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Licence application refused for South Lakes Zoo

South Lakes Zoo Credit: PA

Councillors have refused a licence application for a zoo where almost 500 animals died within four years.

Zoo founder David Gill applied to renew his licence for the South Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria.

The application was refused by Barrow Borough Council's licensing regulatory committee at a meeting on Monday and Mr Gill now has 28 days to lodge an appeal.

Chairman of the committee Tony Callister said the decision had been unanimous and was made because councillors were not satisfied conservation matters referred to in the Zoo Licensing Act would be implemented.


Vauxhall workers remain 'hopeful' after sale

The French car giant PSA Group announced this morning that it is to buy the European operations of General Motors, including Vauxhall in Cheshire, for £1.9billion. Unions say they have been assured that the plant in Ellesmere Port will continue making the Astra until 2021. Workers say they are concerned but remain hopeful for their jobs.

French car giant agrees £1.9bn General Motors deal

Vauxhall plant in Cheshire Credit: Press Association

French car giant PSA Group is to buy the European operations of General Motors, including Vauxhall in the UK, for £1.9billion, the company has announced.

Unions say they have been assured that the Vauxhall plant in Cheshire will continue making the Astra until 2021 regardless of a takeover.

Merseyrail strike ballot closes

The dispute is over proposals for driver only trains Credit: GTV

The ballot on possible strike action at Merseyrail closes today.

Union members have been asked to vote in a dispute over the introduction of driver only trains.

Walk outs could begin next month if workers vote for industrial action.


Hope for Vauxhall workers after Peugeot meeting

Vauxhall car workers have started their weekend with more hope they'll have jobs to return to for the next four years.

There had been fears the Ellesmere Port plant would close, as owners General Motors discuss selling its European operation to the French makers of Peugeot, PSA.

There've been days of talks between the British and French government, union leaders and the bosses of both car giants.

The UNITE union says its been assured that Ellesmere Port will continue making the Astra until 2021.

Victoria Grimes reports.

Lifeline thrown to Vauxhall workers in Ellesmere Port

Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port has agreements to build the Astra until 2021 Credit: PA

The leader of the UNITE Union says that the boss of Peugeot has given assurances that Britain's Vauxhall plants will see out their existing production runs, but also raised the issue of Brexit uncertainty.

Len McCluskey, Unite's general secretary, said he came away from a meeting with PSA Group chief executive Carlos Tavares without his "optimism being dented" and said their discussion had been "open and relatively positive". Mr McCluskey also said that Mr Tavares was "very pro-union" and talked about "not being here to shut plants".

Ellesmere Port has agreements in place to build the Vauxhall Astra until 2021, while the Luton plant is under contract to manufacture the Vauxhall Vivaro van until 2025.

However, The PSA boss is said to have raised the issue of uncertainty surrounding Britain's future outside the European Union during talks over PSA's proposed takeover of General Motor's loss-making European arm.

The news comes after Mr Tavares said on Thursday that the deal could result in "speedy" cost savings and as the car industry braces for the potential impact of life outside the single market.

Len McCluskey says he's that the early signs are positive.

I had a constructive meeting with the chief executive in which I made the case for how important Vauxhall is to the UK, the excellence of its plants and operations across the UK and how successful they have been.

The meeting was reassuring. We discussed how PSA's approach is to increase market share and expand production, rather than close plants. I was assured that the commitments to the plants would be honoured.

There was also recognition that members of the Vauxhall pension fund will be no worse off.

– Greg Clark, Business Secretary
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