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Policy and Intelligence newsletter - 23 March 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, 0900 on 22 March. 

Covid-19

  • As of 21 March, a total of 13,908 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have tested positive for Covid-19. A total of 465 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 UK medicines regulator has confirmed that available evidence does not suggest the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine causes blood clots.
  • Shielding advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people is to stop from 1 April.
  • Prominent health charities are calling for people with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions to take up Covid-19 vaccination offers.

Economy

  • The Covid-19 Insight Dashboard shows St. Ives, St. Austell and Newquay had the highest furlough take-up rate of 22% as of January 2021, with Truro and Falmouth seeing the greatest increase since December 2020 (to 19%).

Education

  • 94% of primary school and 89% of secondary school children were having in-person teaching as of 15 March, the highest rate since the start of the pandemic.
  • Households of children attending nurseries, and nursery staff, can now access regular lateral flow tests.

Environment

  • Forest for Cornwall and Defra have announced a new collaboration, the National Woodland Creation Partnership pilot, which aims to improve regional tree planting. 

Equality and diversity

  • Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlights the experiences of low-income families in the first six months of the pandemic, making recommendations on jobs, social security, housing, the digital divide, and access to information and support.  

Housing

  • The Covid-19 Insight Dashboard shows that the average house price in Cornwall is around £11,000 higher than the UK average, with prices increasing by 11.5% since December 2019, compared to 7.1% for the UK. Pressures on the local housing market as a result of the pandemic are likely to be seen in some areas as demand exceeds supply.

Transport 

  • Highways England has issued a call for smaller, local companies to participate in its Chiverton to Carland Cross upgrade, which will see 9 miles of dualling on the A30. So far, 65 businesses have expressed an interest, 60% of them from Cornwall.

Consultations

  • The Home Office has reopened a consultation on crimes considered as violence against women and girls. This will inform the Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy. Deadline 26 March 2021.
  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking views on possible changes to the bovine tuberculosis policy. Deadline 21 April 2021.        
  • The Treasury is consulting on raising the minimum pension age from 55 to 57 in 2028 and seeking views on the proposed protection regime. Deadline 22 April 2021.
  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking views on changes to the “Flood Re” scheme. Deadline 26 April 2021.
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