Cornwall

Cornwall’s high streets prepare to re-open with safety top of mind

Cornwall Council - Fri, 07/03/2020 - 17:56

Safety is the number one priority for Cornwall’s high street businesses as many of them prepare to open their doors tomorrow for the first time since lockdown.

Following weeks of preparation, local towns will look and feel quite different to the way they were three months ago when the Covid-19 pandemic forced them to close down.

High street safety measures include new one-way systems for vehicles and pedestrians; pedestrian-only areas and special car parking arrangements, while street marshals and volunteer guides will be out and around in many places to encourage visitors to ‘go with the flow’, respect directional signage and remember to follow social distancing guidelines.

The work has been done according to the needs of every local area and has been supported by funding from a grant of £152,000 awarded to the Council from the Government’s emergency active travel fund and £509,000 of support to towns for temporary public realm measures from the European Regional Development Fund’s Reopening High Street Safely Fund.

In addition, businesses have been encouraged to take the necessary steps to help protect the health of staff and customers such as carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment.

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning, said: “This is a critical time for our town centres in Cornwall. They are dependent for their survival on everyone’s support.

“Each and every one of us has a responsibility to do our part in helping prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“If you are planning a high street visit, the advice is to plan ahead. I also urge everyone to follow the safety measures that Cornwall’s high streets have worked hard to put in place, so we can stay safe together and enjoy all the wonderful things that our Cornish high streets have to offer.” 

Richard Wilcox, Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) Manager and Chair of South West BIDs, commented: “Our Cornish towns have led the way nationally in respect of safety and recovery planning. As we work through the Government’s phased reopening programme, we look forward to seeing respectful and considerate visitors, in a safe and welcoming Cornwall.”

The following five safety tips will help you enjoy and make the most of your visit when you arrive:

  1. Go with the flow – keep your distance and follow all local signage.
  2. Be safe – plan ahead, be considerate, responsible and patient.
  3. Say ‘hi’ (Dydh da) to any local high street marshals and volunteers you come across. They’re there to help and guide you.
  4. Help us help you stay safe - remember to wash your hands often, use free sanitiser stations, use contactless payment and follow other hygiene advice when needed. 
  5.   Visit with confidence. Cornwall’s high street businesses are working hard to help protect the safety of customers and staff. Look out for their Covid-19 risk assessment certificate.
Categories: Cornwall

Help available for shielded residents as guidance changes

Cornwall Council - Fri, 07/03/2020 - 14:03

As guidance and support for shielded residents change from next week, Cornwall Council, Volunteer Cornwall and NHS Kernow are reminding anyone needing assistance with food shopping, medical prescriptions and social support, that help is on hand.

Letters explaining the new advice are being sent out to everyone who has been asked to self-isolate for the last 12 weeks due to having a health condition which makes them clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

The Government is relaxing its shielding guidance in stages as it points to latest scientific evidence showing the declining infection rate of the virus.

Subject to ongoing clinical evidence, the changes will be:

From Monday 6 July:

  • Anyone shielding can meet up to five people from other households outdoors while social distancing.
  • Those shielding who live alone or are a single parent or carer with a child under 18 can start to form a support bubble with one other household including visiting their home and staying overnight.  

From Saturday 1 August: 

  • Shielded individuals can stop self-isolating as guidance will be updated to allow them to go to shops and places of worship while following social distancing rules.  
  • Food parcels sent by Government to those shielding will stop on 1 August as individuals are advised they can visit shops and pharmacies.  
  • However, other forms of support – such as priority supermarket delivery slots, help from Cornwall Council, Volunteer Cornwall and the NHS Volunteers Scheme – will continue.  
  • Those who need to work and cannot do so from home will be able to return to work as long as their workplace is COVID secure, adhering to the guidance available.

Cornwall Council, Volunteer Cornwall and NHS Kernow will continue to support shielded and other vulnerable residents if they need help with food shopping or collections, getting priority supermarket delivery slots, prescriptions, befriending and getting online for assistance.  

Anyone who is shielding and needs to set up priority supermarket deliveries for when the Government’s food parcel programme ends on August 1 should go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or call 0800 0288327, the Government’s dedicated helpline, by July 17.

Cornwall Council is offering help to anyone who needs assistance with registering for priority supermarket deliveries. Contact the Council’s shielding line on 0300 1233334 for support.

Volunteer Cornwall is continuing to help with collecting and delivering shopping and prescriptions, providing befriending support as well as volunteers helping with other low level needs.  

It is running a ‘Walking Buddies’ programme to support vulnerable residents by providing socially distanced company to help build confidence and allow for social interaction.

If you would like a walking buddy or are interested in volunteering to become one, please call Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or email mid@volunteercornwall.org.uk

Dr Iain Chorlton, GP and NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group chairman, said: “As the social distancing rules for shielded patients change, from 1 August you can now collect their prescriptions from your GP practice or local pharmacy as you would have done before COVID-19. If you need to continue to have them delivered can you please talk to your usual pharmacy or dispensary.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s cabinet member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: "After three months of staying at home, those who have been shielding will soon be able to go out more and see their friends and family while social distancing. While this may be a happy time for many, for others it will lead to feelings of extreme anxiety.

“Together with NHS Kernow and Volunteer Cornwall we are continuing our support for anyone who is stopping shielding in the coming weeks. Do get in touch with us if you need help with food shopping, prescriptions or if you are feeling anxious, and we will endeavour to help.”

Ian Jones, Chief Executive of Volunteer Cornwall, said: “Volunteer Cornwall’s team of volunteers are seeing considerable concern about the easing of the lockdown. We will be helping people get back out in their community but we still have thousands of Cornwall’s wonderful volunteers who are willing to help where there is a need. Together the institutions and communities of Cornwall can ensure those most in need continue to get the support they require.’

If anyone needs extra support contact Cornwall Council on 0300 1233334 or email covid19@cornwall.gov.uk or contact Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or email requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk.

More information on the planned changes are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-to-ease-guidance-for-over-2-million-shielding

 

Story posted July 3, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall’s not wild about ‘wild’ camping

Cornwall Council - Fri, 07/03/2020 - 13:28

As Cornwall prepares to welcome back visitors, campers are being asked to plan their visits and book ahead rather than leave it to chance where they stay overnight.  

So-called ‘wild camping’, where campers pitch out in the open away from official campsites, is increasingly popular - but can be problematic, and in some cases dangerous.

Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Our strong advice is for all visitors to book ahead with proper accommodation providers and camp sites, not to arrive in Cornwall with no plan about where to stay. Wild camping can cause problems with litter, sanitation, trespass and may create conflict with landowners and residents.

“We are absolutely welcoming visitors back to Cornwall and want them all to have enjoyable stays. But we ask that they respect our residents and communities and follow all the health guidance rules and social distancing requirements.

“Please don’t be tempted to pitch a tent or stay overnight in your campervan anywhere you like the look of.” 

There are serious safety issues with wild camping on or near the highway, on agricultural land (particularly ahead of harvest) or near livestock.

Always follow the Countryside Code, and be aware that while camping on cliffs, moorland, or near fast flowing watercourses may seem idyllic, sudden changes in the weather can create unforeseen hazards.

Camping overnight in tents or vehicles in most car parks or on beaches is not permitted. We also don’t accept camping in public parks, or in controlled countryside such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), or by Historic Monuments or Heritage Sites.

You must not camp on private land without the owners’ permission.

Rob added: “Cornwall values its tourist economy, and welcomes visitors who have booked and planned ahead, and who follow the Coronavirus health guidelines.

“Please observe signs posted on beaches, in parks, showing diversions from public footpaths, and in other outdoor public areas. If you have dogs with you, please keep them under control at all times and on a lead in busy areas, and observe the restrictions in place on many beaches in these summer months.”

“Welcome back to Cornwall. Stay safe. And stay safely.”

Categories: Cornwall

Council staff give support in high streets during reopening

Cornwall Council - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 16:55

Public protection officers will patrol town centres throughout Cornwall from this weekend to help support hospitality businesses in reopening safely after the lockdown. 

Cornwall Council staff will be on hand to offer advice to pubs, restaurants, bars, and takeaways as they welcome customers for the first time from this Saturday, July 4. 

Hospitality businesses including pubs, restaurants, bars, takeaways, hotels, bed and breakfasts, self-catering accommodation and visitor attractions can reopen from this weekend provided they can comply with the Government’s Covid secure guidelines. 

The Council is reminding businesses of the key reopening requirements which include:

  • A COVID-19 risk assessment for the business before reopening 
  • A one metre-plus social distancing rule with mitigations
  • A limit to the number of staff and customers on site to ensure social distancing
  • A requirement to collect contact details for all customers to assist with the Government’s Test, Track and Trace system 
  • No live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience 
  • Taking steps to prevent people from raising their voices, for example refraining from playing music or broadcasts at a volume that make normal conversation difficult and could encourage shouting
  • Premises where close contact is highly likely such as nightclubs must stay shut for now

Businesses which have completed the necessary safety steps can display a Government poster showing they have complied.

For restaurants, cafes and pubs planning to place chairs and tables outside their premises from Saturday, Cornwall Council supports the use of outside areas, subject to risk assessments and it being safe to do so, in order to support social distancing.

Businesses must ensure that any use of an outside area does not block or impact on normal pedestrian traffic and should be respectful of neighbours. The Council will work with businesses to educate, inform and enforce where this is not done, under the existing licensing system.

Further licensing is required for the sale of alcohol (for consumption on or off the premises) and for supplying late night refreshment (hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am the next day).

If you already have a licence, please ensure it covers use of outside areas. If not, you may need to apply to vary the licence. The Council’s Licensing Team can help you with the application or authorisation process including providing other regulatory support needed. Please contact licensing@cornwall.gov.uk for more information or see here

New COVID-19 legislation is expected later this month which will require businesses to apply for a new permission known as a pavement licence. This is likely to have a consultation requirement. As soon as this regulation is approved by Parliament Cornwall Council will write to businesses and town and parish councils to explain how the rules apply to them.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “As our vital hospitality sector in Cornwall reopens for trade on Saturday our public protection teams will be out on the streets doing town centre walkthroughs giving safety advice, support and reassurance to businesses and the public during this momentous time.

“We are explaining, encouraging and supporting businesses to understand what they are required to do in order to reopen in a safe way that protects everyone from Coronavirus infection and which prevents or reduces the likelihood of any other untoward issues such as noise nuisance, littering and anti-social behaviour. 

“Enforcement actions will only be called upon where businesses are clearly creating COVID-19 infection risks such as failing to manage social distancing and necessary hygiene controls or failing to monitor the business and customers that could create noise nuisance, littering and anti-social behaviour. 

“Our primary aim is to help with business support and compliance with COVID 19 rules, so talk to our officers in the town centres when they are out and about, or get in touch with our business regulatory support team by phone or email.”

The Government has published guidance on working safely during Coronavirus. There is specific guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways. 

If businesses have any queries relating to licensing matters for alcohol, email licensing@cornwall.gov.uk. Please be aware that we are expecting a high demand in calls for support at this time and we will get back to you as quickly as we can. 

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of anti-social behaviour and disorder. Additional resources will be available to support local businesses to resolve issues quickly and to provide help to people who are vulnerable.

If you need any further help contact businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk

You can also join free Back in Business webinars hosted by the Council for specific sectors. Around 1,500 businesspeople have already taken part over the past month.

More advice is available at https://www.businessregulatorysupport.co.uk/ 

Anyone wishing to report issues where businesses may be failing to manage social distancing and take necessary hygiene controls can contact Cornwall Council on 0300 1231118 or email covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

To report illegal social gatherings, anti-social behaviour or crime contact the police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.

Devon & Cornwall Police has been anticipating the demand during this weekend and planning extensively with partners throughout the lockdown period for the re-opening of the region.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has provided a £500,000 investment to give support to 20 locations across the Force aimed at reducing drink related antisocial behaviour – providing elements such as extra street warden security, public toilets and CCTV monitoring.

People have a duty to drink responsibly, adhere to social distancing and not fight or commit criminal damage simply because we are coming out of lockdown. Police will take proactive action against any drink-related disorder and would ask people to think seriously about their actions.

Story posted on July 2, 2020

  

Categories: Cornwall

First year of screen agency drives talent development, accessibility and Cornish Language production

Cornwall Council - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 16:10

Set up through joint investment from Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership in July 2019 to drive economic growth in the film, TV, games & animation sectors, Screen Cornwall has spent its first year focusing on the foundations – harnessing great talent and establishing a clear brand positioning within the industry.

The core offer to external production companies is a location & crew-finding service which launched at FOCUS production show and, along with a partnership agreement with Creative England, generated over 50 enquiries before lockdown hit.

We have also been working with a wide range of local landowners, including the Cornwall Council, to promote their natural and building assets.

Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Culture, Economy and Planning, Tim Dwelly commented: “Connecting the unique offer in Cornwall with national and international production is vital to attracting spend into the region. Having a single point of information through Screen Cornwall has really built our connections and laid the groundwork for future impact.”

Secondly, the Screen Cornwall team has focused on talent and accessibility through a wide range of interventions, most notably BBC New Creatives which has resulted in 10 young people between 16-30 receiving commissions to make work for BBC platforms (7 audio pieces, 2 films and 1 interactive), including two projects which are supported with additional access funding.

So far, two completed pieces are available to the public: Miles Sloman’s comedy short ANORAKS on BBC iPlayer https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p084qj0y and Florence Browne’s AGAN GERYOW YW KANA HWATH (Our Words Sing Still) on BBC Sounds https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08dwg1z

There has also been significant engagement with the British Film Institute through activity with BFI NETWORK in the South West and the national Young Audiences Content Fund, which supports the development of factual and scripted programmes aimed at young people up to 18.

As well as supporting Hypatia Trust to commission 8 short documentaries on local women in music stories, Screen Cornwall has also partnered with the School of Film & Television at Falmouth University to commission a number of graduate short films in animation, documentary and drama.

Managing Director Laura Giles said: “Following Mark Jenkin’s BAFTA win earlier this year, the spotlight is increasingly on distinctive regional voices and authentic storytelling.

“Working with regional stakeholders and our connections right across the creative & cultural industries has unearthed a diverse range of talent in Cornwall that is really exciting, so we relish the opportunity to connect individuals with national funding and opportunities to drive their careers.”

Finally, Screen Cornwall has worked with the Cornish Language Office in the Culture and Creative Economy Team to take forward the recommendations of the MEDIA GONIS POBLEK KERNEWEK (CORNISH PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA) report with key stakeholders at the BBC and DCMS, as well as commissioning the first screen and app content specifically for early years learners through Goldentree Productions and Bosena. And, following the success of Zoe Alker’s YN MOR in the Single Drama category at the Celtic Media Festival Awards recently, Screen Cornwall are this year commissioning two contemporary short dramas in the Cornish Language through the Fylm K scheme:

• MOS (Lass) is the coming of age story of sixteen year old Truro girl, Jenna, who discovers there’s more to where she grew up than she thought, written & directed by Bryher Flanders

• KESTAV (Contact) is an ambitious sci-fi film about language and communication, written & directed by Chris Morris.

Chair Phillippa Giles said: “I am immensely proud of what Screen Cornwall has achieved and would like to thank the team, the Board and our fantastic industry Steering Board for helping work towards our vision. Despite the challenges of coronavirus, we are focused on our core goal of a Screen Growth Fund to attract high quality production to the region and support local companies to develop market-focused projects.”

Emmie Kell, board member of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and chair of the LEP’s Creative Industries Task Force, said: “Our investment in Screen Cornwall has already produced some great results in its first year and we’re excited to see the momentum build in the sector, which we hope will bounce back strongly in 2021 from coronavirus disruption.

“The combination of grassroots outreach to ensure talent development is accessible for all, with the high service levels that national and international production expects, proves that a screen agency is a vital part of the creative & digital eco-system for the region.”

 

Categories: Cornwall

Next steps in ambitious Looe Flood Defence scheme

Cornwall Council - Wed, 07/01/2020 - 21:01

Following Cornwall Council’s decision to support the development of the Looe Flood Defence Project last year, significant progress is being made in turning the original designs enthusiastically supported by the local community into an exciting and ambitious flood protection and economic regeneration scheme which will benefit both the town and the wider South East Cornwall economy.

Sometimes described as “the most frequently flooded town in the UK”, Looe’s geography makes it particularly vulnerable to flooding caused by both high sea water levels and wave action in the inner harbour, and surface water flooding from intense rainfall during storms.

As well as regularly affecting homes and businesses in the town, causing £39m of damage in the last five years, sea levels are expected to rise more than 1 metre over the next 100 years as a result of climate change. This means flooding will threaten even more parts of the town in the future.

Potential areas at risk include the local GP surgery, police station, main food stores and cafes, the fish market and potentially the fire station, as well as major transport links such as the A387 which crosses the Looe River joining West and East Looe together, and the railway station which connects the town to the mainline at Liskeard.

With tourism worth around £47.8m to the local economy and supporting more than 1,500 local jobs, a decline of the town centre could not only deter people from visiting the town and reduce future investment, but could also affect holiday parks, communities and businesses right across South East Cornwall. 

With both key partners and local residents united in the need for a tidal flood defence scheme to maintain Looe as a viable fishing and tourism destination and secure its environmental, social and economic sustainability, a draft design put forward by Looe Harbour Commissioners was backed by more than 95% of local residents and landowners.

Following last year’s allocation of £2.3m to support the development of the project , Cornwall Council members and officers have been working with Looe Harbour Commissioners, Looe Town Council, Looe Development Trust, West Looe Town Trust, East Looe Town Trust, the Environment Agency, the RNLI and local MP Sheryll Murray to turn the draft design into an economically viable and environmentally friendly solution to the town’s tidal flooding challenges. 

With the current costs for delivering this project estimated at between £60m and £75m, work is now taking place on preparing a bid for funding to submit to the Government later this year.  Discussions are also planned for South West Water, Devon and Cornwall Police and Network Rail to encourage joint working and additional funding. In parallel to this, more detailed work is being progressed for the outline design of the scheme, with a detailed laser scan and sonar survey of the Harbour, Banjo Pier and Seawall.

“This is a vital project for Looe and the wider economy of South East Cornwall” said Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning.  “The Council is committed to supporting the development of this long awaited and much needed flood defence project.

“We will continue to work with local partners to develop a robust strategic outline case for the Government so we can secure the funding needed to take it to the next stage”.

Tina Hicks, Chief Executive of Looe Harbour Commissioners, is clear that the flooding is getting worse and that something needs to be done to prevent key local services being overcome in the future. 

“The local community has been pushing for a permanent solution to be provided for the town for more than 20 years” she said.  “There was overwhelming support for the draft design put forward during the last public consultation event and I am pleased that the proposals presented are being taken forward.  

“Not only will the proposed scheme safeguard the entire town centre, fishing fleet and harbour from increasingly frequent tidal flooding and allow the emergency services to remain operational, it will also support the regeneration of Looe and the wider South East Cornwall economy.

“By reducing the risk of tidal flooding and encouraging incoming business growth, providing improved rail links, 24/7 access to new sea and coastal ferry links, and the development of a new south east Cornwall cycle hub, and delivering improved water quality and access to water for all parts of the community, we can regain our reputation as a thriving fishing port and a key tourist destination rather than being seen as the most frequently flooded town in the country.”

The proposal, which aligns with the Looe Neighbourhood Development Plan, includes:

  • A tidal barrier which will be closed when a flood warning is issued
  • An inner breakwater which will prevent overtopping of the flood gates during tidal surges and a shelter for vessels when the flood gates are closed 
  • An extension to the Banjo pier, creating a low water landing stage providing all day easy access to the harbour. This may have the additional benefit of improved bathing water quality
  • A cut-off wall below East Looe beach to prevent tidal flooding bypassing the tidal barrier
  • A new walkway from Pennyland in the town to Hannafore to provide access to the coast path and protected access off the main road.

Work on developing the strategic outline case is due to be completed in the Summer when it will be presented to Ministers. If this receives Government support, a detailed business case will be developed to be presented later to the Government. If funding is approved the scheme could be constructed as early as 2025/2027.

 

 

Categories: Cornwall

New contract award means new bus routes, more frequent services and greener buses in Cornwall from April 2020

Cornwall Council - Wed, 07/01/2020 - 18:22

Bus services in Cornwall are set to further improve from April 2020 when a new package of supported services is introduced with improved frequencies and routes, reduced fares for passengers, better links with rail, integrated school transport services and more environmentally friendly buses.

A new eight year contract has been awarded to Go Cornwall Bus, a subsidiary of national company Go-Ahead, to deliver a network of Council subsided local bus routes which are essential to local residents but are not commercially viable. There will be new services and improvements to existing routes including:

  • Direct links to Derriford Hospital
  • Launceston to Bodmin Town Centre and Parkway station
  • Newquay to Redruth direct
  • St Austell to Lostwithiel via Tywardreath Highway
  • Truro to Bodmin via Summercourt and Indian Queens
  • increased number of journeys between Hartland, Bude and Marhamchurch
  • additional journeys on services between Bude and Launceston and Bude to Truro
  • Truro to St Mawes to operate hourly on Mondays to Saturdays connecting at Tregony with two hourly Veryan to St Austell services
  • Cornwall Airport Newquay to Truro Railway Station 

These are the latest in a series of improvements to bus and rail services in Cornwall. 

Improvements to public transport in Cornwall over the past 3 years has seen passenger satisfaction increase from 85% to 95% and passenger numbers increase by 5% year on year, bucking the national trend which has seen a reduction in bus travel.

Rail passenger numbers continue to grow with regular half-hourly local stopping trains, doubling the frequency of off-peak services in each direction between Penzance and Plymouth, providing over 7,000 extra seats each weekday.

Infrastructure improvements already in place include

  • new rail signalling allowing more trains to run supported by the recently expanded depot at Penzance
  • upgraded bus stops and shelters including real time digital information
  • new buses and trains
  • bus stations improvements at Truro, Newquay and Penzance

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Geoff Brown said:

“Improving Cornwall’s public transport system is one of the key priorities for the Council because we know it is important to our residents.” 

“We are concentrating on making public transport easier to use and good value so that residents move away from using the car.  This new contract will deliver wider network coverage and more frequent buses with timetables that will dovetail with half hourly train services.”

“These improvements will ensure the trend of increased use continues as we build a completely integrated public transport system which is focussed on the needs of the passenger.”

The Council subsidises over 50% of bus routes across Cornwall to connect communities and offer a viable alternative to the car.  These routes would otherwise not be provided by bus operators as they are not commercially viable but are a lifeline for our residents to access employment and education as well as shopping and leisure. 

Awarding the contract is the next stage in the One Public Transport System for Cornwall project which is delivering upon its objectives to improve public transport and provide a seamless integrated public transport network.

Geoff Brown continued: “We know that good public transport is important to our residents.  Our priority is to make sure that these routes are safeguarded and that passengers who use the bus routes subsidised by the Council get the best possible service.  Many people rely on these bus routes for work, for getting to hospital appointments and to go out to see friends and family. Rest assured that they will continue and improve under this new contract.”

“When awarding the new contract we took into account how we can increase the use of lower emission vehicles and encourage more people to use public transport in line with our commitment to tackle the climate emergency. We also looked at ticket pricing, the possibilities around increasing the frequency of buses and the quality of the vehicles – all of which will play a part in encouraging residents to use public transport and move away from using cars.”

Richard Stevens, Managing Director of Go Cornwall Bus said "We are delighted and privileged to be awarded this significant contract by Cornwall Council. We believe that working in partnership we will enhance customer experience, improve opportunity to travel and improve air quality across the Duchy.. 

Go Cornwall Bus prides itself on being a good community partner, through this expansion we are looking forward to working with people across the length and breadth of Cornwall". 

Geoff adds: “We’re also planning to introduce a 4 year pilot scheme to reduce fares to encourage more people to use buses.

Last year, the government awarded Cornwall a £23.5m funding package for a “Reduced Bus Fares” pilot to support the Council’s ongoing commitment to improving bus travel for residents.  We’re planning to introduce a scheme in May 2020 which will significantly reduce the cost of bus travel by establishing town zones and capping the cost for making multiple journeys within these zones. Ultimately, we want to deliver an integrated SMART ticketing system for bus, rail and ferry to make it as easy and convenient as possible for residents and visitors to use all forms of public transport.”

The contract to operate the Truro Park and Ride for the next eight years from April 2020 has been awarded to First Kernow. The new contract will see the Truro Park and Ride running later into the evenings from Monday to Saturday which will benefit residents working in or visiting Truro, especially those who work at or visit Treliske Hospital.

A further tender exercise will take place to determine the contracts for the delivery of School Bus Services – these awards will be made at the end of January 2020.

 

Story posted 07 January 2020 

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall wins funding for retrofit plan to make homes greener and warmer

Cornwall Council - Wed, 07/01/2020 - 15:13

The Government has announced funding for Cornwall Council to start work later this year on a pioneering programme to make residents’ homes more energy efficient. 

The Council is one of three local authorities across the country to secure funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Innovation Programme for the Whole House Retrofit Innovation project

Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced nearly £80 million of Government investment this week to help cut carbon emissions from homes and energy intensive businesses. 

Cornwall Council’s £4.2m pilot scheme is also receiving funding from the Council and its energy partner SSE which will see improvements such as external wall insulation, solar panels and heat pumps fitted to 83 homes managed by Cornwall Housing.  

Work is set to start on the first 16 homes in the autumn, using innovative solutions that aim to significantly reduce the properties’ emissions, heat loss and running costs for residents.  

All work will be carried out following social distancing safety requirements. 

A key part of the Council’s response to the climate emergency, the carbon-reducing Whole House Retrofit programme aims to be a cost-effective model to improve energy efficiency to Cornwall’s existing homes. 

It will cut energy bills for residents and help to reduce fuel poverty. 

The Council hopes its ground-breaking scheme will be the first step in wider plans to fit mass retrofit improvements across Cornwall’s housing stock as it helps Cornwall strive towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.  

Councillor Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall’s cabinet member for homes, said: “While we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic we continue our work tackling the climate emergency and we welcome this Government announcement today which will allow us to progress our plans to make our homes warmer and greener.

“The Whole House Retrofit programme is one of the priority projects of our ambitious Carbon Neutral Cornwall programme which was approved by Cabinet last year in response to the climate emergency.

“We need to substantially reduce emissions from Cornwall’s existing homes, which make up 21% of our overall carbon footprint. We need to do this while reducing energy bills for Cornish residents; particularly householders on low incomes and those who are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home.

“The 83 homes in this pilot will benefit from a radical improvement, reducing their emissions by up to 80 per cent. And delivering this project will provide very useful learning to inform our approach to retrofitting our 10,000 Cornwall Council homes.”

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s cabinet member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “We welcome this funding from BEIS which will enable us to demonstrate how we can retrofit our own Council homes to ensure their energy performance is fit for a carbon neutral energy system.

“But to help Cornwall become carbon neutral by 2030 we are asking the Government to support us in providing the finance and training needed for us to undertake the mass housing retrofit of all Cornwall’s homes that are rated below EPC level C. 

“Cornwall has over 97,000 solid wall properties and 133,000 homes off gas which are a priority for energy efficiency improvements and a key part of our response to tackling the climate emergency.”

Cornwall Council Leader Julian German said: “I am pleased that we now have the opportunity to move ahead with this pilot. It will provide important learning to develop larger-scale programmes and proposals for our own housing stock but also for other social landlords, the private rented sector and more widely across Cornwall.”

Chris Franks, Director of Homes and Investment at Cornwall Housing, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project, which will not only improve the energy efficiency of our homes but ultimately benefit the people of Cornwall by contributing to a better environment for the future.”

Cornwall Council’s Whole House Retrofit Innovation programme will be managed by SSE Energy Solutions with support from PRP Architects LLP which designed the Whole House Retrofit system. It will be monitored and evaluated by BRE.

The Whole House Retrofit Innovation programme is receiving £1.051m from BEIS, £2.28m from Cornwall Council and £0.88 from SSE.

Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We want to invest now to ensure we continue to propel the UK towards a stronger, greener future. 

“This new £80 million investment will help to reduce emissions across our economy, which will save people money on energy bills and protect jobs in heavy industry.” 

Other key schemes of Cornwall Council’s Carbon Neutral Cornwall programme are the 8,000-hectare carbon-absorbing Forest for Cornwall; a new, climate change planning document to promote renewable energy including the commitment to power all new homes with alternative sources to gas; and a new decision-making framework to prioritise environmental and social benefits in all Council policies.  

For more information on Cornwall Council’s climate change plans go to www.cornwall.gov.uk/climatechange 

 

Notes to editors: 

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change. The Whole House Retrofit (WHR) cost reduction trajectory competition is funded by the BEIS Energy Innovation Programme and further details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/whole-house-retrofit-whr-competition. 

 

Story posted on July 1, 2020 

 

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Outbreak Management Plan is published amid calls for more clarity from government

Cornwall Council - Wed, 07/01/2020 - 09:09

Cornwall Council has called on the government to provide more clarity on what powers local authorities will have to deal with a potential coronavirus outbreak.

It comes as Cornwall Council and the Isles of Scilly publish their Local Outbreak Management Plan, which sets out how any potential outbreak would be contained.

The plan details how organisations from across Cornwall would help limit the effects of an outbreak and describes how the council’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board will monitor progress and liaise directly with Government ministers.

But Cornwall Council leader and chair of the Local Engagement Outbreak Board, Julian German, called on the government to provide more details about the powers local authorities will have to effectively implement a localised lockdown.

He said: “This plan details our response to any future coronavirus outbreaks and how we will work with our partners to prevent it spreading. I thank all those involved in helping put it together.

“But we still need clarity from government about what powers Cornwall Council will have to enforce any regional or localised lockdown, which would have a serious impact on our communities, businesses, and the livelihoods of residents in affected areas.

“Where is that guidance? We are yet to see it, and this continuing confusion risks undermining the hard work we and other local authorities have done to keep our residents safe and limit the impact of Covid-19.”

The Local Outbreak Management plan was developed in close cooperation with other Local Authorities in the South West to make sure it meets the needs of Cornwall’s residents, but also fits in with the work of neighbouring authorities.

It outlines how close partnerships between local organisations like public health, the police, schools and care homes, alongside businesses and key industries such as tourism, will work.

Cornwall Council’s interim Director of Public Health, Rachel Wigglesworth, will lead a small committee made up of key personnel who can mobilise all the resources needed to provide a swift response to managing an outbreak. 

She said: "This comprehensive plan details how we will work with the new NHS Test and Trace Service and ensures we have the necessary capacity and capability to provide a fully co-ordinated approach to contain and manage local outbreaks of Covid-19. 

"The plan isn't set in stone. It provides a blueprint for action, but it will be regularly updated as new national guidance is produced or legislation changes. 

"Containing local outbreaks successfully will need to be a co-ordinated effort with specialists from Public Health England, the NHS, social care, education, the police, the private sector, employers and the community and voluntary sectors." 

Julian German added: “I’d like to express my thanks to our residents, who have acted with great sense and responsibility throughout this pandemic. Your efforts mean we have had the lowest number of outbreaks throughout the crisis by some way. 

"We all continue to have a vital role to play in reducing the spread of the virus and preventing further outbreaks. Please continue to follow guidance and advice and keep up social distancing, wash your hands regularly and, if you think you might have the virus, get a test and self-isolate".

You can find out more about the plan by visiting the Council’s website.

The council also has a frequently asked questions section on the Local Outbreak Management Plan.

Story published on July 1, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall’s Harbourmasters warn of the dangers of ‘tombstoning’

Cornwall Council - Tue, 06/30/2020 - 15:19

Cornwall’s harbourmasters have warned against the dangers of ‘tombstoning’ as towns and villages prepare to welcome holidaymakers back after the lockdown. 

Tombstoning involves jumping off cliffs, seawalls and harbours into deep water, but has claimed 20 lives across the UK since 2007. 

Now Truro and Penryn Harbourmaster Mark Killingback, who has worked closely with HM Coastguard and Police over many years to highlight the dangers, has added his voice to calls to stop this high-risk activity.  

Mark said: “With better weather, and everyone flocking back to the coast, tombstoning has again reached epidemic proportions.” 

“We cannot over-emphasise how dangerous it is to - quite literally - jump into the unknown. You can never tell what is hidden from view under the sea’s surface. Not only hidden rocks, but we have pulled out rusting bicycles and wooden stakes from water adjacent to harbour walls – imagine the injuries they could cause. Since 2004 the Coastguard has dealt with over 200 incidents, with 70 injuries and 20 deaths.” 

He added: “This is completely unnecessary risk-taking.” 

The Safer Cornwall partnership, which includes Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police, reminds parents to keep track of their children’s activities. They have had reports of anti-social behaviour associated with tombstoning, including people being threatening or abusive, alcohol consumption and criminal damage. 

Newquay and St.Ives Harbourmaster Mike Ridgway said there have been reports on the rise of tombstoners getting verbally abusive to boat skippers, who sound their horns as a warning to move out of the way when they are entering the harbour.  

In Penzance there has been tombstoning from quays and from the stern of the Scillonian ferry, as well as swimming in the harbour mouth while vessels are approaching.  

Chris King is Pier Master of Falmouth’s Prince of Wales Pier and has recorded numerous incidents of tombstoning during May and June this year, including one where damage was done to one of the pier buildings.  

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Tombstoning can have severe and life-threatening consequences. We’re urging everyone to consider the risks to themselves and others. Look out for warning signs and don’t jump into the unknown.” 

To report any anti-social behaviour ring the police on the non-emergency number 101 or email 101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk.  

You can also report anti-social behaviour to Cornwall Council’s Anti-social Behaviour Team on 0300 1234 232 or at antisocialbehaviour@cornwall.gov.uk

If the threat is causing immediate danger call 999. Visit the Safer Cornwall website to find out more. 

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Libraries welcome you back with a new ‘click-and-collect’ service

Cornwall Council - Tue, 06/30/2020 - 14:17

After the Coronavirus closedown, Cornwall’s Libraries will soon be able to offer book loaning services again by welcoming you at the door – but not any further just yet. To keep both staff and customers safe an easy ‘click and collect’ borrowing method has been devised.    

From Monday 6 July library members can order books by browsing online, then go to their nominated library to collect their choices from the lobby or entrance. Books you may have been looking after for many weeks can also be returned. There will be no fines charged on late returns until 30 September 2020. 

Cabinet Member Edwina Hannaford, portfolio holder for libraries, said: “This is a long-awaited moment. Although Cornwall’s Library and Information team has done a wonderful job of providing reading material via its popular online services, if you’ve been longing for a real book in your lap, by now you’ll be very keen to get back to more familiar paper and print.” 

“Libraries will only open partially, and you won’t yet be invited in to browse the shelves. But the ingenious half-way house solution available from 6 July will be browsing online, clicking to order your selections, then collecting them in person from your local library’s foyer or reception.” 

“You can return loaned books at the library entrance too – but please don’t overwhelm staff and volunteers by all rushing back in the first week! And the good news is that there won’t be any fines for overdue books until the end of September, or indeed any cash transactions at all.” 

Returned books will be ‘quarantined’ for a period to ensure they are safe to touch, and the borrowing and return protocols will mean safe hand contact between staff and customers.  

Libraries in Cornwall come in all shapes and sizes, and since devolution are managed by different councils and community groups. So, a method of restoring book loans they could all adopt without creating social distancing problems was needed – hence ‘click and collect’.      

Edwina Hannaford added: “We must thank all the various library partner organisations who have made this cautious re-opening possible. Of course, the wealth of online reading, eBooks, Audiobooks, newspapers and magazines, comics and eGraphic novels will continue to be available via the online library. The Summer Reading Challenge for children aged 4-11 continues online this year. Join the 'Silly Squad challenge' online where there are rewards, games and lots of awesome books to discover and read!  

“But the joy of actually leafing through a good book is something we’ve all missed, and now we’ve found a way of making it happen safely. Come on Cornwall, let’s get reading!”       

Those who use the Information Service for payments and council enquiries should continue to use Paypoint facilities, online and telephone options that have been in place over the last three months, as the Information Service will remain closed. The click and collect service is only for library books.  

Procedures are also being put in place to support the most vulnerable residents unable to access online or phone information. Regular library activities such as story-time sessions will have to await a full reopening, and can’t go ahead until it is safe. So,please keep an eye on our social posts and publicity. 

 

Categories: Cornwall

Apply now to have a warmer home this winter

Cornwall Council - Mon, 06/29/2020 - 10:57

A scheme that has already helped over a thousand households in Cornwall that have never had central heating stay warm and well, is now open for new applications.

Cornwall Council, supported by Inclusion Cornwall, Community Energy Plus, SSE and other partners, has secured a new ‘Warm Homes Fund’ programme to help another 400 households - whether privately rented or privately owned.

Residents from households that have never had central heating, who are in poor health, or at risk of poor health, are being urged to apply to make sure their home is warm in the coming winter months.

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health, Sally Hawken said: “We’re very pleased to be able to offer people the opportunity to apply for one of these grants so that they can have a warm home before the weather turns cooler again.

“You can apply if people in your household are in poor health or at risk of ill health, have underlying health issues, is a carer, or you’re worried about your home being cold or damp and it will improve your health and wellbeing.” 

Cornwall Council’s interim director of Public Health, Rachel Wigglesworth said: “It might seem like a strange time of year to think about being cold but it’s important for residents to think ahead and plan now so that their home is adequately heated throughout the colder months. It is recommended to keep your home heated to at least 18 degrees celsius in order to help stay healthy.”

Since 2018 this award-winning scheme has helped over a thousand Cornwall homes to be warm and cosy - now a further 400 households will soon be able to benefit too.

Please contact 0800 954 1956 or email to advice@cep.org.uk to see if you qualify for this scheme or would like independent energy advice.

More information is available on Cornwall Council’s website

Story created on 29 June 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council hosts daily webinars to help businesses reopen safely

Cornwall Council - Fri, 06/26/2020 - 16:46

As hospitality businesses prepare to reopen from July 4 Cornwall Council is hosting a series of live webinars next week giving advice and guidance to ensure they are COVID-safe.

More than 1,300 businesspeople have joined the free Back in Business webinars for specific sectors over the past month which give advice and allow questions to be asked on how to ensure social distancing and enhanced hygiene.

Seven more webinars will be held next week, focusing on individual business types. Places are limited and need to be registered:

• Tuesday 30 June at 11am – Tourism: self-catering
• Tuesday 30 June at 2pm – Tourism: B&B and small guest houses
• Wednesday 1 July at 11am – Tourism: Hotels
• Wednesday 1 July at 2pm – Hairdressers and barbers
• Thursday 2 July at 11am – Pubs and restaurants
• Thursday 2 July at 2pm – Tourism: Holiday parks
• Friday 3 July at 11am – Tourism: Attractions and outdoor venues

Any businesses that can’t take part in the webinars can register to receive information from the sessions and are welcome to send questions in for the panel to answer.

There are also recordings of previous webinars available on office businesses, retail businesses, childcare settings excluding schools, food businesses, retail businesses and market traders, holiday accommodation, and hairdressing, beauty and tattoo.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s cabinet member for the environment and public protection, said: “Our free Back in Business webinars have been hugely popular with businesses across Cornwall and our feedback has been that they have been a real help for businesses getting back on their feet.”

All businesses are required to carry out a Coronavirus risk assessment before opening their doors to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

Advice in meeting this legal requirement is available at www.businessregulatorysupport.co.uk/recovery or from the Council’s Business Regulatory Support team.

For further guidance on reopening a business safely, visit Cornwall Council’s business regulatory support website, email businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk or leave a message on 0300 1234 212 (option 4) for a call back.

 

Story posted on June 26, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Residents praise communities and call for change ahead of the ‘Cornwall we Want’ launch

Cornwall Council - Fri, 06/26/2020 - 16:13

A new survey of residents conducted by Cornwall Council shows how our communities pulled together during lockdown - and are calling for change.

500 residents of all ages and walks of life took part in the survey. They were asked about the impact of the pandemic on their lives and livelihoods, and about their hopes and fears for the future of Cornwall.

The results provide a snap shot of what life was really like for people in Cornwall during lockdown.

They show that only one in ten residents want things to go back to the way they were before the Coronavirus pandemic.

Over half of residents said that they had helped others, and 21 percent said they would like to continue to do so in the future.

73 percent agreed that local communities had pulled together during the crisis, underlining the strength and depth of community response in Cornwall.

Looking to the future, when asked what one thing residents would like to see changed once the pandemic is over, the top four choices were a cleaner environment, closer communities, reduced traffic and more use of walking and cycling and a greater appreciation of family.

The Council is sharing the finding as it launches its biggest every listening project, The Cornwall We Want, in the hope that as many residents as possible will join in to help shape our collective future.

Council Leader Julian German thanked those who had taken part in the survey and outlined the plans to reach out to residents of all ages and stages in Cornwall, so that everyone has the opportunity to be part of the conversation.

He said: “The Coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to Cornwall, the country and the entire world. The pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of how we live our lives, the health and wellbeing of our family and friends, our jobs, businesses and wider economy.

“From the start, Cornwall Council has been working to keep the public informed and safe, to protect and care for the most vulnerable in our society and to support livelihoods in every way possible. This remains our top priority, but we are also determined that Cornwall should bounce forward - not just back - as we work together to build The Cornwall We Want.

“We want to harness the tremendous community spirit that was so apparent during lockdown and hear ideas from residents and stakeholders across Cornwall about how we can work together to address the biggest challenges facing us.

“The majority of residents who took part in this survey wanted to ensure that lessons were learned - and understanding their hopes and fears will help us to so that and create a legacy that we can all be proud of.

“This residents survey is just the start of the conversation, as we work to understand how the pandemic has affected our communities and to ask for your views on the future so that we can together build a more sustainable, healthy, safe, vibrant and inclusive future for one and all.”

Join the conversation on https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/the-cornwall-we-want 

Categories: Cornwall

Communities in Cornwall come together to help those most in need during the Covid pandemic

Cornwall Council - Fri, 06/26/2020 - 09:51

A hotel worker from Redruth has spoken out about how it felt to be part of a team helping vulnerable people just out of hospital to stay in their hotel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Three hotels were initially set up by Cornwall Council, working with the hotel staff, Corserv and voluntary groups to support people before they were able to go home.

The Carnmarth Hotel in Newquay, the Penventon Park in Redruth and the St Moritz near Wadebridge turned their hotels into safe places to stay so that vital hospital beds could be used to treat those in hospital that most needed it.

Voluntary groups like Newquay Lions and care workers from Corserv all helped make sure people were supported while Cornwall Council’s social care team arranged for guests to go home with the support they needed.

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for adults, Rob Rotchell said: “I can’t thank the hotels enough for what they have done. People from across Cornwall have come together when we most needed it and its great to hear from Laura at the Penventon Park about her experiences.”

Laura Pascoe from the Penventon Park hotel said: “Even though this is not our normal, the new normal, as it is for now, is very rewarding. There have been days when it has been incredibly stressful and busy, but at the end of the day, when we go home we know we’ve done a good job to the best of our abilities and we feel a great sense of achievement and satisfaction that we’ve been able to do something that is really helping our community.”

Laura has seen her role change dramatically, from a personnel administrator to a cook. She also reports how their hotel has changed dramatically but that it was worth it to be able to help people.

Cllr Rotchell added: “I’ve never seen anything like this happen in my career before, the unprecedented demand for health and care services has seen some changes in the way the system works. Our social care teams now work in ‘community co-ordination centres’ which sees them working side by side, metaphorically, with community NHS workers, with one single referral that allows the team to allocate a worker that best meets the needs of the person, reducing duplication of work.”

“Now that we are moving towards a different phase of the lockdown our staff are looking very closely at what will happen next to make sure services continue to work as efficiently as they can, helping people to receive the care they need as close to home as possible.”

The St Moritz Hotel has now been stood down but people continue to be cared for at the hotels in Newquay and Redruth for at least the next four weeks.

Story created on 26 June 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Music festival for children goes online along with Songfest 2020

Cornwall Council - Thu, 06/25/2020 - 18:19

Children from across Cornwall have taken part in their first ever virtual music festival. 

Hubbub, which is organised by Cornwall Music Education Hub, part of Cornwall Council, featured workshops on beatboxing as well as musical styles from around the world.

The annual event, which is normally held at Heartlands and/or Wadebridge, moved online due to covid-19 and children have been taking part either at home or in school.

Cornwall Music Education Hub Manager, Tanya Moore, said: “It was important for us to continue with this event because it inspires so many young people, although it was a little different from normal, it was a great day and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

This year’s virtual Hubbub featured workshops for all ages led by professional musicians.

They included beatboxing with world champion beatboxer SK Shlomo, Body Percussion with Beat Goes On, a range of world music workshops from Samba to South African gum boot dancing with Inspire Works, early years music with The Music Pond and Mindfulness with Cymaz Music.

Tanya added: “I took part in most of the workshops alongside the children and I particularly enjoyed the beat boxing.  This event certainly creates an energy and although people were attending remotely, there was a unique buzz.”

82 schools booked to participate in the virtual festival, with their students participating both in school and participants at home numbering in their thousands.

Marhamchurch School was one of those that took part, Sarah Short from there said: “We had a fantastic day being musical in many ways! We warmed up with Angela Renshaw in her garden. Beatboxing with SK Shlomo was incredible - somebody who is famous and travels around the world. We loved the emoji's on the Zoom screen and waving to him. 

“The body percussion with Olllie Turner from his front room was awesome, we could not believe he was in a hit show! We are so lucky to be able to work with him. We found it a challenge to be calm but the mindfullness with Cymaz Music helped us.

“We finished with some Samba with Mike Simpson. We picked up the rhythms quickly. We were all so inspired by the day we did a lot of Go Noodle after the final session. Finishing our Hubbub with lots of singing and dancing.”

For the first time we will be holding a virtual Songfest concert, featuring performances by Angela Renshaw and Patrick Bailey, accompanied by the Songfest band.  Schools and children of Cornwall are being invited to join in this virtual celebration of singing. 

Choir Leader Angela Renshaw added: “Lock down has meant that all us teachers and musicians have had to think creatively, quickly acquiring new skills to continue to be able to engage with the children. We are all thrilled to be able to unite with them all once more in this new virtual format.”

The Cornwall Music Education Hub is a partnership of both local and national arts and music organisations, led by Cornwall Cornwall, working together to support the music education of young people in Cornwall.  The Hub leads on the strategic development of music education locally and works with a variety of organsiations and individuals to meet local needs.

Categories: Cornwall

Cash for communities to kickstart low carbon projects

Cornwall Council - Thu, 06/25/2020 - 11:40

Community groups can apply for up to £100,000 to fund projects to boost greener living as Cornwall Council launches a new scheme to support low carbon investments.

Since January 2019 Cornwall Council has been charging developers Community Infrastructure Levy, or CIL, as a way to reduce any potential adverse impacts on an area resulting from a development.

CIL payments are set aside by Cornwall Council to be spent on projects to benefit communities and support development such as in new or improved infrastructure. 

Between 15 to 25 per cent of the levy goes to the town or parish council where the development has taken place and so far Cornwall Council has paid £203,900 to local councils through the CIL.

Now Cornwall Council is making available a further £500,000 collected to not-for-profit organisations and constituted community groups, including local councils, who can all bid for funds to pay for infrastructure projects which encourage greener and healthier lifestyles.

The new CIL Fund which will be launched on July 1 will hand out grants of £20,000 to £100,000 through a competitive application process.

Applicants will need to show how there is local need and community support for their project as well as how it will enable lower carbon living as part of the Council’s ambitions for Cornwall to become carbon neutral by 2030.

This could include projects such as new pedestrian and cycle paths to improve links around and to town centres, improvements or creation of green spaces using infrastructure, or the adaptation of community buildings to enable multi-use functions such as improved access to health facilities and physical activities.

Infrastructure projects that will help communities recover from the impact of COVID-19 will also be welcomed.

Applications will be scored using the Council’s pioneering Decision Wheel, based on the ‘Doughnut Economics’ model developed by the award-winning economist Kate Raworth, and introduced last year as part of its climate change action plan.

Infrastructure projects which can demonstrate significant environmental and social benefits for residents will be favoured.

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning, said: “The Community Infrastructure Levy is aimed at supporting development in communities while helping address the cumulative impact of development. Having been charging CIL for 18 months we now have a significant amount of funding which we hope community groups across Cornwall can capitalise on to kickstart low carbon infrastructure projects to benefit their residents.

“This is a great opportunity for groups with ambitious, local, infrastructure plans to get their projects off the ground with our support. We look forward to receiving applications which show how communities will benefit from low carbon projects and we also welcome bids for schemes that can aid communities recovering from the pandemic.”  

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s cabinet portfolio holder for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “Opening up the Community Infrastructure Levy funds to community groups to develop projects to encourage us to adopt greener and less carbon-emitting practices is a great example of our commitment to tackling climate change and helping Cornwall work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“We have seen some incredible community action throughout the pandemic and I am sure we will see some inspirational project ideas coming through that could benefit from the CIL funding.”

Applications to the CIL Fund are invited from July 1 from not-for-profit organisations and constituted community groups, including local councils, for between £20,000 and £100,000.

The application form and guidance will be available at www.cornwall.gov.uk/cil from July 1.  Deadline for applications is October 19, 2020. 

 

Story posted on June 25, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

New adult social care charging policy to be made clearer

Cornwall Council - Thu, 06/25/2020 - 11:17

A new charging policy will be developed by Cornwall Council for adult social care, following discussion at the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee earlier this year (11 March).

Cornwall Council is launching a period of consultation so that people across Cornwall can have their say to make sure the policy meets residents’ needs as well as making sure that the policy is easier to understand.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for adults, Cllr Rob Rotchell said: “Unless you qualify for financial assistance there is a charge for adult social care, which can be confusing as many people assume it is free like our National Health Service. Often people come to us in crisis and it can be a shock to learn this. The new policy will set out much more clearly what people will be expected to pay for and how the system works.

“We have already spoken to our partners in the voluntary and community sector and this has helped us to develop a new version of the policy which we now want to talk to people in Cornwall about. We need to make sure it is easier to understand and the best way we can do this is by getting feedback from members of the public. The changes proposed will ensure that we continue to make best use of tax payers money, helping those that are most in need”.

The consultation began on 11 June and will run until 11 September. There is an online survey, as well as people being able to give their views by telephone and by post.

There are plans for some face to face events taking place in August. More information on those will be released nearer the time once we are certain that social distancing can be maintained at the venues and it is safe for people to attend.

We are also holding some live online sessions that people can also get involved with. These will take place between 10am and 12 noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout July.  Each session will include a presentation to explain the policy and time for questions and answers.

More information can be found on the council’s website

Story created on 25 June 2020

Categories: Cornwall

A new tool has been created to help support young people online

Cornwall Council - Thu, 06/25/2020 - 11:15

To help increase awareness amongst professionals of the risk factors associated with the online world to young people, a new HeadStart Online Resilience Tool has been developed as part of the Digital work-stream of the HeadStart Kernow programme, delivered by Cornwall Council and funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The Online Resilience Tool is a practical way to help professionals assess young people’s online behaviour and make a decision about whether that behaviour represents risk of harm. The tool has been produced by the Headstart Kernow programme with young people and in partnership with Bournemouth University and the Professionals Online Safety Helpline at South West Grid for Learning.

Behaviours are organised by age group and divided into ‘Not harmful’, ‘Potentially harmful’ and ‘Harmful’. Advice is given on where a behaviour represents real concern, or whether the professional needs a conversation with the young person about their behaviour. There is no way of completely eradicating risk in the online world, in the same way as we cannot completely eradicate it in the offline world, however we can reduce risk through interventions and supporting our young people.

The purpose of the tool is to improve professionals’ knowledge of the particular challenges of the online world for young people and to enable them to guide age-appropriate online behaviour. It is the result of two years’ worth of research by Headstart Kernow and partners.

The research showed a real disconnect between how young people viewed certain online behaviours compared to parents and professionals. While young people viewed some behaviours as ‘common’ and ‘normal’, parents and school staff considered them cause for concern.

Young people told us that they want support with critical thinking so that they can address their concerns with anything they come across online that may be problematic.

They were critical of the prohibitive nature of e-safety messages and said that technology pervades all areas of their lives. They wanted support to be able to think critically about what they see and do online. When asked young people about what adults can do to help them they told us ‘listen and don’t judge.

“It’s not a case of making them more anxious for ‘telling them off’ but listening to what happened and understanding how we might help them.”

The Online Resilience Tool and supporting materials can be accessed from https://www.headstartkernow.org.uk/

Professor Andy Phippen said: “We are proud that the tool has been developed from the bottom up with involvement from young people. They have guided out thinking and helped us shape a tool with real practical value for professionals who work with young people”.

Started in 2016, HeadStart is a five-year, £58.7 million National Lottery funded programme set up by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. HeadStart aims to explore and test new

ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 10 to 16 and prevent serious mental health issues from developing. To do this, six local authority-led HeadStart partnerships are working with local young people, schools, families, charities, community and public services to design and try out new interventions that will make a difference to young people’s mental health, wellbeing and resilience. The HeadStart partnerships are in the following

Locations in England: Blackpool; Cornwall; Hull; Kent; Newham; Wolverhampton.

Portfolio Holder for Children and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, added: “It’s great to see this come to life, as the project was created following feedback from young people.  I hope this encourages and empowers teachers, school staff and health professionals to have those difficult conversations about the risks young people face online.”

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council and GLL call for timetable on reopening leisure centres

Cornwall Council - Wed, 06/24/2020 - 19:20

JOINT STATEMENT FROM CORNWALL COUNCIL AND GLL:

GLL and Cornwall Council are calling on the Government to give a clear timetable on the reopening of leisure centres.

GLL is a charitable social enterprise and not-for-profit organisation that runs 14 Better leisure facilities in 10 towns across Cornwall.

These have all been closed since lockdown in March, resulting in total loss of income for the last three months.

The vast majority of GLL’s 900 staff in Cornwall have been furloughed during that time and are concerned that leisure centres have not yet been given the go-ahead to start welcoming back customers with strict COVID-safe arrangements in place.

As contract partners, GLL and Cornwall Council are working very closely to agree a financially viable way ahead.

Negotiations have been ongoing for several weeks and a decision on how best to proceed in the current circumstances will be announced in due course.

GLL and Cornwall Council are in complete agreement about the importance of our leisure centres and want to reassure staff, leisure centre members and the wider public of our commitment to finding a way forward that protects jobs and safeguards Cornwall’s vital public services.

We hope that residents across Cornwall will return to our leisure centres and take up the huge range of activities on offer as soon as they can be reopened.

 

Story posted on June 24, 2020

 

Categories: Cornwall

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