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Summary

  1. Missing woman from Bristol whose car is found in Devon is a junior doctor
  2. Nazi salute councillor getting "diversity training" described as "extraordinary" by MP
  3. Dartmoor school closes for three days after sickness bug outbreak
  4. Redruth industrial estate fire tackled by emergency crews
  5. Exeter leisure centre fire "caused by plastic packaging dropped in sauna"
  6. Demand in Devon and Cornwall for help from Citizens Advice hits five-year high
  7. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Thanks for joining us at BBC Local Live for Devon and Cornwall

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 Thursday 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.

Beady eyes are watching the daffodils at Heligan

BBC Radio Cornwall

This pair of beady eyes at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall are enjoying a feast of spring-time flowers.

Heligan
Heligan

Visitors to the gardens between March and April can witness the woodland floor bursting into life, with gentle mellow yellows and whites of over 30,000 Cornish daffodils.

Heligan
Heligan

"As these bulbs begin to flower, the power they give to the woodland is immense. We will continue to build on this spring extravaganza every year, to create a wonderful collection”, said Iain Davies, head of gardens and estate.

Poem sees the lighter side of Ashburton roadworks

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

A Devon town has taken to poetry to try and encourage shoppers to come and visit during gas works.

Ashburton
Ashburton Post Office

The centre of Ashburton has one of its major roads closed for 16 weeks but is determined to get the message out there that it's still open. 

Local poet Sarah Lace has written a humorous poem which is being  promoted on YouTube  to persuade people to keep coming.

Poem
Ashburton Post Office

She said: "People seem to like it, it's got many likes and hopefully it'll make a difference."

Latest weather: Staying cloudy for many

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

It will be cloudy, mild and mainly dry tonight. However, patchy hill fog and light rain or drizzle will continue in southern and western areas. Minimum temperature: 9C (48F).

Weather
BBC

Any of the remaining patchy rain will die out through the morning, although it will remain rather cloudy along the south coast. Elsewhere, it will be a mild and bright day with lighter winds. Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).

Andrew brothers among trio to sign Pirates deals

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Brothers Paul and Jack Andrew have signed new two-year contracts with Championship side Cornish Pirates, along with fly-half Will Cargill.

Paul, 28, has made 135 club appearances since making his debut in 2008, and spent the 2013-14 season at Worcester.

Paul Andrew
Brian Tempest

Fellow prop Jack, 26, joined the Pirates in 2013 from Plymouth Albion and has played 87 times. Cargill arrived at the Mennaye from Yorkshire Carnegie in 2015 and has scored 157 points in 38 games.

Junior doctor search: 'No other traces besides car'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A hunt for a missing junior doctor who has not been seen for almost two weeks has yielded no other traces of her than her car, police say.

Dr Lauren Phillips - who works for North Bristol NHS Trust, but has also worked in Cornwall - was last seen on Thursday 23 February. The 26-year-old's car was found in Woolacombe in Devon five days later.

Lauren Phillips
Handout

Searches have been carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police, assisted by HM Coastguard, the RNLI and the National Police Air Service.

We continue to do everything we can to find Lauren and we're making sure her family are regularly updated about our investigation."

Det Insp Mark Langdon Avon and Somerset Police

'Mutiny' voyage 'most difficult of my life' says round-world yachtsman Conrad Humphreys

BBC Spotlight

A Devon round-world yachtsman who helped recreate an epic voyage for a new Channel 4 documentary says he was tested to the limit.

Conrad Humphreys
Channel 4

Exeter-born Conrad Humphreys stars in  Mutiny , in which a team re-live Captain Bligh’s 4,000-mile voyage of survival after the mutiny on the Bounty 230 years ago.

“We experienced very similar conditions to Bligh’s crew – rough seas, no shelter, no cabins, no toilet,” said Humphreys.

Mutiny
Channel 4

"It’s was remarkable voyage because the boat was 23ft long – that’s about a metre per man – and we were on it together for 60 days."

Humphreys, who has circumnavigated the world three times, will give a talk at the University of Exeter's Forum on 27 March.

Getting rid of DIY waste? It's going to cost you

BBC Radio Devon

People will have to pay to get rid of all DIY plastic, skirting boards, water tanks and sinks at Devon's household recycling centres from next month, the county council says.

Oil tanks will also no longer be accepted at local tips.

Waste
BBC

Devon County Council said it wanted to "improve health and safety on the sites".

Pick-up trucks towing trailers and long wheelbase vans over 6m long will also no longer be able to dump waste at the centres.

Missing doctor Lauren Phillips 'depressed at state of NHS'

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Missing Bristol doctor Lauren Phillips was "getting increasingly depressed with the state of the NHS", according to a former colleague.

Lauren worked at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust during her foundation year.

One of her former colleagues, who wanted to remain anonymous, described her as "a very sweet doctor". He said: "She makes sure everything is OK and stays three hours late to get everything done. She works crazily hard."

Police are searching for Lauren, who was last seen on 23 February, after her car was found at Woolacombe in Devon five days later.

Sewage flowed on to beach after engineer went to wrong place

BBC Radio Devon

A South West Water engineer went to the wrong place after sewage started flowing on to a holiday beach in Devon on a bank holiday weekend, a court heard.

Beach
Nilfanion

An automatic alarm alerted the company's headquarters to a discharge on 28 August 2015, but, as the engineer had been sent to the wrong place, he reported back that there was no problem.

This caused a delay before the company identified the true source of the discharge and sent teams to clear the blocked sewer and flush out the system.

South West Water admitted discharging polluting matter into Dawlish Brook. Exeter Crown Court Judge Geoffrey Mercer adjourned sentence until he has heard another case involving South West Water. 

Council revamp websites for all platforms

BBC Radio Devon

Two Devon councils have launched new websites with the promie of "making it quicker and easier for residents to interact with the council".

Website
South Hams District Council

South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council have moved pages which are visited most frequently to the top of the homepage.

This includes things like ordering recycling sacks, reporting missed waste collections, a new planning search, applying for a benefit or setting up a Council Tax Direct Debit and viewing a Council Tax Bill. 

All of these functions for the first time on a South Hams District Council website, are now available through any device, a laptop, PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Thomas Orchard death trial: Jury sent home for second night

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

A jury in the case of three police staff accused of the manslaughter of a man in custody has been sent home after a second day of deliberations.

Thomas Orchard
Family handout

Thirty-two-year-old Thomas Orchard suffered a cardiac arrest in a cell in an Exeter police station in 2012 and died a week later in hospital.

Sgt Jan Kingshott, 45, and detention officers Simon Tansley, 39, and Michael Marsden, 56, all deny gross negligence manslaughter. The trial at Bristol Crown Court continues.

MP Colvile takes a lead role in Mayflower 400th anniversary celebrations

BBC Spotlight

Plymouth Conservative MP Oliver Colvile is to help coordinate UK-wide events for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower crossing.

Mayflower Steps
Lewis Clarke

The government announced he would be its representative for the 2020 event, which will also be marked in the USA and Holland.

US President Donald Trump has been invited to visit the UK to mark the celebrations. That's because 28m Americans living today can trace their genealogy directly back to one of the 23 families on board the Mayflower, which left Plymouth for the New World in 1620.

Lauren Phillips: Missing doctor's description

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Police searching for a  missing junior doctor , who has not been seen for almost a fortnight, have issued a description of her in an appeal for help in their search.

Lauren Phillips' car was found in Woolacombe in Devon on 28 February, five days after she was last seen. The 26-year-old currently works for North Bristol NHS Trust but in the past worked at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust in Truro. 

Lauren Phillips
Handout

She is described as:

  • About 5ft 5ins tall and of slim build
  • With brown eyes and long, dark brown hair.
  • It is thought she may be wearing a dark brown waxed cotton mid-length coat, with cream wool-lined hood 
  • She may also have on a long cream-coloured woollen cardigan with orange and blue detail
  • She could also be wearing Converse trainers and a beige woollen hat with a purple flower on the side

Police officer charged with indecent images offences involving a teenager

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

PC Jonathan Fulcher, 34, who serves with Devon and Cornwall Police, has been charged indecent images and firearm offences. 

The charges include causing a child aged 13 to 15 to watch or look at an image of sexual activity. 

Police car
BBC

They also include making an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child.

The Exeter-based officer is due to appear at Exeter Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 4 April.

Woman found dead in Dartmouth public toilets named as Michelle Chamber, 35, during inquest

Devon Live

A woman found dead in public toilets in South Devon has been named as the inquest into her death has opened .

Hole appears in A381

Budget millions for science, tech and maths get warm welcome at Exeter University

BBC Radio Devon

Exeter University says it's "delighted" at £300m to support science, technology, engineering and maths announced in the Budget.

Maths
Thinkstock

Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Quine said the university was "a leader in the region in these subjects", and added the investment would help create "new highly-skilled employment" locally.

The uni also welcomed support for specialist maths schools, one of which it has sponsored in Exeter.

Police 'growing increasingly concerned' for missing doctor

Victoria Gould

BBC News Online

Police searching for a missing junior doctor say they are doing everything they can to find her. 

Lauren Phillips has not been seen for almost a fortnight. 

The 26 year-old currently works for North Bristol NHS Trust but in the past worked at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust in Truro. 

Her car was found in Woolacombe in Devon on 28 February, five days after she was last seen.

Lauren Phillips
Avon and Somerset Police

Detective Inspector Mark Langdon, of Avon & Somerset Police, who is leading the search said they were asking for help from "surfers or ramblers who may have passed through the area in the past fortnight".

They have also asked for any hotel, guest house or B&B operators to get in contact if she has booked into any accommodation.

Det Insp Langdon said: "Lauren hasn't been seen for some days now and we're growing increasingly concerned. We really need the public's help in finding her."

Digging it! Charity helps in garden makeover for Curtis

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

WellChild, the national charity for sick children, is giving a garden in Cornwall a makeover. 

Ten-year-old Curtis has Charge Syndrome , a genetic condition which means he's seriously ill and needs a safe space he can use. The rare condition affects about one in every 10,000 births.

Thanks to a team of volunteers, a project is under way to transform his play space.

Tweet alert for missing doctor

BBC Spotlight

Health chiefs have tweeted a call for anyone who spots missing junior doctor Lauren Phillips to get in touch with police.

View more on twitter

Lauren, 26, who works for North Bristol NHS Trust, was last seen on 23 February and her car was found at Woolacombe, Devon on 28 February.

Missing doctor worked 'crazily hard'

A junior doctor who has been missing for almost a fortnight appeared to be getting "increasingly depressed with the state of the NHS", according to a former colleague. 

The co worker, who wanted to remain anonymous described Lauren Phillips as a "very sweet doctor",  who "makes sure everything is OK and stays three hours late to get everything done". 

He also said "she works crazily hard". 

Twenty-six-year-old Dr Phillips, who works for the North Bristol NHS Trust, was last seen on 23 February. 

Her car was found at Woolacombe five days later.  

Lauren Phillips
Avon and Somerset Police

This is your pilot speaking: We have an all-women crew on today at Flybe

Flybe is running an all female flight today as part of International Women's Day.

View more on twitter

The company's new female chief executive is also hoping to increase its number of female pilots and engineers which currently stands at just 10%. 

Missing doctor a 'valued member of staff'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A missing junior doctor who has not been seen for almost two weeks is a "valued member of our medical staff", her bosses say.

Lauren Philips
Handout

Twenty-six-year-old Lauren Phillips, who works for North Bristol NHS Trust, was last seen on Thursday 23 February. Her car was found in Woolacombe, Devon, on 28 February but no other traces of her have been found, police said. 

North Bristol NHS Deputy Medical Director Monica Baird said staff were "supporting the police in their efforts to locate her".

Dr Phillips worked at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust during her foundation year.

It's not unusual: Tom Jones is coming back in Cornwall

Health chiefs threatened with ministry referral over bed closure plans

BBC Radio Devon

A decision to halve the remaining hospital beds in east Devon will be referred to the Secretary of State for Health unless a raft of assurances are provided, says East Devon councillor Claire Wright.

Okehampton Hospital
Google

The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants to close 71 beds at Whipton, Okehampton, Honiton and Seaton hospitals.

Among the assurances requested by Devon County Council’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee are that no beds are closed before there is sufficient alternative provision. 

Cllr Wright said 14 assurances were needed from the CCG within 28 days, which the committee would examine on 4 May.

The CCG said patients were better off being treated in their own homes, rather than hospital, in many cases.

Police hunt for missing junior doctor on Devon coast

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A missing woman who has not been seen for almost two weeks is a junior doctor, it has been confirmed .

Dr Lauren Phillips, who works for North Bristol NHS Trust, was last seen on Thursday 23 February.

Lauren Philips
Handout

The 26-year-old's car was found in Woolacombe, Devon, on 28 February but no other traces of her have been found, police said. 

Argyle kit swap not due to grass clash - Adams

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Manager Derek Adams says Plymouth Argyle wore their away kit in Tuesday's home defeat by Blackpool to please fans, not because their home strip clashed with the green seats or grass.

The Pilgrims have lost six league games at Home Park this season, including all four they have played on Tuesdays.

Plymouth Argyle
Rex Features

"A number of fans don't get to see the away kit, and it's a fitting night to do it," Adams told BBC Radio Devon before the game.

However speaking just over a week ago, Adams said there had been issues with Plymouth's home colours.

"It blends in with the seating and it blends in with the grass, and that's the reason we have changed it for a number of home games this season."

Family tell of horror after pet cat shot and killed by air rifle

Devon Live

An East Devon family have been left distraught after their beloved pet cat was shot with an air rifle .

Water repairs hit Tedburn St Mary supplies

Nazi salute: 'Extraordinary that councillor is not sacked,' MP says

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer says it's "extraordinary" a Labour city councillor who made a Nazi salute in the council chambers is still in the job.

Salute
Plymouth City Council

Jonny Morris has been suspended for three months by the council's Labour group. 

Plymouth Moor View Conservative Mr Mercer said: "If he had a shred of integrity or any pride in his office, he would have resigned.

"I think not to lose your job if you do a Nazi salute in a council chamber is extraordinary, but it speaks of the standards the Labour Group holds themselves to." 

No-one from the group was available for comment. 

Cllr Morris's Nazi salute was made in protest at Conservative members ending a debate on the rise of council tax, which saw a rise of nearly 5% approved.

Health plan under spotlight in Devon

BBC Radio Devon

Talks are continuing today for people in Devon to discuss the future of health services in the county.

Hospital
bbc

NHS managers said they wanted patients to have their say on a five-year plan.

They insisted there were no specific proposals for change, but the review may affect services at Derriford, North Devon District, the Royal Devon & Exeter and Torbay hospitals. 

Today's meeting is at Bideford College.

Nazi salute councillor confirms punishment

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A Labour councillor who made a Nazi salute during a meeting  has confirmed he has ordered  to attend a course of "diversity training". 

Plymouth councillor Jonny Morris was also suspended from the city's Labour Group for three months after he  made the gesture  in protest after Conservative members voted to end a debate on the rise of council tax. 

Jonny Morris
Twitter/Jonny Morris

Cllr Morris confirmed the penalties agreed by the group but declined to comment further. Labour leader Tudor Evans was unavailable for immediate comment.

The budget meeting saw councillors narrowly vote in favour of increasing council tax bills by 4.49%.

Pleas for help at Citizens Advice soar to five-year high

BBC Radio Devon

The number of people in Devon and Cornwall asking for help from Citizens Advice has reached a five-year high.

CAB
Getty Images

The charity said enquiries about welfare benefits and tax credits had gone up by more than 140% compared to 2012.

It dealt with more than 55,000 enquiries last year and said it was down to constant changes to support, causing major upheaval for those affected. 

The DWP said it had tens of thousands of specially trained staff across the country to give people support and advice, and that it worked closely with local organisations - including Citizen's Advice - to ensure as many people as possible got "the help they need".

Exeter-based indecent images police officer to appear in court

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A serving Devon and Cornwall Police officer is due to appear in court next month after being charged with indecent images and firearms offences

Thirty-four-year-old PC Jonathan Fulcher, from Crediton, is due before Exeter Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 4 April. 

Police officers
BBC

The Exeter-based officer was suspended from duty at the start of an investigation in October. 

Internal disciplinary proceedings would begin following the outcome of the criminal process, Devon and Cornwall Police said. 

A spokesperson said: "Devon and Cornwall Police expect the highest professional standards and ethical behaviour from its staff and will robustly investigate misconduct and alleged criminal offences."

'Number of safes' stolen in burglaries

Second school hit by sickness bug: South Dartmoor pupils told to stay away

BBC Radio Devon

Another Devon school has fallen victim to the sickness and diarrhoea bug.

Bug
SPL

A fifth of pupils and teachers at Bovey Tracey Primary School were struck down last week

Now parents at South Dartmoor Community College, in Ashburton, have been told their school has closed for three days for a deep clean.

The school said: "The significant escalation in diarrhoea and vomiting cases today has placed us in the situation whereby we cannot isolate and provide the necessary medical care to the students as they become ill."

Students are due to return on Monday.