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  1. Updates from across the West of England on Friday, 28 October 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Louis Picamoles

Gary Smee

BBC Sport

Northampton hold off a spirited Gloucester fightback to battle their way to a Premiership win at Franklin's Gardens.

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Have a great weekend - we're back on Monday morning

Watch: It will still be mild over the weekend, says Ian

We hope you've enjoyed reading updates from across the West Country today. 

Before we sign off, here's the weekend's weather with our forecaster, Ian Fergusson...  

Full time rugby score: Northampton 23-20 Gloucester

Deportation row grandmother's family pleas to government

Watch: "She needs us and we need her," says Irene Nels family

The family of a South African woman who are fighting her deportation have pleaded with the government to let her remain in the UK.

Earlier they handed a petition to Downing Street calling for action to stop Irene Nel being deported.

Irene arrived in the UK on a tourist visa in 2012 but fell ill and was later diagnosed with kidney failure. 

Her granddaughter Kirsty Jones described Mrs Nel as "one in a million kind of grandmother" and said she "needs her family to help her with every aspect of her life".

'Ghost' caught on camera at Sudeley Castle

Watch: Is that a ghost sat on the bed?

Just in time for Halloween... a ghost has supposedly been caught on camera at Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe in Gloucestershire.

Take a look at the footage and see what you think!

Woking sign Forest Green's Jefford

Ben Jefford
Rex Features

National League side Woking have signed Forest Green Rovers defender Ben Jefford on a one-month loan deal.

The 22-year-old left-back, who joined Rovers from Welling United in January, has made nine appearances for the Gloucestershire side this season.

GCHQ staff handcraft a waterfall of poppies in the building

Watch: GCHQ historian Tony Comer says a few different colours of poppies were used

A 10m (32ft) high waterfall of poppies has been created by intelligence agency staff at GCHQ's base in Cheltenham.

More than 9,000 poppies were knitted, sewn and crocheted by staff to mark the launch of the Royal British Legion's Gloucestershire poppy appeal.

Covering 30 sq m (323 sq ft) and weighing 40kg (88lbs), it took 300 hours to sew the Poppyfall together.

Warminster Taser shooting death investigated

Police cordon

The police watchdog has begun an investigation after the death of a man who was shot with a Taser. 

The incident happened in Warminster, after officers responded to a report of a man at an address "who had caused himself significant harm and was threatening further serious harm to himself and others" after 00:00 BST on Wednesday. 

An officer discharged a Taser at the man who subsequently died at the scene. 

Wiltshire Police referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which is now conducting an investigation.

Clubs set for key WSL promotion weekend

Nicola Cousins (left), Claire Emslie and Michelle Hinnigan
The FA

With two rounds of fixtures remaining in Women's Super League Two, three sides are vying for a top-two finish that would secure promotion.

Yeovil Town Ladies, Bristol City Women and Everton Ladies have battled all season to reach the top flight and their fates could be decided by Sunday.

Click here to read more.

Iain Duncan Smith reviews latest film from Bath-based director

Watch: The former Work and Pensions Secretary reviews Ken Loach's new film

Iain Duncan Smith says the new film from Ken Loach, who lives in Bath, is "a human story full of pathos and difficulty".

He says "the film takes the very worst of anything that can ever happen to anybody, lumps it all together, and then says: this is life absolutely as it is lived by people."

(Photo: I, Daniel Blake director Ken Loach. Credit: Associated Press)

Severe accident: M4 Wiltshire westbound

BBC Travel

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

M4 Wiltshire - Two lanes closed on M4 westbound between J16, A3102 (Swindon West) and J17, A350 (Chippenham), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Somerset Rebels are the 2016 Premier League Champions

Watch: See the Rebel in action

Highbridge-based speedway team Somerset Rebels have won the 2016 Premier League.

They beat the Sheffield Tigers over two legs to take the title. 

This year has been their most successful ever.

Fake refugee camp built by MoD

New Zealand Farm Camp
Crown Copyright MoD 2016

A fake refugee camp, costing £2.4m, has been erected on Salisbury Plain to better prepare troops for deployment.

The complex of 11 building shells or "stone tents" has been built at the New Zealand Farm Camp in Wiltshire, to replicate a terrorist or refugee camp.

It is the "biggest single investment" in a training camp in the area since Copehill Down village in the 1980s.

Maj Gen Richard Stanford, said: "Facilities such as this are critical to enabling success on operations."

Soldiers unveil massive chalk badge in Wiltshire

Watch: See the giant Flanders Poppy carved into a hillside

A new chalk badge has been unveiled in Wiltshire to mark the start of the Poppy Appeal.

The 25m (82ft) diameter emblem joins other military regimental badges carved into the hill at Fovant. 

The earliest carving at the site dates to 1916 and was created by World War One soldiers.

Eight of the original 20 badges, now classed as war memorials, remain at the site.

Rugby: Northampton v Gloucester (7.30pm kick-off)

Ross Moriarty of Gloucester in action
Getty Images

Gloucester Rugby take on Northampton in the Premiership tonight, looking to extend a three-match unbeaten run.

The Cherry and Whites have made five changes, with Richard Hibbard returning at hooker and back rowers Jacob Rowan and Ben Morgan replacing Matt Kvesic and Lewis Ludlow.

You can read the preview of the match by clicking here.

Or here to find commentary and live text updates during the game.

Couple find snake in newly-purchased car

The snake

A couple driving home to Bristol after buying a car had to pull over after finding a 5ft-long snake inside.

The man and woman became aware something was wrong when their pet dog, who was in the back of the vehicle, became "distressed", police said.

When the couple investigated, they saw the snake had wrapped itself around one of the dog's legs.

They later continued their journey home with the snake still inside the car after attempts to recover it failed.

The afternoon headlines from your local newspapers

Rugby match preview: Exeter v Bath (Sunday, 2.30pm)

Matt Banahan
Getty Images

Exeter make just one change from the side which narrowly lost at Ulster in the Champions Cup last week.

Julian Salvi hurt his bicep during that game and will be out until after Christmas, meaning a return for former Australia forward Dave Dennis.

Bath make eight changes from the side that beat Bristol in the Challenge Cup.

Stroud death crash referred to the IPCC

Police cordon

A crash in Stroud yesterday which caused the death of a 70-year-old cyclist has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The car involved had failed to stop for officers shortly beforehand. 

Three men arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving remain in custody. 

Gloucestershire Police says it's waiting to find out whether the IPCC will investigate what happened. 

Police body camera training 'in full swing'

Daughter explains fight to stop her mum's deportation

Watch: The family of a South African woman are fighting her deportation

The daughter of a South African woman has been telling the Victoria Derbyshire programme why she is fighting plans to send her elderly mother back to South Africa. 

Desree Taylor, from Bristol, handed in a petition to Downing Street to stop her mother, Irene Nel, being deported.

Irene arrived in the UK on a tourist visa in 2012 but fell ill and was later diagnosed with kidney failure. 

Wiltshire church's 14,000 poppies ready for release

Watch: Royal British Legion say it's important to "rethink Remembrance" to raise awareness of current soldiers and veterans

Poppies are starting to make an appearance in Warminster. 

Over the weekend 14,000 poppies will cascade from the town's Saint Lawrence Chapel. 

This year's Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal is calling on members of the public to recognise younger veterans and serving soldiers.

Lesley Fudge, Warminster's Poppy Appeal organiser, is keen to stress that Remembrance Day is for current veterans as well as those from the world wars.  

£2.4m investment in better training facilities on Salisbury Plain

'Awesome' Diwali festival of light preparations under way

Watch: A Swindon Hindu temple is preparing for Diwali

It's Diwali this Sunday - the Hindu festival of lights - and one Wiltshire temple really wants to shine for the big day. 

Swindon Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre has covered the building with multi-coloured lights as part of the celebrations. It'll be their first Diwali as they only opened in May.

Pradeep Bhardwaj, Chairman of the Swindon Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, tells BBC Wiltshire about the importance of Diwali to the community.  

Giant octopus takes over city cente building

Watch: Two street artists bring some underwater fun to St Pauls in Bristol

St Pauls has been "octopied" by street artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas. 

The duo have transformed a former drapers and milliner's building at Sussex Place to add a bit of fun to the area. 

They've travelled the world with similar artworks and for Filthy it was a chance to exhibit closer to home - his workshops are just around the corner from this building. 

The pair say they want to bring some silly and positive energy to a part of Bristol which has historically had a bad reputation.

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire northbound

BBC Travel

M5 Gloucestershire northbound severe disruption, between J10 for A4019 and J9 for A46 affecting J11 for A40 Golden Valley Bypass Gloucester.

M5 Gloucestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 northbound between J10, A4019 (Cheltenham) and J9, A46 (Tewkesbury), because of a broken down lorry. Congestion to J11, A40 (Gloucester).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Daughter's fears for sick mother in deportation row

Watch: Desree Taylor tells the Victoria Derbyshire programme her fears if her elderly and sick mother is deported to South Africa

A woman from Bristol is taking her campaign to 10 Downing Street today, demanding the right for her terminally ill mother to spend her last days in the UK.

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition in support of 73-year-old Irene Nel from South Africa. 

She fell ill during a family holiday here in 2012 and was diagnosed with kidney failure. 

Despite needing dialysis three times a week the Home Office says she's got to go back. 

Mayor offers 10 more child refugee places in Bristol

Migrants protest as the Calais jungle is dismantled

Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, confirms the city council is offering 10 more places for refugee children - adding to the 50 unaccompanied child asylum seekers already being cared for in the city. 

He said: "We have made an offer to the Home Office to take up to 10 more children, most of these from Calais."

The council is also renewing its appeal for foster families to look after the children.

Severe accident: M4 Wiltshire eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Wiltshire eastbound severe accident, between J17 for A350 and J16 for A3102.

M4 Wiltshire - Very slow traffic on M4 eastbound between J17, A350 (Chippenham) and J16, A3102 (Swindon West), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Somali Festival in Bristol this weekend

Team news: Barnsley v Bristol City

Tammy Abraham
Getty Images

Bristol City are awaiting news on Luke Freeman after the striker injured his ankle against Blackburn last week.

Top-scorer Tammy Abraham is likely to be recalled after being rested in the midweek EFL Cup defeat to Hull City.

Cheltenham's Dancing Ken hoping to sell car for charity

Watch: Dancing Ken Hanks from Cheltenham wants to raise money for charity by selling his car

He's a well-known face in Cheltenham - and his car is almost as recognisable.

But Dancing Ken's car is almost 25 years old so he wants it to go to a better home and possibly raise some cash for charity.

IPCC to investigate fatal crash in Stroud

Gloucestershire Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after a crash in Stroud which killed a man.

The 70-year-old cyclist was hit by a red Saab car on Bisley Road yesterday afternoon. 

The car involved failed to stop for police shortly before the collision. 

A 37-year-old woman arrested in connection with the incident has been released without charge. Three men are still being questioned on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.  

Scene of crash

Trial to give stroke patients medication in ambulance


People who suffer a stroke in Somerset will be given medication in the ambulance on their way to hospital. 

It's part of a trial by South Western Ambulance to measure the long term impact of being treated as soon as possible. 

Newspaper headlines from across the West

Printing press
Getty Images

What do the different coloured poppies mean?

Watch: Red, white, purple or black? What do the different coloured remembrance poppies mean?

New homelessness bill supported by Chippenham's MP

Michelle Donelan
Conservative Party

Chippenham's Conservative MP Michelle Donelan is supporting a new homelessness bill which is being debated in Parliament later today. 

The Homelessness Reduction Bill gets its second reading and, if it goes through, it's hoped fewer people will end up sleeping rough and those who do will get more support from their local authority.

BBC Wiltshire spoke to Les who's been sleeping rough in Chippenham since 2000. 

Listen: Les says he's getting back on track but still needs alcohol to be able to sleep on the streets at night

Ten years since Stroud maternity unit protest and fresh concerns raised

Watch: Ten years ago hundreds of people protested at plans to shut Stroud Maternity Unit

It's been a decade since the community of Stroud came out in droves to protest against closing the town's maternity unit - now there are fresh concerns about its future.

Last month Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - which runs the unit - announced a £11m deficit and it has been placed in financial special measures.

Stroud District Council last night passed a motion asking for assurances over the unit's future.

In response the trust said there were no current proposals or plans affecting the unit.

Have you been cared for by the team at Stroud - or did you take part in the protest 10 years ago? Join the conversation on BBC Gloucestershire's Facebook or email us at 

BBC Local Radio headlines across the West

Man and microphone
  • BBC Radio Bristol: The price of travelling on a First bus in Bristol goes up this weekend - but only for those used to paying with cash.
  • BBC Gloucestershire: Councillors in Stroud say they're concerned about the future of the town's maternity unit. 
  • BBC Somerset: Paramedics in Somerset say a new trial for stroke patients could make a huge difference.
  • BBC Wiltshire: There's high hopes a homelessness bill - being debated in Parliament today - will help get more people off the streets of Wiltshire.