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  1. Updates on 24 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Thank you for reading!

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    That's all from BBC Local Live in Devon & Cornwall for today, we'll be back at 08:00 to bring you all the day's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

    Don't miss BBC Spotlight at 18:30 and the late bulletin at 22:30 tonight. Cheers all.

  2. News on the hour

    The top stories at 1800 include

    BBC Radio Cornwall:

    Cornwall's hospitals remain on black alert, the highest level the NHS has, but NHS Kernow says things are getting better.

    BBC Radio Devon:

    A Devon MP says politicians shouldn't be barred from having second jobs - despite the latest "cash for access" scandal.

  3. RD&E on black alert

    The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has just escalated its status from red to black, the highest level the NHS has.

    The alert indicates a hospital has officially confirmed its services are overwhelmed by demand.

    Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and the Royal Cornwall Hospital are also on black alert.

  4. Bed closure fears

    Concern about possible hospital bed closures in Ilfracombe and South Molton have been raised by North Devon Liberal Democrat MP Sir Nick Harvey.

    Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he understood the concerns and it was "absolutely essential" that NHS managers maintained enough beds to deal with pressure during the winter.

  5. Howard on song for Eden

    Ben Howard's West Country fans will be delighted after it was confirmed he is headlining the Eden Sessions on 17 July.

    Ben Howard

    Howard, who grew up near Totnes in Devon, released his second studio album I Forget Where We Were in October last year.

  6. Cash drive for charities

    Charities are to benefit from thousands of pounds overpaid to parking meters in Devon.

    Bideford car park

    Torridge District Council unanimously approved giving away the estimated £40,000 it gets every year from overpayments.

    The machines at its 22 car parks do not give change so many people overpay.

  7. Minister to visit 'black alert' hospital

    Miles Davis

    BBC News Online

    Health Minister Dan Poulter MP is visiting the Royal Cornwall Hospital tomorrow to "discuss the current challenges the trust is coping with".

    Sarah Newton MP

    Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth announced the visit and said she would be meeting with the chief executive "to discuss what more can be done to support the RCHT during this challenging time".

  8. Harbour repairs - dramatic pix

    West Briton


    Some powerful pictures of repairs to storm-damaged Mullion harbour in the West Briton.


    The cove, owned by the National Trust, was extensively damaged last year, and contractors have been brought in to repair both piers in the harbour.

  9. Get a bit on the slide!

    Here's a chance to have fun and raise money for the RNLI with a chance to take a 100m ride on a water slide in Plymouth.


    The slide will be coming to North Cross roundabout on 28 March.

    Anyone interested to be in with a chance of sliding should text SLIDE followed by their first name and last name to 88010 before midnight on 18 March. Texts cost £1.50.

    The 360 lucky winners will get the chance to have a go in front of their friends and families.

  10. News on the hour

    The top stories at 1700 include

    BBC Radio Cornwall:

    A search is under way around Stithians Lake for a man who police say they're concerned about.

    BBC Radio Devon:

    Teenage pregnancies in the South West have dropped to a record low according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

  11. Cost of cancelled ops

    BBC Spotlight

    What's it like to be among the hundreds of people who have had operations cancelled at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth?


    Matthew Beadnall, 23, from Torpoint has been waiting five months for an operation to cure abdominal pains he told BBC Spotlight.

    An appointment was due on 2 February but it was cancelled four days before.

    He is hoping another due on Monday will not be cancelled.

  12. Gruesome discovery

    Exeter Express and Echo

    Police in East Devon are urging the public to report sightings of possible poaching after a dog walker found three dismembered deer legs in an East Devon beauty spot yesterday morning, the Express and Echo reports.

    Deer legs

    Sue Cade, from Buckerell near Honiton, made the gruesome discovery at a secluded area popular with walkers between the villages of Broadhembury and Dunkeswell, a few miles from Honiton.

  13. Whale spotting off Scilly

    Julie Skentelbery

    Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

    Two beach walkers on the Isles of Scilly say they were left 'utterly dumbfounded' after spotting a young whale off St Martin's.


    Anna Cawthray and Fay Page were walking on Par Beach when they spotted the creature, it's not known what species it was but they reckon it was about 25ft long. Hear the full story on BBC Radio Cornwall after 17:00.

  14. Hitlers Walk row reignites

    There's been a new twist in the saga over a sign for a park in Mevagissey, the Cornish Guardian reports.


    The parish council put the plans to reinstate the Hitlers Walk sign on hold after protests.

    Now a document has revealed that Cornwall Council contractor, Cormac, had already refused a request to reinstate the sign.

  15. Get involved

    Waves of about 15ft high are expected along the South West coast according to forecaster Magic Seaweed.


    Trevaunance Cove was getting the first taste of the swell this morning in this Vine from Carrian Jones.

    And you can hear from big wave surfer Andrew Cotton on the Simon Bates show on Radio Devon tomorrow morning.

  16. Welcome for Pirates

    Brent Pilnick

    BBC South West Sport

    Truro City chairman Peter Masters says the Cornish Pirates are welcome to share his planned new stadium.

    The Pirates, along with Truro and Penwith College, are hoping to build a stadium of their own.

    The stadium would be close to the Silver Bow site of City's planned site.

    "If people want to come and join our party, which is already funded, i.e. the college or even the Pirates, there's an open invitation there," Masters told BBC Radio Cornwall.

  17. News on the hour

    The top stories at 1600 include

    BBC Radio Cornwall:

    Cornwall's hospitals will remain on black alert despite improvements at Treliske in Truro, St Michael's in Hayle and West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance says NHS Kernow.

    BBC Radio Devon:

    A former Royal Marine from Tiverton has admitted fraudulently claiming almost £50,000 in disability benefits.

  18. Police helicopter at Stithians

    Miles Davis

    BBC News Online

    There are reports of the police helicopter and five or six police vehicles in the area around Stithians lake.

    Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed officers are in the area following concerns for a missing man.

  19. Redruth rugby 'on right road'

    BBC Sport

    Veteran Redruth forward Damien Cook says "things are coming together" under head coach Steve Larkins.


    After years of debt and turbulence in the dugout, this season Redruth are firmly embedded in mid-table in National Two South, having won 10 of their 12 home games.

  20. Tourism hope

    BBC Spotlight

    Tourism businesses in the South West are pinning their hopes on a multi-million pound marketing campaign aimed at attracting more high spending international visitors.


    The £10m overseas investment by Visit Britain comes at a time when many tourist attractions in the region are reporting a fall in home grown visitor numbers at a time of cuts in budgets.

  21. Cornwall's care crisis 'improving'

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    No elective operations have been cancelled in Cornwall today as NHS managers say the crisis in the county's health and care system is improving.


    Cornwall remains in 'black alert' status, as is Plymouth's Derriford Hospital.

    Dr Iain Chorlton from NHS Kernow said: "Some of the steps we have taken to reduce pressure include increasing the number of clinicians working in and supporting the emergency department".

  22. News on the hour

    The top stories at 15:00 include

    BBC Radio Cornwall: Its emerged that hundreds of operations are being cancelled every month because of the newly declared black alert status at Derriford hospital.

    BBC Radio Devon: Bosses at Devon's biggest hospital have denied trying to cover up the pressures facing its services.

  23. More rain later

    Kevin Thomas

    BBC Weather Forecaster

    After a sunnier middle of the day, cloud and further scattered showers will arrive from the west later. Strong north westerly winds will ease and also back to the west.

    weather pm

    Although most places will start the night dry, cloud will continue to increase with rain reaching the far west before midnight and then spreading further eastwards. Moderate or fresh south westerly winds will veer to the west and become strong at times.

  24. Derriford - your views

    via Facebook

    The situation at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has drawn plenty of comments on the Facebook pages of BBC Radio Cornwall and BBC Radio Devon.

    Andy Everson said: A sad indictment of our country and the way it's run. The rich get richer and the rest of us struggle. This should not be happening to OUR NHS. Yes OUR NHS, we pay for it, we own it and THEY, the government decide on its funding and it's regulations.

    Jackie Chown says: It is ridiculous that they are shutting down beds because they are taking in flu patients. They should have a separate rest home/small hospital where infectious illnesses such as flu are taken. To let flu cause so much disruption in this day and age is appalling bad management!

    Carol Mattocks from Devon comments: My brother was airlifted into Derriford a while ago. I brought him home early because they had patients queuing in A&E. We have hospitals second to none in the world with understaffing problems.

  25. Weather hits ferries

    Brittany Ferries tweets: UPDATE | We're sorry sailings on our Plymouth-Roscoff routes have been disrupted by bad weather this week.

    Read more about the impacts on sailings here.

  26. Star Wars man's legacy

    Brent Pilnick

    BBC South West Sport

    What links X-Wing pilots, Storm Troopers, and Lando Calrissian's trusted co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon, Nien Nunb with a fencing club in Cornwall?

    The answer is Richard Bonehill, the Truro Fencing Club's late former coach and one of a team of extras who filled numerous roles on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

    Richard Bonehill

    Find out how Bonehill, who passed away earlier this month, built the Truro club to become one of the best in the country.

  27. Teen mum figures

    BBC Spotlight

    Teenage pregnancies in the South West have dropped to a record low - official figures show that in 2013 there were 1,948 conceptions among girls under the age of 18, the lowest figure since 1998.


    Lea Kearns from Exeter is 17-years-old and has two children, she's launched a campaign to tackle the stigma she says still exists around teenage pregnancy. There'll be more on BBC Spotlight tonight at 18:30.

  28. Grant joy for Exeter Phoenix

    Matt Pengelly

    Local Live

    Staff and volunteers at Exeter Phoenix are celebrating after winning a grant of £320,745 to revamp the building's facilities and improve digital resources.


    There's delight in west Cornwall too as Newlyn Art Gallery & Exchange has attracted £107,638 from Arts Council England's small scale Capital funding scheme.

  29. High waters

    BBC Spotlight

    There's a quite a big swell around the coasts of Cornwall & Devon today, so take care. Here are today's tide times.

  30. Cornish vineyard in Govt's Food Star list

    Sam Lindo from the Camel Valley vineyard near Bodmin tweets: We are delighted to have been selected as one of the country's #50FoodStars for the government event this Thursday

    You can read more about the initiative here.

  31. Gulls back in action

    BBC Sport

    Torquay United have the unwelcome distraction of a Conference League match at home to Lincoln City this evening - sandwiched between their FA Trophy semi-final games.


    The Gulls trail Wrexham 2-1 with the second leg at Plainmoor on Saturday. Manager Chris Hargreaves admits that they would have rather rearranged the Lincoln game, adding: "It doesn't surprise me, it's been a bit of a joke like that this season but you've just got to deal with it and try and win a game."

  32. Plymouth council tax reaction

    BBC Radio Devon

    Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans is defending a near 2% council tax hike.

    He says that means just 36p a week on the average council tax bill and he reckons the city's getting a good deal.


    The Conservative group leader Ian Bowyer is against the council tax rise, saying "Inflation is heading towards zero."

  33. Derriford - your experiences?

    Bill Buckley

    Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

    Today I'm asking about the 'Black Alert' at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital. The hospital says it has been on this type of alert since January but we're only finding out now, why? And what about us? Can we do more to relieve pressure on our hospitals?

    Also, there are plans to stop incomers buying Devon homes - is this a great way to help locals or short-sighted, small-minded and just plain unfair? Let me know what you think by calling 0345 301 1034.

  34. Plymouth inquest resumes

    BBC Spotlight

    An inquest has resumed in Plymouth into the death of a man with mental health issues. Chang Somers, who was also known as Valan Pitts, was last seen on CCTV in July 2012.

    The 36-year-old's body was found a month later in Winner Street at Paignton.

    Mr Pitts' family are at Plymouth Coroners Court to hear the evidence, including phone calls made to Devon and Cornwall Police around the time of his death.

  35. Police sex Sgt sacked

    Devon and Cornwall Police has confirmed a sergeant has been sacked after being spotted having sex in a public place while on duty.


    The unnamed officer admitted the allegation of gross misconduct - Assistant Chief Constable Russ Middleton said: "We expect the highest standards of professional behaviour from all of our officers and staff."

  36. Derriford crisis latest

    Laurence Reed

    Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

    I've been talking to the chief operating officer at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital - he has warned hundreds more operations and appointments could be cancelled before the crisis affecting the health service eases.


    Kevin Baber apologised to any patients affected but said he did not know when the crisis would end - let us know your experiences 01872 222222.

    'Red' and 'Black Alerts' are in place in health and social care organisations across Devon and Cornwall.

  37. More than 1,000 ops cancelled

    Chris Ellis

    BBC News Online

    More than 1,000 operations are thought to have been cancelled at a hospital that has been on "black alert" since January.

    Plymouth Hospitals Trust in Devon said routine operations including hernia repair and knee and hip replacements had been cancelled at Derriford Hospital.

    Derriford Hospital

    "Black alerts" are also in place at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust and Yeovil Hospital in Somerset.

  38. Horse help needed

    BBC Spotlight

    The Mare and Foal Sanctuary is looking for a volunteer who is dedicated to animal welfare to join its board of trustees, after the Devon charity organisation bought its fourth farm.


    The trustee would help to decide the charity's future direction and make sure it continues to make positive changes to horse welfare.

  39. Roads cash bid

    Simon Hall

    Correspondent, BBC South West

    A delegation from Devon County Council is travelling to London to brief ministers on proposals to upgrade the A30 / A303 from Ilminster in Somerset to Honiton as an alternative to the M5.


    The plans would see a series of six improvement schemes through the Blackdown Hills - Devon County Council estimate the improvements would cost £220 million, and want work to begin in 2020 / 2021.

  40. Knight rides to win

    BBC Sport

    Plymouth's Heather Knight starred with bat and ball as England's women cricketers defeated New Zealand to seal a 2-1 Twenty20 series win.


    Vice captain Knight took two wickets and top scored with 26. The five wicket win marked Charlotte Edwards's 200th game as captain - on Thursday the one day series resumes with the White Ferns 2-1 up.

  41. Teen mum campaigner

    BBC Spotlight

    A teenage mother of two from Exeter launched a campaign to tackle the stigma she says still exists around teenage pregnancy.

    mum 2

    Official figures show there were 1,948 among girls under the age of 18 in the year ending 2013, it's the lowest figure since 1998

    Lea Kearns, who's 17, says she wants to mentor other young mums, adding: "The treatment you get when you're pregnant, you already feel slightly defeated. You think 'Well, no-one's going to think I'm a good mum anyway so I don't know why I bother'."

  42. Tarka trail death

    BBC Radio Devon

    The police are investigating after a man died on the Tarka Trail near Barnstaple yesterday.

    The air ambulance had to be used to recover the man who was flown to the North Devon District Hospital - the death is currently being treated as not suspicious.

  43. Community radio link-up

    BBC Radio Devon

    Community radio presenters have been working behind the scenes with the BBC Radio Devon team this week to help to produce Bill Buckley and David FitzGerald.


    Gail-Marie Shapter (r) joined BBC Radio Devon's Hayley Westcott and Anna Byles to decide which stories are featured in the programmes, as part of an ongoing relationship between BBC Radio Devon and Riviera FM.

  44. Cornish GPs quitting - your views

    via Facebook

    The news a Bodmin husband and wife GP team are leaving the NHS due to pressures has prompted lots of comments on the BBC Radio Cornwall Facebook page.

    Sara Treasurer said: Wow. Hats off to you Dr Stead. I agree with comments that his patients will miss out on his care but he would not be able to announce his feelings publicly and continue to practice. He is making a stand for what he believes in.

    Keith Richardson comments: t's not just the doctors who are disillusioned, a lot of nursing staff feel the same way.

    Andy Q Smith disagrees, saying: He gets paid a good wage, an excellent wage in fact and is able to work as many or as few hours as he feels comfortable with. I have a number of friends who are GPs and they work what hours suit them. There's no pressure to work more. Sounds like an excuse to moan and probably make some kind of political excuse.

  45. Objections to St Austell development

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    St Austell Town council has voted to object to a planning application for an 'eco-town' in West Carclaze on the grounds that it falls short of the agreed levels of affordable housing, issues over flooding and road infrastructure.


    The developers Ecobos Developments Ltd says they're still confident the revised plans to create 1500 homes, a school, employment and green space will be backed by planners.

  46. Dementia research

    A new online and telephone service that helps people in the South West to take part in dementia research studies is being launched today.


    'Join Dementia Research' aims to speed up the pace of research into the disease by allowing people with and without dementia to register their interest in studies locally.

  47. Country roads for Pavey

    Aimee Lewis

    BBC Sport

    Devon's Jo Pavey is staying at home rather than heading to high altitude as she targets World Championship success in Beijing this summer.


    The European 10,000m champion has made the decision to train in the UK rather than abroad, saying: "I'm really fortunate that I've been able to have two lovely kids and a supportive husband and feel extremely lucky I've been able to combine athletics with family life. It gives us a lot of quality time together."

  48. Consultation extended

    BBC Radio Devon

    The public is being given an extra two weeks to comment on controversial plans to reorganise hospital and community NHS services in Teignmouth and Dawlish.

    Consultation about the services was due to finish on 8 March but has been extended because additional information has been provided about local services.

  49. GPs choose to leave NHS

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    A husband and wife GP team in Cornwall says they're so disillusioned with the National Health Service they're leaving.


    After 35 years with the NHS at the Bodmin Carnewater practice, Dr Matthew Stead says GPs face too much paperwork and stress and that the job is no longer about dedicating time to patients.

    NHS England has said: "Carnewater itself is large and successful, and we are in dialogue with the practice over its options for growth, managing pressures and ensuring that services are not affected by the decisions of individual GPs."

  50. News on the hour

    The top stories at 09:00 include

    BBC Radio Cornwall: A husband and wife GP team say job pressures have forced them to retire from their Bodmin practice.

    BBC Radio Devon: Devon councillors are heading to London to bid for funding towards a second major road link into the county.

  51. MP blasts hospitals 'real mess'

    Matt Pengelly

    Local Live

    Exeter MP and former health minister Ben Bradshaw has blamed underfunding for the crisis affecting healthcare across Devon and Cornwall.


    The social care system in Cornwall and Derriford Hospital in Plymouth are in 'black alert' status due to illness, bedblocking and patient flow - other hospital trusts are struggling to cope too.

    Mr Bradshaw claimed: "It costs five times more to keep somebody in a hospital bed than it does to look after them in the community, so not only have we got this crisis but it's also complete economic madness."

  52. Devon's community radio links

    BBC Radio Devon

    Staff at BBC Radio Devon have been sharing their trade secrets with presenters from Torbay's Riviera FM.


    Amelia Marriette joined BBC Radio Devon's Chris Whipp to decide which stories are featured in David Fitzgerald's programme. It's part of an ongoing relationship between BBC Radio Devon and Riviera FM.

  53. Scottish call up for Chiefs prop

    BBC Sport

    Exeter Chiefs prop Moray Low will train with the Scotland Six Nations squad today after being called up by coach Vern Cotter.


    Low comes in for the injured Jon Welsh as Scotland face Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday, both sides looking for their first win of the tournament.

  54. SW hospital 'crisis'

    Hospital managers in Devon & Cornwall will review their 'black alert' status this morning as the health service struggles to cope with winter pressures.

    Last night it was revealed Derriford Hospital in Plymouth had been in crisis since early January; the entire health and social system in Cornwall has been in 'black' for seven days; Torbay Hospital and the RD&E in Exeter have been on red alert - one level below black - for the past week.

    The BBC's health correspondent Sally Mountjoy said: "The majority of emergency admissions are older people with respiratory problems. One exacerbating factor may be that this season's flu vaccine is largely ineffective against the strain of the virus currently in circulation."

  55. Devon road problems

    BBC Travel South West

    • There's an accident on North Road East in Plymouth, near the Restormel Road junction.
    • In Newton Abbot at the Penn Inn Roundabout, there's very slow moving traffic on the A380 and A381 in both directions.
  56. A wild and sometimes wintry day

    Kevin Thomas

    BBC Weather Forecaster

    After a windy and wet night, it's staying windy at first with scattered showers and some sunny periods. Some showers will be heavy, perhaps thundery and wintry over the moors, but they should die out later.


    The strong to gale force northwesterly winds will ease and back to the west. Max Temp 8 Deg C (46 Deg F).

  57. Audience panel recruitment

    The BBC Trust is recruiting for new members to join the Audience Council England's regional panel in the South West.

    BBC Audience Council

    These are voluntary, unpaid roles. If you have an interest in the BBC, its programmes and services, you could become a panel member. They meet three times a year and membership is open to anyone aged over 16.

  58. Good morning!

    Matt Pengelly

    Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, travel, sport and weather updates for Tuesday.

    We'd love to hear what you think of this new service, so please do get in touch.