I am a member of the Rural Citizens Advice Bureau and have been for 7 years. I attend their meetings and they make me very welcome for my input and support. (I am not paid and I DO NOT claim any expenses)
Mission Statement :- The Citizens Advice Service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone, on their rights and responsibilities. It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.
Mrs J Dorroch Treasurer & Acting CEO Nick Blencowe Dr Trevor Evans Chairman
I was one of only 4 members attending the AGM and there were no representatives from Whittlesey or Fenland Councils, who financially support the Rural CAB.
The Rural CAB has an excellent website, which contains a vast array of self help information. Besides only a few ‘paid’ full time employees – the group consists of 113 volunteers including members and trustees – who collectively contributed approximately 44,000 hours of work to the local community.
Unfortunately during the financial year the Charity (CAB) had substantial deficit of some £80,000 which has had a significant impact on its reserve holdings. Needless to say that Dr B Dungarwall (CEO to 25/09/18) has resigned her role.
Whittlesey Town Council makes a contribution to The Rural CAB and this is reviewed every year. The CAB attend Whittlesey Library/Learning Centre every Friday and an appointment system is in place on a Friday morning at the reception desk. Recently the Rural CAB have been attending The Eastrea Centre on a monthly basis, this is for a limited time only.
The CAB and all its volunteers carry out a fantiastic job in supporting local people and is as previously stated ‘free’ to us – they are under enormous pressure with the amount of cases they deal with and one of the biggest to hit them is the introduction of Universal Credit. Fortunately there will be Central Government funding to help nationally all CAB’s give support and advice.
Emails are being sent across Cambridgeshire (and Whittlesey) by criminals telling the recipient similar to the following:
That their devices have been compromised with spyware or a key logger.
The email will often include a part or complete password that the victim will be able to identify with, or the name of a spouse or relative all to make it appear more believable.
The content of the email will make accusations that the victim had been viewing illegal material online, or that they have illegal files stored on their device. There will then be a demand for a bitcoin payment. Approximate cost of the blackmail if paid, £300.
The criminal may allege that they have been monitoring the victim for weeks or months.
The criminal may invite the victim to click on a link in order to see the material for themselves, this is nothing more than a link to a criminally controlled website that installs ransomware onto the device. A further demand for payment will be made to un-encrypt the data.
It is unlikely that the device had already been compromised prior to the delivery of the email.
It is highly likely, that the email address and password had previously been obtained from a data breach via a website/server unbeknown to the victim and sold or shared amongst the cyber criminals.
The accusation of possessing illegal material is malicious social engineering, it isdesigned to put fear into the person reading the email and to cause a reaction in this case to pay a ransom.
It is highly unlikely that the criminal has been monitoring the email account for days, weeks or months. A number of cyber criminals are lazy and they do not desire to spend any time researching victims, they just send out blanket emails and wait for a response.
NEVER open an attachment or click on a link to an email you are not 100% satisfied to who actually sent it.
The advice of the National Crime Agency and UK Policing, is never to pay a ransom.
This evening saw the Whittlesey Business Forum meeting at the Falcon Hotel, not so many attendees tonight was down to businesses having the festive season to contend with.
Membership remains stable and constant at 53 members – mostly local businesses, with myself and some Whittlesey Councillors in support of our community.
Present committee was re-elected, with Joe Jennings being the Chairman, Deborah Slater as Vice Chairman and Eamonn Dorling as Treasurer.
Fee’s for membership are due on the 01st January and remain set at last years level.
A planned visit to the House of Commons and House of Lords is scheduled for 21st January – places still available.
Last night (10th) there were 18 members attending to hear a very good talk about the history of Peterborough Cathedral – which celebrates it’s 900th anniversary this year.
Other updates about the Kings Dyke Bridge and the New Queen Street Surgery change of personnel.
After many, many months, goodness knows how many times raised at Whittlesey Town Council and direct with County Councillor David Connor the state of our (3) Zebra Crossings in town have today at long last been given a lick of paint –
My perseverance has at last paid off.
The Zebra’s were in such a poor state that I quoted – they were not fit for purpose and have serious doubts of them being compliant.
So we can all cross the road at these Zebra’s in confidence that motorists can see them.
Lets again congratulate The Whittlesey Extravaganza Committee and all the support group, who made a fantastic event for all families at yesterdays event – if only ‘some’ knew the amount of work and preparation required to stage these events – Thanks and well done.
Now for something a little more serious – Boy did I get some feedback about my Metro Mayor article (Mayor James Palmer) – I was very surprised that all the feedback I received supported my arguments and statements, along with yet more publicity (negative) from the Peterborough Telegraph – I and many wonder why someone from Government hasn’t asked Mayor Palmer to justify the Authorities Spending and Expenses!!!!
Locally – The Conservative Group have now chosen their running candidates for next years (May) local elections (Whittlesey/Coastes/Eastrea/Ponderbridge) and yes I have been aware of ‘who’ the would be candidates are for some time – does it make any difference – no is the answer – However as I did happen to meet one councillor & candidate yesterday who reads my web-blog – who has changed his mind I believe on 4 occasions on whether he will stand or not – There is an old saying – If you are not certain about something – then don’t do it.
Some of the Whittlesey wards are not fully covered by the Conservative Group at present – that’s not to say that they will not find candidates before the May elections.
The Labour Group are in even more dire states, in that they will also not be able to find candidates for all Whittlesey wards.
Lib/Dems – Ex Cllr Dave Chapman says he is not standing but he is also known to change his mind just before an election – maybe a couple of others.
The Green Party has a Fenland Group and have made considerable standings previously in Whittlesey and more recently some success in Peterborough and should not be under estimated – Nationally Caroline Lucas comes over very well on TV debates and holds her own against some big guns.
Still there is Tuesday’s Brexit Vote – which could change everything on the political landscape – Nationally and maybe locally – A big unknown….
Will the conservative dissenters – capitulate at the last moment to save the day – who knows – we will all wait and see.
At this moment the vote on Tuesday is still planned to go ahead.
So next weeks episode will name those Whittlesey Councillors who are either retiring, leaving on health grounds or simply fed up with local politics and wish to move on –
watch this space….
This Wednesday evening 7:30pm is Whittlesey Town Council meeting – I wonder ‘if’ any of the ‘new’ candidates the conservatives have chosen will bother to even see what happens at a Whittlesey Town Council meeting – as so far none of the ‘New’ candidates have done so – just shows how much interest they have in ‘their’ electorate?
An annual event that ‘nearly’ came to an end 2 years ago, step in Lynne Palmer who took on the role of chairing the small organising committee – from a lot of people who said they would help to just a few who actually did….including myself in a small way. This year’s event is supported by many other Town Organisations and planning takes well over 6 months – There is a lot of Red Tape to conform with.
Lynne P & Richard Ex
This years event on a Saturday from 3pm with the weather being very changeable.
A good turn out with lots of children – a lot of events and a Punch & Judy show….
Unfortunately there was a couple of short sharp showers which dampened the spirit of things but from what I saw everyone was having a good time.
Thanks again to Lynne and her dedicated small group of helpers…..
Here are some tips for keeping safer when you are out doing the big Chrstmas shopping expedition – visit for a host of more information (From Robin Sutton) https://www.whittleseynhw.org.uk/
Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you, especially in busy shops and crowded streets where thieves and pickpockets may well be operating.
Keep valuables in the inside pockets of clothing or bags.
Only carry the cash and cards that you need. Always shield the PIN pad when entering your PIN.
Park in an open, well-lit area. Visit www.parkmark.co.uk to find accredited car parks.
Avoid going back to your car to leave your shopping part-way through your trip. If you have to keep presents in the car, make sure they are out of view in the boot, the car is locked, and keep the receipts with you.
Never leave your bag unattended on your trolley whilst shopping and don’t leave it in your vehicle when returning your trolley.
Deter pickpockets and muggers. Don’t overburden yourself with bags/packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Always carry a purse close to your body and not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket, likewise with your phone and keys.
Try and avoid taking young children into busy shopping areas. If it is unavoidable make sure they know what to do if they lose you e.g. tell the nearest counter assistant that they are lost and never leave a shop without you. Agree a meeting point with older children, in case you get separated.
Keep car doors locked whilst driving in built-up areas, especially if you’ve got bags or presents in the car.