Helston College’s new school building unveiled 

Yesterday, was the first time the public were able to see the proposed new school building for Helston College. This journey of getting a new building been a bumpy road, with many setbacks. However, this building will actually happen with the building work starting this September and opening in January 2019.

I am over the moon this is finally happening as one of priorites as Lead Member for Children’s Service has been to get getting proper funding our schools. And I was pleased our bid to the Government for a replacement building for Helston College was accepted. 

Massive credit must go to the college’s head teacher, the governors and all staff who have worked tirelessly to make this new build a reality. 

During the build, students will continue to use the existing buildings. Once the new building is open, then the old site will be demolished and replaced with sport facilities. The Sports Centre will remain in its current place. 

Many will wonder why there is not a whole school build option. This could not be achieved as the Education Funding Agency would not fund the extra millions. 

Planning will now be sought now the design and layout has been finalised.

New timings for the banning of ‘Dogs on Beaches’ set to come into force

If readers remember, in my role as Cornwall Councillor, I asked for Porthleven West Sands dog banning order to be reviewed in-light of legislation changes in the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 and Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act 2014.

Listening to all sides I put forward an alternative ban period for Porthleven West to Cornwall Council. This was also supported by Porthleven Town Council. These changes have now been legally accepted by the signing of the Cornwall Council Public Space Protection (Dogs on Beaches) Order 2017.

The new Order for Porthleven West will come into force on the 1st May and be as follows:

  • Dogs on beaches will be banned between the hours of 9.00am and 7.00pm;
  • From 1 May to 30 September of each year.

New signage will be installed in the next week or so. This is a change from the 7am to 7pm ban from April till October. There are no changes for access to the beach for dogs East of Blue Buoy Steps.

Timings and periods on all other beaches can be found HERE

There are exemptions as this Order does not apply to any person who:

  • Is registered as a blind person in a register compiled under Section 29 or the National Assistance Act 1948; or
  • Is deaf, in respect of a dog trained by Hearing Dog for Deaf People and upon which he relies for assistance; or
  • Has a disability which requires being in charge of an Assistance Dog registered with Assistance Dogs UK and upon which he relies for assistance.

 

Loe Bar Footpath set to be closed from 1st May

The Environment Agency have requested to close the footpath crossing Loe Bar to carryout works on their equipment. From my understanding, this is to enhance the culvert that discharges water from the river Cober and Loe Pool and is part of the new flood prevention scheme for Helston.

This footpath as shown on the map below will be The Location of the footpath is: Footpath 6, Porthleven and Footpath 4, Gunwalloe. The path will be closed from the 1st May 2017 to 30th September 2017 (24 hours weekends included)

I am seeking clarification on how much is closed and whether the public can access this area.

I am an official candidate in the Porthleven and Helston West Cornwall Council Election

Today, the ‘statement as to persons nominated’ to stand for the Cornwall Council Elections has been issued. I am one of four candidates who will be seeking election, or in my case re-election to the Porthleven and Helston West seat.

In the next few weeks, I will be out and about delivering my leaflets and knocking on doors. I really hope residents will know of the work I have carried out over the last few years and vote for me on May 4th.

The official nominations are:

 

Porthleven has a new Town Warden

Porthleven has been without a Town Warden since Rod Barnes retired. This is a hugely important role and therefore, Porthleven Town Council was very keen to replace Rod.

From an advert placed, five candidates applied and all were interviewed. The field of candidates was strong, but the three person panel of the Mayor, Cllr Bev Plunkett and myself appointed Carol Jewell to the post.

I would like to congratulate Carol on her appointment to this position. Carol will be an excellent Town Warden. I would also like to thank all who applied and made the panel’s decision a tough one to make.

Carol Jewell – The Porthleven Town Warden

Cornwall will get a child and adolescent mental health unit

NHS England has announced today that there will be a 12 bed child and adolescent mental health unit in Cornwall. This unit will be located in Bodmin and will be available for young people up to the age of 18.  This amazing news will mean that fewer children and young people will have to be placed on general wards, adult units or specialist units outside of Cornwall.

As a long time campaigner for such a unit in Cornwall, I very much welcome this announcement as the young people of Cornwall and their families deserve a unit such as this. I am very pleased NHS England have listened to our concerns and approved the funding for this unit. It has been a long time coming, but I am glad it has finally happened.

Amended Plans in for the Shipyard building

In light of the comments made by Porthleven Town Council, Cornwall Council and objectors, the applicant for the Shipyard building has submitted amended plans.

The first question most will ask is ‘what has changed?’ According to the plans the building footprint has been reduced in size by 10% (from 855m2 to 770m2).  This has resulted in the rear elevation reducing to 14.4m in width and the length to 33.4m (for reference, the current blue building are 31m in length).

Amended plans

old plans

The building has also been moved nearer to the existing Origin Coffee building enabling the covered walkway and bus stop roof to be attached to the coffee house.  This has resulted in a larger gap between the river fence and the building from 7m to 7.9m. This is to address the issue of manoeuvring boats in and out of the shipyard.

The “look out” or staircase top has been removed from the top of the building.  Access will still exist using a sliding glass top to the stairs. Yet there is still no disabled wheelchair access to the roof.

Old position

I think the previous colour of Blue was universally disliked by commentators and in addressing that the colour of the building has been changed to silver grey.

There is a dedicated bus shelter as the previous scheme did not show clearly the enclosed dedicated space in the current bus shelter location. There will be a defined area with bench seats and a glass weather protective screen with the canopy roof covering the bus shelter.

The public toilets are still there and will be free to Porthleven people and the facilities will be cleaned and maintained by the owner.

The entrance shown on Methleigh Bottoms will be increased to 8.0m in width to ensure boats trailers, cars and HGVs will have improved manoeuvring. In a change to the access to the site the only entrance/exit to the site will be via the new entrance on Methleigh Bottoms. Only boats will be allowed to exit the current site

The lack of sufficient dedicated parking bays has also been addresses with 10 spaces dedicated to the new building

The proposed use of this building is to create jobs or potential work space.  At present almost no office space exists in Porthleven to provide small business with incubator work space / workshops.

These plans will again be discussed by Porthleven TC (date to be confirmed) where anyone for or against can make representations. I would also suggest people who have previously commented to update their view, or want to comment again due to the changes to the application.

Previous blogs can be found HERE

 

Porthleven’s Great Baulk Auction raises over £40k for the Fishermen’s Mission

Back in 2014, Porthleven was subjected to a series of storms that few will forget. Porthleven seemed to face the brunt of these storms that resulted in substantial damage not only to the harbour, but to the moored boats in the inner-harbour when the baulks that protected them gave-way, and allowed the seas to wreak havoc in the now unprotected inner-harbour.

In a stroke of genius, Julian Waring, who works for the Fishermen’s Mission, came up with the ideal of using the broken baulks to raise funds for the Mission. Artists and craft people both near and far turned the baulk wood into items that included paintings, drawings, benches, candle holders and other wonderful items. In total, over 160 pieces of work were made from the baulks.

The huge crowds gathered.

From this, Julian and his small committee put a plan in place to auction all this work off in one big charity auction. This auction took place this past Saturday on the harbour head. The auction was led by the excellent David Lay – David for near five-hours entertained the hundreds of people gathered in Porthleven CIC’s marquee with a bar and food by the Atlantic Inn and staging and lighting provided by Impact.

Back stage

It was amazing to be part of this auction and see how generous people were in not only having a bit of Porthleven history, but more importantly raising a staggering £40,315 from the 163 lots in the auction for the Fishermen’s Mission. The huge amount of money raised is still sinking in.

Julian and his committee have done an amazing job in pulling this off. They should be very proud of this work, as should Porthleven be proud of them. Whilst the committee deserve our praise, this fundraiser could not have been achieved without the generosity of all those artists and crafts people who turned a bit of wood in to art and gave their time for free. Thanks everyone else who was involved in doing their bit – like helping to set up the marquee and provide internet etc. Huge thanks must go to David Lay and his team for running the auction, especially the online part of it.

Saturday 18th of March 2017 will be one of those days long remembered in Porthleven for doing something great. A proud day for Porthleven, its residents and visitors.

Do you want to be Porthleven’s next Town Warden?

Porthleven Town Council is seeking a new town warden after Rod Barnes retired. Rod did an excellent job as Porthleven’s first town warden, but we need someone to fill those boots.

The role will undertake regular patrols of the Town in order to ensure it is a safe and clean environment. The town warden will assist visitors with information about the facilities within the Town. The warden will keep the streets litter and graffiti free, will deter anti-social behaviour and support enforcement officers as required. The warden will work with the
police to reduce crime and the fear of crime and work with the emergency services
and others to maintain a safe environment.

Main Objectives:
1. To patrol Porthleven to:
a) Ensure the Town is as clean, green and safe as possible.
b) Identify potential problems.
c) Get to know members of the community and respond to their enquiries and
problems.
d) Encourage responsible behaviour of people visiting the Porthleven.
2. To provide information to the public that will enable them to get the most from their visit to Porthleven. This will include giving directions, information about amenities, shops, food
outlets, licensed premises, car parking, public conveniences etc.
3. Assist with Town events, as directed by the Town Council.
4. To help keep the streets and roads clean and tidy through regular litter picking, weeding,
graffiti and fly posting control.
6. To carry out condition surveys of Council owned furniture, buildings and areas.
7. To undertake training to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for dog fouling / littering offences.
8. To ensure the Council Chamber / Offices are clean and presentable.
9. To complete any minor repairs / decorating as directed by Town Clerk.
10. To conduct daily checks on all public conveniences and report any issues to Town Clerk.
11. To liaise with the local Biffa Street Cleaning Team to ensure a clean and safe environment for both residents and visitors to Porthleven.
12. To liaise with the local Police Community Support Officer to report any problems within Porthleven.
13. To undertake any other duties appropriate which contribute to the general objective of the post.

The Town Warden will be expected to wear a uniform, provided by the Town Council, at all times when on duty and protective clothing when necessary and to:
a) Ensure safe working practices in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Health and Safety Executive.
b) Attend training courses and meetings when requested.
The job involves regular evening and weekend work.

The Town Council reserve the right to complete a Criminal Records Bureau check. No formal qualifications are required for this post although, good communication skills are necessary. A good geographical knowledge of Porthleven is also essential.

Any successful candidate for the role will be expected to work at least 20 hours per week and will be paid £9 per hour. It is a permanent position.

Anyone interested in the position will need to contact the Town Clerk for further details at porthleventc@tiscali.co.uk or 01326 573154 (please do not send a pm via facebook) Deadline for submission of completed applications Friday 24th March.

Cornwall’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan Outline Business Case is damned by Scrutiny sub-committee

In a broadside Nelson would be proud of, Cornwall Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny committee via a specially formed sub-committee have damned the Outline Business Case (OBC) of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan in Cornwall (STP).

In coming to their conclusion, the sub-committee over the past few weeks has taken evidence from more than 40 different organisations and have spoken to a wide range of people. From this, all the information has been taken into account which formed the reports findings today.

The report is as follows:

“We believe that the strategic intent of the Sustainability and Transformation plan is a positive. Very few would criticise the proposed investment in improving health and wellbeing and there is a commitment to the merger of health and social care in the Devolution Deal for Cornwall.

There are aspects of the Outline Business Case (OBC) and the engagement process we wish to comment upon and these are headed individually.  It is expected that these concerns will be addressed in the Full Business Case (FBC).

Finance

We have serious reservations about the accuracy, achievability and viability of the financial plans and these have to be addressed. There was inadequate evidence in the OBC to support the saving figures presented. There appears to be a lack of attention given to capital costs, the cost of transformation and the future proceeds of any property rationalisation.

Engagement with the Public

In our view the process of engagement with the public was inadequate and seriously flawed. There was inconsistency of information provided dependent on the facilitator and this has to be rectified. The questionnaire contained closed questions, was ill conceived and was unprofessional. Members of the public were left feeling alienated, angry and frustrated.

We are disappointed that the report from the engagement events was not available when we were considering this issue.

Engagement with Workforce and Key Stakeholders

We are extremely concerned with the lack of consultation, awareness and engagement with key stakeholders such as GPs and community pharmacists. There appears to have been an absence of any meaningful involvement or engagement with staff across all levels of organisations. It is apparent that there has been limited engagement with the voluntary sector and care providers.

Devon

We want to be assured that there is meaningful consultation with all providers of health services to residents of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and this should include services located in Devon. The impacts of any changes Devon undertake as part of their STP and/or Success Regime should be considered and risk assessed by those responsible for the STP in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This matter should not be retrospective or reactive.

Mental Health

The parity of esteem is not evidenced within the OBC and this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Others not Visible in the OBC

It is recognised that the ‘One Vision’ plan for services to children is being developed, but more information regarding this must feature in the FBC. We do not believe that those aged under 25 are visible in the document, and there is little evidence of those who have co-morbidities, who are not frail elderly.

Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group

The Interim Chief Officer at Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group acknowledged that they have severe financial challenges, and are still in discussion with NHS England. The increasing debt level within Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group is worrying and the impact on the whole system needs to be addressed.

Closure of Beds

Any proposals within the FBC to reduce the number of beds across the system must clearly demonstrate that they will meet the criteria for bed closures as set out by Simon Stevens. Whilst the test applies to ‘significant’ bed numbers this does not appear to have been nationally quantified as yet. We believe that reduction in bed numbers across the landscape resulting from the STP process would on the basis of aggregation meet this requirement. We wish particularly that it is unmistakably demonstrated that sufficient alternative provision will be in place alongside or ahead of bed closures, and that the new workforce will be there to deliver it.

Governance and Democratic Accountability

We believe that there is a weakness and a lack of clarity in the governance of the STP. The OBC does not adequately address these aspects. The FBC needs to be clear and will need to evidence how the STP programme is governed and how it will be democratically accountable.

Middle Management

We need to be assured in the FBC that there is full engagement with middle managers and they reflect the needs of the final plan. This cannot be ignored as it will increase insularity.

Accountable Care System/Organisation

There is a lack of clarity with regards to the mandate to create, and the future development of, an Accountable Care System/Organisation. We acknowledge that the current structure split by purchaser and provider is not suitable however; we are concerned about the lack of detail about how the Accountable Care System/Organisation model would be applied to the NHS and Social Care provision for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  The FBC needs to evidence how this model would work and what differences it would make, including for those who do not use Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust as their main provider. If there are legal or national organisational barriers to the progression of the discussions regarding an Accountable Care System/Organisation, these should be progressed through the Devolution Deal negotiations.

Strategic Workforce Planning

We are anxious at the apparent dichotomy of workforce planning and the strategic direction being set in the OBC. The forecast reduction in the workforce across the system, especially within primary care, does not seem to be considered as responsibilities and service provision alters. There must be a comprehensive and long term strategic workforce plan within the FBC.

Definition of System Models

In evidence we received, there was obvious concern about replacement service models to those that currently exist. The FBC must contain details about the services and facilities that will be offered to localities across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This detail should include clear specifications for urgent care centres and locality hubs in order for patients to fully understand the options they are being given.

 

 

Comprehensive Impact Assessment (CIA)

We are concerned that a CIA was not progressed with the development of the OBC. This should be completed and made publically available with the FBC.

The Use of External Consultants

We are worried about the use of external consultants and have concerns that funding has been taken from local NHS and Social Care budgets in order to pay for this work. We suggest that if such work is required in the future, instead of taking money from the system and spending it externally, the allocated monies should instead be invested locally to release experts within organisations to take forward the work.

Timeframe

The currently proposed timescale for the publication of the FBC is unachievable if it is to be the document required to effectively take forward the programme. We need clarity on when the FBC will be available, and information on any risks or impacts that a delay in its creation will bring. We will need assurance that the timeframes being given are realistic and whether there are alternative plans in the case of any significant risks.

Conclusion

Therefore, as a result of our considerations, concerns and research and the compelling information provided to us, we conclude that the OBC was not fit for purpose as a public document although it met NHS England requirements.  The engagement process was poor and ill judged.

The FBC must answer our concerns and have solid, clear, evidence for any proposals.

The role of scrutiny is as a critical friend, and we request that as the FBC is drafted, interim reports are brought at relevant intervals. These reports should include financial information”.

This goes to the heart of the matter, as the whole Government STP process is flawed and is not based on improving people health and giving a better service, but it is about cuts to the NHS. The Government wants Cornwall to save over £264m on what is spends on health.

I have long argued for a question to be answered. Are we doing the STP for the residents, or the Government? I believe it is the latter, and we should tell the Government to do their own dirty work if they want Cornwall to find all £264m worth of savings.

It is also not right to blame those professionals in Cornwall who are having to deliver the STP, as it is hard to deliver when the Government plan is so flawed in the first place.

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