An "honest and open" discussion on the the challenges facing Cornwall will be the focus for a "special summit" involving town and parish councils and voluntary and community groups at New County Hall on Tuesday.

Cornwall Council has previously hosted two annual summits for town and parish councils in Cornwall and this is first time that voluntary and community groups have taken part in the event.

“Cornwall is facing some extremely challenging issues and it is important that we work together with our partners to ensure that local communities can be actively involved and influence local decisions and local service delivery”, said Jeremy Rowe, the council’s cabinet member for devolution and localism.

“Last year’s summit provided an opportunity for us to share up to date information and discuss topical issues with town and parish councils. This year we wanted to expand that to include representatives from the voluntary and community sector who have a key role to play in helping us to deliver services to people in Cornwall".

This year’s summit will look at how partners can work together to support local communities in these times of austerity. It will be opened and chaired by Jeremy Rowe, and will also be attended by council leader John Pollard; the council’s chief executive Andrew Kerr; Paul Masters, the newly appointed corporate director for community and organisational development and a number of other members of the council’s cabinet.

Keynote speakers will include Jon Yates, from the Department of Communities and Local Government, Ameneh Enayat from Local works and Ron Ley, from One Ilfracombe, a community project in North Cornwall .

There will also be presentations and workshops on preparing for flooding and the role of flood forums; community transport; devolution; tourism; equality and diversity issues and safeguarding.

Rob Andrew, Assistant Head of Service for Localism and Devolution, said “This will be a very useful forum for all of us working to support local communities to come together to be honest and open about the challenges we all face and at the same time work collaboratively to find shared local solutions utilising the rich social capital that exists in Cornwall. It really will be an example of “one and all” in action.”