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Triplet mother's anguish in fight to care for disabled baby

It's heartbreaking. That's the reaction of the mother of triplets, one of whom has suffered 'catastrophic' brain injuries, after being told she doesn't qualify for extra National Health Service support.

Baby Essie Cobbett is unlikely to live beyond two years and remains in hospital tonight. Her parents are frustrated by bureaucracy and financial constraints they say are stopping the NHS from giving them the help they need.

Healthcare officials insist the nine-week-old child does qualify for care in the home, but Lorna Cobbett says it's not enough. Andy Dickenson reports and we also hear from Keith Reed of the Twins and Multiple Births Association.

'I didn't sleep for 42 hours' Government told to give workers paid leave to help loved ones

Jenny cares for her husband as well as working as a baker

The Government has been told to do more to support carers who have jobs outside the home.

It is estimated that unpaid carers save the British economy £87 billion a year in potential care costs - but they are not eligible for paid leave from work to take their loved ones to scheduled hospital appointments or planned appointments with their doctors.

Chris Jeffery from Tunbridge Wells has set up the group campaigning for a change. Sarah Saunders reports.


Workers to get a boost in pay

Thousand of workers will get an extra 50p per hour Credit: PA

Thousands of workers will receive an extra 50p an hour pay rise today.

The National Living Wage means over 25s must receive at least £7.20 an hour, instead of £6.70.

Some say it is long overdue, but critics say it could put struggling firms out of business and may lead to job losses.

There is more information on the Government's living wage website.

  1. National

New 12-sided £1 coin goes into production

The new 12-sided £1 coin has gone into production - a year before it is to be released.

New 12-sided £1 coin Credit: HM Treasury/PA

More than 4,000 coins are coming off the production line a minute, and they will enter circulation in March 2017 according to the Chancellor.

When the new coin is introduced, there will be a six-month crossover period when the current round pound coins and the new pound coins are both in circulation.

The current £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in more than 30 years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.

Councillors to vote on budget cuts

Campaigners gather to protest over proposed budget cuts Credit: ITV Meridian

Councillors in West Berkshire will today vote on more proposed cuts having already approved £10m of savings for next year because its receiving less money from central Government.

Residents have demonstrated against the cuts. Funding for theatres and buses is threatened, and libraries face closure.

Schoolchildren have been protesting to save Theale library.

A local author best selling author who went to school in Theale Green, has joined their campaign.

  1. Christine Alsford

Reaction to plans to make ALL schools academies

Chancellor George Osborne has announced the biggest overhaul in education in more than a century. Secondary schools will finish an hour later and every school will become an academy

It means in Hampshire - excluding Southampton and Portsmouth - that 439 schools will need to change - 47 are already academies.

Across Wiltshire, there are more than a 70 academies but 164 will still need to adapt.

And in West Sussex, there are already 52, so 177 of their state schools will need to switch by 2020.

Social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.


  1. National

New sugar levy on the soft drinks industry announced

A new sugar levy on the soft drinks industry will be introduced, the Chancellor said.

It will be introduced in two years time to ensure companies reduce the sugar content of drinks and promote low sugar brands.

He said it was a "perfectly reasonable step" to protect children's health.

"Money from this new [sugar] levy will be used to double the funding we dedicate to sport in every primary school," Mr Osborne said.

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