Apologies for the lateness of this briefing, another busy day for me including a meeting of all south west Council leaders on local outbreak management plans. Each Council has one but we have been closely together to ensure we are joined up, as well as our own public health teams, Public Health England are actively supporting. Paul Netherton (D&C Deputy Chief Constable) chairs the regional steering group. At the Cornwall level our Director of Public Health chairs the Local Outbreak Management Plan and I chair the Local Outbreak Engagement Board. More information about this can be found here https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/public-health-cornwall/information-about-coronavirus-covid-19/local-outbreak-plan/
|Local Outbreak Plan – Cornwall Council
What is the aim of the plan? The plan sets out how Cornwall Council, and the Council of the Isles of Scilly will work together, with the NHS Track and Trace service, to manage local Covid-19 outbreaks.
Tomorrow I will be meeting with Simon Clarke MP, Minister for Local Government, who will be in Cornwall. I will be presenting him with positive work that Cornwall Council, our businesses and communities continue to do, but will also be challenging him on money to support our businesses and the Council.
Best wishes, Julian
Here is the latest briefing on our actions surround the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We held our latest press briefing today, which was led by Cllr Rob Rotchell. I have included his opening address at the end of the message to ensure you are all fully up to date with our position. I have also attached a new infographic detailing our enforcement work during the pandemic.
Simon Clarke MP, Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government, is set to visit Cornwall on Thursday and Friday.
Following my recent meeting with Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, it seems promising that the Minister for Local Government is visiting Cornwall so soon. I expect therefore to have serious discussions with Mr Clarke regarding devolution for Cornwall, funding for our businesses and leisure centres, as well as meeting the costs incurred by Cornwall Council.
It’s clear to me that if we are to create a better future for the people of Cornwall, more decisions about that future should be made here in Cornwall. I hope this will be recognised when further devolution of powers from Westminster are discussed.
I also hope we can discuss a relaxation on the rules on distributing the remaining business support government grants to local businesses.
The Business and Planning Act and Planning Reform
The Government released three sets of regulations on new Planning Rights on 21 July regarding:
- additional storeys on houses
- ability to demolish and rebuild vacant and redundant purpose-built flats and commercial buildings if they are rebuilt as homes
- changes to the Use Class Order to create flexible town centre uses,
and the Business and Planning Bill received Royal Assent on 22 July.
Planning Policy officers have now produced briefing notes on the Permitted Development Rights and changes to the Use Class Order which are attached. A new Chief Planners Newsletter – July 2020 was also circulated by MHCLG on 28 July which provides links to changes so far and is a helpful summary to date.
The Government has also published their response to the consultation on 5G and confirm that they are intending to proceed with a further set of Permitted Development Rights to facilitate the roll-out. We await the final detail of the regulations.
We are still expecting a further planning reform policy paper from Government by the end of July. This is the last paper that is currently expected and once we receive it, we will provide a concise overview of the main issues arising from all these changes.
Press briefing introduction by Cllr Rotchell
Having enjoyed a long career in the care sector I can safely say that I have never seen anything like this pandemic before but I have been so proud of the way that people have come together to support the vulnerable in Cornwall.
I’d like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have gone above and beyond to make sure that the people who needed our help have not gone without the support they need. This includes our care workers, those people who look after a loved one, friend or neighbour, council staff and NHS staff. Everything you do makes a massive difference, so thank you.
I also want to thank those people who have been unable to access day support services while the centres had to be closed, as well as asking anyone who uses a Direct Payment to get in touch if you need any help. We are still here to make sure you get the support that you need.
From the very beginning we have recognised the issues facing our care workers, making sure they have the right equipment they need to be able to look after people safely, keeping in regular contact with them and being able to offer training and staff if they were needed and much more.
Almost immediately, once lockdown kicked in our social care staff started working very differently, moving to 7 days a week working in 12-hour shifts. Council staff also started working directly alongside our colleagues in the NHS which meant a lot of duplication has been eradicated. When a request for help comes in it is triaged and the right service across health or social care is put in place to make sure that person gets the support they need.
We also very quickly partnered up with local hoteliers who turned their premises into a safe place for people to go after a spell in hospital, to allow those beds to be free’d for people with Covid-19.
Again, a big thank you for all of those members of staff and hotel workers who quickly adapted to this way of working and helped make it a success.
I think it’s been widely recognised that adult social care needs a radical shake up from the government. They have promised us for years that they will address the issues that people are facing when it comes to paying for care.
In Cornwall we are moving forward as much as we can. We were extremely grateful to everyone who came forward at the beginning of the pandemic to work in care, and although the need for temporary care workers is not so pressing we still need more people to consider a career in the care sector.
Perhaps you are still not sure if a job will be there for you after furlough or, you may already be facing unemployment so I would urge you to visit the proud to care Cornwall website for more information. I can unequivocally recommend it as an extremely rewarding career.
Another way in which we are looking to transform services is to support the provision of more extracare housing in Cornwall. Extracare housing are self-contained apartments where people can live independently however there is care and support available if you need it.
This scheme moved one step closer last week when, following a tender process we are able to announce a new ‘strategic partner’ Mears LTD, who will oversee the initial 750 units. We will be developing land within Cornwall Council’s portfolio, within our communities so that people can live independently, close to the communities they are familiar with all of the support they might need.
This will provide people with an alternative to residential homes as a living option as they get older.
We’ve had a few weeks now to get used to there being more people around and the relaxing of some of the lockdown measures. It’s so important though that we don’t become complacent.
We all need to keep following the guidance which includes wearing face coverings which became mandatory in shops on Friday last week.
It’s a small thing we can all do to protect the health of others, especially considering the fact that the people who were shielding will be rejoining society on 1 August. I’m sure they must be very hesitant after being at home for so long.
Please don’t just think about yourselves but the health of your loved ones, friends and neighbours and make sure you keep following the 1 metre + social distancing rule.
I’m sure none of us want to return to being restricted to our homes if the virus becomes more widespread again.
All coronavirus related enquiries or issues to our dedicated email firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address is monitored seven days-a-week.
Anyone who needs help can request a volunteer by ringing 01872 266988 or email@example.com.
Please take care of yourselves,
Hembrenkyas an Konsel
Konseler Kernow rag Pastel-vro An Ros
Leader of the Council
Cornwall Councillor for the Roseland Division
Pell/Telephone: 01872 322570
Klapkodh/Mobile: 07737 183690