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Good evening and welcome to BBC Look North. The headlines tonight:
The controversial training programme for young people that
costs thousands, but managers say it is saving taxpayers money.
gives you a lot of confidence to go out there and apply for different
jobs that you may be thought you couldn't do in the past.
Worried about the future. Families of disabled and elderly people in
Lincolnshire wait to find out if day centres could be saved from
closure. Uncertainty for more than 300 staff
as the electrical giant Comet considers closing its call centre
in Hull. Three generations of musicians
prepare to take perform in the biggest show on the planet. The
opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Temperature levels today have been close to record levels for February.
It was a project launched in a blaze of glory, hailed as a new way
of getting young, unemployed people back into work. And today, three
years after the start of the controversial CatZero scheme,
organisers claim it has had a remarkable impact. It costs �3,000
to put someone through the CatZero scheme. But managers say the number
of youngsters who are now in work, education or training as a direct
result of it has saved taxpayers millions. In a moment, I will be
talking to the patron of CatZero, Alan Johnson, to ask him if it has
been worth the money. First, this report.
It is a project that has split public opinion and divided
politicians. CatZero takes unemployed young people and teaches
them to sail this �500,000 yacht, amongst other things. The idea is
to motivate and inspire them. After months of unemployment, this man
joined the scheme five months ago. He says it is beginning to change
her sly. It is fun. It helps to get back into working as part of a team.
It is a good thing to be on. So and so the scheme was launched, 416
teenagers have taken part in the project. Of those, 285 now have
jobs or have read -- restarted training Norwich occasion. These
success stories claimed to have saved the taxpayer �60 million.
Even the Prime Minister has questioned its ideology. If this
extravagance had been published at the time for all to see online, the
people who made this crazy decision would have had to justify it or
scrap it. Three years on, those behind the project believe this has
changed. New financial backing is being sought. But will it provide
value for money and satisfy tax payers? Any project like that will
do the local economy a lot of good. But you're just not getting what
you should be getting out of something so expensive. Do you use
the money on better things? And undecided. And confident with our
results and the support from our partners. This man is one of the
69% who have been on the scheme and been successful. He now has a full-
time job with a telecoms company. It did you confidence to apply for
it jobs that you thought you might not have been able to do in the
past. Posture were on the course, you gain qualifications. These
students are selling themselves like never before to find a job.
Hull MP Alan Johnson is the patron of CatZero, and joins me now from a
special event being held by the charity tonight. Isn't this scheme
so preserving the few lucky ones and may be ignoring the wider
issues in this in a vacuum mac -- in this area? We have a problem
here with young people not getting training. We heard some stories
today about those involved. One youngster who spent his life in
care. These kids have a lack of seaweed -- self-esteem and
confidence. All the traditional methods which cost taxpayers money
have failed. Let's look at some of the figures. 69% have gone into it
education or training. That leaves a lot of unsuccessful people. Is
that value for money? Government would consider this to
be one of the best value for money schemes we have ever had. The usual
drop-out rate is something like 16%. CatZero's target was to get 50%
back into education, employment or training. The fact they have had
almost 70% is extraordinary. I want to bring Iain Duncan Smith here to
look at this. This chairman said that we make these people ready for
work. When we were teenagers, there were not schemes to get as ready
for work. Plenty of these -- plenty of the people in our region had to
be ready for works themselves. There were difficult jobs for
people of Europe age. The jobs you can access without qualifications
now are far less. They're getting less all the time. It is estimated
there will only be 600,000 jobs you can access without qualifications
in eight years' time. Everyone agrees that these schemes are
important. We have found a blueprint here. Briefly, much of
the funding is running out. If this scheme was so great, wouldn't the
Government come forward to run it across the country? They may be.
That is why am asking Iain Duncan Smith to come here to look at it.
Already, this scheme has won at two national awards. I believe the
private sector will contribute even more now they have seen the success.
Do get in touch with us on this. Do you think this is the right
approach to getting some of our young people into work of training?
Or is it spending too much money on too few? Maybe you have seen first
hand how it can work? In a moment:
Hailed as a wonder drug to help you stop smoking, but one East
Yorkshire man is campaigning for more clarity of the medicine's
possible side effects. 31 day care centres in Lincolnshire
could be saved from closure. The county council says it plans to
keep the buildings open, but only if it can find private businesses
to come in and run the service on its behalf. And that has left the
families of disabled and elderly people worried about the upheaval
that change could cause. This man is returning home from his
day centre that he visits five times a week. He has severe
epilepsy and learning difficulties. His family are worried that if his
day centre is run by different staff, it will set him back.
knows the current staff and has wonderful things there. He is
worried things will not be the same. That would devastate them if he is
pit in a chair and just told to sit there. These private companies
promise the earth and then it disappears. The recommendation to
keep day centres like this one Open comes after hundreds of people
campaigned to save them. There are 31 day centres like this one across
Lincolnshire. There used by almost 700 people. The county council is
no longer going to pay to run them itself. Instead, it will give cash
directly to elderly and disabled people to spend on the services
they want. If those services happen to be at day centres like these, it
says it will find private businesses are groups to run them
for it. Four that vast majority of these services, we already have
people saying they want to carry on these services. There is our
handful where no one has come forward yet. But we're working on
that. This is very early days. The hand full could still close if no
one comes forward. We will work with people who use those services.
The ease proposals need to get approval from councillors next
month. But this family worry whether their day centre will stay
just the way it is. And BBC Lincolnshire will be having
a special hold to account debate on the issue of care provision and so-
called personal budgets tomorrow morning between 9am and 11am.
More than 300 jobs are under threat tonight after Comet announced it is
considering closing its Hull-based call centre. The electrical
Bristol. All the affected staff have been told. Our correspondent
has this. It is 2008 and Comet's call centre
in Hull is part of an electrical giant celebrating its 75 birthday.
Four years on and this call centre is threatened with complete closure,
jeopardising 316 jobs. Clearly, this is not good news. Comet had
been struggling for a while. But they have started a consultation
process here and in Bristol. We will continue to work with them.
They started and the City so we have had at many regular meetings
with them. We will do all we can to help support them and hopefully
keep their jobs here. The company blames a tough economic climate. In
six months last year, they announced losses of �22 million and
were sold for just �2 in November. Now managers must chose whether to
save the Bristol site or Hull one. The electronics sector has been
under huge pressure for many years. Obviously the kind of things that
consumers are cutting back on other big-ticket items that stores like
Comet are known for. White goods and televisions. Comet has suffered
because they are a major player in those categories. The consultation
will run for three months. But almost 80 years after Comet was
launched in Hull, its presence in the city could be diminished.
Behind these stores over the next few months, there will be lots of
conversations as to how these jobs can be saved. That could even be
staff relocating to Bristol. With 80 people chasing every vacancy in
this city at the moment, there is no more daunting time to be made
redundant. The family of a grandmother and her
six-year-old grandson who both drowned in a pond in Lincolnshire
has described their deaths as leaving a hole in our lives which
can never be filled. Dawn Mullany, who was 71 and from Castle Bytham,
and six-year-old Laurence Mills were found at Holywell near
Stamford last week. Today, the inquest into their deaths was
opened and adjourned. Our reporter was there and he joins me now. What
happened this morning? Well, this was a very brief
preliminary heat -- hearing and lasted five minutes. The coroner
heard that Laurence Mills had been staying overnight with his
grandmother. His family raised the alarm after they were unable to
contact her. They finally found her car near the pond in Holly Wells.
Both the bodies were discovered in the pond. A post-mortem confirmed
that both had drowned. Their family The coroner adjourned the inquest
until a later date and took the opportunity to convey his sympathy
There's been a rise in exclusion rates in North Lincolnshire schools.
Eight pupils were expelled in the 2009, 2010 school year. This rose
to 77 pupils expelled in the 2010, 2011 year.
A local charities calling for the Holy Trinity Church -- the Holy
Trinity parish church in Hull to be converted to a minster. It is
believed it would attract more visitors to the area.
Ministers are under renewed pressure to fund an upgrade of the
A63 rd in Hull. The Transport Minister has promised to consider
the proposal after it was raised by Karl Turner.
Thank you for watching. Still to come: Imagine all the way
to the Olympic opening ceremony. -- marching all the way to the
Olympic opening ceremony. And from temperatures of -16 to
temperatures better than the Mediterranean. How people in
Lincolnshire are coping with the weather. Also coming up, some
serious gloating and smug faces in a moment. Before we get to him,
Good evening. Were what a lovely day, Peter!
I got in there first and beat you to it.
Under the radio, you said you would admit that I got it right!
Yes, make a note of the date in your diary because it will not
happen again! Let's have a blow to us how high
the as temperatures have been. -- let's have a gloat as to how high
those temperatures have been. There will be a little patchy rain among
the middle of the day tomorrow. The conditions look quite nice for the
weekend. A dry weekend. You can see on the satellite picture that
Lincolnshire and much of East Yorkshire played up nicely.
Lincolnshire, -- Lincolnshire's has had a lie in's share of sunshine.
Variable amounts of cloud and not dropping below nine of 10 Celsius.
Nine is 48 Fahrenheit. In Hull, 11 degrees tonight. A dry start to the
day. Possibly quite bright at times around the Wash, but cloud will
thicken from the north-west. NIE's end to the day. A breezy day a game.
Temperatures not as high as today, but we are looking at around 12 or
possibly 13 Celsius. It is looking This is a day to remember. Accurate
forecast and serious gloating! I am not want to gloat.
See you tomorrow. Some of her that as a wonder drug,
but others claim it is dangerous. Lea Margeson from East Yorkshire
says taking Champix caused him to have seizures. He has convinced the
DVLA that the drug was behind is fit, and has just got his driving
licence back. The drug companies say there is no reliable evidence
it causes adverse reactions. Lea is calling for more research into is
possible side-effects. There have been times when Lea
Margeson wondered whether he would ever work again. The sudden onset
of seizures made his driving job impossible. He has convinced the
DVLA that his figures were likely to have been caused by Champix,
taken to help him stop smoking. kept on fighting and fighting.
Eventually, the DVLA took the evidence and made the right
decision. Pfizer, the manufactures, listed range of side-effects
associated with the drug, but Segers are not among them. Lea's
neurologist from Hull Royal The Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle
has raised concerns about the drug with a health tsar thrush -- with
the Health Secretary. It does say that the drug can cause seizures in
certain circumstances. But there are thousands of smokers who are
used Champix without problems. There is no doubt that Champix can
be an effective tool. Early trials showed that 44 % of smokers had
quit by the end of it well we cause, compared to around 30 % for the
drugs. It prevents the reward feelings of inhaling smoke. Pfizer
has issued a statement, saying it takes the safety of all his
medicine seriously, and that there is no reliable scientific evidence
to demonstrate that Champix causes adverse effects. 100,000 people in
the UK die every year due to smoking. The European medicines
agency has concluded that the benefits of Champix outweigh its
risks. Lea and many others are not convinced.
Hull City equalled a 104-year-old record last night after their
goalless draw with Brighton. It is now six games since their last
conceded. Despite efforts from Cameron Stuart and Aaron McLean,
the score means that the Tigers at two points off the play-off places.
A big response to our story about Lincolnshire Police signing a deal
with private security firm G4S to run one of its stations. The
contract was announced yesterday, and will include a new purpose-
built police station that will be run by the private firm. Just a few
And two Fall of theirs. Three generations of a family from
Spalding will be performing in front of their biggest audience yet
at the opening and closing ceremony of the Olympics. Around a billion
people are expected to watch the events. Among the performers will
be the Brights. Practising for the biggest gig of
their lives. Five members of the Spalding Marching Ambassadors will
perform at the opening and closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in
London. There was a global audience of a billion for the Beijing
Olympics opening ceremony, and the same number is expected to watch
London 2012. So no pressure, then! Is is an adventure. It is exciting.
I have always wanted to be involved with something big. I have always
wanted to be involved with one of these big bands you see in America.
I think this will be even better than that. Jim is not the anyone in
his family vault. His daughter Catherine and grandson Tristan will
join him. That is three generations of the same family. You can count
over imagine the grand scale of how it will be. Exactly how it will be,
you cannot imagine. It is unbelievable. The miners will Bay,
I do not know! -- the noise will be, I do not know. Let's not forget the
other band members with a part to play on the beat Gayle -- on the
big day. I am really excited to do it. By M excited, but nervous,
because they do not know what we are doing yet. They really do not
know what they will be doing. But in auditions, they had to Drome,
dance and even do some drama. One thing is for sure. London has there
not to live up to have. In May, rehearsals for the big event will
begin in earnest. For now, it is back to basics in Spalding.
Fantastic stories. Could look to the Spalding Marching Ambassadors.
As we heard LEA, today has been one of the warmest February days for 14
years. We reached highs of 18 Celsius. That would have been felt
in Holbeach a Lincolnshire, where less than a fortnight ago, it was a
call this place in the country, recorded overnight temperature of -
Just a few days ago, our weather was cold. And then all of a sudden,
like someone had flicked a switch, the sun is up. Less than two weeks
ago, Holbeach was recorded as the coldest place in the country, with
temperatures of -16 degrees. I would have been in my attic head
gear and thermal plants. Today, temperatures could reach as high as
18 degrees. That is like -- that is equivalent to make temperatures.
Such a dramatic change was the talk of the town on Holbeach's market
day. Warmer today! It is. Working with globes, thick globes, your
hands were still cold. Today, no jacket. It is a very warm. I had to
take my cut-off. When I get home, I will sit on my deckchair and drink
a glass of champagne. It is beautiful today. Make the most of
it. In the surrounding fields, it when the daffodils could thrive
again. But some had Friday bit too early. These daffodils were
flowering nicely, but then we had the extreme frost, which has
damaged the crop. I have never seen this before. Within less than two
weeks, we have had a Betty Ford degree Celsius difference, and that
is pretty remarkable. -- a 34 degrees Celsius difference. Today's
temperature of 18 degrees is 10 degrees higher than it should be,
so do not expected to last too long. Let's have a recap of the headlines.
Abbey s announces losses of nearly �800 million, the same amount it
has paid out in bonuses. The controversial training programme
for young people which managers claim has saved millions. Cloudy
start with patchy rain. It will get back to through the afternoon.
Response coming him on the scheme we were talking about earlier.
Somebody from Christopher's -- something from Christopher's mother.
She said, it was a godsend for him. It was worth every penny. John says,
you said that when we were young, there were no schemes to make us
work ready. There was, it was called school. Graeme said, if it