22/03/2017 Spotlight


The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South West of England.

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South West MPs have been describing their shock


after being caught up in today's terror incident at Westminster.


Some were in Parliament at the time while others were in nearby offices.


Our political editor, Martyn Oates, was at Westminster


as events unfolded just yards from where the attack took place.


I was filming on the green outside the Palace of Westminster -


that'll be very familiar to viewers, it's where a lot of the broadcasting


from Westminster comes from - just a few minutes before people


started shouting and running down the street away


from Westminster Bridge and New Palace Yard,


that's the end of the complex where these incidents took place.


I got back here into the building at BBC Westminster -


and it's also where ITV and sky and the other broadcasters


have their bases - and, from that point on,


people were largely restricted to the places they were in when this


incident took place - so, obviously, the Houses


A number of people also taken to safe places nearby,


I'm told 1,000 people, in fact, were held in Westminster Abbey,


including the Cornish Lib Dem peer Lord Tyler.


You've been speaking to some of our MPs.


Well, a lot of our MPs have offices which overlook Westminster Bridge.


I spoke to the researcher of one South West MP who witnessed


the events involving the car on the bridge, and she said


she was too upset to describe what she'd seen.


I also spoke to the St Austell and Newquay MP, Steve Double,


another MP who's got an office overlooking the bridge.


He said he'd heard the splash of the person falling


into the Thames and also heard the gunshots and was then told that


Now, people were released from here relatively early.


I'm told the MPs and the peers were held much longer


because many of them are potentially witnesses to this event,


so the police will want to be clear as to what they know.


And tonight, Martyn, what's the mood like generally in the area?


Shock, obviously sorrow at the fatalities that we know


about already, great admiration for the police and


I suspect, though, questions will be asked quite quickly as to how


it was possible for a terrorist to actually get inside


I go through this security every week.


And I think it will be quite surprising that somebody


Martyn Oates in Westminster, thank you.


A number of armed police are in Barnstaple tonight.


Devon and Cornwall Police say they're dealing with an ongoing


incident in the Bear Street area of the town.


Cordons are in place but officers stress there


A teenager from Liverpool has been remanded in custody after appearing


before Exeter Crown Court, accused of murder.


The body of Jonathan Povey was found at a flat in Bridge Court


19-year-old Delton Jones is charged with killing the 47-year-old,


Poor mobile phone signals are still leaving too many rural


people in the Dark Ages, according to the Conservative MP


Neil Parish says the South West has some of the worst mobile


Tamsin Melville has been to a mobile not-spot in Cornwall.


Our beautiful South West - known for its coastline,


scenery, food and drink, oh, and something else.


Here at Porthtowan on Cornwall's north coast, like many


of the regions not-spots, it's a case of seeking out a patchy


When there were plans for a phone mast here a few years ago,


some of the community didn't want it and the application was withdrawn.


I think people quite like the fact they can sometimes come down


and switch off and not be bombarded by phone calls.


I mean, obviously, we have Wi-Fi that's fully available,


but I think, in the main, people quite like the relaxation.


But for those running businesses, out and about and reliant


on their mobiles, it can be a different story.


If other people come to ring me and I've got my phone on me,


Anything incoming, they're just not going to get a signal to ring me,


Devon MP Neil Parish wants more done to help businesses


and individuals like constituent John Tuck from Membury.


Registered blind, he's unhappy he can't have a smart meter


because it relies on a mobile signal to send meter readings


The signal is inadequate to be able to even basic


The former Prime Minister, David Cameron, has spoken


of his struggle with a poor mobile phone signal when he regularly


holidayed up the coast from here in Cornwall.


And the government says it understands the frustrations,


which is why it's made it a legal requirement for the mobile phone


network operators to provide at least 90% of the UK with voice


coverage by the end of this year and says there'll be


The trade association representing UK mobile operators says ?2 billion


is being invested by companies to reach this target and also says


rural areas will always present infrastructure providers with unique


circumstances, such as challenging topography and sparse population.


Ministers say they're also making it easier to roll out new mobile


infrastructure to tackle not-spots and deliver the connectivity


people need, wherever they are in the country.


Wildlife experts are monitoring a whale for the next 24 hours


after it was freed from fishing gear off the south Devon coast.


Coastguard teams and conservationists worked to untangle


the humpback after fishermen reported they'd seen its tail


was trapped in lobster pot ropes near to Blackpool Sands.


It's been in Start Bay for more than three weeks.


She was trying to avoid us at first but, after a while,


as she was getting tired, I think she sort of seemed


to realise that we were there to try and help.


So we were trying to haul the rope up on board the fishing boat


and also with the help of the RNLI crew as well, and we were able


to get it high enough up out of the water,


They're big animals, really powerful, and you just have


to respect that and be so careful around them.


If she suddenly spooked or startled, she could easily have


overturned the boat, people could have been in the water,


it could have all ended in tears, so absolutely the right thing


to report it to the people who can help.


The coxswains of two Cornish lifeboats have been talking


about the unique operation to tow a stricken freighter to safety.


The Penlee and the Sennen Cove lifeboats pulled the ship to safety.


David George has been to meet the two coxswains.


The 88-metre freighter Lady Alida, with seven crew on board,


had lost power and was being blown onto rocky Gwennap Head off


In the early hours, the Penlee and Sennen Cove lifeboats were sent


to the scene to tow her to safety - the first time the two boats had


It wasn't easy with the weather conditions as well but it worked.


We did what we had to do, we stopped the boat


Many hours later, the crews were at the Penlee lifeboat station


when they were called to the ship a second time because she was


I don't think we had more than a couple of sips of our tea


and we were asked to go again, she was dragging anchor


and travelling at a knot towards the land.


The 3,600-tonne ship is more than 60 times heavier than the lifeboats.


Both of the lifeboats are equipped with these huge diesel engines


The combined power is 2,500 horsepower.


So they've got plenty of pull, even to toe a big ship,


a 3,000-tonne ship like the Lady Alida, but power alone


The biggest issue for us was keeping the lifeboats in the right place


without hitting each other, so the boys on the deck


had a lot of work to do and they did a really good job.


This might have been a job for a coastguard emergency tug,


which were stationed around the UK coast until they were


With the removal of the constant presence of the tugs,


we've known that, eventually, we would get involved


It's given us a lot of confidence that, if the same happened again,


we could at least keep a ship in a position and hopefully prevent


The ship is alongside in Falmouth docks, waiting for repair.


Time for the weather now. Here's David with all the details.


It has been less rough at sea today, the winds had been much lighter.


They pick up again tomorrow though and tomorrow, and on Saturday. Early


brightness but rain will move westward starting across Dorset and


Somerset and heading towards Cornwall. It will also become windy.


All around this area of low pressure which will move away from us by the


time we get to the weekend. High pressure for both Saturday and


Sunday. The biggest problem we have got overnight is a lot of clear sky,


very little wind and pretty cold. Temperatures down to one or 2


degrees above freezing. A good chance we will see frost overnight


and mist and fog. Fairly low temperatures, just one or 2 degrees


above freezing. That gives us the risk of ice on untreated roads and


pavements. Patchy rain moving across us join the course of the morning,


brightness in between and showers will follow. A freshening


north-easterly wind developing with nine or 10 degrees the maximum


temperature. Tomorrow we celebrate world meteorological day and the


theme this year is clouds. I will show you some of the pictures that


have been sent in. Settled weather to look forward to into the weekend.


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