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Prime Minister praises Somerset dredging operation

David Cameron has praised the dredging work being carried out in Somerset to prevent a repeat of last winter's floods.

In response to a question from David Heath, the Lib Dem MP for Somerton & Frome, the Prime Minister said he was excited by what has happened on the Rivers Tone & Parrett. His said his only regret was that he had not been allowed to drive the dredging machinery himself.


Dairy farmers call for fairer division of milk profits

Some dairy farmers are facing increasing financial hardship as milk prices drop Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

This lunchtime the Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss is chairing a meeting to discuss the pressures facing dairy farmers.

Some say the price they're paid for milk has been cut by 20% in the past six months. Mark Humphry, who is chairman of the farmers providing milk to Bruton's Wyke Farms, says he'll soon be selling milk for less than it costs to produce. He blames the supermarkets.

From the milk that we produce in the dairy to the cheese that ends up on your plate, there should be enough margin there if it's shared evenly between the retailer, which is the supermarket, the processor and the farmer. We should all be able to make a living but there is a huge feeling at the moment that the retailer is taking the lion's share of it and not sharing it.

– Mark Humphry, Dairy farmer, Taunton
Mark Humphry is a Somerset dairy farmer


Animals being abandoned like rubbish

The RSPCA has reported a big increase in the number of abandoned animals in our region with almost 1,500 cases so far this year.

  • Bristol 209 cases
  • Somerset 541 cases
  • Wiltshire 354 cases
  • Gloucestershire 318 cases
These rare tortoises were dumped outside a pet shop in Gloucester - it was lucky they were spotted before they grew too cold Credit: RSPCA

They include these three rare red-footed tortoises which were found in rabbit hutches at a pet store in Gloucester. If they'd been left outside for any longer they could have really suffered.

The charity has begun an appeal to help it tackle a problem where it says too many animals are being dumped like rubbish. It worries that it will get even worse as winter draws in.

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