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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 13 May
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Matt Pengelly and Andrew Segal

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

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

We hope you can join us for more news, sport, weather and travel on Thursday from 08:00.

Wet & Windy tomorrow

David Braine

Weather forecaster, BBC Spotlight

We will see a dry start to tonight with some clear spells before thicker cloud gradually spreads in from the southwest, bringing a little rain by dawn. It will also be a milder night under the cloud. Minimum Temperature: 8 Deg C (46 Deg F).

Weather graphics
BBC

A very different day is in store on Thursday as we see wet and windy weather for much of the day. The cloud and rain will make it feel much colder and the rain will be heavy and persistent at times, especially over Dartmoor, before it begins to clear away to leave sunny spells and the odd shower to end the day. Maximum Temperature: 13 Deg C (55 Deg F).

'Black spider' memos 'raised issues of public concern'

Press Association

The Duke of Cornwall has defended his decision to write letters to government ministers.

A Clarence House spokesman said Prince Charles was "raising issues of public concern, and trying to find practical ways to address the issues."

Some of Prince Charles's correspondence with ministers - known as the "black spider" memos -

is being released following a long-running battle by Guardian newspaper journalist Rob Evans to see the documents following a freedom of information request.

Gorthuher da!

David George

BBC Spotlight

Delegates at a business fair in Cornwall have been discussing the Cornish language and whether its use is an advantage or a turn off for customers.

Cornish speaking pub
BBC

The panel included Cornish and Welsh speakers and representatives from the tourist industry who said the language was part of Cornwall's unique appeal. Hear from one Cornish business that uses Kernewek in my report for

BBC Spotlight on BBC One at 18:30.

Merlin's mews reach near record levels

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A cat from Torquay is able to make himself purr-fectly heard after being measured purring at nearly the same volume as a dishwasher.

Merlin, the loud cat. Pic: Channel 5/PA Wire
Channel 5/PA Wire

A team from

Guinness World Records has measured Merlin's mews as reaching 67.8 decibels. It's not quite the loudest, but it was almost the same volume as a shower, the team said.

Owner Tracy Westwood said: "When you're watching films you have to turn the telly up or put him out of the room, if he's eating he'll purr loudly. I can hear him when I'm drying my hair... and sometimes if the telephone rings I do get people asking me 'What's that noise in the background?' I tell them it's the cat but I don't know if they believe me."

Devon woman 'rowing coach of the year'

BBC Radio Devon

A Devon woman has been named rowing coach of the year for her work encouraging others to take up the sport.

Eleanor Burke
BBC

Eleanor Burke has been recognised for her endeavours by

British Rowing.

More than 400 rescued by Royal Navy

BBC News

UK

A Plymouth-based warship has

rescued hundreds of migrants from the Mediterranean, the Ministry of Defence has said.

navy
MOD

HMS Bulwark is working to bring more than 400 people to safety after they were found 40 miles from the Libyan coast in inflatable boats. You can watch

a video of the rescue here.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Theresa May has suggested that rescued migrants should be returned home, as offering resettlement regardless of circumstances would encourage more to make "perilous journeys".

Latest headlines

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The top stories on BBC Local Live - Devon & Cornwall include:

  • The South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust is to pull out of providing the non-emergency 111 care line three years early.
  • A man has been arrested in connection with
    alleged sex attacks at a Devon care home.
  • Some of the Duke of Cornwall's so-called "black spider" letters to ministers
    are published.

Duke's 'spider memos' published

BBC News

UK

Private letters sent by the Duke of Cornwall to Labour government ministers a decade ago

have been published after a lengthy legal battle.

Prince Charles
PA

Twenty-seven letters between the prince and seven government departments were sent from September 2004 and April 2005 - sometimes known as the "black spider memos", in reference to Prince Charles's handwriting. Some replies

were published with redactions after a campaign by the Guardian newspaper.

In one letter to the prime minister, the prince said the armed forces were being asked to do a challenging job "without the necessary resources".

Glover anticipates 'tough' European Championships

BBC Sport

Olympian rowing pair Heather Stanning and Cornwall's Helen Glover are the strongest medal contenders European Rowing Championships in Poland later this month.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

They are among a 50-strong GB team named for the event in Poznan on 29-31 May. The competition will see the Olympic and world champions (pictured here with their Olympic golds) reunited after Stanning's recent recovery from fatigue.

Under-threat school 'may have new owner'

Western Morning News

Penzance's under-threat independent school could be under new ownership in less than two months with a guarantee that it will remain open for at least five years, the

Western Morning News reports.

Terms have been agreed for the Bolitho School, which has been owned by GEMS since 2009, is to be acquired by the St Ives-based Porthia building group and a philanthropic investor. If all goes to plan, contracts will be exchanged on May 31 with completion on July 10.

Missing man 'seen in Nottingham and Suffolk'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A missing man from Cornwall may have been seen in Nottingham and Suffolk,

Devon and Cornwall Police say.

man
Devon & Cornwall Police

Andrew Lambert, from Camborne, has not been seen since Tuesday 5 May. Police previously said he suffered from a condition which caused amnesia and could be in a confused state, may not even respond to his name, and had disappeared before.

Officers said: "There have been potential sightings of Andrew in the past few days in Nottingham, and most recently in Lowescroft, Suffolk. We believe that he is using the bus as his main method of transport and officers are keen to speak to Andrew to ensure his welfare."

Public urged to use 111

Victoria Gould

BBC Radio Cornwall

Senior health managers in the south west have urged the public to keep using the 111 phone number for non-emergency healthcare advice.

Today it was revealed the

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is to give up its contract to provide the NHS 111 service in Devon and Cornwall at the end of March next year.

A spokesman for the region's health commissioners said they "have ample time to ensure a new, high quality service will take over. The public will not be affected by this decision and we will do everything possible to ensure a seamless transfer of service."

Young website testers wanted

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

Do you know any music or sports fans, aged 13-18, who'd be interested in trying a new BBC website?

New website trial
BBC

The new service for young people means they can can play, edit or share the things they have made. It goes live in September and will be open for testing between June and July.

Click here to find out how to get involved.

Buzz-feed News

Plymouth Herald

The

Plymouth Herald reports a hornet which could be one of the largest in the world has been found in a garden in Plymouth.

hornet
Nicola Tapp

The bug is believed to be an Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), known as the yak-killer hornet, and was found in the garden in Bickleigh by Nicola Tapp.

Due to its size, it is believed that the hornet was a Queen as they will exceed 4cm, while workers are between 3.5cm and 3.9cm in length.

'No going back' over public toilet closures

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall's councillors have been told there will be no going back on the decision to close public toilets.

Toilet sign
Thinkstock

In a briefing to members on the severity of budget cuts, the chamber was told there were 78 still run by the authority and there had been strong interest from the commercial sector in taking them over.

Others have been given back to parish and town councils or landowners.

Charles avoids 'predictable' memos questions

Press Association

The Duke of Cornwall declined to reply to questions earlier today about the imminent release of his letters written to government ministers.

Prince Charles's correspondence with ministers - known as the "black spider" memos -

are due to be released following a long-running battle by a Guardian newspaper journalist to see the documents following a freedom of information request.

As he arrived at Marks and Spencer's on Oxford Street in London for an event to highlight the Prince's Trust, a journalist asked if he was "worried" about the letters and if he still wrote to ministers. He did not respond, but said "very predictable" as he entered the store.

Man arrested in connection with alleged care home sex attacks

Andy Birkett

Reporter, BBC Spotlight

A 32-year-old man has been arrested "on suspicion of conspiracy to commit sexual assault" in connection with the alleged sex attacks at a Devon care home.

Devon & Cornwall police
BBC

On Tuesday, Christina Sethi, 25, of Woodville Road, Torquay, was

charged with three counts of sexual assault.

The man has been bailed pending further enquiries, Ms Sethi has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Plymouth Crown Court on 26 May.

'The dog will always come first'

PCSO Kirsty Down D&C

tweets: Responding to incident, hot dog in vehicle parked in direct sunlight. The dog will always come 1st.

Duke of Cornwall's letters to be published

Peter Hunt

Royal correspondent, BBC News

Today

secret letters sent by the Prince of Wales to Labour government ministers are to be published following a decade-long campaign by
the Guardian newspaper.

hrh
BBC

In public - in speeches, on television and through articles - Prince Charles has, for decades, attempted to influence public opinion on matters that he cares passionately about.

It's a question we'll be in a better position to answer with the publication of these letters sent to members of Tony Blair's government.

Night-surfing to return

Matt Pengelly

Local Live

A spectacular night-surfing event is to return to Newquay's Fistral Beach later this month.

surf
Jason Feast

It's thought the Smart Parking Night Surf is one of the only competitive night-time surfing events in the world. It's being supported by Newquay's Business Improvement District.

Wembley dreams for Bastille star

James Law

BBC South West Sport

The drummer for the rock band Bastille, Chris "Woody" Wood, is hoping to play Wembley - to cheer on Plymouth Argyle in the League Two play-offs.

argyle
Plymouth Argyle

The lifelong Argyle fan will be there as the Pilgrims try to overturn a 3-2 deficit at Wycombe on Thursday - victory would mean a match with either Southend or Stevenage, with a place in League One next season at stake.

Wood said: "We were fortunate enough to support Muse two years ago and we did the Emirates, Etihad and Amsterdam Arena, but we didn't actually get to do Wembley. Obviously that's the dream for everyone."

Mitie responds to fresh criticism

BBC Radio 4 Today

The outsourcing giant Mitie has defended

its pay systems and performance in the care sector.

The BBC has learnt the company's chief executive is to meet government officials following claims it has not been paying some staff the minimum wage. There have also been concerns raised over the length of time care workers can spend with clients.

A spokesman for the Mitie subsidiary MiHomecare said: "The quality of the care that we provide and the safety and dignity of our customers is our highest priority". He added it was working with carers who had raised concerns ''on an individual basis''.

A familiar pair for the Euros

BBC Sport

Cornwall's Helen Glover has been selected for the European rowing championships in Poland later this month.

She'll defend her gold medal in the women's pair, but will be back without her Olympic rowing partner Heather Stanning who had to withdraw.

Pig success for Cornwall

Western Morning News

A husband and wife team of Cornish pork producers have won national recognition at the recent

Pig and Poultry Marketing Awards, says the
Western Morning News.

oink
WMN

Bill and Sally Lugg of the Primrose Herd, based at their small holding near Redruth, came away with a commended in the Brand Identity Category, and a highly commended in the Taste of Excellence Award.

Dalwood deaths pair named

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The names of two people who were found dead at a house near Axminster at the weekend have been

named by police.

Graham McCartney and Jane McCartney. Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police
Devon and Cornwall Police

The bodies of Jane McCartney, 59, from the Dalwood area of east Devon, and 63-year-old Graham McCartney, from Honiton, were discovered on Sunday.

Devon and Cornwall Police said officers were continuing to investigate the "tragic deaths", but were not looking for anyone else in connection with them. More forensic searches are being carried out.

Latest headlines

Matt Pengelly

Local Live

The top stories on BBC Local Live: Devon & Cornwall include:

  • The BBC has learnt that Mitie's chief executive will
    meet government officials to respond to wage claims and concerns raised by a Devon whistleblower.
  • A man and woman whose bodies were found in a house near Axminster in east Devon are named by police.
  • The South West ambulance service is to drop its NHS 111 contract next year.

New operator needed for 111 health line

Victoria Gould

BBC Radio Cornwall

Ambulance managers in the south west have announced they are to stop running the NHS's 111 non-emergency phone line in Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.

Since taking up the contract in February 2014, the

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has failed to meet several key performance indicators - now the Trust has served notice on its contract and will stop at the end of March next year.

Commissioners have told GPs

there is ample time to ensure a new high-quality provider will take over the service and patients and the public will not be affected.

Do carers have time to care?

Bill Buckley

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

On the lunchtime show on BBC Radio Devon we're asking whether professional carers have enough time to properly care or are they always watching the clock when they visit their clients?

And why are women increasingly hitting the bottle? Call us now 0345 301 1034.

Devon road problems

BBC Travel

  • The A377 in Chulmleigh is partially blocked between the Pope's Lane junction and the B3042 junction, because of an accident involving three vehicles.
  • There's an accident on A381 in Halwell near Torquay around the A3122 junction.
  • There are waiting times of up to 15 minutes on both sides of the River Tamar and two ferries running on Torpoint Ferry.

Cloud sweeping in

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

It'll be dry with bright or sunny spells, but further west it will become more cloudy at times. Light or moderate east or northeasterly winds will veer to the southeast.

map
BBC

Tonight it will be dry at first, but

cloud will increase and some initially patchy rain will move in from the west to become heavier and more persistent later. Southeasterly winds will become fresh and at times, locally strong. Min Temp 8C (46F).

Plymouth fire investigation

BBC Radio Devon

Police are

appealing for witnesses following a serious fire at a builder's yard in Plymouth yesterday.

Roads were closed in the Wingfield Road area of Stoke and residents advised to keep their windows closed - police are treating the fire as 'suspicious'.

Doggie in the bluebells

via Facebook

Thanks to Sheila Saunders for sharing this lovely image of bluebells in Treslothan Woods, near Camborne via the

BBC Radio Cornwall Facebook page.

bluebells
Sheila Saunders

If you've got a pretty picture to show us, please do

pop it over to us on an email.

Bank branches 'to close'

Plymouth Herald

The

Plymouth Herald reports NatWest Bank has today announced it will close a string of branches including several in and around Plymouth.

The bank is to close its branches in Callington (7 September), Kingsbridge (15 September), Plymstock (25 September), Ivybridge (28 September) and Saltash (29 September).

A spokesman for the bank said: "We are working hard to ensure there are a number of alternative ways for people in the area to continue to bank with us."

Smoked Wings wins award

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

A Cornwall-based photographer has won one of the most prestigious food photography awards.

David Griffen 'smoked wings'
David Griffen Photography

David Griffen picked up the top prize at the

Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year for Smoked Wings, taken in Kuala Lumpur. Judge Jay Rayner said: "The composition is fantastic. The billowing of the smoke from the smoker on one side. The billowing of the smoke from the guy's cigarette on the other."

Oxford United sign Exeter midfielder

BBC Sport

Oxford United have

signed midfielder Liam Sercombe on a two-year deal following the expiry of his contract at Exeter City.

Liam Sercombe
Getty Images

Sercombe, 25, made 263 appearances for his hometown club Exeter since joining as a trainee in 2007. "He has a lot of experience at 25 and we think he will be a major asset," said manager Michael Appleton.

We need to talk about Kevin

Simon Bates

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

Kevin and Andrew were once on top of the world - together, they had it all, fame, fortune and success.

kevin
BBC

Now it seems their partnership has ended in acrimony, betrayal and mistrust. So what went wrong?

Watch their 'Our Tune' story here.

Migrant rescue - latest

Matt Pengelly

Local Live

More details have emerged of HMS Bulwark's latest rescue mission in the Mediterranean.

bulwark
MOD

The Devonport-based warship has already recovered 225 people from inflatable boats 40 miles off the coast of Libya, and is expected to pick up another 220 later. They will be taken to Italy.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "The ship is providing medical assistance, food, water and dry clothes to those in need and will transfer them safely to land as soon as possible."

Prison alcohol treatment research

BBC Radio Devon

A study led by Plymouth University claims alcohol treatment programmes for offenders have a marked success rate in preventing them from reoffending.

Researchers from the School of Psychology found that

those who did not participate in alcohol treatment programmes were more than twice more likely to be reconvicted.

The report's authors conclude: "Given the hundreds if not thousands of offenders who might be eligible to attend an alcohol treatment program each year, this could amount to substantial public savings. Beyond financial gains, committing fewer offences and staying out of prison have strong and continued benefits for the offenders, their families, and the community."

New probe into Thorpe case

BBC Radio 4 Today

An inquiry is to take place into claims evidence was altered during

the police investigation into former Liberal Party leader and North Devon MP Jeremy Thorpe in the 1970s.

liberal
BBC

The politician, who died last year aged 85, was acquitted of conspiracy to murder the model Norman Scott in 1979 - an allegation has been made that a witness statement was changed during the original investigation.

Avon & Somerset Police has asked another force to carry out the inquiry - the Independent Police Complaints Commission has been informed.