Storms cause commuter chaos

Tens of thousands of commuters were left stranded tonight after lightning caused chaos at two of London’s busiest stations.

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Met Office warns of flood risk

The Met Office has said there is potential for severe weather over much of the UK during Sunday, but added that there is some uncertainty in the forecast.

On its website, the Met Office said: "The public should be aware of the risk of flooding due to heavy rain as well as very strong winds and large waves, particularly on the southern side of the depression. Given the unseasonable nature of the weather this could be sufficient to disrupt transport and make outdoor activities dangerous.

"This is a particularly volatile situation, and this alert is likely to be updated as the event approaches. The public are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and alerts through the weekend."

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation scheme to help children in care

Ledley King and David Ginola are to launch a project offering opportunities to children in care in North London. The project by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is in partnership with the BT Sport Charitable Initiative, the supporters club, and will help youngsters increase their employability and life skills.

The Foundation has secured a grant over a three-year period from a new partnership between The Supporters Club and the Premier League, which will see The Supporters Club match fund club projects with the Premier League.

To Care Is To Do scheme is designed to engage and inspire looked after children and care leavers within the local community, will provide a range of support services to help improve educational attainment, increase employability, develop life skills and promote healthy and active lifestyles to all ages.

Over half of looked after children leave school without a single GCSE qualification, with only 13% likely to achieve five A* - C GCSE grades compared to almost half of all children. By the age of 19, three in ten looked after children are not in education, employment or training compared to only 13% of all young people in the UK.


Consultation for new airport hub ends

Check-in queues
Boris Johnson argues an airport hub will increase flight capacity into London Credit: PA

Today is the final day of a consultation regarding building a new hub airport in the Thames estuary. London Mayor Boris Johnson wants to create an artificial island for the project. he says it would increase flight capacity and improve the capital's economy.

Artists awarded funding to tour abroard

Grammy-nominated instrumentalist Imogen Heap is among a group of artists from in and around London getting a share of a quarter of a million pounds.The Music Export Growth Scheme funding is to help those signed to independent labels tour abroad.

Imogen Heap
Imogen Heap Credit: BPI (British Recorded Music Industry)

"Landmark albums and popular records from the canon of British music continue to form a strong core of UK music sales around the world. And in recent years we have started to witness more artists from the independent community top the charts and perform sell-out shows on the international circuit. The Music Export Growth Scheme has a role to play in this success and we are already seeing an encouraging return on the investment made by the Government, as bands embark on tours with iconic bands like The Rolling Stones and the Manic Street Preachers."

– Chris Tams, BPI Director of Independent Member Services


Communal hallway fire warning

London's cluttered communal stairwells and hallways are affected by more than one fire every day, new figures reveal.

London Fire Brigade is warning that clutter like buggies, bikes, mattresses and potted plants in communal areas are either blocking residents' fire escape routes, hampering firefighters trying to tackle the fire or can often be the cause of fires in the first place.

The Brigade is asking landlords and freeholders, who are responsible for communal areas, to do more to ensure they are kept clear. It is their duty to carry out fire risk assessments and ensure that tenants know their escape routes and understand what to do in the event of a fire in their block. Residents should also report items causing blockages in hallways to their landlords.

Last year there were 514 fires which affected communal areas, such as hallways, stairways and corridors, in purpose built and high rise blocks - an increase of 65 on the previous year's figures. This is more than 40 fires affecting communal areas per month.

"It's the responsibility of landlords to keep communal areas clear and ensure their property has a suitable fire safety plan. Residents can help by not storing bikes, buggies and other items in communal areas because these can cause fires that can spread quickly. "Parking a pushchair or a bike outside your flat might seem like a practical solution but in the event of a fire it becomes a dangerous obstacle that can slow down firefighters trying to reach a fire and residents trying to escape it."

– London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Steve Turek

For more information about safety measures in purpose built high rise blocks click here.

Crossrail extension announcement expected

A completed section of the Crossrail tunnel
A completed section of the Crossrail tunnel Credit: PA

The Transport Secretary is expected to make a major announcement about Crossrail this morning. It's thought plans are being looked at for a new route to Hertfordshire. It would help ease pressures during the construction of HS2. It's also understood it will signal the beginning of competitions for £6 billion worth of HS2 construction contracts.

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