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Help a loved one quit smoking on No Smoking Day

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 10:18

What are you doing to help a loved one quit on No Smoking Day?

A recent survey issued by Smokefree South West found that they saw an increase in the levels of happiness in people who had quit smoking.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of ex-smokers in the South West are happier since they quit, with around a third saying that giving up smoking has led to major lifestyle changes.

12 % reported that giving up smoking had been a catalyst for other family members and friends to quit too. Smokers are two-thirds (67%) more likely to quit when spouse stops smoking and a third more likely to quit when a close friend (36%) stops or someone they work with (34%) stops.

The survey also reveals that the vast majority of smokers (91 per cent) experienced reduced or the same levels of anxiety after quitting, even though 35 per cent of people thought that kicking the habit would increase their levels of anxiety.

This is thought to be the first survey of its kind to look into the reasons why giving up smoking has a positive impact on people’s lives and it reveals that it has far reaching impacts beyond the well-known health and financial benefits.

One of the more interesting findings was the effect quitting had on relationships with around one in 20 people reporting that their sex life had improved. One in 10 said that quitting had resulted in weight loss.

Of those people who felt happier as a result of quitting smoking, 48 per cent said it has made them feel more in control of their future and 27 per cent said their future seems more positive. A quarter said that quitting has made them “realise they can do anything”.

The 2016 Be There Tomorrow campaign launched last month and features a poignant and candid television advert, alongside billboard and radio advertising. The campaign highlights the special moments in life that 1 in 2 smokers who don’t stop early enough are likely to miss out on by dying early from their tobacco use.

The survey also found that 17 per cent of ex-smokers say that they used to panic and let things overwhelm them, but now have a more considered approach to life.

Almost half of respondents said that they now deal with stressful situations differently with more than 26 per cent stating they have more will power and now don’t give up on things so easily and 14 per cent reporting that they don’t get angry as easily and are more reasonable.

Kate Knight, deputy director for Smokefree South West, said:

“It’s widely known that quitting smoking has health and financial benefits but what is less well understood is the far reaching and sometimes surprising impacts it has on mental wellbeing and happiness.

“It is also interesting to see how former smokers perceived cigarettes as a way of helping them relax and de-stress, whereas in reality this survey shows that only a very small minority of people felt more anxious after quitting.”

Lewis Jones Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Stop Smoking service co-ordinator added: “Smokers are five times more likely to quit for good with the help of a trained stop smoking adviser alongside them. The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Stop Smoking Service is free to attend and our friendly, expert teams offer practical help and advice, from tips on how to cope with cravings to finding the best tailor made way to quit”.

For more information, help and support to stop smoking call 01209 313419 or visit quit4cornwall.com. Recognising that both smokers and their loved ones need support during a stop smoking attempt, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Stop Smoking Service has a Facebook page to offer friendly help and advice on how to quit. 

Categories: Cornwall

Invitation to get involved in the Heritage Lottery Funded Luxulyan Valley Restoration Project

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 11:19

Luxulyan Valley, part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and home to the Treffry viaduct, is set to undergo major conservation work which is being funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund development grant. People are being invited to events this month and in June to find out more about the proposals and the Valley, which is close to Par and St Blazey.

Cornwall Council and Cornwall Heritage Trust are partners in this exciting project with a range of aims. Top of the list is the restoration of the Treffry Viaduct to bring it back to working order. Trails and paths will also be restored so walkers can delve deeper into the woodlands and find out more about its fascinating industrial heritage, and natural habitats.

The conservation project includes a programme of activities to encourage both more people to get involved and to find out about the remarkable heritage of the Luxulyan Valley. The project team will be attending community events and activities in and around Luxulyan, Par and St. Blazey in May and June. They hope that people will go along, have a chat, and help to shape the next step of the plans. You’ll find them at the following events:

  • 21 May: Par Bay Big Local Training and Employment Show Case, Alexandra Hall, St.Blazey (2pm - 5pm)
  • 30 May: Fete in aid of St Blaise Feast, King Edward Gardens, St. Blazey (11am - 4pm)
  • 3 June (morning): Luxulyan Station (11.50am and 13.30pm trains) and Kings Head, Luxulyan (12pm - 1.15pm)
  • 3 June: Park Leisure, Par Sands (3pm - 5pm)
  • 4 June: Ponts Mill car park (10.30am -12pm) ; Treffry Viaduct and Wheel Pit (1.00pm - 2.30pm) and Luxulyan Village, near the Church (3pm - 4pm)
  • 12 June: Par Big Lunch, Sweets Grill Car Park, Par (11am - 3.30pm)
  • 18 June: Tywardreath School, Summer Fair (12pm – 3pm)

On 3 and 4 of June the project team will also be in and around Luxulyan Valley, hoping to chat to others interested in finding out more about the project. People can also feedback by completing a short public survey on the Luxulyan Valley and Prideaux Woods page.

<All surveys completed by 1 August 2016 will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher.

For more information about the project please contact environmentservice@cornwall.gov.uk or visit the Luxulyan Valley and Prideaux Woods page.

Categories: Cornwall

Carn Brea Leisure Centre on the agenda for the Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth Community Network Panel

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 01/05/2017 - 13:03

Residents of the Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth Community Network Panel area are invited to a presentation and question and answer session hosted by Carn Brea Leisure Centre at the June meeting of the Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth Community Network Panel meeting. 

The meeting takes place on Wednesday 15 June 2016, between 7pm and 9pm, at Pool Innovation Centre, Pool, and the general public are always most welcome to attend, in addition to local councils and community and voluntary groups. 

Also on the agenda is a presentation on understanding the Gypsy & Traveller community, introduced by Cornwall Councillor Geoff Brown, Portfolio Holder for Communities, and with speakers from Cornwall Housing and the Gypsy & Traveller Liaison team.  In addition there will be a presentation and question and answer session on Cornwall’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, The Willow Centre in Truro, by Sally Piper, CEO of Skoodhya Ltd. 

Cornwall Councillor Ian Thomas, Chair of Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth Community Network Panel, said: “The CPIR Network Panel meetings are not only a fantastic opportunity for the Parish, Town and Cornwall Councillors to publicly engage with their respective communities, they are less than formal events where the community gets the chance to hold those responsible for serving them to account, ask questions, be informed and, most importantly, shape and improve the community in which they live.  In the CPIR Network Area we are very proud to boast of the huge success and popularity of our meetings." 

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

The panel comprises all fourteen Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives from the ten parishes in the Camborne, Redruth, Illogan and Pool Community Network - Camborne Pendarves, Camborne Roskear, Camborne Trelowarren, Camborne Treslothan, Camborne Treswithian, Carharrack, Gwennap & St Day, Four Lanes, Illogan, Lanner and Stithians, Mount Hawke and Portreath, Pool and Tehidy, Redruth Central, Redruth North and Redruth South.

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

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall RFU Victory Parade - Wednesday 1 June, Truro

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 01/04/2017 - 10:40

To celebrate Cornwall’s historic win at Twickenham on Sunday when, for the first time ever, Cornwall made it two wins in a row to retain the ‘Bill Beaumont County Championship Cup’, the players will parade the cup on an open top bus tour around Truro City Centre on Wednesday 1 June.

The Chairman of the Council, Councillor Ann Kerridge, will be officially sending the team on their way from County Hall where the bus will depart at 6pm for the victory parade around Truro.

 

Categories: Cornwall

Healthy resolutions – now easier to keep with 4 simple steps to success

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 13:47

We’ve got four top tips on how to make and keep your New Year resolutions.

Step 1 – make a small a change, that you can fit in with your lifestyle, so that it is easy to do on a regular basis. For example fitting in 30 minutes of activity into your day could be achieved by 3 periods of 10 minutes exercise, which could include walking at lunchtime, getting off the bus or parking a little further from work. Do this and you will soon be achieving the suggested daily amount of physical activity.

Need support and ideas, then try PHIL (Promoting Health Information Line). They can give you advice on quitting smoking, eating better and exercising more. 

Get Active Cornwall has plenty of ideas on ways to be active too.

Step 2 – make it enjoyable, and make it social! Agree with family or friends to take on a resolution together so that you can encourage each other, which is a great help to keep going once the initial euphoria wears off.

Step 3 – be realistic, set yourself a target such as 30 minutes continuous walking by the end of the month, and then reward yourself. But not with cake or alcohol, reward yourself with some me time when you reach your target.

Step 4 – be kind to yourself, making a lifestyle change takes time to become the norm, so don’t beat yourself up if you slip up, simply start again, adjust your target if necessary.

Dr Caroline Court, Acting Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly said: “With our health services under strain, we need to start helping ourselves to become fitter and healthier. New Year’s resolutions are a great way to start, so make them enjoyable and achievable and experience the great feeling of succeeding”.

Lynda Quee, Health Promotion Service Manager for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly added: “We know that the New Year is a time when people decide to stop smoking, lose weight and eat more healthily.  If you have made a resolution in the past, but it didn’t go well, why not give it a try again in 2017?  We are able to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.  We can provide information, support and advice – if you want to stop smoking we will help you get any medication you need.  Simply call us on 01209 313419.”  

PHIL can be contacted by calling 01209 313419 or visiting www.healthpromcornwall.org

The Eat well guide – the government recommended guide to eating healthy balanced diet can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-eatwell-guide

Chief medical officer’s physical activity guidelines for children and adults can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-physical-activity-guidelines

 

Categories: Cornwall

Make sure you register your new gifts

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 13:46

Don’t forget to complete your gift guarantee registration cards

Now all the gifts are opened this Christmas please look for the guarantee registration card supplied with your new electrical gift, child’s toy or larger appliance - completing a few key details by post, on line or by free phone, may save your life.

Suppliers can only inform you of product recalls or if there is a potential risk with the product you have purchased if you have taken the time to complete the guarantee registration process. In the event of a dangerous issue you would be directly contactable and know immediately to stop using it.

The products we buy must be safe. Responsible manufacturers test their products to strict CE safety regulations but sometimes a fault is found with the product or a component after the goods have been sold on the open market.  When a product is found to be dangerous, authorities take appropriate action to withdraw the product from the market, recall it, or issue warnings and eliminate the risk. Approximately 3000 fires are started in the UK each year from known recalls, which can be from well-known brands.  

Andy Burnside from Cornwall Trading Standards says: “It is crucial that all local residents are aware of the importance of completing these guarantee cards. Everyday household appliances we leave on overnight or as when we are out can pose such a danger - kitchen appliances, hover-boards, drones, toys, chargers, beauty gadgets can all be the subject of a recall”.

Always buy from reputable sources and keep your receipt safe along with the guarantee card. Exchanges, refunds or repairs are offered by genuine suppliers but this is frequently not the case if goods are purchased from non-reputable sources.

As a minimum when you buy a product, check for a reputable manufacturer’s brand name or logo, model and batch number. Adequate warnings and clear user instructions must be provided with your purchase on conditions and limitations of use, safe operating, basic electrical safety guidance and details of how to safely dispose of the item through local recycling schemes. Do not rely on a CE mark alone as a guarantee of safety as they are increasingly forged.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities Geoff Brown adds: “Cornwall Trading Standards and Cornwall Fire and Rescue service work hard all year to protect local consumers from risk.  It can be years later that a fault is found so we regularly update our internet and social media pages with known recalls”.

Generic websites like http://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/ can also help you register your existing appliances as well as new.

If you think you may be using faulty or unsafe products please stop and return them to where they were purchased. Please visit Cornwall Trading Standards Product Recall page regularly or follow us on social media for product safety information

 www.facebook.com/CornwallTS

Twitter @TSCornwall

 

Categories: Cornwall

Partnership sees 37 new double decker buses operating on routes across Cornwall from January 2017

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 13:46

A fleet of 37 brand new double decker buses will be operating on routes across Cornwall from January 2017 under an innovative partnership between First Kernow, Go Cornwall and Cornwall Council to transform local bus services as part of the Devolution Deal.

Earlier this year the Government announced Cornwall would receive an additional £12m over the next three years to support the Council’s plans to improve bus services.  This money is being used to join up bus routes, improve bus shelters and bus stops, integrate ticketing and timetabling for bus with local rail services, and to provide new and improved vehicles.  This investment is part of the One Public Transport element of Cornwall’s Devolution Deal which will see £130m of Government funding used to develop an integrated rail, bus and ferry transport network across Cornwall.

First Kernow has invested £7.4m in buying 30 new double decker buses to use on routes in Cornwall, building on Go-Ahead’s Go Cornwall (Plymouth City Bus) bus operation which has seen seven new vehicles already brought into service.  This latest investment means that Cornwall’s two largest operators have contributed £10.5m in providing new vehicles and upgrading existing buses in Cornwall over the past 12 months.

As well as providing a number of additional features, including internet access and USB charging to enable passengers to browse the web or take advantage of a mobile office option during longer journeys, the new vehicles have also been built to the latest low emission European standards.   This means 12% of the 335 buses currently being used in Cornwall will have been upgraded, producing an 84% reduction in emissions which will significantly improve air quality along these routes.

Following a consultation with Truro Park and Ride users, the driver protective screens have been removed from the new fleet of buses.   Audible stop announcements are also going to be introduced in the near future as the wider One Public Transport elements are developed and delivered.

The new fleet will be operating in West Cornwall on the U1/U2/U3 (Falmouth, Penryn Truro), routes and the 14/18 (Penzance, St Ives, Hayle, Camborne, Redruth, Truro) routes and in South East Cornwall on the 70/71 (Liskeard, Cremyll, Torpoint, Plymouth) routes.

Welcoming the introduction of the new buses, Bert Biscoe, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said ” The Cornwall Devolution Deal enables Cornwall Council to work with partners ranging from the Department for Transport to community transport providers to integrate bus and rail systems, ticketing, routing and timetabling, into a single public transport network for Cornwall. Bus and train operators are working in partnership with the Council to deliver a step change in transport options for Cornish people.

“Many people want to contribute to managing climate change, others find motoring increasingly expensive and stressful, and, whilst lifestyles are changing, so too are our transport needs.

“The provision of a major fleet of new (yes NEW!) buses by First Kernow is a significant investment in this major project, and a strong endorsement of Cornwall Council’s approach to ensuring that our public transport system will, in a relatively short time, be comparable with that of many major British cities. Other investments will follow.”

Alex Carter, Managing Director of First Kernow, added “ We are extremely pleased and proud to introduce this fleet of fine new buses into Cornwall.

“Our loyal customers have long awaited this major upgrade in the quality of vehicles providing services on two of our key corridors, and of course we hope the vehicles’ presence and eye catching appearance will encourage those who don’t routinely use the bus to give it a try. The onboard additional features will, I’m sure, prove popular with customers old and new.

“These buses commence a programme of strong fleet and infrastructure investment in public transport with our Cornwall Council partner, and we very much look forward to the environmental and service quality improvements that will bring.“

The Council is working with a range of partners to improve public transport services in Cornwall.  Over the past few months officers have carried out an extensive survey, finding out what existing passengers like and don’t like about bus and train services in Cornwall and what improvements they would like to see.  Non-public transport users have also been asked why they do not currently use services and what would encourage them to leave their car at home and take the bus or train.

This information is being used to develop a new network and integrated services which will make public transport the first travel choice for people in Cornwall, increase the number of passengers on bus and rail services and generate more income to make the system more financially viable.

The development of a new network will join up bus and rail services and be designed to take passengers where they want to go, at the times they want to travel.  Services will connect towns across Cornwall, with a network of feeder services supporting outlying areas.  Bus services will be designed to connect with rail, ferry and air services to avoid waiting times for ongoing travel.

We are also developing a single timetable containing information for all public transport services across Cornwall.  Bus stops will show “real time” arrivals and digital timetable information will make it easier for passengers to find out which bus or train they need to catch and when the next one is due to arrive.   Also under development is a brand new transport information app which residents and visitors will be able to access on their phones or tablets and use on the go! 

There will also be a new single ticketing system which can be used across all bus, rail and ferry services, with passengers able to buy tickets on buses, whether by phone, app or using a debit card. Ticket prices will be capped at a maximum daily fare level to ensure that they are affordable and offer value for money.

Story posted 23 December 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Rick Stein Group signs new agreement with Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 09:23

Cornwall Council’s Public Protection Service has signed a new Primary Authority Agreement with The Rick Stein Group.

Famous for their fantastic seafood restaurants, Rick and Jill Stein have been welcoming guests for over 40 years. The business has grown from the opening of The Seafood Restaurant in 1975 to a collection of food-inspired shops, boutique rooms and self-catering cottages, a cookery school, a bakery and production kitchen and ten restaurants across three counties.

Now, Cornwall Council’s Public Protection Service will further develop the positive working relationship they have forged with the businesses in The Rick Stein Group to cover functions such as Environmental Health and Trading Standards legislation, or specific areas such as food safety. The Rick Stein group will be confident that the statutory partnership formed with Cornwall Council means that the expert opinion provided in relation to regulatory compliance will be reliable across the whole of the UK.

The Primary Authority national scheme is overseen by the BRDO (Better Regulation Delivery Office) and gives businesses operating across council boundaries (regardless of their size) the right to form partnerships with a single local authority.

This new partnership means that The Rick Stein Group will deal with Cornwall Council on food safety and food standards regulations which will provide them with assured management systems that can be implemented in any of their premises across the UK.

Ian Fitzgerald, Operations Director for the Rick Stein Group said: “Whilst sourcing and serving great produce has always been the passion, standards and safety underpin everything we do as a business. Partnering with Cornwall Council in a Primary Authority Agreement helps reinforce our approach to safety. We recognise the value of a close, open and challenging relationship where access to up-to-the-minute thinking and expertise has helped us to continuously improve.”  

Cornwall Council Head of Public Protection and Business Support, Allan Hampshire said: “By choosing to participate in the scheme, The Rick Stein Group is demonstrating a commitment to working in partnership with Cornwall Council and a desire to build on its experience of regulation. I am delighted that we have entered this partnership and that we are in a position to sign this Agreement with a business that is showing its commitment to ensuring better protection for consumers.  We are also pleased to be helping this business save valuable resources by reducing the need for duplication requests from local authorities from across the Country.” 

Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown said: “This new primary authority agreement demonstrates Cornwall Council's determination to support businesses as they grow and develop by providing a professional, critical friend.”

Story posted 12 May 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Wave Hub is ruling the waves

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 12/23/2016 - 12:07

“The world class Wave Hub facility”, that’s how Cornwall’s Wave Hub was recently described by renewable wave energy experts more than ten years after the concept was first conceived. 

The idea for the Wave Hub, which lies on the sea bed 16km off the north Cornwall coastline was ahead of its time. But it was this innovative forward thinking, supported by investment from the Convergence Programme’s European Regional Development Fund, that has placed Cornwall at the cutting edge of testing renewable wave energy technology.  Many predict this will be an important part of the green energy mix and a commercial opportunity in the future.

The South West, and, in particular, Cornwall, has excellent potential for using renewable energy. The first wind turbines were installed in Delabole in North Cornwall 25 years ago and more recently solar farms and geothermal energy installations have been developed, but it is the harsh, energy rich seas which are home to one of the best wave climates in Europe that Wave Hub would help to unlock.

The Wave Hub project received £18m of European Regional Development Funds as well as attracting a combined total of more than  £15m of investment from the South West of England Regional Development Agency, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Energy and Climate Change to complete the construction of this huge engineering challenge. This was after more than £1.95m of funding had been secured during the development phase of Wave Hub. In the autumn of 2007 the UK Government issued the necessary consents and the wave test site was fully commissioned in 2012.

During the Convergence Programme, Wave Hub was just one of 539 environmental technologies and renewable energy enterprises that were assisted; an impressive 94% of the Convergence Programme target during a period of recession when many were turning their backs on such bold ideas.  A further 1,043 businesses were advised on environment through the Convergence Programme, 49% above the contracted figure.

Wave Hub is now attracting more interest than ever.  Australian based Carnegie Wave Energy has recently secured £9.5m of ERDF investment whilst contributing more than £5m of their own private investment to establish a UK based subsidiary company which is looking to commercialise their renewable wave energy device called CETO 6.

Carnegie selected the Wave Hub in Cornwall as it is the only place in the world to deliver what they required at this time.  They have moved into the ERDF funded Hayle Marine Renewables Business Park and they are creating highly skilled jobs to facilitate the delivery of their project. 

Claire Gibson, Managing Director of Wave Hub said, “The pace of development is quickening, with many wave energy developers moving towards testing multiple devices having completed single prototype projects.

“Wave Hub has been specifically designed to help accelerate this process and overcome the challenges to deployment, and remains the world’s largest and most technologically advanced site for the testing and development of large scale wave energy arrays.  By providing purpose-built infrastructure within an excellent wave resource, backed by a professional team that can assist with permitting, installation, commissioning and operation of arrays, Wave Hub can significantly reduce project costs, lead times and risk for developers and investors. 

“What few doubt is the potential of the market. Europe alone could have up to 100 GW of wave and tidal energy installed capacity powering 66 million homes by 2050.  And with more than half the world’s population said to live within 120 miles of the coast and increasing all the time, generating endless amounts of clean, renewable electricity from the power of the sea is a compelling proposition.”

Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Economy said, “Wave Hub provides a global focus on Cornwall which is great for companies in the maritime renewables supply chain based in Cornwall like Mojo Maritime and Large Diameter Drilling. A global reputation also ensures inward investment from companies like Carnegie and Seatricity.

“Wave Hub has led to the creation of high quality maritime workspace in Hayle and, whilst Wave Hub was ahead of its time, developers are increasingly confident of their devices and we will see more deployments in 2017. Wave Hub has also led to the Government award of the marine enterprise zone in Hayle, Falmouth and Tolvaddon which will create new jobs.”

The future of Wave Hub is an exciting one.  Its world class facilities will continue to attract innovators and investors that will provide opportunities for the people and prosperity of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as well as contributing to the protection of the fragile and beautiful landscape by advancing our understanding of clean energy.

 

 

Story posted 23 December 2016

 

Categories: Cornwall

Truro man pleads guilty to fly-tipping offence in Illogan

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 15:43

Darren Longar (36) of Cornish Crescent Truro pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates Court on 21 December 2016 to being in a position to control the use of a vehicle with regards to fly-tipping in a country lane at Illogan in March 2016. 

There is an offence relating to the unlawful deposit of waste from a motor vehicle whereby the person who controls or is in a position to control the vehicle shall be treated as knowingly causing the waste to be deposited whether or not he or she gave any instructions for this to be done.

Mr Longar was ordered to pay costs in full along with a fine and a victim surcharge totalling £1149.70.  Truro Magistrates stated “Fly tipping is a serious offence and one that the court takes very seriously.”

The area in Illogan was known to Cornwall Council Community Protection Officers as a local fly-tipping ‘hot spot’ and was being monitored.  

The Parish Council reported the fly-tip to Community Protection Officers, after they recognised the area was being used as a dumping ground with waste being cleared on a weekly basis.  Cornwall Council receive around 4000 reports of fly tipping on public and private land a year. The cost of collecting and disposing of the fly-tipped waste costs tax payers hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.

Lynn Carter from Cornwall Council’s Public Protection service said: “Cornwall Council continues to work hard to tackle issues of fly-tipping. Fly-tipping is not only unsightly but costs the Council thousands of pounds each year to clear up the mess. We will continue to respond, investigate and, where evidence is found, we will take the appropriate enforcement action.  We are pleased that the court’s comments in summing up supported Public Protection in tackling fly tipping and the level of fine and awarding full costs reinforced this message.”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown said: “This decision sends out a clear message that Cornwall Council will do everything possible to challenge fly-tipping and when taken to court this irresponsible action can prove extremely costly. It is also important that people paying contractors to dispose of waste undertake the necessary checks to ensure that the contractor is permitted to transport the waste and that the contractor provides the customer with waste transfer notes to ensure that their legal duties are complete.”

Story posted 22 December 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Housing is supporting #housingday

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 09:51

Tenants and staff from Cornwall Housing Ltd are supporting #housingday 2016 which aims to raise awareness of the positive impact social housing has on the lives of many thousands of people across the UK.

#housingday 2016 takes place on, Monday 19 September with social housing organisations across the UK championing social housing, tenants and staff.

Cornwall Housing manages more than 10,000 social housing properties for Cornwall Council and delivers the council’s housing policy. This includes managing Cornwall’s housing register and placing people who qualify for social housing into suitable accommodation from St Just to Bude and Saltash.

Cornwall Housing has more than 500 staff from all over Cornwall based in Bodmin, Camborne, Threemilestone, Falmouth and Liskeard working to deliver high quality homes and housing services to the communities of Cornwall.

Martin Emery, Chair of Cornwall Housing Ltd and a tenant from Gunnislake, in supporting #Housingday 2016, said: “Being a tenant of Cornwall Housing, I am proud to decorate my home, look after my garden and my general neighbourhood because it is my home. I also want to care for my neighbours when they need it.”

He also highlighted how living in social housing offers many tenants an opportunity to get involved in their communities:”Cornwall Housing offers their tenants a chance to become involved in their estates, by joining the Tenants’ Forum and having a say. I am proud of my involvement with Cornwall Housing, and now I am Chair of the Board for Cornwall Housing Ltd. I guess you could say that I am pretty proud!”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for housing Joyce Duffin said: “This is a great initiative which celebrates and highlights the importance of working together to create strong communities.”  

Rita Taylor a Cornwall Housing tenant from Callington is supporting #Housingday2016. She said: “Pride in being a tenant comes from a variety of things. Firstly, it's in having a safe and comfortable home that you know is going to be taken care of and kept to a good standard. Then it's in knowing that tenants concerns are listened to. For all of the above reasons I am proud to be a tenant of Cornwall Housing.”

Simon, a new tenant from Pendeen added: “In December 2015 five families in Pendeen moved into their new council homes. My health was seriously deteriorating in our last property, as it was an old house which was difficult to keep warm - so I can truthfully say that moving into our new home here in St Just has literally saved my life."

Jo May, who works with Cornwall Housing’s tenants, said: “I am a Tenant Engagement Officer and this means that I get out and about in Cornwall, meeting lots of tenants in their neighbourhood.  This is the best part of my job.

I help tenants engage with Cornwall Housing in all sorts of ways; whether it’s a residents meeting, a community event, a focus group or a consultation on our service or raising awareness about Universal Credit.  I can also direct tenants to relevant support services.  It is very rewarding when I can help tenants get any support they may need.”

Cornwall Housing helps young people to take their first steps into employment by regularly recruiting apprentices. Ellie Brodey, a member of Cornwall Housing’s maintenance team, said: “I first started at Cornwall Housing as an apprentice in the repairs department. After 1 year, I was a finalist for apprentice of the year and gained my qualification in level 2 Business and Administration.

“I now have a permanent role as a Technical Support Officer in the Operations Support Team, providing support in delivering repairs for our current tenants as well as repairs in our void properties ready for our new tenants! I am proud to say I work for Cornwall Housing.”

Hazel Johnson, a Cornwall Housing tenant from Polruan highlighted Cornwall Housing’s commitment to providing Cornwall’s communities with decent, affordable homes, said: “I have always been very happy to be a Cornwall Housing tenant.  The properties are well maintained and kept up to date with double glazing and new kitchens and bathrooms, and tenants are kept informed of changes and developments in the “Housing News” and “Tenants’ Voice” which are sent out on a regular basis.  Tenants are encouraged to get their views and opinions heard by forming local Tenants’ Associations and by attending the regular Tenants’ Forum meetings.

Steve Hunt, a Cornwall Housing tenant from Falmouth said: “I feel very fortunate to be a tenant of Cornwall Housing; I have lived in Falmouth for around 39 years, 37 of those in the same house! However, I have only been an actual tenant for the past 5.5 years! My tenancy was passed to me under next of kin succession before the government changed housing law. So yes, I am very fortunate to have a secure tenancy in a 2-bedroom house with a garden. Like most tenants, I look after my home and keep my garden tidy. I do not have any problems with Cornwall Housing and I think that they do a good job as landlords. When I need a repair, it is normally done within the allocated limit.”

A few facts about Cornwall Housing, it:

  • Manages 10,392 Council Homes for Cornwall Council.
  • Looks after Cornwall’s housing register which has nearly 30,000 applicants.
  • Found emergency accommodation for 235 households last year.
  • Has responsibility for 2454 garages, 368 leasehold properties, 43 play areas, 12 shops, 16 stores and 66 gypsy and travellers pitches.

Social housing refers to rental housing that’s generally owned and managed by the state, non-profit organizations, or a combination of the two, having the aim of providing affordable housing.

Story posted: 16 September 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Local children have designs on Glebelands play area

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 09:50

Parents and children from Looe are working with Cornwall Housing to shape a new play area at the Glebelands housing development.    

Cornwall Housing recently staged a consultation event at Looe Academy to enable local residents to give their thoughts and opinions on the development of the natural play area planned for the Glebelands development of 15 new Council homes in Looe.

Tenant Engagement Officers, Tania and Jemma and Cornwall Housing’s Development Surveyor George Gillow took part in the consultation, which was also attended by Project Manager Craig Thomas from local company, Gilbert & Goode, who have been contracted by Cornwall Housing to build the new homes, and Landscape Architect, Michael Hawes, from MeiLoci Landscape Architects based in Truro.

The event also gave parents and children who live close to the new development the opportunity to see Landscape Architect, Michael Hawes’s initial design of the play area.

George Gillow, Cornwall Housing Development Surveyor, said, “Our architect was able to explain his thinking behind the initial proposed design for the natural play area. Michael explained to the children how the area will not only be a place for them to play, but it will also be an area for all ages to relax in and enjoy.” 

“The children were then asked to draw and describe what games they play with their friends so ideas could be used to help shape the imaginative play elements of the area. The Landscape Architect was pleased with the information that we were able to gather and is confident that the new play area will be able to reflect some of the children’s thoughts”.

Managing Director of Cornwall Housing, Jane Barlow said, “The work involved in the planning, design and the finished result of the natural play area is just as important to the local community as the 15 new homes currently being built.

“It has also been important to us that the existing walkways that locals currently use to get into Looe are maintained and even improved where we can. This new build development in Glebelands is one that will go towards addressing the local demand for homes whilst also taking into account local feedback.”

 

Story posted 17 June 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Tender open for Coronation Park, Helston

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 09:49

The lease to run and manage Helston’s flagship Coronation Park is open for tenders.

The tender opportunity for the site, which is owned by Cornwall Council, includes the park, lake, events square and café - with an existing tenant, river Cober and the former cattle market car park.

The new agreement for the events square will include the public toilets and the landlord role for the boat and cycle hire franchise.

This exciting lease opportunity, which will commence by winter 2016 / spring 2017, is only being formally advertised via the Government’s Contracts Finder website. The deadline for submissions is Friday 12 August.

View and download all of the relevant documentation relating to the tender opportunity on the Contracts Finder website.

Andrew Wallis, Cornwall Councillor for Porthleven and Helston West, said:

“I support Cornwall Council’s aim of looking for a suitably experienced organisation to be able to invest in Helston’s flagship park. The popular facilities are well used and with the café open daily serving a wide variety of refreshments - we hope to attract some high quality proposals, hopefully from community led organisations to take on the running of this area. We are offering a 99 year lease, but the Council would consider a different length.

“For me, I want to explore opportunities for enhancing and maintaining the very special historic Coronation Lake that is at the heart of the park; The Lake has boating, seating, a water wheel and footpath around it to be able to watch and admire the resident wildfowl. At the town centre end of the park the skate park, café, public toilets, events space, avenues and car parking, offer very special views and entertainment for the parks’ many visitors. I cannot convey enough how important the park and facilities are to Helston, and the wider community.

“Therefore, this is about securing the long term future of this area, including much needed investment to bring it back to its former glory; and giving the community more control over how this area is operated for the benefit of residents.”

There has been considerable investment in the park over recent years, including:

  • £888,000 from the West Cornwall Livability Project for the redevelopment of the town end of park
  • £116,000 from the Playbuilder Project to install new tower play units within the play area
  • £12,024 for tree works, skate ramp and lake repairs, and a survey report
  • £10,000 on improvements to play area
  • £7,573 on repairs to the steel skate ramps

With this significant investment, tender submissions will need to include a 5/10 year investment plan. The annual income generated by the café lease and former cattle market car park generate a combined average annual income of £32,000; and with an annual programme of maintenance works costing in the region of £16,000 per annum, there is potential for the future management, with investment, to improve this income considerably.

The tender does not include Penrose car park; however if a private organisation takes on the management of the former cattle market car park, this could be operated under contract law, employing the services of a private car park operator to enable enforcement.

The photo above shows the Coronation Park lake and cafe

Story posted 28 June 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council pioneering ‘local’ energy

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 09:01

As Delabole windfarm, Cornwall- and the UK's - first commercial windfarm, celebrates its 25th anniversary this week, Cornwall Council is continuing to lead the way in the development of renewable energies and the transition to a low carbon world. 

Cornwall is well known for its abundant natural resources, including wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal and marine, that lend themselves to generation of clean sources of energy. 

Over the past four years the Council has worked with partners to introduce a range of innovative and ground breaking projects designed to make the most of these natural resources for the benefit of residents, communities and the local economy.

As a result of these initiatives Cornwall now produces around 32% of the electricity required to light its homes and run its businesses from renewable energies such as solar and wind power.

Approximately one quarter of this energy generation is owned locally by individuals, businesses, communities, farmers and land owners. These renewables also provide around £10m in community benefit contributions which are available to fund initiatives such as increasing energy efficiency in homes or improvements to local parks.

Specific Cornwall Council led projects include :

  • Solar energy – we became the first local authority in the country to develop our own solar farm. We now produce 8MW of solar PV and have inspired other local authorities as well as our own communities. Today, more than 5,000 Cornish residents actively support or want to invest in community energy.
  • Community energy - we established a £2.5m loan fund to support local communities to set up their own renewable energy projects. So far more than 1MW has been installed using the fund – generating enough power for more than 420 Cornish homes and providing a source of funding for a range of community initiatives. We also created the UK’s first local planning framework for community energy projects and provide nationally recognised community energy advice for Neighbourhood Plans.
  • Electric cars – we secured Government funding to create the most comprehensive electric vehicle charging network in rural Europe, with charging points installed at 26 locations across Cornwall.  
  • Enterprise Zones – we worked with the Government and other partners to develop a new marine energy Enterprise Zone to help attract millions of pounds of investment from the marine sector into Cornwall. 
  • Wave Hub – we successfully concluded a deal to transfer the Wave Hub from the Government. Wave Hub provides a fully grid-connected wave energy site located approximately 10 miles off the north coast of Cornwall and, together with the Marine Renewables Business Park in Hayle, offers an exceptional opportunity to attract international inward investment to Cornwall and support local device developers and the supply chain
  • Jubilee Pool – we worked with partners to secure £1.4m of European funding (with £355,000 private sector match funding) for a ground breaking project to heat a section of the seawater lido in Penzance with clean, natural energy from a geothermal well, enhancing what is already a unique experience to attract even more visitors and extend the pool’s opening times.
  • Cornwall Together – we led the development of the UK’s first whole area collective energy switch initiative. This project is now saving local residents more than £500,000 on their energy bills and has seen £3m invested in treating 1,700 homes, .
  • Warmer homes – we worked with partners, including Public Health colleagues, to develop the Park Homes and Winter Wellbeing schemes. These schemes have made energy improvements to nearly 1,200 homes across Cornwall saving 503 hospital admissions.
  • A smarter future - we created the Smart Cornwall delivery plan to show how Cornwall can become a leader in the innovation that is needed to create an energy system that is fit for the future.

So what of the future?

As part of our Devolution Deal we have instigated a number of new projects that are designed to create a local energy system for Cornwall – one that keeps more of the value of our energy system in Cornwall.

As part of this work we are working with the Government and energy experts to develop an Energy Storage Masterplan to tackle the constraints on the electricity grid, using solutions that will benefit Cornwall.  As well as cutting energy bills and generating more money for local communities who produce their own energy, this will help remove some of the constraints that are currently impacting on the future of our low carbon economy.

Building on our Smart Cornwall delivery plan, we have secured European funding for two projects which will help to create a local energy market in Cornwall and enable residents, communities and businesses to benefit from more local ownership of renewable energy and the ability to supply the power they generate to local consumers. Taken together these projects represent a total investment of approximately £25m.

We are also working with partners to create a new deep geothermal industry in Cornwall –using the “hot dry rocks” deep beneath our feet to provide heat and power for local businesses.

Supported by European funding ,this exciting new “ mining for heat industry” will potentially provide 24/7 clean electricity and heat to homes and businesses as well as delivering affordable low carbon heat to attract industries with high heat demand, such as agriculture and horticulture.  This will create new jobs in Cornwall and help local businesses produce goods that are currently imported from outside of the Duchy.

Alongside the transfer of Wave Hub into Council ownership, we have worked to secure European funding to bring forward the new technologies that will generate electricity from Cornwall’s waves. This has culminated in a successful bid from Carnegie Wave Energy Limited for £9.5m of European funding (which they will match with approximately £5m), to deploy the first commercial-scale wave array off the Cornish coast.

We recognise that it is not just the generation and distribution of energy that is important to Cornwall. The efficiency of our homes is also critically important. Our Devolution Deal gives us the opportunity to start to reverse trends in fuel poverty and excess winter illness (which is partly attributable to cold, damp homes), by enabling the Council to pilot a local referral system which will open up access to ECO (the national energy efficiency programme) for those that need it most.

“Cornwall has long been a pioneer in low carbon energy” said Julian  German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture.

“ 25 years ago we were at the forefront of the emergence of commercial wind energy.  With funding available to support deep geothermal and control over the world’s foremost wave energy testing device, Wave Hub, Cornwall remains firmly at the forefront of clean energy innovation.

“But it is not just renewable energy technologies that are important to Cornwall. Cornwall’s energy system has to work for Cornish people. That is why we are also supporting community energy and why Cornwall is a place where smart energy tools are being piloted”

“But, while we recognise these significant successes, we believe we can do even more to maximise the benefits of renewable energy for residents and Cornwall’s economy. Our Devolution Deal is the first of its kind in the country to include a set of commitments on energy which are designed to bring about the changes we need to ensure that Cornwall gets the most out of its energy system.”

Story posted: 21 December 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Criminal Behaviour Order bans Penzance man from approaching women

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 08:53

A Criminal Behaviour Order has been given to a 29 year old man from Penzance to prevent him from approaching women.

Clifford Morgan, who appeared via video link in Truro Magistrates Court on Tuesday 13 December, pleaded guilty to three separate charges in which he had targeted three lone women and caused them considerable alarm, harassment and distress, by barging one victim and following the other two and making comments perceived to be of a sexual nature, whilst they were out for a jog in the Penzance area.

Devon and Cornwall Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Team had argued that as a result of Morgan’s dangerous behaviour and his lack of engaging with support services, a Criminal Behaviour Order should be made to restrict him from being able to approach females in the future and protect the wider community.

Supporting the granting of the Order, Truro Magistrates placed a lifetime Criminal Behaviour Order on Morgan saying he “must not approach, contact or follow any female in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress”.

The prosecution comes as a result of staff from Cornwall Council working closely with colleagues from Devon & Cornwall Police to address a very serious anti-social behaviour issue.  Criminal Behaviour Orders are a valuable tool to prevent further or escalated anti-social behaviour and stop the harm caused to innocent victims.

Tom Styles, from the Anti Social Behaviour team, “This shows the power and flexibility of the Anti-Social Behaviour Tools and Powers. Orders like this are not made without serious consideration to the perpetrator, the victim(s) and the wider community.  If this individual chooses to continue to target people and  cause them fear and distress, he can now be arrested and imprisoned for up to 5 years, given up to a £5,000 fine, or both.

“We encourage members of the public to report any incidents to the Police via the 101 number for non-emergency or the 999 number for emergencies.”

Sergeant Gemma Freestone, from Penzance, said: “This man was given sufficient opportunity and support to change his behaviour but he continued to frighten innocent victims. The Criminal Behaviour Order will provide additional powers to us should he breach this.”

Story posted: 21 December 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Nuisance caller who bombarded police handed Criminal Behaviour Order

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 08:49

Debbie Miners, aged 33 from the Camborne area, was given a Criminal Behaviour Order by Magistrates in Truro on 20 December for making persistent nuisance calls and her behaviour towards to emergency services, NHS Staff and other Mental Health Services in Cornwall. 

Miners, who appeared by video link to Truro Magistrates Court, pleaded guilty to a Public Order offence of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress. 

The court sentenced her to a custodial sentence of four weeks rather than imposing fines because of her financial situation. The sentence was taken as time paid as she had been in custody since early November.

The Criminal Behaviour Order includes a condition stating that Miners must not “call the 999 emergency service number unless in the case of a genuine emergency that would require immediate attendance of the emergency services”.  The order lasts for 3 years.

The prosecution comes as a  result of staff from the Council working closely with colleagues from Devon and Cornwall Police and the South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) to address a persistent and serious anti-social behaviour issue.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Deliberate and malicious use of the 999 system not only wastes staff time but could also put the lives of others at risk and will not be tolerated.

Tom Styles, from Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team, said: “Misuse of the 999 number is a serious issue. Emergency services must take all calls and attend if necessary. When the number is misused to get attention this means that units are taken away from other calls that could well be life or death situations.  The staffing for the emergency services is currently stretched incredibly thin and does not need nuisance calls to detract the valuable service they offer from those that genuinely need it.”

A spokesperson for South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said: “The Trust takes the issue of frequent callers very seriously. Those who are not in genuine need can use precious resources that should be allocated to those who are in a life-threatening condition. We seek prosecutions of people found to be abusing the system because abusing it can and does put people’s lives at risk. Our work with partner organisations to tackle the issue and prevent misuse of the 999 system continues.”

A spokesperson for Devon & Cornwall Police said: “We welcome the court’s decision in serving this criminal behaviour order. We will continue to work hand in hand with our partner agencies to reduce these nuisance calls using the legislation we have to ensure we help to those most vulnerable and in need.”

Story posted: 21 December 2016

Categories: Cornwall

New multi agency group set up to tackle illegal meat trade

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 12/21/2016 - 14:48

Following reports of poaching, illegal slaughter, livestock theft and subsequent illegal meat supplies from members of the rural community, farmers and reputable food businesses, a new regional multi-agency working group, backed by Crimestoppers, has been set up to jointly tackle the issue.   

Agencies taking part in the new task force include the police, Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams, the Food Standard Agency and a number of rural and agricultural organisations.

Intelligence shows that the issues are not just restricted to single instances of criminality, but, on occasions, are linked to wide scale organised crime that compromise animal welfare and food safety. This includes theft, trespass and firearms offences, often resulting in intimidation of victims and loss of property or trade. 

By working together organisations can share information and combine the powers, knowledge and skills of all agencies to target and disrupt criminal activity, endeavouring to provide a safe community and level playing field for legitimate businesses.

“Anyone supplying food, regardless of the type of customer, is legally obliged to notify the Local Authority’s Environmental Health Department in the first instance” advises Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities. “In some instances you may also require an additional approval from the Food Standards Agency or Local Authority.  The Local Authority will be able to advise if this is the case. 

“Storage, transport and processing rooms must be fit for purpose and you must be able to provide traceability and adequate processing records of the food you are supplying, regardless of the nature of the product.  Some farmed species may only be slaughtered in approved premises where the meat is to be supplied outside the immediate household.

“Where legal requirements aren’t being met you are at risk of having sanctions taken against you such as seizure of products and potentially prosecution in the criminal courts, resulting in a loss of confidence and reputational damage”. 

“Whilst animals going to slaughter are subject to ante-mortem inspection by Veterinary Surgeons and post-mortem inspection by Authorised Officers from the Food Standards Agency, hunted animals can receive these inspections by trained hunters who are registered as food business with Local Authorities” saysManuel Sarnago, Field Veterinary Leader, Food Standards Agency.

“These requisites are laid down in law to help protect consumer and animal health and animal welfare. All Food Businesses processing and/or trading with products of animal origin would also need to be aware of the legal requirements relating to the identification, treatment and disposal of animal by-products.”  

Wildlife Crime Officer PC Martin Beck, of Devon and Cornwall Police, adds “The police need the public to work with us and our partners to protect people from harm.  We recognise that rural crime such as theft, trespass with firearms and poaching are of concern and we wish to work with the public to solve issues and bring offenders to justice.

“If anyone  has information about who is involved, what they are doing, how they are doing it and when, we need to know.”

The agencies want to hear from people with information regarding anyone who may be:-

  • Poaching deer or theft of livestock
  • Trespassing with dogs or firearms
  • Involved in illegal slaughtering
  • Selling illegally processed meat

If someone is trespassing with firearms or another crime is taking place please phone 999.

To report a crime (including poaching after the crime has taken place) please phone 101 or email 101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk .

You can report any suspicions of illegal food production by calling Cornwall Councils Food Safety Team on 0300 1234 212.  Alternatively, if you would prefer to remain anonymous you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

 

Story posted 07 June 2016

Categories: Cornwall

OFSTED rates Cornwall’s children’s social care services among top 25% in the country

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 12/21/2016 - 14:45

Cornwall Council’s children’s social care services have been rated as ‘Good’ in the most recent Ofsted inspection – putting them in the top 25% of children’s services in the country that have been inspected under this tougher new inspection framework.  Only 12 local authorities have improved to ‘Good’ under this inspection regime and Cornwall is the only authority rated as ‘Inadequate’ between 2010 to 2011 that has now improved to ‘Good’.

The final report from the team of 12 inspectors published today (27 June 2016) gives the Council an overall rating of “Good“, with four of the key areas of the inspection also being rated as ‘Good’ – Children in Care and Permanence; Adoption; Care Leavers; and Leadership, Management and Governance.

The inspectors stated, “Children’s services in Cornwall are good.  A stable and dedicated senior management team, led by an experienced Director of Children’s Services, has worked steadily and purposefully to implement systemic change to services for children and young people in Cornwall.  In doing so, they have created a culture of learning, support and challenge in a professional environment that has enabled social work to flourish”.

The report highlights numerous strengths of the service, including the skills and enthusiasm of social work staff; the “consistently good service” given to children in care and care leavers and the support provided to foster carers; the work of the adoption service; strong partnership working, and the quality of practice in early help services. 

The report gives special mention is given to some of Cornwall’s most innovative services, including the Multi-Agency Referral Unit (MARU) and Early Help Hub developed jointly with health partners, as well as multi-agency teams like Teylu (Cornish for Family) which is the specialist pre-birth and parent & child assessment team, and Gweres Tus Yownyk (Cornish for Helping Young People) which is the specialist adolescent service supporting young people on the edge of care. 

The report notes the significant increase in the number of children receiving Early Help in Cornwall from 200 in 2011-2012 to 2,700 in 2015 - 2016, with early help now seen as everyone’s business. Early help provided by the Council was described by the parents and carers who met with inspectors as “amazing” and “brilliant”.  Parents praised the help they were receiving which, they said, had brought about real improvements in the lives of their children.

The report concludes that services for children and young people in Cornwall are now in a much stronger position and more effective than they were in 2013.

Welcoming the judgement Trevor Doughty, Director of Children’s Services for the Council, said “This is a major achievement under the tougher new Ofsted inspection framework.  The Chief Inspector for Ofsted is on record for deliberately making it much more difficult for children’s services to achieve a ‘Good’ rating. This is reflected in the fact that over 73% of local authority children’s services inspected under the new regime have been rated either ‘Inadequate’ or ‘Requires Improvement’, with just 12% of the 90 authorities whose reports have been published during this period improving to ‘Good’.  In Cornwall we see this raising of the bar by Ofsted as tough for us but good for children.

“The progress we are making is even more significant when compared to other local authorities that were rated as ‘Inadequate’ in 2010/11.  Of the five authorities receiving this judgement then only Cornwall has improved to ‘Good’, with two of the other authorities either remaining or falling back to ‘Inadequate’.

Other strengths include the quality of leadership, management and governance, which, inspectors say, has resulted in a sustained improvement to the quality of services, along with the investment in high quality training for social care staff and partner agencies which has led to a stable workforce with staff who feel valued and respected.

Jack Cordery, Head of Service responsible for children’s social care in Cornwall, said, “This achievement is down to the dedication, hard work and skill of staff working on the front line, many of whom go way beyond what is expected of them to help and protect the most vulnerable children of Cornwall.  It is also down to strong partnership working and it is good that the inspectors recognised this.”

In response to the recommendations, he added, “There is always valuable learning from inspections and this inspection was no exception.  We have taken on board the feedback from inspectors and are already implementing an Action Plan that aims to get us to ‘Outstanding’ at the next inspection.”

Inspectors rated the area of Help and Protection, as ‘Requires Improvement to get to Good’.  While inspectors said, “The vast majority of children and young people who are in need of help and protection are identified and prompt action is taken to ensure they are safe,” they agreed with the multi-agency self-evaluation that working with children who go missing and those who are at risk of sexual exploitation is an area for further development.  This is common to many local authorities as the nature and extent of child sexual exploitation is recognised and tackled.  A review was undertaken by the Local Safeguarding Children Board at the end of 2015 and inspectors acknowledged that actions are already being taken to improve the effectiveness of the joint agency response to this risk.

“I am extremely proud of the commitment, expertise and achievements of everyone who works so hard to keep children and young people in Cornwall safe and well” said Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services. “We have come a long way but we know we have more to do.  That will always be the case, especially as we address emerging risks to children such as on line child sexual exploitation.  We are already working with our partners to build on the progress we have made over the past five years and we will ensure that we will also get to ‘Good’ in this area at the next inspection.

“Our ambition is still the same, to become one of the best children’s services in the country.  The children of Cornwall deserve nothing less.”

Inspectors also give particular praise to the way in which children and young people are involved in making decisions about their care.  “A particular strength of the local authority is the involvement and consultation with young people who are looked after. The Children in Care Council, known as Voice4Us, is vibrant, committed and dynamic”. 

The national report by Ofsted emphasises the need for strong and stable leadership in delivering children’s social care.  The inspectors found in Cornwall that, “The Director of Children’s Services is a strong and confident leader, effectively supported by the chief executive and the senior management team.” and “ The lead member is highly visible and well informed, and respected for his energy, passion and advocacy for children and young people.“

 

Story posted 27 June 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Major step forward for Cornwall’s Local Plan

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 12/21/2016 - 14:41

The Planning Inspector in charge of Cornwall’s Local Plan Examination has issued a report which finds that the Plan can be made sound by making a number of changes which had already been put forward by the Council and put out for consultation last July.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for planning Edwina Hannaford said: 

“There are no surprises here and crucially, the Inspector accepts that the overall housing target of 52,500 new homes to be built is sound.   As at April of this year, 36,000 of this total number already have planning permission or have been built so we are looking at an additional 16,500 new homes by 2030.

But the Local Plan is not just about the number of new homes to be built – it is about being able to support the development of Neighbourhood Plans and working closely with communities to understand their needs and concerns; it is about promoting and supporting economic growth; it is about protecting and cherishing our unique landscape and it is about improving the quality of new development in Cornwall.

This has been a long process but we now have a clear way forward that will be considered in full by the Council’s Planning Portfolio Advisory Committee in October followed by the Cabinet and all Councillors in November. If the Council accepts the Inspector’s recommendation we can go ahead and adopt the Plan.

I hope that we can now proceed to get the Plan adopted, carry out further consultation on strategic allocations in the main towns and start to apply some robust local planning policies to our planning decisions.  In that way, we can start to resist unwanted and speculative development and help shape communities - not just build housing estates.”

The Planning Inspector’s report includes a full Schedule of Major Modifications, many of these bring the Plan into line with National policy.

The key changes required are:

  • An increase in overall housing from our original 47,500 to 52,500 dwellings
  • Some changes in the distribution of housing in the main towns and Community Network Areas to reflect the increase.
  • A clearer explanation of the Plan’s role in taking forward the Council’s economic strategy and the identification of a jobs target of 38,000 new jobs.
  • Greater clarity on the role of the Council’s Site Allocations Plan and of Neighbourhood Plans in delivering how housing is allocated.  These plans will form part of the policies to determine planning applications – the Council will consult on the Allocations Plan over the winter and town and Parish Councils can write their own Neighbourhood Plans.
  • Amend affordable housing policy to reflect the evidence on viability and that the threshold for this is consistent with Government policy.

Introduce a new policy about mitigating recreational pressures on European protected natural habitats arising from new residential development.

Story posted: 27 September 2016

Categories: Cornwall

Local people informed about upcoming testing at the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 12/21/2016 - 14:40

Joint media release sent from SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK Ltd and Cornwall Council

The Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC), which will take waste that’s left over after recycling and turn it into electricity to power the equivalent of 21,000 homes, is in its final stage of construction in St Dennis.

The next stage is the testing phase. A leaflet updating local people about what will happen during the testing phase, before the CERC becomes fully operational, has been sent to addresses of residents and businesses close to the site.

The leaflet has been sent on behalf of Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Limited, Cornwall Council, St Dennis Parish Council, St Stephen-in-Brannel Parish Council and Cornwall Councillor Fred Greenslade. It also includes information about how local people have been involved via the CERC’s Community Forum and about the community fund available.

As detailed in the leaflet, the testing phase will include steam blowing, which may last for approximately 20 minutes and occur several times a day for approximately one week. During this steam blowing there may be a very loud rushing air type of noise and a plume of water vapour as the steam condenses in the cooler external air. This activity, proposed from mid-July, will ensure that the inside of the steam boiler tubes are clean and ready for the generation of steam. It will not form a part of normal operations once the CERC is fully operational.

Subject to the successful completion of the steam blowing and other ongoing construction and testing activities, the first waste to be treated at the CERC will likely take place towards the end of July. The testing phase is expected to take several months before the CERC is fully operational.

For more information please see the full leaflet at www.cornwall.gov.uk/CERC. As well as being sent to residents, the leaflet is being put up in prominent locations in and around the two Parishes.

Story posted 7 July 2016

Categories: Cornwall