09/03/2017 London News


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Research by the BBC has found that people on housing benefit


are being refused access to rental properties in London.


One lettings website found that more than 99% of rentals in the capital


are not available to people receiving housing benefit.


In fact, landlords were four times more likely to


Competition for rental properties and rooms in London is fierce.


Potential tenants can search on websites for the best fit,


but there's one way to almost guaranteed they won't get called


A BBC investigation has found most adverts exclude tenants who declare


Danny is one of those who has struggled to find


He only secured this one with the help of a homeless charity.


As soon as you mention that you have to begin on housing benefit,


or DSS as they sort of call it, you just get no, straightaway.


The BBC spoke to one woman, who told us she didn't


disclose her status to stand a better chance of getting a place.


Of over 5500 properties open for rent in London,


just 43 were open to housing benefit claimants.


Almost four times that amount were happy to accept people with pets.


The National Landlords Association says their members have no choice


and must protect themselves against the risks posed if people


Housing benefit levels have not kept up with rent levels.


That means any tenant who relies on housing benefit levels is looking


at potentially a shortfall which they will have to fill


The chances are, there's less of those available.


Landlords don't want to let to a tenant who they know is more


There are nearly 800,000 housing benefit claimants in London.


Sparerooms.co.uk says it is one of the only sites who gives people


the tools to quickly find properties that are available


The charity Shelter has called for more to be done


It says the responsibility lies at the government's door.


Landlords need reassurance that the housing benefit scheme


is going to work for them and for tenants and that does mean


the government has to stop cutting housing benefit.


But landlords do need to make sure they are looking at tenants


on a case-by-case basis, because some people


They may be working and have a top up.


The government says under universal credit, housing costs are paid


directly to claimants, not landlords, guarding


What makes "no DSS" different from when they said "no dogs,


For now, landlords in England are legally able to say no


He's fallen into rent arrears and faces the uphill battle


of finding a property all over again.


Surrey County Council claims that a company has carried out


unauthorised drilling on green belt land.


Angus Energy has drilled a new side well at an existing


The council says it's "deeply disappointed"


Angus Energy, which announced last week that new reserves of oil


were found at the site, denies the claims.


Convoys of trucks carrying heavy equipment for the Brockham oil site


Some activists didn't give them a warm welcome.


An activist filmed this allegedly when they company had no permission


Angus Energy said this was maintenance, called a work over.


The council granted permission and sent officials


They were assured it was repair work.


It now appears that another well was being drilled.


The council now says this was unauthorised and they only


found out last week, when it appeared on the internet.


They say the company then admitted to drilling a new sidetrack well.


A council spokesman said they had been misled.


We met one local councillor, who has been trying for months


to find out exactly what's been going on at the site.


It removes from me all faith in the way these companies operate.


If we don't know what they are doing or how they are going about it,


how can we measure whether it is done properly?


However, Surrey County Council says this meeting has yet to take place.


Most of those we spoke to in Brockham were relaxed


We asked some people at a lunchtime pilates class what they thought now.


I think it is being monitored quite well.


If anyone has concerns, they could ask questions.


Everyone has to abide by planning rules, certainly


The potential oil in the Weald Basin could be vital to the UK's


However, the conduct of one of the companies drilling has been


Staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital have been praised


for reacting quickly, after a couple tried


The couple claimed their premature baby had been transferred


But when checks showed this was not the case, police were called.


The pair were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to abduct a child


The capital's first Low Emission Bus Zone has been launched,


meaning only cleaner buses can run on certain polluted roads.


The Mayor says he needs more help from central government to clean up


As part of our series Toxic London, our environment correspondent


The mayor has made tackling pollution one of its priorities.


Now only the cleanest buses will run here on the polluted


11 more low emission bus zones will follow by 2020.


It is hoped they will reduce pollution on those routes by 80%.


Won't it just move the dirty buses elsewhere?


No, what we're doing is phasing out the diesel in buses across London.


From next year we'll only be buying either hybrid or zero emission


We've started addressing those parts of London which have the worst air,


which is why Putney goes first, the first-ever low


We'll do the other parts of London, once we've brought


Across London, when it comes to pollution, the mood is changing.


This woman and her children have to endure busy toxic


I really welcome Sadiq Khan's proposals.


I think he wants to do something about it.


I think he needs to do things quickly, much more quickly,


and he needs support from central government as well.


In the Home Counties and the suburbs, people


This is the beautiful village of Sonning in Berkshire,


where the Prime Minister Theresa May lives.


Even here traffic and pollution is a concern.


Sean Harris lives here and as it's one of the main routes into Reading,


I can be stuck in traffic for half an hour and I can see my house


What about air pollution, does that worry you, here?


I would imagine the amount of car engine spewing out


as they are going over that bridge would be quite bad.


This week, we saw the human cost of pollution in the asthma ward


of the Brompton and Harefield Hospital.


For children here, lung growth is being affected by pollution.


The mayor has plans for other schemes but he says he needs help.


I'm saying to the government it can't be right that


you are introducing a national diesel scrappage fund,


it can't be right you are not talking about clean air act


I'm doing all I can, but you've got to do much, much more.


Tackling pollution is a huge challenge.


The question now is what all levels of government will do to find


Let's find out what the weather's up to with Stav Danaos.


Has spring arrives? It was glorious today. We saw 17


Celsius in London. There was a cool breeze around but still, 17 Celsius


with some sunshine is pretty lovely. This evening and overnight it will


turn a bit cloudier. Temperatures will fall a little bit. The baggage


of cloud stopping them from falling below around 6-7. Tomorrow, quite a


lot of cloud. It should stay dry for the most part. Early in the morning,


a bit of mist around, a bit of hazy brightness. Towards the afternoon,


thick cloud pushing for the West. That will affect our temperatures,


not quite as warm, with a high of 13 Althea. High pressure is dominating


the south-east's weather as we had through the week. Saturday starts


off fairly cloudy, a bit of mist around. Holes will break through the


cloud and we'll have sunshine. We could see temperatures higher than


15, maybe 16-17. Saturday a fine day. On Sunday, cloudier, maybe


spots of rain. Good evening, in the spring sunshine


we saw temperatures as high as 17.5 Celsius. Not as warm or Sonning on


Friday. Still a lot of dry, settled weather in the forecast for the next


few days. This was the sunset captured by one of our Weather


Watchers. Clear skies there. We have had increasing amounts of cloud


moving in from the West. Through the remainder of tonight we will


continue to


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