01/12/2017 London News


01/12/2017

The latest news, sport and weather from London.


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LineFromTo

Now on BBC One, it's time

for the news where you are.

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Good evening from BBC London News.

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"A catalogue of disasters" -

the damning verdict of a report

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into the refurbishment

of the Olympic Stadium,

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now the home of West Ham.

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The initial build for the Games cost

around £400 million.

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Then there was the additional 323

million to convert it into a stadium

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suitable for football.

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Now, it's been revealed

that the taxpayer could continue

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to lose up to £20 million a year.

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Our political editor,

Tim Donovan, reports.

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It was the centrepiece

of a successful sporting event,

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with high drama on the track and,

at the time, few problems off it.

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Today, five years on,

it is being used by a Premier

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League football club.

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A sporting legacy ensured.

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But the lucky tenants, West Ham,

don't own the stadium.

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It was kept in public hands,

with costs and liabilities

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borne by the taxpayer.

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The big headache was making

athletics and football fit in one

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place, having seating you could put

in and take out.

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It was Boris Johnson

who sealed the West Ham deal,

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but what was first estimated

to cost £190 million has

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actually cost 320 million,

and the current Mayor

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blames his predecessor.

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It beggars belief, it's

staggering, the numbers

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of bungled decisions made

by the previous Mayor.

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A failure to properly understand

the cost of transforming a stadium

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from an athletics stadium

to a football stadium.

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Why should the London taxpayer be

subsidising a Premier League club?

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Why should taxpayers around

the country be subsidising -

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on an annual basis of up

to £20 million -

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a multipurpose venue?

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That 20 million is the loss the

stadium is heading for this year.

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Rather than a small

annual profit promised.

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The accountants also say that

West Ham should have been asked

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to pay more than the £2.5 million

a year in rent.

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Their report says the former Mayor

made things worse by insisting

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on Rugby World Cup games

being staged here in 2015,

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delaying preparations

of the stadium for football.

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Boris Johnson wouldn't say

anything directly today,

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but a close ally said...

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Sentiments echoed by one of those

who ran Boris Johnson's Olympic

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Legacy Organisation for a while.

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Of course the costs have been

higher, but has anybody

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behaved badly about this?

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No.

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What they've tried to do,

and what Boris tried to do,

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was rescue a bad situation.

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And actually, when you look at it,

the turnout, the outturn of it all,

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is a very successful stadium that

attracts lots of people

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and is very well used.

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With the Mayor taking

over full control now,

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Newham Council will not be getting

back £40 million they invested.

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Of course it's regrettable that

we've lost some of that money

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and we aren't getting it back.

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But actually, we always planned

that this was going to be

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a regeneration project and we've got

a fantastic stadium

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and a fantastic park.

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There is a visible legacy

taking shape, but some

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decisions are now looking

dubious, with hindsight.

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A situation, some argue,

where no deal for a bit longer might

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have been better than a bad deal.

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Tim Donovan, BBC London News.

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A retired window cleaner who failed

to repay nearly £300,000

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he inherited from an elderly

customer has been sentenced

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to 12 months in prison.

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Albert Pearce, who's 83,

from Finchley, befriended

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the woman in her final years.

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A court ordered him

to repay all he'd received,

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but he failed to do so.

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London's parks are increasingly

hiring themselves out for private

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events like music festivals

and food markets.

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And whilst that brings

in much-needed revenue for councils,

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it can be frustrating for people

who want to use their local park.

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We asked boroughs how

often this is happening.

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Tolu Adayoye has the details.

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Well, what happens here

is the massive stage is constructed.

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You can still see the damage caused.

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Some of the damage the Friends

of Finsbury Park have blamed

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on the staging of the Wireless music

festival on the grounds.

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This is supposed to be a park path,

but actually, what it's

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for is for the big trucks to bring

the stage here.

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They've lost their second legal

fight seeking to ban it,

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in what's been seen as a test case.

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These were the scenes two years

ago which sparked some

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of the objections to the festival.

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The group say they will

keep fighting to save

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the park from damage

and preserve it for local people.

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There's a massive

commercialisation of public parks.

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That means park-users, residents,

people who normally use

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the park are pushed out.

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It's the disruption, the noise,

the actual damage to the park,

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a whole range of issues that really,

people say - enough is enough.

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And the number of private events

in London parks is on the rise.

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It was recently announced that

a brand-new festival will take place

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here in Victoria Park over two

weekends next year.

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And in the years '16-'17,

London parks were hired out

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for nearly 6,000 days for private

events, generating more

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than £1.6 million for our councils.

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That's a rise of 200%

over five years.

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The council that made

the most was Haringey,

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the home of Wireless Festival.

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Is this all about making

money for the council?

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Absolutely not.

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The festivals generate revenue,

which is great for us,

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we get to plough money back

into the park.

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But it's also one

of the biggest urban

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But it's also one of the biggest

urban festivals in London and it's

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great that we have a festival

like this

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in the heart of our borough.

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It's fine, as long as the profits

can be invested into

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the children's playground.

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If it's away from

residential areas, fine.

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But not presidential areas.

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But not presidential areas.

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I can understand they bring

in a lot of money but it's

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a lot of disruption,

noise and mess and it

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gets overrun sometimes.

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If the money is invested

in the park, a couple

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of weekends is not too bad.

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Wireless has applied

to stage the festival again

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in Finsbury Park next year.

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As the number of events in parks

rises, the debate over how many

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is too many looks set to continue.

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Time for me to say goodnight.

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And I'll hand you over

to Sarah Keith-Lucas

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It is looking a little less cold

than it has been recently. Wintry

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sunshine today, this is how we ended

the day as the sun set in Colston.

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Red chilli, things turn a bit amount

and there will be some sunshine on

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offer. Chilly out there. Clear

spells overnight and most places

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should stay dry and it could be

isolated light rain showers.

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Temperatures just above freezing in

urban areas. In the countryside,

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below freezing. Frost, even the

light patch of ice, as possible.

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Slightly cloudier on Saturday, and

temperatures between 5-7d. Through

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the second half the weekend, a

cloudy and stamps start, that cloud

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clears away towards the south

leaving sunny spells by the

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afternoon and temperatures back into

double figures, something we have

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not seen in a while. I will leave

you with an outbreak of the weather

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in the capital and I will pursue to

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