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Summary

  1. The news, sport, weather and travel across the West of England on Thursday, 15 September 2016.

Live Reporting

By Sarah Jones

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from BBC Local Live in the West

Today was the last of the hot and humid days - things look set to change going into Friday.

Jennifer Bartram has the latest forecast.

We'll be back tomorrow from 7am with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the West of England.

Watch: Tank in Trafalgar Square marks 100th anniversary

Wiltshire soldiers have driven a replica tank from Trafalgar Square to Horse Guards Parade

A replica of a World War One tank has been driven through the centre of London by Wiltshire soldiers,

The tank - from the Tank Museum -  was manoeuvred into position in Trafalgar Square before being taken up Horse Guards Parade.

The display marks the 100th anniversary of the war machine, which was first used in warfare in the Battle of the Somme on 15th September 1916.

Taunton pupils' English Channel swim cancelled due to weather

Earlier we told you about a group of Taunton School pupils who were going to swim across the English Channel tomorrow in a race against their teachers and a team of Royal Marines.

Unfortunately their event has been postponed due to a storm forecast for the area.

Organiser Liz Webb added: "They are on hold with a good window for Sunday however, Saturday has also not been ruled out. We will keep you posted of any changes." 

Winning design sculpted in sand

A fresh sand sculpture has been added to the Weston Sand Sculpture Festival, designed by an 11-year-old.

“Reach for the Stars” was created by Isabel Jones and chosen as the winner in the festival's design competition.

Isabel Jones
Weston Sand Sculpture Festival

Weighing nearly 20 tonnes and standing 2.5 metres tall, it features a character climbing up a mountain to catch a star.

Isabel said: “I wanted to create an inspirational design that shows that no matter what you want to be in life that you should reach for your star and do the very best that you can."

Her drawing was brought to life by sculptor Jos de Ruig.  

Tank at 100: A former commander remembers his tank service

Wiltshire is home to the oldest tank regiment in the world. 

This morning BBC Wiltshire were live in London and France where events were taking place to mark 100 years since the tank was first used in the field. 

During the Second World War, Roy Dixon commanded a tank crew in Europe. He looks back over his service with the armoured machines.

Watch: Roy Dixon is a former tank commander from Wiltshire.

Watch: Honda committed to Swindon post Brexit vote

Honda Senior Vice President Ian Howells confirms company's commitment to Swindon.

The Japanese government may have expressed grave concerns about Britain leaving the EU, but today Honda launched a new version of the Civic. 

The factory, which is now the only place in the world that makes the Civc model, has been based in Swindon for more than 20 years.

Ian Howells, senior vice president for Honda in Europe, said it was "hugely proud" of what it had achieved in Swindon and it was "very much here for the duration".

Bridge steps named after silver medallist swimmer

Becky Godden trial: Prosecution sums up

Becky Godden trial: Prosecution sums up

The Christopher Halliwell trial for the murder of Swindon woman Becky Godden continued today with closing statements from both sides. 

The 52-year-old denies killing Becky who was last seen alive in Swindon in 2003 when she was 20. 

Andrew Plant has been following the trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Watch: Taunton pupils v Royal Marines in swim challenge

Taunton School students will be swimming the English Channel tomorrow.

If that's not enough they will be racing against a team of Royal Marines and their teachers.

Here they are in training:

They'll race against their teachers and a team of Royal Marines

The evening headlines from your local newspapers

Watch: Cheltenham school bringing rock music to children

Could your child be the next Eric Clapton or Charlie Watts?

A new rock school is starting up in Cheltenham, where 7 to 18 year olds can learn how to play guitar, drums, bass or even sing with a band.

The Rock Project prides itself in being able to bring together a group of children, getting them to sing and play together Queen's "We Will Rock You" within an hour of first meeting up.

Watch: These children are given a crash course in rock music.

Fracking licences 'will not be used' says energy firm

Fracking
Getty Images
Lancashire County Council recently rejected shale gas applications from Cuadrilla

Licences to carry out fracking in parts of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, will not be used by a company they had been granted to.

Lucky hamster rescued from magpie 'ordeal'

Maggie the hamster
RSPCA

A hamster is being treated for "superficial wounds" after being rescued from the grips of a magpie in a garden in Taunton.

The RSPCA said a quick-thinking rescuer swooped in, rescued the tiny rodent and put it in a shoe box for safekeeping.

The adult hamster - now named Maggie - was taken to the charity’s West Hatch Animal Centre in Taunton.

Anita Clark, from the RSPCA, said: "She is a little wary of being handled at the moment but that’s not surprising given her frightening ordeal and her run-in with the magpie.

"She’s a very lucky lady!"

Watch: Anti-nuclear protesters deliver Downing St petition

Environmental activists showed their disappointment outside Downing Street this morning.

Their actions follow the government's announcement on Hinkley Point C's go-ahead.

The environmental activists show their disapointment outside Downing Street.

Sanderson leads Northants to victory against Gloucestershire

Ben Sanderson
Rex Features

Ben Sanderson takes a career-best 8-73 as Northants wear down a plucky Gloucestershire to win their final four-day game.

China 'welcomes Hinkley decision'

The Chinese news agency has reported that "London" has made a "welcoming move" by giving the go-ahead for the new £18 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley in Somerset.

It said the delay in building Britain's first nuclear power facility in two decades, had been "over some fictitious 'national security' concerns about Chinese investment".

"Had the programme gone under, all sides were to lose dearly, while China-Britain relations could have been tossed into uncertainty," the agency added.  

Hinkley Point C
PA
Artist's impression of Hinkley Point C building proposals

Watch: In the tank fields of the Western Front

The first tanks went into action across ths field in Ginchy, France, 100 years ago today.

It was 100 years ago today that the British deployed 49 tanks against the Germans - the first time the war machine had ever been used in battle.

The event has been marked by the Wiltshire-based the Royal Tank Regiment, the oldest tank unit in the world.

Commemorations also took place in London and on the Western Front in France - where military historian Andy Robertshaw has been remembering the tank's significance.

Watch: Local MP's reaction to Hinkley Point C

Bridgwater and West Somerset MP gives his view on the approval of Hinkley C

Bridgwater and West Somerset MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger, said it was "tremendous" that the new £18bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point had been given the green light.

The Conservative politician, whose constituency includes Hinkley Point, said he had met with Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday and "she had been forensic in her questioning" but he was "delighted" by her decision.

Gloucestershire's new police horse needs a name

This Saturday, Gloucestershire Police are opening up their headquarters at Quedgeley for curious visitors to look round.

View more on twitter

Gloucestershire Police want show the public the sorts of things they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. 

And to top things off, they're inviting names for their new police horse, which will enter service after training.

People can vote on the horse's new name through the Mounted Unit's Twitter account, @GlosHorsePol.

Before you ask, Harambe and Horsey McHorseface are unlikely to be options...

Swindon man joins in Tank 100 commemorations

It's 100 years since the tank was first used in battle and there are events being held in London and France.

BBC Wiltshire's Ian Longdon was with Wiltshire soliders from the Royal Tank Regiment in Tidworth as they drove a tank from Trafalgar Sqaure to Horse Guards Parade earlier.

One of the spectators was Steven Dixon a WW1 history enthusiast from Swindon who found out about the event after getting a text message from his wife.

I'm a big fan of World War 1 and 2 history. I'm actually a WW2 re-enactor, so it's quite amazing to see all of the commuters quite amazed by the tank. The armour today on a modern tank is a lot stronger...but, how do you cope in that confined space as well? I wouldn't like to be in that situation to be honest".

Steven Dixon
Man standing in front of a replica tank
BBC

Members of the Royal Tank Regiment were also in attendance with members of the Chelsea Pensioners.

Chelsea Pensioners with members of the Royal Tank Regiment
BBC

Watch: What will Hinkley Point C look like?

Here's Dave Harvey standing on huge piles of earth - the spot where a new nuclear plant will one day produce 7% of the UK's electricity output. 

The site at Hinkley Point will become one of the largest construction sites in Europe when work starts to build the nuclear power plant.

It is perhaps hard to imagine the scale of the project from the ground, so here's Hinkley Point as seen from above:

Renowned designer's collection comes to Bristol

He was one of the 20th Century's most prominent theatre designers, and now Oliver Messel's collection has come to the University of Bristol's Theatre Collection for cataloguing and preservation.

The university was given £73,000 of lottery funding to catalogue and archive 75,000 items including letters from Vivien Leigh and photographs by Cecil Beaton.

It is hoped they will also make some items available online for study. Jo Ellsworth is the director at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection...

Jo Ellsworth, director at the University's Theatre Collection explains Messel's importance

Becky Godden trial: Christopher Halliwell gives evidence

Christopher Halliwell gives evidence

A Swindon man accused of murdering a woman from Swindon has been giving evidence in court. 

Becky Godden disappeared in 2003. 

Christopher Halliwell denies her murder - he's already in jail for killing Sian O'Callaghan five years ago. Andrew Plant's been following the case at Bristol Crown Court.

Watch: Gregg Clarke's Hinkley statement in the Commons

Tank at 100: Commemorations held in London

Commemorations of the first time tanks were used have been taking place in Wiltshire, London and on the Western Front in France.

Wiltshire's home to the oldest tank unit in the world, the Royal Tank Regiment.

On the 15th September 1916 the British unleashed them against the Germans - the first time they'd ever been used in battle. 

Here are some photos taken in London by BBC Wiltshire of one of the tanks, along with members of the Royal Tank Regiment and members of the Chelsea Pensioners.

Soldiers from the Royal Tank Regiment
BBC
Soldiers from the Royal Tank Regiment
BBC
Tank in Trafalgar Square
BBC

Travel: Broken down lorry at Hicks Gate near Bristol

Mass balloon ascent at Longleat

The 50th anniversary of Longleat Safari Park has been celebrated this morning with a special mass ascent of hot air balloons from the grounds of Longleat House.

Balloons taking off at Longleat
Longleat House

Eight balloons, lead by the estate's own "Flying Lion" took off as part of a "Sky Safari". Over the next few days, they plan to launch 50 balloons from the estate.

Balloons taking off at Longleat
Longleat House

Filton Wars: The Hanger Strikes Back...

We're not sure we can see the resemblance, hopefully the finished building will look a bit less menacing a Star Destroyer.

View more on twitter

Have your say on tidal barrier plans for Bridgwater

Tidal barrier design
Sedgemoor District Council
The Bridgwater tidal barrier is yet to be designed but it could look something like this

If you were affected by the serious flooding in Somerset three years ago, then you might want to have a say in plans to build a tidal barrier to reduce the risk of it happening again. 

The five potential sites are on the River Parrett - one at Dunball and four others further upstream at Bridgwater. 

The open consultation exhibition takes place this afternoon at Bridgwater Arts Centre between 2pm and 7pm.

If you can't make it there's another one on the morning of 24 September at the Angel Place Shopping Centre.  

Scene of accident on M5 in Gloucestershire

100 years of the tank: your photos

Events are taking place in London and France to mark 100 years since the tank was first used. BBC Gloucestershire has been sent these photos from listener Paul Burbidge.

They show his uncle Walter from his World War One photo album.

Tank photo
Paul Burbidge

The pictures were taken at Casement Aerodrome near Dublin. Paul said he found the photos of his uncle after he died in his photo album.

Tank photo
Paul Burbidge

South-West MEP 'delighted' with Hinkley Point plans

The South-West MEP Julie Girling has reacted positively to news about Hinkley C.

Hinkley Point
Getty Images

"I think it was only right that the new Prime Minister should want to satisfy herself over the cost and security matters involved in a huge investment from China.

"But I am delighted the result is a green light. As someone who works closely on environmental issues I am convinced that nuclear has to play a key part in a clean, green power mix.

"When the scheme goes ahead it will mean a major boost for jobs and the economy of our region for many years to come."    

Shadow minister for energy calls Hinkley Point a 'rip off'

The Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Barry Gardiner, has spoken out against the news that a new nuclear reactor will be built at Hinkley Point.

Barry Gardiner
Getty Images

Ninety-two-and-a-half pounds per megawatt hour is too high a price and there should be a taper

This project is eight, nine years delayed already, and if it's delayed further, we shouldn't be paying a premium price, we should be knocking off the price for every year's delay

Barry GardinerLabour Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change

Watch: Song about the Concorde is composed

Most songs tend to be inspired about the ups and downs of love and relationships but this time the story of aviation is being put to music.

The composition is inspired by the iconic Concorde and here's a taster of what it sounds like...

Music for Concorde

Greenpeace say Hinkley has become 'too big to fail'

Earlier this morning, BBC Somerset's Claire Carter spoke to Emma Gibson from Greenpeace about the latest news on Hinkley Point. They'll be handing in a large petition to Downing Street today.

View more on twitter

We're handing in our petition this morning with local people from Somerset, EDF hasn't successfully been able to construct these power stations yet. They failed to build them in Finland, France and China. We think the best solution would be to withdraw investment and invest in renewables instead. The project has become too big to fail...this is a terrible deal for taxpayers. We're already producing a quarter of our energy from renewable sources, there's no reason why that could not go up.

Greenpeace

BreakingSwindon MP suspended from House of Commons

Conservative North Swindon MP and former disabilities minister Justin Tomlinson has been suspended from the House of Commons for two days and ordered to make a statement to MPs for leaking a draft parliamentary report.