Volunteers hit the beach to seek and destroy mermaid’s tears

Forty people attended the Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) autumn beach clean at Porthtowan last weekend. The beach clean is one of two hundred and fifty going on across the nation.

Surfers Against Sewage is a UK environmental charity based in St Agnes. Its mission is to protect UK oceans for all to enjoy safely.

Niki Willows, SAS representative for Porthtowan, said:“The sea is my home. When we first moved down here I kept picking up rubbish off the beach, when you notice one bit you notice it all. When you read the statistics of fish and birds eating it and getting tangled up in it it’s awful.

“Its not that people are horrible it’s just that people don’t really think about things. Even if everyone picks up 5 things, that’s 5 things less that goes back into the sea.”

A lot of SAS’s work relies heavily on community projects and an army of volunteers from across the UK.

Mermaid’s tears also known as resin pellets or nurdles have been identified as one of the main sources of pollution on UK beaches. The small balls of plastic are used in the manufacturing of plastic products.

They are thought to enter marine eco systems through factory storm drains.

SAS is now urging companies to take responsibility to ensure they are kept away from marine environments.

Nancy Mappley, a volunteer at Surfer Against Sewage, said: “I volunteer at the SAS head office, it’s something I feel really strongly and passionate about. Plastic litter is the most common, we’re finding lots of small bits called mermaid tears which fish and mammals eat and it gets stuck in their system and kills them.

“The amount of rubbish found is seasonal; it depends on the weather and tides. After a storm it brings in all sorts of things, it can be clean one day and filthy the next day.”


Brexit: Young people can’t blame it on the ‘older generation’

There is much frustration amongst the younger generation in light of the outcome of the European Referendum held on the 23rd of June this year. Brexit has resulted in many ‘younger people’ blaming the ‘older generation’ as 58% of 64+ year olds voted to leave in comparison to the 64% of 25s and under that wanted to remain.

Brennus Moors, age 67, Falmouth resident of 20 years said: “I voted Brexit because I think its about time England sorted out their own problems and made their own decisions with the government.

I feel like the older generation have been through all that and are ready for the change as they have seen both sides of it and have lived through the last 20 years of being in the EU and are not happy with it so that’s why they want out.”
It has been estimated that only 36% of people in the 18 – 24 year old category voted in the EU referendum, 64% of young people did not bother. Should we blaming the older generation for Brexit or the non-voters of the younger generation?

Many ‘young people’ that did take political civic participation in the referendum and voted remain are angry at their fellow generations lack of support, by wasting their vote as they feel that together the younger generation could have overthrown the Brexit vote favoured by the ‘older generation’.
Izzy Adams, a Journalism student at Falmouth University voted remain and said: “I believe it is important to vote as it represents the voice of our generation and it is a waste of a vote to ruin your ballot card or not vote at all. The referendum determined our future and as a student I want the option to have access to Europe and to travel abroad.”

Similarly, Elle Kydd, a Fashion photography student at Falmouth University who also voted remain said: “This is the toughest most realistic lesson we’re going to learn as a generation. We didn’t get our act together and stand up for ourselves; we have never had any real issues to face – so when Brexit came along, we just assumed it would be okay, someone will sort it and look where it got us. Brexit has been a big wake up call, an ice cold self inflicted wake up call.”

The turnout for the referendum in Cornwall was 77% while Truro & Falmouth saw 53 % voting remain and 47 % leave. Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth was the only Cornish MP that campaigned to remain in the EU. Falmouth and Cornwall were the only constituency to have a higher percentage of remain voters. This could be highly linked to a big presence of the ‘younger generation’ in Falmouth and Truro due to the university and college who usually favour the remain vote.
Sarah Newton feels strongly about young people voting and involving themselves in politics. She said: “Electoral participation is significantly lower among 18-24 year olds compared with older people and there are many factors to address in this situation.

‘They’re quick to moan about Brexit and point fingers but not so quick to draw an X on a ballot paper’
Encouraging young people to get involved in politics is something I personally dedicate a considerable amount of time to. I regularly meet with young people across my constituency.”

On the 23rd June, over 17 million people across the United Kingdom, and over a million people in Scotland, voted to leave the European Union. But the difference between Brexit and remain was close, 51.9% and 48.1%, if the rest of the younger generation had voted, the outcome could have been very different.
The gap between Remain and Leave was 1,269,501 votes. The anticipated population of 20 – 24 year olds in 2015 was 3,806,471. Shockingly only 492,306 applied to register to vote in the months running up to the election.

In January 2016 it was announced that almost £10 million was being allocated to increase the number of people registering to vote across the country. The groups awarded funding include the British Youth Council and UK Youth. A campaign by the National Union of Students is also being funded. But even with all this help being put in place to get all the younger generation to use their vote, it appears that they’re quick to moan about Brexit and point fingers at the ‘older generation’ but not so quick to draw an X on a ballot paper.

For all the younger generation that voted, you are the hope for the future as the referendum has proved that every vote counts. The gap between Remain and Leave was just 1,269,501, if we’d used all our votes as a generation our future could reflect one that was dictated by the majority of the younger generation, remain.

Cornish MPs fight to revitalise Cornish language

By Emily Furness

 Cornish MPs fight to support the Cornish language despite its annual £150,000 funding being stopped.

 The majority of Cornish MPs took their oath in Cornish and are disappointed at the Department of Communities and Local Government’s decision to stop all finding for the Cornish language, since it was recognised as a regional and minority language in 2003.

Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, said: “I took my oath of allegiance in Cornish as I had been asked to do so by some of my constituents and as I knew it meant a lot to them, I was pleased to do so.”

Cornish MPs such as Sarah Newton bid to keep funding for the minority language.

Newton, added: “I am disappointed that the bid was unsuccessful on this occasion…. I will continue to work with my colleagues and Cornwall Council to ensure that the Cornish language as well as Cornish culture and history continues to flourish.”

There are only 300-500 fluent Cornish language speakers in Cornwall. However, there are a larger number of people with some Cornish and who are learning.

Over 1,000 people have subscribed to the online course “Say Something in Cornish,” run by the Cornish language partnership, Maga.

Mark Trevethan, Head of the Cornish Language Unit, Cornwall Council said: “Official backing and funding for the language over the last 10 years has made a massive difference to increasing visibility of the language, changing perceptions of the language, creating resources to make it easier to study Cornish.”

George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle also took his oath in Cornish and is looking to find alternative ways to fund the language since the cuts.

Eustice said: “I will be exploring alternative sources of government funding to support the wider development of Cornwall’s culture and heritage through the new Kresen Kernow centre in Redruth, this could include providing support for the Cornish language.”

MPs of Cornwall are working with the Cornish language, community and representative organisations such as the Gorseth, to develop a strategy on how to safeguard and grow the Cornish language in the future.

Words: 350

The EU Referendum causes concern for Cornwall’s fishing industry

By Emily Furness

The outcome of the referendum to be held on Thursday, 23 June 2016 to decide whether Britain stays in or leaves the European Union, will majorly affect Cornwall’s fishing industry.

Cornwall has received more than £1bn from the EU over the past fifteen years and over £1.8 million from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).

Andy Wheeler, Assistant to the Chief Executive of Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO) said: “Leaving the EU could mean trade tariffs being imposed or restrictions on direct landings into French ports by Cornish vessels, and restricts access to French and Irish waters, which means profits within the Cornish fishing industry could be depleted.”

The £1.8 million of the European Fisheries Fund has been devoted to support the sustainable development of fishing communities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Local inshore fisherman of Falmouth, Chris Bean, said: “I’m definitely going to vote to stay in the EU, as an inshore fisherman the only protection we really have is the EU umbrella of quotas and sustainable fishing.”

Bean added: “EU council ministers in the Common Fisheries Agricultural Policy are moving more to the left and more for conservation to help the small vessel. If we move out of the EU, we will be at the mercy in the UK of the big vessel owners and big corporations…they will call the shots.”

A majority of fishermen in Falmouth are keen “outers” or Euroscpetics as they would be free of EU quotas and in the long term it could mean that fishermen are allowed to catch more fish.

George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, said: “Outside the EU, we would re-establish national control for 200 nautical miles or the median line as provided for in international law…we could argue for a fairer share of quota allocations in many fish stocks.”

Some Cornish MPs are voting to leave the EU and feel that this decision will benefit the Cornish Industry.

Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall, said: “Our fishermen have been decimated by the EU, and only by leaving can they get their waters back and not have to contend with foreign trawlers who plunder their stocks.”

Both the Eurosceptics and Europhiles of Cornwall are both in agreement that the European referendum holds great uncertainty for the Cornish fishing industry.

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Junior doctors strike for two days in Plymouth

Date reported on: 26/04/16  Words: 222


Junior doctors at Plymouth’s Derriford hospital strike over the government’s new contract, which they claim will cause additional stress to already overworked staff and potentially put patients lives at risk


Junior doctors gather on the picket line outside Derriford hospital to gather support for their cause, they have a long two days ahead


Junior doctors stand in cold sleet with their homemade signs in protest to proposed contract changes


Despite the cold junior doctors on the picket line were still smiling


One of many patients spend their day showing their support for the doctors who care for them on a daily bases


Braving the April showers, the doctors raise their signs responding to the cheers of pedestrians and hooting of passing motorists that show their support


The key concerns about the new contract’s proposals focus around reduced safety when it comes to both staff and patients


Junior doctors attempt to convey the message that everyone will be affected by this infringement upon their working conditions and unite all sectors of the community


Junior doctors convey the message that working seven days a week under the new contract will endanger patient health as well as their own


Junior doctors plan to strike at Derriford Hospital, maintaining their presence into the early hours for two days

Dramatic rise in drink spiking

Falmouth’s the fourth safest place…

According to The Telegraph, Falmouth’s the fourth safest place to go to university in the UK, as a result of Falmouth just having “80 crimes per 1,000 residents.” However, the crime of drink spiking amongst  university students has risen. Head of Community & Welfare within the university, Catherine Thornhill, stated that “Both SARC which is the sexual assault and rape crisis centre in Truro and Devon and Cornwall police have seen a noticeable increase.”

Listen to the full interview with Catherine here: 

 What is spiking?

Spiking can be anything from putting intense drugs in your drink to buying you a double when you asked for a single.

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 Institutions aren’t to blame

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Nevertheless, the issue of spiking “Is not down to the university it’s down to society.” Catherine thinks that “society as a whole needs to change, and it is little things that unions and universities can do to try to improve that.”

Spiked at the student bar

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Both Emma Kirk & Phil Wade fell victims of drink spiking within the same night at an event in the student bar, as a result of them both sharing a drink that had been left unattended earlier in the night.

Emma Kirk describes the whole experience as worrying, as she had no idea what had happened. She’d only had one drink before hand, she said that; “I realized that I’ve been drunk before, but this time it wasn’t the same it wasn’t that, I had no memory of the night I only had two and a half drinks for the entire night, for a while it got me very wary.”

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The whole ordeal for Emma turned out to by quite traumatic, as she woke up with cuts and bruises all over her body. She nervously stated that;”my left knee was swollen and I couldn’t walk for the next couple of days and that really worried me as I have no idea how it happened.”

Breaking gender stereotype 

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Phil Wade admitted he was shocked to be spiked as a male, as you “always hear about women getting spiked”. He expressed that;“I didn’t realise spiking was a massive thing…. I’ve never experienced it, as a twenty-one year old I’ve been out a fair few times, you hear about women being spiked more than guys but obviously because I shared a drink I got spiked.”

Similar to Emma, Phil also voiced; “I can’t remember how I got home and the rest of the night, I can’t tell you who I was with.”

 Rising number of cases

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Emma Kirk explains that she knows of a few friends that have also been victims of drink spiking at other events held at the student bar,“I know three other people who have been spiked, all of them were at Stannary events, one of my friends got spiked with MD, he remembers the whole thing, but he woke up with blood in his mouth, it was a horrible experience to wake up to in the morning.”

Police say there are more people like them but they can’t give the exact number of the increase.

Catherine Thornhill puts support in place 

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Catherine Thornhill stated that; “Falmouth University has lots of support available to students, who unfortunately may have found him or herself victim to drink spiking.” The FXU Loves You Campaign aims to raise awareness of personal health and safety concerns that affect many people. One of the topics covered within this campaign being alcohol and drugs.

 For detailed information about how to recognise drink spiking and what to do if you or your friend becomes a victim of the crime head to: http://www.fxu.org.uk/resources/6013/drink-spiking-cards/

News in GIFS: 4NewsWall, brilliant or patronising?

GIFS are cool, but the media generalising young people isn’t…



So here the media go again, stereotyping ALL the younger generation as purely social-media & short snippet text consumers. Powered by Channel 4 News, 4NewsWall has been launched as a website presenting daily headlines in the form of GIFs (Graphics interchange format), in an attempt “to repackage online news in a format more appealing to teens and young adults”.

 Kevin Sutcliffe, head of news programming EU at Vice News believes that the reason [traditional news reporting] doesn’t speak to a young audience is obvious. “It’s middle-aged journalists in suits and ties talking to middle-aged journalists in suits and ties in studios. Or out on live links in front of something going-on – it feels formal, it feels mediated, it feels talked-down-to.”

 Wait a minute, has he actually asked young people if they feel this way? Well obviously not enough if he has. As a 19-year old I feel pretty talked down to when a GIF consisting of four words representing news is “speaking my language”, which is what Olivia Browne, group business director at 4Creative is suggesting.

 With respect, it’s not all bad, you can click on the GIF to get a summary of the news it’s representing, but I’m talking one paragraph here. However, my point’s not really the GIF itself, but the view the media seem to have of ALL young people. It appears that channel 4 think that for under 25-year olds to be interested in news, and go on to read it in more depth, they need a moving image with four words to lure them in, with the in-depth part consisting of a mere condensed paragraph. Yeah, some of the GIFs are cool and funny, but middle-aged journalists in suits claiming things that haven’t come directly out our mouths aren’t.

 Rather than making sweeping assumptions like “It speaks their language.” Instead what about saying: “It’s an alternative way to interact with news in the age of multi-media, social media & Internet.” You never know thirty something or even fifty year olds might like it too.