10/03/2014 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: Reports of


suspected child abuse in Coventry up by 40% in three years We've had


exclusive access to the sochal workers coping with almost 30 cases


at one time. One minute you are focused thinking what you are going


to ask and what you are going to explore on one visit, then something


else will come in and you h`ve to think again. The social workers


coping with almost 30 cases at one time. Also tonight: An inquhry's


welcomed into allegations that orthodox Muslims plan to take over


some Birmingham schools ` 1 governor dismisses the story as a ho`x. After


the floods, a month on we'rd back in Upton upon Severn to see how


residents are recovering. D`ncing with Wolves ` the French duo firing


the Molineux men towards promotion. I practised that Dan is at home in


front of the mirror. And we're on a high this week quite literally as


high pressure takes charge but settled doesn't necessarily mean


sunshine. Find out more latdr. Good evening. The number of reports


of suspected of child abuse in Coventry, a city still haunted by


the death of four`year`old Daniel Pelka, has increased by 40% in three


years. A BBC investigation has revealed that 21,000 calls were made


to social services last year. That's an average of 60 calls about


children potentially in danger every day of the week. Social workers at


Coventry City Council are averaging 29 cases at one time. BBC Coventry


and Warwickshire's political reporter Sian Grzseczkyck h`s spent


the last two weeks with staff responsible for protecting


Coventry's children. This is the front line `` This is the front line


of child protection in Coventry and it's busy. During my two wedks here


there have been more than 1,600 calls alone. I'm spending the day


with Sarb Bhambra, one of the team's senior social workers. It's 8:3 am


and she's on emergency duty today, and already has an urgent c`se to go


out on. A mum has been attacked by her partner and there are two young


children in the home. The rhsk of emotional harm to them from


witnessing and hearing what is going on at home is quite high. You can


imagine these young children who are in their bedrooms perhaps hdaring


the arguments and maybe even mum screaming for help. En routd Sarb


decides to head to another worrying case first, the police have


discovered a cannabis factory in the home of a young girl, a man's been


arrested and released, and Sarb could be walking into a dangerous


situation. Potentially we h`ve got the man involved in criminal


activity and we don't reallx know what he is capable of. When police


went into the home it was to arrest him for believers bodily harm which


he was suspected of but when you hear those sorts of things xou do


start to think how dangerous is this man? You do not know what ilpact


there has been on the children already. We do not know what she is


going to find but she goes hnto situations like this on a d`ily


basis. What is worrying me hs the vulnerability of the ma'am. We have


to make sure she keeps hersdlf on track and keeps her child s`fe.


We're back on the road when she gets a call from her boss, an emdrgency's


come through. What has come in? A child with some bruising on her


legs, a three`year`old, she disclosed to the nursery th`t her


mum has hit her. Sarb now mhght have to go out on that emergency but


still has to get to her original case first. Staffing is alw`ys an


issue. I suppose it does not matter how many staff you have got ten you


can never account for what hs going to come in on a particular day. We


battle through rush hour tr`ffic but when Sarb arrives, no one is home,


it's been a wasted journey `nd she heads back to base. She is now


having a chat with her manager to find out if she will be going out


with the police on that emergency call. They decide there's no


immediate danger and the case can wait till tomorrow. It has been a


very bitty they were one thhng is going on and then it is not


happening. I was glad we get out to see that family we went out to


earlier. That needed a visit to do an assessment and get that family


the help they needed at the moment. I was upset about the familx who


were not ten, the domestic violence perpetrator, I will have to go there


tomorrow. Then I have got in the back of my head that other baby that


has got bruises. I will havd to keep that in my head for tomorrow. I m


joined now by the deputy le`der of Coventry City Council, Councillor


Phil Townshend. Good evening. We saw there how much pressure Sarb was


under ` how can that sort of workload be sustainable? Nehther in


the short term or definitelx in the long`term it sustainable. As your


report explained there have been a number of referral is and wd have to


take everyone seriously and hail with it. As far as meeting the needs


of that service, or the last month a further ?4 million per year was


committed to the children's services budget, that is the temper sent


increase. We will be recruiting more social workers and supporting the


teams that are already workhng incredibly hard. Child protdction


agencies in Coventry were accused of missing opportunities to help Daniel


Pelka, murdered by his mothdr and stepfather. How can you properly


protect vulnerable children if they have so many cases? It will take a


while for all of the staffing levels to be put into this service but


already we have put an additional social work team into the rdferral


is centre. We have recruited an additional 12 social workers, to


practitioners and two managdrs. We are taking this seriously and if you


look at the recommendations that came out in the series Case review


into Daniel's tragic death. Seven points have been worked on, a tyrant


progress. I want to pay tribute to the tremendous work that our social


workers do in this city. I appreciate that but can you be sure


children in Coventry are safe given the workload of social workdrs? We


have got an incredibly commhtted team, there is strong polithcal and


managerial oversight, we ard determined to do everything in our


power to prevent the sort of tragic occurrence that led to the death of


Daniel Pell car. Coming up later in the programme: We meet the star of


the stable, Champion hurdle favourite the new 1 ` ahead of the


Cheltenham Festival. One of the schools in Birmingham which is


alleged to have been targetdd in a plot by orthodox Muslims, h`s told


the BBC it welcomes a wider investigation. The supposed plot is


known as Operation Trojan Horse A governor at another school, named in


a leaked document, has said the whole thing is a hoax. Giles Latcham


reports. At the eye of the storm, this primary in East Birmingham is


one of the four schools namdd in a leaked letter alleging a conspiracy


by orthodox Muslims to take it over. Parents here by and large are


bemused or disbelieving. I do not believe it at all. That has got


nothing to do with it. This school should be equal faith, we lhve in


this country and I do not sde any issues. Genuine or not, the letter


boasts of creating disruption in Birmingham schools and incltdes a


five point plan to for inst`lling Muslim governors and forcing out


head teachers. This building is not going to be refurbished. Balwant


Bains filmed for Midlands Today four years ago, was until last November,


Head at Saltley School ` he resigned after an Ofsted report described his


relationship with the governors as dysfunctional. The 4`page ldaked


letter makes reference to this school and its headteacher. They


said they were able to play the religion and Indian versus Pakistani


card. Waseem Yaqub is chair of governors at an Islamic school


nearby. His school is not one of those named ` but he believds the


letter to be fake and says ht's the work of those trying to start an


anti`Muslim witch hunt. I think this leak is damaging to community


cohesion. I think it is a slidgen of rumour and innuendo. Park Vhew WAS


mentioned in the letter and Ofsted carried out a snap investig`tion


here last week. Also named hn the letter is one of the school's


governors Tahir Alam. He's described the letter as a hoax "obviotsly and


self`evidently fabricated" `nd intended to discredit him. But this


MP thinks it's authentic and claims that attempts by orthodox Mtslims to


take over schools in Birmingham have been going on for years. If the


community want to do that, want to have a Muslim school it is puite


easy. Under current legislation you can set up a free school, why not do


that rather than taking over in this way. The BBC spoke to this lan today


but he did not want to be interviewed. The governors have put


absolutely that he was forcdd from his job. A murder investigation is


underway after the body of ` soldier was found at a barracks in


Shropshire. Corporal Geoffrdy McNeill was from the 1st Battalion,


The Royal Irish Regiment. The 32`year`old was found at Clhve


Barracks Tern Hill on Saturday. A 23`year`old serving soldier has been


arrested in connection with his death. A jury at a murder trial took


to the road today to visit the scene where the teenage victim didd.


18`year`old Joshua Ribera, ` musician who performed under the


name "Depzman", was stabbed last September near a nightclub hn Selly


Oak. Our special corresponddnt Peter Wilson has been following the trial.


West Midlands Police sealed off the roads leading to TC's nightclub The


jury of six men and six womdn arrived in a coach along with the


legal teams and the court staff It was here in September last xear that


a promising rapper, artist Joshua Ribera, was fatally stabbed at a


party. Before the arrival of the court, we were allowed to fhlm


inside. This is weird the p`rty took place. The Judy have alreadx been


shown diagrams, documents and CCTV footage of what happened on that


night. `` jury. Today is a chance for them to walk The Judge, his


honour William Davies QC, briefed the jury. Around and see for


themselves. The prosecution team led by James Curtiss QC showed where the


fatal attack had taken placd outside the club. The defence QC Patl Lewis


was at the crime scene, the defendant 18`year`old Armanh


Mitchell waived that right he denies the charge of murder. While these


site visits are rare, they `re not unusual. What effectively h`ppens is


that Birmingham Crown Court becomes the crime scene for an hour or so.


We are not allowed to cross the precinct or film the Judy. `` jury.


The court staff and jury returned to the law courts to continue hearing


evidence, the trial is expected to last until the end of the month A


month ago, some people living in Worcestershire were coping with some


of the worst flooding they'd ever seen. The town of Upton upon Severn


was virtually cut off as thd river overflowed ` leaving only one road


open and dozens of homes under water. Our reporter Ben Sidwell is


back to assess life after the floods ` is life getting back to normal,


Ben? For the majority here the answer is yes, mainly because of


these flood barriers. Less than one month ago the water was still


lapping up against this glass but now it is 20 feet below me hn this


river. While most people ard remaining dry in the town, there are


still some residents leading up and it could be months before they are


back in their homes. Travelling here by boat to day it is diffictlt to


comprehend that this is the same river from just four weeks `go. From


the rescue team `` for the rescue team the last month has been busy.


There were 15 families we h`d to move out, sort them out with


furniture, we had to move animals, there have been hospital runs, lots


of sandbagged deliveries. For me one of the things that sticks ott the


travelled here weeks ago is this caravan park behind me, we could


only see the tops of the wood. It shows how much damage and


destruction has been caused. Many owners have not yet been back. For


those who are returning, thd task of cleaning and repairing their pitches


can now begin. We could see what was happening. I think expecting to come


here to see a load of probldms is what happened. The river rose here,


flooding the houses close bx. We will probably be living in this


caravan for a couple of months yet. Their warm note is this small


caravan, parked outside thehr house which was waist deep in watdr.


Because of the weather it h`s not had a chance to dry out. It will be


a long time before we can move anything. Back on the river at the


trail of destruction left bx the flight is all around us. To give you


some idea of how the water has dropped in the last four wedks, take


a look at this post. When wd did this in February the water was just


a couple of feet from that Lark It is quite incredible. Some rdsidents


have been through this many times before. While 40 a few it to be some


time before things return to normal, judging by what we saw todax, the


river itself already has. One of the big problem is the last timd the


flooding team is that three of the four roads into town were ctt off.


That really affected businesses What some people want now is a


review of the road system so that the next time the waters, the town


can remain open and businesses can remain vibrant. Our top story


tonight: Reports of suspectdd child abuse in Coventry up by 40% in three


years. Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly, also in


tonight's programme: The gift of music. Enabling severely disabled


musicians to perform, simplx by moving their hands through the air.


Time for sport. Dan's here. Starting with football, another great result


for Wolves, but some controversy surrounding their latest win. Yes,


the League One leaders Wolvds have complained to the Football


Association and Walsall aftdr two of their players said they werd


racially abused during Saturday s game between the two clubs. Carl


Ikeme and George Elokobi sahd they were abused by a small numbdr of


Walsall fans as their team won `0. Wolves have now won a club


record`equalling eight games in a row and a dash of French fl`ir is


firing them back towards thd Championship. Here's Ian Winter The


wind of change is blowing through Wolverhampton Wanderers. And this


pair of Parisians are playing a big part in the French Revolution at


Molineux. Nouha Dicko and B`kary Sako were born in Paris four years


apart, and both have family ties to the West Africa Republic of Mali.


Now, they're very much part of the Wolves family too. Good fridnds both


off and on the pitch, that hs good to see. I am sure they will point to


the team behind them and sax we are all in it together. On Saturday


away to Walsall, the flying Frenchmen were on top form, as


Wolves raced to their eighth straight win. Dicko scored their


first two, to make it six goals in seven games since arriving from


Wigan, and then his good pal Sacko sealed a 3`0 victory to spark a


little celebration. I did not go I would be that famous. It looked to


me like you had practised that dance. Yes, yes, I had practised


that Dan is at home just in front of the matter! Tomorrow night hf they


win again they will set a ndw club record of nine consecutive


victories. Do you both belidve you will be celebrating promotion in


May? That is what we are working towards, it is not easy but we are


working hard every day and we hope that yes, we will win. He h`s made a


bright start with 11 goals `nd at his age, if you do as hungrx as


years, he has a bright future. So the future's bright, the future s


French. With 13 games left to make sure the League One leaders become


promotion winners this season. Wolves look to be on course for the


Championship next season. And there's a very real fear thdy could


be playing local rivals West Bromwich Albion in it next season.


Albion were beaten 3`0 at home by Manchester United in the Prdmier


League on Saturday. It means the new Head Coach Pepe Mel is still looking


for his first win after sevdn games in charge and he's coming under


increasing pressure. Stoke City aren't out of relegation trouble


either despite fighting back for an important point at Norwich City Jon


Walters equalised from the penalty spot for Stoke who are six points


clear of the bottom three. But he was later sent off for this


challenge and now faces a three match ban. Manager Mark Hughes says


he thought the decision was a little harsh. Onto the Cheltenham festival


and trainer Nigel Twiston`D`vies says winning tomorrow's Chalpion


Hurdle would be the greatest moment of his career. The Cotswold trainer


saddles the favourite The Ndw One in the feature race on day one of the


Festival. And he says winning would be special because his son Sam will


take the ride. So, is The Ndw One also the special one? Judging by the


crowds of journalists hanging on the trainer's every word he could well


be. He's the star of the st`ble and being favourite for the Chalpion


Hurdle ` he could also be the star on day one of the Cheltenhal


Festival. He has been descrhbed by his trainer as the best horse he has


ever had and bear in mind hd has won two Grand National. And shotld The


New One win tomorrow it'll lean even more to his trainer, as his son Sam


will take the ride. With sole riding it will be even more enjoymdnt. And


that's saying something, relember the last day of the 2011 festival?


Twiston Davies won three races including the Gold Cup itself with


Imperial Commander. The New One is trained at Nuanton in the Cotswolds.


He won at last year's festival, and his preparation this year h`s gone


smoothly. He is feeling really good, yes. As good as last xear when


he won. Fingers crossed. His main rival is dual champion Hurrhcane Fly


from Ireland who has lost jtst one of his last 17 races. It promises to


be a vintage race tomorrow. And if it does go to the local hero it ll


be quite an evening in the Twiston Davies household. So what c`n we


expect this week and where light we find the winners? We'll havd truly


competitive world class jump racing. And if finding a winner is `lways


hard ` this year it could bd harder still. So much of this season's


racing has been on really hdavy ground. The track at Cheltenham will


be about perfect jumping ground It's now good in places. So that


could really shake the form book up. A group of severely disabled


musicians are preparing for their public debut thanks to a "touch


free" instrument. It's cold Sunbeam, it means that music can be created


simply by moving your hands through the air. Bob Hockenhull reports


Mansoor Hussain and Chris Ldes both have muscle wasting diseases and no


musical background. And yet next month they'll be performing for the


public at Birmingham Conservatoire. They're making music using sensor


technology which translates body movement into sounds. Just the


mechanics of living, they tdnd to spoil the lot of whatever else you


would get involved with. If you can have an hour or two playing around


with the sound and other bits of instruments, it is absolutely


fantastic. It is a bit like breaking the sensor on a burglar alarm. The


closer my hand gets to the sound beam, the higher the note. Lusicians


have helped 30 severely dis`bled people to learn how to play using


the technology. They've also established links with Heartlands


Hospital to identify people such as stroke patients who'll benefit from


making music Staff at the Conservatoire believe the ftture


potential for this project hs endless, they hope the concdrt on


April 11th will be the first of many performed using the ultrasonic


technology. One of the things this can do is allow people to dhscover


new talents. The joy of mushc`making is something that I, as a mtsician,


have always enjoyed doing btt not everyone has that opportunity. These


guys are so great, they really, really try and make some be`utiful


music. What can we say about the lovely sunshine? More pleasd,


Shefali? It would be nice if we had more sunshine but there lies the


problem. Yesterday's top values 18 Celsius at Coleshill in


Warwickshire. I don't need to tell you how good that felt. Now the high


pressure is clinging to as but that does not necessarily mean there will


be loads of sunshine. Cloud drifting in along those winds. With the


high`pressure things will bd settled and any fronts will be killdd off


with activity along them at a minimum. Tonight clear skies and


western parts of the region, the cloud will gradually filter


westwards. Temperatures will be above freezing for the vast majority


of people. Only frost in thd far north of the region. Temper`tures


could fall low enough for the touch of frost. Tomorrow will start on


that cloudy note but gradually through the day the sunshind will


rebel away at the extremitids. Temperatures could rise to 02


Celsius during the afternoon on Tuesday with a light to moddrate


easterly wind. Tomorrow night we start with cloudier skies btt we


have got a greater potential for some patches of mist or fog on


hilltops. The values again `bove freezing. Patchy frosting rtral


spots. Wheddon stay overall will be a cloudy day. With the sunshine they


live the potential for it to be quite warm peaking at 14 or 15.


Tonight's headlines from thd BBC: Reports of suspected child `buse in


Coventry up by 40% in three years. That's all for now, goodbye.


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