08/11/2017 Points West


08/11/2017

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In Points West tonight:

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Welcome to BBC Points West,

with Liz Beacon and David Garmston.

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An acid attack murder trial.

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This woman is accused of throwing

acid at her former boyfriend -

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to stop him seeing anyone else.

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We heard how the victim ended up

asking a doctor to take his life.

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Our other headlines tonight:

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No place of their own -

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new figures suggest 8,000 people

in the west are homeless.

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The old soldier who won't give up -

Stan Tooze is still

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selling poppies aged 94.

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I don't feel the cold.

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Too young for that!

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And from Salisbury Plain

to the South Pole.

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We catch up with the Ice Maidens

chilling before their

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record breaking attempt.

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Good evening.

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A court heard today how a man

was left "grotesquely scarred"

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after his ex-girlfriend threw acid

over him as he slept.

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Mark van Dongen ended his life

in a clinic in Belgium,

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15 months after the alleged

attack in Bristol.

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His former lover is accused

of murder and throwing a corrosive

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substance with intent to harm -

charges she denies.

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Our Home Affairs Correspondent

Charlotte Callen is in

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Westbury Park tonight.

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For the first time today we heard

what is alleged to have happened

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here on Ladysmith Road in Bristol on

the 22nd of September 2015. The

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victim had moved here a few years

before they attacked and that they

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were a couple, they lived together

in this flat. That relationship was

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turbulent and competent catered --

complicated. The couple had

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separated, and Mark had got a new

girlfriend. We also heard that big

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-- the ex-girlfriend had threatened

the couple. He wanted the police to

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do something about it. At that time,

we also heard evidence from the

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prosecution claiming that she had

bought sulphuric acid online from

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Amazon, and also had been looking up

on the Internet acid attacks. In

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what was described as a shocking

video, the victim in his hospital

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bed outlined what he says happened

here that night. He says he had come

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here to stay and gone to sleep, and

that Ms Wallace had told him she was

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going to stay at a hotel. He woke

up, she was standing at the end of

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his bed, he claims that she laughed

and shouted, if I can't have you, no

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one will! She then threw acid over

him. He then left the flat and

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randomness Road shouting, I'm

burning, and asked for help. -- ran

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down this road.

What did the defence have to say

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today?

In what was described as an unusual

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case, the defence outlined their

side of things today. They claim it

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was the victim who put the acid in

the glass that night, and that he

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was going to try and poison Ms

Wallace. And that in a fit of rage,

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she had picked up the glass,

thinking it contained water, and

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threw it over him.

What is unusual about this case is

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that the alleged victim did not die

straightaway, what happened?

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That's right, what we heard today

was about Mark's catastrophic

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industries -- injuries as they were

described. He had lost one of his

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eyes, he was paralysed from the neck

down. He has claimed to have said

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his life was just not worth living,

he had phoned his father and said

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please can you send a private

ambulance to bring me back to

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Belgium, where euthanasia is legal?

When he got back there, three

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doctors assessed and said he was

suitable for euthanasia. And on the

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2nd of January, this year, his life

was ended. Ms Wallace denies both

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those charges, and the case is due

to last for three weeks.

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Thanks very much.

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Over 200 people attended

the funeral of the former

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Bristol Rovers chairman

Geoff Dunford this lunchtime.

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Mr Dunford passed away last month

after a long-term illness.

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Former players and managers joined

family and friends in Keynsham

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to pay their respects.

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He'd been involved with Rovers

for 30 years, saving the club

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from going out of business

in the mid 1980s.

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As a true Gashead,

I know what he means to me,

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and he's the first fellow

who believed in me enough to see

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someone bigger than just a lad

who worked hard,

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and I will be forever grateful.

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Geoff was a driving force behind

saving Rovers and doing

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what they needed to do at the time,

and I don't know if the fans

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know how bad it was.

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I feel very humble,

very privileged, and also

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I want to say to the family,

from the Bristol Rovers family,

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thank you for what you did for us.

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A very full life he led.

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More than 20 people are believed

to have been injured and one man

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is in a life threatening condition

after a collision involving a double

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decker bus in Bristol.

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Emergency services were at the scene

in Blackberry Hill after

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The FirstGroup bus collided

with a car yesterday afternoon.

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The 52-year-old car driver was taken

to Southmead Hospital.

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A public consultation is under way

which could see that sector me

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operations only carried out in

exceptional circumstances.

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There are around 150 men in Bath

and North East Somerset who have

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vasectomies each year,

and about six women who go

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for sterilisations.

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Now the NHS wants to save £200,000

a year by cutting the funding

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for these operations,

apart from exceptional cases.

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They also want to reduce the age

women can get IVF from 40-35.

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The GP in charge of making this

decision says the NHS isn't getting

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enough money to carry on providing

all services for free.

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This is a really tough discussion to

have, but this is the reality where

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we find ourselves.

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of where we find ourselves,

with the budget that we have

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not meeting the needs

that our population has.

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So, again, get on there,

complete the questionnaire,

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let us hear your views.

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So what would be

an exceptional case?

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Well, the NHS has not

yet made up its mind -

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it could mean they're free for women

with cancer, or who are obese

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and smoke who cannot take the pill.

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As you heard, they want your views.

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I visited a parent and toddler group

today in Bath, who had mixed

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opinions.

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I think the risk to people's health

of being on the contraceptive pill,

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and in terms of, you know,

risk of clotting, all sorts of other

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health risks of being on that,

that actually people might decide

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to go for sterilisation

because they are concerned

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of the risk to their own health,

and I feel really they

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should have that choice.

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They have got to make cuts

somewhere, and wherever

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they are going to make cuts it's

going to be tricky for whoever

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is going to be affected.

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So what could be the

implications of all of this?

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It could mean men having to pay £500

for a vasectomy for example.

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The GP in charge of the existing

service has told me he thinks this

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is yet another sign of the NHS only

being able to provide

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the essentials.

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He also thinks it could lead

to a rise in unwanted pregnancies.

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The vasectomy is a very effective

form of contraception.

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Some couples who are not able

to have a vasectomy in the future

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may use other forms of contraception

such as the pill or the coil,

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which are unfortunately less

effective at preventing pregnancies.

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People in the area have

until the end of December

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to make their views known to the NHS

either by phone, online or email.

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It's a chilly Wednesday evening,

so stay warm with us

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watching BBC Points West.

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And we've much more

still to bring you,

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including another

honour for the young

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soldier from World War One

who was incredibly brave.

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And the famous Bewick swans begin

to fly in to Slimbridge -

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is this the real start to winter?

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Ian's here very shortly.

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Last night was the coldest

of the autumn so far,

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which was pretty grim for anyone

without a roof over their head.

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Today a new report has said

the number of homeless

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in the South West has

now reached over 8,000.

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It's not just rough

sleeping that's rising -

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there are also many more people

in temporary accommodation.

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Paul Barltrop's been taking

a look at the figures

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and is at a shelter in Bristol.

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Good evening, there are 18 beds in

here, 17 shelters across Bristol,

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they will all be filled this evening

because more and more people are

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ending up on the streets. Many, many

more have been accommodated in

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places like bed and breakfast and

hostels. Let's look at some of the

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figures the charity Shelter say that

homelessness has risen up to 11% in

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the past year. The worst place as

Bristol, 2600 in temporary

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accommodation. 74 people sleeping

rough. It is followed by Swindon.

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And in Gloucester, the figure is 423

rough sleepers -- 400, with 23 rough

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sleepers. Let talk to Ben

Richardson. How much have you

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noticed this big increase over the

past few years?

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It has been hugely significant

recently. After a child -- arrow --

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fellow charities, we have

traditionally been at the Christmas

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shelter with thousands of

volunteers, at since March we have

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been running a shelter in the centre

of town with 15 beds. Money is

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tight, we are very reliant on money

to keep our doors open.

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There are ten or 15 times as many

people being accommodated

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unsatisfactorily. How much of an

issue is that?

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It is very significant, and it gets

much worse the longer people are

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hidden. Either time they are

visible, they have more issues and

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they are more difficult to help.

Charities have to step up and

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innovate. Caring in Bristol is

running very exciting projects,

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using rooms in the community with

volunteers. We are very interested

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in finding ways of getting people in

the community to help us.

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Thank you very much. One of the

striking things about this is it is

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not just in the cities, even in

rural areas there has been a big

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increase in homelessness. Have a

look at this report from Dan who has

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been to the relatively affluent town

of devices.

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This homeless charity

is serving up hope -

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as well as a meal.

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And it's much-needed.

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I think, in the mornings,

I just think, what's

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the point of getting up for?

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I mean...

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Now the weather is getting colder,

I don't know what I'm going to do.

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The arrival of bacon butties,

one of the ways the Open Doors

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charity provides welcome relief

from life on the streets.

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Right now I'm staying in a wooden

shed, and it's just,

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it's absolutely freezing.

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It's really, it's

diabolical, really.

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A lot of...

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What, just like a garden shed?

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Just like a garden shed, yeah.

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Across the West, the number of rough

sleepers counted by our councils has

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more than doubled since 2010.

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The next count takes place

in the coming weeks.

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Before people even end up needing

the help of homeless

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charities like this one,

next year the law will change,

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forcing councils like Wiltshire

to provide more help for more people

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more quickly than they do now.

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The change is already putting

pressure on council bosses.

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The homeless reductions act will

give us the requirement to actually

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look after people earlier.

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Up to now it has been

28 days, now it is 56.

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Now, just by the sheer numbers

involved, that is going to double

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the caseload we have every year.

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For Jen in Devizes, help

can't come soon enough.

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And where would you be

without facilities like this

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and charities like this?

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Well, to be fair, I'd probably end

up being dead, to be fair.

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I would have just gone over the top.

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But they have opened

their doors to everybody,

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and they don't judge anybody,

and they are just fantastic.

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Charities like this

one rely on donations.

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As winter draws in,

they also need coats,

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socks and sleeping bags.

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Help from the community

as well as the government.

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What amazing work those shelters do.

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A man from Wiltshire -

who's losing his voice due

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to motor neurone disease -

says new technology is helping him

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preserve his own voice.

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Jon Stephens has recorded hundreds

of words and phrases which he can

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then turn into messages to play

to people via a tablet.

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He's the first patient

at Swindon's Great Western Hospital

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to use the software.

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Here's Laura Jones.

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Back at hospital, a chance

for John to catch up

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with speech therapist Lucy.

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Hi, how are you?

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I'm all right.

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Good to see you again.

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The pair have been working closely

together for more than a year

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since John received his devastating

diagnosis of motor neurone disease.

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My speech had become

a little slurred, so I just

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went to the doctors,

who then referred me to the hospital

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where I was told I had

motor neurone disease.

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That must have been a huge shock.

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Yeah, it was, yeah.

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Motor neurone disease affects

the nerves in the brain

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and spinal-cord that

tell your muscles what to do.

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It can affect the way you walk,

talk, eat a drink and breathe.

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In John's case, at the moment,

it is affecting his speech.

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But thanks to some clever

new software, and a lot of hard work

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here at the Great Western Hospital

in Swindon, he is not

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losing his voice just yet.

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This piece of software

is called Model Talker,

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and John has spent more than 14

hours over two months recording over

0:14:550:14:59

1600 phrases onto it so that he can

continue to communicate with people

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even if his speech

deteriorates further.

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Our voice is our being,

isn't it, it's our identity,

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so to be able to give John

a replacement, albeit not

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exactly like his own voice,

but quite a close approximation

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to how he sounded, I think it's

fantastic and I'm so thrilled

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we are able to do this

here in Swindon for people, yes.

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Out of the hundreds of phrases John

has recorded so far, he reckons this

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will be his most used.

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A cup of tea, please.

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So you get them running

around making...

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Yeah, off they go.

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Make me a cup of tea.

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At the moment Jon is doing well,

and whilst there are no clues

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as to how his disease will develop,

at least he will be able

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to have a say about his future

using his own voice.

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For those of you watching last night

you'll remember the dad from South

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Gloucestershire who made a plea

for burglars to return his

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daughter's computer.

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Kellin, who is 13 years

old and severely disabled, relies

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on the device to communicate.

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Thankfully for the family,

after our programme last night

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a member of the public found

the stolen computer so police

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are able to return it.

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It is not yet known if it still

0:16:190:16:21

One man's been arrested and released

as part of the investigation.

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A blue plaque was unveiled

in Bristol today at the home

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of a 21-year-old soldier,

awarded the Victoria Cross

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for his outstanding bravery

during World War One.

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Hardy Falconer Parsons was a medical

student at Bristol University

0:16:320:16:36

when he volunteered to fight

and was enlisted.

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To tell us more about his gallantry,

we're joined by historians

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Jeremy Banning and Clive Burton.

0:16:420:16:47

Thank you for coming into night.

First of all, Jeremy, tell us about

0:16:470:16:52

this amazing man and his bravery in

World War I.

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He was a young junior officer who

went out in March 1917 with the

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Gloucestershire Regiment, and was on

the Somme in August 19 17. It was a

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critical position, really important

for the observation. The British had

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captured the Hindenburg line and the

Germans wanted it back. In the

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middle of the night, just after

3:15am, everyone else eat a retreat,

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but he stayed on and managed to hold

the Germans at bay by throwing hand

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grenades at them. A 20-year-old lad,

burned so badly in that moment that

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he later died of his wounds. But for

his bravery in saving the situation,

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he has been awarded the Victoria

Cross.

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He was a medical student, wasn't he?

Yes, and the Sun of a minister. A

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really interesting family. When you

look at his family history, you can

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see how much that sense of duty and

caring for others was passed down to

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not only him but his other brothers

as well.

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And Clive, today he was awarded this

blue plaque which went up in his

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honour. Why is that significant?

There were about eight Victoria

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Cross holders associated with

Bristol. Only about four were

0:18:090:18:14

actually born here. The government

has funded blue plaque stood go to

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the homes of where these people were

born. His commemorative stone went

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up to like Byrne in Lancashire. He

felt strongly that his blue plaque,

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there ought to be a service here in

Bristol to recognise where he lives,

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and people in the Redland area did

not know this Victoria Cross holder

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was living in our midst. The people

who came today to the unveiling were

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absolutely astonished.

He was so brave and so young, you

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can imagine the burns he would have

received from that flame. And then

0:18:540:18:58

his items were returned to his dad.

Yes, in a way you don't really want

0:18:580:19:06

to think about the state he would

have been in afterwards. All that

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was returned to his father was an

identity bracelet and a couple of

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wristwatches. And then the family

have said goodbye to him and never

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seen him again.

But there was an engraving, wasn't

0:19:190:19:23

there?

Yes, on the back of his cap adage.

0:19:230:19:28

-- hajj.

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Irene. We don't know who she was, or

what the connection was, we just

0:19:330:19:39

don't know. But it gives you an

indication of how sad that would

0:19:390:19:44

have been for her and the Parsons

family.

0:19:440:19:47

Thank you very much.

0:19:470:19:50

Now in Somerset another veteran,

this time of World War Two,

0:19:500:19:52

is doing what he can to make sure

the sacrifices of his generation

0:19:520:19:55

are never forgotten.

0:19:560:19:57

At 94, Stan Tooze braves

all weathers to sell poppies

0:19:570:20:01

in the run up to Remembrance Day.

0:20:010:20:04

And he has no intention

of stopping any time soon.

0:20:040:20:07

Our Somerset Correspondent, Clinton

Rogers, has been to meet him.

0:20:070:20:13

According to Stan, a hat's

all you need even if it did drop

0:20:130:20:16

below freezing last night.

0:20:160:20:18

Nothing deters this 94-year-old war

veteran from his outdoor day shift.

0:20:180:20:23

Thank you, Madam.

0:20:230:20:25

And so, on duty, as he is most days,

in a Taunton supermarket.

0:20:250:20:30

No, I don't feel the cold.

0:20:300:20:34

Too young for that!

0:20:340:20:37

I'd like to know

what your medals is.

0:20:370:20:39

Just the Second World War.

0:20:390:20:40

Modest as well - but always

the main attraction here.

0:20:400:20:44

Somebody asked for his

autograph the other day.

0:20:440:20:46

He gives us 100% support,

he is there for everything,

0:20:460:20:49

and come rain, wind,

sunshine, you know,

0:20:490:20:54

he is always there.

0:20:540:20:58

Stan Tooze was part

of the 6th Airborne Division

0:20:580:21:00

of the Parachute Regiment.

0:21:010:21:02

He saw active service

in Belgium towards the end

0:21:020:21:04

of the Second World War.

0:21:040:21:05

We went out to the Ardennes,

Christmas Eve...

0:21:050:21:09

Inevitably the memories

are still vivid.

0:21:090:21:12

One day, my mate was there,

one second, the next thing

0:21:120:21:16

he was knocked right down dead,

and I was still there.

0:21:160:21:22

It is why he feels a duty

to help raise money

0:21:220:21:26

for the Royal British Legion,

to honour the memory

0:21:260:21:29

of his fallen colleagues.

0:21:290:21:31

How long do you think

you will carry on selling poppies?

0:21:310:21:36

Well, 94...

0:21:360:21:40

Give it another six years!

0:21:400:21:42

At the very least, I'd say!

0:21:420:21:46

You are a trooper, and I'm sure

everyone is very grateful for the

0:21:520:21:55

work that you do. Our previous

guests put their poppy in this, an

0:21:550:22:01

ex-World War one shell.

0:22:010:22:09

After two years of getting ready

the Ice Maidens are in Antarctica

0:22:090:22:12

waiting for a snow storm to pass

to then start their bid for a place

0:22:120:22:16

in the history books.

0:22:160:22:17

The group of six women

soldiers have swapped

0:22:170:22:19

training on Salisbury Plain,

for the South Pole, to race

0:22:190:22:21

against the clock to try to complete

the journey in the fastest possible

0:22:210:22:24

time while finding out how women's

bodies handle conditions

0:22:240:22:27

on the challenge which so far has

only ever been done by men.

0:22:270:22:31

Lee Madan reports.

0:22:310:22:35

The Ice Maidens have hit

the ice in Antarctica.

0:22:350:22:39

And when the weather clears -

their mission will begin.

0:22:390:22:42

Our determination is unquestionable,

everybody wants to make sure

0:22:420:22:45

that we successfully complete

the expedition but also do it safely

0:22:450:22:48

so that the team finish in a good

state and we're all fit and well

0:22:480:22:52

at the end.

0:22:520:22:53

These pictures are from a recent

training expedition in Switzerland -

0:22:530:22:57

making sure they know how to get out

of crevasses and can last the 75

0:22:570:23:01

days it's expected to take to trek

coast-to-coast across the continent

0:23:010:23:06

via the South Pole.

0:23:060:23:11

After leaving Heathrow airport

and their loved ones 11 days ago -

0:23:110:23:15

the Ice Maidens headed south.

0:23:150:23:18

First to Chile - where they told

me on Skype just how

0:23:180:23:21

they're going to cope.

0:23:210:23:22

It's definitely going to be

repetitive and that's one

0:23:220:23:24

of the harder elements

of the expedition, is, you know,

0:23:240:23:27

day in day out your body aches,

you've still got to get up the next

0:23:270:23:30

day, whether you want to or not,

noone's coming to get you, you've

0:23:300:23:33

got to carry on with the journey.

0:23:330:23:35

Everyone's got different

ways of coping.

0:23:350:23:38

I like to break things down

into little sections.

0:23:380:23:40

You know, when I'm having a bad day

it might be hour by hour,

0:23:400:23:43

if I'm having a good day it might

just be the next day.

0:23:430:23:47

And we've got each

other to help as well.

0:23:470:23:49

The six soldiers are the first

all-woman team to take

0:23:490:23:51

on this challenge -

and will be monitoring

0:23:510:23:53

how their bodies change compared

to men's in conditions of up

0:23:530:23:56

to minus 40.

0:23:560:23:58

There's a really good

medical research element

0:23:580:23:59

towards Ice Maidens,

so we're going to be looking

0:23:590:24:02

at how our body consumes energy now

and then what it does at the end

0:24:020:24:05

of the expedition,

if that changes at all.

0:24:050:24:07

We've also got these sensors that

are detecting our heart rate,

0:24:070:24:10

our breathing rate, how hydrated

we are and that sort of thing.

0:24:100:24:13

So there's a lot of medical data

being captured and then there'll be

0:24:130:24:16

a lot of analysis done

when we're back.

0:24:160:24:18

250 soldiers applied

to become an Ice Maiden.

0:24:180:24:22

Gradually, they got whittled

down to the final six,

0:24:220:24:25

who have now spent two years

training for this moment.

0:24:250:24:30

The race to the finish line

is about to get under way.

0:24:300:24:34

Now, the much awaited first Bewick

swan of the season flew

0:24:410:24:44

into Gloucestershire earlier today.

0:24:440:24:45

It arrived in the Wildfowl

and Wetland Centre in Slimbridge

0:24:450:24:48

just before midday, making it

the second one in of

0:24:480:24:51

the winter season.

0:24:510:24:52

The mild weather across Eastern

Europe is thought to be the reason

0:24:520:24:55

for their delayed mass migration.

0:24:550:25:05

Beautiful birds, aren't they?

0:25:060:25:09

Well, Ian is up on the roof,

and Ian, is that cold weather

0:25:090:25:12

the swans are leaving behind set

to follow them here?

0:25:120:25:12

Thanks very much. Turning colder

over the migration route for those

0:25:160:25:21

swans out of parts of the tundra of

Russia over the next few days,

0:25:210:25:25

across Scandinavia your going to see

some unsettled in snowy conditions

0:25:250:25:27

as well. It was certainly a chilly

start this morning for us. A number

0:25:270:25:34

of you probably trying to find where

the icy scraper was. We would have

0:25:340:25:40

found a lot of cloud invading

overnight from the North West, weak

0:25:400:25:44

front bringing that, drizzly rain

for some of us to rain the first

0:25:440:25:49

part of tomorrow. Slowly conditions

will start to brighten up through

0:25:490:25:52

the course of the afternoon.

Comparatively mild. Here is a wider

0:25:520:25:57

look at how things are shaping up at

the moment. Those weak fronts moving

0:25:570:26:01

in from the North West during the

course of tonight. Some of the

0:26:010:26:04

drizzly rain, but then gradually the

cloud will break up as the afternoon

0:26:040:26:11

wears on, that process continuing

into the first-half of the following

0:26:110:26:14

night as well. For the rest of this

evening, clear skies remaining for

0:26:140:26:20

longest, the further south East you

are. Arts of Wiltshire and down into

0:26:200:26:23

Dorset. Conversely out into the

Northwest, cloud will thicken and

0:26:230:26:28

will lower through the course of the

night and reducing catchy outbreaks

0:26:280:26:31

of light rain -- introducing.

Temperatures will reach their

0:26:310:26:37

coldest weather clear skies remain.

It could be very chilly down in

0:26:370:26:42

parts of south Wiltshire, for

example. But by tomorrow morning

0:26:420:26:45

that process will be firmly arrested

fangs to the cloud cover and

0:26:450:26:50

generally milder conditions

prevailing over the course of

0:26:500:26:51

tomorrow. A few breaks in the cloud

during the first-half of the day

0:26:510:26:57

which will become more substantial

past lunchtime. So, temperatures

0:26:570:27:04

tomorrow ultimately as high as 14

Celsius in urban areas such as

0:27:040:27:10

Bristol. Any of you in the range of

11-13 Celsius. It will turn chilly

0:27:100:27:18

under clear skies for a while

overnight towards Friday, showery

0:27:180:27:21

rain to contend with first light on

Friday. Looking decent thereafter

0:27:210:27:25

until the night-time, with heavy

rain from the West.

0:27:250:27:28

until the night-time, with heavy

rain from the West.

0:27:280:27:29

Thanks, Ian. Don't mind it being

chilly if the skies are lovely and

0:27:290:27:34

blue.

That is just about where we have to

0:27:340:27:38

leave. There is an update at 10pm,

otherwise the whole team returns

0:27:380:27:42

tomorrow. See you then. Goodbye.

0:27:420:27:47

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