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President Obama will arrive into Gloucestershire's RAF Fairford

President Obama will arrive into Gloucestershire's RAF Fairford Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

A massive security operation is underway this evening at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire ahead of the arrival of the President of the United States Barrack Obama.

We can confirm that Air Force One will land tomorrow evening ahead of the NATO summit in Newport which starts on Thursday. Security has also been stepped up on the West's motorways and police officers from around the country have been drafted in, and are staying at a temporary base in Thornbury.


Police reinforcements gather in Thornbury ahead of Nato summit

Nato summit will be held at the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Thousands of police officers from across the country are gathering in Thornbury in South Gloucestershire ahead of the Nato Summit which begins on Thursday.

Former council buildings are being used as police headquarters during the international security meetings. Officers will be keeping watch over roads and bridges along the M4 leading to the outskirts of Cardiff, where the Summit takes place.

Eric Pickles says changes need to be made at Somerset County Council

Peter Lewis was appointed in May 2013 to turn around Children's Services at Somerset County Council Credit: ITV West Country

The Local Government secretary Eric Pickles has weighed into the row over the money paid to the head of Children's Services at Somerset County Council.

Peter Lewis was appointed in May 2013 to turn around the service after an Ofsted report found Child Protection there was inadequate. He costs the council £318,500 a year, although an employment agency takes a percentage of the fee.

Mr Lewis is paid through a company he owns which means he has the potential to pay lower tax on dividends rather than the higher tax a normal salary would attract. It's a legal scheme but it has been banned in the civil service and NHS.

Somerset County Council says Mr Lewis' tax affairs are a matter for him and the inland revenue but this afternoon Mr Pickles said:

This Government is committed to tackling all forms of tax avoidance, and has given clear guidance to councils to stop dubious pay arrangements through personal service companies. We've changed the law to reduce secrecy on town hall pay deals, and given elected councillors the power to veto excessive senior pay. Councillors now need to use these powers - and they should be held to account if they turn a blind eye.

– Local Government secretary Eric Pickles


Badger vaccination scheme won't cover the South West

The Government's announced a new scheme to vaccinate badgers - but it won't cover the West Country, or mean an end to the controversial culls.

Instead ministers say they'll fund vaccination schemes in central England, in an effort to stop the spread of bovine TB outside the South West. This is in addition to the culls in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire, which are due to restart soon.

Michael Stephenson, Campaign Director for the League Against Cruel Sports, says this is a step in the right direction.

Vaccination scheme announced to prevent spread of bovine TB

Vaccination scheme announced to prevent spread of bovine TB Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

A new vaccination scheme has been announced to contain the spread on TB in cattle.

The Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS) will largely target areas surrounding South West to stop the disease spreading.

Culling will continue in high-risk areas. Environment Secretary Liz Truss has released a statement announcing the plans as part of the Government's aim to make England bovine TB free by 2038.

Bovine TB continues to be a huge threat to our beef and dairy farmers, our economy and our food security, which is why we are pursuing a comprehensive strategy to beat it. As part of this, I want to see vaccination groups come together, building on prior experience to deliver badger vaccination in the edge area. This could be an important part of our collective efforts, to prevent the spread of this terrible disease in cattle to new areas of the country.

– Farming Minister George Eustice

The map below shows the areas (in orange) that will be targeted by the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme.

Area that will be targeted by BEVS Credit: DEFRA
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