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Good evening. Welcome to South Today.
Service families say their complaints for improved
It doesn't seem like we're important enough to care about making
Calls for tougher sentences on the organisers of dog
fighting as the RSPA records an increase in incidents.
Three-year-old Marla's delight with her prosthetic arm
Instead of that, "Oh, poor you," we get a, "Wow!
I'm looking forward to getting to dry land again.
And Gosport's Alex Thomson pushes hard to the finish,
but has he got enough time to beat the Frenchman in the lead?
The armed forces covenant says accommodation provided to military
families should be 'of good quality, affordable and suitably located.'
Yet, tonight we can reveal that families in the South are living
Six months ago the firm in charge of maintaining them was threatened
with losing its multi-million pound contract unless things improved.
The Public Accounts Committee says they have, but that's not
the experience of residents as Lewis Coombes reports.
It's the battle that's closer to home.
Military families fighting for an acceptable standard
These are just some of the pictures sent to BBC South.
Kim is married to an RAF pilot based in Hampshire.
After 13 years, he's decided to leave his job,
partly due to the state of military housing.
A small leak from their boiler resulted in their lounge ceiling
being replaced as it took nine months to fix what was initially
Kim was heavily pregnant and recently diagnosed with cancer.
I just don't know what happens between the people being called
The process doesn't seem to work, the administration or the computer
It did affect my health cos I was just so stressed about it
and I was so focused about it and I felt so helpless.
Carillion Amey maintains 47,000 homes in a five year contract
If Carillion Amey is being paid by the MoD to do a certain job,
BBC South has been inundated with families on e-mail talking
about their experiences, but unwilling to do so on camera
over fears of the consequences it could have on their jobs.
It includes a solier of 22 years who's weighing up whether to leave
the military because he's embarrassed about the standard
of accommodation he's providing his family.
A group of MPs have been tasked with holding those in charge
Those wives are sitting looking after three kids
while their husbands are flying Typhoos out of Akrotiri.
That's not an acceptable support system.
It should certainly not be leaving families in the state of young
children and no heat, for example, and if that's happening,
MoD figures show the average rent fo an unfurnished three bedroom service
It's subsidised to help keep forces mobile, but families feel more
It doesn't seem like we're important enough to care about making
We expect our homes to be up to standard and then it
Carillion Amey has apologised to Kim and insists it is "working hard
for service personnel and their families and
focusing on how they can improve things further.
In a statement the MOD said "it will absolutely not hesitate to take
Earlier, I spoke to the MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan,
I began by asking her how things had changed over the past six months.
Carillion Amey have made some real efforts to progress.
They've improved their computer systems and tracking.
That side of things is now working much better.
The challenge that continues is, and it's something I raised
in the Public Accounts Committee hearing that we had yesterday,
is that actually stuff still isn't getting completed.
A plumber might arrive, have a look, work out that he doesn't
That can be logged as solving the problem and one
of the challenges I set the department yesterday was to get
some real clarity on what actually fixing the problem does look like.
So that Carillion Amey have nowhere to go on that.
1,300 complaints to the contractor in just one month.
So on the ground, are you actually hearing the true story?
Certainly families are contacting me and one of the challenges I have
acting as their advocate here in Parliament is that many
families still don't feel confident enough to actually contact me.
I know you've set up this personal hotline.
Families don't want to use it because of reprisals.
They are concerned, they're not going to get in touch with you.
They're not confident about getting in touch with you.
I think that's the real challenge we have.
I have confirmation from the head of people for the Army that it's
absolutely fine for people to contact me on these matters,
it's got nothing to do with defence, this is all about housing
They can contact me privately anyway and we can work out how
The Carillion Amey team are getting much better
Otherwise people wouldn't be coming to us saying -
The MoD is still holding about ?4 million from the contractor
Do you anticipate they'll be hanging on to that even further and could it
be that if the contractor doesn't come up with the goods
and doesn't finish the job, they could terminate the contract?
Yesterday the MoD people that we had in Public Accounts Committee talking
to us were indicating that things had improved a lot
and that they were minded to continue for now because change
But I think we must be absolutely on top of this and I would urge
families to contact me privately, so that I've got a much clearer
Six months ago I spoke to you, we're speaking now.
What will have changed in six months' time, do you think?
I would hope that six months from now, I will be hearing
from many former families who are frustrated by not getting
the repairs done that they need so that their families
Southern Railway is to resume a full train service from next
Tuesday, for the first time since last summer.
It held talks with the drivers' union all day.
Aslef has suspended its strikes and overtime ban.
But the RMT union, which represents conductors, is still due
Southern says it will run four out of five trains that day,
including serving Portsmouth and Southampton for the first
Farmers say sheep attacks are on the rise and are calling
for tougher action against dog owners whose pets attack
In the last few days there have been fresh attacks in Sussex.
Farmers there have met the Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne
Sussex is a very rural area, we have a lot of farms,
And these incidents are particularly distressing.
The farmers are saying - are you taking it seriously?
And my message to them is yes they are.
But my plead to the public is whenever you see it,
please do report it because intelligence is vital.
More than 400 calls about organised dog fighting in the South have
been made to the RSPCA in the past ten years.
Now the animal charity and other campaigners are calling
At the moment the maximum sentence is six months in prison.
A warning that Peter Cooke's report contains some distressing images.
The hidden world of illegal dog fighting.
But animal rights groups say it's also been found on our streets.
Rival gangs using animals as weapons.
There is a strong link to dog fighting with crimes such
as domestic violence, violence towards the elderly,
And that's why it needs to be a recordable offence,
rather than something that isn't properly recorded
Because if it isn't recorded properly then the resources aren't
put into investigating and catching the criminal.
Despite 422 calls about organised dog fighting to the charity
in the south since 2006, a tenth of the national total,
only 137 people have been convicted nationwide.
Now politicians and animal welfare groups want the current maximum six
months sentence extended up to five years.
Mike Butcher works as an investigations officer
He's been trying to catch those using dogs to fight
Even for any form of cruelty, six months nowadays is just outdated.
You get five years abroad in Europe, longer than that in America,
and we are in this country, we prosecute more dog fights
than anybody else probably, we probably catch more dog
Yet we're the lowest sentencing, so it's a bit weird, really.
Both animal welfare groups are also calling for a register
of banned owners and a review of the Dangerous Dogs Act.
But the Government says it already has the right laws in place
to tackle those using dogs for illegal purposes.
The Isle of Wight Council could elect a new leader this evening,
after surprise resignations earlier this week.
The Leader Jonathan Bacon and Deputy Leader Steve Stubbings
both stepped down on Monday, in what they said was a coordinated
effort to highlight the island's struggle with austerity.
The Council will meet at County Hall in Newport tonight.
Workers at the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites
in Aldermaston and Burghfield have been on strike today.
It's the first of two 48-hour strikes.
The action is over the long-running pensions row.
AWE has previously said it's committed to putting-in-place
arrangements, which ensure the long-term affordability
Later, we'll be joining Kris Temple in a pub for the latest on Gosport
sailor Alex Thompson, and here's Alexis.
I've been finding out why this beach in Southampton
'Give us more money or police services could suffer.'
That's the message from those in charge
today as they lobby the government for extra money.
The force needs to save ?23 million by 2021.
For which they've identified ?10 million worth of savings.
But that still leaves them needing to plug a gap of ?13 million.
The Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner claim they've
already made all the savings they can and they're
a victim of the national police funding formula.
Our home affairs correspondent, Emma Vardy, reports.
The thin blue line is being stretched ever more thinly. In
Hampshire, the force has lost hundreds of art is supposed in
recent years and it seemed a specialist teams cut back and more
than 30 police stations are said to have been closed or it is set to go.
Today, the Chief Constable appealed directly to the Government for more
money. I am concerned because I wasn't concerned I would have penned
a letter to the Minister. It is a very serious issue. The formula
isn't fair. What we do know is it's a great police force and we have
already made significant changes. We are a really efficient constabulary.
Today is about securing our financial future in the longer term.
Hampshire says it is around 25% underfunded compared with other
forces, getting less money for policing. But the Government is
changing the way it calculates how much each force should get. That's
why Hampshire is making its case now. In a number of places around
Hampshire, police have moved out of the traditional police stations and
into shared buildings with the council and Fire Service, like here
in Southampton Civic Centre. That is cheaper. Before it says it got out
all the savings that can in they need another option. The current
national funding formula which is two thirds of my money is not fit
for purpose. There is a process at the moment are updated and I'm
giving the evidence to the Minister to nature we get the funding
nationally and they are funding locally. Police are being forced to
get ever smarter to make their limited resources go further, like
here at the frantic innovations centre set up at Portsmouth
University where Hampshire now uses its students and volunteers
alongside experienced officers to help fight cyber crime. The Home
Office said today it believes there is no question the police still have
the resources to do their important work, but will be considering
Hampshire's case and that of other forces in the coming months.
Emma, if funding isn't increased for Hampshire,
It's been made very clear today that Hampshire Police do believe there
are services could be under threat. What police do, they assess risk and
then the deal with crimes as they happen. With resources being
stretched, the bark of that would have to be set that much higher. --
bar. That could mean the police would not be able to attend as many
crime scenes as they once did I would have to get even less time to
the less serious offences. To some degree, that is already happening.
For example, some crimes are now dealt with over the phone where once
upon a time he might have had a police officer, to see you in
person. That's the kind of stuff for the public will not have the
difference. Is the Government decides to allocate funding to
different police forces is being reviewed now for the first time in
over ten years. The chance to influence this doesn't come along to
police forces very often. That's why we've seen Hampshire appealed
directly to the police minister, Brandon Lewis, very publicly today.
What we know is the Government will decide to make a decision on this
next month, whether they agree with Hampshire's case, Hampshire has told
us they think the Government is listening and that it does see this
kind of unfair deal and it believes it's getting. -- that it believes it
getting. Three year old Marla Trigwell
was born without a hand. It's never been an issue for her,
but now things could That's because she's just started
using a prosthetic hand. This was one made on a 3D printer
for just a few pounds. James Ingham has been
to meet her family. This was the moment Marla opened her
very special Christmas present. Her smile says it all -
this prosthetic hand It's a boost to her confidence and
it's a psychological boost for her. So, when she meets people,
instead of that, "Oh, Marla's hand was made
at a community workshop in Newbury Members of this club who love
working on technical projects offered to help,
turning a design that's freely To do it was actually not
very difficult at all. You've got the fingers, the palm,
the lower arm, the upper arm, the connecting pieces,
put them together and you can get I'm quite proud that this has turned
out better than I'd expected and it's really changing the lives
of young Marla and her family. Materials for this
hand cost only ?30. More traditional
prosthetics are thousands. And Marla wouldn't be
able to get one of them The NHS can't provide a functional
prosthetic until they're much older, Whereas with the 3D printing,
they're available now. She's three and a half
and she's already using one. Marla is very able with just her one
hand and she and her parents may decide never to wear a more
advanced prosthetic. But by using this lightweight
plastic hand, she will be better Marla's mum Joanne writes
a blog, with another mum, about their experience bringing up
daughters with Marla's condition. You can read that at
ontheonehand.co.uk. Sport now and this evening,
Alex Thompson has admitted that Vendee Globe glory is now
probably beyond his reach. But he is still going
and so are his supporters, Let's go live to Kris
Temple who is in a pub, a very special pub.
Kris. Tony was bouncing off that sofa last
night counting down to the thrilling We are here at the sea horse. The
reason we're here is because this pub, the landlord Alec Thomson 's
brother and Abbey. Here are a group of supporters that turn up every
Wednesday night. They have gone after the finish. The final 24 hours
sailing, Alex Thompson hot on the heels of the leader. Let's speak to
some special guests. Tracy is the assistant manager of the pub. You've
been left in charge. Tell us what's been drawing these people here. Alex
did it before he went to France and every Wednesday since he left they
have met, eating, not enough, and supported him all the way through
it. The are avid fans and I'm really proud of you all. You have live
Wednesday night chats with Alex. We've just had one. He called Abbey
and he talks every week and tells us what he's doing and has a chat. He
talks if the kids aren't here. He is the bit busy trying attack at the
moment. Simek easily got to step it up now. 300 miles to go. He's about
30 miles behind. A very tight finish. You've had this damage back
-- boat since November. Simek Alex's foils were revolutionary. They were
very quick. When he broke his foils, it was bad. He is a very experienced
around the world sailor and he's taken it in his stride. He's been
fantastic and kept on his heels all the way through it. What is this
last 24 hours going to be like? I'm not sure were going to sleep that
much. Can Alex do it? CHEERING
The pretty confident here at the Sea horse. Alex was very much in
positive spirit is hoping that he did take over the leader. We will
have the latest situation at our late bulletin.
Southampton's hectic fixture schedule continues tonight,
as they bid progress in the FA Cup at the second attempt.
Claude Puel's side host Norwich in a third round replay,
after being pegged back in the last minute in the original
Saints have lost four league games in a row,
but have a league cup semi-final next week too.
The winners tonight host Arsenal in round four.
Reading have completed the signing of Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori
The 23-year-old Portugese centre-half has moved
to the Madejski Stadium for an undisclosed fee.
The owner of Dorset-trained horse Cue Card has confirmed that he'll
run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, rather than
With his stablemate Thistlecrack the odds-on favourite
for the blue riband race, the Colin Tizzard yard had mooted
the possibility of Cue Card diverting to another race.
But owner Jean Bishop has said today that Cue Card
Here at the Sea horse, Alex is going to try and bring back the action. He
is going to try and call back in about an hour's time together is the
latest update but he is really tired. He's had a problem with an
anemometer and he is suffering from a lack of sleep. Fingers crossed,
Alex, you can do it. Everyone here at the pub is behind you. He has
certainly got the support, the support of so many people. We will
have all the news for you tomorrow and tonight on the late bulletin.
He's 75 years old and an ex pharmacology lecturer.
Yet, Richard Evans from Southampton, has chosen to spend his retirement
doing something completely different.
He's made it his weekly duty to regularly clean litter
from the city's Weston Shore beach - no matter what the weather.
This morning, I joined him on his cleaning round!
When I came to Southampton in 2001 and I walked down
on our Western Shore, I thought this is a lovely beach,
So I started picking it up and gradually it's taken on my life.
# I can see clearly now the rain is gone.#
Come rain or shine, retired pharmacologist Richard Evans
is found litter picking along the shingle of
A lot of it comes down if there's nice weather,
you get a lot of people down and people leave
Even though they've carried their food there,
they don't think to carry the wrappings away.
16 years of picking up litter is certainly not
His wife thinks he's barmy, but Richard's unpaid work
There's no doubt that Richard's an absolute star player
of ours and few have done more to keep Western Shore as clean
and green working partnership with the council as he has.
And it's a pleasure and a privilege to go litter picking alongside him.
The amount that he collects is phenomanal.
The famous 2014 Valentines Day storm, that brought incredible
amounts of lots of mud on this beach.
I think it's my way of trying to create heaven on Earth.
# It's going to be a bright, bright sunshine day.#
He is certainly a local hero. If we all did a little bit of that, we
would have a clean world. Lots of litter on our beaches but he is
helping clear it. Onto the weather. Very cold over the next few days. We
saw temperatures plunge last night going to around minus six Celsius.
This was the scene first thing. The glow of the sunshine over the water
in the Basingstoke with the morning frost. Temperatures dropped down to
around minus six Celsius tonight but tonight not as low. We are expecting
widespread frost with freezing fog patches. Temperatures tonight in the
countryside could drop as low as minus five. These are temperatures
in our towns and cities. Currently minus three Celsius. We will see
those temperatures tumble away. The farther north and west you are,
temperatures will be above freezing, it still the chance of frost through
parts of Oxfordshire. A lovely bright start of the day tomorrow
with frosty conditions in the morning, sunny spells in the
afternoon and cloud feeding in northern and eastern areas with
temperatures reaching a high of five or seven Celsius and the winds will
be light. In the evening, the cloud will thicken and it won't be as cold
as last night. Lows of around two or three Celsius, hovering above
freezing. Some clear spells and the chance of frost on Friday morning.
For most of us on Friday we will see a sunny spells but there is the
chance we could have the odd patch of rain. Not amounting to too much,
high-pressure remaining in charge of our weather. The best of the
sunshine will be very southern coastal counties. As we look ahead
to the rest of the week, tomorrow is a lovely sunny day, a chilly start,
more cloud the further north you are and we will see cloud started
filling from the east during the course of the day, arriving from the
north sea. Friday, some sunny spells and over the weekend there will be
varying amounts of cloud that we are hopeful that cloud will start to sin
and break with the breeze and we will see some sunny spells.
There'll be a news summary at 8pm and we'll be back at 10.30.
Hello. I hope you're well. I really do.
Because if you're not, then chances are the NHS won't be able to
look after you as well as it should. And that's wrong.
Because the Labour Party created the NHS 70 years ago on