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Hello and welcome to South Today, I'm Jo Kent.
Fighting on the home front - service families say they're not
being listened to when it comes to complaints about
A plea for better funded policing - as a force says it's done
Three-year-old Marla's delight with her prosthetic
The armed services covenant says accommodation provided to military
families should be "of good quality, affordable, and suitably located."
Yet tonight, we can reveal that service personnel
and their families across the South, are living in damp
The firm in charge of maintaining the homes,
Carillion Amey, received more than 1300
That's an increase of nearly 50% on the same month the previous year.
The MoD has retained more than ?4 million of payments
to Carillion Amey due to performance failings.
Six months ago, the firm 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
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 soldier 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.
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
Well, Caroline Dineage is the MP for Gosport who's taken up the issue
I spoke to her earlier tonight and asked what conditions she'd come
across in military homes she'd visited.
Everything from pet infestations to damp, to
We also had massive problems with just the way
in which the complaints were dealt with, getting through to the right
When the complaints were dealt with, people
taking time off work to be there when workmen came out and the
workmen never turning up, consistently, day after day.
You know, a lot of different things like that.
And what effect does it have on those families?
Well, it can have a devastating effect.
What you have to remember is these families are
also, at the same time as going about their daily lives
as normal residents, they're are also having to deal
with the additional pressures of a partner
of husband, wife, away, maybe at sea, for months on end.
Often bringing up small children alone and often away
from their own family networks and support networks.
So, what could be a small domestic problem with a
house, a small complaint, can feel like a really big issue.
You say you've seen some improvement, but we're
hearing things are still bad for some families.
Ha the governments being tough enough on Carillion Amey?
I think we have seen, spoken to a lot of the Government
ministers about this because we were in position
previously, like a lot of MPs, where we had to make every
complaint by the ministry, which was incredibly long and overly
So, we have spoken to them at length about this and
they have made very clear to Carillion Amey that,
if that improves, then they'll take away their contract.
Give us more money or police services could suffer.
That's the message from those in charge
of running Hampshire Police today as they lobby
The force needs to save ?23 million by 2021.
For which they've identified ?10 million worth of savings.
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 officer posts in
recent years and it seemed a specialist
than 30 police stations are said to have been
I am concerned because, if I wasn't concerned,
What we do know is it's a great police force and we have
We are a really efficient constabulary.
Today is about securing our financial future.
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
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.
But the force says it got out all the savings that can and they
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.
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.
The Conservatives have taken control of Isle of Wight Council tonight.
It follows the resignation of the Independent leader
Jonathan Bacon and Steve Stubbings stepped down
in protest at the impact of Government cuts -
and claimed that politics and ego were being put before the concerns
This evening, Tory councillor Dave Stewart was voted
in as the new leader, ahead of another
A girl from Newbury who was born without a left hand has had one
Three year-old Marla Trigwell's new hand was made
by members of a community club who work on technical projects.
They used a free online design using materials costing
It's a boost to her confidence and it's a psychological boost for her.
So, when she meets people, instead of that,
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.
The Gosport sailor Alex Thompson has tonight admitted victory
in the Vendee Globe round the world race is probably beyond his reach -
saying it's very likely now that current leader Armel Le Cleac'h
This evening supporters gathered in the pub in Gosport
where Thompson's brother is the landlord.
Friends and family have met at the pub every Wednesday
since the race started to hear a phone call from Thompson
This evening, his distance from Le Cleac'h slipped back to 57
nautical miles but he said he was not giving up
He's expected to reach the finish in South West France tomorrow.
Football - and Southampton are through to the next stage
of the FA Cup after beating Norwich City in their third
But they left it very late - the match was goalless and looked
to be heading for extra time - when a goalmouth scramble ended
in Shane Long getting the ball in the net.
Saints go on to host Arsenal in the fourth round,
That's all from the South Today news team this evening.
We're back tomorrow with bulletins in BBC Breakfast and there's more
Here with our regional weather forecast is Alexis Green.
It will be a very cold and frosty night to come
with perhaps some freezing fog patches in places.
Last night, we saw a low of -6 Celsius.
Tonight, in the countryside, perhaps a low of -5 Celsius.
These are temperatures in our towns and cities.
So, with light winds, the mist and fog may linger
A frosty morning, a cold start to the day.
Lightening up, from the amount of sunshine.
Slightly more cloud the further north you are.
Also the further east you are with cloud drifting in.
Temperatures are reaching a high of 5-7 C.
It will feel quite chilly in shady places.
Through the course of Thursday to Friday,
we are expecting high pressure to remain.
That's not to say you won't see some bright spells,
but where the cloud is
thicker, we could see the odd spot of light rain.
This cloud lingering over the north of the country
will slip its way southwards, slowly during Friday, producing the odd
The brighter spells and best of the sunshine on Friday
along the south coast and for the Isle of Wight.
As we head throughto the rest of the week, a frosty start to
the day tomorrow with a high of six Celsius with light winds.
Some bright spells and eventually a frosty start on Friday.
next few days, no great changes over the next few days, more sunshine on
the way. Despite high-pressure sitting across
the country so only slow changes in the weather, we have had