16/03/2014 Midlands Today


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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.


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