NFORMATION FOR MEMBERS
We hope you will find these items of interest on local issues. They have been collated from various organisations and sources. Some may ask you to complete a survey to give your response to influence future decisions. Others give information that may affect your day to day activities. They are not all U3A related. Where links are provided, they do not represent a risk if you click them. In this day and age most common way of providing information and contact is electronically using a website and email.
1. Have your say on local policing
Roger Hirst is the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex. This is what he says has been achieved so far and is asking for your opinion for the future.
“Three and a half years ago, we asked you what wanted from Essex Police. Working with police officers, staff and volunteers, as well as partners from across Essex, we took what you told us and developed the 2016 Police and Crime Plan. The plan set out our seven policing priorities to protect Essex, which are:
⦁ More local, visible and accessible policing
⦁ Crack down on anti-social behaviour
⦁ Breaking the cycle of domestic abuse
⦁ Reverse the trend in serious violence
⦁ Tackle gangs and organised crime
⦁ Protecting children and vulnerable people
⦁ Improve safety on our roads
We have been working hard with partners over the last three and a half years to deliver against the Police and Crime Plan. Working together with you, we have achieved a lot. Working with Essex Police, we have built a more modern, efficient and effective force, that is growing and better connected to our communities. Highlights include:
⦁ Delivering the funding to enable Essex Police to be a growing force. It will have 368 more officers by April 2020 than it had in 2016. Essex also has the second largest and fastest growing Special Constabulary in the country.
⦁ Working to bring the numbers of incidents relating to anti-social behaviour, burglary and theft down.
⦁ Leading the fight against gangs, county lines and violence with the development of a specialist Violence Reduction Unit.
However, our challenges are continuing to change and we know we need to do more to tackle violence in our communities and see the reduction we have achieved in anti-social behaviour, burglary and theft mirrored in violent crime and drugs. We want to prevent crime happening in the first place and we can achieve this by working with you so there is no space for criminals to thrive, as well as ensuring the most vulnerable people in communities remain safe.
Now I’d ask you to and tell us what you want from your police force for the next four years so we can shape our next Police and Crime Plan.”
You can do this by visiting the Crime Commissioners website and filling out the survey form A website will display and the survey is towards the bottom of the page. Click this to complete the survey.
Hard copies of the survey will also available in local libraries or you can call the office on 01245 291600 to request one.
2. A13 Road works
Work is continuing on the A13 project to widening the road between the A128 (Orsett Cock roundabout) and the A1014 (Stanford le Hope, Manorway) from two to three lanes and the replacement of four bridges.
The contractor, KEIR, has a monthly drop in session where you can find out more about the works and ask questions. The next one is on Thursday 17 October at their office on the A1013 Stanford road, Orsett, RM16 3DU. (Opposite the Voujon Restaurant). Its between 9am and 6pm and no appointment is necessary.
Over recent months and continuing for the next few months are road closures. The latest information of road restrictions and progress pictures can be found on the THURROCK council website at Thurrock A13 Do have a look.
3. U3A courses
The Essex Association of U3A’s is holding 4 individual study days over the next six months. Music Workshop, Tree Study Day, Advanced Genealogy, Geology
The first of these is the Music Workshop and will be held on Sunday 24th November 2019 at Broomfield Village Hall, 158 Main Road, Chelmsford CM1 7AH at 9.30am
Run by Shirley Masterson an experienced singing teacher who has led many choral workshops in Essex and who runs the South Woodham Ferrers U3A “Find Your Voice” choir.
She would like to invite you to expand your horizons by participating in her “Singing for Physical and Mental Wellbeing” workshop. This is a day for everyone – if you can sing or not. The workshop will include brain-training, work on breathing techniques, co-ordination and communicating with others but most of all singing!
You’ll leave with a sense of euphoria and achievement and hopefully, a willingness to carry on singing.
Itinerary for the Day:
9.30 - Coffee
10.00 - 11.0 Session 1
11.00 – 11.15 Break
11.30 – 12.30 Session 2
12.30 – 1.30 Lunch
1.30 – 3.00 Session 3
The cost of the day is £12 which includes lunch.
Tree study day
The second Study Day is “The Study of Trees at the Arboretum” to be held on Monday 11th May 2020 at Marks Hall, Coggeshall, Essex, CO6 1TG. Please note the Marks Hall will be closed to the public on this day.
The Arboretum forms an enviable collection of trees originating from every temperate area of the world and miles of leafy woodland walks to explore and enjoy.
The day will begin at 10.30 am with the Senior Arborist taking you through the differing areas of the world’s trees.
Following the lecture, you will be free to explore and enjoy a picnic. (please bring your own lunch). The cost of the Day is £10.00 (there will not be food available to purchase on this day)
Please note that this day will be on uneven ground, it will also involve steps and grassed areas which may not be suitable for those with reduced mobility or wheelchair users.
Note that bookings are done via the "Essex Association of U3A's" website. Click Essex Association of U3A\'s to go the CONTACT page. Use the button “Barbara Thomas – Study Days” on the CONTACT page.
4. Corringham, Fobbing and Homesteads Community forum
Community Forums are independent community groups that have been developed as part of the Community Governance programme in Thurrock. There are 13 active Community Forums covering a number of communities in Thurrock and one of the real advantages of having a forum is that local people can have a say on issues or decisions that affect their community.
If you live within the Corringham, Fobbing and Homesteads Community forum area then this is the meeting for you. The forum meets on the 2nd Monday of the month at 7:30 in the Corringham Hall, Springhouse road. They have a website with more details.CFH Forum
If you live in another area of Thurrock you may have an active community forum which you may like to join Other Forums
5. Stanford le Hope Railway station
A temporary ticket office is being built at Stanford le Hope railway station whilst more permanent plans are approved between the interested parties to develop the station site. No time scale for any of this development is currently available, but watch this space.
More information our Members may find helpful.
Advice from NHS ENGLAND.
Have you booked your flu vaccine this year? Click the picture to read the advice.
Also available is advice from the NHS. Click Stay Well This Winter
Public Health England have asked us to inform our members of the following:-
There is a vaccine that helps reduce your risk of getting shingles and reduces the severity of symptoms if you develop the disease.
People aged 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78 and 79 years are eligible for the shingles vaccination.
Shingles can be very painful and may sometimes lead to complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia. This severe nerve pain can last for years even after the rash has gone.
Complications like this are more common in older people and those with a weakened immune system.
Please contact your GP surgery to enquire and to book your vaccination.
For more information please see Shingles
Lip Reading and Managing Hearing Loss classes
Register your interest now and we will let you know as soon as the dates become available
Do you find it difficult to follow a conversation with friends and family?
If you are hard of hearing, wear a hearing aid or have become deaf then Lipreading classes can help to improve your communication in any situation. See also Lip reading
PROBLEMS WITH YOUR HEARING
Do you use a hearing aid or are you officially recognised as hard of hearing?
If so are you aware that you might be eligible to buy a Disabled Persons Railcard (which is cheaper than a senior rail card)?
|This disabled rail card allows you to get a third off the cost of most rail fares throughout Great Britain, including all Standard and First Class Anytime, Off-Peak and Advance fares across the National Rail network. You also get 1/3 off London Zones 1-6 Off-Peak Day Travelcards and 1/3 off Anytime Day Travelcards, when bought as part of your ticket to London from outside London Zones 1-9. Not only do you get cheaper tickets but if you travel with another person they also get the same reduction.|
Minimum fares apply to Anytime Day and Off-Peak Day Travelcards. 1/3 off Oyster pay as you go single fares and daily caps (available to the Railcard holder only.)
The proof of your hearing loss which is required is a copy of the front page of your NHS battery book, or a copy of your dispensing prescription or other evidence that you are deaf/use a hearing aid from an official health provider or local authority. You can apply on line (if you are able to send scanned evidence) or by post using the Disabled Person Railcard forms found at railway stations. (They have a green border compared to the blue ones for Senior Railcards.) These forms also provide you with more information than is mentioned here as does disabled persons railcard
This information is not publicised at hearing aid clinics and a lot of people who are hard of hearing who I have spoken to are not aware of it. I wish to thank Jean Baker who mentioned it an interest group meeting.
The Disabled Persons Railcard is obviously also for people with other disabilities including various types of epilepsy – if you think it might apply to a disability you have, check it out.
COUNCIL- EMERGENCY WATER WORKS – SCAM
We have had recent reports of a bogus caller pretending to be a surveyor from Thurrock Council . The caller claims that there is a need to undertake emergency works on the water mains in the road and there is a need for all residents in the road to contribute to a ‘refundable deposit’ to hire a specialist digger. The caller also states that the water supply in the road will be turned off and all residents will not have any water, until the works are completed – so it is important that the deposit is raised urgently.
This is then followed up at the same time by a telephone call, by a caller also pretending to be from the council (Finance Department?), providing details of a bank account to which the money should be transferred. The message is that the money will be transferred back to the resident once the works are completed and the specialist digging equipment is returned and the deposit refunded to the council.
THIS IS A SCAM – PLEASE DO NOT PAY ANY MONEY
Thurrock Council will never operate in this manner by doorstep caller or telephone call. If you are approached in this manner (or by post) please contact Thurrock Council to confirm validity of the request. Thurrock Trading Standards can be contacted on 01375 652477
Essex Police Crime reports
Essex Police encourage all Watch members to read through and think about all the incidents within the below/ attached crime reports. You may be able to provide Essex Police with additional information regarding an incident.
You may reside, work, walk , travel or visit family or friends in or near the areas where incidents have occurred.
Were you in the area on that day, around that time?
Did you see any suspicious activity?
Did you note a suspicious person or vehicle?
IF you noted any suspicious activity in relation to the reports then please call Essex Police on 101.
Make a note of the incident reference number and quote this when calling.
(If you have information in relation to a suspicious vehicle, please make note of the Make, Model, Colour and index number if possible).
Please do not feel that you will be wasting police time. The information you provide may proof useful in an investigation.
Remember to tell the Call taker that you are part of a Watch scheme and be proud that you are looking out for others.
If you have any queries your local Essex Watch Liaison Officer will be only to please to assist you.
SCAMS Don't get caught out
There is currently a telephone scam where a recorded message is left, allegedly from HMRC, stating that HMRC are bringing a lawsuit against the individual and is going to sue them.
The recipient is asked to phone 0161 8508494 (other numbers are also used) and press “1” to speak to the officer dealing with the case.
Whilst the scam is becoming widely reported and seems to be targeting older people, we warn you to be extremely vigilant. If you cannot verify the identity of the person making the call you should not disclose your details. Government bodies such as HMRC will never ask you to disclose personal or financial information over the phone. Many people in Stanford-le-Hope are reporting to have received the call.
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS SCAM MESSAGE IT IS NOT GENUINE Hang up the phone and delete the message from your answer phone.
SHARE ADVICE SCAM
A member received a cold call recently from a Financial Services company saying they were working with EQUINITI, a leading provider of share administrating services. Caller talked in a friendly way about share holding and mentioned one particular company. Caller said the member was to be made a preferential share holder which would mean increased dividends and other benefits. The member had to do nothing. All sounded TOO good. The caller asked the member to look at their share documents. The member did not but instead asked where they got their details and why the Caller Display did nor show the telephone number. Also suggested the caller was trying to SCAM them. The caller was offended and offered an implausible reason why the number had not displayed. The member did apologise to the caller for their comments. Caller suggested the member be send the details by post but the member refused.
The conversation lasted for around 7 minutes and was in general friendly and chatty. The phone suddenly went quiet and the caller hung up. The call was very convincing but some aspects of the call were worrying.
You are correct this was a SCAM.
The member reported it to EQUINITI and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA had received reports of similar calls.
The advice given is:
- Don't give out more details of your personal information
- Don't give out any share holder reference numbers or account details.
- Don't accept any email or postal information from the caller.
PLEASE BE VERY CAREFULL WITH UNSOLICITED PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS. DONT GIVE ANY MORE INFORMATION THAN THEY ALREADY HAVE.
BEST TO JUST HANG UP FROM THE START OF THE CALL IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS.
See also ESSEX POLICE NEWS
Information from National Office
Free TV Licences for over-75s but this may change
Anyone of 75 or over can claim a free TV licence for their main address.
Apply online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/over
Cedar Hall Clinic
Jackie Milne, the Osteopath at The Cedar Hall Clinic in Stanford le Hope was Guest Speaker at one of our General Meetings. She is offering a 10% discount to members when they go for their first treatment session. (That does not include the Consultation Session as this is free.)
You may get a discount if you mention you are a U3A member (Show your U3A membership card) when you book your sessions. 75info or by calling 0300 790 6073
Large Print Newsletters
For the last two months we have printed a few newsletters in A4 size with size 16 text for those members who have difficulty reading our handy sized versions. Only two members have put their names down to receive a copy in this format but they are both pleased with the larger versions. The son of one of them told one of our Executive Committee members how much easier his mother found reading it in large print format. The other member hand wrote a delightful letter of thanks to the Executive Committee telling them how much better the large version was for her.
If there is another member who would like to try the large size newsletter give one of the Executive Committee your name and one can be printed and saved for you.