Category: Cornwall

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Trust issues emerge over the sale of greenfield land in Helston

Tom Scott

A tangle of conflicting interests raises questions over how developers have managed to push forward plans to build a new supermarket and a McDonald’s on a wildlife corridor on the outskirts of Helston in Cornwall. In 2019, Helston Town Council declared a climate emergency and announced that Helston was becoming an ‘Earth Protector Town’, a […]

Boris Johnson’s “not a holiday” in the West Country

Tom Scott

Confusion reigns over whether or not the prime minister is currently on holiday in the west of England with his latest family. According to a Number 10 spokesperson, he is definitely not on holiday and is “continuing to work”. Whether or not this is government work was not specified. Perhaps he is labouring at his […]

The Möbius strip of government Covid-19 guidelines

Jane Stevenson

The south west now has some of the highest Covid-19 prevalence rates in the country. We run a small manufacturing business in Cornwall, and I am updating our business Covid-19 protocols so have the unenviable job of trawling through the government guidelines. It’s been like circulating on a Möbius strip. First up, when to isolate. […]

Everything we love is at stake at COP26

Tom Scott
Gyllingvase Beach

So many of the things we hold dear in our communities and local environment are threatened by the accelerating climate emergency. Tom Scott writes of one spot in Falmouth that’s close to his heart. As Cornish beaches go, Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth is pretty modest – without the thundering surf and miles-long stretches of sand […]

Horticulture: blighted by Brexit

Anthea Simmons

You may have already seen the story that Plants Galore in Newton Abbot, Plymouth and Exeter will be giving away £100,000 worth of stock because of Brexit.  WCB had also been sent a press release from the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) about a recent visit by Brexit-backing MP for South East Cornwall, Sheryll Murray, to […]

Lithium: Cornwall’s white gold?

Tom Scott

When leaders of the world’s richest countries gathered at Carbis Bay in Cornwall for the G7 summit, the climate emergency was (allegedly) high on their agenda. Could part of the solution lie deep in the Cornish granite? Or is lithium mining yet another environmental disaster waiting to happen? In March, the Conservative MP for St […]

West Country Bylines is one year old: much to celebrate; much more to do

Editor-in-chief
birthday candles

West Country Bylines (WCB) launched a year ago with the help and support of Louise Houghton at Yorkshire Bylines, Mike Galsworthy and Tom Brufatto at March for Change and the blessing of Peter Jukes and Simon Colegrave at Byline Times. Run by a team of volunteer, citizen journalists, editors, proof readers and a picture editor […]

Devon has a message for Johnson and Javid: get your hands off our NHS!

Anthea Simmons

The government’s health and social care bill passed its second reading with barely a murmur from the mainstream media, much less any proper public scrutiny. Amongst a number of proposals which open up the NHS to private health providers is the carving up of the NHS into 42 ‘integrated care systems’ (ICSs). One of these […]

Serco in Cornwall – a lesson unlearned

Tom Scott

People in Cornwall learned about Serco the hard way more than ten years ago. Yet a company with a record of serial failure and dishonesty has just won another massive government test and trace contract. Some 15 years ago, the Scott household had its worst ever family Christmas here in Cornwall. On the day that […]

Cornwall becomes Coronawall

Tom Scott

Ten days after the G7, Cornwall has some of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the country. And the government is attempting to cover up one of the main reasons for this. For the first 18 months of the pandemic. Cornwall felt like a relatively safe place to be. Covid case rates were substantially lower […]

Brunel Bridge: “cultural vandalism” in the Cornish countryside

Mick Fletcher
The beautiful Brunel Bridge in COrnwall

In July 2020 and February 2021 we published articles drawing attention to the actions of Highways England Historical Railway Estate (HRE) – a little known body responsible for redundant railway structures. Although operating on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT) this organisation appeared to pay scant regard to the priority now accorded to sustainable […]

G7 in Cornwall: greenwash, gibberish and glorious rebellion

Tom Scott
Giant globe centrepiece of climate change protest in Falmouth showing world on fire or flooded

It’s been a crazy few days here in Cornwall. The skies have been buzzing with police drones and weird-looking military aircraft, like monstrous black insects. Police with machine-guns have been hovering around the entrance to my local Tesco. And down at Carbis Bay, inside their ‘ring of steel’, world leaders concluded their deliberations on the […]

“Get Britain on its bike”- part 1: cycle-paths

Mike Zollo
Boris Johnson on a pushbike

what might encourage people to take up cycling, and what support and infrastructure exist to foster cycling … and what might put potential cyclists off! ‘Cyclist’ is a very broad term, ranging from those using two wheels to commute to work or to travel from a to b, through leisure cyclists and touring cyclists to serious club and competition cyclists.

A proper G7 job

Mark Newham

Pride, amazement, exhilaration… three words that pretty much summed up initial local reaction to news of the 47th G7 summit location for 2021. “Fancy,”I heard one shopper remarking to another in my local supermarket, “the Prime Minister choosing little old Cornwall for such an important meeting. Proper job, eh?” From the comments appearing in the […]

Is the G7 being held in Cornwall or Cloud Cuckoo Land?

Tom Scott
massive cruise ship in Falmouth to house police for G7

The government’s claim that the G7 in Cornwall will be “carbon neutral” is unadulterated greenwash. I just walked to the end of my road in Falmouth to have a look at the MS Silja Europa, the massive cruise ship on which a thousand police personnel will be housed during the G7 summit in Cornwall next […]

Minister makes fishy suggestion on water quality

Tom Scott

Recent remarks by fisheries minister Victoria Prentis suggest the government is pressuring the Food Standards Agency to change its water quality assessment for the Fal estuary and other waters used by shellfish producers.  Cornwall Green Party has described this suggestion as “frankly outrageous”. On Wednesday 12 May, the DEFRA minister responsible for fisheries, Victoria Prentis, […]

Are XR being targeted in Cornwall? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, According to Cornwall Live, on 5 May “Truro Farmers Market’s biggest event is cancelled because it’s now a site for G7 summit protests. The market has had a terrible year and now its biggest event has to be called off”  Truro’s Lemon Quay was to have hosted a special 5 day market during […]

Phone masts, freedoms and high finance: a tangled tale

Mick Fletcher

There is often more than one side to a story. Our aim at West Country Bylines is to give a balanced account of issues while avoiding distortion through what is known as ‘false equivalence’. It is a disservice to readers, for example, to give equal weight to the views of medical experts and unqualified anti-vaxxers […]

Meet a mass murderer: the Asian hornet

Anna Andrews

I wrote in West Country Bylines that bees are in trouble in the UK (they are in trouble in most parts of the world: apart from honeybees, most species are dropping in numbers); but one of the most urgent threats is not yet widely known about.  It comes from Asian hornets, which kill – amongst […]

If you want to keep your community hospital, you must stay vigilant

Anthea Simmons

Back in August of last year, we published an article by Mike Sheaff on NHS Property Services (NHSPS) and its aggressive policy on rents charged and eviction of tenants (GPs etc!) from NHSPS-owned properties. We have also carried a number of press releases from the campaigning body Save our Hospital Services (SOHS), including their fight […]

“DEFRA says get over it”: Brexit threatens to wreck Devon mussel business and DEFRA don’t much care

Julian Andrews

“DEFRA says get over it”, according to Nicki Holmyard, talking to West Country Bylines, and describing the response from the department for environment, food and rural affairs since live shellfish exports to the EU collapsed in January 2021. Nicki is Communications Director of the Brixham-based aquaculture firm Offshore Shellfish Ltd, which – in common with […]

The Hypatia Trust – celebrating and enabling women’s achievements in Penzance

Tillie Holmes

The Hypatia Trust is a charity based in Penzance, Cornwall, which strives to support women’s education and achievements. Named after the remarkable hellenistic neoplatonist mathematician, astronomer and philosopher, the trust was founded 25 years ago by Melissa Hardie . She initially set up the charity with the primary aim to protect, maintain, and develop the […]

Helping the police with their enquiries

Mike Zollo

Police interpreting: racism and xenophobia ‒ hardly a new phenomenon The southwest of our country has always attracted many Europeans, and not just tourists: many work in our schools, hospitals, hotels and restaurants, for example… and one mustn’t forget the language students who attend language schools in so many of our towns and cities. They […]

Nigel Farage and a very murky forest

Tom Scott

Nigel Farage has joined forces with a Dutch fund manager found to have misled the public to promote “carbon offsetting” through forestry. The conspiracy theorist behind Cornwall’s weirdest hotel is also involved. So how exactly does this motley crew intend to save the world? Eyebrows were raised yesterday when a company calling itself Dutch Green […]