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Council sets out draft budget proposals

Corwall Council News - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 17:14

Cornwall Council has today published its proposals for saving £196m over the next four years and is asking members of the public, partner organisations and staff to give their views on the draft budget and come forward with any other ideas for saving money.

The Council's aim is to strengthen its partnerships with the rest of the public and community sector in order to make as many savings as possible without cuts to frontline services. The authority is seeking to devolve at least £34m of services to town and parish councils and to work on integrating services currently run by government departments, the NHS, voluntary and community sectors and Cornwall Council.

The unprecedented scale of the savings required means that all areas of the Council are affected by the draft proposals.  However, rather than simply ‘salami slice’ every service, the authority has developed a four year plan which will help protect the three key priority areas identified by the public and Members during last year’s budget consultation.  These are services for the most vulnerable in society (including vulnerable adults, children, older people and the poorest), public transport, and road repairs and maintenance.

“We are determined to focus on what Cornwall will be like in 2019, rather than what we need to cut” said Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard.

“Budgetary constraints and the changing nature of Local Government require a different approach and, as we said last year, we want to build a resilient and sustainable Cornwall and not simply reduce the services we provide.

“To this end we have worked with Councillors, officers and partners to develop this budget, the Council’s strategy which underpins it, and a Business Plan which will implement it.  Our commitment is to create a leaner, more resourceful organisation that delivers essential council services in the most efficient and effective way.  This also means having the courage to make some extremely difficult decisions.

“At the same time we have been pressing the Government to change the way local government is funded to give Cornwall a fairer share of the money it allocates to councils to provide services.  We currently receive less than half the money per head of population than that given to Hackney and if we were funded in the same way as an average urban council we would receive an additional £48m a year.  We are continuing to have discussions with Ministers over the need to recognise the cost of providing services to people in Cornwall and have recently sent a submission to the Independent Commission set up to look at this issue setting out how we think the system should be reformed.”

Alex Folkes, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said “Over the past few months we have looked closely at everything we do to see how we can protect services by becoming more efficient and changing the way the Council is run.  We started with the money we spend on ourselves and have already identified more than £30 million of savings through a radical restructure of senior management, reducing the use of consultants and agency staff by 59%, and a local pay agreement with staff.  This work is continuing, with further savings due to come from ongoing restructuring and the sale of surplus buildings, but the sheer scale of the savings we need to make means we cannot rely on these actions alone. “

"We are looking to work much more closely with the rest of the public sector and the voluntary and community sector.  We will be seeking to integrate our services and to share support functions and buildings wherever possible.  But we know that front line services will also be hit and so we have worked with elected members, with partners and with the public to understand where they feel savings can be made and which services should be protected."

“However we are also looking to the future and to developing the skills, jobs and infrastructure that Cornwall needs.  We persuaded the Government to allow decisions on spending our European funding to be made in Cornwall, and we have seen significant Government investment in our rail, air and road links. We are also investing £50 million in match funding for the next round of the EU convergence programme."

“The draft budget proposals include some things which we would want to do regardless of the need to make savings.  These include further reducing the number of buildings and working more closely with partners to share costs.  Others are savings we would prefer not to have to make and which we know will have a significant impact on the people who use these services.  But, faced with the need to save £196m from our budget , we have very little choice.

“However even implementing all these proposals will still leave us with a £6 million shortfall and this figure could rise depending on Government funding decisions.  We have already ruled out a number of options as unacceptable in the current circumstances and, rather than have to revisit them in the future, are asking people to come forward with any ideas on areas for savings we might have missed or where we could go further than we are currently suggesting.

The draft budget proposals are based around four key areas:

  • Working with staff to reduce the pay bill – including further restructuring and the transfer of staff to new models of delivery and arm’s length companies
  • New models of delivery – including integrating health and social care services; devolving further services to town and parish councils and community and voluntary groups (eg libraries ); creating trusts and partnerships to deliver services such as culture and tourism, and seeking external partners for services such as parking. 
  • Management improvements – including delivering more services digitally and through the website; reducing administrative costs in areas such as IT and postage; more effective procurement and contract management and sharing buildings with partners and community groups;
  • Increasing income – taking a more commercial approach in areas such as public protection, licensing, planning, and waste.

“We recognise that many people will be concerned at the impact of some of these proposals but the stark truth is we cannot protect services and save £196m by continuing in the same way” said Alex Folkes.  “We have to become more efficient and change the way we run the Council.  By doing this we can support key services for vulnerable children and adults, and help people who are struggling to make ends meet by maintaining council tax support.   We will also be supporting the bus network and continuing to fix potholes and maintain our roads.

“We now want to hear the views of people in Cornwall on these proposals.  We are holding 20 public meetings during October  so people can give us their views on the proposals and any new ideas”.

Following today’s publication of the draft budget, the proposals will be considered in detail by the Council’s Portfolio Advisory Committees during September. 

As well as the public meetings in October there is also an online form where people can give their views and make any suggestions. - www.cornwall.gov.uk/cornwallbudget.

This consultation will close on 29 October.

All the comments and suggestions made by members of the public and partners will then be used to produce a revised draft which will be discussed by the Cabinet on 5 November and then the full Council on 22 November when the final decision will be made. 

You can read more detailed information in the following documents:

Categories: Cornwall

Council congratulates GCSE students on their achievements

Corwall Council News - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 12:44

Cornwall Council is congratulating young people in Cornwall who have worked so hard at their GCSE courses and have today received the results that have done their talents and abilities justice.

Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said the achievements were a tribute to the hard work and commitment of both students and schools in Cornwall and praised the support provided by parents and carers. “I would like to congratulate everyone on their achievements” he said.

“All our schools are committed to providing the best quality education for their students and today’s results show that, once again, hard work has paid dividends. This is a very important time for these young people who will be making key decisions which will affect their future lives."

Also welcoming the success of Cornish students, Jane Black, the Council’s Head of Service for Learning and Achievement, said that the exams were an important stepping stone for young people in Cornwall.  “I’m really pleased to see so many young people do so well in their GCSEs.   We are still waiting for detailed results from a number of our secondary schools but anticipate that the picture here will reflect the national picture   We will be analysing the data from all our schools over the next few days when we will have a clearer idea of how they have performed”.

“The changes in the educational system mean that these young people will continue in learning or training until they are 18.  However, this does not mean they need necessarily to stay on in a classroom. While many will choose to remain in full time education, such as a school sixth form or FE College, they can also opt for work based learning such as an apprenticeship or take part in part time education or training if they are employed, self employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more per week.

“The aim of the change is to give every young person the best chance to achieve and succeed” she added. “Evidence shows that taking part in education or training beyond the age of 16 offers young people the chance to develop the skills and qualifications that will open the doors to future employment, help them make the most of their potential and earn more over their lifetime.”

Story posted 21 August 2014  

Categories: Cornwall

Truro kebab shop operator pleads guilty to operating beyond his licensed hours

Corwall Council News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 09:55

A Truro kebab shop owner pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates Court on Tuesday 19 August 2014 to operating beyond his licensed opening hours in contravention of the Licensing Act 2003.

Mehmet Gulenc, who operates the One Stop kebab shop in New Bridge Street Truro, was given a 12 month conditional discharge (reduced from 18 months due to an early guilty plea).  He was also ordered to pay the full costs of £1,045.40, together with a victim surcharge of £15.00.

The court heard that Mr Gulenc was approached by police during the early hours of Sunday 30 March 2014 when the clocks changed from Greenwich mean time and British summer time commenced.

He was advised by the officers that he was exceeding his licensed hours as the clocks had changed to British summer time. The officers had visited a number of premises that evening and all had closed following intervention by them. Mr Gulenc refused to close and became abusive to the officers when they approached him.

In mitigation, Mr Dunkley, Mr Gulenc’s solicitor said that this situation had occurred due to confusion as in Turkey the clocks changed at 4.00am and Mr Gulenc genuinely believed that this was the case in this country.  He was aware that the clocks changed on that night however did not think it would occur until after his premises shut. 

Cornwall Council Licensing Service had previously cautioned Mr Gulenc in 2013 for exceeding his hours and during an investigation by Cornwall Council’s Licensing Compliance Officer Nicola Kewn, Mr Gulenc had failed to pass over CCTV footage when requested to so.

Mr Dunkley stated that when the offence occurred for which the caution was issued, Mr Gulenc was not present at the premises, however, as he is  the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS), he accepted that he was responsible for ensuring that the law was complied with.

Magistrates accepted that there was some mitigation regarding the hour change and the confusion that occurred together with the language difficulties that the Defendant experienced, however they believed that he should have stopped trading when asked to by the Police.

Cornwall Council’s Licensing Compliance manager Bob Mears said. “We are pleased with the outcome of this enquiry and appreciate the manner in which the magistrates have considered this matter.

A prosecution is a last resort but as there had been previous breaches of the licensing hours and the premises were cautioned last year, the Council had no option but to take a firm line and to prosecute.”

Story posted 19 August 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Young people invited to join Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust course

Corwall Council News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 17:45

If you are unemployed and aged between 16 and 25 years old, you can apply to join a Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service and Prince’s Trust Team programme which aims to help unemployed young people develop the skills and confidence to move into employment, education, training, volunteering or apprenticeships.  

The next free course, which does not affect receipt of any benefits, will start on the 15 September 2014 and will be running from Camborne’s Young People Centre. If you know someone or if you yourself are interested in being on the course then please contact Andrew House, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, on 07817538964 or at ahouse@fire.cornwall.gov.uk  by the 08 September.

CFRS Team Programme is a 13 week personal development course which aims to increase confidence, motivation and skills as those taking part.  Participants will be part of a group of up to 14 young people for a 13 week programme.

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

The Team programme is also available for employees who would like a chance to develop new interpersonal skills to improve long-term career prospects.

Three in four young people on Prince’s Trust schemes move into work, education or training. The Prince’s Trust will help 55,000 disadvantaged young people this year, giving them the practical and financial support to help them turn their lives around.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for Homes and Communities Geoff Brown said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has been extremely successful in helping young people from many areas and backgrounds.  This initiative in partnership with The Prince’s Trust is to be applauded.  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 and, in some cases, turn their lives around.”

Station Manager Dave Pilling from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are delighted to be able to work with The Prince’s Trust to deliver this very worthwhile programme.  Too many young people feel they don’t have any skills and talents, and feel they’ll never amount to anything. The Team programme really does help them to turn their lives around; helping them into work, education or training, furthermore taking part in Team does not affect their benefits”.

 

Story posted 19 August 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Finistere and Cornwall museums working in partnership to preserve maritime heritage

Corwall Council News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 16:59

A partnership between the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, in Falmouth and Le Port-Musée in Douarnenez, Finistère (Brittany) has seen cutting edge technology used to preserve Cornish and Breton maritime heritage.

The two Museums have been using state of the art laser scanners to create 3D models of key boats in both their collections.  The LASCANMAR project has been made possible through €60,000 of European funding.  The INTERREG Program promotes cross border projects and helps regions of Europe share knowledge and transfer experience. 

Andy Wyke, Boat Collection Manager at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, explains: “The LASCANMAR or Laser Scanning Maritime project was conceived out of a need to satisfy a lack of 3D digital recording and documentation for maritime heritage preservation, specifically boats for which there were either no plans or a lack of recorded information.  Working in partnership with Le Port-Musée has been a hugely rewarding experience and we look forward to continuing this professional relationship for many years to come.”

In two special presentations at the Maritime Museum in Falmouth and Le Port-Musée in Douarnenez last week, the project team shared their knowledge and some of their findings with representatives from museums, universities and maritime industries.

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall will be displaying some of the results of the project later this year. To find out more about the LASCANMAR project visit www.lascanmar.com.

Story posted 6 June 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Affordable homes for Grampound Road, near Truro, complete

Corwall Council News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 16:27

A new affordable rural housing scheme in Grampound Road has been completed this week and residents have moved in.  Windmill Hill, Grampound Road, near Truro provides 44 much needed high quality new affordable homes to meet local need.

The prominently located site in Ladock Parish in mid Cornwall includes 34 homes for affordable rent and 10 for shared ownership. With house prices in Cornwall many times the average wage and rents also high, it is difficult for many local people to be able to afford a home. Affordable rural schemes like Windmill Hill Grampound Road are vital in making it possible for families to access high quality homes in a way that they otherwise could not.

Gareth Jones Development Director at DCH said: “We are delighted that this fantastic scheme at Windmill Hill, Grampound Road is complete. The new homes are an example of DCH’s commitment to delivering rural housing where there is need and the value of affordable housing in keeping local communities and villages alive. DCH is offering a unique range of energy efficient homes to local families at Grampound Road, including shared ownership (part rent and part buy), and for affordable rent (80% market rent inclusive of service charges) at this beautiful rural development.”

The new homes at Grampound Road are part of a spearheading agreement with Cornwall Council which launched in 2013 and will see DCH deliver 500 affordable homes for Cornwall over the next 4 years. DCH’s £55m investment programme in Cornwall, supported with £10m investment from Cornwall Council, will deliver homes for rent and shared ownership as part of DCH’s development activities.

Mike Eathorne-Gibbons, Cornwall Councillor for Ladock, St Clement and St Erme, said: “There is a strong need for local affordable housing and I feel sure the new tenants will welcome attractive, well laid out buildings in an attractive position. DCH have an excellent reputation and I hope it works out well for all concerned.”

Whilst the majority of investment funding is from DCH, these homes have also seen £704,000 investment from Cornwall Council , £388,215 new investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA); and £194,250 HCA Recycled Capital Grant funding.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said: “It is great news that by working together we have been able to provide another 44 quality affordable homes to meet local need.”

Debra Saunders , Head of Marketing and Sales at DCH said: “The shared ownership properties have generated significant interest, which demonstrates the level of demand for these high quality affordable homes. We have already taken a number of early reservations. Our shared ownership range of properties for sale can be viewed on our website, including Grampound Road.”

DCH has worked closely with local architects StudioArc, Cornwall Council’s Affordable Housing and Planning teams, together with the contractor Kier Living to design and deliver a scheme which will meet the identified local need. Rented properties were allocated through Cornwall Homechoice to applicants in the highest band with a priority to those who have a local connection to the parish.

Those interested in purchasing one of the new shared ownership homes should contact the DCH sales team on sales@dchgroup.com or visit the DCH website.

 

Story posted 19 August 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Local residents invited to sit on new Community Trust

Corwall Council News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:54

A new charity being set up in St Dennis and Nanpean to distribute the funding which has been given to the local area as a result of the construction of the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre is looking to appoint seven local residents as trustees.

St Dennis and St Stephen Parish Councils are setting up the Community Trust which will be responsible for awarding funding to local projects.   The seven local residents will be responsible for representing local people and their priorities and will join six trustees appointed from the two parish councils in assessing grant applications and awarding funds to deserving projects.

Cllr Julia Clarke, Chairman of St Dennis Parish Council, said “In the first year the Trust will be responsible for around £200,000, so people becoming trustees can make a real difference to this area. We are looking for positive people who can put their energy into getting this going. ”

Trustees should be aged 18 or over and live within the parish of St Dennis or Nanpean, Treviscoe, Goonabarn, Stepaside, Trethosa, Gothers and Enniscaven.

Cornwall Councillor Fred Greenslade added ” This is the culmination of a lot of work by the Parish Councils and Cornwall Council working together to set up this company to deliver the funds. Several exciting ideas have already come forward and no doubt there will be more.

“Don’t forget that St Dennis Parish Council is already open for grants to help with any educational needs from the £15,000 per year Education Grant for persons in the St Dennis and Nanpean Division.”

Letters containing further details will be sent to householders in the area and anyone interested is asked to register their name and address with Wendy Yelland, Clerk to St Dennis Parish Council, by 9 September. 

Wendy can be contacted via ClayTAWC, Fore Street, St. Dennis Cornwall  PL26 8AF or e-mail clerk@stdennisparishcouncil.org

Story posted 15 August 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Saltash woman receives 10 months prison sentence after fraudulently claiming £80,000

Corwall Council News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:48

A woman from Saltash has been given a ten months prison sentence after pleading guilty to fraudulently claiming £80,000 in housing and council tax benefits and income support.

Julie Foster, of Babis Farm Close, Saltash pleaded guilty to nine offences relating to claims for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit made both in Cornwall and Leicestershire and a claim to Income Support at Truro Crown Court on Friday, 8 August.

The court was told that Miss Foster had claimed she was a single mother living in rented accommodation when, in fact, she lived with her partner Stephen O’Neill in a property he owned.  The offences ranged from making false claims, failing to notify of changes in circumstance and the production of false tenancy agreements to be used in the fraud.

Prosecuting Julia Cox, of Devon Chambers, said that Miss Foster had submitted fraudulent claims over a nine year period.

Defending Ramsey Quaife, also of the Devon Chambers, said Miss Foster had submitted a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and had assisted with the investigation by giving evidence for the Crown.  She was formerly of good character and had two dependent daughters.

Sentencing Miss Foster to ten months imprisonment Judge Harvey-Clarke said she had deliberately engaged in fraudulent activity and, despite receiving a large inheritance of £100,000 part way though, decided to continue the fraud rather than telling the Local Authority.  She had also made no expression of regret or remorse.

He added that while he had sympathy for her daughters, the level of offending means that he could not suspend the sentence.  He had, however reduced his original intention to sentence her to 20 months imprisonment by five months as a result of her assistance to the Crown and a further five months for her early guilty pleas.  As a result the final sentence of 10 months imprisonment reflected her deliberate acts which had occurred at the expense of the public authorities over a number of years which has resulted in a substantial loss to those public authorities.

Cornwall Council operates a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to fraud and corruption. If you suspect fraud is occurring we would be happy to talk to you on our confidential fraud hotline. Call us on freephone 0800 7316125.

Story posted 15 August 2014  

Categories: Cornwall

Council welcomes Government funding for Penzance and St Mary's harbours

Corwall Council News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 17:44

Cornwall Council has welcomed the news that the Government has agreed to provide more than £7m to support the proposed works at Penzance and St Mary’s harbours.

The Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin announced today 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.

Nigel Blackler, Head of Strategy, Economy, Enterprise and Environment at Cornwall Council, said “The harbour improvements proposed at St Mary’s and 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. “

Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Waste, added  “We are always glad to welcome the Secretary of State to Cornwall.  Transport is a very significant issue for us and having senior ministers who know it first hand is invaluable.”

Today’s announcement, made during a two day visit by the Secretary of State to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, means that the works to carry out dredging at Penzance and pier widening and improving freight handling facilities at St Mary’s can go ahead as soon as the authorities receive formal confirmation of the Convergence funding.  This decision is expected in the near future.

Cornwall Council has agreed to be the Accountable Body for the funding and will ensure the improvements at Penzance and St Mary's Harbours are delivered.

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.

Chris Pomfret, chairman of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Having a resilient transport link is vital to the islands’ economy and for unlocking future growth. This project will have lasting benefits and we are pleased the Secretary of State has recognised the case we and our partners have been making for this crucial investment. We have also had the opportunity to raise wider transport issues during his visit to the region.”

Rob Goldsmith, chief executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, which operates passenger and freight services between Penzance and St Mary’s, said: “This is very welcome news.  It will improve flexibility for our ship operations at both ends of the route and enhance the overall passenger experience, especially at St Mary’s.  Combined with ongoing investment at Land’s End and St Mary’s airports this further strengthens transport links to the islands.”

Story posted 13 August 2014 

Categories: Cornwall

Council congratulates young people on A Level results

Corwall Council News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 13:05

With thousands of youngsters in Cornwall receiving their exam results today, Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said that their achievements were a tribute to the hard work and commitment of students, schools and colleges and to the support provided by parents and carers.

“This is a very important day for all these young people and I would like to congratulate everyone on their achievements and wish them luck in whatever path they take” he said. 

Jane Black, the Council’s Head of Service for Learning and Achievement, has also welcomed the success of Cornish students. “Hopefully everyone has got the grades they need to go onto the next stage, whether that is to higher education or to the world of work” she said.   However, if you have not done as well as you had hoped, then please don’t panic as there is a huge amount of support available from schools and colleges.”

“The Council is committed to raising aspirations among all our young people” she added.  “We are continuing to work with all schools, settings and partners in Cornwall to ensure that students are enabled to do the very best they can, right from Early Years.”

Officers from the Local Authority will now be working with Headteachers and Governors to analyse both the A levels results and this year’s GCSE results, due to be released next week.

“It is important for the future of both our young people and for the future of Cornwall that all students have access to the highest possible quality of education” said Trevor Doughty, the Council’s Corporate Director for Children, Schools and Families.  “While the majority of our schools are achieving high standards, we need to ensure that all are enabling students to achieve the maximum progress possible”.

Tomorrow (15 August) the Council and Unlocking Potential are launching a new scheme to help improve career prospects for graduates.

Brighter Cornwall offers students who are starting their degrees in 2014 the chance to access professional, paid work experience opportunities to help them develop their CV.  By signing up to Brighter Cornwall students will also have access to networking events aimed at helping them build their network of business contacts in Cornwall.  In a competitive graduate job market, it is often these additional experiences that can give individuals the edge.

Story posted 14 August 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Government Minister is lobbied to fund improvements to A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton

Corwall Council News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 13:00

Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton, Chris Pomfret, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, and Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, met with the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin today to press for Government funding for improving the A30 Cornish Expressway between Carland Cross and Chiverton.

The single carriageway section is already one of the most congested stretches of road in Cornwall, costing Cornwall’s economy around £2.9m a year, and there are concerns that the traffic queues could become even worse when the Temple to Higher Carblake dualling has been completed.

The Highways Agency have agreed to fully fund a Strategic Outline Business Case for improving the 12.51km section, which will look at the potential costs and benefits of any scheme. 

This is due to be completed by the middle of September to enable the Minister to consider whether improvements to this section should be included in the Government’s Autumn budget statement.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I have heard first-hand about the impact that congestion on the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton is having on the economic development of the region. The Department for Transport will continue to work closely with the Highways Agency, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the council to look at what can be done to improve the single carriageway for road users. That work will be vital in making future investment decisions in the region.”

“I have for some years been making the case for the A30 to be dualled between Carland Cross and Chiverton and have been pleased to work with Cornwall Council to secure today’s good news” said MP Sarah Newton.  “The Highways Agency study into improving the road is very welcome at no cost to Cornwall Council and represents  a first step towards securing the project. “

“For decades this dualling has been talked about and I am pleased to finally see some action.  This will, however, be a difficult project to deliver and I want to ensure that all landowners along the road and constituents are fully and properly consulted. “

Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Our recent Growth Deal with the Government has secured millions of pounds of infrastructure investment to unblock traffic pinchpoints and sites for development across Cornwall, but this stretch of the A30 remains a notorious bottleneck that businesses regularly highlight as a major issue.  With the Highways Agency study underway we will leave the Secretary of State in no doubt about the importance of this scheme going ahead.”

“Traffic congestion and unreliable journey times can be a major barrier to business growth and inward investment” said Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture.  “Work is progressing well to dual the stretch of the A30 at Temple and we want to continue to work in partnership with the Department of Transport and the Highways Agency to maintain this momentum and bring forward further improvements for the A30.” 

“We know that Cornwall is a great place to do business and I am pleased that the Highways Agency is investigating the feasibility of this much needed scheme. 

“This is a positive first step but we know there is a lot more work to do. We look forward to working with the Government and the local community to take this project forward”.

Story posted 14 August 2014 

Categories: Cornwall

Brighter future for Cornish students

Corwall Council News - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 11:16

Prospective university students opening their A-level results this week are being offered a brighter future with a new work placement, networking and scholarship scheme.

Brighter Cornwall – an exciting new project aimed at improving career prospects for graduates - is being officially launched by Cornwall Council and Unlocking Potential on Friday, 15 August.

Many students who leave Cornwall to study for their degrees want to come home after they graduate while others who enjoy studying here want to stay and build their careers.  Brighter Cornwall aims to help them to do just that! 

The scheme will offer students who are starting their degrees in 2014 the chance to access professional, paid work experience opportunities to help them develop their CV.  By signing up to Brighter Cornwall students will also have access to networking events aimed at helping them build their network of business contacts in Cornwall. In a competitive graduate job market, it is often these additional experiences that can give individuals the edge.

Graduate Lauren Bayfield, who graduated from Bath Spa University with a degree in Psychology in 2012, says Brighter Cornwall would certainly have helped her secure her first graduate level job when she moved back to Cornwall.  ‘I think one of my biggest problems, when looking for work after I’d graduated, was feeling under qualified due to lack of experience.’ 

Nicky Luke, from Unlocking Potential,  says the programme is mutually beneficial for business and the Cornish economy as well as students. ‘Undergraduates tend to be concerned that there are few graduate opportunities in Cornwall.  The reality is that hundreds of businesses are keen to attract and retain graduate talent.  They recognise the benefits that talent can bring to their profit margins.

“By bringing undergraduates and businesses together at networking events, the connections that lead to careers can be formed long before graduation. Placements will build on these links, providing undergraduates with stand-out quality experience and ensuring Cornish business can build on-going relationships with qualified individuals.’

The opportunity to offer placements to students will be open to all employers in Cornwall.  There will also be a limited number of subsidised placement opportunities which will be targeted towards the priority economic development sectors on a first come, first served basis.  

Andrew Wallis, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said ‘I’m really pleased that the Council is launching this first phase of the Brighter Cornwall scheme.  Higher level skills are vital for the growth of Cornwall’s economy and through Brighter Cornwall we want to promote great career opportunities that young people can return to.

“We know that good employability skills and work experience are important factors in securing a job in a competitive market and Brighter Cornwall provides students with a great opportunity to get this experience before they graduate through paid placements during the holidays.  I’d encourage students and our local business to take part in Brighter Cornwall and sign up through the website’

By signing up to Brighter Cornwall undergraduates can increase their chances of securing a fulfilling career in Cornwall.

Students are encouraged to sign-up before they start their degrees at: www.brightercornwall.org.uk to keep up to date with the latest opportunities.

‘Like’ Brighter Cornwall on Facebook

Story posted 13 August 2014

Categories: Cornwall

LEP welcomes £16m investment from Tulip Investment in Cornwall

Corwall Council News - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:23

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed a £16m investment in Cornwall by Tulip Ltd, creating 250 new jobs.

Tulip employs more than 1,800 people at its operations in Bodmin, Bugle and Redruth and is a leading supplier to major supermarkets of quality pork, bacon and cooked meat products.

The plan will see Tulip and its owners, Danish Crown Group, make significant investments in de-boning facilities at its Bugle site, which will make it the largest de-boning facility in the country, as well as maintaining its existing capability to produce traditional cure and smoked pork products.

As well as the expansion of the Bugle facility, Tulip Ltd will be installing a new state of the art air drying and linear curing facility at its Redruth site that will see that business grow by around 40%.

The £16m investment programme is being part funded with a £4.8 million grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is one of the biggest inward investments we have seen in recent years, creating hundreds of jobs and safeguarding hundreds more at one of Cornwall’s biggest private sector employers. We have worked hard with our partners behind the scenes to secure this investment and are delighted that Danish Crown has chosen Cornwall to expand. It’s another example of why Cornwall is a great place to do business.”

Welcoming the news Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, said: “Today’s announcement from Tulip Ltd is very good news for Cornwall and securing this much needed investment has been a real ‘Team Cornwall’ effort.  I would particularly like to pay tribute to staff from the Council’s economic development company who have worked extremely hard behind the scenes to help bring this project to a successful conclusion. When Cornwall pulls together, it is great to see what we can achieve.”

Stephen Gilbert, Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, helped secure the RGF investment for the project from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, including a one-to-one meeting with Business Secretary Vince Cable to underline the importance of food processing to the Cornish economy.

Mr Gilbert said: “This is a massive vote of confidence by Tulip in its Cornish operations and it wouldn’t have happened without the support the LEP, the council and central Government. Together they have helped secure growth and job creation by a major employer in one of our key industries - that’s great news for the economy and great news for Cornwall.”

Tulip said that subject to planning consent is hoped to start work on its expansion plans during the autumn of 2014 with completion of the project targeted for the first half of 2015.

Categories: Cornwall

Festival announces spotlight on Cornwall for 2015

Corwall Council News - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:22

Welcoming the announcement that Cornwall had been chosen as the focus of the 2015 Festival, Council Leader John Pollard, who visited this year’s event, said “This is great news for Cornwall.  As the two smallest regions, we have found it very helpful to work together. We already have stands in the same area of the festival and have shared a stage between us for the last couple of years, so 2015 will see the same co-operation on a much bigger scale”.

In 2014 Cornwall was represented at Lorient by the Canoryon Lowen choir from St Neot, Cornish dance group Hevva, folk/rock band Tredanek and duo MacQuarrie and Toms. Cornwall’s contribution to the visual arts exhibition, the work of artist Sandra Boreham, was also hailed as a great success. The demand for Cornish beer, cider, pasties and cream teas continued non-stop into the early hours every day of the festival at the Cornish stand, where visitors could also find out about Cornwall and what it can offer and listen to music and dance performances.

Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, said

“ Lorient is an excellent showcase and provides an annual chance for us to celebrate Cornish culture alongside other Celtic nations on an international stage.    It also gives us the opportunity to promote our beautiful environment and our food and drink. I would like to thank everyone who took part this year, making it such a success”.

Cornwall’s delegation organiser is Jenefer Lowe who added ‘Cornwall first participated in the Lorient festival in 1971 and it is a tribute to all the performers, suppliers and volunteers who have supported the Cornish presence in Lorient over the years that we have been given this opportunity.  “

Work will now start on ensuring a successful Lorient 2015 – Year of Cornwall and the Isle of Man.

Story posted 13 August 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Young people invited to join Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Prince's Trust course

Corwall Council News - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:59

If you are unemployed and aged between 16 and 25 years old, you can apply to join a Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service and Prince’s Trust Team programme which aims to help unemployed young people develop the skills and confidence to move into employment, education, training, volunteering or apprenticeships.  

The next free course, which does not affect receipt of any benefits, will start on the 26 August 2014 and will be running from Camborne’s Young People Centre. If you know someone or if you yourself are interested in being on the course then please contact Andrew House, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, on 07817538964 or at ahouse@fire.cornwall.gov.uk  by the 12 August.

CFRS Team Programme is a 13 week personal development course which aims to increase confidence, motivation and skills as those taking part.  Participants will be part of a group of up to 14 young people for a 13 week programme.

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

The Team programme is also available for employees who would like a chance to develop new interpersonal skills to improve long-term career prospects.

Three in four young people on Prince’s Trust schemes move into work, education or training. The Prince’s Trust will help 55,000 disadvantaged young people this year, giving them the practical and financial support to help them turn their lives around.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for Homes and Communities Geoff Brown said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has been extremely successful in helping young people from many areas and backgrounds.  This initiative in partnership with The Prince’s Trust is to be applauded.  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 and, in some cases, turn their lives around.”

Station Manager Dave Pilling from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are delighted to be able to work with The Prince’s Trust to deliver this very worthwhile programme.  Too many young people feel they don’t have any skills and talents, and feel they’ll never amount to anything. The Team programme really does help them to turn their lives around; helping them into work, education or training, furthermore taking part in Team does not affect their benefits”.

Story posted 31 July 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Speak Cornish Success

Corwall Council News - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 15:25

MAGA’s hashtag #speakcornish was seen more than half a million times in less than one hour of ‘Speak Cornish Week’!

To celebrate Cornwall’s unique heritage, Cornish Language Partnership MAGA promoted a week of events along with an online campaign to get people to post selfies with the tags #speakcornish and #10sFylm.

Short films of people using Cornish really took off and were widely shared online, then on Friday a busy 56 minutes saw #speakcornish viewed more than half a million times.

MAGA was preparing to celebrate the first birthday of the www.learncornishnow.com website. In its first year it was close to reaching over 40,000 visitors, a respectable amount for one year. However, as a result of Speak Cornish week an extra 10,000 visitors took the total number of visitors to more than 54,000!

MAGA are incredibly pleased with the results, and have gathered all of the films they have found on YouTube into a single playlist with over 120 films in it. More short films were on other sites such as Vimeo, or uploaded direct to facebook, and so any searches using the MAGA hashtags #10sFylm and #speakcornish will bring new and rewarding results!

Welcoming the success of the Week, Julian German, the Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, said “Speak Cornish Week has more than achieved its aims. So many people and businesses came together to make some riveting films that are proof of the widespread support people have for the Cornish language, both here and across the world. I will be looking out for more #speakcornish posts in future!”

Story posted 11 August 2014

Categories: Cornwall

Safer Redruth and Healthy Redruth event

Corwall Council News - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 12:55

As part of Safer Cornwall’s multi-agency campaign ‘What Will Your Drink Cost’ to tackle issues surrounding alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour, Safer Redruth and Healthy Redruth are joining up on Wednesday 20 August.

The community is welcome to come along to the Old Boots Store in Fore Street Redruth to gain advice on alcohol, healthy living and/or to discuss any anti-social or crime issues in their area.  The Health Promotions Service will also be offering FREE Health Checks to the 40+ age group from 14:00-16:00.  Officers from Police, Health Promotions Service, Fire and Rescue Service, town councillors and Cornwall Council officers will also be available at points throughout the day both at the store and within the town centre delivering community bulletins and speaking with members of the public.

In Cornwall, alcohol is involved in over half of the domestic abuse incidents, making up nearly a third of all alcohol related abuse and nearly a third of sexual offences are alcohol related.  48% of all violent crime is recorded as linked to alcohol and half of all pedestrians killed in road accidents over the last seven years had been drinking.

This event is supported by a wider campaign targeting educational and preventive messages to young people, parents, drivers and pedestrians around specific key messages, including the illegal or inappropriate supply of alcohol to young people by their parents or other adults.

Safer Cornwall also publicises a wealth of information and advice on the Safer Cornwall website.

Categories: Cornwall

Free weight management programmes offered to Cornwall residents

Corwall Council News - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 12:51

A new term is a good time to start a new routine – as you make sure school uniform is ready, buy shiny new shoes, organise after school clubs, why not book yourself and your family into a healthy weight programme.

Arranged at convenient times for families with children, the 12-week programmes are designed to develop healthy eating patterns for the whole family, including exercise, and practical cooking skills. And the most important thing is that they’re free, just needing a commitment of time.

Cornwall Council’s Health Promotion Service has a whole team of professionals dedicated to helping you and your family lose weight, and maintain a healthy weight.  Programmes are for families with children who are above a healthy weight aged 4-7 (in Penzance this time), and children aged 7-13 (Pool, Truro and Penzance).  Teens are contacted on an individual basis.  If there’s not one near you this time, then there will probably be one in January, as the programmes are held right across Cornwall.

Cornwall Healthy Weight also run programmes for adults, both during the day and some evenings (Redruth, Truro, Saltash, Bodmin, Helston, Par and Bude).  Booking is essential for all programmes, as places fill up fast.  You can book yourself on, or you may be referred by a social worker or health professional.

Felicity Owen, Director of Public Health, said, ‘Being overweight or obese is a factor in many serious illnesses including type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. These family weight loss programmes have helped lots of families lose weight, improve their health outcomes and quality of life’.

Tracey Barter, Healthy Weight Lead, explains, ‘Childhood obesity is a problem across the UK, so teaching children how to eat healthily is a great way to prevent them becoming overweight adults.  If you or your family were feeling a bit self-conscious about wearing bathing costumes over the summer, and could do with losing a bit of weight, then take action now. 

“These courses aren’t quick weight-loss programmes, they aren’t flashy diets which you can’t possibly follow for longer than a couple of weeks.  They are weight management programmes, designed to help you think differently about food.  You will learn about portion sizes, nutrition and exercise, and you can keep applying what you’ve learned for the rest of your life – and your children, for the rest of their lives too’.

A mum wrote to Cornwall Healthy Weight to thank the team after she attended a 7-13 programme with her two children.  She says, ‘We found the programme very rewarding, knowledgeable and fun. We all adapted to it reasonably easily and looked forward to the new challenges every week. At the end of the programme we found the results were fantastic and we were all very pleased that the children lost weight, and grew at the same time.  The programme leaders were very friendly, approachable and knowledgeable, also giving lots of encouragement to both the children and the adults.’

So, if you are interested in making a difference to your lifestyle and achieving a healthy weight, please contact Cornwall Healthy Weight and book your place.  Spaces are taken quickly, so don’t delay.

You can contact Cornwall Health Weight on 01209 310 062, via email at healthy.weight@cornwall.nhs.uk, through the Cornwall Healthy Weight facebook page, Cornwall Health Weight twitter account or via the Cornwall Healthy Weight website.

Story posted 11 August 2014 

Categories: Cornwall

Opportunity for young people in Cornwall to have their say on future of youth services

Corwall Council News - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 12:47

Cornwall Council has launched a You Choose online survey to enable young people to share their thoughts and views about what youth services support and activities are important to them.

Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, wants as many young people as possible to take part in the survey.

“Cornwall Council, like other local authorities across England, are facing budget challenges that mean we need to do things differently,  whilst still providing services that meet the changing needs of young people in Cornwall” he said.  “You Choose survey allows young people to share their views that will help inform how we shape future services.“

The survey, which is open to any young person aged 11 and over, is available by clicking on You Choose  

Updates and results will be posted on the 11+ Council website pages  on the 11+ facebook page along with further opportunities for young people to get involved in shaping the future of young people's service in Cornwall.

Categories: Cornwall

Council proud to be part of Cornwall Pride

Corwall Council News - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 12:39

Cornwall Council is supporting this year’s Cornwall Pride event in Truro on Saturday 23 August.

Cornwall Pride celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities of Cornwall in a fun and inclusive event. Cornwall Council will be there to promote its services and opportunities, and show its support for the communities it serves.  Representatives from the Council will join the parade, which starts at 11am from Lemon Quay, and will be in Victoria Gardens, where revellers will gather after the parade.

Information will be available about Adoption, Fostering and Adult Education. We will also be asking people to tell us what they think could be done to improve equality and equality of opportunity across Cornwall.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service will be there to talk about recruitment opportunities within the service as well as being on hand to give advice and guidance on community fire safety. There will also be firefighters in attendance with some of their emergency vehicles.

The Council will also be promoting the services and support on offer from its Registration Service for those who may be planning a marriage or civil ceremony in Cornwall. The registration service can provide information about venues licensed to host a civil ceremony and offer support for that special day.

Representatives from the Safer Cornwall Partnership, which includes Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police, will be talking about their ongoing ‘what will you drink cost?’ campaign. The campaign delivers educational and preventive messages on the risks of drinking too much alcohol, and where to find help to cut down. Representatives from the LGBT PACT (Partners and Communities Together) will also be there to discuss specific issues and provide information on what advice and support is available. They will also be advising people on how to report hate crime incidents.

The Together for Families Service will also be available on the day which is a multi-agency programme that aims to engage and support families that experience multiple and complex challenges.

Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard, who has responsibility for equality and diversity, said “We endeavour to make Cornwall fully inclusive by setting an example in all we do.  By participating in the Pride event we intend to show our intent and ability to support the whole community and the range of services we offer. Having attended Pride, it is also great fun!”

Categories: Cornwall

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