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Good evening and welcome to BBC Look North. The headlines:
Power supplies under threat as attacks on substations triple in
just a year. People are not only putting their lives at risk,
dealing with very high-voltage when attacking the assets, but obviously
endangering the lives of customers and employees.
Claims that Lincolnshire's schools are being privatised by the back
door. After snow ruined last year's
Lincoln Christmas Market, traders hope for better business this year.
I am live in Lincoln, where thousands are starting to arrive.
And I ask the honourable gentleman, whose fault is this?
How Grantham's most famous daughter is being immortalised by a
Hollywood legend. And the latest This week we've been investigating
the many problems caused when thieves steal metal to sell for
scrap. It costs millions of pounds and tonight we reveal figures which
show a dramatic increase in the number of thefts from electricity
substations. Western Electric, which covers Lincolnshire, say that
over the last three years there's been a threefold increase in the
number of incidents. So what needs to be done to prevent this crime?
In a moment we'll be hearing from the man who speaks on behalf of the
scrap metal industry, but first Copper may not be a precious metal
but it is in high demand, with people willing to risk serious
injuries and even death to steal it. Attacks on electricity substations
like this are on the rise as thieves risk everything to get hold
of metal. Throughout the sub- station you will see copper
earthing. There is a small example. This is a vital safety component
for the operating of the sub- station, but also the safety of
engineers and members of the public. Thieves target this, and reckless
scrap-metal dealers will buy it. Now the metal's being marked with
smart water. It's a clear solution used to mark valuables which shows
up under UV light. It can be used to tag metal to show where it's
come from. It only needs something very small. It is easy to detect
under ultraviolet light, if the police were to stop somebody.
In the Midlands area the problem has increased dramatically in the
last couple of years. In 2009 there were around 360 attacks on the
electricity supply chain, with thieves targeting copper cables and
overhead power lines. In 2010 that figure had risen to 960 and this
year so far there have already been more than 1,000.
In part it's the rising price of the copper that attracts thieves,
despite the dangers. When cables like these are stolen there is a
knock-on impact on infrastructure. It also affects the telecoms
industry and the industry networks. Reverend Matt Martinson left a life
of crime to join the Church. He's backing an online petition calling
for scrap dealers to stop cash payments but says people must be
vigilant. Try to light up the dark areas of the Church, in the grounds
and things, and be aware of your surroundings.
Technology like this helps to mark stolen metal in the hope that it
can't be sold on, but campaigners argue that a change in the law is
needed to really get this problem under control.
We have been keeping a tally of metal thefts in the area. Since
Saturday, Lincolnshire Police have had 74 calls about theft and
Humberside Police have had 20. Earlier, I spoke to Ian
Hetherington who's from from the British Metal Recycling
Asssociation. It not only damages the reputation of the metal
recycling industry, but it is also damaging the infrastructure of it,
in that we are obviously one of the largest victims of metal thefts.
More than 1000 raids on electricity sub-stations this year, costing
millions and putting lives in danger. And this is because your
industry offers cash in hand to the thieves, and that is what everybody
is saying. Well, firstly, we unreservedly condemn the theft of
infrastructure. It damages communities, the opportunity for
travellers to travel freely, and our members would never knowingly
entertain the buying of stolen material. Why can't we stop cash-
in-hand payments at scrapyards? Isn't it time your organisation did
something about that? The issue is not cash in hand, or the means of
payment. The issue is having a clear route of identification
between the seller of the metal, the stolen material, in these terms,
and the buyer. It does appear, though, that you police yourselves.
Do you not need the government to do something, to push something on
to you to get it sorted out? strongly dispute that. The scrap
metal industry, the metal recycling industry is heavily regulated. We
contend that much of that regulation is badly enforced and we
must see the police and the Environment Agency and all the
other regulating bodies, of which there are very many, actually begin
to co-ordinate their activities and clampdown on the illegal operators
who provide the outlet for this material. But those who run the
scrapyards, when they are offered metal which is stolen from gardens,
or whatever, they are not doing anything wrong? Absolutely, they
are doing wrong. If they are knowingly receiving stolen material,
there should be heavy penalties. We would support and we are urging the
Government to tighten up the penalties. But if you were to ban
cash-in-hand, it would stop. would not. It would have no impact
at all. There are currently a large underbelly of illegal operators out
there, working outside the existing framework of the law. If you banned
cash tomorrow, all that would happen is that their business would
enlarge and we would grow the underbelly. And at the disadvantage
of those who are heavily regulated and who can form with the law in
the current times. Thank you. The subject of metal thefts.
We'd love to hear your views on this. What's the answer to this
increasing problem of metal thefts? Is it as simple as stopping cash-
In a moment, concern about how long disabled people in East Yorkshire
are having to wait for benefit payments.
More than half of Lincolnshire's schools will be academies by the
start of the next school year. Academy status gives schools more
direct control over budgets, staff and timetables, but opponents say
it makes them less accountable. Tarah Welsh has been to one town
where the issue has been so controversial that it's led to
resignations. This site was taken over by
Skegness Academy in 2010. Those running say it's turned a troubled
school into a remarkable academy. Lincolnshire County Council has
urged all of its schools to take up academy status. That would mean
they're independent from the local authority and that's why some
campaigners are against the move. It is literally hounding the
ownership and management of running the schools over to unaccountable
private businesses. I think parents are not aware, at the moment, that
when a school goes to academy status, they lose that layer of
local accountability. But the principal here says
converting to academy means better behaviour, results and resources
for pupils and the community. have got an Academy council that
has local authority representatives on it. It has staff representatives
on it that live in the local community. Because we are local
people, we know what affects local kids.
But when Mark Anderson and Colin Wright were governors at Skegness
Junior School, when they discovered it would become an academy under
the same trust as the secondary school, they resigned. Gut-
wrenching, because I put so much effort into it. What could happen
is communities not having a hold on community schools. The community
has a big say. Look at this resource. This is a learning
resource centre that will be open to the community after school hours.
But here in Lincolnshire, 55% of secondary schools have already
converted into academies. A much higher proportion than elsewhere in
our region. In East Riding, there are five
Academy's Art of 18 secondary schools. In Hull, there are three
out of 14. In Lincolnshire, there are 32 academies, leaving just 20
in local authority control and it is a transition the Government
encourage. Lincolnshire schools have been doing very well for young
people over the last few years that they can do even better and academy
status gives them the freedom, flexibility and resources to raise
standards for all children. And with such strong support from
ministers, it's likely more of our schools will become autonomous.
Young cancer patients from East Yorkshire had their first look at a
new specialist cancer unit for teenagers today. The facility at
Castle Hill Hospital in Hull will mean many young people will no
longer have to travel to Leeds for treatment. It was built with money
raised by the Teenage Cancer Trust. Police interviews have begun in the
case of a former paratrooper whose body was found in a Hull mortuary
more than ten years after his funeral. Christopher Alder died
after being held in police custody in 1998. His family thought they'd
buried him two years later, but a police investigation began after
his body was discovered. South Yorkshire Police won't reveal who
they've spoken to as part of their investigation.
The funeral has taken place of Red Arrows pilot Sean Cunningham, who
died in an accident last month at the display team's base in
Lincolnshire. Flight Lieutenant Cunningham was ejected from his
Hawk jet while on the ground at RAF Scampton. It was the Red Arrows'
second fatality this year after the death of another pilot, Jon Egging,
in August. Today's funeral service was held at Coventry Cathedral.
Still ahead: How a Hollywood legend is
immortalising Grantham's most famous daughter. And it has only
been open a few hours, but thousands are turning up for the
If you have a picture that you are proud of, ascended into us and we
will show it at half-time on the programme one night. -- send it
There is an interesting story about that. That cloud had no name until
18 months ago when the cloud appreciation Society named it.
The headline for the next 24 hours will be thrust and perhaps one or
two icy patches tonight, but then tomorrow will be chilly but dry
with some sunshine. Not looking too bad. This weather system might
bring patchy rain tomorrow night. It has not been too bad today. The
BIC chilly but bright. Quite a lot of cloud its dreaming up from the
south. That could threaten parts of Norfolk with some patchy rain in
the next couple of hours. It will soon move away, pulling the medium
level crack -- cloud that has been with us. That means the skies will
Collier and there will be a fairly widespread frost, with temperatures
down to roundabout freezing. So the sun will rise in the morning at 750
You may be scraping ice off your windscreen in the morning. It will
be a lovely, crisps that. The sunshine will turn hazy. Bright at
times, especially through the afternoon. It will stage right. The
wind will freshen, so it will feel a little chilli. A further ahead,
patchy rain on Friday night. Saturday is not looking back. More
unsettled on Sunday with patchy Follow me on Twitter.
We can hear more about asparagus, or whatever it is called!
Asperatus! Linda says, we can still see Paul,
can he moved out of Europe?! People in our area who have their
disability living allowance stopped can face long delays before their
case is heard by an appeals tribunal. Some people have had to
wait over a year. The Tribunal Service say the deal with half a
million cases a year. They admit there is a backlog.
One Afghanistan war veteran, and one person with Chron's disease. An
incurable disease of the Basle. They are very different people with
very different disabilities, but both have suffered, or are
suffering, the same consequences of lengthy delays to hear their
appeals for disability living allowance. About nine months later,
I got my appeal. The earliest date my appeal can be head is June 1st
next year. It took Arona over a year to receive his allowance after
an appeal. Louise claimed in June, was refused will have to wait until
June next year. A lot of people have been in my position. There are
plenty more out there. You are having to make sacrifices in
between. How many more people will go through it? The weight is a
familiar story at the Citizens Advice Bureau. The air is like a
thorn all. There is lots of benefits claiming. There are
perhaps incorrect decisions being made. There are too few venues, too
few trained tribunal members to hear cases quickly. In a statement,
the Department of Work and Pensions The government says it has been
listening to concerns, and they are now reforming disability living
allowance. I have already announced significant changes to the way we
are approaching these reforms, particularly around the assessment
criteria we are using. That is directly as a result of listening
to disabled people and their organisations. In the meantime, the
wheeze is having to live on significantly less money until her
tribunal his head -- Louise. New Hull FC players had been
talking about how they are settling into life in England. Wade McKinnon
and Brett Seymour joined Aaron Heremaia in training today. They
told Simon Clark that Hull had given them a great welcome.
They come from mainland Down Under. Australians and a Kiwi. What are
the main cultural differences when you leave the Antipodes behind for
East Yorkshire? A theme is already emerging. Cold weather! Sunshine at
home to the weather here! They have left fine weather and the splendid
landmarks behind to pursue their futures in rugby in East Yorkshire.
One of them will have more than most to remember Hull by. It will
be exciting. We have got a baby due next year. It is another string to
the Barra! It is all very exciting at the moment. These fans watching
training today had their take on what the players need to settle.
Mix with the people and you are laughing. Hull people are friendly,
so they will take to them. If you snub them, they will not want to
know you. Three years ago, Rachel Barton left elbow and to settle
here. -- left Melbourne. The best way to settle his blend in, and try
to see places they have hidden away. I think Hull is a great community
with plenty to offer, but you have to go and find it. We have been
driving on stopping and having lunch. We are enjoying it at the
moment. All three of us have not seen snow, so we are hoping for
some! Was never the weather, Hull FC fans trust they will settle into
their rugby and help return the glory days to the club.
It was cancelled last year, but this afternoon, Lincoln's Christmas
Market opened, with local business is hoping to make up for last
year's disappointment. Leanne is live at the market tonight. What
can people expect? As you can imagine, there is hot
food and wine available, home-made gifts, toys and jewellery. A third
of the stalls you can see down there will be showcasing
Lincolnshire products. We will have more on that tomorrow. Lots of it
comes from across the UK and Europe. Lincoln has a very strong bond
which its sister city, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Germany, where
much of the wine that is sold here comes from. I have travelled to
Germany to see it in production. With its beautiful countryside,
historical buildings and Cathedral, it's easy to see why Neustadt an
der Weinstrasse is twinned with Lincoln. The town also has a castle,
but down below are 40 miles of thing out. That means plenty of
wine. -- 40 miles of vineyards. P Anselman estate is one of the
biggest producers in the region, producing 1.6 million bottles a
year. The wine we are bottoming today is a cabernet sauvignon. We
export our wines to more than 20 countries worldwide. Especially to
the UK. And, of course, Gluvine, or mulled wine as we call it, is a
huge seller at this time of year. Gluvine is very popular, especially
in November and December. After a cold, winter day it is very nice to
get warm again, and it is very special if you were in a typical
German Christmas Market to drink it out sight. For the last 29 years,
wine from the region has made the 15 hour journey to its twin town.
Around 2000 bottles are sold at a Lincoln Christmas Market every year.
Thousands of litres made a wasted journey last year after the event
was cancelled because of the snow. We could not believe it. After some
time, week saw the snow. After two days, we returned to Germany.
the weather in England being unusually warm for this time of
year, their arrival went to plan, and there is plenty of stocks for
this year's Lincoln Christmas market.
As we saw there, the snow last year. Traders will hope to make up for
that this Shea. The well indeed. -- this year. John is from the council.
How much money does the market bring in? We estimate about �10
million into the local economy. People come and spend money in the
city. And hopefully they will come back in the future. I am told this
is the biggest to date. What is new? We have more stalls, about 260.
We have children's craft, Street feta. Lincoln is delivering what it
always does. Atmosphere. A great start to Christmas. How many people
are expecting to come to the market? It is difficult to say, but
we think about 200,000. That is a lot of people. Why should people go
if they want more information? can look at the dedicated website.
Once they get here, there is park and ride at a Lincolnshire
Showground. The tourist centre has lots of information. Thank you very
much. Let's hope the weather stays as good as it is tonight. It is
feeling very festive here, and we will have more from here tomorrow.
The thank you very much. She is one of Lincolnshire's most
famous daughters. Last night, Leicester Square in London was
packed for the premiere of a film about her life. It is called the
Iron Lady and is the story of Margaret Thatcher. She is being
played by Meryl Streep. What do they make of her life story in its
Grantham? She was the first lady of politics,
and earned the reputation not to be trifled with. All attempts to
destroy democracy by terrorism... Margaret Thatcher was prime
minister through political turmoil, and foreign conflict. Her career
began here in Grantham. Her father was a shopkeeper. This is,
admittedly, an elegant street in Grantham, but it was still some
journey from here to Westminster. It was further still for the
daughter of a greengrocer to make it all the way to Hollywood. Of
course, it had to be a Tinseltown Ailey stare like Meryl Streep to
pull off the part of the Iron Lady. -- Tinseltown a police death.
wanted to in some way capture whatever it was that drew people to
her. And whatever it was that made people have a special venom for her
as a public figure. Do the people in Grantham know what it is all
about? First woman to do something? Prime Minister. That's it. What she
did was splendid. She did a lot for women. They put a statue or porter
and someone not the head off. always did divide opinion. You can
decide for yourself when the Iron Lady comes out next month.
There we are. The first woman to do something! I love that.
Let's have a recap of the headlines. The Governor of the Bank of England
tells high-street banks to increase their reserves as concern grows
about the eurozone. Attacks on electricity sub-stations
triple as metal thieves threaten power supplies.
A dry day tomorrow, although the clouds -- This Guy's will cloud
Big response on the subject of the metal thefts after our report and
interviews this week. Peters says, what that Gentleman has said is
rubbish. That is our guest. I lived in West Hull and local youths would
stretch lead from occupied and derelict houses, knowing that local
scrap dealers give them ready cash to feed their drug habits. George
said, it and it takes one of these idiots to get electrocuted, it
might make them think twice. Gill says, signed who is by newt and
give the thieves know where to take it, that is the answer -- Sark --