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  1. Flower farmers need migrant workers too, says MP

    Tamsin Melville

    Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

    daffodils outside the Houses of Parliament

    St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double says the government’s new seasonal worker scheme pilot is geared towards fruit farmers and doesn’t help daffodil farmers in Cornwall at all.

    The pilot will mean fruit and vegetable farm are able to employ up to 2,500 non-EU migrant workers for seasonal work for up to six months between the spring of 2019 and December 2020.

    But that doesn't cover flowers farmers, who need labour between November and March.

    Mr Double says he has had a "very positive" meeting with the Immigration Minister Caroline Noakes to discuss possible future amendments to the scheme.

    Quote Message: It's very much geared towards horticultural farmers and where there is a crop to be harvested, and doesn't take into account flower growers, which clearly in Cornwall and other parts of the south west is a really important sector, but of course their harvest time is very different to other types of farming. The flower season is traditionally November through to March and the pilot scheme doesn't recognise the needs of that sector. I've met the immigration minister today, I've had a very positive meeting with her, to make the case that we do need to look at the scheme and make sure it works for all parts of the sector and particularly for flower growers." from Steve Double MP for St Austell and Newquay
    Steve DoubleMP for St Austell and Newquay
  2. MPs 'need extra-strength gin to help in tough times'

    Press Association

    Double or triple strength gin should be provided in the House of Commons to help MPs deal with "tough times", according to MP Luke Pollard.

    The Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport MP called for Plymouth Gin to be stocked in the House of Commons to commemorate the Mayflower 400 celebrations, marking the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth to the US.

    Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Pollard suggested going further and stocking extra-strength gin to help MPs cope with "tough times".

    Luke Pollard MP
    Quote Message: In these tough times, may I suggest we not only look at the standard strength gin, but Plymouth Gin's Navy strength, because we could all do with a little bit extra in these tough times." from Luke Pollard MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport
    Luke PollardMP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

    Speaking for the House of Commons Commission, Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake (Carshalton and Wallington) said the House of Commons catering service "does not currently stock Plymouth Gin", but will seek to stock some for the Mayflower 400 commemoration.

    He said, however, that stocking extra-strength alcohol may not be something the House of Commons would welcome.

    Quote Message: Mr Pollard may be aware of moves within the House perhaps to look at the availability of alcohol within this place, so I am not sure double or triple strength gin may be something the House wants to entertain. But he has put that on the record and I will take that back to the catering services to see if they want to stock the double or treble strength that he proposes." from Tom Brake House of Commons Commission
    Tom BrakeHouse of Commons Commission
  3. A38: Two crashes causing tailbacks

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    There are long queues of traffic in both directions on the A38 in Plymouth after two separate crashes.

    A lane is closed westbound on the approach to the Tamar Bridge, at St Budeaux, due to a crash and traffic is at a standstill eastbound after a second incident on the other side of the carriageway.

    Eastbound traffic is queuing as far back as the Carkeel roundabout.

  4. Train disruption to last until 20:00 after level crossing death

    All railway lines remain blocked between Exeter St Davids and Taunton and delays are expected to continue until 20:00.

    A 23-year-old man was killed earlier after a train crashed into a car on a level crossing at Stoke Canon in Devon.

    The National Rail Service said limited road transport was in operation between Exeter St Davids and Taunton.

    It warned journey times "may be extended by up to 60 minutes and trains may be cancelled or revised".

    Level crossing
  5. Grassland fire near Castle Drogo

    BBC Radio Devon

    At Sandy Park, on the A382 near Castle Drogo, there's slow-moving traffic due to a grassland fire.

    It's believed a stretch of 5,249ft (1,600m) is alight.

    Police are advising drivers and pedestrians to avoid the area.

  6. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: A39 Cornwall both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A39 Cornwall both ways severe disruption, at A389.

    A39 Cornwall - A39 in Weybridge closed at the A389 junction, because of a vehicle fire. On the roundabout.

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

  7. BreakingCornwall toddler trial: Man guilty of murder

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    A man has been found guilty of murdering a 22-month-old toddler in Cornwall.

    Thomas Curd will be sentenced on Friday after killing Eve Leatherland in Liskeard in October 2017.

    Eve’s mother Abigail Leatherland has been found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child and acquitted of manslaughter.

    She had moved to Cornwall from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, earlier in 2017.

    Eve Leatherland
  8. Plan to plant 20,000 trees in west Cornwall

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    St Ives School
    Image caption: The initiative is aimed at improving air quality near schools in St Ives

    Plans are being drawn up to plant thousands of trees in west Cornwall.

    The Conservative MP for St Ives, Derek Thomas, told the Commons children will be involved in the scheme.

    "Air quality around schools is a concern and, in our constituency in West Cornwall, we're working up a plan to plant 20,000 by the end of 2020 with our school children to improve their air quality," he said.

  9. Piano installed in Treliske hospital corridor

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    View more on twitter

    A piano has been installed in a corridor at Treliske Hospital for anyone to play.

    Managers say they want to give patients, staff and visitors a chance to have a go to create a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

    Kerry Eldridge from the Royal Cornwall Hospital says the idea came from a member of staff and now they want to expand it to other sites.

    Quote Message: Our head of procurement suggested the idea at one of our engagement sessions and the rest is really history because we've now got the lovely piano here. If any kind listeners have a spare piano or two - because we'd like two more please - we'd like one for our St Michaels Hospital [in Hayle] and we'd like one for West Cornwall [Penzance], please." from Kerry Eldridge Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske
    Kerry EldridgeRoyal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske
  10. Plymouth Gin to be served in Parliament

    Twitter

    Plymouth Gin will be served in Parliament to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.

    Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, made a plea in the House of Commons for the tipple to be stocked at Westminster in 2020.

    In 1640, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth to America carrying the pilgrims who founded the modern United States.

    View more on twitter
  11. Council's parking income one of highest in country

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Cornwall Council has defended having one of the biggest incomes from car parking charges in the country, saying that without the fees it would have to increase council tax.

    New figures show the authority made £9.7m on car parking charges in 2017/18 - the fourth highest in the country outside London.

    car park
    Image caption: Garras Wharf car park, Truro

    Leading the table were Brighton and Hove (£23.4m), Milton Keynes (£11.3m) and Birmingham (£11.2m).

    However, while some councils saw their parking income rise last year, Cornwall Council's remained the same.

    Quote Message: We generated a surplus of £9.7m this year, which goes towards the £45m we spent on maintaining Cornwall's 7,300km road network. Cornwall's roads are some of the best in the country with the council rated as amongst the top 25% in the country for keeping our main roads in good repair. Without the income from car parking charges, the council would need to consider increasing council tax to generate the same amount of funding, in order to ensure that our roads remain in good repair." from Cornwall Council statement
    Cornwall Council statement
  12. Memorial to 639 killed in D-Day rehearsal given £44,000

    Ed Oldfield

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A memorial to hundreds of U.S. soldiers who died in a wartime exercise off the south Devon coast is to be improved after being awarded a government grant.

    According to the official death toll, 639 soldiers and sailors died when eight landing craft came under attack from German E-boats during a rehearsal for the D-Day landings in 1944.

    One of the tanks was recovered from the water just off the beach in 1984. It was restored and turned into a memorial.

    tank

    It was placed at the roadside at Torcross, near Slapton Sands.

    The tank will be renovated and a granite obelisk and plinth relocated as part of the work at the memorial.

    The Slapton Line Partnership has been given £44,300 from the Coastal Revival Fund to carry out the work.

    There will be a service to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack at the memorial on 28 April.