Motorists are being warned that action will be taken after reports that a small number of them are ignoring the very clear signs at the Chyvelah Road bus gate at Threemilestone in Truro, showing that the junction is for buses only, and have been using it to access the A390.
The bus gate is for the use of “Buses Only” and a Traffic Regulation Order is in place to enforce this requirement.
There is CCTV monitoring and Automatic Number Plate Reading cameras in place at the junction and the details of any vehicle, other than a bus, trying to use the bus gate will be passed on to the Police for further action, including possible prosecution.
In addition, the Council will also be making changes to the traffic lights at the junction so if any vehicle other than a bus tries to go through, they will not trigger a green light.
Story posted 22 March 2017
Hundreds of local young people, business representatives, Cornwall Council officers, teachers and parents are coming together to help celebrate and promote careers guidance and career resources in Cornwall as part of National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week 6-10 March.
The aim is to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar to help support young people leaving education. With youth unemployment remaining high and employers citing that young people are ill prepared with the basic skills needed for employment, there has never been a bigger need for careers guidance to be promoted and celebrated in education.
“As the largest careers campaign in the UK, National Careers Week is a great platform to promote careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) in Cornwall,” said Samantha Cartmel, National Careers Week Ambassador in Cornwall and Communications Officer for the Raising Aspirations and Achievement Strategy (RAAS) Board.
“This year it is also running alongside the Government’s campaign, National Apprenticeship Week, so we’re really excited to see so many great events promoting all aspects of employment and employability throughout the county. It will be an exciting week for young people.”
Events being planned include:
- 6 March - the local Apprenticeship Ambassador Network are organising an event at the Eden Project to promote apprenticeship opportunities to young people;
- 7 March - Truro and Penwith College are running a workshop for local businesses to offer advice on how the Apprenticeship Levy and how hiring apprentices can benefit their business, which can be booked through their website
- 7 March – Workpays is hosting an online 30 minute Guinness World Records™ attempt at 8:45am for the largest online careers advice seminar ever and anyone who is interested in careers advice can take part
- 9 March - Cornwall Council are hosting an apprenticeship open day at New County Hall to promote their Apprenticeship Programme, which is open to all
- 10 March – The Talent Match Cornwall team are organising an employer engagement event for young people out of education and employment with Spider Eye for their members
- 10 March - the National Careers Service tour bus will end its tour of the South West in Truro outside the JobCentre to provide more information on career opportunities and how to access CEIAG for anyone who is interested
“There will also be social media campaigns running throughout the week and all who are taking part are being encouraged to join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #NCW17 and #NAW17” said Sam.
St Austell’s four secondary schools are also collaborating on a series of evening events that have a particular career interest connected to the ‘smart specialisation’ sectors that have been identified (by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership) as growth sectors for Cornwall. They are being funded by The Careers and Enterprise Company and delivered by Cornwall Education Business Partnership.
Ruth Bennetts from Next Steps South West said: “To my knowledge, this is the first time that such level of collaboration has taken place in relation to careers guidance work. The schools have worked not only in partnership with each other but also sought advice from other partners including Next Steps South West, The Enterprise Adviser Programme, Cornwall Chamber and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Ambassadors. This is the first time that we have seen a school led careers collaboration on this scale.”
The aim of supporting these two widely celebrated national campaigns is to help bring Cornwall one step closer to ensuring young people in the county receive the highest quality of careers education, which is vital to improving future employment and life chances.
For more information on National Careers Week, visit www.nationalcareersweek.com and for more information about National Apprenticeship Week, visit the Government website.
Story posted: 16 February 2017
At the Communities Policy Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday (31 January) members recommended that all the existing dog control orders relating to dogs on beaches are carried over and remain as they are with the introduction of new Public Spaces Protection Orders.
This means that there are only three changes to the dog bans that are already in place – the first is at Gwithian where, since the collapse of the steps at St Peters Point the access to the area of the beach where dogs are allowed has been restricted. The new Public Spaces Protection Order(PSPO) will reflect an adjustment of the boundary which will resolve this issue. The second is for Porthleven West where the new PSPO will change the times when dogs are not allowed on the beach to 9am to 7pm (formerly 7am – 7pm) from 1 April to 30 September. The third is for Porth, Newquay where the new PSPO will change the times when dogs are not allowed on the beach to 9am to 7pm from 1 April to 30 September (formerly 24 hours from Easter Day to 1 October).
Members have also recommended that further work be carried out to harmonise the dates and times of seasonal dog bans across Cornwall’s beaches.
Geoff Brown, cabinet member for communities said: “I’m really keen for the seasonal dog bans to be harmonised but we need to do more work to make that happen. Apart from the three changes - at Gwithian, Porthleven West and Porth - the timings for the dog bans on all the other beaches will remain as they are for the time being. In the meantime, I have asked for work to continue so that we can harmonise seasonal dog bans as soon as possible.”
Story posted: 7 February 2017
At a hearing at Bodmin Magistrates Court on Monday 20 March 2017, Stephanie Pedrick a 50 year old smallholder from Roseland Farm, Red Moor, Lanivet, Bodmin was banned from keeping sheep for ten years and sentenced to 3 months in custody, suspended for 2 years.
Miss Pedrick, who had previously pleaded guilty to breaching an earlier ban on keeping sheep and failing to safeguard the welfare of cattle, was banned from owning, keeping, participating in keeping, dealing or transporting sheep for 10 years. She was prohibited from applying to the court to overturn the ban for 5 years.
Miss Pedrick pleaded guilty to:
- On 17 March 2016, failing to prevent wild animals consuming the carcasses of 2 sheep and 3 lambs.
- On 21 July 2016 failing to dispose of the carcasses of 5 sheep.
- On 21 July 2016 failing to safeguard the welfare of cattle by allowing them access to collapsed fencing.
- On 21 July 2016 breaching a ban on keeping sheep.
For the breach of the ban Miss Pedrick was given 2 months in custody and for failing to safeguard the welfare of cattle 1 month in custody, to run consecutively, suspended for 2 years.
In addition, Miss Pedrick was ordered to pay costs of £5,426.70.
Miss Pedrick was not banned from keeping cattle as there was a lack of evidence to prove that cattle and pigs were not cared for.
Andy Burnside, Cornwall Council’s Senior Trading Standards Officer responsible for Animal Health said: “This investigation involved some of the most serious welfare matters. The breach of a Court Order banning a person from keeping animals, and the ongoing failure to dispose of carcasses which presented a real risk to other animals and humans, will not be tolerated. Miss Pedrick has been given advice over the last 5 years and prosecuted three times but still failed to provide for the most basic needs of her animals.”
Jane Tomlinson, Cornwall Council’s Team Leader for Trading Standards said: “Cornwall Council officers work to assist farmers, small holders and businesses across Cornwall in complying with the relevant legislation however, where we find repeated non-compliance and a complete disregard for farm animal welfare, we will take formal action to protect animals and the reputation of the Cornish farming industry”.
Story posted: 21 March 2017
Crime writer and BBC Crime Correspondent Simon Hall is to cut the ribbon at the official opening of Bodmin Library in its new home in Chy Trevail at 11.00am on Friday 31 March.
There will be a chance to meet Simon and learn more about his novels, which include The Dark Horizon and Shadows of Justice.
Simon Hall said: “It's a privilege to be asked to open the new library in Bodmin. It's a wonderful building which I know will be a great asset to the area, and treasured by the community. Libraries play such an important role in our lives. Without a library I would never have become the avid reader, and subsequently author, that I have.
“Books can take us on such a wonderful journey through our imagination, our planet, and into other universes... and all from our armchairs. The world of words is a joy to play in, and I know the new library will only encourage more people to join us there.”
Cornwall Tech Jam will be part of the celebration and will be leading a session for local schoolchildren and members of the public where they will be able to try out the Raspberry Pi, a tiny single board computer that can be used to learn about programming through fun, practical projects.
There will also be an opportunity to find out more about using BorrowBox to download eBooks to read at any time on your tablet, smartphone, PC or Mac.
Julie Zessimedes, Cornwall Council’s Head of Library and Information Services, said: “The new library and information service gives the Service an opportunity to work with a number of partners to deliver social and informal learning activities to the community. I hope that we can encourage non-library users to join and make use of this great facility.”
Bodmin Library is open from 8.30am to 5pm on weekdays and 10.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays.
Story posted: 21 March 2017
Money Skills for Life, an innovative pilot project developed in Cornwall, is being launched in the Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth area.
The scheme is aimed at giving people specialist, one-to-one financial coaching to look at their relationships with money, their life choices and help them avoid going into debt, improving the outlook for themselves and their families.
The project, run by Citizens Advice Cornwall, will involve eight specially trained life coaches providing £300 worth of free coaching sessions to people in the local community who are not heavily in debt but are willing to make changes to their spending habits. The coaches are volunteers from the local community who gained their Level 3 Life Coaching Skills qualifications at Truro and Penwith College.
The idea for the Money Skills for Life project came from members of the local community at the Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth Community Network Panel and is funded by the National Lottery, Cornwall Council and Coastline Housing.
If successful, the Money Skills for Life pilot programme could be extended to other parts of Cornwall.
Neil Colquhoun, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Cornwall, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this important initiative which will improve the prospects for local community.
Debt is a big issue, both nationally and here in Cornwall, leading to higher levels of poverty and stress for the individuals concerned and their dependents. Last year, almost 7,000 people came to see Citizens Advice because of their debt problems.
What we’re aiming to do is tackle the root causes of debt before it becomes unmanageable.”
Nicki Highton, Coastline Housing Community Investment Officer, said: “More and more of our customers are turning to us asking for budgeting help and support.
This innovative project allows customers to access fantastic one to one coaching which will enable them to identify key things in their life which they could change in order to help them budget more confidently and safeguard themselves from going into debt in the future.
It’s a different way of supporting our customers and as a pilot we are really looking forward to evaluating the results and seeing if this type of support is helpful and valued by our customers.”
Citizens Advice Cornwall dealt with 3,277 debt problems in the Camborne and Redruth parliamentary constituency in 2015-16. The main debt issues were Debt Relief Orders (24%), council tax arrears (11%), credit, store and charge cards (9%), unsecured personal loans (7%) and water bills (6%).
For more information about Citizens Advice Cornwall visit www.citizensadvicecornwall.org.uk.
CLIENT CASE STUDY – HANNAH CHRISTOPHERS
Hannah Christophers, 29, took part in the Money Skills for Life programme on the suggestion of her landlord, Coastline Housing, and is undertaking coaching sessions.
“I have always struggled a bit with money but the course is helping me to get more organised and keep on top of my spending. I am filing all my paperwork so I can keep track of what I need to pay,” she said.
“I was starting to lose track and getting confused with what I had to pay and because I had lived in supported housing, I hadn’t needed to work out my own bills before.
The coaches are really friendly and they don’t judge you, so it’s something I’d certainly recommend to other people.”
COACH CASE STUDY – CAROLINE WADE
Caroline decided to train as a mentor for the Money Skills for Life scheme last year and has completed the Institute of Learning and Management coaching course at Truro College as part of the Money Skills for Life training.
“When we work with clients, we try and find out what their situation is and what they want to achieve, whether it’s paying something off, organising their money or starting to save.
We then look for simple, achievable steps the clients can take towards achieving their aims. We don’t tell people what they must do, everything is done at their pace and they help decide the actions they need to make the changes in their life.”
Story posted: 17 March 2017
The owner of a hotel near Liskeard has been fined £126 after a bottle behind the bar labelled as Bacardi Rum was found not to contain that brand of spirit.
Mark Frost was also ordered to pay costs of £1,696 and a £30 victim surcharge after the hearing at Bodmin Magistrates Court on 15 March 2017.
The court case followed a routine inspection of the Wheal Tor Hotel, Caradon Hill, Pensilva, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 5PJ in July 2016 by Cornwall Council’s Public Protection Service, when a bottle of Bacardi Rum behind the Hotel’s bar was tested for authenticity. On testing it was discovered the spirit in the bottle was not Bacardi but had been substituted with a different product.
Matthew Collings, Trading Standards Officer said, "Trading Standards’ Inspections of businesses allow us to ensure that consumers within Cornwall can have confidence in the authenticity and safety of their purchases. It also promotes a fair and level playing field for businesses. We hope the outcome of this case will reassure consumers within Cornwall that we consider the truthful description of food products to be a priority area of work in protecting the public.”
Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown said: “This is yet another example of the work carried out on a daily basis by our Trading Standards team to ensure that the public are protected.”
Story posted 17 March 2017
The Dracaena Park in Falmouth has officially transferred ownership from Cornwall Council to Falmouth Town Council, securing the future of the community centre and surrounding sports pitches.
Sitting in the park is the Dracaena Centre which an independent charity run by a board of trustees. The sports pitches surrounding the Centre have been transferred to the town council’s ownership under Cornwall Council’s ‘localism and devolution’ scheme, for the benefit of local residents. Also transferred is the ground lease the Dracaena Centre has with the local authority. The Dracaena Centre delivers a range of sports, leisure, well-being, education and youth services working in partnership with Falmouth Town Council as well as over 40 local clubs and providers.
Falmouth Town Council took over the grounds maintenance for the site last April in anticipation of the transfer, in which time both the playing surfaces and surrounding areas have been considerably improved.
The devolution of the park will allow the local council to make decisions on a local level and attract funding for regeneration and future improvements which will include an outdoor fitness area that will have a Parkour setup, street fitness centre and eight items of the latest variable resistance gym equipment; a toddlers play area and in the longer term a new concrete skate park.
Falmouth Town Council has already worked in partnership with the Dracaena Centre to devolve youth services and this transfer will further enhance those partnership links.
Richard May, Dracaena Centre Charity Manager, said: “The Dracaena Centre is delighted that Falmouth Town Council have had Dracaena Park transferred to local ownership. We have an excellent working relationship with the Council and look forward to being involved with many collaborative projects. There is a very positive feeling locally regarding the proposed plans for the redevelopment of Dracaena Park and the Dracaena Centre is keen to play a big part and to help drive these plans forward.”
Grenville Chappel, Falmouth Town Mayor, said: “I am very pleased to see this site transfer to local management. It is one of a number of community assets and services that the Town Council have taken on. The Dracaena site is one that residents and users told us needed improvement and the local management of the site will see the Town Council do that effectively and reactively. We will work with residents to put together applications for external funding to provide enhanced facilities.
It also provides further opportunities to work with our Community Partner the excellent Dracaena Centre, who already provide youth services in partnership with my Council, as part of the wide range of community provision delivered by them.”
Jeremy Rowe, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Localism, said: “Falmouth Town Council has a strong track record of working with Cornwall Council to deliver frontline services. When they approached us with a plan to take over the Dracaena Park, we were keen to be able to help them realise their local ambition. Falmouth Town Council’s proactive approach to take more control over their assets is a great example of devolution in action. Devolution at its most worthwhile is about finding the best long term local custodians of an asset, in this case an community centre that is greatly valued. I applaud their innovative approach to working with the Council and other partners to provide an excellent service to their community.”
Cornwall Council is working with Town and Parish Councils and community groups across Cornwall on a comprehensive and ambitious programme of devolution packages.
Story posted 17 March 2017
As Cornwall Council prepares for elections in May, Council Leader John Pollard reflects on the achievements of the authority over the past four years.
“When I was appointed as the Leader of the new Council in May 2013, I said I wanted to work with all Members to create a “can do” positive and responsive Council and to build better relationships with all our partners. I also said we needed to fight for fairer funding, to bring investment into Cornwall and to build the best, most inclusive vibrant and successful Cornwall possible.
“In 2014 we produced a new Council Strategy which set out our aim to create a more prosperous, resilient and resourceful Cornwall, where communities are strong and where the most vulnerable are protected. This means closing the significant economic, funding, inequality, and health gaps that are having a negative impact on the life of many of our residents.
“So what are our key achievements over the past four years? “
Ambitious Cornwall - this is about being ambitious and confident about Cornwall’s future and providing leadership to secure a fairer amount of funding and greater freedom from the Government.
Case for Cornwall - in April 2015 we published our Case for Cornwall which set out details of additional powers and freedoms we want from the Government so we can create better public transport service and links; better road maintenance; better health from warmer homes; more affordable homes for local people; more jobs and job opportunities; better education, social and business connections through superfast broadband / rural internet better health and social care and emergency services working more closely together.
Devolution Deal - in July 2015 we became the first rural council in the country to be given a Devolution Deal. Our Deal has given us many of the things we had asked more in the Case for Cornwall and means we now have greater control over more than £5bn of Government funding to carry out our plans to improve bus, rail and ferry services, support local businesses, grow our economy and create jobs, improve employment and skills, address out energy and flood resilience needs, make better use of public assets and join up health and social care services.
Budget and Business Plan – over the past four years we have worked hard to protect the key priorities identified by local residents at the same time as delivering the £166m savings we have been forced to make as a result of cuts in our funding from the Government. This has meant setting a four year budget to help deliver the savings in a planned way, reshaping the Council, and working with partners to delivering services differently.
Capital programme – we have spent around £700m on capital schemes across Cornwall since 2013. These include £89m on improving our school buildings, £105m on highways maintenance; £24m on providing affordable housing, £46m on housing improvements; and £39m on Growth Deal projects.
Business Rates Pilot – last month the Government also announced we had been chosen to take part in a Business Rates Retention pilot. This means we will keep all the income we collect from business rates, rather than giving half of it back to the Government as happens at the moment. If new businesses start or existing businesses expand in Cornwall, this will increase the amount of income available to us.
Futures Group - following the vote to leave the EU we convened a group of leading figures from the business, voluntary and public sector, and organised round-table discussions ranging from tourism to fishing, employment to energy, and farming to higher education to identify potential risks and opportunities Cornwall and to draw up a plan of action to make sure that we are well placed for the future. We have also staged two Summits, and published our “Catalyst for change“ report, and are continuing to work with partners to develop our Manifesto to take to the Government.
Cornwall Local Plan – in November 2016 we adopted our Local Plan which sets out a vision for growth and identifies the quantity and broad location for new housing, community facilities, shops and employment. These policies will be the basis for planning decisions and will help us to resist unwanted and speculative development and help shape communities. As well as setting overall housing targets for Cornwall, the Plan also supports the development of Neighbourhood Plans promotes and supports economic, protects our unique landscape and environment and improves the quality of new development.
National Minorities Framework - the Cornish became a recognised national minority under the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in April 2014. Since then we have been working hard to raise awareness of the Cornish National Minority in both Cornwall and national organisations, and to promote the Cornish language. We have also been lobbying the Government to review its decision to cut funding for the Cornish language, to include a Cornish tick-box in the next census and to revise the BBC Charter to include the Cornish language in the list of minority languages and will be continuing this work following the publication of the Council of Europe Opinion Report.
CORSERV – in 2016 we established a new company to provide strategic direction for our existing arm’s Length and commercial trading companies: CORMAC Solutions Ltd, Cornwall Airport, Cornwall Housing, Cornwall Development Company and our Nottinghamshire joint venture company, Via East Midlands Limited. CORSERV are also national leaders in developing the Teckal model for local authority companies and will continue to bring much needed funds back into Cornwall.
Council of the Year Award – in December 2015 we were shortlisted for this prestigious top award which is given to councils which demonstrate excellent and innovation for our success in being granted the first rural Devolution Deal, implementing our Strategy and Business plan and securing minority status for the Cornish people.
Engaging with our communities – this is about enabling and empowering residents, towns and parish councils, the voluntary, community and local business sectors to play an active role in making decisions that affect residents.
Devolution – we have supported local councils and communities to secure the future of assets and services important to them by taking over their ownership or management as part of our local devolution programme. So far we have successfully devolved almost 300 assets and services, including 223 public toilets; three library and information services, with over 20 more sites involved in progressing devolution discussions; one sea pool, one skate park, two visitor centres, 12 car parks, 11 buildings devolved into community use, three sports clubs, 44 greens spaces, play areas, allotments and one placed based town package with 36 individual elements, each a project in its own right (including play areas, green spaces, buildings, sports clubs, verges, town spaces, toilets and a car park). We are also working on a further 50+ proposals with a number of parishes and community groups, including town packages as ‘total place’ projects in Camborne, Truro, Penzance, Newquay and St Austell.
Neighbourhood plans - more than100 parish Councils are now engaged in Neighbourhood planning across Cornwall. By the time of the new Council nine Neighbourhood plans will have gone through the formal referendum process, one of the highest numbers in England with a range of innovative and locally developed Policies responding to local issues and opportunities. A further two plans are now at formal examination and 12 are approaching the stage of formal submission to move towards examination.
Community grants - Members have awarded more than 3,000 grants with a value of around £1m to voluntary and community groups across Cornwall over the past four years. Grants have included everything from skate parks and trombones for local bands, to defibrillators and equipment for a community cinema, with many groups using the grants to attract match funding.
Community Network Panels - more than80% of 213 Town and Parish Councils are now involved in the work of our Community Network Panels. To date, the Panels have supported nearly 80 projects across Cornwall to a value of £450,000.
Healthier and Safer communities – this is about integrating our services with other partners to protect the most vulnerable and ensure that everyone has the best possible opportunity to improve their physical wellbeing and stay safe
Supporting children and young people - we have transformed our Children and Family Services, moving from the ‘Inadequate’ judgement given by Ofsted in 2009 to a ‘Good’ judgement in 2016 and are now one of the 25% best children’s services in the country. We have also taken action to address a national shortage of social workers by setting up our own trainee social worker scheme. Over the last 5 years the Cornwall Foundation for Social Work scheme has brought 33 new social workers into the service, with 18 trainee social workers currently in post and is seen as one of the most innovative and successful schemes in the country.
One Vision – we are working with the Council of the Isles of Scilly, NHS Kernow, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust to develop our “One Vision” Partnership Plan which aims to change the way services work together to improve the lives of children, young people and their families. The Plan covers a wide range of education, health and social care services and will deliver improved joined up services which meet the needs of our children, young people and families.
Sustainability and Transformation Plan – we areworking with health partners to develop our Sustainability and Transformation Plan- a new five year plan to improve health, wellbeing, and the quality of local health and care services across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Dog welfare - for the 5th consecutive year our Community Protection Team has been awarded the RSPCA’s prestigious Golden Footprint Award for Animal Welfare, for the way it deals with stray dogs. Over the last four years the team has returned over 4,000 stray dogs safely to their owners.
Tackling doorstep fraud - After receiving 130 reports of doorstep fraud across Cornwall, with members of the public losing an estimated £126,000 to fraudsters, our Trading Standards team has intervened to prevent further losses of nearly £200,000.
Illegal cigarettes and alcohol - Over 4,500 children have attended junior life skills events staged by us on tobacco and alcohol harm. Our Trading Standards team confiscated over £1,000 of illegal alcohol and over 200 kg of hand rolling tobacco in 2015.
HeadStart –we are supporting thousands of young people aged between 10-16 years to deal better with difficult circumstances, and help manage emotional and mental health challenges before they become serious issues through our successful HeadStart Kernow scheme. First set up in 2014, the scheme has already supported around 10,000 young people in 61 primary schools, 10 secondary schools and one special school across Cornwall, and provided specialist training to more than 100 practitioners. Last year we were awarded £8.9m from the Big Lottery Fund’s HeadStart programme and we are now using this money to help make a real difference to the lives of thousands more children and young people across Cornwall.
Early Help Hub - 18 months ago we became the first place in the country to set up an integrated Early Help Hub to ensure that children and families needing help are connected with the right support at the right time from the right service. Developed with the Cornwall Foundation Partnership Trust, the Hub provides a single point of contact for information, advice and guidance about services for children and young people and their families as well as access to a range of universal and Early Help services. Staffed by professionals from both health and social care services, the Hub currently receives around 1,200 referrals a month.
MARU – sitting alongside the Early Help Hub, our Multi-Agency Referral Unit provides a joined up response to concerns about the safety of a child. Staffed by professionals from our social care team, heath partners and Devon and Cornwall police, the MARU has played a key role in improving safeguarding services for children and young people in Cornwall by ensuring that concerns about their safety and wellbeing are dealt with appropriately.
Supporting vulnerable people - we have introduced three new services to provide modern community support opportunities for adults with learning disabilities to develop life skills and get involved in other local activities and facilities. Cornwall Council’s new services at The Elms in Redruth, The Leats in Truro and The Old Magistrates Hall in Camborne replace the Murdoch and Trevithick Day Centre in Redruth, which was in a poor state of repair and no longer able to meet service users’ needs. As well as providing a modern service with new opportunities, the three new services also mean that people can attend a service close to their home and local community.
Transforming Adult Care services – we are taking direct action to address the increasing challenges facing adult social care in Cornwall with the development of a new three year plan which will reshape services to help more people stay in their own homes or in their local community. The aim of the draft Transforming Adult Social Care: The Cornwall Offer, is to help people with social care needs access the support they need so they can live as independently as possible in their own homes for longer. Developed in partnership with health organisations and care providers, the Cornwall Offer sets out a series of measures designed to transform adult social care by providing a greater focus on providing more constructive advice and help earlier. We will be working with partners to develop Extra Care housing schemes for older people as alternatives to residential care, addressing the issues of rising care costs, a shortage of care workers and increasing pressure on acute hospital services.
Healthy workplace - 200 businesses across Cornwall have signed up to our Healthy Workplace programme, benefiting approximately 40,000 employees.
Supporting tenants - we have worked with partners to set up the Cornwall Responsible Landlord Scheme which supports private landlords and lettings agents to offer safe, well managed and better quality accommodation whilst keeping up to date with what the law requires of them. 160 members have signed up for the scheme so far, covering 3,000 properties across Cornwall. We are also taking action against rogue landlords – with 1,105 enforcement notices served on private landlords and 34 successful prosecutions, resulting in court fines of more than £79,000.
Keeping Cornwall healthy – our Public Health team has been working hard to help local residents enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Over the past four years the team have helped 12,500 to stop smoking for at least four weeks, and supported more than 5,000 adults and children to manage their weight. More than 4,100 people have also used our Promoting Health Information Line (PHIL) since it was set up two years ago ,85% of schools are taking part in our Healthy Schools scheme, with 303 receiving special awards for their work. We have also been promoting sexual health, with 8045 young people registering to the C-Card and reduced the number of teenage pregnancies by 37% since 2012.
Keeping Cornwall Safe - we have built a new Emergency Services Community Station in Hayle, the first in Cornwall to co-locate fire and rescue, police and ambulance to improve partnership working and integration between these services. We have also built a new service headquarters , including a new Critical Control Centre, and a Community Fire Station at Tolvaddon. The Control Centre is also the base for the new CCTV scheme involving town and parish councils. Over the past four years our Fire, Rescue and Community Rescue service has attended over 17,300 operational incidents, more than 2,860 co-responder incidents on behalf of South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, and over 450 flooding incidents. Staff have also conducted over 20,870 Home Fire Safety Check visits and 2953 Fire Safety Audits for business premises.
Winter Wellness - we have helped more than 5,000 households across Cornwall to keep warm through this scheme over the past four years. This includes helping households with the costs of heating oil, coal, logs/ top up gas / electric and repairs to their heating and boilers.
Housing support – Cornwall Housing has prevented more than 5,500 people from becoming homeless over the past four years, and has helped keep 757 people in fear of violence safe in their homes so they did not have to find somewhere else to live. Staff have also arranged for adaptations to be carried out at 2,312 homes to make them more suitable for tenants and supported 283 tenants into a wide range of training courses. They have also provided 1,756 households with energy advice and helped tenants to access more than £668,000 in benefits and grants.
Driving the economy – this is about securing economic progress which is sustainable, addresses inequality, makes use of natural and cultural assets and builds on the strengths of our key industries.
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Strategic Economic Plan - we have worked closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership to drive economic growth through programmes such as Growth Hub, Superfast Cornwall, Kresen Kernow, LEADER, Carluddon Tech Park, the Marinehub and Aerohub Enterprise Zone to support our Strategic Economic Plan. Key successes include supporting more than 17,000 businesses and supporting 5,700 more people into work. Over the past four years Cornwall’s GVA has increased by almost £500 million, with our ongoing economic programme set to generate more than £600m investment in projects across Cornwall. This will help create 6000 jobs and 82,100sqm of new workspace, support 752 more enterprises, help to reduce the flood risk for 1,762 premises, and provide 66 new alternative fuel charge points and, even, a deep geothermal well.
Superfast Cornwall – this ground breaking partnershipbetween the EU, Cornwall Council and BT has seen £132m invested in upgrading our broadband infrastructure – making Cornwall one of the best connected rural places in world. This has helped create 2,000 jobs and safeguard a further 2,500, with a £200m annual economic impact for Cornwall. The Superfast programme has supported 80,000 fibre connections to the high speed world, of which 12,000 are from businesses, enabling entrepreneurs to compete locally and internationally in sectors that previously would not have been possible with slower speeds. Superfast Cornwall continues its roll out in Cornwall, with another 8,600 premises set to benefit from superfast broadband access by early 2018.
Investing in our rail services – In 2014 we worked with the Local Enterprise Partnership and First Great Western to secure a £146m package of rail improvements to lift the local economy, create new jobs and provide faster rail journeys. These improvements, which will transform the railway in Cornwall between Penzance and Plymouth, include the introduction of new intercity trains between Penzance and Paddington, a two train per hour service between Penzance and Plymouth, expanding the Long Rock train maintenance site at Long Rock, and a completely upgraded Night Riviera Sleeper service. This transformation has been made possible by the investment that Cornwall Council, working with GRW Network Rail, has put in place in bringing forward the railway signalling improvements, the depot enhancement in Long Rock and the upgrade of the Sleeper carriages.
Investing in our road network - we successfully secured almost £300m of funding from the Government to carry out improvements to A30 between 2014 and 2019 – this includes the scheme to dual the A30 at Temple, and proposals to improve the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross. The £60m scheme at Temple, which will help boost economic growth, reduce traffic congestion and accidents, is due to be completed in July. By putting forward a design to dual the road which significantly cut the cost of earlier proposals, and agreeing to contribute £10m towards the cost of delivering the scheme, the Council ensured that the delivery of this much needed project was brought forward by at least five years. We are also working with Highways England to address issues on the A38. We have secured significant levels of investment through the Growth Deal to deliver transport improvements to encourage and facilitate economic growth in housing and employment. These schemes include A39 Falmouth Gateway, Redruth Strategic Employment Growth Package - Newquay Strategic Route (phase one complete), A38 Cornwall Gateway (Carkeel), Bodmin Cornwall’s Cycling Town, Truro Western Corridor , St Erth Multi Modal Hub and Callywith Roundabout .
Investing in our buses – last year we secured £12m from the Government to support our plans to improve bus services over the next three years. This money is being used to join up bus routes, improve bus shelters and bus stops, integrate ticketing and timetabling for bus with local rail services, and to provide new and improved vehicles and is part of the One Public Transport element of our Devolution Deal which will see £130m of Government funding used to develop an integrated rail, bus and ferry transport network across Cornwall . The project, which will come into service in Dec 2018, also includes the new half-hour rail shuttle between Penzance and Plymouth. offering enhanced mobility to many people, encourage reduced car reliance, improve air quality and reduce congestion, and putting Cornwall on a par with major metropolitan centres in terms of public transport . Last month also saw the introduction of a fleet of 37 brand new double decker buses under an innovative partnership between the Council, First Kernow and Go Cornwall which has seen Cornwall’s two largest operators contribute £10.5m in providing new vehicles and upgrading existing buses in Cornwall over the past 12 months.
Parking – we are committed to modernising parking in Cornwall to make it more response and productive. We are working with town and parish councils and local communities to address the issues of traffic and parking. Last year we carried out a town parking review in the seven areas identified as having the biggest parking problems - Bude, Falmouth and Penryn, Newquay, Penzance, St Ives, Truro and Wadebridge - and are developing solutions for each of the towns which will be considered by the new Council in May.
High flying airport - Cornwall Airport Newquay is now the fastest growing regional airport in the country – thanks to the support provided by the Council. In October 2014 we worked with LEP and MPs to persuade the Government to grant a Public Service Obligation to the Newquay to London Air Link, securing £2.8m of Government funding to safeguard the route for a four year period. This is the first PSO granted for any English airport. Since then passengers numbers using the airport have risen significantly, RyanAir has returned to Cornwall and is now operating new routes, Flybe has introduced new jets on the Newquay to London route, and we removed the £5 airport development fee from March 2016 as part of a package of measures to help encourage new airlines to fly from the airport.
Supporting local businesses – over the past four years we have spent around £2 billion on goods and services, of which around half (£1 billion) has been spent with local suppliers in Cornwall “, including small and medium sized enterprises. Our Regulatory Services have helped over 2,000 new businesses and supported 180 businesses that export goods and provided 25,000 businesses with tailored regulatory business advice.
Leading licensing reform nationally - Our Licensing Team were asked by the Government to lead a project to review how we can make the licensing system simpler, less burdensome and more effective in order to support the economy. The results of the review have been presented back to the Government but a number of changes have already been implemented in Cornwall.
Supporting Cornwall’s culture and heritage - we are supporting a wide range of cultural and heritage projects, including Kresen Kernow, the new archive centre being constructed on the site of the former Redruth Brewery which will provide a home to the world’s largest collection of manuscripts, books, maps and photographs relating to Cornwall. We have also supported the redevelopment of Tate Gallery , the works at King Edward Mine, the work of the Cornwall Museum Partnership to help museums to education and thrive and the redevelopment of the Mining World Heritage site, and are playing a key role in the redevelopment of the Hall for Cornwall. Last Summer we played a major role in the exciting Man Engine tour which was seen by more than 150,000 people across Cornwall. We are also working with MAGA, the Cornish Language Partnership, to encourage the use of the Cornish language. In October 2015 we agreed a new Cornish Language Plan which set out the way in which we will protect and promote the Cornish language in accordance with the European Charter and the Framework Convention for National Minorities.
Stewardship of our assets – this is about working collaboratively with partners and communities to strengthen the relationship between our environment, your community and you
Environmental Growth - in December 2016 we became the first place in the country to launch an Environmental Growth Strategy which aims to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to work together to increase environmental, social and economic prosperity. A first of its kind, environmental growth is focused on helping nature to do more for us.
Renewable energy - we are working hard to ensure that local communities, residents and businesses are benefiting from the move to a local carbon economy with measures to reduce fuel bills and ensure that the benefits from renewable energy remain in Cornwall. Our collective energy switch initiative delivered savings of more than £500,000 for residents’ energy bills and saw £3m invested in energy efficiency measure across 1,700 homes. We are encouraging energy developers to voluntarily provide an annual cash grant to local communities which host their schemes and supporting the development of community-owned energy projects where surplus income from the energy owned collectively by local residents is kept within the local area and then reinvested where the community needs it most. Around 25% of Cornwall’s renewable energy is currently locally owned, and we are committed to driving this up to 50% by 2030.
Air quality - We have declared three air quality management areas across Cornwall and brought in a new air quality strategy in order to tackle pockets of poor air quality caused by increasing road traffic.
Protecting open spaces – we are working with partners to maintain beaches, playgrounds, parks and open spaces and countryside and heritage sites across Cornwall. Seven of our parks and open spaces currently have prestigious Green Flags, with seven of our beaches receiving Blue Flags and a number of beaches also receiving Seaside Awards last year.
Keeping Cornwall clean – we work closely with our waste contractor to keep our streets clean, recycle waste and deal with incidents of fly tipping as quickly as possible. Over the past four years we have collected more than 464,000 tonnes of rubbish from the kerbside, as well as 130,000 tonnes of recycling. We have also had more than 16,000 incidents of fly tipping reported to us. . Firmer action is also being taken against those that fly tip with five successful prosecutions over the last year.
Essentials for living – ensuring that Cornwall has got the right infrastructure and the right number of house to meet the needs of our residents and businesses and that our planning policies allow us to thrive.
New homes – we are on target to deliver more than 3,000 new affordable homes over the past four years for people with a local connection by the end of this month to help meet Cornwall’s specific housing needs. We are also working with partners on a number of new housing schemes, including the Homes for Cornwall partnership which will see 300 new homes, including affordable homes and homes to rent, built on 11 Council owned sites across Cornwall over the next five years, and our own Housing Development programme which will see the Council investing £240m to build attractive high quality homes that people can afford in areas of high demand. We want to deliver up to 500 new homes a year under this scheme, with the first two sites currently underway in Tolvaddon and Bodmin. We have also brought 500 empty homes back into use over the past four years, and used the £2m Empty Property Loan funding we receive from the Government to help 90 residential properties be brought up to the standard where they can now be rented or sold.
Raising educational standards – we want all our children and young people to receive a world class education. In 2014 we set up the Raising Aspiration and Achievement Strategic Partnership Board (RAAS), which includes representatives from the education, business, commerce and enterprise, parents and carers , and are working with schools and colleges to deliver the RAAS Strategy to ensure that every child reaches their full potential.
Outstanding early years – 97% of our early years settings in Cornwall are now rated as “good” or “outstanding by Ofsted, compared to a national average of 93%.
Improving our schools - we have spent £37.5m carrying out essential repairs and maintenance at maintained primary and secondary schools since 2013. We are investing £40m in creating 2,414 additional pupil places by expanding 25 primary schools across Cornwall by September 2018. The works include building extra classrooms, halls and kitchens to provide additional school places where they are needed most.
Supporting local buses - we are committed to supporting public transport and over the past four years have spent £23.5m subsidising local bus services, including weekend and evening services, which would not operate without our support. We have also spent £20.5m to pay for the 12 million journeys made by concessionary bus pass holders.
Planning - our planning service have processed 31,620 applications over the past four years. Officers deal with an average of 18,000 pieces of work every year. Recent improvements include the introduction of paperless planning for town and parish councils. Following the adoption of the Local Plan last year our rate for successfully defending planning appeals has increased to 90%.
Maintaining our roads – we manage 7,300 km of roads, 4,300km of footpaths and nearly 900 public open spaces across Cornwall, as well as bridges, street lights and signals. The total value of these assets is more than £8billion and is the single most valuable public asset managed by the authority. Over the past four years we have surfaced 3,300 miles of road – about a third of the entire road network, and filled in 73,000 potholes.
Partners working together – this is about working with partners at an international, national, regional and local level to ensure that public services are delivered effectively.
Tri Service officer - in April 2015 Andrew Hitchens became the country’s first tri services officer. Based at the Hayle Tri Service Emergency Centre, Andrew is a qualified fire fighter with Cornwall Fire and Rescue and Community Safety Service, an emergency first responder for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and has also been trained in specific crime and disorder duties with Devon and Cornwall police. This pilot project has proved a great success and is now being expanded across the whole service.
Via - in 2016 we set up a new highways joint venture with Nottinghamshire County Council to provide highways and fleet management services in Nottinghamshire. Via East Midlands Ltd -the first highways joint venture of its kind to be developed in the UK, has a turnover of £40m a year and employs around 630 staff, the majority of whom has transferred from Nottinghamshire County Council, with a small number of staff, including HR and finance managers, provided by Cornwall Council.
BeachWise - in 2016 we joined with South West Water, the Environment Agency, Keep Britain Tidy, Marine Conservation Society, RNLI, South West Coast Path Association, South West Water, Surf Life Saving Great Britain and Visit Cornwall to form BeachWise, a new partnership to promote safe enjoyment of the South West’s beautiful beaches and clean bathing waters. The first project for the new group, which brings together beach safety advice and useful information from all the organisations involved , was to create a new online tool, with 20 top tips to help beachgoers enjoy a safe, fun, healthy and relaxing day by the sea .
National leader in supporting businesses – we have been working hard to cut red tape and reduce unnecessary regulatory burden on businesses in Cornwall through our Better Business for All programme. The scheme, which has received national praise as the best partnership in Cornwall, provides a single point of contact for businesses to contact our regulatory services such as trading standards, environmental health, animal health, licensing, planning and fire and community safety rather than having to contact them all separately.
Doing things differently – we worked with Visit Cornwall to create a new Visit Cornwall Community Interest company led by the private sector to market Cornwall as a key tourist destination.
Leisure centres - we have secured the future of our leisure centres by awarding the contract to run them from April to GLL who have an impressive track record in running leisure centres in locations all over the country under the national brand of ‘Better’. This decision ensures that the leisure centres without a subsidy from the Council, saving almost £3.5m a year which can be used to support other services.
South West Procurement Board - we have been working with our public sector partners from across the South West to jointly tender for contracts to ensure that we get the best value for money for local council tax payers.
Efficient, effective, and innovative – this is about identifying, designing and adopting innovative approaches to funding, technology, assets and our workforce to enable us to meet future financial challenges and deliver services effectively.
Sharing public buildings – we are continuing to work with police and health partners to share services and buildings to reduce running costs and generate money from the sale of surplus property through our One Public Estate programme. We have already saved millions of pounds by redesigning our buildings in County Hall and Dolcoath to make them more efficient, constructed a new purpose built building in Bodmin, enabling us to move staff from costly leased offices, and refurbished St John’s Hall in Penzance . These savings have been used to support essential services.
Digital improvements – over the next three years we are investing £18m in updating our IT systems to make it easier for residents and businesses to access our services digitally in the future. Our Digital Investment Plan will ensure that more services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, not just during office working hours, and also make it easier for people to track the progress of their service requests. It will make it easier to share information between different services, and between partners which will, in turn, increase efficiency. This is particularly important in areas such as health and social care where it is vital that staff from different organisations can access the information they need quickly.
“Looking back at the list of achievements listed above it is clear that this administration leaves Cornwall more stable and financially sound with a level of services that other authorities have failed to achieve” said John Pollard.
“None of this would have been possible without our staff and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and commitment. 98% of our staff live in Cornwall and while the local media does not always portray us in a good light, surveys have shown that our residents and partners value the professionalism with which our staff continue to deliver services for Cornwall, despite the climate of cuts and change.
“However, while we have achieved a lot over the past four years, we know there is still more to do. One area we clearly need to do better is communication. We need to do more to explain what we are doing, and to involve members of the public in shaping our policies and decisions. This means listening to what people and communities are saying. We are committed to achieving this and are putting in place measures to improve the way we engage and communicate.
“I said when I was elected as the Leader I was determined to build - not just to cut and reduce - and I am proud that, despite the challenges we have faced, Cornwall is well placed as it approaches an equally uncertain future.
Story posted 17th March.
The Winter Wellbeing partnership has again helped over a thousand households or nearly two and a half thousand people to keep their homes warm and themselves well.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are number 8th and 1st respectively in the table of most fuel poor areas in England, and helping people to heat their homes has a positive effect on their health. Examples include reducing asthma attacks, reducing mental health issues related to stress and helping people back to work because they are warm enough to concentrate on job applications.
The partners run the programme every winter from November until March and have been active for the last six years. Over the life of this council the Winter Wellbeing partners have collectively helped 13,000 people with advice on insulation, keeping their homes free from damp and mould and providing emergency fuel payments.
Support from the Cornwall Council Health and Wellbeing Board over the last four years has been invaluable. The programme led to a successful bid to central government for £2.3m from the Central Heating Fund. This supported new first time central heating in 318 homes in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.
A short video has been made to highlight the differnce having a warm home can make to people's lives:
The ongoing work to combat Fuel Poverty has led to greater recognition of the need to provide warm heathy homes and has been included in NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan.
A recent recipient of help in the form of a new electric meter from the programme said “This is going to make such a difference to me I haven’t had a heater on since July. I am going to wash off all the mould, and paint. The electric will enable me to do this”.
Jeremy Rowe, Chairman of Cornwall Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board said: "The team have done a fantastic job in making sure help gets to the people who need it most. It seems such a simple requirement that people should expect warm homes, but this programme is reaching many people who would otherwise face winter with real fear for their wellbeing".
Dr Caroline Court, Acting Director of Public Health added: “It’s great to see the impact this invaluable programme has had over the last four years. It’s work that we will continue as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan. Prevention is always better than cure and keeping people well enough to be able to work and enjoy being warm at home can have such a beneficial impact on health”.
There are still two weeks left of the programme for anyone who needs help and advice on keeping a household warm. Call the Winter Wellbeing Team on 0800 954 1956.
Story posted 17th March
Pioneering Early Help Hub and MARU schemes demonstrate success of joining up children’s services in Cornwall
As Members of the Council’s Cabinet support the “One Vision” Partnership Plan, Cornwall’s pioneering integrated Early Help Hub and MARU schemes show the success of partners working together to deliver services for children and young people.
Cornwall’s “One Vision” Partnership Plan which aims to change the way services work together to improve the lives of children, young people and their families in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, reached a key milestone today when the draft Plan was formally approved by the Council’s Cabinet.
The ambitious Plan, which has been produced jointly by Cornwall Council, the Council of the Isles of Scilly and NHS Kernow, in partnership with Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, sets the foundation for a Children and Young People Transformation Plan 2017-2020.
Formally launched in January, the One Vision Plan covers a wide range of education, health and social care services commissioned by Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow and the Council of the Isles of Scilly. These include education and early years’ services, support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, community child health services, including child and adolescent mental health services, early help services, and children’s social care, including child protection, children in care and care leavers.
Introducing the Plan at today’s meeting of the Cabinet Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Lead Member for Children and Young People, said “This is not about cutting services for children, young people and families in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Itis about improving services and building on the success of projects such as the Early Help Hub and our Multi Agency Referral Unit ( MARU) where we are already working closely with our partners to deliver ground breaking services which are changing lives.”
“We know that parents and carers and young people are not interested in which organisation runs a service – they just want to know that the service will be there when they need it. We already have strong relationships with our partners in health, schools, the police and the voluntary and community sector. Developing the One Vision Plan will help us to deliver improved joined up services which meet the needs of our children, young people and families."
Cornwall’s pioneering integrated multi agency Early Help Hub was launched 18 months ago by Cornwall Council and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to provide a single point of contact for information, advice and guidance about Early Help services for children and young people and their families, as well as access to a range of universal and targeted Early Help services.
The first integrated Early Help Hub to be set up in the country, it is dedicated to quickly assessing any problem affecting a child or young person up to the age of 18 and ensuring that they connect with the right support at the right time from the right service.
Staffed by professionals from both health and social care services, the Hub currently receives around 1,200 referrals a month from parents, GPs, school nurses, health visitors and other sources who have concerns about a child’s physical or emotional health, their behaviour at home or issues at school.
Each case is treated individually, with staff aiming to point the person making the referral towards the best help within 48 hours. This could mean linking them with teams in the community or voluntary services, resolving the problem over the phone or providing them with access to self help resources.
The success of the Hub is based on sharing information at an early stage and speedy response times, often nipping a problem in the bud before it reaches crisis point or becomes more firmly established. Staff have access to up to date information on all the services available, as well as immediate access to health, social care and school records which they use to make decisions.
The work of the Hub has been widely praised by parents, schools and health partners, with 87% of parents and carers who had accessed the service, and 78% of professionals saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service they had received.
“This is a brilliant service – thank you for making life easier” said one service user, while another added “ very understanding and helpful service –and was able to give support when other services couldn’t help”.
The Early Help Hub sits alongside Cornwall’s Multi-Agency Referral Unit (MARU) which provides an integrated response to concerns about the safety of a child.
Set up in 2012 and staffed by professionals from the Council’s social care team, heath partners and Devon and Cornwall police, the MARU has played a key role in improving safeguarding services for children and young people in Cornwall by ensuring that concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
The MARU is the single point of contact for anyone who is concerned about the welfare of a child. Its function is to provide professional advice and consultation and to determine whether the case meets the LSCB approved threshold criteria for statutory social work intervention. Where cases do not meet that threshold, referrers are provided with information, advice and guidance, including signposting to targeted and preventative services.
Where it is felt that early help or youth support is a proportionate response to concerns raised, the contact is passed to the Early Help Hub to process the contact through to locality-based Early Help Services.
Cases that meet the threshold are passed to the relevant team for a statutory social work assessment or for a strategy discussion in those cases where there is evidence of actual or potential risk of significant harm and where there is evidence, a child protection enquiry. If a service is required cases can be referred to Early Help Services, Family assessment and support teams, the specialist Adolescent team or the Child Protection and Court Teams.
In line with guidance on child sexual exploitation the MARU is supporting the development of the CSE forum in Cornwall, to promote the use of proactive/ preventive approaches to child sexual exploitation with partner agencies.
Story posted 17th March
Council welcomes Government funding as it works with partners to tackle homelessness and high number of rough sleepers in Cornwall
Welcoming the Government’s announcement that Cornwall is to benefit from a £1.2 million Flexible Homelessness Support Grant (FHSG), Cornwall Council cabinet member for housing and environment Joyce Duffin said: “Although most of this is not new money as such as this funding replaces the money the Council previously received to support the cost of providing temporary accommodation, it is still very welcome. The increased funding will be used to enhance the Council's homelessness service provision which is a key part of our preventing homelessness strategy. Because this money can now be used more flexibly, we will be able to invest in preparing for the new legislation in the Homelessness Reduction Bill and we’ll be working to discuss how we can best make that happen.”
In addition to this work, a comprehensive action plan is being formulated which will see more than £1.1 million invested in tackling the issue of rough sleeping in Cornwall.
Cornwall continues to see relatively high numbers of rough sleepers. The latest estimate, submitted to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) earlier this year, of the number of rough sleepers in Cornwall on a typical night in November 2016, was 99 individuals – a significant increase on the 65 reported the previous year.
Joyce Duffin said: “The increase in the number of rough sleepers in Cornwall is following the national trend and, without a plan to help those at risk so they are not forced to sleep rough in the first place, as well as those who are already having to sleep rough, is likely to get worse. Factors such as the roll out of Universal Credit, housing benefit changes introduced in the Housing & Planning Act stopping Housing Benefit for under 22yr olds, restrictions on housing benefit for under 35s in social housing and the benefit cap, will put even more people at risk.
Partnership working is the key to tackling this national issue which is threatening to blight the lives of the individuals who find themselves on the brink of becoming homeless, as well as those who are vulnerable and already sleeping rough.”
Funded by a successful £292,000 bid to the Government’s Rough Sleeper Programme, ‘No First Night Out’, will be in place from 01 April and will see a new team of experienced outreach, housing options and resettlement officers from Cornwall Housing, Coastline and St Petroc’s Society working together to combine knowledge and skills to help those who are facing pressures that could tip them over into rough sleeping. This specialist team will be working with individuals or couples who are at risk of sleeping rough for the first time and those at risk of returning to sleeping rough. The aim is to ensure that people have a safe place to stay while services work with them to resolve the issues that are threatening them with homelessness.
In addition a further £850,000 has been allocated by the Council and Cornwall Housing to produce a long term Cornwall Rough Sleeping Strategy. Cornwall Rough Sleeping Strategy will be delivered in partnership between Cornwall Council, Cornwall Housing Ltd (CHL), Voluntary Sector Providers, Safer Cornwall, the Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), Devon & Cornwall Police, Public Health (including Mental Health Services) and Inclusion Cornwall.
Joyce explains: “By committing this £850,000 of funding we are sending out a clear signal that the stop/start short term initiatives of the past need to be underpinned with a properly resourced multi agency strategy which will tackle the issue of rough sleeping head on.”
The Strategy has three strands: -
- help for those who are in danger of becoming rough sleepers;
- help new rough sleepers quickly so that they do not become used to and resigned to that lifestyle;
- identify and support entrenched rough sleepers to help them off the streets once and for all.
Joyce says: “The Council already commissions a range of services to help rough sleepers and those with complex needs and these are supported further by the excellent work that is undertaken by the voluntary sector.
However, it is clear that as well as helping those at risk of homelessness from ending up on the streets, we need to support a number of entrenched rough sleepers some of whom have complex needs or who are effectively excluding themselves from accessing the help that is out there now because they sometimes display such challenging behaviour. Just moving people on is not the answer and we need to look at different approaches so that we can offer the support that is required.”
Research shows that the longer people sleep rough, the more complex their problems become and the harder it is for them to leave the streets.
Joyce explains: “There is a core group of people in Cornwall who have been sleeping rough for over 6 months. Some of them lead very chaotic lives which makes it difficult to help them into accommodation so we propose putting in place a multi-agency team to bolster existing provision - including specific help for those rough sleepers with mental health issues.”
Members of the public who have concerns about a rough sleeper in their area should go to the Streetlink website or phone Streetlink on 0300 500 0914. The rough sleeper will be contacted by the Street Outreach Team within 24 hours and offered advice, assistance and support to find accommodation.
People who wish to donate should give directly to one of the organisations officially helping people, such as St Petroc’s. That way you will help the organisations to support individuals to make positive changes.
Story posted 17 March 2017
Eight months after being awarded £8.9m from the Big Lottery Fund’s HeadStart programme, HeadStart Kernow is making a real difference to the lives of thousands more children and young people across Cornwall.
Cornwall’s successful HeadStart programme was set up in 2014 after the Council was invited by the Big Lottery Fund to submit a bid for funding to help support young people aged between 10-16 years to deal better with difficult circumstances, and help manage emotional and mental health challenges before they become serious issues. The Council was awarded £500,000 which was used to set up the programme.
Led by a partnership including Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, NHS Kernow, Cornwall Foundation Trust, Cornwall Association of Secondary Headteachers (CASH), Cornwall Association of Primary Headteachers, (CAPH) and the voluntary and community sector, HeadStart Kernow focuses on four key areas:
- A child’s time and experiences at school
- Their ability to access the services they need
- Their home life and relationships with family members
- their interaction with family members
Practitioners use a range of approaches, including peer mentoring, mental health ‘first aid’ training, online portals and special resilience lessons to help young people feel they have support in the classroom as well as at home, and tackle the stigma that can often surround the issues of mental health.
During the two year period between 2014 and the summer of 2016, the programme worked with 61 primary schools, 10 secondary schools and one special school across Cornwall, helping to support around 10,000 young people aged between 10 and 16 years. Specialist training was also provided to more than 100 practitioners, both in schools and in the voluntary and community sectors.
Last July Cornwall became one of just six areas across the country to receive a Big Lottery Fund grant to continue its work in supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people up to 2021. The £8.9m grant is being used to support the delivery of the HeadStart Kernow Strategy and has already resulted in hundreds more children and young people receiving support.
The HeadStart Kernow programme sits within Cornwall Council’s Children, Families and Adults Directorate and is led by Jane Black, the Council’s Service Director for Education and Early Years, with Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, the lead Member.
“The funding from the National Lottery has meant we have been able to build on the current programme and provide much needed pro-active and preventive emotional health support for more young people across Cornwall” said Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Lead Member for Children and Young People.
“We are using the money to support a range of activities in schools and in local communities, to help develop the workforce and to improve support systems to ensure that all children and young people in Cornwall can access the right support when they need it. Young people are telling us that the programme is making a real difference to them and I am very proud of what we have achieved.
Jane Black added “I am delighted to host the HeadStart Kernow programme in my service and the resources it has drawn together, in partnership with schools, the voluntary and community sector and most importantly young people themselves.
“Building emotional resilience and mental wellbeing is a key priority within our Education strategy acknowledging how crucial this is in enabling all young people to maximise their potential as they prepare for adulthood and future employment.”
Since July the programme has recruited eight new members of staff, including five new HeadStart co-ordinators, and is working closely with the Council and NSH partners to ensure that the emotional resilience and mental wellbeing of children and young people is a key element of the developing One Vision Children’s Services Transformation Plan.
Staff from the programme are also working closely with secondary schools across Cornwall, with a key contact now identified in each of the 31 schools. Work is now taking place to develop an action plan and budget for each school to support students facing challenges in their lives.
“I had moved away from a place I once loved, but leaving was going to be easy in respect that I had no life…people would threaten me and make it so I couldn’t leave the front door. However it was going to be hard. I’d lived there all my life and was about to leave my Nana” explained one Year 9 student receiving 1:1 HeadStart support in her school. “At my new school I was advised to see someone who could offer support and I can honestly say it has worked! It has allowed me to sort things over at my own pace, and has given me the opportunity to move on from all the bad and focus on the good and appreciate things.
“I am making progress at school a lot more! I have learnt to control my opinions when not appropriate and not blame people around me for why I can’t do things! Things could be even better if more schools would encourage this type of help for young people like me.”
The programme is also continuing to offer “ Thrive “ training to schools and the voluntary and community sector. This has included developing bespoke, more focused training that more realistically recognise time pressures on schools, the expertise in different sectors and the needs of the community.
“I don’t trust teachers to be honest! It has been nice to have someone from outside school to do activities with” said one Year 6 pupil who is involved in 1:1 Thrive and transition group work. “HeadStart is a lifeline to me. It has helped me a lot.”
HeadStart has also been working closely with the Early Help service and recently organised a Community Showcase event at Looe Children’s Centre. The aim of the event was to provide a networking opportunity for local organisations supporting young people as well as highlighting the support which is available to people working in education, health and social care services.
Richard Head, Programme Lead for HeadStart Kernow, is delighted at the progress which has been made over the past eight months and says the programme is now working with more young people, families, schools and local communities across Cornwall to pro-actively support good mental health and intervene earlier to help prevent the need for treatment.
“National research has shown that many young people report being unable to sleep because of stress or worry, with some saying they feel worried or sad at least once a week” said Richard. “The funding we received last year means we have been able to develop our existing programme to improve support and intervention in school, in the community and at home and help more children and young people to deal with the challenges of growing up and support a healthy life into adulthood.
Story posted 17th March
A proposed health and wellbeing centre in Camelford could become a pilot for Cornwall Council investing in health practices in the future.
Cornwall Council’s Cabinet has given the thumbs up for a study that will investigate whether the Council should invest in premises that could then be rented to local health practices. The aim is to safeguard essential local services while also making a return on the investment that could then be used to fund other services in Cornwall.
If the business case stacks up, Camelford’s proposed health and wellbeing hub could become the first health practice in Cornwall to be funded in this way. The Council has actively supported the ambitions of the Camelford Community Network Panel, the Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS England, Camelford Town Council and local GPs to develop a new health and wellbeing hub for the town. The project has already secured £780,000 of Estates Transformation and Technology Funding, a £9,000 Awards for All grant from the Big Lottery Fund and £9,000 from Cornwall Council to cover business planning and design of the centre. The feasibility work is initially being funded from the One Public Estate bid, secured as part of the Cornwall Deal.
Jeremy Rowe, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Localism, said: “We’re keen to take a more outward looking approach to the Council’s property portfolio. We want to focus on opportunities that contribute to economic development and support the wellbeing and capacity of our communities while also generating income to replace the shortfall in government funding.
“Currently GPs either rent premises in the private sector or have to take out a mortgage to purchase a surgery. Initiatives such as the Council investing in health premises have the potential to keep public sector money in the public sector where it can be reinvested in local services.”
Cornwall Councillor Rob Rotchell, who chairs the Camelford Health and Wellbeing Hub Steering Group, said: “This is excellent news for Camelford. Our town is growing and changing, and we’d like to see our local health services keep pace with those changes. We also want to a wider range of services available in Camelford, such as a dentist and an optician, so people don’t have to travel as far to get the care they need. The Council’s feasibility study will help us to develop a viable way forward and could lead to us piloting the new scheme of Council investment in health premises.”
Story posted 17 March 2017
Work on the first two Cornwall Council Contemporary Cornish Living schemes get underway in Bodmin and Tolvaddon this month, with plans for the initiative to deliver a total of 1,000 homes at sites all around Cornwall by 2022.
The former Bodmin St Lawrence Hospital site will see the development of 75 new attractive, high quality affordable homes, whilst the site in Tolvaddon will deliver 38 new homes as well as three self-build plots.
The proposed housing developments will be self-financing with the Council using the money raised from renting and selling the homes to pay back the money it will borrow to undertake the developments.
Joyce Duffin, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet member for Housing and Environment, said: “In Cornwall there is a huge demand for good quality homes to rent and buy. Fifty percent of homes in the private rented sector in Cornwall are below the Decent Home Standard.
“Because the market alone can’t meet the level of demand, we are using our Housing Development Programme to directly invest in and build attractive, high quality homes that people can afford in areas of high demand. Our aim is to deliver up to 1,000 homes over the next five years in developments that include market homes to buy and rent. The £240 million that our Housing Development Programme is investing in Cornwall’s economy will also create much needed construction jobs, provide local employment and bring skills development opportunities.”"/>
The developments in both Bodmin and Tolvaddon will be a mixture of one, two and three bedroomed homes and will include open market sale properties, and affordable and private rental properties.
The feedback from local consultation events has shaped the developments and is reflected in the size and style of the homes that will be built, including the number of bedrooms, external finishes and internal layout.
Some of the changes that have been made following the consultation include making homes more flexible so that they can be adapted to meet changing needs, making sure that they are suitable for a wide range of residents, and ensuring they can adapt to the user over the course of their lifetime by optimising available space, such as roof spaces. The homes will also be energy efficient so that they are cost effective to heat.
Ann Kerridge, Cornwall Councillor for Bodmin St Mary’s, said: “For a long time the St Lawrence’s site was a wasteland. I’m delighted to see Cornwall Council investing in Bodmin. These new homes will be attractive and high quality while still being affordable to buy or rent. Importantly they will also be economical to run, so heating costs will be more affordable too.”
Malcolm Moyle, Cornwall Councillor for Pool and Tehidy, said: “I’ve been involved in this site for the last two years and it’s a site which has been very carefully chosen to benefit all the local people who will have their homes here. We had a lot of consultation on the site and the houses and I was amazed at the number of people who came along and were heavily involved in choosing the types of homes which will be built on the site. Without question this will benefit local people who will have good quality homes built by Cornwall Council.”
Phil Mason, Cornwall Council Service Director for Planning and Sustainable Development, said: “It is fantastic that we are soon to start on site building houses directly by the Council. The important thing for me is about delivering the housing that we need for Cornwall which was set out in the Cornwall Local Plan and doing it really well. What we want to achieve are houses people can really live in, with space, gardens, parking and which are well designed with low energy costs.”
Story posted 17 March 2017
Cornwall Council has awarded a series of grants to support cultural organisations and venues across Cornwall.
These includes funding from the Council’s HALLS for Cornwall grant programme which was set up to make local venues more comfortable for audiences, and help them to attract high quality programming and reduce their overhead costs and increase their earned income while the Hall for Cornwall is closed for major building works.
The funding will be used to enable 11 venues across Cornwall from Calstock Arts to Newquay Lane Theatre, to the Tolmen Centre in Constantine to improve their facilities. The projects include new roofs, lighting and sound equipment and better dressing rooms.
Welcoming the awards, Julian German, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture, said “I am thrilled to see venues in communities across Cornwall supported through this scheme. Many of our smaller venues are supported by loyal teams of volunteers and I would like to thank them for their dedication in bringing great quality performing arts to our villages and towns for all to enjoy.”
Paul Mullin, Chairman of The Acorn Theatre, Penzance, which has received one of the grants, said “‘We are absolutely delighted and enormously grateful to Cornwall Council for making such a large contribution to the Theatre’s Refurbishment Programme.
“As a result of this grant, we can replace our aging boiler and upgrade parts of the theatre to LED lighting - which will both save energy and reduce our running costs. We’ll also be able to decorate the main auditorium and upgrade the dressing rooms, so the place will be more inviting for performers and customers alike. Taken together, all this will help make the theatre more financially viable and sustainable for the people of Penzance and Penwith in future.
“Great news! Many thanks Cornwall Council. Watch this space!”
Alongside this funding, the Culture Revenue Grants scheme will also vest in 18 key cultural organisations from 2018-2022 sustaining a plethora of activity in theatre companies, museums, literature, dance, music, the visual arts and associated support services. This includes support for four new organisations - The Charles Causley Trust (based in Launceston); Dance Republic 2 (based near Newquay); Endelienta (based near Port Isaac) and KEAP – Kernow Arts Education Partnership (based in Camborne).
“Not only will investments in our key cultural organisations will give Cornish residents the opportunity to enjoy a diverse range of creative and heritage activities it will also strengthen our economy and attract visitors to Cornwall” said Julian German. “ Cornwall should cherish its excellent cultural companies particularly as we work together towards developing the Truro –Cornwall European Capital of Culture designation”.
Amanda Harris, Director of Kernow Arts Education Partnership ( KEAP) one of the four new organisations to receive support, said “ “We are delighted that we have been offered the opportunity to be a Culture Revenue grant client of Cornwall Council. As a small organisation committed to creating opportunities for young people to access and participate in the arts it means a lot to us to have the recognition from Cornwall Council.”
Story posted 17th March.
The shortage of suitably experienced social workers is a national problem. Cornwall Council took decisive action in 2011 to tackle this problem locally by setting up its own trainee scheme, The Cornwall Foundation for Social Work. Over the last 5 years the Cornwall Foundation has brought 33 new social workers into the service and currently has 18 trainee social workers in post. The Foundation is seen as one of the most innovative and successful schemes in the country.
The recruitment of children’s social workers who have the values, motivation and passion to make a real difference to the lives of children and families in Cornwall has been at the heart of the reform programme within the Council’s Children and Family Services, which has seen the service progress from an ‘Inadequate’ judgement by Ofsted in 2009 to ‘Good’ in 2016. Cornwall is now in the top 25% of the best children’s services in the country.
“Social work is one of the most challenging and rewarding professions in the world. We are committed to supporting those who want to make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people“ explained Jack Cordery, Service Director for Children and Family Services. "The children of Cornwall deserve the best from us and we put their needs at the heart of everything we do. The Foundation is about supporting people who are committed to Cornwall and share our ambition to give every child a brighter future.
“Social workers make a positive difference to the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people in Cornwall. The Foundation is our ‘grow your own’ approach where we offer opportunities for local people who are living in and are committed to Cornwall to train to become children and family social workers. This has proved to be very successful, with around 18 people training to become social workers at any one time”.
“We don’t stop there. Our Assessed and Supported Year in Employment offer to Newly Qualify Social Workers in their first year is respected nationally and we receive applications from all over the country to become a social worker in Cornwall as well as those from people living in Cornwall”.
Trainee social workers are initially taken on at the grade of a family support worker to gain valuable experience in this role for up to twelve months under close supervision before joining a university course. Their course fees and expenses are funded by the Council. They are full time students during the term time, but then return as family support workers during the holidays. They are then committed to Cornwall for at least three years once they qualify.
The trainees currently working in Cornwall have come from a range of backgrounds, including teachers and nurses, with some previously working for the Council as children’s centre workers, youth workers and family workers.
Cornwall’s Foundation for Social Work is overseen by the Principal Child and Family Social Worker for Cornwall, Marion Russell, a social worker who is in practice herself. “As well as offering placements to social work students and running our trainee programme, the service also attracts experienced social workers through our skills-based, evidence-informed learning and development programme, with access to post-qualifying accredited learning in our partnership with Plymouth University” said Marion.
“We have an established Career and Qualification Pathway that promotes learning and practice, and rewards the most experienced and effective social workers who stay in practice. Last year we also launched a new ‘Return to Social Work’ scheme to offer opportunities for those who have had a break in their career, to support them to refresh their knowledge, skills and practice”.
One of Cornwall’s current trainee social workers is Alex Halsey who is based in the child protection team in East Cornwall. “Training to be a social worker under the Cornwall Council traineeship has been an incredible challenge and opportunity.” he said.
“The supportive, skilled and stable teams in Cornwall have made the challenges of learning how to support those that are most vulnerable and to drive positive and collaborative change in people’s lives easier. It is a privilege to earn and learn, and without this programme I would not have, been able to re-train and make this career change.
“The investment in quality training continues post traineeship and to have skilled knowledgeable and passionate supervisors and teams committed to the work, profession and society is a real asset to my learning and motivation and aspiration to become an excellent social worker. The programme enables trainees to benefit experiences from a variety of different teams both within the council and voluntary sector provision through the university placements. This experience has enabled me to better understand the variety of work, opportunities and where my own developing skills, values and interests are best suited.
Julie Holmes has just qualified as a social worker, having been part of the Cornwall Foundation for Social Work scheme, and is now working as a newly qualified social worker for the Council.
"Becoming a trainee social worker really helped me to consolidate my previous work and life experiences in a variety of areas" said Julie. "It gave me the opportunity to study social work theories and methods and realise that the way I was previously working has a name and is evidence-based. This knowledge has increased my confidence and provides me with a framework for professional practice, which is invaluable to my work as a Newly Qualified Social Worker.
“This route into the profession is not one which I could have afforded to fund myself. Whilst at university it became apparent that Cornwall Council is quite unusual in offering this development route to potential social workers. The security of a recognised progression route within the Council is empowering during the challenging academic process”.
Social workers play a leading role in delivering services that safeguard the welfare of the most vulnerable children and young people in Cornwall. Staff from the Council already work closely with a range of partners, including health practitioners, the Police and the voluntary and community sector. Together they have established a highly successful integrated multi-agency Early Help Hub that receives requests for help and a Multi-Agency Referral Unit (MARU) for social care referrals.
Services are organised and provided in three areas for West, Mid and East Cornwall. These include children’s centres, Family Assessment and Support, Child Protection, Court Work, Children in Care and Care Leaver support services. The Council also has a Disabled Children and Therapy Service, Children’s Psychology Service and a Safeguarding Children Standards Unit, all of which are multi-disciplinary.
Over the past two years the Council has also set up and developed a range of specialist services to support children, young people and families in Cornwall. These include Gweres tus Yownyk (Helping Young People) which incorporates the youth offending service and works with adolescents on the edge of care; Teylu (Family) which is a specialist pre-birth and parent assessment team; the Family Plus Team, which supports adoptive parents and special guardians; GK, which works with children who have exhibited harmful sexual behaviours; and Jigsaw, which provides counselling for children who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Again, all these teams are multi-disciplinary.
The success of the Council’s approach to encouraging people who are committed to Cornwall to become social workers has been praised by the authority’s Lead Member for Children and Young People Andrew Wallis who said “The success of our “grow our own” scheme, which closely follows the recommendations made by Professor Eileen Munro in her far-reaching review of child protection, means that we have been able to recruit and retain high quality staff who are working very hard to help and protect our children and young people from harm. This played a key role in Cornwall being rated “Good” by Ofsted under a much tougher regime, putting Cornwall’s children’s services in the top 25% in the country”.
“Our social workers do a fantastic job in what are often difficult and challenging circumstances and I would like to publicly thank them for their commitment, hard work and achievements in improving the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people in Cornwall".
Story posted 17th March
Four community projects in Cornwall have been awarded funding to run a range of Cornish language activities over the next year. These will be aimed at a range of people, from those who are just interested in having a go at speaking or hearing the language, through to fluent speakers.
One of the key aims of the 10 year Cornish Language Strategy is to increase the opportunities to use Cornish.
One of the groups awarded funding as part of this programme is Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek - the Cornish Language Fellowship – who will be running a programme of activities throughout the year with other language and community groups. In recent years, the number of Yeth an Werin (pub or cafe evenings where Cornish is spoken) has grown and this project will start to coordinate events, provide support to volunteers and make links with other groups in the community.
Lowender Peran, the annual music festival in Newquay, will be using its funding to work with choirs, community groups and schools who are interested in singing in Cornish. This will offer an easy way to try out the language and is less intimidating than going to a formal class
Another recipient of funding, Looe Music Festival, will be working with choirs and schools in south-east Cornwall building up to an exciting mass participation event.
The fourth project to receive funding is Radyo an Gernewegva, an hour long weekly radio programme which is made entirely in Cornish. The Camborne-based social enterprise which make the programme will use the funding to develop the range of Cornish language programming they produce and develop multi-media resources for Cornish speakers.
Welcoming the funding Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture said” All these projects aim to enable local groups in Cornwall meet the increasing interest in Cornish and contribute to the vitality and colour of Cornwall. With some schools starting to teach Cornish as well, this all reflects a growing confidence and pride in the future of the Cornish language.”
Ten months after the launch of Via East Midlands Ltd (Via), the new highways company developed through a ground breaking partnership between Cornwall Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, both organisations are delighted with the success of the joint venture.
Set up to provide highways and fleet management services in Nottinghamshire, Via, the first highways joint venture of its kind to be developed in the UK was initially launched on 5 May, 2016. It became fully operation in July under a ten year contract, which is extendable for a further five years.
Jointly owned by Nottinghamshire County Council and Cornwall Council, Via had a turnover of £40m in the nine months to March 2017 and employs around 630 staff, the majority of whom has transferred from Nottinghamshire County Council.
The company is fully supported by CORSERV which provides strategic support to Via as well as Cornwall Council’s existing arm’s length and commercial trading companies; CORMAC Solutions Ltd, Cornwall Airport, Cornwall Housing, Cornwall Development Company and Cornwall Airport Newquay.
One of the key achievements of the project has been the ability to streamline back office functions, allowing the capacity for business growth and development such as the successful outcomes of a shared IT platform which has helped improve efficiency and reduce costs for both organisations.
“The creation of Via has been a great success which has seen both Councils learning from each other and sharing their knowledge and experience to deliver high quality services for their residents and customers“ said Adam Paynter, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources. “It has also created 10 new jobs in both Cornwall and Nottinghamshire to date, and will bring £0.4m of additional revenue back into both Councils for 16/17 which is being used to support other services”.
“A major part of the success of the project has been the positive approach taken by Members and officers of both Councils and I look forward to seeing this model replicated in other parts of the country”.
Councillor Kevin Greaves, Committee Chairman for Transport and Highways at Nottinghamshire County Council, said “ Having a well-maintained, safe highways networks is, of course, an essential service for our road users and residents so we are pleased with how working arrangements have been going so far.
“Our Council staff work closely with Via East Midlands staff to offer the best mix of skills and expertise necessary to deliver a good quality network while providing the best value for money for Nottinghamshire taxpayers.”
Doug Coutts, Managing Director of Via East Midlands Ltd, said “Via’s first 10 months of operation have been a huge success, both in delivering services to the residents of Nottinghamshire and external commercial customers.
“The transition of services from Nottinghamshire County Council has been seamless, and as our main client, we are delighted to have continued our great relationship with officers, members, residents and road users.
“The transfer of knowledge and experience from our parent companies Nottinghamshire County Council and CORSERV have been a great benefit. It has helped us to successfully restructure the organisation, giving us a sound platform to develop, meet future growth needs and become more sustainable, through providing new opportunities for employees and investing in additional external resource to further develop our expertise going forward.
“In addition to delivering high quality services to our main client, we have secured a good level of external business, backed by a growing pipeline of future opportunities, meaning that we are on target to deliver the first-year return to our shareholders.”
Via delivers a wide range of highways services throughout Nottinghamshire, including maintaining roads, footways, signs, lines, lighting and signals, salting and snow clearance, delivery of road improvement services and managing the county’s highways network of more than 4,100 kilometres.
While the focus of the new company so far has been to deliver a high quality highways service for Nottinghamshire, in the future Via will be looking to sell its services in other parts of the country.
“While the CORSERV group of companies already carries out work for a wide range of public and private sector organisations across Cornwall, our geography makes it more difficult for us to sell our services to other parts of the country." said Adam Paynter. “Notts’ location in the middle of the country will provide more potential to win new contracts in the future.
Story posted 17 March
Hundreds of voluntary and community groups in Cornwall have benefited from Cornwall Council Community Chest grants worth £214,716 during the 2016/17 grant scheme. With grants still being processed as we approach the end of the financial year, it is expected that the final total will be nearly £245,000.
Every year each of Cornwall Council’s 123 councillors has a total fund of £2,000 to support projects run by not for profit groups in their local area. This year they have handed out 751 grants that have benefited a wide range of people and activities, from community facilities and environmental projects to schemes promoting healthy living, music and sport.
Cornwall councillors have given grants towards everything from cinema equipment for a community cinema to trombones for Town Bands. Many groups used the grants to attract match funding, leading to over £2m more pouring in to local projects and organisations.
Jeremy Rowe, Cornwall Council’s Localism Portfolio Holder, said: “Community Chest grants support a wide range of projects and groups that make a difference to so many individuals and communities across Cornwall.
Many of Cornwall’s voluntary and community groups use these small grants to secure match funding from other grant providers, boosting their value many times over and greatly increasing their benefit to local communities.”
Last year Cornwall Councillors supported community projects including:
- River Recreation Centre CIC - £900 for West Quarries Picnic Site
- Launceston Rifle and Pistol Club - £480 to purchase of air rifle and bag
- Padstow and District Lions - £300 to support Padstow Carnival 2016
- St Goran Community Land Trust Ltd - £500 for the conversion and refurbishment of Gorran Old School
- Newquay Education Trust - £454 for a wildlife garden
- Roseland Rugby Club - £500 for mobile training lights.
- Out and About with Highway Farm - £300 for a fundraising event.
- Lelant Village Hall - £500 for hall refurbishments.
- Diana Close Residents Association - £650 for a treadmill.
The full list of Community Chest grants can be found on the Cornwall Council Community Networks webpage.
The arrangements for applications for the 2017/18 grant scheme will be announced a few weeks after Councillors take office following the elections on 4 May 2017.
Story posted 16 March 2017