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Summary

  1. Live news, sport, weather and travel from across the West of England on Wednesday 14 June, 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight from the BBC local live team

That's all from the live page today. But we will be up and running again from 7am tomorrow, bringing you the latest news, sport and weather for the West country.

Before we turn in for the night, here's a look at the weather with Alina Jenkins.

A lovely sunny Wednesday - how long will the blue skies last?

McDonald's drive-through decision 'astounding', protesters say

McDonald's sign
BBC

Campaigners opposed to a McDonald's drive-through in Fishponds, Bristol, say they are "appalled and astounded" at the Planning Inspector’s decision despite "sustained local opposition".

Mike Jempson, from Say No to McDonald's in Fishponds, said the Inspector had "swallowed" the company's arguments "with scant regard to the wishes and concerns of local residents".

"Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this decision is that it appears to give the green light to McDonald’s plans to open drive-throughs in residential areas close to schools - anywhere in the UK," Mr Jempspn said.

McDonald's previously said the take-away would create 65 jobs in the area.

Swindon Town has eight weeks to create new squad

Swindon Town's new manager David Flitcroft has been speaking to the media for the first time since his appointment.

The club was relegated last season.

He says he's been promised a competitive budget to win promotion - and has eight weeks to get a squad ready:

David Flitcroft has his work cut out over the next few weeks.

Permission granted for McDonald's drive-through after appeal

Proposed site
BBC
The proposed drive-through would be built on the site of the former Bristol Tile warehouse

Controversial plans for McDonald's drive-through in the Fishponds area of Bristol have been given the go ahead following an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Bristol City Council refused the application in February 2015 "due to traffic concerns" but the fast food giant announced in August said it would appeal against the decision.

Those against argued the outlet would add to the area's parking problems and increase traffic.

They also say none of the other McDonald's in the city are "so close" to residential areas with it "backing onto many gardens".

Campaigners are now considering their options before deciding whether to challenge the Inspector's decision in the High Court.

We'll bring you more on this story soon.

Weston hospital A&E closure a 'very difficult decision'

Weston General Hospital
BARBERS

Medical director at Weston General Hospital Dr Peter Collins says it has been "a very difficult decision" to temporarily close the A&E department overnight.

But he added: "It is our ability to recruit that is our challenge, not our ability to care."

The trust is expected to work with local GPs, community services, social care and neighbouring hospitals to design new emergency care services in North Somerset.

The hospital's trust said it will close its A&E unit between 10pm and 8am from 4 July.

The evening headlines from your local papers

Do you recognise these items?

New Swindon Town manager pledges to bring unity to club

Swindon Town's new manager David Flitcroft has promised to bring unity back to the club after their relegation.

He's been speaking publicly for the first time since taking the job last week, and says that he relishes the challenge of getting people to work together.

War veteran's search for woman he met on Bristol to Plymouth coach

Jack is searching for a friend he met on the coach

A 92-year-old war veteran is searching for a woman he struck up a friendship with on a coach.

Jack says he met the woman, who he thinks is called Celia, on a Bristol to Plymouth National Express coach.

He said it felt like they had "known each other for years", but Jack had to rush to get another coach and did not get her details.

Now he's searching for Celia, in the hope they can continue to be friends.

Thieves demand Polish passports from elderly couple

Thieves attacked an elderly couple in their own home after the couple failed to give them Polish passports.

The two men forced their way into the house in Linwell Close in Cheltenham on Friday afternoon, demanding the passports.

A 69-year-old woman was hit in the face and her jewellery was snatched when the thieves were told they didn't have what they wanted, Gloucestershire Police said.

The men have been described as white with Eastern European accents.

Polish passport
Getty Images

Weston hospital boss: 'We've struggled to recruit for many years'

'We've struggled to recruit for many years'

Weston's hospital will have to temporarily close its A&E department due to a staffing crisis.

Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission rated its emergency care as "inadequate" in a recent report.

But James Rimmer, the chief executive of Weston Area Health NHS Trust, says recruitment issues are nothing new.

Why Glastonbury pays less for big bands

Katy Perry
Reuters
Pop star Katy Perry is among the acts performing at Glastonbury 2017

When Katy Perry, Radiohead and Ed Sheeran take to the Pyramid Stage next week, they'll get paid "less than 10%" of what they'd earn at other festivals.

"We're not in a situation where we're able to just give people enormous amounts of money," organiser Emily Eavis told BBC 6 Music's Mett Everitt.

"So we're really grateful for the bands that we get, because they're basically doing it for the love of it."

Click here to read more.

Another Wiltshire MP joins Theresa May's government

John Glen, Salisbury MP
BBC

Salisbury MP John Glen has been appointed as Arts Minister by PM Theresa May.

He entered Parliament in 2010 and last week increased his majority.

He joins his neighbours Claire Perry of Devizes and Robert Buckland from Swindon who've also been given roles.

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe disruption, between J16 for A38 and J17 for A4018.

M5 Bristol - One lane closed on M5 southbound between J16, A38 (Aztec West) and J17, A4018 (Cribbs Causeway), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M32 Bristol northbound

BBC News Travel

M32 Bristol northbound severe disruption, between J1 for A4174 and M4 J19.

M32 Bristol - One lane closed and slow traffic on M32 outbound between J1, A4174 (Hambrook) and M4 J19, Bristol, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Night-time A&E closure to consolidate 'fragile' daytime service

Weston General's medical director, Dr Peter Collins, said that the overnight closure of their A&E service, which we reported on earlier today, would mean longer travel times for some patients.

MegaMorph lands in Bristol

He's three metres tall and is looking good for a character who is now 40 years old!

A giant statue of Morph will be touring Bristol over the next few months as part of a charity exhibition to raise money for The Grand Appeal, a charity which supports Bristol Children's Hospital.

There's no sign so far of a giant Chas though...

Watch: the giant statue will be touring the city to raise money for charity.

Gloucester MP responds to concerns over high rise flats in the city

London tower block fire
PA

A huge fire has engulfed a tower block in west London, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens more.

After an extensive renovation last year, rain-proof cladding was added on the outside to improve insulation. The worry is it may have helped the fire spread so quickly.

Here in the West, authorities have been reassuring residents who live in high rise flats about fire safety.

I spoke to Gloucestershire's Chief Fire Officer, Stewart Edgar, this afternoon, fresh from a meeting in London, and asked him specifically to ensure his team do a risk assessment and procedures check at the highest rise buildings in the city - Clapham Court and the GRH Tower, and buildings in the Docks, and Eagle Tower in Cheltenham, and then help reassure residents and staff. Stewart is absolutely on the case, convening a meeting back in Gloucester at 5pm and has a five-point plan which includes visits to these specific buildings, reassurance and more detailed briefings to local authorities."

Richard GrahamGloucester MP (Conservative)

Portishead residents back skateboard park plans

People in Portishead in North Somerset were asked whether they want a skate park to be built within a 15-minute walk of the high street.

There was a vote yesterday and nearly 90% of people voted YES.

A total of 2,726 people turned out to vote, which is about 13% of the electorate.

Resident Janet Davey who led the 'Yes' campaign says they need to keep up the pressure on the town council to make it happen:

West authorities reassure residents after huge London tower block blaze

London tower block fire
Getty Images

At least six people have died in a fire that's still burning in a residential tower block in west London.

Up to 600 people may have been inside the 24-storey Grenfell Tower when the blaze broke out just before one o'clock this morning.

Many are still unaccounted for - and the emergency services expect the number of fatalities to rise.

Around 70 people are being treated in hospital and a major incident has been declared.

  • Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue says there are a small number of medium and high rise buildings in the county, adding that "local fire crews and fire safety enforcement teams are familiar with these premises and work closely with owners and occupiers to ensure the safety of all residents"
  • Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue and Avon Fire and Rescue both echoed this statement saying that they also work closely with building owners and councils to ensure fire safety measures are in place
  • Wiltshire Council says its housing stock includes just over 1,600 flats of which around 1,000 are low rise and that fire risk assessments are carried out on a regular basis
  • Swindon Borough Council has also confirmed it does not have any plastic cladding in any of their tower blocks, which are made from non-combustible materials.

Royal letters auctioned off - along with a pair of Diana's white shoes

Diana letter sold at auction for £1,400
PA

Some letters written by Prince Charles and Princess Diana have sold at auction - along with a pair of white shoes worn by the princess when she was a teenager.

The shoes attracted the highest bid of £1,800 and the Diana letter written to interior designer Dudley Poplak fetched £1,400.

Prince Charles' letters fetched between £240 and £360 under the hammer at Dominic Winter Auctioneers in South Cerney, Gloucestershire earlier today.

Diana's white shoes
PA

Severe disruption: M32 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M32 Bristol southbound severe disruption, at J3 for A4320 Easton Way.

M32 Bristol - M32 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic inbound at J3, A4320 (St Pauls), because of a broken down car.

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

Sherwood leaves Swindon Town role

Tim Sherwood
Getty Images

Tim Sherwood has left his role as director of football at Swindon Town after their relegation to League Two.

Swindon chairman Lee Power confirmed the club have changed their structure following the appointment of David Flitcroft as manager on 5 June.

Read the full story here.

Somerset children's services making "adequate progress" watchdog says

Boy
Getty Images

Somerset County Council is making "only adequate progress" to improve its childrens' services, Ofsted has said.

That verdict comes in a letter published on Tuesday by Ofsted after its inspectors' latest monitoring visit to the authority last month.

The latest visit focussed on looking at children in care, where inspectors said the pace of change needs to accelerate and social workers need to move from being compliant to showing consistent good practice.

The letter added that the quality of social work for children in care is "variable" and too often did not take the child's views into account.

Today, the council said it was glad Ofsted recognised the improvements and progress that is being made and completely accept their desire to increase the pace of change.

WATCH LIVE: New Swindon Town manager takes your questions

Newly appointed Swindon Town manager David Flitcroft is facing the media for the first time since his appointment last week.

Here he is taking fans' questions live via the Points West and BBC Radio Wiltshire Facebook pages.

View more on facebook

Sat nav lands John Lewis van in a tight spot

View more on twitter

It was a bad day for this delivery driver when his sat nav led him down a narrow lane in a Somerset town.

But it wasn't the first time that it's happened. In fact, residents in Bruton are so fed up with the travel disruption caused by oversized vehicles being sent down St Catherine's Hill that they have even put up a sign at the end of the lane warning drivers: "don't try your luck, you'll only get stuck."

This picture was captured by PC Neil Wolstenholme from Avon and Somerset Police.

The lorry was said to have caused damage to a building.

'Anaesthetised' fish stolen from trout farm

Rainbow trout
Getty Images

Up to £500 worth of "anaesthetised" fish have been stolen from a trout farm in Gloucestershire.

The rainbow trout were taken from Bibury Trout Farm on Monday night.

Gloucestershire Police said the trout were part of a breeding program and had been anaesthetised, as part of an egg harvesting process, and were not intended for human consumption.

A force spokesman said: "More fish died as a result of stress caused by the attempts to catch them."

Table tennis champ defends his title

Bertie Kelly, Bridgwater table tennis player, is heading to the national championships.

An 11-year-old from Bridgwater will be defending his title at the table tennis National Championships this weekend.

Bertie Kelly has been playing the sport since he was seven and hopes to play in the Olympics one day.

Dog nearly dies after adder bite

Five-month-old Sprocker, Milly
BBC

Pet owners are being warned to be on their guard after a dog was bitten by an adder in Wiltshire.

Milly, a five-month-old Sprocker, was being walked in a field near Wilton on Friday when she was bitten on the lip.

The spaniel was taken to a local vet where - after a hunt for an antidote - she was finally given an anti-venom injection.

Her owner Anja Grossart, from Wilton, says it was a really frightening experience as they "didn't know if she would make it".

She is now warning all dog owners to be vigilant "so no other dog has to go through the same ordeal as our poor Milly".

Plan unveiled to restore historic tram

A plan has been unveiled to restore an historic tram which was last in use in Cheltenham in the 1920s.

The vehicle is in storage at a secret location in the town, and the Cheltenham Trust wants to raise money to renovate it and put it on show to the public.

It's not in the best condition and was even used as a chicken shed at one point!

Plan unveiled to restore historic Cheltenham tram

Funeral taking place for zookeeper killed by tiger

Rosa King
HAMERTON ZOO PARK/FACEBOOK

The funeral of zookeeper Rosa King, who was killed by a tiger, is taking place in Chippenham today.

The 33-year-old, who grew up in Wiltshire, died at Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire at the end of May when a tiger entered an enclosure.

The private service is being held at St Andrew's Church in the town.

The inquest into her death has been adjourned until October.

Drag queens to read stories to Bristol kids

Bristol Pride
BBC

Traditional gender stereotypes in children's stories are set to be challenged as part of a new reading project in Bristol.

Drag Queen Story Time is based on an American scheme, which sees drag queens heading in to libraries and schools to read "feminist fairytales" and alternative novels to children.

The organisers say they hope to start the scheme at this year's Bristol Pride, before rolling it out across the city.

They [children] don't understand these labels - they mean nothing to them. They see a performer in a dress telling them a story and if that story connects with them on a level, that's great. If not it's just pure entertainment.

Tom CanhamOrganiser

Shroud artist meets descendant of fallen Somme soldier

Somerset artist Rob Heard is creating 72,396 shrouded figures to represent the British servicemen who died in the Battle of the Somme, but whose bodies were never recovered.

It follows his last project to create more than 19,000 figures, representing those who died on the first day.

This week, Noel Young, a relative of one of the fallen, made an emotional visit to Rob in his workshop.

Shroud artist meets descendant of Somme soldier

Red Cross workers from Wiltshire to help out in Grenfell Tower fire

A team of British Red Cross workers from Wiltshire is joining a team from Keynsham in London to help out in rest centres set up for people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

View more on twitter

Special meeting over 'serious failures' in Gloucestershire's children's services

Gloucestershire County Council, Shire Hall
Google

A special meeting has been called to discuss the state of Gloucestershire's children's services after a damning Oftsed report was published yesterday.

Inspectors found serious and widespread failures with an "unprecedented" number of whistleblowers coming forward to complain about how the department was run.

A full council meeting will take place on 28 June.

Charles and Diana letters go under the hammer

Prince Charles writes of being "tempered in the fire" following his separation from Diana
Getty Images

A candid letter written by the Prince of Wales days after his separation from Princess Diana is to be auctioned later.

The handwritten note, on Royal Yacht Britannia crested paper, reveals his hopes of being appreciated "after I am dead" and how "awful" it had been living through "all the misinterpretation and the flak".

The letter, which was sent to interior designer Dudley Poplak, is to be sold by Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Gloucestershire later.

A note from Princess Diana discussing meditation and French philosophy is also included in the lot.

Letter from Princess Diana
BBC
The auction includes a letter from Princess Diana, written on Kensington Palace letterhead, to the couple's friend and interior designer Dudley Poplak

Rare bird spotted in Gloucestershire

Hoopoe bird
Getty Images

A rare visitor to the UK, the hoopoe bird, has been spotted on Cranham Common.

The RPSB estimates around 100 birds pass the south coast on their spring migration.

It's therefore unusual to see one so far north as Gloucestershire.

Bristol housing chief promises tower block safety review

Chief inspector of hospitals raises serious concerns about Weston hospital's emergency care

Professor Sir Mike Richards
BBC

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has demanded that Weston Area Health Trust must act to protect the safety of patients using its emergency hospital services.

Weston-super-Mare's General Hospital has been served with a formal warning today, after "serious failings" and "unacceptable delays" were found in its emergency department.

Care Quality Commission inspectors rated the hospital's urgent and emergency care services as "inadequate".

The CQC gave gave the hospital an overall rating of "requires improvement".

We found a lack of support for the emergency department from other departments, with little evidence they recognised that it was a problem for the wider hospital. There was no sense of urgency to resolve this. There were not always enough senior doctors on duty to ensure safe care.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of HospitalsCare Quality Commission

BreakingArrest after man stabbed with broken bottle in pub brawl

Police tape
BBC

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a brawl outside a Bristol pub.

Police were called to the Tap and Barrel pub in Dean Lane, Bedminster, just after 11.30pm yesterday.

A 23-year-old man suffered serious injuries after he was stabbed with a broken bottle.

He is said to be in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

The 42-year-old man arrested is still in police custody.