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That's all from the BBC News at One
- so it's goodbye from me -
Hello and welcome
to BBC London News.
I'm Alpa Patel.
Homeless families in London claim
they are being pressured to accept
offers of housing outside
of the capital.
BBC London visited one family
who had to spend Christmas
and New Year in a hotel,
because they refused to accept
an offer to move to Southend.
One housing lawyer said the lack
of affordable-social housing
is contributing to the crisis.
Chris Rogers reports.
Since September, this tiny hotel
room has been home to Naomi, her
mother, two sisters and her baby
boy. The family happy living in
hotel rooms like for three years.
The cameraman is on one bed, I am on
the second, you are on the third. I
mean, there is hardly any... Room to
move. I don't know how you live like
We literally live on top of
each other. The only breeding room I
sisters get is when they go to work.
My mother is running around doing
errands. Some days we go out to
There is nowhere to put stuff
away. No storage of clothes? This
East End born and bred family were
offered social housing in Southend.
That's 42 miles away from their
part-time jobs and community.
now, it would get worse, because we
don't have the financial backing, we
don't have the family support that
we need to get back on our feet. If
we have the financial backing behind
it, and the job, the two main thing
is, then no problem, we could go and
move to Southend. There would be no
More than 2000 families in
temporary accommodation have been
uprooted from their communities
every year. Local authorities are
legally obliged to rehouse homeless
families within or close to their
borough. But increasingly that is
not happening. Do you think the
system is imploding?
Yes. I do. I
think that dramatic steps have to be
taken to create a stock of
affordable social housing. In
London, as well as other parts of
the country. Ordinary people, doing
ordinary jobs, just cannot make ends
meet. That is creating relentless
pressure, pushing people to the
peripheries of London. Pushing
people outside of London. Tearing up
communities, pulling people out of
work, pulling people out of school.
It's just not good enough.
councils blame increasing pressure
on funds because of the growing
number of vulnerable families
needing affordable housing. That is
scarce in London. The family now
faces a long court battle, using
legal aid, to force the council to
rehouse them in London.
Now, a bed bug infestation has been
causing some discomfort
at the Palace of Westminster.
That's despite urgent action
to tackle the problem.
One pest control expert says
the outbreak is out of control.
Sarah Harris has the story.
In the corridors of power lurk
parasites, intent on sucking blood
to stay alive.
That's not a metaphor,
for these are the culprits.
Happy to live in chairs where humans
stay seated for hours on end,
waiting for an opportunity to bite.
This London pest expert says
an attempt to eradicate the outbreak
from Parliament has failed.
We've had a number of clients
where they've been repeatedly
introducing bedbugs to their home,
we can get it clear for a couple of
weeks, then the problem comes back.
So we started talking to people,
how do you travel to work,
where do you work, where do
you visit on a regular basis?
And a large number of people
were connected with the Houses
of Parliament in Westminster.
Staff in Parliament who suspect
they been bitten have been advised
to refer to the NHS website.
Bedbugs aren't dangerous,
and don't spread diseases,
but can cause itchy red bumps
on the skin.
In a statement, a parliamentary
that there had been a bed bug
outbreak within the parliamentary
estate in a number of places.
They said an investigation had shown
it had been brought in from outside
and hadn't originated here,
and that appropriate
action is being taken.
They also said they are monitoring
the rest of the estate to make
sure it hasn't spread.
Some companies use heat treatments
to eradicate the bugs.
They also strip back chairs
and sofas to make sure the parasites
haven't made their home
hidden in upholstery.
The problem with chemical
treatments, they say,
is that they don't always work.
I think with any pest species,
there's always going to be some kind
of immunity to whatever chemical
or rodenticide you're
going to use against them.
So, over time, I think you're
going to have to upgrade
to something different.
The size of the Parliamentary State
makes treatment difficult,
on top of any chemical resistance
the bugs have built up.
Some experts say only by making
the parasites a notifiable pest
will they be eradicated long-term.
A row has broken out
after a famous women's-only pool
announced that men transitioning
into women will be
allowed to bathe there.
A spokesperson for the City
of London Corporation -
which runs the Ladies Pond
on Hampstead Heath - confirmed that
men who identify as female
and undergoing transition,
will be allowed to use the pool
and female changing rooms.
But there are concerns
that the ruling could encourage some
people to take advantage.
Storm Eleanor has caused travel
disruption and damage in our region.
Strong winds brought down
trees and power cables.
Well let's get the latest
from our reporter Paul Murphy-Kasp.
Paul, tell us which parts
have been affected.
Compared to the rest of the country,
London has not been too badly
affected so far. The Thames Barrier
has been closed for most of the
morning, to try to prevent any tidal
surges. Some rail services were also
disrupted earlier, Southern,
Thameslink and the Gallic express,
running not as usual to Redhill.
That is now resolved. The latest
problem is that the Woolwich Ferry
has been suspended because of the
wind and high tide. Still some
niggling issues. As for the roads,
through the morning we had a partial
closure of the M25, that has been
sorted. Closer to London, we had a
couple of trees down. There is one
in Stan Moore. The road was closed
all morning, but the council have
cut it out and it is now open again.
In central London, we didn't escape
the wind. This car in Marylebone
felt the full force when stonework
fell from the top of a residential
block. On new Oxford Street, right
in the centre of town, police and
the Fire Brigade had to remove a
hoarding that had come loose.
serious damage, and homes without
About 200 homes lost power
last night on the London and Surrey
border. Homes in the West area of
Woking were affected. Scottish and
Southern actress Eddie Howe been
working very hard through the
morning to fix that. Some homes
still remain without power and that
is likely to be the case until
mid-afternoon. Storm Eleanor may
have swept past London, but we are
definitely feeling the effects.
Thank you very much. Let's take a
look at the weather.
Hello, we've had our first
named storm of the year,
Storm Eleanor brought wind gusts
of 73 mph in Northolt
in West London.
You can see the area of low pressure
associated with the storm here.
Now well out into the North Sea,
but still a squeeze
on the isobars behind it.
Still gusty for a time.
Bright, with some sunshine
through most of the afternoon,
just can't rule out one
or two squally showers.
Still a yellow warning
for The Met Office,
because the winds will still be
gusting or 50 mph for a time.
Temperatures ten, 11 Celsius,
but certainly feeling on the chilly
side in exposure to the breeze.
The wind eventually starts to ease
down through the evening,
but still a notable wind blowing.
Some clear skies at first,
before the cloud starts
to build later in the night.
That will eventually bring
some light and patchy
rain in from the West.
Temperatures not getting much lower
than five or six Celsius.
Certainly a grey, damp start
to the day tomorrow.
There will be some outbreaks
of chiefly light rain,
that will slowly start to ease.
By the afternoon, drier, brighter,
some spells of sunshine.
The wind starting to pick up again,
but not as strong as the wind
we have seen in the last 24 hours.
A mild afternoon tomorrow, 12 or 13
Celsius the top temperature.
As we go into Friday,
it's quite limited picture.
There are areas of
low pressure nearby.
The wind will start to pick
up a little bit again.
There will be some outbreaks of rain
again for a time on Friday.
Never really amounting to much.
As that clears, the weekend
is looking drier,
brighter, but much colder.
A brolly definitely needed.
That's it from us -
Asad Ahmed will be back
at 6:30 this evening.
But for now, enjoy your afternoon.