03/01/2018 London News


03/01/2018

The latest news, sport and weather from London.


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LineFromTo

Good evening, I'm Asad Ahmad.

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So we've been hearing how thousands

of appointments and operations have

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been cancelled all over England.

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But in London,

it's not just hospitals

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which are under strain.

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GP surgeries and the

Ambulance Service

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are feeling the pressure too,

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with a doctor warning that

the system is at tipping point.

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Our health correspondent Karl Mercer

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looks at the knock-on effect

on the NHS in London.

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So if it's OK, I'm just going to

check your blood pressure.

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January in the NHS.

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How long has this

been happening for?

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In the ambulance control room.

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It was quite a challenging

day across the region yesterday.

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And in the winter war room

for London health bosses.

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While much of the focus

is on hospitals,

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it's in GP surgeries where

90% of patients are seen.

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This surgery in Hammersmith

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is typical of those

across the capital.

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Seeing plenty of patients

with chest infections.

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It's still tiresome,

and I cannot walk

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because I get so out of breath

I have to stop.

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Unfortunately, if you read

the papers and watch the news,

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you don't get a true picture

of what is going on.

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I think we are at

a tipping point

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and the NHS is at a crossroads.

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There's a real potential for

a lot of the services we provide

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to collapse or disappear for good.

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Towards the end of the week

we will be reviewing the staffing

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which is our real concern

across the region...

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For London NHS bosses,

this is where they

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try to tackle winter problems.

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This team call around the capital's

hospitals checking how they are

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coping and if there's enough staff,

if there are problems

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in emergency departments.

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Many in the capital are urging

patients to stay away

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unless it's a real emergency.

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Some planned operations

will be cancelled.

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If you have an emergency

I can reassure the public

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that the NHS in London is coping

well and you will be seen promptly.

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If you're a member of the public

and you've got an elective

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operation planned or an outpatient

operation planned and we have to

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cancel, I'd like to thank them

for their patience and reassure them

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they will get their procedure done

as soon as we are able.

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The other area I wanted to cover

was ambulance handover times.

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For the first time,

a senior ambulance officer

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is in the room with the team.

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It means the team back

at ambulance control

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should have more ambulances

available to them,

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not stuck at hospitals waiting

to drop patients off.

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We ask crews to go to an emergency

department that is less busy

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which gives a better

experience for patients

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in terms of waiting

and also more importantly

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it allows us to free up

our ambulances

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so we can respond

to emergency calls.

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The NHS does prepare hard for winter

to manage its limited resources.

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But these are the busiest and most

challenging weeks of the year.

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Karl Mercer, BBC London News.

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For the second time,

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free metal detectors

are being offered to schools

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which alert them when knives

are being carried.

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The first time

it was made available,

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most didn't take up the offer,

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even though Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan says he's keen

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for all state secondaries

to have them.

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Marc Ashdown has the details.

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This is all part of the Mayor's

major crackdown on knife crime,

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which he launched back in June.

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As part of that, all secondaries

were invited to apply

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for one of these knife wands.

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Now, this is what they look like,

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similar to when you go

through airport security.

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They can detect

if someone is carrying

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a metal object such as a knife.

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They give headteachers a bit more

leeway than knife arches to use them

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when they actually suspect a pupil

of carrying a knife,

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rather than just scanning all pupils

as they go into school.

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The Mayor's office hopes it

will help convince young people

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they are in far more danger

carrying a knife than not.

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The headteachers I've spoken to

are very keen

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to ensure their schools

are safe places.

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If schools are safe places,

that's where children

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and young people can learn,

and they can achieve

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their aspirations and really

fulfil their talents and dreams.

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I do understand that some

schools may feel it might create

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a bit of a stigma,

but what I would say as a parent,

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and I'm a mother of four children,

I want to know that the schools

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my children go to are safe.

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We've learned today that so

far 70 schools

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in the capital have signed

up for these knife wands.

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There are about 500 secondaries

in Greater London,

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so only about 15% of schools

so far will be using them.

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For heads,

it's all about perception.

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They don't want to be seen to be

too over-the-top, too heavy-handed,

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and scare parents.

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But there's a growing

collective feeling

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that some kind of action is needed.

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I think it's definitely

not sending out the message

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that schools are dangerous,

I think it's doing

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quite the reverse, actually.

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It's reassuring parents that

when they send their child off

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to school, they are safe places,

but there's also additional security

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which reflects the modern times,

and that's at the discretion

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of the school or college leader

as to how that is deployed.

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I think parents are likely to think

this is a really good step forward.

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Sadly, four young men

were killed in London

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during the New Year's Eve

celebrations this week.

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It means 80 people in total

were stabbed to death

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in the capital in 2017.

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The Mayor's crackdown

isn't without its critics,

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who say gangs hide weapons

outside school grounds and

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argue more should be done to tackle

the root causes of knife crime.

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But Sadiq Khan again described it

as "a scourge" this week,

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and vowed to bring the full force

of the law down

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on anyone caught using one

for a crime.

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A champion boxer from

north London who had hopes

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of fighting for Team GB faces

deportation back to Nigeria,

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the country he left as a child.

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Bilal Fawaz has been allowed

to fight for England,

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but in deciding what to do,

the Home Office points

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to his criminal record.

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It says an immigration

judge will hear the case.

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But Fawaz feels he definitely

deserves to stay.

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It makes me feel hurt, you know,

representing a country,

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and then when you need their help,

they turn your back on you.

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It hurts.

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I came as a minor, unaccompanied

minor, and I was taken to a place,

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so I never knew anything about

the legalities and the procedures

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about anything like that.

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A minor is not judged

about what he has done in the past

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but is judged by what he is trying

to do to rectify what he has done

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in the past, and that is what

I'm trying to do,

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all I want is a second chance.

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Homeless families in London

claim they are being pressured

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to accept offers of housing

outside of the capital.

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BBC London visited a family

who had to spend Christmas

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and New Year in a hotel,

because they refused to accept

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an offer to move to Essex.

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The family spoke to Chris Rogers

in their cramped room.

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Since September, this tiny hotel

room has been home to Naomi,

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her mother, two sisters

and her baby boy.

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The family have been living in

hotel rooms like for three years.

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The cameraman is on one bed,

I am on the second,

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you are on the third.

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I mean, there is

hardly any...room to move.

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I don't know how you live like this.

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We literally live

on top of each other.

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The total family income

just about covers

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the £400 a week charge

for this room.

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Despite eviction

and job losses in the family,

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their local council only agreed

to save them from homelessness

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when baby Taylor was born.

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You know what people are going

to say, they're going to say

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when you're in this situation,

why expand the family?

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They said that, well, the only way

we'd become a priority

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is if one of us got pregnant,

if we were disabled,

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or if we've just come out of prison.

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So I can understand that but I mean,

at the same time,

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I'm of the mindset that

being in the situation,

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I've still got to live my life.

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This East End born and bred

family were offered

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social housing in Southend,

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42 miles away from their

part-time jobs and community.

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If we have the financial backing

behind it, and the job,

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the two main things,

then no problem,

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we could go and move to Southend.

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There would be no problem.

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Naomi has launched a legal challenge

against Barking and Dagenham Council

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to rehouse them in east London.

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The council told us...

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The consequence of the family

refusing to move to Southend

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means their duty to help ends.

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London councils have long been

accused of social cleansing,

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forcing the homeless,

the poor and those on low incomes

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out of London, allowing

the wealthier, middle

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and upper-class families

to move into areas

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that have long been impoverished

and run down.

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Up to 2000 families in temporary

accommodation are uprooted

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from their communities every year,

some hundreds of miles away.

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London Councils, which represents

all our local authorities,

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blame a lack of affordable housing,

and told us a majority

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of the placements are

on the capital's borders.

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But local authorities

are legally obliged

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to rehouse homeless families

in or close to their borough.

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I think that dramatic steps

have to be taken

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to create a stock of affordable

social housing.

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There is the argument, and some

people argue this very passionately,

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that if you are reliant

on the state,

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you live where you're told to live.

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Well, that's good enough in part,

but there's plenty of cases

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of households who are working

in London, who are going out,

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paying taxes, working as care

assistants, teaching assistants.

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The glue that pulls

our society together.

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The reality for more than 50,000

homeless families in London

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is live like this

or face moving out of the capital.

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Chris Rogers, BBC London News.

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The weather now with Stav Danaos.

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If we look at the last 24 hours,

some strong gust of wind in London.

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Yes, all because of Storm Eleanor,

now slowly dying a death across the

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Baltic Sea, but we look west to the

next area of low pressure arriving

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overnight, bringing more strong

winds in towards Thursday afternoon.

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Overnight, a dry start, then rain

comes piling in, heavy at times and

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quite persistent, no lower than 5

degrees, winds fairly light. We

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start with that rain, and then into

the afternoon very windy, mild with

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sunshine and showers. A brightening

update. Rain and grey skies through

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the morning, brightening up,

sunshine and showers, strong gusts

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of wind, touching 60 mph later in

the day. On Friday, more rain,

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fairly strong winds, and then

conditions turn much colder from the

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north, and that is how it is looking

into the weekend, bitterly cold

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