Penzance Town Centre

Penzance Town Centre

Friday 3 July 2020

Cornwall Council services and advice for 4 Jul Weekend

Re-post of Jess Morris (Penzance BID Manager) email 18.29  on 3 Jul 20

Dear All 

 Cornwall Council has sent out the following information about services and advice available to support you this weekend. 

 Public protection officers will patrol town centres throughout Cornwall from this weekend to help support hospitality businesses in reopening safely after the lockdown. 

Cornwall Council staff will be on hand to offer advice to pubs, restaurants, bars, and takeaways as they welcome customers for the first time from this Saturday, July 4. 

Hospitality businesses including pubs, restaurants, bars, takeaways, hotels, bed and breakfasts, self-catering accommodation and visitor attractions can reopen from this weekend provided they can comply with the Government’s Covid secure guidelines. 

The Council is reminding businesses of the key reopening requirements which include:

  • A COVID-19 risk assessment for the business before reopening 
  • A one metre-plus social distancing rule with mitigation
  • A limit to the number of staff and customers on site to ensure social distancing
  • A requirement to collect contact details for all customers to assist with the Government’s Test, Track and Trace system 
  • No live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience 
  • Taking steps to prevent people from raising their voices, for example refraining from playing music or broadcasts at a volume that make normal conversation difficult and could encourage shouting
  • Premises where close contact is highly likely such as nightclubs must stay shut for now

Businesses which have completed the necessary safety steps can display a Government poster showing they have complied.

For restaurants, cafes and pubs planning to place chairs and tables outside their premises from Saturday, Cornwall Council supports the use of outside areas, subject to risk assessments and it being safe to do so, in order to support social distancing.

Businesses must ensure that any use of an outside area does not block or impact on normal pedestrian traffic and should be respectful of neighbours. The Council will work with businesses to educate, inform and enforce where this is not done, under the existing licensing system.

Further licensing is required for the sale of alcohol (for consumption on or off the premises) and for supplying late night refreshment (hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am the next day).

If you already have a licence, please ensure it covers use of outside areas. If not, you may need to apply to vary the licence. The Council’s Licensing Team can help you with the application or authorisation process including providing other regulatory support needed. Please contact for more information or see here

New COVID-19 legislation is expected later this month which will require businesses to apply for a new permission known as a pavement licence. This is likely to have a consultation requirement. As soon as this regulation is approved by Parliament Cornwall Council will write to businesses and town and parish councils to explain how the rules apply to them.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “As our vital hospitality sector in Cornwall reopens for trade on Saturday our public protection teams will be out on the streets doing town centre walkthroughs giving safety advice, support and reassurance to businesses and the public during this momentous time.

“We are explaining, encouraging and supporting businesses to understand what they are required to do in order to reopen in a safe way that protects everyone from Coronavirus infection and which prevents or reduces the likelihood of any other untoward issues such as noise nuisance, littering and anti-social behaviour. 

“Enforcement actions will only be called upon where businesses are clearly creating COVID-19 infection risks such as failing to manage social distancing and necessary hygiene controls or failing to monitor the business and customers that could create noise nuisance, littering and anti-social behaviour. 

“Our primary aim is to help with business support and compliance with COVID 19 rules, so talk to our officers in the town centres when they are out and about, or get in touch with our business regulatory support team by phone or email.”

The Government has published guidance on working safely during Coronavirus. There is specific guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways. 

If businesses have any queries relating to licensing matters for alcohol, email Please be aware that we are expecting a high demand in calls for support at this time and we will get back to you as quickly as we can. 

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of anti-social behaviour and disorder. Additional resources will be available to support local businesses to resolve issues quickly and to provide help to people who are vulnerable.

If you need any further help contact

You can also join free Back in Business webinars hosted by the Council for specific sectors. Around 1,500 businesspeople have already taken part over the past month.

More advice is available at 

Anyone wishing to report issues where businesses may be failing to manage social distancing and take necessary hygiene controls can contact Cornwall Council on 0300 1231118 or email

To report illegal social gatherings, anti-social behaviour or crime contact the police by calling 101 or email and call 999 in an emergency.

Devon & Cornwall Police has been anticipating the demand during this weekend and planning extensively with partners throughout the lockdown period for the re-opening of the region.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has provided a £500,000 investment to give support to 20 locations across the Force aimed at reducing drink related antisocial behaviour – providing elements such as extra street warden security, public toilets and CCTV monitoring.

People have a duty to drink responsibly, adhere to social distancing and not fight or commit criminal damage simply because we are coming out of lockdown. Police will take proactive action against any drink-related disorder and would ask people to think seriously about their actions.

Any questions please give a ring or email me

Have a good weekend

Take care


Thursday 2 July 2020

Re-opening of Hospitality & Accommodation Providers in Penzance

Re-post of email from Jess Morris (, Penzance BID Manager. Sent 17.43 on Thu 2 July 2020 to Penzance Businesses.

Hello All, 

Many of you have spent the past few weeks pouring over government guidelines and working out how you will be able to operate safely for your customers and staff, some of you have opened already and others will be opening this weekend and over the coming weeks. This weekend is the next phase of opening the town with customers able to once again enjoy a drink in the pub, a meal or stay overnight, I hope it will be an enjoyable weekend for all, Keep Safe and Stay Social. 

Restaurants, Pubs, Bars, Takeaways.
Please use the Government guidelines below which set out the overarching guidelines for respective sectors allowed to open:
Document: Keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway service (click here)

Risk Assessment
Please make sure that you have undertaken a risk assessment and that you have it available in a format which is easily accessible. Local authority officers and police can ask to see a copy of this risk assessment. A digital copy or a photograph is the preferred format. 

Customer Details 
In order to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 venues are expected to keep a temporary list of the details of customers who attend their venues. These details include the name, address and contact details of the customer. You must only keep the data for 21 days and then dispose of it in a safe manner. 

The amount of people allowed in your venue is based on your own capacity calculation based on social distancing requirements. 

  • limit those at a table to two households,up to a maximum of 6 people or two households. Indoor gatherings are limited to members of any two households (or support bubbles).
  • It is strongly suggested that the venue offers a table service for customers both inside and outside the venue. 
  • All customers inside the venue MUST be seated at tables.
  • You must have a process for managing capacity (staff member, security at door etc.) and if capacity is reached you will need to prevent further customers from entering the venue. 
  • Outside Areas - you must manage outside areas including capacity, social distancing, litter and behaviour of customers.

Off Sales

As Penzance is an alcohol restricted area, with a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), please advise customers purchasing off-sales that it should not be consumed in the PSPO area and if the drink is consumed within the PSPO area an authorised person can ask for it to be handed over or poured away.

New Legislation and 'Pavement' License

 A new Bill went through 1st reading at the House of Lords on Tuesday and is likely to get Royal Assent via fast-track Covid-19 parliamentary process on Friday. Once this is passed any venue that has customers 'spilling' out onto the street will be required to obtain a Pavement License, more details on the process for obtaining a license will be sent out next week when they are published. For this weekend please ensure that you have a risk assessment in place and maintain a managed space for your customers.   See link here                      

Pedestrianising Chapel Street 

As part of the continuing work of the Penzance Covid 19 Recovery Working Group, we had several requests for a part of Chapel St to be closed to vehicles for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:30pm -11:30pm to allow for social distancing and for businesses to make the most of the summer months, this has been agreed with Highways and Cornwall Council.  From 4th July, Chapel Street from the junction with Princes Street to the junction with Abbey Street will be accessible by pedestrians,cycles and emergency vehicles only, for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings between the hours of 5:30 pm. and 11:30 pm, this will continue on the stated days and times until 4th October 2020. 


Visit Britain 'We're Good to Go'

As part of the continued work to open safely many accommodation providers are opening up this weekend to welcome their guests for the first time in months. Visit Britain has launched a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark,  businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.  Thanks to the great work of the Penzance District Tourism Association (PDTA) most businesses in Penzance have already signed up for the scheme. 

If you haven't for your business, it is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector and you will be required to carry out your own risk assessments and submit them online. We encourage you to join this scheme to reassure both your guests and all those who enjoy and use  Penzance  (link here). 

Know before you go

Alongside the industry standard, Visit Britain have launched a ‘Know Before You Go’ public information campaign to support tourism in England as businesses start to re-open, reassuring visitors as restrictions are lifted by checking about what it is safe to do and when, and sign-posting to information about destinations and available services before travelling. Document: Know Before You Go (click here)  

Sorry for the long message, we are all working in a constantly changing world at the moment and I wanted to ensure that I had sent out the top line information to you all. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me and I will endeavour to help. 

 Have a good weekend. 

 Shop Local, Stay Safe, Keep Social

 Take care.



Saturday 13 June 2020

Climate Change opportunities ignored in proposed local Housing Scheme

Planning application PA20/01533 seeks permission to build 77 houses (23 affordable) on land between Penzance Astro Park and the A30. Despite the acknowledgement of a climate emergency nationally and locally there is not a single solar panel proposed although all 77 houses have pitched roofs? 

The Planning Statement accompanying the application has answers to all of the applicable sections of the National Planning Policy Framework with the exception of Section 14 “ Meeting the challenge of climate change,flooding and coastal change”. On climate change and the opportunity to maximize the use of renewable energy/reduce greenhouse gas emissions there is nothing – absolutely zero – it is as if Section 14 has been airbrushed out of existence. Part of the reason will be the Government's policy of not allowing Planning Authorities to require a technical standard higher than its own undemanding standard.

However Planning Authorities are entitled to ask the question –“ how does this application help increase the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy” (NPPF para 151 refers) even if it cannot demand that the development should help or help more.  

Penzance Council, a planning consultee, objected to the development because of the lack of any consideration of renewables in the application but has been corrected by the Planning Authority because the reason for objection does not comply of Govt policy. There is however such a thing as ‘name and shame’ and this is what is required if we are to avoid sleepwalking into the future spending billions of pounds building inadequate houses. Government can be shamed into raising minimum standards and buyers discouraged from buying them.  UK standards for energy efficiency typically lag behind leading European national standards by up to 20 years.


Cornwall Council declared a climate change emergency on 22 Jan 19.

Penzance Town Council declared a climate change emergency on 8 Apr 19.

National Planning Policy Framework (Feb 19) here.

Energy efficiency in British housing. Wikipedia article here.  

Penzance Council resolution 9 Mar 20 requiring solar panels on housing developments of 5+ houses.  Minute here (para 136(g) refers)

Friday 22 May 2020

Discretionary Small Business Grants

Hello All 

The Discretionary Small Business Grants that were announced by the government earlier in the month are now available for businesses to apply.

Cornwall has received around £13.5m from the government to use for grants for small businesses.  There are standard grants of £10,000 or larger grants of up to £25,000 which will be considered in exceptional cases that meet the scheme criteria. 

The aim of the discretionary fund is to support small and micro businesses that have been:
  • Negatively affected by COVID-19
  • Haven’t already received financial assistance through other government schemes
  • Continue to have high fixed term costs related to property such as rent or mortgage payments
Priority is given for businesses that fall into the following four groups:
  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates, where the Bed and Breakfast business is the main income/occupation of the business owner.
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief - i.e. have a rateable value less than £15,000
If your business falls into one of these groups, please complete an application form. If you own more than one business, you can apply for each business that is eligible.
If your application is successful, we hope to make a payment to you within 7 working days of approval.
Click Here to Apply
You will not be eligible for this discretionary grant scheme if your business is eligible for cash grants from any other central government COVID related scheme, including:
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  • Small Business Grant Fund
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
  • The Fisheries Response Fund
  • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS).
  • The Zoos Support Fund
  • The Dairy Hardship Fund.
  • You started trading after the 11 March 2020
  • If your business is in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made

If your business does not fall into one of these groups, and you are unable to access any other form of government funding, please complete the expression of interest form and you will be contacted should more funding become available.
Click here to complete an Expression of Interest Form.

For more information 

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.
Have a good weekend

Take care


Thursday 14 May 2020

Lockdown Relaxation - Advice to Businesses

From Penzance BID Manager 14 May 2020

Over the past 7 weeks we have all felt the impact of COVID-19 and it is likely that we will keep feeling the impact into the next few months and years as we plan to rebuild businesses and our town.

The government published the Covid-19 Our Plan to Rebuild (a 60 page document) on Monday 11th May, in this update I have tried to distil and disseminate the information for you.

All the stages to recovery are dependent on a variety of factors, the furlough scheme which has already safeguarded over 6.3 million jobs is being extended in its current guise to July, then in a more flexible format to the beginning of October, which gives us an indication of when things might start reopening more widely. 

It is due to a huge national effort the virus spread is starting to slow, so for that reason we must proceed with the utmost care and avoid undoing what we have achieved. Opening too early or too fast might create more infection cases and deaths however, saving lives has to be carefully balanced with saving livelihoods.

Optimising the social distancing measures:

This will mean different things to different businesses, therefore in practice, this means each business needs to create their strategy detailing how they will operate with social distancing measures in place, and if you can’t socially distance then how else could you help people to use your facilities/services safely. This could be through takeaway, delivery, mask-wearing, taking people’s temperatures, reducing capacity or disinfecting people as they enter and exit, through digital services. 

Business Feasibility:

The government refers to technologies enabling new ways of doing business. Therefore, businesses are being encouraged to think of new ways of doing business in order that they can continue in the post COVID world, good examples have been delivery and takeaway models, postal sales, businesses with outdoor space creating dining pods, online ordering, instore online ordering and apps, use of video conferencing and virtual meeting space. The possibilities are endless, however, if you are going to mix these with onsite customers then you will also need to create new protocols, staff training, perform thorough risk assessments and trial any new ways of working with staff before you let customers into your premises.


As part of your plan to open you need to be considering how you as a business can minimise the spread of the disease through continuing good hygiene practices, these will likely be in place for some time . The Government is now advising that people should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet. Areas for consideration are: 
  • Issuing of masks, gloves and PPE to staff and possibly customers depending on the type of venue (although understandably many trade bodies are resisting the idea of masks, you will have to make that decision based on your own risk assessment for your business, staff and customers welfare).
  • Regular disinfecting of surfaces touched by others.
  • Installation of additional hand washing stations, or hand sanitiser points in building or on entry and exits.
  • Setting alarms to remind staff to wash their hands, at regular intervals such as every 20 minutes.
  • Providing and laundering uniforms (wash at 60 degrees or higher).
  • Temperature checking staff at the beginning, middle and end of shifts.
  • Disinfecting shoes by providing a disinfectant trough and hand sanitiser on entry.
  • Implementing additional cleansing routines of high footfall areas, toilets, entrances, exits, chairs and tables.
  • New ways of ordering and food and drink collection.
  • Use of outdoor space rather than indoors space where possible.
  • Limiting the hours each staff member works front of house, perhaps supported by the new flexible furlough scheme.
  • Trying to coordinate your staff to work shifts in teams if at all possible, to limit the number of households coming into contact with each other
  • If possible, designating a separate entrance and exit to your premise.
Controls and managing risk:

Once you have set out your hygiene controls you need to ensure that any contact is as safe as possible, some of the following guidelines may help: 

  • Encouraging staff to self-isolate if they develop symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or is confirmed as COVID positive.
  • Continually risk assessing your business for areas where there may be hygiene hotspots.
  • Ensuring that your staff have as few as possible contacts to lower the risk. E.g set directional flow in your premises and or use tape on the floor to set out 2m distances, provide PPE for your staff, if you can’t set up social distancing measures due to the size of your premises, ensure that all customers and staff wear facemasks etc.


This is a phased plan with different measures being relaxed in different steps in order to minimise the spread of the virus and prevent a further spike in cases, thereby protecting the NHS and saving lives. Each step may involve adding new adjustments to the existing restrictions or taking some adjustments further. There are some overall timings that have been given by government but we must be prepared for these to change and for the potential for the phases to be delivered later in the year.

In the time between now until opening it is recommended that you create the following, if you haven’t already:
  • A cash flow forecast that will see you through until the end of the year.
  • A strategy for reopening.
  • A risk assessment for reopening.
  • A staff training schedule.
  • A communication plan for closure and reopening.
  • A restocking strategy, including PPE, disinfectant, cleaning materials.
  • Internal design work to allow social distancing.
  • New safety guidelines that set out how each type of physical space can be adapted to operate safely.
  • Innovations you might want to trial to meet new guidelines.


Social Distancing should be followed throughout.

Step 1: 13th May – return to work of Construction, Manufacturing, unlimited outdoor for recreational exercise. Limit travel of public transport.

Step 2: June (?) – Potential for some Primary School pupils to return to school and non food retail to open. Those who can’t work from home to go to work.

Step 3: July  Some hospitality to open

Overall the government has committed to carefully phasing to test their ability to adopt the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines and has also committed to monitoring the effects of re-opening  with a science led approach.

Today, Five new ministerial-led taskforces have been set up to develop plans for how and when closed sectors can reopen safely, following publication of the UK’s roadmap to rebuild Britain. Each taskforce will lead on developing new COVID-19 secure guidelines for the reopening of public places and businesses, where and when it is safe to do so.

The taskforces will look at the following sectors: 
  • Pubs and restaurants
  • Non-essential retail
  • Recreation and leisure, including tourism, culture and heritage, libraries, entertainment and sport
  • Places of worship, including faith, community and public buildings
  • International aviation, reflecting the unique challenges that sector is facing.

As business owners and managers or towns to prepare to reopen by optimising social distancing measures for staff and customers, create a reopening strategy, create a risk assessment and test it before you open, be serious about putting in additional hygiene measure for the long term, think innovatively, take as much support as is available to enable this to happen and respect the steps and timings to avoid enforcement, if in doubt please contact us if you’d like any further advice or support through this challenging time.

The full document “Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy” can be found here.

Take care 


Thursday 23 April 2020

5G Conspiracy Theories

In his book ‘The European Witch-Craze’, historian Hugh Trevor-Roper wrote: "When a great fear takes hold of society, that society looks naturally to the stereotype of the enemy in its midst." Witches were the enemy when the Black Death ravaged communities in the 1600’s including Penzance in 1647. Today it appears to be mobile telephone masts (bonkers but at least not murderous as in the 17th Century).

What is the deal with 5G mobile networks and new 5G radio bands? Current mobile telephones use radio frequency bands between 800 MHz (0.8 GHz) and 2.6 GHz. 5G is being rolled out in the UK and elsewhere using 3.6 GHz supplemented by the 24.25 – 27 GHz band and later by the 66-71 GHz band. The driving force behind 5G is user demand for higher data rates – higher frequencies can carry higher data rates. At higher frequencies radio waves behave more like infra-red and light (line-of-sight needed for communication and more affected by mist and rain).

There is nothing especially new about the 5G radio bands other than them being used for mobile telephone communications rather than other uses like radar and satellite communication. Frequencies above 300 GHz (wavelength shorter than one millimetre) are termed infra-red - invisible to the human eye but at high intensity felt on the skin as radiant heat (it is 'thermal radiation' as felt from a radiator or cooking hob).

There is no evidence of harm to human beings or other animals from radio waves except at high power when, like infra-red thermal radiation, they cause heating and burns. An individual’s highest exposure to radio frequency energy is from mobile handsets when put to the ear. Today's handsets might only have a max power of 0.2 watts but it is touching your head when in use. Large mobile telephone base stations emit typically between 20 and 120 watts.  The smaller  5G base stations found in streets, railway stations etc have an emitted power of typically 0.25 watts (250 mW).   Earlier generations of mobile telephone (2nd & 3rd generation) handsets had emitted power of up to 2 watts so the potential hazard to ear/head has reduced a lot over the last 20 years.

Low power electromagnetic radiation becomes hazardous in the ultra-violet, X-ray and gamma ray bands because individual photons have vastly more power at these super high frequencies.  The radiation ionises atoms in essential molecules in cells, including genetic material, causing them to breakup.

Electro-magnetic spectrum: here

Radio Frequency Spectrum Allocations up to 300 GHz (USA used as an example) here

Grandmetric sp - Article on 5G Safety here

Monday 9 March 2020

Proposed Changes to Penzance Parish (Community Governance Review)

Because of the reduction in the number of Cornwall Councillors (divisions) from 123 to 87 changes are necessary to 29 parishes (typically ‘warding’ arrangements’) - these are not generally controversial. Cornwall Council has taken the opportunity to invite individuals and organisations to propose other changes in how local communities are represented at parish/town level. Penzance is unique in having 3 proposals to breakaway parts of the parish to create new parishes or join another parish.

Cornwall Council has considered the proposals and is recommending ‘no change’ primarily on the grounds that the current Penzance parish, covering as it does the entire built-up area of Penzance, better facilitates delivery of services than a smaller core town centre parish with the surrounding built-up area broken into separate parishes. The Council’s recommendations are open to public consultation until 24 March.

The consultation programme is here .

All proposals for Penzance and West Penwith parishes (as submitted) can be found here.

Cornwall Council's consultation document for West Penwith parishes (a summary of proposals) is here (Items 2, 3 10 and 11 refer to Penzance Parish)

What are the Proposals?

Heamoor (Create new Parish). Proposer: Heamoor Village Council Steering Gp.

Newlyn (Create new Parish). Proposer: An individual.

Gulval Village (merge with Madron). Proposer: Gulval Village Community Assn.

Newlyn/Mousehole. Create a separate Mousehole Ward with 1 councillor, Newlyn Ward to have 3 councillors. Total councillor number remains unchanged.  Proposed by Cornwall Council.

How to respond

View consultation document: for West Penwith click here (items 2, 3 10 and 11 refer to Penzance Parish proposals).

Respond by:

Mail: Downloading the form (here – Word format) and returning in the post to Cornwall Council, Community Governance Review, Room 4S, Treyew Road, Truro TR1 3AY (by 24 March 2020).

Email: Downloading the form (see above) and returning it attached to an email (necessary if including maps).

Online (easiest). Click here and scroll to bottom of page and click on West Penwith Community Network Area and then click on Consultation Feedback Form. Consider drafting your reply in a Word document and cutting and pasting for simplicity.

In the online feedback document…..

Page 1 Who you represent (if responding for an organization)

Page 2 Applicable parish & comments

- select “Penzance” .

- select live in parish “yes” or “no”

- Complete your comments – start your comments with “No 2 Heamoor”, “No 3 Newlyn”, “No 10 Gulval” or “ No 11” Newlyn/Mousehole Warding” as applicable (you can comment on all if you wish).

Pages 3, 4 and 5. Respond “No” unless wishing to comment on changes proposed for other parishes.

Page 6. About you (demographic information).

Updates since start of Consultation.

-  The proposer for creation of the new Newlyn Parish acknowledged at the public meeting in St John’s Hall on 27 Feb 2020 that proposals for a separate parish were not sufficiently developed and would be better deferred to the next Governance Review. This does not prevent electors in the parish from commenting idea in this consultation.

-  Regarding Gulval, the consultation document refers to Madron making the proposal but it was made by GVCA (Gulval).  Madron Parish Council decided to oppose it at their parish meeting on 6 Feb 2020.