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  1. As it happened across the West of England on Thursday 7 July, 2016

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Holmes

All times stated are UK


We're off for the evening, but fear not because we'll be back bright and early from 7am tomorrow morning.

We'll leave you with this rather lovely view of the Wiltshire countryside, as seen by mountain biker Kevin Purcell this evening...

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Tonight's weather - a changing picture

If you're heading off to RAF Fairford this weekend you'll need to know whether it's worth packing your waterproofs. 

Ian Fergusson explains all in tonight's weather...

Ian Fergusson has tonight's weather.

Bristol's tribute to a home-grown champion

Bristol has paid tribute to Lee Haskins

A special event at City Hall, hosted by the mayor Marvin Rees, celebrated his defence of his IBF world bantamweight title...

Bristol pays tribute to a home champion.

Lee defeated Mexican Ivan Morales in a unanimous points decision in May. He's now after an all-British title fight with former IBF champion Stuart Hall. 

The Clevedon councillor shaming dog poo offenders

Cllr Jane Geldart has had enough with people who don't pick up after their dogs. 

She became so fed up that she took to chalking a big message on the pavement in the hope it will deter offenders.

The Clevedon councillor shaming dog poo offenders.

Here's what some people have had to say on BBC Points West's Facebook page in response...

Perhaps the councillor could find something better to do with tax payers' money. The dog poo problem has been around for years.

Alan Drewett

Totally agree, the poo bags hanging on trees and bushes are almost as bad as those who don't scoop it up at all.

Owen Wacker

Maybe picking it up would be a better idea. That's what I do when I'm out with my dogs. It's not particularly pleasant but what is a chalk message going to do, shame people?

Rachel Smith

Paddling to glory in a tin bath

Mark Arnold from Wiltshire is hoping to paddle his way to victory in the World Tin Bath Championships this weekend. 

He's planning to paddle his little bath all the way down the River Avon to the sea.

It's all the more remarkable because he's had to take lessons in swimming because he wasn't that good...

The Wiltshire man hoping to win the world tin bath championships.

'Hello, police? I want to bake a cake...'

Avon & Somerset Police have been live tweeting everything they get up to in a 24 hour period today. 

Part of the reason behind this is to highlight some of the unnecessary calls they get from members of the public.

One person rang in today asking for advice on how to bake a cake...

The caller rang the police about a police helmet cake he was making

Things you don't often see on the motorway...

It seems that anything can be taken by road these days, even helicopter sculptures.

Our TriForce Police service tweeted that they were called to recover part of this sculpture which had snapped off on the M4...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Vehicle fire on the M50 in north Gloucestershire...

Bristol technology powering supersonic jets at RAF Fairford

Thousands of people will be travelling to Gloucestershire this weekend to see the hundreds of planes on display at RAF Fairford.

The next generation of RAF fighter jets will also be unveiled - it's called Lightening Two, and is the world's first supersonic jump jet. 

Dave Gordon, the vice president of Rolls Royce UK, explains the Bristol-made technology powering the new jets...

The Bristol technology powering some of the latest fighter planes.

Still angry - 13 years on

The fallout from the Chilcot report has continued today, with a mother from Yeovil claiming that her daughter was sent to war without the proper equipment.

Dianne Mather says her daughter Dawn Handley would often call home to Crewkerne and tell Dianne that she had no camouflage nets for the vehicles, as well as the wrong boots and uniform.

The mother of an Iraqi war veteran still angry 13 years on.

Dawn Handley went on to serve in Afghanistan and Dianne is thankful she still has her daughter.

#ASP24: Some stats...

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Avon and Somerset Police is nearing the end of its second 24-hour tweetathon, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the work of the force.

BBC Wiltshire live at the Royal International Air Tattoo

Air tattoo graphic

Residents of Gloucestershire/Wiltshire - brace yourself for lots of loud airborne noises!

The Royal International Air Tattoo is making a return to RAF Fairford tomorrow and BBC Wiltshire is going to be broadcasting from the site live on its Facebook page

The team hopes to show you what it's like behind the scenes of such a big event.

As well as this, Graham Seaman will be broadcasting his lunchtime show live from the airbase.

Celebrating Eid for the first time in the UK

Muslims have been celebrating the end of Ramadan with Eid gatherings taking place across the West. 

For some of the Syrian refugees that have settled here, this is the first time they will have marked the festival in the UK.

Joon Lynn Goh, from Citizens UK Bristol, says she is pleased with the progress they are making...

The Syrian refugees celebrating Eid in the UK.

In total, the UK has pledged to take in 20,000 refugees escaping the conflict in Syria.

M32 delays in Bristol

There are still big delays on the M32 in and out of Bristol this evening after an earlier accident involving a car and a van.

Traffic is backing up in to the centre of Bristol and on the M4 as a result.

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The dark red line on this map indicates very slow traffic all along the M32

The M32

Polly and the police

Avon & Somerset Police are using social media to show everything the force gets up to in a 24 hour period today. 

The team in Fishponds made an unusual discovery while out on patrol today:

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Elsewhere, the force has been highlighting some of the problems they face with persistent members of the public...

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A short but very sweet Wimbledon debut...

Wanborough's @LouiseHunt1 is out of the Wheelchair ladies singles at #wimbledon after being beaten 2-6, 0-6 by Marjolein Buis

Air Cadets' anniversary featuring Gloucestershire teenagers

Air Cadets will march a parade for the organisation's 75th Anniversary

Students from Quedgeley's Air Cadet Squadron will be taking part in a special parade at the Royal International Air Tattoo tomorrow.

The Air Cadet Training Corps is now 75 years old - formed in 1941 during the Second World War.

As part of events celebrating this big anniversary, they will be parading in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Teacher abused boys at holiday home

Jonathan Thomson-Glover

A former teacher at Clifton College in Bristol, who is in jail for making indecent films of pupils, has had his sentence extended after further convictions at Truro Crown Court.

Jonathan Thomson-Glover, 54, pleaded guilty to four counts of indecency with two children at a school in Winchester and at a holiday home in Cornwall.

He has been given an additional six months in prison.

Electric car drivers to face fees for Ecotricity charging points

An Ecotricity charging point

They've been free for the past five years but now drivers of electric cars will have to pay to charge their vehicles if using an Ecotricity charging point.

The firm's network of charging points opened in 2011, now drivers will face a £5 charge for using the 20-minute quick charge option. 

Stroud-based Ecotricity says the new charges are to support the growth of their charger network.

'Couldn't be more proud' - parents of wheelchair tennis player Louise Hunt

Here are some very proud parents - Tim and Linda Hunt from Wanborough, nr Swindon - who are at Wimbledon to watch their daughter Louise compete...

Wiltshire player at Wimbledon

Louise is about to play in the first ever Wheelchair singles tennis competition at the tournament, and will face Marjolein Buis on Court 16 shortly.

The fish that was a long way from home

Not everything at Bristol Museum is ancient. 

This small fish was handed in to the museum back in 2003, and it was quite far from where it usually lives...

This is a marine hatchetfish, usually found in deep sea. But it was found in Portbury.

As part of Laura Rawlings' week long Cabinet of Curiosities series on BBC Radio Bristol, she has gone behind the scenes to explore some of the exhibits that aren't usually seen by the public.

A quadruple signing at Bristol City

Four youngsters have signed up to Bristol City's under-21 teamDiego De Girolamo, Jack Challis, Kodi Lyons-Foster and Shabazz Omofe have all joined ahead of the 2016/17 season. 

A photo of the signings
Bristol City

Diego De Girolamo comes from Sheffield United, Jack Challis from Birmingham City, Kodi Lyons-Foster from Aston Villa and Shabazz Omofe has arrived from Chelsea.

The gaffer, staff and all the players have been great with me and I’ve really enjoyed training. Hopefully I can learn and become a better player here.

Behind the scenes of a 'hot seat' interview

Since Avon & Somerset Police are holding their own "behind the scenes" day today, BBC Somerset thought they would do the same for Ben McGrail's interview with PCC Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Andy Marsh.

Behind the scenes at BBC Somerset's 'hot seat' interview.

The pair answered questions on BBC Somerset from 9am till 10am. They'd also appeared live on BBC Radio Bristol's breakfast show which came live from Avon and Somerset's Portishead call centre.

Wheeled rubbish bins to get smaller in South Gloucestershire...

...but recycling will become weekly

If you live in South Gloucestershire the size of your black bin is about to be reduced by more than 40%.

It's part of an attempt to boost recycling levels and reduce costs for the council.

Under the new measures:

  • Kerbside recycling collection will become weekly
  • Black bin collections will remain fortnightly 
  • Standard household black bins will be reduced from 240 litres capacity to 140    

Councillor Heather Goddard said half of the contents of the average black bin could be recycled:

"At a time when we're looking to find £22m in savings, cutting the amount it costs us to throw things away, money that could be better spent on other services, is clearly right."

What's it like to fly the F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter?

What's it like to fly the F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter?

What's it like to fly the F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter? 

We asked Lt Cdr Adam Hogg about the aircraft - being displayed at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford this weekend - which features unique jump-jet technology designed and built in Bristol.

The UK has ordered 24 to enter service with the RAF and the Royal Navy in 2018.

The latest headlines from the West's newspapers

Rabbit reunited with nine-year-old as suspects collared

A pet rabbit that was stolen from a house in the Bedminster area of Bristol has been reunited with its nine-year-old owner.

Police were called by a concerned neighbour after spotting two men climbing over a fence.

The pair were later caught carrying the rabbit and arrested.

When asked if they had been drinking one of the men told police ...

Of course I've been drinking, why else would I rob a rabbit.

View more on twitter

Redland garage fire: Keep your doors and windows shut if nearby

Avon Fire Service advise people living in the immediate area to keep their doors and windows closed and said there were no reports of any injuries.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Smoke seen for miles from garage blaze

Avon Fire and Rescue Service tell us that they're dealing with this blaze, just off Whiteladies Road in Bristol.

A fire spokesman said four engines are on the scene tackling the fire in a commercial garage.

View more on twitter

Motorcyclist and pillion passenger seriously injured in lorry collision

Crickley Hill

Two people from the Gloucester area remain in a critical condition after the motorcycle they were riding collided with a lorry.

The accident happened on the A417, Crickley Hill, just after 6pm last night.

The rider and pillion passenger of the motorcycle, a 53-year-old man and 49-year-old woman, were airlifted to Bristol's Southmead Hospital.

The lorry driver, a 33-year-old man from Tewkesbury, was described as shaken but uninjured.

Surprising facts about Avon and Somerset police

Throughout Thursday, Avon and Somerset Police is using social media to highlight what the force gets up every day.

As well as the public face it wants to showcase what goes on behind the scenes to keep us safe.

To start the day off here's some facts about the constabulary...

Bath mother hit in face on bus for confronting Islamophobic couple with three young children

Bath Chronicle

Bus and Kerry Parkinson
Bath Chronicle

A Bath mother has claimed she was hit in the face on a bus for confronting a couple who told their son to "shut up or we will send you to Istanbul with the other Muslims to join ISIS". the Bath Chronicle reports.

Premiership rugby fixtures released

Bristol Rugby
Rex Features

Bristol's first match back in the Premiership after winning promotion in May will be away to Harlequins at Twickenham on Saturday, 3 September.

Gloucester will start the season on Friday, 2 September, at home to Leicester Tigers.

Bath, who remain without a head coach, are away to Northampton Saints on the Saturday.

Bristol and Bath's local derby matches will both take place on Friday nights.

The full list of fixtures for the new season can be found here.

Solved: The mystery of the Red Arrow in Pensford

It was a sight that seemed to stop Pensford yesterday - a Red Arrow jet on the back on a low loader.

Had it broken down? Where had it landed? Why was it there? So many questions from one picture!

Red Arrow
Ryan Cains

Well, mystery solved...

The jet is part of an RAF Careers team that tour the country and is no longer used as part of the display team.

Still rather impressive though! Thanks to Ryan for the photo.

Lydney Harbour future secured in fish smokery deal


The future of Lydney Harbour in Gloucestershire has been secured after a deal has been done for it to be operated by a local business.

The Environment Agency (EA), which manages it, has chosen the Severn and Wye fish smokery as its preferred bidder to become its new custodian.

In 2014, the EA said it was looking for an investor to "secure the long-term future of the important historic site".

Lydney Harbour was built in the early 1800s to transport iron and later coal.

Tin bath 'canoeist' in world record bid


You don't see many tin baths around these days - but one man from Wiltshire is hoping to paddle his to glory - in the World Tin Bath Championships

Mark Arnold's been practising in his customised tub with local canoe clubs ahead of racing for real on the Isle of Man this weekend. 


But steering a tub in the direction you want it to go isn't easy. 

And inevitably he's been dunked in the water more than once as he perfects his technique.

Lost your TV remote control? Don't call 999 ...

It has to be one of the most annoying moments of any evening - trying to find the remote control from the sofa and piles of cushions in the front room.

But just that situation led to one woman calling 999 to complain she couldn't find it and worrying the volume of her television was so loud it might disturb her neighbours.

Police have released a recording of an emergency call to highlight the abuse of the 999 system.

Noseless moggy Dave seeks good home

Bath Cats and Dogs Home

Staff at Bath Cats and Dogs Home are trying to find a new home for noseless moggy Dave.

The 14-year-old tabby had to have part of his nose removed because of a cancerous growth.

He's described as beautiful and would make a good companion to snuggle up with.

Bath Cats and Dogs Home

He is a very loving cat just waiting for someone to overlook his unusual feature and give him a forever home

Bath Cats and Dogs Home

Bristol concert hall given £500k by anonymous donor

Artist's impression Colston Hall
Bristol Music Trust

An anonymous donor has given Bristol's Colston Hall £500,000 towards its £45m plans to transform the venue. 

The hall's chief executive Louise Mitchell said they were "grateful for this incredibly generous donation" made by a local family trust.

Artist's impression Colston Hall
Bristol Music Trust

The 150-year-old music venue is Bristol's largest and is in need of internal modernisation, with plans to convert the cellars into studios. 

It's hoped work will begin next year and completed by 2019.

Chief constable on murder investigation in Bristol

A man has been arrested after another man was found dead in Bristol.