16/01/2017 London News


16/01/2017

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Good evening and welcome to BBC London News with me Louisa Preston.

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if Scotland Yard doesn't receive additional funding

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That's the warning tonight from the Mayor, who claims Londoners

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will not be as safe if the money's not made available.

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The Home Office is currently working out what to award police forces

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But Sadiq Khan fears that if City Hall doesn't receive

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a sufficient settlement, he won't be able to deliver

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the number of officers he says London needs.

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Our Political Correspondent Karl Mercer reports.

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Police cars used to come up this ramp once.

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Police officers used to patrol outside.

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And the building used to be the most famous in world policing.

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Now just the local barber shop remains.

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If you wanted a picture of how London's police has had

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you need look no further than what was New Scotland Yard.

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Sold for ?370 million and soon to be luxury flats.

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The Met has had to save money in recent years.

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?600 million already with a further ?400 million to come.

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And today the Mayor called on central government

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My message to Londoners is very simple.

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If it's the case that the Government makes any further cuts to

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our budget than we've already been told about we cannot keep a target

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If it's the case that the Government changes the

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police funding formula so that the police service gets less

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money than we deserve and should get my job of

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having the maximum number of officers becomes increasingly

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difficult, which has an impact on safety.

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At the moment London has around 31,200 police officers but

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the Mayor, like his predecessor, has set a target of having 32,000.

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But to get there he says he needs more money

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Particularly from a special fund that recognises

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The Mayor says London needs ?340 million.

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At the moment it gets just half of that,

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Two years ago when Boris Johnson was mayor the Government planned

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changes to the money given to police forces.

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The response back then sounds similar to what's

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My concerns are that over the next three to four years we'll lose

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between 5000 and 8000 police officers, and that's going to be a

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It is an unfair approach to police funding.

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It does not recognise the rising population,

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the difficulties of policing our capital city.

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But today, Conservatives on the London Assembly said

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the Mayor could do more himself to keep officer numbers up.

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He has already raised council tax to pay for officers.

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They say he should have gone further.

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The mayor is in charge of a budget of nearly ?15 billion.

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?3.2 billion of that is for the Metropolitan Police.

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Within that Sadiq Khan has cut 38 million, which

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would pay for him to get from the 31,200 up to the 32,000.

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You can move money around in order to make it possible.

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The Government saying today the Met police was the best funded

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This is not the first we've heard of this is it Jim?

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That's right. As Karl mentioned, the idea of changing police funding

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formulas last discussed at this level two years ago, back then it

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was kicked into the long grass because of a statistical error in

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the formula, all very embarrassing for the government at the time. That

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long grass is now March this year and in some ways the pressure has

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mounted. The mayor has said he wants to increase the numbers of police

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officers. He claims that will be next to impossible if there are more

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budget cuts. Also recent world events mean that the government

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could be walking a fine line as well if they cut too much. I'm sure the

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primer Minister and Home Secretary understand the importance of keeping

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our capital city say. They will have seen and he horrified, as we all

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were, by incidents in Berlin and Istanbul recently. There is no more

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important job politician has plan keep his citizens safe. In other

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words London is a potential terrorist target and if something

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were to happen there would be a huge focus on what went wrong. And if

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there was any hint that it was related to a reduction in police

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budgets that would be hugely damaging. Certainly would.

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A jury has been hearing evidence from a blind woman who alleges

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that she was indecently assaulted at a hospital in London

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denies seven charges of indecent assault, and one of sexual assault.

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A number of pharmacists who sit in the heart of communities

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across London are warning they could be put-out-of business

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They say the changes are coming in at a time when they could do

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more to help patients - rather than less.

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Chemists are often at the heart of a community, dispensing pills,

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But the way they are funded is changing, that means that this

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pharmacy near Harpenden in Hertfordshire is under threat.

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We are just short of a mile away from the nearest other pharmacy.

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We are subject to the full force of the cuts.

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Now, that will leave the business non-viable.

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Obviously, I won't sign a lease on the premises where I won't know

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the business is not going to be able to pay its way.

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We will close in the next few months.

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It's a so-called modernisation that customers can't

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Because, not only is it the pharmacy, they are friends.

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You know, you build up a rapport with people.

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If I were to have to go to Harpenden because this pharmacist had closed,

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I would have to climb into my car and, like many people,

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and bearing in mind that pharmacists serve something between 8,000

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and 10,000 people in the locality, you'd then have lots of car journeys

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The government says everyone should have access to a pharmacy

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But that makes chemists in densely populated London even more at risk.

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We're talking of a cut of 12% in pharmacy budgets,

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just in the months December up to March 2017 and more cuts

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Now, for a lot of pharmacies, that is a big hit.

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What you are going to see ultimately, if the government

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doesn't change course, could be large-scale

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The full impact of the changes will be know until later

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in the year but, by then, many chemists say they will already

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These world-famous advertising screens which light up

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Piccadilly Circus have been switched-off today.

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It's for renovation work which will take months,

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but will produce some impressive results.

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Emilia Papadopoulos has been finding out more.

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It's been lighting up London for more than 100 years but this

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The billboard lights have been switched off

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Now, they have been turned off briefly in the past,

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during Winston Churchill and Princess Diana's funerals

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but this will be the longest period of time since World War II.

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The first electrical advertisements appeared in 1908.

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Midnight on Tuesday, August 14, 1945, before the Prime Minister had

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finished his radio announcement that Japan had surrendered,

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After the war, Piccadilly Circus was a popular place for Londoners

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Soon after, it also became a tourist attraction and the lights have

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moved with the times, starting with incandescent light

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bulbs, moving on to neon, digital projectors,

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This might not look like much but we're actually in the control

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room behind the lights and the screens are made up

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of thousands of these panels and when the work begins,

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all of this will be replaced by one big-screen which will have more

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It will be different because it will be one screen that

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will be used flexibly, it will be interactive,

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it will display a very high quality image.

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The way that the advertisers are using the screen

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The advertisers will have the ability to be very creative

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When the work's completed, Piccadilly Circus will be

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home to Europe's largest single digital screen.

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For now, a temporary advertising banner will replace the lights and,

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until October, the most luminous corner of the capital,

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That's it for now from me, so I'll say goodnight and hand

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you over to Wendy Hurrell for a look at the weather.

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This week is quite different, S is the sunshine, and not the snow. We

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will start with sunny clouds but if it turns cloudy towards the latter

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part of the week, it is going to be feeling quite cold. Weather is

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coming in from the east where temperatures at their maximum

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tomorrow in Amsterdam will be minus one. That's going to mean chilly

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conditions. We'll have minus figures of our own overnight tonight. After

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midnight there will be plenty of stars to see above us, but there

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will also be a frost forming and many places will get below freezing,

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perhaps -2 or three. A crispy underfoot sort of start to the day.

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It will continue to feel like that through the day despite beautiful

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amounts of sunshine and light winds. We'll be doing well to get between

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three and 5 degrees. And then there will be a sharp frost overnight into

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Wednesday as well. Wednesday morning starts beautiful and bright. Some

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more clout creeping from the north through the afternoon. Feeling quite

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chilly in the middle part of the week, three to 5 degrees. Towards

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the end of the week, the certainty around how much sunshine starts to

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wane. There will be more clout through Thursday and Friday perhaps

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with some smatterings of rain -- more cloud. On the weekend the

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outlook is often cloudy. Mainly dry, perhaps a little milder. If you like

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the mild weather, you'll have to head elsewhere in the country. Find

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out more in the national weather forecast. Our weather is going

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against normal expectations this week. In Highland Scotland some snow

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to be seen on the hills. Temperatures as high as 12 Celsius

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today. Over the next few days the coldest air is in the far south-east

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of England where there is sunshine to be had. Four or five Celsius in

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Kent. Differences remain over the next few days and here is why. I

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pressure in control of the weather. Some clear a continental air, but

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coming into Scotland from the Atlantic plenty of clouds around.

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Outbreaks of rain through Scotland and Northern Ireland overnight,

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patchy drizzle into parts of England and Wales, but where you've got

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cloud the temperatures are holding up. Clearer skies in parts of

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south-east England and East Anglia, could get below freezing as the day

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begins. One or two fog patches around. Here is

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