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tv   Inside Out Yorkshire and...  BBC News  October 5, 2019 1:30pm-2:01pm BST

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demonstrators in hong kong — who defied a new law banning the use of face masks — have forced the closure of the underground system and many shops and businesses. the government indicates it could clarify its new brexit offer after the eu called for ‘fundamental changes‘. prince harry begins legal action against the owners of the sun and the mirror over alleged phone hacking. hard times for the high street — as new figures reveal more than 1,600 shops have closed as a result of restructuring deals since the beginning of last year. now on bbc news it's tome for inside out yorkshire and lincolnshire — tracy gee speaks to firefighters who believe theirjob caused them to have cancer. welcome to the programme. i'm keeley donovan. coming up this week... the firefighters who believe that theirjob has caused them to have cancer. firefighters need to stop having their lives totally turned upside down with cancer.
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the men and women still living in fear of redundancy, as the future of scunthorpe steelworks hangs in the balance. this time, it felt very different — we was at the edge of the abyss. and the week the world came to yorkshire to celebrate a festival of cycling. many professions have a level of risk, but firefighters face an invisible threatjust as deadly as the flames that they tackle every day. our reporter tracy gee has been given exclusive access to research being done into harmful toxins found on firefighters' clothes and equipment, which may have a link to cancer. firefighters need to stop having their lives totally turned
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upside down with cancer. we've got firefighters getting cancer all the time on all watches and all stations, and things need to be done about it. up and down the country, firefighters are dying of this — due to them saving lives in the line of duty. and thatjob is killing them. all of it, that i'm aware of, states that you can't prove or disprove a link to cancer. it is certainly suggesting that there could be a link to ill health. no. i'm bob, a retired firefighter, and i have cancer of the throat. i'm steve bailey, 45. i have stage four incurable kidney cancer. stewart fish, lincolnshire firefighter, died from blood cancer at the age of 60. the faces of just a handful of the many firefighters battling cancer. and for some, the treatment is taking its toll. michael copplestone, 15/09/66.
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yeah, this is the bit where you have to stay still for four hours. and they're just draining the chemo into you, and that's just poisoning you, basically. mitch copplestone is a retired firefighter. he's got two forms of leukemia, and he's in need of a bone marrow transplant. yesterday, he started chemotherapy, and today he's having even more treatment. i'm low, and this is my third cycle. so this is my third month that i'll spend in bart's hospital. with a long way to go. i think about the bad side, you can't not think of it. the bad side is that i won't be around. the bad side will be that i won't quite make it to as old as i should have been. you just think, "don't let it be me." cancer in the fire service is indiscriminate. it is young people, middle—aged people, older people
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that are catching it. and mitch isn't alone, gerald hollingsworth worked as a firefighter in bradford. he's got cancer of the blood. but today he's trying to forget his worries. my cancer can turn into acute myeloid leukemia, which would then be terminal. the cerebral vascular disease could turn into vascular dementia. i'll have probably four or five years to live then, which is ridiculous when i'm 60. gerard was a fire instructor as well as a firefighter. during the ‘90s, he'd often burn diesel as part of a training exercise. when we'd go in there on the petrochemical unit, the smoke was billowing round us — big, thick, black smoke that you could not see through in a million years. 0ur necks would be covered in the unburnt products of the diesel. we'd then sit around having tea, cakes, whatever for our break. still in that same fire kit. we only had two kits at the fire service college. and if you're out there a couple of times a day every day, it only gets collected once a week.
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so you're gonna end up with a kit that's worn at least ten times to put in, and you've only got one then until the other one comes back. looking back, it's now shortened my life. dozens of firefighters have spoken to me about their ill health. blood cancer, bone cancer, breast cancer, testicular cancer, non—hodgkin's lymphoma. lots of different variables, but one common factor — these firefighters are now asking, "has myjob make me sick?" in my opinion, there is a direct link between firefighters' occupation and cancer. scientists at the university of central lancashire say they may have the answer. firefighters are twice as likely to die when compared to general population. and they dying from not only one type of the cancer, but they've got multiple types of the cancer. professor anna stec is leading a team of scientists who are looking at how firefighters are exposed to harmful toxins. so if you take firefighters in their clothing, in a hot environment, they starting sweating,
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they starting have dehydrating, body temperature increases, and thermal intake or absorption via skin is automatically increasing as a kind of working as a sponge for all the fire toxins. i've approached fire brigades right across the country asking them to show me their decontamination methods. now, sadly, no one would allow us in to film. in fact, they got very nervous when the words firefighter and cancer were used in the same sentence. so instead we've come here to the international fire training centre at durham tees valley airport. all of the carbon off the fuel, the fire off the tyres gets impregnated in our kit. so we've got to give ourselves a wipe over until we get back to the station where then we can do a deep clean on our kit in an industrial washer. however, sometimes we might get another call, and then we haven't got that luxury of getting the full decontamination of the kit, and we're going out to another incident.
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one of the key issues in professor stec‘s report is transference. ca rcinogens can be everywhere on the body. but we're not talking about dirt. these toxic particles can be invisible to the naked eye. storing equipment can also be problematic. it can be bagged, but that doesn't always happen. and the uniform itself — helmets in particular have been found to contain the highest concentration of carcinogens, especially when gloves are stored in them. as you can see, the helmet's covered in pregn. .. i mean, that was totally clean before we started today. but there's no national directive or standard in the uk telling firefighters how their kits should be cleaned. it's down to individual brigades to decide that for themselves. ideally, we'd love another change of kit that we could have, that we could disrobe out of, get into our new kit. just in case we get it into it. and then this could get back to you. does that happen often? no, it doesn't. the best we can do is we give ourselves a wipe off, there are toxins and carcinogens in all fires. whether it's a family barbecue at
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home, or a blazing fire in a house. scientists believe that there are 16 major compounds within carcinogens where the toxic concentration may lead to cancer. it's about exposure, and how much is too much. so we're taking blood samples on your urine samples as well. dr emily watkins‘s research is the first of its kind in the uk. she was initially approached by a group of fire instructors who were concerned they were becoming ill. in america, there's quite some good studies coming out looking at the level of contaminants — so things like benzenes and things that we know potentially cause cancer, and the levels of those within firefighters from their training schools over in america. and we just don't have that data here in the uk yet. so the research project is really trying to see if our firefighters are getting any of these exposures, and potentially what we could then in the future do about that. in america, president donald trump has acknowledged a potential link between being a firefighter and contracting cancer. two months ago, he signed the 9/11 victims‘ compensation fund forfirst responders,
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meaning that firefighters who got sick from toxic exposure can now claim healthca re compensation. but here in the uk, our studies are ongoing, and fire chiefs here say they‘re waiting for more conclusive evidence. there is a lot of scientific and medical information out there, but all of it, that i'm aware of, states that you can't prove or disprove a link to cancer... it is certainly suggesting that there could be a link to ill health. no. there's every... you don‘t acknowledge the fact that the scientific research today has said that there could potentially be a link between being a firefighter and getting ill? what, ido... what i do acknowledge is that firefighters are contracting certain types of cancer above the population norm. i accept that, and that is a concern. i think what i want to stress is that we're not just sat back waiting. we are developing this all the time.
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it does sound frustratingly slow. i will acknowledge that, but the assurance that i want to give is there is an incredible amount of work going on in the background to make this happen as quickly as possible. but i do acknowledge that that's not quick enough for some people. knowing lots and lots of friends, and some of them are still operational now. some got over their cancers. a couple haven't. a couple didn't. i think it is an occupational hazard. yeah, definitely. firefighters need to stop having their lives totally turned upside down with cancer. coming up on inside out... yorkshire celebrates the world‘s cyclists coming to town. scu nthorpe is famous for one thing — steel. from the olympic stadium to the sydney harbour bridge, steel made in this town has built some of the world‘s most iconic structures. but after the collapse
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of british steel in may, thousands of workers are still waiting to find out if the plant will be saved. and the decision is due any day now, as sarah corker reports. britain‘s steel town is in trouble. generation after generation have worked in the mills and furnaces here. scunthorpe steel is exported around the globe. but not for the first time, this industry, this town, is fighting for its future. we‘ve been in this situation since about 1981, but obviously we‘ve rode those times. but this time it‘s felt very different. we was at the edge of the abyss. since british steel collapsed in may, 4,000 jobs have been hanging in the balance, and another 20,000 in the wider supply chain. it's notjust myself that works in the steelworks, it's my husband as well. so if the worst of the worst does come, we'll have no income coming into our household. i've got a child to support. and to save these steelworks from closure, a sale and rescue deal must be agreed.
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the site has been losing money. now that‘s certainly not the employees‘ fault, and it‘s certainly not the town‘s fault. what it is is a lack of strategy and a lack of investment. there‘s a whole range of factors — the perfect storm — let‘s call it. change today, boys, win today. first win of the season, fortunes are changing. tony gosling is a fourth—generation steelworker and passionate football fan. every saturday, he goes to the game with his sons and father. cole, dylan. handing out season tickets to the family. i started watching them proper in 1975—76 season. a lot of past and present steelworkers are still coming to the games and hopefully future steelworkers are still going to the games. the club‘s even nicknamed ‘the iron‘. football has been a part
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of my life for so long that it is my escape mechanism, my release. whatever's going on in the world, i try not to think about it. steelworkers have had months of uncertainty, not knowing if they‘ll still have a job at the end of the year. both tony and his wife work for british steel. we've had turbulent times in the past. and what the steel community hopes this time is that we have a company that comes and invests in the site, in the plant, and gives us a long—term future. because we want to be here for another 100 years of steel making in scunthorpe. the four blast furnaces are nicknamed the four queens and loom large over the town. but making steel in the uk hasn‘t
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been easy in recent years. high energy costs and business rates have meant it‘s hard for the scunthorpe plant to compete with other european steelmakers. but it was brexit uncertainty that pushed british steel over the edge. uncertainty about when and how the uk would leave the eu was blamed for a slump in orders. the company ran out of money and was put into compulsory liquidation. natasha, jeff, and adam are three of almost 1,000 contract workers whose livelihoods depend on the site. they‘re all at risk of redundancy. there‘s not a lot of great chances of employment in the town. and there‘d be a lot less if these works closed. we don‘t seem to be attracting any other industries to the town. adam is 21, and he‘s an industrial cleaner. but he‘s now rethinking his future. yeah, i've had members of my family working on the steelworks for about 100 years. you know, it's part of my heritage, it's all i know.
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you know, without the steelworks, scunthorpe wouldn't be here. but you now feel your future lies elsewhere? well, at the minute, yeah. i do think going to university would give me a better chance at a better future. you‘ve seen owners come and go, the company change hands before. does it feel different this time? a lot different. it‘s a bit more severe than the last time. morale is not so good. everywhere on site is a little bit more doom and gloom. for natasha and her family, the stakes couldn‘t be higher. if the worst of the worst does come, we have no money coming into our household whatsoever. which is very frightening. so are you trying to save money at the moment? are you trying to plan for the worst case? as much as possible as much, as we can do. considering there‘s only so much you can save when you‘ve still got things coming out. if the worst does happen, we are in dire straits. the government‘s official receiver has been covering the running costs
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of the plant while a search for a buyer goes on. and people are hopeful there‘ll be a breakthrough soon. in 1981, 186,000 people worked in the uk steel industry. that‘s compared to just 32,000 last year. yorkshire and the humber has already been the worst hit region, with 40,000 steeljobs lost over the last three decades. today, the average steel worker earns £36,000 a year. that‘s 28% higher than the national average. everywhere you look, there are signs of the industry that this town relies on. the steelworks provide well—paid, highly skilled jobs in an area where one in ten people have no qualifications. the unemployment rate is above the national average, so it‘s no wonder that some people say the plant is too big to be allowed to fail.
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and workers haven‘t lost faith. we‘re just driving around the perimeter of the site now. how long would it take us to get all the way around? to go the whole way round round the back, have you got an hour spare? gosh. it just stretches all along and then back up to the next village. back in march, the company‘s debts totalled a huge £880 million. any new owner will need deep pockets. as a union leader, sean has been closely involved with the negotiations. how close is a rescue package to being secured? with further government involvement, with further backing, that deal is looking close. it's looking close to being signed off and agreed. scunthorpe steelworks has had a string of owners in recent years, from the anglo—dutch steelmaker corus, to indian firm tata steel. then in 2016, investment group greybull capital saved the plant from closure after
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buying it forjust £1. and now three years on, the turkish pension fund is the front runner to takeover. what's happened is the three previous owners start out reasonably well, and then halfway through, i mean greybulljust completely shipped out at the end, and theyjust walked away from their responsibilities to this town and its community. whereas this firm needs to invest, need to be bold, but need to be ambitious with their plan. and at the heart of any plan will be the profitable rail section, seen as the jewel in the crown of the scunthorpe site. rails made here are sold around the world. and ask any scunthorpe steelworker, and they‘ll tell you this business can once again rise from the ashes. the people of scunthorpe really care passionately about its steel industry. the blast furnaces have
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dominated the skyline for over a hundred years. but on and off the pitch, the glory days seem a long time ago. the steel industry can be just as unpredictable as scu nthorpe‘s football team. but insiders say a takeover deal is edging closer. and this entire community depends on it. thousands of cyclists and spectators hit the roads for the uci world championships. harrogate was the focus, and tonya arnold has been there to see how it went down. 3, 2, 1, let's go! the para cyclists started the nine—day long event — the first time a para cycling event has been held alongside the world championships. three starts in the market towns of beverly, weatherby, and tadcaster brought some of the biggest names in the sport to yorkshire. home crowds really make these sort
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of events and obviously. london 2012 was the last time i raced in a paris cycling event on home roads and the crowds there were just sensational lap race the tour of yorkshire a couple of times and the crowds here in yorkshire are always just to die for. after all the training or months of preparations, how was the ride itself? i‘m from yorkshire, and to ride the roads of yorkshire, the atmosphere is equivalent to the london paralympics, i would say. it was amazing, the crowd is equivalent to the worlds is the main event for cyclists from across the globe. 1400 riders came to yorkshire all aiming to take home a coveted jersey. the fans have come out to watch the action that is right on their doorstep. it is fantastic, it is brilliant. the atmosphere in the fan zone is brilliant. it is really exciting and it is great that we only drove one hour to get here. white or are you having fun? it is amazing for the town. i wouldn't watch this on television at home normally, i would watch it live.
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it is just brilliant. i'm a big cycling fan so when the tour de france was here four years ago, that was amazing, and to have seven days of events here, it is great for the region. yorkshire‘s rhodes hosted time trial is teams and individuals. road races for men, women, and juniors. the winners going home as world champions. watching it all are this cycling mad family. simon, joanne and 11—year—old mark don‘tjust like bikes, they love them. cycling is a passion for the whole family. we have the tour de france, that was big. somehow, this seems bigger. i thinkjust to see world athletes on your doorstep, there are not many places you can go to see top athletes free of charge.
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and they are just there. and for you, mark, who is somebody getting serious about it, what is it like for you to see your heroes in your hometown? really exciting. i can't believe it. what are your ambitions? to be world champion. so you want them to win the world championships back in harrogate, will you be ready in 12 years? yeah. but not but not everyone was so excited, some businesses simply decided not to open during the racing. this hair salon closed its doors throughout the championships. the impact on my business has been a loss of income, it has been extra cost in trying to open the salon. we are putting the figure at in excess of £30,000, simply because of this uci world championships. and for infrastructure in harrogate being shut down. i think we will have lost trust
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in the founders of the town, the council, and in the planning. that our business and the implication for us has been overlooked. just across town is sandra‘s guest house. she is also the ceo of harrogate chamber of commerce. the route runs right past her business. it has been busy and interesting because i have had guests from all over the world. so if somebody says to you five years down the line that it is coming back, would you be excited? for me personally, i would be excited. but for the town, i think it might take a bit longer than five years for them to forget the trauma, for some people. yorkshire has become synonymous with cycling. the tour de france showed how the yorkshire hills provided world—class courses. the crowds came out in force, and spurred on by that success, the tour de yorkshire was born, and in other
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worlds. the competitors battled on through some classic yorkshire weather. challenging conditions made for dramatic cycling that was watched around the world. and what legacy when they leave behind? this track in doncaster was partly paid for from a £15 million legacy fund set up as part of the uci world championships which offers grants to projects across the country to encourage more people to cycle. they run sessions to get people back on their bikes as well as teaching children who are just starting out. graham rides with a pro cycling team and will be coaching novice riders here. this type of circuit, it is a fun and safe environment for people to learn to ride their bikes and get on and have fun and have smiles on their faces hopefully. are you seeing from the bike rides we have had in yorkshire, are you seeing kids and adults wanting to do this and have a go?
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definitely. i have rode the tour de yorkshire myself and you see the schoolkids out and see the bikes along the route. definitely, there is a popular attitude with cycling and more people get on bikes, the better. olympic gold medallist and tour de france stage winner chris says it needs more planning. i have watched this with interest, they can have an impact, but you have to think of it strategically. the junior world championships are about to finish behind us, a beautiful spectre. when that is finished and you turn away, what is left? you have to work at that. if you want to take this and make it an everyday way of getting around, you have to make space for it. and there is space here, and what a way to honour such a beautiful place than to just reduce the amount of cars and that he will get around and enjoy it? 0rganisers say up to 250 million people watched around the world, and thousands of spectators lined up
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along the yorkshire road sites. but will they come back to visit? will it make more of us get on our bikes? 11—year—old mark, will he be a world champion one day? if you have any thoughts on the programme tonight or that is it for this week‘s programme. join us again next monday. good afternoon. many of us have got away with a decent start to the weekend. i say a decent start. you have probably already worked out that it have probably already worked out thatitis have probably already worked out that it is not going to stay that
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way. this is how it looked in whitby earlier on. cloud has been thickening out west. a beautiful picture from one of our weather watchers there are northern ireland and as you can see we have got this band of cloud approaching all tied in with an area of low pressure, thinning around a long way to the north—west but this band of cloud and rain is now heading eastwards. moving quite slowly, actually, but rain setting and across parts of northern ireland, south—west scotland. some dribs and drabs a rain into western vengeance to the next couple of hours. the wind up as well particularly the northern and western scotland. best of any brightness in the east and therefore north—east of the uk and temperatures 12—16. as we head this evening at overnight this band of rain will trudge its way very slowly eastwards. you can see some dark blue and green cover showing up which indicates heavy bursts. the odd flash of lightning and rumble of thunder beside me simple conditions on the roads if you‘re travelling overnight. it is going to be a mild
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night. 9—12d. as we go into tomorrow it is all about this band of rain which is going to become very slow moving across east with the reds parts. across the south and central parts. across the south and central parts of scotland down the eastern side of england. here there are met 0ffice yellow weather warnings and force that at their lowest tier of warning it will issue but it has been so wet and some spots could see a further 40 or 50 millimetres of rain through tonight into tomorrow so rain through tonight into tomorrow so that could cause localised flooding. certainly the potential for some disruption. further west notice things brighten tonight. we will see some sunshine and a few showers. a band of rain might shower signs of weakening through this afternoon, suddenly the south—east has a fighting chance of something a little bit brighter later in the day but at those temperatures again 12-17. but at those temperatures again 12—17. blustery winds in south—eastern areas as this area of low pressure pulls away. for monday, here we are again. another low. the blow. scented a long way to the north—west of the british isles but it will send this band of rain eastwards. this may fizzle to some
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extent as it pushes towards the eastern side of the uk. brighter skies with some heavy showers following on behind those temperatures. again, about what they have been for the past couple of days. 12—16. any signs of thing settling down into the wee guide? not really. there will be some showers and longer spells of rain which could be heavy at times and it will often be quite windy. rain spreading to the west for the rest of this weekend.
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this is bbc news, i‘m lukwesa burak. the headlines at two: democrats leading the impeachment inquiry into president trump issue a legal order demanding that the white house hand over more documents. much of hong kong is shut down as demonstrators defy a new ban on wearing face masks. the government indicates it could clarify its new brexit offer after the eu called for "fundamental changes". prince harry begins legal action against the owners of the sun and the mirror over alleged phone hacking. hard times for the high street — as new figures reveal more than 1,600 shops have closed as a result of restructuring deals since the beginning of last year. england reach the quarterfinals of the rugby world cup

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