23/12/2016 Spotlight


23/12/2016

The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South West of England.


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The future of helicopter manufacturing in Somerset could be

:00:12.:00:15.

put at risk by a plan to move vital machinery to Poland,

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according to the former liberal Democrat Leader Lord Ashdown.

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His claims comes as aerospace company GKN closes its site this

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month - with the loss of more than 200 jobs.

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In a matter of days, this factory will close.

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The company GKN saying it's simply no longer viable.

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But it is what happens to the manufacturing

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equipment inside there which is now at the centre of a political storm,

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with the former Liberal Democrat leader arguing that if it's shipped

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to Poland, and that is one option, then it could signal the

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beginning of the end for helicopter manufacturing here in Somerset.

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GKN make airframes for the Royal Navy's

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new Wildcat helicopter under license to Leonardo Helicopters next door.

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When Leonardo, formerly Augusta Westland, decided to take

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that work back in-house, that effectively

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Now the company is considering moving the

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manufacturing kit to a factory it ends in Poland.

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Lord Ashdown says the government could and

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Not least because the kit is actually owned by the Ministry

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I think we are in danger of undermining the long-term viability

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of the Yeovil site, which has served the nation for 100 years,

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in being able to make our own aircraft, in this case helicopters.

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But Lord Ashdown has been accused of exaggerating the threat.

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The local Conservative MP says he too is

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lobbying the company to keep the manufacturing kit in the UK.

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He says no final decision's been made.

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But it's the government's job to tell

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It is worth remembering also that unless there

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are Wildcat borders, then there is no Wildcat

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And what the government has been working

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really hard on is working with the company to help garner

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those export orders in all different parts of the

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So far, the company has refused to comment.

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Now, there are rumours it may enacting a new

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foreign order for the Wildcat in January.

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If that is true, where the airframes will be made clearly is

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A Devon mother who has stage four breast cancer says she's overwhelmed

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by the kindness of people who have raised money to help fund private

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Kim Jenkins from Christow hopes it will put her cancer

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Kim Jenkin's daughter was just three months old when she learned she had

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It is a rare and aggressive form that can have a high

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And it has come back and spread into her spine and ribs.

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Having run out of options for NHS treatment, they learned

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of pioneering work in Germany which could help, but at

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Friends, family and complete strangers have come to their aid.

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Over two thirds of the money has been raised, enabling Kim

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You kind of have to try and get used to it,

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but you feel overwhelmed a lot, really.

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And obviously walking around the village knowing that everyone

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It has just given me hope, really, that we can do this.

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It was great to get over to Germany as quickly as we did do as well.

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And early signs are that the treatment is working.

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In the heart of the village, you can see the support

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the family are getting from the local community.

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It's really important for us to raise money for people

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within the community and Kim has got quite a drastic need,

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so we decided the pub is the perfect place to raise money.

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I would just like to say a really massive thank you to everyone that

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has helped support us and raise money for us and all of the really

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And now a round up of some of the other stories

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Bird flu has been found in a dead wild bird in Somerset.

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It was found in a Wigeon, and is the same strain

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found at a poultry farm in Lincolnshire last week.

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Public Health England says the risk to public health

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Local authorities in the South West are getting 20 million pounds

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to tackle the problems caused by second home ownership.

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The government says holiday homes stop first time buyers getting

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on the property ladder, but Labour says the money

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A 28-year-old former bar worker from Cornwall has won Germany's

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Angel Flukes from Saltash won Supertalent 2016,

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On to sport, and there's a big head-to-head contest on Boxing Day

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between Somerset based horses Cue Card and Thistlecrack.

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Trainer Colin Tizzard has entered them both into the King George

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Cue Card is hoping to complete the second part of a big-race treble

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But stable-mate Thistlecrack could jeopardise those chances.

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We have to treat both horses as individuals.

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People bring in the ?1 million bonus and we might be the

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people that take that opportunity with Thistlecrack,

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with individual separate owners and they have to be treated fairly.

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Now for a look at the weather over Christmas.

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The weather is making news across the

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But for us, I think the weather is going

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It is quite windy at times this Christmas.

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Generally feeling mild, and there will be a few showers around.

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This was the rain that we saw earlier today.

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There were some quite heavy bursts of rain.

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That's now gone, and what is left behind is

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Another area of low pressure arriving in the same sort of track

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up towards Iceland during the course of the Christmas weekend.

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We will see the winds fresh and again on

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Christmas Day, and this weather front perhaps producing some

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Until then, I think for much of the next 24 hours,

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As I mentioned, a few showers overnight tonight.

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In between, though, some clear skies and

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temperatures between three and six degrees.

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Tomorrow, Christmas eve, there will be a few showers.

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Generally bright and dry with some sunshine.

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Ten, maybe 11 degrees the maximum temperature.

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More cloud through the evening giving some

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A few spots of rain or drizzle and not

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much chance of seeing any brightness.

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But at least it remains generally mild right

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Into next week, it is colder for Boxing Day

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Wild and wet Christmas ahead us. That's it from us, our next bulletin

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just after finally tried, from all of us have a great evening.

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big day? Christmas Day. It will stay mild and temperatures could reach

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14, 15. He is down bet that the national

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