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Updated: 6 hours 29 min ago

Media statement for Pilgrim's Pride food factory

Fri, 18/09/2020 - 18:10

Public Health England (PHE) South West and Cornwall Council are aware of a small number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Pilgrim’s Pride Ltd. food factory, Pool, Cornwall. 

The cases were discovered as part of the enhanced contact tracing service put in place by Cornwall Council’s public health team.

Anyone identified as a close contact linked to the positive cases will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. If you are contacted, you should only get tested if you go on to develop symptoms. Even if you test negative, you must still self-isolate for 14 days.   

There will be additional testing taking place on site over the weekend for Pilgrim's Pride employees only. These measures are preventative and will provide vital data to help stop the spread of the virus.

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s Director of Public Health, said:  

“We are working with the factory owners, PHE SW and our NHS partners to provide public health advice and help stop the spread of the virus. Employees who need to isolate have already been excluded from work and given support to isolate.

“The business is conscientious in its approach to Covid-19 controls. We have been discussing their ongoing measures to ensure it is safe for staff to attend work as normal. However, if anyone does develop symptoms, which include a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change to their sense of taste or smell, they should self-isolate straight away.” 

A spokesperson from Pilgrim’s Pride Ltd. said: 

“Safety is a condition within our business. Since March when Covid-19 restrictions were first introduced, we have been following government guidelines for food processing sites and we have updated them as and when amendments have been made. Furthermore, we have implemented additional measures where they bring benefit including the installation of thermal cameras. We audit compliance of all our Covid-19 controls daily to drive up standards.

“As leading food processing operations, all our sites follow strict hygiene controls including barrier controls and intense daily cleaning regimes.

“In addition, at Pool the Health and Safety Executive carried out an inspection earlier this week and fed back that they were satisfied with measures implemented on site to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

“We are working closely with PHE South West and Cornwall Council to arrange swab testing for a sample group in one particular area of production before deciding upon the need for any further screening. As soon as we receive test results, we will liaise with health partners to assess whether further actions are necessary.”

https://twitter.com/Peston/status/1306900941958983684
Categories: Councils, Politics

Council to raise residents’ concerns over Government planning proposals

Fri, 18/09/2020 - 13:11

Have Your Say Government Planning Proposals

Residents are being asked to help the Council and have their say urgently before 1 October on new Government planning rules which will set a requirement of 4,000 new houses to be built across Cornwall every year. 

The proposals for new planning laws, designed to “build more homes, more quickly” in the UK would see an extra 12,500  new houses being built in Cornwall in the next ten years in addition to the current plans – the equivalent of a town roughly twice the size of Bodmin – without time to plan for new growth in the right places there are fears this will inevitably result in poor quality and unplanned speculative development coming forward.  

Affordable home provision could fall significantly under the new rules. This is because of proposed short-term changes that mean developers will not have to provide any affordable housing on sites of less than 40/50 homes.  This could mean a loss of 300 affordable homes a year for Cornwall’s residents. 

Cornwall Council wants to provide good quality homes that residents can afford, these proposals whilst building more homes risks them being poor quality and unaffordable.  

Rightly the government wants to help small and medium-sized builders in these difficult times. Like many Local Authorities in England we have thousands of homes with planning permission which have not been built.  Unlocking these sites by giving us new powers or funding to build the infrastructure that is needed, will help build these new homes that our residents need. 

In the long-term the government's 'Planning for the future' White paper also outlines how Greenbelt areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty may get the designation of ‘protect’ areas. As many South East authorities will be over 70% Greenbelt, there is a potential risk that this will lead to even greater pressure on Cornwall and other South West authorities. This is not levelling up. 

Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning Tim Dwelly said: “The message is simple. Under these new proposals the overall number of homes being built in Cornwall will rise dramatically. But the number of new affordable homes will fall dramatically. The current planning system gives residents the right to have a meaningful say on the quality and location of new homes - as well as their affordability. The Government proposals will remove this right. That's not on. 

“We are already building our fair share of homes in Cornwall in a careful, planned way. We set a requirement for affordable homes to be part of that mix. We believe we are striking the right balance. The new proposals take away our ability to require affordable homes on sites of under 50. Affordable housing numbers will fall by a third each year - what terrible timing, as unemployment rises across Cornwall because of Covid. Meanwhile, forcing through an extra 1,000 homes a year will lead to speculative development, a rise in land banking and poor-quality homes getting permission routinely."  

“We are concerned that residents do not know these things are proposed and we want to help them have their say before the proposals come in and it is too late." 

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet member for Homes Andrew Mitchell said:  “Access to affordable homes is the number one priority of residents in Cornwall and we believe under these proposals, the number of affordable homes will fall. We want to represent your views to Government – and we need your help to do it.” 

Cornwall Council is calling on Government to: 

  • review the new housing formula immediately; 

  • abandon the proposals to raise the affordable housing threshold;  

  • give us new powers or funding to build the infrastructure that is needed to unlock sites that already have planning permission, and  

  • focus on delivering net carbon zero new homes with strict standards being made mandatory so that new build housing market plays its full part in carbon reduction.   

Residents can get involved in three ways: 

  • Respond to our post on Facebook and Twitter– your views will help shape Cornwall Council’s response to Government 

  • Share your views on the Let’s Talk Cornwall website - your views will help shape our response to the Government consultation. 

  • Respond to the 'Planning for the future' Government consultation directly.  If you respond via email, please copy us in at  haveyoursay@cornwall.gov.uk 

 

Story posted 18 September 2020

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Hundreds share experiences of government's Covid-19 testing service

Thu, 17/09/2020 - 17:24

Hundreds of residents have responded to a Cornwall Council appeal to share their experiences of the government’s Covid-19 testing service. 

The appeal went out after concerns were raised that people suffering from symptoms associated with Covid-19 were struggling to book a test or were being offered test slots at locations outside Cornwall – in some cases hundreds of miles away. 

The information will be anonymised and passed on to Cornwall’s MPs to use as evidence when making the case to government that urgent changes need to be made to the current system. 

Councillor Sally Hawken, Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, said: “I’m grateful to the many hundreds of residents who told us about their experiences with the government’s Covid-19 testing system. It’s clear from the sheer volume of responses that the system isn’t working, and I’m deeply concerned that people in Cornwall are suffering as a result. 

“This isn’t about asymptomatic people putting strain on the system. The responses we’ve had are from people who have Covid-19 symptoms and are trying to do the right thing by following government guidance. We must do all we can to support them and keep our residents safe. 

“Some of the stories we’ve heard are truly disturbing. From the carer self-isolating and unable to work because of a delay in receiving her test results, to the parents of a poorly child who were forced to travel almost a hundred miles for a test – only for the appointment to be cancelled when they were halfway there. 

“These examples are as shocking as they are heart-breaking – but sadly they’re not unique. If we are to beat this virus, we need a testing system that is fit for purpose. I worry that at this present moment we don’t have one. 

“I’ll be passing on our findings to our local MPs and asking for their support in the hope they can press decision-makers in government to make desperately needed changes to the testing system.  

“We can’t wait weeks. These changes need to happen now.” 

Cornwall Council Director of Public Health, Rachel Wigglesworth, said: “These examples offer a disturbing snapshot of the current testing system and its flaws. They clearly show that changes need to be made if we’re to combat the spread of coronavirus in Cornwall. 

“It’s particularly important as we head towards the flu season, when the healthcare system will undoubtedly be placed under further pressure. 

“We stand ready to help the government in any way we can and we will do our utmost to keep Covid-19 case numbers in Cornwall low, but issues with the testing system will need to be resolved if we are to succeed in doing that. 

“In the meantime, we’ll continue working to put additional arrangements in place to help boost local testing availability until the national capacity increases and will let residents know as soon as those measures are in place.”

 

Published September 17, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council’s cabinet prioritise critical frontline services for residents

Wed, 16/09/2020 - 15:54

Cornwall Council Cabinet met today (16 September) to discuss the council’s draft budget proposals which will prioritise critical frontline services, the most vulnerable residents, and investment in Cornwall’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic in the face of unprecedented financial uncertainty. 

Despite the pandemic, Cornwall Councillors have still been able to regularly meet online to make sure that the democratic process is followed and important decisions that make a difference to the lives of Cornwall’s residents are still made.  

At this session, Cabinet considered a draft budget for 2021/22 which will now go out to the public for consultation. It proposes a council tax increase of 1.99%.  At present, the Government has yet to announce if the previous 2% precept for adult social care will also be applied to next year’s bills.

Leader of Cornwall Council, Cllr Julian German said: “This budget has had to take into account the huge financial impact of the pandemic and we have had to make some really tough choices. We reiterate our call on government to fully fund the costs and loss of income from Covid which has hit the council hard. At the heart of it though are the needs of our residents, and we will be redesigning our services to make sure we protect our most vulnerable. 

“Part of this plan is looking at the cost of running the council, considering the use of our buildings and making sure our services are run as efficiently as possible.” 

Also on the agenda was a plan to continue transforming the way that adult social care services are delivered. The service has adapted quickly over the last few months in order to accommodate the rise in demand due to Covid-19. The paper presented to Cabinet focused on services that support people to live as independently as they can, in their own home, for as long as possible. 

Cabinet also discussed options for being able to recycle more materials at Cornwall’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s). Part of the proposals consider introducing a service to reuse items where possible to try to cut down on the amount of waste sent to landfill. 

The paper also recommends a trial of extension of opening hours to the HWRC’s, as well as introducing an awareness raising campaign so that people are aware of the correct ways to separate materials and dispose of them correctly.  

The papers considered by Cabinet can be found on Cornwall Council’s website

Story created on 16 September 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

New #YouCanAdopt campaign launches in Cornwall

Wed, 16/09/2020 - 13:49

Regional Adoption Agency Cornwall Council and independent adoption charity Families for Children, join the coalition of National, Regional and Voluntary adoption agencies across the country, supported by the Department for Education (DfE), to launch a nationwide recruitment campaign to raise awareness of adoption.

In the UK, there are almost 3,000 children that are in need of an adoptive family and the number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in four years. In response, the new #YouCanAdopt campaign will bust myths around who is eligible to adopt and explore what the adoption process involves. It will also highlight, especially during the COVID pandemic, there are still children out there who are looking for their new family.

Earlier this year, a new report revealed that 39% ofadults in the South West have considered adoption or would consider adoption in the future. But, despite this, 71% of adults do not feel they know much about the adoption process.This lack of knowledge may contribute too many people not taking the important first step.

With 43% of people in the South West admitting they do not know if they are eligible to adopt and 32% thinking they wouldn’t be able to, the new campaign aims to increase the number of people taking the first steps towards adopting a child.

Some of the biggest misconceptions around eligibility are that single people, older people, and those who are LGBTQ+ are not allowed to adopt, which is not the case. The new data revealed that participants felt the following groups would be either ineligible to adopt or were unsure if they were eligible to adopt; over the age of 50 years old 61%, single 42% and LGBTQ+ 26%.

The #YouCanAdopt campaign also aims to target potential parents from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, as these children traditionally wait longer to be matched with a new adoptive family. The campaign aims to encourage potential adoptive parents to also consider adopting older children, sibling groups and those with complex health needs or a disability.

To help shine a light on the diverse range of families who have and can adopt, a new emotive film has been released featuring singer Sinitta and TV vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant alongside other families who are joining in encouraging others to consider adoption.

In the film, the adoptive families recite a poem written by comedienne, writer and adoptee Joy Carter, which brings to life the stories of each of the families: the highs, lows and realities of adoption.

The film also dispels some key misconceptions about adoption using a recurrent theme – you can adopt. It is being released online and across social media during the campaign. A podcast series is also being released, featuring famous voices such as Anna Richardson, Sinitta, Harry Derbidge and Annie Price, who talk to families about the adoption process and the journey they took to adopt their children.

A survey of adults who have already adopted showed that collectively, more than two thirds (66%) of people said the two most important things a person needs before adopting a child is a loving home and to be able to provide stability. Almost half (44%) of people said their adopted child felt like part of the family within just a month and of the respondents that had biological children as well as an adopted child, three quarters (75%) reported a strong relationship between the siblings.

The adoption process has evolved over the last few years; it is simpler and quicker than it has been previously and there is a lot more support available with over three quarters (76%) of adoptive parents finding the support and resources helpful.

Latest figures suggest that there are 22 children across Cornwall waiting for adoptive families which include 4 sibling groups of two or more children.

Ruth Marriott, CEO at Families for Children says, “There are still many myths surrounding adoption specifically around who can adopt, age and even accommodation worries. We are behind the campaign in helping to answer some of these questions that make people assume they can’t adopt. We want to raise awareness of the needs of harder to place children who wait the longest for their families. We are looking for people who have the motivation, commitment and love to be a great parent.”

Cllr Sally Hawken, Cabinet Member for Children & Wellbeing, Cornwall Council comments, “We know that lots of people think about adopting but wonder whether they might be eligible and so don’t take that all-important first step.

“Hopefully this new campaign will convince them to come and talk to us and dispel those myths. There are children locally and nationally from all backgrounds waiting for forever homes and that’s why we need people from all walks of life to come forward and help us to give them the love and care that every child needs to thrive, whatever their background.”

All adoption agencies hold information events across the South West to inform and discuss the process of becoming an adopter, the services they provide and the vulnerable children who are currently waiting.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council asks residents to share experiences of Covid-19 test system

Mon, 14/09/2020 - 15:48

Cornwall Council is asking residents to tell us about their experiences of the Covid-19 testing system so we can let the government know the issues you’re facing and where improvements need to be made. 

We’d like to hear from you about any difficulties you’ve had with the test booking system, how far you’ve had to travel for tests, and how quickly you’ve received results. 

The information you provide us with will be used to make recommendations to government about urgent changes that need to be made to the programme, so it’s easier for anyone who needs one to access a test. 

You can get in touch with us by direct message on our Facebook page at facebook.com/forCornwall or via email at phdesk@cornwall.gov.uk

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health, Sally Hawken, said: “Quick and easily available testing is an absolutely vital weapon in our fight against Covid-19, but there have been some well-documented issues with the government’s testing programme and I’m deeply concerned that not everyone who needs a test can access one. 

“We’ve heard cases of people being asked to travel miles out of Cornwall for a test, or having to wait more than a week for the results – neither of which is remotely acceptable. 

“It’s clear to me that if we’re to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Cornwall, we need an efficient, easily accessible testing system. At the moment I’m not convinced we have that. 

“That’s why we’d like to hear from anyone who has struggled with the testing system about their experiences. If we understand what the problems are here in Cornwall we can put the case to government that urgent changes need to be made.” 

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s director of public health, said: “If we’re to keep Covid cases low in Cornwall it’s important that we have an efficient and easily available testing programme in place for our residents to use if they need to. 

“By understanding where the problems with the current system are, we can work together with our colleagues in the NHS and with government to make the changes that the current system needs in order to better serve our residents.” 

You can find more information about testing, including how and where to get a test, on our website here.

 

Published on September 14, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

Call for clarity on Government’s Covid street marshals plan

Mon, 14/09/2020 - 10:37

Cornwall Council has called on the government to provide more clarity about its plans to introduce new Covid-19 secure marshals in towns and city centres. 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government held up Cornwall’s Safer Summer Scheme as an example to other local authorities. It involved street marshals patrolling a limited number of towns to watch for anti-social behaviour and advise on social distancing. 

The scheme - which ends later this month and was co-funded by the council, town and parish councils, and the Police and Crime Commissioners office – was very different to the Government’s new marshals initiative, which will have a completely different remit. 

With local authority budgets already under pressure responding to the pandemic, there is a need for more detail on what exactly the Government is proposing, and whether any resources will be provided by the Treasury to back it.    

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Rob Nolan, said: “We are pleased to hear that Cornwall’s Safer Summer Scheme may have inspired the Government’s suggestion of street marshals to help monitor the ‘rule of six’ across the country.  

“Many of Cornwall’s town centres have had a successful programme of marshal street patrols aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour and advising on social distancing. They were locally funded and proved to be an effective addition to other measures put in place to tackle this briefer but busier summer tourist season. Feedback from the public and businesses has been positive.” 

But this new suggestion of a Cornwall-wide marshal workforce raises resource issues, especially now as Cornwall begins its annual budget-setting process next week amid continuing uncertainty about the demands of the ongoing health crisis.    

Rob Nolan added: “The Prime Minister is asking us to recruit and train a large new cohort of special Covid 19 Marshals, but first we must seek clarity from Government on how this is to be achieved, on what scale, and by when.” 

“Cornwall Council, like all local authorities, is beginning the Budget-setting process that leads to next year’s Council Tax bills. Everyone knows we face unprecedented spending pressures, so we will need to know promptly what – if any – Government resources can be called on to help with this initiative.” 

The call for clarity extends to the Police, who will need to understand their role in supporting the new marshals, who are almost certain not to have any enforcement powers themselves. 

Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Alison Hernandez, said: “Marshals have helped de-escalate tensions involving people who have had too much to drink, helped to locate missing people, discourage littering and encourage social distancing, so it’s no surprise that these scheme has been warmly welcomed by local authority partners, the public and the hospitality sector. 

“I will be happy to help input into the Government’s plans as we await further clarity on how the scheme might be funded in the future.” 

   

 Published on September 11, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

Public Health ask residents to follow new rules from Monday to keep cases low in Cornwall

Fri, 11/09/2020 - 17:14

New government rules say that from Monday you must not meet with people from other households socially, in groups of more than six. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes and gardens. Fines for breaching the rules will be £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

This will not affect workplaces or meetings, childcare, or education. Organised team sports will still be able to proceed, as will weddings and funerals up to 30. This will also not impact existing arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents. There will be a limited number of exemptions, which can be found on the gov.uk website.

COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total, but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups. This rule will not apply to individual households or support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together.

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s Director of Public Health, said “It’s important to say that the vast majority of people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been keeping up with social distancing rules, and this is evident in the low number of cases that we have here currently. Coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and these changes to the rules are proof of that. Our Local Outbreak Management Plan is working well, and that is thanks to the continuing hard work with our partners and the processes we all have in place”.

“Please remember when meeting in groups of six to still maintain social distancing, don’t hug anyone outside your immediate household or support bubble, wash your hands often, limit how many people you see over a short period of time and if meeting indoors try to keep them ventilated by opening doors and windows.

Please only get a test if you have symptoms, help us keep tests for people who really need them. You do not need to get a test if you have been a close contact of someone with the virus, unless you start to develop symptoms. Symptoms include:

  • high temperature
  • new, continuous cough
  • loss or change to sense of smell or taste

If you feel unwell you can call 111 or use the online symptom checker

More information is available on www.cornwall.gov.uk

Categories: Councils, Politics

Council teams up with Crowdfunder to launch climate emergency community funds

Thu, 10/09/2020 - 15:20

Community groups with ideas for projects to help tackle the climate emergency can now apply for match funding from Cornwall Council, which has joined forces with Crowdfunder to help residents get their plans off the ground. 

Through the Crowdfund Cornwall Climate Emergency Funds the Council is supporting projects and activities that will help Cornwall work towards becoming carbon neutral as part of its climate change action plan.  

An online event hosted by Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive is being held on September 26 where residents can learn more about how to apply for the new funds.  

There are three types of funding available: the Carbon Neutral Cornwall Fund; the Town and Parish Council and Community Fund, and the Forest for Cornwall Community Fund.  

The funds are available through the Crowdfunder website

These new funds complement the existing Grow Nature Seed Fund which is also helping to tackle the climate emergency by providing funding for communities to deliver small scale natural climate solutions. 

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s cabinet member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “We want to inspire and back community projects that support the Council’s climate emergency response and ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030. 

“This could mean helping local councils and community groups get started on mapping their carbon footprint or preparing to put their plans into action or getting a tree planting project under way. Please tell us your ideas, join our online event and we can help bring them to life.” 

Ron Nolan, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: “These three funding pots will really help groups who may have initial ideas for plans to improve their local environment for the benefit of residents but need some support to get their plans into fruition. 

“We look forward to seeing applications for this funding and working on tackling the climate emergency together.” 

The Carbon Neutral Cornwall Fund provides funding for projects or ideas that are helping tackle climate change either through reducing carbon production; removing carbon from the atmosphere; environmental activity other than tree planting; or increasing community resilience. 

If the idea or project meets the criteria a community group can apply for a grant to match fund between 20% and 40% of costs up to a maximum of £4,000. 

For exceptional projects that could offer a larger impact the Council could offer grants of up to £15,000.  

Successful projects need to show how they support the Council’s climate emergency response through one or more of the following:  

  • Reducing carbon emissions from households, businesses or organisations 

  • Promoting sustainable choices and behaviour change 

  • Creating new opportunities for renewable energy 

  • Supporting climate resilient communities and spaces 

  • Promoting the removal of carbon from the atmosphere through nature-based solutions

Projects under £2,000 are excluded because these projects are supported by the Grow Nature Seed Fund.
Tree planting activities are also excluded from the Carbon Neutral Fund because they are supported by the Forest for Cornwall Fund - see below.

The Town and Parish Council and Community Fund is for town and parish councils and communities which are developing plans in their neighbourhoods as part of their climate emergency response.  

Local councils and community groups can apply for a grant to match fund 50% of costs, up to £2,000, to develop their own carbon inventory, action plan or feasibility work.  

The fund is specifically for helping develop work to support local councils and community groups to understand their own carbon footprints and how they can reduce emissions and work towards carbon neutrality. Projects will be one of the following: 

  • Commissioning an emissions baseline study 

  • Developing an action plan to reduce emissions 

  • Feasibility work into carbon reduction projects 

The Forest for Cornwall Community Fund aims to support community-based projects that help to increase canopy cover in Cornwall and contribute to the 8,000-hectare Forest for Cornwall plans.  

Examples of activities the Council would support include: 

  • Planting individual trees, copses and woodlands within amenity greenspace or improving grassland with public access. 

  • Converting or restoring amenity greenspace or improved grassland to a community orchard. 

  • Hedgerow planting and individual tree planting in hedgerows 

  • Tree nurseries 

To apply, groups need to be a locally constituted and recognised 'not for profit' organisations. 

Once the group has raised 10% of the total project target, the Council pledge of £5,000 or 75% of the target (whichever is the lower) will be made. 

Please visit the Forest for Cornwall page for more information.  

To find out more about the Crowdfund Cornwall Climate Emergency Funds and how to apply, there is a free Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive online event on Saturday 26 September, 1pm to 4pm.   

The event, hosted by Cllr Edwina Hannaford, will feature workshops on the new funds as well as the Community Infrastructure Levy Fund.   

There will also be masterclasses on the Carbon Buddy Manual, action planning for town and parish councils and community groups, and forest gardens. 

More information about the event is available on the Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive and the Carbon Neutral Cornwall webpages.

Cornwall Council also offers the Grow Nature Seed Fund which supports small-scale projects for wildlife-rich spaces; the Community Chest Scheme which aims to help projects to improve local areas; and the Social Inclusion fund coordinated by the Council’s Adult Social Care service. 

 

Story posted on September 10, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

It’s time to apply for school places starting in September 2021

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 13:20

Finding the right school place for your child is an important decision for all parents and carers and applications are now open for places to start school or transfer to secondary school in September 2021. 

If your child was born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017 you will need to apply for a reception place and for parents of children currently in year 6, you need to apply now for your preferred secondary school.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Health and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken said: “Applying for a school place for your child can be a time of mixed emotions and getting the right local information can really help parents to feel they have made an informed decision about their preferred schools for the next stage in their child’s education.”

Cornwall Council received 5430 applications for reception places for September 2020 and 5798 applications for secondary school places and parents are urged to apply before the deadline to ensure they have the best chance of being allocated a preferred school.

Sally continued: “Whether you are applying for your child’s first school place or for the move to secondary school, we would urge everyone to get their application in before the deadline and to consider more than one option.  Help is at hand for parents who have questions or who need support, through the Family Information Service and through the School Admissions Team. 

“If you are unsure which school to apply for, lots of schools, in the light of Covid-19, are holding virtual open days where you can find out first-hand what they have to offer. At the same time you can get practical advice about where to buy uniform and how to make sure your child is ready for their first day.”

The deadline for applications is:

  • Secondary School – 31 October 2020
  • Reception Classes – 15 January 2021

For those families who need extra help navigating the school admission process, the Council also offers impartial advice via the Family Information Service.

Manager of the Family Information Service, Gabrielle Hughes, added: “We can offer a wide range of support and impartial advice for families across Cornwall.  Our specialist advisors can help complete the applications, look at travel and if necessary, guide you through the appeals process.”

Not completing the application on time can increase the risk of not being allocated a preferred school, because applications submitted after the deadlines of 31 October (secondary) and 15 January (reception) will not be processed until after all those submitted on time. There will be some delay before a place can be allocated and it is possible that some schools will already be full.

Parents seeking advice should call the Family Information Service on: 0800 587 8191

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Long term partnership secures the future for vulnerable children in Cornwall

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 11:24

A new long-term partnership between Together for Families, part of Cornwall Council and the Wave Trust has been established to support Cornwall’s children and schools.    

Under the terms of the new 10-year contract the Council and Wave will work together in partnership to support those children who are at risk of exclusion or for those pupils who have already been permanently excluded from school. 

The emphasis on the partnership will be to promote inclusive practice in all schools, as well as developing new strategies for supporting children to remain in mainstream schooling who may be deemed at risk of exclusion. 

In addition to the 10-year contract the Council and Wave have also entered into a 2-year agreement to provide education for pupils who are not able to attend school due to medical or health reasons and education services for the Sowenna Inpatient unit for young people.

 Welcoming the new contract, Wave CEO Rob Gasson said “The Wave team works very hard to ensure that we are providing the highest quality education for all our pupils. We are determined to do ‘whatever it takes’ to improve outcomes for our pupils and change their lives for the better.

 “This long-term commitment is a recognition of the high quality of education available to the most vulnerable and challenging children in Cornwall through Wave and the Council’s Education Services.  By working together to provide timely and effective support, we can reduce the number of pupils excluded from school in the first place, as well as supporting those who have been excluded back into mainstream or special education provision, the world of work or into further education.

Cabinet Member for Children, Health and Well Being Sally Hawken said “We are delighted to be continuing to work with the Wave Trust to provide alternative education provision services for some of Cornwall’s most vulnerable children. 

“They have a proven track record of work in this field, being recognised as Outstanding by Ofsted at numerous locations in the country for their alternative education provision.  Which makes them ideal partners for our team to support young people in Cornwall.”

Wave currently runs six academies based in Cornwall, three academies based in Devon, and the Community and Hospital Education Service (CHES) & Torlands based across three centres in Devon and Cornwall. 

 “We recognise that each child learns differently and use a range of methods to ensure that we can tailor our approach to their individual strengths.  Our proven approach has been to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which enables all children to succeed " said Rob Gasson.  

 “At a time when many councils are taking a short term funding focused approach to providing this work, it is fantastic to see Cornwall leading the way in developing long term strategies which will support families and schools in meeting the needs of vulnerable children in Cornwall and equipping them with the skills for both education and for life”.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Budget that puts residents first in unprecedented times outlined by Cornwall Council

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 11:10

A draft budget which prioritises critical frontline services, the most vulnerable residents and investment in Cornwall’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic in the face of unprecedented financial uncertainty is outlined in papers for when Cornwall Council’s cabinet meets next week.

The papers show how the authority will focus on delivery of services, structuring the organisation to ensure maximum efficiency while protecting the most vulnerable, supporting our businesses and growing our local economy.

The outline budget for 2021/22, which will now go out for consultation, proposes a council tax increase of 1.99%.  At present, the Government has yet to announce if the previous 2% precept for adult social care will also be applied to next year’s bills.

Sound financial management over previous years has left Cornwall Council in a much healthier position than many local authorities, but still facing a considerable funding gap as demand continues to outstrip the predicted growth in income.

The budget, which looks ahead at the next four years, is being drawn up before the Government has confirmed funding levels for local authorities the next three years.

Council leader Julian German said:  “This is one of the toughest budgets we have ever had to draw up.  The financial impact of the pandemic has been huge, and we can see that fundamental changes to the way we work will be required if we are to meet residents’ needs.

“Cornwall Council has a strong committed workforce, who have put residents first in the response to the pandemic in recent months and we will be working with them to redesign services to ensure they are delivered as efficiently as possible, while recognising that the use of technology is not always the answer for some residents.

“This is not a new challenge for us.  We have already made £380 million of savings over the past decade, and have done so while investing in your priorities, such as roads, children’s services and housing for local people. 

“We now have to make substantial further savings, but I am proud to be able to present a draft budget  which prioritises investment to frontline services, protecting the most vulnerable, supporting our businesses and growing our local economy through a time of unprecedented financial challenge.

“I will also continue to lobby the Government to ensure we are given clarity over our funding for the next three years, and to ensure the Prime Minister lives up to his promise of levelling up our economy by ensuring Cornwall receives fairer funding, and does not continue to lose out to more urban-focussed authorities.

“We face difficult decisions, but we will continue to listen to our residents and use our resources wisely to secure the future for one and all.”

The cabinet will meet via Microsoft Teams to discuss the proposals next Wednesday (16 Sept) at 10am.  You can watch proceedings live via our website here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A draft budget which prioritises critical frontline services, the most vulnerable residents and investment in Cornwall’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic in the face of unprecedented financial uncertainty is outlined in papers for when Cornwall Council’s cabinet meets next week.

The papers show how the authority will focus on delivery of services, structuring the organisation to ensure maximum efficiency while protecting the most vulnerable, supporting our businesses and growing our local economy.

The outline budget for 2021/22, which will now go out for consultation, proposes a council tax increase of 1.99%.  At present, the Government has yet to announce if the previous 2% precept for adult social care will also be applied to next year’s bills.

Sound financial management over previous years has left Cornwall Council in a much healthier position than many local authorities, but still facing a considerable funding gap as demand continues to outstrip the predicted growth in income.

The budget, which looks ahead at the next four years, is being drawn up before the Government has confirmed funding levels for local authorities the next three years.

Council leader Julian German said:  “This is one of the toughest budgets we have ever had to draw up.  The financial impact of the pandemic has been huge, and we can see that fundamental changes to the way we work will be required if we are to meet residents’ needs.

“Cornwall Council has a strong committed workforce, who have put residents first in the response to the pandemic in recent months and we will be working with them to redesign services to ensure they are delivered as efficiently as possible, while recognising that the use of technology is not always the answer for some residents.

“This is not a new challenge for us.  We have already made £380 million of savings over the past decade, and have done so while investing in your priorities, such as roads, children’s services and housing for local people.

“We now have to make substantial further savings, but I am proud to be able to present a draft budget  which prioritises investment to frontline services, protecting the most vulnerable, supporting our businesses and growing our local economy through a time of unprecedented financial challenge.

“I will also continue to lobby the Government to ensure we are given clarity over our funding for the next three years, and to ensure the Prime Minister lives up to his promise of levelling up our economy by ensuring Cornwall receives fairer funding, and does not continue to lose out to more urban-focussed authorities.

“We face difficult decisions, but we will continue to listen to our residents and use our resources wisely to secure the future for one and all.”

The cabinet will meet via Microsoft Teams to discuss the proposals next Wednesday (16 Sept) at 10am.  You can watch proceedings live via our website here.

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

€2.8 million investment for the Mount’s Bay area to improve coast path, protect cultural heritage and boost off-season tourism

Tue, 08/09/2020 - 16:50

Long Rock Defences Image 10 Resized

Photo: Simon Rickwood, Bang Bang Creative

The Mount’s Bay (Penzance and Marazion) area is set to benefit from a €2.8m investment to improve the coast path, support local businesses and encourage a sustainable year-round visitor economy.

It is part of EXPERIENCE – a €23.3m project involving six areas of the Channel region (Cornwall, Brittany, Pas-de-Calais, Compiègne, Norfolk and Kent). Cornwall’s funding will support activities which focus on out-of-season visitor experiences (October to March) and sustainable cultural tourism, connecting visitors with the distinct historical, geographical and cultural assets of the local Penzance area.

EXPERIENCE will bring the cultural and tourism sectors together to encourage a sustainable year-round visitor economy. Due to run until June 2023, the project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme. Of the €16.1m ERDF committed to the total project, €1.9m is allocated to Cornwall Council, which is investing a further €0.9m.

With sustainability at its heart, the project will look to improve connectivity and encourage more sustainable modes of transport. The coastal path between Marazion and Penzance will be upgraded to improve the resilience of the popular multi-use trail and work is set to begin in the autumn to resurface the path, improve accessibility and provide safer routes through the car parks on the route. There are also plans to develop an art and cultural experience along the path which embraces the unique assets of the area.

The project will offer training and support to businesses in the Penzance pilot area looking to create cycling and cultural experiences for visitors which link to the local area, its history and culture. Any local business interested in finding out more can keep up to date with the project by signing up for the EXPERIENCE newsletter.

And as Penzance gears up to take centre stage for the first leg of the Tour of Britain in September 2021, EXPERIENCE aims to help local businesses adapt and respond to the increased popularity of cycle tourism.

Councillor Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Culture, Economy and Planning, said: “This is another significant step in the realisation of the Bay-to-Bay multi-use trail proposal, the regeneration of the Marazion and Penzance area, and our commitment to promoting new types of tourism. It will help to get people walking and cycling more, and support our ambitions to cut Cornwall’s carbon emissions as part of our climate change action plan.”

“The project will help fund improvements to the route, making it more accessible to tourists and residents alike. Now is such an important time to support the visitor economy. We want people to see Cornwall as an ideal destination all year round.”

Interreg Logos

More information
  • The EXPERIENCE project is a €23.3m project, promoting off-season tourism and encouraging spend with local businesses across six areas in the Channel region (Cornwall, Brittany, Pas-de-Calais, Compiègne, Norfolk and Kent).
  • Led by Norfolk County Council, EXPERIENCE involves 14 project partners in both France and the UK.
  • The project area will increase visitor value by 5% in the off-season and aims to attract 24 million new visitors spending €147m by 2023.
  • EXPERIENCE is a project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme 2014-2020.
  • The project will share its learning and successful approaches openly so that regions elsewhere will be able to replicate, bringing long term benefits across the France (Channel) England area and beyond even after the lifetime of the project.
  • You can find more information on the Cornwall Tour of Britain website.

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council addresses concerns over COVID-19 testing capacity

Fri, 04/09/2020 - 15:19

Cornwall Council wants to reassure residents that we are taking action to cover temporary issues experienced with the National COVID-19 Testing Service, as demands for testing have increased.

The Council has been working with health colleagues across Cornwall and Devon to put in place emergency cover measures for those people with symptoms who need a test, and we are still providing upto 5,000 tests a week in Cornwall.

The issues experienced in Cornwall with accessing COVID-19 testing is as a result of increased demand and national laboratory capacity for analysing tests being directed to areas elsewhere with a higher prevalence of COVID-19 cases.

If you have symptoms please book a test as normal via the government website. If a slot is not available, please try again later in the day or the next morning when new slots are released. If you are unable to book a slot please email d-ccg.devon.urgenttesting@nhs.net  and you will be contacted by someone who will direct you to the nearest testing centre. Please only get a test if you have symptoms, save the tests available for those who really need them.

In addition to putting in place emergency cover measures, the Council Leader, Julian German, and Cabinet member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken, have written to the Secretary of State. The letter has asked that the issues with the national testing service are investigated and fixed.

Cornwall Council Leader Julian German said: “Our letter to the Secretary of State spells out that the key to keeping our residents and visitors safe is to advise people with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested, and stay at home or safely travel back from holiday. Testing is an essential part of the Test and Trace, contact tracing approach. Without access to testing in it hard for us to see any emerging clusters and increase in cases. In the absence of consistent access to testing, our Outbreak Management approach in Cornwall is undermined."

Cornwall Council’s Director of Public Health, Rachel Wigglesworth, added: “Whilst we acknowledge that access to testing in areas of outbreaks, and high COVID-19 prevalence should be prioritised, the public health purpose of testing should be paramount. All areas should have access to symptomatic testing”.

You can check your symptoms via 111 online or calling 111.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Could you help change a life?

Fri, 04/09/2020 - 11:44

There are hundreds of children across Cornwall in need of a safe loving home, whether that be for a few weeks, months or even just a few hours.  Cornwall Council is appealing for more people to consider becoming a short break foster carer, who would support young people with disabilities and their families.  

Short break foster care can mean looking after a young person for an evening or a few days; it gives the young person a chance to do something different and for the family; vital downtime from caring for someone with additional needs.

Tracy is a short break carer for Cornwall Council, she says the role is very rewarding: “You need to have a good sense of humour and to be open to learn new things for this role, but it is good fun and the young people are amazing.”

Short break foster care gives disabled children new, enjoyable and fun experiences.  It also provides them with an opportunity to make new friends. Their siblings benefit from spending individual time with their parents and it provides a break for the parents. It is a rewarding experience for the carers who often form friendships with the family they support.

Tracy adds that it’s not just the children that benefit from short break care: “The families benefit because this represents a chance to re-charge their batteries, spend time with other children or to do things that their caring role doesn’t allow.”

Cornwall Council holds regular Information Meetings so the next step is to attend one when you can. Following this meeting, a social worker will meet with you in your home to discuss things with you in more detail. After this, your assessment to become a short break carer starts; the assessment includes training and checks and references.

Cabinet Member for Children, Health and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Being a short break foster carer is not only rewarding, but it is a vitally important part of a support structure for children with a disability and their families.”

Categories: Councils, Politics

Liskeard Library – Deal agreed which gives the green light for refurbishment to begin in 2021

Fri, 04/09/2020 - 11:27

Positivity, but just a little more patience. These are the key words as the refurbishing of Liskeard’s well-loved Passmore Edwards Library is becoming a long-awaited reality.

The anticipation of a reopening in 2021/22 is driven by having reached formal agreement on the project. Somewhat like an exchange of contracts on a house, both sides have now expressed their commitment, with only the legal engrossments to be completed.

The Library will shortly transfer to the community interest company RIO (Real Ideas Organisation) with access to the premises from next month, and a year of works expected to begin in January 2021.

It will then be reborn not only as a contemporary library, but a co-working and meeting space, creative hub and innovation space. A boost to Liskeard’s town centre facilities, it is aimed at attracting diverse audiences and enabling people to enjoy experiences that are usually found only in cities.

Last year RIO successfully secured £150,000 from the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) towards the refurbishment of the Victorian building, allowing them to progress design work for the renovation and reconfiguration of the Grade II listed premises in Barras Street. This has been happening in the background and as Covid restrictions lift, remedial work will start.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Libraries, Edwina Hannaford, said: “The transfer of a Cornwall Council building to a community interest company like RIO has been complicated and necessarily cautious. But we have persevered by never losing sight of the exciting opportunity this partnership offers to Liskeard, its residents, and its local economy. Cornwall Council and RIO are solidly dedicated to the same aim - providing Liskeard with a re-invigorated library that will be the pride of the town and do justice to John Passmore Edwards’s legacy.”

“It is far from ideal that it has had to weather such a long period unused, but we couldn’t embark on expensive works until the contract was agreed by both parties. Now we have agreed the last hurdles, the rest should be straightforward.”

Local Cornwall Councillors Sally Hawken (Liskeard East), Nick Craker (Liskeard North) and Jane Pascoe (Liskeard West and Dobwalls) have been kept informed of progress. There was an obvious hiatus during lockdown, but now barring any unforeseen issues, Liskeard will soon have its new Library.

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO, said: “It has been a long and at times, frustrating journey, unfortunately now further complicated by the pandemic, but we are delighted to have reached this important milestone. The design team has been working hard during lockdown and we’re looking forward to restrictions lifting soon, so we can begin the practical work of giving some much needed love to a beautiful building. Achieving this agreement is a very significant step, which will help to unlock further resources and ensure we can move ahead towards our goal of restoring the library to its rightful place in the town centre and adding much needed town centre co-working and creative facilities.”

The temporary Library will continue to operate from Luxstowe House until the refurbished building is ready to deliver the library offer. A ‘click and collect’ library service is currently in place due to Covid 19 restrictions.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Virtual events to target suicide rate in Cornwall

Fri, 04/09/2020 - 11:26

In a time when events are being cancelled, the Towards Zero Suicides collaborative, supported by Cornwall Council,are stepping up activity to mark World Suicide prevention day (Thursday, 10 September) and help reduce the suicide rate in Cornwall. 

Across the country many areas have cancelled their plans for a Towards Zero event this year. Here in Cornwall the plan is to not only forge ahead with plans for a virtual event but extended it to a whole week’s worth of online workshops. At the end of the week the successful bidders for the Suicide Prevention Innovation Grant will be announced. 

Each year in Cornwall we hold an event to bring together our community to think about the ways we can each support our ambition for zero suicides in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This year, of course, things are happening a little differently in all areas of our lives and our mental health and wellbeing have never been more important. 

The events are being held over the week Monday 7 – Friday 11 September 2020. Each day has a different theme, and on the final day there will be a local panel ready to take questions from the audience. These questions can be submitted in advance to suicideprevention@cornwall.gov.uk with TZ in the subject. 

Our themes for the week are: 

Councillor Sally Hawken, cabinet member for Public Health and Wellbeing said:  

“In a time where people’s worlds are very different, looking after our mental health and supporting each other is more important than ever. But it takes more than just looking out for friends and family. We’re encouraging communities to come together to learn how to reduce suicide in the places they live. 

“Events like these are designed to be open to everyone who has an interest in reducing suicide rates to zero. It’s not just professionals who play a part in this, it really is a subject where everyone can have a role”. 

Dr Ellen Wilkinson Chief Clinical Information Officer for Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust added: “Our collaborative has been working hard together for years to do as much as we can across the lifespan to prevent mental ill health and try to stop people reaching a crisis point. This year, it’s no different.  

“The plans to do a week of events shows how committed we are to tackle this issue head on”. 

To book your place on any of the free workshops, please click on any of the links above to register on Eventbrite. 

Towards Zero is a collaborative programme in South West England, through which local partnerships are working together with a shared aim towards achieving zero suicides. In Cornwall the collaborative is supported by Cornwall Council, Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust and NHS Kernow. 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Trailblazing farms plan to kickstart fleet fuel transformation and green recovery

Thu, 03/09/2020 - 17:16

 ERDF logo

Cornwall Council is combining ambitious plans to introduce renewable fuel sources for its vehicle fleet with a ground-breaking scheme to boost the future of farming and create more green jobs for residents.  

Together with Cormac, which looks after its fleet, the authority has joined forces with six of its Cornwall Council Farms estate-owned dairy farms and a Cornish technology company to trial the production of an alternative green fuel made from manure slurry in a pilot scheme believed to be the first of its type in the world.

If successful, the programme could be rolled out to hundreds of small-scale farms across Cornwall and create significant opportunities for farmers to diversify their income streams, save on operating costs, join the green economy and contribute to helping fight climate change. 

The move also signals the start of the Council’s transition to running a low emission fleet and investment in world-leading sustainable agricultural technology to create more green jobs for residents and boost Cornwall’s economic recovery from the pandemic.   

Over the last two years Newquay-based clean energy company Bennamann Ltd has been testing a patent-pending engineering method to turn farm waste - such as cow manure and grass cuttings - into biomethane, a zero-carbon fuel which can be used to power heavy goods vehicles and farm machinery.  

Its pioneering work has been supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme’s Energy Independent Farm project, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and led by Bennamann in partnership with the University of Exeter and Chynoweth Farm Partners.    

Having already started trialling its processed biomethane in a tractor and Cormac’s fleet of tarmac hot boxes, Bennamann’s gas capture technology will now be expanded in sealed slurry lagoons on six Council-owned dairy farms located across Cornwall.   

The £1.58m Council-funded pilot will see Bennamann collect and upgrade the biogas produced at the farms before delivering it to Cormac to fuel a fleet of 77 converted road maintenance trucks.   

Watch a video explaining Bennamann’s method

Farms taking part in the programme can sell the captured biomethane and develop a new revenue stream.  

The new programme is part of the Council’s climate change action plan to help Cornwall become carbon neutral by 2030.   

It will also aid Cornwall’s Covid economic recovery in paving the way for more skilled jobs in the clean energy and environmental sectors.   

The biogas project is the first step in the Council and the Corserv Group’s programme to transition towards carbon neutral fleet operations by 2030.   

Along with a new electric bikes scheme for Council staff, over the coming months the Council will also be introducing a new fleet of electric pool cars, as well as piloting electric vans and Fire Service vehicles.   

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s cabinet member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “As we work on tackling the climate emergency and our Covid recovery this zero-carbon pilot will not only transform our Cormac fleet and cut emissions, it brings investment to our farms and our agricultural and technological sector in Cornwall to create long-term, quality jobs in the green economy.   

“Biomethane could play an important role in helping Cornwall become carbon neutral by 2030 and this new technology developed by an innovative Cornish company will allow small scale farmers to join the growing biomethane market for the first time.”   

Deputy Leader Adam Paynter whose portfolio covers Cornwall Council Farms Estate said: “This capital investment in first of-a-kind, covered, slurry lagoons can provide a commercial return for farmers and enable a rollout across all dairy farms in Cornwall, nationally and potentially globally.    

“Farmers will also benefit from better slurry storage and use, savings on fertiliser and electricity bills.”  

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for economy, culture and planning, said: “Green and clean growth and decarbonisation is a key focus in our emerging local recovery planning and our draft Local Industrial Strategy which has identified agriculture and food as a distinctive opportunity. 

“Our ambition is for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to lead on low-impact sustainable farming and fishing to provide a secure and sustainable supply of food produce.”   

Chris Mann, Bennamann co-founder and chief executive, said: “Bennamann is passionate about delivering a local clean energy revolution that brings commercially viable, sustainable production and distribution of small-scale farm biomethane sourcing to the marketplace. And this ground-breaking pilot represents a significant milestone in achieving that ambition. We are proud to be a Cornish company that has the potential to radically change the global energy market and look forward to delivering a successful pilot that will put Cornwall at the forefront of pioneering renewable energy innovation, as well as help the Council achieve its zero carbon goals and post pandemic recovery plans.”  

Al Hoare, group central services director for Corserv, manages the Cormac fleet, said: “Our ambition is to transition our fleet to ultra-low emission vehicles by 2030, supporting one of our key priorities of tackling climate change and increasing sustainability. While testing is still ongoing, this partnership could be a game-changer for Cornwall. Initial data suggests that each pot hole repair unit converted to run on fugitive biomethane could reduce CO2e emissions by five tonnes per year; this is the equivalent volume to an average hot air balloon and would take five native broadleaf trees to offset over their lifetime (which is approximately 100 years).” 

Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Cornwall has a growing reputation as a clean energy pioneer and this project could be transformative for rural communities and the environment by using farm waste to produce zero-carbon fuel. It complements our other renewable energy ambitions around floating offshore wind, deep geothermal and lithium extraction for electric vehicle batteries, contributing to a green economic recovery.” 

European Regional Development Fund 

The Energy Independent Farming project is receiving up to £ 977,376 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds 

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Joint statement from GLL and Cornwall Council

Thu, 03/09/2020 - 11:35

GLL and Cornwall Council welcome the recent announcement by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP that leisure centres, gyms and pools will be allowed to reopen from July 25. 

Re-opening in Cornwall will be phased for safety reasons – prioritising centres best suited to being COVID-secure in the first instance and then gradually rolling out others.  

From July 25, the following will open: 

Bude Leisure Centre – gym and fitness classes only 

Liskeard Leisure Centre – gym and fitness classes only 

Bodmin Leisure Centre – gym, fitness classes and outdoor tennis only. 

St Austell Leisure Centre – gym, fitness classes and swimming pool 

Newquay Waterworld – gym, fitness classes and swimming pool 

Helston Sports Centre – gym and fitness classes only 

Truro Leisure Centre – gym, fitness classes and swimming pool 

Newquay Trampoline & Play Park – trampoline area, subject to final review of COVID-safe options. 

Like theatre venues across the country, the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth will remain closed in accordance with government guidelines. 

The following centres will not be in the first round of reopening on July 25: 

Ships & Castles Leisure Centre, Falmouth 

Launceston Leisure Centre

Saltash Leisure Centre

St Ives Leisure Centre

Wadebridge Leisure Centre

GLL is a charitable social enterprise that employs around 900 staff in Cornwall. The cost of keeping centres in hibernation for four months with no income, and the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and how services will be delivered, has resulted in a total funding shortfall of around £5m.

Negotiations are continuing to find a solution to what has become a serious financial challenge and, together with local MPs, we have jointly been lobbying Government for a rescue package similar to the one that is now in place for the arts.   

Leisure centres provide an essential public service and we are really looking forward to welcoming customers back. 

 

Story posted on July 15, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

Rogue builder “became aggressive and hostile”

Wed, 02/09/2020 - 17:55

A rogue builder who cold-called properties across South East Cornwall and persuaded home owners to have unnecessary work undertaken, finally admitted three charges under the Fraud Act at Truro Crown Court last Friday 28 August. 

The Court heard that John O’Connor, age 34 from Sutton Benger, Chippenham in Wiltshire, who traded under the company name of Civil Construction Ltd, used false addresses to give the impression his business was based at Saltash or Plymouth. He also failed to give home owners any cooling-off period, or any of the legally required information about the work he was offering to do.  

The driveways and patios he laid were of such poor quality that many have had to be rectified since. And when any of his customers questioned the quality of his work he became hostile and aggressive. 

O’Connor returned to Truro Crown Court yesterday, Tuesday 1 September,  where he was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment (suspended for 2 years).  He was also ordered to pay compensation of £5,000 and the Council’s legal fees of £8.788.  

Leanne McLean, Trading Standards Lead Officer for Doorstep Crime explained: “Between November 2016 and the Spring of 2017 O’Connor travelled to Cornwall and called at properties in Looe, Liskeard and Torpoint without any prior appointment. He persuaded home owners to have driveways repaired or replaced or garden patios laid. For each job he charged an excessive price and exaggerated the amount of work that he would undertake.  

“In all cases the customers were unhappy with the quality of the work done. When they queried this or tried to withhold part payment until the work was rectified O’Connor became menacing and aggressive. In at least one instance, O’Connor returned to the property with another male and tried to persuade the home owner to have repairs done to the roof. Again, when the customer refused O’Connor became hostile. 

“When Trading Standards was called in to investigate a spate of complaints against him and his company, O’Connor went to ground and refused to be interviewed or cooperate in any way with the investigation. 

“But to travel all the way from Wiltshire to Cornwall, to call at properties without an appointment, and then to undertake work that was either not necessary or that was done to a poor standard clearly shows that this was a fraudulent business. With no intention to honour customer statutory rights nor to charge a fair price for quality work. This fraudulent intent has now been reflected in the sentence imposed by the Court.” 

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection, said: “The circumstances of this criminal prosecution illustrate too clearly the dangers of agreeing to buy any goods or services from someone who turns up at the front door uninvited. Our Trading Standards Officers continue to work in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police to tackle those who use unfair and misleading business practices to target our local communities. Traders operating in this way damage the reputation of reliable and trustworthy businesses.  

“Our advice is clear – NEVER deal with any tradesman who knocks at your door without a previous appointment.” 

Cornwall Council Trading Standards always recommends seeking a number of quotes before agreeing to work.  Also consider using Buy With Confidence approved businesses, who have been audited and accredited by Trading Standards.  Visit Buy with Confidence website for more information.  

Categories: Councils, Politics