Wroughton

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Parking fines up across the West

Penalty notice
BBC

Drivers parking illegally have netted Bristol City Council £4.8m over the past 12 months.

Penalty notice charges are issued for parking without a valid ticket, obstructing entrances to schools and using residents' parking without a permit.

Wiltshire Council took more than £866k in parking fines, with 30,000 tickets issued by parking attendants.

The figure is up £100k on 2017, when 24,000 tickets were issued totalling more than £705k.

Cash from fines is used by Wiltshire Council to fund public transport and concessionary fares.

Extinction Rebellion logo removed from monument

Extinction Rebellion logo
BBC

An Extinction Rebellion logo painted on an ancient monument in Wiltshire has been removed.

A specialist conservation contractor was brought in to get rid off the graffiti on the West Kennet Long Barrow near Avebury yesterday.

The Swindon group of Extinction Rebellion has described it as “mindless vandalism”.

Public help with arrest made on drug activity in community play area

Image of the community play area. A green field with houses at the rear of the image and a few trees lining the edge.
Wiltshire Police

A 17-year-old boy was arrested in a play area following public reports on suspicious activity.

Wiltshire Police attended the play area just before children were due to leave school and conducted a search.

A young boy was found to be in possession of a large quantity of cannabis and several hundred pounds in cash.

He was taken to Melksham custody on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

A further search was conducted at his home address in Melksham where more suspected class A and B drugs were found.

PC Lee Pelling said in situations like this the police force rely on the public to act as their "eyes and ears" in the community.

The 17-year-old boy has been released under investigation while inquiries continue.

Reward offered for return of sacred silverware

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A £10,000 reward is being offered for the return of silverware stolen from the University of Sussex, in Brighton.

The objects, which include two chalices by the sculptor Hans Coper, were taken from the University's sacristy, and are worth £100,000.

Stolen silverware
University of Sussex

The objects were taken after locked doors and containers were forced open at the sacristy in Falmer, sometime between 13:50 and 14:20 GMT on 7 December.

Stolen silverware
University of Sussex

Detectives believe the thief may have connections with Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Wiltshire.

A CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to has been released.

Silverware theft suspect
Sussex Police
Detectives would like to speak to this man about the theft

Warning from council leader over adpotion

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Baby sleeping
BBC

National adoption databases must continue to be maintained, despite increasing numbers of regional services joining forces to find parents to adopt.

That is the warning coming from Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott at her last cabinet meeting before stepping down as leader.

She spoke about the need to keep a national database of parents and children to make sure that families can continue to be matched across the country.

Adoption services in Wiltshire joined forces with five other local authorities as part of Adoption West in March.

She said: “It worries me that there is a focus on regional work but a national database might be cut. We can’t just stick to our regions, we need to work nationally as well.”

Wiltshire Council adoption services were rated requires improvement during an Ofsted inspection of children’s services in 2015.

Cabinet heard that since then the time it takes to find a home for a child has been slashed and adoption for children with disabilities improved.

Figures released up until March this year show that the average time between a child entering care services and being adopted is now 397days, compared to a national average of 486.

Cabinet member for Children’s Services Laura Mayes said: “We say if a child’s best option is adoption, no matter how complex it is, that’s what we will do. We perhaps have children that take two years but we don’t care because that is what is right for them. Our performance continues to improve.”

Swindon bus project provides shelter for homeless
Gerry Watkins buys up old buses to convert them into night shelters for people without a bed of their own.

Rail lines blocked between Reading and Westbury after signalling fault

New Wiltshire Council leader to be decided

Baroness Scott
BBC

The Conservatives will decide who they want to take over as the next leader of Wiltshire Council today.

Baroness Jane Scott, the West Country's longest-serving council leader, is retiring from the job to spend more time in her role in the House of Lords.

Conservative councillors will vote on her successor today, but the winner will still need to be approved in a vote by all parties next week.

Zebra crossing

Zebras at Longleat
Longleat

Four zebra foals have been born in the last month, with two more on the way, keepers at Longleat Safari Park say.

“This is definitely one of the best years ever here for the sheer number of foals being born,” said Head of Section Ryan Hockley.

“The four youngsters are all doing well and we’re expecting the other two to arrive any day now."

Baby zebra at Longleat
Longleat
May: Russia must stop 'destabilising' activities
Ahead of one-one-one talks with Vladimir Putin, Mrs May speaks about the Salisbury poisoning.

Devon has highest number of SW child road casualties

Devon has the highest number of child road casualties in the greater South West - and it's on the rise according to new figures.

The charity Brake said it wanted to see more young people out walking without their lives being put at risk.

In 2017, 194 children were killed or injured on roads in the Devon County Council area - the highest level for more than five years, and up three on the year before.

However, the region - including Bristol, Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire saw an overall decrease in such incidents: 1,094 in 2017, down from 1,224 the year before.

The issue is being highlighted on Wednesday with a series of supervised walks at schools and nurseries in the county, to help children learn key safety messages.

Children
BBC

Children killed or injured on roads in South West in 2017:

  • Bath and North East Somerset - 22
  • Bournemouth - 37
  • Bristol - 70
  • Cornwall - 116
  • Devon County Council area - 194
  • Dorset - 89
  • Gloucestershire - 104
  • Isles of Scilly - 0
  • North Somerset - 48
  • Plymouth - 64
  • Poole - 24
  • Somerset - 118
  • South Gloucestershire - 39
  • Swindon - 45
  • Torbay - 23
  • Wiltshire - 101

Giant fighter plane to be installed on hill top

A massive model of a Word War II fighter plane is being placed on the crest of a hill near Salisbury, to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The Hawker Typhoon is four times the size of the original, boasts a wing span of 19m and is similar in size to a 60-seater passenger jet.

Nicknamed the 'Tiffy' of the South it has been built as part of a project involving the defence company QinetiQ and local schools and businesses.

The single-engine fighter plane will be "perched on the crest of the hill" in Broad Chalke as part of the Chalke Valley History Festival.

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Weather warning for thunderstorms updated - and avoids Glastonbury

The Met Office has updated its weather warning for thunderstorms across the West.

It now mostly avoids Somerset - which could be good to avoid a soaked ground at Glastonbury ahead of the festival - and Bath, Bristol and most of Gloucestershire. But the warning encompasses most of Wiltshire.

It is active from now until 10am on Tuesday.

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So what is the summer solstice?

BBC Weather's Stav Danaos looks at the science behind the phenomenon

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. This year in the Northern Hemisphere it falls on Friday 21st June.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • While it is the day that has the most sunlight, Britain's weather typically does not become hotter until later in the summer.
  • Around the time of the summer solstice areas of Norway, Finland, Greenland, Alaska and other polar regions experience 'midnight sun'.
  • In the Arctic Circle the sun does not set at all. This is down to a latitude 23 degrees from the pole, matching the angle of Earth's tilt.
  • While June 21 is the summer solstice in Britain, for Australia and countries in the southern hemisphere this date marks the winter solstice.
  • The solstice falls between June 20 and June 22 and during a leap year it always falls on June 20.

South Western railway strike continues

It's day four of a strike by South Western Railway (SWR) staff over the role of train guards.

SWR is running a reduced service across the network.

The operator which runs services in London and Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, the Isle of Wight and Somerset, said the action was "unnecessary" and it was "cynical" of the union to target events such as Royal Ascot.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said staff had been left with no choice but to strike, and accused SWR of failing to guarantee guard roles.

The walkout is due to continue on Saturday.

Surbiton station during strike
PA
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Stonehenge and Amesbury braced for Solstice crowds

Stonehenge solstice
PA

Wiltshire's preparing for this year's Summer Solstice celebrations.

Thousands of people are expected at both Stonehenge and Avebury to watch the sunrise on the longest day.

Stonehenge will close early this afternoon at 3pm and re-open at 7pm to allow people free access to the stones, until 8am tomorrow morning.

People are being advised to plan their journeys and delays are expected on the A303.

Husband discovered to be WWII spy three years after he died
Audrey Phillips from Trowbridge found out about her husband's wartime activities in his paperwork following his death.

Drink spiking 'doubled in three years'

Alcoholic drinks
Getty Images

The number of reports of drinks being spiked in the west of England has more than doubled in the past three years.

Police in the region said there were 104 incidents reported in 2018 compared to 49 in 2015.

The figures from Avon and Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Police were revealed by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

The majority were recorded in the Avon and Somerset area, where 85 incidents were reported last year - up from 41.

Police appeal after taxi driver stabbed

Wiltshire police logo
Wiltshire Police

A taxi driver was stabbed in what police are calling an unprovoked and "violent attack".

Wiltshire Police are looking for witnesses following the incident, which took place on 15 June in Dawlish Road in Swindon.

At around 5.30am the taxi driver picked up two men and one woman from a nightclub. As they approached Dawlish Road the passengers became abusive towards the driver.

Following an argument in the car, one of the men stabbed the driver before all three ran away towards Radstock Avenue.

Image of Dawlish Road in Swindon
Google

The taxi driver suffered minor injuries and was released from hospital the same day.

Police officer Adrian Bray said: “This was an unprovoked attack on someone who was simply doing his job."

He added: "It could have been very different due to the violent nature of the attack."

Officers are continuing their investigations into the incident and have said they believe they know who the suspects are.

Wiltshire Police are looking for any witnesses who were in the Dawlish Road area of Swindon or who may have further information to contact them immediately on 101 quoting crime reference number 54190057409.

Orphaned baby wallaby hand-reared in rucksack
The four-month-old joey has to be fed every four hours and carried everywhere in a substitute pouch.
Family's struggle to get brain-damaged son home
Kale Turner, left with locked-in syndrome after emergency brain surgery, needs home adaptations.

Lioness photographed up 20-metre tree

Lion in a tree
Longleat Safari Park

A lion at Longleat Safari Park has been photographed in the branches of a 20-metre-tall tree.

Staff said the eight-year-old animal, named Kiana, had always been a "keen climber" but they had never before seen her so far from the ground.

She climbed the giant sycamore in her enclosure within the park, which is close to Warminster in Wiltshire and Frome in Somerset, and was photographed by keeper Caleb Hall.

Mr Hall said: “Many of our lionesses do go up trees here at Longleat, but there are a few particular individuals who seem to do it just for fun and Kiana is definitely one of those."

He said the behaviour was also seen in the wild by lions seeking "shade or a cooling breeze away from the heat of the ground or to avoid insects or animals threatening the lions".

Lion in a tree
Longleat Safari Park
Lion in a tree
Longleat Safari Park