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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather from across the West of England on Wednesday 9 August 2017.

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight from Local Live

And that's a wrap for us here at Local Live.

We'll be back from 0600 BST tomorrow with all the latest news, travel, weather and sport.

Here's Ian Fergusson with the forecast.

A sunny and bright day in store tomorrow

Tattoo parlour gutted in fire

Marcus Kuhn outside his fire-ravaged business in Bath

Tattoo artist Marcus Kuhn hopes the public can help him rebuild his Bath-based business from the ashes after arsonists poured petrol through the door.

MP 'disappointed' at emergency mental health closures

Robert Buckland MP
BBC

Swindon MP Robert Buckland says he is "extremely disappointed" that an emergency mental health suite is being closed.

He says the city's Sandalwood Court is "vital" for patients. A similar suite in Salisbury is also closing.

Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership says the closures will help expand its central service in Devizes.

Football: Bristol Rovers stay at Memorial Stadium

Memorial Stadium
Getty Images

Bristol Rovers plan to remain at their Memorial Stadium home for the long-term, owner Wael al-Qadi has confirmed.

After abandoning plans for a new ground at the University of West of England last week, Al-Qadi says Rovers will now look to redevelop their current ground.

The League One club previously hoped to build a new 21,000-capacity venue.

"If we study the Mem properly, we could regenerate and eventually provide the fans with something they have dreamt of," Al-Qadi told BBC Points West.

Read the full story here.

Man who died swimming Channel was 'fully prepared' for the event

DOUGLAS WAYMARK
DOUGLAS WAYMARK/FACEBOOK

A man who died swimming the English Channel was "completely prepared" for the gruelling triathlon he was taking part in, his girlfriend has said.

Douglas Waymark, from Cheltenham, got into difficulty about half way across, 12 nautical miles from Dover.

The 44-year-old was airlifted to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford on Monday night, but later died.

Girlfriend Lola Lewis, said: "He was nervous but I had every belief in him and the preparation he'd put in,"

The endurance athlete had been taking part in the Enduroman Arch to Arc triathlon from London to Paris.

The triathlon starts with an 87 mile run from London's Marble Arch to Dover, followed by a swim across the channel to France.

The final leg is an 181-mile bike ride from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Rugby: Back row Ackermann joins Gloucester

Ruan Ackermann
Getty Images

Gloucester have signed South African back row Ruan Ackermann from Super Rugby side the Lions.

Ackermann, 21, was ever-present as the Johannesburg-based side reached the Super Rugby final and is the son of incoming Gloucester head coach Johan.

Full details here.

'Everybody loved him' says girlfriend of channel swimmer

Lola Lewis speaks about why she loved Doug Waymark so much.

Douglas Waymark was a focused and dedicated athlete, says his girlfriend Lola Lewis.

He died on Monday during an endurance exercise after he got into difficulty while swimming the Channel.

He died in hospital in Ashford but his achievements should not be forgotten, says his girlfriend.

Football: Bristol City 'reject' Blues' Flint bids

Aden Flint
Getty Images

Bristol City have rejected "two solo bids" for centre-back Aden Flint from Championship rivals Birmingham City, Robins head coach Lee Johnson says.

On 2 August, Johnson dismissed a joint bid from Birmingham for Flint and left-back Joe Bryan as "derisory".

"Neither solo bid met our requirements or the figure we felt was acceptable," Johnson told BBC Radio Bristol.

"We're in a strong position. We don't want to lose quality players but, if we do, it would be at the right price."

Read the full story here.

'I cannot thank people enough'

Watch: Jonty Evans thanks his supporters

Jonty Evans from Andoversford in Gloucestershire, who rode Cooley Rorkes Drift at the Rio Olympics, has successfully raised £500,000 he needed to buy the horse, after it was put up for sale.

He's thanked everyone who donated to the fundraising campaign to save the horse known affectionately as Art.

Prison Service has been "cut too far"

Conservative MP Bob Neill admits nation is 'shedding experienced prison officers'

Bob Neill, Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, says the UK prison service is shedding experienced officers at a time when more are needed.

It comes amid claims from a former prison officer that poor leadership, inexperienced staff and dilapidated buildings are causing huge problems at Erlestoke Prison near Devizes.

Suspension bridge to close for Balloon Fiesta

Drivers and pedestrians are reminded that the Clifton Suspension will be closed Thursday and Saturday evening for the Balloon Fiesta.

The Highways Agency is also warning that motorways and major A roads around Bristol are likely to be busy.

The festival attracts up to 100,000 people over four days at the city’s Ashton Court.

The A369 Rownham Hill will be closed on all the nights of the event from its junction with Beggar Bush Lane from 7pm until midnight. A diversion is in place via the B3129 and B3128.

View more on twitter

Mem is 'ideal' home for Bristol Rovers, says Al-Qadi

Mem is 'ideal' home for Bristol Rovers, says Al-Qadi

Bristol Rovers Football Club have confirmed that the Memorial Stadium will be their long-term home.

The club's owners say redeveloping the Mem, which is in a residential part of Bristol, is their best bet.

Arson-hit tattoo parlour wasn't insured

Artist asking community to help rebuild his business after "malicious and cowardly" attack

A tattoo artist whose parlour was gutted in an arson attack had no insurance and is asking the community to help him rebuild his business after a "malicious and cowardly" attack.

Marcus Kuhn hopes kind people will help him clean up the parlour and raise money to rebuild it.

Bath man Gavin Weeks has set up a GoFundMe page in the wake of the arson attack that has damaged Just Good Tattoos.

Rush hour disruption on motorways around Bristol

Wael Al-Qadi: 'we can regenerate Memorial Ground'

The Bristol Rovers' owner has been chatting to our Sports Editor Alistair Durden about his plans for the team staying at the Memorial Stadium.

It's after a deal with the University of the West of England to build a new arena fell through

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M50 Gloucestershire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M50 Gloucestershire eastbound severe disruption, between J2 for A417 and J1 for A38.

M50 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M50 eastbound between J2, A417 (Ledbury) and J1, A38 (Tewkesbury), because of vehicle tyre change. Traffic is coping well.

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

The Mem will be redeveloped, says Al Qadi

The Memorial Ground, home of Bristol Rovers
BBC Sport
The Memorial Ground, home of Bristol Rovers

The owners of Bristol Rovers have confirmed the club is planning to redevelop the Memorial Stadium after a deal to build a new stadium fell through.

Plans for the club to move to a site near the University of the West of England were abandoned last week.

The club president Wael Al Qadi said in a video on the club's website that staying at the Memorial Stadium is now their best option.

"Our aim is to provide our supporters with modern beautiful facilities to watch great football," he said.

"We are determined to give the fans what they want. We didn't feel it was in the club's best interests to go down that path with UWE.

"Now a closure has been reached we will concentrate fully on regenerating the Memorial."

He added that planning permission will have to be applied for.

'I never felt neglected' says girlfriend of man who died swimming channel

Doug Waymark's girlfriend says she felt guilty for holding him back.

The girlfriend of a man who died during an attempt to swim the English Channel says she sometimes felt guilty for holding him back from his sporting ambitions.

Douglas Waymark, 44 from Cheltenham, got into difficulty about half way across, 12 nautical miles from Dover, during a gruelling triathlon on Monday.

The endurance athlete had been taking part in the Enduroman Arch to Arc triathlon.

Here Lola Lewis pays tribute to him.

Tattoo parlour owner's life savings up in smoke

Tattoo parlour owner's life savings up in smoke

Two fires were started deliberately at two businesses in and around Bath in the early hours of this morning.

Just Good Tattoos in Cork Place, Bath, and Morris Barbers in Saltford could now be closed for weeks.

Police are investigating but say it's too early to link the attacks.

Marcus Kuhn ploughed his life savings into his tattoo parlour which had only been open a matter of days.

Ex-officer 'fears for' prison staff

HMP Erlestoke
BBC

A former prison officer at a riot-hit jail says he fears for the young, inexperienced staff still working there.

Keith Conway said he took early retirement from Wiltshire's HMP Erlestoke in 2016 because he and his colleagues feared for their safety.

The government "needs to start getting discipline back into prisons", he said.

The Prison Service says it is taking "decisive action" to tackle the jail's "long-standing challenges".

Read the full story here.

Temporary signals in place after wall collapse

Collapsed wall
BBC

Temporary traffic signals are in place after a section of a 10ft high wall collapsed onto a man in Corston, Wiltshire.

The man has been taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Debris from the collapse has fallen onto the road at the junction of Wells Road and Corston Lane and is being cleared by fire and council officers.

View more on twitter

Cricket: Day three of Somerset v Surrey abandoned

Wet Taunton
PPAUK/REX/Shutterstock

Day three of Somerset's County Championship match against Surrey is called off without a ball being bowled because of rain.

The match now looks certain to end in a draw with Surrey 69-1 in reply to Somerset's first-innings 436.

Read the full details here.

Cricket: Northants v Gloucs abandoned as a draw

Wantage Road covers
TGSPhoto/REX/Shutterstock

A second consecutive day is washed out at Wantage Road, meaning Northants and Gloucestershire have to settle for a draw.

Read the full story here.

Police appeal after boy, three, bitten by dog

CCTV image of dog
Gloucestershire Police

Police have issued an appeal after a three-year-old boy from Cheltenham was bitten by a dog.

The child needed hospital treatment for a facial injury following the incident at Gallagher Retail Park in Cheltenham on Wednesday 12 July.

CCTV images have been released of two women that officers want to speak to in connection with the incident, as well as a picture of the dog.

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'Deliberate' fires at leading tattoo artist's premises

World renowned tattoo artist – Marcus Kuhn - has been targeted by "deliberate" fire attacks on his new studio in Bath.

Avon Fire service confirned that the fire, in the early hours of yesterday (Tues) were intentional.

Mr Kuhn only opened for business in the city last month, when he moved from California.

Avon and Somerset Police say it is too early to say if they're linked

Pictures from the scene
BBC
Pictures from the scene

Mother takes injection education into own hands

A Bristol mum says she wants more people to learn how to use an EpiPen, following the death of a 14-year-old boy in London.

Sarah Cook from Stoke Bishop's son has a nut allergy.

She has been alarmed by how few people are confident about giving life-saving injections in an emergency.

So she made a video demonstrating how to administer the adrenaline, which she's posted online:

A Bristol mum has filmed herself showing the public how to use an EpiPen in an emergency.

Severe accident: M4 Bristol westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Bristol westbound severe accident, between J19 for M32 and J20 for M5.

M4 Bristol - Stationary traffic on M4 westbound between J19, M32 (Bristol) and J20, M5 (Almondsbury Interchange), because of an accident and a rolling road-block.

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

Jonty Evans "struggling to put into words" his delight

The three-day-event rider, Jonty Evans, has been reacting to the news that a crowdfunding campaign has successfully raised the half a million pounds he needed to buy his olympic horse.

Cooley Rorkes Drift, known as 'Art' was put up for sale by his owner. Jonty had feared the prize horse would be sold to a buyer from abroad.

'Art' will now have a "forever home" with Mr Evans, who is intending to ride again at the next olympics.

It's unclear whether 'Art' will be his mount at present.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe accident, between J24 for A38 and J25 for A358 affecting J23 for A39.

M5 Somerset - Two lanes closed, very slow traffic and long delays on M5 southbound between J24, A38 (Bridgwater South) and J25, A358 (Taunton), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder and recovery work. Travel time is 60 minutes. Congestion to J23, A39 (Bridgwater North).

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

BreakingM5 accident causing delays

There has been a three-vehicle accident on the Southbound M5, junction 24 to 25 near Gloucester.

Emergency services are on the scene. One lane remains open and police say traffic is able to pass.

Currently traffic is said to be queuing for about 6 miles from junction 25.

Traffic generic
BBC

Can you help the police find this convict?

Avon and Somerset Police want the public's help to find a man who is wanted on recall to prison.

Robert Stevens, 62, was convicted of rape in Shirehampton in 1998.

In 2011 he was also convicted of a series of knifepoint commercial robberies at shops and bookmakers.

Stevens travels widely across the UK and is known in the Avon and Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Hampshire areas, a spokesman said.

Police added that he frequently visits betting shops, homeless charities and church-based support groups for the homeless.

Robert Stevens
Avon and Somerset Police

The man is described as:

  • 5ft 6ins tall with grey/brown hair
  • has tattoos - a panther on his left arm and the names “City” on his left hand and “Bob” on his right hand
  • he uses the surname Melias
  • travels on buses, but often also on foot

If anyone spots him they're asked to call 999 quoting Avon and Somerset Police reference 5217039469.

Cricket: Northants v Gloucs abandoned as a draw

Wantage Road covers
TGSPhoto/REX/Shutterstock

A second consecutive day is washed out at Wantage Road, meaning Northants and Gloucestershire have to settle for a draw.

Click here to read the full story.

Wantage Road covers

Northants v Gloucs abandoned as a draw

A second consecutive day is washed out at Wantage Road, meaning Northants and Gloucestershire have to settle for a draw.

Read more

Green energy boss launches bid to win a place on board of rival firm

Dale Vince
BBC

Business news: the founder of Stroud-based 'green energy' company Ecotricity is bidding to win a place on the board of a rival firm.

Businessman Dale Vince wants to become a non-executive director of the Good Energy Group, one of his main competitors.

He has bought a 25% stake in the company - thought to be worth £9m - making him the company's largest shareholder.

But bosses at Good Energy say the plan would be "unworkable" and would present conflicts of interests.

The company is asking other shareholders to vote against Ecotricity's proposal.

Retired Erlestoke officer warns of more trouble to come

It's claimed poor leadership, inexperienced staff and dilapidated buildings are causing huge problems at Erlestoke Prison near Devizes.

Meanwhile, the Prison Service has responded to fears raised about safety, saying it had "already taken a number of steps to improve safety and tackle the flow of illegal contraband into the prison".

They say they are focusing on raising and recruiting staff numbers and have increased the level and regularity of drug testing.

Ex-officer Keith Conway told the BBC that the use of the drug known as 'spice' is a particular hazard for staff as well as inmates :

Keith Conway's just left Erlestoke, he's been telling us about what he's seen inside.

Prison Service says it is taking "decisive action" over Erlestoke Prison fears

Erlestoke Prison
BBC

The Prison Service has responded to fears raised about the safety of officers at Erlestoke Prison in Wiltshire.

Earlier we heard from Keith Conway, who left the service last year saying he was frightened of the atmosphere he and his colleagues faced there every day.

A spokeswoman for the Prison Service said the prison had "already taken a number of steps to improve safety and tackle the flow of illegal contraband into the prison".

They say they have increased staff recruitment and the level of testing, in an effort to improve conditions.

We are committed to transforming our prisons into places of safety and reform. We know there are a number of long-standing challenges across the estate, including increases in violence and the flow of drugs and phones into prisons, which is why we've taken decisive action to tackle this threat.

Prison Service

Wall falls on man

A section of a 10ft high wall has collapsed onto a man in Corston, say Wiltshire Police.

He has been taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

His condition is not known, currently.

Debris from the collapse has fallen onto the road at the junction of Wells Rd and Corston Lane.

The fire service and the council are attending to clear it.

Wiltshire Police logo
Wiltshire Police

Mother's film shows how to give lifesaving drug

A mum from Bristol has made a video showing people how to use an EpiPen on someone who's having an allergic reaction.

Sarah Cook's son has a nut allergy and uses the auto injector, which administers life saving drugs, to deal with a medical emergency.

She was prompted into doing something after a schoolboy in London died when no one was able to administer his injection.

Mother's film about a lifesaving drug "could change lives".

Olympic rider and horse reunited as Jonty raises half a million

Cheltenham's Jonty Evans, who rode Cooley Rorkes Drift at Rio, has successfully raised the money needed to buy the horse, after it was put up for sale.

Reaction on social media, from many of those who contributed to a crowdfunding campaign, has been delighted.

Jonty is expected to make a statement at midday.

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View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

BreakingRider raises £500,000 to buy his Olympic horse

Jonty Evans on Cooley Rorkes Drift
Jonty Evans

A three-day event rider has successfully raised £500,000 to buy the horse he rode at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Jonty Evans, from Andoversford in Gloucestershire, raised the cash to buy Cooley Rorkes Drift - known affectionately as Art - after it was put up for sale.

He has trained and ridden the 11-year-old for the past six years, but the horse's value rose due to his recent success, and its owner wanted to sell him.

Jonty was given a deadline of tomorrow to raise the money - and the target was met with less than 24 hours to go.

Read more about the last push fundraising here.

Knife attack in Swindon

Wiltshire Police say a man, aged 19, has been stabbed at Swindon's Mannington Recreation Ground.

He's in Southmead hospital with non-life threatening injuries, following the attack at 9.30pm on Sunday.

A knife was found at the scene. Police want to hear from anyone with information.

Wiltshire Police logo
Wiltshire Police