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Chief Constable to face misconduct hearing

Chief Constable Nick Gargan was suspended in May amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff. Credit: PA

Nick Gargan, the Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset, who was suspended in May amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff will face a misconduct hearing.

It follows an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the allegations.

Nick Gargan denies any inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens has made a full statement on the decision:

Following the conclusion of the IPCC’s investigation into allegations in relation to the improper disclosure of information and inappropriate behaviour towards women, made about Chief Constable Nick Gargan, I was provided with the IPCC’s report and had 15 working days to make a decision on whether or not to refer the matter to misconduct proceedings.

The IPCC put forward a number of recommendations regarding Nick Gargan. In accordance with those recommendations, I have made the decision there is a case to answer for gross misconduct and therefore I will refer the allegations to a misconduct hearing in front of an independent misconduct panel. I will not be involved in the misconduct panel.

The misconduct panel will consist of a leading counsel from a Home Office agreed list, who will act as Chair of the Panel, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary or another HMIC inspector of constabulary nominated by him and an independent member of the public.

The members of the panel will decide if the allegations are proven or not and will present their recommendations to me. I will ensure that these recommendations are made public.

The exact timing of the misconduct panel will depend on various factors, however it will take place as soon as possible, hopefully in the next few months.

– Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner

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Bath toll road man says he could be left in debt

The toll road was built across a field to bypass roadworks at Kelston. Credit: ITV News West Country

The man who invested £300,000 in a private toll road near Bath says he could be left in debt.

Mike Watts built it to bypass roadworks at Kelston. But he says the work could be finished by mid November rather than Christmas, leaving too little time to recoup his investment.

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£33m scheme to double rail tracks in Bristol

The £33 million scheme will see lines between Temple Meads and Parkway increase from two to four through Stapleton Road and Lawrence Hill. Credit: ITV News West Country

Network Rail is to double the number of lines between Bristol's two main stations.

The £33 million scheme will see lines between Temple Meads and Parkway increase from two to four through Stapleton Road and Lawrence Hill.

The improvements will result in more train services and reduced journey times. It will also pave the way for the Henbury Loop to re-open.

Work will start in December.

This is an exciting time for the growing city of Bristol.

For the last two years we have been working closely with the city council to make sure this project becomes a reality and it’s great news that we are now only a matter of weeks away from the start of work on this vital upgrade.

The doubling of the tracks between Temple Meads and Parkway stations, together with our work to electrify the Great Western Main Line, will mean that passengers, residents and businesses in Bristol will benefit from an increase in services, reduced journey times and quieter, greener trains. All of this will help us to meet an increasing demand for rail travel and to continue to drive economic growth in the region.

– Andrew Haynes, Network Rail’s project director for the west of England

I welcome the commitment to enhance our rail infrastructure by restoring the lost tracks at Filton Bank and much else.

This will support the new faster electric services to London and South Wales, the vital connections towards Birmingham and HS2, and new capacity for growing our local MetroWest passenger and extra freight services.

I saw for myself the scale of the planned works and the extra capacity and resilience which will be the result. There will be disruption but the longer-term benefits will be considerable.

Network Rail, the DfT and our partnership of local authorities in the West of England area are committed to working together to make this happen.

– Cllr Mark Bradshaw, Assistant Mayor for Place including Transport at Bristol City Council

This four tracking is vital for our MetroWest plans to improve the local rail services, and it’s a real milestone getting it started.

The rail improvements, along with MetroBus, will provide so many more options for moving around and demonstrating to investors we are serious about investing locally.

– Cllr Brian Allinson, chair of the West of England Joint Transport Board and transport member for South Gloucestershire

Holiday of a lifetime for South West children

It's the trip of a lifetime for children with serious illnesses and disabilities - every year the charity Dreamflight takes nearly 200 youngsters to Orlando in Florida, where they visit theme parks and go swimming with dolphins. Among them are children from Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Forget VIPs, they're known as VICs - 'Very Important Children'. Our reporter Lauren Hall went with them to find out how they got on.

Bristol celebrates Black History Month

Presentation at Black History Month ceremony Credit: ITV News

Black History Month has drawn to a close in Bristol with a special presentation by the Lord Mayor honouring the work of students in the community to help promote diversity.

It's just one many events that took place across the city throughout October, celebrating black history, culture and heritage.

Bath's Royal United Hospital gets foundation status

The RUH has won Foundation Trust status Credit: ITV News

The Royal United Hospital in Bath has been granted Foundation Trust status.

It means the Trust will have greater financial freedom and can decide how to improve services away from government control. The move was put back a year in 2013 after a highly critical report on the hospital from the Care Quality Commission.

Foundation Trusts are still very much part of the NHS but they have more autonomy. What that means is, going forward, decisions about the future services the RUH provide will be made in the RUH.

It's much more about working with our patients and the wider community and getting them to help us shape our future going forward.

– James Scott, Chief Executive, Royal United Hospital
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