Friday, June 17, 2005


The cliff-top location is perfect, with panoramic views stretching from the headland beyond St Ives to Trevose Head, near Padstow.

Planning permission would never be granted for a house to be built there but a group of families have set up home beside the coastal footpath between Porthtowan and Portreath.

Their presence has brought complaints from local residents because, after several weeks, they are showing no sign of moving on.

A cluster of caravans, a bus and a converted lorry are parked on the site of old mine workings close to the edge of the near 300ft high cliffs.

One of the group, who declined to give his name, said this week: "Most people are friendly and say hello as they walk past."

He claimed that as it was so out of the way, with no houses within half a mile, they were causing no offence to anyone. "We will be off soon," he added.

The site almost straddles the boundary between Kerrier and Carrick districts but is in fact on land owned by Kerrier Council.

Graeme Hicks, Kerrier's portfolio holder for the environment, said: "It's a nightmare situation because we have nowhere else to put these people.

"I have been approached about this but it's not a planning enforcement issue because we own the land."

Mr Hicks said he understood the travellers had been served with notices to leave the site but the issue was complicated because the group includes a number of children.

A Porthtowan resident claimed: "Kerrier have done absolutely nothing to stop the site being used.

"I just think it's appalling that a group of travellers can be allowed to take over such a beautiful area, where thousands of pounds have been spent restoring the mine workings."

She added that the travellers came and went at will, without any attempt being made to prevent them returning to the site.


After 14 years, Nigel and Melanie Tabb have served their last customers at their Portreath restaurant. The couple have sold the premises, which will now become a Chinese restaurant, and are moving to Truro.

"After so many years here, we wanted to take on a fresh challenge," said Nigel, who is one of Cornwall's top chefs.

"We will be really sorry to leave. We wouldn't be where we are now, without Portreath. It has been really good to us."

Their restaurant has been rated as one of the best in the county but Tabb's will be reborn in Truro later in the summer.

They have bought the Royal Standard pub in Kenwyn Street, which has been closed and boarded up for several months.

After a major refurbishment, it will reopen as Tabb's bar and restaurant in August.

Nigel said: "We will be doing similar sorts of meals to what we have been doing at Portreath but we will also be open for lunches."


An appeal has gone out to women to take part in the ultimate driving event, the Marie Curie Ladies' Driving Challenge. The annual event on September 18 at RAF Portreath, Cornwall, involves driving some of the most unusual and challenging vehicles, from a double decker-bus to a fire engine and maybe a luxury salon or an off-road car.

To date more than 60 ladies have signed up, but there are still places available.

Lynne Juleff, who took part last year, said "The day was a wonderful experience, a day to be enjoyed by all. I can highly recommend driving the fire engine.

"The day raises vital funds to enable local families, who have a loved one with cancer to be cared for in their own home by Marie Curie Nurses.

"The outstanding work that Marie Curie Cancer Care provides is priceless. My mum experienced their dedicated care nearly five years ago and was able to die peacefully at home with family and friends close by.

"My family and I will always express our thanks to the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity. Ladies, this opportunity does not occur every day and I hope you fancy taking up this year's Ladies Driving Challenge.

"I will not be driving this year. I will be coordinating the day, as part as my new job role as a community fundraising coordinator for Marie Curie Cancer Care."

Entry for the event is £10 and everyone taking part is asked to raise a minimum of £100 in sponsorship. Places are limited so early entry is recommended.

Call Lynne Juleff for an entry form on 01872 260500 or e-mail for an electronic entry form.


09:00 - 16 June 2005
Hopes are high that a dispersal order can be introduced in parts of Portreath in time for the summer season to combat anti-social behaviour.

The legislation, which will have to be approved by Kerrier Council and police chiefs, would give police the power to move on groups of people, including youths, causing "intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress" to others. Unaccompanied under 16s could be taken home after 9pm.

The decision to apply for the order was taken at last week's meeting of the parish council when residents turned out in force to demand action against groups of youths who terrorise the resort with their drinking, fighting, vandalism and intimidating behaviour.

The residents handed in a petition highlighting the problems of "boy racers", car horns blaring late into the evening, sexual behaviour in public places, broken bottles, and aggression.

They claimed the problems had been made worse by the dispersal order in Illogan, which had shifted troublemakers into their village. Businesses were being affected, and Portreath's reputation as a holiday resort was being tarnished.

One resident described how someone from Birmingham had been on the point of taking on a long-term rental of a property in the village until they witnessed some of the problems. They had changed their mind, comparing the village to parts of Manchester.

Another resident reported seeing youths racing cars backwards through the village, and doing "donuts" in the car park.

Another said she found a young couple having sex in the women's toilet in the early afternoon.

A businessman said his takings were falling as tourists saw the problems, promised never to return, and told their friends to stay away as well.

Neighbourhood beat manager PC Tim Roberts said he recognised there were problems in the village, and he believed a dispersal order would help policing efforts.

"We recognise that there has been trouble. In previous years dispersal orders have not been available to us," he said.

"I would like to think the parish council and the public recognise the police are trying to do something about these problems."

He believed the dispersal order in Illogan had been effective, and would be renewed for a further six months as a result. Portreath would benefit from a similar order during the summer months.

Ashton White wanted to know which parts of the village would be covered.

Mr Roberts said: "The parish council can comment on the areas to be included, but it will be drawn up by the police where historically there have been problems, or where we believe there may be problems to do with legislation introduced elsewhere."

He suggested the areas likely to be covered would include the beach, car park, harbour, Beach Road and the square.

Nigel Mathews proposed the council ask the police to pursue a dispersal order in the village. His fellow councillors supported him unanimously.

Sgt Paul Marchant, who was also at the meeting, said the police planned to introduce another initiative to combat anti-social behaviour.

Instead of working in isolation, Redruth neighbourhood beat managers would be teaming up.

He said: "They will roam the area in a marked police van. They will carry out foot patrols in the summer. You will see a lot higher police presence than you have in the past."


Thursday, June 09, 2005


09 June 2005
Millions of pounds of conservation and regeneration work is to be carried out in Camborne, Redruth, Gwennap and St Day, thanks to a partnership between Cornwall County Council and Kerrier District Council.

Between them they have secured £5.5 million of funding to create "an accessible heritage experience" in the former central mining district, by connecting important mining sites and villages via a network of multi-use trails.

The new grant follows on from the £500,000 granted in 2004 to carry out a 12-month feasibility study.

The Mineral Tramways Heritage Project will see the preservation of 11 mining heritage sites, 10 Grade II listed structures and three schedule monuments, and the making safe of numerous dangerous mine shafts.

A 30km heritage trail will be created linking mine sites, mining heritage attractions, settlements, public transport and visitor attractions, to add to the existing 30km of the Coast to Coast and the Great Flat Lode trails.

Thirteen villages adjoining the Mineral Tramways trail will undergo enhancement work, with new links created to attract people in to boost the economies.

And there will be a major marketing, education and interpretation programme to increase awareness of the area's heritage.

Simon Murray, acting principal project officer said: "The project has so far received tremendous support from the local community and both district and county councils. I now hope that continued liaison with the local community will ensure that the project is successfully delivered on the ground."

Adam Paynter, the County Council's executive member for environment and heritage, said: "This is fantastic news for Cornwall. It's another feather in the cap for Cornwall where a lot of work is being done to preserve and enhance our important history."

Mark Kaczmarek, Kerrier's portfolio holder for regeneration and chairman of the Mineral Tramways Partnership Steering Group, said: "I am delighted that all the hard work we have put into the project has resulted in the extra funding being granted.

"This is going to have a real positive impact on the regeneration of the mining villages by linking them to the very popular coast to coast multi-use trail network by upgrading some of the existing footpaths and bridleway and creating many kilometres of new trails."

Carleen Kelemen, director of the Objective One Partnership said: "The programme has invested more than £1.5 million in this project. Cornwall's mining landscape is of international importance and the central mining district is a key part of the proposed World Heritage Site.

"Investing in the conservation of this key aspect of the distinctiveness of Cornwall and provides new and exciting opportunities for both residents and visitors to visit and explore the countryside.

"This will provide the building blocks for heritage-led tourism, bringing benefits to local businesses and people."

Funding partners for the project include the Objective One Programme, South West Regional Development Agency, Heritage Lottery Fund, Cornwall County Council, Kerrier and Carrick District Councils, and parish councils in the project area.