Office of the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner: Volunteer Scheme – deadline 1 July

The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) is looking for volunteers (Independent Custody Visitors – ICVs) across Kent to visit Custody suites to check on the welfare and conditions of those held in police cells and report back to the PCC. This can be as often as once a month. In addition, ICVs attend training sessions, between two and four panel meetings a year, and an Annual General Meeting. The time commitment required is around three to five hours a month and all ICVs are asked to carry out at least one night-time visit a year (between 10pm and 6am).

 The PCC’s recruitment drive closes on 1st July.

 More information about ICVs, and the application form, can be found here:  

 https://kent-pcc.gov.uk/what-we-do/holding-kent-police-to-account/independent-custody-visitors/

Office of the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner,

Kent Police Headquarters, Sutton Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 9BZ

 Office telephone: 01622 677055

Email: contactyourpcc@pcc.kent.pnn.police.uk

Southeastern to introduce Delay Repay 15

Compensation for delays of 15 minutes

We are today announcing the roll-out of 15-minute Delay Repay compensation, as part of a suite of passenger-focused improvements which will be introduced for Southeastern passengers by Autumn. 

‘Delay Repay 15’ will mean passengers delayed by 15 minutes or more will receive money back to compensate them for the inconvenience, where currently compensation applies for delays over 30 minutes

David Statham, Southeastern’s Managing Director, said:

“I don’t want any of our passengers to be delayed, but if they are it’s really important that we compensate them properly.That’s why I’m delighted to announce these improvements to Delay Repay, which will make a real difference for people who experience shorter delays of between 15 and 30 minutes.”

A quicker, simpler way of claiming

As part of our longstanding commitment to making the process of claiming compensation quicker and easier. We will very shortly be launching a website upgrade that will cut the number of steps needed to complete the online form, by using information on previous claims and regular journeys.

New ‘Best Fare Finder’ launched on Southeastern website

We will also be making enhancements to our Key Smartcard, with single and return tickets available to purchase online for the first time. And a new ‘Best Fare Finder’ will be launched on the Southeastern website to help passengers get the best value tickets for their journey and provide reassurance about their choice of fare.

Franchise extension confirmed

These improvements are part of a short-term extension to the current Southeastern franchise, which has been agreed following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport on 10 April. Southeastern will continue to operate services until 10 November 2019, with an option to extend to 1 April 2020, allowing the Government more time to review and award a winner for the next South Eastern franchise.

Invitation to NHS workshop on hospital changes in east Kent

The NHS and social care partners in east Kent are working together to design better and more sustainable services for local people, both in and out of hospital. We are committed to improving services so you get the best, most effective hospital care when you need it – and more care, treatment and support out of hospital when you don’t.

 

We need your help

As part of this work, we have developed two potential options for future hospital services, which have been shaped by feedback from local people and NHS staff. We now need your help to scrutinise how we will evaluate these options before the local NHS decides which option/options will form part of an upcoming public consultation.

 

On Thursday 18 July 2019 we are bringing clinicians and local people together to discuss
some of the evidence used to make this decision. The workshop will be in Canterbury
from 9.30am-4pm. There will be lunch and refreshments provided, and travel expenses can be reclaimed.

 

We are looking for 40 members of the public from across east Kent who represent our diverse population. We are looking for a mix of views and experience including:

 

  • Patients and carers who are young people, parents, working aged adults, or retired
  • People with experience of using A&E for physical or mental health problems
  • People with experience of inpatient treatment at Kent & Canterbury, QEQM, and William Harvey hospitals
  • People with long-term conditions that have led to regular hospital visits, or their carers
  • Parents with experience of maternity or hospital services for children in east Kent.

You don’t need to have previous involvement or knowledge of the hospital proposals. But we are looking for people who are willing to:

 

  • read (or listen to) a little bit of background information before the event
  • spend a day discussing how the options will be assessed and considering some of the emerging evidence.

Join us or pass it on

You can register your interest in this event by completing the form here or online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EastKentNHS18072019 If you know other people or networks of people who may be interested, please pass on this invitation. We will need expressions of interest by Monday 24 June. Places will be confirmed on Wednesday 26 June.

 

More information

You can read information about the detailed work carried out so far and how feedback from the public and clinicians has shaped the proposals at www.kentandmedway.nhs.uk/eastkent

Holiday Scam Warning!

More than 5,000 people were victims of holiday booking fraud last year, their total losses amounting to seven million pounds. Airline and online accommodation were the main targets (see ABTA report)

How it works

  • A Kent family booked a villa in Mallorca with a company that also arranged transfers.
  • Alarm bells rang when no transfer driver was waiting for them at Palma airport.
  • They eventually took a taxi to “their” villa to find out that the property owner did not rent out his home and had no knowledge of their “booking”.
  • The family eventually found another villa to rent but were now £8000 out of pocket.
  • The family’s bank is trying to retrieve the money from the fraudster’s Spanish bank based in Madrid but there is no guarantee of success.

To help protect yourself:

  • Check customer reviews – review and research thoroughly.
  • Look out for companies that are members of professional bodies such as ABTA.
  • Be wary of paying a private individual by bank transfer.
  • Paying by credit card will offer you much more protection from fraud.
  • Trust your instincts, don’t get rushed into making impulsive decisions.

Visit Get Safe Online for more holiday advice

Report it

Kent County Council is currently running a campaign in the Folkestone area in the Tesco Bags for Life to help protect vulnerable people from telephone scammers by installing a TrueCall phone blocker at their home. Please support our project if you can.

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Telephone Scammers Alert

We have received reports of telephone scammers once again targeting people in Kent with the threat of a lawsuit and arrest warrant if the resident did not pay the scammers.

Don’t worry, this is a scam
Phone scams are a common way for criminals to con people out of money using various tricks to get your personal or financial information.

What to do:

  • Hang up and don’t return their calls.
  • NEVER disclose any personal information such as bank details or date of birth, no matter who the person claims to be.

If you have already given money to scammers, contact Kent Police by calling 101 and you can also report it to Action Fraud. The information you give to Action Fraud can help track down the scammer.

Report it

Eastry Parish Council Vacancies

 

Following the recent Parish Council elections there remains three vacant seats on Eastry Parish Council.

  • Do you want to serve your Community? 
  • Do you have time or expertise which could benefit your Community?
  • Do you want to make a difference to all those around you?
  • Are you concerned about your local area?
  • Do you want to represent the views of local people?

 If you would like to make a difference, and be involved in shaping the future of your local Community, why not step forward and apply to become an Eastry Parish Councillor?

Eastry Parish Council meet 11 times a year, normally on the first Monday of the Month (accept in May, when it’s the 2nd Monday).  If you are interested please email the Clerk to the Parish Council on clerk@eastrypc.co.uk for an application form and eligibility form. Or you can download these from the Parish Council website:

 

https://www.eastrypc.co.uk/news.asp#Eastry_Parish_Council_Vacancies

Rail – Engineering Works This Bank Holiday Weekend

Vital infrastructure upgrades will take place on the Southeastern network this Bank Holiday, which will improve the reliability of the railway for passengers in London and Kent.

Check before you travel

As a result there will be a number of sections of the railway closed to allow engineers carry out essential upgrade work.

Make sure you check before you travel, as train services in a number of areas will be subject to change or will be replaced by a bus service.

Summary of key changes this Bank Holiday weekend

Saturday 4 May

  • Amended service in the Grove Park area

Sunday 5 May

Buses replace trains between:

  • Lewisham and Dartford via Greenwich and Woolwich Arsenal
  • Sole St / Strood & Rainham
  • Sevenoaks and Paddock Wood / Tunbridge Wells

Monday 6 May

Buses replace trains between:

  • Lewisham and Sidcup / Orpington

For further details on the engineering works taking place this weekend please visit our dedicated webpage.

Network Rail investing millions to upgrade infrastructure

Network Rail is investing millions into infrastructure upgrades on the Southeastern network, replacing components and carrying out essential maintenance to make the railway more reliable. The work includes:

  • £81m project to resignal the lines from Hither Green to Mottingham, Grove Park and Bromley North progresses.
  • £55m project to upgrade signalling from Deptford to Woolwich Arsenal and from Lewisham to New Eltham.
  • Maintenance of the line including changing sleepers and rail grinding.
  • State-of-the-art high output ballast cleaner works to improve track quality.
  • Work to improve signalling resilience, to improve reliability of signals.

Bank Hol engineering works-2 Download Here.

 

Roofing Doorstep Criminals Targeting Kent Residents

Please be aware! We have received several reports from elderly residents across Kent reporting doorstep criminals cold calling for roofing work.

What happened:

  • The criminals are pressuring residents into having work done on their roof by claiming urgent repairs need to be carried out.
  • The work is often not needed at all.
  • In one case the resident was quoted £14,000 for the work which was reduced to £5000 when the resident said they couldn’t pay the higher amount.

The resident was told to pay the £5000 in cash and the criminals drove the resident to the bank to withdraw money.

What to do: 
Reputable traders and contractors do not cold-call for business and they will NEVER ask you to go to the bank or cash point.

  • ALWAYS refuse on the spot repairs.
  • Don’t allow anyone to pressure you into having work done. If you ask them to leave and they don’t, contact the police on 999.
  • Use reputable traders who are members of the KCC Trading Standards approved trader scheme, run in partnership with Checkatrade
  • Ask for quotes in writing and check that the tradesperson is from the company they claim to be from.

Warn vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours.

If you feel afraid or threatened by a doorstep caller, phone 999. 

Please report any suspicious doorstep callers to us.

Report it

Minutes of Meetings

The minutes of the Eastry Parish Council Ordinary Meeting for March have now been published on the EPC website, together with the minutes of the Eastry Annual Parish Meeting.

The minutes can be viewed and/or downloaded from the website here: https://www.eastrypc.co.uk/minutes.asp

 

Storm Gareth

You may have also seen the ongoing forecast of high winds and rain (Storm Gareth) expected to arrive tomorrow (Wednesday 13th March), affecting parts of the South East and the East of England.

Our electricity network is built to be resilient but high winds and rain can damage overhead power lines resulting in some customers losing their electricity supply. Where this happens, we work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.  We have organised for additional staff in our contact centre to help customers whose electricity supply might be affected by the predicted weather, and we have called-up additional engineers to carry out repairs to our electricity network.

Both you and your local residents will be able to find regular updates on our website www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and social media @UKPowerNetworks throughout this period.

Anyone experiencing a power cut can:

  • Call 105 to report power cuts and damage to the electricity network, or 0800 3163 105 (from a corded phone or mobile phone if you have no power)
  • Visit ukpowernetworks.co.uk for the latest updates
  • Visit ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut and type in their postcode to view our live power cut map
  • Tweet @ukpowernetworks to report power cuts or to receive updates

We urge the public to stay well clear from power lines and anyone spotting a damaged power line needs to report it to us immediately by calling 105 from a landline or mobile phone.

If they see electricity lines that are down or causing significant risk to the public they should call 999.

We provide extra help to customers on our Priority Service Register during a power cut. Households with older or disabled people, those with children under five, or where someone uses medical or mobility equipment that requires electricity as well as other reasons can join the register. You can find out more information about our Priority Service on our website: ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority  .

If you would like to share information about preparing for the extreme weather or the priority service register on social media you might like to use the following:

UK Power Networks has extra staff on hand to deal with the impact of Storm Gareth. Call 105 to report a power cut and visit https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/storm-centre-prepare or message @UKPowerNetworks on Twitter. #stormgareth #ukpnnews

Do you, or someone you know, need extra support during a power cut? @UKPowerNetworks provides free services to vulnerable customers. Visit https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/power-cut/priority-services-register for more information.  #stormgareth #ukpnnews

I hope this information is helpful and please do share it with local residents and members of your community who would find it helpful.

With best wishes,

Julie Seal

Community Affairs Officer

UK Power Networks

Fore Hamlet

Ipswich

IP3 8AA

 

 

Tenancy Deposit Scam Alert

Action Fraud has received several reports where fraudsters are claiming to be landlords of properties offered for rent online.

How it works

  • Prior to viewing a property, the criminal requests that the individual pays a deposit.
  • After the victim pays the money, the scammer sends a bogus email purporting to be from a Tenancy Deposit Scheme confirming they have received their deposit.
  • This email is false! The money was sent directly to the criminals’ account.
  • The victim is left out of pocket and without the home they thought they were renting.

What You Need To Do

  • Always make sure you have viewed the property with an agent or landlord before agreeing to rent a property.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.
  • Only transfer funds when you’re satisfied a genuine property, safety certificates and valid contract are in place.
  • Only pay for goods or service by bank transfer if you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Before you pay a deposit check it is one of the government-backed Tenancy Deposit Schemes https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection

Report it

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.