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Protest held in guards row amid new SWT franchise

  • Watch the full report by Mike Pearse below
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The RMT union has been protesting to keep guards on trains on the first full day of the new South West Trains franchise.

Members have been demonstrating at Waterloo station in a bid not to extend driver only operation to the service.

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The new owners First Group, which already owns Great Western Railway, takes over the company at a time when August upgrade work is putting pressure on services.

As Mike Pearse reports.

Mike spoke to Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT and Andy Mellors, Managing Director of South Western Railway and Owen Johns from Network Rail.

Final day for residents to comment on county's future

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It is the final day for Hampshire residents to have their say on how budget cuts will affect the county's future.

The authority is expecting to face a £140 million gap in its budget due to national austerity measures.

The public can comment on potential changes to services, ways to generate income and increases to council tax.

The county has already seen a £340 million cut in spending over the last nine years.

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Work on region's biggest exhibition centre reaches half-way point

Work on what will become Hampshire's biggest building - is at its halfway stage. The new exhibition centre will hold 10,000 people. It's being built as part of the Farnborough Airshow facilities. It's costing £30 million and is a joint partnership between the councils and the airshow organisers, who hope it will boost the local economy. Mike Pearse reports.

£6 million grant to help bring 15,000 homes to Didcot

Plans to bring 15 thousand new homes to Didcot are a step closer with news of a £6 million government grant.

It will be used to improve the area's transport network and deliver the 'Northern Perimeter Road'.

It's part of the new Didcot Garden Town which should be complete by 2031.

It's hoped the route will lead to faster journeys and less congestion.

Alok Sharma, MP Minister for Housing & Planning

Hundreds attend second Lexicon jobs fair

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It has been years in the making and next month Bracknell's new, state of the art, shopping centre will finally open.

Today hundreds turned out at a jobs fair looking for work at the Lexicon.

It's the second one to be held with the first attracting more than 2,000 people.

But the Lexicon is just one part of the massive town centre make over.

As Mel Bloor reports.

Mel spoke to Rob Morris, General Manager of The Lexicon and Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker from Bracknell Forest Council, Con.

Protest against possible closure of St Leonards post office

Demonstrators have gathered in St Leonards to protest against the possible closure of the Crown Post Office.

The Post Office revealed plans in July to replace or relocate directly-run Crown branches in 20 locations as part of a modernisation programme.

But locals have described their post office as the 'beating heart' of the community.

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Oxford opens its first ever gin distillery

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Once dismissed as an old fashioned drink, gin has seen an extraordinary rebirth in recent years with sales rocketing in bars and supermarkets alike.

Last year, 40 million bottles were sold in Britain - that's enough to make more than one billion gin and tonics.

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Its surge in popularity has led to a dramatic rise in the number of gin makers setting up business.

Bombay Sapphire opened its distillery in Whitchurch three years ago and now Oxford has its first ever distillery.

Mel Bloor went along to find out more.

Mel spoke to Tom Nicolson, Founder of The Oxford Artisan Distillery, George Bennett from Sandy Lane Farm and Master Distiller, Cory Mason.

Story of fire at Hastings Pier - 100 years ago today - retold

One hundred years ago Hastings Pier was ravaged by fire, almost a century before the 2010 blaze which devastated the Victorian structure.

Today the story of the 1917 fire is being retold - while the new pier goes from strength to strength.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to historian Dr Chris Kempshall and Jo Stewart from the Hastings Pier Charity.

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