TWO tourists have been jailed after they went on a crime spree raiding a golf club and farm near Padstow and crashing their getaway car during a high-speed police chase.
They also burgled the Bedruthan Steps Hotel near Newquay.
They came from Birmingham for a mini-break but ran out of money and turned to crime during their visit in February.
Matthew Pitt, aged 41, and Paul Gregory, aged 36, struck in Exmouth and North Cornwall before crashing their Renault Clio just feet away from a police station.
They were being chased by police as they drove at high speed on the wrong side of the road after being stopped for entering the pedestrian zone in Barnstaple.
They crashed into a motorist just after they sped past the town's civic centre and police station, Exeter Crown Court heard.
They took a car in Exmouth and abandoned it nearby and then drove their own Renault Clio to Cornwall.
Gregory stole keys, an iPod and a wallet from a guest's room at Trevose Golf and Country Club and left empty-handed after raiding an office.
They broke into the accounts office at the Bedruthan Steps Hotel and stole £800 cash and a laptop, which was later recovered in their car.
Pitt and Gregory, both of Waggon Walk, Birmingham, admitted burglary and theft.
Pitt also admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, and possession of heroin and cannabis.
He asked for the taking of the car from the Cranford Club to be considered and Gregory asked for two burglaries at the golf club and a guest's room at its hotel to be taken into account.
Judge Phillip Wassall jailed Pitt for three years and two months and Gregory for a year and ten months.
He told them: "You did not come to the South West to commit crime but you found yourselves short of money and turned to it, as you have both done many times in the past.
"You both have dreadful records."
Janice Eagles, for the prosecution, said police were able to piece together the pair's trail of crime from the sat-nav in Pitts's car.
Lee Bremridge, defending Pitt, said he went to Cornwall in search of his long-lost father and to escape family problems at home in Birmingham.
Richard Crabb, for Gregory, said he was fleeing Birmingham to escape criminals who were threatening him.
A NATIONAL homeware store "like The Range" is in talks to set up shop in Newquay's derelict Barracuda nightclub.
The eyesore is no longer owned by the Barracuda Pub Group, and it has emerged that new landlord Hawkstone, based in the West Midlands, is "in negotiations" with potential buyers.
Both Cornwall councillor Geoff Brown and Eve Wooldridge, manager of Newquay's Business Improvement District (BID), have discussed the plans with development manager Simon Handslip, who has been unavailable for comment.
Mr Brown, who broke the news at a meeting of Newquay Town Residents' Association on Thursday, told the Cornish Guardian he was optimistic" a major firm would take it on, helping to re-energise business in the Cliff Road area.
"The main problem is that there's no loading and unloading area but we've spoken to taxi drivers about this who agree the rank outside could be used," he said.
Hawkstone was "looking to attract homeware companies, like The Range" and had "one or two" interested.
"Not only would this get rid of an empty eyesore building; it would bring a quality retail outlet to that end of town," Mr Brown said. "It would be great for Newquay."
Ms Wooldridge said the process could take time, and possibly include demolition of the building. Meanwhile, she had been talking to Mr Handslip about using the building as "community space" and was exploring setting up a group for traders in the Cliff Road area.
The Barracuda was once the town's top club, boasting VIP guests such as Prince William, but closed in 2009 and regularly tops residents' lists of the town's worst eyesores.
KATE Humble is a familiar face to TV viewers across the nation.
The BBC presenter of nature shows such as Springwatch has become a popular and welcome visitor to living rooms throughout Britain, but, for her appearance at Fowey Festival of Words and Music she allowed the audience a much more personal insight into her life.
Kate's latest book, Humble By Nature, moves away from the all-encompassing pages of nature that have previously sat upon bookshelves adorned by Ms Humble's name, to a far more personal tale of leaving London for Wales and saving a nearby farm from being lost forever.
"This is actually my first narrative book, my first real book, so this is all my fault," said Kate.
"It is a very personal account.
"I grew up in the countryside, that was my roots. I ended up in London through work and then before you realise it 20 years have passed.
"Being in the city never really made me happy and I thought, 'my goodness Kate, what are you doing?'"
Kate, and husband Ludo, took on a Welsh smallholding in 2007. In Humble By Nature, the reader is taken upon the personal journey and challenge they faced in saving a small part of British farming heritage against all odds.
Kate spent her time at the festival discussing her new book with BBC Radio Cornwall's Tim Hubbard, and a captivated audience.
And she thoroughly enjoyed her time in the picturesque town before heading off to Exeter to continue her book tour.
"The festival setting is absolutely lovely," added Kate, "I've obviously heard of the event in its previous form as the du Maurier Festival and it was nice to be a part in this very grown-up celebration of the importance of the heritage in the area. I had no idea though how beautiful Fowey really is and the show went really well. The audience were just lovely."
A SINGLE mum says she has been left flabbergasted after the council gave her mould-ridden flat the all-clear – despite her GP saying it was damaging her health and that of her baby.
Amber Rowlands says she has to scrub black mould from the walls nearly every day – and sleeps on the sofa with 15-month-old tot Tyler as their beds and furniture are covered in the fungus.
Her GP has backed her plea to be rehomed and written to Cornwall Council criticising the privately rented flat, on Berry Road, as "not a healthy environment" for the pair.Click here to read the full story on www.cornishguardian.co.uk
CAMELFORD Leisure Centre's first six months under local control has been a success, one of its founding directors has said.
Robert Rush gave the news to the annual Camelford Town Meeting.
Mr Rush was among those who accompanied the Communities Minister Don Foster on his visit to the centre on Thursday last week.
In his report, Mr Rush said the cost to the Camelford members and non-members had not increased significantly and they had made efforts to keep costs low for those who had very limited financial capacity and who they wanted to encourage to participate.
"This is a community facility: run by the community for the benefit of the community. We already have some volunteers on board, people who are interested in helping out on reception, can help out with maintenance, cleaning, and we welcome others to get involved to help to keep the centre viable," he said.
"Footfall is up (especially on weekends), memberships are up and swimming lessons are well subscribed, with more opportunities than ever to get involved. The community has demonstrated that it wants to keep this facility open," said Mr Rush.
The next big development, he said, was the installation of a biomass boiler which is being funded partly by a £50,000 grant from Sports England. The parts have already arrived.
As well as visiting the centre, Mr Foster also went to the Bude Sea Pool during his trip to Cornwall and met members of the Friends of Bude Sea Pool (FoBSP).
The historic tidal swimming pool, like the centre, was taken under community control last year after Cornwall Council withdrew funding. FoBSP, a volunteer-run charity, took on its management.
The minister braved the elements to walk along the cliff path to the pool before discussing with councillors Nigel Pearce and Paula Dolphin, and Chris Sims, Cornwall Council's community network manager, the challenging aspects of funding and managing such an unusual public amenity.
FoBSP founder member Rowena Hoseason said the minister was complimentary about their efforts and the progress made so far in securing grants and developing revenue streams.
"However, much as we appreciate the kind words, it was a shame that he couldn't offer anything more substantial," she said.
"Most of the schemes touted under localism and devolution really don't apply to a civic amenity like this one.
"Responsibility for the sea pool was off-loaded by all levels of government – local, county and national – and it was left to the people of Bude, local businesses and the visitors who cherish this facility to save the day."
The pool has annual running costs of around £30,000 which FoBSP funds through membership, business sponsorship, fundraising and grants. It has completed two major structural projects.
CORNWALL Council said: "Cornwall Housing offers advice and, in some cases, financial assistance to those in housing need who choose to opt for privately rented accommodation. Cornwall Housing does not 'place' tenants via Homechoice in such cases but will offer advice on suitability, size and condition of the proposed accommodation. However, it is up to the tenant to make the final decision on whether or not to rent the property and to decide if it is suitable for their needs.
"If someone is living in privately rented accommodation and has concerns about the condition of the property and associated risks to their health, they should notify their landlord of these concerns in writing and give them the opportunity to rectify the situation. However, if improvement works are not carried out or if the tenant feels the property still poses a risk to their health and safety, we would advise them to contact the council's private- sector housing team who can arrange to visit and inspect the property and take enforcement action against the landlord if appropriate."
STAFF at Fowey Harbour enjoyed a busier than usual couple of days last week when they welcomed three cruise liners and Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin to their shores over three days.
Mr McLoughlin was in Fowey on May 15 to enjoy a tour of the harbour and look at some of the challenges the team face at a trust port.
Fowey harbour master, Paul Thomas, and chairman of the Board of Fowey Harbour Commissioners' Captain Will Mitchell spent around half an hour briefing Mr McLoughlin on the current situation within the port and then took him on a tour to show first-hand the hopes and aspirations for the future.
Mr Thomas said: "He was extremely warm and open and is to take some issues forward on our behalf.
"It was good to see him here and underlines the important role that a small port like Fowey plays in supporting business in this region."
They were joined on the tour by South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray and Steve Double, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for St Austell and Newquay.
The visit by Mr McLoughlin coincided with the second stop by a cruise liner in as many days for the popular port.
The impressive Silver Whisper and her 400 passengers were docked in Fowey on the day of his visit.
This cruise call followed a stop by the smaller Island Sky the day before, with Voyager, and another 560 passengers stopping in Fowey on May 16.
The cruise calls, although down on previous years, were welcomed by town businesses.
Ann Willmore, owner of Bookends of Fowey, said: "We definitely saw an increase in business when the cruise ships came in last week, especially on the 15th when Silver Whisper came in.
"A couple from that liner own a bookshop in New York City and they called in to Bookends to introduce themselves, which was great."
NEWQUAY'S CCTV cameras will continue to be monitored around the clock this summer after the town council saved the seven-man observation team from redundancy.
The service came under threat in February when it emerged the Government was withdrawing funding for disability recruitment company Remploy, which has manned the resort's 27 cameras since 2011.
With the current contract due to end on May 1, the town council was left with two choices: to go through a lengthy tender process to find another contractor; or take the team on as its employees. Members opted for the latter.
Former mayor Andy Hannan, who led the drive to save the monitoring service when Cornwall Council offloaded it two years ago, said it was crucial for Newquay and stressed that recruiting the former Remploy team would not cost taxpayers any more – and could even save money.
"In summer with the massive influx of people we have it's crucial we maintain CCTV monitoring and the proactive nature of this. A lot of incidents are nipped in the bud before they develop into something more serious.
"The big thing is that we've kept the experience of the operatives. It's vital they know the area, can identify situations before they happen and recognise people that need [an eye kept on them]."
The service costs around £80,000 a year, £23,000 of which is paid by St Austell Town Council.
The team also monitors 11 cameras in St Austell, although the number of incidents is markedly fewer than in Newquay.
In April and May a total of 347 incidents were spotted by monitors in Newquay, of which 45 led to arrests. In St Austell there were 55 incidents and just eight arrests.
Frontline police staff have always maintained the CCTV monitoring team is a vital asset in the fight against crime, especially during the tourist season.
PC Adam Barbery said: "We continue to be greatly assisted by our CCTV operators, who immediately direct us to any trouble, and their video evidence continues to secure many convictions for offences of assault, criminal damage and theft."
Inspector Dave Meredith said: "It provides comprehensive coverage through most of the town centre and has proved to be of considerable use in both protection and prevention of crime."
POPULAR town councillor Ken Stubbs has been re-elected to serve as Bodmin's mayor for a second term.
The council held its mayor-choosing ceremony last Thursday at St Petroc's parish church. Usually, the ceremony is held at the Public Rooms, but that has now been closed by the town council.
Mr Stubbs' deputy will be Andy Coppin, who held the same post last year.
Mr Stubbs, aged 75, said he was looking forward to another busy year in office with his wife, Marion, the mayoress.
"I'm delighted my fellow councillors voted for me to serve another year in office, it's something I have thoroughly enjoyed.
"Marion and I must have attended around 120 events in the past 12 months, and really, with all the council meetings I attend too, it amounts to a full-time job, but I thoroughly enjoy it,'' said Mr Stubbs.
THREE men from Bodmin will be heading for Kenya next January to help impoverished people improve their eyesight.
An eye camp will be set up in the town of Kericho and so far, more than 1,200 secondhand spectacles have been donated.
The trip is a joint venture between three local organisations, and travelling to Africa will be David Truran from Bodmin Lions, Paul Harrison for the local Rotary Club and Balu Madhvani from Bodmin Boxing Club.
They will be joined by Mr Madhvani's nephew, Sandy, a member of the Seven Kings Lions' Club in London, which has helped with the donations.
It will be a special trip for the Madhvanis, as both were born in Kericho.
Specsavers in Bodmin has agreed to test all the spectacles free of charge, and to number each measuring their optical strength.
Balu Madhvani said: " Paul and I made a similar trip to Kenya a few years ago, and when we were there, we decided to visit Kericho where I caught up with my old school teacher.
"He said Kericho could do with an eye camp too, as there were many poor people in need of spectacles there, so I promised him I'd be back one day to help set one up.''
Mr Madhvani said the last time he and Mr Harrison were in Kenya, 1,300 people were seen at an eye camp, and 80 received cataract treatment at a hospital.
He said the group also planned to travel to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, to help build a new school classroom.
A KNITTING councillor who brought her woolly workings into a Liskeard Town Council meeting failed to leave the mayor in stitches last Tuesday.
During the first council meeting following the local elections, which saw a splinter group from the Liskeard Town Team – Open Liskeard – take 9 of the 15 seats available in the biggest shake-up in the town's politics in decades, a pair of knitting needles stirred a heated exchange between the town mayor and Open Liskeard councillors.
After newly elected Open Liskeard councillor Rachel Brooks began knitting, town mayor Tony Powell accused her of being disrespecting to both the council and the Liskeard electorate.
Mrs Brooks replied: "I certainly don't mean any disrespect but I find it helps my concentration."
"Does that mean that anyone can bring a hobby to the table?" Mr Powell replied.
Jumping to her colleague's defence, town councillor and Cornwall councillor for Liskeard East Sally Hawken said: "I would like to see this council being non-judgemental about things like this."
After being told to stand when addressing the council by Mr Powell, who also stood in the county council elections for Liskeard East, Ms Hawken proceeded to cite equality rights saying that if knitting helped Mrs Brook concentrate then she should be allowed to continue.
Open Liskeard town councillor and newly elected Cornwall councillor for Liskeard North Roger Holmes also jumped to Mrs Brooks' aid.
"I have been a councillor here for years and I do not see any difference to doodling on a piece of paper," he said.
Following Mr Holmes' comments Mr Powell continued with the meeting, while Mrs Brooks continued knitting.
The newly elected council voted Susan Pike as the new town mayor and Phil Seeva as deputy, both of whom are members of Open Liskeard.
They also agreed to have weekly meetings while a standards committee reviews the council's existing practices – a key point in the Open Liskeard manifesto.
Seven members of the council, both experienced and newly elected individuals, will sit on the committee including Tony Powell, Nick Mallard, Susan Pike, Roger Holmes, Ian Goldsworthy, Lorna Shrubshole and Rachel Brooks.
Speaking to the council Mrs Shrubshole said: "I know it might seem scary. This is an opportunity to look at what we have been doing and to see whether we feel there may be a different way that we can best represent our townsfolk."
Mr Powell said: "Change is fine as long as it isn't change for the sake of change's sake.
"Please put aside thoughts of us being scared."
The council was due to meet yesterday evening to begin the review process.
LOOE'S harbour master explained how the authority manages its waste economically.
Jeff Penhaligon said he discovered it was cheaper to buy a lorry for the harbour's waste and take it directly to the landfill site at Liskeard, rather than having skips emptied by Cornwall Council.
He said that years ago bins on the quay were being used mainly for waste from tourists and local takeaways and the county authority at the time tried to hike the cost of having them emptied.
The town council was looking to buy some bins, so it purchased them from the harbour commission and offered to pay the fee to have them emptied.
FURIOUS harbour representatives may have to hike car parking fees to cover costs after Cornwall Council increased their skip fees by £9,000 per year.
Chris Gilbertson, from Mevagissey Harbour Office, said they used to pay £96 to get each skip on the harbour emptied.
He said this happens about 60 times a year, which used to total about £7,000 (including fees such as bags to line the skips).
But the council is now asking them to pay £250 for the service (an extra £154 per skip) from its contractors Cory, meaning their total per year has soared to about £16,000.
This is due to their waste being reclassified as commercial waste, meaning they now have to pay landfill fees.
"It's not really fair, is it?" said Mr Gilbertson. "Especially when about 80 per cent of the waste in those skips is generated by tourists.
About 20 per cent is actual harbour waste and the rest is chip wrappers, dirty nappies and all sorts."
He said that the harbour trustees are considering raising car parking levies to cover the costs.
"We have got to find the money somehow," he said.
"We would rather not pay anything.
"I thought Looe harbour would be up in arms about it but apparently they don't pay anything to the council."
He added: "I think the trustees' idea is, instead of putting all that rubbish that isn't ours in the skips, we will just collect it all and dump it under the war memorial in the village square for the council to take away."
Mr Gilbertson said they told the council they would remove the bins from the harbour, but that the authority threatened to report them to Environmental Health.
Louise Lever, council spokesman, said government legislation had brought a change in the law which means charities and trusts, such as Mevagissey Harbour, have now had their waste reclassified from household to commercial and they must now pay for the collection and disposal of the waste. The council said it had delayed imposing the legislation for as long as possible.
Mevagissey Harbour did not have to use the council or its contractor and the authority did not have a statutory duty to provide litter bins on private land, she said.
"However, irrespective of which provider the Mevagissey Harbour uses, it will still have to pay for the collection and disposal of its waste."
A FORMER heart patient from Lostwithiel has thanked the medical staff who helped him by raising £3,000 for the unit.
Sid Pascoe was a former patient at Torrington Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), Derriford Hosptial, Plymouth.
And he delighted staff there after presenting them with a cheque for £3,000 as thanks for the work they do for patients with heart problems.
He was admitted to Derriford in December, 2009, for a triple heart bypass.
Following a successful operation, Mr Pascoe, then club captain of Lostwithiel Golf Club, got together with club members to raise money for the unit through a number of charity events.
The golf club ran raffles and auctioned rounds of golf as they attempted to raise funds for Mr Pascoe's chosen charity, Torrington CICU.
The presentation was made at Lostwithiel Golf Club's Captain's Charity Day on Saturday, April 20.
Mr Pascoe's wife, Julie, said: "Thanks to the support and generosity of the members of the golf club we were delighted to be able to present the cheque to show our appreciation, as without the wonderful work of the staff, Sid might not be here today."
Matron, Judith Frame and ward managers, Sylvia Villaquiran and Natalie Howes were on hand to accept the cheque.
A TEACHER at a Bodmin primary school has won a national award for science education.
Caroline Skerry is the Year 4 teacher at St Mary's Catholic Primary School and received the award from AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust.
She now becomes a Fellow of the Association of Primary Science Teachers.
Head teacher Kevin Storey said: "Caroline was nominated by a secondary school colleague as a result of a science project that St Mary's staff and children were involved in. The trust came to see Caroline teach science at our school on two occasions. They were very impressed at what they saw.
"We were delighted to find out that she had gained the award. It is in recognition of the great work she does in science in our school and of her approach to teaching."
Mrs Skerry said she was delighted to be presented with the award.
"I would like to thank Neil Anderson and Mary Haslam of St Michael's Catholic Secondary School in Camborne and the staff at St Mary's Catholic Primary School for the support during this process,'' she said.
The awards recognise innovative and creative work that contributes to science development in school and engages children in the excitement of science.
LOOE residents who raised thousands of pounds to fund a play area for children in the community, have said Cornwall Council failed in its duty to maintain it and took too long to carry out repair works.
In 2007 residents, supported by the Looe Development Trust, raised £165,000 to pay for new equipment for the Millpool Play Area in West Looe. But when the swings broke at the end of last year, it took more than four months for the repairs to be carried out.
Mother of two Natacha Tagholm was one of the mums who fundraised to pay for the park.
She said: "We saved the council hundreds of thousands of pounds – the least it could do is maintain it.
"It shouldn't take the council this long to get things sorted out."
When the play area was first installed it was covered by a large sail to protect children from the sunlight but after being vandalised the sail has been removed by Cornwall Council.
A Cornwall Council spokesman said: "We do not have any plans to replace the sail – it is highly likely to become a target for vandals again."
Mrs Tagholm said the council should provide some form of protection from the sun for children.
"It is a very exposed area," she said.
"The council said it doesn't have to replace it but it's very important for the children to have a shaded place to sit."
Mrs Tagholm, who has moved away since raising the funds, has continued to liaise with Cornwall Council regarding the state of the play area after friends told her that it was falling into disrepair.
"We worked really hard to raise the money and it needs to be maintained," she said.
"On a bad weather day, when you can't go to the beach, there is nothing else for the kids to do," she explained.
"Most of the kids don't have gardens because of the geographical terrain or if they do they are on steep slopes and we are trying to combat childhood obesity and they need somewhere to play."
Cornwall councillor for West Looe, Lansallos and Lanteglos Edwina Hannaford said: "It took more than four months to repair the swings. The council is saying that they needed specialist parts but the suppliers said there were no specialist parts.
"We need to know what went wrong so we can avoid this happening again in the future."
A representative from Cornwall Council added: "We appreciate the work that went into raising funds for this play area and acknowledge that Cornwall Council is responsible for repair and maintenance.
"As with other play areas in Cornwall, Millpool receives weekly safety inspections during the summer and fortnightly during the winter.
"We are grateful for the continued interest in this play area and will work with those concerned to ensure the investment is protected."