17/01/2017 South Today


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Welcome to South Today. in charge of its own laws


In tonight's programme: Frustration with flowers.


A peaceful protest from Southern rail passengers but there's


a glimmer of hope as driver strikes are suspended.


They are sick by having constant delays to the network and want the


resolution as soon as possible. They thought they were in it to win


it but now there's a question mark over the future funding of this


charity which helps children The European owl that's


flown into the unknown And chilly encounters


for the ice maidens. The female soldiers


in training for a record trek I just want to see what I am capable


of what I can cannot do. Next week's strikes by drivers


on Southern tail have been suspended with union leaders and the company


agreeing to new talks tomorrow. The unexpected development


came as some passengers started their own protest


at the poor service they have The man from Worthing who came up


with the idea says it's about giving commuters a voice although one


passenger has found his own way getting compensation


for his travel disruption. First, let's join Anjana Gadgil


live at London Victoria. This offer of talks


came out of the blue? Yes, it did. Drivers were set to


walk out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. That is not happening that


there is still a strike on Monday by RMT members. As luck suspend the


strikes today if Southern agreed to fresh talks with the TUC. Southern


accepted. This long-running dispute is over the introduction of driver


only operated trains were a second member of staff is not a conductor.


Subs says that is safe the unions claim it is unsafe. There had been


previous talks at ACAS but the impasse remains. Passengers hope


these new mediators can make up ground although after the nine


months they have enjoyed, no one is holding their breath. It has been


going on for such a long time. Cannot quite see a solution. At the


end of the day, they have got to think of the passengers who are


using every day. It is our livelihood and taking time out of


our day. It is making life pretty awful. The railways do not want to


go this is a scheme which is driver only. The government want to do this


and are pushing Southern to do it. This could go on for another six or


eight months. What is this about commuters saying it with Flowers?


This is day one of a three-day passenger protest where people are


laying flowers to mourn the loss of a decent railway service. The


organiser is a man from Worthing who commute to London. I think it has


been quite successful. There are another two days left. People are


laying flowers are notes to the powers that be so people can express


their anger at the situation. What a passengers really trying to say the


Southern rail? They are sick to the back teeth of the situation. They


are sick of constant delays on the network and they want a resolution


as soon as possible. This is a peaceful protest but some passengers


are angry and today we heard that a railway driver at Bognor Regis was


verbally abused by someone who entered his cab. Aslef called it a


serious breach of safety. Passengers have also pointed out that


overcrowded platforms and trains are unsafe, and that is one of the many


reasons why they are desperate for this dispute and disruption to end.


A common complaint is the difficulty in getting compensation


One commuter, know only as Sean from Hassocks,


managed to get almost ?2,500 back on his annual Southern


He'd paid for it by credit card and got American Express to refund


half of his season ticket after he proved half of his journeys


That's because the law says credit card companies are liable


when goods or services are not delivered as promised.


So could other passengers do the same?


It's a question we put to Martin Lewis from


This is by no means yet a fate Comp Lea. But Southern rail passengers


concede the start, the germ of a process. What is crucial here is


that credit card companies, if you disagree with them you can go to the


ombudsman. Eight ombudsman looks at standard industry practice so if a


few companies are starting to pay out credit card holders, then it


becomes standard industry practice and even if you credit card company


were jocks you, you can go to the ombudsman at may well say others


have done it because of Southern rail's dire service. You will be


paid out. Then the floodgates would open.


Let's bring in our transport correspondent, Paul Clifton.


Should commuters be pinning their hopes on these talks?


We have been here before many times. All previous talks failed. Last


week, the head of the drivers union said the two sides were not on


different planets but separate universes. Aslef, the company, the


government or making encouraging noises. Maybe this is the time it


could work? A dispute about the safety merits of some specific


aspects of driver only operation on Southern is being masked by the


wider political dispute. The government and the union have each


invested too much political capital to back down. Neither can afford to


be seen as the loser. But next week's strikes are suspended, the


overtime ban which has forced the cancellation of one in four trains


every day is also lifted. The RMT want to join in, it is not yet. For


passengers, it is encouraging, but we have been here before.


"You placed your own wishes ahead of the lives of others."


The words of a judge as he told a Hampshire van driver


that his prison sentence for killing a cyclist while texting on his


Christopher Gard had been jailed for nine years


for the death of 48-year-old Lee Martin from Basingstoke.


He already had multiple convictions for using his phone at the wheel.


Here's our home affairs correspondent, Emma Vardy.


Lee Martin was taking part in a cycling event near Bentley


in Hampshire when he was hit by a Ford Transit van.


In court today, Christopher Gard was described as having


had an extraordinary criminal driving record.


Just six weeks before killing Lee Martin, he had persuaded


magistrates to let him keep his licence despite having


already been convicted of using his mobile phone


He had been on two courses to reform his behaviour,


which the court heard he had simply ignored.


Today, Lee Martin's family were in court as Christopher Gard's


appeal to have his sentence reduced was refused.


I am glad the judges upheld the original sentence. It sends out a


signal that using a phone while driving is a serious offence. We


cannot say please because there is nothing pleasing about this.


Chritopher Gard was told there were serious aggravating factors -


in his case, that he had lied to the police and tried to delete


texts messages from his mobile phone and that he had had his vulnerable


His 14-year driving ban was also upheld and he was told the public


would need protection from his conduct for a long


Officers from Thames Valley Police who dealt with the aftermath


of a fatal crash on the A34 have been given commendations


The awards from the force's Chief Constable recognise


Four people died in the crash near East Ilsley


It was caused by a lorry driver who was using his mobile


Strolling through his music playlist which seconds later would cost four


people their lives. This was the moment Thomas Croker caused a


multicar pile-up on the 834 near Newbury in August 20 16. Tracy died


instantly along with sons. Her partner's daughter was also killed.


The family were integral to the video because we could not have made


it without them but also they were integral to the fact it was made in


the first place. It was the idea, they wanted to make a positive


change. Something horrific had happened and they saw it as an


opportunity to make a change and said more people's lives. A police


Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, three police officers and two


communication officers have been commended for their work to the


crash. This afternoon's ceremony was led by the Chief Constable of Thames


Valley Police. He honoured some members of the team for what he


called outstanding work, bravery and dedication. The fact that three


children were involved in this crash makes it stand up for the wrong


reasons. The officers involved are very proud to be recognised but


ultimately none of them wanted to be there. Thomas Croker is now serving


a 10-year jail sentence for causing death by dangerous driving. Police


hope this footage will continue be a warning, exposing the consequences


of using a mobile phone behind the wheel.


The father of an autistic teenager says his son's school threatened


to dump the boy on the family doorstep after staff there decided


Hampshire Social Services had been given six weeks to find


an alternative place for him and only came up with somewhere


Well, our reporter, Joe Campbell, has been talking


Tom - not his real name - is 13 but he's already


His dad says he's severly autistic and, in his words,


his behaviour can go from zero to 1,000 in a few


He'd been boarding at his school for about 18 months with fees


running into hundreds of thousands of pounds being paid


The school had said there was a place for him going forward


but then Tom's parents were called in to be told there'd been


26 violent incidents involving their son in just 30 days


Tom's dad's words are spoken by an actor.


The school could have communicated with us better. They could have


prewar and social services. Now, Tom is what's knows


as a looked-after child. His behaviour means he can't live


with his father and siblings and the onus was on social services


to find him somewhere new. They did but just hours before


the deadline and then in a respite centre which he says was totally


unprepared and had to turn away other families whose children had


been due to spend the weekend Tom's dad has been helping


at the respite home and they also had to call in staff on days


off to cope. Now the Priory Group,


who run Tom's now former school, say where they can't accommodate


pupils they work closely with social Hampshire County Council says


it was not their decision to move Tom and the notice given


by the school was inadequate. In the meantime, his family


are looking as far afield as Derbyshire for somewhere that has


space for him long-term. A lorry driver has appeared in court


charged over another fatal crash. Thomas Hunter from Mansfield


was charged after the crash Three-year-old Isla Wiggins died


and her unborn brother was also lost Today, Hunter appeared


before Oxford Magistrates. A special forecast from Alexis. I


will have the were rest of the week's weather and what conditions


to expect sailing in the Western France over the next 24 hours.


A British soldier killed in a friendly fire shooting was not


unlawfully killed. He died when another soldier fired in the wrong


direction, hitting him in the face and neck. The inquest heard Kelly


was in disorientating when he fired. Outside court, his family said they


were disappointed that no charges were brought or blame acknowledged.


It has was been our opinion that Kenny knew what he had done. Rather


than acknowledging he did wrong, he instead chose to step back. His


errors led directly to our son's death.


A Dorset charity which provides support for very young children


with special needs is facing closure after 25 years.


The Dorchester Opportunity Group helps 11 two to four-year-olds


grant is coming to an end professionals but a vital Lottery


Edward Sault has spent the day talking to parents and staff.


We have to go to a mainstream preschool. Sunny loves coming here


and playing with his friends. Doctors think he has autism but


because of his age cannot be sure. He has also been diagnosed with


communication problems. He gets speech and language therapy here, he


gets monitored every week, we can work with him and make sure he


progresses in the right way. But the future of the group is in question


after a national lottery grant came to an end. The group here has got


over ?280,000 from the National Lottery's big lottery fund but the


national lottery say it is high and those crimes cannot be relied on as


a continuous source of income for any organisation or charity. The


group is not solely dependent on its lottery grant. It also receives


?70,000 which comes from the county council under charity donations.


Losing ?40,000 a year that could be catastrophic. The worst cases we


will close because it is hard to find ?40,000 from small charitable


fetes, car-boot sales. That does not generate enough to bridge that gap.


The group here has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted and if many of


the children referred to by the NHS, the charity applied to the health


service for extra funding but money is tight. It is difficult for them.


Everyone has financial constraints. It is tough on them as well and we


understand that but we do not want to stop what we're doing. If the


charity does not get the funds it needs, it could close within the


year, meaning this would be the last singsong for these children.


A search is continuing in West Sussex for a European eagle


owl who escaped from her aviary last Friday.


Luna is part of a group of birds based at the Aldingbourne Country


But the birds haven't been allowed out, for about a month,


because of the current bird flu restrictions.


Let's join Sean Killick who's at the aviary.


Sad times here. Luna is one of the stars of the show here and she is


gone missing. She looks very similar to Nova here. How did this happen?


Due to the bird flu outbreaks, we have been advised to keep our birds


in close quarters. That means we did not fly the birds. The birds are a


top weight. She decided to fly off and come back. How will she be


coping out there in the wild? She has been handwritten. She escaped


after 20 minutes. I am hoping she has caught a rabbit but she will be


feeding herself and will not be hungry enough to come back to us.


She looks very similar to Nova here. If they see her, what should they


do. You can call them by name, she might reply, she knows Luna is the


name. Give us a call. Try not to feed her because her diet is all raw


meat. They are hopeful of getting Luna back very soon because the new


display season starts in March. Sorry about the break-up there.


I am even more excited to my! More and more people are getting up every


morning and asked straight onto the website. How much is Alex Thomson


close the gap? 66 miles in layman's terms. He is continuing to close the


gap on the leader in the single handed nonstop round the world


challenge. Nevertheless, another Briton's sailing greats believes it


is not over yet. The 73rd day of racing and that Alex Thomson, it


could be barely two more to go. The pair are heading for the finish line


on the French coast. Thompson is currently moving more quickly at 15


knots. He is gaining on the prerace favourite with every update. The


lead now, 57 nautical miles. A week ago, it was more than 200. It has


been predicted finish will be very close. A view shared by the man the


first to sail around the globe nonstop single-handed. His


performance so far has been incredible. The speeds he has been


achieving has been phenomenal. He is going five-time faster than I did 48


years ago. It is just remarkable, the way he is kept up pressure.


Taking the right course, judging weather patterns, this race for the


line could still be at the mercy of mother nature. The two leaders will


have a say in weather conditions. 10-15 knots and the south-east and


with this area of high pressure, the wins will become light. The winds


will switch direction to the north westerly airflow, dragging in


bitterly cold air, and the air will become very unstable. Irregular wind


directions and speeds. If he hangs on like this, a good chance that he


can pull it off, which would be phenomenal. Organisers now believe


the first boat will arrive on Thursday morning. If previous


finishes to be repeated, the scenes could be special, but will it be the


British flag flying high in France? Reading's accounts showed


they lost 15 million pounds in the year 2015-16,


mainly due to reduced premier league parachute payments,


but that hasn't stopped them keeping their squad strong


for a promotion push. They're agreed a new contract


with Gareth McLeary. He's signed a three and half year


deal through to 2020. The 29 year old has been one


of the most consistent players this season under Jaap Stam and has had


a fine spell at the club including scoring in the FA cup semi final


at Wembley two years ago. Hampshire batsman Michael Carberry


has trained with his team-mates for the first time since having


surgery on a cancerous tumour. The 36-year-old was


diagnosed last July. He's now targeting


a return to the sport He was able to join


in a session in the indoor nets On this day back in 1912, Captain


Scott reached the South Pole only to discover a Norwegian had beaten him


to it. A group of elite soldiers is hoping to be the first all-female


team to cross of the South Pole later this year. They will be


undergoing psychological and physical tests.


These are the ice maidens, testing themselves against


Pulling heavy loads, jumping into ice holes,


digging out and sleeping in the snow.


All preparation for a 1,100 mile expedition across the South Pole.


There's that almost sadistic side of me that just wants to see


what I'm capable of and what I can do, and equally, what I can't do.


The journey is expected to take three months.


With just two refuelling points along the way,


they will have to drag food and supplies as they ski


cross-country through hazardous conditions.


I would be silly if I said I was not scared of gaps in the glazier. They


can be a metre long, ten metres long, a mile long. 250 soldiers


applied to become ice maidens after facing a series of challenges, the


team is now down to just seven members. They have already shown


what they have got what it takes physically in Norway. They are


finding the best ways to work together. Overseen by psychologists,


they have been telling each other a few home truths. The idea, by


identifying the strengths and weaknesses, they face fewer


surprises in an extreme environment. You need to be more open. As a team,


we need to work on our conflict resolution.


We are all quite conflict averse and we all like to get on with each


other, so we need to make sure we've got a plan in place for when it does


go wrong and we do end up having a bit of a clash.


After all these physical and psychological tests have ended, five


of the remaining seven ice maidens will be selected. They will set off


in October to conquer the South Pole.


Stefan Olech photographed the very still conditions during the early


hours of the morning at Southampton Docks.


Roy Venkatesh took this picture of Old Man's Beard


This picture was sent in by Gill Richards.


Will cloud for western parts. Sunshine for the East earlier on


today. That sets the theme for the next few days. A lot of cloud for


northern and western areas overnight tonight. The southern and eastern


areas, a chance of frost first thing tomorrow morning. Frost for some


cloudy for others. Clear skies, temperatures down to minus one


Celsius. With all the cloud cover, slightly milder conditions. A chilly


start the day tomorrow. When we do have clear spells, the chance of a


frost. Frosty conditions, mist and fog patches first thing tomorrow


morning. The booklet and we hold on to the cloud for northern and


western areas. The best of the sunshine down towards the


south-east. Temperatures tomorrow will struggle in some areas, up to


2-6 C. A cold feeling day and the winds feeling light. Through the


course of tomorrow night, the cloud will sink further southwards. Mist


and fog patches which could become widespread impresses. Mainly dry


night with lows of one or two Celsius. The chance of a frost first


thing on Thursday morning. Thursday, high pressure will stay with us. But


despite that, a good deal of cloud. Mist and fog to start Thursday


morning. That will clear. We will see some bright spells. We will draw


in that clearer air from the net continent. Through Thursday


afternoon into Friday, the risk of a frost overnight into Friday morning.


Let's take a look at the outlook because tomorrow, we will have an


east-west split. The further south and east, the chillier the


temperatures and the Sunni dispels. Fairly light winds. Some brightness


will be seen and on Friday, we are expecting the chance of light and


patchy rain. More at 10:30pm. We will be back tomorrow at 6:30pm.


That I will faithfully execute the Office...


And will to the best of my ability...


The Constitution of the United States...


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