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  1. Tourism businesses 'face battle to survive'

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Cornwall welcomed two million visitors since lockdown restrictions were lifted in July but tourism businesses still face a battle to survive.

    That was the message from Visit Cornwall boss Malcolm Bell when he addressed a meeting of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) on Wednesday.

    Malcolm Bell

    Mr Bell said that being able to open up the industry again in July had meant that the economic crisis had not been as bad as it could have been but warned businesses would still need a lot of support and financial backing to ensure that they can keep job losses to a minimum.

    He said in April, May and June the combined loss of the industry in Cornwall was £750million.

    Mr Bell said that July and August had been good months for the industry and September “has been stonkingly good”.

    He added that October and November were also looking like they could be stronger for visitor numbers than previous years.

    Mr Bell warned though that the losses experienced during lockdown were still not being made up and said that in the best case scenario they could recover by May or June next year.

    He added: “The worst case scenario is it could push us into a position where the industry faces four winters.”

  2. World Pilot Gig Championships' 2021 competition cancelled

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    World Pilot Gig Championships

    The 2021 World Pilot Gig Championships held annually on the Isles of Scilly, have been cancelled, organisers have said.

    The 2020 event, due in May and which was expected to have 120 boat crews competing, was called off at short notice because of coronavirus.

    Organisers said they made the decision because they were aware competitors and spectators had to sort out travel and accommodation well in advance.

    They said in a statement on Facebook that "cautious optimism of a month ago has evaporated in the light of the current deteriorating situation with regard to Covid-19".

    "This has not been an easy decision. We love the Champs.

    "It is wonderful to see the crews from all over the country and abroad having a great time and we know that you love coming here.

    "To miss one year is bad enough. To miss two… well, we will stay positive and plan to pick up the pieces when we can."

    The islands, about 28 miles (45km) south west of Cornwall, were supposed to be hosting the 31st year of the competition this year, which attracts thousands of people from across the world, with rowers from the USA and Europe competing.

  3. South West Covid-19 cases still below English average

    Hamish Marshall

    BBC Spotlight

    Cases of Covid-19 in the South West are still below the national average and, in most cases, well below, BBC research on the latest figures show.

    Plymouth is one of the few parts of the country to show a reduction in cases over the week to Sunday, compared with the previous seven days.

    The number of cases in the city dropped from 55 to 44, and the infection rate is 16.9 per 100,000 population.

    Cornwall remains the area in the region with the highest number of cases.

    In the week to Sunday, numbers went up from 115 to 180. The infection rate is 31.5 per 100,000.

    Exeter, where a large proportion of cases is among students, has seen the number of cases increase from 28 to 67 in the week to Sunday. The infection rate is 51 per 100,000 of the population.

    The city's university has asked students not to meet indoors "with anyone who is not part of your household" for two weeks.

    The number of cases rose everywhere else in Devon, except East Devon and Torridge, but those areas' numbers are low, as are infection rates.

    The England average is 57.3 cases per 100,000.

  4. Cornwall's Covid economic recovery 'could take five years'

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Cornwall’s economy may not return to the level it was before coronavirus until at least 2025, a business meeting has heard.

    The warning was made after it was revealed Cornwall had one of the highest take-ups of the furlough scheme aimed to protect jobs during Covid lockdown.

    Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) chief executive Glenn Caplin gave a briefing on the Covid-19 recovery to a meeting of the LEP board on Wednesday morning.

    Data from June showed that about 84,300 jobs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly were being supported by the government’s job retention scheme.

    The highest number were in the St Austell and Newquay Parliamentary constituency, with 18,300 people furloughed.

    In the other parliamentary areas:

    • Truro and Falmouth had 14,400
    • North Cornwall 13,600
    • Camborne and Redruth 13,500
    • St Ives 12,300
    • South East Cornwall had 11,300

    Mr Caplin said that 37% of all eligible jobs were furloughed in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, putting it in the top quarter of the country.

    In addition a self-employment income support scheme saw 77% of eligible people signing up – again one of the highest rates in the country and reflecting the high number of self-employed people in Cornwall.

    Mr Caplin also said that, as well as a large number of people being furloughed, there had also been a rise in the number of people claiming benefits, with a 95% rise in Universal Credit claims in Cornwall from March to June.

    In March there had been 24,876 claimants in Cornwall but by June that had jumped to 48,458.

    However, he also highlighted that Cornwall Council had helped to distribute more than £200m in business grants – again one of the highest levels in the country.

  5. Three arrested in connection with St Ives stabbing

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Three men have been arrested in connection with a stabbing in St Ives, police have said.

    Police were called to reports of an altercation on Treganna Road between 23:30 and midnight on Wednesday 16 September.

    The 29-year-old victim, a man from Redruth, was found on Chapel Street and taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital to be treated for serious injuries, which police reported as not being life-threatening.

    Police said an 18-year-old man, a 21-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, all from Birmingham, were arrested on Joannies Avenue on Tuesday night and were in custody.

    Three other men - a 22-year-old man from St Ives, a 17-year-old boy from Birmingham, and a 19-year-old man from St Ives - were also arrested at the scene on suspicion of possession of drugs with intent to supply.

  6. Council steps in with £6m to reopen all leisure centres

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Ships and Castles

    Cornwall Council has stepped in to provide £6m to the operator of the county's leisure centres so that they can all open within two weeks.

    Operator GLL has opened many of the leisure centres which it operates in Cornwall but the new funding will ensure all will reopen next month.

    The funding will allow GLL to reopen Saltash, Launceston, Wadebridge and St Ives leisure centres, Ships and Castles in Falmouth and the swimming pools at Bude, Liskeard and Helston by 14 October at the latest.

    The pool at Launceston requires urgent maintenance but will reopen by mid-November once the work is complete.

    In addition, the council has also provided financial support to operators on non-GLL leisure centres, including Carn Brea Sports Centre, Newquay Sports Centre and Penzance Leisure Centre.

    That money is in the form of loans to providers of £4.4m, along with grants, loan holidays and contract payments of £1.7m.

    All the funding is being made from council reserves.

    While the GLL leisure centres will reopen the council has indicated that Falmouth's Princess Pavilion will remain closed until it can reopen which is likely to be in the spring.

    However, the council and GLL said they would continue to call on the government for financial support to help leisure businesses which have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

  7. People 'need to see a doctor quickly with cancer symptoms'

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    People in Cornwall need to see a doctor quickly if they start showing any symptoms of cancer, oncology staff at the county's main hospital have said.

    It comes in the same week that a new government task-force meets for the first time to try to address the national backlog of people who’ve been unable or unwilling to access cancer services because of coronavirus.

    Research published earlier this year said there could be more than 3,500 avoidable cancer deaths in England in the next five years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The virus had disrupted services and some people had avoided healthcare, researcher told The Lancet Oncology journal.

    As well as this, almost one million women in the UK have missed vital breast screening due to Covid, charity Breast Cancer Now estimated, after screening programmes were paused in March as the NHS focused resources on tackling the pandemic.

    Rachel Carroll, a cancer nurse at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said the pandemic had also had a psychological impact on current patients.

    Quote Message: Some people are feeling so isolated. They are not able to see their friends because they have to take extra precautions. They're not able to see their loved ones, again because they are so frightened." from Rachael Carroll
    Rachael Carroll
  8. Cornwall uni student chooses home over campus

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    A university student who was studying in Derby says she decided it would be better to come home to Saltash in Cornwall than stay in her student accommodation and risk having to go into lockdown.

    Molly Banks, who is studying in her second year of forensic science with criminology, said she had not "actually been on campus yet".

    Quote Message: It's all online which is a bit annoying because last year we could use microscopes and we could touch the physical bones and see disease or whatever on them. But this year it's all online, so you can't get a good feel for it." from Molly Banks University Student
    Molly BanksUniversity Student
  9. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A388 Cornwall both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A388 Cornwall both ways severe accident, from White Horse Inn Hotel to Liftondown turn off.

    A388 Cornwall - A388 in Lanstephen closed and queues in both directions from the White Horse Inn Hotel junction to the Liftondown turn off junction, because of an accident involving a car and a motorcycle.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  10. Cornwall police commander praises officers

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Cornwall's outgoing police commander has praised police officers and staff for exceptional work after one of the force's busiest ever summers.

    From July to early September, Devon & Cornwall Police attended more than 17,000 incidents in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly - a 5% increase over the period compared with last year.

    More than 100 officers were assaulted over the Covid lockdown and the summer period in Cornwall.

    Ch Supt Ian Drummond-Smith added that police would continue to enforce coronavirus restrictions in the appropriate way.

    Quote Message: Our policing style during the lockdown meant that we issued a lot of tickets, and we can continue to do that. We can enforce when the time is ripe. So, if people are blatantly breaching the regulations and the guidance, if people choose not to disperse when they have been given a direction to do so by officers, then we can and we will issue tickets." from Ch Supt Ian Drummond-Smith Devon and Cornwall Police
    Ch Supt Ian Drummond-SmithDevon and Cornwall Police

    Ch Supt Drummond-Smith is taking on the role of the force's Head of Contact and Resolution.

  11. People 'still suspicious of university students'

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Exeter Univeristy Covid sign on floor

    Universities across Cornwall and Devon are continuing their efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    About 40 across the country are operating local lockdowns.

    In the South West, that includes Exeter, which has asked students not to meet indoors "with anyone who is not part of your household" for the next two weeks.

    There are concerns some students over whether students have been sticking to the guidelines and if they will be allowed home for Christmas.

    Star MacFarlane is a third year at Falmouth, and she and her housemates have been staying in their own bubble.

    However, she told the BBC there was a minority of people in the town who still viewed students with suspicion.

    Quote Message: When me and my housemate sometimes walk along the street, you get angry drivers passing by, telling us to safety distance; but we all live in a house together. So I think people see a large group of students and instantly their back is up and assuming that we're breaking the rules. It is hard." from Star MacFarlane University Student
    Star MacFarlaneUniversity Student

    Meanwhile Plymouth University, which has three students self-isolating after testing positive for the virus, told the BBC it had plans in place should the numbers increase rapidly.

    Quote Message: We have the outbreak management plan which we have been asked to put together by the Department for Education, and has also been signed off with Plymouth City Council. That's the direction that we will take should the numbers ever get to that stage. We are working with the council and local health and will be guided by them." from Julian Chaudhuri Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Plymouth
    Julian ChaudhuriDeputy Vice Chancellor, University of Plymouth
  12. 'Stay away from seals' warning in pupping season

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Wildlife experts are warning people in Cornwall not to get too close to seals in the vital pupping season.

    Seal pup

    Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust says it's recorded some of the worst seal disturbance incidents it's ever seen this summer.

    It says that grey seals are disturbed as often as every 14 minutes in Cornwall.

  13. Newton Abbot racist abuse incident

    A service station worker in Newton Abbot was subjected to threats and racist abuse on 19 September, Devon and Cornwall Police has revealed.

    Officers are appealing for witnesses after a man banged on the night-time counter window of the Esso garage on East Street, before entering the store and verbally abusing the staff member using racist language.

    The incident took place between 20:00 and 21:00 on Saturday evening.

    A 32-year-old man from Newton Abbot has been arrested on suspicion of intimidation and released on police bail until Monday 19 October.

  14. Video content

    Video caption: Kirsten Richards walks for hours to deal with her grief

    Husband Mark Richards had retired from the police force two years before his terminal diagnosis.

  15. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: A388 Cornwall both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A388 Cornwall both ways severe disruption, near Callington Community College.

    A388 Cornwall - A388 Launceston Road in Callington blocked in both directions near the Callington Community College junction, because of a breakdown.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  16. Cornwall and Scilly see 46 new Covid-19 weekend cases

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    There's been a sharp rise in the number of confirmed Covid 19 cases in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

    Some 46 more cases were confirmed over the weekend, up to Sunday night. In all, there has been 1311 cases.

    In the seven days up to last Thursday, there were 33 cases per 100,000 people. The average area in England had 27 per 100,000.

    There have been 208 coronavirus-related deaths in the areas registered to 11 September, the latest figures said.