08/03/2017 Spotlight


08/03/2017

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


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Health and social care managers are tonight

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assessing the likely impact of new government

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money to help ease the

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In today's budget, the Chancellor announced an

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extra ?2 billion nationally over the next three years.

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It saying that is easing the pressure on our

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hospitals, but how much of a difference will it make?

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Well, I'm joined now by our health correspondent Jenny Walrond.

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Jenny, what kind of reaction have we seen

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Only a couple of weeks ago, the councils in the

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south-west were criticising the government for not giving them

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enough funding to address what they described

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Today, some of them said that there were clues that the government

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has listened to their concerns but warned that

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a long-term solution is

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required, and we're likely to find out what that

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long-term solution is

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likely to be later in the year when the government its proposals in a

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green paper, which is a consultation document.

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We've also heard today from Sarah Wallace an MP who is a

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She said that she's been assured that this is new funding,

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it's not being raided from other budgets, but ?2 billion over three

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Well, one think tank, the Local Government Information Unit,

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And briefly, Jenny, any other big announcements

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Well, the Chancellor has promised an extra ?100 million to put more

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GPs in accident and emergency department

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to ease the pressure for next winter.

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That's something that's already happening in some of our

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hospitals, and also ?325 million for sustainability

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Now, these are the reorganisations of health services

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that have been causing a loss of anxiety in

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closure of commutable hospital beds, the possible loss of some services

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such as maternity, and this funding will go to set up different

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services, things such as services that care for you in your own home.

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Jenny, we'll have to leave it there, thank you.

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Elsewhere the budget brought some relief

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But there'll be hikes in National Insurance

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Our business correspondent Neil Gallagher is live

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in Tavistock for us tonight. Neil.

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I reckon if you had to pick a proper south west market

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town to do business in, you might well choose

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But even here it's a low wage economy built around small

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businesses with a lot of self employment.

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So the raise in National Insurance Contributions for self employed

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FSB locally described it as a good way to put people off

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West Devon is one of those places that feels it's in danger

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Some previous chancellors have had more to say about our transport

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links here than Phillip Hammond did, and that point wasn't

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lost on one customer of the Cornish,

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who represents the business community.

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As you say, lots about north and Midlands, lots about Wales,

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Scotland and Ireland, nothing about the south-west at all, and given

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that we had assurances previously, we were really hoping to get those

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firmed up in terms of some commitment to both rail and road.

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Lots of rises in business rates had been looming.

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Today the Chancellor said small and medium sized pubs would get

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a ?1,000 discount on the rates they were expecting...

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Going forward, I see there needs to be a

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full review of the way business rates are dished out, really,

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because it's quite archaic, especially businesses by gas on the

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high Street which have got bricks and mortar, they're going to be

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severely punished in comparison to the big guys in the new digital age.

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Somewhere that had been fearing some of the biggest rises in business

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Today the Chancellor's moves to soften these seemed

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We have to pass on so much of the price increases

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to our customers, or absorb the price rises ourselves.

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It's a great day, but there is still that need

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for long-term reform for

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the feature to ensure that doesn't happen in the future.

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The current business rates just tax business

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whether a customer walks through the door or not,

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and I think everybody would say it's fairer to tax on

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profits, and that makes it more competitive and investment strategy

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for businesses rather than just having big rises just for actually

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existing, and opening your door on day one.

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One final thought from St Austell brewery who own this pub:

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2p on a pint: "extremely disappointing

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"a real body blow" to the industry.

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And from Tavistock to Westminster, where our political editor

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Martyn Oates has been following today's announcements.

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We've got used to little lists of goodies for the south-west being

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This time I think the only two specific

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references were one to the

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Exeter mathematics school, and the news that the Plymouth MP Oliver

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Colville will be the government's official representative for the

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Mayflower 400 centenary celebrations.

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And I'm joined now by both of the favoured duo, Oliver

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Colville, and the Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw.

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Oliver Colville, to begin with, a lot of people have made the

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point today that there was nothing in the budget today with your other

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hat on as the leader of the group of MPs campaigning for better rail

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We've been having serious conversations with

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ministers, and it's quite clear that the government is very much

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committed to improving the railways, and indeed at a recent meeting they

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made it quite clear as well that we are

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starting to do work on the

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Dawlish line in a roundabout 2019, and then they'll look at what they

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can do as far as the Tavistock line concerned probably some little while

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The top priority is most certainly going to be sorting out

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that Dawlish line, that we don't ever again

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see our economy west of

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Exeter being mucked around in the way in which it was when that

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Ben Bradshaw, the government is moving to deliver on

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Oh, it seems to me that Mrs May has quietly dropped those

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grandiose promises that were made by George Osborne and David Cameron

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We all remember what they were, big in

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the structure investment in the south-west

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we are halfway through the parliament is now and we've seen

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The governments does seem to have listened

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and delivered help both on

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social care and help with the business rates increase.

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Yes, I'm pleased about what they said on

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business rate and social care, although I think the social care is

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a sticking plaster, it's not a long-term solution,

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it doesn't make up for the big cats we've already

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suffered, and of course another broken election promise on

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increasing national insurance contributions will be self-employed.

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Oliver, that's really interesting, isn't it, for a Conservative

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You'll know that lots of Conservative backbenchers are cross

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about this increase in national insurance contributions for small

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businesses and small business constituencies are one which

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traditionally the Conservative Party looks to.

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It most certainly is, it is a very important one and

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especially in my constituency there is a large amount of small

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I think we need to remember two things, though, one is

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that people who are repaying their money through PAYE, they need to be

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treated on a level playing field I would argue, with the small

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Secondly, we will have to see the debates that are taking

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the announcement get made during the Budget Statement, but we

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do need to see how this is now going to develop

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number of people who are speaking very firmly on that issue.

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Are you suggesting that you might be opposed to it and the government

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No, no, all I'm just saying is that we need to

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have a conversation about it, that's a bit of a priority.

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To ensure that this government actually does

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OK, Oliver Colville, Ben Bradshaw, thank you both very much.

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The background of this of course politically in the south-west is

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that all of the MPs, bar Ben Bradshaw,

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are Conservative MPs, and

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as they seem to like reminding us they know that there will be public

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pressure on them to deliver as a lobbying force in Westminster.

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Onto other news now, and campaigners from the south west have been

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protesting in London today over changes to women's pension age.

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They say they've had up to six years added on,

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with little or no notice, and are calling on the Government

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They claim the changes to the state pension scheme amount

:08:25.:08:28.

Police searching for a 26-year-old missing woman in North Devon have

:08:29.:08:34.

Lauren Phillips' car was last seen in Woolacombe almost two weeks ago.

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Devon Councillors are threatening to refer plans to close 71

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Community Hospital beds to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

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They want health commissioners to assure them it's good

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for the local health service and that the consultation

:08:52.:08:54.

Investigators think plastic packaging accidentally left

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on a sauna heater caused a major fire in Exeter.

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The Riverside Leisure Centre was severely damaged in the fire

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It's not known how long the centre will remain closed.

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Let's take a look at the weather now - here's David.

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Hello, good evening. Missed and low cloud causing a few problems for us

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at the moment, quite extensive and pretty poor visibility out there. It

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may be that tomorrow the drizzle and Mr Will clear, steadily to the

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south, mainly affecting the English Channel posts, and the more western

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parts of Cornwall with somewhat brighter conditions nudging in from

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the north but for tonight and tomorrow, the Hill and coastal fog

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is quite thick, and if it is causing problem is on our roads it would be

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for updates. This weather front for updates. This weather front

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straight across Cornwall for the middle of the day, and by the middle

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day on Friday as lot of moist air but it has moved away but I am able

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there will be bricks on the cloud on Friday. Showers overnight surmising

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that drizzle and missed and low cloud as I mentioned, poor

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visibility and a miles 10-11 degrees minimum damage. Tomorrow, along the

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south coast the drizzle probably continues but further north there is

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a good chance of some breaks in the cloud, but where that happens we

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will get some pretty good stab at it,. Always very misty and rather

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cloudy for the more western parts of Cornwall. On Friday we start the day

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similarly, lots of cloud of mist, but it will brighten up and by the

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afternoon clouds holes developed to let the sunshine income of 13 to 14

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the top temperature. Showers possible on Saturday and Sunday, but

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turning fresher at the same time. Having at night.

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Lots more online - breakfast bulletins start from 6.25 tomorrow.

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Good night though, from all of us here.

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outlook, staying mild and Nick has the bigger picture across the UK.

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Hello. Spring is in the air with temperatures reaching 14 or 15 in a

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few spots today as they will again over the next few days. Very

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pleasant in the sun. The daffodils were loving that in York. More

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places under blue sky tomorrow and dry. Tonight heavy showers moving

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across Scotland on strong to gale force winds, some may clip Northern

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Ireland. It's a mild night in southern England and South Wales but

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damp and drizzly, misty with coastal and hill fog elsewhere. Temperatures

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in between and dry: This damp weather hangs on from parts of the

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Channel Islands, to Cornwall. Elsewhere, it's getting brighter in

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South Wales and southern England. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland

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some sunny spells around from the word go. The

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