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Former Reading jail to be sold in government u-turn

Reading Prison is to be sold to make way for new housing

It's been empty for two years, but today, in a government u-turn, it's finally been confirmed that Reading Prison is to be sold.

The Grade two listed building - has stood in the centre of the town - for almost 170 years - housing thousands of prisoners - most famously - Oscar Wilde. But back in December 2013 it was shut - as part of the Governments plan - to modernise the prison system.

Now under new proposals, Victorian jails are to be sold to make way for new housing.

The interviewees featured in Mel Bloor's report are: Cllr Tony Page from Reading Borough Council; George Osborne MP Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Rob Wilson, MP for Reading East.


Challenges ahead for Island's tourism after £330k loss

Tourism industry on the Isle of Wight faces challenges ahead

The Isle of Wight Council is trying to persuade local businesses to contribute financially towards promoting the island as a holiday destination.

It follows an announcement from the authority last week, announcing that it was stopping its grant of £330,000 to the 'Visit Isle of Wight consortium', in a bid to save taxpayers' money.

The news is a bitter blow to an industry which is reeling from the loss of two of its longest running attractions - the Fort Victoria Aquarium and the Seaview Wildlife Encounter both closed down two weeks ago. Dave Russell has our report.

The interviewees are: David Thornton, CEO of Visit Isle of Wight; and Cllr Jonathan Bacon, Isle of Wight Council Leader.


Police commissioner fights budget cut

The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley is threatening the Government with legal action over proposed police funding cuts.

Anthony Stansfeld is among seven PCC's who have written to Policing minister Mike Penning urging him to delay a decision on force budgets later this month. The group claim changes to the way funding is allocated will result in frontline services being affected. £58 million pounds has already been cut from policing in the Thames Valley over the last five years. Our reporter Andrew Pate has more....

Investment firm spokesman: "Our clear ambition is to reopen Manston Airport, and start making money"

Manston Airport closed in 2014 - campaigners have fought to see it reopened

The investment firm that had been in negotiations with Thanet District Council over a Compulsory Purchase Order of the Manston Airport site, has expressed its disappointment that the plan has been shelved.

Last night councillors from Thanet District Council met. They said they had postponed plans to buy and reopen the former airport in Kent. They added that the decision followed legal advice that their proposals were not financially sound.

Niall Lawlor from RiverOak Investment Corp. said the firm is going to carry on pushing for the project to go ahead.

Meanwhile the current owners of the airport say they will press ahead with plans for a housing and business development.

Kids make film to fight Oxfordshire Children's Centres cuts

Clip from animation by two children fighting cuts

A family in Oxfordshire desperate to save children's services from closure, has come up with a novel way of getting their message across.

Lucy Marshall, aged 11, and her 8-year-old brother Oliver, have made their own animated film.

Their children's local authority is trying to save around £290 million pounds from its budget. In this time of austerity, some services are going to have to be cut or reduced over the next few years, and children's services are facing an uncertain future.

What next for Eurostar? Passengers up, revenue down

Eurostar train in a terminal - the firm's trains travel between the UK and the continent

The boss of Eurostar today condemned angry protests over recent weekends at St Pancras - in support of the Calais migrants - which are aimed at disrupting services.

Protesters at St Pancras railway station in London last week

Eurostar's Chief Executive, Nicolas Petrovic, says the protestors intimidated rail passengers - and it was wrong to target the company. Speaking to ITV Meridian, Mr Petrovic apologised for the recent disruption, and said the French and British Governments must work together to find a solution to secure the tracks.

The company said revenue is down - even though passenger numbers are up. Here's our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse.

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