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Summary

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

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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We're here all night, but moving home

Serena Williams
AFP/Getty Images

This will be like one of those moments mid-Wimbledon match when the BBC Two commentary team says "switch to BBC One now to carry on watching".

In other words, we're here all night, offering live updates from the election counts across the West, but via a fresh online page.

Please click here to access it.

Weather: 'A fairly breezy day' tomorrow

Watch: Ian Fergusson says it'll be a fairly breezy day

It will be dry this evening but the cloud will thicken. 

It should stay dry overnight but the winds will strengthen, especially along the coast and over higher ground. 

Minimum Temperature: 7C.

National Star College celebrating 50 years

Watch: Archive film from 1976 about the college

Next week the National Star College celebrates 50 years since the first ten students were welcomed through the doors.

The College - which supports people with disabilities - now works with more than 1,500 people.

University rent strike: 'We've got to balance the books'

Watch: Simon Bray says it's "very important we try and balance the books"

Some 130 students at the University of Bristol are taking part in a rent strike.

They want the cost of their accommodation to be reduced to 2015 levels.

Simon Bray, from the university, admitted the increases had been "reasonably large" because it could no longer subsidise the cost.

Football: Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Forest Green Rovers

Jordan Maguire-Drew
Rex Features

Dagenham and Forest Green could not be separated as they played out a draw in the first leg of their National League play-off semi-final at Victoria Road.

Click here to read more about the match.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

@FGRFC_Official Lots more attacking to come from @FGRFC_Official on Sunday. Daggers beware. Come..on..you...Rovers!

@FGRFC_Official Come on fgr it's about time you guys were in the league 👏👏👏

Jordan Maguire-Drew

Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Forest Green Rovers

Dagenham and Forest Green cannot be separated as they play out a draw in the first leg of their play-off semi-final.

Read more

University rent strike: Students want to see rents go down 'significantly'

Watch: Student Nic says their rent strike will draw attention to their cause

Some 130 students at the University of Bristol are refusing to pay this term's rent.

First-year student Nic Hamar says it's an issue that needs to be tackled and hopes the rent strikes will achieve this.

A delegation are due to speak to university bosses tomorrow to try to resolve the issue.

Rent strike banner
BBC

The university is also introducing a bursary of £1,000 for 120 students next year to help with accommodation costs.

But campaigners say that's just diverting attention away from the real problem.

Elections: All calm in Stroud ...for now

Elections: ...and in Somerset the 'boxes are in'...

Elections: BBC reporter at Cheltenham count overnight

Motorcyclist killed in multi-vehicle crash

A police car
BBC

A motorcyclist has been killed in a crash in Cheltenham which also involved a car and a van.

The 42-year-old was riding on Village Road at 5.25pm when the collision happened.

Gloucestershire Police said he died from his injuries and his next of kin had been informed.

"No-one else was injured," added a police spokesman.

Polls close in council and mayoral elections

Ballot boxes
BBC

Polling stations have now closed for the elections across the West of England.

Since 7am voters have had their say on who they want to run the councils in Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

Also, people in South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset have cast their votes on who they want to elect as the first West of England mayor.

Grandmother's 100mph dash down zipwire

Watch: Grandmother's 100mph dash down zipwire

An 83-year-old grandmother from Trowbridge has been riding Europe's longest and the world's fastest zipwire. 

Pat Davies reached speeds of up to 100mph on Velocity zipwire in Snowdonia.

She did it to raise money for Larkrise School which educates and cares for children with severe learning disabilities.

Prince Philip to retire: 'He's been immaculate in every way'

It has been announced that His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, will no longer carry out public engagements from the Autumn.

These people at the Badminton Horse Trials said they, like the Queen, supported his decision:

"I think he has done his bit" said one of his supporters

Football: All to play for as Forest Green secure draw

It was scrappy, but Forest Green Rovers should feel confident of making the final of the National League play-offs.

A Liam Noble goal put them ahead at Dagenham & Redbridge, but the home side levelled just before half time.

Virtually no time to rest though, as the semi-final second leg is this Sunday at The New Lawn — kick-off at 3pm.

View more on twitter

Football: 1-1 with just over 10 minutes left

An easy mistake to make...

View more on twitter

Football: Still 1-1 halfway through second half

Impressive camera work to catch Kaiyne Wollery in mid-air...

View more on twitter

How the BBC reports polling day

A radio studio
BBC

The BBC, like other broadcasters, isn't allowed to report details of campaigning while the polls are open.

The BBC is required by electoral law to adopt a code of practice, ensuring fairness between candidates.

The basic principle behind due impartiality in political coverage is set out in the agreement accompanying the BBC Charter.

This requires the BBC over time to give due weight and prominence to the main strands of argument and main parties.

Click here to read more.

Football: Forest Green concede just before half-time

Football: Forest Green promotion 'would be great'

Watch: "You'll have me crying" says one fan while thinking about possible promotion

Two years ago they lost in the semi-finals, last year the final. The expectation is now pretty high. 

Even though they're a small club, they've spent a lot of money to make this dream come true. 

Tonight is the first leg of the semi-finals, with Forest Green and their supporters away at Dagenham and Redbridge.

Football: Forest Green v Dagenham & Redbridge - team news

Cricket: Cook ton helps Essex to third cup win

Alastair Cook
TGSPhoto/REX/Shutterstock

England opener Alastair Cook's century set up a 29-run win for Essex against Gloucestershire in the One-Day Cup.

The 32-year-old hit 12 boundaries in his 127 before driving Chris Liddle (4-54) to extra cover in the 44th over.

Essex have now won their opening three matches in the competition, while Gloucestershire have lost two out of three.

Click here for more.

Father's concern at lack of post-mortem examination

Girton College, Cambridge
RODNEY BURTON/GEOGRAPH

The father of Cheltenham student Thomas Millward, who died last year after a fall at Girton College in Cambridge, has expressed concern that a post-mortem examination was not performed on his son.

The engineering student's father, Brian, said the examination would have "given possible indications of how high he fell from".

A cousin of Mr Millward's parents, whose name was given as Dr O'Driscoll, told a pre-inquest hearing: "We would just like to know the truth as far as possible."

Click here to read more.

It might have given possible indications of how high he fell from, whether his knee had given way or that kind of thing. His knee did give him problems. The issue of a post-mortem was considered by the senior coroner, as I understand it, and the decision that he made was that because the attending doctors were able to say with a significant degree of certainty what the medical cause of death was, nothing could be added by a post-mortem examination.

Brian MillwardThomas' father

Severe disruption: A358 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A358 Somerset both ways severe disruption, between A378 and M5 J25 affecting A38 Toneway.

A358 Somerset - A358 in Thornfalcon closed and queuing traffic in both directions between the A378 junction and Taunton, because of a vehicle fire. Congestion to Taunton.

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

Late artist's work in Russian exhibition

Artwork
Edward Arthur Milligan
Russian Prisoner of Stalag IIIa

World War Two artworks by the late Somerset artist Edward Arthur Milligan are to go on display in St Petersburg, Russia.

Ted piloted a Lancaster bomber which was shot down in 1944. He eventually found himself in Stalag Luft VII, where he found his love of drawing.

Artwork
Edward Arthur Milligan
Self portrait, 1945.

Edward's work will be showcased alongside Russian artist Pavel Ivanovich Afonin. The exhibition in Russia is called "Dual Perspectives: Second World War drawings by architect-veterans from Russia and Britain".

After the war, Edward went on to be an architect, architectural illustrator and artist, before dying in July 2011.

Gifted student fell to his death with LSD in his system

Thomas Millward's parents said he was one of the most promising young men of his generation
Millward family/PA

A Cambridge University student from Cheltenham who died in a fall at his college had the drug LSD in his system, a pre-inquest hearing was told today.

Thomas Millward was found with head injuries at the bottom of stairs at Girton College on 5th March last year. 

The 19-year-old died the following day in hospital. 

Click here to read more.

'Dangerous' dog seized after girl, aged four, bitten

Swindon Road
Google

A dog which attacked a four-year-old girl in Cheltenham has been seized by police.

Police say the dog, a black Staffie/Lurcher, caused injuries to her face which required surgery after the attack two weeks ago.

The dog was taken from a property in Swindon Road on Wednesday after magistrates issued a warrant under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Severe disruption: M4 Bristol eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Bristol eastbound severe disruption, at J22 for M49.

M4 Bristol - M4 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic eastbound at J22 M49, because of a broken down lorry.

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

Football: Forest Green v Dagenham & Redbridge - team confident

Watch: Keanu Marsh-Brown confident Rovers can win

Will it be third time lucky for Forest Green Rovers as they try to get into the Football League? 

The Gloucestershire side will play the first leg of their National League play-off semi final tonight, away at Dagenham & Redbridge.

You'll be able to hear full match commentary on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. Kick-off is at 7pm.

Rovers lost at this stage in 2015 and lost in the final at Wembley last season. 

Midfielder Keanu Marsh-Brown says the team is confident they can go one better this time.

Severe accident: A37 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A37 Somerset both ways severe accident, near B3139.

A37 Somerset - A37 in Emborough blocked and very slow traffic in both directions near Old Down Inn, because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M4 Bristol westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Bristol westbound severe accident, between J22 for M49 and J23 for M48.

M4 Bristol - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M4 westbound between J22 M49 and J23 M48, because of an accident.

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

New cathedral steps take shape

Looks like work on the new steps at Gloucester Cathedral is progressing nicely...

View more on twitter

Making the headlines in the West country newspapers

Search for missing man postponed after body find

A post on the Find Jason Gurgul Facebook says his family have been told about the discovery of a body in Bristol Harbour.

No other information is known or can be given at this present time. The public search is postponed until police identify the body found. Thoughts are with Jason's family and loved ones at this difficult time while they await on news.

Find Jason Gurgul Facebook page

Body found in hunt for father-of-two

Jason Gurgul
Avon and Somerset Police / Kylie Gurgul

Jason Gurgul, 33, was last seen on a night out in Bristol city centre in the early hours of Saturday.

Find out the latest here.

BreakingBody found in Bristol Harbour

Avon & Somerset Police say a body has been pulled from Bristol Harbour.

A spokesman said:

Our dive team has recovered a man’s body from the Floating Harbour near Welsh Back in Bristol this afternoon. While it’s too early for any formal identification, we are keeping the family of missing man Jason Gurgul fully updated.

Success for arthritis trial in Bristol

Thousands of children will now be spared blindness after clinical trials in Bristol have shown it's possible to stop an eye disease caused by arthritis.

Across the UK more than 5,000 children and adolescents with juvenile arthritis are likely to develop a condition called uveitis, a disease that causes inflammation in the eye. 

A trial in Bristol has found that a new combination of drugs can prevent it and the treatment has now been made available across the country.

Watch: Professor Athimalaipet Ramanan is a rheumatologist in Bristol.

'One off' alpaca hair cuts inject a bit of humour

Alpaca at Kensmyth Stud in Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Kensmyth Stud

Passers-by in Cirencester will only see the various hair styles for the next few weeks as the males will be fully sheared in mid-May. 

When she first began, farmer Helen said there was little known about the species in the UK as they were only imported in the year 2000. 

"Most people thought they were long necked sheep," she said.

Alpaca at Kensmyth Stud in Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Kensmyth Stud

We had the boys shorn early as I wanted to show people a more humorous side to alpaca in times when farming seems really low. The 'blanket' is the best part of the fleece so shearing in such a funky manner did mean we lost a little of the best parts of the fleece but it is worth it."

Helen Kendall SmithAlpaca farmer