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  1. Updates from Monday 23 April until Friday 27 April 2018
  2. Maisie Duncan death: Police seek three witnesses after Looe road crash
  3. Cornwall Council's £46k Cannes trip scrutinised
  4. Ten Devon and Cornwall Police officers assaulted in single night
  5. Parents campaigning to save 'inadequate' Plymouth free school due to close
  6. Parade to call for more affordable housing on Rame Peninsula
  7. Home-schooling stats reveal Cornwall in fourth place in UK

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Exeter v sale

Exeter ensure they end the season top of the Premiership for the first time as they end Sale's faint play-off hopes.

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Weather: Cloudy tomorrow but turning brighter with showers

BBC Weather

Saturday will continue to see a lot of cloud and perhaps a little light rain for a time.

A few bright or sunny spells could develop, but these may trigger some heavy, slow-moving showers.

Maximum temperature: 9 to 12C (48 to 54F)

Weather in Devon and Cornwall on Saturday

Police crack down on driving offences

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Several drivers have been caught committing vehicle offences in a targeted campaign today.

Operation Juggler was a joint operation run by police in Plymouth that involved the Environment Agency, Plymouth Trading Standards, HMRC Road Fuel Testing Unit, Plymouth City Council Taxi Licensing and scrap metal licensing officers.

75 vehicles were checked between 08:00 and 17:00, with offences including having no insurance, using red diesel, driving an overweight vehicle, having excessive window tints and having defective tyres.

Response Sergeant Colin Strachan said: “We stopped and spoke with a large number of drivers during the operation. Supported by our partner agencies, the aim of the day was to target illegal activity on our roads and to support law-abiding road users."

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Uncovered photographs show pre-NHS Devon hospital

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Bideford Hospital
Staff attending to patients in the men's ward at Bideford and District Hospital in 1940

A photographic archive of pre-NHS healthcare has been published by Historic England.

It has an enormous array of images taken between 1938 and 1943, before the NHS was created in 1948.

It includes some pictures of Bideford and District Hospital, which was built in 1924 and replaced the town's infirmary on Meddon Street.

nurses playing table tennis
Bideford Hospital nurses having some down time in the nurses' recreation block

In the 1940s, Bideford and District Hospital consisted of three wards and three private rooms.

Mary Maine was evacuated to Bideford from Kent at the start of World War Two.

She had to have her tonsils out at the age of six and had the operation carried out in Bideford.

She has been sharing her memories of the hospital below:

Two men injured in Redruth attack

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Two 22-year-old men were attacked outside a nightclub in Redruth this morning.

Devon and Cornwall Police say three men jumped out on the pair as they were walking towards a car park near The Zone between 02:00 and 02:30.

They say it appears to have been an unprovoked attack.

The men, from Hayle, received facial and head injuries and were treated at hospital before being released.

Devon church marks 700th anniversary

BBC Radio Devon

Tavistock Parish Church

A concert's being held at a Tavistock church this evening to mark its 700th anniversary.

The Plymouth Police Area Choir will be performing at St Eustachius.

Parish records, church history, vestments and silver will be exhibited along with floral displays by local florists and community groups.

Angela Rippon joins Plymouth ballet class for over-55s

Heidi Davey

BBC Spotlight

Angela Rippon

The broadcaster Angela Rippon has been in Plymouth visiting a ballet class specifically for the over-55s.

Silver Swans was launched by the Royal Academy of Dance last September because of a growing demand in high quality ballet classes for older learners.

Classes are delivered by qualified dance teachers who have trained to safely adapt ballet techniques for adults over the age of 55.

Angela Rippon

It's important that we exercise and that we keep strong and that we keep our balance. The exercise that came out on top, ticking all the boxes, was dance. It's great for balance, it's great for core strength, it's an aerobic exercise, it gives you flexibility and it's social."

Angela RipponBroadcaster and Silver Swans ambassador

Westward Ho! reintroduce dog restrictions

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Westward Ho!

From next Tuesday, 1 May, dog restrictions will be back in force at Westward Ho! beach in North Devon.

Dogs will be prohibited on the beach to the south of Sandymere Bridge and will be need to be kept on a lead on the promenade.

They will still be allowed at the north end of the beach between Sandymere Bridge and the Taw/Torridge estuary.

Anyone breaking the rules could be fined up to £100. The restrictions last until 30 September.

The dog restrictions at Westward Ho! means that we can provide both dog free and dog friendly areas on the beach. Not only is this an important part of meeting the criteria to attain a Blue Flag, it means that there is space for everyone to enjoy this fantastic beach and surrounding facilities.

Councillor Phil PenningtonLead Member for Community, Culture and Leisure

Hospital gold command 'not sustainable'

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cornwall Councillors say a hard reset of urgent and emergency care at Cornwall's main hospital was a success but have warned it is not a "sustainable" way to fix problems.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) initiated a gold command last month to try and relieve pressure on the system.

Partners across various NHS organisations worked together on the initiative.

Royal Cornwall Hospital

The hospital saw an increase in the percentage of patients seen within four hours and an increase in the avoidance of unnecessary admissions. Additionally, since it was started, no patients have been cared for in corridors, no wards closed for infection control and elective surgery has been restored, councillors were told.

Cllr Rob Rotchell, cabinet member for health and adults, welcomed the successes but sounded a "note of caution" because it was "not sustainable".

He said: "Gold command was designed for a serious incident rather than sustained pressures and unprecedented pressures.

"We can't keep asking people to keep stepping up beyond the call of duty ... they were doing that before we went to gold command."

Devon woman's first class post office challenge

BBC Radio Devon

Joanna Giles outside North Lowestoft Post Office
Joanna Giles

A postmistress from Devon has celebrated two years in the job by travelling to the most southern, northern, western and eastern post offices in the UK, with the added challenge of not paying for her travel.

Joanna Giles, who works at Ashburton Post Office, has already raised more than £2,000 for Cancer Research UK and Ashburton Arts, which brings performing arts and cultural activities to local community.

Her journey involved a vast amount of walking, supplemented by planes, trains and ferries - with some organisations offering her free tickets along the way.

Joanna visited St Agnes Post Office in Scilly (most southerly), Belleek Post Office (most westerly), Baltasound Post Office (most northerly) and North Lowestoft Post Office (most easterly).

The journey has been brilliant, and I've been privileged enough to see some amazing sites along the way - including some beautiful and much needed sunshine!"

Joanna GilesAshburton Post Office

Devon exhibition commemorates Spanish refugees

BBC Radio Devon

A series of exhibitions and events gets under way this weekend commemorating the lives of two Spanish sisters who came to Devon as refugees from the Spanish Civil War.

They came on a ship in 1937 with 4,000 other children and settled in Dartington, near Totnes, where they became teachers and spent the rest of their lives.

It's hoped the sisters' story will get people talking about how we treat refugees today.

Competition inspires engineers of the future

John Ayres

BBC Spotlight

children working on science project

More than 130 school children have been on the Royal Navy warship HMS Bulwark at Devonport to take part in a model rocket car race as part of a national competition.

Year seven pupils from 11 schools were competing in the south west regional final of the Race for the Line competition inspired by the Bloodhound land speed record attempt.

The competition is intended to inspire tomorrow’s engineers and scientists by encouraging young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths and following linked careers.

The winners will compete in the national final at RAF Wittering in June.

rocket powered model car

'Slow down' warning after car overturns on A38


Police are warning drivers to "slow down in wet weather" after a car overturned on the A38 near Drumbridges.

Officers added the driver was "very lucky" to have no injuries after "losing control on standing water".

View more on twitter

Dawlish Warren car park to get £220k improvements

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Dawlish Warren car park

Major £220,000 improvement works are set to be carried out at Dawlish Warren car park.

Work will include resurfacing, filling potholes, improving the drainage, relining parking spaces and providing better pedestrian walkways.

Work is expected to begin on 21 May.

'Poisoned sandwiches' alert to pet owners in Starcross

BBC Radio Devon

Pet owners have been warned to beware of suspected poisoned sandwiches being dropped around Starcross.

Teignmouth Police

The bread containing suspicious pellets - possibly for slugs - has been placed in and around Starcross village warned neighbourhood police.

"We advise local residents and dog walkers to be cautious as this can be toxic to both humans and animals," said officers.

Cornwall Council's £46k Cannes trip scrutinised

BBC Radio Cornwall

Senior councillors are scrutinising the money spent by Cornwall Council on a trip to Cannes earlier this year.

The audit committee will try to find out whether the £46,000 spent on the trip was necessary and cost-effective for the six delegates who went.

Council leader Adam Paynter said he had nothing to hide, every penny spent had been disclosed and he was keen for councillors to know what the benefits of the trip are.

We could have done half a job, if you like, and gone over and just spent a small amount of money with somebody wondering around the conference giving out business cards, chatting to odd people. We decided as it was the first time that we've done this conference, if we're going to do it, we'll do it properly."

Adam PaynterLeader of Cornwall Council

Ten police officers assaulted in single night

Jenna Hawkey

BBC News Online

View more on twitter

Ten police offers were assaulted in Devon and Cornwall last night.

This included an offender spitting in an officer's eye in Barnstaple, an officer being punched in the face in Plymouth, and homophobic comments being made online in Torquay, according to the Devon and Cornwall Police Federation.

The news comes on the day that the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill, which will bring in harsher penalties for attacks on emergency crews, is being discussed in the House of Commons.

Assistant Chief Constable Jim Colwell voiced his anger on social media, saying he was "sick of this".

He asked: "Our staff face this day in day out, in order to keep our communities safe. How comfortable does that make you feel?"

View more on twitter

Three men banned from waste trade for fly-tipping

BBC Radio Cornwall

fly-tipped rubbish on rural footpath
Environment Agency

A Devon council has welcomed three men being banned from the waste trade for fly-tipping in Cornish beauty spots.

Wayne Plummer, of Burrator Avenue, Princetown, Ashley Brown, of Tollox Place, Plymouth, and Michael Baggally, of Wolseley Road, Plymouth, were each given a community order by Plymouth magistrates requiring 100 hours of unpaid work.

They were also ordered to pay £520 compensation and given a criminal behaviour order for five years.

They dumped waste, including old sofas and carpets, in scenic locations including Cremyll on the Rame Peninsula and Bovisand, even setting fire to it on one occasion, a court heard earlier this month.

The prosecution followed a joint investigation between the Environment Agency, South Hams Council, Plymouth City Council, Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police.

I hope this sends a message that fly-tipping will absolutely not be tolerated, and we will prosecute offenders."

South Hams District Council

Cornwall travel: A30 eastbound queuing at Temple

BBC Radio Cornwall

On the A30 at Temple, heading eastbound, traffic is queuing back to Bodmin due to the roadworks.

Westbound traffic is also slow moving.

Police officer 'punched repeatedly in the head'

Jenna Hawkey

BBC News Online

A police officer was assaulted by a teenage boy last night whilst attending a domestic incident in Exeter.

According to Supt Matt Lawler, of Devon and Cornwall Police, the officer was punched repeatedly in the head.

The officer visited hospital to be checked over.

It was just one of 10 assaults on police officers across both counties overnight.

View more on twitter

Police appeal after alleged assault on a child

Jenna Hawkey

BBC News Online

Police are appealing for witnesses after an alleged assault on a child in Newquay.

It happened at about 11:15 on 16 April in a Tesco car park.

Police said the assault was minor and did not cause visible injury.

Tesco Express, Newquay

Plans for Exeter jobs and housing strategy delayed

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Draft plans outlining a major strategic blueprint for the area around Exeter will not be published until June 2019 - 18 months late.

Mid Devon, East Devon, Teignbridge and Exeter City Council, in partnership with Devon County Council, are teaming up to create a Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP), which focuses on the creation of jobs and housing until 2040.

The timetable of delivery for the plan has also been delayed by 18 months as a result.

The preparation of the GESP has been held up by a number of factors. These include a significant and ongoing review of national planning and housing policies, a very high response to the "call for sites" with over 700 sites made available, and the need to resolve complex transport issues associated with the plan."

Simon ThornleyBusiness Manager for Strategic Place, Teignbridge District Council

World Pilot Gig Championships: One week to go

BBC Radio Cornwall

World Pilot Gig Championships

It's exactly a week to go before the World Pilot Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly.

Nearly 160 gigs have been registered so far and most of them are already on the islands, waiting for the rowers to join them next week.

It's a fantastic feeling. I remember the first time I went there - it's jaw-dropping really ... The noise of the coxes all shouting, the noise of the pins when they're going off ... It's just fantastic, you can't beat it."

The atmosphere's electric. It's really tense. It's like pent-up energy and then, when that flag goes up, then BAM! You're off! You can't describe it really."

Competitors at the 2017 World Pilot Gig Championships

Cornwall travel: Accident closes A30 Redruth westbound

BBC Radio Cornwall

The A30 westbound has been closed due to an accident at Redruth. Motorists are being diverted of the A30 at the Avers interchange.

Driver 'shaken up' after car overturns on A38

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A driver is "uninjured but shaken up" after their car overturned on the A38, police say.

One lane is currently closed near Drumbridges while emergency services begin recovery work.

Devon and Cornwall Police added that the driver "lost control on standing water".

Drivers are being asked to approach the area with care.

Overturned car on A38
Devon and Cornwall Police

Overturned car closes one lane of A38


Cost of Dartmouth ferry tickets could go up

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Dartmouth Lower Ferry

It might soon cost you more to use the Dartmouth Lower Ferry.

Its tugs are in need of regular maintenance and refurbishment work, which is estimated to cost about £100,000.

The charges to use the ferry, which are currently £5 for a car and £1.50 for foot passengers, will be reviewed as a result.

The programme of work required to refurbish the fleet for the medium term is over and above the current annual repairs and maintenance allocation."

Councillor Rufus GilbertSouth Hams Council

Tamar Bridge staff 'urgently working' to solve problems


Tamar Bridge staff are working to resolve a power outage that has left drivers unable to use its toll booths.

There were still long delays on the Devon side of the bridge, staff said.

View more on twitter

Devon kitesurfers prepare for Youth Olympics

BBC Spotlight


Three teenagers from Devon are preparing to take on the world's best kitesurfers at the Youth Olympics qualifying event in China next month.

Jasmine Wallis, from Bideford, and Exmouth's Stan Hart and Ben Daffin were selected for the British team following trials in Weymouth.

If successful in China, the three will go on to compete at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in October.

Maisie Duncan death: Police seek three possible witnesses

Jenna Hawkey

BBC News Online

Maisie Duncan
Family Photograph

Police are seeking three people who may have witnessed a fatal road crash in Looe in which a seven-year-old girl died.

Maisie Duncan sustained fatal injuries when she was struck by a car on Bodrigan Road at about 14:30 on Thursday 1 March.

The grey Nissan Juke had travelled down Pendennis Road before it collided with her on the pavement.

Bodrigan Road, Looe
The crash happened in Bodrigan Road in Looe.

Officers said they were particularly keen to speak to three people who were out in the snow on Pendennis Road at the time.

One person was on a sledge made out of a cardboard box, the second was in dark clothing and the third was a woman wearing a bright orange coat with either a hood or a light-coloured bobble hat.

Police said it was possible that these three may have witnessed the incident and they have been urged to get in contact.

Grassroots teams preparing for finals


It's a big weekend of football at grass-roots level.

The finals of the FA People's Cup take place at England's training ground at St George's Park.

There are 18 different categories involved including - new for 2018 - futsal, which these guys are involved with..

The ex-academy players who 'want to prove' they can still play

See how Sala Soccer FC and all the other teams get on in the FA People's Cup finals with live streaming, and text commentary on Saturday 28 & Sunday 29, April on the BBC Sport website & app.

School closure a 'hindrance' to education says pupil

Jenny Kumah

BBC South West politics reporter

A pupil at a Devon school says a decision to close it is a "hindrance" to his education ahead of GCSE examinations.

It was announced earlier this week that Plymouth Studio School will close due to "significant challenges regarding its viability".

The school has 155 pupils and Rhys Roffey is one of them...

South West Ambulance Service failing to meet targets

Local Democracy Reporting Service


The South West's ambulance service is failing to reach the most seriously injured and ill patients within the target time, figures reveal.

During March, paramedics took an average of nearly 10 minutes to get to the most seriously ill category of patients.

The national target is seven minutes.

South Western Ambulance Service Trust has, however, improved on its figures from November and December 2017, when paramedics took more than 10 minutes to get to the most serious cases.

Over the past eight weeks, we have demonstrated a consistent improvement in our response times to our most critical patients, and we have robust plans in place to continue this improvement across all categories of patients."

South Western Ambulance Service Trust

The service covers the Avon area - including Bristol and Bath - Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

Surveying work on Plymouth Road expected to end today

BBC Radio Devon

Plymouth Road

Work being carried out in Plymouth to help firm up the design for the Eastern Corridor Junction Improvement scheme are expected to come to an end today.

Engineers have been surveying the exact location of electricity cables and gas and water pipes between Marsh Mills and the Glen Road junction at the end of Plymouth Road (pictured).

It's hoped the improvement scheme, which has been out for public consultation, will reduce traffic delays along Plymouth Road in Plympton.

Severe disruption: A38 Devon westbound

BBC News Travel

A38 Devon westbound severe disruption, between A3121 and A374 Plymouth Road.

A38 Devon - A38 blocked westbound between Wrangaton Cross and Marsh Mills Roundabout, because of flooding.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

High tide times for the region

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

If you're planning a trip to the coast or seaside, here are the high water times around Devon and Cornwall.

High tide map for Devon and Cornwall

We'll have the latest forecast on BBC Spotlight at 13:30.

Plymouth commandos rescue ferry in Sierra Leone

Jenna Hawkey

BBC News Online

Royal Marines from Devon came to the rescue of stranded ferry passengers stuck for three hours in sweltering heat in Sierra Leone.

A team of four marines from 42 Commando, normally based at Bickleigh outside Plymouth, came across the stricken vessel while they were training with the local military off the capital, Freetown.

The marines tried to fix the fault but couldn't get the engines working again. Some of the passengers were evacuated before more fuel could be delivered to get the ferry moving again.

Steve Brown: RFU chief concerned over Premiership club finances

Chris Jones

BBC 5 Live rugby union reporter

Rugby Football Union chief executive Steve Brown feels the current financial situation at many Premiership clubs is a concern.

Only one top-flight English club made money last year - Exeter Chiefs, who beat Wasps to win their first Premiership title - amid widespread unease over escalating costs.

"It's always a worry," Brown told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's never good to see clubs in financial difficulty."

Find out more here.