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  1. MP calls for Cornwall to have an elected mayor
  2. Dead whale washes up in Cornish creek
  3. Jury retires in Exmouth rape and attempted murder case
  4. Looe has some of the 'longest' ambulance waits in Britain
  5. Environmental activists clean up 35 huge bags of rubbish in Scilly
  6. Controversial plans to build on park in Westward Ho! dropped
  7. Totnes pound scheme halting after 12 years
  8. Updates from Wednesday 6 March 2019

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  1. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M5 Devon southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M5 Devon southbound severe disruption, between J28 for A373 Station Road Cullompton and J29 for A3015 Honiton Road Exeter.

    M5 Devon - One lane closed on M5 southbound between J28, A373 (Cullompton) and J29, A3015 (Exeter), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  2. Weather: Heavy showers possible, and sunny spells

    BBC Weather

    There will be clear spells on Wednesday evening and overnight, but also further scattered showers, which could be heavy.

    It will remain breezy and the winds are expected to strengthen towards dawn.

    Minimum temperature: 2 to 5C (36 to 41F).


    It looks set to be a windy day on Thursday with spells of sunshine, but also further scattered showers.

    The showers could continue to be heavy in places. Feeling chillier too.

    Maximum temperature: 8 to 11C (46 to 52F).

  3. Car stolen in Torquay burglary

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    A car was one of a number of items stolen in a burglary in Torquay, police have said.

    It happened between 04:30 and 06:00 on 4 March on Higher Erith Road.

    It was reported that an offender had gained access to the property and took a number of items, including a number of electrical items, two car keys and a BMW.

    One of the car keys was later located nearby by a member of the public and handed in to police, officers added.

    The suspect was described as being between 5ft 10in (1.77m) and 6ft (1.82m) tall and of stocky build.

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

  4. Totnes pound scheme halting after 12 years

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Totnes pounds

    An experiment in a south Devon town which saw it print its own currency to encourage local shopping is ceasing after 12 years, organisers say.

    Totnes pounds were initially printed in March 2007 in a month-long experiment before it was extended.

    Totnes Pound Steering Group said it was finishing because of a decline in their use "partly due to an increasingly cashless economy".

    People would be able to spend or redeem the pounds before 30 June, they added.

    The project saw more than 30,000 Totnes pounds circulated among local businesses over the years.

    The city of Exeter also started a similar scheme in 2015. It stopped last year.

  5. Fate of new Barnstaple beer garden to be decided

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A new riverfront beer garden for Barnstaple's waterside Wetherspoons should be refused over concerns about crime, anti-social behaviour and intoxicated patrons crossing the road, planners say.

    North Devon Council's planning committee will meet next week to determine an application by the pub chain to change the use of the land opposite The Water Gate to allow it to be used as a beer garden.

    The plans would see the existing green space and quadrant area opposite the pub and next to the River Taw become a beer garden for the pub - although it would be physically separate from the pub by The Strand.

    Artist impression of the new beer garden for The Water Gate pub in Barnstaple

    Council planners, though, are recommending the application be refused saying the "proposal is not designed to provide a safe place and minimise anti-social and criminal behaviour".

    Benefits to Barnstaple if the scheme was approved are recognised by the report to the planning committee.

    Points include helping the town centre to support its vitality, viability and economic prosperity - including a vibrant and diverse evening economy.

    North Devon Council's planning committee meets on 13 March to determine the fate of the application.

  6. Dead whale washes up in Cornish creek

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    A dead whale has washed up in a creek off Falmouth, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust has said.

    The pilot whale was fully examined in situ by the trust's volunteers, but, because of its location, it was not possible for it to be taken for a full post-mortem examination.

    This meant it was unlikely the cause of death would ever be determined, the trust said.

    The trust added if anyone finds a dead, stranded marine animal around the Cornish coast, to get in touch on 0345 201 26 26.

    Pilot whale washed up. Pic: Kerry Holbrook/Cornwall Wildlife Trust
  7. Plans for Perranporth skate park move closer

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Plans for a large state of the art skate park in Perranporth appear to be one step closer.

    A meeting has taken place this week to discuss the scheme, which could cost almost £250,000.

    If approved, the park would be located near the town's football and rugby pitches in the Ponsmere Valley.

    Members of Perranzabuloe Parish Council said that the area already had a "thriving board-riding culture" and they hoped to harness "this local potential to provide board riding facilities of the highest standard".

  8. Fairy door makers want to 'keep magic alive'

    Emma Thomasson

    BBC Spotlight

    A couple in Cornwall that makes and paints fairy doors to leave around their local town say they want to "keep the magic alive" for children.

    Danny Saville and Demelza Cremin leave the fairy doors out overnight in and around Hayle for children to find...

    Video content

    Video caption: A Cornish couple paints fairy doors to overnight around Hayle
  9. The Hoosiers to headline new Exeter festival

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    Tickets have gone on sale for a new Exeter festival this summer.

    The Hoosiers will be headlining the three-day event in July, which will also include screenings of films Bohemian Rhapsody, The Greatest Showman and Mary Poppins Returns.

    Set in the surrounds of Northernhay Gardens, organisers said local musicians would perform and a community and family day was also planned across the three days.

    The Hoosiers
  10. Football: Adams nominated for monthly award

    Brent Pilnick

    BBC Sport

    Plymouth Argyle manager Derek Adams has been nominated for the League One Manager of the Month award for the second successive month.

    Derek Adams

    The Pilgrims were unbeaten in February, winning two and drawing two of their four games.

    He is nominated alongside Luton boss Mick Harford, Daniel Stendel of Barnsley and Sunderland manager Jack Ross.

  11. New festival hopes to 'ignite' Cornwall business scene

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    Cornish businesses are being asked to join the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce at a festival celebrating the county's "pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit".

    The Cornwall Festival of Business will take place from 28 October to 1 November.

    The event looks to provide opportunities for the local business community to "connect, share best practice and collaborate" for the benefit of the region and for their own business.

    Quote Message: We now need Cornwall’s businesses – large or small, who share the same desire to see the region reach its full thriving commercial potential – to get behind the festival and get involved. Allowing businesses to collectively open their doors and showcase." from Toby Parkins President of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce
    Toby ParkinsPresident of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce
  12. Jury retires in Exmouth rape and attempted murder case

    Ben Woolvin

    BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

    The jury in the trial of a 17-year-old accused of raping and attempting to murder a 10-year-old girl has retired to consider its verdict.

    The boy, who was 16 at the time, cannot be named for legal reasons.

    He denies the charges but has admitted choking and sexually assaulting the girl in Exmouth, Devon, on 4 October 2018.

  13. Campaigners 'overjoyed' by planning refusal recommendation

    Sophie Pierce

    BBC Radio Devon

    Campaigners opposed to a high rise development on the harbourside in Torquay say they're "overjoyed" planners are now recommending it be refused.

    Last year, the "Save Cary Green" campaign succeeded in getting a judicial review of the controversial scheme for an 11-storey block of flats and a five-storey hotel.

    Now, planning officers at Torbay Council say the developer has failed to come up with enough evidence to justify the scheme and are recommending refusal.

    Cordelia Law is from "Save Cary Green"...

    Video content

    Video caption: Campaigners opposed a scheme for an 11-storey block of flats and a five-storey hotel
  14. Dartmoor mast plans labelled 'preposterous' by locals

    Sophie Pierce

    BBC Radio Devon

    Plans for a new mobile communications mast on Dartmoor are causing concern among local people.

    More than 100 have so far objected to a plan by the Home Office and EE for a mast in the Dart Valley, near New Bridge.

    In its submission to the planners, it said the mast was needed for use by the emergency services as part of a roll-out of new technology to remote areas which don't currently have coverage.

    Objectors, though, said the plans contravened policy which said structures should not be allowed which adversely affected the visual landscape of Dartmoor.

    One campaigner has called it "a preposterous and huge intrusion".

    There is also the concern that, once it is approved, all other mobile operators will want to put their masts on it.

    Dartmoor near River Dart
    Quote Message: The Emergency Services Network represents cutting edge technology and will be the future platform for communications in the emergency services. As part of this development, we are building around 300 new masts in some of the most remote and rural areas of Britain, which will potentially improve commercial coverage in most of these areas." from The Home Office
    The Home Office

    The building of the masts is subject to local planning authorities granting permission.

  15. Sea defence works costing £3.7m start at Long Rock

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    Work has started to protect and improve one of Cornwall's most iconic seafronts as part of a £3.7m sea defence project.

    Cormac will install almost 1,000ft (304m) of new rock armour sea defences on Long Rock beach, near Penzance, in a bid to safeguard the coastline.

    The work, which is being carried out on behalf of Cornwall Council, will be completed by September or sooner if weather conditions were favourable, the council said.

    The works are being wholly funded by grants from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Environment Agency Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid (FDGiA).

    Long Rock