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Multi-million pound growth deal signed for Swindon

Nick Clegg signs multi-million pound contract in Swindon Credit: ITV West Country

The Deputy Prime Minister has been in Swindon to sign a contract that will bring up to one thousand five hundred jobs to the area.

The growth deal will mean more than £129 million investment in the region. It will see 2000 homes being built by 2021. The plan also include new transport schemes and a science park at Porton Down.

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  1. National

Osborne announces stamp duty overhaul

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans for a total overhaul of the "badly-designed" stamp duty system paid on the purchases of homes.

The reform will mean new marginal rates that the Chancellor says will mean a stamp duty cut for 98% of homebuyers.

  • No tax on first £125,000 paid
  • 2% on the portion up to £250,000
  • 5% up to £925,000
  • 10% up to £1.5 million
  • 12% on everything over that
  1. National

Air Passenger Duty to be scrapped for all children

Air Passenger Duty will be scrapped for all children by 2016, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

George Osborne hopes his announcement will reduce the cost of flights for families. Credit: PA Wire

"We’re going to require airlines to list the charges separately from taxes on tickets, but I also want to reduce the cost of those tickets for families directly.

"From the 1st May next year, Air Passenger Duty for children under 12 will be abolished. From the following year, we’ll get rid of APD for children under 16 altogether."

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi tweeted: "Birmingham family with 2 young children welcomes cut in air passenger duty."

"They will save £170 on planned flight to Dubai."

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Fears that Hinkley nuclear plant is being delayed

The site for the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley in the shadow of the existing reactors Credit: ITV News

There are growing fears that the European Commission is delaying the building of a new power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. It's still to sign off all the building regulations surrounding the project.

Today Labour south west MEP Claire Moody will meet the Commission to try to speed up the process.

VAT refunds for air ambulances and rescue helicopters

As well as VAT refunds, the Government has awarded £1m to GWAAC for the new air ambulance's first year in operation Credit: ITV News

As part of the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor is to announce VAT refunds for Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities alongside £7.5 million extra support for air ambulances.

The VAT refunds will be worth £25 million over 5 years.

It is in response to the service the UK’s Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities provide, volunteering their time and expertise to support to emergency services.

At the moment, most Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities cannot claim VAT back on their search and rescue activities but this means they will all be able to apply for VAT refunds for them as of 1 April 2015.

The Chancellor is also due to announce £1m for Great Western Air Ambulance, which will pay for the new helicopter's running costs in its first year of operation.

This is really fantastic news. The Great Western Air Ambulance [GWAA] does an amazing job, being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, saving lives, getting casualties to hospital quickly as well as being able to offer first class medical treatment at the scene.

This money, as well as helping with the cost of their new helicopter, will put the GWAA on a long-term sustainable financial footing which will enable them to continue their fabulous work for many years to come.

– Jack Lopresti MP, Con, Filton & Bradley Stoke

Full report: Black Friday fever hits the West

There have been chaotic scenes across the region today as shoppers tried to snap up bargains on what retailers have called 'Black Friday'.

Police were called to some stores in Bristol and Wiltshire as customers fought over discounted TVs and other goods.

Here is Tim Walsh's full report, featuring exclusive footage:

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