Senior Members and officers from Cornwall Council have presented a cheque for £492 to the Little Harbour Children’s Hospice at Porthpean.
The money was raised by a charity Gig Rowing Challenge at Loe Beach which was supported by Truro River Rowing Club.
More than 70 officers and Members – 12 crews of 6 rowers – took part in the challenge, with the crews paying to enter a series of races. There was also a raffle and a BBQ, with prizes and goods donated by local businesses, including Philip Warren Butchers in Launceston, Malcolm Barnecutt Bakery in Bodmin, Dairy Crest in Davidstow, Camelford, Morrisons in Bodmin, Bookers in St Austell, Warrens Bakery, St Just, Trewithen Dairy, Bodmin and Sequel Training.
The cheque was presented to Norma Edwards from the hospice by Alex Folkes, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources; Paul Masters, the Corporate Director for Communities and Organisational Development, and Jacquie Rapier, representing Truro River Rowing Club.
Story posted 01 October 2014
Cornwall Council’s Micro Business Incentive (MBI) pilot scheme has helped Launceston based Timberland Joinery Ltd to expand their workforce and fulfil their bulging order book, thanks to the Council’s innovative response to changes in business rate legislation.
MBI is open to micro businesses in the manufacturing sector in Cornwall. It effectively offers a “break” from paying business rates, in order to allow the business to invest in employing a new member of staff which will lead to business expansion and improvement.
The scheme follows changes in legislation which give local authorities more influence on business rate policy, and Cornwall Council has taken the initiative to use this to find new and innovative ways to support local business.
Alex Folkes, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “Cornwall Council is determined to support the growth of small businesses. These firms are the backbone of our local economy and are some of the biggest innovators. This scheme helps them to grow and helps boost jobs in the manufacturing sector. Even as we face tough budget pressures, we are keen to do what we can to help small businesses succeed”.
Kelvin Gay, Manager at Timberland Joinery Ltd said “This scheme has given us the support we needed to employ a new Bench Joiner who will be learning all aspects of our business, from machining, assembling and staining windows and doors to fitting glazing and ironmongery, helping us to fulfil our already busy order book.”
Under the scheme, businesses that employ fewer than 10 people and have an annual turnover of less than EUR 2 million (approx. £1.65m) receive a “grant” of up to £5,000 to offset the costs of paying business rates. The £100,000 scheme is being delivered on behalf of Cornwall Council by Cornwall Development Company, working with the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS).
A variety of other companies from the manufacturing sector have already benefited from the MBI scheme, including food and drink and technology businesses and other potential applicants have until Friday 17th October to apply for the grant. Details of the application process are available from Cornwall Development Company.
Story posted 30 September 2014
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix Community Engagement & Training team hosted an evening at Falmouth Community Fire Station on Tuesday 23 September bringing together their partners, peers and clients.
The event showcased their new branding and website and highlighted the projects achievements over the last 18 months.
Previous participants from 4 different Phoenix courses took part in a drill for the audience. The group met for the first time just before the drill and gave a fantastic demonstration of all the skills that they learnt during their time on the course.
Senior Instructor Charlie Philpott said “I am delighted; it was a fantastic evening bringing together many of our partners, showing the options that are available through engaging with Cornwall Fire & Rescues Phoenix Project. The drill proved that you can bring together different members of the community and they can work together to achieve a positive outcome. In the last year alone we have worked with over 330 people and we have some brilliant case studies on our new website which shows the extent of our work.”
Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities said: “This is a hugely positive scheme which has often been the catalyst to turn lives around. The officers have worked with a broad range of clients and I applaud their efforts to really make a difference.”
CFRS Station Manager Dave Pilling said: “The work that Phoenix has done over the last year highlights the flexible nature of the project. Phoenix has pushed barriers this year to work with more socially isolated members of the community, bringing them into fire stations to begin the reintegration with their local communities. If you would like to work with the Phoenix team please contact them on 01326 318177”
Story posted 30 September 2014
Following the success of a series of events over the past year when almost 1,000 dogs were microchipped in just one week, Cornwall Council in partnership with Dogs Trust, is holding another series of free dog microchipping this October.
Dogs Trust is providing a team of roaming vet nurses who will microchip dogs free of charge.
From 2016 it will be a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped which normally costs up to £20.
You are also reminded that your dog must wear a collar and tag with contact details when in a public place.
Cornwall Council Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officers will be at the events to offer any advice or if people wish to discuss any dog issues.
The events will be held on
Location and time
Location and time
Council office car park
9am – 12 noon
Beacon Car Park
1pm – 5pm
Penrose car park
9am – 12 noon
Ships and Castles Leisure
Centre car park
1pm – 5pm
Council office car park
9am – 12 noon
1pm – 5pm
Splash Leisure Centre car park
9am – 5pm
Lux Park Leisure Centre car park
9am – 12 noon
Free car park
1pm – 5pm
Cornwall Council Head of Public Health and Protection Allan Hampshire says: “We need dog owners to be responsible for their pets and this latest drive to get dogs microchipped will give owners the reassurance that should their pet become lost or be stolen, he or she is more likely to be returned to them safe and sound.
Local authorities and vets will have scanners so that any dog that is found straying or reported for dangerous behaviour can then be traced back to the owner. If the authorities come across a dog after 2016 that does not have a microchip, the owner will be required to have it chipped urgently or face a fine.”
Lee Paris from Dogs Trust says: “Dogs Trust is delighted to be working with Cornwall Council on another microchipping campaign and is urging dog owners to take advantage of the offer. The issue of stray dogs continues to be a problem across the country and in many cases dogs can be easily reunited with their owners if they were microchipped. While at Dogs Trust we never put a healthy dog to sleep, our rehoming centres are very stretched so we constantly need to reach out to dog owners to help them get their dogs microchipped and neutered to help prevent the scores of stray and unwanted dogs we take in every year. In order to try and reduce any problems and any preventable separations Dogs Trust stresses the importance of also keeping the microchipping details up to date.”
Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown says: ““Most dog owners are very responsible and I welcome this scheme which will enable dogs to be easily identified and enhance the animal’s well-being.”
Story posted 30 September 2014
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and Cornwall Council Road Safety are joining forces in support of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Ageing Safely Week.
Throughout the UK, fire and rescue services, in partnership with road safety teams, are working to provide practical help and advice to older people and undertake targeted prevention and protection activities to help them to stay safe.
In Cornwall, experts will be attending flu jab clinics this week to highlight initiatives such as Driving Safer for Longer and the ongoing campaign to provide fire and carbon monoxide safety advice to those most at risk in the community.
Statistics show that the risk of dying in a fire, or being involved in a road traffic collision, increases greatly for those aged 65 and over.With an ever-increasing older population – 23% of the UK will be aged 65 and over by 2035 – activities to help older people prevent fires and keep themselves safe on the road are likely to form a growing part of partnership work over the coming years.
Tamsin Ferris, Road Safety Officer who will be providing information about the Driving Safer for Longer scheme, says: “In Cornwall older drivers are over represented in road casualties. For this reason the ‘Driving Safer for Longer’ scheme was set up which aims to provide information round any increased risk that older drivers may face and advice to assist them if they wish to continue to enjoy driving, while being aware of any adjustments they may need to make as they get older.”
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Crew Manager Mark Pratten comments: “UK fire services carried out 274,000 home fire safety checks in households with a person aged 65 or over last year. CFRS currently conduct over 5000 home fire safety visits to targeted groups across Cornwall. We also engage with older people through group visits to WI’s and Age UK day centres; working closely with Dementia Alliance and Memory cafes. We also provide fire and carbon monoxide safety awareness information at GP’s surgeries when they are conducting Flu jab clinics.”
As part of the initiative, older people are also being encouraged by the Safer Cornwall partnership to speak out if they feel that they are being treated in a way that causes them fear or alarm. David Parker, Community Safety Officer, comments: “We want everyone to feel valued, to celebrate diversity and to understand different people’s needs whatever their age. If you or an older person you know is being treated in a way that causes alarm or fear, this is called hate crime and should be reported either through the Police or Disability Cornwall who are acting as a third party reporting centre for Safer Cornwall.”
Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said: “I am delighted to support this campaign. With increasing life expectancy it is important that we do all we can to assist people to age safely.”
Story posted 30 September 2014
Cornwall Council has introduced a ‘zero tolerance’ initiative to address the issue of violence, aggression and unacceptable behaviour directed towards Council employees.
The Council takes all incidents of violence and abuse towards its employees extremely seriously and the zero tolerance initiative has been developed following an increase in the number of incidents involving abuse.
A survey carried out among Council employees earlier this year found that 95% of the 500 people who responded had experienced verbal abuse either face to face or on the phone at least once in the previous three months. Nearly 16% had been verbally abused on more than six occasions during that time.
The aim of the new initiative is to send a clear message to the public that violence and aggression towards any Cornwall Council employee is unacceptable.
Over the past few months the Council has worked with Devon and Cornwall police to take legal action against two members of the public who verbally abused and harassed Civil Parking Enforcement Officers. In the first incident a member of the public who verbally abused a Civil Parking Enforcement Officer in Penzance was issued with a £90 fixed penalty notice by the police, while in the second a St Ives man was given a police caution for harassing a CEO while he was carrying out his duties in the town.
“We acknowledge that the vast majority of people that we have dealings with are civil and polite” said the Council’s Chief Executive Andrew Kerr. “However we will not accept any form of abuse towards our staff who are carrying out their daily duties and will take appropriate measures to support them, including prosecution”.
“The survey also showed that 80% of the staff who had experienced verbal abuse had not reported the incident and, as well as providing further training for staff on how to deal with such incidents, we will also be making it easier for them to report it”.
Managers will be provided with a toolkit on how they can support employees to deal with incidents, including sending letters to the perpetrator and registering them on the cautionary contact list.
Story posted 30 September 2014
More than 100 communities in Cornwall have submitted nominations for land or buildings in their local areas to be listed as community assets – the highest number of nominations in the country.
The Community Right to Bid, which was introduced as part of 2011 Localism Act 2011, enables town and parish councils and local voluntary and community organisations to nominate local land or buildings to be included in the list of Assets of Community Value. This then gives local communities the chance to bid to buy the asset if it comes up for sale. It does not matter who owns the asset - if it is of value to the community then it could be listed as an Asset of Community Value.
Examples of a community asset include village shops, pubs, community centres and playing fields.
Cornwall Council received its first nomination on 15 October 2012 - this was for land at St Eval air field to be listed as a community asset. Since then it has received 107 other nominations – making a total of 108 nominations – resulting in Cornwall becoming the area with the highest number of nominations in the country.
Other nominations which have been received include :
The Council is continuing to encourage nominations so that local communities have a fairer chance to buy the assets that are important to them.
Jeremy Rowe, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Devolution and Localism, has welcomed the success of the scheme in Cornwall. “The legislation means that local people and communities can use the Community Right to Bid to ‘pause’ the sale of buildings or land they care about. This could be their local pub, village shop, village hall or playing field.
“Under the scheme communities who successfully nominate an asset to be included in the list then have up to six months to buy the asset for the community.”
Story posted 30 September 2014
To kick off National Liftshare Week, any registered member (new or existing) who adds a new journey to share between 6 October and 2 November, will be entered into a prize draw to win a free MOT test at either of Cornwall Council’s two MOT test centres.
The site, run by Cornwall Council, provides a way in which people can search for and request a lift to work, college, and entertainment events or for any other trip they may normally undertake on their own in the car.
Sharing a lift halves fuel costs and helps to reduce congestion and pollution on the roads. There’s also the great social aspect with car sharing of being able to chat to someone on the journey.
It is free to register on the Carshare Cornwall site and members can register regular or one-off journeys and the site will search for anyone else travelling a similar journey. Members can then get in contact with each other through the site and arrange sharing a lift. It is also linked to the national Liftshare network so out of county journeys can also be searched for.
Story posted 30 September 2014
News that the final piece of the funding package to support the improvements to St Mary’s and Penzance harbours has now been confirmed has been welcomed by the partnership which will be delivering the £11.9m scheme.
The sea link between the mainland and the Isles of Scilly is a vital lifeline for the communities and businesses of Scilly, providing transport for the majority of freight and carrying more than 80,000 passengers to and from the Isles.
The improvements to the two harbours, which includes carrying out pier widening and improving freight handling facilities at St Mary’s and dredging at Penzance, will help safeguard the future of the sea link by creating deeper water berths which will increase the range of vessels which could potentially provide the service in the future.
Last month the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin announced that the Department for Transport was making £6.347m available for the harbour works at St Mary's, together with dredging and traffic management improvements for the harbour at Penzance. The Department for Transport is also giving Cornwall Council a further £976,000 to cover the costs of preparatory works for the scheme. These costs would normally be met by the local authority.
The remaining funding was due to come from Europe and this week it was confirmed that the scheme had been awarded £5.560m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This announcement means that the works can now begin, with the dredging and highways work at Penzance expected to be completed by 31 March 2015, and the harbour extension and other works at St Mary’s due to be completed by 30 June 2015.
The scheme has been developed by a partnership including Cornwall Council, Council of the Isles of Scilly, Penzance Town Council, Duchy of Cornwall, Isles of Scilly Steamship Company and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, with support from West Cornwall MP Andrew George. Cornwall Council is the Accountable Body for the funding and will ensure the improvements at Penzance and St Mary's Harbours are delivered.
Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Waste, said “The link between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly is a vital component in linking the Island communities to the mainland. It is always important that the sort of partnership that has given rise to this project is in place to ensure that all the British Islands are able to enjoy the benefits of resilient and modern transport. It is good to know we can now giss’on with these works”.
Welcoming the formal confirmation of the funding, the Council of the Isles of Scilly Council, Duchy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, said “The St Mary’s Quay partnership came together at the behest of the Department of Transport to design a lower cost, deliverable, functional scheme that delivers improved vessel options and improved passenger and freight facilities. Now, with support from Cornwall Council, the scheme has come to fruition and we are all looking forward to the completion of the works. ”
Chris Pomfret, Chair of the LEP and Deputy Chair of the Convergence Local Management Committee, which steers the Convergence programme said “This investment complements previous ERDF projects to connect the Islands both physically and digitally. The arrival of superfast, the work at St Mary’s and Lands’ End airports, and the previous slipway improvements at Porthloo demonstrates how European funding has enhanced both social and economic opportunities for the islanders for many years to come.”
“Cormac Solutions Ltd are delighted to have been appointed to undertake a design and build contract to provide the highway improvements to facilitate the development of this important transport link” added Dominic Bostock, from CORMAC Solutions Ltd. “We have been particularly active in Penzance over the past six months, with the rebuilding of the coastal defence at Newlyn Green and Bolitho Gardens along with the Promenade maintenance works, and have forged strong links with the local community which will be extended through our delivery of these works.”
Phil Osmond, the Project manager for Mace, who are acting for Cornwall Council on the project, said “Mace are delighted to be involved in such a worthwhile project . We are well aware of the importance of good sea links between St Mary’s and Penzance, having worked previously with the Council of the Isles of Scilly. Acting for Cornwall Council we are extremely pleased to be providing project control services for works at both ports.”
Peter Marsh, the Operations Director for Kier, said “Kier Infrastructure are delighted to have been appointed as the design and construct contractor for the St Mary’s Harbour Improvements as this is such a strategically important project to the island community. We are extremely conscious of the vital importance of the sea link between St Mary’s and Penzance. This continues our long commitment to port and coastal works in the South West Region and we are pleased to be working in partnership with Cornwall Council and the wider project stakeholders.”
Peter Madsen Rederi A/S will be carrying out dredging within the Penzance Harbour and the Harbour entrance as part of the upgrade to the Penzance – St Mary’s sea link.
Director of Peter Madsen Rederi A/S John Madsen, commented ‘We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and we aim to complete it within the next four months with the minimum impact to other users of the harbour’.
Story posted 26 September 2014
The Council’s Public Health and Protection (PH&P) team is supporting a call from Public Health England (PHE) for everyone to practise good hand hygiene when visiting farm attractions.
The Council’s PH&P team regularly visit the owners of petting farms and other animal visitor attractions to give them advice on how to prevent their visitors being at risk of falling ill and reminding the public to take care and wash hands after being in contact with animals.
John Dickinson, Cornwall Council Commercial Food and Safety Officer says: “Farm visits are great fun. They play a valuable part in the education and development of children and young adults and provide an enjoyable experience for many people. However, it is important to remember that a range of infections can be passed on through contact with animals unless care is taken to avoid them.
“The risk of becoming unwell from illnesses such as E.coli O157 is very low as thousands of people visit such attractions and there are on average only three outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease linked to visits to petting farms every year. The route of infection in these outbreaks is generally through contact with germs from animals. These germs are ingested when people contaminate food they handle or eat or when they put their fingers or other contaminated objects such as dummies or soothers in their mouths.”
To reduce the risk of illness, adults and children should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water after they have handled animals or touched surfaces at the farm, and always before eating or drinking.
"Hand-washing is the single most important prevention step in reducing the spread of gastrointestinal infections after handling animals”, explains John; “It is important that attraction owners provide good, well signed hand washing facilities, ideally located at the point where visitors leave the animal contact area. Responsible adults should closely supervise their children when they are petting the animals and washing their hands.”
Dr Mark Kealy, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset PHE Centre said: “Visiting a farm is a very enjoyable experience for both children and adults alike but it's important to remember that contact with farm animals carries a risk of infection because of the microorganisms - or germs - they carry.
“Anyone visiting a petting farm should be aware of the need to wash their hands thoroughly using soap and water after they have handled animals or been in their surroundings. Children are more at risk of serious illness and should be closely supervised to make sure that they wash their hands thoroughly.
“It is also very important not to rely on hand gels and wipes for protection because these are not suitable against the sort of germs found on farms.
“By being aware and by doing these simple things we can help to avoid illness and enjoy a fun day out.”
Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown says: “We have several very well run attractions in Cornwall where children and adults alike can go and meet farm animals and learn more about them. It is important for us all to have an appreciation for all animals but we must be sensible of our responsibility to look after ourselves and our children. Our team at the Council do a great job in making sure that attractions have the right level of warning signs and facilities in place to encourage people to wash their hands and I urge everyone to understand how important it is to wash hands after being in contact with the animals.”
There has been a marked reduction in the number of reported cases of E.coli O157 in Cornwall associated with the consumption of food products since the Council’s commercial food and safety team have adopted a robust approach during inspections. They have also offered guidance and training to ensure that food businesses operators (FBO’s) are fully aware of the risks and have adequate preventative measures in place to avoid cross contamination risks.
Parents planning to take their children to visitor attractions with animals are urged to take particular care with hand-washing and to follow the instructions provided at the attraction.
As well as thorough hand washing, visitors are advised:
If you or anyone in your group is sick or has diarrhoea within two weeks of visiting a farm, contact your GP or call NHS 111 as soon as possible. If you or anyone in your group, particularly a young child, has bloody diarrhoea, seek immediate emergency medical attention.
Children under five should not attend school/nursery/group childcare until they have been free of sickness or diarrhoea for two days. Tests may be required to confirm that a child is free from infection.
Parents should confirm with their health professional whether it is safe for them to return before the child returns to school or nursery.
Further advice for anyone with a petting farm is available from Cornwall Council’s Public Health and Protection team on 0300 1234 212.
Story posted 17 April 2014
The main road between Port Gaverne and Port Isaac re opened yesterday after the repairs to the carriageway were completed by teams from CORMAC Solutions Ltd.
A length of wall approximately 10m long and 3m high opposite The Beach House was destroyed by the storms in February, with damage caused to more than half of the width of the road. The storms also caused significant damage to the sea wall and to the water main.
Following repairs to the water main carried out by South West Water at the end of last week, a structures maintenance team from CORMAC have now replaced the wall with a new concrete structure which is faced with the original stone salvaged from the beach. A new parapet has also been built to match the original parapet in style and shape. The road has also been re instated, enabling it to be re opened to traffic.
The steps, which were also destroyed in the storms, are now being rebuilt, with works expected to be completed by the end of next week.
The costs of rebuilding the wall and re instating the road are estimated at around £60,000.
Local Cornwall Councillor Andy Penny has welcomed the re opening of the road. “I am delighted with the fantastic job Cormac have done rebuilding our road & sea wall at Port Gaverne.” he said. “It's been tough for residents and businesses over the last couple of months but great to see the road open in time for the Easter holidays”.
Story posted 4 April 2014
A Penzance man who verbally abused one of the Council’s Civil Parking Enforcement Officers has been issued with a £90 fixed penalty notice by Devon and Cornwall Police.
The incident took place in Penzance’s Clarence Street on 5 March when the abusive comments made by the member of the public were recorded. CEOs are provided with lone worker devices as well as trialling head/body worn cameras to capture evidence of abuse, and have links for the police to be alerted.
The Council takes all incidents of violence or abuse towards its staff extremely seriously and is currently developing a Zero Tolerance initiative as a result of an increase in the number of incidents involving abuse. This initiative is due to be launched in the Summer.
“We recently asked staff to let us know if they had suffered abuse from members of the public to assess the scale of the problem and will be using the results of this survey to help develop the Zero Tolerance initiative” said Chief Executive Andrew Kerr.
“We acknowledge that the vast majority of people that we have dealings with are civil and polite. However we will not accept any form of abuse towards our staff who are carrying out their daily duties and will take appropriate measures to support them, including prosecution."
Story posted 7 April 2014
Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing are holding a public exhibition in Liskeard and inviting residents to view and to give their opinions on a proposal to provide an authorised and managed Gypsy and Traveller transit site at South Treviddo, near Liskeard (on the junction of the Looe Road with the A30).
The exhibition will be held in the Long Room, Public Hall, 3-5 West Street, Liskeard PL14 6BW on Thursday 10 April from 10am to 6pm.
Jane Barlow, managing director of Cornwall Housing explains: “We really want people to come and see the details; speak to representatives from Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing and give their views. We have spoken informally with the local parish councils and Cornwall councillors and we have written to those immediately in the vicinity of the proposed site. We now want to get the views of those who live in and around the area.”
This proposal is for what is known as a transit site which will be robustly managed and will provide temporary accommodation with basic facilities, such as toilets and a water supply, for Gypsy and Traveller families as they travel across Cornwall. The longest amount of time families will stay on the site is three months. Cornwall Council has a statutory responsibility to provide sites and Cornwall Housing has been given ring fenced funding by the Homes and Communities Agency for this purpose.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said: “Cornwall Council is committed to ensuring that members of the travelling communities have the same rights and responsibilities as every other person. Properly managed sites will benefit Gypsies and Travellers and the local settled community alike. They will reduce the number of unauthorised encampments that sometimes cause problems and increase the potential risk of tensions between Gypsies and Travellers and the local population. Unauthorised sites also raise concern amongst many that some in the Gypsy and Traveller population do not abide by the planning system. By providing properly managed sites, there is an alternative for Gypsies and Travellers rather than taking the unauthorised route.
There is an urgent need for a managed transit site and this piece of Council owned land is available and suitable because of its accessibility and location for a short stay transit site for no more than 15 families.”
In addition to this public consultation, any proposal will be subject to the full planning process.
The Council and Cornwall Housing will be bringing forward further proposed locations in other parts of Cornwall as it works to provide a network of small sites to meet existing needs and to address unauthorised encampments.
Story posted 01 April 2014
Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Edwina Hannaford, has welcomed the Minister for Floods announcement on the launch of the new Repair and Renew grants.
The grants, of up to £5,000, are being made available to help households and businesses pay for repairs to improve their property's ability to withstand future flooding.
Edwina Hannaford said: “Cornwall was hit very hard by the storms and floods earlier this year and have left many people struggling to cope physically and financially. Cornwall’s communities are incredibly resilient and these new grants will help them to make their homes and business premises more prepared for severe weather and flooding in the future.
“There are a number of schemes available to help people whose properties have been damaged by flooding and I’m very pleased that people can now apply for help from the Repair and Renew scheme as well.”
Households, businesses - including social enterprises - and charitable organisations whose premises have been damaged internally by flooding between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014 can now apply to Cornwall Council for assistance through the new, one off, grant scheme.
To be able to qualify for a grant, the flooded property will need to meet certain criteria including:
Advice on selecting the most appropriate resilience and/or resistance measures is available on the Property Protection Adviser website: http://nationalfloodforum.org.uk/property-level-protection-community-tool/
More information about the Repair and Renew grants, and other schemes available to help people affected by flooding, is on the Cornwall Council website www.cornwall.gov.uk/floodrelief.
Story posted 2 April 2014
The first service in Cornwall to remember people who have died following substance misuse was held in Truro Cathedral on Saturday 20 September.
The event was intended both as a memorial service and to provide support and encouragement to people struggling with addiction. Addaction and other agencies were on hand to give help and advice to anyone going through similar experiences, and also to support family and friends whose loved ones lost their battle with addiction.
Cornwall is thought to be only the third area to hold such an event, alongside Bristol, and Glasgow which has staged a similar tribute for 21 years. Plymouth Drug and Alcohol services held a similar event on the same day at the Minster Church of St Andrew.
Sid Willett, Drug Related Death Prevention Co-ordinator at Cornwall Council, said: ‘On average, there are around 20 drug-related deaths per year in Cornwall, and more if alcohol is considered. Each of these represents a premature death, which is by and large preventable. We are reaching out to people in Cornwall and beyond who may have experienced a family member, loved one or friend die as a result of substance misuse. This service poignantly highlighted these losses with contributions from those touched by this issue.
‘With this service of remembrance, we wanted to show that people who have died as a result of substance misuse issues are not forgotten and that their passing leaves a legacy of change for others encountering similar issues. The families need to know that they have support and can grieve as any other. These deaths are not acceptable in this day and age and another positive aspect of this service is that highlighting these issues can only lead to greater dialogue and focus on preventing them in the first place.’
Canon Lynda Barley, Canon Pastor at Truro Cathedral, who led the service added: ‘We are honoured to host the first Acorn service at the Cathedral and pray that it will generate increasing awareness of those affected by substance misuse. This growing problem is a blight on our communities across Cornwall and we are pleased to support the families, friends and agencies working with both young and older people struggling in this way.
‘It is important that we have the opportunity to celebrate the lives of those lost and to affirm our hope in God's undying love for them. From the small beginning of this Acorn Service we pray that it will prompt us all to bring our energies to address this often unseen issue.’
The service was attended by Vice-Chairman of Cornwall Council, Cllr Ann Kerridge. It included music from Luke Deakin, a singer/songwriter, and two personal reflections: all three have experience of losing someone through substance misuse or a personal recovery journey. The Easter Candle was lit as part of the service and the congregation invited to light candles too for their loved ones.
Cllr Jim McKenna, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care, introduced the service. He said: ‘Every person who has died from a substance misuse death was a family member, a son, a daughter, a friend, a partner. Having this service at Truro Cathedral sends out a clear message that Cornwall cares. We care that people are dying before their time. We care that there are a lot of people left in the wake of these deaths deserving help. We can all do more to recognise and help prevent future deaths, and care enough to know that a little more compassion can make a difference.’
David James read a personal reflection about his brother Chris. He explained:
‘When someone you love dies in the circumstances Chris died in, you are overwhelmed with memories, guilt, self-questioning and regrets. The things you did and experienced together flood back as do the key moments in your shared lives.‘Even more important than the memories of what you both did, is the common humanity you shared. With Chris, those moments where we understood each other’s sensitivity and awkwardness, felt each other’s vulnerability, shared humour simply through a glance or an expression and communicated love and genuine concern without fuss or even words are the moments I miss and long for.’
To support anyone who attended who is going through similar experiences or knows people who are, Addaction and other agencies had volunteer counsellors and drug treatment workers on hand to talk to.
Michelle Mcleavy, Addaction Area Manager for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: ‘We welcomed the opportunity to be a part of this important event as it allows the celebration of the lives of individuals who were loved and valued by their families and friends, whilst also providing a safe place for loved ones to share the sense of loss their passing leaves behind.
‘We hope that the families and friends, staff and service users and members of the public who attend will be able to gain hope and strength from each other and draw inspiration from the Acorn Service to support them for the future.’
Story posted 22 September 2014
Cornwall Council Chairman John Wood has chosen an organisation which supports the thousands of young people in Cornwall who care for others as his official charity.
While there are currently 588 known carers in Cornwall, Census statistics suggests that the true figure is nearer to 4,000 with1,217 young people aged 0 – 15 providing unpaid care, and a further 2,682 aged 16 to 24. Many young carers do not come forward as they see nothing unusual about their role and its part of their family life.
Announcing that he had chosen Cornwall Young Carers as his official charity John Wood said that it was vital to support these young people who do so much for others.
“Research shows than 1 in 12 young carers are caring for someone for more than 15 hours a week, with one in 20 missing school because of their caring responsibilities” said John.
“Cornwall Young Carers supports these young people who are helping others and I want people in Cornwall to get behind the charity so we can help raise money to support the learning and achievement of our young carers.”
A small group of staff have joined with some of Cornwall’s young carers to set up a fund raising group which will be organising a series of events and activities over the next few months. All the money raised by the group will be administered by young carers for young carers on behalf of the charity.
The first event is a car wash day in the main car park at New County Hall,Truro on Tuesday, 28 October, which is being sponsored by Dales Cars. The car washing will take place between 10 am and 4pm, with a minimum donation of £5 per car. The Fire Service will be supplying the water for the car wash, with officers from Truro Fire Station helping to wash cars for an hour during the day.
Other events which are being planned include a Donation raffle on 25 November; a best dressed office competition in December; an online cryptic quiz being staged during January; a black and gold day in February when staff and Members will pay £1 to wear the Cornish colours for the day; a “Goodwill” bank event in March where staff and Members can donate skills or some time which others can then “purchase”; a cake and bake sale in April and a sponsored bike ride along cycle trails across Cornwall during the May half term.
Story posted 26 September 2014
Nuisance phone calls will be a thing of the past for Mrs Diana Holman and her husband Michael after she won a competition run by Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team.
The competition was run as part of the Council’s annual “Scams Awareness” campaign and was intended to highlight the dangers of responding to bogus phone calls and fake prize notifications. Members of the public were invited to send in examples of scam mail they had received as well as completing a tongue-in-cheek competition. Mrs Holman from Liskeard was pleased to be able to take part: “We receive at least four unwanted phone calls every day and at all times of the day and night. Sometimes people try to sell us things, sometimes the calls are from automated voices and sometimes people try to obtain bank details or other personal information. Although we never fall for the scam the number of calls is a real nuisance.”
Julia Groves from Trading Standards explained that there are genuine products on the market that can help to block nuisance calls but that scammers have also used the tactic to steal money from unsuspecting members of the public. She said: “This summer saw a string of complaints to the police and Trading Standards about call-blocking services that had been sold to consumers on the telephone. Payment was taken over the phone but of course, no call blocking service was ever provided. Other complaints related to call-blocking equipment that proved to be of poor quality and failed to perform properly. So as well as warning people to be on their guard against these tactics we wanted to highlight that there are genuine products available.”
Presenting Mrs Holman with her call blocker equipment, Allan Hampshire, Head of Public Protection at Cornwall Council thanked TrueCall, the company that had provided the prize and added to the warning;
“By responding to just one scam phone call or bogus prize notification letter we become much more likely to be repeatedly targeted by fraudsters and scammers across the world. Our details will be added to a list of people who have fallen for one trick and will be sold to other gangs and fraudsters again and again. Our advice is clear: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Never deal with anyone who phones, writes or visits without being asked.”
Learn how to protect yourself from scams on our website or call 0300 1234 191.
Story posted 25 September 2014
Photo above shows left to right: Allan Hampshire Head of Public Protection and Business Support, Eimear Branney, Environmental Protection Officer in the Environmental Protection Team and Chris Selby, Senior Officer (Community Protection) collecting the award on behalf of the panel.
The work of Cornwall Council’s Wind Turbine Assessment Panel has been awarded a CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) Presidents Award.
Set up to ensure a consistent approach to assessing the noise data that accompanies planning applications for wind turbines, the Wind Turbine Assessment Panel has been recognised as “The organisation or environmental health team in the UK or abroad that has made the greatest contribution to environmental and/or public health in 2013”.
The Wind Turbine Assessment Panel which is made up of Officers from Cornwall Councils Public Protection and Business Support Service (WTAP) assess noise reports that accompany planning applications for wind turbines and provide specific technical knowledge of noise to assist with decision making and, where appropriate, the use of planning conditions for wind turbine development of all sizes.
Cornwall Council Head of Head of Public Protection and Business Support Allan Hampshire said: “The Award is a testament to the achievements of the Panel which works hard to ensure a standardised and consistent approach to assessing the noise impact of wind turbine applications. It has developed guidance and minimum required information that should be submitted with a planning application for a wind turbine. In this way consistent advice is provided to colleagues in planning regarding the positioning of wind turbines so that there is minimum impact from noise on those living near wind turbine developments.”
Acoustic consultant Michael McGhee who has submitted noise assessments for wind turbine planning applications in the past says: “The guidance on minimum information requirements gave me confidence whilst completing Neo Environmental’s wind turbine acoustic assessments, which enabled our team to better design clients developments to take account of residential amenity in a way which was robust and in the interests of everyone involved. It would be great if more councils followed this example, which also resulted in council officials spending less time guiding consultants at the early stages of a project”.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said: “Well done to the team. Cornwall is once again on the front foot as we recognise that wind power is an ever growing area of power generation that without suitable restrictive use can cause significant detrimental impact from noise on the local community.”
The quality of acoustic information that is now provided with turbine applications has improved dramatically leading to less time spent on applications and the ability to process applications more quickly, efficiently and equitably.
Story posted 1 August 2014
Cornwall’s pioneering Hepatitis C treatment programme, bringing care to people in their local communities, has been highly commended in the national Quality in Care awards. The programme is run by Addaction, commissioned by Cornwall Council’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), and was in the ‘best treatment pathway initiative’ group, Hepatitis category.
Eight finalists were announced at the end of July and Helen Hampton of Addaction was presented with a certificate on behalf of the team at the British Association for the Study of the Liver conference (BASL) on 16 September.
In being designated ‘highly commended’, the Addaction programme is recognised as producing efficient and high-quality results in the people they work with, and as being well supported and appreciated by people who use the service.
The programme tackles the difficulties that people with Hepatitis C faced getting treatment in Cornwall. Hepatitis C treatment is lengthy and often very challenging for people. It is a priority to prevent the spread of the disease in Cornwall and to engage people as early as possible in treatment. It was seen that people in drug treatment with Hepatitis C, from rural communities, often struggled to reach appointments at Royal Cornwall Hospital, or clinics at Camborne Redruth, Bodmin, Penzance or St Austell hospitals, and were failing to respond to treatment as a result.
Helen Hampton is a specialist blood-borne virus (BBV) nurse, with training in liver diseases. She led a pilot programme in 2008, treating 10 patients via a specialist clinic in a Penzance GP practice, and had very positive results, with all 10 patients attending every appointment and the majority responding positively to treatment. Helen then rolled out the programme, initially to North Cornwall, and since then to other rural areas, where patients were typically finding it hard to get to their hospital appointments.
A new means of testing for Hepatitis C has been introduced, called Dry Blood Spot Testing (DBST). Instead of taking a standard blood test, a finger-prick test is taken and training has been given to all Addaction staff to carry out this test. This has led to more than 85% of at-risk clients being tested, and will lead to more people getting into treatment programmes. Helen reviews all the results, and discusses each case at a monthly multi-disciplinary meeting with the hepatology team and other colleagues.
Dr Hussaini, Consultant Hepatologist and Gastroenterologist at Royal Cornwall Hospital, said, ‘This programme has been recognised as a model of community-based provision of Hepatitis C treatment. Improved access to high quality Hepatitis C treatment leads to greater numbers of treated patients who, with modern therapies, can be cured in more than 90% of cases.’
Jim McKenna, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care, was delighted with the announcement, saying, ‘It’s great news that the work we have commissioned through Addaction has produced such innovation and improvement and been recognised nationally. Reaching people who can’t access regular services has always been a challenge in Cornwall, and taking the services to Hepatitis C patients in this way – linking with other drug support services, or probation service appointments where appropriate – has been very effective. Congratulations to the team for the award, and to Helen in particular!’
The Quality in Care (QiC) Hepatitis C awards recognise, reward and share good practice in Hepatitis C prevention, diagnosis and testing, treatment pathways and patient support throughout the UK.
The judges commented, on presenting the certificate to Helen, ‘This is an example of excellent multi-agency working. A brilliant co-ordination between primary and secondary care services, designed for the rural community in Cornwall, delivering excellent outcomes for patients.’
In addition to this, Addaction is also launching other new initiatives locally, including: a buddying system for people with Hepatitis C to support them with their diagnosis and treatment journey; and a peer-to-peer system, with two ‘experts by experience’ in Hepatitis C, who will be telling their stories to healthcare and other support providers. These form strands in the wider aim of eliminating Hepatitis C in Cornwall, increasing awareness of the disease. It is hoped that this will widen testing and improve treatment rates, and will run alongside a workforce development programme. This demonstrates great partnership between the Council, Addaction, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, and the Hep C Trust.
Story posted 25 September 2014
With the warmer weather this summer, and the occasional almost tropical rain storm, gardens in Cornwall have flourished, creating an abundance of surplus garden waste.
With autumn almost upon us, the time has come to prune, trim and prepare the garden for next year. But what should you do with all the debris?
Instead of seeing it as waste, think of it as the magic ingredient that with very little work can be recycled to give you a free supply of top quality compost.
Simply throw it into a compost bin and over the winter months it will rot down to produce environmentally friendly compost for your garden that will suppress weeds and retain moisture in the drier months.
Home composting has many benefits:
Bert Biscoe, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transportation and Waste said ‘Typically, one third of all household rubbish and garden waste is organic matter which can be recycled at home in a compost bin. Home composting not only helps to significantly reduce carbon emissions, it can also be used as an effective and sustainable waste management method to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.’
To encourage residents to get composting, Cornwall Council has teamed up with Getcomposting.com to offer Home Compost Bins at special offer prices from only £19.98 (RRP £39). There is also a ‘buy one get one half price offer’, adding extra value to residents with larger gardens or those who team up with a friend or neighbour to buy a bin.
The traditional compost bins are suitable for turning garden waste and uncooked vegetable waste into compost, but if you want to broaden the range of material that can be recycled to include cooked food, we now have Green Johanna compost bins available for a limited time only at the fantastic subsidised price of just £24.00 .
Getcomposting also have some very special offers on a range of other green goodies including special offer water butts with ‘buy one get one half price’ and a selection of accessories.
The Council's website also has general information on recycling and waste including tips on how to reduce the amount of waste you produce,
Story posted 25 September 2014