Latest news for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northants.
Browse content similar to 23/12/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
welcome to Spotlight. Tonight: Milton Keynes we are welcome
welcome to Spotlight. Tonight: Warnings about the desks while
driving, it could be the toughest winter getaway for years. The day
they have called manic Monday, people are looking for a bargain.
And we are on the wards of Peterborough City Hospital on one of
the busiest nights of the year. Also the tiny village with the giant
Advent calendar. First tonight. The day they have
called Manic Monday. For travellers in the region, disruption and
cancellations on the trains and delays on the roads. In all, misery
for people trying to get home or getaway for Christmas. High winds
and heavy rains have brought down power lines and closed roads and
bridges. We start in Milton Keynes where London Midland and Virgin West
Coast Trains have been seriously affected. Neil Bradford is there
now. Idea see those who took the advice to travel earlier today are
feeling smug right now because then the last half`hour London Midland
have announced they are only able to operate one service in each
direction between London Euston and Northampton. Those services will be
restricted to the 50 mph speed restriction. Like many travellers
today, this 18`year`old from Milton Keynes was preparing for the worst.
She has allowed extra time for her journey to Kent where she will be
joining her boyfriend for Christmas. We are heading down the but we are
having to set off early because the trains are being cancelled and it is
even worse down in Kent. Milton Keynes had minor delays with the
speed limit due to be introduced warmly at seven o'clock this
evening. Other services had a speed limit introduced at four o'clock.
About 20 line blockages so far, we will get many more as we go through
this. While some passengers seemed prepared, others were taking their
chances. We thought we would head off earlier than we did to beat the
four o'clock deadline. It was busier than be expected but we were
expecting that. Hopefully they will be all right it is the long journey
but fingers crossed and we will see how that goes. Passengers continued
to arrive by the dozen knowing full well that the journey might not be
easy. Because of the disruption ticket restrictions have been
lifted. Other lines out of London are not feeling any better. There
are delays to services through Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire
because of the tree on the line There is also a tree on overhead
power lines in the West Hampstead ADF. Those who was born on their
journeys to model do not know what the weather is going to bring. ``
West Hampshire region. Well that's the picture in Northamptonshire and
Bedfordshire, but the disruption is having its effect right across the
region. Greater Anglia trains into and out of Cambridge are not
expecting to run any service tomorrow until at least ten o'clock.
Mike Cartwright reports Well Mike joins me now, Mike, what's the
latest? On the roads this Christmas getaway there are warnings of high
winds. These are urging people not to drive for the next 24 hours
unless they really have to. Take her, avoid areas with the lot of
standing water, fallen trees and fall and fallen electricity pylons.
Trees and power lines have been brought down on train tracks. Some
routes are closed in case there is more damage. Ticket restrictions
have been relaxed to allow people to travel earlier but tomorrow morning
Greater Anglia trains will not run until ten o'clock so that tracks can
be checked for debris. The highest winds will be overnight. They will
drop off quickly by the daylight hours. After the storms are fears of
flooding with standing water and swollen rivers. Heavy rainfall is
expected in Bucks and Beds. Some of the rivers are likely to flood. As
the rain and wind arrives there are warnings that if you do travel this
Christmas take extra care and allow extra time. What is the very latest?
Nothing major to report since we have come on year. The live one
flood warning on the outskirts of no fountain `` Northampton. You can
ring the flood line number. The trains have a restrictive service in
operation and network rail will be checking the track for fallen trees
and power lines. People are warned not to drive through floodwater The
bridge on the M25 is closed tonight because of strong winds but the
tunnels are open. It is the case of watching and waiting at the moment.
Thanks, Mike. And you can keep fully up to date with the latest on the
weather and travel tomorrow morning with your BBC local radio station.
Well it's also been Manic Monday for our shops ` thousands of people
across the region have been hitting the High Streets today in pursuit of
bargains, and last minute provisions. In Milton Keynes alone
they were expecting 150,000 people today. But, as Louise Hubball
reports, not everyone's been heading for the big centres. This is the
story of manic Monday revealing the last`minute dash at two very
different centres. The traditional festive approach is working its
magic here. In Milton Keynes they expect 100 and the thousand through
the doors today, more than on Saturday. This is one of the top ten
shopping centres in the country In the battle against online buying
right offering retail are and are the thing they have the right idea.
You can get wrapping done, we have got to the cruisers, we have the
lights you cannot get that at home. Add the part of manic Monday by
accident or design, the people who have come here? I am on holiday so I
have sent my wife of somewhere else so she cannot see what I am buying.
I have bought things for myself that I should not have bought! The macro
it is nice to see lots of sales going on which has been quite nice
but I do not think it has been as bad as last year. The main item on
people's to buy list here is good. How long would you queue for the
butchers? One hour. We started at ten to ten and now it is ten to 11.
What are you waiting to pick up I have forgotten my list! Do we really
need the sausage meat? It is important to keep the small shops
going, the supermarkets get too much. I will have to look for my
parsnips elsewhere, they are sold out. Managers at a hostel for the
homeless in Hertfordshire have criticised workers who've gone on
strike over Christmas. Five employees from the St Mungo's hostel
in Hitchin walked out yesterday afternoon. The charity says the
strike couldn't have come at a worse time. Last`minute preparations for
Christmas. This year temporary workers from other hospitals are
running this homeless hostel in Hitchin. Five permanent staff have
walked out on strike for 12 days. Even industrial action comes after
the shelter switched from opening only at night to 24 hours per day.
They were offered the same terms and conditions as other employees but it
did not happen, the say. The staff that look after those vulnerable
people that do an incredibly challenging and experienced job for
Saint Mungo 's. The centre here houses up to 17 homeless people at
the time, they are getting clean clothes, and evening meal and a
place to sleep. They are encouraged to get into independent
accommodation. We thought we had reached agreement with the new
rotors and terms and conditions for staff, we are very disappointed that
they have chosen this time of year to go on strike because it is a very
difficult time of year for homeless people. Some residents support the
strike. I think they are fighting for what is the right. They could
not have made it feel any more Christmassy for me. I've fully back
them up. They deserve fair pay. Controversial bells in a
Hertfordshire village are to be silenced at night after complaints
from local residents. The bells of St Mary's Church in Ashwell have
rung out every quarter day and night for more than a century.
be long before the community is tested again.
Still to come on the programme tonight: Chris Bell will be here
with the latest on those storms. And in football, another manager
bites the dust. Aidy Boothroyd pays the price after a torrid season at
Northampton Town. Hospital managers have been warning
for months about the building pressure in our Accident and
Emergency departments this winter. And we were warned that last weekend
would be particularly bad ` so much so that they were predicting last
Friday would be 'Black Friday'. But what was the reality for the NHS?
Well, we were on the wards at Peterborough City Hospital. Jo
Taylor has this report. It's only 8pm and the place is full. This
woman is having breathing difficulties. She has a history of
health problems. In the next cubicle, a man has been brought in
uncoscious. He's been in a road accident and is being taken for a
scan to assess how badly injured he is. The Emergency Department has
seen more than a 50% rise in the number of people turning up over the
Christmas fortnight over the last five years. When I first started we
had a minor injury unit and another area... It was rare to use it, never
mind fill. This is three times the size and full. This man is worried
about redness following a hernia operation. He called the
non`emergency 111 number and told not to come here. They said a GP
would ring us in six hours. We didn't want to wait. We were a bit
concerned. So we came down here and hopefully we will be seen soon. One
in ten who turn up do not need to. The problem is that doctors deal
with are getting more serious. We have got a wide range of patients.
Patients with cases revolving around XS alcohol and many other things. ``
excess alcohol. Dominic was a week after row. He is being transferred
to Addenbrooke's Hospital. That is life. But they are not able to save
everybody. There are two deaths this evening. It was quite moving for us.
The patient had died but they were still very grateful. That is
touching. If we don't feel like that then we shouldn't be nurses. By
midnight, another 40 patients have come through the door. It is a
typical Friday night for staff as they head towards Christmas. Dr Dan
Poulter is a Health Minister. He's also the MP for Central Suffolk and
North Ipswich. Late this afternoon, I asked what we could do about so
many people going to A when they don't need to. It's absolutely right
that if someone is unwell they should be seen quickly. That's what
A is for. But the challenge is to help people understand that it's not
in their interests ` or the interests of other, sick patients `
to put extra pressure on A for routine complaints like a sore
throat. The appropriate thing to do is go to see their GP the next
morning. Part of that is about doctors in A pointing it out to
people. Next time they might want to see their GP rather than come to A
when it's a relatively minor complaint. One of the big problems
is that it's not always easy to see your own GP. Do we have enough? Do
we pay them enough? The average GP is paid around ?105,000 a year which
is a good salary by anybody's standards. Most of them won't be
doing evenings or weekends. Some will, of course. The challenge is to
increase the number of GPs. If we want to move to a position where we
have more working over evenings and weekends then it's not just about
getting the current GPs to work later... It's about making sure we
have enough bodies on the ground to provide the service. Is one of the
problems that people move around so much in the country, and Europe as a
whole, that they don't bother signing up with a GP? There is a
challenge relating to high population. It happens in inner`city
areas as well as some rural ones. As much as a third of the GP register
can change on a yearly basis. `` an annual basis. Younger people are
particularly bad at signing up. It tends to be them who turn up at A
for more trivial complaints. When they do turn up with a minor
complaint, the A department should link them to a GP so that in the
future that person won't be putting extra pressure on. Thank you. And
the BBC is keeping a close eye on how our Accident and Emergency
departments cope this winter. You can actually see how your local
hospital is getting on by going to the BBC website online and searching
for 'NHS Winter' You can put a post code in ` the studio here is NR2 1BH
` and we get the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
You can see how many patients are being seen within four hours in A
And if you scroll down you can also compare how your hospital is doing
compared to the England average. Plenty of opportunity on the site to
share your own NHS experiences too. In football, Northampton Town go
into Christmas and the New Year battling for survival in the
Football League and trying to find a new manager. Aidy Boothroyd was
sacked at the weekend following a heavy defeat. Back in May they were
at Wembley in the League Two play`off final. But they've only won
four games this season and the manager paid the price. Saturday.
Wycombe Wanderers at Sixfields. Aidy Boothroyd needed a win but he didn't
get it. The Cobblers lost 4`1 ` and at 5:39pm, less than an hour after
the final whistle ` Boothroyd was sacked. We lost the manager at the
weekend. He was a friend, particularly to me. The players got
on with him well. But they reacted. We had a little talk and I thought
they trained very well. Aidy Boothroyd joined Northampton Town
just over two years ago. He'd already taken Watford into the
Premier League, followed by spells at Colchester United and Coventry.
In May, the Cobblers made it to the League Two play`offs and the Wembley
final... But they lost. And this season has been a disaster. This is
what Boothroyd told Look East just a few weeks ago. You know you're going
to have highs and lows. There are more lows than highs. Fortunately,
I'm getting the opportunity to change it and turn it around. A lot
of guys in this day would have been chopped by now. `` in this day and
age. Whether he realised or not, the board was losing patience. The
Cobblers are bottom of League Two with just four wins. I know there
was gloom after the decision. I just feel we have to have a lift. We
can't have a negative opinion. I think the club are taking a gamble
by replacing him at this stage. He knows the players. He's been backed
financially. He looked to be getting more in January as well. After
Saturday's final whistle, maybe Boothroyd did know what was coming.
Instead of thanking the players on the pitch, he looked on then turned
and walked straight down the tunnel. Within minutes he'd be sacked.
Another manager looking for another job.
A former sports editor here at BBC Look East has died at the age of 82.
John Myatt presented sports bulletins during the 1970s and
1980s. He was also a reporter and presenter on the radio programme
Roundabout East Anglia. He died at Southwold Hospital yesterday.
There was a time when you knew what to expect with an advent calendar.
Mary and Joseph round the crib, perhaps a few shepherds in a field
or some wise men on camels. These days it's anything from a Christmas
tree to pop groups like One Direction. And behind every door,
anything from chocolate to whiskey. But in the village of Abington Pigot
in Cambridgeshire they've gone one better. The whole village has, in
effect, become an advent calendar. Every night throughout December,
people have gathered at a house and opened another window. Alex Dolan
explains. It is the eve of Christmas Eve. For a small Cambridge village
the countdown has been extra special. People usually open and
Advent calendar but here in Abington Pigotts they have taken the idea
even farther. They have transformed the house is in two Advent calendar
windows. `` their houses. `` into Advent calendar windows. I tried to
gauge interest and I had a great response. We have got lots of things
here. Beyers, rabbits... `` Bears. What has it been like seeing all
these windows? Everybody has had a different slant. It has been great
to get together with people even just for 15 or 20 minutes. It has
been lovely. It has been amazing. We are new to the village of this is
our first experience. 24 minced pies. 24 glasses of wine. Lots of
friendly people. The villagers have really got into
the spirit of things. With just two windows left to open, they are
likely that next year will be even better. `` they are all agreed that
next year will be even better. That music will be in my head all night!
Now for the weather. I am going to show you some graphics. Here are
some very cold air over my homeland of North America. `` Here is some.
There is a real contrast in temperature. It has allowed these
big areas of low pressure to develop. You can see at streaming
over. `` it. Some of these winds have been very fast. When you get
strong winds like this, over the top of low pressure, it becomes quite
fierce. Fort and eight, across our region, there will be gale force
winds and some strong gusts. `` For tonight. The Met office has a wind
their brain will be with us right throughout the night. `` the rain.
60 to 70 mph is for the winds. These will come at around midnight. There
could be some damage done. At the end of the night it will be confined
to eastern areas. It will start to ease down eventually. The rainbow
sweep away to the east leaving us with a much nicer day. `` the rain
will. High temperatures of 78 Celsius. `` seven to eight Celsius.
For Christmas Day it looks like a mild day. That is how things will go
into Boxing Day. We will see the wind is picking up again. That could
potentially cause some strong winds. See you tomorrow.