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Bogus Survey Warning

Features by Adam No Comments »

Residents throughout Gloucestershire have reported receiving suspect telephone calls from a caller who has claimed to be working for the County Council.

Gloucestershire County Council Trading Standards Service has received a number of enquiries asking if the phone calls are genuine or a scam. The caller claims to be working with the County Council and carrying out a demographic survey. Complainants report that the caller has a foreign sounding accent and asks questions to confirm address information, dates of birth and also asks about life insurance. The caller is reluctant to provide information about the name of his business and his telephone number is withheld.
Show identity cards and give the householder time to check their identity. Show identity cards and give the householder time to check their identity

Trading Standards are advised that the County Council is not carrying out any telephone consultation of this kind at the present time.

Our advice is not to disclose any personal information as a result of an unsolicited call. If you have any cause for concern contact the County Council directly 01452 505345 to confirm that the person is from the county council before disclosing personal details.

In a separate incident residents of Tewkesbury have reported being visited at home by a man who claims to be carrying out a survey of their house for the County Council. The county council have signed up to a Cold calling protocol and will in most cases write to inform you of any intention to visit. Genuine County Council officers will not need to enter your home except by prior appointment with you.

Roger Marles, Head of Trading Standards, commented: Bogus callers will use a variety of ploys to get information or to gain access to your house. In most cases consumers can protect themselves by obtaining independent confirmation of the callers identity first. Consumers should not be anxious of appearing rude by asking callers to confirm who they are and by contacting the relevant service directly to confirm the caller is genuine.

County Council gives public choice over council tax

Features by Adam 1 Comment »

Council leaders have given Gloucestershire residents a choice over county council tax rises next year, presenting three clear options for public consultation.

The unprecedented move comes as Gloucestershire faces tough budget challenges following the summer floods, with costs spiralling to around £35 million.

Cabinet today (18th December 2007) agreed to consult residents on three possible council tax options, which includes an increase to help pay for more drain clearance work to help protect against future flash flooding.

Councillor Barry Dare, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council said: “Gloucestershire County Council has an excellent track record of keeping council tax down and providing value for money services, but next year is going to be a real challenge. We’ve had lower than average amount of government grant and we’re faced with growing demand for services. We don’t want to make excuses; instead we’ve worked hard to make £12 million of efficiency savings; present a budget that keeps frontline services going, and gives local people real choice about extra spending on issues they’ve told us really matter.”

Residents are being consulted on three options:

  • Option 1 is for base budget of £333.5m and a council tax increase of 3.8%. This option contains no extra money to deal with flood prevention or drainage works.
  • Option 2 is for a budget of £335.8m and a council tax increase of 3.8% plus an additional 1.1% to create a “fighting fund” of £2.3m to investigate and begin to tackle flood prevention and drainage works.
  • Option 3 is for a budget of £340.2m and a council tax increase of 3.8% plus an additional 3.1% which would increase the “fighting fund” to £4.5m and provide for capital investment of £25m to fund major investment in flood prevention and drainage works.

Councillor Julie Girling, Lead Cabinet Member for Environment and Flood Recovery said: “We want local people to understand the problems we face following the flooding crisis in June and July, which cost the county council up to £35 million. Feedback from residents tells us that the fear of floods is greater than ever and they want real investment into flood prevention – and this includes a programme of drain clearance. As the county council for Gloucestershire, we take our leadership role very seriously and are working hard to get more money from the government to help us recover and protect ourselves for the future. Next week we will get some of the money back for what we spent during the emergency, but the Audit Commission agrees that councils need even more support from the government in emergencies. With no money available for protection, we now have to ask council taxpayers to help fund additional investment in flood prevention.”

The proposals all involve an increase in council tax of 3.8% – a figure below the current rate of Retail Price Inflation (4.2% at the end of October) and below the rate of pension increase for next year (3.9%). The budget includes provision for inflation, £18m to meet unavoidable service pressures, and £12m of efficiency and other savings. Options 2 and 3 give residents the choice of additional funding for flood prevention work.

Spending increases include:

  • £2.2m for care of older people as a result of ageing population.
  • £2.2m to respond to greater needs of people with learning disabilities.
  • £350,000 for an increase in the number of people with mental health problems
  • £1.4m for additional costs in home to school transport.
  • £200,000 for additional child protection measures.
  • £250,000 for care of children with disabilities.
  • £3.4m for waste disposal including £1.75m for landfill tax and waste growth.
  • £1.4m to pay for extra costs of social care by the independent sector.
  • £0.6m for 17 extra Police officers.

Expenditure by service is as follows (excluding the dedicated schools grant of estimated at £305 million)

Spend (in £millions)

Children & Young People – 63.941

Community & Adult Care – 126.198

Community Safety – 23.363

Environment – 52.929

Business Management – 19.438

Chief Executive Support Unit – 3.008

Technical & Corporate – 44.623

Total: 333.500

The consultation begins on 18th December and ends on 16th January 2008. The financial settlement is provisional at this stage and may well change when the final figures are announced in January. The budget will be finalised at Cabinet on 8th February 2008 and approved at Council on 20th February 2008.

The consultation is online here.

From the Cotswolds to Alaska for the Iditarod Trail Invitational Race

Events, Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Christian Cullinane is going to cycle 350 miles non stop across Alaska to raise money for Winston’s Wish charity

The Iditarod Trail Invitational Race is an extreme competition which sees individuals cycle, walk or ski 1100 miles or 350 miles non stop across Alaska. The race is billed as the World’s Longest Human Powered Winter Race and is so tough that it is strictly by invitation only with a 50 racer limit. Experienced winter athletes may take part but many of the competitors will not reach the end. Temperatures can plummet to minus 50 degrees centigrade and white-out blizzards can hit in seconds and last for days. The 2008 race is the 7th Annual race and it starts on Sunday 24th February at 14.00. The start is at Knik Lake on the Gulf of Alaska and the 350 mile race ends at McGrath in the Kuskokwim Mountains. The full 1100 mile race ends at Nome on the Bering Sea.
Alaska Bound

Christian Cullinane from Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds is no stranger to endurance events having run across the Sahara Desert in the 150 mile Marathon Des Sables, completed the 100 mile Mont Blanc Ultra Marathon and has been to Alaska twice before to race in a “shorter” 130 mile snow shoe race. Christian is competitor number 10 and is one of only 5 Brits entered for the race. There are currently 3 racer spots left so is there anyone out there who fancies this extreme challenge?

Christian is using the race to raise money for Winston’s Wish, a Cheltenham based national child bereavement charity. The charity was founded in 1992 and offers support to bereaved children and young people after the death of a parent or sibling as well as offering guidance, support and information to their families and to anyone concerned about a bereaved child throughout the UK.

Every 30 minutes a child in the UK is bereaved of a parent; this equates to 20,000 new children each year learning to live with a powereful range of confusing and conflicting emotions. Winston’s wish is now recognised as the leading organisation in this field and its pioneering model of family support has been adapted and used by many other organisations throughout the UK and abroad.

We wish Christian every success in the race.
To support Christian and to make a donation to Winston’s Wish visit his website at www.cool-biker.com

www.winstonswish.org.uk
www.iditarod.it
www.2x2wordwide.com
www.keela.co.uk
www.terra-nova.co.uk

Christian will be riding a modified Land Rover Bikes Kaikas mountain bike. He will be wearing a Keela Spectrum Jacket, Belay Duvet Jacket and Quantum Trousers and using a Terra-Nova Equipment Saturn Bivi Bag and Extremities socks, mittens and headgear.

The Mickleton Society

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam No Comments »

(From the Chipping Campden Bulletin. Reproduced with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

Celia Hargreaves enthralled the Mickleton Society at the November meeting when she described her experiences in the Sahara Marathon in 1996.

Celia first became interested in marathons in 1980, competing in the London marathon in 1981. Her interest in the Sahara marathon stemmed from an article in the Financial Times and the fact that a British woman had never competed in this. Celia changed that and entered. She described her training, including running on the spot in a sauna to get used to the humidity and to learn to take in more water.

Finally in March 1996 she was in Casablanca preparing for the ordeal – the Sahara marathon is actually an endurance race. Competitors run specified distances on six successive days, starting with fifteen miles on day one with a maximum of fifty miles and a total over the six days of 150 miles. They carry all their needs (including food) on their backs, apart from tents (which were very basic indeed) and water. There are regular checkpoints with random checks of weights and kit. Water ration was nine litres a day for all purposes -drinking and washing – so conditions were indeed primitive. Sections had time limits – e.g. thirty-two hours and even one minute over time incurred disqualification.

On day five Celia had an accident involving a fall with her backpack; following this she hallucinated very badly and says that she nearly died following the fall on a rock face. Eventually she reached the finishing line. She was the first British woman to complete the marathon and came 33rd of 200 entrants. There was a mud house at the final stage complete with a hot well. She and the others sat in the hot water, laughing and washing off six days of Sahara sand.

This was an incredible experience and an incredible talk – presented without script or even notes and with great humour & feeling, ending by showing us the clothes in which she ran and. with great pride, her Sahara marathon medal.

Other related articles:

The Mickleton Society – October 2007

Become a contributor to the Cotswold Chatterblog

Features by Adam No Comments »

Do you live in the Cotswolds region and have news that you’d like to submit to this site? Or do you live outside the area but still have something to say that is of local interest? It can be news, events, launches, theatre, exhibitions, editorial content or anything else that would be of interest to our readers.

Why not become a contributor to the Cotswold Chatterblog and your submissions will be seen by thousands of visitors along with being listed in Google News and syndicated out in our RSS feeds to readers around the world.

If you’d like to become involved, please contact editor@cotswoldnews.com and tell us the type of articles you’d like to submit. If we like what we see, we will give you your own account and password for you to login and write your own content for this site.

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www.ebrington.com and www.CotswoldNews.com are some of the leading providers of news and information covering the Cotswolds region and are often in the top results in Google for relevant keyword searches. www.ebrington.com is also a Google News source.

We are also happy to receive announcements and press releases from local businesses and usually publish them within a few hours of receipt making us one of the quickest routes to get your message online. Simply submit them to adam@cotswoldnews.com for publication.

The report on flooding in Chipping Campden, 20/21 July 2007

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam No Comments »

(From the Chipping Campden Bulletin. Reproduced with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

Report by D J Atkinson

Preamble

Chipping Campden is peculiarly susceptible to flooding when prolonged heavy rain or sudden thaws occur in an already sodden catchment area. To a large extent this is due to the size and peculiar character of the catchment area, most of which drains into the river upstream of the Care Home and Guild site and Sheep Street It is also due to the confinement of The Cam’s channel and choke points through the town.

In the recent past, serious floods occurred in the wake of long periods of bad weather affecting the region usually in winter, 1947 and others, but also in July 1968. Park Road has suffered from lesser floods periodically, especially in the 50s and 60s, the last in spring 1993. Obviously drainage has become a much more concerning problem for the town over the last century and particularly over the last 50 years with much new building (spreading and infilling), property improvement, the raising of road levels and much more hard standing. The situation has also worsened due to changes in land use, farming methods and land drainage in the area. Read the rest of this entry »

Cardboard recycling comes to Bourton

Features by Adam 1 Comment »

Householders in Bourton-on-the-Water can look forward to a greener New Year thanks to the expansion of recycling facilities in the village.

Cotswold District Council has added a cardboard recycling bank to the facilities in the village’s Rissington Road Car Park where there are also containers for paper, glass, cans, plastic bottles and textiles.

During 2007, the Council has increased the number of cardboard recycling banks across the District from two to eight and the amount of household card and cardboard being recycled has increased tenfold.

Cllr Mark Tufnell, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “Cotswold District Council is committed to increasing recycling opportunities for residents, so I am delighted that we have been able to introduce this new cardboard recycling bank.

“Hopefully it will help to ensure that all the cards and cardboard packaging received by people in the Bourton area over Christmas end up being recycled rather than buried in landfill sites.

“We have seen a massive increase in the amount of cardboard being recycled in the District in 2007 and that trend should continue in 2008 when we introduce a kerbside collection as part of the District’s new waste service.”

The other cardboard recycling banks in the Cotswold District are located at the Old Station Car Park, Cirencester, the Tesco car parks in Tetbury and Kingsmeadow, Cirencester, the Council car park near the Tesco store in Stow-on-the-Wold, the Watermark site near South Cerney and the Upper Up Playing Fields, South Cerney.

To find out more about recycling services in the Cotswolds and information on your nearest recycling banks, visit www.recycleforgloucestershire.com.

Click here for other relevant articles about recycling in the region.

A history of the Court Barn, Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam 1 Comment »

(From the noticeboard section of the Chipping Campden Bulletin. Reproduced with kind permission of Jeremy Green)
Court Barn Museum, Photo (c) Alan Crawford
Readers will be aware that Court Barn in Church Street has been renovated by the Guild of Handicraft Trust and has been transformed whilst still retaining its present external appearance. It is the site of an exhibition, meeting room and study centre celebrating the craftsmen who have lived in Campden and surrounding towns and villages since the beginning of the last century. There will be exhibits devoted to C R Ashbee and his Guild of Handicraft, to FL.Griggs, Alec Miller, Paul Woodroffe, the Harts and Robert Welch; and to others, like Gordon Russell and Katharine Adams from Broadway and the potters Michael Cardew and Ray Finch from Winchcombe.

This article, however, is about the barn itself. It stands on the edge of the grounds of Old Campden House and was built about 300 years ago. How ever did it come to intrude into the gardens of that magnificent house? After Sir Baptist Hicks’s new manor house was burned to the ground in 1645, its grounds and gardens and yards were gradually turned over to agricultural use. There is a deed dated 1691 by which the Hon. Susanna Noel, the mother of the six year old 3rd Earl of Gainsborough, leased it to Mary Rutter, a widow. Read the rest of this entry »

Plans for gas pipeline within Cotswolds AONB to be put on hold

Features, Places by Adam No Comments »

Board responds to National Grid Announcement

The organisation that exists to oversee the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Cotswolds Conservation Board has welcomed National Grid’s decision to postpone plans to build a pipeline, which would cut through parts of the 790 square mile protected landscape.

National Grid had been seeking the Secretary of State’s consent to build the 44km natural gas pipeline from Wormington in Worcestershire to Sapperton in Gloucestershire.

National Grid have said that the reason for the turn around is that revised figures show that gas demand for the West of England is not rising as fast as originally forecast. It has said that that situation will be kept under review because the pipeline may be needed in the future.

The Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board Martin Lane said:

“The Board can only welcome the decision to put plans to build the pipeline on hold. We objected to the environmental impact statement for the proposed pipeline because it did not consider an alternative route outside of the AONB.

At the time we wrote to the Department of Trade and Industry, (now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) stating our objection and this resulted in a request for National Grid to investigate alternative routes outside the area.

An alternative route that had a much lower impact on the AONB was identified and should a review of the pipeline lead to the plans being put back on the table the Board will be strongly advocating a full re-examination of the options available with an emphasis on routes outside of the AONB.”

About the Cotswolds AONB:

With its rolling hills and valleys the Cotswolds is the largest of 40 AONBs in England and Wales and is protected to ensure that its beauty and special character are conserved. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.

www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

Keep warm in winter with advice at Moreton

Events, Features by Adam No Comments »

How to keep warm in the height of winter will be the advice on offer – along with a free energy-saving light-bulb – at the Moreton Area Centre next month.

Cotswold District Council staff at the High Street office will welcome Gloucestershire Energy Efficiency Advice Centre advisers on January 15th, who will offer free and impartial advice on a range of heating and energy efficiency issues.

They will discuss the best ways to keep your house warm – which include using loft and wall insulation – and how to save money on your fuel bills.  They will also offer advice on how to
stay warm while still caring for the environment.

Energy advisers will be at the Moreton Area Centre from 10am till 2pm.  There will be information, thermometer cards and the opportunity to find out about the available schemes to help with home insulation and heating systems.  Refreshments will be available and a free energy-saving light bulb will be given to each homeowner that comes to the session.

If you are unable to come to the Moreton Area Centre, you can contact an energy adviser at the Gloucestershire Energy Efficiency Advice Centre on FREEPHONE 0800 512 012 or email: eeac@swea.co.uk.

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