19 December 2007

I shall post here continuing good news for Cornwall, developments which will positively help the people of Cornwall and the local economy and everyday lives. Everyone who wants the people of Cornwall to succeed in the modern world will welcome them. This post covers 2007 from July onwards. Vorsprung Cornwall 1 covers February-June 2007 onwards.

*December 2007: Newquay Airport continues to expand its services. Ryanair are increasing their flights to London Stanstead and flights to Spain, from March 2008 Skybus will be operating two additional routes, and in summer 2008 Flybe will be operating five new routes.

These expansions will help the airport, create jobs, and help the Cornwall economy. Welcome them.

* 26 November 2007: A parliamentary answer has revealed that the proportion of 16-18 year olds in Cornwall who are not in education, employment, or training (NEETS) is 6.1 percent of the Cornwall age group. This is much lower than in many places; for example the figure for Hackney is 13.1 percent, for Liverpool 13.2, for Birmingham 11.4, and for Plymouth 7.4. Cornwall is in the bottom third of the figures, where bottom is best. This is good news about young people in Cornwall though 6.1 is still too high.

Read the details in Hansard 26 November 2007, columns 141W-144W. Similar information is given in Hansard 21 November 2007, columns 958W-964W.

Addendum February 2008: Hansard 25 February 2008, columns 1284W-1290W gives NEETS figures for 16 and 17 year olds. At December 2007 the figure for Cornwall was 5.5 percent of the age group; this puts Cornwall at the 64th percentile of the 149 local authorities.

* 7 November 2007: Starting in September next year Cornwall, along with thirteen other local authorities, will begin to offer fifteen hours of free early education to all three and four year olds for thirty eight weeks of the year. This is to help to give every child a good start in life and to help parents work out a life/work balance. The scheme will be funded by the government. Details are in Hansard for 7 November 2007, columns 3WS-4WS.

* 2 November 2007: today is the official opening of the new heart centre at Derriford Hospital, Pymouth. There’s an account of it in the Western Morning News.

Yes, I know Plymouth isn’t Cornwall but patients from east Cornwall use the hospital and the heart centre will be used by people from all over Cornwall. This cardiothoracic unit is very good news for people in Cornwall who no longer have to travel as far as London for treatment such as a heart bypass.

* 25 October 2007: the future of Newquay airport is assured after investment of around £44 million has been agreed to change it from an RAF to a wholly civil airport. This involves money from the EU, British government, and the regional development agency. The airport is important to Cornwall’s economic development. Read more here.

* 10 September 2007: Kerrier district council has deservedly been named by the government as a champion for homelessness. It will share with other councils its expertise and good, successful practice in reducing the use of temporary accommodation and in helping people to avoid homelessness. See here for more details.

*From September 8-22 St Ives, Cornwall is holding its annual festival. Music, poetry, painting, film, talks, everything to enjoy in the arts from Cornwall and the wider world. Not a time to be gloomy about this place.

* From 6th to 12th August Newquay is hosting its annual rip curl boardmasters (RCB) surf contest. Okay, Cornwall isn’t Hawaii but one estimate is that surfing brings £40 million into the Cornwall economy and this RCB contest attracts thousands of visitors each day. The rip curl boardmasters is actually a surfing, skateboarding, and music festival/competition. See here for vigorous details. Oh, and there is a bikini competition too.

Cornwall: a fun, energetic place for talented people and great for unenergetic spectators.

* August 2007- a regeneration of the centre of St Austell is going ahead. The cost will be £75 million, of which £31.5 million will be from the south west of England regional development agency (SWRDA) and the rest from the developers, David McLean Developers.

The regeneration will be mainly retail and includes new shops, cafes, a cinema, and an underground car park, but also seventy flats.

For several years now St Austell has been the forgotten town of Cornwall with an uninspiring town centre. Things can only get better.

Details are here and here.

* July 2007 – A group restoring the Steeple nature reserve on Worvas Hill, St Ives was given £36 000 by the heritage lottery fund. The money will help to fund restoration, improvements, tree planting, and educational work.

* An architecturally impressive new art gallery has opened in Penzance in July. St Ives has its Tate and now Penzance has its Exchange. See details and pictures here in the Daily Telegraph for 21 July.

* Marks and Spencer opened a new store on 19 July at the shopping site by the roundabout on the eastern outskirts of Hayle. As well as shirts and skirts and the usual M and S things, it will sell food and has a cafe, and has created nearly a hundred jobs. This is very good news for Hayle and western Cornwall. There are other shops on the site (Next, Boots) though I’m not sure if there’s enough car parking there. On the adjacent site there are other shops selling fabric, tiles, cars, etc; it’s all a good shopping area now.

* July 2007 – A fast computer network which links all the hospitals and doctors’ surgeries in Cornwall and Scillies has been launched.
This enables information to be shared among medicos speedily; for example, doctors will be able to see patients’ xrays from hospitals in their surgeries.

This technology is clearly a beneficial way of meeting the medical difficulties of a spread-out rural county.

See here for details from PublicTechnology.net.