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  1. Devon health committee votes against referring hospital bed closure plans to minister
  2. Children as young as 11 investigated for sexting by Devon and Cornwall Police
  3. Man involved in bus crash dies
  4. Coverack flood victim, 85, 'won't be able to go home before December'
  5. Plans to improve air in Cornwall village of Grampound after excessive pollution found
  6. Boaty McBoatface 'won't be considered' in fire service boat name competition
  7. Updates on Tuesday 25 July 2017

Live Reporting

By Sian Davies

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage throughout the day

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Wednesday 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.

Devon chapel and seaside hut join 'queer histories' sites

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A seaside hut, which was used by an LGBT painter and her partner, and a chapel have been officially listed as "places with queer histories" in north Devon.

Historic England has given the accolades to The Cabin in Bucks Mill and the Chapel of St Anne in Saunton.

National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

The Cabin was the coastal retreat of the artists and partners Judith Ackland and Mary Stella Edwards.

The Chapel of St Anne has a stained glass window created by artist and suffragette Mary Lowndes.

James O Davies

They have been listed to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

They join similarly listed sites including Reading Prison, where Oscar Wilde was held between 1895 and 1897 for gross indecency after his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas.

Latest weather: Rain to fade but return

BBC Weather

Any isolated showers will fade away to leave a dry start to the night. However, winds will strengthen with rain arriving from the west, turning heavier later and bringing some hill fog over the moors. Minimum temperature: 15C (59F).


On Wednesday, rain, heavy in places, will spread across all parts in the morning, accompanied by strong winds. However, it will turn drier through the afternoon with some sunny spells, but most will feel much fresher. Maximum temperature: 20C (68F).

Bed closure protesters 'angry and disappointed'

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Protesters hoping plans to close 71 community beds at four hospitals in Devon would be referred to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt have been left angry and disappointed after Devon County Council's Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee decided not to refer them.

The decision was taken by seven votes to six at a meeting at County Hall in Exeter over beds earmarked for closure in Okehampton, Seaton, Honiton and Whipton.

Protesters said more local beds were needed due to an ageing population, and that the closures would mean long journeys for patients, relatives and other visitors.

Health bosses said they wanted to focus on community care to make the best use of resources, partly because they were affected by a "real workforce shortage", adding it was "not just a financial issue".

Top tips to choose fire boat name

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is calling for suggestions for names for its new fire boat.

It has released a list of tips to help people choose an appropriate name:

  • Cornish links are encouraged for the suggested name
  • "Keep it short", the service recommends, saying: "This is the sensible option in emergencies. Every second can count, so a smaller name is better"
  • Suitability - Keep the suggestion family-friendly
  • Safety - People should try repeating the suggested name out loud "as if in a call to the coastguard, for example, and assess how it sounds". People may need to make sure their suggested name was easy to say and hear in case of an emergency, the service said
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service

However, the service said that the name Boaty McBoatface "won't be considered" because it is already taken by a yellow polar expedition submarine.

Calls for public feedback on Royal Clarence Hotel restoration

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Exeter residents will be able to comment on plans to restore the historic Royal Clarence Hotel tomorrow.

Plans for the external restoration will be unveiled tomorrow, after months of planning.

The hotel, which dates back to 1769, was destroyed by fire in October last year.

Owners of the hotel said they had worked with Historic England and Exeter City Council to preserve surviving features of historic and architectural importance.

A public consultation for external plans will take place at St Martins Church in Cathedral Close on Wednesday, open to all and with feedback forms available for visitors.

Plans for the interior of the hotel are currently being designed, and the owners are aiming to reopen it in 2018.


Concern swarms of jellyfish could wash on to Cornish coast

BBC Radio Cornwall

Jellyfish in 2016

A recent jellyfish stranding on the north Cornwall coast has prompted concern that more swarms of the creatures could find themselves washed on to local beaches during the summer holiday season.

A year ago, thousands of jellyfish were stranded on popular beaches at Perranporth and Newquay, and there have already been sightings this year at Port Gaverne, Watergate Bay and Carbis Bay.

Matt Slater, marine awareness officer at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said people should not handle any they found.

Man in court for cycling on motorway bikes it from London to Exeter for hearing

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A cyclist who appeared in court for riding his bike on the M5 spent three days cycling from London to Exeter for the court hearing.

Balin Hobbs, 52, rode for 10 miles before police caught up with him on the M5 in Devon in April – but he overtook them and rode for another two miles, Exeter Magistrates' Court was told.

Balin Hobbs

Homeless Hobbs cycled from London to get to the court in time for the case yesterday – and slept on the courtroom steps the night before.

He admitted riding a pedal cycle on a motorway and resisting arrest.

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge. No court costs or fines were issued, but he must pay a £20 victim surcharge.

Health committee votes against sending hospital bed closure plans to minister

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

A Devon health committee has voted against sending plans to close 71 community hospital beds to the Secretary of State for Health to be reviewed.

The beds earmarked for closure are in Okehampton, Seaton, Honiton and Whipton and health bosses said it would see more people being given care at home and save £2.6m.

The vote was seven to six against the referral, with one abstention, during a meeting of Devon County Council's Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee at County Hall in Exeter.

There were cries of "shame" from the public gallery at the result.

Council ward boundaries in North Devon set to change

BBC Radio Devon

Council ward boundaries in North Devon are set to change and local people are being asked for their help in drawing up new ones.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has set up a consultation as the first part of an electoral review which will re-draw ward boundaries across the council area.

The commission has also announced that it is to recommend the council should have 41 councillors in the future - two fewer than the current arrangements.

People have until 2 October to submit their views.

NHS 'does not need more money to improve'

BBC News Health

The NHS does not necessarily need more money to improve care, the outgoing chief inspector of hospitals in England, Prof Sir Mike Richards, says.

Sir Mike said there were more cost-effective ways of running the service, such as ending the use of what he called "very expensive" agency nurses.

There was "no doubt" the NHS needed more money because of increasing demand and the need to transform services, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

But any injection of funds should be used to transform the way the health service was run, he added.

Hospital sign

Protesters at meeting over plans to close 71 community beds at hospitals

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

About 80 protesters opposed to plans to close 71 community beds at four hospitals in Devon are attending a meeting at County Hall in Exeter which is to decide if the proposals should be referred to the health secretary.

The decision - for beds in Okehampton, Seaton, Honiton and Whipton - will be taken by Devon County Council's Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee.

Health bosses said the plans would see more people being given care at home and save £2.6m.

Life's a beach ... well, life above the beach

Lord Teverson: 'Brexit could lower animal welfare standards'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornish peer Lord Teverson says Brexit could lower animal welfare standards in UK farming.

He chairs the House of Lords' Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, which is warning that British farmers will have to compete against cheaper imports from countries outside the EU.

Exeter Cathedral Green fire: Plans to restore 'oldest hotel in England'

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Plans to rebuild what's believed to the oldest hotel in England, which was destroyed by fire last year, will be released to the public this week.

The fire damaged buildings on Cathedral Green in Exeter and spread to the Royal Clarence Hotel, which dates back to 1769.

Architects said a new facade would show a restored frontage, designed to stay as true as possible to the original.

New frontage
Andrew Brownsword Hotels

Owner Andrew Brownsword said some features such as iron work and stained glass windows would be restored, and surviving features preserved.

"This is such a wonderful moment, after the initial heartbreak and months of deconstruction, to start to look towards to the future and to restoring the Royal Clarence's historic frontage," he said.

The work is expected to take 18 months to complete.

Man in court after riding bike on M5

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A cyclist who was caught riding his old bike on a motorway cycled back to London after his Exeter court hearing.

Balin Hobbs, 52, rode along the M5 for more than 10 miles before police forced him from the road and into a service station near Cullompton, Devon, in April.

He admitted riding a pedal cycle on a motorway and resisting arrest at Exeter Magistrates' Court, and was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge.

Motorway cyclist Balin Hobbs. Pic: Irving of Exeter
Irving of Exeter

Hobbs, whose address was given as Hennock, Devon, but who is living in London, said: "You are putting me in shackles for no reason" when arrested, the court heard.

Hobbs, who has no previous convictions, defended himself in court, saying: "I was definitely on the M5 on my bike."

But he claimed the police had "intimidated, harassed and harangued me", adding: "I did not intend to cycle on the M5 but I had to try and find my way to Bristol and then London. I don't wish to be in this end of the country at all."

Following the hearing, he mounted his bike to begin the journey back to London.

Coverack pensioner won't return to flooded home until December

Matt Pengelly

BBC Radio Cornwall

A Coverack pensioner has been told she won't be able to return to her flooded home before December.

Eighty-five-year-old Leigh Bernard was trapped upstairs by 4ft of water and had to be rescued by neighbours.

She said she was lucky to be alive but didn't know where she would live in the months up to Christmas.

Health bosses had 'no option' but to stop births at maternity units

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Health bosses say they had no option but to stop birth services at maternity units in Honiton and Okehampton.

The units have been closed for three months at short notice. The Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, which runs the service, said it had a staff shortage due to sickness, unfilled vacancies and maternity leave.

Em Wilkinson-Brice, the trust's chief nurse told Devon's Health Scrutiny Committee that said the decision was due to patient safety.

She said births were suspended at Tiverton on 17 occasions in June due to staffing issues. She added that home births would still be available, as well as services at units in Tiverton and Exeter.

When asked if the units would reopen after three months, she said "I wouldn't say we are confident or not confident."

Travel latest: Long queues on Tamar Bridge due to accident near toll booths

BBC News Travel

  • In Cornwall, traffic lights at the Trafalgar Roundabout in Truro are not working. Approach with care
  • In Launceston, the A388 Western Road is now clear after a lorry shed its load at the roundabout earlier
  • At Brighton Cross, the A3058 is now clear following an earlier accident around the B3275
  • In Devon, Great Headland Road in Paignton is now clear after a collision near Tarraway Road

Travel: Accident near Tamar Bridge toll booths

BBC News Travel

There are long queues on the Tamar Bridge, Devon-bound, due to an accident near the toll booths. Queues on the A38 are tailing back to the Carkeel roundabout.

Road rage rant ex-BBC producer Fergus Beeley hosts relaxation retreat in Cornwall

Cornwall Live

The former BBC producer who was filmed threatening a family and telling them to "get ready to die" in a huge road rage rant planned to come to Cornwall to host a weekend retreat in nature and mindfulness.

Calls for better sex education after sexting figures revealed

BBC Radio Cornwall


There are calls for better sex education for children after Devon and Cornwall Police revealed they've investigated 11-year-olds for so-called "sexting".

Experts said youngsters may not realise sharing explicit pictures of themselves was a crime - or how quickly a picture could end up being widely shared.

Police said there there was clear national guidance not to criminalise children, but it was generally accepted there should be an initial warning.

Plans to revamp Arch Hill junction in Truro shelved

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

Plans to remodel one of Cornwall's busiest junctions have been shelved, a senior Cornwall Councillor has confirmed.

Plans were put forward to replace a double mini-roundabout at Arch Hill, Truro - including Falmouth Road - with a single larger roundabout by the end of 2018. But there were worries about traffic delays during the work.

Council cabinet member for transport Geoff Brown said that, having heard the views of local people, the proposed redevelopment of the busy route was being considered as a "roundabout too far" for beleaguered motorists for the moment.

Arch Hill. Pic: Google

Chandelier restoration project raises £30k

Harriet Bradshaw

BBC South West


A company which restores chandeliers and glass for the Queen is taking on a project in Sidmouth.

The Friends of Sidholme Music Room have raised £30,000 for their biggest chandelier to be repaired.

It'll take a couple of months to bring it back to its full glory.

Man's clothes store robbery with 'small blade' a 'vicious crime'

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Police are appealing for witnesses after a robbery in Tiverton on Saturday.

The incident took place just after 13.30 at Cash 4 Clothes on Leat Street when a man entered the shop holding a small blade and demanded money. He pushed a woman in her 40s to the ground before making off with cash.

Det Con Jason Colcutt, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “This was a particularly vicious crime with the use of a blade shown."

The man was described as white, about 6ft tall, and wearing black sunglasses and a distinctive brown jacket with light orange sleeves.

The jacket "could have been an orange hoody with a brown body warmer over it", Det Con Colcutt said.

Ex-St Austell police officer caught with child sex abuse images again

Cornwall Live

A former Cornwall child protection police officer who was spared a jail sentence after being found with indecent images of children on his laptop has admitted similar charges.

'Doubtful that War Horse stage play would see success'

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Author Michael Morpurgo has admitted that he doubted the hugely popular stage adaptation of his novel War Horse would ever be a success.

The wartime tale, which was also turned into a major film in 2011, has become one of the most talked about productions since it came to London's National Theatre 10 years ago.

But the acclaimed Devon-based author told how the concept of using giant puppets to recreate his emotional 1982 novel onstage did not fill him with high hopes.

War horse

He told Radio Times magazine: "Not the most promising of ideas, I thought, but it was Tom Morris at the National Theatre and I thought he might know what he was doing.

"It took two years of faith and work to bring the production to the stage... I remained hopeful, but doubtful."

But after watching the "great anthem to peace and reconciliation" staged in Berlin, he told how he felt even his actor uncle, who died during the Second World War, would have "loved it".

Foodbank figures 'shocking' says bishop

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Half of children receiving supplies from foodbanks are aged between five and 11, new research has revealed.

The Trussell Trust, which runs more than 420 foodbanks, said its study showed how close to crisis many families are living.

There were over 67,500 three-day emergency food supplies given to children in July and August in 2016, 4,000 more than the previous year, it was found.

Bishop of Truro

Half went to five to 11-year-olds, just over a quarter to under four-year-olds and a fifth to 12 to 16-year-olds, said the Trust.

The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Rev Tim Thornton, has described the figures as "shocking".

He said: "That so many primary age children are going without food in our country is of great concern."

Boaty McBoatface 'won't be considered' in naming competition

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has said that the name Boaty McBoatface "won't be considered" in a naming competition for its new fire boat - because it is already taken.

The fire boat is being constructed specifically for the service. It will be used for maritime incidents and in partnership with other emergency services for fire prevention work, promoting boat safety and safety cover during busy events such as regattas.

It is hoped to be operational by the end of summer 2017 and will primarily be kept on a berth at Falmouth Marina, but it needs a name, hence the competition.

The name Boaty McBoatface topped a public vote to name a £200m UK polar research ship.

That vessel was named the RRS Sir David Attenborough, but a yellow submarine was named Boaty McBoatface instead, and has carried out science expedition work in Antarctica.

Health minister could be asked to review hospital bed closure plans

BBC Radio Devon

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt could be asked to review the decision to close community hospital beds in east and mid Devon.

Campaigners trying to prevent the bed closures have gathered ahead of Devon's Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee, which meets later.

Hot Pennies tradition takes place in Honiton

BBC Radio Devon

Hot pennies

Thousands of people are in Honiton this lunchtime for one of Devon's greatest traditions.

The Hot Pennies ceremony is taking place outside the old pannier market.

The event dates back to the 13th Century when Honiton was granted a Royal Charter, and sees hundreds of warm coins thrown towards children in the street.

The town council's website said the pennies were originally thrown out hot because "affluent people who threw out the pennies took great delight in seeing the peasants burn their fingers whilst collecting them".

"Nowadays, the pennies are merely warm," it added.

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VIDEO: Squeaky wheelbarrow stops filming

Adrian Campbell, Environment Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

View more on twitter

Adrian was trying to film on Plymouth Hoe.

Work to improve 'excessive polution' in Grampound

BBC Radio Cornwall


Work has begun to come up with a plan to improve air quality in Grampound after tests showed there was excessive pollution in the village caused by traffic fumes.

The village has the A390 go through it - the main route between Truro and St Austell.

As the first step, Cornwall Council has officially designated it as an Air Quality Management Area.

Over the next 12 months, an action plan will be devised based on what people living there suggest.

Cornwall travel: Accidents at St Erth, Brighton Cross and in Falmouth

BBC News Travel

  • Traffic is slow-moving with long queues in both directions on the A30 at St Erth roundabout after an accident
  • At Brighton Cross, on the A3058 around the B3275, there are reports of an accident
  • Falmouth High Street is partially blocked around Beacon Street due to an accident

Leander swimmer Proud wins shock gold

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Ben Proud pulls off shock win in 50m butterfly final

Plymouth Leander swimmer Ben Proud says he was "on the verge of tears" after winning gold in the 50m butterfly at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

The 22-year-old, who was Commonwealth champion in 2014, triumphed in 22.75 seconds.

"The pieces of the puzzle have come together. I was panicking before as I couldn't get my clothes off, but once I put my foot on the block, it was just about me and my race," he said.

Devon woman overcomes dyslexia to write book

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Aimee Spurgeon

A woman from east Devon has overcome dyslexia to write a book which she hopes will help open up the world of literature to fellow sufferers.

Aimee Spurgeon, who runs a beauticians in Seaton, said she felt that adults with the condition were ignored and books which they could read were not aimed at their age group.

She's now had her first novel published.

Road accident on A30 St Erth

Van balanced on edge of road over river after crash

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Devon and Cornwall Police

Fire crews used a winch to recover a van which was "in a precarious position" hanging over the side of a road over a river.

Fire crews from Ivybridge and Buckfastleight were called at about 07:15 to Turtley Corn Mill, South Brent, to assist in the incident and found the driver still inside the vehicle.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: "They managed to winch the car back onto the road and released the driver from inside, unharmed."

The road was closed during the recovery.

Coverack 85-year-old 'won't be home before Christmas'

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

The main road into Coverack may be open less than a week after the flash floods, but one 85-year-old villager has been told she won't return to her home before Christmas.

Leigh Bernard was trapped upstairs by 4ft of water and had to be rescued by neighbours.

She said she was lucky to be alive but also admitted she had been shaken by the experience.