14/02/2014 Midlands Today


14/02/2014

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to British coastlines, with winds of up to 80 mph. That's all

:00:00.:00:00.

Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight. Cut off since

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Christmas ` the villagers in Gloucestershire who've been marooned

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by the flood waters. We have just been sort of forgotten. We are not

:00:17.:00:20.

in the village, we are not in the city, mostly we are forgotten about.

:00:21.:00:24.

We'll be live in Tirley in Gloucestershire for the latest,

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after another day of heavy rain and strong winds. Assessing the damage,

:00:28.:00:30.

homeowners in Worcester wade through the waters to monitor the impact.

:00:31.:00:37.

Very messy. Is not look good at all. I am travelling into a community

:00:38.:00:44.

largely cut off by flood water and now Gailes mean they have been

:00:45.:00:50.

without power for two days. The rain is still falling and the river

:00:51.:00:55.

levels are rising. But all signs point to things getting a little

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better next week. I'll have all the details later. Also tonight, as the

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Prime Minister visits Jaguar Land Rover's new engine plant.

:01:07.:01:08.

Local manufacturing firms claim they've lost out to overseas

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suppliers. And the farmers using social media to boost business and

:01:12.:01:18.

to share some fun photos. Good evening. People living in a

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village in Gloucestershire say they've been cut off by flood water

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for nearly two months. Roads around Sandhurst were flooded at Christmas

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and the water has only risen since then.

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It is not just river water flooding these homes, it is sewage. Matt

:01:49.:02:00.

Beesley lives here. Why did I leave? Human faeces floating around in the

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kitchen. No, thanks. We have had to make all the telephone calls. It is

:02:05.:02:12.

too late. These sandbags cover a manhole cover in Matt's garden and

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it was the manhole cover that exploded sending human sewage all

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over the place. We've taken the sensible decision probably not to

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walk any further into Matt's garden and I have to say the smell, as you

:02:23.:02:27.

can guess, is shocking. Severn Trent have told us they've sent extra

:02:28.:02:30.

pumps to Diglis Avenue but the water levels have got so high, they say,

:02:31.:02:34.

there's nothing more they can do until they recede. Horror stories

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like this are rare, and whilst some homes and businesses have flooded,

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it's not widespread. Police patrols are going door to door in vulnerable

:02:48.:02:55.

areas ` to offer reassurance. I can absolutely assure people we have had

:02:56.:02:58.

no crime as a result of the flooding. We have lots of resources

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out on the ground. People can be confident. All of the resources

:03:03.:03:06.

including the Army, there is nothing for people to worry about. At Bishop

:03:07.:03:08.

Hampton in Herefordshire supplies are being delivered in four by fours

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because the roads are flooded by standing water. The army has been in

:03:13.:03:15.

both Herefordshire and Worcestershire helping the emergency

:03:16.:03:19.

services. We're here for a minimum of five days. However, we know that

:03:20.:03:24.

we could be here for up to four weeks. If it takes four weeks, then

:03:25.:03:28.

that is what we are prepared to provide. The rain continues to fall

:03:29.:03:31.

and the Environment Agency's expecting the River Severn level to

:03:32.:03:35.

rise again this weekend. And the extent of the flooding remains

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breathtaking. One Midlands Today viewer filmed this footage of

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Worcester from a train ` the river bank and roads are indistinguishable

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in places. But there was some relief today, a nice touch when a Sikh

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charity turned up to feed emergency workers and local authority staff.

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Right now, the country is unaided of a crisis so we have been down to

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Somerset over the weekend `` in a bit of a crisis. It is time to show

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our support. All Matt can do is wait for the water levels to drop. How

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was it looking? Very messy. It does not look good at all. Hundreds of

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homes in north Shropshire have been without power for two days since

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gales battered the region. And for a village largely cut off by

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flood water, the lack of electricity is adding to their feelings of

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isolation. Joanne Writtle reports. Past flooded fields and down a lane

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which is now a river, there are people who feel forgotten. I am

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heading into the remote community of Royal Hill, by pretty much the only

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means possible. The farmer has been helping people get in and out for

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weeks. This is a natural flood plain. In there somewhere is the

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River Severn and people are used to all this water. What is bothering

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them is that the Gailes on Wednesday mean they have been without power

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for two days. Everything is a hassle. The heating in the house, it

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is a hassle setting it up, we have an emergency generator. Minutes

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before we arrived, good news, power was restored. But two days without a

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fridge, it means there is a lot of waste. It has been quite horrific.

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It is a little warmer now but it has been like living in a fridge. The

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weather has been horrific. It impeded our movements, getting

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around the house. It has been quite bad really. At the pub, a warm

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welcome. Until just now, they have coped with a generator. We are a

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country pub and we like to make sure we are open whatever the weather, so

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that people who have not got food or warmth or power can come in here.

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Power may be back here but hundreds of houses in Shropshire are still

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cut off. The difficulty we get is when the wind starts to get up, it

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becomes unsafe for the crews to work and that is my concern for today. If

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we get winds of that magnitude, we will be delayed in storing supplies.

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In this Hamlet, they may be swamped but at least they have now got

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power. And relaxing by a cosy fire is maybe the best way to switch from

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all this water. The Prime Minister's been visiting

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Jaguar Land Rover's new ?500 million engine plant near Wolverhampton

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today. When it opens in the autumn, it's expected that an engine will

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come off the production line every 36 seconds. However, some Midlands

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manufacturers have expressed disappointment that more parts

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aren't being made locally. It's emerged today that 50% of components

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going into the new engines will be made abroad. Our Business

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Correspondent, Peter Plisner, reports.

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A big investment in a big engine plant in fact it's the size of 14

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football pitches. With much of the hi`tech equipment still being

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installed, today the Prime Minister, a big fan of Jaguar Land Rover, came

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to see the plant for himself. This epitomises everything we need

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to see in the British economy. We need to make more things and here we

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are, a pneumatic factoring plan. We need more investment and jobs around

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the country. It's also a boost for people like

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Steve Bird, whose one of the first employees to take up a post here. It

:08:07.:08:13.

is a great experience. All of the new machines coming in. There is

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little doubt that this plant is good for the region 's economy and job

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creation in the Midlands but there is some concern that around 50% of

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the parts are being made abroad. Although this Willenhall based Forge

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didn't bid for work from the engine plant, management are still

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concerned that more isn't being made locally. It is disappointing. We do

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have the capacity locally. But it is not surprising because it is going

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to low`cost countries where the energy prices are considerably lower

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and the labour costs are also lower. But according to JLR management

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today sourcing parts is complex issue. We have a competitive

:09:01.:09:08.

sourcing strategy, like any other global company. We have tried doing

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very Jasmine Birtles possible in the UK to participate in the bidding

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process. `` as many companies as possible.

:09:19.:09:24.

One of those decisions has brought more jobs to this Birmingham

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engineering. It's making a variety of parts for the new engines and

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it's one of the biggest contracts they ever won. It means job

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stability, job creation, it is a learning that we can take elsewhere

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to other vehicle manufacturers. The new plant which has cost ?500

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million to set up will produce it's first engine in the autumn. And

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Peter's here now. So exactly how much of what's going into these new

:09:52.:09:55.

engines will actually be made in the Midlands?

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As you said, 50% being made abroad but 50% being made in the UK. Of

:10:04.:10:09.

that 50%, 20% being made in the West Midlands. But is lower than most

:10:10.:10:12.

people expected but let's not forget, there are some substantial

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contracts that have been one. The company in the film has an eight to

:10:18.:10:25.

ten year contract. That is securing jobs and creating new jobs. What can

:10:26.:10:30.

be done to make it easier for firms here to win work in the future? One

:10:31.:10:35.

of the problems is the energy costs. The companies pay a lot for

:10:36.:10:38.

electricity, that is continuing to rise. In Germany, energy costs are

:10:39.:10:43.

often fix for businesses. They say it is not a level playing field.

:10:44.:10:49.

Labour is also cheaper abroad. It is difficult to get money to invest

:10:50.:10:53.

here. And to fulfil the kind of orders they are coming out with,

:10:54.:10:56.

they need to invest but companies are finding that very difficult.

:10:57.:11:04.

Even without those jobs in the supply chain, this is a big

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investment in the Midlands. It is indeed. ?500 million, one of the

:11:09.:11:11.

biggest construction projects anywhere in the country and it is a

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local construction firm that has won a lot of the work. There are 1400

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people working in this plant and a lot of those are apprentices, it has

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been a really big project with some big numbers. Serial killer Joanna

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Dennehy has told a court she's sorry for the attempted murders of two men

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in Hereford, but not for the murders of three others in Cambridgeshire.

:11:36.:11:37.

31`year`old Dennehy, from Peterborough, pleaded guilty to the

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offences at an earlier hearing and appeared before Cambridge Crown

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Court today for sentencing. She made her remarks after the case was

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adjourned and she was being led from the dock.

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One of Coventry's oldest firms has been saved from going out of

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business. Cash's UK, which has made name tags for school uniforms for

:11:58.:12:01.

more than 160 years, went into administration last month. It's been

:12:02.:12:05.

sold as a going concern, production is expected to restart immediately.

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And a senior Labour MP has attacked the war of words between the main

:12:11.:12:14.

parties over flood protection. Labour identified 24 Midlands

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Conservatives who voted against a Labour motion three years ago, which

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condemned cuts to flood protection budgets. The Government say the

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defences are holding`up well in most Midlands towns and cities. But a

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former business minister said the debate was not what people directly

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involved wanted to hear. I do not think that people who are currently

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battling flooding welcome party political battling on this. This has

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been truly terrible for people, it is ultimately mostly down to the

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weather and the terrible storms and rain that we have had and I want to

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pay tribute to every environment agency member of staff, army

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officer, police and fire officers, volunteers, they have been doing

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their best to help in what has been a really difficult situation for the

:12:56.:13:00.

country in recent ones. `` months. And there'll be more on

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this on this weekend's Sunday Politics, when Patrick Burns will

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also be joined in the studio by Alison Munro, the Chief Executive of

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HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for delivering high`speed rail. That's

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from 11pm here on BBC One. ``11am. Today, the Fire and rescue

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service were bringing vital resources to people by boat. We have

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been finding out how they have been coping.

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Cut off since Christmas. The residents of Sandhurst in

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Gloucestershire have not been able to leave their homes for weeks. How

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long have you been stranded? One day merges into the next. None of us can

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remember. In some places, the water is six foot deep.

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We were trying to pump water out last night, we were in shifts,

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waking each other up. Trade keep the water out through the night. This

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afternoon, human contact that lass. Specialist water genes bringing ``

:14:14.:14:20.

specialist water teams bringing much`needed supplies. Upstream in

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Jukes Brie, a lot of water but far fewer problems. Although not all

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houses escape. This is a perfect example of the problems they face.

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Behind me, believe it or not, are actually two rivers. Close by is the

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River Avon. Right in the distance, that is where the River Severn runs.

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Of course when they fled, they become one huge river and that

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affects the town. For hotels and restaurants, relief as the town

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stayed open on one of their busiest days of the year. We have had some

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cancellations but we are getting a lot of local residents coming to

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join us for a nice romantic meal. We are open. As normal. To which water

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is even causing problem at this marina. Some of the boats have sunk.

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It has been flooded for so long and the owners have not been able to get

:15:24.:15:26.

to it to bale it out. Back in Sandhurst, more vital supplies but

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with the water not expected to go any time soon, the villagers will

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have to wait for some time yet. Ben Sidwell is in the village of

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Tirley, just south of Shrewsbury. It is clearly very windy. What are

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conditions like? It is incredibly windy. Huge gusts of wind coming.

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You may be able to see behind, that is part of the River Severn. There

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are actually waves on that. And that is dividing this village in half.

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That is the big problem. Just like Sandhurst, here in Tirley, they have

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had this problem pretty much since Christmas. I cannot speak to the

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chairman of the parish council. Do you feel like you are cut off and

:16:15.:16:20.

people are forgetting about you? I think it is because we are tiny and

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there are far more problems in the big towns. But we have people living

:16:26.:16:30.

down at the river who have been in their homes since Christmas, have

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not been able to get out. It is difficult to get food to them. Is it

:16:34.:16:39.

a community thing? The community has to pull together. We have formed an

:16:40.:16:44.

emergency action group a couple of years ago because we were concerned

:16:45.:16:50.

about the flooding. And we appointed a chairman. And he has done a

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wonderful job. Let's speak to the flood warden in Tirley. We can see

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how awful it is. About three foot of water behind us on the main road.

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How bad is it in the village? It is really bad. It goes from here about

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three quarters of a mile, over to where we have 18 houses...

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Apologies, the wind is causing problems with the connection to the

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village of Tirley. I think we can actually return to our reporter.

:17:29.:17:35.

Carry on if you can. Absolutely. A number of properties

:17:36.:17:40.

are flooded. Absolutely, yes. That is right. What can you do? We are

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doing everything that we can. We have identified who is staying in

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their houses. If we need to get people out, we are keeping

:17:52.:17:54.

information on the website. We have a team of volunteers that are kind

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of working to put sandbags out, organise food and just keep a link

:17:58.:18:02.

to the people that deserted down at the river. If you look behind us,

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these guys are doing absolutely everything they can. But

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potentially, this water could be here for a month or so yet.

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You can see all of our reports on the flooding situation on our

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Facebook page. And for the latest weather, travel

:18:24.:18:27.

and news updates on the flooding, tune into your local BBC radio

:18:28.:18:32.

station. Selfie ` it was the word of 2013,

:18:33.:18:35.

taking your own picture and posting it on social media. Now there's a

:18:36.:18:41.

new version ` the felfie. But behind the fun, there's a more serious side

:18:42.:18:45.

to the social media craze as our Rural Affairs correspondent, David

:18:46.:18:50.

Gregory Kumar, has been finding out. Celebrities love a selfie, taking a

:18:51.:18:54.

picture of themselves and putting it online. Here's mine... And if you

:18:55.:19:08.

want to find it you can search for it using the hashtag felfie. You'll

:19:09.:19:13.

find plenty from our farmers. But felfie isn't the only farming

:19:14.:19:19.

hashtag out there. I have heard that you are working of the hash tag team

:19:20.:19:25.

dairy. According to some people, yes. It is what we are all about. As

:19:26.:19:33.

regards Twitter and farming, it is instant, you can do it wherever you

:19:34.:19:37.

are. Whether you are in need looking parlour, in the tractor, you can get

:19:38.:19:44.

it out there as quickly as possible. Businesses large and small have

:19:45.:19:48.

followed the farmers onto twitter. By using twitter, I have got into

:19:49.:19:53.

conversations with people that are interested in what we do. How much

:19:54.:19:58.

business have you picked up? We joined in April last year and I

:19:59.:20:02.

would estimate between ten and ?15,000 worth. And both Chris and

:20:03.:20:11.

Jim have been involved with the huge task of helping flooded Somerset

:20:12.:20:14.

farmers. And social media was at the heart of relief effort. One farmer

:20:15.:20:18.

said to me that in the old days, you waited for farmers weekly to drop

:20:19.:20:21.

onto your doormat and that is when you found out what was happening.

:20:22.:20:24.

But now it is all immediate. They say that is a good thing. But of

:20:25.:20:28.

course, Twitter is not for everyone. What would you say to farmers who

:20:29.:20:31.

think this is just a stupid waste of time? Fair enough. Don't use it.

:20:32.:20:38.

Each to their own. Some people love it. I know I do. This gives you a

:20:39.:20:43.

chance to talk to so many people so quickly, a photo with a bit of an

:20:44.:20:49.

excavation can put so many would accrue `` so much information out

:20:50.:20:52.

there very quickly. And sometimes of course that photo can be very silly

:20:53.:20:57.

indeed. A centre in Birmingham will begin

:20:58.:21:00.

serving breakfast to the homeless again, after an overwhelming

:21:01.:21:03.

response to an appeal by Worcester Warriors rugby club. Rising costs

:21:04.:21:06.

forced the SIFA Fireside centre in Digbeth to give up the service at

:21:07.:21:10.

Christmas. The Worcester players stepped in to buy food and cook

:21:11.:21:15.

breakfast once a week. After we featured the story on Midlands

:21:16.:21:18.

Today, other businesses and groups have come forward to help provide

:21:19.:21:21.

meals for around 100 homeless people a day.

:21:22.:21:24.

A former West Bromwich Albion striker has left the entire contents

:21:25.:21:29.

of his luxury home to charity. Markus Rosenberg has left the club

:21:30.:21:32.

to play for Malmo in his native Sweden. But instead of taking the

:21:33.:21:36.

furniture from his home in Solihull, he got his agent to arrange to give

:21:37.:21:45.

it to the Sue Ryder charity. We were absolutely amazed. We have

:21:46.:21:48.

never had a foot taller donate any items to us that we are aware of.

:21:49.:21:56.

The money that we raise we believe will be around ?3500. It will go

:21:57.:22:01.

towards incredible care. Let's hope it raises more money than he managed

:22:02.:22:06.

to score goals for the Albion. Onto sport. And it's been a pretty awful

:22:07.:22:10.

week to be a groundsman. Out in all weathers, working hard to get the

:22:11.:22:14.

game on despite the nonstop rain. Tomorrow lunchtime, Shrewsbury Town

:22:15.:22:17.

are due to play Port Vale. So today, Ian Winter went to the Greenhous

:22:18.:22:21.

Meadow to check up on the state of the pitch.

:22:22.:22:23.

For one day only, Richard... Andrew... And Ken have acquired a

:22:24.:22:26.

willing apprentice. So this morning, at the Greenhous Meadow, it was four

:22:27.:22:29.

blokes with four forks working flat out to make sure tomorrow's game

:22:30.:22:32.

between Shrewsbury and Port Vale has the very best chance of beating the

:22:33.:22:37.

weather. Have you ever known anything like it? No, we have had

:22:38.:22:42.

some windy times but it is just so matter storm. We have seen the

:22:43.:22:50.

forecast, we will wait to see what happens in the morning. We will have

:22:51.:22:55.

to wait and see what tomorrow brings. You have done well to find

:22:56.:23:03.

him. There is usually a cardboard cutout of him and he's in the pub by

:23:04.:23:13.

now. Since moving here, she was behind never had a game called off

:23:14.:23:21.

due to a waterlogged pitch. What a contrast to their previous ground.

:23:22.:23:24.

Ever since 1911, flooding used to be an almost annual event for

:23:25.:23:27.

Shrewsbury Town. When the river burst its banks, the phrase

:23:28.:23:29.

waterlogged pitch somehow felt inadequate. For 25 years, it was

:23:30.:23:33.

Brian Perry's job to care for the football pitch beneath the floods.

:23:34.:23:36.

And today, he's returning to the site of the old Gay Meadow for the

:23:37.:23:39.

first time since retiring. No wonder he's surprised to find 179

:23:40.:23:42.

family homes being built exactly where Shrewsbury Town used to play

:23:43.:23:50.

football. Your job must have been a nightmare.

:23:51.:23:54.

Yes, it was but I enjoyed every minute of it. People would ask me

:23:55.:24:00.

about if the rain will stop the game on Saturday. It used to come down

:24:01.:24:06.

quick and come up quick. Once the water on the pitch was there, there

:24:07.:24:10.

was nothing I could do. But is when I went home for a cup of tea. Which

:24:11.:24:13.

is exactly what groundsmen have always done when the rain pours

:24:14.:24:17.

down. And the forecast for the next few hours remains wet, wet, wet. And

:24:18.:24:21.

there'll be a pitch inspection at 8:15am.

:24:22.:24:25.

Throughout the programme we've seen just how awful the weather has been

:24:26.:24:28.

today. How's it looking for the weekend, Rebecca?

:24:29.:24:30.

I almost dare not say this, Mary, but all signs are pointing to things

:24:31.:24:36.

improving ever so slightly as we head into next week, and things

:24:37.:24:39.

today haven't been quite as bad as we were expecting. Although we have

:24:40.:24:42.

had some heavy bursts across the region. That said, we do still have

:24:43.:24:46.

a Met Office yellow weather warning in place for heavy rain tonight and

:24:47.:24:49.

through tomorrow as low pressure continues to sit above the country.

:24:50.:24:53.

And this is the system that has brought today's unsettled weather,

:24:54.:24:55.

and through tonight winds are strengthening. We could get gusts of

:24:56.:24:58.

40`50mph tonight as we head towards tomorrow morning. We also have

:24:59.:25:01.

showers rattling through the region too. At times they will be heavy and

:25:02.:25:05.

with the cloud and the winds temperatures aren't going to fall

:25:06.:25:10.

away too far. Temperatures 5`6 Celsius. It'll be a grey and wet

:25:11.:25:13.

start to Saturday, with blustery conditions too. Those showers

:25:14.:25:17.

banding up again at times. As that area of low pressure moves, our wind

:25:18.:25:20.

direction will change, bringing in some colder air, we could see some

:25:21.:25:23.

wintry showers over the Staffordshire moorlands. But slowly

:25:24.:25:26.

through the day tomorrow we will see those showers moving away. With

:25:27.:25:29.

drier and brighter conditions from the north, feeling colder though.

:25:30.:25:32.

Temperatures a few degrees colder than today. So a clear night to

:25:33.:25:39.

come, with a few showers remaining over the north midlands, at times

:25:40.:25:47.

they could be a little wintry. But under clear skies with cooler air a

:25:48.:25:50.

widespread frost is on the cards, with temperatures dropping down to

:25:51.:25:53.

around freezing point. We could see some icy stretches developing too on

:25:54.:25:57.

untreated surfaces. But Sunday is looking like a much better day ` the

:25:58.:26:01.

best day of the weekend with dry and bright conditions, sunshine and

:26:02.:26:04.

lighter winds through the day. It is feeling colder though, with

:26:05.:26:06.

temperatures hovering between seven and nine Celsius. It doesn't last

:26:07.:26:10.

too long though as cloud starts to build through the afternoon ahead of

:26:11.:26:13.

the next band of rain moving in. Despite that though, the low is not

:26:14.:26:17.

as extreme as we've seen recently and it finally looks like we are

:26:18.:26:20.

returning to slightly more normal winter weather.

:26:21.:26:28.

That was the Midlands Today. I'll be back at 10pm with the latest on the

:26:29.:26:33.

flood warnings. It's been a week dominated by the weather, we'll

:26:34.:26:36.

leave you with some of the images captured by phone, and on our

:26:37.:26:39.

cameras from helicopter, four by four, tractor, boat and in lots of

:26:40.:26:41.

pairs of wellies. Unfortunately, the impacts are

:26:42.:26:59.

really starting to happen now. It has been seeping through the

:27:00.:27:02.

concrete. Water gets everywhere, doesn't it?

:27:03.:27:08.

You just find yourself thinking, what else am I going to do?

:27:09.:27:20.

Quite significant damage. And some very upset children when they

:27:21.:27:33.

realise what has happened. This has caused a lot of distress

:27:34.:27:39.

for a lot of people. The city centre has been in sort of locked down.

:27:40.:27:45.

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