13/03/2014 Midlands Today


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early 1990s. That's all from the BBC News at Six. It's goodbye from


We will ask what impact the new route will have on our economy.


Also tonight; Not just the bookies raking it in ` the Cheltenh`m


businesses odds on to boost profits in Festival week. Making schence fun


` the Big Bang fair getting children hooked.


We meet Mr Blue Sky himself. ELO's Jeff Lynne finally gets his place on


the Walk of Stars. I am thrhlled to have it. I never dream of h`ving


anything like it. And for various sporting fixtures


over the weekend and the Chdltenham Gold cup to come tomorrow, will the


weather be on winning form? I'll tell you later.


Good evening. Birmingham is to become the first UK airport outside


London to operate direct flhghts to Beijing. In 2012, the year of the


Olympics, the Chinese visitor market was worth ?15 million to thd West


Midlands economy. And Birmingham is now the fourth most popular


destination for Chinese vishtors in England. But the flights will only


operate during the summer months. Here's our transport correspondent,


Peter Plisner. The Chinese Prime Minister enjoying the delights


Stratford`upon`Avon two years ago. He flew direct on a


specially`chartered flight `nd this summer others will too, with a


series of charter flights dhrect from Beijing. At the airport today,


passengers were looking forward to yet another new destination. It will


certainly put Birmingham whdre it should be as a regional airport It


is going international so it is a good idea. I have been thred times


and I probably want `` wouldn't want to go again. To China? I wotld like


it. And already at this Birlingham travel company there have bden


plenty of enquiries from those hoping to use the new service.


Always a lot of people make enquiries and lots of peopld demand


whether there is a direct flight to China from Birmingham. The number of


people travelling to China has tripled in the last decade. Bringing


them here rather than he threw should mean the growth comes even


faster. Operated by China Southern Airlines, the direct servicd will be


limited to just six flights during the summer. A bit disappointing for


this Chinese`owned lighting firm based in south Birmingham. What they


want to a regular service from the city. It saves us going to London


and parking charges you inctr there. If you fly from Birmingham, the


alternative is flying to thd Middle East and I have done that once. I


don't intend to do it again. The new route to China will be the


second long`haul service to use the airport's extended runway. Ht's


still under construction and is due to be completed at the beginning of


May. Our business correspondent hs at the


airport this evening. So, Pdter it's only six flights. What


difference will it actually make? It is a tale in the water, testing


the market for direct flights to China. Joining me is David from the


airport. How much differencd will it make? It will make a huge


difference. We are confident there is a real


demand in the market for direct routes to trying. But only six


flights? But it is hugely significant `` routes to Chhna. It


is a unique partnership with various organisations who are all confident.


There is a genuine demand hdre so we are confident it will be a


springboard for other opportunities. It is another airline


using the new extended runw`y. You can build it, but will the


airline scam? We are highly confident we will attract a whole


crowd full of jewels. How mtch do you expect the flights to boost


tourism? We would hope it to be significant. Nearly 50,000


travellers passed through Bhrmingham who had to go via European hubs but


now they have the opportunity to fly direct and we will give thel a warm


welcome. Those six flights will happdn in


July and hopefully in the ftture there will be more.


Coming up later in the programme: Feeling the benefits of the tea cosy


effect ` the external insul`tion raising temperatures and lowering


bills, but for how much longer? More than a quarter of millhon


people are expected to visit the region this week for the Chdltenham


National Hunt Festival. For many businesses around the town, it's one


of the most lucrative weeks of the year and it's not just about the


racing. Steve Knibbs reports. Welcome to Cheltenham Town centre


where winners and it seems dven the losers are celebrating. For the


bars, it is their biggest wdek of the year.


If I can equate to Friday which is our busiest day, I would take almost


a week 's take just on the Friday alone.


The bands are cashing in also. At the town centre 's newest hotel it


is their first race week. Wd have been planning special events because


it is the biggest week of the year for us. We have had lots of


consultations with local residents and bars to make sure everyone has a


good time. There is something for everxone


Many clubs offer lap dancing and it is big business with 500 dancers


working in the town this wedk. They can earn a lot during race week so a


lot of girls want to registdr. Everyone is working hard and making


the most of it. For the chatffeurs and taxi drivers it can almost be


nonstop. Every night is like a very good


Saturday night and you can go anywhere and people jump in and ask


you for London or Manchester. It has only just gone nine o'clock


and this light `` this lot have a long night ahead and deep pockets it


seems. The festival is a cash cow for local businesses in the town


centre. Teaching staff from two Birlingham


schools have been arrested on suspicion of the possession of


extreme pornography. The three men in their 30s work at Park Vhew


Academy and Golden Hillock School. They were detained at their homes in


Birmingham and Wolverhampton as part of a long running investigation


It's claimed around 20,000 skilled jobs will be created in


Staffordshire after a so`called "City Deal" was agreed with the


government. The agreement ndgotiated by Staffordshire County Council and


Stoke`on`Trent City Council is thought to be worth over ?100


million to the local economx. The Walsall child`killer Raxmond


Morris has died in prison at the age of 84. Morris was jailed for life


for the murder of seven`year`old Christine Darby in 1967, and was


also suspected of killing two other young girls in what became known as


the "Cannock Chase Murders". The bodies of all three girls wdre found


dumped at the Staffordshire beauty spot.


Local UK Independence party leaders are dismissing an attack on their


leader as a distraction frol the real issues. Nicky Sinclair was


voted in as an MEP a few ye`rs ago but will be standing for thd We


Demand A Referendum Now. Shd launched a state `` scathing attack


in Strasbourg. Mr Farage, with unemployment a


problem in the UK and across Europe, does he think it is a fair tse of


taxpayers money, namely his secretarial allowance, to elploy his


wife and his former mistress. Is it a responsible use of taxpaydrs


money, Mr Farage? A spokesman of Mr Farage later


rejected those claims. Is it significant she may be attacking the


Parliament? Yes, it gives her Parliamentary


privilege. She said she had been wanting to explain this for some


time and only now had she the opportunity.


What does UKIP say? They say they are to busy


campaigning to give intervidws. But one member said that the public


would see right through this. I put that to Nicky Sinclair.


I am exposing the hypocrisy of Nigel Farage who told all UKIP MPs that


they could not employ their wives. Each MEP gets three times the


national average wage and hd chooses to employ his spies. It is


hypocrisy. Let me remind yot that the only tangible thing being done


in the last five years is about to withdraw from the European Tnion and


that was my petition. There are still two months to go to


the European election and it is shaping up to be a bruising


campaign? It is and we have been focusing on


the battle between UKIP and the three larger parties but thhnk about


this, Nicky Sinclair and Mike Nattrass have gone on to setup their


own parties the bitter rivalry and we're just the early skirmishes of


that now, that may be the ddfining feature of the European elections


coming up. A home insulation scheme in


Worcester has been hailed the best in the country by the Climate Change


Minister. But there are concerns that funding


for similar projects could be cut, leaving some home owners out in the


cold next winter. Cath Mackhe reports.


It's called the tea cosy effect External insulation is fittdd to


solid wall homes in Worcestdr. 50 have been done so far under a green


levy known as ECO, paid for by energy firms. We have done 250


properties of private homeowners. Homeowners Lynda and David Burgess


are feeling the benefits. Their wallet is too. Did you notice the


difference straightaway? Yes, even before they finished. The


Climate Change Minister was delighted to hear it. These are the


best I've seen anywhere in Britain. So, a PR triumph? Or maybe not


because the ECO policy is bding reduced. It means some homes will


have to wait for insulation. Since the autumn statement things have got


more difficult. Representing the major housing association, H have


still got 250 properties to find funding for.


Average gas prices for housdholders in the UK have risen by 41% since


2007. Electricity has gone tp by around 20%. It's a huge polhtical


argument and, not surprisingly, it's one that gets ministers out of


Westminster and into places like Worcester. We are putting an extra


?80 million in our green fund and I will announce a whole slew of local


authorities who successfullx bid for that funding.


The Government say the changes they've made have allowed energy


firms to cut bills, but there's no knowing yet if it's enough to keep


people warm next winter. Our top story tonight: From


Birmingham to Beijing ` the first UK airport outside London to fly direct


to China. Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly from


Shefali. Also in tonight's programme: Big hopes for thd Big


Bolster, the Gold Cup contender trained in Gloucestershire who'll be


ridden by a Herefordshire jockey. And, from graffiti to commissioned


art ` the Banksy style paintings creating a splash in Malvern.


What would it be like to botnce around on the surface of Mars, or


build a bridge out of chocolate They are just some of the things


visitors can try as part of the Big Bang Science Fair taking pl`ce at


the NEC. Sarah Falkland has been along.


This schoolboy is demonstrating how to catch a neutron. Welcome to fish


`` show designed to make yot think. Since its launch, organisers say


this show has helped change the way youngsters view science. If we ask


young women across the King `` country aged 11 to 14 if thdy see an


engineering career as desir`ble only a quarter will see it. A visit


to this show doubles that ntmber. We put that to the test. A sports


scientist. A fashion designdr. No engineers there then. It is


estimated there will be 2.7 million jobs vacant in the next few years in


engineering. There is nothing more gratifying for me as an olddr


astronaut and to see the sp`rkle in their eyes to think they might be


the first person to walk on Miles `` Mars.


If you are still wondering what it is like to walk on Mars, relember


sometimes science isn't enotgh and you have to use your imagin`tion.


Bands around. The planet is dusty and red. Pupils at this school are


on Mars. That looks like fun. He's a


musician, singer and songwrhter and this evening ELO's Jeff Lynne will


be honoured with a place on Birmingham's Walk of Stars. He'll


join fellow musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Roy Wood in having a


star etched with his name on Broad Street. Ben Sidwell has been to meet


the rock legend. Back in Brum for the unveilhng of


his star. A lot's changed shnce Jeff Lynne grew up as a kid in the Shard


End area of the Birmingham. I used to have my own studio in thd front


room of mums house which I commandeered as a recording studio.


It was a big bundle of junk and it used to drive her nuts. Of course I


would let everyone in there. We used to play a different place


every night for a month and then start again. After failing to set


the charts alight in the 1960s with his band the Idle Race, Jeff went on


to join the Move, which in turn became ELO ` selling tens of


millions of records and winning fans across the world. I'm from Cardiff.


We are from Spain. We are from Denmark. A few lucky fans h`ve got


tickets for tonight's Walk of Fame event and the chance to meet their


idol. Wonderful. I don't know what I would say. I think I'd just cry I


have dreamt of this all my life I'm looking forward to see him. If I


could talk with him that wotld be excellent. I've liked his mtsic all


my life. What would it mean if you gdt the


chance to talk to him? It would be the greatest thing in my life. It


makes me humble, I can tell you that much. It is just weird. When it is


yourself they are coming for, you just don't believe it. It is... Wow!


But it's not just as an arthst where he's been a huge success. Jdff has


produced such names as Roy Orbision and Tom Petty. And in the 1890s


when the three remaining melbers of the biggest group in historx


reformed, it was Jeff they called. I had a couple of sleepless nhghts


thinking, how the hell am I going to this `` to do this? Paul cale up to


me and said, you've done it Well done and he gave me a hug so that


was a treat. Singer, drama, guitarist. He can do it all. He s


not bad at all. `` drama. `` he has been a drama.


He may be a global music st`r, but to one of the people there tonight,


Jeff will always be her babx brother. We came from a famhly where


praise wasn't lavished upon so I don't know if we have ever said how


proud we are. And as for his award? I am chuffed I have got one. Thank


you very much. Jasper Carrot is Chair of the


Birmingham Walk of Stars ` `nd joins us now from the Library of


Birmingham where the ceremony is taking place. You've known Jeff for


a number of years. Why has ht taken so long to get his star on the walk?


I first approached him about four years ago and it has taken `ll this


time to coincide his movements with ours. Eventually, he is herd and


waiting to come on and therd is a load of people waiting to sde him.


The place is buzzing. The ptblicity has been enormous and Jeff hs


genuinely thrilled to be here and we'll be thrilled to see hil.


We had in that report his international appeal. How would you


sum up, if possible, his contribution to music?


When the Beatles approached him to do that single, it said it `ll. They


could have gone to anyone in the wild but they went to Jeff Lynne.


His CD is all over the world on CD, DVD and film scores, you nale it and


that is an incredible achievement. Paul McCartney described hil as not


bad at all. How would you ddscribe him?


He is a down`to`earth honest Brummie and that is what we love about him.


Who next? There is a whole list of people.


There is Ian Lavender from Dad s Army. And The Wimbledon Chalpion.


There is only so much room so I think we will have to move to the M


six. The Birmingham City manager, Lee


Clark, is to report referee James Linington for allegedly mocking the


club's captain, Paul Robinson, while booking him during their 3`3 draw


with Burnley last night. Birmingham came from behind three times in the


match, including this brillhant goal from Emyr Hughes. The third


equaliser from Federico Macheda came deep into stoppage time. Thd


Midlands has dominated day three of the Cheltenham Festival.


Herefordshire jockeys Richard Johnson and Tom Scudamore h`ve won


one and two races respectivdly. And Cotswold trainer Jonjo O'Nehll has


also won two, including Mord of That, who took today's big race the


World Hurdle, ahead of the previously unbeaten Annie Power


Thumbs up from Jonjo then, `fter three winners at the meeting so far.


So, can a Midlands horse trhumph in tomorrow's big race, the Gold Cup?


Well, The Giant Bolster will love the drying ground. Meet The Giant


Bolster. He's intelligent and inquisitive. Perhaps a bit too


inquisitive. When we filmed him turned ott in a


field he couldn't resist nibbling at the camera. We'd move and hd'd just


follow us. He even played a cameo role in the trainer's interview He


is beyond our dreams. But hd's also talented. The Giant Bolster has


finished second and fourth hn the last two Gold Cups. And winning at


Cheltenham in January, the stable feel he's a live Gold Cup contender


once more. If we have a fludnt round, you need to get into a rhythm


and if we can do that, I've got no reason to say we won't be in the


first three. It has been the wettest winters


since records began but somdone tipped wet and muddy. So, spare a


thought for all those involved in Harry Topper. He's trained just a


few miles from Cheltenham at Andoversford by Kim Bailey. But


Harry Topper's best in the lud. And the recent warmer weather mdans


they've scrapped plans to rtn in the Gold cup. He's simply not as good


when the going faster. I don't want to see him tailed off last because


he is not fast enough. I don't want to see that. 15 miles away `t


Stow`on`the`wold Wyck Hill Farm and the Giant Bolster will be flying the


flag for the small stables hn tomorrow's Gold Cup. He's one of


only 30 horses in training. The Giant Bolster is top of the class


here. And they hope tomorrow he ll aiming for top grades in thd Gold


Cup itself. A bus stop in Worcestershird town ``


a Worcestershire town has bdcome an unusual attraction as painthngs that


which appeared at the weekend have caused quite a stir.


At 4am, these prints appeardd. It is Sir Edward Elgar working, rdsting,


watching and just hanging ott. Quite a sight on this bus route through


Malvern. It felt like walking past a bank with accountants behind it


They are amazing. It has added some excitement. Some say this one is


similar to Banksy. The artist has since apologised for these works of


art for not getting prior approval adding they do not condone `ny sort


of public graffiti but they do not want to be interviewed. The pair are


to 34`year`olds who are old school friends from Malvern. I don't think


they can be classed as graffiti Over a hundred hours of work has


gone into them and they havd been executed with skill and


professionalism and we are delighted to see them. There was even praise


from art galleries in the town. It can only bring the profile of the


area up as an art that is `` destination. The police caught them


in the act but did not take any action. We are told this is a gift


to the town as you wait ages for one and then three come along at once.


If you are out on the road last night you were probably crawling


through the fog. How is it looking? There are fresh warnings in force


for fog for the early hours. Visibility will drop down to about


30 metres, which is quite unusual so that is something to take note of.


Other than that, not much to be concerned about and certainly if you


compare this march to last Larch which was the coldest on record


More in the way of cloud around Breezy and that will rid us of much


of the fog. Under the clear skies, we are seeing missed and Merck


developed already which will thicken into fog. `` it will be misty and


murky. Temperatures will go down to near freezing in some spots. Patchy


frost as we head to some pl`ces towards tomorrow. Gradually through


the day, under the sunshine, the fog will disburse quite quickly.


However, the frontal systems will nudge down from the north`wdst with


more in the way of cloud. Btt with a south`westerly wind, temper`tures


will rise which will be gre`t for the Gold cup tomorrow so thdre will


not be as much fog. The headlines: A former News of the


World journalist claims it was Princess Diana who leaked a


controversial royal phonebook. The first airport outside London to fly


direct to China, Birmingham. Have a good evening.


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