15/04/2014 Midlands Today


15/04/2014

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Good evening. There are clahms tonight of a "sense of panic" in

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Birmingham's Muslim community following the announcement of

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another investigation into the so`called Trojan Horse plot. Peter

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Clarke, a former head of cotnter terrorism in London, has bedn asked

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to oversee an inquiry into `n alleged plot by Islamic extremists

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to take over schools in the city. His appointment has been crhticised

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by the Chief Constable of Wdst Midlands Police and also Muslim

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leaders in Birmingham. Here's our Special Correspondent Peter Wilson.

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Students today celebrating their degrees outside Birmingham's Council

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house ` the city's population is a global one. All nations and

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religions reflected here, all united in wanting a first class edtcation

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and they see Birmingham as offering the best. Allegations about

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extremism and infiltration of the city's schools casts a shadow. Today

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the Chief Constable hit out at the government's appointment of a

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Education Commissioner who's a former counter terrorism expert

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Peter Clarke's former role hn counter`terrorism is sending the

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wrong message. My understanding is it is primarily an issue around

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school governance, an issue around social cohesion. But not an issue

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around counter`terrorism. Who is Peter Clarke? He's now

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investigating the so called Trojan Horse plot for the government.

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Previously he was Scotland Xard s Mr Counter Terrorism ` tackling the

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aftermath of 9/11 and home grown Al`Qaeda`inspired plots. His

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appointment greeted even in police circles with disbelief but `mongst

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all sections of the Muslim community a sense of alarm. There is ` real

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danger that a small thing could trigger this into something big We

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are worried about that and lanaging expectations. We constantly reassure

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them to have faith in the establishment, there will bd a fair

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and impartial just investig`tion. The management of community

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relations over this is crithcal and so far I have to say it has been a

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catastrophe. Yesterday, the City Council

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announced a two pronged investigation into Trojan Horse We

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also have Ofsted inspecting 15 schools. Now the Education Secretary

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wants a counter terrorism expert to investigate. It's left the City

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Council scratching their he`d. I was surprised by the announcement that a

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former counterterrorism offhcer was appointed because it gives out the

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wrong messages. We have to be concerned about the schools and the

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children and we have to get this away from an issue of terrorism We

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are trying hard to manage community fears. There are a lot of pdople who

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will be worried that this is going to escalate and all ready the way in

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which the last few weeks has led to tensions and people feeling isolated

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and worried and concerned, dven children.

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But the Education Secretary Michael Gove wants answers and he w`nts his

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own man in charge: These allegations need either to be substanti`ted and

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firm action taken, or to be shown to be baseless. Peter Clarke brings a

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wealth of relevant skills and experience, and is very well placed

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to lead a fair and thorough assessment of the evidence. The

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police reiterate Trojan horse is not a police matter, let alone `

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counterterrorism investigathon. Sometimes it seems as though this

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whole saga is like a runawax train. If the appointment of Peter Clarke

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can get to the bottom of thhngs perhaps that rain can be stopped.

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But at what cost? We asked the Education Secrdtary for

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an interview, but neither hd or anyone from his Department for

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Education was available. I'l joined now by Khalid Mahmood, Labotr MP for

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Birmingham Perry Barr. Astonished by the appointment. Peter has done a

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fantastic job for counter`tdrrorism. I have a high regard for hil but he

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isn't the right person for this job. This job entails looking at the

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issues of how governors are appointed, what has happened to the

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schools and then look at thd issue of what the role of the govdrnors

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and the complaints received by the local authority to deal with it We

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had a Chief Constable believes it could send out the wrong message,

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concern for community coheshon. What effect could it have? A dev`stating

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effect. I think what people perceive that to be, all of the Muslhm

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community in Birmingham and 25 schools will be seen as being under

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the scope as terrorists and that would be judgemental to the

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community in Birmingham. If we are to move forward with an enqtiry we

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need to look at local engagdment with local people and working with

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the Department for Education to get to the bottom of this. Have you been

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in touch with Michael Gove? No, he is away at the moment. I will speak

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to him and the leaders in the city. I have a meeting with the

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Commissioner of police. I al trying to coordinate that to see how we can

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work together. Do you agree that has to be a thorough and professional

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investigation? Absolutely. H am one of the main people raising that The

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sensitivity issue is import`nt, putting somebody who doesn't

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understand the structure of education, we need to deal with that

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and not cause harm. Sir Albdrt Bore said he doesn't believe there is a

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plot behind this. Do you? Yds, I do. The evidence I have received and the

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issues and the group that is responsible for this is of `

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different school of thought in Islam and most of the parents are from a

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different school of thought. Coming up later in the programme: Fears for

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the future of a Black Country market ` traders say an increase in rent

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could put them out of busindss. A hospital criticised for putting

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patient safety at risk by under`staffing wards has begun

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recruiting nurses from Europe. An inspection last year found a

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shortage of nurses on surgical and dementia wards at New Cross, in

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Wolverhampton. There's a national shortage of qualified nurses. Since

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2009/10, over three thousand annual nurse training places have been lost

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across the UK. But the profdssion is competitive ` with ten people vying

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for each place. Around a qu`rter of all NHS Trusts are now lookhng

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abroad for staff. Senior NHS managers from Wolverhampton have

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been to Greece to find a new generation of nursing talent. Ben

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Godfrey has this exclusive report. In a hotel in Thessaloniki,

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Aphrodite Karga is hoping for her big break. She wants to work as a

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nurse in Wolverhampton, and she s travelled for five hours to her job

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interview in Greece's 'second city'. I have heard in UK you have good

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nursing system and hospitals. Here in Greece we can't find a job

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unfortunately. Aphrodite could be one of the 1 0

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nurses recruited to New Cross Hospital to meet patient deland and

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offset a shortage of qualifhed nurses in Britain. They are being

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tested on their ability to calculate drugs and respond to specifhc

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clinical scenarios. Their written responses will be assessed for their

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English language skills. We need to understand their training, their

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valuables and care and comp`ssion and their personal values and we are

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looking to recruit for the right person for Wolverhampton. I know it

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is an urban city. 35 minutes driving Ron Birmingham. `` from Birlingham.

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It has a good night life. Wd understand the hospital will pay for

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flights to the UK ` Greek ntrses will get the same starting salary as

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those from the UK, around ?21,0 0. Last November, the Care Quality

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Commission found that staffhng on surgical wards at night madd it

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difficult to provide safe c`re. One patient group is cautious about

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recruiting abroad. If recruhtment is done abroad, those nurses nded to be

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competent and skilled and are safe to treat and care for patients.

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Clearly, Greece isn't always favoured by the NHS. You've chosen

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not to recruit midwives frol Greece because of concerns about the number

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of Caesarean sections they perform, but here you are in Greece dmploying

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nurses in other areas, is that right? I am confident the ntrses we

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are recruiting today will bd of the right calibre and right for Arthur.

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They promise no locally qualified nurse like these at the University

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of Wolverhampton will be denied a job but the reality is it's a global

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market. Welcome to nursing bootcamp. At Thessaloniki's Alexander

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Technological Institute these students train for four years, and

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spend many intense days `in Greece's hospitals. UK give us opportunities.

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Korea in advancing our statts `` studies. I would like to st`y in

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Greece and see Greece provide. One recent international survey

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found that the UK and Greecd have something in common ` their nurses

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are the most stressed in thd world. Will they fit in? They are willing

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to allow themselves three months where they can get the langtage

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right and simple things likd a bedpan. There is no easy

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translation. Interviews beg`n last Wednesday, as Greek nurses joined a

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General Strike, opposing Government austerity measures which have left

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many unemployed. Anastasia `nd Panos are competing for the same job and

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engaged to be married. I control my anxiety. It was easy. We have an

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economic crisis here. The sxstem is inadequate.

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30 candidates will be offerdd jobs after recruitment drives in Greece

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and Italy. How many know wh`t challenges lie ahead, as thdy

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prepare to arrive on the wards of Wolverhampton by late June.

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A man's critically ill after a stabbing in Birmingham last night.

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Emergency services were called to Slade Road in Erdington at `round

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ten to eleven after reports of a fight ` they found a 24`year`old

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with knife wounds. Police s`y he has life threatening injuries. The road

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was closed off while forenshc tests were carried out. Plans for an

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increase in the cost of a gtn licence have been criticised by

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shooting enthusiasts who fe`r they could be forced out of the sport.

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The Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, Ron Ball, is

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supporting a rise, saying it currently costs his staff ?200 to

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process the paperwork, whild each applicant pays just 50 pounds. Bob

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Hockenhull reports. Shooting ` enjoyed by an estimated

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three quarters of a million people across the UK. But the cost of a gun

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license could be about to ndarly double to ?92. Besides using a

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shotgun for his work, Worcestershire farmer Phil Sanders is a kedn clay

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pigeon shooter. He fears such a hike will cause enthusiasts to ldave the

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sport. People with the lowest incomes, it would be one more thing

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they would decide to no longer continue with.

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The police are proposing thd increase. Across West Merci` and

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Warwickshire, it costs nearly 2 0 pounds to administer each lhcense.

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The Police and Crime Commissioner says the public is effectivdly

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subsiding gun ownership. Thd current prices are so out of line whth the

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actual costs that we need to start addressing that. I have to find the

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money from somewhere. It will start appearing in areas the publhc will

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not like. There are nearly 40,0 0 gun`owners across Warwickshhre and

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West, one of the highest figures in the country. It isn't just xour

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typical farmer or shooting competitor who owns a shotgtn.

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Victoria Knowles Lacks organises the largest women only shoot in the

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country and warns against an above inflation rise in licence fdes. It

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is such a wonderful and inclusive sport that it would be such a shame

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if there was a radical height and it would price people out. It hs worth

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billions to the economy, 70,000 jobs.

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The debate on fee increases will continue with a decision expected

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before the end of the year. This is our top story tonight: Concdrn for

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community cohesion as a forler counter terrorism chief is `ppointed

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to investigate an alleged Mtslim plot to takeover schools. Your

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detailed weather forecast to come shortly from Shefali. Also, in

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tonight's programme. Not just a pretty face ` the Miss Engl`nd

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contestants being put through their paces.

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And the Grand National winndr may have put it on the map, but could

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you find the village of Clahnes Market traders in the Black Country

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say they could be pushed out of business because of increasds in

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rent. Stallholders in Bilston are facing a five per cent rise by

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Wolverhampton City Council for the second year running. The cotncil

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needs to save ?123 million over the next five years. 2,000 jobs will be

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lost. And council tax bills have gone up by 2% this year as the

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authority tries to balance the books. But market traders s`y they

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can't cope with the extra rdnt they're now being asked to pay.

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Louisa Currie reports. Market traders have been setting up

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shop in Bilston for hundreds of years. But today's stallholders say

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their future is uncertain. We are struggling and find it harddr to pay

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the rent. There was a 5% increase and some of us can't carry on. We

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can't afford any more incre`ses We will look at a business package to

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keep prices down to give us a chance to survive. It is a difficult time.

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All of the traders are concdrned. The market sustains 200 stores in

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doors and outside. Selling everything from sweet and ctrtains

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and flowers and telephones. I couldn't imagine Bilston without a

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market. You get great bargahns, that's what I like! Aftersh`ve,

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clothes, it's useful. In a statement the City Council says

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it's: Meanwhile a petition against the

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increase has been submitted ` and the Council says traders will be

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given the chance to address councillors at a date still to be

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fixed. Aston Villa have suspended two of

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the club's senior members of staff, pending an internal investigation.

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Gary Karsa, who's head of football operations, and Ian Culverhouse the

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assistant manager, will step aside from their normal duties. Former

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player Gordon Cowans and go`lkeeper Shay Given will work with P`ul

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Lambert to prepare the team for Saturday's vital Premier le`gue game

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at home to Southampton. It's not your traditional ilage of a

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beauty queen, but contestants in this year's Miss England colpetition

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are being put through their paces at a military`style bootcamp.

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Semi`finalists from around the region gathered in Worcestershire to

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experience the pain of an extreme fitness work`out. Ben Sidwell was

:18:43.:18:46.

there to see them in action. The life of a beauty queen.

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Glamorous, stylish, and luxtrious. If you thought Miss England was all

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about champagne and pampering, think again. I can't do any more! This

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year, there won't be a swimsuit inside. Instead, if they won the

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crown, they have to survive a military style Boot Camp.

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It isn't what you expect for a traditional beauty pageant. It is

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nice to have something diffdrent and something to aim for.

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When people see what the girls go through it will change opinhons

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about the competition. Five of the Miss England hopefuls

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are getting a taste of what is to come.

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Tiring. It is hard work. Thdy are pushing us to the limits.

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Keep going, keep going until I can't do any more.

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Pushing the girls to breaking point, military trained

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instructors. It is a beauty pageant. This is a

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gimmick. We are there creating a complete

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package. Fitness, personality and what they do outside.

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To look this good takes a lot of hard work. Around 80 girls will

:20:29.:20:39.

battle it out in the semis. They will face yet another gruelling

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physical work`out. It is more about being sporty and

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charitable and well rounded. I think it shows the girls intelligdnce more

:20:51.:20:54.

than what it ever has. There is still bound to be tears and

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tiaras but after battling through boot camp, this years winner will

:20:59.:21:06.

truly have earned her title. Looks a riot. It was supposed to put it on

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the map. The village which hs proud to be home to this year's Grand

:21:19.:21:21.

National winner, but it seels some visitors are struggling to find

:21:22.:21:24.

Claines in Worcestershire. Now villagers want a road sign to their

:21:25.:21:27.

community to stop drivers gdtting lost. Pam Caulfield has man`ged to

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get there. Pam, what's the problem? I got here fine but I have lived

:21:31.:21:37.

here for most of my life. It seems visitors and cry national f`ns are

:21:38.:21:42.

finding it harder. Villagers tell me they need a sign. Sitting to the

:21:43.:21:48.

northwest of Worcester ` Cl`ines has plenty to boast about an ancient

:21:49.:21:53.

church. Stunning scenery. An award winning pub. And now a Grand

:21:54.:21:57.

National winning horse ` Pineau de Re ` who's being shown off proudly

:21:58.:22:07.

in the local. It has been in motion or but absolutely incredibld. It has

:22:08.:22:14.

put us on the map. It was all ready on it but even more so now. But

:22:15.:22:18.

despite all that right here in the heart of the parish there's

:22:19.:22:23.

something missing. Its own welcome sign. Now following the Grand

:22:24.:22:27.

National success ` it's somdthing villagers are campaigning for. It is

:22:28.:22:31.

part of what you grow up with. I guess for people coming to the place

:22:32.:22:37.

people visiting they are not always sure. That naffs are not always that

:22:38.:22:48.

accurate. `` sat mats. As you approach it is written on the road

:22:49.:22:54.

but after the roundabout whdre is it? And only having signs on the

:22:55.:22:57.

outskirts could be costing them passing trade.

:22:58.:22:59.

But BBC Hereford and Worcester's also on board ` We can do whth the

:23:00.:23:13.

flag and Worcestershire won the Grand National, for heavens sake.

:23:14.:23:19.

You wonder where you are. A side, listeners are backing it.

:23:20.:23:23.

So with plenty of support on their side ` a new sign could be on the

:23:24.:23:27.

cards ` meaning more people can sample what Claines has to offer.

:23:28.:23:35.

Plenty of muscle behind the campaign. Are we going to gdt a

:23:36.:23:45.

sign? We will and hopefully one at each end which is what the residents

:23:46.:23:52.

would like. Two signs, what will they look like? A fairly st`ndard

:23:53.:23:59.

local authority sign saying welcome please drive slowly and then the

:24:00.:24:05.

special bit underneath would be home of the Grand National winner, 2 14

:24:06.:24:09.

or something along those lines. There will be a nod to the horse. We

:24:10.:24:19.

have agreed the process and we will talk to the county councillors and

:24:20.:24:22.

then the local community to ask if that's what they like and wd will

:24:23.:24:26.

put the wheels in motion. Shx weeks, something like that. Thank xou for

:24:27.:24:33.

that great news. All of this Grand National publicity has been worth

:24:34.:24:37.

it. Not one but two signs. Back to you!

:24:38.:24:44.

Glorious sunshine there in Worcestershire. Another sprhng day.

:24:45.:24:53.

The sun does seem strong. It is strong. We are coming to thd end of

:24:54.:24:58.

the day so not as strong as earlier but we have a couple of beattiful

:24:59.:25:03.

days and UV levels will be high Don't be fooled by the breeze or

:25:04.:25:08.

Chile starts. Protect yoursdlves. Slightly bad news for the E`ster

:25:09.:25:15.

weekend. Yesterday confident was low as to how it would turn out but it

:25:16.:25:20.

seems confidence is slightlx higher and it will be fairly unsubtle for

:25:21.:25:26.

the second half. This is Easter Sunday. Good Friday and Sattrday,

:25:27.:25:30.

temperatures will be pegged back but it will be largely drive. Hopefully

:25:31.:25:34.

things will change as the wdek goes on. The pressure chart shows high

:25:35.:25:42.

pressure in control, today `nd tomorrow but a slight changd by the

:25:43.:25:46.

end of tomorrow into Thursd`y as this cold front starts to slip down

:25:47.:25:50.

from the north`west introducing more in the way of cloud. Pressure is

:25:51.:25:56.

fairly high throughout the week except for the second half of the

:25:57.:26:01.

weekend. Tonight, and a high`pressure largely clear skies,

:26:02.:26:06.

temperatures dipping to thehr lowest point which could be near freezing

:26:07.:26:12.

in rural spots. We could sed a touch of frost, also some misty p`tch is

:26:13.:26:16.

developing into the morning. On the whole, temperatures in built`up

:26:17.:26:22.

areas around four or five and a dry night. Dry tomorrow, other than the

:26:23.:26:29.

mist and a touch of frost, looking beautiful. Overall, a touch warmer

:26:30.:26:33.

than today, dry and the sunshine is with us from the word go. Vdry

:26:34.:26:39.

little in the way of cloud `nd UV levels will be high. Temper`tures

:26:40.:26:44.

rising nicely up to 15 for lost places and in the south`west of the

:26:45.:26:50.

region temperatures could ntdge up to 16 Celsius. Tomorrow night, there

:26:51.:26:57.

will be cloudy conditions so frost is less likely and temperattres a

:26:58.:27:04.

little bit higher but lingering into Thursday and giving off spots of

:27:05.:27:10.

rain. Temperatures back to 03 or 14. . Sounds like make the most of

:27:11.:27:14.

tomorrow. Tonight's headlinds from the BBC. The fight back beghns `

:27:15.:27:19.

Ukrainian forces start to otst pro ` Russian gunmen from the east of the

:27:20.:27:22.

country. Concern for communhty cohesion as a former counter

:27:23.:27:25.

terrorism chief is appointed to investigate an alleged Muslhm plot

:27:26.:27:28.

to takeover schools That was the Midlands Today. I'll be back at ten

:27:29.:27:31.

o'clock with more news from around the region. I hope you can join me.

:27:32.:27:43.

Good evening. Goodbye for now.

:27:44.:27:46.

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