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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England on Thursday, 4 August 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

A fine, dry and warm Friday's on the cards

Good night from BBC Local Live.

We're looking forward to Friday as BBC weather forecaster Ian Fergusson is promising "nothing is going to spoil any outdoor plans you might have"...

West weather forecast for Friday

We'll be back tomorrow from 7am with more live updates from across the West of England.

An August day on the Quantock Hills

Quantock Hills
Andy Linthorne

Andy Linthorne emailed us this beautiful picture capturing the Quantocks on an August day.

Headlines from the local newspapers

Grocer portrait restoration appeal for cash

Archive images of Allan Whittern's grocery shop in Cheltenham
Whittern family

In order to restore - and then display - the portrait of grocer Allan Whittern, the Cheltenham Trust has appealed for help to raise £3,000.

A crowdfunding campaign for donations has already reached more than half of that sum but they need more before their pledge drive closes tomorrow.

People used to pass by in semi-darkness and see the portrait there and speak to it, saying 'goodnight Mr Whittern', thinking he was coming out of the warehouse. He always wore his button hole, always had a smile and was always very kind When he died, it was standing room only outside the church at his funeral because so many people remembered him. He was a sweet old man.

Thelma WhitternAllan's daughter-in-law

Bench dedicated to Gloucestershire war hero Ben Whitchurch

Private Ben Whitchurch
BBC
Private Whitchurch fought at the Battle of Imjin River in 1951

Korean war hero Private Ben Whitchurch, who died earlier this year, has been honoured with a commemorative bench at Imjin House in Gloucester. 

He was part of the Gloucestershire Regiment and fought at the Battle of Imjin River in April 1951. 

Private Whitchurch described the battle in an interview filmed by the BBC in 2011 with fellow veteran Private Albert Fulgoni 

Bench dedicated to Gloucestershire war hero Private Ben Whitchurch

Take in the Whelford Pools nightlife with Glos Wildlife Trust

Swindon Town boss previews season ahead

Luke Williams previews Swindon Town's season ahead

The football season gets under way once again this weekend. 

Here's the latest of our season previews and this time it's with Luke Williams, head coach at Swindon Town.

He shares his thoughts with the BBC's Geoff Twentyman.

Former Gloucester bar owner wins share of £61m EuroMillions

Keith Reynolds (in grey suit) and syndicate members celebrate their win

Keith Reynolds is celebrating big time after winning a share of £61m in a EuroMillions lottery syndicate. 

It's a double celebration for the former Gloucester bar owner and his partner, Sonia, who's just been given the all-clear from cancer. 

She was feeling lucky after a successful operation in the US and asked her daughter to buy the ticket. 

Paedophile jailed after vigilante sting at Peppa Pig World

Andrew Sealey
PA/Hampshire Police

A paedophile from Somerset has been jailed after being caught in a sting operation at Peppa Pig World, in Hampshire, by a "vigilante paedophile hunter" who posed as a 15-year-old girl. 

Andrew Sealey, of Manor Road, Milborne Port, was jailed for three years and four months.

The 39-year-old ran an online theme parks forum which he used to lure children to attractions. 

He pleaded guilty to eight charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and one of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.  

Click here to read the full story.

Olympic swimmer Jazz Carlin's dad wears his lucky t-shirt

Swindon Olympic swimmer Jazz Carlin's dad Roger wears his lucky t-shirt

Roger Carlin, from Swindon, says he'll be wearing his lucky t-shirt when daughter Jazz takes part in her first race at the 2016 Rio Olympics on Sunday.

Straw well alight at Bratton near Westbury

Grocer portrait restoration hope

Cheltenham door portrait of 1960s grocer to be restored

Back in the 1960s, Cheltenham grocer Allan Whittern had a portrait of himself painted onto a door at the business he ran from 1932 until his death 50 years later.

Allan's daughter-in-law Thelma described how the portrait came to be...

Since he's been gone we’ve been asked by so many, 'Where is it? What have you done with it? You haven't destroyed it?

Thelma Whittern

Now, the Cheltenham Trust - which runs the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum in the town - wants to restore it for exhibition later in the year.  

Mayor appoints youngest daughter as consort

Alice Hampson
BBC
Mayor Neil Hampson appointed 17-year-old daughter Alice as his consort

Councillor Neil Hampson broke with tradition when he was sworn in as the 536th mayor of Gloucester in May.

Instead of naming his wife as his official consort, Neil appointed his youngest daughter Alice to the role.

The 17-year-old attends civic functions with her dad when she's not studying at Ribston Hall High School.

Victim's courage 'immense'

A man who kidnapped and seriously sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl 33 years ago has been jailed for nine years.

David Green, 60, from Moseley in Birmingham, admitted charges earlier at Bristol Crown Court of kidnap, serious sexual assault and false imprisonment.

Speaking outside court, Det Con Scott Westbrook-Smith said the victim had "feared for her life" during the assault.

Local athletes in royal send-off for Team GB

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry, have released a video wishing Team GB athletes good luck for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Bath's Samantha Murray and Gloucestershire's Charlotte Dujardin both feature in the video.

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have recorded a message for Team GB

Family pay tribute to 'beautiful baby' who died on Sunday

Archdeacon Street Gloucester
BBC
Baby Ah'Kiell Walker was taken ill at a property in Archdeacon Street in Gloucester

The family of a three-month-old boy, from Gloucester, who died at the weekend say he was a "beautiful baby".

Our days are so much darker without his smile, but we will never forget the times we had. He was taken too soon but his beautiful eyes, smile and amazing hair will always be in our hearts

Ah'Kiell Walker's family

His parents Hannah Henry, 20, and Alistair Walker, 26, of Archdeacon Street, Gloucester, have been remanded in custody accused of child neglect.

Roman villa dig under way at Lufton near Yeovil

Lufton Roman villa dig August 2016
bb

Archaeologists from Newcastle University are excavating the remains of a Roman villa near Yeovil.

They're hoping to find out more about the structure which is considered to be very unusual due to its octagonal-shaped bathhouse.

Here's a sketch of what the Roman villa would have looked like...

Roman villa at Lufton
Somerset County Council

There are also some stunning floor mosaics which the archaeologists have recorded as part of the project...

Floor mosaics, Lufton Roman villa
Stephen Cosh
Lufton Roman villa, bathhouse floor mosaics
Stephen Cosh

David Green jailed: Archive report from 1983

David Green from Mosely in Birmingham was jailed today for nine years for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in Weston-super-Mare in 1983.

The BBC's Graham Purches reported on the assault at the time and here's what he said...

The BBC's Graham Purches reported on the sexual assault in 1983.

Jamie Cooke: Even Olympians need their mum

Cheltenham's modern pentathlete Jamie Cooke heads to Rio ranked world number one. BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Anna King has been speaking to the person who knows him best in the world!

His mum Alison said he's "a very driven individual. It was always him waking me up in the morning to take him swimming".  

Jamie Cooke
Getty Images

But she's admits she still has a key role to play in Jamie's success.

I spend a lot of time sewing flags on his fencing kit. He also comes back with a big pile of washing from when he's away. It would be sitting in his flat in Bath smelling for a month otherwise.

Alison CookeJamie Cooke's mum

Cheltenham loan Villa defender Suliman

Easah Suliman
Getty Images

Versatile England Under-18 defender Easah Suliman joins Cheltenham Town on loan from Aston Villa until 2 January.

The 18-year-old can play at right-back, centre-half and in central midfield.

Born in Birmingham, Suliman signed a professional deal with Villa in January 2015 until 2017, but is yet to make a senior, competitive first-team appearance for the Championship club.

Owen Smith calls for more government spending in Bristol visit

MP Owen Smith chose Bristol for one of his first major speeches as Labour leadership challenger yesterday.

Speaking to BBC Points West's Sabet Choudhury he said "austerity isn't working".

Labour leadership contender Owen Smith calls for more government spending

Trapped buzzard released back into the wild

Ceri the buzzard hasn't been very lucky recently. The bird became trapped in the grill of a van and was taken to Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre in Cricklade, Wiltshire.

Buzzard stuck in a car grill
Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre

The driver of the vehicle didn't notice her and she was only found when the van was returned to a hire centre.

Speaking to BBC Wiltshire's Sue Davies, Emma Hickey from the centre said Ceri had to be taken to Cardiff to be released as birds of prey are territorial so she may have been picked on by the resident population.

Buzzard photo
Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre

Rio 2016: West's golden hope in modern pentathlon

Cheltenham's Jamie Cooke is currently ranked number one in the sport of modern pentathlon. 

He will have to fence, swim, shoot, run and ride his way to the top in order to win the coveted gold medal.

We met Jamie at his training base at the University of Bath as made his final preparations for the games.

Jamie is currently ranked number one in the world for modern pentathlon

David Green: The police interview

Avon and Somerset Police have released footage of sex attacker David Green during his interview.

The 60-year-old from Moseley, Birmingham, abducted a 15-year-old girl near Marine Lake in 1983 before assaulting her.

Green was arrested following a breakthrough in DNA technology and later jailed for nine years.

David Green gave no comment during this interview with the police

Speaking after the case investigating officer Det Con Scott Westbrook-Smith said the sentence sent "a powerful message" to anyone who's committed a serious sexual offence which remains unsolved.

Your dark secret will not stay hidden forever. Through the advancements in DNA testing it's only a matter of time before you get a knock at your door which you hoped would never come.

BreakingChild sex attacker jailed after 1980s assault

A man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a teenager in Weston-super-Mare 33 years ago has been jailed.

David Green, 60, from Moseley in Birmingham, abducted the 15-year-old girl near Marine Lake on 17 July 1983 and assaulted her in a storeroom.

He admitted charges of kidnap, serious sexual assault and false imprisonment after being arrested following a DNA breakthrough.

Green was sentenced to nine years in prison. 

Funding appeal to restore grocer door portrait

The painting of Allan Whittern was originally painted straight onto the grocer's door
The Cheltenham Trust

A portrait of a well-known Cheltenham grocer which was painted onto his shop door in the 1960s is to be restored. 

Allan Whittern ran the grocer's store in Suffolk Parade from 1932 until his death in 1982.

The portrait was donated by his son to the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum in the town when the shop closed in 1991. 

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to restore the painting for an exhibition later in the year, and it's more than halfway to its goal.

What's making the news in your local newspapers?

Swindon's Great Western Hospital patient care still a concern

Swindon's Great Western Hospital
BBC

A&E standards at Swindon's Great Western Hospital are still a cause for concern.

The hospital had a warning notice placed on it by health watchdog the CQC in December, but the targets that set out have not been met.

Concerns that still remain include overcrowding in A&E, record keeping and safety of staff. 

Inspectors did praise the hospital's plans to improve, its stronger management systems and an increase in the number of nurses in the children's A&E department and observation unit.

The hospital trust has yet to respond.

There's a pot of gold there somewhere

Benjamin captured this stunning view of a rainbow over Bristol from the Clifton Suspension Bridge this morning.

View more on instagram

Talking about death: Your comments

Older woman and carer
BBC

Earlier we told you about a former NHS boss from Gloucestershire calling for us all to think more carefully about how we deal with death.

Richard James, who used to lead the Cotswold and Vale Primary Care Trust, says prolonging life isn't always in the best interests of the patient or the family.

BBC Gloucestershire has been asking for your thoughts on the subject. 

Here's what you had to say on their Facebook page.

Yes as quality of life should be considered. Extending life no matter what and just because we can, due to scientific developments, does not make it right in every case.

Liz Craig-Best

Disagree. It is not for the family to decide when someone dies. Very unethical and sets a dangerous precedent.

Charlotte Jones

This sounds as though we are culpable in some way. It is a rather heartless sentiment.

Carol Abraham

So how do you fly a horse around the world?

The New Zealand equestrian team are based in Wiltshire but are now in Rio waiting to compete for Olympic medals.

Before they left BBC Wiltshire was given a behind the scenes look at how their horses make the journey to Brazil.

From their video we've learnt that even the horses are allowed an in-flight bag...

The New Zealand equestrian team loaded their horses on to a plane bound for Rio

Transgender parish councillor disappointed by local magazine's stance

Katie Jones from Wiltshire used to be known as Kev. She was born a boy but says she's known she should be a girl since the age of four.

The parish councillor says she's been widely accepted in her village of Yatton Keynell but was disappointed when a local magazine refused to print an article she'd written about her journey, calling it unsuitable.

Transgender councillor Kate Jones has been speaking about her transition from a man to a woman

GPs holding back on prescribing antibiotics

Doctors in the West say they've cut the number of prescriptions for antibiotics. 

They see it as proof that they're taking the threat of antibiotic resistant infections seriously.

Dr Martin Jones is Chair of the Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, he says GPs are now waiting to see how infections develop before handing out the tablets.

Dr Martin Jones says GPs are now more reluctant to hand out antibiotics

Here are the figures for antibiotics prescribed by local authority area in the region:

  • Bath and North East Somerset has cut prescriptions by 13% since 2014
  • Wiltshire has cut the number of prescriptions by 9%
  • In Swindon it's down even further, by 11%
  • In South Gloucestershire and Bristol, it's 9%
  • Gloucestershire has cut the number of prescriptions by 8%  

Experts warn that more bugs could become resistant to antibiotics if their use isn't cut further, making many operations, childbirth or simple cuts potentially deadly.

Labour leadership challenger visits the West

MP Owen Smith visited Bristol yesterday to give his first speech there since challenging Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership campaign.

But with high profile rallies in support of the current leader, the BBC's Sabet Choudhury asked Mr Smith if he would be able to muster similar pulling power with party supporters.

The Labour leadership contender Owen Smith has been campaigning in Bristol

Let's talk about death...

It's not a subject most of us really want to think about, but one former NHS boss has spoken out calling for us all to deal better with death.

Richard James was in charge of the Cotswold and Vale Primary Care Trust from 1993 till 2007 and before that he was a nurse.    

He says advances in medicine can see life prolonged unnecessarily and would like an honest conversation about whether it is worth it.

"There are times that we need to come to the conclusion that actually the treatment is often worse than the condition."

Former NHS chief executive says society needs to have an honest conversation about death

You can hear more about this on Mark Cummings' breakfast show until 9amand you can let us know what you think by emailing us.

Campaigners aiming to stop people 'driving blind'

A national campaign is being launched in Bristol today to encourage the government to change the law around eye tests and driving.  

A new campaign aims to change the law on eye tests and driving

At the moment there is no legal requirement to have your eyes checked by an optician before driving, you just have to read a number plate at distance.

Local campaigners say the law should be changed to include regular eye tests.

Good morning from Local Live, bringing you a warm start to your day

We're with you until 10pm tonight with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Speaking of the latter, here's how the weather is shaping up for the west today. It's going to be warm and cloudy with a few spots of rain that should clear up later.

Top temperatures today could reach 20C.

West country weather for today.