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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.

Dorset coastguard control room is wound down

The rescue co-ordination centre in Portland is being wound down Credit: ITV News

If you ring the coastguard in east Devon or Dorset, the chances are that a call centre in another part of the country will deal with it. From today the rescue co-ordination centre in Weymouth is being wound down and will be closed altogether by Friday.

It's provoked a heartfelt response from sailors, fishermen and boat owners who were among hundreds who gathered to say farewell to the lifesaving team.

The national operations centre in Hampshire opened last week. By next spring it will be at full speed. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency insists that its response will be as good or better than now, with local volunteer rescue teams and lifeboat crews responding as before.

The handover is gradual, but will be complete by next week. Then the former Customs House in Portland will be sold

Rise in complaints to South West Water

Rise in complaints to South West Water

Written complaints to South West Water have risen by 5.4% compared to last year.

According to figures from the Consumer Council for Water, complaints rose by 5.4% in the period 2013/2014 compared to 2012/13. But the company has defended it's position and issued the following statement:

Over the last five years customer complaints to South West Water have dropped by 50%.

Despite a slight increase in initial complaints in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13, largely due to exceptional weather, more than 97% of complaints were resolved first time, which represents the 2nd best performance of all water and waste water companies.

– South West Water


Rocks play music controlled by the weather

You might think that rocks playing music that's controlled by the weather sounds strange. And it is according to those on Portland who've been experiencing it this week.

They also say it's very beautiful and thought provoking. It's one of a series of art installations around the island.

Our Dorset Correspondent Duncan Sleightholme reports:

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