150 staff working for City Link in Plymouth and Exeter will lose their jobs by the end of the week. Many of them were told of the redundancy plans on Christmas Day after the firm went into administration. John Andrews reports:
It's emerged that 150 staff working for City Link in Plymouth and Exeter will lose their jobs by the end of the week.
Many workers were told of the redundancy plans on Christmas Day after the firm went into administration. The majority of staff had no idea the company was in trouble.
We had done quite well as far as we were concerned.
This year people have been working hard. A lot of our drivers have really worked hard, and the warehouse worked hard. Basically, everyone had to work hard this year to try to make everything work.
And as far as we knew it was going well and even the managers at depot level had no idea what was going to happen.
Parcel delivery company City Link Limited has gone into administration, with hundreds of jobs in the West at stake.
Administrators Ernst and Young took over the company on Christmas Eve.
It's likely to affect several depots and smaller delivery firms here who subcontract for the Company
City Link depots in Plymouth and Exeter are opening today so customers can pick up their parcels.
The courier firm stopped trading on Christmas Eve when it went into administration.
The business has ceased to accept new parcels from customers and its depots will remain open for a short period of time to enable customers or intended recipients to collect parcels. Those customers who placed parcels with City Link on Christmas Eve for delivery are urged to go to the depot to retrieve their parcels as soon as possible.
Any intended recipients who have been notified of a failed delivery are also urged to go to the depot to collect their parcel as soon as possible. The depots will reopen following the Christmas holiday break on Monday 29 December 2014 to enable parties to collect parcels. City Link will no longer be able to deliver any further parcels and customers are urged to make alternative arrangements for future deliveries.
A zoo that inspired a Hollywood film has become a charity.
It comes after an online crowd-funding appeal to raise £1.6m for Devon's Dartmoor Zoo closed on Monday after raising nearly £340,000.
The appeal was boosted by an anonymous gift of £300,000 from a mystery donor. Director Ben Mee said the gaining of the new status meant the zoo's future was "as secure as it has ever been".
Benjamin Mee bought the tourist attraction after the death of his wife Katherine in 2006, inspiring the film 'We Bought A Zoo', which starred Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.
With Christmas looming fast, many shops in the South West are reporting sales up on last year. Saturday and Sunday was one of the busiest weekends of the year for Drake Circus in Plymouth - but the shopping centre is expecting today and tomorrow to be even busier.
In terms of online shopping we've definitely seen a big shift this year in terms of going to click and collect.
Dave Bond has fished out of Looe for 36 years. He says EU quotas are taking their toll on the fleet.
Next year's quotas aren't quite as hard hitting as feared. But there are still reductions to sole, cod, haddock and plaice. Quotas for species like megrim and monkfish will stay the same.
Dover sole's used to be three months work for me, and now I can't even fish Dover Sole's because we catch our quota for the month in less than an hour, it's ridiculous.
No cut is a good cut in our eyes, the base figures they started with weren't good. From our point of view as a ten metre boat, we had insufficient quota when it first started so any cut is obviously just another nail in the coffin really.
Plymouth Fisheries manager Pete Bromley has warned that fishermen in the South West may still be forced out of the industry despite the Government securing what it claimed was a “fair deal” at European talks to agree new quotas.
The EU Fisheries and Agriculture Council meeting ended late last night. Whilst the outcome was not as devastating as initially feared, the long-term impact of the new deal would still have far-reaching negative effects.
The new quotas are the best result for the South West fishing industry that we could have hoped for from what is now accepted to be a bad management system, and admittedly not the disaster we first feared. But whilst they may not herald the demise of the industry entirely, they will still increase the pressure on fishermen already struggling to operate viable businesses.
Maintaining the quota of some species at the same level as last year might be seen as a ‘win’ but the operating costs of fishing vessels in the coming year doesn’t stay the same; costs like fuel and fishing nets inevitably increase. Therefore simple economics means once again, fishermen will be worse off – and in some cases, possibly forced out of the industry or face having to reduce the number of their crew to stay viable.
Quotas are still continually being set too low, often because of flawed, inaccurate or insufficient scientific data, but there comes a point where fishermen will go out of business if they are not allowed to catch enough fish to pay the bills.
A new agreement on fishing quotas and industry rules has left the West Country's fishermen concerned for their livelihoods.
The package for next year was signed off at the EU Fisheries and Agriculture Council following negotiations in Brussels. some proposed cuts to quotas were reduced. Fisheries Minister George Eustice was pleased with the result, and said it would lead to "sustainable fisheries and a strong UK fishing industry".
But the new rules will have a direct impact on fishing industries in the South West.
- There will be a 10 per cent cut to Channel plaice, which will have a big impact on Brixham, a lot of concern.
- Cuts to the white fishery - cod 26 per cent, whiting 14 per cent, haddock 12 pre cent - which will lead to more discards.
- For Newlyn’s net fishing things are looking better. They won’t have any cut in angler or megrim. And the hake quota is going up by 11 per cent.
- For the Bristol Channel, the Sole quota is being cut by 15 per cent.
- There is renewed concern about small boats. This year they ran out of quota in the Bristol Channel in October. The experts say they now expect it to be even worse in 2015.
Farmers will protest in Bridgwater tonight over a further cut to the price they get paid for milk.
The new drop in price means farmers only receive an average of 24p per litre of milk - which costs around 30p to produce.
This follows similar action in October, when farmers blockaded a supermarket depot in Bridgwater.
Tune in to ITV News West Country at 6pm tonight, when we'll be talking to a dairy farmer about what has prompted this latest protest.