31/03/2014 Midlands Today


31/03/2014

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That's all from the BBC News at Six - on BBC One we

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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: On the brink,

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a famous old football club needing to find ?78,000 in a week to

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survive. Devastating. We have been through

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thick and thin with the club, but we have always survived with everybody

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pulling together. We're talking to the chairman who's put hundreds of

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thousands of pounds of his own money into the club.

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Also tonight. As fresh inquests begin into the

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Hillsborough disaster, it's an emotional day for the sister of a

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victim from Worcestershire. Nervous. Cautious. But hopeful. We h`ve got

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to be hopeful. Operation Spring Clean, a chty's

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pledge to clear all 470 milds of its streets of litter in just a month.

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Forget Kiki Dee, we've got White Dee, the Benefits Street resident

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launches into song. As far as temperatures go, ht is a

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fairly decent week. For everything else, we have warnings of hdavy

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rain, find out if it will affect you later in the programme.

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Good evening. Supporters of Hereford United Football Club have jtst seven

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days to help save their club from financial disaster. The Bulls face a

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winding up order next Mondax over an unpaid ?78,000 tax bill. Thdir

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chairman has already admittdd they need ?300,000 to see out thd current

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season and their latest accounts show losses approaching half a

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million pounds. Formed in 1824, Hereford spent 31 years as `

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Football League club, and achieved national prominence in 1972 when, as

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a Southern League team, thex gloriously knocked top`flight

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Newcastle United out of the FA Cup. But in the face of crippling debts,

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can they survive this latest cash crisis? Dan Pallett reports. Will we

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see this sight again? Hereford United were at home on Saturday but

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their future is in doubt. The reality is a stark one for Hereford

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United. They have one week to raise ?70,000 to pay a bill to thd Inland

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Revenue. If they don't, the club could simply cease to exist. For

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people like Ron Parrott, th`t hurts. He's the club's historian, `nd has

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almost every match day programme since the club was formed in 19 4.

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That 90 years of history cotld soon come to an end, though. Oh,

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devastating. We've been through thick and thin with the club but

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we've always survived. With everybody pulling together. We

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could've done it this time hf we'd have known with more time to spare.

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Edgar Street is on council owned land. But they can only do so much

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to help. We can't offer cash, but we can offer help, advice, terls of

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lease, negotiations on rent. And we are doing all of those things and

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anything else we can do that doesn't involve direct cash supply we are

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happy to talk about. More than ,500 fans attended Saturday's 1`0 defeat

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against Grimsby. They care passionately. But does the rest of

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the city? Most towns have got them, haven't they? And it is sort of a

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loss if they haven't got it any more. And it is somewhere for the

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kids to go, isn't it? Just really is a shame, I think. Someone should put

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their hand in their pocket somewhere and supply them with some money

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They are part of Hereford, the Bulls. It brings business as well,

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of course. I think it's dre`dful. Time is running out for Herdford

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United. Even if they do raise the ?78,000 tax bill, they will need

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another ?300,000 to get through the summer. And the players are also

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owed money. The Bulls are f`mous for their giant`killing in the FA Cup.

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Now they must defy even gre`ter odds just to survive.

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Earlier, I spoke via video`link to the chairman of Hereford Unhted

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David Keyte and I began by `sking him how precarious the situ`tion

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currently is. Well, we have got to say that it is still extremdly

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precarious. We are all guns pointing towards the court hearing on Monday.

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The winding up order that the HMRC have put against the club. So, our

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first task that we are focusing on is raising seven the ?8,000. How

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much have you raised so far? Well, following Saturday's match, we have

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raised ?20,000 towards the taxman. And I say that because we h`ve

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actually given a further sul to the players and staff, predomin`ntly

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towards the taxman. In round figures, ?20,000. I underst`nd that

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tomorrow our supporters Association have a further ?3000. With `verage

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gates of 1600, do you worry if there is an appetite for football in

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Hereford? Well, that has got to be a question raised every time. Every I

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ask the question, you shot down in flames. We try not to blame the

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fans, who turn up rain or shine but there does seem to be some `pathy

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around Herefordshire in gendral towards the football club. How much

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is this affecting you personally and financially? Well, personally, I

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tend to be a person that puts on a face, a front to it. But it does eat

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away. And, certainly, familx wise, home wise, and financially, maybe

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too much money. But that sedms to get forgotten. And if it trtly is

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the saving grace is that kedp orcs `` keep walks, I accept that. Do you

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regret the day you bought the club? You've got to have some momdnts when

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you think that! I had a figtre in my mind that I was prepared to put into

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the club. What I haven't bedn able to account for is probably not being

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able to walk away at that fhgure and going past it and double now in four

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years. So that is what I have to grapple with from a family point of

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view. We'll Hereford United be here season? Well, that is the plan. ``

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will Hereford United? None of us on the board are working towards a

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revamped Phoenix camp, that is not on the agenda, but if other people

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want to dictate that, we have to listen.

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You're watching Midlands Today. Good to have you with us this evdning.

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Still to come later in the programme. Back home at long last,

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the stranded rower who spent three months in the middle of the

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Atlantic. The sister of a football fan who

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died at Hillsborough says she hopes a fresh inquest will finallx give

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her answers into how her brother died. Andrew Brookes, who c`me from

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Bromsgrove, was among 96 football fans who died at the FA Cup semi

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final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989. @ndrew's

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sister Louise buried their father just ten days ago and says she alone

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will now carry on the fight for justice. Cath Mackie reports.

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She started on this path a puarter of a century ago. This mornhng,

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arriving at her brother's inquest in Warrington, Louise Brooks is hoping

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she has reached journey's end. How are you feeling this morning?

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Nervous. Cautious. But hopeful. It's been a long 25 years. Her brother,

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Andrew, loved football and Liverpool. St the family hole in

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Bromsgrove, Louise recalls their childhood together. I remember his

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room was full of Liverpool posters. And scarves. There was a big age

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gap. I saw him more than a brother. I really, really respected him

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because he had a completely different personality, from me,

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completely. You know, he was so quiet. Hardly spoke two words. Which

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is not me. He was just a very, very quiet person. Andrew went to

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Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield in April 1989 to watch Liverpool play

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Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semifinal. He never came hole. He

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was 26. One of 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. My mtm.. My

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parents were never the same again. Never. Her parents are now both

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dead. Louise's last words to her dad who died less than a month `go was a

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promise to keep fighting for answers. I don't just have ` duty

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now to my brother. I have a duty to my mum. But more importantlx now

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I've promised a dying man on his deathbed that... I will nevdr.. And

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I won't give up, anyway, I won't ever give up. And it is that promise

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that has brought her to Warrington. With 96 victims, such is thd scale

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of these inquests, that this building has been adapted into a

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purpose`built courtroom, thd biggest in England and Wales. It'll pretty

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much be the second home for the families, at least until Christmas,

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as the hearings are predictdd to last for up to a year. We'rd just

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going to have to keep travelling up there, you know. I'd walk to the

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moon and back for my brother. I really would. It is only me who can

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fight for my brother. There is nobody else to do it. I've got to do

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it. Not that I've got to do it, but I want to do it as well.

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Wolverhampton Council today launched Operation Spring Clean with a pledge

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to clear all 3,390 streets hn the city of rubbish. That's a total of

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472 miles for the city's 60 street cleaners to cover in a month. Each

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year the council receives around 5,000 calls from residents

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complaining about street cldaning issues, and the authority collects

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800 tonnes of rubbish a year. So can the war on litter ever be won? Kevin

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Reide reports. The age old problem of littdr, an

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eyesore in many of our towns and cities, discarded bottles, fast food

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wrappers, and empty cigarette packets making our streets ` mess.

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But in Wolverhampton they'vd launched operation spring clean the

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aim being to clean the whold city. All 3,000 streets in Wolverhampton

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are getting this spring cle`ning treatment. By the summer, the whole

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city should be looking cleaner and brighter. Today workers werd

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concentrating on Duke Street and the surrounding area. There are certain

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roads you can do a certain time of the day, and certain roads xou have

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to do early. Because of the traffic. Somewhere for people to be

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happy to live in, that is the aim. The buzz is unbelievable. It is

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clean and tidy. But there are some messes these workers can't touch,

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like this fly`tipping in Penn, that's because it's on priv`te land.

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But even so residents are bding asked to report it to Environmental

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Health officers who may be `ble to force a clean`up. Meanwhile back at

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Duke street the work is nearly done, and it's been noticed. It is cleaner

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than it usually is. They have done a great job down here. All thd

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cleaning of the road and thd sides as well. It looks a lot cle`ner

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brilliant! The council admits it's a bit like painting the Forth Bridge

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but say normal street cleanhng will continue after Operation Spring

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Clean. Live now to Wolverhampton, `nd

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Councillor John Reynolds, C`binet Member for City Services. Good

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evening, Councillor Reynolds. Sounds a big job this! What's prompted it?

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Well, we came up with a verx clever idea. What do you do in your house

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this time of year? Let's look at spring cleaning. We have rescheduled

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over spring cleaning we are doing to make sure that we get every street

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in Wolverhampton as clean as we can. And it is very high profile,

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can you keep it up? Well, it is something we will try

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