RESIDENTS WARNED OVER STREET LIGHTS SCAM / LAMBETH RESIDENTS PRODUCE 25 PER CENT LESS RUBBISH – IN JUST A YEAR / “DRAMATIC CHANGES INEVITABLE” – BROMLEY COUNCIL LEADER / GOOD NEIGHBOURS STOP ROGUE TRADERS /
TAKING SCRUTINY OUT OF THE TOWN HALL – AND INTO THE COMMUNITY
RESIDENTS WARNED OVER STREET LIGHTS SCAM
Residents are being warned to be on their guard after a woman was the victim of a £1,500 scam.
The victim, who lives in the Thornton Heath area, received a telephone call from a man claiming to be a Mr Evans from the council’s streetlights contractor Skanska.
The caller said a payment was needed so that works could be carried out on streetlights in the victim’s road.
The victim was told that the money would be refunded once the work was complete.
She then made the payment over the phone providing her bank details.
Cllr Mark Watson, Croydon’s cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “This was a malicious scam that we urgently wish to alert residents to, and prevent anyone else becoming another victim.
“Residents will never be asked to pay for streetlights repairs – either by the council or by Skanska – and if they receive such a call they should let the police know immediately.”
If you receive a similar call or have any information about the incident please call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or police on 101. (Source: Croydon council press release.)
LAMBETH RESIDENTS PRODUCE 25 PER CENT LESS RUBBISH – IN JUST A YEAR
Lambeth residents are producing an incredible 25 per cent less rubbish and recycling nearly three times more food waste – just a year into the council’s new waste strategy – and saving the council nearly £1 million.
Lambeth council introduced smaller bins for properties and a food waste recycling system to encourage residents to cut the amount of waste produced in the borough in October last year,.
Figures from April to August this year show that there is a quarter less waste than the same period last year – around 7,700 tonnes less rubbish a year if the trend continues – saving the council £724,000.
Separate food and green waste collection has increased from just 900 tonnes per year to 3,500 tonnes, saving the council £265,000, but through the council’s Do the Right Thing Campaign residents are being encouraged to cut the amount of food being discarded altogether.
Cllr Jenny Brathwaite, Lambeth cabinet member for environment & sustainability, said: “It’s good news that our waste strategy is clearly working.
“These figures show that we can all reduce our waste, whether it’s recycling more or simply buying less of what we don’t need.
“While recycling the food waste is much better than throwing it in the bin, it would be great if we could stop wasting so much food in the first place.
“Reducing rubbish and food waste not only saves everybody a great deal of money but it is also good for the environment and helps us live in a more sustainable way.”
On average, a resident throws away £200 worth of food that could have been eaten every year – and that rises to £700 for the average family. Lambeth’s Do the Right Thing campaign is offering tips on how residents can stop wasting so much food.
By planning meals better, shopping more sensibly, freezing food and using leftovers, people can save themselves money and reduce the amount of waste they produce for the council to collect.(Source: Lambeth council press release)
“DRAMATIC CHANGES INEVITABLE” – BROMLEY COUNCIL LEADER
Bromley council leader Cllr Stephen Carr is telling residents that the council has to make dramatic changes as it can no longer afford to do everything in the way it has done in the past.
He is calling for residents to take part in an online survey before 7 December so senior councillors are aware of residents’ priorities when difficult decisions have to be made about the budget for 2015/16 and beyond.
Bromley has to save more than £60 million over the next four years from an annual net budget of just over £200 million. This is in addition to substantial savings already made over the past few years.
In an open letter to residents, Cllr Carr explained: “A much smaller council will mean we will all have to do things in a different way.
“Taking more responsibility within our families and communities so that those who need our services most will be able to get the help they need. “It will inevitably come down to a combination of paying more council tax and ceasing to provide some services.
“Rest assured we continue to drive out inefficiencies and work to maximise our income as well as arguing strongly for a fairer government funding deal for our borough.
We are proud of our robust financial management, but efficiencies alone will not bridge the budget gap we are anticipating over the next few years.”
As well as the online survey, there will be round table sessions with residents’ association chairmen and chairwomen and public meetings:
7pm-8.30pm, Thursday 20 November – Orpington Methodist Church BR6 9JH
GOOD NEIGHBOURS STOP ROGUE TRADERS
As part of National Consumer Week 2014 (3-7 November), residents in Southwark are being urged to look out for rogue doorstep traders preying on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
With as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime occurring nationally each year, the National Consumer Week 2014 ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders’ campaign encourages neighbours, friends, families and carers to nominate themselves to discourage rogue traders.
These traders often cold callers and offer to carry-out repairs which are poor quality, unnecessary and charged at extortionate prices, sometimes even driving the victim to the bank to withdraw money or threatening them.
Cllr Michael Situ, cabinet member for community safety, said: “It is important that we all do our bit to protect vulnerable residents from rogue traders.
“This year’s National Consumer Week is a great opportunity for communiites to come together to deter rogue traders on preying on the most vulunerable.
“If you feel worried about rogue traders operating in your local area please contact Southwark’s trading standard’s team for support.
“It’s also best to consult the council’s builders award register if you need a home improvement job carried out. “All members have been carefully vetted by our team of trading standards officers and each will have agreed to comply with the council’s code of practice.”
Trading Standards Institute chief executive Leon Livermore, said: “While trading standards officers strive to track down and prosecute rogue traders, community intervention is the first step in preventing detriment caused by doorstep crime.
The ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders’ campaign highlights the impact community-spirit and the goodness of neighbours, friends and relatives can have in making Britain a safer place.”
The detriment of doorstep crime reaches beyond financial loss. It can cause a person’s mental health to deteriorate and in some cases, suffer physical harm.
Neighbours, friends, relatives and carers can nominate themselves to help stop rogue doorstep traders operating in the area by joining a ‘nominated neighbour’ scheme, taking away the trader’s ability to contact the resident directly.
Nominated neighbours give elderly or vulnerable members of the community a postcard for their door with the nominated neighbour’s address and phone number, informing cold-calling doorstep traders to speak with the nominated neighbour on the resident’s behalf.
This prevents direct contact between the vulnerable resident and the trader, reducing the risk of doorstep crime taking place.
The Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders campaign is a partnership between Southwark Council, the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board.
What are Southwark Trading Standards doing about the problem?
Rogue trader patrols with local Safer Neighbourhood Teams
Working with local banks and building societies to alert them to the signs that their customer may be the victim of a doorstep crimePromoting our Builders Award scheme and other similar lists
Distributing our Safe as Houses advice packs
Offering educational talks to community groups
Helping residents set up No Cold Calling Control Zones (NCCCZs)
For more information on Southwark’s Builder Award list, please visit:http://www.southwark.gov.uk/builders (Source: Southwark council press release)
In Croydon the council’s trading standards team have worked with national charity Centre of Excellence for Sensory Impairment (Coesi) to make the existing information pack on rogue traders accessible to people with sensory impairments such as deafness or a sight deficiency.
“The popular doorstep crime information pack is one of the most often requested and distributed information packs supplied by the trading standards department” said a council spokeswoman.
“It contains information on knowing your rights when an unwanted cold caller comes knocking; the popular doorstep sticker informing cold-callers that business is not conducted at the front door; and how to find a trusted tradesman.
“It also lists council services designed to make the lives of elderly or vulnerable residents easier, such as the handyperson service (for the carrying out of minor works and odd jobs at low cost), and Careline (offering a 24-hour emergency alarm for those living independently).
“The adapted pack is now available in the following formats:
British sign language
Video with voice-over and sign language
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “We need to stop vulnerable people being exploited. “These criminals charge extortionate rates for shoddy work, which is often left incomplete.
“The Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders campaign asks neighbours, family, friends and carers to look out for those most at risk.”
Trading standards has produced a specially tailored pack for vulnerable residents, offering guidance on a range of issues, including how to deal with unwanted cold-callers and rogue traders.
For more information, contact Croydon’s trading standards team on 020 8407 1311.
The downloadable print version and the video can be viewed at www.coesi.org.uk/Home-Doorstep-Crime-Prevention.aspx
To order the pack, in whichever format you require, call Coesi on 0800 612 9508. (Source: Croydon council press release)
TAKING SCRUTINY OUT OF THE TOWN HALL – AND INTO THE COMMUNITY
Meetings to discuss health, housing and social care are to go out of Croydon town hall and into the community.
Members of the public are encouraged to attend the council’s cross-party health, social care and housing scrutiny sub-committee meetings, which will be taking place across the borough.
The next meeting is on Wednesday, 12 November at Croydon University Hospital to see what progress Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has made since inspections by the Care Quality Commission took place.
The Better Care Fund, adult safeguarding, NHS England’s immunisation programme and quality of life for people with chronic conditions will be discussed at Purley United Reformed Church, 906 Brighton Road, Purley, on Tuesday, 9 December.
Both meetings start at 6.30pm.
Cllr Carole Bonner, who chairs the committee, said: “Scrutiny committee meetings are a really important part of the way the council makes decisions.
“They play a key role in helping to shape recommendations that are intended to assist in improving services for the people of Croydon, and we want to involve members of the public in this process.
“By holding meetings where people live and not expecting them to come to the Town Hall, we hope we can encourage as many people as possible to come along and see the work we are doing.”
Further meetings will also take place in the New Year and will be announced nearer the time.
Overview and scrutiny committees are committees which every local authority is required by law to establish.
Their role is to bring democratic accountability to public services provided in the area by any public sector organisation or a private sector body providing public services.
Learning from the recommendations of the Francis Report on Mid Staffordshire Hospital, the Croydon scrutiny committees have decided to hold more meetings outside the town hall and also to give an opportunity for more public and user voices to be heard. (Source: Croydon council press release.)