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Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh's latest installation

Presenter and gardener Alan Titchmarsh has been installed as the new Chancellor of the University of Winchester.

Alan Titchmarsh says he's honoured to be chosen for the role Credit: itv Meridian

The presenter who's originally from Yorkshire has been in Hampshire since the 1980's.

He told ITV Meridian the role as Head of the university means he will be the "public face" of the institution and said it was a great honour to be selected.

As Chancellor the presenter will be the public face of the university Credit: itv Meridian

Alan Titchmarsh MBE, is the patron of over 50 charities and organisations and of course a household name, but he says he has no intention of slowing down. He didn't go to university himself but is a champion of education and apprenticeships.

"I am hugely looking forward to working closely with the Vice-Chancellor, to make sure that the University continues to maintain its reputation and goes from strength-to-strength. It will be a challenging role but one that I shall relish.”

– Alan Titchmarsh

The broadcaster, who's also a novelist was officially welcomed into the role as Chancellor at a ceremony today, our reporter Andrew Pate was also there.

Father takes bid to overturn school holiday fines to High Court

Noah Myers takes bid to overturn holiday bans to the High Court Credit: ITV

A father has launched a bid in the High Court to have the current ban on term-time holidays overturned. It comes on the day the government promised to get even tougher on parents who take their children out of school without permission.

Noah Myers travelled from his home in Brighton on a mission to challenge the issue of £60 fixed penalty notices for thousands of families.


A colourful calendar of Black History Month events

St George's schoolboys at Black History Month launch Credit: Unity 101 Community Radio

Event organisers in Southampton are looking forward to opening their doors for a month long celebration of Black history.

It's the 11th year Black History Month has been celebrated in the city and community organisations and businesses are getting ready to host activities.

With exhibitions, screenings and musical performances planned, people of all ages and ethnicities can be entertained while learning about the positive contributions that Black people, over the years, have made in the south.

Events include:

  • An exhibition exploring the role of Black women in society by Radian Housing, from 11am to 2pm on Saturday 3rd October, at the Newtown YMCA, Graham Road.
  • A presentation of a ‘Black Plaque’ to the Red Cross, in honour of Red Cross volunteer, Mae Street-Kidd (1904–1999). From 11am, Thursday 15th October, at the Royal South Hants Hospital, Mary Seacole Wing at the Healthy Bites Cafeteria.
  • First showing of the short film BLACK, which stars Black men from Southampton. From 8pm to 9pm, Friday 16th October at The Stage Door, 78 West Marlands Road.
  • The One World Fair, showcasing Southampton's cultural diversity through food, interactive stalls and workshops. From 2pm to 5pm, Friday 30th October, at Southampton Solent University, Sir James Matthews Building.
  • Godfrey Brandt's Chords and Lyrics 2, an evening of spoken word poetry and jazz, from 7.30pm on Friday 30th October at Mettricks Tea & Coffee House, 117 High Street.

For a full calendar of events visit, Discover Southampton.

Children connect with writers around the world

We all know children have wonderful imaginations and now a new scheme has been launched to help them transfer their ideas onto paper.

The initiative allows youngsters to connect with writers from around the world and even gives them the chance to have their work published on the online platform 'Pobble'.

It's been endorsed by authors and embraced by schools all across the UK, as Sarah Beecroft reports.


Hospital shortlisted for prestigious health award

Southampton’s teaching hospitals have been shortlisted for a prestigious national award which recognises excellence and continuous improvement in healthcare.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist services across central southern England and the Channel Islands. Among the achievements and innovations noted by the competition’s judges was the performance of Southampton Children’s Hospital, which has some of the best outcomes in the country for pediatric intensive care and children’s heart surgery organisations.

University Hospital Southampton is among seven organisations competing to be named the Health Service Journal’s ‘provider trust of the year'.

Two new primary schools for Berkshire in 2017

A construction firm has been selected from five companies which submitted intial bids to build two new primary schools in Newbury.

West Berkshire Council chose Kier Construction in Newbury to carry out the projects.

The first school will be located in Theale, with an exact location to be confirmed. A preferred site has been chosen in the village, but West Berkshire Council said it is working with Theale Parish Council to have the new school ready for the start of the academic year in September 2017.

The second primary school is to be built on Newbury College land, and will be sponsored jointly by the college and Theale Church Of England Primary. It will be called Highwood Copse, and should open in September 2017.

“We are still working on the site details for Theale, but these two exciting projects will greatly enhance the education of local children well into the future.

“In addition to the planning consultation process, we will be holding public events at which evolving illustrative material will be exhibited so that the local people can comment and meet individuals involved in the project delivery.”

– Dominic Boeck, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Education
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