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Updated: 2 hours 1 min ago

Council remains committed to a sustainable future for Citizens Advice Cornwall

6 hours 23 min ago

Cornwall Council today reinforced its commitment to finding a sustainable future for Citizens Advice Cornwall.

Deputy Leader Julian German said the Council had made no decisions but remained committed to ensuring people in Cornwall who needed face-to-face support would continue to receive a service.

“The last Council voted to cut funding for Citizens Advice Cornwall (CAC) to zero from April. While we have a tough challenge to find £75m of savings, on top of £300m already delivered, we are committed to securing a sustainable future for CAC.

“The debt and welfare challenges people are facing under this Government’s austerity agenda are real and that’s why we remain committed to finding a solution.”

The Council had budgeted £0 for the organisation in the budget from April but is keen to provide continued funding and is consulting on a draft proposal of £153,000 to ensure those most in need can still access services.

Have your say on the funding proposals for Citizens Advice Cornwall

“We are working with CAC to explore all of the ways that the Council can support them. For example, we are considering whether we can offer them office space in Cornwall Council buildings to cut their overheads,” Cllr German said.

“We all want a sustainable future for CAC but we are also faced with tough financial challenges and the reality that the Council budget is not limitless.

“We are also pushing to ensure Citizens Advice Cornwall are getting a fair share of national funding.”

The Council remains in discussion with CAC, with Councillors Paynter, Hannaford and Mitchell also recently meeting with CAC to consider a way forward.

Budget proposals will be considered by full Council in February 2018. Cornwall Council is challenged with finding another £75m in savings by April 2021. This is in addition to the £300m in savings that it has already had to make since 2009.

The survey runs until 15 January 2018.  

Categories: Councils, Politics

New Strategic Director of Adult Social Care and Health appointed to lead transformation work

6 hours 29 min ago

Cornwall Council today announced the appointment of a new Strategic Director of Adult Social Care and Health to lead work joining up services so people get the health and care services they need.

Helen Charlesworth-May has been appointed to the newly created role following a rigorous recruitment and interview process.

Jointly funded by the NHS and Cornwall Council, the position will have a strong focus on delivering a programme of work to transform the delivery of adult social care in Cornwall.

Helen will join Cornwall Council from Lambeth Council where she has worked for the past 15 years. She held a variety of roles at Lambeth, most recently in 2013 as Strategic Director for Adult Social Care and Health, working in partnership with health colleagues, to drive forward an innovative health and care integration agenda.

Prior to that, Helen worked at Hampshire County Council and had a variety of roles in the NHS in the North West of England.

Kate Kennally, Chief Executive of Cornwall Council, said Helen’s appointment was great news for Cornwall.

“By 2019, one in four of our population will be aged 65 or over. Forty-six percent of overall health spend is on people aged over 65 and 51% of health and care spend is in the acute sector.

“Caring for older people, vulnerable citizens and those with multiple long term conditions is a top priority for community services, which is why we decided to separate our children and adult services leadership and with joint funding from the NHS, create the position of Strategic Director Adult Social Care and Health to drive the improvements we need to make.

“Helen has a wealth of skills and experience to drive forward a programme of transformation across health and social care and we welcome her to Cornwall.”

Chief Executive at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Shaping Our Future Executive Lead, Kathy Byrne also welcomed the appointment.

“This jointly funded role is a significant appointment to move forward our ambition to integrate health and care services. Helen will have a pivotal role in delivering the required improvements for our community and we would like to welcome her to the team.”

Helen said she looked forward to starting in the role: “I am excited by Cornwall’s vision for health and care and look forward to playing a leading role in delivering on the ambition for change.”

Helen will start in the role in the new year.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Local school children plant trees to improve Truro Rd, St Austell

Thu, 14/12/2017 - 15:59

Communities in St Austell will have a greener Truro Road as local pupils from Pondhu Primary School, along with officers from Cornwall Council, have been planting trees today at the former Karensa site which stored equipment for social care services.

Cornwall Council decided that to protect the public the derelict building on Truro Road, which was also previously a Residential Care Home, should be demolished due to an increase in anti-social behaviour and criminal activity last winter.

To help restore the landscape, following the demolition which started in the summer, the Council arranged for seven new trees to be planted.

The Council along with local Cornwall Councillor Sandra Heyward worked with the onsite Contractor, Gilpin Demolition, and agreed that to raise awareness of the importance of trees local children should be invited to take part in the tree planting.

Gover Councillor Sandra Heyward came along with Sam Gilpin (MD of Gilpin Demolition) and David Green from Cornish based company Greens Grounds and Trees to help. The newly planted trees consist of four Crimson Kings, two Sycamores, and one Monteray Pine, which are in addition to the two existing Ash trees.

Cornwall Councillor Sandra Heyward said: “The tree planting with pupils from Pondhu Primary School has been a great opportunity to involve the local community – as well as improving the site and making Truro Road a greener place.”

Project manager at Gilpin, Barney Barnett added: “This is the part of the job I really enjoy. Going into the school was such a privilege, to be able to engage and educate whilst at the same time bringing it all to life in an interactive way truly is rewarding.”

The pupils from Year Five selected to take part in the tree planting were winners of an art completion led by Gilpin Demolition. Greens Grounds and Trees donated some Oak Saplings for the pupils to take back and plant at their school.

The additional trees planted will provide Cornwall Council with an attractive site that is also safer and will replace three trees that had to be removed as part of the demolition works. 

Posted 14 December 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics

Thanks to your votes, Jubilee Pool wins national award

Thu, 14/12/2017 - 10:51

The people of Cornwall were asked to vote, and thanks to you Jubilee Pool has won national recognition as the proud winner of the national Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) 2017 People’s Choice Awards.

The award recognises engineering excellence from across the UK, with 12 regional winners competing against each other for the national title.

Penzance’s Jubilee Pool, the largest surviving tidal saltwater lido in the UK, held off strong competition from a project in Shropshire to win the award. The pool was up against projects like the redevelopment of London Bridge and the East Midlands Airport Runway refurbishment.

Martin Nixon, from the Friends of Jubilee Pool, said: “This is incredible news. I would like to thank Cornwall Council and Cormac for their hard work in bringing the pool back from the brink of extinction and renovating it to a standard many of us could only dream about.

“My utmost thanks also go to the Coastal Communities Fund, the Regional Growth Fund and Penzance Town Council for recognising the importance of the pool and providing grant funding  to make sure it was brought back to life. I also would like to highlight the pivotal role played by my friends and colleagues in the community and the friends group, who never gave up hope and made sure the pool was never going to be forgotten.

“Most importantly, I would like to thank each and every person who voted for us. We were up against much bigger projects from more populated areas but this showed how passionate and proud we are in Cornwall, as well as how popular the pool is.”

Cornwall Council Leader and Chair of the Jubilee Pool steering group, Adam Paynter, said: “This is a fitting tribute to all the hard work that has gone into keeping this pool going throughout the years. In 2014, the pool was nearly destroyed. In 2017, it’s won a national award and is a real jewel in the crown for Cornwall. This award is testimony to all those involved from concept, design, delivery, to ongoing management, as well as to the people of Penzance and Cornwall and beyond, who supported it so well. Thank you.”

Nick James, Head of Cormac Contracting said: “Jubilee Pool has won this award though the support of the general public who have been asked by the Institution of Civil Engineers vote for their favourite civil engineering project in the UK. It reflects what the people who benefit from an improved built environment really think and it’s a great opportunity to say a big thank you to those who delivered the project. 

“As a Cornishman, it fills me with great pride that local engineering work, designed and delivered by a local company, on a local architectural gem, has been recognised across the country and won an award. The guys involved are absolutely thrilled and rightly so. They did a tremendous job.”

The £2.9m project to repair and renovate the 1930’s Art Deco sea water pool after it was damaged by the winter storms in 2014 came as a result of a fantastic community campaign led by the Friends of Jubilee Pool who organised a petition which was eventually signed by almost 4,000 people calling for funding for the works. This led to a successful bid for just under £2m from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. The scheme was led by Cornwall Council in partnership with architects Poynton Bradbury Winter Cole and CORMAC Solutions Ltd, who designed and carried out the works, with support from Nomenca and Mott MacDonald. 

The project was a major engineering feat, involving embedding 155 rock anchors into the granite below the pool, with extensive grouting carried out to the terraces and outer sea walls. 1363sqm of bespoke coloured recycled glass resin-bound paving was laid on the base and sides of the pool, with additional works to stabilise and repair the changing cubicles, sea water valves, ending with an extensive re-decoration scheme.

The renovated pool, described by the New York Times as "the best thing to see" in Penzance in their 52 Places to Go in 2017 list, which also placed Penzance at No 14, was officially opened by HRH the Prince of Wales in July 2016 to widespread media acclaim. It has now been transferred from the control of the Council to the Friends of Jubilee Pool who are responsible for its ongoing success.

Story posted 13 December 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics

Plans for a Shadow Accountable Care System

Thu, 14/12/2017 - 10:41

The NHS and local government in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are agreed that the way services are currently commissioned and provided won’t address the changing the needs of their local communities. Doing more of the same is financially unsustainable and will not guarantee that quality and safety of care will improve.

All agree that the approach needs to change. Our combined view is that we need to work together as an Accountable Care System (ACS) to enable more integrated care that serves the needs of the whole population.

An ACS does not change each organisation’s statutory and legal responsibilities. Instead it describes a way of working together that allows for a one strategy, one budget and one plan approach which puts the person not the organisation first.

As well as being in agreement about the approach, all are signed up to making progress and testing out the practicalities by working in shadow form during 2018/2019.

The shadow ACS will operate within the existing statutory framework which means that the Councils, NHS England, the CCG and NHS provider trusts will remain the statutory accountable bodies in the system.

Work will be supported by an accord which describes the principles of collaboration agreed by all partners involved in the ACS.

Why now?

Like many other areas across the country, local health and care services are facing a number of challenges - people are living longer, an increasing number of people have multiple, long-term conditions, and when people do need care, they receive it a variety of different ways – in hospitals, from their GPs and primary care staff, in clinics, nursing homes and from home care agencies.

Recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports into local health and social care have made it clear that services are not sufficiently or consistently meeting people’s needs. It found that:

  • The quality and safety of care services is not consistently good enough
  • Patients described their experiences of receiving care as not always good - although they generally had a more positive experience of services provided by their GP surgery
  • People often had poor experiences of moving out of hospital and to a care home or back home with social care support – they described coming up against a lack of choice, poor information sharing between organisations and a lack of home care packages.
  • Patients who were discharged from hospital and needing ongoing support, found the arrangements to try to help them confusing, despite the efforts of frontline staff and care teams.
What is being planned and what is the timescale?

We recognise some people are concerned by this proposal but this is not about privatising the NHS. An accountable care system simply means that the overall health and care system works better together in the interests of patients and the wider community.

There is no single model for accountable care systems in England, with different local areas developing their own approaches. We want to work with individuals and organisations to develop a Cornwall and Isles of Scilly model which both co-ordinates care across the whole health and social care system and improves the health and wellbeing of the wider population.

It is proposed that the local shadow ACS will be made up of:

  • A small, Integrated Strategic Commissioning Function for health, care and wellbeing services
  • One or more Accountable Care Partnerships (ACP), where groups of providers work together as a single network, taking collective responsibility for the effectiveness of service provision, with the ability to design new ways of working and move the money round the system to deliver more joined up, better coordinated and more efficient care.

A guiding principle of the work to develop an Accountable Care System is to be open and transparent and to allow for debate and discussion about proposals as plans progress.

An important part of this work will be a series of three inquiry days in December and January to learn from other areas that are setting up Accountable Care systems and draw up recommendations on the way forward. These sessions will be open to the public and will be led by a panel of six Cornwall Councillors, chaired by Andy Virr.

The purpose of the inquiry days is to hear from representatives of local health and care organisations and from those areas developing an ACS, NHS England and patient groups such as Healthwatch.

At the end of the inquiry days, the councillor panel will draw up recommendations specifically about the development of the integrated strategic commissioning function of the ACS. These will then be considered at an extraordinary meeting of the Health and Adult Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the end of January, with a report being presented to the Council’s Cabinet in February, followed by full Council. The recommendations will also be discussed by the Kernow CCG Governing Body.

More information on the ACS can be found on the Shaping Our Future website.

Dr Iain Chorlton, Chairman of Shaping Our Future’s Clinical Practitioner Cabinet, said: “Our plans to transform health and care detail the need for greater integration between health and care services. The results of our ongoing engagement with the public, clinicians, health campaigners, and people working across health and care, show support for a more joined-up delivery.

“There has always been a boundary between people who buy health and care services and those who provide them. Creating an Accountable Care System gives us an opportunity to bring commissioners and providers together and work together with the common aim of putting people before organisational priorities, which can only be for the benefit of everyone in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“NHS Kernow will consider the plans through its Governing Body, alongside discussion with our member practices.”

Chief Executive Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Shaping Our Future Executive Lead, Kathy Byrne said: “We are increasingly working together across organisations to provide services. Collaboration between Royal Cornwall Hospitals, Cornwall Foundation Trust and local GPs will improve our urgent care system this winter. We know that we have a way to go before we can offer the outstanding care we all aspire to. Health and care leaders are united in the view that we need to go further and faster to bring our health and care system closer together with the person at the centre. By April 2018, we aim to be working like an Accountable Care Partnership that brings services together in a way that can make a real difference to people’s care and more reliably meets the changing needs of our community over the years to come.

“Alongside proposals for greater devolution of health and care powers to Cornwall, we are determined to take more control of our local resources, simplify decision making and become more accountable to the people we serve. Together, we share a commitment to create a health and care system fit for the 21st century and radically improve the independence and wellbeing of all those who live in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “Delivering an accountable care partnership is about what it says on the tin - working in partnership to deliver better joined up services and making sure that people are at the centre of what we do. I understand there is some fear and concern, but we will be open about the way we work together. The shadow ACS will operate within the existing statutory framework - the Council, NHS England, the CCG and provider trusts will remain the statutory accountable bodies in the system.

“There are many different models for accountable care partnerships, which is why we are holding these inquiry days to find out more about the strengths and pitfalls of different approaches. There is no blueprint on how to do this.

“The inquiry sessions will be open to the public and there is no hidden agenda – this is fully transparent. The inquiry will make a recommendation to Cabinet and then full Council.”

Story posted 14 December 2017



Categories: Councils, Politics

Share your views on Cornwall’s future kerbside recycling and waste collection

Wed, 13/12/2017 - 16:04

 Kerbside Collection Image Resized

Cornwall Council is asking residents for their views on proposals to add food waste to weekly recycling collections and to collect any remaining waste that can’t be recycled on a fortnightly basis.

This system is used extensively by other councils in England and Wales and would help increase Cornwall’s recycling from its current rate of 37.5% which is below national average.

The current waste and recycling contract for Cornwall comes to an end in 2020, and the Council is looking at what Cornwall’s waste and recycling collections should be when the new contract begins in April 2020.

Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “We recently took a look at the contents of black bin bags. On average, we know that most people’s waste is currently comprised of 22% materials that could be recycled, such as paper, cans and glass, 35% food waste and 43% other residual waste. If we change collections so people can recycle the 50% of content don’t currently recycle, we can make a big difference to the environment.

“Evidence from other local authorities shows that by making recycling collections more frequent, increasing the range of materials that are recycled and introducing food waste collections on a weekly basis, we can deliver our recycling targets.

“We want to engage with residents between now and the Cabinet decision in February to ensure that we understand how the proposed changes would affect local people and what we can do to help them recycle more.

“We hope you’ll take the time to take part in our survey to help us shape the service we provide in the future and tell us how we can help you recycle more for Cornwall.”

One of the Council’s key priorities is to reduce the amount of waste produced by residents and businesses in Cornwall and increase the levels of recycling.  Reducing waste stops valuable resources being incinerated, saves money and is better for wildlife. 

The proposals for the new waste and recycling contract mean that food waste would still be collected weekly and could be recycled by anaerobic digestion instead of going to landfill or for incineration as it currently does.  Weekly recycling collections would also make it more convenient for people to recycle.

The Council is currently talking to town and parish councils about the new waste and recycling proposals via a series of Localism Summits.

The Council is asking people to share their thoughts in an online survey by 03 January 2018 to help it understand the impact of the proposed changes on people in Cornwall.  People can also download and print a paper copy of the survey and return it to: Recycling and Waste Survey, Room 4S, County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet will meet in February to make the final decision on the new waste and recycling contract.


Story posted 13 December 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council pushes for tick box to recognise Cornish identity in the 2021 Census

Wed, 13/12/2017 - 11:09

Cornwall Council will be meeting with representatives of the Office for National Statistics and other stakeholders in London tomorrow (13 December 2017) as part of the authority’s ongoing campaign for people in Cornwall to be given the chance to identify themselves as Cornish in the 2021 Census.

Following the decision by the UK Government to officially recognise the Cornish as a national minority in April 2014, the Council has been pushing for the Cornish to be treated equally with the other Celtic nations – Irish, Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish.  In particular the Council wants to see a Cornish ‘tick box’ included in the 2021 Census. 

The ONS is holding a population and public policy forum in Westminster tomorrow  (13 December) to outline its vision for the 2021 Census and its research to date focussed on race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity.  Councillor Dick Cole, Leader of Mebyon Kernow - The Party of Cornwall, has been asked to represent the Council at the meeting and will be using this opportunity to reiterate that the Cornish are given parity with the Welsh, Scottish, Irish and Northern Irish as a recognised national minority, and granted a tick box in the 2021 Census. 

While the other Celtic nations could tick a box to identify themselves in the 2011 census, the Cornish could only write Cornish under the ‘other’ option.  Although 14% chose to self-identify themselves as Cornish in this way, so far the Cornish will not be allowed a tick box in the 2021 Census. 

The Council’s campaign received a welcome boost earlier this year when the Council of Europe made a specific recommendation to the ONS stating it should "ake the necessary measures to include the possibility to self-identify as Cornish, through a ‘tick-box’ in the next census."

Since then the Council has held a number of discussions with senior officials at the ONS - asking for the change to be made in the next Census so that the Cornish can tick a box to identify as Cornish.

"The Cornish were officially recognised as a national minority more than three years ago but so far there has been nothing tangible to accompany this declaration" said Councillor Cole. "It is time that the Government backed up their fine words with action and we will continue to make the case for Cornwall at every opportunity."

Story posted 12 December 2017 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Free parking day in six towns this Saturday to support festive trading

Wed, 13/12/2017 - 11:01

Residents and visitors are being encouraged to shop locally this festive season as Cornwall Council continues to offer one day’s free parking in paid-for car parks across Cornwall during the festive season.

Residents will be able to park for free locally on one day selected by their City, Town or Parish Council to support trading in town centres. This Saturday 16 December shoppers can take advantage of free parking all day in Falmouth, Bude, Helston, Penzance, Wadebridge and Torpoint.

Free parking has already taken place this festive season in 61 car parks across Cornwall and in Truro the two Park and Ride sites were also free. With many car parks full the initiative has helped boost trade in Fowey, Bodmin, Callington, Mevagissey, Penryn, Port Isaac, Redruth, Truro, Looe, St Austell, St Ives, Hayle, Launceston, Camborne, Liskeard, Padstow, Newquay and Polzeath.

Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport Geoff Brown said: “We’ve offered a day’s free parking in previous years – which is all about getting people to shop locally and support local businesses during the festive period. We’ve already had some great feedback from business owners, traders and the public following the free parking days so far - and had around 12% more passengers on Truro’s Park and Ride compared to the same weekend last year. We have some fantastic shops and restaurants across Cornwall and I encourage people to enjoy them.”

Council Leader Adam Paynter said: “Cornwall’s towns are great places to visit during the festive season and we’re proud to support our local economies by offering free parking in the busy build-up to Christmas. Not only does this mean people can take their time shopping, it also means people can spend more time in cafes and restaurants. You don’t get that experience shopping online.”

Cornwall Council wrote to the City, Town and Parish Councils to offer the initiative. Following requests from the City and Town and Parish Councils, 95 Cornwall Council run car parks which usually charge for parking will be free for one day.

Many Town and Parish Councils selected Saturday 2 December as their free parking day to coincide with the annual Small Business Saturday. Other towns have chosen their date to encourage people to come along to festive events they already had planned.

Last minute shoppers can take advantage of free parking in Saltash on 22 December. People can enjoy the coast without having to pay for parking at two car parks after Christmas as Widmouth Bay has selected 26 December and Cawsand has selected 1 January for their free parking day.

All Cornwall Council car parks are clearly branded and the Council will be displaying posters about the parking offer at the charging points on the day when parking is free.

Town, date of free parking and car park

Town / Parish

Date of free parking

Car parks


Saturday 16 December

Church Street, Grove Place, The Dell, The Moor, Town Quarry, Well Lane


Saturday 16 December

Crooklets, Post Office, Summerleaze, The Crescent, The Wharf


Saturday 16 December

Castle Green, Cattlemarket, Trengrouse Way, Trengrouse Way Extension, Tyacke Road


Saturday 16 December

Causeway Head, Clarence Street, Greenmarket, Harbour, Long Rock, Penalverne, St Anthonys, St Erbyns, Wherrytown


Saturday 16 December

Goldsworthy Way, Piggy Lane



Saturday 16 December

Anthony Road, Tamar Street


Friday 22 December

Alexandra Square, Bellevue West, Bellevue East, Culver Road


Tuesday 26 December

Widemouth Bay


Monday 1 January 2018


Please note:

  • St Austell Town Council is providing free parking in their own Priory Car Park, St Austell, after 4pm on 12 and 19 December.
  • Camborne Town Council are providing free parking on 16 December and 23 December.
  • Liskeard Town Council are providing free parking on 16 December and 23 December.

On-street parking is excluded from the scheme.

Posted 12 December 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics

Council wants your views on how it funds Citizens Advice Cornwall

Wed, 13/12/2017 - 09:04

Cornwall Council is carrying out a survey to ask for views on how it helps fund Citizens Advice Cornwall (CAC) now and in the future.

The survey is being carried out to gauge how and when residents use CAC and the impact their service has had on them.

Cornwall Council is challenged with finding another £75 million in savings by April 2021.  This is in addition to the £300 million in savings that it has already achieved since 2009.

It was originally proposed that the Council’s grant to CAC be stopped altogether to help achieve some of these savings however, the current budget proposes that the level of funding from Cornwall Council to CAC is set at £153,000 for the next three years.

Cornwall Council leader Adam Paynter said:  “We are proposing to reinstate a grant to CAC as we recognise that austerity and things like the roll out of Universal Credit have a big impact on our communities.  To help us make decisions about funding, we are asking residents to let us know how and when they have used the services of CAC in the past two years.  We want to know how useful residents have found the advice, information and general advocacy service that CAC provides to communities in Cornwall.”

He adds: “The Council is facing the unenviable challenge of having to decide which services to deliver and how to deliver them with less budget.  The only way to do this effectively is to do things differently and make changes in how we work and how we contribute to other organisations and get the best value for money.  We are continuing to talk to CAC about the way forward. A final decision on the Council’s budget will be made by members in February 2018.”

The Citizens Advice Cornwall survey runs until 15 January 2018.

Story posted 12 December 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics

Camelford Community Network Panel meeting to discuss Cornwall Council budget and greater voice for local people

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:37

There’s a chance for local people to ask questions about proposals for Cornwall Council’s budget and find out about plans to give communities more say on local issues at the Camelford Community Network Panel meeting on Tuesday 12 December at 7.00pm in Camelford Hall.

Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter will be on hand to brief the panel on proposals for Cornwall Council’s 2018-19 budget and answer questions.

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, and Sarah Sims, Camelford Community Network Community Link Officer, will explain plans to strengthen engagement with local communities and give them a greater voice through community network panels.  The presentation will include information on empowering panels by giving them more say on important local issues.

Ian Penhaligon, Operations Manager – East Area, and Ashley Mann, Operations Officer, of the South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust will also brief the panel on recent changes to the ambulance service and response times in rural areas.

Dominic Fairman, Chair of Camelford Community Network Panel, said: “This is your opportunity to learn about Cornwall Council’s budget proposals and put your questions to the Leader of the Council, so come along and have your say.  We’ll also be talking about plans to give our local communities a greater voice in the issues that affect them, and there will also be a chance talk to the South West Ambulance Service and raise any concerns you may have around coverage and rural response times.  It should be an interesting evening and I encourage everyone to join us.”

Camelford Community Network Panel meets quarterly to discuss matters that affect the local area and to progress these by working in partnership with Cornwall Council and its partners, including town and parish councils, the voluntary and community sector, and the police and health services.  Some of the areas that community networks focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, transport and highway issues. 

Camelford Community Network Panel includes the Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the following parishes: Advent, Camelford, Davidstow, Forrabury and Minster, Lesnewth, Michaelstow, Otterham, St Breward, St Clether, St Juliot, St Teath, Tintagel, Tremaine, Treneglos, Tresmeer, Trevalga and Warbstow.

The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

Story posted 4 December 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics

Don’t give someone an unwanted gift this Christmas: keep food poisoning off the menu

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 10:40

With two thirds of UK households expected to have roast turkey for their Christmas dinner, the popular Christmas day meal can be a hidden source of serious food infections unless precautions are taken.

From buying turkey, right through to storing leftovers, there are a number of food hygiene tips that you can follow to protect your loved ones over the festive period.

When Christmas food shopping, take sufficient bags with you so that you can separate out raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.

Check the guidance on your turkey to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it – it could take as much as 4 days.

Don’t wash raw turkey, it just splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.

To work out the cooking time for your bird, check the instructions on the packaging. Check that the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear.

Whether you cooked your turkey from frozen (once defrosted) or fresh, your turkey leftovers can be used to make a new meal (such as a turkey curry). You can freeze pretty much everything and freeze right up to the Use By date, because freezing acts a bit like a pause button. If you've got leftovers, you should cool them, then cover them and ensure that they go in the fridge or freezer within a couple of hours (Never put hot food into a fridge or freezer) – Make sure you only reheat it once.  

“Every year, there are an estimated 1 million cases of food poisoning in the UK,“ said Sue James, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection.  “For many of us, it wouldn’t be Christmas without turkey. However, cooking for a crowd can be a lot of pressure, from having to think about various defrosting and cooking times, to ensuring that all the food is stored safely.

“Raw and undercooked turkey can cause food poisoning and have serious consequences especially for children, people already in ill-health and older people.  The easiest way to protect your family this Christmas is to ensure you store and cook food safely.” 

If the thought of cooking your Christmas dinner is too much, or you’re fed up with eating leftovers, you might be thinking of eating out. 

The Council supports food businesses across Cornwall to help them ensure they handle food safely and hygienically so that consumers don't come to harm.

Following an inspection we award a food hygiene rating. If you’re eating out, you can check out the Food Hygiene Rating for the restaurant or food catering business you are planning to visit.  

You can find the rating online at the Food Standards Agency website or look for a green sticker at the venue.

Stuart Benson, Assistant Head of Service in Neighbourhoods and Public Protection at Cornwall Council, said: “Whether you’re eating at home or eating out, poor food hygiene can quickly turn one of the best times of the year into a nightmare. Being aware of how to prepare food, or knowing to check the food safety of the place you’re eating from is a simple safeguard.

“Our food safety officers will be working right up until Christmas doing inspections of food businesses, but at home it’s up to you to think about food hygiene. A few simple precautions could be the difference between the best or worst Christmas ever.”

For more information on food safety, visit our food safety webpage.

To help people cook their festive food with confidence this Christmas the Food Standards Agency have put together a ‘Let’s talk turkey’ guide, which offers tips around chilling, cleaning, cooking and avoiding cross-contamination, while also explaining some of the science behind the advice.

For more information visit the Food Standards Agency: Let's Talk Turkey: your guide to Christmas food safety

Posted 12 December 2017  

Categories: Councils, Politics

Who will you spend Christmas with? A Paramedic, a Firefighter, a Street Pastor or even a Police Officer?

Mon, 11/12/2017 - 13:32

This festive season, as many of us drink more than intended, a new campaign is urging people to think about how and who they want to spend their Christmas with.

The Safer Cornwall partnership festive safe drinking campaign asks people out enjoying festivities over the coming weeks to drink sensibly while enjoying Cornwall and Christmas, not to risk spending time somewhere they would rather not be – whether in a police cell or a hospital.

Drinking too much can impact on our already stretched services such as the NHS and Police force. Those services will be more than happy to help if you really need it, but they don’t really want to spend time with you because you’ve had too much to drink.

Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for Wellbeing and Public Health said: “Drinking more than normal can bring on a false sense of confidence. This can lead to bad choices or decisions, such as drink driving or getting into arguments and fights. In a few cases, this can lead to people ending up in hospital, losing their drivers licence, getting fined, being arrested, or having accidents which put themselves or other people in danger.

“The Council and its partners hope everyone enjoys the festive season. People should rightly be able to have fun, but we also want people to be safe. This campaign reminds people to drink sensibly, and to plan how they’ll get home safely.”

Jez Bayes, Alcohol strategy lead for Cornwall Council’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team said: “We don’t want to be the Christmas Grinch and say that you shouldn’t drink at all, because we know that for most of us that’s not going to happen! What we’re asking is that people go out and have fun in a way that doesn’t impact on others, or potentially affect their own future.”

Top tips to enjoy Cornwall and drink sensibly this festive season:

  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water
  • It’s safest to stick drinks you’re familiar with, so that you know how you will react
  • Keep an eye on your drink when out, and don’t get to the point where you wouldn’t notice if someone spiked you
  • Plan how you will get home – book a taxi in advance, organise a lift, or have a designated driver in your group
  • Don’t attempt to reason with people who have drunk too much
  • Say thanks to anyone out there to keep you safe: door staff, street pastors, police, paramedics or firefighters.

Story posted 11 December.

Categories: Councils, Politics

We want to hear from you if you’re living with a long term health condition

Mon, 11/12/2017 - 11:09

Are you living with heart disease, cancer, diabetes or a respiratory condition, or do you work with people who do? The Wellbeing and Public Health team at Cornwall Council are working with partners across the health, social care and voluntary sector to better understand how to support people to self-manage their health conditions. 

On average, people living with a health condition spend just 3 hours per year with their health care team; the rest of the time they are managing day to day life with that condition or their own – or self-managing. Over three-quarters of respondents (77%) from a national survey of over 2,500 people with long-term conditions thought that more of their ongoing health problems could and should be managed independently at home. In Cornwall, 68% of people in Cornwall feel supported to manage their long term condition, better than the national average. 

“Self-management includes all the actions taken by people to recognise, treat and manage health and wellbeing independently of or in partnership with the healthcare system” said Rachel Wigglesworth, Consultant in Public Health. “We want to better understand what options people in Cornwall are using at the moment, and what they find most useful.” 

Dr Alison Flanagan, GP and Clinical Lead for Long Term Conditions at Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’re asking about a number of different types of support that people might use to self-manage. For example, do you use apps or devices to monitor your condition or would you like to? Have you taken steps to lead a healthier lifestyle? Do you go to a self-help group for people with the same condition? As more and more of us are living with long term conditions, it is vital that people feel as supported and confident as possible.”  

Ann Bennett lives near Falmouth. She lives with a serious condition called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (a progressive lung condition) and also cares for her husband who has COPD. She said "Living with a long term condition is part of your life's journey and only you are living with it. Supported by health professionals, it’s important to be actively involved in taking responsibility for managing and maintaining your own health.

“Signposting to support groups and exercise sessions should be readily available so that patients can take responsibility. Being proactive, we accessed groups such as Breathe Falmouth and British Lung Foundation resources (which are readily available), having researched these for ourselves. By doing this and using social media support of Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis and Pulmonary Fibrosis UK on Facebook, we have great social, psychological and physical benefits from them. I’d urge anyone eligible to take part and have your say."

Take part to help us understand and improve services by completing the online survey. Printed copies are available on request. The survey will be open until 12 noon on 12 January 2018

Story posted 11 December 2017.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Council congratulates winners of Cornwall Sustainability Awards

Fri, 08/12/2017 - 15:49


Cornwall Council congratulates all the finalists and winners of this year’s Cornwall Sustainability Awards, celebrating all that’s good and green in Cornwall, which were presented on Friday 01 December.

The Cornwall Sustainability Awards (CSA) aim to encourage, reward and gain recognition for the excellent work businesses are doing to improve their own sustainability, and that of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as a whole.

One of the central aims of Cornwall Council, being delivered through its Environmental Growth Strategy, focuses on moving away from the idea of simply protecting to one of actively enhancing and growing the environment.

Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and public protection said: “The Council’s involvement in and support for the Cornwall Sustainability Awards is something that I am particularly proud of.  The Awards have recognised hundreds of innovative Cornish businesses over the last 15 years and in that time, our understanding of what ‘sustainability’ means has changed.  We have realised how much damage has been done to our planet and the increasing pressures it faces.  We must all look after the special place we call home and I take my hat off to the CSA winners and finalists who are champions of innovative and sustainable business and have shown that economic and environmental growth can go hand in hand.” 

The overall winner was Kensa Heatpumps & Coastline Housing which the judges felt was the best example of a sustainable, local cooperative project that delivered an affordable, green and efficient integrated solution.   Utilising local skills and businesses keen to deliver energy savings both economically and environmentally, the judges said it was an exemplar to all for the sustainable future of Cornwall.  It’s tremendous to see an engineering company in Cornwall leading the way in environmental solutions as our precision manufacturers here have done in so many ways for generations.

Special thanks also go to the sponsors of each award.

Full list of highly commended and winners attached.

You can find out more about the Awards here: Cornwall Sustainability Awards


Story posted 08 December 2017 

Categories: Councils, Politics

'Tis the season to be wary warns Cornwall's Trading Standards

Fri, 08/12/2017 - 14:19

Shoppers are being warned to be wary of opportunistic scams this Christmas by Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team.

The safest way to avoid the disappointment of being ripped off or receiving broken, substitute or poor quality gifts to give as Christmas presents, is to buy goods from genuine, established shops and businesses.

However, with more and more people opting to buy presents online, Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team are urging people to be cautious before entering their payment details on websites or giving them over the phone.

Fair Trade Team Manager Nigel Strick said: “Last Christmas, Royal Mail handled over 138 million parcels, with almost 90% of shoppers buying some or all of their presents online. The average household spends almost £800 on Christmas, which means a lot of money is being paid to online businesses for goods that people haven’t actually seen.

“Unfortunately, this volume of online spending and the pressure associated with ‘must have’ Christmas presents means that there is even greater risk of being targeted by on-line fraudsters, so it pays to take a few precautions and be safe.”

To help people avoid falling victim to scammers and ensure they have a merry Christmas, Trading Standards has issued the following advice:

  • Fake delivery emails or phone calls: In the run-up to Christmas, many people have dozens of packages arriving and often lose track of what they’ve ordered. Scammers know this and send out emails or make phone calls that purport to come from legitimate courier companies. Usually these ask for payments to ‘release’ the parcel or redirect victims to scam websites containing malware or further scams.
  • Stay safe: Never agree to make any payment for the release of a parcel. Delivery companies will usually leave a card if you are out so use the information on that card to check on the delivery company’s website. Check the sender’s address to make sure it is something you are expecting and go to that company’s own website to track orders.
  • Fake online shops: As the pressure mounts to find that ‘must have’ gift or to save money on Christmas present buying or even to find the time to buy the all-important presents so does the number of bogus websites offering exactly what you need and often at bargain prices. Sometimes these sites will look identical to other, legitimate websites – but it’s all part of the scam, designed to trick you into parting with your money. How do you protect yourself against this? What can people do?
  • Stay secure: Look out for the padlock sign on the left of the toolbar and look for ‘https’ instead of ‘http’” at the start of the website address before you enter any sensitive information. This means a website is secure.  Look for online reviews of the website to see if others have had problems or can confirm its authenticity. And check that you know exactly who you are dealing with – the name of the business, its registered office, contact details in case of problems, etc.
  • E-voucher and ticket scams: Trying to save some money or grab a bargain can lead you open to e-voucher or ticket scams. These are often shared via social media or by direct e-mail and can claim to offer free vouchers from well-known brands. But click on the link and you will inevitably be taken to a fake site where you will be asked for a small payment or for your personal details. Online ticket agencies are often the best way to purchase must have tickets for shows, concerts and events – but even some of the larger online sites these days offer tickets they don’t have.
  • Email safety: Be careful when opening any e-mail from an unfamiliar address, no matter how tempting the offer sounds. Poor spelling and grammar is one tell-tale sign that something isn’t right. If in doubt, check the voucher by contacting the actual shop, and only buy tickets from the officially authorised website or box office.
  • Social media scams: Social media sites are often used to advertise amazing deals on electronics, toys, perfumes, fashion clothing and jewellery. But be warned, lots of these offers are completely bogus or are offering counterfeit copies. Either way, your disappointment is the only thing that will be guaranteed. Social networks also make it easy to share links to phishing sites and malware. Only deal with genuine, authorised outlets and websites – companies that you have dealt with before.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection Sue James said: “Remember, if an offer in your email or text inbox sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  It pays to be wary and to treat anything suspicious in the same cautious way that you would any unexpected emails or texts offering to save you money.”

Scams can be reported on 03454 040506 , with advice on the latest scams and how to avoid them available via the Action Fraud website.

Businesses in Cornwall selling goods via the internet can get advice and information about obligations and liabilities from Trading Standards by calling 0300 1234 212 (option 2).

Story posted 08 December 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics

Crowdfund Cornwall helps community projects grow

Thu, 07/12/2017 - 14:50

Individuals, community groups and not-for-profit organisations are being invited to turn their ideas into reality following the launch of a new crowdfunding initiative by Cornwall Council. 

The Crowdfund Cornwall campaign aims to find additional funds on top of Council funding by crowdsourcing support for small-scale projects that will benefit the community or help grow nature. 

Find out more about Crowdfund Cornwall

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Portfolio holder for Neighbourhoods said: “We really want to encourage the crowd to back projects they believe will improve their community. It’s a really inclusive and democratic way to get people connected to their local community, to have a say in how Council funds are spent and to be assured that projects deliver value for money.

“The local community group gets the funding it needs, businesses and residents get to support local innovation and ideas, while the local community benefits from valued projects including improvements to the environment. It’s the start of a truly exciting adventure.”

Cornwall Council Chief Executive Kate Kennally said: “This initiative was received positively by the community as soon as it went live, and we’re really proud to be supporting a Cornish business – Crowdfunder - in the process. We’re also the first Council in the country to promote our Councillor Community Chest funds on a crowdfunding platform.”

Two types of funding are available – Cornwall Councillor Community Chest funds for community projects, or the Grow Nature Seed Fund for projects which help nature thrive.

Residents or group with a suitable idea could play a part in transforming their local area by receiving a pledge of up to £1,000 from their local Councillor from his or her Cornwall Councillor Community Chest fund.

Leader of the Council and Launceston North and North Petherwin Councillor Adam Paynter was the first to help crowdfund a local project.

“Lanstephan area play park in Launceston successfully crowdfunded enough to provide a small see-saw for toddlers that will be installed in the community play park. Match funding of £200 was provided out of my Community Chest fund, and I’m the first Councillor to match fund a project on the platform. At the moment I believe there are seven other Councillors using Crowdfund Cornwall to find projects to match fund in their area, but we’d like to see more.”

Iris Lindsay, Chair of the Lanstephan Area Play Park Committee said: “We approached Adam Paynter to see if he would support us and he agreed to fund £200 through Crowdfund Cornwall.  We had to raise the balance of £300 and thanks to the generosity of the general public this amount was raised in less than three weeks, which means we can now provide new play equipment for the local children."

Alongside the Community Chest funds, Cornwall Council and the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have set aside a total of £10,000 for Grow Nature Seed Fund projects. Successful projects can benefit from up to £500 each and have a chance to double their money through crowdfunding.

The Grow Nature Seed Fund aims to support projects which transform areas of community greenspace to nature-rich habitat through the creation of community orchards, ponds, wildflower meadows and verges, native hedges, or woodlands.

Bude Friends of the Earth wanted to raise funds to create a Community Orchard on a grassy area by the River Neet in central Bude. Match funding from Cornwall Council's new Grow Nature Seed Fund meant they smashed through their original £1,100 target.

Simon Browning from Bude Friends of the Earth said: “Bude Friends of the Earth have been touched by the incredible response to our Crowdfunder appeal. It says a lot about the people of Bude (and Bude fans from around the world!) that we smashed our initial target in a little over ten days, and then our stretch target a couple of days later.

“I'd like to say a big thank you to the Environment Team at Cornwall Council. Without the Seed Fund I don't think we'd have seriously proposed the idea. Thanks too to all of our donors - it’s been very encouraging to see the donations coming in. We can’t wait to get started on planting the orchard!"

Councillor Sue James, Cornwall Council Portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection, said extra help was needed to grow nature.

“Just protecting the diverse and wild spaces we have left is not enough. For the environment to continue to ensure we have clean air, clean water, can grow a range of crops and provide outdoor experiences that are essential to human health, we need to grow nature.

“Through the Grow Nature Seed Fund we want to encourage communities to create areas with conditions for more abundant life and natural systems.  This is essential for wildlife and people and crowdfunding helps local communities to attract more funds for their local projects." 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Newly renovated Helston Library is open and already benefitting the community

Wed, 06/12/2017 - 16:56

Local residents are already benefitting from the newly renovated Helston Library, with a refreshed stock including more than 800 new books, and over 2,000 people through the doors.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for the Neighbourhoods Portfolio, Edwina Hannaford, visited the library today to meet parents and carers of children using the new space, as well as seeing the new interview and computer rooms and the space for Jobcentre Plus services, which will arrive early next year.

The library, which reopened in November, brings Cornwall Council and Department for Work and Pensions services under one roof, reducing costs and ensuring the library’s long term future.

Councillor Hannaford said: “I am delighted to be here today and see for myself the difference this new space is making to people who live and work in Helston.

“We know that libraries help people to develop a lifelong love of reading, but they also have so much more to offer these days. Free WIFI and computer access means that anyone in Helston can improve their digital skills, improve their life chances and reach their full potential.

“That’s why despite the tough economic times, Cornwall Council’s approach to libraries has been different to other Councils across the country. We have focused on building local partnerships and looking at different models that enable Cornwall’s libraries to be retained rather than closed.

“It’s great to see how people in Helston are using the space today and it’s good to know that this space will create opportunities for the next generation.”

The Library and Information Service will initially be open from 9.30am to 5pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10am until 1pm on Saturdays. When Jobcentre Plus moves in early next year residents will also benefit from new self-service access from 9am to 5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays providing extended customer access to the library services in Helston. Customers will be able to use the library, borrow and return items using the self-service kiosks and use the public access computers on these two additional days each week.

Read more information about the Helston Library and Information Service

Story posted 6 December 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics

Fire engines across Cornwall to carry oxygen masks for pets thanks to local donations

Wed, 06/12/2017 - 11:14

Mask WebCornwall’s fire investigation dogs have given a big ‘paws up’ in thanks for the donation of life saving equipment for animals which will now be carried on fire appliances.

The kits, which feature specially designed pet oxygen masks and will be used to help save the lives of pets in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning incident, will now be available on at least one fire engine at each of Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service’s 31 community fire stations.

Donations from Helston-based The Dog House Grooming Company and the RSPCA mean that all on-call stations will now have the kits. Last year Pets at Home donated masks for Cornwall’s wholetime (full time) fire stations at Tolvaddon and Falmouth.

To thank them for their donation, Cornwall’s fire investigation dogs Archie and Woody met with representatives from the three organisations at Helston Community Fire Station.

Kathryn Kelly from The Dog Grooming Company, said: “We have lots of local customers in south Cornwall and their animals are members of their family. They would be devastated if anything were to happen to them and these animal oxygen masks can make all the difference.”

Mask Web 2RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “The bond between people and their pets can be incredible strong and so losing a pet in a house fire can be hugely traumatic. Our pets are vulnerable to the dangers of house fires, and particularly smoke inhalation, just like us. The fire and rescue services do a wonderful job, we’d like to help them not only save the lives of people but also of beloved pets who can be caught up in devastating and terrifying fires. By providing special animal oxygen kits for fire engines in Cornwall, we hope to enable our brave and heroic firefighters to save even more lives.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “I would like to thank the charities for their kind donations. While none of us would want to experience a fire, I hope the availability of this equipment will give comfort to residents who will know their pets will be cared for should the worst happen.”

The kits, created by not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws, include pet oxygen masks in three sizes, a lead and a muzzle in case a rescued animal becomes agitated.   

Brian Lockyer from Smokey Paws said: We urge members of the public and other businesses to support our campaign and join us to get a set of the masks on each of the 3,000 fire engines in the UK.  Every pet deserves the best chance of survival and we know these masks save lives.”

Categories: Councils, Politics

Greater voice for local people on the agenda at the St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel meeting

Tue, 05/12/2017 - 16:46

Residents of the St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network area are being invited to attend the December meeting of the St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel, items on the agenda include giving communities greater voice.

All are invited to attend the Network Panel meeting which takes place on Thursday 14 December between 6.30pm and 8.30pm at Perranzabuloe Parish Rooms, Chyanhale, Ponsmere Valley, Perranporth, TR6 0DB.

There will be a briefing on Cornwall Council’s Cabinet decision in September to strengthen engagement with local communities and give them a greater voice through Community Network Panels. The briefing from Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods will include information on empowering panels by giving them more of a say on important local issues.

At September’s St Agnes and Perrranporth Community Network Panel meeting Peter Hocking from South West Water came along to answer panel members’ questions and explain the existing sewage treatment network systems and how it would deal with increased developments. The panel will be discussing some of the responses from South West Water and deciding what to do next to address local concerns.

At the meeting there will be an opportunity for local residents to ask any questions they may have.

Town and Parish Councillors will be able to give feedback on any local matters that they may have.

Perranzabuloe Parish Councillor Ken Yeo, Chair of the St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel, said: “Everyone is invited to attend the meeting of the St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel. At the December meeting people can hear from Cllr Edwina Hannaford about how communities will have more of a say on local issues so I encourage local people to come along.”

The St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel meets quarterly 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. Some of the areas that community networks focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, transport and highway issues. The panel comprises of all the Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the six Parish Councils (Crantock, Cubert, Perranzabuloe, St Agnes, St Allen, St Newlyn East) in the community network area.

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

Posted 4 December 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics

Multi million pound service to reduce fuel poverty in Cornwall launches

Tue, 05/12/2017 - 15:31

Thousands of people across Cornwall will be lifted out of fuel poverty and live in warmer homes following an £8m funding investment over the next year.

Around 36,000 homes in Cornwall are in fuel poverty, with Cornwall in the top 10 of fuel poor areas in England (according to Latest BEIS fuel poverty statistics for 2015 data year).

The Winter Wellbeing Partnership, led by Cornwall Council and including 30 partners, has secured over £3.5m from National Grid’s Warm Homes Fund to work with thousands of people to stay warmer for less and be lifted out of fuel poverty.  

The new fund - ‘Warm and Well Cornwall’ – targets residents who are in poor health or at risk of ill health, or with underlying health issues, or caring for a vulnerable person or worried about their home being cold or damp.  

Warm and Well Cornwall will help 220 private homes, including owners, landlords or tenants and up to 800 social housing homes with first time central heating, such as renewable heating,  mains gas, oil, or LPG, with many more to follow in future years.     

Social housing partners Ocean, Coastline, Cornwall Housing, Guinness and DCH are investing around £2.5m to improve heating for their tenants with renewable heating and gas central heating. 

Funding has also been secured from SSE Energy Solutions, Cornwall Council’s Energy Efficiency partner.  SSE has ring-fenced Energy Company Obligation (ECO) eligible measures targeted at fuel poor and vulnerable households in Cornwall and is a key partner to delivering Warm and Well Cornwall.  

By January 2019 the programme is expected to have helped more than 1,000 homes out of fuel poverty, keeping people warm and well.    

Private landlords with tenants can also apply for funding to upgrade their properties. From April 2018, private landlords cannot re-let existing rented properties rated EPC F or G, unless they have registered a valid exemption and from 2020 landlords won’t be able to let any (non-exempt) properties if they are rated F or G. 

Cornwall Council Deputy Leader Julian German said: “Cornwall Council’s 2017 resident survey found that 15% of people said finding the money to pay for utility bills was a very big or fairly big problem. Fuel poverty is a significant issue for many people in Cornwall - this programme will go a long way to helping these households stay warm and well.

“Part of this funding is also because of our devolution work.  New ways of delivering insulation improvements to Cornish homes agreed with the Government means we have more control over the decisions on which homes can receive this support.  This will make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of people currently living in cold and damp homes.”

Caroline Court, Interim Director of Wellbeing and Public Health said: “There is a longstanding body of evidence which shows the link between cold homes and poor health. People living in a cold home are at higher risk of lung conditions, heart attack, stroke and mental health problems.  A warm home means a healthier home, and that can change lives.”

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director for Affordable Warmth Solutions who administer the fund on behalf of National Grid said “We are excited about the potential of this investment from National Grid and we’re indebted for the support of our communications partner, National Energy Action (NEA) in reaching our target audiences”.

“Solving the issues associated with Fuel Poverty continues to challenge many of our stakeholders and the feedback we’ve already received provides evidence of how the Warm Homes Fund will make a positive difference to thousands of homes throughout the country. We are delighted to support the Warm and Well Programme and make a difference to the residents of Cornwall.”

Sarah Newton, MP for Falmouth and Truro supports work to reduce fuel poverty and said: “I am delighted to have helped secure this new funding to tackle a long standing problem in Cornwall. Having been a part of the Winter Wellness partnership for some time, I have seen first-hand how effective this partnership of public sector organisations, businesses, charities and communities groups is in delivering positive change for people living on low incomes in Cornwall. Living in a warm home is a matter of social justice and this new programme and investment will help more local people.”

Tony Butler, UK Sales Manager for SSE Energy Solutions added “As their Energy Efficiency Partner, SSE Energy Solutions is proud to support Cornwall Council’s Winter Wellbeing Partnership for the third year running. This exceptional group of likeminded entities, comprising 30 partners in total, all strive towards the same common goal to eliminate fuel poverty in Cornwall.  Whilst other regions share similar objectives, challenges and financial constraints to those of Cornwall, few benefit from such a well-connected group of champions, who, thanks to their input and the council’s coordination, make this partnership a truly bespoke and innovative arrangement.”

Anyone can Call Bev on 01872 326552 to find out if they are eligible for help.

Story posted 30 November 2017

Categories: Councils, Politics