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Summary

  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates for the West of England on Monday, 21 August 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Cloudy and dry tonight - brighter tomorrow

That's all from BBC Local Live for the West of England.

This evening will stay cloudy but dry. The night will be mild and humid and it will become rather murky with mist and fog over the Mendips and other hills. Minimum Temperature: 15C.

We're back in the morning from 7am with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. See you then!

Protesters vow to stay at controversial incinerator site

Javelin Park protest
BBC

Protesters who have blocked the main gates to the construction site of a controversial incinerator say they intend to stay until at least tomorrow morning.

The campaigners moved in early yesterday and claim the facility near Gloucester represents a bad deal for the taxpayer.

A large vehicle and a sofa have been placed in front of the gates of the Javelin Park, which is near junction 12 of the M5

Gloucestershire County Council said it will generate enough electricity to power 25,000 homes.

The £500m facility is due to open in two years.

Anthony Perenise: Samoa prop rejoins Bath from Bristol

Anthony Perenise
Getty Images

Bath have re-signed tighthead prop Anthony Perenise from Bristol for the 2017-18 Premiership season.

The 34-year-old Samoa international made 85 appearances in his first spell at the Rec from 2011 to 2014.

"He has shown throughout his career his quality in the set-piece, as well as his formidable presence and ball-carrying ability around the park," said Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder.

"I've no doubt he will prove a huge asset over the coming season."

Read more on this story.

Teenagers celebrate swimming the English Channel

Watch: The team from Street & District Swimming Club completed the charity swim in under 12 hours

A group of Somerset teenagers had to contend with high seas and jellyfish as they swam the English Channel to raise money for charity.

The team of six, aged between 13 and 17 and from the Street and District Swimming Club, completed the challenge last month in less than 12 hours without wetsuits.

They raised more than £2,000 for the Make-a-Wish foundation which gives children with life-threatening conditions the opportunity to fulfill a lifetime dream.

Travellers leave field in Weston-super-Mare

Watch: Those who organised the protest are calling it a "victory for the people"

Travellers have left a playing field in Weston-super-Mare after a confrontation with up to 300 local people last night.

Organiser Tony Hobden who planned the demonstration through social media defended what he'd done, saying local people needed their voices to be heard.

But traveller groups say confrontations like this are caused by a lack of proper provision for travellers and that they're being victimised by a society which doesn't provide enough legal sites for them.

Possibly the best pancake ever?

Watch: Stonehenge created in batter

We bet you've never eaten a pancake like this before.

Daniel Drake and Henry Gustafson from Saint Louis, Missouri, in the US, are famous internet pancake artists who will give any design a go.

We set them a challenge to create a Wiltshire landmark and the result is amazing.

Ultrafast broadband firm began life in a pub

Watch: TrueSpeed was created five years ago

A broadband network set up by two men in a Somerset pub is expanding after securing a £75m private investment.

TrueSpeed was created five years ago to deliver superfast internet to rural areas.

It's also agreed a deal with Western Power to use their poles to put up fibre-optic cables to save costs on digging underground.

About 600 homes are being connected but the directors have plans to sign up many more.

This is brilliant news for the residents and businesses in our region. This significant investment will provide our customers with a real choice of infrastructure for the first time.

Evan WeinburgChief executive officer, TrueSpeed

More people in Somerset 'struggling with alcohol use'

Watch: Alex Chapman, from Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service

There's been a significant increase in the number of people in Somerset seeking help for alcohol problems.

The Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service says the amount of people needing help has nearly doubled in the three years since it opened.

Staff say it may be partly due to the service being well-advertised.

Severe accident: A370 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A370 Somerset both ways severe accident, between Puxton Lane and M5 J21.

A370 Somerset - A370 in Hewish blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between the Puxton Lane junction and Weston-Super-Mare, because of an accident involving two vehicles. Congestion to Congresbury.

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

Roundabout work to cause overnight road closures

How the roundabout will look after the work
Gloucestershire Highways

Work on the Elmbridge Court roundabout in Gloucester is entering the final stage of its year-long project.

Motorists have been warned to expect disruption from tonight until Thursday.

There will be full closures in place between 10pm and 5am on the:

  • A40 Golden Valley Route East and Westbound
  • A40 Northern Bypass North and Southbound
  • A417 Barnwood Link North and Southbound

A signposted diversion will be in place, using a combination of Tewkesbury Road, Estcourt Road, Barnwood Road, Corinium Avenue, A417, M5, A40 and Cheltenham Road.

Rugby player Matt Dawson supports Big Tick Project

Matt Dawson
Getty Images

Former England rugby player Matt Dawson has joined forces with a research project in Bristol after he was bitten by a tick in a London park last year.

He contracted Lyme disease from the bite, leading him to need heart surgery.

"I had two days where I felt awful. Very feverish, on the sofa, crashed out," he said.

Now 18 months on, after multiple treatments and heart operations, he's now supporting the Big Tick Project which raises awareness of tick bites and how to avoid them.

Click here to read more.

Making the headlines in the West's local newspapers

Fraudster 'tried to sue the police'

Earlier we told you how Michael Troy Cremin, 41, was found guilty of six counts of fraud and one count of pretending to be a barrister.

Det Sgt David Fryatt, from Gloucestershire Police, said Cremin overegged his position and introduced letters after his name suggesting he was a doctor of law.

He then never sought to correct anyone who believed he was a genuine solicitor or barrister.

And during the investigation he tried to take legal action against the force's chief constable.

Fraudster 'tried to sue the police'

Sid Nelson: Millwall defender joins Yeovil Town on loan until January

Sid Nelson
Getty Images

Yeovil Town have signed defender Sid Nelson from Championship club Millwall on loan until January.

The 21-year-old has made 38 appearances for the Lions, but none this season.

Nelson is Yeovil's 12th summer signing and joins a side with one win from their first three League Two games of the new campaign.

"I'm really pleased the deal has finally been agreed as we've been in discussions with Millwall for a number of weeks," said Yeovil boss Darren Way.

More on this story.

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe disruption, between J20 for B3133 and J19 for A369.

M5 Somerset - Stationary traffic on M5 northbound between J20, B3133 (Clevedon) and J19, A369 (Portishead), because of a rolling road-block and emergency repairs.

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

Bristol tower block owners warn residents on fire prevention

Despite the owners of Eclipse Tower in Bristol saying there was a "low risk" for fire, it has sent a warning letter to some residents.

The Bristol Alliance has advised residents on how fires can be prevented, including:

  • Switching off electrical appliances at night
  • Getting wiring tested regularly
  • Not having barbecues on the balcony

It said it was working with the Department for Communities and Local Government to "implement a safe and efficient solution for the building following additional testing results".

The Grenfell Tower fire started in a fridge-freezer, and outside cladding and insulation failed safety tests, police in London have said.

Tower block has same category cladding as Grenfell Tower

Eclipse Tower
BBC

The Eclipse Tower in Bristol's Cabot Circus has cladding in the same category as cladding that was on Grenfell Tower in London.

The privately owned building uses Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) and is also understood to have a polyethylene (PE) core, the same combination as at Grenfell.

The information came to light following a Freedom of Information request by the BBC to Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Extra patrols have been introduced as a precaution.

A spokesman said the building, which houses luxury flats, was considered "low risk" following safety checks.

Cancer victim says fraudster 'knew what he was doing'

Watch: 'I feel ashamed I was taken for a fool by him'

A man who conned a woman with terminal cancer has been found guilty of six counts of fraud and one count of pretending to be a barrister.

Bristol Crown Court was told Michael Troy Cremin, 41, conned Sandra Burch out of £92,000 after misleading her into believing the money would be used to buy land on her behalf.

"He knew of my health - I have secondary breast cancer, it's treatable but not curable - and he knew we needed the money... so I could stay at home," Ms Burch said.

"He knew what he was doing."

Bristol tower clad similar to Grenfell Tower

A tower block in Bristol has similar cladding to the Grenfell Tower block in London, the BBC has learned.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that the privately-owned Eclipse Tower at Cabot Circus uses Aluminium Composite Material (ACM).

It is also understood to have a polyethylene (PE) core, the same combination as at Grenfell Tower.

Eclipse Tower
BBC

Fraudster conned terminal cancer woman out of £92k life savings

Michael Troy Cremin
Gloucestershire Police
Michael Troy Cremin

A man who conned a woman with terminal cancer has been found guilty of six counts of fraud and one count of pretending to be a barrister.

Bristol Crown Court was told Michael Troy Cremin, 41, conned Sandra Burch out of £92,000 after misleading her into believing the money would be used to buy land on her behalf.

Sandra Burch
Family photo
Sandra Burch

Cremin, who advertised himself as a lawyer and advocate but has been described by police as a "fantasist", was listed on a legitimate chambers website and falsely claimed to have a law degree from the University of London.

Cremin, formally of Buncombe Way in Cirencester, will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Bath bridge crash: Safety work 'will take a number of days'

Cleveland Bridge
BBC

Motorists in Bath have been warned to expect disruption around Cleveland Bridge for days to come.

Bath and North East Somerset Council said it was liaising with the tenant of the toll house about necessary works to make the structure safe.

A spokesman said: "It is likely these essential safety works will take a number of days.

"While the work is carried out, one lane on the bridge will remain closed and the temporary traffic lights will remain in place.

"Traffic management signs have been updated to alert drivers to seek other alternative routes."

Paralysed man competes in muddy challenge

Tough Mudder
Getty Images

Teams of people tested themselves over a series of obstacles over the weekend at the Badminton Estate in South Gloucestershire.

Among those taking part was Rob Camm from Gloucestershire, who is paralysed from the neck down and who competed in the event for the third time.

He uses a specially designed chair that he controls with his chin.

Tough Mudder
PA
Tough Mudder
PA
Tough Mudder
PA

Bath bridge crash: One lane open

Damage to a toll house on Cleveland Bridge in Bath
Rosie Marteau/Google

One lane has reopened to traffic across Cleveland Bridge in Bath.

It has been shut since the early hours following a car crash which has severely damaged one of four former toll houses on the Grade II* listed bridge.

Bath and North East Somerset Council said temporary traffic lights had been installed to manage the flow of traffic.

Hindu temple asks devotees to support good causes

Watch: Ila Shrimanker, chair of the Bristol Hindu Temple

Bristol's Hindu Temple is asking members to use less milk during this holy month of Shravaan and donate the money saved to foodbanks.

Milk is traditionally offered to the goddess Shiva to promote positive energy, twice a day throughout the 30 days of Shravaan.

Hundreds of pounds are collectively spent on milk by worshippers and this year they're being asked to use a minimal amount instead and using the money to help those in need.

Cash machine 'attacked' in Yate

Esso garage
Google

Another cash machine in Yate has been targeted - this time at the Esso garage on Station Road.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed the machine was "attacked" at 12:30am.

A man drove away from the garage and was arrested shortly after in connection with the incident.

It adds to a string of attacks that have happened in the past two years.

Fishermen find WW2 shell in Swindon canal

Listen: Nick Bell talks about the find

Nick Bell's house was swamped with police, paramedics and members of the bomb disposal team yesterday.

The piece of metal he'd been cleaning for the best part of a week turned out to be a World War Two shell.

He told BBC Wiltshire about his discovery while fishing with a friend at Kingshill.

Sewage pollution concern for Weston beaches

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Sea swimmers have been advised against going into the water at two beaches in North Somerset:

  • Uphill Slipway
  • Weston main

The Environment Agency says the cause for the advice is "pollution from sewage".

Click here to find specific information on its website.

Explosion boat protected 'to prevent environmental contamination'

Remains of boat in Bristol Harbour
BBC

A boat which exploded in Bristol Harbour has been protected by booms to prevent environmental contamination.

One person was injured in the blast which happened on Sunday at about 14:00 BST.

Bristol City Council said the vessel was on the bottom of the harbour but has been protected by booms "to prevent any environmental contamination while recovery is arranged with the owners".

A spokeswoman said the Environment Agency had also been informed and will be attending today to assess the impact on the harbour.

Severe accident: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe accident, between J22 for A38 and J21 for A370.

M5 Somerset - Slow traffic on M5 northbound between J22, A38 (Burnham-On-Sea) and J21, A370 (Weston-Super-Mare), because of an accident earlier on.

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

Mud, mud, glorious mud

Did you have a relaxing Sunday? This lot didn't...

Tough Mudder
PA

They were taking part in a Tough Mudder event on the Badminton Estate in South Gloucestershire.

Teams of people test themselves over a series of obstacles on the 10-12 mile course.

Tough Mudder
Getty Images
Tough Mudder
Getty Images
Tough Mudder
Getty Images

The history of Cleveland Bridge

A picture of the damaged bridge
@AntinBath

Here's what Historic England says about the Grade II* listed bridge, damaged by an earlier crash:

  • It was built in 1827, reconstructed in 1928, repaired and strengthened in 1992
  • Architect = Henry Edmund Goodridge; contractor = William Hazeldine
  • It cost £10,000 and was for the Earl of Darlington who owned the Bathwick estate
  • It's made out of cast iron, limestone and concrete
  • The toll houses are in the form of small Doric temples with prostyle porticos facing onto road
  • The bridge was freed of tolls in 1929
  • It stands near the likely site of the city's Roman bridge
  • It remains among the most characteristic examples of a Greek Revival bridge in the country

Click here to read more on the Historic England website.

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire southbound severe disruption, between J14 for B4509 Thornbury and J15 for M4.

M5 Gloucestershire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M5 southbound between J14, B4509 (Thornbury) and J15, M4 (Almondsbury Interchange), because of a lorry having a tyre changed.

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

Somerset sees sharp rise in people seeking help for alcoholism

Ruth Bradley

BBC Somerset politics reporter

Man drinking spirits
Getty Images

There have been "significant rises" in the numbers of people with the most serious alcohol problems accessing treatment, according to the organisation responsible in Somerset.

Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service (SDAS) says the number of clients in this group has nearly doubled, from 450 people to around 870, since it took on the contract in 2014.

SDAS says in some ways the increase is a good thing, as it means more people are now getting help, and may be down to better awareness of services.

It has seen a particular rise among those aged in their late 40s, 50s and 60s.

Ann Hardy, 55, from Frome, has been through treatment with SDAS and is now becoming a peer mentor for the organisation.

She said: “We do live in a culture now that is very much: ‘go home from work, sit down and have a couple of glasses of wine’. And actually that’s where it can all start. And it would only take one thing, you may not even realise that it’s happening, to tip you over the edge."

Severe disruption: M4 Wiltshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Wiltshire westbound severe disruption, between J16 for A3102 and J17 for A350.

M4 Wiltshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M4 westbound between J16, A3102 (Swindon West) and J17, A350 (Chippenham), because of a lorry having a tyre changed.

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

Monday's BBC local radio headlines

Radio studio
BBC

BBC Wiltshire: Wiltshire Police says it'll pass on findings of its investigation into allegations that Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile to the national child sex abuse inquiry.

BBC Somerset: Somerset Drug and Alcohol service says it's seen a surprising rise in the number of people being treated for the most serious alcohol problems.

BBC Bristol: People living near the M4 are being urged to take part in a consultation on plans for a new junction between Bristol and Bath.

BBC Gloucestershire: The public has a role to play when it comes to controlling the number of seagulls in Gloucester, according to experts.

Bath bridge update: Toll lodge 'significantly damaged'

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The council says a toll house is "significantly damaged" but the bridge remains structurally sound.

It hopes to reopen one lane over the bridge at lunchtime, under temporary traffic signals.

"These are expected to remain in place throughout this evenings rush hour," said a council spokesman.

"The traffic management signs have been updated to alert drivers to seek other alternative routes. Traffic is very heavy and drivers are advised to the avoid this route."

Car hits toll house on Cleveland Bridge in Bath

Picture of the damaged toll house
Rosie Marteau‏

Avon and Somerset Police were called at 1.30am to find a car had collided with other parked vehicles and then hit the bridge.

The crash caused severe damage to one of the pillars and a toll house.

An engineer was sent to check the structural damage and has confirmed the bridge should remain closed pending further investigation.

A spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset Council said: "Traffic is heavy in both directions and long delays are expected. Drivers are asked to seek an alternative route."

A few morning local newspaper headlines

Travel: Cleveland Bridge in Bath shut due to incident