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Summary

  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates from across the West of England on Thursday, 9 February 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's all from BBC Local Live for today

Here's Ian Ferguson with your weather forecast for the West

We'll be back from 7am tomorrow morning with all your news, sport and weather for the West of England.

Drugs and stolen property found during police raids near Frome

Stolen goods
Avon and Somerset Police

Stolen property, farm vehicles and approximately £20,000 worth of drugs have been seized during a police operation near Frome. 

Three men, aged 40, 30 and 42 – all from Frome - were arrested for various theft offences, possession with intent to supply Class B drugs and theft of a motor vehicle.

Among the items recovered were a quad bike, branded tools, gardening equipment, painting and decorating items. 

Officers also found a large container filled with dried cannabis thought to be worth at least £20,000.

Lewis Ball: Police appeal to car drivers

Lewis Ball
Avon and Somerset Police
Police want drivers with dash cams to get in touch

Police are appealing for help from car drivers in the search for Lewis Ball.

Lewis went missing after leaving the Thekla nightclub on Bristol's Floating Harbour on Sunday.

Police believe he left the club but are still trying to find out which direction he then took and have appealed to car drivers who may have parked close to the club to contact them.

Lewis is described as a white, 5ft 9ins tall of slim build. When he went missing he was wearing a black jumper, black skinny jeans and brown ankle boots. 

If you are able to help, call 101.

The Thekla
Google
Lewis was last seen leaving the Thekla nightclub on Bristol's floating harbour

Beastie comes to Bristol

Have you seen this giant furry creature wandering around Bristol recently?

View more on twitter

He's called Beastie, and he's part of an art festival called In Between Time. Forty artists will be performing various acts across the city over the next few days.

Plans for castle keep to go on show in Gloucester

Remains of Norman castle keep
BBC
The remains of the Gloucester Castle keep were unearthed during an archaeological dig

The remains of a Norman castle keep could form part of the redevelopment of the former Gloucester prison. 

They were unearthed in the grounds of the prison in 2015 during an archaeological dig.

The location of the 12th Century Gloucester Castle keep is to be shown within a paved area of a new residential and business development.

Bristol City Council: 'No money spent on review'

Bristol City Council has said it has spent no tax payers money on a review of the city's finances.

The report found that there was a "collective failure of leadership" at the council which led to a £29m deficit in its finances. 

However, former mayor George Ferguson accused the council of playing "blame games" and said the “administration is more interested in spending our money on reviews”. 

In a statement the council said the report by consultant Steve Bundred "was provided at no cost to Bristol City Council... due to an external grant received specifically for this purpose".

George Ferguson
Bristol City Council
The former mayor of Bristol George Ferguson accused the council of playing "blame games"

Lampshades & university - Lizzy Yarnold's year

Watch: Lizzy Yarnold's had a change of pace - making lamp-shades

BBC Sport marks a year to go until the 2018 Winter Olympics by finding out what Great Britain's skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold, who's based in Bath, did during her year out. 

Man dies in Trowbridge car park

A seriously injured man has died in a car park in Trowbridge.

Police were called to The Shires car park, near Asda at around 3.10pm this afternoon.

The man, who was in cardiac arrest, was being treated by an ambulance crew but he died at the scene.

Wiltshire Police believe he suffered an injury to his stomach.

Asda
Google
The man was found with serious injuries in car park near Asda in Trowbridge

HGV driver 'thinks about crash every day'

M32 crash scene

A lorry driver whose HGV tipped over and crushed a woman to death on the M32, says he thinks about the accident every day.

Lorraine McKeag, 60, from Dundry near Bristol, was driving on the roundabout where the M32 links with the M4. 

A lorry driven by Adrian Duff, toppled over on top of her car because of a poorly fixed load.

During an inquest into her death Mr Duff said the "horizon started changing" as he went around the bend and he ended up lying on his side until firefighters freed him from the cab. 

I feel absolutely awful that someone died. I think about it every day."

Adrian DuffLorry driver

An inquest has heard how the lorry was poorly stacked but the company Graphic Packaging has said it has made safety changes since the accident. 

Coroner, Maria Voisin said she was satisfied with the changes the company had made.

Lorraine McKeag
Avon and Somerset police
Lorraine McKeag, 60, was crushed by the lorry

Less A&E visitors among Weston General Hospital proposals over pressure

People have until early April to have their say on the ideas

Fewer people could be treated at Weston General Hospital's A&E department overnight. 

That's one of the four main proposals being considered by the North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group to help the hospital cope with the pressure on its services. 

The group has launched eight week consultation on the proposals.

'Selfless' widow killed after poorly-loaded HGV crushes car

Lorraine McKeag
Avon and Somerset Police
Lorraine McKeag, 60, died when the lorry fell onto her car

A "selfless, loyal and loving" widow was killed when a poorly-loaded HGV fell onto her car as she was driving around a roundabout, an inquest has heard. 

Retired librarian Lorraine McKeag, from Dundry, was driving on the M32 when she was crushed in the crash, in January 2015. 

An inquest heard that "little care" had been taken by Graphic Packaging in Bristol when the HGV was loaded, making it unstable. 

Avon coroner Maria Voisin said that she was satisfied with the safety changes the company had made. She ruled the cause of death to be road traffic collision, which she said happened "due to the manner in which it [the lorry] was loaded". 

I feel absolutely awful that someone died. I think about it every day ."

Adrian DuffLorry driver
The crash on the M32
BBC
The crash happened where the M32 links with the M4 near Bristol

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees says council report is 'explosive'

Marvin Rees gives his verdict after a damning financial management report.

Marvin Rees has responded to a financial report which claims Bristol City Council managers routinely concealed savings that weren't being achieved.

The report says £30m of savings hadn't been made, even after being pledged by officers.

Read the full details of the story here.

The mayor is right to take a hard look at poor leadership and culture among senior management. Now is the time to change that, and we want to work with Marvin to ensure frontline staff can get on with the job.

Steve CrawshawUNISON

War hero, 93, honoured by pub

Beer drinker and war hero Nelson Foyle has been honoured by locals

A 93-year-old beer drinker has been honoured by his local pub, where he has been a regular for 81 years.

Nelson Foyle has been a patron of the Dog and Gun in Netheravon, Wiltshire, ever since sampling his first taste of alcohol when he sneaked into the beer cellar there at the age of 12.

Locals clubbed together to buy him a Lordship of the Manor title.

Stunning Somerset snowdrop display to raise money for charity

The garden in Staplegrove is opening to the public on 10 and 11 February

Here's a reminder that - despite the cold - Spring is on its way.  

Every year the owners of Higher Yarde Farm, in Staplegrove near Taunton, open their gardens to the public.

So far they've raised £12,000 for charity.

Severe accident: A4107 Bristol both ways

BBC Travel

A4107 Bristol both ways severe accident, between Quaker's Road and Overndale Road.

A4107 Bristol - A4107 Bromley Heath Road closed and queuing traffic in both directions between Quaker's Road Traffic Lights and Cleeve Hill Traffic Lights, because of an accident. Police directing traffic.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Teenager sentenced after 'sickening' assault on a woman in Swindon

Regent Street
Google
The assault took place last May near The Savoy Pub in Regent Street

An 18-year-old woman has been given a six month suspended sentence after she stamped on another woman's head. 

Monique Rawlings, from Wharf Road, Wroughton, attacked the woman in Swindon town centre. 

Jake Skilton, 22, and Jamie Skilton, 18, from Queens Drive, Swindon and George Sparkes-Corless, 20, from Roche Close, Swindon also pleaded guilty to affray after attacking the victim's three male friends.

This particular incident, which was recorded on CCTV, records a significant and sustained, unprovoked attack by a female on another teenage female with a sickening level of violence.

PC Charlotte UptonWiltshire Police

Boys arrested after school break-ins

Three boys have been arrested on suspicion of burglary, after two break-ins at a primary school in Swindon.

Two 13-year-olds and an 11-year-old were arrested after the burglaries at Goddard Park Primary School. 

A MacBook, iMac Computers and an i-Pad were among the items stolen.

They have been released on conditional bail until March.   

Goddard Park Primary School
Google
The boys were arrested after Goddard Park Primary School was broken into twice in December

Giraffes moving to Bristol's Wild Place Project

Artists impression of enclosure for illustration purposes only
Wild Place Project

A wildlife park near Bristol will soon be home to the world's tallest animals.

Today the Wild Place Project reveals plans to add giraffes to their animal safari

Planning permission has been granted to build the £1.1million giraffe enclosure with room to roam on the 1.8 acre exhibit. 

The giraffe house and paddock will allow guests to enjoy an 'interactive, up-close and personal encounter with the long-legged animals.' 

Giraffe numbers have fallen from 140,000 to less than 80,000 in just 15 years and conservation projects are essential for protecting the species from extinction. 

Headlines from newspapers across the West

Two women arrested on suspicion of running a brothel

Fishponds Road
Google
The women were arrested at a house on Fishponds Road

Police have arrested two women on suspicion of assisting or managing a brothel on Fishponds Road in Bristol.

Both women, one in her 40s, one in her 60s, have been bailed while enquiries continue.

Detective Inspector Jill Kells said: “These arrests were made as a result of a warrant and we’re now working to establish the full circumstances of the case."

View more on twitter

Bristol City striker reported for court summons

Tammy Abraham
Getty Images

Bristol City striker Tammy Abraham is facing a court appearance following a car crash near the club's training ground in Failand.

The 19-year-old, who is on loan from Chelsea, is alleged to have been driving without a licence or insurance.

He's also been reported for driving carelessly.

A spokesman for the football club said they were aware of the situation.

Pop-up loo fault to be fixed 'within days'

Urilift, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Tim Mars

More on the criticism of a £45,000 pop-up urinal in Stroud which is failing to pop-up.

Stroud District Council said it was aware of the issue.

A spokeswoman said: "We are aware that there is currently a fault with the toilets lifting mechanism, and an engineer has attended.

"We are hoping that the fault will be rectified within the next few days."

She said the facility had been well received by business owners in the town, but its use was "scaled down to just Friday and Saturday night" to provide relief when the area was "particularly busy".

Click here to read more.

GPs answer 999 calls to take pressure off A&E

Watch: The 12-month pilot scheme is running in Taunton and Yeovil

Matthew Booker is a GP based at Taunton ambulance station as part of a pilot to keep patients out of hospital emergency departments.

The service, funded by Somerset CCG, runs at weekends and on Mondays. 

It started at the beginning of December and they say they've kept 100 people out of hospital so far. 

Dr Booker is leading the project and says they can be called upon by paramedics who are already with a patient or be dispatched under blue lights.

Weston General Hospital mulls overnight A&E changes

Weston General Hospital is asking for public opinion on the services it provides as it faces pressure because of an increase in demand and an ageing population.

Weston General Hospital
BBC

Some of the proposals include:

  • Transferring A&E patients who arrive overnight with serious injuries to neighbouring hospitals
  • Bringing non-complex planned operations back to Weston General
  • Increasing the number of beds in the Critical Care Unit, up from five at the moment

The consultation will last for the next eight weeks.

Memorial flypast for WW2 'Channel Dash' mission

Swordfish plane
BBC

A memorial service and flypast are being held later in Somerset to mark the 75th anniversary of a World War Two mission which saw six British planes shot down over the English Channel.

The Channel Dash took place in February 1942 when 18 naval air crew flew Swordfish planes from Kent to attack German ships. 

Thirteen men died when the planes were targeted by enemy fire. 

This afternoon, forces personnel and relatives of those crews will remember them at the Fleet Air Arm church at RNAS Yeovilton.

'Saved' nursery facing closure again

Rocking Horse Day Nursery sign
Rocking Horse Day Nursery

A nursery which was offered a stay of execution is once again facing closure.

Rocking Horse Day Nursery in Warmley, near Bristol, had its eviction notice extended in October to allow the owner to search for a new site.

But Julia Davies said 20 jobs and 70 nursery places were now at risk after council planners refused to grant permission for an alternative site.

South Gloucestershire Council said it had suggested other options and was supporting the nursery's search.

Pop-up loo slammed for not popping up

Urilift, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Tim Mars

A £45,000 pop-up urinal which fails to pop-up has been branded a "waste of money".

Stroud's remote-controlled "urilift" emerged from the pavement seven nights a week when installed in 2007, but now it "scarcely works at all".

Tim Mars, a member of Stroud Civic Society, said: "If this were a car, Basil Fawlty would spank it".

Click here to read more.

Gloucester Prison plans on public display

Gloucester Prisons
BBC

Revised plans for the redevelopment of Gloucester Prison have gone on display.

Developers want to build 200 apartments on the site of the former prison, which shut in 2013.

The plans have been changed quite significantly after remains of the original prison and the 12th century castle were discovered under the exercise yard during an archaeological dig in 2015.

The cell blocks in the prison will become apartments, while a café will be built inside the former chapel.

Kidnapping a 'terrifying event'

Photo taken from the kidnap CCTV footage
Avon and Somerset Police

The kidnap of a 22-year-old man from a bar in Bristol has been described by police as a "terrifying event".

CCTV footage has been released as police seek witnesses to the ordeal which happened on Thursday 15 December.

The victim was dragged from the Blue Lagoon Bar in Gloucester Road, assaulted and driven to Bradley Stoke where he made an escape.

Read more on the Avon and Somerset Police website.

This was a terrifying event for the young man involved and it’s fortunate he didn’t sustain any lasting injuries. Thankfully, incidents of this kind are rare in Avon and Somerset but when they do happen we take them extremely seriously. As part of our investigation we’re releasing footage from inside the Blue Lagoon in the hope the public can help us identify the men pictured.

T/DCI Duncan WoodAvon and Somerset Police

Twelve devices unearthed and blown up

Listen: Damien Bence of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service

We've been reporting on events in Trowbridge overnight where 12 anti-tank grenades had to be exploded in a skip after being unearthed on a building site. 

"We're pretty confident that's all of them but we can't be 100% sure," said Station Manager Damien Bence, the firefighter in charge at the scene.

He said contractors found them but covered them over again thinking that was the safest thing to do - but it made his job more difficult.

Bristol Mayor responds to damning financial report

Marvin Rees has responded to a financial report which claims Bristol City Council managers routinely concealed savings that weren't being achieved.

The report says £30m of savings hadn't been made, even after being pledged by officers.

Bristol City Hall
Getty Images

The report does talk about a collective failure of leadership, we have some more work to do. We are getting on top of this and we are going in the right direction. We aren't where we need to be, but the right processes are in place. We want to deal with this in the right way, we'll be investigating what happened.

Marvin ReesMayor of Bristol

Meanwhile, the former cabinet member for finance Geoff Gollop has expressed his regret at how an unbalanced budget came to be passed. 

Geoff, who is an accountant by trade, says he felt he was "misled".

You work with officers and you rely on the information they provide you with, but if you're repeatedly told something is the case you believe you're being told the truth. I was repeatedly assured that last year's budget was achievable, this leaves me feeling I was being misled...it's a matter of enormous regret to me.

Geoff GollopConservative councillor for Westbury and former cabinet member for finance

CCTV kidnap footage released by police

Watch: See the CCTV footage captured inside the bar

CCTV footage of a kidnap that took place at a bar in Bristol has been released by police as part of an appeal.

A 22-year-old man was dragged from the Blue Lagoon Bar, in Gloucester Road, assaulted and driven to Bradley Stoke where he managed to escape. 

The incident happened on Thursday 15 December last year.

The victim needed hospital treatment for injuries to his face.

The police are appealing for information that could help identify the men involved. 

Two men aged 32 and 28 have been arrested and released on bail until 17th February.

Snowboarder talking Winter Olympics - BBC Sport's Facebook Live

View more on facebook

It's a year today until the Winter Olympics begins, and Olympian Jenny Jones is currently live on BBC Sport's Facebook page.

The snowboarder, originally from Downend near Bristol, won the bronze medal at the 2014 Olympics. 

She learned to on the dry ski slope in Churchill, North Somerset.

Crime recording - 'more work to be done'

Police officers
BBC

Police are failing to properly record tens of thousands of offences, including rape and violent crimes, according to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

Estimated number of crimes not being recorded each year

  • Merseyside - 19,200
  • Devon and Cornwall - 17,400
  • Avon and Somerset - 13,700
  • Northumbria - 7,300

Source: HMIC

The Avon and Somerset and Northumbria forces were both judged as "requiring improvement" after they were found to be recording about 90% and 93% of crimes reported to them respectively.

They were both criticised for under-recording serious offences such as rape.

The forces are the latest to come under scrutiny as part of rolling inspections looking at the crime data integrity of every police force in England and Wales.

Since our last inspection in 2014 we've made great strides in improving our crime recording accuracy, but there's still more work to be done. The inspectors identified areas for improvement and we welcome their recommendations.

Nikki WatsonAssistant Chief Constable at Avon and Somerset Police

Frustration over urinal 'omnishambles'

Stroud's pop-up urinal has failed to pop-up in recent weeks, leaving a local resident pretty peeved.

Tim Mars has described the mechanical facility as an "expensive, unnecessary and dysfunctional" piece of kit.

Public urinal
Tim Mars

He has vented his frustration in a letter to his local newspaper, Stroud Life.

In it he wrote:

The 10-year-old unit was originally in service between 7pm and 7am seven days a week. Now it only pops up for use by late-night revellers on Friday and Saturday nights. This is a car that rarely leaves the garage. 

On top of this, the Urilift has been plagued with technical problems...if this were a car, Basil Fawlty would spank it.

Each of the three individual cubicles has a single powerful downlighter. I'm used to one being out, but all three have now failed and the Urilift has been shrouded in darkness for nearly a year.

And anyway, there's nothing telling you it's a urinal. Many people think it's a drinking fountain!

Public urinal
Tim Mars

Stroud District Council says there is currently a fault with the lifting mechanism, and an engineer has attended, it's hoped the fault will be rectified within the next few days.

Report exposes council's financial woes

City Hall, Bristol
BBC

Bristol City Council's "collective failure of leadership" over past savings has been criticised in an independent report. 

The document, written by former Audit Commission boss Steve Bundred, said the underlying financial pressures "were not of the council's own making".

It also notes many improvements have been made and people can be "confident" in the proposed budget plans for 2017/18.

The report was commissioned by Marvin Rees after the discovery that £30m of pledged savings hadn't actually been made.

Could Lord Nelson, 93, be the oldest pub regular in the country?

Watch: 'Lord' Nelson Foyle has been honoured by pub locals

War hero and beer drinker Nelson Foyle has been honoured by friends at his local pub, the Dog and Gun. 

He's been drinking at the Netheravon hostelry for longer than most of them - a grand total of 81 years.

The 93-year-old risked his life in the infamous Arctic Convoys during World War Two and was awarded the Arctic Star for his actions.

Now, locals have clubbed together to come up with their own accolade for him - a title.

Travel: Chippenham rail issue also 'resolved'