New non-hormonal treatment for hot flushes in development

The distress of hot flushes and night sweats affects many menopausal women.   Research into a new non-hormonal treatment is underway with promising early results.

Menopausal hot flushes and night sweats affect around 80% of older women who are in the menopause and can cause significant distress, lasting many years.  While hormone replacement therapy is still the first line treatment, it is not suitable or desirable for everyone, especially women who have suffered or are at risk of certain types of cancer.

While there are plenty of non-hormonal treatments, there is no hard evidence of effectiveness.

Recent research reported by website Menopause Matters has shown that a chemical pathway in the body called Neurokinin B is involved in the development of hot flushes.  As Estrogen levels fall, this chemical reacts with an area of the brain to cause the sensation of extreme heat.

A possible treatment to reduce the impact of Nerokinin B has been identified and in a randomised, controlled trial over 12 weeks with menopausal women, significant improvements were seen in hot flush frequency, mood and quality of sleep, with no negative effects.

Further studies are required and are underway, but the possibility of an effective, safe non-hormonal treatment is a positive prospect for the future.

Read the full report.

 

 

Funded activity packs for older people

Community Foundation for Calderdale are funding Age UK to deliver activity packs to the homes of isolating older people in Calderdale.

For many older people who live alone, the prolonged Isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has created problems of loneliness, boredom and depression.

We know how important mental wellbeing is and with many of the elderly still afraid or unable to leave their homes, Community Foundation for Calderdale have responded by funding Age UK Calderale and Kirklees to deliver packs to older people who are still isolating.

If you are or know an older person who you think would like to receive a pack then please contact Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees by emailing enquiry@ageukck.org.uk

 

 

 

Government guidance for people receiving direct payments

The Government has published advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.

Below are all the key guidance documents for you to download,

Documents

Annex A: template contingency plan

This file is in an OpenDocument format

Annex B: example documentation

This file is in an OpenDocument format

Details

This guidance sets out the main messages for individuals and organisations that can support planning, and help slow the transmission of the coronavirus as the outbreak progresses across the country.

It’s accompanied by additional guidance (third and fourth attachments), mostly aimed at direct payment holders, that directly responds to questions and concerns previously raised by direct payment holders, personal assistants, and charities and organisations that support them.

Mandatory MOT testing to be reintroduced

Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

MOT tests are important for road safety and ensure that vehicle parts, including tyres, seatbelts, brakes, lights and exhausts, are in proper working order.

Drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a 6-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:
“As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

Only some garages remained open to conduct essential services during the coronavirus outbreak, but now over 90% are open across the country. Testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing.

While exemptions are still available for vehicle owners with an MOT due date before 1 August, it is vital that drivers still take their vehicle to be checked if they notice something is wrong in the same way that they usually would.

If drivers are vulnerable or self-isolating they should contact their local garage as many are offering pick-up and drop-off services, so drivers can get their car checked without having to visit a garage.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has also issued guidance to all MOT testers about safely conducting tests in line with the latest government advice.

What a “Local Lockdown” Looks Like

The Government have introduced a local lockdown in the Midlands city of Leicester following a spike in Coronavirus cases there.

This is a step that we are likely to see more often as the fight against the virus becomes more localised and targeted. Here’s the list of practical advice given to local residents during this lockdown:

  • non-essential shops that reopened on 15 June have been asked to close from today (30 June)
  • bars, restaurants and hairdressers will not reopen on 4 July
  • schools will close from Thursday 2 July except to vulnerable children and children of key workers. They will not reopen until next term
  • the relaxation of shielding measures due on 6 July cannot now take place in Leicester
  • single-adult households (those who live alone or with dependent children only) can still form a support bubble with one other household
  • people are still able to meet in a group of up to 6 and only outdoors, provided strict social distancing is followed
  • people in Leicester are recommended to stay at home as much as they can
  • we advise against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester

Report Your Cycling and Walking Trouble Spots

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee have created an interactive map to help them understand which areas in our region could be improved to help the public travel more easily by bike or on foot, and to provide more space to travel safely while social distancing.

The interactive map will allow you to highlight issues that you are experiencing when travelling by bike or on foot and to suggest where improvements could be made to make these journeys safer, including increasing space for social distancing.

The map will enable you to drop pins to highlight:

  • particular streets or locations in your neighbourhood where you are experiencing issues that could be overcome with trial or temporary measures to increase space for people to walk or cycle, as well improvements to address accessibility issues
  • where you are facing difficulties on your journeys to work, school or to local shops, and if measures, such as segregated cycle routes, widened pavements around shops or bus stops, could be introduced to make these journeys easier, safer and enable more social distancing
  • the important places you are travelling to, as well as the supporting facilities that might make this journey easier to take by bike, such as places to securely park your bike

To find out more and take part in the engagement please click here to visit the Your Voice page.

Public toilets to reopen from 7 July

Calderdale Council is planning to reopen one public toilet facility in each town in Calderdale from Tuesday 7 July.

To help support the reopening of local businesses one toilet block will reopen on Tuesday’s through Saturday’s, from 9.30am – 4.30pm as follows:

Brighouse – Thornton Square
Elland – Town Hall Square
Halifax – Albion Street
Hebden Bridge – New Road
Sowerby Bridge – Wharf Street
Todmorden – Brook Street

These locations have been chosen as they are all self-contained, individually accessed unisex facilities, which will help to reduce the risk of infection transmission.

The toilet facilities will be subject to additional cleaning with frequent ‘touch points’ disinfected. Users are asked to help maintain hygiene standards between cleans by following the advice in the increased signage in place in all facilities.

How to choose and buy a bike

Bike use during the coronavirus lockdown has surged, with many of us going back to two wheels.  But how do you choose the right bike for you, with so many types now on the market.

The British Government has encouraged people to use bikes for commuting and travelling instead of public transport as virus transmission is much less prevalent in open spaces. The spare time people have due to the government furlough scheme and the closing of public gyms are other factors that have encouraged people to get out on their bikes during lockdown.

Halford’s, Britain’s largest bicycle retailer, has said that sales of some bike equipment have risen by a massive 500% since the lockdown. The UK transport secretary has consequently set out a £2 billion scheme to expand cycling and walking, including infrastructure improvements. In this article we will advise on choosing a bike, staying safe and maintenance.

Note: all prices correct at time of publication – but subject to change.

Types of Bike

Commuter Bike
This is an all-round bicycle that is relatively light, easy to maintain, and performs best on tarmac and cycle paths. This bike is ideal if you are commuting to work or taking regular rides around your local area but have a limited budget.

Typically these bikes cost between £400 and £800; however they can be upgraded with better quality, more puncture resistant tyres, such as the Schwalbe Marathon Plus Smart Guard. Also disc brakes are preferable to rim brakes as they have a shorter stopping distance and perform better in wet weather.

Things to remember when buying a commuter bike are the challenges you face on your ride. Do you regularly see broken glass or rough surfaces? How hilly is your area? Are you dealing with lots of traffic? Make sure your bike has sufficient gears if you are tackling the Calderdale hills. Even though commuter bikes are often simplified for easier maintenance, they still need to be checked and serviced regularly.

Some commuter bikes we like:

  • Boardman HYB 8.8 – £750 – ideal for a hilly commute, it is light and has a range of gears
  • Specialized Sirrus 1.0 – £450 – comfortable and comes with tough tyres: a good entry level bicycle.

Folding Bike
Handy if you are limited on space, if you live in a flat or include a train journey in your commute. It is a good idea to buy one of these from a shop rather than online so you can practice folding and unfolding it as some are trickier than others. The wheel size of a folding bike is typically very small which makes them light and storable, but this means they roll more slowly on the road. If you would like a one that rolls more quickly but doesn’t need to be carried far, larger wheels are a better option.

Folding bikes have a big range of price tags, from £200 to over £2000. And as lower priced ones are often heavier and less adjustable, this is an important factor to take into account before buying. Even the lightest models of folding bikes can be cumbersome to hoist on and off a train regularly.

Some folding bikes we like:

  • Brompton M6L folding bike – from £915 – 11kg and can have several different types of handlebar.
  • B’Twin Tilt 120 folding bike – £200 – has larger wheels than a Brompton and is quite heavy, can be bought from Decathlon.
  • Raleigh Stowaway 7 folding bike – £400 – larger wheels but heavier, has mudguards fitted with a pannier rack.

E-Bike
As most of Calderdale is hilly or have a long commute, the E-bike is a good option. An E-bike is motor assisted, so some effort is still required to pedal but you can adjust how much help you receive so that you don’t arrive at your destination covered in sweat.

They take 3-6 hours to be charged, depending on the make and model, and can have a range of 50 miles, but more likely 30 miles with relaxed pedalling. They are becoming less expensive but unsurprisingly still cost more than a man-powered bicycle, typically £1,500 to £4,000. E-bikes are generally mountain bikes, commuter bikes or road bikes, however folding E-bikes are beginning to appear on the market.

Hybrid/Commuter ebikes we like: 

  • Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 electric bike – £2,400.
  • Giant FastRoad E+ Pro 2 electric bike – £2,749.

Road ebikes we like:

  • Focus Paralane2 9.8 e-bike – £4,600.
  • Giant Road E+ 1 Pro  – £3,800.

Mountain Bike ebikes we like: 

  • Canyon Neuron:ON 7.0 – £3,899
  • Cannondale Moterra SE – £6,199.

Road Bike

Perhaps the most famous and well known type of bicycle, road bikes are best for fitness and speed; however a short road ride on quiet lanes is a perfect outing for a beginner road bike rider as the bikes travel more quickly and smoothly on most roads than the bikes mentioned earlier.

Most road bikes are now equipped with disc brakes which are more effective than rim brakes, they have dropped handlebars and can be fitted with either flat pedals or road cleats which are secure clip pedals that connect to a special shoe. Thousands of different types of road bike are available so we will try to break down the different kinds for you as simply as possible.

Most road bikes are carbon fibre or aluminium, carbon is lighter and more expensive but aluminium is sturdier. Most can be put into a low racing position for aerodynamic efficiency but can also have the bars raised for comfort. Ideally in an area like Calderdale, a road bike is best with plenty of gears and some puncture resistant tyres like Schwalbe Durano for £23 per tyre.

For beginner road riders we like:

  • Boardman SLR 8.6 Alloy – £600 (there is a women’s version of this bike too)
  • Specialized Allez E5 2020 – £680.

For experienced road riders (carbon fibre) we like: 

  • Trek Emonda ALR Disc 5 – £1650
  • Giant TCR Advanced 1 – £1900.

Mountain Bike
A brilliant option if you want to escape the traffic and head out on to the moors around Calderdale. Mountain bikes are comfortable to ride, have straight handle bars, in-built suspension for more comfort and often flat or cleated pedals (pedals which fix to a special shoe).

They are a good option for beginners, because their larger tyres absorb potholes and bumps more readily than a road bike. They can be easily ridden on tarmac roads as well as the tracks and bridleways, though this will eventually wear down the tyres.

Mountain biking has been a good choice during lockdown as the tracks found locally tend to take you away from our towns and villages. There are two main types of mountain bike: cross country and downhill. Downhill bikes as the name suggests are faster downhill and tend to be bought by more experienced riders. Cross country mountain bikes are more versatile and popular.

Cross country mountain bikes we like:

  • Trek Roscoe 8 – £1,300
  • Specialized Fuse 27.5 – £1,000.

Downhill mountain bikes we like:

  • Giant Stance I – £1,500
  • Scott Spark 970 – £1,800.

Women’s Bikes
Women tend to have shorter arms, narrower shoulders and shorter torsos than men; and therefore bikes tailored towards them can be comfier and more efficient.  Women may also need a specific saddle. A lot of bikes are unisex and most of the ones we’ve listed above either have a women’s version or can be used by either sex.

However, for road bikes in particular, where the rider stays in the same position for a long time, comfort is very important and so we recommend that women choose or test a female specific bicycle. Often unisex bikes can be fitted with a female saddle and adjusted to have a different position that suits the rider, which can be a good compromise. If you experience discomfort riding your bike, it is worth investing in a professional “bike fit” to fine tune your riding position.

Some female bike brands we like:

  • Liv – the female version of bike retailer Giant, these bikes are all tailored to women and include mountain bikes, road racing bikes, E-bikes and commuter bikes.
  • Trek – they have a very good range of women’s bikes of different kinds and women’s frames too, as well as a large collection of gender neutral bicycles.

Some female saddles we like:

  • Selle Italia Diva Gelflow Racing Saddle – £50+ – although used for racing it is also a good, light and comfortable saddle for longer rides on all types of bike.
  • Fizick Luce – £30+ – a lower priced alternative.

Look out for our next blog on tips for riding safely and looking after your bike.

Shielding advice update letter & video from the Government

Last week the Government sent out a letter to everyone who has been shielding during the Coronavirus Pandemic spelling out the upcoming changes..  

In the letter, they detail the two-stage easing of most of the shielding precautions, during early July and then early August.

We’ve included the Government’s video advice here and reproduced the letter in full below.

If you need an easy-read or translation of the letter go to  the government’s website.
For audio, braille, large print call RNIB on 0303 1239999.

 

IMPORTANT ADVICE ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
The Government advice for those shielding in England is changing soon. For now, you continue to be advised to follow the shielding guidance rigorously. This letter explains how the guidance is changing, why it is changing and what the change in advice means for you.

We know that shielding has not been easy for you and anybody living with you and we would like to thank you for your resilience over the last few months. However, it has been important for you to shield while the virus was widespread. Thankfully the number of people with the virus, and so the risk to you, is coming down.

What is the current guidance?
Over the course of the last three months, you have been identified as someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable due to an underlying disease or health condition that may put you at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). This remains the case and you are advised to follow the shielding guidance rigorously. You were advised to ‘shield’ to protect yourself during the peak of the epidemic in England when you were more likely to come into contact with the virus in your daily life. The initial shielding guidance advised that you should stay at home at all times and strictly avoid nonessential face-to-face contact.

On 1 June the shielding guidance was slightly relaxed, and we suggested that you may wish to spend some time outdoors away from your home once a day. This change was based on scientific evidence that the initial peak of the pandemic had passed in the UK and, in general, the likelihood of meeting someone in the community with infection had significantly reduced. Like all our guidance to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, this was advisory. The current guidance can be found online at GOV.UK.

What is changing?
Throughout the epidemic we have been clear on the need to balance the risk of the disease to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable with the benefits of gradually returning to normal life. We know that the shielding guidance has been challenging to follow and that it will take time to adjust. The latest scientific evidence shows that the prevalence of disease across all English regions has continued to decline. If this trend continues as we expect it to, the Government will further relax its shielding advice in two stages on 6 July and 1 August.

From 6 July:
• you may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing;
• you no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household;
• in line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, you may from this date, if you wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. This is a small advisory change that brings those affected a step nearer others in their communities. However, all the other current shielding advice will remain unchanged at this time.

From 1 August
the advice to ‘shield’ will be paused. From this date, the Government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble. In practice, this means from 1 August you are advised that you no longer need to shield.

This means that from 1 August:
• you can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe;
• children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing;
• you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing; and
• you should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing. More detailed guidance will appear on GOV.UK when the changes come into effect on 6 July and 1 August.

Will the position be reviewed?
After 1 August we will continue to keep your name on the Shielded Patient List. We will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spreads too much, we may need to advise you to shield again.

We have committed to reviewing the advice to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable at every review point of the wider social distancing measures. Should the scientific evidence require the Government to tighten the advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people, this will be communicated to you quickly and clearly.

Why is the guidance changing? The Government’s guidance to those most at risk of severe illness if they catch Coronavirus has always been advisory and based on the balance of risk to this group at a time when the transmission of Coronavirus has been highest in our communities. We recognise everyone will feel differently about their own risk and have different priorities – our ambition has been to help and support you in looking after yourself through a very challenging period.

All Government decisions on shielding advice are led by the latest scientific evidence. The latest evidence shows that the chance of encountering Coronavirus in the community has continued to decline. Four weeks ago, around one person in 500 had the virus. Last week it was even lower with less than one in 1,700 people having the virus. As a result, we believe that the time is now right to relax our advice to those shielding further, but we understand that it might take a while to get back to routine daily life again.

Support to stay at home
If you are in receipt of Government provided food boxes and medicine deliveries, you will continue to receive this support until the end of July. This will give you time to prepare for new advice that you can visit shops, including supermarkets, as you did before the shielding programme commenced, provided you follow strict social distancing. We also recognise that, for some, this adjustment will take time. We can confirm that seven supermarkets have given you access to priority supermarket delivery slots, and these will continue beyond the end of July for those already signed up for support.

If you have yet to register for support, please do so online at GOV.UK or call 0800 028 8327 before 17 July so that support can reach you in time. Local councils have also been providing support to those shielding. This has included a wide range of help to enable you to safely stay in your home, such as phone calls to reduce loneliness and meeting special dietary requirements. In order to help people adjust, local councils will continue to provide these services to those who need them until the end of July.

If you are struggling as a result of Coronavirus please visit www.gov.uk/find-coronavirussupport. If you do not have internet access, please contact your local council who will be able to signpost you to available support.

NHS volunteer responders
Support will continue to be available through the NHS Volunteer Responder Scheme beyond the end of July. NHS Volunteer Responders can support you with:
• collecting shopping, medication (if your friends and family cannot collect them for you) or other essential supplies;
• a regular, friendly phone call which can be provided by different volunteers each time or by someone who is also shielding and will stay in contact for several weeks; and
• transport to medical appointments.
Please call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm to arrange support or speak to your health care professional for transport support. More information is available at
www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk.

Going back to work
You should discuss your situation with your employer and agree a plan for returning to work if you cannot work from home. Your employer may need to make adjustments to help you continue to work. Please go to http://www.gov.uk/access-to-work for more information. Separate Government guidance has been issued on how employers can make workplaces COVID-safe including how they can maintain social distancing and a system of risk management in your workplace.

You will be able to use this letter as evidence for your employer to show that you cannot work outside your home until 31 July, including for statutory sick pay purposes.

Accessing NHS services
You should continue to access the essential services that you need, and you should contact the NHS if you have an urgent or emergency care need. If you have ongoing appointments scheduled for care and treatment your GP surgery or hospital clinic will contact you to confirm the most appropriate arrangements.

Mental health support
It is normal during these uncertain and unusual times to feel anxious or feel low. You can go to Every Mind Matters (www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters) and GOV.UK for advice and tailored, practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing. If you are still struggling to cope we would urge you to speak to a GP.

If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, your sense of taste or smell), you must selfisolate at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to the NHS website to arrange a test or contact NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access

Calderdale Markets reopen

Calderdale Council have announced that all of our indoor and outdoor markets are now close to fully open and have published opening hours.  

The exceptions are hairdressers, barbers and beauticians, which will remain closed until the government gives further guidance. Cafés are also open, but only for takeaways at present.

Social distancing measures are in place in all of the markets and traders will be following government guidance on hygiene and operating in a safe manner to ensure everybody’s safety.

The markets are open as follows:

Brighouse Open Market (Weds, Sat, 8am-3pm)
For more details, visit: Brighouse Open Market (Facebook)

Elland Charter Market (Fri, 8am-4pm)

Halifax Borough Market (Mon-Sat, 8am-3pm until further notice)
For more details, visit: Halifax Borough Market (Facebook).

Hebden Bridge (Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun, 8am-4pm)

Sowerby Bridge (Tue, Thurs, Fri, Sat, 8am-4pm)
For more details, visit: Sowerby Bridge Market (Facebook)

Todmorden Outdoor (Weds, Fri, Sat, 8.30am-3pm)

Todmorden Market Hall (Mon-Sat, 8.30am-2pm)
Please note that the Market Tavern (Ale bar) is closed until further notice.
The Market Barber is also closed and will be by appointment only on return.
For more details, visit: Todmorden markets (Facebook)

Todmorden Market traders are also now offering delivery through ShopAppy.com.
For details visit: Shopappy.com – Todmorden. All orders made before 12 noon go out for delivery the same day.

Car boot sales remain closed until further notice. Halifax Farmers Market is not currently open.

Council live information about market openings

Latest scam updates from West Yorkshire Trading Standards

Here are the latest scam updates for West Yorkshire, published 29/6/2020.

Scroll to the bottom for information on reporting scams and unwanted telephone calls.

Non-compliant goods including PPE

Non-compliant consignments of PPE and other goods are coming into the country from outside the EU.  WY Standards are working to remove a large number of unsafe products from online websites and advising five district councils within West Yorkshire on the
procurement of safe products for staff across the councils, with particular regard to their Health and Social Care provision.

Withdrawal Notices have been issued to West Yorkshire businesses that have persisted to sell unsafe PPE following advice from Officers. These Notices are statutory Notices effectively banning from the market place goods which can’t be shown to meet the required standard. Guided business big and small through red tape to get safe, compliant products to the market quickly.

Scams trending locally, regionally and nationally

Costco Loyalty Reward Scam Message. Cybercriminals are sending out fake Costco messages attempting to trick victims into visiting a fake link and completing surveys that steal personal and financial information, steal account credentials or infect their devices with malware.

HMRC Job Retention scams. The Job Retention Scheme is being targeted by fraudsters who are attempting to take advantage of it with a subsequent rise in business owners targeted by phishing emails purporting to be from the HMRC.

Bitcoin payments. Emails are on the increase claiming to be from reputable organisations such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or
the World Health Organisation (WHO) and requesting Bitcoin payments.

Reports of doorstep crime in Leeds involving gardening services targeting elderly and vulnerable consumers– overcharging for shoddy workmanship and impersonating a genuine business with the same name.

Beware of Loan Sharks during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anyone working with vulnerable people who is concerned that a client, resident or service user may be a victim of loan sharks can make a referral to the Stop Loan Sharks service 24 hours a day on 0300 555 2222.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), also known as Stop Loan Sharks, is a government funded criminal enforcement agency, working to identify, investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders, commonly known as loan sharks. The IMLT has warned that loan sharks may be looking to take advantage of those who have found themselves in a vulnerable position during the pandemic. Stop Loan Sharks is committed to helping victims of illegal money lending and providing support that is immediate, practical and tailored to their needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Stop Loans Sharks has launched a number of new services to help it stay in touch during the pandemic:
  • An online chat service on Tuesdays between 9am and 5pm is available at http://www.stoploansharks.co.uk
  • Online training for partner agencies, including health, care and housing staff – email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk to register your interest.
  • A new animation to coincide with Scams Awareness fortnight to help people spot the signs of illegal money lending  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g3_6BxSkdU&t=7s

Listen to free podcast
A new awareness-raising podcast series, including campaigns such as Cheltenham Says No and an interview with a loan shark victim. Your Money and Your Life series is available on all major podcast directories.

  • Phishing Emails – Tips
    Never click on links or download attachments from emails you receive out of the blue as they can release malware onto your device or steal your bank details.
  • Always make sure emails requesting financial or secure information are legitimate and from a trusted sender before you take action.
  • Try not to panic and feel pressured into making rash decisions.
  • It is important to ensure your security settings are up to date on all your devices. Never share your screen with anyone you cannot confirm is legitimate.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Take time to do your research beforehand if you wish to donate to a charity, and always send money through a secure online portal.

Receiving lots of nuisance calls

Have you checked to see if you are on the open register? Your details may be sold on the open register to third party marketing companies. You can contact your local councils’ electoral services department & opt into the closed register if you wish. You can also register with the Telephone Preference Service- it’s Free! – http://www.tpsonline.org.uk

Reporting Scams

  • Report scams to Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040
  • Report complaints to Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: 0808 223 1133
  • New mailbox to deal with reports of Covid-19 Scams in West Yorkshire: Covid19.Scams@wyjs.org.uk
  • Report to us: @wytradstandards

Updates from Calderdale Council’s monthly newsletter

Here is news from Calderdale Council, published on 26 June 2020.

You can subscribe direct to their monthly newsletter on the visit Calderdale website and share with friends and family.

100 days of lockdown – countless stories of kindness

As England reaches its 100th day of lockdown, Calderdale Council reflects on the enormous joint effort and kindness that have defined the response to COVID-19 across the borough. The Leader of the Council, Cllr Tim Swift, has written a letter to pay tribute to those supporting Calderdale’s most vulnerable people and helping to keep essential services running, despite the challenges they are facing at work and personally. To read more about our response and stories from some of the Council’s unsung staff heroes who continue to play a vital role during the pandemic, visit 100 days of lockdown; countless stories of kindness

Safer streets around schools

Calderdale Council is working with schools to encourage more active ways for children and young people to get to and from school, such as walking and cycling. Roads outside 14 Calderdale schools are now closed to cars and other motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. The new restrictions are part of the national School Streets community-based approach, aiming to reduce car usage and air pollution, promote walking and cycling and boost road safety, health and wellbeing. Find out more at Safer streets around schools

Supporting the safe reopening of Calderdale shops

Following the reopening of non-essential shops and market stalls in Calderdale, the Council has been monitoring footfall and the effectiveness of the additional safety measures introduced in towns across the borough. From Monday 15 June, non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen provided they could meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines; further retail and hospitality businesses will also reopen in the coming weeks. Calderdale Council is supporting safe reopening by introducing temporary safety measures to complement those introduced by businesses.  To find out more, visit Supporting the safe reopening of Calderdale shops

Have your say on plans for Brighouse

Residents and businesses in and around Brighouse are invited to share their thoughts on a draft masterplan to be submitted as part of a bid for funding from the Government’s Towns Fund. Proposals include the introduction of further facilities to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists, new public spaces around the canal, measures to help support the strong retail offer and increased leisure and recreation options. The detailed proposals and feedback form will be available from Monday 29 June at www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk. Find out more at Have your say on plans for Brighouse

Safely sharing space in our countryside

Calderdale Council is reminding visitors to the borough’s outdoor spaces or countryside sites to act responsibly and respect the local environment, people and animals. As more people spend time outdoors enjoying the Calderdale countryside, walking, running or cycling, it’s important to remember The Countryside Code to help to look after the environment. The code has been revised since COVID-19 to include guidance around safely sharing the space with other users and planning ahead to check what facilities are open. For further guidance, visit Safely sharing space in our countryside

More Council News

For all the latest Council news, visit http://news.calderdale.gov.uk/.For up-to-date  information about Council services and COVID-19, visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/coronavirus