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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,