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Our Kent and Shepway page will bring you information about the local area and provide you with the links to view documents that are relevant to you.

This page contains information on:

Boundary Commission             Unlicensed Traders             Scams             Road/Footpath problems          

 

Bonfires

Bonfire smoke

Smoke from bonfires and burning rubbish contains irritating, sometimes poisonous substances. Even one bonfire can spoil the environment, and annoy neighbours by making their homes dirty.

What you can do

Shepway Council's leaflet "Nuisance bonfires" gives easy ways to dispose of rubbish instead of having a bonfire. For example:

If smoke from a neighbouring house or business is affecting your quality of life,  tell us by:

Tell us as much as you can about:

  • how the problem affects you
  • how significant the problem is - how often it occurs, and how long it lasts
     

What the Council can do

If we decide the problem is causing a statutory nuisance:

  • we'll try to resolve the problem informally, by offering advice and guidance to those responsible
  • if that doesn't work, we can sometimes take action under the Environmental Services Act - which carries fines of up to £20,000

We can also declare a Smoke Control Area. This means that:

  • people can only use authorised fuels, or exempted furnaces and boilers
  • chimney smoke is not allowed, with only a few exceptions
  • people who don't comply can be fined up to £1,000 for each offence.

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105 is the new number to call if you have a power cut. It’s free of charge and will put you through to your local electricity network operator who can give you help and advice

Many people don’t know they should contact their local electricity network operator if they have a power cut. They often mistakenly call the electricity supplier they pay their bills to.

That’s why the electricity network operators have introduced 105 – to give you an easy-to-remember number to call that will put you through to the local people who can help.

Customers who live in London, the South East and East of England can still call us on 0800 31 63 105, free from a mobile or landline phone.

For more information you can visit the 105 website

Kent County Council's Pothole Blitz 2016

Kent County Council’s pothole blitz has been going on this summer with so far 839 potholes filled alongside 24,108m2 of larger road repairs across the county. The work includes filling individual holes alongside repairs to larger areas which can see multiple potholes repaired at the same time with, in total, £954,471 has been spent on repairs since June.

They aim to make a permanent, quality repair by cutting out a small section of the road around the hole, clearing out the old material and filling it with new Tarmac. If a road has lots of potholes, it may need a larger patch or work is programmed in to resurface the whole section. Where possible, the fix will then be protected by surface dressing the whole road in the near future, to prevent damage by the next winter weather. Lines and verges are also receiving a spruce up.

You may have noticed work in your parish but KCC still needs your help by reporting any potholes that may remain un-mended, though these are likely to be already included in the planned work programme. Please report any un-mended potholes online, as this is the quickest and easiest way to alert crews to damage to the roads. Once reported, it will be inspected by a local crew and if work is necessary, it will be programmed in to be fixed.

For the latest updates week-by-week, and to report a pothole, visit www.kent.gov.uk/potholeblitz.

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Septic tank rules


In January 2015, new rules were introduced that simplify the way septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants are regulated in England. If you have a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant, by law you must comply with the ‘general binding rules’ by ensuring your system is maintained properly and does not cause pollution some people may need to apply for a permit. The Environment Agency has now prepared a leaflet on small sewage discharges, which explains the changes in more detail that can be accessed here.

SCAMS

 Are you worried about the increasing number of scams that seem to be around?

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Click on this useful link to see the latest ones
  Trading Standards News and Alerts

 

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British Gas Alert - August 2016

Fraudsters are spamming fake British Gas utility bill emails that link to a virus that takes over victim’s computers.

Action Fraud has received hundreds of reports of emails cleverly designed to look like a harmless utility bill. The emails contain links that take you to a website where you are told to download a file in order to view your bill. After downloading the file, the virus locks you out of your computer and then directs you to an online payment page. 

British Gas say that their emails will always be personalised and will often quote your British Gas account number and will only provide links back to the britishgas.co.uk website.

Having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent you from becoming infected. Please consider the following tips:

  • Make sure that your internet browser and any plug-ins are up-to-date
  • Don’t click on links or open attachments from unknown email addresses. Fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of links or attachments.
  • Visit the British Gas website directly and log in from there to check utility bills. Do not use links provided in suspicious emails.
  • Avoid logging into your email account from a public computer as it could be infected with spyware. Don’t connect to unsecured public Wi-Fi, use mobile data services such as 4G instead.
  • Create regular backups of your files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. Do note leave the device connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to it.
  • Don't pay extortion demands, and there's no guarantee that access to your files will be restored if you do pay.

If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

kcc-logo.jpgTrees, hedges and vegetation overhanging the highway

Every year KCC Highways & Transportation receive numerous complaints regarding trees, hedges and other vegetation, which overhang the highway from private property. This can pose a number of problems for people trying to use the footways, especially if they are trying to pass with buggies, wheel chairs and scooters.  Please ensure that any trees and hedges that are bordering the Highway are maintained and cut back to your boundary. This will help us all keep the highway safe and prevent the need for KCC Highways & Transportation writing to you requesting that you cut back your vegetation. 

If the boundary of your property borders the footway, then please be aware that:

  •  The full width of the footway/pavement must be available for use by pedestrians.
  • As well, there must be a minimum height clearance over the footway/pavement of 2.1 metres / 7 feet for any vegetation.

 If the boundary of your property borders the carriageway, then please be aware that:

  •  If you have vegetation that overhangs into the road, there must be a minimum height clearance of 5 metres / 16 feet, to accommodate buses and HGV’s that may use the road.
  •  If your property is rural, then vegetation should be 0.45 metres / 1’6” feet behind the edge of the road and all signs need to be kept clear of foliage for at least 20 metres.

Also, please pay special attention to your trees, hedges and vegetation if your property is on or near a junction, and/or inside bend of the road, to maintain maximum visibility for road users.

Noise Nuisance

If you are experiencing noise nuisance problems from noisy neighbours, alarms, barking dogs or businesses and building sites; the Shepway council wesbite has information and advice on what to do. Click here to visit their site

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Kent County Council Trading Standards is proud to announce their partnership with Checkatrade. 

Find a trader approved by KCC Trading Standards 

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Clean Sweep Alert System

Kent Fire & Rescue have launched the clean sweep alert system – it’s safe and easy to use and you can sign up in seconds. It will send you a message to remind you to get your chimney cleaned and inspected if you haven’t already had it done yet. That way you can make sure it's free from debris and in good working order before you light it. This will help to prevent fires and structural damage to your property.


If you have a chimney, open fire, wood burner, Aga or other 'real flame' appliance, it's vital that you ensure it is properly installed and serviced by competent engineers, so you can safely curl up next to a warm, cosy fire throughout the colder winter months.


Don't take chances with safety, sign up for the free clean sweep alert and get your chimney and flues inspected and swept annually. 

Click here for tips to help avoid a fire.

Click here to sign up to the clean sweep alert system.