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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England on Monday, 10 October 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Warmer night tonight with another dry and fine day tomorrow

That's it from BBC Local Live for tonight - we'll be back tomorrow at 7am with more news, travel, sport, and weather.

Here's Ian Fergusson with a look at Tuesday's weather...

Watch: A dry and fine day for most, with a chance of showers for some

Travel: 'Serious accident' on the A417 in Gloucestershire

Former City player denies football fraud

Mark Aizlewood
BBC
Mark Aizelwood played for Bristol City in the early 1990s

A former Bristol City footballer has denied being part of an alleged multi-million pound fraud involving apprentice schemes.

Mark Aizlewood, 57, from Aberdare, pleaded not guilty to fraud by false representation in connection with football-based apprenticeships.

He and five others - including Steven Paul Gooding, 52, of Bridgwater, Somerset - face charges at London's Southwark Crown Court after a Serious Fraud Office investigation.

The charge relates to the Coventry-based Learning and Skills Council and its successor, the Skills Funding Agency, which were both allegedly defrauded between 1 November, 2008, and 30 September, 2011.

Severn ferry - 50 years since it ended

Watch: Archive pictures of the Aust Ferry

It's 50 years since the Aust Ferry stopped taking cars across the Severn between Aust and Beachley.

Back in the day it was the only way to cross the Severn estuary, saving motorists a 60-mile (97km) round-trip via Gloucester.

The service ended in 1966 when the Severn Bridge opened.

Travel: Further problems on the roads in Gloucestershire

Not sure why, but traffic has been stopped on the A417 near the Air Balloon Roundabout, according to Highways England...

View more on twitter

Meanwhile, on the M5 near Cheltenham, a lorry fire is causing problems for motorists...

View more on twitter

Gerry Gow: 'He was a great competitor'

Justin Tomlinson suspended over Wonga report leak

Justin Tomlinson
HOC

Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has been suspended from the House of Commons for leaking a draft committee report.

The Tory MP shared the findings of an inquiry into regulating consumer credit with a Wonga employee in 2013.

MPs backed a finding by the Commons Committee of Privileges that he had "committed a contempt" in disclosing the report.

The former disability minister's two-day suspension will begin on Tuesday.

Bristol 'has to be' in city T20 event

The Brightside Ground
Rex Features

Gloucestershire chief executive Will Brown says they want Bristol to be part of any new city-based T20 competition.

The venues for a proposed eight-team T20 event are yet to be decided.

"Bristol has to be part of it, ideally as a host venue for a regional team," Will Brown told BBC Radio Bristol.

Click here to read more.

Knife crime attacks in Gloucester 'rare', police say

Steve Knibbs

BBC Points West reporter

Glos stabbing
BBC

The word being used in Gloucester today is “reassurance”. After two serious stabbing incidents, one in which a man died, there is understandable concern. 

Detectives investigating the murder in Marian Court have revealed they believe it was related to drugs and that more than one person is involved. 100 officers are working on the case. 

Residents around Marian Court had letters posted through their doors by Gloucester City Homes urging them to share any information with the police today.

However, police say that the city is still safe place, that these attacks are rare and that they are working hard to tackle people involved in knife crime. 

Gloucester’s MP, Richard Graham, says it’s everyone’s responsibility to help by reporting criminality and any evidence of drug abuse and dealing.

'Mini swimming dinosaurs' in Gloucestershire canal

Hold the front page, rare Great Crested Newts have been spotted living alongside the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.

It's the first report of the protected species - also known as ‘warty newts’ - in the canal's 200-year history, according to the Canal & River Trust.

Great Crested Newt
Canal & River Trust
Great Crested Newts have suffered a sharp decline in the last 50 years

Laura Mullholland, from the trust, said they were delighted the newts have made a home on the canal.

"Their ‘warty’ reputation often doesn’t endear them to people, but they’re really like mini swimming dinosaurs, especially the males who display a jagged crest during breeding season, kind of like a tiny stegosaurus," she added.

Six months to rebuild home after lorry crash

Watch: Nigel Hewitt-Cooper counts himself lucky to be alive

Nigel Hewitt-Cooper was buried in bricks when, in March, a lorry smashed through the wall of his house.He was sitting in his study when the truck skidded off the A361 near Glastonbury.

He was buried in the rubble but, amazingly, only suffered six broken ribs in the crash last March.

Homeless to provide 'security' in empty council buildings

Watch: "We think this is a first in the country," said David Ingerslev

Disused council buildings in Bristol are being "lent" out to those sleeping rough or living in hostels.

The joint project, between the city council and the charity St Mungos, includes an old community hall that's been empty for months. 

It will house five people who will provide security while living in the building.

David Ingerslev, from St Mungos, said: "We think this is the first time this has been done for homeless people and rough sleepers in the country."

Severe congestion: A38 Somerset westbound

BBC Travel

A38 Somerset westbound severe congestion, between Ashey Lane and A368 Dinghurst Road.

A38 Somerset - Very slow traffic and heavier than usual traffic on A38 westbound in Lower Langford between the Ashey Lane junction and Churchill Gate.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

150 years since launch of Cheltenham's lifeboat

Watch: Cheltenham's lifeboat has been commemorated

The 150th anniversary of the launch of the Cheltenham Lifeboat on Pittville Park's lake, is being celebrated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The 32ft, 10 oar-powered pulling vessel served as the first RNLI lifeboat at Burnham-on-Sea for 21 years.

A plaque has been unveiled at Pittville Park to commemorate the event.

Man found dead at concrete factory named

Map
BBC

A man whose body was found at a concrete factory in Frome has been named by police.

Jeffery Baulf, 43, died in a work-related incident at CPM Concrete on 3 October.

The cause of death is being investigated.

Lost phone answered by man on recycling sorting line

A woman who accidentally threw her phone away - with thousands of photos of her son growing up on it - had it answered by someone on a recycling centre's sorting line.

Leanne Sowerby, from Royal Wotton Bassett in Wiltshire, said she was "absolutely frantic" and in "floods of tears" when she realised she had lost it in her recycling waste.

Using an app to track its whereabouts, the 26-year-old discovered it was at a centre in Calne.

Recycling manager Henry Newbery and Leanne Sowerby
Hills Waste

It was spotted on the sorting line by Henry Newbery, the recycling manager, who picked it up just in time to answer a call from a worried Leanne.

“She was very lucky the phone was in one piece, as the rubbish is compacted inside the collection vehicle and it was in amongst about three-and-a-half tonnes of material," he said.

MP expected to be barred for Wonga report leak

Justin Tomlinson
HOC

Conservative MP Justin Tomlinson is expected to be barred from the House of Commons for the next two days for leaking a draft committee report into firms, including Newcastle United sponsor Wonga.

The ex-minister had shared the findings of an inquiry into Regulating Consumer Credit with a Wonga employee in 2013.  

The Privileges Committee found he "committed a contempt" and said his actions "constituted substantial interference" with the inquiry.

The North Swindon MP has already issued a "full and unreserved apology" in the Commons.

Today MPs are expected to confirm that he will be suspended from the chamber.

150 years since Cheltenham gave away its lifeboat

Watch: "We need to support [the RNLI]," says Andrew Hurley

Cheltenham is marking 150 years since the town gave its lifeboat to Burnham-on-Sea. 

Celebrations are under way at Pittville Park to remember the handover that took place on the 10th October 1866.

Andrew Hurley, from the RNLI, said the lifeboat was pulled through the town by six horses with a band playing.

Former Bristol City midfielder Gerry Gow dies, aged 64

Gerry Gow
Rex Features

Former Bristol City, Manchester City and Yeovil Town player Gerry Gow has died

He was 64 and had been battling cancer. 

The Scot, who also played for Rotherham and Burnley, made 445 appearances for Bristol City, becoming a club legend, before joining Manchester City in 1981.

Cub Scouts honour adopted WWI Soldier's grave

The life of a World War I soldier is being honoured by Cub Scouts in a village near Stroud. 

The Randwick cubs decided to adopt Private Edward Smith's grave in the village churchyard, helping with the upkeep of the plot. 

Private Smith died 100 years ago this month.

Watch: The Randwick cubs have honoured a WWI Soldier whose grave they adopted

Severe roadworks: M4 Bristol westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Bristol westbound severe roadworks, between M4 J22 and J23 for M48.

M4 Bristol - Two lanes closed on M4 Second Severn Crossing westbound between M4 J22 and J23 M48, because of roadworks during the night.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

'Knife-edge' stunts performed at Gloucestershire Airport

It's a world first for Gloucestershire Airport.

A stunt plane has been used to cut the ribbon between two hot air balloons. 

Watch: A world first stunt manoeuvre at Gloucestershire Airport

Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Somerset

Justin Welby
Getty Images

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is to visit the Diocese of Bath and Wells next month.

His itinerary from November 7 to 9 will see him travel across the diocese, meeting and praying with individuals and groups from within the Church of England and the wider community.

The Archbishop’s visit is a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on some of the inspiring projects our church community is undertaking, from the new St Mary’s Centre in Chard to the more ambitious Bath Abbey Footprint project".

Right Reverend Peter HancockBishop of Bath and Wells

Gloucester murder may be drug-related

Police in Gloucester investigating the stabbing to death of a 49-year-old man believe his murder may be linked to drugs.

Officers are knocking on neighbours' doors and sifting through CCTV footage, with a team of around 100 working on the investigation.

Police were called to the city's Archdeacon Street at around 4.50pm on Friday.

The force says it's keen to emphasise Gloucestershire is a safe place to live, despite several serious incidents over the weekend.   

Police tape
BBC

It is highly unusual to have so many serious incidents in such a short space of time and people should be reassured this isn't the norm. It may sound like a cliche but the figures show that Gloucestershire is a safe place and your chance of becoming a victim of crime is very low."

Chief Superintendent Gary ThompsonGloucestershire Police

Severe roadworks: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe roadworks, at J22 for A38.

M5 Somerset - Slip roads closed on M5 southbound at J22, A38 (Burnham-On-Sea), because of resurfacing work.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

New role to tackle hate crime in Gloucestershire

PC Steph Lawrence of Gloucestershire Police
BBC

Gloucestershire has a new anti-hate crime co-ordinator - she's PC Steph Lawrence.

There's been a rise in hate crime in the county over the past 12 months. 

Two hundred and eighty three such incidents were reported to the police in Gloucestershire from September 2015 to August of this year.

Severe roadworks: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe roadworks, at J18A for .

M5 Bristol - M5 exit slip road closed southbound at J18a, Avonmouth, because of resurfacing work. From 20:00 on the 13th to 6:00 on 14th October

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Victory for Bristol's Trump at European Masters

Judd Trump
Getty Images

Bristol snooker player Judd Trump is celebrating after winning the first ever European Masters - beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-8.  

It wasn't looking good for Trump after O'Sullivan took an early lead, but the Bristolian turned it around in the final three frames to take the sixth ranking title of his career. 

Best season in years for revamped open air pool

Cirencester open air swimming pool
Cirencester open air swimming pool

Cirencester's open air swimming pool is celebrating its best summer season in recent history, with visits up by 75 per cent on the previous year.

Staff say more than 33,000 visitors enjoyed the heated pool and its brand new changing room and facilities this summer. 

The site was given a £750,000 facelift earlier this year.

Last week Cheltenham's Sandford Parks Lido reported its best ever season with just over 210,000 people visiting.

Bath traders worried about rise in anti-social behaviour

Listen: Tim Newark from the Independent Shops of Bath

Traders in the Kingsmead Square area of Bath claim the closure of a police station in the city has led to an increase in anti-social behaviour. 

They say a bigger police presence is needed to discourage drinking, drug taking and people stealing food.

Police say they're working with other agencies and the community to find a long-term solution.  

Catching the Aust Ferry: Our five step guide

It's been 50 years since the closure of the Aust Ferry as the Severn Bridge opened. A special film is to be broadcast tonight on BBC One. 

The ferry was once the only way to cross the Severn estuary without driving all the way round. The service ended in 1966. 

The film will be on Inside Out West tonight at 7.30pm.

Watch: How people used to catch the Aust Ferry

New bereavement suite for couples recovering after stillbirths

Bereavement suite at Great Western Hospital
BBC

A new bereavement suite is opening today at Swindon's Great Western Hospital.

It's a quiet and private place for couples whose baby has been stillborn.

The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society has raised almost a third of the £100,000 needed for the project.

Busy road in Bath re-opens after crash

The A36 near Brassknocker Hill in Bath has re-opened, following a three vehicle crash earlier this morning, says Highways England.

Police were called to the scene at around 6.30am.

Tweet from Highways England
Highways England

Victims of crime in Somerset urged to use restorative justice

More victims of crime in Somerset are being urged to take part in a process where they speak to or even meet their offender. 

Sue Coles took part in restorative justice and met the woman who burgled her home in Weston-super-Mare earlier this year.

Watch: Sue Coles told the BBC coming face-to-face with the burglar as part of the scheme "gave her closure"

It's seen as a priority by Avon and Somerset's Police and Crime Commissioner but across the force area, just 200 victims have taken part since April last year.

It's a change of mindset. I think those cogs are starting to turn now, and people are starting to understand this is going to benefit our victims"

Pete JonesFormer restorative justice facilitator for Avon and Somerset Police

Thousands of fans turn out for Weston beach races

Watch: Bikers race through the sand at Weston-super-Mare

Hundreds of motocross and endurance bike riders were in Weston-super-Mare over the weekend for the annual beach races. 

The two-day event brings millions of pounds to the local economy and thousands of fans lined the circuit to watch the action.

Bristol City legend dies at 64

Gerry Gow
JMP

Former Bristol City midfielder, Gerry Gow, who made 445 appearances for the club, has died at the age of 64. He'd fought a long battle against cancer.

Gow spent 12 years at Ashton Gate between 1969 and 1981 before moving to Manchester City. 

He was a key part of the Bristol City team that won promotion to the First Division in 1976 and was hugely popular with fans. 

Six months to rebuild house after lorry crashed through it

Nigel Hewitt-Cooper from Glastonbury says it's taken more than six months to rebuild his home after a lorry crashed through it while he was sitting in his study.

He was buried in the rubble and suffered six broken ribs.  

Watch: Nigel Hewitt-Cooper speaks about how he hopes lightning won't strike twice

'Killer clown' craze spreads to Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Police are trying to reassure the public after getting as many as six reports since Friday of people dressed as clowns acting in a threatening manner - some were said to have been carrying knives.

It's thought to be linked to the so-called 'killer clown' craze - seen in other parts of the UK. 

Dr Jane Monckton-Smith, a senior lecturer in Criminology at the University of Gloucestershire, told the BBC she can understand why people are worried. 

Listen: Dr Jane Monckton-Smith, a senior lecturer in Criminology at the University of Gloucestershire

Calls for new parkway station for Salisbury

Salisbury's Conservative MP, John Glen, is starting a fresh campaign for a new railway station to improve connections between south Wiltshire and London. 

Last year nearly two million people used Salisbury station but there is no space for it to expand to meet the expected demand from the city's economy in the years to come.

Mr Glen says a station at Wilton would help improve the county's transport links and economy.

Watch: MP John Glen is trying to revive plans for a new station at Wilton