15/12/2011 Look North (East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire)


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Good evening. Thank you for joining us. Welcome to the programme. Our


headlines - concern over former criminals working as taxi drivers.


Is the vetting tough enough? A special investigation. I think a


lot of people will be surprised to learn that the people who drive


taxies are not always completely honest. Some of them have got


criminal convictions. Not a lot, but many. The vast majority are


very trustworthy. You always get the rogue element in any trade.


Also, as customers look for bargains, businesses in the area


look for opportunities to compete. Treasure trove of memories -


thousands of films are given a new home in Lincolnshire. We have got


the answer to one of the most Googleed questions in Britain -


what is scampi? Ice could be a problem again tonight. Join me for


Good evening. BBC Look North has learnt that former criminals, with


convictions, including assault, burglary and affray, are being list


cepbsed to operate as taxi -- licences to operate as taxi drivers.


One operator has told us that he won't allow his daughter to travel


with a driver he doesn't know. But the police and council officials


insist that licenced taxies are still the safest way to get home


during the party season. We have this special report. Christmas


revellers enjoying the party season. They are taking their own safety


seriously and already planning how they'll get home. Taxi. Taxi.


are getting home by taxi. Taxi. Taxi. Taxi. What they probably


don't realise is that the taxi could be driven by a convicted


criminal, who has been licenced quite legal by Hull City -- Hull


City council. It will only grant a licence if they are satisfied that


the person is fit and proper. But this driver is concerned that some


drivers are far from fit and proper. If my daughter wants to go out, I


make sure I'm there to collect her, or make sure I know who will make


her up. I will not allow her to use taxi companies. I won't allow her


to hail black cabs. Our own investigations seem to bear out


some of the concerns. We have learnt that some licenced drivers


have criminal convictions spanning more than 20 years. Records show


that one licenced private hire driver has 32 separate convictions.


They are for offences including burglary, assault and sex with an


undergauge girl. Despite a recent conviction for affray, his licence


has still been renewed. Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act ex-


offenders can wipe the slate clean once a period of time has elapsed,


but taxi drivers are ex em -- exemp. While this driver couldn't do


school contracts there was nothing to stop him carrying children. You


could have picked up young boys or girls from the station? Yes. I did.


You did? I did, yes. You had to take up any fare, unless they were


known prostitutes, drunks or known to be violent. All taxi drivers are


subject to checks by the Crimial Records Bureau, but councils can


still knowingly and legally licence those who have offended in the past.


James Button is a solicitor specialising in taxi licencing law.


People do reform and change. People do recognise the error of their


ways. That's fine. As with all things, it's fine up to a point.


You do get people who are serial criminals and those are the people


who the system should and I emphasise should, prevent from


being licenced. This cab firm deals with around 15,000 passengers every


week. They insist the overwhelming majority of drivers are safe to use.


I would guarantee in our association that 99.9% of all


drivers are genuine drivers. If the public has any problems go straight


to the Public Protection Department and they'll deal with it. A view


echoed by Hull's Hackney carriage drivers, who launched a campaign


today. The vast majority of drivers are very trustworthy. You always


get the rogue element in any trade. Obviously, it doesn't concern me at


all. The Hackney carriage and the private hire industry are very safe.


This woman, though, has a different story to tell. She has recorded --


reported to police she endured 20 minutes of terror was a taxi driver


allegedly refused to let her out, because he wanted her phone instead


of the fare. He was going really fast on the main road, so I knew


there was no point in jumping off. We got to the junction and he


stopped and he was picking up speed and that was my opportunity then to


jump out. I was terrified. During the past two years, at least three


taxi drivers from Hull have been jailed. Two of them had sexually


assaulted their passengers, but Humberside police say the cases are


still very rare. The majority of the drivers in the city are law-


abiding and trustworthy in that respect. Where the issues lie is


when people get into vehicles that are not authorised to carry out


that journey. Despite these reassurances, concerns remain about


the licencing of ex-offenders. you think of people working with


the public like that and licenced by the council, that they would


have more stringent tests to ensure public safety. It's a concern not


just for our students, but friends or family members if anything


untoward were to happen to them, especially in the hands of somebody


who has been given a licence. Despite any concerns raised, the


official advice remains the same. It's much safer to take a licenced


taxi even if the person behind the wheel has a criminal record.


Vicky is in the centre of Hull right now. What have the City


Council had to say about this? They've declined the opportunity to


be interviewed by us, but they have issued a statement saying perm


safety is of paramount importance and if they discover that any


driver has been convicted or charged with any criminal activity


then they'll have to appear before the city's committee and


appropriate action will be taken. Now, if we had been able to


interview them we would have liked to have asked them how robust the


wetting procedures are. While our report ha centred on Hull, I must


stress that this situation is quite common across the country and in


many ways, Hull's more proactive in some of the procedures. For


instance, they insist on the annual licencing of their taxies. This is


recently been taken up by East Lindsey council, who is following


suit. Another thing I have to point out is that a tax on tax I --


attacks on taxi drivers are much more common than the other way


round, and the safest way during this party season is by licenced


taxi, rather than any bogus or other cabs at all. Thank you.


We throw this one open to you tonight. Do you think the law


surrounding taxi drivers needs to be toughened up? Do you think they


have served their time and should be allowed to get on with earning a


living? Maybe you are a driver More news. Plans to move the Red


Arrows from RAF Scampton near Lincoln to RAF Waddington have been


put on hold. The previous Government had announced the base


would be closing, but that was suspended because of the Spending


Review and operations in Libya. Today the Ministry of Defence has


said it will be reviewing the decision to move the Reds. It'll


publish its findings in the new year. Former Scunthorpe MP, Elliot


Morley, has been ordered to pay more than �56,000 in costs, after


being convicted of fiddling his expenses. Morley was jailed in May


after admitting fraudulently claiming around �30,000 of


Parliamentary expenses. Today an order's been made by a judge in


London for him to repay his Legal Aid and prosecution costs. Snow and


ice caused problems for drivers this morning. The A163 in Holme on


Spalding Moor in East Yorkshire was closed for several hours after a


three-vehicle accident. No-one was hurt. The name of a man who died in


this crash near Caistor yesterday morning has been released. Mohamed


Azzabi was 43 and from Nettleton near Market Rasen. Four children


and a woman who were in his vehicle are still in hospital with serious


injuries. The MP for Brigg and Goole has been leading a debate in


Parliament on his proposals to introduce compulsory money


management lessons in schools. Andrew Percy wants young people to


get the training to try and stop them getting into debt later in


life. More than 100,000 people have also signed a online petition


backing his report. It's not about moralising about debt. It's not


about that. It's not about educating people never to be in


debt, but providing people with the appropriate skills. Still ahead -


painstaking work to preserve the past. The film archive that's come


to Lincolnshire. I don't know what scampi is. I've had it in


restaurants. It's very nice. Not a clue what it is. Yes, scampi update,


all will be revealed. The photograph tonight is from Horn see


Mere. Several people have been writing


this afternoon from South Yorkshire saying that they want an apology


tonight. What about your feature on scampi? No, about the fact that


last night's forecast was a bit - what's the word I'm looking for,


what's the word I'm looking for, wrong? I suppose we had a bit of


snow in Sheffield. It is snow in December, but we didn't get that


one right. We did forecast widespread ice. I'm sure you were


going to point that out to your millions of viewers. He has gone


quiet. You're on your own. excited about the scampi piece.


We'll look at the warning. It's in place. We could have icy patches


once again on untreated surfaces. There is the nasty looking area of


low, which will push way to the south. The interesting thing is the


northern edge of that rain could fringe into the extreme south of


Lincolnshire. A bit of sleet towards the end of the night.


Actually, we have ended the day with plenty of clear weather.


Temperatures will drop away quite smartly. A risk of one or two


showers from the west. Then the wind switches to the east. To the


end of the night, watch the extreme south. It would bring rain or sleet


and patchy, light snow. Elsewhere, watch out for ice on untreated


surfaces. Temperatures around It looks like tomorrow will be


quite cold, a bit windy and any sleet and snow with rain pushing


away south from south Lincolnshire and quite cloudy skies. There is a


risk of a scattering of showers. Mainly of rain. Perhaps a little


sleet. Even a bit of wet snow, but chiefly over the top of the moors.


Frosty at night. Wintry showers to Frosty at night. Wintry showers to


come. Dotdot The high streets are struggle in the run-up to Christmas


according to figures out today. Retail figures have fallen despite


Retail figures have fallen despite heavy discounts. In the third part


of our series on the economy, our business reporter looks at how


shoppers are spending less and also shoppers are spending less and also


shoppers are spending less and also shoppers are spending less and also


searching for a bargain. company


company behind this pound shop is now opening a new store at the rate


of one a week. Here, they are hoping for record Christmas sales.


Our Christmas is going to be our best-ever Christmas, but generally


speaking people are being very careful in what they are spending


and where they are spending it. Poundland's latest store is opening


in Lincoln. It's a relatively affluent city, but habits are


changing. What is clear, it's rarely been so competitive on the


high street and the rise of the pound shop perhaps tells us that


shoppers are more than ever seeking value. Also, that there's less


money to spend. This shop is a successful independent business,


but recently it's been surrounded by discount stores, where


sandwiches can cost as little as �1ment It has pushed up to up our


game and open a night-time shop next door. We took over that and


started to do late-night food. Sales, discounts and offers - shops


are working hard to try to bring custom in. Will you spend more this


year or less than last year? Less than last year. Why? Because I


haven't got it. I feel as though I should look after what I've got.


You are cautious? Yeah. With thrift on the agenda, the stores selling


the big-ticket eye Emms know they'll have to work hard for their


money. People are searching round for the bargain and value out of


the product. There's no doubt about that. There are smaller items being


sold. Different kinds of a feel to this year. In east Yorkshire and


Lincolnshire average salaries are continuing to be outstripped by


inflation and the high street is just one place where the pain is


continuing to be felt. Paul's been following this story all week. It's


been a pretty grim week of economic news. Is there any cause for hope?


You are right. It's been gloomy. We have seen inflation at 4.8% and


average annual salaries are falling and unemployment is going up here.


If there is a glimmer, it's the Christmas shoppers, because the


high street has rarely been as competitive as it is. Every shop is


undercutting the next. Some of the discounts out there now are


unbelievable. The problem is they are unsustainable too. Many


retailers are going to have a very tough time if they don't shift


their produce in the run-up to Christmas. Thank you.


Thanks to every who -- everyone who got in touch about a new shopping


centre to be built on the outskirts of Scunthorpe. There were a -- an


equal number of votes yesterday. I'm thrid for Scunthorpe, bringing


money back -- thrilled for Scunthorpe, bringing money back


into the area. People will be able to come into town and get the rest


of their shopping and it will be jobs and money in our area.


traffic is unbelievable, so with them being there it's terrible.


It's disgusting. We have both sides on the radio earlier today and


again, a huge response. Thank you for the messages after last night's


programme. Just a few. First, John Because of the response, we'll have


more on this tomorrow lunch time on the radio, if you can join me.


Plans for a �50 million development in Mablethorpe have been turned


down by councillors. Developers had wanted to build 180 new homes,


together with a supermarket, garage and pub and restaurant, but


campaigners had argued it would increase the chance of flooding.


BAe Systems say they are more optimistic about their future,


after a meeting with David Cameron. Staff from the site in Brough


arrived back in east Yorkshire last night, after going to see the Prime


Minister about plans to mothball the site. David Cameron said he


would put pressure on the company to rethink its proposals, to make


almost 900 people redundant. Hull City boss, nick Barmby, says


he hopes the few days off will make the players feel refreshed. They


recovered before their game this weekend. Barmby has now won four of


his six games since taking charge. City are fifth in the championship.


That is their highest position since falling from the Premier


League. Then we have the Leicester game and Birmingham and then


Coventry, as in the way they play and got the ball forward, that was


quicker. Then the big teams and two centre forwards, so it's been a


demanding week. They deserve a couple of days off. They've rested


and done the right things and been looking sharp. We'll have


commentary of the match on Saturday on the radio. Lincoln City FC has


been spreading Christmas cheer at the county hospital. The squad


visited the children's wards to meet some of the youngsters and to


hand out gifts. The manager, David Holdsworth, says that getting into


the community is important for the club and the players. It's a very


pleasant surprise. It's very nice. Enjoyable. It's very nice. It was a


big surprise. We recognise we are in a community and to give just a


tiny little bit back to the community means a lot. Something to


listen out for on your own BBC local radio in the morning, when


you get a chance to put questions about key local services. Stephen


Parnaby, the leader of East Riding of Yorkshire council, will be on


radio and Kieron Nelson of Anglian Water will be taking your questions.


It's the feature we call Hot Seat. If you are concerned about council


tax in east Yorkshire or worried about your water bill in


Lincolnshire then listen in: Lincoln has become home to a huge


archive of films. Thousands of items from across large parts of


the country. The collection based at the university, aims to preserve


films like this one, from Skegness in the 1960s, for generations to


come. Phil has the story. It's a treasure trove of memories. Films


which tell family stories and remind us of days gone by.


first call was alSkegness weather station, where we could watch the


weather recorded as it happens. Of course, it was a beautiful, sunny


day. It always has good weather. This family's memories were filmed


for the council. The year is 1961 and shows many sites still around


today. Here we are driving along South Parade, around the clocktower


to the Embassy Ballroom. It's not always so much what is happening in


the foreground. I think this is what people need to understand.


They think it's not going to be of interest to anybody, but them, but


it's Whapping behind, which gives us so much information about --


what is happening behind and which gives us so much information about


what is going on. The university has 70,000 films, the oldest of


which dates back 114 years. Handling these films is of course a


delicate job. As we can see here, many arrive in the poor state of


repair. For the team responsible, there's often weeks of work to make


sure they survive. People who haven't seen the films maybe since


they shot them and if they had a projector and they haven't seen it


since then, it's a great thing to get a note back from a depositer,


saying how happy they are that they've got to see the films.


centre already receives around 20 new films a week and today this


lady brought in her collection. don't know what they are. The fill


pldz are believed to have recorded life at Stoke-on-Trent's theatre


and could have early performances from two well-known actors.


actors were a young Ben Kingsley and Robert Powell. They were in the


documentary plays at the theatre. They may well be here in more


scenes that have never been seen. lovely garden here and lot of roses.


All the films stored here can be viewed by the public, so if you've


got treasured memories in the loft, donating them cob the -- could be


the best idea and ensuring their survival for future generations to


enjoy. As advertised, out of all the questions typed into Google


this year, this the second-most popular - what is scampi? No-one


seems to know why so many people want to know, but what we do know


is that half of all the UK's scampi is produced right here in east


Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The Royal Wedding, celebrity gossip and


cheap flights. All popular topics that internet users have been


gooingling this year, but the second-most -- gooingling this year,


but the second-most asked question was about scampi. Scampi is


Langersteen and it can be known as Norwegian lobster and it's a hard-


shelled crustation. They don't realise it's the Langersteen tail.


Scampi was developed during World War II. German U boats and a


shortage of trawlermen means that they became popular. Now, thousands


of tonnes of it are produce inside Grimsby. It's an industry worth 62


million a year. 50% of squam my is produced here. -- scampi is


produced here. The question is, do people know. Yes, it's very nice,


but I've not a clue what it is. Fish and it's in batter. It's a


fish. I'm not quite sure. I'm quite ashamed. The most popular question


asked was what is AV, but Google says it was closely followed by


what is scampi? It also surprised us a lot. To be honest, we don't


know why it is that interesting. It's really unusual. It may be a


popular choice on today's menu, but across the country many still


aren't exactly sure what it is. Norwegian lobster in a basket. A


recap of the main national and regional news - more than 13,000


troops are drafted in to provide extra security for the Games in


London. Concern over former criminals working as taxi drivers.


A special investigation looked at whether vetting is tough enough.


The weather for Friday - cloudy at times and further showers of rain


and sleet. Some snow possible over higher ground. A response coming in


on the subject of taxi drivers, after that report from Vicky


Johnson earlier. One here, "Surely it should depend on the nature of


their offence. Violent crime is a no-no, but non-payment of tax is


less of a problem." And this from Morgan, "Once a criminal, always a


criminal. They'll not change. This is an exact reason why I am


frightened of taxies." This from Sheila, "You should make sure there


is more than one person in a taxi. Especially if living near each


other." This from George, "Any taxi driver prosecuted for serious


offences should have their licence taken away for life." Just finally,


this from Kerry, "If they have a criminal record then I think no,


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