14/08/2017 London News


14/08/2017

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It was as controversial as it was spectacular.

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Today the Garden Bridge Project was officially scrapped -

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leaving taxpayers with a bill of up to ?46 million.

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Both the former Mayor, Boris Johnson, and the ex-Chancellor,

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George Osborne, committed large amounts of public money to it.

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But the project lost the current Mayor's support after a scathing

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Our transport correspondent Tom Edwards has the story.

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The Garden Bridge is dead, leaving behind questions

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about the amount of taxpayers' money that's been wasted and

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The Garden Bridge trusts are to blame for the money being spent.

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They were responsible for that money.

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They spent it without letting us know what it was for.

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There have also been costs which still haven't

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They've kept everything behind closed doors.

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They haven't been transparent as they promised, and it's their own

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One of the issues with the Garden Bridge was that it was never really

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a transport project, it was more a tourist attraction,

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and campaigners said it was in completely

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So far, ?37.4 million of taxpayers' money has been

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That could increase to ?46.4 million.

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There are bound to be further questions and further scrutiny

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Those funds were signed off by the previous mayor,

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Boris Johnson, and the then Chancellor, George Osborne.

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But even early on, it never had political consensus.

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This whole thing is a load of cobblers.

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You just cannot bear the idea that a great project is going ahead.

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The former mayor has said Sadiq Khan should have made the project work,

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and today the Garden Bridge Trust also blamed the current mayor

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He changed his mind after a scathing review.

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His opponents accuse him of dithering.

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He had all the information he needed to take a decision in May last year.

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But he didn't have the courage or the conviction

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And in that time, we've spent ?9 million worth

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So my question is, how do we get him to make

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He said he was always clear that no more money should be

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spent on the project, and he could not leave Londoners

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Others say the Garden Bridge was always a vanity project.

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There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.

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?50 million of taxpayers' money has been spent,

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with nothing to show for it apart from some glossy press releases

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and a furious local community in the Waterloo area.

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We also have to look at where the blame lies for this project.

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The lion's share of the blame has to go to Boris Johnson.

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But now, of course, he has departed City Hall.

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The Garden Bridge has been abandoned, but the fallout from this

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embarrassing infrastructure failure is far from over.

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Armed officers in The Met are to be issued with head-mounted cameras

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in an attempt to address concerns about the transparency

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They'll be attached to the caps and protective helmets of members

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Glock pistol, MP5 automatic rifle and now the Axon Flex camera.

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The message - with power comes responsibility.

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At the unveiling today, officers overwhelmingly welcomed it.

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I think it's a superb development to have an independent

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It's something I wish I have had in many situations

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There's the evidential benefits, so in court

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or during an investigation, there can be no doubt

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on where you were standing or what an individual said.

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Already, 17,500 bodyworn cameras have been issued to police across

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Now it's the turn of uniformed or overt firearms officers.

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They'll be issued with cameras in the next few weeks.

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This has not been without its problems, though.

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There were concerns that the view from a camera worn on the body

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The solution is to mount the camera on the head.

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The Met's footage shows it works when

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But now you decide how clear the view is when a two-handed rifle

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It's not just the actual shooting, that's just the end, really.

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We are keen to capture the build-up to that point.

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Conversations that take place, threats that people face.

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That is what we're keen to capture, to demonstrate why an officer

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ultimately took a decision to pull the trigger.

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It's also hoped that if lots of officers wear cameras,

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it it won't matter if an individual fails to turn theirs on.

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Now look at this - the moment Azelle Rodney was shot dead

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by a plainclothes officer who was later exonerated.

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Covert officers will not have to wear these cameras yet.

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The Met says that's simply because to do

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Whether an operation is overt or covert, we want to show

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the public what officers were faced with and the action they took.

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At the moment, we're not there with the covert solution,

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but we're working hard in the background.

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That's why the Met are investing so heavily in body-worn cameras,

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describing this as the largest roll-out of its kind by any

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Around 20,000 vulnerable children in London have potentially

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dangerous home lives, but are not receiving the help

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they need because they're not deemed to be at "crisis point".

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That's the warning from a charity which says the youngsters are stuck

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in what it calls a "revolving door" of children's services.

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Here's our Education Reporter Marc Ashdown.

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It was the case which prompted the largest review of child

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Victoria Climbie, an eight-year-old murdered by those

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Early warnings of the abuse she suffered were repeatedly

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17 years on, it's feared thousands of vulnerable children

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are still being left in potentially dangerous situations.

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Debbie started working in children's services just after this case.

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She helps families with everything from behavioural problems

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But she says it's becoming harder to provide the support needed.

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Across the sites I run, I've got just under 2,500 under fives.

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So as much as we do, there is a lot that we can't possibly

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do because we can't be everywhere at once.

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So, you know, we are already aware of families we're not picking up.

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The charity Action for Children asked local authorities

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about the number of children referred to them after concerns

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It found about 180,000 in England were not deemed

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to be at crisis point, so didn't meet

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In London, about 23,000 children were referred,

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but after an assessment it was deemed no further

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There are still soft services available, like children's centres

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Across the capital, nearly 20,000 children

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So, just one in five of those originally referred

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We know from too many cases that if we're not able

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to help children early, there are strong likelihoods

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For example, in Serious Case Reviews, 70% of the time,

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we know there have been early warning signs.

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But we also know if we give children and families the tools to help

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themselves much earlier, they are much more likely to not

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Differing thresholds from council to council were highlighted.

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Depending on a situation, help might be provided in one area,

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but in a neighbouring borough might be deemed unnecessary.

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We have been hit by a double whammy of major government cuts

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and massive funding pressures facing local government

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The Department for Education says they are taking action by reforming

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social care services and better protecting victims of domestic

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It says councils spent almost ?8 billion last year

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on children's social care, but it wants to help them do more.

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I'll say good night now and leave you with Wendy,

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who'll hopefully tell us it'll feel like summer tomorrow?

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If you liked it today, it was nice and warm. But we might have peaked,

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because while it is warm this week, it will start cooling off and then

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turn a bit windy later this week. At the moment, we have a bit of cloud

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around. We finished the day with a few showers in some spots, mostly

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north of London. Tonight, the showers will be in the south-east.

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Kent and Essex might even hear a rumble of thunder. North-west of

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there, you should get away with a mild night. Tomorrow starts with dry

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and sunny weather, breaking the Bali because of the few showers that

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could bubble up in the afternoon. -- bring your brolly. The skies stay

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clear overnight into Wednesday, so it will be quite chilly first thing

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on Wednesday morning, with some sunshine to begin with, but we will

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see that turning more Haiti as the day goes on. -- it will be turning

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more hazy. London will get a 23 degrees, which is where it should be

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for this time of year. It will be windy on Friday. We will not get the

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worst of the rain that will be coming in from those low pressure

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systems. There could be a few showers about. You might dodge those

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on Thursday amongst the sunny spells. Still fairly warm, but then

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it will cool off at the end of the week and become very breezy. The

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outlook for the weekend is cool, but it will become less breezy and there

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will be sunny

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