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January 18 2015


Supporting 'Register my appliance' for a safer home


'Town not big enough for Tesco Express' - traders


Jailed ex-marine's debate postponed

16 January 2015

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Last updated at 19:33

A parliamentary debate on a former Royal Marine's murder conviction has been postponed at the request of his family.

Sgt Alexander Blackman, of Taunton, was found guilty of murder at a court martial in November 2013 for murdering an insurgent in Afghanistan.

His case was due to be debated by the Backbench Business Committee, following an online petition.

His wife Claire said postponing the debate was a "difficult decision".

The petition called for his immediate release and conviction to be quashed.

It was scheduled to be debated by MPs, having been put forward by Oliver Colvile MP, after it passed 100,000 signatures.

Previous appeal

Mrs Blackman said: "After a very useful exploratory meeting with a number of MPs, where we discussed Al's case at length, we all agreed that we should postpone the planned debate whilst I take further legal advice.

"I understand that postponement of the debate will be a disappointment to so many people who have supported Al through the e-petition.

"It was a difficult decision, but I hope that you will understand that it was necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for Al. I have been assured that a debate will be held as soon as it is pertinent to do so."

Mr Colvile said he had withdrawn the debate on the petition at the request of the Blackman family.

He added: "I absolutely believe that, as the petition has gained the requisite number of signatures, a debate on it should take place.

"However the family at the centre of this case must be the primary consideration, and they have asked me not to continue with it at this time. The debate will take place when they feel that it is appropriate."

Blackman has previously lost an appeal against his conviction, but the Court Martial Appeal Court in London decided to reduce the minimum term he must serve from 10 years to eight.

He must serve the minimum term before he can be considered for parole.

Camera footage

The murder on 15 September 2011 took place after a patrol base in Helmand province came under fire from two insurgents.

One of the attackers was seriously injured by gunfire from an Apache helicopter sent to provide air support, and the marines found him in a field.

Footage from another marine's helmet-mounted camera showed Blackman shooting the Afghan prisoner in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol.

Blackman told him: "There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil."

He then told his comrades: "Obviously this doesn't go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention."

The court martial board in Bulford, Wiltshire, found Blackman guilty of murdering the insurgent. Two other marines were acquitted.

It was the first time a member of the British armed forces had faced a murder charge in relation to the conflict in Afghanistan, which began in 2001.

Blackman was also "dismissed with disgrace" from the Royal Marines. He had served with distinction for 15 years, including tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

Blackman had denied murder, claiming he believed the victim was already dead and that he was taking his anger out on the corpse.



Hole emerges on National Pothole Day

16 January 2015

Last updated at 08:54

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A hole has opened up on the A30 and closed part of the main road through Cornwall on National Pothole Day.

The Highways Agency said the hole was 4ft (1.2m) wide and closed the westbound carriageway near Scorrier.

One lane of the carriageway remains closed as engineers examine the extent of the damage.

A mining expert said it was probably part of an old copper mine and approximately 200-years-old.

The hole, on the verge of the road, is thought to be approximately 15ft (4.5m) deep.

Stuart Dann, director of Mining Eye Ltd, has seen the hole and said: "There's a nice clean wall of rock that tells me that this is the top of a workings site - not a shaft.

"It's the top of an old copper mine and probably about 200-years-old.

"The whole of the area is absolutely riddled with mine workings."

Highways Agency area manager Julian Strong said: "At the moment we do not know what has caused the hole but we are working as quickly as we can to understand what has happened and identify a solution."



Could you rehome two rare breed ponies?


Cove cancer centre at Royal Cornwall Hospitl takes step forwards as plans given green light


'Ill-judged' Langford Road proposals slammed

18:00 15 January 2015

Callum Lawton

Honiton residents sign a petition for planned parking restrictions at Langford Road. Ref mhh 5308-03-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Honiton residents sign a petition for planned parking restrictions at Langford Road. Ref mhh 5308-03-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton


A petition has been launched opposing further parking restrictions on the road

A resident who started a petition against further restrictions in a Honiton road has slammed Devon County Council (DCC) for its lack of consultation.

Monkton Road resident Ross Penwill said he and his neighbours wrote to around 80 households in the area, notifying them of plans to stop motorists being able to wait at any time in Langford Road.

This would remove obstructive parking which is impacting on visibility at a crossing point near a new development in the area.

A DCC spokesman said that if the plans are enforced, three car parking spaces could be lost.

But Mr Penwill said that many households did not know about the plans until they received his letter.

Notices outlining the plans have been posted locally, but Mr Penwill said not enough was done to inform residents of them.

He said: "A couple of notices on lamp columns and failing to arrange for the appropriate documents to be available at Honiton Library hardly counts as a consultation at all.

"I have spoken to the majority of the households most affected by these proposals and the vast number would not have known about the proposed removal of parking had my neighbours and I not written.

"Of those households, all but two supported our objection petition.

"One couple who would otherwise have signed our petition have vowed never again to stand up to DCC, so tired are they of being ignored.

"For them and the many other objectors, I only hope DCC now listens to local voices and drops these ill-judged proposals."

A DCC spokesman said: "The proposals have been advertised in the Herald and on site as part of the statutory consultation process to seek the views of the public.

"It has been identified that documents have not been available for inspection at Honiton Library so we have extended the consultation until [Wednesday] February 4.

"We welcome written responses to this consultation and any comments received will then be considered by the local members, before any decision is made on the proposals."

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An unchanged Exmouth side made the club's first ever league trip to near neighbours Chard on Saturday, and, whilst the action failed to reach any great

heights, the Cockles returned home with a maximum bonus point 29-9 win, writes Chris Wright.

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With three defeats in the last four games Exeter City needed to reverse a run of poor results, and last Saturday the Grecians could have easily been 2-0 up in the first 15 minutes against Northampton, writes Gareth Hughes.

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A field day for George Meadows saw a rampant Exmouth record an emphatic 51-10 win over Brixham at the Imperial ground on Saturday.

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Colyton Grammar School youngsters collect a 1,344 items for Exeter Foodbank

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Forget 50 Shades of Grey - it's all about the bacon!



Full access back at Mylor churchyard

Full access back at Mylor churchyard

First published in Cornwall

Mylor Churchyard Group has said that, after five years of work, all areas of the churchyard are now fully accessible.

The group reported that recently it has also succeeded in replacing two wooden memorial crosses that were so rotten they were in danger of disappearing, and thanked Jock Huggins for making the crosses.

The team meets on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am to 12.30pm, weather permitting, and anyone interested should contact Helen Fletcher on 01326 376 782.

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Twelve firefighters called to Penzance bathroom blaze

Twelve firefighters called to Penzance bathroom blaze

First published in West Cornwall

An accidental bathroom fire sparked a call out for firefighers in Penzance this morning.

Two appliances with 12 firefighters were called out to the three storey property on Alexandra Road just after 9.30am

The fire was located in the first floor bathroom and firefighters wearing two sets of breathing apparatus and using one hosereel, one CO2 extinguisher quickly put the fire out.

They isolated gas and electric supply and also cleared smoke from the property using positive pressure fan.

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The cause is believed to accidental.



British Safety Council supports campaign to stop babies choking to death


UPDATE - Woman hospitalised after Common collision


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Adventurers in a class of their own

January 16 2015


Fears new Tesco could hurt family shops

10:02 29 December 2014

Sean Keywood

Tesco has denied claims that its new store in Budleigh Salterton will extend over two floors - amid fears the superstore giant could kill off local shops.

The supermarket giant announced earlier this month that it is planning to open a Tesco Express store at 10 Fore Street, currently home to SM Prior and Son.

Rumours in the town this week suggested that the new shop would have two storeys, with the upstairs dedicated to selling electrical goods.

However, Tesco has said this is not the case.

A spokesman confirmed: "We are moving into a ground-floor space on Fore Street."

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The Journal also understands that Tesco's plan for the site comes after winning a bidding war against other major supermarkets.

It is understood that several chains were interested, with Tesco winning the bid early in December.

A spokesman for Asda said it had not been involved, as it does not run small convenience stores. Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Morrisons and Aldi had not responded to requests for a comment as the Journal went to press.

Tesco previously said its proposed new store would be good for the community, and would create jobs for local people.

However, some residents have expressed concern about the effect the store would have on independent traders.

Bruce Kennard-Simpson, of Otterton, said: "We are appalled at the prospect of Tesco opening a shop in Budleigh Salterton. It would do great harm to the excellent traders that we are lucky to have. Tesco is not interested in the effect [it] will have on hard-working retailers who have served their town so well over the years."

Sally and Pat Rogers, of West Terrace, said: "We wonder if the very many people who enjoyed [Christmas] late-night shopping in Budleigh, realise that the arrival of a Tesco store is likely to cause the closure of several of the family-owned shops which entertained them?"

The SM Prior and Son shop was granted planning permission earlier this year to extend its retail floor space, and Tesco is expected to submit its own applications shortly.


January 14 2015


Meet Sidbury pub's new owner

06:00 01 August 2014

Stephen Sumner

The Red Lion Inn, Sidbury. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shb 4432-40-13AW

The Red Lion Inn, Sidbury. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shb 4432-40-13AW


If you are thinking of visiting the South-West of England the following link has some more information on http://www.bath-hotel-bookings.co.uk.

The future of Sidbury's village pub has been secured after a campaign to save it was outbid by a private investor.

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Tom Barrington is taking on the Red Lion from heavily-indebted Punch Taverns now a six-month sale restriction has expired.

It is set to reopen after renovation work will restore it to its former glory, serving food and offering accommodation, at the beginning of September.

"I'm going to keep it as a village pub but it will be a whole lot nicer, brighter and tidier," said Tom, who has been 'in and around' Sidbury for 16 years.

"Come along and make up your own minds."

The 53-year-old has worked in the bar trade and many other jobs but the Red Lion is his first pub, which he will run as a free house.

He is looking for a cook to revive the kitchen plus bar staff, and he is also renovating the bed and breakfast accommodation.

The Save the Red Lion campaigners had also been vying to buy the pub, using the Localism Act to have it listed as an Asset of Community Value and blocking its sale to anyone else.

They sold shares to fund the pub's purchase, but when they were unable to meet the asking price in the allotted time, Punch Taverns looked elsewhere.

The group had an ambitious vision to transform it into a community hub, offering services such as a post office and dry cleaning, as well as opening in the daytime for coffee and cake.

It won the support of Hugo Swire MP and the Reverend Susie Williams, who both wanted to see the pub retained for the community.

But Red Lion regular Chalky White Jr said the plans had split drinkers between those who wanted to see it transformed and those who wanted it kept as a traditional village pub.

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North Devon Homes bidding to create a mix of flats and terraced houses at the entrance to Gorwell Road.

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Volunteers get to grips with the attraction's annual count up - hissing cockroaches anyone...?

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The See Hear on Wheel bus has added 16 new locations to its schedule this year - find out where it will be visiting here.

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It's dubbed the happiest 3km you'll ever walk or run - will you be entering Barnstaple's first Colour Me Happy event.

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January 12 2015


Ensure your local sporting heroes are honoured

NOMINATIONS for the prestigious Exeter Foundation Devon Sports Awards are now open.

Active Devon and The Exeter Foundation who jointly stage and promote the event are expecting a deluge of nominations.

The awards not only celebrate the players, but the clubs and teams, the coaches, the officials and the volunteers who help performers to succeed.

For 2015 organisers are keen that an even wider cross section of sport in Devon, both at community and elite level, is recognised.

Therefore, in a change to the way team and individual performances are recognised in sport, nominations are this year invited for 'Outstanding Performances in Sport'.

Submissions can be sent in for any level of sport, and regardless of how many people play.

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The Awards will also feature many of the popular categories designed to honour coaches, clubs, volunteers and activities that help people from all parts of the community to get involved in sport.

With 13 categories in total, even more people across the county are eligible to apply and Active Devon is urging people to fill in a nomination form to ensure as many sports people as possible get the opportunity to be acknowledged and rewarded.

Award organisers are urging sports clubs, players, officials and coaches across the county to make their nominations for the 2015 Devon Sports Awards before the closing date 1 March 2015.

The new format nomination form can be downloaded from the Active Devon website at www.activedevon.org/sportsawards2015 and can be completed online, posted, or emailed to Active Devon.

The Devon Sports awards will take place on Friday 8 May 2015 at Sandy Park, Exeter.

For any queries please contact the Active Devon Office on 01392 263674 or email active@devon.gov.uk.


January 10 2015


Penzance teenager stole signs to use them as 'cool' decorations

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