26/01/2017 Midlands Today


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The families of the victims of the Birmingham pub


bombings will get legal aid because of a change in the law.


You know, it is, it's marvellous, really.


As long as nothing else is going to follow.


We'll be speaking to Julie Hambleton from the


Her sister Maxine died in the bombings.


Two patients die in six weeks after being sent home from accident


and emergency in Coventry - with aneurysms.


She was really upset about how she had been treated.


She told me they told her she was a time waster.


A disaster waiting to happen - the military warn of a potential


collision between its aircraft and a drone.


We are at the school preparing to celebrate the life and career of the


Black Country artist whose drawings were just Dandy.


And after a bitterly cold day, you'd be forgiven for thinking prospects


were bleak for the weekend, but it is warming up. Details later.


The families of the victims of the Birmingham pub


bombings have learnt today they are to get legal aid.


Sir Oliver Heald QC, the Minister for Legal Aid, said this afternoon,


"It would be a travesty for families to be denied justice,


The Government has intervened in an apparent U-turn


to remove legal barriers - which had previously


It has been a hard-fought and often angry battle.


In a moment I'll be talking to Julie Hambleton, who's led


But first here's Carolle Forde Garcia.


It's been a fight which has been long and bitter.


Even as the families walked to the courts for a pre inquest


hearing last November they had no legal funding and were at war


If we do not have parity in legal funding, then that means to say that


the scales of justice will be so unbalanced that the inquest will not


be able to move forward. 42 years ago, people died and nearly


200 were seriously injured when bombs exploded in crowded Birmingham


pubs. Julie, whose sister Maxine was killed in the bombings, has led the


campaign for justice. It has taken her all the way to Northern Ireland,


to this Belfast law firm. The families believe only they could get


the truth. We deal with daily issues such as


intelligence, field investigations, misdirected investigations. An awful


lot of those issues permeate a lot of killings and unresolved


contentious killings in this jurisdiction. Those issues are at


play in relation to the Birmingham pub inquest case.


The Northern Ireland lawyers have worked for nothing.


Up to today they didn't qualify for legal aid in england and Wales.


In a statement, the Minister responsible for legal aid said:


Bill lost his brother James in the bombings.


Tonight, he gave a cautious response to the news.


It's marvellous, really, as long as nothing else is going to follow,


because we have got the inquest, and then we had the story with the


money. Now we have got the money, is something else could come up?


This week, the victims were granted the freedom of the city. Tomorrow


the law will change, allowing the Northern Ireland lawyers to seek


justice that the families have always thought to get. -- vote to


get. I'm joined now by Julie Hambleton,


whose sister Maxine was one of the 21 killed


in the bombings in 1974. Good evening, good to see you. Your


reaction to the news? We are cautiously optimistic. We are


not going to move further forward until the ink is dry. However, if


the promise is not fulfilled, the government will look pretty silly.


But it does appear that the empty rhetoric has now become reality.


How did you hear the news? I was telephoned at work its so


Oliver Hill, they contacted me yesterday to see if I was available,


and he was almost apologetic in his tone, but he did say that it was


time for us to be given access to the funds, because we file into an


unprecedented funding bubble. And as such, he wanted to try and help us,


and to change the law accordingly to do so.


When you received the phone call, what was your overriding emotion?


Well, I am still cautious about the whole situation because, when Amber


Rudd telephoned me in September, she said she fully supported our


application for a legal aid, and we thought that was the door open, and


nothing happened from there. Another barrier was built and the door did


not open. So until the ink is dry, we will sit cautiously. However, we


would hope that once the firm has filled the application in again,


that the legal aid agency will be expeditious in their application to


get it through and ready, so that we can be fairly and effectively


legally represented at the forthcoming preliminary hearing on


the 23rd of debris. And the family is not Iraq are


severe and is has turned the empty rhetoric of the politicians into


reality. It is quite an achievement, isn't it?


Absolutely, and we have to thank our supporters, from local Brummies, the


Birmingham mail, the BBC, ITV, supporters all over the country, in


Ireland, and even the Lord Mayor, the council leader, everybody. The


Birmingham Mail, everybody. We want to thank everybody out there.


Without you, we would never, ever have got to where we are, and we


thank each and every one of you. All the families are indebted to


everyone, thank you. From the bottom of our hearts.


Julie, thank you for coming in. Other news...


Two patients have died in six weeks, after being sent home from accident


and emergency in Coventry with a known condition.


They both had an aortic aneurysm - a swelling of the body's


main blood vessel - which if it bursts, can be fatal.


Both families blame a crisis in the NHS for the death


Our Health Correspondent, Michele Paduano,


This was June Foxwell on holiday last March.


She suffered from high blood pressure and breathing difficulties.


But her family are still trying to come to terms


She was sent home from A twice with a known aortic aneurysm.


She collapsed 11 hours later after it burst.


The aorta is the main vessel carrying blood from the heart.


Sometimes the wall becomes weak and begins to bulge.


If operated on, 96% of patients survive,


She was really upset about how she had been treated.


She told me they told her she was a time waster,


and a malingerer, and as my dad has said earlier, that was not her.


A post mortem report shows an ultrasound scan on August 22nd


But after three days in hospital she was sent home.


On August 30th, she was kept in A overnight, then sent home.


She collapsed 11 hours later and died.


University Hospital Coventry would not answer any detailed


questions, said it was working with the coroner to address


But the coroner has already held an inquest to a death that occurred


six weeks before Mrs Foxwell's in remarkably similar circumstances.


The father of Labour MP Toby Perkins died on July 15th after being put


in a taxi and sent home from University Hospital.


Four days earlier he had been sent home from the A department


at Coventry and Warwickshire hospital with what a vascular


surgeon described at my father's inquest as classical aneurysm


Mr Perkins was shocked it could happen again.


It is very worrying that the pressures that


are on the national Health Service, and on the University Hospital


in Coventry particularly in this case are such that the hospital


are constantly having to make decisions about sending people home


who really should be in a hospital bed.


A couple for 39 years, they used to do everything together.


But Dave is having to come to terms with life on his own.


The military in Shropshire are warning it's only a matter


of time before one of their low flying aircraft collides


with a drone, causing a potential disaster.


The skies above the Midlands are already busy -


but planes and helicopters are increasingly being


Our Special Correspondent Peter Wilson has been investigating.


They have been flying here for 100 years.


There's not much that scares these men and women,


but the home of the defence helicopter flying school has


We operate at heights below 500 feet, which is exactly where drone


operators will be flying their toys, and it is only a matter of time,


Drones, remote-controlled aircraft, can cost as little as ?50.


30,000 were sold last Christmas by just one UK retailers.


The helicopter crews in Shropshire have increasingly


had to dodge the drones as they practice their


We have had reported sightings in various parts of Shropshire,


over Nesscliffe training area and over Telford.


and, you know, drones are only supposed to be flown up to 400 feet.


These viewings have been spotted up to 1800, 2000 feet.


It is not only airfields that have seen near misses


Prisons too, as criminals use the devices to fly


The RAF has grave concerns about such flights,


if they were to be operating over Her Majesty's


Right opposite the main entrance to the prison is an airfield,


Turnhill, and the helicopter relief landing ground.


So concerned are the RAF about drones that they are saying


to people living in Shropshire, if you see a drone


At Harper Adams University in Shropshire, the next generation


of drones are being developed for the farming industry.


In the future, they may be used to spray crops.


Already the drones are being used by farmers to survey their fields,


and researchers are now working with the military to make sure


that their drones can be seen by the helicopter crews.


So, a cloudy day, lights work really well.


On really bright sunlight days, you can't see lights too well,


hence mirrors on the system here, the disco balls, allowing it to be


visualised by flashing light from the strongest source


More than 50 flights a day take off from Shawbury.


The helicopter crews pray that they will not be the first


The family of former Birmingham City footballer Denis Thwaites,


who was killed in the Tunisia terror attack, have told an inquest that


an "evil and twisted" ideology had torn apart their lives.


Mr Thwaites, and his wife Elaine, were among 38 tourists who died


Mr Thwaites, who was 70, played 87 times for Birmingham City from 1962


A gang who groomed and raped teenage girls in coventry have been jailed


The judge said the five men accused social media to exploit teenage


girls. Marcus Woolcock and Zahid Chaudhary


were told they would be expected to serve half of their respective


sentences before being Waqaar Khan, Kadeem Bourne,


and Kenan Kelly were told they would also be placed on the sex


offenders register for life. Labour has named its candidate


to fight the Stoke-on-Trent Central Gareth Snell is currently a


councillor in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and will contest the seat vacated


by Labour's Tristram Hunt. Mr Snell started his


campaign with a visit to the Wade Ceramics factory,


along with Shadow Brexit Secretary, Mr Snell said he now wanted the best


outcome for the city. We accept the referendum outcome,


and now it is our duty to make sure My focus will be getting the best


deal for the Potteries. And I think it is important


that the Labour Party now comes forward and supports the triggering


of Article 50 because that's There's a full list of candidates


on the BBC website. Thanks for joining us


on Midlands Today. The families of the victims


of the Birmingham pub bombings will get legal aid


because of a change in the law. We'll have your detailed weather


forecast from Shefali shortly. A big rise


in production at Jaguar Land Rover, making it Britain's biggest car


maker for the second year running. Firefighters are still tackling


a huge fire at a derelict factory It started at a former paper


manufacturers in the Fordhouses area At its height over a hundred


firefighters were on site, as they worked to protect


neighbouring businesses. Piled high with rolls of paper,


it did not take long The intense heat burning


through walls and ceilings. This was a substantial fire,


really severe fire. At the height of the blaze we had


20 fire appliances here. That was a total


of 100 firefighters. A severe incident which has


taken protracted time At the heart of an industrial


estate, work went on through the And this is why getting it under


control was so important. This is the side of the factory


which was on fire, and this is the perimeter


of Marston Aerospace, where last night the team


on the night shift had If the fire had jumped just


this short distance, By morning, the fire was under


control, but still burning. The concern now, to find out


if the chemicals contained in tanks By the afternoon, specialist teams


working with the Environment Agency We've identified the chemicals,


they are not harmful to human life. However, we don't want


them entering the canal, We've also got a brook,


which runs very close So we're trying contain the water


on the site along with the chemicals and we are in the of putting


the fire out. That work is expected


to go on into the night. The owners of the site did not


want to appear on camera, but told me this afternoon


they are working closely with the Fire Service to provide


as much information as possible Still quite a lot of activity going


on this evening, around 40 firefighters still on the scene,


working to put out the fire. You may be able to see a bit of a glow and


smoke behind me, that is the fire still alight. Good news this


evening, we are told that most of that is steam as opposed to smoke,


which is good news for people living and working in the area who have


been told to keep windows and doors closed for most of the day.


Firefighters are actively trying to put out the fire in the centre of


the building, they have been avoiding trying to do that for most


of the day, not wanting to put warm water onto the situation, because of


concerns about those chemicals. However, they have been allayed, and


there is a plan in place. Much more work to do, to get the fire out, so


that the hard job of investigating how this fire started can get


underway. "An animal wouldn't be allowed


to suffer like my son does." The words of the Mother


of five-year-old Alfie He has a rare and severe


form of epilepsy. Alfie has been hospitalised


scores of times, His mother Hannah believes


an alternative therapy, She's campaigning for


the Government to legalise Five-year-old Alfie in Warwick


Hospital just a few weeks ago. He is about to experience


a mild seizure. He had 16 seizures in a row,


which we had to treat, Alfie's mum, Hannah,


who is from Kenilworth, Every seven to ten days,


Alfie will experience It is because he has a very rare


form of epilepsy, called TCDH 19. When he comes out of it,


he is hysterical, crying, he must have a headache,


he's frightened, he's confused, he can't talk properly


because obviously his When Alfie was eight months old,


he very nearly did not pull through. They basically put him to sleep


on a life-support machine. It was just horrendous,


it was just the worst. We went from being a happy family


to that within hours, it was awful. It obviously really upsets me now


just thinking about it, Since then, Alfie's been


prescribed a series of drugs, He is being pumped full of drugs


all the time that don't work, he is being held down


against his will for these drugs to be put into him,


and as far as I'm concerned You wouldn't allow an animal to go


through what he goes through, Which is why she is now


campaigning for cannabis oil, which has helped children like Alfie


in other countries, to be If all these countries recognise


this cannabis herb has this extraordinary medicinal value,


surely we should move, But for people like the Deacons,


it cannot be too soon, these children with severe childhood


epilepsy, they need medication now, But the Conservative government


is still saying it has no plans It argues that cannabis damages


mental and physical health. Epilepsy is a very dangerous,


dangerous illness that can kill you, and I have to have the right to use


this for my son, and if that means I have to take him a broad then


fine, but I will still fight for everyone to have


the right to use this. In two weeks, she has got 1500


signatures on a petition, which she plans to hand


into the government later this year. One of the biggest employers


in the West Midlands has reported a significant


increase in production. Production is up 11%, with more than


500,000 vehicles coming off the production lines at its two plants.


It is welcome news for thousands of employees and the many companies


which supply car parts. Our reporter reports on another bumpy year.


Jaguar's first SUV has been a phenomenal success after it went on


sale last year, along with new and refreshed models, which has helped


Jaguar Land Rover retain its position as the UK's number one


car-maker. It is a source of relief for the staff at Solihull.


Everyone has been working hard, and it is picking up, and everyone has a


bright future. Proud to work here and be part of


the company. Solihull is one of three car


manufacturing plants run by Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. The company


said reduction has increased by more than 240% since the recession in


2009, and in the past five years sales have doubled, and the number


of jobs has more than tripled. We've invested ?3 billion per year


on new factories, new products, new technologies. And therefore we have


a business plan that is delivering the sort of production figures you


have heard today, and the sales figures.


80% of the cars made here are exported and many are being sold in


EU countries will stop what does Jaguar Land Rover want as we move


towards Brexit? We have been a beneficiary of what


has been in place with the EU for a long time. We hope the government


can negotiate an ongoing, tariff free environment. Additionally,


still secure the best people from Europe and the UK to work for Jaguar


Land Rover. If conditions are right the company


wants to expand further with a new factory near Coventry. With new


models, production could rise to another million cars per year by the


end of the decade. Millions of us chuckled at his


drawings as children, yet few if any could name him. That is interchange


in the Black Country, where this comic artist lived all his life. He


was commemorated and his contribution to legendary


publications like the Dandy remembered.


A very special guest on my show, you are here further especial reason to


talk about your dad. Many others grew up with Charlie


Griggs. But we never knew it. It was an expose of cigar!


I could nip upstairs and watched dad drawing, that was part of life for


me. It was great. Johnny drew tens of thousands of


strips from desperate Dan to Corky the cat. Many of them on the Dandy's


front cover, read by 2 million children per week.


During his heyday, millions of people must have seen his work. It


brought a lot of joy to people, I think, and that is nice.


OK, tell you what, see if you can score a goal against me?


Charlie grew up in Langley in the 1930s. Thanks to a campaign begun by


a Black Country radio personality, a commemorative plaque is to be placed


at his old school. He had the opportunity to move, he


could have moved up north, but he chose to stay in his room and draw


his cartoons, because he loved the Black Country so much.


The Dundee -based publishers would not allow artists to sign their


work, making recognition for Charlie at his old school all these years on


all the more important. It is a real source of inspiration


for these children to say, he is a local hero.


He did a nice line in seaside postcards as well, which did bear


his signature. But in truth he was a modest man who did not crave the


live late. -- limelight. I bet that brought memories flooding


back for many of you. The weather got rarely above freezing, so are we


in a more chilled mood? Yes, another cold and raw night.


There may be clouds glowing with iridescent colours. But the pictures


of the neon lights in Birmingham earlier this morning. Otherwise it


was dull and drab. But at least it was dry. We had snow around, and it


was very cold, temperatures barely got above freezing. With the wind


chill, more like -6 in parts of the region. So these were the high


temperatures from today, and if we take a look at them, -1 at Churchill


offered, and 0 degrees in Birmingham, so not very good at all.


But this is how it is looking over the coming days, milder conditions


heading in as winds they are around to the south-westerly. As they do


so, they will draw in rain from the West, coming in for a later


tomorrow. But also into Sunday as well. We will have to see how far


north as area of rain gets, but the best day out of the weekend will be


Saturday, where we have gotten sunshine. Turning milder, there will


be spells of rain around as well, but some brightness on the cards as


well. But let's take a look at this evening. Some fair spells developing


right now, when temperatures will plummet to below freezing, so


looking at -2, minus three Celsius, without much of a wind. It may feel


a touch milder than it was today, but we have got mist and a little


bit of fog in the odd sheltered hollow. But otherwise, a bit of


cloud starting to fill in later tonight, giving us a cloudy start.


That mist will start to lift, and we will get them as a brightness coming


through. Then the cloud thickens up from the South West, bringing in


this light, patchy rain, and that will continue its journey


north-eastward during the course of tomorrow night. Temperatures


tomorrow, 45 Celsius, much better than today, could be into 7-8.


Thank you. On tomorrow's Midlands Today, we will be catching up with


the big garden bird watch. That's all from me, I will be back at


10:30pm. Have a good night.


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