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  • Council introduces 'zero tolerance' initiative to address violence and aggression towards employees

    Cornwall Council has introduced a ‘zero tolerance’ initiative to address the issue of violence, aggression and unacceptable behaviour directed towards Council employees.

    The Council takes all incidents of violence and abuse towards its employees extremely seriously and the zero tolerance initiative has been developed following an increase in the number of incidents involving abuse.

    A survey carried out among Council employees earlier this year found that 95% of the 500 people who responded had experienced verbal abuse either face to face or on the phone at least once in the previous three months.  Nearly 16% had been verbally abused on more than six occasions during that time.

    The aim of the new initiative is to send a clear message to the public that violence and aggression towards any Cornwall Council employee is unacceptable.

    Over the past few months the Council has worked with Devon and Cornwall police to take legal action against two members of the public who verbally abused and harassed Civil Parking Enforcement Officers.  In the first incident a member of the public who verbally abused a Civil Parking Enforcement Officer in Penzance was issued with a £90 fixed penalty notice by the police, while in the second a St Ives man was given a police caution for harassing a CEO while he was carrying out his duties in the town.

    “We acknowledge that the vast majority of people that we have dealings with are civil and polite” said the Council’s Chief Executive Andrew Kerr. “However we will not accept any form of abuse towards our staff who are carrying out their daily duties and will take appropriate measures to support them, including prosecution”.

    “The survey also showed that 80% of the staff who had experienced verbal abuse had not reported the incident and, as well as providing further training for staff on how to deal with such incidents, we will also be making it easier for them to report it”. 

    Managers will be provided with a toolkit on how they can support employees to deal with incidents, including sending letters to the perpetrator and registering them on the cautionary contact list. 

     

    Story posted 30 September 2014

  • Cornwall Council receives highest number of nominations for Community Right to Bid scheme in the country

    More than 100 communities in Cornwall have submitted nominations for land or buildings in their local areas to be listed as community assets – the highest number of nominations in the country.

    The Community Right to Bid, which was introduced as part of 2011 Localism Act 2011, enables town and parish councils and local voluntary and community organisations to nominate local land or buildings to be included in the list of Assets of Community Value.  This then gives local communities the chance to bid to buy the asset if it comes up for sale. It does not matter who owns the asset - if it is of value to the community then it could be listed as an Asset of Community Value.

    Examples of a community asset include village shops, pubs, community centres and playing fields. 

    Cornwall Council received its first nomination on 15 October 2012 - this was for land at St Eval air field to be listed as a community asset.  Since then it has received 107 other nominations – making a total of 108 nominations – resulting in Cornwall becoming the area with the highest number of nominations in the country.

    Other nominations which have been received include :

    • Castle Hill Allotments at Bodmin
    • Dolphin Inn at Grampound
    • Tuckingmill Valley Park at Camborne  
    • St Blazey Football Club
    • Malabar Community Centre

    The Council is continuing to encourage nominations so that local communities have a fairer chance to buy the assets that are important to them.

    Jeremy Rowe, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Devolution and Localism, has welcomed the success of the scheme in Cornwall.  “The legislation means that local people and communities can use the Community Right to Bid to ‘pause’ the sale of buildings or land they care about. This could be their local pub, village shop, village hall or playing field.

    “Under the scheme communities who successfully nominate an asset to be included in the list then have up to six months to buy the asset for the community.”

     

    Story posted 30 September 2014

  • Carshare Cornwall celebrates National Liftshare Week by offering a free MOT

    Carshare GenericCarshare Cornwall is celebrating National Liftshare Week (6-12 October 2014) by offering a free MOT test to one lucky car sharer!

    To kick off National Liftshare Week, any registered member (new or existing) who adds a new journey to share between 6 October and 2 November, will be entered into a prize draw to win a free MOT test at either of Cornwall Council’s  two MOT test centres. 

    The site, run by Cornwall Council, provides a way in which people can search for and request a lift to work, college, and entertainment events or for any other trip they may normally undertake on their own in the car.

    Sharing a lift halves fuel costs and helps to reduce congestion and pollution on the roads.  There’s also the great social aspect with car sharing of being able to chat to someone on the journey. 

    It is free to register on the Carshare Cornwall site and members can register regular or one-off journeys and the site will search for anyone else travelling a similar journey.  Members can then get in contact with each other through the site and arrange sharing a lift.  It is also linked to the national Liftshare network so out of county journeys can also be searched for.

    Story posted 30 September 2014

  • Final piece of funding package for improvements to St Mary's and Penzance harbours is confirmed

    News that the final piece of the funding package to support the improvements to St Mary’s and Penzance harbours has now been confirmed has been welcomed by the partnership which will be delivering the £11.9m scheme.

    The sea link between the mainland and the Isles of Scilly is a vital lifeline for the communities and businesses of Scilly, providing transport for the majority of freight and carrying more than 80,000 passengers to and from the Isles.

    The improvements to the two harbours, which includes carrying out pier widening and improving freight handling facilities at St Mary’s and dredging at Penzance, will help safeguard the future of the sea link by creating deeper water berths which will increase the range of vessels which could potentially provide the service in the future.

    Last month the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin announced that the Department for Transport was making £6.347m available for the harbour works at St Mary's, together with dredging and traffic management improvements for the harbour at Penzance. The Department for Transport is also giving Cornwall Council a further £976,000 to cover the costs of preparatory works for the scheme. These costs would normally be met by the local authority.

    The remaining funding was due to come from Europe and this week it was confirmed that the scheme had been awarded £5.560m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  This announcement means that the works can now begin, with the dredging and highways work at Penzance expected to be completed by 31 March 2015, and the harbour extension and other works at St Mary’s due to be completed by 30 June 2015.

    The scheme has been developed by a partnership including Cornwall Council, Council of the Isles of Scilly, Penzance Town Council, Duchy of Cornwall, Isles of Scilly Steamship Company and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, with support from West Cornwall MP Andrew George.  Cornwall Council is the Accountable Body for the funding and will ensure the improvements at Penzance and St Mary's Harbours are delivered.

    Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Waste, said “The link between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly is a vital component in linking the Island communities to the mainland.  It is always important that the sort of partnership that has given rise to this project is in place to ensure that all the British Islands are able to enjoy the benefits of resilient and modern transport.   It is good to know we can now giss’on with these works”.

    Welcoming the formal confirmation of the funding, the Council of the Isles of Scilly Council, Duchy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, said “The St Mary’s Quay partnership came together at the behest of the Department of Transport to design a lower cost, deliverable, functional scheme that delivers improved vessel options and improved passenger and freight facilities. Now, with support from Cornwall Council, the scheme has come to fruition and we are all looking forward to the completion of the works. ”

    Chris Pomfret, Chair of the LEP and Deputy Chair of the Convergence Local Management Committee, which steers the Convergence programme said “This investment complements previous ERDF projects to connect the Islands both physically and digitally. The arrival of superfast, the work at St Mary’s and Lands’ End airports, and the previous slipway improvements at Porthloo demonstrates how European funding has enhanced both social and economic opportunities for the islanders for many years to come.”

    Cormac Solutions Ltd are delighted to have been appointed to undertake a design and build contract to provide the highway improvements to facilitate the development of this important transport link” added Dominic Bostock, from CORMAC Solutions Ltd. “We have been particularly active in Penzance over the past six months, with the rebuilding of the coastal defence at Newlyn Green and Bolitho Gardens along with the Promenade maintenance works, and have forged strong links with the local community which will be extended through our delivery of these works.”

    Phil Osmond, the Project manager for Mace, who are acting for Cornwall Council on the project, said “Mace are delighted to be involved in such a worthwhile project .  We are well aware of the importance of good sea links between St Mary’s and Penzance, having worked previously with the Council of the Isles of Scilly. Acting for Cornwall Council we are extremely pleased to be providing project control services for works at both ports.”

    Peter Marsh, the Operations Director for Kier, said “Kier Infrastructure are delighted to have been appointed as the design and construct contractor for the St Mary’s Harbour Improvements as this is such a strategically important project to the island community. We are extremely conscious of the vital importance of the sea link between St Mary’s and Penzance. This continues our long commitment to port and coastal works in the South West Region and we are pleased to be working in partnership with Cornwall Council and the wider project  stakeholders.”

    Peter Madsen Rederi A/S will be carrying out dredging within the Penzance Harbour and the Harbour entrance as part of the upgrade to the Penzance – St Mary’s sea link.  

    Director of Peter Madsen Rederi A/S John Madsen, commented ‘We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and we aim to complete it within the next four months with the minimum impact to other users of the harbour’.

     

    Story posted 26 September 2014

  • Cornwall Council Chairman adopts Cornwall Young Carers as official charity

    Cornwall Council Chairman John Wood has chosen an organisation which supports the thousands of young people in Cornwall who care for others as his official charity. 

    While there are currently 588 known carers in Cornwall, Census statistics suggests that the true figure is nearer to 4,000 with 1,217 young people aged 0 – 15 providing unpaid care, and a further 2,682 aged 16 to 24.  Many young carers do not come forward as they see nothing unusual about their role and its part of their family life.

    Announcing that he had chosen Cornwall Young Carers as his official charity John Wood said that it was vital to support these young people who do so much for others.

    “Research shows than 1 in 12 young carers are caring for someone for more than 15 hours a week, with one in 20 missing school because of their caring responsibilities” said John. 

    “Cornwall Young Carers supports these young people who are helping others and I want people in Cornwall to get behind the charity so we can help raise money to support the learning and achievement of our young carers.”

    A small group of staff have joined with some of Cornwall’s young carers to set up a fund raising group which will be organising a series of events and activities over the next few months.  All the money raised by the group will be administered by young carers for young carers on behalf of the charity. 

    The first event is a car wash day in the main car park at New County Hall,Truro on Tuesday, 28 October,  which is being sponsored by Dales Cars.  The car washing will take place between 10 am and 4pm, with a minimum donation of £5 per car.  The Fire Service will be supplying the water for the car wash, with officers from Truro Fire Station helping to wash cars for an hour during the day.

    Other events which are being planned include a Donation raffle on 25 November; a best dressed office competition in December; an online cryptic quiz being staged during January; a black and gold day in February when staff and Members will pay £1 to wear the Cornish colours for the day; a “Goodwill” bank event in March where staff and Members can donate skills or some time which others can then “purchase”; a cake and bake sale in April and a sponsored bike ride along cycle trails across Cornwall during the May half term.

    Story posted 26 September 2014

  • Wash hands to stop bugs ruining your days out

    Lamb Pic

    The Council’s Public Health and Protection (PH&P) team is supporting a call from Public Health England (PHE) for everyone to practise good hand hygiene when visiting farm attractions. 

    The Council’s PH&P team regularly visit the owners of petting farms and other animal visitor attractions to give them advice on how to prevent their visitors being at risk of falling ill and reminding the public to take care and wash hands after being in contact with animals.

    John Dickinson, Cornwall Council Commercial Food and Safety Officer says: “Farm visits are great fun. They play a valuable part in the education and development of children and young adults and provide an enjoyable experience for many people. However, it is important to remember that a range of infections can be passed on through contact with animals unless care is taken to avoid them. 

    “The risk of becoming unwell from illnesses such as E.coli O157 is very low as thousands of people visit such attractions and there are on average only three outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease linked to visits to petting farms every year. The route of infection in these outbreaks is generally through contact with germs from animals. These germs are ingested when people contaminate food they handle or eat or when they put their fingers or other contaminated objects such as dummies or soothers in their mouths.”

    To reduce the risk of illness, adults and children should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water after they have handled animals or touched surfaces at the farm, and always before eating or drinking.

    "Hand-washing is the single most important prevention step in reducing the spread of gastrointestinal infections after handling animals”, explains John; “It is important that attraction owners provide good, well signed hand washing facilities, ideally located at the point where visitors leave the animal contact area. Responsible adults should closely supervise their children when they are petting the animals and washing their hands.”

    Dr Mark Kealy, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset PHE Centre said: “Visiting a farm is a very enjoyable experience for both children and adults alike but it's important to remember that contact with farm animals carries a risk of infection because of the microorganisms - or germs - they carry.

    “Anyone visiting a petting farm should be aware of the need to wash their hands thoroughly using soap and water after they have handled animals or been in their surroundings.  Children are more at risk of serious illness and should be closely supervised to make sure that they wash their hands thoroughly.

    “It is also very important not to rely on hand gels and wipes for protection because these are not suitable against the sort of germs found on farms.

    “By being aware and by doing these simple things we can help to avoid illness and enjoy a fun day out.”

    Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown says:  “We have several very well run attractions in Cornwall where children and adults alike can go and meet farm animals and learn more about them.  It is important for us all to have an appreciation for all animals but we must be sensible of our responsibility to look after ourselves and our children.  Our team at the Council do a great job in making sure that attractions have the right level of warning signs and facilities in place to encourage people to wash their hands and I urge everyone to understand how important it is to wash hands after being in contact with the animals.”

    There has been a marked reduction in the number of reported cases of E.coli O157 in Cornwall associated with the consumption of food products since the Council’s commercial food and safety team have adopted a robust approach during inspections. They have also offered guidance and training to ensure that food businesses operators (FBO’s) are fully aware of the risks and have adequate preventative measures in place to avoid cross contamination risks.

    Parents planning to take their children to visitor attractions with animals are urged to take particular care with hand-washing and to follow the instructions provided at the attraction.

    As well as thorough hand washing, visitors are advised:

    • Do not put hands on faces or fingers in mouths while petting animals or walking round the farm
    • Do not kiss farm animals nor allow children to put their faces close to animals
    • Do not eat or drink while touching animals or walking round the farm. This includes not eating sweets, crisps or chewing gum
    • Do not eat anything that has fallen on the floor
    • Do not use gels or wipes instead of washing hands with soap and water. Gels and wipes do not remove microorganisms that are often hidden by other materials such as dirt
    • Do wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you have touched animals, fences or other surfaces in animal areas
    • Do wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating or drinking.
    • Do remove and clean boots or shoes that might have become soiled and clean pushchair wheels. Then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
    • Do supervise children closely to ensure that they wash their hands thoroughly
    • Do eat and drink in picnic areas or cafes only.
    • Do have a great time!

    If you or anyone in your group is sick or has diarrhoea within two weeks of visiting a farm, contact your GP or call NHS 111 as soon as possible. If you or anyone in your group, particularly a young child, has bloody diarrhoea, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

    Children under five should not attend school/nursery/group childcare until they have been free of sickness or diarrhoea for two days. Tests may be required to confirm that a child is free from infection.

    Parents should confirm with their health professional whether it is safe for them to return before the child returns to school or nursery.

    Further advice for anyone with a petting farm is available from Cornwall Council’s Public Health and Protection team on 0300 1234 212. 

     

    Story posted 17 April 2014

  • Port Gaverne road re opens after repairs are completed

    Port Gaverne

    The main road between Port Gaverne and Port Isaac re opened yesterday after the repairs to the carriageway were completed by teams from CORMAC Solutions Ltd.

    A length of wall approximately 10m long and 3m high opposite The Beach House was destroyed by the storms in February, with damage caused to more than half of the width of the road. The storms also caused significant damage to the sea wall and to the water main.

    Following repairs to the water main carried out by South West Water at the end of last week, a structures maintenance team from CORMAC have now replaced the wall with a new concrete structure which is faced with the original stone salvaged from the beach. A new parapet has also been built to match the original parapet in style and shape. The road has also been re instated, enabling it to be re opened to traffic.

    The steps, which were also destroyed in the storms, are now being rebuilt, with works expected to be completed by the end of next week.

    The costs of rebuilding the wall and re instating the road are estimated at around £60,000.

    Local Cornwall Councillor Andy Penny has welcomed the re opening of the road. “I am delighted with the fantastic job Cormac have done rebuilding our road & sea wall at Port Gaverne.” he said. “It's been tough for residents and businesses over the last couple of months but great to see the road open in time for the Easter holidays”.

    Port Gaverne 2

    Port Gaverne Before      

    Port Gaverne Before From Below

    Story posted 4 April 2014

  • Penzance man given £90 fine by police for verbally abusing Civil Parking Enforcement Officer

    A Penzance man who verbally abused one of the Council’s Civil Parking Enforcement Officers has been issued with a £90 fixed penalty notice by Devon and Cornwall Police.

    The incident took place in Penzance’s Clarence Street on 5 March when the abusive comments made by the member of the public were recorded. CEOs are provided with lone worker devices as well as trialling head/body worn cameras to capture evidence of abuse, and have links for the police to be alerted.

    The Council takes all incidents of violence or abuse towards its staff extremely seriously and is currently developing a Zero Tolerance initiative as a result of an increase in the number of incidents involving abuse. This initiative is due to be launched in the Summer.

    “We recently asked staff to let us know if they had suffered abuse from members of the public to assess the scale of the problem and will be using the results of this survey to help develop the Zero Tolerance initiative” said Chief Executive Andrew Kerr.

    “We acknowledge that the vast majority of people that we have dealings with are civil and polite. However we will not accept any form of abuse towards our staff who are carrying out their daily duties and will take appropriate measures to support them, including prosecution."

    Story posted 7 April 2014

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Cornwall Search and Rescue
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  • Website Update

    Our website is about to undergo a significant upgrade in response to feedback asking for more info and pictures about the team.

    This will happen over a period of a few days so if you visit our site and it is not fully functional in this period, please accept our apologies and keep coming back. It will be worth the disruption.

  • CSRT Summer Quiz

    All Summer, we have challenged Cornwall with a fiendish quiz designed to test your general knowlege and offering a cash prize to the winners.

    We can now reveal the results (and the answers - which you can see by clicking on the 'continue reading' link)

    There were in fact 5 equal entries in first place which were all entered into a hat and drawn as follows:

    1st out of the hat & winner of the £100 prize - Terry Mills of Coombe

    2nd out of the hat & winner of £50 prize - Nina Perrin of St Ives

    3rd out of the hat and winner of £20 prize - Richard Vernon of Swindon, Wilts.

    Well done to all winners (and special thanks to Nina Perrin who donated half her winnings back to the team).

    Sally Haywood of St Austell and Miss C Simmonds of Redruth were the two others who got the answers right but were not in the drawn from the hat.

    Thanks to everyone who took part, you helped us raise over £600 for team funds.


    Continue reading "CSRT Summer Quiz "
  • Open Evening at St Dennis

    On Friday 9th October, we opened the doors of our new base at St Dennis to our new neighbours in the village.

    SAR & Support Team members were on hand to welcome and show round our visitors, young and old, and to offer refreshements and activities for the kids (including a colouring competition, 'Find the Family' and face painting)

    We were extremely pleased with the response from the community and have made lots of new friends along with some enquiries about membership.

    The formal launch of our base takes place on 23rd October at 7.30pm when Local Businessman, Johnny Hawkins, will officially cut the ribbon.

  • Bude Art Society
    We would like to thank the members of Bude Art Society who held an art exhibition over the summer and have donated the proceeds, a marvellous £150, to the team. We are in the process of re-stocking our first aid kits and this money will come in very useful. Our grateful thanks to them and all who donated.
  • Apologies for absence
    You may have noticed our website has been out of action for a week or so. We have rounded up the gremlins responsible and put them back in their cage. In the meantime, our wonderful web people from Atlantis Web Design are working on a new and improved site for us. Watch this space...
  • Helicopter Training

    The team would like to thank the crew of Sea King 169 from 22 Sqn, RNB Chivenor for coming down to Davidstow on Bodmin Moor for a training session with us today.


    In near perfect conditions, we were able to complete safety and familiarisation training and were half way through embark & disembark drills and flights when sadly they were tasked away to an incident.


    Although only half of us got flying time with them, the whole team enjoyed it and we got some good pictures (coming soon). We hope to be able to meet up with them again in the near future to pick up where we left off and thank them again for their time today.


     

  • Base Progress

    Team members have spent the last 2 weeks cleaning, painting, decorating, mending and moving as we moved into our new base at St Dennis. At last, we have a home of our own. The site (the former Fire Station) is ideally situated in mid Cornwall just a few miles off the main A30 in the busy village of St Dennis.


    We will shortly be holding an open evening for local people to come and see what we do at the base and some time after, we will have a formal launch.


    We are currently looking for stacking chairs and folding tables to allow us to conduct training sessions in the base and would be pleased to hear from anyone who can oblige.


    Contact us on chair@cornwallsar.org.uk or 01637 881647


     

  • Technical Rescue Team

    Members of our Technical Rescue Team joined forces with a team from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) today to practice water-borne deployments. The aim was to practice getting our technical rescue team, and their kit, ashore in the event they needed to access remote or tidal mine workings around the coast of Cornwall.


    We had been on standby for this throughout the Bank Holiday Weekend and today conditions had eased enough to allow us to launch from Hayle Harbour. The mine adit we had chosen was up the coast, near Portreath and a support crew had rigged and abseiled down to the portal when we got there.


    We successfully disembarked our team of four plus all our kit (drill, stretcher, ropes, rigging gear etc) and were met by the 3 person support team. We gained access to the adit and set up a quick rescue scenario before calling the boat back in to pick us up in a growing swell and on a rising tide. Despite the worsening of the conditions, we were able to complete the exercise successfully and both we and the BDMLR crew found the exercise enjoyable and educational.


    Thanks to Jan, Mark & the crew for taking us and we look forward to working with them some more in due course.

  • Busy Day

    Today, we were planning to attend the St Dennis Gala Day to introduce ourselves to the residents of St Dennis, where our new base is situated. The weather wasn't brilliant but it didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the people of St Dennis and we were busy applying burns, bruises and cuts to the younger residents when we were called away to our 41st incident of the year - a missing woman at Kit Hill, nr Callington.


    Not only did it cut short our Gala Day but those we had left back at the base, had to down paint brushes, get kitted up and make the long drive to Callington.


    Luckily, thanks to a great turnout - 14 CSRT members, 5 SARDA dogs & a couple of navigators from our neighbours at DSRT - Tavistock, plus the sterlling work of D&C Police, the lady was found quickly and re-united with her anxious family.


    We have given team members a day off for good behaviour and painting will resume after the Bank Holiday.


     

  • New Base

    We can at last reveal that Cornwall Search & Rescue Team, after much searching, has finally secured a suitable premises to use as a base.


    From 1st September, we will take up the lease on a premises in St Dennis in mid Cornwall. The site is the former Fire Station on Robartes Rd and we are currently in the process of cleaning, painting and equipping our new home.


    Although operational for 6 years now, the team has never had a place to call home which has caused us significant difficulties in terms of kit storage and drying, indoor training and team communications.


    We are delighted that we will now have somewhere to use as the focus for our activities and hope to become a part of community life in St Dennis. We will be attending this Sunday's St Dennis Village gala to meet our new neighbours and introduce ourselves.


    http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/news/New-base-search-rescue/article-1283491-detail/article.html


     

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