On the 26 April 2017 at Truro Magistrates Court, Cornwall Council’s Private Sector Housing Team successfully prosecuted Mr Russel Pomeroy of 19 Wheal Agar, Pool, Redruth, Cornwall, TR15 3QL for several housing offences relating to his property at 15 Basset Road, Camborne.
A Council inspection in 2016 revealed that the property was not being managed adequately, placing the residents at serious risk of harm.
At the time of the inspection, the fire alarm system was in a state of disrepair and smoke detectors were missing from four rooms A condition of the house in multiple occupation licence was that safe, fixed, controllable heating must be provided but there was no fixed form of heating in any of the rooms with the tenants having to use portable heaters. In addition, some of the rooms were suffering from extensive mould growth.
Mr Pomeroy entered two guilty pleas to charges that he failed to comply with the requirements of his mandatory house in multiple occupation licence conditions, and six breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and was fined a total of £2,869 - £1,386 for the offences, £1,345 costs and a victim surcharge of £138.
Stuart Kenney, Principal Environmental Health Officer from the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team said: “The Council has taken similar prosecution cases in the recent past involving serious disrepair, hazards and substandard management practices and offenders have been ordered by the Courts to pay fines in excess of £20,000 which serves to be a significant punishment that ensures that it is not cheaper to offend than comply.
New laws came into force on the 6th April 2017 which will help Cornwall Council to crack down on the minority of rogue landlords who continue to shirk their legal responsibilities and place tenants at risk of harm. One of the main changes is that the Council can now issue penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for a range of housing offences, which will act as a strong deterrent and significant punishment for placing the lives of tenants at risk”.
Landlords and property agents are encouraged to join the Council’s responsible landlord scheme to stay up to date with changes in the law and any associated policy changes.
Story posted 27 April 2017
Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service is supporting the Electrical Safety First campaign and is advising anyone spending time in their garden this weekend to have Residual Current Device (RCD) protection.
- One in ten people have experienced an electric shock or accident caused while using an electrical appliance in their garden.
- The top cause is cutting through the cable of a lawnmower, something that can cause a severe electric shock or even kill if there is no RCD protection.
- Electrical Safety First research shows that over a quarter of people don’t know what an RCD is.
Ahead of the May Bank Holiday weekend, Electrical Safety First is reminding gardeners of the importance of using an RCD outside. Research undertaken by the charity shows that one in ten people in the UK have experienced an electric shock or accident while using an electrical appliance in the garden. Most accidents in British gardens are caused by electric lawnmowers; with flower pots, electric trimmers, pruners and even the innocent garden gnome making up the top causes of accidents in the garden.
While there are lots of ways to stay safe in the garden, an RCD is designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire. RCD protection can be built into your fuse box or sockets. If you do not have built in protection, a plug-in RCD should be used with any kind of electrical equipment such as lawn mowers and hedge trimmers. Despite more than half of people reporting that they use electrical devices in their gardens , Electrical Safety First found that over a quarter of them had never heard of an RCD. Of those who had heard of an RCD, one in six said that they didn’t always use an RCD when using electrical equipment outside.
The main reasons for electric shock included cutting through a cable, cutting through a wire, or using electrical equipment in wet conditions.
As gardens become an additional living space, more people are using electrical equipment outside. Almost one in ten people with gardens said that they used mains powered entertainment systems like speakers outside. One in seven have outdoor lighting; while one in forty have a Jacuzzi, hot tub or heated pool in the garden. With any of these electrical items, a working RCD could prevent a fatal accident.
Katie Hoskins-Sweeney Watch Manager Fire Prevention and Road Safety said: “We really want people to enjoy their gardens this weekend and throughout the summer safely, please heed this advice and remember to disconnect equipment when it is not in use to avoid any accidental switch on by pets or children.”
Emma Drackford, Director of Communications at Electrical Safety First said: “An incredibly high number of people are using electrical equipment in the garden and having accidents outdoors. It’s more important than ever that anyone using mains voltage appliances outdoors uses an RCD.
Lots of people will be taking advantage of garden centre sales ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend to spruce up their gardens. A plug-in RCD can cost as little as £10. A fixed RCD will cost more, but will provide a greater degree of protection to help keep your family safe. We recommend that anyone using electrical appliances outdoors owns a RCD. Not using one could cost you your life”.
For advice and tips on staying safe in the garden, visit the Electrical Safety First website.
Story posted 27 April 2017
Council’s Planning Enforcement Team successfully prosecutes landowner for non-compliance with a Breach of Condition Notice
The Council’s Planning Enforcement Team has shown its commitment to providing a robust planning enforcement service by prosecuting Robert Tillett the owner of 24 Riverside Avenue, Newquay, for the non-compliance of a Breach of Condition Notice. The notice required Mr Tillett to erect privacy screens on two balconies that had been granted planning permission at the property.
The case was heard at Truro Magistrates Court on the 26th April 2017 when the land-owner was found guilty to the continuing offence of non-compliance with the Breach of Condition Notice. The Magistrates imposed on the land-owner a £660 fine with a £66 pound victim surcharge and also ordered him to pay the full Council costs of £1677.
The Councils Enforcement Group Leader Jon Drew stated “the non-compliance with a Breach of Condition Notice is a criminal offence and the Planning Enforcement Section are committed to prosecuting persons who do not comply with these notices. In this case the landowner has to pay a fine and costs of £2403 and shows that these matters are taken seriously.”
Posted 27 April 2017
The first public Hard Hat tours of the former Redruth Brewery site, which will be home to Kresen Kernow, Cornwall’s new archive centre, are taking place in Redruth on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th May.
Participants will be shown the work that has already been carried out on the building by Midas, the site contractors, and hear the latest news on the development.
The tours take place on Friday May 5th at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm and Saturday 6th May at 1pm and 2pm. There will also be a special ‘Create at Kresen Kernow’ session from 10am-12 noon on Saturday 6th May in which creative participants are encouraged to bring their cameras and sketchbooks to help us capture the changes to the site.
Pre-booking is essential for all events, as spaces are limited, and strict health and safety guidelines must be adhered to. For more information, or to book a place, call 01872 323 127.
Deborah Tritton, Kresen Kernow Project Director, said: “This is a great opportunity for members of the public to see the work that has been done so far and to hear what the next steps are for this exciting project.”
Kresen Kernow is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cornwall Council and will bring together the Cornish Studies Library, Cornwall Record Office and Cornwall and Scilly Historic Environment Record under one roof for the very first time. For more information visit the Cornwall Council Kresen Kernow webpage.
Story posted 25 April 2017
Press release issued on behalf of Safer Cornwall
The Truro Safe Partnership has launched donation points across Truro making it easy for people to donate money to the charities who are supporting vulnerable individuals move away from a life on the City’s streets. Truro Safe, which consists of charities, public sector organisations and local businesses, has also produced an information leaflet for businesses, locals and visitors. Titled ‘Different Issues, The Same Streets’ the leaflet explains how Truro Safe are responding to the different issues of street drinking, begging and rough sleeping on Truro’s streets. As the leaflet suggests people street drinking or begging are not necessarily rough sleepers; and not all rough sleepers are street drinking or begging.
Last month the public, private and voluntary organisations that make up Safer Cornwall joined up with Truro Safe to support a local response to concerns regarding a specific group of vulnerable individuals sleeping rough in the City. As Sarah Necke, Community Safety Officer and representative for Safer Cornwall explained: “Safer Cornwall and Truro Safe have been engaging with and supporting a group of vulnerable individuals rough sleeping in Truro with multiple needs which include mental and physical ill health, learning disabilities and drug and alcohol issues. Some of the behaviour from these individuals has been unacceptable. Our partnership approach with agencies in Truro involves Addaction, St Petroc’s and Konnect Cornwall providing intensive assertive outreach support to the individuals. This multi-agency team approach has been very positive and all the individuals within this group have been supported into accommodation or treatment maximising their opportunities to make positive, longer term changes. Calls to the Police and pressure on A&E have greatly reduced as a result of this approach.”
The team will continue to work together to support individuals involved in street drinking, begging and/or rough sleeping. The donation points in Truro can be found at: Visit Truro, Tesco, Natwest, Tremletts, The Cornish Foodbox, Hendra Health Store, Superdry, The Try Dowr and Sole Plaice. All money collected will go to the charities officially providing tailored support to those most in need on Truro’s streets.
On behalf of Devon & Cornwall Police, Truro Inspector, Rick Milburn said: ‘It’s vital that our multi-agency approach continues to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities receive the support they require. The issues of street drinking, which are not always connected with homelessness, are now common nationally and will sometimes result in anti-social behaviour which can affect resident’s quality of life, business and tourism trade. Our co-ordinated approach through Truro Safe and Safer Cornwall is proving to be really positive and is fully supported by Devon and Cornwall Police.”
The charity, St Petroc’s Society that provides accommodation, support, advice, training and resettlement services to single homeless people in Cornwall is part of the Partnership. Richard Bryant, Director of Operations at St Petroc’s said: “St Petroc’s Society has worked in partnership with all agencies in Truro, providing outreach support and helping this vulnerable group of individuals. The Society is grateful to the support and compassion offered by members of the community already. We hope that the positive work of the partnership continues so together we can provide the most appropriate support to individuals on the street who need it; creating maximum opportunities for them to rebuild their lives.”
Lynda Edward, Outreach Manager and Acting West Manager from Addaction welcomed the model of partnership working which had helped to improve outcomes for those individuals with complex needs. Lynda added: “I hope that quality partnership working will continue as it has the potential to benefit both the wider community and some of the most vulnerable individuals in Cornwall. Addaction operates a policy of inclusion for all individuals who experience issues related to alcohol and/or drugs in Cornwall; we’ve welcomed the opportunity to work as part of a committed team with the needs of the service user paramount.”
Alun Jones from Totally Truro said “As part of the Truro Safe Partnership, we’ve been liaising with local businesses and we’d like to thank those local businesses who have agreed to have a donation point. The recent work of the local charities and organisations providing support to those on Truro’s streets has been very positive; giving to the donation points will help the charities to be able to continue this work.”
Partnership working is continuing to address the long term issues around rough sleeping throughout Cornwall. Funded by a successful £292,000 bid to the Government’s Rough Sleeper Programme, ‘No First Night Out’, is now in place. This involves a new team of experienced outreach, housing options and resettlement officers from Cornwall Housing, Coastline and St Petroc’s Society working together to help those who are facing pressures that could tip them over into rough sleeping.
In addition a further £850,000 has been allocated by Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing to produce a long term Cornwall Rough Sleeping Strategy. This will be delivered in partnership between Cornwall Council, Cornwall Housing Ltd (CHL), Voluntary Sector Providers, Safer Cornwall, the Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), Devon & Cornwall Police, Public Health (including Mental Health Services) and Inclusion Cornwall.
The community can help by reporting potential rough sleeping to Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or online at www.streetlink.org.uk. People should also inform the police of any criminality or anti-social behaviour by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.
As well as setting up the donation points, and producing the information leaflet, the Truro Safe Partnership coordinates initiatives such as the Street Marshals and Cornwall Resus “Safe Space” ambulance. The information leaflet ‘Different Issues, The Same Streets’ is available at: www.safercornwall.co.uk/make-a-difference/truro.
Posted 25 April 2017
The Cornwall Park Home Forum is hosting another of its popular resident meetings and this time it’s being held in East Taphouse.
The meeting will be held from 11.30am to 3.15pm on Thursday 27 April at East Taphouse Community Hall (previously known as St Pinnock Band Community Hall), Salts Meadow, East Taphouse PL14 4TA.
The Forum committee, which is made up of residents who live on park homes sites across Cornwall, has pulled together the gathering so that residents can hear about important issues such as the latest on the ten percent charge on the purchase of new park homes and the importance of setting up a qualifying residents’ association.
Along with the main discussion topics, a number of services and organisations will be there to provide free advice, information and support and this will include representatives from Cornwall Council.
Forum Committee Member Kay Ray said: “This is the first time we’re holding one of our meetings in South East Cornwall and we hope that residents in nearby parks, as well as from across Cornwall, are able to join us. Feedback from previous meetings has been really positive and we are keen to keep them going so that we make sure that park home residents in Cornwall know what’s going on.”
The day will start at 11.30am with registration and refreshments and there will be a number of interesting discussions and opportunities to speak to people during the day. A light buffet lunch will be provided for everyone attending and, as always, there will be plenty of tea and biscuits.
There are nearly ninety protected park home sites across Cornwall where residents live there as their permanent home. The Forum, which was set up with the support of Cornwall Council’s Localism Team, was established to help provide park home residents in Cornwall with a way to engage with the Council and also meet residents from other sites so support and information can be shared. The Forum currently has some vacancies on its committee, so if you live in a park home and want to find out more, please come along to the meeting or email the Forum via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story posted 19 April 2017
Cornwall Council and Caradon Observatory have made a formal bid for Bodmin Moor to become an International Dark Sky Landscape.
A decision on the submission is expected from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) in June. If the bid is successful, the designation will formally recognise the exceptional quality of the night sky over Bodmin Moor and help protect it from light pollution.
To celebrate the submission, Caradon and Tolcarn Observatories are holding a special dark sky event at Jamaica Inn on Saturday 29 April. The evening will begin with a 2 course dinner event at £15.95 per person, starting at 7.00pm followed by a free stargazing session from around 8.30pm, which is open to everyone.
As part of the dinner event, Mike Willmott, who is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Association (FRAS) and a teacher at Liskeard School, will give a presentation using the Magic Planet, an interactive globe that depicts the beauty and topography of solar systems. The dinner event will also include a talk by Dr Wayne Thomas, a skilled astrophotographer and an expert in human biology and the negative effects of light pollution, on what it would mean for Bodmin Moor to become an International Dark Sky Landscape.
During the free stargazing session, the public will be able to view the night sky through an array of telescopes and meet Ken Bennett, the founder of Caradon Observatory, and Grant Mackintosh, another educator and FRAS who will be running an exoplanet discovery programme from Tolcarn Observatory next year. People should wrap up warm and keep their fingers crossed for clear skies. Weather permitting, there will be opportunities to view the ruddy hue of Mars, the moon’s beautiful caters and the Alpha Bootids meteor shower. Later in the evening there will be the chance to see Ursa Major, Jupiter and possibly even Saturn.
Dr Wayne Thomas said: “Bodmin Moor has some of the darkest skies in the country. This event is an opportunity for people to enjoy the exceptional views of the night sky that the International Dark Sky Landscape designation would protect. To see another planet or deep space objects such as galaxies through a telescope is a truly awe inspiring experience.”
Ken Bennett of Caradon Observatory said: “It was the clarity of the night skies in and around Bodmin Moor that inspired me to build Caradon Observatory. I hoped it would be a lasting legacy for future generations to also be inspired by the wonders of our Universe and steer more students towards careers in the sciences, mathematics and engineering. The images taken from the observatory are breathtaking, and I plan to increase the scope of the observatory and eventually operate a robotic telescope for live online viewing.”
Mike Willmott, Caradon Observatory Director with Responsibility for Theoretical Astronomy and Education, said: “Because of the evolving interest in space travel and exploration, over the last ten years the number of students taking GCSE Astronomy has increased by a factor of four. The opportunities provided by the potential designation of Bodmin Moor as an International Dark Sky Landscape means that is perfectly placed to satisfy their curiosity and developing interest in astronomy.”
Grant Mackintosh from Tolcarn Observatory, FRAS and Ambassador for The Commission for Dark Skies, said: “Cornwall has a superb potential future in the field of space science. Protecting our dark skies is an important step in the rediscovery of Cornwall’s innovative scientific heritage. The future is bright for Cornwall’s next generation of astrophysicists.”
Tolcarn Observatory’s Kim Mackintosh, another FRAS and Ambassador for The Commission for Dark Skies, said: “Securing the future of Cornwall’s dark skies would enable our grandchildren to see the beauty of the night sky without having to leave Cornwall. It would be a tragedy to have to explain to future generations that the Milky Way was lost due to light pollution.”
To book a place at the dinner event, ring Jamaica Inn on 01566 86250. There’s no need to book in advance for the free stargazing, and people are welcome to drop in any time after 8.30pm.
Story posted 24 April 2017
Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service to welcome applications for wholetime firefighters
We will be accepting applications from:
- People who do not have competent knowledge or skills about the fire and rescue service and are a resident in or have a strong association to Cornwall or Isles of Scilly or live in PL1,2,3,4 or 5 postcodes.
- People who are competent on-call firefighters within Cornwall and would like to transfer to a wholetime firefighter role.
- People who are competent on-call or wholetime firefighters in any UK fire and rescue service and would like to transfer to Cornwall as a wholetime firefighter.
- People who want an apprenticeship, who do not have competent knowledge or skills about the fire and rescue service and are a resident in or have a strong association to Cornwall or Isles of Scilly or live in PL1,2,3,4 or 5 postcodes.
People can only apply using one route and it must be the one which applies to your level of competence.
The service is also looking to improve under-represented people within the workforce and are promoting applications from women and people who identify as LGBTQI+. This is a very exciting time to be joining the service, our recruits will experience our brand new modular approach to learning the broader diverse skills of a community firefighter within Cornwall.
Group Manager Kathryn Billing said: “This is a rare chance to join, in my opinion, the best career in the world. If you want to help the most vulnerable people in our community, want a challenge and to work in a professional, passionate team environment, then please apply; this is a fantastic opportunity to join our great service.”
Cornwall’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer Phil Martin said: “The role of our modern Firefighters involves working to ensure that Cornwall is a safe place to live work and visit. Primarily this will involve visiting people in their homes and working with communities and businesses to ensure the risk of fires and other emergencies are reduced through better education and awareness. Our Firefighters do of course need to train for and respond to a range of emergencies and the public rightly expect and receive a professional response when they are in need. We are looking for people who have a passion for making a positive difference, who are prepared to be flexible to an ever changing working environment and who want to develop a wide range of skills to help those in need.”
Applications will be available to complete from the afternoon of Monday 24 April 2017.
Story posted 21 April 2017
Already registered to vote in the local elections? If so no need to re-register to vote in the General Election
Most voters who receive a poll card for the Cornwall Council elections on 4 May are already able to vote in the General Election and do not need to re-register to vote.
This is the clear message from the Council’s electoral service team who have already begun receiving calls from members of the public who think they need to register separately to be able to vote in the forthcoming Parliamentary Election on 8 June.
“People who have registered to vote in the unitary and parish and town council elections are already on the electoral register and most can vote in the General Election” said Denise Holwill, the Council’s Electoral Services Manager. “ However, if you are a European Parliamentary citizen you are not entitled to vote in the General Election.”
“If you have been sent a poll card you are already registered to vote and don’t need to take any further action unless you have moved house since you last registered. If you are in this position you will need to register via the Government website to give your new address”.
There are currently 424,700 people on the electoral register in Cornwall. The deadline for applying to register to vote in the unitary and town and parish council elections closed on 13 April, but anyone who has not yet registered to vote has until 5pm on Monday, 22 May to register if they want to vote in the Parliamentary election.
“It is important that people make sure they have their say, but it is only those who are not already on the electoral register who need to apply to the Council“ said Denise Holwill.
Story posted: 21 April 2017
Work is due to begin to repair the extensive winter storm damage suffered by Cremyll Quay in 2014, when a large section of the north east corner of the quay collapsed as well as collapses further down its length.
Repairs will begin on Monday 24 April on the four areas along the quay and sea wall - Mount Edgcumbe Quay, Toll House Quay, Lower Lodge and Garden Battery Beach. The work will involve the rebuilding, repair and re-pointing of sections of the sea walls to help maintain sea defences.
Specialist contractor TMS Maritime Ltd is carrying out the work, which is expected to be complete in August 2017. Disruption will be kept to a minimum by using modern construction techniques. Working hours will be limited to Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 7.30am to 4pm wherever possible.
The project team is liaising with the ferry operator to ensure the ferry will continue to run as normal. Also, all events in the Mount Edgcumbe area have been taken into account to make sure they will not be affected by the planned works.
Anyone with comments or queries about this project should contact Andy Cook, Cornwall Council’s Project Commissioning Officer, on 01209 614377.
Story posted 21 April 2017
Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service is supporting Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week by demonstrating a water rescue, which will show the effects of sudden immersion in cold water, on Monday 24 April, 11am at Bude Community Fire Station.
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention campaign - Be Water Aware is running from 24 - 30 April and is being supported by fire and rescue services throughout the UK.
CFRCS Service has joined a call by UK fire chiefs to raise awareness of the dangers of everyday activities near water after statistics show that nearly 50% of people who accidently drown in the UK never intended to enter the water.
Latest statistics¹ show that in 2015, 321 people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water. Of the 50 who lost their lives in the South West 20% did so in Cornwall, the fourth highest of any county in England.
Latest statistics show that in 2015, 321 people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water.
CFOA's Water safety Lead, Dawn Whittaker, said: "Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happened to be near water such as runners, walkers and people fishing. They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them, we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths."
The fire and rescue service has successfully reduced the number of fire deaths by focussing on prevention work and now we must apply the same principle to tackling drowning. Response is not enough - we must prevent drownings.
Cornwall’s Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker said: “Water Safety and Drowning Prevention is a key area of work for us and I welcome this national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers. Too many lives are lost year on year across the UK and this targeted campaign aims to reduce the number of deaths which I am keen to achieve in Cornwall. I encourage all residents, businesses and visitors to Cornwall to help spread this message, understand the dangers and support us in saving lives by ‘Working Together to make Cornwall Safer’.”
Firefighter Andy Reynolds from CFRCS Service said: “Most people would wear a thick wetsuit if they had to take a swim in freezing cold water, but sadly it is clear from these statistics that people who had no intention of entering the water are drowning whilst wearing every day, or sports clothing. Water temperatures are still cold at this time of the year and we urge people not to enter the water. If you see someone in trouble, call 999 and look around for lifesaving equipment to throw or anything that might help a casualty stay afloat.”
Fire and rescue services will be giving advice to people on water safety, what they should look out for and how to change their behaviour to minimise their risk of becoming one of these statistics. Messages will be posted on social media using the hashtag #BeWaterAware and people are encouraged to share the posts to spread the message.
Working as part of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF), the NFCC aims to reduce the number of drownings in UK waters by 50% by 2026. This is outlined in the UK's first Drowning Prevention Strategy, which was launched on 29 February 2016.
The water safety messages that fire and rescue services will be delivering will also raise awareness and support of the safety campaigns run by other members of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF), which includes Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Amateur Swimming Association (ASA).
Story posted 20 April 2017
Cornwall Council is working on a scheme to deliver a new skate park and other improvements at St Just Recreation Ground in Penwith and we’d like your views.
The exciting new scheme will be an opportunity to breathe new life into the open space and improve the quality of activities for young people and other residents in the area.
Cornwall Council have made £30,000 of funding available to upgrade the current facilities, which have reached the end of their natural life, and are consulting the wider public on their priorities, thoughts, ideas and suggestions for the open space.
Officers from the Environment team are also hoping to work with enthusiastic residents to form a new community group to help steer and fundraise towards the improvements.
The deadline for this stage of the public consultation is 31 May 2017. The findings will be used to develop proposals for the space, which will be the basis of future consultations.
To take part in the consultation visit the Cornwall Council Play Areas webpage.
Stuart Wallace, Public Space Officer, said: “Due to the requirement for funding we expect the overall project to take several years and it is likely to have to be delivered in a few stages, so we are looking for positive and committed leadership from all age groups from within the local community to work together with us and the Town Council to update this important local asset.”
Funding for the project will be provided from a variety of grants and with designated funds from Cornwall Council’s Capital Play Programme.
For more information contact the Public Space team on 0300 1234 202 or email email@example.com.
Story posted 20 April 2017
Following a lengthy investigation by Cornwall Council Trading Standards, a man from Hayle who used a window repair business to defraud elderly and vulnerable consumers out of thousands of pounds has today (18 April 2017) been sent to prison by Truro Magistrates.
At an earlier hearing, Liam Hawkins, 36, from Trelissick Road, Hayle had initially admitted one charge of obtaining money by deception, contrary to the Fraud Act, but had denied eight other charges. But a last minute change of heart saw him admit further charges of taking money from elderly customers with no intention of undertaking the repair works or providing a refund.
The Court was told that Hawkins had two previous convictions relating to twelve almost identical offences and that one of the latest offences was committed just seven weeks after he received a suspended prison sentence in July 2015. He has also failed to make any refunds or compensation payments as ordered by the Court at the 2015 hearing.
The Court heard that Hawkins had admitted cold-calling his victims and lying about working in the area and that he had never ordered the promised replacement windows from the suppliers. Instead he deliberately took the cash deposits.
Magistrates sentenced Hawkins to a total of 38 weeks imprisonment with a warning that he would serve longer if he failed to make satisfactory arrangements to repay his victims their money. He was taken from the Court to immediately begin his prison sentence.
Nigel Strick, Cornwall Council’s Fair Trading Team Manager said; “This is the third time that Mr Hawkins has appeared before Truro Magistrates in three years and the third time he has been convicted of offences involving fraud. These latest offences are almost identical to those for which he received a suspended prison sentence in July 2015. Yet despite his previous convictions Mr Hawkins has taken no heed of the warnings issued by the previous Courts and has continued to offend.
Trading Standards investigators were particularly concerned that once again his latest offences were specifically targeted at elderly and vulnerable consumers and the impact of Mr Hawkins’ behaviour on his victims in terms of increasing their fear of crime, of losing trust in other people and of causing anxiety and upset has been graphically seen during the investigation.
Once again this case reinforces the message that you should never deal with anyone who turns up at your door unannounced, no matter how convincing they may seem and no matter how tempting their special offers may sound.”
Story posted 18 April 2017
The Easter weekend often sees an increase in motorcyclists taking to the road again after the dark, cold and wet winter months. Dusting off their motorcycles to enjoy the lighter evenings and, hopefully, fine weather over the long Bank Holiday weekend, riders may not have ridden for some months. This early period of reacclimatising to their machine can take some time and in recent years Cornwall has seen a peak in collisions involving motorcycles during the first few weeks British Summer time and sunny Sundays.
Injuries to motorcyclists are out of proportion to their presence on our roads. They are roughly 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic collision than car occupants, per mile ridden.
Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service’s Road Safety team are urging all motorcyclists to follow the below tips to help keep themselves and other road users safe.
Riding defensively makes you less vulnerable
Make sure you:
- anticipate the actions of others
- are alert and observant
- can slow down and stop if the unexpected happens
- position yourself in the safest and best place to maximise your visibility of potential hazards
- take a 'lifesaver' glance over your shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres, so you know where others are and what they’re doing
Wear the right gear
Fall off your bike and tarmac will shred through your jeans in seconds. Wearing the right gear is just as important to your safety as servicing your motorcycle and knowing how to ride it.
- Wear bright or florescent gear during the day and reflective gear at night
- Bikers must wear a protective jacket, gloves, boots and trousers
And if you are a driver, here are a few simple ways of avoiding collisions with motorcyclists:
- Look carefully for motorbikes when you pull out at a junction. If you're approaching a junction, look out for motorcyclists pulling out too
- Keep your distance
- Check for bikes when changing lanes
- Check for bikes when turning
- Double-check for motorcyclists, whether you're turning left or right.
Paula Wellings Casualty Reduction Manager said: “This month sees the launch of our ‘Biker season’ campaign where we go along to ‘Bike Nights’ across the county to engage with riders with a positive message of “enjoy your riding and get home safely by giving yourself time to react”. This year we are also introducing the ‘Biker Down’ scheme developed by Kent Fire and Rescue and adopted by 17 other Fire and Rescue Services across the Country. The scheme aims to provide training and advice to riders about what to do should they witness or come across a collision.” Watch out for future information on our webpages at www.cornwall.gov.uk/roadsafety
Story posted: 18 April 2017
On Saturday 15 April Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service held an Easter ‘Eggstravaganza’ event to promote the launch of their new animation with everyone invited to join Archie, Woody and Mark to find out about the work they do and their upcoming adventures.
The brand new animation, ‘Archie and Woody’s Fire Investigation Adventure’, is believed to be the first to feature a fire investigation dog. It has been developed by Phoenix Services – part of CFRCS Service, to support their prevention campaign, to highlight key safety messages to the public and to encourage families to watch and learn together.
The first animation tells the story of a house fire where Archie’s handler Mark, Archie and Woody put on their fire shoes to investigate and support the Service in understanding the cause of the fire. Archie and Woody will be using all the cuteness at their disposal to get over the message to children and families about what they should do in the event of a fire.
The Service was joined by Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and Devon & Cornwall Police, who brought their ‘pawsome’ working dogs to the event to highlight the brilliant work they do and support Archie.
Inspector Miles Topham from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police dogs are invaluable in a whole variety of situations. Loyal, happy and willing, they help fellow police officers detect and prevent crime, catch criminals and safeguard vulnerable people, particularly people who are reported missing. The nose knows!”
Watch Manager Mark Smith, CFRCS Service’s Fire Dog Handler said: “We were delighted that families came along to our animation launch event. It was a great opportunity to meet me, Woody and Archie and other working dogs, to find out about the work we do and the prevention messages that this animation highlights, as well as ensuring you test your smoke alarms and prevent fires from starting in the home.”
CFRCS Service are one of a handful of services within the UK to employ the services of their own fire investigation dog team. The dogs are used as a tool to search cold, post-fire scenes for the presence of flammable and ignitable liquids that could have been used to start or promote fires deliberately.
Story posted 18 April 2017
People from all over the world responded to Cornwall Council Trading Standards ‘Is it Cornish?’ survey about their expectations when they buy food described as being Cornish.
Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team carried out the online survey asking residents, businesses and visitors what they understand when a product is described as being Cornish and what this actually means. For some people it may conjure up an image of where it was made, what it is made from and who actually made it, but is that the same for everyone?
Does the product actually have to be made locally or not and what does the description ‘Cornish’ mean to you? Your perception may differ from the next person but at what point does it become misleading?
Responses from Ireland, Europe, the United States and New Zealand as well as from Cornwall itself indicated that 94% of those who took part in the survey thought Cornish foods should be made in Cornwall. Fewer people thought it acceptable that the food should only be packed or processed here. 57% thought having a head office in Cornwall rather than products made here, made the product Cornish; while 64% thought the last significant product change should take place here to make it Cornish.
When asked about buying local food in Cornwall, only 61% thought that local meant the food would be wholly produced in Cornwall with an additional 20% thinking that local meant within 50 miles of its place of sale. This is important for businesses operating near the Cornwall/Devon border. When it comes to Cornish meat, 100% of respondents thought that meant the animal would have been in Cornwall its whole life.
The use of marketing imagery was asked about too. 82% thought the image of a Cornish engine house on a label would make them think the food was Cornish and 98% thought the Cornish flag denotes the food is Cornish.
Gavin Hill from Cornwall Trading Standards said: “Carrying out this survey has been useful to help us gain a better understanding of what people think they are getting when buying produce advertised as being Cornish; ultimately this can help prevent food fraud, protect consumers and ensure a level playing field amongst business. We want people to look harder at food labels and food descriptions and consider what the label says, whether it is qualified and what do the words and images imply. If they still feel they are being misled then report the business to trading standards. Understanding what is acceptable to people is important as not describing products accurately is a criminal offence and we should be taking action to protect our legitimate Cornish businesses who enhance our local economy.”
Story posted 13 April 2017
Your library is changing! Penryn Library will close for several weeks to allow a refurbishment programme to be completed.
Penryn Library, on St Thomas Street, will be closed to the public from Monday 15 May until it reopens on Monday 12 June to ensure building works can be completed as safely and quickly as possible. The works will include creating an office area on the first floor for Penryn Town Council, who will be taking on the Library later in the year, and upgrading the ground floor reception area to include the Information Service (previously known as the One Stop Shop).
When the library reopens it will continue to offer the key areas essential to a modern library including reading for pleasure, information, learning, digital resources and support and engaging with health partners. Regular activities such as Rhymetimes will also resume when Penryn Town Council takes over and the ever popular Summer Reading Challenge will run as usual over the summer holidays.
Meanwhile, to ensure that even the most dedicated bookworm has enough to read while the library is closed, customers will be able to borrow up to 36 items from Penryn Library from Monday 24 April until the library reopens. Books borrowed during this time will also have an extended loan period.
A Mobile Library will also be in operation during the temporary closure in Saracen House car park, behind the current One Stop Shop building, to enable library customers to continue to request, return and collect books. Library users will need to bring their library card with them in order to loan any items. The Mobile Library schedule will be as follows:
- Monday 15th May from 12pm to 2pm.
- Monday 22nd May from 12pm to 2pm.
- Tuesday 30th May from 1pm to 3pm.
- Monday 5th June, from 12pm to 2pm.
There’s also the opportunity to reserve items for free and collect them at other libraries, including Falmouth, using the online reservation system or to download eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines to use on tablets, smartphones and computers.
Julie Zessimedes, Head of Library and Information Services, said: “The transfer of Penryn Library is a really positive move for the local community. I feel that the Town Council are best placed to deliver services to people in the local community. Cornwall Council specialist staff will be supporting the local team to ensure the library continues to deliver a high quality statutory library service.”
Story posted 18 April 2017
Following the success of the 2016 Cornwall Housing Chair Awards which recognise and celebrate the good things Council tenants are doing, later this year members of the public and agencies across Cornwall will be invited to nominate individual tenants and tenant groups who are making a positive difference in their local community.
“I am looking forward to the nominations opening up for the Chair awards later this year and meeting our winners” said Chair of the Cornwall Housing Board Colin Dennis. “These awards give us the opportunity to highlight the often tireless effort of our tenants in making a difference in peoples’ lives and their local communities. I am pleased that these awards go some way in thanking those tenants.”
Nominations are reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of staff from across all areas of Cornwall Housing.
“We received a good number of nominations in the last awards which shows just how much our tenants are doing for others “ explained Cornwall Housing’s Engagement Manager, Tania Horrocks. “People of all ages received nominations; it was inspiring to hear of just what a difference our tenants are making to other people’s lives and their communities.”
“We plan to run these awards every year and we hope that people will get involved and nominate those who deserve some recognition.”
One of the previous successful nominees in the last awards, tenant Jon Foster was nominated for the work he has been doing in his own time to make a piece of dense and unloved wooded area near his home a nice place for people to enjoy. Over the course of nearly four years Jon has cleared dead shrubbery, rubbish, put in bird boxes, planted new shrubs and other woodland plants to transform the area.
“I’m overjoyed, I can’t believe I have won an award for something that gives me so much pleasure to do “ said Jon. “I started work on the piece of unused land when I was going through a particularly difficult time, it was a way for me to unwind and clear my head and I have just carried on since. I have planted tree saplings that have been donated by the Woodland Trust and put in about 40 bird boxes; I will also soon be putting some bat boxes up.
“Being recognised by Cornwall Housing in this way is really appreciated and I am proud to have won an award.”
A group of tenants living at Rosevallen in Bodmin won a Chair award for the work they have all done in overhauling their communal garden to make it a space that all tenants now enjoy using.
Also winning a Chair award were the Young Residents Committee of Kinsman and Treningle Estate. The young group of children meet every week with Community Organiser, Lin Chapman at the Kinsman community room to plan and organise things for their local community.
“The Young Residents Committee is a unique project which has been running for 3 ½ years and was started by one child, Dominic who asked me if the children and young people could have a committee like the adults had. “ said Lin. “ loved the idea of children having a right to influence what happens where they live and so the YRC of Kinsman and Treningle Estates was born.
“The group have organised many activities, parties and events including fundraising. So far this year they are planning a nerf war, a community sponsored walk and they are researching how to get a green gym on some ground that used to be the play park.
“Winning this award has helped these great young people to understand what they are doing is special and will help encourage them to keep taking positive action for their community.
“This group is open to young people aged from 7 to 13 and Bodmin Community Organiser, John Lakey would love to create an older group run along the same lines. So please get in touch for further information via the Bodmin Community Organisers Facebook page.”
Story posted 11 April 2017
Parents of reception age children across Cornwall have today been sent details of which school their child has been allocated for September, with 93% of children being allocated a place at their first preference school.
Cornwall Council received 5802 applications for reception places for pupils in Cornwall to start school in September 2017. Of those, 5416 (93.4 %) have been offered a place at their first preference school, an increase on last year’s figure of 92.5%. This, in light of the increasing pressure on primary school places across the country, is good news for children and families in Cornwall.
98% of applicants have been offered a place at a school that they named as one of three preferences on their application form.
“We are pleased that so many children and families have received the news they wanted on National Offer Day” said Jane Black, the Council’s Service Director for Education and Early Years. “As reflected nationally we are seeing increasing pressure on primary school places in Cornwall, so these figures are a testament to the work that goes in to planning and allocating places and the support from our schools.”
Cornwall has 227 schools with reception classes and this year 92 of these schools are full after the first round of allocations compared to 104 at this time last year. This number is expected to increase as late applications for places are processed over the next few weeks.
The number of parents and carers applying late is always a concern for the Council as it reduces the chance of getting a preferred school. The School Admissions Team, in partnership with the Family Information Service, works hard each year to get the message out to families through various routes such as social media and nurseries, but despite this the Council has still received over 100 late applications so far this year.
Among the areas in Cornwall which are experiencing particular pressure on reception places for this September are Bodmin, Redruth, Helston, Wadebridge and Saltash with some towns full to capacity. This is why it is crucial for parents and carers to apply on time and for the Council to plan for additional places.
Works have been taking place to provide thousands of additional pupil places in schools across Cornwall. The Council is in the middle of a major £40m investment programme which will see almost 2,500 additional pupil places provided by September 2018 as a result of expanding existing primary schools. The expansion works, which include the construction of extra classrooms, halls and kitchen in 25 schools, have been targeted to provide additional places where they are needed most.
“The Council has been working closely with schools in pupil place pressure areas in Cornwall to identify the best solution for expansion” said Sharon Hindley, the Council’s Head of Education Access and Sufficiency. “We are very appreciative of the support offered by our schools to meet the continuing demand for places.”
Completed Projects include
- Connor Downs Academy: - 60 pupil places (30 additional)
- St Uny C.E. School: 30 pupil places
- St Merryn School: 30 pupil places
- Weeth Community Primary School: 60 pupil places (30 additional)
- Brunel Primary School: 60 pupil places
- Cubert Primary School: 90 pupil places (60 additional)
- St Agnes ACE Academy: 210 pupil places
- Tregolls School: 210 pupil places
Projects at pre-construction stage, with several due to start shortly:
- Sandy Hill Academy: 210 pupil places
- Rosemellin Community Primary School: 90 pupil places
- Stratton Primary School: 90 pupil places
- Trevithick Learning Academy ARB: 30 SEN pupil places (20 additional)
- Mabe Community Primary School: originally 30 but with the scope change now 60
- Penpol School: 30 pupil places
- St Columb Major ACE Academy: 60 pupil places
- St Day and Carharrack School: 30 pupil places
- St Stephens (Saltash) Community Primary School: 30 pupil places
The Government also announced last week that three of Cornwall’s local multi-academy trusts (MATs) have been successful in their bid to open primary free schools in Newquay, St Austell and Launceston. The Council’s Pupil Place Planning team worked with each of the MATs in support of their bid as the schools, when opened, will provide much needed additional primary school places in the future.
Story posted: 18 April 2017
Penmount Crematorium presented Cornwall Hospice Care, which provides hospice care to patients and their families, with a cheque for £2,076.00 earlier this month.
The crematorium, managed by Cornwall Council, raises money for charity annually through a number of ways including; the remembrance service in June, the carol service in December, and the Christmas memory tree in the flower room.
The crematorium chose the Cornwall Hospice Care as their 2016 charity, and Clare Bray, the representative from the Hospice Charity went to Penmount to receive the cheque.
Clare Bray from Cornwall Hospice Care said, "We were delighted when we heard we'd been chosen by Penmount Crematorium as their charity of the year and really enjoyed working with the team there. They raised a fantastic amount of money for us, which will go directly to supporting patients and their families in Cornwall who are living with a life limiting illness.”
Susan Cannan, Bereavement Services Manager at Cornwall Council’s Penmount Crematorium, said: “The Penmount staff select a charity to support each December and enjoy working towards supporting that charity throughout the following year. We’re pleased to be able to donate to Cornwall Hospice Care and help them to continue to do their wonderful work for families in Cornwall.”
This year Penmount Crematorium have chosen to support Little Harbour Children’s Hospice (Children’s Hospice South West).
Posted 13 April 2017