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Updated: 6 hours 53 min ago

Future of Wadebridge Library secured as town council formally takes on management of the service

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

The future of Wadebridge's much-loved library has been secured with Wadebridge Town Council officially taking over the service.

Following the transfer of Wadebridge Library and Information Service, town councillors have maintained their commitment to improving the service and increasing opening hours.

Under the new arrangement the building on Southern Way will continue to provide all the key services essential to a modern library as well as access to a range of Council services.

Wadebridge Library will also 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.

Councillor Phil Mitchell from Wadebridge Town Council, said: “I would like to thank my fellow Councillors and the parishioners of Wadebridge for fully supporting the Town Council taking over the Wadebridge Library and Information Service.

“Wadebridge Town Council has ensured the continued provision of the library service for not only the residents of Wadebridge but for all those residents in surrounding parishes and across Cornwall who use this service.  We will work with Cornwall Council to develop the service supported by the residents of Wadebridge and continue to use this valuable resource for our community.”

The agreement is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, which aims to give local communities more say on how local assets are used and managed, explained Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for neighbourhoods.

“Libraries are important to our residents and this is why we have been working closely with town and parish councils and community groups across Cornwall to find the best custodians,” she said.

“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.”

Categories: Councils, Politics

Hot topics for Cornwall Council meeting include second homes and Brexit

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Motions regarding second home tax rules, the Stadium for Cornwall and Brexit are among the topics up for debate at a full meeting of Cornwall Council tomorrow.

The safeguarding of Cornwall’s mineral deposits, and the authority’s position on gambling will also be discussed.

Other motions to go before the chamber will include councillors’ use of paper, and walking to school route assessments.

Councillors will also be asked to consider the capital programme for the year, including a £4 million increase to fund the next phase of the Pool Innovation Centre project.

The meeting will take place in the council chamber at New County Hall in Truro at 10.30am.

Members of the public are welcome to attend council meetings in person or watch the meeting live via a webcast on the council’s website.

Posted on 03 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall set to have more autism friendly leisure centres

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Leisure centres in Cornwall can now assess whether they are autism friendly and how they can improve to receive an autism friendly status.

The Autism Spectrum Team at Cornwall Council has teamed up with Cornwall Sports Partnership to offer training about autism spectrum conditions for sports coaches and activity leaders. This includes information and principles to have in mind when including people with autism.

Communication passports have also been created to make access to leisure centres easier for young people with autism.

The passports are aimed at helping any member of staff who is going to be interacting with the child – such as sports coaches, lifeguards and receptionists, to understand more about the person with autism, and how best to help them enjoy the activities. They provide information on the young person's daily life, their likes and dislikes, and how best to support them.

Councillor Sally Hawken, Portfolio Holder for Children and Wellbeing said: “A huge amount of good work is going on in Cornwall to improve the lives of young people with autism, and we have already received positive feedback from independent sports and leisure providers in Cornwall.

“Public places can create a lot of anxiety for people with autism, as they may struggle with social interaction, noise and a different environment. They may have sensory differences, and the experience of going to a leisure centre could prove to be hard, and prevent people going out as a family or enjoying the facilities. 

“It is very important that our community and leisure facilities are accessible for all to enjoy, as this is important for our health and wellbeing.”

Leisure centres in Bodmin and St Austell are leading the way by undertaking autism awareness training for all of their staff starting in December.

The idea came as a result of a strategy to make Cornwall more autism friendly thanks to a partnership led by Cornwall Council.

In 2016, Cornwall’s Children and Young People’s Autism Strategy identified several priorities that needed improvement for young people and their families, which included leisure services and education.

Cornwall Council, along with Cornwall Sports Partnership, the Dreadnought Aspires Project, and GLL – a charitable social enterprise which manages Cornwall’s leisure centres, formed a working group to look at ways to make community and leisure services more accessible to people with autism.

As a result, there is now an Autism Spectrum section on the Get Active Cornwall website, which contains both information for providers of sport and leisure activities, and for parents and young people with autism. Parents and carers can also search for ‘autism friendly’ centres via the website.

Another of the priorities for the strategy centred round education. Some children had to move schools as a result of bullying, and some teachers lacked knowledge and understanding of the needs of children with autism.

Cornwall Council’s Autism Spectrum Team (AST) is delivering a range of activities to support schools to meet the needs of pupils with autism.

To improve knowledge and understanding in education, Cornwall Council’s Autism Spectrum Team offers an Autism and Social Communication Friendly School Package free to all mainstream secondary schools. Sixty percent of schools have signed up to complete the package by the end of the academic year 2018/19.

By engaging with this package schools have the opportunity to work closely with an Autism Advisor to develop their provision. St Ives School is the first secondary school to complete this process and received their Autism and Social Communication Friendly School certificate last week from Jane Black, Service Director, Education and Early Years.

 

Posted on 3 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall’s Winter Wellbeing guide launches for its eighth year

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

As the weather turns colder Cornwall residents are being reminded of ways to keep warm and well with the launch of the 2018-19 Winter Wellbeing guide on Monday 3 December 2018.

The practical guide gives information on insulation, heating, saving money on energy by switching, help for those with a health condition who can’t afford to heat homes and support to help people into employment.

Over 30 partners are joining forces with Cornwall Council to launch the eighth year of the campaign, which will run through to 31 March 2019.

Being able to heat a home is not just about keeping warm, but about all the benefits associated, such as:

  • keeping away mould which can make illnesses such as asthma worse
  • helping people to concentrate on staying in work or applying for work
  • reducing energy costs and debts to then reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing

Over 350 people have already had new heating installed through the Warm and Well scheme, funded by Warm Homes Fund, social housing and SSE.

Steve Brown, Interim Director of Wellbeing and Public Health for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly said “Keeping warm is vital to staying healthy, particularly for those who are more vulnerable to the cold such as the elderly and people with a long-term health condition. One of our top priorities is to prevent illness and deaths from the cold weather.”

Chair of Cornwall Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Councillor Adam Paynter added: “Winter Wellbeing has given help to those who need it for the last 7 years, helping to keep communities healthy in winter. This programme shows partnership working at its best and I am very proud of the success they have achieved.”

Dr Tim Jones from Community Energy Plus, the Cornish energy charity which hosts Winter Wellbeing’s Freephone advice line, said: “Rising energy prices are a serious concern to many householders in Cornwall but people living in cold homes shouldn’t suffer in silence. Advice and practical help from a large network of local organisations is just a phone call away to help Cornish householders take action to enjoy warmer homes and lower energy bills this winter.”

Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “Staying warm, together with trying to eat well and taking some exercise when we can, helps us all to stay healthy and active for as long as possible.”

The Winter Wellbeing guides also provide helpful information on what to do in an emergency such as flooding or snow, how to drive safely, keeping well by stocking up on medicines, as well as how to get financial help.

In 2017 the service supported 1,669 customers, of these:

  • 42 people benefitted from new central heating
  • 838 people received energy advice
  • 179 people got help from the ‘Warm and Well’ fund

The guides are available as printed copies at Council One Stop Shops, GP/health centres, hospitals, children’s centres, Job Centres or are available on our Winter Wellbeing webpage.

Story posted 3 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cabinet to make crucial decision on future of waste and recycling collections in Cornwall

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Households across Cornwall could be provided with a weekly recycling collection and caddies to recycle their food waste in 2020 under proposals to be considered by Cornwall Council's Cabinet next week.

Cabinet members will also vote on whether or not to move to fortnightly residual waste collections and provide households with wheeled bins or seagull proof sacks during the meeting on Tuesday 18 December.

With Cornwall's kerbside waste and recycling contract with Biffa coming to an end in March 2020, the Cabinet decision will direct the next stage of the tender process currently underway.

Cabinet are being asked to decide between moving to a new system aimed at boosting recycling, or retaining the current collection arrangements.

The new system would switch recycling and residual collections so that recycling is collected weekly, with the addition of food waste.

Councillor Sue James, portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said the decision is an important one for Cornwall.

"Next Tuesday's decision is one that will affect all households across Cornwall," she said. "With the world focussed on the impact of waste on our environment, we have the opportunity to make a crucial decision about the way we manage waste in Cornwall that will affect generations to come.

“We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and are incredibly proud of our environment. Many residents recycle but overall we could do more, and these changes will help facilitate that.

"A survey of black bag waste carried out last year showed that a third of the content was food waste. 

"If the Cabinet approves a proposed change, that food waste would be collected weekly in special containers provided by the Council, and all other recycling would also be collected weekly.  Other waste would be collected fortnightly.

“The Council would issue wheeled bins or seagull proof sacks to all households, putting an end to street litter generated by animals pulling apart bin bags on collection day.”

The recommendations to change the current waste contract have been considered by a special inquiry, led by the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny committee.

The Council has also sought advice from industry experts and other local authorities, as well as having carried out resident surveys, focus groups and assessed national guidance.

If the changes are supported, no changes will be made until the contract comes in to place in April 2020.

“If the changes are supported there is still a lot of work to be done before the changes come into effect in 2020. We will be working with communities across Cornwall and will come and talk to you about the changes, explain what needs to happen and when.

In the meantime, residents can help by recycling more and composting where appropriate,” Cllr James said.

Read the report to be considered by Cabinet on 18 December - you can also watch the webcast live from 10am that day using the link from the homepage of the Council's website

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council draft budget on the agenda for the Launceston Community Network Panel meeting

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Residents of the Launceston area are invited to attend the December meeting of the Launceston Community Network Panel. Items on the agenda include Community Chest Celebration, Cornwall Council draft budget 2019/20, Community Network Highways Scheme, and Library Devolution.

The meeting takes place on Thursday 13 December 2018, between 6.30pm and 9pm, at The Guildhall, Launceston Town Hall.

Representatives from some of the groups which received Cornwall Councillor Community Chest awards last year will be in attendance. This is an opportunity to hear about the fantastic work of local groups and the projects they have delivered.  In addition it is an opportunity to find out more about the Community Chest Grants available.

Also on the agenda is an opportunity to learn about and discuss the Council’s draft budget for 2019/20 and MTFP.  This will be led by Cllr Adam Paynter.

With the need to reduce spending by another £70 million over the next four years with Government grant decreasing and demand for services increasing the Council has to find ways to be more efficient and balance the budget. The Council will have to be self-financing after 2022 with funds coming from Council tax, business rates and income from fees and charges. We will be asking people how they would spend the budget, how much they would increase Council tax by or how else they would raise additional money, and if they would support the principle of voluntary contributions.

The Community Network Panel will also consider priorities under the Community Network Highways Scheme.

The Launceston Community Network Panel meets every other month to discuss matters that affect the local community and to agree priorities that can be delivered by Cornwall Council and other agencies including the police and health services. Some of the areas that community networks focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, and transport and highway issues.

The panel comprises all five Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the sixteen parishes in the Launceston Community Network area - Altarnun Parish Council, Boyton Parish Council, Egloskerry Parish Council, Laneast Parish Council, Launceston Town Council, Lawhitton Parish Council, Lewannick Parish Council, Lezant Parish Council, North Hill Parish Council, North Petherwin Parish Council, South Petherwin Parish Council, St Stephen by Launceston Rural Parish Council, St Thomas the Apostle Rural Parish Council, Stoke Climsland Parish Council, Trewen Parish Council, Werrington Parish Council.

Chair of the Panel, Councillor Neil Burden, said “The Launceston Community Network Panel meeting is a great opportunity for local residents and businesses to ask questions about local issues so please do come along and take part.  We’ll have updates on library and health centre developments and highway projects; we’ll hear about the success of projects supported by members community chest awards and there will be the opportunity to hear from Council Leader Adam Paynter about the budget proposals. ”

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

 

Story posted 10 December 2018 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Lostwithiel Town Council to take over management of town's library

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Lostwithiel Library will transfer to Lostwithiel Town Council in early February in a new agreement with Cornwall Council.

The arrangement, which is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, means the historic Taprell House building will continue to provide all the key services essential to a modern library.

Following the transfer Lostwithiel 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.

Mayor of Lostwithiel Councillor Pam Jarrett, said: "Lostwithiel Town Council has ensured the continued provision of the Library Service in Lostwithiel not only for the residents of Lostwithiel but for all those residents in surrounding Parishes.  By accepting the devolution of the delivery of the library service in Lostwithiel, the Town Council is reflecting the views of the majority of the local community who when responding to the Town Council’s consultation said they wanted the Town Council to run the service."  

Deputy Mayor Tim Hughes, said: “Lostwithiel Town Council has worked hard with Cornwall Council to develop a unique model of keeping our community library open, while minimising costs for local Council taxpayers. We have retained a vital community asset which we intend to run with community volunteers. 

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 Lostwithiel Town Council, local residents will be able to continue enjoying their library for many years to come."

In preparation for the new arrangements, Lostwithiel Library will close for refurbishment from Monday 14 January and re-open week commencing 4 February. Customers will be able to borrow items for an extended loan period before the library closes.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Penzance partners continue to take positive action

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

A multi-agency partnership approach in Penzance continues to tackle the separate issues of rough sleeping and anti-social behaviour, with Cornwall and Penzance Town Councils, police, Penzance BID and multiple partner agencies working closely together to respond to community concerns.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio holder Andrew Mitchell said rough sleeping in the town has been the focus of work for over 18 months through Cornwall Council’s Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy which aims to prevent people from moving into rough sleeping. This has included work by the award-winning Nos Da Kernow programme, which works to prevent people from sleeping rough in the first place and has been acknowledged as good practice nationally.

“A range of organisations are undertaking daily outreach work for individuals with multiple complex needs who find it difficult to engage with services, as well as providing support to those who approach them for help. As well, additional bed spaces have been delivered at a cold weather provision hostel, additional outreach workers have been brought on board and work is being done with the private sector to improve access to rented accommodation,” Cllr Mitchell said.

This month, St Petroc’s have set up a pop-up shelter in Penzance with nine bed spaces. Funded through the Government’s Rough Sleeper Initiative, with some top-up funding from Cornwall Council, the shelter was identified as a need during the snow storms earlier this year and will provide extra accommodation for rough sleepers during severe winter weather.

Separately, Addaction are maintaining the additional provision of daily outreach sessions to vulnerable adults on the street, talking to local residents and businesses and safely disposing of any drugs litter found.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council’s anti-social behaviour team continue to work closely together to provide reassurance and enforcement to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

Sergeant Gemma Freestone from Devon and Cornwall Police said the last three months have seen 87 high visibility patrols by Penzance’s Police  Neighbourhood Team (out of 89 possible days), as well as patrols by response units and foot patrols by the Sector Inspector.

“Anti-social behaviour is being taken seriously. We have issued two dispersal notices under Section 35 of the Crime and Policing Act 2014, and one person has been arrested for an offence against the Public Order Act, with a hearing on 12 December.

“Twelve arrests have been made for offences ranging from criminal damage, to serious assault, breach of community behaviour orders, shoplifting, theft, drugs and burglary.  We are also undertaking ongoing intelligence-led proactive work to address drug supply at a local level, and we’ve undertaken raids on licensed premises,” Sgt Freestone said.

To reduce local businesses selling alcohol to known street drinkers every off licence premises in Penzance has been visited by the police and reminded of the law in relation to selling to persons under the influence. Support is also being sought from businesses to implement voluntarily measures to reduce access to alcohol to street drinkers.

Penzance Town Mayor Councillor Dick Cliffe said the multi-agency response was making a difference: “I am aware of an acute shortage of resources generally for dealing with the problem of anti-social behaviour and rough sleeping in Cornwall but Penzance has been made a priority during 2018.

“At the moment I am happy with progress but concerned about the poisonous hate speech and misrepresentations being made that conflate rough sleeping and anti-social behaviour as being the same issue. They are not, and they have very different responses in place.

“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and tough action is being taken in response. Rough sleepers require a different response to some very complex problems. In many cases, they are the victims of anti-social behaviour and don’t deserve to be demonized. Lots of good work is being done in this area with some very vulnerable individuals.”

A new community safety hub will open early in the New Year in Causeway Head to provide greater public access to talk to organisations about community safety issues and to report their concerns through a single access point.  The hub is funded by Cornwall Council, Penzance Town Council and Penzance BID.

The Safer Penzance team will also be holding a public information day in January for people to come along and meet the various agencies and services to learn more about aspects of the ongoing work and discuss any concerns.

Posted on 06 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council buys land in Newquay to build quality new homes for local people

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

A plot of land in Newquay has been bought by Cornwall Council as part of its commitment to provide quality homes for local people.

The land in Newquay has been bought as part of the Council’s Housing Development Programme (HDP) which will see the local authority investing up to £200 million in directly building and providing 1,000 new homes by 2022 on sites across Cornwall – all for local households.

The site at Trevithick Farm, Trevemper, Newquay already has planning permission for up to 455 homes. The Council intends to build around 150 homes through its Housing Development Programme with the intention of starting on site in about two years’ time.  It is envisaged that the remainder of the site will be developed by a housebuilder or Registered Provider, or provide an opportunity for the Council to build additional affordable, supported or extra care housing.

Homes are already being built by the Council as part of the Housing Development Programme on two pilot sites in Bodmin and Tolvaddon, which between them will see the delivery of 113 homes. Both sites will have properties to rent or to buy. Other sites in Launceston and Redruth are also in the process of being purchased and will be added to development sites in Liskeard and Torpoint which the Council already owns.

The developments will be a mix of homes for private market rent, affordable rent, shared ownership and private market ownership.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for homes Andrew Mitchell said: “Cornwall needs more homes – both to rent and to buy – and the Council is seizing the initiative to provide those homes. For example, in Newquay there are more than 1,500 applicants on the Cornwall Homechoice register who have stated Newquay as their first preference.  The proposed development in Newquay could eventually provide over 400 new homes which will go some way towards addressing that need. 

This is about providing good quality healthy homes that local people want to live in, with space, gardens, parking and which are well designed with low energy costs.”

John Fitter, Cornwall Councillor for St Mawgan and Colan said: “I am very pleased that Cornwall Council is investing in the supply of housing stock for the community who are in need of homes and who live in and around the Newquay area. This will be a quality development embracing energy saving features which will reduce the cost of heating in the colder months and contribute to a reduction in the carbon footprint of the development. Colan Parish Council along with myself welcome this Cornwall Council project.”   

The Council will deliver a mix of property sizes, types and tenures to meet local needs. Some will be for private rent, providing quality, choice and greater security for those in the private rented sector with five-year tenancies as standard. Some will be sold at market prices and others will be for affordable rent or shared ownership.

All the affordable and rental homes built as part of the Housing Development Programme will be allocated to households who have a local connection to Cornwall, either through residency, employment or close family connections.

As has happened with the pilot schemes in Bodmin and Tolvaddon, the Council will be working with the local community and taking on board their views when designing the homes and the environment around the neighbourhood.

 

Story posted 05 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Council discusses Brexit, second homes and the Stadium for Cornwall

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Cornwall Council has voted to support the People’s Vote campaign for a second referendum on Brexit after a vote at a meeting of the full council at New County Hall today (04 Dcember 2018)

Other issues discussed included second homes, the Stadium for Cornwall, and plans for a paperless council.

At the start of the meeting, tributes were paid to former member Bill Maddern, who died last month.  Councillors from across the chamber shared their memories of Bill, and a minutes silence was held.

Mirroring current events in Westminster, one of the biggest debates on the agenda centred on the Government’s Brexit plans.

The motion called for support for a second referendum, as well as a commitment to retaining strong ties with Europe after Brexit, and a call to protect the rights of any EU citizens living in Cornwall.

A wide range of views were expressed during the debate, before the council voted by 47 votes to 41 to support the People’s Vote campaign.

Councillor Adam Paynter, leader of Cornwall Council, said:  “The most important thing for me is to make sure that Cornwall is in a position to prosper whatever may happen in the months to come.

“Our New Frontiers plan will help build that stable and sustainable economy for Cornwall, and we are working to ensure we maintain our relationship with Europe so we can continue to see the benefits of close co-operation in the years ahead.”

A motion calling for holiday lets registered as businesses premises to face council tax bills, and for second homes and holiday homes to face increased bills was also debated.

The motion also called for neighbourhood plans to be given the ability to block ‘change of use’ planning applications trying to change current homes into second homes or holiday lets.

After a long debate and a show of hands, the council decided to vote on the motion as three separate elements.

The call for homes registered as small businesses to face council tax bills, and the call for holiday lets and second homes to face increased bills were both supported by the chamber.

However, the third element, which called for local plans to be given the ability to block current homes becoming holiday lets, failed to garner enough support. 

A motion calling for the council leader to write to the Government calling for a public written statement on funding for the Stadium for Cornwall was debated.

After a long debate, members voted to support the motion, and a letter will now be sent to Downing Street calling for clarification on the Government’s position.

Councillor Julian German, portfolio holder for resources, said:  “Cornwall Council has been categorical on this issue, we will not be putting our funding into this scheme until the Government has agreed to do so themselves.

“We need certainty to allow the project to move forwards, and I hope this decision will help provide that.”

A motion to create a paperless council by the next election of Cornwall Council was supported across the chamber.  

It called for councillors to be able to opt out of receiving paper copies of council agendas in order to save printing and postage costs.

The motion was amended by Councillor Mike Eathorne Gibbons, portfolio holder for customers, who suggested the council should bring in an earlier deadline of April 2020 for the changes. 

Cllr Eathorne Gibbons said:  “This move will improve efficiency through the use of modern technology, and is the correct thing to do for the environment.

“We are not forcing those who still like paper agendas to give them up, but we will be making a significant step in the right direction.”

A motion calling for the cabinet to consider a review of the Council’s walking to school route assessments was also supported.

Recommendations from the cabinet to council on the Cabinet Programme for 2019/20, and the Minerals Safeguarding Development Plan were both accepted, as were a set of proposals from the Harbours Board.

 

Story posted 04 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Judge backs Cornwall Council’s decision to revoke licence for Newquay nightclub

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

A district judge has backed up the decision of Cornwall Council's Licensing Act Sub-Committee to revoke the premises licence of a Newquay nightclub.

The original decision was made on 25 April 2018, following a review of the licence for Eden Bar on Beach Road.

The committee acted after a review was instigated by Devon and Cornwall Police because of numerous breaches of licence conditions and violent incidents involving the premises licence holder.

The Committee considered other issues including registered door staff not wearing their security industry authority badges, not keeping an up to date incident book and allegations of underage drinking.

The Committee said that having considered the information and the licensing objectives, prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance, and protection of children from harm, they had no option but to revoke the licence in the interest of the wider community.

The licence holder objected to the decision, and an appeal was heard at the Bodmin Magistrates Court last week.

District Judge Diana Baker told the court she was entirely satisfied the Sub-Committee made the correct decision. The appeal was therefore refused on all grounds raised by the Appellant.

The Council were also awarded its full legal costs of £33,367 to be paid by Mr Memet Aldemir.

Councillor Jesse Foot, chairman of the Licensing Act Committee, said: "I am pleased that the court has backed our original decision, and especially that full costs have been awarded, so this case has no detrimental effect on the taxpayer."

"This case is a good example of effective partnership working with Devon and Cornwall Police to tackle issues that can have a real effect on people's lives."

"Thankfully, it does not reflect the majority of businesses in Cornwall who fulfil the conditions of their premises licences properly."

Posted on 4 December 2018

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Work begins on planned extension of emergency stopping place for Gypsies and Travellers

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Work is due to begin this week on the second phase of Cornwall’s first transit stopping site for Gypsies and Travellers at South Treviddo near Liskeard.

Pitches will be provided to accommodate up to 15 caravans at any one time. The transit site can be used for stays of up to three months in a year. 

The transit stopping place allows Cornwall Council to guide Gypsy and Traveller families away from unauthorised encampments, such as those seen in Liskeard car parks and Looe’s Millpool car park in recent years, and onto the purpose built site instead, providing access to basic amenities in a secure environment. 

The Council has bid for £825,000 from Homes England to part fund the £1.75 million project which is due to be completed in Spring 2019.  The remainder of the cost is being met by Cornwall Council.

Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for homes said: “Cornwall Council has a legal duty to provide these sites and our Local Plan has identified a need for 60 more transit pitches by 2030.  We aim to provide these across four new transit sites of 10-15 pitches each across the whole of Cornwall.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, said: “It’s really important for us to provide more emergency stopping places and transit sites across Cornwall.  Emergency stopping places and transit sites ensure that Gypsies and Travellers have access to basic amenities that our settled communities take for granted.  These amenities make a huge difference to the health and quality of life of Gypsies and Travellers.”

 

Story posted 04 December 2018

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

Cornwall Social Worker wins silver at prestigious Social Worker of the Year Awards

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

A social worker from Cornwall Council’s Adult Social Care has won a Silver Award at the prestigious Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Emma Goodall was awarded in the Practice Educator of the Year category on Friday 30 November, in recognition for her hard work with newly qualified social workers and students on placement.

Emma Goodall Web

(Pictured is Emma Goodall from Cornwall Council (second from left) with (L-R) Ashley John-Baptiste, care leaver and BBC News reporter; Ann-Marie Brierley, Head of Safeguarding Children at award sponsor North Lincolnshire Council; and James Rook, Chief Executive of Headline Sponsor Sanctuary Social Care. Photo supplied with thanks to Felicity Crawshaw.)

The Social Worker of the Year Awards were founded in 2006 by independent practitioner, Beverley Williams MBE, with the aim of improving the understanding and reputation of the profession. 

Emma was presented with her award by care leaver and BBC news reporter, Ashley John-Baptiste at the exclusive London event, attended by over 450 practitioners and high profile figures from the profession. 

Cornwall Council’s Strategic Director of Adult Social Care and Health, Helen Charlesworth-May said: “Emma is an exceptional practitioner so it was an honour that her work has been recognised nationally, and she fully deserves the accolade of the silver award.

“This award highlights the quality of support that students and trainees are given when they join Cornwall Council on the start of their career.”

Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “Social workers have to deal with challenging cases and make difficult decisions every day. It is important that they are recognised for all their hard work and dedication in helping to transform people’s lives. I am extremely proud of Emma winning the award and highlighting the council’s great work in Adult Social Care.”

Emma, who has worked in social care for over 10 years, has been a Practice
Educator at the council since 2016, supporting and facilitating the learning and development of social workers within the adult social care service of the local authority. She is currently undertaking a Doctorate in education, alongside her full-time role.

Emma said: “I am really proud to represent Cornwall Council at the Social Work Awards and raise the profile of practice education in Adult Social Care.

“I am thrilled to be recognised for my work with learners and winning a silver award is such an honour.

“This is a reflection of the great practice that my Practice Educator colleagues offer to our students and social workers every day.

“I am so pleased to be able to represent the good work, both locally and nationally.”

Ann-Marie Brierley, Head of Safeguarding Children at award sponsor North Lincolnshire Council, said: “I was delighted that the Silver Practice Educator of the Year Award was awarded to Emma. She is inspiring the next generation of social workers and is committed to providing students with unique and creative learning opportunities to inform their practice and achieve their very best.”

The judges commended Emma for her personal commitment to constantly developing her knowledge and skills, helping her to successfully support and mentor students. They also described her as ‘a very gifted educator operating at a very high academic and student development level’.

Emma was one of 93 finalists across 16 categories and the winners from each category also competed against each other to be named the Overall Social Worker of the Year 2018.

The prestigious awards ceremony is the leading celebration of its kind in the social care sector, and recognises the achievements and successes of the profession’s most innovative and dedicated social workers.

Posted on 4 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Hot topics for discussion at Cabinet

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Crucial plans for a sustainable Cornwall will be up for discussion when the Cabinet meets next week at New County Hall.

The authority’s long-term capital investment plan, the purchase of homes to be used as emergency accommodation, changes to Cornwall’s waste collections, and a proposal to purchase and bring back into use a historic Penzance town centre building are all set to be debated.

Another paper due for discussion is the future funding of the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry, which could see the first increase in crossing prices in almost a decade. 

Prices on the bridge, which is jointly owned by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council, have not risen since 2010, and, under the terms of the Tamar Bridge Act, must be approved by the Secretary of State before they can implemented.

The money generated by the tolls is used for bridge maintenance, and to subsidise the cost of the Torpoint Ferry service, which is vital to the economy of south east Cornwall.

The cabinet will meet at the Trelawney Room in New County Hall on Tuesday, December 18 at 10am.

Members of the public are welcome to attend cabinet meetings in person or watch the meeting live via a webcast on the council’s website.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Enjoy the spectacle of nature’s lights this Christmas and support the ‘Big Dipper’ campaign to protect our night sky

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Siblyback

Businesses and residents across Cornwall are urged to take steps to help protect the star quality of our dark skies as part of a nationwide campaign to reduce light pollution.

The ‘Big Dipper’ campaign aims to raise public awareness of light pollution and urges people to help conserve our starry dark night sky so we can all contribute to protecting and enhancing our environment.

To see for yourself the beauty of the dark skies that some areas of Cornwall enjoy, come to a free event being organised by Caradon Observatory on 15 December at Siblyback reservoir between 7pm and 10pm. There will be a range of telescopes for visitors to look through and there is a really good chance that comet 46P/Wirtanen will be visible with the naked eye from dark sky sites like this one. 

The event is one of a series showcasing the exceptional quality of the night sky over Bodmin Moor, which was designated as an International Dark Sky Landscape in 2017 after a successful bid by Cornwall Council and Caradon Observatory. Cornwall Council is supporting another bid for Dark Sky status in West Cornwall and the ‘Big Dipper’ campaign highlights how everyone can help protect our night skies.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for the environment, Sue James said: “By taking a simple step to dip our lights we can reduce light pollution and retain the sense of wonder when we look up to the night sky.”

The Council has led the way with a ground breaking street lighting programme which not only helps safeguard our night skyscapes but has also saved over £26m in energy and maintenance costs; contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Geoff Brown, said: “Cornwall Council’s smart lighting system controls the amount of light scatter causing the sky glow.  Given we live in such a beautiful part of the country where dark skies provide us with spectacular nightscapes, we made the decision to upgrade 53,000 street lights across the county with an energy efficient, white light system which is electronically controlled and cloud based. It was a ground breaking decision at the time and is still leading the way for other local authorities.

“Cornwall continues to be one of the leading Councils for managing its street lighting, in 2009 it introduced a programme to replace its stock with optical controlled lights, which dramatically changed the Cornish night sky from orange to black”

“To date this programme has saved Cornwall’s residents £26m in energy costs and maintenance, with these savings continuing to be delivered year on year as energy prices across the UK fluctuate.

“This translates to a reduction in carbon emissions of 5,500 tonnes of CO2 a year, and it means our night skies are darker with less light glow, which is good for star gazing.”

“This smart system means we can dim street lights in Cornwall at specific times, based on the road category and risk, which saves energy and reduces light pollution at the same time”

“ The Council continues to use the latest energy and light efficient equipment as the better LED technologies are introduced on new developments and via replacement programmes” adds Cllr Brown.

Residents can do their bit to support the Big Dipper campaign by making sure that outside lights, especially LED floodlights and security lights, are not too bright and are installed so that no light is directed up into the night sky.

The campaign is asking people to: 

  • Ensure lights point down and are fully shielded.
  • Only illuminate areas you need to and don’t leave lights on all night – use a timer or motion sensor.
  • Use lighting that is no brighter than necessary.
  • If possible don’t use LEDs emitting bright white/blue light, but rather warmer colours, which is also better for nocturnal animals.

Sue James adds:  “Poorly installed outside lighting can be detrimental to the quality of our dark skies.  Many of the newer security lights being installed emit a very harsh blue-white light, which scatters further into the sky, blotting out our view of the stars. The impact is often made worse by the fact such units are angled outwards to increase the spread of light.  A single, poorly installed floodlight can be seen for miles around.  The night time environment is a crucial natural resource for people, wildlife and for the rural visitor economy which benefits from increasing public interest in astro-tourism.

There is increasing awareness of the impact that light pollution can have on wildlife, by interrupting natural rhythms.  Light pollution can affect humans too, including disrupted sleep and an impact on the body's production of melatonin, a brain hormone best known for its daily role in resetting the body's biological clock.”

If it’s rainy or too cloudy the event on 15 December will be postponed. Caradon Observatory will post Facebook updates running up to the event.

For advice on minimising light pollution visit The Commission for Dark Skies website or the International Dark Sky Association website. 

Further information on light pollution and interactive maps can be found on the Campaign to Protect Rural England website.

Story posted 12 December 2018

Photo credit: Outreach at Siblyback Lake by Jon Jacobs Photography

 

Categories: Councils, Politics

The children in care in Cornwall who have overcome the odds

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Children in care living in Cornwall are celebrating their best ever outcomes so far with their SATs and A’ Level results and university places.

This past year has seen pupils achieving their best ever SATs results and the successes keep coming, with four young people getting the A’ Level results they needed which means they have now been able to go on to University. They join a growing number of over twenty young people now pursuing degree courses.

Councillor Sally Hawken, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children and Wellbeing said: “We are determined to help children in care to achieve their very best at school. Research from the Department for Education shows that educational attainment for looked after children is much lower than for non-looked after children but we are determined to disprove this.

“These young people may not have had the same advantages in their lives as children who are not in care but we can offer them the support they need at school to help them to achieve and have the successful and bright future that they deserve.”

In the new academic year (2018-2019) there are a higher percentage of year 12 and 13 pupils studying A’ Levels than in previous years, and the number of pupils engaged in education, employment and training this year is higher than previous years. Courses that students are studying range from philosophy to child care, to mechanics.

There is also positive news for children in care aged between 7 and 11 years who are likely to be significantly above the national level and, in 2018, have closed the gap between children who are not in care.

For children aged between 14 – 16 years outcomes have improved since the dip in 2017 and are now back on track with an overall trend of improvement since the establishment of the Virtual School in 2008.

Fixed term exclusions are down significantly and the number of unauthorised absences for children in care has dropped with an overall improvement in school attendance. The attendance rate for children in care in Cornwall is better than other children in care in the rest of the south west region.

To celebrate the results the team recently held two highly successful celebration events at The Alverton Manor. The younger children celebrated with a high tea, and the older children had a celebratory dinner with fairy lights, which some of the children described as ‘magical’.

The events were also attended by parents, carers, nurses, social workers as well as the Strategic Director of Children Schools & Families, Trevor Doughty and the Council’s Chief Executive Kate Kennally. 

Virtual schools were set up by the Government to raise the educational attainment of children in care by getting them the support they need to succeed at school and in later life.

Cornwall Council’s virtual school team is a small, multi-disciplinary team working to raise the educational attainment and attendance of children and young people from the age of 2 and in education post-16, including university. It tracks educational progress while supporting and monitoring work with children and young people in care. All children in care in Cornwall are part of Cornwall’s virtual school.

Children still attend a mainstream school, which works in partnership with the virtual school and this working relationship plays a key role in supporting young people to achieve these successes. The virtual schools team also work closely with social workers, foster carers, children and young people and the adoption services.  

Story posted 07 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Safer St Austell sleep out in solidarity

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Spending a night under the stars may seem like a good idea during the summer, but a group of community workers got a glimpse of the grim reality of homelessness at a special event in St Austell last night.

Officers from the Safer St Austell team spent the night at White River Place protected only by sleeping bags and cardboard.

The event was organised to highlight the issue of homelessness, as well as to help promote the local support services available and to demonstrate how well individuals are supported within St Austell.

Sleep Out 3

The group, which included representatives from Addaction, Cosgarne Hall, SAHA Freshstart, Cornwall Council’s Community Safety, Localism and Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Mayor Gary King, Deputy Mayor Tim Styles and Cornwall Councillor James Mustoe slept out between 10pm and 6am, enduring a long damp night.

Helen Catherall, Addaction worker, said: “Homelessness is a sign. It tells us that there has been a crisis or that there is an underlying issue. Ironically, homelessness is barrier to accessing support when it’s needed the most. This is why it is so important to report rough sleeping to Streetlink either via their online reporting system or by telephoning Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 to ensure support is offered.”

Gareth Bray, Chairman of Cosgarne Hall Board of Trustees, said: “St Austell has a long history supporting those who are homeless going back to the 1800s and we are pleased to be involved with the sleep out to continue to raise awareness around support services. We want to highlight that although we are raising awareness through this event those who have attended had a choice to sleep out whereas those who are homeless do not have this choice.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said:  “Homelessness is an issue we are determined to tackle, and events such as this help raise awareness of the problem.

“It is vital we do all we can to encourage people to contact Streetlink if you see anyone sleeping on the streets. The sooner we are informed, the quicker we can offer the support that these vulnerable people need.”

Categories: Councils, Politics

Par Library to move to Par Running Track under new agreement with community group

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Par Library will move to Par Running Track early next year as part of a new agreement with Par Track Limited to secure the future of a library service in the town.

The new micro library at the popular Moorland Road facility will remain part of Cornwall’s library service, so customers will be able to keep their existing library cards and will be able to visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.

Offering around 1,600 books including fiction, non-fiction and junior texts, the library stock will be provided and managed by Cornwall Council.

The library will also provide a free ‘click and collect’ service so that visitors can access the library catalogue and reserve books online. Customers will also have access to free WiFi and computers.

The current library on Eastcliffe Road will close on Saturday 26 January and the new micro library at the running track will open on Monday 4 February. Customers will be able to return any books borrowed from the current library to the micro library. Anyone in Par using the Home Library Service, which is delivered by the Royal Voluntary Service, will be able to continue to access this service.

Like all local authorities throughout the UK, the Council has had some tough decisions to make when faced with substantial cuts in funding from central Government. Rather than close libraries, however, the Council has worked with town and parish councils and community groups throughout Cornwall to transfer ownership of these much-loved services to local communities, explained Councillor Edwina Hannaford, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods.

"The members of Par Track Limited are dedicated to their local community and securing access to facilities for their residents," she said. "The group's proactive approach has meant that residents can continue to visit a library in the town, as opposed to us potentially having to introduce a mobile library stop. I commend Par Track Ltd for the excellent service they are providing to their community.”

The new library will initially be open at the same times and on the same days as the current one. Par Track Ltd has plans, subject to the availability of funding, to create a new library space in the future, which they hope will allow them to provide a more comprehensive service and to extend the opening hours.

Categories: Councils, Politics

Get active and run, walk or cycle the Truro Active Travel Treasure Trail

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Truro Active Trail

Residents and visitors to Truro are being urged to get on their bike, shuffle their shoes or push their pram and stay active this winter by using Truro’s network of shared pathways.

Cornwall Council, in partnership with walking and cycling charity Sustrans, has put together the Truro Active Travel Treasure Trail - an exciting winter challenge that everyone can take part in.

To find out more and to take part in the Truro Active Travel Treasure Trail, simply download the clues from Truro to Threemilestone shared paths page of the website  or pick up a paper copy from Truro Tourist Information Centre, the enquiries desk at Truro Community Library, New County Hall reception or reception at Truro Leisure Centre.

The Treasure Trail is a fun way to encourage everyone to explore new shared paths for walking and cycling which now run next to most of the A390 between Truro and Threemilestone.  The shared paths offer a real alternative to vehicle use for local journeys which will help improve your health, reduce congestion, improve journey reliability and help boost the local economy.

Join in with the self-led trail by foot or bike. Simply gather answers to the clues then complete and submit your answer sheet by 20 January 2019 to be in with a chance of winning some great prizes including high street vouchers and goody bags.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “How we travel and get to where we want to be is not just dependent on the car or even on public transport.  Walking and cycling also form part of the One Public Transport System for Cornwall.  We are working with partners like Sustrans to encourage walking and cycling, as well as with public transport operators, to make it as easy and attractive as possible for people to get around without needing a car.  Not taking the car for that local journey not only has obvious health benefits but also improves air quality.

All the family can give it a go by following the Treasure Trail, or you can just grab a copy of the Active Travel map for Truro which gives you information on walks, cycling and public transport in the area, all in one place.”

The Active Travel map shows key destination including schools, local shops and green spaces and how to get to them on foot, by bike or public transport.

The map has been produced by Sustrans in partnership with and funded by Cornwall Council.  It supports the recent cycling and walking improvements within Truro, providing a real alternative to motor vehicle use for trips to schools, colleges and workplaces.

Paper copies of the free map are available at theTruro Tourist Information centre, the Cornwall Council information centre at Pydar House on Pydar Street, Truro Community Library, County Hall reception, Truro College transport desk, Treliske Hospital-Ingredients restaurant, Trelawney reception and Knowledge Spa reception.

In addition, through Truro BID, shops and bars in Truro have been supplied with maps to distribute to customers and staff.

Businesses in the Newham business area will receive a copy of the map, organised through Newham BID.

Active travel maps are also available on the active travel webpage for Bodmin, Camborne, St Austell, Redruth, Falmouth and Penryn and Hayle,St Erth and St Ives.

 

Story posted 03 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics

Tinsel, fairly lights, candles? Make fire prevention top of your Christmas to do list

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:09

Cornwall Fire Rescue and Community Safety Service are asking people to take extra care over the festive season to ensure that their families and loved ones are protected from fire.

While fire safety is vital throughout the year, the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season.

Paula Wellings, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Casualty Reduction Manager, said: “Christmas is a time for festive cheer with family and friends. But fairy lights, candles and decorations mean it is also a time to take extra care to keep our loved ones safe from fire”

“To ensure you have the merriest of Christmases, keep fire safety at the top of your list. Make sure candles are in suitable holders and away from curtains, never leave cooking unattended and, of course, test your smoke alarms.

“The colder weather brings its own menaces too.  Take care when using portable heaters or open fires to keep warm.”

Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection Sue James said: “We want everyone in Cornwall to enjoy the festive period but it can be a time where safety is not at the forefront of our minds and it’s easy to get carried away.

“There are a number of quick and simple things we can all do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe such as regularly testing our smoke alarms and being vigilant when cooking up Christmas treats”

Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service wish everyone in Cornwall a very happy and safe Christmas with some festive safety videos. These will be posted on Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Facebook page throughout December to remind people of the importance of fire safety at Christmas.

You can also view a number of other festive safety tips on Cornwall Council’s website 

 Posted 18 December 2018

Categories: Councils, Politics