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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 `