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Summary

  1. Man charged over double police assault
  2. Devon MP to help chair EU Withdrawal Bill
  3. Exeter drinkers 'snatch pigeons to eat'
  4. The MP for Torbay calls the local council "jobsworths" over the axing of town bus services
  5. Phone shoplifter jailed after breaching order to stay out of Exeter
  6. No mobile, no emails, no problem - Devon councillor
  7. The English Riviera gets £1.2m to help it transform from bucket and spade to an arts and culture holiday spot
  8. Updates on Thursday 7 September 2017

Live Reporting

By Sophie Malcolm

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Exeter drinkers 'snatch pigeons to eat'

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Street drinkers have been catching pigeons to eat according to shopkeepers in Exeter.

View more on twitter

Police are investigating allegations that street drinkers tempted the birds with seeds and then stuffed about 14 into a bag.

One shopkeeper, who wanted to speak anonymously, said she assumed the pigeons were being captured for food.

"Why else would they catch them?" she said. "I was horrified."

PCSO Sarah Giles tweeted that the RSPCA has been informed.

Cornwall-based charity sends team to help hurricane victims

BBC Radio Cornwall

A team from Cornwall-based Shelterbox will leave the UK tonight to help those who've lost their homes in the Caribbean.

Chief executive Chris Warham told the BBC tents would not be suitable for the conditions, but they could still offer other assistance.

We have a shelter kit, which allows you to start the process of making your home watertight and weatherproof so you can remain in it. "Those are often used in more urban situations where perhaps houses haven't been completely destroyed, which is often the case in hurricanes, and it allows a family to make the house habitable and start the process of recovery."

Chris WarhamShelterbox
Hurricane Irma: 'It was like a horror movie'

Hurricane Irma has caused widespread destruction across the Caribbean, reducing buildings to rubble and leaving at least 13 people dead.

The small island of Barbuda is said to be "barely habitable". Officials warn that St Martin is almost destroyed, and the death toll is likely to rise.

Irma is a category five hurricane, the highest possible level. It is currently north of the Dominican Republic, heading towards Turks and Caicos.

Call to highlight meningitis B symptoms

BBC News England

George Zographou, 18, from Bristol, fell ill at the Boardmasters Surf and Music Festival in Newquay last month.

The teenager, who was a student St Brendan's Sixth Form College, contracted the B strain of the virus.

His family wants to highlight how symptoms can present quite differently in some people - particularly with the B strain.

Family's call to highlight meningitis B symptoms

Letting agency 'barred from trading for six years'

BBC Radio Cornwall

A Cornish lettings agency has been barred from trading for six years after complaints from tenants and landlords that it failed to repay deposits and pass on rental payments for thousands of pounds.

Premier Property Management, based in Truro, was originally expelled by The Property Ombudsman in November 2016 for two years and ordered to repay more than £20,000.

The ombudsman says the company has failed to do so and so has banned it for a further four years.

It says it believes Premier Property Management is no longer trading. An investigation by Cornwall Trading Standards is ongoing.

The BBC has so far been unable to contact the company for comment, but in February the owner told the BBC the money owed was safe, it would be paid back and apologised to those concerned.

Showers this evening, then more rain

BBC Weather

There will be a mixture of clear spells and blustery showers this evening.

Any showers will tend to die away later in the night, as rain approaches from the west through the early hours.

weather
BBC

Shredder trialled at incinerator

BBC Radio Cornwall

A shredder will be trialled at a waste to energy plant in Cornwall to allow all sizes of rubbish to be processed at the site, a Cornwall councillor has said.

Private waste companies in Cornwall are angry that they can't take bulky items to the site in St Dennis and have to use other firms to shred their rubbish.

Councillor Sue James says the council is only responsible for dealing with domestic waste but, if the shredder works, they could also take waste from business customers.

However, she says, the firms will have to pay for it. She said: "Business rates do not cover dealing with business waste and that can be substantial, which can be a burden to the taxpayers."

EU (Withdrawal) Bill: Devon MP 'at heart of historic legislation'

A Devon MP has been chosen to help chair the EU (Withdrawal) Bill as it's debated by Parliament in the coming months.

Gary Streeter, the South West Devon MP, is one of four long-standing politicians - two Conservatives and two Labour - chosen to oversee the bill.

I am delighted to have been asked to chair the proceedings of this momentous bill as it will place me at the heart of historic legislation. It is likely to be both fascinating and gruelling in equal measure. It will mean me being at Westminster more over the next few months than in recent years. My urgent task is to read and understand the very technical bill in great detail as well as learn the names of the new MPs elected in June!"

Gary Streeter
David Davis
BBC

Meanwhile, David Davis has accused Labour of a "cynical and unprincipled" attempt to block a key piece of legislation that will take Britain out of the EU.

The Brexit Secretary claimed Britons "will not forgive" Labour if they try to "delay or destroy" the process.

Labour backs Brexit but says it will vote against the bill as it stands.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer branded it a "huge power grab" by ministers that would "reduce MPs to spectators".

Thousands of pounds to protect ancient woodlands

BBC Radio Devon

Tens of thousands of pounds is being spent to protect ancient woodlands in Devon.

Funding of £82,469 has been awarded to Plantlife.

The cash is coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will help the organisation protect some of the rarest plants such as species of lichens, mosses and liverworts.

It will be working with the National Trust, Exmoor National Park, and Dartmoor National Park.

Woodland
.

Phone shoplifter jailed after breaching order to stay out of Exeter

BBC Radio Devon

A shoplifter has been jailed for defying an order to stay out of the centre of Exeter and stealing phones worth more than £1,000.

James Dawson, 36, who's homeless, carried out the theft at a shop in Fore Street just 10 days after receiving a suspended sentence for breaking a criminal behaviour order which banned him from the city centre.

He admitted theft, personal possession of heroin, and two breaches of the order.

A judge at Exeter Crown Court has jailed Dawson for 12 months.

Exeter Crown Court
BBC

'Meningitis B should be taken as seriously as other strains'

The family of George Zographou have spoken of their devastation after he became the second teenager in Bristol to die of meningitis B in 14 months.

George was just 18 when he fell ill at Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall.

His family wants to raise awareness of the B strain of the virus, and to let people know that they can pay privately to be vaccinated against it.

Nicole Zographou is George's sister.

Watch: The family of the Bristol teenager George Zographou have spoken of devastation at his loss

Football: Herrera to remain in charge of Torquay on Saturday

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Torquay United general manager Geoff Harrop has confirmed Robbie Herrera will continue to lead the side as they host Wrexham on Saturday.

It is more than three weeks since the National League side sacked Kevin Nicholson as boss, with the Gulls still sitting bottom of the table without a win.

“We are further down the line towards appointing someone to take charge of first team duties,” Harrop said.

“I understand the frustration from our fans regarding the length of this process, but it has warranted the time we have taken so far. It is a very important decision, and we want to get the right person."

Person treated for breathing in smoke after shower unit fire

BBC Radio Devon

A person has been treated for the breathing in smoke after a fire at a property in Sidmouth.

Crews were called to Woolbrook Road, just before midday.

They discovered a blaze in a shower unit.

Cornwall charity to help hurricane victims

BBC Radio Cornwall

A Cornish charity is sending a team to islands in the Caribbean that have been hit by Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma has caused widespread destruction across the Caribbean, reducing buildings to rubble and leaving at least 10 people dead.

The small island of Barbuda is said to be "barely habitable". Officials warn that St Martin is almost destroyed, and the death toll is likely to rise. Irma is a category five hurricane, the highest possible level.

The Shelterbox team will leave the UK tonight to help those who have lost their homes.

Map
BBC

The team will be flying to Panama where there is a humanitarian aid hub and we have some 2,000 shelter kits and equipment stored. We'll then be working out what islands to go to depending on where the hurricane goes.

Chris WarhamShelterbox

Cornish pasty 'to be protected post-Brexit'

BBC Radio Cornwall

The government says the integrity of the Cornish pasty will continue to be protected after Brexit.

It's in response to concerns raised in the Commons by the Conservative MP for Cornwall North, Scott Mann.

He said: "EU legislation came into force in 1993 which gives protection to food from particular geographical areas, such as the Cornish pasty, clotted cream, and the Cornish sardine." Mr Mann said he wanted to check such status would continue after Brexit.

The Brexit Minister, Robin Walker, said the government "recognises the importance" and it was "working closely" with Defra and businesses to ensure the protection and status continued.

Cornish pasty
BBC

Travel update: Crash in Torbay

BBC Radio Devon

Near Galmpton there are reports of a crash on Bascombe Road near Warborough Road. A vehicle has left the road

Cornwall College student Suwannee Gisby and her three children forced to live in one room as damp takes over their Saltash home

Cornwall Live

A mother from Cornwall and her three children have been living in one room of their home for a year after damp took over.

EU (Withdrawal) Law: 'Incorporate, rather than repeal, 40 years of relevant EU law'

A Devon MP has been chosen to help chair the EU (Withdrawal) Bill as it's debated by Parliament in the coming months.

Gary Streeter, the South West Devon MP, is one of four long-standing politicians - two Conservatives and two Labour - chosen to oversee the bill.

Gary Streeter
BBC

Analysis: By BBC political correspondent Ben Wright

The main aim of this legislation is to incorporate, rather than repeal, 40 years of relevant EU law on to the UK statute book. It is intended to ensure there is no legal chaos on the day Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

At the start of its second reading in the Commons, Brexit Secretary David Davis will say this "essential" bill maximises certainty for businesses and consumers.

But unusually, the government is facing a parliamentary battle to clear this early hurdle, with Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish and Welsh Nationalists lined up to oppose the Bill.

Their main objection is at what they see as a power grab by ministers who will be able to change some laws without the usual parliamentary scrutiny.

Tory MPs sceptical about the government's Brexit will not vote with opposition parties next week. But ministers are braced for an arduous fight as this bill goes through Parliament.

Two Navy ships 'to be axed' to plug budget blackhole

Plymouth Herald

Two Royal Navy ships are to be cut from the fleet as the Ministry of Defence struggles to balance its budget, according to reports.

Missing man found in ditch by police dog

BBC Radio Cornwall

A man who was reported missing from a caravan park in Cornwall has been found in a ditch by a police dog 15 hours later.

The man who uses crutches was described as being in a "delirious state".

The alarm was raised in the early hours of Wednesday morning after the man, in his 60s, went to the bar on the White Acres Caravan Park and failed to return.

A helicopter, police drone, and dog and rescue units helped search for the man.

A police dog eventually picked up the scent and the man was found lying in an 8ft (2.4m) ditch near the A390 - half a mile from where he went missing. The man was taken to hospital.

Max
Cornwall Police Dogs
Max the police dog found the man

'Encouraging results' from Callington test drilling

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Anglo-Australian mining firm test drilling for tin near Callington has said "encouraging results" have been found.

The backers of Cornwall Resources Ltd have agreed to spend a further £150,000 on a second phase of drilling.

The firm has been test drilling since the spring and also says "no complaints have been received to date regarding the drilling or any other matter".

Cornwall Council has extended the permission for test drilling until the end of October.

Brexit: MPs to begin scrutiny of vital withdrawal bill

BBC Politics

MPs from all parties have been urged to "work with" the government to pass its main Brexit bill as they prepare to begin debating the legislation.

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill will end the supremacy of EU law in the UK dating back more than 40 years but convert all existing EU laws into domestic ones.

Labour says it will vote against the bill as it stands, saying it amounts to a huge power grab by the executive. Ministers say it is an "essential foundation" for post-Brexit Britain.

Gary Streeter, the South West Devon MP, is one of four long-standing politicians - two Conservatives and two Labour - chosen to oversee the bill.

Parliament
PA

What’s your risk of being a crime victim?

Dominic Casciani

Home Affairs Correspondent

Are you scared of being a victim of crime?

Today, for the first time, BBC News, working with the Office for National Statistics, is providing you with a way of understanding your risk of being a victim of crime in England and Wales.

Youth with knife. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

The crime calculator uses national crime statistics, your address and your personal characteristics to tell you what's happened to people similar to you in the last year - and therefore something approaching a personal estimate of how likely you are to be a victim.

Fire crews tackle coach blaze

Fire crews have been tackling a coach blaze in Dartington this morning.

Firefighters were called to Shinners Bridge Roundabout at about 08:30 and found a "small fire in the electrical wiring in the front of the bus".

Fire crews made the vehicle safe. No-one was injured.

Devon MP to help chair EU (Withdrawal) Bill

BBC Radio Devon

A Devon MP has been chosen to help chair the EU (Withdrawal) Bill as it's debated by Parliament in the coming months.

Gary Streeter, the South West Devon MP, is one of four long-standing politicians - two Conservatives and two Labour - chosen to oversee the bill.

He won't be able to vote on any part of it.

Mr Streeter says he expects the task to be both "fascinating and gruelling".

Gary Streeter
BBC

Travel update: One lane blocked on A30

BBC Radio Devon

On the A30 after Whiddon Down heading towards Exeter one lane is blocked due to a broken-down lorry.

Musician jailed for stealing instruments from military band

Press Association

.
EPA
Adrian Higginson stole 13 instruments and an amplifier from the Royal Marines Band Service (pictured at Buckingham Palace in August)

A Royal Marines musician who stole instruments worth more than £19,000 from his military band has been jailed for six months and thrown out of the forces.

Marine Adrian Higginson, of the Royal Marines Band Service, based in Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft from the band's store rooms in Plymouth and Portsmouth between March 2015 and August 2016.

The 29-year-old admitted stealing eight saxophones, two clarinets, a cornet, a horn and an amplifier which he sold on eBay, mostly to a buyer in Poland.

BreakingMan charged over double police assault

A man has been charged in connection with an assault on two police officers in Cornwall.

Police attended the Spar shop on Delabole High Street just before 18:00 on Tuesday.

Officers attempted to detain a man, but two police officers were assaulted, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

One officer remains in Royal Cornwall Hospital with a fractured and dislocated ankle.

A man has been charged with assaulting a police officer and grievous bodily harm. He is due to appear before Bodmin Magistrates Court later.

Delabole
Google

Council reveals venue for tying the knot

Plymouth Herald

Plymouth couples could soon be tying the knot and filing their council tax forms all under the same roof.

Vehicle fires overnight in Exmouth and Torbay

BBC Radio Devon

Fire crews in Devon have been tackling vehicle fires overnight.

Crews in Exmouth received several calls about a car on fire on Henley Road just before 03:00.

Police were also called as the car appeared to have been involved in a crash.

Two crews were called to a garage in Torbay where a coach was on fire, and a third crew joined them as the flames were close to a neighbouring industrial building.

VR bringing Devon tourist attractions to life

BBC Radio Devon

As part of a multimillion-pound project, experts are using new virtual reality technology to transform tourist attractions in Devon.

Academics, designers and architects are meeting today to show off how the headsets can bring historic places to life.

Visitors at Exeter Cathedral will be able to play a virtual game based on the astronomical clock and carvings of angels being animated.

VR
BBC

Funding boost for Torbay culture

BBC Radio Devon

Torbay has been given just over £1m to revitalise its cultural scene in an effort to improve life for locals and attract more tourists.

The money will be spent on everything from underused heritage sites to dance lessons for older people to cut the risk of a fall.

The money's come from Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Travel: Motorcycle in accident on A390 Truro

Andrew Segal

Local Live

In Truro, on the A390 Treyew Road around Chapel Hill, there has been an accident. A motorcycle is understood to have been involved.

Back to school (sort of) for Exeter pupils

BBC Spotlight

Infants starting at a new school in Exeter are doing so in an unusual setting.

Trinity Church of England school is opening temporarily in Newcourt Community Centre.

Its 16 pupils will move into a £6.8m purpose built site at Easter next year.

Its build was delayed by 18 months because of disputes between landowners.

School
BBC

The councillor who is staying analogue in a digital world

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

When it comes to local government, Devon councillor Percy Prowse prefers to do things the old-fashioned way.

He only has a landline phone (with no answer phone) - no emails, no social media, no internet.

Instead, he hand types a regular newsletter on his vintage typewriter, and goes to meet community members on his bicycle.

The councillor who only has a landline

Children slept on folded clothes in holiday park because of 'faeces'

Devon Live

A south Devon mum has described spending time at a holiday park in Somerset as like a prison cell or war zone, saying her children had to sleep on their own folded clothes because the beds were so filthy.

Travel update: Slow traffic on the A30

BBC Radio Devon

On the A30 westbound between Chybucca and Chiverton Cross there's slow traffic.

Family's call to highlight meningitis B symptoms

Family's call to highlight meningitis B symptoms

George Zographou, 18, from Bristol, fell ill at the Boardmasters Surf and Music Festival in Newquay and died last month.

The teenager, who was a student St Brendan's Sixth Form College, contracted the B strain of meningitis before the festival.

His family wants to highlight how symptoms can present quite differently in some people - particularly with the B strain.

His mother, Elaine, said one of the main symptoms George initially experienced was limb pains.

"George woke up with some really bad pains in his feet and legs and told me the pain was 'so bad it was scary'."

Limb pain, such as this can be one of the very first signs of meningitis B."

Elaine Zographou