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Your Residents Association Newsletter

Community Matters - April 2020

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
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Uncharted Waters
BCP in uncharted waters
Waste Disposal
The Scammers are active
No bonfires please
BCP and business rates
Self Employed Income Support

Uncharted Waters

Many of you will recall the Hong Kong Flu epidemic of 1957. Our parents and grandparents were here for the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. But none of us have experienced anything like this corona virus before. Not since the plague of 1666 has humanity been faced with quite the same level of threat.

For the record, the public meeting of 15th April is of course cancelled.

That gives us a problem. We must decide the level of subscription for 2020. As we can’t hold an AGM the management committee has decided to leave it at £1 for the year. Of course, the committee can’t meet so that has been done by swapping e-mails.

The next problem is collecting the £1. We have no idea when our collectors will be allowed to go out and collect. We don’t know how many of them will be prepared to go out. We don’t know how long it will be before our members are prepared to talk to them on the doorstep. Uncharted waters indeed.

And we still have bills to pay. For example, we have already paid the website hire charge and the fee to the National Business Register to protect our name from being stolen falls due shortly.

This is where you come in.

In about a weeks’ time we will send you an e-mail renewal notice asking you to pay £1 either by inter-bank transfer or by post.

Please respond positively to that.

BCP in Uncharted Waters

Our lives are being turned upside down by the Covid-19 virus.

This is certainly the case in BCP Council where officers have been working very hard to reconfigure services. All non-essential expenditure has been stopped, libraries and other public facilities have been closed and new working practices introduced.

The Government has launched its Shield programme, which is designed to help the 1.5 million most vulnerable in the UK.

If you are covered by Shield, you should have already received a letter explaining how you mustn’t leave your home and how you can register for assistance.

If you have not received a letter and believe you should be covered by Shield, you should contact your GP as the Shield programme is managed through the NHS.

The focus of the Council's attention has been setting up a separate volunteer network to aid vulnerable people who are NOT covered by Shield. 

Council and local community groups have joined forces to launch this Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole ‘Together We Can’ community response, which is being delivered through the Community Action Network.

If you wish to volunteer for this programme, you should fill out this form.

1,700 people have already done so and are ready to help people with food and other essentials. If you are not covered by Shield and need support, you should contact the dedicated helpline on 0300 123 7052, which will be open 8am – 8pm seven days a week. 

Residents and businesses are being encouraged to share the number with anyone they think may be vulnerable and without support.

Waste Disposal

BCP have made the decision to suspend some of their waste collection services during these unprecedented times. They realise this is not ideal, but need to continually monitor the availability of the workforce and prioritise services and make changes where needed.

For up to date changes across all service areas, please visit the Covid-19 pages on the BCP website.

The following sites and services have been closed or suspended until further notice:

  • Household waste recycling centres - Millhams in Bournemouth, Wilverley Road in Christchurch and Nuffield in Poole are all closed. If you are home and creating more waste than usual, including bulky waste items, garden waste and DIY waste, please ensure you store this waste safely on your property until restrictions on non-essential travel are lifted and our HRC sites are able to re-open. Don’t put electrical items and hazardous items such as asbestos in your bin – please save until the sites have re-opened.
  • Commercial Weighbridges - Nuffield and Millhams are closed.
  • Bulky household waste collection service is suspended.
  • All recycling banks are closed. If textile banks are full, please do not leave items next to them.
  • Litter and dog waste bins – BCP will endeavour to empty the waste bins but on a reduced frequency basis.
  • Skip hire - no bookings are currently being taken.

If you are showing symptoms of coronavirus - a new, continuous cough and/or high temperature - you need to take extra precautions with your waste to protect others:

  1. Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.
  2. These bags should be placed into a second bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste in the room in which you are self-isolating.
  3. Do not put these bags into your wheelie bin for at least 72 hours.

People without wheelie bins who use authorised bags for their rubbish should place personal waste in a securely tied disposable rubbish bag (like a black bin bag/plastic bag) before placing in your sack.

Don't forget the changes that switching to BCP has produced:
  • You can recycle aluminium foil and tetra pak cartons.
  • Your kerbside box will no longer be collected so put your glass bottles and jars in with your general recycling.
  • You can keep your kerbside box for other uses or dispose of it at your local Household Recycling Centre (when it reopens).
  • You will receive two collections on the day of your rubbish and recycling collections. One vehicle to collect your rubbish or recycling and one vehicle to collect your food waste.
Wilverley Road Household Recycling Centre now requires all residents to bring a proof of address to access the site (when it reopens).
The need for composting

BCP have suspended the garden waste service to allow them to prioritise rubbish and waste collections. Don’t put your garden waste bin out until further notice.
Many vulnerable residents with respiratory and other health problems are self-isolating during the Coronavirus outbreak, so rather than having a bonfire to get rid of excess garden waste, please consider composting your waste instead, which helps the environment as well.

BCP recognise that garden waste is a paid service and of course, don’t expect residents to lose out financially because of this disruption. Any missed collections will be reflected in the cost of next years’ service.
The Scammers are Active
Action Fraud have received reports of corona virus related scams. The majority relate to the online sale of protective items (such as facemasks and other items in short supply due to the outbreak), that don't exist.
Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from Scamsmart, ActionFraud, CIFAS, TakeFive, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.
Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online  or by calling  0300 123 2040.

To report bogus offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact

There have been several reports of a scam TV Licensing email that is circulating at present. 
The email advises the recipient that they need to renew their TV Licence, which can be done quickly online by clicking a link in the email.

If you receive an email purporting to be from TV Licensing or any other unsolicited email that you suspect to be a scam, please follow the Action Fraud advice as follows:

  • Do not click on any links in the scam email.
  • Do not reply to the email or contact the senders in any way.
  • If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.
  • Do not open any attachments that arrive with the email.
  • Visit the Action Fraud website where there is information on how to forward on your scam mail.  When you send an email, you are doing so over the open internet, which we cannot guarantee the security of. Therefore, please do not send personal information, such as your address or bank account details, when emailing Action Fraud.
  • If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank.

Visit the TV Licensing website for further information and email security advice.

BCP have urged traders to behave responsibly after receiving complaints on shops hiking up prices during the crisis

Trading Standards have had several complaints. The council have been in touch with the businesses concerned and reminded them that the Competitions and Markets Authority will take direct enforcement action on businesses that are caught reoffending.

If residents wish to complain about any unfair price increases, they can complain direct to the CMA 

Incidents of food on sale past the use by date can be reported to

No bonfires please
After what was a long wet winter we have now seen an upturn in the weather and there has been very little rain over the last few weeks, so gardens, open spaces and heathland is drying up rapidly.  At this time of year it is usual to see an increase in wildfires. 

Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue (DWFRS) are therefore asking the public not to undertake prescribed or controlled burns.   For information and advice, please see their website DWFRS.

Many people will now be spending more time tidying up their gardens, but with the closure of council tips and the suspension of garden waste collection services, there may be a temptation to have bonfire instead.  Bonfires can very quickly get out of control and DWFRS has seen an increase in calls as a result.

Not only that, bonfires can cause a nuisance to neighbours, especially for those who are at present unable to go outside of the perimeters of their property, so the only opportunity they have for fresh air is within the confines of their garden, so please consider your neighbours and whether it is really necessary to have a bonfire.

BCP have received £128 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide grants to support local business rate payers affected by coronavirus (COVID19). See the full release here.

BCP Business Rates team is now busy contacting businesses by post awarding rate relief and providing grant forms to those on our records that meet the criteria.

The online versions of the grant forms can be found here and must be filled out and returned to the BCP team to validate your claim if you are eligible.

From receipt of the form BCP aim to make payment of validated claims within 7 working days. If you do not receive payment after 7 working days of a validated claim, please contact our Business Rates team to discuss.

The Self Employed income support scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. It will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June. To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be self-employed or a member of a partnership.
  • Have lost trading profits due to COVID-19;
  • Filed a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from now to do so
  • Have traded in 2019-20 and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 with more than half of your total income coming from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
    • Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
    • Your average trading profits and total income across the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.
Other News

There is very little.
With everything in lockdown not a lot is happening.

Stick to the guidelines and stay safe.
Community Matters is produced and edited by a team of local residents who try to present you with the facts that will both keep you informed and enable you to make up your own mind on local issues
Jumpers and St Catherine's Hill RA

We are run by a committee of volunteers and a team of helpers who give their time free of charge in an effort to protect the environment that we all enjoy whilst living in this beautiful area
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