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A reminder of our main story. Nick Clegg tells his supporters to
stand firm, dismissing talk of
The headlines tonight: Stoke City Council under fire
for spending ?400,000 on the Chelsea Flower Show ? it?s
facing ?20 million in budget cuts. The Council say they were at Chelsea
to sell the city's enormous potential.
Also tonight: Governors at a Muslim faith school
say they will resist new leadership imposed by the City Council `
accusing them of a witch`hunt. We will resist any illegal actions
by anyone. Preparations are under way at
Lichfield Cathedral to honour Stephen Sutton.
Snake in the grass, but for how long? Preventing the extinction of
the endangered ad. It is not quite as straightforward
as Waterworld blue sky, the devil is in the detail. `` while two were the
sky. `` blue sky. accusing them of a witch`hunt.
A row's broken out into the cost of a garden exhibit at the
Chelsea Flower Show. Stoke`on`Trent City Council spent
more than ?400,000 on the garden ` called "Positively Stoke"
to try to boost the city's image. But the authority is under severe
financial pressure ` ?20 million of cuts were announced
this year with more to come. At upwards of ?400,000,
the cost of the garden at Chelsea is about the same as proposed cuts to
services for vulnerable adults in Stoke`on`Trent.
Liz Copper reports. The garden at the Chelsea Flower
Show ` entitled "Positively Stoke", but its price tag has left some
politicians positively furious. The leader of the opposition
group at Stoke`on`Trent City Council has been highly critical.
I want to talk about Stoke`on`Trent and the people in this city. High
unemployment, low pay, let us start addressing what we need for the
people of the city. We are not do it by spending ?450,000 at Chelsea.
Council has been highly critical. Stoke`on`Trent's garden,
which won a silver gilt award, cost taxpayers ?400,000.
Birmingham City Council also had a show garden ` it won gold
and was funded mostly by sponsors ` costing taxpayers ?5,000.
Meanwhile Leamington Spa's Chelsea garden, which won a silver medal,
was paid for by donations, with a ?1,600 contribution
from the town council. The City Council say nobody is
available to be interviewed, but that Chelsea in shirts were able to
promote the city, its industry and its potential to an influential list
of key figures. from the town council.
And 40 key figures were invited by Stoke`on`Trent to a gala dinner
at Chelsea. Government ministers were among
those on the guest list; so was one of the city's MPs, Tristram Hunt.
Some tickets cost ?732 a head. So back in the Potteries, what do
voters make of the expenditure? The council should be sacked and get
in someone who knows what they are doing. To waste money on that is
just stupid. They are shutting down all folks' homes. Why spend it on
things like that? What right have got to spend it on that? Found that?
What do they get for that? This young man has just gone to Halifax
to open a bank account, so that he can be in control of his own money.
He might make a better job of controlling Stoke`on`Trent money.
voters make of the expenditure? Stoke`on`Trent City Council's said
exhibiting at Chelsea is a way of generating economic growth ` but
it's also generated controversy. Well, Stoke`on`Trent City Council
didn't want to talk to us on the programme tonight.
But you have been getting in touch on social media.
Coming up later in the programme: Filling and not fattening `
apart from the bacon, cheese, and mushrooms ` why Staffordshire
oatcakes are growing in popularity. Governors at a Muslim faith school
are claiming the City Council has undermined them in what amounts to a
witchhunt. A new leadership team is due to arrive next week, but the
governors said they will resist all attempts to let the council take
over. The school governor went to the
Department of education headquarters today to see the education
Secretary. He has been running both Islamic faith school and so was it
boasts some of the best exam results in Birmingham. Ostensibly teaching
is inadequate and management programme. The cancer went to the
place `` the council `` claimed the cancer was acting illegally, and
said when pupils returned from half`time on Monday he would refuse
the governors entry. We will refuse any illegal actions by anybody. We
believe every decent piece for good citizen has a result `` a right to
resist this kind of tyranny. In a letter, a senior council officials
says... Birmingham MP says the council is
acting within its rights. There is nothing illegal. The executive
boards are allowed by the education act in order for local authorities
to go access to schools and turn a failing school around. So there is
nothing illegal about this, this is a normal procedure councils take
when they want to go in and support and help to filling school.
Concerns about the school are not directly linked to the ongoing
investigation into the Trojan horse letter, the supposed plot by most
loans to take over the running of governing bodies. But at this
school, they say their case is a further example of the City Council
failing to run the city's schools fairly and effectively.
In a separate development, the BBC has been given in `` an exclusive
interview by a prominent headteacher who says the Government was warned
for years ago about a so`called Trojan horse plot by Muslim
extremists to take over some schools in the city.
That Trojan horse plot emerged back in March. It was an unsigned
document but hey as lead to some 200 allegations being given to the City
Council which are now being investigated not just buy them but
also by the Government. We have had schools, teachers and pupils denying
these allegations, but not a headteacher from Mosley is saying
that he warned the Government four years ago about this matter, also
that he was aware of headteachers being put under extreme pressure,
extremely non`Muslim headteachers, over the past two decades. Over
those 20 years, I know of places where these kinds of tensions and
politics have exploded. As a result I know that headteachers have had
nervous breakdowns, lost their jobs, schools have been newly torn apart
and it is intensely difficult. What have the Government said about these
claims? They are saying this headteachers spoke to them as part
of a general policy discussion four years ago. They are also saying they
have done more than anybody else to tackle the problem of extremism in
schools. And the `` and newly elected UKIP
councillor who allegedly posted homophobic comments on Facebook says
he has no regrets. A lot of people agree with me. I
have been looking doors, `` knocking.
You can hear the full interview on BBC Hereford and Worcester.
Aston Martin is to create 250 jobs at its plant in Warwickshire.
The luxury car maker is investing ?20 million to extend
manufacturing at Gaydon. The new engineering, manufacturing
and commercial jobs will be created over the next few months.
As the Staffordshire County Show got under way this morning some farmers
in the region were expressing concern about how UKIP's success
in the European elections might impact on British agriculture
and the subsidies paid to UK farmers by the EU.
Amy Coles reports. Set against a changing political
landscape, David has farmed in Staffordshire all his life. He is
mindful that UKIP's dominance in the European elections could affect the
number `` limit of European money he receives. If we came out of Europe
it would lead to a reduction in subsidies. If we were more
self`sufficient and imported less, our prices could go up and could
compensate for that. I am more concerned about HS2.
While it will take time for the UKIP dust to settle, this Conservative
councillor and farmer says he just wants a fair deal. I want to begin
with is that sterling in Europe is a good rule for farming and farmers.
If it is, yes, we need to trade on the global stage, and as an English
farmer I want to stay English, but I also want to make sure I get a fair
price for migrants. Another big issue is the decline in
the number of young people entering agriculture. A lot of young people
`` there are a lot of young people here today, but what will tempt them
into farming? We were talking about the technology coming into
agriculture, especially on the machinery side. I think this is
going to peak young people's interests. `` attract their
interests. Keeping people interested is what the show is all about.
There is plenty to see and do. It has been very good. Lots to do and
lots to see, lots for the kids to see.
The show is on tomorrow as well and is expected to attract over 60,000
visitors during its two daily spell. `` to day.
Amy Coles reports. Thousands of people are expected
in Lichfield over the next two days to pay their
respects to Stephen Sutton, ahead of his funeral on Friday afternoon.
The 19`year`old from nearby Burntwood died
from cancer earlier this month. He raised almost ?4 million `
his inspirational story touching the nation.
Ben Godfrey joins us from inside Lichfield Cathedral where
the commemorations will begin tomorrow night.
Ben, what is the sequence of events? At 6pm tomorrow Stephen's body will
make the final journey from his home here to Lichfield Cathedral. This is
the native area. You can see a platform, where Stephen's often rely
on tomorrow night and again on Friday morning and afternoon ahead
of a private service. People will be invited to file past the coffin, to
light a candle, to sign a book of condolence, to lay flowers. Hundreds
of people have signed the book of condolence already, one message from
a 9`year`old girl said, Stephen, you were very brave. How will people be
preparing their Lichfield and Burtonwood? Lichfield Cathedral is
saying this is an unprecedented event. They simply do not know
however how many people will be there, but are preparing for
thousands. 100 volunteers will be here. If you have been to Lichfield
this week you will have seen tonnes of yellow ribbons, assemble,
Stephen's mother said, of the way he brought light into people's lives.
She says she wants people to wear yellow and not black.
Tomorrow evening we were becoming live from Lichfield Cathedral.
Stoke City council is under fire for spending ?400,000 on the Chelsea
Flower Show while facing ?20 million on Budget cuts.
Your weather forecast to come shortly, also at night, you are
never too old for basketball. `` also tonight.
And part of a Warwickshire high street for over 60 years, the end of
the road for a unique craft pottery. Ben, what is the sequence of events?
Tasty, versatile and delicious, the oatcake is a Staffordshire
tradition. And it seems "oaties"
have never been more popular. Joanne Writtle reports
on how the taste for real Staffordshire oatcakes is now
spreading far beyond the county. Cheese and mushroom with brown
sauce, definitely. Cheese and tomato. One thing seems certain, to
get the authentic taste, many say the oatcakes have to be made here in
North Staffordshire. What they are made from however is a secret. My
wife does not know the recipe. Just me, and my dad. Keep it close to
your chest! Half an hour away, they make 95,000
oatcakes a week. Alex learned the trade from his dad
who died three years ago. Now he is making test batches on a grand scale
one mile away at his new factory, with the aim of quadruple link
production. I am living my dad's dream. If he could be here today, he
`` it would be great. Alex and his father spread the word about
oatcakes far and wide. It is not just the expats from
Staffordshire that have moved away and are ordering online again, it is
people who have driven past them and driven through Stoke on Trent, they
will search us on Google and to be honest we have got a few customers
here who have standing orders, where every week it is direct debit and
they get the oatcakes in the post. Other healthy? There is only 81
calories. But it is what you put on them. Bacon and cheese with red
sauce. Alex's favoured? Cheese and bacon, but I do like mashed potato
and cheesy beans. Springwatch now, and our team
have been out looking for adders. Adders have been in decline
in recent years, and it's now feared our only
venomous snake may be extinct in many parts of the Midlands.
Our environment correspondent David Gregory`Kumar went to meet one
of the people trying to stop the adder from disappearing completely.
A cool misty morning on the Malverns doesn't strike me as me as good
weather for cold`blooded snakes. But expert Nigel Hand says once we
climb to the top, things will have warmed up.
Along with the Wyre Forest, the Malverns is
the Midlands' adder stronghold. But as numbers decline, it is
becoming harder to find them. the Midlands' adder stronghold.
But as numbers decline, it is becoming harder to find them.
Fortunately for us, Nigel is one of our best adder spotters.
He is almost black and white. This is his breeding colours. How many
are left on this site? We have had a dozen this year, three breeding
females and the rest are males. The female adder looks different
from the mail, although they both have striking markings.
You might think that pattern would make it stand out, but as I have
discovered this morning they are hired to see because the pattern
starts to resemble the dead bracken in the undergrowth. `` difficult to
see. But Brecon is being removed and
adder habitat is being built on and fragmented. It would be great to see
a female today, but with just 12 in this area it will be tricky.
Although we do find the Midlands' other native stake, the grass snake.
That is feigning death. I really thought we had killed it.
We do go on to find a female adder. Had so little bit less striking than
the mail, but still with that diamond pattern.
of our best adder spotters. With expert help, we've had
a good day adder spotting. But as numbers collapse, most
of us are never going to see one. Worcestershire we have two viable
sites, Warwickshire they are possibly extinct. Staffs we are down
to really one good population. of us are never going to see one.
possibly extinct. Staffs we are down to really one good population.
But Nigel and others are working hard to help
the Midlands adder survive. They are special. It is a lovely
thing to recount when you first saw one. They are our future generation.
But the sad fact is an ad in the bracken is an increasingly rare
sight. `` and adder. the Midlands adder survive.
And if you are lucky enough to see an
adder, then do remember they are our only poisonous snake, so watch don't
touch and treat them with respect. You can read more about the problems
faced by the adder on David's blog at bbc.co.uk/davidgregorykumar,
and Chris Packham and the Springwatch team are back at 8:00
on BBC Two tonight. We are living longer, and keeping
fit is key to living life to the full. Every week people over 60 take
part in sport at the University of Worcestershire.
Ascott poll is proving a big hit. `` basketball. Inside the Arena of
the University of Worcester, the name of the game is Ascott Pole.
The age of the players is over 60. `` Ascott Pole. `` basketball.
Every Wednesday for the past ten weeks this sporting band of brothers
and sisters have been honing their new skills. They've's career is to
be fighting fires, now he is fighting fit. He is the oldest
member of the group, at 80. I played tenpin bowling, badminton, table
tennis, I belong to two working groups which I walk an average of
ten to 12 miles a week, basically trying to keep fit. What do you do
in your spare time? Wondering what I can do next!
At 72, maybe is a positive youngster who loves tap dancing and now
basketball. Great news for Doctor Susie Hart who believes great
fitness is vital for a healthy lifestyle. The nice thing with this
is it is a team game, so there is a service allows Asian element and
also a competitive element. `` a social element.
So the message is clear, you don't have to be over six foot six to play
here, simply over 60 will do nicely. Hanley and Adam's high Street has
been home to Torquil Pottery since 1960. Reg Moon made a living out of
clay. It is here where his daughter absorbed years of experience to
become a potter. But after 54 years, it is all coming to an end. I will
be sorry, obviously, and all the customers who have become friends
over the years I am going to miss them. It is a big deal, really, but
it is time for a change. And this is the final show, the
grand finale. In 1985 Reg Moon and his wife set up this case. Since
then exhibition 's have been set `` held here twice a year. Roche and
his wife were great friends to me, I have always loved his prop ``
pottery. `` Reg. It was like coming back to see a family. We shall miss
it tremendously. A lot of people came to see this exhibition from all
over the country. For five years, they have continued
their parents' legacy, but now it is time to go. Sad, because it is my
family home going, and we have enjoyed doing the exhibitions. At
the same time, I will have my weekends to myself again.
This final exhibition is just as historic as the building here, a
former coach house. So when it all comes to an end on the seventh of
June, this truly is an end of an era on the high street here.
May seems to be fizzling out. Let us find out if something brighter is
around the corner. The weather has put a dampener on
things recently, so I am hoping for a smooth `` a few smiles by Friday.
Currently however we are caught up in the clutches of this frontal
system which since yesterday has caused all this activity. As this
curls southwards, this is where things improve. All eyes on Friday
then as the day of change. But at the moment story is as it stands. It
is very much one of cloud and rain. There is a lot of cloud over night,
some drier interludes as well. Over the hilltops it could produce some
patchy fog. But it is keeping things very mild, with lows of just ten to
12 Celsius. A fairly dismal, damp start to tomorrow for all, but you
will find that the emphasis for this rain will shift southwards during
the day and we will see brighter weather developing particularly in
eastern parts. But the cloud is still there towards the north and
west, so temperatures will be pinned back to around 14 or 15 Celsius.
When we get the sunshine, highs of around 17 or 18, but that will also
trigger perhaps sharp, slow`moving showers. Those will gradually fade
away tomorrow night, and as I said, for Friday, things will start to
pick up. Why we have been on air, a newly
elected UKIP councillor from Worcestershire who made racist and
homophobic comments on Facebook has been expelled from the party.
Redditch Borough Council and Dave Smalls said he stood by his views
that migrants are scroungers and homosexuals at servers. `` at
perverts. The very nature of
the American personality was defined. Ray Mears explores
the land behind the Hollywood legend and discovers the wild
that made the West.