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Summary

  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates from the West of England on Monday, 11 September 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight - we'll be back tomorrow at 7am

Watch: A mix of showers and dry spells heading into tomorrow, says Ian Fergusson

That's it from BBC Local Live for today - we'll be back online with more live updates from 7am tomorrow.

Weather-wise, expect a dry start to Tuesday with heavier showers returning in the evening.

Who will be the BBC Points West guest reporter?

Over the weekend BBC Points West threw its doors open for guest reporter auditions.

We launched a search to find our very own guest correspondent.

Here's a little bit of what happened.

Family rescued from Somerset beach

Watch: See the trapped car

The owners of this vehicle got trapped on Brean beach at the weekend.

A local farmer came to the rescue with a teleporter agricultural vehicle to tow the car off the wet sand.

Residents allowed home after 'hazardous substances' found

View more on twitter

Residents are being allowed back to their homes after "hazardous substances" were found during a house fire in Bedminster.

Emergency crews and bomb disposal experts were called to the blaze in Hastings Close on Friday.

Assistant Chief Constable Caroline Peters, said the force believes this was an "isolated incident" and says there's "no reason to believe it is in any way connected to terrorism".

How fast could you eat an onion?

Watch: How fast could you eat an onion?

The annual Newent Onion Fayre took place over the weekend.

Up to 15,000 people attend the festival which includes the famous "onion eating contest".

MPs to push government on adult learning cuts

Adult learners
Thinkstock

Four Somerset MPs and the leader of the county council have been in Westminster urging the government to reverse its decision to cut funding to the main provider of adult education.

Course provider SS&L is facing a funding gap of nearly £3m following cuts in government money and has postponed all its courses.

Marcus Fysh MP (Yeovil), James Heappey MP (Wells), Rebecca Pow MP (Taunton Deane) and David Warburton MP (Somerton and Frome) held an emergency meeting last week to call on the Skills Minister urgently to review the situation.

Council leader David Fothergill said the government encouraged the council to outsource the service in the first place.

Five Rovers fans ejected for drug taking and alleged racism

Bristol Rovers logo
BBC

Bristol Rovers say five of their fans were ejected for drug taking and alleged racism at their game against Walsall on Saturday.

The club said a comment made about a Walsall player was overheard by other fans.

They alerted officials and the incident has been reported to the police.

Three other people were removed for taking drugs and a fourth person for being drunk.

Teenager used hunting knife in Trowbridge stabbing

Jordan Taylor
Wiltshire Police

A teenager accused of murdering a 24-year-old man used a hunting knife "designed to inflict damage", a court has heard.

Hayden Maslen, 18, from Park Street in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, denies murdering Jordan Taylor (pictured) on 12 March.

Bristol Crown Court heard Mr Taylor and a friend intended to mug Mr Maslen by using an aerosol can to spray him with.

Mr Maslen says he was carrying the knife for protection and had used it in self-defence.

Inquiry into impact of social media on young people's mental health

Alex Chalk
BBC

An inquiry by the MP for Cheltenham into the impact of social media on young people's mental health has been hearing more evidence today.

Alex Chalk is concerned about rising levels of anxiety among teenagers.

Psychologist Linda Papadopoulos and vlogger and Youtuber Grace Victory will be attending today.

Social media platforms will also give evidence before the panel of MPs and experts over the coming days.

Speedway: Swindon head to Poole in first leg of play-offs

Commentator
BBC

After finishing top of the league, Swindon Robins have chosen Poole Pirates as their play-off opponents.

Despite some good results against Pirates recently, Robins manager Alun Rossiter says they'll be tough competitors.

Robins have brought in Kyle Newman for tonight after Brad Wilson-Dean ruled himself out through injury.

Click here for full coverage of the meeting from 7pm.

View more on twitter

Walking dead: the council mistake living for the departed

How would you feel if you got a letter from the council saying you were dead. For the past four year!

That's what happened to the - very alive - Ena. Watch her explain how the whole sorry mess unfolded.

Ena King got a letter from North Somerset Council claiming she had died four years ago

Police 'cannot risk lifting cordon' after 'hazardous substances' found

Avon and Somerset Police says it is "working as hard" as it can to get people back in their homes, after "hazardous substances" were found after a house fire.

Emergency crews and bomb disposal experts were called to the blaze in Hastings Close in Bedminster, Bristol.

The force said it had to bring in “specialist scientists" as well as "experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit" to examine the substances.

Bedminster, Bristol
BBC

There are a significant number of hazardous substances within the property and until we are certain what they are, we cannot risk lifting the cordon. I do not want to speculate on the circumstances which led to the fire but we do believe this to be an isolated incident and we have no reason to believe it is in any way connected to terrorism.

Assistant Chief Constable Caroline PetersAvon and Somerset Police

Warminster man dies in A36 crash

A man from Warminster died following a crash earlier this morning.

The collision occurred on the A36 just north of Chapmanslade, near to Black Dog Woods, shortly before 7am, according to Wiltshire Police.

A silver Vauxhall Omega, a grey Seat Leon and a third unknown vehicle – believed to be a lorry – were involved in the collision.

The driver of the Omega – a 52-year-old man – died at the scene.

The road reopened shortly after midday.

Sheep Dog Trials held in Cotswolds

The International Sheep Dog Trials at Lodge Park in Northleach
PA

The International Sheep Dog Trials took place in the Cotswolds over the weekend.

Teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales competed against each other in the event at Lodge Park in Northleach.

The annual event is described as "the pinnacle in the sheep dog trialling calendar" and it only comes to England once every four years.

The International Sheep Dog Trials at Lodge Park in Northleach
PA
The International Sheep Dog Trials at Lodge Park in Northleach
PA
The International Sheep Dog Trials at Lodge Park in Northleach
PA

Hurricane Irma: Taunton-based 40 Commando sent to Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands
Royal Navy

Royal Marines from Taunton-based 40 Commando are in the Virgin Islands reassuring residents in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The commandos are also giving out water and repairing essential services in Tortola.

Virgin Islands
Royal Navy
Virgin Islands
Royal Navy

The company is part of the Lead Commando Group alongside attachments from the army, navy and RAF to provide humanitarian assistance to British Overseas Territories.

Online sperm donation 'felt more personal'

Watch: Online sperm donation "felt more personal"

Online sperm donation appears to have become a popular way to conceive, with dozens of social media groups and online forums offering donations.

In a BBC Inside Out West investigation, a same-sex couple from Cheltenham have shared their experience of finding a donor through Facebook.

The "murky world" of online sperm donation will be explored in BBC Inside Out West on BBC One at 19:30 BST this evening.

Badger vaccination scheme to restart

George Eustice
BBC

As well as announcing a roll-out of the badger cull to 11 new areas, including Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Dorset, the Government has launched a new advisory service for farmers.

It will provide advice to livestock owners in areas at high risk or on the edge of the areas suffering the disease.

Chief vet Nigel Gibbens said: "Proactive badger control is currently the best available option and the licensing of further areas is necessary to realise disease-control benefits across the high risk area of England, rather than at local levels."

Vaccination is just one part of our comprehensive strategy, which also includes tighter cattle controls, improved biosecurity and badger control in areas where bTB is rife, to tackle the reservoir of disease in wildlife. While our eventual aim is to eradicate the disease completely, farmers are facing the reality of bTB on their farms every day.

George EusticeFarming Minister

Flying Scotsman given push up hill

It might have been the most powerful locomotive of its day, but a hill near Crowcombe in Somerset nearly got the better of the Flying Scotsman last week.

After several failed attempts to get up the hill, another steam locomotive from the West Somerset Railway had to be called in to give her a push.

The railway say it was down to the wet weather and slippery rails.

The legendary locomotive had a problem getting up a hill on the West Somerset Railway.

Severe disruption: M4 Wiltshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Wiltshire westbound severe disruption, between J16 for A3102 and J17 for A350.

M4 Wiltshire - One lane closed on M4 westbound between J16, A3102 (Swindon West) and J17, A350 (Chippenham), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Hazardous substances' found at fire scene not terror-related

Scene of fire in Bedminster
BBC

"Significant hazardous substances" have been found after a house fire that is not terror-related, police have confirmed.

Emergency crews and bomb disposal experts were called to the blaze in Hastings Close in Bedminster, Bristol.

One of two men hurt in the fire, at about 19:00 BST on Friday, suffered "life-changing injuries", police said.

Four roads remain cordoned off and a number of residents are unable to return to their homes.

Click here for the full story.

Scene of fire in Bedminster

'Hazardous substances' found after fire

Avon and Somerset Police confirm one man has been arrested in connection with the blaze in Bristol.

Read more

Family of four rescued after their car sinks into Brean beach

Video courtesy of burnham-on-sea.com

A family of four was rescued after becoming stranded in a car on Brean beach on Sunday afternoon.

Three children and an adult were carried to safety by BARB Search & Rescue and Burnham Coastguards after the Ford's wheels become stuck in soft sand.

A local farmer helped pull the car off the beach.

The car owner made a donation to BARB.

University 'devastated' after researcher swept off rocks

Cornish coast
BBC
Experienced fishermen, the brothers were on holiday with family

A university has paid tribute to Dr Robert Allen who was swept off rocks - along with his brother Charles - while fishing in Cornwall last week.

Emergency services found Charles, 21, in the sea, but he died later in hospital.

Rescuers did not find Robert although relatives have now been informed of a body located in a bay.

Prof Gary Lock, from University of Bath, said it was "devastated" by the news .

"Robert was an outstanding young academic researcher in the field of 3D printing," he said.

"All of us who had the privilege to work with him and learn from him will carry some of that spirit forward with us into the future."

Police: occupants of car seen driving erratically are 'safe'

Severe accident: A361 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A361 Somerset both ways severe accident, between Chelynch Road and Frog Lane.

A361 Somerset - A361 in Doulting closed and heavy traffic in both directions between the Chelynch Road junction and the Frog Lane junction, because of accident investigation work.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Significant hazardous substances' found at fire scene

Cordon at Hastings Close
BBC

Police say "significant hazardous substances" have been discovered during the search of a property in Bedminster where fire broke out on Friday.

Investigations are continuing after a house blaze involving a "potentially hazardous" substance forced neighbours to leave their homes.

Emergency crews and bomb disposal experts were called to the blaze in Hastings Close in Bedminster, Bristol.

One of two men hurt in the fire, at about 19:00 BST on Friday, suffered "life-changing injuries", police said.

Four roads remain cordoned off and a number of residents remain unable to return home.

Cull roll-out is 'political aggression', says Badger Trust

Badger
Thinkstock

The Badger Trust says the Government's decision to extend the badger cull programme is an “insult to the nation’s intelligence”.

CEO Dominic Dyer said: “The government is simply pandering to it’s core voters in the farming sector.

“No credible scientist has ever suggested that culling badgers will make any significant impact on lowering TB in cattle and there is now clear evidence the policy is failing badly.

"The government is simply imposing its will in an act of political aggression against both science and the will of the people."

A 2014 ComRes poll found that 89% of UK residents want the badger cull policy stopped.

Rokoduguni is a 'freak of nature'

Semesa Rokoduguni
Getty Images

Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni is a "freak of nature" who can do things "money can't buy", says director of rugby Todd Blackadder.

Rokoduguni's two late individual tries sealed victory for Bath over double European champions Saracens in a thriller at the Rec on Saturday.

"Scoring those tries shows what an unbelievable player he is," Blackadder told BBC Radio 5 live.

"He's just exceptional. Money can't buy what he can do."

Read the full story here.

Gregory and Jamie Overton out of run-in

Lewis Gregory
Getty Images

Somerset all rounder Lewis Gregory and fast bowler Jamie Overton have been ruled out for the rest of the season with back injuries.

Gregory, 25, has taken 21 wickets and scored 299 runs in the County Championship this season.

Overton, 23, has not featured for the first team since June.

With three games of the season to play Somerset are second from bottom in Division One, 13 points adrift of Middlesex.

Badger cull licences issued

Badger
Getty Images

Licences have been issued for badger culling in 11 new areas in Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Cheshire as part of efforts to control tuberculosis in cattle, the Government has said.

Existing licences already exist for parts of Somerset, Herefordshire, Dorset, Cornwall, Devon and another area of Gloucestershire until 2018 and 2019.

The Government will also restart a badger vaccination programme to stop spread of the disease to new areas.

It follows a decision to grant licences for more culling in areas of Gloucestershire and Somerset which completed four-year pilot culls.

Body found in search for missing brother

Constantine Beach
BBC

The relatives of a man swept out to sea while fishing have been informed of a body located in a bay in Cornwall.

Brothers Charles and Robert Allen, from Bristol, were fishing on 4 September when they were swept off rocks near Treyarnon Bay.

Emergency services found Charles, 21, in the sea, but he died later in hospital. Rescuers did not find Robert.

Police were called just after 08:00 BST when a member of the public reported seeing body at Constantine Bay in Padstow.

The relatives of Robert Allen, 30, have been informed and formal identification would be carried out shortly, police said.

BreakingBadger cull licence areas extended to Wiltshire and more of Somerset

Press Association

Licences have been issued for badger culling in 11 new areas in Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Cheshire as part of efforts to control tuberculosis in cattle, the Government said.

Rock 'n 'rolling back the years on Clevedon Pier

Rock 'n 'rolling back the years on Clevedon Pier

The rock ‘n’ roll past of an elegant Victorian pier in Somerset has been revealed in a popular culture study.

Clevedon Pier, once described by Sir John Betjeman as “The most beautiful pier in England”, had one of the first jukeboxes in the area.

Dr Nick Nourse of The People’s Pier Project said research had shown that from 1958 to 1962 it was a magnet for teenagers and Teddy boys and girls.

Night after night they walked along to the old building which used to be at the end of the pier and danced to rock ‘n’ roll.

Dr Nick NourseThe People’s Pier Project

The secret rock 'n' roll history of Clevedon Pier will be explored in BBC Inside Out West on BBC One 7:30pm this evening.

Cheltenham bike crash: 29-year-old man arrested

Police say that a 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving after a collision involving a car and a male cyclist in Cheltenham this morning.

While police do not believe the cyclist has any serious injuries, a female pedestrian sustained serious injuries and she has been taken to Southmead Hospital.

Officers are still at the scene and road closures will remain in place for some time.

A36 to be closed for a "number of hours" after crash

Police crash sign
BBC

Police say the A36 in Wiltshire is likely to be closed for a number of hours following a crash.

Emergency services were called just before 7am to a report of a serious collision on the A36 Black Dog Hill.

A Vauxhall Omega and a Seat Leon were involved and one is currently on its roof.

Paramedics and fire officers are at the scene.

Severe accident: A4019 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A4019 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, between Henrietta Street and Poole Way.

A4019 Gloucestershire - A4019 Swindon Road in Cheltenham closed and slow traffic between the Henrietta Street junction and the Poole Way junction, because of an accident involving car and a cyclist.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Passenger in his 20s dies in car crash

Ashbury sign B4507
Google

A man from Swindon has died in a crash involving two cars in Oxfordshire.

He was a passenger in a Ford Fiesta which collided with a Range Rover travelling in the opposite direction on the B4507 near Ashbury.

The man who died was in his 20s, Thames Valley Police said.

The driver of the hatchback and two passengers in the Range Rover were treated in hospital for their injuries following the crash, which happened at 20:25 BST on Sunday.

Council apologises over 'Sorry you're dead' letter

North Somerset Council has apologised over a letter sent to Ena King from Weston-super-Mare informing her she was dead.

A statement said: "We are sorry it happened and the distress it's caused and have apologised to Mrs King, both in person and by letter and we have explained to her how it happened."

Residents urged to shut windows after fire

Fire at South Marston
Swindon Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters are warning people in South Marston to keep their windows shut - as they try to extinguish 100 tonnes of demolition waste.

The large bonfire at the derelict Mercure Hotel on the edge of Swindon has been burning since early on Saturday.

Officers say there's nothing harmful in the waste but people living locally are being advised to keep doors and windows closed due to the smoke.

South Marston CofE Primary School in Swindon will be closed today due to concerns over the fumes.

Firefighter at South Marston
Swindon Fire and Rescue Service
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Signals fault leads to disruption on trains near Bristol

National Rail is warning that a fault with the signalling system near Bristol Temple Meads is disrupting trains in the area.

It says trains between Newport and Swindon and Newport and Bristol may be delayed by up to 15 minutes, revised or cancelled until 10:00 BST.

The services is currently suspended between Severn Beach and Bristol Temple Meads due to the fault at Stapleton Road.

Tickets being accepted on local bus routes and engineers are on site.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

'Distressed' girls spotted in car

Police officers
BBC

Police are trying to trace a car seen driving in Burnham-on-Sea yesterday afternoon with three distressed girls in the back.

The blue BMW was spotted driving erratically at around 15:30 BST.

Avon and Somerset Police says they are concerned about the girls and want to make sure they're safe and well.