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Brighton and Hove Council to cut 540 jobs

The council needs to save £68m over the next four years Credit: ITV

More than 500 full-time jobs will be lost by Brighton and Hove City Council. The council plans to save £68m over the next four years.

The proposed measures include stripping out middle management, improving efficiency and a recommended rise in council tax of 1.99%. The proposals would result in the loss of an estimated 540 full-time posts.

The savings come on top of £77m savings already achieved since 2011. The additional savings mean that between 2011 and 2020 the council will have saved £145 million.

These are the challenging times for local government as we face the combination of relentless central government cuts, increasing costs and rising demand for our services, particularly those serving vulnerable people.

We plan to involve residents more directly and build new relationships with community groups to give them more influence over local services. We are looking at doing things differently, increasingly working with partners, communities and businesses to find new ways to share delivery of public services.

– Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader

Is this the most overcrowded train in the South?

Commuters squeeze in for journey to the capital Credit: ITV Meridian

There's no end in sight! Don't hold your breath! Commuters in the South are being told the overcrowding crisis on our rail network will continue as major works are delayed by up to two years.

ITV Meridian can reveal that a formal announcement will be made within weeks as Network Rail grapples with how to deal with the engineering projects running behind time. That, and a funding crisis.

  • The problem is caused by a massive increase - in costs and delays to electrify the Great Western line - through the Thames Valley. The price was £874 million in 2013. It's now £2.8 billion and will be delayed.
  • ITV News understands upgrades to allow electric trains to run between Reading and Newbury - and Didcot to Oxford will also be delayed.
  • Priority will be given to upgrading the line from Paddington to Bristol.
  • A new £500 million link from Reading to Heathrow aimed at cutting jams on the M4 may also be put back.
  • And a £300 million scheme to link Oxford and Aylesbury with Bedford and Milton Keynes could be delayed by seven years.

In his special report, our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse has been speaking to Chris Irwin of Travelwatch South West, James Pritchard of Network Rail, Steve Headley, Assistant General Secretary of the RMT Union, Cllr Mark Shaw, of Buckinghamshire County Council and Gulzar Ganspao, a Berkshire commuter.


Fire and Rescue changes "a cut too far"

"A cut too far that will put lives at risk." That's how the Fire Brigades Union has described proposed changes to the way Hampshire Fire and Rescue responds to emergencies.

Fire chiefs have set out a number of significant changes aimed at modernising the service as it battles with a multi-million pound funding gap.

But the FBU has raised serious concerns about the possible loss of traditional crewed fire engines and wants residents to have their say. Emma Wilkinson reports.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Developer ditches plan for new Kent town

It was to be an entirely new town for Kent. Five thousand homes - and as many jobs.

The creation of Lodge Hill at Chattenden on the Hoo Peninsula was the biggest element of Medway's regeneration programme - and it was seen as a solution to the area's severe housing shortage.

Tonight, though, the developers confirmed they're pulling out after seven years of 'frustrating' planning - and 11 million pounds of costs. But backers of the project say it's not over.

David Johns reports, speaking to MP Kelly Tolhurst, two local residents, and Rodney Chambers from Medway Council.


Decision due over John Radcliffe Hospital porter strike

An industrial action ballot will take place today Credit: ITV Meridian

A decision is due to be made today on whether porters at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital are to go on strike.

GMB Union members employed by Carillion voted for the action in a row about proposed changes to working patterns.

Carillion plans to change shift patterns and merge roles, which union members claim will see them lose up to £56 a week from their wages.

GMB will hold a ballot later today.

These workers are amongst the lowest paid in the hospital and cannot afford to lose this money. They have told us it will mean they just will not be able to pay their bills each month, and this will cause real financial hardship.

– Carole Vallelly, GMB Regional Organiser

Jobs boost for the Isle of Wight

Hotel firm creates island jobs Credit: ITV news

The Isle of Wight is to benefit from Travelodge plans to create 750 jobs across the UK. The company is investing £70-million in opening 10 new hotels in areas including the island.

250 jobs will be created at the new hotels opening across the UK between now and the end of the year. Recruitment has started for posts including managers, receptionists, housekeepers, cleaners and bar staff.

The 10 new hotels include London, Bristol and the Isle of Wight. As well as the 250 jobs in the new sites, the company is also recruiting for 480 jobs across the UK for its 504 hotels.

  1. National

Unemployment figures at seven-year low

Credit: PA

Unemployment is at a seven-year low of 1.83 million, official figures showed today.

In the first quarter of this year it fell by 35,000, although this was the smallest for almost two years.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance last month also fell by 12,600 to 763,800, said the Office for National Statistics.

Average earnings increased by 1.9% in the year to March - 0.2% up on the previous month.

The UK now has an employment rate of 73.5%, which is one of the highest since records began in 1971.

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