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

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Have a good evening

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

That's all from the Local Live team for Devon and Cornwall for today.

We'll be back on Thursday with a round up of the day's news, sport, travel and weather.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 18:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The leader of Cornwall Council has written to the main party leaders asking them to support greater powers for the county after the election.

BBC Radio Devon: The trial of five Czech nationals accused of people trafficking at Plymouth Crown Court, has collapsed over concerns about the fairness of the interpretation of evidence.

First time voters

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter

What does this election mean for first time voters? University graduate Imogen Choroszewska is 21 and lives in Gunnislake. She is going to train to be a teacher so is concerned about education as well as immigration.


She told me: "I definitely think the movement of people is a really important thing that we should be encouraging - it's just how that movement of people is happening and the skills that are coming in because quite a few people, nurses doctors they are immigrants and I think that's something that we should be encouraging."

Remaining cloudy

David Braine

Weather forecaster, BBC Spotlight

It will remain cloudy throughout the evening and overnight period, with further outbreaks of rain, which be fairly patchy first but become more persistent by the end of the night. The minimum temperature will be 6C (43F).


A rather grey and cloudy day is expected on Thursday, with further outbreaks of rain or drizzle and generally light winds but the rain should start to ease later in the day. Maximum Temperature: 12C (54F).

Move to cut moor crime

Devon and Cornwall Police have launched an operation to tackle crime across Dartmoor over Easter and throughout the summer,

officers say.

Moorwatch. Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police
Devon and Cornwall Police

Moorwatch would see dedicated regular high-visibility officers working to prevent and disrupt criminals operating in isolated rural areas, particularly at car park and beauty spots surrounding the national park, the force said. The moor historically saw a seasonal rise in crime in the summer months, with an influx of visitors to the region, it added.

Marine loses leg in freak accident

A former Marine who survived a warship being sunk in the Falklands has had his leg amputated after falling off a ladder in his garden while setting up for a bouncy castle party, the

Plymouth Herald reports.

Stuart James
Plymouth Herald

Stuart James had his leg crushed by the ladder in the horrific accident last July and underwent numerous operations to try to save it. However, after six months of infections and complications, doctors at Derriford Hospital amputated his leg on February 17 this year and Stuart has paid tribute to its "incredible" staff.

Argyle 'more focused' for play-offs

BBC Sport

Plymouth Argyle are "more focused" to make the play-offs than they were last season, says manager John Sheridan.

John Sheridan

Argyle won just one of their last nine games last season as they fell from the final League Two play-off place to an eventual 10th-place finish.

Council leader calls for devolution support

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The leader of Cornwall Council has written to the main party leaders, asking them to support greater independent powers for the county after the election.

Cornwall Council logo

Independent councillor John Pollard said the time was right to secure more decentralised powers as there was "this little window of opportunity where devolution is being talked about".

'Inaccurate' interpretation causes trial collapse

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

A trial of five Czech nationals accused of people trafficking has collapsed over concerns about the fairness of the interpretation of evidence.

Three women and two men were facing a jury at Plymouth Crown Court for allegedly housing fellow Czechs for economic exploitation. But the court heard it was impossible for them to get a fair trial due to the "inconsistent and inaccurate" work of one of the translators in the case. A retrial will restart in front of a new jury on 13 April.

How will you vote?

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter

I've been finding out what this election campaign means for the young and old. The votes of the undecided could make all the difference, particularly here in the South West where there are so many marginal seats.

Rosemary Rowe

Rosemary Rowe, 71, lives in Cardinham and told me she's worried about what the future holds for her grandchildren and the NHS, adding: "There are so many new treatments available which everybody would like and obviously deserves. But I cannot see that there can be enough money to supply everybody's needs and I would really like to know what the government would do in that sort of situation."

News on the hour

The top local stories at 17:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The leader of Cornwall Council has written to the main party leaders to ask that any future government promotes more independence for the county.

BBC Radio Devon: A trial in Plymouth of five Czech nationals accused of people trafficking collapses over concerns about an interpreter's work.

Energy bills an election issue

Jenny Kumah

Political Reporter

Energy bills could become a key election issue, with the major parties all promising measures to help as government figures reveal that about 20,000 households in the South West are estimated to be living in fuel poverty.

Joanne Bell

Joanne Bell told BBC Spotlight she had saved more than £7,000 by not switching her heating on during the past five years after becoming "so horrified at the escalating bills".

Truro gridlock

BBC Travel South West

In Truro city centre there is traffic gridlock after a fire in a terraced house in Ferristown.

Nobody was hurt in the incident, but Richmond Hill, River Street, Edwards Street and the Ferristown area are completely blocked. Drivers are being asked to avoid the area.

Poldark man film hope

A young Cornish film-maker who worked on Poldark has been shortlisted for the

Reed Short Film Competition.


Ben Mankin, 22, called on the professional cast and crew he'd met while working as a camera-trainee on the BBC One hit series. Two months in the planning, the film was finally shot in a day and on a budget of £1,200. He'll find out if he's won later in the month.

'Shocking' bird death

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

"A truly shocking and sad discovery on a walk in Devon yesterday,"

tweets Sophie Thomas.

Sophie Thomas

Sophie was walking on the beach at Saunton when she found the stricken seabird with a plastic ring around its head.

Colleges merge

BBC Radio Cornwall

Bicton College and The Cornwall College Group have

merged creating one of the country's largest education and training providers.

It has more than 1,200 acres of land in Devon and Cornwall, with almost 40,000 learners on eight campuses.

Bicton College

Amarjit Basi, principal and CEO of The Cornwall College Group, said: "This is an excellent opportunity for us to positively shape and influence the future of the south west economy."

News on the hour

The top local stories at 16:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: A fire's broken out in a terraced house in central Truro near the junction of St Georges Road and Frances Street.

BBC Radio Devon: Farmers in Devon say they hope that the end of EU restrictions on how much milk they can produce won't lead to them getting paid even less.

Liberation 70

Seventy years ago this May the Channel Islands emerged from the darkest period in their history. Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark were the only British sovereign territory to be occupied by Nazi Germany.

John Nettles and Joss Ackland

Cornishman John Nettles (right) who spent 10 years living in Jersey while starring in Bergerac has returned to investigate how how D-Day - seen as a great step towards the defeat of Germany - made life MUCH tougher for islanders. Devon-based actor Joss Ackland (left) plays Winston Churchill in the documentary, which will be broadcast on

BBC Radio Devon on Easter Monday.

Police bosses 'marry'?

Former policeman Clive Chamberlain

tweets: Dorset & Devon & Cornwall's Chief Constables marry in secret with police & crime commissioners as their witnesses.

L-R: PCC Martyn Underhill, Chief Constable Debbie Simpson, Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and PCC Tony Hogg. Pic: Dorset Police
Dorset Police

However, the picture is actually

from the story that the Devon & Cornwall and Dorset police forces have agreed to share some services as part of a cost-cutting "strategic alliance". But a good try on April's Fools Day.

Club has God on its side

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Relegation-threatened Plymouth Albion have received support from an unlikely source.

Plymouth Albion
Plymouth Albion

The club, which parted company with head coach James Shanahan yesterday, are to be sponsored by evangelical broadcasters God TV and Nandos. A club spokesman said "With God on our side we are hopeful for the last few matches."

Devon delays

BBC Travel South West

  • The A385 at Rattery towards
    Shinners Bridge is partially blocked because of an accident involving two vehicles.
  • On the M5 in Devon, the slip road is partially blocked northbound at J27 going on to the A361 (Tiverton), because of a broken down vehicle.

Water supplies restored

BBC Radio Cornwall

About 1,000 households in north Cornwall which had water cut off have had their supplies restored, South West Water says.

Homes in Davidstow and Trewassa in the Camelford area were among those affected after a third party contractor damaged a mains pipe.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 15:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Health bosses in Cornwall say they're hopeful that a situation over Christmas and the New Year which saw long queues in A&E and delays in discharging patients will not be repeated over the Easter bank holiday.

BBC Radio Devon: Relegation-threatened Plymouth Albion have received support from an unlikely source - the team are to be sponsored by God TV.

Allotment for dementia sufferers

BBC Radio Devon

People with dementia are being given the opportunity to take part in a new scheme which involves them working on an allotment.


pilot project is being run by Age UK and is open to people in Exeter. Several events have been planned at the city council owned allotments in Exwick.

Dairy farmers' price fear

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornish dairy farmers say they're cautious about the

end of EU milk production limits.


Quotas have been in force for 30 years and producers could have been heavily fined if they exceeded the limit. Bodmin farmer Mark Oliver said: "It will affect us if more milk is produced and that keeps the world price of dairy products down. Our concern is that it will keep the price down, which is so low, for even longer."

Get involved

"Cornwall has the best views"

tweets Laura Harrison. And with this shot of Talland Bay, it's hard to argue.

Laura Harrison

Why not send us YOUR pics?

Email us or
tweet us!

Bumper beach clean

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Nearly 500 volunteers helped National Trust teams collect 533 bags of rubbish during the National Trust's Big Beach Clean Week in the south west.

Litter clean
National Trust

Bella Crawford, coastal festival leader for the National Trust, said the clean up from 15-22 March was "important work to ensure that our beaches are clean and safe to welcome visitors for the Easter holidays".

Hospital cleaning contractor 'not fit'

A strongly worded letter has been sent to the interim CEO of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) saying the company which has taken over the running of hotel services is not "fit for purpose",

The Cornishman reports.

The Cornishman

Last October, MITIE took over the contract to supply a number of functions including portering, cleaning, switchboard, laundry, waste and security for the trust.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 14:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Health campaigners in Cornwall say they're hoping the service can stand up to the pressures that could be put on it this bank holiday weekend.

BBC Radio Devon: Twenty thousand households in the south west are estimated to be living in fuel poverty according to the latest government figures.

Cloud and rain moving in

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

Mostly dry and cloudy this afternoon, but with some early brightness. Cloud will thicken ahead of patchy rain moving in from the northwest. Some of the rain may be heavy for a time in the east later. Moderate or fresh northwesterly winds will back to the west or southwest later and become locally strong at times. Max Temp 11C (52F).


Tonight will remain cloudy with some further scattered outbreaks of mainly light rain or drizzle. Low cloud will also develop to affect hills and parts of the coast at times. Fresh to strong west or southwesterly winds will ease by the end of the night. Min Temp 7C (45F).

Poldark in the swim

Quiver Surfboards in Cornwall have

Facebooked this cheeky April Fool picture of Poldark's Aidan Turner.

"We are stoked to share with you our latest team rider..." say the board shapers.

Aidan Turner

Tell us what you think by

email or by following us @bbcspotlight

Trial halted

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

The trial of five Czech nationals accused of people trafficking has been stopped for a retrial in front of a new jury on Monday 13 April.

The two women and three men were facing a jury at Plymouth Crown Court for allegedly housing fellow Czechs for economic exploitation. But the court heard it was impossible for them to get a get a fair trial due to the inaccuracy of one of the translators in the case.

Hospital newsagent closure a 'sad day'

The closure this week of a newsagent at Torbay Hospital after 27 years is being described as a "sad day and the end of an era", the

Torquay Herald Express reports.

Stringers Newsagents is closing as part of £14m plans by the hospital to replace its main entrance and build a new critical care unit.

'Think before dialling 999'

Sally Mountjoy

Correspondent, BBC South West

NHS managers in the South West have urged people to think before dialling 999 as they seek to avoid a log-jam of patients in hospitals' A&E departments.


It come as most hospitals remain on red alert status or above. NHS managers say one in four people who go to A&E could probably be treated elsewhere. They're recommending minor injuries units and pharmacists instead - and say some GPs will be open for business this weekend.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 13:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Nearly 800 homes are without water in north Cornwall after contracting work affected the mains supply.

BBC Radio Devon: Extra charges come into force for certain types of DIY waste being left at Devon's recycling centres, including plastic windows and doors, baths, showers and insulation materials.

Election debate special

Bill Buckley

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

Today you can hear the first of our

election debates. The focus is on transport, energy & fuel. I quizzed a panel of candidates from the main parties at the Old Signal Box café in Totnes.

Hear how we got on from 13:00 and I'd love to get your views on air from 14:00. Call the phone-in on 0345 3011034.

On the scent of skunk farming

BBC Spotlight

A Devon historian has uncovered evidence of skunk farming on Dartmoor back in the 1920s.


Tim Sandles, author of the

Legendary Dartmoor website, says more than 100 skunks were imported from America and kept at Teigncombe Farm in Chagford, where they were farmed for their fur. Mr Sandles is currently trying to get more information from the archives of the Duchy of Cornwall, which rented out the land at the time.

Waves hello

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Plans have been approved to place two stainless steel sculptured waves either side of Fisherman's Gap at Seaton seafront.


The decision on the 3m-high see-through structures was made by planners at

East Devon District Council last night.

Learning disabilities and bad backs

Laurence Reed

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

Do you suffer from a learning disability, or care for someone who does? We'll be joined on the programme by doctors who are experts in this field. They'll be taking your calls and answering your questions.

And do you have a bad back? New research suggests there's

no point taking paracetamol if you do. So what should we do and how do you manage your pain? Call the phone-in on 01872 222222.

Camelford still affected by water burst

BBC Radio Cornwall

The number of homes with no water supply in the Camelford area has now increased to 747.

South West Water said a third party hit a water main pipe earlier, affecting Davidstow and Trewassa.