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New Airbus A320 takes to the skies

A new fuel efficient version of the A320 Airbus took off for the first time today at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. The aircraft features an all new wing which was designed at Filton in South Gloucestershire.

The project brought together around 200 experts responsible for design and development of the wings which have undergone extensive redesign to accommodate the new engines.

The A320neo incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets (large wing tip devices) plus numerous other innovations across the aircraft including an all-new wing. The A320neo will deliver a 15% fuel burn savings from day one in 2015 and this will increase to 20% by 2020.

Airbus workers watch the take off of the A320neo Credit: Airbus

Today's takeoff was watched on big screens by employees at Filton who have worked on the design of the wings and integration of the fuel and landing gear systems.

Company video of today's take off:

Union blames supermarkets for threat to Chard dairy jobs

Today's news that 60 jobs are under threat at the Dairy Crest plant at Chard in Somerset is being blamed on the supermarkets "price squeeze" according to the Unite union.

In a statement, Unite says that Dairy Crest was caught between the unrelenting pressure of the supermarkets to drive down prices for customers and the legitimate desire of farmers to get a decent price for their milk.

“Companies, such as Dairy Crest, are being squeezed by highly competitive supermarkets and dairy farmers seeking a decent return for the milk they produce.”

– Matt Draper, Unite national officer


Sixty jobs under threat at Chard dairy

Sixty jobs are under threat at the Dairy Crest cream potting facility at Chard in Somerset as the company starts a consultation process into plans to close the plant.

The company says it has been looking at various options to improve the economic viability of the Chard operation without success and now plans to close it in 2015 together with the Hanworth bottling dairy plant in London..

Dairy Crest plans to close Chard operation Credit: Dairy Crest

“The decisions to consult on the closure of our Hanworth and Chard sites have not been taken lightly, but they are right for the long term future of the business as a whole. We will do all we can to help employees who may be affected by these proposals.

– Chief Executive, Mark Allen,

All-day free Durdham Down parking could be abolished

Free parking on Durdham Downs could be abolished Credit: ITV West Country/Richard Payne

All-day free parking on Bristol's historic Durdham Down could be abolished.

It's the latest controversial attempt to cut down on commuters using the city's streets. Mayor George Ferguson has divided opinion with a rapid roll-out of residents' parking zones and now risks further anger by removing the 500 spaces. He insists it's for long-term good of the city.

Large crowds at Dorset County Show

Large crowds have attended the Dorset County Show Credit: ITV News

The first day of the Dorset County Show has attracted large crowds.

Sixty thousand people are expected at the showground near Dorchester over the weekend. Judges say there's been a high standard of entry in the horticulture and livestock classes.

There are also food tents, trade stands and many other displays.

The show's secretary, Sam Mackenzie-Green, says it's the diversity that helps attract so many people:

"We're a combination things. It's the main ring attractions, we've got Bolddog Lings which people are really excited about seeing. The National Vegetabel Society's national championships again which appeals to a whole other group of people. And we have so much food and drink, local food and drink, I think there is something for everyone".


Summer closes as Dorset County Show opens

Livestock shows are just one of the attractions at the show. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Preparations are underway for the start of the Dorset County Show.

The event, which traditionally celebrates the end of harvest, is one of the last shows on the south west agricultural calendar.

The ground near Dorchester will open to the public tomorrow and Sunday.

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