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The Prime Minister denies the government struck a secret deal
A big increase in the number of people with mental health
problems left at A as fewer are sent to police cells.
And after the gloom of today, spring will certainly be back
I'll have your full forecast later in the programme.
Jeremy Corbyn has again demanded that the government tells the truth
over what he alleges was a "sweetheart deal" struck
The Labour leader's described correspondence obtained today
Emails shows the government promised the council it
would not be any worse off, if it agreed to scrap
controversial plans to increase council tax by 15%.
Our political editor's been following developments.
What is the latest? These explosive documents Jeremy Corbyn is talking
about were obtained far information request by the BBC, put online this
evening by Surrey County Council. We knew they lobbied hard to get more
cash, threatening a referendum on the 15% rise. And with so many
senior ministers in the in the county the suspicion has been they
were given favourable treatment, that is what Jeremy Corbyn put to
the Prime Minister today at Prime Minister 's questions. Could the
Prime Minister explain the difference between a sweetheart deal
and a gentleman's agreement? The substance of what he's asking is has
there been a particular deal with Surrey County Council that isn't
available to other councils? And the answer to that is no. So, these
letters released tonight make it clear the council leader was pulling
every string he could to try to get more money. He wrote to the Prime
Minister asking her to support a plan for more cash, saying... It
does look from these documents are deal was being drafted. An offer to
allow them to be the first council piloting 100% business rates
retention. Whatever happens, you won't be worse off. That deal hasn't
gone through partly because they were worried about the way it would
look with so many conservatives in the area, and that's frustrated
Surrey's MPs. One MP wrote... What is the government saying
tonight? They say we discuss all sorts of things with councils of all
types. But Labour are saying Theresa May needs to come clean, we need
full disclosure of the terms and reassurance all councils will be
treated the same way, they say, not just the lucky few who are favoured.
Thank you. The Chancellor Phillip Hammond
had to follow that row at Prime Minister's Questions
with his budget. By most reckoning, it was modest,
with no major surprises. Business rates have been
revalued this year. Those that stood to lose out
are being promised extra cash. And one particular industry
got a small boost. That's why our reporter
Sean Killick is in a pub. Good evening. This pub was taken
over by husband-and-wife team three years ago. They've transformed this
place. They have got the title of Worthing Pub of the year. Successful
businesses like this one I worried about the business rates. The
average restaurant in Worthing is seeing a 13% increase. Next door in
shawm, there's a 13% decrease. The Chancellor tried to smooth over such
problems announcing those losing out would have the increases capped at
?50 a month. He also announced ?1000 one-off discount in the business
rates, especially for pubs. The landlady here, what's your reaction
here? It's lovely they are giving us ?1000 but when they are increasing
your taxable rates every year, like last year and this year, ?1000 is a
drop in the ocean. It isn't enough, but it is better than nothing but it
isn't going to make a huge difference to anybody. You're also
concerned about the National Insurance increase. It is a bit of a
double whammy for you. Being self-employed, ours is going to
increase. 80% of our customers are all self-employed so they won't have
the money to come to the pub which will affect more pubs, closing down
and not being able to afford these rates. Unless money to spend,
potentially. Thank you. There was some good news for publicans such as
engine. The beer duty isn't going to go up more than the planned
increase, which is to be on a pint of beer.
Another of Phillip Hammond's announcements was an extra
?2 billion for social care but also money to help next winter by putting
more GPs into accident and emergency departments for patients who don't
That scheme's already been trialled in Portsmouth.
I asked our Health correspondent how if it was working.
It's been going pretty well, actually, Tom.
They've had a GP next to the A Department here
They come in at ten o'clock in the morning, they work
until ten o'clock at night, seven days a week,
and they are looking after patients who are not emergencies,
so they're caring for things like colds, sprains,
It might not sound like much but I think it does take
a lot of the pressure off the A departments.
The Chancellor clearly thinks so because he is committing
?100 million to schemes like this all over the country.
Is the extra ?2 billion for social care going to be enough?
How to get these elderly patients, who are in hospital beds,
out and home safely, and what's usually stopping them,
of course, is the lack of proper social care.
And today health charity said that although the money was welcome,
the problem was so huge it probably wouldn't solve it.
We've seen huge reductions in the number of people particularly
vulnerable older people who can't get care, and that is impacting
Many of them are low income pensioners, living on their own,
Of course, it's not just about the money.
Something like 24 authorities are responsible for more than half
of the so-called bed blockers in the country.
So, clearly, some authorities do a better job than others and I think
the government and the health service are going to be looking very
closely at those authorities to see how they can improve.
South Today has discovered mental health patients are being placed
into overstretched A departments, as police crack down on the number
locked up in the cells for their own safety.
Across the south, there's been a big fall in those
held in police custody, down by more than 800 in two years.
But the numbers taken to casualty or mental health units rose by more
Guidelines state patients should only be brought
to hospitals by police if they have a physical injury.
Our home affairs correspondent Peter Cooke reports.
Strained, stressed, a system under pressure.
A departments say they are increasing resources
to deal with a rise in mental health patients.
Police forces say custody isn't a suitable place for those people
but often there aren't enough places in mental health units so emergency
The emergency departments have become the default setting
because the police are under a lot of pressure to not detain
mental-health patients in cells, which is fine, but there hasn't been
consistent commissioning across the country to provide
Surrey police now provide facilities called safe havens for people
experiencing a mental health crisis but admit A is sometimes
We also recognise that shifting the demand from custody to a place
of safety to A Department isn't always helping the person in crisis.
In 2014, Barry Branden's wife Martine was arrested for carrying
a knife in easterly and died in Southampton custody
And Independent Police Complaints investigation found four staff had
committed misconducts linked to the case.
The rules at the time said if she had a weapon,
she had to be arrested and not taken to a place of safety,
which is what the police commissioner said at the inquest,
that, you know, it would have been dealt with differently if they'd
The government says one in four people has a mental disorder at some
point in their life, and has promised more funding
But mental health trusts in England say they are still
We're back with a bulletin tomorrow morning. Now, Sarah Farmer is here
with your forecast. It has been a damp and dreary day today. We've
still got some patchy rain through the course of this evening and
tonight but it should clear through and by tomorrow things are looking
more promising. That rain tends to come and go, not too heavy, and
there will be drier spells, particularly the further north you
are. Overnight temperatures down to 8-9, so a mild night on the cards.
It looks like it'll be a dry starred first thing tomorrow morning. That's
rain band nudging away and we will see some bright spells into the
afternoon. And nice bright spells particularly the further north you
are. Temperatures 12th - 14, possibly 15, so doing very well for
this time of year. As we look ahead to Friday, we will start to see the
cloud building from the south-west as we work our way through the
mourning period and it'll be quite grey and damp with misty and murky
conditions at times, perhaps some light rain and drizzle coming and
going with a few breaks in the cloud are generally quite acquired
picture, nothing too heavy to worry about. Let's take a look at the
summary for the next few days. Tomorrow, fine, a decent day,
cloudier on the coast and the Isle of Wight but further inland, some
good brightness. A gloomy day on outlook, staying mild and Nick has
the bigger picture across the UK. Hello. Spring is in the air with
temperatures reaching 14 or 15 in a few spots today as they will again
over the next few days. Very pleasant in the sun. The daffodils
were loving that in York. More places under blue sky tomorrow and
dry. Tonight heavy showers moving across Scotland on strong to gale
force winds, some may clip Northern Ireland. It's a mild night in
southern England and South Wales but damp and drizzly, misty with coastal
and hill fog elsewhere. Temperatures in between and dry: This damp
weather hangs on from parts of the Channel Islands, to Cornwall.
Elsewhere, it's getting brighter in South Wales and southern England. In
England, Wales and Northern Ireland some sunny spells around from the
word go. The further north there is a stronger wind initially. Showers