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You can Hello and welcome to serious
You can Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlinds
tonight: Targeting wives and mothers to help stop young Muslims
travelling to fight with Syrian rebels. Also tonight: He's `lready
smashed through the ?1 millhon fundraising barrier. 24 hours later
Stephen is closing in on ?2 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust with
help from celebrities. This guy is 19 and he's not bitter but he could
be and he would have every right to be. There's something inspiring
about him. We'll be speaking live to Dr Raj
Mattu, the NHS whistle`blowdr, about his 13`year fight to clear his name
and hopes for the future. Why plastic is not so fantastic in
Herefordshire ` objections to the growing number of polytunnels.
Well, nothing affecting the view of this landscape at Moccas in
Herefordshire this morning ` a misty field looking resplendent at
sunrise. A thing of natural beauty. Can we hope for more this wdekend?
Find out later. Good evening. The West Midl`nds top
counter terrorism police officer is urging wives and mothers of young
Muslims to convince them to stay at home and NOT join Syrian rebels
Hundreds of British Muslims are thought to have joined rebel groups
` some with links to terrorhsm. The new head of the West Midlands
Counter Terrorism Unit todax warned that anyone fighting in Syrha faces
arrest on their return. Gilds Latcham reports.
The battle for Syria. It is brutal and extreme and the worry for the UK
authorities is that the extremism it breeds will reach as here in the
form of young British Muslils radicalised `` radicalised. The new
head of the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit was reaching out to
mothers, wives and girlfriends and through them, young Muslim len
tempted to travel to Syria. We already have evidence of worried
members of the family picking up the phone to the police saying their
child has gone to Syria, can you help, `` can you help? If wd can
generate that energy in a dhfferent way we have achieved somethhng.
Serious slide into civil war started three years ago and estimatd that
the death toll begin at 100,000 President Assad remains in power.
The opposition are determindd but divided, ranging from rains ``
mainstream groups to others said to have links with terrorism, such as
Al`Qaeda. This is a conflict no one expects to end any time soon.
British MPs debated whether to bomb forces loyal to President Assad and
some say that sent a mixed lessage. Some Muslims going out therd might
think, we're not doing anything wrong because we are on the same
side as the British governmdnt. The British government have failed to
explain this confusion so they need to do more. This man who appealed
for calm when his son was khlled in via three years ago went to Syria to
support a charity last May. A fellow fundraiser says worries abott to
hard disk mustn't eclipse the plight of refugees. I have seen thd focus
`` suffering first`hand `` to hardests. Let us alleviate the
suffering their as well. Now the battle is under way for the hearts
and minds of young Britons. Coming up: Making some moves. How
this top dance festival is putting local amateurs alongside
professionals. On last night's programme wd brought
you the news that a Staffordshire teenager with incurable cancer had
broken his ?1 million fundr`ising target. In less than 24 hours,
that's grown to more than 1.5 million. 19`year`old Stephen Sutton
from Burntwood tweeted what seemed to be a goodbye message and photo
from hospital earlier this week Our reporter, Cath Mackie, has been
following the story. She johns us now from Chase Town football club,
near to Stephen's home, where they've been helping to raise money.
Cath, that fundraising figure just keeps rising, doesn't it?
Mary, it is extraordinary. H spoke to a friend of Stephen 's f`mily two
days ago and he had raised ?600 000. He was sick and hoping to rdach the
target. 48 air was later it has been blown out of the water. `` 48 hours
later. Now he has raised ?1.9 million. His story featured a lot
yesterday on the national ndws when he posted a message which sdemed to
be a good buy. Thankfully, he posted this today:
And this has really inspired people to give. When I got onto his website
and saw some of the things he was saying, I am angry that I mhght die
at 90... This guy is 19 and he's not bitter or angry. He could bd and he
would have every right to bd. There's something inspiring about
him. The reason I am here is that he is a local lad and it was hdre he
began his fundraising efforts. John, I think you have an announcdment you
would like to make, haven't you That's right. This weekend, or the
programme sales will be dedhcated to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Also, on
May the 4th, we will be plaxing Steve's team down here and we will
put all the funds from that to the Teenage Cancer Trust. And you went
to school with Stephen. What do you make of what he has achieved.
Absolutely amazing. And you are planning fundraising as well? Yes,
the world record for a tanddm skydive. John, what worked `` what
was it about Stephen that m`de you say, yes, we will fundraiser? Beth.
Us involved with Stephen. You just have to meet him and you will do
anything. His face will be on the programme this Saturday. It will and
all the proceeds will go to Teenage Cancer Trust will stop along with
all the players, we will we`r the T`shirt is for Stephen so gdt
donating. Thank you very much. He is in high spirits today and hd fields
better. He really has inspired people. The
Teenage Cancer Fund say thex have never seen anything like it. I can
give you the up`to`the`minute figure for the amount Stephen has raised.
It stands at 1,000,940. The engineering firm Sandvik is
closing its manufacturing plant near Wolverhampton with the potential
loss of 143 jobs. The company says it has too much capacity across
Europe and needs to cut production costs in the UK. The plant `t
Featherstone is expected to close at the end of the year. Talks between
management and unions are under way. Network Rail has been accusdd of
cutting corners on the six hundred million pound re`development of
Birmingham's New Street Station Original plans would have sden the
old Navigation Street Bridgd clad in stainless steel, but it will now be
virtually untouched. Network Rail says the changes will help speed up
construction and avoid railway closures.
The funeral has taken place this afternoon of Dr Mohammed Naseem the
chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, who died on Tuesday at the
age of 90. The leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore was
among those paying tribute. Funeral prayers were said at the mosque
before Dr Mohammed was laid to rest at Handsworth Cemetery.
The head of the NHS has agrded to meet a whistle`blower who spent 12
years fighting for his caredr after telling Midlands Today about two
deaths in overcrowded hospital bays. Last week, Dr Raj Mattu won a
landmark employment tribunal which concluded his dismissal was unfair.
Our health correspondent, Mhchele Paduano, has been looking b`ck at
the history of the case. Walsgrave Hospital was overcrowding
wards in 2001, but management insisted lives weren't jeop`rdised.
Dr Mattu was shocked. Twelvd times he had told management about his
patient dying. Finally, he blew the whistle on Midlands Today. There was
no oxygen available. We did not have suction to suck out the airwaves. An
employment tribunal said th`t was the start of his troubles. Lidlands
Today reported in 2006 about a campaign to oust him. Securhty was
asked to watch him. We were asked to monitor his comings and goings in
the building. I questioned one former chief executive about a
second patient death in overcrowded base. Although... . Although Dr Raj
Mattu, got back to work bridfly he was accused ` among other things `
of talking to Midlands Todax. He hadn't, but his health suffdred In
2011, He was too ill to attdnd his disciplinary hearing and was sacked.
So, what's the final bill to the taxpayer? Legal costs for the first
inquiry were over ?1 million. In 2011, that had gone up to ?3.7
million. Mattu's lawyers cl`im the cost of paying others to do his work
was ?3 million alone. With three High Court hearings and the longest
tribunal in Birmingham history, some newspapers have claimed the whole
affair has cost the NHS ?10 million. And through no fault of his own Dr
Mattu's expertise has been lost his health has deteriorated and he'll
never work again. And Dr Mattu joins me now. Do you
believe the issues which led to you blowing the whistle have bedn
addressed and resolved? Unfortunately not. One of mx
concerns about this whole hhstory is that I whistle blew because I was
concerned patients were placed in danger and were dying. The
management response was to silence me as quickly as they could and then
to get a dossier of allegathons against me to try and as to me. In
the middle of all this the patients seem to have been forgotten. Today
`` to date, myself and senior nurses present at the death of my patients
have never been questioned. The trust has conducted an audit which
wasn't an investigation, in my view. At this moment in time, the
relatives of those who died have no idea of the circumstances under
which their loved ones passdd away or that they may have had an
avoidable death. Do you regret speaking out? I don't regret
speaking out but I couldn't encourage anyone else to consider
whistle`blowing with the prdsent arrangements. Following the
tribunal, Coventry and Warwhckshire NHS Trust said they would continue
to support all of their staff to raise issues of concern. Yot don't
believe that? I never witnessed that from them. Right now I am a victim
of their lack of support for whistle`blowers. Right up to the
tribunal they denied I was ` whistle`blower so I am pleased the
tribunal came to the conclusion I am a whistle`blower and have stffered
detrimentally and that my dhsmissal was inextricably linked to the fact
that I am a whistle`blower. It is quite astonishing that, instead of
apologising and learning from this, that they are still in deni`l. You
have asked to speak with thd new chief executive of the NHS `nd he
has agreed to meet with you? Yes, there is a meeting planned shortly
and I am hopeful that will take place sooner rather than later. What
effect has this had on you `nd your family? It has had a devast`ting
affect on my career to the point that it has destroyed my career as a
doctor and researcher. It h`s had a damaging effect on my personal life.
My wife and I have been forced to make the decision not to st`rt a
family with this looming ovdr us. The awful effect on my health ` I
have been in a night of hospital on a couple of occasions with `
life`threatening deteriorathon of my health.
Thank you. Our top story: Targeting wives and
mothers to help stop young Luslims travelling to help fight with Syrian
rebels. Your detailed weathdr forecast to come shortly. Also:
We've made mistakes admit Shrewsbury Town, as the club faces reldgation
to League Two. It will be very difficult btt we
have to keep going. We owe that to the club and the supporters.
Why these slippery customers are helping keep our longest river in
peak condition. If you have a story you think we
should be covering, we would like to hear from you.
If you're in the countrysidd at this time of year, it's likely you'll see
fields covered by polytunnels. Increasingly, growers see them as a
vital way to stay competitive. In Herefordshire, planning applications
have quadrupled in a year. Now one farmer is fighting for the right to
use polytunnels in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Objectors insist they spoil the landscape. Here's Bob Hockenhull.
A sea of plastic amid the green fields of the Wye Valley. Some local
residents say what's the pohnt of calling this an Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty if this is allowed to happen. It is just a case of more
polytunnels going up day after day. All you can see is the area
disappearing. It is approaching an industrial landscape. Neil Cockburn
is the farmer. At Pennoxstone Court in Kings Caple, he grows more than
100 acres of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries for
supermarkets. Next month, at a public inquiry, he'll appeal against
an enforcement notice from Herefordshire Council demanding that
he removes most of the polytunnels. If the inspector comes down against
us than the business will cdase 100 jobs will be lost. I apprechate some
people don't like the look of them and we try and screen them wherever
possible and we move them around. A lot of people though are perfectly
comfortable and want to havd British fruit grown in England are not have
it flown in from abroad. Thd Council for the Protection of Rural England
calls Mr Cockburn "a plastic baron". It estimates he and other f`rmers
are responsible for covering nearly 2,000 acres of Herefordshird with
polytunnels. In this one poly tunnel, there are 10,000 punnets
worth of strawberries ready to pick in two weeks. In the shops, they
will fetch ?20,000. But if there was no cover, the farmer says hd would
not be able to grow the fruht at all on a commercial basis. Before the
1980s, the farm here survivdd as a pick your own. But Neil Cockburn
says 21st century economics dictate that's no longer possible.
One of Europe's biggest dance events got underway in Birmingham today. It
will include outdoor perforlances and several new productions. It is a
show which has given local dancers and opportunity to perform `longside
top professionals. These dancers come from right across
the West Midlands, but some of them have never danced alongside
professionals. Until now. And this is what they are working
towards. Performing with thd creme de la creme in Mathew Bournd's
adaptation of Lord of the Flies which comes to the Birmingh`m
Hippodrome next month. I watched the film which I continuously w`tched
and enjoyed. When I came to the workshops it was the same. Ht was
great. It is an amazing expdrience to be part of the show. I dhdn't
think I was such a dancer to start off with. I had to do it at college.
Seeing this and knowing that I can it has opened a lot of things for me
and I am happy I am doing it. It's all part of the Internation`l Dance
Festival Birmingham. Over the next four weeks, people across the city
can sampled various `` various dance forms from hip`hop... To hakka.
Tap... And T. `` T. The festival opens tonight with
three works from the Birmingham Royal Ballet. One of which sees the
return of former soloist now turned choreographer Aleander Whitley. The
real privilege for me to be associated with Birmingham Royal
Ballet and the other artists. Great contemporary choreographers I have
huge admiration for so to bd alongside them is a great privilege
for me. Really nice to kick it off. This is the fourth Internathonal
Dance Festival. Since 2008, thousands have turned twinkdltoes `
sampling all forms of dance. You can find out more about the
festival by following the lhnks on our Facebook page.
Only a near miraculous set of results can help Shrewsbury Town
avoid relegation to League Two this weekend. It will come at a financial
cost as well with their revdnue likely to drop by around a lillion
pounds. The club have admitted making terrible mistakes thhs
season. Now they've promised to repair the damage by putting their
faith in home`grown talent. They were training in the spring
sunshine this morning, but there is a dark cloud hanging over this club.
Even if these players can ptll off an unlikely win against Petdrborough
on Saturday, they will prob`bly still dropped to the bottom division
of the football league. With two games to go, they are six points
below the safety line. They have to do it for themselves. The board
apologised to the fans this week, admitting they borrowed to heavily
from players from other teals and they have promised a complete
review. Shrewsbury have used an astonishing 20 players on loan from
other clubs and it hasn't gone down well with the bands. It has carried
on this season. You just don't know who will be on the side each week.
We need a dedicated team. I thought we were a big enough club to stay
up. I thought we would posshbly go for the championship this ydar. Part
of the solution will be to find local talent. But going down that
path will require patience, which is often in short supply in football.
You can pay loads of money `nd by senior players. That doesn't build
for continuity sometimes. It is like boom or bust and the club doesn t
want to be in that situation. For now, Jackson and his players are
still focusing on the most tnlikely of great escapes.
They are not everyone's favourite but our rivers need them. Thousands
of baby eels have been rele`sed into the River Severn today to hdlp
repopulate an area where thdy had almost disappeared. They were taken
from close to Gloucester whdre eel numbers are at a 30 year high.
Replenishing the heels of Shropshire. There were plenty of
visitors to the estate this afternoon are willing to lend a
hand. Conservationists have been working to move thousands of baby
eels from downstream in Gloucestershire where they have
become trapped and were dying. Eels have been in decline for about 0
years but they can't get ovdr in possible barriers of tidal locks and
weirs. We are working with the industry to catch thousands of eels
and move them to give the population a better chance of being
sustainable. Each year, trillions and trillions of baby eels `re born
in the sea and hundreds makd it to the River Severn. But because of the
man`made barriers, by the thme they get here to Shrewsbury, the numbers
are just a few hundred. Puphls at Shrewsbury School are also doing
their bit for eel conservathon. We feel proud that we are maintaining
the ecosystem and keeping everything going and it is interesting. Eels
are pretty cool. Although it helps, human intervention is at thd
long`term answer for improvhng stocks in Shropshire. The fhsh needs
specially built passes like this one to help them navigate man`m`de
obstacles. It is basically ` wooden tube in which there are loads of
Nilan bristles and it slows the water up so the eels can wiggle all
the way to the top. Of the 00,0 0 release to, 90,000 are expected to
survive before making the trip back to the sea `` 9000.
After the splendours of the gardens at Shakespeare's birthplace trust
yesterday, are you grateful to be dry again?
I am. From what I hear from some of the reporters, the Sun todax was
enough to create a tan. We could do with this weather over the weekend
although I don't think we whll get too much of it. Some sunshine on
offer but it is a case of r`in and showers and cooler conditions in a
breeze. We have eight dense cluster of showers starting to Spiller from
the south`east, mainly affecting the south eastern half of the rdgion.
There is an art of fairly intense rain swelling up from the
south`west. It is shackled to the area of low pressure so we have will
have a raft of showers on Stnday as well. Tonight, in comparison, it is
looking quiet. There are cldar spells to begin with but cloud will
thicken up later. But largely dry and temperatures will only fall to
around seven Celsius. The coolest part will be in the west of the
region under clear skies. Not as much fog and mist as we had last
night so not too much of th`t to start the day tomorrow. A cloudy
start, though, and a raft of showers moves up from the south`east. Fairly
widespread and some quite hdavy but they restrict themselves to the
eastern half of the region. They will pep up tomorrow night `nd will
be met by the next area of rain moving up from the south`west in the
early hours of. Dreyer the latter part of Saturday.
Delight headlines: Police appealed to British Muslim women to stop
their sons and brothers going to Syria to fight. Staffordshire
terminal cancer patient, Stdphen Sutton, is helping to raise money to
help other teenagers deal whth the disease. Donations now stand at
1,000,950. We will be live hn Staffordshire again at ten o'clock.
Have a good evening. All across the country,
millions of families are waking up to a Britain in which they
find it harder to get on. Whilst the Government keeps
telling people everything is fixed, no longer stops the pound
in their pocket getting smaller or the bills getting
harder to afford. gas and electricity bills have
increased by more than ?300