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Ousted MP Stephen Lloyd says he can't accept money from supporters to pay his mortgage

Supporters of former MP Stephen Lloyd have offered to pay off his mortgage to keep him in the running for the next general election.

The Lib Dem was defeated by the Tories in last week's battle for Eastbourne and says he now needs to find a job to keep his home. He's declined the money, saying it would be better to donate it to the local hospital campaign.

Stephen Lloyd, ex MP, who says he's got a massive mortgage Credit: PA Images

Protect yourself - telephone scams cost Dorset £1m

Dorset Police are tackling fraud including telephone scams

A day of action is being help in Dorset to fight fraud. The Dorset Police force wants to highlight the number of scams currently operating in the county.

Telephone fraud alone cost Dorset more than a million pounds in just over one year.

The following workshops are being held today to advise people about how to protect themselves against fraudsters:

Dorford Centre, Dorchester - between 9.30am and 11.30am

United Reform Church, Dorchester - between 2pm and 4pm

Christchurch Day Centre, Highcliffe - between 9.30am and 11am

"This is a great opportunity for local residents to learn about a number of scams currently operating in the county. It will hopefully encourage people to take sensible, yet simple measures to help themselves avoid becoming victims of such crimes.

"Telephone fraud has cost the county over one million pounds in just over one year, so we're hoping that people will remember that the police and banks will NEVER ask anyone for their account number of PIN details over the phone.

"People can go away from the event armed with knowledge which they can pass on to their relatives, friends and neighbours and help prevent them from becoming victims of fraud too."

– Steve Marsh, Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector

Dorset Police issued the following guidelines to help people avoid becoming the victims of scams:

  • NEVER give your PIN or bank details out over the phone
  • NEVER withdraw cash and send it anywhere via a courier or taxi
  • NEVER send bank cards anywhere via a courier or taxi
  • NEITHER the police nor your bank will ever ask for you to do any of the above.

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Plans to boost commerce in Dorset

Ian Girling, DCCI's Chief Executive and Dorchester president Steve Bulley Credit: DCCI

Moves to create a pan-Dorset network of chambers of commerce to fight the county's corner have been boosted by a new member.

Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has been leading the drive to unite business groups to give them a stronger voice locally, regionally and nationally.

Now DCCI has welcomed Dorchester Chamber of Commerce as the third town chamber to become affiliated - following hot on the heels of Broadstone and Weymouth and Portland.

The partnership aim to bring together business groups in the area to give them a stronger voice locally, regionally and nationally.

The network of chambers can be far stronger and far more cohesive than it has been. DCCI has the opportunity and the responsibility to start to bring chambers together for the whole of the county.

– DCCI chief executive Ian Girling

Woman finds dead lizard on jacket she bought in Asda

A dead gecko was found squashed into this coat Credit: Paula Dunican

A woman from Canterbury was horrified to find a very dead, very squashed gecko inside a jacket she bought at Asda.

The £25 garment had a "seeping stain" in the lining which Paula Dunican discovered in the lining when she got it home.

The stain turned out to be the decaying body of the unfortunate animal.

Geckos are a type of lizard, usually found in warm climates.

Asda has offered Mrs Dunican a refund and a £40 voucher. They told ITV Meridian: “We’d like to apologise again to Mrs Dunican for any upset caused, and reassure her this was an isolated incident.”

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Bright future for solar investment?

The owners of a solar farm in Kent are offering local people the chance to invest in the scheme. It's an attempt to win round sceptics in Paddock Wood who might otherwise not be so keen on the idea of thousands of solar panels in a nearby field. But some in the area are still unconvinced including the town council.

David Johns reports, speaking to Solar Project Manager Mike Rogers, and Paddock Wood Town Councillor Sarah Hamilton.

David Cameron talks pension plans at village BBQ

David Cameron has been enjoying a barbecue in Dorset today - but he wasn't relaxing from the campaign trail.

He met constituents at Lytchett Matravers where topics on conversation included the new pension plans which came into force today. The tories are targetting the Mid Dorset and North Poole seat, currently held by the Liberal Democrats with a majority of just 269 votes.

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Sinkhole puts Northfleet businesses under threat

Shopkeepers at a precinct in Kent are worried they'll go out of business, because people don't realise they're open. Six shops on one side of Lawrence Square in Northfleet had to close when a sinkhole caused their building to subside. But the traders on the other side of the square are still up and running. Andrea Thomas spoke to cake shop owner Christine McGrath.

Cashless parking - Brighton and Hove to scrap half the city's ticket machines

Drivers in Brighton and Hove are being urged to use their mobile phones to pay for parking. The city council is removing half of all ticket machines to save money. But some motorists fear the change will make parking more difficult for those without mobiles. Malcolm Shaw spoke to Jason Kitcat, the Green leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, and Steve Percy of People's Parking Protest.

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