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Have a good afternoon.
Welcome to BBC London News.
I'm Sara Orchard.
BBC London can reveal
the Government's been making
millions of pounds by hiking
the cost of becoming
a British citizen.
The Home Office collected more
than £800 million in fees
over the past six years.
Ministers say the money
is re-invested in protecting
the UK's borders.
But charities claim many eligible
families can't afford the fees.
Here's our Home Affairs
Correspondent Nick Beake.
Samsung was born in Nigeria, and
came to London with his family when
he was five. He was entitled to
British citizenship, but never took
it. But when he turned 18, he
decided to apply, because as an
international student at a UK
university, he would have to pay
much more. He then found out
officially becoming British would
cost nearly £1000.
It was very
difficult for my mum, having to go
around looking at where she could
get the money from. One of the main
places we got help from was the
BBC London has learned the
cost of processing applications such
as Samson's was only £260, a court
of what he was charged.
It is really
quite upsetting actually that they
are actually doing this, and for
other people who may not be able to
even get that money together, who
are entitled or who have the right
to British citizenship.
Some charities which help families
gain British citizenship condemned
the rising Home Office fees.
that you have a right to register as
a British citizen, Parliament has
given you that right, and the
Secretary of State is trying to
profit and sell the benefit that was
giving by Parliament as far back as
1983, it is a complete scandal.
Home Office told us it has not been
making any profit from these rising
fees. It said any income generated
above the actual cost of processing
an application goes into the budget
which hopes protect the UK border,
and so actually reduces the burden
on the taxpayer.
Ministers also point out that for
the likes of Samson, taking British
citizenship is not compulsory. But
he wanted his immigration status
confirmed, although now fears others
may also struggled to pay for that
Nick Beake, BBC London News.
The World War II bomb which caused
London City Airport to be closed
yesterday has been towed to the sea
off Essex to be detonated.
It was due to happen this morning,
but the weather is causing delays.
Tolu Adeoye reports.
Through the night, the Royal Navy
worked to move the unexploded 500
kilogram German World War II bomb
that grounded flights for an entire
day at London City Airport.
As City reopened this morning,
preparations were being made
to detonate the bomb which had been
towed to Shoeburyness
on the Essex coast.
About ten hours driving
it very slowly, very
carefully down the Thames.
They've just deflated the mine
lifting bag and put it back
on to the sea bed very gently.
They are now guarding it and keeping
a careful watch on it while we can
prepare the explosives to go down
and strap onto the bomb,
and then we will hopefully detonate
the bomb on the sea bed.
It's estimated there
are still thousands of unexploded
bombs in and around London.
Just this morning a suspected device
which turned out to be a shell
was found near the Dartford
Countless wartime relics have been
discovered over the decades.
Accepted wisdom on how
to dispose of them has
changed a lot in that time.
What happens if the
bomb does go off?
There will be a big noise
and quite a lot of damage.
Some experts were quite literally
working in the dark when a German
mine was discovered in the Thames
back in 1957.
What's it been like down there?
I'm sorry you are
shivering with cold.
Just jolly cold.
Have you been able to see
what you've been doing?
No, you can't see a thing.
Well, how have you
been working, then?
Just by touch.
Modern disposal methods
are more sophisticated,
and controlled explosions have
become more common.
The Navy says safety is the top
priority when assessing and dealing
with the discoveries.
So there is an element of risk,
but the guys are very well trained,
very well practised and competent,
so it should be fine.
The weather has meant delays
to today's plans detonation,
so we will have to wait a little
longer for the big bang.
Tolu Adeoye, BBC London News.
Transport for London has announced
it will be expanding
Night Overground services in North
The service will be extended
to cover Canonbury and Highbury
and Islington stations
from the 23rd of February.
It means the Night Overground
will link with the Victoria Line
Night Tube for the first time.
The transport union Unite has
attacked Transport for London's
decision to allow a new independent
bus service to operate on four
routes in the capital.
Tickets for the Chariot service can
be booked via an app,
and TfL says it welcomes
the new innovation.
Others are worried about drivers'
wages, as Gareth Furby reports.
Deli Brian lives in Shooters Hill,
and says public transport
there isn't the best.
I get a bus service.
It runs regularly, but it is very
slow, and not too reliable.
But now she's found an alternative,
a new service that she books
onto using an app.
And it's telling me there
a Chariot 6-8 minutes away.
That's my ticket.
The pick-up point is also marked
on the app, and a few minutes later,
her journey to work begins.
It's an idea that started
in California, and has now come
to London, with four routes starting
to operate within
We were delighted that
Transport for London approved
the routes that we are taking,
because they recognise there
are areas where they are underserved
by public transport.
So we think that what we are putting
in naturally complements
But a bus workers' union is worried
it could lead to this.
The fierce competition
for passengers that was seen
in London before 1933,
when public control was introduced.
This is effectively going back 100
years, when you could come out
with a bus and pick people up
if that's what you wanted.
We are going to have a series
of routes now where bus drivers
will be paid the London living wage,
which is considerably less
than the average bus driver now,
who would earn about £28,000.
I just stop at the bus stop here.
But Daniel has chosen to work
for the new company, and for 12
years, he was a London bus driver.
He says it does mean a pay
cut for him of around
£6,000, but it's worth it,
because the working
conditions are better.
Here you work Monday
to Friday, and you have
Saturday and Sunday off.
The London bus network carries over
6 million trips a day.
This is very much at
the margins of that.
And we are seeing whether this can
be a complement to potentially
strengthen that network.
And back with Deli, the new service
may be costing her a bit more,
but she is happy to pay.
It is £2.40 per journey,
which is about 90p more
than I currently pay on the bus,
which I find is excellent
value for money.
Probably saves me about 20 minutes
on my journey time in the morning.
She says she will never take
a bus from home again,
and in a few months we will know how
many other Londoners
are joining her.
And finally, it is Shrove Tuesday.
That means the annual
Parliamentary Pancake Race has been
held this morning in Westminster.
MPs, including Ealing
Central's Rupa Huq, took
on the Westminster Press Pack,
all in aid of the brain
injury charity Rehab.
This year, it was the press pack
who clinched victory.
Well done to them!
Now let's check on the weather,
with Kate Kinsella.
Well, we started the day
on a reasonably positive note.
We saw a bit of
sunshine first thing.
Beautiful sunrise pictures
from the Thames here.
But quite quickly the sky
turned a little grey,
and we've got some rain as we head
through the afternoon as well.
So, yes, it's still wet.
And, yes, it's still
rather breezy as well.
Now, there's plenty of dry weather
out there to end the day,
but we do get some locally heavy
bursts of rain accompanied by that
strengthening southerly wind.
It's been a cool seven Celsius.
Now, later this evening, this rain
and cloud will disappear east,
leaving clear skies.
And it's under these clear skies
that the temperature
is going to drop.
Another cold night,
between zero and -3,
with a risk after today's rain
of the little ice tomorrow
morning and a frost.
A bright start, though,
until the cloud once again
takes over from the west,
and with it we get some rather wet
and windy weather as we head
through Wednesday afternoon.
a touch milder, 7-8dC.
Now, that rain and that
weather front will clear up
For Thursday, it is looking
like a much drier day,
with the return of some welcome
But we're also dragging in some
slightly milder air.
So, the temperature rises a little
as we head through Thursday.
We're looking at temperatures back
up into double figures right the way
through to the end of the week,
with the return of a
little bit of sunshine.
That's about it from me.
Riz Lateef will be here
with our 6:30pm evening programme.
But for now, from us
all on the lunchtime team,
have a very good afternoon.