Friday, 29 November 2013

Castle Street - a somewhat bizarre WMN article

I'm slightly puzzled by the Western Morning News report on the Castle Street chapel collapse which you can find here. The chosen angle appears to be that the council has threatened to pull the remaining structure down.

Of course the first priority of the council (and indeed of everyone else) is to make the site safe. Nobody can tell at this stage whether that means complete demolition or more limited action. We should find out more today. Having spoken to the council's conservation officer, I know she is looking to preserve as much as possible.

What the newspaper was told was that it would be up to the owners to do the works but if they couldn't do so then the council would take action. However the owners, through their agent, have done everything that could be expected of them and are taking full responsibility for the necessary works. This was communicated to the newspaper, yet they still chose to lead on the 'threat' angle.

The description of the site is somewhat more bizarre. The newspaper claims that the collapse scattered 'debris across a shopping precinct' and that the 'crumbling building left a gaping hole in a row of shops on a busy street'.

Anyone who knows the area will know that there isn't a shop for a hundred yards and that the area is mainly residential with just a couple of businesses (the Eagle House Hotel and dentists) in the vicinity.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Castle Street latest

Various building surveyors as well as the agent for the site owners and the conservation officer have been inspecting the collapsed Castle Street chapel this afternoon. It looks like works to make the building safe will start tomorrow.

As things stand (and this can only be on the basis of an inspection from outside), it looks like the top half of the building will have to be brought down to make it safe. Once that has happened, the surveyors and other experts will decide if anything more needs to happen.

Cormac have been back to fence off the site. In the event that there is a further collapse then anyone outside the fencing will be safe. However, the site is exceptionally dangerous and so no one should consider going through the fencing as you risk serious injury or worse.

This, inevitably, means that Castle Street will remain closed for a while. The road down to Eagle House has been made two way on a temporary basis, but is narrow and so drivers should exercise a lot of care. The road past the Job Centre has also been temporarily designated as being two way to the junction with Castle Street.

I'll give a further update tomorrow.

Castle Street Chapel collapse

Most residents of Launceston are probably aware that the Castle Street Chapel collapsed overnight.

The building - which is listed - has been unused and boarded up for a number of years now. I was told by a number of local residents that they heard banging and other noises over the past 24 hours - presumably the start of the building falling in on itself.

Clearly it is a huge relief that the collapse happened at 12.20am rather than during the day and so there were no injuries. A couple of cars were damaged however.

For the moment, Castle Street is closed off. Cormac are installing proper barriers around the area to keep people away and I would urge everyone to respect these. For the moment at least, the building is very unsafe and no one should go too close to it.

At the same time, a couple of local streets which are currently one way are being opened up to two-way traffic to enable access, but these are narrow and drivers should take care and drive slowly.

As for the building, Cornwall Council surveyors have visited and will be coming back. They are currently working with the agent for the chapel's owners to establish who will take responsibility for making the building safe. However it is clear to me, as a layman, that some sort of action to make the building safe is pretty urgently needed.

Huge thanks and praise, as ever, to Launceston Fire and Rescue Service who were on the site straight away to make sure that no one was in the building when the collapsed happened.

Once the building has been made safe, my priority is to get everyone together to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. There are lots of homes in the vicinity as well as a few businesses.

I'll post updates as I have them

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Cabinet says yes to Bigger Bodmin

Cornwall's cabinet has voted in favour of building a 'Bigger Bodmin' office to save money for the council and bring new jobs to the town. We will now work with our partners in BT Cornwall as our first preference to fill spare capacity in the office.

The premise for the decision is that the council has a large number of staff housed in very inefficient old offices. In mid and West Cornwall, we have moved our staff into more efficient and bigger buildings. But in East Cornwall work has yet to start.

The former administration agreed a proposal to move the staff currently based in Bodmin into a single and more efficient office. But building bigger would save even more money for front line services and that is the ambition I have been proposing.

So the cabinet today agreed the proposal to build bigger with the preference to fill the spare capacity being our partners in BT Cornwall. At the moment, BT cannot give us a firm commitment, but they have indicated a desire to move in. As a back up plan, we have agreed we would offer the space to our other partners or to the private sector. Our aim is to maintain roughly our current presence in the other town in East Cornwall - Liskeard, St Austell and Wadebridge.

Of course, the Conservatives on the council think it is wrong to try to save this money (despite having done the same thing when they were in power). But, as ever, they couldn't come up with any alternative suggestions and no Conservative even spoke during our debate today.

Carn Brea proposals get the official go ahead

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the recommendation by the Finance Committee to accept my suggestion to move the running track from Carn Brea to Redruth School. The track must move as the land is being sold to a developer.

Today's cabinet meeting agreed the deal and so work will begin to make it happen.

The saga of the redevelopment of Carn Brea has been going on for some time. The previous administration threatened to merge the running track with the facility in Par. There's nothing wrong with Par (where there is already a track) but it would mean abandoning the strong athletics community in the west.

My aim has always been to keep a track in West Cornwall (as well as the existing track in Par) and we considered two options there (and one in Truro). The favoured option of Redruth School will still need to be worked on, but I hope it will give certainty to all users about the council's commitment to maintaining this popular facility in the Camborne/Pool/Redruth area.

Hogg loses his Chief Exec

Yesterday I caught up with the news that Devon and Cornwall's elected police commissioner, Tony Hogg, had accepted the resignation of his Chief Executive, Sue Howl.

Officially, Ms Howl, who was formally the chief executive of the former Police Authority and exerted a measure of stability on an otherwise chaotic new office, has left to pursue new challenges.

I'm concerned about that. It is only 12 months since Boss Hogg was elected and since then he has faced a number of dodgy headlines after a faltering start. So I have asked his office to clarify the reasons for the departure. Did she genuinely jump or was she pushed? And did she get any sort of pay-off? After all, if she has genuinely resigned to pursue other challenges then there will have been no golden goodbye, would there?

Unfortunately, Mr Hogg's office was initially unable to offer me anything other than the official press release. So I have been forced to submit a freedom of information request to find out the full story.

Watch this space...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Tory PPC votes to put Cornwall's £500m convergence funding in jeopardy

Another key debate at today's council meeting was a UKIP motion to stop funding the Cornwall Council European office from April 1st next year. The cost of the office is about £33k per year and yet it plays a vital part in helping us to secure convergence funding (the next tranche is worth about £500 million) as well as to lobby to ensure that we are able to spend this money on the sort of projects that we think would most benefit Cornwall.

As some Conservatives said, they may be Eurosceptic, but they think that whilst the UK is part of Europe, we should be trying our best to make sure that we get as much out of it as possible. The return rate on investment of our European office is something that could probably only be beaten by coming up trumps on the lottery.

It was a one-sided debate in which UKIP councillors attempted to claim that their party's MEPs were better advocates for Cornwall than our Brussels office. Opponents of their motion pointed out that the UKIP MEPs have the worst attendance rates in Europe, voted against the recent EU budget cut and can't even be bothered to turn up to most fisheries meetings.

So the final vote was not really in doubt. But there were two Tories who voted alongside the six UKIP councillors - Bernie Ellis and Scott Mann. Scott is the Conservative PPC for North Cornwall - an area which has benefited hugely from EU Objective One and Convergence funding. Yet Scott voted for a motion which would put this funding, and our ability to control how it is spent, in jeopardy.

Budget approved

Cornwall Council's budget for the next financial year has just been approved by councillors by 77 votes to 33. This decisive result is very welcome and it allows the authority to get on with the job of the detailed implementation.

I don't think any councillors come into the job in order to make cuts. But faced with the financial pressures imposed on us by central government, Cornwall Council has no option but to make an additional £23.9 million of savings next year. Our task has been to ensure that, wherever possible, these savings are made from doing things more efficiently. But where cuts to front line services have to be made, we have made sure that we have protected the services that work for the most vulnerable and those that are the most relied on by them.

What was most disappointing today was the failure of the Conservative opposition to come up with any alternative. They ranted and raved about how they disagreed with our proposals, but they have failed to come up with any proposals of their own. Clearly they don't have the ability or ideas to present an alternative vision for Cornwall.

Instead, the Conservatives joined with Labour and most of the UKIP councillors to simply vote against the budget. Their actions - had they been successful - would have meant the council would have had to make an additional £7 million of cuts next year.  That's an extra £7 million that would have to be taken away from services for the elderly, people with disabilities or childrens' services.

It is clear what the Conservatives stand for in Cornwall - more cuts and no ideas.

UPDATE - The local media coverage of the debate can be found here.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Cheap Saturday parking in Launceston in the run up to Christmas

In the run up to Christmas, Cornwall Council is making a special offer to shoppers in Launceston allowing all day parking on Saturdays for just £1.

The special offer starts this Saturday and is then repeated on December 7th, 14th and 21st. The offer applies to Walk House, Cattle Market, Castle Street and Pannier Market car parks (it doesn't apply in season ticket bays or in the town council's multi-storey car park).

In order to use the offer, just buy a £1 parking ticket on any Saturday before Christmas. You will need to use a coin and buy a paper ticket as the offer is not available via RingGo.

Congratulations to my colleague Jade Farrington for suggesting this trial.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Libraries under threat reports BBC

BBC Cornwall are running a story about Cornwall's libraries being under threat. I want to try to give some reassurance that the council is doing all it can to protect the service. Regular readers will know that I campaigned hard to keep my local library open when it was threatened with closure by the Conservatives a few years ago.

The very significant budget pressures being faced by the council mean that every service we provide is being reviewed. As with every thing else, libraries are having to make reductions due to the cut in government grant.

We are hoping to review the library service and come up with a plan to ensure its long term security and to consider all the possible alternatives. One option could be to close a number of branches. But I believe that there are other options too such as the use of volunteers, devolving libraries, creating a library trust or creating community libraries. I hope that all of these ideas could be discussed with proper input from staff, users and anyone else who can help.

In order to make savings for the short term we are looking at a range of options which would avoid the need for any branch closures. Certainly that would be my preference. These would mean some loss of service, but, as my colleague Adam Paynter says, we hope mergers with one stop shop and more cuts in hours would halt the need for closures and give the space for the wider discussions.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Council tax support scheme - making it fairer

There is a debate starting on how to make the council tax support scheme fairer - and how best to use the remaining money within the emergency hardship fund set up to help those affected by this welfare reform.

A quick bit of background. The government changed council tax benefit last year. They passed responsibility on to local councils but with only 90% of the money that the scheme cost the previous year. Cornwall Council decided to make the new scheme cost neutral - which meant that working age families who previously were deemed so poor as to receive 100% council tax relief now had to pay at least 25% of their bill.

At the same time, an emergency hardship/transitional relief fund was set up. This was £1.1 million intended to help those affected by the change. But the former Conservative leader of the council decided that it would only pay a maximum of half the council tax owed (ie at least half of that 25%) - meaning that even the poorest needed to pay around £100 or more.

However, only about £300,000 of that £1.1m fund is going to be used in the first year and we have the potential to rollover the unused money and make changes to the informal hardship fund for next year. We could also change the formal council tax support policy, but this is more complicated.

It's long been my belief that there are some families in Cornwall who are so poor that they cannot afford to pay anything towards their council tax. In those cases, it simply wastes money billing them and taking them through the court system only to find that they are ordered to pay off their debt at 50p per week or so. But the evidence in Cornwall and across the country is unclear so far. And so a formal change in the council tax support policy is likely to have to wait for another 12 months.

However, this does not mean we cannot alter the rules to use the hardship fund to help the poorest in the coming year. I believe that we should rollover the unspent money and alter the rules to allow 100% relief for the poorest households. Although the council already does quite a lot to publicise the hardship fund, I think there is more still we can do and I have asked officers to look into this.

However, an alternative idea has been put forward by the Labour group. Instead of helping all of the poorest, they want to focus support on those people hit by the bedroom tax (ie those people in council housing or housing association properties who are judged to have more bedrooms than they need and are docked some of their housing benefit as a result). The Labour group wants to use most of the money to exempt those hit by the bedroom tax regardless of other circumstances.

I happen to agree that the bedroom tax is ill thought through and penalises people who want to downsize but cannot. And there will be many of these residents who would qualify under my proposed scheme. But where I disagree with Labour is in their aim or prioritising one particular group over another, regardless of finances. In particular, I disagree that private housing tenants who where hit by the equivalent of the bedroom tax by the former Labour government, should be classed as less worthy of help than council housing tenants. I think all should be treated equally.

Both schemes will be discussed by the Finance Committee in due course before any changes are brought into effect on April 1st. However, I hope that a wider debate can be started on an issue that affects tens of thousands of households in Cornwall.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Police Commissioner still spending huge amounts on consultants

Devon and Cornwall's police commissioner is still spending vast amounts on consultants, it seems.

Back in June I blogged this on the subject. Back then, Tony Hogg claimed that his consultant spending was very much about setting up his office. Not the case, it seems, as the spending has continued and grown. Now the Police Federation have picked up on the scandal.

Disappointingly, Mr Hogg has failed to answer the charges himself but has left it to his office staff to make his excuses.

It's not as if this is the only example of wasteful spending by Mr Hogg. His overall office costs are higher than the Police Authority he replaced, despite the promise by the Home Secretary that the new offices would be a saving on the previous system. Mr Hogg's excuse is that he isn't as bad as some.

(Oh, and don't forget that Mr Hogg demands that we pay his second home costs even though he could stay in Exeter for free.)

Friday, 15 November 2013

Not raising councillor allowances

It's a little over six months since the elections to Cornwall Council and you know what hasn't happened in all that time? The new Liberal Democrat - Independent administration hasn't tried to raise councillor allowances even once.

Such a change to the old days of Conservative leadership when you could hardly go five minutes without a proposal to review allowances.

In fact, the only discussion about councillor allowances has been about cutting them and getting rid of some of the perks that councillors enjoy that seem out of place with the modern world.

Of course, some will argue that no one in their right minds would consider raising councillor allowances in the current economic climate. Except that the Conservatives in Wiltshire have done just that - raising the basic allowance paid to all councillors by 1% and Special Responsibility Allowances paid to the top councillors by an eye-watering 22%.

Just for info - the last time SRAs were considered in Cornwall (needed because we adopted a new constitutional model) the overall bill was actually cut.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Cornwall Budget passes next hurdle

Cornwall Council's budget has passed its latest hurdle as the cabinet today voted unanimously to recommend it to full council at the end of the month.

The budget proposes a 1.97% rise in the Cornwall Council element of council tax. At a time when we are having to make £23.9 million of cuts in a single year, this proposal balances the need to protect services which assist the most vulnerable with the need to make sure we do not charge more than we have to, recognising that most households across Cornwall are still feeling the pinch.

As I blogged last week, we have been out to a massive consultation exercise - listening to residents, staff, town and parish councils, the voluntary and public sector, businesses and our councillors. We have taken some of the ideas that they came up with and amended our original plans as a result.

Of course, the Conservative group leader, Fiona Ferguson, continues to try to claim that consultation was a sham. She even claimed to quote from a tweet from my colleague Cllr Joyce Duffin in an attempt to 'prove' it. Unfortunately, this proved to be the second time in less than a week that Fiona has been caught making quotes up and she has been forced to apologise.

The full council will meet on 26th November to discuss and vote on the budget. Any councillors who wish to propose an amendment must submit it by the end of the week before.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Council budget - we listened

Regular readers will know that I have recently spent six weeks going round Cornwall talking to as many people as possible about Cornwall Council's draft budget proposals. The authority needs to save £23.9 million next year and as much as £196 million over the next five years. Faced with this challenge, we wanted to understand the views of local people.

Now we have published our updated budget proposals for next year and we have taken account of much of what people have been saying to us. We said all along that what we published on September 2nd was a first draft and that we would make changes if a good case were made and I'm delighted that we have done so. Many further suggestions are things that we cannot do next year, but we can build into our thinking for future years.

The biggest change we have made is to reduce the cut we had proposed making to bus services. This was actually something we inherited from the previous administration. In fact the council will be putting £415,000 more into buses next year compared with this - that's £1.415 million more than in our original proposals. However, due to government funding changes, it looks like there will still be less money going into buses next year.

That is why we want to try to do more still. The hunt is on for more savings and efficiencies that we can make elsewhere and I hope that we can put a little bit more money into buses next year, but until we can confirm everything I don't want to put a figure on this aspiration.

Another point that was raised by many people was that of free bus passes for older people. Radio Cornwall has got very excited on this idea. These passes are given out regardless of means so rich pensioners have them as well as poor. It was suggested that those who could afford to pay are asked to do so.

Legally we cannot force people to pay or means test passes. Nor are we allowed to ask for donations. But what we are looking at is a voluntary scheme whereby people who feel they can afford to pay occasionally are encouraged to do so by keeping their pass in their pocket. But we have to make sure that those who cannot afford to pay and rely on their pass to get about do not feel embarrassed or pressurised into paying. It is a careful balance and we won't launch a scheme until we are confident that it will work.

Another issue frequently mentioned was that of street lighting and could we dim them to save money. This is something the council has already done a lot of. Changing from orange to white street lights has meant we now have low energy bulbs which save a lot of money. But we can also alter the power settings on each light individually to dim them and save a bit more money. This is something that the council has already done but we are committed to keeping under review and doing more of in consultation with local communities.

You can find all the details of the updated budget proposals on the council budget page, including the changes we have made following the consultation. We have also published all the detailed suggestions made by public and staff through the budget consultation.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Tories worried about Cornwall? Why ever would you think that?

I'm not sure whether it is their internal polling, but the Conservatives seem to have decided to become a bit worried about Cornwall. Today saw a media blitz on our area with David Cameron conducting a range of interviews with local journalists and former Deputy Prime Minister Lord (Michael) Heseltine visiting Falmouth.

The Prime Minister got a grilling from Laurence Reed at lunchtime during which he tried to claim that Cornwall was not being hard done by in terms of government funding. He used the term 'spending power' a lot. This is a formula which virtually nobody understands and the definition of which changes every five minutes. Confronted with the facts about how much the council gets, the PM tried to claim that locally we are better off than his are in Oxfordshire.

The PM also tried to claim that Cornwall would benefit from the HS2 rail project. Hmm. He was more right to point out the benefits of the dualling of the A30, but this investment pales in comparison with the £40 billion being spent to make journey times between London and Birmingham half an hour shorter.

He also took personal credit for raising the income tax threshold to £10,000, taking tens of thousand of Cornish workers out of the tax system and giving hundreds of thousands more a £700 tax cut. Of course this was a Lib Dem policy which Mr Cameron claimed at the time of the last election was 'nice, but unaffordable'. In government the Lib Dems forced this to happen - something that would not have happened without us and now something that the PM tried to claim as his personal success.

One snub that the PM seems to have delivered is to his own Tory MP Sarah Newton. Asked by the West Briton about the Conservative hopes for the next election, Mr Cameron said:

"We have some excellent MPs in Cornwall in Sheryll Murray and George Eustice and there are more seats in Cornwall that we would like to have."

But it was Lord Heseltine who really took the biscuit. Explaining his view that Cornwall was much better off than 30 years ago, he said that he knew things were better because the cars were more modern and people had mobile phones...

Visiting Ginsters

This afternoon I joined some of my cabinet colleagues on a tour of the Ginsters factory in Callington. We all know that Ginsters pasties aren't the same as those our mum makes or our favourite high street bakery (for me it's Barnecutts). But there is a heck of a lot to be proud of about the brand and their products.

Ginsters is a nationally known brand, one of the few we have in Cornwall, employing over 800 people at their Callington factory. When you add in the sister companies of Tamar Foods (also in Callington) and Kensey Foods in Launceston, that's well over 2000 people in Cornwall - one of the biggest private employers we have.

And a huge proportion of their supply chain is local too. They get much of their beef from Jaspers of Treburley or from Bodmin, their potatoes are mainly from Hay Farm near Torpoint and most of their packing boxes come from DS Smith in Launceston.

But it is the scale, speed and automation of the factory that really takes your breath away. The three bakery lines turn out around 10,000 pasties or slices an hour each with state of the art machinery. Vast quantities of puff pastry is made on site and combined with vegetables, meats, sauces and spices to create a wide array of products. Even if you don't like the pasties, there are many other ranges which are genuinely very good.

I'm proud that Ginsters are part of Cornwall and that they have such a great recognition and commitment to quality. It's also clear that they will continue developing and extending their range and investment in Cornwall. The company already invests in its workforce and many of their staff have a very long service record. I think there might be more they could do with an apprentices scheme, but there is more that the council and other public bodies can do to help them too and I look forward to doing so.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Launceston town council precept - what do you want?

Launceston town council (of which I am a member) is starting the process of deciding its budget for next year. This will affect council tax as the town council precept is added to local bills.

The town council has been willing in the past to take on services from Cornwall Council. In some cases - public toilets for example - there has been a grant paid by Cornwall to cover the costs. This grant probably won't be available permanently, but by and large covers the extra costs for the time being. Other services, like grass cutting, are taken on as a contract with the town council being paid to provide a service. Finally, there are some services that Cornwall has got out of altogether. The town council has chosen to take them on rather than seeing them be lost. The tourist information centre is an example.

In the future, the town council seems willing to consider taking on more services - some with money attached and some without. I want to know whether this approach is backed by local residents. Particularly in the case of services that would otherwise be lost, are you happy to see Launceston town council take on services and raise the precept (which affects council tax) to cover this?

And what about the overall level of service provided by the town council? We manage parks and gardens, the Laurence House Museum, the cemetery, Southgate Arch, Tourist Information Centre, town square and public toilets, as well as the town hall and multi-storey car park. What do you think of these services and do you think they are value for money?

Finally, what do you think is reasonable in terms of the town precept and therefore the amount added to your council tax bill to pay for the town council's work? Cornwall Council is limited to raising its element of council tax by a maximum of 2% without a public referendum. What would a reasonable rise be for the town council, or would you object to any rise at all?

I'd be grateful for any local readers to give me their thoughts on these issues or anything else relating to the local budget. I'm also putting together a survey to ask these, and more, questions to help me think about what is right for our local town budget for next year.

Redruth School proposed as new venue for Carn Brea running track

Today's Finance and Resources committee also gave its backing to the proposal to move the running track from Carn Brea to a site at Redruth School. This would secure the future of the track for many years to come in the Camborne/Redruth area.

Both the Carn Brea leisure centre and running track are approaching the end of their life. With the current financial climate, it was doubtful that the council could have afforded to re-provide the facility from its own resources. But we have received two offers for the land and this would provide enough money to refurbish the leisure centre and to re-provide the running track.

Both facilities are run by a leisure trust who have done a great job in maintaining the provision at no cost to the council. But they could not afford the re-building or refurbishment that would be needed to provide the facility in the long term.

The proposal is to give a sum of money to the leisure trust for them to do a substantial re-furbishment on the current site. They may also be fund-raising to enable them to do more, but we have been able to secure enough money to ensure that the leisure centre is going to be there for years to come.

But the key decision has been over the site for the re-located running track. It cannot stay where it is because that is where the developer plans to build.

Three options were put forward - Redruth School, the new Richard Lander school in Truro and Camborne International Academy. Studies of all three showed they would be viable financially, although all still face hurdles to be overcome. There was a lot of concern from local councillors and the athletics community to ensure that the facility remained in the Camborne/Redruth area and the decision today fits their desires.

I'm delighted that the committee has backed the Redruth option and I look forward to proposing this at the cabinet meeting later this month.

Backing for Bigger Bodmin

Today's Cornwall Council Finance and Resources Committee gave its backing to the plan to build a bigger office in Bodmin and to allow BT Cornwall to fill the extra capacity. The scheme will save money for taxpayers, safeguard council bases in Liskeard and St Austell and bring new jobs to North Cornwall.

Sadly, the Conservative representatives on the committee backed their colleague Scott Mann in opposing the plan. In effect, they gave their support to the most expensive option on the table which would bring no new jobs to the town.

The new Liberal Democrat - Independent administration at County Hall inherited a plan for a new build in Bodmin. The plan was to relocate staff from some very inefficient buildings in the town to save some money. However we saw the opportunity to save even more money by building a bigger office in Bodmin to house more staff. But we did not want to lose our bases in any of the key towns in Cornwall - notably Liskeard and St Austell - and so the battle was to find an efficient use for the spare space. Our partners at BT Cornwall have agreed to take up this space and locate new staff there.

The final decision will be taken by the cabinet at the end of the month.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Have your dog micro-chipped for free

From 2016 it will become a legal requirement for all dogs to be micro-chipped to enable an owner to be traced if the dog is found loose. Chipping normally costs about £20 but you can get your dog chipped for free at a special event thanks to Cornwall Council and The Dog's Trust.

The Launceston event takes place at the Phoenix Leisure Centre on Monday 18th November from 1.30-5pm.