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payments advice from the GSO experts
These days, you can pay for almost anything online: products, services,
tickets, holidays … even your next car, van or motorcycle. You can
donate to charity, buy a driving licence or passport or pay to download,
stream, play or gamble. It’s fast and convenient, but there are also risks
attached, with cybercriminals doing all they can to divert your money into their pockets.
Please read Get Safe Online’s expert tips for protecting yourself and your finances:
Don’t pay for anything by transferring money directly to people or companies you don’t know, however eager you are to buy. If it’s a
fraud, it’s doubtful the bank will be able to recover or refund your
money. The safest way to pay for anything is by credit card.
Make sure shopping websites are authentic by carefully checking the address is spelled correctly. Fraudsters can set up convincing websites with addresses spelled very similarly to the authentic one.
Ensure that payment pages are secure, by checking that addresses
begin with ‘https’ (‘s’ is for secure) and there’s a closed padlock in the address bar. When you’ve finished making an online payment, log
out of your account. Simply closing the page may not do this
Don’t make online payments when using Wi-Fi hotspots, as these may be either not secure or fake, and your transaction could be
intercepted. Instead, use your data, a broadband dongle or VPN … or
wait until you get home.
Other ways to keep your online payments safe:
Fraudsters commonly advertise non-existent products, services, event
tickets, travel, holidays, accommodation, gambling, gaming, used
vehicles and much more. They use auction sites, social media, fake or
copycat websites and even legitimate accommodation platforms. Don’t
pay any money – even a deposit – unless you have thoroughly researched the source and product/service concerned and found it to be authentic.
If you receive an email, letter or phone call asking you to change
payment details for a service, product or subscription, always call the
company on the number you know to be correct, in case someone else is attempting to defraud you.
Follow the simple tech basics of having up to date internet security
software/apps loaded and running, and the latest updates to operating
systems, software and apps. This could prevent getting infected by malware that diverts your online payments.
Don’t click on attachments in unexpected emails or links in random
emails, posts or texts. Doing so could result in your online payments
Accept any additional security measures offered by your bank, as they
will help to keep transactions safe.
Download mobile apps only from authorised app stores, otherwise they may be fraudulent.
Use strong, separate passwords for your email accounts. These can be
created by using three random words, with some characters replaced or added to with numbers and symbols.
For more information on how to make online payments safely, visit www.getsafeonline.org/safepayments #safepayments
If you think you’ve been a victim of online fraud, report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre on 0300 123 20 40 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
To contact Sussex Neighbourhood Watch please E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sussexnwfed.org.uk.
Derek Pratt (NHWN, Administrator, Sussex)
Category Archives: News & Events
Over Christmas, we typically recycle more as we generate around 30% more waste than usual. But are we recycling everything?
From Christmas trees to cards and wrapping paper, here’s what you can and can’t recycle over Christmas.
If you still opt for the real deal when it comes to Christmas trees, they can be recycled and turned into chippings for parks. You can find drop off points locally or, if chopped up into manageable pieces, you can recycle them via kerbside garden waste schemes. Alternatively, you can take them to your tip (household waste recycling centre).
Or, if you have the outside space and your tree has survived the central heating, you can try replanting your tree and using it again next year!
Check with your local borough or district council about how you can recycle your Christmas tree.
Cards and their envelopes can be recycled. However, ribbons, glitter and other little add ons – like battery-run cards that sing – cannot be recycled. If possible please remove these bits from the cards so the paper bit can still go in the recycling. It all counts.
Can’t bear to throw out all your cards? You can re-purpose them next year as gift tags, Christmas tree ornaments and gift boxes.
When it comes to wrapping paper, the general rule is that if you can scrunch it, you can recycle it. Just remove any sticky tape and decorations beforehand, including ribbons and bows. Foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot be recycled.
You could also use left-over wrapping paper to upcycle old containers and boxes, or make New Years’ Eve confetti!
Foil food packaging
We don’t know about you but here at Your East Sussex we are planning on getting through about 75 mince pies each. So it’s a good thing those foil cases they come in are recyclable. If they come in a plastic tray please recycle that too.
Lots of Christmas food now comes in foil packaging and everything from drinks cans, pie cases, kitchen foil and turkey trays can be recycled. Just make sure no food is left on the packaging.
One of the best things about Christmas is the food. Some would even argue that the left overs from Christmas Day dinner are better the second time around. But what can you do once you’ve eaten all you can? Adding vegetable peelings to your compost heap is a great way to keep waste from going to disposal. If you live in an area covered by Lewes District Council there is currently a kerbside scheme that collects food waste. We also provide great value garden compost bins.
Advent calendars are recyclable if the materials are separated, such as the cardboard, foil and plastic. This is also an effective way to make sure you haven’t missed any chocolate.
Candles that come in jars can be recycled once all remaining wax is removed. You can melt the remaining wax out, just be sure to put it in the bin and not down the sink.
Old Christmas lights can’t be recycled from the kerb side but can be taken to your local household waste recycling site where they will be recycled. Find your nearest site.
We’re all likely to get through a fair few bottles of wine, beer and maybe even champagne this Christmas. These can be recycled but please keep them separate from the rest of your recycling.
What can’t be recycled:
Glass baubles are unfortunately not recyclable as they are usually made from types of plastic not widely collected yet. Not to mention that they are usually decorated with glitter – and glitter and recycling do not mix.
Tinsel cannot be recycled. If your tinsel has finally lost its sparkle or has been attacked by the cat one too many times please dispose of it in your rubbish bin.
Avoid the temptation to put a bin bag full of wrapping paper in your recycling bin as it could prevent its contents from being recycled altogether!
Apparently nearly half of our gifts will be unwanted this Christmas. If you do get an unwanted gift, you could swap it, donate it to charity, regift it, sell it, or, if it’s appropriate, return it. All these options are better than it going to disposal!
County Council Plans on How to Provide the Services you Need! Do you Think they will be Doing Enough?
A core offer for East Sussex
From support for those who need it most, to services for everyone – like roads and public health – our proposal is for a basic but decent level of service for East Sussex – the least you should reasonably be able to expect, even in this difficult financial climate.
Download version: A core offer for East Sussex (opens new window) (Adobe PDF, 829k)
Tell us what you think
We’d like to know your views on our core offer to East Sussex and the public services it would include. The part the county council can play is likely to reduce over the coming years and it’s important to know how residents of East Sussex see the future.
- Take part in Core Offer Survey – closes 26 December
Watch the video
What is it?
With the needs of residents and businesses at its heart, the core offer sets out how we will provide the best service we can within the resources we have available. It is an ambitious but realistic plan to help us continue to deliver quality, value-for-money services where they’re most needed. Besides meeting our legal duties, we also want to grow the economy of East Sussex and make sure we monitor and invest resources where greater costs may otherwise pile up.
Why do we need a ‘core offer’?
Demand for services is growing, while our funding from central Government is declining. We know that council tax increases can be difficult. We have already saved nearly £130 million this decade – enough to care for 5,790 vulnerable adults or fix 2.5 million potholes. But we still need to reduce costs by another £46 million over the next three years.
Our core offer takes these financial pressures into account and will help us plan and deliver the services which are most important to you.
What happens next?
The core offer was discussed at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13 November. We’re talking to residents, partners and community groups to get their views and that survey will run until 26 December.
As you may be aware there have been a number of concerns raised about the lack of parking enforcement in Rother district. The enforcement of on-street parking restrictions across Rother is currently the responsibility of Sussex Police as a criminal matter under the Road Traffic Act. The top priority for Sussex Police is the prevention and detection of crime. They cannot give parking enforcement the level of attention that the public might expect and state they will only take action on parking issues where there is a safety concern.
Adoption of Civil Parking Enforcement powers is anticipated to improve enforcement and have the following benefits:
- reduce and ease congestion,
- improve traffic flow – benefitting the economy and the environment;
- maintain access for the emergency services and
- be self-financing.
Under Government legislation, all council operated parking schemes must be self-financing. This means income from council tax and business rates cannot be used to fund the operation and enforcement of our parking schemes across the county. To comply with legislation we need to set parking charges that will make sure we cover the operational costs and will pay back the initial set up costs of introducing the scheme. Parking income will primarily come from the cost of permits and pay and display parking charges.
Following a review of parking concerns and discussions with RDC we have developed a proposal for a parking scheme in Rother district which includes:
- introducing permit holder parking in Bexhill, Battle and Rye,
- introducing pay and display parking at some locations where there are existing time limited parking bays in Battle, Bexhill, Robertsbridge and Rye,
- introducing shared permit holder and time limited parking in Bexhill and Battle,
- a number of minor changes to existing parking restrictions and
- formalising existing school keep clear markings.
The consultation opens on 19 November and closes on 14 January. We will only be able to consider comments received by the closing date.
If the proposals are taken forward, we will draft the supporting Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) and these will be advertised allowing 21 days for the formal consultation period. If we do not receive any objections the parking restrictions will be introduced as advertised and the TRO will come into effect 14 days following the end of the formal consultation period.
Any objections received during the formal consultation period will be reported to the Planning Committee for a final decision on whether or not to implement the proposals.
This round of consultation only applies to areas with existing parking restrictions exist, however with the introduction of civil parking enforcement across the district this means we will be able to enforce all yellow line waiting restrictions. Once CPE has been implemented we will conduct annual reviews to determine if additional parking schemes are required in the district.
Thank you for taking the time to look at the proposals.
Winter may have already started, but there are lots of tips to make sure you give yourself the best chance to stay warm and healthy. Here are some top tips from Public Health England.
1. First and foremost – get your flu jab
If you are in an eligible group it’s free because you need it. You are more at risk if you have a long-term health condition, are older or are pregnant.
2. Keep warm and keep well
Heating your home to at least 18° C (65° F) in winter is particularly important. Insulating your home not only helps to keep you warm and healthy, but it can also help to keep you warm and healthy, but it can also help to keep your heating costs down. There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills.
3. Check on others
Older neighbours and relatives and those with heart and lung conditions, as well as very young children, are at particular risk from the cold. That’s why it’s so important for us all to make sure those at risk are safe and well, have stocks of food and medicine in so they don’t have to go out during really cold weather and encourage them to follow all the strands of advice in this blog.
To find out more, download the Keep Warm Keep Well booklet which contains a wealth of advice to help you maintain good health during winter, take advantage of the financial help available and find out about winter wellness.
4. Get financial support for paying your heating bill
It’s worthwhile claiming what you are entitled to.
- Winter Fuel Payment – a tax-free benefit of up to £300 to pay for heating. People born on or before 5 May 1953 will qualify this year. The exact amount depends on your circumstances including your age, whether you live alone, get Pension Credit, or income-based Jobseeker’s or Employment and Support Allowances.
- Cold Weather Payment – made during periods of very cold weather, to help pay for extra heating costs. The average temperature where you live must be recorded or forecast below 0°C for seven days in a row. You may be eligible if you are getting Pension Credit, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or you receive Child Tax Credit that includes a disability element
- Warm Home Discount Scheme helps low-income and vulnerable households with energy costs. Participating energy companies will be providing a discount of £140 on the electricity bill of certain customers, as well as discounts to a broader group of low-income customers.
5. Get on the Priority Services Register in case of power cuts
This is a free service provided by water and power suppliers for older and disabled people, or if you depend on electricity to keep medical or mobility equipment running.
6. Heat your home safely
Remember to get your heating system checked regularly by qualified professionals, and if you have open fires make sure they are properly ventilated. You should have cooking and heating appliances that burn fossil fuels or wood serviced at least once a year, to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. You may need to remind your landlord that they are legally obliged to have an annual gas safety check completed in the property. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm that meets European Standard EN50291 in any room that contains a gas or solid fuel burning appliance.