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Tonight on Spotlight, how much will your council tax be going up?
Bills are increasing across the region but how much
We'll be asking how much more families will be paying
is this parking machine a mark of disrespect?
This is the site of one of Cornwall's worst mining
disasters, but the National Trust has installed a meter as the series
And the 1930s white knuckle ride restored
Councillors in Devon and Dorset have tonight become the latest to approve
It follows Somerset council's decision to increase bills
The other local authorities in our region are expected
to make similar increases within the next few weeks.
The reason for the rise, which equates to around ?60 extra
on a Band D property, is to help fund care
More from our political reporter Anna Varle.
Many of us have seen small increases in council tax over the last few
years to pay for things like bin collections, highways, street and
fire, but this year you might notice a change in your built because of
social care. Let's go into the kitchen, make you a cup of tea. A
task many of us take for granted but Joyce has just returned home from
hospital and needs help to get back on her feet. This support has a
cost, which is quite local authorities are looking at charging
council taxpayers more. If you don't know about them, you might say,
fancy putting their council tax up, but when you know the things that
you do and the money goes towards, you don't mind so much. Protests
took place in Somerset yesterday as councillors said the biggest rise in
more than a decade and today it was Dorset and Devon's turn. Today Devon
County Council decided to increase council tax by 5%. 2% of that will
go on beans, police, fire, 3% will go on social care for the likes of
Joyce. What does that mean for you and I? Those in a band D property
will pay around ?60 more a year. We have to put in a large amount of
money to look after people. It's going through, ?19 million, ?2
million for children's services. Similar increases are expected
across the rest of the region in the next few weeks. I think largely
people can afford it and social care is central to society you have the
health service which is the point of need, social care which is means
tested. I think it deserves more funding. I haven't any objection to
them putting our council tax up. We will find the money and I believe it
is worthwhile. But despite the rise in council tax, local authorities
like Devon are still having to make ?23 million in cuts to social
services to balance the books. Our political editor
Martyn Oates is here. This is more evidence of the
financial strain on councils. And this won't go away even with big
council tax increases, even if they make big savings. A big grievance
often is the government grant that councils get, when big local
government settlement was announced just before Christmas there were
complaints from MPs and council leaders in rural parts of the
country saying it is unfair and not enough, and we're in strange
position this year because most of our major councils, Devon and Dorset
and Somerset, setting our budgets a week before the government produces
its final settlement, which will be voted on at Westminster next week,
so even if the government produces more money, we will be left with
this council tax bills, and the government is being blamed for this
because it is so late getting on with its side of the bargain because
of Brexit arrangements covering through, while councils have a duty
to sign of their budgets before the beginning of March. Where I'd
councils make those savings? Devon said they would look at better
contracts for schools and waste, and services will be provided at home.
If the government doesn't step in, where are the obvious areas? This is
a worsening problem and it tends to affect smaller councils, rural
district councils more than the big councils we have been talking about.
Some counties are looking at a very radical option, essentially
abolishing county and district councils altogether and following
Cornwall and becoming unitary authorities, so places like
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Dorset is poised to
go down that route. If Dorset goes unitary, Devon and Somerset will be
the only areas in the whole of the South West sticking to what might be
seen as an old-fashioned two-tiered county and district structure, and
if we see these other counties go when unitary, the pressure on Devon
and Somerset to do the same thing might become quite strong indeed.
Martin, thank you. The questions patients are asked
when they phone NHS 111 have been criticised by a caller who says
she was left confused and upset. Michelle Perryman rang the service
saying she felt violently ill but says what she was asked
about her condition was irrelevant. The NHS has apologised,
but GPs have told us there are usually valid medical
reasons for the questions. Michelle Perryman said she called
the NHS non-emergency number But she says during the ten-minute
call she was asked too many questions, the wrong questions,
and was laughed at. Have you had a head injury
in the last seven days? We just need to answer these
questions if you don't mind. How many more questions
have I got to answer? The computer's asking
these questions. I was being asked all the wrong
questions and I wasn't Has she suddenly developed
a severe headache like If I had been hit by a brick,
most people would either be Southwestern Ambulance Service NHS
Foundation Trust says the brick question was a legitimate question
to help identify serious injury. How I was spoken to
was so disrespectful. You can actually hear him laughing
at me when I told him this. I'm sick to death of
answering questions. The trust said the operator's tone
was inappropriate where Devon Doctors say many people
comment on why there are so many questions asked, but they say
patient safety is paramount. The Pathway system is a number
of questions developed by clinicians who know how to identify particular
conditions and frequently patients phone up with what they think is one
problem and by the process of these questions we realised there may be
something else and it may be more The Southwest Ambulance Service,
which no longer runs the 111 service, said call handlers
are required to ask a series of questions known as NHS
Pathways and the call handler selected the wrong pathway,
but even if Mrs Perryman had been asked the correct questions
the outcome of the call They said they were sorry
for any distress caused. A controversial car park pay machine
has been replaced at a Poldark filming site in Cornwall
after the original was deliberately pulled out of the ground soon
after it was installed. The National Trust is being urged
not to enforce new parking charges at Levant mine, where 31 men
were killed in a mining I saw a sight I don't want to see
again, I think it took three days to recover the whole lot of the men who
had been trapped in the shaft. This accident put paid to this mind and
now we have today the derelict buildings and that is all that is
left of the famous mind which produced over ?2 million worth of
war. Well, the National Trust says
the money from parking charges will be used to fund
the conservation of the site The underground workings of Levant
mine extend more than a mile Generations of men sought copper
and tin here but the Levant mine disaster in October 1919 was one
of the biggest losses of life 31 men were killed when the device
to carry them down the shaft failed. Scenes from the first series
of Poldark were filmed here. For now, they have enough copper
to cope and come the next auction... We will see they come
away empty-handed. There has been a 50%
increase in visitor That means the footfall
has increased here. 70% of those people don't go
into the site itself but walk in the local landscape
which we also look after. So that increases the maintenance
liability and we have an conservation work we need to do
to keep the space special. So to pay for it they have put
in a parking machine, It will cost us money to replace us,
it has already cost us money to replace and that is money
we could have used for conservation work, so it is sad there has
been that vandalism. Opponents say they don't
condone the vandalism but still want to get this machine
moved legally and permanently. They make a point about protecting
the environment but I would hardly call sticking that parking meter
here protecting the environment, and how did they manage
for all these decades I suppose it's people like us that
are attracted to this place because of Poldark and we have
to pay for the upkeep of it. My grandfather was Tom Rowe
and he died in the Levant mine disaster but I still think
the National Trust need to charge to park here because it's becoming
increasingly popular with Poldark. They need money to maintain
the roads and the access in and out. With the 100th anniversary
of the Levant mine disaster approaching, the National Trust says
descendents of the men killed will still be able to come
here and park for free. Plans for 185 houses and apartments
at the former Dorchester Prison Planning permission for housing
at the site was initially refused last August following concerns
from nearby residents. But today a revised application
for fewer homes was passed. The plans will see the main cell
block and gatehouse converted into 60 homes and a further 125
properties in nearby buildings. Leyton Orient captain Liam Kelly has
been charged by the FA following an incident when a ball
boy was shoved to the ground 27-year-old Kelly has
until 6pm tomorrow evening If you have something out
of guarantee but which appears to be broken, stay with us -
there's a place you can go Following in the footsteps
of a master shoe maker - the apprentice keeping
a North Devon craft alive. And during the later, when I'll be
going supersonic on this 1930s moon rocket ride.
A family from Dorset says their Quins are lucky to be alive after
suffering a rare disorder in the winter -- in the womb. Only 10% of
twins around the world have the condition, when both babies shared
the same placenta. Edward Salt reports.
At 20 weeks I started getting pain and then we had the devastating news
at 22 weeks that we had twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome,
which was very frightening and we didn't know whether the twins
Sarah was rushed to hospital in London.
Her twins were in immediate danger and surgeons had 48 hours
Very frightening, it's the worst day of my life.
Henry and Sebastian shared one placenta in Sarah's womb.
It meant they weren't getting enough blood and this could be fatal.
Only 10-15% of twins suffer from twin-to-twin transfusion
syndrome and need laser surgery to save their lives.
The blood vessels to connect the baby are connecting them
in an uneven fashion, so the curative treatment is to put
a tiny telescope in, about two millimetres in diameter,
and through it we can identify the blood vessels joining the two
placentas of the babies and using an even smaller laser
fibre through the same telescope, we can block the blood vessels that
Individually they may see a couple of dozen cases each year.
By pooling all of this data, all their knowledge,
they will have a far broader, more in-depth picture of what's
successful and where they might be able to make changes to improve
Back in Dorset, Sarah and Dan are now looking to their future.
We're just very lucky that we've got the two boys and we take every day
as it comes to do as much as we can, if we get a chance take them out
and enjoy everything that we can with them.
And the same goes for Henry and Sebastian, waving goodbye
More than 21 million tonnes of household rubbish was collected
from bins in Exeter last year - but how much of that waste
In an effort to tackle the number of broken items that
are just thrown away, rather than fixed,
a repair caf is launching in the city this weekend.
Clare Woodling has been to investigate.
An unfashionable maxim in 2017 at once espoused
Don't want to throw it away, I want to keep my stuff forever if I can.
I know that's not feasible but as long as I can,
Jude is the driving force behind a repairer cafe launching
It's designed to stop fixable items going to landfill.
Some repairs can be fiddly and I brought one of my own
There's a hole in the sleeve of my brown jacket.
I would sew it up by hand with some strong thread and small stitches
because you cannot get at it with a sewing machine.
People can bring their faulty electricals as well as broken
Bikes with flat tyres or brakes that don't work are welcome.
I think what they might do is put in the back of their garage for six
or 12 months and then take it to the tip, whereas if they repaired
it today they could use it again tomorrow and enjoy the fresh air.
There will even be a potter doing ceramic repairs
The ?2000 community grant has been awarded by Exeter Council
to pay for consumables like batteries and thread.
A lot of the items that get brought to me are items that could last
a lot longer but unfortunately we live in a world of planned
obsolescence where a lot of things are built with a weak link in it,
It's no deterrent for the repairers, who say no job is too big or too
small, and Jude says that shops may want to sell,
Six years ago I bought some leather chairs and the front of them had
started to peel off and I went to the manufacturer and said
I hadn't had these very long, they're leather, and he says five
That's it, five years, throw them away, buy a new one.
Such a good idea. We all throw things away far too easily and too
quickly. Now, across the South West many people are keeping traditional
crafts alive but there are fears those skills could disappear unless
young people are encouraged to take them up.
Well, one young woman from North Devon is
learning at the feet - quite literally -
The leather and vegan shoes, boots and sandals are handmade to order
Spotlight's Andrea Ormsby has the story.
26-year-old Polly Collins is learning from an expert.
Try to do longer sweeps with the knife.
That's right, because you were slightly chopping into it.
The difficulty and why we need funding for craft skills
There is the 10,000 hour theory for learning any new skill.
Three more years at the feet of a master.
Funding for the apprenticeship comes from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship
It's a really fantastic opportunity and it's really nice to be
I think it will be a really great few years and I'll learn a lot.
I'm just really looking forward to it.
It's not easy running a small business and this is a massive help
because for me it's an act of faith training someone because it costs
a lot of money and time and effort and so this is a huge boost for me
personally, it validates my choice in politics but the people at Quest
also thought she was high calibre and had the staying power
Alison Hastie set up Green Shoes with ?600 in 1981.
She hand makes leather and vegan shoes, boots
and sandals to order here at the workshop
She performs a bit of magic, I think, especially the ability
to turn such two-dimensional material into this three-dimensional
thing that fits people really well and lasts for such an incredible
It's a really amazing thing and it's very inspiring.
Do you have to wear the shoes to work here?
I can't say I really wear any other shoes anymore.
Once you start wearing them, every other shoe feels
Polly is an apprentice shoemaker and says it will be a good few
years before she can drop the word apprentice.
Now, you may remember last summer we reported on a fundraising
campaign to save the last surviving 1930s Moonrocket fairground ride?
Well, the money was raised and this week the white knuckle ride opened
So we sent Johnny Rutherford along for some antique theme park thrills.
Before the space race, there was Moonrocket.
This was the fastest ride at the time, 1938,
and it was a sensation, it was the fastest ride and that
was an immediate hit with the public.
The Moonrocket represents an era on the fairgrounds when
speed, thrills and excitement were in vogue.
It's one of the original white knuckle rides.
Space travel was science-fiction, it hadn't been
invented, it hadn't happened yet, so it was artistic license how you
portrayed space travel, so it was artists'
space travel possibly was in the future.
This version, one of less than 20 ever made, was ordered by
After much fundraising, Dingles Fairground
Heritage Centre bought it for ?175,000 to house it undercover
I thought it was really fun because it's really fast.
When you go really fast and you can tilt the cars.
It was quite frightening but it wasn't too bad.
When I had a go, they racked it up to top speed.
Johnny Rutherford, BBC Spotlight, Lifton, West Devon!
Maybe from the 1930s but it still has the power to thrill. We have
fond memories of being there, eight Children in Need outside broadcast
their many years ago. Let's see what the weather is doing across the
south-west. Not too much of a roller-coaster there were otherwise.
A nice springlike day although technically it is still winter and
I've been spoiled for photos, this lovely one coming in looking across
to Plymouth, another one of sunshine here and a nice day has led to a
nice evening. A glorious sunset, are cameraman Jeff was driving along the
aged 38 near Chudleigh and you can see a glorious end to the day. Any
of you have sent your photos in the sunset and I am collecting those for
the late news. Red sky at night can prophesy is an nice day but that
will be not so much the case in this instance, but it is mild. This is
just a week ago, highs of 5 degrees for many of us, skip forward seven
days and we are looking at 12 and 13, so a different feel. Tomorrow we
keep this Mountfield but we have some mist and fog at first, it will
be cloudy with a risk of showery rain later. We have high pressure
bringing this risk of mist and fog, some fine conditions that weather
fronts introduce a bit more cloud with the risk of a little rain here
and there but not too much, a decent amount of dry weather. The we have
starry skies initially that could allow some mist and fog patches due
form and some low cloud. Temperatures of five, six, 7 degrees
but there is the chance of a touch of frost. Tomorrow morning you might
catch a bit of fog and Dorset and we have more chance of hill fog, also
some showery rain but not too much, the bulk of tomorrow should be
largely dry and mild with temperatures up to 13 degrees but a
brisk wind for western areas and the Isles of Scilly will have a brisk
wind. Cloudy, a risk of showery rain and these are the times of high
water tomorrow. These are the ways for our surfers, the biggest along
the north coast, generally clean conditions with the wind coming in
from a southerly direction. A bit smaller along the south coast, wind
strop lighter but choppy out to the West as the breeze comes in. This is
the coastal waters forecast, winds occasionally getting up to six in
the West. They have risk of rain or drizzle that will reduce the
visibility to moderate or poor, rough at times in the West. Although
this looks very grey, there are some good things to say about the weather
in the next few days. Where'd you get sunshine it will feel nice,
winds are fairly light, mostly dry through the weekend although you
could see a little rain and areas like the north-east of Dartmoor are
most likely to see the sunshine coming through, and where it does it
will feel a bit like spring. We can't do with too much excitement,
that looks fine to us. That is all from Spotlight this evening. The
late news is just after 10:30pm. Join us then if you can. Good night.
Two challenges await you today, and our genre is Landscape.
The conditions are a wee bit challenging.
I've really got to convince the judges
It's colourful - but it was meant to be muted.