07/03/2017 Spotlight


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Welcome to Spotlight: Tonight, one man's campaign to change


Jamie Pogson says he's paid thousands in rent and wants


that taken into account by mortgage lenders.


Also tonight, calls to scrap fines for parents who take their children


The numbers have dropped dramatically in parts of


How forensic experts helped this blind writer


recover her missing manuscript, now there's a race against time


And the mysterious theft of a pound note and its Caribbean connection.


A petition which was started by a Devon dad campaigning


for a new law on how mortgages are approved could now be


Self-employed roofer Jamie Pogson wants mortgage lenders to make


payment of rent count as proof an individual can meet


Tonight his online petition has almost one hundred and forty


Spotlight's John Henderson has been to meet him.


The kitchen. Even a toy one is the heart of any home, but getting on


the property ladder is frighteningly expensive. After ten years, Jamie


Toingson is a fully paid up member of generation rent. I've averaged it


out, it's about ?450 a month, because I've been in smaller and


bigger houses, but averaging it out, ?450 a month, it's working out the


?80,000 region so it's a lot to throw away, I could be half way to


owning my own house by now. Soon Jamie's quest for home ownership


will come here to the House of Commons. The Plymouth roofer started


this petition, making paying rent enough proof that you're able to


meet mortgage payments. It's received over 130,000 signatures,


meaning it will have to be debated by MPs. If the law does change, a


lot of people will be able to obtain mortgages easier. People pay their


rent on time all the time but can't get accepted for mortgages. Whether


the debate will actually change anything is a mute point. Banks and


building societies tightened up mortgage applications after the


financial crash of 2008. In a statement, the Council of Mortgage


Lenders said that while regular payment of rent may be a helpful


indicator, it cannot be used in isolation of a lending risk


assessment. Other factors include the deposit, lending risk,


reliability of income and credit records. Given the average house


price in the UK is over ?200,000, some say that cautious approach is


on the money. Nobody has a right to be given a mortgage. You may have a


basis upon which to complain about the reasons you were refused but you


are not enforcing a right by groaning about the fact that you


weren't lent money. For now, Jamie will have to sit it out in his


Rennesed home, paying ?725 a month. -- in his rented home.


Its finances have been described as precarious and now the Isles


of Scilly Council has agreed drastic measures to tackle the shortfall.


At a meeting today ?600,000 of savings were outlined


as the scale of the financial problems were revealed.


It's prompted the MP for the islands to call for more Government support.


Sown sillors arriving at the chapel due to be sold to the unitary


authority to save ?20,000. A drop in the ocean given the state of the


council finances. In January, it emerged that a ?3 million loan was


needed to maintain key service until the end of the financial year. This


is a small local authority with a large responsibility. It has to


deliver a range of services to the 2000 or more people that live here


on the islands. It had to get a handle on its finances. At this


morning's council meeting, it seems to have achieved that on paper at


least. The council's chief finance officer phoning in the budget report


because he was unable to get across from the mainland due to the


weather. Councillors would deliver a budget


which sought to repair the depleted reserves back above the ?1 million


mark. The budget for next year will still carry with it a deficit


they've yet to plug. Most councillors or councils in the


country will be chomping at the bit to get a ?309,000 deficit gone. This


is what we've got to do, decisions have to be made and sadly we are the


ones who've got to decide. I don't think any councils, for any of them,


this is a good time to be a councillor. With responsibility for


an airport, water supplies, care home and school, funding is always


going to be tight. Council taxes were raised today by just under 5%.


But with such a small population, that'll only raise so much.


I hope it's not going to be like St Killeder in 1930 where they deported


all the people back to the mainland. I don't think that'll happen, but


there's no doubt in my mind, they have to find the solution. The size


we are now, we cannot run on the same formula as many councils on the


mainland and the Government have to recognise this. Could another local


authority one day step in and take over? There is no will or indication


that Cornwall will or anybody else will be taking over the isles of


silly, it would be fatal for the island's future. The finance officer


referred to this as being on a tightrope which will need to be


managed carefully. The jury has begun its deliberations


in the trial of three Devon and Cornwall Police staff accused


of the manslaughter of a man Thomas Orchard died


after losing consciousness at Heavitree Road Police


station in 2012. The three officers


deny manslaughter. The judge told the jury there is no


time pressure and they must decide unanimously on their decision.


Environmental campaigners in Cornwall are celebrating


what they're calling a historic victory.


It follows the decision from the Marine Management Organisation


to announce a new disposal site off Plymouth for silt that's been


Over the years ships have taken millions of tonnes of contaminated


silt out to sea to a disposal site off Whitsand Bay but the next load


will go to a new site south of the Plymouth Breakwater


as Our Environment Correspondent, Adrian Campbell reports.


Congratulations. Well done... Today was a happy day for environmental


campaigners who've been working to stop the disposal of huge quantities


of contaminated silt close to a marine conservation point in


Whitsand bay. It's be a local community-run campaign, it started


in the last millennium and today's a great day because we always set out


to try to get the dumping stopped and that's what's been happening


now, with the designation of a new dump site. If it has to go in the


water, surely taking it further out is the better of the two options.


The campaign to move disposal away from the bay began decades ago when


a former police dive became concerned about cloudy silt found in


the water. Silt travels long distances and causes environmental


concerns. We've collected some silt from the river. When you put it in


water, you can see how it plumes quite quickly, carrying with it


potentially contaminants such as zinc, mercury and led.


The new disposal site will be in deeper water further out to sea


beyond the Plymouth breakwater. But, it's in an area where in-shore


fishermen say there are important fishing stocks. It's good, it's


going to affect the stock of fish and perhaps you should think about


dumping it elsewhere. Where would there a good place to put it? I'm


not sure. Maybe perhaps think about land fill, you know, can't go


dumping it on healthy fishing grounds. Researchers at Plymouth


marine laboratory had been concerned about sensitive monitoring equipment


on this buoy close to the new disposal site. But they say the


Marine Management Organisation has listened to their concerns. The


position of the proposed dumping site was much more in the middle of


this box and, as a result of that, the position has been shifted to the


north-west corner of the box. The Marine Management Organisation says


it believes it's found the best alternative disposal site for


dredged material. There are calls today to scrap


the system of fining parents who take their children out


of school in term time. The number of penalty notices issued


for truancy in Devon and Dorset has dropped from thousands to hundreds


in the last year as an ongoing court battle leaves parents


and councils in limbo. But as Anna Varle reports there's


still huge confusion over In many places, if you take your


child out of school for a holiday somewhere like this for example, you


could be fined ?60, or face court. But that's changed here in Devon and


Dorset. Mike and Karen were lucky. When they


took their children out of class to put them into a German school for


two weeks, they were fined. But they refused to pay. It wasn't going to


harm my children's education to miss that fortnight, they were going to


be in full-time education, I very carefully thought about the time of


year when it was and I fully felt that they refused my children that


experience which was very, very valuable. However, their case was


dropped when Devon County Council suspended its policy over penalty


notices while the Supreme Court rules on John Plat's case. It


started while Isle of Wight council took John to court after he refused


to pay a fine for taking his daughter out of school. When they


lost at the Magistrates Court and High Court they announced publicly


they were not going to take this any further and the Department for


Education weighed in with a bucket load of taxpayers' money. The Bill


when this is all over is going to be hundreds of thousands of pounds


potentially. Devon, Plymouth and Dorset issued over 2500 notices last


academic year. This fell to just 115,000 in the autumn term. All of


those were for truancy. Cornwall has relaxed its rules, parents will only


be fined if their child's attendance record is poor. But the Department


for Education remains firm. It says: Missing school with affect grades.


If we win our case, the rules will stay the same.


Others say it's time for change. - Rnlingts I'd get rid of the


penalty notices and that system all together. I would continue to


encourage schools to work on improving attendance and minimising


absence rates, but within that whole context of being aware that


sometimes an absence from school might be a real rich educational


experience or something that's really important for the child.


Local authorities continue to clamp down on truancy. Many have stopped


handing out fines for term time holidays with Somerset the comelion.


If John Plat loses his case, it can only be a matter of time before the


Breaking aviation records in this day and age is no mean feat,


after all most things have been done before.


But this crew from Air India have just become the first all-female


Closer to home Exeter-based airline Flybe says it's trying


to increase its number of female pilots and engineers,


Ahead of International Women's Day tomorrow, Chloe Axford has been


talking to Flybe's new female chief executive about how to do it.


If you want to do it, I'm sure you'll do it very well. You have the


uniform... Now she's the boss. Fly b's now executive began her career


as an aviation engineer before working her way up. Today, she's


meeting pupils from nearby Cranbrook High, keen to coax more girls into


this predominantly male profession. We are supporting diversity in the


workforce to create a better environment. Today 41 of the


workforce are female. We are still only 10% of female pilots, of female


engineers, and we are trying to do everything to push that further.


Charlotte grew up in Exmouth and recently completed an apprenticeship


with Flybe. I've always been mechanically minded and from a young


age working on some sort of machinery or ennies or anything,


it's been a passion of mine and that's what I've wanted to do so I


thought why not start big and work on planes. There was a time when


women in aviation industries could only hope to be cabin crew. That's


now changing. Emma and Charlotte are some of the women here working at


this hangar in Exeter. They are still a minority, but the company


says they are hoping to change that. These are some of the current


engineering apprentices. There are currently seven girls out of 109 on


the four-year course. Has today's visit inspired tomorrow's workers? I


found it really interesting and exciting and I think that when I'm


older, being a pilot would be something I would like to look at.


There are now more job opportunities for women. Tomorrow to mark


international women's day, Flybe is flying the flag.


A Dorset woman who is blind and has terminal cancer


is about to realise her dream of having her own novel published.


Trish Vickers started hand-writing her book


after she lost her sight 11-years ago, but didn't know that 26


of the pages were blank because her pen had run out of ink.


Thanks to forensic experts her story was saved.


The book is about as big as that and it looks amazing. It's the book she


always wanted to write. She lost her sight 11 years ago through diabetes.


The writing gave her an outlet so she put pen to paper literally.


She'd been in such disarray with her life into this darkness, her husband


left her et cetera and she lived alone. It was escapism. It was


another world for her to live in where she could do what she wanted


to do. The legacy was hand written. She used elastic bands around a clip


board to keep the word straight. But she didn't know the ink ran out, so


when her son read it back to her, 26 pages were blank. The Dorset Police


came to their rescue. Forensic experts used their skills to


rediscover the words. Local publishing firm Magic Oxygen have


stepped in to produce the book quickly. Trish's health has taken a


turn for the worse, she has terminal cancer. We realised there was


something very necessary in publishing Trish's book because we


heard straightaway she was diagnosed with a terminal disease and wanted


her book which was as far as she was concerned, finished. The book is


110,000 words long and should be ready by this weekend, turning


Trish's deem into a reality. The rumours surrounding Plymouth


Argyle's floodlit kit in a moment. The foraging season has officially


begun. Learning what you can and can't eat, well, that's the hard


bit. Over the next few days, some of this warmth over Spain and Portugal


will head up towards us but it picks up moisture. More problems with mist


and fog over the next few days. Tonight at Home Park Plymouth Argyle


play what should be their last game of the season under floodlights


and there's speculation they may not wear their


traditional dark green kit. Apparently the players struggle


to pick each other out against the dark back drop


and so a change to white BBC Radio Devon's Alan Richardson


is getting ready to commentate on the game and we can join him now


live. Alan, what is the verdict, what are


they going to wear? Well, the verdict is they are going to change


kits and wear that all-white kit. They are allowed to change once a


season for home games and they've taken this option in what is their


final midweek home game of the season. Why is the green kit a


problem just this season? I think it's just that little bit darker.


It's a really smart kit, the players have difficulty picking each other


out, particularly on the gloomy nights. The floodlights on this


stand, the one that will be pulled down, are not as good as the other


ones. It combines together, the dark green of the kit, the green of the


grass and the green of the seats as well. Sometimes passes go astray


because they are not able to be picked out. Things didn't go so well


last week, did they? No, they didn't. I don't think you can really


blame that on the kit on this occasion. It was a mix-up by the


goalkeeper really who didn't manage to deal with the situation when the


ball came back to him with pace and it ended up in the back of the net.


They can ill-afford those mistakes against Blackpool tonight. Is there


a chance the green kit would be dropped permanently because there


would be outrage wouldn't there if the club didn't play in green? I'm


sure there would be outrage. Derek batted off into the long grass when


I asked that question. They'll look at the kit for next season. It's a


money-spinner, the replica. They may look at a whiter kit or an all-white


kit but I'm sure it will be mostly green from here on forward.


Commentary starts at 7. 30. Thank you very much.


As the countryside comes to life again with signs of Spring it's


the perfect time to find a feast of flavours in the hedgerows.


The official foraging season has just started and one expert has been


showing some of the South West's chefs the fresh produce growing


all around us and of course the things to avoid.


Heidi Davey joined them for a expedition along


This is cress. Did you taste it when cooking earlier. For David, the huge


gardens here at the hotel provide the ultimate hunting ground. He is


showing local chefs and apprentices how to find and identify the world


food available on their own doorstep. This is edible. Not


everything is. And it was time for me to listen up and learn. There is


a lot of people will be out picking garlic. One thing that grows with


this one is usually a plant called arron. That's this one here. You


don't want to eat that one. Eat that one and it's not as strong as the


shop-bought garlic. There are some chemicals in it that don't react the


same so they don't smell. So you could go kissing after that. Now,


that is a sound we all like to hear. For the apprentices who train at the


Truro and Penwith college, it's time to watch the head chef here cook up


our dinner with the freshly picked wild garlic. This is the first time


I went through with someone explaining how to pick the leaves


and what leaves are good. Is it the first time you've foraged? Yes, I've


never thought of doing it. Now that I've done it, it's opened my eyes to


what I cath I could put into my recipes. I come from Italy, so the


philosophy is, locally produced and forage as much as you can so it's


better. It's good to have this on your doorstep. Stays fresh on the


plate. Does anyone else want a go...


Now how about this for a mystery which involves a pound note,


Curators at a museum have been left baffled


after one of their artefacts, a 200-year-old pound note was stolen


Eleanor Parkinson has been unravelling the plot.


This pound note was issued by a Cornish bank in 1819 and it was so


rare it was placed into the safe keeping of the Padstow museum. But


it was stolen from the museum back in the 80s. Three decades on, it's


been posted back. I opened it up and out came this


note. I instantly recognised it. No letter? No letter. No indication of


who it came from. And that is not the end of the story


because the missing pound note arrived in wet and windy Padstow in


this airmail letter all the way from St Lucia in the Caribbean. So how


did it end up in St Lucia? One thing is clear, it's been carefully looked


after. It has not been torn or crumpled, which is just as well and


it's now quite valuable. It's a sort of key part of the history of


Padstow when we had a Bank of Our own and it's lovely to have it back.


Would you like to know who sent it back? Part of me, yes, of course.


I'm realliure Cowes. -- curious. I've watched too many dramas, you


sort of make up your own story. If anyone gets any ideas, it's been


conveniently placed next to an old police truncheon.


That's bizarre! Time for the weather. Let's hope that's not such


a mystery. Is it straightforward? Back to standard weather for the


south-west. Mist, drizzle and the fog. Hello, good evening. The good


news is it's milder, temperatures are on the rise. It gets a bit


warmer each day for the rest of this week. There was some sunshine this


morning. You have to go a long way east to find it. This was Dorset.


Lovely shot of the sun rise. Grey skies much further west. You can see


the surfers still having a go though. Tomorrow is more of the


same. Cloudy, overcast conditions, patchy rain but mild. Also problems


both tonight and tomorrow with a lot of low cloud. The hill fog returns,


the coastal mist comes back, so does that fine wet drizzle. You can see


the stripe of cloud that's stretching into the Atlantic. We are


just to the south of the main weather front. That means we


continue with the same sort of weather type, not just for overnight


and into the day tomorrow but pretty much the same as we move into


Thursday as well. Perhaps briefly on Friday, as we see the high pressure


try to get closer to us, there may well be a few breaks developing.


With such mild air, an hour's worth of sunshine is going to lift the


temperatures so we are expecting to see higher temperatures later on


this week. The rain's been in dribs and drabs and slow to come in today.


It's mostly affecting Cornwall. Still some holes left in the cloud


of east Somerset and Dorset. Gradually, the cloud and rain will


spill across most of the south. What will replace it is a brisk west or


south-westerly wind, mild air but also quite misty conditions. A lot


of low cloud, spits and spots of drizzle. Most of southern Britain


tomorrow is covered with cloud and the blue is where we continue to see


some outbreaks of rain. Through the night, that rain band continues its


journey towards East Anglia and London. Some dribs and drabs of rain


left behind in it. A lot of hill fog developing too. If you live high up,


it could be misty and murky. Look at the temperatures, between seven and


11, milder than it's been recently. Unfortunately, the same picture


tomorrow, not many breaks in the cloud and generally a damp day for


all of us, brisk south-west winds and temperatures are higher. We


could get to 13 tomorrow. It will feel warmer than it has been despite


all the cloud. Briefly perhaps the hint of some


brightness in the afternoon. That will be a bit limited.


Most beaches will have some sizeable waves tomorrow. Most beaches will be


messy between four and six feet. It is brighter towards the end of


the week, more especially into the weekend. At least the temperatures


are a little higher. Have a good evening. Back to you.


Thank you very much. That is all from us, don't forget there's


commentary on the Plymouth Argyle match beginning shortly over on BBC


Radio Devon and we are back with you tomorrow at 6. 30. From all of us


here, good night. I could be a boxing champ,


AND build your computer.


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