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Waste deliveries to Javelin Park set to resume

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Javelin Park incinerator
Gloucestershire County Council

Waste deliveries to the Javelin Park incinerator will re-start next week after technical problems meant rubbish has continued to be sent to landfill, Gloucestershire County Council said today.

Earlier this month rubbish going to the waste incinerator, just off junction 12 of the M5, had to be temporarily diverted as a result of ‘interruptions to the commissioning programmes’, according to contractor Urbaser Balfour Beatty.

During this period, waste was sent to landfill in Bishop’s Cleeve.

Javelin Park has been burning the county’s waste since the beginning of July as part of tests, and will become fully operational later in the summer.

The county council says the incinerator will provide electricity to power the equivalent of 25,000 homes, reduce carbon emissions compared to landfill and save taxpayers £100m.

Critics of the incinerator say the scheme is not value for money and pollutes the environment.

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A man in Tewkesbury walks his step-daughter's tortoise to the local pub every day
Nancy Drew the tortoise has become famous around Tewkesbury, with people loving to stop and say hello.

Cricket giants ready for T20 clash


Gloucestershire take on Somerset tonight in Bristol in the T20 Blast in front of a sell out crowd.

The two teams should have played each other in Taunton a week ago but the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled, because of rain.

Both sides can still qualify for the knock out stages by finishing in the top four of their division.

Views wanted on new community hospital

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cinderford town centre

Residents in the Forest of Dean can have their say on what they want from a new community hospital in Cinderford this week.

A new £11m community hospital is due to replace the Dilke Memorial Hospital and Lydney Hospital.

A citizen’s jury decided last year Cinderford was the best location for a new hospital, which is expected to open by 2022.

The NHS is holding feedback meetings on the following dates:

August 23, Clock tower roundabout in Coleford, 10am to 3pm.

August 31, Co-op in Cinderford, 10am to 3pm.

September 4, Market Place in Newent, 10am to 3pm.

September 6, Newerne St car park in Lydney, 10am to 3pm.

September 11, Main Place in Coleford, 4pm to 7pm.

September 12, Community Centre in Sedbury, 4:30pm to 7:30pm.

September 19, Co-op in Cinderford, 10am to 2pm.

September 21, Tesco in Lydney, 10am to 2pm.

September 27, Library in Newent, from 4pm to 7pm.

Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, Paul Roberts, said the chance to build a new hospital was a "rare opportunity".

"We also need it to work alongside the other services and facilities in the Forest of Dean and the county, both now and in the future.

"Previous engagement has been lively, reasoned and informative," he added.

"There are strong views about the best way forward and we are always open to hearing what the community has to say. So please take the time to read the information and participate."

Friday morning's BBC radio headlines

Radio studio

Radio Bristol: The landlady of the last pub in Lawrence Weston in Bristol says she's been told it has to close in a few weeks' time. Beverley Gardner-Ponting has run the Giant Goram for the past four years, but says she's been told the pub has been sold off and could be demolished.

BBC Gloucestershire: Waste is currently being diverted to landfill after technical problems at Gloucestershire's new incinerator - near junction 12 of the M5. It's after issues were detected during testing. Deliveries to the site will resume next week.

BBC Somerset: A national review into hospital food is set to be chaired by the former head of the Hospital Caterers Association for Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Philip Shelley. It comes following the deaths of six people due to a listeria outbreak.

BBC Wiltshire: Last night, the emergency services made sure they're prepared for the holiday weekend getaway as they simulated a real-life emergency at Honda's test track in Swindon.

BBC local radio headlines from across the West

Radio studio

Radio Bristol: The boss of the Bristol Playbus charity, which has been forced to close due to funding cuts, says more organisations will be lost unless the sector is given more money.

BBC Somerset: More farmers are seeking help to cope during tough times - according to the Somerset-based charity the Farming Community Network.

BBC Wiltshire: Swindon could lose a major supermarket from its town centre - in a move that would put more than 100 jobs at risk. Morrisons has told staff it's investing in four new shops, and is no longer sure about its future at Regents Circus.

BBC Gloucestershire: Some community groups in Gloucestershire say families - who rely on free school meals during term time - are increasingly battling with "holiday hunger".

Heritage Hub's new building finished

Document storage room
Gloucestershire Archives

Work to revamp Gloucestershire's archives has been fully completed.

The county's Heritage Hub in Gloucester's Alvin Street houses about nine million documents on nine miles of shelves.

The new facility includes three new climate controlled strong rooms - in addition to the existing ones.

The building stores all sorts of historic records from the county, such as birth certificates, newspapers, maps, wills and burial records.

The archive's Sally Middleton said she would welcome "lots of new visitors to come and look at the sort of facilities that we have".

"The documents in the archives are stories of the people of Gloucestershire over the centuries, that we're very keen to share with people."

Cheltenham postman turned professional wrestler in three months
Cheltenham postman Ryan Williams is living his childhood dream of becoming a professional wrestler.

Talks over emergency medical care restarted

Local Democracy Reporting Service

An engagement exercise on the future of emergency medical care in Cheltenham has been restarted.

An idea to remove Cheltenham General Hospital’s emergency unit to make way for specialist planned care on the site is part of the discussion Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust wants to have with the public.

Closing the town’s A&E department would mean all accident and emergency services would be dealt with at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, seven miles away from Cheltenham in Gloucester.

The Trust has re-iterated that no decision has been made, and the public and staff will be consulted on any significant changes which follow from the engagement programme.


The Trust previously said it would hold an “open discussion” with residents on any changes under the Fit for the Future plan, which would examine the future of urgent and hospital care across Gloucestershire.

But hospital bosses delayed the consultation after outcry from opposition groups and Cheltenham’s MP Alex Chalk.

The re-launch comes a day after Mr Chalk, Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton Brown and Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson penned a letter to the Trust asking if it would “categorically rule out” closing Cheltenham’s A&E unit.

Services such as general surgery – the surgery of the gut – and image guided surgery are among ideas the Trust wants to receive the public’s views on. The period of engagement will take place through summer and autumn.

Patrols aim to improve motorcyclist safety

Motorcyclist in the Cotswolds
Getty Images

Roads policing officers from Gloucestershire Constabulary have been out on their bikes in an initiative to improve biker safety in the county.

It follows a number of serious and fatal collisions involving motorcyclists in the past few weeks.

The police motorcyclists have been engaging with other bikers as they travel along the rural routes of the Cotsowolds, and plan to extend their patrols to the Forest of Dean and north Tewkesbury.

Sgt Martyn Murawa said: "Our concern is the safety of all road users whether they live and work in the county or are just travelling through.

"Statistics show that there is a fairly even split when it comes to responsibility for causing the collision.

"It's not always the motorcyclist, but equally it's not always car drivers."

He added it was hoped motorcyclists will be encouraged to "reduce their speed and increase their awareness of the dangers and consequences".

Investigation launched into bus blaze

Stagecoach bus
Stagecoach bus

Stagecoach has launched an investigation into why one of its vehicles caught fire while carrying passengers.

The incident occurred yesterday evening shortly after 20:00 BST, between Drybrook and Mitcheldean in the Forest of Dean.

Two fire crews from Cinderford attended and remained on the scene until 23:56 BST.

No one was injured, but the bus was extensively damaged and four metres of the road required resurfacing.

Woman pledges not to become a parent to help climate change

A woman from Amberley says she has taken a "difficult personal choice" to not have children in order to reduce the impacts of climate change.

Narjiss Seffar is part of the Birthstrike movement - a group of about 140 women in the UK who have pledged not to have children to help reduce consumption of the world's natural resources.

The 23-year-old admits she would love to be a mum, and make her mother a grandparent.

She hopes if enough people take part then the government will act to make a difference.

"I would like the world to change enough so I could have a 360 and decide to have a baby," she said.

"[But there's] not enough hope in humanity that this would happen in my lifetime."

Man struck by van wing mirror in road rage incident

Police car
Getty Images

A pedestrian was left with bruising after being struck by the wing mirror of a van reversing towards him at speed.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the road rage incident which took place in Dudbridge, Stroud, on Sunday at 11:25 BST.

The incident between a man and a white van took place near to Barchester Moreton Hill Care Centre.

It is believed the driver of a white van, which had Steven Troy Building Services branding, approached the pedestrian at speed, which caused him to shout at him to slow down.

The van then stopped and reversed rapidly towards the victim. The man was able to jump out of the way but was hit by the wing mirror. The driver then left the scene.

Officers believe a number of people may have witnessed the incident, who were going to a sporting event taking place at the time.

A-Levels: Number of students with top grades fall

Students celebrating
PA Media

The proportion of students achieving the top grades at A-level has fallen to its lowest level for more than a decade, this year's results show.

This year some 25.5% got an A grade or higher - the lowest level since 2007 when it was 25.3%.

Girls narrowly reclaimed the lead from boys, with 25.5% achieving A* and A grades compared with 25.4% of boys.

The overall pass rate remains the same as last year at 97.6% for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The figures, released by the Joint Council for Qualifications, also show that - for the first time - the number of girls taking the three sciences has overtaken boys at 50.3% compared with 49.6%. There has been a big push to increase the take-up of sciences among girls.

Although far more boys - 30,159 - still took physics A-level, compared with 8,799 girls.

Six weeks after the last A-level exams were taken, more than 300,000 18-year-olds have ended the anxious wait to learn their A-level results.

For more on this year's A-Level results, click here.

Roadworks a 'nightmare' says residents

Wickwar roadworks

Commuters have described the road closures in the South Gloucestershire village of Wickwar as a "nightmare".

Wales and West Utilities is upgrading the gas network and has blocked off the top of the High Street, detouring traffic through the lanes around the village.

Those lanes are said to be narrow, one way and now muddy because of the rain, causing delays for those trying to pass through.

Travelling tonight? Here are planned road closures for the region

Father speaks with son's voice

David (l) and Bob Alderman

A team of experts from South Gloucestershire have helped a man speak again after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

When Bob Alderman was told he had the disease he started recording phrases but was unable to finish them before he finally lost his voice

His son David, along with the help of the Bristol Communication Aid Service at Patchway, stepped into finish the recordings which Bob can now access through a computer.

Burglars threatened witnesses with weapons

Police car
Getty Images

Two people were threatened with weapons when they spotted burglars leaving a home in Meysey Hampton near Cirencester.

Police were called to the village yesterday at about 17:10 BST after three men were seen leaving a house carrying items.

The trio were spotted by two members of the public who were subsequently threatened. The offenders then fled the scene in a vehicle.

Investigating officers have appealed to anyone who may have seen a vehicle with a foreign registration plate in the area, to get in touch.

The owners were not at home at the time of the burglary and the members of the public were not physically injured. It is not yet known what was stolen.

Unemployment lowest in South West

Unemployment figures

Unemployment in the South West was 2.7% in the three months ending June 2019, making it the lowest in the UK.

The UK’s unemployment rate edged up slightly to 3.9%, the new figures showed.

Employment was estimated at 76.1%, the joint highest since comparative records began in 1971.

Wage growth also picked up to 3.9%, the highest rate for 11 years, however figures released last week showed the economy shrank 0.2% in the second quarter, the first fall since 2012.

The highest unemployment rate in the UK was the North East (5.3%).

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49328855

Stroud care home closures confirmed

Wyatt House Stroud

Two care homes in Stroud will definitely close after a move to reverse the decision failed.

Gloucestershire County Council confirmed the closures of Wyatt House and Southfield House today.

The original ruling was made in July but a cross-party group of councillors 'called-in' the decision due to concerns over the consultation process.

A special meeting of the council's scrutiny committee saw members vote six to three to back the closures.

Ballooning championships in Gloucestershire's skies

Watch: Hot air balloons in the skies over Frampton-on-Severn

Hot air balloons took to the skies over Gloucestershire this morning, as they took part in the UK Hot Air Ballooning Championships.

The event tests the skill and accuracy of pilots, who have to drop sandbags on targets at various locations.

One pilot, Tom Hook, said the winner would qualify for the world championships next year.

"You get different winds at different heights... so you can control the balloon to go in different directions by going at different heights," he said.

"There's big crosses on the ground, all scattered across the Stroud region.

"We're dropping sandbags on them, and the closest wins."

Review of care home closures to be held today

Shire Hall

A meeting will be held this morning to review a decision to close Southfield House and Wyatt House care homes in Stroud.

Gloucestershire County Council's Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee will meet at 10am after five councillors requested the decision to be called-in.

Councilllors Paul Hodgkinson, Lesley Williams, Rachel Smith, Eva Ward and Kate Haigh were the members who brought the call-in after the decision to close the homes was made by cabinet on July 24.

The reasons for the review include a claim that no formal consultation took place with residents, their families or the wider community, potentially leaving the council open to a Judicial Review.

A council report states that Southfield House has low occupancy levels and that Wyatt House is no longer fit for purpose to support the needs of dementia residents.

Weymouth medical bike 'not being withdrawn'

A medical bike with life-saving equipment will not be withdrawn from service in Weymouth but its future is under review.

There had been some speculation on social media that the rapid response bike would be "pulled".

But South Western Ambulance Service Trust said it was still being used on an "ad-hoc" basis because only one paramedic is trained to use it.

A petition to save the facility had attracted more than 2,000 signatures.

'Three-word-code app' launched to help people in emergency

Police car

Police and ambulance services in Gloucestershire are using a mobile app to locate people in need of emergency help.

The app - called 'What Three Words' - gives emergency service callers a three word code to read out to the call handler, to help find their location.

It uses GPS coordinates to locate a person and then gives them three separate words.

Those words represent a three square metre area which any emergency service can then recognise as a location.

Gloucester Mum, Joanne Jones, says phone applications like this are really important, after her own experience.

Network Rail site 'power surge' for expected delays

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: "There was a power surge on the national grid this evening which means we lost power to all our signalling over a wide area, including the Newport, Gloucester, Ashford, Bristol, Eastbourne, Hastings, Three Bridges and Exeter areas.

"All trains were stopped while our back-up signalling system started up.

"While most of our signalling system has come back online and trains are running, there will be delays to journeys in these areas.

"Please check before you travel and thank you for your patience."