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Summary

  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates from across the West of England on Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Tom Barkhuizen

Preston North End keep their faint Championship play-off hopes alive with a five-goal thrashing of strugglers Bristol City.

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That's all folks

Watch: A dry and a settled day tomorrow, says Ian Fergusson

Another day's done here on our BBC Local Live page for the West of England. 

Join us again from 7am tomorrow for more news, travel, weather and sport updates.

Travel: M50 shut w/b between Redmarley and Newent

'Prolific beggar' banned from town centre

Alan Dainton
Cheltenham Borough Council

A man described as "one of Cheltenham's most prolific beggars" has been banned from the town centre. 

The borough council has been awarded a civil injunction against 43-year-old Alan Dainton, who - despite asking for money - is housed and receiving benefits. 

The Civil Injunction includes an exclusion zone and bars him from begging within the town. 

The order will remain in place for a year. If he breaches the order, he faces being arrested.

Football: 'Getting humiliating' at Deepdale

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@YannTear @bcfctweets I can't take any more 😭 we love #BristolCity so much and we don't deserve this by Johnson and the Board

Bread lorry driver airlifted to hospital after crash

Lorry crash site
Anthony Tonks

An injured driver has been airlifted to hospital after a lorry carrying bread overturned on the A436 between Seven Springs and Andoversford, near Cheltenham.

The man had to be cut free from the lorry.

Police have shut the road and Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service are clearing up after the crash.

Metro Mayor: Who's thrown their hat into the ring?

Several of the West's biggest councils are holding elections in a month's time, while a brand new Metro Mayor for the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) will also be chosen.

Today was the deadline for anyone wanting to stand.

Our political editor, Paul Barltrop, has offered this round-up: 

Watch: Who's thrown their hat into the Metro Mayor ring?

Elections are due to be held on 4th May across three local authorities - Bath and North East somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Tiny antelopes arrive in Bristol

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Three tiny antelopes - from France, Germany and the Cotswolds - have arrived in Bristol.

Kirk's dik-diks are one of the smallest antelopes in the world, growing to a maximum of just 40cm (16in).

The three named Croissant, Streusel and Sponge, after "delicacies" from the countries they are from, have been settling in at the Wild Place Project .

Animal manager Will Walker said: “We are all extremely excited to be able to house and care for Kirk’s dik-diks."

Football: And we're under way at Deepdale

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Tune in to BBC Radio Bristol for full match commentary.

Lorry crash homeowner 'thought a plane had come down'

Lorry crash site
Avon and Somerset Police

Last week a lorry smashed into Maggie Butcher's home near Bridgwater .

"As I went to open the front door, I thought a plane had come down on top of me - the noise was so horrendous," she said.

"Then I realised the front door had been blown in and all I could see was this scrap mountain blocking the door."

It's the third time something like this has happened and Maggie wants more to be done about safety on the A39 road past her house.

Football: 15 minutes to kick-off...

Masses of minnows and a density of dace

James Pearson

Journalist, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A survey of fish stocks in the River Severn has found 16 different species living in the stretch between Shrewsbury and Gloucester.

The Environment Agency, which carried out the survey, said 2016 was the "year of the dace" - the most widespread species found.

Fish
Environment Agency

Officers found fewer fish than previously but there are now 16 species on our stretch of river, including barbel and bleak, gudgeon and goby.

Minnow were the most numerous fish, and it was the first year common bream had been caught, the agency said.

Football: Preston v Bristol City (7.45pm kick-off)

Tammy Abraham
Rex Features

Bristol City are playing tonight in the Championship, away at Preston North End.

Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio Bristol or follow text updates via the BBC Sport website .

Match facts

  • Preston have won four and lost none of their last seven matches against Bristol City in league competition (D3)
  • Bristol City have kept just one clean sheet in their last 13 league games against Preston, with David James in goal for the Robins in their 4-0 win in February 2011
  • Preston are one of two Championship sides yet to lose a match in which they've gone ahead this season (W15 D5) along with Huddersfield
  • On the last three occasions (1994-95, 1998-99 and 2012-13) that the Robins have lost 13 or more away league games they have been relegated from the second tier at the end of the season - they have lost exactly 13 this season

Severe accident: A39 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A39 Somerset both ways severe accident, between Northfield and B3339 Wembdon Road.

A39 Somerset - A39 Wembdon Road in Bridgwater closed and very slow traffic in both directions between Wembdon Road Cemetery and the B3339 Wembdon Road junction, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Football: Bristol City team arrives at Deepdale

Local newspaper headlines

Lorry smash damage shown at house

Watch: "...it exploded on top of me," said resident Maggie Butcher

A woman whose home was crashed into by a scrap metal lorry says she thought a "plane had come down" on top of her.

The lorry hit a telephone pole and street light before smashing into Maggie Butcher's home in the village of Bawdrip, near Bridgwater, last week.

Ms Butcher, who was home at the time, said she "came that close" to being killed.

Lorry crash on A39
Avon and Somerset Police

Football: Tribute to 'Superman ball boy of many years'

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Chairman Paul Baker told the club's website that Pete would "always be remembered as a Cheltenham Town legend".

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Wishing Fish Clock: Mice given rubber noses

Watch: Johnny Batten, from Studio Makecreate, tells BBC Points West's Steve Knibbs about the mice

One of the features of the iconic Kit Williams-designed Wishing Fish Clock is the mice which pop out to annoy a snake.

The timepiece, popular with children, blows bubbles each hour in Cheltenham's Regent Arcade shopping centre.

It is currently being repaired and refurbished before being returned to the town later this month.

Overturned bread lorry closes A436 near Cheltenham

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A man was trapped after a lorry full of bread overturned on the A436 near Cheltenham.

The road between Seven Springs and Andoversford is currently closed.

Police have advised drivers to find an alternative route saying delays are likely.

How mental health issues are impacting on NHS staff sickness

Watch: Up to 46% of sick days due to mental health

Anxiety, depression and stress account for a third of all sick days taken by hospital doctors in the West. 

At the Bristol Royal Infirmary, which is our main teaching hospital, almost half of all sick days are due to these mental health issues.

From Indiana to Guatemala on an eBay-bought bus

Watch: Guatemalan coffee brought to UK by Wiltshire couple

Take an old bus, do a bit of renovation work, paint it in bright colours and serve coffee in it. 

That's precisely what Judy and her husband Ian from Netheravon, in Wiltshire, have done. 

The couple bought an old bus from Indiana, on eBay, and drove it to Guatemala where it was rebuilt and shipped back to Britain as a travelling coffee shop.  

Severe disruption: A436 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A436 Gloucestershire both ways severe disruption, between A435 Cirencester Road and Station Road.

A436 Gloucestershire - A436 blocked and slow traffic in both directions between the A435 Cirencester Road junction in Seven Springs and the Station Road junction in Andoversford, because of an overturned lorry.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Bristol man in court with Newcastle United winger over bar brawl

Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons
PA

A Bristol man has appeared in court along with Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons (pictured), both charged with violent disorder over a bar brawl in Newcastle.

Jamar Collins, 21, from Bristol, Mr Aarons and two others were allegedly involved in a disturbance in the VIP section of a nightclub in October.

Click here to read more.

More on the Wishing Fish Clock restoration

Watch: Lucy Norman from Studio Makecreate describes the work done so far

Since 1987 Cheltenham's Wishing Fish Clock has been blowing bubbles and entertaining generations of children. 

But earlier this year, much of it was taken away to be restored. 

It'll start ticking again in all its glory at the end of the month.

Gloucester Rugby's new head coach 'works hard'

Listen: Thinus Delport on Gloucester Rugby's new head coach

Gloucester Rugby's new head coach "works hard", according to a fellow South African. 

The Cherry and Whites announced on Monday that Johan Ackermann would be taking up the coaching role for next season. 

Former Gloucester full-back Thinus Delport, who was at the Golden Lions in South Africa at the same time as Ackermann between 1999 and 2001, gave his views on his move to club to BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Metro Mayor: What powers will the role have?

It's the last day for candidates to enter the contest to be the West of England's first Metro Mayor. 

It's a new position created by the government to channel more money and power to the region. 

But so far it's yet to really engage the voters.

Watch: Reporter Robin Markwell explains the role of the Metro Mayor

Historic city walls on show to public

Listen: Visitors give their views on seeing hidden Roman remains

The King's Bastion - remains of a Roman fortress and part of the old walled city of Gloucester - is normally hidden beneath the King's Walk shopping centre. 

Members of the public were given a rare chance to see it in a series of guided tours. 

These people gave their thoughts on what they'd seen to BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Helen Fleet murder: Information received by police

Helen Fleet
Avon and Somerset Police

Police investigating an unsolved murder from 30 years ago say they've been provided with new information following an appeal.

Helen Fleet, 66, was beaten, stabbed and strangled while walking her dogs in Worlebury Woods near Weston-super-Mare in 1987. 

On the 30th anniversary of her death last month, Avon and Somerset Police made a fresh appeal for anyone with information to get in touch.

We’ve had several calls from members of the public, some providing us with names.

Det Sgt Zoe Niccolls

Det Sgt Zoe Niccolls said: “Following our re-appeal for information on the 30th anniversary of Helen Fleet’s murder, we’ve had several calls from members of the public, some providing us with names.

“We’ll look into each piece of information to see if it can help us progress this inquiry and we’ll be keeping Helen’s family updated with any significant developments.” 

Severe accident: A30 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A30 Somerset both ways severe accident, between Oaklands Avenue and B3167.

A30 Somerset - A30 Crewkerne Road in Chard closed and very slow traffic in both directions between the Oaklands Avenue junction and the B3167 junction, because of a serious accident involving two vehicles.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

BBC presenter Ali Vowles faces her swimming fears

Watch: BBC Presenter Ali Vowles faces her fears

BBC presenter Ali Vowles has conquered her fears and started learning to swim.

Paralympic double-gold medallist Steph Millward offered to teach her after hearing her admit she'd never been able to swim properly.

See how she got on.

A day in the life of one of the West's best pest control men

Watch: We joined pest controller Giles Sharley on a typical job

Ever wondered what life is like for the region's pest controllers? 

We spent a day with Bristol pest controller Giles Sharley, and found out exactly what he gets up to. 

Warning - you might not want to watch this video if you're a bit squeamish or eating!

Council consider new Bearpit crackdown

The Bearpit in Bristol
BBC

Plans to get tough on anti-social behaviour in the Bearpit in Bristol will be discussed by the city council later.

The area is already under an order that gives police extra powers to take alcohol from people they suspect may cause trouble - but this runs out in October.

Councillors will debate whether to extend and increase police powers to cover those using so-called legal highs.

This would allow officers to take action against anti-social behaviour without having to link it with drinking or drug use. 

The new powers would also make it easier to refer offenders to support organisations. 

Working with the local community we have made some good progress in the Bearpit, but unfortunately there is still a problem with anti-social behaviour from a minority of individuals

Alison Comley Chair of the Safer Bristol Partnership

Rugby: Ackermann to bring 'exciting' rugby to Gloucester

Listen: Johan Ackermann promises "exciting" rugby at Kingsholm

Gloucester Rugby's new head coach has promised to bring "exciting" rugby to Kingsholm.

The Cherry and Whites announced on Monday that South African Johan Ackermann would be taking up the coaching role for next season.

Ackermann told Mark Cummings on BBC Radio Gloucestershire that there would be no shortage of commitment from the players under his rule.

Wiltshire mum teaches infants how to survive a fall in water

Wiltshire mum begins tuition having lost her own son to drowning accident

A Wiltshire mum, whose three year old son drowned after he fell into a garden swimming pool, is now teaching infants how to survive in water. 

She trained in Florida and believes it's the first time this life-saving technique has been properly taught in the UK.  

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