Episode 9 Call the Council


Episode 9

Wigan's council officers try to mend a resident's ceiling and her faith in the council. Love is in the air when registrars try to marry five couples in one day.


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Transcript


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From rubbish and recycling...

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..to potholes and pavements...

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Another street down, another street to go.

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..educating our children...

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Fantastic!

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..and caring for the elderly...

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It does make a difference, when you see what can be achieved.

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..we rely on our local councils to provide a huge range of services.

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You may kiss the bride.

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In this series, we follow front-line staff

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working for Wigan Council in Greater Manchester.

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-LOUD KNOCKING

-Ooh, sorry!

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Like council officers across the country,

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they're protecting us from hidden dangers...

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Oh, dear.

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..stepping in when there's an emergency...

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You never know what you're turning up to.

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-All right.

-Thank you very much.

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..and responding to residents...

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-Thanks for everything - good job!

-..when they call the council.

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Coming up, officers inspect a small holding

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that could have a big problem...

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You will get rats around areas like this.

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It is a fact, just by the very nature.

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..a new restaurant owner

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faces her first ever food hygiene inspection....

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It's areas like that we'd expect there to be build up.

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People might not move these things out so often.

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..and love is in the air,

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when a council registrar tries to marry five couples in one day.

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Could you all please stand for the bridal party?

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For over 125 years,

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local councils have been providing vital services

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for the people of the UK

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and many of us rely on them for the roof over our head.

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Wigan Council is a metropolitan borough,

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with over 22,000 council-owned homes.

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It's up to maintenance officers and council joiners, like Scott Howarth,

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to make sure that accommodation remains at the highest standard.

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Worked for the council coming on ten years now.

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You get everything, from everyday life, just broken windows,

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to meet the police for getting accesses.

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Get a lot of lost keys, faulty front doors,

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people locked out, people locked in.

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Right, no worries, mate. Cheers. See you later, mate. Bye.

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Today, Scott is responding to an emergency call

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from a council tenant.

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We had a flood, upstairs in the bathroom,

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and it were flooded from about four o'clock in the morning, and it

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carried on coming out, but they didn't come till about dinner time.

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So, entire house were flooded.

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Mother-of-three Hazel's kitchen ceiling has fallen in

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and she blames the council for not fixing a leaking pipe.

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They said they'd fixed it

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and, a couple of weeks later, it did it again.

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And so, it were just absolutely saturated,

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and then yesterday it just... literally come down.

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All right?

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The council did attempt to assess the damage

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before the ceiling collapsed,

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but couldn't get access.

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Now Scott's arrived to try and put things right.

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-I'm in a really bad mood, so...

-Right.

-..there's going to be a lot of swearing

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-and a lot of anger, so...

-Right. That's nothing to do with me.

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-I'm just doing me job.

-I'm not happy.

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All right, well, don't take that out on me cos it weren't me.

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-I'm not happy.

-'You're the one what's on the front line, you know?'

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I mean, it's all right, somebody on the other end of a telephone...

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getting a bit of earache, but it's like, when you're actually stood there in front of them,

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it's like you need to...resolve the situation and...

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make her realise you're here to help.

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Armed with a dustpan, brush and stepladder,

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Scott needs to make the ceiling safe...

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Well, that's me work stuff, that.

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..but will he be able to fix Hazel's faith in the council?

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Has the leak been sorted? You've not got a leak now?

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Yeah, the leak's fine.

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Right. So, it's basically, now, we'll make the ceiling safe.

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I'm just going to bring all the loose bits down,

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so nothing else falls down,

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and then we'll get a plasterer to come and sort the ceiling out.

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-That all right?

-Yeah, that's all right.

-Great, no worries.

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Scott's doing all he can to keep Hazel on board,

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but his task gets tougher as the full extent of the damage is revealed.

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Looking at it, it's gone about two foot out the way from the middle.

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Erm...

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A lot of old plaster.

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You can actually feel the plasterboard is damp.

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I don't want to take any more down than what I have to.

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That's all the loose bits down.

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-That's what that horrible smell is!

-Yeah.

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With the threat of falling debris removed,

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all Scott can do now is lend Hazel a sympathetic ear.

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Can not get rid of that smell upstairs - it's all upstairs.

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Cos, when we had the leak, it was that bad,

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all the carpet in the front room was saturated.

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It was about four-inch deep water. It was all the way down the stairs.

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The house was a swimming pool!

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It's stressful, isn't it? Do you know, when you wake up,

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and all you can smell is this horrible smell?

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Can I just squeeze past you there, boys? Cheers, mate.

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Despite the damp and the delays,

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Scott's hard work is beginning to win Hazel over.

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He is doing a good job, though. He's like a really good council worker.

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Thank you. That's what I like to hear.

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-And he's good-looking, as well!

-Thanks, definite!

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Scott's done all he can for now, but he'll return with

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reinforcements in a few days to fix the ceiling properly.

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That's the last of the big stuff.

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See you again. See you, lads!

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See you.

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Get out of the skip!

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It needs a full new ceiling.

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We'll make sure it gets plastered as soon as possible

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and then redecorated.

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There's more work to be done,

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but resident Hazel is starting to feel happier.

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Really fixed it. It's not going to fall on us now.

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Knowing that the ceiling's not going to cave in and kill us

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at any given moment - that is brilliant.

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Coming up, Scott returns to finish the job.

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Can he finally make good the ceiling and, with it,

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make amends with Hazel?

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It's been awful. It's been a lot of sleepless nights.

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Our councils are responsible for keeping

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our local environment pleasant and safe.

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From maintaining parks,

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to collecting rubbish

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and controlling pests,

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the quality of their work affects the quality of our lives.

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I think my local council are quite good.

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They try and do their bit for the environment,

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which is quite important to me.

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The environmentalists, the locality officers,

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the problem is they do so much good, I think...

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but...

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one bad thing and everybody's all over it.

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Litter, dog fouling, that really gets on my nerves.

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It's dangerous and it's everywhere.

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And...

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I think there are small issues, I think,

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that could make a big difference if they were dealt with.

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Public protection officer Barry Pilkington

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has worked for Wigan Council for over 30 years,

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stepping in when inconsiderate residents step out of line.

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Hello, my mate, are you OK?

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I like to think that a good 70% of my role is being

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an educator of people,

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of how we want them to behave,

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as being, you know, a resident

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within our borough.

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And enforcement and education keeps me busy.

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Today, Barry is responding to a call to the council

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complaining about conditions on a local small holding.

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I just want to have a chat with her about...

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you know, what's been alleged - about the flies and the odours

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and so on - and just see exactly what she has to say about it.

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Small holdings are bigger than allotments

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but smaller than farms,

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with some as big as 20 acres.

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They're used for agricultural purposes,

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but aren't always in the countryside,

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which means you might find farm animals in the suburbs.

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There are around 4,000 small holdings in the UK.

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They're often more productive per acre than a large farm

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and provide around 16,000 jobs.

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This small holding is on the outskirts of town,

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but it's close enough to residential properties

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to have prompted a call to the council.

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This is a complaint that conditions at this small holding here is

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affecting other properties.

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Because of the possibility of flies, manure and rats,

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I just want to have a... cast my eye over it.

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Officers like Barry are responsible for following up calls that

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come in, but they can only act on the evidence that

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they can see or smell when they're on site.

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-Hello, there.

-Oh, thank...

-You all right?

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-Am I OK just to have a roam round if I can, please?

-You can do what you want, yeah.

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Have you seen any rats while you've been pottering around here?

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Last time I saw a rat was about five, six weeks ago, at least,

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and the pig ate it.

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-Did it?

-Sandy, the big pig...

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..run, got it, ate it.

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If you've never met a pig before, they will wallop everything.

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There are lots of nooks and crannies for the rats to live in

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and Barry knows exactly where to find them.

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You will get rats around areas like this - it is a fact.

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You know, just by their very nature.

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When you have an infestation of rats,

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you'll get tell-tale signs.

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You'll see holes in the ground,

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you'll see smear-marks off their body because they're a greasy little rodent.

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Barry has established that there have been rats on the premises,

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but the manager is addressing the situation.

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The fronts are actually going to be corner bed...

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These particular buildings here are being demolished

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and what's happening is, if you look at the outhouses,

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they're all raised off the ground.

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The fact that they're raised off the ground means

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that natural predators can get at any rats.

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The fact that they can get at the rats, they won't harbour there,

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it really is that simple.

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Rats are no fools.

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If predators can get under, and they are raised off the ground, then...

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that's a good practice.

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These are flat on the ground - that is a bad practice.

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To further help the owners combat the rats,

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Barry offers up some advice of his own on using bait.

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-I would put it underneath...

-Yeah.

-..and you're going that far under.

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-OK, cos your pigs can't get under there, can they?

-No.

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We're working together. This is what Wigan Council want.

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It's not for me to be coming here

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and dictating to people about things that I can't make them do.

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There's nothing here for me to do other than ensure that bait is laid.

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-We have a perfect rat-bait box.

-Mm-hmm.

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-Just a simple structure. The rodenticide bait goes here.

-Yeah.

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Nothing can get at it - only something that can crawl in -

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and the only thing that's going to crawl in around here is Mr Rat.

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Barry has the power to place financial penalties on badly

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run small holdings and could use legal powers to stop any nuisance.

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So, does the resident who called the council have

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a justifiable complaint?

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I've inspected the small holding - it's not perfect.

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There are areas of improvement.

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With the original complainant,

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the complaint was with regards to odours and rats.

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There are certainly no odours.

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We only deal with the problems that are there,

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not something that may be.

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I've managed to persuade her to put some rodenticide bait

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on the outskirts of the small holding.

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It's my job, really, to persuade people and to educate people.

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Enforcement action is a last resort, do you know what I mean?

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We want people to take ownership of the area that they live.

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So I'll go back in about ten days' time, carry out another

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inspection and, hopefully, we'll see some improvements.

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Having given the small holders his advice,

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Barry will return to see if they've taken it.

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Still to come...

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Barry revisits the small holding

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on one of the hottest days of the year.

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Will it remain rodent and smell-free?

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This is perfect day because, if we were going to get smells, we'd have them.

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If we were going to get flies, we'd have them.

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Our local authorities are not just responsible for

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emptying our bins and cleaning our streets -

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they're also there to help us

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on some of the biggest days of our lives.

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There are more than a quarter of a million weddings

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in England and Wales annually -

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70% of those are civil ceremonies conducted by councils.

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Every year, Wigan Council oversees around 600 weddings,

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performed by registrars like Paula Clisham.

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I have conducted 350 weddings in the last three years.

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I just love meeting people

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and...seeing them all dressed up.

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Everybody's happy.

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And when people thank you

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for doing the service, afterwards,

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it's just so nice.

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I love it.

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Helping happy couples tie the knot isn't Paula's day-job, though.

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Monday to Friday, I work in the democratic services

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and I'm a councillor support officer.

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During the week, Paula provides office support

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to elected council members.

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Hello, Wigan Council. Paula speaking.

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But when Saturday comes, she's a weekend wedding warrior!

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And this is no ordinary Saturday.

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Today, Paula and fellow registrar Ann McKeever

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have got five weddings to complete within six hours.

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It is a challenge, but I try and...

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don't tell any of the other couples we've had a wedding before,

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or a wedding after, cos I want to make that wedding special.

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It is vital cos it is their day.

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Today's ceremonies are taking place in Mesnes Park Lodge,

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a local landmark and a venue much in demand.

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It's 9am and the council team are already set up,

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ready for their first wedding.

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I'm going to be conducting the ceremony

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and Ann is the registrar, who is going to enter

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all the details of the marriage into the register for life...

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for all time.

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So we usually speak to the groom first,

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so it's important to go through the ceremony with him

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and ask them what they want.

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It's the happiest day of their life

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and we just need to get that right for them.

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-You just see Ann first, please. Thank you.

-Yup. Hi, love. All right?

-Hi, I'm Ann.

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Jeff Wood will be the first groom of the day to get married.

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-I just need to just go through the ceremony with you.

-OK.

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-Do you have any readings?

-No.

-And there's no personal vows?

-No.

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No, OK.

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It's important that Paula ensures all the paperwork is in order

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before today's ceremonies begin,

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but there are some things she can't control

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that could put a dampener on proceedings.

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The weather can be tricky sometimes,

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especially if it was raining today.

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You know, yourself getting the names wrong.

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I've only been doing this three years

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and that has never happened to me.

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But today, with five weddings to conduct,

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Paula's most pressing issue is time.

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-Just if they're late...

-It's tradition for the bride to be late.

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After 15 minutes, if the bride hasn't arrived,

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we try and go up to somebody - don't like panicking the groom.

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We would probably go up to a member and just say,

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"Can you just check on where she is?"

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If any of these potential problems are preying on Paula's mind,

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she doesn't let it show when greeting the first bride of the day.

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Good morning. You look absolutely gorgeous!

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Ooh! I tell you what, I feel like getting you to put them

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-all over me body.

-PAULA LAUGHS

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-You are lovely and cold and I am boiling hot!

-Am I cold?

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Yeah, you are.

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-Well, I'm going to be doing the ceremony...

-Would you touch me there? Ooh...

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I didn't think I'd got cold hands - I'm warm!

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I'm boiling hot and your hands are lovely and cold!

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Well, I'm going to be doing your ceremony. Anne's just going to be coming out.

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-We're going to take you through there and just ask you some questions, OK?

-Yes.

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-You're the lovely father, yes?

-Mm-hmm.

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Now, are you happy for me to ask you the question

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to give your daughter away?

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Can't wait to get rid of me!

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-Oh, yeah...

-Are you OK with that, Thomas?

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Hello, girls. You look beautiful.

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Paula is used to dealing with last-minute requests from brides,

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but Catherine has one that's a little unusual.

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If he turns that phone on, and it's got the

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dur-duh, dur-duh, dur-duh Jaws theme tune,

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-I'm turning around and walking away.

-Oh, dear. Right, I'll check that.

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He's been threatening for months and it's, like, not the done thing.

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You nearly ready, girls?

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Paula makes sure the only ring during this ceremony

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will be the one that goes on Catherine's finger.

0:16:540:16:57

Can I just ask - are all your mobile phones off?

0:16:570:17:00

-The groom, have you got yours off?

-Yeah.

-Can I just check...

0:17:000:17:03

-please?

-GUESTS LAUGH

0:17:030:17:05

-Can you turn it off, please, Jeffrey?

-Yeah. Completely.

0:17:070:17:11

-Thank you.

-All right.

0:17:110:17:13

Hello. Could everybody please stand for the bridal party?

0:17:130:17:18

Thank you.

0:17:180:17:19

Wedding number one is underway.

0:17:210:17:23

We are here today to witness the joining in matrimony

0:17:240:17:29

of Jeff and Catherine.

0:17:290:17:31

Jeff and Catherine's big moment has arrived,

0:17:310:17:33

and so has Paula's.

0:17:330:17:35

-..may not be joined in matrimony...

-..may not be joined in matrimony...

0:17:350:17:39

..to Jeffrey Alan Lowe.

0:17:390:17:41

-Wood.

-Lowe?

-Wood, sorry! Wood. Sorry.

0:17:410:17:43

-GUESTS LAUGH

-Wood, Wood, sorry!

0:17:430:17:46

-CATHERINE AND PAULA:

-..to Jeffrey Alan Wood.

0:17:460:17:48

Sorry!

0:17:480:17:50

Mr and Mrs Lowe, I mean Wood, have tied the knot.

0:17:500:17:53

You may kiss the bride.

0:17:560:17:58

Congratulations.

0:18:020:18:04

OK, thank you. Have a lovely day.

0:18:040:18:07

One ceremony down, but there's four more to go.

0:18:070:18:10

Time is of the essence for Wigan's wedding warrior!

0:18:100:18:13

I've now got weddings from half past one, quarter past two,

0:18:140:18:17

three o'clock and quarter to four.

0:18:170:18:20

I mean, It's going to be quite tight this afternoon, isn't it,

0:18:200:18:23

with only 45 minutes for the ceremony?

0:18:230:18:26

-They don't need to know that we've got one wedding after another.

-No, no, no.

0:18:260:18:29

Hopefully, today, we won't be late.

0:18:290:18:32

Paula's on time and ready for the next wedding,

0:18:320:18:35

and so are the guests and groom.

0:18:350:18:37

But, with two minutes to go,

0:18:370:18:39

there's no sign of the bride.

0:18:390:18:41

Going to be traditionally late, by the sound of it.

0:18:410:18:43

We don't need this.

0:18:430:18:45

If the bride's more than half an hour late,

0:18:450:18:47

Paula will be forced to bump the ceremony to the end of the day.

0:18:470:18:51

It would be a potential disaster and she's only on wedding number two.

0:18:510:18:55

Coming up, will Paula make it to wedding number five

0:19:000:19:03

without any tears?

0:19:030:19:05

Could you all please stand for the bridal party? Thank you.

0:19:050:19:09

One thing's for sure - it's going to be emotional.

0:19:090:19:12

There are over half a million confirmed cases of food poisoning

0:19:230:19:26

each year in the UK.

0:19:260:19:28

Councils have a responsibility to keep the public safe

0:19:280:19:32

by ensuring that all food outlets are operating

0:19:320:19:34

in a clean and hygienic way.

0:19:340:19:36

Good afternoon, Wigan Council. Fran speaking.

0:19:380:19:41

Environmental health officers, like Wigan's Fran Lindley,

0:19:410:19:44

are on the front-line,

0:19:440:19:45

keeping tabs on the borough's 2,000 food businesses.

0:19:450:19:48

She has the power to shut down any that threaten the public's health.

0:19:490:19:53

The role of an environmental health officer in a food team

0:19:530:19:57

is really important in protecting public health

0:19:570:20:00

cos we're making sure that the food produced or sold within

0:20:000:20:03

the borough is safe to eat.

0:20:030:20:04

The Food Standards Agency has strict rules for food outlets

0:20:050:20:08

and it's the council's job to enforce them.

0:20:080:20:11

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a national scheme

0:20:120:20:16

looking at the hygiene practices in the business, the structure,

0:20:160:20:20

and confidence in management.

0:20:200:20:22

And we have to score the business on those three areas.

0:20:220:20:25

So, nought is urgent improvement required.

0:20:250:20:28

A five, the other end of the scale,

0:20:280:20:30

is the highest standard of compliance.

0:20:300:20:32

After opening, all new businesses need to be inspected.

0:20:330:20:36

Today, Fran is making an unannounced inspection

0:20:360:20:39

at a newly opened fish and chip shop.

0:20:390:20:42

A bad hygiene rating could spell disaster for the fledgling business

0:20:420:20:46

and the signs aren't good.

0:20:460:20:47

The chippy has only been open six weeks,

0:20:470:20:49

but somebody has already called the council

0:20:490:20:52

to complain about spilled oil on the pavement.

0:20:520:20:54

Hiya. Yeah, good afternoon.

0:20:540:20:57

-My name's Fran. I'm from Environmental Health at Wigan Council.

-Yeah?

0:20:570:21:00

-I've come to do your new business inspection today.

-Yeah.

0:21:000:21:04

Owner Alison used to run a post office from these premises.

0:21:050:21:08

Alison and her family have made a big change

0:21:080:21:10

and now have to handle their first ever surprise inspection

0:21:100:21:13

from an environmental health officer.

0:21:130:21:16

-And you worked here before, didn't you, when it was the post office?

-The post office, yeah.

0:21:160:21:20

I've actually started from scratch.

0:21:200:21:22

I had to go to the Wigan Council,

0:21:220:21:24

get planning permission for change of use.

0:21:240:21:26

It's a family-run business. My son Adam,

0:21:260:21:29

and Paul, they work in it during the day,

0:21:290:21:32

and my daughter, Emma,

0:21:320:21:33

she comes in round about five o'clock after college.

0:21:330:21:36

Have you had a food business before?

0:21:360:21:38

Do you know what is involved with the inspection?

0:21:380:21:41

-Well, I have an idea.

-Yeah.

0:21:410:21:44

So, it's going to be a mixture of checking...

0:21:440:21:46

the structural element of your premises,

0:21:460:21:49

your walls, floors, ceilings,

0:21:490:21:50

what facilities you've got for hand washing, equipment washing,

0:21:500:21:54

erm, having a look for pest control.

0:21:540:21:55

And then we'll have a look at your procedures, and I'll watch the staff

0:21:550:22:00

while they're operating, have a look at any records that you've got.

0:22:000:22:04

The way food is stored is another key hygiene consideration

0:22:060:22:10

and inspectors often find businesses falling short.

0:22:100:22:13

Raw meat or fish can contaminate other food and cause food poisoning.

0:22:130:22:17

Just looking at how it's stored, so it's boxed and wrapped.

0:22:210:22:25

The bacon's wrapped.

0:22:250:22:27

That's not ideal cos it could potentially contaminate the unit.

0:22:270:22:31

But there doesn't look to be any ready-to-eat food on that shelf.

0:22:330:22:38

If food isn't sold or thrown out before its use-by date,

0:22:380:22:42

it could cause infections like the norovirus, or salmonella,

0:22:420:22:46

the pathogen which causes the most UK hospital admissions -

0:22:460:22:49

around 2,500 per year.

0:22:490:22:51

So you've got this one fridge here, which is just raw products,

0:22:540:22:56

so it's raw fish, raw bacon at the bottom.

0:22:560:22:59

And then what have you got in this other fridge?

0:22:590:23:02

We've got milk and we've got the pies.

0:23:020:23:05

The cooked meat in here - what's that used for?

0:23:050:23:07

Erm, hot...beef...

0:23:070:23:10

Erm, we do a beef and onion.

0:23:100:23:12

-Erm, barns?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:23:120:23:14

OK, that's great.

0:23:140:23:16

Having checked the way the food's stored,

0:23:190:23:21

Fran moves on to inspect the way

0:23:210:23:23

cooking utensils are cleaned and food washed.

0:23:230:23:26

Bad practice here is another common source of bacterial infection.

0:23:260:23:30

And what do you use that sink for?

0:23:320:23:34

-For...washing the pots.

-All equipment wash?

-Yeah.

0:23:340:23:37

-Is everything washed by hand?

-Yes.

-Yeah.

0:23:370:23:40

And is there any food that you wash?

0:23:410:23:43

-Like your potatoes, they're...

-Yes.

0:23:440:23:46

..they're washed, aren't they, in the tub? OK.

0:23:460:23:49

There are also stringent rules

0:23:490:23:50

on the temperature food has to be cooked to.

0:23:500:23:53

-I've got a probe.

-So what type of food would you check with the probe?

0:23:540:23:58

-Chicken, or anything that...

-Anything that you're frying. OK.

0:23:580:24:03

-And what temperature are you looking for?

-76.

0:24:030:24:07

As you can see, I think I've gone over the top.

0:24:070:24:09

-I've burned myself!

-SHE LAUGHS

0:24:090:24:12

-Nobody can say my food's never hot enough!

-FRAN LAUGHS

0:24:120:24:16

Dirt and discarded food are next on Fran's checklist.

0:24:160:24:20

They can attract unwanted visitors, like cockroaches and mice.

0:24:200:24:23

I'm just looking to see if there's signs of any pest activity

0:24:250:24:28

and just to check the general cleaning standard as well.

0:24:280:24:31

It's really clean.

0:24:350:24:37

Cos, normally, it's areas like that we'd expect there to be build up

0:24:380:24:41

because people might not move these things out so often,

0:24:410:24:44

but there's nothing there.

0:24:440:24:46

The final areas on Fran's checklist are management procedures

0:24:460:24:49

and building structure.

0:24:490:24:51

-The drains - I did have a problem with the drains.

-OK.

0:24:510:24:55

-And I rang up...the water board...

-Right.

0:24:550:25:01

..and they actually came out.

0:25:010:25:03

And what it is, my drains...

0:25:030:25:06

are connected to another business,

0:25:060:25:09

and there was some oil from him

0:25:090:25:11

coming into mine.

0:25:110:25:13

And obviously I showed the water guys.

0:25:130:25:16

Obviously we have...

0:25:160:25:18

oil, vegetable oil, that we get rid of,

0:25:180:25:21

-but I have a tub, which I mentioned.

-Are they dealing with that for you?

0:25:210:25:25

Yeah, I mentioned it to him

0:25:250:25:27

and he says they put sand on it,

0:25:270:25:28

and they've made sure that it's good.

0:25:280:25:30

This drain issue could explain

0:25:300:25:32

the earlier complaint to the council

0:25:320:25:35

about oil on the pavement outside Alison's restaurant.

0:25:350:25:38

I've come because you're a new business,

0:25:380:25:40

but we did get a complaint made to one of our colleagues

0:25:400:25:44

about waste oil being disposed of on the pavement.

0:25:440:25:48

Now, obviously, we've not got any evidence of that.

0:25:480:25:51

It is actually, I believe, an offence to do something like that,

0:25:510:25:55

-so I'm not going to jeopardise my business.

-No, no.

0:25:550:26:01

Fran is satisfied. She will now review her findings.

0:26:010:26:04

It will be a few days before she can issue the hygiene rating...

0:26:040:26:08

See you. Bye-bye!

0:26:080:26:09

..a rating crucial to the future of Alison's fledgling fish shop.

0:26:100:26:14

When the lady walked in,

0:26:140:26:15

I had to pick myself of the floor, really,

0:26:150:26:18

because, as far as I'm concerned,

0:26:180:26:19

I think something like this can make or break you.

0:26:190:26:22

Coming up, it's the moment of truth for Alison,

0:26:250:26:28

when the chippy's hygiene rating is served.

0:26:280:26:30

Anything less than a five, to me...

0:26:300:26:34

you're not at a high standard.

0:26:340:26:35

Three days ago, Wigan Council's joiner, Scott Howarth,

0:26:440:26:48

responded to council tenant Hazel's call for help.

0:26:480:26:51

A pipe above Hazel's kitchen had leaked,

0:26:510:26:53

leaving the ceiling damp and in danger of falling down.

0:26:530:26:56

It's stressful, isn't it?

0:26:560:26:58

You know, when you wake up

0:26:580:27:00

and all you can smell is this horrible smell.

0:27:000:27:03

Scott successfully made the ceiling safe and cleared the debris.

0:27:030:27:06

Now he's back at the mum-of-three's house.

0:27:140:27:17

I'll get all the stuff, Chris.

0:27:170:27:18

Going to take the ceiling down fully...to where it's safe,

0:27:190:27:24

and then re-plasterboard it.

0:27:240:27:27

Remove all the old stuff off site, clean up.

0:27:270:27:29

And it's not a moment too soon for Hazel.

0:27:300:27:33

She blames the council for not fixing the original leak properly.

0:27:330:27:38

It's been awful. It's been a lot of sleepless nights...and stress.

0:27:380:27:42

In a bid to finally fix the ceiling

0:27:440:27:46

and mend Hazel's relationship with the council,

0:27:460:27:48

Scott's called in the cavalry.

0:27:480:27:50

This sort of job, no matter what you do,

0:27:520:27:54

you're still going to get a mess on the floor.

0:27:540:27:57

The cupboards are taped up as a precaution against dust,

0:27:590:28:03

under Hazel's watchful eye,

0:28:030:28:05

then it's all hands on ceiling.

0:28:050:28:06

Majority of all the loose stuff's down now, so...

0:28:090:28:13

we'll get it boarded,

0:28:130:28:14

get it all levelled up and then it can be skimmed.

0:28:140:28:17

Whilst the ceiling repairs are going to plan,

0:28:190:28:22

bringing resident Hazel back on side is still a work in progress.

0:28:220:28:26

I'm still going to be finding dust for about a month!

0:28:280:28:31

It looks awful!

0:28:310:28:32

I'll have to have a bath tonight!

0:28:350:28:37

I have one once a week, whether I need it or not!

0:28:400:28:43

As the new sections of plasterboard go up,

0:28:450:28:47

the gaping holes are covered

0:28:470:28:49

and Hazel's trust in the council is slowly returning.

0:28:490:28:52

Nearly done.

0:28:540:28:56

So, it's mostly waiting to decorate the entire house,

0:28:560:29:00

which needs to be done now, cos everything's damaged.

0:29:000:29:02

The council are only responsible for the structure of the property.

0:29:040:29:08

Hazel will have to pay for any redecoration,

0:29:080:29:11

but that's easier said than done.

0:29:110:29:13

Because I didn't have any contents insurance, it's...

0:29:140:29:18

a lot to replace.

0:29:180:29:20

You don't think about it cos you think,

0:29:200:29:22

"Oh, nothing's going to happen", and...it does.

0:29:220:29:25

And when it does, it does really bad!

0:29:250:29:29

And...I've already been pricing it up.

0:29:290:29:32

Just going to do it in phases, but...lesson learned.

0:29:320:29:35

Get contents insurance.

0:29:350:29:36

Last board gone in now. Erm...

0:29:390:29:42

When I get the lads to pick up the rubbish off the front,

0:29:420:29:44

otherwise it'll end up everywhere.

0:29:440:29:46

We all muck in - it needs cleaning up.

0:29:460:29:50

Many hands make light work.

0:29:500:29:51

At the moment, now, the emergency's over.

0:29:530:29:55

There's no more bits going to fall out the ceiling and hit anybody,

0:29:550:29:59

or cause any more damage.

0:29:590:30:01

The ceiling's safe,

0:30:010:30:02

so we've dropped the old plasterboard,

0:30:020:30:05

put new plasterboard up.

0:30:050:30:06

It's scheduled in, the next appointment -

0:30:060:30:09

get it skimmed up and then she can redecorate.

0:30:090:30:12

Right, job Done.

0:30:130:30:15

Ceiling sorted!

0:30:150:30:16

But Scott wants to make extra sure he leaves a

0:30:160:30:19

happy council customer behind.

0:30:190:30:21

Hope me wife don't see me doing this!

0:30:210:30:23

Otherwise she'll expect me to do it at home, won't she?

0:30:230:30:26

Not matter what job, I take pride. You know what I mean?

0:30:260:30:29

I'd rather do a good job.

0:30:290:30:31

Rather make sure, when I leave, they're happy.

0:30:310:30:34

You know what I mean? Another 10, 15 minutes cleaning up.

0:30:340:30:38

Thanks to Scott and his colleagues,

0:30:380:30:40

Hazel's damaged ceiling is repaired and it's gone some way

0:30:400:30:43

towards fixing her relationship with the council.

0:30:430:30:47

Right, obviously, the plasterboard's about done.

0:30:470:30:50

-Everywhere's cleaned up.

-Thank you.

0:30:500:30:52

-All right.

-Brilliant.

0:30:520:30:54

And it looks amazing.

0:30:540:30:55

-It looks a lot better than it did before.

-No worries.

0:30:550:30:58

-Thank you.

-Right, no worries.

-Thank you very much.

0:30:580:31:01

-All right, see you again.

-Thank you.

-See you later.

0:31:010:31:04

-Deserve a break, mate. Are we getting a drink?

-Yeah.

-Right.

0:31:060:31:09

The workmen, they've been really good - can't fault them.

0:31:110:31:15

This time last week, I couldn't even go to sleep because it was...

0:31:150:31:20

the fear of it all falling down.

0:31:200:31:23

Oh, my stress level has gone down so much!

0:31:240:31:27

At least there's light - I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now.

0:31:270:31:30

It's good. It's a good feeling.

0:31:300:31:32

Hello, there.

0:31:420:31:43

Ten days ago, public protection officer Barry Pilkington

0:31:450:31:48

investigated claims about rats and smells coming from a small holding.

0:31:480:31:52

You will get rats around areas like this.

0:31:520:31:57

Once inside, Barry couldn't smell any offensive odours,

0:31:570:32:00

but he did find evidence of rats.

0:32:000:32:03

Keen to avoid an infestation, he told the manager

0:32:030:32:06

where and how to lay bait.

0:32:060:32:08

The rodenticide bait goes here.

0:32:080:32:10

The only thing that's going to crawl in around here is Mr Rat.

0:32:100:32:14

Now Barry's back to check that action has been taken.

0:32:160:32:19

I just want to have a little cast my eye over...this little area,

0:32:190:32:22

and also to look at the rodenticide baits

0:32:220:32:25

that are in place, just to see if we're getting takes.

0:32:250:32:28

It's a lovely warm day. This is a perfect day because, if we were going to get smells, we'd have them.

0:32:280:32:32

If we were going to get flies, we'd have them.

0:32:320:32:34

The manager of the small holding is joined by the lease-holder.

0:32:340:32:38

As you know, we had a complaint with regards to...it's called

0:32:380:32:41

statutory nuisance....in relation to flies and odours from here.

0:32:410:32:46

With regards to our rat bait, have you been keeping on top of that?

0:32:460:32:49

-Mm-hmm.

-You have. We've got some bait underneath that...

0:32:490:32:52

-Yeah, it's underneath...

-..that decked area, there, that raised area.

0:32:520:32:55

And we've got some behind the...where the

0:32:550:32:58

-temporary fuel shelters are...

-Yeah.

-..in-between...

0:32:580:33:01

-I'll just have a look, if it's all right?

-Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:33:010:33:04

Barry inspects the area

0:33:040:33:05

to make sure the small holders have followed his advice correctly.

0:33:050:33:09

What I would say to you is...

0:33:110:33:13

..you've put your rat-bait down. If it gets taken, put more down.

0:33:150:33:18

If it gets taken, put more down.

0:33:180:33:20

Once it stops going, you know you're on top of things.

0:33:200:33:22

-That you're trying your best, that's all we can ask.

-Uh-huh.

0:33:220:33:25

Happy with the way the rat bait has been laid out,

0:33:250:33:28

Barry moves on to the complaint about smells coming from the property.

0:33:280:33:32

I've noticed you've got a little bit of a fire-pit here.

0:33:330:33:36

-What's happening there? Are you just doing...?

-We're just...

-Barbecue.

0:33:360:33:39

..we basically burn the manure off the floor, just to get rid of it, really,

0:33:390:33:43

cos we don't want smells and odours.

0:33:430:33:45

So, we get rid of it in little amounts.

0:33:450:33:47

With regards to your fires, it's the same principal -

0:33:470:33:50

if the wind's blowing towards the properties...

0:33:500:33:52

-We would never light a fire.

-..don't light a fire.

0:33:520:33:55

Ten days on from Barry's original visit,

0:33:550:33:58

will he have to take any action against

0:33:580:34:00

the owners of the small holding?

0:34:000:34:02

I don't think there's any serious issues at all. I'm more than happy.

0:34:020:34:06

I think you're on top of things and good luck with it.

0:34:060:34:09

Having inspected and advised,

0:34:090:34:11

Barry's responded to the original call to the council

0:34:110:34:14

and there's no further action to take.

0:34:140:34:16

The complaint was odour complaints, flies,

0:34:180:34:21

issues with smoke also...and rats.

0:34:210:34:24

Now, you know, it's a lovely warm day.

0:34:240:34:27

There are no problems with odours, no specific fly problem.

0:34:270:34:31

You will get rats where you've got livestock like this,

0:34:310:34:35

but the idea is that they must keep on top of it

0:34:350:34:37

and I think they are. They've got rodenticide bait down

0:34:370:34:39

on the boundary and underneath that little platformed area.

0:34:390:34:42

I'm happy with what I've seen.

0:34:420:34:44

It's about diversity, really.

0:34:460:34:48

It may be that the activities on this particular piece of land

0:34:480:34:51

somebody doesn't like.

0:34:510:34:52

But, you know, we celebrate diversity,

0:34:520:34:54

we want people to feel that they belong here.

0:34:540:34:56

As long as they're doing nobody no harm, live and let live.

0:34:560:34:59

We'll leave them be.

0:34:590:35:00

-Over in Mesnes Park...

-Hello. Morning.

0:35:110:35:14

..Wigan Council registrars Paula Clisham and Ann McKeever

0:35:140:35:18

are in the eye of a wedding whirlwind.

0:35:180:35:21

They've got five ceremonies to complete, all within just six hours.

0:35:210:35:24

Are you happy for me to ask you the question to give your daughter away?

0:35:240:35:28

Can't wait to get rid of me!

0:35:280:35:30

They're one wedding down...

0:35:300:35:32

You may kiss the bride.

0:35:320:35:34

..but still have four to go.

0:35:340:35:36

Now I've got weddings from half past one, quarter past two,

0:35:360:35:39

three o'clock and quarter to four.

0:35:390:35:41

The scheduled start time for wedding number two has been and gone,

0:35:440:35:48

but there's still no sign of the bride.

0:35:480:35:50

On this one, we need everyone to run to time today.

0:35:500:35:53

With all eyes on the gate, the bride arrives just two minutes late.

0:35:550:35:59

Hello. You look lovely.

0:36:030:36:05

Hello. Are you OK? I'm Paula.

0:36:050:36:07

-I'm going to be doing your ceremony, Nicola.

-Thank you.

0:36:070:36:09

So if you want to just go in and then we'll just ask you your questions.

0:36:090:36:13

Rather than cracking on with the wedding,

0:36:130:36:15

Ann needs to spend ten minutes

0:36:150:36:17

getting the all-important paperwork in place,

0:36:170:36:19

with bride Nicola's help.

0:36:190:36:21

It's vital that the ceremony start time doesn't slip any further

0:36:220:36:26

and create a knock-on effect with the other weddings today,

0:36:260:36:30

but Paula makes sure everyone stays stress-free.

0:36:300:36:32

-Take a deep breath. You look absolutely beautiful.

-Thank you.

0:36:340:36:36

And your diamond's lovely. OK, Right...

0:36:360:36:40

It's vital to make each couple special

0:36:400:36:43

and I do ask each of them how they want the ceremony,

0:36:430:36:46

cos it is important. It is their day...

0:36:460:36:49

and you want to deliver the right wedding for them.

0:36:490:36:53

You all look lovely.

0:36:530:36:54

This day will form a milestone in your lives...

0:36:540:36:58

With over 300 weddings under her belt,

0:36:580:37:00

Paula knows how to keep things ticking along.

0:37:000:37:04

You may kiss the bride.

0:37:040:37:05

If you'd all like to give a round of applause

0:37:100:37:13

to Mr and Mrs Sanderson.

0:37:130:37:15

-By the time the guests leave...

-The next wedding's quarter past two.

0:37:210:37:24

..there's just 15 minutes until the third wedding is due to start.

0:37:240:37:28

Just going to go now and have a see if anybody's arrived.

0:37:280:37:31

So, perfect.

0:37:310:37:34

The sun is still shining.

0:37:340:37:35

Jan? Are you OK? You look beautiful.

0:37:370:37:40

This time, bride number three is bang on time,

0:37:400:37:43

and Jan and Ian get hitched...without a hitch.

0:37:430:37:46

..that you are now husband and wife together.

0:37:460:37:51

You may kiss the bride. Congratulations.

0:37:510:37:53

One wedding party out...

0:37:590:38:00

Done three.

0:38:030:38:04

Fourth, yeah. I've got two more.

0:38:040:38:06

Yeah.

0:38:060:38:08

..and one wedding party in.

0:38:090:38:11

But is groom number four, Ryan, as well prepared as Paula?

0:38:110:38:14

-Ready as I'll ever be.

-GROOMSMEN LAUGH

0:38:160:38:18

It's a good job because Ryan's bride Heather is ten minutes early.

0:38:180:38:22

Yes, I just need to ask you a few questions, please.

0:38:230:38:26

Could this be where the council officers claw back lost time?

0:38:260:38:30

Yes, I'll go and get on with my bit. Thank you.

0:38:300:38:32

With all their guests present,

0:38:320:38:34

the bride and groom are happy

0:38:340:38:35

to start the ceremony ahead of schedule.

0:38:350:38:37

Could you all please stand for the bridal party? Thank you.

0:38:370:38:41

The emotion's getting to the groom.

0:38:430:38:45

(Got any tissues? He's crying.)

0:38:460:38:48

But consummate cupid Paula is one step ahead

0:38:480:38:51

and keeps the wedding on track.

0:38:510:38:53

MUSIC: The One By Kodaline

0:38:530:38:57

Ryan, you may kiss the bride.

0:38:570:38:59

Happy couple number four,

0:39:040:39:05

but Paula and Ann have no time to celebrate.

0:39:050:39:08

With guests gone, they're focusing on their fifth and final wedding,

0:39:080:39:12

but Paula's still not immune to the emotions of the day.

0:39:120:39:16

I nearly went, there.

0:39:160:39:17

He was crying, Ryan, and I...

0:39:180:39:20

..so happy.

0:39:210:39:22

Hello. You look gorgeous.

0:39:240:39:27

Back on schedule, all Paula and Ann need to do is stay focused

0:39:270:39:31

and make the fifth wedding of the day as special as the first.

0:39:310:39:35

Could everybody please stand for the bridal party, please? Thank you.

0:39:350:39:38

With the immortal words "I do", the last knot of the day is tied.

0:39:380:39:43

It now gives me great pleasure to declare that you are now

0:39:430:39:48

husband and wife together.

0:39:480:39:51

Five wedding parties are off celebrating,

0:39:560:39:59

but the registrar's job isn't done yet.

0:39:590:40:01

Paula and Ann head to the town hall...

0:40:030:40:06

for their final task of the day.

0:40:060:40:08

We're just now putting the register back into the safe.

0:40:090:40:13

Signed, sealed and delivered,

0:40:130:40:15

Paula and Anne have successfully married five couples in one day.

0:40:150:40:18

Ten days ago, environmental health officer Fran

0:40:290:40:32

visited an ex-post-office-owner

0:40:320:40:34

who'd swapped wrapping parcels for wrapping fish suppers.

0:40:340:40:37

It's a family-run business. I've actually started from scratch.

0:40:370:40:41

It was Alison's first ever food hygiene inspection

0:40:410:40:44

and one she couldn't afford to fail.

0:40:440:40:46

Now Alison is waiting for the results.

0:40:500:40:52

The top hygiene rating of five will mean a boost for the new fish shop.

0:40:520:40:56

A low rating of two, one, or even zero

0:40:560:40:59

will mean further inspections and the risk of a bad reputation.

0:40:590:41:03

Ideally I'd want all my businesses to score a three, four or five

0:41:040:41:08

because that means that there's very limited or no follow-up work.

0:41:080:41:12

It's definitely a good thing

0:41:120:41:13

for them to score well during an inspection.

0:41:130:41:15

For Alison, this inspection marks the final stage in her

0:41:190:41:22

journey from post master to restaurant owner

0:41:220:41:25

and she's setting the bar high.

0:41:250:41:27

-You want salt and vinegar?

-No, just salt, please.

0:41:270:41:29

We serve everything to a high standard

0:41:290:41:31

and anything less than a five, to me,

0:41:310:41:34

you're not at a high standard.

0:41:340:41:37

At last, it's the moment of truth.

0:41:370:41:39

This is the rating of the health and safety.

0:41:410:41:44

Oh, fantastic.

0:41:470:41:48

A five! I am over the moon. That's excellent.

0:41:480:41:52

Absolutely fantastic!

0:41:520:41:54

It feels good to work with a business

0:41:540:41:56

and to be able to tell them, following the visit,

0:41:560:41:59

that they've managed to score a five,

0:41:590:42:01

cos it gives them recognition that they've been doing a good job.

0:42:010:42:05

Alison can now proudly display her hygiene certificate for all to see.

0:42:050:42:10

Can't believe it. Absolutely made up. I just worried so much...

0:42:100:42:14

Just going to make or break you, your business.

0:42:140:42:16

So...this is just absolutely fantastic.

0:42:160:42:19

Couldn't have...asked for anything better.

0:42:190:42:21

From the smallest village to the biggest metropolitan borough,

0:42:280:42:32

the UK's council officers work around the clock...

0:42:320:42:36

trying to mend broken relations...

0:42:360:42:38

The emergency's over. Ceiling's safe. Job done.

0:42:380:42:41

..making sure we're all obeying the rules...

0:42:410:42:44

There are no flies. There are no odours.

0:42:440:42:46

..keeping restaurants hygienic...

0:42:460:42:48

Normally it's areas like that where you'd expect there to be build up, but there's nothing there.

0:42:480:42:52

..and helping us celebrate the biggest days of our lives.

0:42:520:42:55

You may kiss the bride.

0:42:550:42:57

All of this when we...

0:42:590:43:00

call the council.

0:43:000:43:02

The reason I like my job is because I'm educating people

0:43:020:43:05

and I'm meeting people, the people of Wigan, the people...

0:43:050:43:08

my neighbours, really.

0:43:080:43:10

Wigan's council officers try to mend a resident's ceiling and her faith in the council. A new fish and chip shop owner faces her first inspection and love is in the air when registrars try to marry five couples in one day.


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