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Summary

  1. Motorcyclist dies after Plymouth crash
  2. Voters are going to the polls to elect 122 of the 123 members of Cornwall Council and to elect all 60 members of Devon County Council
  3. Former hotel owner hopes to overthrow Burgh Island property plans
  4. Puppets used to help children deal with mental health problems
  5. South West grapes damaged by frost
  6. Ten Tors Challenge takes place this weekend
  7. Deer filmed in the surf
  8. Latest updates on Thursday 4 May 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

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 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.

Plans submitted for £50m Plymouth Hoe hotel

The 80-bedroom hotel is part of a redevelopment on Plymouth Hoe.

Built on the site of the demolished Quality Hotel the latest plans include more bedrooms and a redesigned frontage.

Proposed hotel plans
Henley Real Estate

The scheme also includes 88 apartments, conference facilities and a restaurant.

The team behind the project hope to begin construction later this year for completion in 2019.

Weather: Cloudy and windy

BBC Weather

It will be dry this evening but the cloud will thicken.

It should stay dry overnight but the winds will strengthen, especially along the coast and over higher ground like Hensbarrow Beacon and the Blackdown Hills. Minimum Temperature: 8C (46F).

Weather map
BBC

Friday will start cloudy, but bright or sunny spells will develop. The winds will be strong though, with the risk of coastal gales. Maximum Temperature: 15C (59F).

Plan to turn South Devon pub into a children's day nursery

Devon Live

A former Devon pub - which has already partially been turned into a supermarket - is set to become a Children's Day Nursery.

Duke of Edinburgh to give up public duties

Ross Ellis

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Duke of Edinburgh is giving up his public duties in the autumn

Prince Philip
Ross Ellis

Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip, who'll be 96 next month, had the full support of the Queen in taking his decision. She will continue with all her engagements.

Steve, a former Royal Protection Officer from Bude worked for the Duke, said the Prince would always take a long walk before Royal Engagements to prepare for the time he would have to spend on his feet.

Pigs, sheep and cattle show numbers on the up

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

Record numbers of sheep and pigs have been entered for competitions at this year's Royal Cornwall Show, organisers say.

About 100 more sheep will take part with a total of 1,401 entries, whilst about 40 more pigs will be competing than last year, with a total of 261.

Cattle section entries have also experienced a rise in numbers, with an increase of 53 stalls booked compared to last year.

Sheep
Royal Cornwall Show

Show secretary Christopher Riddle said: "The sheep, fleece, pig and cattle sections are part of the show’s agricultural roots and we’re proud to continue to provide a thriving showcase for the very best the industry has to offer."

Police follow new lead in hit-and-run investigation

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

Police say they are looking for a VW Lupo driver they believe may have information on a hit-and-run incident in Devon which left a young father fighting for his life.

Jason Bunce, 25, remains in intensive care almost a month after he was hit after a night out with friends in Kingsteington.

Ashleigh Ackerley
Jason Bunce and Ashleigh Ackerley

His girlfriend Ashleigh Ackerley told the BBC he has only managed to open one eye: "I hold his hand, stroke his hair... tell him that I love him".

She said she felt "desperation" for the offending driver to come forward.

Police ask for help to find missing girl

Officers say they are increasingly concerned for the welfare of 14-year-old Shanay Murton, last seen at 10:00 today on Church Road, Redruth.

She is described as white, about 5ft 2in tall of a slight build with long, blonde hair.

When last seen she was wearing a Pool Academy school uniform which consisted of a dark blazer, white shirt, black skirt, a black tie with yellow stripes and a dark coloured coat with a furry hood.

View more on facebook

Man lay dead in Devon home for 'some time' until postman reported mail piling up

Devon Live

An elderly man was found dead in his Devon home after a postman noticed mail piling up and raised concerns about his welfare, an inquest has heard.

Plymouth Road remains blocked after accident

BBC News Travel

  • In Plympton Plymouth Road is closed inbound towards Marsh Mills and Cot Hill is blocked in both directions due to an earlier accident. Diversions are in place and surrounding roads are very busy
  • In High Bullen the B3227 is partially blocked near Dodscott Cross due to an accident

What's involved in the Ten Tors challenge?

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Ten Tors
MOD
  • The first Ten Tors expedition took place in September 1960
  • Over the years interest in the challenge has grown and now up to 400 teams take part
  • Camping overnight, the teams complete the challenge without adult guidance
  • Competitors aged 14 to 19 hike distances of up to 55 miles (89 km)
  • In 2013, the challenge saw its most significant overhaul in 30 years as army bosses attempted to improve safety and reduce the number of river crossings
  • During the challenge teams visit 10 nominated tors, which are hills or rocky peaks

Deer catches a wave in Cornwall

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A deer has been filmed calmly swimming to shore in the sea at Porthpean, Cornwall.

James Dowrick from Porthpean Sailing Club

Duke of Edinburgh thanked for "inspiration" in Cornwall

BBC Radio Cornwall

Local representatives of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme have thanked Prince Philip for his "inspiration", after the announcement he is to stand down from royal duties.

Buckingham Palace says the Queen's husband, who is 95, has her full support in taking the decision.

Duke of Edinburgh
BBC

Prince Philip, pictured here at St Michael's Mount in 2013, has made many visits to the South West of England.

Mary Crook, secretary of the Cornwall Panel of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, said: "It is the end of an era but I know that it will go forward. I don't think it's the end of the award.

"We thank the Duke for all the hours and the work and the inspiration he has given us throughout these six decades," she added.

Sailor rescued from sinking boat

Jo Irving

BBC Radio Devon

A sailor's been rescued by lifeboat crews after his boat started taking on water two miles off the coast of Exmouth. 

The man was picked up just before 12:00 today and taken to Starcross pier.

Officials said his boat, the Shannon, wasn't seaworthy and that he shouldn't go out in it again.

The casualty was wearing a life jacket but his VHF radio wasn't connected. The only way he could get help was by using a torch to flash SOS, the RNLI said.

Motorcyclist, 60, from Plympton dies after crash

A motorcyclist has died following a crash in Plympton.

Emergency services were called to the collision between a white Vauxhall Combo van and a black KTM 690 motorcycle at the bottom of Cot Hill on Plymouth Road at 11:05.

The 60-year-old motorcyclist from Plympton had serious injuries and was airlifted to Derriford Hospital by air ambulance. He died at hospital, police said.

Cot Hill has been closed and traffic diverted along Valley Road and via Underlane.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

BreakingMotorcyclist dies after crash

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A male motorcyclist has died after a crash in Plymouth, police have confirmed.

Crash
Alliance RPT, Devon and Cornwall Police

Police and paramedics were called to the crash involving a motorbike and van on Plymouth Road, Plympton, just after 11:00 this morning.

The man was airlifted to Derriford Hospital but has since died.

Tyre on road on M5, and Plymouth Road closed

BBC News Travel

Devon

  • On the M5 southbound between Wellington and Tiverton we've got reports there's a tyre on the road
  • In Plympton, Plymouth Road is closed inbound towards Marsh Mills and Cot Hill in both directions due to a serious accident. Surrounding roads are busy  
  • In High Bullen on the B3227 near Dodscott Cross we've got reports there's an accident  
  • In Crediton, the A377 High Street is partially blocked due to an accident near St Saviour's Way

Cornwall

  • At Launceston on A30 eastbound between A388 Western Road and Callington turn-off one lane is closed due to a broken-down lorry and oil spill
  • In Falmouth on the A39 Dracaena Avenue at Clifton Terrace there are temporary traffic lights and roadworks. Traffic is slow moving
  • In Stratton on the A39 near the A3072 Stratton Road there are temporary traffic lights for roadworks. Slow traffic in the area

Man suffers a suspected broken leg in beach fall

Cornwall Live

Emergency services were called out to a Newquay beach on Thursday morning after a man suffered a suspected broken leg.

Girlfriend 'desperate' for answers after 'hit-and-run'

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

The girlfriend of a 25-year-old man seriously injured in a "hit-and-run" in Devon says she is "desperate" for answers. 

Ashleigh Ackerley says the father of her 13-week-old baby, Jason Bunce, remains in hospital fighting for his life. 

She has again appealed for the driver involved in the incident in Kingsteignton last month to come forward.

Jason Bunce with son Noah
Ashleigh Ackerley

Ashleigh said she had this message for the individual: "Just come forward – if it was any member of your family you would feel the exact same way we’re feeling. Desperate, angry, upset".

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said they wished to reassure Mr Bunce's family they are "doing all they can" to track down the offender.

Firefighters tackle house blaze

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A house has been damaged by a fire in Liskeard town centre.

Crews from Callington and Liskeard attended the blaze on Wednesday evening.

Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building and put out the blaze before it spread to the rest of the property, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said.

No-one was injured.

Liskeard
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service
Liskeard
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service

'A billion to one chance lager can DNA doesn't match Kostov'

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

The prosecution's case is that 38-year-old Gergana Prodanova was killed by her jealous former partner Kostadin Kostov, at the flat they shared in Exeter on the 4 August 2016.

Today the jury at Exeter Crown Court heard evidence from two forensic scientists. 

One, Caroline Eames, compared fibres from scissors found at the flat, with four items of clothing found in a rubbish bag recovered by police from a recycling centre. 

The prosecution claim the clothes match items Gergana was last seen wearing before she was killed and they were cut from her body. Ms Eames, said fibres found on the scissors were indistinguishable, from those in the clothing. 

A second forensic scientist, Andrew McDonald, told the court there was a billion to one chance that a DNA sample found on a lager can recovered from the same rubbish bag did not belong to Mr Kostov. 

Mr Kostov, 42, denies murder. The trial continues.

Motorcyclist airlifted to hospital with 'serious injuries'

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

View more on twitter

Police and ambulance crews are currently at the scene of a serious crash on Plymouth Road, Plympton.

Emergency services were called at 11:05 following the collision between a motorcycle and a van at the bottom of Cot Hill.

The male motorcyclist has serious injuries and has been airlifted to Derriford Hospital by air ambulance.

Cot Hill has been closed by police.

View more on twitter

'Lots of man power' for animal rescues

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

Fire crews have had their work cut out rescuing a cow and two sheep in east Cornwall in the past week.

A ewe and her lamb had to be saved by two crews using line equipment after falling approximately 30ft down a quarry on to a ledge at Minions.

Sheep
Liskeard Community Fire Station

In a separate incident a young cow was stuck in a 20ft horizontal drain shaft near Pensilva. 

A spokesperson for the Liskeard crew said on Twitter: "Straps & lots of man power eventually freed the young cow & was returned to the farmer #notjustfires".

Cow rescue
Liskeard Community Fire Station
Cow rescue
Liskeard Community Fire Station

Severe disruption: M5 Devon southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Devon southbound severe disruption, between J28 for A373 and J29 for A30 Exeter.

M5 Devon - One lane blocked on M5 southbound between J28, A373 (Cullompton) and J29, A30 (Exeter), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Travel latest: Overturned vehicle in Plymouth

BBC News Travel

Devon

  • In Plymouth at Roborough, Dunnet Road has been closed due an overturned vehicle near Kinnaird Crescent
  • In Plymouth there is a serious collision involving a motorbike on Plymouth Road at Cot Hill heading towards Marsh Mills  
  • In Bideford there are reports of an accident on Clovelly Road near Moreton Park Road and the industrial estate
  • In Exeter, Western Way is still partially blocked by an accident near Magdalen Road. - there's slow traffic in the area
  • In Bideford, the A39 is partially blocked by a collision westbound near the Instow turn-off

Cornwall

  • In Truro, traffic is slower than normal on the A390 Highertown around the County Hall Roundabout
  • Near Penryn on the A39 expect slow traffic on the approaches to the Treluswell Roundabout due to the road improvements

Carer dog Barney goes missing

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A family from west Cornwall are urging the public to help in the search for the family dog who plays a crucial care support role. 

Five-year-old springer spaniel Barney went missing near Penzance on Sunday. 

Barney
Yvonne Wallis

His family say he's not the sort of animal to get lost and have shared his story on Facebook. 

Owner Yvonne Wallis said: "My mother-in-law lives next door to me in the next field and she's 92 years old and suffering from dementia, and Barney's actually on the care plan because he goes in and visits her every day."

Documentary screened on 75th anniversary of Exeter Blitz

BBC Radio Devon

A documentary is being screened at an Exeter cinema this evening on the 75th anniversary of the Exeter Blitz. 

Anti-tank guns parade through Exeter
Ken Jackson

The Devon county town was the first victim of Nazi Germany's so-called 'Baedeker raids' - targeting Britain's historical and cultural heritage. 

At midnight between the 3 May and 4 May 1942 a total of 20 German bombers devastated the city centre with a sustained bombing campaign which lasted 70 minutes.

BreakingMotorcyclist has 'life-threatening injuries'

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

A motorcyclist has life-threatening injuries after a serious crash in Plymouth, police have said.

Officers say the accident involved a van and happened at the bottom of Cot Hill off Plymouth Road.

The man has been airlifted to Derriford Hospital and the road remains closed.

More updates as we get them.

Road closed after crash

The toddler who 'always feels hungry'

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Rosie Gray has a rare condition that means she will always feel hungry. 

The two-year-old, from Plymouth, has Prader-Willi syndrome, which can cause a range of different issues including an excessive appetite.

Rosie is yet to start showing signs of overeating, but her family wants to raise awareness of the disorder. 

May is Prader-Willi awareness month and her family are holding fundraisers for research foundations.

Rosie Gray has a rare genetic condition that means she will have an excessive appetite.

Nurses to respond to pay cap

BBC Radio Devon

A nursing union is calling on its South West members to have their say on the government's imposed pay cap. 

Nurse
BBC

The Royal College of Nursing says its 'smart survey' on pay will close on Sunday. 

It wants members who work in the NHS to tell them how to respond to the pay cap which they say has resulted in a real term drop in pay since 2010 of 14%.

Carer dog who helps woman with dementia has gone missing

BBC Radio Cornwall

A springer spaniel who helps a 92-year-old lady with dementia has gone missing.

Barney was last seen at Ding Dong in Penzance on Sunday.

Barney
Caroline Blewett

How the BBC reports polling day

BBC Politics

The BBC, like other broadcasters, isn't allowed to report details of campaigning while the polls are open.

The BBC is required by electoral law to adopt a code of practice, ensuring fairness between candidates.

The basic principle behind due impartiality in political coverage is set out in the agreement accompanying the BBC Charter.

This requires the BBC over time to give due weight and prominence to the main strands of argument and main parties.

There are detailed guidelines on how the BBC covers elections, including on polling day, here.  

BBC
BBC

Vehicle 'severely damaged by fire'

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A fire in Plymouth last night left a vehicle "severely damaged by fire".

Firefighters were called just before 22:00 last night to Market Road in Plympton. 

Crews confirmed the vehicle was well alight and extinguished the fire.

Market Road Plymouth
Google

Former hotel owner hopes to overthrow Burgh Island property plans

Angela Kalwaites

BBC Radio Devon

The former owner of the Burgh Island Hotel is determined to overthrow plans to build a one-bedroom property on the island which will be seen precariously balanced on rocks overlooking a tidal pool. 

Tony Porter sold the property he'd had for more than 15 years to the Orchards in 2001. 

Burgh Island
BBC

Now they've been given the go-ahead for a "contemporary suite" teetering on the top of cliffs overlooking the Mermaid Pool. 

But Mr Porter believes it's not in keeping with the island's previous buildings and is hoping he can get some support to tackle planners saying the development will be an eyesore if it can overcome the elements.

Police pup's special relationship with Exeter girl

Andrea Ormsby

BBC Spotlight

A very special bond has grown between eight-year-old Marina from Exeter and an eight-month-old police puppy called Tag.

Police pup's special relationship with girl, 8

When Marina Pritchard was born, her arms and legs didn't develop properly.

But nothing stops her enthusiasm for life, and especially for her new best friend, Tag.   

Ten Tors Challenge takes place this weekend

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Thousands of young people will set off on the 2017 Ten Tors Challenge this weekend across Dartmoor.

Ten Tors
BBC

Competitors aged 14 to 19 will hike distances of up to 55 miles (89 km) and visit 10 nominated tors.  

Alongside the Ten Tors Challenge, hundreds of young people with special needs will take part in the Jubilee Challenge, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

Local grapes damaged by frost

South West winemakers say they've been hit by the frosts which have badly affected crops at many vineyards across much of Europe.

View more on twitter

English winemakers have warned that at least half of this year's grape harvest has been wiped out.

The air frost that hit last week caused "catastrophic" damage to buds that had bloomed earlier than usual thanks to a warm start to the year.

About 75% of buds at Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey - which produces 500,000 bottles of wine a year - were affected, its chief executive said.

England has 133 wineries, which produced five million bottles in 2015.