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Isle of Wight council announces measures to save £14-million

Savings announced at Isle of Wight council Credit: Isle of Wight Council

The Isle of Wight council has announced measures to help it save £14-million pounds in the next year.

Among them: - developing a new operating model for the council, with a focus on commissioning more services;

- reductions in senior management jobs and a review of admin and other management roles;

- introducing a new waste and recycling contract for the Island;

- reintroducing passenger charges (40p is proposed) for a return journey on Cowes floating bridge

- asking schools to take on school crossing patrol funding;

- introducing a community toilet scheme with local businesses and other organisations;

The Council says its plans to focus resources on four key priority areas in its finalised budget proposals for 2015/2016 - Supporting growth in the economy and tourism, keeping children safe and improving their education, protecting the most vulnerable with health and social care and ensuring the most effective use of resources in achieving the Island's priorities.

Council leader, Councillor Jonathan Bacon, said: "These priorities are focused on investment in the most essential services for Island residents alongside helping to plan and build a healthy future. They are also about maximising every £1 spent by the council on behalf of Island residents".

The range of savings options will be subject to consultation. The council has also been required to issue a formal consultation notice in relation to potential staff job losses among its staff, as part of the savings proposals.

Councillor Bacon, added: "The development of these budget proposals has been an extremely challenging task, but we remained dedicated to delivering the best possible services we can to Island residents."

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MPs to discuss Manston Airport's future

Manston Airport in Kent closed in May 2014

The future of Manston Airport to be discussed by MPs at the House of Commons this afternoon. The site closed in May 2014 with the loss of around 150 jobs.

The discussions are part of the Transport Select Committee's evidence sessions for its smaller airports inquiry. The witnesses due to speak include representatives of Kent Airport Ltd, RiverOak Investment Corp, Thanet District Council and Kent County Council.

Members of the Save Manston pressure group are also in London to make their voices heard.

Plane, made from toy bricks, goes on display

The plane made of toy bricks Credit: Mick Hopley

A Flybe plane has been brought to life in toy bricks at Southampton Airport.

Bright Bricks, the UK-based LEGO building company, used over 15,000 bricks to build a model of Flybe's iconic Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft.

The aircraft is on display in the airport's passenger terminal. The model is 1:20 scale, measuring approximately 1.8m long, with a wingspan of 1.4m.

£100m to be spent on Portsmouth Naval Base

Portsmouth Naval Base Credit: MoD

The government has set out plans to spend £100m on Portsmouth Naval Base.

The money would provide new docking facilities for two new aircraft carriers under construction.

The Chancellor George Osborne says that, as well as providing the navy with cutting edge warships, it would create and maintain jobs within the region's shipbuilding industry.

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Dorset MP calls for national referendum on HS2

HS2 Credit: ITV news

An MP is calling on Parliament today for a national referendum on the proposed HS2 rail link, which would cut through sections of the Thames Valley if it is built.

Christopher Chope, the MP for Christchurch, in Dorset, has tabled a Private Members Bill which demands 'provision for a national referendum on whether the proposed construction of the HS2 railway should be supported financially by the UK taxpayer'.

It comes just a week after the Public Accounts Committee stated they were sceptical that HS2 would be value for money for the taxpayer. But supporters of the project say it will revolutionise cross country travel.

Nearly 1,000 jobs secured as Dungeness Power Station life is extended by 10 years

The life of Dungeness Power Station in Kent is to be extended by 10 years, safeguarding nearly a thousand jobs. The plant, operated by energy giant EDF, will continue in operation until 2028 thanks to a 150 million pound investment.But environmentalists say the money should be spent on renewable energy. Iain McBride reports.

Extension of Dungeness is 'bad news', says MEP

“10 more years of unsafe and expensive nuclear energy production is bad news. Instead we should be focusing our efforts on the switch to a truly sustainable energy future – one which focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and which would deliver more jobs, faster carbon reductions and a fundamentally more democratic energy system fit for the future.”

– Keith Taylor Green MEP for South East England
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