The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South West of England.
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Good evening, welcome to Spotlight. and on BBC One we now join the BBC's
Tonight, how term-time holiday fines will affect one
We would urge, yet again, to look at other countries and see
how they get a buoyant tourism sector, more affordable holidays
for hard-pressed families and having no negative impact on education.
We're in Fowey, speaking to holiday makers to see how they feel
Also tonight, the future of Drakes Island in Plymouth Sound.
After years of planning wrangles, permission has finally been given
Paying the price of dishonesty - why there's anger over new pay
And Really angry - we're on a park of natural beauty and we've
And the Caymen connection with Cornwall, could your family be
linked to the first settler on the Carribean Islands?
A law that needs changing - the message from the south-west
tourism industry tonight, following a ruling on fines
The Supreme Court's ruled against a father who took his
daughter out of school on an unauthorised holiday.
But in a region dependent on tourism all year round,
there's a call for the Government to take a different
approach to the issue, as Tamsin Melville reports.
Holiday season getting into full swing.
Families taking their breaks here have been reacting to today's
ruling on fines for taking children out of school without permission.
I think that's the wrong way to go, identity and encourages or inhibits
Before he started school we came down twice to
Cornwall in a year, and once he started school we could only
And it's the impact on tourism, particularly in the
so-called shoulder months, that's been an issue
Visit Cornwall claims the policy's cost the Cornish tourism economy
There is a call to replace fines with staggered school holidays.
This would be the triple win and I think that's where
the Government we would urge, yet again, to look
at other countries and see how they get a buoyant tourism
sector, more affordable holidays for hard-pressed families,
and having no negative impact on education.
I think that could be part of the answer, and schools
already have the freedom to set their own terms.
I don't think it will ever be the full answer.
I just think, fundamentally, it's not the job of the Government
to dictate to parents in this way and therefore we need to change
Staying in these cottages this week compared to last could cost you
up to double, and some say it's these price hikes that are the
And then click to this week and the next three weeks and
But those at the sharp end say it is simply a case of supply
We could definitely not survive as a business on the ten
weeks of the school holiday trade - no way.
I would be happy as a lark to charge the same price every week.
Happy, and if everyone was available to come every week, brilliant.
Obviously you would have winter and summer, but I don't
want to put the prices up - I just know that I have
to get my income for the year when I know people can come.
The Government says the ruling removes uncertainty
But while Cornwall Council says it won't affect its policy of head
teachers taking overall attendance into account, other
south-west councils say they are waiting
for further guidance from the Department for Education.
It's been at the centre of a planning battle for more
than 14 years years, but tonight the development
of Drake's Island in Plymouth Sound has moved a step forward.
Over the years plans have been submitted for a hotel on the island,
but they've been rejected because of concerns over
But today Plymouth City Council finally unanimously agreed
to the development of a ?10 million luxury hotel and spa
Scott Bingham has been talking to those behind the plans.
two people and it is a landmark, dominating the entrance to Plymouth
Sound. Today is a historic decision for the city. After 14 years the
City Council finally approved plans to transform Drakes Island into a
?10 million luxury hotel and resort. Fantastic news that the committee
have agreed the application. It has been months of hard work
behind-the-scenes in negotiation with the applicant, so we are all
delighted we can give a thumbs up to this planning application. A colony
of roosting birds which have held up the Project for the last few years
will be given a new home at nearby Mount Edgecumbe. Visitors will
arrive to find luxury rooms and suites with a bar and restaurant
area, spa, gym and swimming pool. Drakes Island is iconic, it is in an
important part of Plymouth Sound and it is long overdue. The regeneration
of the island is going to be a jewel implements's crown. Local
seem genuinely excited. On a day seem genuinely excited. On a day
like this? As long as they restored properly, pay testament to the
south-west. It stood vacant for far too long. A good thing the Plymouth.
And visitors. It's about time they started using waterfront
capabilities. I've never been there. And not many people have. But these
plans will allow public access to the island for the first time in
more than 30 years. And of course the only way to get there is by
boat. People are already starting to pay
the price for dishonesty on Dartmoor as honesty boxes are being replaced
by parking metres. The national park says
following a trial in Princetown, it now wants to install pay
and display after discovering the average donation
was just 15 pence per car. Honesty boxes have been a feature
here on Dartmoor for years. But soon, instead of
being asked to make a donation, you might have to pay
and display instead. How does it make you
feel, looking at this? Really angry. Really angry. We are
on a part of natural beauty and we've got this. The honesty boxes
could all be replaced. I don't like the idea of having a parking machine
will stop is probably going to have to have parking meter attendants
checking regularly to make sure people have paid. I like the charm
of the honesty box. It's a lot less of the honesty box. It's a lot less
impersonal than the pay and display machine. The honesty box, I don't
So they have to do something. If we So they have to do something. If we
want to preserve this magnificent asset we have. The Olsen the honesty
box here wet generated ?5,000 a year, but this went up to ?23,000
year when the parking meters went in. From our research, the average
voluntary donation is about 15p per car. It isn't sustainable in this
day and age of keeping car parks and visitors centres and so forth
maintained for the public. The proposed charges would be ?1 for up
to three hours or ?2 for the whole day. The national park is hoping
that is not too steep. Now a brief round-up of other
stories making the news A soldier serving in Plymouth
with 29 Commando Regiment has been sentenced to life in prison
for murdering his girlfriend. Jay Nava stabbed Natasha Wake
to death last October while their children slept upstairs
in their home in Bournemouth. North Devon jockey Lizzy Kelly
is celebrating a huge win at Aintree The 23-year-old beat
the favourite Cue Card, trained by Dorset trainer
Colin Tizzard in the Betway Bowl. It comes after her disappointing
fall at the second fence in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last
month. A male otter has been
caught on candid camera stealing fish from a pond
at The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Staff set up secret night time
cameras after fish started to go missing from the Italian Garden pond
back in November. They say to finally see
him was a rare treat. After a gap of 30 years,
drilling for tin has got under At this stage it's just test
drilling, so the mining company can see if it would make sense to reopen
the long-defunct Redmoor mine It'd not the only attempt to restart
tin mining in the region, a Canadian firm is trying to reopen
South Crofty near Camborne. And mining for tungsten
is already under way Our business correspondent
Neil Gallacher has been to see the work now taking place
at Kelly Bray. It's the first time for a generation
that drilling for tin has The price of tin is at
near record levels. In Victorian times there
was a mine here, now an Anglo-Australian firm is spending
?1 million over six months to see This isn't commercial mining -
if they want to do that they'll need planning consent and tens
of millions of pounds more. But if the views of
the nearest homeowner are anything to go by, they might not
face a great deal of opposition. There's minimal traffic -
with modern mining techniques - minimal dust,
minimal noise disturbance. I think it will be
great for the area. It's going to bring all kinds
of people into the area and they do have a policy of employing locals,
which they've done on the If it brings work to
the county, I'm all for it. It'll bring work
for others, won't it? That's a bit of copper ore
coming through there. Test trilling doesn't usually
lead to an actual mine. But then tin prices have usually
been nowhere near this high. What happens next depends
on these samples. And a lot of samples
need a lot of storage. We estimate around 7000
metres' worth of drilling. So, yeah, I'm assuming we'll have
1200 worth of boxes that You're going to have
to assemble 1000 boxes? I'm sure I can do it, but I've got
some help from the team so I've spoken to a dozen
or so other people here today Some said they weren't worried
about it, others said they could see One or two made the
point that they had seen this idea come and go before
and they doubted that it would come Neil Gallacher, BBC
Spotlight, Kelly Bray. They're very hard to spot
and in danger of dying out altogether because of changes
in land management and But the Devon Willow Tit Project
is trying to do something to help We sent our environment
Correspondent Adrian Campbell These are willow tits
and they're very rare. So rare, in fact, they're
on what is called the red list of species which indicates
they are globally threatened. There's been a decline
in their numbers across the country, and in Devon a steep
decline since the 1980s. Devon Biodiversity
Records Centre has mapped areas where
they've been cited. Back in the 1980s there was evidence
of these tiny bird started But it was a very different
story last year, when a This is one way to try and track
the elusive willow tit. Emily Stallworthy,
from the Devon wildlife trust, has been working
with Devon Birds to try using a speaker which
mimics their call. We left our camera running for half
an hour on the feeder. There was plenty of
activity, including this nuthatch, but no willow
tits were cited at all. Toni and Kevin Littleford live
near the Meath Nature Reserve. They think they've seen
willowtits in their garden. They think human
activity and changes to the landscape are harming
the birds's natural habitat. It's an awful shame if we lose these
beautiful creatures, really. We've had studies
coming out in the last few years that show that 50%
of our wildlife is disappearing. And willow tits is once PCs
protected by European legislation - it's protected
by the Birds Directive. So without that sort
of legislation in place we need to think about how we are protecting
our birds and our other wildlife On this nature reserve,
managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, the willow tit
manages to hang on, and that is because the habitat
here really is ideal - there's plenty of grassland and wet
woodland to help the birds. But things across the rest of the
south-west are not so favourable. Adrian Campbell, BBC
Spotlight, Meath. Later in the programme -
stand-by for blast off. One of the slowest vehicles
on the road has been given And could you be the person
they're looking for - the search for a Cornishman
with links to the Carribbean. Two sisters who've campaigned
to raise awareness of the need for mental health support
for teenagers in Cornwall are to be Their brother Ben Cowburn
took his own life when he was just At the time there were no
specialist units in Following Ben's death,
his sisters Amber and Sophia were determined to change that
as Jane Chandler now reports. They've achieved a lot in seven
years, including running a charity The Cowburn sisters -
this is Ben's twin, Sophia - have came pained relentlessly ever
since he died to get specialist support for young adults with mental
health problems in Cornwall. We'd never been spoken
to about mental health. Certainly didn't have
an understanding of some of the terminology that was being thrown
at us regarding Ben. And actually we felt
that the education around mental health really needed to be
changed and challenged. The Invictus Trust was set
up by their parents and now the family's first big
objective has been achieved. Last week the Government
agreed to fund a specialist mental health
unit for children specialist mental health unit
for children and adolescents up The charity's also
raised over ?100,000 for So many people now want
to talk about mental health, want to run
their own events. And that's great, we've got so many
young people involved now. And to be recognised
nationally is incredible. And Ben was the most
incredible character. I think there's such
a stereotype of people who get depressed and that's one of
the reasons we go into the schools, me and my sisters, to talk
and to really try and get across to them, our brother
was a party animal, the life and soul of the
party, he was a fashion student, he was very popular,
he was just the greatest person. The sisters' work in
the community will receive national recognition
when they are given the prestigious Rotary Young Citizens Award this
weekend. He would be so excited
for us, and just proud of what we've managed to achieve -
because he was someone that stood up for what was right and
that's what we've done. It is the tenth anniversary and the
BBC News Channel will cover those awards live on Saturday.
Now one man from Plymouth is no stranger to slightly
We have featured his exploits on the programme before but he is taking
things to a new level. You haven't seen anything yet. Is it a bird? Is
it a plane? No. Some of you will remember back in
2013 the man broke the record for the fastest shopping trolley. Now he
is attempting another. It can reach a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
Its driver, by day he runs a karting Centre, in his spare time he is
adrenaline junkie. His vehicle of choice was not originally bitten to
the speed but with an ex-RAF jet powered engine in it, this is no
normal hearse. Matt says it is errors in and steady but can the
aptly named Dead Quick become the fastest hearse in the world? It's a
prototype and so far we've put 300 hours into it. We are probably
halfway through. We have to do lots of suspension and brakes changes.
Errored and Amex have not been done yet. There is a lot to do still. And
now it is all systems go. Surely though you have to be slightly mad
to want to do it. This is my art form. This is what I enjoy doing,
mixing them to create something mixing them to create something
ridiculous. I think if it is what you are destined to do, you have to
do it, mad or not. I'm sorry, but I will carry on. I don't know what is
coming next, whatever comes into my head. We will have to wait until the
summer to see if it makes the world record.
Now what do you think the Caribbean and Cornwall have in common?
Well, a representative from the Caribbean is in Cornwall
looking for descendants of the first inhabitant of their island.
It was a Cornishman who set foot on the Cayman Islands 363 years ago
and now the Islands representative in the UK is seeking direct
descendants of the man who was called Bodden or Bawden.
The islanders are hoping to promote business and cultural
Spotlights Cornwall reporter David George wishes we'd sent him
sent him to the Carribean, but instead we sent
The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory, south of Cuba
There are around 60,000 inhabitants and the
first one in 1654 was apparently a Cornishman named Issac Bodden,
whose grandfather had gone to the Caribbean as part
What we're here to do essentially is to start the dialogue
and start the research to see if we can actually
find the individual who
left Cornwall, who went to the Caribbean,
and finally settled in
We took the Cayman Islands' top man in the UK to
People are here on Easter break and stop they
are enjoying the natural beauty of the Sun, the sand and the sea.
Very much like Cayman, Cornwall has a lot
of natural beauty, similar to Cayman.
Time for some proper protocol - a gift of food for the
visiting dignitary it looks very much like a big version of what we
It looks very much like a big version of what we
call in Cayman a patty, with your pastry and some sort of meat or
This is either a breakfast or a lunch favourite for us back home.
Some of these go back to the 1530s where they were first ordered to be
This is Cornwall's County records archive.
Somewhere in here could be the details of Cayman's
Some of the parish registers for some of the Cornish
parishes do not survive much before 1700.
But if it has survived we will find it, I promise that.
The hope is to set up a joint research project.
Apparently some Cayman dialect words have links to Cornish ones like
We do have a saying in Cayman called "coming a reckly",
The one-man Cayman delegation will visit the Cornish
Pirates rugby team and a brewery, "dreckly".
David George, BBC Spotlight, Perranporth.
Well, Roy Bodden is the President of the University of
And I asked him how obvious the connections with Cornwall
are on the Cayman Islands themselves.
That's a good question because I don't think there has been
any kind of examination of the connection with Cornwall.
I know that many Caymanians trace their ancestor
back to different places in the UK, but I don't think any of them,
certainly that I can recall, previously delved to any great
extent into their ancestral connections.
What you hope will come out of this search
Cornwall to find members of the family that were the founding
family, if you like, of the Cayman Islands?
I sense, when I go to the archives, I see Caymanians
trying to trace their genealogical roots.
They want to find out who we really are.
As I understand it, the first Bodden was an old man called
Isaac Bodden who settled in a place in East End named
So, now, how do you get people of my colour being born?
Well, the simple explanation for that is that
when these people came they came with their slaves,
and the nature of slavery in the Cayman Islands -
the nature of slavery probably in the Caribbean -
was in many instances the slaves took the names of their masters.
So that's how come you have Boddens who were white, Boddens
who were black and all shades of the spectrum.
I'm hoping one day I can come and visit you and explore the link
between Cornwall and the Cayman Islands even more.
In the meantime, it's been a real pleasure to talk to you.
It is so interesting. And if you are hardly dating with us in the
south-west at the moment, who leads the Caribbean? It has been glorious
today. Same temperatures. There is quite a big difference.
27 degrees in the Cayman Islands to today. For us, not quite so much. We
have struggled with temperatures, 11 or 12, our best today was 15. It is
fine and dry we have had glorious sunshine. This is Dorset. Further
along the other side of the Somerset coast, glorious sunshine. Not
everyone has been warm, though. It will be quite cold overnight and
night. Fine and dry tomorrow with some sunshine and
winds. Unfortunately the sun has winds. Unfortunately the sun has
tree pollen is affecting some of our tree pollen is affecting some of our
hay fever sufferers. It will be high right across southern Britain to
borrow. The cloud will stay away and with the high pressure in charge we
should get plenty of sunshine. The sun is quite strong but the UV index
is very top. High pressure directly over the UK. It will move to the
east. Allowing warm as come from the south. Eventually this cold frontal
approach from the West and that will get to us at some point on Monday.
That was the satellite picture from earlier today and we have just had a
there. Not just along the coastline there. Not just along the coastline
is the sunshine, also inland. Plenty of water coming down our rivers
despite the dry weather. And also of course in the sunshine it has been
south-west of England. The winds south-west of England. The winds
will change direction as we head towards the weekend. We will see
higher temperatures. But with clear skies and light winds overnight, the
nights are long enough to allow the temperatures to dip down to six goal
of frost. Tomorrow another lovely of frost. Tomorrow another lovely
day. Plenty of sunshine, the UV index at four or five. Temperatures
possibly as high as 15 or 16 degrees. For the Isles of Scilly,
decent sun. Here are the times of decent sun. Here are the times of
high water. And the waves. Have a good evening.
We are enjoying the lovely weather, but we thought we would leave you
tonight with a tantalising glimpse of the Caribbean. Good night.
Stacey and Chris are preparing for marriage by spending
a few days living alone with their in-laws to be,
and asking them all kinds of questions.
Did you get a kiss on the first date? No.
What does their in-laws' marriage tell them about each other's
I expect you'll want to become a schoolmaster, sir.
That's what most of the gentlemen does that get sent down
for indecent behaviour. Evelyn Waugh's classic novel.