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The West Country at Westminster: Queen's Speech, EU referendum

The first West Country at Westminster since the election.

Ian Axton talks to Conservative MP for North Somerset and former Defence Secretary Liam Fox, Labour MP for Exeter Ben Bradshaw, former Lib Dem MP for Wells Tessa Munt and UKIP parliamentary candidate for the Forest of Dean and UKIP party director Steve Stanbury.


Rescue boat used during Somerset floods gets new home

The villagers have decided to loan their rescue boat permanently to BARB Search & Rescue. Credit: ITV News

A rescue boat which was a lifeline for stranded villagers during last year's floods in Somerset is being given a new home this morning.

Rescue boats were a lifeline for Muchelney residents during the floods. Credit: ITV News

It was bought after the village of Muchelney was cut off by the water, but now the road has been raised to prevent it being flooded again. The villagers have decided to loan it permanently to Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) Search & Rescue in Burnham-on-Sea, which was first on the scene during the crisis.

The road to Muchelney was cut off during the floods, and the only way in or out was by boat. Credit: ITV News

Chief Fire Officer to get higher salary than Prime Minister

Lee Howell will have a higher salary than the Prime Minister. Credit: ITV News

The Chief Fire Officer of Devon and Somerset has been awarded a 6% pay rise - meaning he'll get a larger salary than the Prime Minister.

The Fire Authority voted in favour of the recommendation for Lee Howell's salary this morning, giving him a pay rise of £9,000.

Front line officers have been told their pay rise will be capped at 1%.


YOUR VIEWS: Taking kids out of school for holidays.

We asked your views on how you feel about taking children out of school for family holidays. Do the tougher rules make you less likely to do it?

Dozens of you got back to us, here are just a selection.

I have taken mine out and will continue to do so - I would rather pay the fine as it's a lot cheaper. They are only young once and it has done my children no harm

– Gronnia Bastow, from Torbay

As school support staff I have to take my holidays in school holidays. There are deals to be had if you look for them.

– Sheila Maybery, from Weymouth

What about those of us in the West Country, how are we supposed to take our holidays during the school breaks when most of us work in the tourism industry?

– Sam Mallon, from the Isles of Scilly

I think that if the children have good attendance then there shouldn't be a problem.

– Pippa Sadiq, from Bodmin

Book a year ahead and that way you have 12 months to pay for a holiday without taking the kids out of school.

– Julie Richards, from Weymouth

If it's the only way they can afford a holiday then they should be able to, a holiday can be very educational even just 'rockpooling' or seegng tourist attractions.

– Simon Burfield
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