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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Future of Ebbsfleet under discussion

Architects, investors and political leaders attended a planning summit today to discuss multi-billion pound schemes set to transform north Kent.

First and foremost - the creation of a new garden city at Ebbsfleet, where the first homes are now under construction. Then there is Paramount Park, the vast entertainment resort proposed for the Swanscombe Peninsula between Gravesend and Dartford.

Also - the prospect of a second Thames crossing. And the possibility of Crossrail being extended to Ebbsfleet. David Johns reports.

He spoke to design expert Chris Lamb; architect Sir Terry Farrell; and Councillor Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council.

Virgin launch new route from Gatwick to Georgia, USA

Airline launches new route to Atlanta in Georgia Credit: ITV Meridian

Virgin Atlantic launched their new route to Atlanta in Georgia in the USA today. It was also the debut flight for their first Boeing 787 airliner - which took off from Gatwick Airport in Sussex. The company has ordered 16 of the aircraft in a deal worth seven billion dollars.

The airline, based in Crawley, say the new route is part of a strategy to develop more services to north America. It means they end the summer with some good news after the recent announcement about the phasing out of the domestic UK airline, Little Red. They are also pulling out of a number of long haul routes to the Far East and Africa earlier this year.

The firm's Chief Executive - Craig Kreeger, says the changes mean the airline is set to be profitable again this year:


£4-million to be spent on Southampton's roads

Repairing Southampton's roads Credit: ITV news

Southampton City Council is spending £4 million each year for the next decade on improving the city's roads. The road resurfacing programme will focus on residential roads - with work on A and B roads being funded by a separate budget. The council is asking people to contact them stating which roads they think are most in need of being repaired.

If you have any suggestions for residential roads that you think are most in need of improvement, email by October 27 with: the name of the road, the reason it requires attention, which section of the road should be prioritised. The council's road improvements programme will be announced later in the year.

300 jobs at risk at luxury yacht builder

Sunseeker in Poole Credit: ITV news

Around 300 jobs are at risk at luxury boatbuilder Sunseeker based in Poole. Staff were told of plans today. It's thought the cuts will focus on administration and managerial roles.

The company said: "The focus of the plans is to ensure the continued growth and success of our business, based on the UK's South Coast. It is clear to us that customer demand and the industry as a whole is changing and we need to respond to those changes to retain our position at the forefront of an ever-competitive market. We have informed Sunseeker International staff of the outcome of a strategic review aimed at increasing efficiency, simplifying our operating model and positioning the business for its long term future. As part of these plans we are looking to rebalance the workforce by removing non-core activities as well as where we see cross-over and duplication. Around 300 roles could potentially be affected. We want to reassure our staff and suppliers that Sunseeker International is 100% committed to maintaining our current UK manufacturing capabilities, and we have no plans to move our brand or production elsewhere". "

The company says the news will have "minimal impact" on boat building activities and there is a "strong demand" for its product. A consultation on the plans will now take place. The company builds luxury yachts, often with a price tag of several million pounds

Strike action by refuse workers continues in Brighton

No bin collections today Credit: ITV news

Refuse workers in Brighton and Hove will strike again today in an ongoing row over pay. Collections won't be made today, tomorrow and on the 20th. People affected are being told by the council to leave their bins out and they'll be collected as soon as possible. Staff introduced a "continuous work to rule" on 12th September.

The council says "We are very sorry for this disruption and the inconvenience it is causing to all residents." It offered this advice to residents: household waste and recycling centres are open as normal and will accept separated waste and recycling. You can take recycling to any of the recycling points in the city. City centre communal bins will continue to be emptied. Street cleaning staff will be working as normal.


Gridlock in Reading town: Delays were "more than an hour"

Managers at Reading Buses have apologised for major delays and disruption at the beginning of the week.

Almost every bus suffered delays, some by more than an hour, causing huge queues in the town. Extra buses - and drivers - were brought in but they, too, were caught up in the traffic chaos on Monday.

Reading Buses Credit:

The delays were caused by numerous factors including an earlier incident on the M4 which reduced the number of lanes to one and various roadworks around the town that included temporary traffic lights and inclement weather

– Jake Osman, Reading Buses

Reading Buses said the problems on the roads were the worst seen in years. The company said it will continue to monitor the various roadworks around the town and do what it can to help keep the buses to time.

Plans unveiled to rejuvenate Maidenhead town centre

New plans for Maidenhead Credit: London and Aberdeen

The plans for rejuvenating Maidenhead's Broadway Plaza have been released. People are invited to respond to the drawings for the £230 million project which will see King Street, Broadway and Queen Street revamped.

Known as The Landing, the developers hope to submit a planning application before the end of year. The area will include officers, new homes, shops, restaurants and cafés and provide a gateway from the railway station to the town. A public exhibition is currently underway at 59 King Street

Titanic letter up for auction in Wiltshire

Up for auction Credit: Henry Aldridge and Sons

A letter which details the Titanic's near miss in Southampton is being sold at auction in Wiltshire. The ship's chief engineer Joseph Bell wrote the letter about the incident which took place shortly before the ship's ill-fated voyage to New York. It's going under the hammer at Henry Aldridge and Sons in Devizes.

It was the worst of omens for the gleaming new ship embarking on its maiden voyage. As the Titanic left Southampton docks for a journey that has gone down in history, the ship came close to hitting two other liners.
Had they collided, it would have cut short the Titanic's ill-fated voyage to New York and may well have averted the catastrophe that was to claim 1,500 lives when the boat struck an iceberg on April 14 1912. The near miss is described in a letter from the Titanic's chief engineer Joseph Bell to his son Frank.

Mr Bell, who died in the disaster leaving behind wife Maud and four children, had transferred to the Titanic from the Olympic and oversaw its construction in Belfast.

Mr Bell's letter is estimated to fetch between £10,000 and £15,000 when it goes under the hammer on October 18.

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