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New referendum possible on Bristol mayor

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson Credit: Rod Minchin/PA

People in Bristol could be given the right to scrap the post of mayor. George Ferguson was voted in after a poll three years ago which meant the post could never be abolished. But last night the House of Lords agreed to restore the rights of voters to hold a fresh referendum on the issue.

Bristol peer and former Liberal Democrat council leader Baroness Barbara Janke of Clifton successfully moved an amendment to Government legislation that would lift the restriction on holding a mayoral referendum in the future. The amendment will now go to the House of Commons for MPs to consider

“This is not a question of whether the mayor should be there or not: it is a question of the rights of local people. Many people in Bristol feel they were deceived during the mayoral referendum.

"At the time of the referendum, they were not told that they would have no way to alter this system. They were made many promises, which turned out not to be delivered by the then Government, because only one city opted for the elected mayor.

– Baroness Janke of Clifton

Government shelves vote on relaxing hunting rules

MPs were due to vote tomorrow on relaxing rules on hunting with dogs Credit: PA

The Government has shelved tomorrow's free vote on relaxing the rules on hunting with dogs. The majority of west country Conservative MPs were due to vote in favour of a motion which would allow full packs of hounds to flush out foxes. At the moment, just two dogs can be used to flush out a fox before it is shot.

The climbdown by the Government follows the SNPs decision to vote en masse against the change. That, combined with opposition from Labour and some Tories, meant there was little chance the new law could be passed.

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Living wage for low-paid, welfare cuts for families

Credit: John Stillwell/PA

Low-paid workers in the region could be getting a pay rise, as a compulsory living wage was announced in today's budget.

Chancellor George Osborne announced a new National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour for all over 25s next April. This will then increase to £9 an hour by 2020.

However he also fleshed out huge cuts to the welfare budget. Some people will see benefits frozen and tax credits cut.

These measures include a reduction in the benefit cap for households, an end to housing benefit for 18-21 year-olds, a two-child limit for child tax credits and a freeze in working age benefits for four years.

For more on what this means for you and your family, tune in to ITV News West Country from 6pm tonight.

Hundreds expected to protest budget in Bristol "mass die-in"

Chancellor George Osborne delivered the budget earlier today. Credit: PA

Hundreds of people are expected to protest today's budget in a "mass die-in" in Bristol this evening.

The protest, organised by the Bristol People's Assembly, aims to highlight what the organisers call "the many deaths and huge damage to millions of lives which continues to be caused by austerity and the cuts".

Today's budget included a reduction in the benefit cap for households, an end to housing benefit for 18-21 year-olds, a two-child limit for child tax credits and a freeze in working age benefits for four years.

The Chancellor also announced a new National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour, which will increase to £9 an hour by 2020.

Protestors are planning to move around Bristol, beginning at fountains near the city's Harbourside at 5pm, and ending at College Green.

More than 800 people have signed up to attend so far.

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Tories pledge an extra £10 billion to the NHS by 2020

The NHS will receive an extra £10 billion a year by 2020, George Osborne said.

ITV News Health Editor Rachel Younger tweeted:

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