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Welcome to BBC Points West. so it's goodbye from me -
Tonight we're in Swindon with exactly four weeks to go
We start a tour of the West taking our sofa out on the road,
unpacking the key issues and speaking to you the voters.
I like Jeremy Corbyn. I want to continue that. So it is Theresa May
The U? I think so. We'll be looking at
the issue of housing and asking whether anyone
has a solution. The South African grandmother
fearing deportation after undergoing a medical examination to see
if she's fit to fly. Every minute of every day,
even Christmas Day, your birthday, there's somebody in here working
on your blood. And the little girl with leukaemia
seeing what happens A South African grandmother staying
in Bristol with her family because she's too ill to fly home
fears her deportation has Irene Nel's visa has
expired and the Home Office But her family say she
won't get the treatment 73 years old and living
in constant fear. For nearly five years now
the South African grandmother has been fighting for the right to stay
here in the UK with her daughter Desree, her three sons
and seven grandchildren. I'm terrified, I can't
take that any more. The day they come to arrest me
and say I must go, that is going to It was during a visit here back
in 2012 when Irene fell ill and was diagnosed
with kidney failure. She's still very ill and needs
dialysis three times a week to stay alive,
treatment that the family say she But the treatment is expensive,
legally Irene has no right to be here, and so the Home Office have
been warning for more than a year that she will have
to be deported. It has caused so much
stress and worry. I am terrified they are going
to come back and say, Today, Irene and Desree need
to head to a police station for Irene to sign on to prove
she's still in Bristol. They have to do this regularly
but there's always the fear that this might be the day they get
the news bad news. Although Irene and Desree
dread their visits here, the visits themselves are normally pretty
straightforward and don't take very long at all,
sometimes just a matter of minutes. However, today, something that
seemed to be different. They have been in there for more
than an hour already. We don't know what
is going on, we will They've done a medical
assessment on mum. To me, that looks
like they are trying It just shows they are not going
to sit back and go, let her stay. They are going to try
and get my mum out. So this evening, after yet
another difficult day, there are still no answers
and the future for Irene It's four weeks to polling day,
a key day in the election calendar as nominations have closed
and we now know who To mark the occasion,
Points West is taking to the road We're in Regent Street in
the constituency of Swindon South, a place which has backed the winning
party ever since When Swindon South votes Labour so
does the rest of the country. In the last couple of elections they have
gone Tory as has the rest of the UK. Over the next four weeks
we'll be out and about, taking our red sofa to different
places in the West, profiling some of the key marginal constituencies
and touching on some of the hot Later in the programme,
we'll be talking to our political editor
Paul Barltrop, discuss housing and the political wheeling
and dealing of the day, but first, Robin Markwell has been
taking the temperature of this Yes, Brenda from Bristol,
another one. A battlebus would
have cost too much. Well, at least you can
do U-turns in this. Forget about exiting the EU,
trying to leave the town's most famous landmark
was challenging enough. The south of the town has
always been a tussle It's currently held
by the Conservatives They say whoever wins
here wins Downing Street Swindon was a town
forged by the railways. Labour's leaked manifesto says
renationalising those will be But while tradiitional Labour voters
welcome the policies it's the leader who
still divides opinion. You've got to have a bit
of a personality and I'm sorry, I don't think
Corbyn's got it. He is a very good
university talker and with his own little liberal set
around him but I don't think he is the right man to run the
country. Down the barbers, they're not
talking holidays but politics. Darren's a Corbyn supporter
who likes his policies But he thinks he's getting
the brush off by the press. It is breaking through the media
for Jeremy Corbyn, I think, He will speak for me
and speak for a lot of people Head south from the Parks area
and you'll see just how much Spacious new homes are springing
up to house the town's The employment boom is driven
by the service sector. The firm Carpeo is typical-
creating hundreds of jobs, That will take effect
on the 11th of May 2017. Their director is also good
at sticking to the script. I think people probably do
want strong and stable Yes, I'm not giving away who I am
voting for, of course. But it has sunk in
there, it is embedded. It is probably the key
issue of the campaign. On the streets of South Swindon
today it is clear this election is more than just Brexit
all May versus Corbyn. There was talk too about
cuts to local services This is a battle being fought out
on many fronts and it We'll be back later in the programme
at the National Self-Build Centre, You'll be seeing a lot of him over
the next four weeks. Don't away because I will be at the national
self build Centre. But now for a look at the rest
of the day's news, here's Alex. A court has heard how a man
beat his former partner with an iron before setting her alight
in her own home in Swindon. 32-year-old Anthony Porter
was today jailed for life after admitting murdering
Andraya Lyons in December. Her family's appealed to any one
in a violent relationship A fun loving and bubbly mother,
someone who saw the good in They expressed their grief
outside court today. We miss her so much
and our lives have been completely devastated by the act
of one evil, vicious, selfish, manipulative and
cowardly individual. Her partner Anthony Porter had
a problem with drink and drugs and a history of violence
towards women, including Andraya. The court heard that on the night
of the 9th of December they were at Andraya's works
Christmas party at a hotel in Swindon
when Porter became aggressive and Andraya left with friends saying
it was over between them. But Porter got back into her house
drunk and using cocaine. He beat her with an iron,
broke her nose, stamped on her, before dousing her with white
spirits setting the house Post Mortem examination show Andraya
was unconscious but still breathing Porter gave himself up
to the police, saying But the judge didn't accept that,
saying he clearly intended to kill Andraya, adding what he did to her
unconscious body was appalling. She had tried to separate from
Porter but he was still living with her because she does want him to be
homeless. I would simply say to people they can come forward and
speak to the police with the confidence they will treated
sensitively. If they can't speak to the police, there are other agencies
such as Women's Aid who will give that help and support.
Porter serve 17 and a half years in jail before
being considered for parole, and will remain under licence
An inquest into the death of a nine-year-old girl
from Gloucestershire has heard she died after a horse
Bonnie Armitage was taking part in the Cotswold Hunt
It ruptured a major artery, even though she was wearing a chest
Her father describe her as a "positive, glass half full2
kind of girl who could ride before she could walk.
coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, based in Gloucestershire
is celebrating a double anniversary today.
Made up of hundreds of soldiers from over 20 different nations,
the ARRC has pioneered the command and control operation of NATO troops
But its relatively short history can actually be traced back much further
with surprising links to the county it now calls home.
Here's our Gloucestershire reporter, Steve Knibbs.
It gives me great pleasure to formally rename this
2008 and RAF Innsworth became Imjin Barracks - the Allied Rapid
Formed in 1992 it was the first of NATO's high readiness
Its role - to command and control troops during military
Some of the things it has done in the operational
deployed sense have been genuinely game changing.
The deployment to Afghanistan was extraordinary in so much
it was a declaration of trust, particularly by the US because it
devolved under command of a British officer.
A very substantial US force, the first time this had been
there since the Second World War, 45,000 American troops.
The ARRC may be only 25 years old but its origins can be traced
back 200 years to the Battle of Waterloo where you'll also find
The ARRC formed out of the former 1st British Corps,
set up originally by the Duke of Wellington in 1815.
In the entrance hall at Cirencester Park hangs a huge
portrait of Wellington atop his infamous steed Copenhagen.
It was commissioned by Henry, the third Earl Bathurst
from Cirencester, who at the time was Secretary of State
He was responsible for putting Napoleon into St Helena for
He was, I supposed to a certain extent, the equivalent of
He would have been heavily involved in the first corps, especially
Two centuries on, the ARRC is conscious of the role
it could play in future military history books.
In uncertain times its role this year to command NATO ground troops
should they be deployed anywhere in the world.
Welcome back to Swindon, where we've taken our red
sofa out of the studio for a little runaround.
Tonight we're in the constituency of Swindon South, one of the key
marginals in this election and we've come to the
In a moment we'll be talking housing, but I'm joined now
by our political editor Paul Barltrop.
One of the big stories of today is the close of nominations,
What is interesting as to who is standing as to who it is not
standing. There has been talking between the parties. 31
constituencies across the West counties. Conservatives, Labour and
Lib Dem candidates everywhere. Ukip a massively down sitting at less
than half the seats. They have been telling supporters to vote
Conservatives but that is not the case in Cheltenham. What is
happening there is interesting. Isn't a 15 heads of the Lib Dem
seed, taken by the Conservatives. Cheltenham last day's referendum
voted to remain so the anti-Brexit Lib Dems fancied their chances of
getting it back. They have suffered a double blow today. Ukip withdrew
their candidate and many of their supporters in Cheltenham likely to
vote Conservative. At the same time, the Greens say they will put up a
candidate after their offer of an anti-Tory pact was rejected.
At the moment in Stroud, Cheltenham and Gloucester there are three
Conservative MPs and it was a really great opportunity to return three
candidates from the Green, Labour and Lib Dems across those
It is very frustrating that we didn't get to
the stage of talking to the other parties.
People of Cheltenham won't have a Ukip candidate so I would
hope they will look at what they want to achieve, look at the
manifestos, listen to the arguments and then make the best choice
I think it'll play very big in the selection.
We have had Tim Farron for the Lib Dems them in the West Country today.
He seems to live yet at the moment. What has been very action? This is
an important reason for them, they want to take back places like
Cheltenham. He visited there today met a group of supporters trying
their best not to look disappointed but the reality is he just hopes
Labour and the green supporters in Cheltenham or do some tactical
voting. For many voters, that is something they want to be aware of.
Help yourself to a cup of tea! We're in a show home which is then built
inside the centre. For many voters, the lack
of affordable housing is one Even today, a report has come out
saying there just aren't enough houses out there,
which is why prices Some of our councils, however,
are starting to build again but it's not quite the council homes
you might imagine. In Bristol, they may be
building council houses. But elsewhere, our councils
are turning their hand to building houses for profit
to make extra money In Bath North East Somerset,
they've set up a new housing The old council house
building in Keynsham They're going to build
new flats in Bath. While others, like this one
in Kingsmead Square, This has been empty
for about four years. It used to be managed by the social
housing company, Curo. And now the lease is up,
the council's taken it back. Nine properties have already
been let in this way, The problem is at the moment our
sources of funding are reducing and we are having to be creative
to find new ways of generating revenue to provide the services
we want to provide. In Swindon, they're hoping to make
?3.5 million in two years These initiatives may be adding
to the country's housing stock, Sadly, though, according to one
local government think tank, all this commercial activity
is unlikely to end in Many places aren't doing
it for that reason. Places are engaging with this
because they want to find a way of filling in holes that
exist in budgets already. The amount of public
services is increasing, people need to find
a way of generating people need to find a way of
generating the money from somewhere. All this commercial
activity is a huge cultural But building new houses is now
a political imperative. And how the different parties
approach the problem could win or lose them votes
at the ballot box. We're joined now by Harvey Fremlin,
the director of the centre here and Julien Robinson,
an estate agent who himself is trying to get onto
the housing ladder. Welcome to my lovely home! How much
would it cost me to buy a semidetached house in Swindon? A
three-bedroom, in the region of ?240,000. Is there a demand for
them? What is the cue? The housing market is strong, that is a demand
very much from various people, first-time buyers, investors from
upsizing and downsizing. Can people afford it, obviously they can all
the prices would have come down? Our people financing its? First-time
buyers find it harder so they are financing and saving up for a
deposit. The bank of mum and dad is helping out. Rental prices are so
high. You need ?25,000 as a deposit on a house costing 250,000. Harvey,
lots of people here tonight are going to this auction buying land
and houses for renovation. Is that way of doing cheaper?
It is. We find we have got to mix of people. People who wanted buying
plots of land and we've got people who will take on a property that not
have been maintained over the years and it is a cheaper way for them to
get onto the housing ladder. Perhaps they can sell it on and move up the
ladder that way. How much would it cost me if I wanted to buy a plot of
land? What is the minimum you could arrange a plot of land for me? It is
the number one question we get asked. There are so many variables
depending on where that plot of land is, the accessibility, services. One
thing to consider is where that plot is, there will be a natural cap to
the value of any home. No matter what you end up building on it.
We've got lots of land available across the UK at the value of
70-80,000. Then you've got to build the house
on top of it. How much is that going to be? 100,000?
100,000 plus, realistically. Depending on the Dude you have taken
and the design and specification, you could have equity in the home so
it is worth more than the many you have spent.
We watch these TV programmes about building your own health and that is
always a crisis and drama. It wouldn't make good TV unless
there was a crisis. If we were to commission a TV series is to be the
family that designed a nice efficient house, stuck to the budget
and moved in when they expected to. But that doesn't make good TV. But
that is the majority of people who build their own homes.
It'd be an important issue during this election. That is it from me.
Over the next four weeks our red city will be on tour. Maybe you will
be sitting is one day. If you want to build your own home you need one
of these. It would look better on you, Alex.
Thank you for leaving me a bit of sofa.
Now many of us don't like injections or blood tests
but for children it can be particularly daunting.
So to help young people overcome their fears
some hospitals are allowing them to become scientists
Jenny Walrond joined nine-year-old Idara at Musgrove Park
Blood tests and other invasive treatments are a fact of life for
She has acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
But today she is finding out what happens to her blood samples.
Hi, Idara, nice to meet you, welcome to the laboratory.
She is becoming a lab scientist for a few hours.
Every minute of every day, even Christmas Day,
your birthday, there is somebody in here working on
It benefits the patient but it is a benefit for our
staff because it provides an opportunity for them to engage with
patients where usually the laboratory doesn't even though
they are directly involved with patient care.
Idara's visit has been organised through a charity called
Harvey's Gang, named after Harvey Buster Baldwin who had
leukaemia and wanted to know where his blood went.
Sadly, Harvey died in 2014 but his curiosity has led
to children in other hospitals being allowed into labs.
They can see why they need to have these tests done so we can then
ensure they can carry on with their treatment.
My best bit was interesting about the cells.
My next interesting one was the blood around here.
And when she next has her blood taken Idara knows
Ian is on Ian is on the roof with the weather.
It will be warm but it will be brighter with cloudy faces. We
watched a band of showers forming across Somerset today and March its
way northwards. They were persistent across the Bristol Channel. Still a
chance of a few showers forming for the rest of this evening. Here is a
wider look. Tonight, showery rain moving northwards and it will give a
wider in the. Tomorrow, a bit oddly potluck story with showers
distribution out towards the west. So, for the rest of this evening
shower with fading but up comes that band of rain during the course of
tonight. No great amounts, modest amount. It will be a mile and humid
night, temperatures between 11-13dC. The cloud base lower. Tomorrow,
still a lot of cloud alone but the heat gets to work on that and it's a
bubble up giving way to sunnier spells, some of you will stay dry
through the rest of the day but others less so. It has for heavy
showers but temperatures tomorrow into the upper teens. That is all
we've got time for. That is all we have got time for. See you later.