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Badger Trust: "..serious concerns remain over culls."

The Badger Trust says they are deciding whether to appeal after the High Court today rejected their request to stop the culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire, unless an expert panel was reinstated to oversee them.

“The Trust is considering its options in respect of an appeal against the Court’s decision.

This judgment does not detract from the serious public concerns over the continuation of the cull, including the most recent leaks regarding potentially unlawful and unsafe activity undertaken by culling contractors during the 2013 culls.

Given the indisputable failure of the 2013 culls, the still unresolved issues regarding safety, the only sensible option for the Secretary of State is to call a halt to these pilots.

if she is not willing to do so, we call on Ms Truss to reinstate the IEP.

Whatever happens during the second year of the culls, in the absence of the IEP, it will be impossible to trust any findings supporting a wider roll out."

– Dominic Dyer CEO Badger Trust

Somerset cricket boss resigns

Director of Cricket, Dave Nosworthy is standing down
Director of Cricket, Dave Nosworthy is standing down from the role Credit: Somerset Cricket Club

Somerset County Cricket Club have today announced that Director of Cricket, Dave Nosworthy, will be leaving the Club at the end of the current season.

“With me being the type of character to always put the Club and the team first, I believe I have done as much as I can and that the time is now right to step aside.

“There have been highs and lows, and some tough decisions to have been made along the way, but what has been most pleasing to me has been the emergence of some of the younger players who have flourished and have really come through in recent months.

I have personally learnt a lot over the last two years about people and cricket, and look forward to taking this knowledge and these experiences along with me in to the future.

Lastly, I’ve really enjoyed my time at the Club and it will always have a special place in my heart. I would like to thank the Club, the players, the members and staff for allowing me to be part of Somerset and for your patience and help along the way.”

– Dave Nosworthy


Developer should stand down "for the good of the Pier"

MP calls for developer to stand down
John Penrose MP has urged the developer to stand aside to let other companies address the site before it is damaged beyond repair. Credit: PA

Weston’s MP, John Penrose, has called on developer Wahid Samady to stand aside as the developer of Birnbeck Pier.

It follows reports this week that Mr Samady’s project to redevelop the Royal Pier Hotel has stalled more than three years after the project was approved.

The Royal Pier site borders Birnbeck Pier, and Mr Samady’s firm acquired the rights to develop the Pier shortly after getting approval for the Royal Pier site.

Since then no planning application has been received for the Grade 2 listed Pier and and there are local concerns over the continued deterioration of its structure.

“It’s been more than two years since Mr Samady took over Birnbeck Pier, and nothing has happened.

Now it looks as though he’s got his hands full dealing with another stalled project, at next-door Royal Pier.

That’s a much simpler site, and it already has planning permission, so if he can’t get it going then what chance does a more complex and less-developed project like Birnbeck have?

I share Mr Samady’s ambition to get Birnbeck sorted out, and so does the rest of Weston, but I’m afraid he’s changed from being the Pier’s saviour into the biggest single obstacle to its survival.

For the good of the Pier, and the town as a whole, he should stand aside and let other developers take on the site before it’s too late.”

– John Penrose, MP for Weston-Super-Mare

Government plans for hospital food "won't make a difference"

A campaigner from Bath says government plans to improve food in hospitals don't go far enough.

Mark Sparrow spent 10 weeks in hospital documenting his experience and ever since has campaigned to change things. Now new rules are being brought in and hospitals that don't meet the standards could be fined and publically named and shamed.

Badger cull challenge rejected

Badger cull to go ahead
The High Court says the latest badger cull can go ahead without monitoring by independent experts

The High Court has rejected an 11th-hour challenge to a Government decision to let the latest badger cull go ahead without monitoring by a panel of independent experts.

The Badger Trust wanted a ruling to block "controlled shooting" of free-roaming badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset unless a panel is put in place.

But Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, sitting in London, today dismissed the application for judicial review.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is testing whether the shooting method can be rolled out to other parts of the country to tackle tuberculosis in cattle.

Last year an independent expert panel (IEP) said in a report on the first year of the four-year pilot schemes that controlled shooting could not deliver the level of culling needed to bring about a reduction in bovine TB and was not humane.


Hurricane will bring sunshine to the West

Hurricane set to bring sunshine to the west
Hurricane set to bring sunshine to the west

A tropical hurricane in the Bahamas could bring another hot spell to the west country next week. Hurricane Cristobal is currently making its way across the Atlantic. But forecasters say unlike Hurricane Bertha-which brought strong winds and heavy rain to the region- Cristobal will miss the region entirely and bring sunshine from the continent.

New food standards for the region's hospitals

Hospital food is set to improve
Hospital food is set to improve

Hospitals across the West will be expected to comply with new food standards, the government has announced.

A report by the Hospital Food Standards Panel, led by Dianne Jeffrey, Chairman of Age UK, is recommending five legally-binding food standards for the NHS, which has worked with royal colleges and nutritional experts to come up with the new rules. It comes after recent criticism of food standards at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Somerset vicar abandons 630 mile coast path run

Reverend Haslam has had to abandon his attempt to run the entire 630 miles of the South West Coast Path due to a knee injury
Reverend Haslam has had to abandon his attempt to run the entire 630 miles of the South West Coast Path due to a knee injury

Somerset vicar Mike Haslam has had to abandon his attempt to run the 630 rugged miles of the South West Coast Path, due to a knee injury.

Reverend Haslam was due to run the final leg of his coast path challenge from Weymouth to Poole in Dorset this morning. He says he'll try again in a few weeks. He is raising money for the charity Christian Aid. The plan was to make the route from Minehead on the north coast round to Poole in just 16 days

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