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  1. Updates for Wednesday 4 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good evening

That's all from BBC Local Live Devon & Cornwall for today.

We'll be back with a full round-up of news, travel, weather and sport on Thursday.

News on the hour

Parents of pupils of a north Cornwall school say they were "worried" after being sent a text message saying their children were missing from class.

Wadebridge School. Pic: Google

Wadebridge School, which has about 1,200 pupils, confirmed a "high number" of parents received the message on Monday from its truancy system. It apologised, saying the message was sent by mistake after a computer glitch.

One mother, Sharon Meehan, whose 12-year-old is at the school, told the BBC: "They should have sent another message saying 'Everything's fine, your kids are in school', but we never anything got like that."

Beach lover?

If you're searching for a job that involves sea air, sand, and seaweed, then you could be just the person Teignbridge District Council are looking for, says the

Express & Echo.

A rare opportunity has arisen for a "Seaweed Clearance Operator" to take to the sand and remove seaweed off the beaches in Teignbridge.

Dead porpoise buried

The carcass of a dead harbour porpoise that was found at Watergate Bay, Cornwall, has been buried by the owner of that section of beach, Cornwall Wildlife Trust has told

BBC Radio Cornwall.

Phil Ellery

Trust marine conservation officer Carolyn Waddell said burial was a "sensible way" of dealing with the animal, allowing it to decompose naturally.

Via Twitter

South west Political Editor Martyn Oates

tweets: Nothing new from Cameron on funding for SW rail resilience in reply to question from @AMMorrisMP on Dawlish disaster anniversary. #PMQs

'78,000 hoarders in Devon and Somerset'

About 78,000 people in Devon and Somerset are hoarders, a workshop hosted by the counties' fire service

has been told.

Couple sorting out hoarder's home. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

Of those, only about 5% (3,900) were known to professionals who could help, the multi-agency gathering was told by Jasmine Sleigh, from Change Your Space.

Alan Coxon, Devon and Somerset Fire Service's Community Safety Prevention Manager, said fires in such homes, presented "a variety of challenges of top of the normal fire risks", including cluttered corridors making access difficult and blocking escape routes.

Farm funding worries

There's concern that farmers in the South West could miss out on millions of pounds of EU funding after changes to the way subsidies are claimed.

Land agents say the new system, where farmers have to apply online, could lead to many failing to register because of a patchy broadband service in rural areas.

The government says support is available from the

Rural Payment Agency.

Enforcing the speed limit

PCSO Kirsty Down from Devon & Cornwall Police

tweets: #SpeedGunSelfie Out on 20mph road, outside a Primary School at Kick out time. Standby for results. #Police

Kirsty Down

News on the hour

Protecting the food industry should be treated as importantly as securing the UK's future energy supplies, a Cornish MP says.

During a special House of Commons debate discussing milk prices and concerns over farmers leaving the dairy industry, Truro and Falmouth Conservative Sarah Newton said "a proper strategy" was needed, adding "It's just as important to have a national strategy for the protection of our food and our farming as it is for our energy."

Accession salute

Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth is to fire a 21-gun salute on Friday to mark the 64th anniversary of the Queen's Accession to the Throne.

Royal Naval Base Devonport. Pic: Alamy

"Residents who live adjacent to the Drake Main Gate on Saltash Road may hear the salute," the

Royal Navy said.

Nurse shortage

via Facebook

After figures obtained by the BBC showed there are more than 1,100 nursing vacancies in the South West, you've been letting us know what you think should be done to ease the recruitment crisis.

Trevor Fry writes on the

BBC Spotlight Facebook page: "Why work for the NHS when you can earn more though an agency? Ban agencies because it's the NHS that invariably paid for the nurses training."

Allan Hayes says: "They are under valued and under paid my wife always finishes later than she should and then when she is home takes a while to calm down from her stressful day."

PM praises rail fix 'orange army'

The Prime Minister has again paid tribute to the so-called "orange army" who fixed the railway line through Dawlish after it was damaged by storms a year ago.

David Cameron with member of the "orange army" in Dawlish in 2014. Pic: PA

About 300 or so Network Rail staff - so nicknamed after their orange overalls - repaired the damage, which cut off rail services across Devon and Cornwall.

David Cameron has told the Commons how they "did such a fantastic job at getting that line back on track", and added the government had committed a further £30m this year towards South West rail line "resilience and protection".

Empty homes crackdown

A new drive has been launched to bring hundreds of empty homes in Plymouth back in to use.

It has more than 700 vacant properties - and the city council's promising to punish absent landlords who allow them to fall into disrepair.

Your pictures

You've been sending us your pictures of this morning's beautiful sunrise, like this one of Thatcher Rock near Torquay by John Fowler.

Thatcher Rock, Torquay
John Fowler

If you'd like to share your pictures you can

tweet us or send them via

News on the hour

A senior board member of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has quit.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust sign

Chief Operating Officer Jo Gibbs, who was responsible for the day-to-day running of the trust, confirmed she was stepping down in a letter to staff.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has not given the reason for her resignation, but confirmed she hadn't been at work since October.

Another chilly night

David Braine

Weather forecaster, BBC Spotlight

The dry weather and light winds will continue overnight and clear skies will allow a for a frost to develop in many places, temperatures dropping to -4C (25F).


Tomorrow it will be another bright, but chilly morning with more in the way of sunny spells. Turning cloudier from the east later, but most places should stay dry with a maximum temperature of 6C (43F).

Crash victim tribute

The family of Kingsbridge man Daniel Foale, who died in a car accident in Totnes at the weekend, have

paid tribute to him.

Family photo

His family said: "He was the life and soul of every party and lit up every room he entered."

A Devon & Cornwall Police investigation continues.

Wave power

The waves which pounded into Porthleven during last year's ferocious winter storms were some of the most powerful ever recorded on Earth, says the

West Briton.

A team from Plymouth University found the waves were up to eight metres tall and caused the cliffs to shake to a degree in excess of anything recorded previously.

Turbine rejection quashed

Developers have won a second chance to gain planning permission for a north Devon wind turbine that has attracted strong opposition, the

Press Association has reported.

Wind turbine. Pic: Thinkstock

Ecotricity wanted to erect an 84m (275ft) high turbine near Ashwater, but its application was rejected last July by a local government planning inspector.

The High Court has quashed that decision, saying there were "factual errors" which influenced the inspector's decision. Ecotricity now has to resubmit its plans.

News on the hour

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Dartmoor's national park authority has closed a car park at night to deter so-called "boy racers" from using the area as a race track.

Haytor car park. Pic: Google

The car park, near Haytor, has frequently seen "20-30 vehicles ... revving and making lots of noise" since January,

park bosses said.

A chain will be put up across its entrance from dusk to dawn for at least two months, the authority added.

Dead porpoise

Cornwall Wildlife Trust

tweets: So sad to see this porpoise at Watergate. If you find similar please call Marine Strandings Hotline 0345 201 2626.

Phil Ellery

St Ives trees row

A group of residents in St Ives say they're furious about proposals to fell trees to make way for a Christian tourism and housing development in the town.

Rachael Levine

The group behind

the Treloyhan Manor Hotel plans say they will plant more new trees than they cut down - but some locals say it'll ruin the look of St Ives.

Child abuse help

A young Devon woman says the sexual abuse she suffered as a child still makes her feel "worthless".

"Lisa" is receiving help from an outreach project called Checkpoint run in Torquay by

the Children's Society - research by the NSPCC estimates one in 20 children are
victims of sexual abuse.

News on the hour

The Royal College of Nursing says nurses are leaving the profession because they are overworked and underpaid.


Figures obtained by

BBC Spotlight show hospitals in the south west of England are short of about 1,200 nurses.

Hospital managers say it's a national shortage and they're looking across Europe for staff and working closely with trainers such as Plymouth University.

Scilly snipe

Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

tweets: Our ranger team are cutting back #willow at Lower Moors for the benefit of birds like #snipe


Lord's and Ladies

This is the Lord's home dressing room as you've never seen it before, photographed by the vice captain of England women's cricket team,

Heather Knight.

Heather Knight

The Plymouth-born cricketer has

written a blog for BBC Sport looking forward to this month's tour of New Zealand.

'Missing' schoolchildren

Hundreds of parents were left panicking after a school wrongly reported all their students were missing, the

Plymouth Herald reports.

The concerned mums and dads received a text message saying their children had not arrived for the day, but when they called Wadebridge School in Cornwall they were told the message was sent in error because of a glitch with their truancy system.

'At risk' railways

The collapse of the railway line at Dawlish last year generated major headlines - but other coastal stretches are equally vulnerable.

Dawlish before and after the breach
Getty Images

It's almost a year since the tracks, linking Devon and Cornwall to the rest of the country, were left suspended in mid air when the sea wall washed away.

However, the Cambrian Line, the north Wales coast and the line from Folkestone to Dover

are still at risk.

Mystery gun

John Chard shared this lovely picture on the

BBC Radio Cornwall Facebook page of an old gun that's been trawled up by a Newlyn fishing boat.

John Chard

It's believed the gun could be dated 1891 and might come from a British, American or Spanish vessel.

News on the hour

The government's predicting that milk prices will rise this summer - despite repeated

warnings of more farmers leaving the dairy industry.

During a special Commons debate on the crisis, the Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth Sarah Newton said protecting the food and farming industry should be treated as an issue of key national importance.

Electricity works hit transmitter

A Devon television transmitter is to remain off air until late afternoon.

The Ivybridge transmitter is affected by work being carried out by electricity engineers which is expected to be finished by 16:00, according to transmitter managers.

Laptop scam


Western Morning News reports that a man from Ilfracombe bought a laptop on eBay for hundreds of pounds but was sent a photocopied picture of it instead.

Paul Barrington, 38, fell victim to the scam after winning the auction for an Apple MacBook with a winning bid of £300.

Paul called eBay to report the incident and has been told he must wait several days before he finds out if he is entitled to a refund.

Headstart for children

BBC Spotlight

A scheme to help children facing emotional and mental health problems is being rolled out in schools across Cornwall.

Headstart is aimed at pupils aged 10 - 14 and is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Rail delays latest

First Great Western

tweets: There are still delays of around 15 minutes to trains in and out of Paddington. Trains are getting back to normal timetable.

Beach restoration

A project to improve flood defences in Sidmouth has been completed by

East Devon District Council.

Sidmouth seafront

Thousands of tonnes of shingle have been redistributed to restore the beach's profile after it was badly damaged in last year's rough seas.

TV transmitter problems

The Ivybridge television transmitter in Devon has been off-air since 08:30, the

Radio and Television Investigation Service confirms.

Technical teams are working on repairs.

News on the hour

The Royal College of Nursing says local health trusts should stop "exploiting nurses" and start training and recruiting them.

It follows figures, obtained by the BBC, which show community and acute hospitals in the south west are struggling to fill 1,200 vacancies for nurses.

Health trusts say they are aware of the problem and national and local recruitment drives are underway.

The 'C' word

Bill Buckley

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon


research out today says half of us are expected to get cancer in our lives.

Today I'm asking if you are part of that statistic or whether you've been affected in any way by the dreaded 'c' word? You can call me on 0845 3011034 or

tweet us.

Knight ready for White Ferns

The vice captain of England women's cricket team

Heather Knight says the squad is confident ahead of this month's tour to New Zealand.

RAF Cranwell

The Plymouth-born cricketer is

writing a blog for BBC Sport about the team's preparations, which included a day's training at RAF Cranwell.

PTSD advice


BBC Radio Cornwall's lunchtime phone-in,
Laurence Reed will asking if you've been affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Experts from

Cornwall's mental health team will be on hand to take your calls on 01872 222222 from 12:00.