21/02/2014 Midlands Today


21/02/2014

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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A reminder of our main story. Thousands of protest to remain in

:00:00.:00:00.

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

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Counting the cost ` as the flood clear`up begins, damage to crops,

:00:10.:00:12.

homes and businesses is expected to run into millions. This work needs

:00:13.:00:22.

to be done now. We will find the money to make sure it happens. We'll

:00:23.:00:25.

be talking to an expert who says the government's offer of ?10 million

:00:26.:00:29.

help for businesses is just a drop in the ocean. Also tonight: The West

:00:30.:00:32.

Midlands Chief Constable meets MP Andrew Mitchell to apologise for his

:00:33.:00:36.

force's part in the Plebgate Affair. We both agreed that the time has now

:00:37.:00:41.

come to move on from all of this, and I hope we can do that.

:00:42.:00:44.

Fresh details emerge over the poor care for a diabetic woman who died

:00:45.:00:47.

at Stafford Hospital seven years ago.

:00:48.:00:49.

Disappointment for Solihull speed skater Jon Eley in the Winter

:00:50.:00:57.

Olympics at Sochi. And it has certainly been a better week for the

:00:58.:01:00.

weather, but with more strong winds and heavy rain to come on Sunday, is

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it just a blip or rather storms back? The full we can forecast is

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coming up later. `` weekend forecast.

:01:11.:01:13.

Good evening. The floodwater's beginning to recede across the

:01:14.:01:17.

Midlands, but it's leaving behind seriously damaged homes,

:01:18.:01:19.

contaminated land and thousands of potholes. The government has

:01:20.:01:25.

promised extra money to help with the clean`up. As well as the ?10

:01:26.:01:31.

million for businesses affected by the floods, there's a separate ?10

:01:32.:01:34.

million fund for farmers to help restore their water`logged fields.

:01:35.:01:37.

And ?30 million will be made available for local authorities to

:01:38.:01:41.

maintain roads. But one Worcestershire farmer says the army

:01:42.:01:45.

need to stay and help with the clean`up, as manpower's as important

:01:46.:01:51.

as money. Bob Hockenhull reports. River levels fell significantly in

:01:52.:01:54.

Worcester overnight, paving the way for an army of workmen to move in.

:01:55.:01:58.

The task of washing the city clean is a mammoth one, but one the

:01:59.:02:02.

council is anxious to get on with, whatever the cost. This work needs

:02:03.:02:11.

to be done quickly, and the council will find the money. We are moving

:02:12.:02:16.

silt from the pathways. We have got a couple of snowploughs to move the

:02:17.:02:20.

deep silt. We are also removing fallen trees along the riverside

:02:21.:02:25.

halfway. A team of 70 people will be involved in the clean`up, which will

:02:26.:02:28.

carry on through the weekend and well into the next couple of weeks.

:02:29.:02:32.

Some of those involved have been borrowed from neighbouring councils

:02:33.:02:39.

to speed up the work. With the full extent of the repair bill becoming

:02:40.:02:42.

clearer, the council will be applying for Government funds to

:02:43.:02:45.

help restore the riverside. But one of the region's MEPs says Britain is

:02:46.:02:48.

missing out by not applying for EU help. Phil Bennion is urging people

:02:49.:02:52.

to support his petition to press the prime minister into action. This is

:02:53.:02:59.

money that is available to us. It is our right to claim it. We are aware

:03:00.:03:06.

of what has been going on in the UK and Ireland in terms of the flooding

:03:07.:03:10.

damage, and they are expecting a claim. Rural areas need help too. At

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Severn Stoke, as the floods start to recede, they're leaving piles of

:03:15.:03:16.

debris. Farmer Stephen Watkins describes it as "fly`tipping on a

:03:17.:03:20.

massive scale." He estimates ?60,000 worth of damage, but says it's

:03:21.:03:28.

manpower he really needs. The Army is here at the moment. They will

:03:29.:03:35.

disappear back to barracks. Some of these pieces are too big to pick up.

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We can pick up a certain amount mechanically. But the glasses tend

:03:40.:03:44.

to fall through the machinery, so it is difficult. And can we be sure the

:03:45.:03:49.

worst is over? The problem is, we have more unsettled weather moving

:03:50.:03:53.

in next week, so we have to keep a close eye on things. I think levels

:03:54.:03:58.

will start going up again. But we are not expecting levels to be as

:03:59.:04:00.

high as they were last week. One positive sign ` the Environment

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Agency feels it's safe to leave its emergency centre unmanned tonight,

:04:05.:04:08.

for the first time in 61 days. Herefordshire council has found

:04:09.:04:10.

nearly 2,000 road problems caused by flooding in the county. Meanwhile,

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Worcestershire County Council is increasing the number of its pothole

:04:15.:04:18.

repair teams working on the roads. Bob Hockenhull is at one of their

:04:19.:04:22.

depots near Bromsgrove tonight, so how much worse are the roads now

:04:23.:04:31.

than before the floods, Bob? Quite bad, I think. The man to answer that

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question is John Fraser from the highways department of

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Worcestershire county council. I think you have got of teams out

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repairing a big problem with potholes. We have hardly had a

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chance to catch our breath. After the floods, it was literally all

:04:49.:04:51.

hands to the pump . Now our attention has turned to potholes,

:04:52.:04:55.

because water damage on the road as good baboons with what holes. Give

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us an idea of the extent of how many potholes you are dealing with. Over

:05:02.:05:06.

the last couple of weeks, we have repaired 1000, considerably more

:05:07.:05:09.

than we would have to at this time of year. But we have doubled our

:05:10.:05:14.

inspectors. They are out on the road looking for potholes, and we have

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doubled the number of guys repairing them. What can members of the public

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do if the damage their cars or if they spot potholes on the roads? We

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always encourage people to let us know about problems on the roads.

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They can report online, via a smartphone, or give us a call. And

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have you got the money to do the repairs? Yes, we have got an extra

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three quarters of a million which we have into potholes repairs just for

:05:41.:05:44.

this period. If the winter and cold weather gets worse more we are

:05:45.:05:50.

prepared for it. There you have had it from the man himself. Even if

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councils are cash`strapped because of budget cuts, they will be

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spending the money needed to keep the roads safe.

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Joining us now is Dr Steve McCabe from Birmingham City University's

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Business School, who believes the government's ?10 million offer to

:06:06.:06:08.

help businesses recover from the floods is a "drop in the ocean".

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Good evening to you. ?10 million certainly sounds a lot of money, why

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isn't it enough? Well, the insurance claims will come to over ?1 billion

:06:21.:06:25.

in the short term, and the problem will only get worse. It is going to

:06:26.:06:29.

be a perennial problem. But funds have to be fined under `` finite.

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They have already given millions to farmers, roads and rail. It can't go

:06:35.:06:40.

on for ever. But if we don't do something about flood defences, the

:06:41.:06:44.

problems will only get worse. So how far do you think the government has

:06:45.:06:48.

to take the blame for the damage and heartache 's well, when the

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government came to power, they claimed we have a public finance

:06:53.:06:56.

problem, so they cut the defences for flooding. It is of the order of

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about 20% in real terms. So this was a problem they would have known

:07:02.:07:10.

about. Something like half a million homes are in danger of flooding, and

:07:11.:07:14.

the problem will get worse. What do they have to do about it? They have

:07:15.:07:20.

to spend more money on construction. That means putting in flood

:07:21.:07:27.

defences, up and down the country. There is a problem with global

:07:28.:07:31.

warming. We are not going to stop burning fossil fuels, and therefore

:07:32.:07:36.

flooding is going to be a problem for the foreseeable future. And it

:07:37.:07:42.

is not just the current damage the money is needed for, it is

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protection? If you have been flooded, this used to be a once in a

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hundred year event. It is going to be a recurring problem. Why do you

:07:50.:07:54.

say that? Because it is not going to stop raining! But surely this event

:07:55.:08:00.

was fairly freakish? If you look at the couple of years ago, coming up

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to the Olympics, we had some flooding during the summer. Thank

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you very much. And there's more about flooding

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later in the programme. We'll be visiting a company in Worcestershire

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which has landed deals worth millions to make flood defences.

:08:15.:08:22.

A court's been hearing more details about the poor care that a diabetic

:08:23.:08:25.

patient received at Stafford Hospital before her death. Gillian

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Astbury died in April 2007 after two nurses failed to give her insulin.

:08:32.:08:36.

Today the Mids Staffordshire NHS Trust was in court to be sentenced

:08:37.:08:39.

after pleading guilty to failing to ensure Gillian Astbury's safety. Our

:08:40.:08:44.

reporter Liz Copper was at Stafford Crown Court. What did the

:08:45.:08:53.

prosecution say today, Liz? This was a case that had transferred from the

:08:54.:08:57.

magistrates court to the Crown Court because the magistrates felt that

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their sentencing powers were not sufficient. So we heard the

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prosecution outlined the case, and it is a case that was brought by the

:09:05.:09:08.

Health and Safety Executive. The prosecution focused on two main

:09:09.:09:12.

areas of the treatment that Gillian asked bring received while she was

:09:13.:09:18.

in Staffordshire Hospital. They focused on the record`keeping and

:09:19.:09:21.

the notes taken of the treatment, and also the handovers between staff

:09:22.:09:25.

who were on different ship while she was in the hospital. According to

:09:26.:09:31.

the prosecution, there was no effective management, oversight or

:09:32.:09:35.

control. They described Gillian Astbury's death as wholly avoidable.

:09:36.:09:39.

The trust has pleaded guilty to these breaches. It accepts

:09:40.:09:44.

responsibility, and that is why the trust is being prosecuted in this

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case and not any individual. So what have the Mid Staffordshire trust

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said in their defence? Their defence submissions centred mostly around

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the level of the fine that the judge will set. They described this case

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as unique. The judge summed up their submissions as coming under three

:10:06.:10:08.

main headings. Firstly, that this is a trust that has been punished

:10:09.:10:13.

enough. This trust has learned its lessons. And also, that to impose a

:10:14.:10:19.

hefty fine could potentially have an impact on innocent patients and

:10:20.:10:24.

staff. Yes, the case is being heard at the Crown Court because of the

:10:25.:10:28.

potential level of the fine, but this could have serious implications

:10:29.:10:30.

for a trust which is already in financial trouble? Well, the judge

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described the balancing act he will have to deal with as an essential

:10:40.:10:42.

conundrum of this sort of case. He said it was a very important case

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which will have implications beyond Stafford. That is why he will take

:10:47.:10:50.

his time and consider the submissions before he hands down his

:10:51.:10:52.

judgement. West Mercia Police are investigating

:10:53.:10:55.

the deaths of a number of patients who were under the care of a

:10:56.:10:58.

consultant surgeon working for the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS

:10:59.:11:03.

Trust in 2012. Sudip Sarker was suspended by the Trust last October,

:11:04.:11:06.

and his work is also under investigation by the General Medical

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Council,. The trust said a review of patients who'd come into contact

:11:12.:11:15.

with Mr Sarker was taking place. A woman from Halesowen has admitted

:11:16.:11:18.

driving the wrong way along the M5 for four miles whilst under the

:11:19.:11:25.

influence of alcohol. 26`year`old care assistant Katy Homer was

:11:26.:11:29.

stopped by officers in December. CCTV footage showed the car being

:11:30.:11:32.

driven into the path of vehicles, including heavy goods lorries.

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She'll be sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 28 March.

:11:36.:11:41.

A Worcestershire man's forgiven the company behind the explosion that

:11:42.:11:44.

caused him to suffer a double amputation. The blast, at Filtration

:11:45.:11:51.

Service Engineering in Kidderminster in December 2011, cost 51`year`old

:11:52.:11:56.

Clive Dainty both his legs. The firm's been ordered to pay more than

:11:57.:12:00.

?45,000 in fines and costs for breaching the Health and Safety Act.

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Mr.Dainty says he's now focused on rebuilding his life. It is no use

:12:04.:12:12.

sitting back, feeling sorry for yourself. There is no point. Just

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get on with it. That is my advice to anybody who is unfortunate to have

:12:22.:12:28.

injuries like this, or any limbs missing. Just get on with your life.

:12:29.:12:32.

The West Midlands Chief Constable Chris Sims has met Andrew Mitchell

:12:33.:12:35.

to apologise for his force's part in the Plebgate Affair. After a private

:12:36.:12:38.

meeting in the Conservative MP's constituency office in Sutton

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Coldfield, he said he was grateful for what was now the fifth apology

:12:42.:12:45.

he'd received from a chief police officer. Andrew Mitchell was

:12:46.:12:48.

speaking exclusively to our Political Editor Patrick Burns,

:12:49.:12:52.

who's here now. How exactly did this meeting come about? I think it had

:12:53.:13:00.

been coming, when you consider that Chris Sims is already one of three

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local chief constables who had sent a written apology to Mr Mitchell.

:13:05.:13:08.

David Shaw from West mercy had been to London to see him in person. So

:13:09.:13:13.

today's encounter did have a certain air of inevitability about it.

:13:14.:13:17.

The pressure on Andrew Mitchell seems to ease with every passing

:13:18.:13:21.

day. Not on the police, though. Today's meeting was in the same

:13:22.:13:25.

offices where in October 2012, Mr Mitchell had had his fateful meeting

:13:26.:13:27.

with three Police Federation representatives, including one from

:13:28.:13:34.

the West Midands. Chief Constable, what are you going to apologise for?

:13:35.:13:38.

I have got a private meeting. At the time, the Federation accused him of

:13:39.:13:42.

failing to give an adequate account of his part in the Downing Street

:13:43.:13:45.

confrontation. But it later emerged that Mr Mitchell had secretly

:13:46.:13:48.

recorded the meeting, and had answered questions at length, and

:13:49.:13:50.

repeatedly denied calling the Downing Street police officers

:13:51.:13:58.

"plebs". The Chief Constable had little to add to the conversation. I

:13:59.:14:04.

have just had a private meeting. You feel that draws a line under it?

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That is the Mr Mitchell to say, rather than me. I will have to throw

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that question at you now. It seems we are a long way from drawing a

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line under this sorry saga? We certainly are, when you consider

:14:19.:14:22.

that the law still has to take its course and goodness knows how long

:14:23.:14:25.

that will take. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is

:14:26.:14:28.

looking into the details, as is the home affairs select committee, but

:14:29.:14:31.

when you talk to Andrew Mitchell himself, you get a sense that he at

:14:32.:14:36.

last feels the tide is starting to flow his way. I am grateful to the

:14:37.:14:41.

chief constable for coming to apologise to me and my family. We

:14:42.:14:45.

both agreed that the time has now come to move on from this, and I

:14:46.:14:52.

hope we can do that. What exactly did he apologise for? Well, he is

:14:53.:14:55.

the fifth senior police officer who has apologised. I and my family are

:14:56.:15:01.

grateful to all of them for what they have said. It was a private

:15:02.:15:08.

meeting. All of which raises the question when and if he may be

:15:09.:15:11.

recalled to high office. Whatever happens with the formalities, it is

:15:12.:15:15.

now a matter of political judgement as we enter a critical phase in

:15:16.:15:18.

politics. This is our top story tonight:

:15:19.:15:29.

Counting the cost: as the flood clear`up begins, damage to crops,

:15:30.:15:32.

homes and businesses is expected to run into millions.

:15:33.:15:35.

We have the weekend weather forecast coming up in a moment from Rebecca `

:15:36.:15:38.

a bit mixed, I think. Also in tonight's programme: A wolf

:15:39.:15:42.

in disguise ` we look ahead to tomorrow's big match which could see

:15:43.:15:45.

the men from Molineux take over at the top.

:15:46.:15:48.

And a new clearance scheme to help plants and wildlife thrive in our

:15:49.:15:56.

overgrown woodlands. Governments around the world are

:15:57.:15:58.

looking to technology developed in the Midlands to provide protection

:15:59.:16:01.

from floods. The UK's first self`closing flood barrier was

:16:02.:16:09.

created in Worcestershire. Now the company behind it has signed deals

:16:10.:16:12.

worth millions of pounds to sell the technology to countries that

:16:13.:16:15.

experience some of the most extreme weather.

:16:16.:16:17.

Protecting some of the wildest parts of the planet is flood defence

:16:18.:16:20.

technology developed here in the Midlands. Climate change is driving

:16:21.:16:26.

demand for this unique flood barrier. Most of the time, it's

:16:27.:16:32.

hidden below ground, only rising with the hydraulic power of the

:16:33.:16:43.

water it's intended to keep at bay. We've got a footprint on every

:16:44.:16:46.

continent. It's quite astonishing, really. We didn't even expect this

:16:47.:16:50.

speed of growth. The UK's actually seen as the thought leaders and the

:16:51.:16:53.

product leaders worldwide for flood defence. The Droitwich firm's just

:16:54.:16:56.

signed a major contract worth ?6 million with the Malaysian

:16:57.:17:01.

government. This simulation shows how the barriers will rise when it

:17:02.:17:04.

floods in Kuala Lumpur, protecting thousands of homes and businesses.

:17:05.:17:08.

And following Hurricane Sandy, the technology's getting good press in

:17:09.:17:13.

the US. While some buildings were flooded out, the self`closing

:17:14.:17:15.

barriers were keeping Washington's National Archives dry. That's

:17:16.:17:23.

spurred new orders from New York. While the final product will be

:17:24.:17:26.

shipped abroad, the production of it has been moved away from the Far

:17:27.:17:30.

East closer to home, right here to this factory in Coventry. 18 months

:17:31.:17:35.

ago, this engineering firm was bought out of administration. Now

:17:36.:17:40.

there are 17 people working on the flood barriers, with plans to

:17:41.:17:45.

recruit more. So we support, I would say locally, in excess of 250, 300

:17:46.:17:49.

jobs. We've got Malaysia saying we want made in England. We've got the

:17:50.:17:54.

United States saying we want made in the UK. The barrier is an example of

:17:55.:17:58.

an innovative idea that's winning worldwide recognition. That

:17:59.:18:09.

credibility, our manufacturing prowess, our ability to respond and

:18:10.:18:13.

innovate, I think is a great selling point for UK products. It allows us

:18:14.:18:17.

to compete very strongly on an international stage. But the severe

:18:18.:18:20.

weather here is fuelling demand at the doorstep too, in Worcestershire.

:18:21.:18:23.

And also in some of the worst hit parts of the UK, such as Cornwall,

:18:24.:18:30.

Scotland and Cumbria. Climate change is big business, and with profits

:18:31.:18:34.

expected to double next year, the financial forecast is looking bright

:18:35.:18:42.

for the Droitwich firm. Time for sport. Let's get bang up to

:18:43.:18:46.

date with the Winter Olympics. Here's Nick Clitheroe.

:18:47.:18:49.

Well, I'm sorry to say, Nick, there's been no medal for Solihull

:18:50.:18:53.

speed skater Jon Eley at his third Winter Olympics. Today was his

:18:54.:19:01.

strongest event, the 500m. But he was crowded out at the start of his

:19:02.:19:05.

semifinal and could only finish fourth. He did go on to contest

:19:06.:19:08.

what's called the small final and Jon was third in that, so he adds a

:19:09.:19:12.

seventh to his fifth and sixth places in his previous games. So is

:19:13.:19:16.

that our last chance gone of a Midlands medal at these Olympics?

:19:17.:19:20.

No, we've still got big hopes in the four man bobsleigh event this

:19:21.:19:25.

weekend. Ben Simons from Broseley in Shropshire is in bob two, while

:19:26.:19:28.

Coventry's Joel Fearon is in bob one. Now, they're highly fancied

:19:29.:19:33.

after being quickest in the final practice session in Sochi earlier

:19:34.:19:36.

this week. We have got so much potential in our team and we had

:19:37.:19:40.

such good results this year. Everyone is in such good shape. I

:19:41.:19:45.

can't write off anything. But it is the Olympic games and things do

:19:46.:19:49.

happen that you don't expect. But I am confident and my hopes are high.

:19:50.:19:52.

I should also mention Florence Bell from Birmingham, who's competing for

:19:53.:19:55.

Ireland at these Games. She's just 17 and put on a commendable showing

:19:56.:20:00.

in the slalom today. In football, there's no doubt over

:20:01.:20:04.

the match of the day in League One this weekend. Wolves can go top of

:20:05.:20:08.

the table if they beat the current leaders Brentford. Both teams are on

:20:09.:20:12.

top form. Wolves currently have the meanest defence in English league

:20:13.:20:15.

football, with only 20 goals conceded. Ian Winter looks ahead to

:20:16.:20:20.

tomorrow's big game. I would like you to meet parsley and

:20:21.:20:26.

his owner Jackie, two avid Wolves fans from Bridgnorth. They have come

:20:27.:20:30.

to Molineux along with quite a few others to meet two of their heroes.

:20:31.:20:35.

Quite is a prize for all concerned, because the players have never been

:20:36.:20:40.

offered good luck by a dog like this before. He is nearly two and has

:20:41.:20:46.

been brought up as a Wolves fan, hence the shirt. He wanted to come

:20:47.:20:52.

here and see the lads today. Facebook was founded in 2004, the

:20:53.:20:58.

same year that the old team went into liquidation. Sam Richards was

:20:59.:21:05.

snapped up by the manager of Swansea City at that time in League Two. I

:21:06.:21:08.

owe everything to the gaffer who took a chance on me and started my

:21:09.:21:13.

career. When the opportunity came up in the summer, Wolves is such a big

:21:14.:21:19.

club. As soon as he got appointed, I knew the club would do well. Just

:21:20.:21:22.

four years after joining Swansea, Sam was playing at the Premier

:21:23.:21:26.

League, first with Hull City and then with Bolton. Wolves fans will

:21:27.:21:29.

never forget his goal at the top`flight. And now, ten years after

:21:30.:21:38.

leaving Telford, Sam Ricketts was the first signing at Molineux,

:21:39.:21:42.

followed by Kevin McDonald soon afterwards. Wolves have won the last

:21:43.:21:47.

five games, and they have conceded only 20 league goals all season. How

:21:48.:21:52.

big is this game against Brentford? It is the one everyone has been

:21:53.:21:55.

looking forward to for a long time, probably their side as well as

:21:56.:21:59.

ours. We are the two form sides in the league. We have never had a

:22:00.:22:07.

pooch as a pundit before, so let's give it a go. Wolves or Brentford,

:22:08.:22:18.

parsley? Wolves! And history could be in the making tomorrow afternoon,

:22:19.:22:21.

again in league one, when Port Vale take on Crewe Alexandra. Joe Davis

:22:22.:22:27.

plays for Port Vale and will face his brother Harry who plays for

:22:28.:22:31.

Crewe, a team managed by their dad Steve. It's the first time the

:22:32.:22:34.

brothers have gone head`to`head. Vale manager Micky Adams says he

:22:35.:22:37.

hopes defender Joe just gets on with his job. It is a unique situation.

:22:38.:22:40.

He is playing against his dad's team, with his brother on the

:22:41.:22:44.

opposition. Hopefully, he will stick his chest out. Family bragging

:22:45.:22:50.

rights, for sure. I hope it does not feel too sorry for his dad and his

:22:51.:22:53.

brother, and he remembers why he is in the team. He has done well

:22:54.:22:57.

recently. We hope that continues. And of course, you can follow

:22:58.:23:00.

whichever team you support with commentaries and reports on your BBC

:23:01.:23:04.

Local Radio station this weekend. It may seem a daunting task, but the

:23:05.:23:09.

challenge is on to clear some of our seriously overgrown woodlands. It's

:23:10.:23:12.

important, because it'll give plants and wildlife the space they

:23:13.:23:16.

desperately need to thrive. The Wildlife Trust's been given a grant

:23:17.:23:19.

of ?200,000 to help with the clear`up in woodlands across

:23:20.:23:21.

Birmingham and the Black Country. Our reporter Lindsay Doyle has been

:23:22.:23:25.

along to Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham to see how they're

:23:26.:23:27.

getting on. Woods, dark and deep, but hopefully

:23:28.:23:34.

not for much longer. A major project has begun in Birmingham and the

:23:35.:23:37.

Black Country to clear overgrown woodland in parks and green spaces.

:23:38.:23:46.

Normally in Woodlands, you would expect to see things like primroses

:23:47.:23:50.

and lovely, interesting stuff. That helps the birds and the bees, which

:23:51.:23:54.

helps the larger wildlife like badgers and foxes. So by thinning

:23:55.:23:58.

the woodland, we can let light onto the ground to encourage the plans to

:23:59.:24:08.

grow up. The idea is to involve local people to help. Children

:24:09.:24:13.

learning survival skills through the fun of making a den in Birmingham's

:24:14.:24:17.

Cannon Hill Park are actually clearing laurel, which is chocking

:24:18.:24:20.

smaller flowers and plants. We are cutting down the sticks in the

:24:21.:24:22.

forest to clear it up so that people can go through. We need to do it

:24:23.:24:26.

slanted, so we can stick it into the ground. Overseen by the The Wildlife

:24:27.:24:32.

Trust, the work is being possible by a government grant of ?200,000.

:24:33.:24:40.

These woods are 25 years old, and in terms of wildlife, they are in

:24:41.:24:46.

decline. Usually overgrown, it is preventing the growth of important

:24:47.:24:51.

fundi. I spring, the way things are, there will not be a flower to be

:24:52.:24:54.

seen. It is essential that we have objects like this to help rejuvenate

:24:55.:25:00.

and manage the biodiversity. Once the woods are thinned, they will be

:25:01.:25:08.

managed and maintained. Existing trees will be allowed to mature.

:25:09.:25:17.

Seeds of native woodland flowers like bluebell and wood anemone will

:25:18.:25:22.

be planted. In just over a year's time, this slightly gloomy wood

:25:23.:25:25.

could be an astonishing splash of colour.

:25:26.:25:26.

So, whether you're in the woodlands or not, how's the weather looking

:25:27.:25:33.

this weekend? With the strong winds returning, it might not be safe to

:25:34.:25:36.

be sheltering under trees. The wind and rain are back this weekend. But

:25:37.:25:41.

it is not all doom and gloom. All those those winds are strengthening

:25:42.:25:45.

all the time and we will see some showers on Sunday, there will be

:25:46.:25:49.

plenty of brightness as well. The best of that will be in the east. We

:25:50.:25:53.

have had showers in the region today. They are continuing to night.

:25:54.:26:00.

Where they meet colder at, they could start to fall as hail.

:26:01.:26:04.

Eventually, the winds will drop out, so where you get clear spells,

:26:05.:26:11.

we could get a touch of grass frost. So it will be quite a chilly start

:26:12.:26:15.

tomorrow, but it will be a bright and breezy one. 20 of sunshine to

:26:16.:26:20.

come through the morning. By the time we get to lunchtime, we will

:26:21.:26:24.

start to see cloud filling in from the West and the odd spot of rain.

:26:25.:26:30.

The winds are strengthening all the time. Through Saturday night, those

:26:31.:26:39.

winds start to pep up. We have showers moving across the region,

:26:40.:26:44.

and temperatures are not going to fall too far. It will be quite a

:26:45.:26:48.

mild night as we head into Sunday morning. It is this weather front

:26:49.:26:59.

that is coming through. We should see gusts of wind around 40 miles an

:27:00.:27:03.

hour on Sunday. And it will be rather drizzly and wet. Quite a

:27:04.:27:08.

murky start to Sunday. Then we start to see that rain making its presence

:27:09.:27:12.

felt. Temperatures will not do too badly. It is quite mild. But as we

:27:13.:27:19.

head into the new working week, it is looking a little better. Heavy

:27:20.:27:22.

rain back on Tuesday. Tonight's headlines from the BBC: A peace deal

:27:23.:27:26.

in Ukraine, but will it be enough to satisfy the protesters?

:27:27.:27:37.

Counting the cost: as the flood clear`up begins, damage to crops,

:27:38.:27:40.

homes and business expected to run into millions.

:27:41.:27:42.

That was the Midlands Today. I'll be back at ten o'clock. Have a great

:27:43.:27:44.

evening. Goodbye.

:27:45.:27:48.

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