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  1. Updates from Monday 20 May 2019
  2. Anger over asbestos scare closing Mount Batten beach
  3. Plymouth get £2m boost to develop autonomous sea vehicles
  4. Cornwall families 'desperate' for new mental health unit

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Chris Vallance

    BBC Radio 4's PM programme

    A block of flats in Barne Barton, a former naval estate, in Plymouth

    Chris Vallance

    BBC Radio 4's PM programme

    Community support groups are a powerful way of tackling mental distress - but they are being lost, a report says.

    Read more
  2. Police concerned for missing man in Callington

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    Police say they are "increasingly concerned" for the welfare of of man who has gone missing from his home in the Clampits area of Callington.

    John Trice, 79, was last seen just before 14:00.

    He is described as 5ft 6in tall with white hair. He is wearing a dark jumper, blue jeans and sandals.

    Devon and Cornwall Police would like to hear from anyone with information.

    John Trice
  3. Pupils planting wildflowers in schools

    Charley Adams

    BBC News Online

    Primary schools across Exeter have started a new wildflower seed sowing initiative.

    Students will be sowing wildflowers to bring colour and wildlife interest to school grounds in the 'sow and share' project.

    The wildflower seeds given to the 20 primary schools include many rare species that are declining in the Devon countryside. These include cornflowers, common poppies and corn chamomile.

    Georgia Scott, a teacher from Willowbrook primary school said: “The children have really enjoyed getting stuck into the hard work preparing the grounds for the seeds. It has helped them to become real wildlife champions, we can’t wait to see the flowers grow”.

    Any remaining seeds from the project run by Devon Wildlife Trust will be given to the children and their families for sowing in their own gardens.

    Hand holding seeds
  4. New 'retail park' on Exeter Tesco car park plans approved

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Plans for a new "retail park" on land next to Exeter’s Vale Tesco Extra superstore have been approved.

    The scheme, submitted back in December 2017, has finally been given approval by Exeter City Council planners.

    It would see a new 1,230 sq m building with 46 parking spaces built on land inside the existing, huge overflow car park off Russell Way.

    No details as to the occupants of the store have been revealed, but the application was for a non-food retail unit.

    The application was given planning permission by city council officers under delegated powers last week.

    Exeter retail park plan
  5. Car swarmed by bees in Hayle

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    If you're not too fond of insects, then look away now.

    This swarm of bees decided to make a temporary home on a car at a supermarket in Cornwall on Monday.

    Amy Whitaker, who took this photograph in Hayle, said it was a "very fascinating" sight.

    An insect specialist was called in and managed to disperse the swarm from the car.

    Amy said the "bees were very happy to be there" and that "every effort was made to keep the bees safe".

    She added: "Everybody was fascinated by them. No harm came to anybody or any bee."

    We can't see if it's a Bee-M-W...

    Bees swarm car in Hayle
  6. Chelsea Flower Show: Interest takes root for SW growers

    BBC Spotlight

    Chelsea Flower Show

    Horticultural exhibitors from the south west are showing off their skills to Her Majesty the Queen at the Chelsea Flower Show.

    They have been putting their finishing touches to exhibits for the show ahead of judging.

    One of those on display is the Duchess of Cambridge-designed garden titled Back to Nature, which is due to head to NHS Langdon in Dawlish after the event.

    You can find more coverage of the show on the BBC website here.

    Chelsea Flower Show
    Chelsea Flower Show
  7. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A380 Devon southbound

    BBC News Travel

    A380 Devon southbound severe accident, between A38 and B3192 Ashcombe.

    A380 Devon - A380 blocked and stationary traffic southbound between Splatford Split in Kennford and Ashcombe, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

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

  8. Exeter Cathedral bans UKIP's Carl Benjamin from hustings

    The Guardian

    Exeter Cathedral has banned a UKIP candidate from taking part in hustings for Thursday’s European election, saying he may be a risk to public order.

    Cathedral authorities have invited UKIP to send another candidate to the event.

    You can see the full list of 2019 European election South West candidates here.

  9. Torpoint ferry sails back to the Tamar after refit

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    A Torpoint ferry vessel which has been undergoing a refit should be back in service this week, managers say.

    The Tamar II has undergone work at A&P in Falmouth (pictured) and should be back in action by the bank holiday weekend - a week ahead of schedule - the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee said.

    The work has included updating equipment and electrical work, an extensive overhaul of hydraulic systems, installing a new CCTV system, cleaning the hull and repainting the vessel.

    Drivers and passengers using the route on the River Tamar between Torpoint and Plymouth - reported to be the world's biggest and busiest chain ferry service - complained of long delays earlier in the year.

    The operators have thanked them for their patience.

    Tamar II undergoing work
  10. 'Toxic' claim from Tom Daley's husband, Dustin Lance Black

    BBC Sport

    British Swimming says it is "extremely disappointed" after claims from Tom Daley's husband, Dustin Lance Black, that the organisation has created a "toxic environment" for families at the Diving World Series.

    Black, 44, later said the organisation was "corrupt" in a series of tweets.

    It followed a dispute over child buggies, which are not allowed on the concourse at the London Aquatic Centre.

    British Swimming said it offered to put measures in place for the family.

    Plymouth-born Daley, 24, won mixed 3m synchro gold alongside Grace Reid on Sunday after clinching the overall individual 10m World Series crown.

    He was supported by some members of his family but husband Black and their surrogate son, Robbie Ray, were absent.

    Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black
  11. Authorised travellers sites could be created across Devon

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A network of authorised transit sites for gypsies and travellers to stay at across Devon could be created.

    Councils across the county have agreed to seek a more coordinated way to deal with influx of travellers who often turn up at "high profile and unsuitable" locations.

    Devon County Council, working with district councils, is exploring the creation of a "network" of pieces of land across Devon, with one or two in each district area, in which gypsies and travellers can be directed to if they turn up in those unsuitable locations.

    A willingness to explore negotiated stopping has been agreed already. It would means that local authorities would no longer resort immediately to legal means.

    Instead they would direct travelling families to stay, for limited periods of time, on land already identified and agreed where it isn’t causing great inconvenience to anyone.

    Travellers in car park
  12. Pioneering £2.7m project will help dementia sufferers

    BBC Radio Devon

    A £2.7m project led by the University of Plymouth will use artificial intelligence to personalise live radio, to help people living alone with dementia.

    Radio Me will seamlessly "remix" live digital broadcasts so that listeners receive personalised reminders, information and music.

    It's hoped that will improve their quality of life and keep them at home for longer.

    The AI software will be created at the university and trialled for 50 months in Cambridgeshire and Sussex.

  13. Plymouth's Exeter Street viaduct closed for seven weeks

    BBC Radio Devon

    One of Plymouth city centre's busiest routes will be closed for the next seven weeks.

    The 140m stretch of the Exeter Street viaduct, which links Charles Cross to St Andrew's Cross will be shut inbound to make sure the city centre can cope with extra traffic heading to The Box and a new leisure complex.

    Buses, taxis and emergency vehicles will be able to use Bretonside, which is being reopened for them.

    Other drivers will have to follow a diversion and the city council is urging people to consider car sharing, public transport, riding a bike or staggering their journeys.

    Plymouth Exeter Street viaduct closure map
  14. University declares environment and climate emergency

    Charley Adams

    BBC News Online

    The University of Exeter has declared an environment and climate emergency.

    It has established a team to support those calling for urgent action by governments, councils and other organisations to tackle climate change.

    Professor Sir Steve Smith, vice-chancellor at the University of Exeter said:"At the University of Exeter, we have some of the best teams anywhere in the world working on climate change and the environment.

    "We are working with policy makers locally, nationally and globally and will continue to work in partnership at every level from local councils to the inter-governmental panel on climate change at the United Nations to make a difference.

    On 23 May a public event will be held on the Streatham campus to look at action beyond the declaration of a climate emergency, hosted by the Global Systems Institute. Also, on 3 June the Environment and Sustainability Institute will host an event with Cornwall Council.

    University of Exeter
    Quote Message: The future of our planet and community is at stake. We want to support those calling for urgent action and show our commitment to leading the change required by declaring an environment and climate emergency.” from Professor Steve Smith Vice-chancellor, University of Exeter
    Professor Steve SmithVice-chancellor, University of Exeter