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Updated: 11 hours 26 min ago

Cornwall Council’s new workspace centres to support economic recovery and jobs

12 hours 38 min ago

Cornwall Council has announced £13m worth of building contracts for three new workspace centres that will grow Cornwall’s economy and support the creation of jobs in Penzance, Liskeard and Hayle. 

The three workspaces will generate much needed economic activity during their construction phase and open new job, work placement and training opportunities for the local workforce. 

Ultimately, these new developments will play a key role in regenerating the town centres and boosting the local economy by enabling business growth, job creation and training opportunities. 

Two of the developments will be supporting the fast-growing creative sector – already of huge importance to the economy of Cornwall.    

  • The Penzance Creative Cluster will be a new 1,500m2 facility at Causewayhead which will provide up to 30 modern studios and workspaces for creative enterprises.   

  • At Liskeard Cattle Market, the new workspace development is part of the larger regeneration programme which will transform the towns old cattle market site, which is partly derelict and under-used since the closure of the livestock market in 2017. 

The third scheme is a 1,800m2 extension to the Hayle Marine Renewables Business Park, building on the success of the first phase which completed in 2015 and has reached full occupancy. 

New workspaces 'enable creation of around 100 jobs'

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Culture, Economy and Planning said: “These new workspaces will bring business and jobs to three areas and this is crucial in terms of the challenges our towns are facing. This package of investment is a key part of our Economic Recovery Plan for Cornwall. 

“The new workspaces will enable the creation of around 100 new jobs in sectors which are fast growing and at the core of Cornwall’s Local Industrial Strategy, ultimately increasing footfall to the town centres and supporting existing local businesses.”  

Delivery of these transformational projects will be supported by an investment of £8.7m being sought from the European Regional Development Fund and £7.7m of match-funding from Cornwall Council, as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.

Cornwall Councillor for Penzance Central Cornelius Olivier said: “This is a positive step to support our creative industries and provide opportunities to make Penzance, and Cornwall in general, less dependent on the visitor economy.  The design and the quality of the build of the Penzance Creative Cluster will make this a welcome development for our town.” 

Sally Hawken, Cornwall Councillor for Liskeard East and Chair of the Liskeard Cattle Market Working Group said: “The timetable for the demolition of the old livestock market is now underway, supported by funding from the Government’s Growth Deal Fund.  This next stage in the transformation of this important Liskeard town centre site is a boost for our local community and our economy.”

John Pollard Cornwall Councillor for Hayle North said: “The Hayle Marine Renewables Business Park was the first investment on the newly remodelled North Quay and set the benchmark for the major developments that have followed. Its success as a focus for development and employment in this area will continue with the extension and I thank the officers of Cornwall Council who have initiated and led this major boost for the town.” 

Each workspace will be built to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard and will minimise carbon emissions during both construction and operation. 

Completion of the three new workspace schemes is expected in Summer 2022 and once operational, they are projected to add more than £3.7m annually to Cornwall’s economy. 

Where are the contracts advertised?

View the contract on GOV.UK

View the contract on Tenders Electronic Daily

 

 

 

 

Categories: Cornwall

‘You’re not alone’ – Cornwall Council’s Blue Monday message to anyone struggling with their mental health

12 hours 53 min ago

Support is available for anyone experiencing mental health difficulties on Blue Monday – or any other time of the year. 

This is the message from Cornwall Council’s Public Health team and its NHS partners who are reminding residents that they do not have to deal with their issues alone. 

It comes on the third Monday in January (January 18 2021), said to be the saddest day of the year due to a combination of bad weather, long nights and the post-Christmas comedown.  

With the nation in lockdown, this year’s Blue Monday could be an especially low point for many people. 

Statistics suggest that the number of people experiencing possible anxiety and/or depression in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has roughly doubled since the pandemic began.  

Concerns focused on finances, the health of family members, fears around catching the virus, isolation and loneliness, and uncertainty about the future.  

In response, Cornwall Council and its partners across the health and social care system have pulled together a range of materials including guides, web links, phone apps, z-cards for wallets and crucial information and contact details for anyone who finds themself in crisis.  

Many can be found on our webpages and there is a list of other links below.  

Support is being offered virtually as well as face-to-face (when restrictions allow), with targeted work going on in high-risk groups and communities. Initiatives include social prescribing at GP practices, a mobile crisis lorry run by charity Valued Lives, and expansion of debt management and mental health advice and support via Citizens Advice Cornwall and the Pentreath mental health charity, under the Mhend project. 

More on Mhend (Mental Health Employment Needs and Debt advice), which is aimed at helping the most vulnerable communities, can be found on the Pentreath website and on our media releases area. 

Dr Richard Sharpe, public health advanced practitioner at Cornwall Council specialising in mental health, said:  

“It is crucial that people know help and support are available if they find themselves struggling with their mental health. 

“Feedback from across our communities suggests people are feeling more anxious but may not be coming forward for help and support with their wellbeing. There is also evidence that some people who are already known to mental health services are attending with more severe symptoms which are requiring more intensive support.  

“I would urge people to follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing, listed below, and generally to take time to relax, eat well, stay hydrated, and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle that includes good quality regular sleep patterns. We have also provided a number of links below if you need more specific help and support with your mental wellbeing.” 

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are:  

  1. Connect – Lockdown or self-isolation doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch with friends and loved-ones through social media, email, facetime/video calling or a good old-fashioned phone call.   

  1. Be active – Staying active is vital for your physical and mental health, and lockdown doesn’t mean this is off limits. Check out the Healthy Cornwall website for ideas.  

  1. Keep learning – Trying a new hobby or learning something new is a great way to keep the mind active so why not learn a musical instrument, try your hand at photography or become a crossword expert?  

  1. Give - Supporting vulnerable people and/or volunteering can help you make new friends as well as make a huge difference in your community. For more information visit the Volunteer Cornwall website.  

  1. Take notice – Try to be mindful of your environment and make the time to get as much sunlight, fresh air and nature as you can, while still sticking to the rules.  

  

Cllr Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, said:  

“It’s OK to not be OK, and no one has to face things alone – this is our message to people. 

“Being worried in these incredibly difficult times is completely understandable and being in lockdown for the third time means it is more likely people will experience feelings such as anxiety, loneliness and being overwhelmed.   

“But we want everyone to know that help and support is there so please take the time to check out what’s available. This could help you improve your own mental wellbeing as well as the mental health of other people in your community.”  

Tim Francis, head of joint strategic commissioning for mental health and learning disability at NHS Kernow, said:  

“We are reaching out to even more people with targeted schemes. This includes people in our farming and fishing communities as well as those in our more rural towns and villages.  

“Providers from – statutory, third and voluntary sectors are collaborating to tackle the impact of the pandemic to make sure people can access the support they need.”   

Dr Yonette Hassell, clinical service and strategy lead for Outlook South West services, which are part of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:  

“At Outlook South West we are aware that many in our community are experiencing worry and low mood for the first time as their day to day lives have changed in light of the covid-19 pandemic.  

“The guided self-help and courses that we offer at Outlook South West provide strategies to help you get your life back on track. Working with our clinicians you can learn to manage your worry and low mood.” 

 

Further information for anyone struggling with their mental health:  

  • 24/7 NHS mental health response line for support and advice: Call free on 0800 038 5300, any time day or night if you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health. The team behind our 24/7 open access telephone response line will listen to you and determine how best to help.  

  • A range of mental wellbeing guides are available on our mental health webpages. They cover everything from childhood through to older age, pregnancy to suicidal thoughts. 

  • Outlook South West, which is part of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has a range of talking therapy services available to people aged 16 and above in Cornwall who experience mild to moderate worry, anxiety and low mood. Outlook South West offers courses (Stress Buster, Finding Yourself Again), guided self-help with clinicians via telephone, video and digital platforms (SilverCloud), and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) appointments. You can refer yourself to Outlook South West by calling on 01208 871905 or completing an online referral form.  

  • Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has 12 free online self-help courses that anyone can take from a platform called ‘SilverCloud’. 

  • Charities including Valued Lives, Pentreath, and Mind contain a wealth of information aimed at helping people with mental health difficulties.  

  • For tips, support and advice on all things health-related visit the Healthy Cornwall website.

  • For mental health safety plans and a list of Apps to support you with your mental health, visit our online mental health safty planning information

  • If you are in crisis and need support then contact your GP or NHS Direct on 111. Other support available includes:  

  • Valued Lives – 01209 901438  

  • Samaritans – 116 123  

  • SANE – 0845 767800  

  • Papyrus – for young adults – 0800 0684141  

  • CALM – for men – 0800 585858  

  • Childline – for under 19s – 0800 1111  

  • Community Mental Health Team – 0845 2077711 

  • Covid-19: Psychological First Aid: A free online training course aimed at frontline or essential workers and volunteers providing support to others.  It explores the psychological impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and what you can do to help other people cope. Access the course for free on the FutureLearn website. 

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall welcomes Government G7 leaders conference announcement

Sat, 01/16/2021 - 20:17

Organisations across Cornwall have welcomed the news that the Duchy is to host the international G7 leaders’ summit in June and pledge an event that will leave a lasting social and economic legacy to benefit all of Cornwall’s residents. 

The major three-day international event will see leaders from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US, as well as invited leaders from Australia, India, and South Korea attend.

The event will host world leaders at Carbis Bay, with neighbouring St Ives and other sites in Cornwall, such as Falmouth, hosting international delegates and media – with organisers determined to make this an event for all residents in Cornwall to experience and share.

Julian German, Leader of Cornwall Council, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best of Cornwall and the UK on the world stage, and to build our strength and prosperity at home.

“For those reasons we are determined that this event delivers a lasting legacy for our residents, inspires our young people and shows how we can play our part in bringing the world together after the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic – and bringing together all parts of the UK together, leaving no-one and nowhere behind.

“We want a lasting legacy that maximises inward investment, translating our moment on the global stage into trade. A legacy that helps Cornwall bounce forward and make its full contribution to the country’s ambitions in areas like space and satellite, floating offshore wind and other sources of clean energy, and globally significant geo-resources including lithium to power our future.”

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer QPM, of Devon & Cornwall Police, said: “I am delighted that Cornwall will be hosting this landmark event for the United Kingdom in an area that is not only one of the safest in the country, but also combines breath-taking scenery and innovative businesses with exceptional local hospitality.

“The event will be a real boost for our communities and especially our young people. It provides an opportunity for all my colleagues within Devon and Cornwall Police to demonstrate our operational excellence and world class policing skills on a global stage.

“We are excited to be playing our part working with and supporting our partners to deliver a safe and secure G7 summit. We have been preparing for this event for several months, including speaking with colleagues who have managed similar events, so we can ensure that we continue to effectively serve our local communities in the run up to, during and after the event.”

Visit Cornwall estimates a total economic impact of the Summit for the County of £50m, including both the immediate benefits of the Summit and related events, and projected tourism growth over the next five years.

Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall said: “Cornwall has been voted the best holiday region in the UK for 10 out of the last 11 years in the British Travel Award but is little known to many countries around the world.

“The G7 Leaders’ summit will shine a spotlight on our very special place and the worldwide exposure is promotion we could never buy.

“It will showcase the beauty of Cornwall and provide an opportunity to highlight our heritage, culture and the connections to each country, which will help drive increased numbers of international visitors to Cornwall over the next decade.”

Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Cornwall’s economy is quickly evolving into one of huge significance to the challenges of the time most notably in the delivery of clean energy from our unique geology and location.

“Underpinned by our digital connectivity and creative expertise our traditional industries are developing their offer to deliver more to their customers whilst supporting the recovery of our climate and ecology.

“We welcome the opportunity to showcasing the new Cornwall to visitors from around the World and sharing our excitement for the changes that are now happening around us.”

Peter Andrew MBE, Chair of Corserv Group, said: “The Corserv Group is delighted to have been asked to support the logistical arrangements to welcome the G7 Summit to Cornwall – a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of our beautiful Duchy.

"Cormac Highways and Environment and Cornwall Airport Newquay continue to work closely with the organising authorities to ensure that the event runs smoothly in June. The Cornwall Development Company will be working hard with partners over this period to secure a lasting legacy in terms of inward investment.

"Over the coming months many of our staff will become involved in the logistical arrangements and we are committed to ensure that the event is a great success for Cornwall and see it shine on the world stage.”

Published on January 16, 2021

Categories: Cornwall

Council acts fast to pay vital Covid business support grants and open new discretionary grant scheme

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 18:20

Cornwall Council is already providing vital grant support to businesses affected by the tier restrictions and the latest national lockdown which came into force on January 5, 2021. 

We’ve already paid grants to pubs that don’t sell food and rely on just drink sales and we’ve also been able to pay around 7,500 businesses who were closed when Cornwall was placed in Tier 3 (31 December – 04 January). 

Another 11,500 businesses forced to close in the latest lockdown from 05 January 2021 will receive payments next week. These are businesses  who  received Local Restriction Support Grants in November and will now automatically be paid the latest Local Restriction Support Grants and one off Closed Business Lockdown Payments (one off grants of £4,000, £6,000 and £9,000).   

New discretionary grant scheme 

The Council yesterday received confirmation of funding from Government for new discretionary grants.  The Additional Restrictions Grant scheme will see up to £11.5 million available for businesses in Cornwall who are not eligible for other forms of financial support but have been forced to close or are severely impacted during the third coronavirus lockdown from 05 January 2021. 

Our policy for this Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme and the application form on who will be eligible is being put in place and the application form and full details of the policy will be available on the Council’s website www.cornwall.gov.uk/BusinessSupportGrant on Wednesday 20 January 2021.  

Cornwall Council cabinet member for the economy Tim Dwelly said:  “As before our priority is to help businesses who have not been able to claim other grants or funds. This includes those who are  excluded from the self-employed income support scheme.This could be due to them being set-up as a limited company and/or being a new business.”  

Applications will also be encouraged from a range of businesses such as food and drink producers and distributors, who, while not forced to close, have been severely affected because they supply goods and services to the hospitality, retail and leisure sector which are closed. 

Cornwall Council also seeks to support businesses in the events sector such as caterers or event venues and other businesses that supply goods or services to parts of the economy that have been shut down.   

Businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000 who did not apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant in November may also be eligible to apply this time around. 

Tim adds: “We’re particularly pleased we were able to make grants of £25,000 to larger pubs, hotels and hospitality in the summer.  This new discretionary grant will remain available for others in a similar situation who have not yet had a chance to apply." 

"These places employ many people and buy goods and services from many businesses in Cornwall and we want to help them survive this crisis” 

The other instances of where businesses will need to apply (apart from the ARG scheme) are 

  • Businesses which pay business rates, have been forced to close, but did not apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grants in November 2020, will need to apply for this latest round of Local Restrictions Support Grants and the one off Closed Business Lockdown Payment (one off grants £4k-£9K) 

  • Business rated businesses which were not required to close, but have been severely impacted by the change in tier restrictions on December 26 when Cornwall entered Tier 2 and December 31 when Cornwall entered Tier 3 (December 26 to December 30 and December 31 to January 4).  

The application forms for these grants will be posted on the website as soon as possible. 

www.cornwall.gov.uk/BusinessSupportGrant  

 

Story posted January 15 2021

 

Categories: Cornwall

Parking charges suspended in all Council car parks during lockdown

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 15:14

Cornwall Council will suspend parking charges in all of its car parks from Saturday (January 16 2021) until the end of the current national lockdown, as part of efforts to further limit the spread of coronavirus and to support residents. 

The move will mean that some civil enforcement officers and back room staff, due to a reduced service, can be redeployed to support the Council’s Covid-19 response, as well as help residents who rely on on-street parking at home, or live in resident only parking zone areas.   

As many people return to home working arrangements in response to the latest national lockdown, there has been an increase in the number of vehicles parked on residential roads and residents unable to find a parking space near their homes. They will now have the option to park for free in a Council car park.   

Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “We are all being asked to stay at home where possible and we want to lead by example, by doing all we can to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.  

“The daily operation of our 133 charging car parks requires staff to carry out regular patrols and security officers to collect money from the machines. Given the current lockdown, and the Council’s key role in responding to the pandemic locally, we have a duty to keep our staff safe, as well as ensure all efforts are focussed on dealing with the response - and subsequent recovery - from Covid-19.”     

 

Story posted 15 January 2021

Categories: Cornwall

Cornish children to be given free school meals during half term

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 13:34

Cornwall Council will provide free school meals over the February half term after the Department for Education told schools yesterday (14th January) they would not be providing funding.

The council will use money from the COVID Winter Grant Scheme to feed over 15,000 young people, who are currently accessing the scheme in Cornwall.

Schools will be provided with funding of up to £15 per eligible child to support their local families.

Cabinet member for Children, Public Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Sally Hawken said: “The important contribution a healthy, nutritious school lunch makes towards children’s wider wellbeing cannot be underestimated.

“Like the rest of the country, the effect of the coronavirus pandemic in Cornwall is profound. Many families have seen their financial circumstances negatively impacted by lockdown, including a significant number working in Cornwall’s tourist and leisure industry.”

One of Cornwall Council’s key strategic priorities is to have fewer children living in poverty, and our plans aim to address many of the adverse outcomes associated with child poverty; including strengthening families and communities and raising the aspiration and achievement of children and young people.

Since 2018 Cornwall Council has a run a programme called filling the holiday gap, which provided small grants to community groups and volunteer organisations to provide activities and food for vulnerable young people. During the pandemic the scheme was used to provide vouchers to those that missed the deadline for the government vouchers.

Councillor Hawken continued: “There was an all-party parliamentary report in 2017 that looked at the impact of the summer holidays, where children couldn’t access school meal provision. It found

found that children were returning to school in a worse educational, health and developmental state than that in which they had left in the summer. 

“With that in mind, we were concerned about the impact of the pandemic on those families already struggling here in Cornwall.”

The COVID Winter Grant Scheme, which is worth £1.8 million, has been given to the council to support households across Cornwall.  The application process and funding criteria will be announced in the coming days. 

For more information on the scheme or to register for free school meals please visit our website

Categories: Cornwall

New support services for young people in Cornwall

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 11:23

Support services for young people in Cornwall are changing, with an exciting new partnership between Cornwall Council and Action for Children.

The leading UK charity, Action for Children, already provides services in Cornwall, including those for young carers, young adult carers and children with learning disabilities.

Action for Children has won the ‘Support Services for Young People Contract’ to provide support for young people aged 11-19 and up to 25 with SEND across the Duchy.

The new service has been developed from what children and young people have told us, taking into account the views of parents/carers and through dialogue with representatives of young people’s organisations.  This service will help young people by:

  • Providing young people with the skills needed to learn about themselves and their strengths and assets, alongside learning about others and society.
  • Engaging young people in positive activities and networks.
  • Helping young people to understand their rights and develop their own voice, influence and place in society.
  • Providing opportunities for young people to acquire and develop practical and technical skills

The service will also support the development of the Youth Parliament in Cornwall. 

Cabinet member for children, wellbeing and public health, Sally Hawken, said: “We are passionate about providing young people with the best start in life and I am pleased we are able to expand our partnership working with Action for Children.    

“Young people need to have a say in how services are shaped and delivered; this is something that we have a shared passion for, and I look forward to working with the charity to develop and shape services over the coming months.”   

Action for Children is partnering with The Dreadnought Centre, Silver Cloud and Exeter University to deliver the services for young people.   

Operational director for children’s services at Action for Children in the South West, Rob Wyatt, said: “We’re delighted to be delivering the new service on behalf of Cornwall Council after many years working closely together to deliver vital services to children and young people across the county. 

As we continue to work through this pandemic, we remain committed to the delivery of our high-quality support to families who need our help now more than ever.” 

 

Categories: Cornwall

New outreach service offers combined mental health support and practical advice to most vulnerable communities

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 09:53

A new project has been launched in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to provide both mental health support and practical advice on money, jobs and housing to the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Funded by Cornwall Council, it will see experts from Citizens Advice Cornwall and the Pentreath mental health charity join forces to provide an outreach service.

Named Mhend (Mental Health Employment Needs and Debt advice), it will initially run as a 12-month pilot set up to respond to people’s immediate needs.

The project is designed to reach those residents who are likely to have been most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

These include people on low incomes accessing high risk loans, private renters, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) families, farming and fishing communities, and those with health conditions and disabilities.

Local surveys show that job insecurity and other concerns related to the pandemic have led to a probable two-fold increased risk of suffering from anxiety and depression (Source: Healthwatch 2020).

It is also thought that many people suffering with mental health issues - often for the first time in their lives - are not accessing the help and support they need.

The Mhend programme will see three teams of two advisors spread across Cornwall with support offered in several ways from face-to-face (when restrictions allow) or telephone consultations to video calls and web chats.

Dr Richard Sharpe, public health advanced practitioner at Cornwall Council specialising in mental health, said: “The pandemic has had a huge impact on people’s mental health as they are understandably worried about their finances, the health of their family and friends and job stability. As with many things, this has taken a particularly severe toll on those who are already struggling or vulnerable.

“The Mhend project aims to provide a single point of contact for anyone who finds themselves struggling with their mental health and who also needs good, clear advice about what their options are and the support that is available to them. The experts at Citizens Advice and Pentreath are in the perfect position to do that.

“As an example, individuals may be offered a plan for their debt management as well as supporting their mental health with wellbeing activities and signposting to services that can help them move forward in their recovery.” 

The 2020 Cornwall Council survey shows that a significant proportion of participants had experienced problems with their employment (including furlough, reduced hours and business closures) and changes to care and support services, and highlighted particularly vulnerable groups. 

For example, 10 per cent of BAME residents said they had been made redundant, exacerbating heightened anxieties associated with being at greater risk of catching Covid-19. 

The recent Cornwall Council Insights report highlighted a doubling in the number of people on Universal Credit, from 23,000 in January 2020 to 49,000 people in October 2020. 

Cllr Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, said: “There is evidence that the pandemic is having a significant impact on people’s mental wellbeing. This will have both a short and long-lasting effect on mental health.

“Having employment, as well as somewhere warm and safe to live, are some of the key pillars to protecting and maintaining good mental health. The Mhend project is a great way of combining mental health support with advice on the very issues that are likely to cause people to struggle with their mental wellbeing.”

Gill Pipkin, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Cornwall, said: "It's really important that everyone has access to good quality advice and information to help them overcome their challenges in life. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Pentreath on this project, which will help the most vulnerable members of the community at this most difficult time."

People can be referred to Mhend, or can also refer themselves by contacting Pentreath on 01726 862727 or by completing the referral form available on the Pentreath website.    

Categories: Cornwall

‘Prevention is better than cure’ says Council as latest statistics reveal more than 22,500 potholes repaired in 2020

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 09:41

Cornwall Council has called for better funding for Cornwall’s roads in order to put an end to the blight of potholes, after the latest figures show that highways crews repaired around 62 a day in 2020.   

Council investment will see an extra £20m spent on our roads by the end of this year – so far this funding has seen more than 500 roads resurfaced, improving safety and preventing an estimated 2,400 potholes from forming in the first place.     

With National Pothole Day (January 15 2021) putting the focus on the quality and safety of the country’s highway network, Cornwall Council hopes it will also highlight the need for better funding at national level. There is currently a £270m backlog in road maintenance and repairs on Cornwall’s 7,300km highway network.  

'More investment needed to prevent potholes in the first place'

Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “We all rely on our highway network and road maintenance is a topic that regularly features in our residents’ surveys.    

“Making the best use of our resources and targeting funding to where it is most needed has meant Cornwall’s main A and B roads continue to rank among the top 25% in the country.    

“But more investment is needed – particularly on minor roads in towns and on our rural network – to carry out work to prevent potholes forming in the first place.”  

Crews repair 249 potholes between Christmas and New Year

Heavy rainfall at the end of 2020 saw crews deal with more than 300 reports of potholes and flooding across Cornwall during the 11 days between Christmas Eve and January 3.   

Teams from Cormac responded swiftly to reports of damaged roads, repairing 249 potholes and damaged road surfaces, as well as clearing debris from gullies and drains to alleviate flooding which affected many main routes connecting communities.   

Report a highway defect and track the progress of the action we’re taking

Categories: Cornwall

Penzance to receive £10.4 million to help revitalise the town

Thu, 01/14/2021 - 14:12

Penzance is to benefit from a £10.4 million investment following a successful Cornwall Council bid to the Government’s Future High Street Fund. 

The Council led bid, supported by local stakeholders, was successful due to the innovative mix of regeneration opportunities brought forward to tackle the challenges that face the town and its high street, even before the effects of the coronavirus lockdowns. 

The funding will help deliver plans to bring a wide range of transformational improvements to the town’s high street to benefit residents and businesses, including housing, workspace and the regeneration of vacant high-street properties.   

Plans will build on other investment including the Council’s commitment to build a new Creative Industries Hub in the heart of the town.   

Cornwall Council cabinet member for economy Tim Dwelly said: “We will continue to work together to make the most of this investment into Penzance to benefit residents and businesses.  This successful bid is the result of hard work and support from partners and stakeholders, the Penzance Place Shaping Board and Regeneration Group, businesses and community organisations.” 

“Penzance has a lot to offer residents and visitors but as with many towns, COVID has accelerated long term trends, such as online shopping, and this has contributed to a decline in the vitality of the high street.”  

“This funding gives us the opportunity for the community, businesses and organisations to come together to deliver on projects that will pave the way for a brighter future where business and community meet, jobs are created, and businesses grow.” 

Councillor Jim McKenna, Chair of the Penzance Future High Streets Panel, welcomed the news saying: 

“Subject to final confirmation, this funding is great news for Penzance and a reflection of the determination and commitment given by many people in our town to make it happen. Particular thanks to the Cornwall Council officers who have worked so hard on the application process, together with the BID and Chamber of Commerce and others. The fact that Penzance is the only town in Cornwall to receive Town Deal funding is evidence not only of the need we have to reinvigorate our high street 'post-Covid' but also the fact that our collective, collaborative approach has paid off.” 

Cornelius Olivier, Cornwall Councillor for Penzance Central said: “I am very pleased that our successful bid will be helping to meet housing need in the town.   I also strongly support the objective of diversifying the local economy in order to make us less reliant on seasonal visitors.”  

Tim added: “We will continue to work with all towns in Cornwall to explore other opportunities that will help them deliver their vision”.  

The Council will now work with partners, stakeholders and businesses in Penzance to accelerate projects supported by this funding. 

 

Story posted 14 January 2021

Categories: Cornwall

Future of parks and tennis courts safeguarded for generations to come

Thu, 01/14/2021 - 13:22

The future of four parks and a set of tennis courts is secured after the sites were devolved to the local town council.

Cornwall Council has transferred ownership of Cambridge Field, Chestnut Close play area, Borough Farm play area, Thanckes Park play area and the tennis courts in Thanckes Park to Torpoint Town Council. The move ensures that decisions regarding the future of these assets are led by the local community.

The town council will invest in upgrading these facilities as a local priority and is well placed to undertake the custodianship of the sites for residents.

Councillor Mrs Chris Goodman,Mayor of Torpoint, said: “For several years it has been an aspiration of the town council, on behalf of the community, to devolve the maintenance and upkeep of the four play parks and tennis courts from Cornwall Council, enabling the council to make improvements at all the locations. 

“It is expected that the aspirations for the parks and tennis courts will suit the residents’ needs for future generations. The town council is looking forward to working with established groups and other community members who may wish to be involved in developing the parks and tennis courts.”

Councillor Gary Davis, Cornwall Councillor for Torpoint East who also sits on the town council, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the transition has taken place. It has taken a lot of planning and it is good that both councils continue to work closely together to improve the outlook of the town.

“We have ambitious plans to manage and maintain the parks to a high standard as expected by our community, making them more appealing to a wider age range for them to be great spaces where our families can meet and play. Securing a Cornwall Council devolution capital grant as part of the transfer will allow improvements to commence immediately as we look forward to using them through the coming season.”

Like all local authorities throughout the UK, Cornwall Council has had some tough decisions to make when faced with cuts in funding from central Government.

Rather than close parks and public spaces, the Council has worked with town and parish councils and community groups throughout Cornwall to transfer ownership of much-loved facilities to local communities.

Councillor Adam Paynter, deputy leader at Cornwall Council, said: “We are delighted that Torpoint Town Council has agreed to take over these popular parks and sports facilities.

“Cornwall Council is committed to giving local communities more say over their local services. In other towns where facilities have already been transferred the local services are not only protected but have also been updated and improved.

“The transition of the parks and tennis courts to Torpoint Town Council will enable local residents to have more say over how these parks and tennis courts are managed and will help protect these much-loved community assets for generations to come.”

Story created on 14 January 2021

Categories: Cornwall

Shielding support for clinically extremely vulnerable residents

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 11:53

Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow and Volunteer Cornwall are reminding clinically extremely vulnerable residents that support is available with food shopping, medical prescriptions and mental health throughout the current lockdown.

The government is writing to everyone who has a health condition which makes them clinically extremely vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 and who may have been shielding previously to stay at home as much as possible during this period of restrictions across England, except to go outdoors to exercise or to attend health appointments.   

They have been asked to work from home if possible and if they cannot work from home, they should not attend work. They may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme during the lockdown.  

Those in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are also asked to avoid all non-essential travel – they should continue to travel to hospital and GP appointments unless told otherwise by their doctor. They are strongly advised not to go to any shops or to pharmacies.  

Cornwall Council is working with partners in the health and voluntary sector to continue to support clinically extremely vulnerable residents in accessing food, essential supplies and wellbeing advice during this lockdown.    

Those in this group are eligible for free medicines delivery from community pharmacies during this period if friends and family are not able to collect prescriptions or medicines on their behalf. Prescriptions should continue to be ordered from the GP as normal, either electronically or via telephone.  

Supermarkets are continuing to provide priority delivery slots to vulnerable individuals and if residents need help getting online, for example to register for an online supermarket account, they can ring Cornwall Council’s support line for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable on 0300 1233334 or contact Volunteer Cornwall.   

Volunteer Cornwall can also help collect and deliver food shopping and medical prescriptions, as well as provide befriending support and volunteers who can help with other low level needs.    

Emergency food support is available at foodbanks throughout Cornwall. An interactive Help with Food map has been created in partnership with community organisations and is online at Let’s Talk Cornwall https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/help-with-food

Health services remain available and residents with a complex need or medical question should contact their GP or health consultant.   

Anyone who may be worried about their own or someone else's mental health can contact 0800 038 5300 for help and support.   

Rob Rotchell, Cornwall’s cabinet member for adults, said: “Together with NHS Kernow and Volunteer Cornwall we are continuing to support our vulnerable adults who have had their lives affected so seriously by the pandemic.  

“Please do get in touch with us if you need help with food, prescriptions or if you are feeling anxious and needing mental health support, and we will endeavour to help.”  

Dr Iain Chorlton, GP and chairman of NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is really important that anyone who is shielding because they are clinically vulnerable makes full use of the support available.

“We all want to get back to a sense of normality and keep our loved ones, friends and patients protected in our ongoing efforts to overcome the pandemic which is why it is so important that everyone follows the Government guidance to keep us all safe and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable receive the support that they need.”

Emma Rowse, Chair of Volunteer Cornwall, said: “Once again, the Cornish community has shown great generosity of spirit and stands ready to support one another during this new lockdown. We have lots of volunteers and community groups on standby to help anyone who needs it, please reach out if you are struggling.” 

The clinically extremely vulnerable group includes those with reduced immune systems, for example due to organ transplants, or those with specific cancers or severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis. The group list is updated regularly as patients’ conditions or the scientific evidence changes, so the majority will have received a letter previously from the NHS or their GP advising them of their inclusion.  

Here is the updated guidance for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.  

For more information or advice contact Cornwall Council on covid19@cornwall.gov.uk or ring 0300 1234 334.  

You can also contact Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or email requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk  

Story posted on January 13, 2020

 

Categories: Cornwall

Number of children in Cornish schools is higher than the previous lockdown

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 16:47

Public health leaders in Cornwall are urging parents to think carefully about whether they need to send their children in to school.

Figures from the department for education show that almost four times the number of children are currently in school compared to the first lockdown in March last year.

A Department for Education (DfE) survey showed that a total of 8,457 pupils attended schools in Cornwall yesterday (January 11th) - equivalent to around 13.4% of pupils from surveyed schools.  In comparison the average total attendance in April was 1,200, or about 1.6%.

Cabinet Member for Children and Public Health, Sally Hawken, said: “I am extremely proud of our schools and how they have responded to the pandemic, juggling home learning and their in-school provision.

“The whole purpose of a lockdown is to slow down community spread of the virus, which is difficult to do when you have large numbers of children still attending schools.

“If your circumstances allow it, I ask that anyone deemed a critical worker negotiate what works for you with the school so that your children aren't in every day.

“And if your children have difficulties learning from home, talk to your school so they can help resolve those issues.”

Guidance issued at the start of this national lockdown increased the number of people who qualified as ‘critical workers’, which has meant a growth in demand for places.

Councillor Hawken added: “Having children in school is good from a safeguarding point of view but given how much pressure they’re already under we can’t ask too much of them.

“I know home learning is not easy and I sympathise with every parent, but we are also working with schools to be realistic in their expectations of the level and kind of work.

“The number of confirmed cases of COVID is increasing in Cornwall and we all need to work together to slow that spread.”

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council seeks reassurance over free school meal provision

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 16:03

Cornwall Council has contacted the companies that are providing food boxes for children who are eligible for free school meals, to seek urgent reassurance about the quality and value of the food after pictures were shared online of ‘meagre food parcels’ being given to families.

We have also asked schools to let us know if they have any concerns about the quality of provision from their caterers so that if necessary, we can follow up.

Cabinet Member for Children and Public Health, Sally Hawken said: “The government guidance is promoting the use of food parcels, but these must be of a good standard if they are going to support our families effectively.”

The guidance from the Department for Education states:

  • Schools need to provide meal options for all children in school, which must be free for UIFSM and benefits-related FSM pupils, and must also provide meals for benefits-related FSM pupils who are not in school.
  • For pupils not in school, there is an expectation that the preferred option should be food parcels and that other options such as vouchers should only be considered where food parcels cannot be provided.
  • Where food parcels are being provided, we encourage schools to monitor the content of boxes with consideration to the guidance above.
  • Schools should consider the particular circumstances of their school and their families in deciding what approach to take in providing for meals for children not in school. For example, the benefits of providing a balanced and nutritious food parcel and potential opportunities for welfare contact may need to be weighed against the practicalities for parents of collecting food parcels, including associated fuel costs / journeys of collecting food parcels.
  • The DfE will again be opening up a national voucher scheme through an online portal as soon as possible.

To help schools cover the cost of food parcels additional funding will be made available; up to £3.50 per eligible pupil, per week, where food parcels are being provided and up to £15 per eligible pupil, per week, where vouchers for local shops or supermarkets are being provided.

Councillor Hawken added: “I have been contacted by worried parents, including one mum who shared with me an image of a food parcel she had received. It is not acceptable for less well off families to be short changed in this way.

“I understand that these food parcels were delivered at short notice after the decision to close schools, but we also need to ensure what is being provided is nutritious, balanced and good value for money.

“I welcome the government’s pledge to look into this matter.”

Categories: Cornwall

Soaring Covid-19 cases in Newquay are now comparable to areas of London

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 14:15

People in Newquay are being asked to take extra care as figures reveal Covid-19 case numbers in the area are comparable with some areas of London. 

The latest statistics are available on the government’s interactive map here.

On Monday (January 11) they showed the seven-day rate in Newquay West to be 878 cases per 100,000 people whereas last week the number tipped over 1,000. Many London boroughs are experiencing similar rates. 

Case numbers have also been particularly high in Truro, Penzance, Bodmin, Falmouth and Saltash in recent weeks. 

 

Cllr Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, said: “Cases in Newquay have sky-rocketed recently with the virus spreading like wildfire between households in the town.

"It cannot be understated how serious this situation is and everyone needs to do everything they can to stop more people being infected and our health services becoming overwhelmed. 

“It is vital to remember the basic guidance – wash your hands regularly, use a face covering when physical distancing is not possible and try to keep your distance from those not in your household.    

“Following these simple steps could make a significant difference in reducing the transmission of Covid-19 and help protect you and your friends, colleagues and family from the virus.”    

Rachel Wigglesworth, Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “The number of cases in Newquay in particular is of huge concern and we are urging people to follow the rules and be mindful of how easily the virus can be spread.    

“If you have any of the main Covid-19 symptoms – a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of taste or smell, you must self-isolate and your household must continue to self-isolate while waiting for a test. You also must continue to isolate until you get your test results.    

“Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate, along with all members of their household, whether they have symptoms or not.”   

For more information on the rules and guidance visit our dedicated web pages.

If anyone has any concerns about whether a business is complying with regulations they should email businesscompliance@cornwall.gov.uk 

Categories: Cornwall

‘Follow the rules or there could be tragic consequences’ - Newquay carer’s no-nonsense message after contracting Covid-19

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 13:18

A carer from Newquay who contracted Covid-19 is urging people to follow the rules to stop the virus spiralling out of control in Cornwall. 

Mum-of-two Francesca Barnecutt, 27, said the actions of those who ignore the guidance could have a devastating impact on vulnerable or elderly people. 

Her warning comes as coronavirus numbers continue to soar across Cornwall, with the rate rocketing from around 18 per 100,000 at the start of December to around 340 per 100,000 this week. 

Francesca said she wanted to share her experience of Covid-19 to help people understand the impact it can have on people of all ages. 

“If you want a clear conscience then stick to the rules,” she said. “If you don’t, you’ll end up spreading it to loved ones and strangers and that could have tragic consequences. Personally, I couldn’t live with that.” 

Francesca has been working as a home carer for just over three months and describes it as the most rewarding job she has ever had. 

She is unsure how she contracted the virus but with numbers in Newquay higher than most areas of Cornwall she could have picked it up anywhere. 

She had a test at the Regional Testing Site in Truro on December 28 after developing mild symptoms and calling the national testing service on 119. 

“Going to get my test I felt quite intimidated and frightened,” said Francesca, who has two daughters - Amelia, aged four, and Luna, aged 10 months - with husband Terry. “Seeing all the cars lined up was like an apocalyptic movie or something.  

“The staff there were very friendly and clear though and made it really easy. They were really informative and cheerful too.” 

The next morning at around 10.30am she was notified of her positive result. 

“The moment I found out I put my shoes on and went out to our caravan and stayed there for 10 days,” she said. “The caravan was a godsend really. I had a bed, sofa, TV, toilet, shower, and everything I needed. 

“When I first came in, I was struggling and felt very alone. I didn’t know what to do with myself. But then I just decided to make the most of it. Terry could still bring the kids to the window so I could speak to them and have a laugh. I also had time to speak to friends and family on video calls, which was lovely.” 

She added: “Amelia has been amazing. She knows all about social distancing and self-isolation and she would come out to see me and say through the window ‘have you still got the germ mummy?’ She was counting down the days until I could come out and give her a big hug.” 

Francesca said her experience of the virus wasn’t as bad as some, but the aches, exhaustion, cough and loss of taste and smell had all taken their toll. 

The impact of diagnosis and self-isolation on people’s mental health should also never be underestimated, she said. 

“I suffer with anxiety so when I first found out it was panic stations,” she said. “I was sure I was going to die or pass it on to my husband. It was a worrying time. Thankfully he had a test which was negative, so I felt a lot better after that. 

“This has all put a lot of pressure on him though as he’s had to look after the kids himself, which has been really tough.” 

Francesca was contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service but fortunately had not been out much so there were very few contacts for them to chase up. 

“That’s why it’s so important not to flout the rules,” she said. “I’m young and relatively fit and healthy, but I could easily have passed it on to an 85-year-old who could have ended up on a ventilator. 

“I was also incredibly careful which just goes to show how easily Covid can catch you out. Overall, my message is simple: stick to the rules, play your part in this and don’t be selfish! If you won’t do it for yourself then do it for your family and children.” 

Cllr Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, said: “I’d like to thank Francesca for sharing her story and her message, which is hugely important as our case number continue to rise at an alarming rate.  

“The virus has been spreading from home to home far too easily and we need to stop it in its tracks. Throughout lockdown the rules are simple: stay at home and only go out if it is essential. 

“Having a caravan made it much easier for Francesca to self-isolate but everyone must do the following if they develop Covid symptoms or test positive.” 

Measures that households should adopt if someone has to self-isolate include: 

  • Try to stay at least two metres (three steps) away from the other people in your home. 
  • Wash your hands as often as possible with soap and water and encourage the rest of your family/ household to do the same. 
  • Encourage everyone to avoid touching their face as much as possible. 
  • Clean or disinfect all surfaces, door handles, phones, keyboards etc as often as you can. 
  • If you have several bathrooms, choose one for the person with symptoms to use, and don’t let the rest of the family/ household use it. Bathrooms should always be well-cleaned after each use. 
  • Avoid sharing objects with other people in the household, particularly crockery, cutlery, glasses, cups, towels and bedding. 
  • Keep your spirits up! Chat to friends on the phone or online, read books, play musical instruments, watch movies, play video games, work out and/or have a relaxing bath. 

For more information on the rules and guidance visit our dedicated web pages.

Categories: Cornwall

Allowances on the agenda at first full Cornwall Council meeting of 2021

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 10:50

Changes to councillor’s allowances will be discussed when Cornwall Council holds its first full meeting of 2021 next week.

The Independent Remuneration Panel, which is made up of independent members of the public and does not involve councillors, has been assessing how the change from 123 members down to 87 will affect allowances following May’s planned elections.

The changes, if approved by councillors, would save the authority £432,443.64 each year.

The Independent Remuneration Panel does not consider budgets when recommending allowances, but bases its decisions on evidence, including looking at other local authorities and member surveys.

The basic allowance for members is recommended to be set at £15,596.99 – an increase from the current £14,472.48.

The increase also takes into account the new demands placed on councillors by the pandemic, and reflects extra costs for home broadband and home working.

If the new amount is approved by councillors, it will then be linked to increase by the same rate as the annual staff pay award at the authority for the next four years.

Special responsibility allowances, which are awarded to the council leader and cabinet members, as well as for a range of other commitments, would then be linked to the new basic allowance.

Also on the agenda at next Tuesday’s meeting will be an update on the council’s capital programme, including the setting aside of funds for the proposed Camelford bypas.

The agenda also includes a review of the terms and references for the authority’s standards committee and a look at Port and Harbour charges for 2021-22.

The authority will meet virtually at 10am on Tuesday, January 19.  You can watch the meeting live via a link on the front page of the agenda, which can be found on the council’s website at https://democracy.cornwall.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=584&MId=9571&Ver=4

 

Categories: Cornwall

Pioneering plans for a new renewable power energy centre at Langarth Garden Village are given the go-ahead

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 10:50

The decision of the Council’s Strategic Planning Committee to grant permission for a new renewable power energy centre to provide low-cost green power for residents is a significant milestone for the Cornwall Council-led Langarth Garden Village scheme. 

The new renewable power energy centre, which will play a key role in delivering the Council’s climate change strategy, could ultimately see around 20 megawatts of green energy generated at Langarth as part of the projects developing energy strategy to provide low-cost green power for residents.  

The Energy Centre will provide a central hub for electrical power to the site, bringing together on-site and off-site renewable energy. It will be connected to the grid, giving both security of supply and allowing excess generation to be exported. 

At the core of the Energy Centre is a new primary substation with a capacity of 24 MVA. Provision is also made for battery storage, which will maximise the use of renewable energy on site for the benefits of residents and local businesses. A new dedicated circuit to the main substation at Shortlanesend will also relieve pressure on the local grid.  

Heat pump technology, higher levels of insulation and solar panels will be used to power and heat homes, offices and other buildings at Langarth Garden Village, with electric vehicle charging points provided for every home. Together these measures will deliver net zero carbon homes with low running costs for residents, as well generating an income from the sale of surplus power back to the grid. 

In an addition to the original scheme, the energy centre will also be used to support the development of the new £100m Women and Children’s hospital building, and other planned improvements on the Royal Cornwall hospital site.  

Explaining that without the new infrastructure there had been the potential for a delay to the major building programme underway on the Treliske site, RCHT’s Chief Executive Kate Shields said the additional capacity provided by the Langarth energy centre would help ensure that the Trust’s ambitious plans are delivered on time. 

“We said at the start of the project that we wanted to create a new way of living at Langarth,” said Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and the Economy.   

“This means designing a sustainable new community that is adaptable, resilient and fit for future living. 

“We have worked closely with adjacent landowners and stakeholders in the planning process. By ensuring a greater use of renewable energy created and used on site and increasing capacity to support the future use of electric vehicles, the new energy centre will play a key role in helping Langarth, and the Council, to move away from carbon dependency.  

“The creation of the new energy centre will not just benefit future residents at Langarth, however. 

“I am particularly pleased that the project will support the development of the hospital site, as well as reinforcing the supply of power to Truro, and look forward to seeing these ideas included in other new housing sites across Cornwall.” 

Located next to the park and ride, the centre will include a transformer compound to house the electricity substation together with a bespoke battery storage area which will provide storage for green energy produced on the site for residents.  

Buildings and compounds will be surrounded by a combination of stone gabion walls and planted green walls. In keeping with the project’s green Garden Village ethos, wild flowers and trees will be planted around the site to enhance biodiversity and provide a variety of natural landscape features.   

A new pedestrian footpath will connect the existing quiet lane to the park and ride and there will also be a viewing platform looking north over the energy centre, with descriptive maps of the garden village. Information boards and educational opportunities will be provided to describe the role of the centre and help people understand how future communities will be powered.  

The project team is also investigating the possibility of providing solar panels on car ports on the proposed park and ride extension, as well as on other buildings and offices across the site, and exploring the potential of district heating using geothermal energy as a renewable source of heat. 

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall Council pledges to support residents and businesses through new lockdown

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 10:50

Cornwall Council is urging residents to follow the government guidance following Monday evening’s announcement of a new lockdown in response to rising Covid-19 infection rates.

The announcement follows a dramatic surge in the number of cases across the country in recent weeks.

All residents are being urged to stay at home wherever possible, and those clinically vulnerable people who were asked to shield last spring should do so again.

Cornwall Council had already called for tighter restrictions to be implemented to help protect residents and local health services.

Cllr Julian German, leader of Cornwall Council, said: “We will continue to support residents and businesses as we enter another lockdown.

“This action should have been taken as soon as the surge in case numbers became evident. My hope now is that these steps will prove enough to make a real difference and reduce the spread of the virus.

“We will now assess the details of tonight’s announcement, and make sure we are ready to support to our residents, especially those shielding, and our local businesses in the way we have been since the first lockdown started back last March.”

Categories: Cornwall

Cornwall seeks urgent action from Government amidst rising Covid cases

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 10:50

Cornwall Council is calling on the Government to immediately introduce a national lockdown in the face of rising Covid-19 infection rates, to protect residents and the NHS.

In the week following Christmas, the rate of infection in Cornwall has risen dramatically, with a 91% increase in the number of positive tests in just seven days.

In the last week there were 233.8 cases per 100,000, which is almost ten times higher than the numbers seen a month ago.

Cornwall’s business leaders have supported the call saying that swift action is vital to minimise disruption and protect Cornwall’s economy in the longer term.

Education unions and teaching bodies have also raised concerns about schools reopening and have called for a more delayed approach. 

Senior Government figures have already acknowledged tighter restrictions are inevitable, but no timescale has yet been given for any changes.  A statement is due to be made by the Prime Minister this evening. 

Cornwall has already switched from Tier one to Tier three restrictions over the festive period.

Cllr Julian German, leader of Cornwall Council, said: “No one wants to see additional restrictions placed on our daily lives, but the figures are stark, and, unless we take action immediately, they are only going to get worse.

“We have seen around the rest of the country that Tier three restrictions have not slowed down the virus’s spread, and further action needs to be taken.

“It is clear from the national picture that a country-wide lockdown is now inevitable, and I can see no sensible reason to delay its introduction.

“We have consulted with local business leaders, and while no-one welcomes tighter restrictions, they would prefer to see swift action now, rather than a delayed response which will make the problem worse and cause more disruption in the long term.

“We simply cannot sit and wait, these are difficult decisions, but they need to be taken swiftly for the benefit of all.”

Cllr Sally Hawken, the council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for public health, said: “Speaking to our Director of Public Health and reviewing the latest data, it is clear that now is the time for action.

“We need to go into lockdown immediately to help tackle the spread of the virus, and to ensure our health services do not get overwhelmed.

“We have already seen a rapid increase in the number of people in hospital with Covid symptoms, and unless we take action now, the situation will worsen quickly.

“There is also growing anxiety amongst parents concerned about sending their children to school against a backdrop of rising numbers in our communities. 

“We need to take swift action now to reduce the impact the virus will have on Cornwall, rather than wait and make the problems even worse.”

Categories: Cornwall

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