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Four-day protest begins outside Cheltenham's GCHQ

GCHQ in Cheltenham

A four day protest is expected to begin this morning outside the Government's monitoring centre, GCHQ in Cheltenham.

Police say they may close Hubble Road around the site to deal with the planned protest by the UK Anonymous group. The action is taking place against surveillance of the public by UK and foreign Governments.

Cheltenham Police are asking any residents with access problems to contact them on the day.

New 'planetarium' will take visitors back in time

One of the country's most important Roman sites is being brought to life, a hundred and fifty years after it was first discovered. Visitors to Chedworth Roman Villa in Gloucestershire, are getting the chance to experience it with a planetarium-style projection. The "discovery dome" has been developed by a student from the University of Bath.

John Tredinnick a researcher at the University says visitors will be taken back in time during the tour:


Wiltshire Police phone problems

Wiltshire Police are currently experiencing technical difficulties involving both their 999 and 101 call systems.

As a result all 999 emergency calls are being routed to Gloucestershire Police. However, all calls to their 101 number are not presently being connected to their call handlers.

Wiltshire Police are asking the public to only use the 999 number if your call is an emergency. For non-emergency calls, they say please do not call 101 as this service is temporarily out of use.

Bristol credit card firm wins Queen's Award

Mrs Mary Prior MBE JP, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol presents Creditcall 's Chief Executive, Peter Turner, with a Queens Award for International Trade 2014 Credit: Creditcall

A Bristol firm has been presented with the Queen's Award for International Trade..

Creditcall began in the city in 1997 and now employs more than 60 staff.

The firm provides safe technology for people to make payments - whether using a smartphone, vending machine, parking meter, ticket machine or desktop PC.

Creditcall's promotional video gives an idea about what the firm does.


Airbus at Filton signs £42 million research contract

Airbus at Filton receives £42 million investment Credit: Liam Creedon/PA

Airbus at Filton in South Gloucestershire today announced the signing of £42 million worth of research contracts which will be used for research into new materials for aircraft at the National Composite Centre.

The deal with UK Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) is a long term partnership between the Government and UK aerospace industries that will help keep the industry at the leading edge of global aerospace.

The contracts with the UK Government and Technology Strategy Board (TSB) are part of Airbus’ Wing of the Future development programme looking at the advanced technologies that will underpin future wing design and improving environmental performance and fuel efficiency.

Half the world’s advanced passenger jets are flying on wings made in Britain and to maintain that position as a global leader, we are investing £42 million into cutting edge Airbus-led research into designing, manufacturing and assembling wings.

– Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister

Bath Council leader expresses fracking concerns

The Roman Baths at night Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council has written to the Government expressing concern at the potential damage to Bath’s natural Hot Springs from fracking in the Mendips.

Councillor Paul Crossley has written to Energy Minister, Michael Fallon MP, to express the Council’s concerns about the process and the possible damage to the supply of water to Bath Hot Springs and the impact on Bath’s major tourist attraction.

He urged the Government to review its decision to grant a one-year extension to potentially explore and extract unconventional gas.

In his letter Cllr Crossley said: “The springs are the life blood of this city, which is cherished worldwide. In economic terms, the city and region rely heavily on a tourist industry which is worth an estimated £380m annually to Bath alone and which employs 10,000 people"

Anti fracking campaigners claim that the process can lead to pollution of the water table which could threaten the supply to the Hot Springs from the Mendips.

Taunton Station plan gets £4 million boost

Taunton Station will have a £4 million revamp Credit: ITV News West Country

The plan to refurbish Taunton Railway Station has received a huge boost with the announcement of a £4 million grant from the Local Growth Fund

Railway station project partners Taunton Deane Borough Council, Somerset County Council, Network Rail and First Great Western today welcomed the news which means the south side of the station complex redeveloped can now be finalised.

Leader of Taunton Deane, Cllr John Williams said: “The enhancement project will transform an ageing, tired and increasingly congested station into a proud, modern and welcoming environment for passengers, businesses and the wider public.

I am delighted with this news and determined that it will create a thriving new ‘quarter’ in Taunton, adjacent to the Firepool regeneration site where our plans are also coming together.”

New Airbus model touches down in Gloucestershire

The new Airbus A350 XWB visits Cotswold Airport Credit: Airbus Operations Ltd

The latest version of the Airbus has made its first visit to Britain and touched down at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire as part of routine certification tests.

The new Airbus A350 XWB was flown by London-born experimental test pilot, Frank Chapman, and is one of the four A350 test aircraft currently flying and undergoing rigorous testing before entry into service later this year. Captain Chapman said:

“The A350 XWB has significant UK input, as the wings and fuel systems are designed at the Airbus facilities in Filton, Bristol and assembled at the Broughton plant in North Wales, the engines are made by Rolls-Royce in Derby and the landing gear by Messier-Bugatti-Dowty in Gloucestershire.”

“This visit is part of the aircraft’s certification. Experts from the nearby Airbus Filton facility are playing a key role in supporting the fuel system tests.

“I’m immensely proud to be flying the first A350 XWB to land in the UK and look forward to this aircraft being a regular feature in British skies over the coming years.”

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