19/01/2017 South East Today


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The gangs exploiting children to bring drugs into Kent


Children as young as 11 are being used as drug mules,


selling drugs, or hiding drugs for major drug


Accused of breaking legal limits by stockpiling


a mountain of mattresses - a Kent businessman tells a court


We're live at Canterbury Crown Court.


M25 road rage killer Kenneth Noye launches a legal challenge to be


The worrying rise in sheep-worrying - farmers say the south east


suffered more attacks than the whole of scotland last year.


It's been the set for Call The Midwife, and scores of movies.


Now, Chatham's historic dockyard will benefit


A national plan is needed urgently to crack down on the criminal gangs


exploiting inner-city children as young as 11 to sell


That's the view of councillors from 19 local authorities


who've written a joint letter to the Home Secretary, claiming


the issue "has the potential to be the next grooming scandal".


They say vulnerable children are being coerced into selling drugs


in market towns and seaside resorts, but the justice system


views them as criminals, rather than victims,


It's been called a poison that is spreading out from the capital and


seeping deeper and deeper into the south-east. At last count, more than


181 urban gangs sending upward of 800 people in two counties like


Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Children as young as 11 acting as careers. Many


are groomed into the role. From London, it's very easy to travelling


to Essex, into Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Thames Valley.


They are not travelling any further than that because we are the closest


counties. Francis is a former gang member who now runs a charity


helping to educate young people. They are exploiting young children


to sell drugs. The impact on that young child is huge. They are


grooming children to become drug dealers or to sell drugs for major


drug dealers from London. So it's a safeguarding matter. We can't just


turn a blind eye to it. We need to address it. Today in what was called


an unprecedented move, 19 London boroughs have written to the Home


Secretary calling for action. They say gang leaders are using serious


violence, kidnap and weapons and ruthless debt control to manipulate


young people. They say they believe it has the potential to be the next


grooming scandal. We've known for some time that there have been


London gangs coming down to Kent, particularly in Thanet, where it is


often reported London gangs are responsible for a lot of the drugs


trade. But the thought young vulnerable children in Centre this


trade is very worrying. Nick is the former head of Kent Police's drug


squad. They are using vulnerable people, people who they know have


probably got no want to report to, come back to, their parents, it's


probably a dysfunctional family, and they use that vulnerability to their


own advantage and don't give a dam for the welfare of anyone else. With


the threat of the drug gangs seemingly diving deeper into the


south-east, a call today to bring in new measures to battle a trait that


is now using Child exploitation to maximise profits.


Piers what has the Home Office had to say tonight?


Just be clear, those 19 London borough is called for this. They


called for a clear national strategy and action plan from the Home


Office. We put that to the Home Office and this is what they told us


tonight. They said, this was an issue that was being addressed by


the government. They were looking at this exporting of drug trafficking


from London. The Minister for safeguarding, Sarah Newton, said


that we are working with local law enforcement agencies and local


charities to tackle this and have formed a new agency to tackle gang


problems. How effective that has been in areas like the south-east


will be judged in the coming months and years.


A businessman accused of blighting a Kent village with a mountain


of discarded mattresses has told a court his personal life


was "an absolute living hell" at the time he was trying


Lewis Bertram - who ran a recycling business


in Smarden near Ashford - is accused of having more


than double the amount of waste he was allowed on site.


But he told Canterbury Crown Court today that that figure


was "impossible", as Simon Jones reports.


Piled high, a potential fire risk and environmental


Lewis Bertram's business took on mattresses and recycled


The jury was told he had a strict limit of possessing 1000 tonnes


The Environment Agency believes the total weight


Lewis Bertram, though, described that as an impossible estimation.


Physically, he said, it's impossible to carry that sort


He told the court there was 500-800 tonnes maximum.


He said he didn't store mattresses outside.


He admitted he'd been going through a difficult time personally.


"My home life, my personal life, was an absolute living hell.


It affected my functionality in my everyday life completely.


He said he had been surviving on two hours sleep per night.


Mr Bertram admitted the site was never going to look


He said he'd paid for a shredder to help clear it,


He insisted he had been trying his level best to appease


He described himself as passionate about his business.


Lewis Bertram denies knowingly permitting the deposit of waste


on land without an environmental permit and failing to comply


Simon Jones reporting - and he joins us outside


What happened during Mr Bertram's cross-examination?


prosecution asked him to look at a number of photos which it said


showed that he was clearly storing mattresses outside, which he wasn't


allowed to do. But he said that those photos may have been taken on


days when new mattresses had just been delivered before being taken


inside. The judge then asked him to look at three different photo was


taken over a period of six months and asked him if they showed the


same waste in those pictures. He said no. This afternoon the defence


finished their case and the jury is expected to be sent out tomorrow.


Anger from the RMT, as the union members say


they'll strike on Monday after being shut out from talks


The notorious road rage killer Kenneth Noye -


who stabbed a man to death on a Kent motorway - has launched a High Court


appeal for the right to be moved to open prison conditions.


The 69-year-old was given a life sentence for the murder of


Our reporter Charlie Rose has been following the story


Charlie, in 2015 the Parole Board recommended transferring


Noye to an open prison, but that was rejected


by the Justice Secretary at the time, Michael Gove.


In the year 2000, gangland criminal Kenneth Noye was jailed for life


with a minimum term of 16 years for stabbing Stephen Cameron to death.


In 2015 he may have believed he was on the road to release but the door


was slammed shut by then Justice Secretary Michael Gove over public


safety fears. Stephen Cameron's parents were relieved by that


decision and this is how they reacted at the time.


We are so relieved that finally, we've got justice again for Stephen.


It's nice that he's kept in there and can't harm anyone else.


Kenneth Noye is never very far from my thoughts.


I hope he comes out of that prison in a wooden box.


Now Kenneth Noye is in a High Court battle in an attempt to be moved to


open prison conditions. They judge in London is being asked to rule on


whether the decision to reject the parole board's recommendations were


unlawful and irrational with Kenneth Noye's lawyer arguing the Justice


Secretary at the time didn't give the recommendations enough weight.


But the current Justice Secretary Liz Truss says there was nothing


irrational in the decision and the hearing continues.


Council tax in West Sussex is set to rise by almost 4%,


under proposals put forward by county councillors today.


The authority is facing a budget shortfall of more than ?41 million,


and says the council tax increase would raise more than 15 million.


A teenager's been arrested following a stabbing in Brighton.


An 18 year old boy was taken to hospital after the attack at


19-year-old Elson Brito, from Brighton, has been charged


Southern Rail managers have urged the RMT Union to call off a 24-hour


It follows the suspension of three days of strikes that the Aslef Union


Aslef and Southern have spent a second day in talks aimed


at ending their industrial dispute over the safety of driver-only


operation, but the RMT are angry that they've been excluded.


It's absolutely ridiculous that our members have been out,


They are not even allowed to come to the table


If there's going to be any resolution for either of these


disputes, either the drivers or the guards, then the RMT need


Our reporter Sara Smith joins us live from Westminster.


Sara, has there been any news from the talks


going on between Southern and Aslef today?


They adjourned for the day about an hour ago. Those chairing them, the


TUC, said they had made further progress today, and would be


reconvening tomorrow. The good news, after two full days they are talking


and will carry on talking. As far as the RMT's comments, a spokesperson


from the TUC today said that Aslef had come to them asking them to


intervene. That's what they were focusing on. It was a separate


dispute, but they would be willing to help the RMT in any way they


could. Thank you. The issue of dog attacks on sheep


in the South East is now so urgent farmers have used a meeting


with the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner


to call for tougher action. It follows several serious


incidents recently, including one just two weeks ago,


when 10 sheep were The National Farmers Union says


the cost of sheep-worrying claims here rose by 80% last year -


the sharpest rise in the country - with claims there were more


dog attacks in Sussex Sheep have been grazing


here for centuries. Frank Langrish has been farming


here his whole life. But dog attacks have increased


so much, he's had, on occasion, If we find a dog actually attacking


sheep, and once a dog gets the blood lust,


it's very difficult to stop them. And so the only way of doing


it is actually to shoot that dog. Which is very upsetting for,


not only the dog owner, For Frank, hardly a month goes


by without incident, Two weeks ago, several ewes


were killed in Lewes, and last March, 116 were killed


in what's been described as the worst sheep-worrying attack


in memory. Farmers say the police


aren't doing enough. Last year there were 18,000 cases


of livestock who were either killed Everybody should be


worried about it. That's a huge number,


and nobody wants to see animals And in the south-east in particular,


we have a lot of population, and a lot of livestock alongside


each other, so we need to take steps And it's not just being attacked


by dogs that's a problem, At this time of year,


many of the sheep are pregnant. And if they are chased


and knocked into ditches like this one next to me, then


many of them get very frightened The Farmers Union has now appealed


directly to the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner


for tougher action. I totally understand


the strength of feeling. We have a lot of farms,


we have a lot of sheep. And these incidents


are particularly distressing. And the farmers are saying,


are you taking it seriously, And my message to them


is, yes they are. But my plea to the public is,


whenever you see it, please do report it,


because intelligence is vital. Sheep worrying costs the industry


more than ?1 million, and farmers want persistent


offenders prosecuted. Claudia Sermbezis, BBC


South East Today, Winchelsea. This is our top story tonight -


Nineteen local authorities have written to the Home Secretary


calling for urgent action to crack down on criminal gangs exploiting


children to sell drugs They say it "has the potential to be


the next grooming scandal". Also in tonight's programme -


the rebirth of the church they call We take a close-up look around


St Peter's, as the first phase And after another crisp winter's


day, warnings from the Met office about very cold weather lasting


until Tuesday. I will have the details and forecast later in the


programme. The Historic Dockyard in Chatham


is to receive almost ?5 million of Heritage Lottery money to restore


one of its most important buildings. The Fitted Rigging House


dates from 1793, The lottery funding will


enable its conversion, to become the dockyard's archive


and volunteer centre. Peter Whittlesea is


live at the Dockyard. Peter, it's a building well known


to millions of TV viewers, isn't it? That's right, for the last decade or


so, the historic dockyard has been a firm favourite with the British


movie industry. But now the building that always features in the BBC


series Call The Midwife will get its own face-lift.


Transformed by the magic of television into a street scene from


the east End of London in the 1950s, but inside the brick buildings made


famous by Call The Midwife, is an empty shell. Unused since the


dockyard closed in 1984, but now it's going to get its own dramatic


new lease of life thanks to a lottery grant. The Heritage lottery


fund that has been announced today is absolutely essential in bringing


these buildings back to life. It will help with initial restoration


and repair. But in turn, it will make sure that commercial


opportunities can come in here, businesses can come in and they have


something to use. Built just after Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables, it


was a fitting tribute the Hollywood movie was filmed here. But these


buildings will no longer be a backdrop to blockbusters only. It's


about creating offices, maximising return and also being a charitable


trust that is about education. We want to develop the museum, the


Reading room and library and archive and make that much more publicly


accessible and create a public centre of excellence. If all 7000


people in the dockyard are dismissed, Chatham's unemployment


rate would shoot up from 14.3% to around 25%. And when that happened


the rigging house was redundant. Finally finding a new role for the


listing building 31 years on is symbolic. The building was used as a


storehouse right until the Navy board left in 84. This is how we


found it. Nothing has happened to it subsequently. This was put up in


1795-98. It was the largest brick built building at its time that the


Navy had put together. Its sheer size has hindered its restoration,


but now thanks to millions of pounds of funding its future has been


secured. It's hoped the visitor centre will


be finished and businesses will move in by the end of next year.


Completing this building's transformation from the supply store


to the ships that made Britannia rule the waves to now a business hub


fit for the 21st century. Peter, thank you.


The latest school league tables have been published today,


with 10 secondary schools in Kent and East Sussex classed


as underperforming - including six in disadvantaged


Many headteachers say they're experiencing a recruitment crisis,


as they struggle to attract high flyers to vacant teaching posts.


But one organisation that helps graduates go into teaching says it's


seeing rising numbers of young people from disadvantaged


backgrounds applying to teach at their own former schools.


Our Education Correspondent Bryony Mackenzie has the details.


They were kids from the Kent coast, and they are now teachers back in


their classrooms. Hannah is a Margate girl. It's a dance move, the


dab, where you do that. As well as knowing how to do the dab, she is


also a high-flying graduate, so why come back here to teach? It's an


area that I recognise from before, so why would I go anywhere else? I


come from Thanet, so if I can do it, you can do it. I need to remind them


of that, that they are capable of more than they perhaps realise.


Jason is from Sheppey. He now works alongside some of his former


teachers at his old school. I just wanted to give back, in a way. I


have been away at university for four years and it's been a while,


but coming back, like home and it still feels like I need to give back


a lot to the area for what it's given to me. So there are a lot of


pupils who maybe haven't had the same experience of school that I


had, I could show them that there's no reason for them not to achieve,


just because they are from the Isle of Sheppey. Both have gone through


teach first, a unique programme that gets top graduate teaching in


disadvantaged areas. 60% of their teachers stay in the profession.


Teach first, attracting these very very committed and determined and in


many ways very tough young graduates, that's definitely one


road. Especially as we are targeting in the very areas where recruitment


is hard. But that's where we work, and that's where we will aim our


resources. Today's new set of results showed disadvantaged pupils


still make less progress than their peers. Put leading by example be the


solution? -- could leading by example be the solution?


Eastbourne's Johanna Konta has set up a third round clash


at the Australian Open with the former world number


Konta - who's the current world number nine - eased


through her second round match against Naomi Osaka


She'll take on Wozniacki on Saturday, as Ian Palmer reports.


COMMENTATOR: The performance is pretty hunky dory, too.


The 25-year-old from Eastbourne is fast becoming


The named Johanna Konta is on the lips of every tennis fan


in Australia as a true contender for this grand slam tournament,


Playing Naomi Osaka from Japan, Konta never looked in trouble.


In control for most of the match, Britain's number one


eased into the third round and into the last 32.


Tougher tests will come, but for now, Konta's pleased


But I'm looking forward to the challenge, I'm


I'm looking forward to being out on court competing and ultimately


and just trying to make my stay here in Melbourne


Konta's next opponent is Caroline Wozniacki,


a former number one with plenty of court experience.


But, like Konta, Wozniacki has never won a grand slam.


The Dane, who lives in Monaco, says she's confident


But I'm ready, I'm playing well, and I'm excited for the challenge.


She's obviously won last week in Sydney.


She had a good last year, but I'm here to fight and do my best


Konta will have to find another gear to reach the fourth round.


But no one in Melbourne wants to see the Eastbourne player leave


It's known locally as "Brighton Cathedral",


and the tower of St Peter's Church is a much-loved city landmark


But now the first phase of a huge ?1.7 million restoration


project has been completed, which has seen the top section


of the tower repaired, and the roof replaced.


And now the church authorities are preparing for the next phase


of the project - cleaning and repairing the tower's stonework.


Robin Gibson is live at St Peter's Church.


You're on top of the tower tonight, how's it looking from up there?


It's a pretty amazing view, as you can imagine. Looking out here, you


can see city life going on beneath us. We are about 130 feet in EF.


Looking back here, this is what's important today. The pinnacles you


can see lit up, emerging from the scaffolding for the first time. --


130 feet in the air. The wind chill up here is about -5 tonight. So I


have an idea of what the building has had to endure through the years.


The pinnacles of St Peter's, almost shining as they start


to emerge at last into the light of the winter sunshine.


It's been a long journey to get here, like the walk to work


the engineers and craftsmen have taken each day over


Up on top, the problems are plain to see.


The wear and tear since the church was built in the 1820s,


and previous repairs that didn't work out.


In the 1970s they didn't realise that putting cement on here was a


bad thing to do. And in this very exposed position, it's amazing how


much damage gets done. It's fascinating to see life going on as


normal way down below. Whereas a PR on top of the Cathedral of Brighton,


even though it's a lovely day, you get a feeling for the elements that


have so ravaged the stonework. It looks and sounds like a car wash in


the sky. The craftsman steam clean the Lucent and damaged masonry


before restoration can start, a painstaking and slow job. But the


vicar has no doubt about whether a building like this is worth the


effort. I think it sends a message out. It either looks like God is


dead and the church is irrelevant if it is crumbling and broken and


closed. But if you can begin to fix it up a bit, it sends out the


opposite message, that God is alive and the church has something to


offer. Not many years ago, St Peter's was on the verge of being


made officially redundant. But today, the Cathedral of Brighton


looks to be rediscovering itself. The phrase is often used that a


church is about people, not just about buildings. Down below us, this


city centre Church, who work with the homeless and disadvantaged, so


it's about people as well as stone. On both fronts, they've got their


work cut out. They certainly have, get yourself inside and get warm,


Robin. -5 wind-chill! It looks beautiful though.


It does look beautiful and of course it's bitterly cold. Temperatures in


rural spots could drop as low as -6 tonight. Warnings from the Met


office about this spell of very cold weather. High pressure over us


dragging in cold air from the near continent, so easterly winds will


stay with us. But what a beautiful day it has been. Frosty to start the


day. Temperatures dropping as low as -6 last night. Clear blue skies in


the afternoon and temperatures just about reaching highs of 5 degrees.


As we go through tonight, clearer skies, and temperatures are


plummeting. It's feeling bitterly cold. Dropping as low as -1 in towns


and cities, but several degrees down on that in more rural spots. Once


again a frosty start to the day on Friday. An area of high pressure


staying with us in the south-east corner, lots of sunshine around. By


the afternoon, temperatures perhaps creeping up to five or 6 degrees,


again feeling bitterly cold. A similar story to today. A gentle


easterly breeze, not much above 5-10 mph. Spot the difference over the


next couple of days. Friday into Saturday, once again seeing a frosty


picture, temperatures in more rural spots at -5, minus six. Perhaps


dropping as low as -2 in towns and cities. Starting the weekend once


again with widespread and hard frost. Lots of sunshine around.


Highs of -5 and minus -- highs of five and six. Take care and make


sure you keep the heating on. Wrap up warm.


That's it for us for now. We'll be back at 8pm. But joiners again


tomorrow. When unlocking the secrets of


your past... ..you never know what


the future holds. It's such a rush of history and


walking back in time. How incredible,


to have something like this? I feel he was the kind of guy


I could have got on with. I can't tell you how much


he looks like my dad. Seeing how these things all


fit together. Secure your place at


the 500 Words Final,


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