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Welcome to BBC Points West with Alex Lovell and Sabet Choudhury.
Our main story tonight: The contest for control.
Political parties in the region set themselves for a seven-week
We'll assess the day's events and look at the other
Also in the programme: The dog attack that's left a pregnant
woman and her husband needing hospital treatment.
The brakes go on at BMW at Swindon as workers stage a 24-hour strike.
And after a transplant funded by public donations,
this teenager makes his way back to school.
The rush is on across the West to prepare for a general
Political parties and election officers are having to move fast
after MPs confirmed today we will go to the polls on 8th June.
A third of the region's parliamentary seats changed hands
at the last election and there's sure to be plenty of close
Let's join our political editor, Paul Barltrop, who's
This is Chipping Sodbury. In the weeks to come, there will be a lot
of electioneering come. The Conservatives took the seat of the
Liberal Democrats last time, Thornbury and Yate. The second most
marginal Stroud in Gloucestershire. The Tories there been chased by
labour. Bath, the Liberal Democrats are the main challenges the. And
then Bristol East, the Conservatives might just fancy their chances.
Plenty of work to do for the parties, activists and candidates of
the next seven weeks. At the Liberal Democrat
office in Chippenham, Campaigning already
underway for May's local We were already prepared for the
game, you warm up for the match, and we have been ready since the
referendum. We are moving fast. Last year's Brexit vote was very
significant for both I joined a few days after the EU
referendum result. I have been a conservative voter before them that.
I have been a member of the party for 20 years. But this feels quite
different, a lot more bus and people coming forward. It is good.
Warming up for a summer election are Somerset's Conservatives.
They were already busy campaigning to keep control
A little bit shocked yesterday. I have been campaigning for the county
for a number of months now. We thought the time had gone for the
general election. In both contests, they face strong
challenges from the Lib Dems. We have had the county council
campaign up and going and we will use the same people, resources and
system. We are in a good place to launch a national campaign.
Others are still selecting candidates.
In Stroud, former Labour MP David Drew is considering standing
It is a surprise. I am not sure if it is good for Labour, but it is not
good for the country because I am worried we seem to be going on a
populist bandwagon and I do not think that is good for our
democracy. He knows party leader Jeremy Corbyn,
who last year came campaigning in Gloucestershire, isn't doing well
in the polls. It would be nice if we had lots of
people out, sticking up bunting and the rest of it, but it is not quite
like that election, it is taken up is on the hop, maybe the
Conservatives knew it was coming. Campaigning for local elections has
been underway for months. Spare a thought for the election
officials. They have got a real job on their hands.
With just seven weeks to go, electoral officers have told us it's
going to be difficult to secure some of the usual polling stations
But, of course, before the general election,
there's a very important contest to be decided here in the West.
There is a risk the all this excitement risks washing away the
local elections taking place on the 4th of May that they are really
important. The best part of 1 million people voting for a new
position. Voters are beginning to wake up to this now and receiving a
booklet this week in the post Bristol, Bath and Gloucestershire.
They have also had the polling cards. We will hold a debate tonight
in the science park with all the candidates. They are reversing some
of the technicals at the moment. This is the first time all six have
come together but this debate will be aired tomorrow, so if you are
interested in this election, that is the one to watch after the late news
tomorrow night on BBC One when all the arguments will be thrashed out
over this new job with big powers. We have met the candidates already
on our vintage bus, and the like, it is the turn of our last two, an
independent candidate and a Liberal Democrats.
Four candidates down, just two to go.
Their last leg of the tour took us to beautiful Bath.
I think it looked better painted orange.
Stephen Williams was the MP for Bristol West but lost
He was also a minister in the coalition.
We've got a great story to tell about both our cities
All it's lacked over the years is one person to sell it
to the world and to a better deal out of government as well.
Because I've got in-depth experience, and this is going to be
It's going to be bringing people together in the community
here in the West of England but it's also going to be up
in London frequently, meeting with the Prime Minister
and other key ministers, asking for what we need in Bristol
and Bath in terms of public transport investment and a better
What are you proposing when it comes to old railway stations?
I'm proposing, as a start, just to reopen four,
but I've met with Network Rail and they say that that is feasible
But, of course, what we need to do in the long run is complete
electrification so we can do so much more.
Will you take our quickfire Metro Mayor mini quiz?
The Metro Mayor will be able to call in planning decisions,
perhaps like the one to extent Cribbs Causeway.
Can you name the two anchor stores, at either end of them now,
The Metro Mayor will have responsibility for trains perhaps
Bristol Temple Meads, Lawrence Hill, Stapleton Road,
Who's the current manager of Bristol Rovers football club?
Our last stop was Bath's big neighbour and, in true Bristol
fashion, we were held up in traffic at the Brislington lights.
Appropriately enough, that was just what our final
candidate, John Savage, wanted to talk about.
There's lots to do and this is a starter, but we need to get
the three local authorities to get some idea of working together,
I've been trying for years, and to find something they can agree
It will probably start with transport.
You are talking about bringing back the tram at the time we're getting
I think the Metrobus is a great thing, it's been well done,
but it's very late, it's 20 years behind.
If we look to the future, thinking about what the place
will be like in 2050, then trams are an important part
of that, they have a longevity and an efficiency that
Will you take our West Mare quickfire quiz?
Our region has a proud heritage of manufacturing.
Can you name the Bath firm that makes the cranes
What was the number of the bus powered by human waste that plied
What was the name of the Channel 4 teen drama that was filmed almost
Oh, dear. Not Holby... Skins? And on that disappointing note, our grand
tour came to an end. The driver was already on overtime and I was out of
questions. Now it is up to voters to decide whether they want to get an
board the West's big election. I think Robin has got a format that
the new programme. And our Metro Mayor debate will be
on BBC One tomorrow at 10:45pm just Don't miss that or anything else
we have still to bring you on tonight's programme,
including a report from I will report on how Lamport is
hoping the grant will develop the River parrot and revive its
fortunes. And the present which took four days to wrap.
A heavily pregnant woman and her husband needed hospital
treatment after being attacked by two dogs in Wiltshire.
Emma Vickery began having contractions after two mastiff-type
dogs left her with multiple bite wounds at around 7pm yesterday.
We were hoping the dogs would sniff about and go away, but the nightmare
happened, and they started attacking us. The up your teeth marks.
It is a popular spot for dog walkers.
Yesterday evening, Sam and his wife, Emily,
were walking their chihauhaus when two mastiff-type
What happened next left them both needing hospital treatment.
They wanted those to ours out of our hands. They were constantly biting
us. We were screaming for help. We feared for our lives. It was a
horrible ordeal. They were charging at my stomach. At one point, I was
on the ground. I did not see how it was going to end.
Emily, 37 weeks pregnant, began having contractions,
This is where they came for the walk. It is one of the most
picturesque spots in the home of Wiltshire. The car park hundred
metres in that direction when the attack happened. From talking to
other Doug walkers, they may not have been the first. Something very
similar happened here just a day or two before. Our Doug was attacked on
Sunday. Walking around, two dogs came and attacked him. She put him
on a lead, made straight for her car and was gone.
Police are now looking for the owner,
described as a woman in her 60s who left the scene in a Mini.
Emily and Sam have been left shaken by the attack.
Their chihauhaus needed emergency treatment
They don't yet know if they've suffered any permanent injuries.
Staff at BMW in Swindon went on strike today
It's the first in a series of eight 24-hour stoppages by members
of Unite Union designed, they say, to encourage BMW bosses
Andy Howard has been on the picket line today.
Many of them have been here since 5am. That's when the walk-out
finishes tomorrow. Not just in Swindon bidden four other plants
across the country. They are waving their flags, honking their horns
about pensions. The message to BMW is clear, to remove their final
salary pension, a scheme many have been paying into for the entire
working life and replacing it with something else is not the raw water
were looking for at the end of it. This factory in Swindon didn't make
anything today because most of the staff walked out
for the first time Let's say his annual wage is ?30,000
- he would have been expecting But that pension plan has
suddenly been scrapped. Now, he says, he'd get more
like ?14,000 a year or even less If Trevor lives to 80,
he could be about ?120,000 worse I feel very disappointed. I feel
like the company has let me down. I have worked there for 36 years and
now they are trying to rob me of my retirement.
Today, the picket line was full of similar stories.
I stand to lose in excess of ?120,000 for my pension pot. I want
to retire with dignity and respect, and BMW should honour that.
Even the union's assistant General Secretary visited to add his voice.
We cannot accept that. Our people are being treated differently in the
UK than elsewhere. The company needs to sit down with us negotiate a
proper deal that will satisfy everybody, and unfortunately we are
a long way from that the moment. BMW'S statement said this type
of pension is "unsustainable and unaffordable in the long-term"
and they are changing it now to "protect existing and future
pensions and ensure long-term competitiveness
of the UK operation." Whether you think they're
masterpieces or not, there was no progress
on the production line here today. One of England's smallest towns,
Langport in Somerset, is bidding for hundreds of thousands
of pounds to help it become more It's applied for a grant
which could see floating pontoons As part of our 60th birthday
celebrations, we've asked famous And tonight, it's the
turn of Dragons' Den She's been finding out
what prompted Langport's bid. It was a major incident. The wettest
winter on record triggered an event on a scale no one could have
predicted. In 2014, large parts of the Somerset Levels spent much of
the winter under water. Villagers were isolated, homes evacuated and
the farming community in disarray. John Humphrys lives locally and took
on the challenge of cycling through the floodwaters. John, got to ask
you, why did you do it? I have a lot of spare time on my hands at the
moment and I had to be done. What do you think the floods did to the
community spirit? I think it brought people together in some ways.
Devastating for a lot of people. It made people look at other people's
problems and a lot of help within the community and outside as well.
Talking to people here, I get a real sense that the floods actually
revive the spirit of community, but the area has moved on and they now
face new challenges and are working together to overcome them. In the
face of cuts in public funding, the town council like many across the
West is stepping into balance the books. Langport is known for having
99% independent shops, mostly small businesses. We are trying to make it
desperate nations are more people come and spend money, helping
businesses to thrive. -- destinations so the town is turning
to the River parrot and ironically, as Brexit looms, the Europe to bring
revenue into the town. Today, this is a lovely tranquil scene, but in
the 1860s, this was a bitterly fought with goods being carried the
Bridgwater to Bristol from timber, coal, sort and bricks, but is going
up and down the river, but with the arrival of the railways, the traffic
on the waterways got less and less. But today, there are plans to
regenerate. The four Article 50 was triggered last month, a local group
bid for ?100,000 of European money to develop the water from here so
day-trippers can explore the River so anglers and local people can use
this fantastic stretch of water. One of the people involved is Mark
Fuller, and he has invited me and local business people onto his boat.
Lovely to meet you, Mark. It is a beautiful day on the river. If you
are successful in your bid for the EU money, what would you do with it?
The money's main gain is to allow people to access the river, and if
you look to the side here, you will see the disabled fishing base. We
hope to replace these with pontoons to allow safe access to the river.
You got tourists visiting the area. What would all of this mean? It is
another feather in the cap on another reason for us to get people
to visit Langport. There is the opportunity to reimagine it is a
place for visitors to come and enjoy, as a tourist attraction in
itself. Patricia Marx run the Somerset business agency offering
support and advice to local firms. She says the town can learn a lot
from other Somerset towns and villages. It is making the best of
its assets, and Langport has got the river, it has got the beautiful
Somerset Levels, and taking examples like broom, which has got the
market, a music venue, Bruton, the up-and-coming one. It has got lots
to do yet, and I am delighted that some of the stuff is coming forward.
I was born in Taunton in this county and really care about how it
develops. Langport has a real opportunity to shape its future.
What happens next here really matters.
And if you want to know how Deborah Meaden found
being a celebrity Points West reporter, then go on to our Facebook
The Somerset teenager whose potentially life-saving bone marrow
transplant had to be funded by public donations has
14-year-old Daryl Allinson from Frome had his first
transplant in 2015 but, when his rare cancer
returned a year later, the NHS turned down funding
Our Somerset correspondent, Clinton Rogers, who has covered this
story from the beginning, has the latest.
This isn't just any old return to school.
I am a little bit nervous, but mostly excited.
Small wonder - the last time Daryl was in a classroom was a year ago.
What he has been through, just to know that he is going back
to school again and being a 14-year-old and back
with his mates, I am just so proud of that boy.
It's been a roller-coaster couple of years for a teenager and a family
who refused to give up and defied the odds.
When the NHS refused to fund a second
bone marrow transplant, they said, these are difficult
decisions based largely on evidence of which treatments are effective.
Which left the family to launch a public appeal -
an appeal which raised more than ?80,000 for a second operation.
Now Daryl has recovered sufficiently to go back
Back among friends, just trying now to lead a normal life.
Not that it's that normal for a new student to be greeted
by a college principal on his first day at a new school.
I feel like I have got more energy, but still not enough to do full days
Yes, towards the NHS, and I always will.
I always will feel angry towards them.
To say no to my child or to any child.
Here, they're keen to ease Daryl back into full-time
And what better way to start than with maths?
I know going back to school 's hard work, but well done.
Now, you'll never guess what I've bought you!
It's just what you've always wanted - Concorde.
It had taken four people four days to wrap her up
to protect her from building work at her new home at Filton.
And today, the wraps were off and next is six weeks of maintenance
work and hopefully a grand opening this August.
I have already been to at least one barbecue. Tomorrow will be a starts
the with bright weather but the trend will be the cloud to increase
through the course of the morning. A few spots of light drizzly rain
embedded in that, not much of that though. Through the course of the
afternoon, a lot of cloud around but brighter spells possible. We have
high pressure across the top of the British Isles. That means any fronts
tend to be weak affairs. That will be the case tomorrow morning with a
warm front coming in, introducing cloud. The sign for light drizzly
rain. But of little consequence for those of you wanting reign of any
note. None of that around at the moment. A dry story done it. The
cloud has been increasing so the amounts of cloud will dictate where
we sit temperature wise. We could get as low as four Celsius. More
broadly, 5-7 C by first light. Some early sunshine around John the first
part of the morning. That will get squeezed up on the north is that
cloud increases. A little bit of light patchy drizzly rain. A number
of you will not see any of that at all. Through the afternoon, a fair
amount of cloud that they hope brighter spells. Temperatures
tomorrow 13 Celsius. They will climb up on Friday, drop on Saturday,
largely dry taking us to the end of the week.
the most that have ever voted for anything in this country,