06/02/2014 Midlands Today


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


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


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


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


that. And hailed a hero ` the security


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


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


how its findings have changed the NHS.


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


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


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


chosen to carry the GB flag at the Winter Olympics.


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


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


fantastic. And when there's a warning up you


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


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


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


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


constituents for their overwhelming messages of support. He decided to


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


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


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


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


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


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


blowing right to the top, the PM spoke out.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in Cannock. But he was sacked as a ministerial


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Burley's move ` Labour election candidate Janos Toth.


He has brought shame to our constituency with the antics he


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


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


best man for and then they went partying in France.


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


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


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


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


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


Aidan Burley spearheaded the campaign to save Cannock Hospital


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


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


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


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


MP until the next election. And our Political Editor Patrick


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


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


was there an element of inevitability about it?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


this decision has not come one moment too soon.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


end he was actually Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Private


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


on the way. A security guard has been hailed a


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


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


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


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


increase again. Our special correspondent, Peter Wilson has this


report. This is the security guard working


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


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


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


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


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


weak link. It was like a fight, they were


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


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


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


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


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


helping the police with their investigation.


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


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


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


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


memories. Watching the crime scene, Rod


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


cash. The advice usually is not to resist.


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


anything like that. What injuries did you receive?


I received an injured shoulder by a baseball bat.


Armed police sometimes escort security vans delivering cash.


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


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


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


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


arrested earlier this week and released on bail after a parent


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


concerns for the welfare of children.


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


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


research to coincide with the first anniversary of the publication of


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


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


health service in the last 12 months.


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


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


they are now being taught about dementia and how to stimulate


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


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


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


time. Giving patients like Joyce Merchant


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


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


staffing. All of us are focused on what


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


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


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


Nobody is suggesting care is perfect.


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


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


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


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


unacceptable. It was horrendous, to say the least.


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


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


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


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


recognises. My feeling on the whole is have


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


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


legislation to bring about the single regulator that the NHS


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


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


care with less money. If the circumstances arise where it


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


to me the people who know that must say so.


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


faeces. In hospitals, attitudes are


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


And Michele is outside Stafford Hospital now.


What happened at Stafford seems to have entered the consciousness of


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


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


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


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


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


about reorganisation, the end of regulation that is complex and


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


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


still undecided and I hear there are new developments tonight?


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


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


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


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


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


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


are concerns tonight about the viability of the accident and


emergency department? Yes, there has been talk for some


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


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


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


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


the way they can do their work. Thank you.


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


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


his political career. Shefali is ready with your detailed


weather forecast. Also in tonight's programme, what


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


Birmingham about the perils of gangs and knife crime.


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


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


really risky. And we meet the Staffordshire


teeenager with genuine medal hopes in the Winter Olympics.


For consecutive summers, water companies have warned of drought,


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


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


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


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


September, as Ben Godfrey has been finding out.


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


the dam. Millions of gallons of fresh water


are bursting through and pouring away.


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


this Victorian reservoir is completely full.


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


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


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


Two years ago, the Midlands experienced water shortages because


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


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


Midlands region are already at capacity.


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


without further rainfall. Lake Vyrnwy is almost five miles


long. It's the size of 600 football


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


birds. Intense rain can alter habitats `


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


manage. We are feeding the birds twice as


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


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


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


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


horses is galloping towards the Midlands, bringing an increased risk


of river flooding. A knife surrender is expected to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


speaker at Moseley school because of his incredible journey from poverty


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


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


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


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


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


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


life. Some students here will never forget


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


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


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


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


them be successful. The more students are successful and realise


they have a stake in making themselves better and have something


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


safer. After an interview with the the


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


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


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


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


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


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


parents. Juan's life could have been so


different. As it is, he has another year as


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


States for University. Just how inspirational was that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


quite well`known. If you are wondering how Juan


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


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


prestigious scholarship which has paid for everything.


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


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


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


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


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


medals than ever before. Backside double ten!


Wow! Jamie Nicholls! The waiting is finally over for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


team by debutant Charlotte Gilmartin from Redditch.


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


freestyle skier Rowan Cheshire from Staffordshire. A half pipe gold


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


from Broseley in Shropshire and Joel Fearon from Coventry compete.


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


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


happy. British bobsleigh is going to such a


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


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


years ago. The pressure is on to win at least


three this time around. Good luck to them all.


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


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


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


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


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


reports. As we started to withdraw from


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


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


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


to our safety and security. Conrad Lewis loved music.


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


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


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


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


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


suffered lost. Released three years to the day that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


desperately need people to download it.


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


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


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


because I am still here. The single, appropriately named


Soldier On, is available to download now.


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


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


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


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


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


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


continues into Saturday. That combination will produce a couple of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


temperatures rising to around seven or nine Celsius, but winds


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Coronation Street actor William Roache walks free.


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


weekend as the government pledges an extra 30 million for emergency


repairs. Time to draw a line, says David


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


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


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


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