The Cornwall We Know

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Welcome to The Cornwall We Know, where you will find a variety of intelligence and insight, selected from internal and external sources, to help inform our understanding of Cornwall and the impact that COVID-19 has had on our residents and businesses.

Welcome to The Cornwall We Know, where you will find a variety of intelligence and insight, selected from internal and external sources, to help inform our understanding of Cornwall and the impact that COVID-19 has had on our residents and businesses.

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  • Policy and Intelligence Newsletter - 17 November, 2020

    5 months ago
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    The articles below have been drawn together by the policy and analytical community within the Council. 

    Covid-19

    • As of 15 November, a total of 3,280 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have tested positive for Covid-19. Over the last seven days, 560 people in the Duchy have tested positive, at a rate of 88 per 100,000 population: this contrasts with 250 positive tests per 100,000 people across the whole of the UK. A total of 151 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have sadly died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19, with 3 fatalities in the last week. 50,000 people in the UK have now died of Covid-19, using the most commonly accepted measure (death within 28 days of a positive test).


    • Interim results for a Covid-19 vaccine produced by the US company Pfizer and German firm BioNTech suggest it is 90% effective. It is not yet clear if the vaccine is disease-modifying (protecting individuals from the worst symptoms) or epidemic-modifying (preventing transmission to others). The vaccine has not yet been peer-reviewed or completed all safety checks, but these are likely to be expedited. The UK has ordered enough doses for 1/3 of the population, with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation due to decide who receives vaccines first.


    • The Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, told the House of Commons that GP surgeries will deliver up to a thousand vaccinations a week in special clinics. Media reports suggest that NHS England is planning to be ready for this program by December.


    • 600,000 rapid-turnaround Covid-19 test kits (“lateral flow antigen tests”) were sent to some local authorities last week, enough for 10% of residents in those areas. It is anticipated that this will allow weekly testing for priority and high-risk residents, detecting a greater number of asymptomatic cases. Cornwall is not on the initial allocation list.


    • 20 care homes in Cornwall, Devon and Hampshire are piloting a new scheme to allow designated visitors access to rapid Covid-19 testing. In conjunction with PPE, this should allow meaningful visit to care homes without the need for physical barriers.


    • The most recent Government Statistics on NHS Test and Trace (29 October - 4 November) show that positive Covid-19 test results continue to rise, with an increase of 8% compared with the previous week. Turnaround times for in-person swab tests under Pillar 2 (for the general population) have considerably improved in comparison to the previous week, but are longer than they were at the end of June. 71% of in-person test results are now received the following day. 40% of the close contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 were not reached by NHS contact tracers, the same as the previous week.


    Brexit

    • The House of Lords has voted to remove clauses in the Internal Market Bill which would give the Government authority to override parts of the legally-binding Brexit agreement between the UK and EU. The Bill will now be sent back to the House of Commons, which is likely to reinstate the clauses. 


    • Talks between the UK and EU on a trade deal are continuing this week, with media reports suggesting that this is the final week talks are likely to take place. An EU summit on 19 November is reported to be the final deadline for an agreement, as the heads of EU countries would have to ratify a trade deal before it came into force at the end of December.


    Devolution

    • Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, is reported to have said that the Government is moving away from commitments to devolve power to English regions, following disagreements with the mayor of Greater Manchester over financial support for more stringent local lockdown measures.


    Economy

    • Cornwall airport has closed until at least mid-December, due to a lack of demand. Staff have been furloughed. The airport hopes to reopen to meet an anticipated pre-Christmas surge in travellers. Cornwall Council agreed in September that £5.6m of money allocated to the Cornwall spaceport could be diverted to the airport if Government funding was not forthcoming.


    • Quarterly statistics on Universal Credit (UC) show that in August, just under 38,000 households in Cornwall had at least one person claiming UC, up from 22,000 in March. Of those households, 13,000 contained a dependent child. Nationally, 4.5 million households had at least one person claiming UC in August, compared with 2.7 million in March.


    • Only 22% of England’s biggest councils are confident that they will be able to balance their budgets next year without “dramatic reductions to services”, according to a survey conducted by the County Councils Network. 56% of respondents reported that measures to tackle Covid-19 would be harmed by service reductions and 60% said that there would be a “fundamental reduction in frontline services”.


    • The Government has announced that £2.2bn will be made available as grants to businesses, delivered by local authorities. Local Restrictions Support Grants can be requested by rate-paying businesses who have either been required to close under the new national restrictions, or who have not been able to provide their typical in-person service. As an example, a business which has a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £1,400 for each 28 day period of national restrictions. Under the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), local authorities will receive £20 per head of their local population, as a discretionary fund for businesses which have been severely impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. The ARG will cover the four-week national restrictions currently in place.


    • The Government has announced the creation of a new Office for Investment, to attract foreign investment into the UK. The office will be part of the Department for International Trade, and aim to “resolve potential barriers” – such as regulatory constraints and planning issues – which might otherwise block key strategic investments.


    Education

    • report by Ofsted into the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on children in England has found that some young people worst-affected by school and nursery closures have “regressed” in basic skills and learning. 


    • The Welsh Government has cancelled GCSE, AS and A-level exams in Summer 2021, replacing them with externally set and marked assessments, delivered under teacher supervision in the classroom. Education Minister, Kirsty Williams MS, said that this would allow teaching to continue throughout the summer, and that universities had confirmed they would accept these qualifications.


    • University students in England will be permitted to travel home for the Christmas holidays between 3 - 9 December (the “student travel window”), using staggered departure times. In-person teaching will stop by 9 December, moving online for the rest of term. Where possible, students will be tested for Covid-19 before they travel, as part of a mass-testing programme for universities.


    • In the week to 5 November, 99.6% of state schools across the country were fully open, a slight drop from 99.7% the week before half term, while attendance in all state schools has risen slightly to 89.3%, from 89.2%. As a snapshot, on 5 November, 38% of state-funded secondary schools and 11% of state-funded primary schools reported that they had one or more pupils self-isolating due to contact with a potential Covid-19 case within the school.


    Equality and Diversity 

    • November 18th marks the start of Disability History Month, coinciding with new research undertaken by YouGov into the experiences of 1,000 Britons living with disability. The research has been undertaken to mark the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act: landmark legislation that makes it unlawful to discriminate against people due to their disabilities. The legislation has since been consolidated within the Equality Act of 2010, which reached its tenth anniversary this year. The research by YouGov considered a range of issues affecting people with disabilities, highlighting that 59% of adults with a disability report “encountering at least one problem when looking for work” and almost half felt that “existing legislation is not robust enough to protect the rights of the disabled”. 


    Consultations and Campaigns 

    • The Public Accounts Select Committee is calling senior officials from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to answer questions on: the impact of Covid-19 on local authority services and budgets; local authority responsibilities in the pandemic, particularly in relation to social care, tackling homelessness and providing services; the future of local authority financial sustainability; and housing, including the impact of Covid-19. Evidence on these topics is requested by 20 November 2020.


    • The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has launched an inquiry into the immediate and long-term impact that Covid-19 is having on the homeless, rough sleepers and those in the private rented sector. Deadline 27 November 2020.


    • Public Health England is asking for feedback from employers and front-line workers to inform the development of the Community Health and Wellbeing Worker apprenticeship standard. Community Health and Wellbeing Workers consider the causes of poor health and wellbeing, and aim to help people understand the services or support available in their local area. Deadline 27 November 2020.
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  • Policy and Intelligence Newsletter - 10 November, 2020

    5 months ago
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    The articles below have been drawn together by the policy and analytical community within the Council. 

    Covid-19

    • As of 8 November, a total of 2,720 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have tested positive for Covid-19. Over the last seven days, 304 people in the Duchy have tested positive, at a rate of 53 per 100,000 population: this contrasts with 243 positive tests per 100,000 people across the whole of England. A total of 148 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have sadly died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19, with three fatalities in the last week. (Please note that fatality statistics are provided by Public Health England, and differ from those generated by the Office for National Statistics, which record all instances of Covid-19 being listed on the death certificate, even there is no positive test result.)


    • The most recent Government Statistics on NHS Test and Trace (22 - 28 October) show that positive Covid-19 test results continue to rise, with an increase of 8% compared with the previous week. Turnaround times for in-person swab tests under Pillar 2 (for the general population) have again improved in comparison to the previous week, but are still longer than they were at the end of June. 62% of in-person test results are now received the following day. 40% of the close contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 were not reached by NHS contact tracers, the same as the previous two weeks. 10 million people in the UK have now been tested at least once for Covid-19.


    • Cornwall Council’s Intelligence Network has released the latest update of the Covid-19 Renewal and Recovery dashboard. The dashboard presents key metrics of the impact of the pandemic on local communities and will be updated monthly. Among the highlighted issues are: 
      • A steep rise in the number of people receiving Universal Credit. In September 2020, nearly 50,000 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly were on Universal Credit, 15% of the working age population.
      • Anti-social behaviour (ASB) incidents were rising during and after the first national lockdown. Town centres are experiencing an overall rise in ASB linked to a complex picture of street drinking, drugs and the presence of Organised Crime Groups.
      • Social Care services received more safeguarding referrals for children and young people after the first lockdown. Social workers are reporting an increase in the intensity and complexity of cases.


    • The Office for National Statistics has published an overview of Covid-19 related data collated between March and October. By combining information on all aspects of the pandemic, the review provides a narrative of how society and the economy have been impacted. Themes covered include levels of infection, impact on mental health, mobility, and trade and retail sales.


    • The UK’s first mass-testing initiative for Covid-19 started on Friday 6 November. Everyone living or working in Liverpool will be offered a test, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms of the virus. Some tests will give results within an hour, without needing laboratory processing. It is hoped that a successful pilot could see similar schemes rolled out to the rest of the country, although some media reporting has cited concerns about thousands of potentially false negative results.


    • Family and close friends are to be allowed to visit residents of care homes in England during the second national lockdown, according to new Government guidance. Outdoor visits with one other person are permitted, as well as indoor meetings where Covid-secure facilities are provided, such as floor-to-ceiling screens.


    Brexit

    • Negotiations between the UK and EU on a post-Brexit trade deal are continuing, with in-person talks scheduled to resume in London this week. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson MP, said that although progress had been made, “significant differences” remain between the two sides, particularly on fisheries and state aid for businesses. The transition period will finish on December 31, 2020, with UK access to the single market and customs union due to end at this time.


    • The Institute for Government has warned that devolved administrations, local authorities, and businesses could be overwhelmed by the end of the transition period and that the Government has not done enough to ensure they are prepared for what comes next, regardless of whether a deal is struck. 


    Education

    • £170 million of additional Government funding for free school meals over the Christmas holidays has been announced. This funding, distributed by local authorities, will also provide help with bills. A further  £220 million programme to cover healthy food and activities for children from low-income families will be extended during school holidays in 2021.


    Environment

    • The Environment Bill has resumed passage through Parliament after a pause due to Covid-19. The Bill aims to deliver the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, with legally binding targets for air quality, biodiversity and water efficiency, as well as creating a new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP). The OEP will be an independent body, holding Government and public-sector organisations to account on their environmental commitments. It will have enforcement powers to ensure net zero emissions are reached in the UK by 2050.




    Housing

    • Cornwall is one of ten places in England to receive extra Government funding to provide accommodation for those currently sleeping rough. In total, £15m will be made available to areas with a high number of rough sleepers. Criticism came from homelessness charities who argued the money would “run out quickly” and was “not nearly as extensive as what we saw in March, yet the threat from the virus remains the same”. 


    Security

    • The UK’s terrorism threat level has been raised from “substantial” to “severe”, following a series of Islamist terrorist attacks in France and Austria. The Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, said that people should be "alert but not alarmed…This is a precautionary measure…and is not based on a specific threat”.


    Consultations and Campaigns

    • The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities is asking for evidence on ethnic disparities and inequality in the UK to help inform a new review. Deadline 30-Nov-20.


    • As part of a Root and Branch review of the parole system, the Ministry of Justice is conducting a public consultation on making some parole hearings open to victims of crime and the wider public. Deadline 01-Dec-20


    • The Treasury is seeking views on its proposals for continuing to meet past commitments to public servants regarding the full indexation of public service pensions. Deadline 30-Dec-20.


    • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is asking for views on plans to increase the use of remote electronic monitoring on English registered fishing vessels and vessels fishing in English waters. Deadline 30-Nov-20.
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  • Policy and Intelligence Newsletter - 3 November, 2020

    6 months ago
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    The articles below have been drawn together by the policy and analytical community within the Council. 

    Covid-19

    • As of 1 November, a total of 2,385 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have tested positive for Covid-19. Over the last seven days, 309 people in the Duchy have tested positive, at a rate of 54 per 100,000 population: this contrasts with 228 positive tests per 100,000 people across the whole of England. A total of 145 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have sadly died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19, with no fatalities in the last week. (Please note that fatality statistics are provided by Public Health England, and differ from those generated by the Office for National Statistics, which record all instances of Covid-19 being listed on the death certificate, even there is no positive test result.)


    • The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that England is to enter a new national lockdown from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December. This will replace the current local tiered restrictions, assuming that a House of Commons vote to approve the measures passes on Wednesday. Under the lockdown, people will be instructed not to leave their homes unless it is: for work which they cannot do at home; for childcare or education; for medical reasons; to exercise outside or visit outdoor public areas; to shop for necessities; to fulfil caring responsibilities or to meet people within an exclusive support bubble. One person from a different household (excluding support bubbles) can be met outside, but not in private gardens.


    • Under the new restrictions, all non-essential retail businesses are to close, although click and collect orders will be permitted. Entertainment venues and personal services businesses are also to close, as well as all leisure facilities. Weddings and civil partnerships will not be allowed apart from in exceptional circumstances, although funerals can continue with a maximum of 30 mourners. The furlough scheme, which had been due to finish at the end of October, will be extended until 2 December.


    • The most recent Government Statistics on NHS Test and Trace (15 - 21 October) show that positive Covid-19 test results continue to rise sharply, with an increase of 23% compared with the previous week. Turnaround times for in-person swab tests under Pillar 2 (for the general population) have improved in comparison to the previous week, but are longer than they were at the end of June. 47% of in-person test results are now received the following day. 40% of the close contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 were not reached by NHS contact tracers, the same as the previous week.


    • A new large-scale study conducted by Imperial College London shows that antibody responses to Covid-19 decline sharply over the weeks or months following infection. 6% of the English population had antibodies to the virus at the end of June, but only 4.4% had antibodies at the end of September. Infected people who did not show symptoms are likely to lose antibodies more rapidly than those who were symptomatic. The health minister, Lord Bushell, said that “testing positive for antibodies does not mean you are immune to Covid-19”.


    Brexit

    • After seven days of talks in London, the intensified EU-UK negotiations have now moved to Brussels. Fisheries access and competition rules for businesses remain the most difficult issues to resolve. Any deal will need to begin the formal ratification process by mid-November, meaning there is little time for agreement: although the EU has claimed that positive progress is being made. 


    • The hauliers’ association, Logistics UK, has warned that failing to reach a trade deal with the EU could lead to a 30% rise in import charges for everyday goods, making household shopping more expensive. The association is also concerned that limits on lorry access permits for UK entry will harm businesses throughout the country, with a fourfold shortfall in available documentation.


    Education

    • In the week 16 - 22 October, 99.3% of state schools across the country were fully open, a slight drop from 99.7% the previous week, while attendance in all state schools has dropped slightly to 86.2%, from 89.2%. Government analysis states that this “fall in attendance is largely due to an increase in Covid-19 related absence”. The number of children attending early years settings has risen to 770,000, compared to 761,000 in the previous week. As a snapshot, on 22 October, 55% of state-funded secondary schools and 20% of state-funded primary schools reported that they had one or more pupils self-isolating due to contact with a potential Covid-19 case within the school, an increase on the previous week’s figures.


    Environment


    • Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Cornwall Council have partnered up to launch a county-wide autumn seed search; asking local people to collect, grow and plant tree seeds in Cornwall.


    • The Government has published a policy paper on the Nature Recovery Network, outlining how it will create the network by restoring and enhancing England’s wildlife-rich places. It comes as the Prime Minister promised to protect 30% of land by 2030, with an extra 400,000 hectares protected to support the recovery of nature.


    Housing

    • A coalition of charities, including Shelter and Friends of the Earth, have written an open letter expressing their concerns about a lack of affordable housing under proposals to deregulate planning in England. The letter, to Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, highlights that developers could build up to 50 homes without including any affordable housing.


    • Analysis of Government data by CPRE: The Countryside Charity has found that rural homelessness has more than doubled since 2018, to nearly 20,000. Research commissioned by the Rural Services Network and other charities suggests that affordable housing can boost disadvantaged peripheral economies, with every 10 affordable homes supporting 26 jobs.


    Consultations and Campaigns

    • Our Safeguarding Children Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has just launched a month-long child exploitation campaign, called ‘CE the Signs’. The campaign aims to increase public understanding of child exploitation, raise awareness of the signs and indicators to watch out for and to educate people on the routes for reporting concerns. Everyone is asked to take a second look at any signs that they spot and ask themselves: could it be exploitation? To get involved, use the hashtag #CEtheSigns and see the CIOS Safeguarding website for campaign materials and further information.


    • The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency are asking for views on new draft guidance on the licensing of biosimilar products (newer versions of existing drugs, which work in the same way, but are often cheaper). Deadline 15/11/2020


    • Written submissions on Tree Planting and Woodlands are sought by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. The committee wants to understand whether Government targets are the right ones; if the correct types of trees will be planted in appropriate places and whether enough is being done to protect existing woodland. Deadline 19/11/2020.  


    • The Department for Work and Pensions is calling for evidence on challenges to in-work progression in low pay sectors, as well as examples of good practice. Deadline 20/11/2020. 


    • The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking comments on the draft text of the Aarhus Convention National Implementation Report. The Aarhus Convention is a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) treaty which provides access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. Deadline 27/11/2020.  


    • A relaunch has been announced of a Department for Education consultation on changes to the regulation of independent educational institutions. Previous contributions do not need to be resubmitted. Deadline 27/11/2020
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  • Policy and Intelligence Newsletter - 27 October, 2020

    6 months ago
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    The articles below have been drawn together by the policy and analytical community within the Council. 

    Covid-19

    • As of 25 October, 2,105 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have tested positive for Covid-19. Over the last seven days, 171 people in the Duchy have tested positive, at a rate of 30 per 100,000 population: this contrasts with 201 positive tests per 100,000 people across the whole of England. A total of 145 people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have sadly died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19, with no fatalities in the last week.


    • The Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, has said that modelling suggests between 53,000 and 90,000 people in England are being infected with Covid-19 each day, a far higher number than people testing positive via the NHS Test and Trace system.


    • 17 regions are in Tier 2 (high) of the new three-tier alert system for England, according to the most recent Government information, updated 24 October. Four regions – Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Liverpool City and South Yorkshire – are in Tier 3 (very high), meaning that pubs, bars and indoor sports facilities are closed for approximately 7 million people. Guidance has been issued for residents of those areas to avoid travelling outside the vicinity. Cornwall remains in Tier 1 (medium).


    • Charities and local businesses across Cornwall and England have announced they will provide free food during half-term to children who usually qualify for free school meals. Pressure is growing on the Government to reverse its decision not to provide food vouchers for children from low-income households during the holidays, following the high-profile campaign led by footballer Marcus Rashford.


    • The most recent Government Statistics on NHS Test and Trace (8-14 October) show that positive Covid-19 test results have risen sharply since the end of August. Turnaround times have lengthened for in-person swab tests under Pillar 2 (for the general population) although the average distance that people have to travel for an in-person test has slightly declined. 40% of the close contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 were not reached by NHS contact tracers.


    Brexit

    • Intensified daily trade talks between the UK and EU have resumed in London, with agreement still to be reached on state aid rules (the extent that governments can legally support businesses), fishing rights and enforcement mechanisms. The UK’s transition period out of the EU will end on December 31 this year.


    Economy

    • The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, has announced changes to the Government’s Job Support Scheme – which will replace the furlough scheme from next month until the end of April 2021. The revised scheme will require businesses to contribute 5% of employees’ pay for unworked hours; the Government will pay 62%; and 33% will not be paid. At least 20% of employees’ typical hours must be worked to qualify. Self-employed people will be eligible for grants of up to 40% of their previous earnings. Local Authorities in Tier 2 areas will be able to allocate grants of up to £2,100 per month to hospitality and leisure businesses, rising to £3,000 per month in Tier 3 regions. 


    • The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, has allocated an additional £919 million of non-ringfenced funding to Local Authorities in response to financial pressures generated by Covid-19. Cornwall Council is due to receive nearly £46 million of this funding across four tranches. Support worth £100 million is to be made available for Council-run leisure centres across England, with each area receiving at least £100,000 – although funding allocations are still being decided by Government departments.


    • The Government will not be carrying out its planned three-year Comprehensive Spending Review, due to the economic uncertainty caused by Covid-19. A one-year review will instead be announced in November. The Chair of the Local Government Association, Cllr James Jamieson, commented that a single-year settlement “makes it incredibly difficult for [Councils] to plan how to provide the local services…communities rely on”.


    • A new report by The Health Foundation has found that almost 300,000 people were turned down for benefits between March and July this year. The majority of claims were rejected because of ineligibility, mainly because claimants or their partners were earning too much or because their savings were above the £16,000 threshold. Half of those rejected were graduates, while another third had worked in professional or managerial roles. 


    Education

    • 99.7% of state schools across the country are fully open, a slight drop from 99.8% last week, while attendance in all state schools has dropped slightly to 89.2%, from 89.8% last week. The number of children attending early years settings has risen to 761,000, compared to 753,000 last week. (This data relates to 9 - 15 October, the most recent period available.) As a snapshot, on 15 October, 46% of state-funded secondary schools and 16% of state-funded primary schools reported that they had one or more pupils self-isolating due to contact with a potential Covid-19 case within the school.


    Social Care

    • The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee has published a report on funding social care and the caring workforce, arguing that the sector must immediately receive investment of £7 billion to stave off “market collapse”. Some care providers are withdrawing services from clients who are funded by local authorities, focusing on those who can afford to fund their own care. The report also notes the “extraordinary sacrifices” made by carers during the Covid-19 pandemic, and urgently calls for “appropriate pay, professional career structures and parity of esteem with NHS [workers]”.


    Charities and Equality

    • Healthwatch Cornwall recently surveyed 1,800 local people on the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown. Respondents spoke of the impact of isolation and separation from family on mental health and well-being, often reporting greater loneliness, declining motivation and exacerbation of existing mental health issues. A minority of the people replying to the survey had positive impacts to report, focusing on the benefits of homeworking, reduced travel time and “having a break from the usual pressures”.


    • Save the Children and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have found that 38% of families receiving Universal Credit “had to rely on” assistance from charities for food or children’s clothing in August and September. 60% of respondents to a new survey said that they had gone into debt in the same period, while 50% reported being in rent arrears or behind on bills.


    • The National Association for Youth Justice has released a report on issues affecting children in custody in 2020. Measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Young Offender Institutions included halting visits from families, lawyers and social workers, as well as a reduction in the minimum time that children had to legally be out of their rooms each day: 1.5 hours, compared with a 14-hour minimum before the pandemic. The report also found that the overrepresentation of Black and Minority Ethnic children in custody has worsened over the last ten years, with more than 50% of children in custody now coming from a BAME background.


    Consultations and Campaigns

    • Ofsted are seeking views on proposed changes to the way it inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass). Alterations would be effective from February 2021, and include a requirement for Cafcass to complete a self-evaluation. Deadline 11/11/2020.


    • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are calling for opinions on proposals to extend the Warm Home Discount scheme from 2021 to 2022, along with more minor changes. Deadline 11/11/2020. Relatedly, the BEIS Committee will examine the Government’s Building and Heat Strategy in November. 


    • The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) plans to introduce a new duty for local authorities to support victims of domestic abuse in safe accommodation, as part of the Domestic Abuse Bill. MHCLG are seeking views on the allocation of funding to local authorities relating to this new duty. Deadline 13/11/2020


    • The Local Heritage List campaign has funding available to create county-wide registers of historically significant buildings and monuments. It is encouraging expressions of interest from local authorities keen to take part in the campaign. Deadline 13/11/2020
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  • Policy and Intelligence Newsletter - 22 October, 2020

    6 months ago
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    The articles below have been drawn together by the policy and analytical community within the Council. 

    Covid-19

    • As of 20 October, 1,892 people in Cornwall have tested positive for Covid-19, with 174 in the last seven days. This is a rate of 331 per 100,000 population and contrasts with a rate for the whole of England of 1,150 positive tests per 100,000 people. A total of 145 people in Cornwall have sadly died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19, with no fatalities in the last week.


    • 17 regions are in Tier 2 (high) of the new three-tier alert system for England, according to the most recent Government information, updated 16 October. Two regions - Liverpool City and Lancashire - are in Tier 3 (very high), meaning that pubs, bars and indoor sports facilities are closed. Guidance has been issued for residents of those areas to avoid travelling outside the vicinity. Greater Manchester will move into Tier 3 from midnight on Thursday 22 October, following ten days of discussion between Government and local authorities, which did not end in agreement. Cornwall remains in Tier 1 (medium).


    • Wales will implement a two-week “firebreak” lockdown from Friday 23 October. All non-essential businesses will close, including pubs, restaurants and hotels. Only the first two year-groups in secondary schools will return after half-term while the lockdown is in progress, although primary schools will have normal attendance requirements. Socialising with people outside one’s household - either indoors or outdoors - will also be prohibited.


    • Police Services in England have been given access to the NHS Test and Trace data of people who have been instructed to self-isolate, as stated in the Department of Health and Social Care’s updated guidance on privacy information relating to testing for Covid-19. There have been media reports that the office of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has expressed “significant reservations” at the move, warning that it may discourage people from seeking testing.


    • Longstanding health inequalities in the UK are likely to have amplified the impact of Covid-19. The Global Burden of Disease study, published last week in the medical journal The Lancet, shows how the UK has the lowest healthy life expectancy in western Europe due to preventable diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. This, in turn, contributes to high Covid-19 mortality, according to The Lancet.


    Brexit

    • The Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove MP, has said in an Oral Statement to Parliament that “as things stand” a free trade agreement with the EU “will not now happen” before the end of the transition period on 31 December. The Minister cited the EU’s refusal to intensify discussions, hold talks on all the days available and “engage on all the outstanding issues” as reasons for negotiations breaking down. 


    • The Government has launched a “time is running out” campaign to encourage businesses to prepare for a no-deal/Australia-style exit from EU transition arrangements.


    • At the time of writing, the House of Lords is debating the UK Internal Market Bill, which seeks to ensure seamless trade between the nations of the UK and Northern Ireland. The debate will include a Motion to Regret some of the Bill’s contents.


    Devolution

    • The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee has launched an inquiry into “The Evolution Of Devolution: English Devolution”, holding its first public evidence session on 20 October. The Committee will hear evidence on the key challenges that the Government’s White Paper on devolution will need to address. A transcript of the evidence session is likely to be available by the end of the month.


    Economy

    • The Governor of the Bank of England has said that the UK faces “an unprecedented level of economic uncertainty” and that growth may be lower than expected. The credit rating agency, Moody’s, has recently downgraded Britain’s credit status due to the effects of Covid-19 on the economy and uncertainty around Brexit.


    • The Work and Pensions Select Committee has recommended that new applicants for Universal Credit are provided with a grant to cover food and heating costs during the five-week period before benefits start being paid. Although advances on future payments are available, the Committee concluded that this left claimants with insufficient funds to meet basic needs.


    • Rural broadband coverage across the UK now stands at 80%, in comparison to 97% of urban regions, according to analysis by the National Audit Office. The Superfast Programme has been rolled out most successfully in “easier-to-reach” areas, meaning that “left behind” properties are predominantly in rural and remote parts of the UK. The report also finds that some residents in rural areas with poor broadband connections have felt a sharper impact during the pandemic.


    Equality and Diversity

    • The Education Policy Institute has recently published research showing that the proportion of male Black and Minority Ethnic teachers in England is now 17%, broadly representative of the population as a whole.


    Voluntary Sector

    • The charity Carers UK has conducted a survey of nearly 6,000 unpaid family carers, with 74% of respondents saying they are exhausted due to their caring responsibilities throughout the pandemic. 64% of those who replied to the survey said that they had not been able to take any breaks since March, with 81% providing more care now than they were before the national lockdown.


    Consultations

    • The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government are calling for expressions of interest for a funded project which aims to improve mental health through green social prescribing – linking people to nature-based activities such as community gardening. Deadline 23/10/20. 


    • The Department of Health and Social Care are seeking evidence to help inform a new review into improving the health and development outcomes of babies and young children in England. Deadline 23/10/2020. 

                

    • The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy are requesting information from coastal landowners or developers with an interest in supporting the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing sector. A new offshore wind manufacturing investment support scheme is offering potential support. Deadline 30/10/2020. 


    • The Geospatial Commission has partnered with Innovate UK to create a £2 million transport data location competition to support the future of mobility for the UK. Deadline 04/11/2020. 

                

    • The Education Select Committee is seeking written evidence to understand the extent to which current arrangements provide support for home educated children.  Deadline 06/11/2020. 
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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 12 October, 2020

    6 months ago
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    Local impact

    Health

    • The average number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in Cornwall has remained relatively stable over the past week. While the total number of detected cases has risen to above 1700 cases since March, the 7-day average for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly currently stands at 26 cases. That is an increase compared to the average of 4.1 cases on 1 September, but so far it is not a drastic spike as seen in the North of England. The infection rate in Cornwall stands at 294 cases per 100,000 resident population.


    Economy

    • Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, construction of the Spaceport Cornwall is to begin this month. The first satellites could be put into space via aircraft taking off from Newquay in early 2022.   The project is estimated to create 150 new jobs and generate £200m worth of Gross Value Added.
    • Cornish Cinema chain WTW has urged people to support the industry. The company which operates cinemas in Newquay, St Austell, Truro and Wadebridge tweeted it was understandable that not everyone was ready to go back to the movies, but suggested to “come in and buy a coffee, popcorn ... to take home, or buy a gift card”.
    • Heritage attractions across the south west have been given financial aid to help them during the coronavirus pandemic. 433 organisations will receive a share of £67 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. Among the Cornish sites receiving money from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are the Lost Gardens of Heligan (£606,400), the Bodmin and Wenford Railway (£260,000), Truro Cathedral (£146,000) and the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre (£53,200).


    National impact

    Health

    • The government is introducing a new three-tier alert system for England. Regions will be classified as being on ‘medium’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’ alert. Areas on the highest alert level will have to introduce temporary closures of, for example, gyms and certain hospitality venues. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last week that employees who work for UK firms forced to shut by law because of coronavirus restrictions are to get two-thirds of their wages paid for by the government.
    • The Royal College of Surgeons in England has warned of a “tsunami of cancelled operations” over the winter. A survey run by the organisation shows that the vast majority of its members have not yet gotten back to pre-pandemic treatment levels for routine surgeries. The situation is expected to get worse as the virus is becoming more prevalent again and operations are likely to be cancelled to free up beds for Covid-19 patients.
    • The number of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK has reached a new high. The 7-day average climbed to more than 15,500 last week. The peak during the ‘first wave’ in April/May this year was an average of 5,000 daily cases. However, more cases are being detected now due to increased testing capacity.
    • The North of England and Northern Ireland are currently among the UK regions with the highest infection rate in Europe. Figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control also show that the UK still has the highest number of deaths in Europe.
    • More than two thirds of people who tested positive for Covid-19 had no symptoms on the day of the test. New analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics’ Infection Survey shows that 86% of infected people reported none of the main symptoms of the illness, namely a cough, or a fever, or a loss of taste or smell. Researchers are calling for a more widespread testing programme to capture this “silent” transmission.


    Economy

    • The UK economy is unlikely to bounce back to pre-Covid levels any time soon. ONS data shows that although the UK’s economic output grew by 2.1% in August, it still remains 9.2% below the GDP level seen in February of this year. Some economists interpret the slowdown in growth as a sign that Britain had never been on course for a rapid V-shaped recovery.
    • Less people in England have the opportunity to take up an apprenticeship as a result of the pandemic. Provisional Department for Education figures show that lockdown measures have drastically reduced apprenticeship starts. There have been 58,000 apprenticeship starts reported between 23 March and 31 July 2020; fewer than the 108,000 reported for this period last year.
    • The Covid pandemic is hitting low-income families particularly hard. A study of households on Universal Credit or Child Tax Credits, published by the charity Save the Children, revealed that nearly 40% of families had to rely on help from charities for food and clothes over the past two months. A quarter (26%) are already cutting back on electricity and heating.
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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 5 October, 2020

    7 months ago
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    Local impact

    Health

    • The average number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in Cornwall has dropped for the first time since the beginning of September. While the total number of detected cases has risen to around 1500 cases since March, the 7-day average for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has declined to around 26 positive cases per day.  The infection rate stands at 259 cases per 100,000 resident population. However, a number of clusters have recently been identified, such as the 170 positive cases that had been detected at a meat processing plant in Pool, with the majority of those who tested positive being asymptomatic.

    People testing positive for Covid-19
    Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
    Source: Public Health England (Link)

    Economy

    • Since the easing of lockdown restrictions in July, around two million visitors came to Cornwall, according to Visit Cornwall. At a meeting of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) last week, Visit Cornwall Chairman Malcolm Bell called for more financial backing to avoid job losses, as lockdown deficits were still not being made up. However, Mr Bell said he expected visitor numbers for October and November to be higher than in previous years.
    • Leisure Centres across Cornwall will reopen mid-October. Cornwall Council issued a £4million rescue package as well as additional support measures, allowing Greenwich Leisure Ltd (who run the centres) to reopen Saltash, Launceston, Wadebridge and St Ives leisure centres, Ships & Castles in Falmouth and the swimming pools at Bude, Liskeard and Helston.



    National impact

    Health

    • The latest technical fault in the government’s Covid-19 testing data system has led to nearly 16,000 unreported cases in England between 25 September and 2 October. Cases were added to Public Health England’s daily figures over the weekend, creating a spike in the number of detected cases. So far, more people tested positive than during the first peak of the pandemic in April/May. However, the number of processed tests has also risen. While during the first major outbreak in April/May on average there were only around 20,000 tests being processed in England each day, now the number has risen to more than 200,000 tests, leading to more cases being detected.
    • The Office for National Statistics’ Covid-19 Infection Study shows that around 116,000 people (0.21% of the community population) in England had Covid-19 between 18 and 24 September 2020. The infection rate is highest among teenagers and young adults. Furthermore, almost half of all adults in Great Britain said their well-being was being affected by the pandemic.

    Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, daily, by age group since 14 August 2020, England


    Economy

    • The chief economist of the Bank of England has criticised the media for their lack of acknowledgement of the UK’s economic recovery so far. Andy Haldane made headlines last week by saying that Britain’s rapid recovery from its Covid-19 slump was being put at risk by undue pessimism and a “Chicken Licken” fear that the sky was about to fall in. Prior to Mr Haldane’s comments, ONS figures demonstrated a fall in GDP by almost 20% between April and June, the largest quarterly contraction in the UK economy since records began in 1955.
    • The ONS Opinion and Lifestyle Survey indicates that the new restrictions announced by the government on 22 September has led to a drop in people leaving home to socialise. Only 2 in 10 adults said they had visited friends and family at their home, a decline by around 10% to the previous week. A similar trend can be observed for eating out and travel within the UK for holidays.
    • With the new 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants causing concerns for the night time economy, the British public is divided on whether the re-opening of pubs was a good idea. According to a recent Yougov poll, half of the British public say the re-opening of pubs was a mistake, while over 40% think it was a good decision. A similar split can be observed when it comes to the question of whether students should be allowed to go back to university.


    Transport

    • A report by the National Audit Office reveals that local authorities in England have reduced spending on local transport by 40% over the past decade. At the same time, passenger numbers have fallen and the number of bus journeys outside London shrunk by 10%. The report claims that despite the Department for Transport’s aim to increase the use of public transport, there has not been any systemic improvement yet. The roll-out of Cornwall’s ‘Superbus network’ is scheduled for next year.
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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 28 September, 2020

    7 months ago
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    Local impact

    Health

    • Cornwall has seen another rise in Covid-19 cases. More than 120 people tested positive from 21 to 27 September, raising the total number of cases in Cornwall above 1300 and  the infection rate per 100,000 to around 230, with local outbreaks recorded in a number of locations, such as the Isles of Scilly, Exeter University, HMS Raleigh and a meat processing plant in Pool. The South West, however, still has the lowest infection rate per 100,000 population of all regions in England.
    • The leader of Cornwall Council, Julian German, has criticised the government’s Track & Trace system. At the council meeting last Tuesday, the council leader said that after listening to the experiences of members of the public it was "clear from the sheer volume of responses that the system isn’t working, and I’m deeply concerned that people of Cornwall are suffering as a result". He added: “If we are to beat this virus, we need a testing system that is fit for purpose. I worry that at this present moment we don’t have one.”
    • The RNLI has extended their lifeguard cover of major beaches in Cornwall by a month. A RNLI spokesperson said this year had been one of the busiest summers the region had ever seen, an effect of lockdown and restrictions on travel abroad.

    Economy

    • Four cities in Cornwall will benefit from the government’s Towns Fund. The funding, ranging from £500,000 up to £1m, will be used to kick start regeneration projects such as new green spaces, pop-up business spaces, or pedestrianizing streets. Among the Cornish cities being supported are Camborne, Penzance, St Ives and Truro.
    • Prior to the recent changes in government’s guidance on working from home, the return to workplaces in Cornwall had been increasing slowly. Analysis of Google Mobility Data (undertaken by the Intelligence Network) shows how the number of people visiting workplaces had been rising but remained below pre-lockdown levels. As people are now again urged to work from home wherever possible, this upward trend is likely to be reverted, having likely knock-on effects for city centres.



    Housing

    • Cornwall’s millionaire property market seems to have benefited from the pandemic. Rightmove data indicates that the market for properties worth £1 million or more has seen an annual increase of 165%, making Cornwall the county with the third biggest rise in sales of properties with an asking price of £1 million or more, after Norfolk and Wiltshire. Industry experts say that lockdown has made £1million-plus buyers re-assess their work-life balance which in turn has led to an uptake in ‘lifestyle relocations’.

    Migration

    • For the first time in over decade, Cornwall is experiencing a negative net migration rate. New analysis of local area migration, based on the Long-Term International Migration data published by the Office for National Statistics, shows that between mid-2018 and mid-2019 more people were leaving Cornwall to take up residence in another country than the other way around. It is estimated that in 2019 only 2% of the people living in Cornwall were non-British. Local area migration plays an important role for employment, skills, and the provision of local services.


    National Impact

    Health

    • The government has announced further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England. The new rules see bars and restaurants close at 10pm, wedding ceremonies limited to 15 people, and office workers urged to work from home where possible. The new rules are expected to remain in place until March next year.
    • Meanwhile, Coronavirus cases in England have risen by 60% over the past week, bringing the R-value to 1.2-1.5. On Friday, the daily number of positive cases in the UK rose to a new high of 6,874.
    • According to a recent YouGov poll, the majority of people support the new lockdown measures announced by the Prime Minister last week. The main criticism of the package, however, is that it does not go far enough. 78% are in favour of the new measures, while those who oppose the latest raft of measures represent just 17% of the population. It is slightly higher among some groups, most notably the young, but it is a minority among all demographic groups.

    Economy

    • Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a replacement for the furlough scheme which will come to an end at the end of October. The new job support scheme is scheduled to begin on 1 November and is due to last six months. To be eligible for the scheme, employees must work at least a third of their normal hours. They will be paid two-thirds of their pay for the remaining hours. The government pays a third of the hours not worked, while the employers pay the other third.
    • More people in Britain were returning to work prior to the change in government guidance on working from home. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that over 6 in 10 (64%) working adults travelled to work, either exclusively or in combination with working from home. Only 6% said they were going to work all hours from home. With home working now being encouraged again, this trend is likely to change.

    Housing

    • Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced that renters affected by coronavirus will continue to be protected from evictions for another 4 weeks. The government also requires landlords to provide tenants with 6 months’ notice, unless they are dealing with serious cases of antisocial behaviour or domestic abuse. The homeless charity Shelter had previously warned more than 300,000 private renters had fallen into arrears since the pandemic started and were at risk of being evicted.




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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 22nd September, 2020

    by Matt2, 7 months ago
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    Local Impact 

    Economy

    The UK Tourism minister has praised the tourism industry in Cornwall and Devon for their response to the pandemic and professionalism and dedication in what has been a very difficult summer period.  Mr Huddleston also commented that the government’s Eat Out to Help Out schemes had had a positive impact on the industry and economy, and although some measures would remain in place until next year, he was unable to comment on further support

    Health

    The highest daily increase (26) of new cases of coronavirus was recorded in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly since April 30th, when 26 cases were also registered.  September 11th saw the first coronavirus-related hospital death in Cornwall recorded since July 2nd.

    National Impact

    On Monday 21st September the government’s chief medical adviser warned the country is facing a "very challenging winter period" and critical point in the coronavirus pandemic.  If no further restrictions are introduced, the UK could see 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October, leading to about ‘200 deaths per day’ a month later.  On 20th September a further 3,899 daily cases and 18 deaths were reported in the UK.  Prof Whitty added, “We are now going into the seasons... that benefit respiratory viruses”.  The government are expected to make an announcement regarding further restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, which may include limiting contact between households.

    Economy

    National analysis and data shows the percentage of businesses that had been trading for more than the previous two weeks was 95% between 7 and 16 September 2020 (a further 1% had restarted in the last two weeks, 4% remained temporarily closed), whilst retail sales volumes (in August) increased by 0.8% when compared with July; an increase of 4.0% when compared with February’s pre-pandemic level. Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.6% in July 2020 but is 11.7% lower than the February 2020 level, and the UK unemployment rate for the three months to July 2020 was 4.1%; this is 0.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.

    According to HMRC figures, some 80,433 employers have returned cash they were given to help cover workers' salaries through the government’s furlough scheme, more than £215m.  Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) - or furlough scheme - workers placed on leave received 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.  £35.4bn has been claimed under the scheme up until 16 August.  The government has rejected calls to extend the furlough scheme when it ends on 31 October, despite warnings that it could trigger a wave of job cuts.

    Office for National Statistics figures reveal that nearly two in three workers are commuting again, with the government encouraging workers to return to help revive city centres. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that 62% of adult workers reported travelling to work last week, compared with 36% in late May.  Business groups have warned that city centres could become "ghost towns" if more workers do not return to offices, impacting small businesses that rely on passing trade from office workers.  However, new research released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests that working from home could be a permanent fixture for many, following the pandemic with 37% of those surveyed believing staff will regularly avoid the journey into the office following Covid-19 - up from just 18% before the pandemic.

    The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has unanimously voted to hold interest rates at their record low of 0.1%. The BoE said that despite a stronger than expected recovery in recent months, the economy remains around 7% smaller than at the end of 2019. The Bank also warned that the increasing rate of coronavirus infections and uncertainty over the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU threaten Britain’s economic recovery.

    The government has introduced new laws which states that people who are instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, and are on lower incomes and cannot work from home, and have lost income as a result of self-isolating, will receive a support payment of £500. New fines for those breaching self-isolation rules will also start at £1,000.  The government states it recognises that self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the transmission of Covid-19, and this support payment will ensure that those on low incomes are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances.  Just under 4 million people who are in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for the payment, which will be available to those who are required to self-isolate from 28 September and in place via local authorities by 12 October (backdated payments).

    Housing

    Housing charity Shelter and district councils have warned that hundreds of thousands of private renters have fallen into arrears during the coronavirus pandemic or are otherwise at risk of being made homeless as the furlough scheme ends and unemployment rises. Calls for a ban on evictions to be extended or made permanent are being made amid fears it could provoke a surge in homelessness and contribute to a rise in coronavirus infections.  Following a temporary government ban on landlords evicting tenants, eviction hearings can restart in England and Wales from 21st September.

    Social care and health 

    The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that an additional £546m in funding will be allocated to care homes to help protect residents from winter COVID-19 outbreaks. The funding will pay for PPE such as facemasks, gloves and aprons, and will enable homes to continue paying the full wages of carers and other staff if they develop COVID-19 symptoms.

    People visiting care homes in areas with high numbers of coronavirus cases will be required to be constantly supervised as part of the Government's adult social care winter action plan.  Visits should be limited, and in facilities listed as being an area of intervention, visits should be halted altogether except in "exceptional circumstances".

    Environment

    New monthly interim indicators for Natural England’s People and Nature Survey for England show that almost half the population (46%) are spending more time outside than before COVID-19 (up from 44% in June and 26% in May). With 42% of adults reporting that ‘nature and wildlife is more important than ever to my wellbeing’ and 35% visiting local green and natural spaces more often.


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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 14 September, 2020

    7 months ago
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    Cornwall Impact

    Economy

    • Data released by NOMIS today shows the out of work benefit claimant count is still the highest amongst the 18-24 age bracket in Cornwall, with 10% claiming, whereas the South West figures is 7.9% and it is 9.4% for Great Britain. The 10% claimant rate represents the lowest figure since April. There is also a greater proportion of men claiming benefits (7.5%) than women (4.9%).

    National Impact

    Economy

    • Unemployment in Britain increased to 4.1% during May, June and July, this equates to 1.4 million people. 4.1% represents a rise on the 3.9% recorded in the previous three months. Those aged 16-24 were the hardest hit out of all age groups. The full impact of the pandemic is expected to be shown post October when the furlough scheme ends, more than 10 million people have benefitted from the job retention scheme.
    • The Professional Association of Self-Caterers are warning of yet more upheaval in the UK’s self-catering and holiday cottages market as the ‘rule of 6’ could leave larger properties standing empty. Under the previous rules in England, two families were permitted to meet if they observed social distancing measures up to a maximum of 30 people, but now holiday firms offering properties sleeping 7 or more will have to consider alternatives.
    • Several UK retail and leisure businesses have announced reopening plans following lockdown.  The Co-op is planning to open 50 new stores, creating 1,000 new jobs, Pret A Manger has announced a new coffee subscription service to attract customers back into stores, whilst toy store Lego will be opening 14 new stores in the UK as it enjoys the result of good sales worldwide during the pandemic.
    • New figures from the Institute for Employment Studies shows that employers in Britain are planning more than twice as many redundancies than they did at the height of the last recession with 380,000 job cuts planned from May to July this year compared to around 180,000 from January to March 2009.  Completed redundancies could reach 735,000 this autumn.
    • Recent ONS research shows that the number of people who thought it would take more than a year for life to return to normal, if at all, rose from 2 in 10 in mid-June to 3 in 10 by the end of July.   Of businesses not permanently stopped trading, 36% of the workforce were working remotely instead of at their normal place of work.

    Housing

    • Housing secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the government have declared a truce on enforcement action for tenants facing eviction in England and Wales this Christmas. Evictions will not be enforced in areas in a local lockdown. Notice periods for eviction have also been increased to 6 months as the pandemic continues. Court proceedings for evictions will restart on 21 September, but evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs in local lockdown areas.

    Social Care and Health 

    • In July more than 2 million people across England are waiting for hospital treatment, more than triple the figure for 2019. The President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England highlighted that some of these patients require treatment to get back to work, therefore this represents not only a health issue but also an economic issue.
    • Addiction services in England could struggle to cope with "soaring" numbers of people misusing alcohol, the Royal College of Psychiatrists is warning.  Data shows that many adults are drinking more since the coronavirus pandemic began, with the college estimating that in June, more than 8.4m people in England were drinking at higher-risk levels, up from 4.8m in February.   The college is asking the government to invest millions more in addiction services as the rise in risky drinking comes at a time when more people addicted to opiates are seeking help from addiction services.
    • The Trussell Trust has predicted that at least 670,000 extra people will become destitute and in need of charity food parcels by Christmas as coronavirus job and income support schemes are wound down.
    • NHS Providers, which represents English hospital trusts, has said that a lack of coronavirus tests for NHS staff is leading to staff absences and services being put at risk, with staff having to self-isolate because they cannot get tests for themselves or family members. Whilst a network of over 5,000 school heads also say there is growing frustration at the lack of access to testing and the potential impact and staff shortages that could force partial closures in schools.  Government figures show the current capacity for daily testing is more than 350,000 - which includes swab tests and antibody tests - with the aim to increase to 500,000 a day by the end of October.



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