LOWICK.LIVE.LETTER

THE CAMPAIGN FOR 20MPH

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There has been a flurry of news about the proposed 20mph signs that NCC promises for the near future, and we’re all very grateful to anyone who has made a real difference to bringing this about.

The story goes back years, and involves many people and meetings where the issue has been discussed and actions proposed, and sometimes taken.

We on the Parish Council can point to the many calls we have made for action from the police and County Council to take speeding seriously. Funding was found for our two safety signs [thanks to former Councillor Dougie Watkin, and the Windfarm Fund for supporting the village bid, and to Councillor Philip Hanson who tirelessly monitors the stats which give the real picture of what is happening as traffic enters the village]. These reports are posted on the Parish Council Website. Sometimes, subsequently, the police are seen in the village!

Still traffic speed is an issue, as apparently larger and larger lorries pound through the community, especially at harvest time. People have called for traffic calming measures, and for restrictions on parking, and for more police intervention with cameras and radar traps.

Above all we have called for a 20 MPH limit through the village, not only at school times, but at all times. The County Council has consistently rejected this, insisting that it would be ignored by  those who go too fast. The Parish Council entirely disagrees. People in Britain tend to conform to rules – not go out of their way to break them. We point to the 20mph limits through the centre of Hexham as an example of what has been done in Northumberland about speed limits.

The highpoint of this campaign in Lowick was the Twenty’s Plenty initiative that the First School championed, and the Village supported, back in 2017. Finally, the 20 signs and chicanes are to be constructed – only 5 years later! It’s not enough of course – but it’s a start.

To be fair to the County Council, the scheme as designed was intended to go in in 2019, and the plans are in the PC archive online to prove it – but Covid came along, and the County Council shut down for the duration – and it was back to square one when the officer came back to work.

So if you want to complain about apparent indifference of everyone involved about progress, look no further than the pandemic, I’m afraid. Today’s scheme is going ahead with the full support of, and in discussion with, the village, and if you want to view the plans today, these too are on the website [Lowick.Live has the link to the Parish Council’s document library].

We are grateful to Councillor Colin Hardy for providing the funding, and for actively pushing the scheme through at County Hall. Neil Snowdon is the officer responsible, and he produced the plans which were agreed by us, with the NCC, back in September 2021.

Incidentally, we are grateful for Neil for also taking the time to respond to questions and queries from local residents in the last few months.

One further point, it is important to remember that problems like this do not usually get solved locally. You can be as pushy as you like with councils, village or county, but what they can do is limited by what the UK law allows and by County Council policies, and by budgets. Sometimes speed is not a priority for understaffed and often underfunded Counties. Sometimes the person who you really need to speak to lives in Downing Street. You could also contact our MP, Ann-Marie Trevallyan, as she is there to listen and act on our behalf!

ANOTHER FETE FOR 2023!

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One of many happy scenes from the Platinum Jubilee last month, and already plans are afoot to establish an annual event on the Common, hopefully attracting good weather, crowds and some of the attractions that made the Fetes of yesteryear such happy occasions.

The organisers of this year’s met before June’s Parish Meeting and agreed that an annual event just had to be, and that the village should take the lead, rather than the Council.

In addition to games, food and fun, they hope to see the return of the much loved decorated floats.

Since then, we’ve been planning how to get the ball rolling in October, and there will be Cheese and Wine evening in September to introduce the event, and get the village together. More details will be announced soon, here and on What Goes on in Lowick. Watch these spaces!

BEWARE PHISHING!

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Action Fraud (NFIB)
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Over 12 million suspicious emails reported by the public


Dear subscriber,

What is phishing and how does it work?

You wouldn’t let a thief enter your home, but what if the thief was masquerading as someone familiar, such as a postman, and tricked you into opening the door? Phishing works in a similar way – criminals impersonate trusted organisations by creating legitimate-looking messages and websites in order to trick people into opening the doors to their personal information. Once criminals have this information, it can be used to perpetrate fraud and cyber against you, or in your name.

How big is the problem? 

Phishing attacks are a common problem faced by both individuals and businesses on a daily basis.

As of 31st May 2022, the National Cyber Security Centre’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) has received over 12mn reports from the public, and has removed over 83,000 scams and 153,000 malicious websites. The most impersonated organisations in phishing emails reported last year were the NHS, HMRC and GOV.UK.

Most phone providers are part of a scheme that allows customers to report suspicious text messages for free by forwarding it to 7726. When a text is reported to 7726, the provider can investigate the origin of the text and arrange to block or ban the sender, if it’s found to be malicious. As of May 2022, 13,000 scams have been removed as a result of suspicious text messages reported using the 7726 service.

How can you protect yourself from phishing scams?

Most of the phishing scams reported to us have one thing in common, they started with an unexpected email or text message. Whether it’s an email asking you to “verify” your bank account details, or a text message claiming you’ve been in close contact with someone that’s got COVID, the goal of a phishing attack is usually the same – to trick you into revealing personal and financial information.

Here’s some simple advice you can follow when it comes to dealing with phishing scams:

1 – If you have any doubts about a message, contact the organisation directly.

Dont use the numbers or address in the message – use the details from their official website. Remember, your bank (or any other official source) will never ask you to supply personal information via email.

2 – If you think an email could be a scam, you can report it by forwarding the email to: report@phishing.gov.uk. Send us emails that feel suspicious, even if you’re not certain they’re a scam – we can check.

– Most phone providers are part of a scheme that allows customers to report suspicious text messages for free by forwarding it to 7726. If you forward a text to 7726, your provider can investigate the origin of the text and arrange to block or ban the sender, if it’s found to be malicious.

4 – If you’ve lost money or provided personal information as a result of a phishing scam, notify your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud: www.actionfraud.police.uk

For more advice on how to protect yourself online, visit: cyberaware.gov.uk

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Action Fraud
(Action Fraud, Administrator, National)