Centrally run, temporary, mobile testing sites are being established for keyworkers at Bude and Penzance this week. Careworkers and care home residents should be able to access testing by delivery or at a mobile site. They should all be tested by early June. Please let me know if you have information that suggests this is not happening. We are not hearing good reports about the speed of getting results.
Tracking and tracing is going to be organised by central government too, although some help has been requested from regional Public Health. Labour have suggested that local authority Public Health staff, with all their local knowledge and expertise, should work on this. Cornwall’s Director for Public Health has offered Cornish staff to carry out tracing here. We were told by our Public Health Director at Cornwall Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee on 11 March that although we then had 5 cases of Covid19 in Cornwall, wecould not use our own resources to make sure the people who may have been infected were warned and told to isolate. Now we hear that the contract for the 18,000 staff to work on tracking and tracing across the whole of the UK is to be given to one company. The tracers will receive one day’s training. That company is Serco. Memories of their out of hours doctors’ service in Cornwall do not inspire great confidence in their ability to keep us safe from coronavirus.
To date, Cornwall Council has had to spend £1.6 million on PPE for Cornish workers due to supply failures in the central system and a lack of stored PPE and have distributed it free of charge. The supply chain is still not firm, but is stabilising.
The council is waiting for container units to arrive for Penzance and Truro so that more people who are homeless can be accommodated. The government money was paid in one chunk and there will be no more funding. However, the people who are housed now will be hopefully be able to access move on accommodation when this is over. The containers are likely to be permanently bought by CC to provide some extra emergency accommodation.
There is another £14 million of business grants coming for businesses who share workspace or B&Bs or who missed out in the first round. We are waiting for details of eligibility.
Household waste recycling centres open from 19 May on a quite complicated arrangement - https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/recycling-rubbish-and-waste/household-waste-and-recycling-centres/household-waste-and-recycling-centres-covid-19-update/
Labour Cornwall Councillor for Falmouth Smithick
This blog will be created by members of the Exec committee on topics of interest to the St Austell & Newquay Labour Party