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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England on Friday 9, December 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Bristol City goalkeeper Frank Fielding handles the ball outside the area as Huddersfield Town's Nahki Wells challenges

Nahki Wells pounces on an error from Bristol City keeper Frank Fielding as Huddersfield end their five-game winless run.

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Steven Shingler

Cardiff Blues maintain their 100% European Challenge Cup record with a comfortable home win over Bath at the Arms Park.

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Rain on Saturday but bright on Sunday

Watch: David Braine expects a wet Saturday but a dry Sunday

And that's all from BBC Local Live this week - we'll be back on Monday from 7am with more live updates from across the West of England.

Meet the Wildcats superfans

Malcolm and Christopher Chivers have been fans of the Swindon Wildcats for 30 years, their faces an ever-present at the Link Centre in Swindon. 

They told BBC Wiltshire why they are so committed, and how the game has changed over the last three decades:

Watch: "It's a great game to watch," say the Chivers brothers

Redevelopment of Cheltenham's former BHS store - plans submitted

An artists' impression of the redevelopment
Canada Life

Plans to revamp a large section of the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham have been submitted.

Owners of the shopping centre, Canada Life, have submitted outline proposals for a mixed use development on the site of the former BHS department store. 

Included in the plans are a roof-top food and drink area, new restaurants along Regent Street and a large new retail unit inside.

The BHS space is just too big for any one retailer to take. There’s no big-name brand missing from Cheltenham that would occupy a store of this size so we have had to look at more innovative ways to use the space. The proposed scheme retains a large retail element whilst delivering exciting new space for high quality food and beverage operators looking to open in Cheltenham.

Scott LahiveRegent Arcade centre manager

A big weekend for Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre

Watch: See final rehearsals before the curtain call on Saturday

Christmas begins tomorrow at the Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre in Taunton.

The curtain goes up on its festive show on Saturday - its first in-house production since the theatre reopened after being saved from permanent closure by the community.

Seal rehab success for RSPCA

Seal being released into the wild
Julie Hatcher

This is one of two seals released back into the wild earlier at Poole Harbour after being looked after by wildlife experts in Taunton.

The two common juvenile seals, which were found in Jersey and in Dorset, were cared for at RSPCA West Hatch since mid-August.

Seal being released
Julie Hatcher

Both seals passed their final vet checks with flying colours, were tagged and we released them on the Dorset coast rather than flying one back to Jersey. Seals are not natural air travellers so it is healthier and less stressful for them to be released at the nearest suitable coastline habitat.

Bel DerringCentre Manager, RSPCA West Hatch

Farmer's plea for dog walkers to pick up after their dogs

A farmer in Wiltshire is urging dog walkers to make sure they clean up after their pets.

Her herd of cows has had miscarriages as a result of eating grass contaminated with dog poo.

Watch: See Hanna Cozens at work on her farm

Timelapse footage of Bristol bridge build

The final piece of a new S-shaped bridge in Bristol has been put in place today.

Watch: Timelapse footage of the pieces being put into place

The £2.7m footbridge will link Castle Park and Hawkins Lane, providing a pedestrian and cycle route to the planned Finzels Reach development.

'Pocket rocket' dancer making family proud

It's semi-final weekend on BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing and Bristol's so-called "pocket rocket" Claudia Fragapane is hoping to impress the judges and voters enough to get through to the final three. 

The Olympic gymnast has made the West and her family very proud:

Watch: "She's a clever Claudia," says cousin Enza Greco

Football: Forest Green's manager signs son on loan

Charlie Cooper
Empics

Charlie Cooper, who has been signed on a one-month loan deal by Forest Green Rovers, is the son of club manager Mark Cooper.

The 19-year-old central midfielder had a one-month spell with the Gloucestershire club last season.

He will be available for Saturday's FA Trophy first-round game at home to Truro City.

New bells arrive at Taunton church

St Mary Magdalene Church has taken delivery of its new set of church bells.

All but one of the bells were recast and will now be reset lower down the tower so they can be rung more easily.

Watch: The bells are delivered

Sewage leak shuts children's play area in Bath

Hedgemead Park entrance
Google

A children's play area in Bath has been temporarily closed due to a sewage leak.

Parents and children have been asked not to enter the closed-off Hedgemead Park play area while an investigation takes place.

The local council said it hopes the site can be reopened as soon as possible.

Does living together help Yeovil FC squad?

Watch: "It helps the team spirit and togetherness on the pitch," says captain Ryan Dickson

BBC Points West has visited five Yeovil Town players who all live together to find out how that is helping the team rise up the League Two table.

The Glovers have risen from the bottom of the Football League to sixth in the table, since the appointment of manager Darren Way in December 2015.

Puppies killed in Clevedon shed fire

A fire engine
Other

Three puppies have been killed in a shed fire in Clevedon, North Somerset, with a further three being rescued by their owner.

The dogs were in a garden shed which was being used as an outdoor kennels, according to Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

"Their owner, a man in his 30s, suffered burns to his hands rescuing three of the dogs, however three other puppies could not be saved," said a fire service spokesperson. 

"The fire is believed to been started accidentally by a heat lamp inside the shed."

Leisure complex revamp plans stalled

Artist's impression of the proposed complex
Saq architects

Plans for a £120m leisure complex in Swindon have stalled after the local authority ended a deal with developers.

Moirai Capital Investment Ltd intended to build a ski centre, 5,000-seat concert venue and cinema around the existing Oasis leisure centre.

However, Swindon Borough Council said "key targets" had not been met and it had notified Moirai of its intention to end the development agreement.

Moirai said it had been unaware of the council's decision.

Football: Forest Green Rovers sign Birmingham midfielder on loan

Police charge 23 people in first week of anti-drink drive campaign

During the first week of their operation Avon and Somerset Police have received 136 calls from the public about people they're worried about who could be drink driving.

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Our message is very simple; if you get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs, you are risking your life and the lives of those around you.

Ch Insp Kevan RowlandsHead of Road Safety, Avon and Somerset Police

Emu alert in Langport, Somerset

We are just checking this one out - two emus have apparently been seen in the Langport area.

Do you know anything or have you seen them too? Let us know via emailFacebook, or Twitter.

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Severe accident: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe accident, between J20 for B3133 and J21 for A370.

M5 Somerset - Very slow traffic on M5 southbound between J20, B3133 (Clevedon) and J21, A370 (Weston-Super-Mare), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

MP slams police over firearms certificate

Ian Liddell-Grainger
BBC
Ian Liddell-Grainger says he plans to raise the matter with the Home Secretary Amber Rudd

A red-faced Conservative MP has surrendered his rifles and shotguns after forgetting to renew his firearms certificate.

Ian Liddell-Grainger received a letter from Avon and Somerset Police informing him his certificate had run out.

But the MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset said he was "appalled" that it would take 16 weeks to issue a new one, accusing the force of "utter incompetence".

He added when he told police he was a MP the officer told him... "if the government gave the force some more money they might be able to get these things done more quickly". 

Avon and Somerset Police is yet to respond to Mr Liddell-Grainger's comments.

Thirty years of the Wildcats - part two

The Swindon Wildcats ice hockey team are celebrating their 30th anniversary.

As part of which, BBC Wiltshire's Ben Prater took to the ice ...once he had got dressed into the appropriate gear:

Sex abuse in football: Police in Gloucestershire receive allegations

Football being played
Thinkstock

Claims of child abuse in football have now involved 98 clubs with 83 potential suspects involved in the inquiry, police chiefs have said.  

Police forces across the country are continuing to receive calls and now Gloucestershire Constabulary says it has "received some allegations of non-recent sexual offences".

The force added it had referred all relevant allegations to Operation Hydrant, the national police response.

We would urge anyone who has been a victim of abuse to come forward and we want to reassure them that our public protection bureau has specially trained staff from police and other agencies who will listen and offer support and guidance. We will then pursue relevant and appropriate action.

SpokesmanGloucestershire Constabulary

Broadmead redevelopment plans on show

Watch: The first images of the new plans for Broadmead shopping area

The owners of Cabot Circus in Bristol have published plans to redevelop the Broadmead shopping area. 

The changes include making the Horsefair and Penn Street for pedestrians only and building new covered shopping areas. 

A planning application has been submitted this week and it's expected to be considered next year.

Musical memory box aims to reconnect dementia patients and their relatives

Could this music box help relatives with Alzheimer's and dementia?   

It's been created by Bristol-based designer Chloe Meineck and can be customised with objects, music and photos to help people living with dementia to reminisce and reconnect with their loved ones. 

Watch: Bristol based inventor creates memory box to help people with dementia

Tommy Banner remembers his first gig with The Wurzels

Watch: Tommy Banner co-presenting BBC Somerset's breakfast show

Longevity in music is hard to come by but one Somerset band has stood the test of time and celebrates a major milestone in its history this month. 

December 2016 marks 50 years since Adge Cutler and the Wurzels recorded their first LP at a pub in Nailsea. 

They lost Adge in 1974 - but the band is still pulling in the crowds 

To mark the anniversary Wurzels legend Tommy Banner joined BBC Somerset's breakfast presenter Claire Carter to present this morning's show.

Your BBC Local Radio lunchtime headlines

Radio studio
BBC

Radio Bristol: Some stallholders in the Broadmead area of Bristol say they're concerned for their future after the publication of multi-million pound proposals to overhaul the dated shopping centre.

BBC Somerset: Fifteen bells at St Mary Magdalene Church in Taunton have returned home. They were removed in May to be re-tuned and restored as part of a project that's taken more than three years and £300,000 of fundraising.

Radio Gloucestershire: A father who subjected his adopted daughter to old-fashioned corporal punishment using a stick, a belt and a wooden spoon, has been sentenced to a year in prison.

BBC Wiltshire: More than £10,000 has been raised for a bereaved mother - whose children were killed in a car crash in south Wiltshire.

Last piece of bridge arrives by barge

Bilingual sign pops up 30 miles from Welsh border

Bilingual road sign
BBC

BBC Wiltshire has spotted this bilingual road sign in Corsham - more than 30 miles from the Welsh border.

Perhaps a shortage of signs has seen it brought across the Severn Bridge or maybe there's been an increase in Welsh speakers in the town?

Making the headlines in your local newspapers

Severe accident: A430 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC Travel

A430 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, near Hempsted Lane.

A430 Gloucestershire - A430 Secunda Way in Gloucester blocked and slow traffic in both directions near the Hempsted Lane junction, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Homeowner fears developer's work is making his garden slip away

Watch: Earth in this garden in Royal Wootton Bassett is slipping away

You may remember the story of David Buck from Royal Wootton Bassett who was worried his house might subside because his garden started to fall away. 

It all started after a large trench was built nearby. 

Wainhomes say that as a result of the work some additional surface soil has been disturbed but they promise to reinstate all earth disturbed in the garden, relay the lawn and erect a new fence.

But despite assurances and remedial work Mr Buck is concerned his garden could slip again.  

Hygiene reminder to stop norovirus spread

Norovirus
PA

People are being asked to take extra measures to help stop the spread of the winter vomiting norovirus bug. 

NHS England says twice as many outbreaks have been reported in the South West compared to last year - mainly in care homes, nurseries and schools. 

The advice is to thoroughly wash your hands with soap after going to the toilet and before preparing food and eating.

New electric trains have to run on diesel power

The new high-tech intercity trains that will run on the Great Western Line from next summer are due to be officially unveiled later. 

But the project to provide the overhead electric cables to power them has been deferred in Bath and Bristol amid delays and spiralling costs.

Training manager Malcolm Cook says it means the trains have had to be adapted to run on diesel power too and because they're new all drivers are having to be trained on simulators to use them. 

Watch: Training manager Malcolm Cook operating a simulator

Plan for GP surgery on meadows site challenged

Road
Google

More than 800 people in Salisbury have signed a petition against plans that could see a GP surgery being built on a designated wildlife site. 

The wildflower meadows site near Lime Kiln Way in East Harnham is one of three being considered. 

Wiltshire's Clinical Commissioning Group says merging three GPs into one is the only affordable way to improve services.

Delays on railway services between Westbury and Swindon

National Railway Enquiries says an investigation is under way into a problem between Trowbridge and Chippenham.

A spokesman said this means the Westbury to Swindon service is currently unable to run. 

"Taxis will run serving Melksham Customers. Any customers travelling from Westbury or Trowbridge to Chippenham or Swindon and vice versa should travel via Bath Spa, Tickets routed via Melksham will be accepted via Bath Spa," he added.

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Tiny charity coffee shop could be forced to close

Watch: Lenny's Coffee Shop needs more volunteers to survive

It's possibly Somerset's smallest cafe and it has has been serving homemade cakes and soups for almost 20 years.

Now Lenny's Coffee Shop in Shipham could be forced to close unless more volunteers are found to run it.

Rail delays between Westbury and Trowbridge

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The line between Westbury and Trowbridge has been reopened following a train breakdown. 

National Rail Enquiries says trains between Westbury and Bath Spa may be amended, cancelled or delayed by up to 30 minutes as services return to normal.  

Spectacular starling murmuration on Somerset Levels