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  • Prison sentence for farmer guilty of animal cruelty charges

    A farmer from Gorran has been sentenced to 18 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges.

    Michael Selwyn Hart, 58, formally of Trevennen Farm in Gorran, was also banned from keeping farm animals for five years and ordered to pay £960 in costs following the hearing at Truro Magistrates Court on Wednesday 22 April.

    Hart pleaded guilty to six charges under the Animal Welfare Act, including causing unnecessary suffering to 11 sheep by failing to prevent or treat emaciation, failing to treat three lame sheep, failing to care for a pig with overgrown feet and failing to care for 80 sheep. He also pleaded guilty to further charges of failing to dispose of sheep carcases and failing to give poultry clean housing.

    During the course of the Council’s investigation, several animals were put to sleep to prevent further suffering.

    In 2013 Hart was given a warning by Cornwall Council for again failing to dispose of carcasses and in May 2014 was given a Simple Caution for failing to dispose of other carcases.

    Allan Hampshire, Cornwall Council’s Head of Public Protection and Business Support said “Over the past couple of years my officers have attempted to support and assist Mr Hart.  However Mr Hart started working off the farm and found himself too busy to provide the most basic of care to his animals.   By following the advice of my Animal Health Inspectors - which was simply to sell some of his animals - Mr Hart would have prevented all these offences and the animal’s suffering.”

    Story posted 23 April 2015

  • Repairs to road junctions in Truro

    Road closures will be in place on City Road, Charles Street, Calenick Street and Infirmary Hill in Truro for around a fortnight from Monday 11 May while the junction linking the roads is resurfaced.

    Resurfacing works will also take place for a week from Monday 25 May at the junction of City Road and Kenwyn Street. As a result diversions will be in place while City Road and the road between Little Castle Street and City Road is closed to through traffic.

    CORMAC will be carrying out the work to remove the brick paving from the junctions which has become worn and damaged over time, leaving an uneven surface. The paving will be replaced with asphalt in order to provide a more durable surface which is better suited to the levels of traffic using the junctions. The ramps on the approaches to the junctions and the footway areas will remain as block paving.

    Access to homes, businesses and Moorfield Car Park will be maintained during the works and diversions will be in place for through traffic. Pedestrian access will not be affected.

    Access and diversions:

    • Access to Calenick Street will be maintained via Kenwyn Street.
    • Access to Charles Street will be maintained from Lemon Street.
    • Access to City Road for the first phase of works from Monday 11 May will be from Bosvigo Road, and during the second phase (City Road/Kenwyn Street junction) will be maintained via the Charles / Calenick Street junction.

    Story posted 23 April 2015

  • Don't get caught out by cold callers

    Over the last week Cornwall Council Trading Standards Officers have received complaints from residents who are being targeted by cold callers, allegedly using high pressure selling techniques to supply and install domestic alarm systems in the homes of older people.

    In the reported cases, the systems have appeared to be significantly overpriced and unsuitable for their intended purpose.

    Andy May, Trading Standard Authorised Officer commented “When a trader agrees a contract at your home, they are required to provide a notice of cancellation, giving you the protection of a 14 day cooling off period, in which you can change your mind. If the trader starts work before the end of the 14 days, without your express written consent, then you are not liable to pay any money whatsoever.  Unfortunately in some cases we are concerned that the prospective customers may be inadvertently waiving their right to cancel, allowing installation work to start immediately.”

    Andy goes on to say “It is important to read all documents that you are given carefully, particularly where it requires your signature. Some traders appear to be deliberately using pre-prepared waivers, which we do not consider to be in the spirit of the law. Customers are signing the waivers and allowing the work to start, without realising what it is that they are signing and the potential implications that this might have on their consumer rights.”

    Trading Standards encourage consumers not to purchase goods or services from traders who call at their door unexpectedly, or following an unsolicited phone call.

    Trading Standards are appealing for anyone, particularly concerned neighbours or relatives of vulnerable consumers, who may have any information in respect of these sales or practises, to report them on 0300 1234 191.

    Story posted: 2 April 2015

  • Parents 'pass out' at Falmouth Community Fire Station

    A group of parents will be celebrating their achievements in completing an innovative course run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix Project at a presentation event at Falmouth Community Fire Station on Friday 30 January.

    The course, which was developed by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) aims to provide support and training to parents.  The course was funded by Job Centre flexible support fund and is one of the three pilot courses which will be running over the next few months. 

    All participants were given the opportunity to gain an APT Entry level 3 qualification together with the HeartStart accreditation in emergency life support techniques. The group also took part in a range of fire service activities to promote teamwork, communication skills and raise confidence.

    Throughout the course participants get the opportunity to learn and develop transferable skills through participating in fire and rescue service drills and activities. These skills can then be taken forward to help the individuals to identify future employment, training or voluntary opportunities.

    CFRS Acting Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker said: “I am encouraged to see how Phoenix team has been able to use the work and reputation of the fire and rescue service to help this group of people develop useful new skills.”

    Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities said:  “These courses are an excellent example of how we can really make a difference to the lives of these individuals. I am delighted to celebrate the people who have embraced this opportunity to learn from the best.”

     

    Story Posted 2 February 2015

  • Fire course aims to help improve job prospects of Launceston and Bude groups

    A group of people referred by Bude and Launceston Job Centres will be celebrating their achievements in completing an innovative course run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix Works team at a presentation event at Launceston Community Fire Station on Friday 23 January.

    The course, which was developed by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) and funded by Jobcentre Plus Devon Cornwall and Somerset, aims to provide support and training to increase the employment opportunities of those who take part.

    Referred by the local job centres, all participants were given the opportunity to gain an ASDAN level one qualification in Improving Own Learning and Performance together with the HeartStart accreditation in emergency life support techniques. The group also took part in a range of fire service activities to promote teamwork, communication skills, raise confidence and aspirations. Alongside this, the course includes fire and road safety advice, as well as train the trainer and presentation skills.

    Throughout the course participants get the opportunity to learn and develop transferable skills through participating in fire and rescue service drills and activities. These skills can then be taken forward and put into practice when the group members meet local employers, support agencies and community groups to help the individuals to identify future employment, training or voluntary opportunities.

    CFRS Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker said: “I am encouraged to see how Phoenix Works team has been able to use the work and reputation of the fire and rescue service to help this group of people develop useful new skills.”

    Carolyn Webster, District Business Manager for Jobcentre Plus Devon Cornwall and Somerset said: "The great work that the Phoenix team do to build their motivation and confidence really makes a difference to jobseekers prospects of finding work more quickly. We are proud to work alongside them and to fund their delivery through the District Flexible Support Fund"

    Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities said:  “These courses are an excellent example of how, by working with partners such as Jobcentre Plus, we can really make a difference to the lives of these individuals. I am delighted to celebrate the people who have embraced this opportunity to learn from the best.”

    Story posted 22 January 2015

  • Brewing up the Past in Redruth to celebrate St Piran's Day

    Brewery

    On Saturday 7 March the Cornish Studies Library will be opening a photographic exhibition, art installation and launching a trail as part of Redruth’s St Piran’s Day celebrations.

    The exhibition and installation are both the result of the ‘Brewing Up the Past’ project which has been running in Redruth, led by Cascade Theatre Company. The project was designed to capture memories and stories of the former Redruth Brewery site which will be the home of Kresen Kernow, Cornwall’s new archive centre. Workshops and other events and activities took place in schools, community centres and even the street as part of the project.

    The exhibition will feature atmospheric photographs of the site and the project taken by members of Camborne and Redruth Camera Club. The installation has been inspired by the history of the area and the brewery, as well as the memories of participants shared in a number of reminiscence sessions.

    Iain Rowe, Kresen Kernow participation officer, says: “One aim of Brewing up the Past was to help raise awareness of and enthusiasm for Kresen Kernow, Cornwall’s new archive centre. Another was to collect memories, stories and visual media in order to put on a permanent display about the history of the area in the new centre. We’re not just interested in the industry but the people who worked, visited, lived – and still live – there. We’re thrilled to be able to share the results of the project on March 07”.

    Cornwall Council cabinet member for Economy and Culture Julian German said: “It is great to see how the local community has got on board to support the development of Kresen Kernow which will be a fantastic asset for the area and for Cornwall as a whole”. 

    Staff will be on hand to provide updates on the archive centre project.  The project team would also be delighted if people coming to the event brought along memories, photographs or memorabilia from the Brewery, knitwear factory, fuse manufactory or mills formerly on the site.

    The exhibition will run a the Cornish Studies Library until 14 March.

    Story posted 26 February 2015

  • Call to St Austell businesses to support Prince's Trust TEAM initiative

    TEAM St Austell WEB

    Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and the Prince’s Trust are asking local businesses to get involved with a TEAM programme currently underway in St Austell.

    A group of eleven young people aged between 16 and 25 years old who are not in employment, education or training (NEETS) are taking part in a 12 week Prince’s Trust TEAM programme personal development course which aims to help young people develop the skills and confidence to move into employment, education, training, volunteering or apprenticeships. The courses are run in partnership with and funded by Cornwall Council’s Adult Education service.

    An important part of the course is two weeks work experience and that is where local businesses come in.

    Group leader Samantha Spooner said: “The participants will take on and learn a lot in just 12 weeks. We want local businesses to offer them the opportunity to learn new skills and help raise their levels of confidence and motivation to ensure they enter further education, training or employment.”

    The group will also take part in team building activities and challenges, a week-long action packed residential trip as well as receive advice on how to write a CV and gain nationally recognised qualifications.

    The TEAM will also undertake a community project and this is another area where local businesses can get involved.

    Sam says: “We have worked with local businesses in the past who have kindly donated materials so we hope we can rely on them for their help and support.”

    Station Manager Dave Pilling from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are delighted to be able to work with The Prince’s Trust to deliver this very worthwhile programme.  Too many young people feel they don’t have any skills and talents, and feel they’ll never amount to anything. The Team programme really does help them to turn their lives around; helping them into work, education or training, furthermore taking part in Team does not affect their benefits”.

    Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has been extremely successful in helping young people from many areas and backgrounds.  This initiative in partnership with The Prince’s Trust is to be applauded.  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 and, in some cases, turn their lives around.”

    If any local businesses are interested in work experience placements or being involved in the community project then please contact Samantha Spooner on 07779334386.

    Photograph shows the St Austell Team

    Posted on 13 February 

  • Praise for Cornwall's Together for Families partnership

    Cornwall’s Together for Families partnership has been praised for its work in turning around the lives of almost 1,000 families with the most complex needs over the last three years.  

    The aim of the three year national “Troubled Families” programme, which was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in March 2012, is to support local organisations which are working with families identified as having the most complex needs.  Under the programme key workers from a range of services work with families to identify the support they need to address their problems and then help them to access a package of both mainstream and specialist support.

    Local partnerships can apply for up to £4,000 of funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government for each family they successfully support to change their behaviour to benefit them and their families.  This funding is allocated in two phases - an up front fee and a “payments by results” part which is dependent on providing evidence of positive achievements.  Families who meet the criteria for the programme are offered additional support from a range of partner agencies from across the area.

    Speaking to MPs Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said that 105,671 complex families across England had benefited from the support provided by local authority teams by February, putting the programme firmly on track to achieve the Prime Minister’s goal of turning around 120,000 by the end of the parliament.

    “The Troubled Families programme has been a triumph and I am proud that we will deliver the Prime Minister’s ambition to turn around the lives 120,000 of this country’s hardest to help families” said Mr Pickles.  “It has worked because it has been bold and unafraid of getting tough with those who need it most.  It has also provided a long-term solution by tackling the root causes of the very complex problems these families face.  This innovative approach has not only saved the taxpayer over a billion pounds but had life changing results for the families involved by giving them a hand up when they needed it most.”

    Following the introduction of the Government’s Troubled Families programme in April 2012, Cornwall Council has worked with partners to help 975 families to get back on track. 

    This includes :

    • Improving school attendance and reducing exclusion rates *
    • reducing anti social behaviour and youth offending **
    • Supporting people back into work or onto a work programme

    Head of the Government’s Troubled Families programme Louise Casey CB said:  “Behind these figures are real people from 975 Cornish families whose lives have changed for the better. Families with an average of nine serious problems each were never going to be easy to turn around, so all credit to the council and other services who have committed to this programme, the frontline staff in the county who have given their all to these families and most of all to the families who have had the courage to change and given themselves and their children a better chance in life than they had before.” 

    Cornwall’s partnership, which includes Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Health commissioners, Probation, the Drug and Alcohol Action Team, Education Welfare, Youth Offending team, Careers South West and representatives of the voluntary and community sector (including Action for Children and Addaction), was set up in 2012 following the launch of the Government’s Troubled Families programme.

    “The Together for Families programme is about providing tailored support to families who really need it” said Charlotte Hill, Chair of the Cornwall “Together for Families” partnership.  “The aim is to encourage all services to take a whole family approach, with intensive family support being provided to families with the most complex issues.   The programme is also exploring what families need from services that will support them best.” 

    “The success of the programme in Cornwall means we have been able to work with local services to make the changes that are required to provide timely and efficient support for those families with the most complex needs.“

    Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Young People, said “Working with the families directly enables the partner agencies to help overcome the difficulties the families face.  The results of this programme shows that tackling the issues as a family unit helps achieve real positive outcomes.”

    Following Cornwall’s success in achieving positive outcomes for over 75% of eligible families, Cornwall will now progress to the second phase of the programme which runs from 2015 to 2020.  

    The new programme will build on the achievements of the first phase, with the target of supporting an additional 4,050 families in Cornwall over the next five years(689 in 2015/16).

    This will mean continuing to work with key partners in Police, Health, Education and Employment to identify and engage eligible families and working  with communities and voluntary sector partners to get people into work , improve school attendance and attainment, reduce  crime and antisocial behaviour and tackle health issues including  drug and alcohol dependency. 

    “The new programme provides an opportunity for partner organisations to work closer together to support communities and families in Cornwall and to become better and smarter at how we deliver services” said Andrew Wallis. “This will enable us to meet the needs of these families at the same time as saving money across the public sector. 

    “To achieve this within reduced levels of funding we will need to engage with families and support them to address a range of complex issues at the same time as getting services to think and work differently with families”. 

     

    Story posted 10 March 2015

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