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Campaigners start project to clean up region's beaches

A project to improve bathing water quality at two of the region's beaches has been launched today.

Wildersmouth at Ilfracombe in North Devon and Porth in Newquay, Cornwall are predicted to fail the latest bathing water tests.

The charity Surfers Against Sewage has been working with the Environment Agency on a Cleaner Coastal Catchment Initiative to improve the water standards.

It involves working with local residents, businesses and land owners to change their practices.

The solutions with the cleaner coastal catchment are really simple, it's things like never use the toilet as a wet bin, think before you flush, don't put fats, oils and greases down the sink.

For farmers it's about improving land management practices, so keeping cattle out of streams, and keeping pollution from the run off of the land out of those streams as well.

– Andy Cummins, Surfers against Sewage

With it's central position, the town's Mayor says it's vital to get a good bathing water rating at Wildersmouth or visitors will be put off.

Ilfracombe is here because of the beaches and because of the sea, and if we lose some of the quality of that then we lose a little bit of Ilfracombe. That's the reason it developed in lots of ways because the Victorians found it a wonderful place to come on holiday and lots of other people have as well, so we need it to be clean.

– George Squires, Mayor of Ilfracombe

Watch the full report by Kathy Wardle here:

Man scared to leave house after seagull attacks

Barry Poore was dive-bombed by seagulls near his workplace. Credit: ITV News

A man from Cornwall says he's too scared to leave his home after a series of attacks by seagulls.

In the latest incident, Barry Poore from Newquay suffered a dislocated shoulder and cuts to his hands when he was dive-bombed by a flock of gulls near his work.

Mr. Poore told us he's staying inside following a warning that any sudden movement could put his shoulder out again.

Barry Poore's shoulder was dislocated in the attack. Credit: ITV News

Seagulls are on people's minds in our region. The Prime Minister has spoken about the issue, in the wake of several reports of gull attacks on pets and people in recent weeks.

There have been several reports of seagull attacks in our region in recent weeks. Credit: Craig Watson/PA

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Rare parrot numbers increased thanks to Newquay Zoo

Credit: Newquay Zoo

These cute chicks area real success story after they hatched at Newquay Zoo increasing the numbers of one of the rarest and most endangered species of parrot.

The Ecuador Amazon parrot or Lilacine Amazon parrot are found in the Ecuadorian rain forests of South America. Only around 600 known to be left in the wild.

Newquay Zoo successfully bred Ecuadorian Amazons three years ago and transferred males with Barcelona Zoo in November 2014. The new pair have already paired up and bred for the first time.

It is great news we have bred these newly paired Ecuadorian Amazon parrots. The two chicks, once reaching adulthood, will be moved onto other zoos to be part of a very important captive breeding programme and to help save this endangered but only newly discovered species.

– Gary Ward, Senior Bird Keeper

Police seek victims of Newquay paedophile

Police are looking for more victims of a 41-year-old paedophile who has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Benjamin Mercer was handed the time behind bars at Hull Crown Court after he was found guilty of 13 sexual offences against vulnerable boys, aged between five and 16.

The offences occurred throughout the 1990s in the Hornsea area of East Yorkshire, but the most recent offence occurred in Newquay in 2000.

But officers believe that Mercer may have committed further sexual offences in Newquay and are urging any victims to contact the police.

Yesterday (Wednesday July 15) at Hull Crown Court 41-year-old Benjamin Mercer was sentenced to 17 years in prison after being found guilty of 13 sexual offences against vulnerable boys age between five and 16.

He is clearly a sexual predator and we believe there may be more victims of Mercer over the last 20 years.

He lived and worked in Hornsea prior to moving to Newquay in 1998 and moved to the Brighton area in 2000. We are now encouraging any further victims of Mercer – no matter how historic – to come forward and call the police to ensure he is brought justice for all his offending.

– Emma Heatley, Detective Inspector

Cornwall takes two places in top five holiday hot spots

St Ives and Newquay are two of the UK's top five holiday destinations for 2015 it's been revealed.

The Cornish towns came second and fourth respectively, in a survey undertaken by Cottages4you.

The firm ranked Whitby in North Yorkshire as the holiday destination tourists are most likely to visit this year, with Keswick in the Lake District third, and Scarborough in North Yorkshire ranking fifth.

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Jeremy Hunt says transforming GP services is key to NHS future

Health Minister Jeremy Hunt says transforming GP services is key to the future of the NHS.

Commenting during a visit to a pharmacy in Newquay Mr Hunt said:

The biggest single change I want to see is a transformation of services through our GP services, we want to recruit 5000 more GP's, and basically if the NHS is going to be sustainable we need to invest in prevention not cure.

We need to tackle things like diabetes before they start to get serious, before people need timely and expensive treatment at places like the Royal Cornwall.

– Jeremy Hunt
Credit: ITV News

The minister pledged an extra £8 billion a year to be pumped into the NHS by the end of the next parliament.

During his brief visit to Cornwall Mr Hunt was given a tour of Kayes Pharmacy at Narrowcliff in Newquay.

The minister is calling for pharmacies to play a greater role in the health care system to take pressure off busy A&E departments.

I saw something today which I haven't seen elsewhere in the country but I think is a sign of things to come, where they're actually able at this pharmacy to access peoples GP record.

That's very significant because it means they can come and get advice perhaps on a Saturday when the GP service was closed and they can look up what their allergies are, perhaps see they've had a stroke, and then give them much better clinical advice.

– Jeremy Hunt

Five people rescued by helicopter after being cut off by the tide near Newquay

The tourists became trapped near Tolcarne beach Credit: ITV News

Five people had to be rescued by helicopter after being cut off by the tide near Newquay.

The three men and two women were visiting Cornwall from London. They got trapped in a cove between Tolcarne and Lusty Glaze beaches at about 4.15pm on Saturday.

The RNLI launched both Newquay lifeboats before deciding to call in support from RNAS Culdrose.

The group was later winched from rocks to safety and returned to their holiday accommodation.

900 meals a month needed at Newquay Foodbank

Newquay Foodbank says it needs 900 meals a month Credit: ITV News

Newquay Foodbank says it needs 900 meals a month to keep up with demand.

The volunteer run service supports 1500 people in the town.

It's hoping today's Foodbank Friday event will bring enough donations for 250 meals.

It's so easy to end up in this situation, that's the scary thing and some people are just so ashamed that they can't manage to feed their children, it's really heartbreaking.

– Reverend Sandy Oskerby, Newquay Food Bank
Newquay Foodbank says it needs 900 meals a month Credit: ITV News
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