The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
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Friday to discuss joining the US air strikes against Islamic State in
The headlines tonight: Iraq.
A former Head of Ofsted's been named as a special
commissioner to tackle problems in Birmingham schools, following
We speak exclusively to the Secretary of State for Educ`tion.
A bitter fall out between neighbours leaves a couple
Surely what I do with it is my business.
Scientists open a pioneering new laboratory `
to find out exactly what happens to our brains when we go to sldep.
Black Sabbath guitarist Tonx Iommi shares some musical magic whth
And one step closer to the weekend, prospects are improving all the
BBC Midlands Today can excltsively reveal that Sir Mike Tomlinson has
been named as the Education Commissioner for Birmingham.
The Government has appointed him to oversee the city's schools
in the wake of the Trojan Horse controversy.
Sir Mike helped turn around failing schools in H`ckney
in London and he's widely rdgarded as a safe pair of hands.
His job now is to address criticisms faced by Birmingham City Cotncil
for its delayed response to the Trojan Horse allegations.
The authority's said to havd ducked claims of efforts to introdtce an
Islamic ethos into several schools ` for fear of being branded r`cist.
It started with a letter, purportedly a step by step guide
on how to kick out headteachers and introduce an Islamic ethos
The letter was sent to Birmingham City Council anonymously
The former counter terrorisl police officer Peter Clarke found dvidence
to back the claims and accused the council of being more worried
In the wake of his report the Education Secretary said
Birmingham would get its own Education Commissioner and he's
named today as Sir Mike Tomlinson, former inspector of schools.
I certainly hope there is greater scrutiny into academies but also
into all schools in Birmingham. To ensure we keep the standards up and
serve the children who need that education in Birmingham.
Separately, another Commisshoner is already looking into the city
council's Children's Servicds, rated inadequate for years ` and the
former head of the Civil Service Sir Bob Kerslake is due to report in
December on the future of the council as a whole. One
option could be to break up the largest council in Europe into
Earlier I spoke to the secrdtary of state for education and askdd her to
explain what his main focus would be.
He is appointed Education Commissioner to
Birmingham City Council and he's going to report to me and also
He will be looking at the improvement plan that the council
has put in place as a result of the incidents examined in the rdports,
and he will be looking at how the council supports schools and also if
there are any systems or ch`nges that they need to make
when headteachers or other teachers make complains to the attention
It is clear that the City Council failed to react to very serhous
allegations they had known `bout for some considerable time?
And that is what the report showed and what Peter Clarke in particular
And headteachers and teachers need to know
and governors that if they bring serious concerns to the attdntion
of the council, those concerns will be followed up and that is dxactly
As well as looking at the wider education department
The council is obviously worried about appearing racist, will he
And I think what the report showed is while we obviously remain very
clear that this was a small number of people in a small number of
schools, and that we're also very clear, as I said in the House of
Commons in July, that the vast majority of Mtslim
parents want the best possible education for their children.
We must not be afraid to ch`llenge and to follow up concerns,
Four individuals were actually named in the Commons weren't they?
For what they did or did not do over the Trojan Horse Affair.
Have you followed it up, will Sir Mike look at that detail?
And there are some individu`ls who are no longer members of governing
bodies and trustees that have resigned from various schools that
were involved and there are still some other procedures to be followed
so yes there are certainly individuals who are no longdr
involved in schools who werd involved in schools in Birmhngham.
Birmingham is said to have the youngest population in Europe yet
children's services have bedn branded inadequate the past four
years, there is the controvdrsy over schools, do you feel that Bhrmingham
That is why obviously we have had people looking at children's
services departments and thd other new education commission and also
on the same day the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric
Pickles, is announcing a wider view of governance
So there are clearly concerns but my conversations with Birmingh`m City
Council leadership have shown a real willingness to change, to work with
people such as Sir Mike Tomlinson as well as the Department for Dducation
in identifying problems that have arisen and how we can avoid them
arising in the future so I think we need now to see some serious work by
Birmingham City Council to deal with the problems identified but, as I
say, there is a serious willingndss to do
A couple from Walsall say they've bedn made
prisoners in their own home after their neighbours erected a six
It blocks direct access to their front door.
It's the latest twist in an increasingly bitter dhspute
although both sides insist they ve acted reasonably.
Nothing can get out, and I think I'm going to have trouble getting in.
Best way is over here and onto the ladder.
The restricted access is proving to be inconvenient for everxone
Even the postlady can't get in because obviously this is not
the right way to go to somebody s front door.
Wendy has been able to walk out of her gate for the past 26 ye`rs but
How did you feel when you saw this fence going up?
My first thought was I was absolutely terrified.
I was aware that I had no other access at the time
since my back gate was lockdd and I had not got the key because
This car park and the flats behind me are managed by thd company
who owns land and gave authorisation for the fence to be built.
Wendy says a few months ago the management company sent her
a letter warning they would put up a fence if she did not clear up
a garden and remove her car because they felt it was an eyesore.
It is my garden, it is my property, surely what I do with it is
My garden is no worse than hundreds across the country.
And why I should be denied `ccess to my front door
because I don't do gardening very well I don't understand at `ll.
Over the weekend she said she tried to talk to the director of
the management company who lives in one of the flats but he would only
We also tried to contact hil for a comment but have had no stccess.
The Labour Leader Ed Miliband has told Midlands Today the citx region
around Birmingham must have significantly more political power.
It's Mr Miliband's first direct response to the implications here,
He was talking to our Political Editor, Patrick Btrns
who's now returned from the Labour Party conference in Manchester.
So is this Ed Miliband's answer to what's become known as 'The
We announced our plans to ddvolve power over really important areas
like skills, economic development, transport, to city regions such as
Birmingham and other places because we are far too centralised ` country
and we need councils like Bhrmingham but also other councils to
in the area to have those powers, to come together and exercise those
In tough times in terms of public spending that can also
Seven months to the general election. Any clues from thd
conference about strategy? Ht is double`edged because he has some
very slender Labour majorithes to worry about and on the other hand he
needs to target Tory margin`ls including Stafford and Reddhtch
where as we know there are liberal hospital issues raging which could
become all`consuming but I pointed out to him that two and a h`lf
billion pound pledge in his conference speech would not really
go very far in the face of ` projected ?30 billion shortfall in
health funding over the next five years so really an incoming Labour
government would still have to do some pretty drastic things htself.
The most important thing th`t needs to change is we need to improve
If you improve the services in the community, GP servicds,
services for the elderly, that is what is going to take the
pressure off hospitals, and actually spend resources at hospitals better
That is the plan we unveiled this wdek
and it makes for a better hdalth service, more doctors, more nurses
Detectives investigating the murder of a woman at a block
of flats in Shropshire have arrested a fifth person.
The 34`year old man, from Wellington, was detained last night.
A man aged 35 and a 21 year`old woman remain in custody.
Two other men have been reldased on police bail.
17 people were forced to le`ve their homes in Coventry overnight
as fire crews tackled a blaze involving gas canisters
One of them exploded in a shed at the back of a house in Tile Hill.
Crews spent the night cooling down ten cylinders of acetylene
oxygen and liquid petroleum gas in a workshop.
Thanks for joining us here on Midlands Today.
The remarkable Shropshire rtnner on the verge
of completing an astonishing on 53 marathons in 53 days.
It's taken two years to deshgn and build and now the University
of Warwick's new sleep laboratory is ready to start work.
They're looking for volunteer subjects to try it out
and help the scientists learn more about what happens to our brains
So we sent Science Correspondent David Gregory`Kumar off
Just right for a night away from home.
You might think this is an ordinary business hotel but look agahn.
There is in`room CCTV camer`s, one thing which is a bit untsual.
In fact people who stay the night here are helping
In particular how people in pain sleep or not.
By studying the sleep here overnight we will be able to see the sleep
architecture, the sleep pattern of people with chronic pain and by
understanding more about thd sleep pattern hopefully we will bd able to
come up with better ideas of how to treat sleep disturbance
Getting ready for bed here hnvolves more than just brushing your teeth
There are sensors, an awful lot of sensors.
after a while you don't really feel it.
I think you stop paying attdntion to it you sleep normally.
Ready for bed ` it is time to try to get to sleep.
All night my brain activity, my breathing, position,
leg movement, heart rate and more will be monitored.
I had a lot of dreams about being wired up to be a lot of cables.
Do I have to keep them on or can I take them off now?
After a shower and some tests it is time for my results.
Quite a few awakenings throtghout the night suggesting that pdrhaps
you have been having quite a few tossings and turning `rounds
What this laboratory is all about is very fundamental rdsearch
trying to pull apart the reasons why some of us can sleep
And if that hasn't put you off, you can find details
of how to volunteer for Warwick s sleep lab and read more abott
David's experiences on his blog at bbc.co.uk davidgregorykular.
Last night it was Shrewsburx Town, tonight Burton Albion hope to upset
the odds and make it through to the fourth round of the League Cup.
Well, Nick Clitheroe is at the Pirelli Stadium now.
What are the chances of another cup shock Nick?
Well, these two clubs have made a habit
Both have already beaten a Premier League team
in the competition and last night Shrewsbury knocked their second
They've already beaten Blackpool from the Championship and Ldicester
City from the Premier Leagud, now Norwich are the latest team to feel
James Collins got the only goal early
in the second half to put the Shrews into the last 16 of the League Cup
And we'll enjoy this evening. We got it down and we passed it. Something
has to `` something has to give young players. The former Arsenal
player was delighted to stake his claim for a place `` a formdr
Barcelona player. All the tdam played well and I hope to place him
in the league but I have two keep going like always. The goalkeeper
was on fine form and we'll be watching tonight's draw with great
interest. So why is it so important
for these League Two clubs to have Well there's no doubt modern
football is dominated by thd And as I've been finding out Burton
are always looking for ways to inspire young f`ns to
support their local club instead. They are dreaming of lifting
the league cup for Burton Albion Because the League Two side have
already knocked Premier teal QPR out, and their young fans bdlieve
in the Brewers. I think
their chances are quite good because they have already knocked ott two
of the best teams in the cotntry. I'm really proud of them and I'm
actually quite amazed that they have So when Captain Lee Bell popped
into the primary school ahe`d of the game, there was plenty
the children wanted to know. I have had three red cards
and quite a few yellows. Like many football league shdes
Burton Albion in the import`nce Pupils get regular training sessions
from the club's community coaches, and with the team second
in the league, their cup run will A football club
in a small town can be the heartbeat ` it can provide so much especially
when the club is doing well. Especially to get the kids
down to the games, would be great, when you do come to the school,
and I've been to a couple now, and you see people beginning to
know more about the players etc If you think this is as close
as Burton Albion will get to the trophy, remember it is only two
seasons since another Leagud Two side, Bradford City,
reached to the final. Clearly a good cup run is ilportant
to Burton then but what about a Premier League club
like West Bromwich Albion who are You only have to look at thhs
competition in recent seasons. Some teams have got to the final
therefore you know it is a real chance. Already we have seen seven
Premier League teams go out and another two are guaranteed to go out
tonight so there is a real chance. Burton Albion have not been beyond
the third round more than once in the past eight seasons and their
fans are desperate to see them have a bit of success and see thdm back
at Wembley. You can follow the game tonight. I will be back at 00:2 pm
with the reaction to what wd hope will be another League Cup tpset.
Her record breaking challenge has taken her all over the country,
from Chester to Glasgow, from Liverpool to Taunton, and now Amy
She's running 53 marathons in 53 days ` today is day 50.
Joanne Writtle caught up with her as she ran around Oswestry.
A warm welcome in her hometown. She is on track to smash a world record
by the weekend for her back`to`back marathons along the UK. I h`ve done
1200 miles. It is really exciting and it is good to have such a good
turnout. Well`wishers were lining the streets. 100 teenagers joined
her. In 53 days she is hoping to raise ?53,000 for charity btt more
on what inspired her later. Amy s next stop is here at this primary
school which is her old school. She is leading an army of marathon
runners of the future around her old playing field. Amy's former teacher
revealed a surprise about hdr schooldays. Hard`working, lovely,
pleasant, helpful, just the sort of child you love to have but not
exceptionally sporty. And w`iting to complete the last few metres of the
day, three`year`old Isabel. The family friend who inspired @my. She
is raising money for the ch`rity named after the youngster to help
children with brain tumours. In May she was diagnosed with a cancerous
tumour. That led onto almost 12 months of treatment but thankfully
we are on the other side of it now and she is currently cancer free. In
no time she was off. 12 months ago she could not walk so to silply
watch her walk let alone take part in something like this is jtst
amazing. I feel like I am crying but I am too tired. It is amazing. Today
has been... Unbelievable. Rock legend Tony Iommi,
the lead guitarist of Black Sabbath has been sharing his musical
knowledge with students tod`y. He went back to Coventry Unhversity
where he was awarded with Our arts reporter Satnam
Rana joined the lesson. Sell`out concerts, huge arenas,
thousands of fans. That is what Black Sabbath's Tony
Iommi is normally used to but today the sound he created was
played right back at him. Some of us would be
a bit too paranoid to do thhs but for this young man coming f`ce to
face with the pioneer of he`vy metal music and the founding membdr of
Black Sabbath, how can you say no? Tony Iommi is now
a visiting lecturer at Coventry University sharing 50 years of
experience in the music indtstry. They are into the music,
they want to learn, and I think if they can talk to
somebody who's been there and done And it helps me to be able
to talk about it with them. I remember things by talking to
them that I normally forget. He spent an hour taking
questions and answering thel. Writing the songs and hearing
them way want to hear them. Meeting a living legend is
a dream come true for many of us and for these music students, well,
this was one lecture they wdre Black Sabbath was one
of the first bands I really got into and hearing it
from the horse's mouth, the guy who made that album that changed your
life, that became the soundtrack to I think it is just fantastic to able
to ask him questions and to be able to ask him in such
a relaxed manner that he's not. . he doesn't think that he's
a lot better than you, you don't get that feeling `t all,
so it's just easy to talk to him. It was quite simply a lesson
like no other. A chill in the air at the moment,
don't you think, Shefali? You will see an alteration hn the
wind direction in the days `head and that may bring in milder conditions.
It will turn breezy before the weekend and then things settle down.
Largely dry conditions. Morning showers are the biggest hurdle to
overcome this week. It has been very dry decently and we do need to rent.
You can see why those winds are going to be picking up before the
weekend. We get a knock`on dffect. There is a lot of interference from
frontal systems from the Atlantic but because of the presence of this
height I sure they're going to be significantly weekend and that high
pressure is dominant over the weekend so much better condhtions by
that state. For this evening, overnight it is looking dry and
bright. It is clear throughout the southern half of the region in
particular the stop here we will see the lowest temperatures. Lows around
seven degrees. Even colder than that across the countryside. Temperatures
are remaining in double figtres across the north of the reghon and
that is because cloud will gradually start to increase from that
direction into the morning tomorrow and through much of the day so
initially for the south of the region it will be bright with some
sunny spells the date that cloud will stream further southwards and
it will become duller as thd day goes on and the cloud may wdll
introduce the odd spot of F`me in part. Temperatures rising to 19
Celsius. Spitz and spots of rain. Friday should be largely drx and the
weekend as well. The prospect
of British military action against Islamic State fightdrs moves
closer, as Parliament's rec`lled. Ed Miliband insists it's not just
the NHS that's high on his `genda ` A former head of Ofsted has been
named the new special commissioner to investigate the so`called Trojan
Horse plot in Birmingham schools. with your latest update, including
the night's football results. I go round the country
and talk to people and so many people say life's an incredible
struggle at the moment and even if it's not a struggle now, they
feel uncertain about the future What kind of future is
my family going to have? People have lost that confidence
that there is going to be a future that is better than
the past, that their kids are going I think that now there's sense
of we have been through the pain, we have made the sacrifices, where
is the vision for the country? It's time we had a plan
and that's what my plan