Save The Haven!

People outside building

Conservative-run Cambridgeshire County Council is planning to close The Haven, a supported living scheme in Wulfstan Way.

The Haven was purpose-built – only 13 years ago – for older people with mental health problems, but now the County Council is saying it’s not up to standard and must close.

The scheme comprises eight flats as well as communal rooms, a garden, a manager’s office and a bedroom for staff on night duty.

Residents moved to The Haven with the promise that they would not have to move again. They take part in a recovery programme there enabling them to develop confidence and become members of the community — both the ‘family’ at The Haven and also the local Queen Edith’s community.

If this very successful unit closes, the upheaval will have a profound impact on the lives and mental states of these vulnerable residents, who will take a long time to adjust and to learn to trust again. And the dedicated and experienced staff there will lose their jobs.

The local churches and other members of the community are running a petition to the County Council asking them to reconsider. I and your other Lib Dem councillors are supporting this and invite you to sign the petition at bit.ly/the_haven. This will be presented to the Conservative councillor responsible for adult care provision and her committee.

If you prefer to sign a paper form, download one here, or sign at St James’s Church, the Queen Edith Chapel, or St John’s Church. We would welcome any other local places that can display the petition.

The Haven – letter – CCC

Police warn of credit card scam

scam alertKate Thwaites, the Cambridge Community Safety/Crime Reduction Officer, has issued the following warning about scams via the Constabular’s eCops system:

A fresh warning is being issued over a courier fraud scam which targets the elderly and vulnerable who receive a phone call from fraudsters saying they are from their bank or the police. Several people in the Peterborough area have fallen victim to this scam in the last few days.

Tricksters tell the victim they are calling because there has been suspicious activity on their account and advise them to call the bank from the number on the back of their card. But when they hang up and call their bank or police, the fraudster manages to stay on the line and even though a new number is dialled the victim is still on the phone to the fraudster.

The con artist then gains their trust and asks them to either say or key in their PIN number before telling them their card will be collected and a replacement delivered. A courier calls later that day to collect the card.

You can hear an example of this type of call by watching the following film clip at Herts Police website

http://www.herts.police.uk/hertfordshire_constabulary/latest_news/news_articles/260115_-_1819.aspx <http://www.herts.police.uk/hertfordshire_constabulary/latest_news/news_articles/260115_-_1819.aspx>

Variations of this scam include people being sent to high street stores to purchase expensive items, which are later collected by fraudsters.

For further information regarding the latest scams please visit<http://www.consumberhub.org>

 

Spread some warmth this winter, give away your Winter Fuel Allowance

After a lovely mild autumn, it is now  feeling appropriately wintry for December!

Which calls to mind an idea first put to me last summer when the temperature was a balmy 82 degrees. It is a creative scheme to help the vulnerable elderly.

The people who came up with it are the creative folk at Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF), a charity that matches grant givers to groups or individuals in need of funds.

Here’s how it works:

Most people over 60 receive a Winter Fuel Payment of between £100-300. It’s what is called a universal state benefit, so everyone eligible for a pension gets it. I know it is much appreciated by many older people, who need the extra money to heat their homes properly, yet I hear some people say they are comfortably off and can manage perfectly well without state benefits.

Here is an answer for them. If they prefer to give the money to help someone less fortunate, they can donate their Winter Fuel Payments to the CCF’s Winter Fuel Fund. The Fund will go to charitable projects for older people – for example, it might pay for an old lady to go and have lunch at a day centre one day a week, or for an outing. People can register their interest on line at http://www.cambscf.org.uk/the-winter-fuel-fund.html; or email Sam Weller at [email protected]