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  1. MP Anne Marie Morris has whip suspended after racist remark
  2. Parents could be asked to help fund schools 'in near future'
  3. Nurse: Salary cap may force me out of a job
  4. Updates on Tuesday 11 July 2017

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All times stated are UK

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Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

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.

Surfers honour legacy of Jack O'Neill with paddle-out

Rob England

BBC News Online

Surfers in Newquay joined people around the world in a paddle-out to celebrate the life of Jack O'Neill, a pioneer of the neoprene wetsuit.

Surfers honour legacy of Jack O'Neill with paddle-out

Paddle-outs were also held in the US, Australia, Canada, Portugal, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan and South Africa.

Mr O'Neill, who opened his first surf shop in San Francisco in 1952, died in June aged 94.

Anne Marie Morris defended after racist language suspension

BBC Spotlight

A Conservative MP suspended for using a racist expression has been defended by the president of her local party.

Conservative Party

Sylvia Russell said Anne Marie Morris "hasn't got a racist thought in her head".

The MP, who has apologised unreservedly, had been "looking for a metaphor to illustrate a point about Brexit", Ms Russell said.

Announcing the suspension, PM Theresa May said she was "shocked" by the "completely unacceptable" language.

Weather outlook for Devon and Cornwall: Becoming drier overnight

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

Rain will continue into the evening and occasionally it will be rather heavy, there'll also be a lot of hill fog.


There will be a fair breeze along the south coast. During the second half of the night it will become dry though remain rather cloudy. Minimum Temperature: 14C (57F).

Although it may be cloudy to start, Wednesday will be dry with sunny spells quickly developing. The winds will be light meaning that it will feel pleasant in the sunshine. Maximum Temperature: 21C (70F).

Con couple ordered to pay back £200,000

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

A businessman and his ex-girlfriend, who are serving prison sentences for a multimillion-pound tax fraud, have been ordered to pay back more than £200,000 or face further time behind bars.

Satpal Singh Mahal, 49, from Walsall, was ordered to pay back £100,000 and chiropodist Louise Brown, 54, from Plymouth ordered to pay £100,684.43, the HMRC said.

The couple, who used bogus identities to set up fake companies to steal more than £2.3m in VAT, are currently serving 10 years in jail.

The pair were found to have used fake names and stolen identities to set up the companies and bank accounts online.

They claimed each of the seven companies sold UK media advertising to overseas clients but the investigation found that none of the companies actually traded and the couple had used them solely to fraudulently claim VAT repayments on fabricated expenses.

The couple faced a confiscation hearing at Blackfriars Crown Court on 5 July 2017 and were ordered to pay the amount owing within three months or each face a further 15 months in prison.

Exeter poppy thief died after taking fatal dose of drugs and alcohol

Devon Live

A homeless man who stole large ornamental poppy from Exeter Cathedral to use for begging, died after taking a fatal quantity of drugs and alcohol while living in emergency accommodation in the city.

Dry conditions see Cornish chough numbers decline

BBC Radio Cornwall

The RSPB say numbers of Cornish choughs have gone down this year.

There were just 14 chicks recorded in the county.

Prolonged dry conditions are thought to be a factor.

The bird - which features on the Cornish coat of arms - disappeared from Cornwall in the 1970s.

But it naturally reappeared 30 years later.

Richard Bedford

Aircraft engine thefts across the region

BBC Radio Devon

Amateur pilots around the South West and Devon are being warned to be vigilant following a spate of thefts of a particular type of aircraft engine.

Four Rotax engines were recently stolen from light aircraft at a small airfield in South Devon.

The other planes at the South Hams Flying Club had different engines and were left alone.

It's feared they're being stolen to sell abroad.

Plymouth businesses told post-Brexit trade crisis threatens economy

Plymouth Herald

Plymouth firms must export more in order to help the UK beat a post-Brexit trade crisis, a major conference has heard.

Contaminated blood scandal inquiry announced

BBC News Health

An inquiry will be held into the contaminated blood scandal that left at least 2,400 people dead, the prime minister has confirmed.

A spokesman for Theresa May said it would establish the causes of the "appalling injustice" that took place in the 1970s and 1980s.

Thousands of NHS patients were given blood products from abroad that were infected with hepatitis C and HIV.

It's been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

Exeter murder victim dumped in wheelie bin

BBC Radio Devon

A murder victim was trussed up and concealed in a wheelie bin in a flat, a jury heard.


Drug dealer James Woodhouse was wrapped up in bedding held in place with black duct tape and put in the bin, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Brett Edwards, 37, and Tommy Killen, 32, both deny the murder of Mr Woodhouse on 11 November last year at the flat in Exeter, Devon.

The court heard Woodhouse, from York, owed Mr Killen £700 for cocaine and was "scared" of him.

Prosecutor Simon Laws QC said Edwards had stolen the wheelie bin the day before the body was discovered "in order to use it in the disposal of the body of James Woodhouse".

The case continues.

Weather update: a rainy night ahead

BBC Weather

Rain will continue into the evening, remaining heavy in the east accompanied by strong winds on the Dorset coast.

Rain will die out in the second half of the night.

weather map

Travel update: trains blocked after bridge crash

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Travel update: delays on the A390

BBC News Travel

In St Austell, on the A390 near Penny's Lane, traffic is very slow due to roadworks.

There's congestion up to Par Moor Road.

People who become homeless in Exeter can now access new Rapid Response service

Devon Live

A new Rapid Response service which aims to reduce the time people new to homelessness spend in temporary, emergency accommodation has been launched in Exeter.

Piece of police history uncovered

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Police investigating aircraft engine thefts

BBC Radio Devon

Devon and Cornwall Police have launched an investigation into a number of light aircraft engines which have been stolen from planes, while they've been parked up in their hangars.

All of them were made by the same firm called Rotax and are thought to be shipped abroad as it's almost impossible to sell them in the UK because of their serial numbers and log books.

Detective Constable Emma Youngman is working on the case.

"We've established a database of where the thefts occurred and we're already in touch with the other forces to see if there's any information they've obtained to see if we can locate the offenders," she said.

Police renew appeal for missing teenager

BBC Radio Cornwall

Police say they're extremely concerned about a missing teenager from Camelford.

Finnian Layland-Stratfield, 17, was last seen between 17:00 and 17:30GMT on Sunday 9 July by a walker on the cliffs above Hole Beach in Tintagel.

His family and the police are appealing to anyone with any information about his whereabouts.

Finnian is described as white, 5ft 9ins tall with a slim build. He has tattoos on his arms and shoulder.

Finnian Layland-Stratfield
Devon and Cornwall Police

Travel update: Newton Abbot crash

BBC News Travel

In Newton Abbot, on the A380 at Torquay Road, there's reports of an accident near the Penn Inn Roundabout.

Approach with care

Travel update: tree felling at Ponsanooth

BBC News Travel

On the A393 at Ponsanooth, there are temporary traffic lights due to tree felling work.

Expect delays in both directions.

Girls were close to drowning, RNLI says

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

The RNLI says two young girls rescued at the weekend were close to drowning after getting caught in a rip current off the south Cornwall coast.

Lifeguards at Whitsand Bay were on routine patrols in the inshore rescue boat at around 2pm on Sunday when they found the children in difficulty off Sharrow beach.

The girls, aged 11 and 12, had been swimming in the sea when they found themselves in a rip current which can quickly drag people away from the shallows of the shoreline and out to deeper water.

The area Lifesaving Manager said the access to Sharrow is currently closed to the public due to the unstable cliff face.

People are being urged to go to lifeguarded beaches at Tregonhawke, Tregantle, Freathy or further along the coast at Seaton

sharrow beach

A38 crash: two lanes closed

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Delays are building after a crash on the A38 near Plymouth.

Authorities are asking drivers to take care in the wet weather.

View more on twitter

Travel update: crash on the A38 and weather delays

BBC Weather

There are a few incidents to watch out for on the roads this afternoon:

  • In Keyham, there are reports of an accident on Saltash Road between Royal Navy Avenue and Admiralty Street. Approach with care.
  • Two lanes are closed on the A38 eastbound between the A374 near Plymouth and the B3416 due to a collision. Very long delays are building.
  • On the A30 Cornwall bound, near Whiddon down, one lane is closed due to the weather conditions.

Rain rain, and more rain

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Seems some of us are enjoying the change in weather today.

In case you were wondering, it's going to stay rainy for the rest of the day, remaining heaviest in the east.

View more on twitter

Falmouth Premier Inn plans voted down again

BBC Radio Cornwall

Plans to build a 70 bed, five storey Premier Inn on Discovery Quay near the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth have been dealt a blow by Cornwall Council.

The Planning Committee rejected the proposal by ten votes to five yesterday afternoon - the third time it's been turned down.

Developers Whitbread are now considering appealing against the decision.

National Maritime Museum

Morris criticised in Parliament for racist remarks

BBC Radio Devon

The Devon MP who's been suspended by the Conservatives for using a racist expression has been condemned in parliament.

Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot, has apologised after making the comments during a meeting of Euro-sceptics, arguing it was "unintentional".

The Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry told the Commons it was unacceptable.

Anne Marie Morris

Safety warning after two girls almost drown at Whitsand Bay

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Lifeguards have issued a warning after two young girls had to be rescued from a rip current off Sharrow beach at the weekend.

The girls, aged 11 and 12, had been swimming in the sea when they found themselves in a rip current, and were rescued by RNLI lifeguards.

Lifeguard Supervisor Beau Gillet said: "When we reached the girls they were close to drowning, with one trying to keep the other above the water.

"We were able to pull the girls out of the sea and brought them back to the shore where they were assessed, reassured and treated with oxygen.

"They were taken by ambulance to Derriford Hospital for further checks."

According to the RNLI, the best way to avoid rip currents is to choose a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags, which have been marked based on where is safer to swim in the current conditions.

sharrow beach

Rail services could be worse and more expensive, watchdog warns

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Rail providers have been given five days to address competition concerns after a watchdog warning about higher fare prices.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) warned passengers could face higher fares and worse service following the decision to award the South West Trains (SWT) rail franchise to First Group.

The SWT franchise is currently operated by Stagecoach but will be taken over by First Group in partnership with Hong Kong-based company MTR on August 20.

CMA acting chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: "The CMA believes that without its intervention, First Group may be able to increase fares for passengers between London and Exeter, as it will be the only rail operator running all services on this route."


Boy getting better after A38 crash which killed his mum and big brother

Plymouth Herald

A four-year-old boy who was injured in an A38 crash which killed his mother and big brother is getting better, say police.

Jubilee Pool wins award

BBC Radio Cornwall

The major renovation of the Jubilee Pool in Penzance has been recognised by the Institution of Civil Engineers with a People's Choice Award.

The pool re-opened earlier this year after a project costing nearly £3m.

Now one of the last of its kind in Europe, the pool's hailed by the New York Times as one of the top places to visit in the world.

And this latest plaudit comes from the south west civil engineering awards.

Police appeal after Exeter serious assault

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Police are investigating a serious assault in Exeter which left a man with facial injuries.

The assault took place near to the taxi rank in Fore Street between 3.20am and 3.45am on Sunday 25 June.

The victim, a 23-year-old man, intervened in an ongoing fight and was then assaulted.

At least three other men are believed to have been involved, and the victim sustained a broken nose and other facial injuries.

Police are investigating and keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the assault or have information to assist their enquiries.

Travel update: milk closes St Austell Rd

BBC News Travel

In St Austell the A390 is partially blocked between Biscovey Road and Pennys Lane due to a spillage of milk.

Train fares could increase, watchdog warns South West passengers

Press Association

Rail passengers could face higher fares and worse service following the decision to award the South West Trains rail franchise to First Group, the competition watchdog has warned.

Concerns have been raised by the Competition and Markets Authority about the London-Exeter route as First Group already operates Great Western Railway, which runs the only other train service between the cities.

The SWT franchise is currently operated by Stagecoach but will be taken over by First Group in partnership with Hong Kong-based company MTR on August 20.

CMA acting chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: "This is a crucial rail route to the South West, used by around half a million passengers a year. It's therefore vital that passengers do not suffer as a result of reduced competition.

"The CMA believes that without its intervention, First Group may be able to increase fares for passengers between London and Exeter, as it will be the only rail operator running all services on this route."


Parents could be asked to chip in for classroom supplies

BBC Spotlight

There are warnings pressure on school budgets could soon lead to parents in the south west being asked to help fund classroom basics.

Power cut hits hundreds of homes

BBC Radio Cornwall

Around 850 homes in the Fraddon area are without power this morning.

Engineers from Western power Distribution are working on the fault and hope to have the lights back on by 12 noon.

On St Mary's on the Isles of Scilly 32 properties are without power.

Newquay search teams scour beach after 'suspicious' object is discovered in a cave

Cornwall Live

Emergency search teams searched a Newquay beach for over two hours following the discovery of a 'suspicious' object.

Zookeepers hope chameleon will be lucky in love

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Volunteers have captured a beautiful portrait of a chameleon they hope will soon find love at Paington Zoo.

The Parson's chameleon is the largest chameleon species in the world by weight, found only in isolated pockets of humid forest in north and east Madagascar.

Paignton Zoo’s pair (this one is the male) are in separate enclosures but have mated and keepers are hoping they will breed.

But it could take some time - Parson's chameleons lay as many as 50 eggs at a time but they can take up to two years to hatch.

Paignton Zoo

Australian defender Gallifuoco leaves Torquay

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Centre-back Giancarlo Gallifuoco has decided to leave Torquay United after one season with the National League club.

The 23-year-old Australian made 35 league appearances for the Gulls last term as they avoided relegation on the last day of the campaign.

Giancarlo Gallifuoco
Getty Images

"I have decided to part ways and seek other opportunities, but I am so grateful and humbled by the offer of an opportunity to stay," Gallifuoco said.

Police appeal after Camborne mugging

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Authorities are looking for any witnesses to a robbery in Camborne last month.

View more on twitter