The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
Browse content similar to 15/04/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Good evening. There are clahms tonight of a "sense of panic" in
Birmingham's Muslim community following the announcement of
another investigation into the so`called Trojan Horse plot. Peter
Clarke, a former head of cotnter terrorism in London, has bedn asked
to oversee an inquiry into `n alleged plot by Islamic extremists
to take over schools in the city. His appointment has been crhticised
by the Chief Constable of Wdst Midlands Police and also Muslim
leaders in Birmingham. Here's our Special Correspondent Peter Wilson.
Students today celebrating their degrees outside Birmingham's Council
house ` the city's population is a global one. All nations and
religions reflected here, all united in wanting a first class edtcation
and they see Birmingham as offering the best. Allegations about
extremism and infiltration of the city's schools casts a shadow. Today
the Chief Constable hit out at the government's appointment of a
Education Commissioner who's a former counter terrorism expert
Peter Clarke's former role hn counter`terrorism is sending the
wrong message. My understanding is it is primarily an issue around
school governance, an issue around social cohesion. But not an issue
around counter`terrorism. Who is Peter Clarke? He's now
investigating the so called Trojan Horse plot for the government.
Previously he was Scotland Xard s Mr Counter Terrorism ` tackling the
aftermath of 9/11 and home grown Al`Qaeda`inspired plots. His
appointment greeted even in police circles with disbelief but `mongst
all sections of the Muslim community a sense of alarm. There is ` real
danger that a small thing could trigger this into something big We
are worried about that and lanaging expectations. We constantly reassure
them to have faith in the establishment, there will bd a fair
and impartial just investig`tion. The management of community
relations over this is crithcal and so far I have to say it has been a
catastrophe. Yesterday, the City Council
announced a two pronged investigation into Trojan Horse We
also have Ofsted inspecting 15 schools. Now the Education Secretary
wants a counter terrorism expert to investigate. It's left the City
Council scratching their he`d. I was surprised by the announcement that a
former counterterrorism offhcer was appointed because it gives out the
wrong messages. We have to be concerned about the schools and the
children and we have to get this away from an issue of terrorism We
are trying hard to manage community fears. There are a lot of pdople who
will be worried that this is going to escalate and all ready the way in
which the last few weeks has led to tensions and people feeling isolated
and worried and concerned, dven children.
But the Education Secretary Michael Gove wants answers and he w`nts his
own man in charge: These allegations need either to be substanti`ted and
firm action taken, or to be shown to be baseless. Peter Clarke brings a
wealth of relevant skills and experience, and is very well placed
to lead a fair and thorough assessment of the evidence. The
police reiterate Trojan horse is not a police matter, let alone `
counterterrorism investigathon. Sometimes it seems as though this
whole saga is like a runawax train. If the appointment of Peter Clarke
can get to the bottom of thhngs perhaps that rain can be stopped.
But at what cost? We asked the Education Secrdtary for
an interview, but neither hd or anyone from his Department for
Education was available. I'l joined now by Khalid Mahmood, Labotr MP for
Birmingham Perry Barr. Astonished by the appointment. Peter has done a
fantastic job for counter`tdrrorism. I have a high regard for hil but he
isn't the right person for this job. This job entails looking at the
issues of how governors are appointed, what has happened to the
schools and then look at thd issue of what the role of the govdrnors
and the complaints received by the local authority to deal with it We
had a Chief Constable believes it could send out the wrong message,
concern for community coheshon. What effect could it have? A dev`stating
effect. I think what people perceive that to be, all of the Muslhm
community in Birmingham and 25 schools will be seen as being under
the scope as terrorists and that would be judgemental to the
community in Birmingham. If we are to move forward with an enqtiry we
need to look at local engagdment with local people and working with
the Department for Education to get to the bottom of this. Have you been
in touch with Michael Gove? No, he is away at the moment. I will speak
to him and the leaders in the city. I have a meeting with the
Commissioner of police. I al trying to coordinate that to see how we can
work together. Do you agree that has to be a thorough and professional
investigation? Absolutely. H am one of the main people raising that The
sensitivity issue is import`nt, putting somebody who doesn't
understand the structure of education, we need to deal with that
and not cause harm. Sir Albdrt Bore said he doesn't believe there is a
plot behind this. Do you? Yds, I do. The evidence I have received and the
issues and the group that is responsible for this is of `
different school of thought in Islam and most of the parents are from a
different school of thought. Coming up later in the programme: Fears for
the future of a Black Country market ` traders say an increase in rent
could put them out of busindss. A hospital criticised for putting
patient safety at risk by under`staffing wards has begun
recruiting nurses from Europe. An inspection last year found a
shortage of nurses on surgical and dementia wards at New Cross, in
Wolverhampton. There's a national shortage of qualified nurses. Since
2009/10, over three thousand annual nurse training places have been lost
across the UK. But the profdssion is competitive ` with ten people vying
for each place. Around a qu`rter of all NHS Trusts are now lookhng
abroad for staff. Senior NHS managers from Wolverhampton have
been to Greece to find a new generation of nursing talent. Ben
Godfrey has this exclusive report. In a hotel in Thessaloniki,
Aphrodite Karga is hoping for her big break. She wants to work as a
nurse in Wolverhampton, and she s travelled for five hours to her job
interview in Greece's 'second city'. I have heard in UK you have good
nursing system and hospitals. Here in Greece we can't find a job
unfortunately. Aphrodite could be one of the 1 0
nurses recruited to New Cross Hospital to meet patient deland and
offset a shortage of qualifhed nurses in Britain. They are being
tested on their ability to calculate drugs and respond to specifhc
clinical scenarios. Their written responses will be assessed for their
English language skills. We need to understand their training, their
valuables and care and comp`ssion and their personal values and we are
looking to recruit for the right person for Wolverhampton. I know it
is an urban city. 35 minutes driving Ron Birmingham. `` from Birlingham.
It has a good night life. Wd understand the hospital will pay for
flights to the UK ` Greek ntrses will get the same starting salary as
those from the UK, around ?21,0 0. Last November, the Care Quality
Commission found that staffhng on surgical wards at night madd it
difficult to provide safe c`re. One patient group is cautious about
recruiting abroad. If recruhtment is done abroad, those nurses nded to be
competent and skilled and are safe to treat and care for patients.
Clearly, Greece isn't always favoured by the NHS. You've chosen
not to recruit midwives frol Greece because of concerns about the number
of Caesarean sections they perform, but here you are in Greece dmploying
nurses in other areas, is that right? I am confident the ntrses we
are recruiting today will bd of the right calibre and right for Arthur.
They promise no locally qualified nurse like these at the University
of Wolverhampton will be denied a job but the reality is it's a global
market. Welcome to nursing bootcamp. At Thessaloniki's Alexander
Technological Institute these students train for four years, and
spend many intense days `in Greece's hospitals. UK give us opportunities.
Korea in advancing our statts `` studies. I would like to st`y in
Greece and see Greece provide. One recent international survey
found that the UK and Greecd have something in common ` their nurses
are the most stressed in thd world. Will they fit in? They are willing
to allow themselves three months where they can get the langtage
right and simple things likd a bedpan. There is no easy
translation. Interviews beg`n last Wednesday, as Greek nurses joined a
General Strike, opposing Government austerity measures which have left
many unemployed. Anastasia `nd Panos are competing for the same job and
engaged to be married. I control my anxiety. It was easy. We have an
economic crisis here. The sxstem is inadequate.
30 candidates will be offerdd jobs after recruitment drives in Greece
and Italy. How many know wh`t challenges lie ahead, as thdy
prepare to arrive on the wards of Wolverhampton by late June.
A man's critically ill after a stabbing in Birmingham last night.
Emergency services were called to Slade Road in Erdington at `round
ten to eleven after reports of a fight ` they found a 24`year`old
with knife wounds. Police s`y he has life threatening injuries. The road
was closed off while forenshc tests were carried out. Plans for an
increase in the cost of a gtn licence have been criticised by
shooting enthusiasts who fe`r they could be forced out of the sport.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, Ron Ball, is
supporting a rise, saying it currently costs his staff ?200 to
process the paperwork, whild each applicant pays just 50 pounds. Bob
Hockenhull reports. Shooting ` enjoyed by an estimated
three quarters of a million people across the UK. But the cost of a gun
license could be about to ndarly double to ?92. Besides using a
shotgun for his work, Worcestershire farmer Phil Sanders is a kedn clay
pigeon shooter. He fears such a hike will cause enthusiasts to ldave the
sport. People with the lowest incomes, it would be one more thing
they would decide to no longer continue with.
The police are proposing thd increase. Across West Merci` and
Warwickshire, it costs nearly 2 0 pounds to administer each lhcense.
The Police and Crime Commissioner says the public is effectivdly
subsiding gun ownership. Thd current prices are so out of line whth the
actual costs that we need to start addressing that. I have to find the
money from somewhere. It will start appearing in areas the publhc will
not like. There are nearly 40,0 0 gun`owners across Warwickshhre and
West, one of the highest figures in the country. It isn't just xour
typical farmer or shooting competitor who owns a shotgtn.
Victoria Knowles Lacks organises the largest women only shoot in the
country and warns against an above inflation rise in licence fdes. It
is such a wonderful and inclusive sport that it would be such a shame
if there was a radical height and it would price people out. It hs worth
billions to the economy, 70,000 jobs.
The debate on fee increases will continue with a decision expected
before the end of the year. This is our top story tonight: Concdrn for
community cohesion as a forler counter terrorism chief is `ppointed
to investigate an alleged Mtslim plot to takeover schools. Your
detailed weather forecast to come shortly from Shefali. Also, in
tonight's programme. Not just a pretty face ` the Miss Engl`nd
contestants being put through their paces.
And the Grand National winndr may have put it on the map, but could
you find the village of Clahnes Market traders in the Black Country
say they could be pushed out of business because of increasds in
rent. Stallholders in Bilston are facing a five per cent rise by
Wolverhampton City Council for the second year running. The cotncil
needs to save ?123 million over the next five years. 2,000 jobs will be
lost. And council tax bills have gone up by 2% this year as the
authority tries to balance the books. But market traders s`y they
can't cope with the extra rdnt they're now being asked to pay.
Louisa Currie reports. Market traders have been setting up
shop in Bilston for hundreds of years. But today's stallholders say
their future is uncertain. We are struggling and find it harddr to pay
the rent. There was a 5% increase and some of us can't carry on. We
can't afford any more incre`ses We will look at a business package to
keep prices down to give us a chance to survive. It is a difficult time.
All of the traders are concdrned. The market sustains 200 stores in
doors and outside. Selling everything from sweet and ctrtains
and flowers and telephones. I couldn't imagine Bilston without a
market. You get great bargahns, that's what I like! Aftersh`ve,
clothes, it's useful. In a statement the City Council says
it's: Meanwhile a petition against the
increase has been submitted ` and the Council says traders will be
given the chance to address councillors at a date still to be
fixed. Aston Villa have suspended two of
the club's senior members of staff, pending an internal investigation.
Gary Karsa, who's head of football operations, and Ian Culverhouse the
assistant manager, will step aside from their normal duties. Former
player Gordon Cowans and go`lkeeper Shay Given will work with P`ul
Lambert to prepare the team for Saturday's vital Premier le`gue game
at home to Southampton. It's not your traditional ilage of a
beauty queen, but contestants in this year's Miss England colpetition
are being put through their paces at a military`style bootcamp.
Semi`finalists from around the region gathered in Worcestershire to
experience the pain of an extreme fitness work`out. Ben Sidwell was
there to see them in action. The life of a beauty queen.
Glamorous, stylish, and luxtrious. If you thought Miss England was all
about champagne and pampering, think again. I can't do any more! This
year, there won't be a swimsuit inside. Instead, if they won the
crown, they have to survive a military style Boot Camp.
It isn't what you expect for a traditional beauty pageant. It is
nice to have something diffdrent and something to aim for.
When people see what the girls go through it will change opinhons
about the competition. Five of the Miss England hopefuls
are getting a taste of what is to come.
Tiring. It is hard work. Thdy are pushing us to the limits.
Keep going, keep going until I can't do any more.
Pushing the girls to breaking point, military trained
instructors. It is a beauty pageant. This is a
gimmick. We are there creating a complete
package. Fitness, personality and what they do outside.
To look this good takes a lot of hard work. Around 80 girls will
battle it out in the semis. They will face yet another gruelling
physical work`out. It is more about being sporty and
charitable and well rounded. I think it shows the girls intelligdnce more
than what it ever has. There is still bound to be tears and
tiaras but after battling through boot camp, this years winner will
truly have earned her title. Looks a riot. It was supposed to put it on
the map. The village which hs proud to be home to this year's Grand
National winner, but it seels some visitors are struggling to find
Claines in Worcestershire. Now villagers want a road sign to their
community to stop drivers gdtting lost. Pam Caulfield has man`ged to
get there. Pam, what's the problem? I got here fine but I have lived
here for most of my life. It seems visitors and cry national f`ns are
finding it harder. Villagers tell me they need a sign. Sitting to the
northwest of Worcester ` Cl`ines has plenty to boast about an ancient
church. Stunning scenery. An award winning pub. And now a Grand
National winning horse ` Pineau de Re ` who's being shown off proudly
in the local. It has been in motion or but absolutely incredibld. It has
put us on the map. It was all ready on it but even more so now. But
despite all that right here in the heart of the parish there's
something missing. Its own welcome sign. Now following the Grand
National success ` it's somdthing villagers are campaigning for. It is
part of what you grow up with. I guess for people coming to the place
people visiting they are not always sure. That naffs are not always that
accurate. `` sat mats. As you approach it is written on the road
but after the roundabout whdre is it? And only having signs on the
outskirts could be costing them passing trade.
But BBC Hereford and Worcester's also on board ` We can do whth the
flag and Worcestershire won the Grand National, for heavens sake.
You wonder where you are. A side, listeners are backing it.
So with plenty of support on their side ` a new sign could be on the
cards ` meaning more people can sample what Claines has to offer.
Plenty of muscle behind the campaign. Are we going to gdt a
sign? We will and hopefully one at each end which is what the residents
would like. Two signs, what will they look like? A fairly st`ndard
local authority sign saying welcome please drive slowly and then the
special bit underneath would be home of the Grand National winner, 2 14
or something along those lines. There will be a nod to the horse. We
have agreed the process and we will talk to the county councillors and
then the local community to ask if that's what they like and wd will
put the wheels in motion. Shx weeks, something like that. Thank xou for
that great news. All of this Grand National publicity has been worth
it. Not one but two signs. Back to you!
Glorious sunshine there in Worcestershire. Another sprhng day.
The sun does seem strong. It is strong. We are coming to thd end of
the day so not as strong as earlier but we have a couple of beattiful
days and UV levels will be high Don't be fooled by the breeze or
Chile starts. Protect yoursdlves. Slightly bad news for the E`ster
weekend. Yesterday confident was low as to how it would turn out but it
seems confidence is slightlx higher and it will be fairly unsubtle for
the second half. This is Easter Sunday. Good Friday and Sattrday,
temperatures will be pegged back but it will be largely drive. Hopefully
things will change as the wdek goes on. The pressure chart shows high
pressure in control, today `nd tomorrow but a slight changd by the
end of tomorrow into Thursd`y as this cold front starts to slip down
from the north`west introducing more in the way of cloud. Pressure is
fairly high throughout the week except for the second half of the
weekend. Tonight, and a high`pressure largely clear skies,
temperatures dipping to thehr lowest point which could be near freezing
in rural spots. We could sed a touch of frost, also some misty p`tch is
developing into the morning. On the whole, temperatures in built`up
areas around four or five and a dry night. Dry tomorrow, other than the
mist and a touch of frost, looking beautiful. Overall, a touch warmer
than today, dry and the sunshine is with us from the word go. Vdry
little in the way of cloud `nd UV levels will be high. Temper`tures
rising nicely up to 15 for lost places and in the south`west of the
region temperatures could ntdge up to 16 Celsius. Tomorrow night, there
will be cloudy conditions so frost is less likely and temperattres a
little bit higher but lingering into Thursday and giving off spots of
rain. Temperatures back to 03 or 14. . Sounds like make the most of
tomorrow. Tonight's headlinds from the BBC. The fight back beghns `
Ukrainian forces start to otst pro ` Russian gunmen from the east of the
country. Concern for communhty cohesion as a former counter
terrorism chief is appointed to investigate an alleged Muslhm plot
to takeover schools That was the Midlands Today. I'll be back at ten
o'clock with more news from around the region. I hope you can join me.
Good evening. Goodbye for now.