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  1. Campaign to save public toilets at popular Devon beach

    Ed Oldfield

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Nearly 1,300 people have backed a campaign to keep toilets open at a popular Devon beach.

    A new pay-to-use block is being installed at Goodrington in Paignton, between two stretches of beach which run north and south.

    However, a petition to Torbay Council is calling for the current public toilets at the far end of the south beach to stay open.

    It is understood after the new five-cubicle building becomes fully operational, the existing toilet block on the south beach will be included in the redevelopment of a cafe.

    Goodrington beach, Paignton

    The petition said public toilets facilities were "not sufficient and capacity must be increased" because "the very young or very old may have difficulty getting to a distant toilet in time".

    It claimed there is not enough capacity at the new central block to cover the south beach as well, with up to 6,000 visitors a day in the peak holiday season.

    The petition is to be presented to a meeting of the full council on 19 June.

    A council spokesperson said an update would be provided at the meeting.

    The new block is part of a £1m investment by the council in toilets across Torbay following a decision in 2017 to hand over management of the service to private contractor Healthmatic.

  2. Concerns over Exeter Prison drug use and violence

    BBC Radio Devon

    There are concerns over the levels of drug-use, violence and the number of deaths at Exeter Prison.

    The latest report by the Independent Monitoring Board said an increase in violent incidents and assaults had been driven by illicit drugs entering the prison.

    Incidents of self-harm, while remaining high, showed a reduction, but there were still four deaths in custody in 2018, it added.

    The board said the prison had reviewed its procedures and made appropriate changes.

    Overall, the board said it had been a very challenging year for HMP Exeter, but it had been impressed by the professional way in which staff responded to recent damning inspections.

    Exeter Prison
  3. Swim clubs may be forced to close due to pool fee increase

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Cornish swimming clubs say they could be forced to close after revealing they are facing an almost 80% increase in pool hire costs.

    A number of swimming clubs across the county have been contacting Cornwall councilllors for help after finding that the cost of hiring lanes in council-owned pools is set to rocket over the next two years.

    GLL, the charity which runs Cornwall’s leisure centres under a contract with Cornwall Council, said it was increasing charges to keep them in line with “market prices”.

    GLL is planning the first price hike in September when a lane will cost £13.50 an hour with plans to go to £16.50 in 2020 and £18.50 in 2021. Swimming clubs say the plans to increase lane hire costs could put them out of business.

    Concerns about the price hike were raised at an all-member briefing at Cornwall Council on Friday when councillors were able to quiz GLL bosses, who said prices were going up and would be “more than the market position” when they increase in September.

    Dragon Centre, Bodmin

    Tim Webb, head of facilities in Cornwall for GLL, said: “We are currently subsidising the contract quite heavily as an organisation”

    He added: “It is not in our interests to put swimming clubs out of business. We have tried to support them but we need to get it closer to the going rate to what clubs pay across the country.”

    However, councillors highlighted that for some areas in Cornwall the GLL pool is the only option they have.

    Amanda Pennington, who is involved in North Cornwall Dragons who use the Dragon Centre in Bodmin (pictured) and has a daughter who swims competitively, said: "They (GLL) are from London and don’t understand if they put the prices up so much clubs will not be able to afford it.

    "There is nowhere else we can go, we are constrained by our geography in Cornwall. It is not London or Hampshire where you can just go to a different leisure centre."

  4. Weather: Showers and rain pushing in before drier spells

    BBC Weather

    Further spells of showery rain will push in through the course of Tuesday night, some spells could be on the heavy side.

    A few mist patches may develop too.

    Minimum temperature: 9 to 12C (48 to 54F).

    Weather

    A rather dull start to Wednesday with areas of rain and mostly cloudy skies.

    However, an improving picture into the afternoon as it turns drier and brighter.

    Maximum temperature: 15 to 18C (59 to 64F).

  5. Police teed off with flung golf balls

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Police are warning against throwing golf balls after reports that such missiles had been flung in a road on the outskirts of Truro.

    Officers said they had had several reports "over the past few months" of the projectiles being thrown at people and homes Pendrea Wood in Highertown, with the balls appearing "to be coming from the direction of Malabar House or its surrounding areas".

    Police said: "As it can be appreciated, golf balls are very hard and heavy and if someone was struck by one, then this could result in life changing or even life threatening injuries."

    They have appealed for witnesses.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Junior sailor's friends rally round for mum visit
  7. Mental health detainee driven from North Devon to Torquay

    Ed Oldfield

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The location of safe places for people suffering a mental health crisis in Devon has been questioned after police had to drive a detainee from North Devon to Torquay.

    The officers used up most of a shift on the 150-mile round trip to find an assessment place for the person who had been held under the Mental Health Act.

    The incident was raised by Torridge Independent councillor Philip Hackett at a meeting of the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel.

    He said the problem had arisen after the closure of a designated place of safety in North Devon.

    Two places at Exeter were unavailable when the person needed help out-of-hours so the officers had to drive on to Torquay.

    Cllr Hackett said: “Surely there needs to be a place of safety to stop two or three officers being taken off shift.”

    Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez told the meeting the situation would be reviewed and "there does just need to be another look at that".

    A place of safety which can take two people was opened by the Devon Partnership Trust at The Cedars psychiatric hospital in Exeter in April last year following consultation with the police.

    The suite operates round-the-clock as part of a response by the NHS and emergency services to reduce the number of people with mental health needs being held in police cells. Now in most cases people are taken to a place of safety instead of a policy custody centre.

    The trust has also opened a series of crisis cafes across Devon, including one in Barnstaple, to support people while reducing demand on the emergency services.

  8. Fishmonger chimney fire in Kingsbridge

    Miles Davis

    BBC News Online

    Fire service in Kingsbridge

    A fire at a fishmongers closed Fore Street in Kingsbridge.

    Emergency services closed the road outside the Catch of the Day shop while the chimney was flushed with water.

    Nobody is understood to have been injured.

    Fire service in Kingsbridge
  9. Love Island: Praise over 'possessive behaviour' criticism

    Independent

    A women's support charity has issued a statement in response to Joe Garratt’s behaviour on Love Island in relation to his partner, Lucie Donlan from Cornwall.

    Garratt’s treatment of Donlan came under fire in Sunday night’s episode of the ITV2 reality TV show, in which he criticised her friendship with boxer Tommy Fury, calling it “strange” and "disrespectful", adding: “I think it’s time for you to get close with the girls”.

    Following the episode, 302 viewers complained to broadcasting watchdogs Ofcom about the treatment of Donlan so far on the series.

    Now domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid has criticised Garratt’s “controlling" and "possessive" behaviour, saying it is "never acceptable".

  10. Heathrow plans include joining Great Western rail links

    BBC News

    Heathrow Airport has published details of its plans to construct a third runway by 2026 and complete its expansion by 2050.

    The proposals, which include diverting rivers and rerouting the M25 through a tunnel under the runway, will be open to public consultation until mid-September.

    It also wants to join existing rail links to the Great Western network.

    The controversial scheme to expand Heathrow won government backing last year.

    The expansion has faced fierce opposition, but the airport said it had engaged with local communities and other stakeholders.

    The proposals are now open to public consultation until 13 September.

    Architects' visualisation of expanded Heathrow
    Image caption: An architects' visualisation of Heathrow's planned expansion shows the third runway, new terminals and car parks
  11. Newquay pubs and campsites not running under-18s events

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Parents of teenagers celebrating the end of their exams are being advised that pubs and campsites are not running any under-18s nights in the Newquay area in July.

    Newquay Safe - a partnership of police, council and other agencies - said the town was now attracting fewer school leavers to party after their GCSEs and A-levels.

    It said: "Fewer young people are having nights out in the town which now has a quieter evening and night-time economy."

    It will be the first year that organised under-18s events have not been held.

    Newquay Safe said it was reminding parents and carers of children who were planning to visit the town to know where children were staying and give contact details to accommodation providers in case of emergencies.

    The partnership also said that underage drinking "will not be tolerated".

    Newquay
  12. Totnes sees additional £45 on council tax precept

    BBC Radio Devon

    A Devon council is bringing in one of the biggest increases in council tax in England, according to BBC research.

    Totnes Town Council is charging an additional £45 on average compared with last year - an increase of 36%.

    The move puts it in the top 25 biggest rises in England.

    Town mayor Jacquie Hodgson said bills were going up to help cover the cost of maintaining historic buildings and its civic square.

    Totnes
  13. Love Island: Why so many Ofcom complaints?

    BBC Entertainment and Arts

    Ofcom has received 794 complaints about Love Island since Friday, largely based on two issues.

    Maura Higgins' advances towards Tommy Fury during Friday night's episode have received 486 complaints.

    There were also 302 complaints about the treatment of Cornish contestant Lucie Donlan by some of her fellow contestants, including partner Joe Garratt.

    Some viewers on social media accused Joe of being controlling, after he asked her to spend more time being friendly with the female contestants.

    Joe Garratt and Lucie Donlan on ITV's Love Island

    Lucie has been seen crying at various points during the series so far, after struggling over her friendships with some of the female islanders following a couple of spats with Amy Hart.

    Several contestants have commented on how Lucie had been spending more time socially with the male contestants than the females.

    An Ofcom spokeswoman said: "We will assess these complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate."

  14. Zoo staff battle around the clock to save sick orangutan

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Gambira the orangutan being treated at Paignton Zoo

    Animal experts at Paignton Zoo in Devon have been battling around the clock to save a sick primate, staff say.

    Keepers, vets and vet nurses responded swiftly when 22-year-old female orangutan Gambira, who was born at the zoo, was taken ill suddenly.

    They found she had an infection of an air sac - a large pouch in the throat, thought to be used for vocalisation and connected to the respiratory system. The condition is known as air saccultis, and can be fatal.

    During emergency surgery and treatment, which often saw staff staying up with her through the night, they had to cut drainage holes in her air sacs and are thought to have removed "1.5 to 2 litres of pus in total".

    Staff said she had been "improving slowly but steadily" since the treatment and also underwent a second short procedure to flush the air sacs a week later which found much less fluid.

    They added that they were "keeping a very close eye on her" and monitoring to ensure a chest infection clears.

    Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: "We almost lost her, she was very close to death. What shines through at these difficult times is the dedication and care of the keepers and the vet team."

  15. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M5 Devon northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M5 Devon northbound severe disruption, from J31 for A30 to J30 for A376 Sidmouth Road Exeter.

    M5 Devon - One lane closed on M5 northbound from J31, A30 (Okehampton turn off) to J30, A376 (Exeter), because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

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

  16. HMP Exeter had 'some unacceptable living conditions'

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    HMP Exeter

    A prison in Devon criticised by inspectors for failing to address concerns over drug use is treating its inmates fairly overall, but saw a period when "some living conditions were unacceptable", a report says.

    In its annual report for 2018, the prison's Independent Monitoring Board said prisoners were "generally" treated humanely but "deficiencies in maintenance, continued from the previous year and during the first half of 2018, created a situation where during the year some living conditions were unacceptable".

    It added: "Because this situation had continued for some time, it appeared to create a tolerance and some acceptance of poor conditions from prisoners and staff alike."

    However, the report said living conditions "improved towards the end of the reporting period" and it also found "no evidence of institutional discrimination or inequality".

    Quote Message: Overall, prisoners at HMP Exeter receive fair treatment, are treated humanely and are prepared for their release, but there are improvements that can be made in each of these three areas".