02/03/2017 BBC Wales Today


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Tonight's headlines: The Caerphilly Council members


who awarded themselves hefty pay rises.


Now it's revealed the three year dispute has cost almost ?3 million.


It means the cost to every household here in Caerphilly is more than ?30


Riot police out in Newport last year.


There was significantly more anti-social behaviour per person


The call for more support for children when family breakdowns


We took a long time to recognise what we now see as child abuse and


this is a severe form of child emotional abuse.


We're on the buses to find out how daily journeys could change


with the proposed Metro for North East Wales.


And the D-Day landings of World War Two.


Three veterans from South Wales are awarded France's highest honour.


Four years ago, Caerphilly Council suspended three senior staff members


after an investigation claimed they'd given themselves pay rises,


a move the Wales Audit Office called unlawful.


Tonight, it's emerged the cost of suspending them on full pay


and legal fees is set to rise to nearly ?2.8 million.


Here's our political editor Nick Servini.


It's the longest running pay dispute of its kind in Welsh local


government at the moment and tonight the course is heading towards the 3


million mark. This story began four years ago when the council's three


most senior officers, the Chief Executive Anthony O'Sullivan, his


deputy Nigel Barnett and the head of legal services Daniel Perkins, had


large pay rises approved in a meeting that was not open to the


public. The assistant auditor general for Wales Anthony Barrett


decided to investigate and didn't like what he saw. In March 2013 he


published a report saying they were inadequacies in the wake Caerphilly


council worked out chief officer pay and said it had acted unlawfully.


The officers were suspended and charged by police with misconduct in


public office. Eventually the case arrived at Bristol Crown Court but


not for long. After a two-year investigation a judge dismissed the


case saying there wasn't enough evidence for a jury to find the men


guilty. The Leader of the Opposition grew but the council says this story


has become a doorstep issue. For council taxpayers across the county


borough. It has been never-ending and unfortunately there is no end in


sight. This could go on until after the election. It is ridiculous that


you can get into this situation with costs escalating out of control. One


Labour councillor claimed that while it's been a long-running party


problem lied Camry cannot wash its hand of the affair either. The


deputy leader of Plaid Cymru was on the committee which met in 2012 and


he knew about it. If he had said something sooner we could have dealt


with it in September 20 12. But you know Labour run this council and


Labour will have to face up to most of the responsibility. And Labour


apologised to the public in December 20 12. Then it took steps to reduce


the amount of pay that was awarded at the time. Caerphilly councillor


has now begun its own investigation into the offices and says it was


important to note that a portion of the costs were incurred during the


police investigation which lasted for two years. During this time the


council was advised it was unable to undertake its own proceedings and


therefore the timescales have extended beyond the original


anticipation. And so the saga surrounding the top three council


officials in Caerphilly continues with no immediate end in sight and


council elections around the corner. Nick, many people will be surprised


at just how long That's right. We are heading into


council election season which means we have 22 separate apples and


separate dynamics going on right across Wales. But there is nothing


quite like this going on anywhere else. To have the three most senior


officials now on paid leave for that period of time and a variety of


enquiries with the bill getting up to ?3 million. Traditionally


internal disciplinary matters particularly in relation to


officials does not really have much traction with the public, but when


it's costing the equivalent of ?32 for every household it's the kind of


thing that gets talked about a lot. That is the problem for the Labour


administration running this council. Plaid Cymru was to run this and it


will be a top target authority for Plaid Cymru and the election. When


Plaid Cymru meets just down the road for their spring conference tomorrow


they will be looking to take advantage of it. But in truth no one


really comes out particularly well from this and the remarkable thing


about it is that it is still not coming to an end. For everyone I


have spoken to, no one is expecting it to come to an end soon.


There was significantly more anti-social behaviour


per person in Gwent last year than the rest of Wales.


That's according to a report by the police watchdog.


Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary also found


Dyfed Powys Police needs to improve when it comes to keeping people


But how effective are they at protecting us from crime?


Fires started in a busy Newport street.


The police watchdog says there was more antisocial behaviour


per person in Gwent in the twelve months to March last year


I meet residents groups and we encourage them to report areas of


crime. I am not too worried about the figures. We want to reduce them


of course and we will accept ways of doing it but it is a partnership


matter. With this report we're


able to produce a simple Its officers sometimes don't


have the skills to deal And crucially the force needs


to improve its investigations. I accept the report and understand


we do have areas for improvement but I am motivated to try and respond to


the report and look for areas we can improve and hopefully get to a


position where Dyfed-Powys Police has more positive reports in the


future. North Wales Police needs to get


better at protecting There are also more organised crime


groups per person in its area than anywhere else


in Wales, influenced Gwent Police is said


to have a limited understanding And South Wales Police did well


in all of four key categories. Although, it could improve the way


cases are handed over. This policing expert says


forces are trying to adapt What they have flagged up is a need


for an increase in the number of detectives rather than uniformed


police officers. When you're talking about child protection, these are


complex and difficult cases to tackle. We have seen a decline in


the number of detectives in the preservice over the last 15 years.


The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner says he's


encouraged by this report, but says there's always


Three of the forces were found to be good overall at keeping people safe.


South Wales being the best, Dyfed Powys requiring


Overall it paints a good picture of policing in Wales,


A tribunal has heard allegations that Cardiff councillor


and Assembly Member Neil McEvoy made "a threat" against


The Adjudication Panel for Wales is considering whether the Plaid Cymru


AM for South Wales Central has breached


New standards for teachers in Wales have been unveiled


Kirsty Williams says the current standards are outdated and no


They set out who can be a teacher or headteacher and what is expected


The break-up of many relationships can be painful for children


but what happens when one parent deliberately turns a child


Research suggest thousands of children across Wales


are experiencing what's been called Parental Alienation.


It's prompted calls for front-line staff here to be given training


to help identify cases and for the impact it can


When parents go their separate ways it's often the children left in the


middle who suffer the most. And the threat of parental alienation say


experts is a real one. This is when the behaviour of one parent turns


the child against the other. It affects fathers and mothers equally.


But it can also put children at risk of serious emotional harm. Stephen


is from south Wales, we have hidden his identity to protect his child,


for almost a year he has been locked in a to battle with his ex-partner


or the contact time with his daughter. Stephen says his


daughter's mother has tried to alienate him. It's heartbreaking. I


think of my daughter every day. We weren't one of those stayed in the


house people we did everything together. When it comes to the


birthdays and things she says she can still the days because she has


not seen a father. Stephen says false allegations have been made


against him. This has meant weeks going without seeing his daughter.


It totally turns your life upside down. I ended up suicidal. I am a


father and like all the other parents out there fighting to see


their children. One expert has told this programme she believes front


line staff should be better informed about the part of parental


alienation. I think it should be a requirement that the issues of the


rental alienation and this complex dynamic which occurs is taught to


front line stamp -- staff. This is a severe form of child emotional


abuse. It needs to be recognised along with other types of child


abuse. In some countries governments legislate against those who choose


to alienate a parent. In Mexico parents were guilty of such


behaviour are sent to prison. But there are those who don't recognise


parental alienation as a form of abuse. In the UK some judges are


starting to do so but there is no formal legislation. There are also


concerns and legal professionals about the time it can take to


complete a report if one parent makes an allegation against the


other. If the allegations are unfounded but appear that remains


hostile to contact it can be months before a child sees the other parent


again. Often I find that cases take over six months to reach the final


stage where hearing will resolve the matter. Of course in that period if


there has been no contact whatsoever between a child and parent it is


absolutely atrocious for the child to re-establish that relationship.


Speaking on behalf of the family Court support service in Wales the


Welsh Government says it recognises the impact parental separation can


have on children and is developing information and advice services


appearance. As calls grow for legal recognition of parental alienation


for now Stephen like other parents vow not to give up their fight.


Still to come: A BBC poll shows television news is still the first


place most of us turn to to find out what's going on in the world.


One of three World War veterans from South Wales given France's


highest honour for their role in the D-Day landings.


?50 million has been committed by the Welsh Government


for the development of a Metro transport network


They say it is vital to grow the economy and sustain links


Earlier, our reporter Roger Pinney met the economy secretary Ken Skates


in Rhyl and decided to test the existing system by travelling


there from his home by public transport.


Waiting for the 9.05 and at the bus stop some more regular


They are awkward times though, aren't they?


Yes, the times don't suit employment.


And there already one of the problems of using


They are not frequent, they don't always get


you where you want when you need to be there.


And so to the second leg of my journey by rail


from Colwyn Bay along the coast to Rhyl.


This is the mainline linking with regular stops


in North Wales to the north-west of England and London.


And in Rhyl you step off the train straight into a newly


The location of the bus station just outside the train


What would encourage you to use the trains?


If you went to Chester for example, would you drive?


Arriva, which operates the rail station, has just


The idea is to make links between rail and bus


There is even a touch-screen journey planner.


They call this rather grandly the Rhyl Interchange.


It will be a key hub in the even more grandly named


And that conjours up all sorts of images doesn't it.


Think Metro and you probably think of the tube or at


But that isn't what's planned for north-east Wales.


Rather, better integration between existing trains


Long-term, an electrified railway with improved cross-border links


But isn't calling it a Metro simply windowdressing?


This will receive a considerable amount of investment.


I have already stated that ?50 billion is going to be used


for the first phase of development of the North East Wales Metro.


It is a major long-term scheme which will unlock the potential


of the economy and meet the expectations of people who wish


to use public transport but at the moment find there are too


If the problem is to be solved both in terms of collectivity


into the Northern Powerhouse, as it's called, and also HS2


when it comes to Crewe, that's the kind of benefit


The expenditure is therefore very unlikely to be worth it.


In both directions the best part of 50,000 people make


the cross-border journey everyday, mostly by car.


Whatever you call it, the challenge for public transport


Delivering change will cost more than the ?50


Now as you are watching this programme you are probably


interested in what's happening across the country and a BBC poll


shows television news is still the first place most of us


TV is also considered to be the most trustworthy source for stories.


But it's facing growing competition online.


Our arts and media correspondent Huw Thomas has been


The poll for BBC Wales found 33% of us look at websites


Television is the most popular source of news,


with watching news programmes like this one.


But compared to last year it's down 7%.


The declining appeal of newspapers is shown with those picking up


a paper down 1% since last year and symptomatic of the


But finding news sources we can trust means we're still relying


on traditional media, rather than the web.


An overwhelming 44% of people said television news was the source


they trusted the most to tell them the truth about the news.


By contrast, just 19% of us trust websites and social media.


It's the first time the poll has asked people about trust


but the experts say it's an important consideration


With the rise of social media everybody's News publisher so


everybody shares information but not necessarily that verification


processes on the part of that any more so it's really important that


you will understand and education is a big part of it. Just because


something is said doesn't mean it's true.


We've never had so much choice about where we get our news.


But it's forcing us to think even harder


about where to look, and who to trust.


People living in Chirk near Wrexham are considering legal action


against a wood panel manufacturer, which they blame for chronic dust


The company, Kronospan, says it's committed to reducing


the impact of its activities on the environment and local people.


Suzanne Newell thinks she spends more time cleaning


She lives in Chirk, less than a mile from the wood panel


It's been a massive part of the village since 1972


and employs 600 people, but many residents say they're fed


up of a fine layer of wood dust landing on every surface


It's frustrating that you can't always have your windows open. You


clean your windows and you have dust. Everywhere gets test but not


like we have it. 71 families have sought


legal advice to see Those who have been affected are


being urged to attend drop in sessions but by a firm of


solicitors. If enough people get in contact legal action will be


launched which could force the company to act.


Residents know how important the company is to Chirk but want


to express their frustration at being shrouded


I have come to make a stand because it's about time something was done.


Every year is the same. We should make a stand.


The lawyers say it may not be necessary to fight


In past cases we have been able to work agree a compromise. If we are


unable to agree steps will be taken by the site operators and we can


apply to the court and ask them to make an injection compelling the


site operator to bring the dust nuisance to an end.


The company says it meets environmental standards


and its emissions are being independently monitored.


It also points to improvement work which is about to get underway.


We are in the process of investing ?150 million to modernise this site.


That is going to bring a number of benefits. Obviously from the local


community's point of view it will reduce our impact on them and the


environment and also of course we will secure the long-term future of


the site. Chirk and Kronospan


are inextricably linked. Villagers are hoping


the relationship will improve once Two cities from Wales are bidding


to become the next UK Swansea joins the list


which includes Perth, as well as St David's


in Pembrokeshire. Some football news and Gareth Bale


has apologised after being sent off last night during Real Madrid's 3-3


draw against Las Palmas. Bale was shown a straight red card


for pushing an opponent. A ban for Bale could be good news


for Wales ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifier against Ireland


later this month. Meanwhile, following an injury,


Aaron Ramsey is taking part in full training ahead of Arsenal's game


against Liverpool on Saturday. Three World War Two veterans


from South Wales have been awarded France's highest honour


in recognition of their role Peter Horn, Raymond Simmons


and John Price were presented with the Legion d'Honneur


at a special ceremony in Cardiff, believed to be the last


of its kind in Wales to commemorate their efforts


during the D-Day Landings. This is it. They are on the beach.


All in all over 150,000 Allied forces would land on the shores of


Normandy on D-Day. Amongst them these three, presented today with


France's highest honour for their efforts on the 6th of June 1944. I


was in the Royal Navy and they were shells going over the top.


Originally from Brighton but now living in Caldicot 95-year-old


Raymond Simmons joined the Navy at 18. Quinta do his bit for King and


country. He certainly did at Normandy. Arguably the pivotal


moment in the Second World War. Did it feel like that at the time? No.


The 91-year-old from Bridgend is now one of 300 in Wales to have been


awarded the Legion d'Honneur. I remember during the night when we


were going over there were aircraft in the air, hundreds of aircraft.


Was it scary? On occasions, yes. When you are in a situation like


that I don't think you have time to think about it. But officials had


been thinking about it for some time. Around a year in the planning


it remains the largest sea invasion in history. We landed at 6:30am in


the morning and the adrenaline was working all the time. I was 23 years


of age. 95 years old by now, Peter Horne from Cwmbran served in the


Army at the time. What is it mean to you to be honoured today?


Marvellous. It brings back so many memories. And today was certainly


another day to remember. Time for the weather forecast now. There was


some lovely sunshine today. It has been a bright and blustery


day for most of us but tomorrow they will be rain at times. It


deteriorates tonight. These fronts will bring further wet and windy


weather at times. Tonight might start drive but some showers and


heavier rain pushing in from the south and west overnight. Southerly


winds. Not quite as cold as last night. Tomorrow, driest in the


north-east and then out bits of rain. Some heavy bursts at times.


That rain more than in north eastwards. Some drier spells in


between but remaining overcast the mother of Wales. Tomorrow night the


rain continues on and off moving northwards but remaining misty and


murky overnight. Not as cold as recent nights. Then we keep this


changeable Atlantic influence into the weekend with friends moving in


from the west bringing and settled weather at times. Heavier rain on


Sunday. A few bright spells early on Saturday and the odd shower. Moving


northwards but dry weather in between. Then Sunday might start


drive in the north-east but likely to see more heavy rain pushing in


from the south-west during the day. Eventually clearing in the


afternoon. After a bright and breezy on today, looking more unsettled


over the next few days. Some try spells over the weekend with rain at


times. Today's picture, snow on the peaks in the Brecon Beacons taken by


Rob Davies. That is Wales today. We will have an


update at 8pm and more after the BBC News at 10pm. From all of us here,


have a good evening.


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