20/03/2014 Midlands Today


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That's all from the BBC News at Six, so it's goodbye from me


Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: Counting the


cost: 400 insurance claims from the region's farmers after the winter


floods. I think it's safe to say that we have probably lost 25% of


our yield potential through late trilling and waterlogging. We'll be


reporting live from a farm hn Shropshire. Also tonight, R`ise your


game: a call to headteachers from the best after secondary schools in


Stoke`on`Trent are ranked along the worst in the country.


The villagers angry over a ledieval law that makes them responshble for


repairs to the local church. Life as a basketball star in


Worcester after escaping thd civil war in Libya. It was 16 days, it was


a living hell. I am a Christian man, I lost a lot of faith. And ht's the


first day of spring ` reason enough you might think to be happy, so why


is it then that I have bad news Good evening. As farmers struggle to


recover after the extreme wdt weather and flooding, the l`rgest


insurer of farms and rural properties has revealed it's dealing


with an estimated two million pounds worth of claims across the West


Midlands. NFU Mutual, which is based in Stratford upon Avon, is currently


handling 431 cases in the rdgion, and says it could have to p`y out


more than 90 million pounds across the UK ` almost as much as `fter the


floods of 2007. But what about the impact on individual farms `ffected


by the bad weather? David Gregory`Kumar's at a farm in


Shropshire for us now. How have they been coping? All our farmers are


coping, to an extent, and they are having very different experhences


with this weather. But they are all having to deal with what is


increasingly weird weather. There are still plenty of water about on


this farm in Herefordshire, but nowhere near the levels thex have


seen recently. At its height, it would have been up to our hdad


level. As you can see from the floor, killed the crop completely.


About 30 acres of land is ott of action because of flooding `t wet


weather. In terms of crops that means they're ?15,000 down on any


potential harvest. So they won't be growing anything on these fhelds for


the next 12 months, but even if your farm wasn't directly affectdd by


flooding and floodwater, all that wet weather is still having an


impact on how you farm. We didn t have a very good year last xear and


2007 was very wet, we are still playing catch up from this series of


strange weather patterns, they have gone from very wet to very dry, very


cold, very wet. We are used to our temperate climate and we haven't


seen it. On this sheep farm near Worcester things are getting back to


normal. The sheep are insidd because their usual grazing was swallowed up


by the flood waters around the city. This lamb was a little tricky. But


despite the rising waters and being kept inside far longer than usual


lambing has been a success. Not that farmer Steve Page wasn't worried. A


few sleepless nights before we started, but it's gone really well.


We have had 500 lambs in ten days, it's gone very well, better than I


thought. What farmers want now is a typical spring. Some April showers


and a bit of warmth. So we `re now on another farm near Albrighton


when lambing is underway, although this farm hasn't been affected by


floodwaters, they have been dealing with wet weather so we will be


talking about that later in the programme, and also new revdlations


from Europe about what kind of identification tags you havd to put


on your sheep. Farmers are worried about that because if they get it


wrong, they could be in for a hefty fine. We will talk about th`t later.


Coming up later in the programme: Upgrading the old grammar school as


part of an ?8.5 million rev`mp of Coventry's Transport Museum.


A leading head teacher's calling on Stoke`on`Trent to raise its


educational aspirations. It follows an annual report by Ofsted which


ranked the city as one of the worst areas in England for second`ry


education. And another piecd of research has found there ard more


people without formal qualifications in Stoke on Trent than almost


anywhere else in the UK. Our Staffordshire reporter Liz Copper


has been investigating what's being done to turn things around.


This is St Joseph's College ` it's the only secondary school in Stoke


on Trent rated as "outstandhng" by Ofsted. Today, the head teacher s


holding interviews for the posts of head boy and head girl. She believes


raising aspiration is the kdy to raising educational attainmdnt. The


young people of Stoke`on`Trdnt are outstanding, amazing young people


and what we have to do together everybody, people have to work


together to be really aspir`tional and not be satisfied with sdcond


best. Competition for places here is fierce, because of the school's


reputation for excellence. But elsewhere it's a different picture.


Ofsted's annual report said 34 per cent of pupils in Stoke on Trent go


to a "good" school. The citx was ranked the third lowest loc`l


authority in England. In separate research it was found 17 per cent of


the population here had no skills ` a proportion ranking it sixty third


out of sixty four cities. The question is, how can more schools in


the city achieve the outstanding results seen here? St Joseph's has


been praised for its wide r`nge of extra curricular activities,


including music and drama. Hts staff are helping other schools achieve


better results. In one local school, we had a number of our assistant


head teachers working in thdre, the headteacher worked in there as well,


coaching leaders directly in scenarios that were taking place


live in schools. Pupils herd have a keen sense of the importancd of


education for their city's future. How can the city progress if the


younger pupils on learning the skills they need to get jobs later


in life? It does worry me a bit because I think other peoplds in the


city may not have the same chance as us and the opportunities. Pdople are


going to not want to come to schools in Stoke because they think they're


not good but that's not really true. The challenge is to raise standards


across this city ` and work's already begun to improve pupils


opportunities. Stoke on Trent City Council were unable to find a guest


to talk to us about this issue but in a statement the Department for


Education said: Birmingham City Council has been


ordered to pay compensation to the mother of a child with spechal needs


who didn't get the support she should have. A report from the Local


Government Ombudsman found that in 2006 Childrens Services offdred her


ten hours of Care a week, btt then failed to carry out a proper


assessment until 2011. The council have now been instructed to give the


family the support they are entitled to. The council will do this


assessment, I hope in good time they will also make a payment of the


family for the distress thex have been caused. I hope the council will


learn lessons from this casd to make sure this doesn't happen to any


other children in the futurd. Flowers have been laid at the spot


where a teenager died in wh`t appeared to be a freak accident in


Birmingham. 18`year`old Manny Edwards was running for a bts in


Walkers Heath on Monday when he collided with the bus stop. CCTV


pictures one of those guys who can bring the


experience to the team. Worcester Wolves will be disappointed to end


this season without at least one trophy.


A truly amazing story. The young players love their club.


grants have help them build. That grants have help them build. That


rules at the time meant thex had to pay VAT on everything. From every


?100,000 of funding that we get we have two hands back ?20,000 in VAT.


They had little choice. The club raised more than ?300,000 to


complete the work and build new changing rooms. We have got a good


footballing round. The chairman is proud of what they achieved, but it


was tough work. New regulathons allow similar clubs to get


charitable status. Do not bd put off by the paperwork. It is all of us.


It is substantial. Facilitids like this do not just happen. Wh`t a


wonderful facility they havd ended up with.


If we can help anybody avoid having to pay those bills it is a lassive


saving. 250 cents per week use thesd


pictures so it is worthwhild. `` 250 children per week use these football


pitches. If you are planning to take part,


good luck. Let us ahead back to our rural


affairs correspondent. He h`s been finding out how our farmers are


coping with what has been a difficult year. Sheep farmers are in


the middle of lambing. The leeting was held last night to disctss the


regulations which mean everx animal has to be fitted with an eldctronic


tag by end of next month. Wd have to go with it. There is a lot of


paperwork. The actual sheep movements will not be held tp if


there are hiccups in the paperwork. The farmers can have confiddnce that


their sheep will still move to the market. Consumers can still have


confidence that the lamb will end up on there, `` on their plate. Some


concern about the new regul`tions. Why have they been introducdd?


What is the worry for sheep farmers? If you do not keep within


the regulations you could bd inspected and if you get inspected


and you get things wrong thdre is the possibility that they could


reduce your subsidy claim bx up to 3%. You will be sticking with


paperwork for now. Yes, but they are gradually moving to an electronic


system. We have been talking about bad weather. Let us talk about good


weather. This is last years he. When you get kids hay on July. `` when


you get good hay in July. Good news. That is all from the lambing farm.


But for now they would like some nice weather so they can turn the


lambs out into the fields. Hf you've heard of the Birmingham Flatpack


Festival, you could be thinking it's a celebration of self assembly


wardrobes ` and kits with tdn screws missing and not nearly enough glue?


When in reality it's an ecldctic mix of performances, exhibitions, walks


and talks based loosely arotnd the idea of film, popping up at eleven


venues around the city. And this year one of its main themes is


Birmingham's relationship whth water. More now from our Arts


Reporter Satnam Rana. The often secret, slippery world of


the River Rae ` it may look like a man made drain but this is


Birmingham's urban river revealed now in a series of films. For the


last two years this audio vhsual artist has been wading throtgh the


water to explore the river.David's installation is being show `t the


Midlands Art Centre as part of the Flatpack Film Festival. It hs seldom


seen. It has a subtle beautx all of its own.


The film festival will take place in 38 venues across the city. Ht will


host 100 and 30p. How does this fit into the overall strategy of events?


You can go from our warehouse to add Church. Half our audiences from


outside Birmingham. This is a scale model. You can see what it looks


like. This historian will t`ke audiences on canal sidewalks. This


is brilliant. It is worthy of the Romans. It comes 73 miles ptrely by


Gravity. Birmingham is known as the landlocked city, but with its canals


and urban river the Flatpack Film Festival will be reminding ts of our


love affair with water. Let's find out whether therd's water


in the weather as well then, Here's Shefali.


in the weather as well then, Here's It is the official start of spring.


Temperatures plummeting durhng the night. Also temperatures dipping


during the day. It will also be quite windy during this perhod. Low


pressure is situated to the North. That is why we are seeing whntry


conditions developing. We h`ve got rain across the Eastern part of the


region. That rain will clear away to East. Temperatures needing freezing


in the countryside. Elsewhere should be frost free. A sunny start to the


day tomorrow. The winds will be quite strong. There will be showers.


More showers as we aired in two the weekend.


Australia says it is followhng up new information on the misshng


Malaysian plane. The American President wraps up the


pressure on President Putin. Counting the cost on insurance


claims after the winter floods. If you read of villagers after


learning they will be chargdd for repairs to the Church because of a


medieval law. Goodbye.


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