COVID-19 Cornwall Council update No. 2

Holiday accommodation during Easter

Cornwall Council’s Enforcement team has been calling on holiday accommodation providers, including letting agents and online booking platforms, to support the COVID-19 response by following the Government’s closure orders.

Many caravan parks, hotels, campsites and holiday homes have shut their doors as a result of the Government ordering all non-essential businesses to stop operating and for everyone to stay at home and avoid unessential travel.There are a number of exemptions which allow some holiday accommodation businesses to remain open. For example, Carnmarth Hotel in Newquay has been providing a place to stay for people who have been in hospital, are able to be discharged, but are not ready to go home.

However, the Council has received complaints alleging that some holiday accommodation providers are still trading as normal and operating illegally. The Council is now writing to all holiday accommodation owners, letting agents and online booking platforms in Cornwall, who are not exempt to the COVID-19 orders, to ask for their co-operation in complying with the orders and help protect the health of our population, NHS and other critical services at this time.

If you believe that holiday accommodation in your area might not be complying with the new regulations, please contact businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk

Holiday businesses that need advice or information about COVID-19 cancellations and obligations can contact the Cornwall Council Business Advice Hub at businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk.

Temporary change to publicity on planning applications during the COVID-19 pandemic

Cornwall Council will continue to send Neighbour Notifications for planning applications, but will not be displaying a Site Notice except for the following: applications for development affecting a Public Right of Way; development representing a departure from the Development Plan or applications for EIA development accompanied by an Environmental Statement.

Temporary changes in planning enforcement

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council will not be fully investigating:

  • Breaches of planning conditions relating to delivery times to essential businesses
  • Changes of use of cafes and restaurants to takeaways
  • Householder development (unless the person reporting demonstrates significant harm)
  • Breaches of construction traffic management plans (unless the person reporting demonstrates significant harm)
  • Adverts

There will also be ongoing enforcement matters that may have to be tolerated for temporary period during the lockdown while employees are unable to travel.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse and sexual violence doesn’t stop during lockdown. Please watch and share this video from Safer Cornwall. Five minutes of your time could help someone experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence to access the safety and support they desperately need. There’s more support for those living with domestic abuse during the COVID-19 outbreak on the Safer Cornwall website and the Safer Futures website. You can also ring Safer Futures on 0300 777 4777 or Cornwall Refuge Trust’s 24Hr Helpline on 01872 225629.

If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please call the police now on 999.

Retired or former social workers needed to support Cornwall’s most vulnerable people

The Council is asking for anyone living in Cornwall who has experience of working in social services – including retired social workers or those who have recently left the profession – to help maintain the support provided to vulnerable families, children and adults through the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you know a former or retired social worker who might be interested, they can register their interest via email at
HRdeployment@cornwall.gov.uk. Cornwall Council will then contact them to gain further details of their qualifications and skill set.

Caring

Over 200 people have already applied to help support vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis with basic training already given to 35 volunteers. If you know anyone who would be interested, they should visit the Proud to Care Cornwall website and apply as soon as possible. Anyone wanting to help only in a volunteer capacity should visit the Volunteer Cornwall website.

Libraries

All of Cornwall’s libraries are now closed and mobile libraries are off the road. But there is still a wealth of good reading available online, and residents of Cornwall can become a member and start borrowing electronically online.
Cornwall Library Members can access eBooks, Audiobooks, newspapers and magazines, comics and eGraphic novels. Please share details of the online library offer with people in your area.

Business grant support

Cornwall Council has sent letters about business grant support to businesses. Business owners need to complete a simple online form for the Council to be able to pay the grant. The quicker they provide this information, the sooner the Council can pay the grant.
If an owner can’t access their business premises or hadn’t received a letter by Friday 3 April, then they should contact the Council on 0300 1234 171.

Business rates support

There are two types of reliefs available to businesses.
The first is the extension of the Expanded Retail Discount Relief, which means that those businesses categorised as retail, leisure or hospitality will have their zero rate relief extended to cover 2020/21. This will happen automatically and rate payers will be re-billed.

The second set of reliefs is through the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. Those in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief will receive a grant of £10,000. Those in receipt of Retail Hospitality and Leisure Relief will receive a grant of £10,000 (for those with Rateable Value up to £15,000) or £25,000 (for those with a Rateable Value of between £15,000 and £51,000).

Cornwall Council has written to all businesses that, according to its records, might qualify for a grant fund payment. Business owners who have not received a letter by 6 April and think they should qualify should contact the Council on 0300 1234 171.

There’s more information about business rates support on the Support for business page on Cornwall Council’s website.