Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates from across the West of England on Friday, 11 August 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight from Local Live

West weather for 11 August

That's all from BBC Local Live for today. We're back tomorrow at 5pm with a special edition from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

We'll be bringing you the best pictures from Ashton Court - from the mass ascent through to the nightglow and fireworks.

Here's Ian with the weather.

Making the headlines in your local newspapers

Missed the fireworks in Bristol last night? Here's another chance to see them...

Two goats appear to be stuck on a ledge at Brean Down

The National Trust says the animals tend to get themselves down when ready

Points West 60: Butlin's opens in Minehead

This year BBC Points West is marking it's 60th birthday.

As part of the celebrations, we keep delving into the archive to reflect some of the stories reported on in the last six decades.

As this film shows, the opening of Butlins in Minehead in 1962 was much discussed!

Can you spot anyone you know?

BBC Points West 60: Archive footage as Butlin's opens in Minehead.

Older athletes: 'I'm half in tears and half in awe'

An older athlete running the hurdles
Alex Rotas

Bristol-based photographer Alex Rotas, 68, took up photography several years ago.

She has has spent much of her time since then looking through the lens at older sportsmen and women and has just returned from the European Masters Athletics Championships in Denmark.

I'm half in tears and half in awe watching these amazing athletes and what they achieve in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and just marvelling at their athleticism. I was watching these people just achieve the most incredible athletic feats that I never imagined were possible. I found it very moving and it made me recalibrate my own sense of what the ageing body can do. It's not only their athleticism that comes through, it's their joy. These people are so full of life that it's inspiration on every single level.

Alex RotasPhotographer

To see more photos from Alex, click here.

Adventurer says he will try record attempt again

Sean Conway
PA

Extreme adventurer Sean Conway has been forced to end a 4,500-mile cycle world record attempt across Europe due to injury.

He was hoping to break the record by cycling from Portugal to Russia in less than 25 days.

However, after just six days and 800 miles he ended his journey in northern Spain due to tearing a quad muscle in his leg.

He said he would "100 per cent" attempt the challenge again, adding: "I know I can bounce back."

Click here to read more.

Metrobus bridge works close roads this weekend

There'll be more road closures than normal this Balloon Fiesta weekend in Bristol, as another piece of the now £230m Metrobus project is put into place.

A new bridge is being built at Bathurst Basin, meaning Cumberland Road, Commercial Road and the old Bathurst swing bridge will be shut from 6pm tonight to 7am on Monday.

Find out more details here.

Metrobus road closure map for Bathurst Basin
Bristol City Council

Nuclear bunker cannabis gang jailed

The cannabis factory at RGHQ Chilmark.
Wiltshire Police

Three men who converted a former nuclear bunker into a giant cannabis farm have been jailed.

The men used the underground complex near Devizes undetected for three years to grow £6m worth of the drug.

Martin Fillery, 45, Plamen Nguyen, 27, and Ross Winter, 30, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiracy to produce class B drugs and abstracting electricity.

Sentencing took place at Salisbury Crown Court on Friday.

Read the full story here.

Bristol City V Birmingham City

Birmingham Bristol City
PA

Bristol City will play Birmingham tomorrow.

Bristol City defender Aden Flint is unlikely to take part after being the subject of three failed bids by Blues.

Sweden Under-21 winger Niclas Eliasson could make his debut, while forwards Milan Djuric and Matty Taylor are out.

For a preview followed by live coverage of Saturday's Championship game click here.

Laser surgery claim optometrist suspended

Undercover filming by the BBC
BBC
John Margetts said he was not told to make the claims by Optical Express

An optometrist who claimed laser eye surgery was "mandatory" for RAF pilots has been suspended for 12 months.

John Margetts made the claim to an undercover BBC reporter at a Bristol branch of Optical Express.

The firm said it prioritises patient care and safety, and Mr Margett's statements ran counter to its best practice.

At a General Optical Council hearing Mr Margett was found to be dishonest and his fitness for practice impaired.

Read the full story here.

Inside the nuclear bunker cannabis farm

WATCH: Take a look inside the nuclear bunker cannabis farm.

Three men have been jailed for running a cannabis factory inside a former nuclear bunker in Wiltshire.

Martin Fillery, was given eight years for conspiracy to produce the cannabis and Plamen Nguyen and Ross Winter were each given five years for the same offence.

Amazing 360º balloon ride across Bristol

Who doesn't love the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta?

Take a spectacular 360º ride in a balloon from Ashton Court.

If you are having trouble seeing the video below, head over to Radio Bristol's Facebook page.

View more on facebook

Sat nav blunder leads to lorry overturning

A large lorry trailer has overturned in Wiltshire, trapping villagers in their homes.

The driver was led by his sat nav down a narrow private lane in Barnfield, near Marlborough. He managed to tip the vehicle over while trying to get out.

The road is now blocked, but luckily the driver was uninjured.

Nile Ranger: Ex-Premier League footballer released early from jail

Nile Ranger has played for Southend United and Newcastle United
PA
Nile Ranger has played for Southend United and Newcastle United

Footballer Nile Ranger has been released from prison about 10 weeks into his eight-month sentence.

The 26-year-old Southend United forward was jailed in May after admitting online banking fraud in which a woman lost more than £2,000.

His club said he was eligible for early release because of the short duration of his sentence and "his consistently excellent custodial behaviour".

Ranger will return to training with the League One club immediately.

Read the full story here.

Reminder: M48 bridge closed this weekend

The M48 bridge over the River Severn is going to be closed for maintenance this weekend from 4am on Saturday 12 August until 10pm on Sunday 13 August.

More information here.

MP resigns from Bath University body over 'eye-watering' vice-chancellor pay

Andrew Murrison
BBC

A Wiltshire MP has quit a prestigious Bath University body in protest over the pay of vice chancellors.

Surveys have named Bath University's Glynis Breakwell as the highest-paid British vice-chancellor, with an annual salary of £451,000, compared to the average salary of British VCs of about £250,000.

Now Andrew Murrison, the South West Wiltshire MP, has criticised the "self-serving cartel" running universities across the country.

He has resigned from Bath University Court, described as "the statutory body representing the interests of the University's internal and external constituencies".

Roads closed in Taunton after man 'assaulted'

Traffic map
Google
Roads marked in red have very slow or stopped traffic

A man has been taken to hospital with serious head injuries following an alleged assault in East Reach, Taunton.

Avon and Somerset Police say another man, in his 50s, has been arrested and is currently in custody.

Many roads in the area are congested as a result and motorists are being asked to avoid the area.

View more on twitter

Balloon mass ascent cancelled due to weather

Balloon fiesta: how traffic will be affected

Balloons over Ashton Court this morning
BBC

Travelling to tonight's Balloon Fiesta event?

With 100,000 people expected to attend over the weekend, drivers will need to plan their journeys.

Highways England say motorways and major A-roads around Bristol are likely to be busy until Sunday.

  • M5 at junction 19 could be particularly busy during the event as southbound traffic will use it to access the event
  • M5 at junction 21 will also see increased traffic as northbound traffic uses the A370 to get to the Fiesta
  • traffic will also use the M32 to travel through Bristol to Ashton Court.

Twenty rooms of cannabis plants over two floors

More on the case of three men sentenced today in Salisbury.

Cannabis plants, with a street value of an estimated £1m were discovered by Wiltshire Police.

Other mind-boggling facts about the cannabis farm in Wiltshire:

  • Nuclear blast doors were still in place making the site almost completely impenetrable - police had to wait for the gang to leave to gain entry
  • The bunker had 20 rooms over two floors. Almost every single room had been converted for the wholesale production of cannabis
  • In addition to the growing rooms, there were drying rooms, nurseries and living quarters for the gang
  • The gang had bypassed mains electricity to the bunker, stealing about £250,000 of power
  • The lighting equipment alone seized from the site cost in the region of £140,000
  • The setup was capable of producing a crop every six weeks
  • It took police about 10 days to completely search and clear the site.
Several thousand cannabis plants at RGHQ Chilmark
Wiltshire Police
Several thousand cannabis plants with an estimated street value of £1m were seized in a midnight raid on RGHQ Chilmark

Interim chief fire officer appointed

Kevin Pearson
BBC
Chief fire officer Kevin Pearson suspension was described as a "neutral act"

Mick Crennell from Mid and West Wales Fire & Rescue Service has been named as the interim Chief Fire Officer (CFO) at Avon Fire & Rescue Service.

It follows the suspension of the chief and deputy chief fire officer of Avon Fire and Rescue Service, last month.

The Home Office report said that the leadership of Avon Fire Authority is undermining its duties to the public and should be replaced.

It also unearthed an "old boys club" culture where senior officers enjoyed big pay rises and enhanced pensions.

BreakingThree jailed for nuclear bunker 'cannabis farm'

Interior shots
Wiltshire Police

Three men have been jailed for running a cannabis factory inside a former nuclear bunker in Wiltshire .

Martin Fillery, was given eight years for conspiracy to produce the cannabis and Plamen Nguyen and Ross Winter were each given five years for the same offence.

All three had admitted the charges, which involved the production of around £2m of cannabis a year.

The trio were also sentenced for abstracting up to £650,000 worth of electricity.

The judge said they had run the biggest cannabis factory ever seen in the south of England.

The bunker was built in the 1980s to house government officials in the wake of a nuclear attack.

It was later sold by the Ministry of Defence.

Jeremy Corbyn uses West visit to attack Tories over NHS

Jeremy Corbyn speaks to Labour Party members event at BAWA Sports and Leisure Centre in Filton
PA
Jeremy Corbyn speaks to Labour Party members event at BAWA Sports and Leisure Centre in Filton

Jeremy Corbyn has used visits to Bristol and Swindon to attack the Government over the NHS.

Labour is warning that cancer patients and their loved ones are being let down.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said there had been "unprecedented numbers of cancelled operations and delayed cancer treatments" since Theresa May came to power.

Severe accident: A435 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A435 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, between Cowley and Colesbourne.

A435 Gloucestershire - A435 in Cowley blocked and slow traffic in both directions between the Cowley junction and the Colesbourne junction, because of an accident.

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

Severe congestion: M5 Gloucestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire southbound severe congestion, between J14 for B4509 Thornbury and J21 for A370.

M5 Gloucestershire - Stop-start traffic and long delays on M5 southbound between J14, B4509 (Thornbury) and J21, A370 (Weston-Super-Mare). Travel time is 75 minutes.

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

Travel: Congestion on the Avonmouth Bridge

Avonmouth Bridge
Highways England

Travel: What's happening on the motorways?

Here's what it looks like on the M4 heading away from the Severn bridges...

M4
Highways England

And the M5 around Cribbs Causeway...

M5
Highways England

Travel: Delays on the M4 and M5 as Bristol traffic builds

Photographer 'in awe' of oldest athletes

As the world's finest athletes are celebrated in London, few people know their older counterparts are returning from competition in Denmark.

But while the two sets are totally opposed in age, they are matched every step of the way in passion, joy and determination.

Photographer Alex Rotas, 68, from Bristol, is determined to prove it.

Click here to see some of her photographs.

In pictures: Photographer 'in awe' of older athletes

Baby giant anteater born at Longleat

Maroni and Bubbles at Longleat
Longleat

A rare baby giant anteater has been born at Longleat as part of a captive-breeding programme for the bizarre-looking South American mammal.

‘Bubbles’ is the fourth giant anteater to be born at the Wiltshire safari park.

The species is officially listed as ‘Vulnerable’, but mum Maroni and Bubbles appear to be thriving.

Maroni greets visitors
Longleat

Travel: Problems on Bath Road in Bristol

Severe accident: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe accident, at J21 for A370.

M5 Somerset - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 southbound at J21, A370 (Weston-Super-Mare), because of an accident.

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

Airman's Cross plaque found in back garden

Airman's Cross near Stonehenge
BBC

A plaque that used to mark the spot of an air tragedy in Wiltshire has turned up in a back garden.

It marked the location at Airman's Cross near Stonehenge, where two servicemen died in 1912.

It went missing when the memorial had to be moved in 2012 for the changes to the roads around Stonehenge.

This week it was found in a garden in South Wiltshire and returned to the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop.

Nuclear bunker cannabis gang stole £250,000 of electricity

Some 4,000 cannabis plants were found, capable of producing £2m worth of drugs a year
Wiltshire Police
Some 4,000 cannabis plants were found, capable of producing £2m worth of drugs a year

Three men are to be sentenced today, for conspiring to produce cannabis at an old nuclear bunker in Wiltshire.

The cannabis farm, discovered by Wiltshire Police, was the "biggest ...we’ve ever had in Wiltshire and the South West region", Det Insp Simon Pope said.

Officers who raided the site at Chilmark used keys found on gang members to gain entry and found more than 4,000 cannabis plants inside capable of producing £2m worth of drugs a year.

The men are from Bristol and Bridgwater.

Phone mast risk 'worries me' says mum

Baby Grace McLaughlin has had a pacemaker fitted to deal with a heart condition.

Her mum Sian says a proposed mobile phone mast nearby is a "potential risk".

"It's not knowing how safe it could be in the long term that worries me," she says.

Sian McLaughlin is worried about the plans for a mast.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is in Bristol talking to supporters

Cycling adventurer forced to quit world record attempt

A Cheltenham man attempting to break the world record for the fastest unsupported crossing of Europe on a bike has been forced to quit his challenge.

Sean Conway has torn a quad muscle 800 miles into his 4,000-mile journey from Portugal to Russia.

View more on twitter

Council backtracks over women-only swimming class axe

Woman swimming
Thinkstock

Women-only swimming classes in Dursley have come back to the surface following a complaint that they discriminated against men.

The sessions at the Pulse leisure centre had been changed to adults only following the complaint.

But the decision was derided as being against the spirit of equalities law, with some saying they would complain about age discrimination in retaliation.

The council has now released a statement backtracking on its decision, instead saying it will "consult with our customers".

There has been a strong response to our decision to end the ladies only swimming sessions after we received a complaint alleging that we were breaching equalities legislation. With the benefit of hindsight we should have taken legal advice and more time to consider our response rather than acting so quickly. The new swimming timetable is due to start in September so we will be taking the next few weeks to consult with our customers directly to get their views before we decide on what to do. We hope that our customers will be happy that we have taken this action and apologise to them for any inconvenience caused.

Stroud District Council

Last night at the Fiesta: Night Glow lights up Ashton Court

Did you see our earlier pictures from the glorious early balloon ascent? Watch out for our video later.

In the meantime, if you missed last night's main event, here's another chance to experience it:

The Night Glow is one of the great Bristol Balloon Fiesta traditions - even if the weather is too bad for flying, you can guarantee a show on the ground.

See below for a link to BBC Radio Bristol's Facebook live last evening:

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2017 Night Glow
BBC
Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2017 Night Glow
Reuters
Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2017 Night Glow
Reuters
Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2017 Night Glow
Reuters
Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2017 Night Glow
Reuters
View more on facebook