As rail fares are set to rise - business leaders accuse the government of leaving the West Country behind on transport improvements.Read the full story ›
As many of the region's hospitals struggle to cope with the number of patients we ask what needs to be done to prevent another winter crisisRead the full story ›
Speaking in his Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond cancelled next year's planned rise in fuel duty.
It's the seventh successive year that the tax has been frozen.
In the South West, where many people rely on their car to get around and run their business along a network of long roads, this should be good news.
Mr Hammond said: "This will save the average car driver £130 a year and the average van driver £350 a year.
Rural Rate Relief is to be increased to 100% giving small businesses a tax break worth up to £2900.
Rural rate relief now 100% if you're the only pub or shop in a village of less than 3000 people. Finally something for the region.
Who gets rural rate relief?
- if your business is in a rural area with a population below 3,000
- if you are the only village shop or post office, with a rateable value of up to £8,500
- if you are the only pub or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500
Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a new National Productivity Investment Fund of £23 billion to be spent on innovation and infrastructure over next five years.
Setting out his first Autumn Statement, Mr Hammond said the fund will "directly contribute" to raising Britain's productivity.
The new funding commitments include an additional £1.1bn of investment in English local transport networks.
Details of allocation are yet to emerge - so it is not yet clear how the West Country will actually benefit, and no guarantees that this extra funding will come our way.
However, a hint dropped by the Prime Minister to a South West MP could mean that the West Country is likely to receive more support for its rail infrastructure.
It was a timely announcement - the region is still suffering from a 48 hour disruption on the trains to and from the South West after a spate of bad weather caused flooding and debris on rail routes.
The Chancellor has promised to invest over £1 billion pounds in the country's digital infrastructure.
In his Autumn Statement, Phillip Hammond pledged to sustain the effort to rollout faster broadband.
If it goes ahead, it will be welcome news for the West Country - where many homes, businesses and whole communities face daily frustrations from a lack of a decent internet connection
The news was welcomed by MPs from across the region:
Incentive to accelerate superfast broadband - 5yr 100% rate relief on new fibre infrastructure. Great move - should benefit all areas of UK
The Prime Minister has given a strong nod to a West Country MP that there will be transport improvements for the South West announced in the Autumn Statement.
You can hear her answer to Kevin Foster, MP for Torbay, here:
I suggest that he is a little more patient and listens very carefully [in the Chancellor's Autumn statement.]
Chancellor Philip Hammond has said his first Autumn Statement "is focused on preparing and supporting the economy as we begin writing a new chapter in our country's history".
He sent out a tweet shortly before leaving 11 Downing Street to head to the House of Commons.
My #AutumnStatement today is focused on preparing & supporting the economy as we begin writing a new chapter in our country’s history
Mr Hammond will deliver the Statement after Prime Minister's Questions.
- Watch the Autumn Statement live on our Facebook page from 12.30pm.
On this episode of the West Country at Westminster, we take stock of one of the most politically turbulent times in memory.Read the full story ›
Three councils in the region have given the final-go ahead to create a new West of England authority with devolved government powers.Read the full story ›