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  1. BreakingWoman died in 'fierce fire' in lifelong home

    Amy Gladwell

    BBC News Online

    A pensioner died when her bungalow burned down in a "fierce fire" on New Year's Eve, an inquest has heard.

    Susan Crapp, 69, and her two dogs died at her lifelong home in Looe, Cornwall.

    Ms Crapp struggled with mobility due to obesity and would have soon collapsed in the smoke due to her heart disease, the Truro inquest heard.

    Her body was so badly damaged she could only be identified by dental records and the serial number on a metal plate in her arm.

    Fire investigators could not confirm the cause of the fire due to the severity of the damage.

    Bungalow fire

    The inquest heard there was an 11-minute delay in fire crews reaching the scene due to technical system faults. However a Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said they believed this would not have made a difference to the outcome.

    They said extensive investigation and improvements have since been made to prevent a repeat of this delay.

    Emma Carlyon, Cornwall coroner recorded a conclusion of accidental death, adding that there was no evidence of "third party involvement".

    Video content

    Video caption: A woman and two dogs die in a bungalow fire in Cornwall
  2. Concerns over Fowey housing development on greenfield site

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A new development of 46 homes in Fowey has been given outline planning permission despite concerns that it's on a greenfield site.

    The homes could be built on a site off one of the main roads into the coastal town and half the properties would be affordable.

    However, the site sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and there had been a number of objections from local people and the unit which manages AONB sites in Cornwall.

    Aerial view of the site of a proposed housing development in Fowey
    Image caption: Proposed housing development site in Fowey

    The application was approved by Cornwall Council's central sub-area planning committee when it met on Tuesday.

    A report to the committee stated that the development was considered to be "rounding-off" as there are homes to the south and homes across the road opposite the site.

    AONB unit staff had registered an objection to the plans as did Fowey Town Council.

    But committee member, John Fitter, said the entire area in and around Fowey is an AONB and the town "has to be allowed to develop".

  3. Dog beach ban to start earlier in 2019 under new measures

    Ed Oldfield

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Dogs are set to be banned from some Devon beaches a month earlier next year - as part of new measures giving one council the power to issue £100 on-the-spot fines.

    Teignbridge District Council has backed a proposal for a public spaces protection order (PSPO) covering the whole of the district with new controls over dogs.

    The order is set to come into force from January, and would see the beach dog ban start on 1 April - bringing all beaches into line with Dawlish Warren.

    Currently, under council by-laws, the ban on other beaches starts on 1 May.

    no dogs sign

    The order agreed by councillors will introduce eight measures including new offences of not having a bag to clear up dog mess and not putting a dog on a lead on a road or path.

    Councillors also agreed a new measure to limit the number of dogs being walked by an individual to four at any one time.

    Offenders will face a fixed penalty notice of £100 or prosecution for more serious offences.

    The beaches set to be covered by the new measures are Dawlish Warren, Dawlish Town, Dawlish Coryton Cove, Holcombe, Teignmouth Town, Shaldon and The Ness.

    Councillors agreed to review the 1 April beach dog ban start date in 12 months.

  4. Cullompton teen crash victim named

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    A 16-year-old boy who died after the car he was in crashed into a tree stump and overturned has been named by police.

    Brandon Martin - the front seat passenger - died at the scene on the B3181 between Cullompton and Willand at about 01:50 on 21 October.

    An 18-year-old man from Cullompton was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but has since been released under investigation pending further inquiries, officers said.

    Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact Devon and Cornwall Police via 101.

    Brandon Martin
  5. Cornwall travel: Accident between car and bike on B3315

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    At Trethewey, there are reports of an accident between a car and bike on the B3315 near The Valley.

  6. Torbay councillor says censure was 'bitter experience'

    Ed Oldfield

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A Devon councillor, disciplined for misconduct, has attacked the decision and says he won't be seeking re-election after his "bitter experience".

    Councillor Mark King was issued with a formal censure - a statement criticising his behaviour - by Torbay Council for breaking the members' code of conduct, which governs councillors' behaviour.

    A standards hearing sub-committee decided he put himself under an obligation to an individual, sought advantage for himself and disadvantage for someone else, and "failed to uphold and promote high standards of conduct when holding public office".

    King said he refused to accept the findings and claimed it was a political decision not backed up by evidence.

    He said an earlier report by an independent investigator had cleared him of misconduct and claimed the sub-committee of councillors carrying out the inquiry had ignored its findings.

    King serves as an independent in the Cockington and Chelston Ward.

    Mark King
    Quote Message: To say that I am disappointed is a gross understatement. The word I want to use is not printable. I have done nothing wrong. If it was a court of law, this case would have been thrown out months ago. This case has made me very ill. If anyone is considering standing for election with no experience, please think carefully about all the things that can possibly happen to you. These three and a half years have been a very bitter experience." from Councillor Mark King Torbay Council
    Councillor Mark KingTorbay Council
  7. Water dripping in Exeter Ikea store

    James Watts

    BBC Radio Devon

    Ikea drips

    Buckets and plastic boxes have been put out to catch dripping water inside Exeter's new £80m Ikea store.

    The Swedish furniture giant opened its first South West shop in May.

    Shoppers have said recently that they noticed plastic storage boxes coming off the sale shelves and on to the floor to collect drips.

    Store manager Nick Earle said the leaks were not from rainwater or a burst pipe but "caused by the natural drying process of the concrete structure".

    The store remains open and Ikea said it would continue to monitor the situation.

    Exeter's Ikea store
  8. Calls for railway footbridge in Cornish town 'cut in half'

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    People living in Lostwithiel are stepping up their campaign for a footbridge at the railway station.

    They say the barriers at the level crossing are down for a total of 15 minutes an hour - and that could increase to 30 minutes when new trains come into service next year.

    They added the barrier closures mean the town is effectively "cut in half".

    These local people say a bridge is the only sensible option...

    Video content

    Video caption: The barrier closures mean the town is effectively cut in half

    Network Rail says it's working with Cornwall Council to try to find a solution.

  9. Council ordered to repay £14k of care home fees

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Cornwall Council has been ordered to repay more than £14,000 which was overcharged for care home fees for a resident’s mother.

    The Local Government Ombudsman has told the council to repay a woman identified as Mrs B the equivalent of the £255 she was overcharged every week while her late mother lived out her last days in a residential home.

    The fault happened after Mrs B’s mother, who was in her 90s, was admitted into hospital in 2015 and then it was identified that she needed to move into a residential care home.

    Mrs B agreed with the care home that her mother, identified as Mrs C, would need residential care at a cost of £450 a week but the council agreed that the charges would be £705 a week.

    The ombudsman found the council had been at fault for not checking the correct rate with the care home.

    It has also been told to pay Mrs B interest on the fees overcharged and a £200 payment for the distress caused.

    Cornwall Council said: "We accept the result of the ombudsman’s investigation and will learn the lessons from this case going forwards. We have paid back the money and compensation as set out in the ruling."

    Cornwall Council
  10. Appledore community 'concerned' for shipyard's future

    Hamish Marshall

    BBC Spotlight

    Appledore supporters

    Supporters of the "Save Appledore Shipyard" petition are due to meet Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox in London.

    The group is also hoping to meet Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson at Westminster.

    An online campaign to keep the shipyard open currently has more than 9,000 signatures.

    The GMB and Unite unions said yard owner Babcock failed to win a key order from the Armed Forces of Malta.

    Unite regional officer Heathcliffe Pettifer said the local community was "concerned"...

    Video content

    Video caption: Appledore community 'concerned' for shipyard's future

    Babcock said it was disappointed not to have secured a contract from Malta, and it was reviewing the implication for the business.

  11. Boy 'housed' in tent: Cornwall Council accept failings

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    Cornwall Council says a "breakdown of the family relationship" was one of the reasons there were several shortfalls in its job to find a home for a 17-year-old boy - who was eventually housed in a tent.

    The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) said the case - in 2016 - was "deeply shocking" and there was "warning sign after warning sign, which the council should have acted on".

    In a statement, the council said it was a "unique and exceptional case" they plan to learn from.

    "Working with young people in these circumstances is complex and challenging. There are no easy solutions.

    "In this particular case, there was a breakdown of relationship with his family and we did not have the legal power to take this young person into care against his will."

    Cornwall Council has been ordered to pay the boy and his mother compensation totalling £2,500.

    View more on twitter
  12. Return of third Torpoint ferry service delayed

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    The scheduled return to service of one of the three Torpoint ferries has been delayed.

    It was supposed to be back in action on Tuesday, but its operators say the vessel is now expected back during the week beginning 5 November.

    They said the refit was "significantly larger" than any undertaken before and a "number of issues" arose while carrying out the work.

    Torpoint Ferry
  13. Students treated 'like another species' by councillors

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    Pete Edwards
    Image caption: Councillor Pete Edwards said students "are human beings" and should be treated as such

    Students in Exeter are treated by councillors "like they are another species", according to the leader of the city's council.

    Councillor Pete Edwards was speaking at a meeting on Monday evening where plans for a huge student flats development were approved for the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus.

    He raised concerns about the treatment of students after Councillor Percy Prowse said he was worried about the number of them in the city and the amount of patrols the university would be putting in place on the new development site.

    Councillor Edwards said Exeter is "not a prison".

    "Sometimes at this committee when we mention the word students, it is like they are another species.

    "You are saying we need extra patrols out in addition to what the university are proposing, but they are human beings and we need to treat them like that."

    The new development will comprise of 1,182 bedrooms and work is due to start early next year.

  14. Cornwall gritters on stand-by 'until next spring'

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    A fleet of 25 gritters is on stand-by in Cornwall "from now until next spring" to keep the county's roads passable during cold weather, Cornwall Council says.

    The authority said the vehicles, operated by Cormac, were "as ready as we can be for whatever winter might throw at us this year".

    During the severe weather last winter, gritting crews covered 75,000 miles of road and used about 14,000 tonnes of salt to help keep traffic moving as freely as possible.

    Working with road sensors and weather experts, crews aimed to have roads gritted at least an hour before road temperatures reach freezing point, the council said.

    Drivers should also check their vehicle, the road conditions and the weather forecast before they set out, Councillor Geoff Brown, portfolio holder for transport, added.

    Geoff Brown quote
  15. Huge student flats development plans approved for Exeter

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A huge student flats development on the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus has been approved by the city council.

    The East Park site has been marked for development for the university's use since the 1970s, and the plans show 11 tower blocks, ranging from three to eight storeys high, and a total of 1,182 bedrooms.

    Mike Shore-Nye, registrar and secretary at the university, said he's "delighted" to receive approval for the plans.

    "The East Park development will create more high-quality, on-campus accommodation for our students, reducing the pressure on the city's housing stock whilst strengthening our commitment to offer an excellent student experience.

    "We will liaise closely with the local community to ensure the development process is a success for everyone."

    Work is due to start in early 2019 with the new accommodation set to open in two phases from September 2020 and September 2021.

    Artist impression of the University of Exeter East Park student flats site
    Image caption: Artist impression of the University of Exeter East Park student flats site