Cornwall

Redruth man admits sale of illegal TV Streaming Services

Cornwall Council News feed - 7 hours 51 min ago

Following an investigation by Cornwall Council Trading Standards into illegal television streaming services, a local man admitted copyright and fraud charges at Truro Magistrates Court on Wednesday 20 November 2019..

Steven Underwood (also known as Steven Isaac), previously of Killiers Court, Illogan, near Redruth, faced two charges under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Fraud Act 2006 after officers found that he had sold around £400,000 worth of illegal streaming subscriptions that enabled users to view pay-TV without the permission of, and without making any appropriate payment to, the relevant broadcasters and content owners.

The Court heard that Underwood’s activity was initially detected by copyright protection agency FACT and that the trail eventually led to an address in Cornwall. 

On Wednesday 16 January 2019 officers from the Police Regional Organised Crime Unit, FACT and Cornwall Council Trading Standards executed an Entry Warrant at Mr Underwood’s home. A number of devices including an iPhone, tower computer and laptop computer were seized. These were forensically examined and compelling evidence of unlawful activity was recovered.

Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, says: “We are constantly working to remove sellers of illegal streaming subscriptions from the market and bring them to justice.

The message is clear - if you are tempted to sell access to content that is not licensed or owned by you, you risk facing a criminal conviction.

We encourage consumers to use legitimate services that are safe to use and ensure that content creators are properly remunerated.”

Paul Masters, Cornwall Council’s Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods, adds: “Stealing intellectual property or copyright is as serious as other more tangible thefts. Our Trading Standards officers will always seek to protect Cornwall’s consumers from being duped by copyright fraud. Only buy streaming services from a trusted source, and if in doubt contact our Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 for reassurance.”    

Steven Underwood will be sentenced at Truro Crown Court on 19 December 2019.

Story posted 22 November 2019 

 

Categories: Cornwall

Cold callers banned from streets in Cornish village

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 11/21/2019 - 14:31

Residents of the village of Carnon Downs have voted overwhelmingly to ban cold callers from their front doors in an effort to protect themselves from rogue tradesmen and other doorstep fraudsters.

Supported by Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team and Devon and Cornwall Police, two streets in the village will become Cornwall’s first “No Cold Calling Zone” on Tuesday 26 November 2019 when new street signs are unveiled and enforcement patrols commence.

The two streets taking part in the initiative are Mount Agar Road and Agar Meadows.

Paul Masters, Cornwall Council’s Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods, said: “Over the last year the Council’s Trading Standards team has responded to more than 150 reports of doorstep fraud – bogus gardeners, rogue roofers, dodgy driveway firms and other home improvement scammers all of whom are well-practised in the art of persuading homeowners into handing over lots of money for over-priced, poor quality, unnecessary or falsely described work.

“In all of these cases the fraudster called at the door without being invited and national surveys have found in the past that as many as 96% of us do not want to be disturbed by cold callers at all, no matter what their motive.

“In other parts of the UK, No Cold Calling Zones have proved very successful in providing local residents or communities with the confidence to say “NO” to uninvited salespeople or to warn rogue traders and cold-callers that they are being watched. As a result, they have been linked to reports of significant crime reduction and a greater feeling of security amongst residents.”

Leanne McLean, Trading Standards Lead Officer for Doorstep Fraud, said: “We have attended two attempted doorstep fraud incidents in Carnon Downs in recent months and the criminals have obviously identified the village as a worthwhile target area.

“By adopting a No Cold Calling Zone the local residents will be more alert to the tactics used by fraudsters and will be able to turn them away more easily. It will remind them not to deal with anyone who knocks at the door without being invited. The new signs will also remind all tradesmen who knock at the door that they commit a criminal offence if they do not leave when asked to do so by the homeowner.  

“This scheme will not affect any genuine businesses as they don’t need to cold call but it will hopefully prevent anyone else in Carnon Downs from handing over money to a bogus firm who is here today and gone tomorrow.”

PCSO Emil Gabriele from Devon & Cornwall Police, who helped to establish this first No Cold Calling Zone in Cornwall, said:  “Having been attached to the Council’s Trading Standards team for the last 12 months I have seen first-hand the damage that rogue traders can do and how their actions affect the health and wellbeing of the homeowners who fall victim to these crimes.

“These criminals prey on the vulnerable with no regard to the effect their actions have. It is hoped that by setting up this No Cold Calling Zone the partnership between local residents, Cornwall Council Trading Standards and Devon & Cornwall Police can help to eliminate this type of criminality from our communities.

“This Zone sends out a clear message that residents will not deal with doorstep traders.”

Categories: Cornwall

Building resilient families in Cornwall

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 11/21/2019 - 11:26

Family is the single most important influence in a child's life and that was the message behind an event held in Truro. The Resilient Families conference, which was organised by Cornwall Council, brought together community safety, the voluntary sector and teams from the housing, education and health sector to discuss best practice and what more can be done to support families across the county.

The event was organised by the Head of Partnerships, Innovation and Wellbeing at Cornwall Council, Charlotte Hill, she said: “From their first moments of life, children depend on parents, family, carers and communities to protect them and provide for their needs. These form a child's first relationships, experiences and they are a child's first teachers and act as role models in how to act and how to experience the world around them.

“Being parent is not always easy and sometimes families need a bit of help to access the support they need. The aim of the day was to bring together partner organisation and to evaluate what we are doing well and to identify new ways of working.   We want to give children in Cornwall the best start in life and by supporting families; we can help them to unlock their true potential.”

Under One Vision, the multi-agency partnership plan for children, young people and their families, all the agencies working with children in Cornwall believe that greater integration is the best way of improving the effectiveness of services. This conference was about bringing together those partners, along with other organisations, to share ideas and to create stronger and more resilient families.  

Chief Executive of the Charity ECCABI, John Ede, said: “It’s a very complex situation in Cornwall because there are a lot of hidden problems in the rural areas. That makes events like this absolutely essential; Cornwall is long and thin and it takes a long time to get from end to the other, which makes sharing good practice even more important.”  

Jon says the rural nature of Cornwall can make people feel isolated and that we need to look at issues on a local level. “One of the other issues we need to consider, is that Cornwall may be one county, but our communities are very different.  So we can’t paint all of our problems with just one colour - you need to address specific issues in specific places.”

Housing was also on the agenda, with a presentation from housing organisations including Ocean Housing, Cornwall Housing, Live West and Coastline.

Head of Housing Strategy and Partnerships at Cornwall Council, Mel Bray, added: “I think it has a huge role. Because housing is the stable plank, if you get it right that underpins education, work and health. Poor housing can make all of those fall over for a family, so getting the housing right can give them the best start in life.

“This is a great way for us to share best practice and to hear what other people have to offer, so that we can link into those services if we need them.  It also enables us to share what we can offer and do to create resilient families.”

The event was held on the same day as International Children’s Day; which celebrates 30 years of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Children’s Rights Officer at Cornwall Council, Katherine Ennever added: “This convention is the widest ratified statement on children’s rights in the world. I’m asking people today to think about how they can promote and uphold children’s rights across Cornwall and how that will improve their lives, by helping to share their voice.”

Categories: Cornwall

New provider of sexual health services in Cornwall is announced

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 11/21/2019 - 11:03

People in Cornwall will soon benefit from more availability of sexual health clinics and an online service following an announcement that Brook and their online partner SH:24 will provide sexual health services in Cornwall from December 2019.

Cornwall Council is responsible for commissioning contraception and sexual health services in Cornwall and, as part of tender law, is legally required to regularly undertake a commissioning process so that services best meet the changing needs of the population.

The changes to the service have been brought about following feedback from a Cornwall Council consultation and information gathered in Cornwall’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

The findings of the consultation showed that the majority of people want to access a specialist, all age, integrated sexual health and contraceptive service for their sexual health needs.

People fed back that the most common barrier preventing them from using sexual health services was if they were “hard to get to”. Other common perceived barriers were “fears of seeing someone you know” and “embarrassment”.

They also wanted a mix of bookable and drop in appointments at a clinic which is accessible to them. In particular young people preferred to access an online service and a specialist young people’s contraceptive and sexual health service.

All of this feedback was taken into account when commissioning the new service.

Cornwall Council’s Deputy Director for Public Health, Steve Brown said: “It’s important that people have access to good quality sexual health and wellbeing services. Poor sexual health leads to inequality, and can have negative impacts on physical, emotional and social health. People will also be able to use an online testing service, making it much easier for people in Cornwall to access sexual health services”

He added: “Brook is already an established and trusted provider for young people’s sexual health services in Cornwall and SH:24 is an award-winning supplier of digital sexual health and reproductive services. The procurement process was open, honest and transparent and was run in accordance with the contract procedure rules.”

Louise Carrington, Director of Operations for Brook, said: “Residents remain at the heart of our vision for this innovative model and we are committed to ensuring a seamless transition between services for both users, and staff.

“We are really looking forward to working with residents, local partners and commissioners, to deliver a holistic service that meets the individual sexual health needs of those in the community.”

The full report of the consultation results is available on the Council's website

From 2 December you will be able to find out more about the services on offer and book an appointment on the new sexual health website.

Posted on 21 November

Categories: Cornwall

Residents in Cornwall are urged to plan ahead for their health in the cold weather season

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 11/21/2019 - 09:34

As the weather turns colder again people across Cornwall are being urged to think about how they can plan ahead to stay in good health, have a good support network and think about the impact they have on health and social care services in the region.

Cornwall Council Adult Care and Support teams and Public Health teams advise there are a number of things that people can do, including making sure they have their flu jab, keeping warm and active, having a friend or neighbour on hand to help should they get ill, for example picking up medicines from the pharmacy, and to be flexible and mindful about how they use services.

Strategic Director for Adult Care and Support Helen Charlesworth May said: “At this time of year we often see a spike in the amount of help and support people need. This puts a huge amount of pressure on the resources available across the social care and health system.

“Workers across the region are already under a huge amount of pressure and do a fantastic job providing care and support to those most in need but before people get to the stage of needing our help there is already a huge amount of support available in the community that they can access, as well as taking simple steps to stay well at home.”

Interim Deputy Director of Public Health, Steve Brown said: “Evidence shows that people who don’t keep warm and active and are socially isolated face negative impacts on their health and social needs.

“The Public Health team have a wide variety of help and support available to people, a lot of which is included in this year’s Winter Wellbeing Guide which was launched last month. There are also many different activities that people can access in their community such as organised walks and support to stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake.”

The Winter Wellbeing guide, published online and as a useful business card, gives information on heating, insulation, and how to save money on energy by switching companies and checking tariffs.

In an average winter over 20,000 extra lives are lost due to winter illnesses. Combined with cold and damp homes, it is a serious public health concern.

Helen Charlesworth May added: “We work very closely with colleagues at our hospitals and issues often arise where the demand for hospital beds and care beds is so high. We have already made a lot of improvements in order to make sure people can access rehabilitation services so that they can get back on their feet quicker after a stay in hospital. Sometimes though people do need a care package in order to go home and if this is the case we ask that people be flexible in accepting the package of care that is on offer. Wherever possible we will try to meet the needs of individuals but it might mean, for example, that people have to take a later wake-up call so that everyone is able to go home with a care package as soon as possible.”

The Winter Wellbeing guides are available as printed copies at Council One Stop Shops, GP surgeries and health centres, hospitals, Family Hubs, and Job Centres. They are also available to view online on the winter wellbeing pages. 

Further actions people can take are:

  • Keeping their home heated to 18 degrees Celsius
  • Reduce energy costs and debts to then reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing
  • Have a pneumonia jab
  • Staying hydrated

Posted on 21 November

Categories: Cornwall

Safety and improvement work begins in Redruth on Cornwall’s largest public playing field

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 11/20/2019 - 14:05

Work has started at Cornwall Council’s largest public playing field to improve safety and create more space for recreation and nature after some areas were found to contain settlement due to historic mining activity.

The 6.5 hectare Clijah Croft Playing Field in Redruth contains five football pitches, but two have been unusable since the discovery of areas of settlement in 2018.

Safety work involves stripping back earth to a 50cm depth and laying a reinforcement grid to restore two senior pitches and a junior football pitch.

Soil drainage will also be improved.

In other parts of the site with former mining problems, where neither capping nor reinforcement is possible, new woodland will be created within fenced enclosures.

The trees will improve ground stability and create visual and wildlife benefits as well as contribute to the Council’s Forest for Cornwall, the natural way to help Cornwall become carbon neutral and tackle the climate emergency.

Jon Mitchell, Cornwall Council’s Public Space Team Leader, said: “With other local sport provision in the schools and colleges already experiencing high demand and the level of housing growth expected in the area, we have made it a priority to conserve the facility for future generations.

“It is recognised that the sport and recreation benefits are increasingly vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities, and suitable, level land is limited in the local area as is the case in Cornwall in general.”

Home to a number of clubs including Redruth United and Four Lanes Football Club, Clijah Croft Playing Field also serves as an important public open space to residents in the southeast of the town.

The playing field is located within an intensely mined area including the principal mine sites of Wheal Wentworth and Clijah Croft Mine. By the end of the 19th Century the area was being worked as Perseverance Mine.

By the 1960s one sports pitch had been constructed near the southeast corner. The site was later used for landfill and then redeveloped into the current three fields on different levels.

Safety work will take place on two out of the three fields, and is seen as the first phase in the improvement of the overall playing fields. It will not affect the two match pitches nearest to the car park and changing rooms.

Cornwall Council has made the Phase 1 funding available in a capital budget for Mine Shaft Capping on Environmental Assets.

The works are planned to take place from now until February 2020, and are being managed by Cormac Solutions Ltd.

Additional design development is to take place shortly which will involve consultations with the sports clubs and nearby residents.

Stuart Wallace, Cornwall Council’s Public Space Officer, said: “There is likely to be restricted access to the site for temporary periods, and we apologise for any disruption. We will direct visitors to other accessible areas during these times.”

Cornwall Council is planning to collaborate with the sports clubs and other key partners to deliver new and better pitch facilities in the third field as part of a second, future phase.

Updates and additional information will be made available on Cornwall Council's website.

Story posted on 20 November 2019

 

Categories: Cornwall

Primary schools meet to discuss climate change

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 14:11

‘No one is too small to make a difference’ was the key message at the first ever Climate Change Conference for primary school children, held in West Cornwall.  Organised by the Penwith Education Trust, more than a dozen schools gathered at Humphry Davey School in Penzance to take part in workshops and to share ideas on what they could do to help the environment.

The keynote speaker for the event was Chris Lubbe, who shared his story of growing up in South Africa and what it was like to be a part of the transition from ‘apartheid’ to a democracy.  Chris talked about his time working with one of the world’s most inspirational leaders, Nelson Mandela, and how everyone has the power to change the world.

Chris said: “My key message for today was if I could work in South Africa as an activist, and I started at the age of 9; I could work together along with Nelson Mandela to bring about an end to apartheid, they too could become activists and bring an end to climate change and make sure the environment is the way it is supposed to be, because we are facing a catastrophe.

“If we don’t act now, then we are not going to have a world to live in and so my message is; simple things like writing letters which can make a difference.”

The students were encouraged to bring any litter they had collected on beach cleans, to recycle old socks into something new like a toy or draft excluder. They were also given talks by the Eden Project and took part in workshops on music, energy and art.

Chris continued: “The children asked some very good questions and they gave some very well informed answers, they had done quite a lot of research.  They were all quite knowledgeable about apartheid, especially considering none of them were around when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. But they knew who he was and what he stood for and that made me very, very impressed.”

This Climate Change Conference follows on from a similar event a few weeks ago, which brought together secondary school children from across Cornwall.

The event was organised by the Headteacher at Trythall Community Primary School, Mat Strevens, he said: “It’s really important to get the children involved and I think something like this is long overdue.  The climate crisis is one of the biggest issues in the world today and it is really important that the children are informed and know what they can do in terms of making a difference. 

“It’s really clear that one of the main ways they can make a difference is by speaking out and letting other people know about how important this is. Chris (in his opening speech) described making a difference as a mosquito; if you think a small thing can’t make a difference, then try spending the night in bed with a mosquito. 

“But they are not going to be able to do it on their own; they are going to need the help of adults, who let’s face it, have made some of these problems, to be there and to support them in their efforts.”

STEM Project Coordinator at Cornwall Council, Janine Bisson, added: “The passion and the determination of these young people to make a difference was very clear.  They are all now thinking about what they do in their schools and at home, which can make a difference and I look forward to hearing more from this passionate group of young people.”

Categories: Cornwall

Truro event to highlight support available to victims of domestic abuse

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 11:18

An event is being held in Truro next week (25 November) to raise awareness of gender-based violence and highlight the support available across Cornwall for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The Safer Cornwall organised event will take place outside Truro Cathedral on 25 November, 11am – 2pm to mark the start of the international campaign ‘The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’.

Safer Cornwall, a partnership of public, voluntary, community and private organisations who come together to do all that they can to make Cornwall’s communities safer, are looking at a number of ways to help make domestic abuse and sexual violence something that more people talk about.

They have made a call out to local businesses to make their working environment a safe space to talk about abuse while also offering them training to help them respond to their staff, as well as providing them with a Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Employment Policy.

In 2017 it is estimated that 1.3 million women and 695,000 men in England experienced domestic abuse and 595,000 women and 150,000 men experienced sexual violence. In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly there were an estimated 21,000 incidents of domestic abuse and 3,000 incidents of sexual violence. 

Simon Mould, Cornwall Council’s Head of Community Safety and Localism said: “It is hoped that the more people who feel able to talk about abuse means that those people who are currently suffering in silence will feel more able to reach out for help.

The event in Truro will have information stands from local service providers, community support groups and Devon and Cornwall Police. There will also be an opportunity for people to get their nails done as well as a goody bags from Debenhams and an opportunity for a free make-up makeover.

Cornwall Council’s domestic Abuse and sexual violence co-ordinator, Anna MacGregor talks about how hard it can be for someone in an abusive situation to leave: “It’s sometimes very hard to see that you’re in an abusive situation. Your decisions can often be underpinned about the fear of leaving, the fear of the unknown, how do you sustain yourself? This is why it’s so important to work with employers so that they can be aware of the issues that someone may be facing and understand and provide them with support.”

Following the event Safer Cornwall will be walking around Truro, talking to local businesses and encouraging them to sign up to the campaign. Over the following 16 days they will then be visiting towns across Cornwall for similar walkabouts, supported by a range of professionals and the police.

There will be various other events taking place throughout Cornwall to raise awareness of domestic abuse and sexual violence. You can find out more about these events on the Safer Cornwall website.

If you live in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly and you think you, or someone you know needs to access support around domestic abuse or sexual violence you can get help and advice in a number of ways:

You can call Safer Futures on 0300 777 4 777

Or make an online referral

Or call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (run by Women’s Aid and Refuge) on 0808 2000 247.

If you fear for your immediate safety, or someone else’s, please call 999.

Posted on 19 November

Categories: Cornwall

Trading Standards crackdown - shop keeper fined £2,500 for illegal cigarettes

Cornwall Council News feed - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 11:45

A man who runs a convenience store in St Austell has been fined for having illegal cigarettes which were found during a visit by Cornwall Council Trading Standards.

Marek Bzdak of Shelley Court, St Austell, operates the Delicatessen Polonus shop in the town’s East Hill.

Last April two officers from Cornwall Council Trading Standards called at the shop to give advice on age-restricted sales and illegal tobacco as part of a routine community engagement operation.

During their visit the officers discovered 2,200 illegal cigarettes wrapped in black plastic bags in the store room of the shop.

Bodmin Magistrates Court heard on November 14 that when Bzdak was interviewed by Trading Standards officers he gave implausible excuses for having the cigarettes in the shop.

Bdzak admitted three charges against him and was ordered to pay fines and costs of £2,550. He pleaded guilty to two charges of not complying with tobacco packaging regulations and one charge of having non-duty paid goods on his premises.

Steve Brown, Cornwall Council’s Interim Deputy Director of Public Health explained the harm caused by illegal cigarettes: “Almost 1,000 people die each year in Cornwall from smoking-related illness. The sale of cheap tobacco absolutely undermines all encouragement to quit, and so action against those who sell illegal tobacco and cigarettes has to be maintained.

“Our message is clear – selling illegal tobacco is a crime which can result in fines, community orders or prison. In this case the sale of illegal cigarettes could also have meant the shop losing its licence to sell alcohol and other items.

“And although this prosecution arose from a routine Trading Standards visit, more and more cases are based upon information provided by local residents. Whether you are a shopkeeper or an individual selling from home, the chances are you will be reported. Our crackdown will continue.”

Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco or alcohol can make a report in confidence emailing report-it@cornwall.gov.uk

Story posted on 18 November, 2019

Categories: Cornwall

Winter walks ahead, as new timber bridges restore rights of way in Ludon Valley

Cornwall Council News feed - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 10:59

Three large timber bridges in North Cornwall have been replaced as part of Cornwall Council’s Public Rights of Way Capital Safety Programme, restoring walking routes in the Ludon Valley, Crackington Haven and St Gennys.

The condition of the existing bridges had deteriorated, and one of the bridges had collapsed, leading to one section of the path being closed in September 2018. 

All three bridges were replaced with 9.5m bridges in May to June of this year, and should last well over 20 years in their current location.

The paths through the wooded valley are a very important recreation resource and are used by locals and visitors alike, and form the basis of many of the circular routes from the Haven and the South West Coast Path.

Cornwall Council Countryside Officer Dave Wood says: “It is always a great shame when we have to close a section of a right of way, as we had to here in 2018. It’s always a great pleasure to restore a lovely walk like this through the Ludon Valley. We hope locals and visitors will take advantage, and brave the chill to enjoy this beautiful part of North Cornwall this winter.”

Local geologist Jane Anderson says: “This footpath couldn’t be re-opened soon enough for the locals. It’s an extremely popular path, leading as it does to connecting footpaths which branch inland with routes back to Crackington, or leading  to the South West Coast Path, Strangles Beach, Boscastle, or back to the Haven for coffee! We are enormously grateful to Cornwall Council, Cormac, and Debbie Ebsary in particular for getting this pathway open pretty promptly.”

Story posted 14 November 2019 

Categories: Cornwall

Saints Trail update at St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 15:17

Residents of Crantock, Cubert, Perranzabuloe, St Agnes, St Allen and St Newlyn East are invited to attend a community meeting on Thursday 21 November and hear discussions about local matters.

The St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel meeting will include updates on the Saints Trail scheme and proposals for the A3075/Cubert crossroads from Cornwall Council's Transport and Infrastructure Service.

There will also be an update from Education Department Officers regarding school places in both Primary and Secondary Education.

The meeting will take place between 6.30pm and 8.30pm at Perranzabuloe Parish Rooms, Chyanhale, Ponsmere Valley, Perranporth, TR6 0DB on Thursday 21 November.

Community Link Officer Roger Gates said: “All local residents are invited to attend the meeting - it is your opportunity to meet your Cornwall councillors and your parish council representatives.

"The meeting on Thursday is a good opportunity for you to find out what’s going on locally and how your representatives address matters that have been brought to their attention. As a Panel we encourage input from the residents who attend the meeting.”

The St Agnes and Perranporth Community Network Panel meets regularly to discuss matters that affect the local community and to agree priorities that can be delivered by Cornwall Council and other partner agencies.

Some of the topics to be discussed at future meetings will include the future of local government in Cornwall, consultation on Cornwall Council’s budget setting process, climate change action and the provision of adult social care.

More information about the Community Network Panels and dates for future meetings can be found on the Cornwall Council Community Networks webpage.

Story posted on 14 November, 2019

Categories: Cornwall

Invitation to attend the Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel meeting

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 14:28

Residents are invited to the next meeting of the Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel to be held on Thursday 21 November between 7pm and 9pm at Rialton Heights Community Hall, St Columb Minor, TR7 3HU.

There will be a presentation on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which allows local authorities to raise funds from developers. These funds are used to pay for the infrastructure that is needed as a result of development.

Gemma Arthur, group leader in Cornwall Council’s planning and enterprise team, will update the panel on how the funds collected by the Council can be accessed, and explain the differences between Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106.

In addition panel members will discuss the priorities for 2020 and make suggestions for future meeting arrangements and speakers.

The panel’s current priorities, set in October 2017, were identified as health – including the pressure on GP surgeries due to increase in development and housing – waste and recycling; and highways.

At this meeting there will also be a verbal update on progress regarding the Community Highways Scheme with a number of schemes nearing completion and the consultation on the first round of projects now finalised.

Community Link Officer Anna Druce says: “We always encourage residents to attend these Panel meetings, to learn more about our work on important local issues. There is an opportunity for local residents to ask questions and hear updates on local matters from parish, town and Cornwall Council representatives.”

“The presentation on Community Infrastructure Levy will also be very informative. Come along, find out more and talk informally with decision makers in your area of Cornwall.”

The Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel meets bi-monthly to discuss matters that affect the local area and to progress these by working in partnership with Cornwall Council and its partners including town and parish councils, the voluntary and community sector, and 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 Newquay and St Columb Community Network Panel includes all seven Cornwall Councillors for the area and representatives of the five Towns or Parish parishes in the community network: Colan Parish Council, Mawgan-in-Pydar Parish Council, Newquay Town Council, St Columb Major Town Council and St Wenn Parish Council.

More information about the Community Network Panels and dates for future meetings can be found on the Cornwall Council Community Networks webpage.

Story posted on 14 November, 2019

Categories: Cornwall

General Election 2019 - Everything you need to know

Cornwall Council News feed - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 11:58

Voters will be heading back to the polls to cast their ballots on December 12, after MPs agreed to a pre-Christmas election.

Polling cards will be dropping through residents’ letterboxes in the next few days – and Cornwall Council is encouraging people to ‘act sooner rather than later’ if they need a postal vote.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday, November 26. Completed forms must be received by the Cornwall Council elections team before this deadline.

Postal vote packs will then be issued around November 27 to registered voters who requested them before November 5. Anyone who applied after this date should expect their postal pack during the first week of December. 

Cornwall Council’s Chief Executive and Acting Returning Officer, Kate Kennally, said: “The deadline to register to vote is also Tuesday, November 26. Remember: if you’re not registered and therefore can’t vote, you haven’t got a voice.

“It’s important that people are able to have their say on issues that impact upon us all, so I’d urge everyone of voting age to spend the five minutes it takes to ensure you are registered to vote.”

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of polling day.

How does voting work?

In a general election, the UK’s 46 million voters can vote to choose an MP for their area. 

Anyone aged 18 or over can vote, as long as they are registered and a British citizen or qualifying citizen of the Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland. EU citizens cannot vote in a general election unless they have dual nationality.

Voting takes place at local polling stations, set up in places like community centres, churches and schools. Voters put a cross on the ballot paper beside the name of their chosen candidate and drop it into a sealed ballot box.

How do I register to vote?

By visiting the Gov.UK website and filling out the relevant forms. Alternatively, you can register by post

There is also an 'easy-read' guide available.

Who runs the country during a general election?

Parliament is dissolved 25 working days before a general election. Once this happens, MPs will lose their status and the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery issues writs of election to local Returning Officers.

MPs are allowed to carry on casework provided they do not give the impression they remain an MP and the constituents concerned are happy with the arrangement.

Government ministers remain in office and in charge of their departments until a new government is formed.

In the case of a serious event, the Cobra emergency committee would still be activated, with relevant ministers’ present. 

By convention, after Parliament is dissolved, a period called ‘purdah’ begins, when ministers' activities and the use of official resources are restricted. 

Pre-election restrictions also apply to more than 440,000 civil servants working in the UK. They are staff who are politically impartial and work for government departments or agencies. 

In this period, they aren't allowed to do any work for party political purposes. That includes answering queries on new policies outlined in a manifesto, or commenting on proposals. 

So far as local authorities are concerned, they are not affected in the same way as the civil service, but during the period between the notice of an election and the election itself (November 11-December 12), local authorities are restricted in terms of what they can publish and broadcast.

Who organises an election in Cornwall?

Cornwall Council and its Electoral Services team is responsible for organising all elections in Cornwall – from sending out household enquiry forms to make sure that people are registered to vote, to running count centres during a general election.

There are six parliamentary constituencies in Cornwall. The Isles of Scilly is part of the St Ives parliamentary constituency.

The Electoral Services team manages individual electoral registration, undertakes the annual canvass of all residential households, and publishes the register of electors.

What does a Returning Officer do?

Cornwall Council’s Chief Executive Kate Kennally, who is the Acting Returning Officer for elections in Cornwall, explains: “When I undertake the role of Acting Returning Officer, it’s separate from my responsibilities as the Chief Executive and I’m personally responsible for the effective running of the election. 

“But I am very fortunate in that I have a team of very experienced election staff working in Cornwall, so it’s a responsibility that, whilst significant, is one that is shared, and it’s really exciting to see our democracy in action.

“As somebody who believes very strongly in the importance of our civic and democratic life, it’s always a time that, whilst it’s busy, has a real buzz about it too.

“From the opening of the ballot boxes and getting that first tantalising sense of how the poll’s gone, through to standing on the rostrum and declaring the result, I see that everyone involved at those counts want to stay through until the end – they feel that sense of pride that comes from having been a part of it, and the excitement that the declarations can bring.”

How much does a general election cost?

The total paid from the Government’s Consolidated Fund for the costs of the May 2015 UK Parliamentary general election was £114.7m, while 2017’s snap election cost £140m.

A general election in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly costs around £1 million and this is funded by the government using a set sum per constituency. That sum enables the Council to book venues, pay staff, organise the printing and delivery of postal ballots, and make sure an effective election is run to guidelines that are set nationally.

Where can I go to vote?

There are 442 polling stations up and down the length of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with more than 1,500 members of staff involved in making sure polling day runs smoothly.

While most people will find themselves casting their vote in village halls, community centres or schools, a few will find themselves marking their ballots in altogether more unusual locations. 

Here are some of Cornwall’s most unique places where you could be voting next month. 

Caerhays Castle

Some voters in the 2019 general election will be marking their cross in a nineteenth century castle near Truro. The castle dates from 1370 and is set in 100 acre-grounds.

Paradise Park (café area)

People voting in the Hayle area can make their choice surrounded by penguins, parrots and red pandas at Paradise Park wildlife sanctuary.

Polzeath Marine Wildlife area (visitor centre)

In the centre of Polzeath, nestled between the shops and the pitch and putt is Polzeath Marine Centre, which will be turned into a polling station on December 12.

Tolvaddon Fire Station

A meeting room at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters in Camborne will double up as a polling station.

Portable cabin, Wheal Martyn Museum

Wheal Martyn is home to the UK’s only china clay mining museum, and its portable cabin will be put to use as a polling station.

Kayak Store, Rising Sun car park, Portmellon

Voters in Portmellon can cast their vote right next to their local – in a kayak store.

Cathedral Offices, Old Cathedral School, Truro

The former school building on Cathedral Close is now called the ‘Old Cathedral School’ and is now used as an office building – and a polling station.

Posted on 14 November

Categories: Cornwall

Council to invest in projects to support business and create jobs in Liskeard, Penzance, Bodmin and Hayle

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 16:55

Cabinet members at their meeting today (13 November 2019) have agreed to match fund and invest £14.5million in projects all over Cornwall to support regeneration, businesses, job creation and the development of skills to improve the lives of our residents.

The projects will collectively deliver tailored business support to 740 small and medium-sized enterprises, create 319 jobs which will generate over £10 million for Cornwall’s economy, support thousands of residents into training, skills or employment, contribute to a Zero Carbon Cornwall by 2030 and develop over 5,000m2 of new workspace in Liskeard, Penzance, Bodmin and Hayle.

The Council’s commitment to funding the projects will unlock European funding through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.

Regeneration projects include

  • Liskeard Cattle Market where the Council has been working with partners and the community to secure the future of this prime town centre Council owned site.  The funding agreed today will go towards creating a digital and creative workspace to bring in new companies and new jobs.  
  • Penzance Creative Cluster which will see the construction of flexible workspace at Causeway Head for creative industries along with space for meetings, events and collaborative working, and
  • Phase 2 of the Hayle Renewables Business Park which will see a combination of new build and refurbishment across two brownfield sites to deliver new business space.

Business support projects include

  • Marine-I 2 in Hayle which will see an extension of the coordinated support for businesses operating within the maritime sector.  The number of businesses in Cornwall in the Marine sector grew by 105% between 2012 and 2018 compared to an 83% growth nationally.
  • Aerospace Cornwall 2 to build on the success of the Aerohub project to increase the productivity and capability of the local aerospace / space supply chains. Phase 2 of the project will, it is estimated, enable around 23 businesses to manufacture world class products within the next three years.
  • Cornwall Trade & Investment – to build on the success of the Invest in Cornwall programme which has established 31 new enterprises in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, bringing 130 jobs with another 120 forecast to be created by September 2020.
  • Cornwall Export Accelerator – to establish a bespoke export business service.
  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Energy Innovation Fund - to provide business support to help in the adoption of low carbon technologies and contribute to a Zero Carbon Cornwall by 2030.
  • Skills Hub 2 – to connect employers to skills advice and support and help identify skills gaps and opportunities to increase productivity

Skills projects will work directly with residents and includes the People Hub, which will work with unemployed residents to develop bespoke Personal Action Plans.  There is also support for the Building Futures Partnership, which will provide tailored support to people living in deprived areas.

Funding was also agreed to develop a project for a Cornwall Food & Drink Hub on Council-owned land at Walker Lines Industrial Estate, Bodmin.  It would provide industrial workspace targeted at the food and drink sector and wider agri-tech supply chain businesses.

Cabinet agreed today that the Council will invest up to £14.246m to bring forward these projects which will then draw down more than £39m of additional investment, including more than £34m of European Funds, into the Cornish economy.

Cornwall Council’s investment will be a combination of allocations from the Economic Development Match Fund Reserve (£6.438m) and capital borrowing (£7.808m).

MORE NEWS FROM CABINET:

Cabinet supports investment into local community facilities to support proposed Langarth Garden Village

Waste services update and energy efficient homes plan discussed by Cabinet

Story posted 13 November 2019

Categories: Cornwall

Cabinet supports investment into local community facilities to support proposed Langarth Garden Village

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 16:43

A commitment to invest in community facilities for the benefit of residents living in Threemilestone and Highertown, as well as residents who will live at Langarth Garden Village in the future, has been supported by the Cabinet at their meeting today (13 November 2019).

Important community facilities will receive early investment in parallel with the ongoing engagement with residents to inform the masterplanning to create Langarth Garden Village in the future.   

The existing community facilities that will benefit from Council funding includes £612,000 in match funding for the community hall at All Saints Church Highertown.  The popular Hall, which currently serves the whole of the community along the A390 corridor, hosts a variety of non-faith community events and groups which support residents including the Truro Memory Café, Singing for the Brain, Parenting and Wellbeing Courses, Toddle Parent and Toddler Group, the Resident's Association, Guides and NCT Classes.

Threemilestone School will receive up to £888,000 for projects including a new hall so that the existing school has great improved facilities ahead of the new school being built as part of the new Langarth Garden Village development. The new hall will be a great facility not just for the school, but for the whole community. 

Other schemes may be supported in the future including improvements to the Community Hall in Threemilestone, walking and cycling links from Langarth Garden Village to Threemilestone village centre and improved access to the Threemilestone Industrial Estate.

Cabinet members also agreed plans to acquire land for the Langarth Garden Village development and to facilitate the building of the Northern Access Road.  This major transport link in Truro will help to bring forward the development of Langarth Garden Village and new homes to build a community where residents are encouraged to walk and cycle to work, for shopping and for leisure. 

The land to be acquired includes the land to be transferred to the Council, subject to contract, for the purpose of delivering the stadium for Cornwall. 

The Council is committed to ensuring that Langarth Garden Village is of the best quality. In January 2019 Cornwall Councillors took the decision to intervene with £159 million allocated to support the development of a masterplan and key infrastructure for the whole site.  This included £47 million which was subsequently awarded from government for building the Northern Access Road. 

The Council has pledged to involve the community and work with them to ensure that the new development is a place where people want to live.  It will be set in high quality open spaces with green infrastructure at its heart. 

Residents will be encouraged to walk, cycle or use public transport to travel for work, school or leisure. We have been working with the local community and key partners to develop plans for the scheme includes education, health, cultural and leisure facilities and flexible workspaces. These will be set in open and walkable green landscapes with trees, walking and cycle ways. 

The overall Council funding is to be used to acquire land, create a masterplan, and forward fund investment in community infrastructure.

A masterplanning team was appointed including several local firms.  They have been working with over 100 different partners, groups and individuals to establish a set of design principles from which new proposals can be created. 

More news from cabinet:

Waste services update and energy efficient homes plan discussed by Cabinet

Council to invest in projects to support business and create jobs in Liskeard, Penzance, Bodmin and Hayle

Story posted 13 November 2019 

Categories: Cornwall

Waste services update and energy efficient homes plan discussed by Cabinet

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 16:37

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet heard today (13 November 2019) how the new waste and recycling services contract for residents will aim to bring Cornwall in line with the South West’s top recycling Councils, deliver a more affordable service and respond to the climate emergency.

The current waste and recycling collection contract is due to come to an end next year and the Council has been in a competitive dialogue tender process to choose the new contractor.

Councillors meeting at New County Hall heard how the scope of the new waste contract has changed to make it more affordable, while still meeting Cornwall’s priorities for reducing waste, driving up recycling and providing good value for taxpayers.

The new contract on which bids will now be made will see non-recyclable rubbish collected fortnightly from summer 2021 with the introduction of weekly food waste collections.

Recycling collections will remain at fortnightly intervals instead of weekly as previously planned, which will help secure the best value for money in the long term.

This collection approach is also used by many of the best-performing recycling authorities in the South West.

Residents will be supported with information and advice before the changes are made to help them use the new services when they are introduced in 2021.

The changes also meet the objectives set out in Cornwall Council’s Resources and Waste Strategy.

Cabinet members also heard how the planned removal of Council-run recycling banks from carparks and other public spaces will be brought forward into next year.

Recycling deposited in the banks accounted for less than 1% of total household recycling collected last year.

Supermarket owned recycling banks will not be removed as part of these changes. 

Residents will still be able to use the 14 Household Waste and Recycling Centres across Cornwall.

Councillors also approved a plan to increase the Council’s garden waste collection charges which are among the lowest in the region, so that they will be in line with the South West average.

The annual charge for collecting green waste from a 240 litre bin will go up from £38.75 to £43.

A preferred bidder is scheduled to be chosen at Cabinet in January with the contract due to be awarded by spring.

Also approved by councillors today was a Council contribution of £2.28m to the innovative ECO whole house retrofit project, which aims to deliver a cost effective model of improving energy efficiency to Cornwall’s existing homes.

The £2.28m pilot scheme would see improvements such as insulation and heat pumps fitted to 83 Cornwall Housing homes.

The plan is part of Cornwall Council’s plan to tackle the climate emergency and help Cornwall strive towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

More news from cabinet:

Cabinet supports investment into local community facilities to support proposed Langarth Garden Village

Council to invest in projects to support business and create jobs in Liskeard, Penzance, Bodmin and Hayle

Story posted 13 November, 2019

Categories: Cornwall

Truro and Roseland Community Panel to discuss affordable housing and progress on highways schemes

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 10:38

People in Truro, the Roseland and the surrounding parishes are invited along to the next Truro and Roseland Community Network Panel at 7pm on Tuesday 19 November at New County Hall in Truro.

There will be a presentation by Noreen Jefferies, Rural Housing Enabler, who will outline the principles of community led housing, give practical examples, describe what local members and parish councils can do to help, and aim to answer the question ‘What does affordable housing mean?’

Panel members will be updated on the expressions of interest received for the Community Network Highways Scheme including any initial views received from the Council's highways department and Cormac. There will be an update on progress in the implementation of the first tranche of the scheme.

Also on the agenda are standing items on traffic management and the climate emergency.

The Community Link Officer will update the panel on the Community Governance Review, a proposal to reduce paper at Panel Meetings, the Localism Team’s move to a new interim Communities Service, upcoming consultations, the Housing Strategy, and 2050 and beyond.

Community Link Officer Mark O’Brien said: “We are always delighted to welcome members of the public to these meetings. It is a great opportunity for people to hear about local issues, talk informally with elected representatives and council officers, and hear from guest speakers. Cornwall is greatly enriched by this type of enthusiastic community engagement, so we are grateful to everyone who takes the time to attend meetings or engage in other ways with our discussions and programmes.”

Truro and Roseland Community Network Panel meets bi-monthly to discuss matters that affect the local area and to progress these by working in partnership with Cornwall Council and its partners, including town and parish councils, the voluntary and community sector, and 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 highways 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 Penkivel, Tregony and Veryan.

You can also keep up to date with what’s happening in the area by joining the Truro and Roseland Community Network Area Facebook page.

More information about the Community Network Panels and dates for future meetings can be found on the Cornwall Council Community Networks webpage.

Categories: Cornwall

Download the app to reduce your drinking as part of Alcohol Awareness Week

Cornwall Council News feed - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 10:28

As part of this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week residents in Cornwall are being invited to download the ‘Drink’s Meter’ smartphone app to help them take back control of their drinking.

The campaign for people to be more aware of what they are drinking was launched earlier this year by Cornwall Council Public health team.

As many as 1 in 3 people in the South West don’t realise that they drink too much and the app allows people to track what they have drunk throughout the week which can then calculate how many calories you have drunk and how that equates with food you could have eaten. You can also track how much money you have spent on alcohol.

The app will also then advise you on how you can improve by having more days across the week where you don’t have a drink.

Deputy Director of Public Health Steve Brown said: “The campaign to support people to drink less focusses on how easy it is to slip into having a drink every day. Often it can be reasoning you’ve had a long day at work and need a drink to unwind, that you’re having a girl’s night or it’s the night of the big sports match.

“This isn’t about telling people they have to stop drinking altogether but just to think about having a few more days a week where they don’t have a drink.”

He added: “Some people simply don’t realise that one drink a night can have serious long term effect on their health. Often “just the one” turns in to two or three and it’s really easy for this to become a regular habit, and then the risks get even higher.

“I’d encourage anyone to give their drinking more thought and explore the questions posed by this app to take steps towards a healthy future”.

The app itself can be downloaded on the Google Play store or Apple App store, and here’s a flavour of some of the questions:

  • How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop once you had started? Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking, either in an accident or a fight?
  • How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected of you because of drinking?
  • How often in the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?

If anyone is concerned about how much they are drinking, or concerned about someone else’s drinking they can call Healthy Cornwall on 01209 615600 or visit the Healthy Cornwall website 

Posted on 13 November

Categories: Cornwall

Prize-winning farmer fined for animal welfare offences

Cornwall Council News feed - Tue, 11/12/2019 - 12:57

A prize-winning farmer has been fined for causing cruelty to his sheep.

Samuel Rogers, 24, of Advent, near Camelford, pleaded guilty at Bodmin Magistrates Court on 7 November 2019 to causing cruelty to sheep, failing to dispose of sheep carcases and failing to provide a suitable environment for livestock.

Cornwall Council visited the farm and other land farmed by Rogers in April having issued him with a caution for similar offences in 2018.

Animal health inspectors and a vet from the Government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency found more than 30 sheep and lamb carcases and two emaciated ewes.

The inspection team also found that livestock had access to sharp items and trailing wire and movement record discrepancies in Rogers' paperwork.

He pleaded guilty to failing to dispose of a lamb carcase and 19 sheep carcases, causing unnecessary suffering to two emaciated ewes, failing to provide a suitable environment for sheep and cattle and failing to complete an annual sheep flock inventory.

Magistrates fined Rogers and ordered him to pay full costs. In total he has to pay £6,184.

Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards Manager Jane Tomlinson said: “Rogers has been given a lot of advice over the last 18 months and unfortunately he has failed to act upon it. He is a young man who has won prizes for his sheep at local shows this summer, but unfortunately this is not reflected in his farming practices on a larger scale.”

Stuart Benson, Head of Service, Business Standards and Registration with Cornwall Council said: “Cornwall Council officers work to assist farmers, small holders and businesses across Cornwall in complying with the relevant legislation. However, where officers find repeated non-compliance, the Council will take formal action to protect the reputation of the Cornish farming industry and protect livestock.” 

Posted 11 November 2019

Categories: Cornwall

Cornish Trust wins national housing award

Cornwall Council News feed - Sat, 11/09/2019 - 17:41

Partnership working between the residents of a small Cornish community and Cornwall Council to rescue and transform buildings to provide much needed affordable housing for local people on the Rame Peninsula has been recognised with a national award. 

The Peninsula Trust, a local community led organisation, came to Cornwall Council with a proposition to buy and renovate three Council owned coastguard cottages in Cawsand village and then let them to local families at an affordable rent.  The Trust, which already runs the Rame Centre community hub in Millbrook village is also working to rescue the Old Ship Inn at Cawsand, with assistance from Cornwall Council’s Community Housing Land Remediation Fund, rebuilding it as a community-owned café and heritage centre with flats for affordable rent above.

Now, the Trust’s hard work has been recognised with a National Community Land Trust Network Award.

Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for homes said: “Huge congratulations to the members of the Peninsula Trust for this recognition.  The achievements of the Trust are a shining example of how the community can take the lead to bring forward affordable housing for local people and work with us to provide the right homes in the right place. We want to encourage more of this kind of collaboration.  We have a Community Land Trust Revolving Loan Scheme to support the development of new affordable housing by Community Land Trusts and we’re open to ideas being brought forward by communities where we can offer help and advice.”

Simon Ryan from the Peninsula Trust said:  “Cornwall Council is helping us take the lead in helping our community.  The demand for housing is huge and working with the Council we can start to make a difference.  We’re getting enquiries from all over the country asking how we are doing what we are doing and I tell them it’s down in no small part to the support we are getting from Cornwall Council. And it’s not just housing - the Council have been supporting us on all our community work through their Localism programme, which has been brilliant”

George Trubody, Cornwall Councillor for the Rame Peninsula said: “It’s the residents who are at the heart of initiatives like this.  Thank you to everyone who helped on the journey, and it is great that the Trust is getting the national recognition that this partnership working with Cornwall Council deserves. I think there are lots of other Community groups in Cornwall that could be empowered to learn from this example.”

 

Story posted 09 November 2019 

Categories: Cornwall

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