West Penwith local news

Kipper me capstans! New Isles of Scilly ferry service has only a few weeks to recruit its crew

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The company planning to challenge the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company’s monopoly on ferry services to Penzance is scrambling to find enough crew before launching its...

Did we mention this is an election year? Government finds money to pay fishermen for not catching fish

By Julia Penhaligon The government has announced a compensation scheme for Cornwall’s Pollack fishermen. It follows a decision, based on scientific evidence, to set the total allowable catch to...

Natural England should be stripped of power to designate Sites of Special Scientific Interest, says St Ives MP Derek Thomas

By Julia Penhaligon The row over new environmental protections for the Penwith Moors is continuing in Parliament, more than nine months after Natural England confirmed its status as a...

When the wind blows

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Coastal communities are waking up to a battered and soggy Cornwall after high tides and strong winds brought flooding to many areas. The sea wall at...

Silent witness: why archaeologists now believe human bones found near Padstow are those of a sailor shipwrecked in the 18th century

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Male, aged 25-40, buried in a shroud at the top of a cliff at Trevone, near Padstow.  Well developed shoulders.  At some point had repeatedly used...

War of words over Isles of Scilly ferry wars

By Julia Penhaligon The Council of the Isles of Scilly has taken the highly unusual step of publishing a list of “corrections” to various statements made during a recent...

Planners vote 9-2 to approve use of open countryside piggery as a family home

By Lee Trewhela A plan to convert and extend a redundant piggery into a home for a local family has been approved by a Cornwall Council committee despite its...

St Just fundraising to save former “miners’ cathedral”

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The community in St Just is rallying to save one of the most important public buildings in west Cornwall. The St Just Wesleyan Methodist Church, known...

Isles of Scilly journalist Clive Mumford dies, aged 85

By Graham Smith The journalist Clive Mumford, who for decades reported from the Isles of Scilly, has died aged 85. His grandfather Charles Mumford opened the newsagents in St...

Isles of Scilly ferry wars: tickets now on sale for new service

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Tickets have gone on sale for a new ferry service to the Isles of Scilly. The Atlantic Wolff will sail from Penzance at 12.30 on Wednesday...

Heamoor housing scheme approved despite local objections

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Planners this morning (Monday) voted 8-1, with one abstention, to approve 320 houses on the site of a former daffodil farm at Heamoor, Penzance. The application...

County Hall set to defy local opinion and approve large housing estate at Heamoor

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Planning officials are recommending approval of controversial proposals for 320 homes at Heamoor, Penzance. The vast majority of nearly 100 public comments submitted to Cornwall Council...

On yer bike: Cornwall to pilot “active travel” scheme in bid to boost health

By Anne North Cornwall is one of 13 areas in England chosen to promote “active” travel as an alternative to motoring. County Hall wants to encourage cycling and walking...

Planning enforcement “very late to the table” as locals protest huge barn conversion

By Lee Trewhela Incensed villagers in Cornwall say a huge barn conversion, which dwarfs neighbouring homes, is a planning “apocalypse” which has breached legislation. Following repeated protests by locals,...

Their boat is still in Tahiti and you still can’t buy tickets, but Harland and Wolff insist they are still planning to start an Isles of Scilly ferry war this summer

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The “phony war” over which company will provide ferry services to the Isles of Scilly has taken another step today (Thursday) with Harland and Wolff failing...

Isles of Scilly ferry wars: contracts signed to build new vessels

By Peter Tremayne The prospect of rival companies competing for passengers travelling between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly has come a step closer. The Isles of Scilly Steamship...

For tourists only? Jubilee Pool to stay closed until May, abandoning the promise of year-round swimming

The Jubilee Pool, Penzance, is to remain closed until May despite a £1.8 million upgrade to provide geothermal heating. Barely three years after reopening, managers of the art deco...

Cornish Stuff rides again – but WHOIS in the saddle?

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The local news website Cornish Stuff is back – but with a mystery new owner. The Mousehole-based website launched in 2016 as the brainchild of Milo...

Shapps says he is “dismayed” by Isles of Scilly Steamship company, encouraging the prospect of “ferry wars” in May

By Peter Tremayne Defence secretary Grant Shapps has signalled his strong support for councillors on the Isles of Scilly over which company should run a ferry service to Penzance....

Severe weather again disrupts supplies to Isles of Scilly

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Supplies of fresh food to the Isles of Scilly again face disruption because of severe weather. The Gry Maritha cargo ferry will not sail between Penzance...

Arise, Sir Richard: Cornish Pirates rugby boss gets New Year honour

By Peter Tremayne The owner of the Penzance-based Cornish Pirates rugby club has been knighted in the New Year honours. Dicky Evans – now to be known as Sir...

Threat of force 9 winds cancels fresh food deliveries to Isles of Scilly

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The strong winds associated with Storm Gerrit have forced the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company to cancel planned cargo ferry crossings by the Gry Maritha today...

Ferry wars: the race to the Isles of Scilly is under starter’s orders

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Belfast-based shipbuilder Harland and Wolff has launched a new website promoting a rival ferry service between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly, due to start in...

You wait all year for Father Christmas and then three arrive all at once

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Fresh food and other Christmas essentials have been delivered to the Isles of Scilly despite technical problems which put the Gry Maritha cargo ship out of...

Harland and Wolff drops bid to buy the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company – increasing the prospect of two rival ferries

By Peter Tremayne The Belfast-based shipbuilder Harland and Wolff has decided not to make a formal bid to buy the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company. But Harland and Wolff...

Opinions divided over Penzance seafront plans

By Lee Trewhela Residents of Penzance have protested about plans to redevelop the town’s seafront which they fear will ruin historic gardens, include buildings which are too large and...

Split-site dodge with no “affordables” leads planners to reject homes scheme in Penzance

By Lee Trewhela A plan for houses on a former nightclub site in Cornwall led planners a merry dance this week.  In fact, it got a number of concerned...

The mouse that roared – village football team where one fifth of the local population turn out to watch home games submits plans for new ground

By Peter Tremayne One of Cornwall’s smallest league football teams has announced plans for a new ground. Mousehole, which last year won promotion to the Southern League Divison One...

Four years later: accident investigators conclude inquiry into Newlyn trawler death

By Peter Tremayne The death of a 20-year-old apprentice on board a Newlyn trawler in 2019 should lead to further changes in the way the fishing industry conducts itself,...

Sunak’s Greek tragedy is a gift to St Ives Liberal Democrats

By Julia Penhaligon The Prime Minister’s difficulties with his Greek counterpart over a 2,000-year-old stone artwork risks undermining one of his own MPs in Cornwall. The Parthenon Sculptures, also...

Isles of Scilly “significantly underserved” by current ferry operation, says Harland and Wolff

by Peter Tremayne The clock is ticking towards a deadline for Belfast shipbuilders Harland and Wolff to announce details of a takeover bid for the Isles of Scilly Steamship...

Castle in the sky is now ready to fall

By Lee Trewhela The tallest block of flats in Penzance is now standing empty - a year after residents were told they would have to find new homes to...

Pavement politics and Palestine: Newquay joins the chorus of protest

By Graham Smith The number of demonstrations in Cornwall against the war in Palestine continues to grow, with another due to be held in Newquay this afternoon (Sunday.) A...

Fewer Skybus flights to Isles of Scilly next year, warns pilots’ union

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The trade union representing pilots who fly to the Isles of Scilly is warning of a reduced service next year, claiming its members are now at...

Starting next week: tap-in, tap-out digital train tickets finally find their way to Cornwall

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Nearly 40 years after Ken Livingstone’s Greater London Council revolutionised the way public transport passengers could pay for buses and trains, Cornwall is about to see...

Dear Father Christmas, we have been very good this year and would like another £13.9 million – the public cost of running the Isles of Scilly as a private tourist attraction

By Julia Penhaligon Councillors on the Isles of Scilly are preparing a £13.9 million bid for public funds to spruce up their museum and visitor centre. If granted, the...

Give peace a chance: Cornwall’s protestors turn to weekend pavement politics as horrors of the war in Palestine continue every day

By Graham Smith The number of protests in Cornwall against the escalating horrors of the war in Palestine is continuing to grow. Launceston, Falmouth and Penzance have all seen...

Isles of Scilly pub goes on the market: £2 million buys The Mermaid

By Harold Callahan The Mermaid Inn, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, is for sale with a guide price of around £2 million.  The Victorian-era building, one of the first...

What makes Andrew George run?

More than 30 years after first running for Parliament, St Ives Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew George is recovering after running Cornwall’s Lighthouse marathon at the tender age of only...

Cornwall set to lose four more pubs

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Four more pubs in Cornwall will close their doors for the last time on Sunday (22nd October.) West Cornwall Inns, which runs The Queen's Arms at...

Isles of Scilly: change at the top as ferries’ saga reaches critical moment

By Julia Penhaligon Russell Ashman is to be the next chief executive of the Council of the Isles of Scilly.  He is due to take up his appointment in...

Cornish Pirates excluded from Truro’s new sports ground

By Peter Tremayne Plans for a “community sports hub” where Truro’s footballers might play next season are due to come before Cornwall Council’s cabinet next month. For the first...

A year late and 66% over-budget: but County Hall presses on with its “Creative Cluster”

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The construction of a £10 million “Creative Cluster” workspace of offices and studios in Penzance has been delayed by a year. The Cornwall Council project was...

Come and talk to us about our plan for new ferries, Isles of Scilly Steamship company urges islanders

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The battle for hearts and minds over which company should provide ferry services between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly steps up a gear next week...

We’ll be faster and cheaper, promise Harland and Wolff, as Isles of Scilly residents wonder if they are witnessing the end of an era

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Belfast-based shipbuilders Harland and Wolff have sent some of their senior executives to the Isles of Scilly, as the high-stakes poker game with the rival Isles...

Isles of Scilly ferries: how the winds of change have blown the Levelling Up fund off course

By Peter Tremayne Next month the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company is due to sign a contract with a French shipbuilder to construct replacement ferries for the “lifeline” link...

Clock is ticking as plans for Truro’s “community sports hub” struggles to reach even the starting line

By Peter Tremayne There is still no planning application for any “community sports hub” which Truro City footballers hope will be ready in time for the 2024/25 season. Although...

Who pays the ferryman? Something now has to give, as steamship company rejects government’s offer of £22,000 for each resident of the Isles of Scilly

By Peter Tremayne More details are starting to emerge of the row between the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company over how...

Should the Isles of Scilly ferries be built in Belfast or Vietnam? The row over the future of the lifeline service is making a joke of the government’s Levelling Up fund

By Peter Tremayne The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company has announced its preferred shipbuilder to replace the Scillonian ferries.  It is the French company Piriou which would use its...

Future of Isles of Scilly ferry link discussed in secret

By Peter Tremayne Councillors on the Isles of Scilly are meeting now (Tuesday) to consider how they should pursue their bid for £48 million in government Levelling Up funds...

Not quite 50 miles of open water which could rapidly develop into a perfect storm, reducing the government’s flagship Levelling Up fund to farce

By Julia Penhaligon The words “excitement” and “a meeting of the Council of the Isles of Scilly” are only rarely used in the same sentence. But next Tuesday’s (12th...

Here comes a pride of new ferries: the company which built The Titanic bidding to provide new links to the Isles of Scilly

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company (IoSSC) is facing a rival proposal to build and operate a ferry link to Cornwall. Having rejected the government’s “in...

In at the deep end: Marazion traffic warned that mineshaft is not just another pot-hole

By Lee Trewhela A mineshaft hole has appeared in a Cornish road, eight years after another hole opened up on the same road. The hole was discovered on Gwallon...

Aliens: sea grapes, which can grow at 10% per hour, visit Cornwall in record numbers

By Rashleigh MacFarlane One of the world’s weirdest sea creatures has been found in large numbers off the Cornish coast at Porthcurno. Salps – also known as “sea grapes”...

Climate change, lost or the start of an invasion? Tropical boobies delight Isles of Scilly birdwatchers

By Rashleigh MacFarlane The Isles of Scilly is celebrating a first for Britain - two boobies at the same time. Birders have been thrilled to see a Brown Booby...

Children’s services on the Isles of Scilly are inadequate, rules Ofsted

By Anne North Children’s services on the Isles of Scilly have been condemned in a scathing report from the government watchdog Ofsted. Ofsted says the Council of the Isles...

Hands up if you would like to be Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in North Cornwall or St Ives

By Julia Penhaligon The Labour Party has started the process for selecting Parliamentary candidates for the next general election in North Cornwall and St Ives constituencies. Both constituencies are...

A 60-minute romp through the cultural history of Zennor

Some say The Archers is just an every day story of country folk.  But some have never been to Zennor.  If you think rural Cornwall is in any way...

Blue shark filmed at Newlyn harbour

By Rashleigh MacFarlane A potentially dangerous blue shark has been filmed at Newlyn harbour. It is rare for the creatures to come so close to shore.  They are usually...

Owners of Cornish Pirates and Truro City approach their fundraising goal – but what shape of ball will be kicked at Truro’s new sports hub?

By Peter Tremayne The company which owns the Cornish Pirates rugby club and Truro City football club says it is closing in on its fundraising target of £350,000. With...

Cornwall Wildlife Trust excited by chance to expand nature reserve – and save bees

By Rashleigh MacFarlane One of Britain’s rarest bees could be saved if Cornwall Wildlife Trust succeeds in buying 53 acres of heathland on the Penwith peninsula. The Tormentil nomad...

Skybus pilots strike in pursuit of pay claim

By Peter Tremayne The prospect of disruption to flights between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly this summer is continuing after the first 24-hour walk-out by Skybus pilots....

Here comes the rain again: washout Wednesday cancels Scillonian ferry sailings for tomorrow

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Severe weather forecast for Cornwall this evening (Tuesday) has already disrupted travel to the Isles of Scilly tomorrow. Very heavy rain and rough seas are forecast...

West Cornwall urgent treatment centre now open until midnight, just in time for the tourists

By Anne North The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust has confirmed that from today (Monday) the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) Penzance will stay open until midnight, seven days a week....

Boer war memorial damaged by vandals in Penzance

By Peter Tremayne Police are investigating criminal damage at the war memorial in Morrab Gardens, Penzance. The Grade 2-listed memorial to local men who died during the Boer war...

Like it or lump it: West Cornwall told to accept its amazing shrinking hospital outpatients’ department

By Anne North Inflation has eaten into the cash available for a new outpatient department at the West Cornwall hospital, meaning the new unit will have to be smaller...

Stricken cargo ship towed to safety

By Rashleigh MacFarlane A 31,000-tonne cargo ship that grounded on the Wolf Rock lighthouse yesterday (Monday) has now been towed to safety in Falmouth. The Mazarine lost power and...

Skybus pilots could strike in dispute over pay

By Graham Smith Pilots employed by Skybus have voted to go on strike in a dispute over pay. The company flies to the Isles of Scilly from Land’s End,...

Tory votes block calls for 24-hour opening of West Cornwall’s urgent treatment centre

By Anne North Cornwall councillors have rejected calls for an inquiry into the running of the West Cornwall urgent treatment centre, Penzance, and decided instead to welcome a commitment...

Petition launched calling for 24-hour service at West Cornwall urgent treatment centre

By Anne North Health campaigners have launched a petition calling for West Cornwall’s urgent treatment centre to be open 24 hours a day, as it was designed to be...

Penwith Moors confirmed as Site of Special Scientific Interest

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall has a new Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with the confirmation today of protected status for West Penwith Moors and Downs.  The news has angered...

West Cornwall hospital’s urgent treatment centre aims to stay open until midnight

By Anne North Health bosses say they hope to extend the urgent treatment facilities at the West Cornwall hospital, Penzance, to midnight from next month. What was supposed to...

Here it comes: softly, softly, the Tories are starting their general election campaign

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall might be seeing more of two of its MPs over the next 12 months, following a new strategy drawn up by Conservative Central Office to...

Penzance petitions against Cornwall Council car parking charges

By Lee Trewhela Residents of a Cornish town are so incensed by Cornwall Council’s controversial rise in car parking charges they have started a petition which they hope will...

Councillors demand a debate about overnight health emergencies in West Cornwall

By Lee Trewhela The ending of 24-hour emergency cover at the West Cornwall hospital, Penzance, is to be debated formally at a Cornwall Council scrutiny committee meeting next month....

West Cornwall hospital “highly unlikely” to get new outpatients’ department before next general election

By Anne North While health chiefs are breathing more easily now that the government has confirmed that the Royal Cornwall hospital is, in five years, to get a new...

Tears and anger after “remarkably stupid decision” over Penzance harbour redevelopment

By Lee Trewhela A popular restaurant has accused Cornwall Council of making a “remarkably stupid decision” after its harbours board ratified a revised management plan to redevelop Penzance harbour...

Cornwall Council’s refusal of permission for “affordable” homes at Newlyn overturned on appeal, as County Hall is ordered to pay costs

By Lee Trewhela and Julia Penhaligon The Cornwall Community Land Trust (CLT) has won an appeal to build 29 affordable homes for local people after a Cornwall Council planning...

Mousehole’s footballers step up a division after being crowned champions

By Rashleigh MacFarlane With network television documentaries fuelling interest in non-league football teams such as Wrexham and Salford, one of Cornwall’s sides is celebrating promotion up the soccer ladder....

St Breward’s village shop set to close, while the Isles of Scilly observes the end of an era

By Rashleigh MacFarlane One of Cornwall’s most remote communities - St Breward on Bodmin Moor is to lose its “lifeline” local shop and Post Office. The St Breward Stores...

The day Dame Edna fell off a cliff in Cornwall

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Readers with long memories might recall a BBC news report from 1962, when the actor and comedian Barry Humphries was rescued by helicopter after falling 150...

New twist in Isles of Scilly ferry row, as council insists it will continue to seek £48 million government grant despite Steamship Company’s preference for private finance

By Rashleigh MacFarlane There are growing signs of tensions on the Isles of Scilly over the Steamship Company’s decision to walk away from a huge government grant in order...

Boats abandoned in Penzance harbour go on sale

By Richard Whitehouse Cornwall Council has launched the sale of a number of boats which have been left abandoned in Penzance Harbour. The council is selling off eight vessels...

Government steps in to take over procurement of new ferries for the Isles of Scilly – with new boats not now expected before 2026

By Peter Tremayne The government has stepped in to take over the procurement of a new ferry service for the Isles of Scilly, meaning that no new boats will...

Proud to be a Tory? St Ives MP on TV personality’s “naughty list”

By Julia Penhaligon Only one of Cornwall’s MPs fails to mention the Conservative Party in his Twitter profile. Derek Thomas, Conservative MP for St Ives, makes no mention of...

Planners approve Penzance housing pods

By Richard Whitehouse Cornwall Council has secured planning permission for its latest site for one-bedroom pods which will provide homes for the homeless. The council’s plans to place 18...

Who pays the ferryman? Government still not happy with Isles of Scilly plan for “lifeline” link to Cornwall

By Richard Whitehouse Politicians and council leaders in the Isles of Scilly say they have been left “frustrated” after claiming that the government knocked back its proposals to deliver...

More housing pods to help provide shelter for Cornwall’s rough sleepers

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall’s planners will next week rule on proposals for more modular homes to help get homeless people off the streets. Cornwall Council wants to use Cormac’s...

If you can’t beat them, join them: South West Water offers its own guide to where it is dumping raw sewage onto the beach

By Rashleigh MacFarlane South West Water has launched a new online guide to raw sewage on Cornwall’s beaches.  The interactive map is a response to the long-established pollution warnings...

“I am Spartacus!” Who called Penzance councillor Tim Dwelly a wanker, as County Hall tried to celebrate its “council of the year” nomination?

By Graham Smith Cornwall Council leader Linda Taylor said it was “a fantastic achievement” that her local authority had made the shortlist of the Local Government Chronicle’s annual awards....

Lib Dems oust Tories in Long Rock, Marazion and St Erth by-election

By Graham Smith The Liberal Democrats have defeated the Conservatives in the Cornwall council by-election at Long Rock, Marazion and St Erth.  The result was declared shortly after midnight....

Polling underway for a Cornwall councillor in Long Rock, Marazion and St Erth

By Julia Penhaligon Voters go to the polls today (Thursday) to elect a new Cornwall councillor for the Long Rock, Marazion and St Erth division. The vacancy was caused...

What is happening at West Cornwall hospital? ask health campaigners

By Anne North Health campaigners say they fear the Urgent Treatment Centre at the West Cornwall hospital, Penzance, will remain closed overnight until at least the end of April....

A week is a long time in politics

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall’s political class is looking forward to an unusually busy week which could offer some very significant insights into the ebbs and flows of power and...

Penzance Town Council submits formal objection to huge housing estate at Heamoor

By Richard Whitehouse Penzance Town Council has formally objected to plans to build up to 320 homes on a site close to the town. Devonshire Homes has submitted a...

When all at once I saw a crowd of bulldozers: former daffodil farm set to become huge housing estate

By Richard Whitehouse Full plans have been revealed for the building of 320 homes on land at Heamoor, near Penzance. Devonshire Homes has submitted a full application for the...

New town councillors elected without a fight: Greens win in Helston, Taxpayers’ Alliance in Saltash – but Long Rock, Marazion and St Erth is keeping the voters busy

By Julia Penhaligon The Green Party in Helston, and the Saltash Taxpayers’ Alliance, are the latest beneficiaries of uncontested elections on local town councils. John Brady is the only...

Silent witness: Cornwall’s crumbling coastline yields another set of historic human remains

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Another set of historic human remains have been discovered during a beach clean on the Cornish coast. Emily Stevenson, co-founder of Beach Guardian, came across the...

Car abandoned on railway at Carbis Bay

By Peter Tremayne Network Rail hopes services will get back to normal today (Monday) after a car was abandoned on the line at Carbis Bay, near St Ives. Branch...

Four-way contest for Long Rock, Marazion and St Erth

By Julia Penhaligon There are four candidates for the Long Rock, Marazion and St Erth Cornwall Council by-election, with polling on 16th February. When nominations closed yesterday, there were:...