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Somerset Council let the public balance its budget

We've all had to get a bit better at cutting our cloth over the past few years as the weekly shop gets more expensive and those bills and direct debits keep coming in.

Sometimes we have to cut back on a few things just like County councils have to do.

But when they're deciding where to spend our council tax and when they make cuts to their services, it can really have a big impact on people's lives.

Today the people of Somerset have been having a go at balancing a council budget themselves.

Each bag on the scales represents a different council service and they've been deciding what to protect and what gets left behind.

Bob Cruwys reports.

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Over 200,000 people volunteer in the West

Lou Kirby runs Lockleaze cafe in Bristol Credit: ITV News

An estimated 220,000 people volunteer in some way in the West of England every month. If these volunteers were paid - it would have cost authorities £254 million.

Lou Kirby runs a cafe in Bristol, not to make money, she runs it seven days a week as a community resource.

She also cooks and delivers meals for people living at home who can't get out.

Tonight's programme is a special report on how the state of the economy has impacted our lives. Tune in at 6pm.

Have you started volunteering in the past 5 years? Email us westcountry@itv.com

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Pounds in your pocket? ITV West Country special on how the state of the economy impacts you

Do you feel better off than 5 years ago? Credit: PA: Joe Giddens

This evening's programme will be a special programme looking at what the state of the economy means to you.

In our region over £600 million has been cut from Council budgets and we will be analysing what that means for communities and businesses across the West.

Ben Barry from Bristol earns £8 an hour, which is above the minimum wage, but a delay in a tax credit claims meant he went for months without benefits money.

Ben was referred to a foodbank which he never thought he would have to use.

Tune in this evening at 6pm for our ITV West Country special.

Titanic deckchair sells for £100,000 in Wiltshire

A deckchair from the Titanic has sold at auction in Wiltshire today for just over 100,000 pounds.

The chair was from a first-class promenade deck of the ship. It was salvaged from the ocean by a team sent to recover bodies after the Titanic sank. The chair was sold at the Devizes auction house Henry Aldridge and Son to a UK-based collector.

The chair was from a first-class promenade deck of the ship. Credit: Henry Aldridge & Son
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