Cornwall Council Report – 6 June 2020
Our Friday councillors’ briefing this week was on the new test and tracing system.
On 11 March, Cornwall Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee were told that Cornwall had 5 cases of Covid19. On 12 March we were told the government had abandoned trying to trace everyone the infected persons had come into contact with.
On Wednesday afternoon – 27 May, council leaders were told that the government’s test and trace system would begin at 9am the next morning, Thursday 28 May. Despite the new guidance saying that local authorities would have their own ‘outbreak control plans’ for workplaces, housing complexes, care homes and schools, councils were only told this on 22 May and had less than 24 hours’ notice of the launch of the government’s system. Like other local authorities, CC was not consulted about the testing process, or the script used by contact tracers, or any aspect of the contact tracing app. There are no additional powers to enact the ‘local lockdown’ plans and no guidance from government about what that response should be.
On 1 June we had 576 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Cornwall and 15 new cases in the last 5 days. 25% of our care homes have had or are having an outbreak.
On 15 June non-essential shops in many of the town centres are due to re-open. Towns are working to make sure this can be done safely and that social distancing can be observed. Roads will be closed to cars where necessary and planning restrictions not enforced so cafes and other traders can use the streets and public spaces. The £half million of government funding for this will be split pretty much on a per capita basis.
In the meantime, most Council decisions are still being made by a ‘core group’ of mainly officers. For example, the money given to keep the airport afloat. Cabinet restarts in the middle of this month and scrutiny committees are also meeting.
Sadly, due to a lack of provision, the Council are still looking for sites to put more emergency mobile housing, or a hotel, guest house or any other property suitable for being used as move on accommodation for the people who have become homeless during this pandemic. 260 people were housed, which is a number over 4 times higher than November’s rough sleeper count in Cornwall. If anyone has any leads for accommodation in Falmouth, please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cornwall Councillor for Falmouth Smithick
This blog will be created by members of the Exec committee or by local Labour Councillors on topics of interest to the St Austell & Newquay Labour Party