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Policy and Intelligence Newsletter - 23 February, 2021

The articles below have been drawn together by the policy and analytical community within the Council. Information is correct at the time of writing, 0930 on 22 February. 

Covid-19

  • As of 21 February, a total of 13,504 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have tested positive for Covid-19. A total of 434 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19. (Statistics provided by Public Health England.)
  • The Government has set out its “roadmap” for removing lockdown restrictions. 
  • Every UK adult will reportedly be offered a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of July.
  • An extra 1.7 million people with multiple risk factors (including ethnicity) for Covid-19 have now been asked to shield.  

Economy

  • Eligibility for the Seafood Response Fund will be expanded to include fishing businesses facing decreased demand from UK and international hospitality sectors, in addition to businesses experiencing disruption to EU exports.
  • Unitary authority capital expenditure per person is 44% higher in urban areas than rural areas, new research commissioned by Britain’s Leading Edge and other organisations shows. 36% more affordable homes per 100,000 people are built in urban places compared to rural ones. 
  • Resolution Foundation analysis shows that almost 2 million people aged 18-64 have not worked for at least 6 months, either due to full furlough or unemployment. 
  • The number of destitute UK households rose from 197,400 to 421,500 last year, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has found. 2-adult households are destitute if they live on £100 or less per week after housing costs.
  • The Chancellor will reportedly extend the furlough scheme until the summer, and prolong business rates relief for the retail, hospitality and leisure industries.

Education and children

  • From September, the Government will ban vulnerable children under 16 from being housed in unregulated independent or semi-independent placements, intended to help older children develop autonomy before leaving care. Extra investment will be provided for local authorities to create more places in children’s homes. 
  • 50% of parents who had personally home-schooled said it was negatively affecting their well-being in January 2021, compared to 28% in April 2020, according to the ONS.

 Elections

  • Staff shortages and a lack of available venues could reportedly cause problems in May’s local elections, with some councils asking pandemic volunteers to help at poll stations. 

Equality and diversity

  • A new Mental Health and Income Commission report has found that people with common mental health problems, like anxiety and depression, earn on average 68% of the typical annual incomes of people without those conditions - a gap of £8,400 a year. 

Housing

  • Resolution Foundation research shows 9% of social renters were behind with housing payments in January 2021, compared to 6% of private renters and 2% of people with a mortgage. 24% of private renters have seen a fall in income since the start of the pandemic, compared to 16% of working-age mortgage holders. 
  • Museum of Homelessness research has found that deaths of homeless people rose by 37% in 2020 compared to 2019.

 Events and workshops

  • Cornwall Area of Outstanding National Beauty is hosting a Growing Greener virtual conference on 25 February, giving updates on Environmental Land Management Scheme trials. A Growing Greener interactive workshop on 4 March will enable residents to contribute to the Local Nature Recovery Strategy. Both events are free to attend. 

Consultations and campaigns

  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is seeking views on various aspects of the Clean Heat Grant scheme design. Deadline 05 March 2021.
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is consulting on a proposed approach to cluster sequencing for carbon capture, usage and storage. Deadline 10 March 2021. 
  • The Department for Education is seeking views on the Get Help Buying for Schools service delivery model for schools to buy goods and services. Deadline 11 March 2021. 
  • The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is inviting feedback on new requirements for organisations wanting to provide or use digital identity products. Deadline 11 March 2021.
  • The House of Lords Select Committee on Public Services is calling for evidence as part of its inquiry into The Role of Public Services in Addressing Child Vulnerability. The committee is keen to hear from anyone working directly with children and families, or those with experience of collaboration between public service organisations focused on children. Deadline 19 March 2021. 
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