Cash grants to help celebrate Jubilee
Parish and town councils across Wychavon will be given cash grants to help residents celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Wychavon is also scrapping its usual road closure fee for residents and groups holding Jubilee street parties.
The nation will mark The Queen’s 70 years of dedicated service from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June 2022. Residents are being urged to come together with family, friends, and neighbours to mark the occasion.
Wychavon is giving £15,000 to town and parish councils to support Jubilee celebrations. The money will be distributed according to the number of households eligible to pay Council Tax in each area.
Town and parish councils can spend the money on supporting their own event or to support a community event in their parish. They can also combine their grant with neighbouring parishes to help fund larger events.
A short application form will need to be filled in before the grant is paid. Details are being sent directly to parish and town councils.
Wychavon usually charges £95 for a single road closure order but any group planning a Jubilee event that needs a road closure, will be able to apply for free. Not all events require a road closure.
Advice on how to organise a street party, applying for a road closure, other ways to get involved in the Jubilee and available funding can be found at www.wychavon.gov.uk/jubilee.
Anyone holding a Platinum Jubilee event can also fill in the form on the web page so Wychavon can help to promote them.
Cllr Rob Adams, Executive Board Member for Stronger Communities, Culture and Sport on Wychavon District Council, said: “The Queen has given 70 years of dedicated service to her country and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to come together and celebrate this momentous occasion.”
Bulky waste collections to restart
Wychavon is restarting its bulky waste collection service later this month.
From today (Wednesday 9 March) residents with furniture and large appliances to dispose of will be able to book slots for collections through the Wychavon website. The first collection dates available will be from 21 March 2022.
The bulky waste collection service has been unavailable since July last year when it was stopped due to the impact of severe labour shortages in the waste sector nationally on Wychavon’s contractor FCC Environment.
Councils up and down the country have been struggling with a lack of HGV drivers and difficulties attracting people to work in waste services. This has led to disruption to waste and recycling collections, with some councils being forced to stop separate recycling collections.
Wychavon took the decision to suspend bulky waste collections, so staff could be reallocated to protect the emptying of waste and recycling bins.
Wychavon and FCC Environment have been reviewing the situation on a weekly basis and are now confident the bulky waste collection service can be restarted without risking disrupton to waste and recycling collections.
Cllr Emma Stokes, Executive Board Member for Resident and Customer Services on Wychavon District Council, said: “I am grateful to residents for the patience they have shown while we took the necessary step to suspend our bulky waste collections, so we could protect the emptying of waste and recycling bins.
“I understand how inconvenient this has been as I recently bought a new sofa and have had to store it in my back garden while I wait for the service to restart.
“Thankfully the efforts made by FCC Environment are paying off and we are now able to take bookings for bulky waste collections again.
“Unlike some other councils, our crews have continued to empty waste and recycling bins as normal throughout the pandemic, despite the pressures in the labour market and the impact of Covid-19.
“I would like to thank all FCC Environment staff for their hard work, dedication and commitment to our residents.”
Brian Ashby, Head of Municipal Collections and Street Scene for FCC Environment, added: “Throughout the pandemic, FCC Environment has been focused on ensuring the residents of Wychavon continue to receive recycling and waste collection services but due to staffing issues, both in relation to long-term recruitment and Covid-19 absences, we had to be realistic.
“With Covid-19 restrictions lifting in recent weeks we now have flexibility to be able to reinstate those services which we had to withdraw temporarily, but we still need qualified drivers – and indeed loaders – to join our skilled team. So, if you are looking for a rewarding role, please do get in touch with us.”
|The Fraud & Scam Bulletin
|Your monthly update direct from West Mercia Police on the latest scams and frauds|
|Welcome to March Bulletin aimed at raising awareness to current Fraud and Scams
Please circulate to your members and contacts, as well as using it for your own information.
This month we are promoting an initiative from Take Five to encourage families to sit and discuss various types of Fraud with potentially vulnerable relatives and friends, and raise awareness.
The aim of Take Five over Tea is to encourage families to sit down with parents/grandparents and anyone else they think may be vulnerable to financial fraud whether in their own home, or online, and then discuss the advice provided.
Fraud and Scams have a devastating impact on all those who fall for them, and this is a summarised format of the Take Five toolkit to help families set up their own discussions.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
We all think we are savvy when it comes to fraud and scams, but the truth is any one of us can fall for one, especially in the heat of the moment. Criminals are increasingly becoming more sophisticated, using many tactics to gain our trust and make it harder for us to spot the obvious signs of a scam as easily.
By taking the time to talk to your loved ones, including those who are not online, they have a much better chance of spotting a scam, and more importantly, preventing themselves from falling for one.
TYPES OF FRAUD AND SCAMS
As technology becomes more sophisticated, so do the techniques used by criminals. They now use a wide variety of methods to trick people, the most frequent are listed below:
Criminals are experts at impersonating trusted organisations, including banks, the police, and government departments such as HMRC and DVLC, to convince you to make a payment or share your personal and financial details.
There are numerous paid adverts or comparison sites claiming to be legitimate firms offering guaranteed returns with minimal risk. You may be asked to complete a “Contact Form” with your personal details for a Call-Back.
The use of genuine company logos, celebrity endorsements and testimonials may often be fake.
It can be easy to fall for a purchase scam. Criminals advertise goods/services at “too good to be true” prices often via social media or auction sites to trick people into purchasing something that does not exist. They often use images taken from genuine sellers to convince you they are the real deal. They may also ask for payment prior to delivery and send fake receipts and invoices that seem to be from the payment provider.
The ease of online dating services often means you can find the love of your life in the comfort of your own home. However, this also provides criminals with an opportunity to gain your trust and build a relationship with you by using information and fake identities found on social media – also known as catfishing. Criminals will claim to declare strong feelings for you just after a few conversations before pretending to need money for a personal emergency or flights to visit you.
If you’re contacted by someone purporting to be from your bank or the police, take a moment to question their authenticity. If the caller is from the bank, they may claim that their system has spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or that it is due to expire and needs to be replaced. They may even confirm personal details about you, such as your full name and address and offer you peace of mind by having someone such as a courier collect your card to save you from having to go to your bank or local police station. You may even be asked to write down your PIN and place it in a separate envelope to that of your card.
Doorstep criminals can come in all sorts of disguises, from dodgy salesmen to unscrupulous tradespeople and, can be very convincing. They may claim to have noticed something about your property that needs work or improvement, such as the roof, and offer to fix it for an inflated price with payment required upfront. Some criminals may even convince you to visit your bank branch to withdraw money whilst they set up their equipment
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST FRAUD AND SCAMS
If you receive a request to provide personal or financial information whether that’s over the phone, in an email, online or through social media always remember:
Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.
Stop and think – It could protect you and your money.
STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud
If you’ve fallen for a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk.
Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.
SOURCE: TAKE FIVE
A full PDF leaflet can be downloaded from Take Five at:
For further information visit:
Wychavon residents are being urged to back a national appeal to help the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing war in their country.
The UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee is co-ordinating the efforts of 15 agencies to help people who have fled Ukraine or been displaced to other parts of the country, following the invasion by Russia.
All public donations will be doubled by the UK government, up to a total of £20m.
Cllr Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council, said: “All of us have been horrified at the scenes we have been witnessing in Ukraine caused by an unjustified and unprovoked invasion of their country.
“It’s heartening to see how our communities have swung into action to begin raising money and donations of items to support those affected by the conflict. I have asked our officers to work with our voluntary and community sector organisations to support those efforts.
“We also stand ready to do whatever we can to help resettle Ukrainian refugees, should we be asked to do so by the Government.
“I have also asked for the Ukrainian flag to be flown outside the Civic Centre as soon as possible as a token of our support and solidarity for the people of Ukraine.”
Several community groups and businesses are holding fund-raising events and appeals for donations of items to send to refugees. Some of these have been listed at www.wychavon.gov.uk/support-for-Ukraine.
Community support and advice drop-in sessions
We propose to tour the flood impacted locations with the National Flood Forum community support trailer. This will be staffed by members of the Flood Forum, who have a wealth of experience providing support to flood impacted residents and businesses all over the country. The NFF staff will be joined by representative from each of the main response and recovery agencies including the Environment Agency, the County Council, the District Council and Severn Trent Water. You are also welcome to drop into the tour if you wish.
The proposed schedule is work in progress but currently as follows:
Monday 14th March, 10.00 till 13.00 – Northwood Lane, Bewdley
Monday 14th March, 14.00 till 19.00 – Bewdley Bowling Club, Bewdley
Tuesday 15th March, 10.00 till 13.00 – Riverside, Stourport Town
Tuesday 15th March, 14.00 till 19.00 – Stourport Marina
Wednesday 16th March, 10.00 till 13.00 – Waterworks Road, Worcester
Wednesday 16th March, 14.00 till 19.00 – Diglis, Worcester
Thursday 17th March, 10.00 till 13.00 – Callow End
Thursday 17th March, 14.00 till 19.00 – Severn Stoke
Friday 18th March, 10.00 till 13.00 – Hanley Road, Upton upon Severn
Friday 18th March, 14.00 till 19.00 – East Waterside, Upton upon Severn
Flooded residents and business owners from everywhere along the river will be invited to attend the drop-in session at the location and time which suits them best.
We plan to roll out more drop-in sessions in April when residents’ and businesses owners support needs will probably have developed and become clearer – insurance being a common theme.
Your feedback about any aspect of this plan is extremely welcome.
Recovery support grants
In the meantime, the County Council is also rolling out a rapid recovery clear-up grant fund for residents and businesses and we’re planning to distribute a leaflet about it to impacted addresses along the River Severn.
The grants are £250 for an internally flooded residential property and £1,000 to a flooded business. Applicants will need to provide their full address, bank details and a photograph or photographs showing either the flood water or the remaining impact of it.
Finally, local County Councillors in whose division there have been flood impacts have access to a small amount of grant funding which can be deployed on local flood impact reduction measures. Please let me or, of course, your local County Councillor, know if you’d like to discuss any ideas you might have for this. I would also welcome ideas from parish and town councils anywhere in Worcestershire.
The Fraud & Scam Bulletin
Your monthly update from West Mercia Police on the latest Scams and Frauds
Nearly 9,000 victims of dating scams were reported to Police in 2021 and the estimated loss to victims was nearly £100m.
More concerning is the fact that this is only the tip of the iceberg, as many victims do not report the scams through embarrassment or shame, or even do not realise that they are victims at all.
How does it work?
Romance frauds involve a criminal engaging in a romantic relationship with the sole aim of manipulating their target in order to devastate them financially.
Fraudsters will use any tactics they can to identify and exploit a victim’s vulnerabilities, hopes and romantic aspirations; engaging in emotional and psychological manipulation long before any financial exploitation takes place.
By the time the fraudster asks for money, the grooming process means that the victim is unlikely to recognise their intentions as criminal, and believe that they are in a genuine romantic relationship, despite often not having met their “partner”.
Many scammer approaches are happening outside of Dating Sites and Apps as well, including social media, poetry forums and even phoning wrong numbers to engage in conversation.
Criminals go to great lengths to use fake profiles in an attempt to build seemingly genuine relationships, before appealing to your compassionate side to ask for money.
So beware of romance scams when looking for love online. Check if someone is really who they say they are by reverse image searching their profile picture (possible on the search bar of some image search engines).
Take Five To Stop Fraud
For further information visit:
FREE FRAUD SAFETY WEBINARS
A new source of advice is now available online and is open to any persons interested in enhancing their knowledge, and understanding of the dangers of Fraud in the UK.
Please use the links below to sign up to any of these quarterly sessions.
Follow link to book place on webinar: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/215692711707
Follow link to book place on webinar: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/215697405747
Grounds Maintenance Contract commencing 1st April 2022 for 31st March 2025.
Wyre Piddle Parish Council is seeking quotations for its grass cutting for April 2022 /31st March 25 for the following areas in Wyre Piddle.
The contract will be based on 10 cuts per year in respect of:
Poplar Avenue Play Park
2022 will commence in April following award of contract and shall be for 10 cuts.
Quotations should be made on the basis of a cost per cut. The grass should be cut up to the boundaries and collected and removed after each cut.
You must hold Public and Employee liability insurance cover of at least £5 million
and a copy of the relevant insurance certificate should accompany your quotation.
Any other works that may be required will be the subject of separate negotiation throughout the year.
Boundary commission review
New boundaries are being proposed for council wards in Wychavon District Council.
The Local Government Boundary Commission wants to hear what residents and local organisations think about the proposals. A 10-week consultation on the proposals will run until 21 March 2022.
The Commission is the independent body that draws these boundaries. It is reviewing Wychavon to make sure councillors will represent about the same number of electors, and that ward arrangements will help the council work effectively.
The Commission has published proposals for changes to Wychavon. It is proposing that there should be 26 wards, with 1 to 3 councillors per ward. Most wards are changing, four are staying the same. Proposed changes include:
- Creation of a two-councillor Hartlebury & Dodderhill ward, to avoid splitting the village of Cutnall Green between wards.
- Expansion of Harvington & Norton ward in order to ensure good electoral equality.
- The Orchards area moving into an Evesham-based ward, at the suggestion of a local councillor.
- The Commission has a dedicated section on its website where people can see the detail of the proposals and comment on the names of wards and their boundaries.
Review Officer (Wychavon), LGBCE, PO Box 133, Blyth NE24 9FE
|The current Intelligently Green plan was adopted in July 2020 and covers the period to 2030. It presents an overall vision to lead the Wychavon district to be carbon neutral as quickly as possible and by 2050 at the latest. The plan sets out what we will do during the next ten years to reduce our own emissions and how we will encourage businesses and residents to reduce their emissions. The plan is framed around four priority areas: energy, low carbon travel, natural environment, and policy and resources. Under each priority sits a number of specific actions that will contribute towards carbon reduction.
We monitor and report on the plan and produce an annual report at the end of the financial year which states the progress on the five key Intelligently Green targets, including: reducing our own emissions and those of the wider district, growing the size of the low carbon economy, increasing the amount of renewable energy produced in the district and capturing carbon through habitat restoration. The latest annual report can be read here.
The annual report also provides details of progress on key projects and workstreams, it includes:
We have also recently set up the Intelligently Green Challenge which aims to help people create a plan for reducing their own carbon emissions. We are asking people to sign up, calculate their own carbon footprints and choose from a list of carbon reduction actions that they are interested in doing. We will send regular email with tips and advice on different themes to help people along the way.
Omicron business support funding
All three of the latest Covid-19 Omicron grant application forms are live on the business pages of our website here. You will find full information about the qualifying criteria for each grant, and guidance on the application process. Please note that you will not automatically receive a payment as happened with previous COVID schemes, you must apply for this funding
The grants are:
- Additional Restrictions Grant.
- Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant.
- Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF).
Supporting Wychavon’s recovery from Covid-19
We have produced a Covid-19 Recovery Plan to help residents, businesses and communities to rebuild.
Planning a village event
|If you are planning a village event or a celebration then you may find these hints and tips from our Rural Matters Advisory Panel helpful.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
|This year mark’s The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a weekend of national celebrations set for 2 to 5 June.
We have produced a special edition of this newsletter with information on the various ways you and your communities can get involved.
If you’re already holding an event, then let us know by filling in our registration form so we can put it on our website and help to promote it.
You can also find advice and information on our Platinum Jubilee web page which will be regularly updated.
Changes to Wychavon’s Executive Board
Changes have been made to Wychavon’s top team as part of a renewed focus on customer service.
Cllr Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council, announced the changes to the decision-making Executive Board at a recent meeting.
Cllr Emma Stokes takes on a new role with responsibility for resident and customer services which includes waste and recycling collections, street cleaning, car parking and Wychavon’s Customer Contact Centres.
Cllr Martin King takes on responsibility for Wychavon’s finances and corporate projects, while Cllr Richard Morris keeps his role looking after the economy and tourism but will now also be focused on town centre regeneration and master planning.
Cllr Tony Rowley swaps planning for a new climate change, environmental policy and regulatory services role with delivering the actions in Wychavon’s Intelligently Green Plan top of his to do list.
Joining the board is Cllr Aaron Powell who takes charge of planning, infrastructure and urban design with the Review of the South Worcestershire Development Plan a priority.
Cllr Chris Day remains in charge of housing, health and wellbeing and Cllr Rob Adams keep his stronger communities, culture and sport remit.
The changes were prompted by the sudden retirement of Cllr Ron Davis from his role as Executive Board member for finance following a health scare just before Christmas. Cllr Davis remains on the council as a councillor for Eckington.
Land Drainage Enforcement
If you are aware of any issues with flow in ordinary watercourses that you believe may exacerbate flooding to properties in your parish, feel free to discuss with Ian White, our Land Drainage Enforcement Officer who works in Engineering Services.
We work with landowners to maintain proper flow where there might be an increased risk of property flooding (buildings rather than land). We prefer to do this informally where possible, but where it isn’t, we undertake enforcement action using powers under the Land Drainage Act 1991.
This is separate to problems of highway drainage/flooding from roadside gullies for example. If the road is adopted and therefore classed as public highway, enquiries relating to surface water flooding need to be referred to Worcestershire County Council Highways.
It may not also be appropriate to restore proper flow if the obstruction in the watercourse is holding back flood water and helping to alleviate property flooding downstream, as is the case with natural flood management interventions, but if there are any specific areas you believe require attention or if you have any queries regarding maintenance of ordinary watercourses, please contact Ian on 01386 565221 or
South Worcestershire Development Plan Review moves to final draft consultation stage
Progress with the review of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) has been delayed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. However, work on the plan has continued over this time, and the three South Worcestershire Councils of Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon are now gathering the final evidence and formulating the draft version of the local plan. Subject to Council approval the final draft SWDP, or Reg 19 Publication document that identifies sites for housing and jobs, as well as policies for making decisions on planning applications, will be published for six weeks consultation from early July 2022.
The draft SWDP has been informed by responses to the last round of consultation in November 2019, as well as a series of updated evidence documents, including housing and employment requirements. Each of the three councils will take reports to Council meetings over June 2022, although the draft SWDP Review will be in the public realm late May 2022 the publication of papers to Worcester City Council’s Place and Economic Development Committee on the 6 June 2022. Once the consultation on the draft SWDP is complete the intention is to submit the plan and representations made to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination in November. Over the course of 2023 the appointed Inspector will oversee the examination and report back on their findings. Once the examination is completed, and the Inspector’s report received, and if the plan is found to be sound, the intention is to adopt the SWDP Review by late 2023
Running in parallel the South Worcestershire Councils are also preparing a Travellers and Travelling Showpeople Policies and Site Allocations Plan. This document will be considered at the same Council meetings as the SWDP and the public consultation will also commence in early July at the same time as the SWDP and this plan sets out policies for making decision on planning applications and allocates sites across the plan area to meet the future identified needs of these communities.
More details on the upcoming consultation will be provided nearer the time to parish and town councils. Should you have any further queries on this please direct them to your ward member or officers in the Policy Plans team at Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon. Tel: 01386 565565; email:
Community Builder Vacancy
Do you enjoy working with people? Do you want to help build vibrant communities? Do you want to help find local solutions and empower communities to make a difference for themselves? Wychavon District Council are looking to recruit a Community Builder. The initial focus of the role is to research and establish a deep understanding of the area, working with local residents and existing organisations to uncover the key community assets and skills of local residents.
Worcestershire Household Support Fund
Following a recent government announcement, a new Household Support Fund has been made available to those most in need this winter and through until the end of March 2022.
£3.9million has been allocated to support people in need in Worcestershire and will help support those who may struggle with their bills this winter.
Up to 50% of the funding must be ringfenced to support families with children under 19.
In Worcestershire, support provided countywide is:
- Food vouchers for those in receipt of free school meals which will be managed through the schools.
- Support with energy bills and essentials linked to energy will be provided through Act on Energy for those residents meeting certain criteria. The online application form for support is now live on the website WORCESTERSHIRE HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT FUND – Act On Energy
In addition, local district councils have also set up a range of provision to provide support to vulnerable residents.
There is a dedicated webpage which summarises the support available Household Support Fund | Worcestershire Winters Well | Worcestershire County Council.
Below are the relevant contact details to signpost to about the support available in the districts.
|Bromsgrove||Citizens Advice Redditch and Bromsgrove||https://www.cabr.org.uk/; 01527 881288;
0808 278 7890
|Redditch||Citizens Advice Redditch and Bromsgrove||https://www.cabr.org.uk/; 01527 64252;
0808 278 7890
|Malvern||Citizens Advice South Worcestershire||citizensadvicesw.org.uk; 0808 278 7891;
|Worcester City||Worcester City Council||Coronavirus – Worcester City Council
|Wyre Forest||Wyre Forest District Council||Household support fund | Wyre Forest District Council (wyreforestdc.gov.uk)
|Wychavon||Worcestershire County Council – Here2Help||Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – Wychavon District Council
01905 768053 then press option 3.