19/01/2017 London News


19/01/2017

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Martin McGuinness is stepping down from politics for good.

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On the programme this evening:

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Calls for a radical overhaul of the congestion charge nearly

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14 years after it was first introduced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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her inspirational message to London schoolgirls and now the reflect on

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what Michelle Obama taught them. Welcome to BBC London News

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with me Riz Lateef. First tonight: A problem

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which costs the capital billions every year

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

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the Congestion Charge, which was introduced nearly 14 years

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

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and are calling for Ideas include a move to road

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

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on personal deliveries to offices. Here's our Transport

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Correspondent Tom Edwards. Welcome to Charing Cross Road,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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more minicabs and delivery vans and construction,

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

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

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

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

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

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a bit more for that, rather than those who

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use public transport. But also we are looking at other

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

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and also encouraging people not to have their delivery

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sent to their work. Road pricing, though,

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could be contentious. Singapore is one of the few places

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

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

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new system reflects the economic value of a journey so deliveries

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

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perhaps more so than a private Maybe the system

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should reflect that. City Hall does concede

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

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currently 30,000 private hire vehicles come into the zone

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on a Saturday night. Or drivers could pay

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different amounts at Although a ban on personal

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deliveries to offices We do need to be making

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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at the World Economic Forum, restated his position

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that the capital His comments follow yesterday's

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announcement that several banks are planning to relocate

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thousands of staff. Our Political Correspondent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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companies are leaving, You say you want people to access

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

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which has attracted trade, talent and ideas from more

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than 1000 years. That is the reason

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

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HSBC and UBS, have ordered cuts We have roughly 5000

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people in London. Real passporting business

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

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

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

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side they want a symmetrical So we are still waiting

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

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big guns had some words of comfort for the city,

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though he too warned I do not believe the European

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

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the financial lungs for Europe. We may have to move

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certain activities, change the legal structure we use

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to operate in Europe. The banks, financial services

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institutions, the tech companies, the pharmaceuticals,

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companies and businesses that create jobs, wealth and prosperity

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

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

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bankers this afternoon where we are told she stressed

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the positive aspects I'm outside a theatre in Notting

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

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characters. More now on today's announcement

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

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to have their council tax The Conservative-controlled County

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

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

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

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this? ?21 million of savings is what

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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that our figures, we even had external auditors check those

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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disruption as Westminster and Waterloo Bridges were forced to

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

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River Thames. These voters also show parts of Westminster being

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evacuated. Roads in the area remain closed while specialist officers

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remain on the scene assessing the device.

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A protest is taking place outside a theatre in Notting Hill

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over a production set in China which doesn't feature

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The characters are all played by white actors.

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

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show after complaints of a white actor playing the role

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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background. Here is an incredible opportunity to engage with ethnic

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

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instead they went with four Caucasian actors for whom there is

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

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theatre industry which has always been the forerunner with regards to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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proposals for the fourth plinth. since a huge explosion,

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on a scale never seen before in the capital,

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destroyed a whole community It happened at a munitions

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factory in Silvertown Caroline Davies has been been

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going through the archives and listening to eyewitness accounts

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

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

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it It was the largest

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explosion in London Over 70 people were killed,

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900 homes were destroyed and You sort of held your breath

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

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a munitions factory producing weapons for the First

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World War exploded. You had the Red Cross

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and Salvation Army come in, you have the Army searching

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through the rubble looking Smaller explosions and munitions

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

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they were not reported. It was though it

:17:40.:17:41.

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

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could not be ignored. We felt it as far away

:17:51.:17:53.

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

:17:54.:17:56.

had told the Government repeatedly that this was not a safe

:17:57.:17:59.

place to produce the explosives. This is the memorial

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that was built to remember those who died that

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evening in the explosion, and you can see there

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are some of the names of

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the people who were working Of course, they were not

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the only ones who died. There were children

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

:18:22.:18:23.

the blaze and workers who were They were all destroyed

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when But it was such a large explosion

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

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guests reported windows shattered Afraid of damaging

:18:33.:18:39.

the war effort, the Government report on the incident

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

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

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in the bottle and now They're all artworks

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taking pride of place Even though the latest piece will be

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

:19:11.:19:21.

the giant thumb has been unveiled today,

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

:19:24.:19:25.

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

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high sculpture, Really Good, will attempt to inspire optimism

:19:30.:19:32.

until replaced in 2018. We are looking for artworks that

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connect to the square, have a story to tell,

:19:36.:19:37.

that are beautifully executed and will get a conversation

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going with the public. So what will be given

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the thumbs up next? Today the five short listed

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proposals will work presented at the National Gallery,

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offering the public a chance to share their opinion

:19:53.:19:54.

on what should dominate the north-west corner of this

:19:55.:19:56.

historic London site. Choices include a truck loaded

:19:57.:19:58.

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

:19:59.:20:04.

of a protective deity that was destroyed by so-called

:20:05.:20:07.

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

:20:08.:20:11.

list so far, with the sole Londoner being Hackney resident

:20:12.:20:14.

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

:20:15.:20:16.

fly and drone on top. The cream is something,

:20:17.:20:21.

obviously cream is something that is a very unstable material

:20:22.:20:23.

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

:20:24.:20:26.

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

:20:27.:20:31.

imminent catastrophe, perhaps. All five proposals can be seen

:20:32.:20:33.

at the National Gallery for the next two months,

:20:34.:20:36.

where the public can Do you like the idea of commissions

:20:37.:20:38.

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

:20:39.:20:45.

an opportunity to see something The Heather Philipson one,

:20:46.:20:48.

when it is constructed, I think it would work well

:20:49.:20:52.

within the context of the other I think it is kind

:20:53.:20:58.

of topical as well. We're looking for works

:20:59.:21:04.

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

:21:05.:21:07.

all sorts of other criteria to do with their construction,

:21:08.:21:12.

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

:21:13.:21:16.

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

:21:17.:21:20.

and 2020, respectively. As Michelle Obama prepares to bow

:21:21.:21:25.

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

:21:26.:21:28.

schoolgirls thousands of miles away here in London have been

:21:29.:21:32.

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

:21:33.:21:35.

at The Mulberry School for girls in 2015, and then

:21:36.:21:45.

met the students again Here's some of them

:21:46.:21:48.

describing a lasting It's hard to describe

:21:49.:21:51.

in a few words. During her visit to the school

:21:52.:22:11.

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

:22:12.:22:14.

who actually toured We performed a dance pieces for

:22:15.:22:38.

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

:22:39.:22:43.

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

:22:44.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:59.

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

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was so proud of me and it felt so special.

:23:04.:23:11.

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

:23:12.:23:17.

can be. I felt like that was the greatest

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

:23:26.:23:28.

I will remember forever because the messages she spoke about legitimised

:23:29.:23:37.

the fear and misconceptions and discrimination we face in our

:23:38.:23:40.

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

:23:41.:23:47.

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

:23:48.:23:52.

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

:23:53.:23:57.

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

:23:58.:24:03.

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

:24:04.:24:08.

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

:24:09.:24:14.

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

:24:15.:24:18.

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

:24:19.:24:23.

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

:24:24.:24:27.

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

:24:28.:24:33.

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

:24:34.:24:36.

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

:24:37.:24:51.

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

:24:52.:24:58.

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

:24:59.:25:04.

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

:25:05.:25:08.

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

:25:09.:25:14.

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

:25:15.:25:18.

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

:25:19.:25:22.

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

:25:23.:25:27.

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

:25:28.:25:30.

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

:25:31.:25:34.

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

:25:35.:25:42.

sunshine. It means clear skies overnight and temperatures for

:25:43.:25:44.

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

:25:45.:25:52.

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

:25:53.:26:07.

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

:26:08.:26:14.

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

:26:15.:26:19.

sunshine breaking through and for Saturday there will be some cloud

:26:20.:26:22.

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

:26:23.:26:29.

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

:26:30.:26:34.

Monday and Tuesday but staying settled, staying fairly chilly,

:26:35.:26:37.

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

:26:38.:26:38.

few days. Four people have been killed and

:26:39.:26:49.

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

:26:50.:26:57.

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

:26:58.:26:58.

Northern Ireland's former First Minister, Martin McGuinness,

:26:59.:27:00.

says he's stepping down permanently from political life.

:27:01.:27:04.

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

:27:05.:27:10.

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

:27:11.:27:11.

Goodbye.

:27:12.:27:22.

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