23/05/2014 Midlands Today


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If colada and the today. The headlines tonight. UKIP make gains


across a series of councils in our region and there is an increase in


support for the Green party. We knew that people were behind us, you can


never take that for granted, but we are excited, thrilled and grant ``


delighted. Children are left at risk for two young too long. Ofsted 's


damning report into child protection services. I will be asking the chief


executive of Birmingham City Council what they are going to do to put it


right. Also tonight. Preparing for the big day out. 10,000 Burton


Albion fans expected to make the trip to Wembley for the play`off


final. Seven long`distance races in seven months. A novel way of


Celbridge in a 70th birthday. And what a difference a week makes. Last


weekend we were talking about climbing temperatures and the sun


was out. This weekend it is a different picture and it is a bank


holiday. How is it looking? I will have the details later.


Good evening, UKIP and the Green Party have increased the number of


their councillors at the expense of the three main parties here in the


Midlands. UKIP have made significant gains, and the Green Party are now


the major opposition party at Solihull council.


The final results mean that Labour held on to Birmingham, Cannock


Chase, Coventry, Dudley, Newcastle under Lyme, Nuneaton and Bedworth,


Redditch, Sandwell and Wolverhampton. The Conservatives


remain in control in Rugby, Solihull, Stratford`on`Avon and


Tamworth. The Liberal Democrats have held Cheltenham and there's 'No


Overall Control' in Gloucester, Walsall, Worcester and the Wyre


Forest. Our Political Editor, Patrick Burns is in Dudley tonight,


a significant result there Patrick ` UKIP's results in the Black Country


have to be among their best ever, anywhere.


Certainly do. Dudley Castle have is quite a history and 11 UKIP gains


right across the Black Country certainly sends a powerful message


to the biggest parties. So Phil is this area of parliamentary


constituencies, Dudley North, for example, as a whispered then Labour


majority. Dudley South is a Conservative marginal seat, and now


we know that UKIP can pick up seats in Conservative and Labour areas


alike. They predicted they'd do well. But


in Dudley UKIP's gains surpassed their own expectations. The smiles


and cheers said it all. We knew that our share of the vote


would go. We knew that people were behind us. You can never take


anything for granted, but we are delighted, we are excited, we are


thrilled and we are honoured. Labour retain control in Dudley, but the


UKIP surge has unsettled the main Westminster parties.


I think, quite frankly, I was shocked at the size of the their


vote. I think we knew that they would take votes from all the other


parties but the magnitude of those votes is a surprise, to say the


least. And there was a surprise in Solihull at the expense of the three


mainstream parties. Here it was the Greens doing well. They now have ten


councillors here and are the main opposition to the Convervatives.


People want something fresh, something different, and for the way


we present ourselves and not just our positive policies, people are


choosing the Green party. Any predictions of a Lib Dem collapse in


Solihull were unfounded. Where we have got Liberal Democrat


MPs, where we work the seats, we tend to be more successful. There


are honourable exceptions, of course. People who have worked


exceptionally hard. But never the less, that has been the general


principle. And in Cheltenham, the only council in the Midlands run by


the Lib Dems, they held onto control there too ` the party successfully


kept all the seats it was defending. In Staffordshire, as the ballot


boxes arrived, the weight of expectation was heavy. Voting in


Tamworth is always watched closely by commentators ` this is seen as


bellwether town ` indicating electoral trends. In the event, the


Conservatives held onto control. We were led to believe it was the


year the Conservatives were going to be taken out. I never believed


that. We fought hard. We focused on the right issues. And we lead a very


honest campaign about all the issues. It was a disappointing night


for Labour in the West Midlands, the party failed to make ground in


Walsall, Worcester and Gloucester. And the Labour leader of Newcastle


Borough Council lost his seat to UKIP. But in Wolverhampton, Labour


did increase its majority. All eyes now will be on the results of the


Euro elections ` counting's on Sunday. And of course, in England,


this is the last major test of opinion before the General Election.


Liz Copper, BBC Midlands Today. And with European election results


due on Sunday, have the council elections answered the question of


which if the bigger parties suffers most from the UKIP effect?


If you simply way the vote themselves then clearly the


Conservatives supper at the bigger hit, but if you actually apply those


numbers to real council areas and real parliamentary constituencies,


you can see why certainly here in the Midlands it is Labour who are


being held back from making these sorts of strides into places like


Tamworth, where the Conservatives remain in overall control, Labour


failed to get overall majorities in Walsall, in Worcester and in


Gloucester, not getting the sort of momentum that they need. So very


serious issues for Labour, the UKIP effect. This man is number three on


UKIP's ticket for the European elections. These figures, this


extraordinary level of support, is it suggesting that as number three


candidate you can start to bridge a plane ticket to Brussels.


I would like to think so, we don't like to take anything for granted,


but it is looking very positive. Is it anything more than a and when we


talk the talk the same line which. `` this in language. What was your


campaign for those European elections in terms of local


government? Here in Dudley, the main part of our campaign was that we


wanted to get more free parking spaces in the shopping areas. We


also want to get into this council area and look at the spending, not


to look at cuts but to make sure the money is spent more wisely and more


efficiently. There is a lot of waste going on and we want a common`sense


approach to this. What is your message that the bigger parties


should take from what you have achieved here? The message they


should understand is that smears and understands that Iraq attacks on as


an impersonal bases do not work on us, and people are ready for a


change. Thank you very much. Thank you, Patrick.


And Patrick will be back with Sunday Politics, ahead of the Euro Election


count live at the ICC in Birmingham, at the usual time of 11 o'clock on


Sunday. You're watching Midlands Today,


coming up later in the programme: A new national song commissioned to


commemorate the centenary of World War One, we give you a sneak


preview. Inadequate: Birmingham Children's


services has once again been rated inadequate by Ofsted. The government


watchdog found that as of April this year, more than 400 children thought


to be 'in need' had still not had their cases looked at by a social


worker. The council department has been failing for more than ten


years. Giles Latcham reports. Their names are a litany, their


faces a gallery that shames Birmingham. Khyra Ishaq and Keanu


Williams just two of the vulnerable children the city's


Services failed to protect, killed by members of their own family. For


the sixth year running Ofsted have rated the department inadequate. The


council concedes, yes it's still failing but says it won't be forced


into a kneejerk reaction. What we don't want to be dragged back into


is another change of management, and other restructuring of the service,


because for years and years that is what we focus on rather than


focusing on the basics of what our social workers do day in, day out


with the children. Key findings include that as of last month, more


than 400 children referred to the department still hadn't had their


case looked at by a social worker. Because of a shortage of social


workers more than 140 children without assessing them for risk And


after years of reorganisations and restructuring, the work of managers


overseeing front line staff is said to be "generally poor" . In March


the government appointed Lord Norman Warner as an Independent


Commissioner to oversee a three year improvement plan and in a letter to


the Education Secretary Michael Gove has been made on the difficult task


of turning round Birmingham's Children's


coming into Birmingham. This former Birmingham social worker accepts


improvements are being made but says too few staff are still trying to


juggle too many cases. Social workers and their managers and


senior people know that there are still too many children and families


being left without the necessary support. That gives a lot of us


nights. The council's put an extra ?10 million pounds into the


department this year. But in one of the youngest cities in Europe, with


high levels of children living in poverty the battle to put things


right is all uphill. sufficiently robust and whether


there were other things that we might do even if children didn't


move into the child protection arena. Councillor Jones is right to


say what she said, but we have a say what she said, but we have a


answer is that there was. There is a IT question in there and the


workforce question, and some of the procedural arrangements weren't


bold. The report also says, and this is significant, that children are


left at risk of significant harm for too long. Do you accept that? Yes we


do. We know that in Birmingham we have a long history of failure.


Although it grieves me to see it, there are children out there for


whom we should be acting pastor. That remains the case. We have


spoken to social workers who didn't want to go on record for fear of


losing their job. They have said that their caseload is unacceptable


and the cases aren't been allocated quickly enough. What are you going


to do to address the situation quickly? We are continuing to


recruit quality staff. The week to get cases down is to have a


workforce that is capable at its job and wants to stay and work for


Birmingham City Council. That is the bottom line. The government stepped


in and stripped Doncaster of its responsibility. Would that be the


right way to go in Birmingham. You would expect me to say no, but I


don't think it is. But it has been failing and it is inadequate for the


sixth year running. Indeed. I have recently joined the council, and I


think that is between the leader and the councillors. The city council


now has the team, if it is given a good run. A good run. That is the


point, isn't it? What does that mean? Let me be honest. That means


we need to take up to three years to get everything right. It is a very


difficult message and I don't like to have to give it. The truth of the


matter is that so many things need to be addressed that if you try and


bite them all off in one go, we will not succeed, so we need to do the


most important things first and that will take time. Thank you.


Detectives in Staffordshire are appealing for help to trace a man


wanted in connection with an attempted murder in Shelton.They've


released a poster showing twenty four year old Akeem Thames from


Blurton, who they want to question about an incident outside a takeaway


on College Road on Monday. A legal challenge against plans to


downgrade Stafford Hospital has been launched today. Labour's


Parliamentary Candidate for the town, Kate Godfrey, lodged papers at


Birmingham High Court calling for a judicial review. She's hoping to


overturn plans to reduce the paediatric and critical care units


at the hospital, as well permanently shutting A overnight.


We have one chance to say that the process isn't good enough at


Stafford Hospital. We know that the administrators have made a number of


serious errors, and people in Stafford really value the services


at hospital. The deadline applies today at 4pm.


The company which operates the car hire scheme 'Car`2`Go' in Birmingham


has announced it's pulling out of the city. Members had access to any


one of 250 cars parked in the centre for short journeys. The company says


it's withdrawing because the idea hasn't caught on in the UK.


Thousands of visitors are expected in Birmingham this weekend for the


city's annual gay pride festival. The event will focus on freedom and


equality in countries across the world that criminalise


homosexuality.There will be over fifty floats and the parade and will


begin in Victoria square from noon. Dan's here with the sport and part


of Staffordshire is preparing for a big weekend.Burton Albion on their


way to Wembley. A grand day out indeed. Around 10,000 Burton Albion


fans are expected to make the trip to Wembley on Monday, to watch the


leap to final. The victory will mean promotion to league one for the


first time in their history. It's the biggest game of their lives


` but they won't kick a ball. Yes don't be fooled by the kit. This is


Burton Albion Supporters Football Club. They play Saturday mornings


and watch the team Saturday afternoons. We have all got tickets


for Monday. I don't think there is a word for it. It is huge. It is


Burton Albion at Wembley, it is something you dream of. I have a


friend who refuse to go to Wembley until they made it there. For former


player Aaron Webster ` there's a sense of relief. 12 months ago while


still a player he had this t`shirt made after the semifinal first leg.


But Burton didn't make it to Wembley ` and the t`shirt has been stored


away for 12 months. Until now. Unfortunately they didn't go for us


on the day, and I wasn't able to show it off after the game, and I


suppose it has been on top of my wardrobe electing cobwebs for 12


months and obviously last week, they have finally got to Wembley and it


is good that I have got the chance to win it again. The busiest place


in Burton this week has been the club shop. With fans buying tickets


and souvenirs. It's also been quite a week for the players. The players


will only enjoy it if they are Wembley winners. It is not going to


be a great day, it is not going to be a great occasion. It will be for


the fans, but for the players it is a great opportunity, and I think it


is really important that they are ready to embrace that. Could striker


Adam McGurk be the match winner? He scored in both legs of the


semifinal. And he's not bothered about Burton being the underdogs. It


is going to be a tight game, but I don't know if you could call anyone


favourites. I think it is who handles it best on the day. I think


who produces that little bit of quality. So the class of 2014 are


Wembley bound. And determined to make history. And BBC Radio Derby


will have all the build up to Burton's trip to Wembley, as well as


full match commentary. West Brom fans, prick up your ears. We have


been hearing from this man today. Basically, it is in response to


Albion's for a season. He put out a statement on the website, because


they had finished just one point above the relegation zone. He says


the buck stops with him. He says the appointment of former first`team


coach Terry Burton will help in finding a new coach and better


players for next season. I think most fans would say that should be


his priority is finding a new head coach. What is his priority? He says


it is simple, it is simply saying in the Premier League. He says that for


a club of their size it will always be their number one objective, and


they hope they can achieve it. Although we are talking football, it


is supposed to be the cricket season. Rain I am afraid. Delayed


start. Now if you think at the age of 70,


you should be taking things a little easier, then you've not met Kathy


Ling. Because she decided to celebrate her 70th birthday by


running 70 long distance races ` a feat she completed in just seven


months. In the process, she's also raised hundreds of pounds ` in


memory of a close friend who died from cancer.


Kathy Ling is used to surprising people, not least Graham Norton. It


is better than watching television. I have two days off before running


When she's turned 70, she was only interested in one thing. A big race.


Getting her trainers on. Kathy, who once competed for Great Britain at


Judo, began with mile runs, and progressed to half marathons. My


husband is 100% supportive and behind me, for which I thank him


very much, and my daughter thinks I am a first`class nutter, but is very


proud of me. Kathy's a member of the Wrekin Road Runners club. She is a


legend, everybody loves her. ` and she's raised seven hundred pounds


for charity after her friend Pat Adams died from Cancer. We used to


go to a lot of races together, and get lost together, but she always


waited for me. She was a good friend and I miss her dearly. Every day,


Kathy runs from Broseley to Ironbridge. A three mile run where


she's constantly stopped by admiring motorists. Kathy's competed all over


the World. Here she is crossing the line in Berlin, and here in Norway.


But her first marathon in Wolverhampton was pretty memorable.


I ended up at the racecourse, eventually doing 29 miles. And Kathy


has a few tips for novice runners. A very good pair of trainers, and


ladies, you must wear a very strong sports bra. So Cathy has completed


and 70 races to hit her 70th birthday, but she is not content


with that. Ben Godfrey, BBC Midlands Today, Ironbridge.


A new national song has been created in Birmingham to commemorate the


centenary of the First World War. It's the work of the city's Bach


choir, who were approached by the Royal British legion. It's also led


to the creation of a new Midlands Military choir. Lindsay Doyle has


been to rehearsals. For many the country's national song


written in 1916. Fade to new one Now a new national song written for the


multi cultural age.to be performed at the Birmingham Symphony Hall in


September to celebrate the centenary of the first world war. The nation


has changed so much in the last 100 years. It is not know about wiring


should boundaries be set, it is about a national song very very


diverse nation. The Birmingham Bach Choir will be performing a specially


commissioned symphony Unfinished Remembering at the September


concert. The national song came from a request from a fledgling choir,


the brainchild of the British legion. I was very conscious that we


don't have a garrison in Birmingham. There is no central base


were everybody meets, so we don't have the lives that they have in


other places. I was very keen to see if we could perhaps start a military


community choir that involves people from all walks of life. Members who


completed their national service. We used to go on route marches and sing


well we were marching, and then we would sing along with other people


when the day was over, forming a community, so I have always been a


singer. A military nurse who served in Afganistan in 2012. It is the


real unity to get everybody singing together, and it is very exciting


and it is a fantastic opportunity. The aim of the new choir is to


teacher 's members musical skills and reach out to the civilian


population of the West Midlands. They believe that music Blacks cut


`` relaxes, rewards, and affirms. This whole idea has burgeoned into a


huge project, it will be an extraordinary evening, I think. And


of course the new choir will be joining the professionals for the


new national song in September. Dare I even mention it's a bank holiday


weekend ` the weather's not looking too clever Rebecca.


This time last week, I was talking about it being the warmest day of


the year so far, and today we were 10 degrees below that. It has


certainly not been a very good day for our weather. As we head into


tomorrow, we keep that heavy rain. It will get better as we head


through the bank holiday weekend. We have this deep area of low pressure


sitting over us at the moment, spiralling around throughout the


day. As we head through this evening, though, they will


eventually clear away. Still some heavy showers to come, and the odd


rumble of thunder behind that. Then it will start to clear away. Then we


started the cloud filling in as we head into the early hours of


tomorrow morning and some drizzle as well. All that cloud cover will keep


it a mild night tonight. We start off tomorrow and we do have heavy


rain on the way, we have a yellow warning for that rain, 20 to 30


millilitres possible. It could cause some disruption to travel. Be aware


of that. We see this heavy band of rain working its way through, the


odd rumble of thunder possible. Once that is clear, we keep some heavy


showers. The best of any brightness will be to the east, but with all


that cloud and rain are temperatures will struggle. Only 15 Celsius.


Those showers will not clear away on Saturday night. They are never too


far away. It does mean it will be mild, though. This band of rain


starts to work its way northwards into Sunday, and once that has


cleared we will get some spells of sunshine and cabbage start to


recover, up to 17 Celsius. Sunday is better. By Monday, we start off OK,


but cloud service to fill in. We will then see some heavy showers


again, and it doesn't improve as we head through the working week.


Staying unsettled, hopefully better by the end of it.


Now the headlines. UKIP and Labour are still great gains in the local


elections in England. Children are left at risk of significant harm for


too long. Ofsted's damning report into Birmingham 's children


services. I will be back at 10pm. Goodbye for now.


Let's look at the history of BBC TWO with me, Simon Schama.


'Harry And Paul's Story Of The 2s - part of


'the Big Bumper Bank Holiday Comedy 50th Birthday Weekend.'


Ted, I wondered if... I'm not interested


part of the big bumper bank holiday comedy 50th birthday weekend.


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