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Government backs Taunton 'garden village' plan

Taunton is among 14 areas to have bids backed by the Government Credit: ITV News West Country

Taunton is among 14 areas across the country to get government backing for plans to build thousands of new homes set in so-called garden villages. Today ministers announced that Taunton Deane Borough Council would be given £350,000 to cover planning costs towards building new homes on sites already earmarked for development.

Plans are already in the pipeline to build houses at Monkton Heathfield, Comeytrowe, Trull and Staplegrove. The garden village scheme would link green space to housing estates and work areas through country parks, community woodland and recreation areas.

“Taunton already benefits from many of the characteristics of a Garden Town – we want to strike that balance between retaining our character and wonderful environment to our growth aspirations that will make our county town more prosperous in future."

– Cllr Roger Habgood, Taunton Deane Borough Council

The garden village scheme announced by the government will also take in developments already planned at West Carclaze in Cornwall and at Culm in mid Devon.

Bumper Boxing day reported at Cabot Circus

Cabot Circus managers report a bumper day at the Boxing Day sales Credit: Geoff Caddick/PA

Thousands of shoppers descended on Bristol's Cabot Circus shopping centre for the traditional Boxing Day sales.

The biggest queues were reported outside Next, with bargain hunters arriving as early as 4am, drawn by discount of up to 50 per cent. Other stores that saw early queues were JD Sports and House of Fraser.

"Boxing Day is always one of our busiest days of the year and we were delighted to welcome thousands of shoppers hoping to bag a bargain on the official start of the post-Christmas sales with queues from 4am."

– Stephanie Lacey, General Manager, Cabot Circus


Small businesses to benefit as Rural Rate Relief raised to 100%

Rural Rate Relief is to be increased to 100% giving small businesses a tax break worth up to £2900.

Who gets rural rate relief?

  • if your business is in a rural area with a population below 3,000
  • if you are the only village shop or post office, with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • if you are the only pub or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500


Last tin mine in Cornwall on track for re-opening

South Crofty near Camborne has been closed since 1998 Credit: ITV News West Country

The company behind plans to re-open the last working tin mine in Cornwall says it hopes to finish preliminary work by next spring.

South Crofty near Camborne closed in 1998. It was bought by the Canadian firm Strongbow in July.

Strongbow says an announcement about re-starting production will be made once tests are completed on the safe disposal of contaminated water.

Jail for man who conned elderly into buying home alarms

The trial took place at Bristol Crown Court Credit: PA

A cold calling criminal who conned elderly and vulnerable people out of more than £150,000 has been jailed for five years and disqualified from being a company director for eight years for his part in a fraudulent home alarm business.

Daniel Jody Rivers aged 34 from Yatton, Somerset, a director of ABHG Ltd and also trading as Homeguard UK, was found guilty of fraud and breaching consumer protection legislation at Bristol Crown Court.

Victims were falsely informed that Rivers’ company was working with the local police and they were installing alarm systems either free of charge or at a reduced rate for their post code area. Others were persuaded to have existing working alarm systems deactivated in order to have a new alarm system fitted by ABHG.

Many of the victims lived alone, were elderly and vulnerable. Today’s sentence fully reflects the seriousness and extent of Rivers’ callous exploitation of those poor victims he deliberately targeted.

I would like to send my heart-felt thanks and sympathy to those victims coming forward to provide the crucial evidence in crown court necessary to secure this conviction.

– Cllr Fi Hance, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at Bristol City Council
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