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Police appeal after body found on M5

Police appeal after body found on M5 Credit: PA

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was found dead on a motorway near Exeter. The M5 was closed between junctions 27 for Tiverton and junction 28 for Cullompton for around 12 hours following the discovery on Saturday morning.

Formal identification of the man, who is believed to be from mid-Devon, has taken place but his identity has yet to be released.

"We believe the man may have fallen from the bridge but we couldn't speculate any further. It will be down to the post-mortem, if they are able to determine that."

– Inspector Ian Milligan

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Footballer dies after collapsing at match in Devon

A young football player has died after collapsing at a match. The footballer, believed to be in his mid-20s, is thought to have suffered a heart attack. He was airlifted to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, where he later died.

The player was a member of a football team in Bow, near Crediton, that was playing at home to Thorverton. The player, has not yet been named.

Plymouth young athletes get honorary degrees

Matthew Dixon competing at 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Credit: PA

Some of our countries greatest athletes are in Plymouth today for a 'Celebration of Sport' Awards ceremony.

Among those at the event being held at the University of St Mark and St John this evening will be the Commonwealth double Gold medallist Ben Proud and divers Tonia Couch, Sarah Barrow and Matthew Dixon.

Diving coaches Andy Banks and Jon Rudd will also be there. Andy Banks, who helped coach Plymouth diver, Tom Daley will also be picking up an honorary degree.

Also being launched this evening is a charity called 'Making a Difference', a programme set up to provide financial help for Plymouth's, young elite athletes. It'll help promising youngsters and their families with the cost of pursuing their sporting dreams.

"I'd really like to go to the Olympics so twenty sixteen would be amazing but I'd like to aim for twenty twenty as well and just be at the Olympics would just be a dream ".

– Matthew Dickson, Diver

North Devon fishing industry under threat

North Devon fishing industry under threat Credit: PA

The £100M fishing industry in North Devon is under threat say its fishermen after restrictions on the landing of some varieties of fish have been imposed. The Bristol Channel is renowned for its flat fish but Ray stocks are considered to be under threat in UK waters and a ban has been implemented. But in North Devon, fishing leaders say they've been managing the stocks themselves and the fishery is healthy. This restriction will leave trawlers tied up.

"We now have no ray quota, no sole quota, no spurdog quota, a minimalistic amount of plaice, and a cod quota which can be caught on one trip. How can you expect a fishing industry to survive on that."

– John Butterwith, North Devon Fishermens Association

The NDFA represent 70 fishermen and 650 fish processors with a combined turnover of £100M. Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox has raised an urgent parliamentary question about the situation.

“Ray stocks in this area are well looked after as part of a pioneering scheme put in place by the North Devon fishermen to ensure that stocks stay in a good state. The ban is therefore unnecessary here and will have serious consequences on the local industry."

– Geoffrey Cox, Torridge and West Devon MP

The NDFA has written an open letter to Fishing Minister George Eustace and has pulled no punches.

"The final nail in the coffin is that on your watch, you are responsible for the closure of the Bristol Channel fishing industry, and probably many others where fishermen rely on rays for their livelihood; and furthermore , you will bankrupt many businesses and put scores of people out of work."

– George Eustace, Fishing Minister

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MPs call for hospital closure plans to be reconsidered

Axminster Hospital is under threat. Credit: ITV News West Country

Three Devon MPs are calling for plans to close beds at a number of community hospitals to be re-considered.

The Clinical Commissioning Group of Mid & North Devon are currently consulting over proposals to lose beds at a number of hospitals - including Axminster, Ottery St Mary and Tiverton.

Mel Stride, Neil Parrish and Hugo Swire are now seeking a meeting with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss the matter.

Thousands turn out for biggest ever beach clean

Thousands of volunteers are taking part in the annual Autumn Beach Clean this weekend.

This year the charity Surfers Against Sewage are holding 80 beach cleans across the South West and have teamed up with World Animal Protection to tackle the amount of discarded fishing gear that ends up on the regions beaches. Around 200 people volunteered at Perranporth today - one of the beaches worst effected by abandoned fishing gear.

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