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New junction planned for M49 at Avonmouth

A new junction off the M49 at Avonmouth is part of the series of roads improvements announced by the Government today.

The junction is proposed for the area where Farm Lane - linking Severn Beach and Easter Compton - crosses the M49 motorway, south of the existing distribution park.

This new junction will help unlock growth in the Avonmouth/Severnside Enterprise Area - the largest brownfield site in Western Europe - opening it up and linking it to other key centres in the south west and nationally and delivering up to 14,000 new jobs by 2030.

“We are absolutely delighted with this announcement; it is the necessary catalyst for opening up the Avonmouth/Severnside Enterprise Area and delivering thousands of new jobs. We have worked closely with the Highways Agency on the plans, and together are determined to deliver this as soon as possible,”

– Colin Skellett, West of England LEP

West roads to get major upgrade

A303 at Stonehenge will go underground Credit: PA

Drivers in the West Country are set benefit from what's being hailed as the biggest upgrade to roads in a generation.

The Government has confirmed that it will spend more than £2 billion to include building a new tunnel at Stonehenge, upgrading the A303, dualling the A358 link road and the so-called, "missing link" on the A417 at Birdlip near Gloucester. There are also plans to improve Junction 23 of the M5 at Bridgwater and create batter access to Avonmouth from the M49.


Winterbourne promises neglected, says report

The former Winterbourne View care home in Hambrook, South Gloucestershire Credit: PA

Promises made after the Winterbourne View scandal have still not been met, according to an official report.

11 people were convicted for abusing residents at the South Gloucestershire care home in 2011.

As a result, ministers pledged to move people out of institutions and into the community by June this year but there has been little change.

We need to radically ramp up the rights of people with learning disabilities and their families. We need to ramp up community provision so that we can close institutions that hurt people rather than help them.

– Sir Stephen Bubb, report author

Ofsted: Somerset Children's Services 'inadequate'

Two of Somerset's Children's Centres were judged inadequate by Ofsted Credit: PA

Ofsted has published a damning report into the quality of children's services in Somerset.

The education watchdog says the county council is "not providing good enough support for its most vulnerable young people and families".

One third of the 39 places inspected were seen as less than good with six of them judged inadequate. Somerset county council says it will make urgent improvements.

We looked at provision for 13,500 children - that's the number of children whose lives are touched by those children's centres and both those centres were inadequate. So really quite shocking statistics in terms of the number of children who are not getting what they need.

– Bradley Simmons, Ofsted Regional Director


Opposition grows to Yeovil housing development

Plans for more than 700 homes on the edge of Yeovil are gaining opposition.

The site near Mudford is included in the district council's draft development plan for the next 14 years.

Villagers fear building the houses near Mudford will cause traffic problems and lead to flooding. A planning application is being processed and will be decided next year.

The West Country at Westminster

In this month's "The Westcountry at Westminster", Alastair Stewart is joined by Baroness Jolly from Cornwall, a Liberal Democrat peer and government whip in the House of Lords; Labour's Clare Moody who represents the South West as an MEP; and Rebecca Pow, a former journalist, who's hoping to take Taunton Deane for the Conservatives at the next General Election.

Up for discussion on the show - the Rochester by-election and what a UKIP win means for the other parties. Also, on a recent visit to Somerset Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg all but promised an improved transport infrastructure package for the South West. Business and council leaders want to see the A303 and A358 turned into dual carriageway. Plus, nearly one hundred years since the first female MP was elected, how have things changed for women in politics?

Only two arrested during this years' badger cull

Gloucestershire Police regard their reponse to the badger cull as a success Credit: PA

Gloucestershire Police are regarding their response to this years' badger cull as a success.

Operation Themis focussed on community policing as opposed to public order policing, like last year. Officers found that most people were co-operative and courteous because of this style of policing.

In 2013, the first year of the cull, 38 people were arrested. This year two were arrested and one was served a court summons.

We would like to thank everyone involved and directly affected by the badger cull for their help and understanding during what could be a very difficult time. Those directly involved or indirectly involved in the cull were helpful, co-operative and courteous to our officers. Their positive conduct was reflected by the fact that very few criminal incidents took place during the whole 6 week cull period.

– Assistant Chief Constable Richard Berry

Ed Miliband visits Swindon

Ed Miliband visits Tetronics International in Swindon Credit: ITV West Country/Bob Constantine

Labour leader Ed Miliband was in Swindon today where he hopes Labour can reclaim two seats at the next general election

He took a tour around Tetronics International which specialises in turning waste material into commercial products and is a big employer in the area.

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