The Parish Council delivers a newsletter to every household in the parish every 3-4 months. This provides details of councillors, projects that Council is undertaking and other information of interest such as trading standards alerts.
If for some reason you do not receive this newsletter, please let the Clerk know and she will arrange for it to be delivered either by hand or post.
There are numerous scams operating at the moment. Some of these have been around for some time but we all need to ensure that we remember what they are.
Notification could be posted through your door saying that there is a parcel to be delivered by a well-known company, just telephone “this number” to arrange delivery. And you will be charged an astonishingly high amount for the telephone call. Check with people you expect to send a parcel to you before making any calls;
Do not buy from COLD CALLERS. Do not give any of your details at the door or on the phone, even if they say they are doing a survey about cold callers !
If you are telephoned and told there is a fault on your computer,IGNORE IT ! No one could know if your computer is “not well” without looking into the computer itself.
'Representatives' of BT may call you, saying that BT will disconnect you because of an unpaid bill. They will demand payment immediately of £31.00, or say it would be £118.00 to re-connect at a later date. If you make it clear that you do not believe their story, they will offer to demonstratethat they are from BT. They tell you to hang up and try making an outgoing call. The phone line does go dead - no dial tone or engaged tone - until the representative phones back. The cutting off of the line is very simple; the bogus BT rep stays on the line with their mute button pressed and you can't dial out - but they can hear you trying. (This is because the person who initiates a call is the one who should terminate it). When you stop trying to make an outgoing call, he can detect this and immediately calls you back. The rep will ask for your credit card details so that you can pay off the unpaid bill. Do not give your details under any circumstances. RING 999 CRIME IN ACTION, or RING 101 TO REPORT A CRIME
Trading Standards spend much of their time dealing with rogue traders who do not deliver the service they promise, or try and rip off unsuspecting customers. But now, help is at hand.
Trading Standards now runs a Good Trader Scheme which promotes businesses you can trust. Businesses are thoroughly vetted and then admitted to the scheme, which can be found at www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk. You’ll find everything from Air Conditioning to Insurance Services, Financial Advisors to Will Writing Services.
Trading Standards are always looking for more companies to add to the scheme, so, if you know of a business you would like to recommend, please contact them on 08454 040506 or email them at email@example.com.
The Community Led Plan (CLP) Steering Group comprises 8 members: Chris Ford - Chairman, Keith Harrison - Vice Chairman, Elaine Ford - Treasurer, Caroline Harrison - Secretary, Jackie Butts, Barry Gardiner and Dennis Norris. There are also two representatives of the Parish Council, Council Chairman David Taylor and Chris Ford.
The Steering Group (SG) has welcomed two presentations by Alan Dyer, Planning Policy Manager Sevenoaks District Council, encouraging the creation of the CLP and explaining about the possibility of its conversion to a Neighbourhood Plan.
The Questionnaire, prepared following the Open Coffee Morning held in Halstead Primary School in the summer of 2011, was distributed to every home early in October,2011.
The Committee Chairman, Chris Ford, has given 2 presentations to parishioners during 2012 about the top level findings of the survey. A much more detailed analysis of the enormous amount of data is currently being undertaken. When analysis is complete, the committee will then have the task of writing a comprehensive report, and producing proposals for the main focus of future activity and expenditure in the parish.
Bogus callers and opportunist thieves are active in the village. If you notice anything unusual contact the police on 101.
Always ask for ID. Do not let anyone into your home without being sure that they are who they say they are ! ID cards will carry telephone numbers. If the visitors are genuine, they will wait outside your home while you telephone their employers.
Do NOT be tempted to have your drive resurfaced by a 'casual caller' who is working in the area and has some tarmac 'left over'.
Beware of telephone callers stating that “someone is using your credit card”. The caller gives you details of your credit card but asks YOU to provide the 3 security numbers on the reverse. The caller will give you a telephone number to ring and check that they are genuine once the details have been given.
DO NOT GIVE YOUR DETAILS, RING OFF AND CONTACT YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY.
Suzanne Daniell is the Neighbourhood Watch Kent Police co-ordinator for Halstead. She has approached some parishioners who indicated that they would like to be road co-ordinators but many roads still need volunteers to be involved in the scheme. Currently, there are co-ordinators in Clarks Lane, Stonehouse Road, The Meadows, Church Road, Otford Lane, Kilnwood , Cadlocks Hill, London Road and Watercroft Road.
The aims of Neighbourhood Watch are :
to improve the sense of safety, security and community;
to encourage greater vigilance;
to foster community spirit;
to prevent crime;
to assist the police in detecting crime;
to reduce the undue fear of crime;
to improve police and community liaison.
If you wish to get involved with Neighbourhood Watch, please get in touch with the contact for your road.
The Chairmen and the Clerks of all town and parish councils in the district were recently invited to a meeting at the SDC offices to discuss changes to policing in the Sevenoaks area.
With a background of a further £20m cuts to police services over the next 2 years, the Chief Inspector, Tim Cook, outlined how the police service was to move from it’s current centralised base, to a much more localised organisation.
Under the new scheme Sevenoaks would have a Chief Inspector, 5 Inspectors, 10 Sergeants and 35 Police Constables. We were also promised that there would be much more liaison with local communities.
Halstead complained that, although we had had a new PCSO allocated to us in November 2013, we had hardly ever seen her, and there had been little or no contact between the PC and the PCSO. We were promised that this would change. We also said that in the light of statistics in our recent Community Plan, the public in Halstead were unaware of what the police were doing, what were police priorities, how they planned to tackle predominant types of crime, etc. This was because of the poor level of communication between the police and the parish. This was again accepted as a problem, and that work would be undertaken to rectify this problem.