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Thousands of pounds awarded to Portsmouth schools to help them serve up school dinners

Cash to help provide school dinners Credit: ITV news

Schools served up meals grants

Three Portsmouth schools will benefit from Government funding to help them deliver hot school meals to infant pupils.

College Park Infant School has been awarded the maximum £250,000 to install a new kitchen and extend the dining hall area, with the council funding an additional £90,000. Debbie Anderson head teacher at College Park said: "Being able to have a kitchen on our own school site will really help us to efficiently provide free quality meals to those families who want to take them up for their children. It will make a real difference to our lunchtimes."

Devonshire Infant School was also awarded £250,000 with an additional £30k from the council to build an extension to create a larger dining hall and additional seating space. Mayfield School was also awarded £90,000 for refurbishments to create a servery and dining space for their infant pupils.

Neill Young, Cabinet Member for Children and Education at Portsmouth City Council said: "Regular meals and eating a healthy balanced diet is fundamental to the development of children's health and wellbeing and healthy pupils are more likely to be better learners and to get more from their school day. Lunchtime and the dining environment are important and being able to provide a hot, free school meal to our infant children is beneficial. We're really pleased to have been awarded grants to enable three of our schools to improve the dining experience for their young pupils."

Chance to quiz organisation that commissions Portsmouth's healthcare

Patients and service users will get another chance to quiz the organisation which commissions most of Portsmouth's healthcare services today.

Meeting will start at 1pm at St James' Hospital Credit: PA

NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group is holding a governing board meeting in public from 1pm to 3pm at St James' Hospital, Milton.

This will be followed from 3.15pm to 4pm by a question and answer session for the public, who can either attend to ask their questions or email them in advance to

The CCG says GPs and other board members will try to answer any issue relating to the commissioning of the health services that they buy in, or other related health issues. But they cannot answer questions relating to individual patients.


Portsmouth public asked to share hospital experiences

Listening event will be held at hospital on February 10 Credit: Press Association

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals is inviting members of the public to tell his inspection panel what they think of the services provided by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Their views and experiences will help inspectors decide what to look at when they inspect the trust.

The trust is being inspected and given an overall rating under radical changes which have been introduced by the Care Quality Commission and it will be given an overall rating as a result of the inspection. The formal inspection of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust will start on 11 February 2015.

To ensure the views of patients and the local community are properly heard, the inspectors will hold a listening event at the Oasis Wellness Centre, Queen Alexandra Hospital on Tuesday, 10 February.

Chinese warships leave Portsmouth after 'historic visit'

Ships set sail out of Portsmouth Credit: Royal Navy Media Archive

Following a historic five day visit to British shores three Chinese warships have sailed from Portsmouth.

The Royal Navy says the visit by the assault ship Chang Bai Shan, frigate Yun Cheng and the replenishment ship Chaohu has helped strengthen relations between China and the UK.

Crowds gather to wave off the ships Credit: Royal Navy Media Archive

It was the first time since 2007 that a Chinese warship has visited the UK and they will now head for Kiel in Germany.

Vandals affect Christmas travel as they slash tyres on 20 cars

More than 20 cars had their tyres slashed in Portsmouth overnight between 23 and 24 December.

So far officers know at least 21 cars were damaged in Festing Road and Salisbury Road.

Police said: "A sharp implement has been used to puncture holes in the tyres of vehicles. It’s not believed at this stage that the owners were deliberately targeted but instead it’s thought this is random vandalism by at least one person.

"Whoever is responsible for this mindless act of damage has not only impacted financially on their victims at an expensive time of year, but may have also stopped some of them being able to travel to visit love ones over this festive period."


HMS Iron Duke returns to Portsmouth

HMS Iron Duke returns to Portsmouth Credit: ITV news

HMS Iron Duke will return home to Portsmouth today after a six month tour of the South Atlantic. The ship and its 180 crew have covered more than 27,000 miles and visited eleven countries since they set off.

The ship has been conducting maritime security operations and providing support to British Overseas Territories in the region. She paid goodwill visits in the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, Panama, Haiti, Barbados and the Azores and also visited the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

Iron Duke's Commanding Officer, Commander Thomas Tredray, said: "This has been a very successful deployment for HMS Iron Duke. We have represented the Royal Navy and the UK around the world, on the high seas and during a wide variety of port visits. The ship's company have achieved everything that has been asked of them and I am very proud of how well they have performed."

Roles included exercising with forces from Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria and France and hosting a UK Trade and Industry event in Lagos, Nigeria, on behalf of the Home Office. On patrol around the Falkland Islands the vessel visited several outlying settlements and conducted training with other British forces. Iron Duke hosted a conference on illegal immigration and the ship's company also got ashore to help local UN forces with several community regeneration projects.

During the deployment the ship has produced more than seven million litres of fresh water and the crew have eaten their way through 7,760 sausages and 1.5 tonnes of baked beans. And through a number of charity events on board, including horse racing, darts and whole-ship Cluedo, they raised more than £2,000 for various charities.

Chef Lewis Stafford, 26, one of nine chefs on board, said: "This has been the first deployment of my career, and I won't forget it anytime soon. It has been a great opportunity to really get stuck into my various job roles, hobbies and interests. In Guinea I took part in the outreach project where we painted a school and helped create a better learning environment for those who studied there. This was a very memorable and reflective experience."

Portsmouth Police bring Christmas cheer to city hospital

Police officers deliver gifts to children in hospital Credit: Hampshire Police

Portsmouth Neighbourhood Policing team has spread some Christmas cheer at a city hospital. The St Thomas Neighbourhood Policing team has been visiting children at the Queen Alexandra hospital to deliver some Christmas presents donated by local stores and businesses.

For the past few months the team has been dropping into local shops and asking them to donate some toys or gifts for young people who will be spending their Christmas staying in hospital. The team also visited The Elizabeth Foundation who offer support to preschool children with hearing loss and gave some gifts to children at the centre too.

NPT Sergeant Rob Sutton said: “Our team are really keen to do this every year. We hope that a few gifts will help to make the children's Christmas better. It’s great to see the their faces when we surprise them with gifts. Thank you to all the businesses who donated gifts.”

Zoe Neal, mother of two week old baby Ophelia said: "Thank you to Hampshire Constabulary for the wonderful Christmas gifts. The visit today was a fantastic surprise at such a difficult time for so many. It made such a difference, brightening up the lives of all the children and parents here in QA."

Christmas homecoming for HMS Defender

HMS Defender arrives hom in time for the Christmas Credit: ITV Meridian

Hundreds of friends and family members have welcomed back HMS Defender - returning home to Portsmouth after a six month deployment.

The type-45 destroyer has been on operations in the Northern Gulf.

The ship has clocked up more than 35-thousand nautical miles since leaving the UK in June.

Crowds gather to welcome the crew home Credit: ITV Meridian

Hundreds expected in Portsmouth to welcome home HMS Defender

HMS Defender returns to Portsmouth Credit: ITV news

Hundreds of friends and family members will welcome back HMS Defender - returning home to Portsmouth after a six month deployment.

The type-45 destroyer has been on operations in the Northern Gulf. The ship has clocked up more than 35-thousand nautical miles since leaving the UK in June.

Family and friends will be joined by Portsmouth Military Wives Choir and the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth.

The Type 45 destroyer's maiden deployment included maritime security and counter piracy patrols in the Gulf and operations in the Mediterranean, but the main focus was direct support to US aircraft carriers (USS G H W Bush and USS Carl Vinson) in the Northern Gulf while strike sorties were flown against ISIL. During the deployment the ship visited the majority of the Gulf States including Oman, Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain.

Her Commanding Officer, Commander Phil Nash, said "The homecoming is a day for my ship's company to be extremely proud of their achievements and the delivery of a hugely successful maiden operational deployment. Some have been with Defender from build and have seen the ship grow from an engineering project to become one of the worlds' most capable air defenders deployed on operations. It's a special day and one to recognise the support of our families and friends who play an enormous part in everything we do. Without them these continued successes would not have been possible".

Defender will now take some well earned leave, before a maintenance period in the New Year. Defender has a ship's company of 230 and commissioned on 21st March 2013.

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