08/04/2014 Midlands Today


08/04/2014

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London. If you want more details, you can head to our website. Now on

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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. BBC One

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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight Apologies to

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the family of a severely autistic teenager after they were left

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without adequate support. There s just not enough funding for people

:00:32.:00:33.

like Charlie. We'll be asking an expert how this

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sort of situation can be avoided in the future. Also tonight, W`rwick

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Castle, Coventry Cathedral ` two of our finest visitor attractions

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getting together to build even more success. The more that the public

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realise what they have on their doorstep, the more people use it and

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value it. Creating great powerhouses of

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economic development. Ed Miliband's vision for cities such as

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Birmingham. A shock for water workers

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investigating stinking sewers in Telford ` had they found de`d

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piranha fish? And not much to rave about hn the

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weather this week, but then again no real cause for complaint, though the

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rise and fall in temperaturds might be something to keep an eye on. More

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on those later. Good evening. A family with a

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severely autistic teenage son was placed at unnecessary risk because

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Birmingham City Council failed to provide them with enough support.

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That's the finding of the Local Government Ombudsman who's now cold

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on the council to take action and pay compensation. It was in October

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2012 that Sally Clarke from Kings Norton first contacted the council

:01:32.:01:35.

to ask for help with her son, Charlie. But by February 2003, the

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council had closed the case without telling her. Both Sally Clarke and

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Charlie's school continued to plead for help, but it was only when the

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ombudsman intervened in Jantary this year that the council admitted it

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had failed. Joanne Writtle reports. Charlie is severely autistic. His

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family in Birmingham need a lot of support. Last year, he was very

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violent and stuff. I think hormonal as well, it played a part. We were

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having to deal with a lot of violence and self injuries `s well,

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which was tough. Charlie spends most of his time at a

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specialist residential home. But at weekends, his family was left to

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manage without help. They eventually had to go to the local government

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ombudsman to force Birmingh`m City Council to re`think.

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This was a young man, he was quite capable of overpowering his mother

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and she was physically assatlted and was at risk of that. The cotncil

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delayed conducting an assessment, and this goes back a couple of years

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now, and what I've asked for in my recommendations is to make sure an

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assessment is carried out as soon as possible, indeed, with a month and a

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proper plan is put in place so that she is no longer at risk of harm. I

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think it is lack of funding. There's just not enough funding for

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people like Charlie, autisthc people and people with disabilities

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generally. There's just not enough funding in those areas for the

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services that people need. Only three weeks ago, Birmingham

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City Council was ordered to pay compensation to the mother of

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another unnamed child with special needs because she wasn't getting the

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support she should have. Me`nwhile, the council says it's apologised to

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Charlie Clarke's family, saxing it will now re`assess his needs to

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ensure he gets appropriate care It's been really stressful. I'm just

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holding it together now. I'l coming out the other side of it. It's been

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a tough year. Charlie's mother will also be paid

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more than ?1,000 in compens`tion for the council's failure to help her

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cope with her son's actions. Joining us now from our London

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studio is Simon Shaw from the National Autistic Society. Good

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evening to you, Mr Shaw. Is this sort of failing comlon?

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Yes, we hear of this are far too often, families who do not get the

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support they need quickly enough from councils who are required to

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provide services. It must leave affected families in

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despair with nowhere to turn? Yes, families often talk about the stage

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where young people are moving from children to adults services as a

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cliff edge. It is important that councils do take action.

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The government is reforming plans. Hopefully, this should happdn less

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often. It comes to something when the ombudsman has to get involved.

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Yes, it should not have got to the stage at all. Councils have a duty

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to assess and meet the needs of people with autism in their area.

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Why do you think councils do not get involved as much as they should Do

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they not realise how import`nt it is? I think there are a number of

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challenges for local authorhties. Fundamentally, it is a leaddrship

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issue. Local authorities should ensure that autism is a key priority

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for them. There are roughly one in 100 people who have autism so it

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should be on the list of ardas they need to think about. Are yot

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confident the sort of thing will not happen again? I think all local

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authorities need to review their process. The new autism str`tegy

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came out last week and this is an opportunity to introduce a

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StepChange. Thank you. Thanks for joining us this dvening.

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You're watching Midlands Today from the BBC. Coming up later in the

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programme A vital meeting ` councillors decide tonight on

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controversial plans to build some 30,000 new homes in Gloucestershire.

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Arts and culture is bringing over ?170 million a year to Coventry and

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Warwickshire and supporting hundreds of jobs. Now some of the cotnty s

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biggest attractions, includhng Warwick Castle and the RSC, have

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come together to highlight their importance to the local economy And

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today the new CW8 group met with the head of the Arts Council to make

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their case for continued support. Here's our Arts and Culture reporter

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Satnam Rana. As the spring sun glistens on

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Warwick Castle, tourists make their trip take in the medieval m`rvel.

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This is just one of the eight leading arts and culture

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organisations that have united to form CW8, a network to tell us and

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businesses about the role they play in the local ecenomy. It is about

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raising the profile. There hs limited funding for all of these

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attractions individually and I think that we have a much greater voice

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when we come together and ptsh our message collectively.

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So what's the message? Well, the CW8, which includes the Roy`l

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Shakespeare Company, brings 3.5 million visitors to Coventrx and

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Warwickshire. The eight oganisations employ 1,400 full`time staff and

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thousands more volunteers. @nd collectively, they turn over ?8

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million. And this was the mdssage being sent to the chair of the Arts

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Council in today's meeting `t the Warwick Arts Centre. The more that

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the public realise what thex have on their doorstep, the more thdy will

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use it and value it. Not only will they earn more from them, btt the

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government will see how important the arts and culture is to people

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and continue to fund us. Recently the Arts Council has been criticised

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for not spending enough outside the southeast London, so today's meeting

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was a reminder of what it c`n spend its money on here.

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After the motor industry, the West Midlands is probably the most.. The

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most important thing going on here is arts and culture. We've got a

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national institution, the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the three

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years up to 2015, the Arts Council will be investing more than ?60

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million in the arts and culture in this area because it is verx

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important. To many of us, a trip to attractions like Coventry C`thedral

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is a day out. But cultural leaders want us to recognise the role they

:08:45.:08:47.

play in our region. Today's meeting with the Arts Council wasn't just a

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business pitch. It was also a moment to remind all of us about the value

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of arts and culture on our doorstep, the value of Coventry Cathedral and

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much more. And why? For every pound of public money, our money hnvested

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in arts and culture, ?4 is generated to the wider economy income in

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Coventry and Warwickshire. The Labour Leader has been hn

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Birmingham to set out a vishon of devolved powers for Britain's major

:09:21.:09:23.

cities. Ed Miliband said he planned to reverse a century of

:09:24.:09:26.

centralisation to make sure the new city and county regions bec`me great

:09:27.:09:29.

powerhouses of economic devdlopment. Our Political Editor Patrick Burns

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was at the event and joins le now. Patrick, what's the thinking behind

:09:33.:09:51.

this? It is the brainchild of Lord Adonis. Examining how major cities

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can punch above their weight economic league and in skills and

:09:57.:10:04.

technologies. There is a debate about greater Birmingham and I asked

:10:05.:10:10.

Ed Birmingham Ed Vaizey expdcting other areas to buy into this. There

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is a huge opportunity for authorities to come together, to

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work together with a proper partnership and get much grdater

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control over the things that matter to them ` transport, skills,

:10:37.:10:39.

economic development ` so they can shape their own future. We have had

:10:40.:10:41.

other ideas, like regional authorities, what is so difficult

:10:42.:10:43.

about this? It is to find a broad econolic

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sweep, but also keep" communities. It sounds like the notes stored and

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turned report set out by thd former Conservative Prime Minister Lord

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Heseltine `` Conservative mhnister Lord Heseltine.

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I've talked very much about devolution from Whitehall to city

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regions. If we are talking `bout balancing the economy of thd UK we

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need to see growth in the chty regions and this is the way to do

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it. And this is meant to be Ed Liliband

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showing that he is coming up with original ideas, how original is it?

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Opposition talks about and then starts centralising once in office.

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Michael Heseltine proposed this 18 months ago and I put it to Dd

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Miliband that he was rehashhng his ideas. How can you plan loc`l skill

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needs and plan local budgets when it is controlled from London. We would

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give power to areas like Birmingham and work with other councils to make

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a real difference. He says the big thing is thhs is

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backed up by devolved spendhng power worth ?20 billion.

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Thieves have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage after

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breaking into the Severn Arda Rescue base in the Wyre Forest. Thd windows

:12:23.:12:25.

of two Land Rovers were smashed with fuel and one of the inflatable

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rescue crafts stolen. A spokesman says it'll disrupt their abhlity to

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respond if there's an emergdncy The M6 in Warwickshire is still

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closed southbound after an `ccident involving two lorries and two cars

:12:35.:12:37.

this morning. The carriagew`y between junctions three and two

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won't be reopened until early tomorrow morning. The Highw`ys

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Agency says the motorway nedds to be resurfaced. There is report of heavy

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traffic in the area. A public inquiry has begun hnto

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plans for a new multi`million pound business park around Coventry

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Airport. Both Coventry City and Warwick District Councils h`ve

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already approved the Gatewax scheme. But a government planning inspector

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will make the final decision on the development being built on green

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belt land. It could create tp to 14,000 jobs. Protests are expected

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tomorrow as councillors in Gloucestershire vote on using green

:13:22.:13:24.

belt to build new homes. More than 30,000 houses are planned for the

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area around Cheltenham, Glotcester and Tewkesbury. The plans h`ve

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proved to be especially controversial as Paul Barltrop

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reports. The people have made their voices

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heard repeatedly. Why are people pressing to build in

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the green belt? This is going to be the biggest incursion into green

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belt ever. For years, there've been protests

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over the long term plan for where to put new housing around the county's

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main urban areas. The focus now shifts to council chambers. This

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evening, Gloucester councillors will assemble here to vote on thd plan.

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They follow Tewkesbury, where members yesterday narrowly backed it

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after a heated debate. And tomorrow protests are expected when the

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strategy goes before Cheltenham councillors. Campaigner Richard

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Lloyd will be at tonight's beating. `` meeting. It's very difficult The

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government mantra is growth, growth, growth, but it's how you deliver it

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in practice. The green belt was put in place to keep Gloucester and

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Cheltenham apart, that is its primary purpose. It is therd for a

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good reason. But the most sustainable location to put urban

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extensions are into the gredn belt and you can't get away from that.

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Visiting Gloucester today, the government's housing ministdr. He

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meets the staff on the council's housing offices. They want to tackle

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the shortage of housing. Thdre is a willingness to build and develop,

:14:44.:14:46.

but whether it will meet thd demand, there are 240,000 new homes required

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each year and we are nowherd there near that. It is something that has

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to be addressed nationally `nd at local level.

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The coalition know that new developments are often unpopular so

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it has set rules to say councils cannot say no to all house building.

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I am not going to debate about where it should be. That should bd about

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local people making choices. We have said to councils, go out and have

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those debates. These are tense moments. But I think it is hmportant

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we don't just look at the f`ct that there will be a house built there.

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Think about the local econoly in those communities which are

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concerned at the moment. People will get a job as a consequence of that.

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These were the last homes btilt by the council 25 years ago. There is a

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determination for a new era of construction to begin.

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This is our top story tonight: Apologies to the family of `

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severely autistic teenager `fter they were left without adeqtate

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support. Your detailed weather forec`st to

:15:50.:15:52.

come shortly from Shefali. We could do without that bitter wind.

:15:53.:15:55.

Also in tonight's programme. Can we all enjoy the wonders of

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modern science? A series of special events in Birmingham are ailing to

:15:59.:16:01.

make us do just that. And had they found dead pir`nhas? A

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shock for council workers investigating extra smelly sewers in

:16:05.:16:07.

Shropshire. If you have a story you think we

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should be covering on Midlands Today, we'd like to hear from you.

:16:12.:16:29.

There are calls tonight for more research as the number of

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Parkinson's Disease patients is set to double over the next 20 xears. A

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leading academic is in Downhng Street this evening saying that the

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West Midlands is involved in some of the biggest drug trials in the

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world, but more investment hs needed. Here's our Health

:16:44.:16:47.

correspondent, Michele Padu`no. Imagine never being able to stand or

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sit perfectly still. At 56, Barrie Smith is, through illness, having to

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retire and spend more time hn his garden. His Parkinsons symptoms mean

:16:59.:17:09.

he can move but not keep sthll. I can hoe perfectly well. I c`n't hold

:17:10.:17:13.

the hoe very well. Because ly resting tremor kicks in. And the

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more I try to stop it, the worse it will get. Barrie takes pills for the

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missing dopamine in his rain. Recently he was admitted to hospital

:17:28.:17:30.

and had access to drugs. But Parkinsons UK says ignorancd means

:17:31.:17:33.

six in ten patients are affdcted. In some parts of the country, people

:17:34.:17:38.

find great difficulty in getting their drugs at the time thex need

:17:39.:17:43.

them. I can only imagine th`t that is pretty much like a living hell.

:17:44.:17:51.

At City Hospital, they're aware that, with an ageing population

:17:52.:17:55.

Parkinson rates are set to double in 20 years. Parkinsons patients are

:17:56.:17:58.

prone to falls and injuries. More work needs to be done to stop

:17:59.:18:02.

into hospital in the first place. At into hospital in the first place. At

:18:03.:18:07.

the moment, there are 75,000 admissions are you at the cost of

:18:08.:18:12.

over ?100 million. Professor Carl Clark has just submitted a 05 year

:18:13.:18:16.

study into the best treatment for Parkinsons to the prestigiots Lancet

:18:17.:18:19.

journal, but today he will call on Government for more investmdnt. The

:18:20.:18:23.

key message for the reception at Downing Street is that we are going

:18:24.:18:27.

to have to face the problem of Parkinson's disease just as people

:18:28.:18:30.

have to face the problem of dementia, which I think people are

:18:31.:18:36.

more familiar with. He's hoping that at Number Ten, he will be ptshing on

:18:37.:18:40.

an open door. Michele Paduano, BBC Midlands Today.

:18:41.:18:49.

From steam engines to beer brewing there's a long, proud history of

:18:50.:18:51.

scientific invention in Birlingham and the wider Midlands. Now

:18:52.:18:54.

Birmingham is launching its first`ever year of science with all

:18:55.:18:57.

sorts of events for all sorts of ages. We sent our Science

:18:58.:18:59.

Correspondent David Gregory`Kumar along to find out more and he joins

:19:00.:19:03.

us now from the Library of Birmingham where the Year of Science

:19:04.:19:06.

was launched. David, what c`n we expect?

:19:07.:19:09.

We got a taste of what we c`n expect today. There were hands on

:19:10.:19:12.

experiments for children of all ages. Some of top scientists from

:19:13.:19:18.

our universities were on hand to explain what we can expect.

:19:19.:19:27.

In front of the Library of Birmingham Science, buskers attract

:19:28.:19:30.

the crowds. Inside Marmite, robots and plenty of liquid nitrogdn

:19:31.:19:32.

introduce Birmingham's Year of Science. It's astounding. Wd've got

:19:33.:19:36.

a range of really brilliant researchers, including rese`rchers

:19:37.:19:41.

from the universities in Birmingham. It's an opportunity for people to

:19:42.:19:44.

come and hear about that research and to engage in dialogue as well,

:19:45.:19:48.

to ask questions, to find ott what implications are of that schence for

:19:49.:19:51.

themselves in their own livds, for making political and economhc

:19:52.:19:54.

decisions and all those sort of things.

:19:55.:20:00.

In Birmingham and the Midlands, science is a serious business.

:20:01.:20:17.

Today, we've got a really strong scientific background as well. We've

:20:18.:20:20.

got 40% growth over the last eight years within the science sector one

:20:21.:20:23.

of the fastest`growing areas of the economy. We've also got 14,000

:20:24.:20:30.

students who are years studxing science, more than any other

:20:31.:20:32.

regional city. Not far from today's launch event,

:20:33.:20:35.

we find this statute Boulten, Watts and Murdoch who did everythhng from

:20:36.:20:38.

steam engines to improving the brewing process. They are a sign of

:20:39.:20:42.

the long and proud scientifhc tradition of Birmingham and the

:20:43.:20:44.

Midlands. And recognising that history, the year will culmhnate in

:20:45.:20:47.

the British Science Festival in September. A massive sciencd event

:20:48.:20:50.

that has been going since 1831. We want to really make science a

:20:51.:20:54.

part of a city's life for a week. We want to say this is the biggest

:20:55.:20:58.

thing you should be thinking about. We want to have events, talks,

:20:59.:21:01.

ideas, drama, comedy all focused around science. It is there so the

:21:02.:21:05.

public can see what science is really about and connect with

:21:06.:21:06.

scientists. A year of science in this most

:21:07.:21:12.

scientific of cities. If yot are wondering what they were dohng at

:21:13.:21:16.

the end, I think it was an experiment to work out lung

:21:17.:21:21.

capacity. If all this has ghven you a taster for wanting to learn more,

:21:22.:21:28.

you can find all the details on our Facebook page. There are pldnty of

:21:29.:21:33.

events, many of them free and for all levels of scientific

:21:34.:21:38.

understanding. For me, the highlight will be in the autumn. They say

:21:39.:21:51.

there was not even a word for scientist when the first schence

:21:52.:22:01.

festival took place in 1831. Education as always.

:22:02.:22:08.

Would I be right in thinking that many people at some point m`y have

:22:09.:22:11.

flushed a dead goldfish down the toilet? Well, imagine the strprise

:22:12.:22:14.

Severn Trent workers got whdn they went to clear a very smelly drain in

:22:15.:22:18.

Telford and found what they believed to be piranhas blocking the pipe.

:22:19.:22:20.

Yes, piranhas! Ben Sidwell reports.

:22:21.:22:26.

There's something fishy that's been plaguing the residents of Ndw Street

:22:27.:22:29.

in Madeley, but even they wdren t expecting the horrors that lurking

:22:30.:22:40.

down below. I just came and the manhole cover came up and when I

:22:41.:22:44.

looked down, there was a piranha down there.

:22:45.:22:50.

Barry Briggs, who first cold for help, knows a thing or two `bout

:22:51.:22:54.

fish, he's got plenty in his back garden. But even he was shocked when

:22:55.:22:58.

he found out what had been causing the stench in the street. You would

:22:59.:23:01.

like to think they are in somebody's house, not in thd drains.

:23:02.:23:04.

The last thing you want to be is on the toilet when one of them pops up.

:23:05.:23:09.

This is what Severn Trent workman came face to face with when they

:23:10.:23:13.

went to investigate below the ground. It's not everyday that we

:23:14.:23:18.

find fish, particularly big fish the sewers so we were surprised. And

:23:19.:23:25.

it's not just piranhas. In January, a blockage near Bridgnorth was

:23:26.:23:28.

caused by piles of pants th`t had been flushed down the toilet. With

:23:29.:23:37.

planners in the water systel, it's time to call in the experts. At

:23:38.:23:40.

Ripples Waterlife in Telford, there's rather a snappy trade on the

:23:41.:23:43.

more dangerous varieties of fish. But whatever type you have, the

:23:44.:23:47.

advice is not to flush them down the loo. It would be better to bury

:23:48.:23:55.

them, or burn them on a bonfire something like that. If you put them

:23:56.:24:01.

in the bin, they will start to smell. If you put them down the

:24:02.:24:07.

toilet, they can block it. So what does Arron make of the toothy terror

:24:08.:24:11.

lurking in Shropshire's sewdrs? This is the fish. It's not `

:24:12.:24:17.

piranha. Hopefully tonight they ll sleep more soundly in their beds in

:24:18.:24:21.

New Road, knowing the worst the fish in the sewers will give thel is a

:24:22.:24:23.

nasty suck. Smelly sewers aside, what's in the

:24:24.:24:28.

air tonight, Shefali? Nothing as nasty as that. Now the

:24:29.:24:46.

coalfish lashing out at us. All pretty good this week. It whll be

:24:47.:24:54.

relatively warm during the day, but watch out for prostate

:24:55.:25:01.

`` frosty nights. High pressure is very much in control. There is a

:25:02.:25:10.

cold front descending from the North on Thursday night. But I thhnk the

:25:11.:25:17.

effects of that will be weakened by that high pressure. We are just

:25:18.:25:23.

talking about light, patchy rain. This evening, and for the fhrst part

:25:24.:25:28.

of tonight, clear skies. Temperatures could fall lowdr than

:25:29.:25:35.

last night, three Celsius. We could see some patchy frost first thing.

:25:36.:25:43.

In towns and cities, lows of five or six Celsius. More moisture heading

:25:44.:25:48.

in from the North West giving us some patchy mist and fog for the

:25:49.:25:54.

morning. Starting off on a larket note tomorrow morning, cloudy. ``

:25:55.:26:05.

murky. Sunshine later, but that could set of odd shower.

:26:06.:26:15.

Temperatures rising to about 13`14 Celsius, reasonably warm. More in

:26:16.:26:22.

the way of cloud tomorrow nhght and the breeze could pick up as well.

:26:23.:26:27.

Just the odd shower he had `nd there. Some rain later in the day.

:26:28.:26:41.

Don't forget, I'm going to be presenting two radio shows on BBC

:26:42.:26:44.

Coventry and Warwickshire over the Easter holiday ` at 6pm on Good

:26:45.:26:47.

Friday and Easter Monday. And I m hoping that listeners will get in

:26:48.:26:50.

touch with their questions on Twitter.

:26:51.:27:00.

It would be good if you could get those questions in two me bx the end

:27:01.:27:07.

of the day. Tonight's headlines from thd BBC.

:27:08.:27:10.

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial ` the athlete relives the momdnt he

:27:11.:27:12.

shot his girlfriend. And history is made as Irel`nd's

:27:13.:27:15.

president is welcomed by thd Queen for the first official statd visit

:27:16.:27:18.

to Britain. And apologies to the family of a

:27:19.:27:21.

severely autistic teenager `fter they were left without adeqtate

:27:22.:27:29.

support. Warwick Castle and Coventry

:27:30.:27:31.

Cathedral are getting together to build it even more success.

:27:32.:27:35.

That was the Midlands Today. I'll be back at ten o'clock, with the latest

:27:36.:27:42.

football scores. Have a gre`t evening. Goodbye.

:27:43.:27:48.

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