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Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

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. 

Pgn 1401 2Countyyouthensemblep

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

Residents invited to ‘Discover Pydar’ and give their views on planned regeneration

Wed, 10/04/2019 - 16:50

02 Pydar

Image courtesy of  www.grahamgaunt.co.uk

Want to plant a tree, learn about birds, bugs and beasties and help shape the exciting plans being developed to regenerate Pydar? Then come and join us in Truro on Saturday, 13 April and Sunday, 14 April to Discover Pydar.

The two days of Discover Pydar activities are being organised by Cornwall Council in partnership with Truro City Council and Truro BID to help raise awareness of the Vision being developed for the future of the Pydar Street Regeneration site. 

On the first day (13 April) we will be joining the Children’s Day celebrations being staged at Lemon Quay between 10 am and 4pm. Come and check out the plans which are being developed for the Pydar site and give us your views on the emerging proposals.

On the Sunday we will be moving to the area next to Truro Bowl where we will be focusingon celebrating nature and the environment. We will also be encouraging people to “explore Pydar” and consider the type of homes that the site could provide for one and all. All activities are free of charge and there is no need to book a place. We will be there between 12 and 4pm and look forward to seeing you.

“This is the first of a series of community events which will be taking place at Pydar over the coming months “said Councillor Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Economy. “By staging different kinds of activities on the site we want to encourage as many people as possible to come and find out what is being planned for Pydar and to give us their views on the emerging proposals. “

“This event is focused on nature and the fantastic environment around the site, including the nearby woods and the river which runs from the viaduct to the Cathedral. Future activities will include a “Get Active Weekender” in July with a three day programme of outdoor events delivered in partnership with leisure and sports providers; a Dawn to Dusk festival in September, with free music and a Community Dig Week in October which will celebrate the past history and heritage of the site”.

Truro’s Mayor Lindsay Southcombe is also encouraging people to come along to the Discover Pydar events. “The Pydar team will be at the children’s day on Saturday, 13 April with Wild Truro” she said.  “Come along and help us design the perfect homes, for butterflies, birds and bugs within the future Pydar Street neighbourhood”. 

Local Cornwall Councillor Bert Biscoe added “Pydar Street was evacuated for redevelopment in the 1950s/60s. It was a vibrant, long-established neighbourhood community which poured energy, strong values, business and care into the life of Truro – building its culture and economy. The ‘great 1960s plan’ went awry. The ‘surrendered space’ became offices, warehouses, car parks – and the life, indeed, the light, went out of it.Reacquired by Cornwall Council, and with the town, like all market towns, facing economic and social change, what do we, the community of Truro, want? Would the town centre be enlivened and safer if people lived in it again? Could a new occupation of Pydar Street bring community life back into the heart of the modern town?  

“So what do we want for Truro? Should we re-inhabit Pydar Street? Should we build a rail halt at Claremont Terrace (behind the Crown Court)? How should we manage the lovely River Allen? Should Pydar orchard be re-established? How can a renewed Pydar Street help Truro to manage and combat climate change?  Don’t let consultants and developers call the shots. Cornwall Council is our Council. It has a great opportunity to find out what putting community back into town can encourage and inspire – Truro has said too little for too long about itself, feeling that it is ignored, and that only money talks. With Cornwall Council as the owner, the community entitled to say what it wants, how it wants tomorrow’s Pydar Street to  evolve – Like Jan Stone said:’If somebody says something, then something might happen; if nobody says nothing, nothing will!

Following the Council’s decision to support the principle of developing the Pydar Street site last year, the authority has been working with partners and key stakeholders to produce a detailed scheme to be submitted for outline planning permission at the end of this year.

Award winning architects PRP have been appointed to lead the development of the outline plan and will be staging a series of workshops and other activities over the next few months to encourage the local community to help shape the final Vision for the site. The design team will be at both events to provide further information about the project and its potential. 

“We want to transform Pydar into a dynamic, inclusive community, where affordable homes, cutting-edge innovation and businesses, new social and cultural opportunities and an active waterfront become both a destination and gateway to Truro, driving the city’s significance and prosperity for the future “ said  Bob Egerton.

“This means working closely with the local community to shape the future of this key site which sits at the centre of our capital city”

Story posted 08 April 2019 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cash and training available for community and nature projects

Wed, 10/04/2019 - 15:23

Bude Community Orchard 002

Community groups can apply for up to £1,000 to create more woodland, orchards and hedgerows in their towns and villages as part of an innovative Cornwall Council and Crowdfund Cornwall project.

As part of the Grow Nature Seed Fund, the Branch Out campaign is aimed at increasing the tree canopy in Cornwall by supporting small-scale projects for wildlife-rich spaces.

There is also a chance to apply to Cornwall Council’s Community Chest Scheme to support projects to improve local areas, from geothermal-heated pools to pollinator-friendly planting schemes to music festivals and first aid courses.

Free crowdfunding training for potential projects is available this month in Launceston, Bodmin and Camborne and cash is potentially available for each eligible scheme both from the Grow Nature Seed Fund or Cornwall Councillor Community Chest Scheme.

Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency earlier this year setting out aspirations to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Trees play a vital role in absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen so woodland creation provides a cost-effective solution to greenhouse gas emissions as well as giving social and economic benefits to communities.

Carefully situated trees and hedgerow planting can also protect soil from erosion caused by wind or rain and reduce the risk and impact of flooding.

A report from State of Nature based on wildlife data has highlighted that over the long term, the UK has lost 53% of woodland species and a further 11% is threatened with extinction. 

Sue James, Cornwall portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, said:

 “If you are a nature lover and have a particular soft spot for trees and woodlands then Branch Out might just be what you need to turn your passion into reality.

“It’s a scheme aimed specifically at increasing tree cover in Cornwall by supporting woodland, orchard and hedgerow planting.

“You may be a community group keen to plant fruit and nut trees, a town or parish council or scout group wanting to increase tree cover in and around your premises, or a residents’ association with ideas for more street trees to enhance your local area and improve air quality. If so, we’d love to hear from you.”

The Grow Nature Seed Fund scheme and Crowdfund Cornwall have already successfully supported projects such as the Bude Community Orchard.

This project raised £1,760 with 55 supporters in 28 days thanks to the local community and £500 pledged by Cornwall Council. These funds were used for the planting of a traditional orchard, which combined with the group’s existing biodiversity trail will support wild bee populations and create awareness of their vital role in pollinating.

The fruit will be distributed to the community to help promote healthy diets, and the site will be enhanced throughout the year, especially at blossom time.

Crowdfund Cornwall is holding three free workshops giving advice on attracting community funding for projects later this month.

Topics to be covered include the benefits of crowdfunding, what makes a good crowdfunding project and accessing advice and support.

Register to attend an event at Camborne on 23 April, Bodmin on 24 April or Launceston on 30 April.

Cllr Edwina Hannaford, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, said: “Crowdfund Cornwall is all about making great projects happen by harnessing the power of local community action to draw donations, publicity, supporters and volunteers from people from all walks of life who believe in your project.

“These free workshops are a fantastic source of information and inspiration to anyone in a local community who has a great idea and thinks crowd funding might help them to turn it into a reality.”

Any locally constituted and recognised ‘not for profit’ organisations are eligible to apply for the Grow Nature Branch Out scheme or other community projects funded by Crowdfunder.

For more information, please visit the Grow Nature toolkit page or email Grow-Nature@cornwall.gov.uk  

 

Story posted 10 April 2019 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Are you one of Cornwall’s inspiring 60 over 60s?

Wed, 10/04/2019 - 10:12

Are you aged 60 or over and could you inspire others to live and age well? Do you know someone over 60 who encourages you to follow their example and do something to live happily and healthily? If so we want your nominations to help us find Cornwall’s #60over60.

The Council is launching the “60 over 60” campaign to find residents whose stories can inspire others to make small changes to their lives. The campaign aims to shift the sometimes negative perceptions of ageing and celebrate the valuable contributions that older residents make to the community.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to encourage more people to think about the positive steps that they can take to live happily and healthily, including becoming more active and making more social connections.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for adults Rob Rotchell said: “There is growing evidence that social isolation and inactivity are contributing greatly towards some of the health issues we are facing today.

“We know that there are many over 60s in Cornwall who are good examples of ageing well.  They can help others see that sometimes making a small change, getting out of the house, indulging in a new hobby or volunteering can be a huge benefit to their ongoing good health”

Being more active has a number of benefits, for example, reducing the risk of falls – a leading cause of injury and confidence issues in people over 65. Research also suggests that having close social connections and taking part in social activities can enhance physical and emotional wellbeing in later life.

Lucy Teagle from Newquay is going to nominate her mum Tess, an Instagram sensation.  Lucy says: “She’s formed a great connection with the people who follow her, she puts on photos of things she enjoys and mean something to her.

“Her health and happiness has improved as a result.  She’s gone on lots of walks around Cornwall and generally being more active has helped her a lot. I think her Instagram account inspires other people as she proves you don’t have to know loads about technology to be able to do something like this”.

People can nominate themselves or others and there is no set idea on what ageing well looks like. It could be that you or someone you know who is over 60, goes for a swim every day, no matter the weather.  You may be a volunteer, or you know someone who has a keen interest in art, or they just have a positive outlook on life which helps them maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.

People can nominate online, with entries being shortlisted by a panel including Cllr Rob Rotchell, Nigel Clark from Age UK Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and Tarn Lamb from Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change to find the top 60 over 60s who can inspire us all to get out there and live life to the full.

Profiles of the top 60 people will be shared across media and social media as part of the campaign with the aim of inspiring others to make their own positive plans to age well.

Visit our 60 over 60 webpage to find out more information about the scheme and how to nominate.

Posted on 10 April

Categories: Councils, Politics

A new app for dads in Cornwall is being launched

Mon, 08/04/2019 - 10:26

Taking your newborn baby home is an exciting and emotional time but, for some new parents, it can also be overwhelming and leave them uncertain on what to do. 

Help is now at hand for new dads in Cornwall, though, thanks to the launch of a new mobile app version of the DadPad.

Working closely with Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow commissioned the development of a Cornwall-specific version of the existing DadPad app as part of their child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) transformation funding. 

The DadPad app is an easy-to-use resource for new dads and dads-to-be in Cornwall, packed with relevant information, as well as details on local support groups and service providers. Its aim is to provide new fathers with information on how to develop the mindset, confidence and practical skills needed to meet their babies’ physical and emotional needs. 

Building a strong attachment will not only enable dads to better enjoy their new role but also contribute towards positive long-term social, health and educational outcomes for their babies. Crucially, the app also provides dads with guidance on how to support and seek help for their partners and themselves as they adjust to their new roles, and cope with the physical and emotional strains that this can place on individuals and relationships.

Portfolio Holder and Cabinet Member for Children and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken, said: “Dads need to realise just how important they are within their family - right from the very start of their child’s life - and the real impact they can have on their baby’s development.

"It’s important that new dads feel as informed and confident as possible in their role, in order that they can give the very best support to both mum and their new baby.

“This is the first time that all of this information has been available for Cornish dads in a mobile app, which is excellent for using on the go. 

"As well as gaining skills and knowledge on caring for their baby, themselves and their partner, using the app also allows dads to access contact details for local family services together with up-to-date health information and guidance. It’s great from our point of view, too, as we’re able to get content revised at the push of a button, as information or advice is updated.”

The DadPad app is produced by Cornish-based Inspire Cornwall CIC – a community interest company – which also developed the original hard copy DadPad in 2012.

Company director Julian Bose explains: “The DadPad was created because babies don’t come with a set of instructions, and dads told us that there was important information that they wanted to be given on what to expect and how to care for their baby.  We listened to what dads, their partners and health professionals asked for and combined it all in the DadPad.

“With technology playing such a big part in everyone’s lives today, developing an app to complement the existing DadPad seemed the obvious next step. This has opened up a world of possibilities in delivering new content and features and, crucially, getting updates and news out to the dads quickly and easily.”

Tom Matthews, who has just become a dad to his son, Ollie, said: “Like most people, I hadn’t really thought much about all the practical, ‘nitty gritty’ of becoming a dad until we started getting closer to the due date.  As our little boy arrived nine weeks early, this meant I actually felt quite unprepared when it all became real.

“The DadPad was absolutely fantastic; it explains everything in a really clear way, without being patronising. However many different books you read on parenting, you will get that many different opinions on everything, so it was great to have a ‘definitive’ guide, with links to further information.”

All DadPad content is continuously reviewed and evaluated, and feedback received from dads helps inform its future development.

The Cornwall DadPad app is available for free download on both Apple and Android devices. Once downloaded, dads simply need to enter their postcode to gain access. 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Visitors to Cornwall urged to keep our beaches looking beautiful this Easter

Fri, 05/04/2019 - 11:40

Cornwall’s beaches are among the best in the UK, with more iconic blue flags and seaside awards than any other county.

With Easter fast approaching, and thousands of visitors expected to flock to Cornwall’s beaches for the first time this year, Cornwall Council is asking visitors to join forces with Council staff, more than 50 community organisations and countless volunteers who all work tirelessly to keep Cornwall’s beaches among the safest and cleanest in the world.

The message from Cornwall  is clear: when you visit Cornwall’s beaches this year, love them as much as we do, enjoy every minute, stay safe, leave only your footprints behind and take your litter home.

Cornwall Council currently manages and delivers a wide range of services on beaches to keep visitors safe and our beaches at a great standard for people to enjoy, including:

  • through the RNLI, funding lifeguards on 60 Cornish beaches throughout the season including 14 beaches during Easter
  • managing the bathing water quality at 86 beaches
  • providing beach cleansing services at 34 beach locations across Cornwall

In addition, the Council also works in partnership with a wide range of community organisations and charities, harnessing the considerable power of local volunteers, to ensure that our coastline is safe, sustainable and litter free including:

Through a partnership with Sharps Brewery, Cornwall Council  facilitates applications from across Cornwall for blue flag and seaside awards, which raises awareness of the quality of Cornwall’s beaches and the need to sustainably manage them;

  • Working with a wide range of environmental groups including the Cornish Plastic Pollution coalition, who recently highlighted the dangers of dropping plastic on our beaches and the effects on the surrounding marine life by creating a “meal” out of plastic waste as part of the 2018 Great British Spring Clean
  • Funding a number of #2 minute litter pick stations across beaches last season
  • Working with South West Water through “Beachwise” to raise awareness of bathing water quality and give bathers an informed choice about when and where they bathe
  • Planning to fund better access to a number of beaches through our capital investment programme

Cornwall Council’s Portfolio holder for environment and public protection Sue James said: "Cornwall has over three hundred miles of coastline, including some of the best beaches in the world! We have a duty to take care of them for future generations. I want to thank the very many volunteers all across Cornwall who raise awareness about marine litter, organise beach cleans, all playing a valuable role in helping us to keep our beaches special.

“Our coastline is there for everyone to enjoy so we need everyone who visits to play their part in preserving our beaches, protecting the natural habitat of our wildlife and keeping them clean and safe. So, when you visit a beach, make sure you take all your belongings home and don't leave litter for others to pick up. 

“Disposable nappies and wet wipes can play havoc in public toilets at beach sites' if not disposed of properly. Remember only pee, paper and poo can be flushed down the loo!

“David Attenborough showed vividly how harmful plastic is to the natural environment and wildlife. There is no place for plastic on a beach – so, reduce what you take there and any you take, dispose of responsibly or take home."

Posted on 05 April

Categories: Councils, Politics

Structural investigation work begins ahead of improvements to Penzance promenade

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 17:31

Penzance Prom Pic Resized

Work is starting on a major Cornwall Council funded scheme to revitalise Penzance promenade so that residents and visitors can enjoy Cornwall’s only Victorian promenade for years to come.

The improvements will be completed and ready ahead of the Tour of Britain road cycling event in 2020 when the eyes of the sporting world will be on Penzance as the field of world class cyclists assemble on the promenade for the start of the race.

Survey work has begun to look at the structural condition of the promenade which has been the victim of storm damage over recent years.

Once this work has been carried out, we’ll be asking groups, including local Cornwall Council members, Penzance Town Council, Penzance BID, local environment and heritage groups and schools in the area for their opinion on how the Promenade should look.

The plan is to hold a public exhibition in Penzance towards the summer to present the ideas from these groups with the re-surfacing scheme and other works anticipated to begin this autumn.

Cornwall Councillor for Penzance Promenade Jim McKenna, has been calling for improvements to the promenade and says: “I have been working to try to secure funding for a new surface for the Prom since the day I was elected.  The fantastic news that the 2020 Tour of Britain will start from Penzance means that we can now look forward, not just to the race and the boost that will give our town, but also long-awaited investment into the Promenade, which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike. I would also like to place on record my thanks to those in Cornwall Council who supported Penzance in this, together with the Town Council, BID and Chamber of Commerce – a great example of partnership working.”

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “Regenerating the promenade, which has taken a battering over recent years, will encourage more visitors to come to the area which will in turn contribute to the local economy.  Our residents know best what works for their community and so it is tremendously important that they are involved and have an opportunity to share their ideas on how the area should look.”

The Penzance promenade re-surfacing scheme is a key part of Cornwall Council’s ambition to provide a Mount’s Bay trail and wider Bay to Bay cycling and walking trail.  A designated cycle route adjacent to the Promenade will be developed and in time, the plan is to see the Mount’s Bay route continue to the north coast via St Erth, Hayle and St Ives, connecting communities, attracting visitors and creating economic and cultural opportunities for West Cornwall.

The Penzance promenade scheme is the first phase of investment in the Promenade ahead of a longer term regeneration and coastal protection scheme proposed by the Environment Agency.

 

Story posted 04 April 2019 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Pay boost for hundreds of workers as Cornwall Council gains Foundation Living Wage accreditation

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 16:46

More than 800 workers are enjoying a pay boost as Cornwall Council becomes a Foundation Living Wage accredited authority.

The move will see workers across the Duchy receive an extra £10 million in their pay packets over the next four years.

Now leaders at the council are urging other businesses across the Duchy to follow suit and start paying the enhanced wage for their lowest-paid staff. 

Cabinets Members With Flw Accreditation Certificate Web

Cabinet members pictured with the Foundation Living Wage accreditation

 

The difference is currently £9 per hour compared to the UK’s minimum wage of £8.21.

The council started paying its directly employed staff the Foundation Living Wage rate in 2015.

In order to gain accreditation, the scheme is being expanded to include the Council’s group of companies and contractors the authority directly employs.

The 800 employees affected will see an average salary rise of 7.7%.

Councillor Julian German, deputy leader of Cornwall Council, said:  “It is fantastic to become an accredited Foundation Living Wage authority, it clearly shows our commitment to helping support our lowest paid members of staff.

“We now hope other businesses across Cornwall will follow this example when they are able to, it is good for businesses as well as employers, and will help end Cornwall’s reputation as a low-wage economy.” 

The news has been welcomed by Cornwall’s business community. 

Kim Conchie, chief executive of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: “Cornwall is fast becoming a desirable place to set up and run tech and other 21st Century, flexible, dynamic businesses. To do this we have to display 21st Century values all round.

“One aspect of being a great place to work is having the accreditation and certainty that individuals will be paid Living Wage Foundation rates.

“So we applaud Cornwall Council in taking this lead and encourage all businesses to follow suit when they are able.”

Research, and the experience of those who have already started paying the Living Wage, shows the huge benefits such a change can bring, not just for the employee receiving the enhanced wages, but also for the business paying them.

Nine out of ten businesses across the UK say it has improved the reputation of their business, while three-quarters have reported better motivated staff, and lower turnover rates.

It also benefits the wider community, creating a ‘virtuous circle’ with higher pay spent locally boosting the local economy.

One such local business is Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park, where owner Patrick Langmaid has been paying the Foundation Living Wage since 2015.

He said:  “Once we started paying it, we soon realised that as well as being an extra cost, there were benefits for the business as well.

“As well as the positive PR, staff retention has improved, and our ability to employ the best members of staff has also increased, something we have found especially important as the flow of foreign labour reduces to a trickle.

“For other businesses, I would suggest it is not a question any more of whether you can afford to pay the living wage, but a question of can you afford not to going forwards?”

 

Posted 04 April 2019

Categories: Councils, Politics

Major milestone met as planning permission is granted for new St Austell to A30 link road

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 13:25

Planning permission has been granted for a major project to build a new 3.9 mile road linking St Austell to the A30 which will better link communities in and around St Austell to the rest of Cornwall and the UK.

The new road will link the A391 at Carluddon with the A30 at Victoria, supporting employment, housing and regeneration in the area.

The Government has said it’s prepared to contribute £79m to the scheme after a strong funding bid from Cornwall Council to the Department for Transport.  The remaining £6m of funding for the new road is coming from Cornwall Council.

Cornwall Council's Cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Geoff Brown, said: “The new road will boost business, inward investment and job growth as well as improving access to Cornwall Airport Newquay.

We’ve worked with local communities and businesses on the detailed proposals for the new route to get feedback on this vital scheme which will boost economic growth in the mid Cornwall corridor between Newquay and St Austell.”

The new road will run from the Singlerose Roundabout south of Stenalees, bypassing to the west of Roche to link to the A30 via the Victoria junction.

Additional measures to improve the environment and reduce traffic speeds for residents through Roche, Bugle, Stenalees and along the B3274 Bodmin Road, will also form part of the project.

Cornwall Council member for Bugle Sally-Anne Saunders said: “This is great news for the communities I represent in Bugle and Stenalees.  The community improvements will come at the end of the build of the road so we have to be patient a bit longer to see those benefits.  It will be worth the wait as they will make a great difference to the people who live along the main road as it is at the moment."

Cornwall Council member for Roche John Wood said: “In time, traffic and big lorries will be gone from the villages and that is a promise we can make to our residents. This road will give people back their village.” 

The next stage is to appoint a contractor to design and build the road and then submit a final business case to Department for Transport for release of the funding.  Construction could start in spring 2020, with the new road opening in early 2022.

 

Story posted 04 April 2019 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council signs up to ‘Charter for Families Bereaved through Public Tragedy’

Wed, 03/04/2019 - 11:03

In the event of a public tragedy people in Cornwall can be assured  they will be provided with all available resources to support them, as set out in the ‘Charter for Families Bereaved through Public Tragedy’ that Cornwall Council has signed up to.

The ‘Charter for Families Bereaved through Public Tragedy’ was proposed by Bishop James Jones in his report on the experiences of families affected by the Hillsborough disaster, published in November 2017. It formalises a commitment to transparency and acting in the public interest which is fully in line with the Council’s own priorities.

Portfolio holder for environment and public protection Sue James said: “As a public body it is our role to work for the people in Cornwall and a key part of that is making sure they are fully supported when emergencies occur. Our emergency plan means that Cornwall Council will work with its partners to make sure that help gets to those that need it, as soon as possible.

“This charter sets out a formal pledge for agencies across the country to ensure that everyone can expect to have all efforts made to consider their physical and mental health, welfare, employment and much more in the event of an emergency situation. We have had no hesitation in signing up to this commitment”

Another part of the charter confirms the council’s commitment to openness on public scrutiny, making full disclosure of relevant documents, materials and facts so that we can learn from any findings and past mistakes.

This also includes making sure all staff treat members of the public with respect, to apologise where we fall short and to be accountable to the public.

Read the charter in full

Read about Cornwall Council’s emergency plan procedures 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Parish Council secures future for St Agnes Library

Wed, 03/04/2019 - 10:39

The future of St Agnes Library has been secured with the Parish Council officially taking over the service from today (Monday 1 April).

The library has reopened under management of St Agnes Parish Council as part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme.

Following today’s transfer St Agnes Library will remain part of the countywide service meaning customers will keep their existing library cards and will still be able to visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.

The Parish Council will support all the key services essential to a modern library (including book loans, free computer access and weekly rhyme time sessions to toddlers and carers) with support from Cornwall Council.

The library opening hours have increased by 7.5 hours per week and there will be a renewed emphasis on outreach work with schools and other groups in the community as well as utilising the skills of volunteers.

Cornwall Council has expressed thanks to the Parish Council for its commitment and hard work throughout the process.

St Agnes Library’s devolution is part of a wider package including the transfer of two free car parks (Trelawny Road St Agnes , Porthtowan Shoppers) and  two public toilet blocks (Trevaunance Cove, Porthtowan).

Cllr Mike Bunt, Chair of Property and Devolved Services at St Agnes Parish Council, said: “I am proud that the Parish Council is devolving these essential services and actually extending the opening times of both the library and the public conveniences.

“I believe that having a public library and well maintained conveniences says a lot about the status of our Parish.  I am especially proud as I can remember using the original mobile library in Peterville and then the Portacabin in the Trelawny Road car park until the new library building was built.”

Cllr Jinny Clark, Chair of the Parish Council, said: “As a parish councillor I am so pleased to see how much the parish council is expanding and taking on greater responsibilities. The increased hours for the Library and the extension of outreach work can only be of benefit across the whole community. I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work over the devolution period.”

St Agnes Cornwall Councillor Pete Mitchell said: "Today is a wonderful day for the jewel in St Agnes's crown, our library. As libraries are closing all over Britain Cornwall has saved its libraries with a scheme of devolving them to parish and town councils and community groups.

"So many people have been involved in this procedure that it would be impossible to thank them all personally but they have all played their part in ensuring the future in saving our library and it is with great optimism that we look to its future."

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We have been working closely with town and parish councils and community groups to find the best custodians for local libraries through our Library Transformation Programme.

“Our aim has always been to work with partners and communities to create sustainable services aligned to local needs. As a result of our agreement with St Agnes Parish Council, local residents will be able to continue enjoying their library for many years to come."

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Find out about community safety in your town

Tue, 02/04/2019 - 12:04

Residents in 10 Cornish towns can find out how community safety is being improved in their area at a series of engagement events run by Safer Cornwall.

In partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) the events will provide residents with the opportunity to ask their Safer Town partnership team what work is taking place within their town and to raise any concerns or issues they may be experiencing.

The Safer Towns Scheme launched last April and takes a multi-agency approach to tackling community safety issues, to improve feelings of safety and public reassurance, reduce the risk of harm to the community and protect vulnerable groups.

The partnerships work to reduce and prevent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour. The scheme was rolled out across Camborne and Redruth, Falmouth, Bodmin, Saltash and Liskeard and re-launched in Truro, Newquay, St Austell and Penzance. 

Safer Towns on Tour events are here:

  • Liskeard - Saturday 30 March, 10am –1.30pm, Liskeard Public Hall
  • Falmouth – Tuesday 2 April, 11.45am - 2.45pm, The Moor
  • Truro - Saturday 13 April, 9am at Lemon Quay
  • Newquay - Saturday 13 April, afternoon, venue to be confirmed
  • St Austell - Thursday 25 April, from 9am, Alymer Square
  • Bodmin - Thursday 25 April, 1.30pm - 4.30pm, Mount Folly
  • Penzance - Wednesday 1 May, 11am - 2pm, Market Place (adjacent to Lloyd’s Bank)
  • Redruth - Friday 3 May, 9.30am - 12pm Market Strand / Market Place
  • Camborne - Friday 3 May 1:30pm - 4pm, Commercial Square
  • Saltash - Saturday 22 June, all day at Saltash Regatta (Waterfront)

 Work has taken place over the last year to establish the Safer Town groups and develop action plans based on crime information through Town Profiles and feedback from the Cornwall Council Residents’ Survey. 

The scheme was supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) with £5,000 allocated to each town.

Partners have reviewed priorities in their towns and put forward proposals for how the funding should be spent locally. There are a number of new projects, campaigns and outcomes which have been delivered in 2018/19 and will be put in place during 2019/2020 through the support of the PCC.

All Safer Towns meet on a regular basis to share current intelligence, raise concerns and deal with emerging dynamic issues collectively.

A key factor in the success of the scheme is the wide membership of the groups, which include public, private and voluntary organisations who are able to feed in local intelligence and local issues.

Each town is unique with different community safety priorities and there have also been a number of initiatives which have been rolled out through all the Safer Towns.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez, said: “Part of the role of PCC is to encourage interested groups to come together to find solutions to community issues.

“So I am really pleased to be able to support the Safer Towns Scheme because it’s the perfect example of that ethos and we are already starting to see results where the groups have been active for some time.

“I think that getting out onto the streets and talking about their work, encouraging people to talk about their issues and report them to the appropriate authority.”   

Sue James, cabinet portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, said: “These engagement events are a great opportunity for residents to air any concerns they have about community safety in their towns as well as find out more about what is being done to tackle issues.”

To find out more please visit www.safercornwall.co.uk/safer-towns

Categories: Councils, Politics

Keeping people warm and improving their health wins energy efficiency award

Tue, 02/04/2019 - 11:52

Work to tackle fuel poverty for up to 1000 residents in Cornwall has won regional recognition. The Warm and Well Cornwall programme won Large Scale Project of the Year on Friday evening (29 March) at the South West Regional Energy Efficiency Awards. The programme was nominated in three different categories, and was also Highly Commended in the Council/Authority of the year category on the night.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are in the top 20 locations for fuel poverty across England, and have a high level of older cold and damp cottages.

Warm and Well Cornwall is a partnership between Cornwall Council, SSE and National Grid, through the Warm Homes Fund, with the support of over 30 local partners. It’s been improving health of Cornwall’s residents by making homes warmer and drier. Since the programme started they’ve warmed up over 1,000 people by providing first time central heating and better insulation.  Many people often overlook the link of poor housing conditions and the impact it can have on a person’s health, and even their ability to be able to work. A damp home can make asthma worse, being cold can make people with long term health conditions at a greater risk of complications.  By making homes better, it means a reduction in ill health and a reduction in hospital visits.

Councillor Julian German, deputy leader for Cornwall Council launched the programme in February 2018. “I’m so proud of what this amazing partnership has done for our residents. In the last year we’ve not only made over 1,000 people warmer and happier, we’ve also made them healthier too. Not being warm affects your physical and mental health. Being cold makes it hard to concentrate on homework, or to apply for a job or to want to even get out of bed in the morning. The stress of worrying about how you’ll pay for additional expensive heating just makes it all worse. This partnership is such a good example of the power of working together”.

Tony Butler, UK Sales Manager for SSE Energy Solution added: “We believe this is a fantastic example of how partnerships between public bodies and private enterprise can produce concrete, long-term benefits for customers, both in Cornwall and in the rest of the country. Not only have SSE Energy Solutions, Cornwall Council and the other stakeholders involved helped customers in poor health and fuel poverty reduce their bills and improve their energy efficiency, but the partnership has helped drive economic growth across the region, creating jobs for multiple trades in all parts of the supply chain.”  

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, a community interest company who administer the Warm Homes Fund on behalf of National Grid, said: “We are excited about this investment from National Grid and are delighted to support the Warm and Well Programme and make a difference to the residents of Cornwall.

“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 Great Britain.”

For anyone who needs advice on reducing energy bills, or getting help to make their home warmer should call Community Energy Plus on 0800 954 1956.

Categories: Councils, Politics