16/02/2017 Spotlight


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Hello, good evening. his administration.


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


It follows Somerset council's decision to increase bills


The other local authorities in our region are expected


to make similar increases within the next few weeks.


More from our political reporter, Anna Varle.


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


years to pay for things like bin collections,


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


a change in your bill because of social care.


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


A task many of us take for granted but


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


This support has a cost, which is why local


authorities are looking at charging council taxpayers more.


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


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


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


Protests took place in Somerset yesterday as


councillors set the biggest rise in more


than a decade and today it was


Today Devon County Council decided to increase


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


go on social care for the likes of Joyce.


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


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


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


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


I think largely people can afford it and social care


service which is the point of


need, social care which is means tested.


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


We will find the money and I believe it


But despite the rise in council tax, local authorities


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


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


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


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


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


local councils. Just before Christmas when the provisional


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


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


amount the government was offering was unfair and simply not


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


This is worsening situation and it tends to hit smaller councils


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


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


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


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


looking at following Cornwall and abolishing district councils and


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


at the whole of the South West from Gloucestershire done Medvedev


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


the traditional structure. Devon and Somerset might then come under


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


Meanwhile the Isles of Scilly Council is having


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


Although the islands are just off Cornwall they're independent


from Cornwall Council and are responsible


for their own finances, as Nick Quraishi explains.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


making waste disposal more efficient. Almost 50,000 imposing


fortnightly winter bin collections and scaling down on street sweeping.


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


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


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


of March. A controversial car park pay machine


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


in Cornwall, after the original was deliberately pulled


out of the ground. There are calls for the National


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


of one of the area's worst mining disasters,


as Hannah Stacey reports. The underground workings of Levant


mine extend more than a mile Generations of men sought copper


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


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


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


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


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


away empty-handed. There has been a 50%


increase in visitor That means the footfall


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


into the site itself but walk in the local landscape


which we also look after. So that increases the maintenance


liability and we have an conservation work we need to do


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


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


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


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


been that vandalism. Opponents say they don't


condone the vandalism but still want to get this machine


moved legally and permanently. They make a point about protecting


the environment but I would hardly call sticking that parking meter


here protecting the environment, and how did they manage


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


are attracted to this place because of Poldark and we have


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


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


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


increasingly popular with Poldark. They need money to maintain


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


of the Levant mine disaster approaching, the National Trust says


descendents of the men killed will still be able to come


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Where you get some sunshine it should feel reasonably nice.


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


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


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


weather picture. Hello, rain for some of us today


although it won't make much of


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