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Food parcels prepared for those in need in Reading

Preparation of Salvation Army food parcels Credit: ITV news

More than 800 Christmas food parcels will be packed by the Salvation Army today. Working with social services they'll be distributed to people in Reading in need. The charity will be joined by volunteers from Festival Republic - organisers of Reading Festival.

For many years now the Salvation Army has worked with the local Social Services in identifying single people, couples, and families where there is a real need especially at Christmas. Over the years the numbers of parcels being requested has grown considerably. Five years ago it was 500, four years ago it was 800, 3 years ago it was 900, and last year it was 950.

Christiaan Bijl, Community Development Manager at Reading Central Salvation Army recognises the fact that this has now become an established feature every Christmas and the Salvation Army are more than happy to meet the challenge every year. 30 volunteers will be involved in the scheme.


Christmas crackdown on drink drivers begins across the South

Credit: ITV news

The annual Christmas drink and drug drive campaign is being launched by police in Dorset, Sussex and Surrey today. Road policing officers will be on dedicated patrols looking for offenders. Last Christmas in Sussex, 133 people were charged.

In previous campaigns, the forces have named all those charged with drink or drug-driving offences that were committed during the month-long crackdown. Teams will respond to tip-offs from members of the public who see someone they know getting into a car to drive after they have been drinking. Stop checks will also be set up at locations across Sussex and Surrey, in particular at locations where there is intelligence that there has been a history of drink or drug-driving.

Chief Inspector Andy Gooch said: "Officers will be out looking for anyone who has got behind the wheel or got onto a motorcycle after drinking or taking drugs. We will not tolerate drink or drug-driving and would urge anyone who thinks they know someone who is driving over the limit or driving after taking drugs, to contact us urgently so that we can act."

In a survey conducted last year by Brake and Direct Line, 3 per cent of UK motorists - the equivalent of a million drivers across the country - admitted driving while on illegal drugs in the previous 12 months. In the same survey 5.9 per cent of motorists admitted to getting behind the wheel when they thought they could be over the drink-drive limit - the equivalent of a further two million drink-drivers on the roads.

Delays on South West Trains expected all day

South West Train services are delayed Credit: ITV NEWS

Delays of up to 30 minutes on South West Trains between Bournemouth and London Waterloo and no service on South West Trains between Salisbury and Romsey due to signalling problem at Millbrook (Bedfordshire).

Trains cannot run between Salisbury and Romsey. Trains are likely to be delayed all day. Also affecting CrossCountry and Great Western Railway

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