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  1. Elderly farmer banned from keeping animals

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    A 75-year-old farmer has been banned from keeping farm animals for life after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to poultry and pigs.

    Vivian Exelby from Carnhell Green near Camborne previously pleaded guilty to 12 animal welfare charges.

    Truro Magistrates Court heard how a Cornwall Council inspector visited Exelby's farm on 30 April with a vet.

    Prosecuting, Kevin Hill said they found animals with no water and housed in enclosures that were "so deep in dung the officer had difficulty moving from pen to pen".

    Pig in farrowing crate

    One sow was housed in a farrowing crate that was so small it couldn't turn around.

    In mitigation Robert Eccleston told the court how the unmarried Exelby lived on the farm his whole life and had farmed it alone since his father died in the 1970s.

    For most of his career, he had taken good care of the animals, the court heard.

    The magistrates were told Exelby last had a holiday in 1952 and has now retired, having sold off his remaining animals.

    As well as the disqualification, Exelby was sentenced to a four-month curfew and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.

  2. 'Findings review' into 'patchy' end of life care

    Jenny Walrond

    Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

    Palliative care

    End of life care in Cornwall is "patchy" and many people do not get to die where they choose, according to a report by the patient group Healthwatch Cornwall.

    In response NHS Kernow said: “We believe that everyone should have a good death. This means giving people the ability to have a say in the sort of care they would – and would not – like to receive, and involving their loved ones in those decisions to ensure everyone knows the person’s wishes.

    "We welcome Healthwatch Cornwall’s report and have begun to review its findings which also reflect our identified priorities. We look forward to working with them, other partners and local communities to develop the necessary care and support for people at the end of their life.

    “We are creating joined up health and care in people’s communities, which aims to empower people to have greater ownership of decisions and resources, tailored to their needs so that they don’t need to go into hospital or a hospice unless absolutely necessary.”

    On Tuesday Dr Iain Chorlton, chair of NHS Kernow, attended an event at St Luke’s Hospice...

    Quote Message: We heard about much of the good work going on, that more people die at home compared to the England average but that there is more we can do. What I took away from the event is that people should be at the heart of everything when it comes to the end of their life, offering choices and being honest about how they plan for the future.” from Dr Iain Chorlton NHS Kernow chair
    Dr Iain ChorltonNHS Kernow chair
  3. Cuts to policing causing 'fear for safety' in Plymouth

    Ed Oldfield

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The number of police community support officers (PCSOs) in Plymouth is set to be cut – and there are fears people’s safety is being put at risk because the force is “over-stretched”.

    The concerns were raised at a meeting at the city council which heard there was a "low buzz" of an increasing fear of crime on social media across local communities.

    Members voted to write to the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, Shaun Sawyer, to oppose the planned loss of one in four PCSOs in the city - which was revealed in a letter from a senior police officer.

    Generic pcso photo

    Labour leader, Tudor Evans said he will be writing to the government to ask for an increase in funding for the Devon and Cornwall force to address a “crisis” in policing.

    The council will also be speaking to the Police and Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez, to make sure Plymouth gets its fair share of police resources.

    However, the Conservatives said crime was not as bad as Labour was making out and Ms Hernandez told councillors in a letter she was “working hard” to deliver investment and welcomed the council’s support.

  4. Matthew Hedges: PM 'disappointed' by guilty verdict

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    The prime minister said she is "deeply disappointed and concerned" by a British PhD student from Exeter being sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of spying in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Matthew Hedges, 31, of Durham University, denies the charge and said he had been conducting research.

    A court in Abu Dhabi declared him guilty of "spying for or on behalf of" the UK government.

    His family claim the verdict is based on a false confession.

    Theresa May said the government will do "all it can" to support Mr Hedges and his family...

    Video content

    Video caption: Theresa May said she is "deeply disappointed and concerned" by the verdict
  5. Plans for Exmouth bedsits could help homeless

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Christmas could come early for homeless people in East Devon if negotiations to buy a former bed and breakfast property in Exmouth and convert it into eight bedsits are completed.

    East Devon District Council is hopeful the purchase will be completed in time for Christmas.

    Its cabinet was told the purchase would help the growing number of people who need a safe place to live and would be the type of accommodation that would be a "beneficial addition" to the council’s property portfolio.

    It would also help reduce the need to source and pay for emergency accommodation within the private sector.

    Jill Elson
    Image caption: Councillor Jill Elson said East Devon Council is "well aware" of the general problem of homelessness

    Councillor Jill Elson said the council is "well aware" of the general problem of homelessness and of the "growing need for accommodation for single people under the age of 55".

    "The pattern of society is changing and, whilst homes are needed for couples and family groups, there is a growing need for smaller homes for individuals to live in.

    “The problem of homelessness is a national one, but the solutions often have to be found locally."

  6. Unions call for new ferry to be built at Appledore

    Unions are stepping up a campaign to save a historic shipyard from closure by calling for a new ferry to be built there.

    The GMB union said the Appledore yard in Devon could be saved if it was awarded a contract to build a ferry for the Isles of Scilly.

    Owners Babcock have announced that the yard is to close next year.

    The GMB said future work building new frigates and support ships for the Royal Navy could be awarded to Appledore, with a ferry contract keeping it open until then.

    GMB official Ross Murdoch said every opportunity should be made to save Appledore from closure.

  7. Newquay satellites launcher tested in the US

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    An aircraft which will launch satellites from Newquay in 2020 is undergoing tests in the US this week.

    Virgin Orbit

    The LauncherOne, which is strapped under a modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft called Cosmic Girl, was in flight for the first time on Monday.

    It came as MPs met ministers for investment to pave the way for the launch from Cornwall.

    Mark Duddridge, chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "We have the infrastructure in Cornwall and a launch partner with soon to be proven technology to take the UK into the commercial space age by securing the first critical launch, but we need the investment to support that ambition."

    Virgin Orbit is seeking to provide launches from a Spaceport at Cornwall Airport Newquay by December 2020.

    Cosmic Girl will carry the company’s LauncherOne rocket under its wing to a launch range over the Atlantic and release the rocket at about 35,000ft (10,670m).

  8. Babcock shares drop in profits fall

    BBC Radio Devon

    Engineering group Babcock International, which services nuclear submarines at Devonport Dockyard, has revealed a 64% plunge in half-year profits.


    Shares fell as much as 12% after the group - the Ministry of Defence's second largest contractor - reported pre-tax profits falling to £65.1m in the six months to September 30, down from £181.9m a year earlier.

    Profits were pushed lower by a £120m charge related to the restructuring of its oil and gas business and also including costs such as its decision to sell the Appledore Shipyard.

    On an underlying basis, Babcock posted a 2.5% rise in pre-tax profits to £245.5m.

    The results follow a torrid time for Babcock shares, which have been sent tumbling after a highly critical research paper posted last month by a mystery analyst called Boatman Capital.

    The Boatman report alleged Babcock has a "terrible" relationship with the MoD, while it also claimed Babcock has "systematically misled investors by burying bad news about its performance".

    Babcock last week hit out at the report, alleging the claims made by Boatman were "false and malicious", and made reassurances about its financial health.

  9. 'Seriously injured' fisherman rescued in 'very rough seas'

    Rob England

    BBC News Online

    A "seriously injured" fisherman was rescued in "very rough seas" from a fishing boat off the Isles of Scilly.


    The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said he had a "serious injury to his hand".

    The man's crewmates called the coastguard at about 04:00 on Sunday and a team from Newquay flew through gale force winds to reach them.

    He was winched up to the helicopter and taken to Derriford Hospital.

    Capt Yogi Brunner praised the "quick-thinking actions" of the fishing vessel's crew, which had treated and bandaged the man's hand before they arrived.

  10. Fly-tipping fines set to rise in Torridge

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Councillors in Torridge are being asked to raise littering and fly-tipping fines to the maximum level to show it will not be tolerated.


    Torridge District Council’s Community and Resources Committee, when they meet on Monday, are being recommended to increase the fixed penalty levels for littering and fly-tipping offences.

    If approved, fines for littering will rise from £75 or £50 if paid within 10 days to £150 or £100 if paid within 10 days.

    A new fixed penalty for littering from vehicles will be introduced, with a £150 fine if paid in 28 days or £100 if paid within 14 days.

    Fly-tipping fines will rise from £300 or £180 if paid within 10 days to £400 or £250 if paid within 10 days.

  11. Just Eat defends no food safety fail rating

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    Just Eat has defended its listings which don't include a Devon's restaurant's fail for food safety.

    Tandoori Nights

    Tandoori Nights in Paignton appears on Just Eat, but its reviews don't include the Food Standards Agency listings which says a "major improvement" is required in food safety.

    Earlier this month it was fined more than £7,000 by magistrates after it admitted four counts for having very poor standards of cleaning, food safety practices and personal hygiene which posed a serious risk to health - see pictures below.

    Tandoori Nights
    Tandoori Nights

    Just Eat said it took food safety "extremely seriously".

    It said that if "any potential food safety issues are brought to our attention our restaurant compliance team will review, investigate and liaise with the relevant local authority and Environmental Health Officers as appropriate".

    It said it was going to test a display of food hygiene ratings on its site in Northern Ireland, "to test and learn what customers want".

  12. Blaze destroys beauty salon

    Rob England

    BBC News Online

    A beauty salon in Newton Abbot has been completely destroyed in a fire.

    On Tuesday night at about 20:30 three crews were called out to the shop in Market Street, Newton Abbot.

    At 21:00 the fire was out. The cause is thought to be accidental.

  13. Council rejects bid to re-assign lodges as permanent homes

    Hamish Marshall

    BBC Spotlight

    Holiday homes in east Devon

    A group of people from east Devon say they face losing their homes in a row over how many weeks a year they can live in them.

    Eight families from Dunkeswell have had a bid to have their homes re-assigned to permanent residences rejected.

    They signed documents when they moved in agreeing they were holiday lets but claim the park owners told them not to worry as the council would not enforce the regulations.

    Lynda Avery, who lives in a holiday lodge, says all her money is tied up in her home...

    Video content

    Video caption: Families worried over future home plans

    A spokesman from East Devon District Council said the Blossom Hill Park residents were living "contrary to the requirements of conditions placed on the planning permission for the site."

    "The council initially pursued Dream Lodge - the owners and operators of Blossom Hill Park - however under legislation, it is the caravan owners who are legally responsible in this case.

    "The owners applied to remove the holiday restriction, however the council refused the application due to the need to retain holiday accommodation in the area to support the tourist industry and because of the lack of services and facilities within easy reach of the site to support permanent occupation."

  14. Planning for end of life care 'patchy' in Cornwall

    Jenny Walrond

    Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

    End of life poster

    End of life care in Cornwall is "patchy" and many people do not get to die where they choose, according to a report by the patient group Healthwatch Cornwall.

    The charity conducted a survey of 700 people in the county looking in to end of life care.

    From its findings, Healthwatch Cornwall is calling for death to be communicated better and has created three priorities for end of life care in the county:

    • To raise public awareness and increase conversations around death
    • Increase training and improve education and training for professionals
    • Look at advanced care planning so care plans for patients are being shared with professionals

    Amanda Stratford, the chief executive of the charity, says many people don't understand their end of life diagnosis...

    Video content

    Video caption: Amanda Stratford says planning for health workers must improve in the future...

    Cornwall's health bosses are yet to respond to the charity's claims.

  15. Price of animal feed 'soaring' after hot summer

    Adrian Campbell, Environment Correspondent

    BBC Spotlight

    Horse at Oaklands Riding School in Exeter

    The price of animal feed is soaring, according to farmers and horse owners in the South West.

    Some have been buying in hay and silage from much further away than normal and they have been paying up to four or five times as much as before.

    The problem has been caused by the long dry summer and last winter's harsh conditions which have depleted supplies.

    Joyce Newbery, from the Oaklands Riding School in Exeter, says bales are costing her three times as much this year...

    Video content

    Video caption: Animal feed costs rising after hot summer
  16. Council aims to cut gap between renting and social housing

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    To Let signs

    A new affordable rent system linked to wages could help bridge the gap between people who cannot afford to rent homes but do not qualify for social housing.

    Cornwall Council is considering a new programme - Cornwall Living Rent - which would link affordable housing rent rates to local income levels.

    The council is set to consider the proposals next week.

    List of rent targets in Cornwall

    The rates of Cornwall Living Rent would be calculated as being 30% of the average weekly wage - the recommended level of how much housing should cost according to the National Housing Federation.