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Three homes returned during key amnesty

A key amnesty, run during January and February 2015 by the Council and Cornwall Housing, has been hailed a success.

The key amnesty, which allowed anyone not living in their council home or illegally subletting it to hand back their keys rather than face possible criminal investigation and potential legal action, resulted in nearly 70 calls to a dedicated fraud hotline and the recovery of three properties.

Joyce Duffin, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment said: “To have three homes returned during the 2 month key amnesty is a real success.  That could potentially be 3 people or families who will now be able to have a council house of their own.  With the huge pressure we have in Cornwall for social housing, it is wrong for people to be benefitting when they are not entitled.  I am really pleased that the public have made use of the amnesty opportunity.”

Every property being used fraudulently stops another household in housing need from accessing that affordable housing. A new home costs on average well over £150,000 to build and there are almost 28,000 households registered on Cornwall Homechoice seeking an affordable home, making it even more important that those committing tenancy fraud do not get away with depriving other households out of the homes they need.

Illegal subletting happens when a council home is let to a tenant and that tenant then moves out and illegally lets the property to someone else – usually at a higher rent.

Not only is this illegal, it prevents much needed homes from being made available to families in genuine need and in addition costs every household in Cornwall money.

Cornwall Council’s Corporate Fraud Team and Cornwall Housing Ltd have been working in partnership since August 2014 to tackle tenancy fraud and, in what is believed to be the first such prosecution in Cornwall under new Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act legislation, a former tenant was convicted of tenancy fraud in December for illegally moving out of and then subletting a council house. The former tenant was given a 12 month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay Cornwall Council’s full investigation and legal costs after admitting moving out of the property and subletting it.

Jane Barlow, Managing Director of Cornwall Housing said: “This prosecution shows that this type of activity will not be tolerated by Cornwall Housing Ltd. We have been working in partnership with Cornwall Council’s experienced Corporate Fraud Team and as a result of the amnestry, three homes have been surrendered. 

We have seen evidence of how introducing a key amnesty has worked well in other parts of the country.  By bringing the issue to the public’s attention, other authorities saw an increase in referrals to its tenancy fraud hotline and we have seen the same results here.  We know that the overwhelming majority of residents live in their homes legally and that they share our commitment to tackling tenancy fraud and I would encourage anyone who suspects someone of committing tenancy fraud to get in touch.”

The initiative was launched in the wake of a change in the law.

The introduction of the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 in October 2013 means people illegally subletting their property can now face a prison sentence of up to two years, a criminal record, or a fine of up to £5,000. 

Residents wishing to report somebody who may be illegally subletting or is not living in their home can do so in complete confidence by calling the Council’s dedicated fraud hotline  on 0800 7316125 or emailing tenancyfraud@cornwall.gov.uk

Story posted 30 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall calls for greater control over its own affairs

Cornwall Council News feed - 15 min 14 sec ago

The Leader of Cornwall Council John Pollard has written to the leaders of the main national political parties in England calling on them to give their support for greater powers and freedoms to be given to Cornwall following the general election.

In the letter, which has been sent to Prime Minister David Cameron; Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg; Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband; UKIP Leader Nigel Farage and the Leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas, Mr Pollard sets out the reasons why Cornwall should have greater control over its own affairs and calls on all the main political parties to back the ‘Case for Cornwall’.

The letter, together with copies of the revised Case for Cornwall document which sets out details of the additional powers and freedoms which are being sought, has also been sent to representatives of the main political parties in Cornwall.

“Following the Scottish Referendum last September the devolution of powers and responsibilities within England has become a burning topic” said John Pollard.  “Cornwall needs to have more local accountability, more local control, more local direction and more local democracy.  The powers, freedoms and flexibility we are requesting are all realistic and will enable us to deliver a better service to our communities and create a more flexible and sustainable Cornwall.”

“Our ambition is to achieve ‘double devolution’ so that the Council’s partners, including our town and parish colleagues and our partners in the voluntary sector, benefit from the transfer of powers from London to Cornwall.  These are actions that the unitary Council, working with our partners, can achieve.

“We recognise that there are those with ambitions for different forms of governance and our ‘case’ will lay the foundations for later developments .  As our negotiations on devolved powers develop,  so will the debate on wider issues of governance and management.”

Following the decision of the full Council to back the draft “Case for Cornwall” in January, further work has been carried out on developing the “asks”.

The proposals set out in the Case for Cornwall document now include :

  • Public transport and connectivity – including additional powers to decentralise bus regulation and retaining a fraction of fuel duty to maintain Cornwall’s roads
  • Housing – devolution of powers and land holdings from the Homes and Communities Agency, working with the Government to identify ways of managing the number of second homes and retaining Stamp Duty to build affordable housing
  • Health and social care – working with the Government to integrate health and social care
  • Energy  - greater control over the development of electrical grid and unlocking potential for geothermal energy
  • Public sector efficiency – devolved delivery of funding and investment streams

The Council has already started discussions and negotiations with the main Government departments so that it can refine and further debate the Case for Cornwall before presenting a detailed submission before the summer recess of Parliament in July.

“The Leaders of the three main political parties have all publically backed the principle of more decisions being made at a local level” said John Pollard.  “I am asking them to demonstrate their commitment to devolution by giving their support to the Case for Cornwall.

“I am also calling on the people of Cornwall to demonstrate their support for the Case for Cornwall by asking candidates standing for election in their local areas for their views on our proposals.

“People can also pledge their support by joining the #standupforcornwall campaign on social media by following us on Twitter @CaseforCornwall using #standupforcornwall  or on the Case for Cornwall Facebook page .

“This is a vital time for Cornwall and we want as many people as possible to standupforcornwall so we can take greater control of our own affairs. “

Details of the Case for Cornwall are available on the Council’s website – where members of the public can pledge their support.  Copies of the Case for Cornwall document will also be available in libraries and one stop shops where people can also pledge their support. 

Story posted 30 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Lord Lieutenant presents honours to two who have served West Cornwall and to education stalwart

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 09:00

Three deserving people from Cornwall have been presented with their honours at a ceremony conducted by Colonel Edward Bolitho the Lord Lieutenant.

The ceremony was held at Trengwainton on Thursday 19 March in the presence of family and friends of the recipients.  They are:

  • Mrs Ruth Simpson, awarded an MBE for Services to the communities in Newlyn and Penzance, West Cornwall;
  • Mr Alan Lemin, awarded a BEM for services to Further and Higher Education and to the community in Cornwall;
  • Mr Roy Pascoe, also awarded a BEM for services to the community in West Cornwall.

A former Mayor of Penzance, Ruth Simpson has faithfully served the communities of Newlyn and Penzance for over 54 years being a stalwart of her community.  The length and breadth of her involvement in local organisations is tremendous and through her work she has helped to raise pride and awareness of her local area.

As Head of Student recruitment at Plymouth College of Art, Alan Lewin has forged partnerships with schools, colleges and universities to actively promote equality and diversity, widen participation, and encourage individuals that their dreams can come true.  His contribution to arts education and dedication to fairness and equality has helped innumerable students achieve much more than they ever thought possible.

In a charity that prides itself on the depth and intensity of its service to the community, Roy Pascoe’s outstanding personal dedication to the Penlee RNLI crew and station stands out as particularly compassionate and selfless.   He has served the lifeboat station for the last 33 years in many capacities, not least as a crewman for 23 years. Through his gentle, determined and utterly selfless manner, Roy has been for many years a pillar of strength within the small Penlee community this was especially vital following the tragic Penlee Lifeboat disaster.

Colonel Edward Bolitho, the Lord Lieutenant said: “Honours are not easily won but awarded to those who have, by their selfless dedication, made a significant impact on their communities.  I was delighted to present Ruth, Alan and Roy with their medals, not least to recognise their extraordinarily dedicated work on behalf of others.”

Story posted 27 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Businesses in Penzance vote for BID

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 08:56

Businesses in Penzance have voted in favour of a Business Improvement District (BID).

Cornwall Council’s Town Centre Management team and Penzance businesses have worked together over the last 15 months to develop a Business Improvement District to help improve the economic performance of the town centre.  A BID works with all eligible businesses (and Cornwall Council) paying a levy into a fund that will deliver priorities identified by the businesses during the fifteen months of consultation. The BID for Penzance will deliver circa £850K support to the town centre over the next five years, and will deliver projects such as Marketing, Events and business to business support.

The mandate for the BID was very strong with 56% of all eligible businesses voting and 77% of them voting in favour. Cornwall Council has set up eight BIDs to date, more than any local authority in the country. 

Jeremy Rowe, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Localism said: “I am delighted that the hard work, commitment and vision from the businesses in Penzance has resulted in such a strong mandate for the BID. The BID will afford the businesses the opportunity to help steer the improvement and direction of their town centre over the next five years, giving the community a real say in what happens.”

Julian German, Cornwall Council cabinet for Economy and Culture said: “BIDs are widely recognised as an effective model that can deliver real results in improving the economic performance of a local area. Cornwall Council has been committed to the setting up of BIDs, having developed eight across Cornwall, more than any other Local Authority, and I am delighted to see that Penzance town centre businesses now have the opportunity to invest their own future.”

The BID will start formally in June 2015 and will operate until May 2020. 

Story posted 27 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Funding announced for A39 at Trispen

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 08:52

Cornwall Council has welcomed confirmation of funding for the renewal of the A39 at Trispen.

The funding will pay for a range of measures including resurfacing the entire 8km route from Carland Cross to Truro, refurbishing the drainage system and adding provision for cyclists, as well as safety fencing.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP confirmed the upgrade would go ahead following his visit to Cornwall on Monday (23 March).

A key arterial route connecting the north side of Truro with the A30, the A39 carries around 13,000 vehicles each day. The Department for Transport will put £5.22m towards the scheme, with the Council providing the remaining £1.1m. The work will start later this year and be completed by March 2016. This will be planned to minimise disruption and further details will be made available nearer the time.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for transport Bert Biscoe said: “Maintenance is a constant and complex challenge, a capital scheme such as this will secure an important improvement however, I remain anxious that the new government must realise the need for more revenue funding to support the long term planned maintenance programme.”


Story posted 24 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Transport Secretary cuts first turf on A30 Temple dual carriageway scheme

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 15:55

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP has cut the first turf on the A30 Temple to Higher Carblake road improvement scheme, heralding the start of preliminary works on dualling one of Cornwall’s most notorious bottlenecks.

Many years in the planning, the works will replace the existing 5km stretch of road with a dual carriageway, a scheme which has been welcomed by motorists, the business community and residents alike.

During the ceremony the Minister was joined by representatives from Cornwall Council, the Highways Agency, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, the Federation of Small Businesses, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Visit Cornwall, contractors Kier and local residents.

Following the granting of the Development Consent Order last month, there was a six week period in which the decision could have been challenged in the High Court. As this period has now ended, preparatory works, including vegetation clearance and the issuing of compulsory purchase orders can begin at the site.

And with one A30 dual carriageway road scheme shortly due to come to fruition, the Minister also took the opportunity to learn more about the potential improvements further west during his visit to Cornwall. Ahead of the first of three public engagement events to find out views from road users and residents on the potential to build a dual carriageway on the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross, the Minister met with representatives from the Council and Highways Agency at the Hawkins Arms in Zelah.

Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Transport said: “The partnership to undertake this project marks another stage in a journey which began many years ago, in which Cornwall's excellence in managing, maintaining and developing its transport infrastructure is sufficient to encourage the Government and the Highways Agency to have confidence in our ability to work to the highest standards in the modern setting.

“The setting of this road is at one of Cornwall's finest environmental assets - Bodmin Moor - and the scheme needs to blend high quality engineering with a minimal impact - it is a positive challenge which the design and delivery teams will, I am sure, meet with distinction.”

Mick Martin, Chairman of the Temple to Bodmin A30 Action Group, said; “The road improvement at Temple is fantastic news for the local community, the whole of Cornwall and our many visitors.  Today I am proud to report that as a result of our dogged determination we have achieved the goal we set ourselves seven years ago.”

Chris Batters, Cornwall Council Local Member for Lanivet and Blisland, said; “For many years, motorists travelling the A30 road have suffered a hiatus when reaching the Temple stretch east of Bodmin, but finally after years of campaigning, the dualling of this stretch of the road is about to be commenced.  Congratulations to all the parties taking part in this campaign, and the motorist and Cornish business owners can now look forward to a less stressful and far quicker journey across the beautiful Bodmin Moors.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP said: “Boosting Cornwall’s road links will make the county an even more attractive destination for businesses and visitors.

“I am absolutely committed to delivering the road, rail and air infrastructure Cornwall needs. This is a key part of the government’s long term economic plan to boost jobs and growth and improve the lives of hardworking families up and down the country.”

Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said; “We are delighted that work is getting underway on the A30 at Temple because this stretch of road is used by almost 40% of Cornish businesses at least once a month. Road congestion costs time and money which is why dualling the A30 remains one of the top priorities for our business community and the LEP.”

Andrew Page-Dove, Regional Director for the Highways Agency, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring about benefits to both businesses and visitors to the region by removing the bottleneck from the A30 and opening up Cornwall to visitors and local residents.

“We are now starting to look at the next section of single carriageway between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross which we hope we will be able to complete by 2021.”

Story posted 23 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Launch of scheme to stub out smoking in play areas in St Austell, Launceston, Four Lanes, West Looe and Penzance

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:00

Six children’s play areas run by Cornwall Council are to become the first in Cornwall to sign up to a voluntary code that discourages people from smoking in them.

The initiative will be launched on Saturday 28 March 2015 with a fun day event at Roche Park from 11 am – 1pm.  On the day there will be health promotion stands including the ‘Smoothie making Bike’, face painting and a magic show.

The six play areas across Cornwall which will be covered by the smoke free code developed by the Smokefree Cornwall tobacco alliance and Cornwall Council  are Roche Park, St Austell; Sandy Hill Park, St Austell; Coronation Park, Launceston; King George V Park, Four Lanes; Millpond Park, West Looe; Goldsithney Park, Penzance.

A survey conducted recently in the South West found that almost 60%* of those questioned said that smoking was a problem in their local play park. 98%* of those interviewed said that they would support a voluntary ban on smoking in the play parks themselves.

The code already has strong local backing and is supported by the local Parish council’s and park groups to discourage people who persist in smoking in play areas.  Special signage has been developedrequesting that children be allowed to play smokefree.


Gareth Walsh from the Cornwall & Isles Scilly Stop Smoking Service, said: “Research shows that reducing child exposure to smoking decreases the uptake of smoking amongst young people in the long term. Children learn their behaviour from adults and so it’s essential that in our communities tobacco use is not seen as part of everyday life.

“For example, children who live with smokers are at least twice as likely to become smokers themselves. We’re piloting this across Cornwallto protect future generations from taking up the habit.”

Nationally, 12% of children aged 11-15 years old currently smoke ** with children smoking on average 37 cigarettes per week***.

Launching the scheme will be local member for Roche and Chairman of Cornwall Council John Wood, who said: “We’re committed to the role our parks play in helping Cornish resident’s live active, healthy lifestyles. We’re especially proud to be leading the way in Cornwall in discouraging smoking around children in our play areas, helping to reduce the number of young people who smoke and reduce litter in the park.”

Internationally, smoking in public housing play areas and parks is already banned in Spain, Hong Kong, Latvia, Singapore and in cities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and California. In the South West, South Gloucestershire has implemented a voluntary ban in all play parks. In other parts of the UK, Inverclyde Council in Scotland has made all of their open air play parks smokefree and in the North West, Pendle Council in Lancashire introduced a voluntary smokefree code to all of their 57 outdoor play areas and skate parks in 2010.

Story posted on 23 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Council welcomes Government award to Penzance

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 09:06

Cornwall Council has welcomed today’s announcement from the Department for Communities and Local Government that Penzance has been awarded £10,000 to support work already being undertaken in the town. 

The funding will support the work being undertaken by stakeholders including Cornwall Council, Penzance Town Council, businesses and residents,  on a number of schemes such as  the revival of Jubilee Pool and consulting on a Neighbourhood Plan.

The award to Penzance reflects the collaborative work being undertaken in the local community to improve the town and add to the economic regeneration for the wider area.

Julian German, Cornwall Council cabinet member for economy and culture said: “Coastal communities are an essential element of our local economy and there is a strong community resolve in Penzance as everyone works together to improve their area.  I am delighted their efforts have been recognised in this manner”

As a result of being named as one of the pilot areas, Penzance will now be eligible to bid into a £3million Coastal Revival Scheme announced by DCLG last month which provides assistance to coastal community efforts to improve their local economy. 

Story posted on 20 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Cornish farming brothers given suspended 4 month prison sentence for animal cruelty

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 15:46

The culmination of a lengthy investigation by Cornwall Council’s Public Protection and Business Support services Animal Health Team supported by the local Animal and Plant Health Agency was finally reached in Truro Magistrates Court today (20 March 2015).

Paul and Thomas Collins of Trenoweth Farm, Gweek were sentenced to 4 months in prison, suspended for 2 years; a 100 hours community service order and were banned from keeping pigs, cattle and sheep for the rest of their lives, this was suspended for 10 weeks to allow the brothers to dispose of their animals.  Both brothers were also ordered to pay £12,000 each in costs.  The brothers were given until December to pay these costs in full. 

The Magistrates Court Trial began on the 21 January 2015 and after several adjournments concluded on 20 March 2015.  Evidence was heard from the Council’s Animal Health Inspectors as well as vets from the Animal and Plant Health Agency. The defendants pleaded not-guilty and showed no remorse for their actions.  They were convicted of 16 charges under the animal welfare act.

In November 2012, Thomas James and Paul Anthony Collins, of Trenoweth Farm, Gweek were investigated for offences of fraud relating to TB reactors.  A farm visit in relation to those offences uncovered appalling conditions on the farm.  Since 2012 the farm has been visited over 12 times.  At each visit further offences were discovered.

Severely lame cows were not treated for over 2 months; 3 cows that had collapsed were not given veterinary treatment, food or water and pigs were kept in a swamp with little food and no dry lying area, they had only mud to sleep on.  Two of these pigs had also been starved to the point that the bones of their spines and ribs could be seen.

Over the course of the investigation several animals were put to sleep to prevent any further suffering.

The Judge said the Collins brothers had rejected advice and warnings and, in Thomas Collins case, in the most vehement of terms.  The farm had systemic failures to identify and treat animals that required treatment.  He found the lameness in the cows had developed over many days and had caused suffering for several days.  The Judge felt that Thomas James Collins’ claim that the case was malicious and trumped up was not supportable and that the prosecution case was persistently compelling.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown said “The Public Protection and Business Support Service will always strive to assist Cornish businesses, including farms.  However, when a case of serious neglect such as this is discovered they will take appropriate action. The Collins brothers have shown total disregard for the most basic of needs of animal in their care. This was not an isolated incident but involved numerous charges and I find it unacceptable that in this day and age people are unable to give outdoor pigs a warm, dry straw bed; treat injured animals and to ensure that animals have sufficient feed to prevent emaciation.”


Animal cruelty - first image: Emaciated cow

Animal cruelty - second image: Emaciated pig

Posted on 20 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly EU programme ready for take-off

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 16:03

The new European investment programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is poised to get underway following agreement with the European Union.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly have been working together with the UK Government to finalise negotiations.

The LEP said it was hopeful that the first ‘calls’ for EU-funded projects would be made in a matter of days.

The new programme, through which some £500 million of funding will be available from now until 2020, will be called the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.

LEP Chairman Chris Pomfret said: “The LEP and its partners, including Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly, have been working hard behind the scenes to finalise these negotiations and get our programme moving, so this is very good news.

“Together we have secured significant commitments in shaping how the money will be spent, including the creation of a single investment programme that helps us pull together different funding streams for maximum impact.

“We also have the freedom to develop a locally tailored programme of business support through the creation of our own Growth Hub, which will ensure that access to EU funds and projects by local businesses is as simple as we can make it.”

Mr Pomfret said as a result of the negotiations, and its status as a Less Developed Region, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly would be the only region in England able to access specific EU funds for transport infrastructure including road and rail investments, and support for green and low carbon projects.

And the Government had promised to work with the LEP and local authorities to fast-track community-led investment projects.

He added: “Although we and most other LEPs have not ended up with the level of local control and decision making that was initially promised by the UK Government, we and our partners have secured the best deal we could and the focus now has got to be on spending the money to create jobs and boost our economy.”

Julian German, cabinet member for economy and culture at Cornwall Council, which has played a pivotal role in the negotiations, said: "Whilst we are disappointed that we have not been offered a greater level of local control over our EU funding we are pleased that it will start to flow in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Local involvement is key to delivering an effective programme to address the systemic economic issues that Cornwall faces. We will continue to support partners in ensuring that our local voice is heard as we move into delivering investments for the region."

Amanda Martin, Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: “The Islands have benefited greatly from European funding and we look forward to working with partners so our businesses can benefit from these prospective investments.”

Toby Parkins, President of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, added: “The business community will be breathing a sigh of relief that we’ve finally got our EU Growth Programme over the line. What’s important now is that they are kept fully informed about how they can access and benefit from this funding as projects come on stream later this year.”

The next step will see the Government publish the first round of ‘calls’ for the delivery of the first EU-funded projects in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Investment priorities include support for business, new workspace and skills development.

Further information and any announcements on calls will be available on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme website.

Posted on 19 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Employers lead “Have a Go” day at Torpoint Community College

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 11:02

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2015, Cornwall Learning Education Business Partnership organised a “Have a Go” day for Torpoint Community College on Thursday 12 March where  local employers provided ‘tasters’ – bite sized opportunities to try out work-based skills.  Year 9 students found out about careers and the pathways to a dream job – including further education and apprenticeships.

Have a Go activities included how to windsurf with a simulator with the South West Lakes Trust, discovering bushcraft with Survival Wisdom and learning how to code with Bluefruit Software. Also offering”Have a Go” activities were: NatWest Bank, Cornwall College Hair and Beauty, the Army and Springboard South West.

“The ‘Have a Go’ day at Torpoint Community College was a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about the world of work and it raised the profile of skills, vocational training and apprenticeships for young people.” said Kate Whetter, Education Projects Manager at Cornwall Learning Education Business Partnership.

“Today’s ‘Have a Go’ day was great fun and our students really enjoyed the activities. As a school we really appreciated the fact that employers are willing to give up their time to give students a taste of such a variety of careers. Helping students make informed decisions about their future is about the most important role schools and employers can play. Our students really benefitted from the experience and especially in this part in Cornwall, students often find it hard to know what is out there for them.” Said Becky Lear Assistant Head.

Matthew Dodkins of Bluefruit Software said “These ‘Have a Go’ sessions are a perfect way of sharing the skills we look for in employees with students. They give students the chance to try programming activities which are close to the ‘real world’, bridging the employment/education gap.

“For Springboard, it is extremely important for our hospitality partners to take part in ‘Have a Go’ days, to ensure students are made aware of the industry and the fantastic range of employment options within it” said Ele Porritt Cornwall Programme manager for Springboard South West.

Story posted on 19 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Guilty pleas for shoddy home maintenance work

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 08:34

Stephen McCann of Pitt Lane, St Columb Major, Cornwall pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court on 16 March 2015 to three offences relating to shoddy building work, overcharging and failure to give cancellation notices to two elderly female customers in a case investigated by Cornwall Trading Standards.

McCann was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for each offence, suspended for a period of 18 months, to run concurrently and a 2 month curfew to run from 7pm until 7am daily.  He was also ordered to pay £1,140.66 compensation to one of his victims and £4,000 costs.

McCann, who also goes by the name of Jones, was at the time of this offending subject to a three year Conditional Discharge from the courts relating to similar offences committed in July 2012, also investigated by Trading Standards.

Trading Standards were first alerted to these new offences following a call by one of McCann’s victims.  Door to door enquiries in the vicinity unearthed further offending at a neighbouring property.  McCann had failed to issue both customers with written cancellation rights for the work carried out. McCann had also completed the work to a very poor standard, according to a report by a chartered building surveyor, who quoted that rectification work was required to the tune of £1140.66.

McCann was sentenced by Judge Carr for three offences, two under the Fraud Act 2006 for failing to disclose information required under the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or place of Work etc Regulations 2008, and one offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 for  failing to meet the requirements of professional diligence, relating to poor quality workmanship in the field of property maintenance. 

Nigel Strick Fair Trading Team Manager for Cornwall Trading Standards said:  “The persistent nature of this traders offending has been a concern to Trading Standards.  We hope that this sentence will convince the trader to mend their ways, proving that crime does not pay.”

Story posted on 18 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Pathways to Health – largest interactive careers event takes place in the Knowledge Spa at Royal Cornwall Hospital

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 08:30

On Friday 6 March, 300 young people from schools and colleges in Cornwall visited The Knowledge Spa in Truro to take part in the county’s health care careers event for young people.  Organised by Cornwall Learning’s Education Business Partnership in partnership The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust and Plymouth University, EBP South West and Truro-Penwith College, Pathways to Health was aimed at 14-19 year olds considering a career in medicine, healthcare, engineering or IT and the allied health professions at technical or professional level. 

Students had the chance to explore the latest revolutionary technologies used in health and medicine through interactive workshops and stands, guided by health professionals and employers.

Workshops included Operating Department Practice, a simulated ward as well as a Royal Society of Chemistry workshop. They visited interactive stands staffed by health professionals, scientists and technologists representing Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Plymouth University and other healthcare organisations and industry representatives. Student ambassadors from Plymouth University enabled the smooth running of the day. The wide range of stands offered information on everything from Medical Physics to Optometry. Students even had the chance to discover the contents of an ambulance and their purpose courtesy of the South West Ambulance Foundation Trust.

“The event definitely had the WOW Factor” said Kate Whetter, Education Projects Manager at Cornwall Learning Education Business Partnership. “We were able to showcase some of the most exciting advances in healthcare science and technology here in Cornwall and open young people’s eyes to the opportunities the future holds”

Nick Macklin, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are delighted to support this event and help inspire young people to pursue a career in healthcare. We employ over 5000 people in a wide range of roles and this event during National Careers Week is a great way to showcase the opportunities and innovative services right here in Cornwall.”

Robyn Clark, Outreach Events Team Leader, Plymouth University said: “Plymouth University is committed to training the healthcare professionals of the future and this was a great event to highlight the range of opportunities open to graduates”

‘Truro and Penwith College is delighted to support this event.  STEM provision at our college is based upon a foundation of strong subject development, improving the skills and outcomes of learners. Students will benefit from the cutting edge technologies demonstrated at this event to make informed choices in their work, their future careers and further study.’ Said Paul Britton STEM coordinator at Truro and Penwith College.

Charlotte Molyneux from EBP-SW said ‘We were thrilled to be part of this exciting event providing the opportunity for students from across the region to gain insight into the wide range of exciting careers within the healthcare industry’

Exhibitors included :

  • Optometry, Psychology, Human Movement and Function Laboratory - Plymouth University Faculty of Health and Human Sciences –Optometry and Psychology
  • Plymouth University School of Medicine and Dentistry – dentistry
  • Plymouth University School of Nursing and Midwifery – simulated ward
  • Cornwall Mobility Centre, Midwifery, Volunteer Services, Medical Physics, Speech and Language Therapy  –  all from Royal Cornwall Hospital
  • Cornwall Stroke Service,
  • Public Health and Protection, Care Ambassadors,– Cornwall Council
  • South West Ambulance Foundation Trust
  • Exeter European Centre for Environment and Human Health
  • The University of St Mark and St John
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Army Careers

The event was attended by Penrice Academy, Cornwall College – Camborne, Mullion Comprehensive, Wadebridge School, Bodmin College, Sir James Smith's Community School, Callington Community College 6th Form, Camborne Science and Int'l Academy, Penair School, Mounts Bay Academy, Truro- Penwith College, Fowey River Academy and Truro High.

Story posted 16 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Parents ‘pass out’ at St Austell Community Fire Station

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 08:19

A group of parents will be celebrating their achievements in completing an innovative course run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix Project at a presentation event at St Austell Community Fire Station on Friday 13 March.

The course, which was developed by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) aims to provide support and training to parents.  The course was funded by ESF (Economic Social Fund) and is one of the three pilot courses which will be running over the next few months. 

All participants were given the opportunity to gain an APT Entry level 3 qualification together with the HeartStart accreditation in emergency life support techniques. The group also took part in a range of fire service activities to promote teamwork, communication skills and raise confidence.

Throughout the course participants get the opportunity to learn and develop transferable skills through participating in fire and rescue service drills and activities. These skills can then be taken forward to help the individuals to identify future employment, training or voluntary opportunities.

CFRS Acting Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker said: “I am encouraged to see how Phoenix team has been able to use the work and reputation of the fire and rescue service to help this group of people develop useful new skills.”

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities said:  “These courses are an excellent example of how we can really make a difference to the lives of individuals. I am delighted to celebrate the people who have embraced this opportunity to learn from the best.”


Story posted 13 March 

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council meets with Cornwall for Change

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 08:12

The Leader of Cornwall Council John Pollard and Jeremy Rowe, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Localism, met with representatives of the Cornwall for Change group at County Hall on Monday, 9 March.

Speaking after the meeting Council Leader John Pollard said “I am pleased to have the opportunity to meet with representatives of Cornwall for Change.  This was a friendly and positive meeting which gave everyone the opportunity to outline some of the issues they have.  We have listened carefully to a number of concerns and hope that everyone will now work together to try and address them. 

“We need to work with all our town and parish councils to ensure that we continue to provide vital services for the people of Cornwall.  We are very happy to work with Cornwall for Change and other local and community groups to achieve this”.

“We have presented a dossier of issues and questions raised by Town and Parish Councils across Cornwall” says Paul Dyer, Chairman of Cornwall for Change “and are delighted that both John Pollard and Jeremy Rowe are giving these their full attention. The topics range from housing and planning, through to capital and waste projects (raised by Cornwall Waste Forum), arms-length companies and serious pollution incidents, so we don’t expect everything to be solved at once. However, we look forward to our next scheduled meeting and hope that this promising beginning will materialize into a positive change for Cornwall.”

Further discussions will be held over the coming months.

Story posted on 12 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Council welcomes rail investment

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 15:43

Cornwall Council has welcomed today’s announcement from the Chancellor for the Exchequer of funding for a brand new fleet of Intercity trains.

During his Budget speech to Parliament, George Osborne MP announced funding for the new trains to cover the Penzance to London Paddington route.

Replacing the current 40-year old high speed train stock, the new Intercity vehicles will lead to faster and more reliable services for Cornwall and the West and reduce journey times.

Combined with last year’s announcement of £146.6m of improvements to the railway network in Cornwall, today’s news paves the way for transformation of rail travel in Cornwall, said Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Transport.

Cllr Biscoe added: “Cornwall owes much of its modern identity and economic structure to the railway and, as the realities of climate change become increasingly clear, that relationship is set to evolve in ways which are both essential and exciting. We have worked hard with the Government, Network Rail and the franchisee, First Great Western, to develop a modern railway which connects us strategically and services our local communities.


“The commitment to new intercity trains is excellent news coming on top of the £145m investment in resignalling the mainline to enable us to run a half-hourly shuttle by day and, hopefully, freight by night, to maintain engines and to operate a competitive night sleeper. These are all long-term investments which will affect the immediate future and render Cornwall resilient and positive as the environmental going gets tough.”


Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is fantastic news for our rail network. Connectivity is critical to our business community and these new trains will enhance the reliability and comfort of rail travel in our region, building on the significant  investment we have secured in upgrading mainline signalling and the sleeper service to Penzance. It means we will finally have a railway that is fit for the 21st century.”

Categories: Cornwall

Safer Cornwall and Devon and Cornwall Police urge public to 'Have your say'

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 15:20

Safer Cornwall and Devon and Cornwall Police are once again giving the public the opportunity to ‘Have your say’ through a joint survey to measure how safe people feel living in Cornwall, and to identify the issues that concern them most.

The survey results will be compared with last year’s results and the knowledge gained will be included in the strategic assessment of community safety issues that Safer Cornwall undertakes annually. The Safer Cornwall Strategic Assessment provides a profile of crime and disorder in Cornwall, identifies high-risk people and places, considers future threats and opportunities and the actions that Safer Cornwall and partners are taking to tackle the issues identified.

Members of the public are being encouraged to take part in the survey which is being conducted by Police staff throughout March. The survey  only takes a couple of minutes, and you can find it online or paper copies of the survey are available by calling 0300 1234 232 


Story posted 06 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Replacement Western Greyhound bus services running from Monday 16 March

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 11:56

New replacement timetables are available on our website www.cornwall.gov.uk/buses or from the bus operators own websites:

The Council’s Passenger Transport team has been working with the bus industry to arrange alternative services to those that were provided formerly by Western Greyhound.

First, Plymouth City Bus and Stagecoach bus companies are running replacement services; Bodmin Group Travel is running a replacement service for the Liskeard School run until the end of the academic year.

It is hoped that, for the main part, disruption to the general public will be kept to a minimum.

Former Western Greyhound buses will still be running but they will not be operated by Western Greyhound.

All Real Time Passenger Information signs (RTPI) have been switched off to avoid confusion while the service timetables are being updated.

Story posted on 16 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Public exhibition to give latest on A30 Temple improvements

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 11:08

Members of the public are being invited to find out the latest news about the A30 between Temple and Higher Carblake dual carriageway scheme during an exhibition being held at Blisland Village Hall on Monday 23 March.

Taking place between 2pm and 6pm, the exhibition will include drawings of the £56m scheme, featuring information on the construction process, new road layout and junctions. Officers from Cornwall Council, the Highways Agency and contractors Kier Construction will also be on hand to answer questions about the scheme.

The works, which are being led by Cornwall Council in partnership with the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency, are expected to take 19 months to complete, with two lanes open in each direction ready for the school holiday period in summer 2016.

Read more about the A30 Temple to Higher Carblake scheme

Categories: Cornwall

Have your say on A30 Carland Cross to Chiverton Cross improvements

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 09:37

In December 2014 the Government published its Road Investment Strategy. This included a commitment to dual the Carland Cross to Chiverton Cross section of the A30 in Cornwall.

As the first step in assessing potential route options the Highways Agency and Cornwall Council would like to engage with the public to capture the key issues that the Highways Agency will need to consider when developing a new set of proposals for this section of road.

During the events, members of the public will also have an opportunity to learn more about how the scheme will be taken forward.

Drop in sessions will take place on:

  • Monday 23 March – Hawkins Arms, Zelah (between 10am and 8pm)
  • Tuesday 24 March – Trispen Methodist Chapel (between 10am and 8pm)
  • Wednesday 25 March – Starbucks, Chiverton Cross (between 8am and 6pm)

Highways Agency South West Director Andrew Page-Dove said: “Cornwall Council is a key partner and we are delighted to be working with them on these public engagement events and will continue to seek the council’s input as the process continues.

“We have already learnt a lot by working closely with Cornwall Council as they deliver the A30 Temple to Higher Carblake scheme and we wish to continue this collaboration as we deliver the next improvement scheme on the A30.

“We are holding these events to introduce ourselves to the local community, explain what we are planning to do to deliver the commitment in the Roads Investment Strategy, and get initial feedback from the public.”

With the A30 providing the main link in to the county for businesses in Cornwall and hundreds of thousands of motorists each year, the Council wants to ensure that the final scheme is one that works for the majority of residents.

Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Transport, said: “Things have moved on since the last scheme was drawn up with increased traffic flows, development and visitors. We want to ensure that the new plans provide Cornwall with an improved road network that is fit for purpose now and in the future. 

"This scheme is very important to Cornwall and we will do all we can to support the Agency in developing and delivering improvements to this section of the A30.  We are very keen that we take this opportunity to engage with the public and draw out the issues that will need to be considered by the Highways Agency when new proposals are being developed”.

If you are not able to attend the sessions you can still have your say by completing the online questionnaire which can be found on our website pages dedicated to the the A30 Chiverton Cross to Carland Cross improvements. People living along or near the main route will also receive a letter and leaflet about the scheme in the post shortly.

The closing date for comments on this first phase of public engagement is Friday 8 May 2015.

Story posted 17 March 2015

Categories: Cornwall