14/01/2014 North West Tonight


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Australia. More about the weather where you are on-line.


Good evening. Welcome to North West Tonight. Our top story: William


Roache's sex abuse trial hears claims the Coronation Street star


used his fame to manipulate young girls.


Also tonight, our reporter on the pressure of hospitals facing winter.


This morning, every bed in the Royal Preston was being used. I have been


looking at the reason behind why hospitals are reaching full


capacity. The price of shale gas ` police


reveal the financial cost of Salford's anti`fracking protest


The children at the centre of an international tug of love and the


Manchester mum in Vienna who wants them back.


The children should never have been taken away from my care. They need


to correct that mistake and give my children back.


Every dog has its day ` meet Nell the guide dog who saved her trainers


life. The Coronation Street star William


Roache used his fame to manipulate the trust of star struck teenagers.


That's according to the prosecutor at Preston Crown Court.


That's where the actor who plays Ken Barlow went in trial today accused


of rape and sexual assaults dating back to the '60s. The star denies


the charges. Our reporter is at the court now.


Dave, this is a case that's attracted widespread attention,


isn't it? That is right. William Roache is one


of the best`known faces in television, having been in


Coronation Street ever since the first episode. He was surrounded by


cameras today as he arrived at Preston Crown Court to face the


charges of rape and sexual assault dating back to the 1960s, charges


that he denies. What was the scene like inside the


court? Courtroom number one was full to


capacity in the public gallery and on the press benches. On the front


of the gallery sat William Roache's sons. William Roache listen to the


prosecution, as they outlined the case which they say prove his guilt.


Both the judge and prosecutor reminded the jury on many occasions


that they are here to try William Roache, not Ken Barlow, the


character he plays on television. The judge says that they must put


aside any views that they have about Ken Barlow, and that they must try


William Roache during the proceedings.


These allegations date back 40 years. What are you able to tell us


about the people who are making them?


One of those accusing him is a woman who is now in her 60s. She said that


when she was 15, William Roache raped her on two separate


occasions. The prosecutor said today that the woman had kept it all


secret for more than 40 years. She only spoke about it in the wake of


the Jimmy Southall `` Jimmy Southall scandal when her son asked her why


people remained quiet about such things. She went to the police.


Another person said that she was 14 and visiting Granada Studios when it


happened, another person said they were also assaulted in the toilets


in the 1960s. The other two were sisters who used to hang around


outside the studios of Coronation Street. One says that she was


assaulted in the dressing rooms another one says that she was


assaulted in his car. He denies all of this.


Who else are we likely to hear evidence from?


The defence have been calling a number of people, including William


Roache's co`stars. That includes the woman who plays Deirdre Barlow, and


Chris Gascoigne who plays his son Peter Barlow in the soap. William


Roache left with his real sons tonight. The trial is expected to


last for four weeks. It has been another startling day


for one of our local councils. People working at Lancashire County


Council were told 2500 posts would be cut over the next two years.


It is one of the largest councils, it will mean that services will be


reduced for the people in the county.


It runs the county's strategic services, social services, roads,


education. After three years of contraction, staff were told that


were as much worse to come. I am gutted. I have had talks with


staff and I said then that absolutely, I understand how


difficult it is for them. The council's budget is ?776


million. It has saved ?220 million over the last three years and now


needs to save another 300 million over the next four years. Staff have


reduced from 14 and half thousand to 13000 and will go down further to


11,500 x 20 16. Meanwhile, the County Council is raising the tax by


just over 2%. You are worried about the impact on


a bus services? Yes, I am worried about that.


This campaign has already set up an online petition to protect bus


routes around Lancashire. Some of the messages are upsetting to hear.


Some people are saying that they will not be able to get to work and


people saying that they may have to move house.


The government says that cutting money to councils is necessary to


balance the books. Do people in Lancaster agreed?


The people who cannot afford to pay more or receive less are being


penalised. I have to pay ?15 a week, and I was given a four`bedroom


house. I do not use is anymore. We are getting a glimpse of what


local government will look like when it emerges from the cuts. Leaner,


more efficient but with far fewer resources to spend on people.


Now is Jon Tonge, a professor of politics at Liverpool University. We


had little porn announcing that services would be cut. Lancashire ``


Liverpool announcing that services would be cut. Lancashire has


announced that today. What are we looking at today?


If years down the track, they will never be able to do this `` the same


things they do now. There have been very high cuts in real terms in the


councils cut back? Only one in 5 are raised in council tax, and local


authorities cannot raise the tax by that much. Central government will


let them. We're not talking about the vulnerable, we are also talking


about libraries closing, some educational services closing,


after`school clubs that allow parents to go to work will be hit.


So everyone will feel the impact of those cuts? Not just those who rely


on social services? Yes, a few years ago, there were


some extra jobs, and there are now some questions about why some people


in local government are receiving higher salaries than the Prime


Minister. But the whole story is one of savage cuts, with no end in


sight. People thought that the cuts would only be for one or two years,


but there is no prospect of normal services being resumed any time soon


in the future. So far, they seem to be able to


avoid compulsory redundancies. Cannot carry on?


They can either cut services or jobs. So far, they have allowed


people to retire early. That is not possible any more. We are into the


territory of compulsory redundancies. The question is the


scale. The shire counties have not done as badly as the big cities but


even the shire counties like Lancashire County Council are now


struggling. It does not matter, they are all suffering these big cuts.


A zebra crossing in Oldham where a 12`year`old girl died is to undergo


significant improvements by the council. Annalise Holt was crossing


Milnrow Road in Shaw with a friend when the accident happened last


month. She died at the scene, her friend was seriously injured.


Thousands signed a petition calling for the changes.


The MP for Morecambe David Morris is to table an early day motion in the


House of Commons calling for the Hillcroft care home owners to


apologise for the abuse of patients. Last week, three care workers were


found guilty of abusing dementia patients at the home near Lancaster.


A double decker bus has had its roof ripped off after going underneath a


low bridge in Lancaster. The accident, involving a Stagecoach


bus, happened on St George's Quay this morning. Police said no one was


injured. And good news for Manchester


Airport. 1.3 million passengers travelled through the airport in


December ` that's more than 5% higher than last December. Christmas


was particularly busy, with 720 000 people using the airport over the


festive period. Macclesfield face Sheffield


Wednesday in an FA Cup third round replay this evening. Victory would


earn the Silkmen a date with Rochdale in the fourth round and a


much needed cash boost of nearly ?70,000. The club is in danger of


folding with debts of ?500,000. We will have the results of the other


games on hourly news. One of the region's biggest


hospitals reached full capacity today, with every bed at the Royal


Preston being used and no space for new patients. Winter pressures are


now stretching NHS resources across the region.


Today, Leighton Hospital in Crewe asked local people to think twice


before using the Emergency Department as they've seen a rise in


patients being admitted with symptoms of norovirus. Both


hospitals say care is not being compromised. Our health


correspondent is at the Royal Preston now.


It might not look like it at the moment, but this is one of the


busiest A departments in the North of England. Hundreds of patients


come through these doors every day. But this morning, some people were


told there would have to wait, because this hospital may have 00


beds, but every bed was being used. Here is the director of operations


joining us on this busy day. How did it come to that, that the patients


could not get a bed? It is a combo nation of issues.


We have had a high number of issues, and patients who are elderly


and need a bed. People will say that it is winter,


there is more illness about, but it is the same in other areas, they are


not saying that they are at full capacity? It is a national problem.


The pressures felt right across the region. It is a national problem,


the medical director of the NHS has commissioned an urgent care review,


because we know that there has been a significant increase in emergency


admissions. We are coping, the teams are working really hard to ensure


that we deliver in `` affective care. That is delivered across the


hospital. One of the reasons behind our


hospitals filling up is that have an aging population. Last year here at


the Royal Preston they saw a 22 increase in the number of patients


aged between 80 and 90. As I've been finding out as part of a three day


series on winter pressures. So many patients want to go home, but they


cannot. I was doing the shopping and cooking


and making sure that she was not left on her own.


Eric is a busy man. At 89 years old, he is his wife's carer, he


plays in a bridge club and he organises foreign excursions. But he


cannot go home, because social services have not organised his


community care. How much you need to get back home?


I very much need to go home. I can't get anywhere.


Staff do not like the term, but these patients are sometimes


referred to as a bed blockers, who are able to leave medically, but


cannot. It could be that they are waiting for a space in a nursing


home. All of this intensifies in January, because of the slowdown


over Christmas. It is not a case of they have been


in the hospital for a long time and they need to be moved on, as health


care professionals, we need to make sure that they are safe and that the


quality of the care that they are receiving is the right quality


within the community. We are living for much longer and


with a better quality of life, which is great, but the longer that we


live, the more complex our health needs become, and the more pressure


that gives on teams like this. I have a wonderful career and a


wonderful home life. Water came in nine weeks ago after a fall, but


cannot go home, Denise to go to a care home and then used to be a


place for him. `` he needs to. If I need to be looked after, I need


to go to a care home. I am quite looking forward to it.


Staff say that these patients are a privilege to work with, and that


they are entitled to the same standard of care inside and outside


the hospital. Talking to staff here, they have


freed up some beds. There 43 beds, so please do not worry. Tomorrow, we


will be looking at another thing that puts pressure on hospitals The


NHS have become victims of their own success. People living for longer.


We will be looking at how this increases pressure on capacity, and


we will also give you an update on how Eric and the others are doing.


Still to come on North West Tonight: To the rescue ` how Nell the guide


dog made it a new year to remember. And we are at the Lancashire nature


reserve were a rare occurrence has got bird`watchers very excited.


The plight of a mother from Manchester, whose children have been


taken from her by a court in Austria, is being raised in


Parliament tonight. Beth Alexander lost custody of her twin boys after


an acrimonious divorce. Her family claims the courts in Vienna, where


she now lives, have treated her unfairly. The Manchester MP Graham


Stringer is raising their concerns in the Commons.


Sammy and Benji are at the centre of an international custody battle that


has consumed a family from Manchester. Their mother, Beth


Alexander, grew up in Crumpsall and moved to Vienna to marry a doctor,


Michael Schlesinger. Their marriage broke down in 2010, with Mr


Schlesinger claiming she was mentally ill. Her mental health was


considered by the courts in Austria, which decided to take the boys from


her. There is no evidence of mental


illness. There was nothing wrong with the children in my care. You


can see that there is something terribly wrong that has happened


here. The children should never have been taken away from me. A mistake


has been made, and they need to correct that mistake and give me my


children back. The decision was backed by the


Austrian courts. Back in Manchester, her family say that she has been


treated badly. Has she has `` has she ever had


mental problems? She has never been to a psychiatric


doctor for anything. Under the court reports, which stated that she has


never been mentally ill and is not mentally ill.


Tonight, an MP has been speaking to Parliament about this.


Austria has similar laws to ours, but something seems to have gone


wrong. I need to explain it to the house these series of events that


has led to her not having custody of the children.


We've tried to contact the boys father for his view on the case but


been unable to reach him. The Alexanders say their lives have been


taken over by what they see as a battle for justice. They're now


considering appealing to the European Court.


We will follow that story and give you any developments.


Police have accused some anti`fracking protestors at Barton


Moss in Salford of behaving in a "reckless" way, as they attempt to


prevent IGas lorries from making deliveries to the site near Eccles.


The protestors, on the other hand, have accused the police of being


heavy handed and intimidating. Our environment correspondent Judy


Hobson has been speaking to both sides.


They have come from all of the UK with one common aim ` to try to stop


energy company IGas drilling here. The tactics vary from go slow


marches to so`called vehicle "lock`ons". Police claim that there


is a major concern in the slow go marches that can be dangerous and


affect people living nearby. At one point, it took 55 minutes to


travel 30 paces. When does that become unreasonable and become a


criminal offence? When you have a large number of vehicles entering


the site, it blocks Barton Moss for a large amount of time, which has an


effect of local people. The protesters say that they try and


avoid disruption to the local people, and say that police have


been heavy`handed. Police said that there have been 55 complaints `` 35


complaints against them. The police have done a fear and


intimidation to the protesters and the local people. Police say that


that is not true, and that the operation has gone well. It has cost


?330,000 so far. There have been 55 arrests, but police said that most


people are peaceful. Meanwhile, questions are being asked


in Cheshire East area, home to George Osborne's Tatton


constituency, the scene of anti`fracking protests last year.


Last night, the Tory leader of the council Mike Jones said his council


was against shale gas exploitation and people living there could "rest


assured" there would be no fracking in the county. But he said that he


could not ban fracking. Fracking where we have the shale gas


deposits. You would expect him to say that you would not do it if you


did not have the ability to do it. The protests go one, and there is no


end in sight. Now to a remarkable story about a


remarkable dog. Nell, a guide dog who is training, showed she really


is woman's best friend, when she came to the rescue of her trainer.


You really like that picture, don't you? When Lesley Hailwood from


Liverpool started to choke on a Christmas chocolate, Nell thankfully


knew exactly what to do, and saved her life. This afternoon, our


reporter went to meet them both This is the real hero of the hour,


Nell. She stayed she should `` she stays with you while she is


training. What did you do? It was New Year's Eve, and I had a


box of chocolate, and a chocolate got stuck in the back of my throat.


When I walked into the room where Nell was asleep, she jumped up onto


the sofa and jumped up with her two front feet onto my chest, which


dislodged the chocolate. Were you surprised by what she did?


Yes, I was. It's not something she is trained to do. Shoppers who knew


it instinctively. `` she obviously knew it


instinctively. She did not know what she was


doing? No, she has not been trained to do this, but it shows what a


fantastic bond Nell has formed, and she knew that her owner was in


trouble and she helped her. She is proving that she will make a very


good guide dog. She is now having a rest on the bench.


Clever and beautiful. Well done Nell. What a beautiful dog.


Now, do you know your herons from your bitterns? Would you recognise a


Little Egret or even a Great White? Pop along to Brockholes reserve near


Preston and you'll find plenty of people who are tweeting about them.


Bird`watchers have been flocking there to see a rare phenomenon. You


might usually spot one type of those breeds, but never before have all


four been seen together. Naomi Cornwell went in the hope of getting


a glimpse. They are usually a solitary breed


found hiding in the reeds, but suddenly, the lesser spotted


bird`watchers are flocking to Preston. Or because they are smitten


by bitterns. One of our local people shouted that


there were four different types of herons at Brockholes. And he was


right. There are bitterns, herons, and egrets.


To see all four types of herons at the same time is very unusual, and


has got people excited. I was the one who saw the bitterns.


I was very happy. I have been in the quarry since it was a working


quarry, and to see it develop into a working bird place, it is wonderful.


I saw the heron fly. It is iconic. It is a bird that is not common and


not easy to see. To get them all together at the same


time and all within January, it is quite a feat.


Birders at Brockholes have been able to capture all the species on


camera. Everyone can see them and spot them. It is great.


At one challenge remains. So far, no one has managed to photograph all


four together. They are stunning. I think our


producer was a bit disappointed because she thought there was a


great white there, she thought it was a shark.


Yes, she sent a camera crew out then it was just a birds.


It was a bit grey at Brockholes today, what is the weather like


I will and sat on our producer's behalf, a shark in the sky?


We had plenty of sunshine today But it is all about to change tonight.


The week ahead will be very unsettled. It is more rain to night.


We will see this rain moving in overnight. It will stay with us


throughout most of Wednesday. It edges away on Thursday. It looks as


if we will see a respite on Thursday, then you will see an area


of low pressure heading this way on Friday. So maybe some more rain on


Friday in places. For this evening, the rain begins to


cross over. There could be some snow on high grounds. But just the


showers overnight. It will be persistent overnight. The wind will


pick up, fog patches in some places. Because of the breeze, the cloud in


the rain, it is much milder than it was last night. We saw temperatures


below freezing last night, tonight it will be four or five Celsius


Seven Celsius in the Isle of Man. Tomorrow, it will be very mild. It


will be cloudy. The rain continues, not everywhere. On and off, the


showery rain. You can see the breeze picking up on the south.


Temperatures in double figures in one or two spots. We may see 11


Celsius. These temperatures are definitely well above average for


the time of the year. Tomorrow night, more showery rain stopped


said Thursday looks better, but it will be colder on Thursday. Just


eight Celsius. Thank you very much. Just to


reiterate, because Nina was there at the Royal Preston, if you are in


that area and you do in that area and Eugenie to go to hospital, they


are open to new patients. `` and you do need to go to hospital. If you


need treatment, go to hospital. And he will be back at 10:25pm.




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