16/02/2017 Spotlight


16/02/2017

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


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Hello, good evening. his administration.

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Councillors in Devon and Dorset have tonight become the latest to approve

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It follows Somerset council's decision to increase bills

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The other local authorities in our region are expected

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to make similar increases within the next few weeks.

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More from our political reporter, Anna Varle.

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Many of us have seen small increases in council tax over the last few

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years to pay for things like bin collections,

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highways, street and fire, but this year you might notice

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a change in your bill because of social care.

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Let's go into the kitchen, make you a cup of tea.

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A task many of us take for granted but

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Joyce has just returned home from hospital and needs help to get back

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This support has a cost, which is why local

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authorities are looking at charging council taxpayers more.

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Once you've had carers in, if you don't know

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fancy putting their council tax up, but when you know the things that

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you do and the money goes towards, you don't mind so much.

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Protests took place in Somerset yesterday as

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councillors set the biggest rise in more

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than a decade and today it was

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Today Devon County Council decided to increase

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2% of that will go on bins, police, fire, 3% will

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go on social care for the likes of Joyce.

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Those in a band D property will pay around ?60 more a year.

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We have to put in a large amount of money to look after people.

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It's going through, ?19 million, ?2 million for children's services.

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Similar increases are expected across the rest of the region in the

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I think largely people can afford it and social care

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service which is the point of

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need, social care which is means tested.

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I haven't any objection to them putting our council tax up.

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We will find the money and I believe it

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But despite the rise in council tax, local authorities

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like Devon are still having to make ?23 million in cuts to social

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Our political editor is with us. These latest rises more evidence of

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the strain on local councils? Yes, that strain would go away, even

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with these rises and millions of pounds of cuts. A big gripe as

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always is the amount of grant that central government is paying to

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local councils. Just before Christmas when the provisional

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settlement was announced, as in previous years, there was a lot of

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criticism from MPs and councils in rural areas like ours saying the

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amount the government was offering was unfair and simply not

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sufficient to meet their needs. We are in a slightly strange situation

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this year where most of the main councils in the region set their

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budgets before they hear what the final offer from the government will

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be because it has to be announced and voted on in Westminster next

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week so we are in a situation where if the government comes out with a

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lot more money next week these budgets will be set and the Council

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bills will be set and I gather the government is getting the blame for

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that as well because it is so late because of all the Brexit

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negotiations and the councils have to get their budgets set by law by

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the beginning of March. If the government doesn't come up

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with any more money, are there any obvious options for local councils?

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This is worsening situation and it tends to hit smaller councils

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of Scilly at the moment is battling of Scilly at the moment is battling

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big black holes its budget. Small rural District Council is really

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tend to suffer with all of this as well. Looking around the country a

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number of rural counties including Dorset here in the south-west are

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looking at following Cornwall and abolishing district councils and

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unitary is as well -- instead. If Dorsey gets the go-ahead if you look

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at the whole of the South West from Gloucestershire done Medvedev

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announced Somerset would only -- be the only authority is sticking to

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the traditional structure. Devon and Somerset might then come under

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pressure to do the same thing for financial reasons. Thank you.

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Meanwhile the Isles of Scilly Council is having

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to decide how much money to save after a major overspend.

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Although the islands are just off Cornwall they're independent

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from Cornwall Council and are responsible

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for their own finances, as Nick Quraishi explains.

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It describes itself as the smallest unitary authority in England, with

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the biggest bream it. In charge of a school, an airport, a residential

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care home and water supplies. Set up in 1890 the Council for Scilly

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provides services for 2300 islanders with 21 councillors and two more --

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117 full-time employees so it is the island 's largest employer. Its

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because it overspent. The council 's because it overspent. The council 's

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general reserve fund, or savings account, stands at ?500,000, half of

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what was expected. This coming year money will be cut from budgets, with

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potential for more. Among the biggest savings is ?200,000 for

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making waste disposal more efficient. Almost 50,000 imposing

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fortnightly winter bin collections and scaling down on street sweeping.

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It will drop the money it pays to the tourist information centre and

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take ?5,000 from a health scheme that led a counsellor to walk out of

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a recent meeting. The final budget for last year will be set on the 7th

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of March. A controversial car park pay machine

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has been replaced at a location used in the Poldark TV series

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in Cornwall, after the original was deliberately pulled

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out of the ground. There are calls for the National

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Trust not to enforce parking charges at Levant Mine because it's the site

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of one of the area's worst mining disasters,

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as Hannah Stacey reports. The underground workings of Levant

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mine extend more than a mile Generations of men sought copper

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and tin here but the Levant mine disaster in October 1919 was one

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of the biggest losses of life 31 men were killed when the device

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to carry them down the shaft failed. Scenes from the first series

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of Poldark were filmed here. For now, they have enough copper

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to cope and come the next auction... We will see they come

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away empty-handed. There has been a 50%

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increase in visitor That means the footfall

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has increased here. 70% of those people don't go

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into the site itself but walk in the local landscape

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which we also look after. So that increases the maintenance

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liability and we have an conservation work we need to do

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to keep the space special. So to pay for it they have put

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in a parking machine, It will cost us money to replace us,

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it has already cost us money to replace and that is money

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we could have used for conservation work, so it is sad there has

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been that vandalism. Opponents say they don't

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condone the vandalism but still want to get this machine

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moved legally and permanently. They make a point about protecting

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the environment but I would hardly call sticking that parking meter

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here protecting the environment, and how did they manage

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for all these decades I suppose it's people like us that

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are attracted to this place because of Poldark and we have

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to pay for the upkeep of it. My grandfather was Tom Rowe

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and he died in the Levant mine disaster but I still think

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the National Trust need to charge to park here because it's becoming

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increasingly popular with Poldark. They need money to maintain

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the roads and the access in and out. With the 100th anniversary

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of the Levant mine disaster approaching, the National Trust says

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descendents of the men killed will still be able to come

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here and park for free. Now with the weather forecast, here

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is Holly. Thank you. We had a very nice day

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today in many respects and that led to a nice evening and I have been

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spoilt for choice with my lovely photos that have been coming in.

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This one is viewed earlier on today. Tomorrow it will unfortunately be

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cloudier and we have the risk of showery rain later as well. High

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pressure has been in charge and it stays in charge in the coming days

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but weather fronts will try to push in. They weaken but bring more cloud

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than perhaps a bit of rain, I suspect mostly dry over the coming

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days. This evening and overnight then we might see mist and fog

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patches and low cloud rolling in. If we get clear spells a touch of frost

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is possible but most of us will be generally frost free tomorrow. Early

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mist and fog and quite a lot of cloud spilling in which we'll cope

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to the moors as well. Hill fog around. Later today the risk of

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showery rain but not too much and a brisk wind to the West. Temperatures

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will get into double figures. Cloudy in the coming days and it is dry.

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Where you get some sunshine it should feel reasonably nice.

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Thank you. That is all from us. Our next update is just before 6:30am.

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From us, good night. of 11. Not too bad for the

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forthcoming weekend. Here is Nick Miller with a resume of the National

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weather picture. Hello, rain for some of us today

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although it won't make much of

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