Gold for Cornwall Council's bereavement services
Cornwall Council’s bereavement services have been awarded Gold Status by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM).
The prestigious award recognises the high level of service provided to funeral congregations, funeral directors and clergy. The ICCM set the standard for the burial and crematorium industry.
This is the fifth year running that the Cornwall Council run Penmount Crematorium has achieved the highest standard but it is the first time that the authority’s cemeteries have been entered for the Bereavement Assessment scheme.
News that both the Crematorium and the cemeteries have achieved Gold Status has been welcomed by Susan Cannan, the Council’s Bereavement Services Manager, who said “We are delighted that Penmount Crematorium has been awarded a Gold rating in the Charter assessment for the fifth consecutive year. We are equally delighted that the first year that Cornwall’s cemeteries have been assessed has resulted in a Gold Rating for them as well”.
Edwina Hannaford, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Heritage and Planning, added “This is a testament to the hard work of the staff who work in our bereavement services who take great pride in ensuring the best possible experience for the bereaved at a sad and difficult time in their lives.”
“We are very proud of the work put in by all our staff, including those who work at Penmount Crematorium and those who work for our partner Cormac at the cemeteries in providing a first class service that has now been nationally acknowledged as excellent”.
A publicly owned, self-financed facility administered by Cornwall Council, Penmount crematorium is housed on a secluded country estate of 28 acres, 11 of which have been developed as Gardens of Remembrance.
The authority is responsible for twenty-four operational cemeteries throughout Cornwall and currently carries out around a third of the burials that take place every year.
Story posted 22 July 2014
Work starts at King Edward Mine to save two historic buildings and create workspace for local businesses
Midas Group Ltd have started work on the conservation and refurbishment of two redundant Grade II* Listed buildings at King Edward Mine near Camborne. The project will give a new lease of life to the former Count House and Carpenters’ Shop complexes, creating nine affordable workspaces for local businesses, ready for occupation from March 2015.
Phil Kitchener, Midas Site Manager said: ‘The Midas Group Ltd is very pleased to be awarded the King Edward Mine heritage project to add to the list of mine attractions like Geevor Tin Mine and Heartlands that we’ve been involved in. The site team leading this project bring good background knowledge of the skills required with this type of refurbishment on Grade II* Listed buildings.’
In order to achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating so the refurbished buildings are as sustainable as they can be and in compliance with best practice in heritage conservation, Midas have brought in specialist skills to work on the project as Phil went on to say: ‘We will be using specialist heritage contractors to apply traditional skills and materials to conserve the two buildings. The work will include lime pointing, lime washing to the external walls, traditional carpentry, stonework and scantle slate roofing skills.’
A specialist project like King Edward Mine is a rare construction opportunity and Midas intend to go the extra mile to pass this building knowledge on to the next generation by bringing apprentices onto the site, as Phil explained: ‘By supporting apprentices and working with local colleges we feel that local young people will not only learn new skills, but gain an interest in historic building conservation which is so important for working in Cornwall. Many historic buildings are looked after by voluntary organisations and so we are also planning to hold a community training day where anyone interested in trying their hand at heritage conservation can come and have a go!’
Councillor Julian German, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Economy & Culture, said: “Bringing historic buildings such as these back into economic use not only ensures that they are saved as part of Cornwall’s Mining World Heritage Site, but also creates much-needed ‘grow on’ spaces for local businesses. In addition, conservation projects such as this offer an excellent opportunity to train the next generation in traditional building skills, such as working with Cornish slate. The KEM Workspace Project will create high quality, distinctive work spaces just outside Camborne, which we will be marketing primarily to the creative industry and knowledge economy sectors and ready for occupation early in 2015.”
Trevor Humphreys, Project Management Consultant for Cornwall Council, said that he was excited to have the opportunity to bring these buildings back to life, but that: “There are many challenges still to overcome, not least the mine shaft that has been found underneath the Count House building!” Trevor Humphreys Associates specialise in bespoke heritage and arts based projects including the award winning Porthmeor Studios and Porthcurno Telegraph Museum that has just opened its doors with a new exhibition. “By working in partnership with Cornwall Council our enthusiastic project team are committed to providing an exemplary project which will be an asset to the local community and the wider ERDF Convergence Programme’s legacy.”
St Ives based architects Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole is providing conservation architectural services for the project. Paul Perry, lead architect said: ‘PBWC Architects are delighted to be involved with such a unique heritage project as we are based here in Cornwall. We take pride in being part of the team which will conserve and convert these buildings within the World Heritage Site. We are one of the few architectural practices to specialise in historic building conservation in Cornwall and we bring experience of delivering other successful ERDF projects here and on the Isles of Scilly.’
King Edward Mine, former home of Camborne School of Mines, was bought by Cornwall Council in 2009 and is substantially leased to a local charity to run as a mining heritage attraction. The site is recognised as having Outstanding Universal Value as the best preserved mine within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site (WHS) for the pre-1920 period. The entire complex is within the WHS and includes sixteen buildings Listed Grade II* and South Condurrow Stamps Engine House which is Listed Grade II.
King Edward Mine Museum is an award-winning heritage attraction containing extremely rare milling equipment that has been expertly restored and brought back into working order by volunteers. The museum is run by a local charity and full details of opening times and attractions on offer are available on the King Edward Mine website.
The King Edward Mine Workspace Project will support the long-term sustainability of this important part of Cornwall’s industrial heritage and has been made possible through a grant from the ERDF Convergence Programme and investment by Cornwall Council.
Stroy posted 22 July 2014
Cornwall to be showcased at 2014 Festival Interceltique
All things Cornish are set to be a big hit at this year's Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany. Cornish food and drink, music, dancing and art have all made a big impression on festival goers and exhibitors in the past and this year will be no exception.
This year, the Festival is set to take place from 01 to 10 August 2014 and Cornwall will have an exhibition there to promote Cornwall as a tourist destination as well as showcase Cornish produce and culture.
Julian German, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, who will be attending the festival, says: “The Lorient Festival is an important platform to attract people to Cornwall. It is evident that many people have heard of Cornwall and we need show what Cornwall has to offer. Our environment, our heritage and culture, our food and drink, are strong reasons why people decide to come to Cornwall and they are not weather dependent. Cornwall has much to offer and we need to make sure that we are actively participating on the international stage to ensure that everyone knows this."
Celtic regions from across the globe attend the festival every year, with the Cornish being joined by Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Galicia, Asturias, the Acadie region of North East Canada as well as bands and dancers from across Brittany. It's an opportunity to celebrate Celtic heritage, languages and culture in a bonanza of music and dance, food and drink. Over 600,000 people visit the festival each year, which takes over the southern Breton city of Lorient over the ten days in August.
Visit Cornwall and MAGA will be working with Cornwall Council to put on an exhibition of the best attractions and activities that the region has to offer as well as details of the language, music and culture that has been the signature of Cornwall’s distinctiveness. The stand will be manned by volunteers who are giving their time and language skills to ensure that visitors are well informed and welcomed. Over the 10 days of the festival, thousands will visit the stands and it is hoped that some of these will translate into future visitors helping to boost the Cornish economy.
In addition, producers from across Cornwall will be coming together to show festival goers a small sample of the outstanding food and drink on offer back home. Visitors will be able to sample Cornish brewed beer and cider courtesy of Skinners Brewery, pasties from Trevethicks and Cornish cream teas with clotted cream from Roddas, all brought to the festival by Cornish caterers Downright Delicious. Last year the local newspaper heralded the humble Cornish Pasty as ‘the revelation of the festival’ and 2014 will see even more people experience the delights of traditional Cornish cuisine.
Each year the Lorient festival invites a delegation of Cornish musicians and dancers to perform alongside those from the other Celtic nations in the main festival programme. This year 5 piece Cornish folk/rock band Tredanek, the award-winning Canoryon Lowen choir from St Neot and Truro based Cornish dance group Hevva will be taking part in concerts, workshops and presentations throughout the week as well as representing Cornwall in the Grand Parade, which itself attracts some 60,000 spectators. The groups will also be performing at the Cornish stand, helping to ensure it is lively and vibrant.
In addition visual artist Sandra Boreham will be representing Cornwall in the visual art exhibition and two films from Cornwall, Skath by Paul Farmer and My yw genys, by Alban Roinnard, will be part of the film programme.
Jenefer Lowe, responsible for the Cornish delegation, said “Lorient is an excellent showcase and provides an annual chance for us to celebrate Cornish culture alongside other Celtic nations and regions on an international stage. I am grateful to all the performers, producers and volunteers who will be taking part this year and look forward to a successful festival.”
Story posted 22 July 2014
Council bids for Government funding to rebuild and refurbish six Cornish schools
Cornwall Council has applied for funding from the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme to rebuild or refurbish six schools in Cornwall.
Minister of State David Laws announced in May that the Government was allocating £2 billion for the second phase of the PSBP programme to fund major rebuilding and refurbishment projects to address the needs of schools in the very worst condition. Under the programme, which runs from 2015 to 2021, local authorities, dioceses, sixth form colleges, academies, and multi academy trusts were invited to submit expressions of interest for an entire school site or for one or multiple individual buildings. 261 schools across England benefited from the first phase of the programme.
The Government has set very strict criteria for applying for the PSB2 programme, with funding only available for schools which need to be either completely rebuilt or where a building needs major refurbishment works.
The Council commissioned locally based architects to visit schools who had confirmed their wish to be included in the Council’s submission for the Priority Schools Building Programme to carry out surveys to identify whether or not the schools met the criteria. Following consideration of these reports and previous information on schools’ condition held by the Council, six schools were identified as meeting the criteria for submissions for funding. Schemes at a further seven schools were initially considered but did not meet the Government’s criteria for funding.
As a result the Council’s Access and Infrastructure Team, part of the Education, Health and Social Care Directorate, has now submitted expressions of interest for the following schools:
- Helston – three schemes have been proposed – including replacing C Block, replacing C block and E Block and a whole school replacement option.
- Humphrey Davey School – replacement of Block 2 (general teaching )
- Hayle Community College – Block 1, main block / general teaching and Block 6 – general teaching and Sports Hall.
- Budehaven Community School – Science, DT and Art Block
- Treviglas Community College – replacement of 6 x double Elliot buildings to permanent accommodation.
- Biscovey Nursery and Infant Community School – main block roof replacement.
Andrew Wallis, the Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said, "We are delighted the Government has allocated a further £2 billion to improve the conditions of schools across England and will be working hard to ensure that schools in Cornwall benefit from this funding. The criteria for applying for the funding was very strict which meant that we were not able to include all the schools we initially considered but we are confident that these six schools have a very strong case. I would like to thank the Council staff and the headteachers and governors from the schools for their hard work in putting together the expressions of interest which we have submitted today.
“We are hopeful that the Government will look carefully at the submissions and will also be working with our MPs to secure this much needed funding.”
The Council anticipates that the total value of the works needed to be carried out at the six schools is in the region of £40 million, however, any final value of schemes will be decided by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), should the school(s) be identified as meeting the criteria and of high enough priority by the EFA to include in the programme.
In addition to the above, the Council is also aware that an independent bid is being put forward by Tretherras School in Newquay and, where possible, the Council has provided information needed to support that bid.
The Council is hopeful that the Education Funding Agency and the Government will consider all the schemes put forward by the authority. The decision on the submission is expected sometime in December.
Story posted 22 July 2014
Red letter day for Newquay as HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visits Newquay Rowing Club
Friday 01 August will be a real red letter day for Newquay when HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visits the Harbour to meet representatives of the Newquay Rowing Club and walk around the new Treffry Centre.
The Royal visit is the result of a letter to Buckingham Palace from John Cuthill, the Chairman of Newquay Rowing Club, the oldest club on the gig rowing circuit, inviting the Duke to see the historic gigs owned by the club and meet the rowers and club officials who have worked so hard to make the club one of the most successful in the country.
Based at Newquay Harbour, the club was formed in 1921 with three old gigs – Newquay (built in 1812), Dove (1820) and Treffry (1838). Now a thriving club, with a strong membership of all ages, the three historic six oared pilot gigs are still in use today and are regularly rowed in races. The club received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2005.
As well as sighted rowers, the club also has a number of blind rowers who use oars which have been modified by putting a groove in the loom end which enables them to determine the attitude of the blade in relation to the surface of the water. The first blind rowers joined the club in January 1999 and regularly race with sighted crews and attend the World Championships in the Isles of Scilly each year, usually beating several sighted crews.
John was delighted when his invitation was accepted by The Duke of Edinburgh and is looking forward to showing him around the historic Tunnel, built by Joseph Treffry in 1844 to provide the vital link between the pack-horses delivering minerals along the tram way and Newquay harbour where the minerals would then be shipped to South Wales for smelting, and which is now used to house the club’s pilot gigs, and the club house.
“This will be wonderful day for the Rowing Club and the people of Newquay” said John. “We are very proud of our club and look forward to showing the Duke what we have achieved over the last 93 years.
“However, although the club is continuing to thrive, we urgently need to raise funds to improve our facilities. We want to move our historic gigs from the Tunnel where the 12 degree slope and seeping water make it a hostile environment for wooden boats to a new purpose built gig store, with training room, changing room, showers, kitchen and a function room.
“We have already raised £140,000 towards our £190,000 target through a mixture of fund raising activities and grants from Sport England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Newquay Town Council, as well as other organisations, but we need to do more and hope the Duke’s visit will help to raise our profile even higher and help us reach our target”.
Also present will be Jonathan Treffry, whose family built the Tunnel and has provided financial support for the gig which bears his family name and was built for his family’s company in 1838.
After being welcomed to the Harbour The Duke will walk to the quayside where four of the club’s gigs, including the three original gigs – Newquay, Dove and Treffry- and Dall Lewyer ( built in 2003) will be standing.
He will have the opportunity to look at the gigs and meet their crews. These include:
- Newquay – six junior rowers and their coaches Steve Webber, Justin Philips, Danny Beckerleg
- Dove – six rowers with cox Mark Morris
- Treffry – six ladies ( the 2013 county champions) with cox Steve Jones and Jonathan Treffry.
- Dall Lewyer – members of the Cornish Rowing Association for the Blind, six blind rowers and their escorts, cox Derek Applewhite and shore manager Dr Christine Hunter
He will then meet representatives of the Trustees of Newquay Pilot Gigs, including Chair John Bawden; Mrs Dawn Tarran, Chair of the Ladies Committee, Ted Taylor and Ms Tatia Churchill, as well as sponsors Jotun Paints Europe, North Shore, Andy Loos and Lt Col Philip Hills, Chair of Cornwall Heritage Trust. He will also be introduced to representatives of the Cornish Pilot Gig Association, including President Norma Edwards, Chair Jason Nicholas, Deputy Chair Julie Arthur, Ann Curnow-Care and Treasurer Ted Gundry.
The Duke will then walk to the RNLI building on the harbour where he meet RNLI President Norman Bailey before being shown around the Tunnel where a number of historic photographs of Newquay, the club and the gigs will be exhibited. He will also be invited to unveil a slate plaque bearing the words “To commemorate the visit to Newquay Rowing Club by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT on 1 August 2014"
Following the visit to the Tunnel the Duke will visit the new Treffy Centre which has been constructed by Cornwall Council following the destruction of the original building which was used as fishermen’s stores, a shop and an office in a fire in May 2009. The new building, which was built using Seaside Towns and European Fisheries funding, has eight stores with four offices above for use by the fishing/marine industry.
“The new building, together with a number of other initiatives including new cranes, secure working areas and improved storage facilities will greatly assist the fishing industry working out of Newquay Harbour’ said Captain Andy Brigden, Cornwall Council’s Maritime Manager, who will accompanying The Duke on his tour of the building.
After being shown around the interior of the Treffry Centre the Duke will be invited to go out to the balcony area to watch the crews of four gigs go out of the harbour into the bay towards the Treffry Centre and salute the Royal visitor by lifting their oars into the air.
Story posted 22 July 2014
Council Chairman invites people in Cornwall to commemorate World War One
Cornwall Council Chairman John Wood is inviting people in Cornwall to join the Royal British Legion “lights out” campaign on Monday 4 August by turning off their lights for just one hour at 10 pm and leaving a single lamp or candle burning to commemorate the declaration of the Great War 100 years ago.
The aim of the Royal British Legion (RBL) campaign, which is based on the words uttered by Sir Edward Grey about “lamps going out all over Europe” on the eve of Britain officially entering the First World War, is to encourage 100 million people to light candles across the UK for an hour to remember each and every one of the service men and women who gave their lives in the war to end all wars.
“The First World War affected every town and village in Cornwall” said John Wood. “At the outbreak in August 1914, thousands joined up, and the Duchy soon became a vital part of Britain’s all-consuming war effort.
“Ships of the Royal Navy, aircraft, even airships arrived to defend the sea lanes off Cornwall’s coastline, in a concerted campaign against marauding German submarines. On the home front, for four gruelling years, Cornish men and women worked tirelessly to support those fighting in distant battles overseas.
“A century has passed yet there is a strong connection with the First World War through family histories and community heritage. Conflict raged on a scale never seen before and Cornwall played a crucial role in the struggle.”
The Council has set up a dedicated area on its website containing information about the history of the War and how it affected Cornwall. The web pages titled “Cornwall Remembers” also contain information about national and local events being staged to commemorate the centenary. This includes details of the extensive programme of events, poetry, music, lectures and exhibitions being staged by Truro Cathedral.
195 sets of Cornish brothers were killed during the conflict, along with 10 sets of Cornish fathers and sons – with 13 Cornishmen killed in action at sea just 32 hours after war was declared. 14 ships with Cornish crews were also lost, including the crew of HMS Amphion which struck a German mine in the early hours of 6 August while defending the eastern approaches to the English channel. Despite the valiant efforts of the captain to stop the engines, the ship was destroyed, killing 150 British sailors, 13 of whom were from Cornwall.
John Wood will be hosting a special ceremony at County Hall, Truro at 10.30am on 4 August to mark the declaration of the war and remember those from Cornwall who lost their lives in the conflict.
The ceremony will include the formal rededication of a plaque containing the words of a Resolution of Cornwall County Council dated 29 July 1919 giving thanks for the ending of the war and commemorating those who died for their county.
The plaque, which previously hung in Old County Hall, will be unveiled in its new home in New County Hall, by Cornwall’s Lord Lieutenant Colonel Edward Bolitho who will read out the words of the Resolution. This will be followed by prayers led by the Very Reverend Roger Bush, Dean of Truro who will re-dedicate the plaque in the honour of the fallen.
Cornwall’s High Sheriff Charles Williams, Cornwall Council’s Vice Chairman Ann Kerridge and Chief Executive Andrew Kerr will then take it in turns to read out the names of the 13 men who lost their lives on HMS Amphion.
The ceremony will end with Cornwall Councillor and poet Bert Biscoe reading one of his own poems about the conflict.
The Great War also affected children in Cornwall – with school log books of the time showing that local children collected money for Belgian refugees, donated their pocket money, collected eggs for wounded soldiers, and picked blackberries to make jam. A selection of some of the original log books will be on display in the main entrance to New County Hall.
“This was a momentous time in the history of Europe” said John Wood. “Many men and women lost their lives during the struggle. Many returned home to make the new society which emerged, and many of those struggled through their lives with the memories, the indelible images of horror etched in their minds - many never, or only rarely spoke of their ordeals. “
“Over the next four years nations, communities and individuals of all ages will come together to mark, commemorate and remember the lives of those who lives, fought and died in the First World War. There will be many community activities taking place across Cornwall and I would ask everyone to join in and remember ”.
Story posted 22 July 2014
Park Home residents' forum up and running to offer support
A recent meeting held in St. Erme Community Centre saw the creation of a new resident led forum set up to support people living in Park Homes in Cornwall. The group held its inaugural meeting and AGM where it was unanimously agreed that the forum should be established, and a committee of park home residents was voted in to take the forum forward.
“I am so pleased that those who attended showed their strong support to setting this forum up” said Derek Cordier, Chair of the Forum, “I feel we have a strong committee of dedicated people who all live in park homes and who will be able to work well together to get the forum established and offer support to other residents in Cornwall.”
A constitution for the forum was also agreed at the meeting which sets out its objectives which include:
- representing the interest of park home residents in Cornwall and informing them of their rights
- building relationships and improving communication with Cornwall Council and other organisations
- to engage, communicate and distribute information to park home residents in Cornwall Council
- to support new and existing qualifying resident associations.
Councillor Geoff Brown, Ward Member for Newquay Central and Portfolio Holder for Homes and Communities at Cornwall Council said “Setting up this independent forum is a really positive and important step and we are committed to continue to develop our understanding of the needs of people living in Park Homes”
The first committee meeting has already taken place and the members are in the process of writing to all park home residents in Cornwall to make them aware of the forum and ask them to become members. With support from Cornwall Council, they will also be applying for funding to help the group carry out its objectives.
“Cornwall Council’s Localism team and other services will continue to support the forum and all park home residents in Cornwall” said Mark O’Brien, Cornwall Council’s Community Network Manager leading on this piece of work, “and we want to ensure that all park home residents are aware of the benefits of becoming part of the forum where important support, information and advice will be made available to them.”
Dianne Eade, Secretary of the Forum added “If you are a park home resident please look out for our welcome letter which will be coming out to you shortly. If you would like to find out anything more about the forum or are able to help by offering to post copies of letters into your neighbours letterboxes, please contact us, we would love to hear from you.”
The forum can be contacted via email@example.com.
Story posted 15 July 2014
CORMAC confirms move to Higher Trenant
Cornwall Council’s Higher Trenant offices in Wadebridge are to become the new headquarters for CORMAC Solutions Ltd, the authority’s arms length highways and construction company.
The company, which employs around 1,600 staff, is currently looking to relocate its Head Office at Castle Canyke in Bodmin as it is at full capacity and needs to move to a larger building to enable all its different services to be based under one roof.
Over the past few months the company has been investigating the potential for a move to Higher Trenant with staff from the Council’s property service. This has concluded that relocating the head office to Wadebridge is the most practical option, with CORMAC staff due to complete the move by the Summer of 2015.
News of the move has been welcomed by Alex Folkes, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, who said “I am pleased that we have been able to find a sustainable future for Higher Trenant offices in a way that also meets the needs of CORMAC”.
“This move also confirms our commitment to having a strong public sector presence in the town of Wadebridge”.
Arthur Hooper, Managing Director for CORMAC said “CORMAC is delighted to have acquired the lease for Higher Trenant. This enables the company to bring more of its staff under one roof, which in itself will enable CORMAC to deliver further efficiencies in our back office operations.
“We will continue to retain an operational presence at Bodmin and will be continuing our presence at Scorrier and other sub depots throughout Cornwall.”
The move will also enable services which currently have some of their staff working in Higher Trenant to bring them together in the new Bodmin offices which will enable them to deliver services in a more efficient and cost effective way.
The Council will be working with all affected staff to ensure the success of the move.
Story posted 18 July 2014