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Summary

  1. Latest news, sport, weather and travel for Monday, 16 January 2016.

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's all for tonight - back at 7am tomorrow

Watch: Ian Fergusson with the weather forecast

We can expect a cloudy start to the day on Tuesday, apparently, with some sunnier skies during the afternoon.

Join us again tomorrow, from 7am, for more live news, sport, weather and travel from across the West of England.

Cheltenham clock dismantling - the fish is down

BBC Radio Gloucestershire has been at Cheltenham's Regency Arcade watching the well-known 'fish clock' being dismantled.

View more on twitter

The 45-foot timepiece - which has been in place for 30 years - is being taken down so it can be restored to a fully-working condition.

It was designed by artist Kit Williams, who is famous for his book Masquerade, published in 1979.

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Travel: M5 lanes reopen following crash near Weston-super-Mare

Head of Bristol Airport praises new link road

Watch: "It's great news," said airport boss Robert Sinclair

Business leaders in Bristol have welcomed a major new road which could help to create over 2,000 jobs in the south of the city.

The link road was first suggested in council documents more than 80 years ago but today the route connecting Hartcliffe to the A370 finally opened to traffic. 

It's designed to cut congestion in the centre of Bristol as well as improving links to Bristol Airport.

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of the airport, said it was "great news".

Dozens of cows stolen from Somerset farm

Cows in a field
BBC
Cows were stolen from the Henton area between Sunday evening and Monday morning

About 30-40 cows have been stolen from a shed in the Henton area near Wells, Somerset.  

Avon and Somerset Police said the theft happened between 6pm last night and 7:30am this morning.

"The cattle had been wormed on Saturday and are therefore not fit for human consumption for several weeks," a force spokesman said.

Anyone with information on this incident, or if you'e been offered buy meat in suspicious circumstances, has been asked to call police on 101.

How to open a £45m link road

As far as opening ceremonies go, this one isn't exactly a ribbon cutting gala. 

Andrew Jones, the MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, turned up to open the new South Bristol Link Road today. 

Here's how he did it:

Watch: Government minister Andrew Jones officially opened the road

'Huge interest' in Little Mix concert shocks rugby club chief

Little Mix
BBC

On Friday it was announced that pop band Little Mix are to perform at Kingsholm Stadium in the summer, and today the general admission tickets sold out.

Stephen Vaughan, CEO of Gloucester Rugby - who play at Kingsholm - said he had expected the concert to be busy but he told the club's website they had "been taken aback by the huge interest in sales".

It surpasses what we have seen to date. Right from 9am on Saturday morning when we opened our pre-sale for our Club and 1873 members, the phones have been ringing off the hook and it literally has become the hottest ticket in town. I would like to offer thanks to everyone's patience during this busy time, and offer apologies to anyone that will miss out. We are working hard to bring another act to Kingsholm this Summer too.

Stephen VaughanCEO, Gloucester Rugby

The moon and the sun in a love affair, featuring a golden hare

We've already featured Cheltenham's 'fish clock' and the work to remove and restore it.

It was designed by Kit Williams whose name may be familiar because he wrote the 1970's bestseller, Masquerade:

Watch: Learn more about Masquerade

By today's standards it would be considered a viral success.

Back in the 1970s over two million people bought into a treasure hunt where the prize was hidden 'somewhere in England'.

Kit Williams was the author with a very fun and clever idea - buy the book and use the clues to piece together the journey that leads you to the golden hare.

The treasure was buried in a pottery container and was to the 70s what Pokemon Go was to 2016.

Travel: A419 northbound near Swindon reopen again

Parents give their opinion on The Meadows Primary

A school in South Gloucestershire has been plunged into controversy over racism and bullying - with the head teacher absent from work today. 

Ofsted inspectors say the incidents haven't been dealt with properly although parents we've spoken to say they've not heard of any problems:

Parents outside The Meadows Primary

South Gloucestershire Council said:

"The Meadows Primary School was inspected on the 24 and 25 November by Ofsted and was judged to be inadequate. 

"We are, of course, very disappointed with this outcome and we are working with the school to address the areas identified in the report."

Click here to read more.

Travel: Crash closes two lanes of the M5 near Weston-super-Mare

The return of Inside Out West - BBC1 at 7.30pm

Travel: A419 northbound shut near Swindon due to crash

Laughing may well be the best medicine

When DIY SOS presenter Mark Millar lends his genuine laughter to the 'act of laughter' in a laughter yoga course he can't help but get into the laughing spirit of it.

Did we mention laughter ...

Watch: TV presenter Mark Millar tries out laughter yoga course

Nothing to do with jokes or funny ... it's the act of laughing itself

Yoga instructor

Watch Mark's full report on BBC Inside Out (West) - tonight on BBC1 at 7.30pm or later via the BBC iPlayer.

Shopping centre fish clock being dismantled

A huge mechanical clock in Cheltenham's Regent Arcade shopping centre is to be restored.

The 45-foot timepiece - the wishing fish clock - has been in place for more than 30 years.

Watch: One of the biggest mechanical clocks is being dismantled for repair.

It features an illusion of a goose that appears to lay a never-ending stream of golden eggs and a family of mice trying to evade a snake.

If you're near it on the half hour, you'll hear a catchy tune and see a large wooden fish blowing bubbles - if you can catch one you get to make a wish.

The attraction was designed by the artist Kit Williams, most famous for writing the 1979 book Masquerade which led readers on the hunt for a golden hare hidden somewhere in the UK.

The clock should be back to roost by the end of March.

Severe accident: A419 Wiltshire northbound

BBC Travel

A419 Wiltshire northbound severe accident, between A420 and A361 affecting M4 J15.

A419 Wiltshire - A419 in Swindon closed and long delays northbound between White Hart Roundabout and Honda South Roundabout, because of an accident. Congestion to Swindon East.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Rugby: Bath's Batty and Lahiff extend deals

Ross Batty (left) and Max Lahiff
Rex Features

Front row pair Ross Batty and Max Lahiff have signed extended contracts with Premiership club Bath for a further two seasons.

Former Rotherham Titans hooker Batty, 29, has been with Bath since 2010.

Ex-London Irish prop Lahiff, 27, joined in 2015 and has made 50 Premiership appearances in Blue, Black and White.

"We are extremely pleased to have agreed deals with two key first-team squad players," director of rugby Todd Blackadder told the club website.

"They are energetic, hard-working, and have a really positive impact on and off the field."

Man abused victims when he was child

Andrew Margetts, 31, convicted of sexual offences.
BBC

A man has been jailed for 25 years for the sexual abuse of three children which started when he was a child.

Andrew Margetts, 31, from Somerset, started abusing the children when he was eight, Taunton Crown Court heard.

The 23 convictions relate to crimes he committed from the age of 10, because he was below the age of criminal responsibility when the abuse started.

Judge David Ticehurst said he was a "depraved young man, living a life of depravity, with perverted lust".

Click here to read more.

Travel: GWR says 'road transport sourced' after train breaks down

Gym man jailed for sex assault stretches

Marcus Wooldridge
Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A gym owner who sexually assaulted one of his clients under the guise of helping her with stretches and treatment has been jailed.

Marcus Wooldridge, 36, of Blandamour Way, Bristol, was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court and sentenced to two years and nine months. 

The attack happened at the Fit Firm Gym in Hotwells Road - formerly owned and managed by Wooldridge.

Police believe there may be more victims as he worked in several Bristol gyms.

Click here to read more.

Travel: Rail line blocked northbound between Bristol and Cheltenham

New tapestry celebrates Ashton Court gatehouse opening

Watch: The project has taken around 600 hours to complete

The woman behind the creation of a giant woollen model of Bristol has recreated an historic city gatehouse on an embroidered map. 

When asked to design a community project to promote the restoration of the Ashton Gatehouse, Vicky Harrison was puzzled not to find it on a map. 

The embroidered map, that took 600 hours to complete, will be on display at the gatehouse from Wednesday.

Football: Bristol City recall Wes Burns from Scotland

School 'failing' over racism and bullying

The Meadows School
Google Street View

Racism and bullying have not been dealt with quickly enough at a school placed in special measures by Ofsted, according to inspectors.

They visited The Meadows Primary School in Bitton, Bristol, in November and rated it as "inadequate".

They also concluded that the school did not use "appropriate terminology" when referring to different ethnic groups.

The chair of governors said the school was "surprised and very disappointed" by the judgement made public this week.

Read more on this story.

Jail for man who sexually abused children when a child himself

Andrew Margetts
BBC

A man has been jailed for 25 years after being convicted of sexually abusing children when he was a child himself.

Andrew Margetts, 31, from Bridgwater in Somerset, was found guilty of 23 charges including rape, sexual activity with a child and false imprisonment.

The case, heard at Taunton Crown Court, was described as unusual and shocking.

Girl uses artwork to raise money for cancer charity

Painting of Gloucester Docks
Lucy Tarr

A seven-year-old from Gloucestershire is raising money for charity with art.

Lucy Tarr painted a picture of Gloucester Docks which got picked to be on her school's newsletter. After getting lots of praise for the picture Lucy has decided to use her artistic skill for good.

Lucy has decided to raise money for Cancer Research UK after her grandfather Tom died from cancer in February 2016.

The JustGiving page has already hit 205% of its £200 target and Lucy will give the signed painting to the person who donates the most money.

Football: Forest Green Rovers add Bristol Rovers' Gosling

Jake Gosling
Rex Features

Forest Green Rovers have signed Gibraltar international midfielder Jake Gosling on loan from Bristol Rovers until the end of the season.

Gosling, 23, has been with the League One outfit since joining from Exeter in 2014 and has made seven appearances in all competitions so far this term.

He will be eligible to make his debut for the National League club when they host Braintree Town on Saturday.

Oxford-born Gosling has won 11 senior caps for Gibraltar, scoring twice.

South Bristol link road open for business

Watch: South Bristol link road open for business

A major new £45m link road for the south of Bristol is now open to traffic.

The South Bristol Link Road joins the A370 to the A38 and forms part of the route for the city's Metrobus scheme. 

Supporters said it will bring major economic development to the south of the city. 

But critics said it will worsen pollution and fail to reduce traffic levels. 

The scheme ends as works start on Hartcliffe Way, which will be one way from Monday night until November. 

Read more on this story.

Cannabis plants found out on patrol

Cannabis plants have been discovered in Gloucestershire by police out on patrol.

A video tweeted by Gloucester City's policing team shows an officer walking around a large room filled with potted cannabis plants and equipment.

There are currently no details on any arrests following the discovery.

View more on twitter

Former Bristol Mayor dies aged 77

black and white photo of Marmaduke Alderson
Bristol City Council

The former Lord-Mayor of Bristol, Marmaduke Alderson, has died at the age of 77.

Mr Alderson, who was a senior Conservative city councillor for Westbury-on-Trym and later Stoke Bishop, had been in poor health for a number of years.

After retiring from politics in 2002, Mr Alderson was made an Honorary Alderman.

Current councillor Richard Eddy, who worked with Marmaduke, praised his contribution to his adopted city.

Marmaduke came from that generation who voluntarily devoted themselves to public service in his city without the basic salaries councillors receive today. We shall not see his like again, a gentle, compassionate and very clever man. His was a life well lived.

Cllr Richard EddyFormer Bristol Conservative Group Leader

Lot of love for Little Mix in Gloucester: ticket sales halted for stock take

Girl group Little Mix standing on a stage with their fists in the air
BBC

A ticket sales page at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester has been closed temporarily to allow a stock take of sales to see girl group Little Mix.

The concert date in June was announced on Friday 13 January and went on general sale today after being open to members only over the weekend.

Fans moved in quickly to secure their spot in the crowd, and the organisers have had to take tickets off sale while they count up which tickets for the Summer Shout Out Tour are still available.

The remaining tickets will go back on sale later today.

'It makes me feel a bit sick' - IVF mum reacts to reduction in availability

People in Swindon needing fertility treatment will have just one free round of IVF in future. 

At the moment the NHS in the town offers three cycles, while people in the rest of Wiltshire get one, but that's set to change. 

This Swindon mum, who wants to remain anonymous, used all three cycles available to her and now has two children.  

Free IVF cycles reduced in Swindon

Severe accident: A39 Somerset both ways

BBC Travel

A39 Somerset both ways severe accident, between A358 Bank Street and B3190.

A39 Somerset - A39 in Williton closed and queuing traffic in both directions between Spar Mini Roundabout and Washford Cross, because of an accident involving a single vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Appeal after nine cats abandoned in Yeovil

The RSPCA is appealing for information after nine cats were found abandoned in a freezing Yeovil street early on Saturday morning. 

The shivering moggies were spotted huddled in a cat carrier by a passer-by. 

They're now being cared for at the RSPCA's West Hatch centre in Taunton and staff are trying to find out who's responsible for putting them in such danger.

Abandoned cats
RSPCA

Severe accident: A36 Wiltshire both ways

BBC Travel

A36 Wiltshire both ways severe accident, between Wilton Road and A3094 Netherhampton Road.

A36 Wiltshire - A36 Wilton Road in Quidhampton closed and heavy traffic in both directions between the Wilton Road junction and the A3094 Netherhampton Road junction, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Cheltenham's Wishing Fish Clock to fall silent - and bubbleless - for repairs

A bubble-blowing musical clock in Cheltenham will be taking a break from entertaining shoppers as it undergoes repairs.

The Wishing Fish Clock, designed by Masquerade author Kit Williams, is having several large parts removed to be repaired, meaning the clock won't operate.

The clock in the Regent Arcade on Cheltenham's High Street is particularly loved by children ...  we can't think why.

a large clock clock with a fish underneath
BBC

From potholes to shiny new roads - Bristol link road opening under way

The official opening of the south Bristol link road is under way.

Cue high-viz jackets and a collection of Bristol's great and good to wish it luck.

The full story of why, what and where the link road is can be found here.

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Forget Blue Monday, it's National Pothole Day!

Which means plenty of pictures of people looking glum and pointing at potholes.

Here's Gloucestershire councillor Paul Hodgkinson pointing out some he's spotted large holes.

Is somebody looking into it, though?

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Inquest to resume into death of actor's baby

The inquest into the death of a baby who died just five days after being born is due to resume today.

Benjamin King, son of British actor Jamie King, died on 15 May 2016 at the Royal United Hospital in Bath   

The coroner had adjourned the inquest as she looked into calls for a criminal investigation.

At the previous hearing Maria Voisin was told The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) may have perverted the course of justice.

It emerged lawyers for the trust had removed crucial evidence from a witness statement.

Actor Jamie King and his wife, actress, Tamara Podemski
BBC