21/02/2017 Spotlight


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Welcome to Spotlight. so it's goodbye from me,


As we go on air tonight a major incident has


has been evacuated, we will have the has been evacuated, we will have the


latest from the scene. Also Tonight as council tax bills go


up in Cornwall and services are cut, Well, my message to Government


is that they're not helping us. My message to the Government is that


austerity can only go on for so This simple wooden frame is


transforming a woman's life. It's revolutionised my life,


really, I would say. Living together separately,


the co-housing idea which is gaining popularity, we'll find


out how it works. First tonight, a major incident has


been declared in Exeter. The Riverside Leisure Centre has


been evacuated after Fire crews were called just


after four O'clock this afternoon and the health suite was described


as "well alight". Swimmers were forced to flee


the building after the pool I just remember what I was told at


school, left everything and got out. Grabbed my coat but everything else


was left in there. Obviously you are thinking of safety so you just get


out. I've just been speaking to the


incident commander. The fire is still burning, the Fire Service


believe it has spread to the roof. They have an aerial platform up


there trying to make sure it is contained. It started in the sauna


and quickly filled the centre with smoke. They evacuated the people to


a nearby cafe where they are being cared for. This major incident is on


one of the major routes through Exeter and is causing severe traffic


problems. One piece of good news, we have just heard there were only two


casualties with only my -- minor injuries.


Of course we'll keep across developments and bring


There are also all the photographs and information on our BBC Spotlight


page. "Many believe local


Government is under assault." The words of the leader


of Cornwall Council John Pollard, as the authority today became


the latest in the south west With council tax rises


and cuts to services, The average household in Cornwall


will have to pay an extra ?50 per year on its council tax


bill from April. It's a rise of nearly 4%,


half of which will go Cuts of ?33 million have also


been given the go-ahead. Cornwall's decision comes days


after Devon and Dorset councillors approved increases of almost 5%


along with a near 4% rise in Somerset


which prompted angry protests. Tamsin Melville has been following


the days events in Truro... It is becoming a bit like an annual


production. The same themes, largely the same characters and plot seems


to end the same way for the people of Cornwall, bigger bills, fewer


services and this plea from the lead leader. My message to the Government


is they are not helping us. My message is that austerity can only


go once so long, that needs to change. My message is please invest


in adult social care. Since 2010 Cornwall Council is made savings of


nearly ?200 million. In the coming year there will be another ?33


million cut. Not many areas of spending escape but off-loading


libraries and leisure centres is key this year. Council tax bills are


going up again by ?1 a week for an average band D household. Part of


this is the screws of leak for adult social care. Personally I'm happy


that's really good. They need to be that's really good. They need to be


looked after and not thought of as a nuisance. Surge in the pit of my


heart just thinking, more money, more money. We can rob Peter to


people as long as we like but not people as long as we like but not


everyone will benefit. Councillors could have put another 1% on council


tax for social care but this was rejected, with some conservatives


themselves angered at the thought. We have to stand firm and canvas


central Government and say on social care it is a nationwide problem and


they need to fund it from the centre. And what will the ?5 million


raised actually fund? A lot of that will get sucked up through the


increases to the living wage, the national living wage obviously


influence those hikes to the lowest paid, which I absolutely agree with


and should happen. So the 2% really will only just cover that. Today's


vote also paves the way for around 300 further job losses by 2020.


Meanwhile the Government is insisting its financial settlement


councils is fair. Tamsin Melville is at


County Hall in Truro. So what is the Government saying


about its sale settlement councils? It is saying that they have put more


money into social care and that the four-year Central meant they are


giving councillors means they can plan ahead. But it is not just


hearing Cornwall there taking issue. Councils across the south-west


grouping together saying there needs to be an urgent review and that


Whitehall simply isn't addressing the crisis in social care funding.


MPs at Westminster will be tomorrow debating the settlement but it is


looking unlikely that any new money for adult social care will be making


its way from central Government. Thank you.


The pub trade in the South West has added to the growing pressure


on the Government to rethink controversial changes


Recently we featured concerns from some owners of holiday


lets who also face a big increase in bills.


Now some pubs say they are also being penalised.


The Babbacombe Inn in South Devon says its rates


But the Government says increases will be capped and the average bill


Martin Strange has been here for 18 years, and


has invested heavily in the Babbacombe Inn.


His business has grown and so have his business rates.


The rates assessment of his pub has risen 650%.


Over the next five years it will triple,


It's taken away the stimulus to invest in this market and this


Because the busier you are, the better you are, the more you


grow your business, the more you're going to get taxed.


Business rates for shops are based on rents and


floor space, but for pubs it takes into account turnover as well.


This means the more successful you are the more you pay.


But in turn it also means a like-for-like pub not


doing so well will pay much less for selling exactly


The hospitality trade body ALMR is calling on the Government to


At the moment pubs across the country are


subsidising the business rate burden by about ?500 million a year.


That is ?500 million we think they are paying more than they


So we are asking for some temporary help.


But whilst some pubs are unhappy, other businesses, like


retailers, are expecting their rates to fall because our economy


That said, the fall might not be as much as they hope.


Retailers, for example, that think they may be in line for a


big decrease, they are not going to do as well


because that decrease bytransitional relief is being offset


against the increases elsewhere in the country.


The Department for Communities and Local Government


says the average bill for pubs in the south-west will go down.


There will be caps on rate rises and there


will be transitional relief where the increase is high, and that


Martin, though, will be one of those who loses out.


And he says it could mean he'll have to put his expansion plans on hold.


Businesses are now calling on the Government to drop


Our Political Editor Martyn Oates is in Westminster for us tonight.


As you say this is by no means confined to tour by. At beginning of


the year we heard concerns from St Ives. I am joined by their MP who is


one of a few Conservative MPs very unhappy about this. It is worth


pointing out that for many businesses in Cornwall the business


rate revaluation is positive. More than half will be taken out of


business rates altogether. I think the Government has done good work in


most respects. But the average increase is 24% across most


businesses. But for some it is 60% going up to 100% increase. ?1000 a


month sums for in St Ives. Rubicon tolerate that. The secretary has


been pretty unsympathetic. He says it is the result of distortion and


scaremongering. 32 small businesses have approached me and given me


their rent figures on how their rates have increased. We are taking


each one of those to the valuation office to get them to look again. I


believe there is a mistake being made wasn't Ives, I believe they


have concentrated on big business and perceived prosperity there. We


need to make sure this formula works so that the small businesses who


work hard in St Ives, to then put an extra ?1000 on their business rates


they have to get that whether they work or not. Personally business


rates doesn't work. It's just an arbitrary figure. Thank you. As I


said the Communities Secretary has not been to be sympathetic. There is


a rumour that the Chancellor could be rather more is pathetic in his


budget in two weeks' time. Thank you.


A privately run home in Cornwall that provides care for adults


with learning and physical disabilities is being investigated


after allegations were made about the care being provided.


Bowden Derra Park near Launceston currently has 70


Cornwall council says no-one is at immediate risk of any harm.


As you can see behind me, this is a sprawling estate. At the top you can


couple of the properties. It is in those properties where they care for


the adults who have learning and physical disabilities, some of them


also have rather complex health care needs. This morning is when we were


first alerted to a situation. A joint statement came out saying a


number of allegations had been made about the care being received. They


have suspended all placements to the home whilst those allegations are


currently investigated. What we have also know is that yesterday the Care


Quality Commission sent in a team of inspectors. We don't know their


findings, but we do know that when they last came in in March 2016 they


rated it of overall a good standard. All sides have met today to discuss


the allegations which have been public rereleased will stop we know


70 adults are being currently cared for here. Just over half of those


are on council funded places. The ferry has stressed this afternoon


that the allegations have not raised concerns that anyone is at immediate


risk of harm. Some of the families who have loved ones in the home have


been in contact with their local MP to praise the on-site care. In a


statement released this evening the care home has made it clear that the


health, safety and well-being of the individuals it cares for is its top


priority. It will continue to work closely, it says, with Cornwall


Council but its focus remains to providing the same excellent care it


has done here for over 38 years. Stay with us for the animated


version of Archie the Fire dog. And later news of a


change in the weather. Well, Storm Doris has been named


but what impact will it have on the south-west when it


hit us on Thursday? I'll have all the details


later in the programme. A woman from Devon has


described a simple wooden Sally Morgan has multiple sclerosis


and hasn't been able to stand She is now able to be upright


for around an hour a day. The frame isn't universally


available on the NHS, but now academics at Plymouth University


are leading a trial to assess Our health correspondent


Jenny Walrond has more. It's a simple but sturdy frame


and for Sally Morgan it She has multiple sclerosis


and hasn't been able to stand up for Sally has been taking


part in a study run by Plymouth University, looking


at whether the standing frame is effective in helping people


improve their strength. Oh, it's revolutionised my life,


really, I would say. Obviously, when you are sedentary,


when you are sat down most of the time, all


your muscles contract. Whereas now the muscles


behind my knees and my quads in my legs, all my those types of things


have suddenly become more stretched and my upper body strength has


improved and it is freeing up The frames have been made


by a family firm for some time. They cost around ?500


but, in order to get them commissioned on the NHS,


academics must prove that they are effective in improving things


such as core strength We are hoping to find out,


firstly, to see whether this intervention is effective,


because without that kind of evidence then we are unable to often


provide this kind of equipment because we need evidence to


demonstrate to commissioners of care who purchase these kind of aides


and equipment to see whether it is relevant for people and whether it


does make a difference to their lives and whether it


is cost-effective. For Sally and her husband Matt


the change has been obvious. Her legs are less swollen,


she is now able to stand for about an hour, and finds it easier


to transition from her Well, it's been amazing for Sally -


it really has transformed her life. Dealing with MS on a day-to-day


basis was really tough for both of us, but it has


made her physically more positive, she feels she is able to do


more, much more. The trial is ongoing


and still needs more volunteers. If the results show that others


benefit as Sally has, this could become


available on the NHS. There are details about that study


on our BBC Spotlight facebook page. You don't have to be a member


of facebook to find them. Now a quick round up of some


of the other stories tonight An official site built to house


travellers at a Devon beauty Teignbridge Council wants


to build three more units at the Haldon Ridge


site near Exeter. A decision on the additional pitches


is expected in April. Plans to pedestrianise parts


of Taunton town centre have Taunton Deane Borough Council wants


to ban traffic from East Street, Hammet Street and St James Street


for an 18-month trial period. The plans are on display


at Taunton Library. People are being asked


for their views on scrapping free deckchairs for the over 60s


on Weymouth Esplanade. Weymouth and Portland Borough


Council says scrapping the free pass for those who live in the borough


would save ?5,000 a year. The deckchairs have been free


of charge for the past 30 years. The Somerset trained horse


Thistlecrack that was favourite to win this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup


will miss out due to injury. Its not all doom and gloom


at Colin Tizzrd's yard though as he does still have the second


and third favourites. It's a familiar part of student


life, but now communal living is becoming increasingly popular


among older people. It's known as co-housing


and involves residents living in smaller properties and sharing


a kitchen, dining area The idea may help to ease the


growing pressure on housing and could be rolled out across the


south-west. A number of sites have already been earmarked. Our reporter


has been to one scheme in Dorset to see how it works.


They live side-by-side but they are not students.


They get on well but some have only just met.


They eat together but this is not a house


There are 14 separate homes here at the


But when it comes to gardening and cooking


They have one central kitchen and dining


For them it is a greener way of living, a


And they are therefore each other if they need support.


Actually, what this was very important for me was


that my son stopped worrying about me,


because he knew there were lots


of people around who would look out for me.


It's sending a message, really, to other people that these things


can be done and sustainability is not


just about the green aspects and the environment, it's about people


living together within a sustainable community.


Co-housing is a microcosm of humanity.


You have exactly the same issues that any group of people


have, it's just that it's an intentional community,


so we intend to make the effort to get on with


each other and do things together and enjoy life together.


According to the most recent figures, there


are 7 million single person houses have sold in the UK.


And we although about the shortage in housing


Well, here in Bridport, 40 miles away from the Threshold Centre, one


local group are hoping another co-housing scheme can help to


The co-housing movement started in Denmark in the 1960s.


It is now growing in popularity with other schemes near


In Bridport, they are now confident work will begin here in the spring.


We are looking at the sort of lives we want to live in the future and


the constraints we may face on our lives in the future, and I think


that co-housing will answer many of them


because it is flexible and


people can have as little or as much company as they need.


I suppose a real hermit would need somewhere


else, you know, they wouldn't like it.


But for most people there are benefits.


Particularly single parents, there is a distinctive benefit.


The town is very supportive of us, the sort of people that live


here, a lot of people are interested in what we are doing and interested


The first residents will be moving in to the Bridport co-housing scheme


For now, at the Threshold Centre, there are chores to be done.


Now they're man's best friend and we must admit


We were more than a little pleased to see these


dogs with jobs arrive at our studios this morning.


Devon and Cornwall Police's Cosmic and Tara, accompanied


by their handlers and volunteer puppy walker were here


for an interview with Radio Devon's David Fitzgerald.


But they're not the only dogs with an important


You may remember Archie from the Cornwall Fire


and Rescue Service, who appeared on Spotlight last year.


Well, now he has a starring role in his very own animation.


Reporting for duty and ready for the next shout, Archie the fire


dog and his canine colleague Woody have become rather animated.


And my name is Woody and I'm learning to become a


He is not quite three years old and he's part


Archie's role is to assist us in determining potentially the


causes of fires and looking for ignitable liquids or hydrocarbons


stranger to the spotlight. or develop that fire Archie is no


He has already been on our red sofa and is


He's also got an important job to do.


Get ready, Archie - the alarm is ringing!


Archie and Woody's fire investigation adventure shows


everything from the paw protectors going on to Archie arriving at the


We wait for the firefighters to put out the fire.


Now we sniff the whole room, searching for any of the scents we


So what we are going to do is test Archie and see if he can


Now, Mark, what have you put on this?


It's methylated spirits that is on that


stick, which is one of the hydrocarbons that


Now I'm going to hide it under this door frame.


How long do you think it will take him to find it?


Well, with a bit of direction from myself, he is purely


looking on scent, 20 to 30 seconds, maximum.


Archie's skill or mose in helping to find the


possible causes of fires has given the animators plenty to work with.


Since the release of the film in the early part of last week,


we've had several thousand people viewing it already, and we've had


some really positive feedback from all over


the country and all over the world, actually.


And they think it's a great adventure.


But there are some serious safety messages in the film.


Always remember, if a fire does start - get out,


And what about after a hard day's work?


And we'd like to hear from you if you have a dog with a job.


Whether it's a hearing dog, service dog, guide dog or herding dog,


if you rely on your dog day-to-day, why not tell us your story.


There are the usual ways to get in touch.


Let's see what the weather is doing across the south-west.


As long as they're an know whether dogs! We have had a lot of fog


across the south-west. We've had low cloud, mist, generally fairly murky


conditions, but I think tomorrow we should see the breeze pick-up and


that could lift the cloud in places. A largely great, damp day. You can


see we have a fair amount of cloud across much of the UK. We haven't


had much in a way of sunshine. It is all tied in with this weather front.


We are on the southern side of it so we have fairly warm, moist air but


it leaves us with fog. Tomorrow the breeze or pick-up, it could shift


the cloud in places but we will see a largely overcast today. On


Thursday we have Storm Doris, the greatest impact is further north but


we will see gusts of 40 to 50 mph. Acquired today on Friday, light


winds and a little more in the way of sunshine. There's been a lot of


cloud today. You can see we've had light rain and drizzle two. Earlier


today one of our went to the North coast of Cornwall. The breeze is


dropping receives an little but you can see the extent of the cloud,


it's solid, it's low. Poor visibility, low cloud. Many of us


have not seen the sun today. That will continue through tonight. Out


there tonight there is a lot of cloud, tonight there will be light


rain and drizzle. The breeze picks up but they're still could BC and


hill fog. Temperatures by night what you would expect by day, falling to


around eight or 9 degrees. That means tomorrow has a similar start.


Low cloud, rain. Rain is light and patchy but could turn heavier over


them higher ground. The breeze could pick up lifting the cloud but I


think you will be fairly lucky if you see the sun. Temperatures still


doing very well for the time of year, most places making it into


double figures. One or two spots could hit 11 or 12 degrees. For the


Isles of Scilly there will be a lot of cloud, mainly dry, but extensive


mist and fog, and the wind is picking up in the afternoon and


overnight. Here are the times of high water. Roughly three in the


morning and afternoon. In terms of service, we have slightly bigger


waves towards the north coast, down towards the south we have three to


five foot and messy. A breezy day tomorrow, rains from West to


south-west. There will be rain and drizzle on and off through the


course of the day, visibility moderate or good occasionally poor.


Tomorrow is a mild day, very little difference between today and


tomorrow. If anything we will see a little more breeze. Thursday we will


see a spell of rain early on clearing by lunchtime and while many


of us will see sunshine, from lunchtime onwards we will get the


in the warning area but we could see in the warning area but we could see


some strong winds. In Devon and Cornwall we could see gusts of 40 to


50 mph. A slightly cooler at night Thursday into Friday. And we should


then see more in a way of sunshine on Friday but it will be cooler. It


turns milder through the weekend. Wind is picking up on Saturday, a


lot of cloud with some fairly heavy downpours.


A reminder of the top story. Major incident has been declared after a


fire broke out in the leisure centre in central Exeter. One person


received minor burns. We will have the latest on tonight's late news.


That is all for tonight from us. Good night.


Nawal El Saadawi, the world-renowned Egyptian author


A fearless feminist facing a world in turmoil.


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