30/05/2014 Midlands Today


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The headlines tonight: far this year.


A celebration of life for Stephen Sutton, the teenager who died from


cancer having raised millions of pounds and moved millions of people.


It's so emotional but it is so lovely


Suspended from the Labour Party ` the deputy council leader who sent


bogus texts to the media, pretending he was six different people.


Why the Midlands now has fewer barn owls than ever before


The Rats are back on the road ` Herefordshire's own Boomtown


superstar headlines in Cheltenham this weekend.


It reminds me of County Wicklow, where I spent a lot of time


And after an unsettled week, things are looking calmer


But does that mean we're going to see much of the sun?


Your full weekend forecast is coming up later.


'He's been an inspiration to us all' ` just one of the many tributes paid


to Stephen Sutton during today's service at Lichfield Cathedral.


In the past twenty`four hours, thousands


of people have filed past his coffin and laid flowers in his memory.


The teenager from Burntwood, who died from bowel cancer,


helped to raise more than ?4 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust.


In a final tribute, this morning thousands of people from


around the world tweeted pictures of 'thumbs up for Stephen'.


Our reporter Bob Hockenhull has spent the day in Lichfield,


So a memorable, an inspirational, day for many, Bob.


Indeed. 11,000 people have now been through


the doors of Lichfield Cathedral over the last two days to pay their


respects. They brought clubbers, good wishes and condolences. It has


been a celebration for an ordinary member of the community, the likes


of which this country has probably never seen before. 19 balloons for


19 fulfilled years. An uplifting finale of two days of celebration.


An hour before, more spontaneous applause as his family arrived.


Their greed and pride shared by strangers. He made me think to


man. It has completely changed my man. It has completely changed my


life and the way I think. A final goodbye from those who knew him.


Stephen Todd this boy to play drums. `` Stephen Todt. He was very


inspirational and funny. You just want to show your support. He has


brought the whole community together. At 11:00am, he very modern


gesture in a traditional setting. He thumbs up for Stephen, a sentiment


that dominated the day. Crowds of that dominated the day. Crowds of


people are still coming up to get in. Thanks to Stephen, 30th of May


2014 will be memorable day in Lichfield Cathedral's long history.


Inside, wise words relayed to those outside. On behalf of us all,


Stephen, thank you. And so at last, time to say goodbye, but not


quietly. The Coffin left its place to drums. A fitting sendoff for


Stephen, the drummer boy who certainly let the world know he was


here. With me now as the Reverend. A big


day for you and your community. Ken Stephen's legacy last beyond today?


`` can Stephen's legacy. Given the huge public outpouring be seen


today, I think it will. This Cathedral has seen many momentous


events over the centuries. Where does today stand with that? I think


it is a fanfare for the common man. It is the first of its kind. We have


never been a royal chapel like Westminster, so we have not had much


publicity. This has been a very, very special day and we try to


honour someone who has won the hearts of the local community and


the national community, to. Did things go as you expected? Largely


without a hitch. We have just been surprised that the volume of


and the length of time they wanted and the length of time they wanted


to spend your. `` spend here. It has all been very good. Stephen has now


raised more than ?4 million. The school governors who say they're


the victims of a 'witch hunt' by local authority that's acting


illegally. The Deputy Leader of


Stoke`on`Trent City Council has been suspended from the Labour Party


after he sent bogus text messages to Councillor Paul Shotton sent


a text to BBC Radio Stoke supporting council policy,


but signed it 'Jean in Fenton'. The radio station then discovered it


wasn't the first time he's used BBC Radio Stoke's political


reporter Phil McCann joins me now. Cancel or shorten was rumbled during


coverage of the council's controversial spending at the


Chelsea Flower Show. One text message, apparently from gene in


Fenton, said the council were spot on. The production team then wanted


to talk to Jean on here. They called the number but got this.


I'm sorry I'm not able to take your call at the moment.


If you leave a message, I will get back to you as soon as I can.


This wasn't the first time he had done this, was it? No. After that,


they checked all the text messages sent from the number and found that


they were all supporting the council they were all supporting the council


and criticising its opponents. At the all appeared to be from


different people. He used names like Steve, Dave, Tracey and Alison.


Talking of labour's opponents, he called them a joke.


What has happened as a result of this? Cancel or shorten has


apologised. He has released statements saying he is plain


stupid. The Labour Party has suspended him. But there are calls


In my view, the previous Labour councillor who masqueraded


I think that is the proper thing for Councillor Shotton on this occasion.


Calls there for Paul Shotton to resign. An investigation is being


started but we will have to wait to see what happens.


125 years of manufacturing history came to an end today when production


finished at the Goodyear Dunlop motorsport factory in Birmingham.


Unions and MPs had campaigned to keep the Erdington factory open or


But the American owners declined, leaving hundreds


However production at Dunlop Aircraft tyres


Governors at a Muslim faith school in Birmingham, who claim the


City Council have undermined their school, are holding a meeting


with parents this evening to discuss what they claim is 'a witch hunt'.


Lindsay Doyle joins us now from Al Hijrah in Bordesley Green.


Lindsay, what's the background to this meeting?


The fundamental purpose of tonight's meeting is to inform


parents of the developments. The Al Hijrah is at the centre of claims by


Ofsted of poor governance and financial mismanagement. The


their posts. A new team will comment their posts. A new team will comment


on Monday. Waseem Yaqub, the chairman, has called for three weeks


grace until the students finish their exams.


Is it unfair to ask local authorities to wait three weeks so


The building is not going to go away.


Is it possible for him to consider, out of his magnanimity,


What have Birmingham council said? Last night, an official, Peter Hay,


wrote to him. The estimate the deficit to be ?880,000. Early, we


had ?400,000. He said the school's reputation has been damaged.


The number of barn owls in the Midlands is


at an all time low thanks to the freezing spring of 2013.


And vanishing habitat makes it harder than ever


In the latest of his Springwatch reports,


our environment correspondent David Gregory`Kumar, has been meeting


One of the most beautiful parts of our patch and all this grass is


teeming with tasty mammals for the local barn owls.


The Staffordshire Moor itself is a massive spot for barn owls.


There are lush hay meadows and patches of grass which gives


them a really good vole population, which is what they need to breed.


They have closely monitored barn owls since 2000 and


in that time have seen a booming population of 54 peers in


Well, this was spring last year here.


Plenty of snow at exactly the wrong time.


Females need to put on weight before they lay eggs.


With the snow cover we have had during


March, they weren't able to get enough prey and find enough small


mammals under the snow, which meant that they didn't start breeding.


Helen is part of the group trying to find


the barn owls new places to live because we have taken away so much


of their natural habitat, including converting barns into homes for us.


Providing homes for barn owls is a practical way to help.


If there is a local barn owl pair looking for a home, they could


Barn owls usually have three to four chicks,


This is the finishing touch for our newly`installed barn owl box.


It's some wood shavings to go on the floor.


Birds themselves won't bring in much of any nesting material and by


the time there are adults and four chicks, it can get stinky in there.


So perhaps it is no surprise that adults often move to a different


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