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Updated: 14 hours 52 min ago

Find out more about mental health safety plans at events across Cornwall

Mon, 17/02/2020 - 11:29

A series of events aimed at supporting people with their mental health by using a mental health safety plan are being held across Cornwall on 28 February.

Events will be held in Penzance, Carnon Downs and Lanivet and Cornwall Council's Public Health Team would like to invite anyone who is interested, including individuals, organisations and community groups, to learn more about how the plans can help them and the community.

Cornwall Council’s public health team work hard to provide support for people throughout the year with their mental health and mental health safety plans are designed so that people can help themselves during any stage of a mental health crisis.

In the UK an average 6000 people die a year from suicide, that’s compared to around 2000 people killed on the roads. In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on average, one person a week dies by suicide, which is higher than other areas of the South West.

Cllr Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health said: “A mental health safety plan supports and guides someone when they are experiencing thoughts of suicide to help them avoid a state of intense suicide crisis. Research tells us that it’s one of the best tools to mitigate future suicide behaviours. The events are an opportunity for people to hear about them in more detail, whether to learn how to write one for themselves or support someone else to write one.”

Launch events will be held in three different locations throughout the day on 28 February, these are at:

  • St John's Hall, Alverne Room, Penzance - 9am-11am
  • Truro and Penwith College, Tregye Campus, Carnon Downs - 12:30pm- 2:30pm
  • Lanivet Parish Community Centre, Lanivet - 4pm-6pm

Cllr Hawken added: “I’d urge anyone with an interest in this area to go to one of these events to find out more. It is the Council’s priority that everyone should have better health and this very much includes mental health.”

More information on each event and how to book can be found on the council’s website

For anyone who needs support with their mental health you can visit Cornwall Council’s website.

You can also download a mental health safety plan template off Cornwall Council’s website

Anyone who needs immediate help is urged to visit their GP.

Story posted on 17 February

Categories: Councils, Politics

New Cornwall care company aims to reduce the amount of time people spend in hospital

Fri, 14/02/2020 - 13:44

A report which proposes that a new care company be established within the Corserv group, Cornwall Council’s arms-length group of companies was approved by Cornwall Council Cabinet this week (12 February).  

The new company aims to reduce the amount of time people spend in hospital and will help strengthen the care market. It will employ 300 staff and deliver around £10.5m of services each year.  

The council has agreed to this important change following its purchase of Trefula nursing home in St Day, and its plan to invest a further £825,000 in the STEPS service which helps people get back on their feet after a stay in hospital. The annual spend on these services will see an increase from £4.7m per year to £5.5m.

Cllr Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for adults said: “Building more capacity within reablement services means more people can be supported to live independently at home and avoid being placed in long term residential and nursing care when they don’t need to be.

“All of these services being managed by one company will also make it a lot easier for care and health workers to refer people into the service.”

In 2018, the council commissioned a Strategic Review of Cormac which recommended that an alternative infrastructure be considered for Corcare and STEPS, which is currently managed by Cormac, whose primary focus is Highways.

The Cormac report proposed that, in order to enable Corserv to develop specialist expertise in the delivery of care services, and to enable the Cormac company to focus on traffic and highway services, a new care company be established as a subsidiary of Corserv Ltd within the Corserv Group of Companies.

The new company will be able to recruit and develop new care staff to help bring additional capacity to the fragile care market in Cornwall. It will ensure that people receive the care they need. Supporting people to be at home and independent will be its central ethos. As a separate company it will have its own structure, governance and board arrangements with specialist management expertise.

STEPS and Corcare bring expertise in providing care and support for people with a mix of different needs. Over the last year the reablement team have supported over 900 people to leave hospital by working with health professionals to identify people who can, with support, return to their own homes.

This initiative will support the council to deliver on its priorities of ‘reducing the need for admission to care homes’ and ‘reducing the number of people staying in hospital longer than is required’.

The business plan will be presented at the next March Cabinet meeting for progression to the next stage.

The full report can be viewed on the Council’s website

Story posted on 14 February

Categories: Councils, Politics

Disabled Cornish youngsters make 'Masked Ball' a glittering success

Thu, 13/02/2020 - 12:16

More than 40 young people with disabilities came together for a masked ball prom night this month (Saturday 1 February) with the help of Action for Children’s Cornwall SPACE project.

Dressed up in a glittering array of sparkling outfits, smart suits and elegant ball gowns, the young guests were wined and dined with soft drinks and a buffet dinner at Bedruthan Hotel in Mawgan Porth, posed for funny shots of themselves in a photo booth, before taking to the dancefloor to twist the night away.

Funded by Cornwall Council, Action for Children’s SPACE gives disabled children and young people across Cornwall exciting new activities to try, whilst providing families with an all-important short break. The services also run youth groups for disabled young people in St.Blazey, Hayle and Bodmin.

Young person’s practitioner at Action for Children, Hannah Prior, said: “What a fantastic night! Our young people had been planning and looking forward to the event for months and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

“Supporting disabled young people to have a fun at events like this, helps them feel empowered and builds their confidence as part of a safe and happy childhood. A huge thank you to all the young people, parents and staff who made the evening such a glittering success!”

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council invests in new business space in Pool

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 16:56

Chy Tevyans

Work on a new commercial space for businesses to grow and provide jobs to benefit Cornwall’s residents, has started in Pool.  

Chy Tevyans or “House of Growth” will join a suite of workspaces commissioned by Cornwall Council. It is the latest Council-led development to meet the needs of businesses who want high quality office space so that they can expand and grow.  

Co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Chy Tevyans will be a three-storey building featuring twelve new office suites, ranging from 86 to 122 m2, providing a total of 1,512m2 of flexible workspace, enabled with ultrafast ‘fibre to the premise’ technology. Its central location, next to the Pool Innovation Centre, provides excellent public transport and road connections.  

Chy Tevyans will address a gap in the supply of grow on workspace in the Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth (CPIR) area. It will provide infrastructure for growing businesses that need new office space to accommodate their growth, and provide a high quality work environment where businesses can create and develop their products and services. The building will boast the same high-quality environmental standard as other recent workspaces commissioned by Cornwall CounciI, such as the Aerohub Business Park Sector 2 and the Enterprise Space for Advanced Manufacturing, and will be built to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard.  

The Cornwall Council led project is being built by Kier Construction Ltd with Mace Group Ltd acting as Project Managers. It is funded by a £2.3 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), matched by £1.9 million from Cornwall Council.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, with the first tenants following in early 2021. The development will enhance the North Trevenson site, which currently comprises the residential development of Mellior Park, Cornwall College and the Pool Innovation Centre. It is estimated that once the building is fully occupied, the Chy Tevyans project will support the creation of 40 new jobs in the area and contribute £1.5 million to the local economy.  

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning Bob Egerton, said: “This new development in a strategic location close to the A30 will offer much needed high quality accommodation for businesses looking to expand. It contributes to Cornwall Council’s strategic aim to increase high wages and high skilled local employment.”

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership Chief Executive Glenn Caplin, said: “The tech sector is growing in the Pool area and by providing more high quality, fibre connected office space we are supporting the continued growth of this important cluster. I look forward to seeing the first businesses moving in next year.”

Cornwall Councillor for Pool and Tehidy Ward Philip Desmonde, said: “I welcome the news of this new development as there is a shortage of workspace for larger commercial businesses in the Pool area. I look forward to this investment supporting new Cornwall SME’s and talents, and to reinforce the message this area is a fertile place for growth.”

Chris Couch, area manager for Kier Regional Building, said: “We are delighted to be delivering new office space in Pool. Working in collaboration with Cornwall Council, Chy Tevyans will provide first-class facilities for local businesses.

“Over the duration of this project, we will work with our local supply chain, provide training opportunities through our Employment Skills Plan and engage with the local community. We look forward to delivering this new work space that will bring a range of benefits to the Pool area for years to come.”

For more information about the project development visit The Growth Programme website or send your enquiry to: growthprogramme@cornwall.gov.uk

Erdf Logo 498X160

 

Story posted 12 February 2020 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cabinet agree budget proposals for 2020/21

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 16:48

A budget to deliver essential services that work for every resident of Cornwall has been approved by the Cabinet at Lys Kernow today.

The proposal will now go before Full Council for final approval on Tuesday, February 25.

Residents who took part in the recent consultation process were able to tell us what issues really matter to them. These included affordable decent housing, good schools and safeguarding for our children, better job prospects and cost of living, better wages, decent services for the vulnerable and elderly, climate emergency, public transport and improvements in road and pavement repairs.

However, we also listened to people’s concerns over rising bills, and are doing all we can to keep Cornwall’s council tax rates well below the England average and one of the lowest in the south west, despite ever-growing pressures on our finances.

The budget proposal for 2020/21 will see Cornwall Council:

  • creating better paid jobs for local people, putting £10 million into the pockets of the lowest paid as the first South West council to pay the real Living Wage (£9 an hour compared to £7.70 national minimum wage).
  • continuing to lead the fight against the climate emergency, with £20 million set aside for our climate action plan, including continuing to plant the forest for Cornwall, retrofitting homes to improve energy efficiency, changing planning processes to ensure the climate is at the heart of decisions made, and improving footpaths and cycleways to reduce short car journeys.
  • improving care for vulnerable older people, investing an extra £20 million a year in adult social care next year - on top of the £7 million a year uplift we have already delivered.
  • ensuring our children get the best start in life, increasing funding for children schools and families in Cornwall by a further 6%, and putting £13m of capital to improve school buildings.
  • Building more good quality homes for local people, with an extra 1,000 homes directly through the council.
  • Improving 4,500 miles of rural road, with an extra £10 million each year for road repairs for 3 years.
  • Investing in a new waste service to encourage every resident to cut down on their plastic and recycle more.

The proposals would mean council tax would rise by 1.99 per cent, alongside the government's two per cent increase ringfenced for adult social care services.

Council deputy leader Adam Paynter, who is responsible for resources and finances, said: “This council works for you and every other resident of Cornwall.

“Our 5,500 staff provide homes, educate the young, maintain your parks, keep your streets clean, help you stay fit and healthy, collect and recycle your waste, care for you and your loved ones and we give you a helping hand when you need it.

“They are one of Cornwall’s largest workforces - and they work for you.

“Over the last ten years, we have changed the way we work to make over £380 million of savings, while protecting the services that people have told us are most important.

“We are now continuing to do just that, while also leading the fight to tackle the growing climate emergency.  I am pleased that our sound financial management, combined with an ongoing drive for value for money, means we can continue to invest in the services that matter most to you, while keeping council tax down as much as we can.”

Also agreed at today’s meeting were plans to create a new £4 million fund to help shape town centres in the face of changing shopping habits and new lifestyle and working patterns.

The new funding will not be available to those towns who have already secured Government funding, which has already seen Penzance, Truro, St Ives and Camborne approved for up to £25 million worth of schemes.

The budget will now be presented to full council for approval when it next meets at Lys Kernow on Tuesday, February 25 at 10.30am.  Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting, or you can watch live via our webcast.

Categories: Councils, Politics

The Brexit transition period and where Cornwall stands

Tue, 11/02/2020 - 11:39

The UK formally left the European Union at 11pm on Friday, January 31 - so what’s changed since then?

Well, not much initially. The UK immediately entered an 11-month transition period during which the country will no longer be a member state but will still be subject to EU rules and regulations.

The transition period is designed to avoid abrupt changes to trade rules and immigration, and to give businesses and the government time to adjust post-Brexit.

It will also allow negotiations to begin over the future relationship between the UK and the EU, with the aim of striking a trade deal during this time.

Cornwall Council has taken a look at what this all means for residents and businesses.

What will stay the same during the Brexit transition period?

Illustration showing what will change for people after January 31 

The country will remain in the customs union and single market and will still be a part of existing EU trade deals, as well as being subject to EU regulations.

This means that current rules will stay the same for now, but businesses will need to prepare for changes at the end of the transition period.

Freedom of movement will also continue to apply during the transition, so UK nationals will still be able to move and live in the EU as they currently do.

The same applies for EU nationals wishing to live and work in the UK.

Europeans will have the same rights and status as before. This also means that there will be no change to the documents they need to prove their rights to rent or work.

European citizens who wish to stay in the UK after the transition period may need to apply for settled status to continue living in the UK from 2021. You will be able to apply up until June 2021.

Cornwall Council is offering an ID scanning service for those who would like help applying for settled status, and help for more applicants who need more support through Inclusion Cornwall.

How long is the transition period set to last?

The transition period is due to last 11 months, coming to an end on December 31, 2020.

It means that the UK has 11 months to negotiate its future relationship and trade deal with the European Union.

An extension to the transition period could be requested for up to two years, and the country has until June 30 this year to ask for this.

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill – the law which Parliament passed to agree the withdrawal deal – stops Ministers from being able to agree to an extension.

If by December 31, a deal on the future relationship has not been agreed, the UK will exit the transition period with no deal and will revert to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules on trade and security, mirroring the terms of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

How has Cornwall Council been preparing for Brexit?

Flags outside County Hall, Truro

Cornwall Council has been preparing for different Brexit scenarios since the referendum result – including preparing the council for a possible ‘no deal’ outcome.

Working alongside partners across the South West, the council will continue to review its arrangements in 2020 to ensure it remains prepared.

Julian German, the leader of Cornwall Council, said: “As a council, we’re continuing to do all we can to stand up for Cornwall to ensure that the Prime Minister sticks to his commitment that Cornwall will be no worse off as a result of Brexit.

“Our New Frontiers plan was designed to help shape Government’s post-Brexit policy, and build upon our current devolution deal to enable Cornwall to make its own decisions.

“Our new collaborations with other areas – including the Great South West, and Britain’s Leading Edge – will also help to strengthen our voice in partnership.

“In the coming months we’ll also reiterate again and again that our European residents and their families are hugely valued members of our community who we hope will continue to make Cornwall their home.”

What will happen to EU funding for Cornwall?

As a result of the deal reached between the UK and the EU, the funding that Cornwall currently receives from the EU’s 2014-2020 Budget is secured to the end of 2023.

Ralph Bunche, head of the Cornwall Brussels Office, said: “Some funding may continue depending on whether the UK decides to join some EU programmes, such as those that encourage research and innovation and cross-border collaboration.

“The UK government has consistently stated that Cohesion funding will be replaced via a UK Shared Prosperity Fund.”

Cornwall Council will continue to call on government to stick to the Prime Minister’s commitment for a UK Shared Prosperity Fund to match like-for-like the amount that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly receives from the EU.

Will Cornwall still be able to bid for EU funding in the future?

Applicants in Cornwall can continue to bid for EU funding throughout 2020.
Any awards made in 2020 will be guaranteed for the duration of the project – up to three years.

From 2021 onwards, stakeholders in Cornwall will only be able to bid on EU projects under EU programmes that the UK has agreed to join.

Mr Bunche said: “EU stakeholders can continue to bid on projects under the full range of programmes which were accessible pre-Brexit, and any projects that were agreed at the start of this year will remain.

“There is a question about what will happen with those projects after the end of the year but, as it stands, there are no barriers to participating in programmes this year.”

 

Story posted on February 11, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

Celebrating Cornwall's apprentices

Mon, 10/02/2020 - 15:42

What do Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham and Elvis all have in common?

They all started their careers as an apprentice!

We’re celebrating another successful National Apprenticeship Week, where Cornwall Council, Cormac and the NHS in Cornwall put the spotlight on ‘earn as you learn’ opportunities across Cornwall.

The national week of celebration encourages parents, teachers, employers and young people to ‘Look Beyond’, and celebrate the diversity and value that apprenticeships bring to employers, apprentices and communities.

There are currently nearly 200 apprenticeships in Cornwall Council, in a range of subjects from entry level to master’s degree programmes. An apprenticeship is a great way to gain experience and a qualification in your chosen career, or to upskill staff and develop your workforce.

Image of a number of apprentices

Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council, Councillor Adam Paynter, said: “Gaining an apprenticeship is a great tool to either launch or change your career. We have around 180 talented individuals currently working through their apprenticeship schemes within the council and I’d like to pay tribute to their spirit and enthusiasm.

“Studies have shown that an apprentice can raise the morale of a work place and bring new ideas.  So, whatever your interests or ambitions there is likely to be an opportunity for you to develop and to go on and have a rewarding career with us.”

Cornwall Council has recruited 62 new apprentices in the last year and has forged links with nearly 30 different learning providers to provide apprenticeship courses.

Our aim is to have trained over 500 apprentices before 2021, but the courses aren’t just open to young people leaving school or college. Former Apprentice Alison Thomas said: “It doesn’t matter how old you are, obviously there’s a minimum age, but there’s actually no maximum age and just take the leap of confidence, and the leap of faith to actually do it”. 

The week was finished off with a joint celebration event for those apprentices that completed their qualification in the last 12 months/year. 

Paul Masters, Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods attended the event to present Cornwall Council employees with their certificates.  Paul is a former apprentice and said: “I started an apprenticeship with North Cornwall District Council in 1981. I had just completed a year at art college. I had to decide whether to continue with a degree at art college, to be a pilot in the air force or to become an environmental health trainee – I chose the latter.

“Working for Cornwall Council is fun. There is always a challenge, always a lot on - but it can be tough. Ultimately, working for Cornwall Council is a good achievement. The best thing about being an apprentice is the ability to go out and job shadow, there was so much variety. One day it might have been housing, the next could have been a health and safety accident.” 

If you would like to know more about apprenticeships in Cornwall, there is an open event on Thursday, March 5.

You can find more information on the current vacancies and apply now on  our website.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Future of Local Government discussed at St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel

Mon, 10/02/2020 - 14:14

Residents of Crantock, Cubert, Perranzabuloe, St Agnes, St Allen and St Newlyn East, are invited to attend the next St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel on Thursday, February 13 and hear about local matters.

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods, Edwina Hannaford, will be giving a presentation on ‘What the future holds for local government in Cornwall’. There will also be an update on year one highways schemes, and progress regarding year two expressions of interest in the network area.

The meeting will take place between 6.30pm and 8.30pm at Perranzabuloe Parish Rooms, Chyanhale, Ponsmere Valley, Perranporth, TR6 0DB on Thursday, February 13.

Community Network Panel chairman, Cllr Ken Yeo, said: “All local residents are invited to attend the meeting - it is your opportunity to meet your Cornwall councillors and your parish council representatives.”

“The meeting on Thursday provides you with an invaluable opportunity to hear from Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods. In addition, you can find out about what’s going on locally and how your representatives address matters that have been brought to their attention. As a panel we encourage input from the residents who attend the meeting.”

The St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel meets regularly to discuss matters that affect the local community and to agree priorities that can be delivered by Cornwall Council and other partner agencies.
Topics that have featured regularly on the agenda include updates on the Saints Trail scheme and the provision of school places in both primary and secondary education affecting pupils within the network area.

Topics likely to be discussed at future meetings will include climate change action, and the provision of adult social care.

More information about the community network panels and dates for future meetings can be found on the Cornwall Council Community Networks webpage.

Story posted on February 10, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

Hundreds of new trees for Cornish towns and villages

Fri, 07/02/2020 - 15:58

Residents are to benefit from improved green spaces as trees are to be planted in 15 Cornish towns and villages as part of the Forest for Cornwall.

A total of 19 sites will see the new, carbon-absorbing canopy cover which will count towards Cornwall Council’s flagship project to help tackle the climate emergency.

Planting for 13 of the locations will be part-funded by the Government’s Forestry Commission after the Council won a £87,000 bid under the Urban Tree Challenge Fund which aims to expand woodlands and tree cover across England.

The Forest for Cornwall programme is co-financing these sites as well as providing all funding for the remaining six sites.

The initiative follows the community launch of the Forest for Cornwall at Saltash last December with the help of the Woodland Trust, volunteers, residents and school pupils.

Forest for Cornwall

A total of 208 native and non-native trees are due to be planted with Forestry Commission support across the following locations:

  • Thanckes Park, Antony Road, Torpoint
  • Berryfields and Wallace Road, Bodmin
  • Hillside Park, Bodmin
  • Coronation Close, Callington
  • B3266 verge, Valley Truckle, Camelford
  • Land at Harbour View, Hayle
  • Public open space at St James View, Indian Queens
  • Culverland Park and Wrey Avenue, Liskeard
  • Polwhele Road, Treloggan Road and Treloggan Road roundabout, Newquay
  • Princess May Recreation Ground, Penzance
  • Treweath Road, Penzance
  • Trethowel Recreation Ground, St Austell
  • Trelander Highway Housing Estate, Truro

 A total of 76 trees funded by the Forest for Cornwall are set to be planted across the following sites:

  • Public open space at Boconnoc Avenue, Callington
  • Land at Sunnyside Parc, Illogan
  • Brea Playing Field, Pool
  • Open space land at the Paddock, Redruth
  • Raymond Road Playing Field, Redruth
  • Hawthorn Avenue, Torpoint

Planting for Torpoint, Callington, Illogan, Pool and Redruth will take place over the next month while the remaining sites will be planted in the following planting season from October onwards.

The trees will be a mixture of native broadleaf and non-native trees to provide resilience to local disease and climate changes.

Forest for Cornwall

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s cabinet member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “After the successful launch of the Forest for Cornwall in Saltash we are pleased that the Forestry Commission will be supporting us in our next major planting effort focused in urban areas.

“This new tree canopy cover will not only count towards the Forest for Cornwall and help address the climate emergency, it will increase accessibility to open spaces for our residents, helping people socialise, get out and about into nature on their doorsteps and exercise for free with clear benefits for their personal and community wellbeing.

“Access to woodlands for our residents of Cornwall is currently fairly limited, with only 41% of residents living within 4km of a woodland, so there is a real need for trees in our towns and villages.

“We hope our climate action inspires others to plant more trees in their communities – whether you are a town and parish council, school, organisation or individual who wants to take positive steps to tackling the climate emergency, get in touch with us so we can support you in contributing to the Forest for Cornwall.”

Of all the sites 16 are located in the Council’s Air Quality Management Areas with the aim that the increased tree cover will create cleaner air for residents and commuters.

The Forest for Cornwall is the council’s flagship carbon-reducing programme to cover 8,000 hectares of land across Cornwall over the next decade with woodlands, forests and other canopy cover.

Once completed, the programme aims to extend canopy cover over an additional 2% of Cornwall’s total land area and capture 1% of Cornwall’s current greenhouse gas emissions, working alongside other natural climate solutions to draw carbon from the atmosphere.

Forest

This latest planting scheme builds on the Council’s award-winning £6.4 million European Regional Development Fund Green Infrastructure for Growth / Making Space for Nature project which is transforming a number of urban greenspaces for people and wildlife in towns across Cornwall.

More information on the Forest for Cornwall and how to get involved is at www.cornwall.gov.uk/forestforconwall.

 

Story posted on 7 February, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

Fly-tipper who dumped 2,000 tonnes of waste on wildlife reserve in Camborne is sentenced

Fri, 07/02/2020 - 13:54

A man who dumped an estimated 2,000 tonnes of waste – much of it contaminated – on a wildlife reserve in Tuckingmill Valley Park has received an eight-month suspended jail sentence and been ordered to pay £100,000 in compensation to Cornwall Council and £22,400 in legal costs. 

Mr FB Greening, 69 (known as Brian) of Pengegon in Camborne dumped the material which included lead, arsenic and some asbestos, in 2016. The fly-tipping took place over three days of intense destruction of wooded land at the south edge of the park.  

It is thought to be one of Cornwall’s largest ever instances of fly-tipping. 

Greening was charged after a lengthy investigation by Cornwall Council’s Neighbourhoods and Public Protection Service, following a report from a member of the public. He was sentenced on Friday, 31 January 2020 at Truro Crown Court. 

He owned a large plot of land adjacent to the Tuckingmill site for which he had planning permission. When clearing his land, instead of paying for proper disposal, he dumped the spoil on what he thought was scrub or unused land. 

In fact, it was land managed by Cornwall Council on a long-term lease which was being used as a wildlife reserve. 

Cornwall Council hopes that the area can be restored, but during the tipping trees were felled and original flora and fauna would have been destroyed. 

The land will now be cleared of the contaminated waste and compensation monies used by the property team to reinstate the area.  

Cornwall Council’s Service Director for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection, Allan Hampshire, says: “The Council takes the issue of fly-tipping very seriously and we actively investigate all cases to identify evidence that could support a prosecution of offenders. This case underlines the potential repercussions for those who deliberately fly-tip.” 

This is a setback for Tuckingmill Valley, which had been transformed from the most visible derelict land site in West Cornwall into an award-winning park. 

The site is situated in the heart of Camborne and Redruth and has become a symbol of regeneration for the area. 

 

Story posted on 7 February, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

Redruth man jailed for selling illegal tobacco

Thu, 06/02/2020 - 16:16

Roy Grenfell, 70, of Close Hill, Redruth has admitted two offences and pleaded guilty to the supply of illegal tobacco products, and the evasion of taxes and duties. He has been sentenced to an immediate six month prison term.

Grenfell, who had already been convicted of selling illegal tobacco in 2017, appeared at Truro Magistrates Court again on January 29 after being caught by Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards officers for a second time in August last year.

The court heard that in 2017 Grenfell had been convicted of supplying illegal tobacco from his home and from a burger van in Pool, near Camborne.

On that occasion Trading Standards officers recovered a total of 298 pouches of hand rolling tobacco and a substantial amount of cash from his home.

Grenfell pleaded guilty at Truro magistrates court to a total of six charges, which resulted in him being ordered to pay fines, a victim surcharge and a deprivation order totalling £27,209.49

But, despite that conviction, Trading Standards received further reports that Grenfell had continued to sell tobacco from his home.

On 8 August 2019, Trading Standards executed a warrant at his home address on Close Hill, Redruth. They found 638 pouches of tobacco that did not conform to the UK labelling requirements.

None of the pouches were printed in English and none conformed to the standard packaging standards. If it had been legitimate, the tobacco would have been worth around £14,500.

Representing Grenfell, solicitor Mark Charnley accepted there had been a previous conviction but advised the court that the defendant was 70 years of age, married, and lived in a council property on a fairly deprived estate in Redruth.

He explained that Grenfell had very poor health and suffered with emphysema, COPD and arthritis and was on heavy medication as a result.

His illnesses meant that he had not worked since the 1990’s and as a result the family would be regarded as a low income one. He stated that imprisonment would have a huge impact on the defendant due to his age and ill-health.

However, magistrates stated that Grenfell’s offending had been aggravated by the previous convictions and described it as premeditated and motivated by personal gain. They did give him credit for the early guilty plea which reduced the term of imprisonment from 36 weeks to 26 weeks.

Grenfell was also ordered to pay a contribution to the prosecution costs of £1,760 and a victim surcharge of £40.

Steve Brown, Cornwall Council’s Interim Deputy Director of Public Health welcomed the sentence imposed by the court and explained the harm caused by illegal cigarettes. He said: “Almost 1,000 people die each year in Cornwall from smoking-related illness. The sale of cheap tobacco absolutely undermines all encouragement to quit and so we have to encourage all possible action against those who sell illegal tobacco and cigarettes.”

Councillor Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection said: “Our message is clear – selling illegal tobacco is a crime which can carry fines, community orders or prison. In this case the seller had already been prosecuted once but had obviously not learnt his lesson and the prison sentence imposed by the court clearly reflects that attitude.

“More and more of these cases are based upon information provided by local residents, a clear indication that communities are not happy to have this type of criminal activity taking place near their home and businesses. Whether you are a shopkeeper or an individual selling from home, the chances are you will be reported. Our crackdown will continue.”

A HMRC spokesperson said: “The sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £1.8 billion a year. This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.

“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco or alcohol can make a report in confidence by emailing report-it@cornwall.gov.uk

Story posted on 3 February

Categories: Councils, Politics

Work starts on first Saints Trail at Goonhavern

Wed, 05/02/2020 - 11:22

Work is underway in Goonhavern on the first part of a new 17km multi-use trail between Newquay and Perranporth.

It will be the first in a network of multi-use ‘Saints Trails’ across central Cornwall aimed at increasing opportunities for cycling to work, for leisure, and to help residents lead healthy active lifestyles.

The Saints Trails will be similar to the existing Camel and Bissoe trails, which are well-used by local residents and popular with visitors to Cornwall.

While most of the Newquay to Perranporth trail will be away from main roads, the route at Goonhavern passes through the centre of the village. Teams from Cormac are currently working on a 500m section to widen footpaths on Perranwell Road and Bridge Road, as well as installing toucan crossings near the double roundabout and park.

This short section will not only be of benefit to those using the wider Perranporth to Newquay trail, but it will also benefit residents – in particular local youngsters who currently need to cross the busy Perranwell Road and Bridge Road to get to the park.

'Connecting Communities'

The four Saints Trail routes will see around 30km of multi-use trails built across central Cornwall. In December the Council’s Cabinet confirmed the routes as:  

  • St Agnes to Truro 
  • Trispen to Idless 
  • St Newlyn East to Carland Cross 
  • Perranporth to Newquay 

Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “This project is all about connecting our communities, linking with where residents live and work and joining up access to the services that people want and need.

“There are many benefits – to health, the environment and local economy. We’ve seen how popular the Camel and Bissoe trails are with tourists and we expect the Saints Trails to have a similar draw. And swapping the car for a bike helps address congestion on our roads and improve air quality.” 

Read more about the Saints Trails

Cornwall Council is investing £2m into the trails with the majority of the funding (£17.07m) for the schemes coming from Highways England as part of its programme to provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the people, communities and businesses who live and work alongside the strategic road network. 

Highways England Senior Project Manager Hannah Sanderson said: “We’re pleased to see the works getting under way to create these multi-benefit Saints Trails.

“Our Designated Funds programme was developed so that we can invest in improvement projects like this, which go beyond traditional road building and maintenance, and have a positive impact on people and communities.

“Funding for this project will provide a significant benefit for people and businesses living alongside and nearby the A30, part of our strategic road network, and we look forward to seeing progress as the trails are developed.”

Categories: Councils, Politics

New Climate Change section in Cornwall’s Libraries

Tue, 04/02/2020 - 16:47

Cornwall’s libraries are now among the first in the UK to offer new books and resources containing some of the latest thinking and writing on climate change.  

This reflects the world’s greatest talking point, and the Council’s own declaration of a climate emergency in January 2019. The new library service, available online or in any branch, will be launched tomorrow at Penzance Library, St John's Hall, Alverton Street at 11.00 am on Wednesday 5 February.   

Edwina Hannaford, Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods, says: “This is the subject on everyone’s lips, and one of the Council’s highest priorities is charting a course to zero carbon. So I’m very pleased to see Cornwall’s libraries stocking e-resources, books and reports.” 

“These reading materials are so important to young enquiring minds, to students who will become the scientists, environmentalists and decision-makers who can save our planet, and to everyone who takes this threat to our future seriously. We all want Cornwall to be well-informed, and to lead by example.”  

The resources on offer cater for all ages and interests. There are over 150 titles spanning the weighty report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) through to new and bestselling titles such as Wilding by Isabella Tree.  

Importantly, there is a section for young children up to and including young adults, with a range of accessible writings from The Great Auk by Jan Thornhill to No one is too small to make a difference by Greta Thunberg. 

The famous 16 year old Swedish teenager says: “Some people say that I should study to become a climate scientist so that I can ‘solve the climate crisis’. But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.” 

Edwina adds: “Greta is right, the facts and solutions are all here. This collection in Cornwall’s libraries will appeal both to those wishing to increase their awareness of environmental issues, and those seeking to make practical lifestyle changes that will better protect the natural world. Please use your local library to learn more about climate change, and tell your family and friends to do so too.” 

Edwina Hannaford will be joined at Penzance Library by pupils from Trythall Community Primary School, representatives of Plastic Free Penzance and Cornwall’s Library service.  

To access this list of special resources use the search term climatechange (without a space) on the online library catalogue at http://capitadiscovery.co.uk/cornwall/.

Some of the titles are also available in e-book or e-audiobook format on Borrowbox (check www.cornwall.gov.uk/library for details) 

The Climate Change collection is available now in local libraries, or you can ask for resources to be delivered to your local branch. 

Story posted 4 February, 2020

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Mental health photography project event at Penryn Campus

Tue, 04/02/2020 - 10:09

Cornwall’s Local Hero photography exhibition is now visiting Penryn Campus, shared by Falmouth University and the University of Exeter, with a public launch event taking place on Wednesday, February 5 at 7pm.

This is a joint project between photographer Jon Mackenzie, Cornwall Council, Wavelength magazine, and the male suicide prevention charity CALM, who use the powerful stories and images Jon captures to help people to explore their own mental health, and open up to others about their feelings.

The subjects in Jon’s photographs relate to the proportion of suicides amongst men and women in the UK, with 75 percent male and 25 percent female.

The exhibition has been in several places so far, including Wheal Kitty in St Agnes, and Cornwall Council’s County Hall in Truro.

Cllr Sally Hawken, portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health said: “Our mental health is just as important as our physical health so I feel strongly that we need to be able to talk more openly about it and make it less of a stigma for people. The exhibition is excellent and Jon’s style of photography is very thought provoking. I’d recommend anyone who hasn’t seen it to go along to the event and see it for yourself.”

Photographer Jon Mackenzie said: “Everyone has had really positive responses to the work and its triggering and stimulating conversations around mental health. I wasn’t 100 per cent sure how this exhibition would be received and just hoped that people would come to see it, talk about mental health and then we’d be able to direct them to services. In reality it’s had a much bigger impact than I thought possible and those people photographed have reported to me how much it has helped them too.”

Michelle Lewis, Head of Student Support, said: “We’re very pleased to bring this exhibition to our students. The collection of photographs of people in Cornwall and their accompanying story is very powerful and we hope our students and staff, who are all welcome to visit, will enjoy and appreciate the collection and it will help people start conversations about mental health.”

Cllr Sally Hawken added: “On average, one person a week dies by suicide in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly which is higher than other areas of the South West. It is the Council’s priority that everyone should have better health and this very much includes mental health.”

Alongside the exhibition Jon has also launched a number of camera clubs supported by CALM, similar in idea to the man shed projects, where men can turn up to discuss photography, take photos and have a chat if they wish.

The exhibition will be at Penryn Campus and is based in the library area. The event on 5 February is a drop-in event from 7pm until 9pm and people can just turn up without booking a place. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.

If you have concerns about your mental health and wellbeing it is recommended that you first contact your GP to talk over your concerns. They will be able to direct you to the most appropriate support for your needs.

There is also a range of support and advice available on the Council’s website

Story posted on 4 February 

Categories: Councils, Politics

How to apply for EU settled status – Cornwall Council offers ID scanning service

Mon, 03/02/2020 - 10:28

Cornwall Council is reminding EU residents living in Cornwall that help is on hand for those who still need to apply for settled status.

European citizens living in Cornwall who don’t hold British citizenship may need to apply for settled or pre-settled status to continue living and working in the UK from 2021.

The latest figures show that around 4,640 EU citizens living in Cornwall applied to the government’s Settlement Scheme between August 2018 and September last year.

Following the general election, and with Brexit day set for January 31, Cornwall Council’s Registration Service has seen an uptake in the number of people seeking help with their applications.

Since last June, 201 people have used the ID scanning service, and Cornwall Registration Service says appointments are building.

David Murthwaite, a council registration officer who provides the ID scanning service, said: “The service that we provide is simply to confirm your identity to the Home Office, and that way, you won't have to send your passport off, or any residency permit cards.

“When the Settlement Status Scheme was introduced we had a rush to come in to take part in this identification service that we provide, then there was a lull because Brexit was thwarted on a number of occasions,” he added.

“Since the general election, we’ve seen an increase in people coming forward and wanting to take advantage of the service.”

Cornwall Council leader Julian German said: “EU nationals are our friends, our family, and our colleagues.

“Cornwall has been made all the better for their contribution. Brexit is happening, but we must protect the rights of those who will be more affected by us leaving the EU.

“I’d encourage anyone who needs help completing an EU Settlement Scheme application to get support with the ID verification part of the process through the Council’s EU Settlement Scheme ID scanning service.”

Brigitte Henville, who is originally from Germany, has recently made use of Cornwall Council’s ID scanning service.

Mrs Henville, who has been a UK resident for the last 48 years, and lives in Constantine, said: "The service was extremely helpful. I made an appointment at the Register Office and I had excellent service.

"It was relaxed, informative - I couldn't have asked for better. It’s the best way to do it. Don't try to struggle your way through it alone."

Frey Nicou, from Sweden has lived in the UK for 10 years and currently lives in Lizard village.

She said: " The ID scanning service was really good. I found it very easy and straightforward.

"I spoke to a very kind and helpful man and have now made a start with my application, so it was a positive experience for me.

"I’d absolutely recommend it. Instead of going online, it’s nice to have someone to talk through it."

To book an appointment, contact Cornwall Registration Service on 0300 1234 181, between 9am-5pm on Monday to Friday for an appointment at Truro Registration Office, Dalvenie House, New County Hall, Truro TR1 3AY.

Applications to register for settled status are open until June 30, 2021, if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. In a no deal scenario, there will be an earlier deadline of December 31, 2020.

Making sure that Cornwall is ‘ready for Brexit’ is a key component of Cornwall Council’s ‘Democratic Cornwall’ priority.

 

Story published on January 29, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics

Take a deep breath, and give us your views on air quality in Cornwall

Fri, 31/01/2020 - 13:11

From today until Wednesday, 15 April, the Council is carrying out an online survey where you can let us know whether you think the measures being taken on air quality in Cornwall are suitable and effective, and you can also make your own suggestions.

With its maritime climate, Cornwall prides itself on having clean, invigorating air. Whilst that is generally true, Cornwall Council has a statutory duty to monitor air quality and has set up Air Quality Management Areas in nine parts of Cornwall.

Air quality actions positively contribute to Cornwall’s aim to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. These actions include encouraging the use of ultra-low emission vehicles or using public transport as an alternative, energy efficiency improvements to existing homes, and revised planning policies to encourage sustainable development and the switch to renewable energy generation.

Road traffic is the principle source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in Cornwall and across the UK. Approximately 4.3 million tourists visit Cornwall each year, the majority travelling by car. In peak tourist season traffic flows rise by around 25 percent.

But Cornwall is already well ahead of other areas in offering charging points for electric vehicles - 115 electric vehicle charge points are in place and Cornwall Council is working with partners to install at least another 66 over next 3 years.

As part of the council’s commitment to moving towards becoming carbon neutral it is developing a green travel plan for staff commuting and business travel, encouraging video conferencing and skype meetings wherever practical.

It is also investing in an ultra-low emission council vehicle fleet, and introducing 37 new low- emission buses to improve bus services. Cornwall is the only part of the UK to have increased bus usage in recent years.

Rob Nolan, Portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection, said: “The Clean air for Cornwall Strategy 2019 – 2024 is an essential document for Cornwall Council, for our communities and our partners. It offers a range of interventions and policies that will contribute to tackling poor air quality and ensure future activities and developments help to continually improve the air we breathe, for the wellbeing of our residents and visitors.”

“It shows you how you can reduce the level of pollutants in your home as well as providing advice on how you can adjust your life to keep Cornwall’s air clean. The dual benefits of climate change measures on global warming and air quality cannot be overstated either. This strategy dovetails perfectly with our aspirations for carbon neutrality.”

The strategy document is fully illustrated, with detailed diagrams showing how and where Cornwall’s air quality can be adversely affected, together with practical actions which will help mitigate poor air quality.

It explains how we can all ‘do our bit’ with suggestions including avoiding vehicle engine idling when stationery, servicing home boilers, increased walking and cycling, shared car usage and more use of public transport, skype and video conferencing for meetings, using park and ride, buying dry seasoned wood for home fires. Every one of these helps.

A radical shared pavement/road scheme in Bodmin has seen traffic speeds drop and pollution levels decrease. Cornwall Council also supports the charity Sustrans to encourage pupil walks to school where possible.

The Cornwall Clean Air Strategy is a vital part of both the Local Plan and Health and Wellbeing Strategy, both of which aim to reduce risks to health and advance the wellbeing of people in Cornwall.

You can take part in the survey online. You can also study the current Clean Air for Cornwall Strategy.

Help with completion of online surveys can be sought at Libraries across Cornwall and at council offices.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Supporting the 4,000 young carers across Cornwall

Thu, 30/01/2020 - 11:31

An estimated 4,000 people in Cornwall under the age of 25 are providing unpaid care for their families, according to data released ahead of Young Carers Awareness Day today (January 30).

They’re among 166,000 young people across the UK who are caring for family members. Young carers will have many more responsibilities than most young people, including things like helping someone get dressed, looking after siblings, managing the family budget, and helping out around the house.

Billy is one of Cornwall’s Young Carers. He’s 14 years-old and supports his older brother who is autistic, and his mum who has a connective tissue disorder, which means simple tasks are painful and can wipe out her energy.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot of responsibility and that I always have to push myself to make everyone happy” he said.

“Usually I get up in the morning and get mum ready with a cup of tea, some water and her pills and then I usually get myself and my brother ready for school.  After school I come home, help mum by doing the washing, then putting a load in the tumble drier and cooking the tea. 

“If there is nothing in the cupboard I will go to the shops, because mum can’t really carry stuff that is heavy and then do the dishes, before prepping myself for the next day and that’s a typical day.”

Billy is a member of Kernow Young Carers, an Action for Children project commissioned by Cornwall Council to provide support, activities and support groups for young carers up to 25 years-old who look after parents/carers, siblings and other family members.

The service is aimed at making sure young carers have the same opportunities as all young people. This includes information, advice and guidance, activities and trips, short breaks, support groups, and support in schools.

Billy’s mum, Elizabeth, said: “Billy is my right-hand man; I don’t know what I would do without him. He is always there - he is my strength. 

“I do feel very guilty when really he should be a little boy doing what he likes, when he likes. I also want to be the mum that runs with him, climbs with him, dances with him and do all the things he loves, but I can’t. That does put pressure on us, especially if I’ve had a bad day and haven’t been able to move very far and he comes home from school and the dishes are still in the sink, I do feel guilty.”

Over 700 young carers supported by Kernow Young Carers are referred due to their parent’s health problems, which can include disability or long-term illness. Nearly 500 young people care for a sibling, and 180 care for parents with mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Other reasons for young people becoming carers include parental substance misuse, caring for a grandparent who lives in the family home, and young adult carers who care for a partner.

Councillor Sally Hawken, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children & Young People said: “This Young Carer’s Awareness Day today, we are taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the information and support available to young carers in Cornwall. 

“Young carers don’t always realise that they are a young carer; helping with medication, cooking, cleaning, or helping to dress the person they look after; it can be a lot of pressure and our aim is to support them through everyday life and the pressures of looking after someone else.” 

Kernow Young Carers regularly attend schools to give information to pupils about the support available. They help schools to identify and support young carers and can also offer one-to-one support where the caring role is having a significant impact on their own welfare and opportunities. They run activities in the holidays to give young carers a break from their caring role and have access to funding to give young carers a trip out on their own or with the person they care for.

Billy said: “Kernow Young Carers mean a lot to me because they help me to feel like a child again and they enable me to drop the adult responsibility.”

If you are a young carer or know one, please contact Kernow Young Carers on 01872 321 486.

Referrals to Kernow Carers Service (Adults and children) can be made by calling 0800 587 8191.

The Young Carers Service is on Facebook at Kernow Young Carers.  

Categories: Councils, Politics

Career boosting options for young people in Cornwall

Wed, 29/01/2020 - 13:38

There are currently 4.3 million young people aged 16-24 in the UK, but according to research around 12 percent of them are struggling to get work because of a lack of relevant work experience. In Cornwall the work of the Careers Hub has been praised for helping young people to increase their skills, through relevant work experience.

According to research by the Careers and Enterprise Company, called Closing the Gap, Cornwall has just been ranked as the highest performing area in the country for supporting business owners to create opportunities for young people. Through the Careers Hub, a project funded by Cornwall Council, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and the Careers and Enterprise Company, the number of work experience opportunities has increased by 15 percent since 2018.  

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, said: “We want all young people to have regular, inspiring, meaningful interactions with the world of work. Achieving this will help businesses broaden and diversify their talent pipeline. But it’s also about inspiring young people, promoting social mobility and giving every young person the opportunity to succeed.”

The relationship between businesses, schools and colleges is widely accepted to be crucial in the provision of world-class careers education. In recent years, the number of opportunities for young people to gain experience in their chosen career field has increased significantly, aided by a system of support and coordination.

Cabinet Member for Children and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Gaining real life experience working in the industry you choose is extremely important for young people. Not only does it help them to stand out from the crowd, but if their experience is a success they will be fired up to succeed.

“One particular scheme which stands out is the relationship between young people and Software Cornwall. Their project called ‘Mission to Mars’ has been selected by the European Space Agency to be included in their outreach model, which is brilliant recognition.

The Government’s Careers Strategy clearly places the relationship between employers and young people as a key factor of careers education.

Interim Chief Executive of The Careers and Enterprise Company, John Yarham, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of the business community who are working in partnership with schools and colleges and making a real difference to the lives of young people – lifting aspiration and opportunity.”

There has real progress made in careers education over the last two years. However, to meet The Government’s ambitions, we need to engage with more business owners and support them to open their doors to young people. If any employers are keen to work more closely with schools within the county please visit http://www.careershubcios.co.uk/ and register your interest.

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Work resumes on restoring Truro’s historic cobbles

Tue, 28/01/2020 - 16:07

Truro’s historic cobbles will soon be making a return to the city when work to restore the granite surface of Boscawen Street and Lemon Street resumes next week. 

The cobbles have been given a thorough deep clean and will be reinstalled from Monday 3 February. And while this work takes place, crews from Cormac will also renew the road surface between the cobbles along Lower Lemon Street. 

Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “The Truro cobbles are an important part of Truro’s heritage and character. They  were removed after safety inspections revealed the carriageway to be failing in several areas. That’s now been resolved and we can get on with reinstating them.

"We couldn’t do the work earlier as we were getting close to the festive season, so crews laid a temporary road surface to prevent the work causing any disruption to Truro’s Christmas events and busy shopping period. 

“I have been asked by many people about when the cobbles will be making a return to the city centre and I’m sure they will be pleased to learn work is now due to begin again.” 

While the work is underway, Lower Lemon Street at the junction with Back Quay will be closed to traffic and diversions put in place. Footpaths will remain open throughout the works and there will be temporary traffic lights in place on Boscawen Street. 

The work is expected to last around 10 weeks. 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Call to finance sector for climate change funding

Tue, 28/01/2020 - 12:17

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for climate change and neighbourhoods has called on the banking sector to help fund measures to tackle climate change.

Councillor Edwina Hannaford was speaking at a workshop on how to finance an inclusive green economy in rural regions.

The Banking on a Just Transition event was hosted by South West Mutual and the London School of Economics at the Eden Project recently.

Cllr Hannaford set out Cornwall Council’s action plan for responding to the climate emergency and how the Council has introduced a new decision-making framework to consider social and environmental factors in all major projects.

The event was part of a national initiative for the Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The programme is led by Professor Nick Robins at the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute which focuses on the role of finance in driving climate action that is both fair and seen to be fair.

Cllr Hannaford said: “Having lost 60% of our funding from Government, Cornwall Council continues to lobby Government for the resources and powers we need to be able to achieve our ambitious plans for Cornwall’s future successes as we strive to become carbon neutral ahead of the Government’s own 2050 target.

“Transitioning to a more balanced society and responding to the climate emergency will undoubtedly require innovative solutions to be found, changing traditional business and operation models.

“The public sector has a role in financing and where appropriate subsidising elements of the move to carbon neutrality, however we must grasp the opportunity to do things differently to support the transition to a low carbon economy and respond to the increasing pressures we are facing.

“We are asking what the banking sector is prepared to support through investment, whether that may be wind renewables, our energy efficiency challenge, geothermal power, floating offshore wind energy or wave and tidal energies.”

The Banking on a Just Transition project involves many of the UK’s leading banks and financial institutions and has held workshops in cities across the UK including in Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds.

The Eden Project event was included to consider the particular challenges in rural regions and was convened by Tony Greenham, Executive Director of South West Mutual, who is on the project steering group.

Dr Rebecca Mitchell from Exeter University outlined how climate change might impact the South West. Responses from Patrick Aubrey-Fetcher of the NFU and Manda Brookman of CoaST focused on the farming and tourism sectors.

Participants included representatives from the National Farmers Union, Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, British Business Bank, Cornwall and Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnerships, trade unions, social enterprises, the Federation of Small Businesses and other business, finance, non-governmental organisations and university participants.

The entire £20 trillion UK financial system will need to be mobilised to reach a net zero economy. This means that the banking sector must play a crucial role providing finance for businesses, households and communities across all the regions of the UK so that the positive opportunities for jobs and inclusion are realised and that no-one is ‘left behind’ in the process.  

The workshop will feed into recommendations to the Government, regional bodies and the banking sector to ensure that appropriate finance is available for the UK to meet its commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Banking on a Just Transition project is delivered in partnership with UK Finance and is funded by HSBC.

Dr Rebecca Mitchell said: “The regional economy of the South West has a high degree of reliance on the natural environment, and the potential to act as a trailblazer for development that is both environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.  Understanding the views and needs of multiple communities and stakeholders is an important step in ensuring that appropriate forms of finance are available to support these developments, enabling adaptation to existing climate and environmental change as well as driving transition to a zero carbon economy.”   

Professor Nick Robins said: "More and better finance will be key to ensuring that Cornwall's transition to a zero carbon economy is both fast and fair. It's really important to get the perspectives from key Cornish institutions so that banks, investors as well as governments regionally and nationally can put in place the financial products and services that respond to the needs of real places and people."

Tony Greenham said: “We believe that people in the south west should have the chance to put their savings back into the local economy and support companies with positive social and environmental track records.”

Cornwall Council is becoming a leading local authority on tackling climate change as it works to help Cornwall cut its carbon emissions.

On 22 January 2019 Cornwall Council was among the country’s first local authorities to declare a climate emergency which included a call to Westminster to provide the powers and resources necessary to achieve the target for Cornwall to strive towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Since then the Council has produced a climate change action plan with more than 120 aims; planted the first trees of its flagship climate emergency project the Forest for Cornwall; engaged 3,000 residents on what they think should be the Council’s climate change priorities and adopted a new decision-making framework to ensure environmental factors and social benefits are considered in planning all major projects across the Council.

It is also scoping a Climate Change Development Plan Document to provide policy for future development in Cornwall to be more energy efficient; starting a Whole House Retrofit innovation project to pilot improvements to 83 existing Council owned social housing homes; and supporting renewable energy programmes including two geothermal heat projects at United Downs and the Eden Project and a new wind turbine at Ventonteague.

 

Story posted on 28 January, 2020

Categories: Councils, Politics