Volume 1: Issue No.4 June 2014
Welcome to the fourth e-newsletter from the GPRA. If you cannot see the embedded photographs in your email, click on the ‘View it in your browser’ link at the top of the letter.
The focus of this newsletter is updates on issues that affect us all at Graylingwell Park.
1. Summer Garden Party and Scouts Children’s Day
The big event of the year will take place on Saturday 5th July 2014 (10am-4pm)on Havenstoke Park. With stalls, attractions and performances, it will be a fun family day. The GPRA committee will be manning a stall and holding a raffle so do come along and support us. Volunteers are needed both in the run-up to show and on the day itself. So, if you can spare time to help set things up or supply manpower on the day please contact Jane at the Chichester Community Development Trust on 01243 697072.
2. Linden Homes’ application to vary the Master Plan
Following our house-to house newsletter distribution, several residents contacted the committee with concerns about proposed variations to the master plan. All these concerns and others raised by the committee themselves, were evaluated and incorporated into a GPRA submission to Chichester District Council. Our response has similar concerns to those already expressed by Chichester Society and Richmond Park residents’ association. The submission was copied to all Chichester North councilors asking them to support our concerns in the planning process. We have had no response to this yet. Details of the submission and the preceding discussions can be found on the GPRA website on the Minutes and Hot Topics pages.
3. The Website
This is always under review and recent changes include updates to the Hot Topics page and the replacement of the notice board feature (only 1 notice in 5 months suggested a change was needed) with back copies of this newsletter. It’s always worth dropping into the site to see what’s new but if you really want a notice board have a look at the new one at the end of Longley Road near the Chapel Lane. Keep your eyes open for new activities and classes.
4. The Annual General Meeting September 11th
We know it seems a long way away but please put the date in your diary now! The AGM is a time to hear a report on GPRA progress and activities, vote in new officers and committee members, stand for offices and committee membership and join a discussion about the way ahead for the residents’ association.
5. The construction site
Around 50 people a year are killed on construction sites (more than any other industrial sector). Children have been seen climbing the fences to play on the site. They will be reported to the police who will increase their patrol area to cover this. Keep your children safe.
6. TPAS – Support for tenants
Affinity Sutton has affiliated with an organisation called TPAS and as a result all housing association tenants at Graylingwell can get advice and information from the TPAS website https://www.tpas.org.uk which states:
‘By informing tenants how to challenge, influence and control how their housing services are delivered, we can improve tenants’ quality of life and help landlords operate more effectively and efficiently. As one of the first organisations to specialise in tenant involvement at a national level, we’ve been leading the way ever since; successfully joining up government policy with front-line service delivery and grassroots tenants’ groups.
Our nationwide membership is made up of local tenants and their landlords, providing us with unique insight into the needs of all parties. With successful tenant involvement we can get housing practitioners and tenants all working together to effect positive change in social housing and communities.
Through our training, consultancy and events services, our members are given access to invaluable information and research, on-site involvement support and training, opportunities to share knowledge with key sector professionals, and the chance to shape future government housing policy.’
So, if you are a tenant and you are interested in learning more, look at the TPAS website and speak to your housing officer or call Affinity Sutton.
7. Scams advice from Neighbourhood Watch
What are scams? Scams are schemes to con people out of their money. Scams reach us all in a variety of ways: post, phone, email, online, even a knock at the door. Every year, more than 3 million people in the UK fall victim to scams, losing hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds.
To avoid becoming a scam victim remember:
• If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
• If you haven’t bought a ticket – you can’t win it.
• You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize.
• If in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.
• Persuasive sales patter? Just say: “No thank you”.
• Contacted out of the blue – be suspicious.
• Never give out your bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you.
• Take your time – resist pressure to make a decision straight away.
• Never send money to someone you don’t know.
• Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance.
• Your bank will never attend your home.
• Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card.
• Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN.
• Computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
• Don’t suffer in silence – tell others about scams.
CHECK unexpected calls, letters, and online contacts with someone you trust.
GET ADVICE – the Citizens Advice consumer service 08454 04 05 06 can provide advice and pass details on to Trading Standards.
REPORT scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 www.actionfraud.police.uk.
To report an incident or concern direct to West Sussex Trading Standards Service go to www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport
A comprehensive scam guide containing lots of practical advice is available at https://www.met.police.uk/docs/little_book_scam.pdf
8. And finally – Tip of the month
One resident has been charged twice in a month by Graylingwell Energy through direct debits. She didn’t lose any money because she regularly checks her bank statements and got the mistake corrected quickly. Do you regularly check your bank statements?