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Somerset MP 'disappointed' in new Environment Secretary's failure to visit local farmers

Tessa Munt, MP for Wells
Tessa Munt, MP for Wells Credit: John Stillwell/PA

A Somerset MP who says she wrote to the new Environment Secretary inviting her to meet local farmers, says she's disappointed that she failed to do so.

Wells MP Tessa Munt has criticised Liz Truss for failing to take the opportunity to meet with a group of local farmers and landowners from the Axe and Brue catchment areas during her visit to the Somerset Levels yesterday.

I know local people will be disappointed that she was unwilling to meet with them. I have the means to contact 1,100 affected smallholders, tenants and farmers with land abutting the Axe and Brue Rivers at short notice, and although they have missed out this time, I will write to Liz Truss again, asking that she meet those affected in my area so she understands these problems are not limited to the Parrett and the Tone.

– Tessa Munt MP

New Environment Secretary says badgers won't be gassed

The new Environment Secretary has told ITV News that badgers won't be gassed as part of the badger cull. Liz Truss was speaking on a visit to Somerset, just ten days after taking over from Owen Paterson in the cabinet reshuffle.

Her comments came as she toured dredging work in Burrowbridge as part of the plan to prevent a repeat of the devastating floods on the Somerset Levels.

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West Country (W)

Liz Truss says no to gassing badgers

Government says no to badger gassing
Government says no to badger gassing Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

The new Environment Secretary Liz Truss has told ITV West Country that the Government has ruled out gassing badgers.

Her pledge came as she visited the Somerset Levels for the first time to see the dredging operation. She said that the dredging will be completed on time.

Miliband: 'I look like Wallace' but image isn't important

Labour leader Ed Miliband has admitted to a likeness with "Wallace" from the popular "Wallace and Gromit" films, made by Bristol's Aardman Animations.

But he says politics rather than his image is what is important to him.

Split screen Wallace of Wallace & Gromit and Ed Miliband
Separated at birth? Wallace and Ed Miliband Credit: PA

In a wide-ranging speech to the Royal Institute of British Architects he said:

I am not from central casting. You can find people who are more square-jawed, more chiselled, look less like Wallace.

– Ed Miliband MP, Labour leader

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Campaigners call for an elected Mayor in B&NES

A meeting's being held tonight, 23 July, to promote a campaign for an elected mayor in Bath and North East Somerset, similar to the one in Bristol.

A petition has been started which, if it attracts 6,900 names of voters in the area, will trigger a referendum on the issue.

Supporters are meeting at the BRLSI in Queen Square in Bath at 7pm to discuss the campaign.

Entrance to Bath Guildhall
The campaigners feel there should be an elected mayor in control of B&NES Council, which meets at the Guildhall in Bath Credit: ITV News West Country

Mayor Ferguson says "no tanks" to parking protesters

Campaigners fighting plans for new residents-only parking zones around Bristol drove a tank down one of the city's main streets tonight.

The protest was to highlight a petition expressing "no confidence" in Mayor George Ferguson's handling of the scheme.

Mayor Ferguson rejected the groups concerns, which he described as of "no consequence". The petition was debated in tonight's meeting of Full Council but no vote was made and the system is set to continue.

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