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Protests as yet another high street bank closes its doors

The Mayor of Glastonbury is to lead a protest when Barclays bank closes its doors for the last time later.

Residents of the town have been campaigning to keep at least one of their high street branches. Two banks have already gone, Barclays makes the third closure and the final bank - Lloyds - will shut next month.

A protest planned for today (Friday 4) is yet another stand in a long campaign to persuade at least one local bank to stay.

Campaigners have already created what they believe is the biggest ever bank queue in the town and created this campaign video:

Campaigners say they will keep on fighting the Credit: Kevin Redpath

Barclays and Lloyds say they have branches in nearby Street and fewer customers used them now.

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Council accused of putting PR ahead of safety

Council bosses have been accused of putting PR ahead of safety as the Authority proposes to cut funding for school crossing patrols.

The Conservative leaders of Devon County Council have put forward the plans to cut the money given for Lollipop ladies

The Lib Dem opposition say that the Tories are protecting council departments at the expense of front line services. The Authority says it needs to save money from its road safety budget.

We also spoke to Cllr Alan Connett, Leader of the Lib Dem group on Devon County Council.

We have been exploring alternative ways of funding school crossing patrols in the county in order to help the service continue. We are reviewing feedback from a public consultation, which will be reported back to Cabinet in due course.

– Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management

The budget for this year will be set at a council meeting in Exeter on February 23.

Wiltshire Council announces council tax rise as it tries to make £25 million savings

Cllr Dick Tonge, CON, Wiltshire

The region's largest local authority has announced it is putting up rates by the maximum 4%.

People in Wiltshire will see a 2% rise in council tax and another 2% on top as part of a social care levy. It will mean a band D bill will increase to £1270.

Wiltshire Council also announced it wants to make £25 million worth of savings in the next year.

Council announces first tax rise in six years

Bath and North East Somerset has announced a rise in council tax for the first time in six years.

The 1.25 per cent rise has been dubbed a "last resort", and councillors say it will protect frontline services and help meet the rising cost of caring for an aging population.

Alongside a need to save more than £40million over the next four years, in December B&NES Council learnt it had to identify a further £3.6million worth of savings in the coming year alone.

The council's cabinet has now proposed the 1.25 per cent rise - which would raise almost to £1million - ahead of it meeting on February 10 to set the 2016/17 budget.

The cabinet's proposals will enable the protection of core frontline services such as:

  • Children and youth services, including children's centres and child protection services.
  • Adult social care services.
  • Street cleaning, waste recycling, environmental health services, and public toilets.
  • Planning, regeneration and business support.
  • Leisure services, including planned investment in new leisure facilities in Bath and Keynsham.

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