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  1. Petition launched over ambulance station closure

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Trade union groups in Brent have urged the local NHS to maintain an ambulance station that is set to close on Tuesday.

    Brent Trades Council launched a petition aimed at Garrett Emerson, chief executive of London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust, calling for Wembley Ambulance Station, in Chaplin Road, Wembley, to remain open.

    It argues the closure of the site would create a “gulf” in services in parts of the borough, particularly on event days at Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena.

    The group also suggested the timing of the proposed closure would add to issues brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, with Brent among the hardest hit areas in the country, and winter pressures.

    At a Brent Council community and wellbeing scrutiny committee meeting last week, Khadir Meer, chief operating officer at LAS, explained Wembley services have been operating out of Kenton Ambulance Station since March.

    And Pauline Cranmer, director of ambulance services at LAS, said the level of service has been maintained despite this change.

    However, Ketan Sheth, chairman of the scrutiny committee, questioned why the council had received news of the closure so late and called for greater consultation with the community.

    This is a point emphasised by the Trades Council, which has called for Brent residents to be “fully consulted on the future of the service”.

    According to LAS, the lease for the site ends at the end of the financial year, but it has been asked to vacate by NHS Property Services (NHSPS) on 1 December.

    A spokeswoman for NHSPS explained that the Wembley site is “unsuitable as part of a modern ambulance service” as it can only house one vehicle.

    She added land to the east of the station will be sold off after it was deemed “surplus” by Brent Clinical Commissioning Group, with any funds “reinvested directly into the NHS”.

  2. British mercenaries investigated over Sri Lanka war crimes

    Soldiers in Sri Lanka

    British mercenaries who were involved in the Sri Lankan civil war are being investigated for war crimes by the Metropolitan Police.

    Private security company Keenie Meenie Services (KMS) trained an elite unit of the Sri Lankan police called the Special Task Force (STF) in the 1980s to fight Tamil separatists.

    The STF has been implicated in a number of human rights abuses.

    These have included executions without trial and killings of Tamil civilians.

    Read the full story here.

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Damilola Taylor: A tribute to my friend

    Damilola Taylor was 10 years old, when he was killed near his home in Peckham.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: The father of Damilola Taylor says he still bears the pain of his son's killing
  5. Streatham Hill pole attack was 'isolated' incident

    An incident where a man attacked people with a pole in south London has been described as "isolated" by police.

    Police cordon at the scene

    A 13-year-old boy suffered a serious head injury after he was attacked while walking on Leigham Court Road in Streatham Hill on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

    The boy's condition is no longer life-threatening, added officers.

    Supt Ian Howells said the assault was "shocking" and had caused "alarm and distress".

    He added: “We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated and contained incident."

    A 35-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) and remains in custody.

    Met Police are appealing for any information or dash-cam footage of the incident.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Moment '180 mph motorcyclist' in T-shirt is caught

    The 19-year-old, filmed by a police helicopter, went through red lights and the wrong way on a motorway.