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Tonight in the South West, increasing anger over
Why should a Devon child be worth that much less than somebody
Critics say a plan to make funding fairer doesn't add up and many
Also tonight - removing eco boilers from social housing.
They're being taken away after elderly tenants struggled
to fill them with sacks of wood pellets.
At this beauty spot in Exeter, a swan has been killed
in what police believe was a deliberate
A new way is needed, you just can't see it!
And the amateur actors hoping that they'll soon be
Headteachers in Devon and Cornwall are writing to parents asking them
to get involved in a campaign to change the way
After years of criticism that children in the South West receive
less money than those elsewhere the Government has introduced
a new way of working out how much each child will get.
Unions say this will actually leave the region more
In Devon, the county council says almost two thirds
Our political reporter Anna Varle has more.
Does anyone remember the difference between the people that sat
on either side of the room when we are having the debate?
It's never too young to get engaged in current affairs.
But this school is amongst hundreds across the region which is taking
politics out of the classroom and direct to Westminster.
In Devon, pupils like me are currently worth ?290 less
To make it fairer, the government is looking at changing
They say we will be better off by a little bit.
What we're trying to do is make sure that every single child,
wherever they're growing up in England gets the same amount
of funding, with then top up in relation to additional needs,
whether it's in relation to deprivation which has been based
on out of date data up until now, or indeed additional funding
But Devon County Council is one local authority which has
And it says far from being better off, 61.9%
Why should a Devon child be worth that much less than somebody
The government's got to do something about it.
Unions claim the formula, coupled with increasing
costs such as inflation, could lead to the region's schools
being ?105 million worse off in the next three years.
Which will result in fewer teachers and larger class sizes.
We've cut right the way back in recent years anyway.
The only thing left to cut unfortunately will be staffing
That's why headteachers across Devon and Cornwall are sending out letters
to parents asking them to get involved and write to their MP.
You can't sit there and say that it's the school's job to do
Your children go over, so you've got a bit of a responsibility
to make sure you support the school your children go to.
The more pressure we put on, hopefully the more
Even Devon's Tory MPs are threatening to oppose
If these proposals are adopted, we're going to have 15
primary schools gaining, 20 losing out, and all the secondary
This is clearly neither fair nor acceptable.
The government says that under this new formula,
schools in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset will benefit.
The consultation runs until the 22nd of March,
and it's keen to hear from parents, schools, governors -
Our Political Editor Martyn Oates is here now.
How have we arrived at a situation where Devon is even worse off?
We should be clear that this does vary from one local authority to
another, and from school to school. So Cornwall Council for instance,
says that overall Cornwall would gain from this. But as we heard
there, there will be winners and losers among individual schools. A
similar situation in Somerset. In Devon, which is an authority which
historically has been one of the worst funded in the country, clearly
the council believes overall it will be worse off. As one Devon MP said
recently in Parliament, after all the years of campaigning to change
this, it has ever anticipated that when the changes finally came, Devon
would be worse off. And Devon is far from alone. Looking across the
country, looking across the Commons more particularly, there are lots of
furious MPs who say the outcome for their schools in real areas is less
fair. Is the government likely to change its mind? The rural MPs, tend
to be Conservative MPs, so it is not great for the government to have a
lot of discontented MPs on its own backbenchers. Many of the same MPs
also very angry at the moment about the level of grant that the
government's offering to local authorities, and that'll be signed
off in a couple of weeks. The focus for
a lot of this is something called the rural fair share group, which is
now almost entirely run by MPs from Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. As the
Prime Minister said at premises questions this week, this is still
only a consultation, not the final offer. Over the last few years we
have seen all of these MPs making a fuss about this kind of thing,
threatening rebellions and very often have to say, have been brushed
off, sometimes quite briskly by the government. The question is whether
this time they can be more successful. Thank you very much.
And the debate continues in this weekend's Sunday Politics,
that's at 11 o'clock on Sunday Morning here on BBC One
with guests Peregrine Mears, Sheryl Murray and Gareth Derrick.
A housing association is removing eco boilers from some
of its properties after complaints they were unsuitable for the elderly
The boilers need to be filled with sacks of wood pellets,
but some residents struggled to lift the bags.
The equipment had also broken down repeatedly.
Westward Housing in North Devon says its dealing with
Tony Walker and his wife Jen, who is 68, dread having
But if it runs out, their central heating stops working.
Jen now has a bad back, and says the couple just can't cope with it.
It's not very easy at all, especially if you're
not well or, you know, I suffer with asthma and breathing.
And, you know my husband, he's not very well.
Well, it's not appropriate because we're too old.
We're just too old now to be able to cope with it.
There are around six Wesward Housing tenants who are either disabled,
have limited mobility or are elderly, who have had these
There have also been complaints about them not working properly.
Up the road, tenant Robert Smith's house now has
No one told us what we're going to have to do
No one said, you're going to have to fill it up day or every other
day, and there was no way would have managed to ash it out once a week.
And there was no consultation with us all.
In a statement, Westward Housing told us...
The manufacturer, Warmflow, told us...
Back at the Walkers, and Tony Walker is pretty clear
about what he wants done with his wood pellet boiler.
I don't want it on site, because it's no use to us.
A swan has been killed in Exeter in what police say appears
It's the second swan to have been found dead in the past week.
The news has shocked and angered people who regularly
The birds are a protected species and its' illegal to harm them.
Our Environment Correspondent Adrian Campbell reports.
Exeter's Swans are familiar and popular site, but in recent days
there have been concerns for their welfare after two deaths. On
Wednesday this week, Devon and Cornwall police say the body of a
swan was found close to this footbridge. Exeter City Council have
also told us that on Saturday, the body of a swan was taken to the
offer is not far from here, and it is understood that the swan had been
decapitated. The RSPB says suggestions that the birds may have
been deliberately attacked are disturbing. We don't quite know what
has happened here. These animals can be attacked, obviously by other
creatures, like foxes. But if it is a person that has done this, then
this is a really heinous crime, and it does unfortunately happened to
Swans. They do get attacked. Of course, it is against the law. In
wild birds in the UK are protected under the wildlife countryside act,
so people do see any crimes against bugs, please report it to the police
-- if people do. People who live here say they are concerned. I think
it's sad and disgusting behaviour. However, it is very unusual.
Everyone ranter care about the wildlife, and the majority of people
coexist very well. Defra has been informed about what happened, and
went a's incident has been reported as a crime. Police are appealing for
information from the public. Potholes are the curse
of motorists across the region, as council's struggle to keep up
with the backlog of repairs. In Devon the local authority has
turned to volunteers to help patch up the roads in the first scheme
of its kind. Jenny Kumah has been to see
what progress they're making, but not everyone is happy
with the idea. Ken lives in the village
of Halberton, and he's part of the yellow army
of volunteer road wardens. He's got training and insurance
from the county council, Some people say it's double
taxation because, you know, we pay our council tax,
all this should be done. The trouble is, when the money
won't go round, the money is being spent on childcare
and adult social care, So, maintaining the roads
is an expensive business, especially in Devon,
which has the largest road According to the county council,
it would cost ?750 million to complete the backlog of repairs
and to get the roads This year, the council
got ?45 million from But the council says that it
needs around ?15 million So is the scheme a form
of cheap labour? I mean, we're finding
that the parish councils are coming to us and they're taking pride
in their communities, and they're saying that they would like to come
and help the county council doing The road wardens scheme means
that they are expecting free labour to fill in holes in the road,
dig out the ditches and clean signs, but we're all
paying our council tax. 11 other local councils have shown
interest in the volunteer scheme, It's a big Devon Derby
football match this weekend. Our intrepid sports
reporter has gone to great lengths to catch a glimpse
of the top secret training. And this is how cold
it is going to get tonight, Also, more cloud coming
in from the east. The Devon composer who
wrote the music to one of the most watched -
and poignant films in the country has today been back
to the Teignmouth School that helped Laura Rossi was asked
to compose the soundtrack to the Imperial War Museum's film,
The Battle of the Somme. She's been holding workshops
with music students to help them understand the film ahead
of performances with a live symphony After its release in 1916, The
Battle Of The Somme quickly became a must see film. It remains the
biggest box office success, it was seen by over half the population,
and in the first six weeks it was seen by nearly 20 million people. It
was a box office record which wasn't beaten until Star Wars in 1977. Just
over 100 years on, it is as relevant today as ever. Over an hour and a
quarter of life on the front before and after battle. This film was
before censorship came in, so it is the only footage of the British dead
and wounded to this day. We still don't see any at all. I actually
went to the school long time ago, so I'm from Teignmouth. It is really
great to be back. Ten years ago, Laura was commissioned by the
Imperial War Museum to score the film for its 90th anniversary. A
year after its Centenary, it is now being screened 100 times around the
country. The film screenings are in partnership with the Imperial War
Museum, through the First World War Centenary partnership. Today, Laura
was back at her old school, having a workshop with people. Sometimes,
they might have been in a more high-spirited moment. It isn't
necessary because it's the war that you want to write something very
does present. You want to fit the scenes, and when I was scoring this,
there are busy some winded, but in this team they seem quite happy. So
let us think how we can relate that -- there are obviously some winded.
I was convinced that I'd found my relative who was injured in the
Somme, and the War Museum says that they are inundated people thinking
it is him, but it is probably not him, so I'll keep looking. Will be a
chance people into mass on Sunday to see a screening of the film and here
it with the orchestra at Exeter Cathedral tomorrow evening. In the
cathedral, be absolutely wonderful. You have the have the acoustic, the
space and that whole idea of course with the Cathedral itself. And when
this film was originally made. I think the music at a tremendous
amount. With many people watching the film and perhaps going away from
its thinking what it was about. Though often remember they were
moved by piece of music that appears and is suitable for the picture
didn't. -- for the picture it is in. There are performances of the Battle
of the Somme film with live music at Exeter Cathedral tomorrow
and Teignmouth Pavilions on Sunday. It's time for the sport now,
and Andy's been going to great lengths and heights to find out
about this weekend's Devon derby. Some people are calling this game
the biggest match ever played between Plymouth Argyle and Exeter
City. It's no surprise to hear it's
another sell-out at Home Park with around 15,000 fans
expected tomorrow. Local bragging are always at stake
when these arch rivals meet, but with both sides in the top four
of League Two, they're vying for something far more
valuable in the long And both were playing their cards
very close to their chests. Well, you can tell
this is a big game. We're not even allowed to see
Plymouth Argyle training. And it's not just Argyle:
Exeter City have been just as cagey. And they're the form team
in the whole of the country, 12 games unbeaten, seven wins
in a row and a player whose form in front of goal has seen him break
a record that stood at the club I didn't know until I'd equalled it,
you know, what the record was. So, yeah, there was a bit
of pressure before But yeah, it strange pressure,
because, you know, you can't Despite five goals in five wins
in January, it was his team-mate Ollie Watkins who is named league
two Player of the Month. Yeah, some of the lads give him
a bit of stick, but no, Loads of assists and
a couple of goals. So I don't begrudge him, but I think
scoring every game in a month, It shows you how well we've
done the last month. Good form in January,
great, but it's about And we're all focused on getting
to the end of the season The end of the season,
the chance to relax. Well, the Argyle squad couldn't wait
that long and jetted off to Spain His plan was a bit different
to the one you would think, so it was a lot of training up
there. Just nice to train in
warm weather, really. So does the form Exeter's players
are showing at the moment hold any They're not looking
as dangerous as us. You know, we've got, you know,
a lot of dangerous players, We're obviously ahead of them
in the league for a reason. You know, we'll have to be
playing at it some more. -- we will have to be banging at it
tomorrow. Neither side giving
too much away here. For Argyle, they'll be hoping 13
is unlucky for Exeter is the Grecians look
to extend their unbeaten run. For Exeter, they'll be hoping
Argyle are still in Siesta It's good to see you starting to
branch out with your reporting. I think we'll have to move on quickly
from that! Exeter Chiefs' Jack Nowell
and Tomas Francis will line up against each other tomorrow
when England take on Wales in Cardiff, in round two
of the Six Nations. The 23-year-old Cornishman will be
hoping to add to his nine international tries when he replaces
Jonny May on the wing. While Francis has also been called
up to the Welsh starting line-up. On Sunday, their club team-mates
are back in Premiership action The Chiefs beat them the last time
the two sides met at Sandy Park in the Premiership semifinal
and with Wasps providing five of the England squad,
it looks like a good time to play You know, you can't run away
from it, they've got a few But I think regardless of that,
everyone's where they've got You know, they've got
numerous international So it'll be a tough
game whatever happens. That match kicks off at one o'clock
on Sunday and Radio Devon will have It's a rest weekend
for the Championship, but Plymouth Albion are back
at the Brickfields - Finally, our south-west sports
personality of the year is one of five gold medal winners from Rio to
be named in England team for the upcoming tour to South Africa. In
four Riaz, hopefully another gold medal. Thank you very much, Andy. I
hope you filled in a health and safety form when he climbed the
tree. I'm going to take myself back a few years at home and play hide
and seek. Thanks, Andy. A film self-funded by a group
of amateur actors from Torbay has been short listed for a film
festival in Los Angeles. It's about the life of Mordred -
the illegitimate son of King Arthur. It's been filmed at locations
around the South West Spotlight's Janine
Jansen has the story. One day my father will rule these
lands, as well I. Who needs a multi-million pound budget? This
group of South Devon amateur actors had a dream and just ?3000. And to
act as he would, not to make your own rules. What am I supposed to do
now? Dan Leavy has now impressed Hollywood. Mordred is short listed
for a film festival in Los Angeles -- their film has now impressed. You
don't have to look hard to see it was filmed entirely on location in
Devon and Cornwall. I play Guinevere, and basically when
Mordred arrives, I don't trust him at all and I have a bad feeling
about him. I can't put my finger on it. But I feel like he's going to be
a danger. His idea of what's right isn't necessarily the same as one
as's. He sees it black and white, whilst they will see the shades of
grey. With no grant funding, the South Devon players didn't give up.
Through blood sweat and tears, panicking, we have done car-boot
sales, jumble sales, crowdfunds. Some of us did a burlesque night,
including Mordred. With such a tight budget, everyone mucks in. One of
the most brutal characters also had the job of teaching his colleagues
how to fight. How hard is it to drum up the rage that they need for the
fight? Did it come quite naturally? I think for a lot of people it came
naturally. I think everyone was enjoying it, they were having a good
time. They're already psyched up anyway. It was a very brutal style
of fighting, so, you know, a lot of shield grubs and kicks and very sort
of violent stuff. It's going to look very impressive in the film. Could
the Southwest's answer to Game Of Throwing take these budding actors
all the way to the top? -- Game of Thrones. A lot of violence, and
that's just in the studio! A very chilly weekend.
It is cold outside. You need to cuddle up this weekend because there
is a very cold easterly wind and low temperatures, some of the coldest it
has felt so far this winter. Very chilly. There will be a breeze, and
wintry showers around. So those will leave some snow over high ground. At
the moment, we have high-pressure -- low pressure over Spain and
Portugal, dreadful weather. High-pressure to the north, easterly
winds. One weather front trapped in the flow. It has the can of cloud to
produce snow showers at the moment. They're coming through central parts
of Britain and will travel towards us by the end of the night. The risk
of a few flurries in the wind, certainly for Dorset and Somerset.
By Sunday, the wind is stronger. A similar setup, with a lot of cloud
and potentially more wintry showers, too. We continue to see some pretty
low temperatures over the next couple of days. We can is definitely
a cold one. There are showers and more cloud coming in from the east.
In the second half of the night. Some clear skies, and certainly
frost possible. This was earlier today on the south coast of
Cornwall. Call having some of the best of them join today, will hazy
in places. There is quite thick haze, so reduced visibility because
of that. For all of us, it is the wind that makes it feel bitterly
cold. It will be with us on Saturday and Sunday. The holes you saw in the
cloud are already out there, and that means many of us tonight that
temperatures will fall very quickly indeed. Possibly as low as -2, if
not -3 overnight tonight. For all of us, bitterly cold, in places rusty
start to the day. If you are on the terraces watching that important
football match, need to wrap up warmly -- frosty start. The showers
falling readily as sleet and certainly over high ground, falling
as snow. The amount is likely to be small, but you will notice what is
falling out of the sky. Temperatures no more than three or four degrees.
If you add wind strength, it will feel a lot colder than that. That is
the forecast for the Isles of Scilly. A cold wind and wintry
showers, quite blustery wind across the island here. Times of high
water, here they are for ports and harbours. Portland at 6:47am,
Penzance at 440 7p. If you're brave enough to be at the the show this of
year, these are the temperatures. That us look at the coastal waters
forecast, pretty lively winds. From the East and North East, Force 5-6.
A few showers around, Margaret visibility. There is thick haze at
sea at the moment. It is the wind direction that dictate our
temperature as we move through the next few days. This is Tuesday.
You'll notice we have changed the colour. It has been very blue over
the last couple of days. By Tuesday, there is some yellow. Those at high
temperatures, temperatures in double figures. You'll notice that the far
south-west of England has some as well. Be patient, because will lose
the court, it will warm up eventually. It may take all the way
through to the middle of next week before we get some appreciable
sunshine and higher temperatures. The next two days are bitterly cold,
exacerbated by the strength of the wind. You will need to wrap up very
warmly. Have a nice weekend. Thank you very much, David. Wrap up only
if you are going to the Devon derby tomorrow. If not, full match
commentary on BBC radio Devon from TPM tomorrow. From all of us on the
programme, have a good weekend. Goodbye. -- from two PM.