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Christmas celebrations begin in Winchester

Christmas in Winchester Credit: ITV news

Christmas has come early to Winchester. The annual festive market has opened next to the Cathedral with the ice rink welcoming it's first skaters. The Cathedral Dean greeted visitors and the Choristers of Winchester Cathedral lead carols

Founded in 2006, the Christmas Market is recognised as one of the best in Europe, renowned for its unique location and bustling atmosphere. It is inspired by traditional German Christmas markets and attracts more than 350,000 visitors each year. The pretty wooden chalets are situated in the Cathedral’s historic Close. Coach parties visit from across the UK and overseas.

Next week Friday - 27 November - a lantern parade will wind its way through the city's streets. Families gather with their homemade paper lanterns and light up the night sky in a stunning display. The parade will be followed by Community Carols, organised in association with Churches Together in Winchester


Council says it's ready to help with refugee resettlement

The city council says there is no confirmation of numbers at this stage.

Councillors in Winchester say the city is ready to help with resettlement for refugees if required.

Hampshire County Council is looking for school places first - Winchester City Council will match will then match the housing requirements.

The council says this would use the private rented sector and not the Council's housing stock so there would be no impact on ability to meet housing need locally.

£2.5 million is spent on new buses in Hampshire city

Credit: ITV news

£2.5 million has been invested on new greener buses for Winchester. The buses have been rebranded with a new look inspired by King Alfred the Great. Stagecoach will the launching the "Kings City" vehicles outside Winchester Guildhall. The new vehicles incorporate the latest, state of the art, greener engine technology. They have also been customised with USB charge ports and WiFi.

The company is also introducing later evening services, following campaigns by local villagers. The new measures also include a £2 nightrider which allows unlimited travel after 7pm.

Managing Director, Michael Watson said "We are proud to announce this investment in new buses and the investment in the fleet and evening gives something back to our many bus users in Winchester and we hope to encourage even more people to use the bus further into the evening."

Stagecoach provides local bus services across Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex. Last year 4.3 million passengers used their Winchester buses.


Troops in first Freedom Parade for 7 years

The Adjutant General's Corps were granted Freedom of Winchester Credit: ITV Meridian

More than 150 troops in full military uniform have marched through the centre of Winchester.

The soldiers from the Adjutant General's Corps were given the Freedom of Winchester . It's the first time in 7 years that they've celebrated the ancient honour - allowing them to parade through the city with weapons and a marching band.

Hundreds of people came to support the troops, who have a strong link with Winchester.

Watch Sam Holder's report below:

He spoke with Lt. Col Mark John from the Adjutant General's Corps/ Royal Military Police

Soldiers in 'Freedom Parade' through Winchester

Freedom Parade through Winchester takes place

Soldiers from the Adjutant General's Corps have been given the Freedom of Winchester today. Around 150 of the troops marked the occasion with a 'Freedom Parade' through the city's streets.

The right of "Freedom of Entry" is an ancient privilege. It means the regiment can parade with bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying. The tradition dates back centuries, to a time when only trusted military units were allowed to bear arms within a city's boundaries.

'Wonderful outcome' stolen dog Zulu reunited with owner thanks to microchip

Zulu reunited with her owner one year after she was stolen Credit: Winchester City Council

A man who thought his puppy had been lost forever has been reunited with her a year after she was stolen from his home in Devon.

Zulu, a female brindle lurcher was just 15 weeks old when thieves broke down a fence and stole her from her owner Danny Allan's garden.

She was found at Swanmore College in Hampshire on October 13th 2015 and taken to a vet who called Winchester City Council's Animal Welfare Service that same day.

“Zulu was microchipped, but was registered to a Devon address. I left a message on the telephone number given to say that we had found the dog.

Some people pass dogs on and forget to update the microchip database so, as it was so far away, I wasn’t optimistic that we would locate the owner. “

– Dave Griffiths, Senior Animal Welfare Officer

However, Danny Allan, who now lives in Wiltshire called the next day and collected her. Senior Animal Welfare Officer Dave Griffiths said the reunion was a wonderful outcome, and showed the value of microchipping pets as a deterrent to thieves.

From April 2016 all dogs will need to microchipped by law. Details on the microchip database also need to be updated.

Reception for 'Walking with the Wounded' team

Prince Harry during Walking with the Wounded's Walk of Britain last month Credit: PA

A special reception is being held in Hampshire today to pay tribute to the "Walking with the Wounded".

A team, from the Charity, are made up of four British and two US service personnel.

They're walking a thousand miles around the UK and will pass through Winchester later.

The Patron of the Walk of Britain 2015 is Prince Harry, who recently joined the team on part of their journey.

The Charity aims to support veterans with physical, mental or social injuries to develop new careers outside the military, re-integrate into society and provide long-term security for themselves and their families.

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