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Speed camera catches out nearly 19,000 motorists

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

One Devon speed camera caught more nearly 19,000 drivers breaking the speed limit in the last three years.

The camera on the A386 Alma Road in Plymouth was activated a total of 18,838 in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The road, which is two lanes of dual carriageway, has a 30mph speed limit.

Over the three-year period, the camera was activated once every 105 minutes, although the number of activations also includes emergency service vehicles attending call outs.

The camera was also the one across Devon and Cornwall that led to the most most Fixed Penalty Notices being issued during the period.

There were 3,116 issued, with other motorists caught breaking the speed limit either offered a speed awareness course or sent to court due to the severity of the offence.

speed camera

A Freedom of Information Request to Devon and Cornwall Police asked for the roads on which the top 10 highest recorded speeding offences took place.

The highest recorded speed was on the A30 at Victoria in Cornwall, in which a motorist was caught doing 126mph on the 70mph road.

Information provided by the force also revealed that in 2018, there were 293 speeding offences where motorists were caught doing over 100mph, an increase on the 258 in 2017.

Woman taken to hospital after 20ft rock fall in Cornwall

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Cornwall Air Ambulance

A woman was rescued after falling about 20ft (6m) from rocks on to a Cornish beach.

Cornwall Air Ambulance was called to Gwithian on Thursday at about 13:30.

The woman sustained a leg injury and was taken to hospital.

Critical care paramedic, Pete Storer said the injury made it "impossible" for the woman to climb out.

"We worked alongside the coastguard team to safely bring the casualty to the top of the cliffs on a stretcher," he said.

"It was a challenging scenario, particularly as we were working against the incoming tide.”

Cornwall Air Ambulance

Geothermal pool launch delayed to spring 2020

Rebecca Thorn

BBC News Online

Swimming pool and swimmers
Jubilee Pool
Artist's impression of the proposed geothermal pool

The launch of a geothermal pool in Penzance has been delayed to spring 2020.

Jubilee Pool set out plans to be the UK's first lido to be heated using geothermal energy.

In a recent facebook post, Jubilee Pool said: "We have decided to move the launch of our geothermal facilities to spring next year. It had been hoped that we could launch this winter but the power upgrade we need to get that done won’t be in place and we’ve also become increasingly worried about the business risks of a winter launch."

Director Susan Stewart said launching the pool in winter, a "high-risk period", was likely to attract less tourists to the Penzance site. It is hoped a spring date will increase the popularity of its launch.

The decision to move the geothermal launch date was also made because a power upgrade required for the pool could not be delivered in time for winter.

The pool, in its current unheated state, will remain open on selected weekends.

Low wages in coastal communities: ‘We live on nothing’
The Coram family live on a deprived estate in Penzance and say low wages make daily life a struggle.
Overcoming loneliness in Penzance
Kelvin Liew moved to Cornwall after his marriage ended and struggled to make new friends in an unknown area.

Coastguard volunteers learn police strategy for search and rescue

Rebecca Thorn

BBC News Online

Coastguard volunteers in Cornwall are being trained to use the same strategy and techniques in search and rescue as the police.

Up until now, they've used their own methods of searching for missing or lost people.

Senior coastguards are now working directly with the police to learn the latest "profiling" techniques, which it's hoped will increase their chances of finding people.

Three volunteers walking across hill

Tonnes of rubbish in landfill after incinerator breakdown

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

An extended shutdown of Cornwall’s waste incinerator has led to almost 1,300 tonnes of rubbish being sent to landfill.

The Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC) was forced to extend its annual shutdown after a turbine broke which meant it was unable to generate electricity from the waste.

A problem with the turbine was first spotted in June 2018 and it was stopped generating electricity to the national grid until April this year when the problem was finally fixed.

A report about the turbine damage and repairs has now been published and will be considered by Cornwall Council’s neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee on Thursday.


The investigation report stated that, despite the problems, Cornwall Council continued to receive all services under its contract with operator Suez and that all the costs relating to the repairs would be covered by Cornwall Energy Recovery Limited and not the council.

The St Dennis and Nanpean Community Trust, which was set up to receive money from the CERC for community projects, was also unaffected by the shutdowns and did not see any reduction in funding.

The report’s conclusion stated that 1,278 tonnes of contract waste was required to be sent to landfill and a further 170 tonnes of contract waste was "diverted to a third party energy recovery facility".

The report also said that, since it restarted in April, the CERC had been performing “well”.

Same Brexit funding given to Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Union Jack and EU flags
Getty Images

Cornwall Council has received the same amount of funding from the government to prepare for Brexit as the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

The funding formula meant all unitary authorities received the same amount of cash – £104,000.

This meant the Council of the Isles of Scilly, despite being one of the smallest local authorities in the UK, received that total.

The quirk was revealed by Cornwall Council’s Brexit lead officer Paul Masters in an update on the council’s preparations given to the customer and support services overview and scrutiny committee this week.

Mr Masters said he had been "involved closely" with the Local Resilience Forum which covers Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

This group is liaising directly with the government to help raise any issues around Brexit from the local councils in the area.

Mr Masters said: “While it is the government’s intention that we do have a deal, we have to prepare for no deal.”

He added that as well as the £104,000, there had been some additional funding made available for recruiting staff needed to work on Brexit related issues.

Ambulance crews to be given body cameras

South Western Ambulance Service staff are to wear bodycams for a trial period.

It's hoped it will reduce the number of crews being assaulted and abused.

Staff will start wearing the cameras for three months from next month.

There were more than 1,000 incidents of violent or aggressive behaviour towards staff in the South West in a year.


Man arrested after tent assault

Charley Adams

BBC News Online

A man has been arrested following an assault inside a tent in Cornwall.

Allegedly an assault took place on a beach near St Ives between the evening of 18 September and the early hours of 19 September.

The victim was a woman in her 30s from the Somerset area.

A man in his 30s has since been arrested in connection to the incident and he remains in police custody.

Police are appealing for witnesses, particularly if anyone saw anything around an orange and grey tent that was pitched on the beach.

Pirates begin season with defeat

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

London Scottish v Cornish Pirates
Brian Tempest

Cornish Pirates coach Gavin Cattle says his team will discuss how they lost 24-20 at London Scottish having twice led the match.

Alex O'Meara's early try put the Pirates ahead while Will Cargill's 50th-minute penalty saw them register a 10-7 lead before two Scottish tries saw the hosts take the initiative.

"We put ourselves in a winning position and we haven't capitalised on that, and that will the big talking point for us moving forwards," Cattle told BBC Radio Cornwall.

GWR offers alternative trains after Thomas Cook collapse

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

GWR passengers affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook can use alternative services on its routes, the South West and West of England rail operator says.

Bosses said those "unable to make their booked train will be permitted to travel on the next suitable service by providing reasonable evidence of a Thomas Cook booking".

View more on twitter

Meanwhile, the rail operator is calling out to Thomas Cook employees, saying it "would love to hear" from those affected as part of moves to recruit new staff.

The tour operator's failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.

View more on twitter
Children urge mums to stub it out
The Royal Cornwall Hospital introduced recorded messages like "Stopping smoking saves babies lives".

RAF trainer James is the gold standard for panning

BBC Spotlight

Cornwall has a new world champion... in gold panning.


James Linnett, pictured above left, works at RAF St Mawgan as a survival trainer.

He won the championships panning for gold in Finland this summer and says he's pretty chuffed.

Council cabinet approves funding for spaceport

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Virgin Orbit
Virgin Orbit

Plans to build a 'Spaceport' in Cornwall have taken a step forward with a proposed £12m funding from Cornwall Council being approved by the the council's cabinet.

The proposal, which passed by a 6-4 margin, will now be subject to approval by the full council in November.

The cash is a key part of getting the Virgin Orbit satellite launch system off the ground at Newquay Airport.

It is the biggest part of a package including £7.85m from the UK Space Agency and £2.5m from Virgin Orbit.

The plan is to create create a horizontal launch site, Spaceport Cornwall, at Newquay to launch satellites into orbit.

Virgin Orbit
Virgin Orbit

The £12m means the Virgin Orbit jet, a modified Boeing 747 called Cosmic Girl, is closer to operating out of Newquay in 2021.

Claire Barcham, commercial space director at the UK Space Agency, told the cabinet meeting in a letter that Spaceport Cornwall would "help Cornwall to take a leading role in the UK's emerging spaceflight sector".

She said it was an "extremely exciting time for the South West, which is home to a variety of unique space sector facilities, expertise and assets, including Cornwall Airport Newquay, which have the potential to play a significant role in shaping our future economy".

Virgin Orbit envisages jets carrying satellite launchers slung underneath the fuselage.

The launchers are released and then accelerate and release the satellite into space.

The Spaceport could also be used in the future to send fee-paying passengers on sub-orbital flights.

Warning to Cornwall's pregnant smokers

BBC Spotlight

The number of women smoking throughout their pregnancy in Cornwall is almost 50% higher than the England average.


Figures from Public Health England show that nearly one in six women in the county are smoking at the time they give birth.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital has introduced new signs and voice recordings to stop people lighting up outside the maternity services.

Cornwall businesses 'can't wait and see' on Brexit

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Businesses should be encouraged to prepare for the benefits and pitfalls of Brexit says the president of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce.

Toby Parkins

Toby Parkins said he was concerned that some firms are only preparing based on their own opinions on Brexit.

Mr Parkins, who is director of technology firm HeadForwards, made the comments during a Brexit preparedness debate at the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board.

He said: "Because people don’t know which way it is going to go some people are just saying let’s wait and see.

"But I think it is important for businesses that are going to be affected, that they don’t just wait and see and that they do at least plan ahead, particularly businesses that are exporting."

More than 60 ill with oyster food poisoning

Blue Marine Foundation

More than 60 people have fallen ill after an outbreak of food poisoning, believed to be linked to oysters.

Public Health England (PHE) said it had received reports of diarrhoea and vomiting from people across the south of England who had eaten the molluscs since the start of September.

Some of the reports have come from Cornwall, Isle of Wight and London.

PHE said operations had ceased at the production site and suppliers had quarantined products.

A spokesman said PHE was working with the Food Standards Agency and councils to identify the cause of the outbreak.

Cornwall care homes beds losses has 'hit critical level'

BBC Spotlight

A care home crisis in could lead to people having to be sent out of the Cornwall says the county council.

Care home

It says the loss of nursing and dementia care home beds has reached a critical level.

The council had to step in last month to keep one home open and says if any more beds are lost vulnerable people face not being able to get care locally.

Devon and Cornwall weather: A day of sunshine ahead

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

It will be a dry and fine day with almost unbroken sunshine.

It was also feel pleasantly warm with mainly light northeasterly winds that will be moderate at times towards the south coast.

Max temperature: 19C (66F).

Weather map