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Summary

  1. Girls to re-sit 11-plus exam after concerns children had seen test paper
  2. NHS negligence claims hit £1.4bn
  3. Plans to close three GP surgeries have been strongly criticised
  4. Work begins to remove whale carcass washed up on Devon beach
  5. Updates on Thursday 29 September

Live Reporting

By Sian Davies

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    That's all from BBC Local Live in Devon & Cornwall for today, we'll be back at 08:00 to bring you all the day's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

    Don't miss BBC Spotlight at 18:30 and the late bulletin at 22:30 tonight.

  2. Whale carcass should be removed within 48 hours, say council

    Sian Davies

    BBC News Online

    The body of a fin whale washed up on a beach near Dawlish should be removed within 48 hours, the council says.

    Councillor Humphrey Clemens, Teignbridge District Council's Executive spokesman for coastal services, said: "We've looked at options that overcome factors such as the limited vehicle access to the beach, changing tides, the weather and the level of public interest with lots of people visiting the beach to see it."

    Fin whale body on Devon beach

    He said: "We are aiming to appoint a contractor to safely remove the carcass within the next 48 hours and take it to a licensed facility for disposal.

    "It is a sad sight to see and we're committed to dealing with it in the most appropriate way. We would like to thank all our residents and visitors for their co-operation so far."

    Security will be onsite overnight to enforce the cordon.

  3. Residents could be asked to pick up community hospital shortfall

    Victoria Gould

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    St Ives residents could be asked to foot the bill for improvement works to the community hospital.

    The 12 beds at Edward Hain were closed earlier this year following concerns about fire safety and the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust says current improvement plans aren't good enough.

    At a meeting today stakeholders were shown a dramatic video of the current evacuation plan - and told that to make it safe the trust needs to find £650,000.

    They're asking the commissioners for the money, but Phil Confue, the Chief Executive of the trust says there's no guarantee the NHS will come up with the cash.

  4. Ten car crashes in ten weeks put North Cornwall traders in fear of their lives at accident blackspot

    Cornish Guardian

    Traders said someone will be killed unless something is done to improve road safety on the A39 at Allen Valley bridge, near Camelford.

  5. Weather forecast: Some showers but sunny spells on Friday

    David Braine

    Weather Forecaster

    Some showers will begin to break out during the evening and overnight, but otherwise it will be dry with clear spells and winds easing.

    It'll also be cooler than last night. The minimum temperature will be 10C (50F).

    Weather

    It will feel fresh on Friday, but with widespread sunny spells and continued scattered showers.

    Winds will continue to ease through the day. The maximum temperature will be 17C (63F).

  6. Bishops off to Rome for Christian churches talks

    Donna Birrell

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Two South West Bishops will be taking part in a seven-day pilgrimage to discover new ways for Catholics and Anglicans to collaborate more closely in their mission to the world

    The Anglican Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Tim Thornton and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend Mark O'Tool will join about 36 other bishops.

    They represent 19 different international regions where Anglicans and Catholics live side by side in significant number.

    Those involved hope the meetings will result in the development of joint projects and programmes to benefit church-goers of both denominations.

    The summit, from 30 September to 7 October, also marks the 50th anniversary of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

  7. Mayor of Japanese city to get advice from award-winning Cornish Olympic torch relay team

    Sian Davies

    BBC News Online

    The Mayor of a city in Japan is visiting Cornwall to talk to members of the award winning Cornish team who organised the successful Olympic Torch Relay in the summer of 2012.

    Hideki Matsuzaki, Mayor of Urayasu, will be visiting County Hall in Truro on Friday as part of his preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

    Torch

    Urayasu, which has a population of about 163,000 and is best known as the home of Tokyo Disney Resort, is one of the places which will host a leg of the Olympic Torch Relay.

    The mayor contacted Saltash Cornwall Councillor Hilary Frank after reading a book she had recently published in Japan on local government in which she had referred to the visit of the Olympic Torch Relay to the town.

  8. Mystery surrounds Torpoint Ferry trending on Twitter

    West Briton

    The Torpoint Ferry has achieved a huge goal this morning - by becoming a Trending Topic on Twitter. Users around the UK are seeing it in the top 10 most popular topics this morning - but aren't entirely sure why.

  9. Taxi driver commended for helping to detain violent shoplifter

    Sian Davies

    BBC News Online

    Taxi driver Tudor Cofaru was commended for his bravery and selfless actions after coming to the aid of an off-duty police officer struggling to detain a violent shoplifter.

    The thief had stolen from a local Co-op and was trying to flee the scene in a taxi when the officer caught up with him.

    Taxi driver

    Ch Supt Andy Boulting presented him with a Commander’s Certificate at a ceremony at Crownhill Police Station in Plymouth.

    A statement from Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Mr Cofaru helped to detain the suspect at great risk to his personal safety given the violent behaviour."

  10. Bishops looking at closer working between Anglican and Catholic Churches

    Donna Birrell

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Two Bishops from the south west are joining the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis for a summit to pioneer closer working between the Anglican and Catholic Churches.

    The Anglican Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Tim Thornton and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend Mark O'Toole, are the only Bishops to be chosen from England and will spend three days in Canterbury with Justin Welby and about 36 other bishops from around the world.

    They'll then travel to Rome to be commissioned in their work by the Pope.

  11. Parent is "furious" after 11-plus exam security breach

    BBC Radio Devon

    A parent of a student who will have to resit the 11-plus examination after the security breach has said she is "furious".

    Judi Armstrong told BBC Radio Devon: "I'm furious that my daughter has had to be put through this.

    "My daughter has had nightmares. People aren't sleeping, they're struggling to work.

    "It's been dreadful and it's ongoing even now.

    "We're all deeply shocked and this highlights security wasn't as good as it should have been."

  12. £300,000 investment to improve water supply in Leedstown

    Sian Davies

    BBC News Online

    Nearly £300,000 is being invested to improve water supply to customers in the Leedstown area of Cornwall.

    South West Water and partners are replacing a 3.5km section of water mains from Praze-an-Beeble to address the issue of multiple bursts and loss of service in the area over the past few years.

    Two-way temporary traffic lights will be in use until the work is completed in approximately eight weeks. 

  13. Washed-up whale tracked by coastguards after being mistaken for an upturned boat

    Sian Davies

    BBC News Online

    A whale carcass that has washed up on a beach in Devon is thought to have been dead for some time.

    Whale

    Coastguards had been tracking the 30ft (9.1m) whale as it drifted down the coast, after it was mistaken for an upturned boat.

    "It's so beautiful", described one onlooker. "It's the closest I'm ever going to get to a whale, so I feel very, very sad."

  14. 65% of young people avoid putting on sunscreen to get a better tan, survey says

    BBC Radio Devon

    Campaigners are urging young people in Devon to be aware of protecting their skin from harmful rays, following new research by the Teenage Cancer Trust. 

    It's found 65% of 13 to 24 year olds surveyed in the South West have avoided putting on sunscreen to get a better tan; whilst only 9% said they'd never been sunburnt. 

    Now there's a new campaign in Exeter - supported by the trust - to encourage better skin protection. 

  15. Lawyers 'blamed' as clinical negligence claims soar in South West

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    Lawyers are being blamed for soaring medical negligence costs in the South West.

    Hospital

    Research by BBC South West shows bills for most trusts have more than doubled since 2008. 

    The total for our region is up from £21.6m to £47.1m.

    Hospital

    Matthew Lee, of the Medical Defence Union, which represents doctors, said: “Four of five cases that get brought are unnecessarily brought, no negligence is established, no compensation is paid but there are certainly legal costs associated with those cases.

    “We think it’s important that further measures come in to limit excessive legal costs in cases and to stop cases being brought unnecessarily."

    Lawyers for claimants say the NHS is to blame for dragging its feet in resolving claims.

  16. Tumble dryer fire at residential school

    Sian Davies

    BBC News Online

    Firefighters were called by staff to a residential school in Exeter to reports of a fire in one of the bedrooms.

    Crews confirmed the source of smoke was a tumble dryer on the first floor of the building in Topsham Road.

    Everyone was evacuated before the fire service arrived and nobody was injured - only the tumble dryer was damaged in the blaze.

  17. Work begins to remove whale carcass

    BBC Radio Devon

    Teignbridge District Council and the coastguard are starting work to remove the body of a dead whale which was washed up at Red Rock Beach, between Dawlish Warren and Dawlish. 

    Whale

    Councillor Humphrey Clemens from Teignbridge District Council has been telling BBC Radio Devon about the options for removing it.

    He said: "Its very difficult to get any lifting machinery here. One of the options might be to re-float it on the high tide and tow it where it can be disposed of in an appropriate way."

  18. How an obsession with Football Manager could earn you a career in the game

    The Guardian

    Matt Neil started compiling reports for the Football Manager game at the age of 15. After progressing from Truro City to Plymouth Argyle, his work was noticed by the League Two club and he was given a job as one of their football analysts.  

  19. Pupils to resit 11-plus exam papers on same day after security breach

    Sian Davies

    BBC News Online

    Hundreds of primary school pupils will resit their 11-plus exams after security of the papers was compromised.

    Pupils vying for a place at Devonport High School for Girls or Plymouth High School for Girls will sit both the maths and English papers on 8 October.

    Exam

    In a letter to parents from Plymouth City Council, it said it will not be necessary to resit the local English paper, which was taken on Saturday 24 September, as there has been no suggestion of prior knowledge of the subject area.

    The results of the examination will now be issued on 24 October rather than 12 October.