Weekly Highlights

23rd January 2015

Dear Colleague

As the temperatures fall amid yellow warnings of severe weather, residents in East Cambridgeshire are being given tips to keep warm.  By keeping your home and yourself warm as the days get cold, people can go a long way to stay well this winter.  Advice from the District Council and a number of agencies includes:

  • Keep your home warm.  If possible a home should be kept at least 18C and individuals should wear enough clothes and plenty of layers to stay warm.  If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease keep your main living room around 21°C.
  • Be prepared; keep an eye on the weather forecast.  The Met Office provides the weather forecasts on radio and TV, so listen to these bulletins regularly to keep up-to-date with the weather or visit www.metoffice.gov.uk.
  • Get the flu jab.  Anyone with a serious long term health condition, are pregnant or over 65 can get the flu jab for free.  Find your nearest participating pharmacy at www.nhs.uk/Conditions/flu-campaign/Pages/Flu-2014.aspx or by speaking to your doctor.
  • Ensure you are receiving all your winter benefits.  People on a low income may qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme.  This gives a rebate to pensioners who receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit and some other people on low incomes. The rebate is £140 on your electricity bill for winter 2014-2015 so please contact your energy supplier for more information.
  • Be a winter friend.  Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they're safe and well.
  • Stay well. Drink plenty of fluids and hot drinks - only boil the amount of water needed or decant it into a thermos to save energy and money.  Try to get up and move around or if your mobility is more limited, do some chair exercises to help stay warm and active – try not to sit still for more than an hour.
  • Save money by being energy efficient.  Simple things like not blocking radiators, fitting draught excluders and thick curtains can help reduce heat loss.
  • Be informed: The East Cambridgeshire Energy Efficiency Officer can deliver presentations to community groups about keeping warm in winter.  To arrange a booking please call: 01353 665555.

Help is also available to insulate properties after Cambridgeshire councils secured government funding.  Grants of up to £6k are available per household, to install solid wall Insulation.  Landlords can also apply, with grants up to £8k available for both solid and cavity walled properties.  To find out more visit: www.actiononenergy.net/.

For more energy saving advice, visit the Energy Saving Trust: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk or contact officers at the District Council by calling 01353 665555 or visiting: www.eastcambs.gov.uk.

Changes have been made to the Planning Duty Service to make it easier to talk to and contact the Planning Team at the District Council.

From this week, the General Enquiries Service is now available via 01353 665555 at the following times: Monday – Thursday 8:45am - 5pm and Friday 8:45am - 4:30pm.  The planning pages have also been enhanced to make it easier to access information on a variety of topics including Building Control, heritage, trees, Local Plan and much more at www.eastcambs.gov.uk/environment-planning/welcome-environment-planning.

There is also a wealth of information from planning forms and guidance to information on flood risk, pre-applications, heritage statements, ecology & biodiversity and the Planning Committee.

For Planning Agents there will also be an Agents Forum on Wednesday 28 January starting at 3pm at the Council offices on Nutholt Lane, Ely.  Agents who would like to attend should email angela.clarke@eastcambs.gov.uk to secure a place.

The new phone service is there to provide general planning advice – should anyone require site specific advice they should go through the Council’s pre-application advice service to discuss specific proposals.

There is one meeting scheduled for next week:

Thursday, 29th January 2015 at 4.30pm in the Council Chamber

Corporate Governance & Finance Committee


With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

Tony Cornell

Councillor Tony Cornell