30/05/2014 Midlands Today


30/05/2014

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The headlines tonight: far this year.

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

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

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It's so emotional but it is so lovely

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

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

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Why the Midlands now has fewer barn owls than ever before

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

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superstar headlines in Cheltenham this weekend.

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

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And after an unsettled week, things are looking calmer

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

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Your full weekend forecast is coming up later.

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

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

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In the past twenty`four hours, thousands

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

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The teenager from Burntwood, who died from bowel cancer,

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

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In a final tribute, this morning thousands of people from

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

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Our reporter Bob Hockenhull has spent the day in Lichfield,

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

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Indeed. 11,000 people have now been through

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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here. With me now as the Reverend. A big

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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illegally. The Deputy Leader of

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

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after he sent bogus text messages to Councillor Paul Shotton sent

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a text to BBC Radio Stoke supporting council policy,

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

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

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

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coverage of the council's controversial spending at the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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apologised. He has released statements saying he is plain

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

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In my view, the previous Labour councillor who masqueraded

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

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

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

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

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finished at the Goodyear Dunlop motorsport factory in Birmingham.

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

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But the American owners declined, leaving hundreds

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However production at Dunlop Aircraft tyres

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

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City Council have undermined their school, are holding a meeting

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

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

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Lindsay, what's the background to this meeting?

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The fundamental purpose of tonight's meeting is to inform

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

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Ofsted of poor governance and financial mismanagement. The

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

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

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grace until the students finish their exams.

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

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The building is not going to go away.

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

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

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

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

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The number of barn owls in the Midlands is

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

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And vanishing habitat makes it harder than ever

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In the latest of his Springwatch reports,

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our environment correspondent David Gregory`Kumar, has been meeting

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

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teeming with tasty mammals for the local barn owls.

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

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There are lush hay meadows and patches of grass which gives

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

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They have closely monitored barn owls since 2000 and

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

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Well, this was spring last year here.

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Plenty of snow at exactly the wrong time.

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Females need to put on weight before they lay eggs.

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With the snow cover we have had during

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

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

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Helen is part of the group trying to find

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

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

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

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

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Barn owls usually have three to four chicks,

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

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

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

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

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

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