The construction of sports facilities near Truro, a new strategy for supported housing needs, and a climate adaptation strategy all on the agenda when Cornwall Council’s Cabinet meets today.
The committee will also discuss the council’s latest performance report, a review of the Homechoice housing register, and a plan for celebrating neurodiversity in education will also be discussed.
The latest performance report for the council is also featured on the agenda.
The meeting will take place in the Trelawny Room at County Hall (Lys Kernow) in Truro, starting at 10am.
You can follow the meeting live via our webcast service, or you can follow the blog below for live updates.
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8.30am: Today’s meeting will start at 10am
10.00am: Today’s meeting is underway and the minutes have been approved from the previous meeting. Proceedings have been paused while an issue with the webcast is addressed.
10.03am: The meeting has started once again. We are hearing leader announcements, which begin with thanks to those who helped deal with the impacts of Storm Ciaran last week.
10.07am: There are no public questions, so we move onto the Council Performance report, introduced by Cllr David Harris, deputy leader and portfolio holder for resources
10.11am: Cllr Harris tells the meeting the council’s forecast overspend has doubled from Q1 to Q2 this year, and that the issue must be addressed immediately.
He tells the meeting: “Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 22 November, I’ve written in fairly blunt terms to the Government to express our concerns about the financial sustainability of local government and amplified the message from the Local Government Association to the Rt .Hon Jeremy Hunt MP.
“In their open letter, the LGA quite rightly points to local government being the fabric of our country, providing more than 800 services that positively impact the daily life of every person in every community.
“However, despite additional funding this year local government finances are under strain like never before. If nothing changes councils are facing a funding gap of £4 billion over the next two years just to keep services at current levels.”
10.16am: Cllr Harris concludes: “We are in a much better position than many Councils, we have strong reserves and an excellent finance team to keep eyes on this.
“However, we cannot go on like this, demand for those services that we have a statutory obligation to provide just continues to increase, just take the increase in demand in relation to Children.
“I know we are not alone, demand here is increasing throughout the country and central government must provide assistance here.”
10.18am: We now move onto the next agenda item, looking at sports facilities at the Langarth development in Truro. This is again introduced by Cllr David Harris.
10.26am: The Cabinet has approved the sports facilities plans. We now move onto a Supported and Specialist Housing Strategy, which looks at the requirement for such specialist properties moving forward. The paper is introduced By Cllr Andy Virr, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health.
10.42am: Cllr Olly Monk, portfolio holder for housing, is introducing the next agenda item, a review of the Homechoice system which helps allocate housing across Cornwall.
10.47am: Cllr Monk explains that the changes are needed to ensure the system works better under the challenges of the current housing market, and that it is a policy that will need tweaking as it develops.
11.16am: After some strong questioning from Cllrs, including Cllr Dick Cole, Cllr Monk explains that no council in the country has found a solution to the issue that works without any issues, but that something has to be done to address the issues currently faced in the housing market.
11.17am: The Homechoice review is approved by Cabinet. The next agenda item is focused on Cornwall’s Local Plan. Cllr Monk explains that, if the council gets these two issues right, it will go a long way towards address the housing issues in the area.
11.35am: The Local Plan strategic approach is approved by the council. We are now moving onto the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Strategy. It is being introduced by Cllr Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder with responsibility for climate change.
11.41am: Cllr Olly Monk seconds the report, and welcomes how the strategy fits across all portfolios, and how it will affect all areas of work in the future.
11.45am: Cornwall Council’s CEO Kate Kennally tells the Cabinet she will ensure the strategy will be embedded in the work of all areas of the council.
11.55am: The strategy has been endorsed unanimously.
11.56am: The final item on today’s agenda is a paper on Celebrating Neurodiversity. Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek introduces the report, explaining how its basic premise is that there is no ‘right’ way of thinking, and that support must be given to all those with neurodiverse conditions to achieve their potential.