Kent County Council

Lower bus subsidy saving comes with 1% extra council tax.

Kent County Council (KCC) have announced that the saving proposed on bus subsidy will be reduced from £ 2.25 million to £ 0.45 million, however it has also been announced that KCC propose an extra 1% rise in the precept giving a total rise of 4.99% or 58.82 for a Band D property.

Since KCC published its budget proposals in October 2017:

  • the government has accepted the Kent and Medway bid to become a Business Rate Retention pilot scheme in 2018/19.
  • the provisional local government settlement for 2018/19 announced by the Secretary of State in the House of Commons included an increase in the amount authorities can raise in council tax by 1% without a referendum

Kent County Council 15 January 2018
https://kccmediahub.net/kcc-continues-protect-frontline-services745

The change brings the total rise in the Council Tax for a Band D property to £ 75.78 giving a total Council Tax of £ 1639.10.

Kent and Medway Fire Authority’s budget was also announced before the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government raised the referendum threshold for Council Tax rises to 3% and may be reviewed.

The table shows the annual Council Tax for a Band D property

Council Tax 17/18 % Rise £ Rise  18/19
KCC 1,178.82 4.99% 58.82 1237.64
ABC 154.00 2.28% 3.50 157.50
FRA 73.35 2.00% 1.46 74.81
PCC 157.15 7.64% 12.00 169.15
Total 1563.32  4.85% 75.78 1639.10

We will update this post as more information becomes available

Posts relating to budget consultations:

KCC Budget Strategy 2018/19
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/10/17/kcc-budget-strategy-201819/

KMFRA Safety and Wellbeing Plan and Budget Consultation
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/10/24/kmfra-safety-and-wellbeing-plan-and-budget-consultation/

ABC Budget Consultation
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/12/30/abc-budget-consultation-2/

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Consultation
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2018/01/10/pcc-proposes-12-rise-to-boost-police-frontline/

Council Tax 2018/19

The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner is the last of the precepting authorities in Kent to announce their budget proposals for 2018/19.

We show the combined impact of proposed rises from Kent County Council, Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority, Ashford Borough Council and the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Kent County Council and Kent and Medway Fire Authority budgets were announced before the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government raised the referendum threshold for Council Tax rises to 3% and may be reviewed.

The table shows the annual Council Tax for a Band D property

Council Tax 17/18 % Rise £ Rise  18/19
KCC 1,178.82 4% 47.16 1225.97
ABC 154.00 2.28% 3.50 157.50
FRA 73.35 2% 1.46 74.81
PCC 157.15 7.64% 12.00 169.15
Total 1563.32  4.10% 64.12 1627.43

We will update this post as more information becomes available

Posts relating to budget consultations:

KCC Budget Strategy 2018/19
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/10/17/kcc-budget-strategy-201819/

KMFRA Safety and Wellbeing Plan and Budget Consultation
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/10/24/kmfra-safety-and-wellbeing-plan-and-budget-consultation/

ABC Budget Consultation
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/12/30/abc-budget-consultation-2/

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Consultation
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2018/01/10/pcc-proposes-12-rise-to-boost-police-frontline/

Doorstep criminals target residents following Storm Eleanor

Think before you BuyKent county Council Public Protection are warning Kent residents to beware of doorstep criminals. Following storm Eleanor criminals are attempting to convince people into unnecessary or overpriced work.Doorstep criminals may claim your roof tiles are loose,your chimney stack is dangerous or trees need to be felled due to damage.Accepting work from a doorstep criminal can result in paying much more than you intended for very poor, unnecessary and sometimes dangerous work.

If you require work done to your home get at least three quotes and never give a doorstep caller cash.
For a list of Kent County Council approved traders

Help keep your community safe 

Please look out for neighbours and report any suspicious doorstep callers to us.  

Report it
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact Citizens Advice consumer service

Kent County Council Public Protection 04 January 2018
https://us9.campaign-archive.com/?u=ce2871176f2cf0da723a750b1&id=9cc2ad93ee

 

Can you return unwanted gifts?

Legally you have the right to return goods that are faulty or mis-described but you don’t have the right to return unwanted goods.  Ask about the returns policy 
When buying gifts this Christmas ask the seller about their returns policy before you pay. Some sellers may have specific conditions before they will accept goods back like returning goods within a set time period, in their original container or with the tags and labels attached.

Not all sellers will offer a refund some may only offer an exchange or store credit.

Make sure you’re happy with the sellers return policy before you buy.

Your rights explained
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer

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

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