Hot topics on the table at Cabinet next week

Transforming adult care for residents, a plan to extend the living wage and the future of air links between Cornwall and London will all be up for discussion when the Cabinet meets at New County Hall in Truro next week.

Proposals on the agenda include a plan for the Council to achieve Living Wage Foundation accreditation by spring next year, which will improve the pay of workers in a wide range of roles including care workers. The Living Wage Foundation sets its own living wage rates, which are higher than the Government’s own levels, with a minimum hourly rate of £8.75.

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Although Cornwall Council already pays its direct staff the recommended living wage, the proposal would see steps taken to ensure all contracted staff are also paid to the same level.

Councillor Julian German, Portfolio holder for resources, said:  “The council has already committed to paying its direct staff the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage (LWFLW), and now we are looking at how we can secure accreditation for our work.”

Cabinet will also discuss the next steps for transforming adult social care in Cornwall. With a growing number of adults relying on some form of social care, increasing demands on the budget and the need to find savings, a proposal for step change in delivering more efficient services is on the table.

Portfolio Holder for Adults, Rob Rotchell said: “Cornwall must fundamentally transform and improve the way services are delivered if we are to avoid cutting services to vulnerable adults. Ensuring this is done in the most efficient and evidence-based way will put the Council in a much stronger position to meet future and help people to age well rather than relying on residential care.”

Also up for discussion will be the renewal of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) between Cornwall Airport Newquay and London.  The obligation first came into effect in 2014 when Flybe signed a four-year contract to maintain the service, which had been under threat of closure.

That contract ends this autumn, and bids have been received to continue a service between Newquay and London.  Cabinet will decide how to move forward once the scheme is given the go ahead by the Department of Transport, who are expected to make a decision on it in September.

Councillor Geoff Brown, Portfolio holder for transport, said:  “This is a really important issue for the whole of Cornwall, and we believe it could cost businesses around £50m if we were to lose the PSO. It is vital we are in a position to move forward as soon as we get the go-ahead from the Department of Transport.”

Other items on the Cabinet agenda include a review of the Council Performance Report and Capital Programme Outturn Review.

Members of the public are able to attend the Cabinet meeting in person at New County Hall, or can watch the meeting via a live webcast.

Members of the public can also submit questions no later than midday two clear working days before the meeting.