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Summary

  1. Mount Wise Tower in Plymouth 'clad in combustible material'
  2. MP demands government pay for new cladding on Plymouth towers
  3. Padstow family pursued by naked man
  4. Test journey for new Hitachi Intercity trains ahead of fleet roll-out
  5. Plymouth GP surgery, which has 1,800 patients, faces uncertain future
  6. Boys at Exeter school wear skirts in uniform protest
  7. Valuable documents emerge relating to the time the Cutty Sark was in Falmouth
  8. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Johnny O'Shea

All times stated are UK

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Public meeting cancelled at fire risk tower blocks

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

We understand there will now be no public meeting at the Mount Wise tower blocks as it has been agreed the cladding will be taken down over the next few days.

It emerged today the materials used on the outside of the three high rise blocks were similar to cladding on Grenfell Tower in London which went up in flames last week causing the deaths of at least 79 people.

We extended the Devon and Cornwall Local Live feed tonight to cover the breaking news and will be back in the morning with all the latest stories.

Mount Wise
BBC

'Fire safety very good' at Mount Wise tower blocks says MP Pollard

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

Devonport MP Luke Pollard said "most of the fire safety measures" in the Mount Wise blocks are "very good".

Pollard
BBC

"It is just the difficulty with the exterior," he said as it emerged that cladding is made from similar material to the cladding on the Grenfell tower where at least 79 people lost their lives in a huge blaze last week.

"Once those start coming down and are replaced that will reassure an awful lot of residents."

The cladding on the three 26-storey blocks will be removed in the next few days it has emerged.

Young mum's concerns over fire in Mount Wise Tower block

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

A resident of Lynher tower has spoken of her concern following a fire in the block three months ago.

Chloe Brewster said they were alerted to the blaze by people throwing stones at their window.

Cladding at the Plymouth tower blocks is made from material similar to the cladding on Grenfell Tower - where at least 79 people lost their lives last week.

Chloe Brewster speaks about Mount Wise Towers

Cladding to be removed from at-risk Mount Wise tower blocks in Plymouth

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Cladding will be removed in the next few days which has been judged to be a safety risk at three high rise blocks in Plymouth.

Towers
BBC

Tests show cladding on one of Plymouth's Mount Wise tower blocks is made from similar material to the cladding on the Grenfell tower - where at least 79 people lost their lives in a huge blaze last week.

Tests showed the panelling is aluminium coated with a polyethylene core, the lowest fire safety rating. Plymouth Community Homes says it's taking extra fire precautions.

MP Pollard meets residents of at-risk tower blocks

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Devonport MP Luke Pollard is about to meet residents of at-risk Mount Wise tower blocks in Plymouth.

Luke Pollard
Luke Pollard

The Labour MP has called for "urgent action" and for the blocks to be reclad after safety concerns were raised following tests.

Mr Pollard said: "I want the tower blocks re-clad urgently and I want to make sure that the residents of the towers and those who live nearby have the answers to their questions."

Managers Plymouth Community Homes say they will install sprinklers and heat detectors on the 26-storey blocks.

Tests show cladding on one of the three Mount Wise tower blocks is made from similar material to the cladding on the Grenfell tower - where at least 79 people lost their lives in a huge blaze last week.

'Stay put' warning to residents of at-risk Mount Wise tower blocks

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Residents of at-risk tower blocks at Mount Wise in Plymouth are advised to stay put if there is a fire in the building.

Poster
BBC

A poster in the blocks says: "Stay in your flat until advised by the Fire Service."

A young mother has told the BBC that there were no alarms when a fire broke out in her block in February.

Managers Plymouth Community Homes said they took fire safety"extremely seriously".

Tests show cladding on one of the three 26-storey blocks is made from similar material to the cladding on the Grenfell tower - where at least 79 people lost their lives in a huge blaze last week.

Police at scene of Mount Wise towers

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Police are at the scene in Devonport where it has been revealed that three tower blocks have cladding that is rated with the lowest score on a fire safety scale.

Residents are meeting with landlord Plymouth Community Homes, which is responsible for maintaining the building, as well as local politicians tonight.

Police
BBC

Mum 'could not sleep' after Grenfell tower block blaze

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

A young mother in a Plymouth tower block at risk of fire due to cladding said she could not sleep after the blaze at the Grenfell tower in London which claimed the lives of at least 79 people.

Mount Wise
bbc

Chloe Brewster told the BBC: "All I had in my head was our flat going up on fire and the whole tower block going up in flames."

She and her partner asked to be rehoused after a fire in February in her 26-storey Lynher block.

She said there were no alarms in the fire and she was alerted by someone throwing objects at her window.

Tests show cladding on one Plymouth's Mount Wise tower blocks is made from similar material to the cladding on the Grenfell tower - where at least 79 people lost their lives in a huge blaze last week.

'No fire alarm' says young mum in fire risk tower block

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A mum who had to evacuate her third floor flat in the Mount Wise blocks with her baby said there were no alarms.

Chloe Brewster
BBC

Chloe Brewster was alerted to the fire in the Lynher block in February by someone throwing objects at her window.

"My daughter was only seven weeks old and we wrapped her up and ran down the stairwell," she said.

"There was loads of smoke coming out and we got out as quickly as we could.

"There was no alarm - if we had gone to sleep we wouldn't have known anything about it."

Tests show cladding on one Plymouth's Mount Wise tower blocks is made from similar material to the cladding on the Grenfell tower - where at least 79 people lost their lives in a huge blaze last week.

'Urgent action' call on making Mount Wise tower blocks safe

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Luke Pollard, Labour MP for Devonport where three tower blocks have been judged at risk following inspections, has called for "urgent action" to make the buildings safe.

Towers
Google

He said: "I want the tower blocks re-clad urgently and I want to make sure that the residents of the towers and those who live nearby have the answers to their questions."

Mr Pollard said the government should foot the bill.

He said: "In times of national emergency, and this is one of them, it is right the government provides the extra support that is needed."

Mount Wise tower blocks managers 'never complacent' on fire risk

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Residents of three tower blocks at risk from combustible cladding in Plymouth have been told managers take safety "extremely seriously".

Letter
bbc

Managers Plymouth Community Homes said: "We concentrate hard on fire prevention and are never complacent."

Tests show cladding on one Plymouth's 26-storey Mount Wise tower blocks is made from similar material to the cladding on the Grenfell tower - where at least 79 people lost their lives in a huge blaze last week.

Tests showed the panelling is aluminium coated with a polyethylene core - materials which have the lowest fire safety rating. Plymouth Community Homes says it's taking extra and immediate fire precautions including installing sprinklers.

Fire risk towers landmark of Devonport

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

The three red, blue and green Mount Wise towers judged a fire safety risk after an inspection are a major landmark for the Devonport area.

Towers
Google

The 26-storey towers were designed and built in the early 1960s. Originally the proposals for the area included six towers instead of three.

In 2014 the residents were consulted on improvements which included "upgrading the thermal fabric" of the buildings according to a report to managers Plymouth Community Homes.

It is not known what measures were taken but cladding which was tested on one block was found to be a fire risk and safety measures are being taken on all three.

999 calls on the up

A senior police officer says the 999 service is more used in the summer, and the demand is already rising.

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Devon MP calls for debate on Grenfell fire

Kevin Foster, the Conservative MP for Torbay, urged the Prime Minister to let MPs debate the outcome of the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire when it is published.

He told Parliament: "It seems almost inconceivable that an organisation spent £8.7m refurbishing a tower block and didn't include inflammable cladding and a sprinkler system."

Grenfell Tower
BBC

Theresa May says tests on a number of tower blocks, including the Mount Wise blocks in Plymouth, have revealed that the cladding on them is "combustible".

At least 79 people died in the fire.

Six hundred high rise buildings in England are being checked to find out if they have similar cladding.

New train pictured in Devon and Cornwall for first time

The new Intercity Express Train has made its maiden voyage to Cornwall this morning, as part of a test journey from London Paddington to Penzance.

The new Intercity Express Train left London Paddington at 05:33 and arrived at Penzance Station at 11:01.

Train
Ron Westwater

Transport minister Paul Maynard said: “We are upgrading our railways to deliver the biggest modernisation programme for over a century and the improvements that passengers have asked for.

“These new trains will offer greater capacity, reduced journey times and more reliable services from London to Penzance.”

Residents of Mount Wise tower blocks in Plymouth told of fire risk

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Residents of the 26-storey Lynher, Tamar and Tavy buildings in Devonport have been told of a potential fire risk to their buildings.

Mount Wise
Google

Tests show cladding on one Plymouth's Mount Wise tower blocks is made from similar material to the cladding on the Grenfell tower - where at least 79 people lost their lives in a huge blaze last week.

Tests showed the panelling is aluminium coated with a polyethylene core, the lowest fire safety rating.

Plymouth community homes says it's taking "extra and immediate fire precautions" including installing sprinklers and heat detectors in each of the blocks.

MP says Mount Wise tower blocks should be 'reclad urgently'

The newly-elected Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Luke Pollard, is calling on the government to pay for new safer cladding for all three tower blocks at Mount Wise.

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'Immediate' fire risk measures at Plymouth's Mount Wise tower blocks

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Managers of three at-risk Mount Wise high-rise blocks in Plymouth say they are taking "extra and immediate fire safety precautions".

It comes after the Mount Wise blocks were found to be covered in combustible cladding following safety tests.

It is suspected the material used to clad the exterior of the west London block accelerated the spread of last week's blaze, which has killed at least 79 people.

Mount Wise
Google

Managers Plymouth Community Homes said: "We are completing further checks today to ensure all fire doors remain in place and closers are fitted and operating as they should be.

"We are installing additional fire protection to the interiors to the stairwells of each tower today as an extra fire safety measure."

Other measures include:

Installing heat detectors into every flat in addition to the current mains-wired smoke alarms.

A sprinkler system will be installed in each of the towers.

BreakingMount Wise Tower in Plymouth 'clad in combustible material'

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Mount Wise Tower in Plymouth is among seven residential high-rise buildings across England found to be covered in combustible cladding following safety tests.

Cladding is thought to have contributed to the rapid spread of fire at Grenfell Tower, in which at least 79 people are believed to have died.

Tower
Google

Plymouth Community Homes said of the at-risk high-rise: "It has been found to be aluminium coated with a polyethylene core, which has been rated as category 3 under the new controlled test conditions.

"The fire rating scale goes from 0 to 3 (with 0 being the highest safety score and 3 being the lowest)."

Paver 'guarantees' Pirates improvement

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Cornish Pirates coach Alan Paver says he and his side "will be better" this season as they look to improve on their sixth-placed Championship finish.

Paver, along with joint-boss Gavin Cattle, has spent time with Super Rugby sides in New Zealand this summer.

Gavin Cattle and Alan Paver
Brian Tempest

"We've been out to different high-performance environments. We've come back, and grown a lot," Paver told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"We've accelerated, and this group has, but this is a results-based business so sometimes you can be better."

Gavin Cattle and Alan Paver

Paver 'guarantees' Pirates improvement

Coach Alan Paver says Cornish Pirates will improve this term as they look to better their sixth-placed Championship finish.

Read more

Schoolboys in skirts protest

Dozens of schoolboys have caught the attention of the media today, by wearing skirts in protest at their school's clothing policy.

The 30 pupils of the ISCA Academy in Exeter are unhappy they haven't been allowed to wear shorts in the hot weather this week.

The school said: "Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and their families.

"However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future."

Schoolboys wear skirts as 'it's a bit hot'

Cornish dental health poor

Jenny Walrond

Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

The dental health of around half the population of Cornwall could be suffering - because they're not registered with a dentist.

That's the estimate of the social enterprise group Smile Together - which provides some dental services in Cornwall.

Dentist
BBC

The so-called hard to reach groups include gypsies and travellers, immigrants - and some in the fishing community.

Pony rescued from brambles by 16 firefighters

BBC Radio Cornwall

It's taken 16 firefighters to free a pony that got trapped in brambles near Camborne this morning.

Crews from Tolvaddon were called out at 09:00 to help the animal at Carn Entral.

They used a harness and ropes to get the animal out of the hedge.

Heads warn parents of 'cash-starved schools'

BBC News Education

Head teachers in England are keeping up the pressure on school funding, sending a letter warning about "cash-starved" schools to almost two million families.

As the government prepares to set out its plans in the Queen's Speech, school leaders across 17 councils are calling for urgent action over a funding gap.

Claims over school funding shortages became an election battleground and a doorstep issue with voters.

The Conservative manifesto promised an extra £1bn per year from savings.

The letter will go to parents in the following councils: Brighton, East Sussex, Northamptonshire, Surrey, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Oxfordshire, Thurrock, Cornwall, Hertfordshire, Peterborough, Wokingham, Devon, Norfolk, Suffolk, West Sussex and Dorset.

School
iStock

Skirt protest trending on social media

The story of boys in Exeter wearing skirts in protest at not being allowed to wear shorts in school is trending on social media.

Boys in skirts
BBC

About 30 boys from the ISCA Academy are taking part in the protest today, and have generated a huge response.

Across the English Channel, bus drivers in France are among those who have been coping with soaring temperatures by ditching their trousers.

After finding it too hot to work in full-length leg wear, members of the CFDT Semitan Union in Nantes got around the no-shorts-to-work policy by wearing skirts.

Bus drivers
PRESSE OCEAN-ERIC CABANAS

Travel: Train delays possible

BBC News Travel

  • On the trains, delays are possible between Bodmin Parkway and Par due to a road vehicle hitting a bridge earlier today
  • In Plymouth, at Sutton Harbour the pedestrian footbridge across Sutton Lock remains closed due to a mechanical fault

Plymouth sign Ness from Scunthorpe

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Plymouth Argyle have signed ex-Rangers midfielder Jamie Ness after his release by fellow League One side Scunthorpe.

The 26-year-old made 17 appearances for the Iron last season as they were beaten in the play-off semi-finals.

Jamie Ness
Getty Images

He played 18 times for Rangers before joining Stoke in 2012, where he managed just one substitute appearance.

Roundabout reopens

Train services suspended

BBC News Travel

  • On the trains, services are suspended between Bodmin Parkway and Par due to a road vehicle hitting a bridge

Man fined for selling illegal tobacco

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A man who was selling illegal cigarettes from a burger van in Pool has been fined.

Roy Grenfell of Close Hill, Redruth pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates' Court yesterday to the supply of illegal tobacco products.

Grenfell, 67, had at the time of the offence been working in a burger van in Camborne Retail Park, Pool where, as a side line to selling burgers, he was also supplying illegal tobacco.

Google
BBC

When Grenfell’s home was searched by Cornwall Council's trading standards officers, a total of 298 pouches of hand rolling tobacco and a substantial amount of cash was recovered.

Grenfell pleaded guilty to a total of six charges and was ordered to pay fines, a victim surcharge and a forfeiture order totalling £27,209.49.

Travel: Queues at Plymouth roundabout

BBC News Travel

  • In Plymouth on Tavistock Road inbound at the Derriford Roundabout there's an overturned vehicle. Queues in the area
  • In Perranporth on Liskey Hill near Granny's Lane we've got reports there's an accident

Skirt protest gathers support

Children
BBC

There's been a big response to a story about boys at a school in Exeter who are wearing skirts in protest at the policy of not allowing them to wear shorts in hot weather.

About 30 boys at the ISCA Academy are taking part.

Here are some of the responses on Twitter:

@DaveLisney "That's a stupid rule. Good on the fellas for protesting in such a creative way."

‏@JerryLonsdale1 "who on earth makes up these rules, surely health and well-being of children just as important as learning, are the rule makers fit to teach"

@iwaugh "Should be allowed to dress comfortably during this time of year. Which century are the school management actually living in? #ridiculous"

@alexiadaley1 "There r students around the world who live in hot tropical climates year round.No AC in schools & they survive just fine. Whiny kids"

Delays expected in Plymouth because of overturned car

Council apologises for bins not being collected

North Devon District Council has apologised after food waste put out by residents as part of a new recycling scheme earlier this month, has gone uncollected.

The authority says the amount that's been put out for collection has far exceeded what they were expecting.

Bin bags
BBC

Some of the areas affected include parts of Braunton and Barnstaple.

It says 80 tonnes - about eight skips full - has been picked up in the first fortnight.

Church 'colluded' with sex abuse bishop Peter Ball

The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton has reacted to a report published into the abuse carried out by former bishop Peter Ball.

The independent review found senior figures in the Church of England colluded with the former bishop who abused young men.

Peter Ball, who is now 85, was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 after admitting sex offences against 18 teenagers and young men.

Peter Ball
PA

Bishop Tim welcomed the recommendations, saying: "It is right that we acknowledge and apologise for what went wrong.

"Despite the report's acknowledgement that much has changed in the intervening years, it also makes it clear that the pace of change has been slow and we still need to make improvements and be quicker to do so."

Peter Ball had permission to officiate in the Diocese of Truro.

His brother was Bishop of Truro in the 90s.

South West's universities rated

New ratings for universities have been published.

The national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment has given gold ratings to the University of Exeter, Falmouth University and City College Plymouth.

Marjon University was awarded a silver, while the University of Plymouth was ranked bronze.

Forty-three Higher Education Institutions have been recognised as offering gold standard teaching, learning and student outcomes

University of Exeter
BBC

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, at the University of Exeter said: “It is vital that the Higher Education sector evolves to meet the changing demands and expectations from students, in both learning and teaching.

"The TEF is designed to ensure that high-quality teaching receives the merits it deserves, in the same way that the Research Excellence Framework does for world-class research."

Police appeal after 'naked man chased family'

Police are appealing for witnesses after a naked man chased a woman and her children in Padstow, Cornwall.

They say the man was wearing only a backpack when he came out of a churchyard as the woman and children were walking along Church Lane.

He pursued them for a short distance before running off into a nearby wooded area.

It happened at around 17:00 on Monday.

Weather: Becoming brighter with sunny periods

BBC Weather

Cloud will start to break and it'll become brighter with some sunny periods developing.

Although a very light shower remains possible, it'll be mostly dry today, but much cooler.

Winds will be from the west or southwest and mainly light or moderate, but fresh at times around the coast.

Maximum temperature: 21C

Weather
BBC

'I'm not sitting in trousers all day, it's a bit hot'

Some 30 boys have worn skirts to school in protest at being told they were not allowed to wear shorts.

The pupils from ISCA Academy in Exeter asked permission to modify their uniform because of the hot weather.

One of the boys who took part in the protest said: "We're not allowed to wear shorts, and I'm not sitting in trousers all day, it's a bit hot."

Children
BBC

Claire Reeves, whose son is a student at the school, said she had asked the school about her son being able to wear shorts, but was "shot down".

"I feel extremely proud of them all for standing up for their rights. People are always talking about equal right for males and females and school uniform shouldn't be any different", she said.

The school issued a statement earlier.

Severe accident: M5 Devon southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Devon southbound severe accident, at J28 for A373.

M5 Devon - M5 entry slip road closed and slow traffic southbound at J28, A373 (Cullompton), because of an accident.

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