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  1. Updates on Thursday 11 June
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather on Friday

Live Reporting

By Matt Pengelly and Chris Ellis

All times stated are UK

Get involved


That's all from the BBC Local Live team for today.

We'll be back on Friday with a full round up of the day's news, sport, travel and weather. Have a good evening.

'Family week' proposal to aid tourism

Tourism leaders in Cornwall say they want the government to give parents of primary school children a 'family week' in early summer, to enable them to take holidays together and boost the tourism industry.


It's claimed the region has lost £87m since the last government toughened up the rules to stop parents taking their children out of school in term time, but ministers say almost 200,000 fewer pupils are regularly missing school compared to five years ago.

The head of

Visit Cornwall Malcolm Bell said: "If you shuffled a few days and created a 'family week' in May, June and July - staggered across the country - you wouldn't have to lose a day of education."

Housing provision 'needs reworking'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall Council has been told to rework its plan for the county's future after a government inspector said it needs to look again at how many houses should be built.

Planning inspector Simon Emerson says the housing target of more than 47,000 properties needs to be adjusted using the latest government predictions and must reflect pressure from second home owners.

He also says the local plan needs to be clearer about how it would support economy.

Latest headlines

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

The top stories on

BBC Local Live: Devon & Cornwall:

  • Representatives of the gypsy and travelling communities have accused a Plymouth MP of "whipping up hatred" for saying many travellers were wealthier than MPs
  • Firefighters on Scilly are working to contain a spillage of 100 litres of Sodium Hydroxide at St Mary's Harbour
  • An MP says lessons have been learnt following the
    death of a baby from Cornwall who, an inquest heard, could be alive if he'd been admitted to hospital
  • Newly-appointed
    Plymouth Argyle manager Derek Adams has said he is expecting a "terrific journey" with the club.

Police puppies

Devon and Cornwall Police

tweets: Three new puppies welcomed to the Force puppy programme.

Police puppies
Devon and Cornwall Police

Heavy, thundery rain tomorrow

David Braine

Weather forecaster, BBC Spotlight

Tonight there is the continued threat of thundery showers mainly affecting southern or western areas. Drier elsewhere with clear spells and milder than of late. Minimum Temperature: 11 Deg C (52 Deg F).

weather graphic

Friday: Sunny spells for many areas but with the continued threat of isolated thundery showers. Feeling very warm and increasingly humid and misty. A band of heavy, thundery rain pushing north by evening. Maximum Temperature: 23 Deg C (73 Deg F).

Chemical spill 'risk to environment'

More than 800 litres of sodium hydroxide has spilled into the water and on to the quayside at St Mary's Harbour in the Isles of Scilly, said Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.

One-hundred litres are currently in the water and 700 litres on the quayside.

The substance is corrosive and poses a risk to the environment, said Guy Herrington from the service. Two crews from St Mary's and a crew from St Martin's are at the scene and working with the Environment Agency, Public Health and Devon and Cornwall Police.

PM announces Ebola medal

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

A medal "will pay tribute" to thousands of people who helped tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Prime Minister has announced.

Ebola medal

David Cameron said: "The Ebola outbreak was one of the most devastating epidemics of our generation but we managed to stop its spread thanks to the hard work of British people who travelled to West Africa. They put themselves at considerable personal risk and we owe them a debt of gratitude."

The medal will be awarded to military and civilian personnel, with the first issued this summer.

'Lessons learnt' in baby death

Julie Skentelbery

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

A Cornish MP says lessons have been learnt from

the sad case of a Cornish baby who died from septicaemia.

William Mead. Pic via the Mead Family
Via the Mead Family

Yesterday a coroner recorded a verdict of 'death by natural causes' on William Mead - the inquest heard his death could have been avoided if he had been admitted to hospital when his mother called an out-of-hours helpline.

The Truro & Falmouth MP Sarah Newton co-chairs the

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sepsis - she said the case was "completely heartbreaking" but "sadly it was not an isolated case" and the condition affects all ages. She said staff were being made aware of the condition and lessons locally have been learnt with "no stone being left unturned".

Roads blocked

BBC Travel

  • At Starcross the A379 Strand is closed in both directions between Staplake Road and Royal Way due to emergency repairs.
  • On Budshead Way in Plymouth we have received reports of an accident near Crownhill Road.
  • Another accident is reported in Bideford on Clovelly Road we have received reports of an accident near Moreton Park Road near the petrol station.
  • On the A38 northbound at Buckfastleigh one lane is closed because of a broken down vehicle between Lower Dean and Dartbridge Junction.
  • On the A30 eastbound around Zelah there is slow moving traffic.
  • And accident has just been reported westbound on the M5 between Cullompton and Honiton, junctions 28-29.

Babysit request led to stabbing

Patrick Clahane

BBC News Online

A man has been jailed for stabbing his ex-girlfriend seven times in the chest and back after being asked to babysit.

Gareth Meek
Devon and Cornwall Police

Gareth Meek, 23, was sentenced to nine years in prison at Exeter Crown Court for almost killing Talia North, 21. Meek, of Pathfields, Uffculme in Devon, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent with a kitchen knife.

He admitting being angry about being asked to babysit three days after splitting up and stabbed her in front of her brother and his own mother.

MP's traveller claims 'unfounded'

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

A charity working on behalf of gypsies and travellers has disputed claims made by a South Devon Conservative MP.

Gary Streeter

Gary Streeter told a parliamentary debate that many travellers were wealthier than MPs and suggested they caused disruption.

Friends, Families and Travellers said his claims were "completely unfounded" and he was "whipping up hatred".

Chiefs stars shine for England

Exeter Express & Echo

Exeter Chiefs' Sam Skinner and Jack Innard helped England under-20s through to the semi-finals of the Under-20s World Championships, reports the

Exeter Express & Echo, despite the 30-18 loss to France in their final pool game.


Skinner came off the bench to replace Harlequins' Kieran Treadwell on 50 minutes and Innard followed him onto the pitch 20 minutes later when he was substituted on for Yorkshire Carnegie's Jack Walker.

England will now face South Africa in the semi-final on Monday, which is a repeat of last year's final.

Benefit cheats warning

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

A council has warned people who commit fraud by claiming benefits they're not entitled to, could face prosecution.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Torbay Council's David Morris said: "Benefits exist for people who have a genuine need and dishonestly failing to notify us about a change in circumstance is a prime example of defrauding the public purse."

In 2014-2015, the authority's fraud team investigated more than 492 cases of suspected fraud, 106 cases were either prosecuted or sanctioned and £203,249 of fraudulent housing and council tax benefit overpayments were identified.

Adams' plans for Argyle

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

The new manager of Plymouth Argyle says his main focus is to get the team out of the division and get the club back to where it believes it belongs.

Derek Adams
Getty Images

Derek Adams has

taken over from John Sheridan. Argyle Chairman James Brent said Derek was the unanimous choice of the board, adding: "We had around 100 people interested, we longlisted 18, shortlisted that to six and we're absolutely delighted that Derek is now joining us."

Isles of Scilly chemical spill

BBC Radio Cornwall

Fire crews are working to contain a chemical spill in St Mary's Harbour.

They are using gas tight suits and breathing apparatus to contain the spill of sodium hydroxide, said Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service. The area has been cordoned off while teams work to clean up the spill.

Specialist officers attended fire control in Truro to advise and firefighters from St Martins also helped with the spill.

Latest headlines

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

The top stories for

BBC Local Live: Devon & Cornwall:

  • A medal that will recognise the bravery of thousands of people who helped to tackle Ebola in West Africa has been revealed
  • Businesses in the South West want more flexibility in letting children go on holiday during term time, after industry figures show the region's lost £87m from the so-called 'Gove effect'
  • Former Ross County boss
    Derek Adams has been named as Plymouth Argyle's new manager
  • A Devon Conservative MP has sparked controversy after telling colleagues that most travellers are wealthier than members of parliament

Aussie centre signs for Raiders

BBC Sport

Plymouth Raiders have

signed Australian centre Auryn MacMillan, who becomes their fifth signing of the summer.

Getty Images

The 28-year-old, who can also play as a power forward, was recommended to head coach Jay Marriott by fellow new Raiders signing Daryl Corletto.

Hash tagged

Exeter Express & Echo

A large cannabis farm has been discovered by police at an industrial unit in East Devon, reports the

Exeter Express & Echo.

Devon & Cornwall Police

Police were called to the unit in Dunkeswell at 1:30am on Monday the 8th June 2015 following a report of suspicious activity.

On arrival officers discovered a large hydroponic set up containing a substantial cannabis grow within one of the units.

Government defends 'The Gove Effect'

BBC Spotlight

The government has defended the so-called 'Gove effect' - where parents are fined for taking their children out of school during term time - after tourism bosses claim it has had a "devastating" impact on local businesses.


The Department for Education said: "Allowing pupils to regularly miss school can be hugely detrimental to a child's life chances. The most recent annual figures show we are making progress, with almost 200,000 fewer pupils regularly missing school compared to five years ago.

"This government will be giving all schools the freedom to set their own term dates and we have made it clear that schools should consider the impact on local businesses when doing so. We have consulted with representatives from the tourism industry."

Seagull menace - your views

via Facebook

News that brightly coloured flags are being used to scare away predatory seagulls from the harbour in St Ives has prompted many comments on the

BBC Radio Cornwall Facebook page.

  • Mark Digby says: I've had a pasty snatched from my hand even before taking it out of the bag (in St. Ives), and I've been downloaded upon a few times, but I wouldn't wish the gulls any harm, as, like all living creatures, they have as much right to be on this planet as humans.
  • Tamsyn Cleave comments: I had an egg sandwich swiped from my hands from the harbour in St Ives, on my birthday too! Once they get used to the flags they'll be all over those pasties once again!
  • Phil Starkey complains: If people didn't feed them in the first place it wouldn't be such an issue.
  • Gill Harte believes: The gulls were here long before the tourist trade. They are a protected species. Live and let live I say.

Gulls takeover latest

Torquay Herald Express

The proposed takeover of Torquay United is now in the hands of solicitors with a formal announcement of the new regime expected after the weekend, reports the

Torquay Herald Express.

United's commercial manager Dean Edwards, who has been heading up the consortium of Gulls' supporters seeking to buy the club, said: "It will take a few days for the solicitors on both sides to do their work, and we're hoping to make a proper announcement early next week."

Rugby star charity match

Ross Ellis

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

A charity rugby match has been organised to raise money for the people who helped a former Fijian rugby player with strong links to Cornwall.

Sereli Matavesi is paralysed from the neck down following an accident and his rugby-playing sons Joel, Josh and Sam will be joined by a host of international stars for the game against a Camborne XV on Saturday.

Read more about the match here.

Camborne RFC

Camborne RFC has

tweeted this picture, saying: @samuelmatavesi7, @Richiekev and @joelmatavesi show off the specially commissioned shirts for the big match!

Lift drama

BBC Radio Devon

Two fire engines were called out after

two people became stuck in a lift on Brook Street in Tavistock following a power cut.

A man and a woman were released uninjured.

Ebola medal revealed

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

A medal that will recognise the bravery of thousands of people who helped to tackle Ebola in West Africa has been revealed.

Ebola medal

It is expected to go to more than 3,000 people who travelled from the UK to work in high risk areas.

Falmouth-based RFA Argus - which had 380 crew, medical staff and service personnel on board - was part of the aid effort.

Thousands turn out for roadshow

BBC Spotlight

Thousands of people have brought their valuables to Plymouth for an expert valuation from the BBC's

Antiques Roadshow team today.


Filming will continue at the event at

the Royal William Yard until about 19:00 - there'll be more on BBC Spotlight at 18:30 tonight.

Benefits survey

BBC Radio Cornwall

All 10,300 Cornwall Council tenants are being urged to update their household details in preparation for changes to their benefits.

A census called

'Everyone Matters' this month will require all households to let the housing service know what help they need to be ready for the introduction of Universal Credit.

Tenants will be asked to update their personal details, indicate if they have access to the internet and inform Cornwall Housing of what help they might need.

Bere Alston Primary School celebrates 350th birthday

BBC Radio Devon

A West Devon school is celebrating its 350th birthday today.

Bere Alston Primary School. Pic: Google

Bere Alston Primary can trace its history back to 1665, when a school for boys was opened by lawyer and Parliamentarian Sir John Maynard.

Staff and pupils are marking the anniversary with a special open day with memorabilia from ex-students on display.

McGuigan signs new Chiefs deal

James Law

BBC South West Sport

Exeter Chiefs full-back

Byron McGuigan has signed a new one-year contract extension with the Premiership side.

The 25-year-old

joined in November and made 17 appearances as Chiefs
narrowly missed out on a top four spot.

Byron McGuigan
Getty Images

"I'm very happy to be staying. I really enjoyed last season, I love being part of the club and I always wanted to stay here," McGuigan told the club website. "Knowing I'm here for another year at least, I can get my head down and focus on getting into the first team again."

Pieface eats pies

Plymouth Herald

Plymouth Big Brother contestant Pieface was set the task of eating pies to win freedom from the kitchen and help gain a luxury shopping budget.

Channel 5

The Plymouth Herald has

complied this handy photo gallery to show what happened next.

Where next for Barry Hayles?

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Former Fulham and Jamaica striker Barry Hayles has been

released by Truro City after his third spell with the club.

The non-league side's manager Steve Tully paid tribute to the 43-year-old, who helped them win the Southern Premier League play-offs last month.

Barry Hayles
Truro City FC

And after a 26-year career on the biggest, and smallest stages, he still has a lot to offer, according to Tully. "I'm sure he'll be out there playing somewhere because he's got the bug to play football," he told BBC Sport.

Rain coming in

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

It'll be mostly dry at first this afternoon with some bright or sunny periods, but isolated and possibly thundery showers will develop. It will feel warmer, but moderate east or northeasterly winds will continue to be fresh or locally strong around the south coast and over high ground.


Tonight there is a continuing chance of scattered, heavy thundery showers. However, many areas will remain dry with some clearer periods possible. Light or moderate east or northeasterly winds will continue to be locally fresh or strong close to the south coast. Min Temp 12C (54F).

Loneliness warning for elderly

John Danks

BBC Spotlight

People working with the elderly in rural areas of Devon and Cornwall say loneliness is getting worse.


Ninety-five year old Les from Horrabridge told me he'd be stuck at home staring at four walls if there wasn't an elderly drop-in group he could attend. Watch my report on Spotlight at 18:30 on BBC One.

Spitfires fly in

Laurence Reed

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

A team from Truro City Council are installing two quarter-size Spitfire models on one of Truro's busiest roundabouts.


The Spitfire frames on the Trafalgar roundabout will be filled with flowers to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Parks manager at Truro City Council Richard Budge said: "One of the reasons we've done it is because we're in the national 'Britain in Bloom' top six finals this year to become the best UK entrant, so we're giving it our best shot."

Tourism 'devastated' by 'The Gove Effect'

BBC Spotlight

The move to fine parents for taking their children out of school during term time, has been "pretty devastating" for businesses in the South West who rely on family holidays, said Robin Barker, from the Tourism Society Westcountry.

People on a beach

He said many companies have changed their business models to target different groups.

The Department for Education defended the policy, saying: "Allowing pupils to regularly miss school can be hugely detrimental to a child's life chances."

Deadline looms for farmers' cash

BBC Radio Cornwall

Farmers have just five days to fill in new forms to get access to government farm subsidies.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


Basic Payment Scheme is the way farmers get access to European money - and there have been problems this year with attempts to move the application process online.

The deadline for forms to be completed is midnight on Monday and around 1300 farmers in Cornwall who are expected to apply, are yet to do so.

Live from the Antiques Roadshow

Bill Buckley

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

I've been allowed out of the Radio Devon studios for a day out. We're broadcasting from the

Antiques Roadshow Valuation Day at The Royal William Yard in Plymouth today.

Bill Buckley and Fiona Bruce

I've already been chatting to presenter Fiona Bruce.

Listen in to find out what treasures people have been showing the experts and if we have anything worth selling!

Thunderstorm warning

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for the south west for

thunderstorms, lightning and hail from Friday lunchtime.

Met Office

The Met Office

tweets: Area of warm, very humid air on Friday means we could see highs of 27 °C. This will spark some intense #thunderstorms

Lifeboat crew 'honoured' with award

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

The Padstow lifeboat crew say they are "really honoured" to be recognised for their part in

saving French trawlermen during a six-hour rescue.

Le Sillon on rocks near Porthcothon
The wrecked fishing boat has washed onto rocks near Porthcothon

George Rawlinson, from the RNLI, said they faced high winds and big seas in February 2014. He said: "It's no small feat to find and pluck a man to safety in darkness and heavy seas and Second Coxswain Pitman's decision-making, leadership and bravery were exemplary."

Second Coxswain Richard Pitman

Second Coxswain Richard Pitman, 51, will receive the RNLI's Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum. The rest of the crew will receive letters of thanks from the RNLI Chief Executive.

Seagull survey binned

BBC Radio Devon

The government has scrapped a project aimed at tackling aggressive seagulls in towns and cities.


The previous government had proposed a UK-wide study on nuisance urban gulls but that's now been abandoned to save money.

Last year councils in south Devon banded together to fund a falconer to scare the gulls away. Simon Pollentine from Sidmouth Town Counci said: "It's difficult to outwit them but it may well be worth the money if we get evidence from our hoteliers that their guests are happier, that they're having to clean their windows and the sides of their buildings less frequently - it can actually make economic sense."