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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England on Thursday 23 February 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodnight from the Local Live team

    We hope you've enjoyed today's offerings - if you've got any news you'd like to share with us you can tweet @BBCBristol or  email  us.

    Otherwise, we'll be back tomorrow morning from 7am with more news, sport and weather.

    You'll also be pleased to know Friday's weather is looking a bit better.

    Video content

    Video caption: A calmer day ahead after today's stormy weather
  2. Cannabis farm found in ex-nuclear bunker

    Take a look at this ex-nuclear bunker near Salisbury which turned out to be being used as a huge cannabis farm.

    The plants, with an estimated street value of £1m, were seized in a raid on RGHQ Chilmark.

    Six men were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production following the midnight raid on Wednesday.

    Video content

    Video caption: An ex-nuclear bunker is used for £1m cannabis factory
  3. Cat writes letter in first purr-son to find new home

    Fizz the cat is looking for a new challenge after patrolling Woodborough Garden Centre in recent years. 

    The business has been taken over and the new management can't keep her so she's likely to be heading to the Cats Action Trust to find a new home.

    Her current owners have written a note from Fizz to try to attract potential new owners.

    Video content

    Video caption: Fizz has been a garden centre resident for six years but the new owners can't keep her.
  4. Local government secretary defends government's council cuts

    The Secretary of State for Local Government came West today - and faced criticism over cuts being made by councils. 

    Sajid Javid visited Somerset, Bath and Wiltshire to help his fellow Conservatives prepare for the local elections in May.

    Despite being under pressure over falling funding levels, he defended the government's position.

    Video content

    Video caption: Sajid Javid defends council cuts during visit to the Westcountry
  5. Shorter school days? MP writes to government over 'crisis'

    Jack Lopresti

    Local Conservative MP Jack Lopresti has written to the Department for Education (DfE) after a head teacher suggested school days would have to be shortened to save money. 

    Dave Baker of the Olympus Trust, which operates seven schools in the Bradley Stoke area near Bristol, said government cuts had left it at "crisis point".  

    Mr Lopresti said he had contacted the (DfE) for "reassurance and help on this matter". 

    A DfE spokesman said new funding plans would increase the trust's budget by 2.4 per cent.  

  6. Mother, 32, dies in Swindon road crash

    Arkells Brewery, Swindon

    A woman has died in a crash in Swindon this afternoon.

    Police said the collision involving a "refuse disposal vehicle" happened outside the Arkells Brewery on Beechcroft Road, Upper Stratton at about 4.30pm.

    The woman, aged 32, and from North Swindon was on her way to collect her child from a minder. 

    Emergency services attended but she died at the scene. Her family has been informed. 

    The road remains closed while an investigation takes place.

  7. M4 Wiltshire car transporter fire still causing delays

    M4 Chippenham car transporter fire

    Delays are ongoing after a car transporter caught fire on the M4 westbound near J16 and J17 at Chippenham.

    Two lanes are closed and delays are expected, the eastbound carriageway reopened earlier.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  8. Bath park and ride plans challenge dismissed

    
          Bath Park and Ride preferred location west of Mill Lane at Bathampton Meadows

    An attempt to challenge a decision by the Conservative-led Bath council to build a park and ride on the outskirts of the city has failed.

    Liberal Democrats and Labour councillors  asked for the cabinet decision to be reviewed, as they believed there was not enough public scrutiny before the council vote.

    But the scrutiny panel at Bath and North East Somerset Council found that procedures were followed and the cabinet's decision could be implemented.

  9. School funding changes 'risk injustice'

    Boy in classroom

    The key group pushing for a fairer funding system in England's schools says government plans for a funding shake-up need to be rethought.

    The F40 group, which campaigned for 20 years for the funding overhaul, is warning that some poorly funded areas, and schools within them, will lose out.

    Its vice-chair, Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, says it is important "one injustice isn't replaced with another".

    Ministers say their plans will end unequal funding across the country.

    Click here to read more. 

  10. Drug-farm bunker 'almost completely impenetrable'

    RGHQ Chilmark

    Several thousand cannabis plants have been seized in a raid on RGHQ Chilmark in Wiltshire. 

    The former Ministry of Defence bunker was built in the 1980s to protect local dignitaries and government officials in the event of a nuclear attack.

    Described as "almost completely impenetrable", Wiltshire Police had to wait for the suspects to leave the bunker before they could gain access.  

    Click here to read more.

  11. Firearms dealer 'supplied ammunition for more than 90 crimes'

    Giles Latcham

    BBC Midlands Today

    A firearms dealer has gone on trial accused of supplying ammunition later found at more than 90 crime scenes - including a number of fatal shootings.

    Paul Edmunds

    Paul Edmunds, 65, from Hardwicke near Gloucester, allegedly supplied obsolete or antique hand guns along with specially-manufactured bullets which ended up in the hands of a criminal gang in the West Midlands.

    A jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard the gang, led by Nosakhere Stephenson, sold the guns on to other criminals at approximately £3,000 apiece.

    Ammunition allegedly made by Mr Edmunds was recovered from the scene of a shooting in Birmingham during the riots of 2011 in which several rounds were fired at a West Midlands Police helicopter. 

    Mr Edmunds denies two charges of transferring or conspiring to transfer prohibited weapons and ammunition and a charge of possessing a prohibited firearm - a gas-powered air pistol.

    He also denies two charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice. 

    The trial, which is expected to last up to five weeks, continues.

  12. Murder victim's mother believes Halliwell killed more

    The mother of a young woman from Swindon who was murdered by Christopher Halliwell says she believes he has killed more people. 

    Elaine Pickford's daughter Sian O'Callaghan became his second victim when he stabbed her in 2011. 

    Last year he was convicted of killing Becky Godden in 2003, after admitting killed Miss O'Callaghan in 2011.

    Her comments come as forensic teams searching his former home on Broad Street say they will remain there into next week.

    Video content

    Video caption: The mother of a murder victim killed by Christopher Halliwell, believes he killed more.
  13. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: A303 Wiltshire eastbound

    BBC News Travel

    A303 Wiltshire eastbound severe disruption, between A360 and A345 Countess Road.

    A303 Wiltshire - A303 closed eastbound between Longbarrow roundabout and Countess Roundabout.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time