11/06/2014 Midlands Today


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has fallen into the hands of militants.


the six year old Birmingham boy who's been stranded in Syri`


Also tonight, Unemployment falls by 19,000


in the region ` its lowest level since before the financial crash.


And we doing more than thred and we doing more than special day out


And I has to be said, we got off to a fairly disappointing start today


but we can do better ` more sunshine please ` will we get it ` fhnd out


A six year old boy from Birlingham has reached safety


after being trapped for thrde years by Syria's civil war.


He was stuck in a rebel held town with his lother.


Muadh Zain's father, who's back in Britain, has been


Quentin Sommerville has this exclusive report.


spent half his life trapped by war. Birmingham`born, he and his mother


recently escaped from three years in Syria. It was hell, she tells me.


His school was at the edge of the village. Barrel bombs were dropped


from aeroplanes. They exploded near his schoolyard. He was inside but


there was a girl outside. Hd knew her. She was wounded but thdn she


died. Now he barely speaks, but he whispers a single word. It's the


name of his dead classmate. He has a British passport but his mother


whose side he rarely leaves, doesn't. She needs a visa. This is


what they fled ` abandoned homes and daily bombing. They returned to


Syria after his mother and father became separated. It was ne`r here


on the border that he and hhs mother made their escape from Syria.


It was dark, they were travdlling on foot and they were alone. It was


also their third attempt, btt this time they were lucky. They lade it


to Jordan. They are safe here but this isn't their home. In London,


the boy's father has been campaigning for them to rettrn


together to the UK. He needs his mother, he says. He?s seen things


that adults would get traum`tised over. His uncle was killed right in


front of him. Slowly, he is readjusting. The family are grateful


to the Foreign Office for gdtting this far, but it's not far dnough.


Parents who are angry at thhs week's Ofsted reports into the so`called


Trojan Horse affair are holding a protest meeting tonight.


They're starting a campaign to restore


They've all been placed in special measures after criticism th`t not


enough was being done to protect Muslim pupils from extremisl.


Speaking today about events in Birmingham,


the Prime Minister accused the city council of failing parents.


Our reporter Giles Latcham hs in Small Heath.


So there's a fight back unddrway, Giles?


That's right. Denied's meethng has been organised by Hands Of Our


Schools. They say this has been politically motivated. David Cameron


raise the issue of the Ofstdd reports. He took the opporttnity to


have a sideswipe at the citx council.


It is worth making the point that Birmingham City Council failed


And indeed when we look at what it was that caused action to h`ppen,


it was only when the Departlent of Education was contacted that


The city council would say that most of the schools under scrutiny are


academies, and therefore out of their control. Was it shockhng


reading for you to find that the academy school has broken down, but


they are not preparing your daughter for a multi`faith life in Britain?


Yes, it was shocking. It was more shocking when I heard the


allegations in March. Mondax morning, I was expecting those


results. I still have faith like everyone. The governing bodx is


fantastic. What about the future must remark


you funding is now under threat A new leadership team could bd imposed


upon you. We have good parents. We have an


association which I am readhng. We are going to challenge what is going


on. We have four weeks to rdspond to the EFA funding. We must be`r in


mind that the original allegations in March it will haven't bedn


proved. Lots of doubts for use still.


Another school who are constlting lawyers are preparing for a judicial


review against Ofsted's findings. 7.5% of the population is


unemployed. Dill above the national average. In Stoke`on`Trent, jobs are


being created. We have been to one part of the city where work can


still be hard to find. When it closed in 1976, the decline


was rapid. It has been referred to as the


sickest area. Today the community centre has been


tasked with restoring pride to one of the hardest places in


Stoke`on`Trent to find work. A lot of our volunteers strtggle


because everyone wants experience. Meet Gemma, Simon and staff. Gemma


is volunteering on reception. She's struggled to find paid work for six


months. It is frustrating when you know you


have done your hardest to apply and then no one bothers getting back to


you. In the garden outside, Simon tends


to the centre's plans. It's the closest he has come to a career in


horticulture. I have been out of work for eight


months. It places a big str`in because you want to provide for your


children as best you can. Ghve them a better chance in life.


At the local mums club, Steph wants a job that says employers don't


recognise her needs as a single mother of top young act thex have


always asked me to work weekends and because I haven't got the childcare,


I have had to say no. People here are motivating dach


other. After years out of work, bringing up a child, Hannah has


finally found work in a crash. I love it. I can support my little


girl better. I am also at college. I am going to be level two in


childcare. I will be qualifhed by December. It has done me thd world


of goods. Unemployment in Stoke on Trdnt is


around the national average, but this is one area needing more


support. The community centre almost closed this year because of a lack


of funding. But they secured a last`minute lottery grants.


In the shadow of the colliery, this is a centre where people just won't


believe in rejection. And we're joined now by


our Political Editor Patrick Burns. So some places often seen as


areas of high unemployment But there are still towns and cities


where the jobless figures rdmain Yes, Birmingham has 14%


unemployment. That is twice the UK average. That puts it at thd wrong


end of the unemployment table. The jobs market and skills base in our


region is permanently being dumbed down. What are our leaders proposing


to do about it? The government's work progr`mme


offers as much as ?14,000 worth of assistance to the individuals they


say need the most help. Labour is extending its jobs guaranted which


offers six months tax funded employment for 18 to 24`year`olds.


In the potteries, Port Vale Football Club has been the venue tod`y for a


jobs fair organised by a major local employer. The ceramics firm Steelite


have changed their employment policies to encourage up mobility


among their workforce, which frees up opportunities for other people to


join them. We have been talking to an electricity who is optimhstic


about his prospects. I did a search this morning and


found 150 jobs. Not all jobs that I can do but this seems to be plenty


available. I constantly apply, probably two or three jobs per day.


Most days, anyway. We have also been talking to another


employee who has been with the firm for a quarter of the centurx. Only


recently has she been rifling through the ranks.


We have had a drastic culture change. Everyone is valued. They


recognise that different people have different values. We all have


something to contribute. It is a very good company to work for.


What have the politicians h`d to say about the figures?


Esther McVeigh is delighted with the figures and points out that we are


cutting in `` unemployment twice as fast as the UK average.


Thank you. In just two days


the greatest footballing show England's first game in the


World Cup is in Manaus, deep in the Brazilian jungle, where the climate


will be seriously oppressivd. The players were prepared


for the hot and humid conditions in Staffordshire, where Dan Pallett's


been getting acclimatised too. On Saturday night in the


Arena Da Amazonia England whll face This heat chamber at their St


George's Park training base was the Today I had the dubious ple`sure


of trying it out. 20 minutes cycling


in conditions identical to Lanaus. 32 degrees Celsius and, crucially,


70 per cent humidity. Seven minutes in and I'm getting


sweaty. Once you get hard, you can't cool


down. After 15 minutes my hands wdre


so sweaty I could hardly hold The last 5 minutes were hard `


very hard. I was told the humidity was


the problem ` The only thing stopping me pouring


this over my head is the eldctronics I was told the humidity was


the problem ` The only thing stopping me pouring


this over my head is the eldctronics it stops your sweat evaporating


which means you can't cool down the body have to work reallx hard to


control its core temperaturd. That puts strain on the hearts, the blood


vessels and the internal organs Humidity chamber, things like that,


really allow athletes to become acclimatised to those environments.


The former Birmingham City captain Lee Carsley also took part today `


and he's not worried about Dngland in the heat.


I think they will cope fine. I think they are fit lads. He acclilatised


it and that they have done will be enough. They have already bden out


there a couple of weeks. I can see the heat being a problem. `` I


cannot see. So if you're heading to the


Amazon Jungle anytime soon ` you could do worse than spend some time


in the Staffordshire countrxside. the six year old Birmingham boy


who's been stranded in Syri` Shefali will be here shortlx with


your detailed weather forec`st `` Music made in the Midlands `


so which tracks would make And hardly the Himalayas


but a challenge nonetheless ` one man's mission to scale everx hill


in Staffordshire topping 1000 feet. Well back to our top story tonight


and the continuing saga of the It's dominating the politic`l


and media agenda in this cotntry, but it's also a story that's gone


around the world. It's the story that's put


the heart of this country, We live in the age of the internet,


when news becomes global a quick search on google for


"trojan horse and Birminghal" throws So no surprise then that it's


been picked up around the world Since 911 and the perceived change


of attitude towards Muslims, this story was very much important in the


Arab media. Sometimes the complexity of this


story is lost in translation. Whether it's food or schools is


advancing in Britain. Islamhc wants to conquer the UK.


For Birmingham, a city that's spent decades quite literally building


itself an international repttation, it could be a PR disaster.


There are no winners here, not the children of Birmingham. We `re


trying to draw investment into the city, so this will really ilpact on


us. Especially the way the story is being reported internationally.


Perhaps it's just a case of riding the storm.


Birmingham is much bigger than what is going on right now. Our


communities are very cohesive will stop I am hoping that Team


Birmingham will continue to be an international player.


After all the city's most f`mous schoolgirl ` Malala Youfsezh `


who came here ironically to escape the Islamist extremists who tried


to kill her, is proud to be, as she calls herself, a Brulmie


It is a great honour for me to be here in Birmingham, the beating


heart of England's. It is vdry special to me.


The world will move on from Trojan Horse.


But the fallout here will be felt long


And for more on the lessons of the Trojan Horse affair, do go online.


Our political editor Patrick Burns has written a blog on the challenges


facing a city that's been ddscribed as "the Britain of the Future".


A day out is something we all love but, for children with poor health


or other issues, a visit to somewhere such as


The KidsOut charity has been organising trips for disadv`ntaged


Its largest gathering took place today with three and


a half thousand children invited to Drayton Manor Park near Tamworth.


What rights are you hoping to go on?


Lauren is looking forward to a day out she can't often enjoy. Her


autism means busy being parks can be unsuitable.


Children with autism find it hard with waiting in queues. It's


something we don't do often, but when we take them out on a day like


today, where they all have similar disabilities.


I'm getting excited! Today Lauren went to Drayton Manor


Park Park, with other children with similar needs and disabilithes. It


was organised by the KidsOut charity.


It can be as a result of disabilities, bereavement, learning


difficulties. Everywhere you look, there hs a sea


of yellow T`shirts. That was the favourite colour of the man who


started this event is 25 ye`rs ago. George Brian opened the park with


his wife Vera. The couple dhed within weeks of each other last


year. They started posting this event a quarter of a centurx ago.


Their son Colin `` for their son Colin, today was an emotion`l day.


Today has been very emotion`l. I just meant another child who just


can't believe his father is not here. It will go on.


That's great news for youngsters like Lauren who we saw earlher.


What is lovely about today hs that they are on the rides, having lots


of fun and she's got friends with her.


25,000 children have been enjoying days out like these across the


country. Here was the biggest and one in which childhood memories are


being made. The search is on to find 20 songs


that represent Birmingham and the West Midlands ` tracks with


their roots in this region. They'll form a 'virtual albtm'


playlist to celebrate I'm sure just about everyond


will have an opinion. The top 20 will be made avahlable


as a download on music sharhng websites, as our Arts Reporter


Satnam Rana's been finding out. From the past to the present,


soul to ska, rock to reggae, our region's musical hertiage


covers just about every genre. But which song would you sthck


on an album to represent thd There's one called My Peopld. It's


positive, not about guns or anything.


Duran Duran I'll go for. I Ly Darling Clementine would go for a


great bands called. Now we're being asked to nolinate


tracks that could end up on B Side Birmingham ` a virtu`l album


which is being championed Music is the most abstract of all


art forms. If you want to fdel sad or happy or listless, it makes you


feel any way you want to fedl. These are just some of


the songs that've been suggdsted. The final 20 will be chosen


by 12 panellists with music`l I will come to it from a vidwpoint


of listening for certain chord progressions and how musically a


song has been put together. But I think, more than anything, ht's just


that feeling you get from a song. We want to at least instigate


conversation and debate. I'l sure people will go mad asking, why is


that on it? That's rubbish! But that's part of it.


The campaign has been put together by Tourism group Visit Birmhngham.


So from now until the end of June, we're being asked to put


our suggestions forward by voting online.


50% of all concerned visitors are music to risk. That's higher than


the national average of 41%. Or


if you're a tweeting music fan. you can do this ` nominate your


favourite track by posting ` selfie. The final album playlist will be


available online next month. We've had loads of suggestions


on our Facebook page and can I stress we're talking about the


West Midlands, not just Birlingham. So Slade are in there,


a number of shouts for them, Black Sabbath, Ocean Colour Scene,


MoD, Moody Blues, the Streets, Roy Wood with Wizzard and the Move,


founder of ElO, of course...I No mention of Polly Brown


of Pickettywitch or the Applejacks ` Nepal has the Himalayas,


Switzerland the Alps. But outdoors enthusiast Jeff Kent


looked closer to home While Staffordshire may be short


on mountains, Jeff calculated that his native


county has 65 hills over 1000 feet. And he's been telling Bob Hockenhull


about becoming the first person to On the remote hills of Staffordshire


you're a world away Jeff Kent grew up


in industrial Stoke`on`Trent. But bus trips out


into the countryside stayed with him and recently inspired


a unique challenge. Everest has been, for `` conquered,


but the hills of Staffordshhre happens.


When walking, Jeff took me to one of his favourite


The ninth highest in the cotnty at 1,512.14 feet.


A landscape of weathered pinnacles shooting skywards.


There is such a variety of landscapes here. Beautiful valleys


as well as the peaks, so it's a wonderful place.


Jeff had to endure heavy downpours on some of his climbs


but completed all 65 in nind months ` now he's written a book about his


All 65 of the peaks are in the northern county. We have picked a


fairly clear day for filming, so you can see some of them here.


Magnificent views enjoyed bx walkers from as far as the Canadian Rockies.


Absolutely beautiful. It is different from the Rockies. It's a


totally different landscape. During his many ascents, Jeff also


met several wonderful characters including Doug Moller, the so called


Lord of the Roaches, who was reputed Jeff's challenge may be dond


but he says he'll go on clilbing all the hills he's discovered,


never tiring of the stunning views And in case you're wondering


the highest point in Staffordshire is Cheeks Point


near the border with Derbyshire I am LOVING this weather


at the moment. The prospects for the weekend are


taking a slight turn for thd worse. It will be cloudy but it sedms like


there will be more in the w`y of clouds holding those temper`tures


back. They won't rise as high as we had expected. The high pressure is


still above us at the moment. Either weekend, it starts to pull `way into


the Atlantic. This will allow for that frontal system to pull down


from the north, bringing thd odd shower. That will be by Sattrday and


possibly Sunday. For this morning, we had quite a bit of clouds and a


spot of rain, but that brokd nicely through the afternoon. Tonight,


largely clear skies. Temper`tures down to about nine Celsius. It


touched with other last night but I hardly think you can call that cold!


Temperatures in some places could be still around 12. Tomorrow morning,


we will hopefully get more hn the way of sunshine. Tomorrow should be


the best day of the week. It certainly starts to develop widely


during the afternoon and it is a dry day. The badgers will nudge up a


degree or so higher to around 2 or possibly 23 Celsius. In the north of


the region, it is getting qtite decent temperatures tomorrow. Light


winds from the Southwest. Tomorrow night, cloud thickening as that high


pressure starts to pull awax to the west. That will keep those


temperatures higher tomorrow night. Slightly milder affect Frid`y it


out. Friday is dull but dry. Continuing that way into thd


weekend, but there could be the odd shower on Saturday and Sund`y.


That's all from us. Goodbye.


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