16/02/2017 Midlands Today


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The headlines tonight: 37 dogs kept in filthy


conditions: a puppy farmer's jailed for cruelty to animals.


This is why is extremely important for the public to be vigilant about


The judge described Sean Kerr as devious,


Hundreds of Birmingham taxi drivers fear they could be forced off


All systems go in the most popular women's participation sport,


as the new superleague netball season gets under way.


Love letters between the two mike gay soldiers in the Second World War


when they risked jail and persecution for being together.


And it's been much milder today - temperatures climbing a little


I'll have a full forecast a little later.


Devious and guilty of being involved in a horrible trade.


The words used by a judge to describe a puppy farmer


from Solihull who's been jailed for six months after being convicted


The RSPCA and the police seized 37 dogs from Sean Kerr,


during an operation in December 2015.


The animals had been kept in filthy conditions and some were diseased.


A warning: you may find some of the pictures in Bob Hockenhull's


Kept in the darkness - undernourished, covered


37 puppies - many cross bred so called designer dogs -


seized by horrified RSPCA inspectors at Pastures Farm.


One puppy was found dead in a plastic bag kept in a van.


Customer Anita D'Souza paid ?350 for her West Highland


It turned from a joyous moment and being all excited to a bit of a


Her last moments, she was looking at me and it was sad.


Sean Kerr was also banned from keeping dogs for life.


Many, like Riley, had contracted parvovirus -


The district judge told him it was sad to say


someone who had once cared for horses and been a jockey had now


He said he believed Kerr had made a substantial fortune dealing in


He ordered him to pay ?30,000 towards prosecution costs.


The puppies were many different breeds, some


If you look on the internet, you will see


thousands and thousands of dogs for sale.


This is why it is extremely important for


the public to be vigilant about where they purchase a puppy from.


Most of the seized dogs have been fostered.


Veterinary nurse Jemma Jennings is looking after Roger -


a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and now hopes to keep him for good.


He was subdued, quiet, not really interacting


From when he came, he's a lot more outgoing, he's


Nine of the seized animals were pregnant.


27 puppies have since been born leaving the RSPCA with 64 dogs


brought one unscrupulous dealer to justice.


Earlier I spoke to Charlotte Parsons of the Dogs Trust who was


I think for Dogs Trust, the big concern of the case is


Six months for the cement of cruelty is


We would like to see sentencing increased so that the


punishments are fitting the crime is committed.


What essentially is the issue with puppy farms?


The big concern is that the welfare of the


The main concern for the breeders is the


As a result, the puppies suffer, not only while


they are with the breeder but in their later life


because they have not been well socialised when they


One of the issue seems to be poppies are taken away from


It is a concern if they are taken away from


their mums too early because they're not getting the socialisation may


It is really important they are with mum until eight weeks


because they are learning how to interact with other dogs which is


really crucial for them to grow into healthy adult dogs.


More than 500 black cabs and nearly 1,500 private hire taxis could be


forced off Birmingham's roads by the end of the year.


It's because they're old and breach EU emissions standards.


The city council says it has to clean up the air or it could face


Sarah Bishop is in Birmingham city centre for us.


The council is saying this is a serious matter?


Deadly serious - it says we're facing major public health crisis,


in Birmingham because the air is so bad.


900 deaths per year attributable to poor air


quality and pointing finger at old polluting cabs.


Many of them have very old cars and that is why they want this cull. Cab


drivers say they cannot afford the cost of an equal card. ?45,000 for a


new electric cab, I can't afford that. Nobody can. It is just like


having a mortgage. The work situation is very tight.


Birmingham's cabbies are under pressure to go


Almost 2,000 old black cabs and private hires could be forced


off the roads by Christmas because of their emissions.


Mohammed Mumtaz, father of four - been a cabby


The lorries are causing more congestion than we are. We are being


His diesel cab is 15 years old and under council


A bit disappointed. They have not proposed anything apart from taking


the old scabs off the road and bringing new ones.


They have now said they want a 12 week public consultation.


But what do the public think of the council's plan?


After all it's air everyone breathes?


As you walk past them, you get the smell of the fumes. I do believe


they have a point in what they are trying to do. It is sad for the


people who only taxes. If they were to provide them with replacement


vehicles, that would be a decent solution. Why should they lose their


livelihood replace their vehicles unless they get help to do so. I am


joined with someone from the union. Clearly your members are unhappy,


what will you do as a union? We are sad about the proposals and we are


considering with the executive counterproposal and how to get a


better solution to the scheme. Clearly the council have been forced


to do this, they are under a lot of pressure from Europe. There are


grants of the ?7,500 to buy a new cab. It is not a lot? It is just a


pebble in the ocean. They will be fined every year if they do not


match the criteria. If they can just have a grant for these drivers, they


could slowly pay it back instead of paying fines per year. What about


the idea of the Council leasing cabs to drivers? Now, Alyce ties the


driver to it. If you give them a grant like they did back in the


1970s renegade Krantz regarding houses, surely they can do the same


to the taxi drivers? To remind you, the council are under massive


pressure from Europe, only yesterday the commission issued a final


warning to clean up our era. Two West Midlands Police officers


have been charged with drug offences, conspiracy to steal


and misconduct in public office. The constables, who are based


at Perry Barr, were immediately Six other people arrested


in early morning raids across the West Midlands on Tuesday


morning have also been charged. Patients were turned away


from Worcestershire Royal this morning because there


weren't enough beds. Instead they were taken to


the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch. The shortage of space


didn't affect the cardiac, The Trust which runs


Worcestershire's hospitals says difficulties in recruiting front


line staff have contributed Plans for a Legoland Discovery


Centre in Birmingham, like the one in Manchester,


have been approved. It will be the second


one in the country. It'll be aimed at children under


eight and as many as two and half thousand people a day are expected


to visit in peak season. We're exactly a week away


from the most eagerly-awaited Midlands by-election for many years


- its political significance extending far beyond the boundaries


of the Stoke Central constituency But what are the leading contenders


promising for people who live there? Our Political Editor Patrick Burns


has been talking to some of the main Stoke Central's been a Labour


stronghold for 66 years. But it's not exactly


clickety-click for them this time. Twenty years ago their


majority was 20,000. And that was before


Jeremy Corbyn and Brexit. Stoke recorded one of the biggest


Leave votes, in defiance of Labour. Above-average unemployment shows it


still struggles to make good the damage from the loss


of its mining industry. Its last steelworks, at Shelton,


was also in Stoke Central. The Emma Bridgewater Pottery


is in the constituency so don't let anyone dismiss this as just


another museum piece. The museum really is quite


something, by the way. Also in the constituency,


the Royal Stoke Hospital which recorded some of the longest


trolley waits anywhere Defending the seat,


Labour's Gareth Snell says it's 'NHS His chequered Twitter history


includes strong language denunciations of Brexit,


attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and derogatory Tweets


about women, eleven years ago, He's doing his best


to focus on the issues. We have a great hospital


in the ROyal Stoke but it is underfunded


and We have a plan to deliver


what's needed in UKIP's new leader Paul Nuttall's


campaign has had its hiccups too: first over that local address


where he initially registered himself, and then those claims that


he'd lost 'close friends' at Hillsborough, made on his website


which he's now taken down. Of course the NHS is


a big issue in this Many of people in this


constituency voted to leave the European union


and they need an MP At 25 the Conservative Jack Brereton


is by far the youngest candidate. He's the Cabinet member for


regeneration on the city council. We need to create more jobs,


better jobs, better skilled jobs and better paid


jobs for local people. Obviously Brexit is a big issue


and it is important we respect the vote which was voted


on overwhelming way by Dr Zuilfiqar Ali stood


here for the Liberal Democrats A consultant cardiologist,


he combines the NHS with a strongly anti-Brexit message,


even in this Vote Leave 'hotspot'. In the NHS, 5% of the workforce


is from the European The NHS is struggling


with this staffing level. When this 5% is leaving


and no more coming, we The Green Party's Adam Colclough


is Stoke born and bred, and has stood in council elections


too, billing himself We're willing to


protect NHS services, community beds and


community hospitals. Cuts will have a devastating


impact but also better quality jobs to the city,


revitalising the transport It's the air war which fascinates


the political community with so much But it's on the ground


that the candidates face the biggest challenge,


persuading more than half the electorate who didn't vote


in the general election, Patrick Burns, BBC Midlands


Today Stoke Central. We'll be hearing from more


of the candidates on tomorrow's Tonight, BBC Radio Stoke's live


debate gets under way immediately after Midlands Today


at seven o'clock. You can find a full list of all ten


candidates on Patrick's blog. Don't you hate the queues at a


filling station? Today the luxury Land Rover Jaguar and Shell have


launched the first in payment system.


Well today, the luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover and fuel firm


Shell have launched the world's first in-car payment system.


Rather than using a card at the pump or going into the kiosk,


you can now pay in the comfort of your car with a special app.


Here's our transport correspondent, Peter Plisner.


What could be simpler - paying for your petrol


Of course you do have get out to fill up -


but with the in-car app you won't have to queue.


And if you've got kids - there's no worry about leaving them


The setup is fantastic, it makes life easier for


You click on the dashboard and fill up and get back in the car


But drivers we spoke to today appears to have mixed views


I think there's too much technology and too much


communication without involving the human being.


I would probably go to the kiosk because I usually what a


sandwich and drink and what have you.


The app being unveiled by Jaguar Land Rover and Shell today


is part of the revolution in motoring but


also paid in part by the technology on smartphones.


It is all designed to make driving much easier.


If you have lost your wallet and you get in


And how about this - another in-car app that helps


you find things like your keys or your wallet.


Is there not a worry that drivers will take their eyes


We have chosen these apps because they


But hang on - if the technology is linked to mobile phones.


Should we be really using it in places like petrol stations.


The phone is connected to the touch screen in the


car with the car parked so you're doing it in a safe environment.


And more cashless payment opportunities are on the way -


deals with the growing number of drive through outlets mean


in the future you won't even need you wallet.


A 100 metre section of medieval wall recently uncovered by archaeologists


in Coventry is to be covered over again.


The council says it would be too costly to keep it exposed.


Built in the 14th century, it once encircled the city


Under a car park in the centre of Coventry a fascinating


These sections of the city's medieval wall were recently


uncovered by archaeologists after being under tarmac


and concrete for as long as anybody can remember.


One part is completely intact, has been badly damaged.


They began building the wall around 1370 and it took


180 years to complete, but when it was finished


It is about the same as the ring road. This map shows the map. Bits


are still dotted around the city today, like you are under part of


the ring road. These relics from the medieval city which survive so close


to the surface. We have the tarmac a few inches on top of the wall. It is


probably true across the whole city, it went from the medieval city which


survived into the 20th century, the concrete city we have today. There


was no Georgian and Victorian architecture in the middle.


But the newly found section will be covered over again.


Keeping it open to the elements would mean astronomical costs. It


would start to deteriorate and in 30 years' time, it would no longer be


years' time, it would no longer be there.


Once covered, there will be signs indicating


the walls existence, but for now this insight


into Coventry's past will once again succumb to concrete.


Kevin Reide, BBC Midlands Today, Coventry.


Netball is currently enjoying a surge in popularity.


It's the biggest female participation sport.


And it's just been awarded ?17 million from Sport England


This weekend, the Superleague season gets under way


and there are two new teams from the Midlands taking part.


the Wasps are buzzing, and we're not talking rugby.


they've created a brand new netball club to join


And they're determined to be competitive.


This team, if they get it together, will be difficult to beat.


We have an under 17s, under 19s, 21s Academy.


I have a mission that in four years' time


this team will be West Midlands -based players.


It was 32 degrees when South Africa's netball


And freezing cold when she arrived in Coventry.


But she has had a very warm welcome from wasps.


Coming from South Africa netball is different than in


I am excited for the games coming up.


you will find the seven stars, a joint enterprise


by the universities of Worcester and Gloucestershire.


this is no surprise to two bronze medal


Her job is to grow the game and make seven stars are forced to be


We want to start the season with a bang, we want to step


Our goal is to finish in the top four.


young star who was so keen to play for Seven Stars that she chose


to study at the University of Worcester.


Hopefully get local talent and bring them in.


Hopefully get more girls signing from the local area,


And you can see all ten teams in action at Birmingham's Genting Arena


From netball to crickets. The Worcestershire batsmen says it is a


huge honour to be elected chairman of the professional cricket players


union. Mitchell says one of the big issues for players is a new city


We can get a good idea of what our views are and get them across to


influence the ECB and get a great deal from the players.


Obviously it's not an easy task, there are so


many stakeholders in cricket with the media, county clubs and


supporters and members but I do believe the players have a very


have been uncovered and they're to be made into a book.


It's half a century since gay relationships ceased to be a crime.


The letters were sent by Infantryman Gordon Bowsher


to his lover Gunner Gilbert Bradley, who was stationed at a training


Joanne Writtle's been delving into their then risky past.


Illicit letters between the two mike meant when the love would've been


illegal. Gilbert Bradley, a former member of the BBC was stationed at


Park or camp in 1939. Darling, I love you for ever and ever. The


letters from an infantryman but no pictures of him have yet been of


Gordon Bowsher. Most letters would have been banned but they were found


in a house clearance and bought by the town museum. It stunned us


because we assumed the letters were from a girl to a boy because of what


they talked about and then it was the realisation we had uncovered a


gold mine of correspondence between the two men. By contrast this couple


hit headlines 11 years ago for being the first to have a civil


partnership. Helping to organise the LGB TV history Festival this weekend


where the letters will be read. Who would've thought from 1939, despite


Gordon saying, darling, do one thing for me, destroy these letters. Good


old Gilbert kept all these letters and took no notice. We are looking


at something so personal and loving and caring between two men in the


Second World War. Jeff and Peter's relationship was formed in tricky


times. We have been together for 38 years. It is very difficult... Even


for us back in the late 1970s, a very different world. It was very


restricted. It was very hard to find a partner for life. 1940s Britain


was a different time to live, Gilbert and Gordon did not stay


together. This couple think their letters are timeless. One of the


letter says we will live in different times, we will not have to


keep hiding. It took a long time but here we are, in a way we are the


It's time for the weather and, hopefully, this


It was a stunning day today. This was the sunrise. It did not end


there. We got plenty of blue sky. This did help boost temperatures,


reaching 12 Celsius today. This time last week we were struggling to get


above 2 degrees. Every single lining has a cloud, and we are plenty of


close out there. We did say some showers to this afternoon. This is


what they look like. They were quite lively over the centre of


Birmingham. It is associated with this weather system which will drape


itself across us. Overnight, it will bring some cloud and drove us all.


We will say at cloud and drizzle sitting over the top of us tonight,


steadily we will start to state clear away. At improvement is going


to be across parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. We could get


improvement. Hill fog developing as well. It is not a cold night, I'll


start to the day tomorrow. We have that cloud sitting across does but


we say an improvement from the West. The sun comes out with lighter


winds. It will feel pleasant in the sunshine. Temperatures are around 11


Celsius. Still double figures and the cloud continues in from the West


with the next weather system, bringing drizzle overnight. That


should clear away on Saturday morning. For a weekend, plenty of


usable weather to come. Temperatures back up into double figures. They


might reach the teams for next week. Thank you, Rebecca. -- the teens.


A seven year old girl from Hereford who wrote to Google asking


for a job, was stunned to receive a personal reply


Chloe Bridgewater decided she'd like to work for the technology


giant after finding out employees had bean bags and ride on go karts.


Sundar Pichai told Chloe to keep working hard and said he looked