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Bethnal Green road changes to tackle pollution revealed

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Bethnal Green will be the first area to see road layout changes in a controversial £15million council plan to tackle pollution.

Tower Hamlets council today announced work would start on the neighbourhood in May.

Councillors are expected to officially sign off the changes, part of the Liveable Streets programme, at a cabinet meeting later this month.

Traffic restrictions around Old Bethnal Green Road and Arnold Circus will be installed as part of the £2.7 million Bethnal Green plan, as well as wider pavements, improved lighting and CCTV.

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs said: “Our Liveable Streets proposals will make Bethnal Green a safer, greener and cleaner place to live, work and visit. I’d like to thank residents, schools and traders for all their input – they have played a key role in shaping these final designs. We’ve maintained access to homes and businesses while looking to remove traffic from outside the area.”

Seventeen neighbourhoods across the borough are set to be transformed as part of the £15million Liveable Streets programme.

Super-rich elites making London 'off-limits'

Sean Coughlan

BBC News

London's financial district
Getty Images

London has become the "epicentre of the elites" in the UK, making it "off limits" for young people from poorer backgrounds, says a social mobility charity.

The Sutton Trust says the high cost of housing has become a social barrier.

A report, using London School of Economics research, says social mobility is easier outside the capital.

Trust founder, Sir Peter Lampl, said the idea of going to London to "move up in the world" had become "a myth".

The report says it is increasingly difficult for young people to move to London to get the high-paying jobs concentrated in the capital.

"Those that benefit most from opportunities in London were either born there or are the economically privileged from other parts of the country," said Sir Peter.

"London is essentially off-limits to ambitious people from poorer backgrounds who grow up outside the capital."

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CCTV appeal after police officers injured in pub fight

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Scotland Yard has released CCTV footage of three men they are trying to identifying after two off-duty police officers were injured as they tried to break-up a fight in a London pub.

The officers were in The Maple Leaf pub on Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, on 20 December at about 19:10 when they saw an altercation break out between two groups of men.

They then tried to stop the brawl but while doing so were punched by three men with both requiring hospital treatment as a result. One officer suffered a dislocated shoulder while the other had a broken eye socket.

The attackers fled the pub following the fight, the Met said.

Det Con Karl Lewis said the officers "were enjoying an evening out when they witnessed a fight which they tried to prevent becoming more serious.

“In doing so, they themselves were set upon and injured, leaving them with significant injuries."

London's unemployment rate fell slightly last year


London's unemployment rate fell slightly near the end of last year, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The percentage of people in the capital aged 16 years and over who are out of work was 4.3% for the three months ending November 2019, a decrease of 0.3% compared to June to August the same year.

London's employment rate remains to be lower than the UK as a whole. In the capital the rate was 75.6%, while the UK's overall employment rate was 76.3%.

The figures revealed a record number of women in full-time work pushed the country's employment rate to a new high.

Tice: Big Ben situation is pathetic
Brexit Party MEP Richard Tice says it is "pathetic" that Parliament can't get Big Ben to ring on Brexit day.

GLA Conservatives: 'People don’t want more City Hall staff'

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Leader of the GLA Conservatives, Susan Hall, has criticised the Mayor of London for increasing the spending on City Hall Staff by 82%.

Staff costs in Boris Johnson's final budget for 2016-17 were £36m, while the proposed budget for 2020-21 under Mr Khan show them to be at £65.5m.

At Mayors Question Time Mrs Hall said: "You should be looking at where you are spending the money.

"I say to you people don’t want more people in this building. They want police officers out there keeping people safe."

Woman sought over widespread holiday bookings fraud

Hayley King
Met Police

A 34-year-old west London woman is being sought by detectives in connection with numerous "travel" frauds.

Hayley King, who had been living in the Feltham area, is described as 5ft 10 in, medium build with a scar on her left arm.

It is alleged Ms King made bookings as an "internet travel agent" using a company called Around The World Travel.

Victims would subsequently find no bookings had been made or only a small amount of holiday had been paid for.

Detectives have identified 56 victims of fraud across the country with a loss of around £125,000.

They believe Ms King may have travelled to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands in March last year and hasn't returned.

Detective Constable Ryan Maginnes of the Met’s Economic Crime Command, said:“We urgently want to trace Hayley King and would ask anyone with information to contact police. If she is abroad you can contact the local force and give them your information.

“We would also ask anyone else who thinks they may have been a victim of this fraud to contact police. It is my fear that there may be other victims who are not yet aware that their holidays have not been paid for. Anyone with information should contact police or Crimestoppers.”

Exhibition to explore history of Dub music in London

Channel One Sound System
Eddie Otchere

A specialist record store is set to open in the Museum of London as part of its latest exhibition.

Dub London will explore the history of Dub Reggae music in the capital, looking at how its has influenced musicians from numerous genres as well as studying the cultural and social impact it has had across the city.

Other objects which will be on display include a speaker stack belonging to Channel One Sound System that has appeared every year at Notting Hill Carnival since 1983 and a selection of records curated by representatives of various independent record shops who have strong links to Reggae and Dub.

Supertone Records, Brixton
Museum of London

Dub music involves using a recording studio itself as an instrument and has its roots in Jamaican reggae.

As exhibition's curator Cedar Lewisohn explains: "Even though most of this music originated in the Caribbean and Jamaica, London quickly became important to Dub Reggae: Dub record labels were started in London, and Dub music was produced in London and exported to the rest of the world."

"This display will be a unique and impressive way to tell the story of how Dub culture has shaped the identity of the capital and us as Londoners," he said.

Dub London will open on 8 May and run until August.

Council builds 200 new homes in central London

Westminster City Council

Westminster City Council has launched a new housing development in the heart of Paddington Basin, delivering 197 new homes.

Dudley House is a £104m council-led, mixed-use development that "aims to encourage a more diverse community in central London by tackling the critical shortage of affordable housing in the City of Westminster", Westminster City Council said

Dudley house incorporates 197 council-owned residential in a modern residential block, it added.

Cllr Rachael Robathan, said: “Just 2% of homes in our City are for those on average or ‘intermediate’ incomes. We need to ensure that those who work here have a chance of living here - that means people like the families, doctors and nurses who keep Westminster moving.

“Dudley House is an example of how a local authority, working with partners, can build affordable and attractive properties in the middle of a capital city with an intense crush on its housing stock and sky-high rents.

"The City Council is leading an ambitious programme to deliver 1,850 affordable homes by 2023, and Dudley House is an important milestone in that work.”

The project also includes a new permanent home for Marylebone Boys School, a church and a retail unit.

Second charge over Newham stabbing murder

A second man has been charged over last month's fatal stabbing of 29-year-old Leshawn Williams in Newham, east London.

Jerome Hyde, 28, was arrested after attending a south police station yesterday and charged with murder and possession of a bladed article.

He is due to appear in court later.

Mr Williams died after being stabbed in Hanameel Street, near London City Airport, in the early hours of 21 December.

Mr Hyde's arrest comes just days after his 28-year-old brother Michael was also arrested for the murder of Mr Williams.

Traffic reduction plans for Brick Lane considered

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Proposals which could see traffic access drastically reduced in the East End’s famous Brick Lane are being discussed by Tower Hamlets council.

Residents and business owners are being invited to workshops to discuss ways walking and cycling can be made easier in the area in a bid to improve air quality.

The council said a consultation last year found people wanted to see “improvements to traffic management as well as safer pedestrian and cycle access” in Brick Lane.

Plans to overhaul the area, famous for its many curry restaurants, as part of the local authority’s “Liveable Streets” programme are now being discussed and are expected to be revealed later this year.

A council spokesman said there are no “concrete proposals at this stage” but the workshops will discuss “the ideas we’ve received to date as well as relevant local data such as traffic flows, air quality and road collisions”.

Two critically injured in Forest Gate double stabbing

Crime scene in Forest Gate

Two men are in a critical condition in hospital following a double stabbing in east London overnight.

Police were called to Forest Lane in Forest Gate shortly before midnight over reports of an attack.

Two men, aged 19 and 23, were found with multiple injuries. The Met said they were both in a life threatening condition.

A male in his late teens has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is in custody.

New cycle route for south east London

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Artists' impression of cycle way
Artists' impression of the Greenwich to Woolwich Cycleway

Transport for London (TfL) says a new cycle lane in south east London will reduce danger on a road plagued by accidents.

The 6.5km Woolwich to Greenwich cycle path along the A206 Woolwich Road would connect Cycle Superhighway 4 to Tower Bridge.

There were more than 200 injuries in Woolwich Road over 2017 and 2018, including a number of deaths.

Under TfL’s new plans, Angerstein roundabout would be ripped out and replaced with a junction.

The transport body also wants to install a bike lane separate from traffic – now mandatory for new cycle routes on busy London roads.

There will be new pedestrian crossings, and pavements will be widened to make it easier for residents to walk safely.

And there will be two kilometres of extra bus lane on the A206 – speeding up journeys on the 161, 472, 180 and 177 buses.

A consultation on the first stage of the scheme is now open, and will run until 16 February.