Could you change a child's life forever?
This Foster Care Fortnight (1-14 June) Cornwall Council’s Fostering Service is urging people to come forward as potential foster carers with a drop in event being held at New County Hall, Truro between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday, 11 June.
Foster carers look after children who are unable to live with their families. This can be due to a number of reasons, including the illness of a parent or other member of the family, family relationships problems or because they have been the victim of abuse or neglect.
While most fostered children go back to their own families after a short period with someone who understands their background, some are unable to return home and need long term care or, when they are older, help to move on to independent accommodation.
At present, there is a real need for foster carers to care for older children, teenagers, siblings and also a need for people who can care for a child or young person permanently, until they reach independence.
In Cornwall there are 276 families who foster, but more are urgently needed. Foster carers help some of the most vulnerable children and young people by providing guidance, stability and love.
Debbie is a foster carer in Cornwall and cares for older children on a permanent basis, she says” Being a foster carer is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs in the world. To be there when a 14 year old learns to ride a bike for the first time is an amazing experience, to get a hug for helping them is humbling.
“There are teenagers in care that need adults they can trust, that will listen to their views and opinions with respect, and will communicate with them on their level.”
Rebecca Sargent is the Service Manage for the Fostering Service. “Many people have misconceptions about fostering, and don’t realise that some of the most rewarding experiences can be when caring for a teenager, or offering a child a permanent home. Many of our children and young people live with the same foster family throughout their childhood, and this gives them great security and emotional permanence.
“All of our foster carers get comprehensive training and support and there is a continual development programme that covers a wide range of subjects."
“Foster carers have a vital role in giving children in care the best possible start in life” added Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People. “Our foster carersare doing a great job in making a truly positive difference tothe lives of hundreds of children in Cornwall every year but we need more people to come forward .“
“You don't have to have a set income, own your own home or be married to be a foster carer. What's important is you are able to help a child. You can help change a child’s life by becoming a foster carer so please take the time to think about how you can become involved “.
To find out more about becoming a foster carer, you can attend the informal drop-in evening from 6pm-8pm on Thursday 11 June, at New County Hall in Truro, or call the Fostering Team on 01872 323 638.
Read more about fostering
Land damaged in Carn Brea fire 'could take years to recover'
A fire started by a disposable barbecue caused long term damage to the habitat at Carn Brea, with the ground in the worst affected areas expected to take many years to recover.
Around 7 hectares of gorse, heather and bilberry were destroyed following the fire on the northern side of Carn Brea hill last week. As the blaze spread across the local landmark, more than 200 calls were received by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Control Room and at the height of the incident, five appliances - from Camborne Pool and Redruth, Hayle and Helston fire stations – were on the scene tackling the blaze.
The Council and fire service are now repeating pleas for people to take care when using disposable barbecues.
Station Manager Nathaniel Hooton from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It is thanks to the swift actions of Fire Control in mobilising appliances and the hard work and professionalism of the responding crews that the fire did not spread further and this incident was brought to a safe conclusion.
“This incident highlights the importance of taking great care when using disposable barbecues – as we have seen, fire can quickly spread with devastating results. Please take care and follow our safety advice.”
“In terms of damage to wildlife, this is about the worst time of year for this fire to happen,” said Jon James, Cornwall Council’s Environment Manager.
“Nesting birds, small mammals, reptiles and insects are all very active in the spring and early summer and will have all been directly harmed by the fire as it spread so quickly through the dry vegetation. There is also long term damage to the habitat - with the ground being relatively dry at this time of year the fire has burned quite deeply in places and the ground will take many years to recover.”
If you are using a disposable barbecue, here are some safety tips:
- Never leave a barbecue unattended.
- Follow the safety instructions provided.
- Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
- Never use a barbecue indoors.
- Make sure it is placed on level ground where it will not tip over.
- Never place the barbecue on a flammable surface – the foil base becomes very hot.
- Use the stand provided and make sure the base is several inches above the surface.
- Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
- Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
- Leave the barbecue to cool before attempting to move it – this may take several hours.
- Fully extinguish the barbecue by pouring plenty of water or sand onto it, making sure the coals are fully covered.
- Do not place a disposable barbecue in a rubbish bin until it has cooled down properly.
More safety advice is available on Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service's fire safety pages
Council elects Chairman, Vice Chairman and Leader at annual meeting
John Pollard, the Independent Member for Hayle North, was re-elected as the Leader of Cornwall Council at this week’s meeting of the unitary authority.
Thanking Members for their support Mr Pollard said that being re-elected as the Leader for the third year was both an extremely humbling and emotional experience. “I am grateful for the Council’s support and promise that I will do my best to ensure that this Council is successful and inclusive” he said. “I will strive to bring a consensus that is above party political gain but delivers to the Cornish public the service that they deserve.
“I believe that the alliance between the Independent and Liberal Democrat groups on the Council has worked tremendously well and this is a credit to all involved. The Cabinet is very talented with all portfolio holders working extremely hard and bringing good management to their area of responsibility.
“We must all strive for the highest possible standards but overall Cornwall is a successful Council in comparison to many other local authorities.
“Looking forward, if we can implement the four year budget, if we can maintain a spirit of improvement, if we can eradicate mistakes and insensitive communications, we can build a different, strong, resilient, and sustainable Cornwall. “
Following the decision of Jeremy Rowe, the Liberal Democrat Member for St Issey and St Tudy, to stand down as Deputy Leader of the Council, the role has been taken over by Adam Paynter, the Liberal Democrat Member for Launceston North and North Petherwin.
Confirming the appointment Mr Pollard said “Adam brings enormous experience to the Cabinet and I know that his wise counsel and intelligent approach will be a great assistance to me and the Council. “
Mr Pollard also paid tribute to the contribution which had been made by Jeremy Rowe, who will continue in his role as the Cabinet Member for Localism. “ An architect of the alliance, the foundation of the Liberal Democrat contribution to the Cabinet and, most importantly, the most dependable and supportive Deputy anyone could wish for. He has been brilliant. I am delighted that he remains on the Cabinet and know that he will be an integral part of the team. “
Mr Pollard also confirmed that all the nine remaining Members of the Cabinet would continue in their existing roles.
At the meeting Members also elected Ann Kerridge, the Liberal Democrat Member for Bodmin St Mary’s, as the Chairman of the Council, with Mary May, the Independent Member for Penryn West, elected as Vice Chairman.
This is the first time in the history of both Cornwall Council, and the former Cornwall County Council, that two women have held the roles of Chairman and Vice Chairman at the same time.
Thanking Members for their support and confidence, Ann Kerridge, the former Vice Chairman of the Council, said that John Wood had been an excellent Chairman and would be a hard act to follow. Her comments were echoed by Council Leader John Pollard who said that Mr Wood had been a superb Chairman of the Council.
Also thanking Members for their support new Vice Chairman Mary May pledged to do her best for the Council and for Cornwall.
Following the announcement that Chief Executive Andrew Kerr is leaving the Council to take up a new position as the Chief Executive of Edinburgh City Council, Members have confirmed the arrangements for the appointment of a new Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service.
A Selection and Appointment of Chief Officers Panel will now be appointed and convened as soon as possible to oversee the appointment process, including all relevant terms and conditions. Members of the Panel will include the Chairman of the Council, the Leader, Deputy Leader, Independent Cabinet Member, the Group Leaders of the Conservative, UKIP, Mebyon Kernow and Labour groups and the Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group.
The Panel will report back to the next meeting of the full Council on 21 July.
Story posted 20 May 2015
Success as communities, businesses and Cornwall Council work together in bid for Blue Flag and Seaside Awards
This summer seven Cornwall Council beaches will be flying Blue Flags, the joint highest number for any local authority area, with brand new awards for Trevone and Widemouth.
In addition, Crooklets and Summerleaze in Bude have been successful in their bid for Seaside Awards, Keep Britain Tidy’s own award for the beaches that meet the very highest standards for cleanliness and facilities.
Prestigious Blue Flags, the international standard for the best beaches in the world, will be flying this season at Gyllyngvase in Falmouth; Porthminster and Porthmeor in St Ives; Polzeath; Porthtowan; Trevone and Widemouth, near Bude. All seven have also been successful in their bid for a Seaside Award.
The applications for the Awards and the work required to make sure that the beaches reach the exacting standards required to win has been made possible through sponsorship and the work of community groups and local businesses.
Cornwall’s Rock based Sharp’s Brewery is playing a key role in protecting five Cornish beaches. 5p of every pint sold of Sharp’s 2015 limited edition beers ‘Rockpool’, ‘Rising Tide’, ‘Offshore’ and ‘Point Break’ will go towards the initiative and the support of Polzeath, Trevone, Porthtowan, Porthmeor and Gyllyngvase beaches.
James Nicholls, Senior Brand Manager, Sharp’s Brewery, says, "With Sharp’s Brewery being based in North Cornwall, the coastline and our beaches are deeply important to us. We are therefore proud and delighted to be supporting the coastal community in helping these beautiful beaches obtain and retain the prestigious Blue Flag Status that they so highly deserve. As an extension of our 'There’s an Adventure Brewing’ campaign we will be sponsoring Polzeath, Porthtowan, Porthmeor, Trevone and Gyllyngvase beaches in Cornwall by donating 5p from every pint sold of our new Rockpool beer to the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). The Blue Flag Initiative does a fantastic job of supporting beaches in coastal areas, and we are pleased to be helping them continue the great work that they do across Cornwall."
The successful Blue Flag and Seaside Award applications for Porthtowan were also made possible through the efforts of the local beach management group who have proactively led the community effort to gain these prestigious awards. John Barrow, Chairman of the Porthtowan Beach Association said: “Winning both the Blue Flag Award as well as the Seaside Award is fantastic - a brilliant achievement and a ringing endorsement of the exemplar standard of the beach environment at Porthtowan. It demonstrates that an inclusive partnership between communities, Cornwall Council and our very valuable Sponsors not only works but also creates real value for everyone.”
The Chairman of the Falmouth Beach Management Group, Councillor Steve Gray, echoed the message that partnership working at the community level had brought Blue Flag success for Gyllyngvase. He hoped that the other beaches in and around Falmouth could also now work towards award status.
Porthminster has been awarded Blue Flag status following support for its application from community ‘beach champions’ including local businesses.
Similarly Widemouth near Bude has become a Blue Flag beach when local funders supported the application after being approached by ‘beach champions’ from Widemouth Task Force.
Summerleaze has gained a Seaside Award after the Bude Cleaner Seas Project approached local funders who agreed to support the application process. Supporters included, John Gimson, Trev Plant, Dawn Robinson-Walsh, The Gallery, Air Culture, Olive Tree, Surf Cabin and Life’s A Beach. Friends of Bude Sea Pool and Bude Area Tourist Board also made generous donations, and Bude-Stratton Town Council offered a sizeable grant.
Ian Saltern, Project Manager for the Bude Cleaner Seas Project said, “I’m really grateful to all those who contributed towards achieving this award for Summerleaze – not just those who donated money, but also the farmers, businesses, schools, local groups and community minded people who have done their bit to ensure that Bude’s bathing water and beaches have reached such a high standard. I’m very proud of the effort everyone has made.”
Crooklets, also in Bude, has also gained a Seaside Award following the efforts of ‘beach champions’ in the area. A newly formed ‘Beach Management Committee’ comprising of local residents Deb Rosser, Nicola Hammond and Martin Dorey raised money to pay for the application with a JustGiving page. Thanks to the generosity of local hotels, cafes and individuals they smashed their target within days leaving money in the pot to pay for a Blue Flag application next year.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for Housing and Environment Joyce Duffin said: “It is fantastic to see what can be achieved when sponsors, local beach champions and the Council work together to achieve these really excellent results for Cornwall. It’s great to see how everyone has stepped up to support their beaches. It is not just the cost of the application itself which needs to be factored in but all the work that needs to be carried out for a beach to be worthy of a Blue Flag or Seaside Award. The sponsorship and practical efforts of all concerned which has helped Cornwall Council to make the applications, is to be applauded.”
Story posted: 20th May 2015
Council Leader to host four events as the public are invited to give their views on the Case for Cornwall
Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard is hosting four public events, in Penzance, Liskeard, Truro and Bude, to hear people’s views on the ‘Case for Cornwall’.
Before the General Election on 7 May, the Council wrote to the leaders of the main national political parties in England calling on them to give their support for the Case for Cornwall, a package of bold measures which seeks to obtain additional powers and freedoms for Cornwall across a range of areas including health, housing, transport and funding. Now that the election has taken place, the Council is working to finalise the Case for Cornwall to be able to present the final document to Parliament in July.
Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard explains: “Cornwall has a proud record of standing up and fighting for what it believes in and I hope that the people of Cornwall will agree with me that we need to have more local accountability, more local control, more local direction and more local democracy. We want to put forward a strong case which will give us the powers, freedom and flexibility to enable us to deliver a better service to our communities and create a more flexible and sustainable Cornwall.
I am inviting residents to join me and senior Council officers to learn about and discuss the proposals outlined in the Case for Cornwall before we present the final document. We have already had some positive feedback and want to hear from residents to help us further shape the final submission.”
Everyone is welcome to come to any of the events:-
- Wednesday 27 May 6.30pm
Penzance One Stop Shop, St Clare, Penzance, TR18 3QW
- Thursday 28 May 6.30pm
Luxstowe House Council Chamber, Liskeard, PL14 3DZ
- Monday 1 June 6.30pm
New County Hall, Treyew Road,Truro, TR1 3AY
- Wednesday 3 June 6.30pm, Falcon Hotel, Breakwater Road, Bude EX23 8SD
The Council will also have an area devoted to the Case for Cornwall at the Royal Cornwall Show in Wadebridge on 4, 5 and 6 June
Details of the Case for Cornwall are available on the Council’s website and in libraries and one stop shops
You can pledge your support on Twitter @CaseforCornwall #standupforCornwall and on Facebook
Story posted 19 May 2015
Work begins to stabilise Porthtowan Dunes
Work has begun to help stabilise the dune at Porthtowan.
At a meeting attended by representatives of Porthtowan Beach Association, the Porthtowan Dunes Community Group, St Agnes Parish Council and Cornwall Council a programme for planting vegetation on the dunes was agreed. The area will be fenced off during this time to help protect the new plants and give them an opportunity to establish.
While the fencing will clearly mark the areas where work is taking place, visitors to the beach are being asked to be mindful of this work and not to enter the fenced-off areas.
Councillor Joyce Duffin, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Housing and Environment, and Local Member for the area, said: “It is really important that we achieve some way of stabilising the sand in Porthtowan. At the meeting everyone agreed to go ahead with this planting and provide signage so that residents and visitors will know why the works are happening. The fencing is vital to let these plants establish without being walked over."
“The results of an independent study, which will provide a long term management plan for Porthtowan, will be available after the summer.”
Posted on 12 May 2015
Fire service prepares to move into new Tolvaddon station
Firefighters in Camborne and Redruth will be shortly making the move to Tolvaddon after being given the keys to Cornwall’s newest fire station.
Many years in the planning and after a year-long build, the brand new custom built Camborne, Pool and Redruth Community Fire Station will open its doors later this month.
Contractors from Kier Construction handed over the keys to Station Manager Mark Salter last week, prompting crews to start the task of moving into their new home.
Crews will begin to respond to emergency calls from the station later this month and in the run up to official move will rehearse mobilising fire appliances from the Tolvaddon site. When fully operational, wholetime and on call firefighters will be based at the station which will provide 24 hour cover for the Camborne, Pool and Redruth area. The station will house three fire engines, as well as a rescue tender –used to respond to road traffic collisions and animal rescues among other incidents – and a rope rescue vehicle.
“Our immediate focus, prior to going live, is to ensure that all our critical systems are functioning correctly. This includes the testing of our mobilisation and deployment procedures and completing a series of operational preparedness checks before we officially move in,” said Mark Salter, Station Manager for Camborne, Pool and Redruth Community Fire Station.
“Firefighters will be spending as much time as possible here at the new station over the next few weeks in order to become familiar with the operating area and to become more accustomed to their new surroundings. We will be working with the local community to make sure we are considerate of their needs and will be inviting neighbouring residents to a series of drop in sessions at the station after we go live."
“Today is a momentous occasion and is a testament to the determination of our Chief Fire Officer and Principal Management Team who have taken a long held ambition of the Service and made it a reality. I very much look forward to serving at the new community fire station and feel immensely proud of what Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has achieved.”
Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Communities, said: “I am delighted that our dedicated fire fighters will be moving to these new, purpose built, premises. Together with the new Hayle Community Fire Station this will enable CFRS to reach almost 14,000 homes in the area more quickly and will provide fire cover second to none. I would also like to thank Kier for their co-operation, efficiency and attention to detail in the construction of the new station.”
Stuart Denslow, Project Manager for Kier Construction, said: “We have been pleased to be part of the process to provide CFRS with a new fire station, it has been a challenging project however we have enjoyed the collaborative working relationship with the Fire service and project team and look forward to seeing the facility go live.”
The new station is an important investment for the service, with the new building replacing two stations which were more than 50 years old. The relocation to the new station and facilities is expected to save the service around £500,000 a year in maintenance, running and operational costs.
Photographs show CPR Station Manager Mark Salter (centre) at the new station with firefighters from Blue Watch Camborne who will be among those to be based at the new building.
Story posted: 12 May 2015
Liskeard students 'pass out' at Liskeard Community Fire Station parade
Students from Liskeard School and Community College will ‘pass out’ on Friday 15 May at Liskeard Community Fire Station.
The official passing out parade will mark the culmination of the group’s learning during the five day Phoenix Project course. During the ceremony, held in front of family and friends, the group will showcase firefighting techniques, including hose running.
The Phoenix Project has been run by the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service since 2002 and enhances young people’s self-confidence, communication skills and community spirit.
Dave Pilling, Phoenix Project Manager said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service commits itself to developing skills for every child and these young people from Liskeard School and Community College have shown great enthusiasm participating in all aspects of the programme. We continue to use the Phoenix Project to invest in young people across Cornwall. The fire service is able to use its reputation and position of authority and respect within the community to hone young people’s team work, communication and leadership skills. The students from Liskeard School and Community College have worked extremely hard to succeed and gain their ASDAN certificate for improving their own learning and performance.”
The Phoenix Project is a Cornwall wide initiative geared towards students between the ages of 13 -17. To gain their certificates the students are given training in hose running, marching, wearing breathing apparatus (BA), life skills and problem solving with the aim of building confidence and self-esteem, raise aspirations and improve teamwork and communication skills.
“It’s great to see yet more young people learn not only how to become better communicators and leaders but to learn a very important fire safety message at the same time. Initiatives such as Phoenix help us to achieve safer communities from the ground up, which is the principal aim of the service” said Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown said: “The Phoenix Project has been extremely successful in helping young people from many areas and backgrounds. Once again it’s great to see how our fire service can help these young people learn how to become better communicators and leaders as they grow in confidence.”
Story posted 15 May 2015