05/01/2017 London News


05/01/2017

The latest news, sport and weather from London.


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London has appointed it's new fire commissioner -

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the 19th in the Brigade's history - and for the first

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Dany Cotton started her career as a teenage firefighter in Wimbledon -

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and she's been speaking about her new role -

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and her concerns about the threat of a terrorist chemical

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She spoke to our Home Affairs Correspondent, Nick Beake.

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Training in Greenwich today for the firefighters from blue watch.

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Dany Cotton is the first woman to lead

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the London Fire Brigade in its 150 year history.

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And she told us preparing for a new threat, chemical

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attack by terrorists, is a top priority.

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I think a chemical attack is a really big

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threat because it's kind of unseen and something you can do with a

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relatively small amount of chemical if you can find the means to

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disperse it, so it's ensuring we are ready

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nationally to respond to that

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and respond quickly and be able to go there, and if people have been

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contaminated, to be able to deal with that and process it quickly.

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This week, the security minister said IS militants aspire to use

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chemicals in an attack and London's new fire chief says the public

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The natural reaction would be to run away and go

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somewhere else but that just spreads it, which is what the terrorists

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It is very important the people stay where they are, stay

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contained and allow the emergency services to deal with the situation.

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Today's exercise is very much a standard role but in the coming

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months, more training will be specialised and geared towards

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dealing with a terrorist attack on her watch.

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But it is worth remembering the terror threat level

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in the UK has stayed the same for the past two and half years.

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When Dany Cotton first walked through these doors at Wimbledon

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fire station as a teenager back in 1988.

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Well, let's speak a bit about the issue raised in that interview.

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We heard them reacting to what Ben Miller said about an attack in

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London. We have to point out that there is no specific possible nature

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of attack here. Ben Wallace is concerned about the use of chemical

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weapons here. There are concerns about that. In Morocco, they found

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chemical weapons there. We've been speaking to a chemical weapons

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expert today, he said that the Government is right to be concerned.

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We know that Daesh is, the Islamic State, are training people to use

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chemical weapons, recruiting scientists to create biological

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weapons in Syria and Iraq and the UK is a key target for them. We have to

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take our head out of the sands and discuss this, so people aware it is

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a possible threat. Like any threat with the right mitigation, you can

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reduce that. Experts say that the public must be

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better informed, obviously the instinct is to runaway from danger

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but in the sense of a chemical aTalibaning, you must stay where you

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are not to spread the chemicals it is safe to say we will be hearing

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more about this in the months to come.

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Strikes by train drivers on Southern Railways are set

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to go ahead next week - after a union said the two sides

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involved in the dispute - "aren't in the same universe".

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That's despite the issue at the heart of the ongoing dispute -

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plans for 'driver-only trains' - being declared SAFE

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This is what Victoria Station looks like on a normal day.

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But next week, it looks like the stations that lead to it

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will look more like this, with a three-day strike

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in the ongoing row over plans to make drivers responsible

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It seems any hope of a deal is gone, despite these words

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We've sent a formal offer to Aslef that we believe can bring

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an end to this dispute, and we're urging our members to talk

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to their leaders to get them to accept this offer so we can bring

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this dispute to an end for the sake of our passengers.

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They may be optimistic, but listen to how far apart

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We're not in the same universe currently.

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The reality is that there's been no real move to address the fundamental

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issues that are at the heart of the deal.

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It's about the imposition of a system and breaking

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of agreement that we feel is unsafe, and if everything is going to be

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done by imposition in the future, then the reaction's always

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The deadlock means there'll be strikes next week on Tuesday,

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Wednesday and again on Friday, with Southern warning

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More strikes will then follow in the last week of January -

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again three days being targetted, again disrupting travel

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Today, another twist in the dispute, too, with the organisation that

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oversees safety on the railways saying Southern's plans

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for driver-only operation would be safe if certain conditions were met.

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It is safe as long as you have the right equipment,

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competent staff and the correct processes and procedures and you've

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done all the risk assessments of the platforms to ensure that,

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if necessary, assistance is provided.

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Also today, London's Mayor restated his desire to take over Southern.

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He wouldn't, though, be drawn on the key issue in the dispute.

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Would you say to the unions, if you were to take over Southern,

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Well, we'll have to wait and see till we take over the lines.

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I mean, once we take over the lines, should the Government see sense,

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we'll look at the trains, talk to the trade unions.

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Some of the suburban lines we run on London Overground,

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It's a conversation you've got to have.

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The most important thing is safety but you've got

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For now, Southern passengers will have to plan once again

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Brexit - and its impact on one of the biggest employers of low

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skilled workers in London - could be huge.

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I'm referring to the hospitality sector which relies heavily

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on workers from across the EU, to fill its posts.

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Without them, hotels and other services would struggle to cope -

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and so Emma North went to hotel in Pimlico - to find

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out what THEY think the consequences could be.

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Once a year, London grabbed the chance to tell the world

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This year, it drove the point home harder than ever.

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Dipping cutlery in vinegar is a far cry

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from the fireworks but it's the

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details that keep this city's reputation so polished.

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Assad is a rarity in London's hospitality

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When it comes to his EU colleague, he has to work

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They are really fast at what they do and at the

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start I was left behind with the rhythm of the team.

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Hotels and restaurants here in London rely heavily on EU labour.

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For example, six of the seven people who work at this hotel come from

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But come Brexit, the rules which currently allow

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people to move around the EU freely in order to find a job could well

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change, and this change could deeply affect the hospitality sector.

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11% of the London population are EU migrants.

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Of them, 14 are classified as low skilled workers, such as

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Of them, one in four are classified as low

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skilled workers, such as

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They currently don't have these restrictions but if we applied

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the same rules to EU migrants as we currently

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do to people coming from

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outside the European Union, then four out of five low skilled EU

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Esther, who is from Hungary, may have a

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Masters in psychotherapy but she is still classified as a low skilled

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I would say that I need skills to work

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I think even as a maid, how I started, as

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a waitress, but even as

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a manager now, you need the moral of working, your attitude.

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This hotel is still owned by the same family

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If the rules governing who is allowed to

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work here change, why not just hire from a home-grown workforce?

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We can't get British people at the moment.

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We've visited catering colleges, trying to make inroads

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with schools, we have work placements, but despite that, after

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Attracting people in the first place, tell me what we can do!

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But could Brexit be just the thing to

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nurture a home-grown hospitality industry?

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Now, is the time for Government to make

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Invest in skills and this industry to be the Open University,

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if you like, in terms of vocational training.

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The city that welcomed thousands of foreign workers, but

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That's it for now from me, but le'ts find out what the weather's

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It is cold, frosty already. There is mist and fog overnight. So grey by

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the end of the night. Cold and probably freezing.

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Temperatures down to minus three or four. So a slow start to the day.

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The mist and the fog lifting later on in the afternoon.

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The temperatures up a notch or two at six or seven Celsius.

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Notice the clouds, to drift to Friday evening. Bringing patchy rain

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but clearing by dawn on Saturday. Then we should be frost-free but it

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will be fairly cloudy. If we look at the outlook we see it will be a

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cloudy weekend. Temperatures are creeping up by a notch or two, 10,

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maybe nine creeping up by a notch or two, 10,

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maybe nine Celsius. Here is Louise with the national picture.

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Won't it cold and frosty this morning? The coldest night of the

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winter so far in England. Down to minus 8 Celsius. But widely, the

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temperatures below freezing. Through the night, cloud and rain, so

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temperatures for many holding up above freezing. The slightly less

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cold theme to continue into the weekend. But cloudy and at times

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with

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