Report to St Just Town Council

Posted on: 20th February 2017

Report to St Just Town Council for 20 February 2017

Health and Social Care remains a dominant issue, both in Cornwall and Nationally and will feature in tomorrow’s Full Council meeting. Some of you will be aware that the Governments response to the crisis in funding that affecting the provision of Adult Social Care is to allow Council’s to increase Council tax, without the need for a referendum, either 2% for 3 years or 3% for 2 years. The 2nd option was a late offer, after the provisional budget had been agreed and as altering the budget still would not fix things and given that many local people are just about managing, the administration are proposing to stick with the original budget. However, there will be an amendment before Council tomorrow proposing that we adopt the latest offer from Government and raise Council tax locally by a further 1% which would make the total increase just under 5%.

Last time I reported to you I spoke of my disappointment at not getting a debate on Health and Social Care, given the levels of public concern being expressed over the Sustainability and Transformation plans. The questions that I and others raised clarified that because of the Devolution Deal in Cornwall the Council are considered partners to the STP process making the development and Governance arrangements more complex than for other Local Authorities. Tomorrow I have a motion before Council, that the Chair has told me can be debated and I hope the outcome is that we in Cornwall will add to the pressure on Government to increase the National funding pot for Health and Social Care and that Cornwall will get a fairer share of it.

I would draw Councillors attention to the fact that with far less of a fanfare than the Adult version, the Sustainability and Transformation plan for Childrens’ Health and Social Care, going under the name of “One Vision” has been released. Details are on my website or the Cornwall Council website and consultation events are expected in the summer. I understand that another plan, regarding Mental Health, will follow. So much for integration?!

Due to a local organisation not being able to deliver a project I had allocated some of my Community Chest fund to, just before the spending deadline, I got Cabinet member approval to allocate £1,500 to assist with the Devolution of the Library in St Just Library. This is in addition to the £4,943 allocated from the Devolution Fund through the Community Network and I hope it will enable the Friends, now a Community Interest Organisation with charitable status, to return here for support from the Town Council.

Using the initial Coastal Community funding, Tom McFaddon and I were involved in selecting 2 local people that collaborate in designing hosting websites to build the Tin Coast website. This will begin to bring the project and aspirations alive but will also require us to work out how the partnership will operate as agreements will have to be reached on initial content and desired functionality and then who and how it will be updated.

At your last meeting we had some conversations regarding the Leat in Pendeen. Whilst progressing ownership and ultimate responsibility for the land might be challenging, I had a useful conversation with David May in Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Subject to confirmation, he believes they will conduct a wildlife survey and that they could assist with volunteers to help with another pond and area management day, like we did back in 2015. It might also be possible that, through the Penwith Landscape Partnership, to get the area in a formalised programme where volunteers are supported by the expertise of CWT to manage the area.