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Good evening and welcome to BBC Look North. The headlines tonight:
From dry river beds to a bubbling beck, but the drought restrictions
remain in place. The situation is still very serious. I am live at
Covenham Reservoir. It is about to get much wetter.
Also on tonight's programme: The Government's urged to protect
jobs and rethink plans for a caravan tax.
Crying crystals. The rare medical condition causing agony for one
Lincolnshire woman. Rebuilding history. Goole's
landmark from the 1920s gets a The Environment Agency and the
Water Companies have told BBC Look North there will be no easing of
the drought orders in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. That's
despite Met Office data showing this month could be the wettest
April on record. One reservoir in Lincolnshire is almost full and
groundwater levels are rising in East Yorkshire. But officials say
the rainfall has gone nowhere near reversing the effects of more than
a year of abnormally dry weather. Crispin Rolfe reports.
From drought to mere record rainfall. This April, Scopwick Beck
has gone from a drive it to something more than just a trickle.
Can Lincolnshire 10 its hosepipes back on again? Well, now. After
what is set to be the wettest April on record, there is at least six
inches flowing through here. It is little consolation to farmers or
gardeners, because this amount of water simply is not enough to
overturn the hosepipe ban. At his allotment in Lincoln, Fred is still
having to rely on his watering can, even though last week the ground
was flooded. He would like water companies to work harder to restore
supplies. We had a league down here for ages before it was repaired! --
leak. Let's try to get the hosepipe ban lifted so we can water our
plans. Lincolnshire has benefited, but needs a lot more rain still.
have had two-and-a-half times more than we would expect for an average
April. If we continue to have the same amount, for the next three or
four month, we still would not catch up with what we should have
had over the previous 12 months. Groundwater levels will have
recovered slightly, but it is coming from a really low base, of
the driest 18 months in a sentry. Because we are still in a drought,
it is a very serious situation. The rain is helpful, but it will not
change the situation. April has provided Renny Willie Thorne winter
drought conditions. But the message remains. Make the most of the wet
weather. It will be some time before Lincolnshire's hosepipe ban
get lifted. Covenham Reservoir near Louth is now 100% full, yet
Lincolnshire remains officially in drought. Paul is there now. How
significant has this past two weeks of rain fall been? Meteorologically,
very significant. We may beat the record that was set in 1953, which
was around about 137 mm. I spoke to Yorkshire Water, and they were
positive. They said, we have a long way to go, but in East Yorkshire,
we were 20 % down on borehole levels last month, but that has
risen to 15%. They stress there is a long way to go. Anglia Water say
the benefits of rainfall is that farmers stop irrigating fields, so
there is their lack of demand, but they say a game there is a long way
to go. The last 18 months has been the driest period ever recorded.
That is since 1910. Is there more rain on the way? And I think there
is a lot more rain to come. We could have another 20 mm tomorrow
across East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Another system comes
up on Saturday night. The odds are on for us to record the wettest
April on record. Thank you very much. Paul will be back later with
the forecast. In a moment: Demolishing a sports centre to make
way for a supermarket. Why residents in Immingham say it's
madness. A woman from Lincolnshire has been
describing the agony of her rare medical condition which causes her
eyes to fill up with razor sharp crystals.
Jodi Smith, who lives near Boston, suffers from a genetic disorder
thought to affect just two-thousand people world wide. Vicky Johnson
has been to meet her. Jodi Smith is partially sighted.
Five or six times a day, she uses are jobs to help ease the pain
caused by her cystinosis, a condition leading to the build-up
of the acid cysteine, which forms tiny crystals to form in her eyes.
On sunny days and hazy days, I have to keep going like that. It is like
sand in my eyes. I have to put my eye jobs in six times a day.
condition has had a devastating effect on's health. Into a 1006, we
filmed her daughter Clowry, who was it just seven and had to help
around the house -- Chloe. After two kidney transplants and
suffering up to six fits a day, Jodi spends much of her time at her
parents. We have had to learn along with the doctors. It was muted them
as well as those. It is thought there are just 2000 people
worldwide with this disorder. Jodi travels to Nottingham to have her
condition monitored. It is very serious, it is life-threatening, it
affects almost every part of the body, predominantly the kidneys.
The crystals in her eyes caused a lot of glare. It makes the eyes
very light-sensitive. There is no cure for the cystinosis, but Jodi's
family cope with further research, more effective treatment can be
found. A The Government has been urged to publish its audit of a
Lincolnshire chain of academies at the centre of a financial
investigation. Richard Gilliand resigned from his
position as the Chief Executive of The Priory Federation of Academies
earlier this month. Now Christine Talbot, who's an academy trustee,
says the findings should be published at the earliest
opportunity. I hope it isn't too long before it is published. The
rumours that as circulating the city and beyond are spoiling the
fact that these schools are producing excellent standards of
education for the people of Lincolnshire. Soldiers at a
barracks in Grantham are being trained to deliver fuel if tanker
drivers go on strike. Unions are expected to announce tonight
whether the drivers will walk out. Soldiers at the Prince William of
Gloucester barracks are among those who would drive tankers.
It's claimed the number of people living in fuel poverty in
Lincolnshire has gone up by a third in the last year. A review by the
County Council says more than a quarter of all homes in the county
are now having to spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills.
A business conference which has hosted the likes of Bill Clinton
and the former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev is to continue in
Bridlington. It follows the decision to stop hosting the
Yorkshire International Business Conference in Leeds.
The Government has come under more pressure this afternoon from Mps
angry at VAT being put on static caravans. Last week the issue led
some local Conservative MPs to vote against their own party on the
issue. One who didn't, Greg Knight, the MP for East Yorkshire, came in
for criticism. But today in the Commons, Mr Knight called for
thousands of jobs in the caravan industry to be protected. I'll
speak to him in a moment. First, here's Siobhan Robbins.
As many factors in Hull white on future caravans, MPs discuss their
future employment -- as manufacturers worked on future
caravans. As local MPs put the government under pressure on its
plans for 20 % VAT on static caravans, the only one to back the
Government last week, Greg Knight, was also present. It is claimed
that the plans will affect thousands of jobs, and many of them
are here in East Yorkshire. Many people are shocked by a local MP
backing the government. I think MPs across the region were disappointed
with Greg Knight. We expected him to support the amendment. I am sure
he has his reasons. Today, the Bridlington MP voiced his concerns.
Will he give some thought to the many thousands of people up and
down the country who could lose these jobs if these proposals are
implemented as originally announced? We are seeking to have a
fairer VAT system, but we want to listen to those concerns that are
raised about implementation. debate rumbled on, a holiday park
owners on the Lincolnshire coast expressed their concerns about the
future. We were not expecting it. It was a shock to the industry. 20
% on top of everything else was too much. Too many nails in the coffin.
Now is that wrong time to be implementing this VAT on static
caravans. The industry will be decimated. We're asking the
Chancellor to stop, think about what he's doing to manufacturing.
It is not doing anything to rebalance the economy. MPs will
have a chance to push the government further on Thursday, as
an industry which is only recovering from the recession fears
it could be under threat once again -- only just recovering.
Greg Knight joins me now. Good evening. Why did you vote with the
Government's? The motion was a blocking motion. It was not about
the issue of do we put VAT on or not. It would have prevented the
government making any changes in this area of law. I did not think
we could win that. Before the third, I asked the minister to extend the
consultation period. He did not respond initially. Asked again
during the debate, for the consultation to be extended -- I
asked again. He agreed and said he would extend the consultation. He
was acting in good faith. On that basis, I supported him. If you have
another chance to vote on VAT and caravans, will you vote the same
way? We will have another chance. Will you vote the same way? I do
not support what the government have announced they want to do. I
am trying to get the government to change its position. I am coming to
answer your question. If they come back with exactly the same
proposition, I will not supported. He asked the government to
safeguard caravan jobs, but you voted for the VAT. No, I voted
against a blocking motion which would have stopped the consultation
and which would have frozen this area of law. I am not cherry-
picking the Chancellor's budget. He has announced a consultation and
following my request, has extended that. I believe ministers are
listening and acting in good faith. I will make further representations.
I watch to see the government changed its position. If it does
not, I will not support them. you understand why there is quite a
lot of anger in Bridlington? I spoke to the managing director of a
caravan company in Bridlington who said he cannot believe you voted
with the government and that it was disgusting. I think the anger is
due to a misunderstanding. If people think I voted for the eighth
8, I can understand the anger -- if people think had voted for the 18th.
It is a question of tactics. I want the government to change what it
announced originally. The way to do it is to allow the consultation to
take its course. Very good to talk to you. Thank you very much. Tim
Iredale is with me. What do you make of that? What is clear is that
Greg Knight was under an awful lot of pressure when he returned to his
constituency at the end of last week, having voted with the
government. I know he makes that distinction about it being a
blocking motion, but four of his colleagues voted with the
opposition. You asked him, and he said he will not support this
motion if he has to vote on it again. How much momentum is there
on this campaign against the VAT? It is not going away, is it?
certainly is not. MPs will discuss the so-called caravan tax again on
Thursday. MPs will have to go to a game. Last week, the government won
the vote by 25 votes. It only takes 13 Conservatives, possibly the
likes of Greg Knight, to change their mind, and it could be kicked
out of Parliament. Very interesting. I would like to throw this Open.
What do you think about this? Should the government carry on with
a caravan tax plan or should it be abandoned? We had a big response
Still ahead tonight: Not pulling their punches. Residents in
Immingham say it's madness to close a sports centre for a supermarket.
Rebuilding a landmark of the 1920's - Goole's salt pot is to get a
major renovation. Tonight's photo is of the River Hull taken from
Paul his income and a reservoir. We were all -- Paul is in Covenham
Reservoir. We were all secretly enjoying the attack by flies he was
getting! I remember the chief executive of Yorkshire Water are
being covered in flies in 1995, because he said he had not had a
bath in three-month! It is very nice here. With all the rain, it is
very colourful. We were caught in probably the only downpour of the
day. Let's get a straight arm with the graphic sequence. This evening
is not to bat. -- this evening is not too bad. It looks as though we
are in for a largely dry night. We may see patchy fog in places. It
should be generally dry. There should not be too many problems
with temperatures down to about four Celsius in rural areas.
Tomorrow is another unsettled day. Eight tries dad, but look at that
rain sweeping up from the South -- a dry start. Skies will brighten
with sunny spells Gobbett a whisker of scattered showers. There is a
risk of thunder. Temperatures around 10 or 11. Watch out for
those heavy downpours. I think there will be some heavy, thundery
downpours to come on Thursday. Further scattered showers on Friday.
Saturday looks reasonably good at the moment. By the end of the day,
heavy rain will push up from the We enjoyed the fly swatting.
went straight in, Peter! Said Sue Wright! See you tomorrow. -- serves
you right. People living in a North East Lincolnshire town say its
madness to close a leisure centre used by 18 different sports clubs.
The area is one of the most unhealthy in the country, but
Immingham Sports Centre is being demolished to make way for a
supermarket. Phil Connell reports. It is a weekday nights at Immingham
Sports Centre, and these other types of activities people feel may
be lost. The sports hall is being sold to a supermarket developer.
Permission for all its demolition has been approved. We are losing
our venue, so where can we go? Getting our kids off computers and
getting them to interact, then taking Mr away from them, they will
go back to their computers. Levels of obesity here are among the worst
in Britain. 29 % of the adult population had described as
overweight. Out of 326 local authorities, it makes not this
Lincolnshire the eighth worst in Britain, raising fears that the
loss of facilities like this will make matters even worse. Ahead of
next month's local elections, it has become a major talking point in
Immingham, with the opposing candidates blaming each other or
the centre's closure. At the last settlement, the government cut �43
million out of the budget, and the authorities got to save lots. There
is not the money to reject. government had to make these cuts.
The government is not telling North East Lincolnshire where to make the
savings. It is up to the administration now to administer
the budget in the best way. And should not be in spotting -- that
should not been shutting down sport centres. While alternative
facilities will be provided at the local school, campaigners believe
their sports hall can be managed better. With claims that the
developers no longer need the site, a committee when project is being
considered. It can be used, it will be used. If we are given a chance
and the council backers, it will be a good facility -- the council back
bowls. In difficult times, the closure could make significant
savings. Another story you might want to
comment on. Our story about tackling binge drinking in Hull
last night got a big response. In a trial, repeat drunks to cause
problems could avoid being taken to court. He said, they will be
offered rehabilitation. That is if they agree to certain conditions,
including regular breath-test. is not a soft option. We are asking
people to recognise their behaviour and ask them to do something about
it. After the show, we had a big Simon Terry from Lincolnshire, one
of the country's top archers, said qualifying for the London Olympics
is awesome, to use his word. He has sealed his place in the British
team, 20 years after his first Olympic Games in Barcelona, where
he won the bronze medal. It feels all some. It has been going well
this year. Especially the start of the season. I thought, back on form
again. Well done to him. Alien table tennis player from Hull has
been selected to play in the National School Games, a test event
for the Olympic Games. Imogen Barber, who is 12, will be joined
by club-mate Daryl Gee for the events which takes place in the
Olympic basketball arena. BBC Lincolnshire is about to start its
most ambitious week of broadcasting in its 32 year history. The station
is aiming to be on at live from 250 different locations during one week
in May. We have always reflected like a Lincolnshire. In this case,
we're going that extra mile, because we are not arriving in the
community, staying there, doing a report and coming back, we will be
there all week, if you like. We will really be part of places.
look forward to meeting you in Lincolnshire. If you've ever driven
along the M62 or the M18 you've probably seen this strange white
tower looming over the landscape. It's nicknamed the saltpot and it's
the landmark that says you're nearly at Goole. But after 85 years,
the water tower, which is still in use, needs renovation. They can be
seen for miles around, and for the residents of Goole, they are a
symbol that they are back home. the motorway, it is the first thing
you see. It is an iconic. When you are coming back home, you know when
you see them, you are home. When you see the salt and pepper, you
know you were home. The break water tower was built in 1885. When a new
one was needed, they built it next to the old one. Building started in
the 1920s, using steel and concrete. It was covered in scaffolding,
which was held together with 20,000 reps. This was the scene when the
bell sounded for lunch. It's no wonder it is in need of restoration.
This salt pot is 85 years old, it is 150 ft tall and can hold 750,000
gallons of water. Over time, it ages, it deteriorates, so we want
to make sure it is as safe as possible and continues to be sir.
We are carrying out this essential maintenance where we will check the
concrete and steel any cracks. work is complete, there are plans
to light their towers. -- might the towers. We want to promote the town,
and we want to put coloured light in. Before it can be illuminated
colour this iconic structure will be covered in scaffolding once
again. If you have a story you think we
should know about, get in touch. Let's have a recap of the headline.
The Culture Secretary says he will not resign as J Murdoch -- James
Murdoch tells the Leveson Inquiry about close links to the government.
April showers replenish water supplies, but drought restrictions
are still in place. The subject of VAT and caravans,
after that chat we had, somebody says, the government has abandoned
others. -- abandoned us. When will they realise they are making big
mistake? Karen says, what happens to government promises to help keep
jobs in the UK? This tax is damaging. What else will be tax?