02/11/2011 North West Tonight


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Good evening. Welcome to NorthWest Tonight with Roger Johnson and


Ranvir Singh. Our top story. Blamed for causing two earth


tremors, the controversial gas drilling plant in Lancashire. We'll


speak to the man in charge of the drilling operation on the Fylde


coast. Also tonight. Sending in the big ships, now a


dredger may be used to harvest Lytham's cockles to stop fishermen


risking their lives. Sailing home for the last time, the


crew of HMS Liverpool heading back for long overdue reunion. You join


me right outside the Bastille, France's most infamous prison.


And a modern spin on old stories. How a hit children's TV show is


A controversial method of drilling for gas has been blamed for causing


two earth tremors on the Fylde Coast earlier this year. Opponents


of the process, known as fracking, say it's dangerous, while the


company behind it claims it offers a new supply of energy. So with gas


prices at an all time high, should environmental concerns outweigh the


benefits to the local economy in Lancashire? Our reporter Peter


Marshall has been assessing today's developments and joins us from one


of the test drilling sites at Hesketh Bank, near Southport.


There are two very clear sides to this story, on one side, fracking


is seen as the future, saying it could create 2500 jobs in


Lancashire alone, and meet our gas needs for half a century. And the


other side, the opponents say it is dangerous, it can cause air and


water pollution. And in certain circumstances we are told it can


even lead to were -- as tremors so protesters are far from happy.


Today, anti-fracking protesters shook things up, taking this


footage as they occupied Cuadrilla's site near Hesketh Bank.


It is such a damaging, destructive project to the local ecosystems


here, we have got to stop it. the protesters first arrive this


morning, security assumed it was a shift change, but they were rushed


and by protesters managed to get up on to the rake. Three have come


down voluntarily and two allay -- remain, now it is a waiting game.


To date's report, said it is highly probable that fracking, or blasted


water into shale to released -- release Natural Gas, caused the


tremors in May. Specialists commissioned by Cuadrilla say the


tremors are near the drill site were the result of an unusual


combination of geology, they had hit a pre-existing and brittle


stressed fault. Fracking operations like these have been cut --


conducted more than 1 million times without tremors, so we knew it was


unusual from the beginning of the study. What's the people living


near the site think? People are messing with nature, if they start


doing this, it might affect here, it might flood here. Up to here, I


thought the whole thing had been blown out of proportion, it sounded


like it could be a good thing to have. Cuadrilla will say it's will


introduce an early warning system. When it detects magnitude tremors


of 1.7, fracking. And pressure will be released. It is not in our


interests to have these kind of events, it is time consuming so we


are trying to put everything in place to make sure nothing like


this can happen again. Protesters say the report does not inspire


confidence and adds to the environmental fears about high drop


-- hydraulic fracturing. The two remaining protesters have


now come down and they are being questioned on suspicion of


aggravated trespass. The big question is when will fracking


resume because of the earth tremors earlier this year, it was suspended.


Drilling is continuing at the wells, but the fracking process could be


continuing within 30 to 60 days. I put it to the chief executive of


Cuadrilla, but Mark Miller, but if this early detective system is so


effective, why have they not been using it in the first place? We are


the second case in 60 years that have had any kind of seismic


activity of that level associated with the operations we are doing,


we only pumps for two hours, and there was one other case other than


ours back in the 1970s that resembled this. It was not


something out there that was on anyone's radar. Do you think the


local community will think, that since you are coming into the


landscape and changed it, you should have taken every measure


possible to protect them and the community around you? Again, I


think we have done that and demonstrated that. To back up,


these were very small events, there has been no property damage or any


damage of any sort. We immediately suspended operations and carried


out this study, so we are adding something to our process of which


was not available to us before. have these activists climbing on to


your site today, somebody from the Wild Wild if -- World Wildlife Fund


say that these finding a worrying and add to people's concerns. Are


you worried Europe target for green groups? We have been very open for


the general public and the media to come to the site, and look at our


operations. Attaching themselves to the rig does not achieve anything,


it puts everyone at risk. There is a better way to put your point


across. If you are planning on hundreds more of these wells across


Clive Bishop, the potential for hitting more problems in the future,


is high, is it not? -- are planning on hundreds more of these wells


across Lancashire. The ability that we have now with the traffic light


system, we can go in and see things 10 times or 100 times smaller in


terms of seismic events than what we saw on these two small events


back in spring. So we have added something saying, no matter what we


come in contact with, we have the ability to stop immediately when we


are pumping and move on and let the pumping stage be aborted.


The Government today waded into the controversy over Lancashire's


cockle beds. They said they will close them if necessary. The


Fisheries minister Richard Benyon told Northwest Tonight that illegal


and reckless fishing off the Lancashire coast had to be stopped


before there was a major loss of life. And we can reveal there's now


a plan to bring in dredgers to harvest the remaining cockles over


the next few days. Fisheries officers think this drastic


solution is the only way to end what's become a chaotic and


dangerous daily enterprise. Sarah Mulkerrins reports.


Have you got the Patching gear? Tying up loose ends, another hard


day's work done. For these fishermen, it could be one of their


last on this estuary -- Estuary. The by-laws may need to be reviewed,


we might need to close this fishery early, which would be a real shame


for those who fish there illegitimately. But we have to take


decisions that put him at -- human life at the priority. The room or


the here this morning was that there will be a suction dredging


here on Monday morning, that dredger would come in and Hoover


the seafloor, wiping out the Cockle stock and in effect, putting the


fishermen out of business here. The fisheries website appeared to back


up the rumour later on in the day. They are Sea King tender for


dredging in the area, which has angered local fishermen. Why should


a few dredgers be allowed to take all of the catch when the men have


got to mortgages to pay for? I do not understand it. Stephen has been


fishing for 12 years and is struggling to see the rationale


behind closing this area. We are all wondering out what we are going


to do, how will we are going to support our families, how are we


going to make a living? If there is no answer. For the fishermen now,


it remains a waiting game. In other news from around the north


west this evening, two Manchester colleges have been accused by the


Home Office of abusing the immigration system. The Lords


Higher Education College, based in Ashton-under-Lyne, and the Lords


College UK, based in Salford, were identified as helping foreign


students evade immigration rules. They've have had their licences to


teach non-EU students revoked. The inquest into the death of a


woman in the Grayrigg train crash has heard that a third of all the


points inspected following the derailment were found to have loose


bolts. The jury was told that engineers were surprised by how


many problems they found and that changes have since been made to


many components. 84-year-old Margaret Masson died in the crash


four years ago. BBC Radio Merseyside presenter


Roger Phillips has been honoured with an industry Lifetime


Achievement Award at the Radio Festival in Salford. It was


presented at a ceremony last night. Roger joined the station in the


1970s. Sophie Jackson has been a pupil at


her local Cheshire primary school for two years. Her parents say


going to class helps the six-year- old, who was born unable to swallow,


to feel like a normal little girl. But seven weeks ago, they claim she


was told at the school gate she could no longer attend for health


and safety reasons. They are begging the head teacher and


council to let her back. Abbie Jones reports.


The pictures on the wall make it seem like a classroom, but Sophie


Jackson is the only people. Eight, and then we need to take away...


Excluded from school, she now has just three hours of council


provided tuition at home per week. She is missing her friends terribly.


She has been through a lot, the only part of soapy that works


perfectly is her brain. And school and education are taking that away


from her. Do you miss school, Sophie? What do you miss?


friends. Until seven weeks ago, this is the school Sophie had been


attending. She had been coming here for the last two years, but one day


out of the boot her parents say the head teacher told her she could not


going. Peover Superior EC Primary School refused to discuss with us


that -- reasons why, but Sophie's parents say they were suddenly told


the school did not have a risk assessment in place for her or a


medicine policy even though she has a been a people there for so long.


we were told all the procedures were in place and we have believed


what they told us. This is just a lack of communication. Cheshire


East Council said today it is talking to Sophie's parents and the


school, and working hard to resolve the situation as quickly as


possible. Four Sophie, that cannot come soon enough. What is your


biggest wish? To go to school. hope you've all had an event as


Hallowe'en, nice and peaceful, additive fun, but we have a story


of a prank which went too far and resulted in a pensioner getting a


broken leg after a group of youths threw a cranky -- concrete paving


stones at him. 79-year-old Bernard O'Donnell, from Baguley in


Manchester, had gone out to confront the teenage boys who were


throwing eggs at his house. It started with the youth's


throwing eggs, and it ended with this concrete flagstones being held


at 79 year-old Bernard O'Donnell, resulting in a serious leg injury


and a hospital visit. As I approached them, I noticed one boy


had a broken flagstone looking like he was going to throw it at Gurkha.


He saw me, I did not speak to anybody, and he threw it at me and


it hit me in the leg and I was in intense pain, I it collapsed


immediately. Bernard O'Donnell is a retired deputy head teacher, and he


served his National Service in Malaya. He says he is defiant and


will stand up thuggery. Parents who fell in their responsibilities are


doing terrible harm, because not only will their own children be


brought up incorrectly and not have good value, so will their


grandchildren and great- grandchildren, and where will it


stop? Police echoed his thoughts and had this message for parents


who did not know what their children were up two. If they start


engaging in setting up fireworks, - - setting off fireworks, throwing


eggs or whatever in public areas, windows getting smashed, people


getting injured, it can escalate into something serious.


This evening, five useds were being questioned about the incident.


We had he recovers soon.. One year ago tonight, dozens of


families in Salford were without a roof over their heads. A huge gas


blast had devastated their housing estate in Irlam. Amazingly the


woman whose home was at the centre of it all survived. In fact, she


now lives just round the corner. But just why it happened still


remains a mystery as our Chief Reporter Dave Guest, explains.


2nd November, 2010, homes lie in ruins, lives are put on hold.


remember waking up to a loud bang, rubble everywhere. I saw Marie, she


was sat on a chair outside what used to be her house, covered in


blood, all of her hair was burnt, it sat on a chair she did not know


where she was. Three Burns's home was at the centre of the blast. She


put a pan on the hob to make porridge and then this. This was


absolutely wiped out. All the window frames had come in. All the


ceiling was right the way round, because the roof went up in the air.


It came down with a big bang. homes were flattened out right, up


to 200 others affected. Rob Burt and his family were out of their


home for five months while it was repaired and said it was different


-- difficult coming home. The whole house felt different, strange.


showed us round what was left of his home man -- after the blast.


Today, he says it is not just his home that has been improved since


the blast. There is a lot more community, we are friendly help


with the neighbours, we can knock on people's doors. Barry Burns, the


woman whose home at once stood here, now lives close by although she did


not want to be interviewed today. As to what caused all this, told


months on the house and safety addictive say their investigation


is still continuing, and they are not been forthcoming -- the Health


and Safety Executive say their investigation is continuing.


Richard's here with the sport and you've just got back from chatting


to the Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez. Seven defeats in


a row in the Premier League. How was he?


Upbeat as always. Quietly determined and trying to find


answers to this run of defeats. But he still found time to have an


exclusive chat with me outside his normal press duties later in the


week. He says he's extremely confident that the Latics won't be


relegated. They're bottom at the moment with just five points. And


with four out of the last five matches against other teams towards


the bottom of the table I began by asking him how important the next


few weeks could be. It is a massive period, because we


are in and run of results which are bad, and that is the truth, we


don't want to get away from that. Goes for goal himself, and scores!


That have lapped it up. You are always up beat, what are you like


and you go home after its defeat? am very bad company, that is the


truth. It is difficult until I get the answers. We all have to support


each other, and we faced adversity together. That allows us to work to


the next day a lot easier. difficult is it to steel yourself


for another what looks like it is going to be a relegation battle?


are not thinking that far away. We are not thinking in that way at all.


It has been a very demanding one for us, October. Difficult in terms


of injuries and suspensions, all we want now is to get the next


positive result. I feel the talent in the squad is the strongest squad


we have had in the last three years. Your chairman, Dave Whelan, has


said that even if Wigan went down, he would not sack you because of


the respect he has for you. Do you ever think about if the worst


happened, what he would do? No, no. I would never consider that that


will happen. You want your team to pass the ball, but when you are in


a difficult period like this, is there a temptation to change that?


Never, never. We have to get better Never, never. We have to get better


Never, never. We have to get better in what we do. I don't think styles


in what we do. I don't think styles guarantee results. Do you remain


confident the team will stay up? Without a doubt.


Both Manchester clubs are in Champions League action tonight.


United can go a long way to securing qualification for the


knockout stages with victory over Romanian side Otelul Galati at Old


Trafford but they'll be without Tom Cleverley who has an ankle injury.


City face a tougher task to qualify from their group, they could do


with a win at Villarreal. Roberto Mancini's men are third in Group A


behind Bayern Munich and Napoli. Burnley lost at home to Leicester


City last night. Ross Wallace got the only goal in a disappointing


night. They are now down to 17th in the championship. Tonight,


Blackpool at Leeds. Superleague, and Wigan Warriors


have signed the former Hull FC Prop, Epalahame Lauaki, on an initial


three year contract. The Tongan International scored five tries in


54 appearances for Hull. His signing takes Wigan's complement of


overseas players back to four. He looks like the sort of man that


if he says it is Tuesday, it stays Tuesday!


How many times did you have to practise his name?


Maybe seven or eight! Identikit was right. I hope he's


not watching. This week we're bringing you a


special series on HMS Liverpool, the Merseyside-made warship


returning from her final mission in Libya before being decommissioned


next year. Many of the crew have been away from home for seven


months, not knowing when they'd next see their loved ones. Nina


Warhurst spent five days with them in the Mediterranean and got a


small taste of how unpredictable life at sea can be.


These teams have spent much of the last seven months investigating


suspicious boats and ships off the coast of Libya. But when I met them,


the war was over and the 270 crew were expected to return home. But


then, not for the first time, came disappointing news. Today HMS


Liverpool was supposed to be on her way to Malta's ready to begin the


journey home. But since the death of Colonel Gaddafi, Maitre's plans


have changed and she finds herself back here, around 10 miles off the


coast of Libya. So, as Allied ships sail home, HMS Liverpool sailed


back. The extension came as no surprise to the crew who had first


expected to return home in August. Siobhan has not he seen her fiance


since he proposed by audience -- five months ago. Can't plan


anything until we know all we are doing. We can't do anything! You


live day-by-day. Do you drive -- does a drive you mad? I am used to


it, but yes. John also uppermost in Malta 3 months ago. -- John also


proposed. In a Jacuzzi, me, naked, she could not say no! The only


problem was I could not give her a date when I was back. It is hard


trying to settle down, when you have not got that, it is hard.


in the less, for some on board HMS Liverpool, there are some reminders


of home. Mathew Street, Penny Lane, strawberry fields. Michael shares a


room with more than 40 other sailors, and has a routine to


combat homesickness. Sit down, relax, have a talk with one of the


lads, they are always there for you. You can have a word with one of


your fellow Liverpudlians, they will give you stick but it is just


the thing to deal with -- it is just the thing to deal with. Next


week, Michael will be back with his mum and Siobhan and John will be


able to start making wedding plans as HMS Liverpool returns to British


waters for the final time. Tomorrow, we will look back on the


history which stretches over three decades of the HMS Liverpool.


I love John's confidence, that is the way to propose!


If you have got young children, you will recognise this.


Think back to your school days and maybe you thought history was


boring. Now, thanks to Terry Deary's best-selling books, it's


horrible. The books became a hit TV series. And all this week you can


see Horrible Histories on stage in Manchester. Stuart Flinders reports.


And report the brain out through the nostrils. History, but not


probably as you knew it at school. The ruthless Romans and awful


Egyptians, the stage version of Horrible Histories at Manchester's


opera house. Every city we have been to has been sold out. School


shows during the days, evenings, it is deafening. If you were a pirate,


what would you pinch? At sea there are no motors or mobile phones.


books are factually correct but add a little spice for these children


in Heywood near Rochdale. And some new words! Misspr... Our teachers


do not tell us all the funnier jokes and rhymes. The kids were


saying some of the lessons were boring and you should take a leaf


out of Horrible Histories. They would not be boring, but they tell


them a few extra things that bring it to life. It is nearly 20 years


since these first appeared, so a whole generation has been brought


up on the Horrible Histories. Some of them inspired even to continue


their her study of history to university. How history is


visualised on the screen. These are the graduate of what you might call


the school of Horrible Histories, now studying at Lancaster


University. The lessons we did in school, they were not too


interesting but this is a way of keeping interest sustained when the


lessons themselves were lacking in content. I guess you could say they


inspired an interest. The stage version runs until Saturday.


The brain is useless padding for the Scott! Whatever you say, fairer,


you know best. I love Horrible Histories. Children get really, at


my kids love it, they come out with things, I think, where you know


that from? I learned that the Inca people


dipped their washing in a you're in. It has not been a bad day to day,


we anticipated a little bit more rain than we got, so most places


has been dry. Tomorrow, it will be a bit of a mixed up night, --


tonight it will be a mixed up at night. We had some breaks in the


cloud cover through the morning this morning, then the cloud came


back through the afternoon. In terms of temperatures, most places


got to 14 degrees. Tomorrow, temperatures will still be fairly


good, but it is a mixed a picture. We are starting to see outbreaks of


light rain, that is the story until midnight tonight. That is light and


patchy, we cannot really tell where it will turn up. After midnight, it


gets its act together and as you head towards the heavy early hours,


some of the bursts of rain will be pretty happy. -- pretty heavy. An


exceptionally mild night. Tomorrow, if you are up very early the rain


will be a round, but it clears quite quickly through the morning.


Behind it, fingers crossed, and reasonable improvement. By the time


you get to 10am, the rain has gone and the cloud cover will try to


break up so every now and then you will get half an hour of sunshine.


Them the cloud comes back, one or two showers through the afternoon.


A huge portion of the day is dry and usable. Still fairly blustery,


temperatures are good. The outlook, Friday once again could be fairly


And no mention of anything about toilet!


Do you watch it with all the other 12 year-olds?


From the back, we cannot tell the difference between you and your


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