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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England on Tuesday, 29 November

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

What will tomorrow's weather have in store?

In a word: cold. Yes, the weather map has turned a delightful shade of blue, which means temperatures across the West are going to drop to below freezing tonight. 

Watch: It's a very blue weather map with freezing temperatures in our area

Local Live for the West will be back tomorrow morning with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. Wrap up warm tonight! 

Roadworks cause misery for Swindon motorists

Bruce Street Bridges roundabout in Swindon has been undergoing roadworks for over two years now. The latest delays come from a set of lane closures while the road surface is being repaired.

The roundabout has been reduced to one lane in both directions

Watch: More traffic misery for Swindon drivers
View more on twitter

Reasons to avoid Bristol?

Where would we be in life without irony? 

It may be a question that's not worth answering - but BBC Radio Bristol has given us a (slightly) ironic look at life in Bristol and why people should avoid living there.

Let us know what you think by emailing bristol@bbc.co.uk or post a comment on Radio Bristol's Facebook page.

Watch: Reasons to avoid visiting Bristol and the places around it

Wiltshire soldiers training for flood scenarios

The 5th Battalion The Rifles and the King’s Royal Hussars have been training with the Environment Agency today on what to do if flooding hits. 

The military is often called in to assist with sandbagging and other preparations when flooding becomes an issue.

Watch: Wiltshire soldiers have been trained by the Environment Agency to build flood defences

Frozen views captured on camera

Phil Daniels has sent in this photo of sunset over the Cotswolds. It was taken looking towards the Tyndall Monument with the Forest of Dean in the background.

Landscape photo
Phil Daniels

Meanwhille, Amanda Threlfall sent us this great photo of a frozen lake at Severn Beach this afternoon. The temperature there is currently -1C - brrrr!

Lake photo
Amanda Threlfall

Police release boy's 999 domestic abuse call

Avon and Somerset Police have released a recording of a 999 call made by a 10-year-old boy who saw his mum being the victim of domestic abuse.

It's part of their Precious Moments campaign that is trying to change the perception of who can be affected by domestic abuse. 

The boy's voice has been disguised and some people may find the content of his call distressing.

View more on twitter

Bristol mayor welcomes new university development

The mayor of Bristol has welcomed the news that an eyesore site will be redeveloped as part of the University of Bristol's new campus. 

Marvin Rees said the current building, a former Royal Mail sorting office, is an "embarrassment" to visitors arriving in Bristol on the train at Temple Meads.

Watch: The mayor says the buildings are an "embarrassment" to the city

Severe accident: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe accident, at J18A for M49 affecting J17 for A4018.

M5 Bristol - Very slow traffic and two lanes blocked on M5 southbound at J18a M49, because of an accident involving two lorries. Congestion to J17, A4018 (Cribbs Causeway).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Somerset residents react to plans to reduce rubbish collections in Somerset

Plans to reduce waste collections in Somerset from fortnightly to every three weeks are to be discussed by councils in the coming weeks.

Somerset Waste Partnership say they could save £1.7m a year with the new model. They also want to increase recycling provisions for items like batteries and plastic tubs. 

Watch: Residents in Somerset could have waste collections every three weeks

Meet the vloggers taking over the internet

Today all you need is a camera and a computer to broadcast to the world and plenty of people from the West are taking advantage of the possibilities for reaching global audiences for both fun and profit.

From her bedroom in Cheltenham Ashley Mariee makes gaming videos on YouTube. She's picked up 675,000 followers and has become something of a digital celebrity. 

Watch: Podcasters and vloggers from Gloucestershire join the growing trend of people broadcasting from home

Music teacher jailed for historic sex offences at two schools

Simon Ball
Cambridgeshire Police

A former music teacher who sexually abused teenage girls at two schools has been jailed for 12 years.

Simon Ball, 42, of Newent, Gloucestershire, admitted abusing one pupil at Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire and was convicted of offences against three others at Giggleswick School in North Yorkshire.

Peterborough Crown Court heard Ball caused "great harm" to his victims.

An NSPCC spokesman said he had "abused a position of trust to exploit and manipulate young girls".

Read the full story here

Animal centre overrun with hoglets

Almost 150 young hedgehogs have been brought into an animal sanctuary in Wiltshire in the last few weeks. 

Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre in Cricklade says it's struggling to cope with the new arrivals.

The animals were born too late in the season and may not be able to survive the winter outdoors.  

Watch: Animal centre overrun with hoglets

Swindon library cuts: More details

Dan O'Brien

Political reporter, BBC Wiltshire

Swindon Council is cutting the amount they spend on libraries from £2.5m to £1.1m a year. 

The council says there will be five core libraries - the only ones funded by taxpayers - they will be:

  • Central
  • North
  • West
  • Highworth
  • Park Library

For all but Central Library, the rest will be staffed for 15 hours per week.

The remainder of libraries in the county won't get any funding from next August, community groups will have until April to get their bids in to run them.

It's expected that between 30-40 jobs will go as part of the savings. Staff will find out which jobs are most likely to be affected on the 22nd December, just three days before Christmas. 

Severe disruption: M50 Gloucestershire westbound

BBC Travel

M50 Gloucestershire westbound severe disruption, between J2 for A417 and J3 for B4221.

M50 Gloucestershire - One lane blocked on M50 westbound between J2, A417 (Ledbury) and J3, B4221 (Newent), because of recovery work.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Matt Banahan

Bath wing Matt Banahan is ruled out for about three months with a knee injury, reports BBC Radio Bristol.

Read more

Severe accident: M32 Bristol southbound

BBC Travel

M32 Bristol southbound severe accident, at J2 for A432.

M32 Bristol - M32 exit slip road partially blocked and queuing traffic inbound at J2, A432 (Eastville), because of a multi-vehicle accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

BreakingSwindon libraries set to close

Swindon Council has published detailed plans showing how the town's library service will be cut back over the next few years. 

Ten of the 15 libraries will close next year unless community groups take over their operation. 

We'll bring you more details as we get them.

Bath City's game against Wellington postponed

Explorer begins Antarctica peak climb

Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Marie Curie

Veteran British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has set off to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica. 

Earlier this year he pledged to climb the highest mountain on every continent between August 2016 and May 2017. 

The 72-year-old from Exmoor, Somerset, will face minus 40C temperatures and severe winds to climb the 16,050ft (4,892m) peak. 

His team said he is in "good spirits and coping well so far" after an acclimatization hike on Monday.

Cold, clear evening makes for perfect sunset from Clevedon Pier

Watch the stunning sunset from Clevedon Pier live now on BBC Radio Bristol's Facebook page.

Facebook post
Facebook

'Human Swan' delays channel crossing until Sunday

Sacha Dench's flight across the channel on her epic 4,500 mile journey from Arctic Russia with migrating Bewick's Swans has been delayed.

The Gloucestershire conservationist had hoped to cross the English channel today.

Mark Simpson, from the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust in Slimbridge, says the crossing "is entirely dependent on the right weather conditions, which currently look good for Sunday, but may yet change."

View more on twitter

Boxing promoter's strong words after Blackwell ends up back in hospital

Anyone involved in the sparring session that left former boxer Nick Blackwell in hospital should have their licences revoked, says promoter Frank Warren.

Blackwell, from Trowbridge, needed surgery to reduce swelling on his brain after sparring last Tuesday, despite no longer having a licence to fight.

The 26-year-old retired in April after he had to be put into an induced coma following defeat by Chris Eubank Jr.

Mr Warren, said: "Anyone involved should have their licences taken away because they certainly didn't have Nick Blackwell's or boxing's best interests at heart."

Nick Blackwell
PA

Bristol statue gets a new hat

We're not sure who's responsible but the statue of William III in Bristol's Queen Square is sporting a new accessory today, leading to much bemusement on Twitter.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Councillor quits over tax court summons

A Swindon councillor has resigned from the borough council's cabinet over non-payment of a council tax bill.

Councillor Dale Heenan, responsible for Highways and Transport, faced a court summons after disputing the amount he owed.

In his resignation letter to council leader David Renard, Mr Heenan admitted he "should not have allowed the issue to proceed so far".  

Mr Renard described the matter as "embarrassing" and "difficult".  

Councillor Dale Heenan
BBC

We expect all our residents to pay their tax on time and in full, and Dale unfortunately fell below the standard that I, and most people would expect."

David RenardSwindon Borough Council Leader

Missing man Wayne Stirrups found after 10 days

A father of two who went missing for 10 days has been found safe, his brother has said.

Wayne Stirrups, 30, from Canterbury in Kent, told his family he was going to Cardiff to visit his sons, but had not been seen since 17 November.

More than 1,200 posters were put up in Bristol, Cardiff and London over the weekend to help find him.

Jason Stirrups said his brother returned to his mother's house in Canterbury on Monday night.  

Wayne Stirrups
Family Photo

Severe disruption: M4 Gloucestershire westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Gloucestershire westbound severe disruption, between J18 for A46 Bath and J19 for M32.

M4 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M4 westbound between J18, A46 (Bath) and J19, M32 (Bristol), because of a broken down lorry and recovery work.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Calls for 'cut in council tax' if bins collected every three weeks

Bin collection
PA

Households in Somerset could only have their bins emptied once every three weeks under new proposals.  

Somerset Waste Partnership, which is behind the plan, says reducing collections from every fortnight could save more than £1.5m a year.

With local councils being asked to discuss the plans many of you have taken to Facebook to express your opinions.

If the council were to start accepting cartons and more plastic then it could possibly work with a 3 weeekly collection, until they do there is no way most households could manage with a 3 weekly dustbin waste bin collection..

Paul Chandler

If that's the case, they need to give us bigger recycling bins (with lids! ) and bigger wheelie bins because you just can't fit three weeks worth of rubbish in one the current size.

Gill Lilley

Ridiculous... the sheer amount of fly tipping that is not been in the news i see on my daily travels will just get worse !

Mark Arlidge

Recycling is deadly serious and necessary but Somerset Waste Partnership hardly make kerbside recycling easy. So, we have to trek miles to our local site - very green! Cunning plan to push an "outsourcing agenda"? We all get so fed up we make our own disposal arrangements out of our own pockets. It is already happening in other areas.

David Burnell

Who is running the West's libraries?

Staff at Swindon's libraries will find out today if they're losing their jobs.

They've been called to a briefing at lunchtime to be told the outcome of a consultation aimed at saving £1.5m from the service's budget.

During the summer, Swindon Borough Council put forward plans to fund just four of the 15 current branches in the town.

But it's not just Swindon... as this graph shows, over the last six years libraries across the region are relying a lot more on volunteers rather than paid staff.

Who is running your libraries
BBC

Sir Ranulph Fiennes set to climb highest Antarctica peak

Sir Ranulph Fiennes
BBC

The Somerset explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is set to start climbing Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica today.

In July he pledged to climb the highest mountain on every continent between August 2016 and May 2017 to raise money for Marie Curie.

He's also just £2m short of achieving his other long-term goal of raising £20m for charity in his lifetime.  

St George's launch £500k crowdfunding campaign

St George's in Bristol
Google

St Georges in Bristol says it needs your help to find the last bit of funding for a £5.4m extension to the main concert hall building. 

It has already raised 90% of the money through the Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Bristol City Council among others.

The new pavilion will include a space for workshops and events, and have improved disabled access.    

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raised the final £500,000.

Nursery owner 'force-fed child', tribunal hears

Redroofs Nursery
Google
Redroofs Nursery has branches in St George in Bristol and Warmley in South Gloucestershire

A nursery owner force-fed a child with special needs leaving her "extremely distressed", a tribunal has heard. 

Redroofs Nursery, which has branches in St George in Bristol and Warmley, South Gloucestershire, was temporarily closed by Ofsted after a member of staff complained. 

Directors Roger and Lesley Bates appealed but the suspension was upheld by the Care Standards Tribunal. The couple deny that any child in their care has been left at risk of harm.

BreakingSwindon councillor resigns after controversy over non-payment of council tax

First army flats lifted into position on Salisbury Plain

The first of 2,500 new accommodation units for solders has been lifted into position on Salisbury Plain.

It's the next milestone in the project to prepare Wiltshire for 4,000 soldiers relocating to Wiltshire from bases in Germany by 2020.

Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
BBC

The first of the new prefabricated units - which look like metal containers with a bedroom, bathroom, doors and windows - has been lifted by crane into position in Larkhill.

New Bristol campus will 'future proof' university

The old sorting office near Bristol Temple Meads station, that's been derelict for more than 18 years, is to become a second campus for Bristol University. 

It's unveiled the location today, after previously announcing a multi-million pound investment in a digital innovation hub and pioneering business centre.

Professor Hugh Brady, vice-chancellor and president of University of Bristol, said it should "future proof the university".

The site's expected to be open in time for start of the 2021 academic year.   

The latest headlines in your local papers

Community bid to buy old office block

Hamilton House
Google

Hamilton House - an office block turned community hub in Stokes Croft in Bristol - is up for sale. 

It's listed as a community asset, which means the current tenant - Coexist - now has until May next year to make a successful bid. 

It's already had one offer of £3.5m turned down. The space is used by over 200 artists, businesses and community groups.

Of course, it's most well-known for being right next to a certain famous Banksy piece.... the one that got vandalised a few years back.

Mild Mild West
BBC
Thankfully it looks a bit better now...

Identification expected after body found in river

Henry Burke
Avon and Somerset Police

The body - believed to be that of 19-year-old student Henry Burke - is due to be identified later. 

Henry Burke was last seen leaving Zero Zero nightclub in Bath on Thursday. 

A body thought to be his was recovered from the River Avon on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a petition calling for the installation of further safety barriers has gained more than 4,400 signatures. 

Bath and North East Somerset Council says the River Safety Group - which includes the police, fire service and other agencies - will be meet to review existing safety measures. 

Severe disruption: M4 Bristol eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Bristol eastbound severe disruption, between J20 for M5 and J19 for M32 affecting J21 for M48.

M4 Bristol - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M4 eastbound between J20, M5 (Almondsbury Interchange) and J19, M32 (Bristol), because of a broken down lorry. Congestion to J21 M48.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

YouTube star from Cheltenham shares her top five Vlogging tips

A pro gamer from Cheltenham whose YouTube channel brings in millions of hits, has now been offered work in Los Angeles and South Korea. 

Ashley Mariee became a YouTube star posting videos of herself playing her favourite games - like Minecraft - online.

With her video views in the tens of millions and more than 650,000 followers, she'll be talking to companies in LA and Seoul next year. 

Meanwhile... here's her top five tips on being a Vlogger.

You Tube star offered work in Los Angeles and South Korea.

New uni campus will be 'Canary Wharf meets Copenhagen'

The University of Bristol's announced multi-million pound expansion plans.

It's been revealed that a derelict "eye-sore" site near Temple Meads station will be the site of Bristol University's new multi-million pound campus.

Along with a "digital innovation hub" it will also house a "business school of the future".

Elected mayor Marvin Rees says he is glad the site is being transformed as it was "dragging Bristol down".

While Hugh Brady - the university's vice-chancellor - says the campus will be "Canary Wharf meets Copenhagen but with a Bristol twist".