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Good evening and welcome to BBC Look North. The headlines tonight:
Backing from a Hull head teacher on government plans to stop parents
benefits if their children repeatedly skip school. Anything
that strengthens the ability of schools under local authority to
ensure that students are in school, I think is a good starting place.
Parents react to the investigation into a Lincolnshire academy's
finances and it's boss's resignation. Quite shocked. I had
heard some warnings what I would like them to be squashed or
confirmed. One of the survivors of this
balloon crash tells Look North he will take a flight again.
Find out the lengths these Lincolnshire ladies are going to
for the Diamond Jubilee. Sunday's some rain fall to come
later tonight. Your week ahead The headteacher of a secondary
school in Hull has given a cautious welcome to Government plans to dock
parents child benefit if their children repeatedly skip school.
Hull has one of the worst records in the country for offenders with
more than 9% of all children being classed as persistent truants,
those are children who miss more than 15% of their available
schooldays. The national average is 6.1%. Our social affairs
correspondent Vicky Johnson has been gauging reaction in the City
to the latest Government plan to beat the problem of truancy. I am
ringing to find out why your child is not in school.
Every day around 35 pupils play truant from Endeavour High School
in Hull. Even so, attendence rates here have improved by 4% over the
past two years. And the interim head Stuart Edgell believes
Government proposals to take an even tougher stance with parents
could be a good idea. Anything which strengthens the ability of
schools and the local -- local education authority and local
authority to ensure that students are in school, I think is a good
starting place. When children don't attend they
don't achieve. That's the simple message from education officials.
Even missing just 10% of schooling can mean the difference of two
grades which could mean passing or failing at GCSE.
No one has been available from the city council to discuss why when
school absence is still a problem in Hull. The budget for education
welfare officers has been cut by �500,000 over the past year or why
the number of parents prosecuted has almost been halved.
But most of these parents thought the Government was right to take
child benefit from those who failed to get their children to school.
is meant to be spent on your child. If you cannot be bothered taking
your child to school, then you're not being a very good parent.
get that money to look after your kids and if you're not looking
after them by sending them to school there maybe you should not
have that money. Clearly family -- families whose children do not come
to school, a lot of them have problems and I do not see how
cutting income can help. Some of the city's MPs agree that
punishing vulnerable children and their families is certainly not the
answer. Some people in my constituency are really, truly
already on the breadline and cannot afford to lose any more money. I am
sure they are desperate to get their kids to school and they
encourage them but this is not the way to do that in my view and we
should look at more support for them and early intervention, all of
which have been cut by this government.
While education advisers agree that parents should take more
responsibility in helping to tackle truancy. Arguments still rage on as
to whether the carrot or the stick approach works best.
I'm joined by the MP for Beverley and Holderness who's also on the
Chair of the Education Select Committee. We heard there from the
Child Poverty Action Group saying that cutting benefits in an area
like Hull, which is already socially deprived, is a mistake.
Is this a mistake? No, the people you spoke to before want to give
more support to their people who have kids in school. In an area
like East Hull, the best message is to get children to school and make
sure they are there every day and help them get the extra two grades
that have been mentioned. If we do that we know the people who get the
grades get the jobs and earn more throughout their life and have a
better and richer life and we can break the cycle of deprivation
which has gripped many people in East Hull for generations. The
attitude that says we cannot punish people who acted responsibly is
irresponsible and it is the attitude that has put us in the
mess that we are in now. I would never overstate the importance of
this report. Get the children to school and you will be amazed at
what they're capable of and how well they can do at school.
money that pays for education and welfare officers has been cut. If
the government invested more in that rather than cutting benefits,
surely there would not be as many truants? It is a combination of
things. Hull City Council is responsible, it is a Labour-run
council, and it has to make its own choices about how it spends its
money. This report says let us go in early and look back children and
primary school and measure what they're doing and into been early
and get them used to turning up at school. If you get the grades and
you go to school there was a future for you where you are. School is so
important and if we can do that we can make sure our young people,
wherever they come from, get a first start in life. We must send a
message to parents to get their children to school or they will pay
a price as well which sends a message to some of the chaotic
disorganised parents out there and they know their kids do not have to
end up the way they have. We'd love to hear your views on this story.
Is it right to cut benefits if parents allow their children to
At we will have some messages before we finish the programme.
In a moment: Villagers in North East
Lincolnshire say they're being forced to pay for a community hall,
even though they voted against it. Parents at a Lincolnshire school
say they're shocked after it was revealed it's been investigated
over its financial management. The investigation started after a BBC
report into the school last Autumn. Two weeks ago the chief executive
of the Priory Academy's management group stepped down suddenly due to
the inquiry. Jake Zuckerman reports. A salary of �200,000 made Richard
Gilliland one of the country's best paid civil servants. But his sudden
resignation as chief executive of the Priory Academy's management
group, has come as a shock to parents, who today dropped their
children at school for the first time since his announcement.
Surprising. He had such a good reputation. People in public
positions have to be very careful that they abide by the financial
rules but I do not know whether or not he has. Quite shocked to be
honest. It will be interesting to find out... I have heard some
rumours but I would like to know why he has resigned.
With 4,500 pupils at four sites in Lincoln and Grantham, the Priory
Academy has a high profile. And during his time in charge Richard
Gilliland oversaw a multi-million pound building programme, A
programme that included state of the art sports facilities, a
science block with its own planetarium, and a �1.9 million
study centre in France. These lavish facilities have led to
raised eyebrows in education circles. Last october the BBC
reported on concerns about the academy's spending. That sparked a
government investigation which in turn led to the resignation of Mr
Gilliland. But tonight it's still not clear exactly what it was that
that government investigation uncovered.
Jake is outside the school this evening. What have the school had
to say today? We have approached the school for
their comment and they have told us they have nothing further but they
can add at this time. They have prepared their own response to the
government investigation which will be put to the school's trustees
later this week. What is adding to the mysteries surrounding the
resignation is that we know so little about the investigation that
has prompted a. We do not know its scope or any details about its
findings and that has led to calls from parents and teaching unions
and politicians to politics -- to publish its findings and provide
some much-needed transparency. Thank you very much.
Two men have been charged with murder after a man was found dead
in Lincoln City centre. The 44- year-old died from a single stab
wound after being found on Portland Street in the city on Saturday. 38-
year-old Mark Titley and Benjamin Freeston who's 32 have appeared in
court this morning. A fleet of surveillance planes
remains grounded after faults were discovered during an inspection at
RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. Engineers have spent the weekend
investigating the structural problem involving the Sentry
aircraft. The seven planes will remain grounded while further
checks are carried out. The planes were recently used over Libya.
A replacement for a statue which was stolen from the banks of the
Humber is to be erected at the start of next month. The Voyage
Statue marked the seafaring links between Hull and Iceland, but was
stolen by scrap metal thieves last summer.
A man from Pocklington has described the moment his hot air
balloon crash landed on power cables in East Yorkshire. 61-year-
old John Newstead was left with a black eye after the balloon was
dragged 200 yards by a gust of wind as it was trying to land. Sarah
Corker reports. A keen photographer, John Newstead
had booked his first hot air balloon trip as a special treat. He
captured these images just moments before the balloon crash landed on
power lines. There was an almighty bump and we went over the
embankment which we did not realise until afterwards. We drifted for
another hundred yards or so and then we stopped. We could hear a
few crackles and bangs and then we were told we could come out. It was
only then we noticed how close we were to the water and the fact the
balloon had tangled in the wires. We could have been electrocuted or
drowned if the balloon had gone another few feet.
The balloon had been travelling for around 20 miles over the Yorkshire
Wolds when it attempted to land in West Haddersley near Selby. But a
strong gust of wind caught the baloon at the last moment. It hit
the flood bank and went over the bank and that is when I lost sight
of it. It obviously drifted into the lines and as you can see they
have just been very lucky. The cables carry 66,000 volts. But
as soon as the balloon hit the wire, the electicity supply was cut. All
nine passengers escaped without serious injury. And for John, a
black eye is the only sign left of the dramatic landing. When we
curled up to brace ourselves for landing, I tucked my camera between
my knees. The jolt as the balloon bounced along, the thing came free
and smacked me in the face. The Balloon Adventure Company that
runs the trips has launched a full investigation into exactly what
happened. But it hasn't put John off trying it again. I would
certainly do it again. I cannot wait to get up there. The same
pilot, he treated us wonderfully and he did so well to avoid a
catastrophe. But John probably won't be in a
hurry to take a flight again on Friday 13th.
Well done to John, he had a lucky escape on Friday the 13th!
Still ahead tonight: Double defeat. Disappointment for
both Hull rugby league clubs as they go out of the Challenge Cup.
The radio stars who have now become If you are a picture you are proud
of then send it in. To make this And now the weather. The head line
for the next 24 hours - unsettled, but some useful rain for East
Yorkshire and Lancashire. This area of low pressure will be with us
until next time -- this time next week. The rest of April looks very
unsettled with showers and spells of quite useful rain. The satellite
picture shows the weather system coming in later. In the short term,
not too bad, dry and reasonably bright. But the rain will sweep and
from the West later. There could be a touch of ground frost in places.
The sun will rise in the morning at 5:55am. There are you a high water
times. It is a wet and windy commute first thing. The rain will
be persistent but it is moving quickly out of the way and will be
clear off the coast by 10 am. Some afternoon sunshine and some
blustery showers. Top temperatures, the average around about 12 Celsius
and that is where be will be tomorrow afternoon. So, low
pressure in charge for the rest of the week. It means there will be a
scattering of showers. Some showers will be heavy, thundery, possibly
Least that did not warn us about the sun rising in the morning, but
People living in a village near Grimsby are considering suing their
parish council of plans to build a new community hall. Residents say
that the village is being forced to borrow up to �3,000 even though
most people against it. The people of Greatcoates have voted on the
issue twice. They were asked if they wanted to borrow money to
build a new village hall. There votes cast in favour of yes -
377, boats in favour of no, 877 but despite the vote, councillors want
They're acting undemocratically by not taking account of the
referendums we have had. The plan is for a New Hall on this
site. The repayments would be at it to villagers rates and put them up
more than �20 per year. Greatcoates did have a community centre but it
closed down over eight years ago and groups like there Women's
Institute have had to go elsewhere. Is it fair that the burden of debt
should be shouldered by everyone in the village even if they do not use
If you asked people if they would like a village hall without paying
the majority would say yes. But I'm afraid that in any climate if you
want something you have to pay for But protesters are calling for the
parish council to be dissolved and are even considering legal action.
One a possible route is a judicial review in which the parish council
are brought to court to state why, effectively, they have acted out of
their authority. If indeed that either case.
The parish council did not want to comment and protesters say they
will not give up stopping the debt from hanging over the village.
Responses to concerns about how church renovation could be hit by
changes to VAT bills announced in the Budget. The Archdeacon of
Lincoln is campaigning to stop the introduction of VAT on alterations
to listed buildings. Jackie in Hull There will be no Wembley appearance
for Hull's Rugby League clubs. Rovers came nearest to securing a
place against Catalan but Hull FC won easily defeated by Huddersfield.
-- where it easily defeated. Rovers' supporters who left at
half-time it could have missed the greatest comeback of the season. In
a mirror image of the first half they went on the front foot. This
boat try was delivered and when another run the length of the field
was completed the turnaround was almost over. But this kept was
missed to level the scores. Hour kicking let us down. I am
disappointed by that but we left ourselves too much to do after the
first half. Hull FC have had injury problems
but this looked like being a good day. But their joy was short-lived
after these tries when Huddersfield swept past them to record an easy
win in the second half. They have got a strong squad. We
are depleted at the moment. The upside is the experience that the
young blokes are getting now. It is terrific.
The walking wounded must be patched up before their next game against
Wigan. Nick Barmby has called on his side
to be ruthless in the final three games of the season. Hull City will
probably have to win them all to qualify for the play-offs following
their 1 - 1 draw at Watford. I want a positive performance. We
got that against what for that we could not put the ball in the back
of them. When we do get chances tomorrow I want to put the ball on
the back of the net. You can see all the goals from the
Hull City and Scunthorpe United games on late kick-off this evening.
For many, celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee might be a last-
minute decision. But for people in Rippingale the sewing has been
going on non-stop since last November. They want to cover the
village in 12 miles of bunting. And grand state occasion often calls
for a grand celebration. As the Diamond Jubilee creeps ever closer
and so does the sense for the need to party. But before such pleasures,
the preparation. In this village there is literally miles of it. All
of this sewing, penning, stencilling, cutting, ironing, is
to make enough bunting to decorate every sheet -- Street in the
village. We have used anything we can get.
It is quite relaxing. You can think of all sorts of things, like what
you're going to cook for dinner tonight.
So what is for dinner tonight? Roast lamb!
Jean has been working hard since November took great and neat edge.
Some of Our husbands around the village are looking for their
favourite shops! So far about 15,000 ft has been
sown but there is another 50,000 to go. In total they are aiming for
about 12 miles. Do you so when you sleep?
Sometimes, yes! At times however, even with the
best intentions, things become a little bit undone. And a bit
knotted. But generally the whole project has helped the community
become closer and that. -- close- knit.
It is good fun and a way to meet villagers you would normally see.
I was just lucky to leave with my Sheridan Smith has won her second
Olivier Award. After success in Legally Blonde she won an award for
so her supporting role in the play, Flare Path. As she is working in
Australia, director Trevor Nunn accepted a award on her behalf.
I would give anything to be with you tonight but my parents are in
the audience so please tell them that I love them.
A fantastic story. You can hear Trevor Nunn's speech in full
tomorrow if you can tune in. They are more used to entertain
listeners on the radio but on millions -- on Friday millions of
people watched as Beryl and Betty made their television debut on the
BBC show, the One Show. If you watched on Friday you might have
noticed too familiar voices. 86- year-old and 90-year-old Beryl and
Betty. They were watched by millions. Backstage they felt
overwhelmed. I cannot describe this. It is
unbelievable. I would never have believed that we would be sat in
there. When he asked me a question I made a bit of a mistake but I
could not help it. I was so Their new found fame is all down to
their radio show which has been nominated for a Sony award. It is
not surprising with features such as chicken dinner.
Chicken dinner. A Frank Skinner. The Grand National or chicken
dinner? The programme also heavily features
the music of Michael Bubley. They were treated to a special feature
from the One Show. What is your favourite Michael
Bubley sans? I like them all.
Andy me even get to meet their idol The headlines: the man accused of
killing 77 people in Norway goes on trial. Backing for a head teacher
who is behind the government plans to find parents who allow their
children to truant. And top temperatures, 12 Celsius.
More responses on the subject of truancy. Daisy says, why should
parents be punished? For all we know Our Kids are in school. And