16/02/2017 South East Today


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Welcome to South East Today, I'm Natalie Graham.


No deal - Aslef drivers reject the settlement union bosses thrashed


It is an believable how there is still a dispute and no resolution. I


pay a lot of money to travel to write in everyday I do think the


service we get, it is ridiculous. We'll be live in Brighton with


the latest reaction and analysis. The young mum killed by cervical


cancer, never offered a smear test Because of the age she was at, it is


not just her losing her life it is her four children who are having to


suffer because they have no ma'am. Also in tonight's programme:


the ambulance trust at the centre of bullying allegations -


we've learnt that managers discussed The bare naked ladies causing


confusion in a Sussex village. And we are not alone, Sir Winston


Churchill's thoughts on alien life revealed in a newly discovered


document. Southern rail users face


the prospect of more crippling strikes as train drivers rejected


a deal brokered by The deal - aimed at resolving


a long-running row over driver-only trains, promised to end one


of Britain's longest and most For nearly a year the dispute has


paralysed train services in the south east, causing


businesses to close and resulting in travel chaos


for millions of commuters. In a moment we'll be live


at Brighton Station and at ASLEF's head quarters in London but first


John Young has this report. After ten months of dispute, 28 days


of strikes 13 days of talks in 40 days of hope that it might be near


an end tonight the deadlock is more stark than have. The reaction from


commuters in Brighton once word began to spread... It is ridiculous,


it has been like this from was one year. Fellow strikes and industrial


action and it is unbelievable how it is still, there is a dispute and no


resolution. I pay a lot of money to travel to brighten everyday and the


service that we get is ridiculous. Need to sort themselves out and


change the company to be honest. I not impressed at all. It is a good


thing, it is... What is the point in going on strike unless you hold out


for what you -- what your true beliefs and principles are? The


result was a stunning blow for the readers of Aslef, members nearly


always accept the recommendations but not this time. Although it was


close. Just under 700 members voted, issued under 300 of the membership.


It was a vote of loyalty, and -- from the drivers union to the


conductor 's union. Athletically drivers obviously share the concerns


of our members, the deal on offer did not guarantee a second safety


critical person in every train. Clearly this was not acceptable.


Passengers were hoping for a different outcome but there have


been warnings that might end like this. Earlier this week and Aslef


drivers still led why they simply could not accept the deal that still


allowed trains to be driven in exceptional circumstances about the


second member of staff on board. He spoke to us anonymously. The content


we have at that eventually someone will get trapped in the door, the


driver would see them on the cameras which are very poor at the moment


and we will end up in court. Neither Sun nor has left's leaders were


giving interviews but local MPs were. The unions must understand the


impact they are having on the people they serve and the people I


represent. Industrial action is not the way to settle the points at


issue here. What is at stake is passenger safety and I am persuaded


that when you have a very long trains, 12 carriage trains, when you


have them increasingly going through stations that are not staffed


because staff are being cut back then if there is an accident god


forbid the having the second safety critical person on the train helps


to save lives and that is the bottom line. In a statement Southern Rail


said it was hugely disappointed by the news, conductors have been given


heart. Passengers remain caught in the middle.


Well industrial action has been affecting Southern since


last April - when conductors who are members


of the RMT union first walked out - over changes to the roles


of conductors and claims that driver only operated trains are unsafe.


Aslef members first walked out in December -


leading to the cancellation of ALL the operator's


Two weeks ago - after lengthy talks hosted by the TUC,


ASLEF's leaders announced they'd reached a deal with Southern


It's THAT deal which members have now voted,


Passengers have put up with terrible performance and inconvenience to the


lives for months and months, this look like a resolution had been


found and now it seems like we are not quite there yet so it is


extremely important that all the parties get back around the table


and ensure that a quick resolution is found.


Well it's not just strike action by Aslef and the RMT commuters


have had to deal with, Southern's poor performance,


combined with industrial action, has cost the UK economy.


And it's been calculated more than 300,000 south east


commuters have been affected by the on going problems.


Well let's cross to our reporter in Brighton John Young.


John where do the interested parties go from here?


All of the interested parties it seems have been issuing statements


today but once you read then you realise they do not add much.


Southern have said we will be seeking to meet with the union as


soon as possible to see how we can agree a new way forward and then


they say we need to understand the issues which led to this outcome.


Many people are saying surely you know what the issues are, they have


been out there for ten months. RMT have issued a statement saying let's


get back around the table, the strike appears to be going ahead on


the 22nd of February next Wednesday. Interestingly, most interestingly,


the government has issued a statement and in the past they kept


their head down but the statement says Ray Little, it says the union


leadership must now return to talks at work with the members. In summary


tonight the same phrases and arguments, the same mutual


incomprehension and four passengers the same sense of despair.


Well Briohny Williams joins from outside ASLEF's


I understand you been speak to officials there?


Yes, a source told me this evening that they are keen to get back


around the negotiating table as soon as possible, which of course is a


view that is echoed by Southern bosses. In more developments this


afternoon Nick Cash from the RMT said he is writing to the TUC head


saying that all parties need to be involved in any discussions if an


agreement is going to be made that can finally put an end to this


long-running dispute. Well you've been reacting


to this story on email Neil Monnery tweeted - "looks


like this nightmare will never end". Margaret Sharkey approves


of the ballot results - she says "solidarity to Aslef


members - keep the trains Safe". Nicholas Harvey tweeted -


"hastag SouthernFail - You can get the latest on the BBC


local live pages in Kent and Surrey. In a moment: we meet a residents


of the first council homes to be The family of a young mother of four


from Gravesend who died of cervical cancer -


is calling for the screening 24-year-old Sadie Blackston


from Gravesend had been to her GP several times complaining of pain


and bleeding, but her family says she was never offered a smear test,


because screening only routinely She was only diagnosed


after she collapsed. Just a year after being diagnosed


with cancer, Sadie Blackston It has really heartbroken me,


I was there for it all I can't even tell you the pain,


every day I wake up through the days and when I go to sleep,


just, she has taken a massive Currently, women aged


between 25 and 64 are offered regular cervical screening,


the cancer affects more than 3000 women per year,


among them 65 people under 25. Sadie's family believed that had


she been offered the test at a younger age the cancer


could have been prevented. I think it should be offered,


because of the age she was at, it is not just her losing her life


it is also her four children because they have no mum now


So the age should be lowered from 25 But the UK national screening


committee has concluded testing under the age of 25 can do more harm


than good, it can cause too many false positive results leading


to unnecessary treatment. As a charity we are guided by Best


practice, we are guided by research and evidence as the current evidence


shows that in countries where screening is offered


at younger ages there is not much difference in terms of outcomes


of patients saw in the UK we are guided by the evidence


and the evidence says that screening But Sadie's family say that


in her memory the fight goes on. Simon Jones is in Northfleet,


where Sadie's family lives. What chance do they have of getting


a change in the screening age? I think a lot of people will have a


good deal of sympathy for the family but in reality it is going to be a


tough fight because they would have to change the opinion of the medical


profession. At the moment it is the opinion of doctors and charities at


25 is the best age to start screening and what they have already


achieved is getting people talking about cervical cancer. The family


told me a friend of theirs, women in their 40s, has decided to go for her


first ever screening having heard about the death so some success


there. Medics say the key thing for young people is to watch out for the


tell-tale symptom of heavy bleeding but city's family say they noticed


that in her case, she did seek out but it did not manage to save her


life and that is why they are determined to carry on with this


fight after her death. A lorry driver has admitted causing


the death of a pensioner after colliding with her bike


in a Kent village. 73-year-old Barbara Phipps


died after the incident on the A2 London Road in Teynham


almost a year ago. William Magee, who's 59


and from Chelmsford has pleaded guilty to causing death


by careless driving. The family of a kayaker found dead


after going missing at sea say they will be "forever grateful"


to the people who helped Dominic Jackson, who


grew up in Uckfield, disappeared two weeks ago off


the Scottish coast. His family have set up a charity


in his name to promote sea safety. They're raising awareness


about Personal Locator Beacons, which they believe could have


saved Dominic's life. BBC South East Today has learned


a SECAMB board level meeting was held two weeks ago -


at which an action plan to tackle harassment and bullying


was discussed and agreed. The revelation comes


after allegations of "horrific, cowardly and devastating" acts


of bullying against staff handling 999 calls at the South East Coast


Ambulance Trust's c all centre in Coxheath, near Maidstone


from where our reporter Ian what more do know


about this action plan? We know that in that board meeting


as we say it was discussed and we know that no action plan to tackle


bullying and harassment has actually been agreed at board level. There in


mind that the allegations we are talking about the back to 2014. The


trust says that it has dealt with those bullying claims at the time


and has made changes that are necessary. Earlier this week we


found out that it has launched an independent enquiry to be carried


out by workplace conflict experts. That is not good enough frankly for


the union. It is calling for an independent government enquiry and


it says that only then will we know whether or not the tackling of the


bullying claims and harassment that has been taking place in the


building behind me actually been achieved.


300,000 commuters are bracing themselves for more destruction


after Southern train drivers rejected a deal brokered by the


leaders of the union Aslef. 54% of them rejecting the deal which would


raise the role of second member of staff on trains. And the recall


unions which proved too much for some residents in a Sussex village.


And after in this foggy start to the day it brightened up. Well the sunny


weather last? The details in the forecast later in the programme.


If you have a story you think we should be covering


on South East Today, we'd like to hear from you.


You can call us on 0345 300 37 47, or send us an e-mail


We are also on facebook or you can tweet us,


The first council houses to be built in Medway for forty years


were officially opened by the housing minister today.


Centenary Gardens in Gillingham is being touted as one


of the largest council-built energy efficient bungalow


It's become increasingly rare for local authorities to build homes.


Over the past decade, 490 have been completed in Surrey,


And across the whole of East and West Sussex -


including Brighton Hove - just 20 have been built.


Our correspondent Yvette Austin has been to meet one


of the new residents for tonight's Special Report.


Sylvia Bennett moved into her brand-new council hall in October,


suffering from various health problems, she struggled to get


I couldn't carry things upstairs, I had to throw it up the stairs.


And then sort of get upstairs on my hands and knees sort of thing.


But it is very nice and much better for me and something


I have always dreamed of, having a bungalow with patio


Something I never thought I would ever have.


There are 32 bungalows on this site plus 26 more dotted about the local


authority area designed for people with mobility problems,


it is an ?8.5 million project, one of the largest of its kind


These homes and a few others on smaller plots in the first true


council houses to be built in Medway for more than 40 years.


The idea is to allow elderly people to downsize,


freeing up the larger council houses for families.


And today the Housing minister Gavin Barwell


He liked what he saw but surely under the government's right to buy


scheme these council homes designed to help the needy could end up


in private ownership in less than five years.


Right to buy is really important, it is a way for people in the future


Housing association homes to be able to get onto the ownership ladder


and what we have done which I think is critical is to say that


when someone buys the home through right to buy the council


must get our money to build a replacement home.


It is always a big ask about the right to buy,


because of course you do not get the housing back for


Some people will use the right to buy but others will not


because there's so much that meets their needs and the rents


are quite reasonable and therefore I think there is a very limited


But with a waiting list of nearly 6000 people eligible


for social housing in Medway, Sylvia knows she is one


It was meant to be an exhibition focussing on Romance -


but the Cube gallery in Hassocks was forced to take down half a dozen


victorian photographic prints after a number of people complained


The gallery owners have now put the pictures up again -


but with a warning to visitors that the exhibition does


They are photographs of unknown women by unknown photographers, one


believed to be Victorian and the others from around 1915. Complaints


that they were disgusting revolting and offensive meant they were taken


down. It didn't upset me, I don't know whether it is because it is


black and white or because a photograph says something different


to people, I can't work it out myself. It is very interesting. The


photos form part of an exhibition celebrating romance in part. They


are absolutely beautiful. You can understand why people would find


them offensive. I don't see any problems with it. I would not be


offended. What is interesting is the our other depictions of nudity in


the exhibition at the paintings or sculptures and none of them have led


to any complaints. The pictures were removed for a week


but the colour was contacted by more people saying they should be put


back. We got together and talked about it and thought that OK with


all of the background and the fuel that has gone on we will show them.


Since the first days of photography the nude was a source of inspiration


for those who adopted the new medium. In today's society we can


tell quickly the difference between what is pornographic and what might


just be considered Lanner photography or something innocuous


and these pictures were certainly the latter. Visit the way a subject


is portrayed nudity itself that is unsettling? The exhibition will


continue until March. Sir Winston Churchill


is of course best known as a politician, who led britain


through the second world war. But less well known was his


interest in science, and now an article he wrote


at Chartwell in 1939 on the eve of war, called


'Are We Alone in the Universe?', has been been rediscovered,


in the National Churchill Museum In it he speculates


on there being planets orbiting other stars,


and if they had water, and were the right distance away -


could potentially support alien life, all theories that


are remarkably close to the latest We know that in every years of the


20th century this world was being watched closely by intelligences


greater than man. The myth goes this radio production cost panic in 30s


America but for one already avid reader of HG Wells it simply fuelled


his voracious appetite for science and science fiction. At the


observatory, an interest in what is out there is taken as read and


Professor Kevin Ruane who has written about Churchill and science,


is not surprised you alien life captured his imagination. What I


think we have to be careful of is the idea that he believes in little


green men in Martian invasions and so on. That trivialises the extent


to which this man took science very seriously. That particular article


being discussed is incredibly well informed scientifically, this is not


a mere Gabler, this is someone who has a brilliant facility with words


and he marries that power to the kind of research that he has access


to. For many at the time this is what sci-fi meant, Churchill 's


interest centred on what the future really might bring and says the


astrophysicist discovered this last essay he was clearly more science


and fiction. He addresses this just like a scientist today would,


starting with defining life, then OK whatever the necessary ingredients


for life? He identifies liquid water which is the same thing we do today.


One day, Rod Churchill, it may be possible to travel to the moon or


Venus and Mars and his conclusion of the universe was that it is unlikely


we are alone. Well let's return to tonight's top


national and local news stories. A clear majority of train drivers


has rejected a deal negotiated by their Aslef union to settle


the dispute with Southern Rail Southern Rail says it's


hugely disappointed. Well let's go back to John Young


who's at Brighton Station. With the other union in the dispute,


the RMT, calling a strike next week, are commuters in line


for more misery? There is no doubt they are facing


more misery, which brings us back to the heart of why is this happening


in one statement issued that was perhaps under the radar came from


the real delivery grip, but they particularly well-known group, who


represent other well-known companies and they said this is all about new


technology and smarter ways of delivering a modern real service


that the whole country needs. So for them this misery perhaps is about


improving services across the country but for so many other people


as we have seen so many unions and politicians and some passengers the


safety issue is more important and this is not a price worth paying.


That is where we are today but as you said more ahead -- more meetings


ahead and the schedule for the 22nd of February.


And back to Briony Williams who is at the Aslef headquarters in central


London. When do you think the unions and Southern are likely to get back


around the table? The simple answer is that we just


don't know at the moment, although I have spoken to the conciliation


service but those talks would resume and take place and they told me they


have not heard from either party at the moment but the doors are always


open so that the moment it is just more uncertainty for passengers. At


least the weather will give us something to be cheerful about. We


will come to that in a moment. But to remind you you can get the latest


on the BBC local life pages in Kent and Sarah -- Kent and Sussex and


have your say on the real situation on Facebook and Twitter.


Now we look into whether! Which has been lovely and springlike. By


Monday we could have highs of 15. Temperatures really warming up.


Today of course we have quietly misty bogey start, clear blue skies.


The most part during the afternoon. Temperatures around 12 degrees. So


tonight we have a weakening weather fronts there will be more cloud when


we hold onto clear skies, lighter winds and once again there will be


missed in full. The rain is not particularly heavy for some of us


there will be a can start to the day and again very mild. The overnight


temperatures are around seven or 8 degrees and those are the sorts of


values we would expect to see during the afternoon at this time of year.


Very mild, misty and Mark yet to start the day, by the afternoon the


front of cleared and we have this area of high pressure but not quite


as much sunshine yesterday. Some sunny spells but we do hold onto a


lot of this cloud cover, it stays mild and by the afternoon


temperatures once again widely should be in double figures, picking


up to around ten or 11 degrees and again with these really liked


south-westerly breeze is. From Friday to Saturday again it is mild,


overnight temperatures only dropping to around 5 degrees so where we see


the clear skies once again there will be some mist and fog around and


temperatures in more rural spots perhaps dropping to four or five but


you will really notice it is a mild misty start to the weekend. As she


has a Saturday and Sunday it is going to be stay miles, mostly we


should be dry but there is the risk that we could be seeing some rain on


Sunday morning. It will be mostly dry and during the afternoon the


temperatures will constantly be reaching highs of 1011 degrees and


particularly for Saturday the should be decent spells of sunshine as


well. The weakening weather front I mentioned, we should start a scene


from Saturday to Sunday, once again a mile wide with overnight


temperatures of eight or 9 degrees. That front clears to Sunday with


temperatures reaching 11 or 12 degrees, the winds starting to pick


up but into Monday, comfortably beat could well be seen highs 15 or 16


degrees. It stays breezy with outbreaks of rain as we go into


Tuesday, temperatures staying in the mid teens. Over the next couple of


days perhaps not quite as much sunshine but stay mild and that I


mentioned in Monday it is cloudy with temperatures once again in the


mid-teens. Not looking too bad overall. That


aid from us this evening. We will be back with the late bulletin.


Goodbye. Two challenges await you today,


and our genre is Landscape. The conditions are a wee bit


challenging. I've really got to


convince the judges It's colourful -


but it was meant to be muted.