The end of a momentous week for Waverley and the world.

The likes of which we are unlikely ever to see again.

Now let us turn our attention and care to the older members of our families and those in our community who watched the pageantry, mourned for Her Majesty and their own and cried alone.

‘Your Waverley’ s concerned at the state of the UK economy.

 

Chief Executive Officer Tom Horwood has given his first quarter report to the councouncil’s view & Scrutiny Committee.

He said at this early stage of the year, we forecast a small (3%) adverse variance on revenue, which needs to be brought back on track.

While the variance was modest at this stage, the management team was concerned about the state of the UK economy and its implications for Waveerley:

i.e. lower income, higher costs, increasing demand for our services from those who find themselves in hardship and delays from supply chain disruption.

He said he would continue to plan for all scenarios and report risks.

Highlights of the last quarter included: –

Continue reading “‘Your Waverley’ s concerned at the state of the UK economy.”

 Understanding the rules on energy disconnection and prepayment meters

 

Mounting energy prices have left many people in Waverley feeling anxious about how to pay their bills. 

With the recent huge energy price cap hike and cold winter ahead, we want consumers to be aware of their rights surrounding disconnection and prepayment meters.

If you’re struggling to keep up with your energy bills, you may worry that your supplier may cut your gas or electricity supply. In principle, a person who falls into energy debt can be disconnected, but regulatory requirements imposed by Ofgem make this extremely rare, especially where a household is at particular risk of harm by reason of age or disability. 

Many companies have signed a voluntary agreement promising to never knowingly disconnect, at any time of year, those households with children under the age of six (or under 16 during winter months) or where age, health, disability or severe financial insecurity means the customer is unable to safeguard their own or other members of the household’s personal welfare. Check if your supplier is signed up here.

Often a person in energy debt will experience their supplier seeking to install a prepayment meter. There are potential disadvantages to having a prepayment meter. For example, a customer could still suffer effective disconnection, as the supply stops if they do not put money on the meter. Roughly 140,000 households with pre-payment meters (16 per cent of households) self-disconnected from gas and/or electricity in 2017 because they could not afford to add credit to their meter.

The meters could also potentially disadvantage users because the unit and standing charges are higher on prepayment meters, and they can also prevent customers from signing up for cheaper tariffs.

There are various steps to reduce the proportion of payments allocated to debt,  increase the number of energy payments made on the meter secure, and to obtain emergency credit and continuous supply if no funds are available to put on the meter. See the Citizens Advice website here.

There are regulatory rules that energy customers can rely on to resist the installation of a prepayment meter or to ask for one to be removed.

Suppliers are prevented from obtaining a court warrant to enter a property to install a meter where it would be severely traumatic to a customer due to an existing vulnerability relating to their mental capacity or psychological state, which would be significantly worse by the experience. 

Suppliers are also prevented from imposing a prepayment meter where it is not ‘safe and reasonably practicable. What does ‘safe and reasonably practicable mean? It includes the need for suppliers to consider if the customer can understand a prepayment meter, has the ability to top it up (e.g. distance to top up shops), needs a continuous supply for health reasons, and is able to physically get to the meter. See the guidance suppliers should be following here.

Those that cannot afford to pay and who face serious risk to their health or welfare if they do not receive the energy they require should be able to avoid interruption to their supply by relying on the above. This may result in the build-up of arrears, but this alone does not cause the same risks.

Failure by an energy supplier to comply with these obligations may amount to discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 (which protects people with protected characteristics, including age, sex, disability, pregnancy and maternity). Especially where the energy company has enough information to know that the customer qualifies for special treatment, and they then do not provide it. In these circumstances, you may be able to take them to court.

You can also use your supplier’s complaints procedure, and if they do not resolve the matter, you can take it to the Energy Ombudsman. The process to follow and support can be found here. To find out which route would be most appropriate to challenge your specific circumstances, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (England), Advice Direct (Scotland) or your local law centre. 

Significant debt support is now available at Citizens Advice and National Debt Line.


 

 

 

Liz Truss lifted the fracking ban recently – what will this mean for Dunsfold?

 A swathe of fracking licences across the country is the result.

 

Could this move drastically impact housing plans in ‘Your Waverley’?

 Not least the controversial HS2 route through Warwicks, Staffords and Cheshire. #Dunsfold is going to be busy @Williamweb1

All those nice new houses at the Dunsfold Park Garden Village and one of the largest gipsy sites in the country with fracking going on right underneath them as farmer Ashley Ward prepares to welcome UK Oil & Gas into his back garden next door? 

Farmer pulls the wool over Waverley Planners’ eyes – yet again.

The David & Goliath type fight is on to reverse the decision for UKOG to drill at Dunsfold.

A view on the Dunsfold gas debacle from a local.

Your Waverley pays its respects to Her Majesty The Queen

 

The Mayor of Waverley John Ward is pictured here signing the Waverley Borough Council Book of Condolence  – followed by Council Leader Paul Follows, his deputy Cllr Penny Rivers and Cllr Steve Williams.

For more information on how to sign the book of condolence. 

Information from ‘ Your Waverley’ following the death of Her Majesty The Queen

Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96 at Balmoral