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A-level students given career options on results day

Ever fancied a career with the police force?

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.

Milly the cat saved from car engine

Molly the cat in the engine
Devizes Fire Station

Milly the cat got into a bit of mischief when she got stuck in the engine compartment of a car.

Luckily officers from Devizes Fire Station were able to rescue her with just a recommendation to visit the vet.

Her owner said: "I’m delighted to advise Milly has overcome her ordeal with only two little bald patches to show for it.

"I think she may have used a couple of her lives on this one though. Many thanks to the amazing boys who came to assist."

Molly the cat
Devizes Fire Station

Woman assaulted by two men on bicycles in Swindon

East Wichel shops
East Wichel

Police are investigating after a woman was assaulted at an address in East Wichel in Swindon on Tuesday night.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said two males were involved and one is believed to have struck the woman who is in her 30s to the head with an unknown object.

The woman was not injured and the men are believed to have left the scene on bikes in the direction of the town centre.

Officers attended the scene and carried out an area search and enquiries are ongoing.

Travelling tonight? Here are planned road closures for the region

Man exposes himself to 12-year-old girls

Police have released this E-fit to try and track down the man.

E-fit of man
Wiltshire Police

Police are investigating after a man exposed himself to two 12-year-old girls in Swindon.

The girls were in a park, at the back of the bowling alley at Shaw Ridge Leisure complex, just before 18.00 BST on 5 July.

They saw a man in the wooded area with his trousers around his ankles exposing himself.

The man has been described as white, chubby build, approximately 5'8 and aged mid 50's.

He was wearing a black hat with red stripes, a white vest top and beige cargo shorts with blue sandals/flip flops. He also had a black/red bike and helmet.

Police have released the above E-fit of a man they would like to talk to in connection with the incident.

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

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.

First Honda employees to lose jobs have been told

Honda factory in Swindon

The first 200 Honda employees to lose their jobs as the company’s Swindon factory closes have been notified.

The Japanese car company announced in February it would be closing the factory, which currently makes 160,000 Civics a year.

In total, 3,500 jobs will be lost due to the closure, which Honda says is down to changes in the global car market and the need to invest in electric vehicles.

A Honda spokesperson said: “Now that closure is confirmed, Honda shared planning organisational changes that will take place up until when the company ceases operations in 2021.

“The first phase of redundancies are due to take place between August and November 2019.

“Honda will continue to support those associates exiting the business by offering wellbeing, financial and career transport support.”

Nearly 200 firearms handed into Wiltshire police during surrender

Firearms surrendered
Wiltshire Police

More than 190 items were handed into Wiltshire Police during a two-week national firearms surrender campaign.

Firearms surrendered included: air rifles, a deactivated AK-47, shotguns, BB guns, starter pistols and a Mauser machine pistol.

Two pepper spray canisters, 82 knives, mace spray and black powder propellant were also handed in.

The majority of firearms collected will be destroyed. However, some will be kept for training purposes and other antique items are likely to be passed to museums for them to display.

Many firearms are held without awareness of their legality or may be overlooked or forgotten in people's homes. I would urge the public that if you are not using your firearm, or if you have found an old one when tidying out the loft or shed, please take responsibility and safely dispose of it by handing it in to us.

Inspector Paul SaundersWiltshire Police

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside...

Blaze, 8, from Swindon, is covered from head to toe as he plays in the mud at Weston-super-Mare beach as the tide recedes and the huge expanse of mud flats cover the beach where holidaymakers enjoy splashing around.
PA Media

Is this the picture of this year's British summer?

Blaze, aged eight, from Swindon, is covered from head to toe as he plays in the mud at Weston-super-Mare beach as the tide recedes and the huge expanse of mud flats cover the beach.

Can you beat this?

Points West this morning...

Points West

Good morning to you all.

We have technical problems with the studio here in Bristol this morning, which is why you are not seeing your usual Points West bulletins.

Our colleagues in Plymouth are kindly running a joint bulletin for us until we have resolved the issue here.

Many thanks for your patience. We'll be back to normal as soon as possible!

Steve Mildenhall: Swindon Town goalkeeping coach previews the 2019-20 season
Swindon Town goalkeeping coach Steve Mildenhall previews the new season, as he gets a lift to the County Ground from BBC Points West.

How your area fares when it comes to tree planting


Around 15 million trees have been planted in England with government funding between 2010 and 2018 - but rates vary widely and many urban areas did not have any.

More than a quarter were planted in just five areas - Northumberland, Stratford-upon-Avon, Eden, Carlisle and County Durham.

The rate varies across our region. Wiltshire has the most with 241,000 trees planted over eight years, while Bristol had no trees planted at all. Elsewhere...

  • South Somerset - 58,500 trees planted over eight years
  • Stroud - 147,500
  • Mendip - 38,700
  • BANES - 31,200
  • West Somerset - 61,400
  • Taunton Deane - 22,700
  • Forest of Dean - 26,600
  • Tewkesbury - 14,200
  • Swindon - 36,500
  • North Somerset - 4,600
  • Cotswolds - 173,400
  • Cheltenham - 2,600
  • Gloucester - 2,500
  • South Gloucestershire - 4,900
  • Sedgemoor - 7,800

This story has been generated using Forestry Commission data and BBC analysis.

Videos from a farm's TikTok account are getting millions of views

Wiltshire’s Caenhill Countryside Centre has been getting lots of attention on their Twitter feed and TikTok account.

This TikTok video got 1.2 million views on Twitter.

View more on twitter

241,000 government-funded trees planted in Wiltshire in eight years

There have been 241,000 government-funded trees planted in Wiltshire between 2010 and 2018, Forestry Commission data shows.

This works out at 486 trees per 1,000 people.

Between 2010 and 2018 the government funded about 15 million trees in England. Figures for trees planted with private funds or by local councils are not included and the data only covers new trees, not replacements for any that were cut down.

Overall tree planting rates across the UK would need to more than double to combat rising temperatures and climate change, according to official figures.

Last year 13,400 hectares of new trees were planted across the UK, most of them in Scotland, but the Committee on Climate Change says this should rise to at least 30,000 hectares a year.

Campaign group The Woodland Trust said more trees were needed to provide summer shade, reduce air pollution, improve water quality and manage flooding.

The government said it had made it "much easier" to apply for planting grants.

Find out about tree planting across the UK here.

This story has been generated using Forestry Commission data, BBC analysis and some automation.

South Swindon MP sworn in as Lord Chancellor

Robert Buckland QC arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London for his swearing in ceremony as Lord Chancellor
PA Media
Robert Buckland QC arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London for his swearing in ceremony as Lord Chancellor

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland has officially become the fifth Lord Chancellor in four years.

Former criminal barrister Robert Buckland, who was previously Solicitor General, was sworn in to the ancient office at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning.

The colourful ceremony was attended by leading members of the judiciary, including Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett.

He welcomed Mr Buckland to the role, which he described as "one of the most historic in the land" and one of "great constitutional importance".

He added: "At a time of political and constitutional flux, the rule of law remains the bedrock upon which our civil society is built.

"The constitutional role ascribed to the Lord Chancellor ... has never been more important."

Mr Buckland said today marked "exactly 70 years since the coming into force of the 1949 Legal Aid and Advice Act".

He said: "Having practised predominantly in cases involving criminal legal aid, I remain of the belief that, as far as possible, the right support must be provided to those who need it."

Alton Barnes horse due to be rechalked

Alton Barnes white horse

A white horse in Wiltshire is due to be rechalked thanks to help from the RAF and a local school.

A Chinook helicopter is due to drop off chalk at the Alton Barnes horse later this aftertoon.

Villagers from nearby Woodborough along with children from the local primary school are going to spend the afternoon spreading the chalk across the landmark.

This is the first time in 10 years that this landmark is getting a major facelift and follows a failed bid earlier in the month to complete the work.

Poor weather meant low visibility in Wiltshire leading to the RAF calling off the attempt.

Previous attempt to drop off chalk
The last attempt to drop the chalk was called off due to the weather

Council aims to become carbon neutral

Solar panels
PA Media

A "major increase" in the use of renewable energy and a transition to electric vehicles is being proposed to help a council become carbon neutral.

Wiltshire Council says it wants to achieve the status by 2030 to help address climate change.

Deputy leader, Richard Clewer, accepted the authority "can't do this alone", and said it needed to work with other organisations and community groups.

He added the council had set up a task force to look at the main issues.

The areas it will be exploring include renewable energy generation, energy use and efficiency, transport and air quality and land use.

Swindon man charged in connection with stabbing

GWR Park, Swindon

A Swindon man has been charged in connection with a stabbing in GWR Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Royden Robinson, 41, from Harding Street, has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

He appeared at Swindon Magistrates Court yesterday.

A 38-year-old man arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been released on conditional bail.