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  1. Updates on Tuesday 10 May 2016
  2. The latest News, Sport, Travel and Weather from 08:00 Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Hundreds of birders visit Land's End to see pelican

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

A rare Dalmatian pelican has been spotted in the UK the first time in Cornwall. 

Hundreds of bird enthusiasts travelled to the Land's End area in Cornwall to catch a glimpse after the sighting was widely shared on social media. 

Pelican. Pic: Josef Fitzgerald-Patrick
Josef Fitzgerald-Patrick

Paul Freestone, from the Cornwall Birding website, said the pelican, with a 1.6m (5ft 3in) wingspan, had been previously spotted recently in Germany and Poland. He said a slight abnormality in one of its feathers established it was not an escapee from a zoo or wildlife park.

Birdwatchers. Pic: Josef Fitzgerald-Patrick
Josef Fitzgerald-Patrick

Brian Egan from the Rare Bird Alert network said there was strong evidence for the bird to be officially verified as the first one to visit the UK. He said a final decision will be made by the British Ornithological Union Records Committee later in the year.

Autistic boy Josh Wills goes home

BBC News Health

Josh Wills

Autistic boy Josh Wills is settling into life at his new home in Cornwall after three years living in a specialist hospital unit in Birmingham, almost 300 miles away from his family.

Latest weather: Misty and damp overnight, and a mainly bright Wednesday

David Braine, Weather Forecaster

Tonight will be mild, misty, and damp with further outbreaks of rain across the east, which again will turn heavy at times. Minimum temperature: 11C (52F).


It'll be a misty but mostly dry start on Wednesday, but it will gradually turn brighter through the morning. However, there is still the risk of the odd heavy or thundery shower during the afternoon. Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).  

St Austell football player Marcus Martin banned over referee attack

View more on twitter

The incident happened after he was sent off, having reacted angrily to a penalty awarded against his side.

Martin pleaded guilty to improper conduct under FA rule E3, which covers physical contact, violent conduct and threatening and/or abusive language or behaviour against a match official.

Tooth decay rates vary in Devon and Cornwall

BBC Spotlight

Devon and Cornwall have seen variations in tooth decay levels in five-year-olds compared to national figures.

The number of five-year-olds with tooth decay in England has dropped to its lowest level - about 25% - in almost a decade, according to figures from Public Health England. In 2008, it was nearly a third.

Child brushing teeth

Across the South West, the figure is 21%. Within the counties, Plymouth is the best with a figure of 15% and Torbay fares worst with nearly 27%. Devon as a whole comes in at just under 20%, and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly sees a rate of 22%.

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Andrew Segal

Local Live

- A man's body is found in a car near Plymouth city centre

- AFC St Austell midfielder Marcus Martin is suspended from all football-related activity for 27 months and fined £150 after admitting a charge of improper conduct after injuring a referee

- A police radio controller did not send an ambulance to a man found collapsed in Bodmin despite a request to do so from a retired paramedic, an inquest is told

- Cornwall Council wants to hear views about a potential new link road between the A30 and St Austell after getting £1.5m for a feasibility study

- Hundreds of bird enthusiasts travel to the Land's End to see a Dalmatian pelican, which is believed to be the first one spotted in the UK

PCC under siege: 'It's the right thing to do'

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

The newly-elected and besieged Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall insisted that taking up her new position was "the right thing to do" at the ceremony to swear her in to the new role in Exeter this afternoon.

Alison Hernandez

Conservative Alison Hernandez was elected on Friday but is now being investigated by police regarding her role in signing off election expenses in last year's General Election. She denies any wrongdoing.

Police controller 'did not send ambulance to collapsed man'

Scott Bingham, BBC Spotlight

An inquest into the death of a 46-year old man, who was found collapsed by the side of the road in Cornwall, has heard a police radio controller did not send an ambulance despite a request to do so from a retired paramedic.

Christopher Rothwell, 46, from Newquay, was eventually taken to hospital, where he died, in August 2014 after being found collapsed on Dennison Road in Bodmin. He had appeared at the town's magistrates' court earlier in the day.

The controller did request a police officer was sent to the scene but a computer issue meant the request was not received, the hearing was told. The inquest, in Truro and in its second day, continues.

Jailing of 'extremely dangerous' paedophile welcomed

BBC Radio Devon

Police have welcomed an "extremely dangerous" predatory paedophile being jailed for 28 years for historic sexual abuse dating back to the 1990s.

Thirty-three-year-old Robert Singleton, from Starcross, was convicted in April of committing 10 serious sexual assaults against four young girls in the area between 1995 and 2013. He was jailed on Friday at Truro Crown Court and ordered to serve at least 22 years, with another six years on licence.

Robert Singleton Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police
Devon and Cornwall Police

Det Ch Insp Neil Ralph said: "This disturbing case has resulted in an extremely dangerous man being given a lengthy custodial sentence, which reflects the seriousness of his offending, to protect the local communities." He added he hoped the sentence would "bring some closure to the affected families".

North Devon hospital changes 'led by local clinicians'

BBC Politics

The government has sought to allay fears over the future of the North Devon District Hospital following suggestions some key services could move away. 

The prospect is contained in a document that forms part of the so-called Success Regime - a major review of health services across Northern, Eastern and Western Devon. North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones said he told regime managers that local geography and the high standard of acute services at Barnstaple meant they should think very carefully about changes.

North Devon District Hospital

In the House of Commons, Health Minister Ben Gummer said: "I do recognise the unique geographical circumstances of the constituency. That is precisely why the Success Regime is being led by local clinicians, and I hope that they take into account all the views and all the clinical needs of constituents."

Truro City needs £500,000 investment to progress, says owner

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Truro City chairman Peter Masters says he is looking for investment of at least £500,000 to help the club reach the National League.

Along with co-owner Philip Perryman, Masters says he has put in £25,000 every month this season to support the Cornish side, who finished fourth in National League South.

Treyew Road

"I want to take the club forward into the National League if possible and that's going to take a substantial amount of investment," Masters told BBC Radio Cornwall. "I've already had a number of people who have been in contact with me in regards to putting investment into the club and one in particular appears to be a good suitor, but the door's open for anyone."  

Subsidised ferry 'losing out heavily' over catamaran delay

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

Bosses of a ferry service in Devon given more than £500,000 in public subsidy say they have "lost out heavily" because of a long delay in obtaining a promised purpose-built catamaran for the route.

Ferry. Pic: Brixham Express
Brixham Express

The Brixham Express, which started in November 2014, is currently operating a small fishing boat (pictured) between Brixham and Torquay instead of the 100-seat catamaran. Mary O'Driscoll, of Brixham Express, said the catamaran was waiting for a safety certificate in Donegal, Ireland, from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). 

There had been "inexplicable and significant delays", she said, and the firm had "lost out heavily because of this long delay". The MCA said it was "awaiting confirmation that the noted defects have now been rectified".

Truro Mayor: 'Include young people in prosperity'

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

The new Mayor of Truro called on everybody in Cornwall to meet up and work together to improve jobs and housing in the county.

Rob Nolan
Rob Nolan

Speaking at the mayor-making ceremony in Truro last night, Rob Nolan said: "I believe the greatest challenge we face is how to include our young people in the prosperity of modern Cornwall, and make sure that they don't end up as bystanders watching success from behind a bar or shop counter."

Falmouth and Penryn policing to change

West Briton

Neighbourhood policing is undergoing a change as Falmouth and Penryn is left with just two beat managers.

Man's body found in car

BBC Radio Devon

A man's body has been found in a car in the Bretonside area of Plymouth, police have confirmed.

Officers said they were informed at about 14:10 of a dead body of a man, believed to be in his 40s, in the back seat of a stationary car in North Street, near The Swallow pub.

Investigators are at the scene and a cordon has been set up.

New fines to tackle problem parking at Plymouth Life Centre

BBC Radio Devon

People who do not park in designated bays at Plymouth's main leisure centre risk getting £70 penalty charge notices under new measures being introduced by the city council.

The authority said the measures, starting on 6 June, were "to tackle inconsiderate and dangerous parking around the Plymouth Life Centre" following a public consultation.

Plymouth Life Centre. Pic: Google

It said the measures would "address ongoing problems with vehicles being left around the edge of the Life Centre car park ... which obstructs access for other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians". It added vehicles were often found "blocking access for emergency vehicles and restricting access to the disabled parking bays".  

High arsenic levels found at homes with with private water supplies

Hannah Stacey

BBC Radio Cornwall

About 5% of homes with private water supplies tested in Cornwall have been found to have high levels of arsenic, a study has found.

The British Geological Survey and Health Protection Agency study tested 127 homes, and 5% exceeded World Health Organisation guidelines of 10 micrograms per litre. About 3,500 properties in the county have a private water supply. 

The British Geological Survey said there was strong evidence people living with high arsenic concentrations in water were exposed to concentrations potentially detrimental to health.

Householders could install treatment systems to reduce exposure and were advised to routinely test groundwater supplies, it added.

Weatherman Kevin: 'Good to be back'

Death of two-year-old girl 'not suspicious'

Plymouth Herald

Police say the death of a two-year-old girl in south Devon is not being treated as suspicious.

Call for more north Devon flood defences cash

BBC Radio Devon

The government's being asked to spend more money on flood defences in places such as Barnstaple. 

A recent study showed that a quarter of properties in the built-up area of the north Devon town were at risk of flooding at some point.

Councillor Brian Greenslade said: "Hopefully we're going to be talking about a situation which is some years away from being the disasters that the studies have suggested, so there is time to invest."

Rare pelican at Land's End 'the first seen in UK'

View more on twitter

Hundreds of birders have travelled to Land's End to catch a glimpse of it. 

They are normally found in southern Europe.

Plymouth Council leader calls for meeting over new commissioner

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The leader of Plymouth City Council says he is calling for an emergency meeting of the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel to discuss newly sworn-in Police Commissioner Alison Hernandez's "arrogant decision" to take up the role whilst being under investigation by police.

Alison Hernandez

Conservative Ms Hernandez is under investigation for allegedly failing to declare general election expenses in Torbay last year when she was the election agent. She has denied any wrongdoing.  

Council leader Tudor Evans he said: "Police and crime commissioners are supposed to keep an eye on the police on behalf of the public. If a member of the constabulary was in the same situation as this commissioner, they would already be suspended."

New mayor for West Devon

Exeter Chiefs prop Francis picked in Wales squad

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Wales have selected Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis as part of a 35-man squad for their summer tour of New Zealand.

The 24-year-old has completed an eight-week ban after appearing to make contact with the "eye or eye area" of England's Dan Cole in their Six Nations match.

Tomas Francis
Rex Features

Francis can also play in the Premiership play-offs, where Exeter host Wasps at the semi-final stage.

Officials 'must be held to account' over farming payment promise

Plymouth Herald

Government officials must be "held to account" over promises to deliver the next round of EU farming subsidies on time, Westcountry MPs have said.

GP referrals 'sometimes rejected because of lack of information'

Jenny Walrond, Health Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

Some 8.4% of patients - about 24,000 - referred by GPs in Devon and East Cornwall for hospital treatment, had the referral rejected or returned, up from 4.5% in the financial year before (2014-15). 

Some GPs criticised the system as a form of rationing.

But the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, which runs the service, said sometimes not enough information was given with the referral.

Ferry's £540k subsidies 'verging on the ridiculous'

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A Torbay councillor says handing out £540,000 of subsidies for a ferry firm that has failed to deliver a promised 100-seat catamaran for more than two years is "verging on the ridiculous".

Brixham Ferries won a contract in 2014 to supply the year-round service between Brixham and Torquay as part of Torbay Council's green travel plan which promised the catamaran. It is advertised as a "custom built catamaran" (pictured), but it is currently a small fishing boat.

Catamaran. Pic: Brixham Ferries
Brixham Ferries

Steve Darling, Liberal Democrat leader on the Conservative-controlled council, says he "can't understand why any subsidy has been handed out". Torbay Council said no subsidy had been paid since April last year because it had "not been able to comply with the vessel specification" in the contract. Brixham Express said it was still waiting to get a safety all-clear on the vessel. 

Is fast broadband a right?

Janet Kipling

BBC Radio Devon

I'm here with Devon Debates, looking at the big stories of the day.

Broadband: how fast is yours, and do we have a right to it?

Call in on 0345 3011034.

Latest weather: Showery rain possibly becoming thundery

BBC Weather

It'll be mostly cloudy and misty, with low cloud affecting hills and parts of the coast. Outbreaks of showery rain will move in, which may be locally heavy and possibly thundery at times. Light variable winds will become occasionally moderate. Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).


Tonight will again be mostly cloudy, with a few further outbreaks of occasionally heavy and perhaps thundery rain. Some drier spells should develop, but it will remain rather murky with mist and low cloud affecting coasts and hills. Winds will continue to be light or moderate. Minimum temperature: 10C (50F).

Police commissioner sworn in

John Danks, BBC Spotlight

View more on twitter

Alison Hernandez has been sworn in as the police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall at a ceremony held in Exeter Guildhall.

She said she would review station closures, help victims of crime and increase police visibility.

Police Federation calls for commissioner post to 'remain vacant' during investigation

Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

The organisation that represents rank and file police officers in Devon and Cornwall has called for the post of police commissioner to "remain vacant" until an investigation into the newly elected commissioner is completed.

Conservative Alison Hernandez is under investigation for allegedly failing to declare general election expenses in Torbay last year when she was the election agent. She has denied any wrongdoing.

Nigel Rabbitts

Nigel Rabbitts, of the federation (pictured), said: "I think that my members would expect that the post should remain vacant until we had the outcome of the investigation. That is both fair for her and fair for the constituents within Devon and Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly."

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Andrew Segal

Local Live

- The Police Federation and local councillors call for the new crime commissioner to stand aside until an election expenses investigation into her actions as a Conservative party election agent is completed

- A man is Tasered by police near an Exeter shopping centre

- The number of hospital referrals from east Cornwall and Devon GPs being rejected or returned more than doubles in a year

- A ferry service in Devon has been given £500,000 in public subsidy, despite not delivering a promised purpose-built catamaran

What does the new Cormac partnership mean for Cornwall?

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall Council's arms-length company, Cormac, is joining forces with Nottinghamshire County Council to make a huge roads company called Via.

What exactly does this mean for us in Cornwall and the staff who work for Cormac?

Call us on 01872 222222.

Conservative HQ sends press team to police commissioner ceremony

View more on twitter

Alison Hernandez is under investigation for allegedly failing to declare general election expenses in Torbay last year when she was the election agent. She has denied any wrongdoing.

View more on twitter

She is due to be sworn in at a ceremony at Exeter's Guildhall at noon.

Burst water in Brixham

Exeter city centre cordons lifted after man Tasered

View more on twitter

The cordons were put in place after a 40-year-old man was detained by police after officers deployed a Taser by the Guildhall Shopping Centre's High Street entrance at about 03:30.

Radio telescope erected in Cornwall

BBC Spotlight

The first radio telescope for amateur astronomers in the UK has been put up at an observatory in Cornwall.

Radio telescope

The radio telescope is unique because it's linking up with optical telescopes at the same site to record data from deep space. It's exciting star gazers who are already vying for international dark sky status on Bodmin Moor. 

Exeter University students are the driving force behind the project, which has taken two years to reach this stage.

Man Tasered near Exeter shopping centre

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A man has been Tasered near an Exeter shopping centre by police investigating reports of a man "acting strangely and possibly being in possession of a weapon".

Exeter cordon

Officers began searching for a suspicious male near the King William Car Park at about 01:15.

A 40-year-old man was detained by police after officers deployed a Taser by the Guildhall Shopping Centre's High Street entrance at about 03:30. The man was taken to hospital was due to be questioned later, officers said. Police have set up a cordon at the scene.