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LIVE: Cornwall Council cabinet; Wednesday, 20 March, 2024

Plans for the future of the Dolcoath site in Camborne will be discussed when the Cabinet meets at County Hall this morning.

The decision to close the offices was taken last July after a study showed that the offices now see occupancy running at around just 10% of capacity. Continuing to use the building would require an investment to repair the building and make it fit for the future, as well as incurring higher running costs.

It was instead decided that all resident-facing services currently offered at Dolcoath would be transferred to the council’s nearby South Wheal Crofty offices, while public meetings will be transferred to Kresen Kernow.

Now, following the marketing of the site, a preferred bidder has been identified, with Cabinet due to make a final decision next week.

Also on the agenda are a number of items relating to Adult Social Care. Following a period of engagement with people who use the council’s day opportunities and respite services, these include a proposal to adapt how we contract our services.  This new, flexible contracting system will allow providers to adapt their offer according to how people want to spend their time.

A business case that will support people with health and social care needs to access to good quality housing options with the right types of care and support will also be discussed, alongside an item on the Pydar Regeneration project and a report into Sustainable Tourism.

You can follow the meeting live via our webcast, or through the live blog below:

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9.30am: Today's meeting will start at 10am

10am: The meeting is underway.  Declarations of interest and the minutes from the last meeting start the agenda.

10.02am: The leader announcements are next on the agenda.  Cllr Linda Taylor tells the meeting: "I was pleased to see us take control over the Heartlands site in Pool last week.  Of course it was disappointing to see the site in the position where several areas had to close back in January, and the state of limbo we found ourselves in since has been incredibly frustrating.

"Last week saw an insolvency practitioner appointed by the Trust, enabling the lease and management agreement to be handed back to the council, meaning we can now formally undertake things like grass cutting and maintaining the grounds, repairing outdoor play equipment, emptying bins and carrying out essential maintenance to the buildings.

"It is pleasing that those still living and working at the site will be given the reassurance that these matters are in hand, and I look forward to sharing our future plans for the site as they are developed."

10.04am: There are no public questions submitted for today's meeting.

10.05am: We now move onto the first item on today's agenda -     
Council Owned Entities Business Plans 2024-28.  The discussion on the plans held at the recent scrutiny committee is summarised by Cllr John Keeling before Cllr David Harris, deputy leader and portfolio holder for resources, introduces the recommendations.

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10.20am: Cllr Tim Dwelly asks Cllr Harris if key worker housing should be a focus for the council's delivery partner Treveth.  Cllr Harris reassures him that it already is.

10.22am: Both Cllr Jayne Kirkham and Cllr Dick Cole ask questions regarding Celtic Sea Power, specifically on its funding and on plans to link into the Indian Queens power station.

10.27am:  The plans are approved.  We now move onto the next item, the Operational Estate Transformation Update - Disposal of Dolcoath Offices.

10.28am: Cllr David Harris tells the meeting that the preferred bidder, whose name is withheld for commercial reasons, is a developer with a good track record, and that the plans include a care home offering support for elderly residents, while land would be available for other purposes, including social housing.

10.32am: Cllr Olly Monk welcomes the proposed deal, saying it: "retains access to key services for the Camborne area, and replaces the offices with a facility much needed by the local community."

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10.37am: Cllr Peter Perry asks if a community hub could be a possible use for any spare land at the site.  Cllr Harris tells him that decisions on the use of land going forwards will be made in due course.

10.51am: The plans are approved. We now move onto the next agenda item, the River Camel Phosphate Mitigation Strategy.

11.05am: The strategy is approved.  We now move onto the next item; the Pydar Regeneration.  The report recommends the council invests £10 million 'to cover the project costs as anticipated in this report over the financial years 2024/25 and 2025/26.'

11.07am: Cllr David Harris tells the meeting that the project has been affected by a number of factors, including the pandemic, rising interest rates and very large increases in building costs.

11.11am: Cllr Harris tells the meeting that he will not be agreeing to any extra expenditure without the data to back it up, but he remains confident that the Pydar project 'could be a good thing for Truro and Cornwall'.

11.13am: Cllr Louis Gardner tells the meeting that the project is vital for Truro to prevent economic stagnation for the city centre.

11.27am: The report is approved. We now move onto the Sustainable Tourism Inquiry.  Cllr Peter Le Broy, who led the inquiry says he hopes the Cabinet can support the proposals, which include:

'support the delivery of the vision for Sustainable, Regenerative and Inclusive Tourism, Cornwall Council also adopts the following strategic ethos that should be used to inform and direct the design and delivery of projects or programmes that support the development of the visitor economy in Cornwall. 
All activity should therefore contribute to the following:
*Sustainable – a tourism sector that is economically and environmentally sustainable
*Regenerative – a tourism sector that supports nature recovery and environmental growth
*Inclusive – a tourism industry that ensures Good Growth within and for its host communities'.

11.48am: Following discussion the recommendations are approved.  We now move onto a number of items relating to Adult Social Care.  These include the Housing and Support Services - Final Business Case, the Day Opportunities, Inclusion Support and Supported Employment, and Short Breaks (respite services).

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