Live updates

  1. National

Farming unions in crisis talks amid milk price protests

Four farming unions met today for an emergency summit amid widespread supermarket protests across the UK about "unfair" milk prices.

They say that government, retailers and the food service industry must "step up to the plate" to tackle the crisis facing the British farming industry.

Speaking after the summit, David Handley of Farmers For Action said "I don't think there's any farmer out there at the moment that will accept they can just sit back on their laurels."

The meeting follows days of protests by farmers including Milk Trolley Challenges, blockades at distribution centres and even bringing cattle into supermarkets.

Farmers estimate that it costs between 30 and 32p to produce a litre of milk but the average price paid across the UK is 23.66p - following a drop of 25% in a year.

Dairy farmers call on government, retailers and the food service industry to Credit: PA

Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmers Union said farmers were facing "all the risk in these extremely volatile times".

I believe there is now, at long last, a recognition of the dire straits that farmers are finding themselves.

People are losing money. There is no way farmers can sustainably stay in business with these sorts of prices.

There has been a race to the bottom to devalue product. When four pints of highly nutritious milk is selling for less than a bottle of water then there is something wrong in the culture of society.

– Meurig Raymond, NFU president
Meurig Raymond speaking at NFU conference earlier this year Credit: PA

Scotland's Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment called for widespread support of the dairy industry.

I am calling on retailers and other buyers to get behind the dairy sector in this time of need and to pay a fair price for milk.

I fully recognise the difficulties being faced by dairy farmers because of the low price being paid for milk and volatility on the global market, and I have written to my UK counterparts calling for a joint ministerial meeting on this issue.

I am also happy to meet again with the dairy sector at any time and in any place during these very difficult times."

– Richard Lochead, Scotland's Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment

The four main unions, the National Farmers' Union, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and the Ulster Farmers Union, met today in central London to discuss the "crisis".

Council warns people to be aware of telephone scam

People are being warned to be wary of telephone cold callers claiming to be from an insurance provider as it may be a scam.

Bath & North East Somerset Council have received reports from residents, who have been called and told a change needs to be made to their house insurance policy, or offering them a cheaper deal.

The caller confirms the first four numbers of the person's bank card and then asks them to confirm the remaining numbers.

When the caller is challenged and asked to put the request in writing the caller then hangs up.

The cold callers are currently operating from a London number - the area code is 02038.

Never give personal or financial information out to anyone who cold calls you on the telephone. Be cautious and if in doubt, hang up.

– Cllr Martin Veal

Advertisement

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:

Black Friday "madness" in Bristol

Shoppers are out in search of a deal today as many major retailers cut prices on what's called "Black Friday".

There have been queues since early on - and scuffles at a number of stores.

Patrick Rose filmed this video. He told us that people were grabbing flat-screen TVs without even knowing the price!

And thanks to Mo Sharif for this video. Mo got caught up in the chaos after only popping in for a few groceries!

Advertisement

  1. National

Magical Journey Christmas attraction to reopen today

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with elves at The Magical Journey. Credit: BPM Media

A Christmas attraction backed by celebrity interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is due to reopen today after being swamped with complaints.

The Magical Journey at the Belfry Hotel in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, shut down after just one day following gripes it was unfinished, had "rubbish presents" and "chav elves".

Ticket prices of £22.50 for a 90-minute visit were also criticised with many branding the "winter spectacle" a "rip-off".

After three days of improvements Llewelyn-Bowen, who stressed he had nothing to do with the production or management of the event, said he hoped the experience was now "much closer to his original ravishing vision".

But despite reopening to the public, organisers have barred the press from attending.

A spokesman said: "We feel that introducing camera crews, reporters and journalists is only going to take away from the experience and possibly even create anxiety for our visitors."

They added they "just want to concentrate on making Christmas as magical as we can for the people who have chosen to join us for The Magical Journey".

  1. Central

"I can't apologise enough" says Magical Journey boss

The organiser of The Belfry's Magical Journey Christmas experience has apologised to visitors for closing after it was "hammered by the weather'.

Paul Dolan, organiser of The Magical Journey experience, said that work was underway to get all the issues fixed by Wednesday.

We were hammered with four weeks of horrendous rain which really affected the site and slowed us down.

We were very far behind but I didn't want to disappoint children.

We thought there was enough there that people wouldn't see the small details that weren't there but there were too many small details and it built up.

We shouldn't have opened yesterday. I can't apologise enough.

What we want this to be is a perfect experience.

– Paul Dolan, Magical Journey organiser

This morning organisers posted a message on the Magical Journey Facebook site saying it was 'closed for improvements'.

The attraction - designed by TV presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen - was immediately slammed on social media with hundreds of complaints from disappointed customers.

Load more updates