21/02/2017 Spotlight


21/02/2017

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


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Good evening. for the news where you are.

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Cornwall Council became the latest in the south west

:00:00.:00:08.

to raise its Council Tax today with the leader John Pollard saying

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The average household in Cornwall will have to pay an extra ?50

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per year from April - alongside overall

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It follows Devon and Dorset's approved increases of almost 5% -

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Tamsin Melville has been following events in Truro.

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It is becoming a bit like an annual production.

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The same themes, largely the same characters and the plot seems to end

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the same way for the people of Cornwall - bigger bills,

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fewer services and this plea from the leader.

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My message to the Government is they are not helping us.

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My message to the Government is that austerity can only go on so long,

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My message to the Government is please invest in adult social care.

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This is a national issue and it is money that needs to come

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directly from Government into that cause.

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Since 2010 Cornwall Council has made savings of nearly ?200 million.

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In the coming year there will be another ?33 million cut.

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Not many areas of spending escape but off-loading libraries

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and leisure centres is key to making savings this year.

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Council Tax bills are going up again by ?1 a week

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Half of this is exclusively for adult social care.

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Personally I'm happy with that. I really am.

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If it helps old people, that's really good.

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They need to be looked after and not thought of as a nuisance.

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A surge in the pit of my heart just thinking, more money, more money.

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We can rob Peter to pay Paul as long as we like but not everyone

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Councillors could have put another 1% on Council Tax for social care

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but this was rejected, with some Conservatives themselves

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We have to stand firm and canvas central Government

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and say on social care, it is a nationwide problem

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and they need to fund it from the centre.

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And what will the ?5 million raised actually fund?

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An awful lot of that will get sucked up through the increases

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to the living wage, so the national living wage obviously implements

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those hikes to the lowest paid, which I absolutely agree

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So the 2% really will only just cover that off.

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Today's vote also paves the way for around 300

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Meanwhile the Government is insisting its financial

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Well while setting their budgets for next year, councils in the south

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west have been anxiously waiting to find out how much money they'll

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That's due to be outlined to MPs in the Commons tomorrow but already

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Devon County Council leader John Hart has said the settlement

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totally fails to address the crisis in social care,

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Here's our Political Editor Martyn Oates.

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Many people frankly won't have been surprised that the government hasn't

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decided to put money into rural councils like those across the south

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west, but there has been a lot of lobbying behind closed doors

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by the Communities Secretary and I'm told by the Prime Minister herself

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from something called the Rural Fair Share

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It seems, though, of course, that that lobbying has ultimately

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failed and that has been greeted with condemnation by Council leaders

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It is nowhere near enough for what we need, nowhere

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We have to... And this year we are supporting

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And on the basis of that, the government took ?23 million out

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We have had to spend ?22 million over and above

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I mentioned the lobbying that had gone on from

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the Rural Fair Share group of MPs. At the moment, that is almost

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completely led by MPs from Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

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Earlier today, I spoke to one of its vice chairs,

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the St Austell and Newquay MP, Steve Double.

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Clearly, we've got to continue to make the case for funding

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for rural areas, for local government and we are

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The government is committed now, I just even met with the Minister

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today and he confirmed again that the government is determined

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to have this review of the cost of delivery services in rural areas.

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So although we are disappointed with this year, we are fighting

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the case and I am positive that we can get this extra

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There have been calls for MPs in places like the south-west

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to vote against the settlement when it comes before

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Mr Double says he will wait and see how the debate unfolds but having

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witnessed many of these before, I would be very surprised

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if tomorrow sees many, if any, Conservative MPs

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A fire at a leisure centre in Exeter is still going tonight, more

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At its height, 120 firefighters were deployed to the Riverside Centre,

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and dozens of swimmers were forced to flee the building.

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Two people received minor injuries in the ballets which is believed to

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have started in the sauna. I was told to leave everything and got

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out. I grabbed my coat but everything else was left in there.

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Obviously you are thinking of safety so you just get out. We will have

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the latest on the fire in our breakfast bulletins tomorrow from

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6:30am. Cornwall Council has confirmed it's

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investigating a number of allegations made about the care

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provided at a home for adults with Bowden Derra Park near Launceston

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is currently caring for 70 people on site

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with complex healthcare needs. The council says it's

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suspended its placements for now. A spokesperson for the care

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home said the health, safety and well-being

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of its residents was its top priority and it was working

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with Cornwall Council. Somerset is trying to recruit more

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people to foster unaccompanied Eight have arrived in the county

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since last summer, and another 60 are expected over

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the next three years. Now for something which could ease

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the pressure on housing Communal living is becoming

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increasingly popular among some older people -

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known as co-housing. Steve Harris has been to one scheme

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in Dorset to see how it works. They live side-by-side

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but they are not students. They get on well but some

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have only just met. They eat together but this

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is not a house-share. There are 14 separate homes here at

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the Threshold Centre in Gillingham, each with their own front door,

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but when it comes to gardening and cooking,

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residents share the burden. They have one central

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kitchen and dining room For them it is a greener

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way of living, a more And they are there for each other

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if they need support. Actually, what this was very

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important for me was that my son stopped worrying about me,

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because he knew there were lots of people around

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who would look out for me. It's a message, really,

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to other people that these things can be done and sustainability

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is not just about the green aspects and the environment,

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it's about people living together Co-housing is a microcosm

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of humanity. You have exactly the same issues

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that any group of people have, it's just that it's an intentional

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community, so we intend to make the effort to get on with each other

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and do things together According to the most recent

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figures, there are 7 million And we all know about

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the shortage in housing. Well, here in Bridport, 40 miles

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away from the Threshold Centre, one local group are hoping another

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co-housing scheme can The co-housing movement started

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in Denmark in the 1960s. It is now growing in popularity

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with other schemes near Totnes, In Bridport, they are now confident

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work will begin here in the spring. We are looking at the sort of lives

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we want to live in the future and the constraints we may face

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on our lives in the future, and I think that co-housing

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will answer many of them because it is flexible and people

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can have as little or as much company as they need.

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I suppose a real hermit would need somewhere else, you know,

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they wouldn't like it. But for most people

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there are benefits. Particularly single parents,

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there is a distinctive benefit. The town is very supportive of us,

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the sort of people that live here, a lot of people are interested

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in what we are doing and interested The first residents will be

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moving in to the Bridport For now, at the Threshold Centre,

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there are chores to be done. Do you remember Archie the fire dog

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who works for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service? He was a guest on

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the Spotlight studio last year and he is about to become a cartoon

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star. Hello, my name is Archie and I am a trained fire dog. He is

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appearing in the new animation with his sidekick would eat which tells

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the story of a house fire. It is hoped dogs will be able to get the

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message over about what parents and children should do in the event of a

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fire. Time for the weather now -

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how's it looking, Bee? It is looking dull and damp but

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there will be a solid layer of cloud tomorrow. Rain fairly light and

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westerly winds starting to pick up which would lift the cloud up in

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places. At the moment, this weather front toward the north so you can

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see westerly winds on that front sinking southwards. We can expect

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some rain but most of it will be fairly light and patchy. Thursday,

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this is actually stormed Doris, just been named, strong gale force winds,

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40-50 gusts at the moment. A lot of clouds and drizzle out there, fairly

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murky conditions. The rain mainly light and patchy but the

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temperatures very mild. Many places falling to just nine or 10 degrees.

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On Wednesday, further outbreaks of rain, a lot of mist, low cloud and

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hill fog and a fairly mild day as well.

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the Outlook toward the end of the week and then milder again from the

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wheel them. More on storm Doris now with Matt Taylor.

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