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  1. MP criticises protesters after coffin left outside constituency office
  2. Man found dead in Falmouth shop doorway
  3. Nearly 600 firearms handed to police in amnesty
  4. Drowned fisherman's sister supports awareness campaign
  5. Plymouth MP calls for wider NI Troubles 'amnesty'
  6. Fire crews tackle underfloor insulation blaze
  7. Money for emergency services suicide prevention
  8. Tools stolen from Barnstaple Christmas house
  9. Updates on Wednesday 6 December 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 07:00 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.

Get the latest news for your area from the BBC.

England's first 'garden villages' to get £3m

More money is being earmarked for England's first "garden villages", Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced.

Aerial shot of proposed garden town on the Essex-Hertfordshire border
Places for People

About £3m will be spent on 14 sites, where tens of thousands of homes are due to be built.

The locations chosen are said to be distinct, and not part of existing developments.

The sites are at:

  • Long Marston in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Oxfordshire Cotswolds, West Oxfordshire
  • Deenethorpe in Northamptonshire
  • Culm in Devon
  • Welborne in Hampshire
  • West Carclaze in Cornwall
  • Dunton Hills in Essex
  • Spitalgate Heath in Lincolnshire
  • Halsnead in Merseyside
  • Longcross in Surrey
  • Bailrigg in Lancaster
  • Infinity Garden Village in Derbyshire
  • St Cuthberts in Cumbria
  • Handforth in Cheshire

MP Wollaston claims of coffin link with MP Jo Cox murder an 'affront' to campaigners

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Campaigners have accused the Totnes MP of making political points in a row over a coffin left outside her constituency office.

Helen Beetham

Dr Wollaston, in reference to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, said a coffin delivered to a woman MP was "crass insensitivity" by campaigners against NHS cuts.

"I found it deeply offensive and upsetting but presume that was the intention," she tweeted about the coffin which was put outside the Conservative office in a demo by Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) in Totnes on Saturday.

Sarah Wollaston

Alex Moore of South Devon SOHS said the coffin "was made to illustrate the impact of cuts and privatisation on the NHS. No more than that".

He added: "To make any kind of reference to the appalling murder of Labour MP Jo Cox or to imply she is being victimised in a similar fashion would cause great affront."

South West child homelessness tips 3,000

BBC Radio Devon

More than 3,000 children are facing Christmas without a home in the South West.

Research from the housing charity, Shelter, shows seven families a day in Devon and Cornwall are being made homeless, and that the number of children without a home has increased by 23% in the last year.

A spokesman for the charity said "the chronic lack of genuinely affordable homes" and recent welfare cuts are among factors pushing people into homelessness.

Shelter is now calling on the public to support its urgent Christmas appeal.

The report also reveals that across Britain, one in every 111 children is currently homeless and 2017 has seen the highest numbers of homeless children in a decade.

Homeless teenager

Devon artist and students transform cardboard into artwork

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A local artist has worked with students from the University of Exeter Medical School to create a sculpture made from cardboard.

Exeter artist James Lake began sculpting as part of his recovery after losing his leg through bone cancer aged 17.

He now uses cardboard as his medium of choice, creating detailed life-size sculptures from the recyclable material.

Cardboard sculpture
Azure Photography

James said: "It was a real privilege to be part of such an exceptional learning environment. The journey of the project, from the initial idea to finished sculpture, has shown the importance of strong core values that can be transferred from teacher to student for the benefit of wider society."

The sculpture, which stands at more than 7ft (2m) tall, was unveiled today and is available to view in the Medical School foyer.

Herbert the palm cockatoo 'charms' his zoo keepers

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A palm cockatoo that's being hand-reared at a zoo in Cornwall is charming the keepers who care for him.

Herbert is being looked after at Paradise Park in Hayle and has been there for almost three months.

Herbert is being hand-reared at a Cornwall zoo

One of the carers responsible for him is Leanne Gilbert who says Herbert is nearly ready to eat solid food.

At the moment, he's on a "blended mix of carrot, apple, broccoli, macadamia nuts, smooth peanut butter and macaw formula".

Leanne added: "Palm Cockatoos are the largest member of the cockatoo family so Herbert still has quite a bit of growing to do. He is already showing interest in chewing carrot sticks.”

Herbert and Leanne
Staff at the zoo are 'charmed' by the cockatoo

Weather update: Wet and windy tonight, colder tomorrow

BBC Weather

It will be a wet and windy evening with further outbreaks of rain steadily pushing eastwards.

Gales are expected along the coast and the higher ground of Dartmoor, and the rain will become heavy in places by morning.

There will be a wet and mild start to Thursday but it will get increasingly cold by midday.

Maximum Temperature: 12C (54F).

Weather map

Axe found at scene of damaged gate in Cornwall

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

An axe has been found by a locked gate that was damaged in Cornwall.

It happened in the early hours on 2 December at the Columbus Centre in St Columb Major.

Police have the item for possible forensic analysis.

Officers are also downloading CCTV images that may identify the possible offender.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Devon and Cornwall Police.

Devon travel: Lorry and car crash on A38 near Lee Mill

BBC Radio Devon

On the A38 Exeter-bound near Lee Mill, there are reports of a crash involving a lorry and a car. Traffic is queuing in the area.

Cornwall travel: Plastic debris on A30

BBC Radio Cornwall

On the A30 eastbound near Tolvaddon, there are reports of plastic debris on the road. Drivers are being asked to approach the area with care.

Repair agreement after bridge closed for months

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A Plymouth footbridge that has been closed for more than six months can be repaired after three authorities reached an agreement.

The footbridge at Sutton Harbour has been closed since the spring following a failure of the bridge turntable - leaving many local business owners concerned.

Under an agreement dating back to 1998, the management and maintenance responsibilities for the lock gates and the footbridge are shared between the Environment Agency and Sutton Harbour Holdings plc.

Plymouth City Council, the agency and Sutton Harbour Holdings plc brokered a deal which is described by the council as "a huge step in the right direction".

The council will now begin a process to commission repairs to the structure.

However, the work is not expected to be completed until next summer.

Closed sign at bridge

Plymouth's going crazy for Liam Gallagher ahead of gig

Plymouth Herald

Liam Gallagher superfans turned up nine hours early to see the Wonderwall star ahead of his Plymouth Pavilions gig tonight.

Plymouth Argyle's new stand set to be approved

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Plymouth Argyle's plans to refurbish part of Home Park and build an ice rink look set to be approved.

The full plans for the rebuilding the Mayflower Stand and the Ice Arena are being recommended for approval by Plymouth City Council Planning officers.

These form the first phase of the redevelopment of the area.

Outline plans for a hotel, gym, and offices are also recommended for approval.

There are a number of conditions attached but officers are urging the Council's Planning Committee to give them the green light when it meets next Thursday.

Home Park

Cornwall travel: A390 partially blocked by crash

BBC Radio Cornwall

In Lostwithiel, the A390 is partially blocked by a crash involving two vehicles between Castle Hill and the B3269 in Lanlivery. There's slow traffic in the area but the A390 is passable.

Drunken Devon burglar found asleep on sofa by homeowner

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A drunken burglar has been jailed after he fell asleep and was found on a sofa by a shocked homeowner.

Sean Wisbey, 49, of Kingdom Court, Paignton, broke into a flat through a kitchen window and broke open display cases to steal three watches before he passed out in the living room, Exeter Crown Court has heard.

Owner David Soper returned home from a two-hour outing to find a window and drawers open before seeing Wisbey passed out on the sofa.

He tried to wake him but couldn't do so and called the police.

Mr James Taghdissian, defending, said Wisbey has problems with alcohol, heroin and cocaine and told police his state of drunkenness was "nine out of 10".

He added: "He was clearly extremely intoxicated and this was a fairly opportunistic event. All the items were recovered. He accepts it cannot have been a pleasant experience for Mr Soper."

Wisbey admitted burglary and was jailed for nine months by Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC.

Torbay hotel named after Fawlty Towers character

Devon Live

Developers rebuilding the hotel that inspired Fawlty Towers have named their showpiece new apartment complex after the bungling Spanish waiter who drove Basil Fawlty up the wall.

Power in Exeter area to be 'restored by 15:00'


Some supplies in the EX5 area of Exeter have been restored but some properties are still without power, Western Power Distribution has said.

It is hoping to have the remaining properties restored by 15:00.

View more on twitter

Sister of drowned man: 'I just wanted my brother home'

Kevin Hay

BBC Spotlight

A Cornish woman has been describing how she felt after discovering her brother had drowned.

Paige Winsper's fisherman brother, Josh, from Penryn, was only 24 when he drowned after falling into a harbour in Wales last year after a night out.

He was four times over the drink-drive limit.

Paige says Josh was "a really bubbly, happy, outgoing person, just always on the go."

Describing the moment she heard he had died, Paige says "It was destroying. One-hundred emotions went through me all at once. I was angry and I didn't know who I was angry at. I was sad and I didn't know why I was sad. I felt like half of me had been taken and I didn't understand why. I didn't understand how this massive tragedy happened so fast. I was just distraught, I just wanted my brother home."

She is now backing a campaign by the Royal Life Saving Society warning people to be careful near water.

Paige Winsper

Devon builder has tools stolen from van

BBC Spotlight

A builder from North Devon has been offered donations of new tools by BBC Radio Devon listeners after his were stolen from his van at the weekend.

Kevin Carlyle from Barnstaple covers his house in Christmas decorations for charity, spending about two months preparing it.

The carpenter says thieves broke into the vehicle, leaving him without the tools he needs to work.

Weather update: A mild and windy afternoon ahead

BBC Weather

It will be a mild and windy afternoon, with often cloudy skies, but there will be few brighter breaks at times too.

A little rain will reach western parts of the region during the afternoon and evening, mainly affecting Plymouth and Okehampton.

Maximum Temperature: 12C (54F).

Weather map

Man found dead in Falmouth shop doorway

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A man has been found dead in a shop doorway in Falmouth, Cornwall.

Police were called at about 08:40 on Wednesday morning to reports of an unresponsive man in the doorway of a shop on Brook Street.

Ambulance crews were called and confirmed the man was dead.

A cordon and scene guard is in place.

An investigation into the man's death is under way.

Primary school closed after water main 'sliced' through

Plymouth Herald

Chaddlewood Primary School in Plymouth has alerted parents the school will be closed today after suffering a damaged water main.

MP slams 'crass insensitivity' after coffin left at office

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston has criticised protesters after a coffin was left outside her constituency office.

Helen Beetham

The coffin was left outside her office in Totnes on Saturday in a demo by Save Our Hospital Services.

Mrs Wollaston said in a reference to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox: “The crass insensitivity of delivering a coffin effigy to a woman MP seems to have passed some people by."

And she tweeted: "I found it deeply offensive & upsetting but presume that was the intention."

Exeter Labour MP Ben Bradshaw tweeted his support saying: "Next time, go canvassing."

Demo organiser Helen Beetham, a member of Totnes Labour Party, questioned why Mrs Wollaston was "so rattled" and said the coffin was a "perfectly legitimate" prop in the "community" protest.

"The coffin was about the deaths of patients, it cannot possibly be intimidatory," she said.

Cornwall travel: Broken-down vehicle partially blocks A30

BBC Radio Cornwall

The A30 is partially blocked westbound around Carland Cross due to a broken down vehicle and recovery work.

Devon professor wins medal for cyber-security work

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A professor from the University of Exeter has received a medal from the President of Estonia for his work on cyber-security.

Prof Michael Schmitt, of Exeter Law School, received the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana from President Kersti Kaljulaid last week.

The award is given to foreigners who have made a significant contribution to the nation and recognises Prof Schmitt's work on a project showing how international law relates to cyber-warfare, and his broader contributions to cyber-security.

Professor Schmitt said: “I thank the university for the unending support of my work, and that of my colleagues in the Exeter Law School, as we struggle to better understand how international law applies in a constantly changing security environment.”

Michael Schmitt receiving award
University of Exeter

Plymouth MP calls for wider NI Troubles 'amnesty'


The Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View, Johnny Mercer, has signed a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May calling for new legislation to prevent anyone accused of crimes linked to the Troubles in Northern Ireland from being prosecuted.

The proposal from Mr Mercer and three other MPs would provide an effective amnesty to both members of the security forces and paramilitaries, the Press Association has reported.

Last month, NI politicians expressed concern over a government proposal for a "statute of limitations".

That would prevent security force prosecutions.

Both republican and unionists leaders spoke out against the proposal, which has been included in a public consultation on ways to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

Johnny Mercer

'Two assaults' on Devon and Cornwall Police in 24 hours


There have been two assaults on police officers in Devon in the last 24 hours, the Devon and Cornwall Police Federation has said.

One officer was assaulted and kicked in Exeter while another in Plymouth was pushed and had their kit grabbed during an arrest.

View more on twitter

Historic cannons return to Exeter Quay

BBC Radio Devon

Two cannons are returning to Exeter Quay after being restored.

The defence cannons, which have guarded the Custom House, have been out of sight for sometime while being restored in workshops, having their carriages rebuilt.

The return is part of a drive from local businesses to highlight the area is open for business, despite work on a multimillion-pound flood defence scheme currently being carried out.

The £32m project is expected to reduce the flood risk to more than 3,200 homes and businesses.

custom house

Nearly 600 firearms handed to police in amnesty

Clare Woodling

BBC Spotlight

Nearly 600 firearms have been handed to Devon and Cornwall Police during an amnesty which ran in November.

Items voluntarily surrendered at police offices and stations across the force area totalled 569 firearms and 20,000 rounds of ammunition.

Among those surrendered included 100 air rifles and four assault rifles.

Michelle Mounsey, from Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance, said “As a result of this firearms surrender, hundreds of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition are off our streets. While not every firearm is owned with the intent of criminal activity, every firearm becomes a weapon in the wrong hands."

pile of firearms

Offers of help for Devon builder who had tools stolen

BBC Radio Devon

A North Devon builder who had thousands of pounds worth of work tools stolen has received offers of help from BBC Radio Devon listeners.

Kevin Carlyle from Barnstaple covers his house and garden with Christmas decorations to raise money for charity, spending about two months preparing it.

Thieves stole the tools he relies on for work at the weekend after breaking into his van.

Radio listeners have also offered to donate their tools to him.

Kevin Carlyle

Cornish dad says Amazon almost ruined Christmas

Cornwall Live

A St Austell father has hit out at a leading internet retailer, claiming that the company almost ruined Christmas.

Police appeal after woman, 59, goes missing from Exmouth

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Police are appealing for help to find a 59-year-old woman who is missing from Exmouth.

Christine Hall was last seen at 14:20 on Tuesday when she was driving a silver Volvo.

She is described as white with short brown hair and of stocky build.

She was last seen wearing a short red jacket, black and white check trousers, black trainers, and glasses.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Devon and Cornwall Police.

Christine Hall
British Transport Police

Are parking charges the answer to Exmoor dog mess problem?

Kirk England

BBC Radio Devon

Exmoor National Park is considering charging people to park at a beauty spot where there is a problem with dog walkers not picking up dog mess.

The park authority says the amount of dog mess left behind - at Haddon Hill near Dulverton - has meant special dog waste bins have had to be installed and now need to emptied at a cost of about £3,000 a year.

'I get lost a lot': Travelling the world blind

Watch: Tony Giles has visited more than 120 countries

A completely blind and severely deaf backpacker is attempting to visit every country in the world independently.

Tony Giles, who's from Weston-super-Mare but currently lives in Teignmouth, Devon, has so far visited more than 120 countries.

The BBC Travel Show meets him in Jerusalem to find out more.

Devon travel: A361 lane closure and accident in Plymouth

BBC Radio Devon

  • At Sampford Peverell on the A361, one lane is closed heading towards Tiverton due to an accident. Traffic is slow moving
  • In Plymouth on Ringmore Way, there are reports of an accident around Budshead Road