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Restaurant fined for selling food which could have caused allergic reaction

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:27

A Looe restaurant has been fined for selling potentially life-threatening food after serving a curry with yogurt to a Trading Standards Officer who asked for it to be milk-free. 

Nazrul Islam appeared at Bodmin Magistrates Court on Thursday, May 16 2019. He pleaded guilty to charges under Section 14 of the Food Safety Act 1990 on behalf of himself and Looe Tandoori Restaurant Ltd.

In September 2018, a Trading Standards Enforcement officer ordered a lamb tikka rogan josh which he requested to be milk-free. The sample was sent to the Public Analyst who detected traces of milk in an amount significant enough to cause an allergic reaction. The lamb meat had in fact been marinated in yogurt. 

The court heard that the Trading Standards Enforcement Officer was served by a new member of staff, who got confused and served the dish. This member of staff had received no training in relation to allergens prior to starting work, an issue Mr Islam says he has now rectified.

This test purchase followed an earlier test purchase in October 2017 which was also found to contain traces of milk even though it was requested to be milk free. Following this sample, the business was given advice and issued with a written warning.  Mr Islam and the company failed to follow this advice and had not put in place any procedures to prevent unsafe food from being served to those with allergies.

The Presiding Magistrate stated that these were "very serious offences" which "could have had a catastrophic outcome in the extreme".

Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection, said: “Cornwall Council takes issues relating to allergens very seriously and we carry out sampling to ensure that those with allergies are served with safe food.

“We work with businesses to ensure they comply with the law and will offer any support we can. However, our top priority remains public safety and given the potentially fatal consequences of not providing the correct information, we will take formal action where needed.”

Mr Islam was given a fine of £1,170 with a victim surcharge of £117. Looe Tandoori Restaurant Ltd was given a fine of £6,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £5,012.40 and a victim surcharge of £600.

If businesses need support they can contact Cornwall Business Regulatory Support on 0300 1234 212 or find out more on www.businessregulatorysupport.co.uk

Categories: Cornwall

Julian German elected new Leader and Hilary Frank new Chairman of Cornwall Council

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 16:30

Independent group Councillor Julian German has been elected as the new leader of Cornwall Council.

Councillor German, who has been deputy leader since 2017, was voted in by members in a secret ballot, after Conservative group leader Councillor Linda Taylor was also nominated for the role.

After paying tribute to outgoing cabinet member Councillor Sue James, the new leader confirmed his predecessor, Liberal Democrat Councillor Adam Paynter, will now become deputy leader.

The other cabinet members and their portfolios were also announced:

  • Customers – Councillor Mike Eathorne-Gibbons
  • Children, Wellbeing and Public Health – Councillor Sally Hawken
  • Adults – Councillor Rob Rotchell
  • Climate Change and Neighbourhoods – Councillor Edwina Hannaford
  • Environment and Public Protection – Councillor Rob Nolan
  • Culture, Economy and Planning – Councillor Bob Egerton
  • Homes – Councillor Andrew Mitchell
  • Transport – Councillor Geoff Brown 

Councillor Hilary Frank was elected as the new chairman of the council, having performed the role of deputy chairman for the past two years.

She told councillors she will work to create an atmosphere to allow meaningful debate in the chamber, and promised to perform the role in a ‘scrupulously fair’ manner.

Former Chairman Mary May was elected as vice chairman.

Addressing members in his first speech as leader, Councillor German told the chamber that the good work of the past two years had provided solid foundations to build on.

He said:  “We cannot be complacent. We will continue to face considerable social, environmental and economic challenges in the coming years, but, as we have already shown, if we approach them head-on, with confidence and ambition, living our values and delivering our aims and priorities, with our residents at the forefront of our thinking at all times, we will succeed in building a Council, and a Cornwall, that one and all, can be proud of.”

Chief executive Kate Kennally also spoke to members about the council’s work over the past year.  She said:  “I am the first to accept that there is still much to be done but with the foundations in place and with the continued support of Members, I am confident of greater success so we make a difference to the quality of life for One and All - the people we are here to serve.”

 

Story posted 21 May 2019

Categories: Cornwall

Highways plans on the agenda at extraordinary Truro and Roseland Community Network Panel Meeting tomorrow: May 22

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:20

An extraordinary Community Network Panel Meeting for Truro and Roseland is taking place tomorrow (22 May) to discuss funding recommendations for highways projects.

This will be a single item meeting aimed at securing the Panel’s recommendation to progress the first tranche of projects submitted under the Community Network Highways scheme.

The meeting will be held at 6.30pm in the Trelawny Room of Cornwall Council's County Hall and is open to residents in Truro, the Roseland and surrounding parishes

The agenda and papers are available to view at www.cornwall.gov.uk/truroroselandcna and all are welcome to attend.

Chair of the Truro and Roseland Community Network Panel, Chris Wells, said: “This is a key meeting to get approval for recommendations to progress the first tranche of projects submitted under the Community Network Highways scheme.

“It’s a great opportunity for members of the public to come and hear about the plans.”

The Truro and Roseland Community Network Panel meets bi-monthly 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 highways issues. 

The Truro and Roseland Community Network Panel includes all ten Cornwall Councillors for the area, representatives of Truro City Council and the 18 parish councils in the community network: Chacewater, Cuby, Feock, Gerrans, Grampound with Creed, Kea, Kenwyn, Ladock, Philleigh, Probus, Ruan Lanihorne, St Clement, St Erme, St Just-in-Roseland, St Michael Caerhays, St Michael Penkivel, Tregony and Veryan.

Categories: Cornwall

Come and tell us your vision for Penzance Promenade

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 10:41

Residents and businesses are invited to have their say on plans for a major Cornwall Council funded resurfacing scheme to revitalise Penzance promenade.

We’re holding a drop in event on Saturday 25 May from 10am – 2pm on the Promenade (opposite the Queens Hotel). 

If it’s wet, we’ll be inside the Queens Hotel on Western Promenade Road.

The resurfacing scheme will revitalise Penzance promenade so that residents and visitors can enjoy Cornwall’s only Victorian promenade for years to come.

Improvements to the promenade are due to be completed and ready ahead of the Tour of Britain road cycling event in 2020 when the eyes of the sporting world will be on Penzance as the field of world class cyclists assemble on the promenade for the start of the race.

Survey work to look at the structural condition of the promenade, which has been the victim of storm damage over recent years, is ongoing.  We’re asking residents as well as groups, including local Cornwall Council members, Penzance Town Council, Penzance BID, local environment and heritage groups and schools in the area for their opinion on how the Promenade should look.

The feedback from these events will be displayed at a public exhibition in Penzance later in the summer with the re-surfacing scheme and other works anticipated to begin this autumn.

Cornwall Councillor for Penzance Promenade Jim McKenna says: “I encourage as many people as possible to come along and have their say.  The fantastic news that the 2020 Tour of Britain will start from Penzance means that we can now look forward, not just to the race and the boost that will give our town, but also long-awaited investment into the Promenade, which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike.”

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “Our residents know best what works for their community and so it is tremendously important that they are involved and have an opportunity to share their ideas on how the area should look. Regenerating the promenade, which has taken a battering over recent years, will encourage more visitors to come to the area which will in turn contribute to the local economy. ”

Meiloci Landscape Architects are undertaking the design for the re-surfacing of the Promenade. They have organised the hands- on creative workshops with schools and colleges, and the community consultation event on the 25 of May to enable the local community to help co-design this iconic public space for Penzance.

Students at the Penzance campus of Truro and Penwith College have already taken in part in an event to give their thoughts on the resurfacing scheme.  They were enthusiastic about being involved saying

“A great opportunity to be part of a local project.”

“Great to be part of something that will affect my daily life”

“A nice way to be involved with the community”

The Penzance promenade re-surfacing scheme is a key part of Cornwall Council’s ambition to provide a Mount’s Bay trail and wider Bay to Bay cycling and walking trail.  A designated cycle route adjacent to the Promenade will be developed and in time, the plan is to see the Mount’s Bay route continue to the north coast via St Erth, Hayle and St Ives, connecting communities, attracting visitors and creating economic and cultural opportunities for West Cornwall.

The Penzance promenade scheme is the first phase of investment in the Promenade ahead of a longer term regeneration and coastal protection scheme proposed by the Environment Agency.

 

Story posted 21 May 2019 

Categories: Cornwall

Council launches plan to help pollinators

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 15:47

Cornwall Council is calling on residents and businesses to help create more flower-rich green spaces to boost the population of vital pollinators.

Bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinators have seen huge declines in recent years from pesticides, habitat loss and the effects of climate change.

This poses a serious long-term risk to the world’s food supply as they are responsible for pollinating huge numbers of crops in the UK and across the world.

Now Cornwall Council has launched a Pollinator Action Plan to help play its part in tackling the global loss of insects, encouraging pollinators to flourish locally.

Part of the Council’s Environmental Growth Strategy, the proposal outlines ways to make the Council’s land and working practices more pollinator friendly and promises to ensure the needs of pollinators are recognised in council strategies and policies.

It also aims to increase awareness of pollinators and their needs across the council, communities, businesses and organisations and hopes to support local initiatives to help local pollinator species recover.

Schemes the council is already spearheading include the Green Infrastructure for Growth - Making Space for Nature programme which has created 30 hectares of wildlife-rich green spaces in seven towns across Cornwall over the last three years.

There is also the Grow Nature Seed Fund which invites residents and voluntary groups to crowdfund and apply for match funding to improve their community spaces. One success story is Bude Community Orchard which has transformed an area of species-poor grass in the town centre into a community resource full of fruit trees, bushes and wildflowers.

Councillor Sue James, cabinet portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, said: “Given that one out of every three mouthfuls of our food rely on insect pollination, it is vital that we reverse the decline by providing more food and places of refuge for our bees, butterflies and other pollinators. 

“The Pollinator Action Plan focuses on actions to be taken by Cornwall Council across our owned land. We want to play our part in ensuring local pollinator habitats and species recover, providing benefits to farming, tourism and our residents.

“We hope our actions will inspire others to do more for pollinators and they will learn to love insects and wild spaces. I am pleased to say many individuals are already starting to take active steps. These range from changing the way they look after their gardens to being happier with wilder grass verges and making positive consumer choices. People are realising they don’t have to be an expert or have acres of land to make a difference – and by spreading the pollinator friendly word and supporting local conservation efforts, together we can make a real difference.”

Here are the Council’s top gardening tips for making Cornwall a better place for pollinators:

1. Let native plants thrive in your garden

There is no need to spend a fortune at the garden centre when flowering ‘weeds’ are nature’s own source of colour, refuge and food.

2. Plant pollinator-friendly plants

Add wildflower plugs or mixes onto your lawn, in pots or window boxes, even in the smallest of spaces.

3. Avoid garden pesticides

These include weed killers, aphid spray and slug pellets.  Buy organic fruit and vegetables to help pollinators further afield.

4. Leave areas of your garden undisturbed and ‘naturally messy’

Log piles, compost heaps and rough, grassy areas are vital for pollinators to shelter.

5. Cut down on lawn-mowing

Reducing the frequency of mowing and letting daisies, buttercups and clover flower grow is one of the easiest things you can do for pollinators.

6. Help thirsty pollinators

A bird bath or sunken bin lid are ideal watering holes for parched bees and bugs.

The Pollinator Action Plan is available on Cornwall Council’s website www.cornwall.gov.uk/pollinatorplan

Categories: Cornwall

We don't say Fostering is easy.

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 12:16

We don’t pretend that being a foster carer is easy, but we do understand that it gives you the power to change someone’s life.

This Foster Care Fortnight there are 500 young people in care across Cornwall.  They vary in age and some have brothers and sisters, but what they all have in common is the need for a loving home. 

“It has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done”, says Laura Sedgman, one of Cornwall Council’s Foster Carers.

“I’ve been a foster carer for the last two years, it is challenging and it has been emotional, but you get so much from the children.”

Latest figures from the Fostering Network show that 8,500 more foster carers are needed across the UK.  In Cornwall we need to recruit another forty to help and support a wide range of young people.

Laura continued:  “This Mothering Sunday, the 16 year old girl in my care gave a wooden heart, which made me cry. It said it takes someone special to be a foster mum and she was glad I was hers and she loves me. 

“It’s probably my most precious possession because my children have to love me, I’m their mum, but she doesn’t and she loves me anyway, well most of the time.

“Teenagers are difficult, in fact your own teenagers are difficult at the best of times, but children in care come with pain, fear, insecurity and loss; working with that can be quite difficult. 

“I did find that quite challenging, but there is lots of support and my supervising social worker is excellent. She will talk me around with what’s going on, because it is like being a parent where you feel inadequate or guilty a lot of the time, but then she gives me a hug, which she doesn’t do very often, it makes everything worthwhile.”

Across Cornwall there is a diverse range of young people in care and this means foster carers need to come from a variety of backgrounds and have different life experiences. The children range in age from new born to teenagers, and some are sibling groups but like all children, they need to be part of a family where they are nurtured and feel safe.

Laura concluded:  “If you are thinking about it, you should definitely look into it.  I am really, really proud of being a foster carer and I tell as many people as possible; some say they have thought about it and I always encourage them to look a little further. 

“Think about the age range of the young people you want to look after, whether you want to do short term or whether you want to give someone a permanent home. 

“Yes it is difficult, but it is so rewarding and when you see the children, growing, laughing and thriving; there is nothing quite like it.”

Categories: Cornwall

Emergency services skills highlighted in taster course

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 15:14

A pioneering course has been giving participants insights into working for the fire and other emergency services.

Who Dares Serves is a week-long, multi-agency course giving people an introduction into working with Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service and a host of public services from across the South West.

The participants of the latest course have attended a passing out parade today (17 May, 2019) at Helston Community Fire Station.

Focussing on a taster into each public service, the course gives an idea of the breadth of skills it takes for each to operate and how individuals can be involved within these services.

Who Dares Serves is a one of a range of innovative work-related options within the ‘Who Dares Works’ project, funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund and led by award-winning Community Interest Company, Active Plus.

The official passing out parade marks the culmination of the group’s learning over the five days. During the ceremony, held in front of family and friends, the group will showcase techniques demonstrated throughout the week, including hose running and first aid.

Who Dares Serves is led by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service who have been running the Phoenix Project since 2002 to enhance self-confidence, communication skills and community spirit.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mark Hewitt said: “Cornwall Fire Rescue and Community Safety Service commits itself to developing skills for members of the local community. Our course staff are supportive, inspiring and passionate about what we do, therefore we create an inclusive learning environment for course attendees to realise their potential and ambitions. The participants on this course have worked extremely hard throughout this week to succeed and we are very proud to be able to work in partnership with Cornwall College.”

Carolyn Webster, Project Manager for Who Dares Works, said: “It is great to see public services coming together to deliver this course. We know from the feedback from previous courses how positive the impact is with comments such as ‘this has been such a massive boost for my personal confidence.

“The project as a whole has already supported over 700 people in west Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, helping motivate and inspire people into taking the next steps towards training and work.”

Councillor Sue James, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Public Protection, said: “We are very proud to support the Who Dares Serves project which not only connects our services to the local community but also helps to build community resilience and improve the skills and confidence of the participants.”

The Who Dares Works project is a partnership of 17 organisations working together to support over 850 people across West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to get into work, education and training, and is led by Active Plus. The £3.3 million project is funded by the Big Lottery Building Better Opportunities Programme, funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.

Phoenix Services has more opportunities to support young people who fit the funding criteria for Skills for Young People through the ESF programme. If you work with a group of young people aged between 15-25 and would like to find out more call 01326 318177.

To join Who Dares Works call: 01872 300236.

Categories: Cornwall

Parish Council celebrates taking over community play space

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 16:36

Families in Gloweth will soon be able to enjoy an upgraded play area now that ownership and management of Chyvelah Ope play area has transferred to Kenwyn Parish Council, bringing it closer to the local community it serves.

Cornwall Council’s Localism and Legal Teams have been working alongside Kenwyn Parish Council and Councillor Dulcie Tudor, the Divisional Member for Threemilestone and Gloweth, to bring this about.

Councillor Tudor said: “Residents brought this forgotten and run down area to my attention during the local elections two years ago. Rectifying the situation hasn’t been easy.

“When the developer of the housing estate went bust a corner of the play park was left in a legal ‘no man’s land’ so Cornwall Council were unable to transfer the land to Kenwyn Parish Council.

“After some legal wrangling this has now been resolved and I’m very pleased that Kenwyn Parish Council are finally able to do what they wanted to do for years and take ownership.”

Kenwyn Parish Council said: “Kenwyn Parish Council is delighted that we have now taken ownership of the playing field. It is wonderful to find that with co-operation mutual goals can be achieved that benefit the community at large. We will be engaging in public consultation soon to see how best to use the space.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for neighbourhoods said: “Transferring management of community buildings and spaces in this way allows local communities to have a direct input in what is on offer from their local facilities and services.

“The hard work of all those involved means that families in this community will have a much improved community space for children to run around in and play”

This agreement has been developed as part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, which supports parish and town councils, and communities, to take over local ownership, management and control of services for the benefit of local residents.

Similar devolution projects are being developed across Cornwall which involves Cornwall Council’s Localism Team actively working with communities. You can find out more information on devolution on the council's web pages.  

Posted on 16 May  

Categories: Cornwall

Cornish beaches among world’s best as 15 fly iconic flags

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 15:52

Beach champions across Cornwall are celebrating today as 15 Cornish beaches hoist world-renowned Blue Flag, Seaside awards or both accolades into their skies above. 

Thanks to the hard work of local beach champions, Cornwall Council and sponsors Sharp’s Brewery, 22 iconic Blue Flags and Seaside award flags will fly over the following beaches from today (May 15, 2019).

Blue Flag: Gyllyngvase (Falmouth), Porthmeor (St Ives), Great Western (Newquay), Porthtowan, Trevone Bay, Widemouth Bay, Carbis Bay (self-funded).

Seaside award: Crackington Haven, Gyllyngvase (Falmouth), Great Western (Newquay), Perranporth, Polzeath, Porth (Newquay), Porthtowan, Porthmeor (St Ives), Porthminster (St Ives), Sennen Cove, Trevone Bay, Widemouth Bay, Crooklets (Bude), Summerleaze (Bude), Carbis Bay (self-funded).

The newest addition to the award-winning Cornish beach team is Crackington Haven, set between Bude and Boscastle. The beach with its stony foreshore and golden sand will now be flying its Seaside award throughout the next year.

Keep Britain Tidy, the organisation responsible for the awards in the UK, today (May 15, 2019) announced that 15 beaches in Cornwall have been awarded either one or both of the status marks. 

These include 15 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.

For the fifth year running, Sharp’s sponsorship has provided funding for Cornwall Council to make the applications for the awards and the team continues to work with the communities who deliver environmental initiatives to make the achievement possible.

Carbis Bay, which has been awarded both a Seaside and Blue Flag award, is the only Cornish beach that has self-funded its own application through Carbis Bay Hotel.  

The iconic Blue Flag, an international quality mark for beaches, reassures visitors and residents that Cornwall’s beaches 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.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Sue James, said: “We are thrilled to once again have so many Cornish beaches represented amongst the world’s best. The 22 Blue Flag and Seaside awards are an important symbol of what we who live here already know – that Cornish beaches are in fact world-class.

“I want to thank everyone across the Cornish community who selflessly and tirelessly dedicate their time to looking after our beautiful beaches. Our local staff and many volunteers who raise awareness about harmful marine litter and organise beach cleans 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. They should all be rightly proud of these awards. I also want to thank Sharp’s Brewery for once again playing a key role in sponsoring the Blue Flag and Seaside 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 22 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 is 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.”  

North Cornwall-based Sharp’s Brewery has provided over £42,000 towards the costs of Blue Flag and Seaside award applications over the last five years.

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 five years with our support now totalling in excess of £42,000.

 “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 15 beaches and to all involved behind the scenes, from us all at Sharp’s Brewery.”

The Blue Flag programme launched in 1987, and is owned internationally by The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-governmental and non-profit organisation. Keep Britain Tidy administers the scheme in England. To be awarded a Blue Flag, beaches must comply with a number of criteria covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services.

The Seaside Award is run by Keep Britain Tidy and recognises and rewards beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management and, in the case of bathing beaches, meet the required standards for water quality.

Categories: Cornwall

Opportunity for local residents to hear about Spaceport and plans for adult social care

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:15

Spaceport Cornwall and plans to transform adult social care will be on the agenda at the Newquay and St Columb Community Network meeting this week.

Residents are invited to attend the Community Network Panel on May 16 at 7pm in St Columb Major Council Chamber.

Spaceport Director Miles Carden and his project team will give a presentation about the UK’s first horizontal spaceport and will be discussing with panel members future community engagement opportunities.

Jonathan Price, Cornwall Council’s Service Director for Adult Transformation & Commissioning, and Jane Nicholas, Head of Adult Care and Support, will be attending the meeting to give information and invite views on the transformation of adult social care and health and its benefits and impact for residents.

The panel will also get the opportunity to hear from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Alison Hernandez and Inspector David Meredith both of whom will give a question and answer session regarding police issues in the network.

 St Mawgan and Colan Councillor and Chairman of the Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel, John Fitter, said: “Everyone is invited to attend the Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel and learn more about our work on local issues. You’ll also have the opportunity to find out about the exciting Spaceport plans and what’s happening with adult social care. Come along, find out more and meet your parish, town and Cornwall councillor.”

The Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel meets bi-monthly 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.

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.

 

Categories: Cornwall

Annual council meeting to take place at County Hall next week

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 15:51

The election of a chairman and leader will top the agenda when Cornwall Council meets at County Hall next week.

The leader will be confirmed following a vote by the council on Tuesday, and their first task will be to appoint the cabinet portfolio holders.

The appointment of members to the various committees across the council will also take place at the meeting.

Councillors will also hear two important speeches during the meeting.  The first, on the current state of Cornwall in the national context, will be given by the leader.  The second, which reflects on the stewardship of the Council over the past year, will be given by the Chief Executive, Kate Kennally.

One recommendation from cabinet will be put to members for approval, a plan to invest £1.225 million to support the creation of new businesses and up to 155 jobs in the research, development and innovation sector in Cornwall.

The money will be used to lever a further investment of £18.307m from partners, to support four innovative projects run by Falmouth University, the University of Exeter and Plymouth University.

Three motions submitted by members will also be debated on the day, one on the need to reform the system of building regulations, one calling for a ban on the use of netting on Cornish hedgerows, and one on changes to the education funding formula.

The meeting will take place in Council Chamber at County Hall in Truro on Tuesday 21 May, starting at 10.30am.

The meeting is open to members of the public, and can also be watched via webcast.

Categories: Cornwall

Community heroes are recognised at special ceremony

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 15:02

Community heroes from across Cornwall were recognised at a special ceremony at County Hall in Truro last week.

A total of 32 worth winners of Cornwall Council’s Civic Awards were honoured, ranging from litter pickers to charity fundraisers, each having been nominated by a local councillor. 

The Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor was also recognised after the pub threw open its doors for those stranded in the snow on the A30 this winter.

The awards were handed out by the chairman of Cornwall Council, Councillor Mary May.

She said:  “It was an amazing occasion, and it is always an honour to recognise those people who help to make Cornwall such a special place to live.

“They do not do their work for the recognition, but from a sense of community spirit and pride, and are a real inspiration to us all.”

 

Categories: Cornwall

Council welcomes promise of additional funding to tackle rough sleeping in Cornwall

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 15:35

Welcoming the recent announcement from Housing Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, that Cornwall Council has been successful in its bid for funding as part of the government Rough Sleeper strategy , Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Homes Andrew Mitchell said: “Tackling rough sleeping is a complex issue, which is why the Council has already invested £1.1m in a Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy.” 

“We are waiting for confirmation of the amount that will be allocated to Cornwall but the latest Rapid Rehousing Pathway announcement means we will be able to help more people move away from a life on the streets.  It follows on from an additional £1 million for Cornwall after strong successful bids to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Rough Sleeper Initiative.”

This latest successful bid from Cornwall will go towards funding a mobile Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub, which was highlighted in the MHCLG announcement.  The hub will provide a safe environment which is open and staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Anyone who is at imminent risk of, or already,  rough sleeping can be helped and it will be delivered in partnership with Cornwall Housing Ltd, Cosgarne and St Petroc’s.

The money will also be used for a Supported Lettings Scheme, which will provide help for rough sleepers as they move into independent accommodation, and Navigators, aimed at people with complex needs who may have been sleeping rough for some time, to address issues around addiction, mental health, and housing.  There will also be funding for a local lettings agency to help single people and couples with no children, who are at risk of, or who have, slept rough, access private rented accommodation.

Andrew Mitchell says: “Having a coordinated, multi-agency approach to tackling rough sleeping is paying off and our partnership working with Cosgarne, Cornwall Housing Ltd,  St Petroc’s and Resilient Cornwall is key to helping us access this funding and deliver the services.”

Official figures released in December 2018 show that whilst Cornwall still has a relatively high numbers of rough sleepers, 53 individuals were reported as rough sleeping compared to 68 reported in November 2017 and 99 the year prior to that. This makes a 46% reduction in the total number of rough sleepers recorded in Cornwall since November 2016.

Cllr Mitchell adds: “Estimates indicate that Cornwall Council’s action plan to tackle rough sleeping is continuing to have a positive effect.  We are waiting for final confirmation of the amount of additional funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which will allow us to put in place additional measures that will directly help people off the streets, providing them with accommodation and support.

 

Story posted 10 May 2019

Categories: Cornwall

Help hedgehogs with bonfire safety

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 11:16

Gardeners starting bonfires this spring are being reminded to look out for hedgehogs as part of Hedgehog Awareness Week.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to build bonfires on the day they are to be lit to save hedgehogs and other wildlife from suffering.

Bonfires pose a safety risk to humans but are also a threat to hedgehogs, whose numbers are in rapid decline.

The Fire Service has issued some tips for having a bonfire, either to get rid of garden waste or as part of a celebration, to ensure people, property and wildlife are safe.

It comes after its Social Media Advisor, Emma Matthews, who volunteers for Prickles and Paws Hedgehog Rescue charity in Newquay, highlighted the animals’ plight with her local watch.

 

The crew decided to include some additional bonfire safety tips to protect hedgehogs:

Bonfire building tips

  • Only burn dry, clean materials. Damp material causes smoke.
  • Build the bonfire away from sheds, fences, trees and buildings.
  • Check there are no cables e.g. telephone wires above the bonfire.
  • Avoid adding petrol or paraffin to get the fire going as it may get out of control.
  • Check bonfires carefully for sleeping hedgehogs and other wildlife before lighting as they like to sleep in them. Lift up the base and listen for any noises, or if possible the entire pile should be re-sited before being lit. If it is not possible to move the bonfire use broom handles to lift from the base of the pile, and shine torches, looking and listening carefully for any signs of life.
  • Light the bonfire from one side only to give any animals the chance to escape.

Bonfire safety tips

Once the bonfire is lit, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies.
  • Don’t leave the bonfire unattended.
  • Keep children and pets away from the bonfire.
  • Don’t burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode causing injury.
  • Spray the embers with water once the bonfire has died down to stop it re-igniting.

Katy South, Co-Founder and Trustee of Prickles and Paws Hedgehog Rescue, said: “It’s brilliant to be working in partnership with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service to raise awareness of the possible dangers of bonfires, as they are the perfect home for hedgehogs.

“Although we have very few hedgehogs coming to us as bonfire casualties, this is likely because they’re unable to escape; meaning survival in these situations is very low.

“The hedgehog’s key defence is to curl up into a ball rather than run. We really hope members of the public will help us and more importantly the hedgehogs, by following the advice the firefighters have provided.”

Sue James, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, said: “Hedgehogs are in serious decline and I commend Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service for reminding people to think about protecting their local wildlife when having a bonfire.”

If you are planning any kind of controlled burning such as having a bonfire, please contact Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service to inform them on 0203 162 2240. This helps them avoid sending fire engines to false alarms when they could be responding to a real emergency.

Prickles and Paws Hedgehog Rescue is a registered charity and more information is available on www.pricklesandpaws.org or by ringing 01637831299.

Categories: Cornwall

Torpoint Library launch day: Saturday, May 11

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 17:33

Residents in Torpoint are invited to celebrate the official launch of their library after being transferred to Torpoint Town Council recently as part of an agreement with Cornwall Council.

The launch day of Torpoint Library, Information Service and Community Hub is taking place this Saturday, May 11, from 11am and everyone is welcome.

Children and staff from Torpoint Nursery and Infant School will be holding a mindfulness demonstration.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Torpoint, Councillor Lambert Keise and Mrs Maureen Keise, and Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, will be attending the launch.

Torpoint Library was transferred to Torpoint Town Council on March 1 as part of Cornwall Council’s Library Transformation Programme.

The arrangement, which is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, means the building on Fore Street is continuing to provide all the key services essential to a modern library as well as access to a range of Council services.

Torpoint Library has remained part of the countywide service meaning customers can keep their existing library cards and still visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.

Cllr Lambert Keise, said: “As Chairman of Torpoint Town Council I am honoured to officially launch Torpoint Library, Information Service and Community Hub.  I am sure the recently renovated facility will serve the community of Torpoint and the Rame Peninsula for the foreseeable future. 

The Community Hub will continue to provide the existing services which will be supported by the Torpoint Archives and Heritage area, where Torpoint’s heritage will be preserved for the future and a café facility ‘Drecklys’ will be managed in the Community Hub.  

“Thank you to the children and staff from Torpoint Nursery and Infant School for their mindfulness demonstration and also to the school for baking a wonderful cake to celebrate this momentous occasion.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped with the transfer of the library from Cornwall Council and hope the facility will continue to benefit residents’ and the surrounding communities.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “I’m looking forward to celebrating the official launch of Torpoint Library, Information Service and Community Hub under the management of the Town Council. I’m delighted the facility has been secured for the community and many more generations of library users.

“Libraries are important to our residents and this is why we have been working closely with Torpoint Town Council to secure the future of the town’s library.

“The Town Council’s proactive approach is an excellent example of devolution in action and I commend them for the excellent service they are providing to their community.”

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council’s standards committee welcomes proposed new powers to deal with ‘unethical’ behaviour

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 15:12

Proposed new powers for councils to deal with unethical behaviour from councillors have been welcomed by Cornwall Council’s Standards Committee.

Member of the committee worked with the national Committee on Standards in Public Life to help draw up the new report.

It follows a resolution by Cornwall Council in 2016 to help work to resolve issues created by the introduction of a new ethical standards regime in 2012.

The new powers would include handing councils the ability to suspend members if they are found to have breached the Code of Conduct.

At its meeting held on 25 April 2019 the Standards Committee welcomed the report produced by the Committee on Standards in Public Life entitled ‘Local Government Ethical Standards – A Review by the Committee on Standards in Public Life’.

The Chairman of the Standards Committee, councillor Paul Wills, said: “After Cornwall Council asked the Standards Committee to work with the appropriate external bodies over the issues arising from the ethical standards regime introduced in 2012, the Standards Committee has worked hard to help to bring about these changes. 

“We are particularly pleased that there are proposals within the report relating to the re-introduction of suspensions for breaches of the Code of Conduct, it is something the committee pushed hard for. 

“We also welcome the proposals which will give back the right to vote to the lay members on the Standards Committee who represent Town and Parish Councils and the wider community.”

The Standards Committee has formed a working group to consider those parts of the report that can be implemented without the need for a change in the law and will be seeking to maintain the close links that have been established the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

Categories: Cornwall

Council calls on Cornwall to get composting

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 16:22

Green-fingered residents across Cornwall are being encouraged to cut down on waste by composting as International Compost Awareness Week is celebrated.

Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for gardens but research shows that almost half of food waste in rubbish bins could have been composted, even in households already composting.

Composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to the CO2 a kettle produces annually, or a washing machine produces in three months.

Now Cornwall Council is giving residents tips on how to start or revive a compost bin and reduce their overall waste.

Esther O’Bearagh, Waste and Recycling Community Engagement Team Leader, said:  “Home composting is one of the most positive things that you can do to help the environment and we are sure that there are gardens that have poor unloved compost bins, just crying out to be used.

“Some people have tried to compost and it wasn’t successful, perhaps it just didn’t seem worthwhile, or something may have happened to put you off, or you just found this odd looking Dalek at the end of the garden when you moved in.”

Here are some steps to start or revive a compost bin:

  1. Check to see if there is compost in the bottom of the bin. The easiest way to harvest the compost is to lift the whole bin up. Any existing compost can be used in flower beds or a vegetable patch. To use as planting compost sieve it first.
  2. If there is dry un-composted material in the bin put it to one side.  
  3. To stop vermin getting into the bin, buy wire mesh from a DIY store to go under the bin and up the sides to cover the hatch.
  4. Position the compost bin in a sunny spot on bare soil which allows beneficial microbes and insects to gain access to the rotting material and also creates better aeration and drainage, both important to successful composting.
  5. The best compost is made from a mixture of brown, carbon-rich waste - like autumn leaves, cardboard, egg boxes, egg shell, prunings, small branches and pet bedding - and green, nitrogen-rich waste, such as grass cuttings, weeds and vegetable peeling.

Sue James, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, said: “Composting is a cheap and easy way we can all do our bit to cut down on waste and help the environment and it has huge benefits for your garden.

“It improves the condition of your soil, helps keep plant disease at bay and balances out acidic soil which we have a lot of in Cornwall. Your plants and flowers will love you for it.”

Information on buying a subsidised composting bin is available on the garden waste collections page. Alternatively, garden waste can be taken to the Council’s household waste and recycling centres for free or collected through the garden waste subscription.

For a full list of what to compost and how see the Recycle Now website. 

Categories: Cornwall

Roadside flowers to brighten up the journey into Truro

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 09:51

Driving into Truro will soon be a more colourful experience thanks to a Cornwall Council project to plant more areas of wildflowers along the A390.  The planting has been carried out by Cormac and Truro City Council, with support from Cornwall Council’s localism team.

A 2 kilometre stretch of the central reservation of the A390 from Threemilestone roundabout to beyond the Treliske roundabout will soon bloom with yarrow, poppy, bird’s-foot trefoil, daisy and clover. Not only will the flowers improve the look of one of the main routes into the city, they’ll also help to support birds, bees and other wildlife.  Verges also provide a potential  habitat for rare flowers.

The majority of the flowers are native species and, weather permitting, will start to blossom around the end of June. Six cherry trees have also been planted on the reservation south of Treliske roundabout.

Around 7400m² of seeds were cast using hydro-seeding, where the seeds are mixed with mulch into a solution that is then sprayed over the area to be planted. This method improves the chances of the seed germinating successfully and provides a more accurate spread rate. Embedding seeds into the mulch also substantially lowers the chance of them blowing away in a breeze.

Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for the environment says: “We’ve lost so many insects and pollinators over the years and we’ve got to do something to put habitats back.  So we’re creating wild flower corridors along our roads to help insects and pollinators flourish.  This is very much part of the Council’s environmental growth strategy and the Pollinator Action Plan that we’re launching.”

Cornwall Councillor for Threemilestone and Gloweth Dulcie Tudor says: “I’ve long been arguing that my side of Truro (Gloweth Threemilestone) is the ‘Cinderella’ side.  So I’m delighted about these improvements and the Council’s assurance that the planting will be maintained by Cormac and Truro City Council Parks Management who do such a good job on the Eastern side of Truro.

This marks an end to two different standards evident for the key gateway routes into Truro. It’s important. Not least because the visual impact of the A390 into Truro reflects the Council’s ambitions for development on this corridor. But it gives me some idea of the Council’s aspirations for the ‘new town’ at Langarth. Who would want to live or work in area that doesn’t look like it’s being cared for?   It’s going to be really exciting watching the wildflowers coming up in June.  There are more visual improvements planned for the A390 in my area so watch this space!”

Councillo Holroyd and Green from Kenwyn Parish Council have also welcomed the move to spruce up the area.  Cllr Holroyd, Chair of Kenwyn Parish Council said: “It’s great that there is more of an effort being made to show off this side of Truro.” 

Councillo Green adds: “This is one of the first areas of the city that people coming in on this busy road sees and it needs to be a positive view.”

Mayor of Truro, Councillor Lindsay Southcombe said: “This scheme links to the wider scheme, Wild Truro, involving the wild flower seeding  of a number of sites in the City as well as attractive pollinator and wildlife friendly planting of beds.”

Story posted 07 May 2019

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council calls for more funding for children's services.

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 17:33

Cornwall Council is supporting calls from a cross party group of influential MPs to address the crisis in funding for children’s services. 

According to a new report from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Children’s Services have reached crisis point and need at least £3.1bn in additional funding over the next five years.

Cornwall Council’s Deputy Leader, Julian German, welcomes the report and said: “Reports like this show that some ministers are starting to listen to us about the growing shortfall in funding for Children’s Services.  We will continue to campaign for the government to not only increase funding to meet growing need but reform the way money is allocated to areas.  Cornwall has some of the lowest funded Children’s Services in the country.

“Funding from central government does not reflect levels of need.  It’s based on an historical and outdated funding formula that disadvantages children in Cornwall.”

Data from Eurostat shows that Cornwall is the second most deprived area in northern Europe, yet it receives less funding per child than over 100 other local authorities from across England and Wales.  As the increases are based on percentages that gap increases.

In the committees report,’ Funding of Local Authority Children’s Services’, the group also calls for the government to commit in advance of the Spending Review to continuing the Troubled Families programme beyond 2020.

The MPs said that the government should consider a central investment fund for children’s services as a whole, rather than assigning pots of funding for specific areas.

They recommend that the Competition & Markets Authority should investigate the rising costs of independent children’s care placements and profit levels.  They also recommend that the government should consider central investment to increase the supply of places to meet the growing demand.

Cabinet Member for Children and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken, said: “The government needs to accept the growing need for Children’s Services and match that growing need with increased funding.  It also needs to act to stop the gross inequality in the way Children’s Services are funded.  A child in need in Cornwall has as much right to well-funded services as a child living in all those other better funded areas.

“We have taken all possible steps to make the best use of our funding by creating an integrated Children’s Service but we are on the red line. The Government needs to prioritise children and young people and provide appropriate levels of funding based on deprivation and need.”

The Committee follows a long line of organisations, including the Local Government Association, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a wide range of children’s charities and the Association of Directors for Children's Services, in raising the alarm over shortfalls in funding levels.

Councillor German concluded: “We will continue to put pressure on the government to reassess the national funding formulas, for our schools and children’s social care.  The children of Cornwall deserve a better deal.”

Categories: Cornwall

Could you make a difference to a young person’s life in Cornwall?

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 15:24

Every 20 minutes another young person comes into care and needs to be placed with a foster family in the UK.  Across the country there is a shortage of foster carers and here in Cornwall, the situation is no different.

Cornwall Council currently needs more people to offer a loving home to the almost 500 young people in care across the county.  This Foster Care Fortnight (13-26th May) Cornwall Council’s Together for Families is launching a series of information events to find more amazing people who want to make a difference and who can offer a loving home to those who need it most.

Foster Carer for Cornwall Council Debbie Spence said: “The best bit about being a foster carer is watching children achieve the things that are important to them like riding a bike, learning to drive a car and then seeing the elation on their faces, the sparkle in their eyes when the mission is accomplished.

“It can be extremely challenging, especially finding the strength to support a child or young person through a challenging time. You live their distress with them.  But you do have some great moments as well; I remember especially when a child made me a beautiful paper cup and saucer for mother’s day.”

Cornwall Council is aiming to recruit an additional 40 foster families by the end of the year. Across Cornwall there is a diverse range of young people in care and this means foster carers need to come from a variety of backgrounds and have different life experiences. The children range in age from newborn to teenagers, and some are sibling groups but like all children, they need to be part of a family where they are nurtured and feel safe.

Debbie continued: “My advice is to attend an information session and ask questions even the ones that you think are stupid. Talk to other carers if you don't know any get pointed in the right direction at the information sessions.”

Despite the trauma experienced by children coming into care and their difficult start to life, good foster care can help to transform their lives and enable them to flourish. Fostering offers children a safe and caring home and plays a big part in supporting them to maintain links with their birth family.

There is a need for thousands more foster carers every year across the UK. Foster carers come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a wide range of life and work experiences with them. They work as part of a team of professionals and receive training to develop the skills required to meet the needs of children in their care. Alongside this professionalism, they offer children love, warmth and stability.

Cabinet Member for Children and Well Being, Sally Hawken, Said: “Becoming a foster carers isn’t always easy and we don’t pretend it is, but it does give you the power to change the life of a young person.  We need more people to come forward and these information sessions are a brilliant way to discover more. 

“We are keen to hear from people right across Cornwall, that’s why our roadshow will visit all corners of the County.  I would urge people; if you have thought about becoming a foster carer; ask those questions that you still need answering.”

The information events for Foster Care Fortnight are happening in 10 different locations across Cornwall between 10am and 2pm:

Date

Venue

13/05/19

Morrisons Liskeard – PL14 3PR

14/05/19

Asda Penryn – TR10 9LY

15/05/19

Morrisons Newquay – TR7 2GZ

16/05/19

Sainsbury’s Truro – TR1 3XL

17/05/19

Sainsbury’s Penzance – TR18 3AP

 

 

20/05/19

Tesco Camborne – TR14 8DT

21/05/19

Waitrose Saltash – PL12 6LD

22/05/19

Par Market – PL25 3RP

23/05/19

Tesco Launceston – PL15 9HD

24/05/19

Cornwall Services – PL26 8UF

 

For more information on Fostering please call: 01872 323 638

Story Posted May 3rd

Categories: Cornwall

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