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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon,

Coming up on the show tonight, news of a fairly uninformative, but fascinating Mayor's Question Time today with Boris Johnson seemingly having taken a vow of silence. We'll find out in the next 24 hours if Londoners are to face a treble whammy of transport charges with a hike in bus fares, Tube fares and the C-charge possibly be on the way. The normally verbose Boris was giving nothing away today, though, much to the annoyance of his London Assembly questioners. Let's hope that Simon Harris is more talkative than Boris, later!

It's sometimes easy to get a bit de-sensitized when watching the news on tele, but I defy anybody not to watch our next story with a degree of disbelief. 62 year old Ian Baynham was walking through Trafalgar Square with a friend two weeks ago when he was confronted by three youths. A woman was shouting homophobic abuse at him and when he stopped to talk to them, she and a man she was with are said to have attacked him. Mr. Baynham was left with severe brain damage and doctors had no alternative than to turn off his life support machine last night. The most shocking part, though, is that two of the three young people the police are looking for in connection with Mr. Baynham's senseless murder are teenage girls.

Now, many motorists already feel they get a pretty rough deal in the capital (see our top story!): speed, cameras, the congestion charge, maybe more road tolls on the horizon...the list goes on. So, being told that London has been named as Britain's car crime capital, may not come as a surprise to many. There are blackspots dotted around East London and if you live in Romford or Ilford, you're particularly at risk of having your car stolen or broken into. Chislehurst is statistically the worst area in the entire country where one in 25 people have been victims of some sort of car crime in the last year alone - double the national average. Marcus Powell reports on why and what's being done about it.

Also tonight: eight thousand young people have had a go at making sweet music together as part of the Primary Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Very commendable...but I'm glad I wasn't there to hear it! Don't get me wrong - I'm all in favour of little ones taking up an instrument, but the early days of scratching around on a violin or hammering away on a piano like a blacksmith can be a little tough on the old ears. My seven year old's just started keyboard and recorder lessons at school. The keyboard has a volume control and a headphone socket, so that's fine, but her early attempts at the recorder may well result in their dog-loving neighbours phoning the RSPCA. As for the Primary Proms, Sangeeta Kandola went along to find out if it was all tuneful symphonies from the youngsters or more like deafening sympathies to the parents!

See you at six...keep the volume control handy, just in case!

Matt and Katie

Weather blog

Good evening,
I got a telling off last night.
I drive to the station each morning to catch the train & as the car park is often full I park on a street nearby. I don't do this regularly & wouldn't choose to as it's not hugely convenient, but needs must....
As I unlocked my car on my return I was aware of a curtain twitching & then the rapid fire of purposeful footsteps. I was prevented from easing myself gratefully into the driving seat by what can only be described as a diatribe;
Did I know how selfish I was?
Did I know it was a residential street?
Didn't I know there was a car park?
Did I know that people like me made living in that road a misery?
And on it went.
I'm proud to say I didn't give in to my instincts but instead remained calm & apologetic but it made no difference. I did point out that I wasn't breaking the law & had parked as considerately as possible but to no avail. It was a stalemate so I decided to leave a question of my own hanging in the air;
Did my angry friend not know there was a station a quarter of a mile away when buying the house?
Not ideal, I know, but I was tired & hungry & getting cold -   talking of which, brighter but chillier by the end of the week. I must confess that any fleeting sense of victory I might have had was quickly replaced by dread at the same old parking dilemma this morning....
Hope to see you later,