23/01/2017 Inside Out London


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23/01/2017

Why the West Ham stadium deal continues to be a burden on taxpayers. And a behind-the-scenes celebration of Tower Bridge.


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Hello there. I'm Matthew Wright. You're watching Inside Out London.

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Here's what's coming up on tonight's show.

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With HS2 about to get the green light from Parliament,

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we find out what impact the rail link could have

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I'm worried what they're doing to it.

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I'm so scared at the destruction of this perfect habitat.

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Some are calling it a scandalous waste of public money.

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Tonight we ask why the cost of West Ham's new stadium

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As far as I can see, there is no end to taxpayers' money

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being used to prop up this white elephant.

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And we go behind the scenes of a London icon.

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You think of the thousands of people that travel over

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the bridge every day, and through the bridge,

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and none of them are aware of this massive space that exists here.

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Plans for HS2, the high-speed railway between Euston

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and Birmingham, are due to get the green light

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If things go to plan and then work on the ?56 billion project is due

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The trouble is, High Speed Rail may have an environmental cost and,

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the construction work could prove very damaging indeed.

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Naturalist and broadcaster Mike Dilger

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has been to Ruislip to find out more.

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I am at Broadwater Lake and I am in wildfowl heaven.

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Just looking out there I can see tufted duck,

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pochard, shoveller, mallard, in addition to cormorant,

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This is an SSSI - a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

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It s a haven for thousands of birds that breed here,

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feed here and spend the winter in quiet solitude.

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This site is managed by the local wildlife trust.

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Tim Hill is the conservation manager.

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Tim, on a day like today we re seeing Broadwater Lake at its best.

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It s one of the most important places in the Colne Valley

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because a lot of birds come to this undisturbed refuge from

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way beyond this site from up in Rickmansworth down

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towards the Thames because it is so quiet and undisturbed.

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Undeniably important for birds. What about other wildlife?

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The River Colne just behind us here and the lake itself

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are important feeding grounds for Daubenton bats - the water bats.

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They come here because of the insect life.

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But this tranquil spot will soon be home to a construction site.

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HS2 plan to build a 3km serpentine bridge through the Colne Valley.

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The cutting edge 250mph trains will link the route

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reducing journey times by half an hour.

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We certainly don't feel it's progress when there s

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going to be such devastation to the local environment.

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As we sit, where will it go through Broadwater Lake?

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So the viaduct will start just beyond the site here and it

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will come through in an arc just clipping the bottom corner of

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Broadwater Lake and in the distance there across the River Colne

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and then through the woodland at the back and into Buckinghamshire.

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The wildlife trust believes the construction phase

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of the viaduct alone will lead to the disappearance

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There's a six-year construction period. Obviously during that time

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there will be huge amounts of noise, dust, disturbance and

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Potentially devastating to the birds that seek refuge on Broadwater Lake.

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MUSIC: Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven

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Visitors like Dougal and Toby, who come here every

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How do you feel about the impending development?

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Can t put it into words really. I can t imagine what this place

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is going to be like with great big trains thundering through here.

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I ve got a nice list of wildlife that I have

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The other important species is the eels.

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They are red list, critically endangered, and they manage to swim

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all the way here from the Sargasso Sea.

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They live up to 30 years in this habitat down this river.

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To take this site away for so long is appalling.

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I'm so scared at the destruction of this perfect habitat.

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This end of the lake is a really important refuge.

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There is sailing at the top of the lake which means the ducks

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are squeezed into the bottom end and with the noise of construction

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for that length of time we are really concerned that

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all those wildfowl will be squeezed from both sides

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and they will have to find somewhere else to go.

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HS2 believes the birds here will adapt to the changes

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and says it's set to deliver the greenest railway in the UK.

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Where we touch on the Site of Special Scientific Interest

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we have a plan for four hectares of wetland re-creation

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There won't be the effects that the Wildlife Trust

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What are your thoughts about HS2 taking environmental

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We don't really think that HS2 have recognised the true impact

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of construction and the ongoing running of the railway.

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Just a few yards from the lake is Battlesford Wood,

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an ancient woodland, which is hundreds of years old.

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I'd say it's 250 to 300 years old and it's bed and breakfast

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for a whole host of woodland birds and home to probably hundreds

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This is an island nature reserve in its own right.

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So, Richard, what s so special about this block of wood?

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It s got a wide variety of different species, of trees,

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different ages of trees, fallen dead wood and fungi

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But this area of ancient woodland will soon be lost to the HS2 route.

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Although there is less than one hectare here in total

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in the 34 woodlands affected there s going to be 30 hectares of ancient

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woodland lost-the equivalent of 49 football pitches.

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But HS2 believe this loss can be compensated for.

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Along the line of the route, yes, we will have 30 hectares that

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are affected. We will translocate or move the ancient woodlands soils

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from the ancient Woodlands we effect and place that on new ground

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perspective we will get to a bigger perspective we will get to a bigger

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and better outcome. They are giving the impression that

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by translocating soil that will be mimicking ancient woodland

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but of course that s not. HS2's response to the loss

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of ancient woodland is that they will plant five

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hectares for every one lost ? how do We feel it should be at 30 to one

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and that would give the appropriate This is setting a precedent

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for development in the UK so we feel it should give the ancient woodland

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the respect it deserves. As a naturalist, my greatest fear

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is what projects like HS2 We already live in one of the most

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nature-depleted countries in the world, particularly

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in and around London. The State of the Nature report out

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recently suggested one in every ten and one of those is

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the much-loved hedgehog. Although it may look a bit unkempt,

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overgrown, it really The Regent Park is the last park

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in Central London to have hedgehogs. We ve probably got 30

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or so but 25% of them live I understand the scrubland but the

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car park? It does seem slightly odd

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but actually it provides a real connectivity between all

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the scrublands and we've used GPS But HS2 plan to use this car

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park to store lorries making it a danger

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zone for hedgehogs. The reason we need to

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have the lorries there is to service We will create an access tunnel

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that will enable those hedgehogs to continue to thrive and still be

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able to use the space. All we are asking them to do

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is look for alternatives. If HS2 come here for 20 years

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we are saying goodbye I'm back at Broadwater Lake

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and dusk is steadily approaching and I'm watching little egrets

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coming into roost in those Any day now HS2 will be given

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the go-ahead to build what's clearly But along the way there

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are definitely going to be some losers - and you know what? I m

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looking right at them. We run the bridge as many things, as

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a working bridge, tourist attraction, events location, but the

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biggest responsibility we have is maintaining the reputation of the

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nation's icon. More than four years

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on from the 2012 Games, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has

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ordered an investigation for West Ham's new home

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in the converted Olympic Stadium. The club itself ? which earns

:10:57.:11:01.

?100 million a year has contributed less

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than 1/20th of the refit costs. It was an investigation by BBC

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London which first shed light on this situation ? and tonight

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Mark Jordan has further revelations about what some are now calling

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a scandalous misuse of public money. It's the stadium that made

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London proud in 2012. But West Ham's Karren Brady was no

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apprentice when she was called She nailed the deal to make it

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home for the Hammers. There are skeletons in the closet

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for both Labour and Conservative Just painting it Claret

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and blue doesn? stop In 2015 we exposed the secrecy,

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the stadium's soaring costs. And in this show, it

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seems, no-one gets fired! So I'm back to investigate the

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soaring price of our Olympic legacy. 17 months ago, campaigners asking

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questions about A secret contract made

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with taxpayers' money! I think it was collective

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embarrassment over We fed off each other's

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determination to get some answers. Since our last investigation,

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a tribunal finally forced the full We now have those details

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AND an even bigger taxpayers' bill. It's led London's mayor

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to launch an inquiry. We need to find out how

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we got to where we are. We too have questions

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for both West Ham and The London Legacy Development Corporation

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but both declined an interview. How much do YOU think it cost

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to turn this perfect, "used once" Olympic grade stadium

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into a football venue? But fans from rival teams have been

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tracking the soaring refit bill. We started the campaign,

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it was ?170 million. It stayed for a long time at ?272

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million as the alleged final bill. But the final bill turns

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out to be ?321 million! West Ham paid just ? million

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towards that conversion ? less This club earns around ?100 million

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a year just in TV rights. Many critics say West Ham got

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the deal of the century. Lots of people will be asking

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questions about how it's possible for a stadium that cost ?320 million

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to transfer from Olympic to football and has cost the football club just

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?15 million and an amount of rent Two days after the mayor

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announced his inquiry, the stadium's London Legacy

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Development Corporation It's a long way from when Boris

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Johnson promised taxpayers a profit as he signed off West Ham's 99-year

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lease at ?5 million a year rent. This is something that

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will now make money - I'm told in excess of ?10

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million a year. But those profits are

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nowhere to be seen. Boris moved on to become our

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Brexiteer Foreign Secretary. Leaked documents currently doing

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the rounds at City Hall suggest taxpayers will be picking up

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the bill for years to come. As far as I can see there is no end

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to taxpayers' money being used They have effectively

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been given this stadium The money is mounting

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up, the losses. I wouldn't be surprised if we get

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rid of a billion on this thing. Team Coe, Jowell and Livingstone

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ordered an athletics-only stadium. With that being built,

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Boris Johnson then changed the plan to a multi-use stadium,

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to include football, You only have to watch a TV home

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renovation show to know that the golden rule to staying

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on budget is to make a plan, or changing midway that

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cost the taxpayer dear? Politicians making

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decisions about buildings is an interesting one,

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shall we say? There was a clear vision

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for what the stadium Once you start messing around

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with stuff you may as well knock it It's a big, bold decision

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but sometimes, take the pain up front.

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Say you got it wrong. It's when you try to justify it

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and justify it and the costs In Singapore they did

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it oh-so-differently. Designed from day one

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for seats to reconfigure London Stadium admits

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such tech here is now Your builder will say

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thank you very much, that will now cost you double

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the whole project. For sports promoter

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and former chairman of Leyton Orient Barry Hearn,

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the die was cast. A white flag went up from LLDC under

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instruction from Mayor Boris Johnson "I don? want this to

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be MY white elephant. I've inherited a problem."

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Which is true. So Boris got his

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multi-purpose stadium. Taxpayers, NOT West Ham,

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pay each year to manually install these scaffold-like seats over

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the running track. This year's took ten days,

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working round the clock. As Boris thought this stadium

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will make a profit. Now we find the retractable seats that

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were supposed to cost ?300,000 to move

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are now going to cost At the London Assembly,

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any regrets from those Surely you? look back on that

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and think we could have Look, if we knew the seating issue

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was going to happen, we would have announced

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a bigger figure. But I can apologise

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if you like but I don't think But it's an unfortunate

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consequence of what's happened. Nor is anyone apologising

:17:57.:17:59.

that the public are getting the bill for added security,

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after clashes like this. This makes it harder to find a brand

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willing to part with millions The fact that the stadium

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operators pay for security, I think Boris saw light at the end

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of the tunnel and unfortunately for him, that light is a train

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coming towards him. Back at the London Assembly,

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someone is in for a grilling. You don't have to pay

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anything for policing? Well, I pay ?5 million a year that

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covers all those costs. We got a glimpse of

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Karren Brady defending her You can afford to pay ?20.5 million

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in a transfer fee and I think police officers come

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a bit cheaper than that. No, I have already covered it

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in the ?2.5 million that I pay. That covers the cost of policing,

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security, maintenance, electricity, I know, you have

:19:05.:19:06.

asked me three times. I suspect most Londoners would feel

:19:07.:19:12.

the same way about it. Dr Gillian Evans has tracked

:19:13.:19:15.

London's Olympic legacy, All balls were in their court

:19:16.:19:21.

and so they could dictate the terms of the deal because the alternative,

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after all that drama and saga, would have been a white elephant -

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and that was unthinkable. THE most successful legacy

:19:30.:19:33.

programme in Olympic history. The stadium IS alive and helping

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regenerate the whole area. Come summer, world athletics

:19:42.:19:45.

and concerts take over. They remain confident the stadium

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will one day pay its way. But so far, it's taken over

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?300 million of public money. No-one is going to put

:19:58.:20:00.

hand up in politics Tower Bridge has got to be one

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of the most distinctive. Late last year, the Bridge closed

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down for three months for essential maintenance

:20:21.:20:23.

work ? But it did give Inside Out

:20:24.:20:24.

the opportunity spend time behind the scenes

:20:25.:20:28.

and find out what goes into running one of the world's most

:20:29.:20:30.

famous river crossings. Well, from a personal point of view,

:20:31.:20:44.

it's hard not to be head over heels It's a symbol of the nation,

:20:45.:20:48.

it's a symbol of London, and it's something that a lot

:20:49.:20:55.

of people hold very We run the bridge as many things -

:20:56.:20:58.

as a filming location, as a tourist attraction,

:20:59.:21:03.

as an events venue, as a working bridge,

:21:04.:21:05.

but the biggest responsibility we have is maintaining

:21:06.:21:07.

the reputation of the nation's icon. Over the years we have

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been repairing little parts of the bridge,

:21:11.:21:12.

as they become damaged, but the bridge was starting to look

:21:13.:21:15.

like a patchwork quilt so it was time to undertake

:21:16.:21:18.

a substantial project. We closed the bridge on 1st

:21:19.:21:27.

of October this year at 1201. We shut off the access

:21:28.:21:30.

North and South. We worked 24/7 at the start

:21:31.:21:39.

of the project so we had to have We couldn t afford to have a slow

:21:40.:21:43.

start just on a project like this. If you took this job and put

:21:44.:21:47.

it in a quiet location in any other place in the UK,

:21:48.:21:56.

it would be pretty straightforward, but you're very much in the public

:21:57.:22:00.

eye and then the fact that it is a lifting bridge,

:22:01.:22:03.

under an Act of Parliament, that makes what is coming

:22:04.:22:06.

from a pretty straightforward process into quite a complicated,

:22:07.:22:08.

challenging one, but it makes it a very interesting, unique

:22:09.:22:11.

project for us to work on. by the work, because the works

:22:12.:22:18.

was organised around bridge lifts. Even if it was just with 24 hours'

:22:19.:22:35.

notice, we ve always been able Many years ago, back in 1894,

:22:36.:22:38.

when the bridge was first opened, it was usually just the master

:22:39.:22:42.

of the vessel, would just give the bridge driver a wave

:22:43.:22:45.

and the bridge would be opened. Bridge lifts are completely

:22:46.:22:56.

free of charge. It's through an Act of Parliament

:22:57.:23:00.

that we have a legal obligation All vessels have to notify us

:23:01.:23:03.

in writing, 24 hours in advance, and then half an hour before

:23:04.:23:12.

the bridge lift we will contact the master of the vessel,

:23:13.:23:15.

making sure everything is on schedule, and then,

:23:16.:23:17.

once that has been established, we will do a safety check

:23:18.:23:20.

on the bridge, with the safety crew. And then when the vessel comes

:23:21.:23:26.

in sight, the bridge driver will commence with the bridge lift,

:23:27.:23:28.

closing the road gates and pedestrian gates,

:23:29.:23:31.

then he will unlock the bridge, Well, we are stood at the moment

:23:32.:23:33.

on the Tower Bridge glass floor. This has been in place now

:23:34.:24:06.

for around two years. It has been one of the big

:24:07.:24:09.

success stories of the What we are seeing at the moment

:24:10.:24:11.

is the work taking place directly beneath our feet

:24:12.:24:15.

and the bascules being resurfaced. I've been privileged enough to take

:24:16.:24:35.

some very interesting and exciting people around the bridge,

:24:36.:24:37.

including Her Majesty the Queen, but one that will always stick

:24:38.:24:40.

in my mind was taking David Bowie We went down to the bascule

:24:41.:24:43.

chambers, and showed him the space down there,

:24:44.:24:47.

and before he left he said to me, "Chris, this is a fantastic space,

:24:48.:24:52.

it's been so interesting, and I'll be back.

:24:53.:24:57.

I want to do something down there." And obviously very sadly we'll never

:24:58.:25:01.

find out what that something was. But what we have been able to do,

:25:02.:25:04.

last year, we started up bascule chambers concerts so we were able

:25:05.:25:08.

to have publicly-ticketed concerts and, as you can imagine,

:25:09.:25:10.

with the space being as atmospheric as it was that really

:25:11.:25:12.

added to the performance MUSIC: Im Abendrot

:25:13.:25:15.

by Richard Strauss The bascules are the two leaves

:25:16.:25:27.

of Tower Bridge which you can lift up to let tall boats go past,

:25:28.:25:30.

and the bascule chambers is where the massive 450-tonne

:25:31.:25:32.

counterweights swing - So when the bridge is at ease,

:25:33.:25:35.

you can fill the chamber You're still attached to London,

:25:36.:25:43.

you're very much in London, you're in one of the most iconic

:25:44.:25:55.

buildings of the world, but from And you think of the thousands

:25:56.:25:58.

of people that travel over the bridge every day,

:25:59.:26:02.

and through the bridge on the river, and none of them are aware of this

:26:03.:26:05.

massive space that exists here. So all of the sounds that you hear,

:26:06.:26:08.

be it passing traffic, passing river boats,

:26:09.:26:11.

or the sounds of the bridge itself, you can't deny them so you have

:26:12.:26:14.

to embrace them in your concert. And when you hear new music

:26:15.:26:16.

performed in a space like this, which is so resonant,

:26:17.:26:19.

and so special, and so Victorian, it really lifts you and the whole

:26:20.:26:21.

experience is really magical. MUSIC: Sweet Child of

:26:22.:26:36.

Mine. which is I am proud to say,

:26:37.:26:38.

and we put that down to a lot Personally working on this project

:26:39.:26:43.

is something that I believe will stay with me for life.

:26:44.:26:58.

It's not often you work on a Grade I-listed

:26:59.:27:00.

structure like this. Especially just the whereabouts,

:27:01.:27:02.

the history behind it, MUSIC: Music For

:27:03.:27:05.

The Royal Fireworks. I used to walk to work every day

:27:06.:27:14.

and see cyclists, bobbing along through all the different potholes,

:27:15.:27:23.

and uneven road surface that we had. Well, now, that has been completely

:27:24.:27:26.

refreshed and hopefully that has made a big difference in terms

:27:27.:27:28.

of people's day-to-day commute What an uplifting place

:27:29.:27:31.

for a concert ? right in the dark

:27:32.:27:42.

bowels of Tower Bridge! Well that's just about

:27:43.:27:45.

all for tonight s show. let's have a quick look at what's

:27:46.:27:48.

coming up on next week s programme. With 400 new tower blocks

:27:49.:27:57.

in the pipeline, we ask ? is London

:27:58.:28:00.

becoming the new Dubai on Thames? building skyscrapers does not

:28:01.:28:08.

improve the lot of the average Londoner. The flats are much too

:28:09.:28:10.

expensive. We reveal the dark secrets buried

:28:11.:28:14.

on this deserted island And how London s newest museum

:28:15.:28:16.

is wowing the crowds. It was a first for design. It has

:28:17.:28:36.

been growing and moving into other areas.

:28:37.:28:42.

And that s it for this week s Inside Out London.

:28:43.:28:44.

Don t forget, if you missed any of tonight s programme

:28:45.:28:46.

and want to catch up on iPlayer, then just head to our website.

:28:47.:28:48.

Thanks very much for watching. I ll see you again next week.

:28:49.:29:00.

Hello, I'm Riz Lateef with your 90 second update.

:29:01.:29:03.

The Government says national security means it won't confirm

:29:04.:29:06.

if an unarmed nuclear missile veered off course during testing.

:29:07.:29:11.

Mark Jordan investigates why the West Ham stadium deal continues to be a burden on taxpayers. Mike Dilger finds out how a high-speed rail link cutting across nature reserve could damage wildlife. And - we go behind the scenes in a celebration of Tower Bridge.