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Huge crowds as 'Black Friday' hits the South

Crowds fighting their way through the Tesco store in Havant Credit: Charlotte Negus

And the rush for Christmas shopping gets underway in earnest today as people take advantage of the US-Inspired sales bonanza that follows Thanksgiving.

Many retailers are introducing heavy discounts. Last year a quarter of shoppers bought an item in the so-called 'Black Friday' sales.

Berkshire school welcomes royal visitors

School prepares to welcome Royal visitors Credit: ITV news

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are visiting Berkshire today. They're due to take a tour of Holyport College near Windsor where they'll meet staff and pupils. The Royal Party will visit classrooms, a science laboratory, a boarding house and the dining area. The Royal Party will then move to the College sports hall, where The Queen will unveil a plaque to mark the visit and the official opening of the school.

Holyport College is a co-educational day and boarding school for students aged 11 to 19 years. It is a state-funded 'free school,' which opened in September 2014. The first pupils entered the school in Years 7 and 9, and the school will include a Sixth Form. Nearby Eton College is the school's academic sponsor, bringing educational experience and pastoral expertise to Holyport College. Pupils from Holyport College are able to use some of Eton's facilities, notably for sport. A number of pupils and staff from Eton College will be present during the visit.

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Mayor of Reading officially opens housing scheme

The Mayor of Reading officially opening the extra care housing scheme Credit: ITV Meridian

The Mayor of Reading has officially opened the council's brand new extra care housing scheme in Whitley this morning.

Cedar Court residents and staff were also joined by Councillors Jo Lovelock, Leader of the Council, Richard Davies, Lead Member for Housing, and Rachel Eden, Lead Member for Adult Social Care, at the celebratory event.

Cedar Court provides high quality accommodation and wider facilities for older people living in the local area. The 40-unit scheme has been built on the site of the former Avenue School. It comprises 27 one-bedroom flats and 13 two-bedroom flats, all for social rent.

This scheme was jointly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Reading Borough Council. The HCA has contributed more than £3million in funding support toward the building of the new homes. The building has full lift access to all floors and is designed to be fully accessible to wheelchair-users. There is a café/restaurant, an outside patio deck and hairdressers, which residents and older people in the neighbourhood are welcome to use. Other facilities include a treatment suite,hobby rooms, a small shop, a roof terrace and a garden for residents. Some of the hobby activities available to Cedar Court residents will be demonstrated during the morning of the opening event.

The four-storey scheme, built by developers Willmott Dixon Construction Limited, has been designed to enable older people to live at home longer with support. It will also meet high renewable energy standards, through the use of biomass boilers and recycling and composting facilities. Extra care housing increases the quality and choice of accommodation with care for older people. It offers an alternative to residential care with 24-hour flexible care and on-site support. It offers greater independence at a lower cost for many frail elderly people and some older people with dementia.

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