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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Lack of seagull control prompts apology from mayor

    Tamsin Melville

    Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall


    The Mayor of Looe has written to residents apologising that they won't have access to gull control services this year.

    People living in the harbour town won't be able to use a "seagull egg removal service" because of coronavirus restrictions.

    Mayor Martin Gregory says it will be a worry for residents because 40-50 households a year ask for action on nesting gulls which have become very aggressive.

    It comes as there are also some warnings that urban gulls might also become more aggressive than usual because of a drop in food sources in towns.

  2. Plan to allow furloughed workers to get jobs on farms

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    A Cornish MP has said the UK will have to look hard at its reliance on overseas workers to bring in the country's harvest.

    Food and Farming secretary, George Eustice, made the comments after Eastern European farm workers were flown into the country on charter flights to pick fruit and vegetable crops.

    He said the government had a plan to allow workers who have been furloughed to take a second job on a farm.

    Mr Eustice, the MP for Camborne and Redruth, said there would not be big numbers of workers coming from Eastern Europe this year.

    "We have to accept that many of those who were here will have returned home to be with their families and the numbers coming will be far, far lower than normal," he said.

    "What we are working on is a scheme to promote those who have been furloughed ... to be able to take a second job helping to get this year's harvest in ... we will be announcing more and saying more on this next week."

  3. Funding package 'is lifeline' to fishing industry

    Martyn Oates

    BBC South West Political Editor

    A £10m support package to help the fishing industry through the coronavirus pandemic has been announced by the government.

    Environment Secretary George Eustice said it “provided a lifeline for more than 1000 fishing businesses”.

    Grants aimed at boats of under 24 metres will be payable for up to three months starting on Monday.

    Fishing leaders say the government now needs to extend support to over 24m boats which make up a considerable part of the South West fishing fleet.

    Fishing boat
  4. South west businesses adapt to survive under lockdown

    Ollie Yates

    BBC Spotlight

    Walkhampton Inn

    Businesses across the South West are taking on the challenge of a generation to keep going during lockdown.

    Many have had to adapt to new ways of operating and for some it’s led to new ideas that could outlive lockdown.

    The Walkhampton Inn on Dartmoor has turned to takeaways to see it through and says at weekends it’s selling up to one hundred meals.

    Tarquin’s Cornish Gin lost the majority of trade overnight when restrictions came in. It’s now selling gin online as well as diversifying into hand sanitiser.

    While Just Shellfish in Port Isaac, decided to close their shop and deliver their crabs and lobsters door to door. They say it’s gone so well, they are likely to continue the service when the lockdown period comes to an end.

  5. Patrols will be watching for Covid-19 lawbreakers

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Police have warned the "small minority" who ignore coronavirus movement restrictions that patrols are looking out for them.

    Police generic

    Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew of Devon and Cornwall Police said officers understood the "hardships that our communities are going through at this time".

    But the force would be "continuing our high-visibility patrols".

    Enforcement would be a "last resort but we will not hesitate to use this where appropriate", he said.

    “Unfortunately, a small minority of people continue to ignore the restrictions and we are appealing to them to do the right thing."

    And he spelled it out: "Only go outside for essential food, for exercise, for health reasons or work, but only if you cannot work from home.

    "If you go out, stay 2m (6ft) away from other people at all times. Do not meet others, even friends or family."

  6. Withdrawing cash from credit union 'first outing in weeks'

    Ben Woolvin

    BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

    In Plymouth, people have been queuing for the city’s credit union and telling the BBC what the lockdown extension means to them.

    The union has got about 4,500 members – many of them are on low incomes and have benefits paid direct to their credit union account.

    Most were withdrawing cash to do their shopping, with one woman saying its was the "first time I've been out for three weeks".

    Another man who was getting money to spend on his children, said he was finding it "really hard" not being able to leave their flat more than once a day.

    queue outside credit union
  7. Coronavirus: Thirteen further deaths in South West

    Thirteen further deaths of people infected with coronavirus have been reported in the South West.

    NHS England said the latest figures included:

    • Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - four
    • Derriford Hospital - four
    • North Devon - two
    • Dorset - one
    • Royal Devon & Exeter - one
    • Taunton & Somerset - one

    The latest deaths mean there have been 204 in the region in total.

    Of those, 91 have been in Devon and 54 in Cornwall.

  8. Cornwall parks signs say it is open and closed

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Cornwall Council is looking into how contradictory signs were put up on a park's gates saying it is open and closed.

    Twitter user @kerenja messaged the authority to ask what the situation was after taking a picture of signs saying: "This facility remains open for your daily exercise" and "This facility is closed".

    In response to @kerenja, the council said "someone will look into this".

    The park has not been identified yet. The BBC has tweeted the council for a comment.

    View more on twitter
  9. 'Situation normal' for county lines dealers in lockdown

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Some drug dealers are not being deterred from travelling across England during the coronavirus lockdown, police in south Devon have said.

    Officers tweeted that four males from North West England were arrested in Torquay on Wednesday for drug supply offences.

    One of them, also charged after being allegedly found with a flick knife, was also allegedly in breach of Covid-19 regulations for the second time in three days, police said.

    "Situation normal for county line dealers unfortunately it seems", officers added.

    View more on twitter

    County lines is the term used to describe criminal gangs who move illegal drugs from big cities to more rural locations. They often use threats and violence to make children and vulnerable adults move and store the drugs, as well as weapons and cash.

    Dealers operating in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset were told earlier in the week by police they would not be able to take advantage of coronavirus to move around because they would "stick out like a sore thumb" under the travel restrictions.

    However, forces around the country have said dealers are continuing to try to operate despite the lockdown measures.

  10. £10m fund for fishing industry

    Miles Davis

    BBC News Online

    Brixham harbour

    The fishing industry in England will receive a £10-million bailout after its markets in the UK and Europe collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Fishing businesses across the south west have said reduced sales during the coronavirus crisis have devastated their industry.

    More than 1,000 fishing and aquaculture businesses will receive up to £9 million in direct cash grants with another £1 million available to help fishing operators sell their catch locally, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said in a statement.

    The grants are to assist with the fixed business costs for up to three months for owners of under-24 metre vessels with English fishing licences who last year recorded sales of at least £10,000.

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said: "Fishing is at the heart of many of England's coastal communities - providing local jobs as well as valued produce to their communities and through exports around the world."

  11. Third of eligible firms make coronavirus grants bids

    BBC Radio Devon

    Hundreds of businesses in Exeter who've been invited to make a claim for a grant to help them through the coronavirus outbreak have yet to do so.

    Empty cafe

    Exeter City Council is helping distribute £25m of government funding in the form of either small business grants or retail, hospitality and leisure grants.

    Last week, the council wrote to 2,000 businesses in the city inviting them to make a claim.

    But at the moment, only about a third to a half of those eligible have responded.

    There are more details about what is available here.

  12. Councillor's cash message to second-home owners

    Claire Gilbody-Dickerson

    BBC News

    A Cornwall councillor is calling on owners of second homes not to claim government cash meant to help support small businesses during the pandemic.

    Second-home owners can register as a business if their property is available to rent for at least 140 days a year and they can claim business rate relief and don't need to pay council tax.

    In a letter to St Ives MP Derek Thomas, Labour councillor Cornelius Olivier condemned the "loophole" that could allow for a "very large" part of the £300m destined for holiday and leisure businesses to go to second home owners.

    "It would be a complete disgrace for a government scheme intended to help struggling small businesses, to end up channeling tens of millions of pounds to the owners of properties that are essentially a combination of valuable investment, luxury asset, and useful source of income," he said.

    Cornwall beach
    Image caption: A councillor has called on second home owners to leave cash to small businesses
  13. Woodcarver creates superhero signs for NHS

    Claire Hawke

    BBC Local Live

    Woodcarver Johnathon Whittaker from Plymouth is creating signs that recognise the superheroes in NHS workers.

    Video content

    Video caption: Woodcarver creates superhero sign for NHS
  14. Zoo fundraising to prevent closure

    A zoo in Devon has said if things do not improve it will need to think about closing its doors and rehoming animals.

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dartmoor Zoo had to close its doors to visitors and is now appealing for donations to keep the zoo running.

    Benjamin Mee

    Benjamin Mee, chief executive of Dartmoor Zoo said as a young charity the zoo tends to come out of the winter "running on empty".

    Between April and July, Dartmoor Zoo in Devon - which was the basis of the Hollywood film, We Bought A Zoo - usually makes about £500,000.

    Coral Jones, the deputy chief executive said the zoo was looking to raise £11,000 a week.

    Despite two-thirds of the staff being furloughed, running costs currently amount to £45,000 a month.

    The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) said during this period of "extreme challenge for our sector" it would work closely with other sectors and the government to make sure zoos can "pull through this crisis".


    The zoo said it was struggling to access government backed loans and was only eligible for a local council grant.

    Mel Stride, Conservative MP for Central Devon said it was the government's intention to provide help to get businesses through this "incredibly difficult time", but there were "problems" with getting support to the businesses.

  15. Coronavirus: Fourteen further deaths in South West

    Fourteen further deaths of people infected with coronavirus have been reported in the South West.

    NHS England said the latest figures included:

    • Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - three
    • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust - one
    • Royal Devon & Exeter - two
    • North Devon - one
    • Taunton & Somerset - seven

    The latest deaths mean there have been 191 in the region in total.

    Of those, 84 have been in Devon and 50 in Cornwall.

    A three-week extension to the lockdown is expected to be announced later.

    It comes as the UK recorded another 861 coronavirus deaths, taking the total number of hospital deaths to 13,729.