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Hundreds take part in Plymouth's Gay Pride

Gay Pride parade in Plymouth Credit: ITV News West Country

Hundreds of people have taken part in Plymouth's Gay Pride this lunchtime. A festival is being held on the Hoe this afternoon which will have stalls, advice shops, and live music. The deputy Lord Mayor and city MP Oliver Colvile officially opened the event.

"We are taking Gay Pride to a new level in the city and bringing our showcase to the city's front garden for all people to celebrate Plymouth's growing diversity and community richness."

"Plymouth has often been regarded as a difficult place to be LGBT - the city has a history of being a garrison town and some attitudes have been slow to change, with incidents of violence and hatred occurring."

"But Pride in Plymouth has connected the diverse group of people who make up the city's LGBT communities and enabled them to take pride in their place in the city."

– Alan Butler, from Pride in Plymouth
The parade will end at Plymouth Hoe Credit: ITV News West Country
A festival will be held on Plymouth Hoe Credit: ITV News West Country

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Specially trained hawk to ward off seagulls in Plymouth

Credit: Daniel Naupold/DPA/Press Association Images

A Hawk will be flying above the buildings in Plymouth City centre this morning to ward off badly behaved seagulls! It's been specially trained to fly but not attack gulls after complaints that they are swooping on people. The hawk patrol will be in the city centre every Tuesday until the end of September.

Plymouth to begin street lighting upgrade

Plymouth City Council will begin an 18-month citywide street lighting replacement programme this week, as part of its energy and carbon saving measures.

The £8 million project, which will see nearly 29,000 street lights in the city replaced with energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) lamps, will see the Council’s energy bill reduced by over £1 million a year.

Streets in the north-west of the city will be the first to receive the new lights, which give a colour of light similar to that of moonlight. Installation will then continue in stages across the north of the city, working from west to east, before moving to the southern half of the city.

In most cases the LED units will be flatter and squarer than existing lamps but in areas with heritage lighting, care will be taken to use lamps that are similar in appearance to the existing ones.

Plymouth will be one of the first cities in the UK to replace all of its street lights with LED units, but it has been able to benefit from the experience of other councils such as Birmingham and Gateshead, which have installed them extensively.

Teen with severe cerebral palsy sails into Plymouth

Natasha Lambert sailing her yacht, Miss Isle Credit: ITV West Country

17-year-old Natasha Lambert has already sailed the channel, and is now sailing from the Isle of Wight to South Wales. Her dad, Gary, was an electrician. He taught himself sailing and electronics to convert the 21ft yacht, 'Miss Isle', for his daughter.

Natasha's sailing coach is onboard, but only as a passenger. He only steps in to reef the sails when it gets too blowy.

Her sailing is just fine actually, we've made it here so that shows it must be good enough. I will admit I take every opportunity to add a little bit of value if I can, a bit of coaching, and see if we can improve what she's doing while we're out on the water. But at the same time we're making passages, clocking up miles so there's an element of relaxing into to it, looking at the scenery and making sure the boat is ticking over.

– Phil Devereux, sailing coach

Natasha discovered a passion for sailing on a visit to the Calvert Trust. She's raising money for the RNLI, the Royal Yacht Association Trust, and round-the-world record breaker Ellen MacArthur's Cancer Trust.

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Ben Proud comes home to crowds

Ben Proud meets the crowds at Plymouth's Life Centre Credit: ITV West Country

Plymouth swimmer Ben Proud has arrived home in Plymouth after winning two golds at the Commonwealth Games.

He received an enthusiastic reception from a young crowd inspired by his success.

He even had time to pose for pictures with his fans, including our reporter Jacquie Bird.

Ben Proud meets reporter Jacquie Bird Credit: ITV West Country

Plymouth Life Centre prepares to welcome home Ben Proud

Youngsters gather at Plymouth's Life Centre to welcome home Ben Proud Credit: ITV West Country

Plymouth swimming star Ben Proud will be welcomed home to Plymouth tonight.

A crowd are gathering at the Plymouth Life Centre to cheer for the double gold medalist. Youngsters inspired by the successful athlete have made banners to celebrate the occasion.

Crowd gathers to see Ben Proud Credit: ITV West Country

Ben's success makes Plymouth Proud

Ben Proud celebrates winning the gold medal in the Men's 50m Butterfly Final, Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

He had the almost home crowd in Glasgow cheering him on to his gold medal at the pool last night.

The teenager, who lives and studies in Plymouth, has more than lived up to all the pre-Games hype, and is now being touted as a future Olympic Champion.

Proud winning his second Commonwealth gold Credit: BBC

Ben Proud's amazing achievements at the Commonwealth Games, two Games Record, two British records, two golds and a bronze have really put him on the map as far as international swimming is concerned. The youngest swimmer in the field last night he took apart the much fancied Australians to storm once again to victory.

University of St Mark & St John celebrate Ben's win Credit: ITV West Country

Today at the University of St Mark and St John where Ben is studying they were relishing his success.

Ben is studying part time at the University to enable him to continue his training. He's in the pool in excess of twenty hours a week - and that's not including his strength and fitness training and his competitions. Fitting in studying as well is hard.

His storming success in Glasgow over the past week is testament to all the work that's been put in to get him there. It's not just Ben Proud who's become a big name in swimming - Plymouth has too. It must now be the place to come to train.

It's high tech facilities like this that encourage elite athletes to choose the University of St Mark and St John. who knows if one of thes youngsters here today could be the next Ben Proud.

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