Cornwall

Don't miss out having your say - take part in this year's annual canvass

Cornwall Council News feed - 10 hours 13 min ago

Did you miss out on having your say in the recent elections because you were not registered to vote?  You can stop this happening next time by taking part in this year’s annual canvass which begins this week.

This year electoral household enquiry forms will be sent to over 266,000 homes across Cornwall over the next two weeks.

It is a legal requirement to respond to the HEF and we encourage residents to respond as soon as possible and by no later than the end of August. You can use a dedicated internet, or SMS text response services to provide details of any changes or, alternatively, can return your forms by post.

Reminders will be issued to households who have not responded by 1 September. If we still haven’t obtained a response, a canvasser will call at the property. In order to avoid us having to send reminders and call at the property, we encourage residents to assist us in responding by the deadline date.

This information will then be used to update the new electoral register which will be published on 1 December 2017 and contains the names and addresses of people who are eligible to vote in elections.

“It is essential that the Council has the correct information about each household. This means more of our residents at future elections will be able to participate and place their vote,“ said Council Leader Adam Paynter.  “People are required by law to provide the information which is asked for in the forms. While most people respond quickly, we always have a number who do not return their forms. If people look out for the forms and respond promptly then they can help to make savings which can go towards other essential services”.

Unless your name appears on the electoral register, you won’t be able to vote in an election.  If you’re not on the register you’ll also find it difficult when applying for mortgages, loans, insurance or credit, as credit reference agencies use the register to check addresses of applicants.

Anyone not receiving a form should contact the Council’s electoral registration team on 0300 123 1115. 

Story posted 20 July 2017 

Categories: Cornwall

Recovery effort continues today to help Coverack community back on their feet after devastating floods

Cornwall Council News feed - 10 hours 34 min ago

Cornwall Council and partner agencies are continuing to work with affected residents in Coverack to support recovery operations after the village was hit by devastating floods on Wednesday afternoon.

In total, around 50 properties were affected by the flooding and a small number of people were displaced.

Temporary accommodation is currently being sought for three people who have been displaced and cannot immediately return home.

So residents can access support quickly, Community Link Officers from Cornwall Council will be on hand at the Paris Hotel in Coverack to provide help today and tomorrow between 10am and 4pm.  The Link Officer will coordinate help from multiple agencies where needed, providing a single point of contact.

Residents can also call the Cornwall Council emergency line on 0800 7313247 with any questions, queries and concerns.

A second meeting will also be held to update residents and respond to any questions. This meeting will be held at the Paris Hotel at 11am on Friday 21 July, The meeting will be hosted by Council Leader Adam Paynter.

Councillor Paynter, who visited the site yesterday, said: “The way authorities, businesses and the local community has pulled together in the face of such a devastating event has been remarkable. The response we have seen from all quarters shows the true spirit of Cornwall.  It reflects how we pull together in the face of adversity and highlights the special essence of village communities.

“From partner agencies such as utilities to tourism and waste management, we are united in trying to help rebuild the Coverack community as quickly as possible.  We have also seen generous support from businesses such as Sainsburys who have offered help with food deliveries through to Warren’s Bakery who provided a welcome delivery of pasties yesterday,” he said.

The Cornwall community has been quick to respond to the flash flooding with offers of assistance. The Council is working with Volunteer Cornwall who will coordinate offers of assistance from members of the community to provide support.  Offers of assistance can be reported via 0800 7313247 .

The Cornwall Community Foundation has also confirmed that financial assistance can be provided to affected residents needing immediate help. Details on how to access this can be obtained from the Community Link Officers or from the Cornwall Council emergency line - 0800 7313247.

Following safety checks by utility companies and an assessment yesterday, work to repair the main road in to the village began this morning.

We are working with the local landowners to identify locations to provide temporary parking for residents.

Initial removal of domestic waste was completed yesterday where access was available.  Plans are being drawn up to help residents and businesses dispose of household goods and debris.  Two lockable skips are already on route to the village this morning, with further skips being organised to deal with different types of waste.

As reported yesterday, pollution from a broken sewer line remains a health concern.  South West Water has carried out an initial assessment and confirm that there are no reported issues with mains supply drinking water however, the main sewage line has been breached which means the local streams and beach may be contaminated.  Precautionary warning signs have been placed near the beach and two local streams.

People are advised not to go near the water and if they come in contact with the water to make sure they wash their hands and follow good hygiene practices. Precautions should also be taken with regards to pets and livestock.

Anyone who gets their water from a private water supply such as a borehole, spring or well which has potentially been covered by floodwater is advised to look out for a change in water quality, such as the water becoming discoloured or there is a change in taste or smell, should assume the water is unsafe to drink unless boiled and should continue to use boiled water for drinking and bathing until the supply has been tested and shown to be safe.  

The Council’s website has useful information on flood recovery and we will be posting updates specifically about what is happening in Coverack.

People who wish to make a donation can do so via Cornwall Live’s just giving page.

Agencies who have been working with Cornwall Council to provide assistance to the Coverack community include CORMAC, Cornwall Fire and Rescue and Community Safety Service, Environment Agency, South West Water, HM Coastguard, Volunteer Cornwall, Public Health Cornwall and Devon and Cornwall Police.

Story posted 20 July 2017 

Categories: Cornwall

Council working with Coverack local community to recover from devastating flash flood

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 17:44

Cornwall Council and partner agencies have been working around the clock to assess the needs of Coverack residents following a devastating flash flood in the village yesterday afternoon.

While last night’s efforts focussed on immediate safety of residents and holiday makers, today’s focus has moved to assessing the needs of the local community and working to repair infrastructure.  

Cornwall Council hosted a meeting for local residents and visitors at a local hotel this morning to update the community on action being taken after yesterday’s flash floods which badly affected the village, and to further assess what support is needed to help the local community return to normal as quickly as possible. 

Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter visited the scene this morning and spoke to local residents at the community meeting: “Thankfully no one was injured in yesterday’s incident but the devastation caused by this extreme localised flash flooding is there for all to see.  I want to pay tribute to all the emergency services who worked so tirelessly to make sure that people were rescued and kept safe.  I also want to say how much we all admire and appreciate the resilience and patience of residents and visitors to the village as we start the clean-up process. We have people on the ground from Council ready to listen to concerns and to feed those back to the recovery group which is co-ordinating action.”

If you are a resident or visitor who has been affected by flooding and need assistance or have questions  you can contact Cornwall Council’s emergency contact line - 0800 731 3247. Community Link Officers from Cornwall Council will also remain in the village for the rest of the week.

The main road in to Coverack is currently impassable with the secondary road, School Lane, single track and narrow. Traffic management has been put in place to ensure traffic flow and a local traffic plan is being put in place, including temporary parking for residents.

A digger has been brought into the village and Environment Agency teams have been brought in to clear debris from the beach and bridges and to assess the impact on waterways.

South West Water has carried out an initial assessment and confirm that there are no reported issues with mains supply drinking water however, the main sewage line has been breached which means the local streams and beach may be contaminated. Precautionary warning signs will be placed near the beach and two local streams today.

People are advised not to go near the water and if they come in contact with the water to make sure they wash their hands and follow good hygiene practices. Precautions should also be taken with regards to pets and livestock.

Anyone who gets their water from a private water supply such as a borehole, spring or well which has potentially been covered by floodwater is advised to look out for a change in water quality, such as the water becoming discoloured or there is a change in taste or smell, should assume the water is unsafe to drink unless boiled and should continue to use boiled water for drinking and bathing until the supply has been tested and shown to be safe.  

A household waste collection was due today so the Council has arranged for special collections to take place.  It is also assessing how best to remove bulky good which have been damaged and needs to be removed.

Crews from Cornwall Fire and Rescue and Community Safety Service were first mobilised into action when the first calls about flooding affecting the village were received at 15.40 yesterday afternoon and maintained a presence overnight.

The Council’s website has useful information on flood recovery and we will be posting updates specifically about what is happening in Coverack.

Cornwall Council has been inundated with offers from people wanting to help with the clean-up. At this stage our priority is to assess people’s needs by door knocking on every home and the best way people can help is by making a donation on Cornwall Live’s just giving page.

Unless they need to travel to Coverack, people are asked to avoid the area while recovery operations are underway.

A range of agencies and the community are working together to develop an action plan to look at longer term recovery.

Story posted 19 July 2017 

Categories: Cornwall

Preferred route for A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross dualling discussed at St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel meeting

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:22

Residents of the St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network area are invited to hear from Highways England about the A30 Chiverton Cross to Carland Cross improvement scheme at an extra-ordinary Community Network panel meeting on Tuesday 25 July. At the meeting, Highways England will be providing an update on plans to transform this section of the A30 by creating a dual carriageway. The update from Josh Hodder, the new Project Manager for the scheme at Highways England, will include information about the preferred route and what happens next before the construction phase.

The meeting has been set up following the request at the last St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel meeting to have more information and another discussion about the scheme. This is a public meeting and there will be the opportunity for both panel members and the public to ask questions.

Earlier this month, Highways England announced the preferred route for the £290 million scheme. Once completed, the new eight mile stretch of dual carriageway between Chiverton and Carland Cross will help to improve journey times for many residents, businesses and visitors, and help unlock one of the last bottlenecks in Cornwall.

The Chair, Councillor Ken Yeo of Perranzabuloe Parish Council, said: “The network panel meeting is a good opportunity to hear the latest from Highways England about the scheme to create a dual carriageway between Chiverton Cross and Carland Cross on the A30. Everyone is welcome to this well-timed public meeting which follows the recent announcement from Highways England on the preferred route. This is a good opportunity for people to better understand the scheme and how it will affect them in the future. Please come and meet local Parish and Cornwall Councillors.”

The St Agnes and Perranporth Panel meets bi-monthly. They discuss matters that affect the local area and agree priorities that can be delivered by Cornwall Council and its partners such as the police and health services.

Some of the areas that community networks across Cornwall focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, transport and highway issues.

The St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel includes all the Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the six Parish Councils (Crantock, Cubert, Perranzabuloe, St Agnes, St Allen, St Newlyn East) in the community network area.

The meeting is on Tuesday 26 July 2017 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Perranzabuloe Parish Rooms, Chyanhale, Ponsmere Valley, Perranporth, TR6 0DB. The agenda and more information about the community network panel can be found on the St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network webpage

19 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall supports new "Proud to Care" campaign to champion care workers

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 13:17

Cornwall Council has joined local authorities from across the South West to support a new campaign to raise the profile of care and the positive role of care workers in a drive to recruit the right people to the sector.

The Proud to Care South West campaign, launched today (Monday, 17 July), sees 16 local authorities working with Health Education England to establish for the first time a regional approach to raising the profile of care.

Care providers across the country often experience difficulties in recruiting, which, in turn, affects the availability of care to people who could be living independently at home, or in care homes.

It's a challenge that local authorities want to address by making people aware of how rewarding and worthwhile care work is as a career choice, and encouraging the positive image that care deserves.

An especially inspiring element to the campaign is the first-hand personal accounts from real care and support workers, who talk passionately about their love for care work.  The Proud to Care South West website features interviews with care and support workers, and links to recruitment portals where care providers across the region advertise their vacancies.

Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, is a firm supporter of the new campaign. "Health and Social Care is facing unprecedented demand and this pressure is set to increase in the years ahead.

“A vital factor in dealing with this demand is the recruitment and retention of highly motivated, skilled workforce that is valued and rewarded properly. Cornwall has a proud tradition for caring and I have no doubt will rise to this challenge. 

“As someone who has been directly involved in care all my career I'm happy to say I'm "Proud to Care" "

The campaign is also being supported by Trevor Doughty, Cornwall Council’s Strategic Director for Children, Families and Adults, who said “Working in the care sector and helping to enhance a person’s quality of life is hugely rewarding and we want to encourage more people to consider careers in this area.  

“We are already working with care providers to help them to recruit and retain staff and we are looking forward to building on this strong partnership to demonstrate that Cornwall is Proud to Care.

"This campaign plays a key role in helping to recognise and celebrate the value and commitment of care and support workers and we hope that people will visit the campaign website, listen to the real stories and be inspired to apply for any of the vacancies now available."

The campaign wants to reach all potential care workers, but is specifically targeting key audiences, including younger people and those who have studied for a health and social care qualification; parents considering a return to work; people aged 50 plus who, with more life experience might want to give something back to their community; and students seeking employment over holiday periods.

It's also gained national support from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care, Skills for Care and Skills for Health. 

Story posted 17 July 2017 

Categories: Cornwall

Earlier help to prevent people becoming rough sleepers

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 16:13

A new £1.1 million approach to preventing and reducing rough sleeping by improving greater access to transitional housing and support services was launched today.  

The multi-agency rough sleeper reduction strategy will work to prevent rough sleeping in the first instance by helping those most at risk, help new rough sleepers quickly access housing, help and support to get off the streets as well as identify and provide support for entrenched rough sleepers to help them off the streets permanently. 

The strategy will be delivered by Cornwall Council, Cornwall Housing Ltd, Coastline Housing, Voluntary Sector Providers, Safer Cornwall, the Drug and Alcohol Action Team, Devon & Cornwall Police, Public Health (including Mental Health Services) and Inclusion Cornwall.

The strategy is backed by £1.1 million in funding - £850,000 from Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing and £292,000 from a successful bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for Nos Da Kernow (No First Night Out).      

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for homes Andrew Mitchell said: “It is frightening how quickly someone can find themselves faced with the prospect of sleeping rough. In Cornwall, as in other parts of the country, we have seen an increase in homelessness and the continuing impacts of welfare reform mean that more people are at risk of becoming homeless. 

“This new strategy means earlier help to people who are in desperate need of accommodation and support and placing them on a path that will not involve worrying about their safety at night because they are forced to sleep rough.”

The strategy will also see more joined up support from outreach teams, specialist agencies and housing providers for existing rough sleepers many of whom have complex needs and housing histories who need specialist support to help them to move away from the streets permanently.

A key element of the strategy is to provide stable housing to help get people back on their feet, and then provide wraparound support services which people  need to keep their housing and avoid becoming homeless again.

The Council and its partners have been working on a number of initiatives since September last year to begin the process of reducing rough sleeping in Cornwall, including Nos Da Kernow. This programme involves a team of experienced outreach, housing options and resettlement officers from Cornwall Housing, Coastline and St Petroc’s Society working together to combine knowledge and skills to help those who are facing pressures that could tip them over into rough sleeping. The approach is already making a difference to people like Dave and Louise.

Dave fell into rent arrears after losing his job, he had no relatives or friends to help him and was at serious risk of having to sleep rough. Nos Da Kernow (No First Night Out)) arranged for £300 of the arrears to paid off by a charity and then put together a manageable repayment plan for Dave to re-pay the charity. The landlord was happy with this arrangement and Dave was able to stay in his home.

Louise was sofa surfing after being asked to leave the family home and was referred to Nos Da Kernow, who provided one of the bedspaces attached to the project, which helped Louise move on into supported accommodation and prevented her from having to sleep rough.

“Having a safe and secure place to stay and access to the support they need will help people to start to re-build their lives.  This is especially true for some entrenched rough sleepers that have not been able to access or stay in housing in the past because of their sometimes chaotic lifestyle.

“We saw the number of people found sleeping rough on one night drop from 99 last November to 82 in May this year – but we know homelessness can often be hidden and changing this will take time. Partnership working is critical to tackling this national problem,” Councillor Mitchell said.

Another key element of the strategy is the ‘Housing First’ approach which provides independent, stable housing as the foundation for enabling people with multiple and complex needs to then receive wrap around services and get their lives back on track. Two additional outreach workers alongside the existing St Petroc’s team are now in place to work with rough sleepers and to develop a ‘Housing First’ approach in Cornwall.

St Petroc’s Chief Executive Steve Ellis said: “St Petroc’s look forward to working together with our colleagues at Cornwall Council, Coastline and other partners to reduce the number of homeless across the county. The new early intervention service will, I am sure, have a significant impact in the coming months.”

Cornwall Housing’s Director of Housing Options, Cathy Hadfield said: “This is a great example of working together in tackling homelessness and rough sleeping head on. The strong focus on prevention and early intervention is key. The earlier we are able to assist someone the better chance we have of preventing the next step resulting in sleeping rough.” 

People at risk of homelessness or worried about their housing situation can contact the advice team at Cornwall Housing on 0300 1234 161.

Members of the public who have concerns about a rough sleeper in their area should go to the Streetlink website or phone Streetlink on 0300 500 0914. The rough sleeper will be contacted by the Street Outreach Team within 24 hours and offered advice, assistance and support to find accommodation.  

People who wish to donate should give directly to one of the organisations officially helping people, such as St Petroc’s.  

Story posted 17 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

New Council homes for local people in Cornwall

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 15:16

18 new Council homes in St Anns Chapel, Gunnislake will soon be ready for new tenants to move in. The homes will be managed by Cornwall Housing and are for social rent. The homes will be advertised in phases on Cornwall Homechoice as they become available.

Cornwall Housing’s Development and Regeneration manager, Michelle Richards said, “We are really pleased with how these new homes are progressing. We have already been able to advertise four of the one-bed flats on Cornwall Homechoice for applicants to bid on. The homes are built to a high standard, and we know that fuel poverty is a real issue in Cornwall, so along with an efficient gas central heating system - all the homes are well insulated to ensure optimum energy efficiency.”

The 18 new builds consist of:

  • 8 x 1 bed flats
  • 6 x 2 bed houses
  • 3 x 3 bed houses
  • 1 x 4 bed house

All properties will have an allocated parking space and small garden area.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for homes Andrew Mitchell, said,“Demand for decent social housing in Cornwall is very high, so I am pleased that these new Council funded homes will go some way to addressing that demand. The new homes in St Anns Chapel are not only of a high quality, but they will be set at a social rent for local people in Cornwall. We are looking forward to having all 18 new properties completed with tenants settling in and making a home.”

Nick Cross, Interim Operations Director for Cornwall Housing said: “This development is another successful example of working together to positively address the needs of local people registered on Homechoice. However, we recognise that Homechoice may not be a realistic solution for everyone, as social housing has to go to those in greatest need. People who may struggle to access housing on Homechoice may not be aware of the many other options that are available to them.”

Cornwall Housing’s Voids Control Manager, Lydia Stevens said, “These homes are being built for those on the housing register who have a local connection to the parish of Calstock. Unfortunately, on the first round of bidding for the one bed flats we had very few bids from people who meet the 1st priority local connection to Calstock . This means that we will now be looking at applicants’ bids that meet the 2nd priority which is a connection to a parish adjoining Calstock.

If you are local, we would strongly encourage you to bid on Thursday 10 August when we will be advertising 2 x 1 bed flats and 2 x 2 bed houses on Cornwall Homechoice. If you want more information, we have set up a dedicated page on our website about these new homes and details of when they will be advertised."

The Cornwall Housing Facebook page will post information as and when each phase is completed and ready to be advertised on Cornwall Homechoice.

Story posted 14 July 2017 

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall celebrates second anniversary of historic Devolution Deal

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:28

Three years after launching the "Standing up for Cornwall" campaign and then becoming the first rural local authority in the country to be offered a devolution deal, we are celebrating the second anniversary of our historic deal which is making a real difference to the lives of local residents and businesses.

Following the Scottish referendum in 2015 the Council was determined to be at the forefront of the growing momentum for local authorities in England to be given greater powers and freedoms.  After listening to local residents and businesses, we started drafting a Case for Cornwall based on the things people had said needed improving.  These included fairer levels of funding for all public services, better maintained roads and improved bus services, more affordable homes for local people, and additional powers to grow the economy, create new jobs and improve employment and skills.

After testing these "asks" through a successful #standupforCornwall social media campaign, public meetings and a survey, they were included in the final Case for Cornwall which formed the basis of our negotiations with the Government.

On 16 July 2015 the Government announced that we had become the first rural local authority to be given a devolution deal, with the Prime Minister and Communities Secretary travelling to Cornwall to support the signing of the formal agreement. 

"Two years ago we welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron and the Communities Secretary Greg Clark to Cornwall for the formal signing of our historic Deal," said Adam Paynter, the Leader of Cornwall Council.

"Our Deal was about giving Cornwall more control over how we deliver the services that are important to residents and businesses, including transport, education and health.  It was the first step in securing more powers and flexibilities for Cornwall and ensuring that decisions over important services are taken closer to the people that they are delivered to.

"I am very proud that the achievements we have made and the foundations we have put in place over the past two years are now helping to create thriving communities, and deliver sustainable and fairer funding and increased prosperity."

The Deal agreed in 2015 covered a range of key areas, including transport, employment and skills, EU funding, business support, energy, health and social care, public buildings, and heritage and culture, with a number of exciting "firsts" for Cornwall.

These included the proposals for transport which would see us become the first rural authority in the country to be given powers to franchise bus services.  Other "firsts" included an agreement on European Union funding which would give Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Intermediate Body status, ensuring that decisions on allocating EU funding to projects would be made locally rather than at Westminster and a commitment by the Government to work with the Council and the LEP to join up national and local business support services to make it easier for local businesses to find the support they need. 

So what has been achieved over the past two years?

The simple answer is that significant achievements have been made in all areas of the Deal, with particular successes in improving public transport with new buses and helping businesses access the support they need to grow more easily:

Transport – Over £10.7m has been invested by bus operators into brand new buses during the last 12 months, with more new buses planned for 2017/18 and 2019/20. This has led to people taking 700,000 more journeys by bus.  Passengers will be able to use SMART ticketing and contactless payment options in August, with the new smart tickets able to be used on both trains and buses. Information on bus times is now 'live' and passengers will soon be able to access an on-line and mobile Transport Journey Planner, which includes the ability to buy a ticket.  We now have control over spending a £126m budget in Cornwall which means we can shape transport services more effectively to join up journeys and better meet the needs of our residents..

Energy – Being energy rich Cornwall has the ability to become self-sufficient in energy, and through local control we can keep the benefits of these resources. We have now invested in two pilot new clean energy sources using European funds – wave and deep geothermal – both if successful will be brand new energy sectors for the UK, as well as a Heat Network pilot.  We have also set up an 'enterprise zone' to help businesses involved in clean energy establish their companies and employ local people. 

Employment and Skills – We have refreshed our Employment and Skills Strategy, which includes an apprenticeship strategy and sets out our vision to 2030.  The Skills Access Hub is now live and will be aligned to the Growth Hub to support businesses with their skills and development needs.  We have published the 'Cornwall Careers Offer' and successfully secured additional funding to recruit Enterprise Co-ordinators around clusters of schools and focus  resources on Special Schools and alternative provision.

Keeping money in Cornwall – We are one of only a handful of regions in the UK who can now keep all of the business rates we raise. This does not mean that we will get more money, but it does mean that we have more control of the money that will help pay for services in Cornwall.

European money – We now have control over the way that European funds are spent in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This means we can now make sure that funds are matched to local priorities, and we can decide on the projects that best meet these local needs. There are still tens of millions of pounds to be spent, and our Devolution Deal has ensured that these funds will be used in a way that will most benefit Cornwall. These funds will create thousands of jobs and support hundreds of businesses. 

Improving Cornish homes – New ways of improving insulation in Cornish homes agreed with the Government means we have more control over deciding which homes can receive this support. The fund for this work is likely to be worth up to £3m which will make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of people currently living in cold and damp homes.  This is an exciting new scheme which has been delivered as a direct result of our Deal.

Health and social care – Some elements of devolution take longer to deliver.  The foundations are being put in place for the delivery of more joined up health and social care services. Partners from health, public health and the Council are all working together to develop plans to help people stay as healthy as possible, support people to remain independent and well in their community and make the system more sustainable.  We are also investigating how the work we are taking forward locally can be supported and enhanced by our devolution status by seeking freedoms and flexibilities, more control and ownership over health and care related budgets and possibly transition funding. 

Emergency services working together – Our Deal has allowed us to bring our ambulance, fire and police emergency services across Cornwall together.  We now have joined up 'blue-light' services in places like Hayle and Truro. By locating and training staff from different agencies together, these services are providing a more joined up response to local situations. We are also joining up other services, such as Job Centre Plus with Council offices. This means that a wider range of services can be accessed in a single location, reducing the costs of owning or leasing different buildings considerably.

Helping local businesses to grow – Our Devolution Deal has led to the creation of new, easier to access support systems for local businesses.  The development of the Growth Hub and its links with other programmes has helped over 8,000 businesses in Cornwall to grow and develop. Having more control over how we support business, rather than adopting national systems, means we have been able to target help to meet demand in the most simple and effective way.

Changing the way we work with partners – We have changed the way we work with partners and the Government to look after our heritage and protect the countryside and homes from flooding. We have new partnerships in place that are creating exciting new plans that will allow us to better manage our heritage and invest in ways to prevent flooding for many years to come. These arrangements have revolutionised the way we work, and have set the foundations for potential future devolution asks.

One of the key areas to benefit from the Devolution Deal has been business, with significant improvements in the support available to help local businesses to grow.

"The launch of the Growth Hub a year ago means it is easier for businesses to find advice and support, and this will soon be followed by a Skills Hub to match them with the right skills," said Mark Duddridge, the Chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.  "We are working with schools, colleges and employers to improve careers advice for young people and make sure employment and training schemes fit Cornwall better.

"Thanks to Government support, Cornwall now has a Low Carbon Enterprise Zone to attract jobs and investment, and early next year will see the launch of a multi-million pound investment fund to support business growth.  Greater say over local transport funding is also transforming our bus and rail services, and enhancing other infrastructure investment."

So what of the future for Cornwall’s historic Devolution Deal ?

"We are delivering on the promises in the Deal and have an exciting year ahead as local residents and businesses see the real impact of the Deal on their lives," said Adam Paynter.  "These include saving council taxpayers’ money by sharing buildings with our public sector partners, providing new buses and developing tickets which can be used on both buses and trains, and supporting local businesses to grow.

"We will continue to be ambitious and will be working with the Government to identify potential areas of future devolution, particularly around housing, planning powers, future funding opportunities for Cornwall and integrating our education, health and social care services.  Whilst also assessing the potential impact of Brexit and the opportunities this offers for devolved powers from Brussels. 

"We said in 2015 that the signing of the Deal was not the end of the development of the Case for Cornwall – it was very much the beginning.  Devolution remains a journey; an exciting journey that we want all stakeholders and residents in Cornwall to share."

Story posted 17 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

Opening of A30 dual carriageway scheme reduces travel time and brings an extra £134m to Cornwall

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 18:00

One of Cornwall’s most important strategic routes has been transformed as the four lanes of dual carriageway between Temple and Higher Carblake on the A30 opens today. 

Long delays for motorists and queues of up to nine miles during peak season will be a thing of the past, with the improvement expected to bring big tourism benefits to Cornwall, as well as open up access for business investment and economic growth. 

During its busiest time this section carried around 40,000 vehicles a day, with the annual cost of delays due to congestion for business, residents and visitors using the route estimated to cost more than £235m a year. 

The successful completion of the scheme is expected to bring more than £134 million into the Cornish economy each year, and play a key role in the future prosperity of Cornwall by encouraging economic growth and aiding regeneration, business expansion and housing delivery, and supporting tourism.  

Led by Cornwall Council, in partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England, the £59m project has replaced the 4.5km stretch of road with a new dual carriageway which will not only improve traffic flows, but also provide more reliable journey times and help improve road safety. 

By funding the £4m costs of designing and proposing a scheme which significantly cut the cost of previous proposals, and then contributing £10m to ensure the delivery of the revised scheme, the Council’s involvement helped to significantly bring forward the construction of the dual carriageway. 

Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said "This is a great day for Cornwall.  The opening of the A30 at Bodmin Moor means better access, faster journey times, less traffic on local roads and millions of pounds in economic benefits for Cornwall.  It will also enable our emergency services to travel to incidents more quickly. 

"This is an excellent example of how the Council, the Dual the A30 Action Group, Highways England and the Department for Transport have worked together and not only delivered a project five years sooner than expected, but have saved nearly £60 million for taxpayers. 

“I would like to thank local residents and visitors for their patience while the roadworks were underway. In particular, the small settlements and communities across Bodmin Moor who have long campaigned for the A30 dualling and who will notice a big difference as congestion eases and fewer drivers take detours through narrow country lanes through the local villages.” 

The project includes the construction of three bridges - at Cardinham, Preeze Cross, and Temple Tor - providing access to the nearby local communities. The bridges at Preeze Cross opened today (14 July), with the bridge at Cardinham opening within two weeks and the third bridge at Temple Tor due to open during September. 

As well as demonstrating the Council’s ability to successfully deliver major infrastructure projects, the authority’s leadership of this key major project means DfT and Highways England have been able to focus on proposals to dual the next single carriageway section of the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross, the preferred route for which was announced on 3 July. 

Minister for Transport Jesse Norman MP said “The opening of the bridges and new section of dual carriageway on the A30 is a huge boost for local residents, businesses and the wider economy of the South West.  By reducing travel time and relieving congestion, these improvements will make the area an even better place, to live, work and do business.  

“We have also committed to investing up to £1.8bn to fund a programme of upgrades along the A303, including the Stonehenge Tunnel, which will transform journeys to and from the region”. 

Andrew Page-Dove, Highways England South West Director, said “We are incredibly proud to have worked in partnership with Cornwall Council on this important scheme that will improve safety and journey times, support the economy and connect local communities.” 

The opening of the dual carriageway has also been welcomed by the tourism industry as it has taken over 40 years to bring motorway and dual carriageway standard road from the rest of the country to the heart of Cornwall. 

“The industry will be delighted to see this bottleneck removed and open before the peak season“ said Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall. “It will mean that people can drive from all parts of the country and, once they join the motorway near them, there will be no single carriageway sections to slow their journey until they get to outside Truro”. 

Around 70% of residents in Cornwall and more than 80% of workers are based to the west of Temple, with more than three quarters of businesses surveyed at the start of the scheme predicting that it would have a positive impact on their business, and almost half saying it would result in increased investment and employment in their company. 

Mark Duddridge, Chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Good infrastructure is critical to the success of any region and this stretch of road removes one of the most notorious bottlenecks in Cornwall. Congratulations to all involved.” 

Kim Conchie, Chief Executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said “The major benefits to businesses west of Bodmin Moor are that journey times will be shorter and more reliable for their goods, people and customers.  Today is a huge step towards Cornwall's future success. 

“We are delighted at the completion of these improvements to the A30 that will obviously allow businesses to save on costs and time” added Ann Vandermeulen, Development Manager, Cornwall Region for the Federation of Small Businesses. “Not only does this mean safer, faster journeys but this is tangible proof that by investing in improving our infrastructure we can make Cornwall an even more attractive prospect for those in business or those who come and spend money here. A great day for Cornwall and well done to all for making it happen!”. 

The development and construction of the scheme has drawn upon a range of Cornish businesses and craftsmen, with CORMAC leading on the early designs, environmental assessments and funding bids for the new road.  Cornwall Council and its contractors have worked closely with the Environment Agency and other members of the Local Nature Partnership to ensure that pollution is minimised and the natural environment is protected during this scheme. 

One of the notable features of the new scheme is the 5.5kms of Cornish hedging, which were all hand built by R Clemens Stonework Ltd.   “It has been two years hard work in a very exposed location” said Martin Clemens, “but it has been worth it, when you see what we have created and how the hedges are already becoming part of the landscape.  These hedges will be part of the landscape for generations to come.” 

The specialist stonework for the three bridges was provided by Cornish Stoneworks, based in Falmouth. 

Since construction on the dual carriageway began in June 2015 contractors Kier have cut around 300,000 tons of earth, equivalent to filling 226 Olympic sized swimming pools, and laid around 130,000 m² of tarmac, the equivalent of surfacing 18 Wembley sized football pitches and 15,000 metres of vehicle safety barrier equivalent to the distance between Chiverton Cross to Mitchell. 

2,750 cubic metres of concrete have been used to construct the bridges, with 19, 500 metres – 12.1 miles - of pipework installed as part of the drainage system - equivalent to the distance from Bodmin to St Austell.  The contractors have also built 5,500 metres of Cornish hedge as part of the environmental works, and planted 15,000 trees and shrubs and 95,000 square metres of seeding, equivalent to seeding 13 Wembley sized football pitches. 

Steve Mack, senior project manager for contractors Kier, said “We’re proud to have delivered the dualling of the A30, which is a strategically important scheme for Cornwall. It’s going to offer huge benefits to visitors and the local community alike, reducing congestion and helping people to go about their journeys – whether it’s a daily commute or a once a year trip – stress-free.”

“We would like to thank the local community for their support during the construction of this vital piece of Cornish infrastructure.”

Story posted 14 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

Town Council to run St Austell library following agreement with Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 11:42

Cornwall Council and St Austell Town Council have agreed that St Austell library will be transferred to the Town Council and run from its existing premises; helping to secure its future. This agreement is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme which is supporting parish and town councils and communities to take over local ownership, management and control of services.

By transferring many Library and Information Services (formerly called One Stop Shops) across Cornwall to local councils and communities Cornwall Council is finding a more sustainable solution to running services. The Information Service in St Austell however will continue to be run by Cornwall Council in Penwinnick Road.

Customers at St Austell library will still be members of Cornwall Library Service and be able to borrow from the Cornwall-wide stock of books, CDs, and DVDs as well as having access to online newspapers, e-magazines, eBooks, and computers.  After the transfer, Cornwall Council will continue to support the Town Council to deliver the local service.

Cllr Edwina Hannaford Portfolio holder for Neighbourhoods at Cornwall Council said: “Our aim has been to work with partners and local communities to protect library services by delivering them in line with local need.  I’m delighted that an agreement has been reached with St Austell Town Council. This is a partnership which we will look to achieve in our other communities.” 

Councillor Graham Walker, Mayor of St Austell said: “The transfer of St Austell Library to the Town Council is another piece of the devolution jigsaw to bring the services in our town back under the control of local people. Town Councillors acknowledge the importance of the library to the town and over time hope to make funds available to improve the service further and make it even more accessible to its users.”

As part of Cornwall Council’s wider programme of devolution activities, St Austell Town Council has recently taken over the allotments, public conveniences, Priory Car Park, parks and open spaces, grass cutting and the Stable Block site on Penwinnick Road.

It is expected that the transfer of the library to St Austell Town Council will take place on the 18th September 2017.

Posted 14 July 2017 

Categories: Cornwall

Saltash Town Council celebrates taking over management of Saltash Pontoon

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/12/2017 - 16:01

The management of Saltash Pontoon has been transferred from Cornwall Council to Saltash Town Council, securing the future of this important amenity for Saltash residents and visitors.

The pontoon is a well-used facility on the town’s waterfront, providing a base for local fetes and events such as the Saltash Regatta as well as being used as a mooring point for up to 12 boats.  The pontoon has recently undergone a major refurbishment and overhaul by Cornwall Council and re-opened to the public in June.

Management of the pontoon has been transferred to the town council, in advance of a community freehold transfer, under Cornwall Council’s localism and devolution scheme for the benefit of the local community.

Saltash Town Council have ambitious plans to improve facilities on the waterfront area as part of their aspirations to manage and service community facilities locally, with more local accountability, control and direction.  The town council have already employed a warden to deal with any day to day issues in the waterfront area as a first step towards increasing their role in undertaking improvements and providing local management of waterfront facilities.

Jean Dent, Mayor of Saltash, said: “I am very pleased to see this site transfer to local management. It is one of a number of community assets and services that the town council intend to take on.  We look forward to managing and running it locally and expect it to become an even more popular outdoor location for Saltash residents and visitors.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Saltash Town Council have a strong track record of working with Cornwall Council to deliver localism and devolution projects and delivering frontline services.   When they approached us with a plan to take ownership of the pontoon, we were keen to be able to help them realise their local ambition. Saltash Town Council’s proactive approach to taking more control over local assets is a great example of devolution in action. Devolution at its most worthwhile is about finding the best long term local custodians of an asset, in this case a waterfront feature that is valued by the local community. I applaud their innovative approach to working with the Council and providing an excellent service to their community.”

Derek Holley, Cornwall Councillor for Saltash East, said: “This is great news for Saltash.  The pontoon is in a central position on the waterfront and plays a big part in local celebrations like the Saltash Regatta.  With Saltash Town Council taking on the ownership and management of the pontoon, local people will be able to continue to enjoy it for many years to come.”

This asset transfer by Cornwall Council is part of the Council’s within Cornwall devolution programme to allow assets to be managed locally for the benefit of local communities.

Story posted 12 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Trading Standards are warning residents to be on the lookout after a spike in rogue trading reports in relation to roofing work

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 07/12/2017 - 15:50

Unscrupulous businesses are targeting residents all over Cornwall offering dry verge systems and minor roof repairs. The dry verge “systems” are a plastic covering that is applied to the edges of the roof. When fitted incorrectly, they offer little extra protection and are easily damaged by high winds.

The companies claim to be from Cornwall or the surrounding areas but are known to have travelled from outside the County to target our residents specifically.

The below incidents all occurred within the first 7 days of July in both Falmouth and St Columb. On each occasion, the resident was cold called and given little to no paperwork:

Incident 1 – 07/07/2017 - 2 men, one in his fifties and one in his late twenties, were seen in a sign written silver / grey Ford Transit van offering roofing services (specifically dry verge caps) in the Boslowick area of Falmouth.

Incident 2 – 04/07/2017 - 1 man and 1 woman seen in a sign written blue Ford Transit van offering roofing services in the St Columb area. The man is described as white, aged in his late 20s/early 30s, muscular build with a Midlands accent, wearing a blue jumper with an embroidered logo on the breast in blue/red colour.

Incident 3 – 06/07/2017 - 3 men seen in a dark blue transit van offering roofing services (specifically dry verge caps) in the St Columb area.  The first man is described as white, aged 18-25, with black hair which was short back and sides style, longer on top and combed back.  He is around 5’ 2” tall;  slim build and with an Essex accent.  He walks with a significant limp.  He was wearing navy blue cargo trousers and short sleeve t-shirt with an embroidered logo on the breast in red/yellow colour. The second man is white, aged 22-25 with black hair which was short back and sides style, longer on top and combed back.  He is 5’ 6” tall, slim build and with an Essex accent. He was wearing navy blue cargo trousers and short sleeve t-shirt with an embroidered logo on the breast in red/yellow colour. The third man is white, aged in his 60s with grey hair.  He is around 5’ 6” tall with a stocky build.  He has an unshaven appearance and was wearing navy blue cargo trousers. short sleeve t-shirt with an embroidered logo on the breast in red/yellow colour and cap with same embroidery; no discernible accent.

Leanne McLean, Cornwall Trading Standards Officer said, “These traders are after quick cash for shoddy work. They deliberately call at homes where they believe elderly residents reside and will exaggerate the problem, often claiming that it needs doing immediately to avoid further damage. They will often be very polite and charming at first, but then increase the pressure and urgency to agree a contract. We know that they have on several occasions started work without the consent of the homeowners, leaving them feeling afraid and compelled to pay. Our message is clear,  DO NOT agree to work as a result of a cold call at your door. If you are approached or have noticed unusual activity at a neighbouring property, contact Trading Standards on 03454 040506 immediately to report them.”

Story posted 12 July 2017 

Categories: Cornwall

Hear about the A390 highways improvements at the Truro and Roseland Community Network Panel meeting

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 17:01

Local people are being invited to hear about the A390 Truro Western Corridor highways package at the Truro and Roseland Community Network Panel meeting on Tuesday 18 July. This highways package, which includes improvements to the Threemilestone Roundabout and the Arch Hill Junction, aims to help ease traffic flow along the A390. Scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2018, the scheme will address congestion from the daily estimated 18,000 commuter trips into Truro; and support plans for new homes and new job opportunities in Truro. 

At the meeting Jerry Cobb from Cormac solutions will be coming along to brief the panel on the A390 improvements, and this will include an update on proposals for Arch Hill Roundabout. The newly appointed Portfolio Holder for Transport, Councillor Geoff Brown will also be coming along to the meeting. For more details on the scheme, including a short film and how the scheme helps to encourage sustainable transport, visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/a390truro.

Mark O’Brien the Community Link Officer for the area will give an update on other relevant matters. This month the panel will be brought up to date on the Electoral Review, which aims to deliver electoral equality across the local authority so that all councillors represent a similar number of voters. Plus there’ll be information on the Cornwall Councillor Community Chest; a small grant allocated to each Councillor to help fund projects or activities run by voluntary and community groups in the Cornwall Council area they represent. Details of these can be found on the Cornwall Council electoral review page and http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/communitychest.

Chair for the panel, Truro City Councillor Chris Wells said: “This is a really good opportunity for people to hear about local matters including the progress on the A390 Truro Western Corridor highways scheme. Everyone’s welcome to the meeting and those who come along will have the opportunity to meet their local, parish, city and Cornwall Councillors and ask questions.”

The Truro and Roseland Panel meets bi-monthly to discuss matters that affect the local area and to agree priorities that can be delivered by Cornwall Council and its partners such as the police and health services.

Some of the areas that community networks focus on include anti-social behaviour, economic development, the environment, community planning, regeneration, conservation, community safety, transport and highway issues.

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

The meeting takes place on Tuesday 18 July from 7pm to 9pm at Shortlanesend Village Hall School Hill, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DU. The agenda and more information about the panel can be found on the website. http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/truroroselandcna.

People can also keep up to date with what’s happening locally in this area by joining the Truro and Roseland Community Network Area page: www.facebook.com/TruroRoselandCNA.

Posted 10 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

Co-cars comes to Lemon Quay - offering a year’s free membership to Cornwall’s Car Club scheme

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 13:25

Co-cars, Cornwall’s hire-by-the-hour Car Club scheme will be on Lemon Quay, Truro on Saturday 15 July from 9am offering free first year residential membership for people who join within 7 days. Funded by Cornwall Council, the Department for Transport, Co-cars and Great Western Railways the Co-cars scheme recently launched with cars in Truro and Falmouth.

Co-cars members have the convenience of a car without the hassles and costs of car ownership. Members pay for a car only when they want to use one.  Co-cars are aimed at occasional drivers, short trippers and families who don’t want or can’t afford the second vehicle and want to hire one for an hour or two. If you’re a local business or employer you can also benefit. 

The Co-cars team will be at Lemon Quay explaining how pay-as-you-go driving works. Those who go along will be able to look at one of the smart new low emission cars which with the latest technology, allows you to book 24/7, swipe and drive as a Co-cars member.

The Co-cars in Cornwall are based at Truro and Falmouth Town railway stations and Truro’s Pydar Street car park. Co cars is a not for profit social enterprise based in Exeter operating in Devon, Wiltshire, Dorset, and now Cornwall. Co-cars membership provides access to all Co-cars vehicles. With cars now located at many railway stations people can connect their train journey with a station-based ‘hire by the hour’ car – how ‘joined-up’ is that? 

Whilst car clubs are a new concept to Cornwall, the Council are supporting this initiative as they are running successfully in other areas of the country including Devon and Dorset. Car club schemes like Co-cars go some way to supporting more sustainable, low carbon, forms of transport; research suggests that on average one car club car results in 10-20 private cars being taken off the road. As well as helping to purchase the cars Cornwall Council has provided marked parking bays for two cars at no cost. 

Co-cars aims to make car sharing simple and easy. The Company has streamlined the process down to a Click, Swipe and Drive. Once you’re a member you can book a car 24/7 on line or via a smartphone, swipe your membership card against the windscreen to unlock the car, enter a PIN and drive off. Members pick-up and return to the specially-reserved parking bays. Individual and household membership costs £25 per year, and there are two pricing options for businesses. Each hire costs from £3.75 per hour, plus 15p per mile. There are discounts for daily hire. Fuel, insurance, tax, maintenance and emergency cover are all included so there are no hidden costs.

Cornwall Councillor for Truro Boscawen Bert Biscoe, said ‘This is a really welcome new initiative. It could reduce the burdens of car ownership and encourage more people to live in the town centre, and help those already living in the centre to get out and about. It’s efficient, economic and environmentally constructive.’

Portfolio holder for Transport, Cornwall Councillor Geoff Brown said: “This is a very cost effective scheme which should greatly assist the occasional user to access a vehicle only when needed, thereby reducing congestion on our streets. Because of their eco-friendly nature these cars will also help to reduce the impact of emission levels in our towns”.

Truro resident and Co-cars member Sarah Wetherillsaid: ‘Being a member of Co-cars means I now have access to a car for those local trips that I can’t easily do by walking, cycling or using public transport. I’ve also used my membership to visit relatives near Dartmoor by taking the train to Exeter and picking up a Co-cars vehicle at Exeter station. It’s so convenient and with none of the wasted costs and stress of car ownership!’

Mark Hodgson, Founder and Managing Director of Co-cars said: 

“We are very pleased to be extending the car club into Cornwall and giving residents access to cars across our network. We focus on supporting the shift from owning to sharing, so members can focus on their life and having a great journey. And all this for only £25 per household membership (for two adults). It’s convenient, clever and once you ‘Co-car it’, you won’t look back.  You’ll save a surprising amount of money – up to £3,500 per year for the average household. That goes a long way towards funding a family holiday.”

If you are interested in finding out more, but are unable to attend the event, go to www.co-cars.co.uk, call 0345 345 2544 or email drive@co-cars.co.uk.

Posted 11 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

Invitation to have your say on improvements to Treloggan Green, Newquay

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 17:22

Cornwall Council is working with their partners CORMAC, the Treloggan Residents Association and Newquay Town Council to gather views from the local community about potential improvements to Treloggan Green.

Officers from the Council’s Environment Team will therefore be at the Bishops C of E Learning Academy Summer Fayre on Friday 14 July from 3pm-6pm at Treninnick Hill, Newquay. Local people are being encouraged to go along and have their say.

To pay for the potential improvements money has been allocated from through Developers Section 106 agreements, resulting from contributions arising from new local developments. The enhancement of play facilities has been identified as an important matter for some of the residents; however comments on all aspects of Treloggan Green are being welcomed as part of this community engagement session.

Posted 10 July 2017 

Categories: Cornwall

Man pleads guilty to dishonestly applying to buy Torpoint council house

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 14:46

Michael Raymond Whittaker (68) formerly of 5 The Chalet, Downderry, Torpoint attended Truro Crown Court on Wednesday 05 July 2017 and pleaded guilty to one count for fraud by dishonest false representation on a right to buy application.

For the offence, under Sections 1 and 2 of the Fraud Act 2013, of dishonestly making a false statement on a right to buy application, he was sentenced to a 12 month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Mr Whittaker had said that the property to which his application related was his main and only home, when in fact he was living abroad in Lanzarote.

Mr Whittaker had applied for and obtained a tenancy of 5 The Chalet in Downderry, near Torpoint in June of 2010.   One of the terms of getting such a tenancy is that you use it as your only home.

In late 2014, Mr Whittaker moved out of the property leaving his ex-partner there.

In August 2015 the Council received a notice from Mr Whittaker claiming the right to buy the house, even though he was no longer living there, in breach of his tenancy which sets out that you are only eligible if the property is your only or main home.

If the application had been accepted, Mr Whittaker would have obtained a 50% reduction in the cost of the house, totalling £54,125.

Mr Whittaker was sentenced to a 12 months custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay the Council’s full costs totalling £6,424.90 and a £100 Victim Surcharge.

Pete Jarman, Landlord Services Director Cornwall Housing Ltd said: “Cornwall Housing Ltd. takes ‘right to buy’ fraud very seriously and works closely in partnership with Cornwall Council’s Corporate Fraud team to identify, investigate and potentially prosecute cases of both tenancy and right to buy fraud. It is important that such a scarce resource as social housing goes to individuals and families who are in genuine housing need.”

Simba Muzarurwi, Cornwall Council’s Head of Internal Audit and Risk said:  “Our team of professional investigators continue to work with Cornwall Housing Ltd to combat fraud.  The Council has a zero tolerance policy on all forms of fraud so the Corporate Counter Fraud Team will leave no stone unturned to ensure that those responsible for perpetrating fraud are brought to book. By continuous checking and investigation of anomalies in information supplied by tenants and potential tenants, we can help ensure that housing in Cornwall is allocated to those in most need.” 

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 or you can contact us by emailing fraud@cornwall.gov.uk.

 

Story posted 10 July 2017 

Categories: Cornwall

Contractor confirms A30 Temple completion date

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 14:40

The long awaited resolution to several decades of frustration for motorists travelling along the A30 across Bodmin Moor will soon be coming to an end, contractors Kier have confirmed.

In a progress meeting with the Council, the construction firm confirmed that four lanes will be open by 14 July. 

Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council's Portfolio Holder for Transport, said: "A long job, well done. When it is open all the waiting and frustration will have been worth it and this will be an end to the nine mile tailbacks, uncertain deliveries and a much improved holiday experience for our visitors."

Kim Conchie, Chief Executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: “The dualling of the A30 at Temple will provide much-needed additional capacity on Cornwall's major road. The revised date of completion, while unfortunate, will still be in time to absorb peak season traffic and Cornish businesses in the longer-term will see the benefit of reduced travel times year-round.”

Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall, said: "It would have been great to have this open by Easter, but it is great news that the road will be open before the summer. This puts to an end many years of congestion on the A30 at Bodmin Moor."

The A30 Temple to Higher Carblake dual carriageway scheme is being led by Cornwall Council in partnership with the Department for Transport and Highways England.

In putting forward a design to dual the road which significantly cut the cost of earlier proposals, and by agreeing to contribute £10m towards the cost of delivering the scheme, the Council has brought forward the delivery of the scheme by at least five years, enabling both the Department for Transport and Highways England to focus on proposals to dual the next single carriageway section of the A30 - between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross.

The approved budget for the scheme is £59m - this figure includes a £10m contribution from Cornwall Council.

Dualling this section of road has been widely praised across Cornwall from motorists, businesses and residents because of the widely-recognised benefits: 

  • Boost economic growth: This scheme will play a vital role in the future prosperity of Cornwall, encouraging economic growth, aiding regeneration and business expansion.  By reducing business costs and improving productivity (and generating more employment as a result), the wider economic benefits of dualling the road have been put at more than £134m to the Cornish economy.
  • End congestion: The hour-long delays for motorists and queues of up to nine miles during peak season will be a thing of the past.
  • Support tourism: Visitors who might be put off by the idea of sitting in queues during the peak holiday season will be reassured that their journeys in and out of Cornwall on the A30 will not involve long delays at Temple.  
  • Reduce the number of road traffic collisions:  The accident record on this section of single carriageway is higher than the national average*. Completion of this scheme means the alignment of the road will be improved - new grade separated junctions and a central barrier means traffic can no longer cross the carriageway or pull out on to a single road in front of fast-moving vehicles.
  • Less traffic on local roads: The small settlements and communities across Bodmin Moor have long campaigned for the A30 dualling. To avoid the congestion on the A30, drivers often seek out alternative routes which inevitably take them through the narrow country lanes of the local villages.

*A total of 50 personal injury accidents, including two fatal and 14 serious injury accidents, were recorded between 2004 – 2013. At 32%, the proportion of fatal and serious accidents for this section of single carriageway road is significantly higher than the national average of 22%. 

Story posted 18 January 2017

Categories: Cornwall

Bodmin Moor first AONB to be designated an International Dark Sky Landscape

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 17:33

Bodmin Moor has been designated an International Dark Sky Landscape, confirming its status as one of Cornwall’s star attractions and making it the first International Dark Sky Place in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Following a bid by Cornwall Council and Caradon Observatory, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has awarded the prestigious designation in recognition of the exceptional quality of the night sky over Bodmin Moor, commitments to avoid light pollution and the provision of educational outreach.

“While other sites in the UK have previously received International Dark Sky Places accreditation, today’s announcement of Bodmin Moor’s status as an International Dark Sky Park is especially noteworthy,” said IDA Executive Director J. Scott Feierabend. “Its position within the Cornwall AONB clearly establishes that the conservation of dark night skies is wholly compatible with the notion of protected landscapes where people routinely live and work.” 

Bodmin Moor International Dark Sky Designation covers the portion of the moor within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty plus a two mile buffer zone around it.  As an AONB, Bodmin Moor is one of the UK’s most cherished and outstanding working landscapes.  Its Dark Sky status is expected to boost tourism and the local economy, especially in the darker spring, autumn and winter months when star gazing opportunities are at their best.

The designation will also bring health benefits for both people and wildlife in the moor’s living landscape by helping to keep artificial light at a very low level.  Within the designation area residents and businesses will be encouraged to protect the night sky from light pollution by managing their lighting better.  No one will have to change their existing lights.  Instead people will be provided with a guide for dark sky friendly lighting to help them choose appropriate lights when they need to replace old lights or fit new ones.  They will also be encouraged to only use lighting where it’s needed and turn off lights when they aren’t needed.

Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Economy, said: "Cornwall has a proud history in earthbound industries such as mining and agriculture. But we should not forget that we have also been at the forefront of the communications industry with the transatlantic telegraph cables from Porthcurno, then Marconi's wireless station, and in the 1960s and 70s, the Goonhilly satellite dishes. Now Goonhilly is getting a new lease of life and we have the possibility of seeing satellite launches from a potential spaceport at Newquay. So it is fitting that we are now involved with the Dark Sky project. I am sure that this will help to stimulate greater interest in astronomy and will bring more people to Bodmin Moor to view the wonders of the night sky."

Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “I’m delighted that Bodmin Moor has become the first AONB to become an International Dark Sky Landscape.  Most people love a starry sky, and thanks to its low levels of light pollution Bodmin Moor has some of the darkest skies in the country.  This designation will support the varied wildlife living on Bodmin Moor as having defined day and night is essential for many species to survive.”

Ken Bennett, founder of Caradon Observatory, said: “Caradon Observatory is proud to have sponsored Bodmin Moor for International Dark Sky status and worked with Cornwall Council on a truly comprehensive application.  Our main mission at Caradon Observatory is to inspire students of all ages to consider careers in the sciences and engineering by showing them the wonders of the universe with images taken from our site on Bodmin Moor.  We’re keen to build on the area’s Dark Sky designation and are now aiming to become a research grade observatory so we can offer more comprehensive education and community outreach opportunities in the future.”

Dr Wayne Thomas of Caradon Observatory said: “The Dark Sky initiative is working to bring back our dark sky places and to help us recognise why this is so important.  Seeing the Milky Way arching over our heads, the multitude of star clusters and galaxies and the dance of the planets and comets across the sky are true wonders of our World. But for most of us they go unnoticed, because the skies are not dark enough to see them. There is also a dark side to this lack of the night. Exposure to light through the day and night disrupts our normal biological rhythm.  The solutions are easy, and they’re free. Don’t accept light at night. Shine light downwards at the amount you need and for the time you need it. By creating a Dark Sky Landscape on Bodmin Moor, we are establishing a legacy for future generations and helping to protect our own health and the health of our planet.”

Anita Grice-Goldsmith, Director of CPRE Cornwall said: “We are delighted with today's news that Bodmin Moor has been recognised as the jewel in Cornwall's crown that it so deservedly is and pleased that data gathered for CPRE's interactive Night Blight maps was used as complementary evidence for the bid.  Bodmin Moor offers exceptionally dark skies and its designation as an International Dark Sky Landscape means that 80 square miles of spectacular open countryside will now be protected from the intrusion of damaging artificial lighting. Hopefully this will act as a catalyst for education and good lighting across Cornwall. We all know that Cornwall is a great place to spot celebrities but now it's also the ideal place to go star spotting for the real stars of the night sky!”

Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall, said: “Cornwall is famous for its quality of environment and this latest designation will help build our reputation, but most importantly assist the wonders of Bodmin Moor and the amazing dark sky which many of our urban dwelling visitors would have never seen in its full glory.”

There is more information about Bodmin Moor’s International Dark Sky Landscape designation on our Dark Sky page.

Story posted 7 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

New pedestrian crossing from Mabe to Penryn Campus

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 15:11

A new pedestrian crossing has been installed between Mabe and the Penryn Campus and the surrounding area. The new crossing will allow for the safe crossing of pedestrians on a popular shortcut from Mabe to the schools in  Penryn and the university campus.

The works have been jointly funded by Cornwall Council and the University of Exeter and Falmouth University. The University of Exeter and Falmouth University provided £25k for the works and an additional £9k of funds were made available through Cornwall Council Section 106 monies, arising from new developments within the area. 

Peter Williams, Cornwall Councillor for Mabe, Perranarworthal and St Gluvias, said: “I proposed the idea of this crossing with Cornwall Council and the University of Exeter and Falmouth University in 2016 as pedestrians were using a hazardous shortcut to cross. I am extremely pleased that Cornwall Council and the universities have worked together to provide this safe crossing for pedestrians.”

Peter Cox, Chief Operating Officer of Falmouth University, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to work with our partners on the Penryn Campus, Cornwall Council and other stakeholders to make sure this important crossing has been delivered to the benefit of students, staff and the local community.”

Ruth Grimmer, Head of Professional Services, University of Exeter, Cornwall, said: ”The safety of our community is paramount, so we’re really pleased to have been involved with our local partners to provide a crossing on this busy road that will benefit all.

We hope it will also encourage more of our community members to come on to campus to walk in the beautiful grounds or use some of the facilities that are open to all.”

Geoff Brown, Portfolio holder for Transport, said: “I am extremely pleased that this crossing is complete and pedestrians can now travel this route safely. This is an excellent example of working with partners to better the local area for the community and I would like to thank the University of Exeter and Falmouth University for their help in progressing these works.”

Story posted 07 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

Documents and Finds Roadshow in Tywardreath

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 14:56

The Archives and Cornish Studies Service is delighted to be running its second Documents and Finds Roadshow in association with ‘In Search of Tywardreath’, an event that is part of the Festival of Archaeology.

If you have discovered an unusual document related to Cornwall in your cupboards or attic, or an unusual item in your fields or garden, then bring them along to Tywardreath Priory in Par on Sunday 23 July between 11am and 3pm to be appraised for free by archaeologist, Imogen Wood, and archivist, Jennie Hancock. 

Archaeologist Dr Imogen Wood said: "Bring anything along: pottery, metal objects, bones, stones and more, sometimes a true treasure is not what you expect. It’s very exciting to see what people have turned up in their garden, whether its treasure or yesterday’s rubbish each thing has a story to tell and brings the past to life!"

Iain Rowe, Learning Officer, said: “People are always bringing documents to us that they have discovered tucked away in their houses. Is there an item you’ve been wondering about? A photo, postcard, map, letter or diary? If so, bring them along and we can try and help you identify them.”

The roadshow is part of the ‘In Search of Tywardreath’ event, and there will be a test pit excavation, children’s activities and refreshments on the day.

Roger Smith, Secretary of “In Search of Tywardreath”, said: “Questions about Tywardreath Priory have long been in the minds of local people. This project provides a unique chance to find out more about one of Cornwall’s most important medieval sites.”

The event is free to attend and no pre-booking is required, it can be found at Newhouse Farm, Priory Lane, Tywardreath, Par, Cornwall, PL24 2QF.

The oldest document held by the Service is thought to connect to Tywardreath Priory. The document, which dates from c1158-60, is a confirmation by the Bishop of Exeter of a gift of land given to the monastery. 

You can find the Archives and Cornish Studies Service on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @kresenkernow.

Story posted 06 July 2017

Categories: Cornwall

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