Lownds, who

:11:15.:11:17.

twice met the Health Secretary and coined the phrase "zero harm", still

:11:18.:11:19.

recognises. My feeling on the whole is have

:11:20.:11:25.

positive but have to disappoint a dad not seeing very ever noticed

:11:26.:11:32.

signs of other changes. `` very definite signs. For instance,

:11:33.:11:36.

legislation to bring about the single regulator that the NHS

:11:37.:11:41.

wanted. Getting the right staff with the right attitude is essential, but

:11:42.:11:45.

part of the problem at Stafford is finance, how to carry on improving

:11:46.:11:49.

care with less money. If the circumstances arise where it

:11:50.:11:52.

is impossible to provide acceptable care with the money there, it seems

:11:53.:11:58.

to me the people who know that must say so.

:11:59.:12:00.

You cannot continue to have stories of patients being left in their own

:12:01.:12:02.

faeces. In hospitals, attitudes are

:12:03.:12:05.

changing, but it will take time to completely change the culture.

:12:06.:12:08.

And Michele is outside Stafford Hospital now.

:12:09.:12:17.

What happened at Stafford seems to have entered the consciousness of

:12:18.:12:23.

the NHS as a whole, doesn't it? Yes, from the gloom over Stafford

:12:24.:12:28.

for so long, this is the real ray of hope. Words like duty of candour and

:12:29.:12:35.

zero harm seemed to be embedded in the NHS and a recent survey showed

:12:36.:12:39.

82% of hospitals said they had done something as a result of the

:12:40.:12:43.

Stafford angry and 93% still intend to do so. There are still concerns

:12:44.:12:48.

about reorganisation, the end of regulation that is complex and

:12:49.:12:52.

difficult, but one Chief Executives said I would rather be hung now for

:12:53.:12:56.

the money than for quality of care. The future of the hospital itself is

:12:57.:13:01.

still undecided and I hear there are new developments tonight?

:13:02.:13:07.

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State, is due to pronounce on its future a

:13:08.:13:11.

few weeks that matter in a few weeks. But a Conservative MP has

:13:12.:13:16.

written to all GPs in the area as being them for their views as to

:13:17.:13:21.

what should happen to the hospital. If they do not agree with the

:13:22.:13:25.

Clinical Commissioning Group, it could result in a challenge. If they

:13:26.:13:30.

do, it could mean the end for the campaign against the changes. There

:13:31.:13:35.

are concerns tonight about the viability of the accident and

:13:36.:13:39.

emergency department? Yes, there has been talk for some

:13:40.:13:42.

time about reducing the number of hours, apparently around half of the

:13:43.:13:48.

staff working as nurses in that department are actually non`staff,

:13:49.:13:51.

because clearly for so long there have been concerns about the future

:13:52.:13:55.

and many people have been leaving. Obviously that has had an impact on

:13:56.:13:58.

the way they can do their work. Thank you.

:13:59.:14:00.

Our top story tonight... Time to draw a line, says David

:14:01.:14:06.

Cameron, after this Nazi`themed stag party cost the MP for Cannock Chase

:14:07.:14:08.

his political career. Shefali is ready with your detailed

:14:09.:14:15.

weather forecast. Also in tonight's programme, what

:14:16.:14:18.

Juan from crime`ridden streets in Los Angeles had to tell pupils in

:14:19.:14:22.

Birmingham about the perils of gangs and knife crime.

:14:23.:14:28.

Once you are in, there is no way out, and if you do get out there and

:14:29.:14:33.

you live the life where you are at risk, it is duly risky. `` it is

:14:34.:14:39.

really risky. And we meet the Staffordshire

:14:40.:14:42.

teeenager with genuine medal hopes in the Winter Olympics.

:14:43.:14:47.

For consecutive summers, water companies have warned of drought,

:14:48.:14:51.

but, after one of the wettest months on record, there's now a new issue.

:14:52.:14:55.

97% of Severn Trent's reservoirs are full, with some overflowing into

:14:56.:15:02.

already swollen rivers. And, even with 4.2 million homes and

:15:03.:15:04.

businesses to supply, that's enough water to take us right through until

:15:05.:15:08.

September, as Ben Godfrey has been finding out.

:15:09.:15:12.

On the surface, Lake Vyrnwy is a picture of serenity, but look beyond

:15:13.:15:15.

the dam. Millions of gallons of fresh water

:15:16.:15:23.

are bursting through and pouring away.

:15:24.:15:27.

This area of Mid`Wales saw twice the average rainfall in January, and

:15:28.:15:32.

this Victorian reservoir is completely full.

:15:33.:15:38.

I have to say, the volume and noise of this water is extraordinary, and

:15:39.:15:46.

it should find its way into the river seven insurers bray within

:15:47.:15:51.

around 12 hours. `` River Severn in shrews brief. `` Shrewsbury.

:15:52.:15:57.

Two years ago, the Midlands experienced water shortages because

:15:58.:15:59.

there hadn't been sufficient winter rainfall. That won't happen this

:16:00.:16:02.

summer. Severn Trent says a dozen of its reservoirs surrounding the

:16:03.:16:05.

Midlands region are already at capacity.

:16:06.:16:08.

We have enough water now to provide us until September, and that is

:16:09.:16:11.

without further rainfall. Lake Vyrnwy is almost five miles

:16:12.:16:14.

long. It's the size of 600 football

:16:15.:16:18.

pitches and is one of the country's most important environment for

:16:19.:16:19.

birds. Intense rain can alter habitats `

:16:20.:16:24.

something the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is trying to

:16:25.:16:30.

manage. We are feeding the birds twice as

:16:31.:16:34.

much because they are so hungry, and, yes, they are having a rough

:16:35.:16:39.

time. We keep on feeding them and we hope it will not affect the bird

:16:40.:16:44.

count. We have not had any recordings of losses yet.

:16:45.:16:47.

While this dam is doing it's job successfully, this charge of white

:16:48.:16:50.

horses is galloping towards the Midlands, bringing an increased risk

:16:51.:16:51.

of river flooding. A knife surrender is expected to

:16:52.:17:03.

start in the West Midlands in the next few weeks after a number of

:17:04.:17:07.

attacks which have cost too many young lives. Pupils at Moseley

:17:08.:17:10.

School in Birmingham walk past the scene of one such tragedy every day.

:17:11.:17:14.

So what can be done? We can go over live now to Sarah Falkland. What is

:17:15.:17:22.

the school doing, Sarah? A lot of it is that good

:17:23.:17:25.

old`fashioned keeping them on the street and narrow, but that is

:17:26.:17:29.

easier said than done. A lot of it is also about inspiring kids to do

:17:30.:17:32.

the best they can. We just wrapped up a talk here tonight, and

:17:33.:17:37.

18`year`old who delivered it, the current head boy at a public school

:17:38.:17:42.

in Somerset, and he is not exactly from the kind of background you

:17:43.:17:44.

might expect. Juan Luquin is a long way from home.

:17:45.:17:49.

His family are thousands of miles away in Los Angeles. They are

:17:50.:17:56.

illegal immigrants from Mexico. But he's here in Birmingham as a guest

:17:57.:18:00.

speaker at Moseley school because of his incredible journey from poverty

:18:01.:18:03.

to privilege. He grew up in is the notorious South Central part of LA,

:18:04.:18:07.

where there are over 400 gangs. From the age of six he witnessed regular

:18:08.:18:09.

shootings and murders. I've seen about three drive`bys. The

:18:10.:18:13.

most recent one was about five years ago. I was in my house with my

:18:14.:18:19.

friends and heard gunshots, and you just see him lying on the side of

:18:20.:18:23.

the car dead. Those types of events stick with you for the rest of your

:18:24.:18:27.

life. Some students here will never forget

:18:28.:18:30.

what happened 16`year`old Azim Azam. He was stabbed to death less than a

:18:31.:18:34.

quarter of a mile from their school. It was shortly after that that a

:18:35.:18:38.

teacher read about Juan and thought he'd be a good role model.

:18:39.:18:44.

The best way to keep young people safe and out of trouble is to help

:18:45.:18:48.

them be successful. The more students are successful and realise

:18:49.:18:52.

they have a stake in making themselves better and have something

:18:53.:18:54.

to look forward to in the future, the saver they will be. `` the

:18:55.:18:59.

safer. After an interview with the the

:19:00.:19:02.

student newspaper, he will tell an audience of students about how easy

:19:03.:19:06.

it can be to end up as a victim of crime, or even lose your life, or be

:19:07.:19:09.

trapped in a gang. If you have problems at home, or

:19:10.:19:14.

things like that, I know many people who got involved with selling drugs

:19:15.:19:17.

and things like that to support their families, but without their

:19:18.:19:21.

parents knowing. They would come back home with money for their

:19:22.:19:23.

parents. Juan's life could have been so

:19:24.:19:25.

different. As it is, he has another year as

:19:26.:19:29.

head boy at Taunton School in Somerset, then it's back home to the

:19:30.:19:35.

States for University. Just how inspirational was that

:19:36.:19:38.

speech? With me is the head girl, what did you think about what Juan

:19:39.:19:44.

had to say? It was very inspiring, especially for our young leaders to

:19:45.:19:48.

hear about his past. He told us that when he was 16 he

:19:49.:19:52.

was seeing people getting shot. That is not something you hear about in

:19:53.:19:57.

daily life and coming from that background, and becoming a head boy

:19:58.:20:00.

in an established school and being the best you can be, it inspires our

:20:01.:20:05.

students to be the best they can be. What do you want to do?

:20:06.:20:09.

I want to be a children's nurse, so hopefully that is what I will do and

:20:10.:20:14.

I am buried passionate about that. I am going to university for a

:20:15.:20:17.

degree to work in a children's hospital. Best wishes with that. We

:20:18.:20:23.

also had a pastor from Birmingham here speaking tonight, there is

:20:24.:20:25.

quite well`known. If you are wondering how Juan

:20:26.:20:29.

managed to get to that public school in Taunton, he worked very hard at

:20:30.:20:34.

school in Los Angeles, became head boy there, and then won a

:20:35.:20:37.

prestigious scholarship which has paid for everything.

:20:38.:20:39.

A speed skater from Solihull will carry the flag for Britain at the

:20:40.:20:44.

opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Russia. Jon Eley says

:20:45.:20:47.

the honour comes as a complete surprise, and it's a moment he'll

:20:48.:20:51.

treasure for the rest of his life. Nick Clitheroe reports on how six of

:20:52.:20:55.

our athletes will form a key part of a British team looking to win more

:20:56.:20:58.

medals than ever before. Backside double ten!

:20:59.:21:02.

Wow! Jamie Nicholls! The waiting is finally over for

:21:03.:21:06.

Britain's Winter Olympians. Although the first events began this morning,

:21:07.:21:09.

it is tomorrow's opening ceremony which really marks the start of the

:21:10.:21:13.

drama. And no`one will feel that sense of pride more than speed

:21:14.:21:16.

skater Jon Eley, who will carry the British flag into the stadium.

:21:17.:21:19.

It's fantastic, an amazing feeling, I'm just over the moon. I didn't

:21:20.:21:23.

expect it, there's a lot of strong candidates in the team, a lot of

:21:24.:21:27.

great guys and girls, so to be selected was fantastic.

:21:28.:21:29.

This will be Eley's third Olympics. He is joined in the speed skating

:21:30.:21:33.

team by debutant Charlotte Gilmartin from Redditch.

:21:34.:21:35.

There are plenty of first`timers on the British team. Like 18`year`old

:21:36.:21:37.

freestyle skier Rowan Cheshire from Staffordshire. A half pipe gold

:21:38.:21:41.

medal in a recent World Cup event has raised expectations for her.

:21:42.:21:44.

I really want a podium, but just being there is a massive goal for

:21:45.:21:52.

me. I definitely will try my best, but I think the most potential will

:21:53.:21:56.

be in 2018. Coventry`born Amanda Lightfoot will be first up in the

:21:57.:21:58.

biathlon on Sunday. 17``year`old Flo Bell from

:21:59.:22:00.

Birmingham will carry Ireland's hopes in slalom. And there are

:22:01.:22:03.

Midlands medal chances in the bobsleigh, too, where Ben Simons

:22:04.:22:06.

from Broseley in Shropshire and Joel Fearon from Coventry compete.

:22:07.:22:14.

To have come so far in such a short time for me is amazing. I am proud

:22:15.:22:20.

of myself now, really, blowing my own horn quite a bit, so I'm very

:22:21.:22:25.

happy. British bobsleigh is going to such a

:22:26.:22:29.

strong as it has ever been, we have genuine medal contenders in there.

:22:30.:22:33.

`` is going to Sochi. Britain only won a single medal four

:22:34.:22:36.

years ago. The pressure is on to win at least

:22:37.:22:39.

three this time around. Good luck to them all.

:22:40.:22:43.

On the ninth February 2011, Conrad Lewis from Warwickshire became the

:22:44.:22:46.

353rd soldier to die in the Afghanistan conflict. Since then,

:22:47.:22:49.

his family have made sure his memory lives on and he's not just a number.

:22:50.:22:53.

To mark the third anniversary of his death, they are releasing a charity

:22:54.:22:56.

single and they're aiming for a place in the Top 40. Ben Sidwell

:22:57.:22:58.

reports. As we started to withdraw from

:22:59.:23:15.

Afghanistan, then I think it is vitally important to recognise the

:23:16.:23:19.

contribution and sacrifice of the other 446 to have died in this

:23:20.:23:23.

conflict. We want the song to recognise what they have contributed

:23:24.:23:26.

to our safety and security. Conrad Lewis loved music.

:23:27.:23:30.

He played both the guitar and drums. So when a family friend wrote words

:23:31.:23:34.

for a song following his funeral, it was decided the track should be used

:23:35.:23:38.

to help all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.

:23:39.:23:43.

I loved it, and I think the lyrics appeal to anyone, not just someone

:23:44.:23:46.

who has lost someone from the military complex, but anyone who has

:23:47.:23:49.

suffered lost. Released three years to the day that

:23:50.:23:52.

Conrad died, his family, from Clavedon in Warwickshire, are now

:23:53.:23:56.

trying to get the song in the Top 40 Singles chart.

:23:57.:23:58.

Just how big is the challenge facing them? To get into the top 40, last

:23:59.:24:04.

year on average you had to sell 7800 singles. If you wanted into the top

:24:05.:24:09.

ten it was 30,000. As for number one, this week's number one sold

:24:10.:24:16.

136,000 copies to top the charts. The song has been recorded by

:24:17.:24:29.

Warwickshire singer Andrew James at a studio in Bidford on Avon. We

:24:30.:24:34.

desperately need people to download it.

:24:35.:24:36.

If we get so many thousand downloads we should... But you really need to

:24:37.:24:42.

be able to commit and do it, it is not easy.

:24:43.:24:51.

Anyone who has suffered loss will resonate with the chorus, which is,

:24:52.:24:57.

because I am still here. The single, appropriately named

:24:58.:25:00.

Soldier On, is available to download now.

:25:01.:25:04.

And our very best wishes to Conrad Lewis's family. Brace yourselves.

:25:05.:25:12.

Let's see how the weather's looking ` don't get excited! Here's Shefali.

:25:13.:25:20.

Nothing to get excited about, Nick. Worried about, maybe, if you are in

:25:21.:25:24.

flooded areas, but by now you are probably used to this story. This

:25:25.:25:28.

warning is in force until Saturday, covering two lots of rain going

:25:29.:25:33.

through the region now and the next that arise on Friday evening

:25:34.:25:39.

continues into Saturday. That combination will produce a couple of

:25:40.:25:42.

inches of rain which is probably quite serious if you are in flooded

:25:43.:25:48.

areas. It is being driven and generated by a series of low

:25:49.:25:51.

pressures, which we have seen four days now. The intensity of the low

:25:52.:25:56.

pressure will determine how much rain we get. The first one is not

:25:57.:25:59.

too bad but look at this next one from the West on Friday evening.

:26:00.:26:04.

That in itself looks fairly scary with tightly packed isobars and that

:26:05.:26:07.

wrap around or collusion. That will bring in rain and following on from

:26:08.:26:12.

that squally showers through the weekend. This evening, again, just

:26:13.:26:17.

looking at the chart we know what is going on, wet across most parts.

:26:18.:26:26.

Some wintering is over the hill tops `` wintry showers. The night will

:26:27.:26:30.

end on a much drier note with some clearer spells and temperatures

:26:31.:26:33.

dropping to around four or five Celsius. We started tomorrow with

:26:34.:26:39.

largely dry weather but also some sunshine developing through the day,

:26:40.:26:42.

which is nice, because that is only going to be a respite before the

:26:43.:26:46.

next band of rain heads in from the south`west. In the sunshine,

:26:47.:26:53.

temperatures rising to around seven or nine Celsius, but winds

:26:54.:26:57.

increasing all the while. Today they were a lot lighter than yesterday

:26:58.:27:03.

's, but winds again up to around 30 mph taking the edge of

:27:04.:27:07.

temperatures, perhaps working up to around 50 mph through the night

:27:08.:27:11.

tomorrow. As rain sweeps in from the south`west it will be very heavy

:27:12.:27:14.

during the middle part of tomorrow night, clearing in the first part of

:27:15.:27:18.

Saturday followed by showers by the `` for the rest of the weekend.

:27:19.:27:22.

You do wonder when it will ever end, don't you?

:27:23.:27:25.

Tonight's headlines from the BBC... Not guilty of sex offences ` the

:27:26.:27:29.

Coronation Street actor William Roache walks free.

:27:30.:27:32.

One storm followed by another ` more severe weather forecast into the

:27:33.:27:35.

weekend as the government pledges an extra 30 million for emergency

:27:36.:27:36.

repairs. Time to draw a line, says David

:27:37.:27:40.

Cameron, after this Nazi`themed stag party cost the MP for Cannock Chase

:27:41.:27:43.

his political career. That was the Midlands Today. I'll be

:27:44.:27:46.

back at 10pm with your latest update. Until then,

:27:47.:27:48.

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