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Summary

  1. Updates from Monday 25 June until Friday 29 June 2018

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Weather: Clear spells overnight, sunny on Saturday

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

Lots of evening sunshine, giving way to long clear spells tonight. Perhaps later on, some patchy low cloud will filter its way in from the east to affect some spots.

Minimum Temperature: 10 to 15C (50 to 59F).

Weather
BBC

Any early patches of low cloud will readily disappear to leave another fine day.

There will be plenty of strong sunshine and it will turn very warm for most once more.

Maximum temperature: 23 to 28C (73 to 82F).

Severe disruption: M5 Devon southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Devon southbound severe disruption, between J30 for A376 and J31 for A30 affecting J29 for A30 Exeter.

M5 Devon - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M5 southbound between J30, A376 (Exeter) and J31, A30 (Exminster), because of a broken down vehicle. Congestion to J29, A30 (Exeter).

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

Police dealing with closed surgery inquiries

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Police say they are having to deal with some inquiries regarding the current closure of a doctors' surgery in Cornwall which is referring people to another surgery operated by the same medical group.

Millbrook Surgery, near Torpoint, closed earlier this month after what bosses described as "a number of targeted incidents against the practice and practice staff", Plymouth Live reported.

Torpoint Police said on Facebook that despite officers receiving inquiries about what was happened, that it was "a matter for the surgery".

The Rame Group medical practice website said that all Milbrook patients should "contact Penntorr Health for your medical care".

The group added that it was having "enhanced locks and CCTV" installed at Millbrook and "we hope to reopen in a few weeks' time".

Dying woman's walk to raise awareness of skin cancer

Victoria Graham

BBC Spotlight

Hundreds of people are expected to take part in a charity walk in Cornwall on Sunday to highlight the dangers of exposure to the sun and to raise money for research into malignant melanoma.

It's been organised by a woman who's dying from the disease.

According to Cancer Research UK, about six people a day in the UK die from malignant melanoma - the fifth most common cancer in the UK - with one in 54 people being diagnosed with it during their lifetime.

In the South West, the number of cases rose by nearly 50% between 2007 and 2015.

Val Bugden-Cawsey
BBC

Val Bugden-Cawsey, who lives in Launceston, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of malignant melanoma in May and has been told she has just six months to live.

But she said she had no intention of becoming "a patient" when she can be out raising money for research.

"What's the point of spending £70,000 on treatment for me with a trial drug which might give me a 5% chance of a slightly long life? Let someone else have that money who has a better chance," she said.

The three-mile "Val Walks Tall" walk sets off from Launceston Medical Centre at 14:00 on Sunday, followed by a cream tea, cake stall and raffle at the town hall.

Severe accident: A3072 Cornwall both ways

BBC News Travel

A3072 Cornwall both ways severe accident, between B3254 and Rydon Lane.

A3072 Cornwall - A3072 blocked and slow traffic in both directions between the B3254 junction in Red Post and the Rydon Lane junction in Holsworthy, because of a multi-vehicle accident.

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

Cornwall travel: Multi-vehicle crash in Red Post

BBC Radio Cornwall

In Red Post, north Cornwall, there are reports of multi-vehicle crash on the A3072, around the B3254.

Bantham owner warns of 'two-tier property market'

Jenny Kumah

BBC South West politics reporter

Bantham Estate owner Nicholas Johnston says curbs on second homes could bring a "two-tier property market" after residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new neighbourhood plan.

The plan follows in the footsteps of a similar referendum in St Ives, Cornwall, by agreeing that new homes in the area should be for full-time living in only.

Cornwall travel: Problems in Bodmin and St Columb Major

BBC Radio Cornwall

  • In Bodmin, on the A389 near Boundary Road, there are reports of a broken-down vehicle
  • In St Columb Major, there are reports of an accident on Union Hill near Penkernick Way
  • In Townshend, on the B3280 Bosence Road, near Bunkers Hill, there are reports of an accident

Former Exeter asylum mortuary plans rejected

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The mortuary on the grounds of Exeter's former asylum will not become someone's home after Exeter City Council turned down plans to change the use to residential purposes.

The city asylum - known as Digby Hospital - closed in 1987 and, soon after, the site was divided to allow for new-build houses, a retail park and a supermarket and the main buildings were also converted to residential use.

Mortuary
LDRS

Plans from Crayon Architects, on behalf of the freeholder, Michael Joy, had been outlined to change the use of the former mortuary, but these were turned down by the council's planning committee and then by a planning inspector, who said the changes would have an adverse impact upon the character and appearance of the area.

In conclusion, the inspector's report said: "The proposed development would result in a claustrophobic and cramped living space and would fail to provide acceptable living conditions for future occupiers."

'Large number' of Penryn and Helston drain covers stolen

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A "large number" of drain covers have been stolen from the Penryn and Helston areas in the past 24 hours, polcie say.

Falmouth and Helston Police said on Facebook that the crimes do "not only cost the taxpayer a considerable sum of money to rectify but also causes a considerable safety risk to road users".

They have appealed for witnesses.

Councillors clash over cash hikes

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter

Plymouth councillors have clashed over plans to give staff extra cash for doing more work.

The Labour-led local authority voted in favour of paying councillors more money for taking on extra responsibilities.

Conservative Cllr Nick Cracker has criticised the plans…

While Labour's Cllr Pam Buchan spoke out in support of the move…

Police thanked for trying to save suicidal woman

Johanna Carr

BBC News Online

The family of a young woman who died after falling from the Tamar Bridge have thanked police officers who tried to save her.

Twenty-two-year-old Bethany Grace Bygrave, died on 7 July 2017 in Old Bridge Street, Saltash.

An inquest in Truro heard Miss Bygrave had been diagnosed with emotionally unstable borderline personality disorder, as well as other mental health complaints. She had been to hospital having tried to harm or kill herself on at least 60 occasions in seven years, it was told.

Insp Paul Laity, of Devon and Cornwall Police, told the hearing that he and PC Helen Priestley tried to convince Miss Bygrave, who lived in Keyham, Plymouth, to come back to the safe side of a barrier when they were called to the bridge.

Bethany Bygrave
Family photo

Insp Laity said Miss Bygrave told him he was "too late" and, after about 20 minutes, became more agitated. He then saw her slip from the maintenance scaffolding she was sat on.

He said: "I immediately felt sick. I have gone to many jobs like this and you always go with the intention that you are going to help this person."

In a statement, PC Priestley said: "There was nothing we could do. I felt totally helpless and shocked."

Miss Bygrave’s family thanked the officers for what they did to try to stop her from taking her life.

Coroner Dr Emma Carlyon concluded Miss Bygrave’s death was as a result of suicide while suffering from mental disorder.

Speaking after the hearing, Miss Bygrave’s mother, Hannah Bygrave, said her daughter had a been "lovely and bubbly" person who had lots of friends and loved animals.

  • If you are worried or need any advice on any of the topics discussed in this article, go to the BBC Action Line.

Weather: Very warm with lots of sunshine

BBC Weather

It will remain dry this afternoon with lots of sunshine on offer.

Friday afternoon weather map
BBC

Winds will be light, and it will feel very warm or even hot for most places, with maximum temperatures from 24 to 27C (75 to 81F).

Chief constable backs police merger

BBC Radio Devon

Devon and Cornwall Police's chief constable says he supports plans to merge the force with Dorset Police.

Detailed plans of the proposed merger have been revealed and members of the public are being asked for their views.

Shaun Sawyer said he thought the plans could create a more efficient force...

Districts vote for plans restricting second homes

Jenny Kumah

BBC South West politics reporter

People living in an areas of outstanding natural beauty in the South Hams have voted in a new set of rules that will restrict the number of second homes.

Two referendums were held on Thursday: one in Bantham (pictured) and the wider area, the other in Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo.

Residents were asked if they would accept a blueprint for future development known as a neighbourhood plan. They include restrictions on second homes.

Some 92% voted in favour in the Bantham poll, while 86% voted in favour in Newton and Noss.

Bantham
BBC

Cornwall travel: Accident in St Blazey

BBC Radio Cornwall

There's slow traffic in St Blazey on the A390 Church Street, near the A3082 Station Road, due to an accident involving three vehicles near the Post Office.

Warning to stop cigarettes and bottles from starting fires

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Fire services across the South West are reiterating warnings about the dangers of cigarettes and other flammable materials starting fires during the current heatwave.

And it's not just the obvious cigarettes and barbecues that are causing concern.

Firefighters said that bottles or glass should not be left behind as sunlight shining through glass could start a blaze.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Police keen to 'chat' with man after burglary

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Police are trying to identify a man following a burglary in Paignton last month.

The incident happened on the morning of Monday, 21 May, in Upper Manor Road.

A purse was taken from the property and the bank cards were subsequently used in nearby shops.

Police believe the man pictured may have information vital to the investigation.

Anyone who recognises him or has any information is asked to contact police.

View more on twitter

New approach to tackle homeless issue

BBC Radio Devon

A hostel for homeless people in Torbay could close under a new plan to create more, smaller homes for vulnerable people in the community.

Following a report by the housing charity Crisis, Torbay Council said it wanted to adopt the new "dispersed accommodation model".

Homeless person
BBC

Torbay Council's executive member for housing said the present system hadn't solved the problem of homelessness, so this was a chance to try something new."

Cindy Stocks said: "We wouldn't just close the shelter down because people need support.

"What we're trying to do is find the best way to give that support."

Police merger survey launched

Ben Woolvin

BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

People living in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset are being asked for their views on a proposed merger of police forces.

The two forces have been in a "strategic alliance" since 2015 working collaboratively in several areas, including roads policing, firearms, armed response vehicles, dog units and some administrative tasks.

Armed police
BBC

Both chief constables are in favour of the merger, but Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez says while she believes it could be a "practical progression" there are still questions to be answered, including over officer numbers.

She also wants to be sure the public in Devon and Cornwall would be prepared to pay more for policing, as the council tax policing precept might have to be "harmonized" as Dorset taxpayers currently pay about £18 more.

Council tax bill
BBC

The survey on Future Policing will be available online until the end of August, after which the business case will be presented to the Home Office.

If approval is given, a new merged force could come into effect in May 2020.

Plymouth people asked to collect relatives' ancient bones

Plymouth Live

Archaeologists due to start excavating a city centre building site in Plymouth say they expect to find the remains of hundreds of sailors who died more than 200 years ago, and need to know if descendants want to claim a body.

Motorcyclist dies four days after hit-and-run

Lynne French

BBC News Online

A motorcyclist has died in hospital four days after being involved in a hit-and-run incident.

The 65-year-old man, from Barnstaple, was found unconscious in the road with his bike in the village of Filleigh, near South Molton, on Saturday evening.

A 44-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman from South Molton were arrested on suspicion of driving a vehicle which failed to stop after a road accident. Both have been released under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

Three arrested over Tavistock girl's death

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Hannah Bragg
Hannah Bragg/Facebook

Three people have been arrested in connection with the suspected drug-related death of 15-year-old Hannah Bragg from Tavistock.

The teenager died after being found unwell at a disused viaduct near the town on Saturday.

Police said they believed she and a local 14-year-old boy suffered adverse reactions after taking what's believed to be MDMA/ecstasy.

Tavistock viaduct
BBC

The boy was taken to hospital in Plymouth for treatment. He has since been released.

A 20-year-old Tavistock man, a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old Tavistock boy were arrested on Thursday for alleged drugs offences.

All three have been released under investigation, pending further enquiries.

Owner of 'eyesore' site faces £10,000 costs demand

Jenna Hawkey

BBC News Online

caravans
Torridge District Council

Torridge District Council has had to clear up an "eyesore" site in Bideford after the landowner ignored numerous orders to tidy it up, the authority says.

The field at Valley End had become littered with caravans and bathroom fittings but the owner refused to clear it, despite repeated warnings and fines totalling more than £3,000 being issued over a span of two years.

The council said it was now seeking to recover the costs of clearing the site, which are estimated to be about £10,000, from the landowner.

Anybody that owns a piece of land or building has a responsibility to keep it in good order and to make sure that it doesn’t become an eyesore for the rest of the community ... This should be a warning to others not to let property or land slip into neglect or use them in such a way that adversely impacts on the surrounding area."

Councillor Pete WatsonLead Member for Planning, Torridge District Council

New 'developers tax' for infrastructure and facilities

Cornish Stuff

Cornwall Council has agreed to recommend a new levy on commercial development, which will raise extra funds to pay for the facilities and infrastructure needed in Cornwall’s communities.

The community infrastructure levy will apply to planning applications that are approved from January 2019.

Trago Mills boss says Welsh signs are 'visual clutter'

Wales Online

The head of discount store Trago Mills has described Welsh language signage as "visual clutter", criticised Welsh-medium education and advised people to embrace English.

Commissioner 'undecided' over police merger plan

Ben Woolvin

BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez says she won't support plans to merge the force with Dorset Police unless taxpayers are in favour.

The proposed merger has the backing of both chief constables. But, if it goes ahead, it could possibly mean some council tax payers in Devon and Cornwall, who currently pay £18 less than Dorset, having to pay a little more for policing.

Alison Hernandez
BBC

"Harmonizing the council tax over a period of years is what we'd need to do - just like when local authorities choose to merge," she said.

The commissioner said she was currently "on the fence" as there were still questions to be answered and she also wanted to hear what taxpayers say.

She said: "I haven't yet seen enough detail that tells me this is a no brainer."

A survey for members of the public to have their say on the merger proposals will be available online until the end of August.

Tides warning as video shows baby being rescued from rocks

Jenna Hawkey

BBC News Online

Beach-goers are being warned to keep an eye on incoming tides during the heat wave.

The RNLI has released dramatic new footage of a family - including a one-year-old baby - being winched to safety from rocks at Bedruthan Steps, near Newquay, after they were cut off by the tide earlier this month.

Lifeguards from Morgan Porth, two Newquay lifeboats and coastguard teams from Newquay and Padstow were alerted to the incident on 10 June when an onlooker called 999.

The young family suffered minor cuts and grazes after clambering out of the sea onto the rocks.

View more on twitter

This was a very scary situation for the family to find themselves in. It is important to always keep an eye on the tide when visiting the coast. Remember to check the tide times before visiting beaches and ask the lifeguards for advice at any time."

Simon CookeRNLI Beach Lifeguard

Last year, RNLI beach lifeguard teams responded to 672 incidents involving people cut off by tides.

Devon travel: Emergency roadworks on Gdynia Way

BBC Radio Devon

Drivers are being warned to expect slow traffic in Plymouth on Gdynia Way inbound as the nearside lane has been closed for emergency roadworks. Work should be finished about lunchtime.

Police 'very busy' in Cornwall

A senior police officer has tweeted "the summer season is here", with the force currently dealing with 73 "live incidents" in Cornwall so far today.

View more on twitter

Man lost control of his beloved bike just months after passing test

Devon Live

An Exmouth motorbike enthusiast who kept his “pride and joy” in his front room tragically died after losing control on a bend at the top of Telegraph Hill while out riding with friends last August, an inquest's heard.

Teenage girl's skull fractured in Plymouth assault

Lynne French

BBC News Online

A 17-year-old girl has had her skull fractured in a serious assault in Plymouth.

Emergency services were called to an altercation involving a group of people outside the Santander Bank in New George Street just after 01:00.

Police said during the argument the victim was punched in the head by a man and sustained a fractured skull. She is in a stable condition at Derriford Hospital.

The offender, who was with two other men, ran from the scene and police are appealing to anyone with information to contact them.

Cornwall travel: Lane blocked on A30 at Summercourt

BBC Radio Cornwall

The west-bound lane of the A30 at Summercourt has been blocked by a broken-down lorry around the A3058 Beacon Road.

Public survey launched on police merger

Twitter

Members of the public are being asked for their views on a proposed merger between Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police.

The plan will need to be approved by the government, but, if it gets the green light, it could mean some council tax payers may end up paying more for policing.

View more on twitter

Friday's tide times

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

If you're planning a trip to the beach to cool down, here are the all-important times of high water around the region's coastline.

High water times
BBC

Spotlight's lunchtime news will have a full weather forecast at 13:30 on BBC One.

Seeing the same doctor over time 'lowers death rates'

BBC Spotlight

Research based in Exeter has concluded that patients who see the same doctor over time have lower death rates.

Doctor
BBC

The study, published in the BMJ Open, involved a collaboration between St Leonard's Practice in Exeter and the city's university.

It was the first ever systematic review of continuity of care and mortality, and it found that the human aspect of medical practice was potentially life-saving and should be prioritised.

Devon travel: Accident at A386 Great Torrington

BBC Radio Devon

  • An accident hass been reported on the A386 at Great Torrington, near the turning for Beaford
  • On the A38 at Buckfastleigh, there's a broken-down vehicle blocking one lane, Plymouth-bound, between the Dartbridge junction and Lower Dean junction. Approach with care