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Woman seriously injured in Cheltenham flat fire

Scene of fire

A woman is in hospital with serious injuries after a fire in a basement flat in Cheltenham.

The blaze broke out on Sunday evening in the flat below His Knibbs hair salon in Grosvenor Place South causing extensive damage.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said two fire engines and four ambulances attended the scene including the hazardous response team.

The rescued woman was the only person inside the building and was taken to Southmead Hospital.

Residents safely evacuated from fire in Bristol

Firefighters at scene
Temple Fire Station

A house in Southville in Bristol was severely damaged in a fire on Sunday evening.

Six fire engines were called to the blaze in Coronation Road at about 18:45 GMT.

The road was closed for several hours while firefighters tackled the blaze.

A spokesperson for Temple Fire Station said all residents were evacuated safely and no-one was injured.

Fire damage
Temple Fire Station
Fire damage
Temple Fire Station

New tree nursery in bid to save woodland from blight

Die back

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has created a new tree nursery at Lower Woods nature reserve near Wickwar, to fill in the gaps left by ash die back.

Ash trees are one of the most common in the woodland but they are slowly disappearing from the UK because of the deadly fungus.

The disease threatens to wipe out most of our ash, one of the most common native trees.

Gloucestershire councillor dies aged 28

Jack Williams
Gloucestershire County Council

A Gloucestershire county councillor has died at the age of 28, it has been confirmed.

Jack Williams, the councillor for Churchdown ward in Tewkesbury, died suddenly on Monday.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Paul Hodgkinson, said Mr Williams had "achieved a huge amount".

“We are devastated by the loss and find it difficult to take in what has happened," he said.

"Jack was one of the youngest members of the council and universally liked across the chamber.

“We can only begin to imagine the loss being felt by his family and friends."

Fancy a flavour of FA Cup drama?


If the thrills and spills of the FA Cup third-round action has got you excited - how about getting a flavour of it yourself?

The 2019 FA People's Cup is now open for entries.

There's no experience required, it's free and you get the chance to play at St George's Park and lift a trophy during the FA Cup final in May.

Don't take out word for it - have a look at how these players felt about taking part in 2018...

FA People's Cup: The winners' 'outstanding' day at Wembley

Find out more about the competition and how you can get involved here.

Fancy a flavour of FA Cup drama?


We've seen Pete Wild living the dream, now it's your chance.

If the thrills and spills of the FA Cup third-round action has got you excited - how about getting a flavour of it yourself?

The 2019 FA People's Cup is now open for entries.

There's no experience required, it's free and you get the chance to play at St George's Park and lift a trophy during the FA Cup final in May.

Don't take our word for it - have a look at how these players felt about taking part in 2018...

FA People's Cup: The winners' 'outstanding' day at Wembley

Find out more about the competition and how you can get involved here.

Man arrested after closing Severn Bridge with drone attempt

Domestic abuse pilot scheme sees 178% increase in referrals

Domestic violence
Getty Images

A pilot scheme which helps to identify and support victims of domestic abuse has led to a huge increase in the number of referrals in Gloucestershire.

The trial from the Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) has trained staff in doctor's surgeries and hospitals to spot the signs of abuse and offer help.

It says GP referrals have increased by 178% in the first year of the pilot.

Ambulances on standby for busy Christmas


The ambulance service says it is gearing itself up for one of its busiest periods of the year as people finish work and start to enjoy Christmas.

South Western Ambulance Service says Christmas parties and people drinking more than usual means they are expecting a 30% increase in calls over the next two days.

Hospital A&E departments across the west are also on standby.

Incinerator waste costs revealed

Hayley Mortimer

BBC Gloucestershire politics reporter

Javelin Park incinerator

Gloucestershire County Council has released key details about the Javelin Park incinerator.

It comes six months after campaigner Sid Saunders went on hunger strike outside Shire Hall in a bid to get hold of the un-redacted contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB).

Campaigners wanted to know the price per tonne of waste that will be burnt and the price of electricity generated by the facility – to see if the facility near junction 12 of the M5 is value for money.

The authority had been fighting against an Information Commissioner's Office ruling to release the details saying it would prejudice commercial interests of the council.

But the council has now dropped its appeal and published parts of the contract on its website.

It shows that the price per tonne of waste to be burnt is £112 per tonne which Gloucestershire County Council says is value for money as it is considerably cheaper than landfill.

But campaigners say the council is comparing the cost to the “worst possible alternative” instead of other energy from waste facilities.

UK carol competition won by Gloucestershire composer

Listen: John Merrick's winning carol

The winner of this year's BBC Radio 3 carol competition has been won by a musician from Gloucestershire.

John Merrick, who sings in the Gloucester Choral Society and Three Choirs Festival Chorus, was revealed as the winner during Radio 3's breakfast programme on Friday.

You can listen to Mr Merrick's winning carol, performed by the BBC Singers, by clicking on the link above.

'Only use A&E for real emergencies'


A Christmas appeal has been launched in Gloucestershire asking people not to go to A&E with minor ailments.

Gloucestershire's NHS Trust says it can cope this winter, but wants to prioritise patients with life threatening conditions.

More than 400 people visit the county's two A&E departments every 24 hours, and figures for last year show 29,000 visits could have been treated elsewhere.

2,000 extra GP appointments are being created for the winter period.

Police hunt for man after Bristol fire

Police are looking for a man in connection with a fire that destroyed a large part of an industrial building in Bristol.

The blaze broke out at the premises in Netham Road in the early hours of Saturday.

Officers believe Simon Pearce, 32, may have information about how the fire started.

Det Ch Insp Liz Hughes of Avon and Somerset Police said: “We’re concerned about the welfare of Simon Pearce and while we don’t believe he has come to harm as a result of the fire, he may have information about how it started."

A cordon remains in place around the building which is said to be in a "dangerous condition".

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More than 32,000 badgers killed in England in two months


A total of 32,601 badgers were killed during control operations conducted in 30 areas of England, including Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, between September 3 and November 1 this year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced.

Releasing a report on the cull, farming minister George Eustice said the operations were helping to "achieve and maintain long-term reductions in the level of TB in cattle across the South West and Midlands".

In the report, Natural England chief scientist Tim Hill said "industry-led badger control continues to deliver the level of effectiveness required... to be confident of achieving disease-control benefits".

UK chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said there had been a 50% fall in the number of new, confirmed cattle "breakdowns" in the first areas to trial culls.

She said culling should continue in these areas for the duration of existing licences, lasting one or two years.

"Effective" culls should be carried out - in 2019 and the following two years - in 10 other areas for disease control benefits to be realised, she said.

Control operations were carried out in areas of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Herefordshire and Staffordshire in 2018.

Man rescued from high-rise fire in Brislington

Fire in School Road, Brislington
Avon Fire and Rescue

A man has been rescued from the 10th floor of a high-rise in Bristol where a fire broke out in the early hours of Monday morning.

Crews were called to the blaze in School Road, Brislington at 04:40 GMT.

Avon Fire and Rescue said its stay put policy worked successfully.

This is when those affected stay where they are rather than evacuate the premises so firefighters can tackle the blaze.

An investigation is under way to find the cause of the fire.

Police Commissioner looks to help younger victims of crime

Police van

Bids are being invited to run support services for victims of crime in Gloucestershire from 2020.

The charity Victim Support currently runs the service and has helped more than 2,700 people in the past year.

It says it will bid again for the contracts worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Police and Crime Commissioner's office says that part of the deal will be looking at innovative ways to help younger victims of crime.

Bristol fire: People in sheltered accommodation evacuated
Ten fire crews tackled the blaze at an industrial unit in the Redfield area of Bristol.

Sheltered housing evacuated due to fire

Bristol fire: People in sheltered accommodation evacuated
Vulnerable people living in sheltered housing were evacuated from their homes after a fire took hold in a nearby industrial unit.

Possible snow and ice in Gloucestershire

There could be snow and ice in parts of Gloucestershire this weekend according to the latest forecast by the Met Office.

They have issued a weather alert for Sunday, warning of possible "dangerous travelling conditions".

Weather warning
Met Office

£23.5m to transform Gloucester eyesore

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Leigh Boobyer

Gloucestershire Quayside artist's impression
Gloucestershire CC
The £23.5m vision to transform "a Gloucester eyesore"

A vision of the £23.5m scheme to transform a "Gloucester eyesore" has been released.

Two new GP surgeries - serving 17,500 patients - and a large 500-space car park could be built on the footprint of the now-demolished Quayside House, next to Shire Hall.

Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet is likely to approve the plan next week.

SWAS running major emergency training for ambulance drivers


South Western Ambulance Service is giving its paramedics extra training in case they have to face a major emergency such as a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.

The service has teamed up with Bournemouth University's Disaster Management Centre to be able to deal with situations like hazardous chemical incidents, terrorist bombs, or firearms attacks.

How will West Conservatives vote?

Paul Barltrop

Political Editor, West of England

Five West Conservatives are likely to vote against Theresa May in tonight's vote of no confidence:

Jacob Rees Mogg A leading critic of her policy. Today he is not doing interviews, but has tweeted: "The country needs a new leader, it is time for Mrs May to resign."

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown of the Cotswolds revealed he wants a new leader, and James Gray of North Wiltshire is thought likely to vote for change.

Two other West Conservatives keeping their cards close to their chests are Mark Harper of the Forest of Dean and Ian Liddell-Grainger of Bridgwater & West Somerset.

The West's 18 other Tory MPs have indicated publicly that they are staying loyal to Theresa May in the vote later.

The vote is taking place between 18:00 GMT and 20:00 GMT. A result is expected by 22:00 GMT at the latest.

Hospitals under pressure: The statistics

Chris Quevatre

BBC News Online

Two of England's NHS trusts spent more than a third of the year under extreme pressure.

Trusts in Cornwall and Leicester topped the statistics in a BBC investigation into how many days hospitals spend on Opel 4.

Operations Pressure Escalation Levels (Opel) is a method used across the NHS to find a constant measure of stress, demand and pressure.

Opel 4 is the highest level, declared when a hospital is "unable to deliver comprehensive care" and patient safety could be compromised.

Chart showing days spent on high alert by NHS hospital trusts.
  • Nearly 70% of NHS trusts responded to the BBC's investigation
  • More than 40 said they did not declare a single day of Opel 4 between September 2017 and September 2018
  • Fourteen trusts had 20 days or more on Opel 4 in the same period

Forest Green Rovers lead at the UN

Dale Vince at the club's ground in Nailsworth
Forest Green Rovers
Dale Vince at the club's ground in Nailsworth

The chairman of Forest Green Rovers is speaking at the UN's Climate Action summit in Poland today.

Dale Vince has already been recognised by the United Nations, with a special award, for making League Two Rovers the world's greenest football club.

The League Two side is one of only 15 organisations from around the world to win the United Nations (UN) "Momentum for Change" climate action award.

The club's ground in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, is powered by renewable energy and serves vegan food to players, staff and fans. In July, it became the world's first UN certified carbon-neutral football club.

Now Dale Vince is launching a new initiative: to use sport as a way of combating climate change.

Parents of disabled children fight 'false illness' accusations

Adult with children

Parents who say they have been accused of fabricating their disabled children's illnesses are being asked to "discuss concerns directly".

The Parent and Carer Alliance said Gloucestershire County Council had accused parents of "making things up" and "exaggerating" children's needs.

The council denied any wrongdoing and said its number one priority was to keep children safe.

Its "young people" councillor said he was keen to talk directly to parents.

The BBC has spoken to 10 families from Gloucestershire who say they have been accused of fabricating their children's illnesses.

Read the full story here.

This is a funding issue. It’s a way perhaps of bullying families into silence and to not speaking out about the support they need. It’s a form of abuse in itself this. I would describe it as systematic abuse. It’s very dangerous, it's causing parent carers to become mistrustful of professionals and this will have a huge impact on the child’s wellbeing and the family’s wellbeing.”

Zoe ElliottParent and Carer Alliance