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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates from across the West of England

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All times stated are UK

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Lancashire celebrate

James Law

BBC Sport

Lancashire Lightning beat rivals Yorkshire Vikings by one run in the Roses match, while Ian Bell hits a first T20 Blast century.

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Charlie Rowley

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley has been discharged from hospital after being poisoned on 30 June.

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NHS graphic

Use our tracker to check whether your local services are meeting strict waiting-time targets for cancer, routine operations and A&E.

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Cassandra Grant

Cassandra Grant was involved in injecting an injured rider at the Oxfordshire event in September.

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Severe disruption: M4 Wiltshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Wiltshire eastbound severe disruption, from J17 for Stanton Saint Quinton Roundabout to J16 for A3102 Spittleborough Roundabout.

M4 Wiltshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M4 eastbound from J17, Stanton (Chippenham) to J16, A3102 (Swindon West), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Jeff's tattoo tribute to Wiltshire school fundraiser

A football fan from Barrow has had a child's drawing of Gareth Southgate tattooed on his arm after losing a bet.

The drawing was done as part of a fund-raising project in which the children at Flax Bourton Primary School in Wiltshire produced their own Panini World Cup sticker album and sold it at auction.

the drawing, and Jeff Holt showing his tattott
Flax Bourton Primary School/Jeff Holt

Jeff Holt said he would have the Southgate drawing tattooed on his arm if the album raised more than £2,000, and it sold for £2,100.

"My son Jasper is five and has mitochondrial disease so we've had help from our local community," he said.

I just thought it was an amazing project to get behind and it just inspired me to do it."

Jeff Holt
Sir Ranulph Fiennes on why he didn't deserve a law doctorate
The explorer was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Bristol.

Earth artwork made by Bristol balloon firm

The Earth sculpture being made by Cameron Balloons
Luke Jerram

Luke Jerram's Earth sculpture was made by Cameron Balloons in Bristol.

Graphics experts Mark Keating (pictured right, above) and Aidan Barnard had to take the flat images of the earth and curve them for print and sewing.

Machinist Liz Davies then sewed 50 panels together – "a challenging job that requires extreme precision to make it beautifully spherical", said a company spokeswoman.

She added: “This seven metre sphere has been fantastic to work on – seeing our world from a this new and beautiful perspective.”

The Earth sculpture being made by Cameron Balloons
Luke Jerram

Earth sculpture: 'Creating it was really difficult'

Luke Jerram

Artist

The Earth sculpture
Luke Jerram

"Humanity has been gazing up at the moon for eternity, though it was only in 1972 that we first got to see the Earth as a planet from space.

So much mythology, religion, literature and music has been influenced by the moon, whereas the view of our planet doesn’t yet have this long history of influence.

Creating the Earth was really difficult.

As the Earth turns and weather patterns change continually, creating one high resolution image of the entire planet is impossible.

The artwork has been compiled of NASA blue marble imagery from multiple fragments and layers.

Many model Earths have been made before but I wanted to make this as realistic as possible.

Created in high resolution it's wonderful at night to gaze at the planet as if from space.

You realize just how maps distort our understanding of what our planet looks like.

One side of the Earth is mainly sea.

I look forward to seeing how the public respond to this new sculpture and the great surround sound composition by Dan Jones."

The Earth sculpture
Luke Jerram

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire southbound severe disruption, from J11A for A417 Brockworth Bypass to J12 for B4008 Quedgeley.

M5 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound from J11a, A417 (Brockworth Bypass) to J12, B4008 (Quedgeley), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Liam Fox: No Brexit deal 'is possible'

Liam Fox, Conservative MP for Somerset North and Secretary of State for International Trade, tells BBC Points West political editor Paul Barltrop no deal on Brexit is a possibility.

No-deal Brexit 'not a threat' - Liam Fox

Amesbury pharmacy to extend opening hours

Boots Pharmacy
Google
Only one pharmacy has been in use since police put up a cordon at the chemist visited by Charlie Rowley

NHS England has announced it's extending opening hours to the Boots Salisbury Street pharmacy in Amesbury.

It has been the sole pharmacy in the town following the cordoning off of the other by police in the latest Novichok investigation.

Extended opening hours will come into effect from Monday 23rd July.

• Monday - Friday: 8.00am to 8.00pm

• Saturday: 8.30am to 5.00pm

From Sunday 29 July, the Salisbury Street pharmacy will also open on Sundays for the first time from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

We have been monitoring the pharmacy service in Amesbury since the closure of Stonehenge Walk store. Clearly this unexpected closure impacted on the remaining store, but we are pleased to see the progress Boots have made over the last two weeks to address this.

Debra ElliottDirector of Commissioning NHS England, South West (North)

Wiltshire Air Ambulance resumes flying operations

Wiltshire Air Ambulance
Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Wiltshire's air ambulance has been released back to operational flying following extensive testing.

It had been out of service since 15 June following an incident on the charity’s helipad at its airbase at Semington, near Melksham.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s paramedics and doctors responded to 95 incidents in cars whilst the helicopter was inoperable, equivalent to three incidents a day.

Jerome Taylor

West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor joins Somerset for the remainder of their T20 Blast campaign.

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Jonty Evans regains consciousness following fall

Jonty Evans
INPHO

Irish Olympian Jonty Evans has regained consciousness after his fall at the Tattersalls International Horse Trials seven weeks ago.

The condition of the Gloucestershire-based eventer has slowly improved over the past 10 days.

The 46-year-old suffered a serious brain injury when he fell from Cooley Rorkes Drift on 3 June.

In a statement, the rider's family revealed he is "beginning to interact positively with the medical team and his family".

Tap here to read more.

Tributes paid to Salisbury Novichok victim

Dawn Sturgess
Metropolitan Police

Friends of Dawn Sturgess, who died after exposure to the nerve agent Novichok, are meeting to remember her today.

She was taken ill on the 30th June with "respiratory distress" and died eight days later at Salisbury District Hospital.

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe disruption, at J19 for A369 Martcombe Road.

M5 Bristol - M5 in Somerset lane closed on entry slip road and slow traffic southbound at J19, A369 (Portishead), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Trowbridge mum seeks clarity over son's death

A mum from Trowbridge is asking people in the town to help her find out more about her son’s death.

Jordan Taylor died of stab wounds in March last year.

19-year-old Hayden Maslen was cleared of murder but sentenced to 20 months in a young offenders’ institution after admitting carrying a knife.

Jordan's parents are handing out leaflets in the town asking for anyone who witnessed what happened to their son to come forward.

Wiltshire Police say they want anyone with 'new or additional information' about Jordan's death to contact them directly.

Jordan Taylor died after being stabbed last year

Improving water quality at Clevedon Marine Lake

Clevedon Marine Lake
BBC

Tests have been carried out at Clevedon Marine Lake which show the water quality has returned to normal levels.

The lake was drained over the weekend and refilled naturally as the tides came back in, after dog poo in the lake was found to cause ear infections.

A water sample was taken on Wednesday and found to be 'good' by The Bathing Water Regulations 2013 standards.

Samples will continue to be tested regularly.

Bristol hockey players in England team at World Cup

Two Hockey players from Bristol will represent the country in the World Cup which gets underway in London today.

Alex Danson who plays for Clifton Robinsons will captain the English side which includes Bristol's Lily Owsley.

Both were part of Team GB's gold medal winning squad at the Rio Olympics.

Lily Owsley: No matter how many caps you have there's still butterflies

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol northbound severe disruption, at J15 for .

M5 Bristol - One lane closed on M5 northbound at J15, Almondsbury Interchange, because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire southbound severe disruption, between J11A for A417 Brockworth Bypass and J12 for B4008 Quedgeley.

M5 Gloucestershire - Two lanes closed and very slow traffic on M5 southbound between J11a, A417 (Brockworth Bypass) and J12, B4008 (Quedgeley), because of a car fire.

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

Work starts on new M49 junction at Avonmouth

Computer generated image of new junction
Highways England

Work on a new motorway junction at Avonmouth starts today.

Highways England hopes the new junction on the M49 will improve access into the Avonmouth area, promote economic growth, and reduce the numbers of HGVs and other vehicles on the local road network.

The new junction will be located in the area to the south of the Western Approach Distribution Park and west of the village of Easter Compton.

The project, which will cost up to £50m, is due to be finished by the end of next year.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance soon to be back in the skies

Wiltshire Air Ambulance
BBC

Wiltshire's Air Ambulance could be back in operational service in the next few days.

It's been grounded since a technical problem five weeks ago where it entered a spin after a malfunction during routine engine tests at the new base at Semington near Melksham.

The aircraft is now going through final test flights before returning to operations.

Police get bride to the church on time

Bride Chloe with Police officers Andy Wood and Mark Weedon
Gloucestershire Constabulary

Police stepped in to help a young bride stuck by the roadside after the car taking her to the wedding ceremony broke down.

The Rolls Royce carrying the bride came to a halt on Crickley Hill near Cirencester on Thursday.

Fortunately Sgt Andy Wood and PC Mark Weedon were passing and able to give Chloe the bride a lift to the Cripps Barn venue to meet her husband-to-be David.

Chloe the bride
Gloucestershire Constabulary

What is the way forward for Somerset's financial woes?

Paul Barltrop

Political Editor, West of England

County Hall
Google

Somerset County Council is reckoned to be in a worse financial situation than any other council in the West of England.

The council has a projected overspend of £12m until the end of March 2019.

The impending crisis was underlined by the resignations of two councillors who led Somerset’s audit committee, yesterday.

They disagreed with the approach of the conservative administration, which has had to find £130m in savings, as its government funding has fallen.

More cuts are coming, with libraries and children’s services particularly under pressure.

Somerset’s leader advocates a radical streamlining of local government in the county, replacing two tiers of councils with just one, which would bring big savings.

That is what next-door Wiltshire did a decade ago, putting them on a much surer financial footing.

Somerset also proposed becoming a unitary authority then, but the idea was opposed by the district councils.

Getting agreement now won’t be easy, and realising the savings that could follow would take years - time the county does not have.

Gemma Evans

Bristol City Women sign Wales left-back Gemma Evans, while Belgium international Julie Biesmans agrees a new deal.

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Jake Bugg headlines Larmer Tree Festival

Jake Bugg
BBC
Jake Bugg will be headlining on Friday night

The summer of music festivals continues this weekend with Larmer Tree Festival at Tollard Royal in the south of Wiltshire.

The event headliners are Jake Bugg on Friday night, First Air Kid on Saturday and Public Broadcasting Service on Sunday.

BBC Wiltshire's James Thomas will be presenting his show live from the festival from 2-4pm on Friday.

Canoeists taken ill after paddling on the Avon

River Avon Evesham
Google

Eight members of the Cheltenham Canoe Club reported having fever, vomiting and feeling weak, after travelling along the River Avon, near Evesham.

The cause hasn't yet been established, but the Environment Agency is warning that toxic algae is flourishing on the UK's rivers, lakes and ponds during the warm weather.

Severe disruption: M50 Gloucestershire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M50 Gloucestershire eastbound severe disruption, between J2 for A417 and J1 for A38.

M50 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M50 eastbound between J2, A417 (Ledbury) and J1, A38 (Tewkesbury), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Local papers: Gloucestershire's Western Daily Press

Local papers: Bristol Post

Umbrellas at the ready?

It's somewhat unusual, but you may need your umbrella later:

View more on twitter

Explorer Ranulph Fiennes receives honorary degree

West golfers in action again at The Open

Wiltshire's Jordan Smith says the support he's received whilst making his debut at The Open has really helped him.

The Derry Hill golfer ended the first round three over par.

Bristol's Chris Wood remains in the running at Carnoustie as the players head into day two.

He finished the first day one under par, four shots off the lead.

Smith: Nice playing a couple of groups behind Tiger

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire southbound severe disruption, from J13 for A419 to J14 for B4509 Thornbury.

M5 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound from J13, A419 (Stroud) to J14, B4509 (Thornbury), because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe disruption, at J23 for A39.

M5 Somerset - M5 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J23, A39 (Bridgwater North), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Explorer Ranulph Fiennes to collect honorary degree

Watch: Sir Ranulph Fiennes is famous for exploring

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is swapping his thermal underwear and crampons for a cap and gown later.

The award-winning British explorer, from Somerset, will collect an honorary doctorate at the University of Bristol.