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  1. News, sport, travel and weather for the West on Monday 18 September, 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Good night from your Local Live team in the West.

Well that's it for today from us.

We'll be back from 0700 BST tomorrow with all the latest news, travel, weather and sport from across the region.

But first here's Ian Fergusson with tomorrow's forecast.

Dry weather on Tuesday and Wednesday gives way to rain on Thursday.

Ryanair customers due to hear about scrapped flights

Ryanair plane
Getty Images

Earlier we told you how budget airline Ryanair has published details of flights cancelled up to the end of next month, including two from Bristol.

They were:

  • Dublin to Bristol – FR508 due to arrive at 2045 this evening
  • Bristol to Dublin – FR509 due to depart at 2110 this evening

The Dublin-based carrier is shelving up to 50 flights daily over the next six weeks due to the over-allocation of pilots' holidays during a relatively busy period.

Boss Michael O'Leary said customers whose flights have been cancelled will receive an email by Monday evening.

This will inform them what flights they can transfer to which will be "hopefully on the same or, at worse, the next day".

The operator faces a compensation bill of up to 20 million euro (£17.7 million) for the "mess" which has left many passengers stranded, boss Michael O'Leary said.

City players virtual celebrations are a tweet

Bristol City's players are taking their goal celebrations to a new level. They've been showing off their creative side by taking their efforts online.

BBC Points West's Alistair Durden has been finding out more:

Bristol City's players are taking their goal celebrations online

Taunton 16-year-old will represent England

This 16-year-old pupil of the Castle School in Taunton has been selected to represent her country for the second time.

We can see why in just a few seconds:

Karate junior champion Thea Priest has now been selected to represent her country for the second time.

Rock n roll targets bat-wings and six-packs

Have you signed up for the latest fitness craze yet?

It's rocking Bristol right now:

Hannah Hawkey wants to expand her heavy metal workout classes to the West.

Cricket: Myburgh signs new Somerset deal

Johann Myburgh
Getty Images

Somerset's Johann Myburgh has signed a new contract to play in limited-overs matches for the county next season.

The South African batsman played three games in the 2017 One-Day Cup and nine in the T20 Blast, and will be available for both competitions in 2018.

The 36-year-old has also played three County Championship matches so far this season but will not play in the four-day format next year.

Click here to read more on the BBC Sport website.

Hundreds of washed-up birds saved

The Manx Shearwater birds were washed up in Wales, but are being cared for in Taunton.

Watch: more than 260 Manx shearwaters have been brought to RSPCA West Hatch

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe disruption, between J23 for A39 and J24 for A38.

M5 Somerset - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 southbound between J23, A39 (Bridgwater North) and J24, A38 (Bridgwater South), because of a vehicle fire.

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

Man 'deliberately' crashed car 'to kill girl'

Lady Justice

A man attempted to murder a schoolgirl by removing her seatbelt and "deliberately" crashing his car, a court has heard.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard evidence today that Lukasz Jarosz, 35, from Wilton, near Salisbury, was "hysterical" after discovering his wife had killed herself.

Mr Jarosz is on trial for the attempted murder of the youngster who can not be named. He denies the charge.

He admitted a second charge of causing serious injury through dangerous driving.

Losing your seat: how does it feel for the staff of an MP?

Sharon Sugars

MP Neil Carmichael’s constituency support manager

Sharon Sugars

On Inside Out West later, former MPs and their workers will tell us what it's like to lose an election. Here, Sharon Sugars tells us of her experience in Stroud.

"At that moment when the returning officer calls out the result, everyone in the room knows what I found out just minutes before. Finding yourself on the losing side is really visceral but at the same time sad and heart breaking."

"I felt sad for the team of great people that I worked with and I felt sad for Neil (Carmichael, the former Conservative MP). The result seemed so wrong and short-sighted and I believe was based on the national campaign and not a reflection of the hard work that we’d all put in since the previous election in 2015."

Votes counted in Stroud

"In an instant, and based on a tiny pile of votes cast by less than 1% of the electorate, we’d all lost our jobs and everything that we’d been working on came to an abrupt halt."

"It’s such a brutal and wasteful process with loss of any continuity and all of the projects that we’d been working on had to stop immediately. Closing down the constituency office was particularly painful, especially as we’d only just relocated to new premises to provide a better experience for constituents."

"But then that’s democracy and it didn’t just happen to us – but what other system would you choose?"

Six-day strike at primary school called off

Badocks Wood school

A planned strike at a Bristol primary school has been averted after crisis talks between union reps, the chair of governors and the council's head of education.

Badock's Wood in Southmead was rated as inadequate by Ofsted last year.

Teachers were threatening to strike over a proposal for them to take on extra duties without pay and to be subject to planned monitoring.

The Bristol member of the NASUWT teaching union, Wendy Exton, said today's talks had been "really positive".

She said: "They took on board our concerns and resolved all the issues we had."

The strike, which was planned for Wednesday, has been postponed.

The primary school has been asked to comment.

Severe accident: A4 Bristol eastbound

BBC News Travel

A4 Bristol eastbound severe accident, between Emery Road and A4175 Durley Hill.

A4 Bristol - One lane closed, very slow traffic and long delays on A4 Bath Road outbound in Brislington between the Emery Road junction and Hicks Gate Roundabout, because of an accident. Travel time is 35 minutes. Congestion to Three Lamps Junction.

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

M5 open again

The M5 northbound is now completely reopen between junctions 16 and 14, following the serious incident in South Gloucestershire at the weekend..

Both carriageways between junction 16 (Filton and Thornbury) and junction 14 (Dursley) were closed following the incident at 2.30pm on Saturday.

The southbound carriageway was reopened fully on Sunday and lanes 2 and 3 northbound reopened just after 9pm last night, but continued police investigations meant one lane remained closed, between junction 15 (the Almondsbury interchange) and junction 14, until 5pm this afternoon,

Rob Llewellyn, Highways England network operations manager for the South West, said: “We continue to provide support to police colleagues in their investigation and our thoughts are very much with the families and friends of all those involved in this tragic incident."

Ariel shot of M5 crash site

Two Ryanair flights cancelled at Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport

Two flights operated by Ryanair out of Bristol Airport have been cancelled.

They are:

  • Dublin to Bristol – FR508 due to arrive at 2045 this evening
  • Bristol to Dublin – FR509 due to depart at 2110 this evening

They appear in a list of cancelled flights published earlier after the airline admitted it had "messed up" the planning of pilot holidays.

Its chief executive Michael O'Leary said most people would still be able to fly on the same day.

If not, they would be moved to flights the day before or the day after and the airline would meet its obligations over compensation.

'Cold and shivering' polecat rescued from drain


A polecat had a "lucky escape" after getting stuck in a drain at a sewage works near Taunton.

It's believed the animal had been down the 15ft-deep shaft for more than 24 hours when the RSPCA were called.

"Workers had left a long plank down overnight hoping he would make his way out but I think he was too weak to do this," Clara Scully from the charity said.


I was unable to go down into the manhole as the weather was wet and windy. The polecat was sat on the ledge cold and shivering so I called the fire service who did a brilliant job helping to rescue him. They arrived promptly, got a long ladder into the hole and coaxed him into the carrier and pulled him up.

Clara ScullyRSPCA

The animal is recuperating at RSPCA West Hatch and will be released back into the wild when fit again.

Severe accident: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe accident, between J18A for M49 and J19 for A369.

M5 Bristol - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M5 Avonmouth Bridge southbound between J18a M49 and J19, A369 (Portishead), because of an accident.

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

The firm that breaks the planning rules

Watch more: Property developer 'breaks the rules' - part II

More on our Inside Out West programme tonight that asks whether council planning departments are doing enough to protect communities from over-development.

The BBC has been investigating a property developer that breaks the rules with many of the buildings it puts up.

See more on Inside Out West tonight at 7:30pm on BBC One in the West, or afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

M5 northbound fully open after fatal crash

Making the headlines in the West's local newspapers

Knife-point post office robber sought: do you know this man?

Police e-fit
Avon and Somerset police

A knife-point robber is being sought by police in Taunton, who have issued this e-fit of the man they want to find.

Someone fitting his description pushed his way into a secure cashier area of Henlade Post Office in Taunton, on Wednesday 9 August.

A member of staff was threatened before their attacker took a quantity of cash.The man then made off on foot, turning left towards Ilminster Road. He is described as about 6ft 2ins tall, with a beard said to be as if he hadn’t shaved for a few days, and ‘blotchy’ skin. He wore a hat with flaps over the ears and dark-coloured gloves and a dark-coloured cardigan. Anyone who recognises the man from this description or the e-fit is asked to get in touch with the police by calling 101 and quoting reference 5217181819. Alternatively ring the Crimestoppers helpline on 0800 555 111 where you can speak anonymously.

BreakingM32 open again

The firm that breaks the planning rules

Watch: Property developer breaks rules

Inside Out West tonight asks whether council planning departments are doing enough to protect communities from over development.

The BBC in the West has been investigating a property developer that breaks the rules with many of the buildings it puts up.

You can watch Inside Out West tonight at 7:30pm on BBC One in the West, or afterwards on the BBC iPlayer to find out more.

Severe accident: A432 Bristol both ways

BBC News Travel

A432 Bristol both ways severe accident, between Berwick Road and B4051 Warwick Road.

A432 Bristol - A432 Stapleton Road in Easton blocked and very slow traffic in both directions between the Berwick Road junction and the B4051 Warwick Road junction, because of an accident.

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

Gloucester sign Australia hooker Hanson

James Hanson
Getty Images

Gloucester have signed Australia international hooker James Hanson on a short-term deal from Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels.

The 29-year-old has joined the Cherry and Whites until the end of 2017, prior to the 2018 Super Rugby season.

Hanson has 12 caps for the Wallabies since making his debut in 2012.

"I am excited to be here," Hanson said. "I have managed to play a few times at Kingsholm and have felt first-hand how passionate the supporters are."

To read more click here

BreakingM32 pedestrian : motorway closed

Avon and Somerset police say the M32 is closed due to a pedestrian on motorway between J2 and J3 inbound.

Losing your seat: Ben Howlett on how Bath voted against him

Ben Howlett

Former Bath MP

On Inside Out West later, former MPs and their workers tell us what it's like to lose an election. Bath's former MP Ben Howlett recounts how he felt in the following days.

A few months before the general election was called my grandfather sadly passed away; losing 60,000 amazing constituents creates a similar feeling.

It took until the Sunday for more than a little tear to be shed over the result, when I realised that for the first time in two years I would be alone. All those people who had helped me, my team and all those who worked on my campaign had either gone home or I had to make them redundant.

Ben losing his seat

However, it isn’t all doom and gloom. I now get to see my partner more than ever before: I am not sure if he thinks that is a good thing or a bad thing!

I have a new job part-owning a public policy consultancy helping to improve the health and care systems.

I cannot hide the fact that the last two years have been extremely tough and a steep learning curve. The referendum, winning the seat, losing the former Prime Minister, gaining another and 10 elections in Bath meant that there was also a feeling of relief at the result.

It is an unpleasant experience to know that you don’t have a job you love and therefore can’t pay the mortgage or that you can’t help constituents resolve their problems anymore. But I would not be where I am now without the amazing people of Bath, and that I am truly thankful for.

Ben HowlettFormer Bath MP

M5 fatal accident: police release further casualty details

M5 collision aerial photo

Three people – a 42-year-old woman and two children, a 12-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, remain in a "critical but stable condition" in hospital after Saturday's accident on the M5 which saw four people killed.

Avon and Somerset Police said a full investigation is under way into the circumstances of the collision, which involved a Mercedes van and two cars.

“One of the victims was in a Seat Leon and three of the victims were in the second car, details of which we aren’t able to release at the moment," a force spokesman said,

“The driver of the lorry, a man in his 40s from Worcestershire, has been spoken to and has provided us with an initial statement.

“Our investigation will involve a thorough examination of all the vehicles involved and we’re working closely with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to progress these enquiries.”

Residents evacuated from Bristol building praised for their calm

Forty-five residents - four of them children - of a block of flats in Bristol are currently without homes after they were evacuated in the early hours, due to a major structural fault in the building.

Avon Fire and Rescue is on site at Allen House on Arthur Milton Street in Ashley Down with an investigation team.

Station manager, Jon Brown, has praised residents for remaining calm during the evacuation but was unable to say when they would be allowed back to their homes.

Forty-five residents of a block of flats without homes after being evacuated.

Points West Food Hero: Mostafa Niknami

Watch: Why Mostafa made the shortlist

We're meeting the people shortlisted by our judges to become BBC Points West's Food Hero 2017.

Mostafa Niknami volunteers as a chef for Moveable Feast in Bristol which offers a weekly free meal to asylum seekers.

Silvia Cruz who nominated him, and judge Rich Osborn, explain why he's made it to the shortlist.

Washed up birds cared for at Somerset rescue centre

Hundreds of Manx Shearwater birds washed up on beaches in Wales are being cared for by the RSPCA in Taunton.

Staff at West Hatch Animal Centre say a third of the 260 birds they have looked after have now been released back into the wild.

Washed up birds cared for at Somerset rescue centre

Points West Food Hero: Mostafa Niknami

Watch: Mostafa Niknami explains how he helps asylum seekers

This week we're meeting the three people shortlisted by our judges to become BBC Points West's Food Hero 2017.

Mostafa Niknami volunteers as a chef for Moveable Feast, a catering social enterprise run by Bristol Hospitality Network, which offers a weekly free meal to asylum seekers.

He explains why he does it.

West's Lib Dem MPs have 'at least one reason to be cheerful'

Paul Barltrop

Political Editor, West of England

The West’s Liberal Democrats have at least one reason to be cheerful at the party’s annual conference in Bournemouth - it’s their regional drinks reception.

After a disappointing year from going backwards in council elections to getting only one MP elected in the South West, they'll gather and raise a glass to better days ahead.

At least their numbers are up - constituencies across the West report membership has doubled, or even trebled, since the tough times of the coalition government.

Some of the difficult decisions taken back then still trouble the party. Take nuclear power, even though it was a Lib Dem Secretary of State who pushed for that new plant at Hinkley Point, delegates have heard warnings it may prove to be neither practical nor affordable.

But making most of the headlines is Brexit. The party knows their strong support for another referendum is problematic in their old heartland. The South West, and especially more rural parts like Somerset, voted strongly for Leave.

Sheltered housing values exposed as poor investment for many

More than half of elderly people who have bought and sold a sheltered home since the year 2000 have lost an average 17% of its value.

For some, the decrease is as much as 50%.

Questions have been raised about the over-pricing of elderly accommodation following an extensive survey of more than 900,000 cases by the charity Elderly Accommodation Counsel.

Read more here.

Earlier we heard from Jackie Thomas, who has been trying to sell her apartment in Street, Somerset for three years, for £75,000 less than she paid in 2006.

Jackie has to sell her home to pay for full-time council care. She says she doesn't know what to do.

Her sheltered housing apartment has been on the market for three years

Resident describes 4am moment he was told to evacuate his home

About 40 people were evacuated from their flats in Ashley Down in Bristol overnight.

Resident Dave Thomas described the moment he got a knock on the door from a fireman at 4am to say he needed to evacuate the building due to a "structural problem".

About 40 people were evacuated from their flats in Ashley Down in Bristol overnight.

Elderly people left with massive shortfall in sheltered housing value

Earlier we revealed that thousands of elderly people have lost huge sums of money - often needed for their care - on the value of their sheltered housing.

A survey by the charity Elderly Accommodation Counsel, looked at more than 900,000 cases of homes bought and sold between 2000 and 2016.

Read more on the BBC here.

Although just under half saw a rise in value, for those who lost money the average drop was 17%, with some losing as much as 50% of the value of their home.

Jackie Thomas bought her home in Street, Somerset. She has since had to move into care and needs to sell her home to pay for it.

Jackie has lost tens of thousands of pounds on her sheltered housing value since buying

'Large cracking noise' heard at evacuated flats - floor 'dropped 1ft'

Police cordon

Residents of a block of flats in Bristol that has been evacuated say a large cracking noise was heard in the middle of the night on the top floor of the central tower block.They described the floor dropping suddenly by about 1ft.

Forty residents of Allen House on Arthur Milton Street in Ashley Down were told to leave their homes by Avon Fire and Rescue. The building has been cordoned off by police.

Bristol City Council has opened Horfield Baptist Church for residents in need of shelter.

Fire crews at flats
Police cordon

Fundraising scuba diving marathon ends

Watch: Scuba marathon ends

A team of scuba divers has raised thousands of pounds for a Gloucestershire brain-injury charity by spending 24 hours under water.

Twenty-five members of the Cheltenham Sub-Aqua Club took it in turns to be under water at the National Diving and Activity Centre at Tidenham over the weekend.

One of the organisers, James Neal, says it was a huge success.

The Stage Debut Awards: Abraham Popoola wins best actor for Bristol Othello production

Stage Debut Awards

The first ever Stage Debut Awards took place on Sunday - recognising new talent in the British theatre industry.

Abraham Popoola won best actor in a play for Othello at Tobacco Factory Theatres in Bristol.

He said the fact that some of the top prizes of the night had gone to productions outside of London was "a sign that regional theatre is alive and well and doing great work".

Click here to read more.

Your BBC local radio headlines across the West

Radio studio
  • BBC Radio Bristol: One lane of the M5 in South Gloucestershire remains closed this morning following a serious accident in which four people died.
  • BBC Gloucestershire: Police in Gloucester say a couple suffered stab wounds to their legs following a serious incident in Podsmead yesterday.
  • BBC Somerset: A teenager from Taunton's launched his own anti-bullying campaign to try and make sure others don't go through what he has.
  • BBC Wiltshire: Wiltshire's getting a share of 875 new jobs as a new hotel prepares to open in Melksham.

Banksy: New murals pop up in London

The new Banksy works appear in a tunnel near the Barbican Centre

Two murals by Bristol street artist Banksy have appeared in central London.

The works, near the Barbican Centre, mark the opening of an exhibition by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The New York City graffiti artist turned painter died aged 27 in 1988 of a suspected drug overdose.

On Instagram Banksy described the murals as an "(unofficial) collaboration".