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  1. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A38 Devon both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A38 Devon both ways severe accident, from B3344 to B3344 Chudleigh.

    A38 Devon - A38 in Chudleigh Knighton closed in both directions from Chudleigh Knighton Turn Off to Chudleigh, because of accident investigation work. Traffic is coping well. Diversion in operation - via B3193.

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

  2. Swimmer rescued by RNLI

    Aisling Finn

    BBC News Online

    A swimmer in trouble at sea was helped by two surfers before being rescued by RNLI staff.

    The RNLI said the 23-year-old woman was "very distressed" but otherwise unharmed following the incident at Porthtowan on Tuesday evening.

    The St Ives and St Agnes lifeboats were launched and the St Agnes Coastguard Search and Rescue team and the St Ives All weather lifeboat and volunteer crew were sent to the area.

    A man who had been out swimming with the woman was washed onto the rocks and got back to the beach.

    RNLI at Porthtowan
  3. Plans for new £4.8m Dartmouth health and well-being centre

    BBC Radio Devon

    A new £4.8m health and well-being centre could be built in Dartmouth.

    South Hams District Council and the NHS have approved the business model for the centre, including services which used to be provided at Dartmouth Hospital and clinic, along with a GP surgery, pharmacy and access to Dartmouth Caring.

    If given planning permission, the centre will be built on part of the park-and-ride overflow at the top of the town by 2021.

  4. Warrens Bakery to cut 66 staff

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    More than 60 staff at one of Cornwall's most famous bakery companies are facing losing their jobs as part of a "restructuring exercise to drive efficiencies", bosses have confirmed.

    Warrens, which describes itself as the "oldest Cornish Pasty producer in the world", said 66 staff "within production and distribution had been "regrettably ... placed "at risk of redundancy".

    Nearly 500 other staff would be "retained within the reorganised business, while the retail arm will be unaffected", managers added.

    A spokesman said: "We’ve taken time to explore all options systematically and concluded that this is unavoidable to ensure a stable future for the overall business and its wider workforce."

    The company has stores across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, plus branches and franchises in other parts of Britain, five in the London area and one in Northern Ireland.

    Warrens Bakery
  5. New Falmouth lifeboat 'more effective'

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Falmouth's new inshore lifeboat will be more effective because it can carry an extra crew member and has more equipment, a crew member says.

    The new Atlantic 85 vessel, the Robina Nixon Chard, can reach speeds of up to 35 knots. It also has more sophisticated equipment to help pinpoint stricken boats or people in the water.

    Robina Nixon Chard
    Quote Message: The main benefits from this one is that we've now got an extra crew member on the back, which makes life a little bit easier when we dealing with casualties or towing vessels. We've also got radar and a direction finder where we can pinpoint a VHF channel. If someone is in distress or lost out to sea, we can hopefully find them." from Senior helmsman Elliot Holm Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat
    Senior helmsman Elliot HolmFalmouth Inshore Lifeboat
  6. Fraud investigators save Plymouth council more than £1m

    Ed Oldfield

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Fraud investigators saved Plymouth City Council more than £1m in the last financial year.

    The small team dealt with 262 allegations, resulting in 15 prosecutions and 44 sanctions including formal cautions.

    The work saved the council a total of more than £1.4m in the 12 months to the end of March, councillors were told in a report.

    The team also visited 600 households to check claims for council tax support and single person’s discount.

    They found 173 cases of incorrect claims and some have been referred on to other agencies.

    The team is currently working on 141 live fraud cases with a waiting list of between 20 and 30 allegations which will all be investigated.

    In a recent case, a woman was sentenced at Plymouth Magistrates' Court to a curfew for illegally claiming around £2,500 in council tax support after she failed to report changes in household income, which also resulted in a £10,000 overpayment of housing benefit.

    In another case, a man applied to buy his social housing property with a £40,000 discount, but investigators discovered he had moved out and sub-let his home to a friend. The man admitted the offences and was given a community order at Plymouth Crown Court.

  7. NHS pays out £370K for private care after theatre closures

    BBC Spotlight

    NHS patients in south Devon are questioning why they having to be sent to private hospitals for operations because of delays in reopening operating theatres at Torbay Hospital.

    Private hospitals have carried out procedures for 70 south Devon patients in the last eight months, at a cost to the NHS of £370,000.

    Susan Tarrant

    It’s because two of Torbay Hospital’s operating theatres - a fifth of its surgical capacity - have been closed for the last eight months because of technical problems.

    Quote Message: The waiting lists are getting longer and longer and they're sending people to the private sector and it's costing the NHS all that money." from Susan Tarrant NHS hip replacement patient sent to Plymouth's private Nuffield Hospital
    Susan TarrantNHS hip replacement patient sent to Plymouth's private Nuffield Hospital

    Hospital bosses originally said they would re-open in May but added that the work, costing £2.7m, was taking longer than expected.

  8. Signs in towns to ask drivers to turn off engines

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    New signs are set to be put up in some Cornish towns urging motorists to turn off their engines when sat in traffic in a bid to help improve air quality.

    The notices, planned for to be erected in Camelford, Gunnislake and Launceston, are part of Cornwall Council’s Clean Air for Cornwall Strategy.

    They will read “Help reduce pollution please turn off engine when stopped” – the signs are just one part of a 65-page strategy which is set to go to consultation.

    The council is also issuing advice for people to help improve their air quality such as avoiding using busy roads when walking and instead use quiet streets, parks and green areas.

    The strategy was presented to the council’s neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee last week.

    However one councillor raised concerns about the signs urging people to turn off their engines while stopped in traffic, saying such a procedure "might be suitable for some vehicles but a catch-all for everyone is not suitable.”

    Car exhaust
  9. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A388 Cornwall both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A388 Cornwall both ways severe accident, from Vollards Lane to A38.

    A388 Cornwall - A388 in Hatt closed and queues in both directions from the Vollards Lane junction to Carkeel Roundabout, because of an accident involving a motorcycle.

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

  10. Judicial review of Vanessa George's parole 'not likely'

    Permission for a judicial review of a Parole Board decision to release paedophile nursery worker Vanessa George is not likely, a justice minister says.

    Robert Buckland told MPs his examination of the case had not highlighted the sort of procedural flaw needed to justify a court allowing such a review.

    He said it did not appear that other offences by George were "left to lie on the file", unlike in the case of black-cab rapist John Worboys, which was used by Worboys' victims in making the Parole Board reconsider a decision to release him after the victims brought a judicial review.

    George, 49, who worked at Little Ted's Nursery in Plymouth, was jailed indefinitely in 2009 and told to serve a minimum of seven years after taking photographs of her abusing toddlers and swapping indecent images over the internet.

    She is currently due to be released under "strict and extensive" conditions, the Parole Board says. The conditions include living at a designated address, keeping a curfew and a social media ban. However, the board has not confirmed if she would be barred from living in or entering Plymouth.

    Vanessa George

    Mr Buckland commented on the case of George during a parliamentary debate secured by Plymouth Labour MP Luke Pollard, who said families had been let down twice by children not being protected and then George's potential release.

    Fellow area MP Conservative Gary Streeter added that she "should serve at least another 10 years in custody before being released on licence".

    Replying for the government, Mr Buckland said new protections to avoid a repeat of the mistakes in the Worboys case were implemented but that they did not have a retrospective effect.

    He said that the "only course of conduct open to me or the department would be a judicial review - and I have to say on my examination so far of the procedure, it doesn't seem there's the sort of flaw in procedure that would justify a court giving permission to judicial review".

  11. Lightning storms over Devon and Cornwall

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Plymouth lightning
    Ottery St Mary lightning

    Devon and Cornwall saw some spectacular thunder and lightning storms on Tuesday night, as you can see here from just a couple of photos sent in by our Weather Watchers.

    There were power cuts to homes in Okehampton and Dulverton, although Western Power Distribution has said that all supplies were later restored.

    Some roads have been affected by fallen trees, including:

    • The A386 is blocked in both directions due to a fallen tree between Landcross and Torrington
    • Drivers have been urged to be cautious on the A396 between the Exeter Inn in Bampton and Exebridge because of reports of a tree overhanging the road
    • In Exeter, New North Road was closed in both directions due to fallen tree between Cowley Bridge Road and the Imperial Pub. It has now been cleared
  12. New bid to slash number of empty homes in Cornwall

    BBC Spotlight

    Efforts are being stepped up to bring nearly 2,800 empty homes in Cornwall back into use.

    House

    Nearly 1,000 of them have been empty for more than two years.

    Cornwall Council has set a three-year target to reduce the number of properties empty for longer than six months by 500.

  13. Devon and Cornwall weather: Largely dry, sunny and warm

    BBC Weather

    A largely dry and partly cloudy start, but the odd shower cannot be ruled out through Wednesday morning.

    Weather

    Sunny in the afternoon, and turning very warm again.

    Maximum temperature: 20 to 23C (68 to 73F).

  14. Sexting warning from police on social media

    BBC Spotlight

    A new campaign to help young people avoid the dangers of sexting is being launched on Wednesday by Devon and Cornwall Police.

    Text

    Sexting is where youngsters send explicit texts, images or videos of themselves.

    But it's illegal for anyone of any age to take, send, receive or share images of anyone under 18 – including selfies.

    Police said they wanted to educate young people and their parents about the criminal dangers.

    Messages will go out to parents via Facebook and Twitter, and to young people via Instagram.

    Quote Message: By educating young people and parents around sexting and the potential consequences of sending these types of images, we are trying to encourage people make better choices and avoid the damaging effects of sending a message and then immediately regretting it. from Supt Matt Lawler Devon and Cornwall Police
    Supt Matt LawlerDevon and Cornwall Police