17/05/2017 South East Today


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17/05/2017

The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South East of England.


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Today's main headlines in the south-east...

:00:00.:00:07.

Facing legal action - the landlord who's banned people

:00:08.:00:09.

from India, single mums, benefit claimants and battered wives

:00:10.:00:12.

We are live in Maidstone with the details.

:00:13.:00:21.

Dismay from Southern rail as the drivers union

:00:22.:00:23.

announces an overtime ban - meaning more disruption, delays

:00:24.:00:25.

And it was a muggy day with heavy rain tonight, fresher for tomorrow.

:00:26.:00:45.

A controversial Kent landlord who's banned what he calls "coloured

:00:46.:00:50.

people" from renting his properties because he claims they leave a smell

:00:51.:00:53.

of curry is now facing legal action from the Equality and Human Rights

:00:54.:00:56.

They have applied for an injunction against Fergus Wilson

:00:57.:01:00.

Mr Wilson owns hundreds of properties.

:01:01.:01:04.

In a recent letter to his letting agents, he also told them

:01:05.:01:07.

to block single mums, anyone on benefits and plumbers.

:01:08.:01:09.

In this exclusive interview with our reporter, Charlie Rose,

:01:10.:01:12.

he defends his right to choose his tenants.

:01:13.:01:16.

He's the south-east buy-to-let tycoon who who courts controversy

:01:17.:01:18.

Fergus Wilson banned Indian and Pakistani tenants

:01:19.:01:24.

from renting his homes because he says they "leave

:01:25.:01:26.

Now the Equality and Human Rights Commission has stepped in,

:01:27.:01:32.

asking the court if it agrees that Mr Wilson's rules contain

:01:33.:01:36.

Even Asian landlords have been saying to me, well,

:01:37.:01:39.

actually, you're right, it leaves a terrible smell, that's

:01:40.:01:41.

Mr Wilson has previously said he won't let out his properties

:01:42.:01:49.

to single mums, benefit claimants and he has banned what he

:01:50.:01:52.

But he says anyone who falls into these categories can be

:01:53.:01:57.

You say you've received a lot of support about your policy.

:01:58.:02:03.

Doesn't mean to say your policies are right, does it?

:02:04.:02:09.

Well, you have to look at what the man in the street thinks.

:02:10.:02:12.

The reasonable man who rode on the Clapham omnibus.

:02:13.:02:18.

The reasonable man would say to me, this is not racist,

:02:19.:02:24.

And I think, at the end of the day, the Equalities Commission has not

:02:25.:02:31.

It is very surprising that someone has the sort of views these days.

:02:32.:02:36.

1000 houses, why not give 10% to people desperately in need?

:02:37.:02:39.

If you have a lot of money, you can pick and choose.

:02:40.:02:44.

The Commission, now they have decided they do have a strong case

:02:45.:02:47.

against him, they will seek a judgment whereby an injunction

:02:48.:02:51.

will be put in place so that Mr Wilson will be unable

:02:52.:02:54.

to advertise his properties or rent out his properties with such

:02:55.:02:57.

Since the 1990s, Judith and Fergus Wilson have built

:02:58.:03:10.

a property empire of more than 900 houses.

:03:11.:03:14.

Tonight, he remains defiant, believing he has done nothing wrong.

:03:15.:03:20.

And Charlie Rose is in Maidstone now, where Mr Wilson

:03:21.:03:23.

Charlie, Fergus Wilson intends to fight any legal action?

:03:24.:03:31.

Yes. He says if the court agrees with the equality and human rights

:03:32.:03:37.

commission, he will fight it and challenge it and take it to the

:03:38.:03:42.

Supreme Court if necessary. This afternoon, Fergus Wilson told me he

:03:43.:03:45.

one is close to 1000 residential homes across Kent and including here

:03:46.:03:50.

in Maidstone as well. He says that he is not racist and rents out his

:03:51.:03:55.

homes to variety of people, including gurkhas. But tonight, an

:03:56.:04:05.

advocacy group has said they hope this legal action will lead to

:04:06.:04:11.

Fergus Wilson rethinking what they described as his "Outdated views".

:04:12.:04:16.

Commuters using Southern Rail are facing more disruption

:04:17.:04:18.

this summer after the train drivers union Aslef announced an overtime

:04:19.:04:20.

It comes after talks aimed at ending the long-running dispute over

:04:21.:04:25.

Southern say they are "dismayed" by the decision by Aslef members,

:04:26.:04:28.

which experts have said will cause severe disruption.

:04:29.:04:30.

It has been the worst industrial action on Britain's railways

:04:31.:04:34.

in nearly a quarter of a century, but the brief recent respite

:04:35.:04:37.

from disruption is about to come to an end as members of Aslef

:04:38.:04:40.

are set to refuse any overtime from the end of this month.

:04:41.:04:46.

People don't realise what a huge economic impact it can have,

:04:47.:04:50.

if people are travelling down from London for a lovely

:04:51.:04:52.

One time, they arrived and there was no train.

:04:53.:04:58.

I think it is appalling, I think it is totally wrong,

:04:59.:05:00.

Southern say they will try to run as full a timetable as possible,

:05:01.:05:09.

but experts argue that the overtime ban will lead to many

:05:10.:05:12.

Southern Rail is heavily dependent upon, as with other rail operators,

:05:13.:05:16.

on overtime to provide the services, because it has a lack

:05:17.:05:19.

Aslef said they've taken the decision reluctantly

:05:20.:05:27.

after Southern refused to budge on talks in the long-running dispute

:05:28.:05:30.

over the introduction of driver-only operated trains.

:05:31.:05:31.

Yesterday, members of the conductors' union, the RMT,

:05:32.:05:34.

announced they would be striking on May 30th, their 32nd day

:05:35.:05:37.

of action since the start of the dispute last April.

:05:38.:05:40.

The first Aslef walk-outs were in December, leading

:05:41.:05:43.

to the cancellation of all Southern services on strike days.

:05:44.:05:46.

But the strikes and a previous overtime ban were called off

:05:47.:05:49.

at the end of January as new talks were agreed.

:05:50.:05:54.

But by the end of April, members have rejected two deals

:05:55.:05:56.

struck by its leaders with the rail company.

:05:57.:05:59.

I think it is welcome from an RMT perspective.

:06:00.:06:01.

We started the dispute with the train drivers.

:06:02.:06:05.

I am glad that the Southern drivers have persuaded

:06:06.:06:07.

So for Southern commuters, a second summer of disruption looms ahead.

:06:08.:06:20.

A man from Margate has been charged with causing death

:06:21.:06:22.

by reckless driving in Thailand following the death of his

:06:23.:06:25.

Danny Glass was driving a moped with his partner Sophie Rose

:06:26.:06:29.

She was killed instantly when she was run over by a lorry.

:06:30.:06:37.

Both were video bloggers and Mr Glass posted an emotional

:06:38.:06:39.

The driver of the lorry has also been charged.

:06:40.:06:45.

It's the turn of the Liberal Democrats today to launch

:06:46.:06:47.

The party leader, Tim Farron, has been talking about Brexit

:06:48.:06:53.

and pledging to take tough action to sort out the issues over

:06:54.:06:56.

Peter, what are the key issues that appeal to voters in the south-east?

:06:57.:07:06.

The Lib Dems are fighting to gain control of two marginal seats -

:07:07.:07:09.

Their headline pledge is to hold a second referendum over Brexit

:07:10.:07:13.

They also say they would strip Southern Rail of the franchise

:07:14.:07:20.

and put the railway in the hands of government-run companies.

:07:21.:07:25.

And the party also confirms their commitment to oppose any

:07:26.:07:30.

airport expansion at Gatwick, Heathrow or any new airport

:07:31.:07:32.

Although there will be some people who will shrug and say,

:07:33.:07:35.

we have to accept the bleak vision of Brexit, that extreme version

:07:36.:07:39.

of Brexit that Theresa May has pushed through the Commons

:07:40.:07:41.

with the help of Jeremy Corbyn and Ukip, we say a better,

:07:42.:07:44.

And if you believe that there should be hope, this

:07:45.:07:48.

But there's one problem with the Lib Dem strategy

:07:49.:07:54.

in the south-east - their key target seat of Eastbourne

:07:55.:08:00.

voted 57% in favour of Brexit, and despite the manifesto pledge,

:08:01.:08:05.

their candidate, Stephen Lloyd, is opposed to any new

:08:06.:08:09.

This is what people in Eastbourne had to say.

:08:10.:08:16.

That was what we voted on. That was the decision that was made.

:08:17.:08:19.

Most people that voted voted to leave.

:08:20.:08:21.

I am from Brighton and I would like to stay in the EU, so, yeah,

:08:22.:08:26.

I would like an opportunity to vote again.

:08:27.:08:30.

Despite Stephen Lloyd being in direct opposition

:08:31.:08:31.

to the manifesto pledge on Brexit, their leader has acknowledged

:08:32.:08:34.

that the candidate is "independent minded".

:08:35.:08:41.

Other items of interest for voters in the south-east are the party's

:08:42.:08:44.

plans to "find more effective and sustainable ways

:08:45.:08:51.

of managing rail franchises" - like Southern Rail and Govia

:08:52.:08:53.

Thameslink - involving local government.

:08:54.:08:57.

And the Lib Dems also believe any airport expansion should focus

:08:58.:08:59.

on regional airports like Manchester and Birmingham.

:09:00.:09:02.

And staying with the election, here's Natalie Graham with details

:09:03.:09:06.

of our special general election TV debate.

:09:07.:09:08.

It is a political battle over security, trade and immigration.

:09:09.:09:12.

It is a battle over the future of the national Health Service.

:09:13.:09:15.

And it is a battle over how to fund and run our schools.

:09:16.:09:20.

Politicians from the main five parties will be fighting it out

:09:21.:09:25.

here at the Kino in St Leonards on bank holiday

:09:26.:09:27.

And we would like you to be part of the debate.

:09:28.:09:36.

If you live or work in the south-east, and you'd

:09:37.:09:38.

like to be in the audience, send us an e-mail with your name,

:09:39.:09:41.

address and daytime phone number and you could be part

:09:42.:09:44.

The national weather forecast in a moment, but first,

:09:45.:09:49.

let's get the picture in the south-east

:09:50.:09:50.

It has been muggy and warm. Highs of 25 Celsius. It has also been wet. He

:09:51.:10:05.

lost the sunshine from yesterday and as we go through the first part of

:10:06.:10:09.

the night, the rain intensifies. But that clears and behind it, it is a

:10:10.:10:16.

bit fresher. Last May, temperatures dropped to 15-16. Kryptonite,

:10:17.:10:20.

eventually, dropping 29 or ten. It is fresher to start on Thursday. The

:10:21.:10:26.

wind is at an westerly direction. There is a good deal of brightness

:10:27.:10:30.

around. There is the risk of a shower but for many of us it is a

:10:31.:10:34.

dry day. Feeling a bit fresher but by the afternoon, temperatures

:10:35.:10:38.

comfortably leeching highs of 15 or 17. Thursday into Friday, further

:10:39.:10:44.

outbreaks of rain for a time. Potentially up to ten millimetres of

:10:45.:10:49.

rainfall. It is heavy. Overnight into Friday, temperatures 1011

:10:50.:10:53.

Celsius. It is a damp start to Friday but the rain clears and once

:10:54.:10:58.

again, by the afternoon, a mix of sunshine and scattered showers with

:10:59.:10:58.

temperatures once again in the top showers. But it will be a bit

:10:59.:11:02.

warmer.

:11:03.:11:05.