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Suspended prison sentence for Hayle window fitter who defrauded customers

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 10:29

A window fitter from Hayle has narrowly escaped imprisonment after pleading guilty to a series of frauds carried out between July 2013 and August 2014.

In a prosecution case brought by Cornwall Trading Standards, Liam Hawkins, who traded as Profile Windows appeared before Magistrates in Truro this week to face 12 charges of fraud.

The court heard that Hawkins took cash deposits and further down-payments from a number of his customers but used the money to settle gambling debts. In some instances the customer thought they were dealing with another company but Hawkins had intercepted the appointment booking so as to pretend to take the order and receive the deposit.

Despite being convicted for a similar offence in February 2014, Hawkins continued the practice until frustrated customers reported the matter to police and Cornwall Trading Standards.

At Truro Magistrates Court on Wednesday 29 July 2015 he admitted all 12 charges and was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid community service, to repay £968 to three of his victims and to pay £2,900 towards the prosecution costs.

Nigel Strick, from Cornwall Trading Standards, said; “The Court recognised that these were very serious offences, involving a breach of trust and repeat victimisation. The penalties imposed by the Magistrates reflect the stress and anxiety caused to some of the victims by the string of lies and excuses he used to avoid repaying their money. Liam Hawkins now has to refrain from further offending or he faces certain imprisonment.”

Story posted 30 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

New Friends group could lead to Castle Park improvements

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/29/2015 - 12:08

A budding Friends of Castle Park group has met with Cornwall Council and other local organisations to discuss ways to improve the popular Liskeard park.

The talks included representatives from Cornwall Council, Liskeard Town Council, Clean Liskeard, Liskeard’s Neighbourhood Plan group and the Police who were able to advise the group on play equipment and possible funding sources, tackling anti-social behaviour and litter and how the facilities at Castle Park fit in with the rest of Liskeard’s park provision.

Toria Tanton, Chair of the Friends of Castle Park said: “This was a positive, informative meeting. We have a lot of information and decisions to take on board, most importantly whether to become a full on registered charity or work in partnership with another organisation etc. We will contact other parks who have been successful about what they have experienced, so we can get a clearer picture of what the positive steps are to running a successful Friends of Castle Park committee.”

Councillor Sally Hawken, Cornwall Councillor for Liskeard East, said: “It’s great to see local people taking an interest in their park.  It’s early days, but an enthusiastic group can make a big difference to their local area.  We’ve discussed what the group would like to see happen in the park and how to set up a Friends of Castle Park group that could bid for funding for more play equipment and other improvements. I would encourage the community to give their support to the Friends of Castle Park committee.

“We’ll also be putting the group in touch with similar groups in other parts of Cornwall that have successfully transformed their local parks so the Friends of Castle Park can pick up hints and tips about what works best.”

Categories: Cornwall

Joint statement from NHS Kernow and Cornwall Council re commissioning of children's community health services

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/29/2015 - 10:17

Joy Youart, Managing Director at NHS Kernow and Trevor Doughty, Corporate Director for Education, Health and Social Care at Cornwall Council, said “NHS Kernow and Cornwall Council want to consider the opportunities for closer integration between health and social care services offered by the Cornwall Devolution Deal and have, therefore, jointly decided to discontinue the current procurements of children’s community health services.

“This decision will allow NHS Kernow and Cornwall Council to explore alternatives to deliver seamless children’s services, which is in line with our plans to integrate commissioning as set out in the Deal.  

“We remain committed to ensuring children and young people have the best start in life and the support they need to realise their ambitions. It is our vision to improve people’s health and experience of care, provide early help and reduce the cost of care.

“Children and their families using existing services will not be affected by this decision. They should attend appointments as normal – children will continue to receive appropriate services according to their needs.

“As always, we will ensure that any future tender process adheres to relevant legislation.”

Story posted: 29 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Trading Standards warn of latest version of telephone money transfer and bogus council tax refund scams

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 10:27

Following a recent incident brought to their attention by staff at a local post office, Cornwall Trading Standards Officers are warning the public about a scam relating to PPI (payment protection insurance) refunds.

Truro Post Office raised the alarm when one of their customers came in asking to buy Ukash vouchers in order to secure a PPI refund. A concerned member of staff rang Trading Standards and the customer was advised that it was a scam.

Scammers had targeted the potential victim by telephone, offering her a £2,000 refund for PPI charges. She was contacted on several occasions, which helped build trust in the process. Eventually she was convinced to buy Ukash vouchers to the value of £200 as an administration fee. The scammers promised that a courier would arrive later that day to collect the vouchers and hand over her money. 

Senior Trading Standards Officer Gary Webster commented: “There was no chance that anyone would have arrived at the lady’s home to hand over the cash. The scammers would have simply rung her and asked her to provide the Ukash voucher codes to confirm payment of the admin fee. Using the codes they then would have been able to withdraw the cash.

We are really grateful to the staff at the Post Office for noticing this and bringing the matter to our attention. This type of scam is so incredibly simple but the technique used by the scammers to cover their tracks is often very sophisticated. Local or national telephone numbers can easily be diverted to pay-as-you-go mobile phones or to telephones based outside of the UK. The scammers will often use company names of real businesses that are entirely unconnected. This gives the victim some reassurance if they happen to search online to see if the company actually exists.”

Ukash and other money transfer schemes offer a convenient method of securely transferring money between people, but there are dangers with this that can be exploited by fraudsters. The recipient does not need any physical paperwork – they only need the code, which they can use to redeem for cash at any participating outlets (usually local shops, post offices or supermarkets). In many cases they may even only need part of the code, as some of the digits purely relate to the country of origin. There is no method of recovering monies that are sent in this way.

Gary goes on to say: “July is National Scams Awareness Month and we are keen to get the message out to people that they need to be very wary of cold calls. We have seen lots of other versions of this scam, including one that purported to offer substantial compensation to consumers who had previously been caught by timeshare scams. I’m aware of someone who lost over £17,000 over a two week period, and another person who lost many tens of thousands to a variety of different telephone scams over a period of months. The scammers will effectively ‘groom’ their victim, spending time over numerous phone calls to build trust, before eventually disappearing with the money.”

Cornwall Council is also warning residents about bogus callers who are claiming to be ringing on behalf of the Council, offering refunds for over-payment of Council Tax.

A number of local residents have reported that scammers, apparently from a business calling itself ‘Claimers’ are stating that they will refund the over-payment, provided a £65 fee is paid in advance.

Senior Trading Standards Officer, Gary Webster warns; “Cornwall Council would never ask for an upfront payment in order to receive a refund for Council Tax. Any cold caller who asks you to pay money with the promise of a larger refund, prize or compensation payment is clearly not to be trusted. Never pay money or provide your bank or credit card details to someone over the phone who has cold called you.”

If you need to verify the identity of a Cornwall staff member please call 0300 1234 100. If you are concerned that you, or someone you know has been a victim of a scam, please seek advice from Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06. You can also report the matter to Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40.


Story posted 28 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Bodmin incident highlights importance of smoke alarms

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 10:19

Firefighters are again reminding people of the importance of having working smoke detectors fitted.

During the early hours of Sunday morning crews from Bodmin and Lostwithiel were alerted to a property in Lanivet where there was a report of a fire.

On arrival the crew found that the occupant had been woken by their smoke detector and that there was a fire in their tumble dryer.

The occupant threw a bowl of water over the tumble dryer before evacuating the building and waiting for the fire service.

Watch Manager Dan Fitzpatrick from Bodmin Community Fire Station said: “This is a great opportunity to remind people of the importance of having working smoke detectors fitted.  This could have been a devastating incident if the occupants were not woken up in the early stages of the fire by their alarms. The tumble dryer was not actually drying at the time but was left on standby mode which also goes to show the importance of turning all appliances off when they are not in use.”

When crews arrived the fire was out and both the occupants and their dogs had evacuated the house.  The crews from Bodmin and Lostwithiel used a fan to ventilate the property due it being smoke logged.

For more fire safety advice or to book a free home fire safety check from the fire service please visit Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s website or call free phone 0800 3581 999.


Story posted 28 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Council’s Family Information Service receives national award for the quality of information provided to families in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 13:55

Cornwall’s Family Information Service (FIS) has gained national recognition for the quality of the service it provides to local families.

The St Austell based team has been presented with the ‘Families First Quality Award’, in acknowledgment of its excellence in providing information, advice, assistance and customer service to local parents and carers.

The award has been developed by the National Association of Family Information Services (NAFIS) in conjunction with the Department for Education (DfE) and Suffolk County Council.

To achieve the award, the team had to meet 10 challenging standards and demonstrate how it meets and exceeds its statutory requirements of the Childcare Act (Information Duty Section 12) and the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 2014.  

FIS, part of Cornwall Council, is a central point of contact for parents/carers and professionals. It offers information and advice related to families including early education and children centres, parenting, behaviour, education, activities and a wide variety of family support services. 

It is also the only official directory of all Ofsted registered childcare available in the county and can advise on funding options to help pay for nursery education places and care.

Rebecca Patterson, FIS team leader, said, “Family Information Services has  a statutory obligation to provide information to families.   We work hard to ensure we do this effectively.   As a result, we are regarded as a key service for parents, carers and professionals in Cornwall.“

The award has been welcomed by Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Young People, who said “As a parent I know how hard it can be for families to bring up children at times.  Access to information is vital.  It can prevent a problem becoming a crisis, stop a family becoming vulnerable and open up new possibilities, helping a family to prosper.”

“The FIS team works hard to help parents in Cornwall to feel supported and informed”.

FIS offers a freephone helpline with trained advisors, plus a website with details of family services including Children’s Centres, parenting programmes and the online access point for receiving help from specialist services including the Local Offer, Family Workers and Targeted Youth Support.

If you have a family related enquiry, call the team on 0800 587 8191 / 01872 323535 or visit www.cornwallfisdirectory.org.uk.

Categories: Cornwall

Residents in Roseland to hold referendum on Neighbourhood Development Plan

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 13:22

People living in the Roseland will have the opportunity to vote on their local Neighbourhood Development Plan when a formal referendum is held on Thursday 20 August 2015.

The question to be asked of voters at the referendum is: "Do you want Cornwall Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Roseland to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"

Local councils across the UK were given the powers to develop Neighbourhood Development Plans as part of the 2011 Localism Act.  Since then more than 70 parishes across Cornwall have begun work on developing their own plans for their local area.

Roseland is one of a number of areas to formally designate its parishes as a Neighbourhood Area with support and advice from members of Cornwall Council’s Planning Department, Localism Team and Planning Aid to navigate the process and produce its Neighbourhood Development Plan.

The Referendum will be conducted following similar procedures to those used at local government elections. Poll cards have been sent to voters registered in the neighbourhood plan area, which covers the parishes of Gerrans, Philleigh, Ruan Lanihorne, St Just in Roseland and Veryan.

Jon Smith, Chair of the Roseland Plan Steering Group, said: "It has taken the better part of 3 years and an enormous amount of effort by a very large number of people to get from the first public meetings to where we are now, with The Roseland Neighbourhood Development Plan having passed Examination and proceeding towards Referendum.  It is now time to decide whether The Plan should be used to help determine local planning applications. An unwavering feature of our approach has been to encourage everyone in the Roseland community to 'Have Your Say', so that the Plan truly reflects the community’s aspirations for the future. In the same spirit, I urge everyone to use their vote in the Referendum and make their views known." 

A Notice of Referendum and more information has been published on the Cornwall Council website.

More information about the Referendum is available from Electoral Services in 01209 614373 or from the Council’s website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/elections.

Edwina Hannaford, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said “Communities all over Cornwall are developing their plans. If agreed at the referendum, local planning applications will be determined by locally agreed planning policies. This is localism in action.”

Story posted: 27 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Residents in Quethiock to hold referendum on Neighbourhood Development Plan

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 12:13

People living in the Parish of Quethiock will have the opportunity to vote on their local Neighbourhood Development Plan when a formal referendum is held on Thursday 20 August 2015.

The question to be asked of voters at the referendum is: "Do you want Cornwall Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Quethiock to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"

Local councils across the UK were given the powers to develop Neighbourhood Development Plans as part of the 2011 Localism Act.  Since then more than 60 parishes across Cornwall have begun work on developing plans for their local areas.

Quethiock is one of a number of local councils to formally designate its parish as a Neighbourhood Area with support and advice from members of Cornwall Council’s Communities and Devolution Team and Planning Department to navigate the process and produce their Neighbourhood Development Plan.

The Referendum will be conducted in accordance with procedures which are similar to those used at local government elections. Poll cards have been sent to voters registered in the neighbourhood plan area which covers Quethiockparish.

A Notice of Referendum and more information has been published on the Cornwall Council website.

More information about the Referendum is available from Electoral Services in 01209 614373 or from the Council’s website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/elections.

David Jones, Neighbourhood Development Plan Chairman and Vice Chairman of Quethiock Parish Council said: “A lot of hard work has gone into developing the Neighbourhood Plan for Quethiock.  We’re very pleased to have reached the stage where local people can now decide whether or not they want it to help determine local planning applications, and we would urge everyone to use their vote in the referendum to make their views known.”

 Edwina Hannaford, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said “Communities all over Cornwall are developing their plans. If agreed at the referendum, local planning applications will be determined by locally agreed planning policies. This is localism in action.”

Story posted: 24 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Voters go to the polls for a new councillor for the Pendarves Ward of Camborne Town Council

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 11:54

Voters in the Pendarves Ward of Camborne will go to the polls on Thursday, 20 August to elect a new Town Councillor.

The four candidates nominated for the election are:

  • David Atherfold - The Conservative Party Candidate
  • Erin Jane Krey - Labour Party
  • Julia Trenor Prosser - Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall
  • Roger Neil Richards - Liberal Democrat

Three polling stations will be in use for the by election:

  • St Johns Church Hall, Trevu Road, Camborne  
  • The Lowenac Hotel, Basset Road, Camborne
  • Barripper Methodist Chapel, Fore Street, Barripper

These will be open between 7 am and 10 pm. 

Categories: Cornwall

Voters to go to the polls on 20 August for Camborne Pendarves by election

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 11:51

Voters in the Camborne area will be going to polls on Thursday, 20 August to elect a new Cornwall Councillor.

Seven candidates are standing for election as the Cornwall Councillor for the Camborne Pendarves electoral division:

  • Nathan Mark Billings - Liberal Democrat
  • Peter Channon - Independent
  • Val Dalley - Labour Party
  • Deborah Zoe Fox - Mebyon Kernon - the Party for Cornwall
  • John Herd - The Conservative Party Candidate
  • Jacqueline Norma Merrick - Green Party
  • Michael Duane Pascoe - UK Independence Party UKIP

Three polling stations will be in use for the by election:

  • St John’s Church Hall, Trevu Road, Camborne  
  • The Lowenac Hotel, Basset Road, Camborne
  • Barripper Methodist Chapel, Fore Street, Barripper

 These will be open between 7 am and 10 pm.

 Story posted: 27 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Say Something in Cornish breaks the thousand barrier!

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 14:49

Following swiftly on the heels of Speak Cornish week, MAGA is delighted to announce that over a thousand people have now signed up to learn Cornish with the free online aural course, Say Something in Cornish.

The course concentrates on speaking Cornish rather than reading and writing and teaches by example rather than by learning grammar – much in the way a child learns to speak. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with evening classes and more traditional methods of learning for those who would like to mix and match! Users report learning to hold simple conversations very quickly and enjoy the flexibility of listening to the lessons when it suits them.

The course is invaluable in supporting Cornish as a living, community language and the rapid growth in take-up shows just how much interest there now is in Cornish.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Culture, Julian German says “This is a very important resource for the people of Cornwall. I am delighted that so many people have signed up to this course in such a short period of time.  MAGA will now be able to build on this success and increase the number of people who can speak our language together.”

The course is available for free from MAGA’s learning portal www.learncornishnow.com and it is just one of the many different methods available to people who want to learn Cornish. Congratulations to the thousand people who have signed up; we would love a thousand more, so why not join them!

Story posted on behlaf of MAGA: 24 July

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council and Warrens Bakery are announced as finalists in the 2015 National Primary Authority awards

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 14:08

The retail estate of Warrens Bakery Ltd and Cornwall Council have been announced as finalists in this year’s national Primary Authority Awards.

The Awards are presented by the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) with the emphasis this year on making an impact and quality delivery.

As well as raising awareness of the scheme's benefits, the awards highlight innovative ideas and best practice to be shared throughout the regulatory community.

Primary Authority has been brought in by Government to help businesses that work across local authority boundaries to get consistent advice to save them time, money and help them grow.

The Primary Authority national scheme is overseen by the BRDO and gives businesses operating across council boundaries (regardless of their size) the right to form a statutory partnership with a single local authority in relation to regulatory compliance, in the knowledge that the expert opinion given will be reliable across the whole of the UK.

These partnerships can cover environmental health and trading standards legislation, or specific areas such as food safety.

Warrens Bakery entered into a Primary Authority agreement with Cornwall Council in October 2012.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities said: “I was delighted to hear the positive comments from Warrens who have said that support and advice from our team has greatly helped their business and estimated that our involvement had saved them in the region of £120k per year which has been redeployed to support customer service and sales growth. This is the exactly the type of business support that the Council supplies so well.”

Alex Martin, Director of Retail Operations at Warrens Bakery said: “Working with Cornwall Council has been a really positive process, which has allowed us to develop our procedures and policies with confidence.

The business felt unshackled. Fundamentally we had the basis of great food safety – but this process allowed us to add the important issue that were missing and to remove the arduous tasks that were unnecessary and limiting. We now have robust policies in place that are understood by all.  The focus is on identifying and rectifying issues and our managers can now spend the appropriate amount of time on this aspect of the business and have been freed up to grow and improve the business for our customers.

I can recommend this process to any food business – simple or complex. The support from the Primary Authority has been outstanding.”

Cornwall Council Head of Public Protection and Business Support, Allan Hampshire says: “I am delighted that the Primary Authority agreement between Cornwall Council and Warrens Bakery has been recognised as part of this national award scheme.  It is testament to the high level of expertise and knowledge of the Council’s public protection and business support team and the commitment of Warrens Bakery that we have been named as finalists. The Council is now offering a variety of other commercial products to help businesses for example, food safety direct for new food businesses and a check and send service for people submitting licence applications.”

If anyone would like to discuss Primary Authority they can contact Justine Wadge on 01208 893136

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council approves criminal record checks for all Members

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 13:57

Cornwall Council has approved a new safeguarding policy for elected Members which will see criminal record checks carried out on all Members.

The Council has a statutory duty to ensure the safety and welfare of children, young people and adults in Cornwall.  It also has a responsibility to ensure high standards of behaviour by its Members. 

Under the current Government legislation the Council is not permitted to carry out Enhanced criminal record checks on all Members.  However Basic checks will now be carried out on all Members, with Enhanced checks being carried out on Cabinet Members and continuing to be carried out on members of the Fostering and Adoption Panels. 

These checks are designed to establish whether a Member has any criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings or other relevant information which could affect the authority’s safeguarding responsibilities. 

Details of any positive disclosures involving a Member or a refusal by a Member to carry out a criminal records check will be reported to the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer who will decide what action, if any, should be taken. 

The decision to approve the new policy, made at Tuesday’s meeting of the full Council, endorses the recommendation from members of the Council’s Constitution and Governance Committee who discussed the issue at their meeting earlier this month.

“Safeguarding the safety and welfare of our children, young people and adults is one of our most important duties” said Paula Dolphin, Chair of the Constitution and Governance Committee. “This new policy will enhance the arrangements which are in place relating to safeguarding, criminal record checks and dealing with positive disclosures relating to Members.  It will also address some of the recommendations in the Lowton review report”.

However, while the meeting formally supported the new policy, many Members expressed concern over the fact that the authority was unable to carry out Enhanced criminal record checks on all elected Members.

This issue was also discussed by the Standards Committee earlier this year when Members recommended that the Council should lobby the Government to review the legal provisions with regard to criminal record checks with a view to the authority having the right to obtain Enhanced checks for all its Members.

This recommendation was supported by Members, who also agreed to support the recommendation from the Standards Committee to lobby the Government for the re-introduction of meaningful sanctions for Code of Conduct breaches.

Putting forward both recommendations Loveday Jenkin, the Chair of the Council’s Standards Committee, said that the introduction of meaningful sanctions and Enhanced criminal record checks for all Members was vital to assure public confidence in councillors and in the work of the Council.

She said: “Members of the public expect us to have the power to impose meaningful sanctions on any councillor who breaches the Code of Conduct.  The truth is that, following the changes to the law introduced by the Government in 2012, the most serious sanction we can currently impose is one of censure. 

“We want the Government to reconsider this issue and give us the power to impose sanctions which will act as an effective deterrent and give the public confidence that breaches of the Code of Conduct will be dealt with appropriately.“

Story posted: 23 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Young people from Falmouth 'pass out' at Falmouth Community Fire Station parade

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 13:57

A group of young people from Falmouth are celebrating their achievements in completing an innovative course run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix team at a presentation at Falmouth Community Fire Station on Wednesday 29 July.  This course has been funded by Falmouth Town Council.

The course, which was developed by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) aims to provide support and training to improve the attainment, attendance or behaviour of those who take part.

All participants were given the opportunity to take part in a range of fire service activities to promote teamwork, communication skills, raise confidence and aspirations. Alongside this, the course includes fire and road safety advice and train the trainer.

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 and put into practice when attending school, further education and training or in the workplace.

The Phoenix Project has been run by the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service since 2002 and enhances young people’s self-confidence, communication skills and community spirit.

Dave Pilling, Phoenix Project Manager said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service commits itself to developing skills and these young people from Falmouth have shown great enthusiasm participating in all aspects of the programme. We continue to use the Phoenix Project to invest in young people across Cornwall. The fire service is able to use its reputation and position of authority and respect within the community to hone young people’s team work, communication and leadership skills.”

The Phoenix Project is a Cornwall wide initiative geared towards young people between the ages of 13 -17. They are given training in hose running, marching, wearing breathing apparatus (BA), life skills and problem solving with the aim of building confidence and self-esteem, raise aspirations and improve teamwork and communication skills.

“It’s great to see yet more young people learn not only how to become better communicators and leaders but to learn a very important fire safety message at the same time. Initiatives such as Phoenix help us to achieve safer communities from the ground up, which is the principal aim of the service” said Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown said: “The Phoenix Project has been extremely successful in helping young people from many areas and backgrounds.  Once again it’s great to see how our fire service can help these young people learn how to become better communicators and leaders as they grow in confidence.”

Story posted: 22 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Play your part in curbing gull issue

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 15:16

The Council is encouraging residents to play their part in deterring gulls from targeting people and domestic animals.

With incidents of herring gulls swooping down on people as they eat and media reports of attacks on individuals and animals, concerns have been raised about how to tackle the problem.

But we can all play a part in helping to curb the problem, says Councillor Geoff Brown, the Council's portfolio holder for Communities.

"At this time of year herring gulls are feeding and protecting their young and will aggressively seek out food by any means possible," he added. "Unfortunately, by feeding the birds, leaving rubbish bags out for collection unsecured and dropping litter in the street, humans have made it easy for them and this is one of the main reasons we are experiencing the problems we are having today.

"If we are serious about tackling this issue then the solution starts with us all. Please dispose of your litter carefully, don't feed the gulls and either put rubbish out for collection in a bin or seagull proof sack."

Reusable seagull proof sacks cost £3.50 and are available from most Council One Stop Shops.

Categories: Cornwall

Are you BBQ safe this summer?

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 11:31

Now that the warm, light evenings are with us and the summer holidays are fast approaching, barbecues are beginning to sizzle across Cornwall.  

But behind the bangers and burgers summer fun has a serious side.

There have been 22 incidents with barbecues in the past five years and Cornwall Fire and Rescue, as part of the Fire Kills campaign, is asking everyone to take extra care when cooking al fresco, especially when lighting barbecues or dealing with bad weather.

Watch Manager Terry Nottle said “It’s natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends - many of us can’t wait to get the barbecue lit. We all know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals a helping hand, but, please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.”

He went on to say “If you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down, don’t take the barbecue indoors or into a tent.  In recent years, some people have sadly succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer by.”

Never take a smouldering or lit BBQ (charcoal or gas) into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you have finished cooking, your BBQ should remain outside as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use.

Never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm.  BBQ’s in confined spaces can put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Stay safe whilst camping.  Never leave a lit BBQ unattended or while sleeping.

Using a BBQ or portable heater this summer? Only use appliances in accordance with the operating instructions. Never use indoors.

Remember the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. If concerned seek medical advice.

Cornwall fire and rescues top safety tips ask you to ensure your barbecue is a safe, enjoyable event.

  • Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.  
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more.
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins.   If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
  • Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
  • Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors.

In closing Watch Manager Mark Pratten said “This may seem a long list but most of these things are common sense.  By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue and the biggest cause of fires involving barbecues is through careless handling.   We have had a couple of occasions where people have poured petrol onto the charcoal in an effort to get it going and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and highly dangerous.   Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early.   Most of all, enjoy yourself safely”.

For more information on fire safety, please visit www.facebook.com/firekills.

Story posted: 22 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall

Cornish children hit the right note!

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 10:34

Three of the Cornwall Music Education Hub’s ensembles were recognised for their outstanding performances at last week’s Music for Youth National Festival in Birmingham.  Carrick Winds, directed by John Greaves and the Penzance Youth String Orchestra and the Cornwall Youth Orchestra, both directed by Tim Boulton, were awarded the Certificate of Achievement in Performance Practice.  Only one ensemble in each class is awarded this certificate which recognises ‘special achievement in the quality of musicianship, or an aspect of performance presentation that deserves particular acknowledgement.’  The Cornwall Youth Orchestra was conducted by 16 year old Angus Webster and was joined by a group of primary school violinists from Northamptonshire as they performed ‘Prince Zal and the Simorgh’, an epic piece of music inspired by Persian folklore. 

These ensembles joined thousands of other young musicians from across the country who were invited by Music for Youth to take part in this annual event following successful performances at regional festivals during the spring.

Other ensembles from Cornwall which also performed at the National Festival included the Bishop Cornish School Junk Band, Truro School Prep Choir. (who were also awarded the Certificate of Achievement in Performance Practice), Cymaz Music’s YEP Ensemble, Truro College String Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra and The Contours.

‘This was such an exciting experience for these young people as not only did they have the opportunity to perform on the stages of the Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Birmingham Conservatoire, but they were also able to see other young people perform a wide range of music,’ said Tanya Moore, manager of the Cornwall Music Education Hub. ‘We are hoping that at least one of these ensembles will be invited to perform at the Music for Youth proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November!’ 

The Cornwall Music Education Hub is led by Cornwall Learning of Cornwall Council and is funded by Arts Council England to support and promote high quality music education.  Further details about Hubbub and the  Cornwall Music Education Hub, can be found at  www.cornwallmusiceducationhub.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Cornwall

Tender at Your Convenience – but by 31 July

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 09:25

With the closing date for the ‘Your convenience’ tender on 31 July 2015, Cornwall Council is reminding everyone that if they are interested in or thinking about taking over a public toilet, and haven’t already submitted a tender, they need to apply for the Your Convenience Service Concession document, which can be downloaded from the Contracts Finder website: www.gov.uk/contracts-finder or by email to: Yourconvenience@cornwall.gov.uk

Cornwall Council is seeking creative ways to work with Town and Parish Councils, other organisations and individuals, to keep public toilet services running by funding them in a different way.

Your Convenience, the Council’s large-scale tender initiative, seeks to attract bids from a variety of sources to help secure the public toilet provision at 35 Public Conveniences across Cornwall. Business ideas could include using land adjacent to or near to the public conveniences for business use such as cafes, recreational activities or even holiday lets.

Joyce Duffin, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment, is keen that as many people as possible put their ideas forward, for alternative ways of funding toilets, for the Council to consider.  Joyce said: “The goal of the Your Convenience initiative is to seek innovative ways to run public toilets cost effectively and we would like everyone to put forward their ideas.

“We believe this is the best solution to reach our savings targets while ensuring the Council does what it can to keep toilet provision open across Cornwall. We are really pleased with the level of interest.”

The toilet blocks available for tender are located in well-known locations such as Padstow, the Camel Trail and Praa Sands.  With funding for toilets ending in April 2016, the Council is offering individuals and businesses the opportunity to take on a lease of a public toilet to use as a commercial business, while still providing a toilet facility for the public. The tenderers will be required to continue to provide public toilets as a condition of the lease.

Businesses may utilise part of the existing building or if possible use land next to or near to the toilets to operate a business which could transform it into a wide variety of commercial uses such as cafes, recreational activities or even holiday lets, subject to planning.

Cornwall Council has been working closely with local Councils over the past two years to develop solutions to secure the future provision of public toilets.  More than 135 toilets have been taken over town and parish councils and some businesses have also opened their facilities to the public as ‘community toilets’. A further five councils have recently commenced the process to take over public toilets in their parish. Town and Parish Councils will have until the end of September to make a final decision about devolution of the assets in their area.

Running a public toilet is a responsible job and the Council will have to be satisfied that an interested party is competent. Applicants will need to complete the Your Convenience Service Concession, which will need to include the proposed rent and length of lease; interested parties will also need to submit a Business Plan and a Financial Business Forecast.

As consultation is on-going with Town and Parish Councils the list of toilet blocks contained within the current tender is subject to change. Any changes made to the List of Public Conveniences will be uploaded onto Contracts Finder

Final decisions on the future of the toilets are expected to be made in the summer of 2015.

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council Leisure services review soft market test

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 09:05

Cornwall Council is inviting organisations interested in running its leisure services to take part in a soft market test from 20 July to 21 August 2015.

The Council wants to hear from community groups, other public sector organisations and businesses about how they could help deliver its ambition for a sustainable network of leisure facilities for residents and visitors, within the reduced annual leisure subsidy.

This latest work, builds on an earlier soft market test carried out in 2014.

The Council’s Leisure Resources Strategy, published in 2014, set out its plans and vision for the future of leisure services across Cornwall.

Commenting on the announcement, Adam Paynter, Cabinet Member for Partnerships, said: “Cornwall Council is committed to delivering a sustainable network of leisure facilities for our residents and visitors to enjoy for years to come. With help from partners and leisure providers, we are convinced we can find a way of making our network financially self-sufficient, innovative and independent from the pressures of local government budget cuts.

“This market test is a key step in helping us understand what options will best meet the needs of the Council and potential partners. I would encourage any interested organisations to visit our dedicated website for further information on our leisure strategy and how to take part in the market test.”

More information on the leisure strategy, the purpose of the soft market test, details of the services and assets in scope and leisure in Cornwall is available on the Council’s website: www.cornwall.gov.uk/leisuretransfer

Interested organisations will be able to ask questions and submit their proposals online, as well as register for one of the Council’s local provider briefing events taking place during August.

Details of briefing events:

  • Camborne on 5 August 2015
  • St Austell on 6 August 2015

The events are being held for organisations to discuss their proposals with Council officers and raise any questions or concerns regarding its ambitions for a sustainable network of leisure facilities and activities.

Please visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/leisuretransfer for more details on the events and how to register to attend.


Categories: Cornwall

Police station closure and planning consultation up for discussion at St Blazey, Fowey and Lostwithiel Community Network Panel meeting

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 11:27

Residents of the St Blazey, Fowey and Lostwithiel Community Network area can find out more about the proposed closure of St Blazey Police Station and planning consultation at the Community Network Panel meeting on 27 July.

Andrew White, Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and senior police officers from Devon and Cornwall Police will be on hand to discuss the impact of the proposed closure of St Blazey Police Station.

The Panel will also explore the effectiveness of public engagement and consultation in the planning process.

St Blazey, Fowey and Lostwithiel Community Network Panel meets quarterly to discuss matters that affect the local area and to agree priorities that can be delivered by Cornwall Council and partners such as the police and health services.  Some of the areas that community networks focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, transport and highway issues. 

St Blazey, Fowey and Lostwithiel Community Network Panel includes all five Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the 11 parishes in the community network: Boconnoc, Broadoak, Fowey, Lanlivery, Lostwithiel, Luxulyan, St Blaise, St Sampson, St Veep, St Winnow, and Tywardreath and Par.

The meeting takes place on Monday 27 July from 7.00pm to 9.00pm at the Burrows Centre, Lamellyn Road, Par PL24 2DD.  The agenda and more information about the panel are available on our St Blazey, Fowey and Lostwithiel Community Network page.  The meeting is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.

Story posted 17 July 2015

Categories: Cornwall