19/01/2017 London News


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Martin McGuinness is stepping down from politics for good.


On the programme this evening:


Calls for a radical overhaul of the congestion charge nearly


14 years after it was first introduced.


It is shocking, it is getting worse and worse. I have done 12 miles and


the last two and a half hours. A lose, lose for London -


the mayor's assessment of the PM's Brexit plan as City banks look


to relocate thousands of jobs. If businesses decide to leave London


they will not go to Paris, Madrid or Frankfurt, they will go to Hong


Kong, Singapore or New York. What the Surrey residents make of the


referendum on a 15% council tax rise to paper social care. Also, it was


her inspirational message to London schoolgirls and now the reflect on


what Michelle Obama taught them. Welcome to BBC London News


with me Riz Lateef. First tonight: A problem


which costs the capital billions every year


and it's getting worse - Now politicians at City Hall say


the Congestion Charge, which was introduced nearly 14 years


ago, doesn't go far enough to help tackle the issue,


and are calling for Ideas include a move to road


pricing, or paying per mile, and even a trial of a ban


on personal deliveries to offices. Here's our Transport


Correspondent Tom Edwards. Welcome to Charing Cross Road,


the third-most congested in London, where traffic creeps along


at walking pace, on average 3.6 mph. It feels like TFL are doing it


on purpose to put drivers off, A lot of the cut-through roads


are no longer there, they're cycle lanes only the way


you want to go. I have done 12 miles in the last


two and a half hours. A growing population, more vehicles,


more minicabs and delivery vans and construction,


and public roadworks for pedestrians Now a report calls for a reform


of the congestion charge. We need to be charging vehicles more


if they are travelling at peak times In the longer term we have got


to look at road pricing in London to tackle the congestion hotspots


to mean that if you do choose to use your car you will pay


a bit more for that, rather than those who


use public transport. But also we are looking at other


things such as tackling deliveries, moving some of those to night-time,


and also encouraging people not to have their delivery


sent to their work. Road pricing, though,


could be contentious. Singapore is one of the few places


where you pay per mile. Our concern is road pricing could be


used as a cash cow and could make We think it is important that any


new system reflects the economic value of a journey so deliveries


to London's museums and restaurants, that is a valuable contribution,


perhaps more so than a private Maybe the system


should reflect that. City Hall does concede


the 14-year-old congestion It could go 24-hour -


currently 30,000 private hire vehicles come into the zone


on a Saturday night. Or drivers could pay


different amounts at Although a ban on personal


deliveries to offices We do need to be making


the deliver industry much more It is not at the moment and is using


way too much road space, something like 20% of the traffic


on the roads in London at the moment We think there's a lot of really


good models we can use to actually try and organise these deliveries


in a much more efficient way. Today the mayor also issued


a pollution warning as traffic fumes Congestion is one of the big


challenges cities face. How he will tackle the jams will be


revealed in the next few months. A "lose, lose" for London


and the rest of the UK - that's the mayor's assessment


of the Prime Minister's Brexit plan as Theresa May today addressed


banking bosses in Switzerland. Sadiq Khan, who's also


at the World Economic Forum, restated his position


that the capital His comments follow yesterday's


announcement that several banks are planning to relocate


thousands of staff. Our Political Correspondent


Karl Mercer reports. It's the place where the world comes


every year to talk and do business. They do it under the watchful eyes


of marksmen, and the more And in Davos today the British Prime


Minister the London's Mayor both talking Brexit and the effect it


could have on the UK and on London. The mayor taking his message


to an international audience. You're going to get a hard Brexit,


whether you like it or not. No, what is with important


is sensible minds try and put So far, is there already signs


companies are leaving, You say you want people to access


the EU single market but how does London has been a city


which has attracted trade, talent and ideas from more


than 1000 years. That is the reason


he is selling hard. In recent days two major banks,


HSBC and UBS, have ordered cuts We have roughly 5000


people in London. Real passporting business


is probably down to about 1000 of those employees in London,


and for that we need to look at what the current deal


will be mapped out with. I am glad to hear from the European


side they want a symmetrical So we are still waiting


for what is happening. Today another of the banking world's


big guns had some words of comfort for the city,


though he too warned I do not believe the European


financial centre will leave I think the UK will continue to be


the financial lungs for Europe. We may have to move


certain activities, change the legal structure we use


to operate in Europe. The banks, financial services


institutions, the tech companies, the pharmaceuticals,


companies and businesses that create jobs, wealth and prosperity


want to stay in London. We have got to make it


easy for them to do so. The Prime Minister met senior


bankers this afternoon where we are told she stressed


the positive aspects I'm outside a theatre in Notting


Hill where people are angry at white actors playing the role of Chinese


characters. More now on today's announcement


that the people of Surrey are to be asked if they're prepared


to have their council tax The Conservative-controlled County


Council is going to hold It says it needs the extra money


because of a crisis in social care. Our Political Editor Tim


Donovan has been looking He joins us now. What do you make of


this? ?21 million of savings is what


Surrey County Council needs to find next year and it thinks this issue


is only going to get worse and that is why it has came up with this 15%


increase in council tax proposal. That would be around ?230 more on


the average council tax bill but it is needed. This afternoon I met


Catherine, she is suffering multiple sclerosis and it's any care home and


she has used up all her savings and Surrey County Council has just


agreed to pay her care which costs around ?6,000 a month.


I think the people of Surrey do need to dig into their pockets, much as


it pains me to come with the begging bowl and I do not like to do so,


what I'm doing this on half of all the disabled and vulnerable people


in Surrey -- on behalf of them. Having been through what I have gone


through with my daughter and look after her for several years until we


could not look after her at all any more this is what will have to be


paid for and the Government will have two puts a good case to the


country that income thanks must go up. That is not a current proposal.


Study is suggesting a 15% increase in council tax and there will now be


a referendum. What is the view down here? -- Surrey is suggesting. It is


awful. 15% is huge and is far too much. We are planting was that the


bills and do lots of other things for the county but social care is


very important and I think we should reconsider where our money is spent.


-- we are planting daffodils. I think social care is a good money --


good thing to put money into. But it is a lot of money sort that will


affect people in a negative way. What does the leader of the council


say? My colleague spoke to David Hodge a short time ago.


How bad things got in social care you are asking people of Surrey to


pay an extra 15% on council tax? We have reached the situation because


we must protect the services for the vital people in Surrey who need


them. We had our Government grant cut by 170 million since 2010.


People watching me think you should be going cap in hand to the


Government rather than the taxpayer. I spoke to the Government for five


months and have taken our case to them. They looked at our case, or


that our figures, we even had external auditors check those


figures to make sure we were right and they agreed they were right. So


a very difficult position? It is an impossible position and that cannot


win either way. Are you concerned about the response from the people


in Surrey? I believe they will be slightly upset, I believe they have


a right to be but at the end of the day I can only deliver the services


they needs and I am not prepared to slash them. What happens if the


answer is no? If we get a no response we will do what the Surrey


people ask us to do and that is cut the services. But then what happens?


We will cut them. And people will lose out? Exactly. And people will


be in danger? Exactly. It is unfair. And you are happy with that? No, not


at all. I will spend the next four months worried and concerned about


this and if the people of Surrey will trust us and put the confidence


in us because we cannot do anything else about it, the Government will


not provide us the money, I have asked, who is no money.


The Government says it has already provided some relief, ?900 million


extra across the country and in a statement it says, if the council


set its proposed budget in the taxpayers of Surrey will have a


final say in a referendum in May and we should trust the people.


A lot of people will watch that result very closely indeed, I am


sure. Tim, thank you very much. It has been some unexpected travel


disruption as Westminster and Waterloo Bridges were forced to


close. It is after reports of an unexploded World War II bomb in the


River Thames. These voters also show parts of Westminster being


evacuated. Roads in the area remain closed while specialist officers


remain on the scene assessing the device.


A protest is taking place outside a theatre in Notting Hill


over a production set in China which doesn't feature


The characters are all played by white actors.


It comes just days after Sky TV pulled an episode of a new comedy


show after complaints of a white actor playing the role


In the depths -- In the Depths of Dead Love is taking to the stage


tonight and the people behind the furious at the White actors are


playing the roles of Chinese characters. It is taking place in


Notting Hill and goes on stage and about an hour and a half. That is a


very small police presence across the road but this is a peaceful


protest which has gathered momentum on social media in particular. An


actor from the Harry Potter films that we sailing China is a real


place with real people and using what suits is unacceptable. She has


personally supported the protest. Let's get some more details. You are


a theatre director here, Andrew, and supporting the process. Actors have


always played people of different ethnicities? That is true. There was


a time when white people played a fellow but we do not do that any


more -- plague or fellow. At the end of the day there was a time we did


not allow people to go on stage because the work of a certain ethnic


background. Here is an incredible opportunity to engage with ethnic


minorities in a plate that is set in China with Chinese characters and


instead they went with four Caucasian actors for whom there is


plenty of work for. What do you want to see done? I would love to see the


theatre industry which has always been the forerunner with regards to


being progressive, to look at ways to champion people from minority


groups in stories. As for this production, what should be done?


This theatre does not have a clue and every state and they put out is


offensive to the script. I am a Caucasian guy but we have moved so


far for what of the past few years and it has dragged everyone back.


Let me speak to someone who is not a Caucasian guy. You actor from the


Royal Shakespeare Company. Why have you came here,? If you set a play in


ancient China with characters with Chinese names, I think you should


cast some Asian actors. Would you mind if it was an actor from


Thailand? I would not because that is Japan and East Asian. I think the


white middle-class hegemony in the arts should not be happening in


2017. They have said, we clearly misjudged the offence someone would


take, perhaps as a result of our failing to understand the cultural


exclusion. But the play is going ahead so let's see what happens.


Back to you. Still to come, we take a look at the latest short list of


proposals for the fourth plinth. since a huge explosion,


on a scale never seen before in the capital,


destroyed a whole community It happened at a munitions


factory in Silvertown Caroline Davies has been been


going through the archives and listening to eyewitness accounts


of some of those who were there. I was walking one night


and all of a sudden I looked up and the sky,


it It was the largest


explosion in London Over 70 people were killed,


900 homes were destroyed and You sort of held your breath


for a minute and this terrible bang. 100 years ago today


a munitions factory producing weapons for the First


World War exploded. You had the Red Cross


and Salvation Army come in, you have the Army searching


through the rubble looking Smaller explosions and munitions


factories were not unusual, and they killed people, but often


they were not reported. It was though it


could damage morale. But when 50 tonnes of TNT went up it


could not be ignored. We felt it as far away


as the arsenal, as far away as that, The factory's owners


had told the Government repeatedly that this was not a safe


place to produce the explosives. This is the memorial


that was built to remember those who died that


evening in the explosion, and you can see there


are some of the names of


the people who were working Of course, they were not


the only ones who died. There were children


in their beds, there were firemen who were trying to stop


the blaze and workers who were They were all destroyed


when But it was such a large explosion


it was not just here in Apparently at the Savoy Hotel some


guests reported windows shattered Afraid of damaging


the war effort, the Government report on the incident


wasn't released for over 30 years. Both then, as now, Silvertown


reminds London that the price of war A blue cockerell, a ship


in the bottle and now They're all artworks


taking pride of place Even though the latest piece will be


up there until next year - the shortlist of what could follow


the giant thumb has been unveiled today,


as our arts correspondent It's the 11th artwork to sit


on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth. And the David Shively's seven-metre


high sculpture, Really Good, will attempt to inspire optimism


until replaced in 2018. We are looking for artworks that


connect to the square, have a story to tell,


that are beautifully executed and will get a conversation


going with the public. So what will be given


the thumbs up next? Today the five short listed


proposals will work presented at the National Gallery,


offering the public a chance to share their opinion


on what should dominate the north-west corner of this


historic London site. Choices include a truck loaded


with oil cans and ladders, an empty robe, and a recreation


of a protective deity that was destroyed by so-called


Islamic State in 2015. It's the most international short


list so far, with the sole Londoner being Hackney resident


Heather Philipson, who presents a swirl of cream with a cherry,


fly and drone on top. The cream is something,


obviously cream is something that is a very unstable material


and something always on the verge of collapse and so the sculpture


holds within it this possibility of something that may be, kind of,


imminent catastrophe, perhaps. All five proposals can be seen


at the National Gallery for the next two months,


where the public can Do you like the idea of commissions


on the fourth plinth? I do like it because it is


an opportunity to see something The Heather Philipson one,


when it is constructed, I think it would work well


within the context of the other I think it is kind


of topical as well. We're looking for works


that we think can be popular but we also have to consider


all sorts of other criteria to do with their construction,


their feasibility, also other things The two chosen winners will be


announced in March and take pride of place on the plinth in 2018


and 2020, respectively. As Michelle Obama prepares to bow


out as America's first lady over the past eight years,


schoolgirls thousands of miles away here in London have been


reflecting on the impact she's had She gave an inspiring speech


at The Mulberry School for girls in 2015, and then


met the students again Here's some of them


describing a lasting It's hard to describe


in a few words. During her visit to the school


I was honoured to host I was one of the two girls


who actually toured We performed a dance pieces for


poetry, we sang for her. She just seems so impressed by the school and


lobbed some of the things we were doing. She gave a speech and just


empowered so many others. -- so many of us. At the end she came up to hug


the people in the first row and I got to hug her and she told me she


was so proud of me and it felt so special.


I think she wanted to come to this school to show how powerful girls


can be. I felt like that was the greatest


place I should be at that time. I am here because of you. It is a speech


I will remember forever because the messages she spoke about legitimised


the fear and misconceptions and discrimination we face in our


community. When I look out at all of these young women I see myself. I


felt her message was that no matter who you are and what barriers you


face you can accomplish anything. She decided to invite 20 Mulberry


School students back to the White House. I graduated from Mulberry


School last year and I am in law school right now and knowing


Michelle Obama also studied law was just maybe a bit of a core incidents


but it inspired me. I realised even as a 15-year-old girl I can still do


things but I have done a speech at the woman of the world Festival


where there were hundreds of adults will see to what I had to see it


felt incredible. She shaved my future. The -- she shaped the


future. Let's get a check on the weather now


shall we - and here's Wendy. We will see more scenes like this


through the next few days. That's after the frost on the grass. --


sparkling frost. There was still some ice on the wakes of this


evening. In between we had some beautiful blue skies right across


the capital and that is how it continues for the next few days.


Crisp mornings and blue skies. Some cloud in the mix what you can see on


the satellite picture but we are in a sunny spot at the moment. This


weak weather front has been here for a while and will continue for the


next few days but it is trapped underneath high pressure which will


not do very much and at high pressure will be with us until next


week and we have lots of settled whether a portfolio what's more


sunshine. It means clear skies overnight and temperatures for


falling right back and the frost forming. Once again, a hard frost


overnight. Some places getting down to minus five Celsius. Surely for


your commute to work. -- chilly. Temperatures will not get very high,


up to 5-7 C. Sparkling blue skies again and at the weekend we see more


sunshine breaking through and for Saturday there will be some cloud


around but we should seek some blue skies and the same goes for Sunday.


Next week, this high pressure still here so there may be more cloud on


Monday and Tuesday but staying settled, staying fairly chilly,


especially at night, and you will not need an umbrella for the next


few days. Four people have been killed and


dozens are still missing after an avalanche bodied gold tail used by


skiers in Italy. -- an avalanche covered a hotel used by skiers.


Northern Ireland's former First Minister, Martin McGuinness,


says he's stepping down permanently from political life.


You can find out more on our website and our Facebook page but from me


and the team here thank you for watching and have a lovely evening.




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