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  1. Updates on Thursday 26 March 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Have a good evening

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

That's all from the BBC Local Live team for Devon & Cornwall for the time being.

We'll be back with a full round up of the news, sport, travel and weather on Friday. Enjoy the evening sunshine.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 18:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Many people have reported hearing a sonic boom on the north Cornwall coast. The RAF said jets may have been on exercise in the area. The British Geological Survey said it had no reports of an earthquake in the area - despite speculation.

BBC Radio Devon: MPs in the South West have been warned public safety is under threat if there are more cuts to policing after the general election.

A new Dawn...

The comedy actress Dawn French has today been made Chancellor of Falmouth University. The star, who lives in Cornwall, wore a specially made gown and was taken through the town in a horse drawn procession cheered on by hundreds of local people.

Dawn French
Dawn French

'Sonic booms' over north Cornwall

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A series of loud bangs have been reported across the north Cornwall coast.

People have told the BBC they thought the noises, heard just after 14:30, were

sonic booms, with some spotting fast jets near the coast. The RAF said it was possible military exercises were taking place in the area and certain weather conditions could cause such booms to sound louder than normal.

Plane attraction 'around for couple of months'

via Facebook

Managers of a vintage aeroplane tourist attraction in Cornwall which is due to close

say on Facebook they will still "be around for a couple of months."

They said: "We intend to make the closure a professional operation, and make sure the aircraft are well dealt with. It's the only way we know how to do things."

Testing underway for tuberculosis

Anna Varle

BBC Spotlight

More than a hundred people are being tested for tuberculosis after three cases of the infectious lung disease were confirmed in Devon.


One pupil at Teign school in Kingsteignton and two former pupils are receiving treatment and recovering well. Public health England says it's investigating links between these cases and another one at a school in Torquay.

Tiverton at centre of EC court case

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

The UK is being taken to court by the European Commission over a failure to properly treat waste at Tiverton water works.

It's one of 17 British sites named in a case being brought under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

The Commission alleges Tiverton - a site where waste water discharges into a sensitive area - failed to meet stringent safety standards.

Post-poll cuts 'will threaten public safety'

Simon Hall

Correspondent, BBC South West

Local MPs have been warned public safety is under threat if there are more cuts to policing after the general election.

Police lantern


Police Federation - which represents rank and file officers - says the service is "at breaking point" and could be "irreparably damaged", putting the ability to protect and serve communities at risk. Meanwhile, the leaders of the
Devon & Cornwall, and
Dorset forces have met for final discussions about an alliance to share resources and save money.

Engine house auction 'went bananas'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Auctioneer Graham Barton said bidding for the sale of an engine house in Cornwall "went bananas"

Prince of Wales Engine House, Tintagel

The Prince of Wales Engine House, near Tintagel was auctioned off, along with 45 acres of land for £81,000 despite a guide price of about £50,000. Mr Barton said: "There were three or four philanthropic who probably just wanted to own a price of heritage. It's like a chess piece on to of a hill." The BBC's Alison Johns

tweeted the picture.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 17:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: A series of loud bangs have been reported across the north Cornwall coast, with people telling the BBC they thought the noises were sonic booms and that fast jets had been sighted near the coast.

BBC Radio Devon: MPs in the South West are warned by a policing organisation that public safety is under threat if there are more cuts to policing after the general election.

Outsourcing alternatives 'will be looked at'

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Chief Executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has told a board meeting that they will look at alternative options to the controversial outsourcing of pathology services.

Bill Sheilds said they are listening to staff, but pathology needs significant investment, which may mean equipment managed by a private company. It follows a protest against privatisation outside the hospital earlier.

Police dog vehicles tyres slashed

Devon Police Dog Handlers

tweets: It would appear that two tyres were slashed last night, second a slow puncture found this morn.

Slashed tyres

Accident appeal

BBC Radio Devon

Police are appealing for witnesses after

a collision on the A380 near Newton Abbot left a motorcyclist with serious injuries.

The accident happened yesterday on Newton Road in Kingskerswell outside the Texaco garage. The 51-year-old motorcyclist is in hospital with potentially life-changing injuries.

Scilly top for greenfinch numbers

BBC Spotlight

The Isles of Scilly has become one of four top locations for Greenfinch numbers in the British Isles, according to this year's RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch survey.


The birds are in steep decline elsewhere because of a parasite, but island populations remain unaffected.

Airforce museum closing 'because of lack of visitors'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The Classic Airforce Museum at Newquay Airport is to close down because it hasn't attracted enough visitors in two years and not because of an unexpected rent hike, a manager says.

The charity admitted the rent for a hanger on the site was due to increase to £250,000 but said that was always part of the business plan.

Project and development manager Richard Spencer Breeze told

BBC Radio Cornwall: "In order for it to work, it had to generate an amount of revenue to make it sustainable. It has not been able to generate that amount of revenue."

Cornwall travel problems

BBC Travel South West

  • There are delays between Indian Queens and Fraddon because of a burst water main.
  • On the A30 westbound there is slow traffic because of an accident near the B3047 Scorrier junction
  • There's a replacement bus service running on the First Great Western service between St Erth and St Ives because of a broken down train.

Merlin contract 'protects jobs'

BBC Spotlight

Agusta Westland has won a £580m contract to maintain the Royal Navy's Merlin helicopters.


The MoD says the five year deal will support hundreds of jobs at the company's Yeovil site and at RNAS Culdrose in Helston.

Lifeguards return this weekend

RNLI lifeguards will return to beaches across Devon and Cornwall this weekend as patrols begin for the Easter holidays, the

Western Morning News reports.

A number of beaches in Devon and Cornwall will see the welcome return of lifeguards from this Saturday.

Cat and rabbit become best pals

A cat and an orphaned wild rabbit near Truro have become purr-fect pals in the unlikeliest of friendships, the

West Briton reports.

Scampi the cat and long-eared friend Bunny
West Briton

Cat Scampi and long-eared friend Bunny first met back in January when the rabbit was rescued by the Rundle family. They now live in the family home in Grampound Road and are almost inseparable.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 16:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The government has announced it's giving £1.7m to Wave Hub, the Cornwall-based offshore energy testing facility.

BBC Radio Devon: New figures show that more than 45 thousand children are living in families in the South West that have experienced the stress of council tax debt.

Burst water main havoc

BBC Radio Cornwall

We are getting reports of disruption between Indian Queens and Fraddon because of a burst water main.

The incident is affecting drivers travelling between Truro and Wadebridge.

Porsche's wheel arch ripped off in tree collision

A Porsche 911 struck a tree on a road near Exeter, ending up on its roof and having a wheel and wheel arch ripped off, the

Western Morning News reports.

The black car was travelling on Woodbury Road on Wednesday when it collided with the tree at about 23:10. The female driver and another occupant were not injured, police said.

Plymouth's Sherwell House sells for £850K

Alison Johns

BBC Radio Cornwall

Sherwell House in Plymouth sells for £850,000 - double the guide price - at auction.

Sherwell House in Plymouth

The prominent building, on North Hill near the city centre, had a minimum guide price of £425,000.

Plane attraction 'did receive support'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Cornwall Airport Ltd and

Cornwall Council said they have "made every effort" to support
Classic Air Force "to remain in Cornwall".

It's emerged the vintage plane attraction is closing after just two years.

The organisations said they had "been working to support Classic Air Force for the last nine months and have looked at a number of options for the retention of their operations at the airport, in both the existing facilities and by offering alternative arrangements".

Plymouth waterslide cancelled

BBC Radio Devon

A 100m long water slide which was due to be set up in Plymouth on Saturday has been cancelled because high winds have been forecast.

Slipway Slide

The Slipway Slide is raising money for the RNLI. A spokesman said: Any wind or gusts in excess of 20mph means that there is a danger of the wind getting underneath the slide and lifting it". Those who won a ballot to take part are asked to

email organisers.

Daffodil ground rent engine house sold for £81k

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A historic Cornish engine house - with an unusual clause in its covenants - has been auctioned off.


The Prince of Wales Engine House, near Tintagel, and 45 acres of land - plus a ground rent of one daffodil a year - sold for £81,000 after "feverish" bidding, auctioneers said. It had a guide price of about £50,000. It was originally put up for sale by the Duchy of Cornwall last September but withdrawn after an angry reaction from local people who raised thousands of pounds to restore it 40 years ago.

Cornish churches share £493k

via Facebook

Seven Cornish churches are to share £492,700 towards urgent repairs, the Diocese of Truro

says on Facebook.

The funding aimed to help them to undertake urgent repairs to their roofs, it added.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 15:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust chief executive Bill Shields tells a meeting that managers are listening over privatisation concerns.

BBC Radio Devon: Public Health England says it's working closely with Teign School in Kingsteignton to provide guidance and expertise after three cases of tuberculosis were confirmed in Devon.

Prison's listed status 'helps smugglers'

Prince Charles' passion for historic buildings on his land to be kept in their original condition may mean Dartmoor Prison has a weak spot in its security, the

Plymouth Herald reports.

Dartmoor Prison

Plymouth Crown Court was told certain cells at the prison - built during the Napoleonic wars to imprison the French - could not have grating over their windows to prevent the smuggling of contraband because of its listed building status. The claims were made during the case of a man accused of get drugs and mobile phones into the jail.

A38 partial blockage

BBC Travel South West

The A38 is partially blocked by a broken down lorry and low loader.

Traffic westbound is affected between the Twelvewoods roundabout and Doublebois.

Ferry plan could be scrapped

BBC Radio Devon

Plans for a ferry 'hopper' service along the Jurassic Coast from East Devon to Dorset might never happen - because of the cost.

Durdle Dor

Recent reports published on the

Jurassic Coast website suggest the cost of getting it running could be too high. The project will be raised by a councillor at a meeting of East Devon District Council later.

'Rent increase' behind plane attraction closure

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The charity behind a vintage aeroplane visitor attraction in Cornwall says a rent increase which would see its hangar costs rise to about £250,000 a year was behind its decision to close.

Commercial director of

Classic Air Force Jem Shaw said: "The expected overheads for Newquay have been rising and rising and rising, which was going to make it impossible for us to keep the large hangar." He added the charity was not apportioning blame, but added "That [the cost] is going to be drain on the charity. We have to act responsibly."

Richard lll: your views?

Bill Buckley

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

Today I'm asking: is Richard lll's reburial worth all the fuss?

More than 20,000 people have queued for hours to view the coffin in Leicester cathedral this week and

thousands have lined the streets for the second time ahead of today's service.

He is the last English King to die on the battlefield - so does his bravery deserve this level of attention? Let me know by calling the phone-in on 0345 3011034.

Hospital protest

Campaigners against the outsourcing of NHS services have been protesting about privatisation outside the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust board meeting.


The Chief Executive of the Trust has told the board that alternative options to the controversial outsourcing of pathology services will be looked at.

Wave Hub given £1.7m

The government has announced it is to give an extra £1.7m to the Wave Hub, the Cornwall-based offshore energy testing facility.

Wave Hub before being submerged

The £30m Wave Hub - which was installed in 2010 about 10 miles off Hayle - consists of a giant "socket" on the sea bed, which connects wave energy machines to the power grid onshore by an underwater cable to allow thye testing of devices. Business minister Matthew Hancock said the money showed the country was "strong supporters of marine energy".

News on the hour

The top local stories at 14:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Campaigners have handed in a petition calling on the Royal Cornwall hospital to reconsider plans to put pathology, sterile services and IT out to tender.

BBC Radio Devon: Plymouth Crown Court has been told a group of Eastern Europeans allegedly trafficked into the city, were threatened with violence and death if they left. Five defendants deny all charges.

A30 crash

BBC Travel South West

There's been an accident on the A30 near Carland Cross.

The westbound carriageway is affected between the roundabout and the Mitchell exit. Expect delays.

SWW 'sell-off'

South West Water is auctioning

off more than forty sites today, from water storage tanks to a reservoir.


One lot - Bystock Ponds - which covers more than 60 acres near Exmouth, are managed by

Devon Wildlife Trust. Its new owner would be required to maintain the important ecological site.

Trafficked eastern Europeans 'had death threats'

Claire Jones

BBC News Online

Eastern Europeans allegedly trafficked to Plymouth were threatened they would be beaten up and killed if they tried to leave, a court has heard.

Plymouth Crown Court was told another victim had to go to hospital after being beaten by a baseball bat. The victims, from the Czech Republic, were brought to the UK and forced into compulsory labour. Five defendants deny all the charges they are facing. The trial continues.

Loo with a view

Matt Pengelly

Local Live

A toilet block in Cornwall has made a a far from bog-standard sale after being auctioned off for £115,000.

Clive Emson

The loo, in Charlestown

boasting panoramic views of St Austell Bay had a guide price of £95,000. Auctioneer Graham Barton said "there is huge potential for a fantastic family home or holiday home with extension.