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  1. Man found guilty of hammer attack
  2. Improvements at special measures hospital
  3. Investigations under way after crash between train and van
  4. 'Stealth cab' catches texting trucker
  5. 'Grave situation' on roads prompts Torbay cuts rethink
  6. Updates on Friday 14 December 2018

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  1. Large quantities of drugs found at closed Bodmin flat

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    Police had recently found large quantities of drugs at a property in Bodmin that helped them to successfully apply for a closure notice to be issued.

    The three-month order was issued at Bodmin Magistrates Court earlier, meaning the flat was immediately boarded up.

    The problems with drugs and anti-social behaviour at 22 Gregory's Court stretch back about 15 years.

    Other residents reported issues including persistent noise throughout the day and night, as well as being spat and sworn at by people using the flat.

    The closure order has come about after joint work between the Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing.

    Door of property
    Quote Message: In the past eight months the behaviour has escalated to the point where it's not only affecting the neighbours but also the wider community. We are right in the centre of Bodmin here and there's been a lot of incidents with members of the public who have nothing to do with the property, and we need to safeguard them as well." from Karen Centini Neighbourhood Enforcement Manager, Cornwall Housing
    Karen CentiniNeighbourhood Enforcement Manager, Cornwall Housing
  2. Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry toll rise plans

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Tamar Bridge

    A formal application will be made to increase the cost of crossing from Cornwall into Devon by 33%.

    Cornwall Council's Cabinet will be asked to approve a bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) to increase Tamar Bridge tolls and the cost of using the Torpoint Ferry by a third.

    It currently costs £1.50 for cars to cross the bridge or use the ferry but under the new charges it would jump to £2.

    In a report to Cornwall Council's Cabinet it is stated that the increase is needed because in the last year the bridge has been operating at a deficit. It adds that expenditure has exceeded income and, as a result reserves are said to be "depleted".

    Cornwall Council's Cabinet will meet on Tuesday to discuss the plans.

    In addition Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council - which are jointly responsible for managing the bridge and ferry - are set to ask the DfT to allow them to carry out annual reviews of the charges and increase them in line with inflation without having to go to the government for approval.

    Torpoint Ferry
  3. Other tenants were spat at by users of closed Bodmin flat

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    Gregory's Court

    A flat in Bodmin has been boarded up for three months after frequent reports of anti-social behaviour and problems with drugs.

    Officers from Devon and Cornwall Police have been responding to incidents relating to 22 Gregory's Court for 15 years.

    The named tenant would regularly have people visiting who would make threats, and large quantities of drugs have recently been found at the address.

    Earlier a closure notice was issued at Bodmin Magistrates Court and the tenant was told to find alternative accommodation.

    The order came about after joint working between the police, Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing.

    Quote Message: For the tenants here they've had to endure sleepless nights, chaotic behaviour, being spat at, being sworn at, drug use - it was just persistent. This order will hopefully provide some much needed respite for the other tenants and the local community that have to live here. from Sarah Dundon Anti-social behaviour case worker Cornwall Council
    Sarah DundonAnti-social behaviour case worker Cornwall Council
    Closure order
  4. Dogs, cats and chickens attend annual Christmas service

    Millicent Cooke

    BBC News Online

    All animals great and small were invited to a special Christmas service at Totnes' St Mary's church.

    The annual event was organised by Sandra and Nick Nicholson and charity Animals in Distress.

    Totnes Christmas service
    Totnes Christmas service
    Totnes Christmas service
    Totnes Christmas service
    Totnes Christmas service

    A spokeswoman for the charity said: "The service was well attended by pets of all varieties - dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens all made an appearance with their owners."

  5. Bodmin flat shut down after persistent problems with drugs

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    A flat in Bodmin has been boarded up after frequent problems with drugs and anti-social behaviour stretching back 15 years.

    A closure notice for three months was issued at Bodmin Magistrates Court after collaborative work between Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing.

    Within two hours the flat was boarded up, and a closure notice stuck to the door of 22 Gregory's Court on Robartes Road.

    Door being boarded up
    Quote Message: The property was raided under two misuse of drugs act warrants in recent months and a large quantity of drugs have been found. It's been the culmination of work over a long period of time. Hopefully this sends out a strong message that behaviour of this type will not be tolerated. from PC Andrew Currie Devon and Cornwall Police
    PC Andrew CurrieDevon and Cornwall Police
  6. BreakingMan found guilty of hammer attack

    Steven McMahon

    An ex prisoner has been found guilty of carrying out a hammer attack on his girlfriend's former partner.

    Steven McMahon lay in wait for victim Benjamin Watkins and hit him repeatedly in the head with a hammer, Exeter Crown Court heard.

    After his arrest, police found a note in his pocket in which he planned the attack and an eyewitness saw him waiting in Axminster for Mr Watkins.

    McMahon, 35, of Clinton Rise, Beer, denied wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, wounding, and possession of a hammer and knife in a public place. He was cleared of wounding with intent and having a knife but found guilty of wounding and possessing the hammer as an offensive weapon.

    Judge David Evans adjourned his case at Exeter Crown Court and ordered the probation service to carry out an assessment on whether he is a dangerous offender.

  7. CCTV boost for Bodmin

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service


    Police in Bodmin look set to be able to monitor CCTV coverage better than ever before thanks to new facilities planned at the town's police HQ.

    Bodmin Town Council has agreed to sign off a bid to secure £12,000 to install a new CCTV monitoring suite at the Bodmin police base.

    The council's finance committee agreed to take the cash from the police and crime commissioner's CCTV development fund. By providing a new monitoring suite the town council hopes to help police with investigations into crime in the town.

    Work on the new monitoring suite is expected to start in the new year and there will also be a 13th CCTV camera installed in the town which has been funded through money secured as part of the planning approval for the new Aldi supermarket in Bodmin.

    Quote Message: It's fantastic news that we're getting desperately needed equipment for our station. We all know that our police services are being stretched to the limit through austerity, so getting them the right tools to help support them going forward is a real win." from Leigh Frost Bodmin town councillor and Cornwall councillor for Bodmin St Petroc
    Leigh FrostBodmin town councillor and Cornwall councillor for Bodmin St Petroc
  8. Business fined for illegally taking water

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    A Cullompton-based street cleaning business has been prosecuted for putting a public water supply at risk through unauthorised standpipe use.

    Devon and Somerset Sweepers Ltd was ordered to pay fines and costs of £1,638 for the illegal abstraction of water from South West Water's network.

    South West Water said any potential risk to water quality is taken "seriously" and is warning other companies they'll face fines if water supplies are disrupted.

    Quote Message: Connecting unauthorised standpipes to our network is an issue we take very seriously. It creates a potential risk to water quality, which could result in public health issues and damage our infrastructure. It can also interfere with our customers' supplies or fire service activities. We monitor the use of our network closely and will take action against anyone who is detected making unauthorised use of a standpipe. from Mark Hillson South West Water
    Mark HillsonSouth West Water
  9. How would you like to see Exmoor National Park develop?

    Valley of Rocks, Exmoor
    Image caption: The Valley of Rocks in Exmoor National Park

    Exmoor National Park is reminding people who live, work or just love to visit the area to have their say on how they'd like to see it develop.

    The government is holding a consultation over England's protected landscapes and the deadline is next Tuesday to submit your views.

    Exmoor was designated a National Park in 1954 and is one of 10 National Parks and 34 AONBs in England.

    Quote Message: Our National Parks are special places where people can experience some of the nation’s most iconic scenery, wildlife and heritage. If you value these landscapes, whether from near or far, it’s vital your views are heard. from Sarah Bryan Chief executive of National Park Authority
    Sarah BryanChief executive of National Park Authority
  10. Aerial ladder platforms back in use after safety fears

    Ben Woolvin

    BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

    Five out of seven aerial ladder platforms have been returned to service and declared safe for use, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has said.

    Two remain out of action due to cracks in the steel arms that support the platforms.

    Further tests are being carried out to establish whether there is a fundamental problem with the type of appliance affected.

    The area manager is Joe Hassell...

    Video content

    Video caption: Further tests on the equipment are being carried out
  11. Woman airlifted to hospital after being thrown from horse

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    A woman has a "serious head injury" after being thrown from her horse on to a road, police have said.

    Officers were called to Hayne Cross, Lewdown in Okehampton at about 11:35.

    The woman, who is in her 50s, was initially treated at the scene before being flown to Derriford Hospital by air ambulance.

    Localised closures remain in place between Sprytown and Broadwoodwidger.

    Anyone with any information is asked to contact Devon and Cornwall Police via 101.

  12. Festival refused permission to expand capacity

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A popular music festival has been refused permission to increase the number of people who attend.


    The Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival at Healey’s Cyder Farm near Truro had wanted to increase its capacity from 4,999 to 7,500 people.

    But Cornwall Council’s licensing committee ruled that the capacity would have to stay at the current level.

    The committee has allowed the festival to increase the size of its site and has also extended its hours so that recorded music can continue and alcohol be served until 02:00.

    The application had attracted a number of objections from local residents, some attended the meeting to give their views.

    Janis Crickett told the committee that she had attended the festival with her family and wanted to support local businesses but said that expanding the festival would cause harm to local residents.

    She detailed problems with noise from people leaving the festivals and people being picked up from Callestick village in the early hours of the morning.

    Quote Message: These are the things that, at the moment, we are putting up with. We don’t want to stop the cider farm, I went last year, I’m not a fuddy duddy, I enjoy a drink and a dance and my grandchildren came up with me." from Janis Crickett
    Janis Crickett
  13. Cyclist injured after being hit by truck

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    A man was left with a facial injury after he was hit by a truck while riding his bike, police have said.

    Officers were called to Crownhill Road in Plymouth at about 17:50 on Thursday.

    The male truck driver, who is in his 30s, was reported for driving without due care and attention, Devon and Cornwall Police added.

    Crownhill Road
  14. Newquay rescue helicopter busiest in UK

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    The Newquay search and rescue helicopter base was the busiest in the UK between July and September this year.

    Figures from the Department for Transport show there were 111 taskings from Newquay in the three months.

    This was more than any of the nine other civilian Maritime and Coastguard Agency bases. Ninety-four people were rescued in the Newquay missions.

    It was also the busiest station between April and June with 104 taskings.

    View more on twitter
  15. Investigations under way after crash between train and van

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Investigations are under way into the cause of a crash between a van and a train at a level crossing.

    It happened between Gunnislake and Plymouth at about 16:00 on Thursday.

    No-one was injured and the service has since returned to normal.

    Sgt Pete Cosgrove from the British Transport Police - who was at the scene on Thursday night - confirmed the crash was being investigated and said: "We are certain this is not suspicious so we will be treating it accordingly."

    Crash at level crossing
  16. Truro turbine to be erected three years after approval

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A new turbine is set to be put in place near Truro - three years after it was first granted planning permission.

    It's set to be erected on land off Ventonteague, Zelah, after planning approval was granted on Thursday.

    Planning permission had originally been given to Cornwall Council for a turbine to be placed at the site in 2015 but that did not go ahead due to changes to a government subsidy for renewable energy projects.

    The new turbine will be the same height as the one which was previously approved, standing at 321ft (98m).

    wind turbine
  17. Yellow weather warning for rain and wind on Saturday

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    Heavy rain and strong winds can be expected throughout the South West on Saturday, the Met Office has said.

    A yellow weather warning is in place between 06:00 and 18:00.

    weather warning
  18. Local march to mark 100 years of women voting in elections

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    A march is taking place in Plymouth later to mark 100 years since women were eligible to vote in a general election.

    The route will start on Plymouth Hoe and end at Elliott Terrace - the former home of Nancy Astor.

    She was the first female MP to take her seat in Parliament in 1919.

    Last month, a bid was launched to build a statue to honour her by local MP, Luke Pollard.

    Nancy Astor
  19. Reprieve granted for pay-to-pee plans in Totnes

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A reprieve for pay-to-pee plans for three public toilets in Totnes has been granted.

    In November, the council's executive approved introducing pay-on-entry at toilets in Coronation Road, Steamer Quay and the Civic Hall in Totnes, as well as Dittisham, Hope Cove, Ivybridge.

    However, the decision in relation to Totnes was called in for further scrutiny as "inadequate consultation" was taken by South Hams District Council before making its decision.

    On Thursday morning, the executive unanimously agreed with a recommendation from the overview and scrutiny committee that the proposals in Totnes be rethought.

    Further consultation will now take place with the town council in Totnes, as well as businesses in the town, with the result being brought back to the February executive meeting where a final decision will be taken.

    The Steamer Quay toilets in Totnes