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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates for the West of England on Thursday, 3 August 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Mostly dry with clear spells overnight

Watch: West weather for 3 August

That's all from us here at BBC Local Live for today.

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

It will be mostly dry with clear spells tonight. Beware of perhaps the odd shower drifting in from the west, mainly through the Bristol Channel.

It will be a breezy night for many. Minimum temperature: 13C.

Good night!

Harry Redknapp: Birmingham had 'every right' to bid for Bristol City pair

Harry Redknapp
PA

Birmingham City had "every right" to bid for Bristol City's Aden Flint and Joe Bryan, says manager Harry Redknapp.

Robins head coach Lee Johnson labelled the joint-bid, which BBC Radio Bristol understands totalled £4m, "derisory".

"We made the offer thinking they were two players that if we made a decent offer [we could sign]," Redknapp said.

"But they thought it was an offer that wasn't good enough; they've got every right to turn it down, but we've got every right to make the offer."

Read more on this story.

Police appeal over stabbing

CCTV image of man
Gloucestershire Police

Police in Gloucestershire have released CCTV pictures of a man they want to speak to in connection with a stabbing at Gloucester Park.

They say officers were called to reports of a group of men fighting at around 6.30pm yesterday.

A 24-year-old man remains in hospital where he is being treated for a stab wound. His injuries are described as serious but he is in a stable condition.

Boys' club bus back on the road

A vintage bus which used to belong to Nailsworth Boys Club has just been fully restored.

An appeal's now gone out to try to reunite former members of the club, so they can share their memories of days gone by.

Watch: Liz Beacon meets the people who've restored the bus

Fire service report followed 'serious wide-ranging allegations'

Earlier we told you about a fire chief who claimed he was the victim of a "witch-hunt" following his suspension from the service

Kevin Pearson was among those criticised by the report into the running of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service - which was described by inspectors as an "old boys' club".

A Home Office spokesman said the report was in response to "serious, wide-ranging allegations over the authority’s governance in relation to spending, contracts, complaints, discipline and culture".

We welcome the inspection report and are encouraged that Avon Fire Authority is carefully considering the findings and proposals with support from the National Fire Chiefs’ Council and Local Government Association.

Home Office spokesman

Rovers chairman: Stadium plan is 'jinxed'

The Chairman of Bristol Rovers has given more details about the decision to abandon plans to build a stadium on land owned by the University of the West of England.

The club had hoped to build the twenty one thousand seater stadium at Stoke Gifford on the outskirts of the city - but late last night came the news that it wouldn't be going ahead.

It said the parties were "unable to agree acceptable terms".

Steve Hamer says the deadline for a decision came and went - and he believes any chance of a deal is now over.

Bristol Rovers chairman Steve Hamer says he thinks stadium plan was 'jinxed'

Robert Hardy's most notable roles

The actor Robert Hardy, star of TV series All Creatures Great and Small, has died aged 91, his family has said.

The Cheltenham-based performer acted for more than 70 years - playing everything from vets to politicians.

Robert Hardy: A life in picturesFull obituary

Inquiry over pay at University of Bath

Watch: Reporter Andrew Plant tells the story

The head of the University of Bath, who earns almost £500,000 a year, is at the centre of an inquiry into how senior staff at the institution are paid.

Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell is the UK's highest-paid university vice-chancellor.

Now the body which regulates the sector is investigating whether the way Bath decides what it pays people is transparent.

Severe disruption: M48 Gloucestershire westbound

BBC News Travel

M48 Gloucestershire westbound severe disruption, between J1 for A403 and J2 for A466 Wye Valley Link Road.

M48 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M48 westbound between J1, A403 (Aust) and J2, A466 (Chepstow), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

'Huge' £1.5m aviary plan for Slimbridge

Aviary plans
WWT Slimbridge

Plans for a new £1.5m walk-through aviary at a nature reserve in Gloucestershire have been submitted by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).

WWT Slimbridge wants to demolish a 50-year-old tropical house and replace it with a 2,000 sqm (21,527 sqft) aviary.

The installation is part of a £4.4m funding award announced by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in 2016.

The WWT said it was "sorry" to see the tropical house go but its replacement will be "much better equipped".

It currently houses around 20 birds and up to 40 fish. The trust said half the birds will be moved to the new aviary while the remaining wildlife will be transferred to zoos and private collections.

Read more here

Man charged over stolen 4x4s found in the Forest of Dean

Car on trailer
Gloucestershire Police

A man's appeared in court accused of handling stolen goods, after a number of Range Rovers and Land Rovers were seized in the Forest of Dean last month.

Edward Samuel Fear, 27 and from Newnham, faces six charges.

Today at Gloucester Crown Court, the case was adjourned until the end of September.

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol northbound severe disruption, at J19 for A369.

M5 Bristol - M5 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic northbound at J19, A369 (Portishead), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Fire boss 'victim of witch-hunt'

Kevin Pearson
BBC
Kevin Pearson's suspension is described as "a neutral act to protect the organisation and the individuals concerned"

A Chief Fire Officer who was suspended after a damning government report claims he's the victim of a "witch-hunt".

Kevin Pearson was among those criticised by the report into the running of the Avon Fire Service - which was described by inspectors as an "old boys' club".

Mr Pearson says it's unfair to blame him for decisions made by the elected fire authority.

Avon Fire Authority said it is aware of Mr Pearson's "independently-issued" statement.

As he is currently suspended and absent on sick leave it would be inappropriate for the Authority to make any comment

Avon Fire Authority

Old Severn bridge now open to all traffic

View more on twitter

Earlier we reported the M48 was closed to high-sided and "vulnerable" vehicles.

The high winds have now subsided so the restriction has been lifted.

Actor Robert hardy dies aged 91

Robert Hardy
BBC

Actor Robert Hardy has died at the age of 91, his family has said.

With his instantly recognisable voice and British bulldog manner, Robert Hardy enjoyed a distinguished acting career which spanned seven decades.

By the time the Cheltenham-born actor endeared himself to television audiences in the BBC's All Creatures Great and Small, he had already carved out a reputation as one of Britain's most versatile actors.

While his earlier career gave him a firm grounding in the theatre his best known roles were in front of the camera - particularly in television, a medium he obviously enjoyed.

He became something of a specialist in the role of Sir Winston Churchill, playing the great man on half a dozen occasions as well as being in demand to reproduce the wartime leader's voice.

Read more on this story.

Rovers chairman Steve Hamer reacts to stadium announcement

Bristol Rovers chairman Steve Hamer has been giving his reaction to the announcement that plans for a new stadium at the University of the West of England have been abandoned.

Watch the full press conference here.

Bristol Rovers chairman Steve Hamer reacts to stadium news

Wilbraham joins Bolton from Bristol City

Aaron Wilbraham
Getty Images

Bristol City striker Aaron Wilbraham has been signed by Bolton Wanderers on a one-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The 37-year-old scored five goals in 36 games in helping the Robins retain their Championship status last season after promotion the previous year.

Click here to read more.

Bristol Rovers press conference on stadium announcement

Plans for stadium
Bristol Rovers

A press conference is due to begin now to discuss the announcement late last night that plans for a new stadium at the University of the West of England have been abandoned.

Chairman Steve Hamer will be answering questions.

We'll bring you more here as we get it

Diet changes 'can reduce fits in children'

Children with epilepsy are having fewer fits after being advised to introduce specific changes to their diet.

So called 'ketogenic dieticians' from Bristol Childrens' Hospital are helping them change to a high fat, low carbohydrate diet.

Please be aware this video starts with images of a small child having a fit.

Dieticians from Bristol Children's Hospital are supervising the ketogenic diet.

Rescued deer learns new tricks

Watch: Rescued deer learns new tricks

A man from Wiltshire has been living with a deer for three years after rescuing her by the side of the road.

John Slater from Malmesbury rescued "Strawberry" while he was driving to work.

He had to apply for a government licence to keep her and since then she's lived in his garden.

Now Strawberry has become tame and learned a few tricks. We sent Pam Caulfield to Malmesbury to find out more.

Strange item to find 'abandoned'...

Stadium announcement 'a huge surprise'

Bristol Rovers have abandoned plans to build a stadium on land owned by the University of the West of England.

The club had hoped to build the twenty one thousand seater stadium at Stoke Gifford on the outskirts of the city - but late last night came the news that it wouldn't be going ahead.

It said the parties were "unable to agree acceptable terms"

Watch: Reporter Andy Howard says the announcement came as a huge surprise to UWE

Film star's house on the market

Bedroom inside Manor Farm House
Humberts

The manor house where iconic Hollywood film star Vivien Leigh often stayed can be yours for just over £1m.

The six-bedroom Manor Farm House near Warminster is being sold by the actress's grandsons who grew up there.

The star's husband, Leigh Holman, and the couple's daughter lived in the home after she left them for Laurence Olivier - and she often went back to visit.

It's on the market with a guide price of a cool £1.1m.

Sitting room inside Manor Farm House
Humberts

Travel: M48 Severn Crossing warning over strong winds

Hollywood star's residence up for sale

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind
Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A manor house in Wiltshire where Hollywood icon Vivien Leigh often stayed has been put up for sale.

The Grade-II listed Manor Farm House near Warminster, on the Zeals estate, has a guide price of £1.1m.

The actress famously starred as Scarlett O"Hara in the 1939 film Gone With The Wind, alongside Clark Gable.

Tom Sumption, from Humberts in Salisbury - which is marketing the property - described the house as "a handsome Queen Anne country house rich in history".

Zeals
Humberts

Football: Swindon Town 'will get better'

Watch: "We will get better as the season goes on," says new manager David Flitcroft

New Swindon Town manager David Flitcroft predicts his team will get better as the season goes on.

He's been looking ahead to the new League Two season which kicks off on Saturday away at Carlisle.

Epilepsy helped through change of diet

Watch: Victoria Bittle, a paediatric ketogenic dietitian, explains more

Some children suffering from epilepsy are having their fits reduced by changing their diet.

Paediatric ketogenic dieticians from Bristol Children's Hospital are giving them help to change their diet to high fat and low carbohydrate.

The dieticians have found that up to one in five patients become seizure-free and half have an improvement.

Leg break parents 'treated like monsters'

A baby
PA

A mother and father wrongly suspected of injuring their baby have accused social services of "treating us like monsters".

The couple from West Somerset saw their 10-week-old daughter taken into care after doctors discovered her leg was broken.

They are angry that experts took four months to conclude the injury was accidental.

Click here to read more.

Local newspaper headlines across the West

Newspaper
Getty Images

Bristol Rovers stadium: 'Very disappointing' for supporters

View more on youtube

Bristol Rovers has said it will no longer be building a new stadium at UWE's Frenchay campus.

The club, which had hoped to build a 21,000-seater stadium, said discussions with UWE had "come to a close as the parties were unable to agree acceptable terms".

Rovers' manager Darrell Clarke has said the news is very disappointing for the supporters.

Council 'sorry' for traffic light problems trapping office workers

Traffic light
BBC

A council has apologised to commuters who were trapped in an office car park for three hours after problems with traffic lights.

Mark King, from South Gloucestershire Council, said there had been "intermittent" problems at the Aztec West business park, near Bristol, since the junction had been upgraded.

He said: "We're sorry to all those people who were trapped and we're doing everything to resolve this as soon as possible".

He added engineers would be on site from 3:30pm this afternoon to monitor the situation.

Muntjac deer uses dog flap

Munjac deer uses dog flap

A rescued muntjac deer has learned to use a dog flap to get into its owner's house.

John Slater, from Malmesbury in Wiltshire, rescued the animal after it was hit by a car.

"Strawberry" now lives in his shed and comes into the kitchen through a flap in the back door.

He says she's now "part of the family".

US-wide manhunt after Chicago murder

Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andrew Warren (right)
Chicago Police

A US-wide hunt has intensified for an American professor and an Oxford University employee suspected of stabbing a man to death in Chicago.

Police are urging Prof Wyndham Lathem, 42, and Andrew Warren (pictured above right), 56, to "do the right thing and turn yourself in".

Arrests warrants were issued after a 25-year-old was found dead in Prof Lathem's flat in Chicago on 27th July.

Court files give Mr Warren's address as the Oxford college but he says he lives in Swindon, Wiltshire, on his social media pages.

Click here to read more.

Travel: High winds affecting M48 Severn Bridge

Bristol Rovers stadium: UWE 'has not given up'

UWE bristol
BBC

Even though Bristol Rovers says it has walked away from plans to build a new ground at UWE's Frenchay campus, the university says it has "not given up".

Rovers' holding company, Dwane Sports, last night said the parties were "unable to agree acceptable terms", but UWE has responded this morning saying it remains committed to the "hugely important project".

We have worked diligently and patiently with the new owners of the club and although we have been disappointed by the slow pace of negotiations, we are still willing and open to continue negotiations.

UWE Bristol

Forest man - missing since Monday - found safe and well

Severe disruption: M48 Monmouthshire both ways

BBC News Travel

M48 Monmouthshire both ways severe disruption, between J2 for A466 and J1 for A403.

M48 Monmouthshire - One lane closed on M48 Severn Bridge in both directions between J2, A466 (Chepstow) and J1, A403 (Aust), because of strong winds. Matrix sign set to 40 mph.

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

BBC local radio headlines across the West

Radio
BBC
  • BBC Radio Bristol: Bristol Rovers will not be building a new stadium at University of West of England
  • BBC Gloucestershire: The supermarket chain Tesco has formally objected to plans for a new Aldi store in Stroud
  • BBC Somerset: A family from Somerset whose baby was taken into care for four months before being returned have been speaking to BBC Somerset
  • BBC Wiltshire: A former Wiltshire soldier is hoping to raise £15,000 so he and his family aren't forced to leave the UK. The veteran served in the British Army for 14 years, after moving from Fiji, before being medically discharged last year

Bristol Rovers: The picture back in 2011

Bristol Rovers proposed new stadium from above
Bristol Rovers

In June 2011 the future looked so much brighter for Bristol Rovers in terms of relocation.

A deal had been agreed whereby the club would sell its Memorial Stadium to Sainsbury's and then build a new stadium on UWE's nearby Frenchay campus.

The then chairman of Rovers - Nick Higgs - called it "a significant step in securing a sustainable future for the club" while Professor Steve West, vice-chancellor at UWE Bristol, said it was "good to see this ambition being realised".

But now both deals have collapsed and it's "back to the drawing board" for Rovers.

Bristol Rovers stadium: Fans react to the news

View more on twitter

@Official_BRFC Our dream as turned into a nightmare

@Official_BRFC I fully trust in @waelalqadi decision not to pursue UWE. Its a shame but the deal had to be right fo… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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View more on twitter

@BristolPost @Official_BRFC Whats important is getting behind the team and having a great season.