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Added 11th May 2022
Bucks County Council
Reminder:Changes to bin collections in the south of the county
Buckinghamshire Council and waste contractor Veolia are issuing a friendly reminder that from next week – commencing Monday 9 May – residents living in the south of the county may have a new bin day.
The bin collection day changes come as part of vital improvements to the recycling and waste service in the former Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe district areas. All affected households will have received a letter and a calendar towards the end of April explaining the upcoming changes and detailing new bin day collection schedules.
If you haven’t already, please check your new bin day online.
Peter Strachan, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change said,
“Please make sure you’ve read your letter and calendar carefully, or have used the online bin day checker, so you are aware and ready for the upcoming changes coming into effect from Monday 9 May.”
“We know that these bin collection changes may cause some small disruptions in the short term as residents and crews get used to the new bin collection days. I’d like to say a big thank you to residents for their patience and understanding during this time.”
Read more about the improvements to the recycling and waste service in the south of the county on the Buckinghamshire Council website.
Bucks Council - fresh financial support package for residents in need
Buckinghamshire Council has finalised a new package of support for residents facing financial hardship and who are struggling with rising bills and costs.
The Council has already announced additional measures it’s put in place on top of the government’s national council tax rebate scheme. As well as that help, today Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet has finalised how it will allocate a further £2.4 million of funding from the Government’s Household Support Fund, to help residents struggling to pay bills and buy food.
Residents facing severe financial hardship can contact the council’s Helping Hand service which can:
£880,000 of the funding has been allocated to provide food vouchers to families in need, including covering children’s meals during school holidays if they are eligible for free school meals during term time. These digital food vouchers will also be available for Afghan and Ukrainian families who’ve arrived in Buckinghamshire as a package of wider support for these families under Helping Hand.
The Household Support Fund package is designed - through Helping Hand - to help families with children, pensioners and other vulnerable households who are struggling with paying for the basics of food, clothing and heating.
This new wave of Helping Hand funding comes on top of extra support the council is giving to residents who may not be in crisis but who are still struggling with the sharp increase in household bills.
The council is also providing extra support for families during the school holidays through its HAF (holiday activities and food) scheme, ensuring families have access to quality food and care outside of term-time.
Get active in Bucks with National Walking Month!
National Walking Month takes place every May and is an excellent opportunity to get active and learn more about the local walks in Buckinghamshire. The aim of the month is to get everyone to walk more, even if it is only a short distance. Adding a little more activity into a daily routine can have a huge impact on mental and physical wellbeing, the environment – and your wallet.
Choosing to walk a short journey instead of driving can benefit your overall health, reducing the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. It's also a reliable, low-cost travel option that has significant advantages for the environment. By swapping your short daily drive to a brisk walk, you can reduce congestion, improve road safety, and lower pollution – meanwhile saving fuel. If walking all the way to work or school doesn’t seem possible, you can always use public transport, or park a short distance away and cover the last leg by foot. View our public rights of way map to access picturesque walking routes throughout Buckinghamshire.
To be more active, you can try to:
While lockdown helped to show us all the benefits of walking outside in nature – keeping us fit and aiding our mental health – it’s important to continue these habits even after all the restrictions have been lifted. Walking in the fresh air with family and friends can turn exercise into an enjoyable social occasion. While walking, we recommend keeping to footpaths and steering clear from long grass, to prevent tick bites.
You can find out about the location of these unique walks on Buckinghamshire Council's website. And for those who like to go on organised walks, visit the Council’s Simply Walk programme. You can also follow the 20 ways of adding 20 minutes of walking to your day for a fun challenge.
Celebrating our fostering community
Buckinghamshire Council is celebrating all its foster carers, their families and the wider fostering community as it kicks off ‘Foster Care Fortnight’ in Buckinghamshire (9 to 22 May), exploring this year’s theme of Fostering Communities.
There are currently over 500 children in Buckinghamshire who need a safe and loving home. People go into fostering for all kinds of reasons and Buckinghamshire Council wants everyone to know about the process, the support and most importantly, the rewards that fostering can bring.
If you’re thinking about fostering, or know someone who is, Foster Care Fortnight is the perfect time to find out more.
Throughout the fortnight Buckinghamshire Council will be sharing the words of our amazing foster carers and colleagues, exploring what’s so special about fostering, talking about why we urgently need more foster carers, and shining a spotlight on the amazing support network that is there for you as a foster carer with Buckinghamshire Council.
In addition to stories, videos and testimony on our Foster with Bucks Facebook (@FosterBucks) and Twitter (@FosterWithBucks) during Foster Care Fortnight, we’re holding a special information evening on Wednesday 18 May, and a live Twitter Q&A at lunchtime on Thursday 19 May – submit your questions using the #AskFosterBucks or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
During Foster Care Fortnight, Buckinghamshire Council is also introducing its new way of supporting Buckinghamshire foster carers, being piloted in the autumn, The Fostering Network’s innovative Mockingbird family model. The evidence-based model nurtures the relationships between children, young people and foster families, supporting them to build a resilient and caring community.
It brings together a community of up to ten foster families with a hub home carer at the centre. The hub home carer, who is a specially trained, experienced foster carer, provides support, understanding and friendship to all the carers and young people within the group, replicating the support and relationships of an extended family.
Find out more at here.
Residents invited to register for affordable renewable energy offer
Residents in Buckinghamshire can take advantage of a group-buying scheme to purchase items such as solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicle charging points helping to save on their energy costs and cut carbon emissions.
Buckinghamshire Council has joined the Solar Together initiative, run by iChoosr, as part of its commitment to tackling climate change and supporting local people to access affordable ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Solar Together scheme operates in a similar way to the popular collective energy switching schemes. It enables groups of residents to come to together to invest in renewable sources of energy such as solar panels and battery storage, through an innovative group-buying scheme. Buying in this way allows householders to benefit from more competitive rates and ensures high-quality installation from pre-approved installers.
The scheme has been running for four years across the UK. More than 7,000 installations have been carried out, saving an estimated 130,000+ tonnes of lifetime carbon emissions.
From this week, the scheme is open to Buckinghamshire residents. In addition to buying solar panels with optional battery storage and EV charge points, residents who have already invested in solar panels can also retrofit battery storage, allowing them to get more from the renewable energy they generate and increase their independence from the National Grid.
Interested householders can register for free online from Monday 9 May to become part of the local group, with no obligation. Pre-approved UK solar PV suppliers will participate in an auction on 14 June. Suppliers are able to offer competitive pricing according to the volume of potential customers in the local area, so they are able to reduce their costs which they pass on to the customers through lower pricing for materials and installations. After the auction, registered households will be emailed a personal recommendation specific to the details they submitted in their application. If they choose to accept the recommendation, a technical survey will be arranged, and a date set for the installation of their new system.
The scheme is widely welcomed by organisations across Buckinghamshire. Ian Barham, Partnership Director at the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership said: “Buckinghamshire LEP are delighted to see this new initiative taking place. It is important that all businesses look to work collaboratively to reduce their environmental footprint and as a Local Enterprise Partnership we will be encouraging groups of businesses to work together to take advantage of these new opportunities. We are also currently undertaking an audit of the Net Zero economy in Buckinghamshire, to identify our local strengths in this area and to spot areas for future growth. If your business would like to participate in this audit please complete the latest Buckinghamshire Business Barometer that can be found here."
To find out more or to register your interest in the Solar Together scheme visit: here
You can find more information on this and other actions to address climate change on our website.
Added 4th May 2022
Our News Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter May Edition
OUR NEWS Neighbourhood Watch newsletter – MAY EDITION
Welcome to the May edition of OUR NEWS. This month it features articles on:
Click here to download as a PDF
Bucks County Council
Bucks residents offered discounted home composting equipment
Buckinghamshire Council is offering residents discounts of up to 40% on home compost bins, hot composters and food waste digesters. Many of these items are made from recycled plastic and all of them are made in the UK.
Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. Compost is easy to use and a home composting bin can divert around 150 kg of organic waste per year from disposal per household.
Inspired by International Compost Awareness Week (1-7 May), Buckinghamshire Council is also offering an ‘Introduction to Home Composting’ webinar hosted by UK charity Garden Organic.
During the free one-hour webinar, residents will find out the:
The webinar will take place on three dates:
For more ways to reduce your carbon emissions and to help the environment, please see the Bucks Climate Challenge webpage.
Added 27th April 22
Do You Kow About Dialling 159?
If you receive an unexpected or suspicious call about a financial matter from someone who claims to be from your bank, the police or any other authority figure:
Stop, hang up and then call 159.
Scams cause significant harm and loss to both individuals and businesses. In the first six months of 2021 alone, reported Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud—where victims are manipulated by criminals into making real-time payments— were 60% above the equivalent level for 2020 with the losses incurred by consumers and businesses 71% higher.
To put this in cash terms, criminal gangs stole over £355m in the first six months of 2021 from individuals and small businesses by pretending to be either a bank or other service provider, and encouraging them to make a payment or transfer money. 159 is an important tool in helping prevent this harm.
Stop Scams UK launched 159 as a pilot. In the coming months Stop Scams UK will invest further in 159, including a new Intelligent Voice Response (IVR) system to route calls, and help better understand scam journeys. This will enable the service not only to serve a wider number of banking destinations, including existing, new and future members, but will help keep even more people stay safe. If the pilot is successful, Stop Scams UK will ask Ofcom to make 159 a universal number offered by all telephone providers, similar to 101, 111 or 999.
The banks participating in the 159 pilot are: Barclays; Lloyds (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland); NatWest (including Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank); Santander; and Starling Bank. If you don't bank with one of these brands and you call the service, you will be advised how to contact your bank directly.
An Invitation To Our Annual Meeting on 21st May
This is a reminder that the Thames Valley Neighbourhood Watch Association (TVNHWA) Annual Meeting will be held via Zoom on Saturday 21st May 2022, starting at 10.00 a.m.
TVNHWA supports all Neighbourhood Watch Schemes throughout Thames Valley, so naturally you will be very welcome to join this meeting, but please note that the maximum number we can accommodate is 400 attendees. The Meeting will be recorded, however, and available through our website after the event if you are unable to join the meeting itself.
Amongst our guest Speakers we will hear from Thames Valley Police and Neighbourhood Watch Network, our national organisation.
A full Agenda and joining link will be sent out a week or so before the event.
We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
Explore Our Past Present and Future Journey & Let Us Know What You Think
As a valued Neighbourhood Watch supporter, we would like to share with you two exciting projects. Firstly, we are launching OUR JOURNEY, an interactive presentation that takes you into our past, present, and future. Secondly, our INSIGHTS SURVEY 2022 lets us know your thoughts about how we are performing.
Explore our past, present and future journey
As you may already know, we are celebrating our 40th anniversary of building stronger communities this year. We are immensely proud of the journey we have embarked on together during these four decades to get us to where we are today. It goes without saying that we couldn’t have done it without the support of the public by our side all the way and the unwavering support of our dedicated army of volunteers, some of which have been volunteering with us for the entire 40 years.
Our journey through the past 40 years demonstrates the importance of neighbours coming together to build strong and resilient communities. Over the years, our communities have faced significant challenges from economic crises, cyber threats, floods and pandemics. We know that together, we are stronger, so to celebrate this landmark anniversary, we’ve launched an interactive timeline reflecting our rich past, strong present position, and future ambition to be the authoritative voice on community-based crime and the first step in connecting communities.
But don’t take our word for it; we invite you to let us know what you think
The past 40 years have seen the introduction of the internet, the opening of the Channel Tunnel, the first women priests in the Church of England, civil partnerships for same-sex couples, and seven different prime ministers. We believe we’ve remained relevant throughout this time by adapting and responding to the changing needs of communities and crime.
But what do you think? To find that out, we’re running a short survey across England and Wales for members and non-members alike. Your answers will be anonymous and help us identify positives we can build on and areas we may need to do better. To add to this, you could be in for a chance of winning £25 by completing the survey.
The survey will be open for three weeks (25th April – 15th May 2022), and initial results will be shared at the Neighbourhood Watch National Crime Conference held on 31st May 2022.
25th April – 15th May 2022
Please spread the word - we want to gain the broadest possible range of responses representing the diversity of England and Wales, especially those in cities and high crime areas. Please help us by sharing this survey link with your friends, family and networks. Forward this email, or post this link to your WhatsApp or social media groups.
Bucks County Council
Added 20th April 2022
Bucks County Council