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Council tax bills set to rise

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cornwall Council tax bills look set to increase to pay for services from the unitary authority and Devon and Cornwall Police.

With Cornwall Council’s budget proposals set to go before full council on Tuesday full details of proposed increases have been published.

Councillors will be asked to vote on plans to raise the council’s share of council tax by 3.99% for 2020/21.

This includes a general increase of 1.99% along with a 2% charge for adult social care.

For a band D property the share of council tax for the council will be £1,588.02 – an increase of £60.93 compared to last year.

Storm Dennis: Beach bar builds sand and boulder wall


People across the South West are preparing for Storm Dennis which is expected to batter the UK on Saturday and Sunday.

The storm "is likely to bring very heavy rain, flooding and disruption" in some areas, the Met Office has said.

In Perranporth the beach bar, The Watering Hole, is preparing for stormy seas and high tides.

It's hoping to protect the venue by building up a sand and boulder wall.


Flooding in Looe and Fowey

The high tide and stormy weather has caused flooding in Looe and Fowey.

Looe Community Fire Station posted a video on social media of the flooding.

The fire station said it had not received any call outs to flooded properties, but the road to the station was flooded.

Staff said anyone in danger and in need of assistance should call 999.

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There's also flooding on the A386 near Sourton and the Torpoint Ferry crossings are suspended "due to extreme flooding".

There's also flooding along the river in Kingsbridge.


Storm damages energy-from-waste incinerator roof

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

A energy-from-waste plant in Cornwall has been stopped from powering the National Grid after strong winds damaged the building's roof, bosses say.

The operator of the plant at St Dennis, Suez, said very strong gusty winds from Storm Ciara caused some "minor damage to a section of the roof cladding at [the] Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre".

Bosses said some "light roof insulation material was blown loose" and staff were inspecting and clearing any material in the surrounding area, but waste deliveries and plant operations were continuing.

They added that, while it was "clearly regrettable, it did not pose a safety risk to members of the public or site personnel".

St Dennis incinerator
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The turbine is operating normally. However, as a precautionary measure, electricity export to the National Grid has been temporarily suspended. The site will re-start exporting electricity as soon as it is safe to do so. We will carry out a comprehensive roof assessment, as soon as conditions allow safe access to it, to establish the extent of the damage, determine the cause and rectify it as soon as practically possible."

Storm smashes Bude pool hut


The building used by the RNLI in the summer to provide lifeguard cover for Bude Sea Pool has been upended.

Stormy weather continues to disrupt power and travel

BBC Spotlight

Further disruption is expected as stormy conditions continue to batter the South West.

A yellow warning for wind is in place.


Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said it had dealt with several incidents since Sunday including a trampoline which had blown over a fence and on to a house, and a number of signs and roofs which had been damaged or loosened.

Western Power Distribution said about 500 properties were without power in Devon and Cornwall this morning.

There are reports of a large tree down on the A390 at Grampound and another on the A390 at the top of the St Mewan dip.

On Sunday winds gusted to more than 70 mph. Some trains and ferries didn't run, while Flybe cancelled most flights in and out of Exeter and Newquay.

Cornwall Council paid £45m to escape loan deals

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cornwall Council has been forced to pay a £45m penalty due to “serious failings” around the use of controversial loans, according to auditors.

A series of recommendations have been issued by the council's auditors in their annual audit letter.

Some of these relate to the council’s use of Lender Option Borrower Option (LOBO) loans, which were found to be a more expensive way of borrowing money.

In Cornwall, the council had two inverse LOBO loans worth £85m with the Royal Bank of Scotland which the council decided to repay early in January last year due to the high cost of the borrowing.

The council had to pay a premium, or penalty charge to exit the loans early of £45.2m.

The audit letter described "serious failings of governance at predecessor bodies a decade or more ago".

No statutory action is being taken due to the length of time since the LOBOs were issued, the fact they have been redeemed, and public awareness.

Cornwall Council was named as one of several councils in the country which had used LOBO loans and in particular inverse LOBOs where banks have an option to propose a rise in interest payments if general banking rates fall.

Local councils had been using the loans as a way of borrowing money but they were later found to be a more expensive way of borrowing money.

Rules for dogs on beaches change

People walking dog on beach
Getty Images

Cornwall Council has decided dogs will not be allowed on beaches in July and August this year.

As well as this restriction dog will be banned from beaches with blue flag status from 15 May to 30 September.

These new restrictions will apply to 41 beaches and are due to apply for three years.

The decision to simplify the regulations for dogs on beaches in Cornwall was made after the council's biggest consultation.

The restrictions will be in place from 10:00 to 18:00 BST.

There is an exception for Porthchapel Beach near Land's End where the current restrictions will be lifted, as requested by the private beach owner.

Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection said: "Across this huge response was a strong theme for the regulations to be both simpler to understand, and standardised across Cornwall."