What a diverse week in our Cornwall Cabinet
What a diverse week in our Cornwall Cabinet!
Monday morning I attended Tolvaddon Fire station to be part of the launch of Domestic Abuse Awareness Week; Tuesday evening I was with a Senior Environmental Health Officer, receiving an award from the RSPCA for the Council’s work with stray dogs; Thursday morning I was opening a Domestic Violence seminar for staff working with adults and children who are either the direct victims of or deeply affected by domestic violence and abuse; I then met with Town and Parish Councillors to talk about what’s in Cornwall’s bins and how little people recycle and what we might be able to achieve if we change the waste contract in 2020; my week concluded on Friday attending a conference hosted by the Cornwall and Isle of Scilly Nature Partnership.
“So what?” is the response of many, I expect! Well different parts of my week will be important to different parts of the Council team and also will be valued more or less by the public.
Cornwall Council’s dog welfare and enforcement team has been awarded a Stray Dogs Gold Footprint award by the RSPCA for the seventh year running. The RSPCA works with local authorities, the police and housing associations to help them deliver animal welfare services, and the awards scheme recognises organisations that work tirelessly to ensure high welfare standards for animals in the services they provide.
The Cornwall Council team were recognised for their regular proactive work to educate owners about responsible pet ownership, preventative measures to reduce straying such as providing an out-of-hours service and offering a micro-chipping service. For the seventh consecutive year there has been a reduction in the number of stray dogs reported to the Council. This is in part due to the hard work put in by officers promoting responsible dog ownership and the Council’s microchipping campaign.
Domestic Abuse/ Violence Awareness week was out and about urging people not to suffer in silence. Whilst attending Domestic Abuse/ Violence complaints is a significant part of our local Police workload, what is reported remains a tip of the iceberg. It is also recognised that men who are victims, whether the abuse is a female or same sex partner, they often feel too ashamed to report. There was an excellent academic speaker at the conference for professionals that spoke of the ‘different planets’ professionals work on meaning that sometimes help offered to families is not the most effective and decisions of courts do not always protect.
The ‘planets’ concept really caught my attention and I hope the professionals attending the conference can use the input to reach across to professionals and volunteers working on the other planets to make an even bigger impact in affected families lives. Those intrigued by the ‘planets’ – she suggested the ‘Abuse planet’ where the focus was on the adults involved in the abuse, sometimes involving the criminal justice system; the ‘Child Protection Planet’ was where workers focused on the safety of the child so gave ultimatums to, often mothers, to leave an abusive partner or they would remove the children; the final ‘planet’ was where contact with children was considered, in civil courts where the default position is that all children should have contact with both parents – yet sometimes, on another ‘planet’ one parent has been assessed as very dangerous!
I’ve probably talked about and posted on the ‘rubbish’ situation so much that you are bored with it! For those that are not ….
And the week ended with a large group of passionate people from many parts of Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly passionate not only about protecting nature but on reversing its decline over recent decades so it starts to grow. Cornwall is recognised (even by Sheryll Murray MP) as leading the way in having a Strategy to grow nature that looks forward to 2065. We are now working on a plan and despite hard financial times, I am fighting my corner to ensure some money does back the fine words as there are local people, in most communities willing to give their time, if a little money could back up their efforts!
Remember Nature does a lot for us so we do to get on and do something for Nature!