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Rail workers announce bank holiday weekend strike

Credit: PA

Rail workers on First Great Western are to stage a series of strikes, including over the August Bank Holiday weekend, in a row over new trains, the RMT union announced.

The union is in dispute over the introduction of new Hitachi inter city trains, saying the role of guards will be reduced and buffet cars' facilities removed.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, including drivers and guards, will walk out for 24 hours on August 23 and for 72 hours from August 29.

Other union members who work on maintenance will strike on August 29 and 31.

The strikes are due to take place:

  • All day on Sunday 23rd August
  • Midnight on Saturday 29th August until midnight on Monday 31st August

Despite strenuous efforts by our negotiators we have not been able to secure the kind of progress required in the key areas of jobs, services and safety for us to reach an agreement.

As a result we have no option but to put further action on.

The fact remains that if it is good enough for East Coast, using the same trains, to meet the very basic assurances sought by this trade union then it is good enough for First Great Western as well.

– RMT general secretary Mick Cash

'Last picture' of Cilla Black taken the day before she died

This is believed to be one of the last pictures taken of Cilla Black before she died.

The TV star happily posed for a picture with fan Amy Kelly at the airport before she jetted off to Spain last Friday.

Amy later posted the snap on Twitter saying: "Such an honour to meet the legend that is Cilla Black the day before she passed. What a lady!"

Speaking to ITV News, Amy said: "I told Cilla she looked great and I was a big fan. She just said thank you and was so lovely."

  1. Meridian

IPCC 'watching for poor practice or corruption' in handling of Edward Heath allegations

IPCC investigating claims of child abuse by Sir Edward Heath Credit: PA

“The progress of this investigation has been monitored by my office at every stage and I am satisfied that the necessary momentum and engagement with the IPCC has been maintained by Wiltshire Police since the information was received.

“It is important that the IPCC investigation is given full co-operation. I will be watching closely to see if any evidence of corruption or poor practice is uncovered.

“My priority as Commissioner is to put the interests of victims at the heart of everything we do, as well as holding the Force to account for its performance.

“I would like to encourage any victims, or anyone with information which could help the investigation, to have the confidence and courage to come forward.

“We have often seen from high profile national cases that victims, who have not spoken of their abuse for many years, find their voice and speak out. I want any victims of child sex abuse, whether current or historic, to know they can have confidence in the service they will receive from Wiltshire Police.

– Wiltshire IPCC


Flowers laid at Cilla Black's Spanish home

Flowers adorn the gate of Cilla Black's home in Spain. Credit: ITV News

A flowers have been placed at the gate of Cilla Black's home in southern Spain, following her death.

A card with the bunch reads: "RIP Cilla Black with love from all your British fans in Spain".

Credit: ITV News
  1. Meridian

Wiltshire Police issue statement over Sir Edward Heath allegations

“Following the announcement today regarding an independent investigation by the IPCC into allegations concerning how Wiltshire Police handled an alleged claim of child sex abuse made in the 1990’s, we are carrying out enquiries to identify if there are any witnesses or victims who support the allegations of child sex abuse.

“On becoming aware of the information, Wiltshire Police informed the IPCC and later made a mandatory referral. The IPCC investigation will specifically consider how the Force responded to allegations when they were received in the 1990’s.

“Sir Edward Heath has been named in relation to offences concerning children. He lived in Salisbury for many years and we would like to hear from anyone who has any relevant information that may assist us in our enquiries or anyone who believes they may have been a victim.

“We are working closely with the NSPCC to ensure that any victims are appropriately supported. They provide trained helpline counsellors to listen and provide assistance."

– Wiltshire Police
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