The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
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There's more throughout the evening on the
Good evening. There are calls for the government to intervene to
stimulate development on derelict brownfield land in city centres It
comes as more house builders try to put in plans for housing on rural
greenfield land instead. Thousands of terraced homes were meant to be
knocked down across Stoke`on`Trent under the National Pathfinddr
Programme. In some parts of the city neighbourhoods have been rebuilt,
but in many others developers are yet to move in. People come down and
see it... They don't want to buy. They're an eyesore. It would make a
world of a difference. It would make the area nicer. More people would
want to live here. In 2003, leaders in North Staffordshire hoped their
renewal scheme would lead to the demolition of around 14,500 houses.
But by the time the governmdnt scrapped the scheme three ydars ago,
less than 2,000 had actuallx been knocked down. They also hopdd 1 ,500
would be rebuilt. By 2011, only a few hundred had been completed.
There is finally progress though. On this urban site, 140 homes `re being
built, but the council here admits developing brownfield land hs
difficult, so there are calls for the government to intervene. The
government needs to have a programme, above its afford`ble
programme, to get brownfield land cracking again. They need to get the
balance between brownfield `nd greenfield. A large part of the
problem is land like this in nearby Newcastle`under`Lyme. Locals are
against it, but developers want to build around 100 houses herd ` and
they find it easier thanks to a change in the law two years ago But
on this week's Sunday Polithcs in the Midlands, a former Environment
Secretary insisted the countryside can be protected and brownfheld land
can flourish. The advantage of a brownfield site is that the
infrastructure is already there and it's usually close to work. It's a
more sustainable solution. Despite the priorities of developers, the
government insists it current planning policies do prioritise
derelict urban areas. There has been a drowning at a
popular beauty spot in Reddhtch West Mercia Police say it h`ppened
around lunchtime, at Five Ttnnels, on a stretch of river to thd north
of the town. Onlookers described seeing two boys wrapped in towels
near the scene. A police spokeswoman said a youth was declared ddad
shortly afterwards. Detectives have launched a lurder
investigation after a woman was stabbed at a house in Redditch. The
21`year`old, who hasn't been named, died in hospital earlier thhs
morning. A 29`year`old man, who was arrested at the scene on Evdsham
Road yesterday, remains in police custody.
The search is continuing for a baby who was taken by her mother during a
supervised visit to foster parents on Friday. Lola Page, who's 13
months old, was being cared for by a foster family in Walsall whdn her
18`year`old mother Stacey B`ll visited her on Friday afternoon
Stacey was wearing a long black wig, as seen in this photograph, which
was taken just before they went missing.
St Patrick's Day revellers descended on Birmingham to enjoy celebrations
in the sun as the city stagdd its annual parade. The event is the
third largest in the world, topped only by Dublin and New York. Joanne
Writtle reports. A confetti canon heralded the start of the St
Patrick's Day celebrations, with the Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums
leading the parade. Organisdrs immediately declared the dax a
success. It's a day when thd city turns green. All the other lajor
cities in England also go green with envy, because when we invitd
everyone ` regardless of colour creed and religion ` they come down
and enjoy this special day with us. Colour and fun were the orddr of the
day, with those who moved to Birmingham many years ago ott in
force. I came over in 1966. I like to support the Irish, espechally on
this day. It's a fantastic atmosphere here. There are tens of
thousands of people on the street. I love the parade. I've never missed
one. I'm excited because it's the first one I've ever been to.
Everybody comes from differdnt places to celebrate! St Patrick s
Day is of course tomorrow. But by then, organisers say they'll already
be preparing for next year's parade. And the BBC's website has a feature
looking at Irish immigrant numbers in Birmingham. It asks whether they
are the force in the city that they once were?
One football result today. Hn League One, a 2`2 draw for Coventrx City
and Port Vale. Let's have a look at the we`ther
forecast for the week now. Here s Sara Blizzard. Good evening. It was
a real bonus today, holding on to those lovely clear skies for quite a
time. The cloud is going to increase further. Over Stoke`on`Trent it will
be thick enough to produce patchy rain or drizzle. Six Celsius the
temperature. Tomorrow starts off grey. Possibly more brightndss in
the afternoon. Daytime tempdrature of 14 Celsius. We'll see it become
windy through the week. Goodbye for now.
Good evening. Apologies for sounding Southeast centric, but it is
difficult when London had a high of 20 this afternoon, 68 Fahrenheit.
Lovely sunshine across England, Wales and eastern Scotland. Some
cloud on west facing coasts, and they struggle to get into double
figures. More cloud in the week ahead. Brain from time to time and
not quite as warm as we have had in recent days. -- rain. There will be
cloud dragging across the country through the night. Showery rain
continuing in the north-west of Scotland.