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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England, on Tuesday, 17 January 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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

It looks like it's going to be cloudy again tomorrow with light winds but remaining dry.

Here's Ian Fergusson with the latest forecast:

Watch: "Most places cloudy perhaps drier in the south," says Ian Fergusson

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

Football: Evans & Leach extend Bristol City stays

Caitlin Leach
The FA

Bristol City Women duo Georgia Evans and Caitlin Leach have both signed six-month contract extensions with the Women's Super League One club ahead of the 2017 WSL Spring Series.

Midfielder Evans, 21, is a senior Wales international.

Former Aston Villa goalkeeper Leach 20, has represented England at under-20 level.

Both players were key members of the Vixens side that won promotion back to the English top flight last season.

Two sites shortlisted for east Bath park-and-ride

Mill Lane
Google

Two preferred sites for a park-and-ride to the east of Bath have been chosen from a shortlist of eight.

A report, put before councillors, said both locations were close to the city and would attract the largest number of users from the A4, A46 and A363.  

A final decision is due later this month.

Click here to read more on this story.

Elderly sisters left for five days without heating

Elderly twin sisters living in social housing in Swindon say they feel frightened and abandoned after being left without heating due to a broken boiler.

Susan and Joan Rogers, aged 75, have always shared a home. Their boiler was replaced 18 months ago but stopped working last Thursday.

Susan was born with Cerebral Palsy and Joan is severely disabled by arthritis.

Watch: The elderly sisters have been without heating for five days

Southern Housing Group has apologised for the inconvenience and said they are doing everything they can to fix the problem. In the meantime they've offered to supply alternative heating.

Family of man shot dead 25 years ago welcomes new scheme

Tony Alliss
BBC

The family of a Gloucestershire man who was shot dead 25 years ago have welcomed a new scheme to help relatives in cases where no-one has been convicted of murder.

Tony Alliss died from gunshot wounds in Penn Wood near Stroud in 1990.

The trial of two men accused of his murder collapsed. 

Today the Crown Prosecution Service and police said they would work more closely with families after acquittal to explore what options there are.

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams joins Aardman's Early Man

Actress Maisie Williams is to voice a part in Early Man, the next film from Bristol-based animation company Aardman.

The Bristolian, who played the character of Arya Stark in the show Game of Thrones, tweeted that she was "very excited" to have a role in the new Nick Park's film.

View more on twitter

Set "at the dawn of time", the StudioCanal release tells of a plucky caveman who "unites his tribe against the mighty Bronze Age".

The film is due to be released in the UK in January 2018.

View more on twitter

This day in BBC Points West history

Watch: Gloucester tried a new way to scare away some of it's unwelcome inhabitants

This year we're celebrating 60 years of BBC Points West and are going back through the archives to find stories from the West over the past six decades.

Today's story comes from 1980, when Gloucester was trying to deter gulls from making their homes in the city.

You'll need your sound on for this one!

What's it like appearing on TV's First Dates Hotel?

Watch: "That kiss was a camera kiss," said Bev from Portishead

Bev, an elderly singleton from Portishead, appeared on the Channel 4 show First Dates Hotel on the hunt for love.

Paired with Sheila, 81, a retired reflexologist, he said despite asking himself if he should have "asked for younger" the couple had become friends.

Football: Two of our sides in action tonight

Bristol City and Cheltenham Town are both in cup action tonight.

View more on twitter

It's an FA Cup third round replay for Bristol City who have travelled to Fleetwood Town for tonight's game.

And Cheltenham Town are at home to Bradford City in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Both games kick-off at 7.45pm.

View more on twitter

'Legal highs' shop owner sentenced

The products
Oxfordshire County Council
The products were described as research chemicals and herbal incenses

A company director who admitted selling "dangerous" so-called legal highs has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Darren Manley, 36, stocked products in his Oxfordshire shop with names such as King B, Cherry Bomb, Blow and Charly Sheen.

He has been handed a six-month suspended jail sentence by a judge at Oxford Crown Court, who also ordered £120,000 in fines and costs to be paid.

Manley, of Curlew Place in Portishead, and his firm RAD Trading Limited, each admitted eight counts of breaching the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

Click here to read more.

New festival from Glastonbury organisers

Glastonbury Festival
Getty Images

A new festival from the organisers of the Glastonbury Festival will be called Variety Bazaar

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis said they had registered the new event's name, which will be The Glastonbury Festival team present the Variety Bazaar. 

Mr Eavis revealed the name to Paul Cannon of Glastonbury FM and admitted he was taking "a huge risk".

"I've been a risk taker all my life. I mean 47 years of taking risks really and so far touch wood, I haven't come unstuck so far. 

"This might be one risk too far, I don't know," he said.

Severe disruption: M48 Monmouthshire westbound

BBC Travel

M48 Monmouthshire westbound severe disruption, before J2 for A466 Wye Valley Link Road.

M48 Monmouthshire - M48 Severn Bridge busy but moving and one lane blocked westbound before J2, A466 (Chepstow), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Benjamin King inquest: NHS Trust says it has 'cooperated fully'

Bath's RUH
BBC

In response to the comments made by both the coroner and Jamie King, the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust offered its "sincere apologies" to baby Benjamin's family.

"We have cooperated fully with the coroner's directions following the adjournment of the initial inquest," said Helen Blanchard, director of nursing and midwifery. 

"We would like to provide further assurance that the trust has taken the matter very seriously and continues to address the concerns which have been raised."

She added the trust wanted to provide assurance that "our staff are committed to providing the best possible care to every mother and baby".

Severe accident: A430 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC Travel

A430 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, near Spinnaker Road.

A430 Gloucestershire - A430 Hempsted Lane in Hempstead, Gloucester blocked and queuing traffic near Sainsbury's, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Benjamin King inquest: 'Misremembered stories, altered accounts, deflection and diversion'

Jamie King
PA

Following the inquest, Jamie King - who now lives in Canada - slammed the NHS trust at the centre of the hearing.

"Rather than hearing the truth, we've had to listen to misremembered stories, altered accounts, deflection and diversion," he said.

He urged expectant parents to take names of nursing staff and write down every detail if they are concerned about their baby's health.

"That way, no-one can twist your story or play with the facts at a later date," he said.

"Most importantly, though, you mustn't allow them to dismiss you the way that they have dismissed us."

Glastonbury organisers preparing 'Variety Bazaar' alternative

Glastonbury Festival will not be renamed when it moves to a new venue in 2019, according to the festival founder's daughter.

Michael Eavis told Glastonbury FM the name The Variety Bazaar had been registered for an event at a new "secret" location.

With rumours flying that Glastonbury Festival was about to get a name change, his daughter Emily took to twitter to quell the fears...

View more on twitter

Benjamin King inquest: Coroner 'very concerned' about statement allegations

Avon Coroners Court
BBC

The inquest into the death of baby Benjamin King - son of actors Jamie King and Tamara Podemski - was adjourned last year after allegations that Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust had altered statements for the hearing.

In court Avon Coroner Maria Voison said concerns had been raised previously "about written notes, specifically the written evidence in statement form provided by the RUH".

She added: "I would say I remain very concerned about this very serious matter and I have been advised by the trust that they are and have been investigating this matter and will continue to investigate this matter.

"Both myself and the family will be advised of the outcome."

Travel: Stretch of M32 northbound closed overnight

'Delivery delay' led to death of actor Jamie King's baby son

Jamie King and Tamara Podemski
BBC

The baby son of actor Jamie King died after staff at Bath's RUH decided to delay an operation to deliver him and sent his mother home, a coroner has said.

Benjamin King was born at the hospital on 5 May but died days later from severe brain damage after he was starved of oxygen before birth.

Avon Coroner Maria Voisin recorded a narrative verdict.

Following the conclusion of the inquest, Mr King said he had been informed by the coroner that an alleged issue surrounding altered witness statements had been reported to the police.

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed the coroner had contacted them regarding the matter.

Travel: Rail disruption caused by Westbury points failure

Rugby: Player suspended over 'team leaks' claim

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Sale have complained that one of their players passed team information to Bristol before their Premiership match on 1 January.  

The Sharks have lodged a protest with the Rugby Football Union, claiming the player - understood to be former Bristol wing Tom Arscott - released confidential details.

They have also made a complaint against the Bristol player involved.

Bristol won 24-23 at the AJ Bell Stadium after trailing 15-0.

Piglets born at Windmill Hill Farm - live video

Eleven piglets were born last night at Windmill Hill City Farm in Bristol.

The farm is a charity that provides recreation, education and therapy using food, farming and the environment as a theme.

BBC Radio Bristol are live streaming the pigs on their Facebook page.

View more on facebook
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Post Office security 'beefed up' following attack

Watch: Village Post Office rebuilt after explosion

Extra security has been installed at some cash machines in the West following a spate of attacks. 

The Post Office in Long Ashton was blown up just over a year ago. 

Today, three men have been jailed for the attack.

Post Office explosion culprits jailed

Duggan, Mann and Dennis were sentenced to over 20 years in jail
BBC

Three men who blew up a cash machine near Bristol, causing £200,000 worth of damage and making off with nearly £60,000 in cash, have been jailed.

Patrick Duggan and Nicholas Mann were sentenced on Monday and Shane Dennis on Tuesday after admitting the offences at Bristol Crown Court.

Det Ch Insp Matt Iddon said: "It was only through sheer luck that no-one was seriously injured in the attack."

Long Ashton Post Office attack in Jan 2016
BBC

No fire at SS Great Britain

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe disruption, between J16 for A38 and J17 for A4018.

M5 Bristol - One lane closed on M5 southbound between J16, A38 (Aztec West) and J17, A4018 (Cribbs Causeway), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Kris Kristofferson to play Glastonbury

Country star and actor Kris Kristofferson has confirmed on his website that he'll be playing the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this year.

So far the only act confirmed by the organisers of the festival is Radiohead but a date at Pilton has appeared on 80-year-old Kristofferson's website as part of his world tour.

screenshot of Kris Kristofferson's website with Glastonbury on June 23
kriskristofferson.com

Upside down horse rescued from between buildings

Fire crews had to rescue a horse which had become trapped upside down between a wall and building.

The horse is believed to have fallen from a field, over a low retaining wall and become trapped on its back between the wall and a farm building.

Farm machinery was used to lift the horse to safety. It's since been checked by a vet and reunited with its owner.

View more on twitter

Rising costs in £58m rail line revamp

View along the disused Portishead railway line
BBC

A report warns reopening the Portishead branch line will cost "considerably" more than predicted.

The Portishead branch line shut in 1964 and is due to reopen in 2020.

The £100m scheme by the West of England Partnership and Network Rail will link the town with Bristol Temple Meads and the Severn Beach Line.

But a report by the partnership has warned the cost of the MetroWest Phase 1 project will surpass its budget.

It cited losing two level crossings on the route and engineering works through the Avon Gorge and South Bristol will "considerably" increase the estimated costs.

Read more on this story.

FA Cup: Fleetwood Town v Bristol City

Bristol City v Fleetwood
Rex Features

Bristol City travel to Fleetwood for their FA Cup 3rd round replay with the winners facing Burnley or Sunderland of the Premier League in the fourth round.

Here's some match facts:

  • Bristol City have been eliminated from the FA Cup at the third-round stage in eight of the last nine seasons
  • The Robins have won each of their last three FA Cup ties against lower-league opposition
  • This is just Fleetwood's second appearance in round three, having lost 5-1 to neighbours Blackpool in January 2012

Click here for more.

Atlantic swim challenger injures knees in Brazil

A man who had to postpone his attempt to be the first person to officially swim across the Atlantic says he has now injured both his knees in a fall.

Ben Hooper, 38, from Cheltenham, set off from Senegal on 13 November and had hoped to arrive in Brazil in March but he had to stop after storms damaged a support boat.

Writing on his Facebook page he said "I slipped...damaging both knees...I'm literally stuck for 15 days here with remaining crew."

It followed previous postponements due to bad weather, faults with a support boat and two members of the crew pulling out at the last minute. Mr Hooper also suffered jellyfish stings.

View more on twitter

Car chase following overnight burglary

Wiltshire Police have been involved in a car chase in Swindon overnight after a burglary in the town. 

Two people have been arrested for multiple burglaries.

View more on twitter

IVF Pioneer calls for change in embryo observation law

Watch: IVF pioneer calls for change in embryo observation law

One of the pioneers of IVF has called for a government inquiry into allowing embryos to be experimented on for longer.

Simon Fishel was on the team involved with the birth of the world's first IVF baby, Louise Brown from Bristol. He believes that observing development up to 28 days could improve our understanding of diseases and prevent miscarriages.

Research on human embryos can only happen under a licence in the UK and it is currently illegal to keep them alive in laboratories for more than 14 days after fertilisation.

The first opinion poll on the subject indicates a significant number of people in favour of changing the law.

If I put that in the context of my own history of research in this field I would say its remarkable. It shows that when people are informed and understand about what we do in embryo research; what are these embryos and the few hundred cells that make up the early placenta and embryonic tissue, they appreciate that the gain is huge for human health, treatment of infertility and society in general.

Simon FishelFounder, CARE Fertility Group

BBC Radio 4 Science Unit has a two part documentary Extending the 14 day rule which starts today at 11am.

Somerset business boss 27% pay rise criticised by council

Plans to give a pay rise of more than £24,000 to the boss of a group tasked with improving the Somerset economy have been criticised by the council.

Chris Garcia, chief executive of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), could see his pay jump nearly 27% from £90,729 to £115,000.

Somerset council leader John Osman said: "The pay of £90,000 is already too much so I believe it should be at least 10% less than that."

The LEP has declined to comment.

Listen: BBC Somerset's James Craig reports on South West LEP boss' proposed pay increase

Increased levels of chlorine responsible for spa evacuation

Firefighters have now left the Grand Hotel in Broad Street, Bristol, after the spa had to be evacuated when chlorine alarms went off. 

The fire service says the alert was caused by raised levels of chlorine in the plant room and say the incident was "solely due to water purifying systems and not any outside influence".

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe disruption, at J23 for A39.

M5 Somerset - M5 lane blocked on exit slip road northbound at J23, A39 (Bridgwater North), because of a broken down car.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Council owned listed building falls in to disrepair

A listed building owned by Wiltshire Council is in such a state of disrepair it's unsafe to live in and could cost more than £100,000 pounds to make habitable. 

Councils are responsible for enforcing the protection of listed buildings. 

The old farmhouse in Sedgehill, on the Wiltshire-Dorset border, is one of several properties which senior councillors are discussing selling off later.

The council says the building is not at risk and people want to put their own mark on properties so refurbishing it wouldn't fetch anymore money.

Watch: Council owned listed building falls into disrepair