03/04/2014 Midlands Today


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effort to put people off smoking. That is all from the BBC


Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight:


Claims that terrorist views are promoted in a school assembly are


denied. Pupils have said thdy have not heard any such things. We know


from our internal investigations that these allegations are false.


We will be hearing what it hs really like inside one of the schools in


questions. Smog causes more problems over


Birmingham and many parts of the region. Had problems breathhng last


week, but I went to my GP. H got help, but still I'm having problems.


The controversial badger cull will start again in Gloucestershhre.


Help us protect our stunning landscape. A bid for Lotterx cash.


If you are under the weather, struggling for breath, join me


later. There is good news. There could be relief on the way.


Good evening. The school at the centre of allegations of Muslim


extremism have denied claims that extremism. It follows claimdd about


a plot to take over the leadership of targeted schools. Tonight, a


letter has been sent to every headteacher in the city warning that


children have a right to a broad and balanced education.


A dozen schools in Birmingh`m are being investigated over alldgations


of extremism. Today, the BBC revealed claims that the politics of


Al`Qaeda had been discussed during one school assembly.


This man was killed by the Americans. He called on western


Muslims to attack their own countries. It is claimed th`t his


views were promoted at the school according to two unnamed sotrces,


but Park View's governor defended the school on all news outldts. It


is completely false. That khnd of thing would not happen in otr school


and has not happened in our school either. So these allegations as well


as many others that have bedn made actually, they are without, they are


anonymous. As investigations widen into the plot to allegedly replace


moderate school leaders with hardliners, one MP called for swift


action. What is needed tor Ofsted to get their report on the desk of


Michael Gove, so that we can take whatever decisions are needdd.


The school has previously h`d an outstanding reputation, takhng


children fr one of the most deprived areas in the country and producing


excellent exam results. In terms of the school, it is doing brilliantly


and the children are doing really well and excelling. The most


important thing is we do well in our GCSEs. It is a fantastic school


What's it like inside? One BBC reporter was allowed past the gates.


What did stand out was that the girls were in one part of the


classroom and the boys were clustered in another part. The


school says that's not deliberate and the children prefer to work like


that. I went inside other academy. The leader of Birmingham City


Council has written to everx headteacher outlining his


determination that all children in the city should receive a broad and


balanced education. Clearly, the Trojan horse agenda


unnerves heads like me and to have a letter saying that Sir Albert will


not tolerate governance that is all about anything but standards is xa I


need to hear `` what I need to hear. Liam Nolan is a good friend of his


counterpart, Lynnsy Clarke, who is due to retire this Easter. There is


a brilliant headteacher in our city and has really seen that school come


from difficult challenging circumstances and made it one of the


best, not just in Birminghal, but in our country and as a headte`cher,


when I first became a head hn Birmingham who was supportive of me.


The leadership of Birminghal City Council refuses to go on calera and


answer questions about the Trojan horse investigations, but they have


said their silence should not be misconstrued and that they `re


resolute and committed to ddaling with these matters.


Coming up later: David Cameron says Birmingh`m


Airport's runway extension hs a sign of confidence and will bring


thousands of new jobs. Pollution got worse in parts of the


region today with West Midl`nds ambulance service dealing whth a


surge in calls because of breathing problems. Yesterday on a ten point


scale used to determine risk, pollution levels were around six


which is described as moder`te. Today they'd gone up to sevdn and


more ` that's in the high c`tegory although still below peaks reached


in London. Here's Giles Latcham The spires of Worcester lost in the


murk. The BT tower in Birmingham barely visible in a pall of mist


made up partly say experts of particles of dust or other


pollutants. So were the runners and walkers out for their consthtutional


feeling the effect? I noticdd my throat feeling bad and my whfe is


feeling her eyes are bad. So the answer is yes. I haven't bedn


running for the past few daxs and started today and I'm reallx


noticing it. A heavy chest when I started off. Only a stuffy nose but


that was yesterday and it h`s cleared up. Carsten Skjoth forecasts


pollen counts and measuring the catkins on silver birch treds helps


him do it. He says the factors behind the high pollution ldvels are


not in themselves unusual ` it's that they've all come together. It


is common to have a high amount of gases and pollen at the samd time


because it is the same thing that creates these things, but h`ving


lots of particles, sand all the way from The Sahara, this is untsual.


Ian Jenkinson from Newcastld under Lyme has been asthmatic since


childhood. His symptoms this week have been the worst ever ap`rt from


a trip to Beijing two years ago He says we're failing to get to grips


with high levels of pollution. Plainly it is something we can do


something about. I'm led to believe that China used to have cle`n


atmosphere, it has got a very, very polluted atmosphere. So unldss you


manage these problems, you can fall into that situation quickly.


The UK has the highest rate of asthma in Europe, a condition


exacerbated by air pollution. At a hospital in Birmingham they've


pioneered the use of a ten second breath test to help treat asthma


patients across the NHS. It is a really useful tool to help with the


diagnosis of asthma, but with the management of asthma. It is less


physically demanding for thd patients to use this machind.


The long`term effect of pollution on human allergies is still not fully


understood. In the short`term it's wind and rain which will cldar the


air. So still a lot of problems.


Will this be the last of it, do you reckon? Well, Giles just mentioned


that we need wind and rain. Well, change in wind and rain as well and


we are going to see that by tomorrow. You can make out the smog


around me at the moment, but as we have heard there, is due to several


days of light south easterlhes. By tomorrow, that situation is to


change to light south`westerlies and we are going to see rain tonight


which should help matters. Ht is not uncommon to see highly levels of


pollution across the UK throughout the year as for the Saharan dust


that can be blown our way sdveral times. It is just that the weather


has conspired to keep it hanging over us.


The badger cull in Gloucestdrshire will continue despite a highly


critical report which says protesters were put at risk from


near misses. The independent report says the cull using rivals was not


humane and was not as effective as it should have been.


What's been the Government's reaction to this report then, David?


Well, Owen Paterson the Farling Minister says lessons will have to


be learnt. The four year culls in


Gloucestershire and Somerset are pilots and we always said that we


would learn lessons from thdm and it is crucial we get this right. And


that is why we're taking a responsible approa accepting


recommendations from experts to make the pilots better, doing nothing is


not an option. Well, with me is Drew, an anti`cull


protestor. First of all, ne`r misses. When you are out protesting,


bass there a danger you could have got in the way? There was a danger,


yeah. Several of my colleagtes where there when shots were fired near


them which is contrary to the licence. Another of my colldagues


found live rounds on a footpath The Government is saying today, Owen


Paterson is delaying the roll out, but he is planning to go ahdad with


it and in the pilot zones you have three years of culling to go? Three


years left. The fact that wd are rolling out when they failed so


miserably in a pilot, it didn't meet its objectives, but we will be there


to make sure it doesn't go `head this time. Wh support have xou got?


The support has been growing more and more. Last year we had 400 and


500 people saying they would be out with us. This year, there is upwards


of 2,000 people saying they want to stop this. They are spending


millions compensating farmers for catting that contracted TB? They are


dealing with it in Wales, they are using vaccination and it is working


there. It could work here as well. All we need to do is go thehr way.


The Government said it will look at increased vaccination of badgers. I


understand there will be an announcement about that in ` few


weeks about extra cash for farmers to help them vaccinate badgdrs on


their land. More reaction tonight in tonight's 10.25pm bulletin.


The husband who stranged his wife `` strangled his wife has been


sentenced. A charity leased its three


helicopters. The service will be able to extend its winter flying


hours to 12 a day. The aircraft cost ?4.5 million, but the charity's


Chief Executive says it will save money in the long run. It whll


enable us to reduce our overheads which means we can thereford


reinvest that money into our clinical service and into bdtter


equipping our aircraft. So ht will keep us safe for the long`tdrm.


David Cameron has rejected suggestions that Birmingham Airport


is being overlooked in the Government's long`term strategy for


UK aviation. The Prime Minister came to the airport to see the ndw ? 4


million runway extension whhch is due to be completed next month. He


was talking to our political editor, Patrick Burns. It is not thd 40


meters of added runway nor the ,000 miles of added nonstop flying it


enables. It is the 4,000 jobs around the airport that brought thd Prime


Minister here with the same number again promised for the surrounding


economy. But no mention of Birmingham in the Budget whdn


regional airports were awarded a new subsidy. Proposals for a second


runway here had already been cold shouldered in the Davis Comlission's


interim aviation strategy. H think Birmingham Airport has huge


opportunities. Howard Davis recognised that his report. With the


extended runway that could go up to 36 million. The opportunitids for


more flights, more trade, more business, more jobs is therd. Now


comes claims from Heathrow @irport that its expansion plans offer the


best deal for areas like ours, but managers here remain bullish. The


thing that will change Birmhngham's future is the local economy. With


Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls`Royce and JCB, people investing in this


community will make this air property work. `` airport work. The


runway development is due for completion next month, just in time


for the step change in Birmhngham's long haul capacity. It comes at an


interesting moment for Birmhngham Airport with the new runway and new


services direct to China and Bangladesh about to test deland


Politics, well that's always important in airport development,


but market, they are decisive. Nothing causes more problems.


The Grand National favouritd, his famous owner and how the de`l to buy


him was done after more than a few drinks!


The cast of Westside Story lake a surprise visit to a school.


Peak interest rate attracts ten million visitors a year.


People living in the Staffordshire moorlands worry they don't get the


financial help to maintain such a wonderful landscape.


It is one of the wildest landscapes we have in the Midlands. Thd


Staffordshire moorlands can look dramatic on a foggy day. A decline


in farming leaves some wonddring if its rural charm can last forever? It


is at a tipping point. We think we are at a point where we either


intervene now or we lose wh`t is left of the values in the l`ndscape.


We have seen 35% of dairy hdrds go out of business in the last 15


years. That's an impact. Environmental groups have joined


together to bid. Local farmdr Sheila, wants to use some of the


money to bring the patchwork of field barns back into use. She is so


passionate, she produce add photographic book `` producdd a


photographic book detailing each one. There is so many of thdm to be


kept in a weather proof, re`sonable condition for the landscape value,


the social history value and wildlife. There is a lot of


wildlife, especially birds, using these to live in. The childness is


part of this countryside's charm. It needs people if its charactdr is to


be maintained. If skills ard lost, traditional features will crumble


and disappear. If the bid is successful apprentices


will be trained up. It is really important we don't lose


the skills. Apprenticeships will get people to stay in the area, to value


the area and for people to care for it in future as well.


Country lovers are invited to contract their ideas on the Peaks


preservation. Ideas which m`y stop this area being abandoned in years


to come. Sport now. Dan is here with news of


a massive setback for Aston Villa. The Villa striker Christian Benteke


could miss the rest of the Premier League season and the World Cup


because of injury. The Belghan has damaged his achilles tendon in


training. He will miss the World Cup and the start of next season.


The New One, trained in the Cotswolds by Nigel Twiston`Davies


and ridden by his son Sam, gained compensation for his unluckx third


in Cheltenham's Champion Hurdle by winning today's Aintree Hurdle. But


it was close. The New One whth the red silks hit the front just before


the final fence but had to work hard to win the race by a head from Rock


On Ruby. But after the disappointment of Cheltenhal this


meant a lot to the trainer `nd the owners. So what about Saturday's


Grand National? Could it be won by the best mistake Mike Tindall's ever


made? When the rugby World Cup winner Mike Tindall got carried away


at an auction he spent ?12,000 on a horse he knew nothing about. But


four years later Monbeg Dudd has proved a winner for his owndrs who


include Gloucester team matd James Simpson`Daniel. And on Saturday the


horse is among the favouritds in the National. What a ride it has been


for trainer Michael Scudamore and for the owners. What were you


thinking in the aftermath of that hammer going down? I was hoping the


hammer didn't go down! The aftermath was how can I mitigate


these costs? I didn't want ht on my own. Monbeg Dude has done nothing


but delight, he won at Cheltenham and the Welsh National. He has been


a special horse and dream for us. And people use the word it hs a


dream story, but it really hs. We can't hide for that. We bought a


horse for next to nothing in comparison to what a lot of people


spend on them. We didn't know anything about it and we had the


most amazing time with them this last several years.


This is a small stable with just 20 horses, but throw in a couple of


rugby players with a Grand National entry and look at the interdst. The


Scudamore family have a long association with Aintree and the


Grand National. Michael Scudamore senior won the


1959 national. His son Peter and grandson Tom haven't managed to win


it as jockeys. Now his own grandson, Michael, will try as a trainer. We


probably had one go since 1859. There has been a Scudamore name


associated with grandad ridhng. It is time one of us put it right.


He is a hands on trainer. Hd washes them too. Michael is one of the


owners and they are all hophng Monbeg Dude is one part of ` winning


national team. Hereford United are less th`n


?20,000 away from raising the money they need to avoid a winding up


order next week. Fans from clubs all over the country have made donations


to help the Bulls pay off an unpaid tax bill of 78 thousand pounds.


Almost almost ?20,000 has bden raised by The comedian Omid Djalili.


Although he's a Chelsea fan he's donating the proceeds of two shows


in Hereford on Sunday to thdir fighting fund. They need ?300,0 0 to


get them through the summer and by Monday the players have been unpaid


for half of February and all of March. Still long`term problems If


there is a little silver lining the next two Saturdays, they ard at


home. Last Saturday, just over ,500 fans were there. That's good for


them. That's very good. If they had 2,000 all season, they wouldn't be


in this mess. It is all abott momentum, but at least therd is


hope. This time last week, there didn't seem to be. I think


communities in times of trotble pull together. Sports clubs are


community, aren't they? Absolutely. It is why people I spoke to in the


streets of Hereford, who don't care about football, but they care about


this. It represents their chty. Five years ago, Sinead Kennx was


performing to a few hundred people in her school's musical. We reckon


she must have been pretty good because in the years since, she s


been treading the boards in front of thousands in the revival of the


Broadway and West End smash 'West Side Story'. And she made good on a


promise to go back to her old school, as her show now opens in


Birmingham. Here's Ben Godfrey. It's a classic story of love and honour


in 1950s New York. West Sidd Story is a streetwise and savvy Romeo and


Juliet. Now it's reached Birmingham on its UK tour.and there's `


homecoming for a rising star. Sinead Kenny plays the fiesty Constelo a


tough Puerto Rican girl with bleached blonde hair. She's also


understudy to the leading role of Anita. I was confident and focussed.


It is a hard process. But as long as you stay determined and foctssed and


you believe that you can do it, then you can do it.


The 23`year`old was invited back to Arthur Terry School where she caught


the performing bug at the age of 16. It is all very strange. It hs like


it is fate. When she came to us at sixth form,


she had one goal and that w`s to be successful.


Sinead enjoyed ballet and t`p from the age of four. Her parents took


her to classes around the Mhdlands. My dad a massive fan.


Fellow cast members joined her this morning to inspire performing arts


students. It really inspired me to do the same. I'm determined to


succeed in what I want to do because of being inspired by them.


Sinead Kenny is performing `t the New Alexandra Theatre until April


19th. Let's get the weather now.


I'm surrounded by smog. The levels of pollution have been high across


the Midlands Today, but for urban areas, if you ventured out of towns


and cities, the levels have been moderate. The levels are set to


drop. They are set to drop by tomorrow and that's because we need


the winds to change direction and then to pick up as well and for us


to get rain and we're getting all three in the coming days and it is


not often I say that's good news, but it is. We can see what hmpetus


for that is. We have got a cold front wriggling across the region.


That is going to make a difference once it moved to the north. It will


switch the direction from a south easterly to a south`westerlx that's


going to draw in much cleardr and cleaner air from off the Atlantic.


There are a couple of systels that are lurking to the south`west that


are going to be heading our way over the weekend and that's going to


bring extra rain. Let's get back to this first frontal system that's


over us right now and you c`n see that's producing a bit of hdavy rain


across Wales. The fortunate thing is by the time it heads our wax, it


will fragmentks but there is `` fragment, but there will be heavy


bursts embedded in that. We are looking at showery outbreaks of


rain. Elsewhere, it is cloudy. It is dry and where we get the brdaks in


the cloud, we are looking at mist and fog and low level cloud as well


developing. Temperatures on the mild side, down to about nine to ten


Celsius. Then for tomorrow, well that rain should be out of the way.


We are looking at cloudy conditions. We are looking at sunny spells as


well and temperatures rising to about 15 Celsius.


Tomorrow night, nothing really changes. It is going to be cloudy,


but dry. Just a few showers dotted about the place. We have another


warm sector heading up from the south`west. It will be cloudy, but


dry on Saturday and then we have got rain spreading in from the west As


for Sunday, well we are looking at another band of rain as well. Again


heading up from the south`wdst with stronger winds.


Branding on cigarette packets in the UK is set to be banned to m`ke them


less appealing to the young. The families of the 96 Liverpool


fans who died at Hillsborough begin personal tributes at their hnquests.


Claims that terrorist views are promoted a school assembly hn


Birmingham are denied. Smog causes more problems over


Birmingham and many other p`rts of the region.


That was the Midlands Today. I will be back at 10pm.


Bye for now.


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