Truro

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Man 'punched and kicked' by group of men

Police are investigating reports of an assault on a man in Truro.

A man in his 40s was reported to have been riding a bike when he was approached by four men who pushed a shopping trolley towards him. Police said a verbal attack followed and the men then punched and kicked the victim.

He attended hospital to be checked over, due to his injuries.

It happened between 20:30 and 21:00 on 23 April by Garras Wharf, Morlaix Avenue.

A police spokeswoman said: “The four men left the area on foot in the direction of the Piazza area. We’re keen to speak to anyone who saw the group running in that direction or in the area at around 21:00.

“We’re also keen to speak to two men who may have witnessed the incident, and who assisted the victim at the scene. They left prior to police arrival but may have information vital to our investigation.”

Weather: Fine and warm with chance of scattered showers

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

It will remain fine and warm with a good deal of sunny spells around.

However, some scattered showers are also likely to develop this afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 19C (66F).

weather map
BBC

Man guilty of selling fake service histories on eBay

Millicent Cooke

BBC News Online

Church Road
Google

A man from Cornwall has been found guilty of producing fake car service histories.

Paul Skidmore, 32, of Church Road, Four Lanes, near Redruth ran an online stationery business alongside his role as a health and safety manager at a local clothing company.

Truro Magistrates Court heard that in 2017 Skidmore started producing fake car service history records for his customers on eBay.

In July 2018, Cornwall Council became aware of the illegal sales after test purchases were made by the Ford Motor Company and the Vauxhall/Peugeot Group.

An entry warrant was executed at his home and it was discovered he had sold over 1,500 fake service histories and made over £9,000 in 10 months.

Skidmore, who had no previous convictions, told the court that he was sorry for what he had done and that he had almost been expecting a knock at the door after a warning from eBay.

The 32-year-old was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid community service, to pay a fine of £500, a victim surcharge of £85 and to meet Cornwall Council’s costs of £8,613.08

Cornwall councillor says gaming is 'destroying lives'

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A Cornwall councillor has slammed Falmouth University and Cornwall Council for supporting the gaming industry which he says is “destroying lives”.

Neil Burden
Cornwall Council

Neil Burden made the comments when the council agreed to provide £900,000 funding to the university’s Launchpad scheme which helps students in digital industries, including gaming.

The Stoke Climsland independent councillor said he had even had to stop one of his own family members from getting “addicted” to video games.

He said: “I am appalled that our university in Cornwall thinks digital gaming is the most wonderful thing in the world. It is the most horrendous thing in the world.

“We are creating more of this addictive stuff in Cornwall, destroying people’s lives completely."

Deputy council leader Adam Paynter pointed out that the games industry was worth £3.86bn to the UK and employed more than 20,000 people.

“This is not a small industry,” he said. “It is something that our young people ought to be able to have a go at as well and I think Falmouth does a huge amount in creative industries, it is not purely about gaming.”

Nick Dixon, head of the Launchpad programme at Falmouth University, said it was all about growing "entrepreneurship, creativity and digital technology" in Cornwall.

Students were using their digital skills to create new, responsible, products and services for sectors including agritech, e-health, finance and entertainment.

He said he was "delighted" by the council's support and said he would meet Mr Burden "so he can see for himself the types of cutting-edge digital businesses that are being built on the Launchpad programme and that will help transform Cornwall’s economy".

European elections 2019: Polls take place across the UK

Polling station
EPA

Voters are heading to the polls for the European Parliament elections.

Seventy-three members, known as MEPs, will be elected in nine constituencies in England, and one each in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Each region has a different number of representatives based on its population - ranging from three MEPs in the North East and Northern Ireland to 10 MEPs in the South East.

In the South West six MEPs will be elected.

Polling stations in the UK are open until 22:00 BST.

Crime commissioner Hernandez in stalking debate

BBC Radio Devon

Devon and Cornwall Police Crime Comissioner Alison Hernandez is to give others advice on how to overcome being a victim of stalking and abuse.

Alison Hernandez
BBC

She'll address a seminar being held at Exeter Golf and Country Club by a new Exeter business group called Fernpower, which aims to help empower women in business who are faced with obstacles like discrimination or domestic abuse.

Last September, Alison's former partner was given a suspended sentence for assaulting and stalking her.

Weather: Chance of odd shower but sunny spells too

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Banks of cloud with slowly edge in from the South West later, possibly bringing a threat of the odd light shower.

However, there should be some bright or sunny spells too.

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

weather map
BBC

South West weather: Dry and sunny

BBC Weather

After any isolated fog patches clear, it will be another dry day, with sunny periods, some of which are likely to be a little hazier than the past few days.

A little fair weather cloud is also likely to develop during the afternoon.

Winds will be mainly light and variable.

Maximum temperature: 14 to 17°C (57 to 63°F).

Devon

Weather chart
BBC

Cornwall

Weather chart
BBC

Police officer failed to arrest man with crack cocaine

A Devon and Cornwall Police officer - who failed to arrest a man found in possession of crack cocaine - has been given a final written warning.

It follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct into a stop and search.

The incident was referred by the force in November 2017 after others raised concerns.

A hearing found the police constable had committed gross misconduct for failing to arrest the man for a drugs offence.

The officer had the grounds to arrest the suspect for a drugs offence but chose not to. The officer’s improper conduct and failure to appropriately handle and log evidence meant the man could not be subsequently prosecuted for any offence relating to the drugs found on him. His actions compromised the integrity of the investigation and also put his colleagues in a difficult position.”

OPC Regional Director Catrin Evans

A referral was also made to the Crown Prosecution Service as there was an indication a criminal offence may have been committed. The CPS decided not to authorise any charge.

Julian German elected new leader of Cornwall Council

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cornwall Council
BBC

Cornwall Council has chosen a new leader to take the helm at County Hall for the next two years.

Independent councillor Julian German was elected after a secret ballot was held of members at this morning's annual meeting of the council.

Liberal Democrat councillor and outgoing leader Adam Paynter nominated and proposed that his deputy for the past two years, Councillor German, should be leader saying that he "would do an excellent job for Cornwall".

The motion was seconded by Independent group leader Carolyn Rule, who praised Councillor Paynter for "an amazing job" he has done in his two years as leader.

Conservative councillor John Fitter then nominated his group leader, Linda Taylor, for the post, seconded by David Harris. Speaking in support of his nomination Councillor German said he wanted to continue to deliver for Cornwall and Cornwall residents.

"I am dedicated to Cornwall and dedicated to delivering good services to the people of Cornwall," he said.

Nineteen arrested in County Lines crackdown

Charley Adams

BBC News Online

As part of a national crackdown on County Lines drug gangs, 19 people have been arrested, thousands of pounds of drugs have been seized, as well as £81,000 cash.

Devon and Cornwall Police officers joined forces with Regional Organised Crime Units across the country for a national week of action to disrupt the activity of suspected County Lines networks.

County Lines is the term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines.

Police said the gangs are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults in order to move and store drugs and money, often using coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons.

Between 13 and 20 May:

  • 19 people were arrested - 16 men and three women.
  • 33 vulnerable adults and two children were engaged for safeguarding purposes.
  • 49 suspected 'cuckooed' addresses - where drug dealers target the vulnerable - were visited.
  • Officers seized £81,187 in cash.
  • Suspected Class A drugs, including around £7,000 of cocaine, 45 wraps of heroin, crack cocaine, plus suspected cannabis and unknown tablets were also seized.
  • Seven weapons were seized including knives, a BB gun and an axe.
  • Nine mobile phones were seized, plus £25,000 of designer goods.

Throughout the week we have taken action against suspected individuals as well as giving support to young people and vulnerable people who are at risk from County Lines. Young people and vulnerable adults are exposed to physical and mental abuse from these organised networks, and in some instances are trafficked to places a long way from home.

Antony HartDet Supt

Emergency services searching faulty life jacket beacon

Charley Adams

BBC News Online

Lifeboat and coastguard teams were called to a search and rescue operation after a beacon was activated in the Truro area.

The personal locator beacon (PLB), which was activated at about 06:50 on Tuesday morning, was registered and HM Coastguard has confirmed the vessel's owners are safe and well.

However, the PLB, attached to a life jacket, is not with the vessel.

A search is taking place to try and establish whether the beacon has been triggered by someone else.

The coastguard is appealing to anyone who might have triggered the beacon accidentally this morning to come forward and let the coastguard know they are safe and well.

We believe the PLB may have been triggered accidentally or there’s a possibility that it may be faulty, which is why it is sending the alerts. We treat any beacon alert as a potential emergency and so will carry out a search and rescue operation accordingly, until we can establish another reason for the PLB alert going off.

James InstanceDuty Controller for HM Coastguard

Weather: Fine, dry and sunny

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

Early fog patches will quickly clear to leave another fine and dry day with some good periods of sunshine.

Some patchy fair weather cloud is likely to build as the day progresses, particularly along southern coastal areas.

Winds will be light and variable with sea breezes developing during the afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 14 to 17C (57 to 63F).

Weather
BBC

Chelsea Flower Show: Interest takes root for SW growers

BBC Spotlight

Chelsea Flower Show
BBC

Horticultural exhibitors from the south west are showing off their skills to Her Majesty the Queen at the Chelsea Flower Show.

They have been putting their finishing touches to exhibits for the show ahead of judging.

One of those on display is the Duchess of Cambridge-designed garden titled Back to Nature, which is due to head to NHS Langdon in Dawlish after the event.

You can find more coverage of the show on the BBC website here.

Chelsea Flower Show
BBC
Chelsea Flower Show
BBC

Extra trains between Plymouth and Cornwall

BBC Spotlight

Extra train services between Plymouth and Cornwall begin from Monday.

The new timetable means roughly two GWR trains per hour will run on the route.

The company said it would mean more choice for travellers and less crowded services.

In addition, all services to and from London Paddington are now to be operated by the new fleet of trains.

GWR train
BBC

Box clever? Royal Mail launching new parcel postboxes

BBC Business News

Parcel post box
Royal Mail

Royal Mail has announced plans for the UK's first-ever parcel postboxes.

The company said 1,400 of the new postboxes would be installed across the country in more than 30 locations over a six-month period, starting in August.

In Devon and Cornwall, the locations include Exeter, Plymouth and Truro.

Customers will be able to post parcels in the same way that they currently post a letter, provided that postage has been pre-paid using Royal Mail's own online labelling service.

Existing letter postboxes were introduced in the 1850s and Royal Mail said the new move represented the first major change in the system since then.

Cornwall families 'desperate' for new mental health unit

Hannah Stacey

BBC Radio Cornwall communities reporter

A mother from Cornwall has been describing how desperate families are to see the new mental health unit for under-18s open in Bodmin.

Between 10 and 15 children and teenagers are being treated at mental health units out of Cornwall at any one time - some hundreds of miles away, separated from their families.

Young people have had to travel as far as Cheshire and Norwich for treatment.

Speaking to the BBC, but wanting to stay anonymous, she said that she had clocked up thousands of miles to visit her teenage daughter who was was currently being looked after about 300 miles away.

She said: "She has been in the system for three years in three different counties, with none of her placements in Cornwall."

The new £11m, 14-bedroom Sowenna Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service unit is due to open this summer.

Managers said that a panel of young people had been working with the Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust to contribute design ideas to ensure the facility is as bespoke as possible.

Sowenna building
@SowennaAppeal/Twitter

Weather: Bright or sunny spells, but rain possible

BBC Weather

There will be bright or sunny spells throughout Monday.

It should be dry but there is a chance of a few showers developing, most likely this afternoon. Feeling pleasantly warm in the sunshine.

Maximum temperature: 14 to 17C (57 to 63F).

Weather
BBC
First woman made master fishmonger in Newlyn
Elaine Lorys is the 13th person in the UK to receive the highest accolade in fishmongering.

UKIP candidate 'a risk to public order'

Jenna Hawkey

BBC News Online

Carl Benjamin
BBC

Exeter Cathederal has confirmed it has excluded a UKIP candidate from a public hustings because they may cause "a risk to public order".

The party announced earlier today that their European Elections candidate Carl Benjamin had been barred from event on 22 May.

UKIP Devon's chairwoman, Margaret Dennis, labelled the decision by Exeter Cathedral as "outrageous" and "an affront to democracy".

Under the rules of the Electoral Commission we may exclude candidates from a non-selective hustings for a number of reasons, including concerns about public order. In this case, the Cathedral believes that the presence of one particular candidate may cause a risk to public order, given a number of incidents over the last few weeks. UKIP has been invited to send another candidate from its list of six candidates standing for election in the South West region."

Spokesperson, Exeter Cathederal

Last week, two protesters threw milkshake at Mr Benjamin at a rally in Truro.

Weather: Rain overnight but a bright day tomorrow

BBC Weather

Outbreaks of rain may linger through the course of the night.

However, it should become largely dry by dawn, though a few mist patches may develop.

Minimum temperature: 7 to 10C (45 to 50F)

weather chart
BBC

Tomorrow, any mist will clear early.

It will be a bright day with sunny spells, variable amounts of cloud and a few potentially sharp showers.

Maximum temperature: 13 to 16C (55 to 61F)

More than one suicide per week in Cornwall

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

More than one person a week takes their own life in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on average.

The statistic was given to Cornwall councillors at a special all-member briefing on suicide prevention on Friday.

They heard that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has one of the highest suicide rates in the country and also heard what is being done to try to prevent suicide.

There has been an average of 71 suicides a year in Cornwall between 2015 and 2017.

Scone row causes ‘split’ in the Exeter Chiefs camp

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

With the final Premiership league game of the season tomorrow, there are signs of a deep ‘split’ within the ranks at Exeter Chiefs - over the correct way to make a cream tea.

While Devonian centre Sam Hill is a believer in cream first, Cornish wing Jack Nowell has publicly shot him down on Twitter, calling his view “ridiculous”.

Traditionally, some believe a cream tea should be served on a split rather than a scone, but we had better not get into that.

The Chiefs play Northampton tomorrow, ahead of the playoffs that begin next weekend.

Twitter
Twitter

Dawn French weighs in on 'jam or cream first' debate

Twitter

Weather: Cloud, sunny spells and showers later

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

It will be a morning of variable amounts of cloud and sunny spells, the best of which will be in the west.

Through the morning, more cloud will invade from the east.

This will be followed by some isolated outbreaks of initially light rain, but some heavier bursts may be possible in the afternoon.

This rain will be very patchy, and not all of us will see it, especially the further west you are.

Winds will be light north easterly, becoming northerly and increasing moderate in the west.

Maximum Temperature: 11 to 14C (52 to 57F).

Weather
BBC

Council proposes ban on anti-bird netting

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

nets over trees
BBC
In Guildford, netting was put in place to stop birds nesting so the trees can be removed

Cornwall councillors will be asked to back calls to ban developers from placing nets over hedgerows which prevent birds from nesting.

A motion will go to Tuesday's full council meeting, which is looking to prevent the use of nets on hedgerows.

Sam Tamlin, the Liberal Democrat councillor behind the motion, said the issue had been highlighted elsewhere in the country and that, by passing the motion, the council could prevent the introduction of netting.

As far as I am aware there have not been any incidents here so I am doing this as a pre-emptive strike. We do not have any control over it and it isn't illegal but we want to make sure it doesn't start happening here in Cornwall."

Sam TamlinCornwall Council

Earlier this week, MPs debated a petition, signed by 350,000 people, that called for "netting" to become a criminal offence.

Newquay Zoo hand-rears endangered baby Owston's civet
The endangered Owston's civet is one of just 17 in captivity worldwide.

Sub-postmasters wanting to quit 'in limbo'

BBC Spotlight

Post office counter
BBC

Sub-postmasters in the South West say they are in limbo as they wait for new operators to take on post offices in their communities.

Steve Pile said he had been waiting seven years for a new operator to be found in Charmouth in Dorset. He is retiring on Friday without anyone taking over.

In Trewoon in Cornwall, Sally Bourton said she could not afford to leave until another post office was established at another shop in the village.

This is despite the Trewoon branch earmarked for what Post Office Ltd calls its transformation programme in 2012, meaning it could be moved into another shop or taken over by another business.

Post Office Ltd describes such closures as temporary and its planned changes would lead to a sustainable network across the country.

Weather: Dry with some hazy spells of sunshine

BBC Weather

A fine Thursday morning with some hazy spells of sunshine.

Weather
BBC

A little more cloud is expected in the afternoon but it will remain dry and bright with some hazy sunny spells.

Feeling cooler compared to Wednesday.

Maximum temperature: 14 to 17C (57 to 63F).

Bathing season begins in the South West

BBC Radio Devon

Pendower beach
BBC
bathing water quality signs
Environment Agency

The quality of the water on South West beaches will be under the spotlight later as the bathing season gets officially under way.

The Environment Agency is responsible for carrying out sampling and testing from now until the end of September.

Last year, 96% of beaches in Devon and Cornwall were rated as either "excellent" or "good".

More information about bathing water quality can be found here.

Men's mental health group eyes up expansion plans

BBC Radio Cornwall

A self-help group for men with mental health problems is planning to expand further across Cornwall after seeing success in its first few months.

Man Down began only last September and already meets regularly in nine towns from St Austell to Penzance.

Co-founder Ross Jackson-Hicks said he hoped to set up groups in another 21 places to give people the opportunity to share as men often "felt ashamed" of having mental health problems and talking about them when they first joined.

Man Down website
Man Down

Weather: A dry day with sunshine

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

Any early mist patches will lift to leave a dry day with sunshine.

The sunshine will be hazy as times due to high cloud but it will be warm for most.

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

weather map
BBC

Beaches across Devon and Cornwall celebrate Blue Flags

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

Beaches across Devon and Cornwall have gained the coveted Blue Flag awards.

Fourteen Devon beaches have been given coveted annual awards by Keep Britain Tidy which recognise places for their cleanliness, safety and facilities, with seven of those beaches within Torbay alone.

Among those named are Torbay's Torre Abbey Sands and Meadfoot Beach, as well as Dawlish Warren and the beach at Westward Ho! (pictured). Teignmouth has also received the prestigious gong for the first time.

Keep Britain Tidy has also announced that Coryton Cove in Dawlish, Dawlish Town and Shaldon's Ness Cove retained their seaside awards.

In Cornwall, seven beaches have been given coveted Blue Flag.

Among those named are Falmouth's Gyllyngvase Beach, as well as Porthmeor in St Ives and Trevone Bay. The privately-owned Carbis Bay is also a winner.

Westward Ho!
BBC

Weather: Staying dry and fine, winds easing

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Staying fine on Tuesday evening with plenty of late sunshine, but staying rather breezy.

It will then be dry overnight with mainly clear skies. The brisk winds will start to ease slightly.

Minimum temperature: 3 to 6C (37 to 43F).

Weather
BBC

On Wednesday it will be another dry and fine day with plenty of sunshine, but there could be a little patchy cloud developing.

The winds will be lighter.

Maximum temperature: 15 to 18C (59 to 64F).

South West patients needed for depression study

BBC Radio Devon

Patients in the South West are needed for the biggest ever study into depression and anxiety.

The Devon Partnership NHS Trust and its sister trust in Cornwall will be encouraging patients to take part in a study exploring the genetic links to mental ill-health.

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health disorders worldwide, with one in three people in the UK experiencing symptoms during their lifetime.

Woman
BBC

Recruits are now being sought for the biggest ever study of its kind - the GLAD study - short for Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression.

It's a collaboration between the the National Institute for Health Research, the mental health charity MQ, patients and service users.

More than 1,600 people have taken part in mental health research in the South West in the last financial year.

Unemployment at 2.4%

BBC Business News

Unemployment rate chart
BBC

Unemployment in the south west was 2.4% in the first three months of the year.

The UK’s unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8%, its lowest since late 1974.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48264511

Planning member defends system change

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The council member responsible for planning in Cornwall has defended changes made to the way the system works.

Tory councillors at County Hall cried foul last week over a decision by Cornwall Council to no longer write to people who have commented on planning applications to let them know if they will be heard by a committee, saving £26,000 in the process.

Cornwall Council
BBC

Bob Egerton dismissed the claims of non-transparency, saying "the people who are really interested in an application will know it is going to committee".

"Even if they go to the meeting they can’t influence the decision anyway," he added.

The local council member and the parish council will still be informed.