31/03/2014 Midlands Today


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


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


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


survive. Devastating. We have been through


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


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


thousands of pounds of his own money into the club.


Also tonight. As fresh inquests begin into the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


season and their latest accounts show losses approaching half a


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


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


a Southern League team, thex gloriously knocked top`flight


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


around Herefordshire in gendral towards the football club. How much


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


want to dictate that, we have to listen.


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


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


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


Atlantic. The sister of a football fan who


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Bromsgrove, Louise recalls their childhood together. I remember his


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


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


because he had a completely different personality, from me,


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


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


Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield in April 1989 to watch Liverpool play


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Wolverhampton Council today launched Operation Spring Clean with a pledge


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


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


year the council receives around 5,000 calls from residents


complaining about street cldaning issues, and the authority collects


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


Reide reports. The age old problem of littdr, an


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


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


But in Wolverhampton they'vd launched operation spring clean the


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


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


city should be looking cleaner and brighter. Today workers werd


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


but say normal street cleanhng will continue after Operation Spring


Clean. Live now to Wolverhampton, `nd


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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