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Cider workers to be balloted in pay dispute

Workers at the Gaymer Cider Company in Shepton Mallett, are to vote on possible industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The country’s largest union, UNITE says it is holding a ballot of its more than 100 production workers at the Kilver Street site on whether to take strike action or industrial action, short of a strike in the dispute. The ballot closes on Friday 24 January.

The union claims the dispute centres on a three per cent pay rise for 2012-13 which was made conditional on a wage freeze in the following year.

Farmers lost more than a 1p per litre of milk last year

One of the most important dates in the dairy farmer's calendar took place today - the dairy show at Shepton Mallet.

It comes as a new report reveals that the region's farmers lost more than a penny on every litre of milk produced last year.

Last month, Farmers for Action held a protest over prices at a distribution depot near Bridgwater.

And today members say they may be forced to stage further blockades in the run-up to Christmas.

Our Somerset Correspondent David Woodland has more....


The Royal Bath & West Show over the years

The Royal Bath and West Show celebrates its 150th Show today. It's unique in the South West as it was the only big show to move about before settling in one place in the mid sixties. Its gatherings were held from South Wales to Plymouth.

The first show was back in 1852 but as our Somerset correspondent David Woodland reports, its remit has always been the same - to bring farmers together and to show 'townies' what goes on down on the farm!


A first for new Chief Constable

This will be my first experience of the Royal Bath and West show.

Events like this are a fantastic opportunity to meet people in a fun and relaxed environment, helping them to see what we do every day to keep them safe, even if they don't normally have direct contact with us."

– Chief Constable Nick Gargan, Avon and Somerset Police.

I am thoroughly looking forward to attending the Royal Bath and West Show.

Going to events is just one of the ways that I get to meet members of the communities I represent.

I thoroughly enjoy meeting and speaking with residents and the show is a good opportunity for local communities to come and have their say on their policing service."

– Sue Mountstevens, Avon and Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner.

Farming Minister to attend Royal Bath & West Show

David Heath. Credit: PA Wire

The Farming Minister David Heath will be at the Royal Bath and West Show, which starts today.

He'll discuss issues like TB and the forthcoming badger cull with farmers. A cull could start as early as Saturday in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Other concerns for agriculture include the Schmallenberg virus and the future of the industry.

Mr Heath will also visit the Orchards and Cider Pavilion.

150th Royal Bath and West Show starts today

Crowds at the Royal Bath and West Show last year. Credit: ITV News West Country

Bovine TB and a difficult year for farming will be among the discussions at the Royal Bath and West Show later.

It's one of the biggest agricultural shows in the country. More than 150,000 people are expected to attend the event in Shepton Mallet.

This year is the 150th show and runs until Saturday.

Last minute preparations on Tuesday. Credit: ITV News West Country
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