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Cornwall Council joins forces with Ginsters of Cornwall

Corwall Council News - 7 hours 17 min ago

Cornwall Council has signed a Primary Authority Partnership Agreement with Ginsters, Cornwall’s largest producer of savoury pastries including Britain’s Number 1 best-selling Original Cornish Pasty.  Specialist officers from the Council’s Public Protection and Business Support team will work closely with Ginsters to develop further their positive working relationship by providing regulatory assurances across the Ginsters brand.

The new partnership will allow Ginsters to deal with a single local authority on food safety and food standards regulations which will dovetail seamlessly with existing management systems already put in place by Ginsters.

Cornwall Council Head of Public Protection and Business Support, Allan Hampshire says: “By choosing to participate in the scheme, Ginsters is demonstrating a commitment to working in partnership with Cornwall Council and a desire to build on its experience of regulation. I am delighted that Cornwall Council has entered this partnership and that we are in a position to sign this Agreement with a business that is showing its commitment to ensuring better protection for consumers and that we are helping this business save valuable resources by reducing the need for duplication requests from local authorities from across the Country.”

David Ion, Ginsters Head of Technical said:  “As one of the largest employers in Cornwall and the nation’s number 1 savoury pastry brand, we are delighted to be working in partnership with Cornwall Council on the Primary Authority Partnership Agreement.  As a responsible food manufacturer, food safety and standards are paramount and crucial to our business and we are extremely proud of our reputation in this area.  To enter into an agreement which can only serve to enhance this is very good news for all concerned”.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for Homes and Communities Geoff Brown said: “Working closely with Ginsters and offering professional advice and support to help them retain their excellence status is the way forward.  It is good for Ginsters themselves but more importantly it is good for consumers who can be confident that we are all working together to be the best we can be. It is testament to the high level of expertise and knowledge of Cornwall Council’s public protection and business support team that Ginsters of Cornwall have chosen them as a partner to achieve this.”

Story posted 24 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Warning as suspicious cold call reported

Corwall Council News - 7 hours 37 min ago

Cornwall Council has been contacted by a concerned resident who has told us that his elderly mother received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Council.  She was told that he was contacting residents to issue rebates to people who had overpaid council tax.  This lady gave all her bank details to the caller.  She then realised it didn’t seem right and spoke to her son who has contacted her bank and sorted things out. 

Gary Walton from Cornwall Council’s Corporate Fraud team warns:  “The Council will not ask for bank details over the phone. It is never safe to deal with any cold callers, whether at the front door or over the phone, no matter how convincing they seem. Never give out your bank details or any other personal information.  We also advised this gentleman to report the incident to the Police.”

Anyone who receives a suspicious cold call asking for bank details or other personal information is advised to contact the Police on 101 or Cornwall Trading Standards on 0300 1234 191.

Julia Groves, Cornwall Council Trading Standards added “To help protect you from receiving these types of unwanted calls, there are some good call blocking devices on the market, two of which we know have been tried and tested by the Trading Standards Institute.  Here are the details if anyone would like more information on purchasing an approved call blocking device: 

CPR Call Blocker Tel 0800 040 8010

TrueCall Ltd  Tel 0800 033 6339

 

Story posted 24 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Don't be a fool with fireworks

Corwall Council News - 7 hours 42 min ago

With Bonfire Night around the corner, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is reminding residents to take care and celebrate safely this 05 November and don't be a fool with fireworks.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service are once again working together to encourage everyone to enjoy bonfire night responsibly.

One important element is the Safe Sell Safe Use retailer scheme which encourages all local retailers to sign up to make sure that fireworks are only sold to over 18s and that customers are advised on safe use. The key messages are promoted throughout stores and on every box of fireworks sold.

Sergeant Jared Connop said: “Devon & Cornwall Police are committed to keeping the people of Cornwall safe. It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to buy fireworks or have them in their possession in a public place.  If we can stop the illegal sale and use of fireworks then we can help ensure that our communities enjoy a safe and happy bonfire night.”

Watch Manager Mark Pratten of Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service said: “If you are organising your own display then only buy fireworks from a Safe Sell Safe Use retailer and follow the firework code. Each year hundreds of children are scarred for life because parents underestimate the danger of fireworks. A rocket can reach 150 miles an hour and even a sparkler gets five times hotter than boiling cooking oil.

We recommend going to an organised firework display which is the safest way to enjoy bonfire night. Check your local media for events nearby so that you can enjoy the impressive displays without putting your family at risk. ”

While organised displays are by far the safest way to enjoy fireworks, there are steps you can take to stay safe if you are planning your own at home.

“Bonfires and fireworks are a fun way of celebrating, but every year we hear reports of people being injured as a result of accidents which, for the most part, could have been avoided,”added Mark.

“Please take care if you are planning a firework display at home,” said Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities. “Make sure you consider any potential hazards and don’t take shortcuts - follow the advice of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and celebrate safely.”

Top tips from CFRS for staying safe this Bonfire Night include:

  • Only buy fireworks from a licensed retailer and marked BS 7114
  • Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Light fireworks at arm's length, using a taper.
  • Stand well back.
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, it could still explode.
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks.
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
  • Never give sparklers to children under five.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Don't set off noisy fireworks late at night.

If you are having a bonfire, make sure it is well away from houses, trees, fences, sheds and hedges. Build it carefully so that it won’t topple over when lit. Use firelighters to get the bonfire started – never use petrol or paraffin. And make sure you have water nearby to extinguish the fire if it gets out of hand.

 

Story posted 24 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Statement re latest phase of Council reorganisation

Corwall Council News - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 15:30

Cornwall Council is currently going through a major reorganisation in order to save £196 million over the next four years.

A total of £31 million of the £196 million savings have been identified to come from the pay bill. We have already saved £5.5 million from the collective agreement made with the trade unions. Assuming the draft budget is approved by Members at the meeting of the Full Council on 25 November 2014, the total number of redundancies by the end of this financial year will be 280.

The Council has already reduced the number of directorates from six to three as part of a radical shake up of its management structure. The three new Corporate Directors – Trevor Doughty, the Corporate Director for Education, Health and Social Care; Paul Masters, the Corporate Director for Communities and Organisational Development and Michael Crich, the Corporate Director for Economy, Enterprise and Environment, took up their new roles in April. The authority then further reduced the number of senior managers in July by reducing the number of Heads of Service by eight.   

Since then senior managers have been reviewing the shape and structure of all services to help the authority to deliver services in different ways in the future and deliver further management savings to protect frontline services.

Details of the remaining structure, which is based on the savings targets set out in the draft budget, were presented to Members of the Council’s Cabinet last week, with formal consultation with the Trade Unions beginning on 23 October. 

Employers are required by law to inform the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if they are proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment within a period of 45 days or less so that information can be passed to the appropriate Government Departments and Agencies who offer employment and training services.   As a result the Council has formally notified the Redundancy Payments Service that up to 280 staff could be at potential risk of redundancy within this financial year.

Formal consultation with staff will also begin from 23 October.  However no appointments to new roles or notices of redundancy will be issued until after the Council’s budget meeting on 25 November.  The implementation of any changes for Public Health, Adults and parts of Children’s Services will be happening at a slightly later timescale as the Council is planning for greater integration with health services as part of its business plan. 

 

Story posted 23 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Results of Cornwall Council’s first ever residents’ survey

Corwall Council News - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:11

Cornwall Council’s first ever residents’ survey gives detailed information on what people think about local services and the area where they live.

Cornwall’s residents said good health care and affordable housing were the most important factors in making somewhere a good place to live.

When it comes to what most needs improving locally, residents said road maintenance and wages.

Residents were also asked for their views on the way Cornwall Council runs things and what standard of service they received the last time they contacted it.  The results are set out below.

The survey was commissioned at the recommendation of the Council’s Reputation and Performance Advisory Committee which met to consider the results this week.

The data from 1212 completed questionnaires (a high response rate of 44%) was collected and analysed by independent research company, Marketing Means.  The full report will be published on the Council website and the data will be posted onto the national website, LG Inform, set up to look at council performance.

“I am grateful to all the residents who took part in the survey,” said Council Leader John Pollard.  “We will certainly be taking on board what they are telling us.  It is clear from the survey that to win people’s trust there are things we need to improve in the way we operate as a Council and how we communicate with people.

“On the positive side, I am pleased to see that the things residents say are important to them are the things we are prioritising – for example investing in the economy so that there are more well paid jobs in Cornwall and protecting the road maintenance budget.

“We believe we have made strong progress in these areas over the past year and have had good feedback from budget consultations and Radio Cornwall phone-ins.” 

Chairman of the Council’s Reputation and Performance Committee, Malcolm Moyle, added “This survey was commissioned by the Leader of the Council following a recommendation from my committee.  Other councils do similar surveys and we wanted to establish a baseline to see where we are now and to track our performance in future.” 

Summary of results

  • 84% of respondents said they were satisfied with their local area as a place to live.
  • By a margin of 2 to 1, residents were satisfied with the way Cornwall Council runs things (51% satisfied, 25% dissatisfied).
  • 31% agreed that Cornwall Council provides value for money, 34% disagreed.
  • Half of respondents (50%) agreed the Council is standing up for Cornwall, 17% did not agree.
  • Just over a third (34%) agreed the Council is trustworthy, but 26% disagreed.
  • 26% said the Council acts on the concerns of local residents but 37% disagreed.
  • 24% said the Council is efficient and well run, 36% disagreed.
  • Around half (47%) felt the council keeps them informed about the services and benefits it provides, 53% did not feel well informed.
  • Residents were very well informed about how to pay bills (91%) and how to register to vote (89%); however they felt less well informed about other services such as how to complain (39%); how to get involved in decision making (26%) and what to do in the event of large scale emergency (21%)
  • Respondents also felt less well informed about how the Council spends its money (36%); how the council is performing (31%) and what standard of service to expect (36%).
  • Local media, printed information from the council, word of mouth and the council website/internet were the most common ways of finding out about Council decisions and services.
  • Over half (55%) were satisfied with the service they received last time they made contact with the council, 27% were dissatisfied.  Over half of those who were dissatisfied, highlighted poor communication as the reason, including lack of acknowledgement and poor response times.
  • 61% said they preferred to contact the Council by telephone.
  • Three quarters (75%) said they use the internet; however there was low awareness amongst internet users of the Council’s on line services.

John Pollard concluded: “I will be working with my fellow councillors and the senior management of the Council to make sure we address the issues that residents have raised. 

“This will include improving customer care across the organisation, empowering our staff to sort out complaints quickly, pushing forward on our devolution programme with local communities, supporting divisional councillors in their role as community leaders and Council advocates, tackling specific local issues and problems that residents in different parts of Cornwall have identified, and a concerted drive to inform residents about services and points of contact for customers including our online offer and one stop shops. We will continue to be open and transparent about our decision making and finances.”

The full results of the residents survey are online and residents, council staff, local business and organisations and groups are very welcome to look through the findings and submit further comments and suggestions on what they think the Council should be doing to improve. 

 

Story posted 22 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Fire course aims to help improve job prospects of St Austell and Bodmin groups

Corwall Council News - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 17:12

Two groups of people, referred by St Austell Job Centre and Bodmin Job Centre, have been celebrating their achievements in completing an innovative course run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix Works team at presentation events at St Austell Community Fire Station on Monday 20 October and Bodmin Community Fire Station on Tuesday 21 October. .

The course, which was developed by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) and funded by Jobcentre Plus Devon Cornwall and Somerset, aims to provide support and training to increase the employment opportunities of those who take part.

Referred by their local job centres, all participants were given the opportunity to gain an ASDAN level one qualification in Improving Own Learning and Performance together with the HeartStart accreditation in emergency life support techniques. The groups also took part in a range of fire service activities to promote teamwork, communication skills, raise confidence and aspirations. Alongside this, the course includes fire and road safety advice, as well as train the trainer and presentation skills.

Throughout the course participants get the opportunity to learn and develop transferable skills through participating in fire and rescue service drills and activities. These skills can then be taken forward and put into practice when the group members meet local employers, support agencies and community groups to help the individuals to identify future employment, training or voluntary opportunities.

CFRS Chief Fire Officer Des Tidbury said: “I am encouraged to see how Phoenix Works team has been able to use the work and reputation of the fire and rescue service to help these groups of people develop useful new skills.”

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities said:  “These courses are an excellent example of how, by working with partners such as Jobcentre Plus, we can really make a difference to the lives of these individuals. I am delighted to celebrate the people who have embraced this opportunity to learn from the best.”

Story posted 21 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Flu vaccination campaign aims to reach vulnerable people

Corwall Council News - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 17:08

Public health experts are warning of the risks of not getting your free annual flu vaccination, if you are in an at-risk group which includes over-65s, pregnant women, young children and people with underlying medical conditions.

Last year, only half of eligible people under the age of 65 in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly took up the offer of a free jab, even though their condition makes them more vulnerable to flu and may mean the effects of the illness are worse as a result. This compares to a take-up rate above 70 per cent for older people, who are offered free vaccination because they are aged 65 or over.

Free vaccinations are also available for pregnant women and children aged two, three or four. This holistic approach is designed to protect young families, especially where the mother of toddlers are also pregnant.

Although flu symptoms are usually quite mild, they can be very serious. Healthy people usually recover in two to seven days. However, where a person’s immune system is suppressed – for example, during pregnancy – the disease can lead to hospitalisation, disability or even death.

The underlying conditions that make people of any age, including children aged six months and above, eligible for free vaccination include:

  • A heart problem
  • A long-term chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
  • A stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • Diabetes
  • A neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s
  • A problem with their spleen, such as sickle cell disease, or have had their spleen removed
  • A severe learning disability

Anyone who is unsure if they are eligible for a free vaccination should ask their GP practice.

Stuart Bourne, Acting Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “‘I would urge everyone who is eligible to get their seasonal flu vaccination. If you are pregnant, it will protect you and your baby, and if you’ve got a two-, three- or four-year-old, vaccination via a simple nasal spray can now offer protection.

“I am particularly concerned about people who have existing conditions that make them more vulnerable to flu. If flu does occur, it is likely to be more severe, and more likely to exacerbate any underlying illness. There is obviously also the potential for friends and family to be made ill with flu as a consequence.

“Even a mild dose of flu can be unpleasant and put you out of action for a few days. More severe cases can lead to complications, leading to hospitalisation or even death in some instances.”

Councillor Jim McKenna, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care, added: “We all have a responsibility to reduce the risk of flu affecting the most vulnerable in our community. For those who may be at greater risk of flu themselves, the benefits of the flu vaccination are clear.

“However, we must also be mindful that we do all we can not to pass this potentially dangerous disease on to those we come into contact with. Having the flu jab means we are also playing our part in reducing the pressures our health and social care providers experience each winter.”

Colin Philip, a family doctor in St Ives, is encouraging everyone in the at-risk groups to make sure they are vaccinated this winter. He said: “Flu is a really unpleasant illness, particularly for anyone who is either elderly, has an underlying medical conditions or is pregnant. It’s easy to protect yourself and other people by not passing on germs and making sure you have had your flu jab. It’s quick, safe and the best way to make sure you are flu-free this year.”

Research across the South West has highlighted some of the reasons why people with these conditions don’t have the vaccination:

  • They were concerned about side-effects. In fact, while there are some fairly common side-effects, these are mild. Your arm may feel a bit sore where you were injected, and some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards.  The vaccine doesn’t give you even a mild dose of flu, as it doesn’t contain the active virus. Any other reactions are very rare.
  • They didn’t have enough time. In fact, although vaccination will generally involve a trip to the surgery, a bout of flu can make you ill for days, even without complications.
  • They thought they would be immune from previous flu jabs. In fact, the flu viruses in circulation change each year, which means the vaccine has to change as well.

Other people just hoped they wouldn’t get the illness.

More information about seasonal flu and vaccination is available on the NHS website.

Story posted 21 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and Prince’s Trust Team community project unveiled at Parc Eglos School

Corwall Council News - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 16:56

A group of unemployed young people aged between 16 and 25 years old presented the fruits of their labour at Parc Eglos School on Friday 17 October after choosing, planning and completing a community project.

The group, who are taking part in the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and Prince’s Trust Team programme, chose to develop a woodland area at Parc Eglos School in Helston as their community project.  As well as working hard to complete the project they are also planning how they would like to present it back to the school and the community and invited guests along to see what they have achieved so far.  

The Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and Prince’s Trust Team programme is a 13 week personal development course which aims to help unemployed young people develop the skills and confidence to move into employment, education, training, volunteering or apprenticeships.

There are team building activities and challenges, a week-long action packed residential trip and two weeks of work experience during the course as well the community project. The group will also get advice on how to write CVs as well as gaining nationally recognised qualifications.

 

Story posted 20 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Local residents invited to give views on eco community masterplan

Corwall Council News - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 14:04

Local residents living in and around the St Austell area have two weeks left to give their views on the proposals for the new West Carclaze Eco community.

Following a consultation event held in the local area earlier this year Cornwall Council and Eco-bos drafted a masterplan setting out a range of options for the development. 

The consultation on the emerging masterplan, which includes an online survey, is due to end on Friday, 31 October 2014 and local residents are being encouraged to make sure they give their views on both the draft options and the priorities for the Land Trust in creating a future china clay landscape for all.

“The plan for West Carclaze includes new homes with improved services and facilities for the local area” said Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture. “The aim of the development is to help support the regeneration and economic growth in the St Austell and China Clay area”. 

“An eco-community is a way of providing good quality sustainable communities for the future.”

“One of our key objectives is to open up wider countryside access at West Carclaze” said John Hodkin, Managing Director of Eco-Bos, the developer behind the West Carclaze scheme . “We plan to establish a Land Trust to oversee the management of the Green Space, which could include the development of further trails and wider countryside access or the creation of formal parks”.

“In the newsletter we set out the key principles for the Land Trust and through the survey we want the community to tell us their priorities for the Green Space.”

As well as responding to the survey local residents are also being invited to attend a Public Meeting being held at Penwithick Community Hall at 6.30 pm on Tuesday, 28 October 2014. The meeting, which is being organised by Treverbyn Parish Council, will enable members of the public to pose questions about the draft proposals to representatives from Eco-Bos and Cornwall Council.

“We want local people to look at the newsletter and information and complete the survey or come to the public meeting to have their questions answered” said David Stevens, Clerk of Treverbyn Parish Council.  “We welcome this consultation stage and encourage our community to become involved.”

Story posted 17 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Cape Cornwall School students 'pass out' at Penzance Community Fire Station parade

Corwall Council News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 13:43

Students from Cape Cornwall School will ‘pass out’ on Friday 17 October 2014 at Penzance Community Fire Station.

The official passing out parade will mark the culmination of the group’s learning during the five day Phoenix Project course. During the ceremony, held in front of family and friends, the group will showcase firefighting techniques, including hose running.

The Phoenix Project has been run by the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service since 2002 and enhances young people’s self-confidence, communication skills and community spirit.

Dave Pilling, Phoenix Project Manager said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service commits itself to developing skills for every child and these young people from Cape Cornwall School have shown great enthusiasm participating in all aspects of the programme. We continue to use the Phoenix Project to invest in young people across Cornwall. The fire service is able to use its reputation and position of authority and respect within the community to hone young people’s team work, communication and leadership skills. The students from Cape Cornwall School have worked extremely hard to succeed and gain their ASDAN certificate for improving their own learning and performance.”

The Phoenix Project is a Cornwall wide initiative geared towards students between the ages of 13 -17. To gain their certificates the students are given training in hose running, marching, wearing breathing apparatus (BA), life skills and problem solving with the aim of building confidence and self-esteem, raise aspirations and improve teamwork and communication skills.

“It’s great to see yet more young people learn not only how to become better communicators and leaders but to learn a very important fire safety message at the same time. Initiatives such as Phoenix help us to achieve safer communities from the ground up, which is the principal aim of the service” said Chief Fire Officer Des Tidbury.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said: “The Phoenix Project has been extremely successful in helping young people from many areas and backgrounds.  Once again it’s great to see how our fire service can help these young people learn how to become better communicators and leaders as they grow in confidence.”

Story posted 15 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Stray dog web page improved as Council’s Dog Welfare Team scoop another RSPCA award

Corwall Council News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:26

Hot on the heels of being presented with a RSPCA Gold Community Animal Welfare Footprint Award for the high quality way in which the Council handles stray dogs, the Council’s Dog Welfare team has now been highly commended at the RSPCA Innovators Awards for how it is has developed its web presence and its use of social media to improve animal welfare.

One such initiative is the web page launched by the Council in July which gives details of stray dogs that have been handed into the Council or picked up by the Council’s Dog Welfare team. After listening to feedback from the public, the page has been improved further  to include photographs of the dogs.  The team also use Facebook and Twitter to flag up information and advice on animal welfare issues and to publicise free dog micro chipping events and has even enlisted the help of children in making a film to communicate the issues around dog fouling.

The Council’s Head of Public Protection and Business Support Allan Hampshire says:  “I am delighted that the team have done so well in the RSPCA Awards and this improvement to our stray dogs web pages demonstrates the commitment we have to help the owners of lost dogs to locate their pets and to overall increase the number of stray dogs that are returned to their owners.

We do have a robust system in place for re-charging the owners of stray dogs for the costs incurred by the Council in picking up strays and arranging for them to be looked after.  The onus has to be on dog owners to make sure that their dogs do not stray.  A stray dog will foul and can potentially be a danger to road users and others.

The onus is also on the owner to make sure that their dog has an id tag and is micro-chipped so that dog and owner can be reunited quickly. 

We hope that the free dog micro-chipping events we are holding in partnership with Dog’s Trust will lead to a further reduction in the number of stray dogs reported to the Council.  In partnership with Dogs Trust, we are able to offer free dog micro chipping until March 2015. To book an appointment, just call dog welfare and enforcement on 0300 1234 212.”

The stray dog register has always been available for the public to view at any reasonable time however, it is now published as a live document, with photographs, on the Council’s website and will automatically update when a new case is reported to the Council. 

When the dog is returned to the owner or re-homed via an appropriate charity, the dog’s details will be taken off the website.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said: “Clearly we have a duty to pick up stray dogs and the RSPCA has recognised that the processes and lines of communication we have in place are good.  This is a great example of how we can improve how we do things at minimal cost but to achieve maximum results.”

Organisations such as Dog Lost direct the owners of lost dogs to the Council’s website so that they can check to see if their dog has been reported to the Council.

 

Story posted 15 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to know the danger and stay aware of carbon monoxide

Corwall Council News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:23

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is reminding everyone to be carbon monoxide safe after an incident in St Breock near Wadebridge led to one family needing ambulance treatment for the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Over the weekend, crews from Wadebridge were called to a property to check for carbon monoxide as the residents were suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Fire crews used a carbon monoxide detector which indicated a high level of carbon monoxide in the property.  Fortunately the family had a CO alarm which alerted them to the danger which is believed to have come from a defective flue on a woodburning stove.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels including gas, oil, wood and coal. When the fuel does not burn properly, excess CO is produced.  When CO enters the body, it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs.

Watch manager Mark Pratten from Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service explains: “An incident like this once again highlights the need to promote awareness of this silent killer, especially as the winter starts drawing in.

As we begin to think about putting the heating back on as the nights draw in and the temperature drops, I ask that you all make sure your heating appliances -gas, multi fuel or oil - are serviced by a professional technician.  It’s important that your ventilation is clear throughout your property and that you have a working carbon monoxide detector installed in the correct location.

We want to continually raise awareness and provide education to everyone regarding the dangers of this silent killer.  It is important to understand that carbon monoxide can be produced in many different ways, not just by a gas boiler or appliance. A large majority of people in Cornwall live in rural locations and use multi fuel stoves such as woodburning stoves, so we are therefore asking people to be CO aware and to take these steps to avoid becoming a victim of this silent killer.”

Follow these safety steps:-

  • Have your appliances properly installed and regularly serviced by qualified installers with gas this means Gas Safe Registered.
  • Purchase a carbon monoxide detector to European Standards EN50291 (look for the BS kite mark) and place it in your home (refer to manufacturers guidelines) test it regularly, keep the sensor free from dust and well maintained. A portable detector could also be taken with you on holiday to help safeguard you and your family.
  • Chimneys and flues must be swept regularly and appliances checked once a year by a fully qualified engineer/sweep. If you have self-installed a multi fuel appliance, ensure that it is serviced by a suitably qualified or professional technician
  • Do not block vents. Make sure you have ventilation throughout your home.
  • If you are removing hot ashes from your open fire at the end of the day, please ensure they are removed to fresh air in a metal bucket and extinguished properly in a safe environment.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can have tragic results so KNOW THE DANGERS AND STAY AWARE!

For more information on the dangers of Carbon monoxide call our 24 hr freephone fire safety helpline for a Home fire safety assessment on 0800 3581 999 or call the Prevention team at Bodmin Community fire station on 01208 72312.

Older and vulnerable homeowners can apply for a grant from Cornwall Council for essential gas maintenance and gas related repairs to their home.

An average grant of £225 is available after the Council was awarded a £5,000 Gas Safe Charity Grant to help homeowners with a disability over the age of 21. Homeowners over the age of 60 in receipt of a means tested benefits such as the Guaranteed Pension Credit or Council Tax Support are also eligible.

The Council will arrange for local Gas Safe contractors to carry out work at the homes of successful applicants which could include gas safety checks, gas servicing, gas boiler repairs or work on cookers, fires, pipework or water heaters.

People can apply directly to the Home Solutions Team at Cornwall Council by calling 01872 224707 or email: handyperson@cornwall.gov.uk

 

Story posted 14 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Drop in and share your views on plans for Kresen Kernow

Corwall Council News - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 18:02


Anyone who has passed the former Redruth Brewery site recently will have seen that work is getting underway on the Heritage Lottery and Cornwall Council funded Kresen Kernow project to build a new archive centre for Cornwall.

The project team and architects have also been busy working behind the scenes to produce outline building plans and a draft programme of events and activities and they want to hear your thoughts on them.

If you’re interested in seeing how the plans are progressing, or want to share your thoughts, please drop-in to one of the following sessions:

  • Monday 27 October at Cornwall Record Office, Truro, TR1 3AY
  • Tuesday 28 October at the Cornish Studies Library, Redruth,TR15 2AT 
  • Tuesday 04 November at Callington Town Hall, PL17 7BD
  • Thursday 06 November at Helston Museum, TR13 8TH

The events all run from 2:30pm-7:30pm and staff will be on hand to provide more information and hear your thoughts on the plans.

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for Economy and Culture Julian German, says: “Developing a new archive centre to house Cornwall’s important records is a really exciting project for the whole of Cornwall. We want to hear from residents about how we can best engage to ensure a really fantastic archive and local studies centre are created.”

If you are unable to attend the events, you can find out more and comment via the Kresen Kernow web pages or our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/kresenkernow.  

 

Story posted 13 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Libraries impact on mental health – Reading Well Books on Prescription success in their first year

Corwall Council News - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 13:09

English public libraries have reported major success in supporting people’s mental health with Reading Well Books on Prescription. Loans of self-help books in the ground-breaking scheme have more than doubled it was announced to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2014.

In Cornwall there were over 1000 issues in the first year.  The most used book was The Worry Cure by Robert Leahy which had 85 loans.

Launched in June 2013, the first national Books on Prescription scheme in England has reached around 275,000 people with book-based therapy for common mental health conditions available from public libraries. It has played an important role in helping to meet the huge need for mental health support. Recent figures indicate there are around 8 million people in England suffering from anxiety or depression alone, and three quarters of this group may not be receiving treatment. In a very successful first year, Reading Well Books on Prescription has been endorsed by the public as well as by GPs, mental health professionals and Government ministers as a helpful community-based mental health service.

GPs and health professionals can prescribe books, but they are also available for anyone to borrow from their local library. Whilst there are around 7,000 prescribers using the scheme, 80% of people who borrowed a book had self-referred by picking up a leaflet, often in their local library. All the evidence suggests it has definitely helped. In a recent survey, nearly everyone who had borrowed a book from the Reading Well Books on Prescription core list of 30 titles said it had been helpful. With evidence showing that self-help reading can benefit people with certain mental health conditions, around three quarters of people surveyed said their book had helped them understand more about their condition and feel more confident about managing their symptoms.

Improved confidence around managing symptoms was also reported by nearly all of the GPs and health professionals surveyed who had prescribed books from the list, whilst just under half felt the scheme had saved them consultation time.  

Jim McKenna , Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care said,  “We are very pleased that this service is so well used.  Outlook South West recommended further titles that they find useful so in Cornwall we are able to offer more books as Books on Prescription than those on the national list.  The Health Promotion Team helped us tremendously by promoting this to GP surgeries and sending out posters and leaflets.  This was a really good example of different public bodies and community organisations working together to promote health and well-being in the county.”

Following the success of Reading Well Books on Prescription for common mental health conditions, a new dementia scheme will be launched in libraries in January 2015. Merryn Kent, Reader Services Officer said, “We want all our libraries to be Dementia Friendly and believe this is a good way for us to support people.  We are off to a good start as  last year NHS Kernow donated copies of Dr Mike Bender’s handbook You’re Worried You Might Have Alzheimer’s to the libraries.  This is already available as one of our Books on Prescription.”

Dr James Kingsland OBE,GP and President of the National Association of Primary Care, says: “The feedback I have had from patients has been incredibly positive, and it is brilliant to have the option of accredited book-based cognitive behavioural therapy available for free from public libraries. The scheme can be used as a stand alone treatment, alongside medication or other psychological interventions and to offer support whilst on a waiting list or post treatment. This really is integrating care. I am looking forward to the new dementia scheme in 2015.”

Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, says: “We want to build a fairer society with better mental health for everyone. I am delighted that the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme has been so effective in its first year and to hear that it has helped people understand more about their condition. This is about empowering and informing people which is so important. The new dementia scheme is an exciting development which I hope will be just as successful.”

Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, says: “Libraries are an important feature in all communities, providing trusted, safe and valued places where people can find advice and information that can help people in so many parts of their lives. It’s great to hear that library book loans in this incredibly innovative scheme have doubled and I look forward to more good news about its success in 2015.”

The scheme comes from independent charity The Reading Agency and The Society of Chief Librarians and is an exciting development in public libraries’ universal health offer.

Ciara Eastell, Society of Chief Librarians, and Debbie Hicks, The Reading Agency, say: “This unique partnership between our organisations has been popular and successful because at every moment we have thought first and foremost about the library customer and their unique needs. We are delighted in the results and, along with our excellent health partners, look forward to rolling out more national health programmes like this one to help with a range of health needs.” 

Reading Well Books on Prescription for common mental health conditions works within National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines and is supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Psychiatrists, The British Psychological Society, NHS England’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT), British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the National Association of Primary Care and Mind.

Story posted 13 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Voters to go to the polls on 6 November 2014 for Mevagissey by election

Corwall Council News - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 13:00

Voters in the Mevagissey area will be going to the polls on Thursday, 6 November 2014 to elect a new Cornwall Councillor.

Five candidates are standing for election as the Cornwall Councillor for the Mevagissey division :

  • Christopher Stewart Maynard, St Austell (Liberal Democrat)
  • Katherine Elizabeth Moseley, Portmellon, (The Green Party)
  • James Mustoe, St Austell (Conservative Party Candidate)
  • Charmain Louise Nicholas, Gorran Haven (Labour Party Candidate)
  • Michael Williams, Gorran Haven (UK Independence Party (UKIP)  

7 poll stations will be in use for the by election:

  • The Committee Room, Cornwall Council offices, Penwinnick Road, St Austell, PL25 5DR
  • Pentewan Village Hall, PL26 6DG
  • The Blue Room, St Austell Rugby Club, Tregorrick Lane, St Austell PL25 7AG
  • Gorran Cricket Club, Gorran, PL26 6LH
  • Community Room, Bell Hill, Gorran Haven, PL26 6HR
  • The Jubilee Hall, Chapel Street, Mevagissey, PL26 6SS
  • Portacabin, Rising Sun Car Park, Portmellon, PL26 6PL

These will be open between 7am and 10pm. 

Story posted 13 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council welcomes extension to First Great Western franchise

Corwall Council News - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 12:47

Cornwall Council has welcomed the news that First Great Western will continue to operate rail services in the region until 2019.

The Secretary of State for Transport Patrick Mcloughlin has announced that the Government is proposing to directly extend the period of the current franchise for a further three and a half years.

“As part of the Government’s long-term economic plan I want to see rail travel in the South West transformed” said the Secretary of State.  “That is why we are delivering a huge programme of electrification and new, modern trains bringing faster, more comfortable and more reliable journeys. First Great Western is best placed to help to deliver these projects over the next four years.”

“Throughout this period we will continually be looking at new ways to improve the service for passengers, including developing proposals for a half hourly service between Plymouth and Penzance which could also serve Exeter.”

“This is good news for Cornwall” said Bert Biscoe, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Waste.  “We are already working with First to upgrade the sleeper service, expand the depot at Penzance and improve a number of stations in Cornwall.  This announcement means we will be able to complete these projects before the end of the franchise period.

“We are also committed to introducing a new half hourly service on the Cornish mainline when the improvements to the signalling have been completed and will be looking to work in partnership with First and the Department of Transport to ensure this is built into the new franchise agreement.“

 

Story posted 13 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

South Korean students visit deep geothermal test site in Cornwall

Corwall Council News - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 12:45

Exchange students visiting Camborne Science and International Academy (CSIA) from South Korea have visited Rosemanowes Quarry near Penryn in Cornwall to see how heat, naturally present underground, can be used to provide affordable, clean and safe, renewable heating. Rosemanowes Quarry is a test site of the first UK geothermal energy production for 30 years.

As part of a successful International programme at CSIA, students and teachers from The Korea Science Academy of KAIST, based in Busan, visited Camborne and took part in a number of cultural and scientific activities.

Kelly Hendricks, acting Deputy Head of Science at Camborne, said: “With South Korea being at the forefront of scientific and technological advancement, the teachers and students were overwhelmed with the possibilities that Cornwall has to offer, not only locally but to the world in terms of renewable energy and limiting carbon emissions”.

Students started the day with a lesson from Caroline Carroll, Geothermal Policy Officer for Cornwall Council. Caroline gave students an outline of the history and plans for deep geothermal in Cornwall. Caroline, a former student of Camborne School herself, was inspired by her science lessons and is excited to be working in Cornwall on such an interesting subject.

Cornwall's energyshare visited the site with the students: 'It's really exciting for young people see first hand the opportunity that geothermal could present for Cornwall," said Abbie Brook, Programme Manager.

Rosemanowes Quarry was the site of the UK’s ‘Hot Dry Rock’ geothermal research programme from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, investigating techniques for the creation of artificial reservoirs that could be used to generate electricity. During that time, Cornwall developed academic and industrial expertise and the project led to the creation of a number of local companies still in operation today. Peter Ledingham is Operations Director with one of them; GeoScience Limited, who are partners with the managers of the current heat project; Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL).

Peter graduated from Camborne School of Mines in 1980 and worked on the original ‘hot rocks’ project. Now back demonstrating the potential value of the geothermal resource, he said “It is a little strange being back at Rosemanowes after so much time, and seeing how different the place looks, but it is also very exciting to be putting one of the deep wells to good use again, and at a time when there is a real prospect of geothermal energy being exploited in Cornwall."

“It is more than 20 years since any hot water was produced here and that in itself is a milestone, but of course the purpose of this work is to develop a system that can produce renewable geothermal heat at many other locations too.”

GEL is carrying out the project  with funding assistance from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and, after a month’s testing, GEL are now successfully extracting hot water at 600 from a depth of 1.8km, sufficient to heat homes and businesses. GEL hopes to use the technology at suitable sites across Cornwall and the UK to demonstrate the benefits of delivering affordable and clean heat to existing buildings.

Cornwall Council is keen to support the geothermal industry in Cornwall. Cllr Andrew Wallis the Councils Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, took the chance to visit the test site with the students last week and said ‘I’m excited to be here with students from South Korea to see first-hand, hot water being extracted from our Cornish granite. This technology could potentially be sited at a school to provide more affordable and clean heat, reducing bills and providing a fantastic learning opportunity’

The Council has provided all schools across Cornwall with details of the technology and have received 10 expressions of interest to work with GEL should they be suitable for the technology. It is hoped further educational opportunities will be available to students in the future in this field. 

 

Story posted 13 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Yvonne from Bude celebrates winning Apple ipad mini in Cornwall Libraries free prize draw

Corwall Council News - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 14:20

Cornwall Library member Yvonne Moore from Bude is celebrating after winning an Apple ipad mini – just for downloading an ebook.

Yvonne was the lucky winner in a free prize draw which was open to any library member who downloaded an ebook when Cornwall Libraries introduced the new service in July.

The Apple ipad mini, which was donated by ebook supplier Bolinda Digital, was presented to Yvonne by Nick Forster, Bolinda Digital Sales Director, and Adam Paynter, Cornwall Council cabinet member for partnerships.

Cornwall Libraries now offer more than 2300 ebooks which, once downloaded, can be read at any time, even when not connected to the internet.  Newly released titles are added every month and as publishers release ebooks for library use, more are added to the collection.

Recently, Random House released ebooks by Lee Child, James Patterson and Jacqueline Wilson.  

Linda Moffatt, Stock Team Leader for Cornwall Libraries said:  “Since we launched this innovative new service for Cornwall it has become very popular with 1537 ebooks downloaded. The service is simple to use. If you are already a library member, all you need to do is create a free BorrowBox account using your library card. Then simply login and discover the great collection which is available 24/7. If using a smartphone or tablet, the BorrowBoxApp is available free for both Apple and Android devices. Customers can borrow 5 eBooks for 2 weeks and 5 eAudiobooks for 3 weeks.

The ebook will automatically delete at the end of the loan period, so there are no overdue charges. If you haven't finished reading it, you can renew twice.  Reserving an ebook is free and if it is already on loan, you can reserve it and you will receive an email when it is ready to download. Reading is easy on the move, at home or in work.”

Yvonne said: “ I am quite thrilled by this win as I have never won anything before! I think the Cornwall library e books is a great service.”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for partnerships Adam Paynter said: “Congratulations to Yvonne.  I am delighted that this exciting new service has been so well received. We know that many people now read books and magazines on their tablet or smartphone so being able to download ebooks and magazines will meet their needs.  There is free computer access in all Cornwall Council libraries and one stop shops and some libraries also have free WI FI making it possible for customers to pop into the library, choose a print book, check emails and download an ebook, all free of charge.”

Customers can also download ebooks from home and on the move, as long as they have a Cornwall Library membership card and an internet connection.

Dawn Schofield, Online Team Leader said: “There are many other really exciting free eresources available on the Cornwall Libraries webpages too, such as Theory Test Pro training for the Driving test, free Lifelong Learning courses, Encyclopedia Britannica, newspapers and downloadable emagazines.  And of course, access to books, audio books, dvds and information in our libraries. Library membership is free and this new service will hopefully encourage more people to join the library and discover all of the resources we offer.”

 

Story posted 10 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Cornish residents warned to be prepared for high tides and potential flooding

Corwall Council News - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 13:14

Following warnings of potential flooding in a number of areas across Cornwall during tonight’s (08 October 2014) and tomorrow’s (09 October 2014) high tides, agencies are asking everyone to take precautions where necessary.

Over the past few hours the Environment Agency has issued Flood Warnings for the South Cornwall coast from Lands End to Plymouth and parts of the North Cornwall coast as a result of the combination of high tides and strong winds.  These could lead to localised flooding in  number of areas, including Bude, Wadebridge, St Ives, Hayle, Perranporth, Newquay, Padstow, Port Isaac, Penzance, Falmouth,  Penryn, Flushing, Mevagissey, Par, Lostwithiel, Lerryn, Polperro, Looe, Seaton, Kingsand and Cawsand and Millbrook.

A Flood Warning has also been issued for Truro, with the flood defences at Garras Wharf and the city centre at risk of over topping during tomorrow’s high tide which is due at 6.30am.  Pedestrians and motorists are being advised to avoid these areas around the times of high tide. Key routes into Truro including the A39 at Tresillian and between Devoran and the Norway Inn may be affected at the height of the tide affecting commuters          

Officers from Cornwall Council’s Highways, Environment, Fire and Rescue and Emergency Management services, Devon and Cornwall Police, CORMAC and the Environment Agency will be monitoring the situation and are on standby to deal with any problems.

During the floods which took place last year a number of householders reported difficulties in obtaining sandbags when the heavy rain affected their local area.  As neither the Council nor the Environment Agency has a statutory duty to provide sandbags, anyone whose property is prone to flooding should ensure they have a supply of sandbags ready to protect their home or business should they need to.  Local communities are also encouraged to check with vulnerable neighbours in case they need help with obtaining flood protection materials.

Sandbags can be obtained from builders merchants, DIY and hardware stores. Anyone who is unsure if their property is at risk can check on the Environment Agency website or call the floodline on 0845 988 1188. 

Members of the public are advised to sign up to receive free flood warnings from the Environment Agency website, check weather reports on the Met Office website or by listening to local radio and be prepared to change travel plans.

Further advice on preparing for flooding is also available on our flooding webpages.

 

Story posted 08 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Public meeting to be held in Hayle to hear views on planning application

Corwall Council News - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 11:49

Cornwall Council is holding a public meeting to share information and listen to public opinion on planning application PA14/00532 - Hayle Shopping Park and Marsh Lane Nature Reserve Marsh Lane Hayle Cornwall TR27 5LX

The application is for a retail development including access, servicing and infrastructure works, car parking, public realm improvements and landscaping; footpaths, bird hide and landscaping to the nature reserve and surrounding land.

The public meeting will be held at 6.00pm on Tuesday 04 November at Hayle Community School, 3 High Lanes, Hayle, Cornwall, TR27 4DN.

Anyone who attends the meeting who wishes to express their views on the planning application to the Strategic Planning Committee will be asked to register on arrival and will then be called upon to speak.

The public meeting provides an opportunity for Councillors to listen to the views of local people.  Please note no decision will be taken at the Public Meeting.

The planning application will be considered and debated at a future meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee. 

Full details of the application can be found on the online planning register under reference number PA14/00532.

 

Story posted 10 October 2014

Categories: Cornwall

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