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Gatwick expansion 'would deliver economic benefits'

Gatwick Airport says expansion there is the only way forward Credit: ITV

Gatwick Airport has responded to the Transport Committee Third Report 2015-16: Airport expansion in the South East.

The Transport Committee’s astonishing statement that the arguments ‘for and against airport expansion have changed little in a quarter of a century’ ignores the significant change within the aviation industry following the break-up of the BAA monopoly in 2009 - and the worsening of air quality in the UK which has repeatedly halted Heathrow’s plans in the past.

In one key respect, however, the committee is right to say that nothing has changed - Heathrow is still undeliverable. Fortunately, there is now a credible alternative at Gatwick that can mean Britain finally gets on with it.

The opportunity to end decades of delay and false starts can only be achieved by giving the green light for Gatwick expansion. Gatwick is the only scheme which can actually deliver the economic benefits airport expansion would bring without the dramatic and unacceptable impacts on noise and air quality.

– Gatwick Airport

Renters pay landlord equivalent of mortgage deposit

Housing charity calling for more affordable housing Credit: Rui Vieira / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The government need to invest in homes which people can afford, according to the housing charity, Shelter.

Shelter say renters in our region have paid an average of £47,000 to their landlord in the last five years. That's the equivalent of paying a 18% deposit on the average first time buyer home.

And in Guilford, renting a two bedroom property would have set you back more than £64,000.

When just five years of rent could get you the deposit on a house, it's no wonder the South East's renters feel like they're getting a raw deal, paying through the nose for something they can never call their own.

Our drastic shortage of affordable homes is leaving millions of people stuck in their childhood bedrooms in a bid to save money, or in expensive and unstable private renting with little hope of ever saving for a home to put down roots in.

It doesn't have to be this way - the government can turn things around by investing in homes that people on ordinary wages can actually afford to buy, or rent for the long-term."

– Campbell Robb, Chief Executive, Shelter

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Domestic abuse protestors interrupt Portsmouth budget meeting

The meeting was stopped for 10 mins as protestors let off confetti and chanted Credit: ITV Meridian

A key Portsmouth City Council meeting on budget cuts had to be temporarily stopped because of protests.

Demonstrators against proposed council cuts to domestic violence services in Portsmouth let off confetti in the chamber and chanted until they were removed.

The council has to find £11m of savings this year - and had proposed cutting funding to domestic abuse services by £130k. Today councillors announced that funding would be found to continue the service for this year at least.

A local tax rise of the maximum 3.99% for the next four years is also being proposed, as are cuts to the fire service.

Watch Sam Holder explain in a live report from outside Portsmouth Guildhall:

Protest on steps of City Hall

Women fearing budget cuts protest on city hall steps head of crunch meeting.

The city council has already made £74.4m of savings over the last five years. But city hall bosses needs to save at least another £31m over the three financial years from April 2016.

The £31m will have to come out of the £207m of spending under the council's control. Almost half of the £207m is spent on looking after vulnerable adults and children.

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Kent's street lights to go 'green'

Kent Council say the lights will save taxpayers up to £5.2 million a year. Credit: Kent County Council

Over 110,000 street lights in Kent will be upgraded to energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology.

The new lighting will be connected to a central management system (CMS) allowing Kent County Council to monitor and adapt lighting levels. The council says the lights will save Kent taxpayers up to £5.2 million a year.

Currently, Kent’s street lights and lit signs bill is nearly £9.5 million a year in maintenance, electricity costs and the associated carbon tax.

Work is due to start in residential areas in March 2016 and will be completed within 38 months.

More apprentices will be needed for new building jobs

Rise in construction industry will increase need for apprentices Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Building jobs in the south east are predicted to increase by more than two thousand in the next five years.

A new report by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) shows that the rise will inspire more young people to become apprentices.

A young CITB apprentice learning the skills of the job Credit: CITB

Man with brain damage says Headway charity has 'changed his life'

A man who suffered brain damage at birth is leading calls to save the charity which, he says, has changed his life.

Andy Baker goes to the rehabilitation centre at Headway Oxfordshire in Kennington once a week. Along with its own fundraising efforts the organisation receives money from the county council.

The local authority is due to discuss its budget next week. Mr Baker says if planned cuts go ahead the charity may not be able to continue all of its good work. Kate Bunkall reports.

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