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Senior Fire Officer makes history in Hampshire

Honour for Martyn Long Credit: Hants Fire and Rescue

A senior fire officer has made history by becoming the first member of Hampshire Fire and Rescue to reach 50 years service. Martyn Long, who first joined the service at the old headquarters in Winchester in 1964, was honoured with a landmark long service medal by the current Chief Officer, John Bonney.

During his half-century stint, Martyn served at stations in Farnborough, Lyndhurst, Aldershot and Basingstoke. He has also taken up roles in HFRS's training school and the Fire Service College. He stepped down from operational duty in 2002, but continues to play a crucial role in Hampshire's emergency response as a contingency planning officer for HFRS, working on cross-agency liaison for major emergencies.

He has dealt with some of the biggest emergencies in the county's history, including the Winchester Guildhall fire in 1969, the Great Storm of 1987, and the Poles Lane incinerator fire in 1994.

Martyn said: "If anyone had suggested in 1964 that I would still be working for the fire service in 50 years I would have laughed out loud. I left school aged 17 not knowing what career path I wanted to follow. I have had, and still have many good friends in the Service, and the various jobs have been hugely fulfilling and interesting. The Service has been very good to me and I do not regret joining all those years ago."

Appeal for workers to help build UK's first eco town

Artist's impression of new eco town Credit: ITV news

Developers in Oxfordshire are holding a drop in event to showcase the jobs and training opportunities available to construct the UK's first eco town. A variety of skilled workers are needed to build 93 homes in Bicester as part of the scheme.

The drop-in event is being held in the town centre at Unit 3 Crown Walk Emporium, Pioneer Square, on Friday 26th September from 10.00am to 4.00pm. The event is open to anyone looking for job or training opportunities in construction locally. A variety of work is available from ground clearance to bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing and electrical, landscaping or painting to roofers and administrative support. The developers says they are committed to creating a minimum of 20% local labour on site during construction

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Illegal tobacco and alcohol seized in Southampton

Thousands of cigarettes seized Credit: HM Revenue and Customs

Thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized in raids across Southampton. Over 100 officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) were involved in the operation, with support from Hampshire Police, Southampton City Council Trading Standards, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force officers. Two specialist Border Force tobacco dogs were also deployed. Investigators visited 19 retail premises across the city. They seized more than 8,000 cigarettes, 5.7 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco and 500 litres of alcohol. It is estimated around £8,500 of duty and VAT may have been evaded.

In one shop officers found a baggy overcoat with individual packets of cigarettes and tobacco hidden inside the lining, sleeves and pockets. At another store tobacco was concealed under papers in a newspaper stand.

John Cooper, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “The sale of illegal tobacco and alcohol will not be tolerated. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2 billion a year, and the sale of illicit alcohol which costs the UK around £1 billion per year. This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders. We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Dungeness A demolition viewed by Vince Cable

The business secretary Vince Cable has been looking at what's left of Dungeness Nuclear Power Station - a landmark on the south coast for more than forty years. Dungeness A is being decomissioned and today the Business Secretary visited the plant to see the work in progress. ITV Meridian has been given exclusive access to the demolition site. Tom Savvides has our report.

Preparations underway for Berkshire County Show

Thousands expected at Berkshire County Show Credit: Berkshire County Show

Farms across the Thames Valley have spent the last week frantically preparing for the Berkshire County Show. Thousands of people will descend on the Newbury showground this weekend.

There will be a grand parade of livestock - cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, llamas and alpacas in the main arena

Grand parade of livestock Credit: Berkshire County Show

There will also be an old fashioned funfair, vintage vehicles, motorcycle display, cookery theatre, music and 500 stands selling crafts, clothing and other items.

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Major regeneration scheme in Brighton gets the go ahead

New development proposals Credit: CircusStreetbrighton

Councillors have approved a major regeneration scheme in Brighton which is expected to create 400 jobs and more than 140 new homes. The Circus Street development will include shops, restaurants, offices and a dance studio. Its hoped it will inject 200 million pounds into the local economy.

The council's planning committee agreed the Public-Private Partnership scheme by Cathedral (Brighton) Ltd, the University of Brighton and the city council to transform the one-hectare site off Circus Street - the former municipal fruit and veg market.

Plans also include new teaching and research facilities for the University of Brighton as well as a new library. The developers promise green walls, green roofs, 78 new trees and allotments for food growing. They've agreed to pay £250,000 to improve local transport and recreation and to use at least 20 per cent local labour for construction.

Southampton Airport celebrates bumper August

The airport handled more than 200,000 passengers in August Credit: Meridian

Southampton Airport has seen more than 200,000 passengers through its doors this August – the highest number in a single month since August 2007 and representing a 3% increase in passengers over 2013.

The route with the largest growth, year on year, was Guernsey with an increase of 53% more passengers.

The city break destinations experiencing growth include Manchester (43%), Belfast (22%), Dublin (32%) and Amsterdam (19%), compared with August 2013.

Expansion was also seen in the French regional flights to and from Clermont Ferrand, Brest, Rennes, Limoges, Nantes, Bordeaux and La Rochelle. Verona was also up on 2013 this August.

Tradition meets technology at Southampton Boat show

It's an enormous contributor to the local economy, and attracts thousands of visitors- this year's Southampton Boat show is under way

More than 120 thousand people are expected at Mayflower Park over the next week. But it's not just a celebration of the maritime industry with boating displays, and international exhibits - it's also where multi-million pounds contracts will be signed.

Andrew Pate has been meeting some of the exhibitors

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