21/07/2011 North West Tonight


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Good evening and welcome to North West Tonight.


How our top story: two new deaths at Stepping Hill


Hospital, as the police investigation grows. The family of


one patient paid tribute to him. We have the latest from the hospital,


as police continue to question a nurse who works there. Also


tonight: The middle class monster - a report


reveals the nine years of abuse this woman heaped on three young


children. Very challenging parents. I think there is a sense that


people backed off from challenging that parent.


Driving down the costs. Proof that being careful behind the wheel can


save you money. The best way of saving money is to look further


ahead, so you are not breaking all the time, not accelerating all the


time. And meet the man whose Star Trek


obsession will see him been done to your television screens. -- it will


see him beamed into your television screens.


We want to know how you can eke out the extra distance from fuel in


your car, and save yourself money. We were read out your tips at the


end of the show. E-mail us. But we Two more patients at Stepping Hill


Hospital have been identified as potential victims in the


investigation into suspicious deaths. Police have revealed that


the deaths of and 83-year-old woman and an 84-year-old man are now part


of the their inquiry into contaminated saline drips. Nurse


Rebecca Leighton remains in police custody after being arrested in


connection with a three other deaths. Laura Yates is outside the


hospital in Stockport. Not only is there is a fast-moving


investigation, it is also one that grows ever more complex by the day.


Yesterday, the nurse at the hospital was arrested on suspicion


of murdering three patients. Today police confirmed they are


investigating the deaths of a 4th and fifth patient at Stepping Hill.


This is an investigation, they say, that requires detailed medical and


forensic analysis. And any suggestion it is close to being


complete his, they say, misleading. For days these three patients have


been at the centre of the story. Tracey Arden, a mother of two,


Arnold Lancaster, and great grandfather George Keep. This


afternoon police confirmed they are investigating two more deaths, and


84-year-old woman and 83-year-old Alfred Weaver from Stockport. This


afternoon, his shocked family paid tribute to him. Just a wonderful


person. Everybody in the hospital said what a charming, lovely


gentleman he is. He has never complained once. He has accepted


everything that has been thrown at him. He has been through hell and


back. Police were keen to stress that patients should feel reassured


and security measures now in place. I would like to reassure people


that both of the deaths that are now forming part of his


investigation occurred prior to the police being called, and there


since the police have been investigating and the measures have


been stepped up in terms of security at the hospital, we have


had no further incidents of deliberate damage or contamination


of products within Stepping Hill Hospital. Meanwhile, police


continue to question Rebecca Leighton, the 27-year-old nurse at


Stepping Hill, in connection with the three original deaths. Today,


the family's neighbour expressed disbelief at what was happening.


thought she was a lovely person so I just can't believe it. Beyond my


comprehension. Around 60 police investigators are working round the


clock to get to the bottom of just what has happened at this hospital.


Tonight we have been told that police have for the second time


been given more time to question nurse Rebecca Leighton. We


understand they have until five past nine tomorrow evening to


decide whether to charge or release her.


For nine years, three vulnerable children were physically and


emotionally abused by a couple whose middle class lifestyle


blinded social workers to their pleas for help. The siblings,


nicknamed by care workers as the "toxic trio", were repeatedly


returned to the home in Cheshire. Their cries for help, including


jumping out of windows and approaching strangers, were


eventually listened to and their adoptive mother jailed. Today a


report revealed the extent of her cruelty and issued an apology to


the children. Maid appeared to be the ideal


couple to offer a loving home to children in need. Jill Newcombe


Buley and her husband, Nicholas, were professional, wealthy people.


The couple had a home here in the village of Prestbury. When they


offered to adopt three siblings from a troubled background, social


workers were keen to accept the offer. The children had experienced


a chaotic, abusive home life. Coming to Cheshire was to have been


a new start for them. But moving in with the couple turned out to be


the start of years of emotional and physical abuse. She repeatedly


attacked them, smothering them with a pillow if they would not sleep,


forcing them into cold baths, and even stamping on them in stiletto


shoes. He did nothing to stop her. The experts supposedly monitoring


the adoption were oblivious to it. Social workers refer to the


children as the "toxic trio". No one listened when the eldest boys


said that the children were being abused. Someone did eventually take


notice, but not until the children had experienced nine years of


torment. Today a report on the case highlights failings in the adoption


process. The couple's application was rushed through with indecent


haste, and many opportunities to spot problems were missed. There


were many opportunities to intervene over the next decade


during which the children were abused which were not taken. One of


these children was telling you constantly, I am being abused. He


was running away from home and being sent back. Correct me if I am


wrong, but I thought the rule for professionals was that if a child


so they are being abused you believe them first and then


investigate. You are absolutely right and this is an absolutely


appalling state of affairs that that did not happen in this case.


Jill Newcombe Buley was jailed. Her husband received a suspended


sentence. Earlier, I asked Lorraine Butcher,


Cheshire East Council's Director of Children's Services, who was not in


the job at the time, if an apology was an adequate response after the


horror of those children had suffered. Saying sorry feels


inadequate, certainly. I think what we need to do is to ensure that we


learn from this and that no other children suffer as much as they


suffered, as much as we possibly can. I know you were not in charge


at the time, but the mind boggles at how these children could have


been so let down. What clearly has happened is that no one has really


listened properly to what they were being told. The fact that we


certainly had an elder child here saying repeatedly that he was being


hurt, and his brother and sister were being hurt, and they were in


fear, and no one was listening to him, that is unforgivable,


undoubtedly. Was this, do you think, partly because the adoptive parents


were middle class, seemingly respectable, a doctor, dentist, and


they were believed and the children were disbelieved, and even referred


to one occasion as the toxic three? I think there is a dimension of


this which is that other professionals were afraid to


challenge what was essentially a confident, articulate, professional,


very challenging parent. I think there is a sense that people did


back off challenging that parent. Tell me what has happened now that


has changed the system so that this unbelievable situation could never


happen again? The council has invested significantly within


children's services, in terms of improving the social work, social


care capacity within the service. They have prioritised, undoubtedly,


safeguarding children as its ultimate number one priority, and


has bucked the trend against a backdrop of significant cuts in


public services in the last two years, by adding further investment


to ensure that we have the right staff in place who can respond more


effectively and sooner. That sits alongside an extensive training and


development programme with our partner agencies, with colleagues


in schools, police colleagues, health colleagues also. When you


say having the right staff in place, can I ask if any of the staff who


so badly let these children down and did not investigate their


complaints, if any of them are still working in the department?


I can assure you that a number of those staff no longer work for


children's services in Cheshire East. And you are convinced that


this could never happen again, as a result of the changes that have


been made? It we will do our damnedest to intervene early. We


are doing so on a daily basis that I know of now. But I cannot say


that no instance would ever happen again. We would hope to minimise


the risk, certainly. Thank you. Thank you.


There are moves to reduce allowances paid to some members of


the transport authority Merseytravel. Last month we


reported how Labour councillors were awarding themselves multiple


allowances worth a total of a quarter of a million pounds. The


six Liverpool councillors on Merseytravel have now voted to


accept just one allow once, something urged by the Liberal


Democrats. Clearly, councillors and have realised what they were doing


was not acceptable so the pressure goes on to councillors in the other


authorities to follow suit. It is incredibly difficult for them to


now justify the current position. A man has appeared in court in


Cornwall accused of murdering a Merseyside man and his friend.


Brett Flornoy, a professional boxer from Birkenhead, and David


Griffiths, disappeared last month while visiting the south-west.


Earlier this week, two bodies thought to be theirs were found


buried on a farm near St Austell. 25-year-old Thomas Haigh has been


remanded in custody. A multi-million-pound overhaul of


Victorian water mains on Liverpool Road in Huyton could begin as early


as 20th January 12. United Utilities wants to revamp the


network, following a huge burst there on Monday which led to 60


local homes being flooded. Closing dates for maternity units


in Greater Manchester have been announced. Salford will close in


November and Bury in March next year. Thousands of people campaign


against the closures but the NHS says that super centres in Bolton


and Oldham will improve services. If you are a motorist, you will


know that a tank of fuel can cost up to �70 these days but short of


ditching the car altogether, how can you get more miles out of a


litre of petrol or diesel? A taxi driver in Manchester has been


taking part in an experiment which seems to show that changing the way


we drive can save hundreds of pounds a year.


You have cut back on non-essential journeys, you are using the bus


when you can but you are still spending more than you can afford


on fuel. What is the answer? The oil company Shell is carrying out


an experiment involving 20 taxi drivers from across the country.


Including Paul from Manchester. Under the dashboard, he has a spicy


in his cab which is monitoring the way he is driving. He spends up to


�1,000 a month on diesel. Shell say when he and others modified their


driving, they started to use less fuel. They say they are on course


to save �600 a year each if they keep it up. The best way of saving


money is to look further ahead, so you are not breaking all the time,


not accelerating all the time. is this just telling us what we


already know? The rule is obviously not to be going too fast, and


obviously not revving your engine, using up the gas. Do not break too


late, keep a steady pace. At �1.42 per litre, you have to be aware.


have noticed that on motorways people are beginning to slow down.


If you are sticking to the speed limit and the flow of the traffic,


you should not need to use your brakes so often, and that will save


a lot of fuel. Paul could drive even more fuel-efficiently, but he


will not. I feel if I drive too slowly, other vehicles overtake me.


Tax these competing against you? Yes. It is a compromise between


driving efficiently and trying to earn money. The search for ways to


squeeze more out of a tank is on. We do want your tips. Derek has


sent an e-mail saying, get the wife to push your car on the flat bits!


You are in trouble! Still to come:


An absolutely fantastic honour - comedian Jennifer Saunders plays it


straight when she receives a north- west university degree.


Join me later for the first ever You cannot fail to notice that pubs


are having a difficult time. 1300 closed in Britain last year and it


is particularly bad in Liverpool. In just two areas alone more than


70 have closed in the last three years. Often the buildings are left


boarded up and a target for vandals. Last night, Liverpool council


discuss the plan to find new uses for some of them.


This is just of the Dock Road in Liverpool, and this place used to


be teeming with pubs. We are losing our taste for pubs. More of them


are closing in the north-west than anywhere else in Britain. It was


the community. It was the whole point of everyone being together,


looking after each other, knowing everyone's business. Liverpool has


a rich pub tradition. But while the best buildings have remain, dozens


of others have fallen into disrepair. When they close, they


often end up like this, an eyesore. According to some, they could be an


asset. There has been damage, fire. As you can see, it is derelict. It


is an example of the sort of building that perhaps could have


been used for something else, if action had been taken sooner.


building in Everton used to be a pub. Very popular it was, too, in


its heyday. But as the trade trickled away, it gained a new


lease of life as a community centre. A craft group is in full swing


where the bar used to be you. It was saved by a housing association


and it is now in full use most days of the week. We had our own


community. The high-rise blocks brought it all together again and


we looked for a community room. Because this was derelict, we


opened up in July in 2002 and we have been operating ever since.


Counsellors agree that this would not be the solution for every


derelict pub, but if it stops last orders being called on some


buildings, many think it is worth a try.


Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United beat Seattle 7-0


in a pre-season friendly last night. After coming on in the second half,


he scored three goals in 21 minutes. United's �17 million signing,


Ashley Young, also had an impressive game. It was the second


match in their tour of the States and attracted a crowd of 67,000.


Everton have rejected a bid from Arsenal for Phil Jagielka. Asked an


-- Arsene Wenger offered �2 million less than he offered for the same


player last year. Jagielka signed a contract at Goodison in March and


could succeed Phil Neville as club captain.


Cricket, and with Lancashire trying to become county champions for the


first time in 77 years, it has been a topsy-turvy day in the Roses


match at Headingley. Lancashire appeared to be running away with it


when Carl Hogg took five Yorkshire wickets for just 29 runs but the


home side recovered. Lancashire hit 328 in their first innings but are


struggling a bit on 33 for 3 in their second innings.


We are more used to seeing this lady swigging champagne in Ab Fab


and having the nation in stitches with her partner, Dawn French, but


today Jennifer Saunders was that age Hill University. She was


picking up an honorary doctorate in English literature. Was it time for


her to get serious? Jennifer Saunders famously turned


down an 0 p, so why Ormskirk, and why Edge Hill? It is fantastic, one


of the first place that taught women teachers. It has a fantastic


history. Jennifer Saunders was introduced to the university by its


Chancellor, Tanya Byrom, with whom she wrote a book. But it has hardly


been non-stop laughs. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, she has


now made a full recovery and says it never affected her attitude to


work. Not at all. I would still try and do as little as possible. That


is my general philosophy. What advice would you give to the


students leaving university this summer? Do not iron your clothes if


you are still wearing them. You have to get an ironing board. The


most important thing is that if you can get some confidence from being


a place like this, because it is a very nurturing university, that is


the best thing you can take from here.


How lovely! Good advice for students.


The studio is a little less vibrant tonight. One of our members has


been sent to mix with the gardening world. I am talking about Ladies'


Day at the RHS flower show at a Tatton Park. There she is, looking


splendid. Of course, it was the first ever


Ladies' Day in pattern today. Patten is not just about the nicer


things in life. Right now I am standing in a garden designed by


prisoners, and this has won the best show garden this year. It is


inspired by knife crime. It represents the journey through a


harsh type of crime, from this end, to a softer, gentle and more Krankl


type of life. But back to Ladies' Day. The weather earlier this


afternoon was brighter and warmer, and many people, many ladies came


It is Ladies' Day Today, and I just can't wait to see what people are


The Interflora florist of the Year competition is on Saturday. What


have you got for me? We have to design a hat for a cottage garden.


It is the North's greatest garden party. We wanted to inject some


glamour into the show. It is fantastic. For the ladies of


Cheshire, a chance to dress up and go out, it is more fun. When the


weather is like this, it could not be better. The have you seen any


beautiful hats today on lovely ladies? Some lovely ladies about,


and some nice hats, too. And the odd fascinator, which is good.


you dressed for Ladies' Day? Just a little. I don't usually go out with


these. I am wearing Marks & Spencer, accessorised fascinator. It is


excellent because we are very stylish in the north-west. Are you


hoping to win the competition? Definitely. The best-dressed lady


on the site today. They say that a woman's work is never done, and


this garden focuses on all the serious work that women are doing


all over the world. With changing climatic conditions, as you can see,


we have named the garden "when the waters rise". I think you have the


perfect jacket for this. Let's see if it fits on my big head.


From something very colourful to something very different. I am in


the garden for Cancer Research UK, inspired by the night walk in


Manchester. Let's talk about the weather for today. I think we saw


We had a lot of cloud but it was warmer and brighter than expected.


For this evening, it is starting to cloud over again and we are likely


to see one or two showers as we head into tomorrow but cloud cover


will keep temperatures in double figures. In rural areas,


temperatures down to eight Celsius. Tomorrow morning looks like a


cloudy start but it could be bright in places. As we head into the


afternoon we are likely to see cloud thickening in places to bring


occasional showers. But as we head into late afternoon we are likely


to see cloud braking and bringing drier and brighter conditions.


Temperatures tomorrow might squeak to 20 degrees Celsius. As we head


into the weekend, high pressure should be in charge for Saturday


and also a Sunday. For Saturday, you can see that a high pressure is


just hanging in. By Sunday, low pressure from the east is trying to


knock it away, but generally the weekend is looking drier and


brighter. We may see a lot of sunshine for Saturday. Sunday, not


so sure. But the temperatures look better. Monday looks much better.


And, Gordon, it is all about plants and gardening, but look at my shoes.


I could not resist. High heels? Should I be wearing heels or


Wellington boots tomorrow when we are going to be there? We will be


there saying hello, so come and say hello to us.


Next tonight, Wallace Davies has been a Star Trek fan since he was


four. He has been around the world meeting the stars and has now


achieved the ultimate Trekkie ambition. The hotel night manager


from Salford was spotted by TV bosses at a convention. He so


impressed them in his star Fleet Command uniform that they asked him


to front a new trailers for the This is probably my most treasured


one. It is a Christmas tree ornament. If you do not have one,


you are not really a Star Trek fan. Rolliss Davies most certainly is a


Star Trek fan and his obsession has paid off, beaming into TV sets


across the UK. I have been a Star Trek fan for over 30 years.


The word "elated" does not quite cover it. There is always some


feeling, some moment you get in life where the best adjective in


the English dictionary does not come close. He presents little


known at Trekkie affects every week night before episodes of the next


generation. He was spotted at a convention. TV producers then sent


him a letter asking him to take part in special Star Trek projects.


I spoke to about half a dozen close friends before I actually decided


to call. I was walking around going, do you believe this? He stood out


as being very charismatic, well spoken, and having this incredible


encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Star Trek. That requires


serious work. He can watch up to 10 hours of Star Trek in a day, and he


has spent a fortune on memorabilia. Each one of these costs �11 and


they are hand-made in the Isle of Man. His new job has got him into


space, cyberspace. You can chat to him from 8pm before his hotel job


with his new fans on Twitter. He looks the part! We have had a


big response to our question about motoring money-saving tips. Ronnie


from the Isle of Man has e-mails to say that he keeps his recount at


2000, accelerates slowly and anticipates the road ahead. David


says, I got my car converted to run on LPG. It cost a bit but now I am


buying fuel at 75 p a litre and the car runs perfectly. Kevin says,


turn off the engine in traffic queues. Deborah says drive at 60


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