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Hello, welcome to BBC Look East. In the programme tonight:
A Conservative councillor is suspended by his party after this
video images of him confronting a hunt protester.
I'll tell my husband there is, shall I?
One of the biggest financial brands in East Anglia
is about to disappear, as Norwich Peterborough
building society is swallowed up by the Yorkshire.
We will report on the latest phase of work to preserve this iconic
lighthouse. And after 40 years of snowdrops,
we say goodbye to the First tonight, the huntsman
from Norfolk who's been suspended as a councillor after a video
emerged of him making lewd comments Until recently, Charles Carter was
the master of the West Norfolk hunt. He is also a Conservative
councillor for Breckland. Tonight, the Conservative
leader of the council told us he was appalled
by the video. Gareth George is that council
headquarters now. Charles Carter's behaviour under
intense scrutiny here. The leader of the council told us, I immediately
took action and he has been suspended from the conservative
group. North Yorkshire Police said they were called with reports of an
altercation. They say they're investigating too.
Excuse me, hunting is banned. The Middleton Hunt in North
Yorkshire, felled by a hunt protester. She challenges Charles
Carter, it he begins filming her, and makes lewd comments.
Pardon? I'll tell my husband that, shall I?
Charles Carter has been on Breckland Council since 2011. In a statement,
the council leader said, ... Mr Carter represents the ward of
Saham Toney. Disgusting, a man in a position
should know better, and women shouldn't be spoken to that -- like
that by anyone in any position. It's just not on.
It makes you feel awful. People shouldn't say things like that.
Especially councillors or anything. Not nice at all.
He shouldn't be representing anybody if he holds those beliefs anyway.
Totally wrong. The thing is, Meera Carroll, now I know that connection,
I won't vote for him. In 2011, Look East filmed the east
Norfolk can't, and interviewed Mr Carter.
Having to look over at the shoulder is is not what the country should be
about. You're very pretty.
Sewer foxes. The council described Mr Carter's
comments as inappropriate and offensive.
The Islwyn take in Yorkshire, the council has suspended Mr Carter. We
have tried to get hold of Charles Carter several times today, but so
far have failed. The Norwich Peterborough
Building Society brand will disappear from our high
streets later this year. 28 branches across the East
will be closed and hundreds The society is owned
by the Yorkshire Building Society, which says it wants
to focus on the main brand. This from our business
correspondent, Richard Bond. It's been a trusted name on our High
Street for decades, with 45 branches across the region. But soon, the
Norwich Peterborough name will completely disappear. Its owner, the
Yorkshire building society, plans to close 28 N branches, including
best one, on the outskirts of Norwich.
A lot of people use that branch, this project every branch, I should
think. It's a shame, our elderly customers
are going to feel the impact more. They rely upon the convenience on
their doorstep of being able to withdraw their money and spend it at
local businesses. The changes but at risk 340 jobs.
They branches and at the Society's headquarters. The N was formed in
1986 through the merger of the Norwich and Peterborough building
society is. Throughout the 80s, the business thrived, but suffered a
setback ten years ago, when selling the products of a company called
Keydata, which went bust. The scandal cost N ?15 million and led
to the Yorkshire takeover. The Yorkshire says the banking market is
changing. More customers are conducting their business online,
and use of High Street branches like this is declining by 7%a year.
Further investment in that network can't be justified. But that
argument will disappoint thousands of members who suspect a building
society to provide a good branch network in places where the big
banks aren't represented. These are some of the places set to close. The
changes are due to take place from September this year. Members are
being encouraged to embrace online banking, but some elderly customers
may find that difficult to do. Mike Regnier is the chief executive
of the Yorkshire Building Society. When I spoke to him
late this afternoon, I asked him if it had been part
of the merger agreement that the name Norwich
Peterborough would disappear. We agreed that we would retain
the brand for a period of two years Obviously, it's now six
years ago since then. In that time there's been some
pretty significant changes to the way that customers
as a whole, but our customers We're seen a move away
from branches towards digital. So the changes that we're
announcing today just Because, as an organisation, we're
not immune to those changes either. You will be aware that there
could be people in some of the smaller locations
for whom you are the only bank, and this will mean great
difficulty for them. Yes, as you imagine,
we've done a lot of analysis around exactly how far our existing
customers might have to go In the vast majority of cases,
it's a matter of a couple of miles Of course, there are other ways
we can help them as well. What I'd certainly urge customers
to do, if they have any concerns, please come and talk to us,
pop into the branch, and we'll do everything we can
to help them and make sure they continue to have banking
services or whatever As I understand it,
between headquarters and the branches, about 340 people
will lose their job. At this stage, we haven't,
obviously, confirmed anything. This is still proposals
and now about to enter the consultation process,
where we work with all the colleagues that could be
affected by these changes. The announcements we've made today
will not take effect In fact, up to 18
months in some cases. So that gives us as much time
as we can tell find roles for as many of those people
as we possibly can. My aim would be to find roles
for everyone, if we possibly can. That's unlikely, but we'll be
redoubling efforts to make sure as many of those colleagues that
are affected, we can help, and find other roles
within our business. Does that apply to the
headquarters as well? Do you intend to keep that open
for the foreseeable future? We've not got any plans for
the site, which is in Lynch Wood, That will remain part of the
Yorkshire Building Society Group. We have several hundred
people working there, and will continue to work
there in the future. So, yes, this is mainly about some
branch closures and some of the central themes in Lynch Wood
that support the branches. But when you say you are consulting,
it does mean that some of those It's likely some of them
will lose their jobs, yes, but my objective is to find roles
were as many as we can. Richard Bond is here -
are these branch closures just Think it shows building societies
are not immune from those forces that are causing banks to close
their branches. But both societies are different from banks, they're
mutual organisations, owned by members, not shareholders. Building
societies are supposed to use the money they save by not paying
dividends to do good stuff from members, such as paying decent
interest rates and maintaining good branch networks. I think the trouble
today's announcement it risks making the Norwich Peterborough, or the,
look like any old bank, and that's not a place they want to be an.
But this region still has some smaller building societies?
Yes, you have the Cambridge and the Ipswich bullock societies. Cambridge
have nine branches and say they have no plans to close any of them and
are still committed to investing in them. When you consider 50 years ago
this region had more than 50 building societies, we now have
three, a precipitous decline. New figures show that hundreds
of patients are bed-blocking Yesterday, we heard from a man
who had spent more than two years at the James Paget Hospital
in Norfolk before he was evicted. But he's far from alone, here's
Katherine Nash with the details. Adriano Gueres spent two years
refusing to leave his hospital bed. He's an example of someone offered
alternative care and accommodation, His case may be extreme,
but he's not alone. The term is used to describe
patients who are occupying a hospital bed that they don't
strictly need. They're often medically fit, ready
to be discharged from the ward, According to the NHS,
there are 445 people in the region who are fit
to leave, occupying beds. And in Norfolk, that
figure stands at 78. Commonly, delays are caused by
patients who require further care. For example, if medical assessments
aren't completed on time, or funding for social care hasn't
been arranged, the patient Patrick Thompson has
sat on health boards He says releasing someone
from hospital is a complex process. There's a lot more people involved
than just the health service. It's to do with social care,
whether or not it's local council, county council, private health care
assistance and neighbours - Not all bed-blockers fall
under those categories. There are those, like
Adriano Guedes, who simply reject their care plan,
choosing to stay At hospitals in Essex, there are 27
patients opting to stay. There are 18 in Suffolk,
and in Norfolk there are 13. If you or a family member have been
struggling to leave hospital, You can contact us via e-mail,
phone or social media. Plans to provide an extra 1200
school places in Essex have been The council is expecting the demand
for places in secondary schools in Chelmsford to increase this year
as more homes are built. If planning permission is granted,
a school for children of all ages will be created
in the Springfield area. A new primary school
and early years building A 900-place secondary school
would open the following year. Alex with news of even
colder weather to come. Saying goodbye to the gardener
at Anglesey Abbey after 40 years. And after all that bad
news about the tidal surge earlier this month,
the silver lining on The latest phase of work is now
underway to protect the iconic lighthouse Orfordness from the
scene. Avril once the ways that been taken away, had been giving
something back. The East of England Ambulance
Service has seen a huge increase in the numbers of calls over recent
years, and it reached record levels The service says it's
been its busiest winter ever. Today, the board of directors
met in Cambridgeshire. Among the items up for discussion,
growing demand, a shortage of paramedics and handover
delays at hospitals. But the trust says it is making
progress on response times. In a moment, the chief
executive Robert Morton, after this from our chief reporter,
Kim Riley. Pressure on the Ambulance Service
has been steadily building over the winter, with demand leaping
by almost a third last month. Between Christmas Eve
and Boxing Day, control room staff handled just under 7000 calls,
800 more than last year. The Department of Health national
standard requires paramedics treat 75% of the most serious
life-threatening calls In December, the East
of England Ambulance Service While not hitting the national
targets, the trust claims, week-by-week, it's consistenyl now
one of the best-performing Our hospitals are under
intense pressure too. The report, at today's meeting,
highlighted that delays handing In December, delays of over 15
minutes reached over 7800 hours. The equivalent of some 682
12-hour ambulance shifts. Southend, Colchester,
the Norfolk and Norwich and Peterborough among
the top contributing hospitals. A national shortage of paramedics
has led the trust to back up its recruitment drive at home
by looking overseas. Nine candidates have
been offered employment It's now considering furtehr
recruitment in Australia The trust says it's treating more
of its sickest patients within the eight-minutes target
than ever before, and is moving towards meeting national
performance standards. But the recruitment problem,
an ongoing dispute with the main union,
Unison, and a significant financial deficit are among problems that
still have to be faced. After that board meeting, I asked
the Chief Executive Robert Morton about the financial measures at the
trust. He said the need to to spend more than they had in order to keep
patients safe. If we did not spend this money now,
effectively, we would not have sufficient capacity to respond to
the huge rise in demand we're experiencing across the east of an.
Secondly, there would be tremendous pressure on our workforce. Us, as a
trust board, the pressure wave had to maintain this deficit to ensure
we have sufficient capacity to respond to patients, maintain the
safety of service and the well being of our workforce.
You talk about your workforce, the trade dispute relating to late
finishes are still ongoing. I spoke to you about that when you first
joined, 18 months ago? We have worked in partnership with
Unison and developed a number of measures to address the issue of
late finishes and disturbed meal breaks. The feedback we've had from
our workforce generally is that those changes have been positively
received. But Unison has reiterated the threat
to ballot for strike action if its demands aren't met?
One would expect a trade union to continue to maintain that option.
The reality is, we do continue to work together in partnership, we do
continue to talk between our organisation and Unison. So whilst
the statement is there, the reality is the risk of industrial action is
low at this stage. You're still, as a service, failing
to hit your targets. How much of that is down to the problems you
have with handovers at hospitals? Is good percentage is due to hand
over delays at hospitals, particularly across the festive
season, we've seen continued correlation between weight for
ambulance in areas where there are a long hand over delays.
So you haven't got enough money, you have difficult relations with the
union and you're dealing with a creaking NHS. What would your
message to beat the Health Secretary this evening about those pressures
you're facing? Clearly, we would want or money and
want it now. I think the Secretary of State with gift us that money if
he had available to him. But thing, accordingly, what we also need is
continuing recognition of the pressure we're all under and that's
where a micro doing our best underdog but circumstances. I've
heard is a recognition that is it case from the Secretary of State.
Thank you. Two weeks ago, our coastline was
bracing itself for the devastating effects of strong winds
and spring tides. Thousands of homes were
evacuated, and the sea But while many places
were left counting the cost, at Orfordness in Suffolk,
they were counting their blessings. There, the waves dumped thousands
of tonnes of shingle on the shoreline, and that
could prove vital in a battle Once again, the volunteers are
stepping into the breach on the beach. This, the latest phase of
work costing more than ?6,000 to try to delay the now redundant
structure's collapse, using these shingle-filled sausages. While it
has weathered the recent swell, for once, the waves proved friend, not
phone. We felt that the old girl was
putting up a good fight, so we decided we would help her. Given
some fair winds and a kind tail end to the winter, we should be able to
get visitors over here again this year.
Built in 1792 using three quarters of millennium breaks, it's over 750
feet tall, with another 20 feet underground. It was decommissioned
in 2013, now owned by a trust driven by passion and pride.
It's landmark that everybody loves. Went you drive in, the first thing
you see out to sea as the lighthouse. It would matter be --
Orfordness without a lighthouse would be disastrous.
We will take it year by year and at the end of each winter we will be
able to assess how she's got through the winter. Will have time from when
we can't get visitors here any more, but the lighthouse still saved, if
that makes sense. That's when we will start dismantling and moving to
the next phase of the plan. These are voice pipes, Wessels would go
all the way down to the kitchen. The keeper good summer his mate come up
here and give him a hand. They will hope to salvage an exhibit
in the museum this and other artefacts from the inside. The very
top of the building will be taken away preserve too. They know that
they will sue calm, but for now it is all about digging in and battling
on. Surrender, never. I always loved those moments when
you say, I never knew that. Powered by whale oil, well I never.
If you say Anglesey Abbey to most people, especially
at this time of year, most people will say snowdrops.
Over the years, the Abbey - which is run by the National Trust -
has built a reputation for its winter garden.
For the last 40 years, the man in charge has been Richard Todd,
but now he's stepping down as head gardener.
The nationally acclaimed winter garden, here at Anglesey Abbey -
From red dogwood to whitewash bramble.
That's the beauty of a winter garden.
You can't be unhappy about what you're seeing,
because they're fantastically bright.
Richard Todd has worked here since he was 22.
He planted much of this garden and designed a lot of it.
Now he's retiring, his successor will need to constantly maintain it
It's not a job for the faint-hearted.
Not only are you running the garden, making sure
maintaining all of those things - big team to look after,
Obviously, there's lots of emotions around that, because it's
But think it's the right time for me to hang up my boots, as it were.
The real jewel in the crown here are the snowdrops,
What are the challenges facing the new head gardener?
We've got one right here, this is the first of our named
We've got 350 in the collection, you've got to get your head
round that, to tell the stories, tell the differences
Richard is now going on to become the garden consultant
for the National Trust in our region.
If you'd like to fill his shoes here, applications close
Does look lovely. Beautiful, very cold, but don't get
colder? Yes, it today wasn't called enough.
Promoter us across the region, it was misty and foggy, temperatures
just above freezing. Beautiful photographs, a misty scene and
Norfolk this morning. Another one here in Northamptonshire. That's how
we start the evening, a lot of messed around and low cloud. Spots
of drizzle possible, even the odd snow through the night. That throws
up a problem of ice on untreated surfaces through the night.
Temperatures will drop below freezing quite rightly, down to
around minus two Celsius. In those frost-prime spots, it could go a
degree or two lower than that. As we get drier, colder, continental air
bossing the region overnight. That is going to be a feature of the
weather tomorrow. High-pressure starting to head eastwards, we get
this south easterly wind. A lump of cold air across the continent,
across us tomorrow. We start tomorrow on a cold note anyway, a
widespread frost. Potential for icy conditions as well. Cloud around,
and once more at the of drizzle, a snow flurry as well. Essentially, a
dry day. Is this dry air comes in, we'll studies ease and brightness,
perhaps even sunshine in parts of the region, across that southeastern
corner. Temperatures were some of us, not above freezing all day.
Factor in the wind-chill, as easterly breeze, it will bitterly
cold. It will feel subzero for Match Of The Day. The good news is it
won't last, but it's going to be a widespread frost. A shift in
pressure pattern, Friday a transitional day. High-pressure
starting to rake down, Atlantic weather systems pushing and from the
west. We'll study get more of a southerly wind. Celeste Coles, not
warmer, but less cold. The potential for more cloud, and patchy rain on
Friday. Not raining on Friday, but cloud around, dry interludes and
spells of patchy rain. Temperatures recovering, up to 7 degrees on
Friday. The weekend a similar pattern, dry, cloudy at times,
chilly at night, but not as cold as it will be tomorrow.
Thank you. 80 degrees on Saturday? Hardly
swimsuits! -- 8 degrees on Saturday. See you tomorrow, bye-bye.