Warmley

England, United Kingdom

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Betty from Tewkesbury has been working as a lollipop lady for 45 years.
Betty Ealand says she is a people person and loves seeing familiar faces in the town.

Funeral of Nell Gifford to be held later at Gloucester Cathedral

Nell Gifford
Giffords Circus

The funeral of Nell Gifford, the co-founder of one of the UK's best-known traditional travelling circuses, is set to be held later today at Gloucester Cathedral.

Nell Gifford, who had breast cancer, died on 9 December, surrounded by friends and family.

Ms Gifford, a mother of two, told the BBC when she was undergoing chemotherapy last month that the circus gave her "a reason to live".

She had fought breast cancer on three separate occasions before the disease advanced to her bones and lymph nodes.

Fresh effort to recruit more social workers in South Gloucestershire

Children generic
SPL

Chlidren's social care in South Gloucestershire has overspent by £853,000 due to the over-reliance on agency social workers despite a programme to recruit more permanent staff.

South Gloucestershire Council cabinet members are reviewing the authority's expenditure.

The report states social worker staffing is a national problem where most local authorities average 15% of their workforce as agency staff.

But this authority has a much higher rate of 36% agency staff.

Despite a Social Worker Academy Pilot which began in 2018, 12 new social workers have been recruited.

A new recruitment and retention task and finish group is now being created to see what other action can be taken to solve the problem.

Flood-hit pub access road now under water

The Yew Tree Inn at Chaceley near Gloucester only reopened last weekend after it flooded.

The flooded road
BBC
The only access road to the pub has flooded

A pub that was shut for almost two months due to flooding, that only reopened last week, has been cut off due to a flooded road.

The Yew Tree Inn at Chaceley near Gloucester was closed at the end of October after floodwater from the neighbouring River Seven got inside.

It reopened last Tuesday but now the only access road has flooded meaning customers cannot reach it. Landlord Peter Bartlett said he had lost "thousands of pounds" in income.

The Yew Tree pub
Geograph/Philip Halling
The Yew Tree pub

Mr Bartlett said the water had spilled over the banks of the river, and was two feet (60 cm) deep on the road.

He said the Environment Agency was slow to react to him reporting a flood gate that had become stuck last week, although "nothing could have stopped the water coming over the banks".

"It makes it very difficult financially, with all the Christmas parties we've had to cancel."

He added he would also "probably have to cancel" 80 people who had booked to have their Christmas dinner at the pub of Christmas Day.

The pub's Facebook page stated the flood in November was the 32nd time water had got inside the pub in the past 13 years.

The BBC has asked for a comment from the Environment Agency.

Council tax set to rise in Gloucestershire by almost 4 per cent

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Council tax is set to rise in Gloucestershire by 3.99 per cent, according to new plans being drawn up by the county council.

The authority wants to increase the bill residents pay to raise an extra £12.6million for services such as adult social care.

In total these changes will result in an increase of under £1 per week for the average Band D taxpayer. More than £70m for schools and children and family services, including £20m towards a £30m new secondary school in Cheltenham, £6.5m for a new special school in Brockworth and £3.2m towards the expansion of The Cotswold School.

The draft budget for next year shows the county council’s money pot will be increased by £31m, totalling £468m.

An initial £1m will be spent to help tackle climate change, and an additional £12.9m will go towards protecting the county’s vulnerable children.

The county council will also make £9.58m in cuts, including reducing the cost of the adult single programme which supports the strategic direction of keeping people safe and independence, ideally within their own home.

Council leader Mark Hawthorne said the council tax rates will still be “one of the lowest levels in any county”.

The authority’s cabinet is expected to approve the budget this Friday and full council will vote to give final approval in early 2020.

Candidate received death threat and "consistent abuse" on social media

Max Wilkinson
BBC

The Lib Dem candidate for Cheltenham has revealed he received a death threat ahead of the general election.

Max Wilkinson said he also received "threats of violence" and "consistent abuse on social media".

He said he felt "threatened" but was "thick skinned" and he did not like to let such incidents affect him.

"I was more concerned about the impact it might have on other people in the campaign, and my partner who was very shaken up," he said.

The Labour candidate for Gloucester, Fran Boait, said one of her canvassers was threatened with being shot, and the Green candidate for Stroud, Molly Scott-Cato, said she had also received abuse.

In relation to the death threat on Mr Wilkinson Gloucestershire Police said a man in his 20s was arrested "on suspicion of sending a communication which conveys a threatening message" and he received a caution.

The force said it received a total of six reports of incidents in the county involving election candidates "and these involved abuse and harassment of candidates or their canvassers".

Mr Wilkinson lost out to Conservative Alex Chalk by 981 votes.

'Bank should be moved to help stop flooding'

Watch: Jeremy Chamberlayne's idea to prevent flooding

There are calls for the management of the River Severn near Gloucester to be taken away from the Environment Agency.

Jeremy Chamberlayne, a farmer from Maisemore who knows the area well, wants a local group to take over the responsibility.

The area often floods, and was under water again recently.

Mr Chamberlayne said one solution would be to move certain flood defences.

Meeting to discuss making pilot traffic ban on Boots Corner permanent

Boots corner
Google

A move to make Cheltenham’s pilot traffic ban on Boots Corner permanently closed to unauthorised vehicles will hit its second-last hurdle today.

Gloucestershire County Council’s traffic regulation committee are meeting to either back the proposal or fully re-open the high street through-route.

The temporary closure began on June 28, 2018, as part of a Cheltenham Borough Council-led scheme to improve the town centre and only exempt vehicles, such as buses and taxis, can pass through.

If the committee supports the proposal to make the closure permanent, the recommendation will be passed onto Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet on 20 December.

General election 2019: What questions do you have?

Parliament
BBC

The election results are in but what else do you want to know?

Do you still have questions about the general election?

It could be a query over what happens next or an issue close to your heart.

To submit your questions - click here.