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Press Release Forest of Dean District Council

29 August 2017

 Annual canvass 2017

Residents in the Forest of Dean urged to look out for their voter registration details in the post

Residents living in the Forest of Dean are receiving a Household Enquiry Form asking them to check and update information that appears on the electoral register for their address.

The District Council is asking residents to look out for the form in the post and to make sure that they respond as soon as possible.

The form ensures that the Council can keep the electoral register up to date and identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.

Claire Hughes, Electoral Registration Officer at the Forest of Dean District Council said: “Even if the information of the form is correct it’s important that residents respond as soon as possible, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the district.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear on the form.

“So far over 50% of households have responded to the form.  Reminders will be sent to non-responding households on 11 September.  To help us save money producing reminders please respond by 7 September.

“You can respond via telephone, internet, text message or the postal service.  Details on how to respond are printed on the form.”

People who have moved address recently are particularly encouraged to keep an eye out for the form and check the details.

Melanie Davidson, Head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission added: “It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so; checking the form that will arrive through the post is one of the easiest ways to find out if you are already registered. There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on our website www.yourvotematters.co.uk.”

Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team at the Council Offices, High Street Coleford.  Tel 01594 812638 or email elec.reg@fdean.gov.uk

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:  detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.
  2. The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
  3. To be eligible to register to vote a person must be:
  • Aged 16 or over (a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
  • A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
  • A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state.
  1. British citizens, Irish citizens and qualifying citizens of Commonwealth countries (including Cyprus and Malta), as well as citizens of other EU member states can vote in local government elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales.

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Police Open Day – 16th September

Please click on link to see information poster on the forthcoming Police Open Day which is taking place at Police HQ, Quedgeley, Gloucester on Saturday 16th September between 10am and 3pm – Police Open Day

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Mobile Library

Follow the links for the dates and times the mobile library will be visiting.  For dates from March to June 2017, please click here Mobile Library Dates Mar-June 2017 and for dates from June to October 2017, please click here Mobile Library Dates June-Oct 2017

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PREVENT – Information from Gloucestershire PREVENT Partnership Board

Please click on links for more information relating to preventing terrorism and extremism in our communities.

PREVENT Overview        PREVENT Community Leaflet

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Love Your Forest Anti Litter Campaign

Overview

Each year, over 250 tonnes of litter are collected in the Forest of Dean.  Whether it is the financial cost to the tax payer, the harm to wildlife, how it detracts from our local environment or how it impacts on the local economy, litter affects us all.  By supporting the campaign you can help us take a stand against litter and keep the Forest of Dean a beautiful place to live, work and visit. 

Over the summer, local organisations are again joining forces to raise awareness of the problem of rural litter by supporting the #Love Your Forest campaign.

The campaign was launched in 2016 by environmental charity Hubbub and Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) to highlight this issue of littering in the Forest of Dean and to look at innovative communications that would encourage those that litter to stop.  A pop-up ‘con-venience’ shop (displaying items of collected litter), cigarette butt voting bins, roadside ‘take your litter home’ signs and communitrees (faces created from litter and mounted on trees where litter was a problem to act as a deterrent) were just some of the communication methods employed last year.  Visit https://www.hubbub.org.uk/Love-Your-Forest for more information regarding last year’s activities.

The campaign was supported by both the Forest of Dean District Council and the Forestry Commission.

This year, the campaign is gaining momentum with more partners – including Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism and Foresters’ Forest – coming on board to help tackle this important issue.

‘Trashconvertor’ Van 

Next week will see the national and local launch of this year’s #Love Your Forest campaign.

The campaign will kick off with the Hubbub/LRS’ ‘Trashconvertor Van’ which will initially tour the district from 14-28 May.  The van accepts trash rather than cash in exchange for food, flowers and hot drinks, to highlight the litter issue and encourage positive behaviour.   100 replica wild flowers made entirely from layby litter will also be displayed with the intention of nudging the public to remember what the forest floor should be covered in.  Details of where the van can be seen can be found here:  https://www.hubbub.org.uk/Event/trashconverter (please note the dates/locations listed could be subject to change.  If you wish to publish/forward this information please contact us and we can confirm this with the event organiser).

The van will also be visiting local schools to help spread the anti-litter message.

 Car Window Sticker Competition: Forest of Dean District Council

 As part of the #Love Your Forest campaign, the Forest of Dean District Council is running a car window sticker competition to raise awareness of the problem of roadside litter in particular.  Aimed at motorists, the competition will be launched the week commencing 22 May.  Residents and visitors can enter the competition by picking up their free car sticker from village shops, libraries, food outlets, visitor sites and tourist attractions across the district and displaying these in their vehicles to act as a reminder to us all to ‘keep the Forest of Dean clean’ and take litter home.  A list of distributors will be made available on the Forest of Dean District Council website.

 The competition will run for 12-weeks (12 June – 31 August).  Each week a car displaying the sticker will be ‘spotted’ and the winning number plate announced in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review, on the Forest of Dean District Council website, and on the Love Your Forest Facebook page.  An advert will also be appearing in the Forest Review focusing on specific litter-related issues.  

You can help spread the word by following the #LoveYourForest hashtag on Twitter and Facebook

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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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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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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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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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