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  1. Updates on Wednesday 18 March 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved


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

We'll be back on Thursday at 08:00 with a full round up of the day's news, weather, travel and sport. Have a good evening.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 18:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Industry insiders the Chancellor's announcement that the South West will benefit from new Inter City trains which are expected to run along the mainline to Penzance.

BBC Radio Devon: George Osborne also used the Budget to reveal there will be a new study into the viability of Plymouth's airport, which stopped operating at the end of 2011.

Budget breakdown

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

So, Chancellor George Osborne has made his

Budget speech.

Here's how it affects Devon and Cornwall:

  • A new franchise for the Great Western Route: new Intercity Express trains, more frequent services and faster journey times
  • Investing £2bn in roads, including dualling the A30 to Camborne.
  • A new study into the possibility of reopening Plymouth Airport
Plymouth Airport
  • Supporting the creation of a new
    Enterprise Zone on the South Yard dockyard site in Plymouth
  • Oh - and 2p off cider tax!

Accused 'thought victim had knife'

The jury in the trial of Lee Dent for the murder of 17-year-old footballer Alex Peguero Sosa has heard that Mr Dent believed the teenager was carrying a knife.

Alex Peguero-Sosa
Plymouth Argyle

Mr Dent, 42, from East Portlemouth near Salcombe, stabbed the former Argyle youth player in the neck with a broken bottle. In the closing speeches at Plymouth Crown Court, the jury was told Mr Dent handed himself in to police when he realised the seriousness of what had happened.

Mr Dent denies murdering Alex in Kingsbridge in the early hours of 6 July 2014.

Get involved

Amid all the Budget news - it's been a very nice day out there in the South West!

@Akhan2001 has just

tweeted this great picture of the beach at Bude.


Dry again tomorrow

David Braine

Weather forecaster, BBC Spotlight

It will stay dry overnight with clear spells, but some low cloud and mist patches will form by the morning. Patchy frost is also likely in places, especially in low-lying rural spots. Minimum Temperature: 0 Deg C (32 Deg F).

Weather map

Tomorrow, after a chilly start with some early mist and low cloud, it will be another dry day with some sunny spells developing later. Winds will stay light but temperatures may be a little lower than on Wednesday. Maximum Temperature: 11 Deg C (52 Deg F).

Train services 'will improve'

First Great Western says its rail services into Devon and Cornwall will improve thanks to the introduction of new intercity express trains.

An artist's impression of the new high-speed trains

The trains will form part of a new fleet for the firm which will continue running

services into the counties until at least 2019. The new trains were first
announced last year and confirmed by Chancellor George Osborne in his
Budget statement.

Shipwreck commemorated

BBC Spotlight

The 70th anniversary of the sinking of the

SS James Eagan Layne in Whitsand Bay is being marked this weekend.

James Eagan Lane

She was torpedoed by a German U-boat and later sank, but not before everyone on board was rescued.

Tonight on

BBC Spotlight at 18:30 we'll be hearing some of the memories of those around at the time.

Perranporth music festival plans

Plans for a 30,000 capacity music festival at Perranporth Airfield next year have been given a mixed reception,

The West Briton reports.

The event is set to take place on the late May bank holiday in 2016 and will be run by Boardmasters organisers Vision 9.

Apache drops in

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

It's not every day a £40m aircraft lands on a school field - but a 673 Squadron Apache attack helicopter did just that as part of Stoke Damerel Community College's Year 10 careers convention.


The helicopter made a 90-minute stop at the college as part of a training sortie and the two crew, Jan Ferraro and Major Antony Thompson, spoke to engineering students about the aircraft and careers in army aviation.

Camborne accident closes road

BBC Travel South West

In Camborne, Commercial Street is closed near Gurney's Lane because of an accident.

The Police say the road may be closed for sometime.

Towering ambitions

You need a head for heights for this job!

Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral

Two steeplejacks are inspecting the masonry of

Exeter Cathedral as part of regular maintenance. The steeplejacks climbed the 900-year-old 55m-high South Tower on Exeter Cathedral to inspect the stonework, removing any that is loose.

Budget on track says council

Cornwall Council has welcomed Chancellor George Osborne's Budget announcement of funding for a new fleet of Intercity trains on the route between Penzance and London Paddington.

Paddington station

Chris Pomfret, Chairman of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "This is fantastic news for our rail network. It means we will finally have a railway that is fit for the 21st Century."

Torrey Canyon anniversary

The Western Morning News

tweets: On this day in 1967 Torrey Canyon leaked million of gallons of oil off Cornwall.


You can

read the full story here.

Airport owners hit back

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

There's been an angry response by owners of Plymouth City Airport to Chancellor George Osborne's announcement of a review into re-opening the facility.

Airport sign
(C) British Broadcasting Corporation

Jason Schofield, chief executive of Sutton Harbour Holdings, said: "Every independent report commissioned before and since the airport closed nearly three and half years ago has demonstrated beyond all doubt that it is not viable.

Airport re-opening supporters Viable retorted: "We are delighted, this is a positive step forward."

Tisdale positive

BBC Sport

Exeter City still have

a chance of making the League Two play-offs, according to manager Paul Tisdale.

Getty Images

Their 0-0 draw with Stevenage left them 11th in the table, six points below their opponents, who currently occupy the final play-off spot. "It's all to play for and a lot of it is in our hands. We've got 27 points still to play for, it's certainly not impossible," Tisdale told

BBC Radio Devon.

SW friendly Budget?

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter

A 'new' rail franchise, a cut in cider duty and a Plymouth enterprise zone.

The wooing of the crucial South West vote continues in George Osborne's Budget.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 17:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The Chancellor is promising new InterCity trains to and from the South West as part of an investment for the region.

BBC Radio Devon: George Osborne also announced a new study into the viability of Plymouth's airport, which stopped operating at the end of 2011.

Paper remembers PC

The Falmouth Packet has a special wrap-around front page today to honour the death of a local police constable.

Falmouth packet

The newspaper

tweets: Packet pays tribute to PC Andy Hocking and Falmouth in this week's edition.

Tax break for farmers

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Farmers will be allowed to average out their earnings over a five year period to help with tax, said Chancellor George Osborne in his

Budget speech.


David George from the

NFU in Devon said: "It's one of the ways the government can help the industry.

"There is a lot of volatility in farming, whether that's because of the weather, commodity prices particularly in the dairy industry and this will help them cope, so it's very good news."

A38 Plymouth blocked

BBC Travel South West

The A38 through Plymouth has been closed in both directions because of a police incident at Weston Mill.

Traffic is queuing back as far as the Tamar Bridge.

Via Twitter

BBC Spotlight reporter Emma Thommasson

tweets: Devon & Somerset Fire Service say 3 crews have been sent to huge fire on the moor above Ivybridge

Ivybridge fire

Top cop backs child campaign

Julie Skentelbery

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

I've been talking to Devon and Cornwall Police's Chief Constable about his backing for National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day.

Devon & Cornwall Police

Shaun Sawyer made this palm pledge and

posted it on Twitter as part of the #helpinghands campaign.
Tune in after 17:00 to hear from the Chief.

Via Twitter

South West MEP Ashley Fox

tweets: Delighted to hear of the 2% duty cut on Cider - I'll drink to that!

And just in case you missed it, the Chancellor has taken 1p a pint off beer duty, but duties on tobacco and gaming unchanged.

'Spotlight on Plymouth'

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

"The spotlight is on Plymouth" said Tim Western, director at property consultants JLL in Exeter, after the chancellor's

Budget confirmation that an enterprise zone will be created at the city's South Yard.

Princess Yachts
Princess Yachts

There will be tax breaks and relaxed planning for firms setting up at the former naval yard. Mr Western said it would "provide businesses with the right environment and the right physical landscape to flourish".

News on the hour

The top local stories at 16:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The Chancellor is promising new Inter City trains to and from the South West as part of a £7bn transport investment programme for the region, outlined in his budget.

BBC Radio Devon: He also announced a plan to help create jobs and boost businesses in Plymouth with the creation of an enterprise zone.

Businesses welcome for Budget

BBC Radio Cornwall

A highlight of the

Budget for Cornwall "is clearly the news of the £7bn investment in transport" says the
Federation of Small Businesses.


And freezing the fuel duty is "always going to be welcomed by everyone in a rural community" says development manager Ann Vandermeulen, adding: "We have a large number of creative businesses in the county so the announcement of extra support for them is welcome," she said.

Aiming for the top

BBC Spotlight

Some keen young athletes say they're fighting against the odds in the passionate pursuit of their sport.


As part of our series on women in sports, we've been speaking to a group of ski racers who have to travel to Torquay to train. And they're getting results, taking county and national titles. More in tonight's

programme at 18:30 on BBC1.

'Good news' for low earners

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Kim Conchie, chief executive of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce said the

Budget has produced good news for people on lower incomes in Cornwall.

Chancellor George Osborne announced that the personal allowance would go up to £10,800 next year and the higher rate threshold would rise above inflation.

And for those on a time budget - here are the

main points in four minutes.

More Stadium reaction

BBC Radio Cornwall

One of the team behind the Stadium for Cornwall proposal says

the vote to defer a planning decision last week is a 'hammer blow' to their plans.


Rob Saltmarsh from INOX has

written an open letter to all Cornwall Councillors saying the Stadium's supporters would meet this week to plan their next move, adding: "All parties remain fully committed...However, this is a sledgehammer blow to our current funding plans."

News on the hour

The top local stories at 15:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The chief executive of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Kim Conchie, said the
Budget has produced good news for people on lower incomes in Cornwall.

BBC Radio Devon: The chancellor has announced the south west will be getting new Inter City express trains.

Yard boost confirmed

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed in his

Budget speech that a new enterprise zone will be created at South Yard in Plymouth, as

South Yard
Ministry of Defence

South Yard's status means companies will be able to take advantage of tax breaks and relaxed planning.

South Yard, which dates back to the 17th Century, is still owned by the Ministry of Defence and is being released to Plymouth City Council in phases. The first handover of eight hectares of land is taking place this month.

Breast is best?

via Facebook

Today's story about an academic study in Brazil suggesting babies who are breastfed for longer go on to score higher on IQ tests as adults, has attracted plenty of comments on

the Lunchtime with Laurence Facebook page.

  • Paula Butler says: What a load of rubbish, you learn all the way through life. My son had to be bottle fed or starve.
  • Natalie Glass points out: All female mammals on this planet have breasts to feed their offspring, including humans. Surely natural breast milk which is made to nourish babies is far better then an artificial, man made product?
  • Ria MacQueen snorts: More pressure on expectant mums from the breastfeeding mafia - i.e. 'you're a bad mother if you don't give the breast to your baby'.

Via Twitter

BBC Political Correspondent Martyn Oates

tweets: "I understand "new rail franchise" is First's retention of Great Western franchise not separate Devon & Cornwall franchise previously floated."

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his

Budget speech investment of £7bn in transport in the South West, including a "new intercity rail franchise".

Traffic light failure

BBC Travel South West

In Exeter the traffic lights have failed on Barrack Road.

The area between Heavitree, Polsloe and Magdalen Roads are affected.

Dry but a chilly night ahead

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

It'll be a dry afternoon with long periods of hazy sunshine and some patchy cloud for areas on the south coast. Winds will be from the northeast and mainly light, but moderate at times around the coast.

pm map

Tonight it will

remain dry and also mainly clear, but with some mist or fog patches forming. A slight frost will also develop in places as winds become generally light from the northeast. Min Temp: 0 C (32 F).

Church treasurer jailed

A crooked ex-treasurer has been locked up for plundering church accounts of around £90,000 in what a judge said was a "betrayal" of her community,

The Plymouth Herald reports.

Nicola Holding, aged 50, wrote dozens of cheques to herself while doing the books of St Boniface's Church in St Budeaux and its pre-school.

Jailing her for 30 months at Plymouth Crown Court today, Judge Paul Darlow said Holding "plundered church accounts and betrayed the trust and the love of the community."

Newquay landslide concern

BBC Radio Cornwall

Some tourism business in Newquay are urging Cornwall Council to prioritise reopening the road that leads down to Great Western Beach.


The road has been

closed since February following a landslip - engineers say it won't be open until June - but Francoise Cole from the Fistral Surf Company complained: "We rely heavily on Easter, there's two Bank Holidays in May, Whitsun is a huge income source for us. We're going to miss all that."

News on the hour

The top local stories at 14:00 include:

BBC Radio Devon: Investment for south west rail and housing schemes in George Osborne's Budget.

BBC Radio Cornwall: Fishermen in Cornwall have welcomed a new plan to train apprentices for the industry.

Redruth man targeted 'eight-year-old girl'

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A man from Redruth who was living in the South Pole showed "

a very real desire to sexually abuse" an eight-year-old girl before being trapped by undercover police.

kent police

Simon Rouen, 36, has been jailed for three years for "arranging the facilitation of a child sex offence" and possessing indecent images of children.

Detective Constable Jo Gordon, from Kent Police, said: "We will use all the techniques available to us to apprehend people who prey upon children online, and who use the internet as a tool to find children to sexually abuse or to view indecent images of children."