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Students pay up to £10,000 in rent

Now how much would you be prepared to pay for your son or daughter's university digs? How about ten thousand pounds a year? Providing top quality halls of residence is now being seen as one of the most effective ways to attract students who pay rent of hundreds of pounds a week on top of tuition fees.

In the Meridian region in the last three years alone more than three thousand extra rooms have been created for rent. And it's so lucrative, some private companies are even getting in on the act - one block has just opened in Southampton that charges rent of around £250 a week for its most exclusive student apartments. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford spoke to students at the University of Reading, the university's Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell, University of Sussex student union representative Mark Segalov and student Shlok Sachar who lives in a Vita Student apartment.

How many new rooms for students in the South?

Universities across the South are investing heavily in student accommodation.

Good quality halls of residence are being seen as a key battleground in the fight to attract students.

Here are details of how some of our universities are expanding provision this year: University of Oxford - 200 new rooms; University of Kent - 416 new rooms; Buckinghamshire New University - 180 new rooms; University of Reading - 649 new rooms.

Many universities are investing heavily in new student accommodation Credit: ITV Meridian

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'Dangerous' teenager jailed for sex attacks on young girls

18 year old Archie Collicut from Finstock has been jailed for ten years Credit: Thames Valley Police

An 18-year-old man was today sentenced after he admitted raping and assaulting underage girls.

Archie Collicutt, of Wilcote Riding, Finstock, West Oxfordshire, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and an additional three years on licence at Oxford Crown Court.

On 10 September, he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of the attempted rape of a child under 13.

The offences were committed against seven girls in Oxfordshire between March 2012 and September 2013.

In March 2012, Collicutt raped a 13-year-old and said he would kill her and her family if she were to tell anyone.

In another incident in June 2013, Collicutt attempted to rape a 12-year-old girl and again threatened her and her family to stop her telling police.

He was arrested and charged initially in September 2013.

Investigating officer Det Con Ian Gibbard from Banbury Force CID said: “Collicutt deliberately took advantage of young girls, abusing them and threatening them in order to stop them telling anyone.

“We are pleased he took the opportunity to plead guilty and spare the victims from having to come to court, but that in no way makes up for what he did to them.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend their bravery in coming forward to tell police what had happened to them.

NHS workers across the south to go on strike

NHS workers in the region are preparing to take part in a national strike on Monday.

From seven in the morning until eleven, union members will walk out as part of an ongoing row about pay.

NHS staff are to go on strike on Monday as part of a row over pay. Credit: PA

The Royal Sussex County in Brighton and Worthing are among those that will be affected.

A recent survey for NHS trade unions revealed that increased workload, low pay, constant restructures and the stresses of the job are among the reasons why two thirds of NHS workers have considered quitting.

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Concern for missing teenager

Thames Valley Police is appealing for the public’s help in locating a person missing from Witney.

Millie Lee, aged 18, was last seen near The Downs, Standlake at around 11.30am yesterday.

She is described as white, of medium build, 5ft, with brown shoulder length hair. She was wearing blue jeans and a jacket and boots. She was on her bicycle, which is black.

Millie Lee was last seen yesterday morning near the Downs at Standlake Credit: Thames Valley Police

If you have any information or know of Millie’s whereabouts please contact Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101, quoting URN 1191 of 19/11.

If you don't want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

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