Cornwall Council’s Cabinet committee will meet this morning for the final time in 2022.
Today’s agenda includes the potential devolution of the Pendennis Headland in Falmouth to the local town council. The decision follows the closure of the Ships & Castles leisure centre in the spring after its operator GLL said it could no longer afford to run it.
In July, the Cabinet vowed to work with Falmouth Town Council to see if a devolution deal could be agreed before the site could be sold on the open market.
A draft deal has now been agreed, which the cabinet will discuss this morning.
Also on the agenda is council tax rates, a decision on whether to double council tax rates for second homes, the Rural Prosperity Fund and a proposal to join Adopt South West, a regional adoption agency.
The meeting will start at 10am, and live updates will appear below.
9.45am: Due to the weather conditions, this morning’s meeting is delayed, and will now start at 10.30am.
10.30am: Today’s meeting is now underway, and will begin with apologies, declarations of minutes and the agreement of the minutes from September’s meeting.
10.33am: We have now moved onto Leader’s announcements, with Cllr Linda Taylor addressing the cabinet and those attending the meeting. She has started with a tribute to former Cornwall Council Leader Cllr John Pollard, who passed away last weekend.
A minute’s silence is being held in memory of Cllr Pollard.
10.36am: Moving on, Cllr Taylor has paid tribute to workers who have helped Cornwall cope with the freezing weather of the past week. She tells her colleagues: “I would like to place on record my thanks and appreciation of the work carried out by our road teams, both in gritting the major routes to ensure people can still get around, and for those who will be so busy repairing the damage such extreme weather causes.
“I must also express my gratitude to the fire crews across Cornwall who have attended so many incidents over the past few days. It is at times like this when you truly appreciate the hard work our emergency services carry out on our behalf in order to keep us safe.”
10.39am: Cllr Andy Virr is giving an update to the meeting on the latest situation with the Strep A outbreak nationally. He explains that steps are being taken to ensure Cornwall is not affected by any shortage of antibiotics.
10.41am: The Cabinet is now hearing questions from the public. The first question is on the potential devolution of the Pendennis Headland in Falmouth.
10.49am: The next item on the agenda today is the potential devolution of the Pendennis Headland in Falmouth, including the former Ships & Castles leisure centre, to Falmouth Town Council. Cllr David Harris will introduce the agenda item.
10.59am: There is unanimous agreement to approve the devolution of the land. Cllr Harris tells the Cabinet: “It just shows that team work makes it work.”
Cllr Taylor has thanked the Falmouth community for their work in the plans.
11.01am: We now move onto a look at the council’s business plans for next year, taking into account the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. It recommends increasing council tax by 4.99% in order to meet the challenges of inflation.
11.04am: Cllr David Harris has told colleagues he would have ‘loved’ to have been able to keep council tax lower. However, taking into account the feedback already recieved during the budget consultation, he hopes residents will understand why there is no choice but to raise the base rate to meet the current challenging climate.
11.19am: The Cabinet approves the potential increase to council tax rates
11.21am: The next item on the agenda is focused on a potential adoption of powers to allow the council to increase council tax rates on second homes.
He has reiterated a demand for Cornwall’s MPs to work to get the bill approved in Parliament in time to allow the changes to come into effect from 2024.
11.43am: The Cabinet has unanimously approved the item.
11.44am: The next item on the agenda is a look at the council’s latest performance report. The recommendations are approved unanimously.
11.51am: The next item on the agenda is the Langarth Garden Village Heat Network – Green Heat Network Fund Grant Award. The item is introduced by Cllr David Harris, who describes it as an ‘amazing’ piece of work.
12.13pm: The heat network plan has been approved unanimously. We now move onto a delivery strategy and model for the Langarth development.
12.25pm: The Rural Prosperity Fund is next on the agenda.
12.31pm: The final item on today’s agenda is the recommendation to join Adoption South West, providing the move is seen as beneficial to children in Cornwall.
12.38pm: The recommendation is approved. Cllr Taylor takes the time to wish everyone a Happy Christmas, and acknowledges those who will be working over the Festive season.
The meeting has now closed.