The latest news, sport and weather for the East Midlands.
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reversed. Kim Ghattas, BBC News, New York
And now the news for the East Midlands, I'm Quentin Rayner.
First tonight, the government's Energy Minister has been urged to
safeguard a ?20 million rescue operation to maintain output at the
region's last deep coal mind.UK Coal wants to close Thoresby in
Nottinghamshire by the end of next year, with the loss of 600 jobs The
Government says it will provide ?10 million of the rescue package, but
it has to be matched by ?10 million from the private sector. Thd mining
group Hargreaves Services h`d offered to put in ?5 million, but
Today, on a visit to Nottingham the Labour Party leader Ed Liliband
urged the government to takd immediate action.
The government needs to get stuck in because the jobs that Thoresby are
really important and we need big government talking to UK co`l and
seeing if anything can be done in Europe. They should make sure that
if anybody is made redundant there is proper help and support.
Earlier this evening the Shdrwood MP Mark Spencer had a meeting with
the Energy Minister Michael Fallon and he's with us now.
He told me that the governmdnt is still willing to support it and they
are keen to make it work and the ?10 million is still on the table but we
need to find a new partner to help the company continue to produce coal
and make a profit. How optilistic are you finding a new partndr? It is
very delicate and a tricky situation. I have sat on thd sofa
before and explained what a complicated deal this is and as I
have said we are not over the first line, we need to make sure the deal
comes together before we thhnk about anything else. UK coal has `lways
said in the past that if it does not pull through day, as a comp`ny, will
go into liquidation and Thoresby will close immediately. How close
are we to the collapse of the deal? We are some way off that because the
people at Thoresby are workhng very hard and pulling the coal ott of the
ground and making a margin so there is enough cash to keep the company
going in the short term but in the medium term as it gets more
challenging they will be short of cash but that does not mean they
will not make a profit but they will run out of money at some pohnt in
the future. Wide as the govdrnment not, with a full ?20 million worth
of cash. It is not just abott money it is about the expertise. The
government cannot said the company to run it itself and we need to find
a new partner with mining expertise that will come in and close down UK
coal and we can move forward as we wanted.
Next tonight fire crews frol across the East Midlands ard
about halfway through their latest strike over their pensions.
They walked out at 9 o'clock this morning for
It's the 13th time they've staged industrial action over
At nine o'clock this morning firefighters picked up their
placards and walked out of their fire stations. Contingency plans to
cover emergency is what put into place. Normally we would have 3
fire engines but at the momdnt we have seven and we will remahn at
seven throughout the 24 hours of the strike period. On top of th`t we do
not have the ability to mobhlise our specialist appliances like platforms
that can go up higher and specialist pumping vehicles. We are down to a
skeleton contingency arrangdment. At the clock tower in Leicester members
of the Fire Brigades Union staged a rally to raise awareness of their
fight. Members of the public had mixed views. We are really
supportive and the firefighters do a great job. I think they are entitled
to a good pension but I am not so happy about them being on strike.
Today is the 13th strike in this dispute and there is no sign of it
being resolved. I am not optimistic about an early resolution. @ny
strike is worrying and the fact it has gone on for so long and we are
now on the 13th industrial `ction period is really not good ndws. In a
statement a spokesman for the government believes a soluthon can
be reached but not under thd shadow of industrial action. The strike has
been going on for three years and the firefighters here are prepared
for it to go on for even longer If the dispute is not resolved there
will be another strike in tdn days. Well, earlier this evening Phil
Coates from the Fire Brigadds Union told us the Government could easily
settle this dispute. They have fully costed proposals
that they can put on the table and they are refusing to do it `nd it
could solve the strike. We `re asking them to do it. This hinges on
the retirement age being rahsed from 55 to 60 pension contributions being
raised. Plenty of other workers in the country have had their
conditions changed but what makes firefighters a special case? The
government did report that said that 90% of firefighters would not be
able to pass their fitness test at 60, that is logical. If thex have to
go then they will have be s`cked. Why are you less fit at 60 than at
55? We do not have many Olylpic athletes who run around at 60 years
old. It is a strenuous job, not a normal job. We are not talkhng 8
and 16. How comes you are OK 55 and not at 60? It is the fact is that
are used, you just cannot you pass the fitness test, the majorhty of
firefighters can't and cert`inly women can't because they struggle at
50 so we will lose them. Thhs sceptic 's will say you are trying
to preserve an early retirelent age. We are paying 14% of our wage into a
pension, these are not gold`plated pensions, we are paying for them.
That's your news, so it's goodbye from me, but with your weather now,
It has been a lovely summer 's day but very high pollen levels. The
weather will be settled tomorrow but they will be high before thdy use
towards the weekend. For now it is a fine and settled evening. Wd have
clear skies and temperatures are only dropping around 13 degrees It
is set to be a fairly mild `nd quite muggy night for some. Tomorrow
morning it is the driest st`rt. Plenty of sunshine in the morning
and in the afternoon we start to see the cloud bubble up. There will
still be sunny intervals and temperatures are about 23 ddgrees.
We expect a few showers on Friday evening and Saturday morning but
then on Saturday it will be a cloudy day and a bit cool about st`ying
dry. Here is your outlook for the next few days.
turn pressure with temperatures easing back and here is my colleague
with the rest of the weekend forecast.
A day of contrast today. In the Northwest we saw cloud moving in
which brought a little bit of rain but it also stopped temperatures
from rising too far. 16 or 17 degrees typical, contrasted with 20
degrees in London. We will see the skies clear across the southern half
tonight. Some rural spots might dip into single figures and there might
be showers, mist and fog in rural spots, but that's about it for
England and Wales. Further north, heavy bursts of rain on the west of
Scotland. Not too much on the eastern side, and some rain getting
into Northern Ireland by dawn. In the rush hour across central and
western Scotland, not pleasant, it will be wet but not too windy. And
Northern Ireland is not great.