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Summary

  1. Man, 88, arrested on suspicion of murder after body found
  2. An elderly woman has died after a fire at a bungalow in Wadebridge
  3. £43.6m worth of government funding 'to benefit 10 projects'
  4. Exeter bus station revamp on hold
  5. Storm Doris: Driver freed from van after tree falls on vehicle
  6. --- Torpoint Ferry damaged in high winds
  7. --- Hundreds of homes were without power across SW
  8. --- Incinerator workers evacuated after Storm Doris damages roof
  9. Updates on Thursday 23 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Thanks for joining us at BBC Local Live

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

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

Don't forget  Spotlight on BBC One  later. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

'Communication disconnect' behind hunt for new £68K council official

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall Council has been told its suffering a "communication disconnect" with residents.

Twitter
Twitter

The council wants to controversially appoint a "head of communications and engagement" to make up ground - with a salary of up to £68,000.

The Taxpayers Alliance has said councils miss the point that the best way to engage with local residents is just to provide services effectively.

Council leader John Pollard said: "The Local Government Association said there was a communication disconnect between the council and its residents.

"A survey in 2016 showed that only 35% of residents are clear about what we do and what we spend our money on."

Devon and Cornwall weather outlook: Clear night followed by dry day

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

The wind will ease this evening and we'll get a dry and clear night.

It will be significantly cooler than recent nights, though frost is unlikely. Minimum Temperature: 2C (36F).

Weather
BBC

Tomorrow will be completely different to today: it will be dry and pleasant with light winds and plenty of sunshine.

Cloud will cover the far west later. Maximum Temperature: 10C (50F).

Rabbits return to Royal Cornwall

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

Competitive rabbit showing will be back at the Royal Cornwall Show this year.

In 2016 show organisers - along with shows around the country - were forced to cancel the section at the event after a new strain of the deadly Viral Hemorrhagic Disease (VHD2) was discovered in the country.

Sharon Bresland, honorary secretary of the show’s fur section, said: "We know the section was missed last year as we received some lovely messages."

Rabbit at the Royal Cornwall Show
Royal Cornwall Show

Bungalow inferno neighbour praised for trying to save woman

BBC Radio Cornwall

A fire investigator has praised a neighbour who tried to save a woman in a fire at a property in Wadebridge.

Bungalow
BBC

The unnamed elderly woman died in hospital after the fire in Whiterock Road last night.

Fire investigator Richard Gibbons said: "He heard the smoke alarm from the next door property and he's gone in as a good neighbour should to see how things are.

"Unfortunately on this occasion he couldn't do anything about it but he's taken the right action by dialling 999."

MCA response to Coastguards quitting

We are aware of an issue with the Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Team. We will be working with those involved to bring about a swift resolution. Coastguard Rescue Teams are a much-valued part of our search and rescue capability which also includes helicopters and lifeboats so anyone who finds themselves in difficulty should be assured that they will always get help if they call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Senior members of Dartmouth Coastguard quit, BBC understands

John Ayres

BBC Spotlight

Senior members of the Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Team have quit in a dispute with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the BBC understands.

The group carries out cliff rescues along the coastline in south Devon.

It is not known exactly how many members have quit.

The cause of this dispute is not yet known, although in recent weeks, crews in other parts of the country have quit following changes to their procedures.

Public advised to take action to limit problems with aggressive seagulls

Stephen Bardwell

Local Live

To head off annual problems caused by aggressive seagulls, Cornwall Council is offering advice.

Seagull
BBC

Large gulls can be intimidating when scavenging for food. They are most aggressive during the breeding season. "Extremely protective parent birds sometimes swoop on people and pets in an attempt to drive off potential threats," said Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council's Cabinet Member for Communities.

"Just removing nests will not solve the problem. The birds will just build another in the spring. Remove all nests from buildings now, then discourage the gulls by fitting spikes in nesting and roosting areas."

As food is a priority to gulls rearing young, people are asked not to feed the gulls, leave lids off bins or put rubbish out too early.

Geoff also advises that "steps you take may be more effective if you join forces with your neighbours, and it may keep the cost down".

Energy problems in new town - mum 'washes four children in kitchen sink'

Neil Gallacher, Business & Industry Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

A new town's faulty heating system has left a desperate mum bathing her children... in the kitchen sink.

Emma
BBC

Energy company E.On, who supply to 1,500 homes in Cranbrook near Exeter, has admitted there have been teething problems and it deals with problems as they arise.

Mother Emma Rosier said: "It can be fine for a while then all of a sudden we've got no heating. So when we try to bath the children we've got no hot water.

"I've been bathing four children in the kitchen sink for the last three weeks."

A public meeting is being held at Cranbrook's energy centre at 18:30 on 8 March.

Power restored to thousands of homes after Storm Doris cuts

BBC Radio Cornwall

Engineers took 90 minutes to get power back to thousands of people hit by Storm Doris this morning.

Plug
BBC

Storm Doris has brought down trees and power cables across the South West. 

John Nesbit, Western Power distribution manager for Redruth said: "We had 3,000 customers off which was the result of four incidents on the high voltage network."

He said they were now working on a number of low voltage incidents which have affected about 30 households.

Authority increases council tax by £5 a year for average property

BBC Radio Devon

East Devon District Council's part of the council tax will rise to almost £132 in April - an increase of £5 for the average property. 

The council says the amount is the lowest in Devon and one of the lowest in the country.

The £5 increase, which was approved by the council on Wednesday night is less than 10p extra per week.    

Pensioner, 83, filmed driving the wrong way on the M5 fast lane causing an eight-car pile-up before dying in hospital had a chronic kidney disease and was 'confused'

The Daily Mail

An ill pensioner drove the wrong way down the fast lane of a motorway for five miles after becoming confused when he joined the road, an inquest has heard.

Cliff rescuers walk out in dispute with coastguard bosses

John Ayres

BBC Spotlight

Members of a Dartmouth-based cliff rescue team have quit in a dispute with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the BBC has learned.

Cliff
BBC

It is not known exactly how many members have quit.

The cause of this dispute is not yet known, although in recent weeks, crews in other parts of the country have quit following changes to their procedures. 

In a statement, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency told the BBC: 'We are aware of an issue with the Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Team. 

"We will be working with those involved to bring about a swift resolution."

Newquay flats sealed off in hunt for offender

Police are trying to find a "wanted offender" at a block of flats on The Crescent in central Newquay.

Police
BBC

A police cordon is in place to allow officers to carry out their work, which includes a detailed search of that location, officers said.

"No further information is available at this time other than to reassure the local community that they are in no danger and this is not connected to any terrorism-related incident," the force added.

Station revamp 'looks fantastic' says secretary of state

BBC Radio Devon

A regeneration project at Plymouth station "looks fantastic" says Secretary of State, Sajid Javid MP.

Station
LEP

A regeneration project at Plymouth station and a hi-tech and digital centre at South Devon College are among 10 schemes in the South West which will benefit from an extra 43.6m from the government.

The money's going to the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership to help create local jobs and growth. 

Mr Javid said Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer was front and centre promoting the project.

"At times it has felt that neither I, nor my team, or my ministers, were safe without Johnny springing up to talk about an 'essential renovation project in Plymouth that required a little investment'."

Man, 88, arrested in murder probe

John Henderson

BBC Spotlight

A murder investigation's started following the death of an elderly woman in Padstow.

Police and ambulance crews were called to a property on Wednesday and found the body of a woman in her 80s. 

Police say an 88-year-old man's been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Map
BBC

Hodgkiss extends Torquay loan

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Defender Jared Hodgkiss has extended his loan at Torquay United by another month, subject to paperwork being completed.

The 30-year-old right-back has made four National League appearances since joining the Gulls from Kidderminster.

Jared Hodgkiss
Rex Features

“I don’t think we have seen the best of him yet, as he came here having not played much football this season," said player-boss Kevin Nicholson. "I expect him to get better and better and hopefully we can keep him for longer.”   

Mysterious sea creature washes up on Charlestown beach near St Austell and no one knows what it is

Cornwall Live

A St Austell man who discovered an 8ft mysterious creature on a Cornish beach is asking for help to try to identify the animal.

Roxy the Boxer and the Storm Doris 'flapometer'

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

Do not pass go: Exeter bus station revamp on hold

BBC Radio Devon

A multimillion-pound revamp of Exeter bus station has been put on hold in a wrangle over contracts.

Bus
Google

The city council had planned to start construction on a state-of-the-art new leisure complex St Sidwell's Point, and a new bus station at the end of March with completion in December 2018. 

But "due to the nature of the tender returns submitted by contractors bidding for the contract" the bus station will continue to operate as normal "until further notice".

Councillor Phil Bialyk said: "Contracts will only be signed when we can be sure that Exeter is getting the best value for money, and the best development possible."

We'll drink to that! Silver cup with dramatic rescue link under the hammer

BBC Radio Cornwall

A fascinating piece of Cornish history with a story of bravery and drama behind it is due to go on sale this weekend.

Cup
National Maritime Museum

In November 1846 the Norwegian ketch Elizabeth was reduced to matchwood in a storm and six crew including the captain died.

Henry Cuttance, landlord of the local inn and a smuggler to boot, rallied help for the three survivors.

In recognition of the rescuers bravery a silver mug was presented to Mr Cuttance by the King of Norway in honour of his "brave and noble" actions.

On Saturday that very silver cup and collection of Mr Cuttance’s possessions will go up for auction in at WH Lane auctioneers in Penzance

£43.6m worth of government funding 'to benefit 10 projects'

Alison Johns, BBC Radio Devon

A regeneration project at Plymouth railway station and a digital centre at South Devon College are among 10 schemes in the South West which will benefit from £43.6m worth of funding from the government. 

The money's going to the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership in a bid to help create local jobs and increase growth. 

Leader of Plymouth City Council, Ian Bowyer says it's fantastic news and a real place changer. 

The Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver, says it means young people will have the opportunity to receive high level technical skills without having to move away from the Bay.

Incinerator workers evacuated after Storm Doris damages roof

BBC Radio Cornwall

Storm Doris has ripped off part of the roof at a waste incinerator in Cornwall.

View more on twitter

A 20m long gash appeared at the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre which contractor Vinci is investigating "as soon as possible".

High winds have hampered repairs so far and waste deliveries are being sent elsewhere.

All staff apart from control room workers have been evacuated from the site "until a proper safety assessment can be made",

Tributes to student Luke Johns after fatal stair fall

Claire Jones

BBC News Online

Tributes have been paid to a South Wales law student who died after an accident at a university halls of residence.

Luke Johns, 19, suffered fatal head injuries in a fall at the building in Cobourg Street, Plymouth, at 02:30 GMT on Sunday.

A spokesman from the University of Plymouth said Mr Johns was in the first year of an LLB (Hons) Law degree and had just completed his first semester.

Cobourg Street, Plymouth
Google

Dr Dan Gilling, Head of the Plymouth Law School, said: “Luke was a popular and hard-working student, who was enjoying life at the university and undoubtedly had a bright future ahead of him.

"His death has come as a huge shock to all his friends and lecturers and we are offering round-the-clock support to all those affected by this tragedy.”

Storm Doris: Dramatic picture of fallen tree shows power of the wind

BBC Radio Devon

Blow me down - well Storm Doris did some damage last night - including this tree at Ilsington in Devon.

Tree
James Higgin

James Higgins did a tremendous job with this pic - thanks James.

Have you got any similar shots from the storm? We'd love to see them - we can't pay but you get your name on the internet! Just ping them over to us here!

Neighbour's 'brave attempts' to rescue woman from burning bungalow praised

BBC Radio Cornwall

Firefighters who pulled a woman from a burning bungalow in Wadebridge have praised the "brave attempts" made by a neighbour to save her.

Police said the elderly woman was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in a critical condition, but she has since died.

Fire
BBC

A neighbour tried to get her out of the property after hearing the smoke alarm. Fire crews were alerted to the blaze in Wadebridge at about 22:30.

When firefighters reached the scene they rescued the woman from the building and put the fire out. The cause of the blaze is not known.

Fire
BBC

Driver freed from van after tree falls on vehicle

BBC Radio Cornwall

Firefighters have managed to free a man who was trapped in his van after a tree fell on the vehicle near Torpoint. 

It happened on the A374 between Antony and Sheviock. 

He's been taken to Derriford Hospital with "superficial leg injures", police said.

Van
Torpoint Fire Station

BreakingElderly woman dies in bungalow fire

BBC Spotlight

An elderly woman has died after a fire at a bungalow in Wadebridge.

The woman was taken to hospital in a critical condition after the fire on Whiterock Road, Wadebridge last night.

One man, who was also in the property, was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation; one neighbour also went to the Royal Cornwall Hospital as a precaution.

Hugh Scully collection goes under the hammer

Julie Skentelbery

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

On Saturday that very silver cup and collection of Henry Cuttance's possessions will go up for auction in Penzance.

The sale will also include a collection of cartoons and maps from the estate of Antiques Roadshow favourite, Hugh Scully. 

Man, 88, arrested after body of elderly woman found

An 88-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of an elderly woman was found in Padstow.

The woman from St Merryn has not been named.

Police said the death was being treated as suspicious. 

"An 88-year-old man from Padstow has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody awaiting questioning," said a spokesman.

BreakingMan, 88, arrested on suspicion of murder

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Police have launched an investigation following the death of an elderly woman in Padstow.

An 88-year-old man from the town has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody. More to come.

More fallen trees and ferry out of action as Storm Doris sweeps in

BBC Travel

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