16/03/2014 Midlands Today


16/03/2014

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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There's more throughout the evening on the

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Good evening. There are calls for the government to intervene to

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stimulate development on derelict brownfield land in city centres It

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comes as more house builders try to put in plans for housing on rural

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greenfield land instead. Thousands of terraced homes were meant to be

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knocked down across Stoke`on`Trent under the National Pathfinddr

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Programme. In some parts of the city neighbourhoods have been rebuilt,

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but in many others developers are yet to move in. People come down and

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see it... They don't want to buy. They're an eyesore. It would make a

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world of a difference. It would make the area nicer. More people would

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want to live here. In 2003, leaders in North Staffordshire hoped their

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renewal scheme would lead to the demolition of around 14,500 houses.

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But by the time the governmdnt scrapped the scheme three ydars ago,

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less than 2,000 had actuallx been knocked down. They also hopdd 1 ,500

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would be rebuilt. By 2011, only a few hundred had been completed.

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There is finally progress though. On this urban site, 140 homes `re being

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built, but the council here admits developing brownfield land hs

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difficult, so there are calls for the government to intervene. The

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government needs to have a programme, above its afford`ble

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programme, to get brownfield land cracking again. They need to get the

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balance between brownfield `nd greenfield. A large part of the

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problem is land like this in nearby Newcastle`under`Lyme. Locals are

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against it, but developers want to build around 100 houses herd ` and

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they find it easier thanks to a change in the law two years ago But

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on this week's Sunday Polithcs in the Midlands, a former Environment

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Secretary insisted the countryside can be protected and brownfheld land

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can flourish. The advantage of a brownfield site is that the

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infrastructure is already there and it's usually close to work. It's a

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more sustainable solution. Despite the priorities of developers, the

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government insists it current planning policies do prioritise

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derelict urban areas. There has been a drowning at a

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popular beauty spot in Reddhtch West Mercia Police say it h`ppened

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around lunchtime, at Five Ttnnels, on a stretch of river to thd north

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of the town. Onlookers described seeing two boys wrapped in towels

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near the scene. A police spokeswoman said a youth was declared ddad

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shortly afterwards. Detectives have launched a lurder

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investigation after a woman was stabbed at a house in Redditch. The

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21`year`old, who hasn't been named, died in hospital earlier thhs

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morning. A 29`year`old man, who was arrested at the scene on Evdsham

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Road yesterday, remains in police custody.

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The search is continuing for a baby who was taken by her mother during a

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supervised visit to foster parents on Friday. Lola Page, who's 13

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months old, was being cared for by a foster family in Walsall whdn her

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18`year`old mother Stacey B`ll visited her on Friday afternoon

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Stacey was wearing a long black wig, as seen in this photograph, which

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was taken just before they went missing.

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St Patrick's Day revellers descended on Birmingham to enjoy celebrations

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in the sun as the city stagdd its annual parade. The event is the

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third largest in the world, topped only by Dublin and New York. Joanne

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Writtle reports. A confetti canon heralded the start of the St

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Patrick's Day celebrations, with the Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums

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leading the parade. Organisdrs immediately declared the dax a

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success. It's a day when thd city turns green. All the other lajor

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cities in England also go green with envy, because when we invitd

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everyone ` regardless of colour creed and religion ` they come down

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and enjoy this special day with us. Colour and fun were the orddr of the

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day, with those who moved to Birmingham many years ago ott in

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force. I came over in 1966. I like to support the Irish, espechally on

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this day. It's a fantastic atmosphere here. There are tens of

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thousands of people on the street. I love the parade. I've never missed

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one. I'm excited because it's the first one I've ever been to.

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Everybody comes from differdnt places to celebrate! St Patrick s

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Day is of course tomorrow. But by then, organisers say they'll already

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be preparing for next year's parade. And the BBC's website has a feature

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looking at Irish immigrant numbers in Birmingham. It asks whether they

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are the force in the city that they once were?

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One football result today. Hn League One, a 2`2 draw for Coventrx City

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and Port Vale. Let's have a look at the we`ther

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forecast for the week now. Here s Sara Blizzard. Good evening. It was

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a real bonus today, holding on to those lovely clear skies for quite a

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time. The cloud is going to increase further. Over Stoke`on`Trent it will

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be thick enough to produce patchy rain or drizzle. Six Celsius the

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temperature. Tomorrow starts off grey. Possibly more brightndss in

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the afternoon. Daytime tempdrature of 14 Celsius. We'll see it become

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windy through the week. Goodbye for now.

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Good evening. Apologies for sounding Southeast centric, but it is

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difficult when London had a high of 20 this afternoon, 68 Fahrenheit.

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Lovely sunshine across England, Wales and eastern Scotland. Some

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cloud on west facing coasts, and they struggle to get into double

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figures. More cloud in the week ahead. Brain from time to time and

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not quite as warm as we have had in recent days. -- rain. There will be

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cloud dragging across the country through the night. Showery rain

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continuing in the north-west of Scotland.

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