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Summary

  1. Live news, sport, weather and travel updates for the West of England on Wednesday, 3rd May

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Dry, but sometimes cloudy overnight

Watch: West weather for 3 May

That's all from BBC Local Live for the West country for today.

We're back tomorrow morning from 7am with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

It will be cloudy, mild and mostly dry tonight, though the odd patch of rain or drizzle are possible in places where the cloud is particularly thick, most likely on the Mendips. 

Minimum Temperature: 8C.

Airport 60: Former captain's fond memories of airport

Watch: Former captain's fond memories of airport

To round off our coverage of Bristol Airport's 60th birthday we hear from Pamela McCoy, or Captain Pam as she is also known. Ms McCoy was one of the first female pilots in Britain - and the first to fly out of Bristol Airport. 

But as she told Points West's David Garmston, she'd not been aware of this fact until fairly recently.  

Gloucestershire Airport receives emergency loan from two councils

Gloucestershire Airport
Google

Gloucestershire Airport is to be given a six-figure emergency loan by two local councils.

Emergency meetings were held last month to discuss the future of the airport, which is part-owned by Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council.

The loan is thought to be about £750,000, which the airport says will help deliver its 10-year business plan.

The authorities said the total amount of the loan was "split equally between the two shareholder councils".

Read more on this story.

Airport 60: D-day aircraft helps celebrate airport's birthday

Watch: D-day aircraft helps celebrate airport's 60th

Bristol Airport is celebrating its 60th Anniversary today and as part of the commemoration travellers were treated to this wonderful sight. 

A DC3 aircraft, a 75-year-old veteran of the D Day landings, flew in and took her place alongside the modern jets. 

Her TV credits include Band of Brothers and Indiana Jones. 

Chief Constable defends Taser-training more officers.

Wiltshire's chief constable says he is confident that the force uses Tasers correctly - as it is announced that more officers will be trained to use the "less lethal" weapon.

Last June it was criticised by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for their overuse of Tasers in custody suites

Someone using a Taser
BBC

I've got absolute confidence in my staff showing that measure and showing that proportionality and showing that wisdom. And the vast majority of times we do draw our Tasers, we don't fire.

Mike VealeChief Constable of Wiltshire Police

Ollie Sprague, from Amnesty International, said in many cases the use of a Taser was not appropriate and that it isn't a "magic cure-all weapon". 

"We have to be very very careful and look at the threat... and make sure the police have the correct equipment and tactics to deal with that," he said.

Missing Bristol woman Lisa-Ann Tait found alive and well

'Lukewarm' reaction towards another mayor

Watch: 'Lukewarm' reaction for another mayor

It's the final day of campaigning ahead of tomorrow's elections with six candidates hoping to become the new West of England mayor. 

He or she will have significant powers over transport and housing across the region. 

But today voters in Bristol, where there is already an elected mayor and a ceremonial lord mayor, gave the idea of another mayor a lukewarm reception.  

Emersons Green hospital worker swapped drugs with water

David Bamford
PA

A hospital worker has been jailed for stealing prescription drugs from vials and replacing them with water and less potent painkillers.

David Bamford was found guilty of stealing fentanyl and diamorphine from Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre in South Gloucestershire where he worked.

The 47-year-old, of Quakers Road, Downend, stole the drugs to treat his bad back, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Bamford, a lead operating department practitioner, was jailed for two years.

More on this story.

Watch: super cute little badger rescued in Somerset

New deal for Bristol Rovers' defender James Clarke

James Clarke
Rex Features

Bristol Rovers defender James Clarke has signed a new contract with the League One club.

The Aylesbury-born 27-year-old, who is formerly of Oxford United, Oxford City, Salisbury and Woking, has been with Rovers since 2015.

"James' ability to play anywhere across the back line has been invaluable to us," manager Darrell Clarke said.

The player added to the club website: "I had no hesitation in signing a new contract with the club."

Read more on this story.

Airport 60: Enjoy this bird's eye tour of the West

Kate feeds 'Stinky the sheep' and helps schoolkids with their onions

City farm royal visit
Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge helped feed Stinky the sheep during a visit to the Farms for City Children in Arlingham, Gloucestershire.

Stinky, who is six weeks old, is being bottle-fed as he fell ill shortly after being born and had to be taken away from his mother and hand-reared by staff.

City farm royal visit
Getty Images

She also helped children from Vauxhall primary school in London plant onions in their vegetable patch.  

Airport 60: Watch amazing aerial film of West Country landmarks

Take a flight from Bristol Airport and a tour of the West Country.

Gloucester to sign Saints prop Denman

Gareth Denman
Rex Features

Premiership club Gloucester sign Northampton Saints' English prop Gareth Denman for the start of next season.

The 26-year-old has spent four seasons at Franklin's Gardens after previously playing for Rotherham Titans and at Leeds Carnegie's academy.  

Read the full story here.

Gareth Denman

Gloucester to sign Saints prop Denman

Premiership club Gloucester sign Northampton Saints' English prop Gareth Denman for the start of next season.

Read more

Severe disruption: A46 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A46 Gloucestershire both ways severe disruption, between Inchbrook Hill and Station Road affecting Tetbury Lane.

A46 Gloucestershire - Very slow traffic on A46 Stroud Road in both directions in Nailsworth between the Inchbrook Hill junction and the Station Road junction, because of an earlier vehicle fire. Congestion to the Tetbury Lane junction.

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

Airport 60: What is the "worst case scenario" for Bristol post-Brexit?

The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union in March 2019. 

What could this mean for Bristol Airport? Travel writer Simon Calder says the "worst case scenario" is the cancellation of 95% of flights due to us losing permissions to fly into countries across Europe.

Currently flights operate out of Bristol to 121 destinations in 32 countries that are all in the EU - except Egypt and Turkey.

No permission to fly is the "worst case scenario" post-Brexit for Bristol airport.

Suspected 'illegal' cigarettes found in fence

Cigarettes
Gloucestershire Trading Standards

A hidden compartment in a fence is the latest hiding place for suspected counterfeit cigarettes.

It was found in the backyard of a shop in the centre of Gloucester when trading standards officers raided the premises.

Andy Hermiston, from trading standards, said the shop would have made approximately £3,000 from selling the seized items, avoiding paying some £7,500 in duty. 

“This demonstrates the degree of sophistication involved in the sale of illegal tobacco. The hiding place has taken time and effort to create, suggesting a highly profitable activity," he said. 

Fuel now available westbound only at M4 Membury Services

Avon Fire and Rescue need you

Ever fancied yourself as a firefighter?

Avon Fire and Rescue is recruiting for the first time in eight years.

They held four awareness events last week in the hope of encouraging more people to apply.

View more on twitter

Swindon keep midfielder Iandolo but let four others go - including Brad Barry

Bradley Barry
Getty Images

Swindon take up a one-year option on midfielder Ellis Iandolo's contract but release four players, including Brad Barry.

Defenders Brad Barry, Jamie Sendles-White and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill plus forward Jordan Stewart will all leave.

Read the full story here.  

Bradley Barry

Swindon keep Iandolo but let four go

Swindon take up a one-year option on midfielder Ellis Iandolo's contract but release four players, including Brad Barry.

Read more

Kate joins children on city farm visit

Farms for City Children royal visit
PA

The Duchess of Cambridge has joined schoolchildren on a visit to a working city farm.

Farms for City Children royal visit
Getty Images

Kate visited Farms for City Children in Arlingham, Gloucester, where she heard about its work before joining a story-time session led by children's author Michael Morpurgo, who founded the charity with his wife Clare in 1976. 

Farms for City Children royal visit
Getty Images

The organisation, which now has three working farms, welcomes around 3,200 children and 400 teachers a year.

Rehab centre gets £150,000 extra funding

Chandos House
Chandos House

A rehab centre which helps men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction has secured extra funding of £150,000. 

Chandos House in Bristol was awarded the money by Resonance Bristol Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) Fund. 

James Dickinson, from Chandos House, said they were "excited about the changes and improvements this investment enables for our future." 

He said the money would be used to support clients at the "only Bristol-based residential facility" which has recently increased its beds from 10 to 15.   

Radcliffe Royde
BBC
Radcliffe Royde came to Chandos House for help to fight his heroin and crack cocaine addiction

Resident Radcliffe Royde has been at Chandos House for just over three months. 

He said it was "losing a 24-year battle with heroin and crack cocaine addiction" that had brought him to the centre. He said people at Chandos House were "from all walks of life". 

Mr Royde said: "There are guys here that came straight from prison, there are guys here that chose to come back because they needed a bit of extra support.

 "So, people at different stages of life, different ages and what they get here is equal care, equal time, equal value, equal respect."

Bath RFC may discipline 'naked run' players

The Recreation Ground
Getty Images

Bath plan internal disciplinary hearings after some of their players allegedly ran naked across their pitch last week.

A fire extinguisher was also allegedly let off in a hospitality suite.

"Bath Rugby is currently addressing the events at the Rec last week, which involved a small group of players from the club," a Bath statement said.

Read the full story here.

The Recreation Ground

Bath may discipline 'naked run' players

Bath plan internal disciplinary hearings after some of their players allegedly ran naked across their pitch last week.

Read more

Airport 60: 'Should have been Filton'

BA Concorde
BBC
BA Concorde landing at Filton, Bristol

We've been talking about Bristol Airport turning 60 and its expansion hopes.

However, many of you have said you think the airport would be better moved to Filton where the infrastructure is already set up for business:

Andrew Brace: "Should have been Filton. Fog free, public transport and motorway network. One of the longest runways in the country."

Carron Crocker: "Have a bigger and better Bristol airport at Filton before houses are built on it! It's next to a dual carriageway, with excellent motorway links to the M4/M5 and near a train station!"

John Dakin: "That would be [moving the airport to Filton] the most sensible solution ever! From a pilot's point of view - a safer place ( Lulsgate does not have a good weather record because of its height above sea level) and the transport links are appalling. However, I think any ideas of Filton are "pie in the sky" as is now signed and sealed for housing!"

Newspaper headlines in the West

In The Papers graphic
BBC
Newspaper round up

Here's a look at the local headlines:

Somerset County Gazette: Travellers parked up on Gateway Park and Ride, at Ruishton.

Wiltshire Times: Stranger offers woman money to get into his Vauxhall Corsa in Trowbridge.

Gloucestershire Gazette: South Gloucestershire NHS worker jailed for stealing prescription drugs.

Bristol Post: Detectives searching for Jason Gurgul uncover more CCTV footage.

Swindon Advertiser: Man who molested boy and put indecent images of children on Facebook sentenced.

Bath may discipline 'naked run' players

The Recreation Ground
Getty Images

Bath Rugby say they are planning internal disciplinary hearings after some of their players allegedly ran naked across the pitch last week.

A fire extinguisher was also allegedly let off in a hospitality suite at a post-training social at the Recreation Ground.

This reportedly occurred in daylight, before a kicking clinic for youngsters.

Bath Rugby is currently addressing the events at the Recreation Ground last week, which involved a small group of players from the Club. The appropriate conduct of all players and staff is highly important to the Club, and disciplinary hearings with those involved will take place in the coming days. The matter will be addressed appropriately as part of that process

StatementBath Rugby

Wiltshire Police appeal for information

Police in Marlborough are appealing for information about a burglary and attempted burglaries in the town.

Overnight between Friday 28 April and Saturday 29 April, a house in Ducks Meadow was broken into and a quantity of cash was stolen, as well as cigarettes.

During the same time period, offenders attempted to gain entry to a property in George Lane, by putting their hand through a cat flap and taking a key from inside the door. They did not gain entry to the house. 

An attempt was also made to gain entry into another house in Ducks Meadow.

police emblem
BBC
Police appeal for information

I would like to reassure residents that reports of this nature are taken very seriously and we are in the process of carrying out a thorough investigation

PC Rich BarrattWiltshire Police

Airport 60: Your comments on possible expansion

As Bristol Airport celebrates its 60th birthday, here are some of your comments on its possible expansion:

Jill Coubrough: "I've been using it regularly for 8 years and the improvements have been amazing. Keep it up I say. Also the addition of the hotel is fantastic." 

Sylvia Black: "Make it bigger if there is a train route to the airport from Temple Meads. The bus route takes hours and the taxis seem to be always booked! Glad there is a hotel there. I use Gatwick a lot as it's easier to get to, but if Bristol was bigger and convenient I would use it as I don't drive!"

David Oxendale: "Expand, but only when a rail route and dual carriageways are installed to satisfy demand. The existing routes make for unreliable journey times and need upgrading."  

Birds eye view of Bristol Airport
BBC

Last day before key elections

Paul Barltrop

Political Editor, West of England

Thursday 4th May will decide who will run some of the West's biggest councils - and who will be the region's first so-called Metro Mayor. 

The counties of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset are all presently Conservative-run. 

But the last time they held elections UKIP made a breakthrough, helping push Gloucestershire to no overall control. 

The Tories reckon their threat has faded, but a bigger challenge this time is expected from the Liberal Democrats. 

They have rebounded in the last couple of years, and hope to gain seats in places like Cheltenham, Taunton and Yeovil. 

More unusual is the contest to be West of England mayor. 

Past general elections in the area, comprised of Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset, suggest the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour are front-runners. 

But with six candidates, and voters choosing first and second preferences, the result is very hard to predict.

Airport 60: A tour of a vintage DC3 aircraft

Bristol Airport is celebrating its 60th anniversary today.  An aircraft has been named in its honour - and there's a vintage plane on the tarmac there too.

Lucky BBC Radio Bristol has got a tour with the pilot.   

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An exclusive look around the new Badminton Horse Trials course

Competition begins at the Badminton Horse Trials tomorrow.  Here we have an exclusive look around the new course with new designer Eric Winter. 

An exclusive look around the new Badminton Horse Trials course

Severe disruption: A39 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A39 Somerset both ways severe disruption, between Pedwell Hill and A361 Taunton Road.

A39 Somerset - A39 Bath Road in Ashcott blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between the Pedwell Hill junction and the A361 Taunton Road junction, because of a shed load.

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

'Lousy transport' could be a problem for Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport says it hopes to double its size over the next few years.

The company wants to to eventually handle as many as 15 million passengers a year - about double the number which currently use it.

Travel writer Simon Calder says there should be some kind of transport link to avoid putting passengers off flying from Bristol.

But there are concerns.

Watch: Bristol Airport celebrates 60 years of passenger flights.

A tale of two teams - 20 years on

Watch: Gloucester City and Cheltenham Town's contrasting fortunes since 1997

Today is the 20th anniversary of one of the most significant days ever for two of Gloucestershire's football teams. 

On 3 May 1997 - the last day of the Southern League Premier Division season - Gloucester City and Cheltenham Town were tied on points near the top of the table. 

The Tigers needed to better The Robins' result to be promoted to the Conference.

At half-time things were going well for Gloucester City as they were beating Salisbury 1-0 at home, while Cheltenham were drawing 0-0 at Burton. 

But in the next 45 minutes, it all fell apart for The Tigers, and Cheltenham pipped them to promotion.

Loan approved for Gloucestershire Airport

Gloucestershire Airport
BBC

A loan - thought to be in the region of three quarters of a million pounds - is to be given to Gloucestershire Airport. 

The money will be come from the airport's joint owners - Gloucester city and Cheltenham borough councils.  It's hoped it will help the airport deliver its 10 year business plan. 

The airport says it will repay the money at normal commercial rates

In 2014, the shareholding Councils appointed aviation consultants, York Aviation to analyse the business and assist in the development of a 10-year strategy for the airport. This report and its recommendations were adopted by the shareholders, including capital expenditure of up to £6m, required to upgrade infrastructure, develop the airport’s property portfolio and deliver medium to long-term profitability for the shareholders.

Darren LewingtonOperations director

Trade stands open at Badminton

Crowds at Badminton horse trials
BBC Sport

Five hundred trade stands open for business this morning at the Badminton Horse Trials. 

The competition begins tomorrow after all the horses have been checked over by vets. The three-day event is made up of dressage, cross country and show jumping. 

More than 160,000 people went along last year, making it one of the top 10 most visited sporting events in the UK.

Airport 60: 'Lousy transport'

Last year 7.5m passengers used Bristol Airport. That's a stark contrast to the 31,000 who used it when it first began operating in 1957.

And now, as it was then, all of the passengers have to use local roads to get to or from the site.  

It's a "lousy" situation, according to Simon Calder - the Independent's travel correspondent - who says major improvements are needed if the airport desires growth.

"Such lousy transport" around Bristol Airport, says travel writer Simon Calder.

BBC local radio headlines for the West

Microphones
BBC

Here are today's top stories on your local BBC radio stations in the West.

BBC Radio Bristol:  Bristol Airport hopes to double in size in years to come, handling as many as 15m passengers.

BBC Radio Wiltshire: More violence towards police and the increased threat of terrorism has led to Wiltshire's chief constable training up more officers on how to use Tasers.  

BBC Radio Gloucestershire: An emergency loan - thought to be in the region of three quarters of a million pounds - is to be given to Gloucestershire Airport.

BBC Radio Somerset: Yeovil Town Ladies will play a home game at Taunton Town's Viridor Stadium for the first time tonight. 

Missing person posters for Jason Gurgul

Posters are being put up around Bristol to help trace missing Jason Gurgul.

His family are hoping to organise a public search tomorrow.

Jason was celebrating a job promotion when he disappeared. He was last seen in the early hours of Saturday morning around Baldwin Street in Bristol.

Missing person poster
BBC
Posters appeal for help to find missing Jason Gurgul

Taser training for Wiltshire police officers

Wiltshire Police is training more of its officers to use Tasers. 

Chief Constable Mike Veale approved the training as more violence is directed at police officers and the terrorism threat increases. 

Last summer, inspectors criticised the force for the overuse of Tasers in custody suites. 

A hand holding a taser
BBC
More officers train in Taser use.