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Investigation into charity cold calling

92 year old Olive Cooke received 200 begging letters a month Credit: SWNS

UK charities could be breaking the law by calling the vulnerable and asking for money.

There are calls for 'Olive's Law' - to protect the most vulnerable from receiving cold calls. An undercover investigation carried out by a national newspaper claims the NSPCC, British Red Cross and Oxfam are all breaking the law by calling people on the Government's no-call register to ask for charitable donations. The charities will be investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office.

Olive Cooke, Britain's longest-serving poppy seller, fell to her death at Avon Gorge in Bristol two months ago, aged 92. She was found to have had direct debits to 27 charities and had told friends that she was receiving up to 200 begging letters a month.

Save the Children are expected o become the first charity to ban cold calling.

First Great Western plans for strike

First Great Western have ammended timetables ahead of strike Credit: First Great Western

First Great Western has released new timetables ahead of a planned 48 hour rail strike that will begin tomorrow.

80% of the RMT union's First Great Western members voted to strike in a dispute relating to the new Hitachi Inter-City trains. The union say First Great Western have refused to give "very basic assurances" about passenger safety and jobs.

The strike is due to start at 6.30pm on Wednesday July 8th, and will continue for 48 hours.

Changes to regular services:

  • Between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads, extending to Weston-Super-Mare and Taunton during the peak: One train an hour.
  • Services between Cardiff and Portsmouth will operate between Bristol Parkway and Salisbury: Every two hours
  • Between Bristol Temple Meads and Gloucester: Every two hours
  • Gloucestershire
  • Between Cheltenham Spa and London Paddington: One train per morning and evening peak in each direction.
  • Between Cheltenham Spa and London Paddington: One train per morning and evening peak in each direction.

The following services won't be operating:

  • Between Severn Beach and Bristol Temple Meads.
  • Between Swindon and Westbury via Melksham.
  • Between Weymouth and Westbury.

To find out how these changes will affect your journey go to First Great Western's website.


Man due in court charged with 1984 murder of teenage girl

Melanie Road was 17 when she was murdered in June 1984.

A man charged with the 1984 murder of a teenage girl in Bath will appear at Bristol Crown Court today.

Melanie Road was 17 years old when she was stabbed to death after a night out with friends.

Court artist's impression of Christopher Hampton at Bath Magistrates yesterday. Credit: Elizabeth Cook

63-year-old Christopher Hampton from Bristol attended a hearing at Bath Magistrates yesterday, and remains in police custody.


Parents warned about a gang of rogue clowns

Melksham Carnival say the clowns have been fleecing parents. Credit: Melksham Carnival

Carnival organisers have warned people to be on their guard about a gang of mystery rogue clowns in our region.

Melksham Carnival posted the above photo on their website urging parents to be alert.

Last year a number of them snuck into processions and scammed parents, handing children sword balloons or taking photos, and then charging for them.

The gang are believed to have struck a carnival in Calne, Wiltshire last month, and there have been reports of them across the region.

13-year-old Jack Parfitt missing again hours after being found

Teenager Jack Parfitt is missing again. Credit: Wiltshire Police

A 13-year-old schoolboy is missing again, just hours after being found.

Police announced earlier that Jack Parfitt had been found safe in Swindon after more than two weeks missing from his Gloucester home, and that a 23-year-old woman had been arrested.

However they now say that he ran away from his social worker just hours later, just as he was about to be taken back to Gloucester.

Wiltshire Police have now re-started their hunt for the missing teenager.

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