Live updates

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

Advertisement

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.

Volunteers help families in need

With Christmas over, many families are now struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. A voluntary organisation in Thanet, that provides support to people living in poverty, says demand for help increases in the run up to the New Year. Tom Savvides has been talking to a mother from Margate, who relies on a foodbank to get by.

Interviewees: Zoey Chambers, mother, and Kerry Keating, Thanet's Families in Need.

Homelessness at record levels in South East

As most of us have been enjoying the Christmas break with family and friends, there are others who've spent it alone and on the streets. Now, a charity in Sussex has released a hard-hitting film, showing just how quickly someone can become homeless. The Brighton Housing Trust says more people are sleeping rough than ever before. Malcolm Shaw reports.

Click here for advice from Shelter.

Advertisement

'Significant rise' in South East house prices

House prices are rising in the Meridian region Credit: ITV

House prices in the South East have shown a significant rise.

Rochester, Dartford and Leigh-on-Sea have all made it into the top 10 of places that have recorded the biggest increase in house prices this year.

Prices rose in Rochester by an average of 15.8%.

House prices rise across the South East

House prices are continuing to rise Credit: ITV

A lack of homes for sale is pushing up house prices across the South East, according to new figures. The Royal Insititute for Chartered Surveyors says price rises across the Meridian region continue to be among the highest in the country.

Champagne corks popping over wine investment in Kent

It's being described as a 'game-changer' for wine production in the South East. A leading French champagne house is making a massive investment in Kent, where it's confident it can produce a world-class sparkling wine bearing its famous name.

Tattinger will create a 70-hectare vineyard at Chilham between Canterbury and Ashford - eventually producing 300,000 bottles a year.

Industry experts say the move, made possible by climate change, could establish Kent and Sussex as one of the world's premier wine producing regions.

Load more updates