13/01/2017 Midlands Today


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The headlines tonight... and on BBC One we now join the BBC's


Strong winds and overnight snow hit the region with schools closed


and treacherous conditions on the roads.


Is that the end of it or is there more to come?


Shock for voters in Stoke-on-Trent as Tristram Hunt quits as an MP.


Very tough decision to leave Stoke-on-Trent but being


the director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the greatest


museum of art and design, was my dream job and it was not


Could eagles be a way to stop drugs getting into our prisons?


I'm in Ludlow on the trail of a hoard of gold found


And snow for some, bitterly cold winds, and ice warnings


for the first half of the weekend, but a change is coming by Sunday.


More than 100 schools were closed across Stoke and Staffordshire today


Conditions have eased throughout the day but a yellow weather warning


for ice does remain in force for the whole region until midnight.


Winds have made it feel colder too, as well as causing


Among the incidents witnessed by the busy emergency services


was the birth of a baby in the back of a police car!


With two inches of snow, school was out for thousands of children


58 schools closed in the county and a further 47


After a morning tobogganing, six-year-old Frankie was enjoying


a quiet afternoon with her dad, Sean.


A civil servant, Sean would normally have to have a day off for sudden


school snow closures but thankfully he was still on paternity leave.


When it is icy, it is, it is lethal, cos the road here isn't gritted


at all and they struggle to get up and the cars are sliding around


and if anyone's on the road, even the pavements, it


I think they are right, actually, to close here.


But not all parents could see the sense in shutting down


this primary school, and dozens more like it.


Just because it's snowing, they're giving them time off.


And I'm only just here, do you know what I mean?


On higher ground further south in Worcestershire,


the Lickey Hills felt the full force of winter's icy grip.


In Shropshire it was high winds that caused chaos.


In Madeley in Telford, this tree came down on someone's car.


Councils around the regions say they're doing their best


with gritting but, as this accident at Birches Head in Stoke shows,


not all roads are safe, and with no let up in the freezing


temperatures motorists are tonight being warned to take extra care.


Sarah is outside the Royal Stoke Hospital in Stoke for us now


At about 8am before the snow turned to slush, MLA McBride and her


partner were going on an important journey to the paternity unit here


because there are baby was coming. The car didn't agree with the


freezing temperatures and it broke down. They called for help and it


came in the form of a police patrol car which took them in with the


lights flashing. They didn't get to the maternity unit before the baby


was delivered on the back-seat. Mother and baby are doing well and


the father is said to be relieved and the police officers are in need


of a cup of tea! Another example of how the cold weather has scuppered


people's lives today. There's going to be a by-election


in Stoke-on-Trent after MP Tristram Hunt resigned to become


the director of the Victoria Elizabeth Glinka has been


following today's announcement So does this decision


come as a surprise? For those that know


Tristram Hunt I suspect this He had a successful career prior


to becoming an MP as a historian, writing books and even


presenting TV documentaries. And it's no secret that he's more


to the right of the Labour Party and has not been a fan


of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, resigning from the Shadow


Cabinet last year. Here he is talking about his


decision earlier today. It's a very tough decision to leave


Stoke-on-Trent but being director of the Victoria and Albert Museum,


the greatest museum of art and design, was my dream job


and it was not something I have had differences with Jeremy


in the past but I'm now off to be a museum director,


an impartial director of a great museum, and so its not the time


to rehearse those differences now. Another factor that may have


influenced Mr Hunt's decision is that there are big


boundary changes on the way. The number of MPs is being cut and,


as part of that, Stoke-on-Trent which currently has three MPs


is going down to two. That would have meant Mr Hunt


fighting it out with his Labour colleagues Ruth Smeath


and Rob Flello in 2020, for who would run in the two


new constituencies. But as it is, someone else


will now have that pleasure. As I'm sure most people


are aware, Mr Hunt is not a local boy,


and there was some controversy when he was "parachuted"


in to the seat by the national party in the run up to the 2010


general election. Nevertheless, he's been


a high profile figure, and a passionate advocate


for the Potteries, particularly its industrial heritage,


pushing for the city to really play This was what people


were saying in Stoke today. He has got a presence in the city,


I think it's fair to say. He is not local but I think he has


tried his best to represent Stoke. He was going to lose his seat anyway


so he might as well jump. I don't really know what he's done


or what he's been doing, so quitting I don't think


will make much difference. A lot of people will probably turn


round and say he has I think is going to a better job


than the one he has got, probably. And a very nice job too,


with a salary more than double Now, of course,


we face a by-election. Stoke-on-Trent is a solid Labour


city, but we know the Labour Party nationally is not polling well


and in Stoke-on-Trent Central the party's majority has fallen


from a high point of around 20,000 in 1997 to


about 5,000 in 2015. You can see Ukip in


second place there. They were well behind,


but they did come second in 2015 pretty much neck-and-neck


with the Conservatives, so we may have quite a feisty battle


on our hands in the coming months. New figures show how some


of the region's hospitals are continuing to struggle to meet


the needs of patients under Six NHS Trusts spent a day


or more last week either at level three or four,


the highest states of alert. The son of a pensioner


who waited overnight in a corridor for treatment says


the system is broken. Another emergency,


another patient heading In this pressurised winter,


the tightest of pinch points. That's the problem, you can't get


away from that fact. Graeme's dad, Derek,


went to A there on Monday. He spent 15 hours in a corridor,


it was 48 hours before he got It wasn't that they were abandoned,


in any sense of the word. There were staff there,


paramedics and nurses, and everyone was being looked after,


but it was clearly a system that was overloaded and was getting


close to not being able to cope. In a statement, the hospital said


pressures here are continuing but they have robust plans


for dealing with them. It also confirmed that in the two


weeks after January the 4th, -- It also confirmed that in the two


weeks up to January the 4th, 109 patients waited 12 hours or more


for treatment in A Figures out today show,


in the first week of the year, one hospital, the Royal Stoke,


spent a day at level four, formerly black alert,


where comprehensive patient care It spent the next three


days on level three, what used to be red alert,


denoting major pressures, along Shrewsbury and Telford two


days at level three. Russells Hall in Dudley


and Coventry's University An expert on the NHS says


there's no quick fix... There is a need for more beds


but the sort of beds that are probably needed,


or the sort of support that is often needed,


is probably out there in social care or in community hospitals


or community services, so that people can move on to those


services after they've had their initial assessment


and treatment in hospital. None of our A shut their doors


to patients but the demands they're facing were never greater,


the fault lines And the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn


has described the trolley waits at Worcester and Stoke


as "a disaster". He was talking to our


Political Editor Patrick So what exactly would he do about it


if he were Prime Minister? At the usual risk of Labour


being characterised as throwing taxpayers' money


at whatever problems come along, he does say the cash must be found


to keep local accident and emergency He is concerned about the one at


Redditch which is being downgraded which he sees as part and parcel of


their problems in Worcestershire. And he clearly feels that this


at least is one issue on which he has strong


public support. The issue has to be


that the shortage of doctors, GP waiting lists and waiting times,


long waiting times in A departments, record numbers now not


being seen within four hours, and a shortage of staff,


let's recognise it's our NHS, we all depend on it


and we all need it. Where is this all heading?


I think the politicians are at the mercy of events and probably even


the weather. The Government do realise


the seriousness of all this. I understand they've set up


a Cabinet Office project to examine health and social care


in the long term. The former Health Secretary Stephen


Dorrell is now in charge of a five-year plan for health


and social care in Birmingham debate is "degerating


into a blame game". Around 100 jobs will be created


in Telford after a car parts manufacturer announced plans


for a new factory. Austrian firm Polytec currently


has its UK headquarters in Bromyard. The company says there won't be any


job losses in Herefordshire. Maternity services


won't be returning to Stafford's County Hospital


after an NHS England review found Consultant-led obstetrics were moved


to the Royal Stoke last January. The review says moving services back


wouldn't make financial sense, and the birth-rate in Stafford


would be too low to sustain adequate A dog trainer has been warned


he could face a prison sentence after allowing his dogs to kill


and injure more than 50 lambs. Charles Ross-Robertson,


from Stanton Lacy in Herefordshire, admitted allowing his two


Rottweilers to be An application has been made


for the dogs to be destroyed. It's a recognised fact that


drugs are being taken into jails and sold there,


something the authorities We've been speaking to a man just


released from Hewell Prison in Worcestershire, which he says


is "rife with drugs". Adrian Mason claims drones,


controlled by mobile phones, Today, the Ministry of Justice has


told us it was recruiting more staff to deal with the problem


of drones and drugs. Here's our special


correspondent, Peter Wilson. But, increasingly, criminals


are using them to fly Straight over the wall, straight in,


guide it to where you want it, Adrian Mason is a


former armed robber. He was on remand six months ago


at HMP Hewell near Redditch. He says prisoners control


the drones with smartphones, Your man has already


got it linked up. He puts it up, you take


control, bring it in. Technology, the government are way


behind with technology. All they can do is try and chase


them down and hook them off with a stick or throw something


at it or just lie in wait. In Holland, security


teams have trained eagles Why should we believe


what you're saying? After all, you've done such


a lot of time in prison. Don't get me wrong, I'm


a hardened criminal. I was in there and I'm looking


at people getting bullied and robbed and collapsing and stuff,


I just couldn't believe how bad it Adrian Mason was shoplifting


at the age of nine. By the time he was 14,


he was in a young offender prison. He's on the straight and narrow now


but says the huge sums of money to be made inside our jails


are beyond belief. You buy a phone out


here for ?50-?100. You can sell it in


there for ?800-?900. Some people are quite happy to sit


in there, in a cell, with a phone for two or three years


cos they'll make five, ten times the amount of money


they'll make out here. HMP Hewell was this week criticised


in an inspection report for high More than 30 drones were officially


sighted near UK prisons in 2015. The government is looking


at the Dutch experiment with eagles. But Today the Ministry of Justice


says it's recruiting more human staff and sniffer dogs to tackle


the problems of drones and drugs. Peter Wilson, BBC Midlands


Today, Worcestershire. It sounds like a Hollywood script


delivering drugs like pizzas Perhaps we really do need a flying


squad! So worried are the authorities that


they're talking to the manufacturers of the drones about programming


the GPS locations of prisons into the drones' software to prevent


the radio controlled planes Last month, rioting at


Birmingham Prison cost ?2 million. That's partly blamed


on the easy access of The Prison Officers' Association say


that just yesterday four drones Yes, drones are a problem


and the problem is getting bigger. They are flying all


sorts into the prisons. We do know there have been tools


brought in, and legal highs Drones can fly straight


to cell windows and drop and the effects of legal highs can


be anything from a prisoner collapsing to a prisoner


becoming extremely violent. Well, they recognise that the Prison


Service is in crisis. 2,500 extra staff


are to be recruited. And 300 dogs trained to detect drugs


and legal highs and those caught using banned substances


will face extra time in jail. Thanks for joining us


on Midlands Today. Overnight snow leads to school


closures in the region, then gales brought problems


on the roads. We've had heavy snow,


heavy rain, frost and gales in the last 24 hours,


but what about the weekend? Beccy's here shortly


with the forecast. We look ahead to what's bound to be


an emotional Wolves-Villa match at of the popular figure


who managed both clubs, And somewhere over the rainbow


is a piano with a pot of gold in it! It's a sight common


across the Midlands, a patch of land strewn with rubbish


after an illegal traveller The clear-up cost runs into hundreds


of thousands of pounds. But what's the choice


for travellers? Bob Hockenhull's been to meet


a man who was locked out of his own business


when the caravans moved on. After unauthorised travellers took


over his industrial site in Tipton last week,


he's installing concrete blocks at the entrance


to stop it happening again. Steve estimates the intruders


cost him ?7,000. He's had to pay for bailiff fees,


extra security and clean-up costs as the travellers left piles


of rubbish behind. It's disgusting that normal,


everyday people going about their everyday life can be


faced with something like this overnight and an expense


that we shouldn't have to incur. The trespassers were


so brazen, they even put It says, "We live in this


property, it is our home When they left, the travellers took


up residence half a mile away. With the West Midlands


dealing with nearly 300 illegal camps a year,


the Police and Crime Commissioner He's organised a summit


in February to find better ways There has got to be mutual respect


between the travellers There is no proper


coordinated activity between councils right the way


across our region and we need to work more closely with police,


local councils, and also to see if the law


needs to be changed. Travellers groups will also be


invited to the talks. Their representatives


say more official sites are needed and will ultimately


save the authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds they're


currently paying in legal Dan's joined me and,


after the shock news about Graham Taylor yesterday,


I'd have thought a highly emotional atmosphere ahead of the


Wolves-Villa match at Molineux Think you are right. I was at the


training ground this morning and many staff are still in shock.


Wolves and Aston Villa have revealed their plans to pay tribute


to former manager Graham Taylor before tomorrow evening's


The 72-year-old's death from a suspected heart attack


There will be a minute's applause before kick off and floral tributes


will be laid by players past and present.


Tributes to Graham Taylor dominate the back pages


of today's newspapers, and no wonder.


Almost everyone in football seems to have a story about how the former


Villa and Wolves boss touched their lives.


The flying winger played for Taylor at Villa, Wolves and Watford


and was given his England debut by him.


Everyone used to call him their dad because he followed them


everywhere they went, but it was nice he gave me my


international debut, which I'm really, really proud about.


It was great a person like that liked me as a player,


but again I can equally say he had a massive influence on my


career and I'm really, really grateful for that.


The current occupant of that post would love to repeat his feat


of leading the team to promotion at the first attempt.


I think I speak on behalf of us all that we are all shocked,


and of course, he worked at this club of ours here twice


We've got people here this morning who are devastated by the news.


At Molineux they're preparing a special insert for tomorrow's


programme to mark the meeting of two clubs so heavily influenced


Graham Taylor may not have been manager here very long but everyone


in the club says he played a huge part in setting up the modern


academy, which has produced so many talented young players for the club.


That's what they are telling me, which is testament to his ideas,


and speaking to one or two of the staff who were here with him,


they think the world of him, so I think it's a really huge


After the minute's applause, the first whistle will blow


and everyone will be hoping for a match to provide


the final fitting tribute to Graham Taylor's memory.


and like the rest of football still reeling from news


So many stories continuing to surface.


Among the best today was Graham being the best man at a Watford


The request was made at a book signing.


Let's switch to the other side of the world for some tennis,


and Birmingham's Dan Evans is really going well.


Evans is through to his first ever Tour final.


He beat Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov in three sets in the semifinal


The final is tomorrow morning and next week it's


And back here in the cold - a huge game for Wasps


It's a must win game at home to Toulouse tomorrow.


They top of the English Premiership and top of pool two


But it's tight as they're level on points with


So to guarantee a place in the quarterfinals they must win


For more than a century, an upright piano stood


in the corner of a room, with no-one aware that


It wasn't until the piano found a new home in Shropshire


and the piano tuner started renovating, that the


Lindsay Doyle has been investigating.


What has been described as potential treasure,


a substantial amount of gold has been discovered in an upright piano


A piano which has had several owners, I'm told, over 100 years.


This gold was discovered by its new owners who found


The piano was tuned and this discovery was made.


Beyond the fact that it is gold, we know very little.


But the discovery was reported to the finds liaison


officer at Ludlow Museum, Peter Revel, who does


Peter, can you tell me what this discovery is?


As you said, the hoard was found when a piano tuner was repairing


and tuning the piano, and uncovered this mass of material


and what we are looking today is to try and tell the story


of that, or at least find somebody who might know something about it.


This could be declared treasure under the Treasure Act, couldn't it?


Because it is less than 300 years old, the Coroner has to find,


that it is made of gold or silver, that it is deliberately hidden


with the intention of recovery, and most importantly that every


effort is made to trace the original order or their heirs and if we can't


This isn't the first hoard you have come across, is it?


This is one of the better cases that we have, which was purchased


which was purchased by Ludlow Museum.


This is the Bitterley Hoard.


The Bitterley Hoard, which is 120 coins, found


This was found by a metal detectorist, which is the normal way


I don't expect a member of the public to get in touch


Well, of course, the most famous hoard ever discovered


in the Midlands was the infamous Staffordshire Hoard.


That was declared treasure under the Treasure Act.


Now just out of interest, to let you know,


?3.5 million, almost 3.5 million was raised


by the West Midlands to keep it here.


That money went to the metal detectorist who found it


So just saying to the people who own the piano, just saying.


For now, from Ludlow, it's back to Birmingham.


I often wondered what happened to that old piano of mine!


So time for the weekend weather after a tumultuous 24 hours.


We had some golden sunshine today. It is not all bad news but if you


are a fan of the snow this might not be what you want to hear. We had


some falling snow this morning. In some spots it stayed a pleasant


winter wonderland. But a few milestone below -- a few miles down


the road, it was just like a crisp January day with grey clouds and a


little sunshine. But we have seen clearing skies through today. As a


result, we are likely to see temperatures falling, meaning we


have another yellow weather warning. Temperatures will start to drop and


it is going to be very chilly, sub zero. The warning covers pretty much


all of the region. Melting snow, lying snow, on top of that some


showers, they will move down from the north, through the Cheshire Gap,


quite likely at times, a wintry mix -- lively. Will DH Lee night.


Tomorrow starts with showers continuing to move down through the


region. Then we will start to see things coming drier and brighter


further east. The Welsh will keep cloud on the Welsh border with


showers continuing but they are likely to follow as sleet or rain. A


change is coming. High pressure is trying to build in from the west. A


weather front will move south through the north of the country


ringing some rain for Sunday so we will start to see things getting


milder as we go through the end of the day tomorrow and overnight,


showers first and then rain. It is a return to this for Sunday. Wetter


and milder. Back to where we were before the cold snap. A miserable


Sunday, quite grey, plenty of rain and the new working week has a great


start -- grey. Elizabeth Glinka will be


here at 10.25 with your late update. Have a good evening


and a wild weekend! Parents are facing an explosion in


the number of children saying It was like a battle, like in a war


zone. She would literally scream. Although the stories that we tell


are fictional, at their core


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