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Dog found in Pinehurst area

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A tan coloured Stafford/Bullmastiff cross was found in the Pinehurst area.

The owner cannot be located as the chip data is not up to date.

The dog is currently in the care of Swindon Borough Council's dog warden. The owner can contact the council on 01793 445501.

Campaign begins to find hundreds of new police officers

Police officer on a bike

A campaign to find hundreds of new police officers in Wiltshire starts this morning.

Budget cuts have led to nearly 250 being lost here in the last decade.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently pledged to recruit 20,000 more officers.

GWR offers alternative trains after Thomas Cook collapse

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

GWR passengers affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook can use alternative services on its routes, the South West and West of England rail operator says.

Bosses said those "unable to make their booked train will be permitted to travel on the next suitable service by providing reasonable evidence of a Thomas Cook booking".

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Meanwhile, the rail operator is calling out to Thomas Cook employees, saying it "would love to hear" from those affected as part of moves to recruit new staff.

The tour operator's failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.

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Amazing marathon effort by runners

Watch: Swindon half marathon

Nearly 2,500 people completed the Swindon half marathon on Sunday.

It started outside the County Ground and the course wound its way around both old and new town before finishing up in the town centre.

It was won by Christopher Wood in just over 1 hour 13 mins.

Next year's race will go ahead with new organisers.

Pair to be sentenced over Sala mortuary photos

Emiliano Sala

A man and woman from Wiltshire will be sentenced today, after admitting leaking photos of the post-mortem of the footballer Emiliano Sala on social media.

It's been delayed from Friday.

The Cardiff City player died when a private plane crashed into the English channel earlier this year.

Sherry Bray, 49, from Corsham, and 62-year-old Christopher Ashford from Calne illegally accessed footage from a mortuary in Bournemouth.

Equinox celebrated at Stonehenge

Watch: Equinox celebrated at Stonehenge

Hundreds of people have gathered at Stonehenge to mark the autumn equinox.

Each year druids and pagans gather at the historic monument early in the morning to mark the occasion, and to see the sunrise above the stones.

The autumn equinox is when the day is the same length as the night, heralding the descent into winter darkness and chillier temperatures.

Stop and search warning after catapults cause damage in city

Wiltshire Police

Criminal damage caused by catapults has lead police to stop and search "any individuals found near where damage has been caused".

Officers in Salisbury said they would be "adopting a robust approach" following the "recent spate" in the past few weeks.

Acting Insp John Hutchings, from Wiltshire Police, said he was "taking a parental approach to this problem".

"I would not expect my child to be in possession of a catapult and ammunition in a public place, because what possible reason could a child have for carrying such a weapon?

“My officers will stop and search individuals where damage has been caused in recent weeks and should any person be found in possession of such weapons they can expect them to be seized. This action is not restricted to children," he said.

Acting Insp Hutchnigs added: "Damage caused by a catapult is very similar to a firearm and could lead to catastrophic results either on purpose or accidentally."

Climate Strike: Protesters gather in Swindon


Around 200 climate change protesters descended on Regent Circus in Swindon.

The demonstration is one of around 5,000 happening in more than 150 countries, ahead of the UN's summit in New York on Monday.

Children in Swindon, Salisbury and Bradford on Avon are taking part but some schools have told us they don't endorse missing lessons.

One protester in Swindon, college student Olivia, said it was important that as many people as possible "join in the fight".

"I want to be able to say to my future children, that I fought for it," she said.


Police appeal for missing 13-year-old girl

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Police said she went missing from Lyneham and there have been unconfirmed reports that she may be in the Swindon area.

She is described as white, around 5ft 7ins tall, with long brown hair and of slim build.

Her exact clothing is unknown, but she is believed to be wearing gold and silver Nike trainers and carrying a black fluffy rucksack.

Global event highlights climate change impact

Climate change banner

Events to draw attention to the impact of climate change are taking place across the West today.

It's part of a "global climate strike" organised around the world.

It's estimated there will be 2,500 events in 150 countries including dozens in the UK.

In Bristol, wildlife film-makers will dress in black and carry coffins to illustrate the number of species made extinct or endangered by climate change.

Investigation after woman in wheelchair fell onto train tracks

Westbury station

Transport police are appealing for witnesses after a woman in a wheelchair fell onto the tracks at a station in Wiltshire.

The 47-year-old woman, from Herefordshire, suffered a head injury after falling at Westbury station on 16 September.

A 48-year-old man, from Herefordshire, was arrested on suspicion of endangering railway safety and bailed.

Det Cons Marc Farmer said: “We are currently working to establish the full circumstances behind how the woman came to fall on the tracks in her wheelchair.

“We know there were a number of people on platform three at the time of the incident who may have seen the woman in the minutes leading up to her fall.

“I’d urge anyone who hasn’t already spoken to police to come forward."

Photos show 'true scale' of church lead theft released by police

Air ambulance "one step closer" to being used again

Image of Wiltshire County air ambulance
Chris Watkins Media

The team behind Wiltshire Air Ambulance said it is one step closer to returning the county's main helicopter to active service.

The helicopter has not been able to attend emergencies since the start of 2019, following technical problems and the company which provided the air licence going out of business.

The head of the emergency service said the team had a successful inspection by the Civil Aviation Authority and is now waiting to be issued a certificate.

Bosses are hoping it can return to active service in the near future.

The Bell 429 helicopter in the air ambulance's green and yellow colours, was grounded on 2 January.

This came less than a month after Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, officially opened the charity's new base at Semington, near Melksham.

It was initially taken out of service after a technical problem, but soon after the company which provided the air licence went out of business.

In the meantime the helicopter is being used for training.

B&B could become children's home

A large house in Highworth could be used as a children’s home.

Ruth Parker, of Park Blue Homes, a private provider of residential homes for children, has applied for permission to change the use of Highlands in Swindon Road from a bed and breakfast to a home for youngsters.

Highlands is still operating as a B&B for visitors to the town.

The County Durham company, which already runs Summer’s End, a home for three children near Castle Combe in Wiltshire, said in a statement: “Park Blue Homes strives to provide exciting places for young people to live.

“Each home benefits from being in close proximity to local towns for all essential amenities.”

Highlands is just south of the centre of Highworth on the main route in from Swindon.

It is not necessary for an applicant to own a property to make a planning application, and it is common to try and get permission before offering to buy a property.

Woman in 60s sexually assaulted near bridge

Police car

A woman in her 60s was sexually assaulted along a towpath last night.

Police are investigating following the attack in Devizes which happened at about 7.55pm.

The woman was walking towards the canal bridge at Northgate Street when she was approached from behind by a man who sexually assaulted her.

The man is described as white, with dark spiky hair and was unshaven. He is described as slim to medium build and approximately 5 ft 6 inches tall.

He was wearing a mustard yellow t-shirt.

During the incident, the woman was knocked to the floor. The man then ran off up the steps from the towpath onto Northgate Street.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote crime reference number 54190092417.

Outdoor education centres could be saved

Image of pupils at a whiteboard
Getty Images

Deals to save two outdoor education centres in Wiltshire could be resolved in the next couple of weeks.

The news comes 18 months after Wiltshire Council said it was going to close Braeside in Devizes and Oxenwood near Marlborough because of financial pressures.

When Wiltshire Council announced the closures in March 2018, school staff and parents raised concerns across the county.

Almost 16,000 people signed an online petition calling for the two sites to be saved.

Today a cabinet meeting at Wiltshire's county hall will be told that after months of negotiations, Community First could take over Oxenwood at the start of next month.

If the proposals are accepted, Classes Abroad, based in Grittleton near Chippenham, will take over Braeside at the start of December.

Ambulance collision numbers rise


The number of collisions involving ambulances in the West has risen.

Nearly 800 were recorded last year, around 200 more than in 2016.

South Western Ambulance Service says it has invested in technology to help learn from accidents and support drivers.

It added the overall figure represented less than 1% of the calls the service attend each year.

Student video hopes to raise awareness of knife crime issues

Student film

Wiltshire Police is expanding on the work of a national campaign about knife crime.

College students from the county have produced a film to help raise awareness of the issues.

There will be additional knife amnesty bins across Wiltshire and instead of the nationwide week of action the force will run its campaign for a fortnight.

BBC local radio headlines for the West

Radio studio

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.

EU rights group raises concerns about Settled Status for EU workers

Maike Bohn
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.

Recycling rules clarified after woman told to 'bin' box


Recycling guidelines have been clarified after information was wrongly given to a woman in Chippenham about how to get rid of her broken black recycling box.

Harriet Jany, from Chippenham, crtiticised their recycling policy after she was told to dump her black box by Wiltshire Council, despite their own policies proving that the box can in fact be recycled.

She was told on social media and on the phone by council staff her broken recycling bin lid must go in the main bin, but deputy leader of the council Richard Clewer has confirmed that bins are actually eco friendly.

Cllr Clewer said: “We will make sure that the correct information is now given out, because the black boxes can definitely be recycled. When we deliver new bins, we are meant to collect the broken lids and boxes too.

“Once we have enough we auction them to waste providers , who then pay us money to take them and recycled them. As a council we are conscious of how we get rid of our waste, it must be done correctly.”

Ms Jany said: “I am pleased this was taken seriously and they can be recycled. However I still feel that delivering a whole new box when someone only needs a new lid is wasteful.”

Council plans for 'polling station clashes'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Drills are set to be carried out by emergency services to plan for clashes between voters at polling stations ahead of a possible general election in the near future.

Despite being a historically peaceful county on voting day, Wiltshire Council’s senior leader and returning officer Carlton Brand says months of Brexit speculation mean emotions could run high.

He said: “We are set to have practices with police and fire services in case there is any civil unrest at polling stations. Parliament has made this argument personal and things have got very nasty in Westminster, and if we do crash out of the EU on October 31 who do now know what may happen.”

A Brexit candidate has already hit out after being told to move his campaign stand in Malmesbury last Saturday. Brexiteer Les Willis claims Cllr Gavin Grant, who is a member of the Lib Dems, forced him to move his stand to block democracy.

However Cllr Grant said he reacted on safety concerns because the stand was set up on double yellow lines. Wiltshire Council is also planning for Brexit and has a team of officers crunching the numbers over what a possible no deal could mean for the county.

Despite almost daily changes in predictions for a general election date, experts think November could be the month one now takes place.

PM Boris Johnson needs to give councils just 25 days notice to hold an election, and anyone not yet registered to vote has been urged to register soon rather than risk missing out on having their say.

Wiltshire has five MPs to vote in and will cost £1m to organise, with the responsibility falling on Wiltshire Council to foot the bill and claim the money back later from central government.. The local authority claims back 90-95 per cent of the cash, but always has to foot some of the bill.

Bid to curb air pollution in Salisbury city centre

Queens Street, Salisbury
Stephen Craven, Geograph

New proposals have been put forward to pedestrianise more of Salisbury city centre.

It is to try and minimise air pollution. It could involve permanently closing Queen Street to vehicles.

That could be extended to another three roads in the future.

Salisbury City Council has also announced plans to install more water fountains across the city.

Police appeal after man killed in crash

police accident sign

Wiltshire police are asking witnesses to come forward after a fatal road collision.

The incident happened at 5.10pm on the A361 in Beckhampton, 10 September and involved a silver Kia Rio car and a black Ford Ranger.

The 83-year-old, male driver of the Kia car, sustained serious injuries and died at the scene.

The road was closed for six hours while emergency services attended the scene.

Police have asked any witnesses to the incident or anyone with information to contact PC Pete Williamson at the Collision Investigation Team on 101.

the A361

A303 in Wiltshire closed westbound

A crash between two lorries has led to the closure of the A303 in Amesbury, Wiltshire.

A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service said they were called at 3.13pm.

He said: "We have sent several resources to the scene, including a land ambulance and air ambulance, and are treating one male patient on scene.

The road has reopened eastbound but remains closed westbound.

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South West unemployment drops 2.5%

BBC Business News

Unemployment in the South West has continued to fall to a low of less than 2.5%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The latest 2.4% figure of people aged 16-64 unemployed between May and July 2019 is lower than the UK-wide figure of just under 3.8%.

The official figures also showed earnings nationally grew at an annual pace of 3.8%.

The ONS said rising employment was being driven mainly by more women in work, partly due to the rise in the state pension age.

South West unemployment

Longleat to host its 4th annual balloon event

Skyfari Longleat

More than 200 hot air balloons will take part in Longleat's annual hot air balloon event later this week.

Now in its fourth year, Sky Safari features mass launches, tethered daytime displays and dramatic night glows.

The event is not free - the cost is included in the price of a day ticket - and takes place from 13-15 September.

Skyfari Longleat

BBC local radio headlines across the West

Radio presenter
  • BBC Radio Bristol: A 17-year-old boy is due before magistrates this morning - in connection with the stabbing of a Bristol newsagent.
  • BBC Gloucestershire: Plans for a new early morning train serving Cam and Dursley station have been welcomed by transport campaigners.
  • BBC Somerset: Over the past four years more than 160 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset.
  • BBC Wiltshire: The parents of a Calne teenager who was murdered are meeting the home secretary later. Ellie Gould died of stab wounds in May.
Trespassers film themselves at airport
Two so-called urban explorers filmed themselves on the roof of a plane and posted the footage online.

Plastic filler for potholes plan put on hold

Plans to consider using plastic to fill potholes across Wiltshire’s roads have been put on hold after concerns were raised that microplastics could end up in the county’s chalk rivers.

Last year Councillor Brian Mathew passed a motion calling on the council to look into work in other councils recycling plastic by using it to fill potholes and cracks in roads.

Other local authorities have already started using MR6 filler made from plastic to replace bitumen traditionally used to fill potholes.

The material, while believed to be durable, raised concerns for Wiltshire Council’s Environment Committee, who said there was not enough evidence to ensure that parts of the plastic could not split away and travel to into the chalk rivers nearby.

Councillor Mike Hewitt added: “We are looking at the best rivers in the world now noticeably having plastic in them. It is environmentally wrong to put plastic on roads where first thing they’d do is sift out into rivers.

"Before we go along this route we seriously need to think about where the final bit of plastic ends up. We know grit finishes up in rivers, our chalk streams are precious and we shouldn’t start risking polluting our water until we know it is 100% safe.”

The committee agreed to continue to wait until more research had been carried out before considering the item again.

We need to be very careful of unintended consequences. We don’t know the full extent of the life cycle of this product and what damage it can do to water courses. I urge caution particularly in the very special areas of conservation in the county.

Bridget WaymanCabinet member for roads

Police chief backs officer safety review

The Police Federation's Andy Roebuck said attacks on officers must be taken seriously

An urgent national review into the safety of police officers is to be carried out after a rise in assaults on officers.

Avon and Somerset Police Federation chair Andy Roebuck said attacks on officers must be taken seriously.

DIY SOS celebrates 20 years

The DIY SOS team

It's been 20 years since Nick Knowles and the team first issued a call to arms and recruited friends, family and local trades to help transform the homes of families across Britain.

In a special programme tonight Nick takes to the road to catch up with families and communities featured over the past two decades and to find out what happened after the cameras left.

BBC local radio headlines

Radio studio

BBC Radio Bristol: A review into the clean air zone for Bath has been published by the local council - with another round of consultation starting later this month.

BBC Wiltshire: Swindon's Prospect Hospice still 'Requires Improvement' - but things have got better, according to a Care Quality Commission report out this morning.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire: Severn Trent has brought in temporary traffic lights to try to reduce delays on the A40 at Highnam.

BBC Somerset: Plans for nuclear waste from power stations around the country to be brought to Hinkley Point in Somerset could be approved later.

Urgent call for vaccine check to prevent mumps

Public Health England South West is urging freshers and returning university students to check they’re up to date with student vaccines before the start of the university term.

This follows an increase in mumps cases driven by outbreaks at universities across the country earlier this year.

Latest figures show that 227 cases of mumps were confirmed in the South West between April and June 2019 with 2,028 cases of mumps confirmed across England within the same time frame.

This compares to 795 cases confirmed in England last quarter, continuing the increase seen during the first quarter of 2019.