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Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

Iconic cobbles set to return to Truro street

1 hour 25 min ago

Historic and iconic cobbles that add to the character of Truro’s centre are set to be returned to their former glory from next week.

The cobbles in two areas of Boscawen Street were temporarily removed and replaced with tarmac after safety concerns were raised that the area had become very uneven.  Since then investigations have taken place to understand what was happening and now we are able to reinstate one of these areas.

The cobbles have been safely stored and work will take place from 29 April to reinstate them near the War Memorial in Boscawen Street.  A 4 week road closure will be needed to make sure that the material used to set the cobbles is given time to gain strength to cope with vehicles passing over them. We’ve been liaising with Truro BID, bus companies and taxi operators to let them know about the planned closure.

To keep disruption to a minimum, we’ll then be taking a phased approach to the replacement of the other area of temporary tarmac, and the re-laying of other areas of cobbles in Boscawen Street. 

Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio holder for Transport Geoff Brown said: “The cobbles add to the character and distinctiveness of the City. I know that residents and visitors to Truro have been asking when they will be reinstated and now that work can begin.”

Cornwall Councillor for Truro Boscawen Bert Biscoe said: “'I am glad to see that the Highways Authority has been working hard to investigate the issues with the cobbles in Boscawen Street and develop ways to bed and bond the setts so that Boscawen Street needs less maintenance and can be consistently at its best.  Boscawen Street isn't just beautiful, it’s also busy, as a front street should be.’’

 

Story posted 26 April 2019 

Categories: Councils, Politics

St Ives Library opens on summer Sundays

2 hours 49 min ago

St Ives Library is to be Cornwall’s only library open seven days a week during the summer starting on Monday, April 29.

The service will continue being open from 9.30am to 5pm every Monday to Saturday but will also be operating on Sundays from 10am to 3pm for the first time starting next weekend.

St Ives Town Council took over the running of the Library and Information Service last year under a partnership agreement with Cornwall Council.

Under the arrangement, which is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, the library has continued to provide all the key services essential to a modern library as well as access to a range of Council services.

Customers have kept their existing library cards and can still visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.

Earlier this year the library building was partially refurbished with a re-designed ground floor and redecorated Greta Williams Community Room.

The range of groups, activities and access hours has also increased.

Cllr Tim Andrewes, chairman of St Ives Town Council's Facilities Committee, said: “By moving the visitor information centre into the library building, the town council has already been able to increase the opening hours from 3.5 days per week to six days a week. Now, for the summer season, the library and information service will be available on Sundays as well.

“This fulfils a key desire, articulated in community consultation, for longer opening hours, and I hope in particular that it will benefit younger people and those in full-time work who find it difficult to use this great facility on weekdays.”

Jane Dews, Library and Information Services Manager, said: “We are really keen to welcome local residents who want to use our computers, read the local newspapers, browse our bookshelves and use our other services, but who might struggle to do so during the week.

“Our doors will be open from 9.30am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 3pm on Sunday and I think people will be pleased to find a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere here, in the heart of the busy town centre, where they can pursue their interests and explore the exciting world that libraries have to offer.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We are delighted that St Ives Library is thriving and increasing its opening hours under the management of the town council and in partnership with Cornwall Council, benefitting the community and showing devolution in action. Opening the library on summer Sundays is a great way to increase accessibility for even more library users.

“Libraries are important to our residents and I commend St Ives Town Council for the excellent service they are providing to their community.”

Categories: Councils, Politics

Children celebrate new mobile library in Cornwall

4 hours 2 min ago

Els Mobile Library With Pupils Web

A new mobile library is set to support thousands of Cornish school children with their reading attainment and love of books.

Cornwall Council’s Education Library Service launched its new mobile library stocked with more than 7,000 children’s books at Mount Hawke Academy this week.

A group of Year 5 pupils became the first children in Cornwall to step into the multi-coloured, specially-decorated library van to choose new titles for their school library.

The service is now ready to visit more than 70 primary schools once a term so pupils aged five to 11 can choose and exchange their favourite books.

The Education Library Service (ELS) contributes to children's reading development by providing resources and expertise to primary schools across Cornwall who have subscribed to the service.

It currently supports 30,000 pupils by providing a regular source of newly published, evaluated and discounted books to develop reading and learning and support and enhance schools’ learning objectives.

Experienced library staff are on hand to give advice and practical support saving school staff time and delivering value for money.

The ELS offers a once-termly mobile library visit to schools who have signed up specifically for the service.

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, said: “We believe every child in Cornwall should leave school with a love of books and the ability to read well so they have the greatest opportunities to succeed throughout their lives.

“Our role in achieving this is to offer primary schools in Cornwall a service that brings reading to life and supports educational attainment.

“This new, state-of-the art mobile library will dramatically improve the service we provide and we hope that many more schools and their pupils will engage with our books every single week.”

Catherine Biddick, head of Mount Hawke Academy, said: “We’re just delighted to have been chosen as the school for the new Education Library Service van to be launched at.

Els Mobile Library Web“We have a long history with the Education Library Service and this new mobile library means we can choose lots of new books to refresh our library regularly and children who don’t have the opportunity to go into a library can come into the van and see what a library is like.”

Schools can find out more about Cornwall Council’s Education Library Service, including how to subscribe, by contacting 01872 323456 or els@cornwall.gov.uk

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall looks to the future on five year anniversary of the Cornish being granted national minority status

5 hours 41 min ago

Cornish Embassy

On the fifth anniversary this week of the Cornish being recognised as a national minority under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the Council and partners are calling on the UK government to deliver on their responsibilities. 

Being recognised as a national minority means that the Cornish have the right to express, preserve, share and develop our distinct culture and identity.

Since 2014 much has been achieved in Cornwall but there is still more to do including pressing Government for the right for the Cornish to be given the chance to identify themselves as Cornish in the 2021 Census.

Jesse Foot, Cornwall Councillor for St Germans and Landulph is chair of the Cornwall Council led Cornish Minority Working Group, which co-ordinates activity and proactively supports Cornish culture, language and heritage.

“Whether you identify as Cornish by birth, marriage, ancestry or some other route you have the right to be recognised, for services to be planned, and for funding to be sought on this basis.”

“We’ve been working hard with limited resources to raise awareness of the Cornish as a national minority.  The UK government has to fulfil its responsibilities so that the Cornish are treated equally with the other Celtic nations.”   

The Cornish Minority Working Group has supported tangible projects like Golden Tree’s touring ‘Cornish Embassy’ bus which proved to be incredibly popular as part of the Man Engine Resurrection Tour and last year’s Royal Cornwall Show. 

Jesse adds:  “The enthusiasm of those who identify as Cornish saw hundreds of people flock to celebrate their identity with a Cornish passport as they loudly and proudly declared their Cornishness. An overwhelming 96% of visitors passing through the bus over three days at the Royal Cornwall Show supported the inclusion of a tick box on the Census, sending a clear message to the Office for National Statistics that there is strong support.”

Another project that has worked to raise Cornish cultural awareness in schools is run by Azook who reviewed what resources are available to and required by teachers to support the promotion of Cornish culture in schools.   Government support in resourcing the teaching of both Cornish culture and Cornish language in schools is needed to make more progress in this important area.

Promoting the Cornish language is a part of the Framework Convention for Protection of National Minorities and Cornwall Council has been taking the lead and setting a positive example by adopting and delivering a Cornish Language Plan. 

Jesse explains:  “The Council promoted the use of Cornish through its Cornish Language Plan, with an updated version due to be considered by Cabinet at their next meeting.  Because of the withdrawal of government funding to support the Cornish language, Cornwall Council has been funding low cost ways of promoting the language such as through the use of Cornish on street signs, on its offices and other Council owned buildings and in its publications.  The previous plan has seen other positive results with, for example, Golden Tree working with 20 schools to regularly teach Cornish and develop a website – GoCornish.org -  to promote learning Cornish.”

“In fact the interest in learning Cornish has increased, fostered by great use of the language in advertising campaigns by Kelly’s Ice Cream and by FlyBe on the recently launched Cornwall Airport Newquay to London Heathrow route.   We are working with partners to increase access to learning Cornish through technology and face to face.”

We have some exciting developments coming to fruition including the opening of Kresen Kernow in Redruth later this year which will provide a state of the art home for the world’s largest collection of historic documents relating to Cornwall and will attract a wider audience to celebrate and share in Cornwall’s rich and distinctive history. 

There are also plans for Cornwall to host the first UK National Minority Summit this summer to bring together representatives of all of the UK’s national minorities – including the Scottish and the Welsh.  It will look to strengthen links, look at future opportunities and examine the role the Framework Convention has played in helping to develop and share our distinctiveness.

Cornwall Council’s Deputy Leader, Julian German welcomed the achievements of the last five years and said that Cornwall would continue to press for greater recognition as a distinctive minority group within the UK and beyond, including making the case for the provision of a Cornish tick box on the Census.

He said “In the last five years, thanks to initiatives like the Cornish Embassy ‘tick box’ bus, we have been able to raise awareness and help many communities celebrate and take pride in our culture.  We deserve the same recognition as other Celtic nations by having a Cornish identity tick box on the Census. We will continue to press for this to ensure that government and public bodies will have better information when making decisions that affect Cornwall.”

 

Story posted 26 April 2019

Categories: Councils, Politics

Investment in innovation and growing the Cornish language on the agenda for Cabinet next week

Thu, 25/04/2019 - 10:58

Plans to invest in research and innovation, growing the Cornish language and the council’s financial performance are all on the agenda when Cornwall Council’s cabinet meets next week.

The creation of 155 jobs in the research, development and innovation sector through the investment of £1.225m will lead the agenda at the meeting at New County Hall.

The money will be used to lever a further investment of £18.307m from partners, and will be used in four separate projects run by Falmouth University, the University of Exeter and Plymouth University.

Building a strong research and innovation sector within the Cornish economy is vital for improving our economic performance, and the investment is expected to support more than 300 small and medium sized businesses across Cornwall.

The Cornish Language Plan calls on the Government to help fund the expansion of the language.

The council has already taken steps to promote the use of the language, including the creation of online dictionary resources, encouraging schools to teach Cornish, and providing translations for businesses.

The new plans will see the focus move onto developing the use of Cornish across Cornwall, and to address barriers to learning the language.

Councillor Bob Egerton said:  “Cornish is a living language and we want to explore opportunities with new technology for small language apps, interest from universities and new uses by business, so Cornish not only has a history but a future.

“Kernewek is a vital part of Cornwall’s distinctiveness and Cornwall Council will do its best to make sure the language is not only treasured, but actively used today to ensure that it is passed on as a living language to the next generation.”

The cabinet will also be asked to review the authority’s financial performance figures for the past year, which show the council underspent against budget by £1.234m.  The money saved will be transferred to the General Fund Reserve for future use.

Councillor Adam Paynter, leader of Cornwall Council, said:  “This agenda reflects some of the key priorities we have as a council; sound financial management, careful investment to create jobs within a sustainable economy, and the protection and enhancement of our culture.”

The meeting will take place in the Trelawny Room at New County Hall on Wednesday, 1 May, starting at 10am.

Cabinet meetings are open to members of the public, and can also be watched on our webcast.

Categories: Councils, Politics

New cafe coming to Poltair Park in St Austell

Wed, 24/04/2019 - 11:18

Construction work for a new café in St Austell's Poltair Park is nearing completion.

Cormac Solutions Limited is providing services to the new building when it is installed.

Current installation work is for a new water supply pipe, electrical supply cables, telephone cables, foul sewerage, drainage for rainwater and foundations for the building itself.

Work will be completed by the start of summer and is funded by the developer of a housing development in Trevarthian Road under a Section 106 agreement. In the meantime the park's play areas and skate park remain open.

Poltair Park Works Web

Poltair Park was transferred to St Austell Town Council in 2017 as part of Cornwall Council’s ongoing devolution programme.

The Town Council maintains and manages the park but Cornwall Council has been supporting a park improvement project.

The community was consulted about what they would like to see and a decision was taken to provide public toilets in the park.

As a result Cornwall Council drafted a feasibility study, supported by the Town Council, which includes plans to provide a kiosk style café that would have toilet facilities and would be leased out to an independent catering contractor to run.

Jackie Bull, Cornwall councillor for St Austell Poltair, said: “This café will make a real difference to the park and will address the concerns of the local community through the provision of toilets. It has been a complicated project and I’m delighted it is finally being done.”

Cormac project manager, Richard Keast, said: “We’re now reinstating the sections of footpath that have been dug up as part of this work, and will be opening sections of the park up again when it’s safe to do so. The next stage will be creating foundations so we can install the café itself, an innovative modular building that we’re manufacturing off-site. As works are completed we’ll refurbish and replant to make sure the park can continue to be enjoyed as soon as possible.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, said: “I’m delighted that residents of St Austell will be benefitting from this new café at Poltair Park which comes as a result of communities being able to make decisions about how and who delivers their services.

“This is a great example of how localism is at the heart of our ambitious drive to ensure that services are delivered in the most effective way to the communities of Cornwall.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, said: "It is great that a partnership between Cornwall Council and the local St Austell Council is enhancing this space for local residents. I hope as people enjoy their improved space they will think creatively about making an enhanced space for nature too."

Poltair Park Web

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall urges Government 'No roll back from devolution'

Tue, 23/04/2019 - 12:08

Cornwall, along with some of the largest regional economies in the UK, today challenged Government not to roll-back from the promise of greater devolution after Brexit.

Cornwall, alongside Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, London and Tees Valley is asking Government to stick to its promise of more control for local communities – and warning that any “roll-back” could put local economies, like Cornwall, at significant risk.

Cornwall Council made history by becoming the first rural authority to secure a devolution deal, giving it more power over funding to deliver services to local businesses and residents.

Cornwall Council’s Leader, Adam Paynter, said that the £568 million in funding secured by Cornwall for local control has enabled the Council to make a big impact on transport, housing, emerging energy, technology projects and business start-ups, stimulating the economy and delivering local jobs.

He argued that these improvements could be put at risk by the Government’s current “wait and see” approach to a new funding solution.

Cornwall, and partners, are calling for the new proposed shared prosperity fund to be underpinned by greater local devolution, which: 

  • is a multi-year, fully devolved funding programme, aligned to each region’s strategic economic need, so each region can plan for a growing local economy;
  • is designed to close the inequality gap between and within regions

Adam Paynter said: “Government clearly told us that Brexit would enable local people to take back control. It says a lot that so many different and diverse communities have joined together across the UK in order to remind Government of this promise. Especially as these regions account for about 47% of England’s gross value added, and 42% of England’s population.”

“Cornwall is proud of the progress that has been delivered in transport, housing, energy and tackling fuel poverty for the most vulnerable residents. This has all been delivered in the last two years, a direct result of the first devolution deal.

“The Government’s lack of clarity over funding and devolution post-Brexit could have a significant impact on everyone’s lives within Cornwall.

“We, our partner cities, and urban areas in the UK, have a very clear proposition for what is needed.

“Cornwall’s proposal, shared through the next devolution phase “New Frontiers” – is a plan to show how a rural economy can contribute to the UK’s future prosperity, while creating an environment and society that works for everyone in Cornwall.

“It’s up to Government to work with us to achieve this.”

Read the full letter that has been sent to James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Posted on 23 April 

Categories: Councils, Politics

School places on the agenda for St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel meeting

Thu, 18/04/2019 - 14:55

Residents of the north coast parishes of Crantock, Cubert, Perranzabuloe, St Agnes, St Allen and St Newlyn East, are invited to attend the April Meeting of the St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel.

The Community Network Meeting will takes place on Thursday 25 April between 6.30pm and 8.30pm at Perranzabuloe Parish Rooms, Chyanhale, Ponsmere Valley, Perranporth, TR6 0DB.

The meeting will be hearing from officers from Cornwall Council’s education service to discuss issues around school places at both primary and secondary school level. There will also be the opportunity to hear from parents and consider what steps can be taken to address issues raised.

Cllr Ken Yeo, the St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel Chairman said: “All local residents are invited to attend the meeting - it is your opportunity to meet your Cornwall Councillors and your Parish Council representatives. The meeting on Thursday is a good opportunity for you to find out what’s going on locally and how your representatives address matters that have been brought to their attention. As a Panel we encourage input from the residents who attend the meeting.”

The St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel meets regularly to discuss matters that affect the local community and to agree priorities that can be delivered by Cornwall Council and other agencies including the police and health services.

For example at the last meeting the panel considered local highways schemes that could be supported by the £50,000 per annum for four years allocated to each Community Network Panel by Cornwall Council.  The panel considered schemes from the Parish Councils in their Network Area and discussed which of these are put forward. The St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel has also been involved with the proposed dualling of the A30 from Chiverton Cross to Carland Cross.

More information about the Community Network Panels and dates for future meetings can be found on the Cornwall Council Community Networks webpage. 

 

Story posted 18 April 2019 

Categories: Councils, Politics

High street heroes wanted to spring clean Cornwall’s towns and villages

Thu, 18/04/2019 - 11:42

Cornish communities are being offered up to £2,000 to help spring clean their high streets and smarten up their town and village centres.

Cornwall Council and partners were recently given a last-minute litter-cleaning boost after a £98,400 Government cash injection.

The one-off funding announced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is now being made available to community groups and individuals for cleaning, decorating and improving town and village centres across Cornwall. 

They have until May 6 to apply for grants and support worth up to £2,000 to help with projects and activities such as litter picking, graffiti cleaning and chewing gum removal or anything else that will enhance their local environment.

Ruth Gripper, project manager for Cornwall Council’s partner Clean Cornwall which is running the scheme, said: “We want people to tell us what needs doing in their local area.

“It’s up to communities to decide what they need to improve their local areas. It may be something as simple as a piece of equipment or something really imaginative to improve the look of a place. Our aim is to be flexible and to listen to communities about what they need. Then we can supply the money or resources to help them make it happen.”

Councillor Sue James, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, said: “We take great pride in our beautiful towns and villages across Cornwall, and this scheme gives local residents the opportunity to help make them even better.”

“Clean Cornwall does a great job working with community groups and others to address the issues of litter across the Duchy. These grants are an innovative way of providing extra support for the local community in those efforts.”

Many Cornish towns already have voluntary or community groups looking after their local environment. While this scheme is open to existing groups, parish and town councils, Clean Cornwall is especially keen to hear from individuals who might use this opportunity to create a new group to keep the work going in the future. Their grant could be used for tools and equipment, training, signage, promotional material or to support community events that will encourage others to look after their local area.

Full details and an application form can be found on the Clean Cornwall website and applicants will be asked to provide photographs of the areas they hope to improve, with details of how they plan to spend the money and who will do the work.

It is hoped that at least 40 Cornish communities will be awarded grants. The closing date for applications is May 6 with grants allocated to successful projects shortly afterwards.

Posted on April 18, 2019

Categories: Councils, Politics

Investment plans to improve the lives of residents across Cornwall are approved by full council

Wed, 17/04/2019 - 10:43

Investment plans designed to improve the lives of residents across Cornwall were approved when the full council met at New County Hall in Truro today.

The projects include the creation of a multi-use coastal trail at Penzance, which will include a new public bike hire scheme, and investment in the roads and sewerage scheme required at the new West Carclaze Garden Village near St Austell.

Funds are also being set aside for the construction of new pedestrian bridges at Launceston, and for investment into essential repairs at schools across Cornwall.

Summarising the £26.4 million investment programme, Councillor Julian German, deputy leader of Cornwall Council, said:  “These plans meet the council’s key priorities; a healthy Cornwall, Homes for Cornwall, a green and prosperous Cornwall, and Connecting Cornwall.

“This investment will enhance service provision, and help to improve the lives of the residents of Cornwall.”

An additional £2.4 million investment into regeneration schemes for South East Cornwall was also on the agenda.  The money will be used to deliver cycling and walking routes as part of a larger £6.4m investment in the area

The full programme includes:

  • £1.1m for progressing the design work and business case for a series of cycling and walking trails in South East Cornwall to improve connectivity, support more active life-styles and encourage more tourism
  • £2.3m towards a flood protection and economic regeneration scheme for Looe which will see Cornwall Council working with the community on designs which will form the basis of bids for further funding
  • £300,000 on further work to enable the regeneration of the Liskeard Old Cattle Market Site where the local community recently took part in a ‘charrette’ to decide for themselves their vision for the site
  • £250,000 for Kerdroya, a project that employs 79 local specially trained workers to keep alive the skills to build traditional Cornish hedges and develop capacity in the industry so that Cornish hedging can be a part of other infrastructure schemes coming forward across Cornwall

Other cabinet recommendations put forward to the council included further investment in the Housing Development Programme action plan, and plans to buy the Cornwall Equipment Loan Store.

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Adam Paynter, leader of the council, said:  “These investment plans focus on the key areas for this administration, and will see improvements to our cycling network, our roads and our schools.

“It is a real statement of intent, we are getting on with the business of improving our resident’s lives, while remaining responsible with our finances.”

Posted on April 16, 2019

Categories: Councils, Politics

Mother and daughter jailed for "dishonesty on an industrial scale"

Tue, 16/04/2019 - 17:54

Two women accused of running a fraudulent property lettings agency in Truro received prison sentences at Truro Crown Court today (Tuesday 16 April).

Elizabeth Ann Treneer, 38, of Chapel Meadows, Perranwell Station, admitted running a fraudulent business designed to deprive its victims of rental and deposit payments.

She also admitted having tried to undermine the criminal investigation by manufacturing false documents.

Her mother, Angela Colleen Treneer, 72, of Cogos Park, Mylor Bridge, admitted abusing her position of trust by failing to ensure that deposit and rental payments were properly safeguarded and passed on to customers.

Elizabeth Ann Treneer was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Her mother, Angela Colleen Treneer, was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

The Court heard that the investigation by Cornwall Council Trading Standards was prompted by a number of complaints from landlord and tenant clients of Premier Property Management.

The investigation found that since 2009 more than 40 people had been defrauded by the business with losses exceeding £266,000.

When challenged by clients about the absence of payments, a series of false excuses had been given, including accountancy problems, computer system failures, banking problems or other reasons for late and non-payment of rent.

The court heard that the Treneers were moving the money from business accounts into their own personal accounts to maintain their lifestyles.

 In passing sentence Judge Robert Linford described the fraud as “...dishonesty on an industrial scale.

He also noted that the Treneers did not care whether the victims were vulnerable or not.

Councillor Sue James, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection, praised the efforts of the Trading Standards team.

She said: “The time, effort and dedication involved in bringing this fraudulent business before the Courts cannot be underestimated. Both offenders lied to the investigating officers in the same way as they had been lying to their clients for almost 10 years.

"Many of the victims were vulnerable, either because of their age, their financial position or because they were working far from Cornwall and these two women took full advantage of that.

"In handing down such penalties, the Court has clearly recognised the despicable nature of the offending in this case.”

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, compensation for those who have lost money to the fraudulent business will now be sought.

 

Story posted 16 April 2019

Categories: Councils, Politics

Exciting ideas shared at Discover Pydar community event

Tue, 16/04/2019 - 11:50

Pydar Regeneration Event Photo

Affordable homes where people of all ages want to live. Green spaces and exciting indoor and outdoor activities for young and old. Creative workspaces where people can make and sell things. Cafes and bars where people can meet, talk and laugh, and a special community hub at the centre of the site….these are just some of the ideas put forward during the first Discover Pydar community event held in Truro over the weekend.

More than 150 people took up the invitation to find out more about ideas for the new 'neighbourhood’, braving the cold to visit the special Pydar exhibition and give their views on the emerging proposals to Cornwall Council and architects PRP.

“It was fantastic to see so many people keen to help shape the vision for this key site in Truro “ said Councillor Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet portfolio holder for Planning and Economy.  “We need the community to say how it wants Pydar Street to evolve and I would like to thank everyone who gave up their time to come and talk to members of the team and share their ideas.

Following the first day of the exhibition which took place on Lemon Quay as part of the Children’s Day activities, the team moved to the Pydar site for the second day which focused on the theme of the environment.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was the planting of three Cornish apple trees on part of the regeneration site.  Godfrey Mortimer, local resident of 50 years and the Mayor of Truro Lindsay Southcombe were joined by Shiela Richardson, who grew up in the heart of Pydar at Boscawen, and 12 year old Rowan Hammond to plant the first new trees at Pydar.

 ‘It’s great that local residents and businesses are being encouraged to share their ideas ahead of the design process “ said Rachel Hammond, local resident and Ryan’s Mum.  “The project sounds really exciting and the creation of new homes, a riverside park and improved leisure facilities for families will be a great boost for Truro’.

 While lots of different views were put forward during the two days, everyone was united on the need for something to happen on the site. There was a really positive response to the idea of people living and working in the centre of the city, and for creating stronger links to the woods at the edge of the site and to the river, with more spaces to sit and relax. Others wanted workspaces where innovators, entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses could develop their ideas, and places and activities where people of all ages could play and have fun and improve their physical and mental health. 

Many people were equally clear about the things they did not want. These included high density characterless housing developments and shopping malls, bars and restaurants which could damage the existing city centre.  Others were concerned about the proposals generating additional traffic on the roads.

“We will be taking all these views on board as we continue to develop a detailed scheme to be submitted for outline planning permission at the end of this year “ said Bob Egerton.

“Don’t worry if you did not manage to visit the exhibition this time – we will be staging further community events over the coming months to enable as many people as possible to shape the vision for Pydar. People can also find out about the project on the Truro Place Shaping website and Facebook page

Future Pydar community activities include a “Get Active Weekender” in July with a programme of outdoor events delivered in partnership with leisure and sports providers; a Dawn to Dusk festival on 14 September, with free music, and a Community Dig Week in October which will celebrate the past history and heritage of the site”.

 

Story posted 16 April 2019 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Primary school places confirmed for parents across Cornwall

Tue, 16/04/2019 - 09:35

Parents of children that are due to start school in a reception class in September across Cornwall have been discovering which school their child has been allocated, with the majority being offered their first preference.

Cornwall Council received 5555 applications for reception places for September 2019. Of those, 5265 have been offered a place at their first preference school, which is almost 95% of the total applicants.

In total over 98% of applicants have been offered a place at a school they named as one of their three preferences. In light of the increasing pressure on primary school places across the country this is good news for children and families in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken, said: “Competition for school places is growing and we are pleased so many children and families have the news they wanted on National Offer Day.   

“A lot of hard work goes into coordinating this process and I would like to thank the School Admissions Team and the schools across Cornwall for their support in ensuring as many children as possible can attend their preferred school.”

Cornwall Council recognises, however, that some families may be disappointed by their allocation for this September. Cornwall has 227 schools with reception classes and this year 78 of those are full after the first round of allocations compared to 72 at this time last year.

Head of Education Access and Sufficiency, Sharon Hindley, added: “We recognise there are some areas where competition for places is very high and that’s why over the last ten years Cornwall Council has invested more than 75 million pounds into the infrastructure of schools in Cornwall, creating an additional 2,500 new pupil places.

“We are continuing to plan for the demand on places in the future to ensure as many children as possible can access a place at a local school, if they wish to.”

The number of oversubscribed schools is expected to increase as late applications for places are processed over the next few weeks.  Late applications are always a concern for the Council as they reduce the chance of families getting a preferred school.

The School Admissions Team, in partnership with the Family Information Service, works hard each year to get the message out to families through various channels including social media and early years settings, but they have still received more than 97 late applications so far this year.

Sally Hawken concluded: “We have seen a drop in the number of late applications, but it is still higher than we would like.  We will continue to work with parents, schools and early years settings to try and bring this figure down further.”

Posted on 16 April

Categories: Councils, Politics

Polperro is first Sugar Smart primary school in Cornwall

Mon, 15/04/2019 - 15:45

Polperro Primary School has been crowned the first SUGAR SMART primary in Cornwall.  The initiative, which is promoted by the Healthy Schools team at Cornwall Council, encourages teachers, staff and the children into making small steps to reduce the amount of sugar in their snacks, drinks and to work towards a healthier lifestyle.

Polperro School

Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver launched the SUGAR SMART initiative to try and cut down on the amount of sugar being consumed by children across the UK and just last month Richard Lander in Truro was recognised as the first secondary school to receive the status.

Portfolio Holder for Children and Wellbeing and Cabinet Member at Cornwall Council, Sally Hawken, said: “Polperro Primary has shown a real passion for developing a healthier school and they should be proud of their hard work.  Looking at lunch boxes and the foods provided in school is easy to do, but it does take a commitment from the whole school, including parents and governors.

“I would like Polperro to inspire other schools to take on this challenge and to become SUGAR SMART.”

The Healthy Schools team have created a five-step guide to being SUGAR SMART and tips include; changing the contents of vending machines, charging less for healthy snacks and promoting healthier lunches.

Healthy Schools Advisor, Harriet Kretowicz, said: “In order for a school to achieve SUGAR SMART status we are looking to promote healthy lunches and snacks.  They also need to promote drinking water above all other drinks, so no fizzy drinks or high sugar squash.

“We are also looking for that whole school approach, where they engage not only the children, but staff and the wider community and that is something Polperro have been really good at.” 

Scientists say that no more than 5% of our total energy intake should come from sugar. This means different amounts of sugar for different age groups:

  • For children aged 4 to 6 years old the maximum amount of added sugar per day is 5 sugar cubes or 19g.
  • For children aged 7 to 10 years old the maximum amount of added sugar per day is 6 sugar cubes or 24g.

Teacher at Polperro, Jane Wills, said: “It has been a lot of hard work, but it has also been something we really wanted to do as a whole school, so we’ve all bought into the idea of making sure children that attend Polperro School are able to live a healthier and happier life.  If we can help with that in any small way at all, then that has been the key purpose for us.”

Jane added they’ve noticed other benefits from becoming sugar smart: “The children have certainly become calmer and we’ve seen more focus and lot better levels of concentration.  Also throughout the lesson, if you feel as though there is a dip in their concentration you get everyone up and active, just to burn a little more energy and wake us all up.”

For more information on becoming SUGAR SMART teachers are being encouraged to visit the Healthy Schools Cornwall website

 

Story posted 15 April 2019 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council takes action to stop unauthorised use of homes bought under the government’s Right to Buy scheme

Mon, 15/04/2019 - 14:37

Cornwall Council is reminding people who have bought properties under the government’s Right to Buy scheme that there are legal restrictions on what they can do with their properties once they have bought them.

Andrew Mitchell said: “Council houses were built with public money to provide affordable homes for local people.  It is not right that they should then be used to make a profit or sold on to people who do not have a local connection to Cornwall. Especially as the discount on the purchase price under Right to Buy is significant and the Council will not have received enough money from the sale to be able to build a replacement home.” 

Houses bought under the government’s Right to Buy scheme usually have a legal restriction on them which means that the owner should not be renting them out as holiday lets, letting them out to students or making significant alterations to their property.  In rural areas especially, there are also restrictions on who the property can be bought by or rented to in the future as, in many cases, the new owner or tenant has to have a Cornwall connection.

In some cases it may be that the person who has bought a former Council house some time ago is not fully aware that restrictions may still be in force so,  the Council is giving those people a period of grace of one year to put right any breaches.  Anyone who has bought a property from 01 May this year will be expected to abide by the restrictions from day one.

The Council can take legal action against anyone who is not abiding by the legal restrictions and apply for a Court injunction requiring that they put right whatever they are doing in breach of the restriction. Breaching an injunction is contempt of Court and the Court can impose an unlimited fine or even a custodial sentence.

Councillor Mitchell adds: “We also have a duty of care to our residents and the communities they live in.  If a former council owned home is bought under the Right to Buy scheme but is then let out as holiday accommodation or as a student let, this can have a significant impact on neighbouring residents and the local community.”

Homeowners who have bought their properties under the Right to Buy Scheme will be contacted direct to remind them of their obligations.

If anyone believes that a former right to buy property is in breach of a restrictive covenant you can report this to the Council Investigation team.

By telephone: Ring our 24 hour free-phone, confidential fraud hotline on: 0800 7316125

By e-mail: fraud@cornwall.gov.uk  or whistleblowing@cornwall.gov.uk 

By post: If you would prefer to make a report in writing, you can send information to the Counter Fraud Investigations Manager at the following address:

Room 5, First Floor, Dalvenie House, New County Hall, Treyew Road, Truro TR1 3AY

You can choose not to give your contact details if you prefer, but if you do give your details we will treat this with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality. In addition, by providing your details it allows for the investigating officer to get in touch to clarify any of the information provided.

 

Story posted 15 April 2019

Categories: Councils, Politics

Camborne property ‘closed’ in anti-social behaviour clamp down

Mon, 15/04/2019 - 13:21

Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team, along with Devon and Cornwall Police, applied for and were granted a Premises Closure order for a property in Camborne by Bodmin Magistrates Court on Thursday 04 April 2019.

A full closure order has been issued for 95a Pendarves Street Tuckingmill Camborne, allowing the premises to be ‘closed’ for three months. 

The order is part of a continued crack down on anti-social behaviour and a demonstration of the Council’s commitment to work with partners to create safer communities.

The action followed a series of ongoing reports starting in September 2018 of crime, anti-social behaviour, disorder and domestic disputes at the address.

“The behaviour escalating from the address was totally unacceptable. Local residents and members of the community were witnessing violent outbursts and living in fear of harm, resulting in them having to make changes in their lifestyle to reduce the impact of the behaviour” said Dorian Thomas, from Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team.

“We accept many people face challenging times, and we work with them to find an alternative lifestyle.  However, they must make a commitment to change themselves guided by the support services available in the community. If this support and guidance is ignored, we will act accordingly and proportionately in dealing with their behaviour.”

PCSO Clare Matthews, from Camborne Neighbourhood Team, said: “Devon and Cornwall Police continue to work closely with Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team to ensure that this kind of behaviour does not continue and have an impact on the community. It is important that any such issues are reported to police so we are able to take steps to challenge the behaviour. The decision to close a property is not taken lightly and this is considered a last resort so residents can have respite from the behaviour.”

Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team and Devon & Cornwall Police will continue to work in partnership to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Residents are encouraged to report anti-social behaviour to the police by using the 101 number or by emailing 101@dc.police.uk

For emergencies, please use 999.

More information on the Council’s anti-social behaviour team is available on the Council’s website.

 

Story posted 15 April 2019 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Songfest tours Cornwall with songs of the Stage and Screen

Fri, 12/04/2019 - 17:04

The Cornwall Music Education Hub’s annual celebration of singing, Songfest, returned to Cornwall for a fourth year.  The theme for this year’s event was songs of the Stage and Screen, featuring favourite hits of classic musicals. 

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Picture: Peter Glaser Photography

The series of concerts started in Penzance with 2 nights at St Johns Hall in late February, followed by 2 nights in Newquay, 1 night in Launceston,  1 night in Redruth, 1 night in Falmouth, culminating in a supersized choir at Plymouth Pavilions on 2nd April. 

Each concert featured a different massed choir of young singers from local schools as well as performances by students from local secondary schools and colleges.  In all, over 1200 students from  78 schools performed  in the 8 concerts  as well as singers Cornwall College St. Austell, Cornwall Girls Choir, Cornwall Boys Choir, Cornwall County Youth Choir, Saltash Training Choir and the Plymouth Hub Legacy Choir. The choirs were accompanied by a four piece band made up of professional musicians who also teach for the Cornwall Music Service Trust. 

The Songfest  project is organised and managed by the Cornwall Music Education Hub, which is led by Cornwall Council, and has been created by Angela Renshaw , the Hub’s Vocal Strategy Lead: “Songfest 2019 lived up to all expectations again with fabulous performances given by all  primary schools taking part and as well, the magnificent vocal showcases by the secondary and college students in each act 1 of Songfest.  Songfest continues to reinstate the importance of singing in schools, raising expectations and quality through an inclusive working partnership with schools, the Hub and its partners. Songfest is about retaining the energy and passion for singing in schools and for the children and teachers to not only enjoy the thrill of working collectively, but for children to inspire other children through inspirational vocal performances.”

Angela was supported in the development and delivery of Songfest by local composer, conductor and multi-instrumentalist, Patrick Bailey: “Songfest really did cover the whole county! I visited schools from Sennen in the west to Morwenstow in the north east and Fourlanesend in the south east. Every one of the 40 schools I went to were really engaged with the songs and they and their teachers wanted to sing them as well as possible. The concerts were wonderful experiences for all the children, their teachers and the families. I know I enjoyed them. The large choirs were accompanied by a professional band and the live music making was spontaneous, thrilling and memorable. I can’t wait for the next one – to revisit all those wonderful schools and, hopefully, to meet new ones too.”

About the Cornwall Music Education Hub

The Cornwall Music Education Hub is a partnership of arts and music organisations led by Cornwall Council.  The Hub is funded by Art Council England to raise the standards of musical learning and encourage young people to take part in high quality musical activities.  For further information about the Cornwall Music Education Hub, visit www.cornwallmusiceducationhub.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Appeal for more foster carers

Fri, 12/04/2019 - 16:22

An appeal is being launched in Cornwall for more Foster carers, as the number of young people in care has increased to almost 500 across the county.  The campaign is being launched, by Cornwall Council and the aim is to recruit an additional 40 foster families by the end of the year, which will be able to offer a loving and nurturing environment for young people.

Across Cornwall there is a diverse range of young people in care and this means foster carers need to come from a variety of backgrounds and have different life experiences. The children range in age from newborn to teenagers, and some are sibling groups but like all children, they need to be part of a family where they are nurtured and feel safe.

Nicky is one of Cornwall Councils foster carers: “The best thing about being a foster carer is seeing children who have had a difficult start in life begin to flourish and having the opportunity to open a new world of possibilities for them to help  build a picture of themselves as resilient and effective individuals.

“But you have to be realistic as well;foster caring is “extreme” parenting. Children in care have all suffered separation and loss and our most important job is to help them feel safe and secure. Traditional parenting methods of rewards and sanctions very often don’t work and they require empathetic parenting to help them succeed.”

Cornwall Council has foster carers who have been looking after children for over 20 years.  Some have had many children who have returned home or moved on to adoption or special guardianship. Others have provided safe and loving care for the whole of the child’s childhood.  And some beyond 18 years – just like any family.

With Fostering Fortnight just over one month away, information events are being planned across Cornwall for anyone interested in having an informal chat.

Nicky added: “Make sure that the time is right for you personally and that you have the time, energy and commitment to give to the role. Given time, warmth and support, these children and young people can really develop and reach their potential as individuals.”

The shortage of foster carers in Cornwall is not unique, The Fostering Network estimates that fostering services across the UK need to recruit a further 6,800 foster families in the next 12 months.

Portfolio Holder and Cabinet Member for Health and Well Being, Sally Hawken, said: “There are many reasons why a young person may come into care, but we need to be prepared to support these often vulnerable young people when they need us most.  Foster carers come from a variety of different backgrounds and you don’t need any particular skills or experiences, but you do need to have a passion for helping young people.

“Foster carers receive training and support to help them develop the skills to meet the needs of children in their care.”

According to data from the Fostering Network there are currently 83,000 young people in care across the UK, with almost 55,000 foster families.

Fostering is a way of providing a safe and secure home for children who cannot live with their own parents. Often, this is on a temporary basis while the parents get help to sort out problems.

Sally continued: “Children often return to their parents after a period of being in foster care, as long as it is clear that the issues that brought them into care have been sorted out, and that their parents can look after them safely.  Other children stay in foster care on a permanent basis, some are adopted and some move on to live independently.

“A child born in Cornwall has the right to grow up here and we are dedicated to enabling that and this is why we are launching this campaign. Currently we are particularly looking for people who can care for older children as well as sibling groups.”

This young person, who cannot be identified, says that Fostering has had a major impact on her life: “Being in foster care has changed my life in multiple ways, one is letting me go to school and another is letting me try new things.  I have now danced for 5 years and I really enjoy it.

“I get treated like my carers own children. The wonderful net of people around me are amazing, I know that I can trust them and I know that they care about me.”

Fore more information please visit our Fostering and Adoption pages.

 

Story posted 12 April 2019

Categories: Councils, Politics

No change in cost of day tickets but value multi day tickets for Truro Park and Ride will increase slightly from 01 May 2019

Thu, 11/04/2019 - 14:56

Park And Ride

Some ticket prices for the Truro Park and Ride service, which have not increased since 2015, will increase slightly from 01 May 2019.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio member for transport Geoff Brown said: “We know that residents, commuters and shoppers really appreciate the convenience and reliability of the Truro Park and Ride.  It really is a great
service and will remain exceptional value for money.  We need to make sure that it is viable to keep it going.  These modest increases, in some but not all ticket prices, are being introduced to meet increased running costs and to ensure that the services high standards are maintained.”

The Truro Park and Ride has proved very successful since it was introduced in 2008.  It carries over one million passengers a year and takes some 1500 cars off the roads of Truro each day. 

The new fares from 01 May 2019 are:

Ticket Type Monday to Friday Saturday  Day ticket  £2.00 (no change) £1.00 (no change)

Family Day Ticket - up to 2 Adults and 4 Children

£4.00 (up from £2.60) £2.00 (not previously available)

Multi Day Tickets (Days not necessarily consecutive)

5 Day Smart Ticket £9.00 giving a 10% discount (previously £8.40) 20 Day Ticket

£34.00 giving a 15% discount (previously £30)

20 days @ £34 equates to £1.70 per day

60 Day Ticket

£84.00 giving a 30% discount (previously £68)

60 days @ £84 equates to £1.40 per day

National Concessionary Bus Pass discount will no longer be available.   The under-used Annual Pass will no longer be available. Multi-day tickets bought before the increase comes into effect on 01 May 2019 will still be valid on the service.  

 

The £1.00 Monday to Friday day ticket discount that was offered after 9.30am to those who hold a National Concessionary Bus Pass will no longer be available.

Geoff Brown says: “The discount that was on offer was rarely taken up because those who hold a National Concessionary Bus Pass were able to travel free on Cornwall’s other buses after 9.30am anyway.  Of course, now that Cornwall Council has lifted that 9.30am restriction, older people and those of any age with a disability who qualify for a concessionary bus pass, are able to travel for free on other buses at any time.”

Geoff adds: “There have been moves to extend the operating hours of Truro Park and Ride and a planning application asking for permission to vary the proposed opening times of the Truro Park and Ride has recently been submitted with a decision expected by the end of May.

However, the proposal to extend the running times of the Truro Park and Ride is subject to planning permission being granted.  If it is granted, then we will work with passenger groups, including hospital staff, to decide what would be most useful to them.   We can then work out the exact details that will best meet their needs before deciding how to change to service within the extended operating hours requested as part of the planning application.”

 

Story posted 11 April 2019

Categories: Councils, Politics

Saltash library open day

Thu, 11/04/2019 - 13:09

Residents in Saltash are invited to celebrate the official launch of their library after being transferred to Saltash Town Council recently as part of an agreement with Cornwall Council.

The launch day is taking place this Saturday April 13 from 11:30am - 1pm and everyone is welcome.

A ribbon cutting ceremony takes place at 11:45am with the Mayor Cllr John Brady, Deputy Mayor Cllr Gloria Challen of Saltash Town Council, Chairman of the Town Council Library Sub Committee Cllr Jean Dent, and Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods. There will also be children’s activities and refreshments.

Saltash Library and Information Service was transferred to Saltash Town Council on March 1 as part of Cornwall Council’s Library Transformation Programme.

The arrangement, which is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, means the building on Callington Road is continuing to provide all the key services essential to a modern library as well as access to a range of Council services.

Saltash Library is remaining part of the countywide service meaning customers can keep their existing library cards and still visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.

Cllr Dent said: “We are confident that the future of Saltash Library is in safe hands with Saltash Town Council and Cornwall Council working together. Please come and help us celebrate this very positive move forward for our town.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “I’m looking forward to celebrating the official launch of Saltash Library under the management of the Town Council and I’m delighted that it has been secured for the community and many more generations of library users.

“Libraries are important to our residents and this is why we have been working closely with Saltash Town Council to secure the future of the town’s library.

“The town council’s proactive approach to taking more control over local assets is an excellent example of devolution in action, and I commend them for the excellent service they are providing to their community.”

Story posted 11 April 2019

Categories: Councils, Politics