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Summary

  1. Grenfell Tower fire: Cladding from Plymouth blocks to be taken off 'by end of November'
  2. --- MP Luke Pollard says people living in high-rise flats 'being refused insurance renewals'
  3. Police investigate 'serious sexual assault' on teen
  4. Man charged with attempted murder after suspected arsons
  5. MP Sheryll Murray 'victim of 'burn the witch' abuse'
  6. Row over Plymouth bin collections
  7. Exeter Prison 'sees increase in violence in 2016'
  8. Penzance's Business Improvement District called 'not fit for purpose' by critics
  9. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday 29 June 2017

Live Reporting

By Andrew Segal

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.

Exeter Prison report 'worrying'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Exeter Prison
BBC

A report highlighting an increase in violence in 2016 at Exeter Prison is the latest in a series of "worrying reports" that have been published about jails across England in the last two weeks, the Howard League for Penal Reform says.

The jail's Independent Monitoring Board said the increase was partly because of staffing pressures, the availability of drugs and overcrowding, its annual report said. But it also said was a "well-run establishment in which staff make a genuine effort to treat inmates with dignity and respect".

The Howard League‏ - which said it was also concerned about recent reports into Medway, Pentonville, Brixton, Leeds and Birmingham's prison - said Exeter was "one of the most overcrowded prisons in the country".

Boy, 17, attacked in 'unprovoked and cowardly' assault

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A teenage boy has been left with head and arm injuries after being attacked in an "unprovoked" and "cowardly" assault by a group of four other teenagers, police say.

Officers said the 17-year-old was on his bicycle in Pinhoe Road between 13:00 and 13:15 on Monday when he was set upon by the group by Polsloe Bridge.

He was repeatedly punched and kicked, knocked to the ground and one of the group attempted to steal the bicycle, which was damaged.

The four then ran off towards Hamlyn Lane Playing Fields, police said. The boy was treated by an ambulance crew.

Officers have appealed for witnesses.

Jouster explains fundraising for ovarian cancer treatment

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A jouster from Devon has explained why she is trying to raise £60,000 for ovarian cancer treatment which is not available to her on the NHS.

Nicky Schellander was told about the drug Olaparib, which will stop the cancer's DNA from replicating, but won't be able to access it on the NHS until she has had three rounds of chemotherapy.

She has had two, and said: "Rather than waiting for it to come back a third time I'd rather have it now.

"AstraZeneca have just signed as deal with the NHS to provide it for free if you self-fund the first year," she said, at a cost of £60,000.

"If it wasn't the only thing that might help me, I would not even consider it," she said.

"This is the first ovarian cancer treatment to get approval from the NHS in over a decade."

Nicky Schellander
Nicky Schellander

Her pioneering surgery in May appeared on BBC2's Hospital.

She has had messages from more than 60 women, some of whom didn't realised they could access the drug.

"There is a lack of knowledge around maintenance treatments," she said.

"I want to get back to full health and get back to doing what I am passionate about and also marry my soulmate."

Cornwall mental health patient sent to Somerset 'wanted family close by'

The mother of a mental health patient from Cornwall who took his own life after being sent 150 miles for care says he "wanted his family close by him".

Twenty-nine-year-old David Knight, who was being treated for paranoid schizophrenia when he died, received care at Cygnet Hospital in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, because no beds were available in his home county of Cornwall.

His mother, Julie Nancarrow, told the British Medical Association (BMA): "It was three-and-a-half hours to get there and three-and-a-half hours to get back, and we would visit him for an hour. That would be eight hours.

David Knight
PA

"David was saying: 'Can you stay longer?' so I felt so sorry. I didn't want to walk away and leave him. I said: 'We can't, David, because we have that massive journey home'.

"He was so far away and I think he just felt he was on his own when he actually wanted his family close by him. I don't want anyone to go through what we've been through. It's just so tragic."

The BMA has warned that the number of out of area placements for mental health patients has increased by 39% since 2014/15.

Surgery slams MP's claim it 'hires cowboy parking firm to fine and bully patients'

Cornwall Live

A doctors' surgery accused by an MP of stinging its patients by hiring a "cowboy" company to dish out unfair parking fines and "bully" them has hit back, saying the fines were only enforced for people who never enter the building and use its car park to go shopping.

'Burning to death' nightmares after Plymouth cladding delay

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

A young mother says she has nightmares about "burning to death" with her baby, after work on three tower blocks was delayed.

The Plymouth towers will have cladding removed after it emerged it was made of similar material to Grenfell Tower. It was expected to be removed within days, but authorities now say it won't be taken down until at least November.

Chloe Brewster
BBC

Twenty-two-year-old Chloe Brewster fled her flat in the Mount Wise Tower estate with her baby after a fire broke out in one of the blocks earlier this year.

She said: "It's absolutely horrifying to think that it's going to be at least to the end of the year that they're going to remove the cladding," she said.

Plymouth tower block
BBC

"At the end of the day they're not the ones that are having nightmares about burning to death with a baby in a tower block."

Social housing provider Plymouth Community Homes said additional safety precautions were in place to ensure residents' safety.

Penzance BID: Town has 'benefited enormously'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Supporters of Penzance's Business Improvement District (or BID) say the town has benefited "enormously" from the company's work.

More than 400 businesses in the town currently pay a levy of 2% of their rateable value to the not-for-profit company to help them promote the town centre and improve its appearance. However, some retailers are calling for it to be scrapped, saying it is not fit for purpose.

Jubilee Pool
BBC

Martin Nixon, chairman of the Friends of Jubilee Pool, said the BID had done great work in putting the town on the map.

He said: "They’ve invested wisely in positive PR for this town. It’s all very well us thinking locally 'Penzance has got its down sides and its challenges', but, universally, the positive PR, the national PR, thanks to the BID, has no doubt benefited Penzance enormously."

BID Chairman Nick Hood said the not-for-profit company "worked very hard".

Latest weather: Rain and staying cloudy

BBC Weather

Tonight is going to be a pretty wet one, and the rain may still be heavy at times. It will, at least, be very mild. Minimum temperature: 12C (54F).

Weather
BBC

It will be staying cloudy through Thursday, with some spells of light rain still possible. It will feel warmer tomorrow as winds remain light. Maximum temperature: 16C (61F).

Exeter Prison 'sees increase in violence in 2016'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Exeter Prison saw an increase in violence in 2016, partly because of staffing pressures and the availability of illicit drugs, the jail's Independent Monitoring Board has said in its annual report.

Exeter Prison
BBC

The board said that safety "has been compromised by a number of pressures on the prison, especially low staff numbers and increased use by prisoners of NPS" [new psychoactive substances, formerly known as "legal highs"].

It added that it believed it was a "well-run establishment in which staff make a genuine effort to treat inmates with dignity and respect" but that the prison was also still suffering from "considerable" overcrowding and low morale.

There were four deaths during the year "believed to be self-inflicted", the report also said.

The category B jail has a certified normal accommodation of 326 but an operational capacity of 561.

Plymouth Argyle: Pilgrims re-sign Gregg Wylde and Doncaster's Aaron Taylor-Sinclair

BBC Sport

Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Gregg Wylde
Getty Images

Plymouth Argyle have re-signed former Rangers winger Gregg Wylde (pictured right), while left-back Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (pictured left) has also joined the League One side.

Wylde, 26, left the Pilgrims for Millwall last summer but had his Lions contract cancelled in May.

Fellow Scot Taylor-Sinclair, also 26, had spent the past two seasons with Doncaster but was released after their promotion to the third tier.

Left-back Gary Sawyer has also signed a new deal to remain at Home Park.

The 31-year-old has made 72 appearances since rejoining the Pilgrims for a second spell in 2015.

He helped them win promotion to League One last term, but was restricted to playing 22 games because of injuries.

Firefighters hope for in-tents support of charity fundraising sale

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

Glastonbury tents
Tolvaddon Fire Station

Any keen campers in Cornwall who need a second-hand tent with a festival history can help raise money for charity, thanks to local firefighters.

Firefighters from Tolvaddon have returned to the county after collecting up hundreds of discarded tents from the Glastonbury Festival.

The Tolvaddon crews are to sell the camping equipment for charity in Hayle at the end of the month

The Fire Fighters Charity has benefited from previous sales.

Grenfell Tower fire: Plymouth high-rise cladding works timetable released

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Tower block managers in Plymouth are to remove and replace unsafe cladding on three high-rise blocks of flats "as soon as possible".

The Mount Wise blocks have been found to have unsafe cladding after testing as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire in west London.

Social housing manager Plymouth Community Homes has released an expected timetable of the works:

Tower block
BBC
  • 28 June: Installation of fire alarm system and heat detectors beginning in communal areas; scaffolding company due to be appointed to draw up plans to scaffold and weather-proof towers
  • 5 July: Main contractor due to be appointed for works to remove cladding
  • Mid July: Design of the sprinkler system expected, but installation will not be known until designs are received from contractor
  • End of July: Appointment of scaffolders and erection of scaffolding due to begin. It will take at least eight weeks and is weather dependent
  • End of September: Target for completing the erection of scaffolding; work to remove panels due to begin, but is weather dependent
  • End of November: Target for completion of the panels' removal
  • December: Installation of the non-combustible cladding due to begin, but the timescale cannot be confirmed "until the system to be used is identified"

Thug dragged ex round flat by her hair, beat and stamped on her

Devon Live

A man has been jailed for almost five years after going to his ex's flat after she had broken up with him, stamping on her chest and punching her in the face.

Ipplepen dig 'expensive' pottery find 'never before seen in South West'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Pottery fragment. Pic: University of Exeter
University of Exeter

A "high-quality" fragment of a cup found at a dig in Devon is thought to be the first time such a type of glazed pottery has been found in the South West, archaeologists say.

University of Exeter archaeologists and local volunteers have been working on and off in the Ipplepen area for the last six years, and have been unearthing new evidence showing how people made their living more than 1,300 years ago.

This latest highlighted find - likely to be a type of Romano-British pottery known as South East Glazed Ware - showed that "ancient farmers and ironworkers in South Devon could afford quality goods and had an affluent lifestyle".

It was found at the weekend by a local volunteer with the excavating team and was thought to have been produced in South East England in the late 1st and early 2nd Centuries, the university said.

It added: "The cup would have been expensive at the time. It could have been a treasured personal possession."

Jouster battling ovarian cancer speaks of 'devastation' over not being able to have family

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Jouster Nicky Schellander, 44, has spoken of her "devastation" at not being able to have a family after battling ovarian cancer.

She had pioneering surgery in London in May and is now fundraising £66,500 for drug Olaparib to stop the cancer growing.

Nicky was diagnosed with cancer in August 2015.

Nicky Schellander
Nicky Schellander

She had surgery and chemotherapy and went into remission - but the cancer returned aggressively in February this year.

Nicky, who lives with fiancé Cy Margieson, said: "It was devastating for me."

"The dreams that my fiancé and I held, are getting harder - we lost our baby and chance of starting a family, so now, the priority is to concentrate on staying alive."

Grassed up: Dormouse seen feeding near marshes

Grenfell Tower fire: Plymouth blocks' cladding replacement 'complex works'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Tower blocks
BBC

Tower block managers in Plymouth say they are committed to removing and replacing unsafe cladding on three high-rise blocks of flats "as soon as possible", but added that it will be a "large and complex programme of works".

Unsafe cladding on the Mount Wise blocks was to be removed "by the end of November 2017", Plymouth Community Homes said.

The blocks have been found to have unsafe cladding after testing as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire in west London.

The social housing manager also said it was continuing to develop "a further programme of works to replace the panels with a product that is compliant" and that, throughout the works, it would "continue to review the fire risk assessments for the towers to ensure our residents’ safety".

Plymouth left-back Sawyer pens new deal

BBC Sport

Gary Sawyer
Empics

Plymouth Argyle left-back Gary Sawyer has signed a new undisclosed-length contract with the League One side.

The 31-year-old has made 72 appearances since rejoining the Pilgrims for a second spell when he became manager Derek Adams' first signing.

He helped them win promotion to League One last term, but was restricted to playing 22 games because of injuries.

In total, the former Bristol City and Leyton Orient defender has played 178 times for Plymouth.

Travel: Problems around Marsh Mills, Plymouth

BBC News Travel

In Devon, there are some problems around the Marsh Mills roundabout area of Plymouth, including:

  • Traffic is heavy on A38 Plymouth-bound near the roundabout due to an accident involving one car
  • On A374 Plymouth Road at Marsh Mills roundabout, traffic is slow moving due to a collision involving two vehicles

In Cornwall, the B3362 in Lawhitton is blocked in both directions between Lawhitton and Milton Abbot due to an accident

Devon jouster fundraises for ovarian cancer treatment

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

One of the UK's only female jousters is fundraising for ovarian cancer treatment not available to her on the NHS.

Nicky Schellander, 44, from Barnstaple, Devon, had her ovaries removed when the cancer was found in August 2015.

Nicky Schellander
Nicky Schellander

After pioneering surgery in London, she is fundraising £66,500 for drug Olaparib to stop the cancer growing.

If fundraising is successful, she hopes to be back to jousting by October, when she also plans to marry her partner.

Nicky has worked on films such as Snow White and the Huntsman and TV series Merlin through her horse training and jousting work.

VIDEO: MP Sheryll Murray reveals online abuse and 'burn the witch' calls during PMQs

The Daily Politics

View more on twitter

Tory Cornish MP Sheryll Murray has revealed during Prime Minister's Questions that she became a victim of intimidation and online abuse, with social media users urging people to "burn the witch".

"Hardly kinder, gentler politics," she said.

Travel: Accident in Honiton High Street

BBC News Travel

  • In Devon, Honiton High Street is partially blocked due to an accident. Traffic is queuing
  • On the A390 Ideford Dip Newton Abbot-bound, between Ideford Road and B3195, traffic is slow-moving due to an accident

Horse racing sheikh of Dubai helps villagers in Cornwall buy Godolphin Methodist Chapel for hall

Cornwall Live

An audacious appeal to the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and head of the global Godolphin horse racing empire has spectacularly paid off for a Cornish community struggling to buy its village hall.

Why do England's high-rises keep failing fire tests?

Chris Cook

Newsnight Policy Editor

Tower block
BBC

Over the past week, the government has been testing high-rise tower blocks in England owned by councils and housing associations.

All 95 of those tested so far - including three in Plymouth (pictured) - have been discovered to be covered with an aluminium "rain-screen" exterior cladding that does not meet the required combustibility standards.

You would be right to ask: how on earth can this have happened?

The short answer is: the organisations responsible for maintaining standards in the building industry have been advising contractors not to take the regulations too literally.

You can find out more here.

MP Sheryll Murray 'victim of 'burn the witch' abuse'

BBC Politics

A Cornish MP has revealed she became a victim of intimidation and online abuse, with social media users urging people to "burn the witch".

Sheryll Murray
BBC

During Prime Minister's Questions Sheryll Murray, the Tory MP for South East Cornwall, said the bullying happened during the election campaign.

She said: "Over the past months, I've had swastikas carved into posters, social media posts like 'burn the witch', people putting Labour Party leaflets on my home, photographed them and pushed them through my letterbox. Someone even urinated on my office door.

"Hardly kinder, gentler politics."

Prime Minister Theresa May said Mrs Murray was not the only MP who had suffered in this way.

Travel: Plymouth city centre 'busier than usual

BBC News Travel

Plymouth city centre is reported to be busier than usual due to Plymouth University's open day.

Latest weather: Cloudy with outbreaks of rain

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

It'll be largely cloudy with outbreaks of rain affecting much of Devon and Cornwall through the day. Some of the rain may be heavy from time to time. But, in the west, it should become drier and occasionally brighter. Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).

Weather
BBC

Remaining cloudy tonight with further outbreaks of locally heavy rain. There should also be some drier spells, with these most likely towards the west. Low cloud is likely to affect high ground, while west or northwesterly winds will be mainly moderate or fresh. Minimum temperature: 12C (54F).

Police investigate 'serious sexual assault' on woman, 19

BBC Radio Cornwall

Police in Newquay say they are investigating an alleged serious sexual assault against a teenage woman.

Officers said the 19-year-old woman was on a night out on Saturday 3 June and had left Sailors nightclub, making her way through town along Berry Road to the boating lake, where she was "approached a blond woman in the lake shelters and requested a cigarette".

The victim was then punched by the other woman during an altercation which left her on the ground after being knocked out.

Police said: "She blacked out for an unknown period of time and reported to police that a serious sexual assault had also taken place."

Officers said they were appealing for witnesses and "particularly keen to locate the blond-haired woman".

Grenfell Tower fire: Plymouth blocks cladding to be taken off 'by end of November'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Unsafe cladding panels on three tower blocks in Plymouth are to be removed "by the end of November 2017", housing managers have told the flats' residents.

Plymouth tower blocks
BBC

Three high-rises in the Mount Wise area (pictured), have been found to have unsafe cladding after testing as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire in west London. The blaze on 14 June is feared to have killed at least 79 people.

Safety tests were prompted in Plymouth after questions were raised about cladding on the London block.

Cladding letter
BBC

Buildings manager Plymouth Community Homes said residents had been reassured that "they will not need to move out of their homes" and that work was also under way to install additional fire safety measures.

However, it added that all the works were "subject to the availability of contractors and materials, regulations and permissions, as well as weather conditions".

Plymouth City Council 'gathering evidence' about bin collection problems

BBC Radio Devon

Rubbish
BBC

Plymouth City Council staff say they are "gathering evidence" about problems with bin collections since the service for general waste became fortnightly.

The city council changed from weekly to fortnightly collections in May. Critics say the move has resulted in rubbish being strewn across some streets, posing a danger to health.

The assistant director of street services, Lou Heyward, said they had been keeping an eye on the situation since the change.

She said: "We've been gathering evidence from areas around the city where we may need a different approach to alternative weekly collections."

Mother condemns mental health patients being sent away from home

Press Association

David Knight. Pic: PA
PA

The mother of a mental health patient from Cornwall who took his own life after being sent 150 miles for care has condemned the practice of patients being placed away.

Twenty-nine-year-old David Knight, who was being treated for paranoid schizophrenia when he died, received care at Cygnet Hospital in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset - three and a half hours away from his home in Cornwall because no local beds were available.

He died in 2015 while staying with his parents on a long weekend at home. His mother, Julie Nancarrow, said she didn't want anyone else to suffer as her family had.

She told the British Medical Association (BMA): "David needed his family around him, he didn't like it on his own. He felt safe at home."

The BMA has warned that the number of out of area placements for mental health patients has increased by 39% since 2014/15.

Penzance firms say they 'have no choice but call for end of Business Improvement District'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Some retailers in Penzance are calling for the local Business Improvement District (BID) to be scrapped, saying they have no choice because it's not fit for purpose.

More than 400 businesses in the town currently pay a levy of 2% of their rateable value to the company to help them promote the town centre and improve its appearance.

Market Jew Street, Penzance
BBC

Local retailer Carol Shaw said: "We feel there is not an other course of action because we cannot get any information.

"No-one can spread any light on these vasts amounts of money that are taken and being spent."

She said that £15,000 had been spent on a website that "doesn't work".

BID Chairman Nick Hood said the not-for-profit company "worked very hard".

Highways England conducting safety study of A30 Hayle bypass

Cornwall Live

A safety probe is being carried out on a stretch of the A30 which has seen numerous serious and fatal crashes.

Power cable comes down in Tavistock

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A fire crew and electrical engineers have dealt with a power cable after it came down in Tavistock.

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service said its crew was called to Abbey Rise at about 09:15 after the cable came down "across the main highway".

The road was closed whilst engineers from Western Power Distribution dealt with the cable.

Therapy dogs for children excluded from school in Devon

Janine Jansen

BBC Spotlight

Therapy dogs are being used in Devon to help children who've been excluded to reintegrate back into school.

Golden retriever Archie has helped nine-year-old Kieran back more than a year after being excluded.

The South West Intervention Services says the dogs can help calm pupils if they are angry or have outbursts.

'Hoax' call sparks massive five-hour search for 'sinking vessel'

Devon Live

A full-scale land, sea and air search off Torquay on Tuesday night was almost certainly sparked by a hoax Mayday call.

Man charged with attempted murder after suspected arsons

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A man has been charged with attempted murder after two cars, a bin and some model buildings were allegedly set on fire in a street in Newton Abbot, police say.

Devon and Cornwall Police said they were called to Seymour Road at about 05:25 on Tuesday after reports that a man "had set a number of cars alight".

Officers said a 20-year-old local man had been charged with attempted murder, four counts of arson with intent and one count of possessing a bladed article in a public place, and was due before magistrates in Plymouth later.

Police 'changing their stance on begging'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Totnes
BBC

Police in Totnes say they are changing their stance on begging in the town after recent reports of "shoppers being aggressively harassed for money, followed up the road, abused, threatened with violence and intimidated at cash points".

Officers said on Facebook they had previously "taken a fairly relaxed approach to persons begging on Fore Street and High Street" because beggars previously had a "very low level, friendly, passive begging style" and they previously received "very few complaints from locals".

However, this approach had "drawn others in from further afield", police said.

Officers added that it was not a "begging crackdown" because it was an illegal activity, but they "will be working alongside our statutory partners and local support services to support individuals to improve their lives".

Totnes Police said: "These individuals are vulnerable and need our help but cannot be allowed to cause members of our community to feel unsafe."

Devon council web services down