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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England on Wednesday 24 August, 2016

Live Reporting

By Sarah Jones

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Hottest day but not in the West, says Ian Fergusson

Today saw the highest temperatures clocked this year - in Kent - but in the West it didn't get anywhere close to that.

Tomorrow's expected to stay fairly warm but there could be some showers and thunder on the way.

Ian Fergusson with the weather forecast for the West

That's all from BBC Local Live for the West of England - back again tomorrow from 7am.

Somerset terror arrest: Marine named

A serving Royal Marine has been arrested in Somerset as part of an investigation into Northern Ireland-related terrorism.

Ciaran Maxwell, 30, from Larne, was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's Counter Terrorism Command.

He was arrested after searches in Larne and Devon, click here for the full story.

Watch: Bristol's biggest water fight!

Pam Caulfield was live at Bristol's second giant water fight

Hoards of people got their game faces on and headed to the centre of Bristol for the city's second giant water fight earlier this evening.

Organised by the Bristol Smile Instigation Collective, thrill-seekers descended on Millennium Square armed with squirt pistols and water-filled balloons.

Points West broadcast live from the event on their Facebook page.

Man charged over nightclub assaults

A man's been charged with attempted murder following a series of assaults in Bristol on Sunday. 

Four people were attacked near Dojo on Park Row and another was assaulted at Pryzm nightclub on Cannons Road.

Louis Anthony Holmes from Fishponds was remanded in custody at Bristol Magistrates today and is due to appear at Bristol Crown Court next month.

Somerset terror arrest: Suspect is Royal Marine from Larne

A serving Royal Marine arrested in Somerset over Northern Ireland-related terrorism is from Larne, County Antrim.

The 30-year-old's arrest, by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's Counter Terrorism Command, was followed by searches in Larne and Devon.

The pre-planned operation involved several UK police forces and it's understood MI5 is also involved.

The operation is thought to be connected to the discovery of two arms dumps near Larne earlier this year.

David Maxwell has the latest on the operation in Northern Ireland

The Great British Bake Off: Meet Val Stones

Val from Somerton is one of this year's contestants

If you're a fan you've probably just been watching The Great British Bake Off which returned to our screens this evening. 

Here in the West all eyes are on a retired head teacher from Somerset.

Val Stones is one of 12 contestants who'll be desperate to impress Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and win the coveted title.

£20k to fix bus vandalism

£20,000 damage done to buses near Chippenham

A bus company in Chippenham says it's facing a £20,000 bill after many of its buses were vandalised at a storage yard.

Around 60 windows were smashed on 15 vehicles.

Wiltshire Police believe children were behind the attack on the Faresavers's buses.

Grieving dad's travel insurance warning

John Doyle, whose son died on holiday in Bulgaria, says parents should make sure their children are covered

A grieving dad from Swindon, whose son died on holiday in Bulgaria, is warning others to make sure they have travel insurance.

Michael Doyle died of blood poisoning after an abscess burst in his stomach. 

His father, John, says the family are not only devastated by his death but have been left with a hefty medical bill they can't afford.

Michael Doyle
Marcus Doyle

M5 junction works edge closer

It's one of the main routes into Taunton but suffers badly from congestion, now ambitious plans to upgrade junction 25 of the M5 are going on display.

As well as improving journey times Somerset County Council want it to link to 13,000 planned new homes.

Building isn't due to start until 2018-19.

J25 improvement map
Somerset County Council

Putting the icing on the birthday cake

Birthday cake
Free Cakes for Kids

While all eyes turn to The Great British Bake Off, closer to home a community group in Swindon has been baking for children in dire need.

Free Cakes for Kids Swindon is a community group of 30 bakers who make birthday cakes for those who may not otherwise get to blow out the candles on their special day.

The charity has made 176 birthday cakes over the past two years for children referred to them by charities like the Women's Refuge and the local NSPCC.

Birthday cake
Free Cakes for Kids

Sir Bradley Wiggins to pedal through the West

Sir Bradley Wiggins is taking part in the Tour of Britain race

Five-time Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins is heading West next month as part of the Tour of Britain race.

Sir Bradley, along with more than 120 of the world's top cyclists including GB team-mate Mark Cavendish, will be racing through the UK before pedaling into Bristol on 10th September. 

The route will take riders past some of the city's most famous landmarks including the Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Paralysed dog walks again after swimming lessons

Hydrotherapy has helped Poppy to walk again

A paralysed dog has learned to walk again after taking up swimming.

Poppy's owners said they were left considering where they were going to bury her after she contracted a rare autoimmune disease which paralysed her legs.

But six months after taking her to the hydrotherapy pool at Hartbury College in Gloucestershire she is getting back on her feet.

NI terrorism: Police search address in Exminster

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Police are searching an address in Exminster in Devon after a serviceman was arrested earlier today.

The arrest of the man, 30, in Somerset was part of an investigation into terrorism related to Northern Ireland.

Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Searches are being conducted at an address in Exminster" and a "wooded area nearby".

Third of sickness bug cases linked to pool

Cryptosporidium
Science Photo Library

A third of cases of a potentially dangerous stomach bug reported in Swindon are directly linked to the Oasis Leisure Centre, according to Swindon Borough Council.

The bug, known as cryptosporidiosis, is a parasite that can cause extreme diarrhoea, stomach pains, dehydration, weight loss and fever.

The pool at the Oasis was closed as a precaution last week.

Up to 30 cases have been reported so far but the council says it's investigating more cases.

Watch: Police statement on Somerset terror arrest

Det Ch Insp Antony Hart from Devon and Cornwall Police

Following the arrest of a Royal Marine in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall Police have assured people that there's "no intelligence to suggest an immediate threat to our communities".

The 30-year-old man is being held at a Somerset police station by detectives investigating Northern Ireland-linked terrorism.

Watch: Houses searched after Somerset terror arrest

Officers have searched a number of properties in Larne

Searches are being carried out in Larne, County Antrim after a Royal Marine was arrested in Somerset earlier.

The 30-year-old man was detained by the Metropolitan Police Service's Counter Terrorism Command over Northern Ireland-related terrorism.

The Met is working with Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), which is conducting the searches in Larne.  Further searches are taking place in Devon, at a house in Exminster and woodland near Exeter.

It is understood the arrest and searches are connected to two arms dumps near Larne earlier this year.

Plaque to honour couple who turned home into a WW1 hospital

A plaque of thanks is being unveiled to a couple who set up a hospital for injured WW1 soldiers in their Bristol home.

Mr and Mrs Robert Edwin Bush from Bishops Knoll and a team of 30 helpers cared for more than 2,500 soldiers in their house, most of them Australian. 

The Australian government has paid for the plaque to honour their efforts.

Somerset terror arrest: What we know so far

Old Glenarm Road in Larne, County Antrim
BBC
  • A 30-year-old Royal Marine was arrested in a pre-planned swoop in Somerset on Wednesday
  • He is believed to be from Northern Ireland and is being held at a West country police station on suspicion of preparation of acts of terrorism
  • He was detained by the Metropolitan Police Service's Counter Terrorism Command investigating Northern Ireland-linked terrorism
  • A number of properties have been searched in Larne, County Antrim 
  • Searches have also taken place at house and wooded area in south Devon
  • It is understood to be connected to two suspected arms dumps found near Larne earlier this year
  • Those hauls included an armour-piercing improvised rocket, anti-personnel mines, pipe bombs, magazines, ammunition for assault rifles and bomb-making items
  • The Ministry of Defence says it will assist the investigation

NI terrorism: Armed forces member arrested in Somerset is Royal Marine

Press Association

A Royal Marine is being questioned by detectives investigating Northern Ireland-linked terrorism, understood to be connected to two major dissident republican arms finds. 

The 30-year-old serviceman was arrested in a pre-planned swoop in Somerset on Wednesday.

The operation involved searches at a house and wooded area in south Devon. 

In Northern Ireland, officers have also searched a number of properties in Larne, Co Antrim - near the two forest parks where the weapons dumps were discovered earlier this year. 

The man, who is believed to be from Northern Ireland, was detained on suspicion of preparation for acts of terrorism.

Striking postal workers back at work

Several hundred postal workers who walked out of sorting offices and post offices in Wiltshire in a dispute over bullying claims have returned to work. 

The Communication Workers Union said it had struck a deal with Royal Mail after about 700 workers staged a walk-out. 

The action affected the main mail centre in Swindon as well as offices in Royal Wootton Bassett, Faringdon, Devizes and Chippenham.

'No intelligence of terrorist threat to Devon and Cornwall' as police search woods near Exeter

Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

Police are searching woodland near Exeter and a house in South Devon as part of a counter terrorism operation, the metropolitan police say.

It follows the arrest of a British armed forces serviceman earlier this afternoon.

Police tape
BBC

Sources in Devon and Cornwall want to reassure the public there is no intelligence of a terrorist threat to the counties. But they say they are working with the counter-terrorism branch of Scotland Yard, SO 15, who are leading the operation. 

The woodland near Exeter is being searched for terrorism-related materials, police said.

A 30-year-old serviceman was arrested in Somerset just after 12:00 on suspicion of Northern Ireland-related terror offences.

View more on twitter

Terror arrest 'linked to arms dumps finds'

Arms dump in Capanagh Forest
PSNI

The arrest of a serving British solider in Somerset earlier today is being linked to two major arms dumps uncovered in forest parks in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

The 30-year-old was detained on suspicion of preparation for acts of terrorism in a pre-planned swoop

Scotland Yard said a house in South Devon and a wooded area are being searched. 

Police are also carrying out searches in Northern Ireland

Police name woman found dead in Totterdown

Police in Bristol have named a woman whose body was found in woodland off Bath Road near to the Three Lamps junction. 

The body of 38-year-old Kate Cudmore was found two weeks ago. A man in his 40's was arrested but released without charge.

Her death is not being treated as suspicious and will be referred to the coroner as a sudden death. 

'A massive thank you to all'

Girl in a hospital bed
Taylor Thurman

The family of a Wiltshire girl who was seriously injured in a car crash have said thank you for all the support and donations they've received. 

Courtney Thurman, 17, from Pinehurst in Swindon has been in an induced coma at Southampton General Hospital since the accident two weeks ago.  

Nearly £15,000 has been raised by the local community for the family.

In an email to BBC Wiltshire, friend-of-the-family Jill Lewis said: "We have had some great news, she is fully awake, off all medication, the ventilator and all scans have now come back OK. A massive thank you to all."  

It's hoped Courtney, known to friends as Booey, will be transferred to Swindon's Great Western Hospital today or tomorrow.

Courtney Thurman
Other

Bristol Rovers add Derby's Roos on loan

Kelle Roos
Getty Images

Derby County goalkeeper Kelle Roos has signed for Bristol Rovers on a season-long loan deal.

The 24-year-old is a former Netherlands Under-15 keeper and has made five senior appearances for Derby.

Click here to read more.

Member of armed forces arrested in NI terrorism probe

Scotland Yard sign
PA

A member of the British armed forces has been arrested in Somerset on suspicion of terrorism offences. 

The 30-year old man is being held as part of an investigation into Northern Ireland related terrorism.

The arrest was "pre-planned", police said, and involved officers from the Met Police, Avon and Somerset Police and Devon and Cornwall Police.

Read more here.

Newspaper headlines from across the West

BreakingTerror arrest in Somerset

A serving member of the British armed forces has been arrested in Somerset on suspicion of Northern Ireland-related terrorism offences, Scotland Yard has said. 

Bristol Metrobus: Could service be left without buses?

Pete Simson

Broadcast Journalist

Could Bristol really be left with a brand new public transport network, but no company willing to run it?

The idea was always for Metrobus to be operated without subsidies, using shiny new buses with clean fuel.

Unfortunately, it would appear bus companies view this as simply too risky. After all, they want to make a profit.

With huge swathes of Bristol's roads currently being dug up to build Metrobus, the need for a deal becomes ever more pressing. 

Time will tell if this is merely another teething problem or a hugely costly mistake.

New home needed for gymnastics club following Rio success

A gymnastics club in Somerset has been inundated with emails since the Rio Olympics from people wanting to get involved in the sport. 

Shepton Mallet Gymnastic Club is now looking for a permanent home where its equipment can be set up continuously. 

The club received around 100 emails during the Games - which saw Team GB's Max Whitlock win two gold medals within a few hours. 

The club says it can't accept all the new applicants unless it finds a new venue.

Farmers call for wider wild boar cull in the Forest of Dean

Pig farmers in the Forest of Dean are calling for a wider cull of wild boar. 

In the last few weeks, herds of up to 15 animals have been seen rooting through bins. There are also reports of them jumping fences and breeding with farmed pigs.

The population of wild boar in the Forest of Dean has reached more than 1,500 - an increase of 50% on the last year.

Some farmers are concerned about the possibility of disease being spread.

Train services disrupted north of Bristol

Royal Mail walkout: Bosses 'fully committed' to resolution

Royal Mail vans
PA

The Communication Workers Union said members had gone on strike across Wiltshire and Oxfordshire after a vote on Wednesday morning.

Here's what Royal Mail has had to say in response:

We are fully committed to resolving our colleagues' concerns in co-operation with the Communication Workers Union (CWU). We will do all we can to minimise any disruption and to deliver and collect mail as normal.

The walkout is affecting the Swindon Mail Centre as well as offices in Royal Wootton Bassett, Devizes and Chippenham, the CWU said.

The scene outside Swindon's Mail Centre

Daniel Garrett

BBC News

There are hundreds of people outside the Swindon Mail Centre at two points – the main entrance and delivery entrance.

Royal Mail workers in Swindon
BBC

Communication Workers Union representative Chris Rye described it to me as ‘a mass walk out across Wiltshire’.

Everyone is standing around in the sun with their arms folded, not looking very happy.

I tried to speak to some of the workers but they redirected me to their union rep, while remaining insistent they get their points across without being misquoted.

Click here to read more.

BreakingPostal workers walk out over dispute

Post box in front of Royal Mail sign
PA

Several hundred postal workers have walked out of sorting offices and post offices in Wiltshire in a dispute over bullying claims. 

Click here to read more. 

Bristol Metrobus scheme may need public money

Bus in separate bus lane
BBC
Bristol's new Metrobus network could look something like the above

The group behind Bristol's new transport system admits public money might have to be used in order to find an operator to run the service. 

The BBC understands negotiations over who will run the £200m Metrobus network, which is currently under construction, are stalling.

Bus companies are reluctant to run the service on a completely commercial basis. 

The West of England Partnership said it has back-up plans in place but some of these may require public subsidies.

No goals to celebrate for travelling Yeovil support

Everton's Arouna Kone celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal
PA
Everton's Arouna Kone celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal

Whereas Bristol Rovers had goals to celebrate against their Premiership opposition, Everton took all the glory against Yeovil last night.

Goals for Aaron Lennon, Ross Barkley and Arouna Kone saw the home side win 4-0.

An unflattering look that the League Two visitors didn't deserve?

Yeovil Town players and manager Darren Way (right) acknowledge the fans
PA
Yeovil players and manager Darren Way (right) acknowledge the fans
Yeovil fans inside the stadium
Reuters
It's a long journey back from Everton to Yeovil

Attempted murder charge over assaults

A police car
BBC

An 18-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder after a series of assaults in Bristol city centre.

Louis Anthony Holmes, from Fishponds, was also charged with two counts of wounding after an incident outside the Dojo Lounge in Park Row in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

He will appear before Bristol Magistrates Court later this morning. 

Two other men, aged 24 and 25, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder but released on bail.

Chelsea end Rovers' EFL Cup ambitions

Bristol Rovers fans
Getty Images

Two goals from Bristol Rovers at Stamford Bridge may be impressive, but it sadly wasn't enough to see them through to the third round of the EFL Cup.

Chelsea's £33m summer signing Michy Batshuayi scored twice and Victor Moses also grabbed a goal to ensure victory for the London club.

Penalty scored at Stamford Bridge
Reuters
Ellis Harrison scored a penalty and struck the crossbar for League One Rovers
Chelsea maintained their 100% record under manager Antonio Conte
Getty Images
A memorable night - but Chelsea maintained their 100% record under manager Antonio Conte

Italy earthquake: Wiltshire-based rescuers on standby

Collapsed buildings in Italy
AP

Wiltshire-based rescue volunteers are on standby to travel to Italy to provide an emergency response after an earthquake this morning. 

Serve On, which is based in Salisbury, is monitoring the situation after a quake, measuring six-point-two, hit the town of Amatrice and surrounding areas.

At least ten people have died and many more are missing.

Injured man is carried out of rubble
AP