The first in a series of five strikes involving firefighters is taking place today.
The Fire Brigades Union in Essex claims the county will have lost one in five frontline staff since 2008 if cuts go ahead.
But service managers insist jobs are safe and say one hundred firefighters and retained crews will step in during the industrial action.
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BT today announced that Oxfordshire is to benefit from plans to create 1,000 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs in the UK this year.
Thursday mornings weather for the east of the region
Thursday mornings weather for the west of the region