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Unemployment drops by 15,000

Unemployment has dropped by 15,000 in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire over the last year. Two and a half million more people in our region are now in employment than they were in December 2013. The figures released today by the Office for National Statistics also reveal that the number of people participating in apprenticeships has increased by 4.7% per cent in our region.

Protest against Lincolnshire fire service cuts

Protestors against possible cuts to Lincolnshire's fire service will demonstrate in Lincoln city centre later today.

A protest against cuts to Lincolnshire Fire Service will be held today

The Defend Our Fire Service group together with the Fire Brigade Union are opposing plans which could see cut backs made to Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

"The jobs of dozens of firefighters are threatened by cut proposals, and the FBU are absolutely right in organising this protest to defend their members' livelihoods.

"But these cuts will have a serious effect on the public too and the services that our communities receive.

"Under the proposed cuts plans, Lincolnshire residents will have to wait longer for a fire engine after they've called 999, and when one shows up, there'll be less firefighters on board.

"We're calling on members of the public to unite together with the FBU to stop these cuts proposals and defend our fire services."

– Elaine Smith, Defend Our Fire Services

The protest, organised by the Lincolnshire branch of the Fire Brigades Union, will take place today from 11am.

Protesters will assemble by the war memorial on the corner of St Benedict's Square and the High Street in Lincoln.

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Figures reveal number of workplace deaths and injuries

New figures show that 17 people lost their lives while at work in Yorkshire in 2013-14, and 7422 suffered injury. This compares to 15 deaths and 7649 injuries the previous year.

Statistics were also released today showing the scale of workplace illness. Across the region more than 110,000 people were estimated to have been made ill through their work over the same period.

The latest figures show that those involved in construction, manufacturing and waste and recycling are most at risk, with agriculture another industry where sustained improvement is needed.

The families of the workers in our region who lost their lives last year have just had to spend the festive period without their loved ones. Sadly there were two more deaths in the region than the previous year but the overall trend is downwards. The decrease in the injury figures should be welcomed and does offer some encouragement that we are continuing to head slowly in the right direction, but there is scope for more improvement. We can still go further and challenge the industries where there is room to do more to protect worker safety.

– John Rowe, Head of Operations for HSE in Yorkshire and the Humber

'Small' fire on Yorkshire Post tower put out by crews

West Yorkshire Fire service says a fire on the Yorkshire Post tower reported by members of the public has now been put out.

A number of motorists noticed the fire as they drove past this evening. But fire crews say it was a small, accidental fire that was quickly dealt with.

The tower is the only remaining structure on the site after the rest of the Yorkshire Post building was demolished.

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Army careers event at Catterick

The business community is lending its support to the thousands of servicemen and women leaving the military, either through choice or because of defence cuts.

They have been outlining job opportunities at a careers event at Catterick Garrison, which is Europe's largest military base.

Dominic Hamberg of the British Forces Resettlement Services and Lance Corporal Gary Daye of the Scots Guard spoke to Calendar.