No fuel sign

Fears of a fuel shortage

There has been panic buying at some garages in the region and a strike hasn't even been called.

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Soaraway Temperatures

Fine weather well before Easter. Just how warm was it this weekend?

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West Country beef & lamb gets protected status

Beef and lamb produced in the West Country has been awarded protected food status by the European Commission.

It puts the meat alongside Cornish Pasties as a product that can only be given a west country label IF it's born and reared in the region. Bob Cruwys has been to meet a fifth-generation family farmer in Somerset who helped secure the award.

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West Country beef and lamb protected

West Country lamb and beef has been given protected food name status. The European Union status helps to safeguard specialist products from across the UK.

It'll join the ranks of some of the UK's favourite foods such as Stilton Cheese and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies. More than 60 foods now have the status.

Food name status will protect West Country lamb and beef. Credit: ITV News West Country
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Protected foods 'bring £900 million to economy'

Protected food products in the UK contribute an estimated £900 million to the European economy, and the government is keen to encourage more food producers across the UK to apply for the special status. Farming Minister George Eustice said:

Exceeding the 60th registration is an achievement to be proud of. Legal protection of the quality, provenance and reputation of British food will help small businesses make a valuable economic contribution both locally and nationally.

We now want to help many more UK food producers who are thinking about making an application for protected name status to get their quality produce fully recognised.

Read: UK foods gain protected status

Family carers missing out on £s

Families across the West Country who care for loved ones at home are missing out on millions in benefits according to new research.

The study by Carers UK found that many are facing financial hardship as living costs rise.

They found some families felt there was a lack of support from the benefits system.

Carers reported to be facing hardship as living costs rise

Marine life conservation

There's a cautious welcome in the West Country to the first designation of marine conservation zones around our coast. They're intended to protect senstive underwater habitats.

But while conservationists say they're pleased the Government is taking action, they'll maintain pressure to ensure more areas are protected.

Our Environment correspondent Duncan Sleightholme reports.

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The danger of drug drivers

In just a few weeks time police forces across the West Country will be beginning their annual drink drive campaigns in the run up to Christmas.

But it's not just alcohol that's an issue, ITV's Tonight programme has revealed that no-one knows how many drivers under the influence of drugs are on our roads.

Nigel Turner reports.

Redfarn remembered

Former Westcountry Televison boss Stephen Redfarn will be remembered at a special service today in Plymouth.

He played a major part in clinching an £85million deal to sell the company in the late 90s.

Mr Redfarn died at the age of 70 in August following a short illness.

Stephen Redfarn Credit: ITV

South West housing market may be recovering

Sales of homes may be rising in our region. Credit: Press Association

There are signs the South West housing market is continuing to recover.

According to a survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the number of homes sold in the South West is at the highest level since February 2008, and it is higher than than the UK as a whole.

Prices also continued to rise, with nearly half of people reporting an increase. The report says predictions for the future are upbeat.

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