17/04/2012 Look North (East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire)


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Good evening and welcome to BBC Look North. The headlines tonight.


Tens of thousands of people back a campaign to scrap VAT on Air


Ambulance fuel. Why some children with learning


difficulties are being given no choice over their college education.


Why can't we have that choice anymore? Why has it been taken


away? We're going backwards, not forwards.


The first confirmation of the drought's massive effect on


wildlife. And celebrating an Olympic heroine.


How a Lincolnshire village is remembering its medal winner from


1924. There is more rain to come. Join me


for the latest. Good evening. More than 140,000 people have


signed a petition against VAT on the fuel use by our Air Ambulances.


The online petition on the Government's website now has enough


names to prompt a House of Commons debate. Currently, the Yorkshire


Air Ambulance pays �6,000 to the Treasury every year in VAT for the


fuel they use, something which a Hull man who owes his life to them


has described as a disgrace. Vicky Johnson reports.


A motorbike accident last year has left Andy Broxham with severe


facial injuries. He's convinced he would have died but for the


Yorkshire Air Ambulance. He simply can't understand why the emergency


services has to pay tax on the fuel it uses.


You don't realise until you are involved in these things that it is


totally funded by donations. And to add insult injury, when they say


you have to pay tax on the diesel, it's disgraceful. These vehicles


save lives. Without that, people will die. Under European Union


rules, the Yorkshire Air Ambulances have to pay 5% VAT on their fuel.


But the Lincolnshire service doesn't pay VAT because its


helicopter is rented. And lifeboats - another emergency service funded


by charity - have been exempt from the tax since 1977. That's before


air ambulances even existed. These anomalies have prompted the latest


online petition. More rescue missions like this


could be carried out if thousands of pounds weren't being spent on


fuel VAT is the argument from Air Ambulance officials.


It would cost us about �120,000 in fuel for both ambulances. We then


pay VAT, a further �6,000 which equates to three life-saving


missions to ours. --to us. It would make a massive difference.


But Treasury officials insist the Supporters of the online petition


like Andy Broxham have ensured they've exceeded the 100,000


signatures needed to trigger a debate by MPs. Whether they can


count on support in the House of Commons is another matter.


. I'm joined by Ken Sharpe, who started the petition to get VAT


taken off fuel for the air ambulances. Why should the Air


Ambulance be a special case? Are do not think he should be a special


case. The RNLI have not had a -- exemption for many years and I


think we should be on a level. The Treasury give exemption to


charities for equipment. I am thankful they do not charge, but I


think it is a joke to come out with this today. It is quite a small


amount you're talking about. �6,000, is it worth fighting for? It is


year on year, and everybody knows fuel is not going down in price. It


is a good saving for them. You have had a very large response to your


campaign. How confident are you that you can secure a House of


Commons debate? I was hoping it would be in the House of Commons.


It cannot be put forward at the moment. Good to see you tonight.


would like to ask your viewers to sign the petition. OK. How


seriously should the Government take the campaign to payback VAT to


air ambulances? Should there be more special cases in the tax


The East Yorkshire MPs Andrew Percy and Graham Stuart met a Government


minister this afternoon to put what they call a strong case against


imposing VAT on the sale of static caravans. The industry employs


thousands of people in the area. More local MPs are preparing to


Chancellor, George Osborne, tomorrow to discuss the change. In


the Commons last night, the Hull North MP said imposing VAT amounted


to the Ggovernment pulling the rug on manufacturers.


It is much more sensible if tax changes are made that there is more


warning. What has happened is the government is pushing people when


they are down. In a moment... It was one of the most dangerous


daylight raids. Now 70 years, on veterans remember the Lancaster


bombers' flight over Germany. Thousands of teenagers in East


Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are in the process of choosing which


college or sixth form to attend, but one family from Sleaford in


Lincolnshire say their daughter has no choice. Because Lucy Thompson


has a learning disability, her local council has chosen for her.


Disability rights campaigners say it's a problem facing hundreds of


other young people. As Lucy gets older, her parents


hope she can gain more life skills to live independently. Her brother


had the number of options for college, but Lucy only has one.


do not seem to have a choice anymore. At the moment, loo seat is


at a special school. -- Lucy. Her mother does not want her to go to a


mainstream, but says the decision has already been made. Why has the


decision been taken away? We are going backwards, not forward.


Mainstream colleges have received funding to make changes so they can


offer special education. Lucy's mother wants her to come to this


specialist residential college run by a charity. The local authority


is sending fewer students here than it used to. Those in charge here


say that for some students, it is the wrong decision to send them to


mainstream college. There are about -- there are about 20 or 30 in


Lincolnshire a year who have very particular needs. Parents had


consulted, and we want the needs of a young person to be read best.


There is a better choice than there was. Government planners say it


wants to give parents and June people more choice. Lucy's parents


tell me they feel they're getting less choice. Decisions made for her


now will affect the rest of her life. A man's been awarded


substantial damages after his wife died following a mis-diagnosis at


Hull Royal Infirmary. Doctors failed to spot that Elizabeth Smith,


who was 34, was suffering from a hernia and sent her home with


medication for constipation. Her husband, Simon, has now accepted


�300,000 from the Trust, who say they are pleased that the legal


process is now concluded and their thoughts are with Mr Smith and his


family. Campaigners hoping to save the


Floral Hall in Hornsea from demolition are urging people to


attend a public meeting tonight. Following demonstrations earlier


this year, the East Riding Council gave local people until the end of


August to come up with a plan to retain the hall, otherwise the


building will be knocked down. They'll have the power to hire and


fire chief constables and raise your council tax. The public will


vote for police commissioners in November. But in the Humberside


Police area, where there is no shortage of Labour candidates,


including Lord Prescott, the Conservatives only have one


candidate so far. A senior Tory figure has now made a plea for more


to come forward, as soon as possible. Tim Iredale is here. Who


is in the running so far? It could be argued that Labour are


making the running. They have come up with three candidates for the


�75,000 a year job. The only confirmed Conservative candidate is


Councillor Matthew Grove. The Liberal Democrat election process


is still in its early stages. have they only got one candidate?


think they would say some -- I think they would say they are


trying to find someone who is not from a traditional political


background. They want to see people from all walks of life,


professional, business people. Andrew Percy denies there is a


dearth of talent in the Tory party. Our candidate will campaign


vigorously. We are not doing a beauty contest like Labour. I think


Labour would deny it is a beauty contest! Thank you very much. Still


ahead. A dramatic decline in bird numbers at a Lincolnshire reserve.


And celebrating an Olympic heroine. How a Lincolnshire village is


remembering its medal winner from 1924.


Rising Tide at Withernsea taken by Another picture tomorrow. Alex


Deakin tweeted this morning with a picture of three times, for people


to vote which one he would wear tonight! -- three times. -- ties.


We will see showers and the low- pressure will dominate for a couple


of days. Last night's weather front is out of the way. It looks like


all parts will become dry. Perhaps a touch of ground frost. Lowest


temperatures, two or three Celsius. It might get off to a dry start,


but longer outbreaks of rain on showers will come. It will not rain


all day long, but rain will never be far away. Good news if you like


the brain! Top temperatures, eight or nine. It will feel quite chilly,


especially along the coast would that breed. The weekend, more in


the way of sunshine, but there will They must be busy in the Met


Office! Experts have given the first official indication that the


drought is harming wildlife. The number of nesting winter birds at


the Gibraltar Point nature reserve near Skegness is down by half.


There are also fears voles and a rare dragonfly could be affected.


Even with the wet weather set to continue for the coming week,


forecasters say the drought in Lincolnshire can't be easily


reversed. Siobhan Robbins reports. Huddling up against the wind and


rain. On a day like today, drought seems like a distant problem, but


experts have now confirmed birds at Gibraltar Point have suffered from


18 months of dry weather. The numbers are down by 50%. The


spring migrant birds have now arrived and are looking for places


to nest. Our concern would be that it will be more open to ground


predators and the chicks will not have as many places to feed. Water


levels here are lower than they should be which means there is more


exposed mud behind me, making it harder for birds to feed and hide.


If this goes on for a prolonged period, it could have a serious


impact on bird numbers. Work by wildlife experts mean the


water vole is thriving here, but there are fears long-term drought


could be a risk to them too. issue is that creditors can get


them. -- predators. And insects are also being affected. Up the road at


Whisby Reserve, a further drop in water levels could put some species


at risk. One very scarce one is the hairy dragonfly. We want to hold on


to that because it has only recently colonised the area. It has


always been scarce in Lincolnshire and just at the moment it seems to


be making an attempt to cover more territory, so it would be a great


shame if that particular species was affected by the climate. More


wet weather is forecast, but at least three months rain is needed


to restore the birds habitat, And six months to replish reservoirs.


So solving drought means a very wet summer.


They flew for hours in sub-zero temperatures. The engines of their


Lancaster bombers were so loud they couldn't hear the enemy gunfire.


Many of them never returned. Hundreds of missions were flown out


of Lincolnshire's Second World War airfields to drop bombs on Germany.


Today veterans are marking 70 years since one of the most dangerous


daylight raids. Only one member of that mission is still alive. Our


reporter Simon Spark has been to meet him and is at the event in


Woodhall Spa near Lincoln. Why was this raid so important? It is one


remembered for acts of tremendous bravery. It is often overshadowed


by the likes of the dam Busters raid. This was the first major


sortie that the Lancaster has were used for.


On April 17th, 1942, the Lancaster bomber was put to his first big


test. It was to consist of a 1,000 round trip -- 1,000 mile round trip.


In terms of them in shape, great determination, skill, it is one of


the greatest. The airfield here at Waddington would have been rumbling


with the sound of the Lancaster bombers. Six of them would take off


to meet up with six others. The skies today up to a powerful sense


of sadness and loss. Only one made it back. Four of the bombers were


shot down. John survived and he spoke to me today. I wasn't nervous


at all. Once the first bomber went down, my feelings changed of course.


In all, 49 were posted as missing. They did well. Squadron Leader


Nettleton received the Victoria Cross for his bravery. The raid


today still stands on a par with that carried out by the Dambusters.


About 120 people had gathered here tonight for a talk on that raid.


This used to be home to the officers' mess of the Dambusters


court. --squad. Simon, thank you very much.


Children playing truant from school and docking the child benefits of


their parents prompted a big response on the text, email and


Twitter. There was backing for the idea from one headteacher in Hull,


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 46 seconds


where truancy rates are among the Hull City will only be looking for


a win in tonight's Championship derby at home to Barnsley. The


Tigers are six points behind a coveted play-off position with


three games to play. They only managed a draw with Watford at the


weekend. The not that desperate to play. We were disappointed on


Saturday not to win. Hopefully, we can eradicate the jaw and put it


into a win. -- the draw. And there'll be coverage of that


game on BBC Radio Humberside tonight. Sportstalk is on the air


now. The match kicks off at 7.45. Tomorrow, it's 100 days to the


start of the Olympics, and in Lincolnshire one village is


preparing to celebrate the sporting success of one of its former


residents. Gladys Carson, who lived in Hogsthorpe near Skegness, won a


bronze medal at the 1924 Olympics. Phil Connell has been to meet her


daughters. I wonder what Mum would have


thought of all the activities that are happening. For these two


sisters, the final countdown to July has bought back some poignant


memories. Here in this Lincolnshire graveyard, these Olympic rings mark


the final place of their mother. Gladys Carson was a talented


swimmer who won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games Paris in 1924.


keep it in my safe at home. That's what I do, we don't get it out and


look at it. We do know it was a big achievement. 88 years later, it is


an achievement that is still remembered in this village. There


is even a road named in memory of her. In those days, she had to


train in some unusual places. of the training was done at 6am in


the canal. And then she would do her exercises and then go to


college. Gladys was 21 when she went to Paris, the Olympic Games


that inspired the film Chariots Of Fire. She competed in the 200


metres breast stroke. Speaking on radio 59 years later, she wished


the distance had been just a bit shorter. Although it was 200 metres,


I had been used to 200 yards. Just that little bit extra made all the


difference! It's something we really as a village and community


should celebrate because she is a very special person. She has made


history for us, she is a local girl. I think it's great. In honour of


Gladys Carson, the Olympic torch will now pass through the town. --


the village, remembering her 88 years on. What a lovely story.


Let's get a recap of the national and regional headlines.


The terror suspect Abu Qatada is arrested this afternoon as the


Government prepares to deport him. Tens of thousands of people join an


online campaign to scrap VAT on Air response coming men on the subject


of the VAT on the Air Ambulance. Dave says, everyone can think of a


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