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News from around our area - for more information on any of these items contact the Parish Clerk - info@minsterlovell-pc.gov.uk

On this page you will find details regarding:
- Christmas Tree recycling
- Financial Support for those not eligible for Government energy support
- Free food caddy liners
- Priority services from Thames Water​

West Oxfordshire District Council will pick up real Christmas trees from all households following this year’s New Year festivities as it urges residents to reduce waste over Christmas to help the environment and make the most of their kerbside recycling services to save resources.

Residents wishing to recycle their trees will be able to leave them out on their scheduled garden waste collection day between Monday 9 to Friday 20 January. The service is available to all households - including those without a current garden waste licence - just so long as all the lights and decorations have been removed and the tree is presented by 6am on the scheduled day of collection.

West Oxfordshire District Council provides additional financial support to households not eligible for Government energy support
West Oxfordshire District Council has today written to 239 households across the district to inform them the Council will be providing additional financial support to them to help with the rising costs of energy bills.

Councillor Dan Levy, Cabinet Member for Finance, said, “When the Government ran their initial energy support payment scheme, some households including some of those living in park homes were not eligible to receive the financial support to help pay their energy bills. 

“We also know that some households on Universal Credit, and pensioners not receiving Pension Credit, are facing financial hardship so we are using surplus energy rebate funding to give them extra help.

“We are writing to all the eligible households to say we have credited their council tax account to help with their bills over the winter months.

“If residents don't want to use the money to pay their council tax they can contact us and we will refund the money to their bank.” 

People whose properties are registered for Council Tax and live in residential Park Homes where they are not responsible for their own electricity bills, and therefore not receiving the Government’s energy payment of £400, will receive a payment of £570. 

Residents in receipt of Universal Credit after 26 May 2022 will receive £650 while pensioners born after 26 September 1956 and not in receipt of Pension Credit will receive £575. 

Households eligible under more than one of these criteria will receive only the highest payment.

The discretionary scheme launched by the Council does not require residents to apply for the funding, they will automatically be credited with the funds in their council tax accounts and will receive a letter from West Oxfordshire District Council informing them of the payment. 

The money used to fund this scheme is surplus funding from the Government's Energy Bill Rebate Discretionary fund provided by the Government earlier this year.

Free food caddy liners

Most households in Oxfordshire already recycle their food waste using the weekly collection service provided by the district councils.

To help recycle the extra food waste that is created over the festive period or to help you start recycling your food waste residents can collect a free roll of food waste caddy liners from the following locations during December, while stocks last.
Oxfordshire libraries

Welch Way - Town Centre Shop, Witney

West Oxfordshire District Council’s Sustainable Warmth grant funding
Sustainable Warmth

West Oxfordshire District Council has been allocated £1,067,000 funding to support the new Government-backed Sustainable Warmth scheme, which will be used to upgrade local homes with modifications that will boost energy performance, increase their comfort and lessen the impact of rising household energy bills. Low-income households can now apply for free funding to install a range of energy-saving improvements to reduce energy usage, make their homes warmer and healthier, and keep energy costs under control.

 

Eligible households must meet the following criteria:

  • The house must be privately owned or privately rented with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F or G. Some D rated properties may also be considered.

And

  • The household must have an annual household income – including any benefits of under £30,000 (before tax and deductions) or under £20,000 (after rent or mortgage costs have been deducted.

The number of children in the household will also be considered and any recent loss of income.

 

The Sustainable Warmth funding is available for homes on or off mains gas. The level of grants available are:

 

Owner occupied properties

For eligible households on mains gas, grants are available of up to £10,000.

For homes not connected to mains gas, the grant is on a sliding scale from £10,000 to £25,000.

 

Privately rented sector

To qualify, tenants must meet the income eligibility and the landlord will need to contribute a minimum of one third towards the cost of the upgrades

For privately rented properties connected to mains gas, the grant is up to £5,000. For properties not connected to mains gas, the grant is on a sliding scale, from £10,000 to £16,666. If costs exceed the maximum grant available, additional investment by the landlord is required.

 

The Sustainable Warmth grants will fund the following energy efficiency improvements:

  • Improvements to insulation (loft, cavity and wall) and ventilation

  • Upgrades to a low-carbon heating system, for example replacing a gas or oil boiler with an air source heat pump (the new heating system cannot include a gas or oil boiler)

  • Heating controls

  • Solar PV to generate electricity

  • Energy efficient lighting

Approved installers are used. Homeowners do not have to contribute to any costs or pay back the grant afterwards.

 

City Energy is administering the scheme on behalf of WODC. Grants are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are made online via City Energy’s website www.oxfordshire-applications.co.uk or by calling 02921 680951. Please also see the Sustainable Warmth webpage on the West Oxfordshire District Council website.

Priority Services from Thames Water

Following the recent burst pipe I thought it might be useful to note the following information:

 

If you or someone you know needs a little extra support, perhaps because of their health, disability, age, or if they’re going through a difficult time in their life, Thames Water can help through their free priority services register.  Here is a list of the type of things they can help with:

 

Making it easier to read your bill

They can provide bills in braille, large print, on a coloured background or read it over the phone.

 

Contacting someone you trust

You can choose someone you trust to be their point of contact for you in an emergency. You can also ask to have someone with you if they visit.

 

Setting up a password

They can put extra security measures in place to make you feel as safe as possible if we ever visit. Learn more about protection from bogus callers on the Thames Water website Priority services | Help | Thames Water

 

Getting straight through

There’s a dedicated phone number for their priority services customers, where you’ll get straight through to someone.

 

Helping in an emergency

If your water goes off or a pipe bursts nearby, they’ll try to call to make sure you’re ok. 

If your water’s off and you can’t leave your house, they’ll deliver bottled water straight to your door, where they can, prioritising those who are dependent on water for medical needs.

 

Who can they help?

They can help if you:

  • can claim a pension

  • have a disability or serious illness

  • need a consistent supply of water for a medical condition

  • have a child under five

  • need translation or help to understand communications from us

  • have a condition that affects your life such as dementia

  • are blind, partially sighted, deaf, or hard of hearing

  • have a mental health condition

  • need extra support due to life-changing events like bereavement

Sign up for support

Just complete their online form. You’ll need your address and ideally your Thames Water account number if you have it.

Carers, friends or family can also complete the form on behalf of someone they think could benefit from extra support. Once you’ve signed up online, you’ll receive a letter welcoming you to the priority services register.

Updating your details

You can quickly update your details or leave the register online.

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