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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