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Summary

  1. News, sport, weather and travel from across the West of England on Tuesday 13 June, 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight and we will join you again from 7am tomorrow

We hope you have enjoyed reading our news, sport and weather updates for the West of England.

The BBC live page will be back again from 7am - but before we go this evening, here's a look at what's in store weather-wise:

£500k bid to reduce congestion on A39

A £500k improvement scheme has been announced in a bid to cut congestion on the A39 in Somerset .

The main sticking points along the commuter route are two light-controlled junctions with the B3116 and A368.

The plan is to widen the road at the former (known as the Two-Headed Man) so there are dedicated turning lanes in each direction.

There will be a public consultation on the plans at Marksbury Village Hall on 20 June from 4pm to 7pm.

Taunton Brewhouse's £20m revamp plans

Ruth Bradley

BBC Somerset politics reporter

Taunton Brewhouse artist's impression
Taunton Deane Borough Council

A redevelopment of the Brewhouse Theatre has been talked about for more than a decade. The theatre's chief executive said today it's time to "stop procrastinating" and start this work, which she says would be part of the economic, social and cultural regeneration of the town.

An artist's impression was up on a screen in the auditorium at the Brewhouse this lunchtime, showing how a £20m extension and refurbishment could look from the outside, across the river.

The estimated cost of the work is £19.2m which would be raised through grants, donations from local people and possibly a loan from the council.

The team behind the plans, which are at an early stage, say the refurbished Brewhouse could generate £4.5m for the local economy per year.

They'd like to be starting building work in 2020 with it completed in 2021.

Skate park referendum to be held

Residents in Portishead are heading back to the polls later to decide on a controversial new skate park.

The town is hosting its own referendum to decide if a new facility should be built, following a decade of campaigning.

Those in favour have accused Portishead Town Council of overdeveloping the town whilst overlooking facilities for young people.

But councillor David Oynes says the town council is in favour of a new skate park.

"I wish that the group that wants the skate park had been able to engage with the council in a positive way," he said.

"So that we could have looked at the situation together and found a site and then progressed it."

Generic skatepark
Getty Images

Man flees from police across two lanes of M4

Junction 15 of the M4
Google

A man is on the run after escaping from police by fleeing across two lanes of traffic on the M4 in Wiltshire.

It follows a police chase earlier today along the busy motorway after officers spotted a suspected stolen vehicle on the A419 near junction 15 of the M4.

Wiltshire Police said during the pursuit the driver "made contact with police vehicles in a bid to avoid being stopped".

"As a result of his actions, a 70-year-old female driver collided with a number of other vehicles. She sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene before going to Great Western Hospital as a precaution.

"When the vehicle was stopped, a 17-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle."

Changes afoot for Cheltenham's car parks

Cheltenham Borough Council is looking to improve its car parks across the town, following a consultation.

A 14-year strategy has been produced that will see the authority reviewing charges and providing better signage.

However, no new car parks are planned.

The council has a £400k budget to implement the proposals, which will be voted upon at a cabinet meeting tonight.

Giant kiwi carving given protected status

Bulford Kiwi
Historic England

A giant chalk carving of a kiwi has been granted protected status on the centenary of a World War One battle.

The 130m-tall (420ft) Bulford Kiwi, on Bulford Hill near Stonehenge, was carved by New Zealand troops who were stationed there.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has made it a scheduled monument on the advice of Historic England.

Click here to read the full story.

Bulford Kiwi

Giant kiwi carving given protected status

The monument was carved by New Zealand troops at the end of World War One.

Read more

Your local newspaper headlines this evening

Walkers urged to explore rivers for Festival of Nature

River Severn
James Flynn

Those who love a spot of nature therapy are being urged to get out walking during this year's Festival of Nature.

The event is publicising a series of new after-work walks, longer walks along the River Avon between Bristol and Bath and a special sunrise to sunset walk between the two cities on the longest day of the year.

And tomorrow walkers are encouraged to embrace the forgotten landscape of the Severn by joining others to take the 9:16am train from Bristol Templemeads and walk along the beach.

Bristol man found in road with serious head injuries

Police are trying to find out why a man was left lying in a Bristol street with serious head injuries.

The victim was discovered by passers-by on Twenty Acres Road, Southmead, just after midnight on Monday morning.

A police spokesman said: "At this stage, officers are keeping an open mind as to whether he might have been assaulted or suffered the injuries as a result of a fall.

"We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the Twenty Acres Road area late on Sunday evening or the early hours of yesterday."

The man remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Twenty Acres Road, Southmead
Google

Bike wars in Bath: Rival firm Yo Bike defends criticism from Nextbike

Nextbike, which has been operating in Bath for several years, has claimed several dozen YoBikes are being used by people in Bath, without having the appropriate permission from Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Banes council said it is aware of the issue and is working to resolve the situation.

Nextbike's managing director Julian Scriven said: "Sadly, YoBikes is a dockless or free-floating scheme... you can drop them anywhere."

"For the residents here, where public places are restricted and the pavements are very narrow, one poorly-placed bike can inconvenience a lot of residents."

But Will Trafford from Yo Bike says measures are in place to stop people from dropping them off just anywhere:

Yo Bike responds to a rival firm which says Yo Bikes can be dropped off anywhere.
Brendan Taylor

Nottinghamshire make 429-9 as they beat Somerset by 24 runs in a scintillating One-Day Cup quarter-final at Taunton.

Read more

Swindon MP re-appointed in May's cabinet

More baby hoglets getting the four-star treatment

View more on twitter

These little chaps are being looked after at the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital near Salisbury.

World's last Sea Vixen may not fly again

Engineers have been assessing the damage done to the world's last remaining Sea Vixen, after it crashed landed in Somerset last month.

The aircraft, known as the 'Foxy Lady', was returning to RNAS Yeovilton after an airshow when its landing gear failed.

The 1950s high-speed combat jet, landed on its belly on the runway and caught fire.

Brian Johnston, from Royal Navy Historic Flight, says they won't know if it will fly again until a full assessment has been carried out

"There's quite a bit of work to do and we haven't finished our investigations so we may come across some structure which we can't remake," he said.

Watch: Problems with the landing gear meant the plane had to land without wheels.

Clubber 'wandered off' before drowning

Deakon Wilkins
Avon and Somerset Police
Deakon Wilkins was last seen leaving Motion nightclub in Bristol in the early hours of 14 January

An inquest concludes Deakon Wilkins drowned but not how or why he came to be in the water.

Deakon Wilkins, 24, from Weston-super-Mare, vanished after leaving Motion nightclub in Bristol in the early hours of 14 January.

His body was found on 5 February after a high-profile social media and leafleting campaign by his family.

The coroner returned a verdict of death by drowning but said it was not known how or why he entered the water.

Further strikes in the offing at BMW Swindon

Press Association

BMW badge
PA

A further wave of strikes by workers at car giant BMW is "almost certain" if a long-running dispute over pensions is not resolved, a union has warned.

Unite officials from BMW car plants in Cowley, Goodwood, near Chichester, Hams Hall in the West Midlands and Swindon called for a new offer to be made after union members rejected a proposed deal.

The dispute, over BMW's plans to close its final salary pension scheme, has already led to strikes, hitting production of engines, the Mini and Rolls-Royce cars.

Unite expects to meet BMW bosses in the coming days for fresh talks.

'Complicated' Father Christmas parade cancelled

Generic Father Christmas parade
Getty

Staple Hill's traditional parade of Father Christmasses won't be going ahead this year.

The committee that organises the parade says it has become too expensive and complicated to stage.

It added that the rest of the annual Christmas On The Hill event will go ahead as usual.

Ian Boulton, Labour councillor at South Gloucestershire Council, says he appreciates people will be disappointed by the news

"It's got so large and it's difficult to organise," he said.

"There's still plans for lots to go on, it's just going to be slightly different this year."

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol northbound severe disruption, between J15 for M4 and J14 for B4509 Thornbury.

M5 Bristol - One lane closed on M5 northbound between J15, M4 (Almondsbury Interchange) and J14, B4509 (Thornbury), because of a broken down coach and recovery work. Traffic is coping well.

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

Fearns to remain at Lyon - Gloucester RFC

Carl Fearns
Getty Images

Gloucester have confirmed back-row forward Carl Fearns will remain with Lyon, despite signing a deal to move to the Premiership side this summer.

The Cherry and Whites announced in November that Fearns, 28, would move to Kingsholm on a three-year deal after the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.

But Lyon offered him "significantly increased personal terms".

Read the full story here.

Bristol City Council's £4.7m budget savings outlined

Public library generic
BBC

More details of where the £4.7m budget cuts will fall in Bristol have been outlined by the city council.

The areas where savings being proposed by the Labour mayor Marvin Rees are:

  • Stopping funding to libraries, so only 10 of the 26 will continue to be funding by the council - other options are being explored to keep the others open, such as community groups running them
  • Closing public loos
  • Reducing funding for lollipop ladies
  • Reducing funding for Neighbourhood Partnerships and Bristol Community Links

The Conservatives have already attacked the library cuts, describing them as "devastating" and saying that they would have a "terrible impact" on library-users.

In October 2016, Mr Rees warned cuts of £92m would have to be made to Bristol City Council's budget by 2022, with further savings of £33m before the end of the the 2016-17 financial year.

Taunton Theatre seeks £20m funding as part of revamp vision

Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton artist's impression
Taunton Deane Borough Council

Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre has unveiled plans to fundraise some £20m as part of its vision for growth over the next four years.

The venue was forced to close in 2013, but after community efforts it reopened the following year and since then has been successfully run.

Funding will be sought from grant-making bodies, as well as public fundraising activities.

The expansion will include a larger auditorium, studios, cinema and gallery.

Brewhouse Theatre in artist's impressions
Taunton Deane Borough Council

Leading the revival of The Brewhouse has been an exhilarating experience. Everyone should be able to access great art, it should not be due to an incidental postcode or happy coincidence. This is why The Brewhouse’s success is so important, we don’t simply want to survive, we want to thrive and in order to do that we need to be ambitious, brave and bold."

Vanessa Lefrancois,chief executive, The Brewhouse Theatre

There's a deer on the loose in Bristol causing some traffic problems

"Heads are rolling" over inadequate children's services

Shire Hall
BBC

There are calls for an urgent meeting after a "damning" Ofsted report which rated children's services in Gloucestershire as inadequate.

The Liberal Democrat group on the county council said "heads were already rolling" as a result of the findings and has called for an urgent meeting of all members

This is an utterly damning report on the state of local children’s services in Gloucestershire. It is a story of failure. Here, we know that heads are already rolling as a result of this report with the sudden resignation of one and the quick retirement of another senior officer within the department. It is not surprising as this is a truly awful and deeply concerning report. The council’s leadership now need to consider their own positions.

Paul Hodgkinson,Liberal Democrat leader, Gloucestershire County Council

Forest Green keeper Russell signs deal

Sam Russell
Rex Features

Forest Green Rovers goalkeeper Sam Russell has signed a new one-year deal.

The 34-year-old rejoined the New Lawn side in July 2016 and was ever-present as they won promotion to League Two last season.

Read the full story here.

WATCH: Baby hedgehogs being hand-fed

Three baby pygmy hedgehogs are being cared for at Bristol's RSPCA branch.

When they are ready they will be set free into the wild.

But for now they are being hand-fed by staff.

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J14 for A338 and J15 for A346 Marlborough Road.

M4 Berkshire - One lane closed on M4 westbound between J14, A338 (Hungerford) and J15, A346 (Swindon East). Traffic is coping well.

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

Baby hoglets being cared for by RSPCA

Three baby hedgehogs have been rescued by the RSPCA in Bristol.

The spiky infants are being fed through a pipette until they are stronger.

View more on twitter

Antarctic mystery painting linked to Scott

The mystery of a beautifully painted watercolour of a dead bird that was found in Antarctica's oldest building has been solved.

The painting of a Tree Creeper was in a hut built by Norwegian explorers and later used by the Scott expedition.

The image was found in a pile of papers.

It is believed to be by Cheltenham-born scientist Dr Edward Wilson, who died on the ill-fated Scott expedition to the South Pole in 1912.

Click here to read more.

Antarctica drawing
The Antarctic Heritage Trust

EDF Energy chief to step down

Vincent de Rivaz
BBC

Reports suggest that the chairman of EDF Energy, chief executive Vincent de Rivaz, is to step down later this year.

The energy company is behind the new nuclear power station set to be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

EDF has announced that he will be succeeded by the firm's group senior executive Simone Rossi from 1 November.

Wiltshire's white horses from the air

The tourism body Visit Wiltshire has compiled this aerial video of Wiltshire's iconic white chalk horses.

Tel us: which is your favourite? Tweet us on @bbcbristol and let us know.

View more on youtube

World War 1 medals stolen in burglary

Police are appealing for witnesses after a break-in at a house in Swindon saw World War I medals stolen.

The intruders also stole a number of rings.

The medals had the name Charles Burgess inscribed on them.

The break-in took place between 4.40pm and 5.10pm on Tuesday 23 May 2017 at a property on Morris Street.

View more on twitter

Hotel evacuated after fire

Hotel guests had to be evacuated after a fire broke out at Babington House in Somerset this morning.

Six fire engines attended after a call at 9.30am.

Firefighters had to remove a section of wall to extinguish a fire between the ground and first floors.

There is said to be smoke damage to the property.

'Chilling' 400-year-old cave markings warded off witches

Witch markings in Wookey Hole caves
Wookey Hole

Symbols etched into cave walls four centuries ago to ward off evil spirits are to go on show to the public for the first time.

The mysterious symbols were scratched into the Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset and lay undiscovered for years.

Researchers at Bristol University believe they were intended to scare off witches at a time when Mathew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, was responsible for hanging more than 300 women for witchcraft in the UK.

The study says: "The area in Wookey Hole where the majority of the ritual protection marks are located is a closed aven, which results in a convection draught caused by the body heat of those standing below it displacing the cooler surrounding air which then descends noticeably.”

Daniel Medley, owner of Wookey Hole Caves, said: “Bristol University has carried out a full academic study and it is clear that the majority of these markings date from a period from 1550 to 1750.

"So there is evidence of 200 years of fear and superstition over the witch and her powers.”

The markings will now become part the usual guided tour.

It is quite chilling to think that people hundreds of years ago were deep underground carrying flaming torches for light and scratching these symbols on the rocks because they believed it would protect them from the witch and her evil.

Daniel MedleyOwner of Wookey Hole Caves

BreakingNarrative verdict on missing clubber found in Bristol harbour

Deakon Wilkins
Avon and Somerset Police

It is still not known how a man found dead in Bristol's Floating Harbour ended up there, an inquest has heard.

Deakon Wilkins, 24, from Weston-super-Mare, vanished after leaving Motion nightclub in Bristol in the early hours of 14 January.

His body was found on 5 February after a high-profile social media and leafleting campaign by his family.

The coroner returned a verdict of death by drowning but said it was not known how or why Deakon entered the water.

Traces of cannabis were found in his bloodstream but they can remain so for up to three days after smoking it.

At the inquest, his friend Matthew Cook said his friend told him he had taken speed that night, although this did not show up in the toxicology report.

Mr Cook said he had received unintelligible texts from Deakon on his phone in the early hours of the morning.

I tried to find him after he wandered off in the club. He was supposed to be staying at mine.

Matthew Cook,Friend of Deakon Wilkins

'Serious failures' in children's services

Gloucestershire County Council, Shire Hall
Google

Ofsted rates Gloucestershire County Council's children's services as inadequate and says standards have "deteriorated significantly".

Get the full story here.

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe disruption, between J25 for A358 and J24 for A38.

M5 Somerset - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 northbound between J25, A358 (Taunton) and J24, A38 (Bridgwater South), because of a car fire.

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

Your views on Bristol's congestion problems

Queuing traffic
BBC

Dave Pritchard: Nobody is going to say "introduce a congestion charge." That's what is going to happen though.

Paul Thomas: Scrap bus lanes. Take traffic lights off of roundabouts. Do away with zebra crossings on blind corners, junctions and hills. Get rid of the 20mph zones; it doesn't help the climate or traffic congestion. Sack the planners that made the system what it is today!

Dan White :Build a time machine, go back to 2001 and make sure that the trams were built.

Gary Cousins: I think it's a waste of time and money at the moment for the Mayor to start sorting out the traffic hold up. Wait 'till the metro and arena have been finished.

Wendy Attridge: Build a peripheral road right 'round the city to divert unnecessary traffic going through it, such as me and thousands of others heading for the M5 Northbound, for example.

Dom Williams: A start might be to stop creating congestion by design.

Severe accident: M4 Wiltshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Wiltshire eastbound severe accident, between J15 for A346 Marlborough Road and J14 for A338.

M4 Wiltshire - Two lanes blocked and slow traffic on M4 London-bound between J15, A346 (Swindon East) in Badbury and J14, A338 (Hungerford) in Berkshire, because of a multi-vehicle accident.

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

Morph stands proud outside Bristol hospital

A three-metre tall Morph has appeared outside Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and will be touring the city as part of the Grand Appeal.

We think there will be a lot of selfies taken there today ....

Morph statue
BBC