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West Country (E)

No decision has yet been made over charity's future

The interim manager of Afghan Heroes has claimed no final decisions had been made about the charity - but it was "not viable or sustainable" in its current form.

In an apparent contradiction to letters sent out to fundraisers, Brian Johnson said he was still considering the options.

I regret any confusion that has arisen as a result of letters recently sent to the charity's volunteer co-ordinators or a notice posted on the charity's website, indicating that the charity is no longer a viable concern.No decision has been taken to close the charity, although I have concluded that the charity's operations are not viable or sustainable in their present form and have begun winding these down to reduce costs.

At this stage I have suspended further fundraising activities and will not look to accept any donations until further notice.

The charity's financial position will become clearer once the process of reducing the charity's operations has been accomplished.I will then be able to devise a course of action on the future of the charity, which will be considered by the Charity Commission in its supervisory capacity.In the meantime, I cannot speculate on the charity's future.

– Brian Johnson, Interim manager, Afghan Heroes
West Country (E)

Afghan Heroes charity to close

It's been announced the Somerset charity, Afghan Heroes is to close down. Afghan Heroes was founded by Denise Harris in memory of her son Lee who was killed by an improvised explosive device in Nad-e-Al while serving in Afghanistan in July 2009.

The Charity Commission froze the organisation's bank accounts and launched an inquiry in December into the charity which helps hard-up and injured former soldiers. The interim manager has written to former volunteers to tell them of plans to close down the charity.

As a result I am, I am in the process of winding down the operations of the charity and no further action should take place in terms of events or other fundraising or support activities."

– Afghan Heroes Interim manager, Brian Johnson of HW Fisher & Company

The Charity Commission has been investigating complaints that during 2012, Afghan Heroes received £548,440, and while it spent £516,288, just £15,153 went on helping soldiers and their families.

But the charity has always insisted it has done nothing wrong.


West Country (E)

Somerset trained horse finishes 2nd in Grand National

Balthazar King, trained by Somerset's Philip Hobbs, came second in today's Grand National. Credit: Pete Byrne/PA Wire

There was some success for the West Country in this afternoon's Grand National at Aintree.

Balthazar King, trained by Somerset's Philip Hobbs, came second. The race was won by the 25-1 shot - Pineau De Re.

Rocky Creek, trained by Paul Nicholls in Somerset, came fifth.

Follow the football with live text updates

Enoch Showunmi makes his Argyle debut this afternoon after signing on loan from Notts County. Credit: Tim Goode/Press Association Images

Yeovil Town continue their battle against relegation from the Championship as they take on fellow strugglers Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

In League Two, Torquay United face promotion-chasing Scunthorpe as they also fight to beat the drop. Exeter City are away at Bury, while Plymouth Argyle's play-off push takes them to Burton Albion.

You can follow all the action with live text updates by clicking on the links below. All games kick-off at 3pm.


Blackpool v Yeovil Town


Burton Albion v Plymouth Argyle

Bury v Exeter City

Torquay United v Scunthorpe United

West Country (E)

David Cameron in Somerset after the floods

The Prime Minister has been in Somerset to see the dredging operation on the Levels following the winter floods. He says plans to increase river capacity in the area by up to 40% are the best way to prevent future flooding.

Mr Cameron also made a surprise visit to residents of a village which HAD been under several feet of water. Our reporter Richard Lawrence has spent the day on the Levels


Somerset trainer hoping for Grand National success

The most famous event in the horse racing calendar takes place tomorrow - and there are high hopes that Somerset trainer Philip Hobbs may produce a winner.

He's got two horses running in the Grand National and expectations are high following success at the Cheltenham Festival.

Bob Cruwys went to meet him at his stables near Minehead:

West Country (E)

David Cameron: 'Dredging does make a difference'

The Prime Minister is visiting Somerset this afternoon to see how the county is recovering after the floods.

David Cameron has been to see how dredging of the Rivers Tone and Parrett is progressing.

Four miles are being dredged, increasing capacity of the rivers by up to 40%. The Prime Minister says people who say dredging won't make a difference are wrong:


Somerset Levels dredgers retrieve eight cars from river

Environment Agency staff recover a car from the River Parrett Credit: Aaron Baker /

Workers dredging a river in the Somerset Levels have turned up eight cars over the last week, all within 100 metres of each other.

This van was among eight vehicles retrieved from the riverbed Credit: Aaron Baker/

Environment Agency staff working to help relieve flooding in the area noticed the cars, which could be up to 20 years old, in the drainage channel of the River Parrett.

It is so far unknown how the cars may have ended up on the riverbed, but officials stressed they would not have contributed to recent high water levels.

Workers examine another of the cars retrieved from the River Parrett Credit: Aaron Baker /

Read: Relief for residents as dredging of Somerset Levels begins

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