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Good evening and welcome to BBC Look North. The headlines tonight:
As the economy dips back into recession, Lincolnshire bakers say
no to the pie tax. Everybody is fighting to stay in business and
earn a living. Vat is not welcome at all. Parents' anger over a mix-
up over school places. I am very angry that a mistake was made with
something so important as children's education. More police
on the street - the pledge from the new Chief Constable of Lincolnshire.
And the deep natural wonder - now an internet hit. After a wet
afternoon, there are more downpours On the day the British economy fell
back into recession, there has been renewed pressure on the Government
to drop plans to introduce VAT on a series of items. Tonight, MPs from
our area are preparing for a debate on the so-called caravan tax. And
the owners of one of Lincolnshire's largest bakery firms are travelling
to London to protest about the so- called pasty tax. With more, here
is our political editor, Tim Iredale. The dark clouds of
recession are once again hovering over businesses in towns like this.
This bakery has withstood many a piquant trough in the economy since
it was established in 1924, but now the family say they are facing a
new threat. The High Street is quieter than normal. Everybody is
fighting City -- to stay in business under a living. 20% VAT on
top is not welcome at all. family are travelling to
Westminster for a protest on the so-called pasty tax, which would
add VAT to freshly baked goods. Tomorrow, because from across the
country will descend on Downing Street, where they will ask the
Government to look again at this controversial tax. You have signed
the petition - tell us why? I think that small businesses like this
need to grow and adding 20% tax on to baked goods is absurd, isn't it?
A how do you feel about paying more for your pasty? It is disgraceful.
There is a discrepancy between paying it on fish and chips and
paying up for that. It needs to be sorted out. We now find ourselves
back in recession today, which is really bad news for the people of
the Scunthorpe area under the wider Humberside area. This is a
Government that has lost their grip of the economy. It needs a plan be
urgently. At Prime Minister's Questions, one of our MPs and urged
the government to look at some of the good news coming out of
manufacturing in Lincoln. Italian farm has confirmed a �50
million investment and Siemens are involved in investment.
positive news is being overshadowed by the ongoing VAT row, which
includes baked goods, alterations to be listed buildings and, of
course, static caravans. Tim is with me now. What can we expect
tomorrow? It is shaping up to be a door if -- a day of protest in
Westminster. The Government is facing a double whammy of protests.
Bakers will be campaigning against VAT and in the House of Commons MPs
will be urging them to drop the caravan tax. This is going to add
an extra -- extra pressure, isn't it? It does not matter whether you
are buying a pasty on a caravan, the argument is that, in the
current climate, we cannot afford to give consumers a reason not to
buy things. Taxing these things is the wrong way to go about it, they
will argue. I will be there tomorrow. Thank you for your many
messages. They have warmed of thousands of job losses. But Paul
got in touch to say, "No industry deserves to be exempt from VAT,
especially if it makes luxury goods like caravans." Cheryl says,
"Caravan manufacturing is the life blood of this region. Vat on
statics will put thousands of jobs at risk. Most of the buyers are
ordinary people who will struggle to meet the extra cost." Mick says,
"There should be VAT on caravans. So why doesn't the Government bring
it in over four or five years? Everyone would be happy." Dean says,
"I bet if the bulk of caravan production was in the south, no tax
would be mentioned. The Government doesn't care about the North."
Coming up: By Lincoln is the place to be when the sun comes out.
Hull City Council has been forced to apologise to parents across the
city for any confusion over primary school places. E-mails have been
sent to some parents in error, telling them which school their
children will go to, while other parents are still waiting for news.
One mum has said she is so angry she might even resort to home
schooling. Emma Massey reports. cannot put it into words how angry
I felt when I was told that it was merely an IT error. It is totally
unacceptable and somebody needs to be held accountable. Jill Wheeler
has just received an e-mail telling her that her daughter wont be
attending her first choice of primary school September. It's not
even her second but her third choice. To make matters worse, when
she complained she was told a techincal glitch meant the e-mail
might be wrong. We are totally in the dark as to what will happen in
terms of her schooling. We do not know if we have any of the choices
that we put down. We are in the dark until we have received the
letter. Primary school is the foundation of a child's education.
And for parents this can be an anxious time of year. Jill Wheeler
applied for her place online, but people who sent their application
by post rather than e-mail still haven't received any notice at all.
Parents and carers we've spoken to today's say it's just not good
enough. I think it is wrong. Everyone should get a letter or be
informed properly. If we do not know if the information is accurate
or not. It is stressful and seems to be a bit of a mess, to be honest.
Hull City Council's issued a statement apologising to parents
For "the confusion caused that the e-mails to people who have applied
for primary school places online were sent out ahead of the letters.
Letters to all those who applied will be sent out by the original
target date of 4th May. And added that they are "looking into claims
that some of the information sent out by e-mail is incorrect and will
issue an update once this has been clarified." So, as thousands of
parents wait anxiously to hear, Jill says she'll home-school her
daughter if she doesn't get her first choice.
I spoke to Professor Jeremy Dunning-Davies from the Campaign
for Real Education, an organisation which presses for more parental
choice in state education. I asked him if there was anything wrong
with the application system. understand, with this one, some
people have been able to apply online, others not. It should not
happen but it does seem that, whenever that is the case, problems
arise. What is the best way to deal with admissions to primary schools?
I would suspect the best way is for every parent to fill in and paper
application which has to be posted in or handed in. -- fell in a paper
application. The parent we spoke to said that, if the information is
correct, her child has been given the third choice. What has gone
wrong? Something obviously has. I would not have thought that a child
should be going to the third choice school. I do not know the area and
what schools are available. It may be an area where there has been a
lot of recent building and so there is not enough primary school
provision in that area. We have to look carefully because when we get
situations where, for example, twins are separated, that should
never happen. I do not think that brothers and sisters should be
separated. It is a big administrative problem and the
councils have an unenviable task. Are you a parent who is waiting to
hear or has heard what school has got into? What has your experience
been? We will have some of your thoughts on this subject before we
Lincolnshire Police say they've made more than 60 arrests so far
this year in connection with metal thefts. The force recently started
an operation which includes working closely with scrap dealers. In
Sleaford, one man was arrested for a raid on the historic Bass
Maltings. The E-3D sentry aircraft is flying
again from RAF Waddington. It had been grounded after technical
issues were raised earlier this month, but the Ministry of Defence
says it's got no remaining safety concerns.
People in North East Lincolnshire are being told they must recycle
their rubbish. Local-authority says it is tightening its rules on what
it will collect and will fine residents who repeatedly abuse the
system. Earlier this month the council began charging for
replacement bins and for the removal of extra garden waste. The
new chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police has said that getting more
bobbies on the beat will be his priority.
Neil Rhodes has been speaking for the first time since taking up his
new post. His appointment comes as the force hands over part of its
policing operation to the private firm G4S. Our reporter Phil Connell
has more. He began as a bobby on the beat in
Lincolnshire and, 26 years on, is now the county's new Chief
Constable. Neil Rhodes was meeting members of his team today, with
clear priorities about where his -- clear ideas about where his
priorities lie. If my children or friends are right about in the
county, I want them to feel safe and secure. The best way to do that
is to have highly visible police officers on patrol. That is what
we're about. Neil Rhodes is 53 years old and joined the police
force in 1986. He left school at 16 with few qualifications but has
since degrees -- gained degrees in law and criminology. With the
police force facing unprecedented change, Neil Rhodes' Experience
will be fully tested. He is overseeing budget cuts of almost
�20 million. He will also see the force become the first in the
country to have first of its policing operation privatised.
has freed up around �3 million for the year ahead and every year be on
that. That is a number of extra officers but we can keep on the
streets of Lincolnshire that we would not have been able to. It
really supports frontline policing. Across Lincolnshire, what do people
hope that the new police chief will bring? We had been to a street in
Lincoln that has one of the highest crime rates in the City. There is a
lot of anti-social behaviour, like drinking in the street. We need
more police because our windows keep getting broken. They need to
put their foot down, stop people smashing windows and things like
that. When you can -- can you reassure people when you have few -
- less money to spend? A we have to make sure that we are making the
savings wherever we can away from the front line. We have been really
successful at doing that so far. Obviously, there will be a tipping
point where cuts cannot be sustained, but at the moment I am
confident. These will be challenging times for Neil Rhodes,
in charge at a time of unprecedented change.
Still to come: The sea horse giving birth of which has become an
internet sensation. And the brave woman fighting her
own battle to complete the London Marathon.
If you have a picture you are proud of, send it into us. This one was
taken by David in Cleethorpes. Paul has written to say, Paul Hobson has
told us there is more middle -- miserable weather coming. I would
like to replace them with a nice photograph and some pleasant music.
We would all like that! I wish I There will be heavy downpours and
there is a chance of localised flooding. That we have had 11 mm of
rain at Waddington as we edged towards a new April record. Low
pressure is very much in charge tomorrow, so more rainfall to come,
with another deluge on Saturday night into Sunday. Pretty
relentless at the moment. There have been reports of hail and
thunder. These showers have been pushing through the Midlands.
Normally you would expect showers to die away, but I do not think
they will tonight. There should be some brighter spells tomorrow, not
the gloomy day we have had today. There will be showers from the word
go. There is a risk of localised flooding. A very unsettled day, but
at least some drier, brighter spells. Temperatures will be around
13 Celsius. Our risk of showers on Friday. There may be a bit of a
respite on Saturday. Heavy rain returns on Saturday night into
Blenkin is one of the safest places to go for a night out. -- Lincoln.
The City is in a group of five to be given the awards today. In and
around the city centre, there are 250 bars and restaurants, around
11,000 students, and now Lincoln has an award for its night life.
Every time I have come here I have had a good time. Everyone is really
friendly. You do not get all the weird people. It is nice. Lincoln
probably matches up with most other places of a similar size. It has
the multinationals in the town. is very safe compared to other
cities. A lot of things helped to win the flag, including St pastor's
who care for clubbers and the CCTV network. Your priorities work
closely with businesses who hope to benefit from the award. There is a
strong collaborative approach in winning this award. It is a
relatively small city. We have to have a collaborative approach to
everything we do. Why does Lincoln needed new status? Is it was
identified by the Home Office as having a particular problem with
perception. We have demonstrated to the residents and visitors that it
is as safe and entertaining venue for an evening out. Lincoln is a
vibrant place to come for a night out but how do you do that without
annoying the neighbours? You have touched on one of the more
challenging parts. His is -- it is not about being louder or brighter,
it is about looking at alternatives, really. Link in is one of 30
winners but it will have to reapply for the state is every year. Those
behind the application say they are confident that the city will remain
appealing after sunset. This next story is quite unusual video. It is
footage of a sea horse giving birth at The Deep in Hull. This video has
received 400,000 hits online. Our reporter is at the mike deep
tonight with the man who filled it. -- The Deep. I am going to take you
behind the scenes. The public do not get to see this. This is one of
the quarantine rooms. There are lots of tanks in here, and this is
where animals are cared for that are not in the main aquarium. It is
also where lots of the newcomers come in. Graham looks after the sea
horses. It had over 1,000 babies, which is quite a lot. How
endangered our sea horses? species are classified as
vulnerable. Even though they have that many babies, there are only a
few that survive to adulthood. was amazing footage, and we're
going to show some of that again. Talk me through it. What can we
actually see. We were lucky to be there at the right time. Initially,
you can see that the male's respiration rate goes up and that
he changed colour from dark black to yellow. Progressively, you get
contractions, the pouch opens and then he jet propels the young a lot
of his pouch. In certainly was amazing footage. Can you believe
that it was filmed on Father's Day? If only it was like that in real
life! You might remember these remarkable
images. This is Claire Lomas, paralysed
from the chest down, learning to walk again with the help of robotic
legs. Incredibly, she's now four days and six miles into the London
Marathon, and expects to finish in around two weeks' time. It has all
been made possible by a small team from Altrincham in East Yorkshire.
Simon Spark was in London to catch up with Claire this afternoon. It
is day four of Clare's gruelling London Marathon Challenge. Weeks
ago she could not -- she could barely walk a step in her robotic
suit. She intends now to complete the London Marathon in about three
weeks. There are a lot of hills and the first part. It has been quite
tough. Everyone else is pushing me on. Clare is the first person in
the UK to use the robotic legs that are manufactured in the East Riding
of Yorkshire. They have enabled her to walk again after a riding
accident left her paralysed from the chest down five years ago. Her
sporting determination has got her through the months of intensive
training required. It is physical. Because of her disability, she
tends to lean forward, using the crutches a lot more, which puts a
lot of strain on her wrists. We try to straighten her up, which will
help or a lot more. She is finding it quite hard in that way.
walking itself is a challenge, but the weather is no help either. She
has been getting some celebrity encouragement to lift her spirits.
Yesterday we had Matt Holland and Tim Henman. We have had lots of
fine, even though the walking is hard. Clare Balding is coming down.
After a quick lunch break, Clare arrived. I think it is
extraordinary what she's doing, and so I wanted to come and show my
support, to help motivate her and taught her about it. I wonder how
the kit will deal with extreme weather conditions, different
surfaces, different weather conditions. She will provide
valuable feedback for Spinal Research. The Cutty Sark indicates
that she has reached 6.5 miles. It is another step towards the target
that she hopes to reach for Spinal Research. End you heard Simon say
Claire's target is �50,000. Well, we can tell you tonight she has
already raised half of that. So, well done, and good luck for the
next two weeks. By recap of the headlines: Britain
slips back into recession, sparking a political row about who is to
blame. Tomorrow's weather will be
unsettled but brighter. Top temperature will be around 13
Celsius. On the subject of school places,
one viewer says, our child got into the school we wanted it. The system
was straightforward. Another viewers is, I contacted the
council yesterday and they said the allocations would be sent in the
post this week. I do not understand what is going on.
Craig says, I still have not find out for my child, other people have.
The administration is a job. Another viewer says, I am so upset
and anxious. I hope that my child gets into his first choice.
Finally, on the subject of what schooling, when viewers says she is