The NEWS - Winter 2022
Dear resident, Hello and welcome to this latest issue of the NEWS.
We know that many individuals and families are finding it hard to make ends meet, as rising energy and food costs continue to affect household budgets.
We know that our businesses face similar pressures, as they also struggle with the cost of living.
To help both businesses and residents in our district, we have put together a special supplement (pages 13-20), which signposts to the support out there, as well as highlighting some of the areas we, as a council, can help.
We also have advice and support on our website www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk so please take a look.
Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but our feature on page 31 gives some tips on ways to cut the cost, yet still have a great time. From making your own gifts and decorations, to keeping food bills low.
On the subject of the festive period, please make sure you know what you can and can’t put in your burgundy bin, as many Christmas cards and gift wrap, can’t be recycled.
There is more about this on pages 6/7, together with information about our bulky waste collection service, if you need help disposing of any larger items.
If you need any more information about Christmas at NEDDC, including opening times, bin collections and how to contact us in an emergency, please see our website.
Wishing you all a happy Christmas and New Year.
Cllr Alex Dale, Leader of North East Derbyshire District Council.
Remembering Her Majesty
Communities across our district joined together in mourning Her Majesty the Queen and welcoming our new King, Charles III.
Thank you to everyone who left messages of condolence and floral tributes at our council buildings. Also, all those who attended the proclamation ceremony for the King, at our Mill Lane offices.
Welcome to your new Killamarsh Active!
Killamarsh Active is now open! And we can’t wait for you to come and see what we’ve done.
A massive £1.9m has been spent on the centre (formerly known as Killamarsh Sports Centre), creating a bright, modern and open-plan facility for all the community to enjoy.
Cllr Alan Powell, Cabinet member for Leisure, said: “The centre is exactly what the community needs and is just the start of the transformation in the town as the skate park will also be refurbished.”
Killamarsh Active offers something for all ages and abilities, as well as being a great place to come and socialise with friends and family. Improvements include:
- A new entrance area and extensive refurbishment throughout.
- A brand new on-site café, with a great food and beverage offer.
- A multi-floor soft play kingdom, with nets, slides and much more!
- Cycle/Spin studio. • 80-station fitness suite over two floors.
- Fitness class studio space, including virtual instructor provision.
- A community Changing Places facility for people with disabilities.
- Derbyshire County Council’s Library has also been moved into the centre.
In addition to the above, we’ve also refreshed the squash courts, cleaned and resealed the Sports Hall floor, carried out car park improvements and refurbished the football pitch, with multi-pitch playing areas.
Save time and do it online!
You can find out more about what is on offer at the centre, opening times, membership offers and how to book classes and courts on the leisure webpage.
Also, follow the Killamarsh Active's Facebook page for updates.
Killamarsh Active has a brand new Facebook page! Follow us to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and activities taking place at the centre.
There are so many great sessions for people of all ages and abilities, so make sure you keep checking back to find out what’s happening.
You can also sign up for leisure updates to pop straight into your inbox!
Going for gold
Star swimmer Imogen Clark will be going for gold at next month’s FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.
But, what you might not know, is that she started her career right here in NE Derbyshire! Imogen, ranked sixth in the world for 50m breast stroke, started her swimming journey as a toddler in the pool at Sharley Park Leisure Centre. She’s now encouraging youngsters who want to follow in her footsteps to ‘dream big’.
You can read more about Imogen’s incredible journey, from overcoming epilepsy to rising to the top of her sport, shortly here on our website.
Green bin collections suspension dates for winter 2022-23
Green bin collections across North East Derbyshire will be suspended for the winter months as demand for the service falls.
In the north of the district, the last green bin collection this year will be week ending Friday 11 November 2022. Collections resume w/c 13 March 2023.
While in the south of the district, the last green bin collection this year will be week ending Friday 18 November 2022. Collections resume w/c 20 March 2023.
North East Derbyshire District Council Cabinet member for the Environment, Cllr Charlotte Cupit, said: “Suspending green bin collections over the winter months is not a decision we take lightly.
“We have to carefully balance the emissions, carbon and other costs of running the service over the winter, with the significant reduction in green waste generated, and so we’re suspending the service as usual for this short period of time.
“Thank you to our hardworking refuse staff for their efforts in providing a year-round collection service whatever the weather. Streetscene staff who usually undertake the green bin collections will be deployed in other areas, such as street cleansing and collections over the Christmas period to help with the higher demand for those over winter.”
On average, we collect around 10,000 tonnes of garden waste each year, but past trends show that residents tend to garden less during the winter months and therefore produce less green waste.
If you do have jobs to do around the garden during the winter, this waste can be stored along with uncooked vegetable peelings in the green bin to be collected in the spring, or taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Residents are also reminded that they can put cooked food leftovers in their black bins during the green bin suspension period.
More information about collections, including what can and can’t go in each bin.
Did you know?
You can now sign up for bin collection reminders sent straight to your inbox!
You CAN recycle the following festive items:
- Real Christmas tree - Chop it up and put it in your GREEN BIN or take it to your nearest Household Recycling Centre.
- House plants and real festive trimmings, such as holly and ivy - Put them in your GREEN BIN ready for collection in March, removing any plastic or metal fasteners.
You CANNOT recycle the items listed below:
Plastic Christmas tree - take it to your nearest Household Recycling Centre.
Put the items below in your BLACK BIN
- Wrapping paper - Many types of wrapping paper have metallic coatings and glitter, which means we are unable to recycle it.
- Baubles (glass and plastic)
- Bows and ribbons
- Christmas crackers
- Sticky tape and sticky tack (like blu tack)
- Fairy lights • Candles (real)
- Candles (battery) The battery may be removed and bagged in a clear bag and attached to your bin handle of your burgundy recycling bin.
- Christmas cards and tags - Due to having metallic coatings and glitter, which means we are unable to recycle them. These items are not accepted in the Council’s recycling collection, although they are paper based. This is due to the glitter, ribbons, foil and sometimes batteries which are common features on these items. Please check whether these items can be taken back to your retailer or other charitable organisations that may have a specific seasonal collection facility available in your locality.
Bulky waste collections
Christmas time always generates extra waste, so if you’ve got a large household item that needs disposing of, please get in touch to see if we can help.
Cost of collection starts at £15, with concessions available for certain groups of people.
Help for dog owners
We have an obligation under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to collect any dogs found straying in the local area.
These dogs are collected by the Environmental Enforcement Team and placed in our kennels for a period of seven clear days to give the owner the opportunity to come forward to claim their pet.
Every effort is taken to try to reunite the dog with its owner during this period of time. Any dog that is not claimed is nearly always rehomed by our team.
The rehoming process has always been a challenging one as our kennels need to be available to accept new dogs.
We use rescue centres and rehome a few privately but we are always aware that the dogs that are ready to leave, need to be rehomed as quickly as possible.
Occasionally we get requests from members of the public, who due to changing circumstances can no longer keep their dogs - such as a house move or a new baby.
While we are totally sympathetic to any situation where our help may be needed, we are unable to take pets into our kennels which are required for genuine strays only.
This does not mean that we are unwilling to help, so we have put together some useful information for rescue centres which may be able to assist should you find yourself in need of their services:
• RSPCA – Chesterfield & N Derbyshire: Tel: 01246 273358
Another source of rehoming is to go direct to the breed rescue, i.e. if you own a German Shepherd try: German Shepherd Rescue - you will find out that they have local branch volunteers that are able to assist. Be responsible – If rehoming privately, never give a dog away for free or without checking the home where it is going to live first.
If you encounter a lost or stray dog in the District, you can report it to us online so we can investigate. Reporting is simple, just fill in the form on our website
Careful when clearing out!
Planning a Christmas clear out?
Please make sure you dispose of your waste carefully! If your waste is found fly-tipped, even though you were not responsible, you will be required to explain the circumstances as to how it came to be fly-tipped.
If you have failed in your householder duty of care by passing your waste to an unlicensed waste collector then you may receive a fixed penalty of £200.
You can check if your waste carrier is licenced, via the government website.
More information about what we are doing to combat fly-tipping in the district can be found here on our website. Remember, you can also report fly-tipping to us 24/7 via our online forms.
Serving up FREE food safety training
Calling all hospitality businesses.
Make sure your staff have the training they need, with our FREE food safety courses.
Online Training Certificate in Food Safety - Foundation (Level 2) and Intermediate (Level 3):
We are funding a limited number of free food safety training courses for local hospitality businesses, including an update on Covid-19 safety. Places are limited so book early!
If your food business is registered with us, you can access this free training.
It is a legal requirement for all food businesses to be registered with the Council 28 days before you start to operate.
Places are limited to a maximum of one Level 3 course (for supervisors/ managers) per business premises (which normally cost £175 per candidate) and two Level 2 courses (for food handlers) which normally cost up to £25 per candidate.
This will enable us to support as many businesses as we can. If you want to do the Level 3 course, you should have already completed the Level 2 course.
You can register one person to do both courses under this offer if they are a manager who is new to food safety.
Once you register for the courses, we will check your business is eligible for the free offer and provide you with login details within three working days.
You must start the course within three months and complete it within 12 months. Book your place.
Training Recently we offered bespoke in-house classroom training that gave the chance to ask questions, find out what an Inspector/ Environmental Health Officer looks for and understand how to achieve the best Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rating.
The previous training included Food Safety Management Systems; Awareness of Allergens and Natasha’s Law; Guidance on safer food better business; Effective cleaning and E-coli awareness and guidance.
We currently don’t have any in-house training dates available, but to shape our in-house bespoke training for next year we are interested in hearing your training requirements.
Please complete our Training Feedback Form.
Training in numbers
- Over 30 delegates attended bespoke in-house training sessions in 2022.
- 91 delegates have so far registered for online training.
- 31% of delegates have successfully completed the courses.
County first, as CCTV in taxis rolled out across NE Derbyshire
We have started to rollout the installation of CCTV in our licensed taxis to safeguard residents, as we lead the way in becoming the first authority in the county to take up the initiative - backed by the Department for Transport.
Taxis that are licenced in the district will start to be fitted with CCTV in November 2022, over a six month period.
The CCTV systems aim to provide a safer environment for both passengers and driver by:
- Deterring and preventing the occurrence of crime
- Reducing the fear of crime
- Assisting the Police in investigating incidents of crime
- Assisting insurance companies in investigating motor vehicle accidents.
The Department for Transport have issued guidance stating the use of CCTV can provide a safer environment for the benefit of taxi/private hire vehicle passengers and the Health and Safety Executive list the installation of CCTV with visible signage as a successful measure to improve safety.
North East Derbyshire District Council Cabinet Member for Licencing, Cllr Mark Foster said: “We are the first authority in the county to make CCTV compulsory.
“Residents now have a clear choice and can make sure they use a taxi licenced with North East Derbyshire District Council.
“I want to make sure our communities are safe and feel safe when using licenced taxis and would encourage all our residents to use taxis licenced here.
“I hope that our initiative here, paves the way for other authorities to follow our lead, ensuring the safeguarding of others when using licenced vehicles.”
Keep burglars at bay
Now that the darker nights are with us, we are urging residents to think about home security during the late afternoon and evenings.
Although our area continues to be a safe place to live, most burglaries are carried out by a thief who might use the darker evenings to check which homes are empty, have valuables on display or searching for any security lapses.
By taking some simple steps you can reduce this from happening:
- Keep windows and doors locked and secure at all times, whether you are in or out of your home.
- Keep valuables out of sight and out of reach of cat flaps, letterboxes, downstairs doors and windows.
- Leave your car keys in a secure place and not on a key hook or near the door.
- Use outdoor security lighting.
- Make your home look occupied when you are out – Drawing the curtains or closing blinds, preventing people from looking into your home, can also help make a difference, leave a lamp on timer to come on whilst you are out or leave a radio playing.
- If it will be dark before you get home, set your lights on timers. Change the times that the lights come on, and in different rooms, to simulate an occupied home.
- Consider fitting a burglar alarm - make sure it is installed properly by a reputable firm and is working. Also remember to set it before you leave home.
- A thorny hedge along the boundary of your property may put thieves off, as may a gravel path, as it’s noisy to walk on.
- Keep gates, garages, sheds or outbuildings secure and ensure no tools are left outside.
- Make sure your house is visible from the street - keep shrubbery and hedges at the front of the house pruned to below one metre to remove any cover for a burglar to work unseen and give your neighbours every chance to spot something suspicious.
- Be careful when opening the door to unexpected visitors - prior to opening the door use a spy hole, window or a Ring doorbell to see who is visiting and use a chain on the door. Never let anyone in your house unless it is someone you know and trust – if unsure check their identification details by phoning the genuine telephone number from a company website or search engine, do not use a telephone number on a given ID card. Do not be tempted to deal with businesses who call at your door, Derbyshire County Council hold lists of trusted and approved traders.
- Never leave a spare key outside of your house – burglars know the usual hiding spots. We encourage people to be a good neighbour and to contact the police if you see anyone acting suspiciously in your area on the below contact methods.
For further burglary prevention advice, please speak to your Community Safety Partnership or local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Cllr Carolyn Renwick – Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: “Darker nights can mean more opportunities for would-be thieves, so make sure you take steps now to improve your household and vehicle security to reduce the chance of you losing your hard-earned possessions.”
Help for job seekers
Pictured: Community Employment Advisor Mark Szadura with job seeker Karen Bright at our recent jobs fair in Dronfield.
If you live in North East Derbyshire, are unemployed or facing redundancy and looking for work, you don’t have to go it alone!
FREE information, support and advice is available through our Working Communities project. Working together on a one-toone basis, you and your advisor will create a realistic plan to find employment. We can help you with a variety of job-related tasks, such as: searching for a job, preparing your CV, filling in application forms, interview techniques and also advise about benefits. If there is something we are unable to help you with, we can put you in touch with the people who can.
Sign up! Get news about local jobs sent straight to your inbox.
Shop Front Enhancement Scheme
Subject to the Government’s confirmation of the District’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation we will soon be launching a Shop Front Enhancement Scheme.
A Design Guide will be produced in the New Year, and shortly after, business owners will be able to apply for grants aimed at boosting local shopping by improving the frontage of street facing, commercial use premises.
The Shopfront Enhancement Scheme will be available to both owners of vacant units and existing tenants that are located in North East Derbyshire.
The scheme will cover works to improve the appearance of business premises including reinstatement of historical shopfront, stonework repairs, access improvements, appropriate lighting, improved energy efficiency, new signage, shutters, windows, doors, canopies and professional fees.
Interested in equality and diversity? - We want to hear from you!
We would like to establish a panel of residents to support our work on promoting equality and diversity, as an employer and when delivering our services.
We would like to hear from residents who have an interest in promoting equality and diversity, or are affected by issues relating to equality such as: disability, age, race or any of the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.
The purpose of the ‘Equality Panel’ would be for the Council and panel members to engage regularly on equality issues to help improve and shape council services by reviewing relevant policies and procedures and seeking panel views and perceptions.
We anticipate the group will meet three to four times a year at the Council offices, Mill Lane, Wingerworth. We will give financial support with travel expenses and provide a light buffet.
Cost of living special
Helping to cut costs
As the cost of living continues to affect all our lives, it’s important we look at what we can do to help ourselves and each other.
We’ve put together this Cost of Living supplement to help our residents and businesses through this difficult time. It includes a number of top tips to help save you money, as well as who to contact for more support and advice.
We know it hasn’t been easy, so we have also put together a one-stop shop on our website so you can access all of this information online, 24 hours a day.
Our Customer Services Team is also happy to help. If you, or someone you know needs support contact us on 01246 231111.
Cllr Alex Dale, Leader
Reducing your bills
As energy costs continue making living expensive, we are taking action to help our residents and businesses.
“It’s really important for everyone to understand that no matter your situation, nobody need go cold or hungry - there is a lot of help available, including from Government, Councils, Energy Companies and Charities.
“We are also offering practical help and impartial advice on how to make your home as efficient and cost effective as possible. Please call us for more information.
“Sadly criminals are looking to exploit vulnerable people due to this difficult situation. Please make sure your friends and family are being careful, and only use trusted sources such as your local council and report any scams you come across to Action Fraud.
“Our website will be regularly updated with the latest information and advice at www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/costofliving” - Cllr Jeremy Kenyon, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Energy Saving Champion.
Government Support Packages
The Government has launched a number of financial packages to assist households and businesses.
Visit the government website for more information on the support packages available including:
- Energy Price cap – this will reduce the unit cost of electricity and gas for UK households. This is automatic and applies to all households. Beware of scams – there is no need to apply and you will never be asked for bank details. This is in addition to the £400 energy bills discount for all households, saving a medium usage household approx. £1000.
- Energy Bills Support Scheme - £400 off energy bills for households from October. This automatic, non-repayable discount will be applied in six instalments between October 2022 and March 2023 to help households through winter. There is no need to apply for the scheme and you will not be asked for your bank details.
- Pensioner Cost of Living Payment - In the winter months pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills. This winter, they will also receive an extra one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.
- Cost of Living Payment - Households on means tested benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, will receive a payment of £650 this year, paid automatically in two instalments. The first payment was made in summer. The second payment of £324 will be made by DWP to eligible customers between 8 and 23 November, and by HMRC between 23 and 30 November (to customers receiving tax credits only and no other eligible DWP benefits).
- Disability Cost of Living Payment - Individuals on disability benefits will receive a one-off £150 payment in September to help with extra costs, such as for specialist equipment or transport. This is in addition to the £650 Cost of Living Payment for disabled people who also receive means tested benefits.
- Cold weather payments - £25 extra a week if you’re getting certain benefits is available during the winter when the temperature is zero or below for more than seven days.
Did you know?
If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to help with your Council Tax, by applying for Council Tax Reduction.
More information can be found on the online form on our website.
However, if you do not have internet access or are unable to complete the online form, our Revenues Customer advisors will be able to complete the form for you. Call them on 01246 217600.
Home assistance co-ordinators can offer support, help and guidance to help residents make their homes more efficient and reduce energy costs.
They are specialists in providing energy advice, helping to reduce heat loss, identify ways you can keep it warmer for longer and help improve housing conditions for residents.
They can offer free, impartial advice on their visits and signpost to local trusted traders.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills they can help give debt advice and link you into support to help with payments and signpost you to government funding and grants you may be eligible for, making you and your home more comfortable this winter.
Warm Spaces, also known as Warm Hubs and Warm Places, are being developed in some communities.
Offering welcoming and friendly access to community venues that are already heated, such as libraries and community centres, anyone who is cold can go to get warm, stay warm and enjoy a little company and refreshments over winter.
We can promote any local Warm Spaces, so if there are sessions near you please let us know.
If you are thinking about setting up a Warm Space you may find this guidance helpful.
Our Community Action Grant scheme will also consider funding applications for community-led activity.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO), is a government-backed energy efficiency scheme.
The ECO4 Flexibility scheme aims to improve the least energy efficient private tenure housing stock occupied by low income and vulnerable households.
We are currently working with Derbyshire County Council to promote the District to energy suppliers so they can meet their obligations to install energy efficiency measures in homes.
- Boiler Upgrade Scheme - You may be eligible for money off low carbon heating technologies, such as a heat pump. Visit the government website for details.
- Warm Home Discount - This is opening again in November 2022. This is a one off discount on your electricity bill of £140, eligible if you’re on a low income or you get Guarantee Credit Element of Pension Credit (known as ‘core group’). Find out more about the warm home discount scheme.
- Cold Weather Payment - Opens in November 2022, if you are on certain benefits or get Support for Mortgage Interest. Find out more about cold weather payment.
- Winter Fuel Payment - If you were born on or before 25th September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help with your heating bills. Find out more about the winter fuel payment.
- Simple Energy Advice - You can claim to get all or some of the cost of installing energy saving measures in your house if you are on certain benefits. Find out more about help from your energy supplier. We have more useful contacts on the Cost of Living pages
Energy saving tips
Help save cash and the environment with our top energy saving tips for your home.
This section looks at how we can reduce our energy usage and the money we spend on utilities.
Efficiencies can be made in each room of the house and our three overarching tips to help you and your home this winter are: 1. Only heat the rooms you use, when you use them 2. Keep the person warm, not the house 3. Keep doors closed to keep heat downstairs.
Roof • Make sure you insulate your loft – the roof accounts for about a quarter of the heat lost from your home.
Bedroom • Electric blankets only cost 3p-6p even if on all night - warmer and cheaper than heating the whole house. • Fresh air is nice, but you only need to open the window a crack to get enough.
Doors • Heat is easily lost through draughts. You can fit draught excluders and draught excluder tape on external doors and older windows, especially doors to garages and conservatories. • Letter boxes are another simple thing to fix, e.g. by fitting internal draught excluders over your existing letter box.
Walls • Cavity wall insulation is suitable for brick built housing and can cut your heating energy by 20%, as well as making your house much nicer to live in and reducing condensation.
Living room • Look to see if your TV has an ‘Eco’ mode to save power. • Make sure your TV is an LED one of some sort - old plasma TVs really chew through energy. • Chimney balloons reduce the amount of household heat loss when the fire is not in use.
Kitchen • Running dishwashers on a quick cycle can reduce their energy use by a up to a quarter. • Only boil the water you need, by having a cup around to fill your kettle. • Don’t put fridges and freezers in sheds and garages which get hot, because it will make them run continuously and cost a fortune in warm weather.
Lights • Halogen bulbs use a lot of power. You can get LED bulbs that will work with most dimmer switches these days and will be as bright, as cheap, last longer and use a fifth the power. • Turn lights off. Easier said than done with a houseful of kids - but it’s a habit that will benefit everyone in the long run! • Use the right strength bulbs, such as lower output bulbs in hallways.
Laundry • Many washing machines have a quick cycle that will save power. With modern detergents the results can be just as good. • Avoid using tumble driers if possible. Clothes last longer and are easier to avoid creasing if you hang them up on a drying rack or line • Most washing machines have a quick cycle - that will more than halve the power they use, and with modern detergents the results will usually be identical.
Garage • Make sure your vehicle is serviced, so that it’s running efficiently. • Accelerating hard and braking hard waste energy, even in electric cars. • Don’t sit with your engine idling - save some fuel!
Bathroom • If you have a power shower running off your boiler, consider fitting a water efficient shower head to reduce the amount of hot water you use. • Brushing your teeth - a quick drop to wet your toothbrush is all it needs - turn the water off until you are done brushing! • Aim for taking less than five minutes in the shower as electric showers use a lot of energy.
Windows • Older windows can easily be improved using secondary glazing, ranging from cheap shrink film solutions, to Perspex sheets. On single glazed windows, insulating film can halve their heat loss.
Useful contacts Marches Energy Agency - Provide support regarding anything to do with energy. They can help with grants, supporting installation, tariff switching, disputes or fuel debt, and helping with energy saving tips and renewable energy options. https://mea.org.uk/our-work/energy-advice-athome/
Cllr Jeremy Kenyon, Cabinet Member for Economy, Transformation & Climate Change, said: “Making energy saving changes is good for the environment and your pocket too. “Small differences to the way you run your home could add up to big savings overall, so make sure you look at each room in turn to find out where you might be able to cut back on the energy you use.”
Paying your bills
We know many people are struggling to pay their bills at the moment. If you are one of them, help is at hand.
Support for Rykneld Tenants
Cllr Carolyn Renwick, Cabinet member responsible for Housing, said: “Rykneld Homes provides award-winning customer care and prides itself on supporting people in our district. “It has responded to the current cost of living crisis by providing further help to local groups, seeking to support those most in need and is encouraging any customer facing difficulties to get in touch as quickly as possible so they can work with them to address their issues.”
If you receive certain benefits or tax credits you may be able to get a payment to help with the cost of living. This will be paid automatically and you should not be asked to apply or speak to someone about the payment - beware of any contact as this might be a scam.
Pension Credit gives extra money to help residents over State Pension age and on a low income with their living and housing costs.
Pension Credit can support carers, severely disabled people or those responsible for a child or young person. It is separate from the State Pension and can be awarded even if you have other income, savings or own your own home
Many eligible people are still not claiming this extra financial help that can be worth over £3,300 a year, so please do check if you are eligible
Help with Council Tax
If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.
We will consider each case individually and then look to work with you to agree a mutually acceptable payment plan that takes into account your circumstances.
Cllr Paul Parkin, Cabinet member for Finance, said: “If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax or rent, please get in touch with us or Rykneld Homes as soon as possible, to see what options are available to you. “Make the first step by giving us a call or sending an email. Dealing with financial matters can be daunting, but we are here to help.”
Cost of living support from Citizens Advice
As winter approaches with the need for increased energy consumption, the increasing cost of living is understandably causing a lot of anxiety to residents of North East Derbyshire. Gillian Sladen, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice North East Derbyshire, shares her advice: “At Citizens Advice there are lots of options we can explore to help relieve pressure and support people through the coming months.
- Income Maximisation “The first step we take to help clients is to check that they are receiving all income that they are entitled to and help to identify any areas where they may be able to reduce expenditure without affecting their quality of life.
- Charitable Grants/ Support “In addition to income maximisation we can explore sources of support from local or national charities.
- Dealing with debt “Our debt advisers can support with dealing with creditors and identifying the best option for managing your debts.” If you want to know what options are available to help you, call Citizens Advice NED on 0808 250 5702 (9am - 2pm, Mon-Fri) or visit our drop-in service in Clay Cross.
Community Bank Update
Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Credit Union has lent out nearly £1million this year in Personal Loans, Family Loans and the new Back to School Loan. For more information about joining, borrowing from and saving with your Community Bank
Energy Company Support
Contacting your energy company is the first step if you find yourself in debt with energy bills. Most of them have schemes to help people who are really struggling with bills.
Be scam aware
Action Fraud - the national fraud and cyber fraud crime reporting centre, has received reports about fake text messages pretending to be from the Government.
The texts say that the recipient is “owed” or “eligible” for an energy bill discount as part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme.
The links in the emails lead to genuine-looking websites that are designed to steal people’s personal and financial information. People do not need to apply for the scheme, it happens automatically, and they will not be asked for their bank details.
Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to 7726. You can report suspicious emails, letters and calls to Action Fraud via their website
- Citizens Advice North East Derbyshire Advice Helpline - 0808 250 5702 Get help with debt.
- Debt Advice: - An impartial UK charity which provides free, confidential debt advice for anyone worried about loans, credit and debt.
- Step Change - Offers free debt advice.
- Christians Against Poverty Debt Counselling
- Food Banks - For foodbanks near you, or call 01629 529970.
- Mental health support Derbyshire Mental Health Helpline and Support Service helps people who are struggling to cope. Contact them 24/7 on 0800 028 0077
Help for businesses
If your business is feeling the pinch, support is available.
Below are some of the schemes currently taking place, which may be able to help.
Support from D2N2 Growth Hub
Businesses in the District can benefit from the free support offered by the Derby and Derbyshire and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Growth Hub. This includes access to free expert business advisers, who provide support to help businesses to grow. Both growth hubs have web portals, which collect together advice and guidance on a range of subjects, including: running a new business, help to grow your business, how to access finance and support for businesses looking to expand their workforce. Scan the QR code for more information about the SCR and D2N2 Growth Hubs.
There are a number of Government-backed schemes to help your business get the advice and financial support it needs. Over 150 schemes currently exist – almost a third of which are in the East Midlands.
The Government has also outlined plans to help cut energy bills for businesses. Our website also has a list of useful contacts to help with energy bills, advice and support.
We are expecting imminent confirmation of the Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation. Please keep checking our website and social media for updates as we are considering a range of business support activities.
Top tips for businesses
- Air conditioning uses a lot of energy, it is a lot more efficient to ventilate hot areas such as kitchens when possible by extractor fans or natural ventilation such as windows.
- Bring your heating down by 1 degree, just doing this can reduce your bill by up to 10%.
- Turn off all equipment at the plug, this will stop it drawing any power when not in use.
- Extractor fans are necessary, but in winter they result in lots of cold air being drawn in through doors etc. so ensure they are turned off when not required. You can now get heat exchanger fans that recover 80% of the heat that would otherwise be lost.
- LED lighting and motion sensor controlled lighting are significantly cheaper to run – this can be a quick and an easy win.
- You could make use of sites which take surplus food, allowing you to reclaim some of the cost, such as this site toogoodtogo.
- You can set PCs and Laptops to go to sleep after a few minutes - this can reduce the power they take by 80%.
Cllr Jeremy Kenyon, Cabinet Member for Economy, Transformation & Climate Change, said: “It’s not just individuals and families that are finding it tough at the moment. “Businesses are also feeling the pinch, with rising energy and fuel costs, adding to an already difficult time after coming out of Covid. “There is help and support available though, so I’d encourage all our businesses to seek it out. You don’t have to go it alone!”
- D2N2 Growth Hub - Provides support to businesses in Derbyshire - they can signpost you to the right initiatives and resources to help grow your business. Call 0333 006 9178
- Citizens Advice provides useful information regarding business energy bills:
- There are Government funding opportunities for businesses investing in green technologies to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
Stair-lift Recycling Scheme success
Earlier this year, we introduced a Stair-lift Recycling Scheme to help residents struggling to access the stairs within their home.
Prior to the introduction of this scheme, a stair-lift would have been provided via a Disabled Facilities Grant.
As the provision of this grant is based upon an individual’s income and savings, it meant that some people did not qualify for the stair-lift or they had to pay a financial contribution.
In addition the whole process of administering a Disabled Facilities Grant, for such a basic provision, was lengthy.
In fact, the process could often take in the region of 14 weeks from the initial assessment by an Occupational Therapist to the time of installation.
In partnership with Derbyshire County Council it was decided to look at alternative ways of helping residents who have been identified as needing a stair-lift and to speed up the delivery process.
The stair-lift recycling scheme was launched, which involves a customer having a stair-lift installed as a loan (subject to a recommendation by an Occupational Therapist).
The customer can keep the stair-lift for as long as it is required. When it is no longer needed, we remove the stair-lift. It is then installed in another property for another customer to benefit from.
The recycling scheme has now been operational for almost nine months and is already proving a great success.
- The waiting time for installation has been drastically cut to around 4-6 weeks from the initial assessment.
- Customers who would normally pay a contribution are not required to find any money as the stair-lift is provided as loan equipment.
- The stair-lifts are recycled when they are no longer needed, ensuring that someone else gets the benefit.
- Not only is this better for the environment, but it also saves money, as used stair-lifts, with life left in them, are not going to waste.
The initial feedback from recipients is very positive, saying that it has improved their quality of life, their independence and promoted wellbeing.
Since the first stair-lift was installed under this scheme, many more have followed. Currently, only new lifts are being installed, but in time as the scheme progresses and stock of equipment increases, more stair-lifts will be recycled.
Should you have a stair-lift that is no longer required and is less than four years old, please contact Environmental Health who will advise if the stair-lift is eligible for recycling, in which case it could be removed free of charge and then recycled in our scheme.
To qualify for this scheme, your need for a stair-lift will need to be determined by the Occupational Therapy team at Derbyshire County Council.
Thank you to all our customers for your patience during our recent decarbonisation works
Work has been taking place at Dronfield Sports Centre since the summer, to make it one of the first existing facilities in the UK to reduce its carbon emissions by 100%!
We’ve received £1.33m funding for the project, which will see old gas powered boilers replaced with air source heat pumps and the installation of solar panels.
Cavity wall insulation has also been installed around the building, together with new energy efficient LED lighting.
The project is expected to be completed by the spring. Minimal disruption is expected within the facility and customers will be notified in advance of any works taking place. Keep a look out on the centre’s Facebook page for updates. More information about the decarbonisation project can also be found on our website
Calling all disco divas
Dig out your flares and platforms and join our Chair for her 70s themed Christmas disco!
The event takes place on Friday 2 December at Shirland Golf Club, Shirland, 7pm arrival for 7.30pm sit down. Tickets are £35 each, to include a three course meal, with proceeds going to Cllr Diana Ruff’s chosen charity – SSAFA (the Armed Forces charity).
Menu options: prawn cocktail or mushroom vol-auvent, followed by beef bourguignon or Mexican 5 bean chilli (both served with rice). Dessert: Black Forest gateau or raspberry sorbet. Tea or coffee served with mints. Fancy dress optional! To book tickets, visit Eventbrite.
£1.14 billion pound devolution deal for the East Midlands
The government has confirmed that a £1.14 billion devolution deal is on offer for the East Midlands, covering Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Derby, and Nottingham.
The deal will provide the region with a guaranteed income stream of £38 million per year over a 30- year period. All four city and county council leaders in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Derby, and Nottingham have signed up to work on this deal with the government.
A new Combined Authority would be led by an elected mayor, with more control over local decisions and how money is spent in the region.
What happens next? Each council will need to approve the proposals, before a consultation takes place. The deal also needs government approval in the form of new legislation.
The consultation on devolution is due to begin from mid-November. Once it is live, you can have your say by visiting Nottinghamshire County Council.
Thank you for having your say
Thank you to everyone who completed our recent Clay Cross Town Deal Business Survey. The results are now in!
Businesses were invited to complete a questionnaire, to help establish their views on the Town Deal.
The survey provided some valuable insight and also a consistent message from the businesses who responded.
- 94% of businesses are aware of the Town Deal
- 90% thought it would be good for their business
- 97% thought it would be good for Clay Cross
- Asked what is best about Clay Cross, location, vibrant high street and transport links were seen as its greatest strengths.
- Variety of shops and attractive centre performed poorly.
- Businesses would prefer to see more activities to draw in visitors, a greater variety of shops and areas for visitors to dwell and relax.
- 84% of business were looking to grow, 32% of who asked to be referred to the D2N2 business advisor (this has been carried out).
- Main barriers to growth were physical space, recruiting suitable employees and obtaining investment.
Next steps The business survey appeared in the first edition of Clay Cross Matters, out this summer. It is proposed that a second Clay Cross Matters newsletter is produced in the late autumn to further update businesses.
You can also sign up to get news and updates straight to your inbox!
Re-thinking energy usage in Clay Cross
We have commissioned a Low Carbon Energy Network Strategy for Clay Cross, as part of our comprehensive and ambitious Town Investment Plan.
This exciting project will develop a robust and detailed plan to reduce carbon emissions across the town by 80% by 2030.
We will first get a picture of all sources of all energy used by homes, our public estate, shops, and businesses, be that electric, gas or other.
This will allow the creation of a carbon baseline and a reduction programme aligned with the latest scientific thinking. Once we know this, we can explore what measures we can put in place to reduce our energy consumption without impacting daily lives and protecting our livelihoods.
By targeting the energy reductions, we can help everyone reduce their energy use and reduce the carbon emissions at the same time.
The next step will be to work with residents, business and industry experts to identify how we can first reduce the energy we all use and decarbonise what remains.
This will mean exploring local green energy production, such as solar energy, and how we distribute that to homes and business to help us all meet net–zero ambitions.
These projects will require a change in the fuels we use to power and heat our town, which will require investment in the supporting infrastructure, supporting low-carbon jobs.
The final part of this initial piece of the plan will be to work with Local, National Government and industry to identify funding for these changes and develop an action plan to roll out projects across the town.
Keep warm, keep well this winter
As we head for winter, Rykneld Homes has included some useful help and advice about staying safe and well over the colder months.
You can also check out our helpful videos on the Rykneld Homes You Tube channel about how to repressurise your boiler and how to change a room thermostat battery.
Frozen condensing boiler If your condensing boiler stops working in very cold weather, the condenser waste pipe outside your home may have frozen.
Try defrosting it with hot water. Once thawed the boiler must be reset. This can be done by holding the reset button for ten seconds and then waiting for the boiler to fire.
Frozen pipes - To prevent frozen pipes, you should insulate them using pipe lagging. It is available to buy from DIY stores. Frozen pipes can cause your heating to stop working properly and result in bursts. If pipes inside your home freeze, you can avoid bursts by gradually introducing heat to the frozen pipe using a hair dryer or fan heater. Turn off the mains water supply at the stop tap until the pipe is thawed. If the pipe bursts, make sure the stop tap is off and drain the system by opening all the taps to the basin, sink and bath
Outside taps - It is recommended that you turn off the water supply to your outside tap using its stop tap. Open the tap to drain any water from the pipes and lag exposed pipework to prevent frozen and potentially burst pipes.
Emergency Repairs - During severe weather, some of our rural estates can become impassable.
Any Rykneld customer telephoning our Contact Centre during severe weather will be told the level of service we are operating and the likely timescales.
Customers can report an emergency repair by calling 08000 121 621 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Keep looking at the homepage of our website or our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates and information about our services.
Where routine repairs appointments have been missed due to the weather, we will contact tenants to rearrange a new date as soon as possible.
- Visit the government website to find out if you are entitled to receive financial support towards the cost of your heating bills.
- Keep basic items such as soup, long life milk and teabags in the cupboard in case you cannot get to a shop.
- Have plenty of hot food and drinks to keep you warm.
- Try to keep active to stay warm. If you cannot walk around, try chair-based exercise.
- Layer up, several thin layers are better than one thick layer at keeping you warm.
- Know where your stop tap is located - you will need to turn it off quickly in the event of a burst.
- Keep your kettle filled and store bottles of water in case your water is turned off.
- If you start to feel unwell, at the first sign of a winter respiratory illness, even if it is just a cough or cold, get help from your pharmacist before it gets more serious. If you cannot get to the pharmacy yourself, ask if someone can take you. Make sure you pick up prescription medications before the Christmas holidays start. Many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays.
- Ensure you have your gas heating appliances serviced regularly to ensure they are working safely – we will send you a letter to let you know when we will be visiting your home to carry out a service.
- Consider if you would benefit from having the flu vaccination.
- Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket in bed. Make sure the blanket is checked every three years to ensure this is safe – contact Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service for more information on this. Never use a hot water bottle and electric blanket together.
- Make sure radiators are not obstructed by furniture and tuck curtains behind.
- Older neighbours, relatives, friends, and other elderly members of the community are more vulnerable in the winter months so make sure you keep in touch, check if they are feeling under the weather, help them stock up on food supplies and make sure they have the necessary medication before the Christmas holidays start or a spell of bad weather.
Useful contacts and Advice Lines
- Rykneld Homes Emergency Repairs - Tel: 08000 121 621
- Government Keep Warm Keep Well Advice and Information
- Winter Fuel Payments - Tel: 0800 731 0160 Warm Home Discount Scheme - Tel: 0800 731 0214
- NHS Winter Health Advice - www.nhs.uk, Tel: 111
- Energy Saving Trust - For things you can do over winter and for impartial energy advice. Tel: 0300 123 1234,
- MET Office Updates - Tel: 0370 900 0100
- Call Derbyshire - If you have concerns about an older person. Tel: 08456 058 058, Tel: 01629 533 190 In an emergency - call 999
- Age UK, Winter Health Tips - Tel: 0800 055 6112 Visit the website to download the Winter Wrapped Up Guide
Community Safety Alarm
If you are looking for peace of mind for you or your loved ones our Community Alarm Service is available to adults of all ages in the district who are vulnerable, have a disability or health issues.
At the press of a button, you will be put in touch with our helpful alarm centre if you require help from a named contact or the emergency services.
Get out and about in the district
We’ve got lots of great walks taking place across our district for all ages and abilities.
Take a look below for some of the activities you can take part in with family and friends.
Buggy Walk Tuesday 29th November 10.00am. Meet at Alice’s View Children’s Centre, North Wingfield, Chesterfield S42 5XA A casual stroll around the local area for buggy pushers. Refreshments available in the centre afterwards.
For more information please contact: Debbie Saint and Lynn Johnston on the contact details below.
Family Couch to 5k (or even less if you like!) Join in the fun, walk or run! Every Saturday, 9.15am to 10.15am. Meet at Sharley Park Leisure Centre, Clay Cross S45 9LX.
A fun family event for kids, parents, guardians, aunts, uncles and buggy pushers. £3 per session. First session FREE for all. Adults are free for subsequent sessions with a participating child.
Refreshments available after at Sharley Park Leisure Centre.
Find a Walking Group in North East Derbyshire near you!
Walk Derbyshire is a county-wide scheme encouraging more people to get walking! By joining one of our group walks in North East Derbyshire you can be more active, improve your health and meet new people, so why not give it a go?
- Sharley Park Strollers Longer Walk 5 miles Monday 10.30am Sharley Park Leisure Centre car park, S45 9LX. Walks are mostly off road and usually involve hills and stiles. Refreshments are available for 20p after the walk.
- Sharley Park Strollers Shorter Walk 3-3.5 miles Monday 11.00am Sharley Park Leisure Centre, S45 9LX. Walks often involve hills and can incorporate stiles and gates. Refreshments are available for 20p after the walk.
- North Wingfield Walk 2-3 miles Tuesday 10.00am North Wingfield Community Resource Centre, S42 5PW. Routes are varied and some walks include hills and stiles. Refreshments are available for 50p after the walk.
- Sharley Park Strollers Drive Out Walk 5-6 miles Wednesday 10.00am Sharley Park Leisure Centre car park, S45 9LX. The group then drives out to various walk starting points within North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire. Expect hills, mud, stiles and gates. The group usually end their walks at a café where there is the opportunity to purchase refreshments and socialise with other walkers.
- Wingerworth Walk 3-3.5 miles 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month 10.30am Smithy Pond Pub car park, Wingerworth, S42 6LN. Walks often go along quiet lanes, through woodlands and across fields. They usually include hills and some stiles.
- Dronfield Walk 2.5-3.5 miles Thursdays fortnightly 1.30pm Meet outside Dronfield Sports Centre, S18 1PD. Walks are often hilly on various terrains. Occasionally the group take a flatter route. Contact Lauren on 07814 997788 for further information and group walk dates.
- Eckington Walk 2-3 miles Saturday 10.00am Eckington Library car park, S21 4JG. A lot of the walks go through woodlands and can sometimes be muddy. Walks often involve hills and rarely involve stiles.
Ashover Parish Hall Christmas Craft Fair Saturday 26 November, 10am - 3pm. Milken Lane, Ashover, S45 OBA. Free entry and ample parking. Refreshments and dog friendly.
- Santa at Jilbee Land Santa’s Grotto is coming to Jilbee again this year! This time Santa will be warm and cosy in his inside grotto. He can’t wait to meet the children and give them a gift. You will be able to take your own photos. Book now
- Hygge Emporium Autumn and winter workshops.
- Dronfield Hall Barn Dronfield Botanical Illustration Group Every Monday in November, 10am - 1pm. £85 (£70 friends). Turning Leaves - Capture nature’s finest display in watercolour. Guidance and demonstrations will be provided.
- Embroidery Workshop Wednesday 16 November, 10am - 4pm, £75 (£60 Friends). A choice of designs will be provided. Materials included.
- Winter Talks Series The Story of Shelagh’s Sewing Circle, Wednesday 23 November, 1.30pm - 3pm.
- Exhibitions See website
- Dronfield Christmas Lights Switch On Friday 25 November, 4pm - 8pm. The event starts at 4pm in the Civic Hall, where a host of festive stalls will be available to browse. The official switch on of the lights will take place at 6pm in the Library Gardens, High Street. There will also be a Christmas market held in Dronfield Hall Barn and the Peel Centre and local businesses will be opening for late-night shopping.
- Soul and Motown Night With Tony B and Phil Howard at Eckington Civic Centre, 25 & 26 November 8pm - 12am. Advance tickets £3, or £5 on the door.
- Breakfast with Santa Eckington Civic Centre, 17 December, 10am. £7.50 per child (Adults go free). Children will enjoy a cooked breakfast, a small selection box, party games and the chance to meet Santa.
- Afternoon Tea with Santa Eckington Civic Centre, 17 December, 1pm - 2.30pm. £7.50 per child, (Adults go free).
- MATLOCK FARM PARK Take a look at their website for Christmas events.
- Renishaw Hall Knit & natter with Afternoon Tea Sunday 20 November and Sunday 4 December.
- Breakfast with Santa Each Saturday and Sunday between 3 to 18 December. Includes a small gift for the children.
- Christmas Lunch with Santa Sunday 11 and 18 December. Festive Afternoon Tea 3, 4, 10, 17, 18 December.
- Christmas Hall Tours Selected dates in December. Renishaw Hall & Gardens and the Café will close for the season on 18 December and reopen in March 2023.
- Tupton Community Groups Christmas Market Saturday 3 December, Tupton Village Hall, 2pm - 5pm. Food, crafts, gifts and the chance to meet Santa. Santa arrives at 6pm to light the tree lights, followed by carols.
More information about events in our district can be found in our calendar.
Raising a cup to national award winner
Pictured: Gail Hannan with her Muddy Stilettos award.
A small company with a big following is celebrating success, after scooping a top national award!
Cup & Saucer, Clay Cross, has picked up ‘Best Local Food/Drink Producer’, in the prestigious Muddy Stilettos* Awards 2022.
A massive 75,000 businesses were nominated for this year’s awards and 765,000 votes cast across 28 counties, making them the biggest Muddy Awards to date!
Owner Gail Hannan, said: “I first found out that I’d been nominated for the ‘Muddy Stilettos’ Best Local Food/ Drink Producer Award when I received an email from them informing me that I had been nominated by the public and was one of the top 5 nominated businesses across Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire.
“After a second public vote of the 5 finalists, I was both shocked and overjoyed to be notified that my small independent business - Cup & Saucer-had received hundreds of votes which resulted in me gaining 1st place.
“I feel incredibly proud of this achievement, I’ve worked so hard to build my business over the past 5 years. I’m also very grateful to everyone who voted for me, I know that I have some wonderful loyal customers who have shared my ‘tea’ journey from the beginning, but I didn’t realise I had so many of them.”
Cup & Saucer, which can be found at The Hub, Broadleys, sells loose tea and tea related vintage china, including some great gifts for tea lovers.
It is the second accolade for the company, which also won Food Producer of the Year at the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards 2018.
You can find out more about Cup & Saucer at www.cupandsauceronline.co.uk and on social media. *Muddy Stilettos is an insider’s guide to the quirky, cool and unmissable in the countryside. More info at www.muddystilettos.co.uk
- Have you got a community story you would like to tell people about? Send in your stories and pictures to Nicola Smith or the chance to feature in a forthcoming issue of the NEWS.
Helping to cut the cost of Christmas
We’ve put together some money-saving ideas to help with the cost of Christmas, while still ensuring you have a great time.
Made with love
Make your own gifts, cards and decorations. With just a little bit of time and effort, you can make something incredible at very little cost. All it takes is imagination! This Christmas wreath was made with all natural (and free!) materials from the garden – grass, ivy and berries.
While these tea light holders* have been made from old glass jars, decorated with left-over craft materials. If you haven’t got any craft materials, natural materials like holly and ivy work really well too.
Hunt it out
If you do want to buy a gift, rather than make your own, make sure you shop around to get the best deal possible. Also, hunt out all those gift cards and supermarket vouchers you may have forgotten you had, to help with the cost of food and presents.
Give your time
Give your time as a gift this Christmas – offer to babysit, cook a meal or tidy a friend’s garden. You could even make your own voucher to make it even more personal.
It’s a wrap
We are unable to recycle many types of gift wrap, because they have glitter or metallic coatings. It’s therefore better for the environment, and your pocket, to think of new ways to wrap your gifts. Try swapping paper for fabric – maybe use material from an old shirt or even a headscarf. Not only will it look pretty, but the scarf is a gift in itself!
Keep it low
Help keep your food bill low this Christmas by:
- Avoiding pre-prepared fruit and vegetables, as these will be more expensive.
- Buying frozen items like vegetables and fish, which can be cheaper than fresh.
- Turn last night’s Christmas leftovers into something tasty for today.
- Storing food correctly will help to prolong its life.
- Look for discounted items. If you shop in the evening you will find them discounting food which you can still use or freeze.
- Bulk buying if you have space, as this can be more cost effective for items you use regularly.
- Using apps which offer free or cheap food - Olio and Too Good To Go are examples where you buy unsold food at a discounted rate.
*Never leave candles unattended. Switch to battery versions for a safer alternative.
Netmums has some really good ideas for making your own presents and decorations – from a spa in a jar to button baubles!