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Welcome to South East Today, I'm Rob Smith.
Tonight's top stories: Fresh talks are agreed in the rail crisis
after BBC South East's special debate with Southern
How many more people's lives must be affected, how many more have to
leave their jobs? We will be speaking to Tim lout into night
about tours with the Department for Transport.
The end of an era - Folkestone's Leas lift,
one of the oldest of its kind, is set to close because
Also in tonight's programme: The Sussex doctors who say they'll
save half a million pounds by not prescribing paracetemol.
And evening with an immigrant - we meet the man behind a unique show
charting his experiences travelling from Boko Haram
After their latest victory, we'll have the action,
and reaction, ahead of the FA Cup fourth round draw.
Two of the sides in the ongoing rail crisis have opened up lines
of communication following BBC South East's debate
There were fractious and confrontational scenes
during the recording of the debate last night, as regular commuters
spoke about the poor service they've been experiencing.
The dispute over changes to the role of guards has led to Britain's worst
Three further days of strike action on Southern trains are planned this
But the union involved in that strike - Aslef -
says they have not been invited to any talks.
Our political editor Helen Catt reports.
Passengers returning home at night note that this evening at the last
time they will be able to catch a train for at least 48 hours, as
Southerner drivers prepare to walk out again. Their union says an offer
to join any new talks has not been extended to them. I have not been
invited, I'm not sure what the conditions for those talks. We fired
correspondence about talks based on preconditions and we have said that
we will not be shackled by any preconditions. At BBC South is
debate to be screened tonight, Southern and the conductor 's union,
the RMT, repeatedly clashed over the key issue in the disputes, whether
or not it is safe to run trains without guards. We are not removing
a second person from the train. There will be a second safety
trained person on a more trains... Guaranteed on every train? Let him
speak, for goodness sake! There will be a second safety trained person on
a more trains than there were at the start of this dispute. He cannot
guarantee it. Tell the public you will guarantee a safety critical
person on every train. Look into the camera and say it. We will roster a
second safety trained person on as many trains as had them before this
debate. After the recording finished, they went into discussion
than it was recognised that there is a need for talks to take place.
Tonight, the RMT told as lines of communication remained open. We are
definitely looking for a solution. We think there is a solution that is
viable and that rather options to discuss. We hope that Southern,
together with us when we meet with the same attitude, they can do
attitude to getting a resolution to the dispute that everybody wants,
especially passengers. At the frustration was clear. How many more
people have to leave their jobs or lose their jobs and have their
family life significantly disrupted as a result of your services? May I
add, these are not down to just strikes, they were bad before the
strikes started. And tomorrow, they face more disruption as the driver's
union, Aslef, start a three-day strike. They also have three further
dates planned this month. In Westminster tonight, more talks
between South East MPs and the Transport Secretary. He is under no
illusion that the performance of Southern has been not good of the
last 18 months and he has said he will tackle that. Once this is
resolved, we need to tackle performance issues of Southern. But
for angry, frustrated passengers facing another week of reduced
services, talk without action is unlikely to be enough.
I'm joined now by Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham.
You've been one of a group of MPs meeting the Transport
There is hope, but frankly, I was in that question time yesterday which
is about is to be broadcast. They all -- the anger of the audience was
palpable. But there is not a law that storm is to be resolved. You
heard in that clip that Mike Lynch was going on about it was in safety
critical and kept interrupting everybody, every one of these new
people will be safety trained. Apparently the safety critical
element means whether you are trained to go to... It is nonsense,
and it could have been settled ages ago. It could be settled quickly.
The unions just need to show a willingness to settle it in the
interests of the passengers. The Government has made a lot of
concessions and have done this through GTR and Southern. They have
said let's get this settled and address the safety issues. Is seeing
the real sticking point is about the guarantee that there will be a
second person on board every train. The so-called Scot rail solution.
Given that this strike has already cost more than ?300 million to the
economy, wouldn't it be better for the Government to say yes, we will
agree to that, we will have a second person on every train? The option
is, when those people do not turn up, those trains do not run. What we
need is a railway service that is reliable, turns up on
time and delivers passengers to the police they need to go to at the
time they want. The company have the option obligatory without a second
person, that they will take it and it will be the thin end of the
wedge? Only in exceptional circumstances. And very few times do
they actually run without that second person and what would happen,
typically, for example, if a train is delay, the incoming card is not
at Victoria in time, the chain leads Victoria, picks up the Garda Clapham
Junction or East Croydon and then they are on the train. The
alternative is that train does not run at all. This has been shown to
be safe. The independent office of the rail safety regulator said it is
safe and it operates in over 40% of trains in the UK every day of the
week, over 30% of GTO strains. There is no reason that this cannot
happen. Perhaps on Thameslink trains from London to Brighton, it should
happen. This can be solved if unions inject a bit of common sense and
urgency into this. Thank you. Meanwhile, commuters travelling
in to London today have faced disruption getting around
the capital because of The industrial action over job
cuts came to an end just over half an hour ago,
but for people heading back to Kent and Sussex it's been yet another
day of misery. Our reporter Ian Palmer
is at London Bridge now. Ian, passengers you've spoken
to are feeling thoroughly fed up. Not the start to the new year
they would have wanted? In's never been harder to be South
East commuter, frankly, and even though Transport for London has put
on 150 extra buses today, still seen faces pressed up against both
Windows and pinch points. The strike ended about half an hour ago, but as
one ends, another begins, because the drivers strike, their three-day
strike on Southern services begins at midnight and even on non-strike
days, there will be disruption, because of a continuing overtime
ban. Thank you. Apologies for the sound quality there.
You can join the debate on our Facebook page and on Twitter
using the hashtag SouthernStrike and our Local Live pages
You can see the full debate programme, Southern Rail Crisis,
this evening at 7.30pm here on BBC One.
Coming up: happy 70th birthday to Crawley. But how well has the
Newtown lived up to expectations of what it was founded?
One of the oldest water-powered lifts in the country
looks set to close due to a lack of money to address
The current operators of the Leas Lift in Folkestone,
which was built in 1885, say they have been left with no
alternative than to go out of business, a move
It's carried 35 million passengers in its 131 year history, linking the
sequence of the promenade. Now the Leas Lift, which uses the weight of
water to move, looks set to be stopped by modern Health Safety
rules. A very sad day. I've been here for 15 years. We've worked
hard, but unfortunately, the old girl is running the best she has
been for years. But I drove for the last time last week probably, and
she was running beautifully. The Health and Safety Executive said the
braking system is not safe enough. It is nothing to do with Health
Safety gone mad, but for protection of the public and stopping members
of the public getting killed. If this lift failed, the consequences
could be quite disastrous. While at the operator says changes would cost
?80,000 and it does not have the money, nor enough time to find it
and so will terminate its license agreements with a heavy heart. Is
like falling in love, is total commitment. You have to work hard at
it and it takes over your life to a degree. You can not be half-hearted
about it. Even the drivers can be half-hearted about the way they
drive it. They have the concentrate and strive it properly every single
time. -- drive it. It opened in 1885 and closed in 2009 after the council
found it was too expensive to run. Ditto but in 2010, run by a
non-profit-making company. I'm sure we can find a way to get is
operational again. We need to sort it out and that is what we will do.
But it looks like a rough ride ahead.
Simon what have the owners had to say?
It is owned by the Radnor estate and they tell me they are actively
seeking a long-term solution to secure the future of the lift. The
local MP has invited them and also the Council and the current
operators to a meeting. But the big challenges that even if they find
the ?80,000 for the new braking system, at times, this attraction
has struggled to make ends meet and relies heavily on the goodwill of
volunteers, so cash will continue to be an issue. They've already
mothballed one of the pompous ear, a sign of things to come. Thank you.
Network Rail has been fined ?800,000 after a track worker was hit
by a train travelling at 80 miles per hour, suffering
The man was leading a team of 12 responding to cracks
on the track with lookouts to protect the group.
An investigation by the office for rail and road found that work
which could have been carried out at night when the line was empty,
was scheduled while fast frequent trains were running.
Health bosses in Brighton say they are going to stop funding
painkillers on prescription for some patients to save half
The Brighton and Hove Clinical commissioning group say they want
people to think before they book a GP appointment and argue that
by not paying for paracetamol and ibuprofen, they could
It can cost as little as 19p to buy a pack of paracetamol
But on the NHS, an equivalent pack costs ?1.48.
Processing the prescription, costs around ?28.
And of course, there's also the gust of the GP appointment
which works out at around ?36 - a total of ?65.
Our health correspondent Mark Norman reports.
Paracetamol and ibuprofen cost four times as much if they are prescribed
by a GP than if you bought them in the chemist.
So, this cost me 39p a a few minutes ago, but health bosses
in Brighton say this costs ?45 for a similar
drug to be prescribed after
They want to try and save that money and spend it
So, it is really about GPs having conversations with patients
and saying are you in a position to pay for your paracetamol or
ibuprofen for short-term illnesses such as headaches and things like
Not for long term conditions, like arthritis.
But this isn't only about saving money, it's also
about us, the patients, thinking before we book a appointment with
Maybe save us some time and save the NHS some money.
Obviously, it's very difficult sometimes to get a same
day appointments with your GP if you are feeling unwell.
And I think understanding some of the costs
associated with a GP appointments, what those costs are to be NHS I
think will be quite surprising for many people.
And when people at this surgery read the leaflet handed out
to patients, they seemed understanding.
It's not expensive when you get it from a pharmacy.
I don't think most people can't afford
it, as I don't think that is unreasonable.
I buy it myself, it's cheaper in the pound shop.
I think it's a good idea, because although
it doesn't sound like much, some people may struggle for that.
It's worth noticing that bosses who might
have started this campaign with painkillers, but they intend to roll
it out with a series of other medications that may no longer
Commuters are braced for the Southern Rail network
to grind to a halt tomorrow as train drivers with the union Aslef take
Meanwhile, the RMT union and Southern agreed
to fresh talks after BBC South East's
Also in tonight's programme: We chat with poet and playwright
Innua Ellams ahead of his latest performance in Sussex.
And we have a mild couple of days coming up, but wintry showers by
Thursday. I will have the details later in the programme.
the Government made the formal decision that 6,000 acres of Sussex
farmland should be given over to the creation of a new town
based around the ancient village of Crawley.
Today, more than 100,000 people live there.
Now, as the Government looks to create a new generation of garden
cities, what lessons have been learned from the
And has it lived up to the high hopes pinned on is in the 1940s?
Piers Hopkirk has tonight's special report.
On the Kent and Sussex border stands the little town of Crawley. Its
population is around 7000 at his quaint old high Street is among the
most picturesque in Britain. It is 70 years since Crawley was chosen as
one of eight new towns. The joint expansion and rural development is
overcrowding in post-war London. I have much pleasure in opening this
railed and in naming it. Designed to provide homes for the families and
business, Crawley was a place that would arrive on the map virtually
fully formed. The new town was designed by this man and today, his
son a to see his father's vision. How proud was your father of what he
had created here? He was very proud. If you produce a town with parks and
trees and shrubs and nice things to look out, it is going to be a nice
place to live, and my father was always very keen that the towns that
he created should be user-friendly and he would like to live in itself.
His town has been matched and fuelled by the expansion of the
airport that sits above it, report today suggested Gatwick could
support 13,000 new jobs by 2025. The future of Crawley and Gatwick is
absolutely inextricably linked. Around a third of the city's... One
of the new towns bred is to try to lots of different people and we have
a great local economy. It is an attractive place to live. It has had
lots of investment into the town centre recently and the surrounding
area, and it has got better. Seven a new garden towns are on the way, but
it was Crawley that was at the forefront of what was a social
revolution. Piers, were these new towns
like Crawley considered a success? There has been a lot of aesthetic
criticism of new towns such as Crawley and buildings like the town
hall, they are not necessarily to the taste of everybody. But if you
judge them by population expansion, then Crawley can only be seen as a
roaring success. This was a new town designed for 50,000 people on the
current population is 100 and 6000. Thank you.
Innua Ellams is an award-winning poet and who's making his name
in this country after leaving Nigeria at the age of 12.
It sounds like a story in itself and it is.
experiences swapping life in the Islamic fundamentalist
Boko Haram territory for England and Ireland in a solo show called
He also describes himself as a playwright, performer,
graphic artist and designer and he promises the evening with be
filled with the ridiculous and fantastical as well as the poignant.
Robin Gibson has been to meet him ahead if his latest performance
Given that the smallest prompt, he would be just beyond the reach of
the lamp light, watching a ring of men, right with beer and laughter...
No scripts necessary for Innua Ellams, his poems are within him and
you only have to ask to hear them flood out. A mouse attempting to
feast with Kings... He has lived here for 20 years. He has made a
life and reputation he has a poet and playwright. The word
immigration, the word migration and the word migrant has overwhelmingly
negative connotations. Such that it feels like an insult. I want to
strip boy and deconstructs and below that word to smithereens. -- blur
that word. The this is his way of doing it. Bring it is poetry, life
story and personality to audiences around the country in a solo show.
Is seems that the political space in which the show as it has become more
and more relevant over the last few months. So I am excited to bring it
to brighten and then take it across the country. And when we lose what
inhibitions are left, after shredding me with their fingers...
The show, Evening With An Immigrant, arrives in Brighton for a two night
stand at the end of the month. We have nephews growing up who wants to
be like us, who wants to be like men.
Eastbourne's Johanna Konta is through to the second
Brighton and Hove Albion comfortably made it through to tonight's draw
for the Fourth Round of the FA Cup with a to NIL victory over
Despite wholesale changes to the team on Saturday,
it's now 18 games since their last defeat, as Neil Bell reports.
It's not just traditionalists that love the FA Cup.
The Albions' younger fans have been excited, too.
Though with 11 changes being made for the game, there was plenty of
opportunity for some Brighton's fringe players to make a name for
They may be missing many of their stars,
but it was two of last season's outstanding performers who
combined to put Albion in front after just nine minutes.
The precise shot was even more impressive after more
Brighton had several opportunities to increase their lead.
Sidwell's header among the best of them
and restricted the visitors to little more than the occasional half
The second half produced more of the same.
Brighton dominating, but until they scored a second,
And that came after 72 minutes and it was the Albion's
Israeli internationals who combined again, this time setting up to put
In truth, it should have been at war.
An excellent breakaway saw them squander the game's chance, not
that that bothered Chris Huyton too much.
We had to work very hard for it, we got the real big lift at
getting the goal early and I think that gave us the lift and perhaps
deflated them a little bit, so early in the game.
But I thought they had a good spell in that second half,
but fortunately for us, I felt we finished strong.
Although promotion is clearly their priority, the
Albion will be pleased to have made the fourth
round of the club for the
seventh time in the last eight seasons.
And the draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup is live
on BBC to immediately after our programme at 7pm.
The all important ball number for Brighton and Hove Albion fans
Maybe by Thursday we could even be seeing snow showers. This week is
one of two halves. Over the next couple of days -- days, quite mild
and rainy. It will be quite breezy. The winds coming from a westerly
direction turn into a North westerly as we head through Wednesday. As we
end the week, for others, mostly dry and bright on Thursday, but always
the risk of the odd wintry showers, particularly on higher ground and
lower ground as well. Feeling bitterly cold by the end of the
week. A lovely, dry start to today. But we've been seeing this band of
rain tracking eastwards. Heavy bursts within it. It clears and
behind it, clearer skies and quite a mild night. Temperatures between a
3-5 . It will be bright and mild as we start Tuesday. Lots of sunshine
in the morning. Eventually, those westerly breezes will see further
outbreaks of rain blowing it, but in the daylight, mostly, we stay dry.
Lots of sunshine first thing. By the afternoon, cloud cover. Westerly
breezes, 10-15 mph. Potential double-figure temperatures. The
mostly, 8-9 . Into Wednesday, outbreaks of rain for a time. By
clears and the mostly dry start on Wednesday and a mild night.
Temperatures in rural spot strop into 4-5. On the coast, 6-7.
Wednesday, dry and mild. The winds swing to a northerly direction and
as we start Thursday, it feels different. By Thursday afternoon
temperatures will be 6-7 , but feeling more like 1-2 and bitterly
cold by the end of the week. We are going to return to the
situation on the Southern Rail network now. There is a strike to
starts tomorrow, earlier this evening though, we heard from the MP
for East Worthing and Shoreham who told us a solution to the dispute
must be found quickly. It is a nonsense, this strike. They could
have been settled ages ago and could be settled quickly. The unions need
to show a willingness to settle it in the interests of the passengers.
The Government has made a lot of concessions and have said, for
goodness sake, let us get this settled and address the safety
issues. We have a report last week saying it is safe so this needn't be
going on. Our political editor
Helen Catt joins us now. Still no breakthrough and strikes
tomorrow? Yes, it seems like an intractable situation. He said there
that the two side are not that far apart, but they haven't been for
parts for many months now and the problem is getting them that extra
last push that comes up with something acceptable to both sides.
He was implying the unions need to give in, but he needs to be an
acceptable compromise for both sides to bring an end to the strike. Very
frustrating. And the debate will be broadcast tonight at 7:30pm on BBC
One. You can join the debate on Twitter
all our Facebook page e-mail us. -- or e-mail us. We will have more in
the situation at 10:30pm tonight. And also an update at APM. -- at
8:00pm. Good night. we've run at almost
completely 100% capacity. We've got lots of patients
now competing. There's no beds. I do the right thing
all the time in this job, but it's not always
the right thing for one person. I do the right thing
for the hospital.