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That's all from the BBC News at Six - on BBC One we now join
On the trains, billions of pounds for better rail services. On the
plains, a doubling of easyJdt passengers from Luton.
We will be here later in thd programme. Free school dinndrs for
4`7 `year`olds will be dishdd up from September but will the schools
be ready? Peterborough Unitdd win their first ever National Trophy.
First tonight, billions of pounds for our railways and a doubling in
size of easyJet in Luton. Two major announcements today which promise a
new era for rail passengers, growth for the region and thousands of new
jobs. On the railways, more than ?2 billion is being spent in the next
five years overhauling servhces in the East. In Luton, easyJet want to
increase their passenger nulbers to nine million a year, creating around
2,500 jobs. We'll hear more from Luton in a moment, but first Mike
Cartwright reports from King's Cross where work is already under way to
link Cambridge and Peterborough to the South Coast. A stretch of new
track less than a kilometre long, but a massive improvement, Network
Rail say, to travelling by train in and out of our region. A tunnel
underneath London connecting east to south. That way is Peterborough and
Cambridge, this way Gatwick and Brighton. A nonstop journey, a whole
new route, a trains an hour which could carry 10 million passdngers a
year. This cost 28 million, announced today 2.2 billion more to
improve the network it will connect to. Less crowded carriages, trains
arriving and leaving on timd. There are no guarantees and there will be
no flash of lightning and stddenly everything will be better, this is
about incremental improvements making journeys more reliable and
slightly faster, and about lore and more trains. Already in the last
five years another 30 million journeys have been made. Better
service for commuters is to be welcomed, say rail campaigndrs, but
lower train fares is what is needed. We want to focus shifting to value
for money for the passenger and not just value for money for thd
Treasury. We are very concerned about high `` how high the train
fares are. Train fares was what most people wanted to talk about today.
They are very expensive. People cannot afford to get to where the
jobs are, and definitely tr`in fares should come down. The toilets are in
a state. Everyday facilities rather than more trains. Worked here will
finish within months but it won t open until rolling stock arrives in
four years. The east coast connected to the south coast, nonstop. So
along with new links to the south coast, what other improvements will
passengers see in the next five years? Debbie Tubby has the details.
In future, more tracks like these will be replaced with new ones,
while we sleep and without closing lines. As passenger numbers grow
faster in the east than anywhere else in Britain, more improvements
are needed and they are on the way. I want to see more but it ddpends on
government funding and what the economy is doing. You have to invest
to make the economy better. To relieve congestion on the wdst
Anglia line, this junction will be rebuilt. The cross`country route
from Felixstowe via Peterborough to Birmingham will continue to be
upgraded, taking freight off the roads and relieving congesthon. 850
miles of railway is to be electrified, including the Lidland
mainline from Bedford to Shdffield. As part of the project, a ndw
electrified railway will connect Oxford with Bedford and Milton
Keynes. Of the ?38 billion spent on Britain's railways, only 2.2 billion
will be spent in the east, so is our region being short`changed? East
Anglia probably needs a gre`ter proportion of investment in order to
bring it up than other parts of the country, and so far I think we are
seeing that the north and inevitably the south`east have been
prioritised. Network Rail s`ys these improvements will make a re`l
difference to people's lives and boost the economy but there is no
specific timetable. They all just have to be completed in the next
five years. Let's go to Luton now and e`syJet's
plans to more double its size. It's part of a 10`year deal it's signed
with the airport. The expansion would see passenger numbers go from
four million to nine million a year with more frequent flights `nd new
business and holiday routes. Emma Baugh reports.
The start of a new era ` more planned flights, more planes, more
passengers. Business possibly doubling over the next decade. We
are going to be growing arotnd 0% next year, so probably adding around
three aircraft in 2015, and then we are going to continue to grow,
depending on when the plannhng and the terminal expansion takes place,
then we will phase our growth up to that but we have an opportunity to
double our size here which hs great news for the community and for jobs.
EasyJet first started flying from here back in 1995 with just one
aircraft. Now it is the largest operator here at Luton with 15
planes. At the moment around 70 000 people a week travel with e`syJet
through here. Today they ard going to Amsterdam, Malaga and Nice. There
will be new destinations but so far they haven't been decided on.
Managers say the expansion would improve the inside of the ahrport
and give more runway capacity, but could also create another 2,500
jobs. It's enormously important both for the airport and for the
region, more importantly, more broadly than that. It is a full
range of jobs both on`site, so people that work directly for the
airline for example in cabin crew or whatever it may be, but also
off`site in the towns around Luton and places like hotels and
restaurants. Everyone gains from this. Not everyone is happy. A
campaign group has been fighting expansion for three years, saying it
could destroy a way of life. This is an airport right next to a city
right next to rural villages so local people don't want mord
aircraft noise. Secondly, in the context of the last winter, we don't
really want to be moving towards more emissions and more clilate
change, and aviation is one of the biggest growing sources of carbon
emissions. The airport says it is ready for work to begin. It is
waiting on the Government to give the final go`ahead.
So we've heard about new jobs for Luton, but how will more flhghts and
improved rail services bring growth to the region? Mike Cartwright has
travelled up the line from King s Cross and joins us now at St Neots
station. Behind me is Peterborough and the north, that way is London
and the south. In four years you will be able to jump on a train
anywhere on this line and not have to get off until you reach places
like Gatwick and Brighton and that is because of the tunnel behng belt.
It is good for businesses, four companies it means they can recruit
further afield, perhaps workers with specialist skills, they will be able
to reach customers and develop more and better links. In theory more
companies will be attracted here and that means more jobs. As for Luton,
it means more passengers, more businessmen and women coming to this
region, it means more peopld and more money here. What are the
downsides? We have heard about this ?2.2 billion figure, it sounds like
a lot of money but it is not as much as other regions are getting to
improve their railways. We have heard from campaigners saying that
no matter what happens the ticket fares will stay high. A lot of other
people are saying that in this part of the world more people drhve than
take the railway, so let's fix the congested roads here instead. Thank
you. Onto other news now and the trial
has begun of five men accusdd of sexually exploiting vulnerable
teenage girls. The offences are alleged to have happened in
Peterborough between 2008 and 2 13. One man ` Yasir Ali ` faces six
counts of rape. Louise Hubb`ll was in court. Arriving at court this
morning, Muhammad as lamb wdaring black with James Daley and two other
men, they are accused of a series of sexual offenders. The QC told the
jury this was a case of delhberate sexual exploitation of young,
vulnerable white girls by a group of older Asian men. She said the
principal offender was 28`ydar`old Yasir Ali, known to some of the
girls as Mr Night. Girls were targeted on social networking sites,
collected from near their homes and it is alleged they were driven,
given a lot of alcohol and taken to secluded spots in the city or
hotels. The five men face a total of 28 counts, including trafficking for
sexual exploitation and rapd. The eight girls they are alleged to have
abused were aged between 13 and 16. The court heard the girls wdre
driven around in flash cars and thought the men wanted loving
relationships. In reality, the court was told they were used for sex and
passed around. Some of the `buse is alleged to have happened at this
Peterborough hotel. The jurx was warned they would be shown lobile
phone footage of degrading `cts The men deny all the charges.
The death of a woman at the Yarl's Wood Immigration centre in
Bedfordshire has been raised in the House of Commons. Police ard
investigating the case. It's not thought to be suspicious but brings
up concerns about safety at the centre. Our Home Affairs
Correspondent joins us in the studio. Sally, what more do you know
about the woman who died and the circumstances? The woman was 40 and
thought to have been from J`maica. She has not been named, I understand
she lived in the UK for manx years and have been at the centre for just
ten days when she collapsed after complaining of feeling unwell. Her
death has prompted questions questions in Parliament tod`y. There
are unconfirmed reports that the detainee was initially denidd
medical assistance. Can he `ssure the House that all of those reports
are being fully looked at as part of the police and wider investhgation?
He will also be aware that there are reports that Yarl's Wood had turned
down offers of help from thd local NHS for other women detaineds who
were distressed after witnessing the death. Mr broken Shire said it was
wrong to speculate at this stage, and the investigation was going on.
The detention centres say they are robust in their procedure tonight
and the woman had been reached in just three minutes. Paramedhcs and
an air ambulance were called immediately. The timeline of events,
everything around this, the health care provision will come under the
scrutiny of those investigations which will be very thorough. This is
the latest in a number of ddaths in detention and again, questions are
raised about the welfare of detainees. I'm told that relatives
of the dead woman have this afternoon spent three hours with the
manager at Yarl's Wood centre seeking answers from him.
Council tax payers are set to pick up a bill for ?30 million bdcause
plans for a waste incinerator in Kings Lynn have been scrappdd. A
political row is now brewing over who is to blame. Kim Riley reports.
It was a scheme aimed at stdmming the flow of waste into landfill and
saving money. A projected ?250 million over 25 years compared to
the costs of piling rubbish into the ground. But it run into stiff local
opposition. A vote organised by west Norfolk Council found 65,000 people
in the area opposed to the scheme. Local Conservatives were at odds
with colleagues who decided to push ahead with the project. A ptblic
inquiry was held and the pl`nning inspector's recommendation was then
passed on to the communities secretary, Eric Pickles. Thd
economics of the whole projdct have been thrown into chaos by the
withdrawal of the Government grant last November. Now councillors have
been urged to bite the bulldt and terminate the contract. It could
cost Norfolk taxpayers ?30 lillion but further delay could send those
costs rocketing. The Cabinet will vote on the recommendations next
Monday. The company hoping to build four
wind turbines close to a National Trust property in Northamptonshire
has withdrawn its plans aftdr a seven`year battle with camp`igners.
West Coast Energy lost a landmark decision by the courts last year to
build a wind farm near the historic Lyveden New Bield. The comp`ny were
appealing the decision but have now dropped their case. The land is
owned by the Duke of Gloucester and the plans were heavily opposed by
heritage groups and local pdople. The firm's decision to abandon the
project means a seven`year battle by campaigners has now come to an end.
That is it from me for now, I will hand you over to Stuart and Susie.
Still to come tonight: the race against time to provide a free
school meal for children in our region.
Plus, for Posh fans, it's a day out to remember at Wembley stadhum.
The European election campahgn kicked off today with the UK
Independence Party launching its manifesto for this region. Polling
day is eight weeks away on Lay 2nd. It will be the last big test of
public opinion before next xear s general election. So plenty at
stake. Here's Andrew Sinclahr. It's never top of people's concerns
but whether we like it or not Europe plays a large part in our lhves
There is of course the free market which allows us and anyone dlse
within the EU to work and travel wherever we like. Hundreds of laws
and regulations come from Etrope. Everything from health and safety to
how much we pay for mobile phone calls and dozens of infrastructure
and regeneration projects are funded by the EU. The cost of all this
Well, it depends how you add it all up but most people accept it's
around ?50 million a day. And even though we get a lot of that back,
it's estimated Europe costs every person in this country ?62 ` year.
Now most of us are in the E`stern region, which is a bit smaller than
the Look East region. Northamptonshire is part of the East
Midlands. Milton Keynes is part of the south east. In the eastdrn
region we have seven euro MPs and last time round we chose three
Conservatives, two members of UKIP, one Labour and one Lib Dem. And this
election is done by proporthonal representation which means smaller
parties often do well. And there's one smaller party in partictlar that
everyone's watching. UKIP is feeling very confiddnt. It
hired a big hall in Norwich to put its candidates on display and said
it would be disappointed if it didn't come first and get 30% of the
vote. A video argued the case for taking Britain out of Europd and
restricting immigration. Thd party knows these things can only be
decided by Westminster, not Brussels, but it believes a vote for
them can still bring about change. UKIP is getting such a tide of
public opinion on its side `bout tidying up the immigration system
that either the established parties of Government will have to do
something in response or people are going to keep switching to TKIP and
keep switching to UKIP. Your message seems to be vote for us and we'll
force other parties to change their policies. Well, look, vote for us.
If you vote for us in big enough numbers, in a democracy, thdn we
will get elected and then wd'll be able to do something directly. The
party has been holding meethngs across the region and they have been
well attended. Its support `ppears to be coming from people in their
late 40s and early 50s, manx former Tory voters. But there are `lso a
lot of people who have just had enough of the mainstream parties.
They haven't had a pay rise above inflation for some years and they
are fed up with the Governmdnt's austerity policies and that is quite
clear. They're not too sure that Labour has an alternative so they
are looking for a third opthon. UKIP won two seats last time round but
one of their MEPs defected to the Conservatives shortly afterwards,
leaving Norfolk farmer Stew`rt Agnew to be the party's sole
representative for the East. A lot of care has gone into selecting this
year's candidates. Patrick O'Flynn is a former political journ`list.
Tim Aker used to be with thd Taxpayers Alliance. The othdr
parties admit that UKIP is `n effective pressure group but they
say it doesn't have the presence of Westminster or the numbers hn Europe
to deliver on any of its promises. UKIP's answer ` just wait and see.
Let me just leave you with this opinion poll done the other week
here in the east asking people who intend to vote in the Europdan
elections who they'll vote for. UKIP well ahead. We'll be doing lore on
the other parties in this c`mpaign in the days and weeks to cole.
Some of the region's schools are saying they will struggle to meet
the Government's target of providing a free lunch to all young children.
The plan is to give all puphls aged between four and seven a hot meal.
It's supposed to start in Sdptember but some schools say they don't have
the catering facilities to cope and they can't afford to spend loney on
kitchen equipment. This report from Alex Dolan.
Lunch is served at this inf`nt School in Norfolk. Today, only 00
pupils will receive a hot ltnch but by September this number will be
more than double. It's part of a ?1 billion scheme being introdtced by
the Government to ensure all four to seven`year`olds get a free school
lunch. The challenges are gdtting everybody through in the tile and
space available. We've got `n hour and a quarter and we've got 266
children to feed. So that is a huge problem with us having enough
capacity in the kitchen, enough staff, all those things are really,
really problematic. In Essex, less than 5% of schools have adepuate
facilities. At Saint Peter's Catholic Primary School, thdy don't
even have a kitchen. We've got 20 children in the school and out of
420 children, all of them bring packed lunches. They have bden
bringing packed lunches for several years since the kitchen was shut
down. And a lot of time and effort has been put in to making those
packed lunches healthy, bal`nced and effective in what they are hntended
to do. Jesus fed the 5000. H don't think we'll be doing it. We may need
him to come along and give ts a hand. We contacted councils across
the region and found a mixed picture. Cambridgeshire is getting
1.4 million from the Governlent but any additional funding will have to
be met by individual schools. In Hertfordshire, the County Council
admits a number of schools will require additional equipment while
in Bedfordshire some may have to buy in meals from other schools. The
Government has put up from ?150 million up for improvements that can
be made for schools. Essex hs getting over ?3 million of that
which means it is one of thd very biggest recipients of funding to
improve facilities. Back at this infant school, they are apprehensive
about the changes and think their money may have been better spent
elsewhere, but they plan to make it work.
Now it's that old bus thing for football clubs in Cambridgeshire.
They don't win anything at Wembley for years then they do it two weeks
in a row. A week ago it was Cambridge United in the FA Trophy.
Yesterday, Peterborough United. Posh are managed by Darren Ferguson,
the son of Sir Alex. They bdat Chesterfield 3`1 in the fin`l of the
Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Otr sports editor Jonathan Park was thdre.
The Johnstone's Paint Trophx might be unfashionable, but for 34,00
Peterborough and Chesterfield fans it was well worth the journdy. Days
like today, form goes out the window. The fact that we ard
inconsistent is completely irrelevant today. It's a ond`day...
It's a 90`minute season for us. ?? WHITE It's Mother's Day tod`y, isn't
it? It is Mother's Day. And what a treat. What better place to be? Look
at the weather. It's gorgeots. No matter what level you play `t, your
dream as as a young boy, yot want to be at Wembley in any capacity. 4
years after their last trip to Wembley, Posh started as cldar
favourites ` League One agahnst League Two. With two former Wolves
team`mates in charge it was Ferguson's team who tore out of the
blocks in a game that featured four goals, one penalty and a red card.
Over to the far side. Shot hnitially saved and then the rebound turned in
and Posh take the lead. Into the box. A chance to cross
Heads towards the back post and it's over the bar.
Horrible miss by Morsy. Posh prepare to take this corner
from the right, in towards... The header! 2`0, Posh.
He might go all the way. On his left foot. Gets the ball over and
Chesterfield pull one back. Morsy made it.
A little flare`up there. A red card for Newell. Newell and Morsx
clashed. A chance to get into the box. Up
against Roberts. Penalty surely It is. Assombalonga scores!
Tommy Rowe has it in his hands and he lifts the Football Leagud trophy.
No matter what happens in otr careers, no one is going to take
this away from us. It's set in stone. It's the FA Cup for the two
lower leagues and we took it as serious as anything else. One great
thing, we've never lost at Wembley. Back here again at the end of May?
Yeah, hopefully, yeah, that would be the big one. I think if we come back
in the play`offs we could h`ve 25,000 year for sure. So th`t's very
exciting. It's there, you know, so I'd love for most of them to come on
Wednesday night but, you know, it's only a fiver. If you have a ticket
from here, come. So, unbeat`ble at Wembley, Posh have their first ever
national trophy and it feels good. If you've just joined us, the
breaking news story tonight is the effective cancellation of the waste
incinerator planned for King's Lynn. Andrew Sinclair was at this
afternoon's briefing. It has been divisive. Yes, the problem was that
the then Conservative run council refused to take notice of a
referendum were 92% of Abel said no. `` people. This is our victory for a
localism. MPs have repeatedly said that if the council pulls ott of
this scheme it will find a way to make up the money. Now they have to
deliver on that. If they do not ?8 million of savings will be felt in
Norfolk. I am told that Labour strategists are thinking of naming
some of those cuts after local MPs. Now, though weather.
The highest temperature of the year so far year. Many other inl`nd
places not far kind. Very w`rm for the time of year. The only `ccept
pack stomach `` exception w`s around the coast. Heavy showers around East
although most of those have cleared. Later we will see some showdry rain
in the West but are largely dry night for many of us. Some list and
fog developing. We could sed as low as four degrees. It should stay
frost free. We are between two weather systems tomorrow. Any mist
and fog should clear for most of us and it should be mostly dry with
some brightness and sunshind coming through. Highest temperaturds
inland. They could get highdr than these, up to about 18. But ht will
be called at the coast. We could see a little bit of mist and fog
drifting onshore. We finishdd the day largely dry give or takd some I
slated showers. Wednesday looks largely dry giver take some showers
but breezy. A bit of a? For Thursday and Friday. As it stands, Thursday
looks to start dry and Frid`y wet. That's it from us. Good night.