17/04/2014 Midlands Today


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News at six. It is goodbye from me News at six. It is goodbye from me


In another development today, four women have been arrested as part of


the ongoing fraud investigation at the school. Also tonight:


Residents' fury over a huge pile of recycling that's causing a stink in


Stoke`on`Trent. The crucial Easter weekend coming up


for our football clubs, with problems on and off the field for


Aston Villa. Back to his roots performing in


Birmingham and the Black Country ` comedian Frank Skinner on football,


being a dad and making people laugh. The art of mourning in the West


Midlands is absolutely... As good as it gets.


And with the bank holiday weekend just around the corner, who is king?


Better than yesterday or worse? `` how is looking?


Good evening. Our school children are being made to feel like


terrorists. That's the view of a leading Muslim spokesman in


Birmingham. It follows weeks of allegations over the so`called


Trojan Horse plot which alleges Muslim hardliners are trying to take


over schools in the city. It was last month that the allegations


first came to light. And last week, Birmingham City Council suspended


the recruitment of new school governors. On Monday, the council


confirmed it was now investigating 25 different schools, and, on


Tuesday, the Department for Education appointed the former


national head of counter`terrorism to lead an inquiry into the


allegations. Now concern's growing that these allegations are damaging


community relations, as our special correspondent Peter Wilson's been


finding out. Children playing in the sunshine.


Sparkhill Park filled with young people brought together by an inter


faith charity. They were giving out balloons with personal messages, all


linked to the growing controversy over the Trojan Horse plot. We can


have lots of diversity and still be one community. I think that's what I


want, essentially, for them to be peace`loving, no stress. People


might be prejudiced towards Muslims and because of that, they might


judge. Children today learning the Koran. Many are from the 25 schools


in Birmingham being investigated over allegations of being taken over


by hard line Muslims. Our cameras were allowed into the Ombersley Road


mosque because people here wanted to speak out. The fear is that many of


these children will be worried and upset by this issue rather than


their own futures and the betterment of this country. And gaining


qualifications that will help better the world that they live in. The


focus, unfortunately, has shifted to being fearful and worried that they


are all going to be enabled as radical terrorists. `` be labelled.


That fear comes after the Government appointed Peter Clarke, a former


senior counter`terrorism officer, to be the new Education Commissioner to


investigate the Trojan Horse plot. One of the schools at the centre of


those allegations is Golden Hillock School in Saltley. Today, I spoke


with one of its former pupils. There was no separation in any classes,


apart from physical education, which once again was purely changing rooms


and that is understandable. While you were at the school, did you ever


hear any political or extremist views? No. Be honest with you, it


was unheard of. Since I have grown up and watch the news more I have


become more aware of what is going on but as a child in a school, like


I said, it was purely a learning environment and things like Jihad


were never heard about. One teacher, also a parent, wanted to defend the


schools for what she sees as simply reflecting their majority Muslim


student population. That might be, within the curriculum, that might be


things like Islamic assemblies or halal food. Things that allow them


to express their faith within the school system.


And Peter Wilson is `` the Speaker, the Chief Constable


of the West Midlands and leader of the City Council board said that


they believed that this investigation was not about


counter`terrorism but school governors. What Muslims in


Birmingham are seeing is that they do not want to be hard with the


brush of extremism. `` that. ``'s peter is here with me now. Separate


from this Trojan Horse inquiry. We have got police making four arrests


linked to school today. That is right. For women were arrested in


the early hours of this morning from addresses in East Birmingham and


Solihull. They are all in their 40s. This is a separate case, a suspected


fraud case, the police say, and it is linked to a primary school. It


was mentioned in the original Trojan horse plot. Apparently this has got


something to do with the fabrication of bogus resignation letters, not


directly to do with the Georgian Course. What is at the heart of this


hole so`called plot? It is very complicated. `` the Trojan horse.


Today people were seeing that a few years ago as Muslims they would turn


up at the school gate and feel like Jekyll and Hyde. They would have to


leave their Muslim identity behind. What they are seeing now is that


because the majority of people are so many of these schools are Muslim,


the schools should reflect that so that people feel comfortable in your


own skin without upsetting any other religions or the staff at those


schools or the broad curriculum that is being taught there. Peter, thank


you. Thank you for joining is ahead of


the bank holiday weekend. Coming up later in the programme:


Jails in crisis, prison officers having to travel hundreds of miles


to cope with staff shortages. And find out why live music and


bands in the Midlands are helping the vinyl record make a comeback.


Residents in a part of Stoke`on`Trent are calling for a


recycling collection centre to be closed down for breaching its


licence conditions. The centre, at Milton, stores thousands of tonnes


of used plastics. But those living in the area claim it's blighting


their lives. Kevin Reide reports. It's only in recent years this


industrial site has been used to store plastics. Residents like June


Grimes claim the only beneficiaries are the owners... And the local fly


and rat populations. She says it's an eyesore with a smell to match.


Residents should not have to be putting up with the smells and the


issues that these sites bring when they are put on the doorstep. What


we want to see happen is this site completely cleared and relocated to


a suitable industrial site. And the lorries are a problem too, say


residents. June captured these scenes on her mobile phone as


drivers grapple with Milton's narrow lanes and tiny bridges. We have got


heavy goods, left`hand drive, coming down our roads where our children


walk to school. They are that big that they are amending the pavement


as they Well, as you can see, in some places the site is literally


bursting at the seams and that's not surprising because it is only


licensed to hold 500 tonnes of recyclable waste. Are going down. ``


they are going up on the pavement as they are going down. Last December,


the Environment Agency estimated there were around 6,000 tonnes here.


The Agency has since ordered the owners, Hanbury Plastics Recycling


Limited, to reduce the level to the licensed amount by June this year.


It says it's satisfied with the progress being made but not


everybody is. Nobody from `` I have concerns that they are not


taking enough action to ensure that the site is safe, that the fences


are peered to a satisfactory standard. That people cannot get


onto the site. White nobody from the company would speak to us today on


camera but a spokesman said this is the best way to deal with plastics,


otherwise it ends up in landfill. They said they were planning to


double the workforce to 60 over the next few years and that they were


applying to increase their licence to hold 3,000 tonnes. Kevin Reide,


BBC Midlands Today, Staffordshire. A heart surgeon who was sacked after


he blew the whistle at overcrowding has won his case against unfair


dismissal. He was sacked by the trust in 2010, nine years after he


raised concerns about dangerous post`operative care. Today, the


tribunal ruled he had been unfairly dismissed.


For men and two women have been arrested in connection with an


attack which has left a teenager with serious burns. The 19`year`old


had high`strength cleaning fluid poured over her as she went to


answer the door of a house on Macdonald Close in Tividale on


Tuesday. It's left her needing treatment for 15% burns to her neck


and face. Three people have now been arrested on suspicion of wounding,


one on suspicion of conspiracy to wound and two people on suspicion of


attempting to pervert the course of justice. Quite shocking, to be


honest. I mean, it's a very quiet neighbourhood. My parents live here,


about a two minute walk. And to think it's a young girl, as well.


You know, it's not nice for that to happen to her.


A 14`year`old boy has been arrested in connection with a car`jacking in


Bilston. It follows an attack on 84`year`old Michael Green by the


Trumpet pub on Friday night. He was dragged from his car and assaulted,


resulting in a fractured hip. Thieves then stole the vehicle and


dumped it a few minutes later. The union representing prison staff


says jails in the West Midlands are in crisis. The Prison Officers


Association says its members are being asked to travel hundreds of


miles to help deal with staff shortages in the region. Some are


coming from as far away as Northumberland. Giles Latcham


reports. The Ministry of Justice denied


`` Birmingham Jail, part of a service struggling to cope with


chronic staff shortages, if you believe the Prison Officers'


Association. Since January, they say hundreds of


officers have been travelling the country, plugging gaps at other


prisons as part of what is called detached duty. Unfortunately what we


have got is staff coming from all over the country. Staff being forced


to live in hotels for weeks at a time... Months at a time, even,


believe it or not, to try and shore up a system that is in crisis. And


it is without doubt that we could see some real serious disturbances


within prisons, rioting. In recent weeks, staff here at Sanford have


been sent to HMP Birmingham, to Nottingham and to near Redditch.


Extra staff have been drafted in to travel to Oakwood near


Wolverhampton, run by G4S, on a promise of ?500 payments. For


Labour, it is all about funding. The fact that we have got prison


officers being drafted in from 200 miles away to the Midlands is


because the Government has imposed severe cuts on the Prison Service.


Fewer and fewer prison officers looking after more and more


prisoners in overcrowded jails. The Ministry of Justice say they are


reforming and modernising jails to ensure best value for the taxpayer.


reforming and modernising jails Staffing levels, they say, remain


appropriate. An MP with first`hand experience of the Prison Service


admits there are problems. appropriate. An MP with first`hand


There are concerns and I know that there are a lot of vacancies. I


cannot understand why there are so many vacancies when we have got 8%


unemployment in the West Midlands. I have been a prison officer. I


thought it was a great career. Others may differ. Figures obtained


by Labour show assault on prison staff have risen 45% in the past two


years. It's the start of the Bank Holiday


weekend and the great getaway is already underway as people take to


the road, rail and air for a short break. Our transport correspondent,


Peter Plisner, is at Birmingham Airport tonight. So how busy has it


has been there? It is pretty busy down there. I was


inside the terminal building half an hour ago. Very busy. This Easter the


airport says 407,000 passengers will fly from here. That's 11% up on last


year. Popular destinations this year for city breaks are Amsterdam, Paris


and Barcelona. There is a warning about packing your bag, your hand


luggage, there are still restrictions in force for some


things, including liquids and sharp objects. It can mean more delays if


you have them in your case and the airport want to avoid that to get


everybody on time. And what about the roads and trains?


Well, on the roads I'm told that it's fairly quiet tonight. A lot of


people may have travelled already and some may be waiting to travel on


good Friday or Saturday. And the good news is many road works have


been lifted for the weekend. On the trains, the opposite is true.


Engineering work is often done on bank holidays and this year's is no


exception. All our operators are reporting service disruption on many


routes. There will be replacement bus services, meaning longer journey


times for many passengers. Some of the most disruptive work will be in


the Stafford area. That's affecting both London Midland and Virgin


Services. Wise to check before you travel. If you want advice on what


to do and some of those engineering works, go to...


Peter, thank you. It is 18:42pm. This is our top story tonight:


Four women are arrested as part of an ongoing fraud investigation at a


Birmingham primary school. We've the all important Easter


weekend weather forecast coming up shortly from Shefali. Also in


tonight's programme: On a stand`up tour for the first


time in seven years, Black Country comic Frank Skinner on stage in


Wolverhampton and Birmingham. A busy


a busy weekend ahead for football teams at the end of the season


approaches. But Aston Villa's problems on the pitch as they fight


to stay above the drop zone are mirrored with problems behind the


scenes. Nick Clitheroe reports. This has been a turbulent week for


Aston Villa and their manager Paul Lambert. Two of his backroom staff,


assistant Ian Culverhouse and director of Football Operations Gary


Karsa, have been suspended while the club carry out an internal


investigation. But that's all the club are prepared to reveal. I think


you will need to appreciate it being illegal investigation. I cannot


really comment on anything. I think you will appreciate that answer. I


respect you asking me the question but I think you have got to respect


my answer. If you want to blog about the football side of things and


results, I am happy to answer. `` to talk about. It couldn't have come at


a worse time. Four straight defeats have left the team four points above


the relegation zone. On Monday, that prompted the club's chief executive


Paul Faulkner to issue a statement saying, now more than ever it's time


for us all to pull together. 24 hours later, we learnt of the two


suspensions and the promotion to the coaching staff of club legend Gordon


Cowans and goalkeeper Shay Given. But that wasn't all. On Wednesday,


owner Randy Lerner broke his silence to admit unexpected issues and very


real obstacles have to be overcome. But that wasn't all. On Wednesday,


owner Randy Lerner broke his silence But where does all of that people


leave the fans, whose main concern is whether they stay up this? I


think there needs to be change of manager. We are staying up,


definitely. Nobody will send us down. I reckon that it is looking


up. I can understand the fans. They pay a lot of money to come and watch


of and travel long distances. We need them on Saturday, that is for


sure. I understand your frustration. Lambert seems to have the backing of


the men who make the decisions at the club. On Saturday he's hoping


victory over Southampton will get him back in favour with the fans,


too. Nick Clitheroe, BBC Midlands Today.


And you can follow all the Easter football matches by listening to


your local radio station, who'll have match commentaries and regular


updates. Remember the days when you wanted to


buy the latest single by your favourite artist and you had to pop


down to your local record shop? Happy days. But as tapes, CDs and


now digital downloads took over, many stores were forced to close.


Well, it's now come full circle as vinyl is growing in popularity


again. And to celebrate the fact, this Saturday is National Record


Store Day, as Ben Sidwell's been finding out.


I have only got 20 minutes but it is very easy to spend your entire day


in a record shop. There's still something rather


special about a vinyl record. The days may be gone when our high


streets were full of record stores but slowly they're starting to creep


back in. West Midlands has obviously got a great culture for music and


always had fantastic bands. The shops there are springing up, new


shops opening in Birmingham, will overwrite, Shrewsbury's. ``


Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury's. To mark this year's Record Store Day, one


Birmingham band, Goodnight Lenin, decided to undertake a project to


record, mix and produce a vinyl single in just one day. You grew up


and see your dad's collection, you want to be banned with your own


final. That is the way we want to be anyway. In London, their hard work


in the studio is turned into vinyl. Just 24 copies will ever be made,


all being sold at independent record stores in Birmingham this Saturday.


From an artist's point of view, it is great to have something you can


physically holding your hand and be proud of the process. We will give


them to independent record stores and try to encourage people to


treasure the way they select and listen to music. Swordfish is one of


the stores selling the very limited edition single. We find more and


more younger people buying vinyl, you know, if they like something, if


they are serious about the music they will go out and buy vinyl.


Music may have become a very disposable commodity but shops like


this hope Record Store Day will encourage more to treasure their


vinyl. Well, Ben is at a gig tonight. These


independent stores to actually have the support of the bands, do they


not? They `` absolutely. This is part of all of that project that


they are doing. It is not just the smaller bands, the bigger bands as


well. Wish me `` with me is one of the biggest bands in the Midlands at


the moment. For you and the guys, is by no important? Absolutely. We buy


our records on vinyl and we love the packaging, it feels great and plays


great. It finds the best. An important is it that bands like


yourself, you have had for Doctor albums now, are supporting


independent record stores? `` you have had four top ten albums. There


is a great thing about going into a record store and talking to somebody


about music and then opening up the knowledge to you. That is important.


What about when you look at records as a whole, there are many doing


this, is there more demand? I think so. Digitally edited and download


it, there is not much packaging and I think we do like to have things in


their hands, to see the artwork and what the band look like. The artwork


looks beatable on a 12 inch. Finally, we could not have easier


without finding out what the guys are doing. What about this year? We


are still to ring the record from last year and are going to going to


enter the summer festivals and hopefully a trip to South America,


our first time. Best of luck. If you want to find out about more about


national records stored it, Danny Kelly from 9pm, his programme


becoming and they bits from all sorts of independent record stores


across Birmingham. Well worth a listen on Saturday morning. 's I


have still got hold of them. Well, someone who knows what it's


like not only to make a record but have a number one is Black Country


comedian Frank Skinner. `` I have still got loads of them. Remember


that Three Lions football song back in the '90s? Frank, of course, loves


his football. He's a passionate follower of West Brom. He's long


been a part of the showbusiness stratosphere and now, in his 50s,


he's a proud dad to a little chap called Buzz, who's nearly two. I


caught up with Frank, who's on a stand up tour around the country,


this week back in the Black Country in Wolverhampton. Does it feel like


coming home? It does feel like coming home but I


don't know if the crowd still see it that way. I have been away quite


well. I would not want to come back and be fully Black Country bloke,


you know? To pretend that I am still knocking around. If it was


practical, I would still live here. I certainly wish I was living here


when my son was born. I have always said that geographically is how you


should decide your football team so it should be you know, you should


get a piece of string in the A To Z and get where they were born and go


around until you find your professional football club, in which


case he would be an Arsenal fan. I might have to rethink that! I think


a lot of it depends on what is in your DNA, what you see coming of


your dad. Maybe when he sees the pain that will put him off! We first


met through football, a television programme. Yes, 20 years ago. Great


fun. People still ask me when it is coming back but I don't think it


will. Lots of other shows were inspired by it. It felt very new and


different at the time. We are coming onto the World Cup. Derby County


curious on again? We will probably cured but it will not be anything to


do with me. `` will be cured a song again? It was great. I think it is


time for anyone. How would you describe your comedy? Honest. I try


to be as honest as I can and as open about what I have thought and felt.


When I have made a fool of myself or whatever. I think that is gained in


importance. Sometimes that honesty manifests itself in being quite


good. Are you a happy man? You have a long`term partner, a little boy,


West Brom are surviving in the Premier League. I have not been


happy since September 24, 1986. What happened then? See, I stopped


drinking then. I have not had that happiness when you are blind drunk.


How do you hold on? I just think that I would either be at


Wolverhampton city or wasteland. I dream about it and stuff but it has


been a long time. I am fine. How to celebrate death West Bromwich Albion


win a trophy? I celebrate than winning a trophy by going out with


my schoolmates! A glass of milk? Exactly! Free milk. Thanks a lot.


Some revealing stuff there, wasn't there?


And Frank is playing at Wolverhampton Civic Hall tonight.


He's at Birmingham Symphony Hall next Tuesday to Thursday and at


Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry on Sunday 18th May.


So will the weather make us laugh this Easter Holiday weekend or cry?


Here's Shefali. It is half and half. I do not think


you will be grinning from air to air but it is real done it really as


straightforward as that. We start off well this Easter and then it


starts to take off on Easter Day and Easter Monday, when things become


wet and windy and also killer. This area of low pressure will be the


culprit. It's got from the south east and with it rain on Easter Day


and then it will be lovely to the West during Easter Monday. As it


does so, we will be left with the after`effects, a futurist. `` then


it will pull away to the West. We are talking about an inch of rain on


Easter Sunday, nothing to be scoffed at. Back to this


tomorrow morning. Maybe others of cloud bubbling up through the latter


part of the day but overall, a fairly sunny Good Friday. Also try.


Temperatures eventually recovering to about 12`14 Celsius. Tomorrow


night, we start with clear skies again. Temperatures will fall even


lower for


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