19/01/2017 South East Today


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me now on BBC Two. That's Newsnight with Emily in


Washington. Today's main headlines


in the South East: A call for urgent action to tackle


the gangs exploiting children Children as young as 11 are being


used as drug mules. Selling drugs or hiding drugs for major drug dealers


coming from London. Accused of breaking legal


limits with a mountain of discarded mattresses,


a Kent man claims the figures And we have another bitterly cold


night tonight, with warnings from the Met Office this cold


weather lasts till Tuesday. 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". It's been likened to a poison


spreading out from the capital At the last count, more than 181


urban gangs sending upward of 800 people into counties like Kent,


Surrey and Sussex. Children allegedly, as young as 12,


acting as carriers. From London, it's very easy


to travel into Essex, into Kent, Sussex, Surrey,


Hampshire, Wiltshire, Thames Valley. They are not travelling


any further than that Francis is a former gang member,


who now runs a charity helping 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 Today, in what was called


an unprecedented move, 19 London boroughs have written


to the Home Secretary They say gang leaders


are using serious violence, kidnap and weapons, and ruthless


debt control to They say they believe it


has the potential to be We've been worried 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 But the thought of young vulnerable


children being sent for this Nick is the former head


of Kent Police's drug squad. They are using vulnerable people,


people who they know have probably got no-one 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 damn With the threat of drug gangs


seemingly driving deeper into the South East,


a call today for new measures, to battle a trade now


using child exploitation Our reporter Charlie Rose


has been following the story ? Charlie, what has


the Home Office had to say? Just to be clear, those 19 London


borough is called for a clear national strategy and action plan


from the Government. Tonight we put that to the Home Office, they said


this issue is being addressed and they have a programme to end gang


violence. They told us they are working with law enforcement


agencies and local charities to tackle the problem, and she says


they have formed a new partnership to support local areas facing gang


problems. 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 He told Canterbury Crown Court today


that that figure was "impossible". 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 1,000 tonnes of textiles at a time -


the Environment Agency believes the total weight


on site was 2,300 tonnes. 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 to 800 tonnes maximum. He said he didn't store


mattresses outside. He admitted he'd been going


through a difficult time personally. 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 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 Stephen Cameron on the M25


at Swanley in 1996. 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. 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. 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,


which dates back as early as 1793. The lottery funding will enable


its conversion to become the dockyard's archive


and volunteer centre. 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 the initial


restoration and repair, but in turn it will make


sure that commercial opportunities can come in here,


businesses can come in here Built just after Victor Hugo


wrote Les Miserables, it was a fitting tribute


the Hollywood movie was filmed here. But these naval buildings


will no longer just be Part of this project


is about commercial return - creating offices, basically -


but also of course, being a charitable trust


that is about education, we want to develop the museum,


the reading room and the library and archive, and make that


much more publicly accessible. ARCHIVE: If all 7,000 people


in the dockyard are dismissed, Chatham's unemployment rate


would shoot up from And when that happened,


the Rigging House was redundant. But finally finding a new role


for this Grade I listed building, The building was used


as a storehouse right up until the Navy board left in '84,


and this is how we found it, nothing Its sheer size has


hindered its restoration - but now, thanks to millions


of pounds of funding, Peter Whittlesea reporting,


and Chrissie Reidy is Chrissie, it's a building well known


to millions of TV viewers, isn't it? I used to think the historic


dockyard was one of the best kept secrets, but it does seem that more


and more people are cottoning on to this little gem, especially


movie-makers. Kanye West filmed a music video as well, Mr Selfridge,


and you might recognise this street from: the midwife. -- call the


midwife. The new series starts on Sunday evening on BBC One.


That's it from me; we'll have the national weather


in a moment, first here's the forecast for the


It's been a very cold, crisp day and we've got warnings out from the Met


Office that this cold weather is set to continue. Very cold air from the


near continent is being dragged up towards us, and we have an area of


high pressure giving as very settled, bright days, but those


clearer skies mean particularly overnight those temperatures are


plummeting. Overnight lows in more readable sports tonight once again


dropping as low as may be minus six degrees and even in towns and


cities, -1 or minus two. Once again a frosty start of the day, lots of


sunshine from the word go. This area of high pressure giving us a settled


day. Light, easterly winds, and by the afternoon temperatures creeping


just about to 45 degrees. But if you wrap up warm, a very pleasant day.


Very similar as we look towards looks as though we can, a bit more


cloud on Sunday. Now the national picture.


Good evening, it will gradually get colder in the UK in the next few


days, something we don't have to worry about in Australia at this


time of year. Of course it's the Australian tennis open at the moment


and there's a big storm moving through Melbourne at the moment.


Hopefully it will have cleared through by the time of Andy Murray's


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