Weston-super-Mare

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Campaigners protest to save fire station

Anna Varle

BBC News Online

People in Ashburton have been campaigning to keep their fire station open.

People in Ashburton took to the streets again to campaign to keep their fire station open.

It is the latest demonstration over planned changes to the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service which could see eight stations close.

The fire service says it needs to focus more on prevention and that there is a big drop in the number of incidents.

However, the Ashburton crew claim they were called out six times in the past week.

Half way through the march, they got another call to go to Ivybridge as standby because of a shortage of appliances in the area.

A consultation is underway looking into the proposals.

Kev Lewis, the officer in charge of Ashburton Fire Station
BBC

It just emphasises the case for keeping every appliance and every station in the service open and hopefully keep us fully crewed so that they're all available to do these kind of moves."

Kev LewisOfficer in charge of Ashburton Fire Station

Burning car found on roof in Buckfastleigh

Charley Adams

BBC News Online

burnt out car on roof
Buckfastleigh Fire Station

Fire crews were called to reports of a car on fire in the early hours of Sunday morning.

On arrival, the crew from Buckfastleigh found a car on Church Hill that was on its roof and on fire.

All passengers had fled the scene.

The crew put out the fire and searched the area.

car on fire
Buckfastleigh Fire Station

BBC local radio headlines for the West

Radio studio
BBC

Radio Bristol: A BBC investigation has found a waste company, close to fly-infested homes in Avonmouth, breached environmental rules 16 times in a year.

BBC Somerset: Avon and Somerset Police are trying something new in an attempt to reduce knife crime. It is putting teenagers through an intensive week-long course in which they are shown the brutal reality, often in shocking detail.

Radio Gloucestershire: A new scanner is being donated to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital that will revolutionise treatment for thousands of children. The AccuVein is being donated by the family of nine-year-old Henry Bromberg who died in 2016 from a rare heart condition.

BBC Wiltshire: There's been a cyber attack at Swindon College. Bosses say the hackers got access to information about former staff and students after breaking into the computer system. Police are investigating.

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe disruption, from J19 for A369 Martcombe Road to J20 for B3133 Ettlingen Way.

M5 Bristol - One lane closed on M5 southbound in Somerset from J19, A369 (Portishead) to J20, B3133 (Clevedon), because of a break down.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol northbound severe disruption, from J19 for A369 Martcombe Road to J18 for M49.

M5 Bristol - One lane closed on M5 northbound in Somerset from J19, A369 (Portishead) to J18 M49, because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M4 Newport eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Newport eastbound severe accident, from J24 for A449 to J23A for A4810.

M4 Newport - One lane closed and queues on M4 eastbound from J24, A449 (Coldra) to J23a, A4810 (Magor Services), because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe disruption, from J24 for A38 Taunton Road to J23 for A39.

M5 Somerset - One lane closed and queues on M5 northbound from J24, A38 (Bridgwater South) to J23, A39 (Bridgwater North), because of a lorry having a tyre changed.

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

Severe accident: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe accident, from J23 for A39 to J22 for .

M5 Somerset - Temporary closure and queues on M5 northbound from J23, A39 (Bridgwater North) to J22, Burnham-On-Sea, because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M4 Cardiff eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Cardiff eastbound severe accident, at J33 for A4232.

M4 Cardiff - M4 lane blocked on exit slip road and it's slow eastbound at J33, A4232 (Cardiff West And Services), because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M4 Newport eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Newport eastbound severe disruption, between J28 for A48 and J27 for B4591 Glasllwch Crescent.

M4 Newport - One lane closed and it's very slow on M4 eastbound between J28, A48 (Tredegar Park) and J27, B4591 (Highcross), because of a car that's broken down.

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

Severe accident: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe accident, from J24 for A38 Taunton Road to J25 for A358.

M5 Somerset - M5 partially blocked and it's slow southbound from J24, A38 (Bridgwater South) in Huntworth to J25, A358 (Taunton) in Somerset, because of an accident.

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

'Desperate need' for special school places

A Weston-super-Mare special school has been given the go-ahead to expand to meet a "desperate" need in North Somerset.

Westhaven is the only school in the south of the district for children with complex learning difficulties and currently takes 120 pupils aged seven to 16.

Finding somewhere for the first three years of education causes real struggles for parents so the Ellesmere Road school will swell to 138 spaces and start taking children as young as four.

Councillor Catherine Gibbons, who is responsible for children’s services and lifelong learning, told Wednesday’s executive meeting there was a shortage of SEND provision in North Somerset.

“This school has worked tirelessly to offer an excellent provision for our children," she said.

“They have identified the need to extend the age range. It will provide 12 new key stage one places.

"This has been a problem for parents with younger children. It’s been a considerable difficulty.

“Demand is increasing. The cohort has grown by 40 per cent since 2015. We have an ongoing need.”

Severe accident: M49 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M49 Bristol southbound severe accident, from M4 J22 to M5 J18.

M49 Bristol - One lane closed and it's very slow on M49 southbound from M4 J22 in Gloucestershire to M5 J18 in City of Bristol, because of an accident involving.

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

EU rights group raises concerns about Settled Status for EU workers

Maike Bohn
BBC
Maike Bohn says people are struggling to understand the implications of Settled Status

Just under half of Bristol's 21,000 EU citizens have applied to try and secure their rights after Brexit.

EU citizens in the city are being offered free help and are being encouraged to apply for Settled Status.

But the government's scheme has been criticised by a campaign group called the 3million, who fight for EU citizens rights. They say people are struggling.

Co-founder of 3million, Maike Bohn said: "Settled status is neither secure nor permanent, nor that easy to understand or maintain.

"There's so much uncertainty and confusion and that's why people panic and that's why people are deeply worried for one reason or another."

Home Office MP Brandon Lewis, says the system is "working very well" and thousands of people are applying to gain this status.

Michael Flynn

Rob Phillips

BBC Sport Wales football correspondent

Newport County manager Michael Flynn says reports linking him with the vacancy at League One club Lincoln City are "flattering".

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More than 130 council jobs lost over past year

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Protesters outside the meeting in 2018
LDRS

More than 130 county council staff have lost their jobs since last September.

It’s one year on since Somerset County Council held an emergency budget meeting, where £15m of cuts of services up to April 2020 were approved despite strong public criticism.

The council began a consultation with staff in August 2018 about possible redundancies, indicating that around 130 jobs could go.

The authority has now revealed a total of 134 staff have left the organisation since September 1, 2018 – though not all may have directly left as a result of the cuts.

The cuts were agreed by the council’s cabinet at Shire Hall in September 2018 – a meeting which lasted all day and was attended by vocal protesters.

Severe disruption: M4 Cardiff eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Cardiff eastbound severe disruption, at J32 for A470.

M4 Cardiff - M4 lane blocked on exit slip road eastbound at J32, A470 (Coryton Interchange), because of a car that's broken down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe accident, from J24 for A38 Taunton Road to J23 for A39.

M5 Somerset - One lane closed and queues on M5 northbound from J24, A38 (Bridgwater South) to J23, A39 (Bridgwater North), because of an accident.

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

Delays to superfast broadband 'short-changing' rural Devon

BBC Spotlight

Campaigners are reacting angrily to further delays in bringing superfast broadband to the most rural parts of Devon and Somerset.

The company responsible for the publicly funded roll-out, Gigaclear has lost its contract.

The Connecting Devon and Somerset Partnership says it will now start the process of finding a new provider.

It means the scheme is potentially four years behind schedule.

In a statement, it said it was working hard to agree a revised plan and it was "disappointed" not to be able to progress.

Graham Long
BBC

For businesses to do things like tax returns, VAT etc - the government expects it to be done online these days. Again, it's this dichotomy between rural and urban areas where rural areas are being short-changed."

Graham LongBroadband campaigner

Funding available for young people's campaigns

Somerset County Council logo
Somerset County Council

Charities and community groups in Somerset are being invited to bid for a share of £50,000 for projects that inspire young people into social action.

Somerset County Council says it will also invest £25,000 from its prevention fund into projects chosen by the Somerset Youth Parliament.

Councillor Frances Nicholson, the County Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: "It’s fantastic that children and young people will have the chance to take part in campaigns and projects or volunteer to help improve the lives of others.”

The fund is open to applications on Monday 16 September and the closing date is Friday 25 October.

Seven people rescued from two 'deliberate' fires

Fire engine
BBC

Seven people have been rescued from two fires in Yeovil, which are both believed to have been started deliberately.

The first blaze broke out shortly after midnight in a stairwell at a block of flats.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said three fire engines attended and four people were led to safety.

Two of them were treated for smoke inhalation, and one of them was taken to hospital.

The second fire happened shortly before 4am at a property in Houndstone, Yeovil.

Three fire engines attended and three people were assessed by paramedics at the scene.

The fire service said the ground floor front door was completely destroyed, and the front hallway and first floor living room were damaged.

A spokesperson said a fire investigation officer attended both incidents, and police were asked to attend, as the cause of both fires was believed to be deliberate.

Severe accident: M4 Newport eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Newport eastbound severe accident, from J25 for B4596 to J24 for A449.

M4 Newport - M4 partially blocked and queues eastbound from J25, B4596 (Caerleon) to J24, A449 (Coldra), because of an accident.

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

Father 'delighted' Batten disease drug made available

Max and Simon Sewart
BBC

The father of a Somerset boy with Batten disease says he's delighted NHS England has announced it will offer a drug to treat it.

Eight-year-old Max Sewart moved to the Netherlands with his dad Simon to get treatment - because it wasn't available here.

Now NHS England has announced it will offer a drug - which slows the progress of the rare incurable condition - after it agreed a deal with the company that manufactures it.

New homes on former caravan park in Weston set to be approved

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Homes in Weston
bbc

Amended plans to build 125 homes at a former Weston caravan park could be approved before some residents have their chance to comment.

Councillors called for a number of changes to the application when they visited West Acres Farm last month and Bloor Homes submitted a revised application on 4 September.

Nearly 40 residents objected to the original scheme. They should have until September 23 to comment but the new plans will come before North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee on 18 September.

The 4.5-hectare site off Wolvershill Road was used for storing caravans as long ago as 1982, and then as a touring caravan site from 1997.

The developer, Bloor Homes said: “The proposed development would provide a range of high quality housing enabling North Somerset Council to meet the local need and improving the immediate context.

“The green infrastructure will deliver an open space and landscaped areas that are accessible to the wider community.

The site is at risk of flooding but the plans measures that have satisfied the Environment Agency.

The application was met with 38 objections, prompting town councillors to call for it to be considered by North Somerset councillors.

Residents said the access from Wolvershill Road was inadequate, patient safety would be compromised and the development would be too close to existing homes.

They also pointed to a lack of spaces in schools, at GP surgeries and on the roads.

Recommending approval, officers said the site has been allocated for housing since at least 2007 and the homes would “create a good quality living environment for residents whilst protecting biodiversity and the living conditions of neighbours”.