Beware of new wave of fraudulent emails and phone calls
Action Fraud has issued national warnings about fraudsters who are pretending to be from local councils or the HMRC.
People are receiving cold calls and emails about a council tax overpayment from individuals who appear to work for a local council. The emails often contain phishing links, which direct the recipient to a website where they will be asked to provide personal data.
Action Fraud has also experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public which appear to originate from HMRC.
The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.
If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, bailiffs or – in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin – deportation.
Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact.
What you need to do
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.
Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud
Please don’t place broken glass in your kerbside recycling box
Over the last few weeks, crew members working for Cotswold District Council’s waste service provider, Ubico Ltd, have sustained cuts when emptying recycling boxes containing broken glass.
This is a significant health and safety hazard and Ubico has instructed crews not to collect boxes when they see that they contain broken glass. However, there may be times when the hazard is not apparent and we are urging the public to help avoid this risk.
Please follow these five simple steps to ensure that recycling is presented safely and considerately:
Step 1 – Use one black recycling box for paper and magazines. (If you only have room for one box – put the papers at one end and the glass at the other).
Step 2 – Use a second black recycling box for all glass bottles and jars – no broken glass please. (Order a second box if you need one).
Step 3 – Use the white recycling sack for tins/cans, aerosols, plastic bottles, food trays, yoghurt pots and other types of mixed rigid plastics.
Step 4 – Use the blue recycling sack for corrugated (brown coloured) cardboard or light (grey coloured) card.
Step 5 – Use the green caddy for food waste.
Residents with broken glass are advised to wrap it in newspaper and place it in the grey waste bin for collection.
Please go easy on cardboard recycling at the kerbside – or it will not be collected
Deliveries of large items purchased on-line, such as televisions, washing machines and furniture, can result in residents having to dispose of large amounts of cardboard packaging. Many people put out all of their cardboard on their scheduled recycling day even when they have an extra large amount, and this can cause problems for crews working hard to complete their rounds.
To make sure everyone has the opportunity to have a reasonable amount of cardboard collected each fortnight, Cotswold District Council has instructed crews from its environmental services provider Ubico Ltd. that they should only collect the equivalent of four blue recycling bags of cardboard from each household. In future, when larger amounts of cardboard are left at the kerbside for collection, the crews will affix a blue sticker to show that the limit has been exceeded.
Cllr Sue Coakley, CDC’s Cabinet Member for Environment, explains,
“Once the cardboard compartment on a recycling truck becomes full, the vehicle has to go back to the depot to off-load, even if the other material compartments on the vehicle are relatively empty.
This can lead to delays, potential missed collections and disruptions to services.
“To address this problem, we are asking residents to only present a maximum of four blue recycling bags of cardboard – or an equivalent volume of loose cardboard – for kerbside collection. Please flatten boxes and cut up large sheets into pieces no larger than 1metre square, so that the material can fit through the slot on the vehicles.
“If people have a larger amount of cardboard to dispose of, we would recommend taking it to a local Household Recycling Centre. The HRCs have cardboard skips that can cope with bigger sheets, larger boxes and greater amounts (provided the material is flattened). For those who cannot access an HRC easily, please try to lessen the load by storing any excess cardboard and putting it out for kerbside collection over a number of weeks.
“We would also recommend re-use whenever possible. As an example, allotment users or keen gardeners, are often very grateful for large sheets of cardboard, which they can use as a weed suppressing mat. Sturdy boxes and packaging are also in demand by those moving house. You can advertise the materials on your local Freecycle or ‘Freegle’ internet group, community noticeboard or an equivalent group on Facebook.”
Child Exploitation Awareness
Cotswold Community Safety Partnership has been working with Gloucestershire Constabulary and the Home Office to raise the issue surrounding Child Exploitation. In Gloucestershire including the Cotswold District we are not immune from children from being exploited for whatever reason. Please see the information poster about what to look for.
Accessing the Cotswold District Local Plan 2011-31
Following the adoption of the Cotswold District Local Plan (2011-31) on 3 August 2018 the District Council has published an online interactive version of the Local Plan on its website.
The interactive Local Plan can be accessed via the District Council’s Local Plan webpage:
The interactive Local Plan contains the same policies and supporting text that were adopted by the District Council. These are presented in online format and are supplemented with illustrations and an interactive policies map.
Users of the policies map can zoom into their area to see any land that is allocated for development; is protected for a particular use; or is covered by another policy designation. The policy layers can be switched on and off and different base maps can be applied, including aerial photography and Ordnance Survey.
It is also hoped that this new interactive tool will assist public involvement and policy presentation.
Members of the public can buy a hard copy of the Local Plan for £15 (not including postage and packing). Alternatively, they can download the PDF version of the Local Plan or view the interactive Local Plan for free.
Anyone wishing to purchase the Local Plan can do so by contacting the District Council’s Customer Services team on 01285 623551 or by visiting Cotswold District Council at:
- Council Offices, Trinity Road, Cirencester, GL7 1PX; or
- Moreton Area Centre, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0AZ.
CDC Press Release: Going away on holiday and worried about elderly relatives or friends?
“Grandma had a fall just before we were due to go on holiday. Knowing that alarm calls are monitored 24 hours a day enabled us to enjoy our stay.”
As many families prepare to take their well-earned annual summer vacation, their sense of anticipation can often be tinged with concern about elderly friends or relatives that they are leaving behind for a while.
With this in mind, Cotswold District Council is reminding local residents that the Cotswold Careline 24 hour emergency alarm service is available to provide the reassurance that they seek.
The service provides elderly and vulnerable people with round the clock access to a trained operator at the push of a button. Users can access a professional, friendly and experienced team who are trained to assess a situation, reassure the individual and then call a nominated contact or emergency services if necessary.
The Cotswold Careline team is always happy to have an informal chat about the benefits of the service with potential clients and can even arrange a home visit – without any obligation – if required.
- Contact Cotswold Careline on 01594 81000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More details are available on www.cotswoldcareline.co.uk(opens in a new window).