Announcements Local Announcements and Updates

Cornwall Council Corona update : Opening to press briefing, Changes to shielding rules, Back to business seminars

There have been some rumours around COVID19 cases on the Roseland. A community outbreak is defined as two positive cases for COVID19 from separate households within the same postcode. There is currently no community outbreak on the Roseland. To keep safe the advice remains the same, practise social distancing and regularly wash your hands.

We currently have very low levels of virus across Cornwall and I thank you all again for all that you are doing to keep each other safe.

Best wishes,

Julian

Dear colleagues

Yesterday I attended a webinar with Secretary of State Robert Jenrick and today I attended a meeting with Minister Simon Clarke. At both I was able to ask questions. MHCLG are making representations to Treasury on discretionary grants and the need for more resource to meet demand. So far, we have had 2,127 applications and 4,116 expressions of interest, and have paid out £9 million, with a further £1.04 million agreed.

MHCLG understand the need for greater business support to enable our economy to be in a position to recover.

In relation to leisure services it appears that there will be support for Council run leisure services announced next week. However, according to the LGA 60% of leisure services are run by alternative delivery mechanisms. Currently there is no financial support forthcoming for these. I made this point to both the Secretary of State and Minister and have raised with our MPs.

The Minister said that the devolution white paper is due to come out in September. He is keen to advance devolution and we will continue to make the case for devolution for Cornwall.

The weekly media briefing clashed with one of these meetings, so Cllr Adam Paynter led this and I have copied his opening remarks for you to ensure you remain fully briefed.  There are important updates on resident engagement, shielding and business seminars below.

Opening to press briefing

Cornwall Council has, throughout the course of this pandemic, worked tirelessly to keep residents safe and well-informed. We are living our values and using our resources wisely – and we will continue to do so.

I’d like to begin today by talking about the government’s announcement that more lockdown measures will be lifted from July 4, allowing the tourism and hospitality sectors to reopen.

This obviously has huge ramifications for Cornwall, where we rely so heavily on our visitor economy, and will no doubt help offset some of the economic damage done during the long weeks of lockdown.

Over the past few weeks Cornwall Council has worked with partners and stakeholders across both sectors to make sure businesses are ‘covid-secure’ and ready to reopen.

As an example, more than 1,300 representatives from businesses all over Cornwall have, to date, attended our back to business webinars, which have covered a wide range of subjects from food safety best practices, to how to fill in safety assessment forms.

And we’re working with the tourism sector to help businesses prepare for reopening, so they can display the ‘We’re good to go’ kite mark which shows that they’ve put in place measures such as social distancing and cleaning regimes, to keep people safe.

All these measures mean that, following on from the successful reopening of our town centres, I feel we’re in a good position to welcome visitors back to Cornwall in a safe and measured way.

But we’d like to echo Visit Cornwall’s advice and once again encourage holidaymakers to book accommodation and day trips well ahead, and follow social distancing guidelines while you’re here, so we can stay safe together.

A brief word on local authority finances, because I have a read a number of alarming stories from across the country over the past few days.

To be clear, Cornwall Council, like many other local authorities, faces serious financial challenges – challenges that existed prior to the coronavirus crisis, but have been exacerbated as a result of it.

A reduction in government funding over recent years meant that even before the current crisis struck we were already in a position where we were having to make major savings.

And while we have received funding to help in some aspects of our coronavirus response, there remains a shortfall that we will need central government’s help to address.

I said a little earlier that we are continuing to use our resources wisely – and that is absolutely the case. We are in a better position than some local authorities.

But when councils like Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool are warning of potential bankruptcy, it’s clear that there’s an urgent problem crying out for a long-term solution.

That’s why we’re calling on the government to provide financial certainty and commit to providing us with the resources we need to protect the services our residents rely on.

Until that time, we will continue to work alongside our MPs, partners and stakeholders to lobby the government to make good on its promise to “level up” our regions

Finally, I’m delighted to announce that today marks the launch of Cornwall Council’s biggest ever listening exercise – The Cornwall We Want.

We’ve all faced unprecedented challenges over the last 12 weeks, and there’s not a single aspect of our lives that has remained untouched by the pandemic in one way or another.

But what we’re increasingly hearing from our residents as we look to the future, is that they don’t want things to simply go back to the way things were before our lives were turned upside down by Covid-19.

They, like us, see this as an opportunity to change things for the better.

That’s why this is the perfect moment for us to take stock and ask ourselves: how can we work together to create the Cornwall we want for ourselves, for our families, and for our communities?

Because if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that Cornwall’s community spirit is strong.

The Cornwall We Want aims to channel that strength, that collective wisdom, and use it to start a conversation about how we can work together to build a better future for one and all.

You can find more information about the project at https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/the-cornwall-we-want, and we’ll be releasing more information about our plans, and our launch event, in due course.

Changes to shielding rules

As guidance and support for shielded residents change from next month, Cornwall Council and Volunteer Cornwall are reminding anyone needing assistance with food shopping, medical prescriptions and social support that help is on hand.

Letters explaining the new advice are being sent out to everyone who has been asked to self-isolate for the last 12 weeks due to having a health condition which makes them clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

The Government is relaxing its shielding guidance in stages as it points to latest scientific evidence showing the declining infection rate of the virus.

Subject to ongoing clinical evidence, the changes will be:

From 6 July:

o    Anyone shielding can meet up to five people from other households outdoors while social distancing.

o    Those shielding who live alone or are a single parent or carer with a child under 18 can start to form a support bubble with one other household including visiting their home and staying overnight

From 1 August:

o    Shielded individuals can stop self-isolating as guidance will be updated to allow them to go to shops and places of worship while following social distancing rules.

o    Food parcels sent by Government to those shielding will stop on 1 August as individuals are advised they can visit shops and pharmacies.

o    However, other forms of support – such as priority supermarket delivery slots, help from Cornwall Council, Volunteer Cornwall and the NHS Volunteers Scheme – will continue.

Cornwall Council and Volunteer Cornwall will continue to support shielded and other vulnerable residents if they need help with food shopping or collections, getting priority supermarket delivery slots, prescriptions, befriending and getting online for assistance.

More information on support in Cornwall will be announced next week. If anyone needs extra support in the meantime contact Cornwall Council on 0300 1233334 or email covid19@cornwall.gov.uk or contact Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or email requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk.

More information on the planned changes are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-to-ease-guidance-for-over-2-million-shielding

Back to business seminars

Following the recent announcement that more businesses will be able to reopen from 4 July, Cornwall Council is continuing give advice and guidance to businesses to ensure they are COVID-safe when they reopen, which may involve changes to ensure social distancing, along with enhanced hygiene measures.

Please share details of the latest free Back in Business webinars for specific sectors with businesses in your area:

  • Tuesday 30 June at 11am – Tourism: self-catering
  • Tuesday 30 June at 2pm – Tourism: B&B and small guest houses
  • Wednesday 1 July at 11am – Tourism: Hotels
  • Wednesday 1 July at 2pm – Hairdressers and barbers
  • Thursday 2 July at 11am – Pubs and restaurants
  • Thursday 2 July at 2pm – Tourism: Holiday parks
  • Friday 3 July at 11am – Tourism: Attractions and outdoor venues

Any businesses that can’t take part in the webinars can register to receive information from the sessions and are welcome to send questions in for the panel to answer.

There are also recordings of previous webinars available on office businesses, retail businesses, childcare settings excluding schools, food businesses, retail businesses and market traders, holiday accommodation, and hairdressing, beauty and tattoo.

For further guidance on reopening a business safely, visit Cornwall Council’s business regulatory support website, email businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk or leave a message on 0300 1234 212 (option 4) for a call back.

Important links

All coronavirus related enquiries or issues to our dedicated email address covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.  This email address is monitored seven days-a-week.

Anyone who needs help can request a volunteer by ringing 01872 266988 or emailingrequestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk.

Find out more about the support available for businesses here: Business Rate Support Council Tax Support and Growth Hub

Please take care of yourselves,

Best wishes

Julian

Julian German

Hembrenkyas an Konsel

Konseler Kernow rag Pastel-vro An Ros

Leader of the Council

Cornwall Councillor for the Roseland Division

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