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What does the "strategic alliance" actually mean for Dorset and Devon & Cornwall Police forces?

Devon and Cornwall Police has confirmed that it will pool resources with neighbouring Dorset in what is known as a "strategic alliance".

We spoke with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall Police, Tony Hogg, who explained what it means in practice:

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£1.5 million project to improve flood defences completed

A £1.5 million project to improve flood defences on the Somerset Levels has been completed. Credit: Environment Agency

A £1.5 million project to improve flood defences on the Somerset Levels has been completed.

The purpose-built platform at Dunball Sluice, near Bridgwater, means flood water can be quickly pumped away. It also means flows in the Rivers Sowy, Parrett Tone and King's Sedgemoor Drain can be managed more efficiently.

A temporary platform was constructed at Dunball during the winter of 2013/14, which saw large parts of the Levels under water after storms. At its height more than 90 million tonnes of water covered an estimated 122 square kilometres.

The workis part of a £12 million programme of repair and enhancement of flood defence works across Somerset.

Court hears how foreign workers never saw their wages in alleged slavery trial

A court has heard how foreign workers in Plymouth were made to work seven day weeks but never saw their wages.

Three women and two men from the Czech Republic are accused of trafficking for the purposes of exploitation.

Ruzena Tancosova, Petr Tancos, Nela Dzurkova, Martin Tancos and Katerina Kurejova deny two charges of conspiracy to traffick for the purposes of exploitation between January 2010 and September 2014. They lived in various addresses in Plymouth.

The group deny two charges of conspiracy to traffick for the purposes of exploitation Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Martin Tancos and Ruzena Tancosova deny acting as a gangmaster between the same dates.

Tancosova and Petr Tancos also deny requiring a person to perform forced labour between March 2010 and 2014.

Today witness Josef Bukovinsky told Plymouth Crown court that one of his bosses Ruzena Tancosova gave him ten pounds every three months.

He told the court at one point he earned £270-320 for a six day week working 12 hour shifts in a local factory.

The trial continues.

How much of that did you get?

– Malcolm Galloway, Prosecuting

Nothing.

– Josef Bukovinsky

What would happen if you didn't go to work?

– Malcolm Galloway, Prosecuting

They threatened to me that they would beat me up and Petr would take me into his garage and beat me up with a baseball bat.

– Josef Bukovinsky

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Nowell returns to squad as Chiefs take on Leicester

Exeter winger Jack Nowell returns to the squad after two tries for England against France at Twickenham, this weekend.

The Chiefs return to Premiership action, hoping to put the disappointment of losing in the L.V Cup Final behind them. They travel to Leicester tomorrow, a side they beat in the semi-final of the cup earlier this month.

Nowell says his main focus is now on his home team.

Somerset County Council responds to the report

Julian Wooster, who took up the post of Director of Children's Services just two weeks ago has responded to Ofsted's criticisms.

We fully accept the key findings of this Ofsted inspection and the short-comings it highlights.

Services are not good enough and improvements need to be made quickly and I am here to help make that happen. Accepting all the criticism in this report, we must also look at the positives. There are examples of good practice, signs that we are starting to turn a corner. We are building on those signs of improvement but it has to happen faster. It’s a difficult time for Children’s Services and our partners in Somerset but we are not alone – few authorities don’t have improvements to make. Our social workers do a very difficult job and much of my focus will be on supporting and developing them, while challenging them to improve.

Productive partnership working will be another immediate priority. Protecting children is everybody’s responsibility. The council is pivotal but there are many agencies involved and we all need to be performing well and working closely together.

Children deserve better, the inspectors demand better and we, the County Council and our partners, are all committed to safeguarding and improving outcomes for children in Somerset.

– Julian Wooster, Director of Children’s Services
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