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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates from across the West of England on 8-11 May

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Cardiff Blues celebrate in Bilbao

Dafydd Pritchard

BBC Sport Wales in Bilbao

Cardiff Blues stage a stirring comeback to beat Gloucester and win a thrilling Challenge Cup final in Bilbao.

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West weather: Cooler but mostly dry weekend on the cards

Cloudy tonight with more rain which should clear by midnight with clear spells on the way.

Saturday's expected to be mainly dry and fine with spells of sunshine but a risk of the odd shower.

Sunny spells forecast for Sunday but still a chance of showers, which could be heavy.

Watch: John Hammond with the weather forecast

New Science Museum building given go-ahead

Artist's impression
Science Museum Group

A new building to house thousands of artefacts at the Science Museum in Wiltshire has been given planning approval.

It will contain more than 340,000 objects from the Science Museum Collection and will be regularly open to the public for tours and leaning visits.

Work on the 26,000 sq metre building will begin next year and it will open in 2020.

This is a hugely important step towards out goal of transforming the way we care for and share the extraordinary objects in our collection.

Jonathan NewbyScience Museum Group

Tap to give at Gloucester Cathedral

Visitors to Gloucester Cathedral can now make donations using their contactless debit or credit cards.

It's one of 13 cathedrals across the country which are part of a trial run by GoodBox - which provides the technology to take payments.

The Church of England aims to make contactless and SMS mobile payments available throughout England, to make giving "faster and easier for the Church's congregations".

A trial at Bristol Cathedral will be going live later in the year, while GoodBox says it is "in discussions" with charities and organisations including Great Western Air Ambulance.

Contactless
Getty Images

M5 Willow Man appeal on Somerset day

The creator of the M5 Willow Man - which is facing demolition - has made a fresh appeal for funds as part of Somerset Day.

Serena de la Hey is trying to raise £75,000 to rebuild the iconic West Country sculpture and ensure it can be maintained into the future.

So far, just over £1,200 has been raised.

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A Somerset Day wedding in Taunton

Unexploded bomb threat on development site

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Bamfield in Bristol
Google
An aerial view of the site in Bamfield in Bristol

Land earmarked for dozens of new homes could have unexploded bombs beneath it.

Bellway Homes plans to build 50 dwellings on the site of a former elderly peoples home in Bamfield, Bristol.

The city council granted planning permission earlier this year but included more than 20 conditions for the developers including an unexploded ordnance survey.

A threat assessment has now been completed which labels the site as "low risk" but developers have been warned the risk of encountering an unexploded ordnance device could not be "completely ruled out".

The survey said the nearest recorded high explosive bomb strike was approximately 380m east of the site.

But said the site could have been targeted due to its proximity to the former Whitchurch Airport and that a "weapon could have remained undetected on the site".

Sea reptiles

Helen Briggs

BBC Environment correspondent

Sea reptiles the size of blue whales swam off the English coast 200 million years ago, fossils show.

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Nick Gubbins in action for Middlesex

England Test hopeful Nick Gubbins is out for 99 as Gloucestershire take three late wickets to threaten Middlesex's dominance.

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Fire crews at Bristol Royal Infirmary's haematology and oncology centre

Patients are urged not to use A&E services in Bristol unless it is a genuine emergency.

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Plans for solar farm 'not welcome'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Plans for a new solar farm in West Somerset have been criticised by people living near the site.

London-based firm Elgin Energy wants to build a 132-acre solar farm on agricultural land to the north of Washford and Tropiquaria Zoo, just off the A39.

The company claims the solar farm would be "clean, quiet, and visually unobtrusive", and would be able to power 7,500 homes a year over its 30-year lifespan.

But residents of Washford and neighbouring villages are against the proposal, citing the visual impact and the loss of agricultural land.

A public consultation was held on Thursday, and a full planning application is likely to be put forward in the coming months.

This is not needed here. There are so many buildings and so much disused land near the Bristol Channel which could be used for solar panels.

Phil BrowneLocal resident

For the construction phase local contractors and businesses will be used as far as possible. For the operational phase it is envisaged that local contractors and service providers will be engaged to maintain the development. We will work with local community groups to provide a community benefit fund to the local area.

Elgin EnergySpokesperson

Cardiff Blues v Gloucester: How the fans got to Bilbao

We're sure you know that the challenge cup final is being held in Spain tonight.

Here's how one group of fans made the long journey across England, France across the border to Bilbao.

Severe disruption: M4 Bristol eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Bristol eastbound severe disruption, at J19 for M32.

M4 Bristol - M4 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic eastbound at J19, M32 (Bristol), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Alex Davies

Bath confirm the signing of Yorkshire Carnegie back Alex Davies, taking their total of new arrivals for next term to seven.

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Cardiff Blues v Gloucester - big match build-up

Only a couple of hours to go to the European Challenge Cup Final...

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Tom Abell

Somerset captain Tom Abell takes 3-18 to help reduce Hampshire to 198-8 on a rain-affected first day at Taunton.

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Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre to remain closed for several weeks

Here's the latest statement from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust who say they are working towards reopening in several week following a fire.

We have made good progress to assess the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC) and plan how we will reopen it to all clinical services. We are working towards giving all clinical teams access to the building towards the end of next week so that checks and infection control procedures can take place. We hope to have full power restored to the hospital the following week and will restart clinical services within the hospital thereafter. We will provide urgent radiotherapy to some patients this weekend and are providing chemotherapy to patients in other sites within our hospitals. We are in contact with BHOC patients and ask any patient who has a query to contact us on the usual number. Our neighbouring NHS and social care services have come to our aid during this difficult period and we are enormously grateful to them and our staff for pulling out the stops and doing all they can. Once again, we ask the public to continue to help us by using services appropriately.

Preparations begin for Royal Bath and West Show

Marquees
Dome Marketing

Preparations are under way for this year's Royal Bath and West Show in Somerset.

The county's biggest show of the year opens on 30 May and already the sheep lines and marquees are starting to go up.

Held at the nearly 250 acre showground site near Shepton Mallet, the event generally attracts up to 140,000 visitors over the four days.

This year they are expecting nearly 3,000 different animals, while more than 1,000 cheeses and over 600 ciders have been entered into the British Cheese Awards and British Cider Championships, both of which will be held at the show.

Members' area
Dome Marketing

New helicopter base near Bristol taking shape

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe disruption, at J15 for M4.

M5 Bristol - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 southbound at 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

BreakingYacht boss given suspended sentence over Atlantic deaths

A yachting company boss has been given a 15-month prison sentence suspended for two years for failing to ensure the safety of four men who died in the Atlantic.

The crew of the Cheeki Rafiki died after the 40ft vessel lost its keel and capsized more than 700 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia in May 2014.

Douglas Innes, 43, was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.

The four men on board were skipper Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham in Surrey, James Male, 22, from Romsey in Hampshire, Steve Warren, 52, from Bridgwater in Somerset and Paul Goslin, 56, from West Camel in Somerset.

Appeal after more than 1,000 fish found dead

An investigation into the deaths of hundreds of fish in Melksham, is being carried out by the Environment Agency.

The agency said its officers have been investigating the deaths of more than 1,000 fish in Clackers Brook since the end of April.

It is now appealing for anyone who has any information about what caused the fish deaths, to contact them on 0800 807060.

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Severe congestion: M48 Gloucestershire westbound

BBC News Travel

M48 Gloucestershire westbound severe congestion, between J1 for A403 and J2 for A466 Wye Valley Link Road.

M48 Gloucestershire - Slow traffic and one lane closed on M48 Severn Bridge westbound between J1, A403 (Aust) and J2, A466 (Chepstow).

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

Airbnb 'regular people' not businesses in South West

Properties in the South West are "rented out for just 32 days a year" through Airbnb, the company has said.

It follows claims by local councillors that the website - set up to help homeowners make money from their spare space - is another "nail in the coffin" for Bath's housing crisis.

Councillors say landlords can make significantly more from short-term lets, leaving tenants concerned about being kicked out.

Airbnb
Getty Images

But an Airbnb spokesperson, said the "vast majority" of hosts are "regular people" and "not typically businesses or professionals".

"The typical host in the South West earns around £3,400 a year and shares their space for 32 nights a year," they said.

“We are committed to working with local authorities and communities to address any concerns they may have, as well as supporting the responsible and sustainable growth of innovative forms of tourism in Bath”.

Warning over student mental health services following deaths

Press Association

University students with mental health problems are in danger of "slipping through the gaps" when at their most vulnerable, a report has warned, amid a continuing increase in the number of student suicides.

Several institutions - including Bristol - have seen a number of student suicides over a short space of time, while the number of young people dropping out with mental health problems has trebled in recent years, according to research by Universities UK.

The report also cites a recent study which found 94% of universities had experienced a sharp increase - some as much as three-fold - in the number of people seeking help for mental health issues.

It calls for a more "joined up" approach to mental health care services, with schools, colleges, universities, voluntary organisations and the NHS working together to provide adequate support to students.

The system of mental health care for students must be improved. Health services aren't properly designed to help students as they move from home to university. This is too important to ignore and we must not fail a generation by not doing what is required.

Professor Steve WestVice-Chancellor of UWE Bristol and chair of UUK's Mental Health in Higher Education Advisory Group

Bristol health services remain in ‘major incident’ status after fire

fire engine outside hospital
BBC

People are still being urged to use their local A&E only in a genuine emergency following a fire on the Bristol Royal Infirmary campus.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire’s health system remains in ‘major incident’ status following the incident at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre on Thursday morning.

Measures to increase capacity across the local system, such as extended opening hours at local minor injuries units, remain in place going into the weekend and residents are being urged to do their bit by using the most appropriate service for their needs.

With continued pressure across the system, our message remains that if you need care urgently but it’s not an emergency, please consider alternative services such as your local minor injuries unit.

Dr Jonathan HayesBristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group
Sean Conway

Bearded adventurer Sean Conway rode 4,000 miles (6,500 km) unsupported from Portugal to Russia in under 25 days.

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Phil Brown.

Swindon chairman Lee Power says Phil Brown's passion earned the manager a two-year deal despite failing to make the play-offs.

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Men sought after serious assault in Bath

Avon and Somerset Police are asking for the public's help in identifying several men in connection with a serious assault in Bath.

The incident happened at about 03.15 BST on Monday 30 March on the corner of Saracen Street and Walcot Street.

Two men were punched to the ground with one suffering head injuries.

Officers want anyone who may recognise the men in the photo or CCTV images or witnessed the incident to contact 101.

Assault suspects
Avon and Somerset Police
Assault suspects
Avon and Somerset Police
Assault suspects
Avon and Somerset Police

Severe accident: A38 Bristol westbound

BBC News Travel

A38 Bristol westbound severe accident, between A4044 New Bond Street and Christmas Street affecting A4032 Newfoundland Street.

A38 Bristol - A38 Rupert Street in Bristol City Centre closed and queuing traffic inbound between St James Barton Roundabout and the Christmas Street junction, because of an accident. Congestion on A4044 New Bond Street to the A4032 Newfoundland Street junction.

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

Adventurer Sean Conway breaks world record

Cheltenham adventurer nears target of cycling across Europe in 25 days

Sean Conway
Skyrise Productions

Adventurer Sean Conway is expected to finish his cycling challenge of biking across Europe in 25 days.

He wants to break the world record held by Jonas Deichmann in 2017.

Mr Conway is on target - so far - to beat this record.

He's expected to finish around lunchtime today.

Severe accident: M4 Wiltshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Wiltshire westbound severe accident, between J17 for A350 and J18 for A46 Bath.

M4 Wiltshire - An accident on M4 westbound between J17, A350 (Chippenham) and J18, A46 (Bath). Traffic is coping well.

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

Body discovered in Dorset in search for missing Somerset man

Officers searching for a missing man in Dorset have discovered a body.

Kevin Norminton, 43, from Crewkerne in Somerset, was last seen on Tuesday morning when he left his home.

The body of a man, believed to be that of Mr Norminton but not yet formally identified, was made at about 18:00 on Thursday below cliffs near to Thorncombe Beacon, between Bridport and Charmouth.

Chief Inspector Rob Chalkley, of Dorset Police, said “We do not believe there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.”

It's Somerset Day - can you sum up the county in a photo?

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe disruption, between J26 for A38 and J25 for A358.

M5 Somerset - Two lanes closed on M5 northbound between J26, A38 (Wellington) and J25, A358 (Taunton), because of emergency repairs. Traffic is coping well.

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

Poundland

The discount chain said it was "disappointed" after being compared to a learning disability service.

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