04/02/2013 Inside Out South


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 04/02/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello and welcome to Inside Out from Bournemouth, with lots to tell


you about. Marks & Spencer in the firing line.


A �1 million fine for asbestos breaches. We reveal the company was


warned of problems eight years earlier.


Wildlife disaster on the South Coast - how to protect our seabirds


and our seas. These wild animals should be up there living their own


lives and we are intervening. We should not be doing that. They are


playing around in the surf for quite a while and it is exhausting.


They are very graceful in the water normally.


And shocking a tax on denied talks court on CCTV. Hampshire woman


talks of the devastating effects. - - attacks on guide dogs. They


started punching the dog in the head to get it to let go. They


pushed us in the head several times. This is Inside Out for the South of


First tonight, managers turned a blind eye to complaints about


asbestos and shoppers are right to be anxious whether they breathed in


potentially lethal asbestos fibre. That is the view of a judge as he


handed down a �1 million fine to one of Britain's best-known


retailers after health and safety breaches at a Reading store. Now


Inside Out is asking whether the problem was confined to just one


Marks & Spencer outlet. Freda Hughes worked at Marks &


Spencer in Foxton in Kent from 1971-1986. During that time, there


was renovation work involving asbestos next to the canteen and


stock rooms. The only route to go to the canteen or the toilet was a


vile weather work was being carried out on the floor above. In 2007,


Freda developed mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos. She


found out the exposure may have been at M&S. It was only because


she met the local chemist and hairdresser who were reading the


local newspaper saying the store had asbestos in it. She had not


been exposed anywhere else. M&S paid Freda a substantial amount of


compensation. She died from mesothelioma in 2011. If you look


back into the 1960s, 70s and 80s, it is possible that staff were


exposed to asbestos in our stores. It is clear society did not


understand the risks as we do today. It is tragic that our staff and


colleagues were affected in this way. Any illness relating to


asbestos is terrible and we did make compensation and that is


absolutely right. I am clear that our society has learned and we have


learned, our policies have become industry leading. Freda is one of a


number of people who it is claimed to develop asbestos related disease


from working at a mess. -- developed. Pieter Pipping from


Milton Keynes was a warehouse manager at M&S from the 1960s to


the 1990s. My dad was totally dedicated to me and my sister. His


working life was Marks & Spencer. Pieter suffered from rheumatoid


arthritis. In 2010, he was diagnosed with asbestos related


diffuse pleural thickening. He believes he may have been exposed


to asbestos at five M&S stores including Maidenhead, Windsor and


Kilburn. A few descried two people working, splashing down ceilings,


taking cladding off walls and columns and all of that was made of


asbestos. -- he described people working. He died from a heart


attack in May last year before he could pursue his claim for


compensation. M&S says it was not responsible in any way for Pieter


Pipping's asbestos exposure. Most of our major retailers have stores


that contain asbestos. Some have even been fined for breaching


regulations. They include house of Fraser, the Co-op, Top Shop and


John Lewis. But evidence we have of how M and S and some of its


detractors have handled asbestos in some of its stores is worrying. It


suggests that the risks to customers, staff and contractors


may not have been fully acknowledged. One case in


particular is concerning. In 1998, M&S refurbishes its flagship store


at Marble Arch in London. William Wallace, health and safety officer,


is horrified by what he sees. were asbestos mine fields for the


want of a better phrase. You could not have guaranteed the safety of


anybody. He says he flags at the safety problems with little effect


and so begins copying pages of reports left by the day and night


shifts for the construction manager. This report from April 1998 says


the day shift has done it again. Cladding has been stripped with a


sledgehammer. Asbestos is everywhere. It is the third


occasion in a week where they have had to clear up after a dangerous


occurrence. Somebody has to control the day shift if they do not want


the store closed and the NHK -- the HSE crawling all over them.


Scandalous. I recommended that all areas where it is believed there


was asbestos should be handed over to license asbestos removal us.


wrote to the M&S chairman and chief executive Sir Richard Greenbury and


met senior M&S managers. M&S says it takes the matter seriously and


is ticking the appropriate action. So what action did it take? Those


allegations sound worrying but until that time, 15 years ago,


thorough investigations had been taken. They were investigated three


months afterwards and I have spoken to those individuals who found no


case whatsoever to say that any member of staff or any member of


the public was at risk. M&S also says William Wallace was mistaken


about which materials may have contained asbestos. We understand


there was not asbestos. We invited him in. We met him in a third party


location. His claims were discussed. William Wallace went away, we think,


happy. At the same time, he was invited to take his concerns to the


Health and Safety Executive but did not do that so we believe there was


no case to answer. In 2006, William Wallace begins working as a safety


contractor for and company refurbishing M&S Reading. He is


horrified by what he sees. There was very Biddle control on the


various contractors being asked to work within the ceiling voids. I


found other reports of instances that had occurred. Very frightening.


Scary, really. Following a tip-off. The Health and Safety Executive has


whips on the Reading store. M&S and two contract as are prosecuted.


Among the witnesses in 2011, this building worker. He fears being


blacklisted by the industry so we have disguise his identity. He


described to the court a girl stacking sandwich packs. You could


see the dust falling on the skull. We asked her to move somewhere else.


She would not because she was -- the manager responsible for the


rebuilding of the shelves went ballistic at us. He sent her back.


The hardboard bell at of the ceiling, narrowly missing a small


child. You would have to say that that child would have had asbestos


from the dust, as would the mother and anybody else in that area.


court, Marks & Spencer tried to blame its contract as for all of


the problems. We are clear that the implementation of our policy at


Reading was not correct. We will make sure that never happens again.


We will check thoroughly that the policy is being implemented. We are


clear that our policy today is leading standard in the industry.


Yet fans were switched on in a roof where there was potentially


asbestos that could have been taken into the rest of the store. This is


regrettable. The implementation of policy was not done in Reading. We


are sorry about that and have taken steps to make sure it never happens


again. M&S was found guilty of asbestos breaches in Reading. It


was fined �1 million and ordered to pay �600,000 in costs. His Honour


Judge Christopher Harvey Clark said there had been a systemic failure


by M&S management. Their response to asbestos safety complaints had


been to turn a blind eye to what was happening. That was because the


asbestos work was already costing the company too much. To keep


profits as high as reasonably possible, insufficient time and


space were allocated to asbestos removal. M&S has never ever put


profit before safety. There was not a blind eye. Our investigations


were full and thorough. We had a very good policy which the judge


described as a sensible and practical. The implementation of


that policy was not good at Reading and we are very sorry about that,


we regret it. We are disappointed by those, it's. The judge said


staff and shoppers have a right to be anxious about whether they have


breathed asbestos fibres and what effect that might have on their


well-being and future. But M&S disagrees. I think in Essex that


testimony at Reading, they would say that there was no risk to


customers or staff. -- expert testimony. Two contract as will


also find. The company was found not guilty of breaches of asbestos


regulations at its stores in Plymouth and Bournemouth. Every


year, more than 4,000 people die of mesothelioma and asbestos related


lung cancer. It can take decades to develop. The pace of the disease


means many people never know when or where they were exposed to


asbestos. For Marks & Spencer and the whole of the retail industry,


what happened 10, 20 or 30 years ago may still have an impact today.


Any suggestion contractors, customers or shopworkers were put


We will be following up that story here on Inside Out if you have a


story for me, drop me an e-mail. Still to come: Captured on CCTV -


attacks on guide dogs and the dreadful effects. But first, as


pollution kills of wildlife on the South coast, we ask what can be


done to track down who is A couple of the birds have just


come ashore onto the beach. They have been playing around in the


surf for quite a while and are exhausted. You can see the


contaminants sticking to their feathers. They have lost their


waterproofing and heating so they are sinking out of the sea. They


are not diving. They are dehydrated. Guillemots are very graceful in the


water normally, not just flapping around. They are on their last legs


almost. You can't help but be angry that this contaminant has got out


there. The animals should be out their living their own lives and we


are intervening. We should not be doing that. It is now five days


since the first: But it and the media descended on Chesil Beach,


where the birds are still being found. I tried to get to the bottom


of what has caused death so many seabirds. Hundreds have now been


found along the 200 mile stretch of the South coast, from as far west


as Cornwall to as far east as Sussex. They were all covered in a


mysterious oily substance. Wildlife photographer Steve Trewhella was


none of the first volunteers on the scene to rescue the birds, moving


between Chesil Beach and Paul and Bill. We are still getting these


guillemots coming up. They have a sticky substance that is holding


their feathers together. They cannot open their wings properly.


They are stuck together. It is burning their legs. I have noticed


some damage to their legs. I do not want to speculate as to what the


substances. I just want to get the birds off the rocks on the beaches


In Guillemots are the most common auk found in the British Isles. As


diving birds who also swim on the surface, they're particularly


susceptible to pollution. They're part of a major European study


which aims to clean up the seas and reduce the threat by 2020. The


thought is that if you've got healthy Guillemots, you've got


Guillemots are great survivors. In the spring, they gather in massive,


tightly-packed breeding colonies known as "loomeries", perched on


cliffs as they are here. The females lay a single egg directly


on a ledge. Because their eggs are conical in shape, they don't roll


off, but they can be attacked from the air, usually by crows. The


crows are pretty clever but it's hard for them to get at eggs when


the adults are in a row. There's safety in numbers. By sticking


together, they can protect their flanks, whilst other members of the


colony take it in turns to have a go at the crow. The crow has a


better chance if it targets an isolated bird. It dives for the


Guillemot's legs and tries to flick the egg off the ledge, but the


defending Guillemot hasn't given up. Another attack, and the crow is


This time, the Guillemot loses its It's all over. The egg is


unprotected and the crow escapes with his trophy. The debris from


similar attacks is scattered on cliff tops along the South Coast.


But while the Guillemot can do battle with natural predators, this


little fighter has little or no defence against pollution at sea.


This is only a small bird on the surface of the sea. They don't know


what man-made things are, really. Everything they see floating is


edible, and everything they swim into his natural. It is the only


the last few hundred years that they have had to contend with on


plastic. This bird will go into a box. There will probably squabble a


bitter and settle down, then the RSPCA will whizz them over to West


Hatch to be treated. Her view, by this afternoon, he will be having a


shower which he will not enjoy. But is is all we can do. I do not think


it is too much. At the end of the day, we caused the problem.


days, the contaminant covering the birds baffled experts. The RSPCA


have had to come up with a new way to get rid of it. In the end, they


used margarine followed by washing- up liquid. So what was this stuff?


Well, the first theory was palm oil, similar to the substance involved


in this pollution incident at Hayling Island two years ago. On


that occasion, it was caused by a Singaporean vessel called Pretty


Time which had washed its tanks at sea while anchored off the Isle of


Wight, something its owners lived to regret after they were fined


�20,000 and asked to pay �75,000 in costs. So what's happened this


time? The most likely occurrence is someone has washed out the tax of a


tanker. The substance has now been identified as a mineral oil. Marine


scientist Simon Boxhall says the illegal practice of washing tanks


out at sea could be responsible. Normally, that is done up in port


under controlled conditions. But it does have an impact on the


environment. It is cheaper and quicker if tanker owners and


skippers flush the tanks out at sea. It is illegal to do that. If there


was an accidental this bill, it is behold on the skipper to report


that. This has not happened, obviously. In any event, this is


illegal. Either it is accidental or it is intentional, which is even


worse. So if it DID come from a tanker, which one? The English


Channel is one of the busiest shipping routes in the world.


big question is, surely we can find out where this all of slickers? You


have to bear in mind that the channel is 30,000 square miles. We


are looking at a slip that will be at most, one square mile. We really


are looking at a needle in a haystack. The Maritime and


Coastguard Agency has sent an aircraft up to search for the slick


but couldn't find anything. If it's there, it may be hidden below the


surface of the sea. The Agency says proving which vessel it came from


won't be easy. To find the source... I couldn't speculate how long it


would take. You don't know where it entered the water in the first


place. It could be just below the water. We are used to identifying a


spill from a known source. But we don't know where it is. We are


literally thrashing around in the dark. At least the latest lab tests


seem to have taken us closer to what the contaminant is. Perhaps


that will give the authorities the clue they need. More tests can be


done on the substance. It is a refined mineral oil, so it is the


liquid version of something like petroleum. We need to do more


analysis and tracking back to the shipping movements in the Channel.


It will be difficult but it can be done. Techniques have improved


markedly over the last decade. There HAS been a huge reduction in


shipping pollution in recent years and the Maritime and Coastguard


Agency says it's doing all it can to make ships in our waters know


they can't treat the English Channel as a dumping ground. There


is an enormous amount of effort going out there so that the Masters,


owners of these vessels, they know that surveillance is occurring. And


therefore, they know they must be more careful or more safety


conscious. But some say more needs to be done because even with


surveillance, operations and the option of legal action, when it


happens at sea, very few pollution cases like this actually get to


court. With any industry, you will always get rogues. And until we


have the necessary legal framework, or we will always have this problem.


All marine litter and pollution needs to be sourced otherwise you


cannot prevent it from happening. I have an interest in finding out


what the police Shamir's, and we try and raise as much awareness as


possible to get it stopped. This is all avoidable. There is no reason


why this should happen. It is either human error or malicious,


and if it is militias, there is no excuse.


You can tweet your thoughts on that or any of tonight's stories: The


number of attacks on Guide Dogs for the Blind by other dogs is on the


increase. It has a devastating effect not only on the animals but


Richard Wise and his guide dog, Scrumpy, were paying a routine


visit to their local post office in Coventry. It's a journey they'd


made many times but they weren't prepared for what was about to


He just locked onto scrumpy come under his neck. It seemed maternity.


The stress was considerable. Scrumpy was under a lot of stress


as well. I couldn't see properly to see what was going on, but I did


know the door was locked on. These attacks are taking place all over


the country. Here, captured on CCTV, a Pit Bull has sunk his teeth into


a Labrador guide dog called Neela. In a frenzy of kicks and punches,


the Pit Bull owner eventually In Southampton, Jemma Brown has


suffered six atacks on her guide dog, Gus. The worst one happened


right outside this coffee shop in the town centre.? All of a sudden,


I was aware there was a dog charging towards us. I really have


a limited amount of sight, and I try to step in front of it, but I


failed. It grabbed Gus by the throat. The owners could not get


their doctor let go. They started punching their dog and the head to


try and get it to let go. In the process, they punched Gus and the


head. It may sound incredible, but the Guide Dogs Association say


there've been more than 180 attacks since 2010. Last year alone, six


guide dogs were forced to retire because of the physical and


psychological damage caused by these attacks. We know we were


absolutely shocked and appalled. How can dog-owners be so


irresponsible in relation to the control of their dogs? These


attacks caused physical scarring but also psychological scarring.


Not only that, but while the dogs are not working, the guide dog


owners cannot go out and work. In fact, they are like been prisoners


in their own home. It costs something like �50,000 to train a


guide dog and all of that investment can be thrown away with


a single attack. Lottie is one of the casualties. Now retired after


an attack which changed her temperament, she became aggressive


and now has to be muzzled. It costs guide dogs are �136,000, money that


has been hard earned through fundraisers and people who have


donated. These attacks leave a deep psychological scar for both the


guide dog and the owner. They live with the constant fear of another


attack. Whenever I go out, I am living with the fear of being


attacked. The knock-on effect of that is that is affecting my


mobility. Richard has recently suffered a second attack, knocking


him and Scrumpy to the ground. It's left Scrumpy feeling,


understandably, very nervous. you can see, he has stopped working


because he has seen a dog. In this situation, what I normally do is


stop, ask the person holding the dog if he is on the lead. If he is


on a lead, I Walker through slowly. That allows him to get his


confidence back. And that has only happened since the attack? Since


the attack. He sees another dog as a threat, and every dog PCTs, he


thinks he will be attacked. Jemma Brown's dog, Gus, is recovering


well but he still needs regular check-ups at the vet's. He was


treated here after one of the six attacks he's suffered. With Gus's


Doc -- job, if the wind had been deeper, it could have injured the


eyeball itself, and that could have been a career at ending of injury


for him. It's thought that what makes dogs like Gus so good at


their job - being passive, submissive and caring - is also


making them vulnerable to attack. With Gus in particular, his body


language is such that he project's not been very confident around


other dogs, and that is why they keep picking on him. We would like


to see changes in the law. We would like the police to be more


proactive, to be able to press charges, where dangerous Dogs are


arrested. Scrumpy will get over coming to the Post Office, as long


as they are not other dogs around, but the long-term effects of his


confidence around other dogs will be probably for the rest of his


We will have more stories for the South for new the same time, her


next week. Next time: We were completely


Download Subtitles