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  1. Ambulance service suffers computer failure
  2. MP investigated by expenses watchdog
  3. Motorcyclist dies from crash injuries
  4. 'Serial arsonist' appeal prompts public response
  5. Mental health care for new mums questioned
  6. Paignton house fire 'started deliberately'
  7. Plans for new Royal Clarence Hotel considered
  8. Tractor rescues stranded car from Newquay beach
  9. Updates on Monday 4 December 2017

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All times stated are UK

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Royal Clarence rebuild unanimously approved

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Rebuilding plans for the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter have been unanimously approved by city planners.

The hotel, which is reputed to be the oldest in England, was destroyed by fire in October 2016.

Royal Clarence Hotel

The owner, Andrew Brownsword, says the plans will retain the frontage of the Grade 2 listed building, which faces onto Cathedral Green.

They will also redesign the inside of the hotel and allow the adjoining Well House pub, which was also badly damaged, to be rebuilt.

Exeter City Council planning officers recommended approval calling them a "welcome response" to the fire.

Architect Martin Kirkpatrick told the meeting "the facade will be true to the original" and 98% of people at a public consultation event made positive comments.

He said councillors approved the plans with a number of conditions after concerns were raised the roof would be higher resulting in light pollution or loss of views.

Our coverage across the day

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

Weather: Few light showers, but some sunny spells

BBC Weather

It will be largely cloudy tonight with light winds for most, and with a chance of a few light showers in the west and across the higher ground of Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor.

Where the cloud does break, it will become cold with the risk of some patchy fog. Minimum Temperature: 3C (37F).

Weather map

It will be a bright day with often large amounts of cloud, but also with a few sunny spells.

There will be a few light showers through the day, these mainly in the west, with many places in the east staying largely dry. Maximum Temperature: 11C (52F).

Sam Matavesi

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

New Cornish Pirates signing Sam Matavesi says he is pleased to be able to balance his career in the Royal Navy with rugby.

Read more

£30,000 tractor stolen in Bovey Tracey

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

A tractor worth £30,000 has been stolen from a farm in Bovey Tracey, Police have said.

The red McCormick agricultural tractor was taken overnight between Thursday, 30 November, and Friday, 1 December.

Police are appealing for information.

Red tractor
Devon and Cornwall Police

Plymouth railway murder: Man jailed for life

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A man who stabbed another man to death on a train station concourse has been jailed for life.

Wayne Fenton, 49, died in hospital following a stabbing attack at Plymouth railway station on 8 August.

Jamie Skinner, 29, of Bodmin Road, Plymouth, pleaded guilty to murder at Plymouth Crown Court.

Mr Kenton suffered "40 knife injuries" in total, the court heard.

Skinner will serve a minimum of 22 years and six months.

Jamie Skinner
British Transport Police

Top twitter cop in row again - this time over ambulance delay question

BBC Radio Devon

He's been in hot water before over his tweets and now Sgt Harry Tangye has done it again... with a tweet questioning the time ambulances take on 999 calls.


The armed response officer's post came as South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said it was experiencing "electrical failure".

It said: "Sgt Harry Tangye obviously hadn't heard we had a problem yesterday with our power supply."

Mr Tangye, winner of the Police Twitter Awards in 2016, was unavailable for immediate comment.


In August he sparked controversy after a tweet about drug addicts in which he said he was

He later took down the tweet, saying: "It's too big a subject for 140 characters."

He also came under fire online for tweeting a video of a police car driving at 140mph to a break in.

Some people said the video should never have been tweeted but others said that police officers are highly trained and should not be told how to do their jobs.

Library offers Christmas Day cheer... with mince pies!

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Plymouth's Central Library is opening on Christmas Day for people who would like some company.

There will be free mince pies, tea and coffee, along with a festive film show and library computers for anyone who wants to keep in touch with family or friends.

Mince pies

"We know there are lots of people who may not have somewhere to go at Christmas," said Councillor Glenn Jordan, cabinet member for culture.

"By opening the library on Christmas Day we are offering those who will be alone a safe and welcoming place to visit."

The library on Armada Way will be open from 13:30 until 16:00 on Christmas Day.

A very un-festive theft in St Austell

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

A 3ft (91cm) light up Father Christmas and three decorative presents are among items reported stolen from a house in St Austell.

Police are appealing for witnesses after the items were cut from their cables in a garden on Slades Road in the early hours of Sunday, 3 December.

Sam Matavesi

Cornish Pirates signed former Fiji international Sam Matavesi from Redruth as injuries mount up.

Read more

Lorry crashes through barriers and lamp post and into wall

Plymouth Herald

A lorry has smashed into a wall in Plymouth this afternoon, causing delays for motorists in the area.

'Tough choices' ahead of budget plans

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Changes to lifeguard cover, public toilets and parking charges are being considered as South Hams District Council prepares to set its budget for the next financial year.

It says "tough choices" and "difficult decisions" will have to be made if the budget is going to balance, with a £4m reduction in grants from central government over the past 10 years.

Bigbury beach, Devon

Councillor Simon Wright, deputy leader of the council, said it now has to look closely at non-statutory services, which may include increasing charges and cutting services.

"We consider cutting services the last resort and is not something we consider lightly, but we are running out of alternative options," he said.

Final decisions on next year's budget will be made at a meeting of the full council in February.

Devon travel update: Car in ditch

BBC Radio Devon

On the A377 between Lapford Cross and Nymet Bridge a car has left the road and is in a ditch - drivers should approach the area with care.

Radiotherapy could move from Cornwall to Plymouth

Cornwall Live

Cancer patients requiring radiotherapy treatment might have to go to Derriford in Plymouth as part of a move by NHS England to centralise services.

Expenses complaint 'politically motivated' MP says

Martyn Oates

BBC South West Political Editor

Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer says he's confident an investigation into his expenses will be dismissed.

Expenses claims by the Conservative member for Plymouth Moor View are being investigated by the compliance officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which was set up in 2010 after the expenses scandal.

Johnny Mercer

Mr Mercer said in a statement: "I am happy to comply with yet another investigation as a result of yet another politically motivated complaint against my office.

"As with the previous complaints, I am confident this one will be dismissed as well and I can say now that I am unaware of any wrongdoing.

"Both I and my office are working with IPSA to speed up this process and to bring this to a swift and satisfactory conclusion."

Floating car sparks major 999 rescue

Cornwall Live

Coastguards, police, a lifeboat and fire engines were all called out after a report of a car in a Cornish creek - only for them to discover it was an amphibious vehicle.

Devon travel update: Crash near Great Torrington

BBC Radio Devon

There are reports of a collision between Great Torrington and Beaford on the A3124 between the A386 and Green Lane.

Cornwall travel update

BBC Radio Cornwall

Slow-moving traffic on the A30 eastbound at Launceston, as a result of an accident just before the Hicks Mill turn-off.

Weather for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Weather

This afternoon will see a mix of sunny spells and cloudier intervals. It should remain dry for most, although a few light showers are possible across the west.

Light winds, with a maximum temperature of 11C (52 F).


Under any clear skies this evening some fog patches may form and temperatures will fall close to freezing, with a minimum temperature of 3C (37F)

Dog stuck up tree after chasing squirrel

A dog has been rescued from a tree after chasing a squirrel.

Firefighters were called to Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot, after the animal was "too frightened to come down".

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the dog was stuck about 20ft (6m) up the tree that was at a 30 degree angle.

Fire crews used a triple extension ladder to rescue the terrier earlier today.

MP investigated by expenses watchdog

Martyn Oates

BBC South West Political Editor

Expenses claims made by Johnny Mercer, the Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View, are being investigated, the BBC can reveal.

The investigation by the compliance officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority involves "office costs in respect of website use and other 'e-presence'".

This is the first investigation by the compliance officer for nearly two years.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority was set up to regulate MPs' business costs and expenses in May 2010, following the parliamentary expenses scandal of the previous year.

Mr Mercer has been approached by the BBC but hasn't yet responded.

Johnny Mercer

Ambulance staff use mobiles after phones fail

Call centre
Getty Images

South Western Ambulance Service says it is in a "recovery phase" after a major electrical failure led to "significant issues" with its phone and computer systems on Sunday evening.

Staff told the BBC they had resorted to using their mobile phones to co-ordinate ambulances following the failure at its 999 call centre.

The phone lines are now back up but the service said it was still experiencing some IT problems.

A statement said: "We are able to provide a seamless service to out patients and are no longer having to rely on mutual aid from our neighbouring ambulance services.

"We have launched a full investigation into the cause of the electrical failure and will be reviewing our processes and procedures in light of this event."

Yesterday's (Sunday, December 3) electrical failure that affected some of our systems has now been largely resolved……

Silver medal for Cornish surfer

Deer killed and van written off in collision on A380 Telegraph Hill

Devon Live

A 19-year-old van driver has been taken to hospital and his van written off in a collision with a deer on the A380 near Telegraph Hill.

Authority asked to provide free fishing safety equipment

BBC Spotlight

Torbay Council is being urged to buy personal locator devices and life jackets for fishermen who can't afford them.

The fishing industry has one of the highest accident and death rates in the UK, and last month Plymouth City Council announced it had successfully applied for funding to buy safety equipment.

Fishing boat

Now two councillors in Torbay have asked their authority to consider a similar scheme and the idea will be discussed later this week.

Tractor rescues stranded car from Newquay beach

Lynne French

BBC News Online

A farmer used his tractor to pull an elderly couple's car to safety after it got stuck on a Cornish beach.

Newquay Coastguard said the driver had gone on to Newquay's Great Western beach to turn around when the car became stranded in the soft sand on Saturday.

Stranded car, Newquay
Newquay Coastguard

The coastguard team said the car's elderly passengers, who were cold and had medical conditions, were taken to a nearby hotel.

The driver was put in touch with a local farmer and by the time he arrived, the tide was lapping at the wheels of the car.

"We remind people again, please do not drive on to beaches unless you are in a suitable vehicle and know it is safe," Newquay Coastguard said.

Tractor rescues stranded car
Newquay Coastguard

Heroin and crack cocaine seized in Totnes

BBC Radio Devon

Police have seized more than 20 wraps of what is believed to be heroin and crack cocaine in Totnes.

Devon and Cornwall Police

The drugs were found on a man at 16:45 on Sunday, said officers.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of drugs offences.

'Recovery phase' for ambulance service after system failure

Lynne French

BBC News Online

The South Western Ambulance Service says it's still in a "recovery phase" after an electrical fault caused a massive failure to its phone system.

The problems with the phones and computers forced the service to revert to a backup system.

On Sunday, it issued a statement asking people to only call 999 in a life threatening emergency.

Today it says it's able to provide a "seamless" service to patients, but as there are still outstanding IT issues, it's reminding the public to only dial 999 in an emergency.

View more on twitter

'Serial arsonist' appeal prompts public response

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Police say they have had a few responses to an appeal for help in trying to catch an arsonist who they believe has deliberately started 14 fires in Exeter.

On Friday, officers released CCTV of a person they described as being a lone man wearing a "distinctive top which has a large dark strip across the front".

Arson attack, Exeter
Devon & Cornwall Police

The footage relates to an incident on Mayflower Avenue, Exeter in the early hours of Tuesday 15 August, when the man was seen setting fire to a hedge.

Detectives are still appealing for people with any information to come forward.

Boy has cash stolen in Cornwall street robbery

Cornwall Live

An 11-year-old boy was put in a headlock by a teen who then stole £20 from his bag in a street robbery in Fraddon.

Paignton house fire 'started deliberately'

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Firefighters have tackled a blaze at a house in Paignton which is thought to have been started deliberately.

Crews were sent to the mid-terraced house in Elmsleigh Road when the alarm was raised just after 03:30.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze has totally destroyed the kitchen and the rest of the unoccupied house was "100% damaged by smoke".

Arson is suspected and the fire service and Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating.

Cornwall travel update: Spring tides affect St Mawes Ferry

BBC Radio Cornwall

There's no service on the St Mawes Ferry from the Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth, at 11:15 or from St Mawes at 11:45 due to the spring tides.

Four arrested after M5 police chase

Devon Live

Four people were arrested after a police chase along the M5 through Devon after a store was raided in the county.

Devon travel update: Sheep on the road in Bishopsteignton

BBC Radio Devon

Reports of sheep in the road in Bishopsteignton on A381 Newton Road around Cockhaven Road.

Tide times for Devon and Cornwall

Jennifer Bartram

BBC Weather

If you're thinking about a trip to the coast today, here are the times of high water around Devon and Cornwall.

Tide times

Travel update for Cornwall: Dogs on road in Bodmin

BBC Radio Cornwall

  • In Bodmin on Lostwithiel Road around Respryn Road there are reports of dogs on the road - approach with care
  • Reports of a broken-down vehicle in Delabole on the B3314 High Street at Pengelly
  • Slow traffic in Truro on the A390 Highertown around the County Hall roundabout

Travel update for Devon: Debris on A380 Telegraph Hill

BBC Radio Devon

  • Reports of an accident at Clyst St Mary on the A376 at junction 30 on the M5, with slow, queuing traffic
  • Slow traffic on the A38 from Kennford heading towards Exeter and heavy traffic on the M5 northbound around Exeter
  • Debris on road on the A380 Telegraph Hill around Ashcombe heading towards Exeter - approach with care