Members of Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team have spent the past week targeting rogue traders in attempt to disrupt their activities and promote awareness of the financial harm and misery they can bring.
It is the 13th year in a row that the team have joined forces with other agencies to help raise awareness of the issue through a co-ordinated UK-wide operation.
Led by Cornwall Trading Standards with assistance from Devon and Cornwall Police, officers conducted mobile patrols targeting suspects who were known to be operating in the county, as well as conducting residential patrols in areas frequently targeted by rogue traders.
This type of crime is a UK wide problem and evidence suggests that rogue traders share information to repeatedly target some of our most vulnerable residents.
They will often travel large distances to commit offences and in some cases are known to employ slave labour to carry out the work, highlighting the need for a shared approach nationally within Trading Standards and the Police.
Leanne McLean, lead officer for doorstep crime said, “Rogue traders prey on the most vulnerable in society, conning them out of vast sums of money, for unnecessary and overpriced work. When someone falls foul of a rogue trading scam, research shows that it has a significant detrimental effect on the victim’s health and their confidence.
Operation Rogue Trader aims to catch offenders and disrupt their activity as well as highlighting the dangers of rogue trading and doorstep crime. As you can imagine, those involved in this form of illegal activity do not tend to be law abiding citizens in other aspects of their life. By working with Devon and Cornwall Police, we can help educate the public, gather valuable intelligence and disrupt their criminal activity. The aim is to rid rogue traders from our streets and make Cornwall’s communities safer.”
Councillor Sue James said, “Our Trading Standards team continue to combat the crimes associated with cold calling home maintenance traders and professional doorstep fraudsters. Cornwall Council will take robust enforcement in these cases, to provide a meaningful sanction and deterrent.
“Where possible, we will seek to recover the criminal proceeds in order to refund the victims. Working closely with partners in the Police and Adult Social Care, Trading Standards ensures those at risk of victimisation and exploitation are safeguarded and that those responsible for the crimes are brought to justice.
“Operation Rogue Trader is a key part of the strategy to proactively tackle this type of crime, and intelligence sharing and joint initiatives between Trading Standards and the Police will ensure that there are no hiding places for the criminals.”
Activities during the week ranged from training the Royal Mail sorting office in St Austell on how to identify postal scams, to identifying vehicles used by criminals through automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and conducting intelligence-led patrols in areas where older or vulnerable people live.
The team also acted on real time intelligence from the Police, Trading Standards Officers and consumers; as well as conducting a joint mobile patrol with Devon and Cornwall Police teams. Over 250 residents were advised on how to keep themselves safe at home from rogue traders and over 400 leaflets distributed, including our Buy With Confidence ‘Trading Standards Approved’ directory of approved traders.
It is not illegal for traders to sell at the door and legitimate callers will not mind if you shut and lock the door while you verify that they are genuine. Rogue traders often offer gardening work or maintenance services at attractive rates but the quality of work is substandard, unnecessary or overpriced. They often use persuasive sales techniques to encourage people into making hasty decisions.
The message from Trading Standards is a simple one – genuine traders DO NOT call door to door without an appointment. If you aren’t sure who they are, don’t open the door.
People should report cases of rogue traders or uninvited doorstep callers to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 04 05 06.
Posted 12 October 2018
Virtual reality and mobile apps are just some of the technology already being used to help people age well.
Hundreds of social care experts, including those from Cornwall Council, came together at Technology Enabled Care event hosted by Cornwall Council and the Shaping Our Future programme held at New County Hall in Truro, on 9 October 2018.
The aim of the event was to explore how technology can support people to live independently and safely in their own homes for longer, helping to relieve pressure on already overstretched adult social care services during a period of dramatically reduced funding from central government.
They have been working closely with EPIC which is a three year project part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the South West Academic Health Science Network, and led by the University of Plymouth. EPIC brought along a number of robotics to exhibit at the event such as robots that can provide companionship, prompt people to take medication and provide comfort to relieve anxiety.
One person who has benefitted from the use of technology enabled care is Mandy Moses from Penryn. She has been using a programme supplied by the company iCareiMove to access support through her laptop. This allows her to watch and follow a set of exercises tailored to her needs.
Mandy said: “Being able to use technology in this way has transformed my life. Before I started, I was unable to leave my house but by doing the exercises I’m now able to go out and see my friends and family. It has made a huge difference to my life.”
Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “As a council, we must find different and more cost effective ways to provide people with the support they need to live independent, healthy and happy lives. This is to ensure we continue provide high quality service amid a tough financial climate which has seen council funding slashed by central government.
“Technology enabled care is part of the solution and has been proven to reduce a person’s dependence on costly care packages while improving their quality of life. It is heartening to see how it has helped Mandy achieve her independence.”
Cornwall Council is testing a variety of technology in social care environments, including the use of trackers to help people who live with dementia and the people who care for them.
Marathon runner Simon Wheatcroft, who is visually impaired, was guest speaker at the Technology Enabled Care Event. He spoke about how he has cleverly used technology to support him compete in marathons across the world. His inspiring story helped those who attended to think more widely about how technology can be used to support people they work with.
Watch Mandy and Pat talk about iCareiMove
Posted 12 October 2018
The number of children in Cornwall who are overweight has dropped this year according to statistics released this week.
The data is taken from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), which records the weight of children in reception year (aged 4-5 years) and year 6 (aged 10-11 years) in schools across the country. In some areas, children’s weight status is shared with their parents to help them understand their child’s growth and consider positive lifestyle changes.
The percentage of reception age children had been increasing year on year since school year 2011/12 but this year has seen a decrease of almost 2%. The data for 2017/18 shows a reduction in the percentage of children in reception year who are overweight from 16.7% in 2016/17 to 14.9%.
The downward trend of year 6 children who are overweight has continued, 14.5% in 2016/17 to 13% in 2017/18. The data also shows that Cornwall is below national average.
Cornwall Council is working on a number of initiatives working towards reducing the child obesity rates in Cornwall. The Sugar Smart survey earlier in the year showed that 98% of people wanted healthier options available when eating out and 83% were worried that sugar was impacting the family’s health.
The Healthy Schools programme is available to all schools with a number working towards a Healthy Schools award. This includes healthy approaches to food in schools, sugar smart status and increasing physical activity in line with the chief medical officer guidelines of 3 hours per day. Cornwall Council have therefore been encouraging schools to be involved with the Daily Mile initiative where children walk or run a mile every day, as healthy weight is a combination of eating well and being active.
Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Children and Wellbeing Sally Hawken said: “While the rates in Cornwall appear to be getting better, we know that there is still so much more to do to ensure our children are given the best possible start in life. Trend data still shows us that children are putting on weight during primary school. By the age of 10-11 years old there are nearly double the amount of children who are obese compared from when they start school.
“A healthy weight in childhood lays the foundations for decades of healthy life as an adult. This data underlines how important it is for families to talk about health and weight as part of everyday life.
“Each year, children leave primary school overweight or obese and our most deprived areas are the worst affected. It’s never too soon to make a change and there is lots of support from Cornwall Council and the national health campaign Change4Life to help.
“Sometimes it’s hard to make the right choice for a number of reasons and we recognise that access to good food and sports or activity is an additional cost that some families struggle to afford. That’s why organisations across Cornwall are working to make sure families can get help to reach a healthy weight.”
Any family who would like support can get in contact with the Healthy Cornwall Service by calling 01209 615600 or visiting the Healthy Cornwall Service website.
Story posted 12 October
On the eve of National Adoption Week (15-21 October), more people are being urged to consider adoption, with around 40 children a year in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly needing permanent homes.
Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly Adoption Agency say children who require adoptive parents could have suffered from abuse and neglect and need parents who can help them with their previous experiences by offering them acceptance, guidance and nurture.
Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for children and wellbeing, Sally Hawken, encouraged people who have considered adopting in the past to take the next step.
“Children deserve to have the best possible opportunities in life. Being adoptive parents can be challenging and rewarding in equal parts. The Adoption Service, has over the years has provided many children with a loving and secure family life and are on hand to provide support and guidance to anyone who is ready to take the next step and find out more.
“Adoption provides vulnerable children the love and security of family life. We encourage adopters from all walks of life, and backgrounds. You can be single, in a same sex relationship and any age. We need people who are able to emotionally meet the needs of a child and provide a loving and stable home, but who can also offer a child understanding and acceptance of their past history.
Lisa and Max recently adopted two siblings through the Adoption Service. Lisa said while the route to adoption was long and intense, it was worth it.
“The process helps you prepare emotionally and practically for your much-awaited for child or children. Nothing can prepare you for the excitement of the day you get told you have been 'matched', and the magic only continues to grow from that point. Our two little girls came to us neglected, emotionally and physically fragile and mistrusting of people and their surroundings. It has been a sheer joy to watch them evolve and change… to see them learn to laugh and smile without inhibition and watch their demons melt away.
“There is perhaps a misconception that a bond with an adopted child is not as strong as with birth children - this is not true. The longing and yearning for a family that has been felt by both parents and children ensures a bond and love that is deep and ever growing.
“We know we will never do anything again that will bring us such joy, happiness and unadulterated laughter as adopting our babies has. We would urge anyone to consider adopting as so many children need a loving home, whatever the dynamic and make up of your family, you will undoubtedly have something to offer. It is no cliché to say that adopted children are special. They will make your house a home and make you a family. A special family.”
If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent call 01872 322200 or visit www.adoptincornwall.co.uk.
Posted on 12 October 2018
Time is running out for parents to apply for secondary school places for their children.
The application deadline for secondary places is 31 October. Cornwall Council is urging families to submit application forms by this date to give children the best possible chance of being placed at a preferred school.
Parents who miss the application deadline reduce their chances of getting one of their preferred schools because their forms will not be dealt with until after all the other applications have been processed.
Cornwall Council’s Education and Early Years Service is currently working hard with local schools and the Family Information Service to help guide all parents and carers through the application process. Their mission is to raise awareness and ensure that parents have information to hand to help them identify their preferred schools and apply before the deadline.
Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Children and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken said: “Deciding on a preferred secondary school can be a time of mixed emotions and getting the right information at the right time can really help parents during this next stage in their child’s education.
“A visit to the school is a good opportunity to meet teachers and pupils as well as helping to find out the answers to a wide range of practical questions from school uniform to the expectations around homework. If there is not enough time to make a visit, talking to parents whose children currently attend the school can also help and the school website can provide lots of useful information.”
“For those families who need extra help navigating the school admission process, the Council also offers impartial advice on which schools to list as preferences. This support is available to any parent or carer through a Choice Adviser and if you find yourself in a situation where you are finding it a challenge to complete the application, this service can really help.”
A Choice Adviser may be contacted through the Family Information Service (0800 587 8191 or at email@example.com).
Not submitting a school application by October 31 increases the risk of not being allocated a preferred school, because late applications will not be processed until after all those submitted on time. There will be some delay before a place can be allocated and it is possible that some schools will already be full.
Posted on 11 October
A new referral system to help people facing homelessness has been introduced in Cornwall.
Seventeen referrals for people threatened with homelessness or who are homeless have already been made thanks to the introduction of the ALERT referral system, run by Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing.
The new system enables organisations like Jobcentre Plus, Social Services, youth offending teams, hospital accident and emergency services and probation services to easily refer people who are homeless, or who may find themselves threatened with becoming homeless. Cornwall Housing will then make contact to provide the support they need.
The Homelessness Reduction Act introduced earlier this year includes a ‘Duty to Refer’ which kicked in on 01 October, although Cornwall Council introduced the ALERT referral system ahead of that deadline.
Cabinet portfolio holder for homes Andrew Mitchell says: “We are well prepared and were able to introduce this new system ahead of the ‘Duty to Refer’ deadline. Given Cornwall’s geography, we needed a system which is simple, easy and consistent so that other organisations, with the consent of the person involved, can let us know if someone is at risk. We are committed to preventing homelessness. We understand finding out that someone is at risk early increases opportunities to offer help and support before the situation gets even more desperate.”
Andrew adds: “The duty to refer must be more than simply a one-way referral into the Housing Options service. Rather, a wide range of public bodies need to co-operate and act on any opportunity or responsibility that they have to prevent homelessness and the causes of homelessness.”
The last official estimate on the number of rough sleepers in Cornwall suggest that co-ordinated action by Cornwall Council and partners to tackle the issue is beginning to see positive results.
Official estimates showed that 68 people were reported as rough sleeping in November 2017 compared to 99 reported the previous year – a 31% reduction.
Cornwall Council’s Cabinet portfolio holder for homes Andrew Mitchell said: “Ultimately, no one should be forced to sleep rough in Cornwall, or anywhere else for that matter. We want to get as close to that goal as possible and we’re working to make that happen. That’s why we have invested in prevention measures like the the ALERT system so that we can help people early and they don’t end up on the streets.”
Anyone who feels they are in danger of becoming homeless should contact Cornwall Housing as soon as possible.
The housing options service run by Cornwall Housing offers free advice and assistance for landlords, tenants and owner occupiers across Cornwall on a wide range of housing issues including:
- Your options to find a home
- Joining the Homechoice housing register
By telephone Tel: 0300 1234 161
By email firstname.lastname@example.org
Story posted 11 October 2018
Following recent reports about parking charges in Cornwall ahead of the Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 16 October, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “I want to assure everyone that these are not proposed new charges but were simply produced to give the committee an indication of how fees might look if we were to introduce a zoning approach to car park charges. At present there are 123 different charges in place across Cornwall.
Clearly there is work to do in looking at zoning fees and which zone might apply to specific car parks.
No fee changes could be made until a full public consultation has been carried out.”
Story posted 11 October 2018
Families have moved into new homes in Dobwalls which have been bought by the Council as part of its commitment to provide 1,000 new homes.
Seven new homes at Penhale Close in Dobwalls have been bought by the Council from Wainhomes to add to Cornwall Housing’s stock of social housing. They have been let to families with a connection to Dobwalls and the surrounding area. All were registered on and applied through the Council’s Homechoice register. The homes are being managed by Cornwall Housing.
“Ecstatic is a good word. The family are really, really very happy with where we are going from here. We can start to settle down” says Craig Vince who, with his family, has moved into one of the new homes bought by the Council.
His wife Sharon adds: “We couldn’t believe it when we looked at the house. It is so beautiful. We’re very excited.”
Emma Selby, who has also moved into one of the new homes with her young family, explains: “I was bidding on Cornwall Homechoice because my rent was too high where I was privately renting. This house is much nicer and the area is nicer too with more children for mine to play with.”
Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for homes Andrew Mitchell said: “#HousingDay18 celebrates the positive impact of social housing on thousands of people across the UK. It’s heartening to hear first-hand how the Council’s commitment to providing quality homes for families in Cornwall is making a real difference to people’s lives. This Council is committed to providing 1,000 good quality homes for local people and we will be doing that through a number of initiatives. In this case, buying these homes in Dobwalls for social rent made sense and we have added them to our Housing Revenue Account which means they will be kept for social rent and allocated to people with a local connection.”
The Council’s Housing Development Programme (HDP) will see the Council investing up to £200 million in directly building and providing new homes on sites across Cornwall. The developments will be a mix of homes for private market rent, affordable rent, shared ownership and private market ownership.
The first 113 homes to buy or rent, built on pilot sites in Tolvaddon and Bodmin, are set to be ready later this year. New sites in Newquay and Launceston are in the process of being purchased and these will be added to other housing development sites in Liskeard and Torpoint which the Council already owns.
Andrew Mitchell adds: “Cornwall needs more homes – both to rent and to buy - for local people with a genuine housing need. For example, in Newquay there are more than 1,500 applicants on the Homechoice register who have stated Newquay as their first preference. The proposed development in Newquay could provide up to 400 new homes which will go some way towards addressing that need. This is about providing good quality homes that people want to live in, with space, gardens, parking and which are well designed with low energy costs.”
The new homes in Dobwalls are also some of the first to be provided by the Council, and indeed within Cornwall, that feature a full fire suppression system to help protect the safety of tenants. The Council has committed to installing such systems in all homes it builds or purchases. Officers worked with the developer to ensure a high quality system was installed, which in this case works by spraying a fine mist in the room to quickly suppress any fire and giving occupants an opportunity to escape safely.
Story posted 10 October 2018
Construction of Cornwall Council’s flagship development at the Aerohub Business Park at Cornwall Airport Newquay has marked a major milestone towards its completion with a topping out ceremony.
The development, part of Cornwall Council’s commitment to secure 38,000 new jobs on council land by 2030, is supported by £4.4m of investment from the European Regional Development Fund and £3.1m from the local authority.
The topping out ceremony, which marks having reached the highest point of the new building, saw a sapling planted to signify the milestone. Representatives from the project team, Cornwall Council and the business community gathered to mark the event.
The development, which should be completed in early 2019, will provide 1,005m² of office space in addition to a further eight business/light industrial units totalling 1,904m².
It represents a landmark for the Aerohub Business Park at Cornwall Airport Newquay, from which Cornwall and Virgin Orbit will soon be launching satellites to space from the UK’s first horizontal Spaceport by 2021.
Cllr Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economy, praised the strategic opportunity presented by the Plot 2 development for businesses and the wider economy of Cornwall: “It offers businesses high-quality accommodation, in a strategic location close to Newquay, the A30, Cornwall Airport Newquay and the Council’s future Spaceport. It will act as a catalyst for investment and jobs across the whole Aerohub Business Park and beyond.”
Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said, “Having driven the successful bid for the Enterprise Zone here the LEP is thrilled to see the first phase of the Aerohub Business Park progressing. This combination of office and industrial workspaces promises to be the beginnings of a vibrant community of businesses which will be given a boost by the additional benefits that locating within the Enterprise Zone can offer.”
Steve Double MP for Newquay and St Austell said “This morning I was delighted to attend the topping out ceremony of the new office block at Newquay Aerohub. It was great to visit with Cornwall Council and see the work completed to date on this important site. With the recent Government announcements safeguarding the Newquay-Gatwick route and the continued progress towards the Spaceport, Newquay continues to be the place to be for businesses looking to innovate and grow, and I look forward to the completion of these new facilities in the near future.”
Chris Couch, Area Manager Cornwall for Kier Construction said, “The Aerohub Business Park will bring an array of benefits to the local area and we are delighted to celebrate this latest milestone with a topping out ceremony. We are working with the local supply chain to deliver this exciting project that is set to leave a lasting legacy in the area.”
Small or Medium Sized Enterprises interested in locating in the new state of the art facilities are encouraged to contact Will Oldrieve, Senior Consultant at Vickery Holman on either email@example.com, or 01872 245608.
Posted on 10 October 2018
Work to transform adult social care services is delivering some early wins, with a trial project getting people back on their feet as quickly as possible and freeing up services for others.
STEPS, Cornwall Council’s reablement service aims to support people to get mobile and live independently in their own homes, enabling people to age well.
The St Austell based service is part of a trial that aims to reduce the amount of time a person spends needing help so they can get back to living independently as soon as possible. This then allows more people to access the service. Previously a manager had to visit the client to sign off the person from needing any more help. In this new way of working the STEPS worker sends a photo of the care work log to allow the manager to sign off the person much more quickly.
66 year old George from Budock Water near Falmouth is just coming to the end of his treatment from the STEPS team following a long period in hospital and loss of mobility from the waist down.
Thanks to regular visits from the STEPS worker encouraging George to get mobile by walking around the village and doing simple exercises he is now able to get on with his life as normal with no further support needed from Adult Social Care.
George said “I thought that I wouldn’t be able to live my life the way I used to but following the help I received from the council I can now do all the things I used to do, seeing my friends, getting out and about and being independent.”
Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “George’s story is inspiring and shows how some simple interventions to maximise a person’s independence can dramatically improve their life.
“Getting people back on their feet and independent as quickly as possible is better for them, and also frees up resources to be directed elsewhere as people spend less time in hospital or accessing other support services.
“We are only in week 6 of the project but early signs show that working in a different way is delivering a 40% increase in STEPS capacity. This new approach to working will soon be rolled out across the whole of Cornwall, working to refocus services to help people age well - to prevent, or delay the escalation of needs.”
Having a period of reablement is better for a person’s health and wellbeing and is more cost effective than residential based care.
An estimated 1 in 4 people in Cornwall will be aged 65 or over by 2019 and increase by a further 40% over the next 20 years. This places extraordinary costs pressures on both hospitals and residential care. With a rising and ageing population in Cornwall with increasingly complex social care needs occurring at a time when increases in the resources available to local authorities are extremely limited.
This trial is part of a broader piece of work that the council is working on in partnership with Newton Europe Ltd. Cabinet members agreed that the Council will engage Newton Europe Ltd to deliver a contract worth up to £4 million, depending on the success of the programme. The initial analysis showed potential to achieve savings of up to £17 million.
Hear George’s story here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofe_84_nXRc
Posted on 10 October 2018
A man responsible for one of the worst cases of animal neglect seen by a judge has been banned from keeping animals for life and handed a suspended prison sentence after a Cornwall Council led investigation.
Rodney Pascoe, 65, of Under Lane, Delabole, appeared at Bodmin Magistrates Court to answer ten charges of causing unnecessary suffering and failing in his duty of care to his animals.
Pascoe pleaded guilty to all charges, which were bought before the court following a joint investigation between by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Rural Payments Agency and Cornwall Council.
Passing sentence, District Judge Diana Baker told Pascoe that this was the worst case she had seen in years.
The court had heard how animals were found in an awful condition, with cattle drowning in muck, so emaciated they could not stand up and in many cases close to death.
Pascoe was banned for life from keeping or owning farmed animals to include horses and poultry, and was handed a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
He was also told to either sell, or remove from his land, his remaining cattle within 28 days, and ordered to pay costs of £4,952 to Cornwall Council within the same period. He was also handed an additional victim surcharge of £115.
Jane Tomlinson, Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards Manager said: “It is regrettable that prosecution action had to be taken in this case against a farmer based in Cornwall.
“However despite attempts by the relevant agencies to advise him, he failed to provide the most basic needs for his animals.
“Consequently there was no credible option but to prosecute. I want to stress however, that this situation is not typical of the high standards of farm animal welfare upheld by farmers in Cornwall”
Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection said: “Cornwall Council officers work to assist farmers, small holders and businesses across Cornwall in complying with the relevant legislation.
“However where we find repeated non compliances and a complete disregard for farm animal welfare, we will take formal action to protect animals and the reputation of the Cornish farming industry.”
Posted on 8 October 2018
The question of how to promote growth across Cornwall which benefits residents and communities was the focus of a housing conference held in Newquay last week.
The Housing and Construction Conference: Growing Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for All was organised by Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), registered housing providers across Cornwall and the Private Developers Forum, and attracted delegates from across the UK.
It provided the opportunity to highlight the strategic approach being adopted to growth across Cornwall, with sustainability at the heart of the plans for creating a local economy fit for the 21st Century.
The event, held at the Atlantic Hotel, also provided an opportunity to market Cornwall as an investment opportunity for business from across the UK.
The day was chaired by Cornwall Council’s chief executive Kate Kennally, and delegates heard contributions from key speakers including council leader Adam Paynter, Ian Knight of Homes England and Miles Carden of Spaceport Cornwall.
Cornwall council leader Adam Paynter said: "Last month the Office of National Statistics published projections that Cornwall’s population will grow by almost a fifth over the next 25 years, with the majority of that change in older households.
"So, we need to grow – to provide the homes that residents, present and future, need.
"We need new housing, of good quality across all tenures. Last year 3,400 homes were delivered in Cornwall, including over 900 affordable homes – one of the highest levels in the country. We also need to meet specific need through the provision of extra-care housing and wheelchair accessible homes.
"This housing growth must be matched by growth in the economy, in jobs and wages, in the physical infrastructure that serves and connects our communities and in the amenities and services that enrich them. And we need to do this while safeguarding the unique attributes that we enjoy.
"If we resist growth, we will fail our communities, we will lose control and will see unplanned, disconnected and mediocre development.
"If instead we harness growth we can build our future with success."
LEP Board member Simon Caklais, who sits on the LEP’s Construction Strategy Steering Group and is Managing Director of Gilbert & Goode Construction in St Austell, said: “The conference was an important opportunity to look at how considered development can play a vital role in driving growth and prosperity.
“We also looked at what we need to do to ensure that the social, environmental and economic benefits of development are captured in our communities, and that we have the necessary skills and supply chain capacity to deliver our growth ambitions.”
Posted on 5 October 2018
A square of grass at the edge of a car park, a space in the middle of a housing estate and a neglected recreation area are being transformed into a blaze of colours and havens for wildlife, thanks to investment and a special team led by Cornwall Council.
Communities are benefitting from 30 previously unremarkable town spaces in Camborne, Redruth, Hayle, Penzance, Pool, Bude and Saltash, which have all been made-over by a Council–led project called making space for nature.
The three year project is being led by the Council’s Natural Environment Service, with the aim of bringing wildlife and bio-diversity back to 35 hectares of land in residential areas, enabling local communities to thrive and enjoy their communal spaces for a green and prosperous future.
Eight community projects have been completed and have received positive feedback from local communities and visitors.
Three events linked to projects in Saltash, Camborne and Redruth are planned in October:
- Residents can visit the Burraton Community Centre at the Grenfell Estate in Saltash which will be opeon Thursday 4 October 4.30 – 6.30pm, to hear plans including a mass bulb planting, a wildflower meadow and new tree planting in the communal green spaces between houses.
- Celebrate Apple Day at the Kehelland Trust in Camborne, on 13 October 11am – 5pm. The team will be there to give a flavour of the project with fun activities linked to feeding Cornwall’s wildlife through the winter.
- On 23 October 10am – 1pm, residents are invited to get their hands dirty at the Trenoweth Estate, Redruth, where bulb planting and wildflower meadow seeding will be taking place.
Cornwall Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for the Environment, Sue James said: “One of our key priorities is to secure a green and prosperous Cornwall, so I am very pleased that the Council has been at the forefront of this work to bring back the biodiversity and wildlife to urban spaces that have diminished as our towns become busier or more developed. Even the most unremarkable spaces are being transformed for the benefit of local people and for nature.
“We all know that spending time outdoors is great for health and wellbeing and part of the project involves working with local communities to re-think their use of these spaces so they become community hubs.
“We want local people to celebrate and enjoy these local spaces and will be working with individual communities to help develop these plans thenmrediscover these places over the coming months”.
Story posted 03 October 2018
Cornwall’s 70,000 smokers are being urged to quit the habit for good by joining this year’s Stoptober campaign.
The national campaign, supported locally by Cornwall Council, has inspired more than one and a half million people across the country to try and quit since 2012.
Almost 15 per cent of people in Cornwall are smokers. This is not only bad for their health, but lighting up also has an economic impact with an estimated £122.3m cost to Cornwall each year:*
- £17m – estimated social care related costs, both public and private
- £30.8m – total annual cost of smoking to the NHS across Cornwall
- £70.5m - potential wealth lost to Cornwall’s economy in lost productivity
- £3m - smoking related house fires in Cornwall
*Figures sourced from ASH’s Local Costs of Tobacco Ready Reckoner resource
Smokers are also the number one culprit when it comes to littering in Cornwall with cigarette butts being the most common item littered – an issue which is being tackled by the Council’s Litterless-Cornwall Campaign.
A key priority for Cornwall Council is to support residents to lead healthy lives.
Councillor Sally Hawken, Cabinet portfolio holder for Children and Wellbeing said: “I’m taking up the Stoptober challenge to try and quit smoking for good. It’s going to be tough but there is no better way to do it than with Stoptober which offers a huge amount of help and support.
“One of the Council’s key priorities is to support residents’ to lead healthy lives. The Stoptober campaign is based on research that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good. Last year in Cornwall 679 people set a quit date during Stoptober, and 335 quit successfully.”
Cornwall Council’s Stop Smoking team, part of the Healthy Cornwall Service can help provide advice on ways to quit smoking or provide information on vaping.
Support from an advisor is four times more successful than going it alone.
Among occupations in Cornwall, 28% (one in three) of routine and manual workers smoke – the highest rate among workers locally. This equates to approximately 44,000 people. Of the 335 successful quitters last year in Cornwall, 134 were R&M workers (which equates to 40 per cent).
This year, workers in Royal Cornwall Hospital, Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust and employees working for the Council’s CORServ and CORMAC departments will be offered four weeks of Nicotine Replacement Therapy free of charge from Cornwall Council’s Public Health Team.
Brian O’Neill, Cornwall Council Public Health Consultant says: "Quitting smoking is easier with support from advisors. Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help you to quit smoking successfully. The online Personal Quit Plan app developed by Public Health England can help smokers find a personal plan to help them to stop smoking successfully.”
Top five tips to stop smoking:
- Set yourself a quit date in the near future
- Plan and prepare – make sure you’ve bought vape products or nicotine replacement therapy
- Get support – speak to our Stop Smoking Advisors. Also, let friends and family know so they can be supportive
- Plan distractions to avoid trigger times. For example after dinner, plan to do something else straight away.
- If you’ve had a blip, that’s okay. Get back on plan as soon as possible and keep going.
For more information on Stop Smoking support in Cornwall call 01209 615600 or visit http://oneyoucios.com/smoke-free/
Visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober to use the Personal Quit Plan and to find out more about the support available.
Posted on 2 October
Under the new arrangement St Columb Library will remain part of the countywide library service, meaning customers will keep their existing library cards and will still be able to visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.
Cornwall Council will continue to provide and maintain the library’s public computers and resources, including replenishing books. The agreement is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, which aims to give local communities more say on how local assets are used and managed.
Town councillors marked the occasion with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday 2 October at the entrance to the building on Market Place.
Mayor of St Columb Major and Cornwall Councillor Paul Wills said: "I am delighted that St Columb Major Town Council is taking over the library, by this action we have secured the long term future of the library for the people of this parish and others who use this valuable service. As a constituent said to me recently, a home without books is a home without a soul, and that is the same for a town without a library.
"The people of this parish made their views very clear during the recent survey undertaken by the Town Council, they did not wish to see the library close. By having the service devolved to us we have ensured that future generations will learn the value of books and the other services that a community library can offer. I would like to thank the officers from Cornwall Council who have guided us throughout this process and the Town Councillors for sticking with the process."
Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, said: “Libraries are important to our residents and this is why we have been working closely with town and parish councils and community groups across Cornwall to find the best custodians.
“With St Columb Town Council taking on management of the library local people will be able to continue to enjoy it for many years to come. The town council’s proactive approach to taking more control over local assets is an excellent example of devolution in action, and I commend them for the excellent service they are providing to their community.”
St Columb Library is open on Tuesdays (9.30am to 5.30pm), Thursdays (1pm to 5pm) and Saturdays (10am to 1pm).
With hundreds of thousands of contacts with customers each year across everything from planning to waste and council tax, Cornwall Council is this week celebrating National Customer Service Week, which runs until Friday.
Throughout the week, the Council will be engaging in a series of activities bringing customer experience to the heart of everything they do.
This will include senior managers and cabinet members answering call centre phones and web chat, customer service masterclasses for staff and examples for staff of both good and bad customer experiences and sharing good practice.
All week, the Council will be encouraging customers to follow them on social media and encouraging them to "Have Your Say”, as well as sign up for e-newsletters, find out how to submit questions at council meeting or have their say on the latest consultations.
Each day from 10am to 1pm, visitors will be able to find out more about how to access the Council’s online services such as how to make a report online or managing your council accounts.
Residents are invited to drop into the following offices during the week:
• 1 October: Pydar House, Truro
• 2 October: Penwinnick Road, St Austell
• 3 October: Chy Trevail, Bodmin
• 4 October: Dolcoath, Camborne
• 5 October: New County Hall, Truro
Mike Eathorne-Gibbons, Cabinet portfolio holder for Customers, said: “Residents told the Council plainly in the 2017 Residents’ Survey that we need to improve customer service. We have listened and are taking action.
“Our Customer Service Promise demonstrates our commitment and helps people to know what to expect from the Council, and to hold us to account when we get things wrong. We have been making improvements ranging from easier forms, to clearer information and simpler phone options.
“We’re also investing in better IT systems to make us more efficient, and we’re putting in extra effort into listening to your views and keeping in touch.”
Story posted 01 October 2018
Direct flights between Cornwall Airport Newquay and London Gatwick set to continue to boost investment and tourism
The Government and Cornwall Council have today announced that direct flights between Cornwall Airport Newquay and London Gatwick have been secured for a further four years, backed by funding from both organisations.
The direct London service will continue to enable businesses in Cornwall to compete nationally and internationally, attract inward investment and boost tourism.
Businesses will have certainty about the connections with London, Europe and beyond, allowing them to plan with confidence. Residents will benefit from a regular service and great connections whether they are going on holiday, travelling for work or seeing friends and family.
Once again operated by Flybe, the Cornwall Airport Newquay to London Gatwick service will continue to see daily flights between the two airports, with 3 return flights on weekdays and 2 per day at weekends.
This follows overwhelming success of the previous route offered by Flybe, which saw demand almost double over 3 years. Gatwick flights now account for 40% of all passengers using Cornwall Airport Newquay.
Last year 160,000 passengers travelled using the route, with visitors increasingly coming from Germany and the USA and the funding has further increased confidence in the airport, with other airlines operating new routes from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.
Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: “Cornwall Airport Newquay is an example of one of our thriving regional aviation hubs, playing a vital role in connecting communities, boosting tourism and unlocking economic growth.
“Continuing to support this key route between Cornwall and London demonstrates our commitment to creating transport links across the UK which put the needs of passengers first.”
Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brownsaid: “This is a vital link between Cornwall and London which has to be maintained. Thanks to the Council’s continued investment in Cornwall Airport Newquay, growth continues with around 460,000 passengers using the Airport in 2017, making it the best year ever and making it the fastest growing airport outside of London.
“Today’s announcement is good news for Cornwall. If this service was lost, £50 million could be wiped from Cornwall’s economy with the potential loss of airport and other jobs. We will have continuity of service with Flybe being confirmed as the operator. Once again securing the direct service is a boost for Cornwall’s communities, businesses and the economy. It will enable Cornwall to do business with the rest of the world – and the rest of the world to do business with Cornwall.”
Cornwall Airport Newquay’s Managing Director, Al Titterington, said: “The extension of the PSO contract with Flybe secures our primary connection between Cornwall and London for another 4 years. The demand for this route continues to grow year on year and the support from the Government and Cornwall Council provides a guarantee for this vital access route to and from Cornwall.”
Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This announcement will be warmly welcomed by the business community and ensures that Cornwall remains connected to a major airport hub. Connectivity is vital to our economy and having a healthy commercial airport helps underpin our wider space and aerospace ambitions. This is great news.”
Today’s decision comes after Parliament’s backing earlier this year for building a third runway at Heathrow.
With around 15% of the new runway capacity set to be used for domestic flights, Cornwall will be among the regions with the opportunity to get direct links to Heathrow.
Public Service Obligation routes are used to subsidise vital air connections and economic and social development in peripheral regions, where a clear business case is put forward.
Story posted 01 October 2018
Families in St Austell can now enjoy a brand new play park at Woodland Road that had its official opening this week (Wednesday 26 September 2018).
Youngsters from Mount Charles Community Primary school joined local people for the opening of the park which has been developed by Cornwall Council in partnership with St Austell Town Council. It features a fenced off toddler area with swings, a basket swing, and a climbing structure with a slide that has been designed to meet Disability Discrimination Act requirements. The basket swing is suitable for children with disabilities, and there are two wheelchair friendly picnic benches and a disability-friendly footpath between the toddler and junior area.
Older children can enjoy an activity tower with a playhouse, slide and rickety bridge. All of this is supported with an improved park entrance so that both wheel chair users and pushchairs can enter and exit the park much more easily.
The Mayor of St Austell Gary King said: “The design of the park was decided by local school children so to see them able to enjoy playing on it today is great. The inclusion of equipment for children with disabilities means that all children have the opportunity to use it.”
Local Cornwall Councillor Richard Pears said: “It’s been wonderful to see all the children playing at this brilliant new park. The whole community came together to design it so it really reflects what people wanted to see.”
Cabinet portfolio holder for Neighbourhoods Sue James said: “The successful development of this park is a great example of how we are working in partnership with Town Councils and communities so that local people can take pride in their area and enjoy community facilities.
Parks like this are so important to local communities, not only are they places where children can meet their friends, play and be active and healthy they also act as meeting points for parents and carers so they become an important part of the community.”
The new park has been developed by Cornwall Council as part of a bigger devolution package in St Austell that includes 39 different areas of public open space, in partnership with St Austell Town Council. This gives more local control and direction and a much greater opportunity to enhance assets and services.
Cornwall Council has invested £150,000 jointly into this scheme and a new play facility at Sandy Hill through funding received from developer contributions from nearby housing developments. This is part of the agreement that Cornwall Council would deliver the improvements once the management of the park was handed over to the town council.
Story posted 28 September 2018
A Cornish educational project supporting young mums is celebrating its third nomination for a national award this year.
Young Mums Will Achieve (YMWA) has been shortlisted for both the Children & Young People Now Awards and the Nursery World Awards.
Run as a partnership between Cornwall Council, The Cornwall College Group and Fit N Fun Kids, is a pioneering initiative for young and expecting mums, aged between 14-24 years old.
CEO of Fit N Fun Kids, Rachel Jones, said she was “delighted to see the Young Mums Will Achieve shortlisted for another national award”.
“Its primary objective is to support young mums back into mainstream education or employment, while promoting the development of positive parenting and life skills,” she explained.
“Recognition at such a high level is certainly something to be proud of.”
Fit N Fun Kids has been part of the project since its conception nine years ago.
“We have enjoyed each and every cohort that we have worked with and seen to progress on to greater things,” Rachel continued.
“Well done to all involved!”
Councillor Sally Hawken, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children & Wellbeing says: “It is so important that we can remove barriers to learning, so that everyone has an opportunity to access education and work-related opportunities. This in turn will help our communities gain skills and qualifications that will lead to more employment opportunities in the future. It is excellent news to hear that this initiative is receiving the recognition it deserves.”
For the Children & Young People Now Awards, which is seen as an industry gold standard, YMWA has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Early Years Award category, which is given to the initiative that has done the most to improve the life chances of babies and young children, especially among disadvantaged or hard-to-reach communities.
Additionally, in this year’s Nursery World Awards, YMWA is nominated in two categories.
Firstly, the Working with Parents Award, which is given to the initiative that best supports parents, enhancing their understanding of their children's learning and development, or improving children's outcomes through involvement and co-operation with families.
The second nomination is for the Inclusive Practice Award, where the judges are looking for projects that promote equality of opportunity and the best outcomes for all children, regardless of ethnic origin, special needs, background or disadvantage.
Partner organisation Fit N Fun Kids has also gained a nomination in the Nursery Group of the Year category for the Nursery World Awards.
The YMWA programme supports young mothers to study and gain qualifications while receiving additional support from their crèche team, who provide free childcare, and additional parenting support, advice and guidance.
Former participants have used the programme as a springboard to progress into a wide range of vocational areas, with some going on to higher education and others into apprenticeships as well as paid employment.
The ongoing regional success of the programme means that there are now YMWA groups active across the county.
One young mum who benefitted greatly from her involvement in the YMWA project, said: “I absolutely loved YMWA, It helped me in so many ways, I am so chuffed to have had the opportunity and I’d definitely recommend it to others. The tutors helped me with all sorts of things and I will forever be grateful to them. I hope other girls have the experience I have, I doubt I would be where I am without YMWA."
For more information on Young Mums Will Achieve, or to make a referral, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Story posted 28 September 2018
A 3.99% increase in council tax has been proposed for Cornwall to pay to protect vulnerable people and help ensure the delivery of vital services to residents.
This equates to 88 pence per week for a band B property, the most common in Cornwall, and would be broken down into a 1.99% increase in council tax, and a 2% precept for adult social care services to fund increasing demand.
The proposed rise was announced today as part of Cornwall Council’s draft budget proposals for the 2019/20 financial year. Simultaneously, a public consultation was launched to ensure the people of Cornwall have their say during the budget setting process.
Julian German, Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council, said: “We don’t take the proposal to increase council tax lightly because we understand the impact austerity has had on households across Cornwall. However, to ensure we can continue to protect those residents in need, and provide critical services for the people of Cornwall, we are asking residents to pay a little more.”
The draft budget proposals come amid a continued climate of deep budget cuts from central government which has seen core funding slashed from £150m four years ago to £14m next year. The Council’s ambition is to be self-sufficient from April 2022, raising funds through council tax, business rates and charging for services.
Cllr German added: “Next year will mark 10 years since the formation of Cornwall Council. Despite a bleak outlook in other parts of the country, we are in a solid financial position to weather inevitable further funding cuts from central government and an ever increasing demand for services.
“We are not in this position by chance. It is down to a decade of prudent financial planning, a programme of savings equating to £350 million, and an early recognition that we needed to find different ways to provide services for less money.
“However, there is still work to be done. We need to find savings of £31m next financial year and further savings totalling £67 million by 2022/23. These must be achieved whilst ensuring we continue to protect vulnerable children and adults in our communities, maintain and improve our roads, ensure affordable homes are built for local people, help our schools thrive, and provide a green and prosperous Cornwall for residents both now and in the future.”
Throughout the autumn and winter, Cornwall Council will be consulting on the draft budget proposals with local people, town and parish councils, service user groups and stakeholders. This activity will include:
- An online survey asking people how they think the budget should be spent.
- Visits by Cornwall Council cabinet members to 19 town centres across Cornwall to speak to people in the street.
- Engaging with town and parish councils and community groups through Community Network Panels and Localism Summits.
- Holding business and stakeholder sessions.
- Engaging with service user groups.
Despite the challenging financial climate, Cornwall Council has worked to deliver a range of improvements for residents over the past 12 months including:
- Working with partners to provide more than 900 affordable homes
- Introducing the Living Wage Foundation living wage for people who work for the council and its contractors
- Working with partners to achieve a 31% reduction in rough sleeping
- Working to create £1 billion space sector to create thousands of well paid jobs, including a partnership with Virgin Orbit.
- As part of the devolution deal, secured an extra £17 million investment in public transport, providing 41 new buses for Cornwall Council.
Awarded a GLL a 25 year contract to run leisure facilities at zero cost, with the addition of a £12.5 million refurbishment programme and a focus on improving public health.
Posted on 28 September 2018