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Latest news

Scams.....

Published: Wednesday 10 June 2020

Durham Constabulary have alerted us of a concern in the Ferryhill area following a number of reports that the elderly and the vulnerable are being targeted by doorstep scams, generally in the form of being offered services such as window cleaning and gardening.  This usually results in a poor job (or no job) being completed but money being demanded by the offender and with the resident generally living alone and being vulnerable, they are then taken advantage of financially.

The local policing team at Ferryhill are very concerned that there may be other vulnerable victims within the area.  They have been circulating letters in the known targeted areas, however, due to COVID it has not been appropriate to visit people face to face unless absolutely necessary therefore we are urging the elderly and vulnerable to be vigilant and to enquire around window cleaners, gardeners and handymen to ensure that they are not being exploited.

Although the reports have been from the Ferryhill area, other areas may be targeted.  Scams are on the increase during the Coronavirus pandemic with scammers taking advantage of people who may be more isolated due to lockdown.  Learn more about how to protect yourself and your community from scams and how to report them by becoming a Friend Against Scams at www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk/elearning/durham.


Ban on evictions extended by 2 months to further protect renters

Published: Tuesday 9 June 2020

Millions of renters across England and Wales will receive greater protection after the government extended the suspension of new evictions until 23 August.

The extension announced by the Housing Secretary today (5 June 2020) takes the moratorium on evictions to a total of 5 months to ensure that renters continue to have certainty and security.

Ministers are also working with the judiciary, legal representatives and the advice sector on arrangements, including new rules, which will mean that courts are better able to address the need for appropriate protection of all parties, including those shielding from coronavirus. 

This is to ensure that judges have all the information necessary to make just decisions and that the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need.

Where tenants do experience financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, the government is clear that landlords and tenants should work together and exhaust all possible options – such as flexible payment plans which take into account a tenant’s individual circumstances – to ensure cases only end up in court as an absolute last resort.

For more information click HERE


Please help us create better street space in County Durham

Published: Tuesday 9 June 2020

Durham County Council are inviting you to take part in a Street Space County Durham consultation. The consultation runs until 31st July.

You can access it through the link above and through the DCC website.

Background

Help us to identify locations in your neighbourhood that you feel need to have additional space provided temporarily to protect public health, by supporting social distancing in public spaces.

We want to encourage people to travel on foot and by bike during the coronavirus restrictions and into recovery. The government has made funding available as part of its emergency response to COVID-19. To enable us to apply for these funding opportunities, we need to know where measures are required. 

Temporary emergency measures using barriers, fencing or bollards could be used to:

  • create pop-up cycle lanes
  • reduce through traffic on certain roads
  • reallocate road space to create wider pavements
  • introducing 20 mph streets
  • adding extra cycle parking
  • remove street 'furniture' like pedestrian guard rails that are no longer required.

The consultation is specifically focussed on emergency measures to address social distancing for people on foot and on bikes. Please do not add long-term aspirational projects as these are not relevant for this consultation.

This online consultation uses Commonplace, an external the website.

Please share with your friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, groups and clubs. We want to reach as many people as we can!  

We will review all the feedback which will form part of our ongoing Covid-19 recovery planning to determine which suggestions we can take forward for as long as Government guidance recommends.


Money Support Advice helps Livin Tenants

Published: Friday 5 June 2020

Local housing association Livin, has handled over 700 benefit queries in the last year, helping tenants to navigate the benefits system and increased their household income.

Livin offers free money support advice to all tenants, which includes a full benefits health check.  The check is undertaken by trained advisors, who consider the household’s circumstances, support tenants to make claims and advise people how benefit rules could affect them. 

Successful claims totalled more than £680,000 last year, increasing each applicant’s income by an average £940 per year.

Find out more here


Silver Talk - Keeping the North East connected

Published: Friday 5 June 2020

Telephone befriending service Silver Talk has tripled in size during the Covid:19 pandemic, ensuring those who are most isolated across the North East region can stay connected.

The service, which is managed by Karbon Homes and provides over 55s with a 30-minute social telephone chat each week, is now providing support to 301 service users, a jump from 95 in February.

Find out more here.