Policy and Intelligence Newsletter - 6 April, 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, 10:00am on 1 April.
- As of 31 March, a total of 14,052 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have tested positive for Covid-19. A total of 464 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.)
- England has moved to the next stage of the Covid-19 restriction “roadmap”. Outdoor gatherings of 6 people or 2 households are now permitted, including in private gardens. Formally organised outdoor sports can now take place, involving any number of people.
- Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate will now be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.
- An Office for National Statistics survey shows that over 1 million people in the UK reported having symptoms of long Covid, in the 4 weeks to 6 March.
- A survey for Public Health England has reportedly found that under 25% of people with Covid-19 symptoms get a test, and only around 50% of those with symptoms fully self-isolate.
- The Treasury has announced a series of proposed changes to the UK tax system, including legislation to prevent second home-owners from registering for business rates unless the property is a genuine holiday let.
- New research led by Newcastle University has found that the welfare system does not deal equitably with the irregular and volatile nature of rural incomes, making residents in rural areas more vulnerable to poverty.
- A Government-funded scoping study into Cornish lithium will assess if it is feasible to develop a sustainable UK supply chain by constructing an extraction plant to produce low-carbon lithium hydroxide from a hard rock source in St Austell.
- As a snapshot, on 25 March, 99.8% of state-funded education settings in England were open, with 90% of students attending in-person education. 84% of pupils with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) attended in-person on the same day.
- A report by the Local Government Association has found that existing educational inequalities and learning gaps have been worsened by the pandemic to the extent that they will not be remedied by a rapid “catch up” programme.
Equality and diversity
- The independent report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has found that racial inequities in education and jobs have narrowed in the UK, although inequalities remain at the highest levels of employment.
- Official statistics show 14.5 million people - a record number - were living in poverty in the UK in the year to March 2020. 4.3 million children - 31% of all children in the UK - were living in relative poverty (calculated against median income).
- A Parliamentary committee has recommended that multiple short-notice extensions to the ban on evictions during the pandemic are replaced with a “coherent exit plan”. The committee also suggested that Government should create a support system to deal with rent arrears that have built up over the last year.
- A Parliamentary committee has published a report on the impact of Covid-19 on the courts and tribunal system, finding that the shift to remote hearings was hardest for the most vulnerable people involved in the justice system. The pandemic has also exacerbated barriers to accessing legal representation.
- Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee is holding an inquiry into adult social care, including the way it is overseen, financial sustainability and the impact of Covid-19. Evidence can be submitted until 12 April 2021.
- The Home Office is consulting on changes to the asylum system and policies on illegal migration. Deadline 6 May 2021.