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  1. Updates from across the West of England on Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good night - get ready for a cooler 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 Wednesday's weather...

Watch: "A cooler theme" to tomorrow, says Ian

Bristol - second highest population jump in UK


Bristol's population has seen one of the biggest rises in the UK. 

Latest figures reveal the number of people living in the city has gone up by 4.5% between mid-2011 and mid-2015 - the second highest figure overall. 

Greater London saw the highest jump, while Glasgow saw the lowest rise of just one percent.

Garden transformed in 24 hours for six-year-old girl

Garden in Knowle, Bristol

A team of charity volunteers have spent the last 24 hours transforming a garden in Bristol for a six-year-old girl who has a life-limiting condition. 

Loren Henderson is tube-fed, has a visual impairment and uses a wheelchair to get around. 

The garden at her family's home in Knowle was inaccessible for her, but after children's charity WellChild stepped in she can now join her family outside in their garden.

Garden in Knowle, Bristol

National scrabble champ's 'best year to date'

Watch: Phil Robertshaw is the new National Scrabble Champion

Phil Robertshaw, from Nailsea, was crowned National Scrabble Champ at the weekend.

The 38-year-old faced 51 other players from around the UK in 17 rounds - in Milton Keynes - to bag the title.

He said: "The best I'd finished before was fourth place and I've had a few top 10 finishes - but this is the best year I've had to date."

MP calls for doubled jail terms for stalking

Listen: BBC Radio 4's Today in Parliament reports on the bill

A 10-minute bill to double the maximum sentencing on stalking has been introduced by Cheltenham MP, Alex Chalk.

Mr Chalk told MPs the maximum five years was "wholly inadequate" as it was a "horrible, violating crime" that "shatters lives".

He added: "All too often it's a gateway to serious violence."

The bill was adopted by the House without any opposition and will now get a second reading on 28 October.

New needle-free flu vaccination trial

Watch: The flu vaccination is a simple nasal spraySomerset

A project to ensure as many youngsters as possible are immunised against flu is being rolled out in much of England after being trialled in Somerset.

Flu can be very serious and can even claim the lives of healthy children if they develop complications like sepsis or pneumonia.

But this year the needle-free vaccination is to be given free to all two- to seven-year-olds.

Roman Baths drained for wash and brush up

The Roman Baths have been drained of all natural thermae spa water so that teams of cleaners could get to work and scrub it.

The baths get a clean-up about four times a year to remove build-ups of sludge and algae.

Previous clean-ups have revealed all manner of modern-day debris, including traffic cones, shopping trolleys and even a moped.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M50 Gloucestershire eastbound

BBC Travel

M50 Gloucestershire eastbound severe accident, 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 an accident earlier on and recovery work.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Eileen the carer, aged 84, 'never shirks a shift'

It's 50 years since Eileen Haysham first started working in care - and even though, at 84, she's older than some of her clients, she "never shirks a shift" despite being out in "all weather"...

Watch: "She gets on and does the job, really well," says Deborah Munton of Somerset Care

Severe accident: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe accident, between J18A for M49 and J19 for A369.

M5 Bristol - One lane closed on M5 southbound between J18a M49 and J19, A369 (Portishead), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

'Creepy clowns' craze: Genuine clowns not scary, says Zippos Circus

Watch: Mr Lorenz performs

Zippo Circus clown - Mr Lorenz - has condemned the pranksters who have been dressing up as "creepy clowns" to intimidate and frighten people across the UK.

Police have been inundated with reports of "clowns" jumping out, chasing people and even carrying "weapons" - and have warned them they could face action.

But Mr Lorenz wants to reassure Zippo Circus visitors that performing "clowns aren't scary".

Severe accident: M50 Gloucestershire eastbound

BBC Travel

M50 Gloucestershire eastbound severe accident, 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 an accident involving a single vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Somerset's coastline in pictures

Photographer Quintin Lake has been snapping the scenery as he walks the 10,000 kilometres (6,213 miles) of Britain's coastline.

So far he's a quarter of the way through his five year trip - these are the photographs he took as he made his way through Somerset...

Watch: A selection of Quintin Lake's photographs

Bristol MP's U-turn to take on new role with Labour

Thangam Debbonaire

One of Bristol's three Labour MPs has taken on the role of party Whip, just four months after quitting the front bench because of a clash with Jeremy Corbyn.

Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West, said on her website she was delighted to take on the role and offered thanks to Jeremy Corbyn for the opportunity.

She resigned as shadow minister for arts and culture in June, telling the Labour leader he was "not the right person to lead us".

'Dingdong - Avon calling!' tweets police force

View more on twitter

Another 10 people have been arrested and a significant amount of cash and crack cocaine seized, in a series of dawn raids in Yeovil this morning.

Properties in the town were searched with specialist drugs dogs as part of an 11-month investigation into the supply of Class A drugs in the county.

So far 23 people from across Somerset have been jailed for a total of more than 65 years, while seven others have been given suspended prison terms of up to two years.

View more on twitter

The 84-year-old carer 'helping people to stay in their own homes'

Watch: "I love it," says Eileen

A carer in Somerset who's been looking after people for 50 years has been described as a role model for others. 

Eileen Haysham, from Bridgwater, is still working at the age of 84. 

And every day she uses a bike to travel to the people she helps. 

Cyclist seriously injured in crash by M48 junction

Police at the scene

A cyclist has been taken to hospital with “significant” head injuries following a collision with a car this morning.

The man was riding his bicycle on the A403 at Aust, near the junction with the M48, when the crash happened.

The road was shut to allow police to investigate but has since reopened.

'Don't have to know' definitions of words, says National Scrabble Champ

Scrabble board

A man from Nailsea in North Somerset is celebrating being crowned the 2016 National Scrabble Champion.

Phil Robertshaw, 38, claimed the title at the tournament in Milton Keynes thanks to words including 'detraque' - meaning a deranged person, 'nihonga' - which is a Japanese style of painting and 'whimbrel' which is a small European curlew.

"We don't necessarily have to know all the definitions of all the words we play generally," said Phil.

"There are some players who do - but we tend to learn the words specifically to play the game."

Phil Robertshaw

Fewer children may be vaccinated against flu

Fewer children in Gloucestershire and Swindon may be vaccinated against flu because they are not being offered immunisations in school. 

It is now available for two- to seven-year-olds to prevent them developing the illness which can cause pneumonia and sepsis. 

Sue Hoyles is a school nurse in North Somerset...

Watch: "Immunising primary school children has an impact on adults as well," says Sue Hoyles

Gold hidden by Bristol artist in art treasure hunt

Woman figure
Henry Crowther
Five objects were selected to have replicas made which will then be cast in 18-carat gold

Gold worth £5,000 is going to be hidden around north Lincolnshire as part of a treasure hunt-style art exhibition.

Bristol artist Luke Jerram was commissioned by 20-21 Arts Centre in Scunthorpe to produce the work, called Treasured City.

Five small objects from North Lincolnshire Museum were selected for wax replicas which will be cast in £1,000 worth of 18-carat gold.

From February the gold replicas will be hidden for the public to find and keep.

Tributes paid to brother and sister killed in crash

Millie Crouch
Wiltshire Police

Tributes have been paid to "two beautiful children" who died in a collision with a van on the A36 at Steeple Langford, Salisbury, on Monday.

Jackson Steven Watters, 17, and Millie Crouch, 12, both from the city, were pronounced dead at the scene.  

In a statement mum Salli Grant said: "On October 10th my world ended, my two beautiful children were so tragically taken from me. My heart will bleed until the day we are reunited."

Jackson Steven Watters
Wiltshire Police

While Steve Watters, Jackson's dad, said: "My heart is completely broken. Jackson was what I lived for, he brought such joy and love to my life and I can’t think of life without him."

An investigation is ongoing.  

Injured conservationist vows to continue mission

A conservationist using a motor-propelled parachute to follow Bewick's swans on their annual migration from Russia to Gloucestershire has been injured while trying to take off.

Sacha Dench was attempting to fly from a field near St Petersburg when she stumbled on uneven ground and dislocated her kneecap. 

Crash landing

She now wants to fit her paramotor with wheels to make it easier to take-off and hopes to be airborne again soon.

Severe accident: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe accident, between J19 for A369 and J20 for B3133.

M5 Bristol - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 southbound between J19, A369 (Portishead) and J20, B3133 (Clevedon), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

The mum refusing to let cancer ruin her family's life

Watch: Heidi Loughlin has a bucket list she wants to complete with her children

Heidi Loughlin, from North Somerset, is battling a rare form of breast cancer but says she has chosen to "make every moment count" with her young family.

The mum hit the headlines when she delayed her treatment to continue her pregnancy with her third child. Ali Louise was born 12 weeks early, but died eight days later.

Now Heidi is looking to the future and says she wants to leave a legacy to her remaining children.

Competition looking for youngster's campaign films

A competition for young filmmakers is being launched today. 

The Sharp Shotz challenge is open to any 11 to 19-year-olds living in Bristol or North Somerset. 

Their task is to develop a campaign about an issue that affects their lives. 

If you think you could make a film for this year's competition you can find out more by clicking here.

Another of last year's winners was this entry from Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College in Weston-super-Mare, it's called Don't Stress, It's Pointless.

Watch: Sharp Shotz 2015 film, Don't Stress, It's Pointless

Injured conservationist speaks of Russian kindness

Earlier we told you about Sacha Dench who dislocated her kneecap during her mission to follow migrating Bewick's swans between Russia and Gloucestershire.

She told BBC Breakfast that wherever she landed in her motor-propelled parachute people wanted to help, with one Russian couple filling her pockets with cranberries.

Watch: Sacha Dench on her experiences in Russia so far

BreakingCaptain Laidlaw to leave Gloucester

Breaking news

Gloucester and Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw is to leave the Premiership club in 2017 to join Clermont Auvergne.

The 31-year-old scrum-half has been with the Cherry and Whites since signing from Edinburgh in 2014.

He has been capped 53 times at international level.

Making the headlines on your BBC local radio stations


BBC Radio Bristol: Controversial surveillance technology that gathers information from phones is being used by Avon and Somerset police.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire: Badgers have been digging up gardens and attacking pets in a suburb of Cheltenham. 

BBC Wiltshire: The number of hospital admissions for allergic reactions in Swindon has more than doubled in the last 5 years.

BBC Somerset: A Somerset council could end up paying more than £300,000 of local taxpayer's money back to government under a new four-year funding deal.

Hospital admissions for allergies on the rise

The number of hospital admissions for allergic reactions - including anaphylactic shocks - in Swindon has more than doubled in the past five years, according to data from NHS Digital. 

It comes as the organisation reveals that nationally the figure has increased by more than a third.  

In 2011-2012 Great Western Hospital had 88 admissions, last year there were 177. 

Elsewhere Salisbury District Hospital had 54 hospital admissions in 2011-2012, last year that slightly decreased to 52. 

Jessica Sims from Charlton All Saints has a six-year-old son who suffers from severe food allergies and told BBC Wiltshire about the struggles they face.

Listen: Mum Jessica Sims on coping with her son's food allergies

Frustration over council's '£300k funding shortfall'

A Somerset council says it could end up paying more than £300,000 of local taxpayer's money back to government under a new four-year funding deal. 

All local councils have until Friday to decide whether to accept an offer telling them how much they would get in government grants until 2020. 

The government says providing long-term funding settlements will allow councils to plan their spending so they can deliver high-quality services.   

But the Liberal Democrat leader of South Somerset District Council, Ric Pallister says it's facing an impossible choice.

Listen: Lib Dem leader of South Somerset District Council, Ric Pallister

Playing The Wurzels with the new £5 note

The new plastic £5 note that went into circulation last month can be used to play vinyl records!

BBC Radio Bristol gave it a whirl on Somerset's The Wurzels.

Watch: You won't believe what the new £5 note can do

Severe disruption: M4 Bristol eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Bristol eastbound severe disruption, between J19 for M32 and J18 for A46 Bath.

M4 Bristol - One lane closed on M4 eastbound between J19, M32 (Bristol) and J18, A46 (Bath), because of a ratchet strap in the road. Approach with care.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe accident: M48 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC Travel

M48 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, at J1 for A403.

M48 Gloucestershire - M48 in Aust exit slip road closed and slow traffic in both directions at J1, A403 (Aust), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

BreakingSix arrests over Gloucester stabbing

Crime scene

Six people have been arrested overnight in connection with the murder of a 49-year-old man at Marian Court flats in Gloucester last Friday.

Two men aged 18 and a 19-year-old man were arrested in Gloucester while a 17-year-old male was arrested in Northampton, all on suspicion of murder.

A 37-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man arrested in Gloucester are being questioned on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Salisbury car crash victims named

A 17-year-old driver and a 12-year-old girl killed in a collision with a van on the A36 at Steeple Langford on Monday have been identified as Jackson Steven Watters and Millie Crouch, both from Salisbury.

They were both pronounced dead at the scene. 

Their Ford Fiesta was in collision with a Mercedes Sprinter van driven by a 45-year-old man from Southampton who sustained minor injuries.

An investigation is ongoing.

Parish stewards back on the roads

A team of 20 parish stewards have taken to Wiltshire's roads to help maintain them.

The scheme was axed due to council cuts but now it's back as part of Wiltshire Council's new multi-million pound highways contract with Ringway. 

It's hoped the roads, pavements and drains will be better maintained as the team work with parish and town councils.

Watch: Parish stewards have returned to Wiltshire's roads

Investigation finds police force owns controversial phone surveillance kit

Controversial surveillance technology that indiscriminately gathers information from mobile phones has been purchased by Avon and Somerset Police and at least six other forces in England and Wales.

Police procurement documents show that so-called IMSI trackers, that mimic cellphone masts, have been bought by the forces to improve the way they target suspects. 

The police won't comment, citing security concerns. But civil liberties groups say it's an intrusion into the private lives of thousands of innocent individuals. 

Alon Aviram, who carried out the research for the website Bristol Cable, told BBC Bristol that the people he'd spoken to were concerned about how the trackers were being used.

Listen: Alon Aviram, who carried out the research for the website Bristol Cable

Young filmmakers wanted for Sharp Shotz competition

Sharp Shotz short film competition graphic
Sharp Shotz

Young filmmakers in Bristol and North Somerset are being challenged to create a film combining animation and documentary with the chance to work with industry professionals.

Sharp Shotz is a short film competition open to 11 to 19-year-olds in Bristol and North Somerset, with the chance to work with the BBC and the Unversity of the West of England. 

Organisers want to see "the change you want to see happen and how the viewers can help bring about this change". 

And Broadoak High School made this film about exam stress called "Don't Stress It's Pointless". 

Watch: Fairfield High School's 2015 winning entry You Are Not Alone

Reports of badgers causing problems in Cheltenham

Badgers are said to be causing problems in a suburb of Cheltenham, with reports of them attacking people's pets. 

People in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, say the animals are getting braver and coming into their gardens from a nearby field to rummage through bins and dig up their gardens. 

One woman believes her cat has even been attacked by a badger.

Listen: People discuss their experiences of badgers in Cheltenham

Bottle of cognac from 1801 sells for £222,000

A 210-year-old bottle of cognac has been sold by a Wiltshire company for £222,000.

The bottle of Massougnes - belonging to Hermitage Cognacs Ltd in Bradford on Avon - was sold to an overseas visitor to London.

A glass
Getty Images

David Baker, managing director, said: "It is believed that this is the most expensive bottle of cognac ever sold."

According to the company the bottle came from Marie-Antoinette des Allees, Comtesse de la Bourdeliere, a direct descendant of Louis VII and Elleanor of Aquitaine and their children, King Richard of England and King John.