Live updates

Tour of Britain raised £6 million for Devon

Crowds cheer on the peloton as they watch below Hay Tor during a hill climb on Dartmoor, Devon, during the stage five of the 2014 Tour of Britain. Credit: PA

This year's Devon stage of the Tour of Britain generated more than £6 million for the local economy, according to an independent report.

Around 230,000 spectators turned out along the 110-mile route from Exmouth to Exeter.

Environment Agency criticised over flood spending

A new report has criticised the amount of money being spent on some flooding projects by the Environment Agency.

According to the National Audit Office, many schemes are only being maintained to a 'minimal level' because they only protect a few homes.

The Agency has defended its record, insisting it is making record levels of investment.

Dredging begins on the River Parrett, near Burrowbridge in Somerset, where the area suffered flooding. Credit: PA


Cornwall Council rethinks school crossing cuts

Cornwall Council has agreed to delay cutting a number of school crossing patrols.

The council was hoping to save £80,000, but it will carry out a risk assessment first before making a final decision.

It has also reached a deal with the RNLI to maintain the current level of lifeguard cover on 57 beaches, despite reducing its contribution to the charity from £1.4million to £950,000.

Many manned crossings could stay. Credit: PA

Totnes pound heads into cyber space

Totnes pounds being printed - could the paper version be taken over? Credit: ITV Westcountry

A new app will allow people to pay for goods and services in Totnes pounds using their smart phones.

The town has had its own currency for several years, encouraging people to trade locally.

The phone app has been developed by the team running the more recent Bristol pound, which has been taken up by 500 traders.

PCC blasts 'horrendous harm' caused by alcohol

"I am afraid we live in a society where people are less willing to take responsibility for their own actions and their impact on others and now it is clearly time for everyone in the South West to take responsibility for their own use of alcohol.

"For many months I have spoken about the horrendous harm caused by the misuse of alcohol and these figures illustrate, in the starkest possible light, the staggering human cost: 314,000 alcohol related hospital admissions and 758 people dead – through drink, in a single year are simply not acceptable.

"These avoidable demands are being met by the public at large – the costs of caring for, and the harm caused by, drunks is being paid for by many who never drink in anything other than moderation.

"So on most evenings our casualty units are full of drunken men and women injured through fighting, after falling down drunk or being beaten by a drunken partner at home.

"The excessive burden on the police, the ambulance service, on doctors and nurses has to change. If tax-payers want the police to protect their homes and their children they cannot be expected to spend time clearing up the mess left from drunken binges."

– Tony Hogg, Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner


Alcohol abuse costs our hospitals £91 million a year

Hospital admissions triggered by alcohol abuse cost the West Country taxpayer an estimated £91 million in one year, according to a new report.

New “alcohol harm maps” show more than 300,000 people were admitted to Devon and Cornwall hospitals in 2012-13 because of alcohol misuse.

The analysis by campaign group Alcohol Concern also showed that deaths of 758 people in Devon and Cornwall that year were alcohol-related.

Cheap alcohol for sale. Credit: PA
  1. West Country (E)

Two women jailed for multi-million pound scam

Two pensioners have each been jailed for six months for their part in a multi-million pound pyramid investment scheme.

Thousands of women across the region were asked to pay three thousand pounds each in the so-called Give and Take scheme, that promised handsome returns to women.

But 90 per cent of those who paid in lost money.

Growing demand for foodbank in Taunton

Stocks are running low at Taunton Foodbank Credit: ITV Westcountry

There's been a big rise in the number of people relying on the Taunton foodbank.

Organisers say their stocks are already low because families have not had access to free school meals during the summer holidays. Some people have even walked the seven miles from Wellington and back because they are so desperate for help.

Load more updates