“How Is Your Council Tax Used?” is the theme for the next community forum which will be at St Johns Church Hall, Rowlands Castle on the 14th January 2014 from 6:30pm.
Scams Bulletin December 2013
The purpose of this scams bulletin is to enable Hampshire residents to be aware, and therefore guard against, the type of scams currently being reported to the Hampshire Trading Standards Service.
Trading Standards will collate information on scams to provide information and intelligence to the public and other agencies but will normally only intervene when the victim is vulnerable and has been financially abused.
In appropriate cases Trading Standards will also seek to take enforcement action through the courts.
If you are worried about a potential scam please contact: Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or online using the Online consumer complaint form
Auction Sites Scam
Auction Sites are a popular and convenient way of buying presents. Whilst the majority of
sellers are genuine, there are some criminals who use auction sites to offer counterfeit
goods or those that do not exist.
Scammers use Christmas as an opportunity to advertise popular items such as
smartphones, tablets, gadgets and designer goods. They display a low price to catch your
attention. However, in reality the goods are not real, and once you have made your bid or
payment, you will receive nothing in return.
The Scammer will ‘hide’ behind a fake website or email address and the chance of
catching up with them to claim your money back is slim.
Real life case study
Mr J was looking on an auction site for a laptop. He noticed one being advertised at a
low price. He thought the price seemed too good to be true, so contacted the seller
by email to enquire further. The seller responded and said he wanted a quick sale for
cash. Mr J offered to purchase the goods at the agreed price. The seller then
responded and said that he was currently on holiday and could not post the goods,
but if Mr J made an upfront payment, he would arrange a meeting point where his
friend could deliver the laptop. At this point, Mr J sensed a scam and pulled out of the
How to protect yourself
Always use a recommended method of payment for the site, rather than making
direct payments to the seller
Research the seller before you bid
Check the sellers customer feedback but bear in mind this can be falsified
Be cautious when dealing with sellers abroad or private individuals
If you are going to pick up purchases in person, take someone with you and let
people know where you are going
If in doubt DO NOT PURCHASE
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on
08454 04 05 06
Or online using the
Online consumer complaint form
Charity Donation Scams
Most collection and appeals are legitimate but, unfortunately scammers can exploit
people’s charitable nature and steal money which the donor thinks is going to help a
Do not stop donating money to your good cause of choice. Instead take a few simple
precautions to protect yourself, and your charity, against online fraud.
Visit the charity’s own website by typing the address into the browser yourself,
rather than clicking on a link in an email.
Before you donate any money, check the website is secure. There should be a
padlock symbol in the browser window frame when you attempt to log in or register.
If you receive unsolicited emails from charities you have never heard of or have no
association with, do not respond and do not click on any links. It is best to delete
Do not respond to requests that ask you to donate through a money transfer
company. This is a tactic commonly used by scammers as it makes the payment
hard to trace.
Ensure the charity is genuine before divulging personal information or payment
When supporting disaster relief abroad, consider donating through the Disasters
If you do not want to make an online donation check with a legitimate charity if they
accept other ways to pay.
If you think you have given your payment details to a bogus charity, contact your
bank or credit card company immediately.
Charity bag collection scam
Hampshire Trading Standards Service has continued to receive complaints about charity
bags that are delivered or left outside a person’s property. The wording on the bag
invariably asks the resident to fill it with unwanted clothes or household items, which will
then be used abroad or sold to support a charity. However, the bags may have been
delivered by bogus commercial companies who will profit from the donations.
Don’t be put off making donations to genuine charities but remember to carry out a few
simple checks first of all. Do not rely on the contact details on the bag as this may be fake.
Instead look up the official telephone number or website address to make sure your
donation is going to the genuine place.
If in doubt, throw the bag away.
For further advice or to report a scam contact the
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06
Or online using the Online consumer complaint form
Hampshire Trading Standards Service warns residents to be alert to the following scams
when working on their computers. In particular when browsing the internet or receiving
This scam operates, where an email is sent, appearing to be from a genuine financial
institution. However, the email contains an attachment that looks legitimate but is malware
that encrypts computer files.
If the attachment is opened, a displayed countdown timer appears and demands payment,
or a ransom, to decrypt the files. This may be in the region of £500.
Once the payment is made, no work is carried out and it is not possible to restore any
Police warning scam
A similar scam operates where a ‘warning’ appears on a computer containing a police logo
and a message that an illegal site has been entered and internet access will be blocked
until a fine is paid. They then asked for an up-front payment of £100 to remove the block,
which should be made through a money transfer business.
If payment is made, the money will be lost.
Tips to protect yourself
Do not respond to or open attachments from unknown sources
Do not click on links in emails from unknown sources
Make sure you have suitable anti-virus software protection installed
Don’t reply to any unwanted email
If in doubt, delete the email without opening it
Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service has continued to receive calls from
worried consumers who have been approached by fraudsters, attempting to scam them
out of large amounts of money. The fraudsters will dupe victims into revealing their bank
details, and are using ever more sophisticated and cunning tactics to access this
NEVER give out you bank details to a caller. If you think you have been a victim of a
scam, contact your bank immediately.
If you require further advice or wish to report a scam, contact:
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on
08454 04 05 06
Or online using the Online consumer complaint form
Hampshire Trading Standards Service has continued to receive complaints about
The scammer, who claims to be a lawyer or government official, will send a letter alleging
a person sharing your family name has died and left behind a vast amount of money.
They will say as no relatives have been identified the money can be released to you, due
to your surname. They will ask for a fee to release the money. Once paid, you will not
hear from them again.
Real life case study
Mrs P received a letter from a business based in Spain, alleging that someone with the
same surname as her had died, leaving an unclaimed inheritance of £5million in a bank
account. The business explained that unless a beneficiary was found, the money
would be paid to the government. Mrs P was advised that as she shared the surname,
the business could release the money. They suggested that 80% of the money would
be split, with the final 20% paid to a charity. They asked Mrs P to contact them to
discuss this proposition further.
Mrs P recognised this offer as a scam and sent the letter to Trading Standards for
Real life case study
Mrs S received an email from an address that contained PayPal. It was advising that
someone had tried to gain access to her account. The email was asking her to update
her contact and payment details. Mrs S, who does not consider herself to be
vulnerable, said at first glance she thought this was genuine, but noticed the English
used in the subject line was poor – “We are detected that someone try to get access to
your account”. This prompted her to contact the official helpline for PayPal who
confirmed this was a scam.
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on
08454 04 05 06
Or online using the
Online consumer complaint form
Fly tipping is always a problem in our community, and each year EHDC spends thousands of pounds clearing up and properly disposing of rubbish that has ended up being dumped on our roads and open spaces. The reality is that each of us as tax payers is covering this cost.
Horndean and the surrounding parishes do not miss out with recent problems, and enforcement action, including a mobile trailer, sofas and general waste.
In just the last few days a large pile has been tipped on Five Heads Road, photo below.
This pile of mixed rubbish will take a few hours to clear away with a contractor and the bill to organise, collect and dispose will be about £300 to £500. Given that this is a prolific problem, it is worth spending time to catch the fly tippers. Amongst this pile of rubbish were some CD’s, one packed full of a holiday a group of friends took to China in November 2007.
Time, then, for our community to go sleuthing and lets see if we can identify the people in the photo. This may then lead us to a list of locations this CD could have been, and hopefully to an address where some clearance work has taken place. I stress that there is no suggestion that the people in the photo below are responsible for the fly tipping, but it seems highly likely that they can help point us in the right direction of whoever has tipped the rubbish in this country lane.
If you have rubbish to clear please can you take it to one of the several tips that East Hants organises, and if you engage a contractor or rubbish clearance firm to take away rubbish for you then please carry out some basic checks to see if they are a reputable firm.
If you can help put me in touch with the group in the photo below so that we can see if they can help track down the fly tippers with us I will be very grateful and please email me on email@example.com
13th January update: Excellent news. Further evidence was collected in the fly tip rubbish which has given very good leads and a full investigation is now progressing. The photograph referred to in this posting has been taken down as we do not need further public support at this time, and do not wish to draw inference that they are associated with the fly tipping. Thank you for the very strong interest and support in this matter to date and no Mr Richards, I dont think we can insert the fly tip waste in the specific location you suggest when we catch them, but it is a very appealing idea…
The Government Inspector has responded to us following the Joint Core Strategy consultation and examination. There are a number of minor changes that he is looking to have incorporated following the feedback from the public hearings, but the key issues to note are as follows:
1 – The rate of build of new housing was under attack from developers as being too low. They were looking for a significant annual increase from the 592 homes across East Hants as defined in the plan. He felt there was no justification for this, so there will be no further increase on the annual build rate we are expected to deliver.
2 – The South Downs National Park were looking for a range of 400 to 700 homes, and were being very non committal on numbers. The inspector has ruled that Petersfield must not only take the larger number of 700 on their range of options, but that this is their minimum number. This is still considerably lower than the impact on Horndean, but will take some of the pressure off at least.
3 – There will be an updated plan with a further 7 week consultation which will conclude at the end of January. The plan will be in place by the end of March.
The next steps for East Hants now are to put in place an Allocations plan, and to put forward our structured proposals for the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) charges for developers. The application of CIL in particular is key as it will prevent piecemeal development as we have seen on Five Heads Road and other areas from ducking below the affordable housing and other community contributions.
Anyone wishing to submit representations on any of the Proposed Main Modifications may do so either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to the Planning Policy team no later than 5.00pm on Friday 7 February 2014.
Click on this link to see the modifications: JCS Main Modifications Dec 2013
Over the last few days surveyors have been seen on and around White Dirt farm. I have had several calls and emails to let me know, and asking questions, so I have put some of these here:
“Why would surveyors be out on the farm land?” There are very few reasons why this might occur and the concern is that it could be in preparation for a planning application.
“Has a planning application been put in for White Dirt Farm?” – No. no application has been received.
“Do East Hants know of any proposals to submit one?” Neither I, nor the Ward Councillor (Councillor Sara Schillemore whose ward it is in) know of any plans, and we are both following this up with the planning team at EHDC so see if they have heard of anything.
“Planning has already been approved and it is a done deal” Absolutely not. It is just not possible for any planning application to be considered and approved without bring notified and consulted on.
“The site can not be built on”. The land is in a “Designated Local Gap” which means that the current and past District Councillors and planning staff at EHDC have decided that it should not be built on to make sure that adjacent villages do not merge together. White Dirt Farm is important gap land between Horndean, Clanfield and Cowplain. The Local Plan and Joint Core Strategy (which will be adopted in March 2014) contain local policies to protect designated local gaps. These prevent the land from being developed provided 1) there are other better locations to build on, and 2) the rate of new house building is meeting the current requirements (known as the 5 year plan) We absolutely have better places to build on (see earlier articles on housing to read more about Hazleton Farm) but our new build progress which varies may not currently be fast enough with the new and significantly larger housing numbers we are required to deliver.
“Was Green Lane in gap land?” Green Lane was not a designated gap so we have more protection and environmental reasons to oppose development here.
“What is your view?” I am on record as being totally against any development on White Dirt Farm and will strongly oppose any application.
“Can an application be stopped before it is submitted?” No. Anyone is free to submit a planning application at any time for any land. There are however much better sites to develop with a far better prospect of success than this site which will receive fierce resistance if an application turns up. It does, however, create concern and anxiety in the meantime.
“Could bulldozers turn up tomorrow?” No. The planning process for a large site is lengthy and involves consultation and extensive survey. Any serious application for a site this large will cost between £50,000 and £100,000 to prepare for and to submit.
“Is there a risk the farm could be developed?” We have done everything we can to protect the land but yes, there is unless we can demonstrate we are building enough housing elsewhere, or the proposals are not Sustainable as defined by the NPPF (See Below). Again, there are much better and lower risk sites for the developers to select.
Further Reading: Planning is governed by The NPPF – National Planning Policy Framework and the link for this policy is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/6077/2116950.pdf
I will put updates on here when I receive any hard facts.
For the last year I have been supporting requests from residents in Downs who are poorly served by bus stop shelters and writing to HCC, First Group and Stage Coach as well as speaking to the Parish Council.
I am delighted to say that Horndean Parish Council on Monday night supported plans to provide and install 3 new bus stop shelters in Downs Ward.
It is likely that these will be at the following locations:
Southdown Road bus stop (9)
Tarn Rise opposite Eskdale (10)
Downwood Way / South Road junction bus stop (11)
As with all things local authority there are procedures and there must be local consultation with residents near the proposed stops. As these serve the community it is hoped there is minimal reason to object. My hope to have these in place for this Winter has not been achieved, for which I apologise, but they are coming!
Thanks goes to:
Cllr Marge Harvey at HCC for supporting the scheme and speaking to officers at County to secure some funding
The staff at Horndean Parish Council for organising prices and chasing information
The Councillors at Horndean Parish Council who unanimously supported the proposal.
Like many who live in the countryside, I have sometimes considered throwing my computer out of the window when the internet has ground to halt. I have always managed to resist the temptation but once or twice it has been a close run thing, as I imagine it has for quite a few others who like the green of the country but not the terrible internet speeds. Some of you may therefore have felt your computer and nerves were granted a reprieve when word of rural superfast broadband for Hampshire hit the headlines.
Well, for most in the county this calmness should now be permanent as they surf the web for Christmas presents and sales bargains in the weeks to come, but there is going to be some who will miss out. As many of you may know, Hampshire County Council is working with BT Openreach to install new fibre connections.
Under these plans, at least 95% of home and businesses in Hampshire will be able to access superfast services by the end of 2017 and will enjoy speeds of at least 2 Mbps. Hampshire County Council has estimated that around 40,000 homes will actually get better than 50 Mbps.
It’s great news for the area that the council has decided to make this investment and I’m sure that at least 95% of people will be very happy with the results.
The slight wrinkle is the other 5%. These are the most rural areas – small villages and hamlets of a few dozen houses. For these people, the future is less clear. It may be that some communities have to fund their connection to this network on their own and that could be at a great cost. Rural Parish councils are being told that they may have to pay for the infrastructure to be installed themselves also with a pretty hefty price tag.
For example, Rotherwick near Hook recently completed a self-funded broadband scheme at a cost of around £28,000.
I would encourage local residents to be in touch with Hampshire County Council directly to express their support for super-fast broadband in their area.
They can do so by signing-up to the campaign here: https://www3.hants.gov.uk/broadband/broadband-signup.htm
Horndean Parish Council has been brought back to full strength on Downs Ward with Carolyne Jacobs has been co-opted onto The Council.
Carolyne has lived in Horndean since 1986. Her children attended local schools and she has many friends and contacts in the area. Carolyne is particularly interested in the future of our local area and how Horndean, particularly Downs Ward, will take shape in the next few years. She has joined the Parish Council to have an input, and represent the voice of neighbours in the Downs Ward, in that future.
Carolyne’s background is in education and project management and she plans to bring these skills to help raise awareness about the interests of people living in Downs.
Carolyne can be contacted via email at email@example.com.
This years Horndean Parish Council Carol Service was held on Tuesday 10th December to a massive crowd of over 450. Charles Collingwood – Brian Aldridge of The Archers introduced the carols and readings.
Blendworth Band accompanied us through the evening and even followed up with 2 encore carols. Thanks go to Philippa Penfold of Horndean Parish Council and Brendan Charles of Merchistoun Hall for leading the singing. Thanks in particular to all of the staff and members of Horndean Parish Council who organised the event and Horndean Business network for organising the precinct market. A collection was made for the Rowans Hospice.
In the last few weeks Sunley Homes (who are also the Havant Road Developer) have brought forward plans for a development on Blendworth Lane. This is for 41 dwellings including some specialist accommodation for injured servicemen, and the redevelopment of Napier Hall, a key Parish Facility. It would if approved build in the conservation zone and add to traffic on the already difficult Blendworth Lane.
Sunley summarise the key benefits of the site as follows:
41 High Quality dwellings in a variety of sizes and budgets
Existing vegetation and hedgerows to be largely retained
A new footpath to part of Blendworth Lane to improve road safety
A new community orchard which will be open to all of Horndean’s residents
The existing Right Of Way to be retained and improved
Napier Hall, a Parish building, to be redeveloped as part of the community contribution
86 parking spaces for the 41 dwellings
Solar heating, Solar power to the roofs
Some of the accommodation will be dedicated to injured servicemen
For a full set of the consultation documents click on this link: Sunley Blendworth Lane Exhibition Boards
Comments left on this page will be passed onto Sunley Homes.
New bin collection calendar available on-line and by phone
Residents can now download bin collection calendars from the internet as part of a new method of distribution.
As well as downloading their calendar from the website http://www.working-together.org.uk residents can ring 0300 300 0013 (charged at the local rate) at any time and ask for a calendar to be posted to their address.
East Hampshire District Council will not be posting the calendars out to all households as in previous years but an A5 leaflet carrying information on the Xmas and New Year collections and how to get a calendar will be distributed to each property.
After Christmas residents can also put out real Christmas trees for collection with their garden waste sack or bin during January.
The Gales site is broken into 3 separate lots, and 2 of these are underway (Lot 1 which is the new retail and housing to the West of London Road, and lot 2 which is the new housing to the East of London Road).
Lot 3 which was to be a care home, but will now be flats is to start, and Linden Homes have put out the following release:
I wanted to let you know that Linden is due to start initial work on the construction of the approved scheme for Lot 3 on Monday December 9th. Ahead of major activity starting, Linden will be completing preparatory work, including the erection of hoarding around the site. Please do note that the hoarding planned will also encompass the pavement in front of the site, meaning that pedestrian access along London Road immediately after the Ship & Bell Public House will be closed. The pavement on the opposite side of London Road will remain unaffected.
Further works scheduled for completion by Linden in the coming weeks include ground remodelling and building the foundations to podium level, with the ground works contract scheduled to be complete during the month of May 2014. Activity on-site will cease for the Christmas period on December 23rd, with work resuming on January 2nd 2014.
Dear Shed Owner,
There has been an increase in shed burglaries in the East Hampshire area and this letter contains some crime prevention advice regarding Shed Safety.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service also supports shed safety by reminding owners to be careful what they store in their sheds.
The police often recover stolen property but frustratingly can not identify the owner. By registering on this simple free website (www.immobilise.com) the police could reunite lots more property with their rightful owner AND convict more offenders.
Thank you in advance for working with us to help reduce crime in your area.
Many people take a great deal of trouble securing their home and property while at the same time leaving valuable garden tools and cycles in a shed that is either unlocked or not maintained.
Items such as tools, power tools and bikes are expensive items to replace. This can also be an open invitation for thieves to use garden implements to break into their house or car.
• Place all tools and garden equipment in locked sheds and garages.
• Secure more expensive items, e.g. mowers, bikes to an anchor point within the shed or garage.
• Mark all items with postcode and record serial numbers. Register the details for free on http://www.immobilise.com
• Take photographs of items such as statues and garden furniture if they are unusual, for easy identification at a later date.
• Fit a shed alarm.
• Keep the structure in good repair.
• Consider covering windows with curtains to obscure the view of the contents.
• Consider external lighting.
• Ensure the garden fences are in good repair between neighbours to prevent unlawful access.
• Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.
Rewards for the thief are good. Property stored in allotment stores can in many cases total £100 if not £1000’s.
Often sheds sited on isolated allotments are left insecure and garden tools are not secured within, especially after a busy session in the allotment.
• Set up an Allotment Association if you don’t belong to one
• When considering new fencing, if possible avoid chain link which is inherently weak. Weld mesh is preferable.
• Consider the positions of stores and sheds. Can a thief breaking in be seen from neighbouring properties or by passing cars and pedestrians?
• Shed alarms or a wireless alarm can be a useful deterrent, however only if it is audible by neighbouring properties or passing pedestrians.
• Shed or stores made from metal are recommended as they may be more robust than wood. Reclaimed cargo containers are also a consideration.
• Display signage warning criminals that property on the site is marked and traceable.
• Undertake a “Property Marking Weekend” for your members. Mark all your property with a UV marker pen, indelible ink, and engraving.
• Ensure your Property serial numbers are registered for free on http://www.immobilise.com
If you see anyone acting suspiciously or have any information relating to people suspected of committing crimes, please call 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non emergency.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this crime prevention advice.
The following is a Shed Fire Safety message from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
Shed Fire Safety
HFRS is supporting Shed safety by reminding people to be careful what they store in their sheds and other outbuildings.
Many people keep substances such as paint, petrol and gas cylinders, including LPG and acetylene, in their sheds and outbuildings without realising the potential dangers. In the event of a fire, these substances can explode, posing a serious risk to life and property. Acetylene cylinders (commonly used in welding) are the most hazardous of all and the risk of acetylene exploding remains for up to 24 hours after the fire has been extinguished.
Reduce the risk of a fire in your shed or outbuilding by following these simple tips:
• Make sure hazardous substances are stored securely in approved containers.
• Only store what you need to use – dispose of any unwanted chemicals correctly and return empty cylinders to the manufacturer (details are on the shoulders of the cylinder).
• Reduce the risk of deliberate fire and theft by keeping your shed or outbuilding in a good state of repair and secure. Consider directing a security light onto it as a deterrent.
• Take care with electrical items such as TVs and radios – look out for signs of dangerous or loose wiring and never overload sockets. Unplug appliances when not in use.
• Never put a barbecue into a shed while it is still hot as it can easily cause a fire.
Community Safety Manager
East Hampshire District Council