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Twin brothers retire together after 50 years in family business

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper

A pair of twin brothers are about to retire together, after nearly 50 years working at one of the oldest iron works in Northampton.

The Slatter brothers took over the business their father first set up in 1958 - but now the Slatter and Sons workshop in Northampton is closing down.

The brothers say it's the end of an era - but they've got to move with the times.

It's come to an end really, because of competition from China - also we're wearing out. You just get older and un-loading a big lorry full of steel - it's demanding.

– Max Slatter

Jobs at risk as insurance firm considers future of Norwich call centre

180 jobs could go at Swinton's Norwich call centre. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Almost 200 jobs could go at a call centre in Norwich.

It comes as the Swinton Group announced plans to reshape its business model - putting more than 900 jobs at risk across the country.

The firm is investing £45m in enhanced IT and digital technology at its new head office and contact centre in Manchester.

The move means 84 branches are under review nationally as well as the call centre in Rosary Road, Norwich, which employs 183 people.

Swinton will now begin a formal consultation with all employees impacted by the proposals.

Where possible, affected staff will be deployed into other parts of the business.

Ever since Swinton started selling insurance door-to-door 60 years ago, this business has always evolved - first via branches, then contact centres and increasingly online. Our approach today, which is based on a high contact strategy, no longer meets our customers’ needs.

While branches continue to be an important part of our multi-channel business model, we need to ensure that we can interact with customers whenever, and however, they choose.

It therefore makes sense to continually review how we operate to ensure Swinton remains fit for the future.

– Gilles Normand, Chief Executive of Swinton

New bike-sharing scheme rolled out in Cambridge

One of China's biggest bike sharing companies has launched in Cambridge.

Ofo is a multi-billion dollar company started only two years ago with bikes in cities as far flung as Beijing and Singapore.

Users will pay 50 pence per half hour journey. But there are fears the system could be abused.

Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Claire McGlasson to find out more about how it will work.

Debenham's to close a distribution centre in Northampton

Debenhams Distribution centre in Northampton Credit: ITV News Anglia

High street department store Debenhams has announced plans to close a distribution centre in Northampton employing 220 people.

The site at Lodge Farm is run by courier company DHL. It will close in two years time and it's hoped, by then, that the company will have redeployed many of the workers.

The closure is part of a major review by Debenhams' chief executive which could also see up to 10 stores shut across the country.

Debenhams distribution centre, Northampton Credit: ITV News Anglia


New bike sharing scheme to launch in Cambridge

Ofo bikes have gone down well in China

A new bike sharing scheme, that is already a big success in China, is being launched in Cambridge.

The 'Ofo' system is similar to London's Boris Bikes but there is no docking station.

When cyclists finish their ride they find a legal parking spot for their bikes and leave them for the next user.

Users receive a message on their phone with a code to unlock the bike

Unions say job security key in Weetabix takeover

Unions wants assurances on jobs Credit: PA Images

Unions are calling for an urgent meeting with the new owners of Weetabix.

Unite represents more than 110 members, including engineering and technical staff at two sites – Burton Latimer and Corby in Northamptonshire.

The breakfast cereal company Weetabix has been bought by US consumer giant Post Holdings from the Chinese owners Bright Food Group, in a £1.4bn deal announced today.

Unite regional officer Sally Mortimer said:

“We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the new owner to seek assurances on job security and to ascertain the business plan going forward. We want to work constructively with the new management team to ensure the success of the iconic Weetabix brand and to safeguard the future employment for our hardworking and dedicated members.”

– Unite regional officer Sally Mortimer
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