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Summary

  1. Live news, sport, weather and travel updates for the West of England on Thursday, 31 August 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight from us: have a peaceful one!

The local live team are signing off and hoping for peace and quiet across the region tonight.

Before we go, here's a look ahead to tomorrow's weather:

Ian tells us it will be a cold night, but there's brighter news for tomorrow!

The weather for tomorrow and onwards

'All our heritage is being done away with': Swindon's tented market closes

People in Swindon have expressed mixed feelings about the closure of the tented market in the town.

Many small businesses have launched and run their trade at the facility, over many years.

Will Glennon has more...

Swindon's tented market is closed for the last time

Destroyed Jacobean ceiling 'should be rebuilt'

Small Street, Bristol
BBC

A 400-year-old Jacobean ceiling - demolished by the owners while it was being considered for listed building status - should be rebuilt, conservationists say.

The elaborate ceiling in a building on Small Street in Bristol was destroyed on Wednesday.

Mike Fox, from Save Britain's Heritage, said it was "appalled at the mutilation" and is calling for "interim protection" for buildings being assessed for listed status.

"We strongly encourage Bristol City Council and Historic England pursue all available means to have it reconstructed and to reprimanded those responsible," he said.

Probation union 'not surprised' about critical report

Ian Lawrence
BBC

The public is being put at "more risk than necessary" by a private probation company, in Gloucestershire, inspectors have warned.

Ian Lawrence, from the National Association of Probation Officers, said they were "not at all surprised" by the report.

Staff at the community rehabilitation company (CRC), who supervise thousands of offenders in Gloucestershire, are facing "unreasonable caseloads".

Working Links, which runs the CRC, said it would "work hard to address the issues identified".

The release of yet another damning report from Her Majesty's Inspector of Probation about inadequate service provision in Gloucestershire is further proof that our predictions prior to the privatisation of the probation service have proven to be correct. There are also huge problems as a result of staff cuts of around 40%, resulting in high absence figures, massive caseloads and a damaging loss of morale.

Ian LawrenceNational Association of Probation Officers

Severn Bridge closed due to 'incident'

More details as we have them

View more on twitter

Calm after the storm: Police presence in Southmead continues

A proactive police operation to break up a teenage gang in Bristol ended with a night of disorder and arson attacks which have left residents describing the area as "a nightmare."

Mounted police had been sent in to Southmead to enforce nine dispersal orders, but as soon as they left, the teenagers regrouped.

Extra patrols are being put on around the housing estate in Bristol tonight.

View more on twitter

Happiest day of people's lives ruined

Dozens of couples have been desperately looking for a new wedding venue after a hotel in Somerset went into liquidation.

The last bride to get married at Battleborough Grange Hotel has described the situation as 'horrendous', with the hotel dirty, broken fittings and their guests having to pay for their accommodation in cash.

Other couples are facing having to find a new venue for their wedding at short notice, many without insurance to pay for the additional costs.

Tracey Miller reports.

Dozens of couples lose their wedding venue as hotel goes bust

Severe disruption: M48 Gloucestershire westbound

BBC News Travel

M48 Gloucestershire westbound severe disruption, between Severn View Services and J2 for A466 Wye Valley Link Road.

M48 Gloucestershire - M48 closed westbound between Severn View Services and J2, A466 (Chepstow), because of a police incident.

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

Local dismay as Swindon's 'tented market' closes

A part of Swindon's history came to an end today.

The Tented Market, which has launched countless businesses over the years, closed its doors for the last time, leaving traders devastated. In its place developers want to build a 12-storey block of flats.

Swindon's tented market is closed, to local dismay

Gloucestershire probation service risks public safety, says report

Watch: Chief inspector of probation Dame Glenys Stacey talks about the critical report

The public is being put at "more risk than necessary" by a private probation company, inspectors have warned.

Staff at the community rehabilitation company (CRC), who supervise thousands of offenders in Gloucestershire, are facing "unreasonable caseloads".

Chief inspector of probation Dame Glenys Stacey's report said the firm had made "drastic staff cuts to try and balance the books".

Working Links, which runs the CRC, said it would "work hard to address the issues identified".

Click here to read more.

Jacobean ceiling 'deliberately destroyed'

Small Street, Bristol
BBC

An elaborate Jacobean ceiling has been demolished by developers just as it was being considered for listed status.

The 400-year-old feature was destroyed on Wednesday ahead of plans to convert a property on Small Street in Bristol into student accommodation.

Historic England (HE) said it received an "urgent listing" request last week but the fresco was "deliberately destroyed" before it could be assessed.

An HE spokeswoman added the developers had been "legally within their rights".

Small Street, Bristol
Google/BBC

Police looking for vulnerable woman

Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for the public's help in locating missing 46-year-old missing Bristol woman, Cheryl Jones.

Cheryl left her home in the Bishopsworth area of Bristol at just after midday today (31 August) and hasn't been seen since. They say they are concerned for her welfare.

Cheryl is described as white, of large build, 5ft 6ins, with a local accent. She was wearing a black hooded top and black jogging bottoms. If you see Cheryl, police have requested that you call us on 101 quoting reference 5217199305.

Cheryl Jones
A&SPolice

Severe accident: M4 Bristol eastbound

BBC News Travel

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

M4 Bristol - One lane closed and slow traffic on M4 eastbound between J20, M5 (Almondsbury Interchange) and J19, M32 (Bristol), because of an accident and recovery work.

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

Worthington joins Yeovil on loan

Yeovil Town
Empics

League Two side Yeovil Town sign Bournemouth midfielder Matt Worthington on a loan deal until January.

Yeovil Town

Worthington joins Yeovil on loan

League Two side Yeovil Town sign Bournemouth midfielder Matt Worthington on a loan deal until January.

Read more

Cannabis worth estimated £2.5m seized in Bristol

Avon and Somerset Police have thwarted a cannabis 'factory' operation in Bristol, thanks to a tip-off from locals.

"we seized 200 suspected Cannabis plants from a property off Filton Avenue in Bristol.

They were worth around £250,000 in terms of street value."

Unfortunately, at the time of the raid, police say, there was no one at the property and no arrests were made.

PC Paula Manos, beat manager said, “Thanks to information from the community about suspicious activity at this property we were able to seize a substantial amount of harmful drugs and stop them from getting into our community."

“This was a very well established and contained set-up and without that vital information from the community it may well have gone undiscovered.”

View more on twitter

Bats in the belfry

Eight churches in the West country have been chosen as part of a £3.8m scheme to tackle the problem of bats in churches.

A hundred churches nationwide are being surveyed to find ways to allow both congregations to live together peacefully.

All bats are protected, so clergy are unable to act even if their presence is causing problems.

Sally Challoner reports from Holcombe in Somerset:

Bats in Westcountry churches may attract funding to move them along
Toni Gomes

Forest Green Rovers sign Liverpool's Portugal youth international striker Toni Gomes on a season-long loan.

Read more

Remember when Bristol Rovers made their last record signing?

Watch: BBC Points West report from the archives

The summer transfer window closes at 11pm tonight, and during this window alone football clubs across Europe have spent hundreds of millions of pounds in their bid for greater success.

Some way off the big spenders is Bristol Rovers who have not surpassed their record transfer fee in 25 years.

In 1992 the club spent £375,000 on defender Andy Tillson from QPR.

Gloucestershire and Somerset badger cull licences extended

Badger
Getty Images

Badger culling will take place in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset for a further five years.

New supplementary licences have been granted by Natural England.

The previously issued licences for the areas expired in November.

Culling is part of the government's 25-year strategy to eradicate bovine TB, but opponents say there is no evidence it is effective.

Click here to read the full story.

Kids are 'trying to prove a point' say Southmead locals

Avon and Somerset Police have been criticised for a lack of community presence in Southmead since the local police station was closed.

Locals say "a summer of trouble" could have been handled much earlier and last night's unrest avoided.

Local residents say 'kids trying to make a point': interviews

I understand local people's concerns... (we) are dealing with these matters as a priority. I will continue to listen to residents."

Sue MountstevensAvon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner

Wedding venue 'just like hell'

Watch: Wedding venue 'just like hell'

The last bride to get married at a Somerset venue before it went into liquidation has been describing the situation as "horrendous".

Battleborough Grange Hotel in Brent Knoll closed down the day after Conner Burnett tied the knot there.

Other couples who had been due to marry at the venue are having to look for alternative locations, some have lost thousand of pounds.

Last night's unrest the culmination of a summer of trouble

So what led to mounted police, anti-social orders and the burning out of several vehicles in Southmead last night?

As residents of the troubled estate pick up the pieces and get used to their newfound notoriety, Scott Ellis looks at the summer of trouble that went before...

Southmead residents have had a summer of trouble, that led to last night's unrest

Cricket: Win puts Worcestershire back in second slot

Dave Bradley

Cricket commentator

Worcestershire have beaten Gloucestershire by 189 runs, after taking seven wickets on the final day at New Road.

View more on twitter
New Road
Getty Images

Gloucestershire probation report: public 'more at risk than necessary'

Ministry of Justice HQ
BBC

More on the criticism which has followed an inspection of a probation service in Gloucestershire.

Dame Glenys Stacey, HM Chief Inspector of Probation, who has published her report today, said the service was nowhere near the standard expected.

As a result, she warned the public is at greater risk than necessary because of shortcomings.

The quality of assessment and planning was mixed, but in any event, plans were not being followed through anywhere near well enough and some offenders were not being seen often enough. As a result, the public were more at risk than necessary, and offenders who could turn their lives around were being denied the chance to do so.

Dame Glenys StaceyHM Chief Inspector of Probation

Rugby: Champion Chiefs name side for opener

Champions Exeter Chiefs have named their side for the first game of the new Aviva Premiership campaign.

They are playing Gloucester away on Friday, at 19:45, 97 days after being crowned champions at Twickenham by beating Wasps.

View more on twitter

Jack Yeandle is captain, with Australian scrum-half Nic White the only new signing in the starting 15.

Another new signing and former Gloucester favourite Matt Kvesic is on the bench, alongside Exeter's only British Lion, Jack Nowell.

(Picture: Exeter Chiefs)

Avon and Somerset Police respond to Southmead criticism

Earlier we brought you the concerns of Southmead residents and Labour councillor, Brenda Massey, who said the closure of the local police station had led to a recent rise in anti-social behaviour.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens has now responded to the comments.

In a statement, she says: “I understand local people’s concerns."

"This morning I received a briefing from the Constabulary regarding the incidents in Southmead. I am reassured that the Constabulary are dealing with these matters as a priority and the neighbourhood team are on the ground speaking to local residents."

"I would encourage anyone with any intelligence to speak to the police."

"I am already in touch with local councillors and I have met Darren Jones MP this morning."

I will continue to listen to residents.”

Sue MountstevensAvon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner
Burned out delivery van
BBC
Southmead locals awoke to burned out vehicles this morning

Probation service rated as poor

Rear view of handcuffed man
Science Photo Library

A probation service in Gloucestershire has been rated as poor and in need of action in a new report.

Government inspectors said staff at the Community Rehabilitation Company, which supervises thousands of low and medium-risk offenders, were making "heroic efforts" but faced "plainly unreasonable" caseloads.

Criticisms in the report included:

  • Staff sickness absence levels are high
  • Quality of work is poor overall
  • Some offenders not being seen often enough
  • Staff carrying too many cases

Overall, we note we are performing relatively well compared to other CRCs and are performing well against targets set by the Ministry of Justice. However, we recognise there are areas of our work which we need to improve on if we are to be successful in achieving our ambitious goals. We will be working even harder, alongside our colleagues in the National Probation Service, to address the issues identified and deliver the services which the public, courts and our service users require from us.

Spokesman for the CRC

Confetti battle in Devizes - just for fun!

Watch: Confetti battle in Devizes

More than 2,000 people have been throwing confetti in Devizes.

The confetti battle was hosted in the town square and is thought to be the last of its kind in the country.

Cannons shot streamers into the air whilst family and friends threw it at each other.

The festival's artistic director Loz Samuels said the mess was cleaned up despite it taking them hours.

Woman finds coins she hid in church decades ago

A few coins hidden in a Gloucestershire church more than 25 years ago have been rediscovered by the woman who placed them there.

Lorna Walding, from Cinderford, was nine years old when she buried the coins beneath a floor tile in St Michael's, Soudley.

She recently returned to the same spot with her 10-year-old daughter to find them exactly where she left them.

Woman rediscovers coins she hid in Forest of Dean church decades ago.

Mosaic unearthed at Chedworth Roman Villa

A Roman mosaic has been digitally preserved during the final dig at Chedworth Roman Villa.

This is the last day the public can view it before it's permanently covered over.

A Roman mosaic has been digitally preserved during the final dig at Chedworth Roman Villa.

We're live at the UK home of puppetry

Badger cull extended

Badger
Getty Images

Badger culling will take place in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset for a further five years, until 2022.

New licences granted by Natural England state a minimum target this year of 160 animals to be killed and a maximum of 580 for the Gloucestershire licence area.

In Somerset the target is a minimum of 140 and a maximum of 610.

Southmead disturbance a 'disaster', says local councillor

Watch: Brenda Massey on Southmead "disaster"

Southmead in Bristol has experienced a night of public disorder leading to a car and van being set on fire.

Labour councillor for Southmead, Brenda Massey described it as "a disaster on the green".

She said its partly due to the closure of the local police station and said she has written to the Police Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.

Vehicles damaged after disturbances in Southmead

Watch: Vehicles damaged after disturbances

Vehicles have been left burnt out and smoking after a night of disturbances in Southmead, Bristol.

Police issued nine dispersal notices for anti-social behaviour and public disorder.

Residents say it is not safe to go out at night anymore, and the area is becoming a "nightmare".

'Something kicks off up here every night at the moment'

Residents in Southmead say the disorder and anti-social behaviour experienced in the area last night is nothing new.

Police have issued nine dispersal orders banning individuals from returning to the area for 48 hours following a number of incidents.

But local people have told us it wasn't an isolated incident.

Watch: Residents in Southmead say they regularly experience problems in the area

Leah Kerry drug dealer admits supply charges

A man has admitted supplying drugs to 15-year-old Leah Kerry, who collapsed and died at an end of term party in a Newton Abbot park.

Jacob Khanlarian, 20, pleaded guilty to supplying ecstasy, also known as MDMA, to Leah, who came from Torquay and went to school in Salisbury, and two of her friends in July.

The case at Exeter Crown Court was adjourned for three weeks to allow the police time to receive a toxicology report which will establish whether the drugs he supplied caused Leah's death.

Leah Kerry
Kerry Family

Khanlarian, from Elm Road, Newton Abbot, admitted four counts of supplying class A drug MDMA and one of possessing class B drug cannabis with intent to supply.

Three of the counts related to supply of ecstasy to three teenage girls, including Leah Kerry, at Bakers Park, Newton Abbot on the night she died.

Recorder Mr Jeremy Wright adjourned the case until 21 September.

Football: Nobody leaving Bristol Rovers, says board

Football: Swindon sign two players on loan from Derby

Football: It's transfer deadline day

Listen: Andy Tillson recalls wanting to prove his worth

Football teams across the country have until 11pm to buy or sell players before the summer transfer window shuts.

While deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds have been done by some, Bristol Rovers official transfer record has remained unbroken - as it has for the last 25 years.

In 1992 the club spent £375,000 on defender Andy Tillson from QPR.

In a chat with BBC Radio Bristol, he recalled how being a record signing made him even more desperate to do well for the club.