Cornwall

16 Cornish beaches to get continued RNLI Lifeguard cover until November, and a further 8 will have weekend and half term cover

Cornwall Council - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 17:12

Cornwall Council and the RNLI have reached an agreement to extend lifeguard cover on 24 of Cornwall’s beaches until November 1.

Under the agreement 16 beaches will have daily cover, and eight at weekends PLUS every day during the half term holiday.

The extension recognises that Cornwall has had a shorter holiday season due to the original pandemic lockdown, with lifeguards in West Cornwall having reported a 100% increase in beach use, and an amazing 200% increase in numbers of people entering the water (see notes below).

Hotels and holiday accommodation providers are experiencing good bookings for September, and ‘staycations’ have become the norm with holidays abroad curtailed by Covid restrictions and quarantining.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Rob Nolan, said: “This has been an entirely unpredictable and unfamiliar year, and we are so pleased to have been able to arrange this extra cover with the RNLI. Whatever the weather, Cornwall’s beaches have remained popular, and we all feel much safer with these good people keeping an eye on us, and with their colleagues in the Lifeboats only a 999 phone call away.”

“As we enter October I would urge those intending to swim, surf or sail to head for the 24 beaches where lifeguards will be watching. Remember, no flags means no lifeguard! Those who venture further should at least aim to be accompanied, and get information on tides and sea conditions. Know your own limits and do not take risks in our Autumn seas. If you are intending to walk the cliffs or coast path, take a friend, and carry a mobile phone.”

“And to our welcome visitors, please observe all the latest Coronavirus restrictions and advice so our residents and tradespeople stay safe. Let’s make sure our emergency services – including lifeguards, lifeboat crews and coastguards – don’t have to risk their own lives in order to save yours.”

The details of the RNLI lifeguard cover are:

After this Sunday 27 September, lifeguard cover will cease at the following beaches
  • Seaton
  • Sharrow
  • Tregantle
  • Kennack
  • Gyllyngvase
  • Tolcarne
  • Porth
  • Porthcothan
  • Portreath
  • St. Agnes
  • Perran Sands
  • Godrevy
  • Upton Towans
  • Beach View
  • Porthminster
  • Gwenver
  • Booby’s
  • Trevone
  • Trebarwith
  • Crooklets
The following beaches will continue to have weekend cover plus every day of October half term holiday (Saturday 17 October to Sunday 1 November): 
  • Poldhu
  • Porthcurno
  • Treyarnon
  • Sandymouth
  • Hayle Towans
  • Chapel Porth
  • Holywell Bay
  • Crantock
Full time cover will continue until 1 November on the following beaches:
  • Tregonhawke
  • Praa Sands
  • Fistral
  • Towan
  • Watergate Bay
  • Mawgan Porth
  • Porthtowan
  • Perranporth
  • Gwithian
  • Porthmeor
  • Sennen
  • Constantine
  • Harlyn
  • Polzeath
  • Widemouth
  • Summerleaze.

Lifeguarding hours will be from 10.00 until 18.00 until BST ends on 25 October after which service will be affected by failing light

Notes:

RNLI lifeguards covering 10 beaches in West Cornwall recorded 78,000 beach users in the first week of September 2020, compared to 39,000 beach users on 15 beaches in the same area in the same period in 2019 (an increase of 100 per cent)

RNLI lifeguards covering 10 beaches in West Cornwall recorded 18,000 people using the water in the first week of September 2020, compared to 6,000 on 15 beaches in the same area in the same period in 2019 (an increase of 200 per cent)

Categories: Cornwall

Father and son given final warning for cruelty to animals

Cornwall Council - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 14:40

John Read (age 70) and his son Sam (35), from Praze an Beeble, have been fined over £6,500 and given a suspended prison sentence for causing cruelty to sheep, goats and cattle.

On 9 January 2020 officers from Cornwall Council’s Animal Health Team and a vet from DEFRA visited the farm. They discovered most of the animals on the farm were kept in unacceptable conditions.

On 18 September 2020, before District Judge Matson, the Reads pleaded guilty to

  1. Failing to provide adequate shelter, food and dry lying area to cattle
  2. Failing to protect cattle from dangerous objects
  3. Failing to provide ducks with clean water
  4. Failing to provide sheep adequate food.

Kevin Hill prosecuted for the Council and informed the Court that many of the sheep and goats were emaciated yet had no quality supplementary feed, and the cattle were on high ground and moorland and yet had no shelter and only dusty poor-quality hay to eat. The cattle also had access to scrap and collapsed fencing. The poultry were shut in a shed with no water and were thirsty when given water.

Hollie Gilbery and Chris Cuddihee representing the Reads informed the Court that the wet winter compounded by John Read’s ill health had caused a perfect storm. Over this summer cattle, sheep and goats had been sold and buildings repaired, so that the animals would receive better care this winter.

The District Judge gave credit for the early guilty plea and genuine remorse, however as the animals were kept for commercial activity and some of the sheep were emaciated, so had been caused a high level of suffering, a custodial sentence was appropriate. This was suspended for 12 months due to various improvements on the farm.

The Reads were each ordered to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work and pay the Council’s costs of £6,500. They were warned that any future non-compliance would result in prison and a ban on keeping animals.

Jane Tomlinson, the Head of Trading Standards for Cornwall Council, said: “This case involvedwell-intentioned but ultimately incompetent smallholders. Over the years the Council and DEFRA have provided the Reads with considerable advice, but it was ignored.”

Councillor Rob Nolan, the portfolio holder for Public Protection said:“Where officers find repeated non-compliance or a complete disregard for farm animal welfare, the Council will take formal action to protect animals and the reputation of the Cornish farming industry.”

Categories: Cornwall

New “drive-through” winter flu jabs available from October

Cornwall Council - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 14:07

As winter approaches, residents and health and care staff eligible for free flu vaccinations are being offered a variety of ways to receive their jabs this winter – including a new pilot option to go to one of four new drive-through sites.

To support Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s health and care system carry out flu vaccinations for residents during the pandemic, Cornwall Council has joined forces with NHS Kernow, pharmacists and health and care teams to offer four, drive-through flu vaccination sites Cornwall during flu season in addition to the existing flu jab offers in GP surgeries, occupational health settings and pharmacies.

By offering the flu vaccine in a variety of different ways, Cornwall is hoping that all those who are eligible to take up the flu vaccine will come forward – and help alleviate the pressure winter pressure on the NHS in the coming months.

Patients and staff from participating GP surgeries and employers can book a drive-through flu jab appointment online or by phone, drive to the location, receive their vaccination jab and be able to leave shortly after being monitored for any reactions.

The drive-throughs are will operate in a Covid-secure environment.

The new drive-through sites will be at:

  • Stithians Showground
  • Eden Project, St Austell
  • Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge
  • China Fleet Country Club, Saltash

These trial facilities are among the first of their type in the country.

They are part of a menu of flu vaccination delivery options available from October for patients in Cornwall who are eligible for a flu jab and who have been invited from a participating GP surgery or pharmacy.

The drive-through option will also be offered to all frontline health and care staff in Cornwall from October.

The new approach is designed to pool staffing and resources more effectively so flu vaccinations can be given to more residents and health and care staff safely to protect themselves and vulnerable people they care for.

The drive-through sites are a trial and all practices are also organising their clinics differently this year to keep people safe.

Not all GP practices have signed up for the drive-through sites, with many making their own arrangements. People will not be expected to travel long distances to these sites.

All eligible patients will be invited for their flu vaccination by their GP and informed of where and when flu clinics are being operated.

Eligible health and care staff will be invited by their employers and informed of how to receive their flu vaccination.

Those giving vaccinations at the drive-through locations will be qualified vaccinators from GP surgeries who have expressed an interest to use the sites; occupational health staff and peer vaccinators from the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust and Cornwall Foundation Trust; pharmacists; and additional staff from across the health system such as Brook, medical and paramedic students.

The drive-though sites will each have capacity for four lanes of vehicle traffic, marquees, WIFI, signage, refrigeration for vaccines, storage, toilets, handwashing facilities, waste collection, traffic management, a site commander and medical response to coordinate operations and respond to anyone who needs medical attention until an ambulance arrives.

Sally Hawken, Cornwall’s Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, said: “Because of the added risk of Covid-19 this year it is now more important than ever that everyone who is eligible for the flu jab this winter season gets it to protect themselves and those around them, especially if they are vulnerable, as well as helping to alleviate winter pressures on our health system.

“We will continue to work together with our health colleagues in Cornwall to ensure everyone eligible for flu immunisation gets the jab to reduce their risk of winter flu.”

Natalie Jones, NHS Kernow’s chief nursing officer, said: “This is anything but a typical year and we all want to protect ourselves and our loved ones. All frontline NHS and social care workers, and increased numbers of the public will have free access to the best protection available, which is the flu jab.

“Flu can be deadly and is easily spread. You can have no symptoms of flu but unknowingly spread it to friends, family and those you care for. You can keep yourself and others protected by getting your free annual flu jab. This year, while GP practices remain at the heart of the flu vaccination programme, there will be additional places where people can access the vaccination. This will include drive-in sites. All locations will be set up in a way to keep people as safe as possible in line with social distancing measures.“

Groups eligible for free flu vaccinations this winter are:

  • Aged 65+
  • Clinical at-risk group
  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged two upwards to Year 6, or top of primary school
  • Frontline health and social care workers

For the first time this year these additional groups will also be offered the jab:

  • Households of people who were shielding
  • Children of Year 7 (aged 11 on 31 August 2020)
  • Health and social care workers employed through Direct Payments of Personal Health Budgets to deliver domiciliary care to patients and service users

Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn. 

However, if you're aged 50 to 64 and in an at-risk group, you should not delay having your flu vaccine. 

Visit the NHS flu vaccine webpages for more information.

There are volunteering opportunities for anyone who would like to help manage traffic flow at the drive-through flu vaccination centres. There will be no direct contact with any patients and volunteers will be working outside in the fresh air at all times with training given and wellbeing facilities available on site.

For more details on volunteering please see here.

Story posted on September 24, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Camborne man admits selling illegal tobacco

Cornwall Council - Tue, 09/22/2020 - 17:56

Neil Browning, 57, of Marriots Avenue, Weeth Road, Camborne appeared before Truro Magistrates on 9 September 2020. He admitted four charges in relation to the supply of illegal tobacco products, and the evasion of taxes and duties. He was:

  • sentenced to 60 hours of community service
  • ordered to pay legal costs and
  • forfeited cash of more than £7,000

The Court heard that Browning had been selling the illegal tobacco products to a network of contacts. On 13 September 2019 officers from Cornwall Council Trading Standards and Devon & Cornwall Police executed a warrant at his home address. There they found 1,800 counterfeit Richmond cigarettes and 76 pouches of tobacco that did not conform to the UK labelling requirements. A mobile phone, notebooks and cash totalling over £3,700 were also seized. 

Representing the defendant, Mr Moore of Howell Hylton Solicitors explained that Browning was 57 years old with no previous convictions.  He had a wife who was partially sighted for whom he was the carer. He was at risk of losing his job that he had held for over 20 years. He also explained that Browning was on medication to assist him with sleeping as a result of the court proceedings hanging over him.  

The Magistrates explained that they viewed these offences as very serious and that the uniformity of the packaging and warnings were in place so that people were not attracted to a certain brand. They reminded the defendant that the Government and local authority spent a great deal of time, money and effort in trying to deter people from smoking. 

Browning was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order and ordered to complete 60 hours of unpaid work.  

He was also ordered to pay £3,500 towards the costs and a victim surcharge of £90. Although Browning asked to pay this by instalments the Magistrates noted that he had savings of £7,000. Therefore ordered that the £3,590 should be paid in full with 56 days.  

They also ordered the forfeiture and deprivation of all the items seized from him during the warrant. 

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s Director of Public Health, welcomed the sentence imposed by the court and explained the harm caused by illegal cigarettes. She 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. 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 admitted that he risked losing his job for the sake of earning money from the illegal sales.  It has taken a criminal conviction for the seriousness to register with him. 

“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 homes and businesses. Whether you are a shopkeeper or an individual selling from home, the chances are you will be reported. Our crackdown will continue.” 

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

Categories: Cornwall

Council vows to put residents first as Covid-19 cases rise nationally

Cornwall Council - Tue, 09/22/2020 - 17:37

Putting the health of residents first and standing up for Cornwall’s businesses at a time when Government considers new public health measures to tackle a rise in Covid-19 cases was highlighted when Cornwall Council met today.

The full council meeting, held virtually, was addressed by council leader Julian German on the challenge facing Cornwall in the weeks and months ahead.

Cllr German told his fellow councillors: “Our businesses are already suffering from the economic impacts of the virus. I have yet to receive a reply from the Chancellor regarding Cornwall's call for the unspent business rates grant money to be released to help those businesses that have said they need it through the discretionary business grant process.

“I will therefore write to the Prime Minister this week, making the case again to Government.

“No one understands business needs in Cornwall as well as those of us who live and work here, and we should be allowed to distribute that money to the people who need it most.

“We need to help these businesses and to protect the people they employ. As the furlough scheme draws to an end, this money, that we continue hold, waiting for the government to say we can release it, could provide vital support for Cornwall’s businesses. 

“The next few weeks are crucial for us to do everything we can to minimise a second wave of infections. I want to ask everyone to do their bit to help.

“As we move onto the autumn, please continue to follow the key public health rules which are the only certain ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus: wear a mask as appropriate, keeping social distancing and wash your hands.”

Other issues debated at the meeting included the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system, the appointment of a section 151 officer, and the arrangements for meetings ahead of next year’s local elections in May.

You will be able to rewatch today’s meeting via the council’s website by following the below link:  https://democracy.cornwall.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=584&MId=9693&Ver=4

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council urges businesses to familiarise themselves with new Government Covid rules

Cornwall Council - Tue, 09/22/2020 - 12:28

With the government due to launch the NHS COVID-19 app for residents in England and Wales this week, Cornwall Council is urging businesses to familiarise themselves with how the system will work.

Last week, the Government announced that certain venues, including venues run by local authorities will now be legally required to display NHS QR posters in their venues by the 24th September in order to support the roll out of the app.

For the businesses and other venues involved, the process will mean registering when anyone enters any premises where they may congregate for more than 15 minutes in close proximity to others.

These venues need to keep a record of who is there, and when so that when someone tests positive for coronavirus, the NHS Test and Trace teams can trace people who have been in close contact with that person recently.

The app has been created to make that process easier and more reliable for those businesses, as well as for the general public who visit those places. There are two elements:

Right now, businesses and other venues across England and Wales are being urged by the government to ensure that they have NHS ‘QR’ code posters visible on entry, so that customers can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

There is a legal requirement for certain venues, including public venues run by local authorities, to display NHS QR posters, and to enforce the recently introduced ‘rule of six' in their venues by the 24 September.

You should create and display a QR code if you are a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public; or an event which is taking place in a physical location. They include:

• hospitality
• leisure and tourism
• close contact services
• places of worship
• local authority venues, such as libraries and children’s centres

From Thursday 24 September, the public will be encouraged to download the new NHS COVID-19 app, that they then use when entering a premises, by showing their smartphone to the businesses’ QR code poster.

The phone app and the QR code poster do the rest. It will create a digital record that you visited that venue at that time, and that record will be logged on your phone for 21 days.

Those residents without a smartphone will be provided with other methods with which to register their attendance.

Cllr Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for public protection, said: “We want to do all we can to make sure businesses and those businesses affected by the new rules aren’t caught out by the new legal requirements. We are encouraging businesses to follow government guidance and to download the free posters and display them in their premises ahead of the launch of the app. That way, customers can use them straight away, once the app is launched.

“The more data available, the more effective the track and trace process will be, and the more businesses taking part will encourage the public to download the app and to increase its effectiveness.”

If you are a business or you are holding an event at which the public are likely to congregate for more than 15 minutes in close proximity, you can download the free QR code poster here.

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location.

For more information about the NHS COVID-19 app, visit covid19.nhs.uk

Categories: Cornwall

Lanner smallholder receives five-year ban after keeping animals in filthy conditions

Cornwall Council - Mon, 09/21/2020 - 13:04

A smallholder from Lanner who kept pigs, poultry and a llama in filthy and dangerous conditions has been banned for five years from keeping farm animals, including llamas.

Gary Joseph Clark pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates Court to six offences relating to a failure to care for the animals under the Animal Health Act 2006.

The offences related to a failure to care for the pigs, poultry and a llama kept at Trevarth Farm allotments, Lanner, Cornwall. Over the course of three visits made by Cornwall Council’s Animal Health officers and an Animal Plant and Health Agency vet, the enclosure for the pigs was found to be continually waterlogged, with mud coming up to the animals’ bellies. The only water available for them to drink was dirty and muddy and they had access to hazardous objects such as nails and sharp edges.

A llama at the site had no shelter from the elements and there were sharp objects including nails and sharp projections found in its enclosure.

The poultry was not provided with clean dry litter and also did not have access to fresh water.

Despite the extensive advice he was given over the course of the visits, he made only minor improvements to the unacceptable conditions in which the animals were kept. All requests to remove the sharp objects and to provide dry lying areas and fresh water were ignored.

Despite Mr Clark’s guilty plea, the court’s bench took a very dim view of the conditions in which the animals were kept. He was given 28 days to comply with the ban instructions and fined £720 for the Animal Welfare Offences. He also had to pay a victim surcharge of £72.

Andy Burnside, Senior Trading Standards Officer from the Quality Standards and Animal Health team of Public Protection, said: “Officers found repeated non-compliance despite providing extensive advice over a period of time. In such cases, where there is a complete disregard for farm animal welfare, the council will always take formal action to protect animals and the good reputation of Cornish farmers and smallholders.”

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall welcomes students back to local universities

Cornwall Council - Mon, 09/21/2020 - 12:58

With the academic getting underway, Cornwall Council has welcomed the return of students across Cornwall, including the Falmouth and Penryn area.

We have been working closely with all education providers in the county over the summer months on plans to ensure that students return safely, and that safe behaviours are being promoted and supported throughout local communities. Bringing students back safely also provides a boost to our local economies, which is welcomed by businesses after a difficult start to the year.

The universities have done the following to prepare for the safe arrival of students:

  • Developed a Cornwall Campuses Safe Community Charter, to encourage considerate, responsible behaviour, both on and off campus
  • Introduced measures on campus including strict social distancing measures, one-way systems through buildings, hand sanitiser points and an expectation that face coverings are worn in most buildings
  • Banned guests in university accommodation
  • Developed campaigns to raise awareness of the latest coronavirus information and guidance
  • Introduced a Rapid Response Team to manage any cases or suspected cases in the universities’ community

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s Director of Public Heath said: “We’d like to reassure the community that everyone has been planning this return for a number of months. Our public health team have been having regular meetings with the universities to set out how we can reduce risks through engagement with students, putting in measures to make the campuses COVID-19 safe, and introducing processes, should cases be detected in students or staff.”

“We all still need to remember to work together, be kind and respectful to each other. We need everyone in the community to continue to follow government guidelines about numbers of people meeting together, wearing face masks in public spaces, keeping left in town centres and good hand hygiene”.

Sally Hawken, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Public Health added “The universities have all been working incredibly hard to make sure that students can safely get back to education.

“It’s vitally important that we keep education going for our young people as it has multiple benefits such as improved mental health and providing the best possible employment prospects going forward. We have world class education in Cornwall and it’s fantastic every year to see students graduating and contributing to Cornwall, and the wider world”.

Categories: Cornwall

Media statement for Pilgrim's Pride food factory

Cornwall Council - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 15:51

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 our 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: Cornwall

Council to raise residents’ concerns over Government planning proposals

Cornwall Council - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 13:11

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: Cornwall

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

Cornwall Council - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 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: Cornwall

Cornwall Council’s cabinet prioritise critical frontline services for residents

Cornwall Council - Wed, 09/16/2020 - 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: Cornwall

New #YouCanAdopt campaign launches in Cornwall

Cornwall Council - Wed, 09/16/2020 - 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: Cornwall

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

Cornwall Council - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 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: Cornwall

Call for clarity on Government’s Covid street marshals plan

Cornwall Council - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 19:20

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: Cornwall

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

Cornwall Council - Fri, 09/11/2020 - 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: Cornwall

Council teams up with Crowdfunder to launch climate emergency community funds

Cornwall Council - Thu, 09/10/2020 - 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: Cornwall

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

Cornwall Council - 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: Cornwall

Long term partnership secures the future for vulnerable children in Cornwall

Cornwall Council - 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: Cornwall

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

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: Cornwall

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