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Row over council's decision NOT to pay for Blue Flags

A row has broken out over Cornwall Council's decision not to pay for its beaches to receive Blue Flag status this year.

The council says it's difficult to justify in the current financial climate. It wants local companies to come forward instead to sponsor beaches.

It means that only one beach in Cornwall - the privately owned Carbis Bay at St Ives - has Blue Flag status - while nine beaches in Devon have the prestigious award.

Here's our Cornwall correspondent Steve Hardy.

No Blue Flags on Cornish beaches

Treyarvon Bay, Cornwall Credit: Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

A row has broken out over Cornwall Council's decision not to pay for its beaches to receive Blue Flag status this year.

The council say it is difficult to justify in the current financial climate, and want local companies to come forward to sponsor beaches instead.

It means that only one beach in Cornwall, the privately owned Carbis Bay at St Ives, has Blue Flag status, while nine beaches in Devon have the prestigious award.

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Employment Minister says latest figures are positive

Latest job figures out today show that the south west has recorded the biggest fall in unemployment of any region, and now has the lowest rate.

Employment Minister Esther McVey MP says this is very positive for the South West.

The current figure stands at 4.9 per cent, compared with the national average of 6.8 per cent. The jobless total fell by forty one thousand in the first three months of the year, a drop of one point six per cent.

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Record high of over 30.4 million people in work

The number of people in work is now more than 30.4 million people - which is the highest since records began in 1971.

The number of people out of work is falling. Credit: PA

There was a further fall in unemployment today which was fuelled by a record high of 4.5 million people who are self-employed.

The number of people working for themselves jumped by 183,000 from January to March, compared with a rise of 375,000 over the past year.

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New report says Cornwall's health services are badly funded

An independent report published today reveals how Cornwall's health services are badly funded. Health Initiative Cornwall has trawled figures from the government, local NHS trusts, and local councils.

The team claims healthcare in Cornwall should be entitled to millions more every year. Chris Goninan is from Health Initiative Cornwall:

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