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'At 18 I didn't understand implications of my student loan' - 2 years after graduating interest totals £4,000

Calls for more financial education

There are calls for young people to receive more financial education, especially with the high levels of debt some students owe when leaving university - having taken out loans to pay for their £9,000 a year tuition fees.

Nearly half of all young people - now go on to higher education. If Labour or the Greens win the election next month university tuition fees of more than £9,000 will be scrapped.

Other parties propose to restore maintenance grants, waive repayments for teachers who stay in the profession or even just abolish tuition fees for certain subjects. However the reality is that tens of thousands of young people currently leave University with huge debts, of typically more than forty thousand pounds.

Claims that interest on student loans "scandalous"

Interest charges can mean the debt is higher than expected

Student loans have been in the news headlines after the Labour Party released more details of its plans to scrap university tuition fees starting from September 2017, should the party win the General Election in June.

Meanwhile an ITV Meridian investigation reveals that the sum of debt owed by students could be a lot higher than they initially think - because of interest charges which start from the day the loan begins.

This is the first of two special reports from our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford.

The report contain interviews with: Estelle Clarke, campaigner and expert; Tom Woolf, Founder of EdAid; Jessie Hamil-Stewart, a first year student; and David Tyler, a Financial Advisor. There is also footage from a Student Loan information film.


New call centre to bring 600 jobs to Isle of Wight

John Devlin and Lyle McLean from Ascensos

Up to 600 new jobs are to be created on the Isle of Wight with the opening of a new customer service contact centre.

Staff at the site in Cowes will handle customer queries for the Scottish-based contact centre management specialist Ascensos which manages customer service enquiries for retail companies including Argos; BooHoo; B&Q; Coast; Game; Karen Millen; L.K.Bennett; Monsoon; Oasis; Warehouse; and Wickes.

Ascensos will invest more than £1 million and the Isle of Wight Council agreed to offer a capital investment of £2.1 million as well as a 10 year lease on the site in Cowes - subject to further legal discussions. The local authority has estimated that the business will contribute £35 million to the island's economy. Work to prepare the building will start straight away, and recruitment will also begin so that the business can open by the planned date of September 2017.

“This is a major strategic move for Ascensos, increasing our capacity by 30% and establishing our first UK facility outside Scotland. We’re excited to be coming to the Isle of Wight. The people, the financial assistance and the support in recruitment, training and development made for an unbeatable package.

“Ascensos is growing rapidly and we have become a force to be reckoned with in the UK contact centre sector. We’ve a reputation for doing things differently in this space and we look forward to opening Ascensos Isle of Wight after the summer.”

– John Devlin, CEO of Ascensos

“We’re already in discussions with the DWP and Isle of Wight College and our recruitment campaign will get underway shortly. Ascensos is known as a great employer and we’ll be bringing the same approach to the Isle of Wight.”

– Lyle McLean, Ascensos’ Operations Director , Isle of Wight

“I am very excited that Ascensos has chosen the Isle of Wight as the location for its major UK expansion. The Island is already home to a number of major, global companies and is perfectly positioned to support the ambitions of Ascensos, with a motivated, skilled and enthusiastic local workforce.

"This move also promotes our ambitions of regeneration for the Island, to create a robust and dynamic local economy that will be sustainable now and in the long term for our future generations.”

– Councillor Dave Stewart, Leader, Isle of Wight Council

Talks to sell Pompey will go ahead after vote

Negotiations to sell Pompey will go ahead

The shareholders of Portsmouth Community Football Club have voted in favour of selling the club to the Tornante Group.

The Tornante Group is owned by the family of Michael Eisner, a former Chairman of the Walt Disney Company. 81.4% of the club's equity holders agreed to the sale, passing the threshold of 75%. Therefore talks to negotiate the final terms of the sale will go ahead over the coming weeks.


Vulnerable people targeted by phone scam

Fraudsters pretend to be police officers Credit: ITV

A warning is being sent to vulnerable people in West Sussex about a phone scam. Fraudsters pretending to be police officers claim victims' bank cards have been copied, with money needing to be withdrawn and given to a courier. One 85-year-old woman handed over £12,500.

Woman jailed for string of purse thefts across county

Hristova was jailed for 20 months Credit: Dorset Police

A woman has been jailed for committing a string of purse thefts across Dorset

Ivalina Hristova, 34, of St Michael's Road in Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of theft and one count of fraud by false representation. She was handed a 20-month prison sentence.

The court heard that Hristova targeted elderly female shoppers in the High Street and Ashley Road in Poole as well as the Dolphin Shopping Centre.

She also preyed on her victims in stores along Wimborne Road in Bournemouth, in the Sovereign Centre in Bournemouth, Dalkeith Arcade in Bournemouth and several other locations.

A number of the thefts were captured on CCTV in various stores. On one occasion where the victim's PIN was with her bank card, Hristova fraudulently obtained money from a cash machine.

After Hristova was identified as a suspect, efforts were made by police to arrest her. She was eventually arrested at Stansted Airport on Thursday 9 February 2017 after returning to the UK from Bulgaria and taken to Bournemouth police station to be interviewed.

Hristova engaged in a campaign of purse thefts across the county, systematically targeting elderly women with cold, brutal efficiency and showed no remorse for her actions.

She would pretend to browse for goods, bump into her victim and simultaneously take her purse or bag. Hristova would then often remove the cash and dump the purse or handbag nearby.

– Deputy Neighbourhood Inspector Steve Houston

Large increases in cost of parking

Thousands of drivers in the region are facing big rises in the cost of parking. In Basingstoke motorists are seeing increases of up to a third.

That means the cost of parking all day in one of the town's council run car parks goes up from £8.40 to £11. The council says parking still offers good value for money.

Charges have also been put up in Surrey - and in car parks run by Oxford City Council. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

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