07/02/2014 Midlands Today


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it is bad. When is it going to end?


Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight...


Floodwaters rising, more rain on the way ` emergency services are on


stand`by for a challenging weekend. I think it is the calm before the


storm. What is coming down the river at the moment is what fell the other


evening. But when and where will that rain


be? I'll have the latest as the storms keep coming.


We'll have a full report on flooding from around the region. Also


tonight... Giving blood ` the new technique


that could revolutionise the whole system. If you could freeze blood


when there is an access, that would be ideal. `` a surplus.


Not a laughing matter ` a Birmingham comedy club sues the popular TV show


Glee Club for using its name. And from this to global pop


superstar. I am in Stoke on Trent for the start of Robbie Williams'


fan Festival. Good evening. The floods are


continuing to cause problems across the Midlands and more heavy rain's


due later tonight. There are currently 31 flood warnings in place


and 39 alerts. Barriers have been put up in Shrewsbury, Ironbridge,


and Bewdley. Our reporter, Ben Godfrey, is near the River Severn in


Worcester tonight. How's the city coping there, Ben?


The Severn is high here and rising, but it's not expected to reach 2007


levels. But it is of some concern. The racecourse and cricket ground


are completely underwater but overall the Midlands has escaped the


worst, especially when compared to Somerset and Devon. The emergency


services in our region have still been very busy, though. Today, I


spent time with the fire service in Worcestershire to see the sort of


incidents they're dealing with. On the outskirts of Bromsgrove, this


taxi has made its final journey. For Hereford and Worcester Fire and


Rescue Service, this is the third call`out within 24 hours to drivers


trapped in floodwater. In this case, a swollen ford.


It was a taxi driver who called the emergency services as his vehicle


was filling up with water. They rescued him and two this Lisbon in


the vehicle who were on their way to Birmingham airport. Did you see the


sign? Yes, but the water was too much, it rose to quickly. You can


see the tyre of the vehicle but you did he do go into deep `` but you do


not need to go into deep for the intake to be filled. The River


Severn is also rising again. Flood barriers are in place at Bewdley in


Worcestershire, Shrewsbury and here in Ironbridge in Shropshire. We will


see this rise by another 1.5 metres. The waters around Tewkesbury are


also high, these pictures were taken from a helicopter by a Midlands


Today viewer. At the moment, the flood defences are keeping the


Severn at bay. There's no undue concern. Even so, Worcester Fire


station is fully equipped to respond to river incidents. We have two


boats. They are available for immediate response. The crews are


trained to deal with these. We have Worcester and Hereford and others.


The message is clear from the emergency services ` follow safety


advice, use common sense and don't place yourself in danger. Tonight,


large areas of farmland on the water and we are just a month away from


the National Hunt Festival. Dan Pallett's been to find out how the


organisers are coping. Welcome to Cheltenham on Sea. It has


been wet, very wet. With the festival just under four weeks away,


they have a close eye on the weather. The Clerk of the Course has


his own weather centre in the middle of the course. It is pretty


saturated but I think we would be able to race on it today despite


overnight rainfall. It is not too windy today. Wednesday was a real


shocker here. We recorded wind speeds in excess of 50 mph, which is


as high as we have had. There is extra pressure to put the Cheltenham


Festival on foot of it brings money into this region but is also a


flagship for the entire industry and that is set to support 20,000 jobs


across the country and is worth almost ?3.5 billion to the British


economy. And they dealt with much everything hip or the glass chin,


the course only survived template is below freezing due to frost covers.


Two years ago, the lack of water was a problem. The show must go on.


Construction is under way for the tented village with 60 workers on


site everyday. Wind can cause problems here. We have to judge the


weather for so many different circumstances, for the horses, for


the people here. With temporary structures, there is a higher risk.


Hopefully it will be a success this year. They will move the rails to


run on fresh ground and they will do everything they can to get the


festival underway. A tough task ahead.


West Midlands Ambulance Service says it will have more vehicles on duty


for what looks like a wash`out weekend. Why is whether so bad?


Rebecca Wood is here with the answers.


Well, this is all happening because the jet stream is stuck over us. It


is continuing to push cold air over the Atlantic. On top of that, we


have got problems with the rain that we have been seeing. The Met Office


has brought in some... They have been looking at the statistics and


they have seen that we have five months of rain since December the


12th. On top of that, we have had 23 days of rain in January. On top of


that, it has been the windiest December we have seen since 1969.


With no sign of the jet stream moving, it will just continue to


stay this way for the next few days. I will have the full forecast later.


Thank you. And for all the latest information


on the flooding and how it's affecting where you live, there are


regular travel and weather updates on your local radio station.


Coming up later in the programme... Avoiding student ghettoes ` plans to


restrict the number and location of shared houses in Worcester.


A revolutionary way to preserve blood has been discovered by


researchers at the University of Warwick. Currently, all donated


blood has to be used within a month of being collected or it goes off


and has to be thrown away. But now scientists at Warwick say they've


found a way to freeze and keep blood for as long as doctors want. Here's


our Science Correspondent, David Gregory`Kumar.


Blood. You can't operate without it. But donated and refrigerated blood


only lasts just over a month before reaching it's "use`by" date. And


that means the available supply varies. At certain times of the


year, at times such as Christmas or during the Olympics, there is a


dramatic reduction in the number of donations. In the UK typically, for


some blood groups, we only have five days' stock. It does not take much


of a fluctuation to have erratic effect on the amount of blood we can


actually use in hospital. If you could freeze blood in times where


there is a surplus, that would be ideal. So why not freeze blood and


keep it for longer? Well, we're about to freeze these red blood


cells. Watching using a microscope, you see all movement stops as the


sample reaches `20 degrees Celsius and freezes. But as we warm things


up... The melting ice crystals tear the red blood cells to pieces and


you're left with unusable mush. Now scientists at the University of


Warwick have found a way to avoid turning blood into useless pink goo.


With our method, we looked at the process of freezing. We had a


polymer that we can add and very low concentrations, we add it to the


blood cells and then freezing directly. They are ready to go for


cows were patient prop `` they are ready for transportation. The


polymer interferes with the ice crystals and stops them tearing the


blood cells apart during thawing. It might be useful for people with rare


blood groups because they can donate blood when they want, they can store


it in a freezer and then if they needed later in life for an oration,


it can be thawed out. `` and operation. Large`scale trials of


this technology could begin in 12 to 18 months.


And you can read more about this discovery and find a link to the


research on David's blog. A Birmingham`based comedy club has


successfully sued the makers of the popular TV high school musical drama


Glee. The Glee Club took Rupert Murdoch's Fox Corporation to the


High Court for infringing its UK Trade Mark. Our reporter, Bob


Hockenhull, is outside the venue in the city centre now. Sounds like a


David`and`Goliath story, Bob. As we have heard, the High Court has


rolled that the TV show infringed the trademark which the club here


had had established for some years. With me is the owner, Mark Tughan.


You must be delighted. How did you feel the TV programme was harming


you? It manifested itself in so many ways, whether that was our social


media pages being utterly swamped by fans of the show, whether it was


comics who were tweeting and promoting their appearances at the


club being swamped by negative comments and whether it was a big


to`do with the TV show. There was an growing mass of evidence of customer


confusion. We would turn up at freshers fair is to promote Parish


of this and be met with hostility from the students. When we got to


ask them why they `` why that was, they thought we were related to the


TV show! Everybody is entitled to appeal, that is part of the legal


process but this is a very strong judgement in our favour. One cannot


revisit... I beg your have to leave it there. Congratulations. I know


you have Lee Evans hit a knight who will help you celebrate. `` here


tonight. Warwickshire County Council has


agreed cuts to its budget of ?92 million over the next four years.


Most services provided by the local authority will be affected, although


there'll be no library closures and school crossing patrols will remain


as they are. About 600 staff will go in a phased programme of job cuts.


Council tax will also rise for the first time in four years.


West Midlands Police are examining CCTV footage to try to track down


those responsible for putting a pig's head on a patrol car. Officers


were attending the Bull Ring shopping centre in Birmingham when


the animal's head was put on the bonnet. The prank's been condemned


by the Police Federation. I am sure there will be a small


minority of individuals who will find amusement from doing that. From


my point of view and our members' point of view, they have a tough


enough job as it is out there. At the time, they were dealing with a


real incident. Senior Government and opposition MPs


are urging West Midlands Police to examine all available evidence in


the hope of securing convictions for the Birmingham pub bombings. 40


years after the attacks, there are also calls for a full`scale public


inquiry. Our Political Editor, Patrick Burns, has more on this. Is


there the slightest hope, so long after the event, of making any real


progress on this? I have been talking to a campaign


group made up of the relatives of some of the people who died in those


bombings. They say that the public enquiry could help but they also


saving should be a sense of outrage that the people behind these


atrocities have never been caught. If we do not fight today to get


these perpetrators caught and sentenced, then who is to say it


will not happen in the future. Who is to say that people will not come


to Birmingham or any other city and create mass murder and for them to


continue to have their liberty? Nobody is looking for them. How can


we claim to live in a democratic society where we allow that to


happen? There has been no reply so far. It is not top of the political


agenda. I have put that to the Northern Ireland minister and to the


current MP, Jeremy Wright, who said they will take it up with them


leaders. I put it to Jeremy Wright that in contrast to Hillsborough and


bloody Sunday, there is a difference. There is a prodigal


difference. This is something that happened 40 years ago. To honour new


evidence will be challenging. If it is there to be found, it should be


looked for. You still feel the pain is trying to heat up something that


has lain: For so long. There could be some intense media interest


around this. The 40th anniversary is this November. Thank you.


And Patrick will be back with Sunday Politics on Sunday morning at 11am,


here on BBC One. Our top story tonight... With


floodwaters rising and more rain on the way, emergency services are


braced for a challenging weekend. The rather bleak forecast to come


shortly from Rebecca. Also in tonight's programme...


How a world champion kickboxer's putting her weight behind a bid to


have her sport officially recognised and land much`needed funding.


And He's The One! Celebrating Robbie Williams' 40th birthday on the


street in the Potteries where he used to live. Plus an exhibition of


previously unseen family pictures. The number of shared houses in


Worcester will be regulated under proposals by the city council to


prevent certain areas becoming student ghettos. The policy was


adopted by Warwick District Council in parts of Leamington Spa in


November last year. Birmingham City Council is considering similar


restrictions in Selly Oak, Selly Park, Edgbaston and Harborne. Cath


Mackie reports. This man pays ?80 a week for his


room in a student house. It is next to the University, where he is


studying for a sports science degree. It is expensive, especially


being a student on a limited budget. It is helpful living a five`minute


walk from the campus. Sam is one of around 10,000 students. The number


of people choosing to study here is growing by 40% in eight years. They


need somewhere to live that is affordable. Hence the rise in homes


of multiple occupancy. The city council wants it controlled. The


character of the area changes. One thing is perfectly clear. HMOs play


an important role in the stock. It is the ideal form of housing for


many people but we need to make sure there is a balance. They are about


to consult the public to `` on imposing a cap on the number of


shared houses. There has to be some control over it. I can understand


why people do not want it. The council say it is not just about


anti`social behaviour but other issues about parking. I can see


their fears that the issue is on the behaviour and the way these


properties are conducted. Our concerns is that changing the


planning laws will not make any difference to this. The university


says it wants to drive up the quality of student accommodation and


welcomes the council's decision. Dan's here with the sport and, as we


saw in your report earlier, Cheltenham racecourse seems to


managing with the heavy rain so far, but it's not such good news for


football and rugby this weekend? Other racecourses are not coping as


well as Cheltenham. Tomorrow's racing at Uttoxeter is


off due to waterlogging and Warwick will inspect at 7am tomorrow.


In rugby, Moseley's home game planned for this evening against


Cornish Pirates is off. And the football's affected, too. In


the conference, Kidderminster versus Cambridge is off and there's no game


for Wolves in League One. The Stevengage pitch is waterlogged.


But, in the Championship, Birmingham's game away to Charlton


was declared to be on after a pitch inspection this afternoon.


Earlier, shares in the Blues' parent company, Birmingham International


Holdings, slumped in value by 34% on the Hong Kong Stock Market. But


manager Lee Clark says his only concern is tomorrow's match. I have


to take a note of what is being said and issues that are being drawn up


but the football side of it is my only concern. I have always been a


manager who does not get involved in the financial side of it.


Kick boxing has more than 100,000 participants across Great Britain,


including the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. But it's still not


officially recognised as a sport. That means even elite athletes are


unable to attract Lottery funding to help fund their training. Now a


world champion from Birmingham is leading the charge to change all


that, as Nick Clitheroe reports. When Hailey Hutton first entered a


kick boxing gym at the age of seven, she was a shy young girl hiding


behind her mum. 15 years later, she's a world champion, having


lifted the title in Italy last October. It has been great overall


for confidence building. I would not even stand at the front of the class


and now I teach my own classes. The progress I have made is amazing.


Neil Kelly has coached Hailey from the very first day. He's immensely


proud of her achievements in the ring but also what she's done for


the image of women in the sport. It is a male dominated sport, kick


boxing. The ladies are starting to make a name for themselves. She is


the first one to really breakthrough in our gym and go right to the top.


All of the younger girls look up to Hayley is a role model. It is nice


that the younger generation to me as a role model. It is nice to know


that I have inspired some younger women and girls to get involved in


it. And that could all help British kick boxing's campaign to gain


official recognition from Sport England opening up access to Lottery


funding and driving up the number of competitors. The discipline


instilled by kick boxing has also helped Hailey with her education.


She's currently studying graphic design at Solihull College, even


though combining her two passions isn't always easy. I do find it


difficult to do the two because I am soaked passionate about both. `` so


passionate about both. The college is encouraging me. I am starting to


find a balance. But it's in the gym where she feels really at home, so


Bob could be taking plenty more punishment for a long time yet. One


determined young woman. I think I will give that one a miss!


And a proud moment for Solihull's Jon Eley at the Winter Olymics


today. The speed skater carried the British flag at the ceremony in


Sochi. He's 29 and this is his third Olympics. He is already described as


an absolute privilege and something he will treasure for the rest of his


life. We will not see him in action until a week tomorrow. When the


first of our athletes competing? Tomorrow in the biathlon. She was


born in Coventry. Looking further forward, on Monday, we have


Charlotte Gilmartin, from Redditch, she is on the short track speed


skating. Lots to look forward to. I expected weather is than ours X .


Hundreds of fans from all across the world are arriving in Stoke`on`Trent


for a weekend of celebration to mark Robbie Williams' 40th Birthday. From


bus tours to football, museums to Robbie`oke, events are going on


across the city to honour one of its most famous sons. Ben Sidwell's


there now. The fans must be very excited, Ben.


You could say that. Welcome to the potteries Museum in Stoke`on`Trent.


A Brit award, the Ivor Novello, a platinum disc and a special Robbie


Williams exhibition. A lot of stuff that has never been seen before in


public. That is why people are coming to the city this weekend. I


happy to meet a view the fans. `` I have been to meet a view of the


fans. Last year, I saw Robbie ten times. This is my prized possession


because Robbie signed it for me. And this is my little Robbie.


Zoe Hankey from Newcastle Under Lyme is a bit of a Robbie Williams fan.


My Robbie friends think I am perfectly normal but the word


obsessed has been used a a few times. But if you think Zoe's a big


fan, you should meet her friend. The highlight of my fandom is when I was


on stage in Manchester with him last year. Hayley, who's from London, and


Zoe are just two of the hundreds coming to Stoke`on`Trent for the


Robbie Williams Fan Fest this weekend. But there is a serious


side, too. All the events and celebrations are raising money for


the Donna Louise Children's Hopsice, of which Robbie himself is a patron.


People pay attention when he says this is a great cause and we


supported. People do listen and it gives us that global reach. It is


important to us because people get to know about the work we do and how


report and it is to fund this work. That is amazing. I want one of


those! Being super fans, Zoe and Hayley managed to get a sneak


preview at the exhibition. For the rest of us, it opens tomorrow.


Let us meet someone who knows Robbie at than anyone else, his mum. What


do you make of all of this, all for your little boy question book it is


wonderful. They are pushing the boat out. Robert is over the moon about


it. I should say Robbie! You are right, he is my little boy because


it has that by's heart in him. He is delighted at the fact it will make


some difference with Stoke because he loves it. We all do. We all love


Stoke`on`Trent and it is important to us that it is is recognised as a


lovely place. It is only a few days before he turns 40. Are you planning


your own celebrations? Not entirely on my own, I will be with my little


boy. Have a fantastic time in Los Angeles and this weekend as well


because there are hundreds and hundreds of fans literally from


across the world and the events are going on all weekend. If you come to


the city, you will find out what is going on.


Thank you. I hope you made the most of the


sunshine today, because I don't think we'll be seeing it again for


quite a while. Will we, Rebecca? It is there to say there is more in


the way of wind and rain to come over this weekend will . We have a


band of rain sitting over Ahsan to `` and through tomorrow we will have


heavier showers. The rain will start to coming out in the next few hours.


We could see six hours of rain overnight, ten or 15 millimetres.


Not huge totals but it is falling on saturated ground, so it is adding to


the problem. It will slowly clear away. Behind that, the air will be


called. Temperatures will be down to around three degrees. The wind was


strengthened through tomorrow. It will not be too bad tomorrow. Dry


and bright through the morning but then we see the showers working in.


At times, they will be heavy and blustery. Some hail as thunder could


be thrown in for good measure. By midday, the wind could be up to 50


mast power. Temperatures range between seven and eight degrees but


it will not feel that warm. The showers are endless. They continue


through tomorrow night. They will band together at times, so by the


time you get to Sunday, we could see some very big rainfall totals. At


times, we will see a few breaks and temperatures around four or five


Celsius as we get into Sunday. Things that get better. It is a


gradual process. The wind will ease but there will be put into your


brain around. We could get some brightness through the day on


Sunday. Behind that, the air is turning much colder. Why the time we


get through to Monday morning, `` by the time we get through to Monday


morning, it will stay unsettled. Tonight's headlines from the BBC...


As the floodwaters continued to rise in the south`west, concerns that


more people may need to be evacuated. The Somerset Levels are


bearing the brunt. In the Midlands, Molesey crews are


on stand`by as more rain is forecast. There are 31 flood


warnings and 39 alerts. That was the Midlands Today. I'll be


back at 10pm. Have a great evening. Goodbye.


It's your job to keep law and order, isn't it?


It must be exciting being a policewoman. It has its moments.


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