Corfu honeymoon plunge bride ‘can return home’ after hundreds pay flight costs

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The primary school secretary had lost her footing and slipped from her hotel balcony after returning from a romantic meal with her 29 year-old husband.

She and her new builder partner Michael Dudbridge were left stranded in the Greek island with just 50 euros after making the “surprise” wedding gift trip without any travel insurance.

They wrongly believed they were covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), commonly referred as the E111, if anything went wrong.

While the card guarantees Ms Freeland will “receive the same level of medical health care as a local resident” it does not cover any other costs.

The couple, from Lewisham, south London, had flown to Corfu after guests paid for the honeymoon tickets following their decision to save for a house.

But after Ms Freeland was left fighting for her life, Mr Dudbridge was left with the heartbreaking prospect at not being able to pay for her to fly back to Britain.

After Saturday’s incident, two days before their dream holiday was due to end, Mr Dudbridge launched a website to raise the estimated £16,000 needed to fly his new wife back to the UK.

But less than 24 hours their plight was reported in national newspapers, including The Daily Telegraph, more than 400 generous strangers came forward and raised the money. One generous donor even donated £5,000.

It means she will be able to fly home in an air ambulance plane, complete with stabilisers, for treatment in a British hospital.

Her mother, Linda, said: “This is just brilliant news. We can’t believe the outpouring of support that we’ve had from the public.

“We just want to thank for them for being so supportive at this difficult time. Hopefully now we can get Carrie home as soon as possible.”

Her best friend Zoe Bayntun, 27, added: “It’s amazing we’ve already exceeded the total.

“This will be a massive relief to Carrie and Michael and all their friends and family.”

They couple, who were together for a decade before their wedding on July 31, are now awaiting medical clearance and assessments on Carrie’s condition before they are able to fly her back.

The repatriation company who will bring her home are waiting for vital paperwork to be signed off before she can be flown back to the UK.

Pensioner who created dazzling garden on wasteland told to let it go to waste

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Gloria Kersh, 69, has transformed an area disused grass outside her council home over the last decade Photo: ARCHANT SYNDICATION

Gloria Kersh, 69, has transformed an area of disused grass outside her council home over the last decade.

She has grown foxgloves, Christmas roses, wild violets and even a berry bush from her mother’s funeral wreath.

But Havering Council have now written to Miss Kersh, from Harold Hill, Essex, to warn that she must return the area to its original state.

Estates officer Jeff McCarthy told her in a letter: “Whilst I can see the work carried out by you is to a good standard it was carried out without prior permission and if this was requested authorisation would not have been given.”

Miss Kersh said she could not understand the decision and said her work would benefit the council financially.

“Gardening is one of my main pastimes,” she said. “I just like pottering around cutting the grass, tending the flowers and tidying up the cigarette packets and bottles people throw away.

“I just can’t understand for the life of me why they’re doing this – this is for everybody’s benefit, not just mine. We’re all mainly elderly around here and everyone does like it.

“No one wants to stare at some shabby grass and a wall. And at the end of the day we’re saving the council money because they don’t have to look after it.”

Dina Fitzgerald, a neighbour of Miss Kersh, said: “Gloria’s flowers are really pretty and now they want to destroy her garden for some reason.

“Has the council lost all their common sense? We just can’t understand what they’re trying to do.”

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, said: “The letter was sent in response to concerns raised by neighbours that this area was being used as a private garden – but it’s fair to say that the letter was a bit premature.

“We don’t want to stop people being public spirited, but we also need to respect the wishes of other neighbours.

“So we’ll write to the residents of Dorking Rise to ask if they’re happy for Miss Kersh to tend the flowerbeds for everyone’s enjoyment and if they are, we’ll be happy to agree this with Miss Kersh.”

Turnip or swede? Brussels rules on ingredients of Cornish pasty

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However the Cornish are unusual in referring to swede as turnip, even though they differ markedly. The former is white with a sharp taste while the latter is orange with a more earthy flavour.

Because of this linguistic quirk, the regulations have been amended to allow either term to be used on the label although only one of the two is allowed in the pasty.

This will mean that genuine Cornish pasties will be allowed to go on sale advertised as containing turnip, but will break the rules if they actually do contain the rogue root vegetable.

William Dartmouth, UKIP MEP for the South West said: “It just goes to prove that anyone who tries to micro-manage the rich heritage of this country is simply asking for trouble.

“Distant Eurocrats will never understand the quirky intricacies of life in the UK, the local language and customs that have grown up over centuries.

“The case of the phantom turnip is only the latest in a long line of food-related chaos inflicted on us by Europe. It’s time they learnt their lesson and gave us all a break.”

The draft regulations giving Protected Geographical Indication status to the Cornish pasty, published last month and due to come into force in January, specify that the product must be D-shaped and crimped on one side, “never on top”.

The EC regulation on the Cornish pasty, number 510/2006, goes on to explain that the crust was used as a handle by miners and farmworkers who became its main consumers by the 19th century.

It notes: “Traditionally, in Cornwall ‘swede’ is referred to as ‘turnip’ so the two terms are interchangeable, but the actual ingredient is ‘swede’.”

European Commission spokesman Albena Dimitrova-Borisova said: “It will be for the control authorities in the UK to put in place the necessary enforcement, ensuring the product is produced in conformity with the specification, not least for the ingredients.

“They must have the necessary technical knowledge as a condition to be able to certify a product or process. An appreciation of the local name for a key ingredient should be part of that.”

The Cornish Pasty Association, which represents the county’s traditional bakers, applied for protected status for the delicacy earlier this year, in order to prevent rivals elsewhere in England passing their inferior products as the genuine article.

But it too has been left confused by the phantom turnip rule.

A spokesman said: “It will probably mean something different to small bakeries rather than people that mass-produce Cornish pasties for exporting.

“We are going to take advice from the EU because of the potential confusion on terminology. We will have to see what accommodation they are reaching.”

The EC is infamous for producing rules and regulations about food, although it maintains a list of “Euromyths” detailing where it believes they have been misunderstood by the press.

Last year it lifted a 20 year-old rule governing the sale of odd-shaped fruit and vegetables, which included the notorious stipulation that Class 1 cucumbers had to be “reasonably well shaped and practically straight” with a maximum “arc” of 10mm per 10cm length.

Motorist rings council to ask if car park is haunted

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Another member of the public rang his local authority to ask if he could roll up a zebra crossing, according to a survey of the most bizarre requests received by town halls.

Other queries that had officials scratching their heads included someone who wanted to know if they could register the death of a person who was still alive, and a request to be told the plot of She Stoops to Conquer, an 18th century play.

Some callers retained a touching faith in the wisdom of their councils, more used to handling requests about parking and recycling, by ringing them for advice even while abroad.

An East Dorset resident rang the town hall’s tourist information centre while in Cologne, Germany, to find out why his bus hadn’t arrived.

The same office received a call from a resident temporarily in South Korea, who wanted a Christmas turkey ordered from the local butcher.

Meanwhile a German man turned up at a council premises in Northumberland demanding to be given political asylum, and police had to be called when he refused to accept that all Europeans are free to enter Britain.

A caller to Surrey council complained that the phone number they had been given for their library was out of order – only to be told that “0900 1800” were in fact its opening hours.

A tourist asked what time of day the dolphins in Cardigan Bay could be seen, while a Sutton resident wanted to know where to find “an old bath that I could fill with custard”.

Baroness Eaton, chairman of the Local Government Association, the umbrella group representing councils in England and Wales which compiled the survey, said: “These examples show just how broad a range of issues council staff deal with each day. Councils literally have to be ready for anything from the mundane to the mind-boggling.

“Councils try to help callers with support and advice as much as they possibly can. While the vast majority of calls fall within the bounds of councils’ usual responsibilities, there are occasions when call handlers are left baffled.

“The fact that councils are so often the first port of call for residents who are seeking a solution to their problems shows just how central a role councils play in the lives of their communities. While councils offer more than 800 local services, some requests really are beyond them.”