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Don't burst my bubble

Cornwall Council News feed - 2 hours 50 min ago

‘Don’t bust my bubble’ is a new campaign in Cornwall to help younger children understand the meaning of social distancing. 

With schools extending their offer to early years, reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils from Monday (June 1st) and with lockdown measures easing, it’s important that children of all ages are able to understand what this means for how they interact with teachers and their friends.

The campaign has been designed by Together for Families at Cornwall Council and resources will be sent to all schools, including a lesson plan developed by Gweres Tus Yownk, which teachers can use to explain about personal bubbles.

Cabinet member for children, health and wellbeing councillor Sally Hawken said: “Everyone is aware that life is different now and although this may be just another phase of the pandemic, we need to make sure children understand what social distancing is.

“We have to strike a balance between helping children understand why these measures are in place and that it isn’t their fault; these measures are to keep everyone safe.  A concept of a bubble is easy to understand, and the graphics are friendly and approachable.

“Because each school is different, the bubble concept could be used for an individual pupil or it could include a small number of other children. The important thing is that children don’t burst it.”

Schools across Cornwall have modified working practices, teaching spaces, timetables and conducted thorough risk assessments to ensure it is safe for them to extend their offer.  Each school is doing something different and parents are urged to contact their head teacher for more information or to discuss any issues or concerns.

The Department for Education have been issuing regular guidance and the Education team at Cornwall Council have been supporting schools to prepare for this.

Some of the advice includes:

  • sitting children at desks that are far apart
  • ensuring everyone queues and eats further apart than normal
  • visiting the toilet one after the other
  • putting guidelines on the floor in corridors
  • avoiding unnecessary staff gatherings

Sally continued: “Schools are going to look very different places to the one these children left in March, but I know teachers have been going above and beyond to help children prepare.  This has been a real team effort with schools, academies, teachers, staff and Together for Families, working hard to support each other.”

If you are a teacher and would like to request more informaiton please email tffcommunications@cornwall.gov.uk 

 

Categories: Cornwall

Council launches Back in Business guide and webinars

Cornwall Council News feed - 3 hours 31 min ago

Businesses in Cornwall are being given important advice on reopening and returning to work safely after the lockdown.

As the Government gradually lifts lockdown measures for certain businesses, Cornwall Council has published a Back in Business Recovery Guide to help businesses get back on their feet after the COVID-19 closures while ensuring the safety of staff, customers and visitors.

It is also offering a series of free, question and answer webinars for different sectors to get more information on reopening and operating businesses safely.

The Back in Business guide has already received support from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub, Federation of Small Business, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Visit Cornwall.

It is aimed at small to medium sized businesses in the leisure, office, care and retail sectors and covers:

  • Working safely and limiting the risk of Coronavirus
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Food safety and reopening safely
  • Structure and maintenance
  • Health and safety and how to plan for reopening
  • Fire safety

The hour-long webinars are hosted by a panel of experts who can answer questions on a range of regulatory matters covering Coronavirus safety, fire safety, health and safety, contractual terms and conditions and food safety.

Two sector-based webinars will take place in June with further dates to be announced.

Click the links to book:

3 June – Food businesses

17 June – Holiday accommodation and tourism

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: “Reopening for work safely is the big challenge facing businesses across Cornwall now.

“With our new Back to Business guide and accompanying webinars we are working to ensure that firms get the support and advice they need to get up and working again as safely as possible and minimise the risks from COVID-19. It will also help to build business, employee and consumer confidence as we start to reopen after the lockdown.

“The online guide pulls together a lot of useful information for business in one place and will reflect all up-to-date legislation with the easing of emergency measures. If you have any specific questions, please do get in touch.”

Most businesses in Cornwall have been closed since the start of the lockdown at the end of March.

Garden centres and homeware stores have been allowed to reopen this month, and outdoor markets and car showrooms are permitted to reopen from next Monday, June 1.

Non-essential retailers, such as clothes shops, can reopen from June 15 while hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons and the hospitality sector remain closed until at least July 4.

Fast-food restaurants have also begun reopening for takeaway orders only. They were allowed to remain open during lockdown for takeaways but many initially shut their doors while they worked out how to operate safely during the epidemic.

Here is a link to the Back in Business guide: https://www.businessregulatorysupport.co.uk/recovery.

For further guidance on reopening a business safely, please email businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk or visit Cornwall Council’s business regulatory support website or leave a message on 0300 1234 212 (option 4) and we will get back to you.

Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team has produced guidance to support local businesses trying to claim business interruption insurance during the coronavirus pandemic

The advice pages provide legal clarification, practical considerations consumers and businesses may need to consider and useful links.

 

Story posted on May 29, 2020

 

Categories: Cornwall

‘Safer on the sand’ says Cornwall Council, as some lifeguarding returns

Cornwall Council News feed - 6 hours 3 min ago

Following last weekend’s coastal tragedies, Cornwall Council, HM Coastguard and the RNLI are all redoubling their messages that the sea remains potentially dangerous in any conditions, and a family day out is safer spent on the sand.

Despite seven beaches having lifeguard cover restored from this Saturday 30 May, with more to follow in the coming weeks, there are concerns that this may cause a drop in attention to beach safety and social distancing, and bring the possibility of parking congestion blocking approach roads.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, says: “In many ways, this weekend will be the toughest test so far. Only a handful of popular beaches with lifeguard cover, all the others still without, and a forecast of warm and sunny weather.”

“We know the temptation will be strong to head for the coast, to swim, to surf, to go boating. But with crowds comes the difficulty of staying safe from Covid 19 transfer, and the stretching of these very limited resources of lifeguard cover. If the seven beaches are overwhelmed that places a huge demand on the lifeguards, but if people head to quieter beaches with no lifeguard cover the same dangers we saw so starkly last Monday will be present.”

“Our line for these early days of new relaxed outdoor guidelines is that you are safer on the sand. If you arrive at a congested beach, and you cannot park safely allowing emergency vehicles to get past, please turn around and go elsewhere. Maybe go to an inland beauty spot, or to a quieter beach without risking going into the sea. Please observe and obey all signs, and use common sense for your own safety, your family’s, and all other sun seekers.”

The beaches with lifeguard cover from this weekend will be:

  • Gwithian
  • Fistral
  • Mawgan Porth
  • Polzeath
  • Constantine
  • Perranporth
  • Widemouth
  • Croyde in Devon

Other beaches will follow in the coming weeks, so watch for future announcements by the RNLI.

Lifeboat crews remain on standby for any boating incidents, so if you see anyone in distress phone 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguard

Facilities such as toilets, shops and cafés have not yet reopened, so please plan accordingly. If you park your vehicle illegally, or where it may impede emergency services getting to and from a beach, you risk a fine and it being towed away. Please be thoughtful, as some seaside approach roads became packed last weekend, and you must consider social distancing even when parking.

Categories: Cornwall

Free drinksmeter app can help residents manage concerns around increased home drinking during lockdown stress

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 15:38

For those concerned that they might be drinking more alcohol than usual or are finding it a struggle to keep the amount they drink under control during Covid lockdown, Safer Cornwall would urge residents to download the free drinksmeter app to their phones.  

The easy to use app is available through the Safer Cornwall website or via the drinksmeter.com website. It is designed to help those who feel they may be at risk of damaging their health through excess drinking to manage and monitor their home drinking habits.  

Drinksmeter has already been downloaded by hundreds of residents in Cornwall and is highlighted in Safer Cornwall’s ‘Lockdown Home Drinking’ campaign.   

This has been launched following a national YouGov poll which revealed that 20 per cent of the 4,000 adults taking part reported they’d been drinking more alcohol than normal since the country went into Covid-19 lockdown. Added to this, there has also been a reported spike in the sale of wine, spirits and beer.  

The drinksmeter app can be downloaded for free to a phone or accessed online via the drinksmeter.com website. It helps keep track of how much you are drinking in relation to the recommended amount, which is no more than 14 units a week. This equates to seven double shots of spirits, five average size glasses of wine or six pints of average strength beer/lager/cider.  

It also lets you set your own goals and can even work out how much money you could save if you reduce the amount you’re drinking.  It also gives the details of local contacts if you need to speak to someone for advice or support.   

Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health said: “It is often so difficult at times like these to cope and manage levels of stress and anxiety.  It is so easy to just pour another drink in the hope it will make us feel better. ‘Lockdown Home Drinking’ aims to alert us all to the many serious health issues that can result from drinking more alcohol than we might do normally.  

“Too much is bad for the body in so many ways and can also put an added strain on our health services during this unprecedented crisis.  

“The drinksmeter app certainly puts into perspective how alcohol you are drinking, and then helps you to personally manage it before it gets out of hand.   

“This is why I would urge anyone who might be concerned that they are consuming more than usual during the pandemic, to make full use of this really helpful and potentially life-saving resource.”   

Story created on 28 May 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Volunteer highlights community effort during COVID-19

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 12:54

A volunteer helping vulnerable residents has paid tribute to the ‘power of community’ in supporting people through the pandemic. 

Cornwall Council change manager Gill Scott Anderson is one of a group of 15 volunteers who in their spare time have been helping vulnerable residents. 

The St Ives-based group collectively look after shielded families and residents in sheltered accommodation and individuals who are self-isolating in remote locations. 

The group has also set up a community pantry in the town for anyone who needs help with getting food.  

Ahead of Volunteers' Week starting on June 1, community groups, charities and volunteers across Cornwall are being praised for helping people in need during the pandemic with support from Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow and Volunteer Cornwall. 

Volunteers can get information and resources on supporting residents in their communities from the Council’s COVID-19 Community Toolkit which includes topics such as food shopping, prescription collections and befriending. 

Gill and the other volunteers in her group are coordinated by Volunteer Cornwall who pass through details of people on the shielding program or people identified by the local surgery as needing support. 

Her group has been keeping in regular contact with people needing help over the phone, understanding what they need, doing their shopping and collecting medication, all while observing social distancing. 

Gill said: “We have learnt that many people are anxious and fearful at this time and need someone who will take time to listen, talk to them and to help them with shopping and prescriptions. 

“For example, I am looking after an elderly lady who lives in a remote location and has an underlying health condition.  

“We started talking a few weeks ago and she was reticent to accept any help or support and said a weekly check in was all that she wanted. We are in contact frequently and I am shopping and collecting medication for her.” 

Gill says the volunteer group have a virtual check-in with each other weekly to share stories and suggestions and use a WhatsApp group to allocate work and record contacts. 

She paid tribute to the community effort of volunteers across Cornwall in helping people get through the lockdown.  

Gill said: “The key learning is everyone is an individual and their needs are different and the way they want to be treated is different. 

“The sense of community is strong here in St Ives and whilst these are difficult times, we hope that the community spirit will burn bright after we come through this.” 

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “The community action that Gill, her fellow volunteers and volunteers across Cornwall are taking to help our most vulnerable residents through this crisis is so important for helping our communities stay resilient. 

“I want to thank the incredible effort and work of all our volunteers during this pandemic. Together with NHS Kernow and Volunteer Cornwall we are supporting compassionate communities across Cornwall in helping the people who need assistance the most.” 

Ian Jones, Chief Executive of Volunteer Cornwall, said: “Cornwall’s volunteers have been outstanding. We have received requests for help from concerned relatives from all around the world; in fact, our 3,000th request we received was for a gentleman whose daughter called us from the USA.   

“Many requests were for food and medicines and other calls have included moving furniture to facilitate someone being discharged from hospital, caring for a horse whilst the owner recovered from COVID-19 Virus, finding foster homes for pets during a period of their owner’s illness and even fixing a washing line. 

“June 1-7 is Volunteers' Week so let’s give thanks to all of our tremendous volunteers.” 

If you have been identified as having to shield through a letter from the Government or through the NHS or your GP, make sure you register your status and any need for support at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or call 0800 0288327.  

The Government can send you weekly food parcels if you are shielded. Together, the Council, NHS and Volunteer Cornwall can also help with queries about the food parcels, special dietary requirements, prescriptions and social support if you email covid19@cornwall.gov.ukor ring us on 0300 1234 334. 

If you are vulnerable but not in the shielded category, help is still available if you contact Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or email requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk

See Cornwall Council’s Community Toolkit for ideas on volunteering during the pandemic. 

 

Story posted on May 28, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Discretionary support fund for small businesses in Cornwall goes live

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 08:08

Eligible businesses can now apply for a grant of £10,000 or £25,000 from the government’s discretionary business support fund. 

www.cornwall.gov.uk/smallbusinessgrant      

Cornwall has been allocated £13.5million by the Government to fund discretionary business support grants.    

The Government has set out the guidelines for distributing this new pot of money for businesses who are struggling to survive due to the Coronavirus shutdown but are not eligible for other grant funding schemes including the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.      

Grant of £10,000 are available. Only in very exceptional circumstances will larger grants of up to £25,000 be considered, however these applications will take longer to determine.   

The government guidance instructs local authorities to prioritise support for businesses that fall into four groups:   

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces, for example industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment    
  • Regular Market Traders who do not have their own business rates assessment    
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates    
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.      

Businesses not in these groups and unable to access any other form of government funding are strongly encouraged to submit an expression of interest for funding for the Council to consider. This will support the council building a clear, evidence-based, picture of the need for support across Cornwall. We will continue to lobby Government for additional support beyond the £13.5million made available to us.  

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for Culture, Economy and Planning said: “We have been inundated with requests from business owners across Cornwall who have been unable to access any grants or funding and have been struggling since the shutdown. Some are suffering real hardship and facing the reality of bankruptcy.    

“This is why we have introduced a policy where we can distribute this funding to as many businesses as quickly as possible. Any delay could have a devastating impact.     

“While this money is welcomed, we expect that there will be more businesses who will qualify for the discretionary fund than we have funding for. We are continuing to lobby government for extra funding, so we can help as many businesses as possible receive the money they so desperately need to see them through this crisis.”     

Mark Duddridge, who chairs the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This extra money is very welcome and is something we raised with the Chancellor and our MPs because many businesses were falling through the gaps in existing support. The worry now is that there is still going to be a shortfall so we’ll be working hard to evidence demand to try and secure more lifeline funds to help businesses survive this crisis.”     

Tim Dwelly adds: “We have worked as quickly as possible to agree an application process that is as simple and uncomplicated as it can possibly be but with the necessary checks and balances in place.    

“We’ve been consulting with colleagues from the Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses and the Local Enterprise Partnership on how we can best distribute these grants. We’ll continue to work with business leaders, local groups and support organisations to encourage businesses to get in touch so we can get the money out as quickly as possible to those that desperately need it.”    

Local Authorities are currently not allowed to use more than a figure of 5% from their projected spend as at 04 May 2020 to fund these discretionary business grants. In the case of Cornwall this is approximately £13.5M. However, we continue to press government to make available more funding for the discretionary business grant in order to support the maximum number of businesses possible.

First payments to eligible businesses are expected to be made by early June.

 

Story posted 22 May 2020 

Categories: Cornwall

Self-employed can now apply to discretionary business support fund

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 17:25

More businesses can now apply for a grant of £10,000 or £25,000 from the local authority discretionary business support fund after the government published revised guidance over the Bank Holiday weekend. 

The Council has updated its allocation policy in line with confirmation from the government that those who are eligible to apply to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, can also apply for a grant from the discretionary business support fund.

Full details of the Council’s allocation scheme are available on its website

www.cornwall.gov.uk/smallbusinessgrant 

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for Culture, Economy and Planning said: “We’ve already received almost 2,000 applications and expressions of interest from business owners across Cornwall in just the past few days.”

 “This updated guidance from the government is welcome news as some businesses were concerned that they were not eligible to apply for the discretionary business support fund.”

“It does mean however that there is even greater pressure on the £13.5million allocated to Cornwall by the Government to fund these grants.  We and partners representing the business community are lobbying government and enlisting the help of our MPs for extra funding, so we can help as many businesses as possible receive the money they so desperately need to see them through this crisis.”     

The Government set out the guidelines for distributing this new pot of money for businesses who are struggling to survive due to the Coronavirus shutdown but are not eligible for other grant funding schemes.       

Grant of £10,000 are available. Some larger grants of up to £25,000 will be considered for businesses with very high property costs, however these applications will take longer to determine.   

The government guidance instructs local authorities to prioritise support for businesses that fall into four groups:   

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces, for example industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment    
  • Regular Market Traders who do not have their own business rates assessment    
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates  
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.    

Businesses not in these groups and unable to access any other form of government funding are strongly encouraged to submit an expression of interest for funding for the Council to consider. This will support the council building a clear, evidence-based, picture of the need for support across Cornwall. We will continue to lobby Government for additional support beyond the £13.5million made available to us.  

Mark Duddridge, who chairs the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The extension of the discretionary grant scheme is very welcome but it also places huge pressure on this fund. There are 61,000 self-employed people in Cornwall and Scilly, which is 23% of the workforce, compared with 16% nationally.

“That’s why we have written to the Chancellor today urging him to expand the discretionary grant scheme by making funding already allocated to Local Authorities available to support even more businesses in need.”     

Mr Duddridge said the letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak had been jointly signed by the LEP, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, Visit Cornwall and the Islands’ Partnership on the Isles of Scilly.

 

Story posted 27 May 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Find out what food help is available in your community

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 15:14

Residents needing help and advice on getting food during the pandemic can  find key information on what support is available in their communities on Cornwall Council’s website.

The expanded section at www.cornwall.gov.uk/helpwithfood includes information on supermarket deliveries, food parcels for those who are shielding, how to contact volunteers for help with shopping, how to pay for food and accessing money if you have to stay at home, free school meals, and advice for food businesses. 

Topics include:

  • Supermarkets which are prioritising deliveries to those most in need, including elderly or more vulnerable people, with some offering special opening hours for key workers or elderly shoppers.
  • Ideas on supporting the local food industry such as independent shops, farm shops, community shops and wholesalers, some of which are running delivery services.
  • Shielding advice for residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 and unable to leave their homes, including on how to access weekly Government food parcels and any additional help.
  • Guidance on how schools are providing meals for children on benefits-related Free School Meals and Pupil Premium either through supplying meals, food parcels or supermarket vouchers.

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s Portfolio Holder for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “We have seen some incredible work in our communities during this difficult time, from the voluntary groups to the foodbanks to the many volunteers and drivers who are helping residents with food shopping through Volunteer Cornwall. We also want to thank everyone who has donated food to foodbanks, key workers and even their neighbours.

“Our new food section on our website highlights just how much help is available locally. We continue to support our shielded residents in giving advice and emergency food parcels if needed and we are also working with government to support vulnerable people in getting the food that they need.”

The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, said: “Food is one of the fundamentals for life, and so it is no surprise that people can quickly and understandably become very anxious if they do not know where the next meal is coming from. So helping to provide that security is vital.

“I am heartened to see and hear about the many initiatives that people are getting involved in to help others at this time of need - from the volunteers shopping for others who may be shielding or otherwise vulnerable, to those working in food banks and other projects, such as The Hive. And we must not forget those key workers who are going out to work in food production and shops, and who at times may well have fears for their own safety and for that of their families. Our thanks must surely go to them all.

“I would also ask people to please think about their local food banks and to do what they can to support them - they are in need of your donations at this time of crisis, as much as ever.”

Simon Fann, Truro Foodbank manager, said: “The current COVID situation has affected not just the health of people living in the Truro area but also their employment and income, with resultant impact on family life.  

“We thank all the people who donated food to us in the Foodbank donation bins, all the people who have made a financial donation, all the volunteers that come in to Foodbank to help with sorting and distributing food, supermarket managers and British Gas for their support, and Volunteer Cornwall for all the wonderful help given by their volunteers.”

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and MP for Camborne and Redruth, George Eustice, said: “We know this is a really difficult time for a lot of people in Cornwall, but I want local residents to know that support is available. If you are struggling to get the necessary food supplies, please don’t be afraid to ask for help.

“It has been humbling to see how people across the county have come together to help each other. I’m immensely grateful for the work that Cornwall Council and others across the county are doing to make sure that people are able to get food and other essential supplies

“From charities and community groups to our local food industry heroes, working on our farms, in our stores and making deliveries - we are all in this together. The government will continue to support the tremendous efforts being made right across Cornwall.”

Find out more at www.cornwall.gov.uk/helpwithfood.

If you are a vulnerable person who has explored these options, but have been unable to obtain a food delivery, please get in touch with Cornwall Council on 0300 1231118 or email covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

If you meet the criteria to get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme and don’t have friends and family to help, you can also get assistance in accessing food, prescriptions and essential items. You need to call 0808 196 3646 and give your name, address, phone number and the details of your GP. You will then be put in touch with volunteers in your area who can go to the shops on your behalf. A carer or family member can also call on your behalf. 

The Food Standards Agency provides advice on producing food safely for community purposes including advice on allergens, labelling and safe production. To avoid food waste, anyone donating food is advised to speak to the recipient first.

 

Story posted on May 27, 2020

 

 

Categories: Cornwall

Thanks to businesses for following COVID-19 rules

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 16:57

Leisure businesses across Cornwall are being thanked for their continued cooperation in complying with the lockdown rules during the first bank holiday weekend since the Government relaxed travel restrictions.

Cornwall Council’s enforcement team did not see any rise in the average number of daily complaints about businesses suspected of breaking the orders over the three-day weekend.

After investigation officers found the vast majority of these reported businesses, which ranged from holiday lets to restaurants and pubs, were not open illegally.

Now the Council is thanking holiday lets, hotels, bed and breakfasts, holiday parks and campsites for doing their bit in staying closed to visitors to Cornwall and supporting the campaign asking them to please come back later.

It is also reminding takeaway businesses which are allowed to be open not to provide outside seating to customers who should be consuming their food orders away from the business premises.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: “I want to pay tribute to all the businesses who have complied with the emergency closure orders on what would usually have been an extremely busy trading weekend.

“We need to keep working together to protect our services and keep our communities safe and I thank everyone for their sacrifices over the weekend and throughout the lockdown.

“Please stay safe and make sure you are always social distancing if you are visiting beaches and our countryside this half-term week.”

If you’re concerned that a business may be breaking the rules, please contact Cornwall Council on 0300 123 1118 or at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.  

For any social gatherings concerns contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. 

When police receive reports of people staying at second homes, caravans and campervans and discover a breach of the regulations they will enforce when necessary and ask occupiers to return home.

Cornwall Council has not been given any legal powers under the Coronavirus emergency laws to ask people to leave their second homes. 

The Government has produced guidance on business closures for further reference. However, if you require additional advice please do not hesitate to contact the Council’s Business Support Hub at businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk. 

 

Story posted on May 26, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Concerns over vulnerable children during lockdown

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 15:05

Referrals to children’s social care in Cornwall have reduced during the Covid-19 outbreak, raising concerns about the safety and welfare of vulnerable children during lockdown. 

Calls to the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) have significantly reduced since schools were closed and calls to the Early Help Hub, which provides family support, links to school nursing and emotional health support, have also seen a dramatic decrease.  

This is the same in other areas of the Country, however there are concerns that incidents of harm may be going unreported.  Cornwall Council is calling on families, carers and friends to support all young people and if they see something – to say something.  

Cabinet member for children, health and wellbeing councillor Sally Hawken said: “The country may be in lockdown, but when it comes to safeguarding children in Cornwall, it is business as usual.  I would urge anyone if they have concerns about a young person to pick up the phone and to call.   

“Referrals are normally made by schools, GP surgeries and nurses and extended family, so with limited numbers of children in school and more doctors doing telephone consultations, they could slip under the radar.  Referrals may be down, but we have no reason to believe that child abuse is also down, in fact there are concerns, as with domestic abuse figures published recently, it could be up.” 

Social workers and social care practitioners across Cornwall are still working and supporting families, albeit following social distancing measures as directed by the government. Essential home visits are still being completed where there are serious concerns about the safety and welfare of a child, even during the lockdown period.  

Director of children’s services at Cornwall Council Meredith Teasdale added: “We have systems in place to ensure children are safe across Cornwall, but now more than ever it’s important that communities and neighbours are looking out for each other.  

“These are unprecedented times and if a family needs help, I would urge them to get in touch – We are here to support you!” 

If you wish to make a request for family support please contact the Early Help Hub on 01872 322277.  Alternatively, please visit cornwall.gov.uk, search for Early Help Hub, and complete the online request for help form

If you have immediate concerns or are worried about a child or young person's safety please telephone the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) on 0300 123 1116.

The MARU provides a multi-disciplinary response to concerns about the welfare or safety of a child or young person. The multi-disciplinary team also provides advice and guidance to parents and professionals about the wide range of services available to children and families in Cornwall.  

Categories: Cornwall

Concerns over vulnerable children during lockdown (2)

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 13:58

Referrals to children’s social care in Cornwall have reduced during the Covid-19 outbreak, raising concerns about the safety and welfare of vulnerable children during lockdown. 

Calls to the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) have significantly reduced since schools were closed and calls to the Early Help Hub, which provides family support, links to school nursing and emotional health support, have also seen a dramatic decrease.  

This is the same in other areas of the Country, however there are concerns that incidents of harm may be going unreported.  Cornwall Council is calling on families, carers and friends to support all young people and if they see something – to say something.  

Cabinet member for children, health and wellbeing councillor Sally Hawken said: “The country may be in lockdown, but when it comes to safeguarding children in Cornwall, it is business as usual.  I would urge anyone if they have concerns about a young person to pick up the phone and to call.   

“Referrals are normally made by schools, GP surgeries and nurses and extended family, so with limited numbers of children in school and more doctors doing telephone consultations, they could slip under the radar.  Referrals may be down, but we have no reason to believe that child abuse is also down, in fact there are concerns, as with domestic abuse figures published recently, it could be up.” 

Social workers and social care practitioners across Cornwall are still working and supporting families, albeit following social distancing measures as directed by the government. Essential home visits are still being completed where there are serious concerns about the safety and welfare of a child, even during the lockdown period.  

Director of children’s services at Cornwall Council Meredith Teasdale added: “We have systems in place to ensure children are safe across Cornwall, but now more than ever it’s important that communities and neighbours are looking out for each other.  

“These are unprecedented times and if a family needs help, I would urge them to get in touch – We are here to support you!” 

If you wish to make a request for family support please contact the Early Help Hub on 01872 322277.  Alternatively, please visit cornwall.gov.uk, search for Early Help Hub, and complete the online request for help form

If you have immediate concerns or are worried about a child or young person's safety please telephone the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) on 0300 123 1116.

The MARU provides a multi-disciplinary response to concerns about the welfare or safety of a child or young person. The multi-disciplinary team also provides advice and guidance to parents and professionals about the wide range of services available to children and families in Cornwall.  

 

Categories: Cornwall

Free parking in Council car parks for NHS and health and social care staff

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 16:30

Council car parks will remain free for NHS and health and social care staff and critical care volunteers when car park charges are reintroduced on Monday 01 June. 

When parking in a Council car park, these NHS and health and social care staff and critical care staff will need to display the permit provided by their NHS Trust and if using a pay on exit car park use the intercom on arrival and when leaving.

Like many local authorities across the country, the Council will be reintroducing car parking charges on 1 June as coronavirus lockdown measures start to ease. 

Tariffs will remain at 2019 levels and not increase with inflation this year as was originally planned. Free evening parking in most Council car parks will continue, as will flexible pay and park options during the day. We encourage users to use the JustPark App, a touchless system using your own mobile phone. There is also an option to buy batches of reduced rate parking sessions via JustPark

Buying reduced rate parking sessions significantly cuts the cost of parking – in Truro for example, the cost of parking all day in a Council car park using a batch session is just £2.26 for a 24 hour stay. The batch sessions are available to purchase for most long stay car parks. As a further incentive to make these batch sessions more affordable in the current climate, we have reduced the minimum purchase cost of these batches from £47 to £25.

Councillor Geoff Brown, cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “Car parks have an important role in managing the demand on our highway network and as lockdown measures begin to ease and residents return to work, now is the time to reintroduce charging.” 

“From 01 June our Civil Enforcement Officers will also be back to full capacity,  helping to keep routes clear for emergency service vehicles, as well as preventing traffic hazards. Initially they will continue to provide help and guidance about where people can and cannot park.  A carefully phased reintroduction of previously relaxed traffic/parking management and enforcement is necessary to help manage a safe and controlled recovery.”

 

Story posted 22 May 2020

Categories: Cornwall

MPs join calls this bank holiday weekend for visitors to #comebacklater

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 15:13

Cornwall MPs are joining forces with Council leaders in calling for visitors to avoid travelling to Cornwall this bank holiday weekend and please come back later.  

St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double, North Cornwall MP Scott Mann and Cornwall Council Leader Julian German are issuing their plea at the start of the first bank holiday weekend since the government eased some of its lockdown restrictions. 

All holiday accommodation providers have been ordered to stay shut and police have warned they could fine anyone staying overnight in second homes, caravans and campervans. 

Steve Double said: “As a result of the hard work of the people of Cornwall we are winning our fight against this virus. In order to reduce the risk of a second wave it is important that people follow the government guidance and do not come to Cornwall for a holiday in Cornwall at this time.  

“The guidance is clear that overnight stays are not allowed, and our police do have powers to fine people who break the rules.  

“When it is safe to holiday in Cornwall we will welcome you back, but for now, please stay away and come back later.” 

Scott Mann said: "Once again I must ask potential visitors to please not travel to North Cornwall and consider how this impacts on our local communities.  

“We have limited facilities available so please apply common sense and resist driving long distances for day trips. Do not travel to North Cornwall for holidays or to stay at your non- primary residence at this time.  

“We hope that we will be able to welcome visitors again soon but we aren't at that point yet." 

Cllr Julian German said: “With the first bank holiday after the government eased some of its lockdown restrictions we are repeating a familiar message: if you’re planning a trip to Cornwall this weekend please, think twice, cancel it and come back later. We want to see you again – but not right now.  

“These are difficult and frustrating times, and now the government’s guidance has changed it’s easy to let down our guard and allow ourselves to be lulled into thinking that things have returned to normal. But that is simply not the case. It is emphatically not business as usual in Cornwall.   

“The virus has not gone away, and we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent and risk this terrible illness spreading through our communities.”  

Cornwall Council’s enforcement officers will be responding to any complaints of accommodation providers flouting the government’s emergency business closure rules this weekend. 

If you’re concerned that a business is pen illegally, please contact us on 0300 123 1118 or at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.   

For social gatherings concerns contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. 

 

Story posted on May 22,2020

Categories: Cornwall

Safety first in Bank Holiday week - Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 14:54

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has warned residents not to get complacent and let their guard down over the bank holiday weekend, and to make sure that Fire, Ambulance, Police and Coastguards aren’t diverted to thoughtless and avoidable incidents.

With eased limits on mileage, roads are bound to be busier. So please drive with extra care, remembering that more people are walking and cycling at present.

A day on the beach may seem an attractive option, but no beaches have lifeguard cover yet. A programme for this is being agreed with the RNLI, but it is not yet in place, so without lifeguards our strong advice is not to go into or onto the water. Read Water Safety advice on our website. This weekend’s unusually high swell and rip tides pose extra dangers.

Despite these warnings if you choose to go boating make sure you’re shipshape and have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on board. Please read our Boat Safety advice.          

This has been quite a long dry spell, increasing the risk of fire. If you are having a barbecue please don’t leave it unattended or set it up near a fence or shed. Please read our Barbecue advice.

Also, please reduce the risk of wildfires by avoiding lighting open fires such as bonfires, not setting off fireworks or flying lanterns, and making sure cigarettes are put out completely. Please read our advice on avoiding wildfires.

Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member responsible for our fire and rescue services, said: “All our emergency services need to be able to respond to unforeseeable incidents, and not those that are entirely preventable. Our fire teams are still supporting the Ambulance service in reacting to Covid 19, and we must keep them free to do so.

“Of course everyone is longing to enjoy outdoor exercise and leisure in good weather, but the health crisis is still with us, so social distancing must be a priority. And please think twice before entering the water, before risking a fire, and when out in traffic.

“We all have a continuing duty to keep each other safe, and to make sure emergency teams are not diverted from their lifesaving work.”

Categories: Cornwall

Trading Standards warn of bogus insulation sales team in Cornwall

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 14:39

Cornwall Council Trading Standards have issued an urgent warning to members of the public after two doorstep conmen were caught cold-calling door-to-door in Roche on Thursday 21 May.

The two men were touting for home insulation work, trying to persuade home-owners that the work would be done free of charge and badgering them into signing a contract there and then.

The so-called salesmen claimed to be working for a firm called ESN Insulation Grants Ltd of Coventry, West Midlands and were seen to be driving a black Peugeot car, registration LN11 YLD.

When challenged by the Trading Standards Police Community Support Officer the two men claimed to have been staying in Cornwall at a hotel but agreed to return home to Coventry.

Residents in the area reported being subjected to a ‘hard sell’ by the men and have now been advised to cancel any contract.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection reminded the public not to deal with anyone who calls without a prior appointment:

“It seems incredible to think that anyone would genuinely travel so far in breach of the current restrictions to try and sell home insulation but the lies and misrepresentation being used in this instance clearly suggests that these were not genuine salespeople at all.  

“To break the current health restrictions by cold-calling from door-to-door shows a complete lack of regard for the safety of the residents in Cornwall.

“And the tactics used to try and secure sales should serve as a clear reminder to everyone that they must never deal with anyone who knocks at the door without a prior invitation, no matter how persuasive or genuine they may appear.”

Categories: Cornwall

Heed beach safety warnings Cornwall Council warns

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 13:38

This coming bank holiday weekend, and the following week, are a time for extra safety vigilance warns Cornwall Council.

Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Rob Nolan, said: “Some restrictions about exercising have been lifted, but we have no lifeguard cover yet, so beach safety is a real concern.”

“Please heed the advice of our colleagues in the Coastguard and RNLI, and despite the obvious attractions of a day at the beach, think twice before going into or on the water. On a busy beach social distancing is also a problem, and in the car parks.”

“This is really not the time to overwhelm our beaches – facilities such as public toilets aren’t open yet, and with no trained lifeguards in post on the shore, any coastal incidents risk calling out a Lifeboat crew. This is unnecessary and means a Covid-19 contact risk for both victims and rescuers.”

To add to potential problems, a large coastal swell and a spring tide are bringing hazardous sea conditions to the South West.

A new sea safety campaign launched jointly by the RNLI and HM Coastguard says: ‘Without you by their side children are vulnerable at the beach. They need you to protect them from the sea's unpredictable waves, rip currents and cold water… Don't use inflatables - they get swept out to sea, with you or your child on them… Every beach is different, so make a point of reading any safety signs.’

Cornwall Council is currently working with the RNLI to restore Lifeguard cover to some beaches shortly, but they are not in place yet.  

Rob Nolan added: “Cornwall offers so many outdoor pleasures where you can enjoy hours of exercise and leisure, so why risk sea danger or drowning? Remember, no-one should be holidaying in Cornwall. By all means have a safe day out, observing social distancing, but you must return to your principle residence each night.”

“We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Cornwall properly, but for now stay safe, particularly at the beach, and please don’t endanger your family or others.”     

Categories: Cornwall

Holiday lets must stay shut: Cornwall Council's bank holiday message

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 12:58

Enforcement officers will take action against any accommodation providers who flout the COVID-19 business closure rules this bank holiday weekend, Cornwall Council has warned. 

At the start of the first extended weekend since the Government eased some of its lockdown restrictions, the Council is repeating the public health safety message to visitors to please come back later. 

Restrictions on holiday accommodation remain in place and public protection officers will be responding to complaints of any businesses suspected of breaking the rules over the weekend, including making inspections of potential premises open illegally to holidaymakers. 

Since the lockdown began at the end of March, Cornwall Council has responded to more than 2,100 complaints and will continue to do so for as long as is necessary using the same ‘Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce’ model. 

If you’re concerned that a business may be flouting the rules, please contact Cornwall Council on 0300 123 1118 or at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.  

There are some exemptions to holiday accommodation being open, for example people living there permanently, people not being able to return home and accommodation for key workers. Evidence to support these claimed exemptions are checked by officers.  

Police have warned that they have the option to visit and fine people staying at second homes, caravans and campervans and will ask them to return home.

Cornwall Council has not been given any legal powers under the Coronavirus emergency laws to ask people to leave their second homes. 

Residents planning to enjoy the sunshine this weekend are reminded to please do so responsibly and observe social distancing rules at all times. 

If anyone is concerned that others may not be, they are urged to avoid confrontations and contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. 

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: “Now that the Government guidance has changed it’s easy for us all to think we can relax and get back to normal.

“But the virus is still here and we need to continue our good work to try and contain this illness and prevent it from spreading through our communities.

“If you’re a resident, enjoy our beautiful coastline and countryside responsibly and respectfully this weekend and remember to be social distancing at all times. If a beach or park or carpark appears very busy, the safest thing to do is to turn back and go somewhere else.

“If you are a visitor please don’t come to Cornwall now but we ask you to please come back later when this crisis is over.”

To report a business suspected of breaking the closure rules, please contact Cornwall Council on 0300 123 1118 or at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.  

For any social gatherings concerns contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. 

The government has produced guidance on business closures for further reference. However, if you require additional advice please do not hesitate to contact the Council’s Business Support Hub at businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk

Story posted on May 22, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

‘River of wildflowers’ will turn A391 into a colourful gateway to St Austell

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 05/21/2020 - 12:09

The ‘Making Space for Nature’ programme is now underway in St Austell, part of a three year venture to transform Cornwall’s green deserts into wildlife-friendly spaces. The first project is set to transform the A391 into a stunning town gateway, with a ‘river of wildflowers’ perfect for pollinators along the road verges.

4000 square metres of wildflower turf was laid in March this year and just two months later is already blooming, with a host of native pollinator-friendly flowers. The project is due to be extended in September this year, with additional native wildflower-seeded areas, to create a 2.5km wildlife corridor between Tregrehan Mills Roundabout up to Treverbyn Roundabout. A footpath/ cycleway runs alongside much of the verge, allowing up-close contact with nature and enjoyment of the visual display.

The meadows include  annual and perennial species . Each will evolve over the years to provide a very welcome splash of colour and abundant nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. The meadows will also provide cover and food for birds, small mammals and amphibians. Uncut meadow patches will be left as refuge areas for creatures to shelter in over winter months. Wildflowers may also help improve local air quality by capturing small particulates emitted from traffic fumes.

The meadow verges will be managed with an annual autumn cut, to reduce fertility and ensure continued diversity of flower species. Cuttings will be collected and removed, leaving a healthy sward ready to grow again each springtime.

This display is bound to be enjoyed by local residents and visitors to the town over the years to come. This is part of a wider set of projects across St Austell, involving both ERDF funded ‘Making Space for Nature’ and Coastal Communities funded ‘St Austell Fresh Green Futures’. 

Partners

This project has brought together many partners with a shared goal to bring more colour, enjoyment and access to nature to St Austell.

The Making Space for Nature team and University of Exeter, Cormac, Cornwall Council highways, SABEF, St Austell Town Council, Darren Hawkes Landscapes, MeiLoci Ltd, Pictorial Meadows and National Wildflower Centre/ Eden Project have all collaborated to bring this transformation about

Making Space for Nature in Cornish towns is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. With support from the University of Exeter and match funding from Cornwall Council, the project will invest £2.9m in seven towns covering an area approximately the size of 28 rugby pitches by 2022.

For more information about all the projects, check out Making Space for Nature.

Categories: Cornwall

Council to provide more homes for those in need of emergency accommodation

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 15:29

Providing safe homes for those in emergency need during these unprecedented times is a priority for the Council.  

As part of the response to the Covid – 19 pandemic, we will be providing temporary self-contained homes on two Council-owned sites in Truro and Penzance.  This type of ‘portable accommodation’ is often used to house workers on large infrastructure projects, as well as staff at some of the UK’s largest public events – including the Glastonbury Festival.   

Each home is self-contained which means that those living there can self-isolate and reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19. 

Ten self-contained units, plus an additional facility for site support and management staff, will be provided at each of the two Council owned sites in Truro and Penzance.   

Each unit provides high quality emergency accommodation, with kitchenette, bed, living space and bathroom facilities.  They are specifically designed to provide all essential amenities so that residents can move in quickly during this time of essential social distancing and self-isolation.  The units will be allocated to those in need of emergency temporary housing. 

Cornwall Housing will be managing the two temporary accommodation sites, with a support team available during working hours as well as 24/7 on-site security. 

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for homes Andrew Mitchell said: "This Council will do all we possibly can to keep people safe during this incredibly difficult time.” 

“As well as continuing to work with local hotels and using our own housing stock, we have explored a number of Council owned sites which may be suitable for locating emergency temporary accommodation so that vulnerable people have somewhere safe to stay during this health crisis.” 

“My thanks go to those staff that have dropped everything to deliver this incredibly complex project in record time.” 

Nick Cross, Managing Director of Cornwall Housing, adds: “This provision will help to keep a number of vulnerable people safe during this very difficult time and the contribution of residents in hosting this provision is appreciated. 

“Our teams will be working closely with everyone housed here to support them throughout this current situation and beyond.  Our Engagement Officers will be working with each person to offer guidance and support to live safely and independently when these temporary accommodation units are no longer available.” 

Residents will also be supported if they need assistance in accessing medication or food supplies. 

Site preparation is continuing with the first batch of portable homes and associated site infrastructure ready to be installed in the next few days.  Residents are expecting to move in in the next few weeks. 

Once the emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic has ended, we will work with occupants to identify suitable settled accommodation.  

 

Story posted 20 May 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Do you know what your children are looking at online?

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 09:55

The online world is a vital space for children at the moment, as they keep up with school work and maintain relationships with their friends.  But parents in Cornwall are being warned about the dangers for children spending more time on line.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Safeguarding Children Partnership Board are concerned if children are spending more time online unsupervised, such as in their bedrooms or when parents are trying to work from home, there is the chance that young people could fall victim to exploitation and bullying.

Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership Board, John Clements, said: “Over the last five years we have seen a steady increase in online child abuse and exploitation and we are concerned that during lockdown, this will continue to rise.

 “I am keen to stress that the internet is not all bad; in fact, over the last few weeks it has become a brilliant resource for keeping up with school work, friends and family. However, you do need to be careful when it comes to sharing personal information and pictures.”

This is part of a wider safeguarding campaign which is marked with the launch of a new website for the partnership board to help protect children and young people in Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly.

There are hints and tips about staying safe online on the new website, along with a host of other useful information designed especially for children and their families.

John continued: “Children and young people spend a lot of their time online, even more so following the Covid-19 lockdown and it is essential that parents know what they are doing, the sites they’re visiting and who they are talking to.

“Whilst it can be a positive place to keep in touch with friends and families, criminals could use it to groom and exploit them. Online child exploitation can include live streaming, coercion and blackmail of children for sexual or criminal purposes.”

The government, the department for education and leading UK charities have also warned of the dangers of the internet at this time and have issued consistent guidance.  These include: think before you post, don’t share personal information, being aware of scams, thinking about who you are talking too online, keeping your device secure, never giving out your passwords and covering your webcam when you are not using it.

John concluded: “We don’t want to alarm parents or carers and there is no need to lock away your children’s screen or to scare them with stories of bad people, but by taking a few simple steps you can help protect them online.”

The safeguarding board is a partnership between Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, NHS Kernow and the Council of the Isles of Scilly and is in place to protect children in Cornwall from harm.

For more information please go to the Safeguarding Partnership Website or if you have an urgent safeguarding concern you can contact the MARU on: 0300 1231 116

Categories: Cornwall