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First Great Western workers strike

First Great Western workers strike over a row about the dismissal of a colleague Credit: PA

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at First Great Western will strike for 24 hours from 4am today (Friday March 27th) over a row about the dismissal of a colleague.

The dispute include guards, train drivers and managers in Penzance.

The announcement comes in the same week the rail company was awarded a 42-month extension on its franchise by the Government.

It is clear from the two disputes we are engaged in that there is a culture of bullying and intimidation of staff rife within the money-spinning racket which is the First Great Western operation.

RMT will not allow this culture to go unchallenged and the union will defend both our individual members and the principle of workplace justice. The union remains available for talks in both disputes.

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

First Great Western is reassuring passengers strike action will not impact its services.

We can confirm that a member of staff was recently dismissed for allowing the doors of a train to remain open while in passenger service, and failing to report the incident to anyone for over a month.

The member of staff was not an RMT member at the time of the incident, and we are surprised that they have decided to support these actions, which put his safety, and the safety of his colleagues and our passengers at risk.

The RMT has a track record of taking a strong stance on the safety of its members and passengers, and today's action seems inconsistent with those messages. We do not expect this action to impact services for customers, and continue to talk to the RMT about this issue.

– First Great Western


EXCLUSIVE: ITV chats to the father of murdered promising teen footballer

The family of a murdered Devon teenager have spoken exclusively to ITV West Country ahead of what would have been his 18th birthday this week.

Alex Peguero Sosa - a promising young sportsman - was stabbed with a broken bottle during a night out with friends in Kingsbridge last summer.

Claire Manning has been speaking to Alex's dad about how much he misses him - and his thoughts on the sentence given to the man found guilty of his murder.

Be sure to tune into the programme tonight to see the full chat.


Chancellor joins working line at Cider factory

The Chancellor tried his hand on the cider assembly line Credit: ITV News

George Osborne has been visiting a cider factory near Taunton today as part of his mission to meet businesses and organisations that are benefiting from last week's budget.

The Chancellor announced a cut in cider duty in a direct tribute to one of the south west's key industries.

The Chancellor also visited a cathedral in our region to announce a major grant for roof repairs.

Mr Osborne was given a tour of Wells Cathedral in Somerset which is one of the historic places of worship to benefit from a £4.5 million pound windfall to help protect them from the weather.

Exeter Cathedral also received £275,000, while Plymouth Roman Catholic Cathedral will receive just under £400,000.

Osborne also visited Wells Cathedral Credit: ITV News

TONIGHT: The last West Country at Westminster

Ian Axton is back tonight with the last of our political shows - the West Country at Westminster - before the election.

The last West Country at Westminster until the election is on tonight

Guests are Queen legend Brian May who launched his Common Decency campaign this week. Also retiring MP and Labour legend Dawn Primarolo. Lib Dem Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood and Conservative MEP Julie Girling are also on the panel.

You can tweet along using the hashtag #WCAW.

Make sure you tune in at 10.40pm.

AgustaWestland awarded helicopter contract worth £580 million

AgustaWestland has been awarded a helicopter support contract worth £580 million.

AgustaWestland has been awarded a helicopter support contract worth £580 million Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

The deal will provide maintenance support to the Royal Navy's Merlin Mk2 and Mk3 helicopters over the next five years. It is hoped the new contract will deliver more than £140 million savings over that time.

More than 1,000 jobs will also be sustained across the UK, with many located at AgustaWestland's facility in Yeovil and at the Royal Navy Air Station in Culdrose, Cornwall.

The Merlin is an important part of our overall Helicopter Force, providing a variety of specialist and general roles in all weathers over land and sea.

We are bringing in the contract one year earlier than planned to meet the requirements of the Front Line Commands and to deliver financial benefits, which is a great achievement and shows how the MOD can adapt flexibly to support the needs of our Armed Forces.

– Air Vice-Marshal Julian Young, Director Helicopters at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support Organisation

Visitor centre in Devon to receive cash boost

A visitor centre in East Devon has received a cash boost from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

Seaton Jurassic will receive £200,000 to carry out excavation work for a new visitor centre which will welcome more than 66,000 visitors, create £4m of local economic growth, and create 103 jobs.

The interactive visitor centre will tell the story of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site.

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