Friday, 20 October 2017

Constituency Boundary Changes - And end to Luton North and Luton South as we know it

Proposed Constituency Boundary Changes

An 8-week consultation lasting until 11 December has begun. Under the Boundary Commission's proposals, Luton South would include villages to the west, and Luton North would be added to Houghton Regis to form 'Luton North and Houghton Regis'.

The new boundaries would only affect the MP you vote for. It would not affect who you pay your council tax to, or your address.



◘ One of the aims of the proposed changes is to even out the number of people in each constituency.
Luton North currently has an electorate of 64,552 according to the Commission's data. The new number for Luton North and Houghton Regis would be 71,188.
Luton South currently has an electorate of 64,136 according to the Commission's data. The new number would be 71,881.

◘ The current 650 MPs would be reduced to 600.

◘ Among the proposals, Islington North represented by Jeremy Corbyn for 34 years, would disappear. And Boris Johnson's Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency would go.

To have your say, go to https://www.bce2018.org.uk/ 





Saturday, 14 October 2017

Fwd: Toads, Tales, Tolkien... and a Ukulele



Toads, Tales, Tolkien... and a Ukulele

The Wind in the Willows: A Folk Opera
Sat 28 Oct, 7.30pm, Luton Library Theatre
With traditional English folk melodies, join Ratty, Mole, Badger and, of course, the irrepressible Mr Toad as they embark on various adventures – on the river, on the road and in the dark and dangerous Wild Wood.
More info
Formby
Thu 2 Nov, 7.30pm, Luton Library Theatre
Following George Formby's rise from awkward stable boy to one of Britain's biggest stars. This funny, touching and thoughtful play comes complete with Formby's trademark ukulele and classic hits including Leaning on a Lampost, When I'm Cleaning Windows and many more.
More info
J.R.R Tolkien's 'Leaf by Niggle'
Thu 16 Nov, 7.30pm, The Hat Factory
Surrounded by ladders, bicycles and heirlooms, Tolkien's miniature masterpiece about an unsuccessful artist named Niggle, is brought to the stage.
More info
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Our Box Office is located at:
The Hat Factory, 65 - 67 Bute Street, Luton, LU1 2EY











Friday, 13 October 2017

Fwd: Independence Talk: Colonialism, Culture and Identity





Independence Talk: Colonialism, Culture and Identity
Saturday 21 October, 7.30pm
Hat Factory Arts Centre
£3 (Free for schools/college groups)


Join us at the Hat Factory for a historical discussion about the relationship between Britain and the Indian sub-continent.

Dating back to the 1600s, t
he talk will discuss Britain's presence in India and the purpose of their rule. It will also examine the defining features of partition including ethnicity, religious groups and look at the current situation regarding Indians in Britain.

Panel Chair: Dr Fatima Rajina
Dr Rajina, PhD from the University of London with focus on Bangladeshi Muslims and culture.
Book Tickets Online >>>
Box Office: 01582 878100 (Opening times: Mon - Fri, 11am - 6pm).
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Luton Culture · Luton Central Library · St. George's Square · Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 2NG · United Kingdom


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Over 65 Or Pregnant? Or Have Children Aged 2-8? Be Sure To Get Your Free Flu Vaccine



Stay healthy this winter and make sure you get your flu vaccine early this year to avoid becoming ill.

If you are aged 65 and over, pregnant, or have children aged 2-8, or suffer from a long-term condition, then you are eligible for a free flu vaccine this year.

Ideally, it is advised that you get your flu vaccine before winter (in October and November) to get the maximum protection.

From late September, the vaccine has been available and will be throughout the winter from various convenient locations such as your GP surgery or some community pharmacies (you do not need a referral from your doctor.)

The vaccine will free to all eligible persons; bought privately they can cost up to £20.

Dr. Annapurna Sen, from Central Bedfordshire Council's public health team, said: "The flu vaccine is one of the best protection against flu and its complications. The flu virus changes every year so it is important to get the updated flu vaccine every year to give you the best protection."

Councillor Brian J Spurr, Executive Member for Health and Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board said: "Flu is different from a cold — it can be much more serious and lead to significant complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia particularly in vulnerable groups like older people, children and those who already have health problems. It is worth also outlining that the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu, so it is better to be safe and get vaccinated."

Last year (between April 2016 and March 2017) there were over 1,790 hospital admissions in Bedfordshire due to flu and over two-thirds of these were in people over 65 years old. Of these, 145 died in Bedfordshire where flu was a contributing factor.

The flu vaccine is safe for most people and serious side-effects are very uncommon. Talk to your GP or community pharmacist if you are concerned.

For further advice, and to see if you qualify for a free vaccination, go to the NHS website for flu information.

Do you know the difference between a cold and flu? An expert explains the conditions, treatments and remedies available.













Thursday, 7 September 2017

urgent - £50 Rewards For People To Take Part In Wheelchair Trials

 
The research is assessing in detail how wheelchair users manage to transfer across small steps and gaps between a platform and a train.
We'll be carrying this research out in a specialist research centre in Stevenage, Hertfordshire between 15 September and 2 October 2017.
The trials will be using a custom-built test rig to simulate a train and platform.
This is a big ask!
Due to the nature of the research, we need participants to attend 6 half day design workshops.
We're offering £50 for each half day trial session and will cover all travel expenses. Therefore, the total for taking part in his project will be £300 plus travel expenses.
We're looking for people who use the following types of wheelchairs:
·         Powered Wheelchairs

·         Self-propelled Wheelchair with small front casters (2-4 inches)

·         Self-propelled Wheelchair with large front casters (5-8 inches)

·         Attendant Wheelchair

Of the six sessions, participants can choose to attend from the following half-day slots:
·         Session 1: 15th September AM /PM  OR  19th September AM

·         Session 2: 19th September PM  OR  20th September AM/PM

·         Session 3: 21st September AM/PM  OR  22nd September AM

·         Session 4: 22nd September PM  OR  26th September AM/PM

·         Session 5: 27th September AM/PM  OR  28th September AM

·         Session 6: 2nd October AM/PM

Morning sessions (AM) are from 9:30 to 12:30
Afternoon sessions (PM) are from 13:30 to 16:30.


Rica is a national consumer researcher with a consumer panel – RicaWatch – made up of over 750 older/disabled people.

Rica were part of Which originally, and are now independent and carry out quiet specialist research.

This latest project is at very short notice outside of our control.​


Find out more about Rica











Monday, 21 August 2017

STAYING SECURE ONLINE: Simple Advice From Cyber Aware

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The key behaviours to help you improve your online security are:

Install the latest software and app updates

• They contain vital security updates which help protect your device from viruses and hackers
• Security updates are designed to fix weaknesses in software and apps which could be used by hackers to attack your device. Installing them as soon as possible helps to keep your device secure
• You can choose to install updates at night when you are asleep and your device is plugged in or set your mobile or tablet to automatically update your apps when you are connected to Wi-Fi and an update is available
• You can also set laptops and desktops to automatically install software updates when an update is available

Use a strong, separate password for your email account (you can use three random words or numbers to create a strong password).
• Hackers can use your email to access many of your personal accounts, by asking for you password to be reset, and find out personal information, such as your bank details, address or date of birth, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft or fraud
• Having strong, separate passwords for your most important accounts means that if hackers steal your password for one of your less important accounts, they can't use it to access your most important ones
• Make sure your password is easy for you to remember, but not easy for others to guess e.g. Pa55word may follow the rules of using letters and symbols but is well known amongst hackers as a common password
• Don't use words which would be easy to discover from your social media accounts, such as your child's name or favourite sports team
Other behaviours which can help keep you secure online include:
Secure your tablet or smartphone with a screen lock
• Give your device an extra layer of security by setting it to lock when you aren't using it
• Screen locks provide an extra layer of security to your device, as each time you want to unlock it or turn it on, you will need to enter a PIN, pattern, password or fingerprint
• This means if someone gets hold of your device they can't access the data on your device without entering your password, pattern, PIN or fingerprint

Always back-up your most important data
• Safeguard your most important data such as your photos and key documents by backing them up to an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage system
• If your device is infected by a virus or accessed by a hacker, your data may be damaged or deleted, which means you won't be able to access it. Backing up your data means you have another copy of it, which you can access
Final tips:
• Remember that spammers could also gain access to a friend's account, so if you get an uncharacteristic email containing a link from a friend, do not click on it but find another way of contacting them to check that the message is genuine.
• Leave a website if you feel suspicious – if the site doesn't look or 'feel' right, if there is text that doesn't appear to have any purpose or doesn't tie in with the rest of the site, or if you feel uneasy for any reason.
• Regularly check your social media privacy settings to control exactly what you're sharing with whom.
• If you're going away on holiday, don't advertise it on social media!
• If you use a wireless network at home, password-protect it.

These simple steps can go a long way to helping you to stay secure online. 

For more information visit https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk

PHONE CALLS:
• Unexpected calls where the fraudsters claim to be officials asking for bank details or advance payment OR from a computer company asking for computer access to take
your data
- Genuine staff will never unexpectedly call asking for bank details or advance payment OR to fix your computer
• Fraudsters are rehearsed and seem very genuine

What to do when you receive a call:
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ROMANCE FRAUD:
• When you meet someone online, once they have your trust they may ask you for money
• They may say they need medical help or that they need money to visit

What to do -
- Never send money to someone you don't know
- Only use a reputable online dating service

INVESTMENT FRAUD:
• Forceful calls made unexpectedly offering investment opportunity
• The customer is unlikely to gain financial returns

What to do -
- Be sceptical of unexpected calls offering investments
- Seek independent advice before an investment











Sunday, 20 August 2017

Call to Stay Vigilant as Crime Rises By 10%

Police-recorded crime has risen by 10% across England and Wales – the largest annual rise for ten years - according to the very latest Office for National Statistics figures.

The figures show almost 5 million crimes in England and Wales were recorded by the police for the 12 months to March this year – up 10% on the same period in 2015/16.

Police recorded 458,021 more offences compared with the previous year, which the ONS said was driven by an increase in violence – police recorded an 18% rise in violent crime, including a 20% surge in gun and knife crime.

Jayne Pascoe, Strategic Partnerships Director for Neighbourhood Watch, said: "We have also seen a rise in burglary and robbery but we do need to be mindful that these recent increases should be seen in the context of substantial falls in such crimes over the last 20 years.

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"However it's timely to remind supporters of the importance of staying vigilant and looking out for each other and being aware of what's happening in our neighbourhoods – and shows that Neighbourhood Watch is needed now just as much as ever."

Jayne added that modern menaces are also behind the crime increase.

"What the figures do show is the widespread prevalence of cybercrime. That's why we're working hard on helping our supporter help themselves and their neighbours to protect themselves from cybercrime."

The official figures also show a 26% rise to 723 in the homicide rate, which includes the 96 cases of manslaughter at Hillsborough in 1989.
Interestingly, the statisticians say the rise in crime is accelerating, with a 3% increase recorded in the year to March 2015, followed by an 8% rise in the following year, and now a 10% increase in the 12 months to this March.
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Neighbourhood Watch volunteers still have an "incredibly important" role to play in tackling crime, says Home Office minister Sarah Newton MP. 

The Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism opened our Neighbourhood Watch Connect2Protect conference in London last month. 

She paid tribute to the impressive reach of the Neighbourhood Watch movement and called on supporters to find new ways of reaching out to tackle not only traditional crimes and also new, hidden crimes that cause so much misery and harm in our communities. 

She thanked volunteers for their help in reducing traditional crimes such as burglary and car crime over the last three decades and asked them to now turn their attention to raising awareness of cybercrime, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, human trafficking and extremism.


Last month NHWN hosted our Connect2Protect event attended by members, partners and key stakeholders from across England and Wales. 

The successful event kicked off with an inspirational speech from Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism detailing Government priorities contained within the Modern Crime Prevention Strategy and how Neighbourhood Watch can help with those priorities. 

This message was reiterated by NHWN Chair Lynn Farrar, who highlighted the way forward for the movement in light of these new and emerging threats.  Attendees also heard first-hand examples of work undertaken by volunteers from across the movement including support for vulnerable elderly people suffering from dementia in Kingston-upon-Thames, innovative partnership working undertaken in Lancashire and the growing problem of fraud and cybercrime taken on by Sussex Neighbourhood Watch. 

Following a morning of presentations, the event then enabled attendees to network, exchange ideas and best practice, directed by expert partners from various fields, including youth engagement, hate crime and diversity, to name but a few. 

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See the Powerpoint presentation for more slides.