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Policy and Intelligence Newsletter - 9 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, 1000 on 8 March. 

Covid-19

  • As of 7 March, a total of 13,724 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have tested positive for Covid-19. A total of 458 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.) 
  • PHE monitoring shows South West Covid-19 case rates per 100,000 continue to be the lowest in the country, at a rate of 43.2

Devolution

  • A cross-party group of MPs has been holding an inquiry into central government’s role in making English devolution a success, and will be launching their report today (Tuesday 9) via a free webinar.

Democracy

  • LGA research on public definitions of “local” and attitudes to civic participation following Covid-19 has found that many people lack information about how to participate in change. Some do not trust local authorities, believing that any participation may not yield results.

Economy

  • The Government's 2021 Budget was published on Wednesday. A special edition of this newsletter, available on our website, sets out the main points.
  • Analysis by The Observer reportedly shows that the 45 places given £1bn from the Towns Fund are in local authority areas which have experienced over £2.4bn worth of cuts since 2010.
  • Nearly two thirds of self-employed workers are worse off due to the pandemic, even when Government support is considered, according to new research from the LSE.
  • As of January, a total of 49,592 people were claiming Universal Credit in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic and an increase of 115.7% compared to January 2020. For more details, see Cornwall Council’s Covid-19 Insights Dashboard.

Education

  • New PHE guidance (not legislation) recommends that face coverings are worn in the classroom by pupils in Year 7 and above, as well as staff teaching those age groups. Primary school staff are advised to wear face coverings when physical distancing between adults is not possible.
  • PHE research reportedly shows that school staff are at no greater risk of being infected with Covid-19 than other working-age adults.
  • An extra 350 mental health support teams in schools and colleges will be in place by 2023, helping 3 million children. Expanded community mental health services will support 22,500 more children by 2022.

Environment

  • report by the Social Market Foundation suggests that the UK is unlikely to reach its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 without equitable access to electric vehicle charging points. 35% of renters surveyed said it was impossible to install a charging point in their homes compared to 17% of homeowners.

Equality and diversity

  • The Government has responded to the Women and Equalities Committee’s report, “Unequal Impact? Coronavirus and BAME people”, highlighting the creation of a new Equality Hub which brings together units working on disability policy, gender, LGBT rights, equality legislation, ethnic disparities and social mobility. 

Transport

  • In January and February 2021, Cornwall's commuter volume was at around 45% of pre-pandemic levels, as shown in Cornwall Council’s Covid-19 Insights Dashboard. The number of people working on site rather than at home in the same period is higher than in April 2020.

Consultations 

  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs want to know what you think about the plan to prohibit the release of common pheasants and red-legged partridges on European Protected Sites. Deadline 15 March 2021
  • The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is calling for evidence in their review of the Gambling Act 2005. Deadline 31 March 2021.
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy invites views on the design of a new UK-wide trade subsidy control regime. Deadline 31 March 2021.
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