19/09/2014 Midlands Today


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The headlines tonight: continues. The dream shall never


After the promise of more powers for Scotland, calls for the same


They need to be given greatdr freedom over their own abilhty to


raise their own tax, council tax, and also business taxes.


We'll be asking a Black Country MP, who's also a Scot, what changes he


thinks should be made to thd way things are run in the West Lidlands.


Also tonight: More than 600 jobs to go at the Staffordshire


The closest thing I can rel`te it to is sudden shock and bereavelent


that was the reaction that H personally felt myself.


A blow for Warwickshire ahe`d of their one day final at Lord's ` star


And we've been a little spoilt with the we`ther


recently, things a will be lore lively in the sky tonight ` but


Good evening, the promise of more powers for Scotland


in the wake of the referendtm is triggering renewed demands for extra


devolution in English regions ` including here in the Midlands.


There's a population of around 5.3 million people


in Scotland ` over 5.5 millhon live in the West Midlands.


In terms of public spending by the UK government, Scotl`nd


In the West Midlands, it's lower at ?8,500.


However Scotland contributes just over ?20,000 per person to the UK


economy, compared with around ?17,500 per head in the Midlands.


Nicola Beckford has been gathering reaction to the historic vote.


Her report contains flashing images from the beginning.


The Scottish referendum may be over ` but its impact will be felt


In this truck stop in Cannock diners were taking


If they'd all voted yes thex would have been sat there stumped thinking


` what is the next step and I don't think they would have


We got married up in Scotland ` it's part of our lives as we know it


we're just glad they are staying part of the UK.


The 300`year`old union between Scotland and England may


have been preserved but the political consequences for the


The Prime Minister said new reforms would deliver


"English votes for English laws ` and hinted at greater powers


It is important we have widdr civic engagement about how to improve


governance throughout the United Kingdom including how to


We will say more about this in the coming days.


The news was welcomed by thd Local Government Association.


They're demanding greater powers for local authorities across England


They need to be given greatdr freedom over


their own ability to raise their own tax council tax and also biz taxes.


And they also need to be given greater freedom to raise money


independently via arrangements with the city


and other financial institutions because only by that will they be


It's a theme that's echoed by the business community.


Our cities are not able to invest nimbly.


We're not able to spot opportunities and take them


because we've got this Westlinster machine that takes forever to grind


out authority and they have no sense of what really works locallx.


There's just this national view of how things should be run.


So the Prime Minister has promised a new and fair devolution


The question is now ` how will the government delhver


Earlier I spoke to Pat McFadden the Labour MP for Wolverhampton South


East and a Scotsman. I began by asking him whether the promhse of


more devolved powers for Scotland means the government should now be


focused on devolved powers for cities or regions in England?


Well I think what we have sden overnight is the end of somdthing


We have seen the end of a decades`long campaign


for Scottish independence and I am very relieved and thankful


that Scotland last night voted to remain in the United Kingdol.


That is the most important thing to say first of all.


But I also think that while that debate has been going


on people in England have bden watching it and thinking wh`t about


So I think it is healthy th`t we have a debate now, here in Dngland,


And we have already had a lot of options thrown out in the l`st 4


hours, and I think it is a healthy debate and one that we should have.


There are actually more people living in the west Midlands than


That may well be true and even in the few hours since the restlt was


finalised this morning we'vd heard people talking about more ddvolution


to other cities, more devolttion to regions, some ideas about England


wide solutions so we have a lot of ideas out there but you do not


change the constitution in ` rush and so I think it is import`nt that


we have a proper debate abott this and importantly, maybe this is also


a lesson from north of the border, not one that just involves


politicians locked away in a room but one that involves


There does not seem to be a lot of appetite


for local government here in this region, bearing in mind Birlingham


They didn't and mayoprs werd rejected in most cities when they


I wonder if the impact of last night's vote is going to


One of the mistakes that we made when Labour was


in government was proposing regional assemblies in the North of Dngland


only to find that they were rejected by the voters so I think yot got to


And not think that the solution that looks good in Whitehall will


That is why I think it is rdally important that we have this debate


but that it is one that is ` proper dialogue between politicians


and local communities because you do not want to get this wrong.


Well, our Political Editor Patrick Burns is in


Birmingham tonight, so the Dnglish question has really been aw`kened,


This is at least part of it, according to the Prime Minister


David Cameron wants to "re`empower the great cities".


To which the counties promptly expressed


their disappointment that hd didn't mention them in the same brdath


Many people can agree England needs a new deal ` polls


suggest more than 80% of people think that.


The problems start when yoy try to decide what exactly


that means and how you should go about achieving it.


And Patrick will be back with Sunday Politics on on BBC1, 11: 0pm


Thanks for joining us at the start of the weekend here


Muslims across the region pray for the two British hostages being


628 staff at the Staffordshhre Head Quarters of Phones4U h`ve been


The adminstrators, who were appointed on Mondax,


made the announcement to workers late this afternoon.


Phones 4U collapsed at the weekend after network operators


Here's our Staffordshire reporter, Liz Copper.


On Monday, some staff were `lready bidding farewell at the


Staffordshire Headquarters of Phones 4U. As they departed, many were


resigned to the reality ` they wouldn't be returning to work here.


And tonight ` confirmation that 628 jobs are going.


This recruitment agency in Newcastle's taken calls


from hundreds of Phones 4U staff since thd firm's


Already some workers have bdgun the process of securing new jobs.


Something like this happens it is nevdr easy


but you have got to look at it as a positive, and look out there


It is not nice but you get on with it


and you have to move forward and we will remain as positive as we can.


You can't dwell on it and the thing is for me personally


I've seen it as a chance to change and actually create a career.


The directors of this agency were also both former


Their new business has maintained strong links with the company.


But they hadn't forecast the speed at which it found itself


The closest thing I can acttally related to his sudden shock


That was the reaction that H personally felt myself


but also that was definitelx what the staff were conveying.


What we're talking about is getting a sledgehalmer


The founder of Phones 4U ` Staffordshire`based billion`ire


John Caudwell ` was renowned for his straight


talking when he ran the bushness, before he sold it eight years ago.


And he's been equally forthright this week,


My experience was one of growth and always good t`lented


people in the organisation laking profits so I think you know


it was a shock that it happdned so quickly.


Vodaphone will be taking on 140 Phones 4U shops,


But that deal's subject to court approval.


the administrators are in t`lks with three different parties so that the


next few days will be critical in determining how many jobs c`n be


saved. A Birmingham man's been arrdsted


on suspicion of theft after police released CCTV footage


of a man trying to hide a phece It happened last month


at a gallery in the city centre West Midlands Police say officers


arrested The footage attracted more than


204,000 hits in 48 hours after the police uploaded it to


their Youtube site. A fundraising appeal to keep the


Wedgwood Collection in Staffordshire The collection at the


Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston is being sold because of a pension fund


debt that arose when Waterford Public donations of ?1 millhon have


now been matched by major donors, trusts and foundations,


leaving the appeal ?750,000 short The words of religious leaddrs in


a national day of prayer as muslims condemned the actions of extremists


holding British hostages. In the clearest language evdr used


packed mosques were told th`t the Islamic State do not represent


Islam. Alan Henning and John Cantlhe are


being held in Syria Our Special correspondent, Peter


Wilson has this exclusive rdport. This Birmingham mosque was one


of dozens around the countrx, 10,000 worshippers hearing


in the same message that thd Islamic State are terrorists and condemning


the kidnapping of aid worker Alan Henning and photojournalist


John Cantlie. The imams appdaled directly to those threatening to


kill Mr Henning. We ask you, please show compassion,


justice and mercy to Mr Henning Alan Henning was part


of a Worcester`based charitx convoy Known as Gadget to his friends, he


simply wanted to help those in need. It is worthwhile


when you see what is needed actually Today's appeal and prayers were


broadcast on the Internet, designed to place maximum pressure on those


holding the British hostages. Muslims around the world fedl that


the so`called Islamic State which we are calling the un`Islamic


state does not represent Islam or We want to make it crystal clear


what Islam feels about the terrible atrocities that are being committed


in the name of the Islamic State. The organiser of this national event


which continues over Alan was a humanitarian, he went


with a Muslim organisation to help He was a humanitarian


and today the mosques are praying for all humanitarians `


for their safety and securhty. These sermons


and messages are being repe`ted The message unequivocal


and the prayers for the safdt return After a promise of more powdrs


devolved to Scotland, a call After a dank and dismal Friday,


Rebecca will be here with a brighter With West Brom perilously close to


the bottom of the Premier Ldague, manager Alan Irvine


on the way ahead. And a film premiere underne`th


the arches to celebrate Covdntry's The West Midlands is home to one


of the largest Kashmiri ex`pat In the last two weeks, they've seen


their homeland devastated bx the Kashmiris here struggling to contact


their relatives are calling for more As Bob Hockenhull reports,


they're also raising funds to help Nearly 300 have died.


Three quarters of a million people have lost their homes after floods


devastated Kashmir. It's distressing for Eram Rather from Shirlex in


Solihull ` she tries to keep in daily contact with her parents who


live in the capitol Shrinig`r. But When you know that


your parents are there and xou don't know that they are fine and you


are not able to contact thel. Some


of Eram's relatives were tr`pped But all of her and her husb`nd's


family have now been accounted for: All the main hospitals,


all the speciality hospitals are underwater. There are some places


over 30 feet of water. The West Midlands is home to


an estimated 90,000 people The Birmingham based Islamic Help


charity has already raised thousands of pounds to help `


its volunteers are distributing food We have had a tremendous response


from our volunteers here in the UK who have heard about the problems


and have wanted to come forward Individuals are also doing


their bit to help. This Kashmiri curry house


in Sparkbrook will donate 40 per cent of its takings over fotr days


next week. People there have got no food,


they have got no homes, thex are homeless so it is our opportunity to


help those people there. With officials describing


the Kashmiri flooding as unprecedented in living lemory,


the fundraising will be needed Ian's here with the sport


and a blow for Warwickshire ahead Yes, the Bears will be without


their England batsman Ian Bdll for tomorrow's One`Day Cup final


against Durham. He's suffering from a broken toe


and tonsilitis. Warwickshire's Director of Cricket


Dougie Brown says he's disappointed. Bell says he's gutted to miss


the game, but he'll be watching It was very warm and very htmid


at Lord's this afternoon. Nevertheless, the Bears camd out to


play in the nets, knowing that Ian Bell ` one of their key potdntial


match`winners had been ruled out Earlier this week as they g`thered


for a round of golf on the famous Brabazon course the Warwickshire


players were still hopeful that Bell would be fit in time for tolorrow's


big match at cricket HQ. This they are all hoping to complete


the double which would be a fitting finale for this talented sqtad. If


you were not playing in this final you would be there? 100%. You want a


Warwickshire to do well with you are playing or not and there is a good


chance I will be playing. That is just great and I am excited as much


as any of the other lads. Hhs team`mate has rediscovered his


form. He is available for England and would love to sign of the season


with victory. The same applhes to this pace bowler from Yorkshire How


much are you looking forward to the experience? Massively. To go back


and play in the final in front of a big crowd is going to be fantastic.


20 years since what we showdd the treble. It has been thought about.


The championship has slipped away from us but certainly we want a


double as well so we want to push on for second in the championship and I


cannot think of a better se`son It may have been lacking in little


consistency but cricket has been outstanding Arab season. Thdir


opponents will be a tough ntt to crack but Bush `` all season. `` but


Warwickshire. They travel to Spurs,


still looking for their first win. These are tough times


at the Hawthorns. Yes, just one win in


their last 10 Premier Leagud games. So far this season,


they've drawn two, and lost two since Alan Irvhne took


over as Head Coach in the stmmer. He says he can understand the fans


frustration at Albion's slow start. Anybody who is down towards


the bottom end of the table is going to be in that position wherd they


are under pressure. It is four games in, it can change


very very quickly, I have too say It is four games in, it can change


very very quickly, I have to say that Paul Lambert has just been


given a new contract and if I remember rightly he was unddr a


great deal of pressure last season. But at the other end of the table,


Aston Villa could go top? Villa are just two points


behind the leaders Chelsea who take their 100 per cent record to


Man City on Sunday. Tomorrow,


Villa are at home to Arsenal. When they last met in January,


Villa lost 2`1. Christian Benteke scored


and the good news is that hd's now But if Villa win, then they would


go top ` for 24 hours at le`st. And you can follow all your teams


this weekend by listening to your Big celebrations


in Coventry tonight to mark the 40th There's a drive`in film scrdening


underneath the famous carri`geway. We'll be live


there in a moment ` but I w`nt to the "trailer" ` which is thd world


premiere of the video for "Let's Go Round Again" ` that's the cleverly


remade Ska version of the Average White Band's hit


and it's the brainchild of the team Well, we think it's great `


but see what you think. #Maybe we'll turn back the hands


of time #One more time


#Watching all the people go round. Well, that's the trailer


for tonight's drive`in. Sarah Falkland is at the Whhte


Street car park for us, what is it? Well, no prizes for this ond,


but here's a clue. " I only told you to blow the bloody


doors off!" Had to be the original Italhan Job


because as everyone in Coventry knows there's the connection with


the city's sewers. Sewers in Turin were too puny and


small ` they needed big impressive sewers to speed those Longbridge


built minis through so came to Coventry to use the ones behng built


to link up with the the finham sewage plant ` in fact they're


now underneath Stoke Aldermoor. How the child are you with the


result? `` how chuffed. We `re excited. If you are one of the


people who came out thank you so much. It is amazing. The rahlroad


was never expected to reach its 40th birthday, it surprised everxone


It was in 1960 that work first started on Coventry's ring road


The two and a quarter mile circular carriageway


was the icing on the cake of the city's post`war regener`tion.


Father and son George and Mhchael both worked on it.


We saw the concrete and reinforcing for the flyovers and slip roads I


used to work two shifts somd weeks just to get the work done on time.


Michael was just 16 and a trainee apprentice.


I was put on a tractor on d`y two of my apprenticeship


Loaded up to the gunnels it was with materials, and I said to


the foreman, I could not drhve that, he said just get on it `


I managed to get it stuck down Union Street and bring Coventry to a halt


and the traffic was backed tp and my name was mud for about four hours.


Once completed the road was praised by motorists for its efficidncy and


these days there are rarely traffic jams but it is not so welcoling to


pedestrians with a labyrinth of unwelcoming subways and unddrpasses.


But on at least one of the junctions that is set to ch`nge


They are creating a huge walkway so pedestrians will be able to


cross the ring road without even knowing it's there.


Ten of these 50 tonne steel beams have been hoisted over the top


of the road and there are a further 22 to follow later in the ydar.


What you see here is only a third of the bridge at the moment.


In late November we will install the rest of it.


You will be able to see str`ight into town and walk direct


into town whereas you have puite a torturous route at the molent


through various walkways and subways so it will be a lot more opdn, a lot


The ring road was only designed to last for 20 years.


But there are parts now looking past their sell by date


and planners are working on other ideas to improve its overall image.


Celebrations carry on into the weekend.


These are the lucky people `llowed into night. What is happening on


Sunday? We have a sky vied taking place. `` right. We have a bike


race. We have many people shgned up for it and we expect between 50 0


and 6000. A chance of a lifdtime? There will be no traffic at all We


have lost the signal. I hopd they have decent weather for it this


evening because the sunshind seems to have disappeared.


Yes Nick it's been covered by a blanket of cloud today ` the


good news is that the weekend isn't a total washout ` we have still got


some storms to come tonight and tomorrow ` but they will cldar, the


cloud will break up too ` and by Sunday we'll have more


sparkling sunshine, but with cooler air over the top of us `


Now we do still have a Met Office yellow weather warning in place


for heavy rain ` it's with ts until tomorrow morning and it's bdcause


some of the showers we're gdtting overnight could be heavy catsing


some flash flooding, some hail and thunder in thdre too.


It's been one of those days where it started off rather grey and it


hasn't got any better ` we still have that blanket of cloud over us


this evening it has broken tp a little ` but is with us tonight.


We also still have some heavy showers to come `


The cloud and the rain is going to help to


keep temperatures up ` so a muggy night on the way with temperatures


That means it'll be a rather dull and damp start to tomorrow ` still


some showers hanging about ` we have a cold front sinking southw`rds `


once that clears the air behind it will be fresher and clearer and


Our temperatures starting to drop a little ` but still 21C is possible.


For the cricket at Lord's at the moment it's looking rather dull `but


it should start largely dry which is good news for Warwickshire.


Overnight into Sunday we sthll have a few showers kicking around `


but then as skies clear temperatures will fall away `


a cooler night than we've sden recently ` temperatures arotnd 0C.


So it's a fresher start to things on Sunday ` and for those


of you doing the Worcester 00K it's certainly looking like


the best day of the weekend ` one of those pleasant autumn daxs with


A fresher feel though with our temperatures back to


where we'd expect them to bd for the time of year.


And it stays settled into next week too.


Alex Salmond is standing down as Scotland's First Minister


and leader of the SNP after the decisive vote against indepdndence.


And, after promises of further powers to be devolved to Scotland,


there are calls for the samd to happen in the West Midlands.


And more than six hundred jobs are to go at the Staffordshire


Elizabeth Glinka will be back at 10:00pm


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