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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Brighton homes open for eco tourists

Are your heating bills too high? Do you wonder why there's always a draught blowing round the house? Well perhaps you could pick up some inspiration from a series of "eco buildings" that are open to the public in Brighton and Hove tomorrow and next weekend. This from David Johns.

He speaks to home owner (and architect) Mark Pellant; project organiser Caroline Schofield; and Interior Designer Claire Potter.


Step Change: people reluctant to seek help

Debt charity Step Change says people with money problems are often very reluctant to seek help.

The daughter of a man who took his own life after getting into debt, wants the government to do more to stop situations like his.

ITV Meridian's Fred Dinenage has been speaking to Frances Walker from Step Change and asked her what Ian Jordan from Botley should have done when he realised he was in financial trouble:

Advice on what you can do if you are in debt

Debt charity Step Change and the government's Money Advice Service offer a range of information on what options are available to people in debt.

  • Debt management plan - helps individuals or households manage their debts, when they can’t afford their contractual payments. Some companies charge, come charities provide service for free.
  • Individual voluntary arrangement - a legally binding arrangement where you make reduced payments over 5 or 6 years. At the end of this time your debts are written off.
  • Debt relief order - can help you to write off debt that you’re unable to repay in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Bankruptcy - can help you to write off debt that would otherwise take many years to clear.
  • Equity release - accessing some of the money tied up in the home, without the need to move. You can release a tax free cash lump sum or setup access to a flexible borrowing facility.
  • Debt consolidation - usually involves taking out new credit to pay off existing credit. Most people do this to reduce the interest rate on their debt, to bring down their monthly payment amount or to reduce the number of companies they owe money to.

Calls for change after Botley man's suicide over debts

A woman whose father took his own life when he got into thousands of pounds worth of debt is calling for more to be done to help stop families falling into money troubles.

Ian Jordan from Botley owed around £20,000 to more than a dozen loan companies over the course of a year. His daughter Samantha says authorities need to do more to stop situations like that from happening:

The charity Step Change offers free advice for anyone with concerns about debts.


Average cost of wedding day in region is £15,000

It's often described as one of the biggest days of your life, and is certainly one of the most expensive.

Couples are spending thousands on their wedding day. In fact, the average cost of a wedding in the Meridian region is £14,980 - a little higher than the national average of £14,441.

Lauren Hall has been to the National Wedding Show to find out why tying the knot means untying those purse strings.

Dorset Police makes cutbacks to save £18m

They used to be at the front line of policing - but now, Dorset Police is to close more of its front desks to help save £18m over four years.

The Divisional Police HQ at Ferndown - which only opened 14 years ago - is to close - along with counter services at Shaftesbury, Christchurch, Winton, Dorchester and Wareham. That will leave nine in all - but only Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth and Bridport stations will be open full-time.

The force says the closures will save £700,000 a year. But what's the real cost to local policing in our community? Martin Dowse has been investigating.

Record numbers at Maidstone Mela

Maidstone Mela has been hailed a success by organsiers who say a record number of people attended the festival this year.

The event was held in Mote Park and is in its 12th year. It celebrates the different cultures that live in the town through music, food and dance and is one of the biggest of its kind in the South East.

Gurvinder Sandher from Kent Equality Cohesion and Richard Thick, Mayor of Maidstone, explain what the event is all about.

Are you putting money aside for Christmas?

The sun is still out, the skies are still blue and any mention of Christmas at this time of year is normally guaranteed to produce a groan.

But with exactly a hundred days to go - a debt charity is urging people to think ahead and start putting money aside for the festive season.

Sarah Saunders has been speaking with a man who fought his way out of debt - and now runs courses to help others keep their financial house in order.

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