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Welcome to BBC Points West with Alex Lovell and Sabet Choudhury.
The student nurse from Bristol who hasn't been seen
The police say they're becoming very concerned.
Also in the programme: With just weeks to go until the election,
we'll asses the impact on the Lib Dems after losing two
The scientists copying the power of nettles to ship
And everyone needs a cuddle - we meet Bristol Zoo's latest
The police say they're becoming very concerned about a student nurse
from Bristol who hasn't been seen or heard from in 12 days.
Friends and family of Anna Lewis are appealing for help,
saying she would often go off camping alone but
The 27-year-old was working at Southmead Hospital the day
she went missing and Scott Ellis is there for us this evening.
The police today have said this remains a missing persons inquiry so
there is no suggestion from anything they have said that there is any
criminality involved, nevertheless, some of the details emerging such as
the fact that Anna Lewis does not have a credit card or any money with
her, raises concerns, not just for the police but for her family that
are based in Dorset. She is living in Fishponds as a student nurse and
taking a student nurse degree through the University of the West
of England. But on the day she went missing, the 13th of April, she had
just finished a chef in the middle of the day here at Southmead
Hospital. -- finished a shift. The family and friends
of Anna Lewis say she loved the outdoors and -
on occasions - solitude. But she'd never go away this long
without getting in touch. She likes her own company,
she's been on trips away to Scotland Detectives searching woodland
in and around Bristol That will be extended
to her favourite areas in Scotland, Officers have had around
ten possible sightings of Anna from the public,
which have to be followed up. Today - as worries mount -
a direct appeal. Anna, I would appeal
to you if you are watching this, There's your family and friends,
they are all worried about you and so, if you are watching
this, please pick up the phone These CCTV pictures show Anna
leaving Southmead Hospital just after 12.15pm on Thursday
April 13th. She left the hospital
grounds nearer 1pm. Anna's a student nurse based
at the University of the West Police say Anna hasn't
got her mobile phone or a credit card with her,
raising more concerns Scott Ellis, BBC
Points West, Bristol. With the general election
just six weeks away, the Liberal Democrats have been
dealt another blow with the withdrawal of another candidate
in one their target seats. Currently, the West's parliamentary
map is almost all blue - And with the Tories doing well
in the opinion polls, they believe even those
are within their grasp. Labour face a tough task to hold
on to the three they have, However, they face a close
fight as Bristol West is the Green Party's
number one target. The Lib Dems hope to win
back the nine seats But they've had another setback
with their candidate in Bath now A week used to be a long
time in politics. But at the current feverish pace,
it feels much, much longer... This time last week Tim Farron
was in the West, talking up We did prepare, we have
prepared for the election, we have candidates selected up
and down the country. But two of those candidates
in key West Country seats Yesterday, in Yeovil,
Daisy Benson ended her campaign, saying she needed time to focus
on buying a house. Today - in Bath -
it was Jay Risbridger's turn. He wouldn't give an interview
but in a statement he said the timing of the snap election
was unexpected and that he needed to focus on moving his business
selling stationary. It came as a surprise
as he was tweeting about being out on the campaign trail
only last week. His Conservative rival saw it
as an unexpected gift... I do believe it's a shambles locally
- three candidates in two years... Don't parachute someone
in for a local dispute, frankly we need someone to provide
strong and stable government. If they can't do it at the local
level, how can they be trusted Candidate or not, the mood in
Lib Dem HQ today was still upbeat. The codename for their campaign
is all about rising from the ashes and they believe they'll take this
latest setback in their stride... The party is bigger than one
candidate and is more important But personally I am very gutted
because Jay Risbridger is a great man and a great campaigner.
However... The Lib Dems hope to
have a replacement candidate to sell They know - in elections
as fast-moving as this - no party can afford to lose any time
getting their message across. Robin Markwell, BBC
Points West, Bath. It is the last Tuesday in April, I
cannot believe how quickly it is going. You're watching BBC Points
West. And stay with us as the lots more to
bring it tonight including... To the races on to stop the closure of a
centre which cares for unwonted pulleys on Exmoor. And he nearly
broke the world record for running a marathon any shoe, he will be with
us shortly to bare his soul about why they did it.
Nettles and their sting have inspired scientists in Bath
to create a new way of transporting vaccines without having
The discovery could make getting vital medicines to remote
or dangerous places much easier, cheaper and safer.
Our health correspondent Matthew Hill reports.
Vaccines save milions of lives - but they only work if they are kept
Keeping them cool in hot countries can prove impossible.
In fact, almost a third of vaccine stock is lost because the proteins
they contain become unusable at room temperatures.
Things could be different, thanks to an idea from
I saw that the doctor removed the vaccination
from the fridge and injected her pretty much immediately.
I asked the doctor, do we need to eat it?
Does it need to be a little bit warmer?
The doctor said, no, it has to be cold.
A team have created a technique which can keep proteins intact
at very high temperatures, by encasing them in silica cages.
They looked to nature for their inspiration.
Nettles make use of nanoscale silica structures to sting
The scientists have managed to mimic this process.
A solution of silica is added to the protein solution found
in vaccines and stirred for 20 minutes.
It is then left to dry into a powder.
And this is the final stage in the process,
minute nanoparticles of silica encase the proteins.
The science is so new they had to invent a word for it.
This thing could be transported for miles and miles
The silica coat can be removed chemically, leaving
If we make this into a tablet, then patients will be able to eat
the tablet and then get vaccinated without even being injected.
Countries like Sierra Leone frequently lose medicine and
I was filming there a year ago with Dr Tim Brooks,
who took his team from Public Health England Porton
There are a lot of problems to go through to get it
through the regulators and to see that it can be made and work.
But at the moment, anything that can preserve a molecule in a way
in which it can still function in the body in the way that it
would do had it not been through the preservative is always
The team from Bath now have to find a pharmaceutical company willing
If it eventually comes to market, it could save millions of lives.
The UK should introduce a Minister For Refugees,
according to a parliamentary group headed by a Bristol MP.
The eight-month inquiry says refugees are welcomed well in the UK
So, how long have you been in Bristol now for? 14 years in
Bristol. How have you found it? Quite welcoming.
Forward was a journalist in Zimbabwe, then a refugee in the UK.
Now he helps others on a similar path.
Behind the word refugee, we are talking about people, we are talking
about people who can contribute to the city.
Provided they get the right support to learn english,
access healthcare, and settle - all recommendations
To highlight some of the things that we do within the sector and that we
are familiar with, but what is important is that that work is being
put together any single report that gives an idea of the challenges that
refugees face. He was a refugee in 1972, when his
family was expelled from Uganda. His warm welcome here
stayed with them all. They were that we felt that we could
give something back and that is what we have done, we have started our
own business. My father never liked the benefit system, and a sense of,
what is this? Likewise, Syed, who's been
in the UK for 25 years, and he still remembers his
most famous customer. Prince Charles came here? Did he buy
anything? He said he did not have any money, only credit.
Syed prefers to help those without - like refugees.
They are suffering from disasters, that is why they come here. They are
welcome, if we do not help them, where do they go?
Many go to refugee camps, especially displaced Syrians,
around 70 of whom have made it to Bristol under the government's
This is a scheme whereby everything, more or less, is taking care of and
who come into this supportive atmosphere from us telling their
that there is a new family coming here, to English support,
individuals abroad. -- individual support.
And so they're more likely to settle and integrate.
But those who don't qualify face a harder journey.
Today's report is aimed at making that easier.
Earlier I spoke to Thangam Debbonaire, the Labour
MP for Bristol West, who chairs the all-party group
I began by asking her how a new Refugee Minister could help
A Refugee Minister could resolve it by working with the Department for
Work and Pensions, across the Home Office, with the Department for
Education to correct the bureaucratic and administrative
errors that have crept into the system and make it difficult for the
refugee to integrate quickly, we are talking about refugees whose status
had been granted. There are all Greasby holes and problems with the
system, but is that not what needs attention at the moment? It has
cross-party support, so it should be possible to change. Yes, it should
be and we know but we need to change. The national insurance
number should arrive with the notice that you got the status of being a
refugee so that that person can get on the booking for a job
straightaway. The residence permit also that allows them to know where
to above, without those two documents people left in limbo. They
want to integrate and get on with advice and contribute to this
country but they cannot both of those things coming at once. It is
fairly straightforward to change. With Brexit, many people voted for
that with immigration at the back of the mind, does go public opinion? I
do not think so, because I think as British, we are naturally hospitable
to people fleeing persecution. If you ask the average Brit do you
think it is fair that we help people who have fled persecution and war
and who need our help and want to contribute, because they want to do
that, and very often they want to go home as soon as the war is over in
the country, I think most Brits would agree that is the right thing
to do and I think most would agree we need to help make the system
works so they can get on with integrating as quickly as possible.
OK, Thangam Debbonaire, thank you for joining us. Thank you.
A centre which cares for unwanted Exmoor ponies and saves them
from slaughter says it may have to close in the summer
The Exmoor Pony Centre is launching a public fundraising campaign
and is warning that, if it has to close, ponies
on the moor may once again have to be shot.
If it weren't for this sanctuary these, Exmoor ponies would probably
have ended up being slaughtered for horse meat.
Well, it would be devastating, it means absolutely everything to me
here. But now the future of this place
is under threat as it It's losing thousands of pounds
and time is running out. It is pretty critical at the moment.
That is due to a lack of funds and we are finding ourselves in the
position where we will have to close at the end of the summer if we
cannot find the extra income. The Domesday Book has
references to ponies on Exmoor They've had a chequered history,
almost becoming extinct in the Second World War
when soldiers used them And it's the gun that
probably would have been the fate of these ponies -
breeders who have no use for male foals often slaughter them if no
alternative home can be found. This centre on the edge of Exmoor
has been that alternative home for around 300 ponies since it
opened 11 years ago. Here they tame them and move
them on to new owners. Volunteers who support the place say
they fear for the future of unwanted Exmoor ponies if this place
is forced to shut down. To see the ponies from falls grow
into adults and go on and happy future, you know, it is just
fantastic. There's no plan to kill these horses
even if this place does close. The centre says they will be
taken care of - somehow. But there will be no new intake -
survival of the next Clinton Rogers, BBC
Points West, Exmoor. Now before we get to June 8th,
there are other very important elections across the West -
local elections for new councillors in Somerset, Wiltshire
and Gloucestershire. The Conservatives have more county
councillors than all the other But all that could change in nine
days' time, with the result giving a good indication what might happen
in the forthcoming general election. Over the next two nights we'll be
looking at the picture in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire,
but first our political editor Leaders of the four parties
on Somerset County Council John Osman's Conservatives
are in charge. They're proud of their
record on council tax though it's risen
two years' running. It is difficult, it is well
documented, we have had our services and budgets reduced by ?120 million,
but we have focused on the key areas, adult social care, children's
social care, highways, transport, we have worked hard to bring new
businesses into the county. They are big rivals, the Lib Dems attack the
cuts but they would have had to have slashed spending. Bus services,
libraries, highways, adult social care particularly is a huge issue.
If you had been running it you would have had to have cut spending as
well. We would have made very different choices. There is no big
pot of money, it is a question of priorities and powers would be
extremely different. The Tories and Lib Dems have long dominated the
council Chamber, Labour hopes of increasing their seats are not
helped by the poor poll ratings for their party leader. We have
traditional heartlands in Wellington, some parts of Taunton
and Bridgewater, but it has not been a good area for many years for us
and nationally it is a tough time. But we think we have good candidates
who are talking about issues that people are interested in. Four years
ago Ukip media breakthrough winning their first seats but this time they
have not found as many candidates. A lot of our membership is elderly,
others are at work and have full-time jobs and they do not have
the time and commitment to stand for county council. It is almost a
full-time job. With two elections coming up, the politicians will
continue to debate, but will voters be interested? Yes, because it
affects our local services. Not terribly this time around, it is all
too much. Explain. With the general election going on as well, it is
just a bit too much. The contest for the county council is being seen as
something as a dry run for the general election by the two parties
that dominate politics here. The Lib Dems hope they can push back the
Tories on the 4th of May and on June eight. Paul Barltrop, BBC Points
West, Taunton. Tomorrow, Paul will be reporting from Wiltshire.
The politicians are going to have to pace themselves in the weeks
to come and our next guest knows all about how to do that.
He's Martin Pearce from Westbury in Wiltshire.
Last weekend Martin just missed out on breaking a new world record
for being the fastest person to run a marathon dressed as a shoe.
But we think Martin Pearce is still worthy of the title
"Shoe-perman" for his incredible effort in the London Marathon.
He did it all to raise money for Children's Hospice South West
and he's decided to give his marathon medal to a very
Why this? I was 15 and another shirt and I normally do an event for
charity once a year, but I thought I would do a whole suite of events. --
I was 50. I wanted a world record. Rather charity point of view I
wanted to raise awareness and also raise lots of funds. This is
fantastic, even like viewers will notice we do not have the sofa
because it is just not comfortable to sit down in. How is it to run on?
It is interesting, I have had it since January, I run with my arms
inside as you can probably see. That means I cannot take things, I have
to run with the backpack and I have to run inside, I can put jails and
things. Comfortable and self-sufficient. White mac that must
be quite hard, running with your arms at your side. If it was easy,
lots of people would do it. You have raised a of money. Yes that
is correct. It is quite a feat. We will have them all coming in.
Martin, why did you decide to give you a medal to Sophie?
Her father contacted me and I have worked with Paul for a number of
years and I have seen the benefit that both Paul, faith and Sophie
received from the Children's Hospital Southwest. That was one
reason to do that charity. I wanted to see where the money went.
Obviously, Sophie has been unwell, she is in hospital today. I will go
up there to give for the medal. I thought she was more deserving than
I am. I think that is amazing. We have a
little surprise for you. If you would like to look at that monitor,
there is a message from this. Hello, Martin, myself and so they want to
thank you for giving her your London Marathon medal, it is a really kind
gesture and thank you so much for raising money and awareness for this
hospice. That must make it all the worthwhile. I was on a few tears
with contacting them. Especially before the marathon. I am beginning
to go again. Sending lots of love to the whole family.
For people, like myself, who has never run a marathon, what is it
like to do that and no... All of your effort is going to a good
cause? It is one of the things that keeps you going. Half the way
through I was feeling OK. I promised my wife if the record was not on
ABDS off and stop it. But with several miles left to go, you
question what you are doing it for and it is the Dr Zogby and the other
children and the farm and was this that keeps you going. You know you
are doing it for a reason. I can recover, my blisters will go and my
aches will go. They are still living with it. Hopefully they will be out
of hospital soon. Thank you so much. It is in pretty good nick. It is
serving me very well, it is looked after, believe me.
Thank you for joining us, Martin. Thank you.
Finally - Bristol Zoo have released the first moving pictures
The baby gorilla or infant - who so far doesn't have a name -
Laura Jones has been along to the zoo for us to find out more.
And facilitating in this strange new world. We do not know whether it is
a boy or a girl but mother and baby are doing well. It is really
special, we are really pleased that mother and infant are doing so well.
Guerrillas are an endangered species out in the wild they are very rare.
Breeding them for us is really important. Last year, the baby at
the headlines at the zoo when she was born by Caesarean section and
had to be hand reared. Thankfully, the birth was a lot less hairy, so
there is able to do exactly what it should be doing, getting plenty of
snuggles and naps with Mama. but today there was snow
across some parts of the West. Look at some of these pictures
you sent us this afternoon. Snow in Gloucester, Bristol
and Weston supermare. Is this unusual?
Sometimes it snows in April, so sign Rounds. These are the cold snaps,
not unusual at this time of year, but it is certainly not a common
sight to see snow getting this far south and that you have said, under
those heavy showers. Let me take you through the forecast. In many
respects, it will be a similar day, again we will start off with the
chilly start, or at risk of frost. Any morning, it is looking
effectively dry and bright, so as you get through to the afternoon
there will be a risk of showers again. More predominate out towards
the east, so the distribution will be subtly different compared to
tomorrow. There will be a number of you who will actually enjoy a dry
day from start to finish. Probably a fair amount of sunshine around.
Things shape up, we are still locked into this especially chilly northern
level, which, of course, has been set, will be at the sunshine, as you
would expect for this time of year, it does not feel like mid-January
for example, but nonetheless, it will continue at pace through the
course of tomorrow with four per showers. So, for the time being, we
are seeing some lengthy, dry, sunny phases, it will take a while this
evening for those that finally died and then we are in for a dry night,
one with varying amounts of cloud but it is unclear whether as well.
Once again, temperatures will drop quite markedly, so we will get down
to freezing in some areas, perhaps a degree or so below and that means
there is the risk of frost which must be taken seriously for the
gardeners and growers amongst you. As we head through to tomorrow
morning, looking a dry and sunny start, there will be some cloud
around and as the day wears on, you will see that by mid-afternoon the
showers will appear. Unlikely to seasonal tomorrow, he'll is
certainly possible, temperatures tomorrow brought around ten, 12
Celsius, that's it for me. Thank you, Ian. That is all from us.
See you later. Goodbye.