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Swindon Town FC hoping for a deal over unpaid rent

Swindon Town Football Club say the cost of repairing and maintaining the County Ground should be a mitigating factor in their unpaid rent dispute with the council.

The club are looking to reach a compromise with Swindon Borough Council over more than £50,000 of unpaid rent for the grounds, for which they are due in court next month.

Swindon Town faces eviction if the outstanding amount is not payed. Credit: Andrew Matthews/EMPICS Sport

We are keen to come to some understanding with the Council on these arrears in light of these significant costs and are currently in active dialogue with them to agree on a pragmatic way forward given that, at heart, both parties have a mutuality of interest in ensuring a compromise is reached.

– Swindon Town Football Club
The club says the County Ground is expensive to maintain and repair. Credit: Jon Buckle/EMPICS Sport

The council have said an exception would be particularly difficult to make as it faces a budget gap of £2m for this year.

The council agreed it would not allow whoever owned the club to rack up huge debts, because in the past this led to it having to write-off large sums of money in order for the club to survive. We can’t afford to do that again.

– Swindon Borough Council Spokesman

This is not the first time Swindon Town have had financial troubles. Earlier this year the club was in arrears with the police over unpaid bills of tens of thousands of pounds for policing at matches.

WATCH: Getting into the panto spirit with tv stars Gaffney and Bissix

A big Christmas Eve tradition is a trip to the panto - and this year you're spoiled for choice in the West. From Jack and the Beanstalk at Yeovil's Octagon Theatre to Sleeping Beauty at The Everyman in Cheltenham.

This year in Weston-super-Mare, the Playhouse is staging its own production of Peter Pan, created for the first time by an in-house team.

A little earlier Ian Axton was invited backstage, where he bumped into some familiar faces. Dean Gaffney of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! and Eastenders, and Gemma Bissix of Hollyoaks and Eastenders.

£847 million to improve South West roads

Councils will be given funds to fix potholes. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Councils in the South West will get £141 million a year for the next six years to improve roads in the region - enough to fix 2.7 million potholes.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the funding was meant as an antidote short-term fixes.

Roads play a significant part in everyday life. Poorly maintained local roads, blighted by potholes, are a menace to all road users, particularly during the festive period as people travel to see family and friends ... This huge investment is part of our long term economic plan to ensure we have a transport network fit for the 21st century.

– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
  • Somerset 117,516
  • Gloucestershire 93,086
  • Wiltshire 86,444
  • South Gloucestershire 26,515
  • North Somerset 20,943
  • Bristol 20,317
  • Bath and North East Somerset 19,681
  • Swindon 14,613

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'Unfit' Gloucester dad completes Everest challenge

Watch the moment James Bottger completes his mammoth challenge of scaling the height of Everest in just 56 hours.

The 37 year old from Gloucester walked up and down Robinswood Hill a staggering 75 times raising money for three year old daughter Charlotte.

The welder set a target of £20,000 in order for his daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy, to have treatment in America:

Mary and Joseph get on their bikes in Bristol

Mary and Joseph make their way through the Cycling City Credit: ITV News

Bristol has hosted a nativity play with a difference. Members of a local theatre group and the Bible Society travelled through the city on bikes, performing the story, before the final scene in front of a large crowd on the harbourside.

Bible Society's research has found that 9 out 10 people don't regularly engage with the Bible. So we thought, 'Well, let's bring the Bible to Bristol

– Rachel Rounds, Bible Society

Jane Solomons went to see what all the fuss was about.

CCTV released of pet store robbery in Bristol

Can you identify these two men? Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Police have released this CCTV image of a robbery at the Pets at Home store in Bristol's Eastgate Shopping Centre.

It happened on 4 December when two men forced their way in and stole a large amount of cash.

Police are asking anyone who recognises them to come forward.

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