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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Coming to skies near you VERY soon...

    Bristol International Balloon Fiesta organisers have announced today that they have raised enough money - through a crowdfunding campaign - to pay for the iconic Dearth Vader hot air balloon to return next weekend.

    The "feat of engineering" balloon was made in the city, by Cameron Balloons, and has travelled as far as Australia, the United States, China and Malaysia.

    It is now based in Belgium. But it's never flown over Bristol.

    The Star Wars character was, of course, played by by Bristolian Dave Prowse.

    Bet you've got the tune in your head... ?

    View more on instagram
  2. Dog rescue centre proposal rejected due to local concerns

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Abandoned puppy in Shanghai
    Image caption: This puppy was seen being sold off on the streets of Shanghai

    A dog rescue centre on the Somerset Levels has been refused planning permission due to locals’ concerns about noise and access to a right of way.

    The Rushton Dog Rescue charity rescues abandoned, abused and unwanted dogs from across the world, including those which would otherwise end up in the meat industry as far afield as China and Romania.

    The charity applied for permission to allow it to keep housing dogs at Priory Farm in the village of North Curry near Taunton for a further 12 months.

    The site has been described as a rural home and "blatantly unsuitable".

    A number of concerned residents addressed the council’s planning committee in Taunton on Thursday afternoon (August 1).

    Tony Turner, who lives near the farm, said he and his family had been "subjected to considerable levels of noise coming from the rescue centre", especially when the exercise area was being used.

    He added: "It will be impossible to make sure that the farm is being used just for looking after rescue dogs.

    "It is negatively affecting our health, well-being and our quality of life."

    After around an hour’s debate, the committee voted unanimously to refuse the plans.

  3. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A435 Gloucestershire both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A435 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, near Rendcomb Surgery.

    A435 Gloucestershire - A435 in Rendcomb closed near the Rendcomb Surgery junction, because of an accident involving coach and motorcycle.

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

  4. Council spends £8m on buying commercial properties for rental income

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    TK Maxx in Worcester

    Sedgemoor District Council has spent £8m buying a TKMaxx store on Worcester High Street.

    It's part of a £50m investment in commercial property over the next three years, with the rental income being used to fund frontline services.

    The council agreed in February 2018 to make the investments and has since bought the Street Retail Park in December 2018 for £8.2m.

    The investment was only made public at a full council meeting on Wednesday due to commercial sensitivity.

    The council said it would make a total of £1m a year from both properties.

  5. High hopes for trainee sniffer dog


    A stray puppy handed into a rescue centre two months ago is to become a police sniffer dog.

    Raven was taken to Bristol Animal Rescue Centre after being found by a member of the public in June.

    The animal had not been microchipped and no one claimed her.

    During her assessment, staff noticed that she was obsessed with tennis balls and playing fetch, so contacted Avon and Somerset Police to see if she was a good candidate to become a sniffer dog.

    Raven has been paired with PC Lee Webb and she will now begin learning to detect drugs, firearms and cash.

    "She has settled at home and enjoys the company of the other dogs," he said.

    "Once she has settled fully, I will begin to take her to lots of different places and see how she reacts, especially when it comes to retrieving and searching for a tennis ball."

  6. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A38 Somerset both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A38 Somerset both ways severe accident, between Kingsway and Notting Hill Way.

    A38 Somerset - A38 Turnpike Road in Tarnock closed and queues in both directions between the Kingsway junction and the Notting Hill Way junction, because of an accident and fallen power cables.

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

  7. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A338 Wiltshire both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A338 Wiltshire both ways severe accident, from Six Acre Lane to Park Street.

    A338 Wiltshire - A338 in Bagshot closed and queues in both directions from the Six Acre Lane junction to the Park Street junction, because of a serious accident.

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

  8. Motorists 'trapped for hours' at Gordano services

    Motorists at the Gordano Services on the M5 near Portishead are reporting they've been trapped in the car park there for up to three hours.

    Welcome Break, which runs the services, has tweeted: "We are aware of the issues exiting the site at the moment, unfortunately this due to congestion on the roundabout.

    "We do appreciate your patience and we have cancelled all parking charges during this time."

    Motorway generic
  9. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A303 Wiltshire both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A303 Wiltshire both ways severe accident, near Merlin Services.

    A303 Wiltshire - A303 blocked and queues in both directions near the Merlin Services junction, because of an accident involving four vehicles.

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

  10. West weather: Sunny spells and broken cloud

    View more on twitter

    It will be largely dry today and tomorrow with sunny spells, but a few showers may develop later.

    Air Pollution (low) Pollen (moderate) UV (high)

  11. Plan to import nuclear waste opposed


    Plans to allow small amounts of nuclear waste to be temporarily stored in Somerset have been opposed.

    Magnox Ltd operates the Hinkley Point A site near Stogursey and has applied to allow small amounts of waste from other UK nuclear stations to be brought to the site on a temporary basis.

    Somerset West and Taunton Council have rejected the plans,

    The proposal will now be considered by the Somerset County Council's regulation committee in the autumn.

  12. Envelope update

    Severe congestion: M5 Gloucestershire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M5 Gloucestershire southbound severe congestion, between J14 for B4509 Thornbury and J20 for B3133 Ettlingen Way.

    M5 Gloucestershire - Stop-start and severe delays on M5 southbound between J14, B4509 (Thornbury) in Bristol and J20, B3133 (Clevedon) in Somerset. Travel time is an hour and 20 minutes.

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

  13. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M32 Bristol southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M32 Bristol southbound severe disruption, from J1 for A4174 to J2 for B4058 Stapleton Road.

    M32 Bristol - Temporary closure and stationary on M32 southbound in Gloucestershire from J1, A4174 (Hambrook) to J2, B4058 (Eastville), because of a vehicle on fire.

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