28/01/2013 Inside Out South


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Hello from Winchester and welcome to the programme. Lots to tell you


about. Here is what is coming up. How a �6000 loan to buy a car like


this nearly cost one woman her home. I was so afraid because I had


visions of bailiffs banging on the door and coming in and evicting me.


Born 200 years too late and now swapping goodies for ballots. Can


these kids put aside their prejudice and take pride in a local


opera. I am not really interested in the order books. The story just


drags on. Knocking the system, is a farming under threat as councils


sell off land and farmhouses to balance the books. If you are a


young couple starting out on a farm, you don't need a great big


farmhouse. This is Inside Out for the South of England.


First how a straightforward car loan nearly cost one woman from


Hampshire clearly everything. The nightmare is nearly over but only


because she got in contact with us. I was just sitting wondering what


was the best thing to do and just praying that something, someone


would come along and say, no, this is wrong. When I first met Brenda,


she was about to sign away her home. She faced a massive debt because


her husband had taken out a loan to buy a second higher -- second-hand


car. Phil Cains went to the now defunct Yes Car for his loan, a


company which many now believe took a fair few people for a ride with


its seemingly too good to be true offers of credit. None of us will


be getting knighted. You are saying it I can get a car on credit?


you could. I could see a huge choice of cars and drive away the


same day? Yes, of course you could. He went to them and bought a car


which was �3600. They sold him on top of that, PPI for over �1000.


There was more insurance which was a good insurance which I think is


for mechanics. The total cost of that credit agreement then went to


�8600. While everything appeared rosy on the surface, behind the


scenes, Phil was struggling to meet the payments and some months later


the car was repossessed. Phil told Brenda the car loan company said


that would be the end of it. That �8000 debt continued to spiral to


the point where it could have bought that car. That car and that


car, all of three. �97,000 worth. In 2009, Phil was declared bankrupt


but it was a year when other tragedies would strike. Thank you


for the best holiday I have ever had. In November of that year, he


died suddenly. Two weeks after my sister died. Two weeks after her


funeral, he died. So I rang the Insolvency Agency and said, I Asim


that was the end of the matter because this bankruptcy was not by


bankruptcy, it was his. He said, no, the bankruptcy is now a years.


problem was that Brenda remortgaged her home to pay for a new kitchen


and some other bits and pieces. With any mortgage, she put Phil's


name on the deeds of the property which previously had been hers


alone. Unwittingly she became liable for his mounting debts. When


someone is made bankrupt, a trustee is appointed to take control of


assets and pay creditors. The trustee is entitled to be paid for


what is clearly a complex job. But how could a nearly �9,000 debt


multiply to over ten times the original sum. Sadly it's not an


uncommon story. It seems like they have this immense power, not only


to put you in a position where you are terrified, but in a position to


take everything you have worked for in your life. The worst times are


at the night times because you go to bed in terror. You get up in


terror. You have to face another day. There must be a time when you


have been thinking, why did I put him on the market? I know you did


it for the right reasons because he was the man you loved, you are


married to this man, you want him to part of your life. There must be


a time when you think, if only I hadn't done that. That's right. At


the beginning, I was so angry. I was upset and angry. He was beside


himself, he didn't know what to do. Originally he didn't tell me he was


bankrupt. He had letters, he was one of those people that if you put


it in a draw, it didn't exist. Meanwhile following a storm of


complaints, Yes Car shut up shop. Phil's car loan debt was bought by


another company, Go Debt Limited, who vigorously pursued the money.


With Phil's death and the surprise news that she had inherited nothing


but bankruptcy, came solicitors' bills, but one after another her


advisors all reached the same expensive conclusion. Her house had


to be sold. I go to work, I have never claimed benefits, so you had


to put this face on for work and do your job and then you would come


back on again. When you're in that situation, particularly when you


have a panic attack, your home is a sanctuary and they took a way that


security as well because I was afraid because by that time I had


got home, I thought they were going to take it from me. I had visions


of bailiffs banging down the door and coming in and saying, right,


and just add it to me. Nobody knows what the terror is like and they


are awful. Now all this didn't seem right to us when we heard Brenda's


story so we decided it was time to bring in an expert. He agreed to


look into Brenda's case for free, concerned that the bankruptcy


trustee was charging too much to sort out Phil's affairs. There was


one thing I was very secure about and that was this, � 97,000 ft on a


�6000 bankruptcy is not right and therefore there was going to be a


way of dealing with that and have either showing the trust deed that


this was not right and you would have to reduce it or showing a


judge that this was the case. The big message for this is that


Brendan didn't know which way to turn and therefore, should that


this was normal. She had a trustee telling her, this is the fee you


have to pay. She thought it was normal. I got a bill not long after


that said I had to pay �30,000. The next one was � 40,000. I had never


ever said there is nothing to pay but it has to be fair and relative


to what has happened. It isn't fair for him to take my home, take what


is owed by all means, but please don't take my home. It is wrong.


With Dean's intervention, the trustee agreed to reduce their


charges explaining that their costs had been significantly increased


because Brenda had several solicitors acting for her one after


another and that had created a long, repetitive and expensive workload.


After months of negotiation, Dean achieved what was near impossible.


The car loan is still to be paid off but it is more like �20,000 and


most importantly, Brenda's home is safe. Now I am really glad to say


that the situation now is that the trustees these are at �10,000,


we've got to pay the original petitioning creditor's these, that


is the car company and that is the end of it. But here is the biggest.


That I am most pleased to say, she is not losing her house. It remains


intact, no one will come after it, she does nobody any money any more


and she can get on with her life. The worst thing people can do, and


many people do it, is buried her head in the sand with debt. It


doesn't go away. It never does. It has to be dealt with and faced head


on. If it had not been for the intervention of the programme, I


wouldn't be sitting here now. I would not owned by on property and


it would have had to pay for something at the end of the day


that was not mine. All of that and all the panic and the terror, that


will never go away. The terror still haunts me. But now, at this


moment in time, I am elated. We're here to mark the 200


anniversary of a literary classic. Jane Austen spent her last days


just around the corner. But how relevant is her work. Would a group


of kids be too proud to enjoy it? This is Stanmore, a typical housing


estate on the edge of Winchester. Just up the road lived one of


England's most well-loved authors, Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice


was recently voted the nation's favourite novel. But is it still a


It's not really my type of thing. I don't see the point. As an 18-year-


old MC, Dale might not realise it but his word play could make him


quite the Mr Darcy. I've read one book I can remember. And there's


14-year-old Kelsey. Currently doing her GCSEs at Kings' School in


Winchester. Reading is not that important to me because I have got


better things to do like socialising with my friends, going


out, having fun, so I'm not really interested in the older books.


them hang out here. We have thrown down a Regency gauntlet,


challenging them to drop their prejudice and take pride in their


local literary legend. We're taking them on a whistlestop tour to


discover Jane Austen's witty and wise words. But will generation


text click and like, or just LOL? First stop, the Dolphin Hotel in


Southampton where it's believed Jane Austen celebrated her 18th


birthday. So what can our new literary critics tell us? She is


dead. She was born in 1775. Has she got Twitter? In her lifetime, she


completed six novels. How old would she be right now? Pretty good. But


Google won't help them now. Time to hand over the phones cos we've


lined up a little surprise. And here it is. The Regency dancers to


recreate the get-togethers Jane Austen wrote about in pride and


This is from the old school, when they used to do it. I am amazed at


this stuff. That's crazy. assembly's happened once a week


here at the Dolphin Hotel. If you wanted to get your daughters


married, then this was the place you would hopefully get them to


meet an eligible bachelor. We have got some costumes for you to wear


to give you the impression of being back to 100 years ago, so you get


an idea. Forget Gangham style. This is all about Regency Style! Why are


old jackets so hard? They've got the look but have they got the


moves? Time to partner up and put their best foot forward. Just as


Elizabeth and Darcy did at Ladies look diagonally. Go right to


your partner. Getting line. Once they got engaged in it, they could


see some of the Graces that were expected of young people at that


time. It is very different. I think they coped with it very well indeed.


I never seen anything like that before. I may have seen it on TV,


but I would never have put us here doing that. Literally never, ever.


Jane Austen never married, but her characters in Pride And Prejudice


did. Mrs Bennett was desperate to marry off her five daughters to


wealthy men. Back then there were two societies. Rich people and poor


people. Now there's loads of different categories. Your parents


would pass him over to someone who they thought was right for you.


Your family ain't got money so you're not marrying my daughter.


Even though you are madly in love. With the themes of Pride And


Prejudice firmly in their minds, it's time to find out more about


Jane Austen at her former home in the Hampshire village of Chawton.


wouldn't mind living in a place like this in the 1700s. Hello,


everybody. I am a Louise and I and the curator at Jane Austen's house


and this is where she lived for the last eight years of her life, and


it's really important because it is where she did nearly all of her


writing. What I really want to show you in here, this little table.


What do you think about it? Beautiful. It is very small.


doesn't look like something you would right-on. This letter was


written by Jane Austen at 200 years ago. And it is telling her sister


that she has got her first copy of pride and prejudice. She calls it


her darling child from London. We talked about the fact she didn't


get married and have children. books were her kids. I think it was


when you are looking at the letter, they got the fact that it was


authentic, that was the actual writing, which is brilliant,


because that's the bit which gets me every time. That is Jane


Austen's father as her. It's interesting they have original


stuff and copies and they kept their hair, which is weird now.


was interesting, yes. I've never seen anything like that. So some of


the things in there, you didn't think they would still be alive,


the table that she wrote on for so Powell does that table? I wouldn't


ever think, I'm going to go to Jane Austen's house. With the history


behind them, we're in search of a more modern take on Pride And


Prejudice. We've come to Orbital Comics to show our teenagers that


reading doesn't have to be boring. In an attempt to bring the 200-


year-old novel up to date, Pride And Prejudice has recently been


rewritten, brazenly throwing in zombies to entice a different sort


The joy about mash-ups. It's the fact you get to take established


characters, characters people know, and place them in these situations


and, because of the fact you have this unknown it with the unknown,


it gives a more visceral reading experience. Pushing it one tap --


step further, Tony Lee adapted Pride and Prejudice And Zombies


into a graphic novel and thinks the mash-up is a gateway to the


original text. Graphic novels can provide something more visual,


especially with pride and prejudice and zombies. You also have an


injures. It's something kids can get into. But is mixing Mr Darcy


with the undead, a literary sacrilege? Ewan Morrison certainly


thinks so. The longer form of the book narrative can't sustain the


mash up. It is quite irreverent. You'd take one thing from one


context and prodded against another. It is like a single line a joke


which has gone on for too long. joke or not, the comics are


tempting our reluctant readers. This is the quietest they've been


all day. It's colourful. When you go into a bookshop, it's boring,


not some way you want to be. In here, it's a lot more exciting and


you want to read everything. There's an argument that you can


lead children into reading classic books by segueing in through mass


cultural products, but this does not lead to towards pride and


prejudice. It probably doesn't give you any insight into any of the


tensions, the social tensions, which exist in the book. At the end


of the day, reading his reading. I went from comics into adaptations


of books, in two books themselves, and if that's the lazy way to read,


I'm happy to carry on doing that. It is its 200 anniversary, has what


you have learned over the last couple of places you have been too,


when you danced and enter the museum, and been here, has that


changed? Yes. It's made me want to read it more but I would rather


read the comic-book version. don't know if I want to read it. I


want to watch the DVD first. It has inspired us to learn about it,


hasn't it? I thought it was going to be some old fashioned book which


would be really boring but it's been really interesting. I did a


judge it because its 200 years ago, but it's made me want to read it


more and watch the film. And a tell other people about it. Jane Austen


knew better than most that pride and prejudice can be overcome. It


seems 200 years on, the message is still getting through. It's only


just gone into 2013, but this will If that inspired you, why not put


virtual pen to paper and send us a message. Finally tonight, the


financial crisis is rarely out of the news at the moment but one


solution to the problem is proving particularly controversial. The


sell-off of successful farms owned by the council putting tenant


The County farms service dates back to 1908. In a bid to combat rural


depopulation, councils bought farms and offered them for rent,


providing opportunities for people who wanted to farm but who couldn't


afford a farm of their own. And so it has remained for a century right


across the UK. Until now. Devon is amongst a handful of local


authorities who still offer farms to let. Lower Farm in High


Bickington is one of 75 that they own. With the current farmer


retiring, there's an opportunity here for somebody new. Our I'm


struck I'm struck by the side of the crowd. Those people of all ages


and this is for a relatively small 85 acre farm. We will almost


certainly have to draw up a shortlist of candidate to take


forward for interview. It's a stepping stone. The idea of these


farms is to get you up and running into farming. Without the stepping-


stone of County farms, getting your own farm can cost a fortune. Is it


possible how much this farm costs to rent as opposed to the value of


the farm to buy privately? �10,000 a year to rent this farm. To buy,


current land value, around �10,000 an acre, three-quarters of a


million? I'm heading across the border into Somerset. The council


takes a very different view of its County Farm estate. This farm is


near Ilminster or owned by Somerset County Council but for the last 12


years, run by its tenant,. The tiny just the 8 o'clock which means,


just like every morning, milking will be under way. It's one of


those jobs you have got to want to do. But what have always wanted to


do really. But David's days here are numbered. Somerset County


Council has decided to sell half its County farms and Davids is on


the list. When the land has gone, everything will be gone. What is to


stop you buying it? Nothing only the price. We have been offered it.


How much do they want for it? want �1,085,000 for it. And that's


not an option for you? If I had �1,085,000 I wouldn't be a tenant


farmer really. Why are Somerset selling so many of their farms?


I've come to Dillington House, where the councillor who instigated


the sell-off is attending a budget meeting. The Council currently has


a debt of �354 million. The farmers in some ways were the first victims


of the financial crisis in Somerset. Our tenant farmers. Because they


were the first to see that their livelihoods might be under threat


because of the financial pressure that we're into. We cannot borrow


any more money. We have to sell assets. The majority of the assets


that we are selling currently are the county farms. We are very lucky


we have the most beautiful county and working farms make it tick.


Selling assets is also part of Dorset County Council's approach


but with a difference. Here at Yardsgrove Farm near Sturminster


Newton, as they've done across the county, the council is selling this


large expensive farm house. But keeping the land. With the profit


from the sale, half goes into council coffers and half goes into


a modern house for the farmer and improving the farms. If you're a


young couple starting out on a farm, you don't need a hulking great


farmhouse. What you need are good facilities. You need the best


facilities to have the best opportunity of making your business,


which is farming, succeed. I wonder what Dorsets tenants think? Having


proved themselves on a small starter farm, Louise and Luke


Trowbridge and family moved to Provost Farm, near Shaftesbury,


three years ago. They may not have a manor sized farmhouse but they do


have some spanking new sheds. So this is very impressive new looking


shed. Did you build this? Half of it was here and we put up the other


half. The council have helped us with the structural work and we've


put in labour. So they haven't quite matched us pound for pound.


People do generally think that it's subsidised by the council like a


council house but it's a completely different estate. These are


businesses. We employ local people, tradesmen that have helped build


this barn. They're all local from Dorset, so it's all creating money.


So it's all a positive thing for our area. Would you have been able


to grow this farm if hadn't been for the opportunity of County


Farms? No. So, no county farms, no farm for you at all. No. To date


Somerset have sold 16 farms and made �12.2 million through selling


its old farm houses. Dorset has raised �12.9 million and kept its


estate. Each make a profit of around half a million a year from


rent. I wonder why Somerset aren't following Dorset's approach? Once


it is sold, it is sold. They can only sell at once and then they


will want money for something else. If they sell off the farm, you lose


the rent as well, so I think it's Keep us busy with your e-mails. I


will see you next time. Next week, shocking attacks on guide dogs


caught on CCTV. One local woman tells of the devastating effects it


can have. The owners of the Dogger couldn't get their dog under


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