West Country bishops have urged the Government to tackle the UK's 'hunger crisis', saying it has a 'moral imperative' to act.
From April 1 2012 major changes will be made to the benefits system. And 2 million people will face a 25% cut in housing support.
The new 'bedroom tax' comes into force in April 2013. Here we explain how it will work and who will be affected.
The following are a selection of viewers' comments taken from the ITV West Country Facebook page.
– Alan Cottrell
If you went through the last war and survived during the fifties when there was a real food shortage then you'd know what it was really like. People today throw away so much food that can be used.
– Ian Lovell
Always find it funny how religious leaders are always answering questions nobody was asking of them. When they are properly elected government officials they can make demands. Until then, their opinions carry no more weight than yours or mine. However, as leaders of such large organisations, if they want to take the responsibility of helping out and giving money and/or services for charitable purposes (as you or I could equally do if we had the time or money), then that would be very commendable.
– Yvon Abbott
I am nearly 60, so was brought up in a home without central heating, knew what it was to survive off jam sandwiches if Dad's pay did not stretch to a whole week, did not have any luxury goods at all. I feel less inclined to have sympathy when people buy beer and cigarettes before food and then go down the food banks for their groceries. Welfare was set up surely as a safety net rather than a way of life. I am really sorry for genuine cases who are struggling, but [...] it does not help when headlines show families on welfare getting five times my income and I still work to support myself.
The Bishops of Salisbury, Gloucester, Taunton, Swindon and Bristol have joined other senior clergy in urging the Government to reconsider welfare cuts, saying the system's failures and cut backs have led to an increase in people using food banks.
Their letter, signed by 24 Anglican bishops, as well as senior clergy from other denominations, says the Government must ensure the welfare system provides an adequate safety net, and that salaries are high enough for a decent standard of living.
Bristol's long-awaited indoor arena has tonight been given the green light by councillors.
George Ferguson's £83m of budget cuts were approved after Labour backed him with amendments of more than a million pounds.
The £91m arena will be built on land close to Temple Meads, with the council having to find only £15m of that total. Work on a new bridge to the site will now begin in the next couple of weeks.
Also at tonight's budget meeting, councillors agreed a council tax increase of 2%.
A £91million arena for Bristol could be given the go-ahead later. Funding for the 12,000 seater venue on the former diesel depot by Temple Meads station is being discussed at a council budget meeting this afternoon.
Reports suggest that it could bring tens of millions of pounds of economic benefit to the area each year. It's due to open in summer 2017.
18 Royal Marines from 40 Commando are heading to Stanmore Bank on the Somerset Levels where they will be working to reinforce the existing structure with sandbags and protect it from overtopping.
It will take approximately 2 or 3 hours for them to reinforce up to a 2 kilometre stretch of wall.
They also have 2 large vehicles with them.
The Local Enterprise Partnership agreed to support Bristol’s Arena from its City Deal Economic Development Fund at a meeting of its Board today. A report presented to the Board suggests that the Bristol Arena could bring tens of millions of pounds to the Bristol econoy each year.
George Ferguson Mayor of Bristol said: “It's very encouraging that the Local Enterprise Partnership recognises the importance of using the City Deal funding for the development of an arena which will give a massive boost to the local economy.
The arena is estimated to cost £91 million to build. £53 million will come from the Local Enterprise Partnership and the remaining £38 million is expected to come back to the council from operator rental and other related income.
The full funding package was approved by Cabinet on 16th January and will go to Full Council on 18 February as part of the council’s budget proposals. If approved at Full Council then work will begin in the Spring to appoint an operator.
Two people who bought lottery tickets in Gloucester and Bristol last July could be millionaires and not know it. And time's running out - the deadline to claim is 11pm tonight. If you think you it could be you, check out the National Lottery website here.
The missing tickets were two of 100 winning tickets drawn in the EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle on 26 July.
If no-one comes forward the prize money, plus interest, will go to the National Lottery Good Causes.
Plans for the Bristol Arena are expected to be approved at a city budget meeting tonight.
The £90 million venue next to Temple Meads would have a capacity of 12,000.
Work could start in January 2016 if the scheme gets the go-ahead.
The City Council has raised £53 million for the project and is planning to borrow the rest. The meeting will also debate cuts and a 2 percent rise in council tax.
Two people in Bristol and Gloucester have each won £1 million jackpots but have not claimed their prize money. Theirs were two of the one hundred winning tickets in the EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle draw on 26 July 2013.
They have until 22 January 2014 to make their claim.