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Cornwall Council marks a year of action since declaring climate emergency

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 12:00

Cornwall Council is becoming a leading local authority on tackling climate change as it marks a year since declaring a climate emergency and summarises its key achievements in helping Cornwall cut its carbon emissions.

On 22 January 2019 Cornwall Council was among the country’s first local authorities to make the climate emergency declaration which included a call to Westminster to provide the powers and resources necessary to achieve the target for Cornwall to strive towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Since then the Council has produced a climate change action plan with more than 120 aims; planted the first trees of its flagship climate emergency project the Forest for Cornwall; engaged 3,000 residents on what they think should be the Council’s climate change priorities and adopted a new decision-making framework to ensure environmental factors and social benefits are considered in planning all major projects across the Council. 

Yesterday (January 21, 2020) Cornwall Council Leader Councillor Julian German summarised the main achievements of its Carbon Neutral Cornwall programme to date in his Leader’s Announcements speech at full council:

  • At least 50,000 trees have been planted as part of the first phase of the 8,000-hectare Forest for Cornwall, the Council’s flagship natural climate solution project, with help from key partners, in particular the Woodland Trust, schools and communities. The Woodland Trust has praised Cornwall Council for having the ambition to create a woodland for the benefit of people, wildlife and the climate.
  • Cornwall Council has met with town and parish councils and other key organisations to help shape the initial scoping of a Climate Change Development Plan Document, or DPD, which will provide policy for requiring future development in Cornwall to be more energy efficient, promote the use of renewables, and managing coastal change and flood areas.
  • The Whole House Retrofit innovation project has been developed to pilot improvements to 83 existing Council owned social housing homes to make them more energy efficient. Work will start on the first homes in April, using innovative solutions to help reduce running costs by at least 20% and emissions by 80%.
  • The Council’s new decision-making wheel has been introduced to ensure all key decisions take into account social, economic and environmental impacts and can ensure that people aren’t negatively impacted. Every service across the Council recognises their role in responding to the climate emergency and is building the decision wheel into their service plans.
  • A £23 million pilot scheme will support new bus subsidies and reduce bus fares, which will be introduced this year, and the new multi-modal hub at St Erth is now helping more people to be able to use public transport in Cornwall.
  • Council investment in renewable energy has enabled wells to be drilled at United Downs to explore Cornwall’s deep geothermal heat resource and work to begin on developing a wind turbine project at Ventonteague off the A30.

Cllr German said: “Having heard last week that the last decade was the hottest on record, it is timely that last January, here in the Council Chamber, we declared a climate emergency and only six months later Cabinet unanimously approved our own ambitious Climate Change Action Plan, with over 120 key actions. It’s been a busy year with many achievements and there are more planned for the coming year.

“Our work on progressing this agenda at pace and our achievements have placed us as a leading local authority on tackling climate change and many other councils and partners have approached us about our action plan and our decision-making wheel.

“I hope you agree with me that we have made great progress in a year; and there is a lot more work planned for us to do ourselves and with others next year and beyond, to unlock Cornwall’s potential to become carbon neutral.”

Cllr German highlighted the Council’s three key asks of Government to support the Carbon Neutral Cornwall programme including the financial and training requirements needed to undertake the mass housing retrofit of all Cornwall’s housing stock; a faster transition towards the Future Homes building regulations standard; and strategic investment in the South West’s grid to ensure vital electricity grid upgrades.

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “We’re celebrating the anniversary of Cornwall’s historic moment in declaring a climate emergency and we are proud of the key achievements we’ve had over the last year to start our ambitious journey towards helping Cornwall become carbon neutral by 2030.

“We’re making headway on  our Whole House Retrofit innovation project; working hard for the Forest for Cornwall putting landowners in touch with organisations with trees, and volunteers who want to help plant them; and aligning key strategies, including the 50:50 Future Cornwall Strategy, Local Industrial Strategy and Council Farms Strategy to incorporate a climate change focus with clean growth.

“We are piloting anaerobic digestion on our County Farms, alongside working with farmers to enable sustainable farming to increase carbon sequestration. We are collaborating with health colleagues to help manage the public sector carbon footprint, and understand and mitigate the impact of climate change related health risks. We have teamed up with the Eden Project, encouraging everyone to pledge to ‘Make the Change’ using the practical ideas in their carbon reducing tips for greener living.

“Cornwall Council produces about 1.5 per cent of the carbon emissions output in Cornwall while Cornwall as a whole contributes to the other 98.5 per cent. We have a leadership role but we have to take climate action in partnership with all our residents, businesses and communities.” 

Story posted on 22 January

Categories: Cornwall

Drop-in sessions to discuss crime and anti-social behaviour launched in Camborne

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 11:59

Residents in Camborne will now be able to access a weekly drop-in session where they can discuss any concerns relating to crime and anti-social behaviour with Cornwall Council's Anti-social Behaviour Caseworker for the area and a member of the local Neighbourhood Police Team.

Organised by the Safer Camborne partnership, local residents and businesses are invited to come and voice any concerns they have and access advice.

The one-month pilot scheme will take place at Camborne One Stop Shop, Dolcoath Ave, Camborne, TR14 8SX on Thursday mornings this January between 10am and 12pm, with the next sessions on the 23rd and 30th January.

Advice for residents and businesses:

• If people experience anti-social behaviour, email or call 101 for non-emergencies and in an emergency call 999.

• If you find discarded needles or drug related litter, do not attempt to pick it up. Please report the location to Cornwall Council’s Waste Management Team via the webpage or telephone 0300 1234 141.

• If you see someone sleeping rough you can contact Streetlink via or 0300 500 0914 (or 999 if they need urgent medical assistance). Individuals sleeping rough can contact the Cornwall Housing Options Team on 0300 1234 161 or drop into an Information Service (formerly called One Stop Shop).

• If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection said: “This is a great idea and I really hope the pilot is a success. These are difficult but important subjects, and people will respond well to being able to discuss their concerns and observations informally. If this goes well as a model I can see it being beneficial elsewhere in Cornwall.”

Billy McWhirter, Sector Inspector for Camborne, Pool and Redruth, Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Crime and anti-social behaviour has a direct impact on the quality of life of our community and we are committed to working with partners to deal with these very important issues. I hope the new drop in sessions will provide an opportunity to the public to discuss their concerns with officers and help us to make sure we are focusing our efforts on the issues that matter most to the people we serve.”

Cllr David Wilkins, Mayor of Camborne said: “Camborne Town Council welcomes the news of the drop-in sessions and believe it is a positive step for the Town. They will allow residents and business owners additional opportunity to bring their concerns to the attention of the Police and Anti-Social Behaviour Team so relevant services can act efficiently.”

Story posted on 22 January, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Climate emergency and new cycle trails on the agenda at first full council meeting of 2020

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 16:39

The climate emergency, and the creation of a network of new cycle and walking trails across Cornwall were on the agenda at Lys Kernow today.

Cornwall Council was one of the first local authorities to declare a climate emergency in January 2019, with the aim of making the Duchy carbon-neutral by 2030, ahead of the Government’s target of 2050.

In a speech to the first full meeting of the authority of 2020, Cllr Julian German, leader of the council, told members that good progress has already been made, but much more remained to do.

He highlighted three key areas where progress had been made, namely the Forest for Cornwall, the creation of a climate change development plan document, and a retro-fit programme for council-owned social housing.

There have already been 50,000 trees planted as part of the forest programme, with schools and communities getting involved in planting on both private and council-owned land.

Cllr German also thanked the Woodland Trust for their support on the innovative scheme.  He also highlighted talks that have already taken place between the council and other local authorities to draw up a plan to ensure future developments across Cornwall are more energy-efficient and focussed on the environment.

He told members:  “I hope that you agree with me that we have made good progress in a year; but there is a fantastic amount more to do and we can only move towards net carbon neutral with all of us; residents, communities, the council and the Government working together.”

Also on the agenda at the meeting were the creation of four new cycle and walking routes across Cornwall, which will be known as the ‘Saints Trails’.

The project will not only provide greater access to the glorious Cornish countryside, but will also encourage people to get out of their cars and to use alternative means of transport to travel across Cornwall.

The plans for the trails were approved unanimously by councillors.

You can watch the proceedings from today’s meeting on our webcast, which will be available on the council’s website for the next six months,

Posted January 21, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Operator of illegal caravan site fined for not having a licence

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 14:27

A man who operated an unlicensed residential caravan site on his land at Hawks Tor Kiln, Newbridge Lane, Bodmin Parkway,PL30 4BE has been successfully prosecuted by Cornwall Council’s Licensing Compliance Team.

On Thursday 9 January 2020 at Bodmin Magistrates Court David Barriball, aged 74, of Hawks Tor Kiln was fined £1,500 (reduced from £2,200 for an early guilty plea) for continually operating a residential caravan site without a licence over a period of at least eighteen months. He was also ordered to pay £3,500 towards the council’s costs and pay a £100 victim surcharge.

Kevin Hill prosecuting for the Council informed the Court that between March 2018 and September 2019 the Licensing Compliance Team had repeatedly visited Mr Barriball in an effort to elevate standards and to help promote outstanding planning and housing issues. A caravan site licence and the conditions attached to it help to ensure the safety of residents living on caravan sites, some of whom may be vulnerable and at risk. Despite being warned of the consequences of operating without a caravan site licence Mr Barriball persisted in renting out thirteen caravans, some of which were in a dilapidated condition.

Mr Barriball told Magistrates that he had been experiencing difficulties with other departments of the Council regarding planning permission which he had not obtained before placing and renting out the caravans on his land. Despite the council giving advice and guidance to him on numerous occasions he had chosen to continue to operate in an unlicensed manner and with no planning permission.

Councillor Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection said: “We are pleased with the outcome of this case which sends a clear message that unlicensed caravan sites will be identified and advised on how to achieve compliance. In cases of non-compliance  prosecution will be considered. Residents on caravan sites can be at risk and the council has over the years tried to establish good working relations with the various caravan site licence holders. However we acknowledge that there are some caravan operators, both licensed and unlicensed, who can pose problems for both residents and the Council, and we are taking steps to address such issues.

“On this occasion however, despite having instigated both informal and formal action using a graduated approach to intervention, Mr Barriball failed to follow the advice, guidance and instruction on how to operate his site in a safe and compliant manner. The council will always adopt a firm but fair approach to licensing, but will prosecute when deemed it is appropriate to do so.’’

Story posted on 21 January, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Council proposes changes to car park charges

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 13:36

Changes to tariffs in Cornwall Council-run car parks, which include measures to cut traffic pollution in Truro and protect free evening parking in the majority of areas are being considered under a range of proposals by the Council.

The proposals to increase car park charges in line with the rate of inflation, as well as reserved parking and season ticket prices, will be discussed by the Council’s Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Tuesday 28 January. Members of the public can also comment on the proposals, which will be published on the Council’s website, as part of the statutory consultation which begins on Monday 27 January.

Free evening parking in most Cornwall Council car parks will continue and has helped support local evening economies.  Flexible pay and park options during the day time will also continue, including the option to buy batches of reduced rate parking sessions via JustPark.

Price increases 'kept to absolute minimum'

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “We want to keep increases to an absolute minimum and for some areas, this will be the first price increase in two years. These proposals will see the majority of short stay hourly tariffs rise in line with the rate of inflation, rounded up to the nearest 10p, and some longer stay tariffs rising by 20p, again in line with the rate of inflation and rounded up to the nearest 10p.

“Income from car parking enables us to make the best use of our resources and target funding towards maintaining Cornwall's 7,300km road network.  Without the income from car parking charges, the Council would need to increase council tax to generate the same amount of funding.

“Whilst we receive about £9.7 million net income from parking each year, Cornwall Council is spending £45 million on maintaining the condition and safety of Cornwall’s roads and 2,700 bridges and retaining walls, as well as the car parks themselves.”

Tackling poor air quality in Truro

A key aspect of this year’s proposals aims to tackle the poor air quality levels recorded on Truro’s busy road network. As a result, the proposals include an increase in the cost of batch buying parking sessions in Truro’s Council-run car parks - to £4 per day - as well as an increase in the cost of season tickets.

In 2018 recorded levels of nitrogen dioxide in Truro were almost two thirds higher than UK air quality objectives, with the primary cause being road traffic pollution. Public transport options, such as Truro’s Park and Ride service, offer a cheaper alternative to car parks and keeps traffic away from the city centre.

“The number of people commuting into Truro far outweighs the number of people who live in the city,” said Geoff Brown. “Anyone who drives at peak times will know that while road improvements have helped to reduce the congestion, the roads are still very busy. The answer isn’t always to build new roads – this will just bring air pollution to new areas. We need to help encourage a shift to more sustainable methods of transport - the park and ride is a reliable service and from April we will be extending the hours later into the evenings from Monday to Saturday. And, as we announced earlier this month, we’re planning to introduce a scheme in May which will significantly reduce the cost of bus travel across Cornwall.

Categories: Cornwall

Support for those that need it on Blue Monday

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 09:10

A range of support is available for anyone in Cornwall who is struggling today (20 January) on ‘Blue Monday’, which is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year.

Cornwall Council’s public health team work hard to provide support for people throughout the year with their mental health and are currently taking a new approach, developing a ‘Mental Health Safety Plan’ so that people can help themselves during any stage of a mental health crisis.

In the UK an average 6000 people die a year from suicide, that’s compared to around 2000 people killed on the roads. In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on average, one person a week dies by suicide, which is higher than other areas of the South West.

Deputy Director of Public Health in Cornwall, Steve Brown said: “A Mental Health Safety Plan supports and guides someone when they are experiencing thoughts of suicide to help them avoid a state of intense suicide crisis. Research tells us that it’s one of the best tools to mitigate future suicide behaviours.”

Public Health officer Hannah Clark said: “The plan is designed to be written by the person when they are feeling in a positive state of mind. It asks the person to think about and write down the warning signs that they are heading into a mental health crisis. This could be behaviours such as withdrawing from friends or family, feeling listless and tired or having trouble sleeping maybe.

“It then goes on to ask you to identify what you can do to distract yourself from those negative thought patterns, such as doing exercise or meditation. It takes you through the stages of feeling down right through to who you can contact when you are in crisis. You can then look at the plan at any stage of your feelings with a clear plan of what you should do to help yourself through that difficult time.”

This approach is already being used by other health agencies across the area. The public health team will be launching the plan on their website soon.

For anyone who needs support with their mental health you can visit Cornwall Council’s website. There are also a number of smartphone apps available such as the Stay alive app, My3 app or the Safety plan app. These can all be found by searching your app store.

There are also some videos available on line to help you create your own plan. You can visit YouTube or the Staying Safe website

Anyone who needs immediate help is urged to visit their GP.

Story posted on 20 January

Categories: Cornwall

Flights between Cornwall Airport Newquay and London Gatwick to be reinstated from April 2020

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 22:23

Cornwall’s businesses and residents will keep a direct route into a major London airport, as well as benefit from a new route to Amsterdam and increased flights to Manchester and Edinburgh, under a revised deal with Flybe.

Cornwall Council and the Department for Transport have agreed to a proposal from Flybe that the Newquay to London air route reverts to London Gatwick, operating  four flights a day with effect from 29 March 2020.  The route will continue to operate under a Public Service Obligation which provides financial support, if required, to maintain the year-round service until 2022.

The new route will replace the current service between Cornwall Airport Newquay and London Heathrow, with the last flight operating on 28 March 2020.

Flybe’s brand new route from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Amsterdam will also start on 29 March 2020.  The year-round service will provide hundreds of links to global destinations opening up a multitude of new travel and business opportunities.  The services will connect with international airlines for convenient onward travel to destinations all over the world for those travelling out of Cornwall, as well as attracting visitors from overseas into Cornwall.

All routes will be operated by Flybe, soon to be rebranded as Virgin Connect.  To further improve reliability across the new routes, the airline will be basing a second environmentally efficient Q400 turboprop aircraft at Cornwall Airport Newquay from the start of the summer season.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “Following an approach from Flybe and discussions over the added benefits of the new deal to Cornwall, it has been mutually agreed to revert Newquay’s London connection from Heathrow to Gatwick. There will be a new link to Amsterdam which will open up an important two way route to that part of Europe for business and leisure travellers.  We’ll also see an increase in connectivity with other UK cities with the service between Newquay and Edinburgh becoming year-round. There will also be an increase in the number of flights between Newquay and Manchester with a new early morning and late return flight providing an effective transatlantic link as well as enabling daily business trips to the area.”

“It’s vital for our residents that direct flights between Newquay and a major London airport continue to operate.  Some will miss the current direct route into London Heathrow but I know that the reinstatement of the direct route into London Gatwick will be popular with many travellers who have missed the connectivity it offers to some other international destinations.  We are confident that as well as making sure that we have a direct route into a major London airport, the additional benefits we have negotiated will mean that Cornwall Airport Newquay will continue to flourish.”

Flybe will continue to also operate services to Birmingham, London Southend, Leeds Bradford and Belfast City. Other airlines and routes operating from Cornwall Airport Newquay in 2020 include:

  • SAS service to Copenhagen
  • Blue Islands (Flybe franchise partner) services to Guernsey and Jersey
  • Eurowings services to Dusseldorf and Stuttgart
  • Ryanair services to Faro and Alicante
  • Loganair services to Newcastle, Aberdeen and Glasgow
  • Skybus services to Isles of Scilly
  • Aer Lingus Regional (operated by Stobart Air) services to Dublin and Cork

Geoff Brown adds: “Flybe’s new route into Amsterdam and confirmation of the route to London Gatwick sends a strong message that Cornwall is open for business.  Regular access not just to and from London but also to the rest of the world will continue to attract more valuable international tourism.” 


Story posted 16 January 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Time to ‘level up’ all parts of the UK, says new Land of Opportunity report

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 10:33

“Cornwall is ready and eager to work with the Government to develop a plan to drive local growth and unlock opportunities for all of its residents.”

That’s the message from Cornwall Council leader Julian German in light of the Government’s pledge to ‘level up’ economic performance in struggling towns and unite the country.

A large part of the UK’s regional investment and infrastructure funding is focused on London and other major urban areas, with rural and coastal areas often left behind.

The Government has renewed its focus on investing in underdeveloped towns, but with a scattered rural population and very few highly populated towns, it is not clear to what extent Cornwall stands to benefit.

However, a new study published this week identifies Cornwall and other rural areas as the UK’s ‘Land of Opportunity’.

The report ‘Land of Opportunity: England’s Rural Periphery’, published by New Local Government Network (NLGN), explores how England’s rural and coastal areas could help build a stronger national economy.

Councillor Julian German, said: “Harnessing the opportunity of rural areas like Cornwall must be a key part of levelling up all parts of the UK.

“Unlocking a new economy that delivers prosperity for the whole country must begin with understanding the missed opportunities associated with treating rural areas as just a peripheral concern.

“We need to reframe our view of rural areas, not as hinterlands to which benefits are hoped to trickle down, not as an afterthought when it comes to investment and opportunities, but as places to build resilient local economies and communities that contribute to the UK economy.

“That’s why we’ve taken the lead in establishing a new collaboration of 12 local authorities - Britain’s Leading Edge - of largely or mainly rural areas without major cities.

Councillor German added: “Cornwall Council and other local communities are ready and eager to work with the Government to develop plans that accelerate growth and prosperity for the benefit of all.”

The Government has acknowledged that adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development in all parts of the country does not work.

The Land of Opportunity report says: “The UK needs strong urban and rural economies in order to deliver Brexit and address the unprecedented economic, social, and environmental challenges the country faces. But strong rural economies will not be built on urban policy hand-me-downs…The UK is at its best when all parts of the country work and strive together for common goals.”

Other opportunities for local and national government collaboration include:

  • The creation of a new rural social mobility fund – to improve the life chances and opportunities of residents.
  • Employment and skills devolution to Cornwall – to help people improve their skills and gain employment.
  • Improvements to transport infrastructure outside England’s policy corridor – Not only will this improve access to and reduce the costs of vital local services in rural areas, but it will also contribute to the reduction of transport disadvantage and to greater social and economic inclusion.

The report sets out that with greater policy attention and funding, Cornwall will have the tools it needs to help deliver greater prosperity for residents for decades to come.

“Rural and peripheral areas are the UK’s land of opportunity,” it states. “Now is the time to unlock their unique potential.”

The council’s priorities are set around working with the people of Cornwall to use resources wisely to protect and enhance our unique environment, create more homes and jobs for our residents, and ensure everyone can live well and safely together.

Download a copy of the Land of Opportunity report 

Story published on January 15, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

National Pothole Day highlights need for better road investment

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 16:12

With our road network providing a vital link for communities across Cornwall, National Pothole Day (tomorrow - Wednesday 15 January) highlights the need for better road investment.

We repaired more than 25,000 potholes in 2019 – around 68 per day – but it’s the Council’s ongoing investment in the highway network which is making a long-term difference to the resilience of our roads. This not only prevents potholes and highway defects – the scourge of road users - but ultimately saves on the cost of emergency repairs.

Extra Council funding has seen more than 300 roads resurfaced in the last 12 months

Council investment will see an extra £20m spent on our highway network by 2021 – in the last year more than 300 roads have been resurfaced across Cornwall as a result of the first phase of this funding.

Making the best use of our resources and targeting funding to where it is most needed has meant Cornwall’s main A and B roads continue to rank among the top 25% in the country. But, more Government funding is needed to tackle the £270m backlog in road maintenance and repairs on our 7,300km highway network, said Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for transport.

“While the Government’s manifesto pledge of extra funding for potholes is to be welcomed, this is just papering over the cracks,” he explained. “We must invest in our roads – particularly the rural network - and carry out work to prevent potholes forming in the first place. The only way we can do this is with a long term funding settlement from the Government.

“As a report from the County Council’s Network highlighted yesterday, rural councils are on the receiving end of less funding to carry out long term road repairs – major cities receive up to three times the amount in comparison. Our communities are just as reliant on their roads as those who live in cities – more so if you consider the public transport options available in some areas.

“Our investment demonstrates the benefits of proactive maintenance. This extra funding has improved the surface and drainage of more than 370 miles of road across Cornwall and it’s estimated that this work will prevent around 1,200 potholes from forming each year.”

New equipment helps speed up repairs

While prevention is a priority, the Council’s contractor Cormac continues to respond swiftly to pothole issues, repairing around 98% within timescales set out in the Council’s policy. These potholes are being repaired quicker and with the environment in mind thanks to new vehicles which make it easier for crews to work on single track roads and a converted pothole repairer trailer which is powered by biomethane.

Dominic Bostock, Interim Managing Director at Cormac said “Thanks to the new additions to our road surfacing fleet we can now easily access narrow rural roads and apply innovative techniques to the way we repair road surfaces and prevent further damage. This has enabled us to significantly improve our productivity and means we are causing less disruption to road users.

“Our biomethane powered pothole filling machine trial has proven a huge success as the first of its kind, it has demonstrated how efficient it can be while reducing carbon emissions. We are excited about the future of our sustainable fleet where we can continue to explore other alternative powered vehicles.”

Highways crews regularly inspect roads for signs of potholes, but members of the public can also report highway defects online and track the progress of the action we’re taking to fix it. 

Report potholes and highway defects

Categories: Cornwall

Couple who sold fake brands on social media ordered to pay more than £5,000 in costs

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 15:25

A husband and wife from St Austell appeared at Bodmin Magistrates Court last week to face charges of selling counterfeit goods via Facebook, WhatsApp and other on-line platforms in a prosecution brought by Cornwall Council Trading Standards.

Phillip Parish, 38, and his wife Tracey Parish, 49, from Larcombe Road in St Austell, both admitted three offences of selling clothing which bore well-known brand names without the permission of the trade mark owners and a further charge of running a fraudulent business from August 2016 through to April 2019.

The Court heard that the Trading Standards investigation was triggered by a test purchase made on behalf of the Superdry company and that when an entry warrant was executed at their home a quantity of fake items, including Canada Goose jackets, Nike and Superdry sweatshirts and Ugg boots and a sum of cash were seized from the couple. Mobile phone evidence showed that the sales had been taking place for almost three years.

In giving the couple credit for admitting their guilt at the first opportunity and recognising that neither had been before the Court for any other matters Magistrates ordered the couple to pay £5,739 in prosecution costs and surcharges and imposed a 12 month conditional discharge. If either is charged with any further offence during a period of 12 months, further penalties may be imposed for these charges.

Commenting on the prosecution, Cllr Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection said: "The sale of counterfeit goods undermines genuine businesses and costs legitimate jobs here in Cornwall. Anyone caught selling fakes can expect to face the full force of prosecution and recovery of proceeds of crime.

"Cornwall Council is determined to defend the interests of legitimate businesses in Cornwall.”

Categories: Cornwall

Great South West partners target £45 billion economic boost

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 11:49

A powerful coalition of South West businesses, education leaders and local authorities, including Cornwall Council, has pledged to work in partnership with Government to make the Great South West the latest growth alliance to rebalance the UK economy.

The Great South West partners are publishing a local growth prospectus today (Monday, January 13) that aims to deliver £45 billion of economic benefit and 190,000 new jobs over the next 15 years.

The Great South West spans the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Heart of the South West (which includes Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Somerset), and Dorset.

Its ambition is to sit alongside the Government-backed Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine and Western Gateway economic areas, and includes businesses, LEPs, universities, colleges and local government as a mechanism to attract additional investment in to the area.

At the heart of the growth prospectus is the ambition to make the Great South West the cleanest economy in England and the first to be net zero carbon.

Its focus is on creating world-leading growth in the ‘green’ and ‘blue’ economies, backed by a wealth of natural assets on land and sea, groundbreaking companies and research expertise.

The prospectus sets out how, with Government support, the Great South West can be a test bed for new thinking and new technologies to accelerate the move to a greener, more prosperous economy, and tackle shared challenges like poor connectivity, an ageing population, poor productivity and climate change.

Specifically, it calls for:

• Formal recognition of the Great South West as a growth alliance aimed at rebalancing the UK economy, with an identified Minister to link into Government.

• £2 million over three years to build a business case for investment across a range of projects.

• A Great South West Tourism Zone to help the industry become more productive, sustainable and adaptable.

• An agreement to create a Rural Productivity Deal, addressing the specific needs of the rural economy.

Publication of the prospectus follows a Downing Street summit in December between Great South West partners and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister told the delegation at the time: “We want to address some of the infrastructure issues in the region, as well as other vital services. Because it is the mission of my Conservative Government to unite and level up the country, and the South West has potential in all sorts of areas - from the spaceport in Newquay to farming, fishing, tourism and technology.

"I want to see improvements to infrastructure and technology, better rail and roads, more schools funding and investment in health services. We believe in a dynamic economy. The South West campaign is a great one and your region is an absolute priority to me. So I can assure you that we want to support and champion everything you do."

The Great South West prospectus will be formally submitted to Government shortly and has the backing of Sir Gary Streeter, Chair of the Great South West All Party Parliamentary Group and Conservative MP for South West Devon.

Sir Gary said: “We are living in a new political landscape with a clear commitment from Government to a more regional focus from Whitehall, and that is a huge opportunity for the Great South West. What’s important is that we set out the scope of our ambition in a coherent and compelling way, and demonstrate broad support by speaking with one voice. The Great South West prospectus is a very important part of that.”


"The time has come for substantial devolution and funding to unlock the full potential of the Great South West" - Julian German, Leader of Cornwall Council

Councillor Julian German, Leader of Cornwall Council, said “The time has come for substantial devolution and funding to unlock the full potential of the Great South West. It’s time to hand over the reins of power and let the Great South West shape its own future.

"I’m proud to join businesses, education leaders and other local authorities from across the region in making the case for further powers and additional funding to upgrade our key infrastructure and create a ‘blue and green dynamo’ to power the UK economy.”

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Great South West partnership, said: “Our aspiration is for the Government to recognise the enormous potential of the Great South West to model how the future economy will look, and to work with us to plan and deliver the changes that we need to launch an era of transformational change and become the greenest economy of the UK.”

Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “The Government has committed to changing the economic geography of the UK and to putting the environment at the heart of its economic policy, and that’s a great opportunity for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. And by tackling shared agendas like transport and productivity at scale, we can reap the benefits of working together for all our communities.”

Karl Tucker, chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “The South West is poised to unleash its potential to raise productivity and achieve a step-change contribution to UK plc, in terms of economic performance and in helping of meeting its Net Zero targets. We are stronger than the sum of our parts; and by working together we can strengthen our economic opportunities and make a real impact on a global stage. Our region has been historically under-invested in and now is the time to re-dress the balance in partnership with Government to secure greater prosperity for all.”

Jim Stewart, Chair of the Dorset LEP, said: “The Great South West is poised for a step change in productivity and prosperity, and supported by the government, we can capitalise on opportunities presented by the Industrial Strategy, building momentum for a region that is of national and international significance. This prospectus clearly sets out our ambitions to become the leading region for the green and blue economy.”

 Download a copy of the Great South West Prospectus

Story published on January 15, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Residents invited to have their say on preferred route for A39 Atlantic Highway scheme

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 10:51

Cornwall Council is holding events in Camelford and Delabole later this month for residents to have their say on proposals for the preferred route of the A39 Atlantic Highway.

The proposals aim to tackle congestion and improve air quality, as well as ‘unblock’ the A39 as the main route from north Cornwall to north Devon and provide a catalyst for improving Camelford town centre and the local economy. 

Events will take place on:

  • Friday 24 January – 12 noon to 8pm, Main Hall, Camelford Hall, Clease Road PL32 9QX
  • Saturday 25 January – 10am to 2pm, Main Hall, Camelford Hall, Clease Road PL32 9QX
  • Tuesday 4 February – 12 noon to 8pm, St John’s Church, Delabole PL33 9AA

Originally planned for December 2019, the consultation events had to be postponed during the general election period.

Can't make it to one of the events? You can  have your say on the preferred route for the A39 Atlantic Highway scheme online.  

The needs of cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders along and across the new road in addition to improvements to the environment within the town have all been considered as part of the design of the preferred route, which also supports development plans as set out in the Camelford Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “Your views on our proposals will help influence the final design and we want as many people as possible to join us at these events. We are committed to doing all we can to support the wishes of local residents who have been asking for these improvements at Camelford for many years, which is why we are contributing £6.5m to put us in the strongest position to support a bid for Department for Transport funding.” 

Depending on funding being agreed, work on the proposed £42.5 million scheme could start at the end of 2021 and be open in 2023.


Categories: Cornwall

Meet the new Police Inspector, and hear plans for Boardmasters Festival, at Newquay & St Columb Community Network Panel

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 14:52

The next meeting of the Newquay & St Columb Community Network Panel will take place on Thursday 16 January 2019 between 19.00 and 21.00 at Rialton Heights Community Hall, St Columb Minor, TR7 3HU.

Inspector Blackford, the new Police Inspector, will join the panel to introduce himself to the area.

Last summer’s Boardmasters Music Festival at Watergate Bay was cancelled at short notice due to adverse weather. The meeting will hear from the organisers of plans for the 2020 event, and the upcoming planning application for the festival.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) allows local authorities to raise funds from developers. These funds are used to pay for the infrastructure that is needed as a result of development, such as roads, playgrounds and drainage.

Cornwall Council’s Infrastructure Group Leader Gemma Arthur will tell the meeting how funds collected by Cornwall Council can be accessed, and will explain the differences between CIL and S106.

There will also be the usual updates on the Highways Scheme, and Cornwall Councillors will brief on issues relevant to the whole (or a significant part) of the Community Network Area, including those raised in full Council, Overview and Scrutiny, etc.

Anyone wishing to raise items is encouraged to advise Community Link Officer Anna Druce in advance of the meeting via

Chairman, Cornwall Councillor Mark Formosa, says: “Everyone is welcome to attend these meetings. They are an ideal chance to keep abreast of local issues, and to question local Town, Parish and Cornwall Councillors, service providers, and other decision makers.”

“Whether you just want to sit and listen, or to join in with our sometimes lively debates, this is where you will hear about local services, consultations and developments in Newquay and St.Columb. So please join us and meet some interesting people.”

More information on these panels is available by clicking here.

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall set for a recycling revolution as Council offers a new collection contract to Biffa

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 13:00

The Council’s Cabinet yesterday agreed to offer a new waste collection and street cleansing contract to Biffa.

The contract for Waste and Recycling Collection, Street and Public Open Space Cleansing will start on 3 October 2020, and run for 8 years with an option to extend for a further 2.

Biffa is among the most experienced waste management and cleansing  companies in the UK and has been providing these services in Cornwall in recent years.

Visible changes next year will include a new state-of-the-art collection fleet, wheeled-bins and food waste collection. There will be weekly separate collection of food waste, with fortnightly recycling and rubbish collections. From summer 2021 in a special campaign every household will hear from the Council about their own role in this recycling revolution.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Rob Nolan, says: “This contract sees Cornwall poised to transform its recycling, something residents told us in our 2017 survey was a priority. We are very pleased to be continuing to work with Biffa.

"Following very positive collaborative dialogue and a ‘can do’ approach by everyone - including the bidding companies - we now have a way of hitting impressive recycling targets.”

“If, like most of the top-performing parts of the UK, we begin putting our food waste out for collection every week from Summer 2021, we can in one leap transform our recycling rates from the currently disappointing 38% to over 50%.”

Roger Edwards, Managing Director of Biffa Municipal Ltd, said: “We are delighted to have been nominated as the preferred bidder for the new Cornwall contract. We are looking forward to introducing new services to significantly improve recycling rates.

"The local Biffa team pride themselves on the excellent service provided to date and we look forward to continuing our productive working relationship with Cornwall Council."

Published January 10, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Nearly 100 more apprenticeships created in Cornwall’s care sector

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 14:50

Nearly 100 people have been offered care sector apprenticeships thanks to investment in the companies that deliver care and support in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council has been able to redirect some of its ‘apprenticeship levy’ monies into local care companies to support the training costs of apprenticeships for their staff.  This has allowed the care organisations and companies to offer more apprenticeships and in turn encourage more people into a career in care.

The apprenticeship levy is a government initiative which supports employers to create more apprenticeships. As well as providing 200 Council-based apprenticeships, the Council is also able to pass up to 25% of this levy on to other employers in Cornwall and so far have been able to transfer funds to 16 local employers in the care sector.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for adults, Rob Rotchell said: “The apprenticeship levy gives Cornwall Council the opportunity to invest in high-quality training, helping us to grow and develop the workforce we need to successfully deliver services to our residents. 

“It is especially important that we support care companies to attract more staff into the care profession with a shortage of care workers that is set to grow year on year. There are currently over 1000 care role vacancies in Cornwall, and this demand for workers, combined with Cornwall’s ageing population, means we have to think of lots of different ways to attract more people to care roles so that we will be able to cope with this ever increasing demand.”

All of the apprentices benefitting from the levy work in the adult social care sector, including care homes, and domiciliary care. Successful applicants are already undertaking apprenticeships in a range of care related roles.

Tina Darrock from Carers Break, a care community interest company based in Roche said: “The benefits have been really great, more staff are coming on board and the apprenticeship allows them to achieve their qualification and gives them an opportunity to further their career. We’re quite a small organisation and any support we can get to get more staff through our doors is a win win, it’s a bonus. For the workers it’s about the value this puts on their role and on them as a person.”

Lee Wright, an apprentice at Carers Break said: “Helping someone to live their life in their own home is really rewarding, you can see the gratitude in someone’s face when you’re able to help them. Being able to gain an NVQ while I work has given me more confidence and puts a real value on the work that I do.”

Read more information on Cornwall Council’s apprenticeship levy.

To find out more about a career in care please visit the Proud to Care website

Applications for next year’s levy transfer allowance will re-open in spring 2020 and will be allocated to the care sector on a priority basis.

Story posted on 10 January

Categories: Cornwall

Temporary Liskeard Library will open on Saturday mornings

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 12:09

Liskeard Library, which is operating temporarily from Luxtowe House, Greenbank Road, PL14 3DZ, is extending its opening hours from 1 February to include Saturdays from 10am to 1pm.

This is in addition to the current Monday to Friday hours 9am to 5pm. There is free parking onsite, and there will be a children’s story time every Saturday.

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods, says: “We know the people of Liskeard love their library, and we are adding Saturday opening hours to make this temporary library service as good as it can be. Progress is being made on the longer term plans to refurbish the original library in Barras Street.

“This interim solution requires patience, but eventually the residents of Liskeard will have a fully-renovated library building that is more accessible, and more importantly, safeguarded for the future.”

At Luxstowe House temporary library users are able to:

  • Access around 1,600 books which will include a good selection of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Please note: some items showing as ‘in stock’ at Liskeard Library are being stored off site. If reserving this stock there may be a delay of approximately 2-3 days before the items are ready for collection.
  • Use a ‘click and collect’ service - Customers will be able to reserve books and other resources from the online library catalogue and collect from the temporary library. If it’s more convenient, customers can choose an alternative collection site when making a reservation on-line.
  • Access free Wi-Fi and computers. Printing, Photocopying and Scanning are all available
  • Use the Library Self-service Kiosk to borrow and return items, and to pay library charges.
  • Download free Audio and EBooks from the temporary library or at home.
  • Read the Western Morning News and Cornish Times newspapers.

The temporary library has staff on hand to help customers, and has accessible toilets.

Library Microfilm is currently located in Liskeard Museum for the duration of the building works.

Please note from 1 April the temporary library at Luxstowe House is unable to offer a letterbox book drop-off service out of opening hours.

 Story posted on 9 January, 2019

Categories: Cornwall

30 ways in 30 days exercise plan is launched

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 08:42

For those people feeling sluggish after all the season’s festivities, a simple exercise plan has been launched by Cornwall Council’s Healthy Cornwall team (live on 13 January).

Called ’30 ways in 30 days’ the plan aims to help people who haven’t exercised for some time and perhaps find the thought of doing any exercise a bit daunting.

With tasks such as going for a walk or doing chair-based exercises this plan creates simple, easy ways for people to get moving again, taking small steps towards getting that little bit healthier.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health Cllr Sally Hawken said: “For lots of people, joining a gym or going for a run is too much of an obstacle and this plan aims to break down any barriers that exist to someone starting to do exercise. The plan suggests a new activity every day, with day one simply going for a ten minute walk.

“This is ideal for someone who does little to no exercise and it encourages people to focus on the positive feelings they get from taking those little steps, instead of focusing on any feelings of guilt, specifying that if you miss a day there is no reason to give up, just get back on it the next day”.

Deputy Director of Cornwall Council public health, Steve Brown said: “A new activity will be loaded onto Healthy Cornwall’s website every day, with a video guide to talk you through that day’s session. The idea is that people can check in daily and see what it is they should try to do, without being overwhelmed by seeing the whole month in one go and perhaps thinking that it is too much for them.”

The website also offers some useful tips to help people stay on track, such as:

  • Plan your day ahead and make the commitment of what time you will exercise
  • Put your coat and trainers out by the front door so they are ready and waiting when you get home
  • Keep a pair of suitable walking shoes at work
  • Arrange a date with your buddy to do a buddy exercise session, there’s less chance of you changing your mind if you commit with someone else
  • Keep a diary or note on your phone of how you feel every day. It will help you see your improvement, which is a great booster
  • If you need to get up earlier to exercise but you sometimes snooze the alarm, try putting it further away from the bed so you have to get up to turn it off - you’re up now so you might as well exercise!

The scheme launches on Monday 13 January when you can sign up by texting “30ways” to 82228 and by doing so you will receive a text every day for the 30 days with prompts to visit the website to see what the activity is. Everyone who completes the 30 days will receive special offers from local leisure centres.

You can also follow Cornwall Council’s Healthy Cornwall Facebook or Twitter account who will tweet the new activity every day, as well as tweeting tips to help people stay motivated.

General advice on staying healthy can be found on the Healthy Cornwall website. 

Story posted on 9 January

Categories: Cornwall

Work starts in Newquay to improve footpath access to Fistral Beach

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 15:48

One of Newquay’s most popular footpaths is set to benefit from new surfacing and better drainage, easing access to the UK’s most famous surfing beach.

As part of the Beach Access Capital Programme, Cornwall Council and Cormac will begin works to improve the access to Newquay’s Fistral and South Fistral beaches. This will create better approaches to the shore via the path through the town’s golf course and via the South West Coast Path.

Works will begin on site on Wednesday 15 January lasting six weeks.

Occasional closures of some sections will be necessary, but as much as possible will remain open at any one time.

Local Cornwall Councillor, and Portfolio Holder for Transport, Geoff Brown, says: “This public footpath is one of the most popular in the town. The works will improve drainage after heavy rain, providing a better surface and easier gradients for mobility vehicles and pushchairs. There will also be better access to South Fistral and the Coast Path.

"We want everyone to be able to enjoy our coast and these magnificent views, so I am really pleased to see these improvements underway.”

The scheme will have six main elements Public Footpath through golf course

This provides direct access to Fistral Beach from the town, and as a result is very well used in both in the summer and winter. Unfortunately, the path also suffers from drainage issues which have affected its surface, and as a result it becomes washed out and gullied after heavy rain, making it difficult to use. The works will provide a fine bitmac surface and address these drainage issues. The new surface will extend from the Toby Way all the way through the golf course along the current route.

Extension of Bitmac path to Golf Terrace

In order to improve connectivity the improved surfacing will be extended east along the footpath, past the clubhouse, to connect to Golf Terrace.

A new wooden staircase to access the beach

Access to and from the beach will be improved at the southern end with the installation of a wooden staircase. This will replace the old steps that have fallen into disrepair, and will give another option to join or leave the beach, especially when the steps at South Fistral are not accessible due to high tide.

Widening and improving the path from South Fistral (South West Coast Path)

Although the majority of the Coast Path from South Fistral to the car park is easy to walk, there are sections where it presents problems for mobility vehicles or those pushing prams. Although the path will not be surfaced, parts will be widened and the gradient reduced. There will also be a new viewpoint and a number of passing places created.

Beach defence works

Due to the increasing frequency of strong winds and storms, sand from the dunes often blows onto the footpath making it unusable. It is hoped that this can be reduced through the planting of native species on the current access route. This planting will reduce sand blowing into the dunes. It will also stabilise the dunes at this location.

Easy access route to the car park from the footpath

An easy access route, which will also be surfaced, will link the north end of the footpath to the car park. This will be at a gentle gradient, and allow year round access.

Story posted on 8 January, 2019


Categories: Cornwall

900-year-old High Cross is back where it belongs in Truro

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 12:26

One of Cornwall’s ancient Celtic crosses is back in its rightful place in Truro city centre following a joint restoration project by Cornwall Archaeological Unit and Cormac.

Members of Truro Old Cornwall Society were delighted to see the High Cross returned to its site outside the Cathedral in time for Christmas following a road accident that broke it into four pieces.




Andrew Langdon, an expert on Cornish crosses who researched the history of the cross and recorded the works, said that it was originally discovered buried in St Nicholas Street in November 1958, and rescued by Mr Les Douch who at the time was curator of the Royal Cornwall Museum.

In 1959 the cross was set up on the west side of the Cathedral in a flower border, then in 1981 removed to its present position. In 1988 it was made ‘a truly High Cross’, when a new modern shaft was added in a project organised by former mayor of Truro, Cllr John Christie. 

It has stood safely alongside the Cathedral and Truro’s Georgian Assembly Rooms building in High Cross for the last 30 years, but was demolished in a vehicle crash in February 2019 and broken into four pieces. Its remains were collected up by staff from Truro City Council Park’s department and stored in a yard at Boscawen Park until stonemasons lan and Alex Piper, with help from Peter Hooper, skillfully repaired it at Bearah Tor Quarry on Bodmin Moor.



Ten months after the accident, in December the cross was at last set up again by Alex and Ian Piper with the help of Charlie Dinnis of Caradon Tool and Plant Hire and staff from Cormac. 

James Gossip, Senior Archaeologist at Cornwall Archaeological Unit which is part of Cornwall Council, said: “We are happy to announce that in a joint project between Cornwall Archaeological Unit and Cormac, Truro’s High Cross has been restored to its rightful place. The 900-year-old cross once again forms a feature in High Cross, where it stands as a complement to the splendour of the lofty cathedral and a reminder of Truro’s antiquity.”



Story posted on January 8, 2020

Categories: Cornwall

Breast feeding support services to be offered by Together for Families

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 11:19

The Co-ordination of Breastfeeding support services for new mothers in Cornwall is transferring to Together for Families at Cornwall Council, after Real Baby Milk announced they were withdrawing from their contract to support and train volunteers, at the end of December. 

Cabinet Member for Children and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Real Baby Milk are considered leaders in the field of breastfeeding support and I would like to thank them for their commitment and dedication over the years. 

“They have worked alongside neonatal nurses, midwives, health visitors and children’s’ services staff to ensure women and their families get access to appropriate and consistent information and guidance to support them to breastfeed their babies for as long as they want to.

 “And despite the contract with Real Baby Milk coming to an end; Cornwall Council is committed to maintaining the network of breastfeeding peer support that Real Baby Milk has been working so hard to maintain.”

Breastfeeding rates in the UK are comparatively low compared to the rest of the world with only 34% still exclusively feeding at 6 months, which is what the World Health Organisation recommend for optimal health. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.

The team at Real Baby Milk will be continuing to work to produce resources supporting Health Professionals, families and babies. The new edition of the Cornwall Essential Guide will be published by the end of January 2020. Real Baby Milk will also be continuing to offer accredited Training.

The process is now under way to transfer the peer support coordinator role into Together for Families, the combined directorate for children’s services at Cornwall Council. During the transition period Jan – March 2020 there will be a reduced level of recruitment and training while the new coordination arrangements are put into place.

Sally continued: “We will work closely with the existing volunteers to ensure they continue to receive the support and training they need to deliver their role. The volunteers will be well linked into health and children’s services and will be given the opportunity to co-produce any plans, developments or changes that ensure the network can be sustained.”

Breastfeeding peer support meets NICE guidance, UNICEF Baby Friendly standards and the United Nation rights of the Child. It is also an opportunity for local women to access accredited training and volunteer in their communities.

Public Health Commissioner at Cornwall Council, Jo Lewitt, concluded: “I am genuinely heartened by the passion and commitment shown in Cornwall to support new mums breastfeed their babies. Sadly, many women still stop feeding before they want to and often report feeling bad about it.

“There is much more work to be done to improve this situation. We hope to build on the great foundations that have been laid by Real Baby Milk, in Pollen CIC. The hope is that we maintain and strengthen the current network of trained volunteers who offer their valuable time to other women in their communities, many of whom are inspired by the support they received themselves.”


Categories: Cornwall