In this communication:
Preparing to vote in May
From mid-March, voters in the New Forest will start to receive their poll cards in the post for the 4 May 2023 district and parish elections.
The poll card looks a little different this year. Instead of an A5 card, it will be an A4 piece of paper in an envelope.
The poll card now contains more information including a full list of accepted forms of photo ID that you’ll need to be able to cast your vote at a polling station. It also explains what you need to bring with you, and where you need to go to vote.
Some polling stations have changed. Please check where yours is as you can only vote at your assigned polling station. We have previously written to the 16,000 people whose polling station has changed. Your card will also explain your options for voting if you are unable to attend the polling station.
Read more about accepted forms of photo ID, and find your polling station, on our website at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/elections
Cost of living information and advice
Pet health care costs
It can be overwhelming when your pet is unwell and you’re worried about money. Seeking advice from the vet quickly will likely reduce costs overall and be best for your pet’s health. The RSPCA offer information and advice about steps to take, including seeking help and support from animal charities who can help owners struggling with vet bills. Read more at https://www.rspca.org.uk/whatwedo/care/financial
Applications for an energy discount
Households who haven’t received their £400 energy bill support as they do not have a direct relationship with an energy supplier, may now be eligible to apply through the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding.
Eligible households include off-grid homes, certain park home residents and partially or wholly self-funded care home residents.
We’ve already received over 600 applications for this one-off payment.
To apply, you’ll need to complete a short online form on GOV.UK. Search “apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically” on GOV.UK if you need any help with making your application. You may be required to provide information and payments will be made within 30 days of making your application.
Jobs fair in Lymington
If you’re looking for work, interested in volunteering, or need some support with the cost of living, you can go to a community event on Wednesday 22 March (10am to 2pm) at the Lymington Centre in New Street. This is a free event, open to all, and there will be employers from a variety of sectors, as well as training providers and support services.
For information about the cost of living, including access to food larders and further support, visit our website at https://newforest.gov.uk/costofliving
New extra care housing in New Milton
We offer ‘extra care housing’ for those who value the independence of their own home but need additional support for everyday living.
A new extra care scheme, Wooldridge View, is now available in New Milton with 50 homes for people aged 55 and over, providing on site care support, a restaurant, and wellbeing services.
To be eligible, you must have a care need assessed by Hampshire County Council, and a housing need, assessed by New Forest District Council. Check your eligibility on Hampshire County Council’s website at https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/adultsocialcare/extracarehousing
There is an information event taking place on Wednesday 15 March from 11am to 3pm at the New Milton Cricket Club, opposite Wooldridge View, to find out more about the accommodation and how to express interest in it.
More information about the services Wooldridge View will offer can be found at https://www.placesforpeople.co.uk/find-a-home/homes-to-rent/wooldridge-view
To find out more about extra care housing, our partners, and assessments of care needs, visit our website at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/extracarehousing
Totton regeneration project
Last summer, over 250 people, groups and organisations shared their regeneration aspirations for the area of Totton.
Three areas of Totton were considered for improvement as part of the community engagement work and this includes the Testvale park area, the town centre including the precinct and Commercial Road area, and the older town area near Rumbridge Street and Junction Road.
The results of the engagement work will now form the actions for the next stage of our project to see Totton regenerated.
The full report and details from the council’s engagement exercise can be viewed on our website at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/3273/Totton-community-engagement-work-highlights-priorities-for-improvements
Recycling and rubbish
International Women’s Day, 8 March
International Women’s Day is on Wednesday 8 March.
To celebrate, we have spoken with some of our colleagues to find out about the work they do at NFDC and what advice they would give to anyone wanting to pursue similar careers.
You can read about women working in our climate, ICT, environmental and regulation, outreach, and communications teams on our website: https://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/3278/International-Women-s-Day
Find information about working with us and see our current vacancies: https://www.newforest.gov.uk/jobs
Promote your Coronation event
If you are hosting an activity or event to celebrate the Coronation of The King and The Queen Consort, you can add your plans to a public national map of events. Just complete a short form on the official website: https://coronation.gov.uk/share-event/
We’re keen to support our community in celebrating the Coronation. If you’re planning to celebrate the event with a street party, you can apply for a free temporary road closure on our website. Applications will need to be made at least 6 weeks in advance of the road closure date.
Please share this email with your family and friends. They can sign up to receive them in future at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/emails