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  1. Divers search for missing woman, 30, off East Devon
  2. Teenager in hospital with 'stab wounds to abdomen'
  3. MPs from Exiting the European Union Committee visit Truro
  4. 'Thousands' of crimes in South West 'not recorded properly'
  5. People living on crumbling Sidmouth cliff urge authorities to accelerate project to protect the area
  6. National Trust moves portraits after almost 120 years for 'vital roof repairs'
  7. Updates on Thursday 9 February 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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

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

Final refuel at sea for veteran tanker RFA Gold Rover

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

Plymouth-based Royal Navy warship HMS Portland is the last to be refuelled from the veteran tanker Royal Fleet Auxiliary Gold Rover.

The frigate took fuel oil on board from the oldest ship still in naval service while sailing off the west coast of Africa.

The 11,000-tonne support vessel is due to decommission in the UK next month - 43 years after first pumping of oil into the tanks of a Royal Navy warship.

RFA Gold Rover
Royal Navy/MoD

She's the last of five Rover-class ships built for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

HMS Portland, which is coming to the end of a nine-month deployment, is due to return to Devonport this spring.

Gold Rover will be retired on her return, in favour of the first of the giant new Fleet tankers, RFA Tidespring, which has just begun her 16,000-mile journey from South Korea to the UK.

Torbay councillors debate 4% council tax rise

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

Council tax in Torbay could rise by almost 4%.

The council is meeting this evening to discuss and vote on the plans.

Papers before the councillors state a 3.99% rise in the Torbay element of the council tax would raise £60m - and would mean the average Band D househould would pay an extra £52.33 per year.

The increase would include a 2% rise for adult social care - that's just over £26 per Band D property.

South African warship visit 'a chance to remember links'

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

A visit by a South African navy vessel to Plymouth will coincide with an important anniversary.

The 21 February will mark 100 years since the sinking of the South African troop ship off the Isle of Wight.

The SAS Amatola will be training with the Flag Officer Sea Training organisation for the next few weeks.

SAS Amatola

Captain Johannes Roux, captain of SAS Amatola, said: "The South African and Royal navies have close links, especially with the support we give the Royal Navy in Simonstown Naval Base."

Naval Base Commander, Commodore Ian Shipperley said: "The visit is of high importance to the UK-South African relationship given the strategic importance of Simonstown Naval Base, and other logistical support provided to the Royal Navy by the South Africans. This is an excellent opportunity for us to return the support, demonstrating it is a strong bilateral relationship.''

More disruption to strike Exeter's Bridge Road tonight

Exeter Express & Echo

Bridge Road in Exeter will be reduced to one lane tonight with temporary traffic lights in place overnight.

Rare apple varieties planted in orchard for safekeeping

Press Association

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is planting 45 cultivars of rare Devon apples to establish a "mother orchard" at its Rosemoor garden in North Devon.

The rare varieties include pig's nose, sugar bush and grand sultan.

Jon Webster, curator of RHS Garden Rosemoor, said: "These apples were gathered from small collections, from local farms and even private gardens, which the local fruit group knew. The idea of planting them in one place is to safeguard them for the future - a mother orchard."

Apples and pears

Since the 1950s our collection has been at RHS Garden Wisley, which now has 700 apple cultivars, together with 120 pear cultivars, over 100 varieties of dessert plums and gages, plus quinces, medlars and nuts. It's exciting to have a new heritage orchard in the West Country, the spiritual home of British apple growing."

Jim ArburyRHS apple tree specialist

Latest weather: It's bitterly cold out

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

Tonight it will remain cold but skies will turn cloudier so frost will tend to be patchier.

It will remain breezy with a few showers clipping the south coast. Minimum Temperature: 1 Deg C (34 Deg F).

weather map

Friday will then be a bitterly cold day with the best of any sunshine in the west.

Most will remain dry but the cloud may be thick enough in the east to give the odd spot of rain. Maximum Temperature: 5C (41F).

Search for missing Devon man stood down after more than five weeks

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

A huge land and air search for a North Devon man who disappeared on New Year's Day has been stood down by police.

Scores of local people, police officers, HM Coastguard and both the Exmouth and Dartmoor Rescue Groups have been looking for Clive Colling for the last five and half weeks with no confirmed sightings since the 76-year-old left his home in Bideford.

Det Con Jon Dare said: ''Despite this search and inquiries conducted elsewhere, Clive's whereabouts remains unknown.

"Devon and Cornwall Police, along with Clive's family would like to thank all those involved in the search and the support received from the public organised through social media sites.

"Police have completed active area searches and will response to new information accordingly."

Clive Colling
Devon and Cornwall Police

New measures planned to help prevent spread of bird flu

Adrian Campbell, Environment Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

The government has set out plans to update temporary measures put in place to reduce the risk of avian flu.

The disease has caused the deaths of wild birds and poultry in 14 European countries and the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone was declared in December following an outbreak of bird flu among turkeys at a farm in Lincolnshire.

The new plans will come into force once the current prevention zone expires on 28 February.

Map of high-risk areas for avian flu

In high risk areas people will have to keep their birds housed or netted but in other areas, birds will be allowed out for the first time since the start of December.

The changes mean many egg producers in low risk areas will keep their free range status but in high risk areas, producers will lose free range status on 1 March - something the NFU says will be very damaging.

Cornwall going to infinity, and beyond...

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

Grants worth a total of £10m to develop spaceport schemes around the UK are being made available, the government has announced.

The possibility of available cash has been welcomed by Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which says Cornwall is ideally placed to provide a space launch facility at Newquay Airport.

Sandra Rothwell, chief executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said: "We are perfectly placed to maximise the potential from the global small satellite launch market, and spaceplane development."

Newquay spaceport
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP

Truro City: New Zealand midfielder Zane Sole leaves club

BBC Sport

Truro City have confirmed midfielder Zane Sole has left Treyew Road.

The former New Zealand under-20 international, 24, joined the White Tigers in November 2016 and scored one league goal in his time at the club.

Zane Sole (right)
Getty Images

We had a chat over the last couple of days and he's decided to move on and find another club - we're now trying to get others in."

Lee HodgesTruro City manager

Less risky business wanted after Brexit vote

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

What's the future for the local economy once we leave the EU?

That's the question being asked today on a fact-finding visit by the "Cross-Party Parliamentary Committee for Exiting the EU".

Chaired by Hilary Benn, the committee is meeting at County Hall to gather opinions about what Cornwall's priorities should be, post Brexit.

56.5% of people in Cornwall voted to leave the EU in the referendum last year.

Kate Kennally, chief executive of Cornwall Council, said the relationship between central government and Cornwall had changed since then: ''They have a lower risk appetite than before the European Union referendum outcome and are seeking Cornwall Council to underwrite risk for key schemes such as deep geo-thermal, which are really important for Cornwall's economy.''

Dartmoor prisoner who took a delivery by drone to his cell gets more jail time

Plymouth Herald

A prisoner has been given extra jail time for taking a delivery by a drone to his cell at Dartmoor Prison in the dead of night.

New charge on the way for West Devon garden waste collections

BBC Radio Devon

People living in West Devon who want garden waste collected will soon have to pay for the service.

Councillors agreed to retain the Garden Waste collection, but voted in favour of introducing a charge, rather than see the service be cut.

West Devon Borough Council will be joining 75% of authorities in the county who collect garden waste and charge for the privilege.

The authority says the prices will be publicised in advance.

Council leader Philip Sanders blamed budgetary pressures.

''We are faced with a significant budget gap and the decision was clear for me, let’s continue to offer a service to those people who want it. Although in my heart I did not want to introduce a charge for this service, I would rather see an introduction of a charge than lose the service.''

Zoo in the palm of your hand

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

Want to know when it's feeding time at the zoo? 

Paignton Zoo is launching its first app that's designed to help visitors get to all the animal talks, educational material and live updates.

There's no excuse for getting lost or getting to the lions when you wanted the tigers either - the app includes an interactive map to show you exactly where you are on site.


The free app has been developed by Bigwave Media creative agency and has been tested on keepers and volunteers before it's launched in time for schools breaking up for February half term.

In the future there will be apps for Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts, both of which are, like Paignton Zoo, part of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Severe disruption: M5 Devon northbound

BBC Travel

M5 Devon northbound severe disruption, at J30 for A376.

M5 Devon - M5 exit slip road partially blocked northbound at J30, A376 (Exeter), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Torquay United sign Myles Anderson from Barrow and Ruairi Keating

BBC Sport

Torquay United have signed Barrow defender Myles Anderson on a permanent deal, and Irish forward Ruairi Keating on non-contract terms.

Centre-back Anderson, 27, has cancelled his Barrow contract by mutual consent to join their National League rivals.

The ex-Aldershot and Exeter player, who has also played in Italy, could feature against his old club on 18 February.

Striker Keating, 21, was recommended to Gulls boss Kevin Nicholson by ex-Port Vale manager Micky Adams.

BBC Question Time panel revealed ahead of tonight's live debate in Torquay

Torquay Herald Express

The panel for tonight's Question TIme has been revealed on Twitter.

Travel latest: Accident in Torpoint

BBC Travel

Closing minor injuries unit weakens future of Saltash healthcare - councillors

BBC Radio Cornwall

St Barnabas

Town councillors in Saltash say they're dismayed by the decision to temporarily close the St Barnabas minor injuries unit. 

They say that historically healthcare provision has favoured the Liskeard area over Saltash, and the decision this week by the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to close St Barnabas for three months will only exacerbate that imbalance. 

Outpatient services at St Barnabas will continue as normal.

Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust announced the temporary closure on Monday, saying it was doing it for patient safety. It added: "There have been particular challenges in recruiting registered nurses despite recruitment drives which include attendance at recruitment fairs, local radio and press advertisements and return to work initiatives. During the temporary closure we will continue our recruitment efforts.''

Met Office says six inches of snow is heading for the UK but will it miss Cornwall?

Cornwall Live

Forecasters say there will be six inches of snow heading to parts of Britain this weekend as temperatures plunge as low as -14C.

Travel latest: Roadworks and tree-felling causing delays

BBC Travel

  • In Plymouth on Forder Valley Road there's heavy traffic due to tree felling work. Surrounding roads are also busy  
  • In Plymouth there are queues of slow-moving traffic on the A379 Laira Bridge Road heading out of the city between Gdynia Way and Pomphlett Road due to roadworks at the Morrisons Roundabout
  • At Newton St Cyres on the A377 there's slow traffic due to roadworks
  • Between Paignton and Torquay on the A3022 Torbay Road near St Paul's Church there are temporary traffic lights for pavement improvement work
  • In the Glynn Valley the A38 westbound is closed for roadworks between the superstore and the Halfway House. A diversion is in place via the A390. Expect delays
  • On the A394 between Edgcumbe and Rame Cross there's queueing traffic due to temporary traffic lights for resurfacing work. Expect delays

Divers drafted in to help search for missing Tanya

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

Devon and Cornwall Police

Police divers are today searching along Sidmouth seafront for a woman who's been missing since Tuesday.

Tanya Vickery was last seen heading on to the beach at about 22.40 near to The Marine pub on The Esplanade.

Coastguard and lifeboat teams were drafted in to help with the search on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday. Police are urging anyone with information to get in touch.

Police promise 'robust plan' after criticism over 'thousands of unrecorded crimes'

Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

A senior Devon and Cornwall Police officer's promising the force is working hard to make improvements after it was rated inadequate in the way it records crime.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary says the force is failing to record more than 17,000 crimes a year, including around 7,000 violent crimes.

HM Inspector of Constabulary, Wendy Williams, said she was most concerned to find the force had failed to record reports of rape, serious sexual assault, serious assault and human trafficking.

Deputy Chief Constable, James Vaughan said the force accepted insufficient progress had been made.

He added: ''I've taken personal responsibility and will be leading the implementation of a very robust action plan to address 14 recommendations laid out in the report.

''I'm taking a deep interest and being very intrusive in the delivery of those plans.''

Deputy chief constable James Vaughan

Brickbats and bouquets after Brexit, say businesses

BBC Radio Cornwall

Brexit could significantly alter the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly - that's one of the messages being delivered to a major conference in Truro today. 

The House of Commons cross-party Exiting the EU Committee will hear evidence from economic, political and agricultural leaders from across the county. 

One of those giving evidence is David Rodda from the Cornwall Development Company, who says he will tell the committee Brexit has potential to bring both opportunities and threats.

Remaining cold, with wintry showers overnight

BBC Weather

Remaining cold, but becoming more cloudy as scattered showers continue to affect areas close to the south coast. 

Tonight the showers are likely to be wintry where they progress further inland. 

Moderate or fresh east to southeasterly winds will be strong at times to the west and off the south coast. Minimum temperature after dark 0C.

Bee Tucker with the weather map

National Trust moves portraits after almost 120 years for 'vital roof repairs'

National Trust/Malcolm Jarvis

After almost 120 years, iconic portraits of the Acland family members, who lived in the Georgian mansion at Killerton House have been moved.

The relocation from the water damaged stairway means the National Trust can start "a vital project to repair the leaking roof and conserve the building", it said.

The trust added: "Until October, the large conservation project will focus on repairing the flat roof over the main house and pitched roof areas."

The paintings, which include Killerton’s largest portrait, will be on show in a new exhibition.

University launches largest fundraising campaign

BBC Radio Devon

The University of Exeter has launched its largest ever fundraising campaign.

It hopes it will raise £60m by 2020 to support research into global challenges, including climate change, chronic disease and food security. 

The money will release a further £100m from research and business partners, the university said. 

'As many tourists as possible' should visit Plymouth for Mayflower anniversary

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

The government says it wants as many tourists as possible to visit Plymouth on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower setting sail.

Preparations are under way to mark the occasion in 2020.

The MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Oliver Colvile, raised the issue in the Commons, asking Culture Secretary Karen Bradley what discussions she has had with the transport secretary to make sure tourists could get to the city ''to celebrate this wonderful event''.

She answered: ''I had the honour last week of meeting the team that is putting together the Mayflower 400 celebrations... It is important that as many people as possible can visit the celebrations and I had discussions with the secretary of state for transport just last night on that very matter.''

Mayflower plaque

Man wanted for recall to prison found

Alexander Brown who was wanted for recall to prison has been found and is now in police custody, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

Brown, 37, from Exeter, was wanted for failing to comply with licence conditions following his release from prison.

Officers have thanked the public for their help

Alexander Brown
Devon and Cornwall Police

Police tell parents their behaviour is worse than their children's and threaten to ban them

Plymouth Herald

A police officer has told parents they are behaving worse than their children during the school run - and that they could face a ban from the area.

A step in the right direction? Exercise could be the answer to Cornwall's rising drugs bill

Jenny Walrond

Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

GPs in St Austell are hoping to expand a pilot prescribing exercise to patients.

150 patients at St Austell Healthcare have taken part in the social prescribing scheme and doctors say most have reported an improvement in their wellbeing.

Now the team is hoping to spread it to other parts of Cornwall and to prescribe arts groups and 'wellbeing at work' services.


Stewart Smith is one of the doctors at the surgery: ''We're spending huge amounts of money on prescription medication - a lot of it sometimes doesn't work and cause problems in itself - so anything we can do that gets people away from that, makes them feel better and keeps them healthier, then we're only too happy to oblige.''

'Police will take victims of crime seriously'

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

Devon and Cornwall's police and crime commissioner says the force must improve after being criticised for not recording thousands of serious offences.

The policing regulator, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, has rated the force as inadequate, saying dozens of sexual offences, including rape, were not being recorded.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said too many errors were being made and she would be monitoring the action plan to improve crime data recording.

She added: "It is important that the public has confidence in our crime statistics but even more important is that we provide every victim of crime with a good service.

"I want to reassure all victims of crime, especially those who are raped or sexually assaulted, that the police will take them seriously and they will be dealt with professionally.''

Alison Hernandez

Plymouth stabbing: Police appeal for witnesses

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

Police are appealing for witnesses after a teenager was stabbed in Plymouth.

The 19-year-old is being treated for wounds to his abdomen after being found in Molesworth Road at 01.45.

He is said to be in a stable condition at Derriford Hospital.

The road was closed for several hours as officers examined the scene, but has now reopened.

Police are appealing for witnesses to contact them.


Are EU in or out? Brexit debate moves to Cornwall

BBC Spotlight

The future of Cornwall after Brexit is centre stage at a conference in the Duchy today.

The House of Commons cross-party Exiting the European Union Committee is hearing evidence from economic, political and agricultural leaders from across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 

They say they want to get beyond Westminster to gather a range of views from remainers and leavers in the debate. 

'Veg crisis' mocked by Tory peer as Cornish caulis hit the shops

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

Shoppers may be struggling to get their hands on lettuces, courgettes and salad peppers because of the cold snap in mainland Europe - but it's no crisis, says former Tory Cabinet Minister Lord Tebbit.

He's been pointing out that Cornish cauliflowers are still making it to market, and there are other British vegetables we should be buying instead.

Labour peers wanted assurances from the government that schools and hospitals were still getting decent supplies despite the weather conditions in Spain and Italy.

But Environment Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble insisted there was "certainly no crisis" and encouraged consumers to "reflect on using our own wonderfully nutritious British vegetables", pointing out cauliflowers from Cornwall were now coming on to the market.

And Lord Tebbit, who served in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet, added: "To describe a shortage of lettuces in the supermarket as a crisis shows a lack of understanding of the meaning of the words in the English language."  


Jail for addict who stole Poppy Appeal charity boxes on Remembrance Day - but friend is spared

Torquay Herald Express

Two flatmates toured Torquay on Remembrance Sunday stealing Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal boxes from charity shops, a court has been told.

Big plans to turn water into electricity

Adrian Campbell, Environment Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

What's thought to be the largest device in the world to harness the power of the sea and convert it into electricity is to tie up to the Wave Hub in Cornwall.

The multimillion-pound prototype won't be here until next year but a scale model is already being tested at Plymouth University.

Robert Stoddard

Robert Stoddard, chief executive of GWave, told us how it will work: ''This is a big vessel, the size of a Boeing 747, and we're putting in tremendous masses, the size and weight of a freight train. 

''That's rolling down and as the vessel pitches, the freight train powers on through and we can convert that rolling motion directly into electrical power.''

Travel latest: Lane blocked on A38

BBC Travel