Kent County Council

Are you scam savvy this year?

Stop the ScammersCriminals will be taking advantage this Christmas to send a record number of scams to catch us out.

Last Christmas over £16 million was lost to online scams in the UK. 

Types of scams to avoid this Christmas

  • E-Vouchers – criminals share free e-vouchers on social media or by email for well-known brands. Victims are told to click on a link to claim which takes them to a fake website where they are asked for personal and banking details.
  • Wish lists – can be useful to tell your friends and family about what gifts you would like this year however these lists can contain personal information which criminals use steal their identity and they can use the items to send phishing emails.
  • Social Media deals – messages on social media offering deals has increased in the last few years and while some of them may be genuine , criminals will be taking advantage often trying to tempt people with deals on electronics and jewellery.

READ about scams and how to deal with them
www.kent.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/consumer-protection/scams/types-of-scam

Kent County Council 15 December 2017
http://mailchi.mp/bab4ab365891/how-to-spot-fake-electrical-goods-puppy-buying-tips-and-more

Shopping online safety tips

UK online retail sales hit £133bn in 2016 and it is estimated to continue rising as we enjoy shopping in the comfort of our own homes.

The huge increase in parcels has lead to a number of businesses promising cheap and quick delivery services to meet demand.  This has resulted in a rise in complaints as courier companies compete on price but fail to deliver on time.

If you are shopping online this Christmas find out when the business can deliver the goods, especially if you want them to arrive before Christmas day.

If they don’t arrive in time contact the business as soon as you can. Use their complaints process to make a formal complaint.

NEWS: 

Online retailers pass the parcel as couriers fail to deliver the goods
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/nov/12/couriers-fail-deliver-retailers-surge-online-shopping

If something you ordered hasn’t arrived
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-something-you-ordered-hasnt-been-delivered/

Kent County Council 15 December 2017
http://mailchi.mp/bab4ab365891/how-to-spot-fake-electrical-goods-puppy-buying-tips-and-more

Buying a puppy?


Puppies are traditionally seen as a cute, must have present for children at Christmas time with popular breeds like Labradoodles, French Bulldogs and Pugs being sold for around £1000 per pup.

As the popularity for these breeds grows so too does the number of illegal imported puppies from Eastern European countries including Lithuania and Hungary.  The puppies travel in appalling, cramped conditions for thousands of miles with no access to food or water. Some puppies are not vaccinated making them vulnerable to diseases and others are younger than the 12 week age requirement making the rabies vaccinations invalid.

Sadly some puppies are so poorly they have to be put down, devastating the family.

WATCH RSPCA Buying a Puppy guide

NEWS:

Puppy importer faces £3000 fine for illegal landing Pug puppies 

Kent County Council 15 December 2017
http://mailchi.mp/bab4ab365891/how-to-spot-fake-electrical-goods-puppy-buying-tips-and-more

Don’t buy fakes

The pressure is on for parents to buy the must have toys on their children’s Christmas list. But in your rush to buy you could unsuspectingly buy fake toys.

Fake toys are made with cheap, nasty materials containing dangerous chemicals and flammable materials. They break easily and can be dangerous for children to use, especially those containing electrical components and batteries.

Take your time & follow these top tips when buying toys:
  • Only buy from shops you trust – be wary of websites you’ve never shopped with before especially if it sounds too good to be true
  • Check the website is genuine
  • Look for the BSI Kite and Lion quality marks
  • Check the packaging for spelling mistakes – do the instructions make sense?

This year’s most popular Christmas toys and gadgets

From top left to right: Soundmoovz Musical Bandz, Star Wars toys including the new BB-9E, HoverKart, Laser X and the Polaroid 3-D Pen.Hoverboards are still popular and the new HoverKart will certainly be at the top of some Christmas lists. Follow these top tips if you are considering buying a Hoverboard this year

Report fake products to Trading Standards

Kent County Council 15 December 2017
http://mailchi.mp/bab4ab365891/how-to-spot-fake-electrical-goods-puppy-buying-tips-and-more

Are you ready for Christmas?

Many of us will be dusting down the decorations or buying new, ready to decorate our homes for Christmas.If you are using old decorations make sure you check electrical products for damage and loose wires before you plug them in.

Be careful not to overload sockets especially if you’re using extension leads – use this socket calculator to find out if you’re exceeding the maximum load.If you’re buying new decorations this year then make sure you buy from reputable retailers. Fake electrical goods are not safe; causing electric shocks and fires.

One in six people in the UK has bought a fake electrical item as a Christmas present

Before you buy:

NEWS:

 Experts urge Kodi box users to unplug their devices immediately


WATCH how easily this fake electrical product explodes after just 4 seconds

Kent County Council 15 December 2017
http://mailchi.mp/bab4ab365891/how-to-spot-fake-electrical-goods-puppy-buying-tips-and-more

Clear snow from a road, path or cycleway

KCC cannot clear pavements so please take extra care when walking.

A common rumour at this time of year is that people are not allowed to salt the pavements – this is untrue.

The government advice is:

You can clear snow and ice from pavements yourself. It’s unlikely that you’ll be sued or held responsible if someone is injured on a path or pavement if you’ve cleared it carefully.

When you clear snow and ice:

  • do it early in the day – it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow
  • don’t use water – it might refreeze and turn to black ice
  • use salt if possible – it will melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing overnight
  • you can use ash and sand if you don’t have enough salt – it will provide grip underfoot
  • pay extra attention when clearing steps and steep pathways – using more salt may help

For more information about Kent’s Winter Service, including a map of gritting routes, visit:
www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/what-we-look-after/winter-service

Use the available salt bins to scatter grit over pavements and roads near your house.

Find out where the salt bins are by using the KCC map.
http://webapps.kent.gov.uk/KCC.MyNearestGIS.Web.Sites.Public/Default.aspx?lyrs=36&xmin=594032&xmax=605208&ymin=136304&ymax=143035&bg=_osColour

Consultation on pharmacy needs in Kent

pharmacy logo

2018 Pharmaceutical needs assessment consultation

Kent County Council

Opens: 25 November 2017
Closes: 22 January 2018

How often do you use your local pharmacy? Does your town need more? These are some of the questions being put to Kent residents in a new consultation.

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments (PNAs) are used by commissioners such as Kent County Council and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to identify local health needs that could be addressed by these services, and by NHS England to decide whether to approve applications for new pharmacies in an area.

Residents and health professionals are being urged for their views in a brief questionnaire. KCC Deputy Director of Public Health, Allison Duggal said: “We have a statutory responsibility to look at the need for pharmaceutical services in Kent and the essential services they currently provide, including dispensing, providing support and advice on health and medicines, collection of medicine waste and supporting public health campaigns. We’d like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation so we can shape the future of pharmaceutical services in the county.”

The important role that pharmacists can play is highlighted in the NHS England ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign which KCC supports, urging people feeling under the weather this winter to avoid A&E, and to instead consider visiting their local pharmacy for quick, early advice. This is especially important over the winter months – when people are more likely to become ill or feel poorly.

Going to the pharmacy early will give you access to medication and advice on common ailments, but they can also:

  • provide expert advice to manage long term conditions and let you know if you need to see your GP or make a hospital appointment;
  • Give you advice on how to care for an elderly relative or friend who has a bad cough, trouble breathing, cold or sore throat.

(more…)

Romney Marsh Road Closure – 31st October

A2042 Romney Marsh Road, Ashford Temporary prohibition of drivingKent County Council

A2042 Romney Marsh Road, Ashford

Temporary prohibition of driving

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 — Section 14 (2) as amended by
The Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991

Kent County Council gives notice that A2042 Romney Marsh Road, Ashford will be closed to through traffic, on 31“ October 2017 for one night.

The road will be closed between Kimberley Way Roundabout and Newtown Road Roundabout.

The alternative route is via Norman Road, Beaver Road, Beaver Lane, Brookfield Road, Leacon Road and Victoria Road.

It is planned that the road will be closed between 19:00 hours and 05:00 hours.
It is estimated the works will be compiete by midnight.

The closure is necessary to enable urgent carriageway repairs to be carried out by Kent County Council.

KCC Infant Feeding Support Consultation relaunched

Kent County CouncilCommunity Infant Feeding Support

Kent County Council

Opens: 23 Oct 2017
Closes: 3 Dec 2017

The consultation, originally launched on 18th July, has been reviewed and is relaunched here as outlined in Paul Carter’s statement posted on the Kent County Council consultation page on 4 August.

We would like to hear your views on proposed changes to how Community Infant Feeding Support is provided in Kent. Currently generic support is provided by the Health Visiting Service and specialist support is provided by PS Breastfeeding CIC.

The proposed model is that from 1st April 2018 the Health Visiting Service (provided by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT)) will deliver all infant feeding support.   In designing the proposed model, Kent County Council has looked to ensure that families are still able to access the support they need, at the same time as making best use of the existing professional skills and resources within the Health Visiting service.

KCC is confident that Health Visitors can now deliver generic and specialist breastfeeding services in addition to the mandatory universal contacts and support it provides, and therefore does not wish to commission provision which duplicates the health visiting offer. (more…)

KCC Budget Strategy 2018/19

Draft Budget Strategy 2018/19

Kent County Council

Opens: 12 Oct 2017
Closes: 3 Dec 2017

Kent County Council provides a huge range of essential services to the people of Kent and when times are tough it is more important than ever to spend your money wisely. The Councillors you elect have some big decisions ahead and we would value your advice and suggestions before taking them. We’d like to hear your views on these challenges as the council sets its budget for next year (April 2018 to March 2019).

John Simmonds MBE, Cabinet Member for Finance, explains the challenges we face in this short video:

KCC Budget 2017 from Kent County Council on Vimeo.

£933m spent on services in 2017/18How we are funded

Funding for our budget comes from many sources in addition to Council Tax, including grants from central government.

Each year we set a budget to decide how much we’re able spend on services for Kent residents and businesses for the next financial year and how much income we need from Government and local taxation to fund this.

£589m savings made over the last 7 years

Our priorities

We prioritise spending on services that make sure children and young people get the best start in life, that communities feel the benefit of economic growth, and that support vulnerable residents to live independently.

Our strategic statement annual report gives details of how we are ensuring every pound spent in Kent is delivering better outcomes for Kent’s residents, communities and businesses.

£62.5m funding gap 2017/18 to 2018/19The Big Challenge

In recent years the amount of money available from Government has been decreasing while demand and cost for council services has been increasing. We expect this trend to continue in coming years.

Since 2010 we have made savings of £589 million to offset these challenges and continue to protect and invest in services. These savings have focussed on the transformation of services, which means delivering better outcomes at lower cost, and working in more efficient ways. This has allowed us to continue to protect frontline services.

We have less funding from Government but there is increased pressure on spending as a result of rising demand for services, inflation and the living wage. This means that despite the £589m savings we have already made, we still have considerable savings to find now in the years to come.

2018/19 consultation documents

2017/18 budget

Have your say on our 2018/19 budget

We are asking questions about:

  • Council Tax
  • budget strategy (how KCC plans for the future)
  • how aware people are about the financial challenge most councils face.

There is also an opportunity to give any general views or suggestions you may have.

To make sure you have all the information to help you give an informed response, we have prepared a short summary to be read before answering the questions.

Take part in our consultation

The consultation closes on 3 December 2017.