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Good evening and welcome to BBC Look North. The headlines tonight:
Plans to halve the Humber Bridge tolls are in doubt as the four
councils disagree on how to finance the remaining debt.
It is embarrassing for the region. Then next time we go cap in hand to
the Government say we are all in agreement, they will not believe us.
Setting up for a week on the picket line - tanker drivers walk-out over
pay. The class of 12 year olds who've
all passed their GCSE English three years early.
And taking to the skies in search Cloudy tonight and not much chance
of seeing those northern lights. Good evening. The Government has
urged the four councils on the banks of the Humber to reach an
agreement on the Humber Bridge debt. Until they agree, tolls can't be
halved as promised. The deadline is next Friday. Hull City Council's
offered to take on the bridge alone is not favoured by the Government
bed with North East Lincolnshire rejecting a four-way split on the
debt, the pressure is mounting. I am pleased to have been invited
to open the Humber Bridge today. The tale of the tolls dates back to
1981 when the Humber Bridge enjoyed a grand opening. For years, drivers
have campaigned to reduce them. Now that is an option, the battle has
moved on to how to do it. In December the Chancellor, George
Osborne, agreed to halve the bridges that. The deal was that the
remaining �182 million was underwritten by the for Humber
councils. -- four. The suggestion was the shoulder 25% each but North
East Lincolnshire Council says this is unfair as less people live there.
The Government said to us that everyone is in agreement. We gave
them that guarantee. We then start fighting like cats in the stack --
a sack. We look stupid and the next time we go cap-in-hand to the
Government saying we agree, we will look like fools because they don't
believe us. 70% of the journeys take place in North Lincolnshire.
Hull City Council were willing to take all of the debt burden but we
understand the Treasury will not accept this. We wish to work with
our colleagues in the other three authorities to, but the solution.
We can't allow �150 million of Government money to go back to
Westminster when that money could be used to reduce the burden and
the financial pressure on businesses and the public in an
area. It is a huge disappointment for Simon Blakely. He runs a
haulage company in Immingham and was hoping a saving on tolls would
help him expand. You are talking of saving thousands of pounds a year.
You could put that somewhere else and utilise it.
The Department of Transport told us they want to see a deal between all
four authorities. There deadline is February and if the quarrelling
continues, the tolls could stay at The Dida of North East Lincolnshire
Council is Chris Shaw and he is joining me from Grimsby Town Hall.
-- the leader. They have accused the councils of fighting like cats
in a sack. He has a point. We are sat down trying to negotiate.
They are squabbling from the outside. He wants to get into these
meetings and say what he dad -- and then say what he thinks. For you
jeopardising the deal? We are not. We have said we will pay our share
of the deal. That money is there to night and all they need to do is to
prepare to accept to -- hour 18%. We are not part of the dead.
have an e-mail from Robert, saying there's hardly any difference. Get
on with it, Mr Shaw, think of the benefits it will bring to north-
east Lincolnshire. That is one of your taxpayers. I have for tea in
my office saying the opposite saying, stick to your guns. -- I
have a four macro in my office. There must be a reason why you are
worried about this. Are you saying you don't think the whole deal is
financially sound and could go wrong? My thing is if the deal goes
wrong and I don't think it don't stack up, my it ratepayers in North
East Lincolnshire will be saddled with the debt and I don't think it
is there to do that. At the moment, we have made an offer based on tax
payers 18% and I don't know where they can't accept that. My finance
office has been brought in to talk about the facts and figures. They
are worried that we have found out what the plan is. For we budge from
that 18%? I have a for Council mandate. -- for were you budget
from that 18%? The Liberal Democrat Party and the Labour Party, we have
a mandate that says 18%. I am one of the only councils in the area
that have got a mandate from their council to negotiate. Will the
tours come down on the 1st April? We will work to bring that down.
Somebody needs to talk to me sensibly instead of renting.
If you want to comment, send me a text or e-mail.
In a moment, egg farmers fear they will be -- they will be undercut
and put out of business for following European rules.
Tanker drivers on strike at the Conoco oil refinery and Immingham
claim they are being asked to take pay cuts of �4,000 a year. Their
employer says they are the best paid drivers in the UK. Average
salaries of �45,000. The drivers walked out this morning and intend
to stay on the picket line for a week. They union is hoping to cause
disruption to fuel supplies. -- their union.
Standing idle this morning, rows of fuel tankers at the refinery.
Normally they would be on the road delivering to garage forecourts.
Here are their drivers. They have walked out of protest at what they
say is an attempt to cut their salaries. A reduction is offering
us bid to �2,000 a year which is a reduction of around �4,000. What
the other reductions are, which we have negotiated, will come down or
so. The transport company is one of the contract is which delivers its
fuel. They have condemned the strike by its work force. It is
totally and called for and we have seen no reason for it to be taking
place. We have had open dialogue with Unite on this particular issue.
We have had one-to-one discussions with our drivers. We are
disappointed. The protest will only affect deliveries to jet filling
stations. They are warning the disruption will escalate. Those on
strike say their protest is symbolic of a wider malaise in this
industry. They are attempting to drive down the pay and conditions
of tanker drivers across the UK. This is not just an isolated attack
on our terms and conditions. The multi-billion pound oil companies
are seeking a cost down agenda. other driver's account for a 5th of
drivers from this depot. Garage forecourt shortages seem unlikely.
Joining me is Professor Gregor Gall Gall, an expert on this. What
reason did they have to go on strike? They may not be Asenby but
they have to understand the proposals that they are being
subjected to of to become self- employed, there by shade it --
shouldering the responsibility there employee used to have. They
will be able to understand that this is quite an attack on their
conditions and the drivers have the ability to respond as they are in a
strategic position to do so. There will be something of support to
emerge if the strike collapsed -- lasts over the week. They hope the
destruction of will be big and meaningful. The company says it
could jeopardise the contracts of its workers. Who is in a stronger
position? I think if the strike last for a week and there is
further action, the drivers will be in a strong position. There is a
possibility of fuels shortages throughout the country because of
the oil refinery in Essex is now not delivering. There is less fuel
in the south-east and they would be a demand for fuel from elsewhere.
This will exacerbate the issue. The drivers have a leverage available
to them. If they stick together and are concerted in their effort, they
should bring it back to the bargain table. They can get the Transfer of
undertakings so it protects their conditions. Doesn't this back-up
the oil company's claim that profit margins are low and that justifies
them cutting costs? For it may do that there is another factor. -- it
may do. The oil refinery companies have sub-contracted their
distribution networks to other companies. You have to people
trying to get their slice of the Piet. -- two people. That puts
pressure on the drivers' wages. There is that factor there. If
these operations were taken back in-house by the refinery companies,
we will not see this pressure. Thank you very much.
Of the driver's right to stand up to protect their existing contracts
or should they accept the claims the oil firms are walking on it
slim profits? -- working on a slim profits? Maybe you are one of the
The University of Lincoln is to cut his student intake by 11%, that is
up to 700 places. The Government is asking the university to reduce
student numbers to save money. Some of the courses could be transferred
to Lincoln College. Half-a-million pounds is being
given to help vulnerable people in Lincolnshire during the cold
weather. The money which has come from central Government, will be
used to help people with health problems stay warm over the winter
months. Egg farmers in East Yorkshire and
Lincolnshire fear they will be undercut and put out of business
for following European laws. The new rules have banned eggs from
battery hens but many countries are ignoring them.
It was meant to put an end to this, battery chickens in cramped
conditions. Bigger cages like he's in Withernsea were brought in under
new EU welfare rolls from the beginning of this year.
The birds have half as much space again per bird. They are able to
would move around the whole area which is about the size of a
snooker table. They have perches, dusting Mattes, they have nest
boxes so they can lay their eggs. While they have improved welfare,
other countries including Spain and Poland are ignoring the law and
keeping prices low. We needed to get a level playing field within
Europe or they will walk over us. Could poultry farmers go out of
business? A of course. We have invested a huge amount of money and
we all know what the financial world is like. I suppose people
should think why should they care? We are welfare friendly, we are
doing as they asked us to do. Support s, that is all we ask.
legal. They say there is a quicker Guide for shoppers. In the UK, it
is easy. You have to look for this lie in mark on the box and on the
cake itself. Protecting illegal eggs in food which have already
been made is a harder job. Most UK shops will only sell
illegal acts like these been packed near Gainsborough. Cakes and pasta
from abroad may have illegal eggs already baked in. It is frustrating.
It has been in place for 12 years so that it is not as if people
didn't know this was coming. Something like a quarter of the you
eggs are currently illegal. We need to get the commission to treat
everybody fairly said there is one rule for 27 member states which has
been the case. In a recent interview with the BBC, the Prime
Minister said he also wants action. With other European companies --
countries, we have to take them to court if they did put in place the
changes they have signed up to. National Farmers' Unions,
supermarkets and many factories pledged to only dues legal eggs and
there are plans for those importing illegal ones. The farmers here are
Still ahead tonight: Quite Grimsby Town are drawing comparisons with
Barcelona. And taking to the skies hoping for a glimpse of the
celestial Northern Lights. Here is a picture of the sun setting at
By the weather. I cannot believe we have the same shirts on, that will
get everyone thinking! Is that Denham? -- gingham. Tomorrow is set
to be milder but most be cloudy. -- mostly cloudy. There will be rain
on Wednesday night and there is Thursday's weather. Thursday might
not be too bad. You can see on the satellite picture an awful lot of
clout. There is still some drizzle and light rain around. Some mist
and patchy fog over the top of the hills. Tonight there will be
further light rain and drizzle. Overcast skies, you can forget
seeing the Northern Lights. The sun will rise in the morning around 7:
Perhaps just a little bit of drizzle in places first thing
otherwise it is a dry day, a cloudy one, but as the wind strengthens
there will be some cloudy -- sunny spells coming through for a time.
It will feel milder. Temperatures peaking at around 10 degrees. Some
sharp bursts of rain developing on Wednesday night. That should clear
on Thursday morning. Some sunshine and showers on Thursday, partly
cloudy for Friday and Saturday but drier by then. A class of 30
children in their second year at a school in Hull have all passed
their GCS the English which is an exam most of their colleagues will
not pass for three years. -- GCSE. Of mice and men by John Steinbeck,
not exactly the kind of reading you would expect by 12 year-olds but
these are not your average students. They have all taken their English
GCSE three years early. I got an A. I got a B. I got an A. I got a C.
Travels beckons and Shakespeare, the group achieved two grade A's,
nine bees, 15 seas and four children got a D. It is not bad
considering the school performs below the national average in GCSE
English and maths. We learned that we can achieve anything with hard
work. The world is our oyster. We are hoping that that ethos is
something we can develop across the whole of the school. We can achieve
excellence. There have been individual cases of children as
young as six getting a good grade for a GCSE but among a whole class
is quite an achievement. Best local author who visits the school to
give talks things it is for a good chance. It will give them the
confidence to believe they can achieve other things. If the
students are not happy with the results they achieve this time
round they can resit the exam whenever they feel ready. In the
meantime they are still studying A- level literature. Thank you for
getting in touch after our story about a man who was stopped from
taking photographs in Scunthorpe. This video on the YouTube shows how
security guards at the Golden wonder factory wouldn't let a local
photographer take pictures of the site. It isn't illegal to take
pictures in a public place unless there is a threat of terrorism. The
factory owners have apologised. David in Hull says over the last
few years clashes between over-keen security staff and photographers
keep happening. When will someone do something to insure everyone
knows the correct legal position? Hannah in Lincoln says, I think the
security guards were right to stop the photographer. You have to ask
why someone would want a photo of that building. It's not as if it
was a tourist attraction he was taking a picture of. Paul in Hull
had a similar experience. He sent a text to say, I was stopped in Leeds
by a security guard while taking pictures of a beautiful old
building. He admitted he was unsure why he was asking me to stop. Now
this is the beautiful city of Barcelona in Spain and today it's
being compared to Grimsby. The reason is that the Mariners have
scored more goals at home than any European club, except Barcelona.
Looking at further comparisons, is our sports reporter Simon Clark. It
is a war and spirited, vibrant and dynamic. So is Barcelona. Today the
Catalan capital was compared to Grimsby because of the scoring
prowess of both clubs. 41 have been scored by Grimsby, 43 by Barcelona.
Barcelona cannot compare to the banks of the Humber on a bracing
day like today. Barcelona claims the world's greatest stadium. This
might be and 99,000 all-seater stadium but it does not boast a
19th century stand like Brundle Park. This is football heritage.
Beat that Barcelona! Do you think there are any comparisons between
Cleethorpes and Barcelona? You are having a laugh! I love Cleethorpes
but I would also like to be in Barcelona. Dig deep and the
comparisons become apparent. supporter comes here and if he
likes what he sees he will bring his family back. That has got to be
good for everybody. This striker's counterpart in Barcelona is just as
good as him on be same number of calls. And Grimsby Town are away at
Barrow tonight. That's on BBC Radio Humberside's AM frequency. And BBC
Lincolnshire have coverage from Lincoln City against Southport.
Kick off is at 7: 45. Scunthorpe United face one of their biggest
challenges this season when fourth- placed Sheffield Wednesday visit
After the stunning northern lights display on Sunday night, sky
watchers are taking to the skies come up over the North Sea, in the
hope of getting a better look. A special flight's due to leave the
Robin Hood airport. Last night 200 passengers went on a similar
journey from Leeds-Bradford airport. The astronomer Paul Money from
Horncastle in Lincolnshire was on board, along with our reporter,
Spencer Stokes. Last night Yorkshire went in search of the
Yorkshire like it's -- the Northern Lights. 140 passengers getting
above the clouds and away from light pollution to increase their
chances of seeing this natural phenomenon. This is a force of
nature and it may have died off but you never know, we might be lucky
you never know, we might be lucky again. Cabin lights went off and
they began to scan the horizon. That is almost certainly be a
grown-up. -- the aurora. We did not see the brilliant flashes that we
had seen on television but we did see some elements we had not or
would not have seen otherwise. was not as spectacular as I would
have expected but it was still very have expected but it was still very
impressive none the less. We have had an amazing display. Tonight was
not as did as the last one but you never know with this. Another
flight will leave tonight and the prediction is that there will be a
celestial slow pace. -- showcase. Let's get a recap of the national
and regional headlines. A warning over fuel prices after a major oil
refinery in Essex goes bust with up to 1000 jobs at risk. Plans to half
the Humber Bridge tolls are in doubt as the four councils continue
to disagree over how to finance the remaining debt. And tomorrow's
weather, a damp start but otherwise dry and cloudy with brighter spells
developing throughout the day. It will be milder, with top
temperatures of 10 C, that's 50 F. A response coming in on the subject
of the tanker drivers. One person says they should get real, they
should be thankful they have a job at all. A local employees says
these drivers are currently and always have been the best paid. It