The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
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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.