Cornwall

Council warning issued after Bude landowner prosecuted for non-compliance of planning enforcement notice

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 16:55

Cornwall Council has issued a warning to people who ignore enforcement notices following the successful prosecution of Bude landowner David Lang for failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice.

The Council issued a notice in July 2016 requiring Mr Lang to stop the unauthorised residential use of land, including the removal of two caravans and associated items on land at Wilderland Herb Farm, Morwenstow, Bude.

The case was heard at Bodmin Magistrates Court on the 21 May 2018. Mr Lang was found guilty of non-compliance with the enforcement notice.  The magistrates imposed on Mr Lang a two-year conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £2000 towards the Council’s costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

The Council’s Enforcement Group Leader Jon Drew said “Some people still don’t realise that failing to comply with an Enforcement Notice is a criminal offence. The Council’s Planning Enforcement Team are committed to prosecuting people who do not comply with a notice. 

“In this case the landowner has gained a criminal record, has to pay £2000 costs and still has to comply with the Enforcement Notice.”

Story posted 23 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Council Leader calls for Cornwall to be ambitious for the future

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 16:50

Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter has delivered a rallying call for Cornwall to be ambitious for itself and its people and claim its place on the national and international stage. 

Delivering his first State of Cornwall in the National Context speech at today’s Cornwall Council meeting, Councillor Paynter said: “In a world such as this it would be easy to shrink away from responsibility, looking passively at the events of the wider world. But I believe that now, more than ever, is the time for leadership; the time for putting Cornwall firmly on the map in the consciousness not only of people in these islands but beyond; the time to create a vision for our people that provides opportunity for one and all.”

He talked about the fight to secure new powers for the residents of Cornwall through New Frontiers, the proposal agreed by all partners on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board for changing the region’s economy to bring an additional £2bn and create 20,000 new jobs by 2030, and the Council’s ‘Fairer Funding’ campaign, which has over 88,000 people saw on social media.

Cllr Paynter said: “Working closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership on which I sit, Cornwall is now attracting national and international interest in its world class areas such as creative and digital industries, and is ambitious in emerging areas such as space technologies with its Spaceport bid. This Council has also levered in European funding to support low carbon projects including the UK’s first deep geothermal project, enabling energy to be generated from hot rocks.

“We need to grow our strengths in global industries like renewable energy, creative and digital technologies, and build on our mining heritage to exploit our lithium resources to develop batteries for electric vehicles.”

He called upon fellow Councillors to help make Cornwall Council the best it can possibly be as it works with partners, under its double devolution programme, to give local control over more community facilities. 

“Devolution at all levels is as much a philosophy as it is a programme.  I want power and services to reside at the level that best serves our residents; whether this is control of a library or powers devolved from Whitehall,” he said.

He highlighted the success of the devolution programme in the way local services are provided.  For example,

  • six more libraries have been devolved, whilst at the same time Cornwall achieved the best take up regionally of the summer reading challenge by school children
  • funding for 750 not-for-profit groups to support their communities
  • giving local communities more control on where development happens across Cornwall
  • devolving a combined budget of £1m per year to community networks to spend on small road schemes
  • securing £17m worth of investment into Cornwall’s buses with 700,000 extra journeys on the network, working with partners to launch contactless ticketing and improved signalling on Cornwall’s main rail line.

Cllr Paynter said delivering good quality services and listening to residents would remain core priorities. 

“The ability to travel; clean, open spaces; affordable housing; access to good schools; control of important community assets. These things matter. We’ve been told by our residents that these services matter, so we’ve worked hard to deliver. But there remains more to do. If we are to deliver our priorities we must continue to push for more powers, continue to shape our services based on residents’ needs and work through consensus and partnership.”

 

Posted 22 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Sprinklers to be installed in all new homes provided by Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 16:30

Cornwall Councillors have signalled their desire to lead by example in keeping residents safe from house fires by agreeing to install sprinklers in all homes the Council builds and commissions in the future.

At today's full Council meeting, Councillors voted to approve a motion brought by Councillor Neil Burden, Cornwall Councillor for Stokeclimsland.

As a result sprinklers will be installed across all future Housing Development Programme (HDP) schemes at a cost of around £1.8million. As announced last month, the HDP will see the Council invest up to £170 million in directly building 1,000 new homes on sites across Cornwall. The developments will be a mix of homes for private market rental with 35% for affordable rent or shared ownership, 15% sold on the private market and 50% available for private market rental.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes Andrew Mitchell welcomed the move. "Sprinklers save lives. Our fire service has long advocated for the use of sprinklers as the evidence shows that they can prevent fire from spreading - not only making sure routes are clear for occupants to escape to safety, but also limiting property damage.

"While it is not mandatory to install sprinklers in new homes, this is our opportunity to lead by example. We are investing in building good quality homes for our residents and it is only right that we do all we can to ensure our future housing schemes exceed safety standards. 

"While the Council only provides a minority of all the new homes built in Cornwall, I hope that through our example we can promote wider adoption of this approach both by Registered Provider partners and by developers more generally."

Cornwall Council member for Stokeclimsland Neil Burden who first proposed the motion said: “This is but a small investment that will promote best practice and will make a difference for years to come and maybe when a family’s home and belongings have been saved when the sprinklers are triggered, some reflection on the positive action of this Council will be remembered.”

 

Story posted 22 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

£1.4m grant from Cornwall Council kick-starts second “hot rocks” project in Cornwall

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 16:22

Cornwall Council today committed to exploring the future potential of hot rocks beneath Cornwall, by approving a £1.4m grant to Eden-EGS Energy to unlock a new deep geothermal project at the Eden Project, near St Austell.

Council Leader Adam Paynter welcomed the decision by members today to approve the £1.4m grant, saying this could be a significant moment for Cornwall’s ambition to become a world leader in renewable energy, secure Cornwall’s energy supply, potentially reduce energy bills for residents in the future and create more high quality jobs in engineering, research and technology for the next generation of school leavers.

The project, proposed by EGS Energy in partnership with Eden in Bodelva near St Austell, involves drilling a well to gain access to the hot rocks below, creating enough heat and electricity to potentially power the Eden Project and surrounding homes.  

Cornwall Council has today agreed to provide the £1.4m grant as match funding, subject to the Eden Project achieving funding from other sources.

The project is the second deep geothermal exploration project to receive match funding from the Council since 2016. Eden-EGS Energy will join Geothermal Engineering Limited (GEL), which secured funding of £10.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund in 2017 to drill two deep geothermal wells from its site within the United Downs Industrial Estate and build a 1MW pilot power plant to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of supplying electricity initially and potentially heat. Drilling at United Downs will begin later this year.

The project at United Downs was made possible after a grant of £2.4m by Cornwall Council unlocked a further £5m from private investors to match the European funding. 

Council Leader Adam Paynter said; “Cornwall is the first in the UK to explore the potential to power our economy from deep geothermal energy, the hot rocks and springs lying deep under Cornwall.

“This Council has secured money from national Government which we are using to lever in a total of £35 million funding from private businesses, Europe and research institutions for deep geothermal power.

“As a result companies in Cornwall are beginning drilling at United Downs and today [Cornwall Council] took a decision which will unlock a second site located within Eden.

“This has huge potential not just for Cornwall but for the national economy. Unlike other renewable sources where energy is dependent on the wind or the sun, deep geothermal offers a stable consistent and secure source of energy.

“All of this was made possible through our first devolution deal with Government. We want to build on this through our latest proposal, New Frontiers. We are seeking co-investment from Government in our deep geothermal projects in order to assess the potential to extract valuable minerals such as lithium that will be in high demand across the globe to power the electric vehicles of the future.”

Cabinet portfolio holder for planning and economy, Bob Egerton said; “We know that granite in some areas of Cornwall has the highest heat flow in the UK – and the natural geothermal springs are rich in Lithium deposits.

“If we can find a way to exploit geothermal power successfully, these hot rocks have the potential to provide Cornwall with a rich source of strategic minerals and renewable energy, as well as significant benefits to the local economy from jobs, research and investment.

“By supporting one-off exploration projects like Eden and United Downs, This exploration for geothermal power at the Eden Project is a first step towards testing the technology we need to help us to exploit geothermal power more widely across Cornwall.”

Jordan Rowse, Cornwall Councillor for Par and St Blazey Gate said: "This is fantastic news and really shows the ambition of this Council.  Geothermal energy is not a new resource – it’s something that has been used in one way or another for years and years. However, for something that has been around for so long, it is still ever relevant today, and I don’t doubt that it will become a more vital resource going forward.

Geothermal energy is beneath our feet. In the rocks many, many miles below us there is an untapped pool; a resource that could change energy in Cornwall as we know it.  Geothermal power is innovative; it’s cost-effective and sustainable, it’s environmentally friendly and if it’s there will prove to be reliable. The potential this has for our economy, the inward investment this could attract, and the prospect of Cornish Lithium is something that excites me. I am delighted that this Council has supported, almost unanimously, this project which will seriously look in to the potential of geothermal power. 

This is something Eden have been working on for a number of years now and this is very much a long time coming. Eden is in my division and I absolutely support their brave and innovative efforts to find, extract and produce geothermal power.  This really will allow Cornwall to become a leader in environmental growth and renewable energy."

Story posted 22 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Council agrees to support final phase of Newquay Strategic Route

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 15:03

Cornwall Council today (22 May 2018) agreed to fund a loan of £7.1m from the Council’s capital reserves to the Duchy of Cornwall to bring forward construction of new roads  which will unlock up to 3,880 homes and 58,000 sqm of employment space at Nansledan.

The loan will enable the Duchy of Cornwall to deliver phase 2a, the Western Arm, of the Newquay Strategy Route (NRS) earlier than planned and support the delivery of phases 2 and 3 of the scheme which is valued at £24.4m.

The Duchy has already funded and built the eastern arm and Rialton Link phases of the NSR contributing over £15m to the wider scheme. 

The loan will be provided at commercial rates with the Duchy of Cornwall paying back to the Council both the Capital and the interest on the loan.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Economy Bob Egerton said: “Today’s decision recognises that we can now move forward with the delivery of the Newquay Strategy Route. Without Council intervention the full access road that serves Nansleden would not be likely to be delivered in the next ten years.

Now that Cornwall Council has agreed the loan we can improve the lives of local residents sooner by improving the road network more quickly, as well as bringing forward more homes, jobs and growth to 2030 and beyond. This includes the Chapel Gover site which has planning conditions, restricting the development of 800 new homes, until the full Newquay Strategic Route is delivered.”

Cornwall Councillor for Colan and St Mawgan John Fitter added:  "The commitment by Cornwall Council to provide the balance of funding to enable the Newquay Strategic Route to be completed is excellent news for the residents of Trencreek, Trevenson Road and of course the long suffering residents who live in and around the Quintrell Downs roundabout. When completed, this Strategic route will enable traffic approaching Newquay from the west and wishing to travel to Cornwall Airport Newquay and the Aero Hub to reach their destination while avoiding Quintrell Downs and the impact that vehicles are having on the air quality of the residents who live there.  At the same time the completion of the route will allow a consultation process to begin to consider the closing to vehicles of the Rail Track Trencreek Crossing and Chapel Crossing, the closing of  which will bring major benefits to the quality of life to the residents who live in area "

Following today’s decision it is hoped that construction of the new roads can start in spring 2019 and be completed by January 2021.

 

Story posted 22 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Caradon Community Network Panel to discuss highways and a greater voice for local communities

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 14:05

People in the Caradon Community Network area can hear about highways and plans to give local communities a greater voice at the Caradon Community Network Panel meeting on Thursday 31 May. 

The meeting takes place at 6.30pm in the Council Chamber at the Callington Town Council Offices.  The agenda and more information about the panel are available on www.cornwall.gov.uk/caradoncna

There will be a briefing on the new Community Network Highways Scheme, which gives community network panels a greater influence over local transport schemes.  Community network panels are now able to review and prioritise local schemes and have a budget of £50,000 for highways improvements in their area.

The panel will also discuss other proposals to give local communities a greater voice by strengthening and empowering community network panels.

In addition, there will be updates on neighbourhood planning, as well as local matters from Cornwall, town and parish councillors.

Cornwall Councillor Andrew Long, Chair of Caradon Community Network Panel, said: “The new Community Network Highways Scheme is the first of a range of proposals designed to give our local communities more say about the things that affect them.  Everyone is welcome to come to the Caradon Community Network Panel meeting to learn about the other proposals for community networks and the local issues in our community network area.”

The Caradon Community Network Panel meets every two months to discuss matters that affect the local area and to progress these by working in partnership with Cornwall Council and its partners, including town and parish councils, the voluntary and community sector, and the police and health services. Some of the areas that community networks focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, transport and highway issues. 

Caradon Community Network Panel includes all five Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the following parishes: Callington, Calstock, Linkinhorne, Pillaton, South Hill, St Dominick, St Ive, St Mellion and Stoke Climsland.

The meeting is open to the public and everyone is welcome.

Story posted 22 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Council Leader Adam Paynter’s State of Cornwall in the National Context speech to full Council

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 13:58

We live in uncertain times. The impact of Brexit and a world that is still riven by deep inequalities provide us all with the challenge of how we can foster societies that provide for everyone irrespective of their background, gender or race. In a world such as this it would be easy to shrink away from responsibility, looking passively at the events of the wider world. But I believe that now, more than ever, is the time for leadership; the time for putting Cornwall firmly on the map in the consciousness not only of people in these islands but beyond; the time to create a vision for our people that provides opportunity for one and all.

In an environment of extended austerity, the ability to lead and work with others to deliver on our ambitions is more important than ever. The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly leadership board is an example of how we are governing differently and brings together our partners in a way that is right for Cornwall. The delivery of our services will always be our highest priority, but how we stand up for our residents, campaigning on issues of local, national and international concern will also shape how effective this Council is both now and into the future. We have many strengths; our strong sense of identity and an inclusive culture that welcomes and inspires people from around the world form part of our appeal as a place to visit, and strengthen our brand to trade and export.

It is against this backdrop that I believe the role of the Council is changing. I believe that we should be stronger in how we represent our communities, and equally more responsive to their needs. The days of Councils delivering services in isolation are long gone. Everyone here today has a responsibility to help us on this journey to make this Council the best it can possibly be, and I feel strongly that we have made great strides in the last year. 

Residents and Communities

Cornwall Council exists to serve our residents. All elected Members in this room today represent their residents to the best of their abilities, and we all share common goals in wanting the very best outcomes for our communities and Cornwall. I am absolutely committed to ensuring that this Council continues to shape and deliver services in the right way and at the right level ensuring that we listen and act. This council is ground breaking in many of these areas, with its double devolution programme placing more community facilities under local control. Devolution at all levels is as much a philosophy as it is a programme: I want power and services to reside at the level that best serves our residents; whether this is control of a library or powers devolved from Whitehall.

The Council’s ability to shape local services working with others is often not well understood; the breadth of services that we provide or have devolved is significant, often impacting on our most essential needs and how these are run at a local level and their impact on place is crucial to ensuring our residents have the best life chances. Our achievements during the last year have been impressive. Six more libraries are now under local control, whilst at the same time we achieved the best take up regionally of the summer reading challenge by school children, and funding for 750 not-for-profit groups to support their communities has been provided by this Council. Over one hundred neighbourhood development plans across Cornwall have now been started, and we have taken the decision to devolve a combined budget of £1m per year to community networks to spend on small road schemes. We have made it easier for people to report potholes or blocked drains more easily, ensuring that they hear back from us when they are fixed usually within 72 hours. Cornwall Council is also leading the way on delivering a fully integrated transport system, launching contactless ticketing and improved signalling on Cornwall’s main rail line working with National Rail, and through our devolution programme we secured £17m worth of investment into Cornwall’s buses. 700,000 extra people now use the network.

This Council has also created 2,000 more school places, as well as helping 75% of our children leaving care gain education, training or employment – one of the highest levels in the country. This Council is also amongst the best in the country for delivering homes, delivering 143 homes including 87 affordable homes in the last year alone. Across Cornwall there were over 800 affordable homes delivered by the Council and its partners. Our pipeline of directly delivered houses is progressing well and more sites will come to the next cabinet meeting.

Nine in 10 residents were happy with our refuse collection service, and we supported 233 community litter picks across Cornwall. It is also the 8th consecutive year of winning a national award for our stray dog service where we return over 90% of all strays to their owners.

Many of these services impact on communities immediate quality of life; the ability to travel; clean, open spaces; affordable housing; access to good schools; control of important community assets. These things matter. We have been told by our residents that they matter. This is why I am ensuring that we take action to meet these needs.

Public sector partners

As I said at the start, Cornwall Council needs to work with its partners to ensure we deliver the best possible services to our residents. 1,000 fewer people in Cornwall were delayed leaving hospital this year compared to last year, as a result of our investment in having the right care packages ready as soon as they were well enough to leave. Our new domicilary care contracts start next month and will stop 15 minute visits and deliver the foundation living wage. Next Wednsday Rob Rotchell will sign the Ethical Care Charter with the Unions. Our investment in vulnerable adults and children will increase year on year. Blue light integration in Cornwall is revolutionising the way our emergency services work and collaborate, and through multi-agency working we have reduced the number of people sleeping rough in Cornwall by around a third – from 99 on a typical night in November 2016 to 68 on the same night in 2017. Other initiatives such as ‘safer towns’ are building on Newquay Safe and building on our reputation for innovation and understanding our communities through partnership.

Businesses

The role of the Council with businesses is often not well understood; coverage of our activities can sometimes be skewed towards a narrative that is seen as extractive or bureaucratic. I firmly believe that this needs to be challenged: this Council is not only shaping services at a local level and working with partners, we are also supporting businesses. This council invested over £250m into local businesses through it supplier arrangements last year, supporting jobs and many SMEs across Cornwall. This figure has gone up from last year, and is nationally significant. This figure is roughly equivalent to the total amount of council tax that we collect.

During the last year, due to a range of interventions average earnings rose by 5.6%, more than 3 times the national average. Our national award winning ‘Better Business for All’ initiative has supported over 9,000 businesses last year alone, ensuring that they are operating to the best of their abilities. This council has committed to an ambitious investment programme that will pump prime our economy in areas where we have real strengths, with the option to match fund against a future domestic funding programme. Working closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership on which I sit, Cornwall is now attracting national and international interest in its world class areas such as creative and digital industries, and is ambitious in emerging areas such as space technologies with its Spaceport bid. This council has also levered in European funding to support low carbon projects including the UK’s first deep geothermal project, enabling energy to be generated from hot rocks, and the world’s first local energy market pilot rewarding local businesses and people for being more flexible with their energy demands so it can be matched to supply. Cornwall is an international success story in this area, and much of this is driven by the Council: Cornwall now produces 35% of its electricity from renewable sources, up from 32% last year.

At the latest leadership board, I was heartened to hear the positive comments from Toby Parkin of the Chamber of Commerce stating that there was an increased positively and optimism from local businesses with recognition of how well the council was working with them. I am determined that we continue to build on this.

National government

This Council continues to work with national Government, and be recognised for its excellence in a number of areas. The Local Government Peer Review recognised that the council has strong political leadership, evident in the way that the new administration established clear political priorities and effective working practices. The Council was also praised for putting in place a framework of stronger governance and sharper assurance arrangements that both drive and challenge the way it ‘does business’. Further praise was proffered for the transparency, simplicity and clarity of the Council’s revised performance reporting, which was viewed as a model of good practice in the way it is now being used, and the recent audit of our performance management reflects this with an improvement in status. The peer review report also recognised the influence of the Chief Executive, whose drive has helped establish an officer structure that will enable Cornwall Council to help achieve the Council’s political ambitions. These changes alongside other enablers were recognised as creating a strong culture of accountability, which in turn will positively impact on the achievement of priorities.

This Council has ensured that Cornwall continues to negotiate with Government to secure the powers that we need to deliver the best services possible for our residents. We remain the only rural area to have secured a devolution deal. Through this deal, we secured intermediate body status which gave us control over £184m of EU funding. Last year we were one of only 6 areas in the UK to retain our business rates, delivering an additional £8m for essential public services in Cornwall this year. This deal also secured around £8m for an energy efficiency scheme that we co-designed with Whitehall; this will target vulnerable households rather than simply setting criteria based on the type of house.

Needless to say, without the dedication and commitment of both elected members and the staff that work tirelessly for this organisation, none of this would have been possible. But there remains more to do. If we are to deliver our priorities we must continue to push for more powers, continue to shape our services based on residents’ needs and work through consensus and partnership.

This Council should be proud of its achievements. We are working hard to deliver for our communities, strengthening our partnerships and fighting hard to secure a good deal for Cornwall in funding and new powers. Last year, our ‘Fairer Funding’ campaign was supported by over 88,000 people on social media. New Frontiers our proposal that was agreed by all partners to change the region’s economy would bring an additional £2bn and create 20,000 new jobs by 2030. It includes an ask that we should not lose out on funding in a post Brexit UK. It would also enable Cornwall to be the first ‘net extractor’ of marine plastics, grow our strengths in global industries like renewable energy, creative and digital technologies, and build on our mining heritage to exploit our lithium resources to develop batteries for electric vehicles. I will continue to fight for Cornwall, ensuring that this council shows the leadership that is required in this changing world to put Cornwall at the heart of national and international decision making.

Link to Annual Report 2017-18

Posted 22 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Stewardship of the Council report by the Chief Executive

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 13:35

Chief Executive Kate Kennally's Stewardship of the Council report to Cornwall Council members on 22 May 2018.

Can I start by congratulating the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council on their re-appointment and pay tribute to the important work that Councillor May and Councillor Frank have undertaken during the past year.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Cornwall Civic Awards and it really brought home the importance and value that the Council’s civic activities bring to strengthening the ‘fabric of society’ in Cornwall.

The definition of the ‘fabric of society’ is that everyone of us is in this together and over the past year, aside from the occasional and understandable political differences of opinion, it has felt that the Council and our partners have been pulling in the same direction to improve Cornwall and put the people of Cornwall first.

The Council’s new Business Plan seeks to do just that and I’m grateful to the Leader, the Cabinet and the rest of the Members in setting the strategic direction and a clear set of priorities that I have focused the organisation on delivering on your behalf.

A wonderful illustration of the fabric of society being strong in Cornwall was the response to the flash flooding that hit Coverack last July. Coming as it did a few weeks after the Grenfell Tower disaster, it showed a local authority responding and working with a local community to overcome adversity. Like you, I was extremely proud and appreciative of all the officers, councillors and partners that put so much time and effort in getting life back to normal in Coverack as quickly as possible.

The Council’s response to the Coverack flood was one of a number of high points during the last twelve months and there are others that are set out in the Annual Report that Members have received, some of which I will briefly touch on as part of this Stewardship report.

Once again, I want to share an honest assessment of our progress in delivering the Council’s Priorities for Cornwall.

I want to do this through the prism of the ‘balanced scorecard’ that I introduced last year, which is an effective way of assessing the overall health of an organisation by the strength of all four pillars that are needed for success. These are:

  • an engaged workforce, with the capability and capacity to deliver;
  • robust finances, with the money to match its ambitions;
  • strong performance, with a track record of delivery;
  • the trust of its customers – for us, our residents.

So, what does the balanced scorecard for Cornwall Council look like this year?

Let us first consider our workforce.

We employ around 5,500 people to deliver some 250 statutory responsibilities – we also have a further 3,000 employees working in our Council owned companies. They are passionate about Cornwall and committed to their work.

Over the past year I’ve prioritised meeting with the monthly winners of the Council’s One and All employee awards. A common phrase in all the One and All nominations is that employees of this organisation and going above and beyond for the benefit of the people that we serve.

I maintain that this Council is fortunate in having a hardworking and loyal workforce. That said, over the past year there has been a sustained focus on increasing the capability and capability of the whole organisation to avoid relying on the few.

Given the importance and challenge of improving the provision of health and social care in Cornwall – as evident from the results of the Residents’ Survey and CQC reports –I have increased the Council’s leadership capacity to deliver on our Healthy Cornwall priority by appointing Helen Charlesworth-May to the new post of Strategic Director for Adult Social Care and Health, jointly funded with NHS England.

While it is pleasing that the Peer Review team recognised that the capacity and capability of the senior leadership team has been strengthened to deliver the Council’s ambitions they identified that the next task is to ensure that there is the same focus and rigour throughout the rest of the organisation.

To that end a number of Service-level restructures have either concluded or about to conclude to ensure that we have the right skills at a working level, which I am hoping Members will see the benefit of over the coming months – our communications offer being a case in point.

I have been eager to ensure that this transformation of the organisation has been undertaken in a way that maintains the high levels of employee engagement that the Council currently enjoys which continues to be above the public sector average. During 17/18 we have completed a Leadership Development programme across the organisation, increased the number of Cornwall Council apprenticeships, exceeding our target as well as looking at further ways to improve health and well-being and reduce sickness absence.

For this year our focus will be on ensuring that we have the cultural and future workforce skills necessary to deliver on our digital transformation, income generation and economic growth priorities as well as taking proactive action to reduce the published gender pay gap of the Council which at 12% was below the national average of 18%, but still a gap to be closed.

Let’s now turn to the second pillar of our balanced scorecard, our spending.

The proportion of our spending funded through locally raised funds has increased as a result of successfully piloting the 100% retention of business rates. This is another example of Cornwall Council being the trailblazer for the rural authorities and one that has generated an extra £8m of funds as we now benefit directly from the business growth that we help create.

It also why it is even more important that we place achieving good value for local taxpayers at the heart of all we do and we still have some way to go to convince people that we do. The residents’ survey conducted last summer shows that less than a third of residents think that the Council provides value for money and our analysis shows that this has a direct bearing on satisfaction levels with how the Council runs things overall.

Improving this perception of us is a key priority and I’m determined that we get more of our positive messages heard by residents and businesses. For example, at a time when other councils are experiencing severe financial challenges, Northamptonshire being the most extreme case, this Council is in a position to protect spending in the areas that matter most to our residents and at the same time we are also able to invest in Cornwall’s future.

Our sound financial position will enable the council to invest up to £600m in the Duchy to deliver the homes and jobs people need whilst delivering a return for the council. It has also enabled the council to lead from the front by providing a genuine living wage for the work that people in Cornwall do. By allocating £10m over the next four years to ensure that the Foundation Living Wage is paid to employees of the Council’s contractors, particularly our social care providers to improve recruitment and retention, this Council is directly contributing to raising living standards and narrowing the wage gap in Cornwall.

Whilst our financial position remains sound –for example the outturn position for 17/18 was a small Council underspend of £2.7m, equivalent to 0.5% of the net revenue budget, we cannot ignore the fact that the organisation is committed to saving a further £77m over the next four years.  We need to improve on the delivery of our agreed individual savings plans and capital investment and I have already taken steps to ensure that this is the case through the budget setting process. This need for improvement will be reflected in suite of performance measures for 18/19 that will be considered by Cabinet next month.

So let’s turn to the third pillar of our balanced scorecard, our performance.

Last year the Council agreed a number of performance measures with ambitious targets.

The good news is that of the 35 measures that are reported quarterly, 63% either achieved or exceeded the target set. One of the performance highlights was the turnaround in the Delayed Transfers of Care attributable to the Council which is indicative of the wider transformation and incremental improvement of adult social care in Cornwall.  

Performance in Children and Families services has also been positive, with 75% of children leaving our care immediately entering education, training or employment which compares very favourably with the national average of 50%.

Other services have also improved performance in key areas.

Our recycling rates continue to creep up, with the new Waste Strategy designed to accelerate performance and make good on one of the aims of our Green and Prosperous Cornwall priority. On the back of adopting the Local Plan, the Council is enjoying more success in defending planning appeals with a year-end performance of 73% of appeals won, compared with a target of 65%.

Of the 30 annual measures, over two thirds have either improved or stayed broadly similar to the previous year.

One of the key successes reflects the Homes for Cornwall priority, with 900 new affordable homes provided – one hundred more than our target for the year. While this is clearly good news, we need to continue to accelerate our affordable homes build rate as one of the performance measures that missed the year-end target is the number of households in temporary accommodation.

It is also worth noting that the percentage of total Council spend with local suppliers has increased and exceeded the target set, which considering the monetary value that this represents, is of significant benefit to the Cornish economy.

At this point I want to play credit to the work undertaken by the Overview and Scrutiny Committees, the majority of which have been established for just 12 months. However, in that short time, the Committees have added tremendous value to organisational improvement, particularly the numerous inquiries – which didn’t go unnoticed by the Peer Review team.

Of course, each of these pillars of our balanced scorecard - our workforce, our spending, our performance – are only meaningful insofar as they support better outcomes for our customers.

These are the people who fund our spending, who use our services, and who we are here to serve. The greater their trust in the Council, the bolder we can be in standing up for Cornwall.

Customer satisfaction with a range of Council services is strong. According to the latest Biffa survey 88% of residents are satisfied with the Council’s refuse collection service, with similarly high levels of 87% satisfaction amongst our council housing tenants from the last Cornwall Housing survey. Almost nine in ten people who use our services for children and families such as children’s social care are satisfied (87%) and over 85% of people in Cornwall who use our sports and leisure services are satisfied with them.

For the first time our last resident survey asked whether we ‘get it right first time’ for our customers, with 72% responding positively, and the business plan makes driving this up further a priority. And we have achieved a significant improvement in our responsiveness where this isn’t the case, with 97% of enquiries dealt with in 10 working days, well in excess of our 90% target

But as the Residents’ Survey demonstrated, we still have some way to go to gain trust, despite improvements being made against key performance targets and budgets well managed.

Where national comparisons exist, the resident satisfaction levels with the council are well below the local government average. There is still too wide adisparity between the Council’s strong reputation and performance at national level and the views of local communities. To change this, over the last 12 months, I have allocated a senior Council officer to each of the 19 Community Networks to work with you to address local priorities as well as launching our new Customer Service Promise next month to help improve the experience of people contacting the Council.

It is crucial that progress is made swiftly, as improved communications, honest dialogue and meaningful engagement – with a stronger focus on place - are key to building public trust.  

In conclusion, demonstrable progress has been made during the first year of this new administration with improved performance and delivery in a number of key areas across the Council.  It was pleasing that this view was independently validated by the Corporate Peer Review team in December with further endorsement coming from an increase in the number of Internal Audit reports reflecting improved assurance levels in key areas such as contract management, performance management and governance arrangements with our Group of Companies.

However, as the Peer team noted, there is still more to be done but we have the right building blocks in place and with the continued support of Members, I am confident of greater success as we work together to  improve the quality of life for all the people that we are here to serve.

Link to Annual Report 2017 -18

Posted 22 May 2018 

Categories: Cornwall

Music equipment seized in Looe noise dispute

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:46

It's a case of 'please DO stop the music' for one West Looe resident who has had his music equipment confiscated for repeatedly ignoring Council requests to turn the music down.

A CD player, amplifiers and stereos were removed by the Council's Community Protection Team following an investigation into loud rock music regularly being played into the early hours of the morning at an address in Princes Square.

Prompted by complaints about the noise levels, and following repeated requests between November 2017 and March 2018 to turn down the music, officers served a noise abatement notice on the occupant formally requiring him to take action.

However this warning went unheeded and so last week Bodmin Magistrates Court approved a warrant for officers to seize the music equipment and confiscate it for 28 days.

The Council's Community Protection Team deals with thousands of noise complaints each year, said Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and public protection.

"Excessive noise can seriously impact on quality of life and our officers are there to step in when people are unwilling to consider those living around them," she said.

"Many complaints are resolved informally, however we will take enforcement action on those who ignore warnings and continue to cause a nuisance."

Read more about what to do if you have a concern about noise pollution

Categories: Cornwall

Council announces fast-tracked £30m blitz on potholes and road maintenance

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 00:01

Potholes and road maintenance across Cornwall will get a fast-tracked £30 million improvement blitz over three years, Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter announced today.

Ten million pounds of Highways capital funding will be brought forward to stem the rising maintenance backlog and respond to resident concerns about the state of Cornwall’s roads, bringing the total budget for 2018/19 up to £36.2m, with further work to be undertaken to allocate a further £20m in years two and three.

Councillor Paynter said: “Compared to many other local authority networks, our roads are in good condition, but if we don’t take more proactive action, we will face real issues.

“Some increases in capital funding from central government and one-off capital injections via funds such as the pothole grant have helped, but a prolonged wet and cold winter and two significant snow events have made our roads even more susceptible to damage.

“We need to take urgent action to eliminate the conditions which promote the formation of potholes, or we will face the same problems every year and will no longer be in the top 25% for condition of our A, B and U road networks,” he warned.

Cabinet Member for Transport Geoff Brown said in 2016 a total of 27,660 potholes were recorded and 28,953 in 2017.

“So far in 2018 16,547 potholes have been recorded. If this trend continues for the remainder of the year, this will soar to a projected 45,000 potholes.

"Bringing forward this funding will enable us to halt the gradual decline in our rural network and over time we will see an improvement in the resilience of Cornish roads".

The £30m over three years will be invested in a targeted programme of works to:

  • target areas of deterioration where potholes have already formed and those areas where condition data indicates that they will occur
  • deal with longstanding maintenance issues which have the potential to adversely affect highway condition
  • support schemes which make a demonstrable and noticeable difference to the local community.

“This funding means we’ll be able to blitz a large number of potholes, as well as fix ditches, boltholes and culverts where there have been longstanding problems. It will also mean road surfaces will be strengthened to withstand the action of rain, frost and snow,” Cllr Brown said.

This investment is on top of the 53 schemes treated with the £5m challenge fund award secured from the Department for Transport last August.

Cornwall Council is responsible for a highway network of 7,350Km (approx. 4500 miles), valued in excess of £8 billion and one of the most valuable asset under the Council’s control.

The Council’s highway network currently faces an accumulated maintenance backlog in excess of £284m. In the 2017 Resident Survey, only 28.5% of respondents were satisfied with road maintenance.

Story posted 22 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Warning issued to hoax callers

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:30

A spate of hoax calls to Cornwall's fire service has prompted an urgent warning for people to think twice before a silly prank puts someone else’s life in danger.

Cornwall Councillor Sue James, Portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection, said the Critical Control Centre received 12 hoax calls on Sunday 20 May.

“Operators treat every call as if it were serious until they are certain it is not. Skilled Fire Service control operators realised the calls yesterday were a hoax so no appliances were mobilised, reducing the waste of resources and the risk crews would be delayed attending a real emergency,” she said. 

Making hoax calls is illegal. People can be prosecuted for making hoax calls with a fine of up to £5,000 or six months in prison.

All 999 calls made to the Critical Control Centre are recorded and can be instantly traced back to the caller. This doesn't just apply to land lines; even calls from public phone boxes and mobile phones are taped and could be traced. Even dialling the prefix '141' will not block your identification when making a 999 call.

“People don’t always think about the consequences of their irresponsible actions. In the worst case scenario, a hoax call endangers lives and can cause serious harm to property. Anyone thinking it’s funny or just a prank should think again.

“The Fire and Rescue Service knows the phone number of all callers and has a recording of their voice so can and will report hoax calls to the Police to investigate,” Cllr James said.

In 2016/17, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service recorded 51 hoax calls. The average recorded cost of hoax calls is approximately £250 per call out.

Categories: Cornwall

Highways on the agenda for Cornwall Gateway Community Network Panel

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:06

Residents of the Cornwall Gateway Community Network area can find out more about highways matters at the Cornwall Gateway Community Network Panel annual general meeting at 6.30pm on Tuesday 29 May at Millbrook Village Hall, The Parade, Millbrook.

The agenda and more information about the panel are available on our Cornwall Gateway Community Network page. 

The meeting will include an update on the A38, and a representative from CORMAC will give an update on local highways maintenance.

There will also be an opportunity to hear about the new Community Network Highways Scheme, which gives community network panels a greater influence over local and major transport schemes.  Community network panels are now able to review and prioritise local schemes and have a budget of £50,000 for highways improvements in their area.

As this is the annual general meeting, the panel will also elect a chair for the next 12 months and consider its priorities for the coming year.

Derek Holley, Chair of Cornwall Gateway Community Network Panel said: “I would encourage everyone to come along to the Cornwall Gateway Community Network Panel meeting to learn more about the local issues in south-east Cornwall.  Highways play an important role in connecting our businesses and communities and much of this meeting will be devoted to highways matters.  You’ll also have a chance to meet your Cornwall, town and parish councillors and to hear their local updates and an update on local policing.”

Cornwall Gateway Network Panel meets quarterly.  Some of the areas that community networks focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, transport and highway issues. 

Cornwall Gateway Community Network Panel includes all eight Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the 11 parishes in the community network: Antony, Botus Fleming, Landrake with St Erney, Landulph, Maker-with-Rame, Millbrook, Saltash, Sheviock, St Germans, St John and Torpoint.

The meeting is open to the public and everyone is welcome to come along.

Story posted 18 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Hot topics at next week’s full Council – 22 May

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 13:21

Hot rocks, sprinklers and traffic routes are on the agenda for the next full Council meeting.

Matters up for discussion include ‘hot rocks’, providing a commercial rate loan to bring forward work on improved traffic flows around Nansledan and Newquay and installation of sprinklers in all Council new builds.

The meeting will be held at 10.30am on Tuesday 22 May 2018.

The agenda includes a proposal to provide a £1.4m grant to Eden-EGS Energy to help fund a new ‘hot rocks’ project near St Austell, which could unlock the potential for more deep geothermal power in Cornwall.

The project, proposed in Bodelva near St Austell, involves drilling a well to gain access to the hot rocks below with the aim of creating enough heat and electricity to potentially power the Eden Project and surrounding homes.

If supported by full Council, the £1.4m grant would be considered match funding, subject to Eden-EGS Energy achieving funding from other sources including the European Development Fund.

Cabinet portfolio holder for Planning and Economy, Bob Egerton, said: “Cornwall is rich in natural resources and our Council priorities aim to become a world leader in renewable energy, creating more and better paid jobs for people in Cornwall.

“This Council has secured money from national Government which we are using to lever in a total of £35 million funding from private businesses, Europe and research institutions for geothermal energy. This mean Cornwall is the first in the UK to explore the potential to power our economy from deep geothermal energy, the hot rocks and springs lying deep under Cornwall.

“Exploratory work is already underway at United Downs, with the Bodelva site providing further opportunities, if supported. This has huge potential not just for Cornwall but for the national economy. Unlike other renewable sources where energy is dependent on the wind or the sun, deep geothermal offers a stable consistent and secure source of energy.

“This also builds on our devolution deal with Government – and our latest proposition, New Frontiers, which seeks co-investment from Government to piggy-back on our deep geothermal projects, and assess the potential to extract lithium resource that will be in high demand across the globe to power the electric vehicles of the future.”

Councillors will also consider a proposal to install sprinklers in all domestic new builds for sale or let by the Council at a cost of £1.8m. In future, this could also be extended to all homes commissioned by or purchased by the Council.

“This proposal to install sprinklers in all Council new builds could potentially save lives and reduce property damage, as well as reduce insurance costs and callouts by the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service,” Cabinet portfolio holder for Homes Andrew Mitchell said.

Along with hot rocks and sprinklers, loan funding of £7.1m from the Council’s capital reserves to the Duchy of Cornwall is being considered to bring forward construction of new roads which will deliver up to 3,880 homes and 58,000 sqm of employment space at Nansledan.

If approved, this loan will enable the Duchy of Cornwall to deliver phase 2a of the scheme earlier than planned. The Duchy has already funded and built the eastern arm and Rialton Link phases of the NSR contributing over £15m to the wider scheme. 

The loan would be provided at commercial rates with the Duchy of Cornwall paying back to the Council both the Capital and the interest on the loan.

Cabinet has already agreed funding of £8.7m to help pay for the high infrastructure costs associated with the rail and stream bridges in phase three.  This will support Newquay’s wider transport strategy by providing a more efficient transport network leading to better journey times for drivers and reducing congestion for local people through the villages of Trencreek and Quintrell Downs. The Council’s £8.7m investment would support the direct delivery of the NSR. It is not a grant to Nansledan’s developers or landowners.

“Without Council intervention the full Newquay Strategic Route is not likely to be delivered in the next ten years. This proposal provides a way forward to make the lives of local residents better by improving the road network more quickly, as well as bringing forward more homes, jobs and growth,” Cabinet portfolio holder for Planning and Economy, Bob Egerton, said.

Changes to membership of committees will also be considered, along with the tabling of various committee annual reports.

Members of the public are able to attend full Council meetings in person at New County Hall, or can watch the meeting via a live webcast.

Members of the public can also submit questions no later than midday two clear working days before the meeting. 

Story posted 17 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Flying high as Cornwall gains the most blue flags again

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 11:17

Beach champions across Cornwall are celebrating brilliant news today (17 May 2018) as 13 prepare to hoist either, or both, a world-renowned Blue Flag or Seaside Award motif into the sky above their area.  For the fourth year running, Rock-based Sharp’s Brewery has helped ensure that Cornish beaches are the best in the world, continually stepping up to ensure the county has more iconic Blue Flags and Seaside Awards, flying over the coastline, than any other part of the UK.

Sharp’s sponsorship provides the funding for Cornwall Council to make the applications and work with the communities who deliver environmental initiatives, all of which make this fantastic achievement possible.

And in Newquay there is extra reason to celebrate as Great Western Beach has been awarded the world-renowned Blue Flag in a first for the popular destination.  The beach champions here have also created the country’s only beach system that allows them to welcome dogs to a certain area of the beach, whilst ensuring the new Blue Flag area is dog free to comply with the required global standards.

Surrounded by rugged wild beauty at its home in North Cornwall, multi award-winning Sharp’s Brewery is continually giving back to the coast that inspires its creativity providing vital funding for the 2018 Blue Flag and Seaside Award applications, in Cornwall and beyond. Over £32,000 towards the costs of these applications, and other vital Blue Flag related projects has been provided over four years as well as other related programmes such as BeachCare’s Beach Battalion squad.

The iconic Blue Flags, an international quality mark for beaches, reassure visitors and locals alike that Cornwall’s key areas are clean, safe and recommended, boosting tourism, business and helping inspire return visits. Blue Flags and Seaside Awards are only awarded to coastal destinations that boast the highest qualities of water, facilities, safety, keep clean programmes, environmental education and management.

Keep Britain Tidy, the organisation responsible for the awards in the UK, today (17 May 2018) announced that 13 beaches in Cornwall have been awarded either one, or both of the status marks. These include 13 Seaside Awards and seven Blue Flags, making Cornwall a great destination for beach goers and ocean adventurers to visit all year round. Some beaches have received both Blue Flag and Seaside awards to achieve this number.

Thanks to all the hard work of the local beach champions, Cornwall Council and the funding from Sharp’s Brewery, the iconic Blue Flags, and Seaside Award flags, will fly over Gyllyngvase in Falmouth, Porthmeor in St Ives, Polzeath, Porthtowan, Widemouth Bay, Trevone Bay and now Great Western in Newquay.

Porth in Newquay, Summerleaze and Crooklets in Bude, Perranporth, Porthminster in St Ives, Sennen Cove and the Blue Flag winners have been awarded Seaside Awards again this year. 

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for environment and public protection, Sue James, welcomed the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards.

 “Our success in being awarded so many Blue Flag and Seaside Awards confirm what we who live here already know – that Cornish beaches are among the best in the world. I want to thank all those people in communities across Cornwall, who have given their time and dedication to looking after our beautiful beaches. They should all be rightly proud of these awards.  Local bathing champions and beach “guardians” who raise awareness about marine litter and those who organise beach cleans all play a really valuable role in helping us to protect and maintain Cornwall’s reputation as a great place to live and a wonderful place to visit.  I also want to thank Sharps Brewery who once again played a key role in sponsoring the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards applications.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “It is fantastic news for Cornwall’s holiday-makers, overseas visitors, residents and businesses that we have been able to award an amazing 20 flags to the county’s beaches this year. “The support from Sharp’s Brewery is invaluable in supporting both Cornwall’s beaches and volunteers, and the Blue Flag more widely – which improves the quality of England’s coastline and promotes our best beaches. “The success of Cornwall’s beaches in reaching the very high standards of both awards are a real testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our beaches – from beach managers and volunteers to local people and businesses.”

James Nicholls, Senior Brand Manager at Sharp’s Brewery said: "With Sharp’s Brewery being based in Rock, North Cornwall, the coastline and our beaches are deeply important to us. We are delighted to have supported our hard working beach champions and local volunteers, as well as Cornwall Council, and BeachCare (part of Keep Britain Tidy) over the last four years with our support now totalling in excess of £32,000.”

James continued: “The team at Sharp’s fully appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into gaining, and keeping, so many iconic Cornish Blue Flag and Seaside Awards. Thanks and congratulations to all of these thirteen beaches and to all involved behind the scenes, from us all at Sharp’s Brewery.”

Sharp’s Brewery has also been supporting a brand new initiative in collaboration with Universal Record’s Mercury KX label through sales of its Atlantic Pale Ale. Empowering the ocean to fund its own survival through the creation of ‘Keynvor (meaning ‘ocean’ in Cornish), a recording artist. Keynvor's debut single 'Preservation' is a collaboration with upcoming artist Sebastian Plano. Every stream of Keynvor raises money to protect the Atlantic coastline, with royalties going to Cornwall based charity, Surfers Against Sewage.

Published on 17 May

Categories: Cornwall

New Chief Executive of LEP and Service Director for Economic Development and Enterprise appointed

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 19:28

Following an extensive external recruitment process, Mr Glenn Caplin has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer for the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP and Service Director (Economic Development and Enterprise) for Cornwall Council.

The response to our search for a new CEO and Service Director was extensive and there was a tremendous amount of interest in the role from across the private and public sectors for the role.

Glenn brings a wealth of experience to the role and has a deep understanding of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly business sector. He was most recently Director of Strategic Innovation Projects at Falmouth University where he led the university’s venture portfolio work.

Prior to that Glenn was Head of Economic Development, Skills and Culture at Cornwall Council where he set the direction of the Council’s Economic Development and Culture Strategy and its implementation.  He has also held a number of business and economic development roles in the Council and the Cornwall Development Company.

Chair of the LEP, Mark Duddridge said: “This role will have a strong focus on engaging and working with businesses across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, setting the strategic direction for the economic growth of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“We are ambitious about making Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly competitive and attractive to business and inward investment, and exploiting the enormous opportunities we have around space, devolution, the launch of our financial loan scheme, the future role of LEPs and the transition from EU to UK funding. Glenn is a fantastic appointment to the role and we are delighted he is joining us.”

Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for Planning and Economy, Bob Egerton, welcomed Glenn’s appointment: “It is fantastic to be appointing local talent and someone who has a deep knowledge of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, backed by a  strong track record of results in economic development and growth. Glenn’s knowledge of and his prior work around skills and economic growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will be invaluable in bringing forward the Council’s and the LEP’s very extensive economic skill and innovation programme.”

Glenn Caplin said he was looking forward to commencing in the role. “I am delighted to be appointed to the role. I am passionate about the potential of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and am looking forward to the enormous opportunities this role provides to support the growth of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly business sector,” he said.

“We already have some amazing businesses in sectors ranging from digital to creative to renewable energy and aerospace. These form the basis of the LEPs 10 Opportunities and my ambition will be to develop and support these even further. I am also looking forward to working with sectors such as tourism and agri-food which also play a big part in the regional economy”.

Glenn will start in the role in July. 

Story posted 10 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council hands over Coronation Park to be managed by local community

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 16:00

Exciting plans to preserve and improve Coronation Park, one of Cornwall’s most historic public parks, have been finalised between Cornwall Council and community group South Kerrier Alliance (SKA).

In a ground-breaking agreement, SKA will take on a 99-year lease of the park from Cornwall Council with the Council contributing £109,000 towards capital works improvements.

SKA will also be supported by funding from the Helston Downsland Charity and grant monies of £81,447 from West Cornwall Local Action Group through the LEADER programme. With additional money pledged directly by SKA, this will create a £300,000 investment fund for the Park.

The £300,000 will be spent on improving the boating lake, paths, play park and general repairs as well as making a significant contribution towards a new skate park. Additional funds will be needed to fully replace the Park’s skate equipment but the SKA team is confident that with help from the community a new skate park could be up and running before the end of 2018.

The handover is part of Cornwall Council’s commitment to localism and devolution. Devolving property and services currently held by Cornwall Council gives our local communities the opportunity to shape their areas, make the improvements that sometimes only local knowledge can provide and respond to the demand for local facilities, led by the communities they serve.

David Turnbull, Director of SKA said: “As a not-for-profit community group, the capital promised by Cornwall Council has provided essential match funding, allowing us to apply for additional grants.

We’ve also had wonderful assistance from the Helston Downsland Charity who have supported the project throughout its planning stages and committed £52,000 of funding.”

Councillor for Porthleven and Helston West, Andrew Wallis said: "Coronation Park is not only important to the people of Helston, but also the wider community who have long enjoyed it. It’s a beautiful space recognised as a real haven for families. The Park is the perfect place to relax, walk, row a boat, skateboard or simply eat ice-cream.“

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods said: “We’re delighted that this community group has finally secured the powers and investment to run the park. This news comes following a lengthy period of detailed talks and preparations between the Council and South Kerrier Alliance. The project is also a strong example of local devolution in practise – which means it’ll be run by the local community for the local community.”

SKA plan to manage the Park as a non-profit community project with income from the car park, café and cycle hire leases covering the day to day overheads.

“Our plan is to employ a Park Keeper and Apprentice based in the Park, working as part of our team in The Old Cattle Market to look after this beautiful place” said Sarah Vine, Business Manager for SKA. “However, we wouldn’t have been confident to take on such a project without the guarantee of capital funding to address the current issues”.

Speaking on behalf of Helston Downsland Charity, Tim Grattan-Kane said: “This project shows what can be achieved when Cornwall Council, the Downsland Charity and Community Groups work together. It’s a real boost for Helston and will ensure this much-loved amenity is maintained for future generations.”

Further details will be posted on the Coronation Park Helston Facebook page.

 Posted on 15 May

Categories: Cornwall

Council calls for more foster carers

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 14:59

This Foster Care Fortnight (14 – 27 May), Cornwall Council is appealing for people to come forward as potential foster carers to look after vulnerable children and young people who are unable to live with their families.

Looking after vulnerable children is everyone’s business, and with 460 children in Cornwall unable to live at home, there is an urgent need for many more foster carers who are able to offer them guidance, stability and love. There is also a need for people who can care for a child or young person permanently until they reach independence.

Children and young people may be unable to live with their families for a number of reasons such as their parents being ill, family relationships problems or because they have suffered from abuse or neglect.

Michelle and Dan are foster carers in Cornwall and have cared for nearly 20 children and young people over the years. They said:  “Fostering for us means that we are making a difference in children’s lives. Watching sad, anxious faces slowly changing into happy and confident ones, and rebuilding the trust that they have lost. It can be challenging sometimes and even heart breaking but the results are so rewarding. This is the best thing we have ever done in our lives. We love it with all our hearts”

Paul, a young person who has been in foster care, said: "Being in foster care has changed my life for the better. I came from a negative place but being in care has given me the chance to achieve."

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for Children and Wellbeing Sally Hawken said: "Foster carers do an amazing job and can be so important in raising the self-confidence and aspirations of the children and young people they look after. What’s important is that they have time, energy and patience to give a child or young person."

"Many people have misconceptions about fostering, and worry that they may not be eligible. Our foster carers are of all ages and from all walks of life and all have different life experiences. This ranges from single people, young or old, married and same sex couples and caring professionals, to empty nesters and people from different cultures and religious backgrounds. Fostering can a fantastic and rewarding experience, and many of our children and young people live with the same foster family throughout their childhood, providing them with great security and emotional permanence.

"All of our foster carers get comprehensive training and support and there is a continual development programme that covers a wide range of subjects."

To find out more about becoming a foster carer, call the Fostering Team on 01872 323 638 or visit  www.fosterincornwall.co.uk

Posted on 15 May

Categories: Cornwall

Highways and Community Chest celebrations on the agenda at the Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel meeting

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 17:57

Residents of the Newquay and St Columb Community Network area are being invited to attend the May meeting of the Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel. Agenda items include the new Community Network Highways Scheme and celebrating with local organisations that have received a Cornwall Councillor Community Chest grants over the last year.

The Network Panel meeting will take place on Thursday 24 May at 7pm at St Columb Major Town Hall, Market Place, St Columb Major, TR9 6AN.

Esther Richmond, the area’s Community Link Officer, will introduce the new Community Network Highways Scheme that will give community network panels a greater influence over local and major transport schemes. Esther will explain how community network panels will be able to review and prioritise local schemes and will have a budget of £50,000 for highways improvements in their area.

Some of the local voluntary and community groups who have benefited from Community Chest grants from their local councillor will come together to celebrate their award and give a short presentation to promote their work. Groups include Newquay Friends of St Petrocs, Our Town St Columb Major, Pentire Esplanade Project, Newquay Orchard, Porth Residents Association, Treloggan Residents Association and Oll An Gwella Choir.

Community Chest grants can be used for various activities such as helping vulnerable people and supporting community facilities and local environment projects. In the Newquay and St Columb network area grants have funded local initiatives, including supporting St Columb Major’s Arts and Heritage Festival and promoting wellbeing by offering Tai Chi to residents at St Petrocs.

As this is the Annual General Meeting the Panel will be asked to elect a Chair and Vice Chair for the Community Network Panel for the next 12 months.

St Mawgan and Colan Cllr John Fitter and Chairman of the Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel said: “Everyone is invited to attend the Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel. The Community Chest celebrations and the new highways scheme are both good examples of how proposals to strengthening community networks are being put into practise. Come along, find out more and meet your parish, town and Cornwall councillor.”

The Newquay and St Columb Network Panel meets bi-monthly to discuss matters that affect the local area. At future meetings they will be discussing the other priorities they have for the network area; highways schemes and health.

They progress these by working in partnership with Cornwall Council and its partners; including town and parish councils, the voluntary and community sector, and the police and health services.

Some of the areas that community networks focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, transport and highway issues.

The Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel includes all seven Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the five Towns or Parish parishes in the community network: Colan Parish Council, Mawgan-in-Pydar Parish Council, Newquay Town Council, St Columb Major Town Council and St Wenn Parish Council.

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

For details about Cornwall Councillor Community Chest grants visit: www.cornwall.gov.uk/communitychest

Story posted 10 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

New ‘bulk buy’ parking session option gives car park users option to park at cheaper rate

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 16:39

Car park users who bulk buy tickets will pay a maximum of only a few pounds for all day parking following the introduction of a new Cornwall Council offer to reduce parking rates for residents.

Drivers can now bulk buy ‘all day’ parking sessions through the JustPark App (subject to a minimum purchase of £47).

Visit the JustPark website to purchase bulk buy parking sessions

The new offer will bring down the cost of all day parking in all long stay Cornwall Council pay and display car parks. The daily rate is based on the cost of annual season tickets for either a specific car park or number of car parks within an area. For example in Truro, bulk buying sessions reduces the cost of all day parking from £8 to £2.19, while in Penzance, the cost is less than £1.

While season tickets for a set time period (one month, three months, six months and yearly) are available for drivers to buy on the Council's website, sessions bought in bulk through JustPark can be used at any point during a two year period.

Find out more about using JustPark and how to download the App

Cornwall Council cabinet member for Transport Geoff Brown said the option provided car park users flexibility in the way they pay to park.

"With this option, you 'load' money on to your parking account through the JustPark App and pay for the cheaper all day parking sessions when you use them. It’s like pre-paid for your phone but providing a discount too," he said. "This gives residents more choice. Even if you only use a car park once a week, this soon pays for itself and is a big improvement on what we have offered before. It’s particularly aimed at residents so they can park at a reduced rate even if they only use the car park once a week."

As part of the changes to tariffs which came into effect on 1 April, we have also introduced free parking in the majority of Council car parks in the evenings. People who responded to last year's town parking review highlighted concerns about the lack of on-street parking at night and businesses and Cornwall councillors have also told us that abolishing evening parking charges will help support local economies.

Categories: Cornwall

200 people join online event seeking solutions to loneliness in Cornwall

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 16:55

Two hundred people joined an online conversation hosted by Cornwall Council last week to help find ways communities can best tackle loneliness and social isolation.

During the conversation people talked about what loneliness means to them and shared ideas on how to reduce loneliness in the future. Participants described the live crowdsourcing event as ‘thought provoking’, ‘valuable’, and ‘interesting’.

Many defined loneliness as a feeling of not belonging, ‘not having anyone to talk to’, or ‘not being part of things.’ When asked what people need from others when they are lonely, many participants prioritised ‘friendship, emotional support, and social interaction’.

Most people agreed that coffee mornings and libraries are a good way of reducing loneliness, other ideas included ‘sit down yoga, childhood song sessions and pet therapy’.

The feedback will help Cornwall Council better understand the problems communities face in trying to address loneliness and isolation.

Cornwall Council’s Head of Provider Services David Coleman said: “In 2017 we asked people what they needed to stay healthy and independent. They told us loneliness and isolation were a problem.

More than two million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.” *

“People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons, such as getting older or weaker, because they’ve left work, their spouse has died or through disability or illness. This can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and wellbeing, so we’re keen to look at ways to keep people well, healthy and out of hospital by starting conversations like this,” he said.

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for adults, Rob Rotchell added: “Judging by the high engagement and breadth of insights participants shared during this event, loneliness is an issue a great many people care about and want to find solutions to.”

“Loneliness is a challenging issue for Cornwall as we have an aging population and our towns and villages are geographically spread out. We hope the findings from this event and future planned focus groups will raise awareness of this important issue, and help us to join forces with communities across Cornwall to find workable, innovative solutions to loneliness that support people in their local area.”

Information from the event will now be analysed and later made available on the council’s website.

9 May 2018

Categories: Cornwall

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