01/08/2013 Look East - West


01/08/2013

Latest news for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northants.


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Unlawfully killed - the VC hero who died on the front line in

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Afghanistan. He was the bravest of soldiers and the best of men.

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and the rest of today's top stories now with Janine.

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Back in the hands of the NHS - the Stevenage Surgicentre criticise

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after patients died and records were lost.

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Police offer a �10,000 reward to help catch this great-grandfather's

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killers. And the steam train halted Good evening and welcome. There were

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emotional scenes today at an inquest for a young soldier from

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Northamptonshire posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for

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bravery. Lance Corporal James Ashworth from Corby died in

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Afghanistan last June. Grenade he was about to probe detonated when it

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was hit by a sniper's bullet. The coroner ruled that he was unlawfully

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killed. Said to be destined for great things in the Army,

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23-year-old Lance Corporal James Ashworth died in Afghanistan trying

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to protect his friends. They turned out in their hundreds

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for his funeral in Corby and today his family, including his mother and

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brother, came to Kettering for answers. The evidence took them back

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to last June. Lance Corporal Webb was in a group flown in to try and

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kill or capture a group of enemy snipers. -- Lance Corporal James

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Ashworth. Today, the soldiers he was with were present, including a Royal

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Marine seen here in a suit. The court heard evidence from a soldier

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who spoke the language and off the sniper treatment if he surrendered.

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He said that from the man's response he believed him to be high on drugs

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and he knew that they would have to fight on. James selflessly

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volunteered to through the only grenade left into the doorway. To do

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this, he crawled on his stomach with bullets flying around him on a low

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wall, watched by a young soldier closest to the camera. That soldier

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said he had seen enemy fire nearby and shouted to James Ashworth to

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come back. He said he shouted but he didn't move. The coroner reported

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that as James was about to throw the grenade, he received a single

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gunshot which knocked into the ground and caused it detonate.

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Outside court his mother, in tears for much of the inquest, paid

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tribute. James Pattinson a doing a job he loved. At times it was a hard

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job. -- James passed away doing a job he loved. His commitment served

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as an example to us all. He thought of his friends, put others first and

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refused to give up. It was one of his family's proudest moments to

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collect his posthumous Victoria Cross. Lance Corporal James Ashworth

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will always be remembered as one of the very few to receive it.

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A privately run hospital which was heavily criticised following the

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deaths of three patients has been bought by the NHS for �53 million.

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The Lister Surgicentre in Stevenage was run by an arm of the building

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company Carillion. But has been dogged by problems from the start.

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In April last year, inspectors failed the Surgicentre in four out

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of five areas. In August 2012, GPs were told not to refer patients to

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the eye department there because of worrying waiting times. In February

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this year, the most senior medical examiner in the country criticised

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the hospital for the deaths of three patients after routine surgery. And

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in June, work began to suspend the company's licence.

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Today's announcement is a victory for Michael Mansi. He has been

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fighting tirelessly for change at the Surgicentre since his sister

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died aged 86. She was admit it for a routine knee operation but died of

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bronchial pneumonia. The facility is staffed by NHS doctors and nurses

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and treats NHS patients at it was run by a private company owned by

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the building firm Carillion. delighted because it's in the care

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of the right people. I think they will be having the correct amount of

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nursing staff and the cost will not be paramount. The NHS don't have to

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make a profit and I feel happy that people who are going to the new

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centre, whatever they call it, we'll go in and not come out in a box

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because of lack of care. Since it opened, the �50 million facility was

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dogged by criticism. Waiting list targets were not being met,

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patients' files were lost and three people died following routine

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surgery. Soon GPs were advised not to refer patients for eye operations

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or joint replacements and a sick procedures were cancelled. Now the

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centre has been taken over by the NHS for �53 million. In a statement

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how the transfer should proceed. The NHS says its priority is to ensure

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patient care is not affected by the change.

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The MP for Stevenage has been campaigning for the NHS to take over

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the hospital for 18 months. He said he's delighted by the news and

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insists it's worth the �53 million of taxpayers' money. Over the last

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18 months, we've had three patients who died, 8500 patient records lost

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and there have been huge problems and you have covered the story on a

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number of occasions. People are very unhappy with the service so we did

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have to step in. I'm delighted that we've managed to take control of the

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situation. Not every patient has been unhappy with the service at the

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Surgicentre. They feel you are pursuing some kind of personal

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vendetta against private health care. Well, I think effectively,

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Carillion are builders, building roads, schools and hospitals, and

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these people are in charge of managing the facility. The NHS staff

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are the people providing the information about what's been going

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on. We have had a whole litany of disasters and problems. I get

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complaints every single day so I understand that some patients have

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had a positive experience. I'm delighted for them but I wish every

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single patient could have a positive experience. NHS managers are going

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to take over - where you going to get them from? The local hospital

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trust are going to manage the facility. These type of operations

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are undertaken by the hospital until the facility is developed and opened

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so it will be people who are in charge of the facility. -- people

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who were in charge of the facility some years ago. They presumably have

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a job elsewhere so they will be taken from, Willie? Not at all. We

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have to say thank you to the doctors because if it wasn't for their

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bravery in stopping referring their patients to the facility because it

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wasn't safe, we wouldn't have been able to move forward with the

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campaign. This has nothing to do with private health versus public

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health. I've said a number of times you can't say public schools or

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private are bad. At about public safety.

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We asked Carillion about the takeover. They wouldn't be

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interviewed but in a statement confirmed the deal was going ahead

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but that the transfer date hadn't yet been set. The managing director

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said patients currently receiving treatment at the Surgicentre should

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continue to attend appointments in the usual way, and that a

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consultation process has started to explain the impact of the changes to

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staff. A �10,000 reward has been offered by

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police investigating the murder of a great grandfather from Kempston.

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Sharif Demirsay was stabbed to death on the doorstep of his home in May.

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Today his granddaughter made an emotional appeal for information

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which could help catch her grandfather's killers. Stuart

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Ratcliffe reports. Two and a half months on, my family

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and I are still very much affected. Not having caught the individuals

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responsible, it seems to be getting a lot harder. Sharif Demirsay was

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described today as a loving great grandad and a popular friend and

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neighbour. On the night of May 14, he opened his door to three men who

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began stabbing him before pushing him inside the house and dumping his

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body in the doorway of his own bedroom. Sharif was stabbed more

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than ten times and while he lay here dying, his murder is made off with a

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small amount of cash and some jewellery. -- murderers. Today his

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granddaughter spoke about the effect it has had on her and her family.

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Its constant reminders. When you have spare time and you're sitting,

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you're thinking of everything that's happened. You don't escape it. It's

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even harder knowing that these people are out there and they're

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living their lives and our lives in some respects have been taken away

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from us because we can't rest easy, as these people are still out

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there. In June, Beds police released CCTV images of three possible

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suspects are approaching the house. Three minutes later, they ran away.

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Because of the circumstances of the offence at the type of people we're

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dealing with - they're quite young from all accounts - they might have

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thought to people. We've got jewellery that has been sold

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somewhere, no doubt, and they've had possession of that and the money and

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I feel sure someone locally knows who that was and who those people

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are. This has been a frustrating enquiry for Bedfordshire police but

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the force is hoping the offer of a �10,000 reward will finally

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encourage someone to come forward with that much-needed breakthrough.

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A Milton Keynes rail company has gone into administration, putting

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250 jobs at risk. A total of 500 workers repair and refurbish trains

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at Railcare in Wolverton and in Glasgow. The RMT union is calling on

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the government to step in to help with what they're calling a a

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short-term cash flow crisis. It's been eight years in the

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planning and more than a year in the construction - but it will be next

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spring before the new Center Parcs in Bedfordshire is open for

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business. This week our reporter Emma Baugh went behind the scenes of

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the holiday park to see how the development is taking shape.

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Week 62 of the �252 million build. It's been eight years is as we heard

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it was coming, attracting anger from some over whether the local area

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will cope. The company's head insists it will. We've done our

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surveys over many years in terms of traffic volumes and traffic flows.

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We don't have any concerns about any problems in that respect. We've

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built to new roundabouts - one at the top end of the site and one

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currently under construction - and that will ease the traffic flows

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immensely. So I don't anticipate any real problems. The company says the

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real boost to the area is through jobs. Recruitment is ongoing and

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training starts next month. When it opens, 1500 people will be working

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here - almost 9500 people have already searched the company's jobs

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website and its hope when they are employed, 75% of them will come from

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the local area. -- it is hoped. There is a massive range of

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employment opportunities at company-macro. There is a whole

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range. We're not seasonal. This is 355 days a year so those jobs are

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all permanent. The village will have more than 600 lodges in its first

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phase and another 70 coming later. It's been welcomed by some living

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locally. Well if it's going to create more jobs for the region then

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that's fine by me. I'm sure a lot of other people think the same. It'll

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bring a lot of work into the area and I know my husband has been

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looking himself, cos he's recently retired so it's a great idea, I

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think. It'll affect everybody with the traffic once it does start. Only

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time will tell but I think it's good. It's due to open next spring.

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The roads will be tested and the actual number of jobs finally

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realised. Environment experts have been called

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in to increase oxygen levels in the River Cam in Cambridge, after more

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than 300 fish were found dead in the water. The Environment Agency said

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the recent hot weather may have caused the problems as warm water

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holds less dissolved oxygen. People are being asked not to use the river

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between Baits Bite Lock and Upware while the work, which involves

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