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Two successful prosecutions by Cornwall Council Trading Standards

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 16:06

Residents were reminded to stay alert to counterfeit goods and fake services as three men behind counterfeiting and fraud offences committed across Cornwall were sentenced at Truro Crown Court last Friday (17 August 2018) following two prosecutions brought by Cornwall Council Trading Standards.

The first case saw two men sentenced after admitting charges relating to the largest counterfeiting operation ever discovered in Cornwall.

Gregory William Whitehead, 48 from Tregrehan Mills, St Austell, and William Thomas Lemoyne, 35 from Camborne, had both pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to supply fake car accessories, toys and musical instrument accessories at an earlier hearing.

The prosecution was the culmination of a three year investigation into around £2.5 million worth of illegal sales and the seizure of over 100,000 fake items.

Whitehead was sentenced to 32 months immediate imprisonment and Lemoyne to 2 years imprisonment, suspended for two years.

In the second case, Martin Hobbs, the owner of an estate agents business in Millbrook, was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £22,500 after pleading guilty to five charges.

Hobbs, whose business MPH Estate Agents was based at The Parade in Millbrook, admitted four charges of false and misleading advertising under Consumer Protection legislation and admitted a further charge of obstructing an investigating officer by producing a fake letter of instruction.

He was fined £2,500 on each of the five charges and ordered to pay £10,000 towards the prosecution costs. He was further warned that a failure to pay those amounts in full by 28 February 2019 would result in him being sent to prison for 12 months.

In passing sentence His Honour Judge Carr told Hobbs “You committed a series of fraudulent trading. You decided to commit active fraud to enhance your business. Furthermore you have deliberately attempted to hide your resources from the court.”

Welcoming the results, Sue James, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection said “Whilst the vast majority of businesses in Cornwall are law abiding and provide excellent services, it is worth residents being aware of these three convictions and reflecting that if you are ever offered goods or services in a deal that seems too good to be true – then it usually is!”

Posted on 20 August 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Council consults on what social landlord tenancy policies should look like

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 14:03

Ensuring that tenants have a secure home should be at the heart of all housing providers’ tenancy policies across Cornwall.

The Council has launched a consultation so that social landlords, tenants and prospective tenants can have their say on what else the Council expects social landlord tenancy policies to include.

We want your views on the length of tenancies, how tenants move from one landlord to another as well as what advice and assistance should be offered to tenants to help prevent homelessness.  There are also expectations around the setting of affordable rents and how different housing needs are met.

The consultation which runs until 14 September is on a revised Local Tenancy Strategy, which aims to encourage all social landlords working in Cornwall to provide a good mix of tenancies for residents that will help meet local housing need and improve choice in Cornwall’s housing market.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for homes, Andrew Mitchell said: “The Local Tenancy Strategy sets out what the Council expects from social landlords and in turn what tenants can expect.  I encourage social landlord partners, tenants, prospective tenants and anyone with an interest in social housing to comment before a final version is developed for adoption by the Council.”

Responses to the consultation will be analysed and the draft Local Tenancy Strategy revised with the expectation that the new Strategy will be implemented from April 2019.

 

Story posted 20 August 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Calling all students – add vaccines to your to do list before heading off to University

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 16:16

Following yesterday’s A-Level results many students will now be busy getting ready to head off to university…but one thing many students forget to sort before they leave home is their vaccinations.

To make sure students get the most of their university experience and not become seriously ill, Cornwall Council’s Wellbeing and Public Health team are encouraging young people have the meningitis and measles jabs before they leave home.

It’s not all about leaving home, even if a young person is continuing their studies from home it’s still important for them to be covered too.

With lots of people in confined environments and close mixing, universities and colleges, halls of residence or even in hostels while off travelling, can all be hot spots for measles and meningococcal disease as they present the perfect opportunity for the infection to spread.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious complications and can be fatal in very rare cases.

The best protection against measles is to ensure young people have had two doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination. We know that some students of university/college age may have missed out on their MMR when they were younger as MMR uptake was as low as 80% in 2003. This means that many young people remain unprotected and so we are seeing measles cases in young people over the age of 15.

Alongside the MMR vaccine, it is also important to remind students (and freshers in particular) to get the MenACWY vaccine which protects against meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) – which can both be fatal.

Denis Cronin, Public Health Consultant for Cornwall Council’s Wellbeing and Public Health Team said: “While students are rushing to get ready for the next big steps in their life, getting injections is often over looked. Young people are particularly vulnerable to these infections and are also far more likely to spend time together in large groups which provides the perfect conditions for spreading of infections. Anyone who feels unwell should let friends know and call 111 if they recognise any of the symptoms”.

Dr Iain Chorlton, from NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This time of the year is always an exciting time for many students. They’ve picked up their A-level results and then thinking about their new lives at university and the fun of Freshers’ Week but it’s really important that to make sure that either before you leave or as soon as you arrive at university and register with a doctor that you get the MenACWY vaccine and protect yourselves against this potentially deadly infection. So put protecting yourself against meningitis should be on you ‘to do list’ along with buying your pots and pans and new books.”

If students don’t manage to have vaccinations done before they leave home, they should register with GP while at university where they will be able to have the vaccinations.

Story posted 17 August.

Categories: Cornwall

Apprenticeships will help boost prosperity for all of Cornwall

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:43

A wonderful opportunity to gain a degree in surveying while working in beautiful Cornwall is just one of many amazing apprenticeships on offer through Cornwall Council this summer.

The Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship gives applicants the chance to be trained, supported and mentored to achieve a degree in surveying, while being paid a competitive salary.

Completion of the course will also achieve chartered membership of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveying (RICS).

The council will also pay for your degree and essential expenses, and ensure you have the time to attend university and to undertake training.

So, if you are passionate about developing a career in Property / Estates and would prefer to learn on the job – then this is the opportunity for you!

A number of other apprenticeship roles have just been released, providing an ideal series of opportunities for those due to receive their A Level and GCSE results this month.

Included in those new adverts will be apprenticeships in our Human Resources Teams; in both Business Administration and Data Analyst roles; in our Neighbourhoods Incident Team, plus many apprenticeship vacancies within our Children, Families & Schools directorate working in Education & Early years.

Councillor Bob Egerton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economy said: “Our apprenticeships offer opportunities to people from all walks of life to gain vital workplace skills and to begin to build a career for themselves.

“We have taken on nearly 100 apprentices in the past two years, and we are now looking to bring in the next cohort – including this fantastic chance to gain a degree while being in paid employment.

“In the long term, investing in people in this way will also contribute to economic growth and prosperity for the whole of Cornwall, by creating a highly trained and employable workforce.

“It is also important to remember that these apprenticeships are not just for young people starting out, they can also offer a chance to start a new career later in life as well.”

 

Story posted 17 August 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Council launches new consultation to help people live safe and well at home

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 15:23

With the ageing population in Cornwall set to grow significantly in the next decade, Cornwall Council is seeking input from residents and service providers on the right service mix to best help people to remain independent for as long as possible.

We want to hear from people about the services they want to keep them healthy and active, keep them independent and allow them to spend time with others. We also want to hear people’s views on how we can provide the right support to homeless people.

With a range of contracted services which the Council manages up for renewal in 2019, the Council wants to make sure that people have access to a range of services which, as well as keeping them happy and healthy, also keep them out of more costly services for longer.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “The end of the current contract provides us with an opportunity to make sure that services we commission are focussed on delivering what people have told us they want - to take more responsibility for their wellbeing and wellness, be as independent as possible and be part of their local community.

“After listening to a wide range of views a plan has been developed and we are now asking whether we have got this plan right. Whether you are a service user, a provider, or a resident who might be a future user of services, everyone is encouraged to give their feedback and views. We want to make sure our plans are produced with input from residents and partners.”

You can access the survey through the Council’s website. 

The survey closes on 7 September 2018

Posted on 16 August 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Keep calm and be successful on A' level results day

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 10:27

Thousands of young people across Cornwall will be glued to their smart phones or uniting at schools and colleges as they prepare to receive their A level exam results today.  

 While it is too early to know results across Cornwall, many young people will now be considering whether to continue their education, undertake training or enter the workforce.

 It can be an emotional time, but Cornwall Council’s advice is “keep calm, there are lots of options available across Cornwall to make your next move a success and help you reach your full potential.”

Sally Hawken, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children and Wellbeing said: “We wish every student who is getting their results today the very best of luck and congratulate them and their families on their hard work and commitment getting to this stage. The wait is over and it will be a big relief to know the outcome today.

“Everyone is different and whether you now want to carry on your education or are thinking about taking those next steps in to work, there are a lot of different pathways open once you know your results. One of those paths will suit you.

“Some students will be taking up the opportunity to go to university but that may not be the right option for everyone. Apprenticeships are becoming more and more popular with young people who want to learn at work, get formal off-the-job training and a structured programme that takes them through the skills they need to do a job well.”

“Traineeships are also available to provide young people with the necessary skills and experience to access apprenticeships and wider employment opportunities.”

 Cornwall Council has apprenticeship vacancies available across a range of departments where you can gain technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills.  You can find out more on the Cornwall Council website http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/jobs-and-careers/apprenticeships/

Young people who are unsure what to do next, can get a wealth of ideas and information from the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900, via web chat and email by searching online for the National Careers Service. The service offers free and impartial advice and access to a range of online tools, including skills tests, course search, job search advice and personalised help from careers advisers.

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

Categories: Cornwall

Council commits to 3500 Extra Care units by 2025

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 16:43

As part of a plan to help older people and those in need of care live independent and healthier lives for longer, Cornwall Council has announced it will create 3,500 ‘Extra Care’ housing units across the county.

The move will also help reduce pressure on an adult social care system that only last week was described as being at breaking point nationally by Local Government Association.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “These will be self-contained homes with their own front doors where people have access to care and support when they need it. People often think about downsizing their homes as they get older so Extra Care is an attractive option when planning for possible care and support needs in the future.

“Evidence shows that helping people to live independently for longer in homes like these, often closer to their family and friends, leads to healthier and happier lives. This in turn reduces their need to use health and social care services, alleviating demand on already stretched services.”

The Council has a mixed approach to developing the 3500 units, looking at remodelling existing buildings which are no longer fit for purpose and at how they could develop where the market is less responsive. To get things started they are looking to recruit a strategic partner to develop an initial 750 units across towns in Cornwall. 

The numbers of people across Cornwall aged 65 and over in Cornwall is predicted to increase by 78% by 2030. (population figures taken from poppi.org.uk). Taking this into account, alongside an increase in illness and disability, it means that more people will require care and support services. It is a priority for Cabinet to see a wide range of Extra Care housing developed that is affordable for all.

At an event hosted by Cornwall Council at St Austell Conference Centre on 9 August 2018, housing companies, care providers and property developers were invited to learn more about Extra Care housing options - the sorts of facilities they are and how they are funded. The event is the beginning of the conversation to test the proposals before a formal selection process for a strategic partner begins in Autumn.

Categories: Cornwall

Truro City Council celebrates taking over the ownership of Zeb’s Youth Cafe

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:14

Zeb’s Youth Café will get a new lease of life following the handover of the ownership and management to Truro City Council.

The handover from Cornwall Council will help secure the future of youth services for local young people.

Formerly known as Zebedee’s Café, the building in Truro’s Leats has been a youth centre for young people since 1994 and is used by Young People Cornwall to run Truro’s youth services.

The transfer 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 for the benefit of local residents.

Truro City Council already provides a grant to Young People Cornwall to run youth services and will now be in a better position to support local young people using the services.

Kate Sidwell Youth and Community Work Manager at Young People Cornwall and Senior Manager at Zeb’s said: “The transfer of Zebs enables us to continue with the many activities and support that we offer young people in Truro aged 10-19 each week. At Zebs young people have a safe space where they can take part in music, sport, art, cooking, and informal education, and are encouraged to be involved in decision-making and volunteering. We also offer one to one support, on mental health and wellbeing, and safeguarding, as well as referring young people to specialist organisations. The transfer highlights the support and voice given to young people in Truro from the City Council.” 

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods Councillor Edwina Hannaford said: “Cornwall Council’s aim is to work with local partners and communities to create sustainable services that best meet local needs. Devolving property and services currently held by Cornwall Council gives local communities like Truro the opportunity to shape their areas, make the improvements that sometimes only local knowledge can provide and respond to the demand for local facilities, led by the communities they serve. Truro City Council’s approach to taking ownership of Zeb’s Youth Café is an excellent example of devolution in action.”

Truro City Councillor and Cornwall Council Divisional Member for Truro Boscawen, Bert Biscoe added: ”As the person who, with youth worker Val Stanley, first persuaded Carrick Council to lease Zebs to Young People Cornwall, I have witnessed the way in which the centre has supported and inspired many cohorts of young people ever since. I am delighted to see this important facility come back into the ownership of the community of Truro. I'm sure it’s the right thing to do, and I look forward to many other acts of devolution which will restore community facilities and community assets to our community.”

Cornwall Council is working alongside Truro City Council to explore other devolution opportunities where the ownership, management and maintenance of local buildings, land and services could be delivered locally. A package has been developed involving the transfer of assets to be managed locally including the Coosebean cycle way and Carrick Sports Hall.

Similar devolution projects are being developed which involves Cornwall Council’s Localism Team actively working with communities across Cornwall. For more information visit: www.cornwall.gov.uk/devolution

To find about the various youth work activity days around Truro during the summer contact Young People Cornwall on 01872 222447 or visit Zeb’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Zebs.Truro.

Posted 19 June 2018

Categories: Cornwall

New food and drink carton recycling pilot launches in Cornwall

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 15:20

Residents can now take food and drink cartons and paper cups for recycling at seven Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) in Cornwall thanks to a partnership between The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) and Cornwall Council.

In Cornwall an estimated 450 tonnes of beverage cartons are put out for waste collection each year. With the new bring banks available in HWRCs across Cornwall, residents are being urged to take their empty cartons and paper cups along with any waste or recycling that can't be collected by the Council's kerbside collection service.

The new bring banks are being supplied by The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK), representing its members Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc.

Find out more about food and drink carton recycling

The service is a two-year pilot being funded by ACE UK. All cartons and paper cups collected at the recycling banks will be taken to ACE UK's specialist facility near Halifax.

Cornwall's Household Waste and Recycling Centres handle more than 80,000 tonnes of waste each year, of which more than half is sent for recycling, explained Cornwall Council portfolio holder for environment and public protection Sue James.

"People have been asking about recycling food and beverage cartons for some time, so I'm pleased ACE UK are working with us to provide this service at seven of our HWRCs," she said. "Having bring banks based at our HWRCs will allow people to bring their cartons and paper cups with them when making a trip to their local centre.

"We know from surveys that residents want to be able to recycle more. While we can’t include this as part of our current kerbside collections we are asking the bidders for the 2020 kerbside collection contract to consider collecting additional materials, such as these cartons."

Mandy Kelly, Senior Recycling Manager, ACE UK said: “It’s great news that food and drink cartons and paper cup recycling has now come to Cornwall. From our conversations with the Council we know residents are keen to recycle cartons, so we are extremely pleased to install bring banks at these seven sites – and of course all cartons and cups collected will be recycled here in the UK.”

Residents are advised to wash and squash cartons and replace the caps before placing in the bring banks – and only paper coffee-type cups should be deposited in the banks, no other cups can be accepted.

Where can I take my cartons and paper cups for recycling?

HWRCs with recycling banks for beverage cartons and paper cups can be found at:

Connon Bridge, East Taphouse, Liskeard PL14 4NP

Falmouth, Cuvet Farm, near Mabe Burnthouse TR10 9DH

Helston, Gays Hill TR13 0QA

Launceston, Pennygillam Industrial Estate PL15 7PH

St Austell, Meaner Road PL25 3DG

St Erth, Treloweth Lane, TR27 6JP

United Mines, United Downs, St Day, Redruth TR16 5HY

Household Waste Recycling Centres are open every day between 9am and 4pm (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day), enabling residents to recycle a variety of items for free including household appliances, mattresses, gas bottles and wood. For a small charge, residents can also take bonded asbestos, tyres, soil and rubble and plasterboard to the centre.

 

Categories: Cornwall

Park and Ride’s celebrations are out of this world

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:26

Having already carried passengers the equivalent distance of to the moon and back three times over, Truro’s Park and Ride celebrated its 10th birthday with two days of free travel and a ticket giveaway.

More than 8,000 free journeys were recorded as passengers celebrated the service’s anniversary.

A prize draw was held at both sites for the chance to win a free 60 day travel pass, which will entitle the winner to 60 days of non-consecutive unlimited travel on the service.

At Langarth, the prize was won by Tilly Stone, 4, of Redruth, while Noah Spoors, 10, was the winner of the draw held at Tregurra Park. Both winners are looking forward to enjoying their free trips with their families.

Since buses first began running between Langarth and the city centre in 2008, more than a million passengers have used Park for Truro, travelling a total of more than 1.7million miles.

A second service from Tregurra Park opened in 2015, giving more than 2,500 parking spaces available across the two locations.

Operated by Cornwall Council, the park and ride uses eco-friendly vehicles and is designed to ease congestion in the city by offering visitors and daily commuters a safe, frequent and cost-effective alternative to driving into and parking in the city centre.

Cornwall Council Portfolio holder for Transport Geoff Brown said:  “The Park and Ride service has been a vital part of Truro for a decade and has helped thousands of people more easily access the city centre.

“When you think about the scale of passengers who have used the service over that time, the Council’s investment in this service has helped ease traffic congestion and reduce emissions by keeping cars off the road in the city centre.

“It’s heart-warming to see two young people picking up the free passes – it reflects the fact that our park and ride buses are there for everyone to use.”

Those people not lucky enough to win a free 60 day pass could consider purchasing one of our great value multi-day passes:

  • 5 day passes cost only £8.40 (that’s £1.68 a day)
  • 20 day Passes cost only £30.00 (that’s £1.50 a Day)
  • 60 day Passes cost only £68.00 (that’s £1.13 a day)

Passengers are now welcome to bring their dogs onto the buses as part of a three month trial scheme.

 

Story posted 09 August 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Council consults on how money from developers should be used

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:24

Cornwall Council is asking for views on how money raised from a new levy on commercial development should be used to pay for the facilities needed to help communities across Cornwall.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which will apply to planning applications that are approved from 1 January 2019, will raise over one million pounds a year from new housing and commercial developments to fund local infrastructure projects to help communities across Cornwall.

A ‘local share’ of the levy – between 15% and 25% - will be given to town or parish councils where the development happens so that the local council can use it in a way that best serves the needs of their local communities.  How the remaining amount is spent is still to be decided so the Council is asking town and parish council’s, developers and residents for their views.

The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economy, Bob Egerton, said: “This levy on new developments will sit alongside existing contributions that developers are required to make, and help to deliver infrastructure where it is most needed, which is not always in the immediate area of the development.

“The remainder of the money raised will be allocated to support projects across Cornwall and that’s why we are launching this consultation so that anyone but particularly town and parish councils, can give us their thoughts on the most appropriate method for deciding which projects should be supported with CIL monies. Consultation responses will be taken into consideration in a report to Cabinet later in the year which will make recommendations on how this should be done.”

The consultation is live on the Council’s website and will run until 23 September 2018.

 

Story posted 09 August 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Public views needed as adult social care reaches breaking point

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 15:06

Cornwall Council is encouraging all residents and community groups to take part in a major national consultation by the Local Government Association (LGA) into how to pay for adult social care and support for older people, working age adults with mental or physical disabilities and unpaid carers.

The LGA estimates that adult social care services face an annual funding gap of £3.5 billion by 2025.

Years of significant underfunding of councils, alongside rising demand and costs for care and support has pushed adult social care services to breaking point.

Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for adults said: “With a growing number of adults relying on some form of social care in Cornwall, we are already looking at how we can make changes to the way that people receive care and support in Cornwall. This national debate is important for us all and we encourage everyone to take part in this survey so that your voice can be heard.  

“We need to take action now to make sure that we all receive the care and support that we might need in the future. There are a number of options discussed around how we can fund future care and support and we encourage you to consider carefully which option would work best.“

The LGA’s eight-week consultation is open to all members of the public – regardless of whether they are directly affected by or receive adult social care and support – and community groups. The findings will be used to help influence the Government’s own green paper and its spending plans.

Take part in the LGA's 'Future of Adult Social Care' consultation 

Cllr Izzi Seccombe Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“Finding a long-term funding solution for adult social care and support has been kicked into the long grass by successive governments for the past two decades and has brought these services to breaking point.

“Our green paper is the start of a nationwide public debate about the future of care for all adults and we encourage as many people and organisations to have their say on how we pay for it and the responsibilities of national government, local councils, citizens, families and communities.”

The LGA's consultation closes on Wednesday 26 September.

Possible solutions to paying for adult social care in the long-term outlined in the consultation include: 

  • Increasing income tax for taxpayers of all ages – a 1p rise on the basic rate could raise £4.4 billion in 2024/25
  • Increasing national insurance – a 1p rise could raise £10.4 billion in 2024/25
  • A Social Care Premium - this would be a contribution, such as an addition to National Insurance or another mechanism, paid by employers and people over 40, including over 65s. If it was assumed everyone over 40 was able to pay the same amount (not the case under National Insurance), raising £1 billion would mean a cost of £33.40 for each person aged 40+ in 2024/25. This is a purely illustrative figure and would not be the cost to individuals if the premium was attached to National Insurance given that a person’s employment status and/or how much they earn determines the amount they contribute to National Insurance.
  • Means testing universal benefits, such as winter fuel allowance and free TV licences, could raise £1.9 billion in 2024/25
  • Allowing councils to increase council tax – a 1 per cent rise would generate £285 million in 2024/25
Categories: Cornwall

Heatwave brings out scam gardeners

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 13:52

Cornwall’s hot sunny weather this summer has sparked an increase in doorstep scams involving garden or outside maintenance.

Now Cornwall Council Trading Standards are urging residents to be vigilant after a surge in reported incidents over the past two weeks, especially at park home sites.

Different scams have featured gardening and tree surgery work targeted for unnecessary and over-priced repairs.

In one recent case, the cold caller started work clearing grass clippings before getting any agreement from the home owner to do it. When refused payment for the work they started to rummage around in a workshop, attempting to take tools and other items as payment.

In another case, cold callers have undertaken work to replace support jacks underneath park home properties, preying on resident’s fears about the condition of supports underneath their homes. Although some work was carried out, it appears to have been massively over-priced and unnecessary.

In the past couple of weeks there have been nine separate reported complaints from residents in Redruth, Bodmin, Helston, St Austell, and St Columb.

Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team works in partnership with Devon & Cornwall Police to investigate these issues, and where possible, bring offenders before the courts.

In order to help communities avoid the rogues, the team operates the ‘Trading Standards approved’ Buy With Confidence Scheme; offering a directory of tradespeople who have been vetted by our Service to ensure that they are reputable and trustworthy businesses 

Sue James, Cabinet Portfolio holder for public protection said: “Doorstep scams take place when someone comes to your door with the aim of scamming you out of your money or trying to gain access to your property.

“Scams can happen at any time of the year, but we have noticed an increase in scams relating to home and garden maintenance, possibly linked to the beautiful weather we are experiencing and people wanting to spend time outdoors.

“While the majority of tradespeople and officials are legitimate it’s wise to be on your guard when you answer your door. Doorstep scammers can be persuasive or pushy but also polite or friendly, and it can be easy to fall victim. It’s especially important to be vigilant and aware if you live on your own.

“Many of the recent reports we’ve received have been opportunistic – they’ve seen someone out working in the garden and have been pushy in getting them agree to pay for services.

“The criminals generally focus on the elderly and vulnerable, and are very good at spotting their targets. We all need to be vigilant, and look out for our friends and neighbours. Just because someone presents a business card with some local telephone numbers on it, does not mean it’s a genuine business.”

Residents are asked to report concerns to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06; alternatively, If you see a suspected rogue trader actively working on a property in your area, please report to the police on 101.

 

Story posted 06 August 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Council urges people to take extra precautions as hot weather returns

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 17:00

With temperature set to rise this weekend Cornwall Council urges people to keep an eye on more elderly and very young family members, friends and neighbours.

Public Health Consultant Denis Cronin said while beating the heat is common sense, older people, those with underlying health conditions and those with young children can really suffer.

“To vulnerable people, the summer heat can bring real health risks, which is why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.”

Hot weather tips include:

  • Keep a close eye on older people, young children and those with diseases such as heart and lung conditions – their bodies can struggle to cope in the heat and are at greatest risk.
  • Keeping homes as cool as possible will help and offer some respite – close curtains on windows that receive the sun, open windows when it’s cooler outside than in (when it’s safe to do so) and turn off any unnecessary electrical items. Remember it’s sometimes cooler sitting in a park under a tree than it is in a home that’s too hot.
  • Check weather forecasts, including UV forecasts, and when travelling always carry water.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen!

A call is also made to people to think twice before leaving their children and pets in vehicles.

“A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.

“Pets, children and the elderly are less able to cope with high temperatures and may not recognise the signs of dehydration, so safer to take them with you. Even if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, it’s still a very dangerous situation,” Mr Cronin said.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a person or animal locked in a car, call 999 for the emergency services.

For further information on health advice in hot weather please visit the NHS Choices website https://www.nhs.uk

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall’s new fire boat now in operation

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 17:12

Cornwall’s new fireboat is now in full operation with the mission of keeping people safe in the water.

The Skath An Tanlu, a name chosen by the public meaning fire boat in Cornish, was unveiled during a ceremony held at Custom House Quay, Falmouth.

Powered by twin Suzuki 140 bhp engines, the vessel will reach speeds of 37 knots and can carry a crew of six firefighters and two coxswains. It will provide a fire and rescue response to more than 100 houseboats in and around the Falmouth, Penryn and Helford River areas, and it will be available to transfer personnel and equipment during emergency maritime operations.

The Skath An Tanlu will also provide fire and safety cover during busy regattas in the Falmouth area, and it can be called upon by other agencies for use during high profile events anywhere in Cornwall throughout the summer months.

Cornwall Council cabinet member Sue James, who oversees Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service as part of her Environment and Public Protection portfolio, said:

“The Skath An Tanlu will provide our firefighters with the equipment they need to keep residents of Cornwall and visitors safe in an extremely popular maritime area.

“It was back in 1999 that Cornwall took delivery of its first fireboat after a growing maritime risk in the Falmouth area was identified. This was in part due to it becoming a popular choice as venue for large regattas involving hundreds of vessels.

“Fast forward almost two decades and that original fire boat the Transco Phoenix was coming to the end of its operation life. It gave us the opportunity to specially design a replacement which has been tailored to allow its crew to carry out their duties safely and effectively for many years to come.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mark Hewitt said: “We are delighted with the completion and delivery of Skath an Tanlu which replaces Transco Phoenix which served for 18 years. This resource provides an ongoing opportunity to ensure the safety of residents that live aboard vessels through the ability to provide home fire safety checks, as well as a mode of transport for responding to marine related fires should we be required. 

“Linking our resources to risk remains a key priority for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and our new fire boat will enable operational crews to provide fire cover along our coastline. Our partnership working will ensure this valuable resource can also be utilised by other agencies at major events in harbour towns across Cornwall. 

“I am grateful to Cornwall Council for the capital investment which ensures front line operational fire and rescue crews have the appropriate vehicles, tools and personal protective equipment to deploy to emergencies.”

The Skath An Tanlu is berthed at Falmouth Haven pontoons in the town’s harbour, ready to respond to water-based emergencies.

Fact box

  • Powered by twin 140 bhp engines
  • Top speed 37 knots, cruising speed 30 knots
  • Carries a crew of up to six firefighters and two coxswains
  • 8.5m long and 3m wide, providing an excellent and safe working platform
  • Carries a high-powered Godiva Powerflow pump

Story posted 2 August.

Categories: Cornwall

Dogs can Park and Ride in Truro from 03 July

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 16:48

Having listened to the views of Cornwall’s residents, dog lovers and numerous visitors, from Tuesday 03 July, Cornwall Council is starting a three month trial welcoming pet dogs to accompany their owners onto the Park and Ride at Tregurra Park and Langarth, when they visit the historic city of Truro.

The three month trial will allow all dog owners to make full use of the Park and Ride facilities which operates between Tregurra Road and Langarth at Threemilestone, offering convenient parking and a fast, regular shuttle service into Truro city centre by bus.

Guide dogs have always been allowed to accompany their owners on the buses since the Park and Ride first opened in 2008. This is the first time owners of pet dogs will also be allowed to take their dog aboard.

It is hoped that the trial, if successful, will become permanent, bringing the Park and Ride into line with the majority of bus and rail services across Cornwall in allowing dogs to travel with their owners. The aim is to attract people who would previously have been discouraged from using the service.

The Park and Ride service  has carried more than 5 million passengers in the last five years, taking more than 550 vehicles off the roads around central Truro each day. By widening the service out to those who want to take public transport when they travel with their dog, we can encourage even more people to use the service, helping to cut congestion on the roads in and around the city centre. 

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Transport, Geoff Brown said:

“I am delighted that this trial is going ahead, and if successful will mean that dog owners will be able to choose yet another public transport option when they visit Truro. The rules about pets travelling on public transport are basically down to each transport operator, which means it can be confusing and inconvenient for those travelling with their dogs if one operator allows dogs and another doesn’t. Dogs are currently welcome on the majority of bus, rail and ferry services across Cornwall, so it makes sense to see whether we can standardise the rules and encourage more people cut congestion and avoid those queues by choosing to take the Park and Ride.

“We will monitor this trial closely and listen to feedback from those who use the service regularly, residents and visitors before we make a decision. Success will depend on everyone taking a sensible approach, owners keeping animals on a lead and under control, making sure any litter is disposed of, passengers being sensible about how they approach dogs they aren’t familiar with and making sure children are aware of how to behave around dogs on transport.”  

Posted 2 July

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Blue Light Day set to welcome more than 750 people with a learning disability and/or autism

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 16:48

On Wednesday 4 July around 750 adults with a learning disability and/or autism will be meeting the people and machines of the emergency services at Cornwall’s annual Blue Light Day.

The event, which is being held at the Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge, runs from 10am until 2.30pm and is free to attend.

Now in its 11th year, Blue Light Day aims to break down barriers between adults with learning disabilities and/or autism and the emergency services, helping them to be more confident and independent in the community.

Highlights of the day will include the attendance of the Cornwall Air Ambulance at midday (subject to operational availability on the day) and demonstrations from the emergency services.

Staff from the police, ambulance, fire, coastguard, mountain rescue and more, together with a selection of their vehicles and equipment, will be there throughout the day as well as fire mascot Blaze Bear and his police counterpart Bravo.

Blue Light Day is organised by Devon and Cornwall Police in partnership with Cornwall People First, a user-led advocacy group for people with a learning disability and /or autism, Cornwall Council and, this year, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Its success has inspired Blue Light Days in Exeter and Plymouth.

Around fifty organisations which provide healthcare and support services for people with a learning disability and/or autism will be on hand to give information and advice. There will also be a range of performances and activities on the indoor stage.

Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council cabinet member for adults, said: “Having attended last year’s event, I know how much this event is appreciated by all who attend. It is fantastic to have the support of all organisations who are involved in responding to emergencies and keeping Cornwall safe.”

Categories: Cornwall

Community Chest grants take centre stage at the Wadebridge and Padstow Community Network meeting

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 16:48

Local community groups came together at the recent Wadebridge and Padstow Community Network meeting to celebrate Community Chest grants awarded over the past year.

Each Cornwall Councillor has a grant fund of £2,000 to help projects run by voluntary and community groups in their area.  Grants range from £100 to £1,000 and can be used for groups and activities to support children, young people, older people, community facilities, local environment projects and community safety projects.

Last year in the Wadebridge and Padstow area, 23 Cornwall Councillor Community Chest grants were made to projects including a community prescription delivery service, surf life saving skills for children, a folk festival, sports projects, Christmas lights and more.  Some of the groups that received grants came to the community network meeting to share their stories of how the funds are benefiting their areas.

Tina Robinson from Polzeath Marine Conservation Group said: “Polzeath Marine Conservation Group have worked hard for the last 18 months to install the first drinking water refill point on our beach. We received funds from Postcode Local Trust and Sea Changers, these funds were invaluable. However, once Carol Mould got involved and we received a grant from Cornwall Council's Community Chest then the support from local groups was tremendous, with one local charity even contacting us offering us funds. This grant made all the difference by attracting local support. With all the funds we were able to complete our project and indeed enabled the Group to expand the project and install another refill station in nearby Rock. This is in progress at the present time.”

St Tudy Playing Field Trust Fundraiser Sue Handford said: “The Community Chest grant awarded last year enabled us to pay for a quantity surveyors report. This report provided a complete cost breakdown of a visionary community sport hub for St Tudy and our surrounding area. We have been able to use this information to prepare tenders and to start to apply for funding. Now we finally have planning permission we can really get going on this £750k project.  This grant really emphasises the commitment of our Councillor, Stephen Rushworth, and the Council to support our community even in the days of tight financial constraints.

Cornwall Councillor Karen McHugh, Chair of Wadebridge and Padstow Community Network Panel, said: “Local community groups can accomplish great things, and it was inspiring to hear about the projects the different groups are involved with.  Often a Community Chest grant can make all the difference in getting a project off the ground or attracting match funding from other sources.  It’s surprising how a little bit of money and extra awareness can kick start a great project.  Community groups that are interested in applying for a grant should contact their local Cornwall councillor.”

Story posted 3 July 2018

Categories: Cornwall

Council offers loans to help Community Land Trusts build much needed affordable housing

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 16:48

This Rural Housing Week, Cornwall Council is encouraging Community Land Trusts to apply to its £4 million Revolving Loan Fund to help build new affordable housing for local people.

Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for Homes Andrew Mitchell said: “With the delivery of 1,000 homes a priority for the Council, working with partners to help build them is key, especially where it is a community led scheme. Community Land Trusts are important as they can deliver affordable homes in smaller rural communities where there is often acute need, but where larger housing providers may be reluctant to invest.  

CLT’s are able to identify sites, unlock land and obtain local support. The Council can provide CLTs with short-term development finance at a preferential lending rate which will be an enormous help to unlocking this potential.”

The £4 million fund is open for bids from CLTs for loans of up to £1.5 million per scheme. This can be through their own schemes or working in partnership with other providers. The money will be recycled as loans are repaid, and the fund is expected to run for 7 years until 2021/22. Loans can support the development of all types of affordable housing including shared ownership, shared equity, affordable rent, intermediate rent and intermediate sale. Cross subsidy schemes incorporating an element of open market housing may also be considered.

The Fund offers

  • Loans for the development and construction of new affordable housing. Eligible costs can include purchase of land, buildings, construction and conversion of a building.
  • Loans of between £75,000 and £1.5 million per scheme for terms of up to 18 months.
  • Loans are to be repaid within 12 months of completion of the scheme.
  • Interest will be charged at Cornwall Council’s standard loan rate (currently 4.5%)

Between 2009 and 2014 the first CLT Loan Fund lent out £3.14m which enabled 35 new affordable homes to be built.

In 2014, Land’s End Peninsula CLT used a £879,000 loan from the CLT Revolving Loan Fund to build 8 much-needed affordable homes at Croft Mear in Pendeen. Three homes were sold to local people at discounted rates, and the remaining 5 are providing affordable rented homes in the village.

Cllr. Sue James, chair of the Land’s End Peninsula CLT, remembers how satisfying it was to see the homes occupied by local families just in time for Christmas:  “It was a long haul to bring this project to fruition and the loan from Cornwall Council helped us to build 8 affordable homes in Pendeen that are protected in perpetuity and available to local people for generations to come.”

If you would like more information on the CLT Revolving Loan Fund, or to discuss a proposal please contact the Rural Housing on  01872 326353 or email affordablehousing@cornwall.gov.uk

 

Story posted 03 July 2018 

Categories: Cornwall

Community group acquires renewable energy company to ensure money and benefits remain in Cornwall

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 16:48

Cornwall’s first community owned energy co-operative Community Power Cornwall Limited has acquired a wholly owned subsidiary called West Country Renewables Limited for approximately £1.34m. This is the first time a Cornish community energy society has bought an existing company and is a significant step for community ownership of energy generation in Cornwall.

Assets being transferred from private to community ownership is becoming more of a viable and practiced method for community energy organisation across the UK looking to grow and ensure the benefits of this infrastructure are kept local.

The sale brings five solar arrays located at Mount Hawke Skate Park, St Agnes Railway Yard, St Agnes Presingoll Farm and Scarne Industrial Estate, and three wind turbines which are scattered across the rest of the South West into community ownership.

Using conservative estimates, it is thought that by bringing West Country Renewables into local community ownership, around £2.5m will be retained in the Cornish economy before any multiplier effect.

The acquisition was funded by a loan of £1.43m from a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) called The Low Carbon Society Limited which makes loans to Community Enterprises to support projects with positive social and environmental outcomes. TLC Society has a loan facility with Cornwall Council which funded £1.27m of this acquisition.

Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council Cabinet Porfolio holder for Planning and the Economy said: “Community energy is an important part of the devolution deal we have with government and I’m very pleased that the support provided by Cornwall Council with its £2.5 million loan fund for community-run renewable energy projects has played a part in this achievement. I would like to congratulate everybody, many of whom are volunteers, for making this initiative such a success and I look forward to seeing how it develops in the future.”

Emma Bridge of Community Energy England said: “The acquisition of West Country Renewables (WCR) by Community Power Cornwall (CPC) demonstrates how communities are innovatively evolving business models to acquire existing private assets thereby increasing the community value of generation projects. We applaud the hard work undertaken by Community Power Cornwall and the support given by Cornwall Council and hope this can inspire other communities and local authorities to do similar across the UK.”

Clayton Elliott of Community Power Cornwall said: “It is great to have kept WCR in local community ownership as it would have been a great shame if the money flows that WCR derives from Cornish natural resources had been lost from the local economy. It is also a step change for CPC which started with one site in 2011 and now manages 24 installations and about a megawatt of installed capacity all held in common ownership.”

Paul Martin of The Low Carbon Society said: “We are really pleased to have lent Community Power Cornwall the money to buy West Country Renewables and very grateful for the credit facility extended by Cornwall Council that allows us to support community ownership of energy assets. We made our first loan in 2010 and since then we have lent over £3m and have borrowed £2.66m from Cornwall Council. Each and every pound borrowed repays the loan principle and pays interest on top. What is most exciting is that each loan creates social and environmental benefits for the people of Cornwall. The projects we have funded have saved money for local schools and local charities, provided funding for affordable housing, bought a defibrillator for a village, paid for low cost LED lighting and Christmas lighting, contributed to keeping public toilets open and have paid for a new roof on a village hall to name but a few. These loans have funded 1.6 megawatts of installed capacity and have helped keep millions of pounds in the Cornish economy.”

Neil Farrington, of Community Power Cornwall said: "We’re thrilled West Country Renewables is now community-owned. It shows the power of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to make their communities and local businesses stronger.

“Not only are we generating home-grown clean energy, we’re keeping it in Cornwall and we’re maximising the value of projects by employing local people. This community ownership is happening thanks to the dedication and determination of a few individuals. I would encourage everyone to join this quiet revolution, get involved in your local group, become a supporter or volunteer, because this is a story of true local empowerment with green community projects run by the community, for the community.”

Posted on 03 July 2018

Categories: Cornwall

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