24/04/2014 Midlands Today


24/04/2014

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You can Hello and welcome to serious

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You can Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlinds

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tonight: Targeting wives and mothers to help stop young Muslims

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travelling to fight with Syrian rebels. Also tonight: He's `lready

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smashed through the ?1 millhon fundraising barrier. 24 hours later

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Stephen is closing in on ?2 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust with

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help from celebrities. This guy is 19 and he's not bitter but he could

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be and he would have every right to be. There's something inspiring

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about him. We'll be speaking live to Dr Raj

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Mattu, the NHS whistle`blowdr, about his 13`year fight to clear his name

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and hopes for the future. Why plastic is not so fantastic in

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Herefordshire ` objections to the growing number of polytunnels.

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Well, nothing affecting the view of this landscape at Moccas in

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Herefordshire this morning ` a misty field looking resplendent at

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sunrise. A thing of natural beauty. Can we hope for more this wdekend?

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Find out later. Good evening. The West Midl`nds top

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counter terrorism police officer is urging wives and mothers of young

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Muslims to convince them to stay at home and NOT join Syrian rebels

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Hundreds of British Muslims are thought to have joined rebel groups

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` some with links to terrorhsm. The new head of the West Midlands

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Counter Terrorism Unit todax warned that anyone fighting in Syrha faces

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arrest on their return. Gilds Latcham reports.

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The battle for Syria. It is brutal and extreme and the worry for the UK

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authorities is that the extremism it breeds will reach as here in the

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form of young British Muslils radicalised `` radicalised. The new

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head of the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit was reaching out to

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mothers, wives and girlfriends and through them, young Muslim len

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tempted to travel to Syria. We already have evidence of worried

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members of the family picking up the phone to the police saying their

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child has gone to Syria, can you help, `` can you help? If wd can

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generate that energy in a dhfferent way we have achieved somethhng.

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Serious slide into civil war started three years ago and estimatd that

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the death toll begin at 100,000 President Assad remains in power.

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The opposition are determindd but divided, ranging from rains ``

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mainstream groups to others said to have links with terrorism, such as

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Al`Qaeda. This is a conflict no one expects to end any time soon.

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British MPs debated whether to bomb forces loyal to President Assad and

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some say that sent a mixed lessage. Some Muslims going out therd might

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think, we're not doing anything wrong because we are on the same

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side as the British governmdnt. The British government have failed to

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explain this confusion so they need to do more. This man who appealed

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for calm when his son was khlled in via three years ago went to Syria to

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support a charity last May. A fellow fundraiser says worries abott to

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hard disk mustn't eclipse the plight of refugees. I have seen thd focus

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`` suffering first`hand `` to hardests. Let us alleviate the

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suffering their as well. Now the battle is under way for the hearts

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and minds of young Britons. Coming up: Making some moves. How

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this top dance festival is putting local amateurs alongside

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professionals. On last night's programme wd brought

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you the news that a Staffordshire teenager with incurable cancer had

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broken his ?1 million fundr`ising target. In less than 24 hours,

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that's grown to more than 1.5 million. 19`year`old Stephen Sutton

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from Burntwood tweeted what seemed to be a goodbye message and photo

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from hospital earlier this week Our reporter, Cath Mackie, has been

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following the story. She johns us now from Chase Town football club,

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near to Stephen's home, where they've been helping to raise money.

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Cath, that fundraising figure just keeps rising, doesn't it?

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Mary, it is extraordinary. H spoke to a friend of Stephen 's f`mily two

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days ago and he had raised ?600 000. He was sick and hoping to rdach the

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target. 48 air was later it has been blown out of the water. `` 48 hours

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later. Now he has raised ?1.9 million. His story featured a lot

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yesterday on the national ndws when he posted a message which sdemed to

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be a good buy. Thankfully, he posted this today:

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And this has really inspired people to give. When I got onto his website

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and saw some of the things he was saying, I am angry that I mhght die

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at 90... This guy is 19 and he's not bitter or angry. He could bd and he

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would have every right to bd. There's something inspiring about

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him. The reason I am here is that he is a local lad and it was hdre he

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began his fundraising efforts. John, I think you have an announcdment you

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would like to make, haven't you That's right. This weekend, or the

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programme sales will be dedhcated to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Also, on

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May the 4th, we will be plaxing Steve's team down here and we will

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put all the funds from that to the Teenage Cancer Trust. And you went

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to school with Stephen. What do you make of what he has achieved.

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Absolutely amazing. And you are planning fundraising as well? Yes,

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the world record for a tanddm skydive. John, what worked `` what

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was it about Stephen that m`de you say, yes, we will fundraiser? Beth.

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Us involved with Stephen. You just have to meet him and you will do

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anything. His face will be on the programme this Saturday. It will and

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all the proceeds will go to Teenage Cancer Trust will stop along with

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all the players, we will we`r the T`shirt is for Stephen so gdt

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donating. Thank you very much. He is in high spirits today and hd fields

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better. He really has inspired people. The

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Teenage Cancer Fund say thex have never seen anything like it. I can

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give you the up`to`the`minute figure for the amount Stephen has raised.

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It stands at 1,000,940. The engineering firm Sandvik is

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closing its manufacturing plant near Wolverhampton with the potential

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loss of 143 jobs. The company says it has too much capacity across

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Europe and needs to cut production costs in the UK. The plant `t

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Featherstone is expected to close at the end of the year. Talks between

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management and unions are under way. Network Rail has been accusdd of

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cutting corners on the six hundred million pound re`development of

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Birmingham's New Street Station Original plans would have sden the

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old Navigation Street Bridgd clad in stainless steel, but it will now be

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virtually untouched. Network Rail says the changes will help speed up

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construction and avoid railway closures.

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The funeral has taken place this afternoon of Dr Mohammed Naseem the

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chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, who died on Tuesday at the

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age of 90. The leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore was

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among those paying tribute. Funeral prayers were said at the mosque

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before Dr Mohammed was laid to rest at Handsworth Cemetery.

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The head of the NHS has agrded to meet a whistle`blower who spent 12

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years fighting for his caredr after telling Midlands Today about two

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deaths in overcrowded hospital bays. Last week, Dr Raj Mattu won a

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landmark employment tribunal which concluded his dismissal was unfair.

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Our health correspondent, Mhchele Paduano, has been looking b`ck at

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the history of the case. Walsgrave Hospital was overcrowding

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wards in 2001, but management insisted lives weren't jeop`rdised.

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Dr Mattu was shocked. Twelvd times he had told management about his

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patient dying. Finally, he blew the whistle on Midlands Today. There was

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no oxygen available. We did not have suction to suck out the airwaves. An

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employment tribunal said th`t was the start of his troubles. Lidlands

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Today reported in 2006 about a campaign to oust him. Securhty was

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asked to watch him. We were asked to monitor his comings and goings in

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the building. I questioned one former chief executive about a

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second patient death in overcrowded base. Although... . Although Dr Raj

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Mattu, got back to work bridfly he was accused ` among other things `

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of talking to Midlands Todax. He hadn't, but his health suffdred In

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2011, He was too ill to attdnd his disciplinary hearing and was sacked.

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So, what's the final bill to the taxpayer? Legal costs for the first

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inquiry were over ?1 million. In 2011, that had gone up to ?3.7

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million. Mattu's lawyers cl`im the cost of paying others to do his work

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was ?3 million alone. With three High Court hearings and the longest

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tribunal in Birmingham history, some newspapers have claimed the whole

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affair has cost the NHS ?10 million. And through no fault of his own Dr

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Mattu's expertise has been lost his health has deteriorated and he'll

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never work again. And Dr Mattu joins me now. Do you

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believe the issues which led to you blowing the whistle have bedn

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addressed and resolved? Unfortunately not. One of mx

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concerns about this whole hhstory is that I whistle blew because I was

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concerned patients were placed in danger and were dying. The

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management response was to silence me as quickly as they could and then

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to get a dossier of allegathons against me to try and as to me. In

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the middle of all this the patients seem to have been forgotten. Today

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`` to date, myself and senior nurses present at the death of my patients

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have never been questioned. The trust has conducted an audit which

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wasn't an investigation, in my view. At this moment in time, the

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relatives of those who died have no idea of the circumstances under

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which their loved ones passdd away or that they may have had an

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avoidable death. Do you regret speaking out? I don't regret

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speaking out but I couldn't encourage anyone else to consider

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whistle`blowing with the prdsent arrangements. Following the

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tribunal, Coventry and Warwhckshire NHS Trust said they would continue

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to support all of their staff to raise issues of concern. Yot don't

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believe that? I never witnessed that from them. Right now I am a victim

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of their lack of support for whistle`blowers. Right up to the

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tribunal they denied I was ` whistle`blower so I am pleased the

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tribunal came to the conclusion I am a whistle`blower and have stffered

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detrimentally and that my dhsmissal was inextricably linked to the fact

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that I am a whistle`blower. It is quite astonishing that, instead of

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apologising and learning from this, that they are still in deni`l. You

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have asked to speak with thd new chief executive of the NHS `nd he

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has agreed to meet with you? Yes, there is a meeting planned shortly

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and I am hopeful that will take place sooner rather than later. What

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effect has this had on you `nd your family? It has had a devast`ting

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affect on my career to the point that it has destroyed my career as a

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doctor and researcher. It h`s had a damaging effect on my personal life.

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My wife and I have been forced to make the decision not to st`rt a

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family with this looming ovdr us. The awful effect on my health ` I

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have been in a night of hospital on a couple of occasions with `

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life`threatening deteriorathon of my health.

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Thank you. Our top story: Targeting wives and

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mothers to help stop young Luslims travelling to help fight with Syrian

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rebels. Your detailed weathdr forecast to come shortly. Also:

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We've made mistakes admit Shrewsbury Town, as the club faces reldgation

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to League Two. It will be very difficult btt we

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have to keep going. We owe that to the club and the supporters.

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Why these slippery customers are helping keep our longest river in

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peak condition. If you have a story you think we

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should be covering, we would like to hear from you.

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If you're in the countrysidd at this time of year, it's likely you'll see

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fields covered by polytunnels. Increasingly, growers see them as a

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vital way to stay competitive. In Herefordshire, planning applications

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have quadrupled in a year. Now one farmer is fighting for the right to

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use polytunnels in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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Objectors insist they spoil the landscape. Here's Bob Hockenhull.

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A sea of plastic amid the green fields of the Wye Valley. Some local

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residents say what's the pohnt of calling this an Area of Outstanding

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Natural Beauty if this is allowed to happen. It is just a case of more

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polytunnels going up day after day. All you can see is the area

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disappearing. It is approaching an industrial landscape. Neil Cockburn

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is the farmer. At Pennoxstone Court in Kings Caple, he grows more than

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100 acres of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries for

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supermarkets. Next month, at a public inquiry, he'll appeal against

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an enforcement notice from Herefordshire Council demanding that

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he removes most of the polytunnels. If the inspector comes down against

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us than the business will cdase 100 jobs will be lost. I apprechate some

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people don't like the look of them and we try and screen them wherever

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possible and we move them around. A lot of people though are perfectly

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comfortable and want to havd British fruit grown in England are not have

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it flown in from abroad. Thd Council for the Protection of Rural England

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calls Mr Cockburn "a plastic baron". It estimates he and other f`rmers

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are responsible for covering nearly 2,000 acres of Herefordshird with

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polytunnels. In this one poly tunnel, there are 10,000 punnets

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worth of strawberries ready to pick in two weeks. In the shops, they

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will fetch ?20,000. But if there was no cover, the farmer says hd would

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not be able to grow the fruht at all on a commercial basis. Before the

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1980s, the farm here survivdd as a pick your own. But Neil Cockburn

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says 21st century economics dictate that's no longer possible.

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One of Europe's biggest dance events got underway in Birmingham today. It

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will include outdoor perforlances and several new productions. It is a

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show which has given local dancers and opportunity to perform `longside

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top professionals. These dancers come from right across

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the West Midlands, but some of them have never danced alongside

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professionals. Until now. And this is what they are working

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towards. Performing with thd creme de la creme in Mathew Bournd's

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adaptation of Lord of the Flies which comes to the Birmingh`m

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Hippodrome next month. I watched the film which I continuously w`tched

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and enjoyed. When I came to the workshops it was the same. Ht was

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great. It is an amazing expdrience to be part of the show. I dhdn't

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think I was such a dancer to start off with. I had to do it at college.

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Seeing this and knowing that I can it has opened a lot of things for me

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and I am happy I am doing it. It's all part of the Internation`l Dance

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Festival Birmingham. Over the next four weeks, people across the city

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can sampled various `` various dance forms from hip`hop... To hakka.

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Tap... And T. `` T. The festival opens tonight with

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three works from the Birmingham Royal Ballet. One of which sees the

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return of former soloist now turned choreographer Aleander Whitley. The

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real privilege for me to be associated with Birmingham Royal

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Ballet and the other artists. Great contemporary choreographers I have

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huge admiration for so to bd alongside them is a great privilege

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for me. Really nice to kick it off. This is the fourth Internathonal

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Dance Festival. Since 2008, thousands have turned twinkdltoes `

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sampling all forms of dance. You can find out more about the

:19:13.:19:29.

festival by following the lhnks on our Facebook page.

:19:30.:19:31.

Only a near miraculous set of results can help Shrewsbury Town

:19:32.:19:34.

avoid relegation to League Two this weekend. It will come at a financial

:19:35.:19:38.

cost as well with their revdnue likely to drop by around a lillion

:19:39.:19:42.

pounds. The club have admitted making terrible mistakes thhs

:19:43.:19:45.

season. Now they've promised to repair the damage by putting their

:19:46.:19:52.

faith in home`grown talent. They were training in the spring

:19:53.:19:57.

sunshine this morning, but there is a dark cloud hanging over this club.

:19:58.:20:02.

Even if these players can ptll off an unlikely win against Petdrborough

:20:03.:20:05.

on Saturday, they will prob`bly still dropped to the bottom division

:20:06.:20:09.

of the football league. With two games to go, they are six points

:20:10.:20:22.

below the safety line. They have to do it for themselves. The board

:20:23.:20:27.

apologised to the fans this week, admitting they borrowed to heavily

:20:28.:20:31.

from players from other teals and they have promised a complete

:20:32.:20:37.

review. Shrewsbury have used an astonishing 20 players on loan from

:20:38.:20:40.

other clubs and it hasn't gone down well with the bands. It has carried

:20:41.:20:46.

on this season. You just don't know who will be on the side each week.

:20:47.:20:54.

We need a dedicated team. I thought we were a big enough club to stay

:20:55.:21:00.

up. I thought we would posshbly go for the championship this ydar. Part

:21:01.:21:06.

of the solution will be to find local talent. But going down that

:21:07.:21:13.

path will require patience, which is often in short supply in football.

:21:14.:21:18.

You can pay loads of money `nd by senior players. That doesn't build

:21:19.:21:26.

for continuity sometimes. It is like boom or bust and the club doesn t

:21:27.:21:31.

want to be in that situation. For now, Jackson and his players are

:21:32.:21:35.

still focusing on the most tnlikely of great escapes.

:21:36.:21:41.

They are not everyone's favourite but our rivers need them. Thousands

:21:42.:21:46.

of baby eels have been rele`sed into the River Severn today to hdlp

:21:47.:21:50.

repopulate an area where thdy had almost disappeared. They were taken

:21:51.:21:55.

from close to Gloucester whdre eel numbers are at a 30 year high.

:21:56.:22:00.

Replenishing the heels of Shropshire. There were plenty of

:22:01.:22:04.

visitors to the estate this afternoon are willing to lend a

:22:05.:22:10.

hand. Conservationists have been working to move thousands of baby

:22:11.:22:14.

eels from downstream in Gloucestershire where they have

:22:15.:22:18.

become trapped and were dying. Eels have been in decline for about 0

:22:19.:22:23.

years but they can't get ovdr in possible barriers of tidal locks and

:22:24.:22:31.

weirs. We are working with the industry to catch thousands of eels

:22:32.:22:36.

and move them to give the population a better chance of being

:22:37.:22:40.

sustainable. Each year, trillions and trillions of baby eels `re born

:22:41.:22:47.

in the sea and hundreds makd it to the River Severn. But because of the

:22:48.:22:51.

man`made barriers, by the thme they get here to Shrewsbury, the numbers

:22:52.:22:58.

are just a few hundred. Puphls at Shrewsbury School are also doing

:22:59.:23:04.

their bit for eel conservathon. We feel proud that we are maintaining

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the ecosystem and keeping everything going and it is interesting. Eels

:23:09.:23:16.

are pretty cool. Although it helps, human intervention is at thd

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long`term answer for improvhng stocks in Shropshire. The fhsh needs

:23:21.:23:25.

specially built passes like this one to help them navigate man`m`de

:23:26.:23:30.

obstacles. It is basically ` wooden tube in which there are loads of

:23:31.:23:35.

Nilan bristles and it slows the water up so the eels can wiggle all

:23:36.:23:42.

the way to the top. Of the 00,0 0 release to, 90,000 are expected to

:23:43.:23:50.

survive before making the trip back to the sea `` 9000.

:23:51.:24:00.

After the splendours of the gardens at Shakespeare's birthplace trust

:24:01.:24:04.

yesterday, are you grateful to be dry again?

:24:05.:24:12.

I am. From what I hear from some of the reporters, the Sun todax was

:24:13.:24:17.

enough to create a tan. We could do with this weather over the weekend

:24:18.:24:21.

although I don't think we whll get too much of it. Some sunshine on

:24:22.:24:27.

offer but it is a case of r`in and showers and cooler conditions in a

:24:28.:24:36.

breeze. We have eight dense cluster of showers starting to Spiller from

:24:37.:24:41.

the south`east, mainly affecting the south eastern half of the rdgion.

:24:42.:24:47.

There is an art of fairly intense rain swelling up from the

:24:48.:24:52.

south`west. It is shackled to the area of low pressure so we have will

:24:53.:24:57.

have a raft of showers on Stnday as well. Tonight, in comparison, it is

:24:58.:25:05.

looking quiet. There are cldar spells to begin with but cloud will

:25:06.:25:12.

thicken up later. But largely dry and temperatures will only fall to

:25:13.:25:17.

around seven Celsius. The coolest part will be in the west of the

:25:18.:25:25.

region under clear skies. Not as much fog and mist as we had last

:25:26.:25:30.

night so not too much of th`t to start the day tomorrow. A cloudy

:25:31.:25:37.

start, though, and a raft of showers moves up from the south`east. Fairly

:25:38.:25:43.

widespread and some quite hdavy but they restrict themselves to the

:25:44.:25:47.

eastern half of the region. They will pep up tomorrow night `nd will

:25:48.:25:51.

be met by the next area of rain moving up from the south`west in the

:25:52.:25:55.

early hours of. Dreyer the latter part of Saturday.

:25:56.:26:02.

Delight headlines: Police appealed to British Muslim women to stop

:26:03.:26:06.

their sons and brothers going to Syria to fight. Staffordshire

:26:07.:26:10.

terminal cancer patient, Stdphen Sutton, is helping to raise money to

:26:11.:26:17.

help other teenagers deal whth the disease. Donations now stand at

:26:18.:26:26.

1,000,950. We will be live hn Staffordshire again at ten o'clock.

:26:27.:26:28.

Have a good evening. All across the country,

:26:29.:26:52.

millions of families are waking up to a Britain in which they

:26:53.:26:56.

find it harder to get on. Whilst the Government keeps

:26:57.:26:59.

telling people everything is fixed, no longer stops the pound

:27:00.:27:02.

in their pocket getting smaller or the bills getting

:27:03.:27:07.

harder to afford. gas and electricity bills have

:27:08.:27:10.

increased by more than ?300

:27:11.:27:16.

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