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Good evening. for the news where you are.
There were angry protests in Somerset today as councillors
gathered to set the biggest council tax rises for more than a decade.
Services will be cut and jobs will go.
But bills will still rise by four per cent, that's more than double
the rate of inflation. Paul Barltrop reports.
It is a time for difficult decisions. This morning in Somerset,
that power had arrived. Anyone sitting in his position would have
to make the same tough decisions. The devil is in the detail.
Controversy over ?80 million of cuts to spending. And outside, from
unions and service users, worried about what is happening. We have
service users really suffering and start making impossible choices
about how to do their job to keep our services and communities safe.
The situation is quite poor and the situation we have with the budget is
there is no indication of the detail as to any of the cats falling. The
people that need our care, the children, the adults, it is balance.
It's something for everyone, it's not perfect, we had six years where
we were able to freeze council tax, we are proud of that, we did
something for the whole of Somerset but it's getting more difficult
going forward. No bailout is expected. So cuts, including the
loss of 120 jobs, will go ahead. Our political editor is with me. I
suspect this is the first of many unpopular council tax rises this
year. It's a time of year when all council said their budgets, over the
next fortnight all of the top authorities across the south-west
will be doing just that. Tomorrow, Devon and Dorset County Council 's
will be finalising their budgets, they are aiming to increase council
tax by 4.99%, 1% more than we are looking at from Somerset today. What
is the government perspective on this? It's not that many years ago
when the Conservative lead coalition government was ordering, pleading,
bribing councils to do anything to stop increasing castle tax. Now it
seems to have gone out of the window and the government is allowing
councils to increase council tax by more than the previously could
without triggering a referendum, asking everybody whether they wanted
their bills to go up, that's mainly to counter the rising cost and
social care so councils can increase an extra 3% to pay for social care.
That isn't solving the problem and there is also a lot of unhappiness
across the south-west and elsewhere, in several parts of the country, the
government is in providing enough money from its side to fund the
services and next Wednesday the government will have a final vote on
that particular issue that it's safe to say they are given to the rumble
on. Staying with cuts and in Torbay
tonight, controversial cuts in bus Local Link is cutting 17 routes
because of increasing costs. The company says part of the problem
is a drop in the amount it gets for providing free
travel for pensioners. Torbay council is trying to find
a new operator to see if anyone can Charities in Cornwall say they're
seeing a steady rise in the number of people contacting them
with money problems. Men are said to be
particularly vulnerable. A police sergeant broke down today
as he told a court that the death of a 32 year old man in his custody
in Exeter was the "worst nightmare". Caretaker Thomas Orchard
was restrained at Heavitree Road Police Station and died
from a heart attack. The judge told the jury this was a
significant moment in this trial, the persecution case was over, now
it was the turn of the defence. The Sergeant probe down in the witness
box as he told the jury doesn't about his realisation of the
seriousness of what happened. He said, our death is the worst thing
that can happen commits the worst thing that can happen to him but
also to me, is. Here's a custody Sergeant for eight and a half years
at the time of the incident. As Thomas Orchard arrived, he was
described as an angry men who needed to calm down. He said he shouted
words to the effect, I'm going to bite your face off, and a number of
occasions. The Sergeant described that as unusual which made it stick
in his mind. Mr Orchard, who had been arrested for a public order
offence in Exeter city centre, of mental health issues but they were
not flagged up on the police computer. Built was held around the
space for five minutes to prevent him biting. The Sergeant told the
jury he had seen the belt used this way on around 50 previous occasions,
it was a method of restraint he had been trained in. He also denied
knowing Mr Orchard was in trouble. "I Thought he was asleep. I would
never leave an unconscious person in a cell. " The Sergeant said that he
would have stopped the use of the emergency response felt Eddie felt
it wasn't needed and had he seen there were only four offices lifting
him even stopped that and told to find another so that one could
specifically look after his head. The jury was also told of Devon and
Cornwall police has been investigated for corporate
manslaughter in this case and it has also been an investigation into the
health and safety, those investigations are substantially
complete and decision made on what happens next is due in the next few
weeks. Trial resumes tomorrow. Devon has been highlighted for its
work in helping young offenders. But the right support can help cut
re-offending as Lee Madan reports. In any month, with the 17th come...
Between the 13th and 19th. Gulliver has been working with speech and
language therapist for just three months but says his life it has
already been turned around. He spent his childhood feeling out of place
but didn't know why. I did feel isolated and I started mixing with
the wrong crowd, using cannabis to fit in with people, and I definitely
offending. Gulliver has now realised offending. Gulliver has now realised
the first time that he isn't stupid or bad, he just has problems with
memory which he now manages. I count down from ten, take deep breaths,
even having long conversations with people, I will write down notes in
my notebook. Techniques like these have helped him avoid getting into
difficult confrontations and also means he gets better with others,
can hold down a job and make nicer friends, all important factors that
make it less likely he will commit crime. It's one of the scourges of
this century and I just wish that all councils think this through,
this business of lack of communication was the cornerstone of
all their problems and the cornerstone therefore of improving
their prospects. Most councils in the greater south-west region told
me they want to run a full-time service for young offenders but are
struggling with limited budgets and a lack of funding. Gulliver's
message to them is clear. Spending money on speech therapy works and
it's the reason he is confident he would reoffend.
There'll be no Royal Navy Air Day at Culdrose this year.
In a statement the base says it wants to focus on its military role
It says it also has a duty to look after taxpayers' money.
It's a chilly night, what is the weather?
Turning a bit chilly because we have clear skies overhead but we did have
a nice day, some sunshine around and this cheerful chap looks like he is
enjoying himself and I think he will approve of tomorrow's weather. We
have missed and fork initially but that should clear and we should see
some sunshine. As we had through Friday on the weekend, weather
fronts trying to push in, that complicates matters, throwing in
more cloud, and we may see a bit of rain at times. But I suspect not too
much. This evening and tonight, one or two showers but generally dry,
starry skies overhead and the risk of mist and fog forming. Maybe a
touch of Frost for some cold spots, a bit of a cold start the things
tomorrow and we do have dismissed and fog around which could be slow
to clear, perhaps not clearing until mid to late morning but in general,
some nice weather. Some decent spot for sunshine, light winds, staying
dry and mild. Luckily, we could see the teams. Mild the time of year.
Some early mist and fog comes to lift, some sunshine but you can see
the cloud thickening. Again, and while they and we hang onto this
mild theme over the next few days. Some problems with mist and fog,
light winds, hopefully feeling nice the weekend. Wouldn't promise you
two dry days but you never know, here is Nick with the national
picture. Hello. We put that cold weekend well
behind us now. Temperatures edging upwards and our weather watchers are
seeing plenty of signs of spring. Spending more time looking down than
looking up at the skies, we see these early blooms. They are set to
continue as we are set to stay mild for several more days to come.