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Updated: 3 hours 55 min ago

Have your say on air quality plan for Grampound

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:04

Encouraging car sharing, increasing the use of low-emission vehicles and the construction of alternative routes have all been put forward as options to help improve air quality in one Cornish village.

Cornwall Council is asking people in Grampound for their views on the draft action plan to tackle pollution as part of the authority’s drive to create a green and prosperous Cornwall.

The plan was drawn up after the village was declared an Air Quality Management Area in 2017 after long term monitoring found that the village has excessive levels of traffic related nitrogen dioxide (NO2) along the A390. 

The A390 is the main contributor to air pollution in Grampound, with private diesel cars contributing around 36% of the pollution, diesel light goods vehicles contributing 27% and large vehicles such as HGVs contributing 18%.  The remaining pollution comes from other types of road traffic.

The consultation will run from this week until 10 December, and will offer local people the opportunity to share their thoughts on the options available.

Bob Egerton, Cornwall Councillor for Grampound, said: “The draft plan includes twelve measures that could help improve air quality in Grampound.  We need as many local people as possible to tell us what they think so we can develop the most suitable options for the village.”

There will be a drop in exhibition in Grampound Village Hall on Tuesday 13 November from 4pm to 7pm with staff from Cornwall Council on hand to answer questions. 

Anyone can comment on the draft action plan proposals at the drop in session, online at www.cornwall.gov.uk/grampoundairquality or by emailing cep@cornwall.gov.uk, posting their comments to the Council or handing them in at any One Stop Shop. 

Sue James, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Protection, said: “Cornwall Council is committed to making Cornwall greener and healthier and as part of our Clean Air for Cornwall strategy we already have a range of air quality projects and policies to help improve air quality across the county. 

“These include minimising emissions from bus and works vehicle fleets, requiring electric vehicle charging points in new homes, introducing car clubs and many others.  Once we’ve considered the comments from this consultation we’ll be able to begin implementing local measures to help improve air quality in Grampound.”

There are eight other Air Quality Management Areas in Cornwall, which include Bodmin, Camborne-Pool-Redruth, Camelford, Gunnislake, Launceston, St Austell, Tideford and Truro.

There’s more information and a link to the online survey at www.cornwall.gov.uk/grampoundairquality

Categories: Councils, Politics

Hot topics for Cornwall Council’s cabinet

Tue, 06/11/2018 - 12:14

Hosting a world-class cycling race and the integration of children’s services are just two of the wide range of topics due for discussion when Cornwall Council’s cabinet committee meets tomorrow (07 November 2018). 

Other subjects covered at the meeting include the authority’s performance for the first six months of the year, and plans to safeguard Cornwall’s natural minerals.

A bid to host the opening stage of the 2020 Tour of Britain cycling race is being considered by the council.  Cycling superstars Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas took part in the event this year.

A report prepared for the meeting details how the majority of costs could be covered by sponsorship, while the event could bring an economic boost worth more than £3million for the area.

Councillor Bob Egerton, portfolio holder for planning and economy, said: “The chance to showcase Cornwall’s glorious countryside through the worldwide coverage of Britain’s largest free-to-watch sporting event represents a real opportunity for us. 

“The benefits it could bring are not just financial, it would also help raise the profile of cycling in Cornwall and motivate people to lead healthier, more active lives.”

Also due for discussion are plans to integrate children’s education, health and social care services into a single entity.

Sally Hawken, portfolio holder for children and wellbeing, said:  “This change will allow us to further improve the quality and effectiveness of services for children, young people and families in Cornwall.

“At present, the access to support that the most vulnerable people need can be fragmented, and by making this change, we can provide a more effective, streamlined service.” 

The latest performance reports from the council will also be discussed at the meeting.  These quarterly reviews offer a chance to see where the council is performing well, and to spot problem areas quickly and to deal with them.

Also set for discussion is the Minerals Safeguarding Development Plan, a planning document which looks at ensuring we use our natural mineral resources in a sustainable manner to ensure their benefits will continue for generations to come.

The agenda for cabinet can be found here

You can watch the meeting live at 10am on Wednesday, 07 November by visiting the Cornwall Council website www.cornwall.gov.uk

Posted on 06 November 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Programme to transform Adult Social Care takes a positive step forward

Tue, 06/11/2018 - 10:23

Potential annual savings of up to £3.2m a year have been identified,  just six months into a project to improve adult social care services in Cornwall.

The company Newton Europe were commissioned in December last year to see how they could streamline services to be more efficient and enable people to live happier and healthier lives in their own homes for longer.

Cornwall must fundamentally transform and improve the way services are delivered if we are to avoid cutting services to vulnerable adults.

Ensuring this is done in the most efficient and evidence-based way will put Cornwall Council in a much stronger position to meet future pressures and help people to age well rather than relying on residential care.

The council’s reablement service STEPS, which helps people get back on their feet quicker after a period of illness, will also allow a predicted 1,000 more people a year to benefit from the service.

The STEPS team are also working more closely with the social work team based at St Austell hospital and seeing more people helping to relieve some of the pressure on NHS services.

The social work assessment team and older adults team have been identifying community based solutions where appropriate, avoiding costly home care or residential packages.

Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “Whilst delivering much needed efficiencies for the council the main benefit is to the people of Cornwall who currently receive care or will in the future.

“Following the success of this initial piece of work, which has largely been based in the middle of the region, the changes will be rolled out across Cornwall in the New Year.“

This trial is part of a broader piece of work that the council is working on in partnership with Newton Europe. Cabinet members agreed that the Council will engage Newton Europe to deliver a contract worth up to £4 million, depending on the success of the programme. The initial analysis showed potential to achieve savings of up to £17 million.

An update on the Adult Social Care Transformation Programme was given at a Cornwall Council All Member Briefing on Friday 2 November.

Posted on 6 November 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

More choice on living options for older people in Cornwall

Tue, 06/11/2018 - 10:20

As part of a plan to help older people and those in need of care live independent and healthier lives for longer, Cornwall Council will create 3,500 ‘Extra Care’ housing units across the county.

An update on the programme was given during a Cornwall Council All Member Briefing on Friday 2 November.

National trends show that that Cornwall has an increasing older population with a significant numbers of older people living alone, with long term illnesses and with dementia.

Nearly one in four residents of Cornwall are aged over 65 and this number is due to increase by a further 40% over the next 20 years.

Extra Care units offer people an alternative from residential care and allow them to live in their own homes with their own front door with care and support available around the clock if they need it. 

Cornwall Council’s first step towards this plan is to develop a strategic partnership to deliver a minimum of 750 units. 

The scheme will provide cost effective options to older people with a mixture of units for sale and for rent.

Portfolio holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “These will be self-contained homes with their own front doors where people have access to care and support when they need it. People often think about downsizing their homes as they get older so Extra Care is an attractive option when planning for possible care and support needs in the future. 

“Evidence shows that helping people to live independently for longer in homes like these, often closer to their family and friends, leads to healthier and happier lives. This in turn reduces their need to use health and social care services, alleviating demand on already stretched services.”

They will be co-designed with local communities to recognise the different characters of towns in Cornwall.

The other ways in which this scheme will be delivered are:

  • Remodelling partners’ existing capacity (such as sheltered housing and care homes) that are no-longer fit for purpose. 
  • Market shaping - to identify and develop opportunities with new and existing providers to deliver accommodation suitable for older people’s needs.
  • Direct development – there may be opportunities for the Council to directly build especially in areas where the market is less responsive.

Posted on 6 November 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Man guilty of selling illegal and counterfeit goods after raid by Cornwall Council Trading Standards officers

Mon, 05/11/2018 - 13:53

A man from Chacewater has been found guilty of selling illegal tobacco, counterfeit DVD’s and alcohol from his home.

Neal Andrew Phillips (52) of Boscawen Road, Chacewater, appeared at Truro Magistrates Court on Wednesday 31 October, pleading guilty to a number of charges.

Following tip offs from members of the public, Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards officers, with the assistance of Devon and Cornwall Police, raided his home.

They seized a large quantity of tobacco products, counterfeit DVD’s, illegal alcohol and cash, along with records indicating that Phillips’ illegal business had turned over as much as £176,000 in a two-year period.

Magistrates severely reprimanded Phillips stating that only his early guilty plea and his medical condition had saved him from an immediate custodial sentence to reflect the seriousness of his offending. 

Phillips was ordered to undertake an eight month community order, to serve an eight month curfew between 8pm and 8am (7 days a week) and to wear a tag. He was also ordered to pay £4000 towards the prosecution costs. Phillips will also face proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act in respect of cash seized from the property. 

All of the illegal items seized during the Trading Standards operation were forfeited for destruction.

Steve Brown, Interim Service Director for Wellbeing and Public Health said:

“The work by Trading Standards to get cheap cigarettes and tobacco off the streets directly supports our efforts to reduce smoking levels in Cornwall. We know that price is an important motivator when a smoker decides to quit, so the sale of cheap tobacco undermines this. As smoking is the number one cause of preventable ill health, anything that can be done to reduce smoking levels has to be a good thing for the residents of Cornwall.”

Councillor Sue James, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection said: “I am proud of the work that our Trading Standards officers undertake in combatting sales of illegal tobacco. This criminal activity affects the health of local communities, undermines local businesses and starves our schools and health services of unpaid taxes.

“In this particular case, officers received good information from members of the public and we would encourage anyone with information about illegal tobacco sales in their area to report it via CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 or by email to report-it@cornwall.gov.uk

Posted on 05 November 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Innovative Time Credits currency to recognise volunteers and support those with complex needs in Cornwall

Mon, 05/11/2018 - 10:54

An innovative new project, which sees vulnerable individuals rewarded for volunteering in their local communities, has launched in Cornwall.

The Time Credits programme is commissioned by the Council and Community Safety Partnership and run by time-banking charity Tempo. It was first developed in South Wales. Success of the currency has led to rollout in areas across the UK.

The Cornwall Time Credits programme is aimed at people with complex needs, including those with experience of homelessness; drugs and alcohol problems, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

They are encouraged to get involved within their local communities by identifying their interests and talents, and using them to play an active role within the services they access.

The scheme has seen participants develop new hobbies, skills and confidence, and engage in their communities in a more meaningful way.

Through this, they can earn Time Credits for hours contributed, which can then be ‘spent’ on community, cultural and leisure activities in the local area such as the Seal Sanctuary, Minack theatre, Tate St Ives and from 30 October at 14 Leisure Centres across the county.

In addition, Cornwall residents can spend their credits across Tempo’s national network of partners including attractions such as the Blackpool Tower and St Paul’s Cathedral, if they go out of the area.

Tempo, the charity behind Time Credits, is working alongside Cornwall Council’s Community Safety Service, based with the Drug and Alcohol Action Team and local organisations and services to deliver the new programme.

It was launched in the Safer Penzance area at the beginning of year, and is now being run by both Safer St Austell and Safer Truro as well. Over the next two years the project will be Cornwall wide.

The official launch of Cornwall Time Credits in Penzance on Tuesday brought together agencies and individuals involved with Time Credits to celebrate and publicise the arrival of this innovative project, the first in the South West.

Time Credits1
Cornwall-based organisations in the commercial, leisure and cultural sectors interested in joining the programme can elect to become part of Tempo’s nationwide network of corporate partners.

Tempo Time Credits CEO Ian Merrill said: “We are very excited to formally launch Cornwall Time Credits, collaborating with public services and voluntary and community organisations, and the private sector to encourage more people to give time to their community, whilst recognising their valuable contributions. Tempo can demonstrate - from across the country - the benefits that Time Credits bring to individuals and their communities.”

Paul Walker, the Chief Fire Officer for Cornwall, who opened the Launch event said: “It’s great to be involved in such a positive project that is making a huge difference to individuals, helping them to give back to communities where they have been supported and subsequently building community resilience.”

Kim Hager, Joint Commissioning Manager at Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Drug and Alcohol team, said: “This is such an exciting project and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Tempo Time Credits to deliver it throughout Cornwall.

"The scheme supports the Council’s ambitions for safer and healthier communities by prioritising our most vulnerable residents. If we can get it right with the most vulnerable, we can get it right for everyone.

"By building their skills and confidence through volunteering, the programme not only helps the individuals, but brings more back to local communities. I look forward to working with the Tempo Time Credits team.”

Councillor Sue James, portfolio holder for environment and public protection at Cornwall Council, said: “It is fantastic to see such an innovative project launched, and offers a real opportunity to help some of our most vulnerable residents, while giving back to the community.

“It really demonstrates how working together with our partners can help to protect and improve lives across Cornwall.”

Rachel Battleday leads the Time Credits programme at Cosgarne Hall. She said: “Supporting the residents to engage in voluntary work and being able to acknowledge and reward them is a massive boost to their confidence, self-esteem and well-being.

“The external volunteers really benefit from Time Credits and it’s important for us to be able to thank them as well. Supporting the residents to keep active is a key part in their progression into independent living, future employment and helps prevent them from becoming institutionalised”

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall gears up for Brexit and beyond

Fri, 02/11/2018 - 16:00

Preparing for every eventuality, including “no deal” and securing extra devolution to grow Cornwall’s economy after Brexit, are central to Cornwall Council’s Brexit plans, Members were told at a briefing today.

With five months left to go, Councillors heard how Cornwall is influencing policy on Brexit at a national level, with the Chief Executive speaking for Cornwall on a new national Brexit advisory panel assessing the impact of Brexit across the South West.

Members were told that the “New Frontiers” plan has put Cornwall in a strong position to attract new opportunities for trade and inward investment and create at least 38,000 new jobs in Cornwall post-Brexit.

Growing Cornwall’s already strong space, lithium mining and renewable energy sectors as well as attracting entrepreneurs and more small businesses to Cornwall are all at the heart of the plan to build resilience into Cornwall’s economy.

Cornwall has carried out a detailed assessment of the potential impacts of Brexit on the workforce and how that might have an impact on more traditional industries such as fishing and agriculture. This is being kept under close review in light of emerging Government guidance and progress of negotiations between the EU and the UK.

Cornwall Council’s Leader, Adam Paynter said “As the UK prepares to leave the EU and the Government’s plans are still uncertain, I want to make sure that Cornwall is in the strongest possible position to compete against the rest of the world as new trading opportunities emerge.

“Cornwall’s New Frontiers plan provides a strong blueprint to enable us to compete and thrive both nationally and internationally after Brexit.

“As well as putting plans in place to expand new sectors such as space technology, exploration of minerals and renewable energy, our plan also means that we can evolve our more traditional industries like fishing, farming and tourism by simplifying regulations for those industries.

“My belief is at this time, when the country is exploring new trading opportunities and considering how to replace regional funding subsidies, our plan is an opportunity for the Government to help us build an economy that not only works for Cornwall, but contributes to a strong overall economy in the UK after Brexit.”

Posted 02 November 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Council listens to residents about introduction of resident only parking schemes

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:44

The Council has listened to the community and will be introducing six new resident only parking zones in Truro.  The introduction of these zones is in response to a long history of residents’ concerns regarding traffic management and parking in their streets. The new permit schemes are due to come into force on 01 April 2019.

Some residents told us that they would be worried about where carers would be able to park when visiting people living in one of the residents only parking zones.  The Council has taken that on board and will be introducing new permits for both formal caring organisations and people who provide informal care.

Free overnight parking to ease the evening and overnight parking pressure in some residential areas has already been introduced in many Cornwall Council car parks.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said:  “We have listened to all sides and come to the conclusion that there is a need to put these zones in place to address the parking issues in these areas of Truro.

Commuters currently driving into Truro should consider using the Park and Ride or buying a season ticket which means you can park in selected car parks at a discounted rate.”

Geoff Brown adds: “Parking permits for the new resident only parking zones will be priced at £50 per year with a second permit costing £75.  This is to cover the cost of introducing and patrolling the schemes.”

The six zones in Truro will cover the following areas: Park View area, GreenClose, Newham Road, Hendra area, Trehaverne Terrace area, Wheal Sperries way. Full details will be sent to each affected property.

These areas were identified from earlier surveys and engagement events carried out by the Council since 2016.

A package of waiting restrictions to improve traffic flow and safety will also be delivered in Spring 2019.

 

Story posted 01 November 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Eighth RSCPA award in a row for Council's work with stray dogs

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 10:50

Cornwall Council's dog welfare and enforcement team has been awarded an RSPCA Gold Footprint for the eighth year in a row for its work with stray dogs.

This consistent record has meant the Council will also receive a Platinum Footprint award at the RSPCA’s forthcoming Community Animal Welfare Footprint Awards. The awards scheme – now in its tenth year - recognises organisations which ensure high welfare standards for animals in the services they provide.

With the number of strays reported to the Council at a record low, the team have been praised for their role in educating owners about responsible pet ownership, as well as offering microchipping and dog tags,  and an out of hours dog warden service.

While the number is falling, the Council deals with around 800 stray dogs and works with a number of charities to rehome around 70 unclaimed canines each year, explained Councillor Sue James, Cornwall Council's portfolio holder for environment and public protection.

"This award recognises the contribution our hard working officers make in helping owners understand their responsibilities as well as successfully reuniting pets with their loved ones," she said.

"We will do all we can to find the owners of stray or missing dogs, but there are steps dog owners can take to reduce the likelihood of their dog needing our services. This means making sure your pet is kept safe at all times. However, accidents can happen and we can reunite your dog much more quickly if they are wearing a tag and are microchipped. Dog owners have been legally required to microchip their pets since 2016, as well as ensuring that their dog wears a collar and tag so there is no excuse."

The majority of stray dogs reported to the Council have no tag with relevant owner contact details.

Find out more about Cornwall Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement service and information on dog fouling complaints, noise complaints in relation to dog barking and microchipping.

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Budget: Council welcomes extra one-off funding but warns austerity is not over

Wed, 31/10/2018 - 14:12

Cornwall Council today welcomed the Chancellor’s budget announcements of additional one-off funding, but warned that austerity is not over.

Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter said the budget would provide some additional funding to Cornwall, but stressed that this was negligible compared to the savings the Council had been forced to deliver due to reductions in central government funding over the last decade.

“Cornwall has some of highest levels of deprivation in the country. To say austerity is over is insulting to the people who live here and struggle day in and day out.

“The reality is Cornwall will be dealing with the consequences of central government funding cuts and austerity for years to come, and yesterday’s Budget won’t rectify that.

“In order to achieve this, we will need to fund vital services ourselves through council tax, business rates and charging for services, as well as finding new and efficient ways to do deliver those services differently.“With core central government funding slashed from £150m four years ago to £14m next year, Cornwall Council is planning for the need to be self-sufficient from April 2022.

Adam Paynter“This is why we felt we needed to propose a 1.99% increase in council tax in our most recent budget proposal, with an additional 2% precept for adult social care services to fund increasing demand.”

“While we welcome any additional funding, the people of Cornwall are not going to have the wool pulled over the eyes – the reality is that local government is being forced to deliver more and more services funded by local residents.

"Cornwall is expected to see less than one per cent of £650 million announced for social care next year, and a similar share of £420 million to fix potholes."

Extra funding for schools, disabilities facilities and children’s social care are also expected to see small amounts of funding provided to Cornwall.

Councillor Paynter said he was pleased Cornwall will be one of the first to benefit from accelerated rollout of full fibre with £200 million allocated to pilot innovative approaches to deploying full fibre internet in rural locations, starting with primary schools, and with a voucher scheme for homes and businesses nearby.

“I’m also pleased to see that the budget recognises concerns we have been raising for many years about people seeking to reduce their tax liability by falsely declaring that the property is available for let. We welcome the government’s decision to consult on the criteria under which self-catering and holiday lets become chargeable to business rates rather than council tax,” he said.

The Council is undertaking further analysis of the impacts of the Budget.

Councillor Paynter also said that, despite the budget not signalling an end to austerity, he remains ambitious for Cornwall.

He said: “I would like to accelerate the dialogue with Government on further devolution to Cornwall as articulated in our New Frontiers document, ensuring that more services for our residents are directed by local decision making rather than decisions in Whitehall. As the only rural area to have negotiated a devolution deal, with the challenges that we face it is more important than ever that decisions that affect our residents are taken locally.”

The Council is undertaking further analysis of the impacts of the Budget.

Posted on 30 October 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall could play host to sporting superstars

Wed, 31/10/2018 - 11:37

Cornwall could see cycling heroes such as Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome pedalling through its glorious countryside in two years’ time.

A bid to host the opening stage of the Tour of Britain in 2020 could bring an estimated £3.4 million economic boost to local businesses.

There would also be a longer-lasting legacy of raising the profile of cycling in Cornwall and motivating more people to get on two wheels and lead healthier, more active lives.

Cornwall Council’s cabinet will meet to discuss the proposal next week, and, if the plans are given the go-ahead, sponsorship of around £300,000 would be sought in order to offset the costs.

Tour Of Britain

Research shows the Tour of Britain delivers a boost to local economies, attracting between 150,000 and 250,000 visitors to each stage, increasing local spend across the route, day visitors and overnight stays in the local area. 

Cllr Bob Egerton, portfolio holder for Planning and Economy, said: “The anticipated economic impact of hosting the Grand Depart Stage of the Tour of Britain in 2020 is estimated to be at least ten times the cost of hosting the event and it could be a very real catalyst for attracting investment into our cycling infrastructure ambitions in Cornwall. 

“The Tour of Britain is the biggest free-to-watch spectator event in the country and hosting the event will grow the international recognition of Cornwall as a world class year-round active holiday destination.”

David Potter, Chair of the Tour of Britain Working Group, has been instrumental in the campaign to bring the tour to Cornwall.

He said: “I have been a fan of professional road racing for over 30 years. 

“In 2016, whilst waiting on a roadside in Wales for the noisy, colourful, dynamic circus that is the Tour of Britain to pass by, I began to wonder why the race had not been to Cornwall in its current guise. 

“Recognising that Devon has hosted the race many times, I started to look at how to bring the Tour of Britain to Cornwall. 

“Inspired by the support of many City, Town and Parish Councils representing over 80% of the population, local MPs and the cycling community, I was absolutely delighted that Cornwall Council supported the commissioning of a feasibility study. 

“The spectacle speaks for itself; using the dramatic Cornish landscape as a backdrop, it will be world-class sport and drama being performed on our doorstep. 

“Supported by the expected economic benefits, it is a golden opportunity for Cornwall to reinforce its reputation for putting on high quality events and to highlight to the world, the beauty that we experience every day.”

The race attracts some of the world’s best cyclists, including Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas this year, and it is televised on ITV4 and Eurosport, attracting a minimum of 500,000 viewers per live coverage of each stage.

It is the UK’s leading professional multi-stage cycling road race and the biggest free-to-watch spectator event in the country. 

Hosting the Grand Depart would help promote Cornwall as a year-round activity and sports tourism destination, showcasing our existing cycling infrastructure and future ambitions to improve routes throughout Cornwall.

Visit Cornwall is highly supportive of Cornwall hosting the event, saying that when the value of the media coverage is included, the economic benefit rises to over £10m.

Malcolm Bell, CEO of Visit Cornwall, said: “With Cornwall featured on the Grand Depart on a weekend, the profile building value and advertising equivalent value is massively increased, as it will showcase Cornwall throughout that day along with far more people undertaking day visits on a non-working day for many – this in effect doubles and more the direct economic spend on any other day of the Tour.”

The costs have been based on information shared by Devon County Council who have hosted the event ten times in ten years, and on research produced for the Tour of Britain Working Group.

Chris Opie, former professional cyclist, said: “As a proud Cornishman and Cornwall’s most successful professional cyclist, I am a lifelong athlete who grew up in Cornwall, but had to look further afield for inspiration from world class athletics. 

“Should the bid to host the Tour of Britain be successful, the opportunity to inspire a younger generation would be incredible. 

“The chance to witness the world’s top athletes competing in one of the world’s toughest events right on their doorstep, enabling a generation to dream and to aim for large, exciting, ambitious goals could be genuinely life-changing.” 

Posted on October 30, 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Response to Local Government Ombudsman report

Tue, 30/10/2018 - 11:18

Cornwall Council accepts the report of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) and findings. There were several shortfalls in the response of the Council to the situation Mr B was in between August – October 2016.  We have apologised to Mr B and to his mother for those failings.

We take on board the recommendations of the LGSCO.  Although this was a unique and exceptional case, we will learn from it and do everything we can to prevent it ever happening again.

A great deal has been done since 2016 to develop a range of housing options for homeless young people.

In the last year the Council has worked with over 100 young people aged 16-17 who have been at risk of homelessness or homeless and needing assistance.  This is a growing problem nationally. 

In these circumstances the Council treats the young person as if they were in care while its children’s and housing services undertake a joint assessment of their needs.

Working with young people in these circumstances is complex and challenging.  There are no easy solutions.  

In this particular case, there was a breakdown of relationship with his family and we did not have the legal power to take this young person into care against his will.

In these circumstances professionals try to work with a young person as an individual, respect their wishes, develop a relationship with them and persuade them to make more positive choices.

Wherever possible, staff are expected to try to mediate between the young person and their parents to sort out the problem and enable them to return home.  In the vast majority of cases, as in this case, this is what the young person wants.

In this case the young person’s bail conditions did not allow him to return to live with his father, who lives in Cornwall.  He was found ‘supported lodgings’ while the assessment was undertaken, but unfortunately he was asked to leave.  He then refused an offer of foster care. 

His mother lives outside Cornwall but felt unable to have him home to live with her.  She also felt unable to allow the Council to use her holiday property in Cornwall whilst more suitable and permanent accommodation could be found that was acceptable to him.

The worker supporting him felt it was better for him to stay on a campsite rather than for him to become street homeless, with all the risks that entails.  However, this went on for too long and there were several points where the Service could have done more to support him.

Throughout this period Mr B wanted to return home to the care of one of his parents, but despite the efforts of the worker this did not prove possible. 

He was finally persuaded to accept specialist, supported accommodation for homeless young people.

Posted on 29 October 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Getting your ghost on doesn’t have to cost Cornwall the earth

Tue, 30/10/2018 - 09:59

Families celebrating Halloween in Cornwall are being urged to save money and the planet this year after some scary statistics revealed a few horrifying facts about the amount of rubbish we generate on 31 October.

Last year in the first fortnight of November we threw away 125 tonnes of Halloween costumes and 180 tonnes of pumpkin flesh in Cornwall.

In fact, Cornwall Council estimates Halloween paraphernalia accounted for a frightening 2.4% of our waste stream for the two-week period.

Now the Council’s waste and recycling community engagement team is issuing a reminder: getting your ghost on doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Sue James, Cabinet portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: “Having seen just how much waste was generated in Cornwall following last year’s Halloween, this year is a great opportunity for households to reduce, reuse and recycle. Love your pumpkins – there are lots of recipes out there to help you make the most of them. And if you don’t want to eat them, compost them instead.

“Small actions like these can make a big difference and help reduce the amount of rubbish we generate.”

Find out how to have a greener Halloween with six easy waste reduction tips.

Cornwall's Halloween statistics - did you know?
  • 1 in 6 people spend more than £50 on Halloween every year*.
  • 42% of Cornish residents buy pumpkins.
  • A frightful 157,500 (70%) of those pumpkins aren’t eaten.
  • Most of those uneaten pumpkins end up at our Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC) where they are incinerated and converted into energy - only about 11% are composted.
  • It’s easy to compost your food waste. Learn more about composting your food waste at home

*according to market research analysts Mintel

 

You can recycle your Halloween plastic sweet tubs and cardboard and paper decorations using the Council’s kerbside collection service.

Cornwall Council decides whether or not to introduce kerbside food waste collection on 19 December, a move which could reduce our unnecessary residual rubbish by 35% and would see us meeting our waste reduction targets.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall’s gritters gear up for winter

Mon, 29/10/2018 - 13:49

As the nights drew in and the temperature dropped this weekend, Cornwall Council’s gritters were out in force ready and prepared to keep motorists moving this winter.

The gritting crews went out for the first time this weekend as road surface temperatures hit below zero. Our first runs last year, were carried out in early November, with final gritting carried out on the last day of March.

During the severe weather last winter, gritting crews covered 75,000 miles of road – more than three times around the globe – and used around 14,000 tonnes of salt to help keep Cornwall’s roads moving as freely as possible.

Gritters For Web1

A fleet of 25 gritters is on permanent stand-by from now until next spring, ready to roll as soon as road surface temperatures are forecast to drop.

Working with road sensors and weather experts, the crews aim to have roads gritted at least an hour before road temperatures reach freezing point.

Last winter, 20% of the roads in Cornwall were regularly gritted along  25 routes. These roads carry 80% of the traffic, and include access to hospitals, secondary schools and bus stations.

Councillor Geoff Brown, portfolio holder for transport, said: “Keeping Cornwall moving through the winter is critical to our economy, especially as we really never know what the weather will be. This weekend was a case in point – we all felt the chill!

“While we often enjoy milder winters than the rest of the country, but we can still experience cold conditions. That’s why we make sure we’re prepared for anything. Our salt is already stockpiled and we’re ready to go out at a moment’s notice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Our gritting crews, which are delivered by Cormac, are out gritting in the early hours of the morning while most of us are asleep to make sure our journeys are safer. We’re as ready as we can be for whatever winter might throw at us this year.” 

Gritters For Web2

Councillor Brown also asked drivers to ensure they and their vehicles are also prepared for winter.

“Before you set out, check your vehicle, the road conditions and the weather forecast. If conditions are poor, and journeys are not essential, consider waiting until the weather gets better – this should improve journeys, and give our gritters a chance to treat the roads.”

Categories: Councils, Politics

Council gives green light to bark and ride

Mon, 29/10/2018 - 10:47

Dog lovers are welcoming the decision by Cornwall Council to bring the park and ride at Truro into line with most bus and rail services in Cornwall, by allowing pet dogs to ride with their owners.

Following a three month trial over the summer, dog owners will be able to make full use of the park and ride facilities which operate between Tregurra Road and Langarth at Threemilestone. They will benefit from convenient parking, a fast, regular shuttle service into Truro city centre and seamless onward journeys by public transport across Cornwall.

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Transport, Geoff Brown said: 

“We want to see more people using public transport across Cornwall, and that means making it easy and accessible for everyone. Dogs are currently welcome on the majority of bus, rail and ferry services, so it made sense to standardise the rules and encourage dog owners who were previously unable to take advantage of the park and ride, to cut congestion and avoid queueing when they visit Truro.

“Over the last three months we have listened to people who use the service and I am delighted that the reaction has been has been overwhelmingly positive towards dogs being allowed onto the park and ride with their owners. A million passengers a year use the service. We hope this move will mean even more passengers will give it a go.”

The park and ride service has carried more than 5 million passengers in the last five years, taking more than 550 vehicles off the roads around central Truro each day. By widening the service out to those who want to take public transport when they travel with their dog, we can encourage even more people to use the service, helping to cut congestion on the roads in and around the city centre.

Guide dogs have always been allowed to accompany their owners on the buses since the park and ride first opened in 2008. By allowing pet owners to take advantage of the park and ride, the aim is to attract people who would previously have been discouraged from using the service.

Posted on 29 October 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Experienced poultry keeper Michael Jackson and partner Joanna Lutey convicted of animal welfare offences

Mon, 29/10/2018 - 09:35

A couple have been banned from owning or keeping poultry for ten years after allowing their animals to fall into a ‘shocking’ condition.

Michael John Thomas Jackson, 30 and partner Joanna Caroline Lutey, 42, of Boldventure Close, St Austell pleaded guilty to a number of animal welfare and related charges.

Officials from Cornwall Councils Quality Standards and Animal Health Team and Veterinary Inspectors from the Animal Health and Plant Agency visited Jackson and Lutey’s land at Boscoppa on a number of occasions.

Chickens and rabbits were being housed in extremely small and dirty, rodent infested, barren cages.

The defendants were failing to meet even the basic needs of their animals by failing to treat sick birds and, failing to provide their birds and rabbits with water, feed and clean litter.

Passing sentence, District Judge told the couple the state of the birds was shocking and that the defendants should not have let it get out of control.

She gave the defendants credit for their early guilty pleas and could see that enormous efforts had been made.

After considering the evidence before her Judge Baker had to take into account the welfare of the birds and banned both Jackson and Lutey for ten years from owning or keeping poultry.

Jackson was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work and Lutey was order to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work.

The couple have been ordered to dispose of their birds within two months and, ordered to pay the Council £4,000 towards costs.

Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection said:  “We do try to support people across Cornwall to comply with the relevant legislation when it comes to keeping animals.

“However, when we find cases of neglect, we are duty bound to take formal action to ensure the welfare of the animals and to protect the reputation of the Cornish livestock industry.”

Story posted 29 October 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Care technology trial gives Cornwall man his independence back

Thu, 25/10/2018 - 11:04

A simple piece of technology, used as part of a trial by Cornwall Council, has given a local man suffering from an anxiety disorder his independence back.

Chris Tebble, 32, from Wadebridge, had found himself unable to go outside on his own, often having episodes where he couldn’t remember where he was and was then unable to get home.

Chris was given a ‘Footprint’ device that, with the touch of a button, allows him to keep in touch with his family and ‘Alfi’, Cornwall Council’s round the clock monitoring service. Alfi are able to speak to him, reassure him and let his family know where he is.

Chris said: “I do feel more confident, like I can go out on my own. I don’t need my partner to hold my hand every step of the way. I’ve gone from not being able to leave the house to being able to help my family with everyday things, like going to the shop to get some milk.”

His partner Caroline Bray said: “This really takes the pressure off. I know that Chris can go out and if he does have an attack we can find him quickly and support him.”

There are a number of trials being undertaken by Cornwall Council that are looking at how different technology devices can support people to build and maintain their independence.

Cornwall Council Portfolio holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “Just having this device has made immeasurable difference to Chris’s life. It has given him his confidence back by knowing that if he does have an anxiety attack, he can easily get in touch with someone who can help him straight away.

“This is an example of how a simple piece of technology has given someone their life back. Chris and others like him are able to go about their normal, independent lives without being overly reliant on others.

“Appropriate use of technology can also reduce the likelihood of people needing to go into residential care, or requiring expensive support packages, at a time when demands on already stretched adult social care services are increasing and funding from central government has been drastically reduced.”

The Footprint device that Chris uses is a small piece of technology that he can wear around his neck. It features a button to press should he need some support. Pressing the button connects him to the local Alfi monitoring centre who assess the situation with him and can use GPS tracking to tell his family where he is so they can find him and bring him home.

Other trials underway look at technology enabled care (TEC) which supports people in the main areas that cause them to lose independence. These are around:

  • Social isolation
  • Falls and falls prevention
  • Dehydration
  • Frailty and dementia
  • Keeping people safe

Once complete, the trials will be assessed and could potentially help other vulnerable people across Cornwall.

Story posted 25 October 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Chairman Hosts Charity Ball in aid of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

Thu, 25/10/2018 - 10:37

A ghostly figure of a WW1 Horse and Rider will herald the start of the 2018 Poppy Appeal as they deliver a message to the people of Cornwall from those who fell and did not return from The Great War in 1918.

The ceremony will take place at a charity ball at the Falmouth Hotel hosted by Councillor Mary May, Chairman of Cornwall Council, on Friday, October 26.

The ball also marks the official Cornwall Poppy Appeal Launch.

The horse and rider will make their way from Events Square in Falmouth towards the seaward side of the Falmouth Hotel where, welcomed by a lone piper piping a lament, the rider will – without a word – hand the message housed in a spent cartridge to Group Captain Mike Trace who will receive the message on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant.

Councillor Mary May, a long-time supporter of the Royal British legion is asking for the general public to wear their poppy with pride and to help support the Armed Forces community past and present.  She said “I am delighted to support this year’s appeal; every donation received will make a real difference to the lives of Service men and women, veterans and their loved ones. 

"The Royal British Legion uses the donations from the annual appeal to make a real difference to all of our Forces families in their hour of need.  It is so very important to support those who have served and presently serve in our Armed Forces."

 Annie Binding, County Fundraiser for the Poppy Appeal said, “The Royal British Legion is marking the end of this First World War Centenary year by saying ‘Thank You’ to the generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world.  

"Everyone has a connection to the First World War, and therefore we all have a reason to say ‘Thank You’ for the legacy that such an extraordinary generation left for us.”

She added: “The First World War left countless legacies that positively impact our lives today, from ground breaking social change and timeless works of art to pioneering innovations. 

"As we come to the end of the First World War Centenary now is the time to come together in our communities and say a huge ‘Thank You’ for the lives we enjoy today”

Story posted 25 October 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Have your say on affordable home building in Cornwall

Thu, 25/10/2018 - 09:37

Residents have been urged to have their say on how affordable new homes should be built in Cornwall.

The draft Supplementary Planning Document is out for consultation until 5pm on 30 November. 

Once finalised, it will provide guidance for developers, landowners and the general public on how affordable homes need to be built as part of any new property development. 

Last year, of the 3,400 properties built in Cornwall, more than 900 were affordable homes, the majority of which were made available for people to rent.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for planning Bob Egerton said: “With high house prices and lower than average wages, there are plenty of people living in Cornwall who need help finding a home. This is why Cornwall Council is working hard to provide more affordable homes for local people.

“This Supplementary Planning Document will help us achieve this by ensuring that developers, landowners and individuals proposing to build in Cornwall are clear they must be building the right homes in the right places for the right people.”

The Supplementary Planning Document will also give guidance to those proposing to self-build and to those building specialist housing for the elderly and disabled. For example, there is guidance for developers building self-contained homes with design features and support services available to help more elderly residents live independently.

Cllr Egerton added: “Strong planning policies are vital in ensuring new development is of the highest quality that meets the needs of our residents, while helping us resist unwanted and speculative development so we can preserve our precious environment and plan for and deliver the infrastructure that businesses and our communities need and want.”

Further details and the document is available: -

 

Story posted 25 October 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Council encouraging young people leaving care to claim back council tax

Wed, 24/10/2018 - 13:34

During National Care Leavers Week, Cornwall Council is looking to find over 200 young people who have left care who could be entitled to council tax relief.

The council is encouraging care leavers to come forward to find out whether support, including an exemption brought in this year on paying council tax, could help them take their first steps towards independence.

The Council is asking all 21 – 25 year olds who have left care, to call Joss Wills, 16 plus manager on 01872 327536 or speak to their previous personal advisor, to find out more.

Changes to the Children and Social Work Bill 2017 expand on the council’s corporate parenting duties to care leavers up to 25 years old. This means that more young people leaving care in Cornwall are eligible for a range of help and support.

Portfolio Holder for Children and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken said: “These are young people who have left care to live independently, in many cases much earlier than their peers.  They also are much more likely to experience debt difficulties. We want to give them help at the point where they need it most.

“These young people might be taking their first steps into life on their own, who may not have access to support networks, so the council would like to help support them.

"This ties in with the theme of this year’s National Care Leavers Week, which is raising awareness about the need for supporting individuals after they leave care, and help them as they enter adult life.

“If you have left care, or are leaving care, please get in touch.”

The Council estimates about 200 more young people who have left care in Cornwall could now be exempt from paying council tax following the changes.

So far, 79 young people have successfully come forward to claim the exceptional relief award, which automatically exempts them paying council tax.

The Council already offers a 16 plus service that works with care leavers, in partnership with a local voluntary organisation, Carefree. The extended council tax exemption will be part of the local offer to care leavers and will make a significant difference to young people. 

 

Categories: Councils, Politics