Councillors have today approved a £62.8m capital programme to address major economic challenges faced by Cornwall Council.
At a full council meeting today councillors backed the funding increase to help pay for modernising and decarbonising council buildings, providing more temporary accommodation for people in priority need of housing and to respond to the council’s budgetary challenges as outlined in its performance report for quarter one of the 2021/22 financial year.
In her announcements at today’s meeting Councillor Linda Taylor, Leader of the Council, said: “As we move into the autumn, it is no secret that we are facing the most challenging budget-setting in the history of Cornwall Council.
“The effects of the pandemic, combined with the increasing pressure on Adult Social Care services means we will have to make some tough decisions in the months ahead, even as we implement our plans to create a stronger Cornwall.”
Cllr Taylor said she had written to Michael Gove, the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, urging him to ensure Cornwall was prioritised for a new County Deal to help boost wages and productivity.
She also outlined the administration’s priorities for Cornwall to be a brilliant place to be a child and grow up; a thriving, sustainable place that offers a secure home, a decent income and a great environment for all; vibrant, safe, supportive communities where people help each other live well; and supported by an empowering and enterprising Council.
Cllr Taylor added: “As we recover from the unprecedented impact of the pandemic, we all need to be united in our efforts to protect our most vulnerable, and to ensure we are doing everything possible to support our communities.”
Also on the agenda today were plans to ensure new developments contribute to Cornwall’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Councillors backed proposals for the Climate Emergency Development Plan Document which covers policies to support green energy, enhance the environment, provide more efficient housing, greener travel and resilience to issues such as coastal change and flooding.
Councillor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s cabinet member for the environment and climate change reiterated the unitary authority’s commitment to help Cornwall strive towards net-zero carbon emissions in response to questions from the public.
Cllr Alvey said: “We are driving change across Cornwall through a wide range of projects including our Forest for Cornwall, Climate Emergency Development Planning Document, and Making Space for Nature project which has been recognised with a national award for Building with Nature ‘Excellence’.
“This strategic framework puts Cornwall Council in a very strong position to be a national leader on the journey towards net zero, nature recovery and environmental resilience. Further to this our leadership in responding to the Climate Emergency was recently acknowledged with a national MJ Award.”