Socially-distanced and following rules of course!
Check your village website and Facebook page for more information.”
Socially-distanced and following rules of course!
Check your village website and Facebook page for more information.”
Scam Alert – Fake Facebook pages – 1 October 2020
We’re continuing to receive reports of fake pages on Facebook claiming to be well-known brands or retail chains. Recently this has included several pages claiming to be large holiday companies offering ‘free holidays’.
Post from a fake Facebook page claiming to give away free holidays at Center Parcs.
The fake pages then attempt to get people to engage with them by claiming to be offering discounts, prizes and giveaways. Sometimes this will be by asking you to like, share and comment on the post – which increases the reach of the fake page. They may also provide links to other pages that you must follow as part of the competition entry.
These fake pages can often gather tens of thousands of shares within hours of being posted.
If you see a competition on Facebook, take a moment to check before you click on it:
* Is the page verified? Public figures, media companies and larger
brands can apply to Facebook for the blue verification tick –
although this is not open to smaller companies.
* Look at the name closely. Some fake pages will alter the name of
the genuine page slightly by adding additional punctuation or change
spaces between parts of the name.
* Take a closer look at the page, including the page history. When
was it registered?
* What other posts have they made? If the only posts are recent, or
it’s limited to just the offer or giveaway, take this as a warning sign.
* Look around the page. Is the information you would expect to see
there? Many fake pages leave these areas blank.
* How many followers does the page have? Well-known brands will have
high figures, whereas a recently registered page will still be on
* What information is being asked for? Many of these fake pages will
say you need to ‘complete a quick survey’ as part of the claiming
process. Never give any personal information unless you know
exactly who you are giving it to and what they are going to do with it.
* If they are asking for financial or banking information to enter a
competition stop and leave the page immediately.
If you can’t be sure about the authenticity of a Facebook page, do not interact with it.
If you have responded to what you now think could be a fake Facebook page:
* If you have liked, shared or commented be aware you could be
targeted with further scam postings or contacts
* If you have given personal information like email address or contact
numbers be aware for scam contacts via these routes
* If you have given banking or financial information, contact your
bank or card provider immediately to protect your accounts
You can report fake Facebook pages, or other scam contacts, to Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from Netflix – 28 September 2020
Scammers are continuing to exploit the popularity of streaming services by sending large numbers of emails claiming there are problems with your billing or subscription.
Scam email with title “Revision status of subscription”
A Norfolk resident has reported receiving the email pictured above, where they are asked to follow a link to update their payment details.
Always be wary of claims made in unexpected emails and never click on any links or open attachments.
Netflix offer the following advice regarding scam emails:
* We will never ask for your personal information over email, such as
passwords or bank account details.
* If you receive a suspicious email:
o Don’t click any of the links or open any of the attachments
o Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
o Delete the email.
You can report suspicious emails to us via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.
Scam Alert – Emails attempting to blackmail the recipient – 25 September 2020
Norfolk residents have reported receiving emails which attempt to blackmail the recipient.
The emails often state they have ‘accessed your device’ or have been ‘monitoring you online’, and sometimes include a password that will be known to the recipient.
Scam email which starts “Several months ago, I goes access to the device you are using the browse the internet. Since that time, I have been monitoring your internet activity.”
In the emails, the sender often claims to have access to ‘accounts, social networks, email, browsing history’ and makes accusations about websites you have visited. They then threaten to post this information online or share it with your contacts unless they’re paid an amount in Bitcoin.
Action Fraud offer the following advice on how to protect yourself from this type of email:
* Don’t reply to the email or be pressured into paying – doing so will
only highlight that you’re vulnerable and you could be targeted
again. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try
flagging the email as spam or junk if you receive it multiple times.
* Reset your password on any accounts where you’ve used the password
mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for
important accounts such as your email. Where possible, enable
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
* Always install the latest software and app updates. Install and
enable anti-virus software on your computers and keep it updated.
* If you have received one of these emails and paid the amount
requested, report it to your local police force. If you have not
paid, report the email as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud using
their online form or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.
Information Alert – Green Homes Grant vouchers – 30 September 2020
Green Homes Grant vouchers are available from Wednesday 30 September 2020.
Remember that you must register with TrustMark to carry out work under the Green Homes Grant scheme. Visit greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk for more information <https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk/#tradespeople>.
Find out if you are eligible for a Green Homes Grant voucher at greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk<https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk/#homeowners>.
Remember to check whether any trader offering to carry out work under the Green Homes Grant scheme is registered to do so – look for the TrustMark.
Report anyone cold calling to us via the Citizens Advice consumer service on freephone 0808 223 1133.
Information Alert – Damage caused by bad weather?
Make sure you choose a trader with care – 28 September 2020
If your home has been damaged by the recent bad weather, getting repairs completed will be something you want to do as quickly as possible. Make sure in the hurry to get things fixed you don’t end up with a rogue trader or poor-quality repairs. The following advice will help you get the right trader and smooth repairs.
Never use cold callers who arrive at your property offering to undertake work
Rogue traders may use bad weather and an opportunity to try and get householders to agree to them undertaking repairs. These cold callers rarely give householders proper contact details or their legal rights to cancel within 14 days. They may also claim more work is required than is actually necessary to increase their profits, and the work they do can often be of poor quality.
Choose reputable traders like a Norfolk Trusted Trader
When looking for someone to undertake work on your property, make sure they’re a trader you can trust. This could be a member of the Norfolk Trading Standards Trusted Trader scheme, a business you’ve used before, or a recommendation from a friend or family member.
You can search the Norfolk Trusted Trader directory at www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader<https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/trusted-trader> or call the Norfolk County Council customer service centre on 0344 800 8020.
Get at least 3 quotes for the work
Try to get at least 3 traders to come to your property and provide proper, written quotations to undertake the work required. Compare them carefully to help you choose the right trader for the job.
Never pay the full price upfront
Good businesses and tradespeople will not require payment until the work is finished to your satisfaction. Some may ask for a percentage to cover materials or specific parts if they are expensive, but it the trader is asking for full payment upfront don’t contract with them.
Talk to your insurance company first
If you have insurance on your property, speak to your insurance company before arranging any repairs. They may require you to use a company approved by them, or want to see quotations before authorising the work and subsequent payment.
If you need further advice on choosing a trader, or help dealing with disputes with companies, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on their freephone number 0808 223 1133.
At September’s Parish Council meeting which was attended by 6 Councillors and 2 members of the public the following was considered:Litcham Parish Council have appointed a new clerk due to the previous clerk retiring. The Councillors welcomed Donna Secker.
Resignation: Unfortunately, Councillor Anderson has resigned from Litcham Parish Council. The Councillors thanked her for all her hard work, she has been a Councillor for Litcham for more than 10 years. She will be sadly missed.
County Councillor and District Councillors report
County Councillor Kiddle-Morris distributed the latest Norfolk County Council report (NCC).“Planning for the Future” The government is currently consulting on radical proposals to reform the planning system. The consultation started on the 6th August and will run until the 29th October. The paper outlines 5 fundamental proposal. Streamline the planning process, modernise the planning process, new focus on design and sustainability and improve infrastructure. This will be implemented within the next 12 months.“Changes to the current planning system” is also running from 6th August until 1st October. The changes are: amendment to the standard method of assessing housing need: securing first homes which are sold at a discount to first time buyers. Raising the small site threshold below which developers are not required to contribute affordable housing from the current 10 dwellings to 40 or 50 to support SME builders.A further consultation ending on 30th October is underway called “Transparency and competition” which is proposing changes to improve the transparency of contractual mechanisms used to exercise control over lands.All details on the document mentioned above and how to respond to the consultation are available on the gov.uk website.Matters for report: 9 Dereham Road, This has been passed to Breckland Council who are now responsible for this property. The Clerk will write to Breckland to find out the current situation as the property is now causing concern.Councillor Fagence received a letter form the owners regarding the danger of the trees that have Tree preservation order on Tittleshall road. The clerk will write to the Tree Preservation officer to find out more information to clarify the situation.The Church have asked if the parish council will consider on a regular basis to pay for the cutting of the churchyard. This item will be added to the agenda to be discussed further.Highways: To note any new problems within the parishCouncillor Oldfield reported: No road marking on Druids Lane and the road surface is bad. Also, the Litcham sign is damaged and need replacing the clerk to report this.Councillor Lawrence reported a pothole on Dereham Road, the clerk will be reporting this.Outstanding highways issues: Please see the full minutes for the outstanding highways problems. District Councillor Kiddle-Morris will be chasing these up.Finances: The financial position at the end of August was considered and payments authorised.Vacancies on the Parish Council: There is currently one vacancy and if any parishioners wish to become a member please contact the clerk or any of the Councillors.
To confirm that the next meeting of Litcham Parish Council is to be held Monday 2nd November at 7.30pm at Jubilee Hall. You can email the Mileham clerk at email@example.com.
The European Adder, or Common Viper, is one of Britain’s three native snakes and our only venomous reptile and we are fortunate to have a population living on Litcham Common.
What do adders look like?
Male adders usually have silvery-grey colouration, while females can be copper or brown. Both have a distinctive, black zig-zag pattern along their backs. Fully black adders can be seen in some areas too. Once fully grown, adders usually measure between 60 and 80cm in length. Young are almost perfect replicas of adults and measure around 17cm in length at birth.
Adders hibernate through the coldest part of the year. From around October to March they sleep in sheltered, dry spots such as old rodent burrows or within fallen trees. A few years ago a member of our conservation group got more than she bargained for when pulling up a bramble by the roots to find a sleeping adder underneath, which was swiftly covered over again to resume its slumber.
The males come out of brumation (a type of hibernation for cold-blooded animals) first, with the females being spotted within the following 2 to 5 weeks.
After a couple of weeks of the males emerging, they shed their skin. Next on their mind is to mate. Once the females are “awake” they leave a scent from a gland at the base of their tail. The males will smell this, and follow it to find the female. They then writhe their body over the female, flicking their tongue in and out in a courtship ritual before settling down to copulate.
Dance of the adders
If a second male comes across the female then the first will stop the courtship to defend his possible mate. What follows is a beautiful and elegant display which is known as the “Dance of the Adders”.
The “dance” usually only involves two snakes, but can number many more. It is a test of strength and stamina with each male trying to force the other to the ground. They can raise the first half of their body up off the ground before trying to push the other male down to the ground. The males will completely intertwine their bodies together while trying to force each other out, and often show very staggered and jerky movements. This ritual can last for several minutes and often happens on many occasions over many days. During the “dance” they never try to bite each other, but just keep competing with strength until one of them gives in and slinks off quickly into cover.
Unlike some snakes, adders do not lay eggs and instead give birth to up to 20 live young in late summer. The species has been known to live for more than ten years, although it can sometimes fall victim to other predators, such as birds of prey, crows and even pheasants, especially when young.
What do adders eat?
Adders feed primarily on small mammals, such as voles and mice, and lizards. They will also eat frogs, newts and small birds and their chicks. They are active during the day.
Unlike grass snakes which constrict their prey, adders use their venomous bite to subdue their meals.
Where do adders live?
Adders are found across Britain but are absent from Ireland. They are associated with open habitats such as heathland, moorland and woodland edges.
The adder is the most northerly-occurring snake species in the world and has been recorded within the Arctic Circle.
Signs and spotting tips
Your best chance of seeing an adder is in spring, when they are emerging from hibernation and spend the early part of the day basking in sunlight. They are sensitive to vibration and quick to slip away when they feel footsteps approaching.
Aware of the Adder’s love of sunshine, and the need to tread carefully, Shakespeare wrote: “It is the bright day that brings forth the Adder, and that craves wary walking” [Julius Ceasar, Act II, Scene 1]
In fact these snakes are shy creatures that will naturally retreat from humans. It is rare for adders to bite people, but this can happen if humans try to handle them or accidentally step on them. To quote Spike Milligan:
“There’s nothing madder than a trodden on Adder!”
What to do if bitten by an adder
Adder bites are rarely fatal, but can be very painful. NHS guidelines suggest that medical treatment should be sought immediately. In the meantime you are advised to:
Slightly more commonly, dogs will be bitten, often on the nose, due to their natural curiosity. Guidance is to seek immediate advice from a vet and in the meantime keep the animals calm and as still as possible, carrying the dog if it is small enough. Again, bites are rarely fatal.
Threats and conservation
The UK’s adder population is in decline. Habitat loss is thought to be the leading factor in this worrying trend, with both intensive agriculture and increases in woodland cover destroying suitable habitat and causing adder populations to become fragmented and isolated. The species is fully protected by law.
Sightings of adders
We are keen to build up a picture of the population size and location on the common and would be grateful to receive reports of any adder sightings, including the date, location and a description of the snake (for example its size and colour). Please report sightings to Tim Angell who can be contacted on 01328 700045.
Précis of Meeting held on Friday 17th July,2020 on Zoom at 7:30p.m.
Present: Cllrs Oldfield(Chair), Mitchell, Anderson, Brookbank, Lawrence.
County and District Councillor M Kiddle Morris
Temporary Clerk: Angela Leigh was appointed as temporary clerk for this meeting.
Apologies from Cllrs Christie & Fagence were accepted.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting were approved.
County Councillor Report: Update from NCC chief legal officer; meetings closed in public places due to the Covid pandemic can reopen but will need risk assessments.
Breckland Local Plan: The 2019 local plan is going to be revised as the government felt housing numbers agreed in 2016 were not sufficient.
Cllr Oldfield enquired about the 16 new houses in Litcham that have been passed and County Councillor Kiddle-Morris agreed to make enquiries.
The clerk reported that £4500 has been allocated to Litcham under the section 106, as a legal agreement between the developer and the local planning authority requires a financial contribution. This is in regard to the new houses behind the post office, this money can be spent on recreational facilities.
Planning – Applications:
Litcham Secondary School Pavilion and Community Classroom: No objection
Outdoor swimming pool at Paston House, Tittleshall Rd. Litcham: Approved.
15 Church Street, Litcham- withdrawn.
Finance – Budget: The budget was unanimously approved.
The Old Fire Station: A parishioner contacted the clerk regarding the condition of the building. The condtion of the building is responsibility for the owner. As it isn’t residential Breckland is not able to assist. County Councillor Kiddle-Morris will speak with the regarding condition of the building.
Street Lighting : The council agreed to proceed with the required 3 yearly testing of the 21 street lights at a cost of £251.
Matters for next meeting (Not for discussion): 9 Dereham Road, Litcham
Next meeting will be held Friday 11th September 2020 on Zoom
3PL/2020/0467/F Litcham School (secondary phase)
Sports Pavilion, Back Lane
Amended description to include – community classroom
“Erection of new single storey sports changing pavilion and community class room.”
Breckland Council has received revised details for planning permission 3PL/2020/0467/F and would be pleased to receive any observations you may wish to make. You can view the application by clicking on the link below and use the ‘Comment on this application’ button to leave your observations.
To help us provide a more efficient service please use the quick consultee response link
*PLEASE NOTE: During the Covid-19 crisis we will not be able to accept any postal representations on planning applications. All representations must be made online on the Breckland website https://www.breckland.gov.uk/planning
or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org*
Are you (or is someone in your community) feeling lonely or isolated?
There is FREE support that could help!
Operation No Cold Shoulder is a year-long project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund running in your area from April 2020 until March 2021 and is offering the following free support;
Free Creative Wellbeing Packs -Provided by Creative Arts East for people aged 18+
A series of postal packages containing creative arts activities to try at home, including music making, crafts, movement activities and more!
No prior experience is needed.Call Lea or Sydney on 019953 713390 or email email@example.com
Free Telephone Befriending – Provided by Age UK Norfolk for people aged 60+
Offering people aged 60 and over friendly conversation by telephone from a dedicated befriending volunteer. We call weekly for an enjoyable and stimulating chat.
Call 01603 785 223 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Befriending Support in West Norfolk
Provided by West Norfolk Befriending for people aged 60+
Matching isolated older people age 60 and over with a volunteer befriender who can contact them on a regular basis (by phone during lockdown) – supporting socially isolated older people and their carers in West Norfolk. Call 01553 763500 or email email@example.com
Free help to set up Good Neighbour Schemes
Provided by Community Action Norfolk (CAN)
Would you like to help lonely or socially isolated neighbours?
The project is offering free support for communities who would like to set up Good Neighbour Schemes in their area where volunteers help those most in need in their neighbourhood with practical support.
Step-by-step support, advice, a resource pack and funding support to
help a scheme get up and running along with ongoing advice and support including an option of online training sessions provided by Future Projects. Call Tracey on 01362 545024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are lots of reports across social media of Test & Trace scams.
Please remember, genuine texts, calls or emails from the NHS service won’t ask you for any personal details upfront.
You’ll be given a unique ID number to log in to the NHS Test and Trace website. The ONLY official web address for the NHS Test and Trace service is: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/
Once you’ve logged in using your ID, you’ll be asked to enter some basic information about yourself including:
– Your name, date of birth and current address
– the names of the people you live with
– places you’ve recently visited
– names and contact details of people you were in touch with around 48 hours before you developed symptoms.
You won’t be asked to share this information upfront over a call or
text, so if someone is asking you for it directly, they are a scammer.
Contact tracers will never:
❌ ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
❌ ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product of any kind
❌ ask for any details about your bank account
❌ ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
❌ ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
❌ disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
❌ provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
❌ ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
❌ ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
There is now a central contact point in place for all residents in Norfolk requiring support. A team at the County Council will assess calls, identifying existing social care clients and passing other requests through to district community hubs to implement the support needed.
All residents will have received letters sent by their District Council providing details of support options. Individuals who have been identified as vulnerable may also have received additional letters from the NHS and local GPs. Local District Councils have also been calling individuals who have been identified as vulnerable as part of a collective effort to get help where it is needed.
INDIVIDUALS IN NEED SHOULD CALL 0344 8008020.
So many words have been written about the current situation and its effect on every person and every aspect of life, so I am only going to add a few of my own.
During this pandemic Christians are grieving for locked churches, cancelled worship, Holy Week and Easter spent apart but we have all in our own way journeyed through Holy Week and experienced the joy and hope of Easter more deeply than ever before.
Whatever our circumstances I have noticed how people strive to remain cheerful during these challenging days and we are finding a new appreciation for all that we have. Many are saying that the world could be a better place if as a result of what we have been through we have learned how to live better.
Social media is often criticised for the harm it can do but it has been a vital means of people keeping in touch and it gave us this wonderful poem by Kathleen O’Mara.
And people stayed at home
And read books
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.
And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways
Danger, meaningless and heartless,
The earth also began to heal
And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.