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be able to comprehend what's just
happened is when I wake
Good evening, I'm Riz Lateef.
First tonight, a BBC London
investigation has revealed
the multi million pound bill facing
Councils to improve fire
safety for tenants.
Following the Grenfell tragedy,
a total of £383 million will be
spent by local authorities.
More than half of those contacted
by this programme say
they can't meet the costs
and need financial help.
The Government has yet to agree
to pay, but says it will listen
to concerns over funding.
Susana Mendonca has
this exclusive report.
Hello, Mr Rahman,
very good to see you.
How do you feel about
your new front door?
A personal inspection from the man
holding the purse strings here.
This family is among the first
to get a brand-new fire door
in Tower Hamlets and it has made
them feel safer.
I am very happy at the moment
because there is a new door coming
in and it means more
safety and I am happy.
His block is one of six towers
on the Cranbrook estate where fire
resistant panels have also
been going in.
The work is being done to improve
fire safety for almost 300 flats
here after the Grenfell fire.
But Tower Hamlets does not
have the budget to put sprinklers
in right now and it says it is time
for the government to stump up some
cash to help councils
in tomorrow's budget.
We are spending £7.5 million this
year on urgent actions to these
blocks and we are spending
about another 30 over the next few
years to get up-to-date
with our basic fire safety.
That does not include sprinklers
which we think will be
about another 20 on top of that.
That money does not grow on a tree,
we would either have to put our rent
up or borrow it from somewhere.
Safety is not negotiable.
We need to get a move on if we need
to have sprinklers and, yes,
we would expect funding for that.
Following the Grenfell Tower fire
the government said it would do
whatever it took to make high-rise
building safe, but our research
shows that most London boroughs
are facing mounting costs.
Councils across London have told us
that they are spending more
than £383 million on fire safety
measures as a direct result
of the Grenfell Tower fire.
They include things like removing
cladding, installing new fire doors
and also putting in sprinklers
and 15 of the councils we spoke
to said they had written
to the government asking for help
which has so far not
In Wandsworth the council is fitting
sprinklers to 99 of its tower blocks
at a cost of £30 million.
Its Conservative leader says that's
what his budget reserves are for,
although he too would like to see
the Chancellor offer some
help to councils tomorrow.
Wandsworth has been very
prudent with its management
of the housing account.
We have the resources in fact to put
money aside for the fire
But we would certainly like help
so we could actually ease the burden
and cover any other unforeseen costs
in the blocks.
The government said it
would consider financial
flexibilities for councils that
are doing essential safety work.
Cash-strapped London boroughs
will be wondering whether that means
they will have anything to cheer
about after the budget.
It was a promise made to passengers
by transport bosses, that all
stations would be staffed whilst
services were running.
Well, we've seen documents showing
that underground stations
are being left unattended,
in one case ten times
in just a month.
Here's our Transport Correspondent,
Tom Edwards, with the story.
At Wimbledon Park Tube station lots
of passengers and trains, but not a
staff member insight. It is just
coming up to midday at Wimbledon
Park station and we cannot find any
station staff on duty. The barriers
are all open, there is no one here
to help if you have got any kind of
I cannot get in. The card
and the Freedom pass does not work
on the machinery.
They are very thin
on the ground, but it is always
staffed during the commuting hours.
These are incident reporting forms.
They showed the station was left
unattended on ten occasions in
October. In some cases for long
periods. The documents also show
that in many a ten-year-old boy was
separated from his mother and got
off a train and ended up on this
platform, but there was no one here
to help as the station was
unattended. He was found later by a
train driver who had to stop his
train to search for the boy. One
document says there is an endemic
staff shortage. Using the Freedom of
Information Act we asked Transport
for London just how big the problem
of unattended stations is. They said
over a three-month period ten
stations were left unattended. They
included Hornchurch, it can, North
Harrow, Harlesden and Wimbledon
Park. Insiders say the real problem
is much worse.
All Tube stations
will be controlled and starved while
services are operating.
Underground closed ticket offices it
promised every station that was
operational would have staff.
idea that around London stations are
being left with no staff means
passengers are being put at risk,
the gates are left open so they are
losing ticket revenue and it looks
like the Tube service is
says it is recruiting 320 more staff
and stations are only left
unattended as a last resort.
Wimbledon Park in October
on ten occasions was left
We operate the service
364 days a year, we operate night
chips, nearly 5000 staff. In the
context of the system we operate it
is a small amount.
The unions say
this is an unsafe legacy and London
Underground now needs to get a grip.
Underground now needs to get a grip.
All eyes will be on Number 11
tomorrow when the Chancellor reveals
his Government spending plans.
Watching closely will be London
businesses, some of whom are growing
increasingly anxious over
uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
So what do they want
from Philip Hammond?
Here's Katharine Carpenter.
For London's small businesses
the pre-Christmas spending spree
should bring plenty of cheer,
but at this festive fair at Olympia
it is the traders themselves looking
for gifts from the Chancellor,
particularly ones which will help
them meet the challenges
thrown up by Brexit.
I think it would be really great
if they could reduce the VAT
rate back down to 17.5%.
Everything is costing more for us
to buy but then we are passing
the cost on to the consumer.
From recently going to Spain
on a buyer's trip I noticed that
at every conversation Brexit got
brought up and I think they are just
worried to trade with not so much
the big businesses which are already
established, but the small
businesses like us who are
kind of up and coming.
When Brexit happened
there were so many promises
with regard to small businesses
and that probably swung
a lot of the voters.
At the moment we are importing
from Asia, but we want to switch
to a European manufacturer
and we are very worried that post
Brexit we will not be able to do
that because there will be larger
import costs bringing it
in from Europe.
It is not just smaller
companies hoping they will
like what is unwrapped tomorrow.
Big business has been setting
out its Brexit budget wish list too,
including a timetable
for a transition period
so the city can stay competitive,
and to keep up the momentum
on infrastructure projects.
He should probably focus on things
like better rail infrastructure,
reduce congestion on the roads,
as well as better Internet,
as well as more housing,
especially affordable housing,
for workers in London.
Back at the fair those
dependent on markets
beyond Europe were more bullish.
With a weaker pound it will help
exporters and I am looking forward
to a continuation of it.
Is there anything you are looking
for from the Chancellor?
Not really, no.
No, he can cut the tax rate
for us, that is for small,
but, no, good luck really.
Whether businesses are excited
by the opportunities
of Brexit or concerned by it,
there does seem to be agreement
that this is a period of great
uncertainty and what they do not
want from the Chancellor
when he unwraps his budget
are any big surprises.
That's it for now from me,
but lets find out what the weather's
up to with Sara Thornton.
It is looking rather pretty. I was
trying to brighten up what has been
a cloudy day and there is more cloud
in the forecast for tonight as well
and with that the mild air. But I
want to talk about the wind because
they are becoming a key feature of
the weather through the next 36
hours. An area of low pressure just
tracks its way off to the north and
east. When you see these white lines
across the map that means we are in
for some windy weather. The rain
will hold off for much of the day
tomorrow but the wind will be
picking up and we have a Met Office
weather warning which runs from nine
o'clock tomorrow morning until the
early hours of Thursday and affects
us really towards the end of
tomorrow. It is mild at 12 Celsius.
When the numbers go up that is the
wind increasing. Up to 40 miles an
hour by the end of the day. It will
be a mild day and it will stay dry
for the majority of the day. It is
only in the evening that we will see
some rain. It is overnight tomorrow
night into Thursday when we get that
real squeeze on the isobars and they
really come through. We could see
wind gusts of 50 miles an hour for a
time but as that system pulls away
on Thursday it should turn into a
fine day. In the outlook you will
notice it stars to turn quite a bit
cooler and by the weekend we will be
talking about frost and something