Published: Saturday, 04 June 2022 12:05
In this communication:
- Chairman elected
- Our plans to improve recycling and reduce waste
- Bank holidays – no changes to your refuse collections
- Local electoral arrangements to change from 2023
- Cost of living support
- Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations
- Our green spaces and wildflower meadow trials
- Help to beat exam stress
At our Annual Council meeting last week, Cllr Alan O’Sullivan was elected as the new Chairman.
The Vice-Chairman for 2022/23 is Cllr Neville Penman.
In addition to chairing meetings of the Council held at Appletree Court, the position of Chairman is an important ceremonial one, representing the district at a wide range of civic engagements and local events.
Read more: https://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/3030/New-Chairman-for-New-Forest-District-Council
Our plans to improve recycling and reduce waste
We’re planning changes to how we collect your recycling and rubbish in the future.
This new waste strategy will detail the changes and provide more information on the research we did, and the aims of a new service.
The waste strategy will go through an approval process, subject to no delays, on these dates:
- 8 June 2022 – published at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/wastestrategy
- 16 June – reviewed at our Environment and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Panel
- 6 July – reviewed at Cabinet
- 11 July – final decision will be made by Council
View meeting dates and agendas: https://democracy.newforest.gov.uk/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?GL=1&bcr=1
You can attend our council meetings in person, or watch them online on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY5ng2qulNNQPcqQeQ4uf4g
Any changes to the service are not expected to take place until 2024 onwards.
We will still have a lot of work to do in making sure the service works for everyone in our community. We will survey households to identify those that may need alternative containers to wheelie bins. For example, households with a lack of external storage space, or flats.
You can view our explainer video which answers some commonly asked questions: https://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/2990/Waste-strategy-explainer-video
Bank holidays – no changes to your recycling and rubbish collections
The next bank holidays are on Thursday 2 June and Friday 3 June.
There are no planned changes to your recycling and rubbish collections. Please present your waste as usual.
This includes glass recycling collections and garden waste.
You can check your collection day: https://www.newforest.gov.uk/findyourcollection
Our information offices and customer services will be closed on the bank holidays, but you can still access many of our services on our website https://newforest.gov.uk/
Local electoral arrangements to change from 2023
There are three projects we are working on that will change some electoral arrangements from May next year. They are:
- government legislation which will change some ways of voting
- ward boundary changes following a 2019 Boundary Commission review
- and the May 2023 local district elections.
For voters, the most notable change from the new government legislation in the ‘Election Bill’ will be the requirement to show voter ID in polling stations.
You do not need to take any action for this yet.
It is estimated that 98% of the population already has suitable ID. Electors without a suitable form of photographic ID will be able to apply to us for a voter ID card later this year, when government issue guidance.
Changes from the ward boundary review will give electoral equality for voters across the district. There will be 48 district councillors for NFDC, 12 fewer than there are currently. They will represent 26 wards, which is a decrease of 8.
The boundaries of all existing wards will change from May 2023 as a result and residents may see a change in the name of the ward or the polling station that they normally vote in.
Polling stations will continue to be appropriately situated, and the new law will place greater emphasis on the accessibility of polling station to support voters with disabilities to cast their vote more easily.
There are district and parish elections on 4 May 2023. We will let you know more information about any differences and how to vote nearer the time. When available, details will be added at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/electoralservices
Cost of living support
There is information and advice on our website about the rise of energy bills and cost of living, including:
- the household support fund
- Council Tax support
- getting help if you can’t afford your energy bills
- housing benefit claims
- Universal Credit
See information at: https://newforest.gov.uk/energysupport
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations
There are lots of local events happening in our communities over the coming weeks to celebrate The Queen’s 70 years as our monarch.
Some events are listed on our website, and there is a new toolkit if you’re having a Platinum Jubilee celebration: https://newforest.gov.uk/article/2937/The-Queen-s-Platinum-Jubilee-2022
The digital toolkit includes downloadable bunting and posters, Jubilee recipes from celebrity chefs, and a music playlist.
Our green spaces and wildflower meadow trials
The national No Mow May campaign is taking place this month and involves taking a break from cutting grass.
If you’re able to do so, not mowing or cutting grass has lots of benefits for wildlife, particularly for butterflies and bees who take nectar from wildflowers.
When it comes to cutting grass and verges on council owned land, it can be more complex.
Before deciding whether to cut grass, we must always:
- consider safety and conservation needs for each unique piece of land
- maintain and cut overgrown pathway and roadside grass when necessary as it can be dangerous and restrict the view of drivers
- make sure grass does not go above a specified maximum height, especially during peak grass cutting season which typically runs from March to October
To improve grass cutting and help tackle climate change, we are trialling new wildflower areas in partnership with Totton and Eling Town Council. The wildflowers will supply nectar to wildlife, and we expect them to eventually grow in place of dominant grass species.
Grass cutting in these areas will be completed once the flowers have bloomed and had a chance to seed for next year, most likely in late summer. We will continue to create cut pathways through some meadows so these spaces can be used and enjoyed.
We will be reviewing the trials in Totton and aim to create similar schemes in the district, if successful.
You can read more information about how we maintain our green spaces at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/1215/Grass-hedges-and-shrubs
Help to beat exam stress
Tests and exams can be a challenging part of school life for children and young people, as well as their parents or carers.
The NHS website has advice about how to ease stress, stay well by exercising, eat well and have a healthy sleep routine. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/children-and-young-adults/advice-for-parents/help-your-child-beat-exam-stress/?fbclid=IwAR0hVa1mMshNISiuA81wi8uNGExEowTDYzsQAJq30DLpKCwjCUCTlDMfRRg
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Published: Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:00
In this correspondence:
- Council Tax rebate
- Boiler eco settings
- Support for Ukraine
- Reduce waste and recycle more
- Thank you to local litter heroes
- Coronavirus – staying safe
- Bird flu update
- Travel behaviour survey
Under 10% of our residents are subscribed to receive these emails.https://www.newforest.gov.uk/emails
If you can, please share this email with your family and friends. And they can sign up to receive them in future just with an email address at
Council Tax rebate
We have started making payments of the £150 Council Tax rebate.
The government announced the £150 rebate as support for the rising cost of energy bills.
Households in Council Tax bands A to D, who paid their April instalment by Direct Debit, do not need to take any action at the moment. You should receive the rebate in the bank account you use to pay Council Tax by the end of April.
If you are in Council Tax bands A to D, but don’t pay Council Tax by Direct Debit, or if we are unable to make the direct payment, we will write to you by the end of April and invite you to make a claim to receive the payment into your bank or on to your Council Tax account. This payment should reach you by the end of May.
Be scam aware: We would never call and ask for bank details over the phone in order to receive the Council Tax Energy Rebate. If you get a call like this, hang up and report the scam to the police on 101, or to Action Fraud https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
You can see up-to-date information and support with Council Tax, rising cost of living, and energy costs, at https://newforest.gov.uk/energysupport
Boiler eco setting
Joanne, one of our gas safety engineers, visits around 40 homes a week to carry out checks on council housing tenants’ boilers.
She says a lot of people don’t know about the ‘eco’ or ‘comfort’ settings that are part of a boiler’s on-demand function that would save money on energy bills.
Joanne explains that you can have a boiler set to pre-heat, or on-demand.
Using the on-demand setting means the boiler only comes on when you turn on the tap, rather than continually heating a small amount of water, or ‘kettleing’ as Joanne terms it.
Switching the pre-heat setting to on-demand, called comfort or eco on different models, will save money on energy bills.
For some larger families, this could be up to £10 a week.
Joanne also advises householders when she visits about thermostats located next to radiators, often in a hallway, to consider turning that radiator down. This she says is then more effective at heating the whole house, as “those radiators have got greedy”.
Tenants in council homes have an annual gas safety check. We ask that if you have been given an appointment, you do your best to keep it. You will have your gas appliances checked for leaks, and your boiler will be given a service.
If you would like to change your boiler settings, are unsure how to do it or do not have the boiler instructions, an internet search of ‘eco boiler setting’ and the manufacturer name should suggest videos and instructions that are simple to follow.
Support for Ukraine
Hampshire County Council’s website has information and guidance for Ukrainian guests, sponsors, and other ways to help at https://www.hants.gov.uk/ukraine
Some local libraries are now holding ‘Ukraine Connections’ sessions to offer a welcoming space for Ukrainian guests. People can meet others socially, find out about life in their new, temporary home, and learn about library services.
- Andover Library – Saturday: 10am – 12pm
- Fordingbridge Library – Tuesday: 2pm – 4pm
- Hythe Library – Tuesday: 10am – 12pm
- Lymington Library – Friday: 10am – 12pm
- New Milton Library – Tuesday: 10am – 12pm
- Ringwood Library – Thursday: 2pm – 4pm
- Romsey Library – Friday: 2pm – 4pm
- Totton Library – Monday: 10am – 12pm
- Whitchurch Library – Monday: 2pm – 3pm
If you are interested in fostering an unaccompanied refugee child (from any country) you can register your interest at: www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/fostering
Reduce waste and recycle more
Hampshire County Council’s Smart Living website has lots of information on how you can make the most of items in your home, save money, and protect the environment: https://www.hants.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/smartliving
Visit their website for:
- help finding local charity shops, and repair and reuse sites where you can take your unwanted items, such as textiles, toys and furniture. Some locations also accept small or large electrical items, like kitchen appliances, hair dryers, watches and washing machines
- tips on selling your unwanted items on online community groups and websites like Freecycle, Preloved, and Gumtree
- links to local repair cafés, such as Lymington repair café and Totton repair café. You can take broken household items, and sometimes clothes to repair cafés where volunteers will fix them for a small donation. You can also find guides on the Smart Living website to help you make simple repairs yourself.
- advice on how to cut down on unwanted junk mail. For example, you can sign up to the Royal Mail’s Opt-Out service to stop all unaddressed mail being delivered to you: https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/293
We’re planning to recycle more in the New Forest in the future. We currently collect empty aerosols, cans, tins, plastic bottles, card, and paper in your clear recycling sacks. We also collect glass bottles and jars of all shapes and sizes from your glass collection box, or communal glass bin if you live in flats.
Thank you to local litter heroes
Thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s New Forest Spring Clean, and to volunteers who help protect our environment all year round.
Our team supported local events attended by over 600 volunteers, collecting roughly 320 bags between them.
If you would like to take part a community litter pick or organise your own, you can get involved at any time.
We can lend you litter picking equipment, such as litter grabbers and hi-vis vests.
And we can also supply sacks, and if needed, collect the rubbish from an agreed location after the event. Please remember to check you have the landowner’s permission before litter picking and follow health and safety guidance.
Read more: https://www.newforest.gov.uk/litterpicking
The New Forest Spring Clean took place from 25 March to 10 April this year, as a part of Keep Britain Tidy’s annual Great British Spring Clean. It is a joint initiative between us, Forestry England, New Forest National Park Authority, Hampshire County Council, National Trust and the Verderers of the New Forest.
Coronavirus – staying safe
COVID-19 is still around. So it’s a good idea to keep doing simple things to protect our families and communities, especially those at the greatest risk of severe illness.
- get vaccinated to reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill
- if you have symptoms, like COVID-19 or flu, try to stay at home, avoid contact with others and follow the guidance at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed places
- let in fresh air when you meet others indoors, especially if they are at high risk
- wash your hands regularly, and cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze
Bird flu update
The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has announced that mandatory housing measures for poultry and captive birds, which were introduced across the United Kingdom to help stop the spread of bird flu, will be lifted from 2 May.
Poultry and other captive birds will no longer need to be housed, unless they are in a Protection Zone, and will be allowed to be kept outside.
The UK has faced its largest ever outbreak of bird flu with over 100 cases confirmed across the country since late October. Scrupulous biosecurity is the most effective method of disease control available, and all bird keepers should apply enhanced measures at all times to prevent the risk of future outbreaks.
For more detailed information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bird-keepers-urged-to-maintain-scrupulous-biosecurity-standards-as-housing-measures-set-to-be-lifted
Travel behaviour survey
The Solent Future Transport Zone is a trial programme funded by the Department for Transport to help make journeys easier, smarter and greener.
A research team at the University of Portsmouth are doing surveys to understand individuals’ travel behaviour.
New Forest residents can take part in the initial (1 minute) survey at https://uopftzmaas.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dg3FW4Idmi4eRzU
Depending on your eligibility, you may then be invited to do other online surveys. Each survey will take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. By completing each survey, you will receive either an online voucher or a donation will be made to your chosen charity as a thank you for your time.
There is more information at: https://www.solent-transport.com/solent-future-transport-zone/
Published: Wednesday, 11 May 2022 10:51
To check if you can get Broadband Fibre
Please follow the following link
Published: Monday, 28 February 2022 14:55
In this correspondence
The last few days have seen a very challenging context for Ukraine, and we know that many of you will be keen to show solidarity and support, as we are as a council.
- Humanitarian aid
- Fraud and scams
- Misinformation and disinformation
- Mental health support
There are a number of organisations you can support in the humanitarian aid effort for Ukraine:
Fraud and scams
There are fraudsters who will try and take advantage of a crisis situation in the form of scams.
As always, please remain alert to possible scams and fraud.
There is advice and support at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Misinformation and disinformation
Sharing information is important but misinformation and disinformation can be damaging so please take a pause before you share anything.
Full Fact are independent fact checkers. You can read their latest checks https://fullfact.org/, and raise anything you think is false https://fullfact.org/get-involved/suggest-a-fact-check/
You can also follow them on twitter https://twitter.com/FullFact and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FullFact.org/
And they have advice on how to spot fake information, including social media videos https://fullfact.org/blog/2022/feb/how-to-fact-check-ukraine-videos/
Mental health support
A reminder that the NHS website Every Mind Matters has expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/
Please share this email with your family and friends, and if they would like to sign up to receive them in future, they can subscribe at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/emails
Published: Monday, 28 February 2022 14:52
In this correspondence
- Storm response
- NFDC’s Council Tax
- Coronavirus update
We are continuing to work on our response to the storms across the district as we inspect the damage that has been caused.
A large amount of this effort is at the coast and our coastal engineers and streetscene team are working hard to assess damage and ensure the beaches are safe.
As a result of the high tides from the storm, a waxy substance thought to be palm oil has washed up on some of our shores. Palm oil can be harmful to dogs if ingested so dog owners should take extra care if visiting the beach. It is safe for humans to touch, but you should dispose of it safely and wash your hands after handling it.
We were able to continue most of our work during the storm as we balanced continuing to provide our services and keeping our staff safe.
Thank you for your continued support as we deal with the impacts of the storms.
For updates about our services and how to get help and support if you’ve been affected by the storm, visit https://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/2940/Storm-Eunice-Franklin
We have set our part of the 2022/23 Council Tax at £188.36 per year, per household (Band D property).
This is a £5 a year increase for the New Forest District Council element of the total bill.
The total bill, which includes the amounts for other organisations we collect Council Tax on behalf of, will be £1,987.99 (for average Band D property).
Read more about Council Tax https://newforest.gov.uk/article/2953/Council-Tax-for-2022-2023-
Council Tax is an annual charge households pay to their local council. The money is then distributed to other local organisations and services.
For every £1 in Council Tax you pay, this is how (on average) it is divided between the different authorities:
- Hampshire County Council 70p
- Police and Crime Commissioner 12p
- New Forest District Council 9p
- Town and Parish Councils 5p
- Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service 4p
How much Council Tax you pay depends on your personal circumstances, which valuation band your property is in, and how much the council and other organisations need to fund its services.
There is information on our website about:
The full Council report that set the Council Tax can be read at https://democracy.newforest.gov.uk/documents/g7278/Public%20reports%20pack%2021st-Feb-2022%2018.30%20Council.pdf?T=10
Yesterday (Monday 21 February), the government announced their plans for living with COVID-19.
From this Thursday, 24 February, all remaining domestic restrictions in law regarding coronavirus will be removed. This means:
- If you test positive for COVID-19, you will no longer be legally required to self-isolate. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home if they can and avoid contact with other people.
- Fully vaccinated close contacts and those under the age of 18 will no longer be asked to test daily for 7 days.
- Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated will no longer be legally required to self-isolate.
- Routine contact tracing will end. Contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests.
- The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme will end. You can still make a claim until 24 February at https://www.gov.uk/test-and-trace-support-payment
- There will no longer be a legal obligation for individuals to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate.
From yesterday, Monday 21 February, staff and students in most education and childcare settings no longer need to test twice a week.
From 1 April, free COVID-19 testing will end for most people, but there will be some limited ongoing free testing for older age groups and the most vulnerable:
- Limited symptomatic testing will be available for a small number of at-risk groups. The government will set out further details on which groups will be eligible shortly.
- Free symptomatic testing will remain available to social care staff.
- The government is working with retailers to establish and develop a private market for lateral flow devices so the public can manage their own personal risk, and the risk to those that they come into contact with.
The most vulnerable will continue to be protected with targeted vaccines and treatments. A spring booster vaccine will be offered to those aged 75 and older, to older care home residents and those over 12 who are immunosuppressed
From April, the government will update guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to be careful and considerate of others, similar to advice on other infectious diseases. This will align with testing changes.
This move from government restrictions to personal responsibility means you can reduce the risk of catching and passing on COVID-19 by:
- getting vaccinated
- letting fresh air in if meeting indoors
- wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where coming into contact with people you do not usually meet
- trying to stay at home if unwell
- Washing your hands and following advice to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’
Read the full government plan for living with COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-living-with-covid-19
For the latest information and guidance, please see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
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