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New Yarl's Wood contract for Serco

Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Serco's contract to run a controversial immigration detention centre for women in Bedfordshire has been renewed by the Government.

Yarl's Wood faced heavy criticism by human rights campaigners amid reports of sexual misconduct by staff, women being detained for long periods of time and pregnant detainees being held without justification.

Despite the troubles faced by the centre, the Home Office has awarded Serco a £70 million contract to operate the immigration jail for a further 8 years.

Serco was first appointed to manage the centre, which holds 410 detainees, in 2007.

"Serco Ltd will continue to manage Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre on behalf of the Home Office after emerging as the preferred contractor following a comprehensive re-tendering process. Serco's bid demonstrated that its offer was the best in meeting quality and cost criteria and providing value for money for the taxpayer."

– Home Office spokesperson

Arc Shopping Centre re-opened after suspected gas leak

The Arc Shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds Credit: ITV News Anglia

Suffolk Police say the Arc Shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds has now re-opened.

The centre was evacuated this afternoon after a suspected gas leak.

Police say National Grid engineers have not been able to find any trace of gas and so it is now safe for people to go back into the centre.

Gas leak closes Arc Shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds

Police shut off 'Arc Shopping Centre' in Bury St Edmunds Credit: ITV News Anglia

Suffolk police are asking people to stay away from Bury St Edmunds town centre after a gas leak at the Arc Shopping Centre.

A police cordon is currently in place around the entire Arc Shopping Centre and a number of surrounding streets, while engineers work to resolve the problem.

Shoppers were safely evacuated from within the cordon and police are warning people not to try to enter the area until the cordon is lifted.


Profits at Luton-based airline easyJet rise by 21%

Pre-tax profits at Luton-based easyJet are up by more than 20%. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Luton-based airline easyJet has announced a steep rise in profits.

In the year to the end of September 2014, the airline made pre-tax profits of £581 million, up by 21.5% on the previous year. Revenue was up 6% to £4.5 billion.

“easyJet has continued to execute its strategy, delivering another strong performance and enabling easyJet to deliver record profits for the fourth year in a row. easyJet has opened up clear blue sky between us and our competitors"

– Carolyn McCall, easyJet Chief Executive

easyJet has a fleet of 200 aircraft and employs 8,000 people. In the Anglia region, it operates from Luton, Stansted and Southend airports.

Landlady urges MPs to save our pubs

The House of Commons is due to debate an amendment to the Small Business Bill Credit: ITV

A Norfolk landlady is urging MPs to back changes which she believes could help stop the growing number of pubs closing.

Dawn Hopkins, landlady at The Rose Inn, said: "Pubs are getting turned into supermarkets, being developed for housing. Licencees are struggling and, if you have a pub company involved, it's even harder to make a living with the rents they charge and charging you double the amount for your beer that you would pay if you went directly to the breweries."

The House of Commons is due to debate an amendment to the Small Business Bill. It could help to secure fair rents and cheaper beer prices for licencees tied to big pub companies.

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