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windy as we look towards the end of
That's all from the BBC News at One
- so it's goodbye from me -
Welcome to BBC London News.
I'm Katharine Carpenter.
where there isn't enough money
to pay the mortgage.
That's how the finances of Transport
for London have been described
in a leaked internal email obtained
by BBC London.
It lays bare the challenges caused
by budget cuts, with staff in one
division being told they need
to look at ways to cut costs.
Here's our transport
correspondent Tom Edwards.
This is where Transport for London
is based in Southwark,
and this organisation is wrestling
with cuts and trying
to balance its budget.
We've been given an internal staff
e-mail where managers say TfL
will make a loss next year
of £968 million.
This e-mail spells out in black
and white TfL's financial position,
and it's not pretty.
For example, it says
after day-to-day operating costs,
there's not enough money
to pay for renewals.
That's planned repairs on things
like roads to make them last longer.
And there's not enough money to pay
interest on money borrowed.
It goes on to say if this
was a household budget,
there wouldn't be enough money left
over to pay the mortgage
or get the car serviced.
Already, bus services
will see a cut of 7%.
Many senior managers have left.
Extra Tube trains
have been cancelled.
Insiders say staff are angry.
The e-mail blames the cut
on the Government grant,
which at one time was £700
million a year.
It also blames a decrease
in passenger numbers
and a drop in the income
from the congestion charge.
It doesn't blame the Mayor's
partial fares freeze,
which will also cost £640 million.
It says that has actually cushioned
the fall in passenger numbers.
In the surface transport division,
though, which covers buses,
the Overground and the DLR,
the warnings are, "We are still
forecasting to miss our budget.
We need to reduce our
The e-mail says that TfL can
sustain its position in the short
term by using its savings.
However, there is a warning.
It says "This is clearly not
a sustainable position to be
in as an organisation".
They've been accustomed
to good times at TfL.
Now the taps are being turned off
slightly and they will have
to deal with that.
They do have options, but many
of those choices are difficult.
Today, TfL said its
budget is balanced,
it's investing record sums and it
will be able to deliver the cuts.
It says its efficiency programme has
already saved nearly
£200 million this year.
But commentators warn that TfL is
facing a perfect storm financially,
with many challenges ahead.
A man's been arrested on suspicion
of attempting to murder a police
officer following a high speed chase
on the M25 in Surrey.
Officers pursued the car
from Caterham at around
three this morning.
It left the motorway at junction 9,
where it was brought to a stop.
During the chase, the car drove
towards a Metropolitan Police
officer deploying a stinger device,
running over their foot.
A number of police vehicles were
also damaged during the incident.
Every police officer
in Tower Hamlets is to get training
on election law to try and prevent
a repeat of the scandal
that dogged polling
in the borough four years ago.
That election had to be re-run
after the mayor Lutfur Rahman
was ruled to have acted
illegally and corruptly.
Our political correspondent
Karl Mercer is with me.
It seems there's a determined
effort to avoid a repeat
for the 2014 election.
Yes, there is a sorry history of
electoral malpractice in Tower
Hamlets, exemplified last time when
Lutfur Rahman won the election but
then an election court ruled later
that he had won it illegally. So
police officers have put in a lot of
effort this time. We heard from the
London Assembly this morning, the
borough commander in Tower Hamlets,
saying what police are doing. From
now until March, 620 police officers
are going to be trained. They will
have two hour sessions on the
history of elections in the borough,
but also of community tensions and a
special bit on election law. Police
staff and detectives will be
trained, and on polling day itself,
there will be at least one police
officer on every polling station. We
were told police leave has been
cancelled for that day as well.
challenges for the local authority?
Yeah. They say they have learned
lessons from what happened before
and have put in new things. If there
are more than five voters registered
at one house, for example, they are
visiting them specially and making
sure it checked out. There are also
extra checks being done on postal
voting, which was one of the
significant issues identified by the
election court. So a lot of work is
being done, but there are no
promises that it will be
The Prince of Wales and Duchess
of Cornwall have opened
a new electricity superhighway
to the capital today.
Prince Charles went underground
to learn more about the seven year
project to rewire the capital via 20
miles of tunnels to
meet growing demand.
To mark the centenary
of women getting the right
to vote, we've been
speaking to some of the pioneers
who have lived through
the changes that followed.
At 101 years old, Mary Ellis
is the last surviving female pilot
from the Second World War.
Sarah Harris went to meet her.
She was born before women first got
the vote, and became an aviation
pioneer. Even at 101 years old, Mary
likes to visit Biggin Hill to see
the plane she flew solo during the
Second World War, much to the shock
of the male ground crew who
initially refused to take her to
We can't go, we are
waiting for the pilot. And I said, I
am the pilot! There was little me in
my navy blue and gold blazer, you
know. They wouldn't believe me. They
sent two men in to search the
aeroplane to make sure.
NEWSREEL: The third anniversary of
the Battle of Britain...
pilots flew the planes from the
factories where they were made to
RAF bases, but that didn't keep them
out of danger.
Along came another
aeroplane beside me, with German
markings on it. And I thought, ooh,
my goodness. I hadn't seen one of
those before. And I waved him away
like that, and he waved to me like
that. I was so frightened. And
eventually, he did go. Thank
Now Mary encourages other
young women to take up flying in a
world still dominated by men. She
says there's nothing quite like it.
Up in the air on your own, and you
can do whatever you like.
Now let's check on the weather,
with Kate Kinsella.
Still chilly out there.
Yes, and it
will stay cold, especially tonight.
Today, many of us woke up to a very
chilly start. We had a bit of snow,
mainly towards the east. In parts of
Essex, we had a dusting of snow. And
we had a bit towards the north of
London as well. But gradually, the
snow showers have been clearing away
and we have got sunshine. Despite
the cold weather, we are seeing
little glimpses of spring. Let's
hang onto those as we go through
this chilly afternoon. We have got
some sunshine and it is a nice
afternoon if you don't mind the
cold. The northerly breeze has
cleared the cloud away, so it is a
sunny afternoon, but chilly
temperatures. We are looking at a
maximum of six Celsius inside the
M25. If you factor in the wind, it
will feel colder. Tonight, the
temperature is set to drop right
down, a really cold night. A
bitterly cold start to tomorrow
morning, but a bright and sunny one.
Gradually tomorrow, we will start to
the cloud feeding in from the
north-west. So to turn grey, but
overnight, we pick up a
south-westerly wind. So it is not
going to feel quite so bitter. Then
another cold front overnight,
bringing with it a bit of rain as we
head into Friday morning. But the
less cold air does not stay long, as
it starts to feel chilly again by
the time we get to the weekend.
That's about it from me.
Riz Lateef will be here
with our 6:30 evening programme.
But for now, from us all,
a very good afternoon.