27/05/2014 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. all from the BBC News at Six -


Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight. A


sale of Birmingham City Football club a step closer ` the parent


company in advanced talks with a British consortium. The hidden river


valley getting a multi`million pound make over, restoring habitats and


reducing flooding. Join me at the Hay Festival where books and


literature are being celebrated. But, there's much more to broaden


your mind here. And the Bank Holiday weekend may have proved to be a huge


disappointment and today didn't anything to raise hopes, but the


start of June might. Find out more later.


trust helps teenagers chase similar dreams. We promised ourselves that


when we got better, and I say better because it's like suffering an


Georgia wrote this bucket list of about.


Georgia wrote this bucket list of things she wanted to do. Now, people


are trying to fulfil them. There's even a scuba diving scholarship on


offer for a suitable youngster. I had no idea that she'd written a


bucket list. To be honest, I'm a little bit superstitious and I'd


probably have said, don't be doing that. But, as it is, it was done.


She must have done it, from the writing and the content, when she


was about 15. Walking around in a chicken outfit for the day, raising


money for charity. It shows what Georgia was like ` give blood, save


a life. Dye your hair ginger. Georgia did dye her hair and like


Steve's police colleague Nikki Burkitt, who fulfilled wish number


nine with Steve's help, raising ?1,500. It's the next best thing for


Georgia doing it, isn't it? Oh, yes. Everything on that list, she'd have


definitely done. Three students received a trust grant to head to


Morocco, building an irrigation channel to prevent flooding.


Meanwhile 11`year`old Emma was given ?250 towards a wheelchair. Born with


cerebral palsy, she needs it to get around more easily. Emma's


wheelchair adapts to allow her to take part in sports and other


activities such as this after`school cycling club here this primary


school in Telford. If I keep using my bike I might get stronger muscles


because I don't have to pedal with my legs. I use my arms instead.


Georgia's impact has been positive. But the man who strangled her at his


parents' home in Wellington wants to appeal against his whole life


sentence. Last December Stafford Crown Court was told that Jamie


Reynolds had the potential to become a serial killer. The Williams hope


to attend the appeal court. I will be there for whatever for Georgia. I


will stand up for her because there is nobody else that's going to do


it. Joining me now is Chief Inspector


Richard Langton, from West Mercia Police, who's the chairman of the


Georgia Williams Trust. Good evening. When you created this


charity, did you ever imagine you would top ?60,000? No expectations


at all. If I'm honest 12 months ago we had no idea where this journey


was going. I had no idea what we were doing. What we did understand


was there was a real urgency to act and to capture the public feeling.


To put some order and structure around a spontaneous fundraising


that was happening. 12 months on to be talking about having raised


?60,000, we've succeeded our wildest expectations. There was a real sense


of just doing something to try and make a situation right. The more


that we explore this idea, the more support and passion was coming out


for it. We very quickly established a charitable trust. Since then the


story has touched so many hearts and minds. Also, it has fired


imaginations. We've had some extraordinary fundraising. George's


list has really hit a note with people. There is lots more planned.


We can see how the charity has made an impact. You were based in


Wellington at the time of the murder and were a colleague of George's


father. As a fellow officer, had that affect you and your colleagues?


It had an extraordinary impact on everybody involved. It was so


personal. We like to think the trust, even in those early days,


gave an opportunity for colleagues to have something positive to focus


on. I speak on behalf of colleagues, but also on the other


organisations that meant a lot to Georgia such as the air cadets and


the local football team. All those people whose lives she touched can


look to the trust now and in the future for a positive memory and


legacy. Is there an ultimate aim for the trust? To keep it going. To find


new and exciting ways to raise awareness and funds so we can


translate that money into grants to help young people. Thank you. You're


watching Midlands Today, good to have you with us. Coming up later in


the programme ` Life after Europe. I'll be asking what next for


outgoing MEP Nikki Sinclair. And ahead of its first festival, the


Black Country gets its own anthem. It may have been a bank holiday


weekend here but over in the Far East it was very much business as


usual stop for 24 hours share`trading in Birmingham


International Holdings was suspended on the Hong Kong stock exchange.


Why? So that the parent company of Birmingham city football club were


able to confirm they'd received an offer from interested party a


minority purchase of the football club. Earlier today we had this


statement from the acting chairman. He said the IHL remains in advanced


talks with the British consortium with a very strong North American


investment fund. So is the light at the end of the tunnel? Steve McCabe


is from the Birmingham city University business School. Is the


light at the end of the tunnel? For blues fans I hope so. It depends


what they get. That is the $94 million question isn't it? Surely


any potential purchaser would want 100% control. This may be the first


step to complete ownership. So that they are going to have to take a


hit? Quite clearly. How important is it to retain their listing on the


Hong Kong stock exchange `` they will want to keep hold of it. The


club's owners thanked the fans for their patients. Is there any chance


this deal would be concluded before the start of the season? The fans


must be at the end of their tether. They need new players. Thank you


very much indeed. Our Environment Correspondent David


Gregory`Kumar joins us now from beside the banks of the


River Tame in Warwickshire. Tonight we're roughly halfway


between Tamworth and Birmingham. This is Kingsbury Water Park,


the River Tame just over there. It's a site full of dog walkers,


sailors and bike riders. Today we've seen woodpeckers, heron,


sand martins and barn owls. And all of this is part


of the massive new This valley is getting a


multi`million pound make over. You will spot 20 of wildlife, which is


amazing because the river is a hostile habitat these days. The


whole river and many other rivers have seen a lot of man`made features


putting `` put in. Ready to try it and get water from one place to the


other. `` really. We are trying to slow the flow down to hold water


back, and that will end up... Reduced flooding is one benefit of


this new project, stretching from Birmingham to Tamworth, North


Warwickshire to save the Staffordshire. At its heart is the


River Tame, not about by people and industry but now being returned to a


more natural state. `` knocked. It will be a huge task, but right


across the Midlands all our waterways need a bit of love. Here


in Worcestershire this man has seen plenty of extreme weather. We have


had deeper nesting for the first time in over ten years. `` dipper.


So we are seeing signs of improvement.


The restoration of the Tame Valley were easily be the biggest project


of its kind in the Midlands, and it is not just about flooding or even


helping wildlife. There are also canals involved, and


as part of all this is food rich will be restored by the canals and


rivers trust. `` footbridge. Back on the banks of the River Tame,


somewhat a lot football pitches are said to be radically transformed. We


will let people explore wetlands in the flesh, and put in some viewing


platforms. They are even aiming at creating jobs as part of the scheme,


helping wildlife is not just for the birds.


Earlier here we were lucky to see some of the newest arrivals, five


adorable baby barn owl chicks. Stefan Bodner has ringed hundreds of


chicks over the past decade, but last year was the worst year on


record, hardly any chicks were born here. This year though, things are


looking up. Five chicks, perhaps slightly small


but looking healthy otherwise. The parents are probably in one of the


other boxes. Once the chicks start growing it gets pretty crowded and


smelly, and they shift of two another box and sit there and then


come back and provision they done in the evening or the middle of the


night. We find the parents in a nearby box,


hopefully this year barn owl numbers will begin to recover.


And we'll have more on barn owls later in the week.


In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the Tame Valley


project or even get involved there's more details and a link on my blog


A year on from her murder, Georgia Williams' parents talk


of their pride at the legacy created by their daughter.


Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly.


Also in tonight's programme ` not just about books, how the small


border town has built a worldwide reputation for the Hay Festival.


As the dust starts to settle after the European elections,


the outgoing MEPs will be starting to think about their futures.


One of them is Nikki Sinclaire, formerly


of UKIP who stood this time for the We Demand A Referendum Now Party.


You have five weeks left, what are you going to do after that? It is


too early to say. I have been working for 20 years trying to force


this issue, so I will probably keep the pressure on that. So staying in


politics, because the amount of energy required for this type of job


is immense, but then when you stop, what do you fill it with? It has


been 80 hour weeks for five years, so what I am going to do now, that


is a good question. I will always be working towards what I think this


country needs. Will you see `` will you be standing at the General


Election? I think that is extremely unlikely.


I think it was Tony Benn that said he was going to retire to actively


engage in politics! Everyone was predicting UKIP would


do well, but did you think they would do quite so well, over 27% of


the vote? I do congratulate them. I thought it became Nigel Farage


versus politics, and I think the machine came in and people wanted to


protest. He calls himself the fox in the Westminster henhouse. I call


upon the main parties to be the farmer with the shot gun and shoot


the Fox. I mean, not shoot Nigel Farage but shoot the issue. They


need to call this in and out referendum. Nigel Farage is only


representing the frustration of the British people, and the main parties


have been ignoring that for far too long. It is about time they actually


listened to the British people and gave us that referendum.


Returning to you, a couple of years ago you were arrested on suspicion


to defraud the European Parliament. You are still on bail. How has this


affected you personally? It hasn't been helpful, and it is obviously


not very nice, that our snake clear I refute all allegations. `` let us


make clear. It has been absolutely awful. I haven't even answered


questions on this for 18 months, it has just hanging over my head. You


feel, well, I am innocent so it is absolutely frustrating. It is an


anomaly in our legal system but I don't think should be allowed to


carry on. `` that identifies that `` that I don't think. You will pick up


?32,000 in severance pay. Will you take it? It was me who leaked this


document. Unlike the BBC... Will you take it? I cannot get a job in


another Parliament, most people get a redundancy payment, and unlike the


BBC I am quite transparent. Thank you for joining us.


around the world to a small town on the Herefordshire`Welsh border.


The festival attracts thousands of literary fans each year `


but Hay is not just about books, as our Arts Reporter Satnam Rana


The Hay Festival, known for its celebration of books and literature.


For 27 years people have been coming here to explore and challenge their


minds. But this is the other side of the


festival, hands`on experiences. For local businesses it is also a


showcase. It is one thing to go for the intellectual element of reading


books, but working with your hands is also really exciting, and


thought`provoking. You can see the excitement we are generating here.


This has become a festival which is looking to the future. Away from the


main site, fashion students are making ethnically and


environmentally sustainable garments. The festival's about


culture, and I think fashion's are really important part of that. `` a


really important part. This is a festival which has grown


year`on`year, attendance is in fact up a 16% already with a quarter of a


million people coming through the doors.


And it is an integral part of the local economy as well, generating


?60 million for Hay on Wye and they surrounding region.


Thousands come here for the two week period. This year some locals may


spot themselves on this, a film about rubble life which is


premiering at the Festival tonight. `` rubble life. This footage was


shot by a local businessman. It is all made up of countries shows, the


Queen's visit, weddings and birthday parties, it is a beautiful


collection. So away from books and literature, there is plenty to


experience. You turn to somebody who is next to


you in the queue and you've got stuff to talk about, and they are


here because they are open`minded and they want to have a good time.


The Hay Festival is a field full of fun for anyone who involved ``


enjoys life, books, people and thinking.


The Black Country is famous for its industrial heritage,


the delicacy of faggots and peas, and of course the long`time debate


over which towns north of Birmingham are actually within its boundary.


And from today the Black Country has its own official anthem,


composed ahead of the area's first ever festival next month.


Performed with pride and passion for the Black Country past and present,


the official anthem for an area steeped in history.


This year it was time to celebrate ourselves again. We wanted to get


out and celebrate the black complete, remind people we are still


out to have a good time and enjoy ourselves. `` black country.


The version of the patriotic classic I Vow To Thee My Country has been


composed in honour of the region's first Black Country day in July.


There have been small communities of people celebrating, but now we have


the full council back in it. This also celebrates the invention


of the world was Mac first steam engine.


Aside from celebration, the song has a certain poignancy, dedicated to


Steve Evans, magician and comedian he died in January following a two


He shared his story on radio, television and online,


touching the lives of people from all over the world.


We are so proud to be able to get involved in an initiative like this


and celebrate the diverse community of the whole of the black country,


and use an anthem like this to raise much`needed funds for the hospice in


memory of Steve Evans. Tip from Tipton, top of the charts.


Any sun on the horizon? There is, but you will have to wait


to the end of the week. Currently we are continuing where we left off


which means more unsettled conditions to come. We start with


some wet, cloudy conditions, but those temperatures begin to pick up


as the week goes on and finally we end with some drier weather by


Friday. But really it is this one occluded front that is proving to be


the nuisance. It floats southwards, but it is the length it takes to do


this that will mean rain with us for the next couple of days. But then


the high pressure builds in behind us, bringing improvement by the


weekend. Currently we have still got the debris of today's rain to get


through, and it is still quite rain `` wet in parts of Stoke and


Lichfield. But you can practically locked the part of this `` the path


of this front. The rain is starting to intensify in quite a few places,


but we will see some heavy outbreaks from time to time tonight.


Temperatures will remain in double figures for most at around 10


Celsius. As we head into the morning tomorrow, although it is still wet


during that time, we will find the rain is and confine itself to


northern parts of the region. If we get any breaks, I think the best we


can hope for in terms of temperatures if `` is 15 Celsius.


Otherwise it will be around 12 or 13. Further outbreaks of rain


continuing through tomorrow night, but it will study drier up in a few


places with patchy mist and temperatures around 11 Celsius.


Drying up by Friday. European leaders gather in Brussels


to work out how to respond to the shock


of the anti`EU election results. Rolf Harris begins his defence


against allegations of sexual abuse, A year on from her murder,


Georgia Williams' parents talk of their pride at the legacy created


by their daughter. And the sale of Birmingham City


Football club a step closer `


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