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Plans to close residential homes in Devon on hold

Plans to close Council-run residential homes in Devon are on hold because of a legal challenge.

The County Council says it's been asked by the Court to temporarily suspend the closure programme until this challenge has been resolved. It's submitted an appeal against this decision which will be heard as soon as possible.

We are pausing all resident assessments and staff notice meetings pending further legal advice and will continue to provide appropriate care to all residents living in our homes.

– Devon County Council

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Yellow warning for rain and thunder: Bob explains

Cars in heavy rain. Credit: PA

As the Met Office puts out a yellow warning for heavy rain and thunderstorms in our region tonight, our weatherman Bob Crampton explains the traffic light warning system:

"Yellow, amber, red - that's the grading of Met Office warnings. There has been some confusion on the whole warning thing. It is simple - a sort of traffic light system.

"It relates to severe weather - fog, rain, wind, rain, ice and snow; these are the categories. A yellow warning is to "be aware" of one of the categories indicated. Amber is getting more serious; its "be prepared", while red is the most serious. It's rarely used and warns people to "take action" to protect their own safety.

"Tonight a yellow warning will come into force because of heavy rain and possible thunderstorms. It's really a heads-up to watch out for surface water puddling on roads, flashes of lightning and any hail that comes with a storm. It's likely that the heavy rain and storms will be very localised and certainly not everyone will experience them. It's also difficult to pinpoint their path across our region.

"The yellow warning runs from 23:15 tonight until 22:45 tomorrow."

Recruitment Agency say downturn in tourism is greater than other years

Recruitment agency Manpower UK says the downturn in tourism employment across the South West this year is greater now than it has been for years. Manpower UK says their survey shows a majority of employers in the South West won't be taking on new staff.

James Hick is from Manpower UK:

They say the South West will lag behind the rest of the country. The powerhouse of London and the South East are predicted to do well and manufacturing in the East and West Midlands gives the area a huge boost. But employment growth in the South West is predicted to stall.

Manpower UK say some employers have stopped trying to find IT workers, engineers and financiers because they know the skills they're looking for don't exist. Contraction there and saturation of the tourism employment market explains why businesses aren't expecting growth in jobs.

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Unemployment rises in the South West

The number of people out of work in the South West has risen despite a decrease in unemployment nationally.

Official figures show the number of unemployed people in the region now stands at 137,000 - an increase of 1,000 from the previous quarter. According to the recruitment group Manpower, employers in the south west say they're unliikely to take on staff over the coming months.

Positive unemployment figures for South West

The latest jobs figures for the South West show 137,000 people were unemployed in our region for the months May to July 2014. This is a slight increase on the previous quarter of February to April when 136,000 were out of work.

The unemployment rate has risen 0.1% to 5.0%, which is still one of the lowest rates it's been for the last 6 years.

Across the whole of the UK unemployment fell by 146,000 to 2.02million in the three months to the end of the July. The unemployment rate fell to 6.2%, its lowest rate since the September to November 2008.

September sunshine boosts tourism bookings

St Michael's Mount at Marazion in Cornwall - one of the West Country's most popular tourist attractions Credit: ITV News

The warm September sunshine is providing a late season boost to the region's tourism industry.

Some hoteliers are reporting a 30% increase in bookings compared to last year. Many in the industry are hoping the warm weather will help make up for a disappointing start to the year.

Job fears for the South West

Prospects look gloomy for the West Country's job seekers Credit: PA

Employers across every region of the country are expecting to take on more people over the next three months, except in the South West.

The figures come from the recruitment group Manpower UK.

It says heavy reliance on tourism and a jobs boom in recent years means growth in the South West has ground to a halt.

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