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Teenagers warned over drug gang dangers

Teenagers as young as 14 have been hearing about the dangers of getting caught up with county lines in Somerset.

It's part of a week long operation by Avon and Somerset Police to target drug dealers but also young people who may be tempted to join drugs gangs.

The latest police figures show there are 33 active county lines being used to buy and sell drugs across Somerset.

Burst water main 'caused by tree work'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Bristol Airport

A burst water main which dramatically reduced water supplies to Bristol Airport last week was caused by a homeowner ripping out a tree.

The big old tree used to stand at the edge of a derelict property known as the White House beside the A38 at Potter’s Hill in Felton.

But it was ripped out on 15 May, leaving 600 properties without water and Bristol Airport forced to rely on its reserve water supply.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands the roots of the tree were wrapped around the 200mm water pipe so tightly it came away with the tree.

Bristol Water, which supplies water to the area, said it took six hours to repair the water main after it was ripped up at 1.30pm. The company also had to deploy tankers to top up the airport’s reserve water supplies.

AWP strike action ballot closes today

AWP van

A three-week ballot over strike action at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership comes to a close today.

The group wants to restructure its organisation - reducing administrative posts and bringing in new job descriptions.

Unison says 55 jobs would go including some specialist roles.

A man rescued by the RNLI has converted a camper and caravan to fundraise for the charity
A man rescued by the RNLI has converted a camper and caravan to fundraise for the charity.

The EU elections: perspectives from the west

Paul Barltrop

Political Editor, West of England

More on our look at the three main schools of thought for candidates standing in the EU elections on May 23rd.

Today: There’s keen competition in the South West between parties who unashamedly love the EU.

The Liberal Democrats are riding high, having made big gains across the region in the recent local elections. That in turn has boosted their campaign, with party members happy to get out campaigning.

The Greens are a smaller party, but fared better than the Lib Dems at the last Euro election, and are proud of the track record of their sitting MEP Molly Scott Cato. They too fared well earlier this month, notably increasing their tally of councillors.

It is harder for Change UK, the new party set up by MPs who left Labour and the Conservatives. Without an established party structure or membership, they face a tough challenge winning over pro-EU voters.

A quarter of children in poverty

Hungry child
Getty Images

About a quarter of children in our region are living in poverty, according to new research.

Among the local authorities facing the highest levels of child poverty, after housing costs are taken into account, are West Somerset with a figure of 31% and Gloucester with a figure of 28%.

The data has been published by the End Child Poverty coalition.

Other figures locally include Bristol (27%), Forest of Dean (26%), South Somerset (25%), Sedgemoor (24%) and Wiltshire (24%).

The Children's Society said the findings were "disappointing".

Without significant additional investment, there is little hope of reducing child poverty rates in coming years.

Sam RoystonThe Children’s Society

Boarding school in Somerset rated as inadequate by Ofsted

Sexey's School, Bruton

Sexey's School in Bruton has been rated inadequate by the education watchdog Ofsted.

Inspectors found the school was inadequate in five out of eight areas, with the remainder rated as requiring improvement.

Pupils with special educational needs were not being supported enough and the quality of maths teaching needed improving across all school years.

The school which has a pupil roll of 600 with 163 boarders was also found to be falling short of the national safeguarding standards for boarders.

The EU elections: perspectives from the West

Paul Barltrop

Political Editor, West of England

More on our look at the three main groups you will be asked to vote on in the EU elections on May 23rd.

Three parties are deeply opposed to the European Union, and want us to leave without delay.

UKIP caused something of a political earthquake in the last Euro elections, coming first and getting two MEPs elected in the South West. But they have since left, and the party has fractured, amid claims it has become too extreme.

Many have followed former leader Nigel Farage into his new Brexit Party. Only set up this year, it is fielding some well-known candidates, including former Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe in the South West.

Also standing, though with just two candidates, are the English Democrats; they have stood in several previous European elections, though without success.

Tomorrow I'll be looking at those who unashamedly love the EU and do not want a "divorce".

The EU elections: perspectives from the West

Paul Barltrop

Political Editor, West of England

The South West will be picking six people to represent the whole region in the European Parliament on election day, May 23rd.

Voters will have a big choice.

On the ballot paper there are eight political parties, listed alphabetically, along with three independents, and every candidate’s name is printed. But we can break the parties down into groups.

There are three who love the EU, and want to stop Brexit: the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and Change UK.

The two biggest political parties, the Conservatives and Labour, are rather on the fence: officially committed to enacting Brexit, but deeply troubled over how to do it.

Then there are those who want out straight away, unafraid of leaving with no deal: UKIP, the Brexit Party and the English Democrats.

Across this week I'll be looking at these three main groups.

Female motorist dies in crash in Lympsham

A woman has died after her car hit a lorry in Somerset on Monday.

The crash happened at about 5.30pm near the Ferry Lane junction with the A370, close to Hobbs Boat Inn in Lympsham.

The woman driver was seriously injured in the crash and died shortly afterwards, Avon and somerset Police confirmed.

The road is currently closed while collision investigators complete their examination of the scene and motorists are being advised to avoid the area and find alternative routes.

BBC local radio headlines across the West

Radio presenter
  • BBC Radio Bristol: An inquest will continue today into the death of a 20-year-old student from Bristol University.
  • BBC Gloucestershire: Police say groups of shoplifters are travelling into Gloucester and Cheltenham to steal goods.
  • BBC Somerset: Wildlife is getting trapped in plastic netting put up by developers in Bridgwater.
  • BBC Wiltshire: A 17-year-old boy is due in court in Bristol today, charged with the murder of Calne teenager Ellie Gould.

Stunning sand art creation made on Brean Beach by Simon Beck
The star on the Somerset coast, is the 100th creation by sand and snow artist Simon Beck.

CCTV images released after man and woman attacked

Avon and Somerset Police has released CCTV images in a bid to identify 10 people as part of an investigation into a serious assault.

Two people were assaulted in the Halls Road area of Kingswood, Bristol, at about 3am on Saturday 23 March.

Officers have released CCTV images of 10 people they would like to identify.

The victims had just left Chasers nightclub in Regent Street when they were followed and attacked.

A 22-year-old man was punched in the face several times and kicked in the head after falling to the floor. He suffered injuries including a fractured jaw.

A 21-year-old woman was punched in the face during the same incident and suffered facial injuries.

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