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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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 08 September, 2020

    7 months ago
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    Local Impact  


    • The Eat out to Help Out scheme figures were released last week. Comparatively, in the South West, Cornwall had the fourth largest number of registered restaurants (988), with the second highest number of meals claimed (1,178,000) and amount of discount claimed (6,670,000). Broken down to Cornwall’s parliamentary constituencies, St Ives has the highest number of registered restaurants, North Cornwall had the highest number of meals claimed and highest amount of discount claimed:  

    Parliamentary constituency code 

    Parliamentary Constituency 

    Total number of registered restaurants 

    Total number of meals claimed for 

    Total amount of discount claimed (£) 

    Average discount per meal (£) 


    Camborne and Redruth 






    North Cornwall 






    South East Cornwall 






    St Austell and Newquay 






    Truro and Falmouth 






    St Ives 








    •  The ONS has published provisional monthly figures showing the number of COVID-19 deaths and age-standardised mortality rates in England and Wales from March to July 2020, by age, sex, and local authority.  Deaths by MSOA (Middle Layer Super Output Area), Rural-Urban Classification and Travel to Work Areas (including in Cornwall) are also available. ONS analysis shows that COVID-19 has had a proportionally higher impact on the most deprived areas of England, with the age-standardised mortality rate in July being more than double the mortality rate in the least deprived areas (3.1 deaths per 100,000 population compared to 1.4), echoing results seen in previous months.  Cornwall is currently ranked 83rd out of 317 local authority areas for deprivation (where a rank of 1 has the highest proportion of the population living in the most deprived neighbourhoods). 17 of Cornwall’s 326 neighbourhoods (Lower Super Output Areas) are considered in the top 10% most deprived areas in England.    

    National Impact


    Health, Social Care and Children’s:  


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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 01 September, 2020

    8 months ago
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    Local Impact

    Surfers Against Sewage say they have seen an “explosion” of discarded masks and plastic on beaches and in rivers. The Cornwall bases Surfers Against Sewage have highlighted the governments roll back on the 5p plastic back charge to support food deliveries and the postponement of the ban on straws, stirrers and cotton-bud sticks that was weeks away from being introduced.



    Low income, employed people may be able to claim up to £182 if they have to self-isolate in certain parts of England. People who claim Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, and can only work from work premises, will be able to get money equating to £13 a day.

    The Arts and Leisure industry still has the largest proportion of workforce still furloughed, with 51% still furloughed. In second, the hospitality industry with 27% of their workforce still furloughed. 23% of arts and entertainment businesses are reporting the risk of insolvency as severe to moderation. Across all businesses, 11% are reporting the same.

    The number of working and workless households has remained stable throughout lockdown, according to the ONS. It estimated that between April and the end of June, 59.6% of all households had at least one member working, while 13.1% of all households have no members working.

    Croydon Council have said a “balanced budget” cannot be assured, with bankruptcy a possibility. The local authority faces a £65.4m overspend in the 20/21 financial year and only has £10m of reserve funds. To address the situation an independently chaired finance review has been set up and recruitment has been frozen.

    Worldwide, people working from home are doing on average almost an extra hour a day longer than they were prior to the pandemic according to research from National Bureau of Economic Research. The study from NBER analysed data from 21,000 companies across the US, Europe and the Middle East.

    A survey of 285 low-income families show 80% are now in a worse financial position than before the crisis. Reasons for the change were a fall in income, job losses and an increase in living costs. Half of the respondents said the were “much worse off” and more than three-quarters said the pandemic had affected their ability to pay for food and utilities.


    Research by the NFER has shown that the educational gap between rich and poor pupils has widened by 46%, due to the lockdown. Average estimates in a poll of almost 3,000 school leaders in England suggest pupils are three months behind in their curriculum, with the situation judged to be worse in schools in more deprived areas. The study from the National Foundation for Educational Research claimed over half of teachers in the study estimate that the learning gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has widened. Reasons relate to remote learning and levels of pupil and parent engagement.


    Homelessness charities are calling for the Government to extend their support for prison leavers. Ministry of Justice figures show that during the first month of lockdown, over 1,000 people were released from prison. The scheme, that provided a £6.4m pilot has helped offenders stay off the streets; however charities say that unless released offenders are supported, reoffending rates will rise with no protection from COVID.

    Health and Social Care

    According to analysis using global data, obesity increased the risk of dying from COVID by 48%, with fears that the vaccine will also be less effective. Additionally, the study showed that obese people were 74% more likely to be admitted to intensive care.  


    ONS findings from the Telephone operated Crime Survey for England and Wales has found that there is an estimated 32% reduction in total crime (this excludes fraud and computer misuse). The study analyses data during April and May 2020, and is compared to a two-month average before the lockdown initiated. Whilst nationally, data down a reduced, local data shows that crime levels have stayed the same. Additionally, parents of children aged 10-15 years old reporting negative online experiences is around 1 in 10.

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  • Intelligence Newsletter - 25 August, 2020

    8 months ago
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    Cornwall – local impact 


    Climate Impact 

    • On Sunday, Cornwall’s Lithium potential featured in Countryfile with visits to United Downs and interviews of local geologists at Cornish Lithium. Find the coverage on iPlayer.  
    • Cornwall has been selected to help kick start the nature recovery under the Local Nature Recovery Strategies pilot that will map the most valuable sites and habitats for wildlife restoration.  

    And in other Cornish news…  

    • The Cornish Shuffle dance is a new dance craze! The craze, initiated by a local NHS psychiatrist, hopes to increase social connections and benefits our physical and mental health. You can visit a dedicated YouTube channel and to see a breakdown of the steps and a demo video. 


    National Impact


    • Panorama investigation reveals that domestic abuse has surged during lockdown. An FOI from UK police forces found that one domestic abuse call was made every 30 seconds in the first seven weeks of lockdown. These reports included kidnap, arson, revenge porn and poisoning.  


    • July 2020 was the busiest month for buying houses in 10 years, according to Rightmove. They report that more than £37bn worth of property sales were conducted. In July 2019, £25bn worth of sales were conducted. 
    • During lockdown it is estimated that nearly 18,000 households across England have been made homeless. From FOI responses to 212 councils, 22,798 households applied for support after 1st April. The article outlines that this is only reporting 2/3rds of England’s households, which they estimate as 33,000 households for all local authorities were made homeless. The final figure removes the 15,000 households that were allocated housing under the governments scheme.  
    • A two year partnership between Tesco Mobile and Crisis (the homelessness charity) will enable homeless people digital connectivity. The scheme will provide £700,000 worth of smartphones and internet data to homeless people in England. Crisis has already provided 1000 mobile phones since the start of lockdown, and is now urging the public to donate their old smartphones. The scheme will support connection to family and access to health care guidance.  

    Social Care and Health  

    • Imperial College London researchers have found evidence linking Diabetes Type 1 to Coronavirus in children. During the heights on the pandemic, the Imperial College NHS trust saw a significant increase of diabetes type 1 admissions – on further investigation, a number of these had positive coronavirus testing.   
    • Specialist public health registrars have raised fears that scrapping the Public Health England organisation would risk a second coronavirus waveThis follows the announcement from the Health Secretary last Tuesday that said the PHE will be replaced by the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP).  
    • Research from Public Health England (PHE) reveals there was an outbreak of coronavirus at only one in 10,000 schools when some reopened for select year groups in June. Outbreaks in schools were typically small in size and more than half involved just one secondary case, the report added, with PHE insisting they were all “successfully contained. 
    • Reports of depression during lockdown increase to 19.2% (1 in 5) from 9.7% (1 in 10). A number of factors were found to feed into this, including unexpected expenditure worries (1 in 3 adults), unemployment, loneliness (61.7%) and future uncertainty. According to the ONS there were no statistically significant differences between rural and urban areas. More than half of all adults experienced high level of anxiety during the lockdown. There are a number of factors that have been associated with the development of moderate to sever depressive symptoms, pre and post COVID, which have fed into this increase:  

    • There was also a significant increase of disabled adults (around a third) experiencing moderate to severe depressive symptoms: 

    • In conjunction with the Universities of Oxford and Manchester, Public Health England and the Wellcome Trust, the ONS have published their COVID Infection Survey which looks at the characteristics of people that have tested positive for COVIDThe conclusions: 
      • Evidence shows that Asian or Asian British individuals are more likely to test positive for COVID than White individuals.  
      • One-person households were more likely to test positive for COVID than in two people households – there is no evidence of differences for larger households.  
      • Individuals working in health care have a higher percentage of testing positive for anti-bodies, suggesting previous infection, than those not working in a health care setting.  
      • From nose and throat swabs over the last 8 weeks, there is no evidence to shows likelihood of infection between age groups nor any evidence of infection preference between gender. 


    • Analysis by the ONS into retail sales shows that in total July sales are higher than pre-lockdown. Since its lowest, in April, sales have increased by 3.6% on a monthly basis. However, breaking down the sectors, analysis shows that fuel and non sale foods are below levels of pre-lockdown with clothes sales recovering the worst (still 25.7% lower than pre-lockdown).  

    Climate impacts 

    • The UK’s centre of excellence for local carbon and fuel cell technologies Cenex, have produced a report that recommends local authorities should embrace e-scooters rental schemes. Cenex claim that e-scooters have the potential to reduce car trips and, in doing so, cut congestion and emissions, especially in congested city centres. 
    • Transport for Greater Manchester have revealed that their bus patronage is recovering a lot quicker than rail. Bob Morris, TfGM’s chief operating officer said the bus network was carrying about 40 per cent of pre-Covid patronage, Metrolink  35-40 per cent, and the rail network about 20 per cent. 


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  • Intelligence Newsletter - 18 August, 2020

    8 months ago
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    Local News

    • The BBC reports that some restaurants and pubs are withdrawing from the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme due to the negative effects it has caused for them. Owners of these venues say the additional demand for services on the days the scheme is in operation have caused staff to be on the receiving end of negative behaviour from customers, which has caused a lot of strain on staff.

    National News

    Health and Wellbeing

    • The LGA, representing councils across the country, is encouraging all parents to check their children are up to date with their routine vaccinations. They are concerned that vaccination programmes have been disrupted by COVID-19 and many children will have missed out. They said, “failure to vaccinate children today could lead to avoidable consequences in the long term”.
    • The ONS have published an investigation into any potential link between long term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality rates in England. They conclude that the link has a smaller effect in England than has been found in previous studies in other countries. The link between early COVID-19 deaths and exposure to dirty air was partly down to the outbreak in London. As the virus spread across the country and deaths became more evenly distributed, the correlation decreased.
    • The NHS Confederation have published a new report called “Mental Health Services and COVID-19: Preparing for the rising tide”. It looks at how mental health services have adapted to the pandemic and the expected rise in demand for mental health services and support as a result of the pandemic, continuing into the future. They believe this will have serious implications on resourcing and staff wellbeing. They consider how services should prepare for the rise in demand and how services should be planned and delivered.
    • A YouGov poll has found that four out of five healthcare workers expect a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK. Only 9% believed a second outbreak was unlikely. 25% of NHS workers who need PPE were still saying they lacked adequate equipment at the end of June. 31% of NHS workers said it was fairly or very likely that they will contract coronavirus in their workplace.


    In their Economy, business and jobs Coronavirus roundup for August, the ONS has said that:

    • The biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record occurred in quarter 2 (April to June 2020) at 20.4%. However, GDP grew by 8.7% in June.
      • The economy began to bounce back in June; the volume of retail sales increased by 13.9% (June compared with May) as non-essential shops were allowed to reopen.
      • 90% of businesses who responded to their Business Impact of COVID-19 survey said they had been trading for ore than the previous two weeks (surveys taken 13 to 26 July), up from 86% the previous week.
      • Labour productivity (output per hour) fell by 2.5%, the largest fall since estimates began
      • Total actual weekly hours fell by 18.4% between quarter one and quarter two of 2020.
      • Early indicators for July suggest that the number of employees in the UK on payrolls is down by 730,000 compared with March.
      • Public sector borrowing for April to June 2020 reached £127.9 billion, which is more that double that borrowed in the whole 2019/20 financial year.
      • Central Government receipts for June 2020 were 16.5% lower than June 2019 as Government coronavirus policies begin to take effect.
      • 29% of businesses trading in July said their operating costs exceed or were equal to their turnover.

    Society and Social Welfare

    • In their Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (covering 5-9 August) the ONS asked people about whether they were likely to go on holiday this year. 28% of adults said they were likely to go on holiday in the UK this year and 9% said they would likely go on a holiday abroad. Although no directly comparable, data from ABTA shows that in 2019 64% of people took a foreign holiday and 72% holidayed in the UK. A third of people said their household would not be able to afford a week’s holiday away from home. People were also less likely to travel if they knew that they would have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return.
    •  A YouGov poll from 4 – 5 August shows the UK’s current voting intentions. It reveals a slight downturn in Conservative voting (43% to 42%) and a slight upturn in favour of voting for Labour (from 35% to 36%). Liberal Democrats are also up from 6% to 8%, the Greens vote remains the same and a slight reduction from 3% to 2% for the Brexit Party. In terms of who would make the best Prime Minister however, Sir Kier Starmer has outpolled Boris Johnson with 34% of the vote, compared to Johnson’s 32%. A third of Britons still cannot decide between the two. The graph below shows the time series for voting intention results.
    • The Children’s Commissioner has published a report setting out the key actions needed to ensure that children are at the heart of planning for future lockdowns. The report: ‘Putting children first in future lockdowns’, lists ten key principles that need to be considered when planning a future public health response. The report says that, “Schools and early years settings should be kept open wherever possible. They should be the last places that are locked down, after pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops.”
    • The ONS has published a report into the implications of childlessness among tomorrow’s older people.  Our population is ageing because of declining fertility and an increase in life expectancy. One of the implications of this is the demand for paid-for care is likely to increase as adult children are the most common providers of informal social care to their parents when they reach old age.


    • A report published by the Salvation Army outlines how homelessness and rough sleeping will increase if the Government does not provide adequate funding for local authorities to support those who are homeless or at risk of becoming so. The report offers solutions to help sustain the progress made in recent months. They also say that “Not only would this protect thousands of vulnerable people but investing in homelessness now will avoid spiralling costs in the future”.
    • The LGiU reports on a new planning white paper has been published which contains radical proposals to change the way that housebuilding and other development is controlled in England. It has been strongly criticised by local authorities and planning professionals. The proposals will make it easier for developers to build without applying to councils for consent. Local government leaders have pointed out that about 90% of applications are approved by councils and that delays are mainly down to developers and that this is a loss of local control, which would “deprive communities of the ability to define the area they live in.” (you will need to set up a free LGiU account to view this article).


    • The BBC reports that a University of Leeds study shows that the dramatic drop in greenhouse gases and air pollutants seen during the global lockdown will have little impact on global warming. The data suggests that by 2030, global temperatures will only be 0.01 ⁰C lower than expected. They stress that the nature of the recovery could alter this outlook though and that action could still keep the world from exceeding 1.5⁰C warming by the middle of the century.
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  • Intelligence Newsletter - 11 August, 2020

    8 months ago
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    Local Impact

    • The Times reports that, nationwide, road traffic has now exceeded pre-lockdown measures with cars and vans being 14% higher. By using local data, at the end of July in Cornwall, whilst some main areas in mid-Cornwall have seen averaged traffic levels lower than pre lockdown, overall traffic levels are 7% above pre-lockdown levels. During the isolation period of lockdown, Cornwall’s traffic levels dropped to under 35% of the normal traffic levels.


    • RNLI has reported that the Cornish beaches are the busiest that they ‘have ever seen’. Most notably, the RNLI continues, is Perranporth beach that recorded 14,000 beachgoers last Thursday (30th July). There are worries that the RNLI will struggle to keep up with the number of tourists that are visiting Cornwall’s beaches if the number of visitors continue at this level.
    • Newly published data by the ONS for COVID-19 business rates reliefs by all Local Authorities in England shows Cornwall is the 12th highest in terms of the total estimated value of reliefs to be provided to businesses in 2020/21 under the expanded retail discount scheme (£97,661,779). Cornwall ranks 3rd highest for the estimated number of non-domestic businesses that are eligible for the expanded retail discount, and 4thhighest for the estimated number of non-domestic businesses eligible for the nursey discount. 
      • Following this, new data was also released for Business Grant Funding showing that as at the 5 July, Cornwall Council had paid out the most grants and to more businesses than any other Local Authority in England from the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF). 15,937 business had received a grant from the SBGF (£159,370,000), with 4,467 business receiving a grant from the RHLF (£72,285,000).
      • Furthermore, the data showed that as at 5 July, Cornwall had also paid out £11,020,000 from the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF) – more than any other Local Authority in England and nearly double that of the authority who had paid out the second highest amount.  
    • The government is urging rural communities to apply for gigabit-capable broadband scheme, which is targeted at rural, hard to reach areas.
    • CCN have published a new report highlighting the most economically vulnerable areas in England. Surmised by Julian German, the report shows that the narrow focus on the ‘Red Wall’ areas  such as Cumbria (62% of all jobs), Derbyshire (60%) and Durham (60%) does not highlight other areas, such as Cornwall (60%) who have an above national average for jobs in sectors with a heavy reliance on tourism and retail. The report also emphasises that 46% of the country’s entire furlough workforce are in county areas, with Cornwall having the highest proportion at 35.1%. The report goes on to show that counties are the most vulnerable to economic impact, with 53% of counties workforce are in ‘at risk’ sectors, with core cities at 44%.


    • Less than half of England’s population understand the current lockdown rules, according to a UCL study. Whilst Scotland and Wales populace have a higher understanding, it has also fallen to levels of 75% and 61%. Further, access to healthcare has also fallen – 1 in 10 people across the UK are unable to speak with a GP; 1 in 20 people were unable to speak to a mental health professional.


    • The LGA have reported that local economies could miss out on more than £1 billion in emergency COVID-19 funding if the Government goes ahead with plans to close business support schemes. The funds include the Small Business Grants, Retail Hospitality, Leisure Business Grants Fund and Discretionary Grants Fund – all of which were introduced at the beginning of Lockdown. Any of the remaining funds, which the LGA estimates to be around £1.37 billion, will be returned to the Government at the end of August.
    • The Rural Services Network have published an updated list of current funds available to businesses and residents currently struggling during Covid.
    • The ONS have published statistics showing the impact of Parenting during Lockdown. During lockdown, parents were nearly twice as likely to be furloughed as those without children. Additionally, parents that work the traditional 9-5 roles are likely to be working during unsociable hours.

    • Additionally, during lockdown parents spent more time on developmental childcare, when compared to 2014/15 data. The analysis shows that developmental childcare has increased by 40 minutes, with non-developmental children decreasing by 20 minutes across all days. Directable comparable analysis that shows parents founds developmental childcare more enjoyable that other domestic chores.

    Social Care and Wellbeing 


    • The Rural Services Network has reported that rural crime has risen to £53million – its highest level for eight years. Over the last 12 months, rural crime is up almost 9% with high value machinery, such as tractors and quads, being the main targets. Livestock crime, mainly lambs, have also increased by nearly 15%. The biggest monetary impacts are seen in the Midlands (£10.6m) with the South West reporting £6.6m lost, which is a 14% increase from 2019. NFU published data shows that Scotland had the biggest percentage increased at 44%, with the Northeast at the lowest with 0.4%. The worst affected Local Authority for total cost was Lincolnshire, with Northamptonshire having the biggest percentage change of 134%. Cornwall did not feature on the published list.


    Government Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID World – Civil Service World; 24 September, 2020 10am.

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  • Intelligence Newsletter - 4th August, 2020

    9 months ago
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    Local Impact and Updates

    • Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer visited Falmouth on Wednesday (29 July) and called for the Government to provide more support for staff working in tourism and manufacturing. Sir Kier said Cornwall was expected to lose out on around £800 million worth of income due to the pandemic and that business and communities in Cornwall had told him they are struggling with social distancing and the shorter tourist season.
    • The visit comes after Labour analysed ONS data which showed that areas heavily reliant on tourism saw a rise in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits in recent months is an average of 65 percentage points higher than in other areas.
    • Our Network has published an updated slide deck on the Economic Impact of COVID on Cornwall. The document looks at Cornwall's economic context, bringing together analysis of known data and applications of Tortoise Media, ISER research and Center for Towns Exposure. Have a look at our documents sections on this page!

    National Impact

    Economic Impact

    • The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee have published a new report looking at national infrastructure spending. It concludes that the overall aims are poorly defined and may lead to money being wasted as the spend may not lead to the culture change required for the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. They also say more local input is required into these schemes and that it should be sought at an earlier stage.
    • The ONS has released its latest data on the effects of COVID-19 on the UK economywith the main points being:
      • The accommodation and food service activities sector reported the largest percentage of businesses starting to trade within the last two weeks after a pause in trading, at 33%.
      • The accommodation and food service activities sector reported the highest proportion of the workforce returning from furlough leave, at 18%, followed by the arts, entertainment and recreation sector and the construction sector, both at 15%.
      • Of businesses continuing to trade, the wholesale and retail trade sector had the highest percentage of businesses reporting that their turnover increased, at 22%.
      • 38% of businesses continuing to trade reported that capital expenditure had stopped or was lower than normal because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Health and Wellbeing

    • The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have reported on the Government’s handling of social care during the pandemic. They have called the Government’s approach ‘slow, inconsistent and, at times, negligent’. They also describe the decision to discharge 25,000 patients into care homes in March and early April without testing for the virus as ‘shocking’ and an 'appalling error’. They don’t only lay blame for the tragic consequences for those who rely on social care with the Government’s recent decisions but also the years of funding cuts and delays to policy reform for the sector.
    • The Health Foundation have also released analysis revealing the devastating impact the pandemic has had on social care in England, echoing the points made by the Public Accounts Committee.
    • Swim England has warned that only a fifth of local authority owned swimming pools opened on the day Government restrictions allowed them to and that 30% of facilities would likely stay closed for the next six months as the cost of reopening appears to be prohibitive. They have welcomed a report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee into the COVID-19 impact on the sector which says the Government must work with councils to ensure necessary funding is in place to preserve leisure facilities.
    • ONS have published a Personal Well-being Interactive Maps that looks at Life Satisfaction, Worthwhile, Happiness and Activity. 

    • The County Councils Network reports that England’s largest councils say government should set out its plans to reform social care this year but warn against a ‘knee-jerk’ centralisation of the system in the aftermath of Coronavirus. This follows speculation in the press that control for social care commissioning and provision could be moved from local government to the NHS. They site examples where local government have stepped up to support social care providers during the pandemic and say councils want to work with local NHS organisations to provide solutions to the current issues.

    • The Children’s Society annual survey of children’s well-being has shown that nearly 1 in 5 children aged 10-17 in the UK have reported being unhappy with their lives as a whole during the coronavirus lockdown. This is equivalent to 1.1million children. This has increased from between 10 and 13% over the last five years. The organisation has published a report titled “Life on Hold” which also finds that 50% of parents expected coronavirus to harm their children’s happiness over the coming year.

    • The Government’s Health and Care Monthly Update for Augustreports that:
      • The prevalence of adult smokers in the UK continues to fall across all age groups in 2019
      • There was a low point in the number of referrals to talking therapies in April 2020
      • Women are progressively delaying childbearing with a steady increase in fertility rates for women aged over 40 years since 1978
      • The number of patients who die following hospitalisation continues to decrease.

    There is more detail on each of the reports above including datasets.

    Social welfare and society

    • The Economic Affairs Committee (a Lords Committee) has called for reforms to Universal Credit as it said the policy is failing millions of people and driving the increase in foodbank use and rent arrears. In their second report ‘Universal Credit isn’t working: proposals for reform’, they call for the Government to introduce a non-repayable two-week grant to all claimants, tax credit debt to be written off, and an increase in the standard allowance.
    • The number of council referrals of suspected child victims of modern slavery in England to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) has risen from 127 in 2014 to 1,971 in 2019. Children accounted for 91% of all referrals made by councils in 2019, according to the figures. The LGA is calling for specific funding to help disrupt and tackle the crime through regulatory services and provide support to the victims. They also warn that the pandemic could leave people more vulnerable to exploitation by businesses.
    • According to a YouGov poll, 18% of Britons say that despite the many negative effects the pandemic has caused, it has had a positive effect on them. This appears to be slightly more common in men than women (21% of men vs 16% of women). The graph below shows the breakdown of different groups and whether they feel they have been positively or negatively affected and to what extent. Key workers top the list of those that feel the pandemic has had a large negative effect on them.


    • Another YouGov poll has also shown that the use of facemasks is significantly up as 57% of people report having worn a facemask in the previous fortnight. This is up from 38% on 12 July. This follows the Governments new rule on face coverings being required in all shops from 24 July.
    • The New Local Government Network (NLGN) have published a report called “Community Mobilisation: Unlocking the potential of community power” which provides four strategies for rapidly mobilising local mutual aid groups to ensure the most vulnerable are provided for during the pandemic. They site case studies that demonstrate good practice and cover ideas like local area coordination, community land trusts and participatory platforms.
    • The Rural Services Network have been looking at whether more people are looking to escape to the countryside, how this has been impacted by COVID-19 and what this means for rural places. They site the ONS Opinions and Lifestyle Survey which found that 28% of adults are planning changes to their relationship, job or home after we have recovered from COVID-19. 35% of these respondents wanted to move home. The report explores the evidence and discusses the possible impacts for the countryside.


    • Breathable billboards have been installed at three locations in London to encourage local authorities to build clean air into their recovery plans from the COVID-19 pandemic. The billboards from Global Action Plan include an image of flowering lungs that react in real-time to localised pollution data to show if air quality is good or approaching illegal levels. These accompany a new report and toolkit funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity who argue there is a detrimental health link between COVID-19 and air pollution.
    • This may be a timely initiative as Friends of the Earth report that 1,360 sites across England exceed the Air Quality Objective for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels, although this is down from 1,591 locations the year before.
    • ‘Unearthed’, a journalism project by Greenpeace UK, has reported that waste incinerators are three times more likely to be built in the UK’s most deprived neighbourhoods than the least. Incinerators that are currently proposed, are in the planning process, or being built also reflect this trend. Nearly half are set to be built in the UK’s top 25% most deprived neighbourhoods. Incinerators are on the rise globally due to an international waste crisis but those living in the vicinity complain of noise, litter and increased traffic. The article explores the effects and causes for the locations of the incinerators in more depth.


    • A report published by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee says that at least 90,000 new social homes should be built every year but that existing funding mechanisms mean local authorities and social housing providers are ‘at the limit’ of what they can deliver. They believe this target could be reached in five years if the Government increased funding and made some policy reforms to reduce the predicted cost of providing these new homes.
    • The charity Shelter has published a report which says nearly one in five (17%) private renting parents, which is the equivalent to over 450,000 adults are not more concerned their family will become homeless as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. YouGov carried out polling on behalf of Shelter which found that 15% of these people had cut back on food and 20% were taking on debt to help pay their rent since lock-down. Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “As rescue and recovery packages roll in, the government needs to prioritise building safe homes that everyone can afford. Cuts to stamp duty are not a solution when you’re struggling to keep a roof over your head, and terrified of becoming homeless at the hands of this crisis.”

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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 27 July, 2020

    9 months ago
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    Local Impact 

    Housing and Welfare Update 

    The number of households that were in receipt of council tax support or housing benefit (excluding those in receipt of the Housing element of UC) in Cornwall in June had grown by 4,166 since March this year. Of these new households, 2,515 are in work, and 1,651 are out of work3,007 of the new households are classed as in relative poverty and due to the proportion of households in this group being so high, this has pushed the overall proportion of all households in this group in poverty to 50%. There were nearly 25,000 households in Cornwall in June living below the poverty line, including over 14,000 children, an increase of 15% since March. 

    Due to a change in the eligibility criteria for peripheral benefits in March 2020, in Cornwall there are now an additional 3,347 households that could be eligible for the Warm Homes Discount, bringing the total to 40,908. There are also an extra 1,221 households that are eligible for free prescriptions, bringing the total in Cornwall to 21,818. 

    April’s welfare reforms have shifted the balance of people who would now be better off if they moved from legacy benefits to Universal Credit, with 50% being better off compared to 47% being worse off. Previously, 24% would have been better off, compared to 54% who would have been worse off. 

    An extra 2,374 households in Cornwall have gone into council tax arrears since March, an increase of 24%, bringing the total to 12,150. However, 1,118 households have been identified that could be eligible for Council Tax Support but are not yet claiming it. There was a 7% increase between March and June of households in Cornwall who are in receipt of housing benefit or council tax support, with the increase mainly in council tax support. There are nearly 25,000 children living in households who receive these benefits. 

    The House of Commons website has published a dashboard on housing supply by local authority area. Using the tool you are able to select a local authority area and view data on housing stock by sector, compare this across the local region and the national sector breakdown, look at how new homes are being delivered, and where they are being lost. You can also look at a dashboard for affordable housing and access all the data sources used to create the dashboards. 

    The House of Commons has published Universal Credit data for June 2020 by constituency on its Universal Credit Rollout dashboard. The constituency can be selected and both statistics and graphs can be generated. The chart below compares the number of people on Universal Credit compared to those still claiming legacy benefits in the Camborne and Redruth constituency as an example. This can be run for any constituency. The Government currently expects all households claiming legacy benefits and tax credits to have moved across to UC by September 2024. 



    National Impact 


    PWC have released their latest UK Economic Update which covers scenario based analysis of the potential short-term impacts of COVID-19 on UK economic growth. The data shows the decline in economic activity has slowed and that in May the economy grew by 1.8%, driven by an expansion in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Their estimates for GDP growth in 2020 range from -10% to -13%. They estimate that the level of GDP may still be around 1% to 7% below pre-crisis trends by the end of next year. 

    The Office for National Statistics has released data on Average household disposable income and income inequality in the UKIn the financial year leading up to the pandemic (2019/20) average household disposable income (after taxes and benefits) was £30,800 – up 2.3% (£700) compared with 2018/19, after accounting for inflation. Also in 2019/20, real earnings increased by an average of 1.5%, however more recently total annual pay growth for March to May 2020 fell by 1.3%, after accounting for inflation, which will likely impact adversely on income growth rates in 2020/21 (this financial year). 

    LGiU examines the issues facing live music venues and those who work in the sector considering Covid-19 and the potential role of local authorities in their recovery. The lockdown put an estimated 90 per cent of venues and festivals at imminent risk of closure. Mass closures of music venues would mean the loss of a £5 billion industry and thousands of job losses. (You will need to set up a free account to view this briefing). 

    Ratings agency Moody’s has warned that it could downgrade the UK’s credit rating if it fails to provide a credible debt reduction strategy following Covid-19. (you will need a free Public Finance account to view this article). The agency forecasts gross general government debt will rise to around 112% of GDP by the end of this year, up by close to 27 percentage points from 2019. Moody’s said: “The UK's rating would likely be downgraded if Moody's were to conclude that policymakers' capacity and appetite to develop a credible medium-term strategy to reduce debt was low. Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show the government has borrowed a record £127.9bn between April and June - more than double the £55.4bn borrowed in the whole of the last full financial year. 

    MPs have slated ministers for failing to give local government sufficient funding and urged them to ensure a 'clear and timely financial settlement’ in readiness for the next phase of the pandemic. The House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said ‘central government has not given local authorities the clarity or support they need over long-term funding'. It said central government ‘promised’ councils they would have the resources they need but many are now facing income shortfalls. They said local government needs clarity to avoid them having to issue Section 114 notices imposing spending restrictions. 


    Health and Wellbeing 

    The LGiU (Local Government Information Unit) have released a report which discusses the question of urban density and its relationship to disease in general and to the transmission of the Covid-19 virus in particular. (You will need to set up a free account with LGiU to view this report). 

    In the most recent results from University College London’s COVID-19 social studywhich now looks at data compiled over 16 weeks of the survey, they have focused on the psychological effects of the restriction imposed by Government to fight the pandemic. They have found that 1 in 4 respondents have reported that their relationships with colleagues or co-workers got worse over lockdown. You can also add your experiences to the survey and take part at any point. 

    The Health and Safety Executive has published statistics on workplace health a safety for the year 2019/20. 111 workers were fatally injured at work. It is the lowest annual number of workplace deaths on record, and a fall of 38 from 2018/19.  HSE notes that this decrease was accentuated by the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economy in the final two months of the year, when many workers were not at work.  Fatal injury statistics do not include deaths from occupational diseases, including COVID-19. Data for non-fatal injuries and illness caused by work will be published for 2019/20 in November 2020. 

    The Public Health Director of Blackburn with Darwen CouncilProfessor Dominic Harrison has said that England's contact tracers have only reached about 50% of people who have been in close contact with someone with Covid-19 in an area of Lancashire where new cases are rising. He warned of "exponential growth" of new infections if the system did not become more efficient. The Government's most recent statistics reveal that of the people in England who tested positive for Covid-19 between 2-8 July, 17.1% could not be reached and a further 4.1% did not provide their phone number. 

    Despite expecting to live longer, people in their 40s and 50s are likely to suffer more years of ill health than older generations now in their 60s and early 70s, according to a new University College London-led study. The study, published in the journal Population Studies, compared generations born between 1945 and 1980 and found a greater prevalence of ill health among those born later, with these younger cohorts more likely to rate their health as poor and have clinically measured poor health at equivalent ages during their working lives. The researchers concluded that, although life expectancy has increased in recent decades, many of the years gained are likely to be spent in poor health, with conditions such as diabetes and obesity affecting people earlier. 

    Public Health England have produced a monitoring tool analysing the wider impacts of COVID-19 on health. The tool looks at a range of topics including change in alcohol consumption, grocery purchasing, social determinants of health, access to care and more.  

    national network of data experts has been established to help solve the UK’s most pressing health and care challenges. Led by the Health Foundation, this network is designed to focus on health and social care issues, overcoming existing barriers of fragmentated data collation throughout this sector. The ‘Data Lab’ has already linked together local data with the aim to extract local insights.  

    Society and Welfare 

    The Corporate Director for Children and Young People at Kent County Council, says there could be an increase of 250% in referrals of children that need to be investigated and kept safe when lockdown is eased further. Mr Dunkley said: "What we are looking at is a huge surge in September in children needing to be seen, families needing to be assessed, when they are at the end of their tether after six months being locked down or being out of the eye of their school.... that leaves us with a huge budget problem. 

    The LGiU has published a report on the impact that COVID-19 has had on the UK-EU negotiations for the UK’s exit from the EU. Only a few months remain until a deal must be concluded and the public health situation remains unpredictable. Local authorities will have to contend with the coronavirus public health response, the economic recovery, and the Brexit changeover simultaneously. The report covers recent developments in the EU-UK future relationship negotiations; preparation for the future relationship; and the impact of the coronavirus and future relations. (You will need an LGiU account, which is free to set up, to view this report). 

    Women seeking asylum in the UK have described a significant increase in unsafe and unsanitary living conditions during the Covid-19 crisis, according to a report from a coalition of charities. The report is published by Sisters Not Strangers. They report that more than a fifth of 115 women surveyed were homeless during the coronavirus pandemic and three-quarters of 115 women surveyed were not able to get enough food. Further, nearly 2,500 patients were discharged from mental health units in England – raising concern that vulnerable people were released into the community before they were ready.  

    The Resolution Foundation has released their annual Living Standards Audit for 2020. In it they look at how households were faring before the coronavirus crisis, but also how the incomes of different groups were affected during lockdown. They also look to the future, and discuss the importance of maintaining and improving protection from the effects of rising unemployment in the months ahead. 

    Half of Britons noticed brands supporting Pride month according to a YouGov survey. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Pride celebrations were more subdued for Pride month in June 2020. But Brits are split on whether they’ve seen more or less activity from companies supporting Pride this yearNearly half of Brits (48%) have noticed companies making their logos Pride-themed during June – for example by using rainbow colours. Three in ten people (31%) have also noticed social media posts about Pride or LGBTQ+ issues. However, Britons are sceptical of the motives when brands show their support for LGBTQ+ causes during June. Only a quarter believe it’s genuine, while nearly half (47%) say it’s not. 



    Beauty spots and conservation areas are being put at risk by increasing numbers of irresponsible wild campers leaving behind piles of rubbish and lighting firesThe guardian reports that the National trust had seen a huge increase in what it dubbed “fly camping”, where vast quantities of litter and sometimes tents are left behind by illegal campers. Ben McCarthy of the National Trust said, “This is not only causing us issues with having to spend valuable time clearing up sites – taking our staff away from vital conservation work and engaging with visitors – but also leaving debris and litter behind, which can cause issues for wildlife such as injuring animals and destroying habitats.” 

    The LGA has responded to a campaign launched by Keep Britain Tidy to keep parks litter-free. Chair of the Local Government Association’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: “Councils are working hard to keep parks and public spaces clean. “Services have been disrupted during the pandemic but staff are determined to tackle a backlog of parks maintenance as they return from temporary redeployment to other areas, including supporting bin collections and helping shielded residents. “Responsibility for clearing up litter lies with the person dropping it or leaving it behind. Councils need the public’s cooperation to help keep parks, green spaces and streets free from litter. 



    Webinars and Engagement Opportunities 

    LGiU Online meeting: Sustainable Futures policy roundtable – This virtual policy roundtable offers the chance for attendees to outline what they would like to see included in LGIU’s work on Sustainable Futures, as well as an opportunity to share your experiences and plans for the future on these timely issues. The meeting is part of LGIU’s ongoing Post-Covid Councils project. Themes include: sustainable tourism in cities, towns and rural areas, rural and coastal communities, transport/active travel, green recovery plans and collaborating across boundaries. 

    When: 5 Aug 2020, 14:00–15:30 

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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 21 July, 2020

    9 months ago
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    National Impact

    Economic Picture

    • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have released their most recent wave of indicators for the UK economy and society. Some of the headline findings were:
      • Between 15 and 28 June 2020, 90% of businesses in accommodation and food services reported increased operating costs because of the implementation of safety measures, according to the latest Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS)
      • The proportion of adults shopping for things other than basic necessities increased to 19% from 13% in the previous week, according to the latest Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN).
      • 41% of businesses were providing pay top-ups to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, covering 71% of their furloughed workforce
      • In accommodation and food services, 90% of businesses reported increased operating costs because of the implementation of safety measures
      • Between 3 July and 10 July 2020, the volume of job adverts remained at just under 50% of their 2019 average
      • GDP fell by 19.1% in the three months to May, as government restrictions on movement dramatically reduced economic activity.
    • Council leaders have urged the Government to provide further details on the promised compensation for loss of income due to the pandemic. Cllr Carl Les, CCN spokesperson for finance, said: ‘We await the publication of the detail for the government’s compensation scheme for lost income in council fees and charges. However, it is crucial the government brings forward an ‘income guarantee’ for lost council tax and business rate income, which pose the largest financial risk to councils over the coming period.’
    • West Berkshire Council are the first in the UK to launch a local government green bond. The council aims to raise £1m from its citizens to fund solar panel installations on five council-owned buildings. The bond uses Community Municipal Investment (CMI) developed by Abundance, which allows councils to offer a regulated investment directly to their residents for the first time.

    Health and Wellbeing

    • The ONS has released its most recent infection survey pilot study. They conclude that the number of people in England testing positive has decreased since the start of the study and has now levelled off. They estimate around 1 in 2,300 individuals within the community population in England had COVID-19 within the most recent week looked at, from 6 July to 12 July 2020. This equates to an estimated 24,000 people (95% credible interval: 15,000 to 34,000).

    • During the most recent week (6 July to 12 July), we estimate there were around two new COVID-19 infections for every 10,000 individuals in the community population in England, equating to around 1,700 new cases per day (95% confidence interval: 700 to 4,200). Between 26 April and 8 July, 6.3% of people tested positive for antibodies against COVID-19 on a blood test, suggesting they had had the infection in the past.
    • The Government has now said it will allow Councils to have named patient data on those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the area. Local Government have said that the lack of this data had been hampering their efforts to monitor and react to local outbreaks. The article in The Observer includes commentary from Andy Burnham who has been a lead campaigner for local government receiving full data and in a more timely fashion from central Government.
    • Herefordshire Council has said there is no indication that COVID-19 has spread from Rook Row Farm, which was put into lockdown after 74 of its employees tested positive for the virus. The Chief executive of the council, Alistair Neill said that over 70 had recovered and returned to work and that they were working with Public Health England to monitor the local area and that “at this stage there is no evidence of any community infection”.
    • The Government has suspended the publication of death toll figures for the UK over fears the data may not be accurate. The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has ordered a review into the figures. Academic experts have highlighted that Public Health England reports the death of anyone who has ever tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of when the test occurred and the length of time between the test and the person’s death. It does not consider that some of these people may have recovered and been discharged from hospital into the community and then unfortunately died from an unrelated cause.
    • Councils will get new powers to shut down premises in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus as we head towards the next phase of the pandemic, the Prime Minister has announced. He continued: ‘From tomorrow, local authorities will have new powers in their areas. They will be able to close specific premises, shut public outdoor spaces and cancel events. These powers will enable local authorities to act more quickly in response to outbreaks where speed is paramount.’
    • Councils have been awarded £62m to help accelerate the discharge of people with learning disabilities and/or autism from mental health hospitals. The Community Discharge Fund will help move people into more appropriate care settings or into their community by paying for community teams, accommodation and staff training.
    • A survey of over 14,000 adults by the mental health charity Mind has revealed that existing inequalities in housing, employment, finances and other issues have had a greater impact on the mental health of people from different Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) groups than white people during the coronavirus pandemic.


    • More than 140 prisoners have been housed in hotels and B&Bs after being released during lockdown. Some of these have been released early to prevent overcrowding and infection risks in prison. The ministry of justice says all offenders are thoroughly risk-assessed before being released. The hotels were not provided with details of the offence the person had committed and electronic monitoring equipment would be installed in an offender's hotel room to ensure they abide by a curfew.
    • The Duke of Cambridge has said that COVID-19 has given us an opportunity to crack homelessness. The Duke visited The Light Project in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, which has helped to house over 150 people during lockdown. The Prince said, “This pandemic has been truly horrendous for everyone - I'm really hoping that the slivers of positivity and the slivers of goodness that might come out of this is in the homelessness side of things.”
    • This is well timed as Secretary of state for housing, Robert Jenrick, unveils a new £266m fund to help vulnerable people move into long term accommodation. The Next Steps Accommodation Programme will provide new tenancies for around 15,000 vulnerable people who were moved into accommodation during the pandemic.
    • The Affordable Housing Commission has published a 12-point housing recovery plan, which puts social and affordable housing at the heart of the recovery. The measures include returning housing grants to the previous levels, reforms to Right to Buy and Permitted Development Rights, and caps on rent rises. It also proposes a new Housing Conversion Fund to enable social landlords to buy unsold homes and other properties.

    Society and Social Welfare

    • In their latest edition of Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain, which covers the period 8-12 July 2020, the ONS have found the following:
      • 6 in 10 adults (61%) who have left their homes have worn a face covering to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) – an increase from last week (52%).
      • Just over 4 in 10 (41%) adults had family or friends visit them in their home over the last week, and for those aged over 70 years this rises to 5 in 10 (50%).
      • For the first time half of working adults (50%) reported they had travelled to work in the past seven days, a slight increase on last week (48%).
      • When meeting up with other people over a half of adults (55%) always maintained social distancing, with just over 1 in 20 (6%) saying they rarely or never maintained social distancing.
      • Nearly 3 in 10 adults (27%) said they would be comfortable or very comfortable to eat indoors at a restaurant compared with 2 in 10 adults (20%) last week.
      • Among those that had left their home, nearly 1 in 10 adults (9%) visited a barber or hair salon this week and a further 1 in 10 (10%) left home to eat or drink at a restaurant, café, bar or pub; a further 15% collected take-away food or drink from a restaurant, café, bar or pub.
      • During the period 8-12 July the most common reasons for leaving home were:


    • A new guide to help councils engage with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been launched by the LGA. Sir Richard Leese, chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board, said: ‘Local government can play a key role in driving a sustainable recovery that meets the needs of local communities and businesses.
    • A report released by the Children’s Commissioner for England says that early years services are failing to target the children that most need support. Anne Longfield, argues the system needs a complete overhaul, with too many children from disadvantaged families falling behind before they even start formal education. The report calls on the Government to create a ‘Best Beginnings’ strategy bringing together the Healthy Child Programme, the Early Years Foundation Stage, Children and Family Hubs, antenatal services and the Troubled Families Programme.
    • YouGov asked British people how they feel about their family income. 8 surveys took place over the course of May and June. 64% of respondents said there had been no change in their household finances in the preceding month. 23% of people said their financial situation had deteriorated and 10% said it had gotten better. A third of respondents said their cash levels hadn’t changed over the last month and won’t change over the next year. This group accounts for around a third of Britons (34%). The graph below illustrated people’s thoughts on how the situation will change in the next year.
    • The Office for National Statistics have published a subnational ageing tool which can be used to compare current and projected indicators of ageing across local authorities, regions and countries in the UK. The data is based on 2019 estimates and 2018-based subnational population projections.


    • The RAC is calling for revenue from car tax to be ring-fenced to pay for local road maintenance after they didn’t see a significant drop in car damage due to potholes even though traffic on the roads dropped by as much as 60% in April to June. The RAC said drivers are now 1.5 times more likely to suffer a pothole breakdown than in 2006, when it first started collecting data.


    • Tourism in two areas named as the best seaside towns "to avoid crowds" needs a balance between welcoming visitors and dealing with coronavirus, locals say. A UK wide poll held by consumer group Which? Saw St Mawes in Cornwall and Dartmouth in Devon top the list but St Just in Roseland Parish Council for St Mawes say there is increasing concern from residents and businesses about social distancing.

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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 14th July, 2020

    9 months ago
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    • Trend analysis from new ONS household data, comparing 2018 to 2043, shows Cornwall’s household population will significantly change. Nationally, across the board, there is an increase of single parent families, households with dependent children, single households and households with no children but two or more adults. In Cornwall, the data shows a continuing trend seen in previous ONS analysis, of more single households over the next 35 years. 
      • Females living alone will increase by 37.3% (England: 26.17%);  Males living alone will increase by 29.13% (England: 21.39%);  
      • Households with two or more adults, but no children, will increase by 28.32% (England 19.7%);  
      • Households with children:  
        • 1 dependent child will increase by 7.47% (England (3.97%);  
        • 2 dependent children will increase by 6.75% (England 1.16%);  
        • 3 dependent children will increase by 5.01% (England 0.7%). 
    • As of 10th July, Cornwall has the third lowest rate (157.3) of Covid in England and Wales. We sit under North East Lincolnshire (129.5) and Devon (150.3). 
    • Throughout lock down, the cumulative number of cases per 100,000 people in Cornwall have remained in the top 12 authorities.  


    • Based on the average house price in Cornwall for all property types (latest available, March 2020, UK House Price index): £238,854.   
    • For first time buyers there would be no saving (before the holiday first time buyers didn’t pay stamp duty on the first £300k).   
    • For existing homeowners, they would save £2,277.  
    • For additional homeowners the saving would be £2,943. 




    • The LGA have explored the impact that lock down has had on sports and physical activity in the UK. The article looks backwards and forwards, understanding the changes and the repercussions that it has had for the recovery period.  With UKactive and Community Leisure UK warning that there could be up to half of all leisure centres/public leisure facilities facing permanent closure by the end of the year, this paper looks at the impact that would cause. Overall, they conclude that there are 7 key strategic areas that need focus and coordinated action within the recovery phase to ensure these centres remain open 
    1. Addressing health and economic inequalities;  

    1. Physical and mental health; 

    1. Active travel in rebooting the economy;  

    1. Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change; 

    1. Young and older people; 

    1. Building stronger communities; 

    1. Service integration.  

    • ONS’ Social Impacts study revealed that a quarter of adults (25%) said they ‘were likely or very likely to go on holiday in the UK this summer’, but only 9% of adults were likely or very likely to go abroad. The survey also included an analysis of reasons to leave the house for 2nd - 5th July, broken down into two age brackets 15-69 years and 70+ years.  It showed that more 70+ only left the house for basic necessities (76%), whilst also showing that 6% (around 1 in 20 people) left their house to visit an outdoor beauty spot, a decrease of 8% from the previous week.     
    • With thousands of jobs being lost, redundancy advice is being sought out with Citizens Advice reporting that they are receiving a call every 2 minutes. The charity is reporting that the swell in calls are reflective of an ‘escalating economic crisis’. They also report that their benefits web page, where there is a wealth of information and guidance, has received record breaking traffic figures – 4.4 million views since 23rd March.  
    • Live Comedy Association (LVA) survey has reported that 77% of venues will be forced to permanently close within 12 months, with a third saying that they may only have 6 months left. The LCA are lobbying government to not forget them in the entertainment funding allocations later in the year.  
    • The LGA have produced a study articles, with recommendations, for Coastal and Rural towns that have high numbers of touristsThe study reports that, internationally, there may be a global tourism collapse due to international travel income estimating to drop by $910bn - $1.2tr. They report ‘signs’ of a shift in travel destinations to become more domestic, particularly this year. As such, coastal and rural areas that already had a traditional holiday influx of tourists are set to see even higher numbers than ever before. It looks at guarding residents whilst maintaining the relationship between both parties. 
    • The Centre for Progressive Policy has released a study looking at the skills within employment nationwide to understand their essential role in the recovery phaseThey've identified a range of divisions across the council, most notably that Red Wall places under perform in 7 out of the 8 indicators that they analysed. Also, participation in Adult Education Classes has declined by 37% since 2012/13 - further inhibited by the 39% decrease of government funding for this area since 2002. Within this report, there are three main areas identified that need improvement: failing participation and investment; inequality in participation and place-based equality in skills. CPP are therefore lobbying for the ‘right to retrain’, with four recommendations to help with this:     
    1. Building a high quality online learning system – establishing a central infrastructure for online skills and fast track the Education Technology Strategy; 

    1. Strengthening existing provision – government should pay 50% of all apprenticeships wages and extend public funding to include level 3 qualifications for everyone;   

    1. Support for living costs for those in needs of training – for those that have already lost their jobs, the government should pay a Learners Living Allowance and for those in jobs to be entitled for paid time off to undertake training;   

    1. Ramping up local strategic input – there should be a place based remit for further education centres with a strategic, rather than a marketplace, delivery of provision and the ‘New Skills Advisory Board’ should report to the local mayor on labour needs.  

    • The Local Government Intelligence Unit have announced a ‘Post Councils Project’ for all Local Authorities to get involved with.  
    • A survey, undertaken by BritainThinks, has shown that just 12% of the UKs residents want life to return to normal ‘exactly as it was before’.  Research also shows that, from the survey, the top three priorities from respondents are: better funding for the NHS, better treatment and wages for essential workers and an economic recovery that isn’t London-centric.  



    • The ONS’ Social Impact Study shows that whilst anxiety levels have been decreasing, this week saw its largest increase to 4.0, from 3.6 last week. This is reflected within worries about the future, were being generally stressed or anxious and spending too much time with others in the household.    

    Office for National Statistics - Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, 2020  


    • Space enabled technology will be utilised to help identify vulnerable people. Combining local authority data and satellite data, the space agency will help identify people who are more exposed to the impacts of Covid. This project will also help meet challenges in delivering supplies, such as test kits and masks, as well as managing localised outbreaksAn initial £2.6m has been made available for a number of small projects under this joint initiative with the European Space Agency and the NHS England.   
    • New research shows that up to a third of social workers could be looking to quit, a survey by the Social Workers Union exposes. This has come after 50% of social workers are reported to have put their own health at risk during lock down with 51% saying risk assessments have been poor. Worryingly 1 in 10 (11%) have felt threatened with disciplinary measures for raising safety concerns – both professional and personal safety with the survey also reporting that over 60% of social workers have felt their mental health has been affected negatively during lock down. Illustratively, 1 in 20 social workers have suffered total collapse during this time.  
    • Public generosity exceeded expectations during lock down, with a huge surge in donations to food banks and ‘go fund me’ pages. However, analysis from The Conversation, concludes that this is exceptional and will not become the new normal – leaving struggling families even more vulnerable. Analysis already shows that as the number of Covid cases declined towards the end of April, so did the number of donations made to Food Banks nationally. This is at a time where UC claimants have more than doubled in some areas. The report further identifies that richer areas are more likely to donate more.    
    • Almost half (48%) of people in the UK have provided help or support to someone outside of their household during the first month of lock down. Previously it was around only 11% with over 80% of those that helped, it was most likely with shopping. Notably, 3% helped with personal care. Below, you can clearly seen the differences between 2017/18 and April 2020.  

    • Calls to the Charity Become, that support young care leavers, have reported a 75% increase in calls from children and young people requesting help and assurances. The charity reports that moving from supported living to being alone, once they turn 18, was already hard enough – now with Covid there is a significant amount of uncertainty of which a large proportion cannot be answered. The charity is lobbying government to help.     
    • The ONS have produced an interactive map showing the number of deaths due to Covid, down to MSOA. Whilst publicly this data is only available to MSOA level, it clearly shows a higher level of Covid related deaths in areas with higher population density.     

    • The Children's Commissioner has produced a report looking at the number of children that were already vulnerable, and those that have become vulnerable due to Covid and are at risk from ‘falling through the gap’The report shows that in 2017/18 123,000 fell through the gaps of provision – becoming invisible to authorities. The analysis shows that 4 in every 100 teenagers are becoming invisible. National rates for invisible teenagers is 4% - but in Medway, Liverpool and Blackpool it is 7%. Local authority data is available on the link above.  
    • More than 10,000 disadvantaged students in Manchester have received laptops, tablets and routers to aid in their education during lock down. This joint initiative, with all the local councils in Manchester (excluding Trafford council) and the Department of Education is aimed at students, social care leavers and families with no access to digital devices.  
    • The NHS have announced a ‘Online’ Rehabilitation lab for those suffering from long term affects due to Covid. This ‘ground breaking’ project will enable thousands of people to access on-demand services from nursers and physiotherapists.  
    • A study from UCL has shown that a fifth of vulnerable people in Britain have ‘thought about self harming or killing themselves’ during lock down. The study showed that whilst 42% had access to services, 5% harmed themselves during lock down and 18% reported thoughts of self-harm or suicide. The Guardian also reports that there was a significant rise in ambulance calls to mental health concerns from last year – this analysis excludes the London ambulance service.  
    • Care costs are set to significantly increased post Covid, with estimates that more than half a million people will be forced to pay at extra £40,000 a year for care at home. This is due to residents not wanting to be in care homes due to Covid.  
    • Cases of malnutrition in children have doubled in the last 6 months  with almost 2,500 children admitted to hospital in the first 6 months of this year. A main concern is that Covid is only going to exasperate the issue. Whilst less than 2/3rds of trusts responded, almost 1,000 children in Cambridge alone were admitted due to malnutrition.  



    • Nationally a large number of landlords are flouting evictions bans to evict tenants, before the ban is lifted in August. Citizens advice report that at least 1000 tenants have seeked advice due to unlawful eviction between March and June this year – which is more than double the previous year. The Government have reinforced their statement saying that if you are given notice, you have the legal right to stay put. However, the Citizens Advice campaign ‘Get help if you’re being Evicted’ during April and June this year had over 7,500 clicks; where the help page on ‘If you have no where to stay tonight’ had a 139% increase with 7,200 views.  
    • New data released by the ONS shows that 16 homeless people have died due to CovidAll 16 were based in England and not Wales. 6 were from London and 3 in the North West. This data is very early, with full analysis from the ONS due in late 2021. 
    • Continuing the bundle series, the LGA have just released a guidance bundle dedicated to Homelessness.  


    Extra reading  




    Working with the voluntary and community sector to support communities 
    15 July 2020, 10.30am – 11.30am 

    Financial hardship and economical vulnerability 
    16 July 2020, 10.40am – 12.10pm 

    Regional Recovery and Renewal 
    17 July 2020, 10.30am – 11.30am 

    Councils’ role in deliverying the UN Sustainable Development Goals post COVID-19 
    17 July 2020, 3.00pm – 4.00pm 

    Rethinking the future of physical activity – Local government in conversation with Sport England 
    20 July 2020, 10.30am – 11.45am 

    Cyber security in the age of COVID-19 
    21 July 2020, 10.30am – 12.00pm 

    Early years inclusion: supporting young children (0-5) with SEND during COVID-19 
    21 July 2020, 1,30pm – 3.00pm 

    Local government’s digital response to COVID-19 
    28 July 2020, 10.30am – 11.35am 

    Childcare sufficiency and sustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic 
    28 July 2020, 2.00pm – 3.30pm 

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  • Intelligence Bulletin - 7th July

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    • The LGA has announced that the Covid funding gap has reached £7.4bn. In June, the financial return showed councils incurred £4.8bn in extra costs. The association also now estimates that the total cost to councils – without government or organisational aid - will reach £10.9bn. 
    • The LGA have published a ‘Sustainable Future’s: Community Wealth Building’ discussion paper that looks at addressing ‘external leakage’ to locally generated wealth.  The model proposed is a holistic approach to building wealth for the people, rather than having the wealth taken out of the area. It argues that it will boost local economic development. The paper builds from examples already practising this model within the UK, such as a worker owned wholesale co-operative in Glasgow or a community land trust in Kintyre, West Scotland. The study largely justifies itself by introducing its context with ‘the richest 6 individuals have a combined fortune equal to that of the 13 million poorest’ in Britain. It also highlights that the UK and the US have already undertaken a form of community wealth development, but stresses that it needs to be further refined. 

    • An IPRR study argues that even a ‘full blown economic recovery’ in the UK will not resolve the ‘structural youth unemployment problem’. The report argues that countries where there are vocational schemes into employment is as ‘clear as an academic route’, but the courses need to be high quality as well. The report highlights that unemployment in youth has decreased over the past few years, yet there are still 868,000 still unemployed; 247,000 have been unemployed for more than a year. Further, nearly a million are classified as NEET (Not in education, employment or training). The report has 3 key recommendations: 
      • Every secondary school should be required to appoint a full-time Careers Officer responsible for careers education and guidance and for liaison with local employers;
      • Careers guidance – and some careers education – should be provided by specialist advisers, not teachers; and,
      • Careers advisers should be responsible for getting local employers more involved in schools and for providing students with up-to-date information on education and training options and on opportunities in the local labour market.

    • A group of ex-treasury advisors have called for an overhaul of the Council Tax system. They argue that the reformation could boost the economy post-Covid. Their think tank, Onward, has released a publication Bounce Bank  which suggests that Covid has presented a unique opportunity, and that the economic response must reflect the uniqueness of the situation. The answer, the report argues, is to not just right the economy after Covid but to instead rehabilitate it and improve upon those measures. The recommendations are based on four specific areas (public finances, corporate debt, jobs and skills) with each outlining problems and Onwards recommendations.


    • Nurseries in the most deprived areas are most at risk from closure, a report from Sutton Trust says. It states that 34% of early years providers in the most deprived areas are unsure about their future, compared to 24% in the least deprived areas. The report, found here, reports that not only are nurseries being impact already but the future of them are also in doubt. Sutton Trust reports that 42% of nurseries in deprived areas are likely to make redundancies. Key findings also include vulnerable and SEND children will suffer the most, and their families will struggle financially but ‘most likely dropped off the radar without regular attendance at their provider’. The study also highlights the mental and physical health of those children that have not attended a provider since lockdown.  

    • IFS has warned that 13 universities could ‘go bust’ without a bailout. The study examines the resilience of universities in light of Covid and estimates that losses could be anywhere between £3 billion and £19 billion. A significant amount of this is the downturn of international students not coming to UK universities due to covid concerns. As such, those with a high enrolment of international students and those with substantial pension obligations will be affected the most. Yet, the study does highlight that universities with high domestic enrolments will also be affected especially if those of the former become less selective of students and enrol more domestic based students. IFS also reports that there is a significant public health response required to aid universities. The study talks about 3 scenarios that the IFS believe could happen, and the repercussions of each.    

    • A lead economist believes that Leicester was vulnerable to a city outbreak, and it was only a matter of time. Edward Cartwright, Professor of economics at De Montford University, states that the high levels of poverty was an ‘ideal breeding ground’ for Covid. In The Conversation, Cartwright emphasises that Leicester is the 32rd most deprived local authority in England, where 41% of the children live in poverty. Due to this, Cartwright argues that workers are more likely desperate for money and will undertake any job – with or without symptoms. With that, and the housing in Leicester being crowded and with a high number of occupancies per households, Covid is easily spread. Further, with the decreasing confidence levels in businesses and consumers in Leicester, Cartwright hypothesises that this will inevitably lead to more deprivation and poverty – turning into an unbreakable loop.  

    • In Switzerland there has been a dramatic change in expenditure locations: cities have been hit hardest. The analysis shows that peripheral commuting areas, i.e. rural areas, have actually benefitted from lockdown. In some regions expenditure has been higher than pre-covid. This analysis has been based on Direct Debit payments, which has shown that expenditures are ‘spreading out’. Cities have shown a weak recovery post lockdown, yet more rural area’s seem to have recovered a lot quicker than expected.  


    • The Association of Directors for Adult Services (ADASS) has released a report on the impact of Covid on adult social care services and its finances in England. The report starts with the Adult Social Care service were ‘rendered ill equipped and under resourced… by the failure of successive governments of al political colours to recognise how essential social care is’. It rapidly evaluates three main areas (care home deaths, health in equalities and the discriminatory affect Covid has had on vulnerable people, and the courage of the staff in their continued support.  There are a range of recommendations provided from this report including a call for more, and better managed, Covid testing – particularly for those leaving hospital and more funding to help care homes continue.  

    • A recent study estimates that more than half of care homes (58%) reported at least 1 Covid-19 case. The study also showed that for each additional member of infected staff, the odds of infection for residents increased by 11%. Care home using bank or agency staff most or every day are more likely to have more residents with Covid. This is when compared to care homes that do not use bank or agency staff. Further, it is shown that care homes that provide sick leave pay are less likely to have Covid cases in residents. Again compared to care homes that do not pay for sick leave.  

    • ONS have released an interactive map showing the number of over 70’s living with younger people. ONS argue one of the biggest challenges for this age group will be when the younger generations go back to work, and the repercussions from bringing Covid back or isolation of those they have left. In Cornwall, these area’s are limited (maximum of 9% in any one LSOA area), and are mainly situated around built up areas.  

    • A Which? Survey has shown that more than ¼ of vulnerable people are still struggling to get basic essentials. Which? warn that this may lead to people starving. The study, found here, also reports that those most at risk of not accessing food have learning difficulties or are visually impaired. Further, the study found:  
      • 29% of clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) had faced recent difficulties in getting food; 
      • 40% of people that need support but are not CEV, struggled to get food the week before;  
      • 14% of those deemed CEV were having to go to the shops themselves to get food.  

    • Public Health England has released a study on the disparities of risk and outcomes of Covid-19. It summaries that Covid has replicated existing health inequalities, and in some cases, also increased them. The study reports that the largest disparity was age (80 or older were seven times more likely to die compared to those 40 or below). It also identifies geographical disparities showing that Urban local authorities had the highest diagnosis’ and deaths. Illustratively, London had three time more Covid cases than the South West. The data set is available here. 

    • The number of girls and women needing free sanitary products has significantly risen since lockdown. Charity, Bloody Good Period, reports that its normal distribution of 5,000 packs has nearly quadrupled to 23,000 over the last three months. The Governments scheme, that initiated in Janurary 2020, to give out free period products in schools is still in operation. The Charity highlights that those on the poverty line before covid have been significantly impacted as ‘if you can’t buy food, your priority is not going to be getting  period product’.  

    • Deliveroo in Scotland have trained their riders to spot signs of child abuse. This has been formed in partnership with NSPCC. This was after a case of child neglect was reported by one of the riders, earlier this year. In their statement, Deliveroo state that ‘community can play an important role in keeping children safe and spotting possible signs of child abuse, neglect and domestic violence’.  

    • Officials are lobbying for an online dashboard will reveal to local Covid cases. Following the practises from other countries, officials believe the dashboard will help minimise the chaos exhibited by the Leicester lockdown. The lobbying is centralised around the request to have covid case data public, to a postcode level. This would then allow proactive action by the public to inhibit the further break of covid.  

    • Two thirds of the public want the track and trace system in the hands of local public health teams. The research shows 67% of people surveyed want the system managed in the public sectorThe survey, conducted by We own it, also found that only 15% of respondents wanted the system handled by a private company. Further analysis about the system can be found here 




    • Edinburgh and Glasgow have started offering free bike hire as lockdown is eased. It is the hope that this will ease pressure on public transport services, and provide a cleaner alternative.  


    • International migration in a rapidly changing world - Tue, July 28, 2020 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM BST 
      • An ONS led webinar looking at migratory patterns across the UK and the impacts the suspension of the International passenger survey in March will have on future analysis. Key topics also include: an update on our move to administrative based migration estimates (ABME), our recent travel insights analysis to understand migration during COVID-19 and future analysis and insights plans and our long-term transformation plans. 


    • GDPR two years on: how has data protection changed? – 7th July, 2020 11:00AM 
      • Since GDPR legislation finally passed into law in May 2018, the number of personal data breaches reported to the ICO has shot up, and the regulator has used its increased powers to levy some huge punishments. But is our information actually any safer? 
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