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First World War commemorative arch put in place

Folkestone was the last sight of England for tens of thousands of soldiers crossing the Channel to fight in the First World War trenches of France and Belgium. And now a striking new commemorative arch has been lifted into place on The Leas in memory of the many who did not return.

It'll be officially opened by Prince Harry as part of the centenary commemorations in August. Derek Johnson has been following the story. In this report, he spoke to Paul Emden from the Step Short project, architect Philip Gearing and Councillor David Monk from Shepway Council.


Thanet MPs meet team who want to buy Manston

Manston airport
Manston Airport closed on 15 May Credit: ITV News

Thanet MPs, Sir Roger Gale and Laura Sandys, have this week met with the CEO of RiverOak, Steve DeNardo, and fellow directors who wish to purchase Manston. They want re-open the airfield as an operating airport.

Manston Airport closed on 15 May after owner Ann Gloag rejected bids from RiverOak who offered the full asking price for the airfield. 144 people lost their jobs.

At the meeting at the House of Commons, RiverOak reaffirmed their desire to buy the airfield and reiterated their faith in its future as a significant cargo-handling and possible future passenger centre.

Following their discussions with Mr. DeNardo Thanet`s MPs have said in a joint statement:

“It is clear that RiverOak are committed in their determination to acquire and to operate Manston as an airport, with all the job-creating potential that will flow from that.

There are, of course, obstacles to be overcome and much will depend upon the ability of Thanet District Council to bring a Compulsory Purchase Order to a satisfactory conclusion but with cross-party political support that exists we believe that this can be achieved.

Literally and metaphorically we and RiverOak are in this for the long haul. The due processes may take a little time but we intend to realise our objective and to see planes flying from Manston once again.”

Further meetings will follow later this week. Owner Ann Gloag has said it's unlikely any decision about the future of the airport will be made in the next couple of months. She is due to meet with Thanet Council in July.

David Cameron 'listened carefully' to blood campaigner

Video. A man infected by contaminated blood during NHS transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s met David Cameron today, less than a month after protests at the PM's Oxfordshire constituency office.

Campaigner David Leadbetter, and those he represents, say the Government must honour its promise of compensation. Cary Johnston has sent us this, with an exclusive interview with Mr Cameron.

David Cameron visits Witney Community Hospital

The prime Minister today visited the new Emergency Multidisciplinary Unit at Witney Community Hospital in his role as local Oxfordshire MP.

It is fantastic to be able to meet patients and staff at this innovative new unit. Finding new ways to deliver care that meets people’s needs is exactly what we need to do be doing to develop the NHS of tomorrow. Witney EMU is a great example of that.”

– David Cameron PM

We’re delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to our Witney EMU. Patients tell us that they want to be treated closer to home, with the minimum disruption to their lives and to maintain as much independence as possible. The EMU supports that by delivering responsive joined up health and social care tailored around their needs. We believe this model of care holds great promise for the future.

– Chief Executive of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust Stuart Bell CBE
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