Stop Press latest news – what’s going on

Welcome to our latest news page - here you can see what our councils and councillors are discussing with links to information that may be of interest to you.

Press Release – Forest of Dean District Council – 7 April 2017

Applications invited for Community Grants

Community groups are being invited to apply for one-off funding from the District Council.

The 2017/18 community grants pot is now open for applications with a share of £19,800 available, with a maximum limit of £2,000 per project for constituted groups and £500 for non-constituted groups. Not for profit voluntary and community groups – both constituted and non-constituted – are welcome to apply.

Last year’s community grants helped 19 different local organisations, supporting a wide variety of local community initiatives ranging from environmental projects, help to develop community skills, providing support and advice to vulnerable groups, the provision of much needed equipment and materials for small voluntary activity groups and specialised training for volunteers.

A spokesperson for the Forest of Dean District Council said: “This is a real chance for local money to go to the local community for projects which residents want to see happen. The aim of the grants is to build capacity within the community, rather than directly delivering services.”

“We are particularly keen to receive applications from small informal groups who carry out lots of important work for the benefit of the local community.”

Application packs are available to download from the ‘Community grants & funding’ page in the ‘Communities’ section of the Council’s website www.fdean.gov.uk or alternatively, call the Community Engagement Team on 01594 810000. The closing date for applications is 3pm, Friday 30 June 2017.

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Press Release – Forest of Dean District Council

7 March 2017

Council Tax refund – suspicious email warning!

Residents have reported receiving a bogus email advising them that they will soon receive a Council Tax refund for a specified amount of money provided they confirm their bank details on a form which is linked to the email.

The suspicious email comes at a time when council tax bills are being sent to millions of homes across the country.

The email looks very professional, originating from a Miss Rourke who is described as a Revenues Advisor at Unity Partnership and using the email address council.tax@council.tax.gov.uk

The Council is strongly advising residents to delete this email and DO NOT access the uppercase ‘FORM’ link in the body of the email which leads to a request for bank account details.”

Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for finance, asset management & performance said: “This bogus email has been timed so that it coincides with people receiving their council tax bills.

“Anyone who receives an email about a council tax refund which asks them to click a link and complete an online form should ignore it or delete it.”

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NEW MAGISTRATES REQUIRED FOR YOUR LOCAL COURTS

 Would YOU like to be a Magistrate?

 Could YOU perform this valuable service for YOUR community?

 The Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace for Gloucestershire has announced that it will be recruiting new Magistrates this year to start sitting in court in 2018.

Magistrates are volunteers who hear cases in local courts – they deal with around 95 per cent of criminal cases in England and Wales.  There have been Justices of the Peace in this country for well over 600 years.

Applications are welcomed from anyone aged 18 and above; the retirement age for Magistrates is aged 70.  Anyone who is interested in applying should contact the recruitment website at: www.gov.uk/become-magistrate for full details of the application process.

To maintain a Bench that is representative of the Community we would particularly like to encourage applications from men, members of Black and Minority Ethnic communities, people in paid employment and people with a disability.

Up to 12 vacancies exist in the local justice area of Gloucestershire.

The Lord Chancellor will not generally appoint anyone over the age of 65, because the Lord Chancellor would normally expect someone to be able to sit for at least 5 years before retirement.

It is essential that potential candidates observe a Magistrates Court hearing a variety of adult crime cases, on at least three occasions, prior to making the application and these must have been carried out within the last 12 months. Candidates will be interviewed by the Committee and those appointed following recommendation will receive full training before commencing their judicial duties.

Please note that the closing deadline for receipt of applications is 24 March 2017 or when 36 eligible applications are received.

If you require any further information, please contact Brenda Saturley by e-mailing brenda.saturley@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk or by telephoning 01823 285240

 

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Press Release – Forest of Dean District Council

17 January 2017

District Council issues warning over council tax banding cold calls

The District Council is warning residents to be wary of cold callers from any company offering to investigate their Council Tax banding on payment of a fee, with a view to getting it reduced.

These callers are not working on behalf of the Council and residents are advised not to provide any personal information, including bank details.

Several residents have contacted the Council after being targeted by the cold calls.

Cllr Richard Boyles, Cabinet Member for Finance, Asset Management & Performance said:  “We urge residents to always be wary of phone calls of this nature.  This is most likely to be a nationwide campaign, which is currently targeting our district.”

“The council will never use a third party to contact a taxpayer in this way and we urge anybody receiving a call relating to reducing their council tax banding to end the call immediately and never give out personal details, especially bank details over the phone.”

“If you have any doubt about a phone call relating to council tax or property bandings, call the council on 01594 810000 and ask to speak to a member of the council tax team.”

“If you wish to appeal against your council tax banding, you can do this yourself for free by contacting the District Valuation Office on 03000 501 501.”

For more information on council tax bandings visit the Council’s website www.fdean.gov.uk and view the ‘Council Tax Appeals’ page in the ‘Advice and Benefits’ section.

For more information or to report a telephone cold call visit the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

ENDS

Issued by: Michala Lee, Communications Officer, Forest of Dean District Council, 01594 812622, michala.lee@fdean.gov.uk

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District Council issues anti-littering reminder

The District Council is reminding residents and businesses that littering is an offence and if you are witnessed discarding waste in public the Council is prepared to take action.

Anyone caught dropping litter may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), and if you fail to pay the fine you could find yourself in front of a magistrate and ordered to pay additional costs.

Discarded cigarette butts, takeaway containers, rubbish thrown from vehicle windows and parking tickets that have blown off car dashboards onto the ground are still classed as littering and could result in a fine.

Cllr Marrilyn Smart, cabinet member for environment said:  “The council takes littering very seriously.  Not only is this practice illegal and anti-social but it clearly impacts on the local environment in which we live and work and is potentially damaging to tourism in the area.”

“Every year, we spend thousands of pounds picking up other people’s litter, which could be better spent on other services.  Sadly the clean-up cost ultimately falls to the local taxpayer.”

“As well as regularly litter picking streets, we’ve installed more litterbins across the district, worked on anti-littering campaigns with schools and organised community clean ups to try to encourage residents to take pride in their local area.”

“More recently the Council has supported the ‘Love your Forest’ campaign in partnership with Hubbub, the Forestry Commission and Lucozade, Ribena, Suntory to target littering hot spots, reminding people to take their litter home with them.”

“Sadly, there are still people who think its ok to drop litter and for others to pay to clean it up, which is why we are working hard to take action against those people that drop it in our district.”

“If someone wants to avoid paying a fine for dropping litter, clearly the best approach is not to drop it in the first place.”

“We would urge anyone who witnesses littering to report it to the Council by calling 01594 810000.  With the help of information supplied by residents we will continue to work hard to eliminate littering across the district.”

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Mobile Library

Follow the links for the dates and times the mobile library will be visiting.  Mobile Library Dates Nov 16-Feb 17 and for dates from March to June 2017, please click here Mobile Library Dates Mar-June 2017

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District Council supports the launch of a new helpline number for power cuts

The District Council is backing the launch of a new number that aims to support members of the public if they experience a power cut. Many people don’t know who to contact during a power cut and wrongly call the electricity supplier they pay their bill to. 

A new telephone number has been set up to help people get through their local electricity network operator – the company responsible for the power network that delivers electricity to their door.  From Tuesday 6 September 2016 the new number to call will be 105.   It’s a free, easy-to-remember number that people can call to report or get information about a power cut in their area. It puts callers through to the people who will repair their local power network and restore their power.  

The Council is supporting the introduction of calling 105, as it will make it quicker and easier for residents to call for help and information in the event of a power cut.  Councillor Terry Hale, cabinet member for the community said:  “We welcome the introduction of the new 105 telephone number and believe the service will be of great benefit to residents.”  “Power cuts can leave people feeling confused about what to do. The 105 telephone number will help to tackle this. We believe the number will be particularly important when there’s bad weather, as severe storms can cause disruption to the electricity supply into homes and businesses.”  The 105 number will be available to electricity customers in England, Scotland and Wales.

The number can be accessed from most landlines and mobile phones. It doesn’t matter who you choose to buy electricity from – anyone can call the new number.  The number is jointly funded by electricity network operators – the companies that manage the cables, wires and substations that bring electricity into homes and businesses. Network operators can also be contacted directly by phone or via their website, and most network operators can be contacted through social media too.  

The public can also call 105 if they spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put them, or someone else, in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, the emergency services should be called too.  

Visit www.powercut105.com to find out more about the new 105 telephone number and electricity network operators.

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Outdoor Gym Equipment

Tidenham Parish Council made a successful grant application for funding under the Gloucestershire County Council Active Together grant scheme, designed to encourage a more active lifestyle, for items of outdoor exercise equipment for adults. The cross country skier, air walker and arm and pedal bike (which is suitable for people who are less able) have been installed on land in Wyebank Road. For safety reasons the equipment has been installed away from children’s play equipment and in the hope that it will encourage a wide range of more “mature” people to enjoy some exercise in the fresh air and maybe help improve their general fitness. The Parish Council would like to thank Gloucestershire County Council for their support.

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Gloucestershire County Council – Local Transport Plan

On the 29th June 2016 Gloucestershire County Council formally adopted its new Local Transport Plan (2015-2031). To access a full copy of the plan please visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/ltp3

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Lydney Dial-a-Ride and Forest Routes

Looking for volunteer drivers and driver’s assistants in the Sedbury area. Have a look at their poster here or follow this link to the Forest Routes newsletter.

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Councillor Vacancies  We Need You!

For more information please contact the Clerk, Mrs Carol Hinton 01594 530779 clerk@tidenhamparishcouncil.co.uk

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News release from Forest and Tewkesbury Borough LEADER 

£1.447m now available to boost rural businesses A new scheme, aimed at boosting the rural economy across the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury Borough has officially been launched. Follow link for more information www.forestandtewksleader.co.uk

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Volunteers Required

The Foresters’ Forest is a Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership Programme to raise awareness of what makes the Forest of Dean special in terms of its built, natural and cultural heritage. There are opportunities now to volunteer for wildlife surveys, archaeological surveys and a range of other projects coming up soon. As there is training for each type of survey method, this might help develop skills which could be useful for work experience or just increasing your knowledge and understanding of the Forest. Please contact forestersforest@fvaf.org.uk or telephone 01594 822073 to find out more.

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Forest Voluntary Access Forum

Are you looking to obtain funding for a project? Funding Opportunities Bulletin – information from Forest Voluntary Access Forum (District Council) with details of external funding through grants offered by a wide range of providers – follow link for list http://www.glosvcsalliance.org.uk/external-funding-opportunities-bulletin/.

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Gloucester Association for Voluntary and Community Action (GAVCA)

Follow link to the website for information and news for voluntary & community groups/organisations in Gloucestershire, giving information on funding and resources. www.gavca.org.uk

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