SOUTHERN Daily Echo Ian Murray left the paper after nearly two decades in charge, writes Ella John. Ian, who took over the helm of the newsroom in 1998, was one of the paper’s longest-serving editors and also held the title of editor-in-chief for Newsquest’s publications in Hampshire including the Hampshire Chronicle, Romsey Advertiser, New Forest Post, Basingstoke Gazette and Andover Advertiser. During his editorship the Daily Echo won several awards including regional newspaper of the year and helped to raise millions of pounds supporting local charities.

A SOUTHAMPTON restaurateur blamed the new £85 million Westquay extension for the demise of her business. Dock ‘O The Bay in the Avenue was the second city restaurant to fold this year after The Food Factory in High Street closed its doors for the last time citing increased competition as one of the factors in its demise. Bridget Vyze, who ran Dock ‘O the Bay with her husband Mo for 18 years, predicted a “tough year” for the city’s independent restaurants.

CYBER criminals targeted university staff and students with a bogus email which stated they were entitled and liable to claim a pay rise –before asking for their bank details. Staff and students at Southampton Solent University were warned to be vigilant after criminals attempted to hack the institution’s email service.

PLANS were revealed for multi-million pound improvements to upgrade a major Hampshire motorway junction. Junction 7 of the M27 at Hedge End was to be transformed in a £2.5 million scheme as part of Government plans to ease congestion across the country. The Government said the project, which is part of 27 major improvement plans nationally and four in South East, would also improve safety and help developments.

TWO Hampshire women won royal recognition at a prestigious awards ceremony hosted by TV favourites Ant and Dec. Caitlin Buckley, 18, and Michelle Brown, 23, both clinched honours in the The Prince’s Trust, TK Maxx and Home Sense Celebrate Success Awards at the London Palladium. Michelle, from Locks Heath, won HSBC Breakthrough Award and Caitlin, from Lordswood, received the Boeing Educational Achiever Award. Michelle is now working a steward at Southampton FC and is an ambassador for the trust while Caitlin works with Southampton Rape Crisis and has a part time job as a children’s party host.

A HAMPSHIRE carnival was thrown into jeopardy after its co-founder quit his public roles. Thousands of people who enjoyed the carnival spirit at the Mardi Gras in Eastleigh were facing disappointed this year after Keith Trenchard, a Liberal Democrat councillor, resigned from the authority and said that he is “not sure there will be a Mardi Gras this year”. After it was announced the carnival would be axed, volunteers put on a revamped celebration and gave the event a Mardi Gras makeover. The parade of fancy dress, live music and dozens of stalls failed to take place for the first time since 2012.

A HAMPSHIRE MP was yards away from a terror attack as chaos descended on Westminster, leaving four dead. Members of Parliament, staff and the public were thrown into a state of panic after four people were killed near the grounds of parliament. Hampshire MPs described‘horrific, shocking’ events, with Southampton and Itchen MP Royston Smith seeing people lying on the floor outside the gates, with armed police rushing to the scene. Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead said that he heard four shots from “50 or 60 feet away” from the attack inside New Palace Yard.

CIVIC chiefs revealed plans to create hundreds of new jobs at a factory to build “modular” or “prefab” homes on a former car factory site. Southampton City Council teamed up with Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to invest £6 million in a manufacturing plant at the former Ford site in Swaythling, which closed in 2013. More than 8,000 people were on the housing waiting list in Southampton and council leader Simon Letts claimed this will ease the crisis.

A HAMPSHIRE councillor who slapped a political rival was made bankrupt by her elderly victim after failing to pay court costs of more than £70,000. Cllr Penny Jackman, pictured left, was facing losing her home following the latest action brought by pensioner Mike Beggs, who lost several teeth in the assault in 2012. Following a hearing at Southampton County Court in 2015 Mr Beggs was awarded more than £14,000 in damages and costs of about £73,000. The original court case followed an incident at a town council by-election in which Mr Beggs, who was standing for UKIP , lost to Conservative candidate Michael White.