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Summary

  1. A climber dies after a fall in the Avon Gorge
  2. Man arrested on suspicion of rape at Frocester Beer Festival
  3. Former safe house resident calls for the law to be changed to make registering to vote easier
  4. Taunton cattle market redevelopment rejected
  5. Dog walkers face £100 fines in Lydiard Park in Swindon
  6. Gloucester pubs and clubs could face a late night tax
  7. Latest news, sport, weather and travel across the West of England on Thursday, 1 September 2016

Live Reporting

By Tammy McAllister

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight from the BBC Local Live team

We hope you've enjoyed reading and watching our news updates today from across the West Country.

The BBC Local Live team will be back again tomorrow from 7am. We'll be looking at Massive Attack's gig on the Downs in Bristol and delving into the band's past. Hope you can join us.

Before we head off, here's a look at tomorrow's weather forecast with Ian Fergusson.

A look at the weather for Friday and the coming weekend with Ian Fergusson.

The tide is high...in Burnham-on-Sea

Burnham-on-Sea.com has posted this video of a rather lively high tide this evening.

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City Hall or Council House? Your thoughts

Bristol City Hall (formerly Council House)
Getty Images

Earlier councillor Richard Eddy raised the issue of whether the City Hall should be renamed Council House.

We posted the story on BBC Radio Bristol's Facebook Page and this is what you've been telling us:

Robert Hosken: I like the Council House, but believe that it should stay as the City Hall, it cost thousands of pounds to alter headed paper in the different directorates changing it back to the council house would not be politically correct when there are many workers facing redundancy in the wake of council's having to save millions.

Judith Wood: Officially it might have been changed to trendy city hall, but to most bristolians it will always be the council house! I agree that I don't think it's a priority at this moment in time though!

Mark Jackson: City Hall thanks, aspire to something rather than perspire trying to bring back the past.

Ken Simpson: Leave it as it is and spend the money feeding the homeless

Bristol Rugby returns to the Premiership after seven years away

We're looking ahead to the new rugby season. Today, it's the turn of Bristol who return to the Premiership on Saturday after seven years away. 

And they'll do it in some style on the biggest stage of all as they face Harlequins at Twickenham - the home of English rugby. 

Damian Derrick takes a look at the challenge facing the club and the new faces brought in to help them succeed.  

Bristol return to the Premiership on Saturday after SEVEN years away

Video: BBC Wiltshire's harvest update from a local farmer

Like it or not, it's officially the first day of Autumn today. 

While that might mean waving goodbye to the summer holidays for us, it means only one thing for arable farmers: harvest time.

But, how has harvest fared in Wiltshire so far?

The Wiltshire harvest is nearly over and the farmers will be finished in a few days time.

Your local paper headlines this evening

Bristol Lib Dem leader calls for rules to stop large pay-outs

Just a week after Bristol City Council announced it was making 1,000 staff redundant - it's emerged the chief executive has been given a £200,000 pay-off. 

Nicola Yates left office, we're told by "mutual consent", just after the new Labour mayor Marvin Rees was elected in May. 

Now there are calls for so-called "golden goodbyes" to be stopped. 

Councillor Gary Hopkins is Lib Dem leader on the council...

Row over pay off to chief executive of Bristol city council

City centre traders protest over plans for out-of-town Next in Gloucester

A protest has taken place in Gloucester against plans for a Next store at the Peel Centre near the Quays. The protest comes ahead of a planning meeting next Tuesday.

Businesses in the city centre are worried more shops will follow and it will become an out-of-town retail centre pulling shoppers away from the gate streets.

The company that owns the site and the Quays, Peel Holdings, did not wish to comment on the protest.

City centre traders protest over plans for out-of-town Next in Gloucester

In a planning statement the company says the proposals represent an "exciting opportunity to regenerate a prominent and currently vacant building" and develop a new landmark building on a site that is a key gateway to Gloucester city centre.    

Missing woman in Gloucester found safe and well

We've just had this update from Gloucestershire Police: "Some great news - Maggie McKenna has just been found safe and well in Derby Road."

Maggie McKenna`
Gloucestershire Police

Sky phone and internet services still down in Wiltshire

People are continuing to post messages on downdetector.co.uk of continuing problems for Sky customers in the Swindon, Chippenham areas.

There's more on the areas affected on Sky's website.

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Bristol mayor: All party leaders were briefed on exec's £200k pay-off

Earlier Bristol's mayor Marvin Rees told the BBC a decision to pay off a top executive at Bristol City Council £200,000 was "transparent".

This was despite several Freedom of Information requests from the media on the subject being refused.

The Labour politician said all the party leaders at the council were aware of the whole process.

Row over payoff to Bristol city council chief executive

Vulnerable woman goes missing in Gloucester

Was the Bristol top exec job £200k pay-off 'transparent'?

Labour's Bristol mayor, Marvin Rees has said the £200,000 pay-off made to Nicola Yates was "transparent".

Ms Yates who was the council's city director was given the severance pay after she left the post in July.

But both BBC Bristol's politics reporter Pete Simson and the news editor of Bristol24/7, Louis Emanuel, submitted Freedom of Information requests about her pay-off, both of which proved fruitless.

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Travel problems on the M4 at Chippenham

Got a question for the boss of Avon and Somerset Police?

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens will be holding a live web chat to answer all your questions in a little while...

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Bristol screenwriter and actor Stephen Merchant to host Crystal Maze

Congestion on the A417 in Gloucestershire

Video: Playful seal spotted in the River Tone in Somerset

Take a look at this seal that was spotted near Taunton - the video was sent in by David Morrow.

A seal has been spotted in the River Tone near Taunton

Bristol City Council's £200k director pay-off 'transparent', says mayor

Bristol mayor, Marvin Rees says his council was "transparent" when it handed a £200,000 pay-off to Nicola Yates, the council's city director who left in July.

The Labour member said all decisions were made with cross-party agreement.

Mr Rees was speaking at a police event about sexual exploitation.

Bristol mayor, Marvin Rees says the £200,000 pay-off to a council boss was transparent.

Bristol City Council's top executive job 'should run alongside mayor's term'

Bristol City Council is being urged to change the way it hires a top executive role - following revelations about a pay off.  

It's after reports that Nicola Yates, who left the job of city director in July, was paid almost £200,000 in severance pay.

The council says it cannot confirm or deny that figure, but she left not long after Marvin Rees was elected as the city's mayor.

Nicola Yates
Bristol City Council

Today, there are calls for Bristol's next city director to be employed on a fixed term to coincide with the mayor's term. 

Councillor Richard Eddy, who revealed the pay off, believes the next city director's contract should last only until the next election.

He said: "My view is we should looking to recruit a fixed term incumbent so they will have the assurance of the mayor's confidence in four years but also they won't be paid a pay-off by the taxpayer."

Bristol woman campaigns for change in anonymous voting law

A former Bristol safe house resident is calling for a change in the law around voting.

Mehala Osborne says current rules can make it difficult for women living in safe houses to register to vote.

Sian Hawkins from Women's Aid explained some of the obstacles women have to go through to prove they are victims of domestic abuse.

Sian Hawkins from Women's Aid says women registering in safe houses find it difficult

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said they were aware that the criteria for anonymous registration can cause difficulties.

While it is for Parliament to change the law, we will work together with Women’s Aid to raise awareness about anonymous registration and to develop options for how it can work better for voters.

Electoral Commission spokesperson

Could Bristol's City Hall be renamed again?

Four years ago, the seat of power in Bristol was renamed by the then mayor George Ferguson.

He changed Council House to become the City Hall, but it seems some people are still unhappy with the decision.

City Hall in Bristol
BBC

Conservative councillor Richard Eddy has asked the new Labour mayor Marvin Rees if the building name can be changed back to the Council House.

In my view, unilaterally declaring that henceforth, one of Bristol’s finest buildings was to be known as ‘City Hall’ represented an absolute travesty of our traditions and had no legal status or basis whatsoever.

Richard EddyLabour Councillor for Bishopsworth

Marvin Rees said he would consult on the idea before making a decision.

Park users respond to dogs-on-leads enforcement in Swindon

Dog owners and park users are reacting to the news that from Friday a Public Spaces Protection Order comes into force in Swindon's Lydiard Park.

The new order means if dogs are seen off leads in certain areas their owners could be fined £100.

The new rules last until the end of September and will be reintroduced next Spring.

Public Spaces Protection Order sign
BBC
The new order comes into force tomorrow

You've been reacting to the news on BBC Wiltshire's Facebook page...

How are they going to enforce this? I've had more problems with horrible children uncontrolled than I have dogs.

Liam NortheastDog owner

I would like to see all dogs on leads in parks. I am a dog owner and last year when my husband and I took our dogs to Coate Water, I got bitten by a dog that was running loose. It tried to get my little dog and as i went to pick her up this dog bit me. When i said to the owner of the dog that it bit me, she just laughed and said so what, it makes me afraid now when i see dogs not on leads.

Janice FelthamDog owner

A bird's eye view of Gloucester's Kingsholm Stadium

Gloucester Rugby has released some drone footage of its Kingsholm Stadium.

The view from the sky is quite impressive.

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Taunton cattle market redevelopment: 'Not back to square one'

Artist's Impression, Taunton Firepool revamp
St modwen

Plans to redevelop the old cattle market site in Taunton have been rejected by councillors after concerns about the visual impact of the proposals and parking arrangements.

As the landowner, the council says it will now consider how to move forward.

“Firepool’s regeneration remains our priority. We have come a long way since development on the site was proposed and we are most definitely not back to square one.

The concerns of the planning committee centred around layout and design, rather than the principle of development and the mix of use, so we will now address these with our development partner St Modwen.

John WilliamsLeader of Taunton Deane Borough Council

Paramedic's cancer vlog: Cancer has spread

Bristol paramedic Kath Osmond has released the latest of her vlogs as she undergoes pioneering treatment for an aggressive form of cancer.

Her colleagues performed a Running Man dance-off to raised £80,000 for her to be treated privately.

Kath says a scan has shown her cancer has spread to her brain which has left her feeling "numb".

In this video, she talks openly and frankly about her cancer. Some people may find it upsetting.

New car park to ease parking demand at Bath's RUH

The Royal United Hospital in Bath is opening a new 300 space car park later this month.

There's been complaints about long waits, with some people saying it's taken them over an hour to park. 

The hospital says the new car park should help to cope with some of the demand but is still urging people to use public transport.

Claudia shows off some Strictly sparkle

BBC's Strictly Come Dancing has released photos of the 2016 line-up in their full sequined glory.

Among the group is Bristol gymnast Claudia Fragapane, fresh from the Rio Olympics and at 18 this year's youngest contestant.

Claudia Fragapane
BBC

Rare stick insects bred at Bristol Zoo

One of the world's rarest stick insects has successfully laid eggs at Bristol Zoo, the first time it has happened outside of their native Australia.

The Lord Howe Island stick insect was thought to be extinct until a small colony was found in 2001 and hundreds of their eggs were brought here.

Lord Howe Island stick insects
Bristol Zoo Gardens

They are quite difficult to care for and the team were delighted to get six to reach adulthood, all breeding pairs, and now all three pairs have mated.

Mark Bushell, curator of invertebrates at Bristol Zoo, said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic with this result. To have the opportunity to work with this critically endangered species is a dream come true for me – and now to have bred them is a career highlight."

More people being caught with indecent images of children

Computer keyboard
BBC

There's been an increase in the number reports to police of people with indecent images of children on their computer in our region.

Children's charity NSPCC published figures for the three years from 2013.

The biggest jump was in Avon and Somerset, where reports have more than doubled - up from 78 in 2013 to 157 in 2015. In 19 cases, this resulted in police action - a drop from the previous two years.

In Gloucestershire, the number has risen from 53 to 73 over the same period, while in Wiltshire it went up from 99 to 152.

* Correction at 3.56pm - we've clarified that the number is reports of crimes rather than conviction. The NSPCC figures do not state how many successful convictions there were.

Morecambe sign Cheltenham's James Jennings

Morecambe sign Cheltenham defender James Jennings on loan until January.

James Jennings
Getty Images

Jennings, 28, only joined the Robins in the summer from Forest Green Rovers.

The former Manchester City youngster has played more than 200 senior games for teams including Macclesfield, Kettering, Cambridge, Mansfield and Forest Green Rovers.  

Holiday fears over sale of hotels for blind people

Lauriston Hotel
Google

Thousands of blind people may lose the use of three specially adapted hotels after their charity operator confirmed its plan to sell them.

Action for Blind People runs the Lauriston in Weston-super-Mare, but wants to offload it along with the Cliffden in Devon and Windermere Manor in the Lake District.

The charity said it can no longer afford to keep the hotels running.

Iconic church finally gets a loo

Dundry Church tower
Google

The owners of an ancient landmark in a village in Somerset are at last getting round to installing a toilet. 

The tower of Dundry Church has been an iconic building since it was put up in the 15th Century, standing proudly at the top of Dundry Hill. 

There's already been extensive repairs to the roof, now the church is finally getting a bathroom.

As my Grandmother said, you need to go before you come. We have had problems with weddings and other services so we've had to point them in the direction of the local pub or generous residents.

Charles RobertsReverend of Dundry Church

Train death man 'near warning notice'

Simon Brown
Just Giving

A man who died when he leaned out of a train window and hit his head was standing near a warning notice, a report says.

Simon Brown, who worked at Hitachi Rail Europe in Bristol, died on the Gatwick Express on 7 August.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said it would investigate the clearance between the train and the signal gantry which he hit his head on, as well as measures to control risks from leaning out of windows.

It said a notice read: "Do not lean out of window when train is moving."

Is it Almondsbury or Armondsbury?

West country pronunciations can be rather tricky at the best of times.

Now a BBC Radio Bristol listener has complained about the way the village of Almondsbury is being pronounced.

What do you think is the correct way to name said area?

Arrest after woman raped at beer festival

Police car
BBC

A man has been arrested on suspicion of rape at Frocester Beer Festival in Gloucestershire last Friday.

The 32-year-old Bristol man is being questioned by police.

Officers say the victim, in her 30s, was attending the event with a friend and was socialising when she met a man who later followed her back to her tent and raped her.

Gloucester pubs and clubs could face late night tax

Pubs and clubs that stay open into the early hours in Gloucester could be made to pay a late night levy.

The charge - which starts at £300 a month - funds policing and pays for clean-up costs on the city's streets, one is currently in force in neighbouring Cheltenham. 

A three-month consultation begins on 15 September.

People dancing in a nightclub
BBC

Dog walkers face £100 fines in popular park

Dog owners in Swindon could be fined £100 if their dog is seen off the lead in certain parts of Lydiard Park.

The new Public Spaces Protection Order comes into effect tomorrow but some park users are already complaining that the signs are unclear and not easy to spot.

The new rules last until the end of the month and will be reintroduced next April.

Dogs on Lead area sign
BBC

Taunton cattle market redevelopment rejected

It's been empty for eight years and that doesn't seem likely to change any time soon.

At a meeting last night, Taunton Deane Borough councillors rejected plans to redevelop the old cattle market site known as Firepool.

The outline planning application included a new cinema, supermarket, shops, offices as well as 200 homes and a 425 space car park.

Warning of Severn Tunnel rail delays

Great Western Railway says that safety checks are being carried out in the Severn Tunnel this morning. 

Passengers should expect delays of 30 minutes, the company hopes to resume a normal service by midday.

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