22/03/2017 Spotlight


22/03/2017

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

:00:09.:00:12.

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

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

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Our political editor, Martyn Oates, was at Westminster

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

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

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

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from Westminster comes from - just a few minutes before people

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started shouting and running down the street away

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from Westminster Bridge and New Palace Yard,

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

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I got back here into the building at BBC Westminster -

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

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have their bases - and, from that point on,

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

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incident took place - so, obviously, the Houses

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A number of people also taken to safe places nearby,

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

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including the Cornish Lib Dem peer Lord Tyler.

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You've been speaking to some of our MPs.

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

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

:01:39.:01:43.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Now, people were released from here relatively early.

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

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because many of them are potentially witnesses to this event,

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

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

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Shock, obviously sorrow at the fatalities that we know

:02:34.:02:38.

about already, great admiration for the police and

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

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it was possible for a terrorist to actually get inside

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I go through this security every week.

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And I think it will be quite surprising that somebody

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Martyn Oates in Westminster, thank you.

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A number of armed police are in Barnstaple tonight.

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

:03:15.:03:17.

incident in the Bear Street area of the town.

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Cordons are in place but officers stress there

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A teenager from Liverpool has been remanded in custody after appearing

:03:23.:03:29.

before Exeter Crown Court, accused of murder.

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

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

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Poor mobile phone signals are still leaving too many rural

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people in the Dark Ages, according to the Conservative MP

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

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

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Our beautiful South West - known for its coastline,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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and switch off and not be bombarded by phone calls.

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

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

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But for those running businesses, out and about and reliant

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on their mobiles, it can be a different story.

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

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

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Devon MP Neil Parish wants more done to help businesses

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and individuals like constituent John Tuck from Membury.

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

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because it relies on a mobile signal to send meter readings

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The signal is inadequate to be able to even basic

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The former Prime Minister, David Cameron, has spoken

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

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holidayed up the coast from here in Cornwall.

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And the government says it understands the frustrations,

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

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

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

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The trade association representing UK mobile operators says ?2 billion

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

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rural areas will always present infrastructure providers with unique

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circumstances, such as challenging topography and sparse population.

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

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infrastructure to tackle not-spots and deliver the connectivity

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people need, wherever they are in the country.

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Wildlife experts are monitoring a whale for the next 24 hours

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

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Coastguard teams and conservationists worked to untangle

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the humpback after fishermen reported they'd seen its tail

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was trapped in lobster pot ropes near to Blackpool Sands.

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

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

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

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to realise that we were there to try and help.

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

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

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to get it high enough up out of the water,

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

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to respect that and be so careful around them.

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If she suddenly spooked or startled, she could easily have

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

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

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to report it to the people who can help.

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The coxswains of two Cornish lifeboats have been talking

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

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

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David George has been to meet the two coxswains.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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and travelling at a knot towards the land.

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

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Both of the lifeboats are equipped with these huge diesel engines

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The combined power is 2,500 horsepower.

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

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

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

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without hitting each other, so the boys on the deck

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

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

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which were stationed around the UK coast until they were

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With the removal of the constant presence of the tugs,

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

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

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

:09:10.:09:13.

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

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

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

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

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brightness but rain will move westward starting across Dorset and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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brightness in between and showers will follow. A freshening

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

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temperature. Tomorrow we celebrate world meteorological day and the

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

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

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