The photo above shows Chris Jordan and David Burns, trustees of Cornwall People First trying out the Falmouth Cop Car Project go-karts, with Cllr John Wood, Chair of Cornwall Council and Superintendent Jim Pearce, Devon and Cornwall Police; Standing behind them: Falmouth police cadets Hayden Thompson, Sam Passmore, Ashleigh Lewis, Joelle Devereux and Ty Gilbert
On 2 July, more than 500 people with a learning disability met the people, machines and dogs of the emergency services, at the seventh annual Blue Light Day, at the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge.
The event is designed to break down barriers between people with learning disabilities and the emergency services, helping them to be more confident and independent in the community.
Staff from the police, ambulance, fire, coastguard, mountain rescue and more were in attendance, together with a selection of their vehicles and equipment. Police dogs, a mountain rescue spaniel and Nelson the Fire Service dog were also there to meet people.
Highlights of the day included a live demonstration of a rescue of a casualty from a road traffic accident, and Falmouth police cadets brought along electric-powered police go-karts, built through the Cop Car Project, for people to try out.
The main stage hosted a variety of performances including many from people with a learning disability, and the Devon and Cornwall Police Pipes and Drums Band. A ‘sing and sign’ to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ involved many members of the emergency services and people with a learning disability, who had spent weeks learning to sign along with the Queen song.
Blue Light Day is organised by Devon and Cornwall Police in partnership with Cornwall People First, a user-led advocacy group for people with a learning disability, and Cornwall Council.
This event has been running for seven years, and has grown each time, with more organisations and emergency services keen to be involved.
Chief Superintendent Julie Fielding said: ‘This is a terrific event that has inspired Plymouth and Devon areas to create their own Blue Light Days.
‘I see this as a great opportunity to meet and talk to members of the public and for them to meet their local public services and our partner agencies.
‘It gives us an opportunity to talk about safety with the vulnerable and learning disability community groups in Cornwall and for them to share any local issues with the emergency services.’
Around sixty organisations which provide healthcare and support services for people with a learning disability were also be on hand to give information and advice. They included Cornwall Council’s Electoral Services Team, encouraging more people with a learning disability to register to vote.
Jim McKenna, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care, said, ‘I really enjoyed meeting people and spending time with their families and carers, as well as the many partners organisations which support them. It’s been great to see how much this event is appreciated and just how much fun everyone has had. I would like to congratulate all the organisations who take part for the effort they put into making Blue Light Day such a success. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.’
Council Chairman John Wood attended last year and enjoyed the experience so much that he returned to officially open the event. He explained, ‘I am proud to support this event, with its message of helping people with learning disabilities gain confidence to become part of their local communities. I’d like to thank the emergency services for being willing to support the event once more, and for the enjoyment that they put into it, as well as the serious messages.’
Story posted 3 July 2014
Cornwall Council is trying to raise awareness of private fostering and is encouraging people to let them know if they are looking after someone else’s child, and are in fact private foster carers. Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) is cared for and living with someone who is not their parent, guardian or close relative for more than 28 days.
Although this is done as a private arrangement, legally the parent and carer must notify the local authority where the child is going to live. However, despite this legal requirement, many private fostering arrangements are going unreported, with figures from the Department of Health suggesting there are currently more than 10,000 children being privately fostered in England and Wales.
“It is vital that people let us know if their child is living with another family or they are looking after someone else’s child” said Rebecca Sargent, the Council’s Family Services Placement Manager. “Whilst we know that most of these children will be safe and happy, there is also the chance that some could be at risk. Others could be missing out on the support and advice that our specialist social workers can provide.
“We recognise that some people may feel worried about involving the Council in a private family matter, but in reality most people who have notified us say they have benefited from the support they have received.”
Chris’s daughter spent some time living with a family friend who was his private foster carer whilst the family sorted out some problems they were having. Chris says “working with you (Cornwall Council) has been really positive. You got to understand our family and with your help our daughter came back to live with us”.
Gemma is a private foster carer in Cornwall for Sam who is 14 years old. Gemma says: “It’s been a long journey but we really appreciate the support we get from Cornwall Council.”
Cornwall Council urges anyone who is involved in a private fostering arrangement or thinks they know someone who is to tell them about it so that we can make sure the child is safe, healthy and happy and can offer support to private foster carers and parents if they need it.
For more information or to report a private fostering arrangement please contact the Multi Agency Referral Unit on 0300 1231116.
Story posted 3 July 2014
Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership have welcomed the announcement of a multi-million pound package of rail improvements that will lift the local economy, create new jobs and provide faster train journeys.
Announcing details of the £146.6m investment at Penzance Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Ensuring that we have first class infrastructure across Britain is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and provide a brighter future for hardworking people. This investment, which will boost the local economy and improve connectivity, is great news for Cornwall, the South West and beyond.”
The deal will ensure:
Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Waste, said: “This is important news for Cornwall. We have been working closely with the LEP and First Great Western to improve our rail services and are delighted that the Government is supporting our plans.
“The re-signalling will bring opportunities for public transport over the next century which means that it is a significant project comparable to dualling the A30. It will change the way in which Cornish communities can get about the place, and will affect the economy, the environment and our everyday lives. The Sleeper will provide reliable early morning access to London to complement the air link, while the maintenance facility is a welcome investment in Cornwall's aptitude for engineering and railways.”
Chris Pomfret, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said:Transport connectivity is always one of the first issues identified by the business community as a barrier to Cornwall’s economic growth. This investment makes a major step forward in addressing this issue through an enhanced sleeper service and potentially a more regular and resilient link to London and the rest of the country.
“Perhaps, just as importantly, is that this is a real demonstration of a council and LEP and the two relevant rail bodies and the Department for Transport working together to produce a solution that benefits all parties, but most particularly, the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”
The package includes £9m of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT), £29.6m secured through Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), £103.5m from Network Rail and £4.5m from train operator First Great Western.
More than 6.5m passengers use the rail network in Cornwall every year, with passenger numbers growing twice as fast as the national average.
Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail’s Western route managing director, said: “The South West has a vibrant economy which is experiencing staggering growth in demand for rail travel. That can only be supported by putting in the best possible connections to the rest of the country. Network Rail is proud to be playing a part in that success story."
Mark Hopwood, First Great Western managing director, said: “At First Great Western we have a great track record of working with local authority partners and the wider rail industry to deliver significant improvements of real economic value for the communities we serve. This package enhances the improvements already planned to the Night Riviera sleeper to a whole new level, providing top class accommodation and introducing a brasserie-style bar area.”
Story posted 3 July 2014
Now that the warm, light evenings are with us and the summer holidays are fast approaching, barbecues are beginning to sizzle across Cornwall.
But behind the bangers and burgers summer fun there can be a serious side.
Crew manager Mark Pratten from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said: “It’s natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends - many of us can’t wait to get the barbecue lit. We also all know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals a helping hand, but please, be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job. By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue. We have had a couple of occasions where people have poured petrol onto the charcoal in an effort to get it going and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and highly dangerous. Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early. Most of all enjoy yourself safely”.
The danger of the silent killer carbon monoxide has also been associated with the mis-use of barbecues. Mark says: “If you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down, do not take a lit or smouldering barbecue indoors or into a tent or enclosed space. Also if you are using a generator whilst camping make sure it is used in a well-ventilated area and not anywhere near your enclosure or tent. In recent years, there have been a number of serious incidents sadly resulting in loss of life due to carbon monoxide poisoning, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer.”
By following the Fire Kills campaign’s top tips you can ensure your barbecue is a safe, enjoyable event.
Crew Manager Pratten said: “This may seem a long list but most of these things are common sense so just make sure you keep the safety of yourself and your family and friends in mind and don’t take risks.”
Story posted 01 July 2014
Issued on behalf of Safer Cornwall
Safer Cornwall, the community safety partnership for Cornwall, is launching this summer’s multi-agency campaign to tackle head on the issues surrounding alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour.
Called ‘What will your drink cost?’ the campaign aims to raise awareness of the true potential cost of drinking too much alcohol, at a series of events to be rolled out over the summer in priority areas including Redruth, Camborne, Bodmin, St Austell, Penzance, Liskeard, Falmouth and Newquay. In Cornwall, alcohol is involved in over half of the domestic abuse incidents, making up nearly a third of all alcohol related abuse. Similarly, nearly a third of sexual offences are alcohol related. 48% of all violent crime is recorded as linked to alcohol.
The campaign will target 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.
David Parker, Community Safety Officer with Cornwall Council says “The campaign will again focus on young people and will once again be using Facebook, an initiative which was successfully trialed last year, to catch young people’s attention. We are also asking parents to consider the implications of supplying alcohol to their children. In the towns themselves, there will be local activities led by each of the Safer town groups, and later in the year, we will be working with the road safety team to highlight the risk of death or serious injury when people leave pubs and clubs under the influence of alcohol. The frightening statistic here is that half of all pedestrians killed in road accidents over the last seven years had been drinking.”
The Cornwall Council Antisocial Behaviour team will also be working alongside Devon and Cornwall Police utilising new body cameras to gather evidence of antisocial behaviour in the key towns where night time economy violence is a problem.
Des Tidbury the chair of Safer Cornwall partnership says: “The Safer towns initiative is yielding some good results across Cornwall. This campaign speaks directly to young people and asks them to seriously consider the consequences of drinking and how it can lead to alcohol related violence, including domestic violence, and anti-social behaviour”.
Lyn Gooding from Devon and Cornwall Police says: ‘Devon and Cornwall Police are fully committed to supporting the Safer Cornwall ‘What will your drink cost?’ campaign. It is important to raise the public’s awareness of the impact of excessive alcohol consumption, and it’s links to violent crime.
Tony Hogg the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner says: “So much of the harm caused to our communities is alcohol-related and on a daily basis. The message is not ‘don’t drink’ but ‘understand the facts and if you choose to drink, do so safely and responsibly’.”
If you think you, or someone you know, need help with reducing their alcohol consumption, some great advice is available on the Change4Life website, or by contacting your local Addaction offices, details of which are both available on the Safer Cornwall website.
The Safer Cornwall Partnership wants you to have an enjoyable summer in Cornwall, and this may include having a couple of drinks with friends. But please drink sensibly within recommended limits, and never drink and drive.
Safer Cornwall also publicises a wealth of information and advice on its website.
Enjoy Cornwall! - drink sensibly.
Story posted 01 July 2014
The Falmouth and Penryn Sea Cadets Unit has been given a £15,000 grant to help pay for improvements to the insulation of their headquarters and for solar panels to be installed on the roof of the building.
The building, which is regularly used by up to 50 members of the Sea Cadet Unit, recently had repairs carried out to its roof, but needed further works to reduce running costs and make it a more pleasant place to work.
The grant has come from the Ministry of Defence through the Cornwall Community Covenant grant scheme which is administered by a partnership between Cornwall Council, the Cornish branch of the Royal British Legion and the Armed Forces.
The aim of the nationalCommunity Covenant grant scheme is to support projects which will help strengthen the ties between members of the Armed Forces Community and local communities.
Tony Martin, the Cornwall Councillor for Penryn East and Mylor, said “Members of the Sea Cadets Unit are very active within the local communities of Falmouth and Penryn where they attend civic events such as Armed Forces Day, church services and parades. The Cornwall Partnership is delighted their bid was successful and they have been able to carry out these improvements to their building”.
The application was supported by the Cornwall Partnership and Commander John Lea, from RNAS Cudrose who said “This is an extremely worthy cause. The Unit not only gives young people a sense of belonging and purpose but enables them to play a major role in events such as the Armistice commemorations. The works funded by the grant will allow the building to be used for a much wider range of purposes and further strengthen the links with RNAS Culdrose and the local community .”
Gill Grant, Chairman of the Falmouth and Penryn Sea Cadets Unit, is delighted to have been awarded the grant which, she says, will make a huge difference to the Unit. “This is great news for the staff, volunteers and young people involved with the Falmouth and Penryn Sea Cadets Unit” she said . “I would like to thank the members of the Partnership for their support.“
Story posted 01 July 2014
Arts organisations in Cornwall are celebrating today’s (01 July 2014) announcement from Arts Cornwall England which sees £1.5 million awarded to the For Cornwall Museums Partnership; long term continued support for seven arts organisations in Cornwall and a major capital funding boost for the Hall for Cornwall.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for economy and culture Julian German says: “This is great news for Cornwall. I want to pay tribute to the hard work put in by all the organisations who are celebrating today’s announcement and to the Council’s Culture team who have supported the bidding process and played a key role in today’s success. Arts Council England’s investment in Cornwall is a recognition of the excellent and innovative work these organisations have been doing and will help to ensure that they can realise their ambitious and exciting plans for the future which will continue to boost Cornwall’s reputation and economy.”
Story posted 01 July 2014
The recent spell of sunny weather hasn’t just been attracting holidaymakers to Cornwall. The Police and Cornwall Trading Standards are reporting an unusually busy time as they receive reports of potential scams and doorstep cons as well.
And the heat seems to have gone to the heads of home-owners across the Duchy as they have been passing over hundreds and thousands of pounds to cold callers and bogus companies.
In Bodmin a cold-calling driveway gang has persuaded more than 10 residents to have replacement driveways and driveway repairs completed, often charging £1000s. The gang, who claimed to be from St Austell, actually has no fixed address and tricked the home owners into having the works done without obtaining quotes from other companies. The same gang has since been spotted in other parts of Cornwall.
In Newquay another gang of doorstep con-men tricked a number of people into having ‘repairs’ to their roof, despite the work not being necessary.
Three cold-callers were arrested in St Ives last week after they attempted to trick elderly home-owners into having work done to their house. Calling at the house unannounced, they had initially offered to clean the windows and drainpipes before suggesting that other work needed doing.
Residents in Falmouth, Camborne and other towns have reported being plagued by nuisance telephone calls and calls from fraudsters purporting to be from the Police. Many then received a call from a company offering to block nuisance calls for a fee. Needless to say the company is bogus and any money paid has been wasted.
“White van man” has been reported calling at homes around St Columb Major offering cases of wine and another has allegedly been selling mis-described, frozen fish door-to-door in Padstow.
Allan Hampshire, Cornwall Council’s Head of Public Health and Protection urged home-owners to be on their guard: “Cornwall seems to be particularly targeted by every fraudster, con-man, scammer and doorstep criminal at the moment. As much as my officers are trying to catch these crooks and bring them to account we are keen to ensure that no-one else becomes a victim. Our advice is simple; NEVER deal with anyone who turns up at your door without an appointment; NEVER pay money to anyone who calls you on the phone.
If you do need work doing on your home, always obtain more than one quote and only deal with firms you know.”
If anyone has any concerns they should contact Cornwall Council Trading Standards on 0300 1234 191 or in an emergency dial 999 and speak to the Police.
Story posted 30 June 2014
The high quality of early years’ education in Cornwall has been highlighted in a new report from Ofsted which found that more than 80% of the settings inspected under the new tougher Government system had been judged as either good or outstanding.
This is the first report into the quality of child minders and private, voluntary and independent providers of early education produced by Ofsted since the introduction of the new Early Years Inspection Framework in 2013. Nationally 6,140 settings were inspected between 1 November 2013 and 31 March 2014 , with 70% receiving good or outstanding judgements. There were 63 inspections carried out in Cornwall during this period, of which 82 % were judged as good or outstanding – 12% higher than the national average.
Welcoming the report Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said the positive results in Cornwall were due to a number of factors.
“This is very good news for parents and carers” he said. “The findings are a tribute to the hard work of those who provide early education in Cornwall, with the support of the Council which provides provide free nursery places for three and four year olds, plus some two year olds who are now eligible for funding, in good and outstanding settings.”
Providers in Cornwall are offered targeted support and advice from the Council’s Early Years improvement team. This is supplemented by help and guidance for parents and settings through the Family Information Service (FIS) which provides essential information about all aspects of finding and accessing quality early years education in Cornwall. FIS can be contacted on 0800 587 8191 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition the authority also provides a considerable amount of support to early years practitioners through the learning and development team and local children centres. This has led this year to 4,226 people taking part in 242 training or local cluster meetings between September 2013 and July 2014, including 253 settings and 253 child minders.
“This commitment to improvement from practitioners should be praised because not only is it to be hoped that settings continue to do well when inspected, but hopefully where practice is good this will contribute to raising achievement for all children” said Trevor Doughty, the Council’s Corporate Director for Education, Health and Social Care .
Story posted 01 July 2014
New Life Signs Installations Limited of 13 Abington way, Queensfield, Swindon, SN2 7S2 has accepted a caution following a hearing on 20 and 23 June 2014 at Bodmin Magistrates Court after admitting offences under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work 1974.
The action was brought by Cornwall Council’s Public Health & Protection, Food and Health and Safety Team who carried out an investigation following an incident on 29 November 2011 where a pedestrian was struck by a falling projection sign from the Mountain Warehouse store in Falmouth Cornwall, causing significant injuries to a passing pedestrian.
The investigation found that the sign had been poorly fitted by New Life Signs Installations Limited with inadequate fixings and that the basic duty of care to the public had not been fulfilled.
This was a complex case to investigate with a number of parties and subcontractors involved who were based across the UK, with officers having to overcome several operational difficulties to conclude their investigation.
Cornwall Council Senior Environmental Health Officer Lee Mc Dowell said: “This was a complex case but with a simple message at the core, too often companies use the Health and Safety Work Act as an excuse for doing or not doing something, in this case New Life Signs Installations Limited failed in its basic duty to carry out its work in a safe manner having regard to the danger it would expose the general public to.
“I was shocked at how poorly the sign was fitted, and it was only luck that prevented it from killing someone. You didn’t need to be an experienced sign fitter to realise screwing a heavy sign (27 kg) to a thin fascia board made up of predominantly MDF was not going to stay in place for long and would present a danger to passers- by.”
Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Homes and Communities said: “There is a duty placed on all of us to act reasonably and to do things in a safe manner. We expect companies to take common-sense precautions and we will take action if basic health and safety guidance is not followed.”
New Life Signs Installations Limited was ordered to pay the Council’s costs. Mountain Warehouse was not implicated in the incident.
Story posted 27 June 2014
As part of Cornwall Council’s drive to support National Food Safety Week, officers from Public Health & Protection had a stall at Duchy College Summer Food Festival in Stoke Climsland last weekend where they provided information and advice to the public centred on the message ‘Don’t Wash Raw Chicken’.
The aim of National Food Safety Week is to protect people from food poisoning in their own home, particularly when handling raw chicken. The Food Standards Agency recommends that you do not wash raw chicken as it increases the risk of spreading bacteria around the kitchen and can increase the risk of food poisoning.
Anne Blease, Cornwall Council Food & Safety Officer said “During Food Safety Week this year we have been saying: 'Don’t wash raw chicken'. This is because of a food bug called campylobacter, the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It can be fatal”.
There was also a wide range of other information and advice on food safety topics on offer with Food and Safety officers talking to over 500 consumers, many of whom said that they washed raw chicken but would not do so after hearing the advice. One visitor to the Cornwall Council stand said: “It’s great to see officers giving advice and supporting residents. I for one won’t be washing my raw chicken again!
Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Homes and Communities said: “This is an excellent opportunity for food business operators and members of the public to meet their local food safety officer to gain advice and discuss the latest food safety initiatives”.
Story posted 27 June 2014
New guidance notes and a caravan checklist aimed at the owners of accommodation provided for migrant workers have been put together by a multi-agency group including Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Devon and Cornwall Police migrant worker team, Cornwall Council, the Home Office Immigration department, The Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the Health and Safety Executive.
The new guidance, which includes a list of caravan checks to be conducted regularly; a suggested tenancy agreement and a poster for tenants giving pictorial safety advice, will be personally delivered by representatives from each of the agencies.
PCSO Bev Faull of Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Following multi-agency visits to premises in Cornwall where caravans are provided for migrant workers who work on the farms, we realised there was a short fall in legislation covering the standards and use of such caravans. All the agencies noticed that there was room for improvement regarding maintaining sites and living conditions and it was felt that a joint approach to solving these issues would be the best way forward so we have worked together to provide written guidance so that the owners of the accommodation could be made aware of their obligations in the standards required as well as giving the tenants information about their rights and the standards that they could expect.
So far we have identified 27 places where such caravan accommodation is provided and we will be visiting all of them to deliver the new guidance and to talk through any issues.
We have also found some sites with good standards and we wanted to build on these good examples.”
One good accommodation provider is Steve Berryman at Paul’s Green Farm, Townsend who says: “It’s a good scheme which safeguards tenants and ourselves, improving safety standards.”
All agencies involved will be delivering in person the caravans packs to the sites over the coming weeks, so expect a visit or contact PCSO 30268 Bev Faull on 07525 408028 if you don’t receive a pack or you think you would like to receive a pack.
Story posted 27 June 2014
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Junior Life Skills programme has received accreditation from LASER Alliance, the body which promotes practical safety education.
The Junior Life skills events run for a few days each and are held annually at nine centres around Cornwall. Representatives from the fire service, Police and the voluntary sector deliver personal and safety education messages to Year 5 children (9/10 year olds), and seek to encourage risk awareness and good citizenship through active participation in a range of scenarios including:
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Steve Halstead said: “I am delighted for the team that our Junior Life skills programme has received recognition from the LASER Alliance. We believe that our events provide children with valuable safety education and make a difference in keeping them safe. It’s pleasing that an external independent body agree with us.”
The content and location of the events is decided referring to risk based evidence and the priority towns which have been identified.
When not organising these events, Flashpoint delivers courses in risk awareness for children and vulnerable people at their centre in Bodmin which complement the annual Junior Lifeskills events.
Story posted 27 June 2014
A community spirited person who lives in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly and wants to influence policing and community safety issues is being given the chance to join the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel.
Recruitment is underway for an independent member for the Panel which is part of the policing arrangements for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Plymouth City Council is the host council for the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel which is made up of representatives from all councils in the area.
The Panel maintains a 'check and balance' on the performance of the directly elected Police and Crime Commissioner.
The aim of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to cut crime, set local police and crime objectives, engage with the public and hold the Chief Constable to account.
The Panel is looking for a person who lives in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly and has knowledge and skills to contribute as an independent member from October 2014. It is an unpaid role but reasonable expenses up to £920 per year will be reimbursed. The closing date for applications is Friday 22 August 2014.
If you wish to discuss any aspect in more detail please contact Sarah Hopkins, Community Safety and Partnerships Manager (Lead Officer for the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel), telephone 01752 305542.
To request an Application Pack, please contact Joanne Tellam, Portfolio Advisory and Scrutiny Officer in Cornwall Council’s Democratic Services on 01872 323994 or Email email@example.com .
Story posted 27 June 2014
Two farming brothers from Gweek have been fined £6, 000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000 for offences relating to TB fraud and breaching cattle identification regulations designed to prevent the spread of disease.
The hearing at Truro Crown Court marks the end of a lengthy investigation by Cornwall Council’s Public Health and Protection Animal Health team supported by the local Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency into an allegation that Thomas James and Paul Anthony Collins, of Trenoweth Farm, Gweek had submitted a cow for compensatory slaughter under the TB reactor removal programme which had its DNA tag cut out.
All cattle born in the UK after January 1998 are required to have ear tags applied to them in both ears, which are printed with a unique identification number to help control the spread of disease such as TB and BSE. Under new rules introduced by DEFRA following cases of cattle identity fraud relating to TB reactors, a vet who identifies an animal infected by TB inserts a DNA tag into the ear. This tag removes a small piece of flesh which can then be used as a reference sample at a later date if fraud is suspected.
After an investigation found that an unusual number of animals at the farm had replacement tags ordered for them over the previous 18 months, DNA tests showed that the DNA of some cattle did not match that of their mother’s as stated on their cattle passports. A further 24 cattle were found with no ear tags and, therefore, no way of establishing their identity. Sheep carcases were also found on the farm which had not been correctly disposed of, presenting a disease risk to the live animals on the farm.
Although the brothers initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, they changed their pleas part way during the trial.
Thomas James Collins pleaded guilty to the re-use of an ear-tag number on a cow to which it was not originally assigned, failure to ear-tag 24 calves and failure to dispose of 2 sheep carcasses
Paul Anthony Collins pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining TB compensation from AHVLA/DEFRA, to the re-use of an ear-tag number on a cow to which it was not originally assigned, and for the failure to ear-tag 24 calves.
Paul Anthony Collins was fined £3000 for the fraud, and £500 for each regulatory offence, and Thomas Collins was fined £750 for each ear tag offence and £500 for the carcasses. Paul Collins was ordered to pay £4000 in costs and his brother £3000 in costs. The brothers were given 12 months to pay these costs and fines in full.
Sentencing the brothers Judge Christopher Harvey Clark QC singled out Paul Collins for his "breach of trust" and his deliberate plan to retag the injured cow as a reactor and criticised his "terrible mistake" defence. He also challenged Thomas Collins over his "old fashioned views, anger, contempt and distain for vets and inspectors" and said the officers were not picking on him but trying to enforce rules that exist for public confidence in agriculture.
Welcoming the sentencing Geoff Brown, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, said “The Council’s Public Health & Protection Team are here to do just that – protect public health – this includes not only the food chain but also the public purse.
“It is vitally important to maintain public confidence in the farming industry in Cornwall and we will work hard to achieve and improve this. That means we will always take appropriate and targeted action where obvious breaches of the law are occurring. It is expensive to bring cases to the Crown Court but the costs of not dealing with TB are far greater nationally, locally and personally to many Cornish farmers. We must do all we can to halt the spread of this devastating disease and illegal retention of reactor cattle on farm will not be tolerated.”
Story posted 26 June 2014
Sex may be a hot topic for young people, but discussing safe sex isn’t always high on the agenda. A new film starring comedian Kernow King has been produced in Cornwall to encourage conversations between young people aged over 15, and Relationships and Sexual Health Education (RSE) teachers.
The film, which was launched at Cornwall College Camborne’s Union Building on 25 June, uses humour to get young people talking and provides important sexual health information in a humorous way.
Produced by Cornwall Council’s Health Promotion Service, RCHT’s Sexual Health Services and Cornwall College, in partnership with Cornish film company Motion Film, the 20-minute film is part of a new sexual health interactive resource – the first of its kind to be produced in England – which will be used in schools and further education colleges across Cornwall.
‘The Motion Farm and I were delighted to be able to make this light-hearted film, with a serious message,’ said the film’s leading man Ed Rowe, AKA Kernow King. ‘We didn't want to scare young people about sexual health, but look to bring it to the forefront of their thoughts when the time is right. It's also important for people to know that there is plenty of support available to them if they need it, and it's not terrifying!’
Cornwall’s Director of Public Health, Felicity Owen, said the film had been produced in direct response to calls from young people for more information about sexual health. ‘When they were asked for their views on sex education and support services, it became clear that there was very little Relationships and Sexual Education available to them,’ she said.
‘They had fears and barriers to accessing what they saw as painful and intrusive sexual health testing services and wanted a current, informative and fun approach to RSE. The film has been developed by sexual health experts, FE tutors and young people in response to this request.’
Welcoming the development of the new interactive resource Andrew Wallis, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added, ‘This new resource will make a real difference to our young people. Not only will it help them to be healthier, it will also encourage them to have the kind of conversations that really matter.’
As well as leading man Kernow King, the film also features students from Cornwall College, with a professional actress playing the love interest. Nat Mitchell, Student Liaison Officer and Marketing Coordinator from Cornwall College, said, ‘It has been a great pleasure to work with the Health Promotion Service, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, and Kernow King to produce a fit-for-purpose, connected and fun sexual health resource for the young people of Cornwall. Our students were a credit to themselves and worked professionally with the production crew.’
Some of the filming took place at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust Sexual Health Hub. ‘This was a great opportunity for us at the Hub to provide young people with important, relevant information about sexual health in a fun way and dispel any myths or concerns they may have about attending our clinics,’ said Kathryn Eccleston, Interim Lead for Sexual Health.
‘The Hub at Truro is open to everyone. We have drop-in sessions during the week where people can just come in or appointments are available. It is a confidential service and we are able to send results by text message. For those who can’t get to the Truro centre, we also hold clinics in community hospitals around the county. There is no charge for the tests, treatments or condoms, so you don’t need to take any chances just because you’ve spent all your money on iTunes!’
For more information on when and where services are available, call 01872 255044 or visit the SHAC website.
In Cornwall, the message is getting through, with the latest figures showing cases of Chlamydia for 15–24-year-olds falling 15 per cent last year. Cornwall’s average rate of teenage pregnancy (under 18) fell from 30.6 per 1,000 women in March 2012 to 26.2 per 1,000 women in March 2013.
Grace Charles, Student Liaison Officer from Cornwall College, has already used the new resource to discuss the importance of relationships, respect, individual choice and self-esteem with students. ‘The resource is a fantastic ice-breaker, relieving students from feeling that they can’t talk about safe sex,’ she said. ‘No more embarrassment, instead it enables students to confidently engage in open, non-judgemental discussion with their peers and professionals.’
Schools, colleges and youth organisations across Cornwall will start using the resource over the coming year. For more information, or to obtain a copy for use with youth groups, contact Emma Gardner, Health Promotion Service, on 01209 313419.
Story posted 26 June 2014
News that Cornwall has been awarded £342,734 to help disadvantaged three and four year olds has been welcomed by Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Lead Member for Children and Young People.
The funding is part of the Government’s Early Years Pupil Premium which is designed to help prevent children from low income families from falling behind before they start school. Nurseries will have freedom to decide how to use the money to help three and four year olds learn and develop, for example more qualified staff or specialists in activities like speech and language to give an extra focus on basic skills.
“This is good news for Cornwall” said Andrew Wallis. “Every child deserves the right to fulfil their potential and this funding will enable us to support three and four year olds by building on the support we already provide, through helping eligible two year olds receive their free nursery education funding, until they then receive additional support at school”.
“Although the pupil premium amount is only likely to consist of a top up amount of 53 pence per hour, we are already committed to supporting vulnerable groups through our new integrated Early Years Strategy. This new initiative will, however, help us to identify the children who will benefit from targeted support in their early years setting and through membership of their local children centre. This will, in turn, support the work we are doing to improve standards in schools by enabling teachers to prepare children for the transition to reception class well in advance”.
For further information about early years nursery provision for two year olds and children centre membership, please contact the Family Information Service on 0800 5878191.
Story posted 26 June 2014