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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates from across the West of England on Tuesday 3 October 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good night from Local Live

That's it from us tonight. If you were caught in the Bristol traffic earlier we hope you got home safely.

We'll be back from 7am tomorrow with all the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the West. See you tomorrow.

Here's Sara Thornton with the weather forecast.

Watch: Weather with Sara

'We are putting them in limbo and that's inhumane'

Adminstrative limbo could be against international law

More on our story about the plight of economic migrants forced to live in limbo in the UK.

Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire says she is seeing an increased number of immigration applications delayed by the Home Office because they are considered complex.

She said: "Because passports are held by the Home Office while a decision is made, families cannot travel and in some cases are unable to continue with their normal life.

"This can lead to enormous stress and anxiety for them."

Left in limbo: Home Office must 'come clean' on 'unacceptable way to treat our friends'

Diane Abbott
BBC

Figures seen by the BBC show the longest time an applicant had to wait for a residency decision between January 2014 and June 2017 was 719 days, while the longest an application was on hold for during the same period was 1,001 days.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott urged the Home Office to "come clean" over the issue.

This is a completely unacceptable way to treat people who are our friends, our colleagues, and our neighbours. Ministers need to come clean about the true scale of this backlog and explain what steps they are taking to sort it out.

Diane AbbottShadow Home Secretary

Cyclists campaign for new cycle route in town

Cyclist in traffic
Getty Images

More than 500 cyclists have signed a petition calling for Taunton Deane Borough Council to create a new cycle route along the Firepool development.

Taunton Area Cycling Campaign is handing the petition over today saying the proposal is a "once in a lifetime chance" to provide a decent cycle link from the town centre to the station.

Station Road was picked out by the group as one of 15 "problem hotspots".

It says the Boulevard would mean some cyclists could avoid it.

Left in limbo: 'I still haven't met my baby son'

Baby feet
PA

Farooq Shaik's second son was born 10 months ago... he has yet to meet him.

The IT contractor's wife left their home in Leeds with their toddler during her pregnancy to see her family in India a year ago and he expected to join her shortly after.

But a decision on his residency application is still pending.

He is one of many people left in limbo in the UK waiting for the Home Office to decide their fate.

They rejected it because they say my income isn't genuine even though I have paid my taxes for the past 10 years and have proof which I've sent to them. I'm yet to see my family in India because I can't travel as my visa was in process and now it's been rejected.

Farooq Shaik

Drivers speak of travel woes after Bristol's road network grinds to a halt

Drivers have been taking to social media tonight in desperation after an accident on the M5 in north Somerset led to gridlock on most commuter routes.

For many the traffic's meant cancelled plans or late bedtimes for kids.

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

Council scraps £160k chief exec role

Bristol City Hall
BBC

The role of chief executive at Bristol City Council is to be scrapped.

It is part of a shake-up of the management structure at the authority, announced by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees.

The last chief executive, Anna Klonowski, resigned from the £160,000-a-year post last month.

Mr Rees said the changes would create savings of around £700,000 a year and would reduce the senior management team by seven.

The council has had three chief executives in the past 18 months; Ms Klonowski, Stephen Hughes and Nicola Yates.

Earlier this year a report found "a collective failure of leadership" at the council led to £29m deficit in its finances.

Read more here.

Work starts to build new crematorium for town

Cheltenham Crematorium artist impression
Roberts Limbrick
It's hoped the new crematorium will open during spring 2019

Work to build a crematorium and two chapels in Cheltenham has started.

The new buildings and car park will be sited on borough council land directly behind the current cemetery.

Bereavement services manager Rob Hainsworth said: "We're going to create two gardens where the flowers from the funeral can be viewed.

"There's a lot of tense situations in a lot of funeral services, so it's nice that people can chat afterwards in what will be a beautiful courtyard garden."

Cheltenham Crematorium artist impression
Roberts Limbrick

Investigation after bronze pigs stolen

Police have launched an investigation after a bronze sculpture of pigs was stolen in Wiltshire.

They have been in the centre of Calne for nearly 40 years, to honour the town's pork pie making heritage.

Watch: Reporter Michelle Ruminski has the latest.

Harry Redknapp to 'lend a hand' at Yeovil Town

Harry Redknapp
Press Association

BBC Somerset understands Yeovil manager Darren Way has invited former Tottenham and Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp to lend a hand at Huish Park.

Speaking on BT Sport Redknapp stated he would be happy to help at a club such as Yeovil, without taking a salary.

It's now understood Way has contacted Redknappto invite him to watch upcoming games.

Yeovil are currently 17th in League Two, seven points above the relegation zone.

M32 traffic at a standstill into Bristol

Watch: Traffic is at a standstill on the M32 heading into Bristol

More pictures: Bristol traffic queues

This is the scene on the Downs in Bristol at the top of Blackboy Hill. Some motorists are at a standstill.

Watch: Traffic at the top of Blackboy Hill

Frustration as Bristol traffic is gridlocked throughout rush hour

Here are just some of the tweets from frustrated commuters this evening rush hour.

Cath Mackintosh tweeted this picture of gridlock coming into Bristol on the Portway.

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

Traffic around Bristol gridlocked after earlier M5 crash

Traffic at a standstill on Roman Way in Seamills
Emily Maestri

More reports of huge traffic delays around the Bristol area. Drivers are reporting the city centre is gridlocked.

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

M5: Bristol traffic at a standstill

Traffic around Bristol is at a standstill in the aftermath of the M5 closure near Portishead today.

All lanes on the motorway have reopened in the last half hour, but delays have built up during the evening rush hour.

A BBC reporter says it's taken an hour to travel from Whiteladies Road in Clifton towards the Suspension Bridge, and she's still not arrived there.

Bristol traffic map
Goo
The red lines here indicate traffic queues.

Severe accident: A358 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A358 Somerset both ways severe accident, between Roebuck Gate Lane and Smokeham Lane.

A358 Somerset - A358 in Flaxpool blocked and very slow traffic in both directions between Flaxpool Garage and the Smokeham Lane junction, because of an accident.

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

M5: Lanes reopened but traffic still heavy

View more on twitter
M5 traffic queue
Highways England
Approach to M5 junction 19

Severe congestion: A370 Bristol westbound

BBC News Travel

A370 Bristol westbound severe congestion, between A4174 South Bristol Link and B3133 High Street.

A370 Bristol - Severe delays and queuing traffic on A370 westbound between the A4174 South Bristol Link junction in Long Ashton and the B3133 High Street junction in Congresbury. Travel time is an hour and ten minutes.

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

BreakingM5: All lanes now open

Suspended jail terms for waste bosses

Lee Phelan (l) and John Barcham (r)
BBC
Lee Phelan (l) and John Barcham were convicted of illegally storing more than 6,000 tonnes of hazardous waste

Two former directors of a recycling firm have been given suspended jail terms after storing more than 30,000 tonnes of hazardous waste incorrectly.

Lee Phelan, from Andover, and John Barcham, from Clevedon, breached the 6,000 tonnes licence at the Churngold Recycling site in Hallen.

The company was fined more than £20,000 following an investigation by the Environment Agency.

The Bristol Crown Court judge said they had "flagrant disregard" for the law.

M5 closure: Rush hour traffic building

Rush-hour traffic is building around the Bristol area because of the continuing M5 closure.

There's queueing traffic and severe delays on the A370 westbound between the A4174 South Bristol Link (Long Ashton) and B3133 High Street (Congresbury). Travel time there is estimated at an hour and thirty minutes.

M5 traffic queue
Highways England
Queues at the Lawrence Weston junction of the M5
Traffic queues on M5
Highways England
Traffic queues at the Avonmouth junction of the M5

M5 to re-open 'ASAP'

M5 closure has knock-on effect for Bristol's rush hour traffic

Traffic into Bristol across the Downs horrendous. On the way up Whiteladies Rd I was pacing with a bus... And I was… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Man admits murdering mother and son

Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson
West Midlands Police

A homeless man who turned on a family who befriended him has admitted murdering the mother and her 13-year-old son.

Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson were stabbed to death at their home in Stourbridge, West Midlands.

The boy's father, Peter, was seriously injured in the attack but survived.

The couple's daughter Lydia, 18, was away at Bristol University at the time.

She said she was warned to expect the worst and when she saw her father hooked up to "countless machines" she doubted he would survive

Aaron Barley, 23, of no fixed address, admitted the killings at Birmingham Crown Court on what would have been the first day of his trial.

He previously admitted the attempted murder of Mr Wilkinson.

Read more here

Visa delays: 'I missed my father's funeral'

Polly March

BBC News, West of England

Waseem Iqbal
BBC

We have heard a number of stories of people living in limbo in the UK due to delays at the Home Office.

Waseem Iqbal said he was unable to attend his father's funeral in Pakistan while the Home Office processed his residency application.

It's felt like I am living in a prison and cannot go anywhere. I have no right to work anymore, I don't know if I can pay my mortgage and I have a baby. I also haven't visited my father's last place of rest. I am now a patient of depression and on depression medicine.

Waseem Iqbal

M5 closure: Latest from the fire service

Avon Fire and Rescue say chemicals need to be removed from one of the lorries involved in the M5 crash in North Somerset this morning.

The southbound carriageway remains closed between Portishead and Clevedon, and motorists are advised to seek alternative routes..

One of the lorries involved was carrying chemicals which need to be removed from the vehicle before the obstruction can be cleared. That process is underway but it is difficult to say when it will be finish

Avon Fire and Rescue
View more on twitter

Date for great Concorde museum opening finally revealed

Concorde at Aerospace Bristol
BBC

The new Concorde museum will open its doors at last on Tuesday 17 October, it has been announced.

Concorde 216 will be the supersonic centrepiece of the £19m Aerospace Bristol centre in Filton, which will document the city's aviation heritage.

Tickets for the museum are sale on the Aerospace Bristol website.

Iain Gray, Chairman of Aerospace Bristol, said: "Aerospace Bristol will celebrate the innovation and endeavor of those generations who went before us and inspire young people to consider careers in science and technology."

BreakingChurngold: Sentencing announced

Scott Ellis

BBC Points West reporter

A judge has said a waste company and two of its former directors had a “flagrant disregard” for the law after they stored more than 30,000 tonnes of hazardous waste at their site in Hallen.

Lee Phelan, 41, from Andover and 50-year-old John Barcham from Clevedon were given suspended jail sentences - and the company fined more than £20,000 following the biggest ever investigation by the Environment Agency.

The waste included asbestos, lead and other heavy metals and was used to make the foundations of a Co-op Distribution Centre at Avonmouth in 2011. It cost the supermarket chain £9m to remove the contaminated material.

Churngold Recycling had a licence to hold 6,000 tonnes of waste at its yard in Hallen. They took in 50 lorry loads a day from a BMW site in Oxford - and ended up with 30,000 tonnes. It was mixed with concrete without proper treatment before being trucked to Avonmouth.

His Honour Judge Patrick said they failed to store the waste correctly and that stockpiles of lime had a serious effect on the health of employees.

Referring to the burial of the waste he said the company and Lee Phelan were reckless, but said he didn’t think they were motivated by profit, rather the company didn’t know what it was doing - it was “trying to run before it could walk” after taking on huge quantities of soil from BMW in Cowley.

The investigation cost £2m but investigator Adrian Evans of the EA said: “What price can you put on the environment?”

Phelan and Barcham will also have to carry out unpaid work.

The courts heard there is no criticism of either BMW or the Co-op - who went to great lengths and expense to remove the waste afterwards.

Qatar boss 'faith in Cardiff' over Bristol

A Qatar Airways plane on the tarmac
Getty Images

The chief executive of Qatar Airways said he resisted pressure from inside the company not to fly between Doha and Cardiff Airport.

Akbar Al Baker said there were "very strong arguments" from people inside the airline that there were not enough passengers to justify the new daily flight.

But he insisted he will be proved right in opting for Cardiff instead of Bristol Airport.

Click here to read more.

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

Visa delays: 'The stress is unbearable'

Polly March

BBC News, West of England

Yasir Habib, 32, from London, and his wife Khadija
BBC

Hold-ups in residency applications are affecting many families across the UK, some of whom have been without their passports for up to 18 months.

Yasir Habib, 32, from London, and his wife Khadija, have been in limbo for more than a year while their application is processed.

They say the stress is 'unbearable'.

There is no certainty in our life here in UK. We cannot make any plans for the future since we don't know what is going to happen to us.

Yasir Habib

Gravy on a breakfast - can it work?

So far, most of the reaction we've had to our earlier story on the cooked breakfast covered with gravy has been rather negative.

Hopefully there is someone out there who thinks this is a good idea?

Watch: Staff at The Old Bookshop were inspired by American breakfasts
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Rees-Mogg protester explains appearance

Watch: Jacob Rees-Mogg takes on the protesters

The North East Somerset MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, was interrupted at a Conservative party conference event in Manchester yesterday.

He spoke to some of the protesters, one of whom has today explained why he stormed the event and demanded to speak to him.

View more on twitter

Visa delays to migrants' claims are 'inhumane'

Polly March

BBC News, West of England

Watch: Home Office's "inhospitable" approach is intentional, says Jan Doerfel

An immigration lawyer has accused the Home Office of intentionally creating a "hostile atmosphere for immigrants and their families".

Jan Doerfel, a barrister who specialises in immigration, says the "excessive and scandalous waiting times" for appeal hearings are "all part of the government's aim to reduce immigration".

The Home Office disputes there is a backlog and said the delays were to do with the complexity of individual applications.

It said people have been notified their applications are not straightforward and that it was inappropriate to return their travel documents prior to a decision being made.

Click here to read the full story.

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

Concorde's new home to open later this month

Watch: Archive footage of the last Concorde landing in Bristol

The new home of Concorde is to open later this month.

The £19m Aerospace Bristol centre at the historic Filton Airfield will open its doors to visitors from 17 October, it's been announced.

The star attraction will be Concorde Alpha Foxtrot - the last of the 20 Concorde to be built, and the last to fly.

Home Office disputes visa claims backlog

Polly March

BBC News, West of England

UK passport control
PA

The Home Office has responded to our story about migrants left in limbo for up to two years while their applications to remain in the UK are decided.

A spokesman disputed there's a backlog and said the delays are to do with the complexity of individual applications.

People have been notified their applications are not straightforward, he added, and that it was inappropriate to return their travel documents prior to a decision being made.

It is vital that the correct decisions are made, particularly with complex cases that require detailed consideration and verification of evidence.

Home Office spokesman

M5 remains closed southbound for recovery work

Cooked breakfast with gravy turns heads

Watch: See the gravy-doused creation.

There are some food staples that cannot be tinkered with, so one Bristol café has surprised their customers by creating a cooked breakfast that is doused liberally in gravy.

Nick Delgado and Dan Vidowsky, who created the breakfast, say that some customers are still unsure what to do with the gravy, with many returning the pot unused at the end of their meal.

Nick said he has even been accused of "subverting British values" after news of the breakfast first appeared online.