Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England on Wednesday 11 January 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Risk of snow on Thursday

Watch: Ian Fergusson with the weather forecast for the West

Just time to bring you the all important weather forecast before we leave you for the night.

And it looks like we could be in for some snow in parts of the West country tomorrow.

Here's Ian Fergusson with all the details.

We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 7am on Thursday.

Keep warm!

Messing about on the river

Watch: A closer look at the River Avon

Harriet Alvis is a project officer for Bristol Avon Rivers Trust.

She can often be found working with children and adult volunteers to improve the health of the river.

We were particularly excited to be shown some otter poo when we caught up with her!

New Red Cross ambulance begins service in Somerset

Watch: The patient transport vehicle unveiled

The British Red Cross has got a new ambulance in Somerset.

The patient transport vehicle will mostly be used to transport people to and from hospital.

ARRC now responsible for controlling NATO troops

Watch: The NATO Response Force pennant flag was handed over from Spain to the commander of ARRC

Responsibility for commanding NATO troops has been handed over to the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) based at Imjin Barracks near Gloucester.

It means the base will control and command forces on the ground, should they be deployed this year.

A handover ceremony took place at the barracks on Wednesday.

Explosion in Devizes explained

Watch: Controlled explosion of WW1 fuses

Did you hear a big bang in Devizes yesterday? 

Wiltshire Police had a visit from the Royal Logistic Corps Bomb Disposal unit to help them carry out a controlled explosion of some World War One fuses handed in by a member of the public.

So that's what all the noise was.

See inside a bat cave for injured bats

Watch: Frome Bat Care is helping the mammals

A group's been set up in Somerset to help rescue bats and release them back into the wild.

The county is a specialist conservation area for the threatened mammals as it’s home to all 16 British species. 

Liz Eley from Frome Bat Care has converted her attic into a bat cave and takes in animals that have been grounded or injured.

Bereaved mother hoping to teach toddler water survival lessons

Watch: Toddlers learn to swim, get on to their backs and swim to safety

A Wiltshire mum is heading to America to become an instructor in a specialist infant swimming programme. 

Olivia Rowe's three-year-old son died when he fell into a pool now she wants to learn the survival skills and techniques so she can teach them in the UK.

The Florida lessons teach children how to survive by using basic swimming and floating techniques if they fall in water.  

Former Swindon Town footballer admits online banking fraud

Nile Ranger
PA

Former Swindon Town striker Nile Ranger has admitted an online banking fraud in which a woman lost more than £2,000.

The 25-year-old who now plays for Southend pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud by obtaining bank details and transferring the money.

Click here to read the full story.

Drone owner sought after remote controlled aircraft lands at airport

Drone
Gloucestershire Airport

Staff at Gloucestershire Airport are trying to track down the owner of a drone that was found in a locked compound. 

The "quadcopter-type" aircraft is thought to have entered the airport at sometime since Saturday morning.

The airport's Darren Lewington said: “We’re very keen to speak to the craft’s owner. 

"This particular model looks to be a relatively low cost example, typical of those found in high street stores and we’d guess it’s a Christmas present."

The drone has been passed to the police and airport bosses have warned it is illegal to fly a drone near an airport.

"A collision with a drone, even of this size, could have catastrophic consequences," Mr Lewington added.  

BreakingNew investor for Swindon £120m Oasis leisure complex revamp

Dan O'Brien

Political reporter, BBC Wiltshire

Plans for the scheme
SAQ ARCHITECTS

A new investor means the deal to redevelop the Oasis site in Swindon won't now be cancelled.

The £120m project would see an indoor ski slope, concert arena and a fully refurbished Oasis leisure centre on the site at North Star in the town but it has faced years of delays.

In the last few minutes the borough council's announced it won't cancel the deal with the developers as announced last month - as the new investor has submitted plans to take over the scheme.

More on this on BBC Wiltshire's breakfast programme tomorrow morning.

Bristol poet runner-up in national competition

Tom Denbigh
BBC

Budding Bristol poet Tom Denbigh has come second in the national final of a poetry competition.

Twenty-five-year-old biologist Tom, who is studying for a PhD at Bristol University, began writing poetry five years ago and regularly performs at poetry nights in the city. 

He was runner-up at the Hammer and Tongue Slam at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

"The best thing about the night has to have been the audience - they were amazing and warm and cheered so so loudly!," he said.

Well done Tom.

Uncertainty over Bristol's planned arena

Bristol Arena
Populous

Speculation continues to mount that negotiations to build Bristol's Arena are in trouble. 

The City Council announced that construction company Bouygues (BWEEG) had been awarded the contract to build the Arena last year, however work has yet to start on the site near Bristol Temple Meads.

Yesterday a progress report on the arena project to Bristol City Council's cabinet was made exempt to the public.

The City Council and Bouygues have refused to comment.

Severe disruption: M4 Gloucestershire westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Gloucestershire westbound severe disruption, between J18 for A46 Bath and J19 for M32.

M4 Gloucestershire - Very slow traffic and one lane blocked on M4 westbound between J18, A46 (Bath) in South Gloucestershire and J19, M32 (Bristol) in Winterbourne, because of an overturned vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

BMX and skateboard festival to go ahead in Somerset

Watch: The NASS Festival has been given a new licence

The Bath & West Showground is more widely known for its rural shows but this July it will once again host 15,000 people for the NASS Festival.

It's a showcase of drum & bass music, hip hop, as well as skateboarding & BMX'ing. 

A few concerns were raised after some festival-goers urinated in local resident's gardens but the organisers have promised this year's event will go off without a hitch.

Severe disruption: A358 Somerset both ways

BBC Travel

A358 Somerset both ways severe disruption, between B3224 and Kennel Lane.

A358 Somerset - A358 in Combe Florey closed and queuing traffic in both directions between Ash Priors and West Bagborough, because of a building fire. Diversion in operation - for westbound traffic to leave the A358 at the junction for the B3224 and head towards Elworthy and Monksilver. Eastbound traffic vice versa. HGVs and large vehicles may be held or turned around at the closure points.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Points West 60: Snow sees bread and milk delivered by helicopter

Watch: Archive pictures of a snowy Forest of Dean in 1982

As we anticipate snow arriving in the region tomorrow we thought we'd take you back to this day in 1982, when there was rather a lot of the white stuff around. 

The hamlet of The Pludds in the Forest of Dean was cut off, which meant emergency food deliveries for people living in the village.

Rugby: Leicester's Williams to join Gloucester

Owen Williams
Getty Images

Gloucester have signed fly-half Owen Williams from Premiership rivals Leicester Tigers from next season.

The 24-year-old Welshman has made 81 appearances for Leicester, scoring 568 points.

Cherry and Whites director of rugby David Humphreys has already signed forwards Carl Fearns, Fraser Balmain and Val Rapava Ruskin for next season.

Owen's experience in the Premiership and Europe will add some real quality and depth. Top teams throughout Europe have two quality number 10s. I'm sure the supporters will look forward to his competition with Billy Burns for the fly-half starting spot.

David HumphreysGloucester's Director of Rugby

Severe disruption: M50 Gloucestershire eastbound

BBC Travel

M50 Gloucestershire eastbound severe disruption, between J2 for A417 and J1 for A38.

M50 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M50 eastbound between J2, A417 (Ledbury) and J1, A38 (Tewkesbury), because of a vehicle fire.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe accident: A424 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC Travel

A424 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, near Fosse Lane.

A424 Gloucestershire - A424 Evesham Road in Stow-On-The-Wold blocked in both directions near the Fosse Lane junction, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Dark times for Wiltshire residents

White Horse Way
Google

Residents of White Horse Way in Devises have been living in their new houses for 10 years, but the developers who built the homes still haven't got their street lights working yet.

David Wilson Homes has apologised for the delay and said they will have the street lighting sorted by the end of the month, when the council will take control.

Speaking to BBC Wiltshire, local councillor Philip Whitehead said the council had to wait until the estate was properly finished before they adopted lighting control, otherwise they would be subsidising local developers to finish the job for them.

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner retires

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

Bryan Cooper riding Don Cossack to victory at Cheltenham
PA

Don Cossack, winner of the 2106 Cheltenham Gold Cup, has been retired from racing.

The nine-year-old, trained in County Meath, Republic of Ireland by Gordon Elliott, has been the top-rated horse in Britain and Ireland for the last two seasons, having won Grade 1 races at Cheltenham, Aintree, Punchestown, Fairyhouse and Down Royal.

He was again expected to challenge strongly against Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack at Cheltenham on 17 March.

"We found that he had a bit of heat in his leg and we’ve made the decision to call time," said Elliott. 

"He's a horse of a lifetime and owes us nothing. I've said all season that if he had any sort of setback at all we would not abuse him and retire him straight away."

Severe disruption: M4 Bristol eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Bristol eastbound severe disruption, between J21 for M48 and J20 for M5.

M4 Bristol - One lane closed on M4 eastbound between J21 M48 and J20, M5 (Almondsbury Interchange), because of a broken down lorry and recovery work.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe disruption: M4 Bristol westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Bristol westbound severe disruption, at J19 for M32.

M4 Bristol - M4 exit slip road partially blocked westbound at J19, M32 (Bristol), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Ospreys flanker Underhill set for Bath

Sam Underhill
Rex Features

Bath are set to sign England-qualified openside flanker Sam Underhill from Welsh region Ospreys.

The 20-year-old is expected to join the Premiership club at the end of the season.

His career began at Gloucester before a 2015 switch to the Ospreys, where he has played 24 times either side of suffering a shoulder injury in August.

Bath tipper truck firm loses licence

Victims of Bath tipper truck crash
BBC
Clockwise from top left: Mitzi Steady, Philip Allen, Stephen Vaughan and Robert Parker all died in the crash

The tipper truck firm involved in a fatal crash that killed four people has had its licence revoked, it has been revealed.

A public inquiry into Grittenham Haulage Ltd resulted in the ban being imposed in December 2015.

The decision has now been made public following the conclusion of the trial.

Matthew Gordon, 30, and Peter Wood, 55, were found guilty of manslaughter in December 2016.

Mitzi Steady, four, Robert Parker, 59, Philip Allen, 52, and Stephen Vaughan, 34, died in the crash in February 2015.

You can read more about the story here.

Josh Clayton inquest: Family have 'no confidence' in police probe

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

The family of an Isles of Scilly bar worker found dead have "no confidence" in the police investigation after the inquest was halted.

Clayton family
BBC

The inquest into the death of Josh, 23, from Taunton, was suspended after new evidence from witness Leroy Thomas emerged of an argument between Josh and foreign workers outside a party on Tresco before he disappeared in September 2015.

Josh's body was pulled from the sea 10 days later.

Tom Leeper, barrister for the Clayton family, said "erroneous assumptions" that Mr Clayton had not been involved in an altercation at the party, "have resulted in an inadequate investigation to date" and the family wanted a new investigation by another force.

Josh Clayton
BBC

Police barrister Andrew Waters said everyone who attended the party had been spoken to by officers and nobody had mentioned the altercation.

He said officers had spoken to Mr Thomas twice and the new account would have to be corroborated.  

Iconic Bristol ship in dry dock

The Matthew is undergoing her annual check-up at Bristol's Underfall Yard.

View more on instagram

The entire ship has been hauled out of the water while the underside is checked for damage.

The Matthew is a replica of the 15th century caravel that John Cabot sailed from Bristol to Newfoundland in 1497.

Severe disruption: M4 Wiltshire westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Wiltshire westbound severe disruption, after J15 for A346.

M4 Wiltshire - One lane closed on M4 westbound after J15, A346 (Swindon East), because of a broken down lorry.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Father 'broken' after acid attack on son

Mark Von Dongen
Von Dongen family

The death of a man who was attacked with acid has left his father "broken", according to the family.

Dutch national Mark Van Dongen, 29, was left with 80% burns and paralysed after being attacked in Bristol in September 2015. He died earlier this month.

Speaking about his father Kees, who speaks little English, Mr Van Dongen's brother Bartje said "once my dad was a very big man, now he is broken".

A woman, from Redland, denies offences related to throwing corrosive fluid.

Click here for more.

How was amazing trick shot done?

Watch: How was 500ft trick shot done?

The creators of an amazing trick shot watched by millions of people online have explained how it was done.

Shane O'Hara and Tom Woolman, of the Allstar Sports Bar in Bristol, took more than 11 hours to set up the 500ft shot.

Mr O'Hara, general manager, said it became "real Hollywood drama stuff" as time ran out on getting it done before the bar was due to open.

Severe disruption: M50 Gloucestershire eastbound

BBC Travel

M50 Gloucestershire eastbound severe disruption, between J2 for A417 and J1 for A38.

M50 Gloucestershire - One lane blocked on M50 eastbound between J2, A417 (Ledbury) and J1, A38 (Tewkesbury), because of a lorry fire.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Met Office updates snow warning

There is a chance that snow may hit the West region tomorrow, although we're unlikely to be affected like other parts of the UK.

However, the Met Office is warning us to be prepared:

View more on twitter

BreakingJosh Clayton death: Family call for fresh investigation

John Danks, BBC Spotlight

The family of Josh Clayton, whose body was found on the island of Tresco are calling for a fresh investigation into his death. 

An inquest into his death has today been halted in the light of new evidence. 

It comes after jurors at Plymouth Coroners Court heard from a witness who claims he saw Josh involved in an altercation outside the party.

Josh Clayton
.

Property guardians accuse management company of neglect

Watch: See the conditions some have been living in

A group of residents in Bristol have accused a property management company of neglect and attempts to intimidate them.

The "property guardians" say they've been living with damp, rats, dangerous electrics and no heating in some properties owned by Bristol City Council. 

They're reviewing their agreement with the management company, Camelot, which finds residents to live in empty buildings around the UK.

Camelot denied all the accusations saying maintenance has been done and they worked hard to maintain standards. They said they would investigate complaints if brought to their attention.