News

Use of masks

With advice from the Scottish Government that citizens should wear face coverings in some situations we give information on the benefits of masks in the community.

We have reproduced below an extract from the World Health Organisation document ‘Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19

In summary:

  • There is limited evidence that wearing of masks by people who have Covid-19 asymptomatically may prevent them spreading the virus to others.
  • There is no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, can prevent them from infection with COVID-19.
  • The use of medical masks in the community may create a false sense of security, leading to potentially less adherence to proven preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene.
  • For any type of mask, appropriate use and disposal are essential to ensure that they are effective and to avoid any increase in transmission.
  • Medical masks should be reserved for health care workers.
(more…)

SORN your vehicle for Free

Because drivers are not using their vehicles during the Coronovirus restrictions, some have decided to register them as Off Road, to get Vehicle Tax and Motor Insurance refunds.

Think carefully before before submitting a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) but if you do decide to,
use the government website,
https://www.gov.uk/make-a-sorn, through which it is FREE.

Do not pay to ‘SORN’ your vehicle.

Websites may encourage you to SORN your vehicle or even claim that it is a legal requirement to SORN it if it is not being drive. They then charge to submit the notice for you and collect your personal details.

It is FREE to do it on the government website

Check before you SORN your vehicle

You cannot register your vehicle Off Road if it is used or parked on a public road. To be registered Off Road it must be stored on a private drive, in a garage or on private land.

If you cancel your motor insurance you will not be covered for damage to or theft of it. We would only recommend cancelling your insurance if you are confident that it is fully secured.

Some insurers are giving refunds or extending motor insurance policies during the ‘lock down’

Tax and Insure your vehicle before driving it

If you do decide to register it Off Road during the ‘lock down’, do remember to Tax and Insure it before you drive it. You could be fined and you vehicle seized and destroyed if you drive without tax or insurance.

Daily Mail, This is Money
https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-8245243/Beware-SORN-sites-charging-40-car-road.html

Stay Cyber Aware

Cyber Aware is the UK government’s advice on how to stay secure online during coronavirus.

Many of us are spending more time online. Keep yourself and your family secure by following our NCSC advice.

Stay home — Stay connected — Stay Cyber Aware

6 TOP TIPS

Click each tip for more information on NCSC website

National Cyber Security Centre
https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware/home

For parents

A special COVID-19 message

When your child is ill or injured it is very difficult to decide if/when to call your child’s GP, NHS 111 or go the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E). While the governmen tis asking everyone to slay an home, it can be confusing to know what to do. Here is some guidance around what to do if your child shows any of the following symptoms or signs.

For advice on COVID-19 and chlldhood illnesses/injuries visit www.NHS.UK

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You should go to A&E and/or call 999 immediately if

Appearance
  • Pale/mottled/ashen/blue colour
  • Collapsed/unresponsive/loss of conciousness
  • No obvious pulse or heartbeat
  • Severe allergic reaction
Behaviour
  • Extreme irritability/pain/sleepiness
    (can be woken but falls asleep immediately)
  • Seizure/jerking movements/fit
Breathing
  • Sucking in and out between ribs
  • Flaring nostrils
  • Extremely fast breathing
  • Unusually noisy breathing
Other
  • Bleeding from an injury that doesn’t stop after 10 minutes of pressure
  • Fever with a stiff neck

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You should go to A&E if

Appearance
  • Dizziness/feeling faint
  • Rash that does not fade when you press it
Behaviour
  • Severe tummy pain
Other
  • Burn
  • Possibie broken bone
Other
  • Swallowed foreign objects
    (especially magnets/batteries)
  • Temperature higher than 38°C
    in a baby younger than 3 months old
  • Your Child has special health care needs
    and you have a plan that tells you to go to A&E
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch
  • Expressing suicidal/significant self-harm thoughts
  • Head injury

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You should call your GP if

Appearance
  • Mild/moderate allergic reaction (known or suspected)
  • New rash that fades when you press on it
  • Mild irritability/sleepier than normal
  • Moderate tummy pain
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Not passed urine for more than 12 hours
Breathing
  • Wheezing/fast breathing
Other
  • Temperature >39°C [age 3-‘I2 months]
  • Temperature over 38°C for 5 days or more
  • Accidentai overdose of medication or other substances
  • Ear pain for more than 2 days
  • Emotional distress (where your child can’t be reassured)

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You should use 111 online or call 111 if:

Appearance
  • Pink eyes/red eyes
Behaviour
  • Ear pain for less than 2 days
  • Mild tummy pain
Breathing
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
Other
  • Temperature over 38°C for less than 5 days

Designed by primary and secondary care clinicians from Barts Health NHS Trust and East London Health and Care Partnership

Stagecoach Easter services

In order to serve key workers who need to travel on Good Friday and Easter Monday, Stagecoach buses will be running their current Monday to Saturday service on most routes. Their journey planner is now updated, so you can plan your essential journey over Easter now: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/plan-a-journey

Unfortunately there are a few routes that cannot be operated on Good Friday and Easter Monday:

  • Route 649 in Canterbury will not operate.
  • Route 93 in Dover will not operate.
  • Routes 312/313 & 95/96/97 in the Hastings area will not operate.

On Easter Sunday we they be operating normal Sunday bus timetables.

The customer service centre will not be open on Good Friday or Easter Monday.

They will re-open on Tuesday 14th April.

You can contact them via

  • email at southeast.enquiries@stagecoachbus.com,
  • Tweet us @StagecoachSE or
  • phone us on 03456 00 22 99,
    between 10:00 – 12:00 and again between 13:00 – 15:00.

KFRS customer promise consultation

Fire service personell

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) are consulting on their Customer Promise

KFRS exist to help keep you safe whether at work, home or as you move around Kent and Medway. They deliver services for everyone working and living in our changing community. They aim to give people advice and support in order to reduce the risk of fire and other emergencies as they go about their daily lives. Of course, accidents still happen and they aim to provide an excellent emergency response when it is needed, meeting the needs of every individual involved.

The KFRS customer promise sets out what you are entitled to expect from them, and what they expect from our staff. It also outlines the standards that they have set in the key areas of service that they know are important to you. And because a statement is simply a statement, you will find quantifiable targets by which their performance can be measured in their action plans. Above all, it is their commitment to provide you with an assured level of service, giving you the peace of mind that they are working to help you stay safe in your home, at work and when you’re out and about in Kent and Medway.

There when you need them

  • Everyone in Kent has a right to expect an excellent response from Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
  • They will always seek to innovate so we can deliver a service that meets changing local needs.
  • To develop a better understanding of our customers’ needs so they can provide services that fit your needs and accessible advice to help you keep yourself, your home and your business safe.

Respect, fairness, compassion

  • KFRS recognise without bias the rights, needs and dignity of others in all our contact with you.
  • They will work to see things from our customers’ perspective and treat everyone with compassion, fairness and respect
  • They will ensure all people, but particularly those with a disability; lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people (LGBT); ethnic minority people; older people; and people from minority faiths, are aware of ther services, feel confident to access them and understand how they can be adapted to meet individual needs.

Working with you to deliver good value services

  • KFRS will seek your views and listen to your feedback to help them shape and deliver services.
  • They will continue to deliver the best service they can by setting targets and honestly reviewing performance to see where they can improve.
  • They will spend public money in a way that maximises community benefits.
  • They will take a common sense approach to our work with partners including police, ambulance and public health to save money, avoid waste and build safer, resilient communities.
  • They will continue to work in a way that minimises their impact on the environment.

To listen, learn, and resolve your problems

  • KFRS will make it easy for you to contact them. 
  • Staff will listen and deal with you in a professional, friendly way, avoiding jargon and taking responsibility to resolve your issue.
  • They will respect and protect your privacy and personal data. They maintain a secure network and servers to safeguard your data against malicious activity.
  • Despite best efforts they occasionally make mistakes. When things do go wrong, they want you to feel confident that they will listen and deal with your complaint quickly and learn lessons to improve their services.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service
https://www.kent.fire-uk.org/about-us/our-customer-promise/

Enjoy bonfires and barbecues responsibly

With many spending their extra time at home in the garden we remind you to be careful and considerate when lighting bonfires and barbecues.

Please consult your neighbours before lighting a bonfire or barbecue, essential workers may need to wash clothes more frequently and smoke can aggravate some medical conditions. Neighbours may also mistake bonfire smoke as being from a property or uncontrolled fire and call the fire brigade.

Rules regarding bonfires.

You must not burn general household waste, but may burn garden waste from your own garden if this is done without causing a nuisance to others.

If there is no alternative to having a bonfire, you must:

  • Ensure that smoke does not cause a nuisance to neighbours.
  • Ensure that the smoke does not affect highway safety

and you should:

  • Avoid burning in hot weather – when neighbours are more likely to need windows open
  • Notify neighbours that you will be having a fire
  • Ensure that the fire burns quickly, rather than be left to smoulder
  • Ensure that green waste has completely dried out prior to burning
  • Ensure that the fire is not left unattended, and have a means to extinguish a fire if necessary
  • Ensure that the wind direction will take any smoke away from neighbouring properties

Burning of commercial waste

In addition to the law of nuisance, it is an offence to burn commercial waste (including construction and demolition waste), and to produce dark smoke from industrial or trade premises. No bonfires should be lit on commercial premises, except for the burning of ‘green’ landscaping waste cut down at that property.

Fire service safety advice:

  • Remember to build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences, hedges and overhanging branches.
  • Keep it to a manageable size and make sure it is evenly built so it collapses inwards as it burns.
  • Always have a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby in case of emergency. If the bonfire becomes out of control and catches foliage or property alight, call 999.
  • Be sure not to leave bonfires unattended and dampen them down fully once you’re done.

Those enjoying barbecues are also urged to do so safely, keeping cooking well away from fences, foliage and buildings even if there are no flames, because radiated heat alone can cause nearby plants or structures catch fire.  

Ashford Borough Council
https://www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/environmental-health/bonfires-and-wood-burners/bonfires/

Kent Fire and Rescue Service
https://www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/april-2020/rise-in-bonfire-999-calls-linked-to-covid-19-isolation/