ITV West Country – Sandplace Road Report

We have today received the following from ITV West Country:

Dear Ms Colton-Dyer

Thank you for your email to ITV concerning an item broadcast on ITV News West Country on 8 July 2021. I apologise for the delay in responding to it.

The report related to the closure of Sandplace Road in Looe, which resulted from structural damage to a wall that was deemed by Cornwall Council to be unsafe. We were sorry to hear that members of Looe Town Council were unhappy with the report and we therefore wish to assure you that we have reviewed the news item in detail and discussed it with the on-screen journalist reporting on the story, Sam Blackledge, in order to respond to each of your points in turn.

You have confirmed that a number of residents in Looe considered the report to be misleading in that references to “the Council” were believed to have been to Looe Town Council as opposed to Cornwall Council. Within the report, Cornwall Council was the only council to have been mentioned as it is Cornwall Council that is responsible for the maintenance of Sandplace Road, as well as the vast majority of highways within Cornwall. Mr Armand Toms was interviewed by Mr Blackledge in his capacity as Councillor at Cornwall Council and not in his capacity as a member of Looe Town Council. This was made clear by the reporter and in the on-screen credit. We can confirm that Looe Town Council were not referenced within the report and therefore we do not consider the report to have been misleading in this respect.

Mr Elio Rossi was interviewed on air as a “resident” in Sandplace Road. We understand from your email that he does not own a property in the road and was staying in one of the properties temporarily as a holidaymaker. Whilst the report acknowledges the disruption caused by the road closure for “residents and holidaymakers”, the reporter acknowledges that Mr Rossi had previously identified himself as a holidaymaker and that by referring to him as a “neighbour” there was a risk that viewers may have implied he was a permanent resident. ITV and Mr Blackledge offer our apologies for this error.

You have also raised concerns that Councillor Armand Toms was unaware that the 2013 landslide in Sandplace Road, in which a resident sadly lost her life, would be referred to within the report. Mr Toms was asked numerous questions on camera relating to the closure of the road, some of which were included within the final report on West Country News, and some of which were not. Mr Toms was asked by Mr Blackledge whether the Council were more cautious when it came to issues such as the leaning wall, which was the subject of the report, because there had been a history of safety issues within the same road including the 2013 incident that occurred just two houses down from the dangerous wall. Mr Toms freely responded to the question and said, “I think they are being cautious on this because of the impact of the other things that have happened on the road, of course”. This comment was not included within the final report.

We offer our sincere apologies to the residents and to Mr Toms for any distress caused by referring to the tragic incident in Sandplace Road in 2013 and note that our reporters do not seek to “sensationalise” news items, as has been suggested, or refer to previous incidents without sufficient reason to do so. In this case, as the 2013 tragedy occurred just metres away from the new safety concerns with the leaning wall, we consider it to have been editorially justified to query whether the repeated safety issues would impact upon the Council’s cautiousness in Sandplace Road. There was no implication within the report that the wall would cause or had caused a further landslip, or that the cause of the structural issue was the same as the cause of the 2013 incident. However  there was a clear link between the two stories in terms of the safety of residents and road users, and the associated actions of Cornwall Council in the same area of the road.

We understand that there are also concerns that the report suggests that it is the responsibility of the residents who own the adjoining land to maintain the wall. Our reporter undertook various steps to clarify this information, which included liaising with Cornwall Council who stated as follows:

 “We’re putting in place an emergency diversion after an inspection of a privately owned wall on Sandplace Road in Looe raised safety concerns about its structural stability. The council’s building control team has served a dangerous structure notice at the property. Our highways team is putting in place the closure of Sandplace Road and signs for a diversion from July 7. We will continue to monitor the situation with a view to replacing the closure with traffic lights. In the meantime, please follow the signed diversion route. Any issues can be reported by calling 0300 1234 222. Our priority is the safety of residents and road users. We apologise for any delays and will update on progress as soon as we can.”

Councillor Armand Toms was also asked on 8 July whether it was the responsibility of the homeowner to rectify the wall issue and he replied, “Yes, he has been very active and I have got to praise him about what he has done so far. He has a plan in place, he has a design by a local structural engineer, that is today as we speak being looked at by our highways structures team. Once that has a sign-off then that should be enough to allow the works to go forward.”. An attempt was also made to speak with the owner of the property on the day of filming however unfortunately there was nobody in the property to talk to. Had there been additional time, then further attempts would have been made to contact them in order to reflect their views on the issue, however due to there being limited time to deliver the news report this was unfortunately not possible. We therefore consider that Mr Blackledge took steps that were reasonably possible in the time frame to ensure the report was accurate and fair.

We wish to offer our sincere apologies once again for any distress caused to you, Mr Toms and the residents of Sandplace Road as a result of our news report and assure you that it is our priority to ensure that every report is accurate, balanced and does not cause any viewers harm or distress. We hope that this email clarifies the steps that were taken by the ITV West Country team to ensure that the report was fair and accurate taking into account all the relevant circumstances at the time.

Yours sincerely

Jim Stevens

Deputy Head of News


Kernow Connect – Support Services for Young People

Are you aged 11 – 19 or have a child who is  then this will interest you.  Kernow Connect are offering a range of universal, targeted and specialist services to Young People aged 11 -19  and those up to 25 with SEND in Cornwall.  Look here for more details about this service


Looe Island is Special!

We know how lucky we are to have Looe Island and we hope that residents and visitors will join us to support the Island Wardens to keep it special – check out the three simple steps we can all take on the image attached.

We’re also delighted that Looe Island has been voted the third ‘most stunning’ UK nature reserve in research carried out by Ark Wildlife.  Find out more about this at Falmouth Packet. Congratulations to Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the Island Wardens and all those who contribute to keeping the Island’s natural beauty.


Want to Work in Health and Care?

Health Works for Cornwall is a new programme developed by The Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. It aims to support those who are unemployed, with a health related barrier, into employment or training within the health and care sector, and to raise awareness of the different job opportunities in the NHS. 

If you’d like to find out more, there’s an open event on the 21st August 2021 where anyone can come along to hear more about the programme and the support they can receive. Two sessions will be taking place at 10am and 11:30am with a transferable workshop skills being run in both sessions by our Senior Clinical Educator. There we will also be plenty of coffee and cake!

More details, and how to register, are on the poster image attached.


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Reporting Crime and Anti-Social Activities

As Looe continues to ‘open up’ following the lifting of Covid restrictions, we’ve had several reports of criminal and anti-social behaviour.  Whilst we try to support all residents and visitors to resolve issues affecting them, please be aware that the Town Council does not have any powers of enforcement so usually cannot take direct action on your behalf.

Please do contact us if you want advice on where to report things, or when you have an ongoing issue that you need more support with. We will always encourage you to report incidents directly to the appropriate Police or County Council team so that issues are recorded, resolved, followed up and, where necessary, legal action is taken. The Ask NED (Non-Emergency Directory) available on the Police website will help you to identify where to go for help and, as a brief guide, you should contact:

Devon and Cornwall Police – via their website or call 101 to report crimes that have already taken place and criminal anti-social behaviour such as drug dealing, harassment, criminal damage, prostitution, indecent behaviour, misuse of fireworks, etc

Cornwall Council – via their website or call 0300 1234 100 to report environmental issues like noise nuisance, dog fouling, litter, stray dogs, abandoned cars, discarded syringes, fly tipping, etc.

In the event of an emergency, call 999 – an emergency is when someone’s life is at risk, someone is seriously injured, offenders are nearby and/or immediate action is required.

All of our local authorities and public services are, of course, extra busy this year as we collectively recover from the pandemic, so please be patient and trust that any matters reported will be dealt with as soon as possible.

Looe Flood Defence Scheme – Newlsetter 3

The latest Looe Flood Defence Scheme newsletter has been published.  Find a copy to read and download a copy at Let’s Talk Looe Flood Defence Scheme – Looe Town Council

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Briefing Meeting – Planning

We have been consulted on further Planning Applications which require a response before the next meeting of our Planning Committee.  These will, therefore, be discussed at an informal Zoom meeting at 5pm on 10th August so that we can provide comments within the time limit set by Cornwall Council.

The applications being discussed are listed below and we would encourage any members of the public who wish to comment formally to register their comments directly with Cornwall Council at

PA21/06484 – Penannton, Portuan Road, West Looe

PA21/06851 – Trenanton, Shutta Road, East Looe

If you’d like to attend our Zoom meeting to raise any points, ask questions and/or observe discussions, please contact us by 9th August at or call 01503 262555.


Looe Community News

The latest issue of Looe Community News has been published!

You can find this in the ‘Attachments’ section below.

In this edition:

  • Seafront/Beach Events 2021
  • The Big South West Cream Tea
  • Looe Town Council – NALC Star Council Awards finalist 2021
  • Looe Shedders – new members wanted
  • Updates  on Looe Flood Defence Scheme, Looe Island Nature Reserve and Looe Valley Trails
  • RIP David John Gardner

As well as updates from all your local Community organisations.

Sue Whipps

Sue Whipps (East Looe) publicly thanked on The One Show 29.07.21

Many of you will have seen our resident, Sue Whipps from East Looe, publicly thanked on The One Show last night.

Sue’s dynamic and passionate volunteer work in Cornwall and beyond for Parkinson’s is an inspiration to us all and Looe Town Council would like to also express their thanks and admiration for all that she gives to our community.

Thank you Sue!


Tregoad Park introduces new on site bus service 3

Tregoad Park connects community to greener transport methods with new on-site bus service

The Mayor and Mayoress visited Tregoad Park, near Looe this week who have introduced a new direct bus service on its site in partnership with Go South West and St Martins Parish Council.

The service, operated by Go Cornwall Bus, will allow holiday park guests, holiday home owners and the local community to easily travel between Tregoad Park, Looe, Polperro, and Plymouth – with buses departing every hour from the park’s on-site roundabout. The new stop replaces one originally located on the main road outside the park, helping improve visibility for oncoming traffic.

Allen Main, Group General Manager at Waterside Holiday Group (which owns Tregoad Holiday Park) commented: “We’re committed to putting environmental sustainability at the heart of everything we do, so are delighted to introduce this new bus service to encourage more people to use public transport. We believe it’s important for businesses like ourselves to support local public transport operators, as we have a joint responsibility to help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint.”

The local community is invited to use the new bus service to travel to Tregoad Park and access its newly refurbished bar and grill, recently developed as part of a wider £4m park investment. Tregoad Park is also working with local swimming school Swim4 to introduce swimming lessons for the community during the off-peak season.

Martin Gregory, Mayor of Looe, commented: “I am delighted to welcome community-focused, environmentally-conscious initiatives to Looe such as Tregoad Park’s direct bus route. The service creates an important link between the park and businesses and other attractions in the vicinity, for the benefit of Tregoad’s guests and for our economy.

“I hope that our local residents and visitors will also take advantage of the bus service to experience the great new facilities at Tregoad that are a result of the huge investment Waterside Holiday Group has made.”