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Owen Paterson loses job in reshuffle

Owen Paterson (centre) visiting Northmoor Pumping Station in Somerset. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has lost his job in David Cameron's cabinet reshuffle.

The Conservative minister came under intense pressure, following his handling of the flooding on the Somerset levels, and also received criticism for the horsemeat scandal andthe unsuccessful badger culls.

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Owen Paterson says dredging WILL be done on time

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson pledged today that the dredging of two important rivers on the Somerset Levels WOULD be completed by October, as promised.

That's despite the fact that only 10% of the work has been completed in the seven weeks so far. The Environment Agency says it's preparing to bring in four more dredging teams to help get the job done. Bob Constantine reports.

Paterson promises dredging WILL finish on schedule

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson meeting members of the Environment Agency and other organisations on the Somerset Levels Credit: ITV News West Country

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has been to see dredging work being carried out on the Somerset Levels today following concerns that the work had got off to a slow start.

The Environment Agency is dredging five miles of the rivers Tone and Parrett to make the water flow more easily and hopefully prevent a repeat of last winter's floods.

The number of dredgers is due to increase in the next few weeks Credit: ITV News West Country

Mr Paterson said that, although only 10% of the work had been completed so far, it would be finished on schedule by the end of October and the number of dredgers would be increased from two to six in the coming weeks.

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Flooded gravestones being repaired

Church charities have joined with a local stonemason to repair flooded gravestones at Moorland for free. Credit: Diocese of Bath & Wells

Work has started to repair gravestones in the Somerset village of Moorland which were damaged by the floods.

Usually families have to pay for maintenance but church charities have joined with a local stonemason to do the work for free. Ten gravestones need urgent repairs.

Local vicar, Revd Jane Haslam said: “Knowing that these families have enough on their plate the church decided to try and sort out the urgent repairs for them and relieve them of the work and the cost.

"The work will be the first phase of enhancing the churchyard following the recent flooding.

"We would like to thank everyone who has helped in this matter as it will be much appreciated by those who are going through so much.”

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