03/01/2018 London News


03/01/2018

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That's all from the BBC News at One

- so it's goodbye from me -

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Hello and welcome

to BBC London News.

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I'm Alpa Patel.

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Homeless families in London claim

they are being pressured to accept

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offers of housing outside

of the capital.

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BBC London visited one 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 Southend.

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One housing lawyer said the lack

of affordable-social housing

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is contributing to the crisis.

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Chris Rogers reports.

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Since September, this tiny hotel

room has been home to Naomi, her

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mother, two sisters and her baby

boy. The family happy living in

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hotel rooms like for three years.

The cameraman is on one bed, I am on

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the second, you are on the third. I

mean, there is hardly any... Room to

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move. I don't know how you live like

this.

We literally live on top of

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each other. The only breeding room I

sisters get is when they go to work.

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My mother is running around doing

errands. Some days we go out to

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work.

There is nowhere to put stuff

away. No storage of clothes? This

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East End born and bred family were

offered social housing in Southend.

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That's 42 miles away from their

part-time jobs and community.

Right

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now, it would get worse, because we

don't have the financial backing, we

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don't have the family support that

we need to get back on our feet. If

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we have the financial backing behind

it, and the job, the two main thing

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is, then no problem, we could go and

move to Southend. There would be no

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problem.

More than 2000 families in

temporary accommodation have been

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uprooted from their communities

every year. Local authorities are

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legally obliged to rehouse homeless

families within or close to their

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borough. But increasingly that is

not happening. Do you think the

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system is imploding?

Yes. I do. I

think that dramatic steps have to be

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taken to create a stock of

affordable social housing. In

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London, as well as other parts of

the country. Ordinary people, doing

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ordinary jobs, just cannot make ends

meet. That is creating relentless

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pressure, pushing people to the

peripheries of London. Pushing

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people outside of London. Tearing up

communities, pulling people out of

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work, pulling people out of school.

It's just not good enough.

London

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councils blame increasing pressure

on funds because of the growing

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number of vulnerable families

needing affordable housing. That is

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scarce in London. The family now

faces a long court battle, using

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legal aid, to force the council to

rehouse them in London.

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Now, a bed bug infestation has been

causing some discomfort

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at the Palace of Westminster.

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That's despite urgent action

to tackle the problem.

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One pest control expert says

the outbreak is out of control.

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Sarah Harris has the story.

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In the corridors of power lurk

parasites, intent on sucking blood

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to stay alive.

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That's not a metaphor,

for these are the culprits.

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Bedbugs.

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Happy to live in chairs where humans

stay seated for hours on end,

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waiting for an opportunity to bite.

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This London pest expert says

an attempt to eradicate the outbreak

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from Parliament has failed.

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We've had a number of clients

where they've been repeatedly

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introducing bedbugs to their home,

we can get it clear for a couple of

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weeks, then the problem comes back.

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So we started talking to people,

how do you travel to work,

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where do you work, where do

you visit on a regular basis?

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And a large number of people

were connected with the Houses

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of Parliament in Westminster.

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Staff in Parliament who suspect

they been bitten have been advised

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to refer to the NHS website.

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Bedbugs aren't dangerous,

and don't spread diseases,

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but can cause itchy red bumps

on the skin.

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In a statement, a parliamentary

spokesperson confirmed

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that there had been a bed bug

outbreak within the parliamentary

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estate in a number of places.

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They said an investigation had shown

it had been brought in from outside

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and hadn't originated here,

and that appropriate

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action is being taken.

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They also said they are monitoring

the rest of the estate to make

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sure it hasn't spread.

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Some companies use heat treatments

to eradicate the bugs.

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They also strip back chairs

and sofas to make sure the parasites

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haven't made their home

hidden in upholstery.

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The problem with chemical

treatments, they say,

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is that they don't always work.

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I think with any pest species,

there's always going to be some kind

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of immunity to whatever chemical

or rodenticide you're

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going to use against them.

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So, over time, I think you're

going to have to upgrade

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to something different.

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The size of the Parliamentary State

makes treatment difficult,

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on top of any chemical resistance

the bugs have built up.

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Some experts say only by making

the parasites a notifiable pest

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will they be eradicated long-term.

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A row has broken out

after a famous women's-only pool

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announced that men transitioning

into women will be

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allowed to bathe there.

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A spokesperson for the City

of London Corporation -

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which runs the Ladies Pond

on Hampstead Heath - confirmed that

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men who identify as female

and undergoing transition,

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will be allowed to use the pool

and female changing rooms.

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But there are concerns

that the ruling could encourage some

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people to take advantage.

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Storm Eleanor has caused travel

disruption and damage in our region.

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Strong winds brought down

trees and power cables.

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Well let's get the latest

from our reporter Paul Murphy-Kasp.

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Paul, tell us which parts

have been affected.

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Compared to the rest of the country,

London has not been too badly

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affected so far. The Thames Barrier

has been closed for most of the

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morning, to try to prevent any tidal

surges. Some rail services were also

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disrupted earlier, Southern,

Thameslink and the Gallic express,

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running not as usual to Redhill.

That is now resolved. The latest

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problem is that the Woolwich Ferry

has been suspended because of the

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wind and high tide. Still some

niggling issues. As for the roads,

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through the morning we had a partial

closure of the M25, that has been

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sorted. Closer to London, we had a

couple of trees down. There is one

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in Stan Moore. The road was closed

all morning, but the council have

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cut it out and it is now open again.

In central London, we didn't escape

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the wind. This car in Marylebone

felt the full force when stonework

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fell from the top of a residential

block. On new Oxford Street, right

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in the centre of town, police and

the Fire Brigade had to remove a

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hoarding that had come loose.

Some

serious damage, and homes without

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power?

About 200 homes lost power

last night on the London and Surrey

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border. Homes in the West area of

Woking were affected. Scottish and

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Southern actress Eddie Howe been

working very hard through the

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morning to fix that. Some homes

still remain without power and that

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is likely to be the case until

mid-afternoon. Storm Eleanor may

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have swept past London, but we are

definitely feeling the effects.

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Thank you very much. Let's take a

look at the weather.

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Hello, we've had our first

named storm of the year,

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Storm Eleanor brought wind gusts

of 73 mph in Northolt

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in West London.

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You can see the area of low pressure

associated with the storm here.

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Now well out into the North Sea,

but still a squeeze

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on the isobars behind it.

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Still gusty for a time.

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Bright, with some sunshine

through most of the afternoon,

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just can't rule out one

or two squally showers.

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Still a yellow warning

for The Met Office,

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because the winds will still be

gusting or 50 mph for a time.

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Temperatures ten, 11 Celsius,

but certainly feeling on the chilly

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side in exposure to the breeze.

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The wind eventually starts to ease

down through the evening,

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but still a notable wind blowing.

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Some clear skies at first,

before the cloud starts

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to build later in the night.

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That will eventually bring

some light and patchy

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rain in from the West.

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Temperatures not getting much lower

than five or six Celsius.

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Certainly a grey, damp start

to the day tomorrow.

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There will be some outbreaks

of chiefly light rain,

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that will slowly start to ease.

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By the afternoon, drier, brighter,

some spells of sunshine.

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The wind starting to pick up again,

but not as strong as the wind

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we have seen in the last 24 hours.

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A mild afternoon tomorrow, 12 or 13

Celsius the top temperature.

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As we go into Friday,

it's quite limited picture.

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There are areas of

low pressure nearby.

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The wind will start to pick

up a little bit again.

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There will be some outbreaks of rain

again for a time on Friday.

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Never really amounting to much.

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As that clears, the weekend

is looking drier,

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brighter, but much colder.

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A brolly definitely needed.

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That's it from us -

Asad Ahmed will be back

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at 6:30 this evening.

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But for now, enjoy your afternoon.

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