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West Country school closures tomorrow

Teachers across the West Country will be out on strike on Thursday 10 July, forcing the closure of many schools. It is part of an ongoing dispute over pay.

If your child goes to an academy school, you should check the individual school website.

For the latest information on council-run school closures, follow the links below (please note that councils update their links regularly as and when appropriate):

£200m Superyacht leaves Plymouth for new owner

The 'Alamshar' is thought to have cost a staggering £200m Credit: ITV News West Country

A new 200 million pound superyacht has left Plymouth after it was constructed at Devonport Dockyard. The "Alamshar" belongs to his Royal Highness, The Aga Khan who is the leader of the world's 20 million Ismaili Muslims. It's rumoured he flew in by helicopter to pick up his purchase.

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Refuse collection warning for North Devon

Residents in North Devon are being given an early warning that their rubbish bins might not be collected tomorrow. The local council says it can't guarantee a collection as a one day public sector workers strike will take place.

Collection services are affected by public sector strikes Credit: ITV News West Country

The stoppage will affect all manner of local authority services across the region not just refuse.

West Country (E)

Council pothole funding allocated

Councils must publish monthly updates on how many repairs have been carried out Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Details of how 168 million pounds of pothole funding has been allocated to councils have been released by the government. The money has been divided between 148 authorities to repair around three million potholes by March next year.

Find out whether your council has received any money and how much using this interactive map.

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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