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Uncertain future for historic D-Day site

Southwick House Credit: itv news

The historic map room at Southwick House near Portsmouth - used in the build up to D-Day - faces an uncertain future after being put up for sale.

The Ministry of Defence, who own the building, have announced it will be sold in order to be turned into housing.

Roy Perry, the leader of Hampshire Council has asked for it to be given Grade 2 listed status to protect it from removal.

Southwick House map room Credit: ITV news

Allied commanders led by General Eisenhower used a large floor-to-ceiling wall map at Southwick House to plan and co-ordinate the Normandy landings, which were a crucial turning point during the Second World War.

Over 70 years later, the map set to 0630 hours, D-Day H-Hour, 6 June 1944, has remained unchanged.

Councillor Perry has written a letter to support a request by Southwick & Widley Parish Council to Historic England, asking them to change Southwick House's Grade II listing status.

The amendment would specifically include the map room and the map, to prevent any future risk of it being separated from Southwick House.

Acknowledging the historical value of this site is essential, as it tells future generations how people, events and aspects of past life are connected through a place, to the present. The D-Day beaches are important but so is the location where D-Day was planned.

– Cllr Roy Perry, Hampshire County Council

Serial sex offender has sentence increased

Romeo Cummins Credit: Hampshire Police

A man from Hampshire who admitted sexual offences against five women - and filmed his victims - has had his jail sentence extended to life imprisonment following a decision by the Court of Appeal.

47 year old Romeo Cummins of Fountains Close in Basingstoke, was sentenced to 13 years and 6 months at Winchester Crown Court in August this year, having pleaded guilty to 16 counts of rape, one sexual assault, and five drugs offences at a previous hearing.

However, the Attorney General's office ruled the sentence was too lenient. He's now been given a life sentence with a minimum of 18 years following a hearing at the Court of Appeal in London. Cummins will also spend the rest of his life on licence.

The original hearing was told that between 2013 and 2016, Cummins targeted vulnerable women in north Hampshire. Officers found more than one hundred videos which contained footage of the sexual offences on his phone. An investigation then began to identify the women involved.

Romeo Cummins preyed on vulnerable women over a period of three years and convinced them he had their best interests at heart. The trusting relationship he had developed with these women was completely destroyed when he sexually assaulted them while they were in an unconscious state, and filmed the ordeal

– Detective Sergeant Lisa Cronin, Hampshire Police


Robert Courts 'sense of responsibility' as he's sworn in as MP for Witney

Robert Courts is sworn in as the new MP for Witney Credit: ITV Meridian

Robert Courts has described a huge sense of responsibility after being sworn in to Parliament as the New MP for Witney.

Mr Courts won the by-election prompted by David Cameron's resignation.

He says he's focused on the local issues he campaigned on - as well as the difficult task of finding his way around Parliament.

Dorset town welcomes Royal visitors

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were in Dorset today. They travelled with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to Poundbury, just outside Dorchester. The Prince of Wales has helped design the experimental new town and the Queen unveiled a statue of the Queen Mother in the village square. Caron Bell was there.


Dorset town hosts Frankenstein Festival as halloween approaches

On Monday children across the region will be out trick-or-treating, many of them possibly dressed up as one iconically scary character - Frankenstein's Monster. Exactly two hundred years ago an 18-year-old girl began to write her first novel, which turned into THE classic of horror fiction and spawned that character. To mark it, one Dorset town is holding a Frankenstein Festival. But why exactly does Bournemouth lay claim to a part in the creation of this giant of popular horror? Martin Dowse went to find out.

Former nurse tells how she was left in agony on a hospital trolley for more than 4 hours

A former nurse has told ITV Meridian how she was forced to wait hours on a hospital trolley in a corridor at the Queen Alexandra in Portsmouth. 59-year-old Kim Puddick was suffering from stomach pains and was rushed to A&E by ambulance on Sunday night. This week it emerged, patients were waiting for up to seven hours in ambulances queuing outside the hospital. And MPs have met with the hospital's chief executive in a bid to tackle the ongoing problems. Kim told our reporter Mary Stanley - she was left angry and belittled by her experience.

Ambulance service hopes new phone app will save lives

Defibrillators are becoming a common sight outside halls, shops and other buildings in our towns and villages. But would you know where one of these life-saving devices was, outside of where you live? That's a problem which the South Central Ambulance Service hopes to have solved. They've created a mobile phone app which will quickly guide you to the nearest defibrillator. As Kerry Swain reports - they believe the app will save lives.

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