Citizens Advice: Cuts to energy bills are a “tick-box exercise”

As EDF announces a 1.3% cut to its energy bills, which takes effect on 11 February, Citizens Advice has said that the latest round of energy bill prices cuts are nothing more than a tick box exercise.

EDF’s price cut will only reduce bills by £9 but analysis from Citizens Advice reveals that moving to its cheapest tariff could save current customers £165 annually on a dual fuel deal.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“Energy price cuts seem to be nothing more than a tick box exercise. While the larger suppliers have now all reduced their prices; the savings consumers will make from these reductions are tiny compared to the drop in wholesale prices.

“EDF’s minimal price cut will leave people just £9 better off whereas there is a £165 difference between the firm’s standard and cheapest tariffs.

“The energy market needs to work for all customers not just those who shop around. The Competition and Markets Authority needs to look seriously at the behaviour of firms around these recent price cuts to establish whether the industry is competitive and if households are getting a fair deal.”

Action Fraud: Watch out for elaborate forms of courier fraud

Action Fraud has received reports of an unusual type of courier fraud, which fools victims into buying expensive jewellery or clothing for the fraudsters.

Courier fraud continues to be reported and it appears that fraudsters are changing their tactics in order to dupe more victims.

Similar to the traditional types of courier fraud, the victim receives a phone call and they are told that they’re speaking to a police officer and that the police want them to assist in an investigation.

The police officer provides them with a phone number and asks them to call back so that the victim can verify their identity. The victim will physically put the phone down, but the fraudster will actually stay on the line – keeping it open. When the victim phones back they are still speaking to the fraudster who tells the victim that they are at risk of being defrauded and to stop this they need their assistance.

Unlike the normal type of courier fraud, the fraudster then asks the victim to visit a high-end department store or watch shop to buy an expensive item such as a watch or a designer coat. The fraudster will often speak to them on the phone whilst they make the purchase to ensure that they buy the right thing, they will say to the victim that this is all part of the police investigation and that they to keep in constant contact.

Once the purchase has been made they will ask the victim to either send the item to them via a taxi service or they will meet them to collect the purchased item. Once the fraudster has the item, all contact from the fraudster stops and the victim is unable to contact them.

Protect yourself

  • A genuine police officer would never contact you in this way.
  • The police would never ask someone to aid an investigation by purchasing goods with their own money.
  • If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately.

Victim advice

  • Report this to Action Fraud
  • If you have handed over any bank account details to the fraudster, call your bank and cancel your cards immediately.
  • If you want to call your bank, then do it from another telephone. If you don’t have another telephone to use, call someone you know first to make sure the telephone line is free.

UK on track to be the fastest growing G7 economy

GDP figures released today (Tuesday 27 January) shows that Britain’s economy is growing.

Quarterly growth of 0.5 per cent puts the UK in pole position to be the fastest growing economy in 2015.

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Liberal Democrats have anchored economic policy in the centre ground.

In government we have driven through a host of Liberal Democrat inspired measures including income tax cuts for millions of working people, cutting the deficit fairly, boosting apprenticeships and investing in regional and local projects to rebalance the economy.

Today’s figures represent solid progress, especially with many of our key markets still suffering from economic problems.

With the country on the right track, a lurch to the right with the Tories or to the left with Labour has never posed a greater danger to our economic recovery.

Statement on today’s GDP figures from Deputy Prime Minister

Commenting on today’s GDP figures, Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

Two consecutive years of growth shows that our economy is getting stronger.

Back in 2010 the economy was on its knees but decisive action by the coalition government to fix the public finances has put Britain firmly back on the road to recovery.

We have helped stimulate growth in industries across the country while at the same time cutting taxes for millions of low and middle earners.

But there is still a lot more work to do, which is why we need to continue building a stronger economy and doing so fairly.

Warning of possible delays due to road works in Frederick Ward Way

North East Lincolnshire Council, working in partnership with Cofely, will be carrying out highway works to upgrade the Cartergate/Frederick Ward Way junction ahead of a major redevelopment of the area

Improvement works will start on Wednesday 28 January 2015 and are expected to take 12 weeks to complete.

The completed scheme will remove turning restrictions at the junction and improve access into Cartergate.

Changes include new kerb and traffic island arrangements, new road markings and traffic signals.

The junction will also be fully resurfaced and the pedestrian crossing updated.

The majority of the works will be carried out between 7.30am and 5.30pm with lane closures in place.

To reduce disruption to traffic, local people and businesses, resurfacing will be done overnight between 7.30pm and 6am with temporary traffic signals in place.

During this period vehicles will be able to turn left or travel straight ahead along Frederick Ward Way but right hand turns will not be possible.

Diversions will be set up for drivers who would normally turn right out of this junction and exit the town via A180.

Motorists approaching Grimsby town centre car parks at Freshney Place, Market Hall or St James’ Hotel from the south are advised to travel via Peaks Parkway/A16 and turn west along Frederick Ward Way.

Every effort will be made to maintain access during the works but there will be short periods when access from Cartergate into Frederick Ward Way will be closed. Advance roadwork signs will be put up before any closures to keep people informed.

If you have any enquires about the works please contract Gavin on 01472 325670 or visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/travel for the latest live travel information and click on the alerts tab to register for email alerts about road works in your area.

The works are being managed on behalf of the council by Cofely and we’d like to apologise in advance for any disruption caused.

 

100 days to go: Register to vote

To vote in UK elections you must be on the electoral register. Make sure you don’t lose your vote by ensuring your details are up to date.

If you’re not sure if you are registered to vote then you should contact your local electoral registration office. To find your nearest office, click here.

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To register

You can register to vote in England, Scotland and Wales by entering your details online here.

To change your name on the electoral register

If you have changed your name since the last time you voted then you will need to update your details on the electoral register.

To do this you will need to provide proof of your change of name, such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate, an amended birth certificate, or deed poll.

If require further information on how to change your name then you should contact your local electoral registration office.

To change your address on the electoral register

If you have moved home since you last voted then you will need to re-register to the electoral register. You can update your address online by clicking here.

How to vote

You can vote in person at your designated polling booth as indicated on your polling card.

If you prefer to vote by post then you must register for a postal vote at least 11 working days before polling day. You can apply for a postal vote online here or by contacting your local electoral registration office.

Further information 

For more information regarding the electoral register visit:

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote 

http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk

100 days to go: Don’t let Britain take the wrong turn

To mark 100 days until polling day, Liberal Democrats are today (Tuesday 27 January) launching an election poster attacking both Labour and the Conservatives for wanting to veer off course and threatening economic recovery by either borrowing too much or cutting too much.

The poster which reads “don’t let Britain take the wrong turn” shows that only the Liberal Democrats can create both a stronger economy and a fairer society, creating opportunity for everyone.

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Deliberately playing on a previous Conservative poster, the image shows how the Conservatives want to move in the direction of reckless cuts while Labour want to take us in the direction of reckless borrowing.

The poster shows that to keep us on track, Britain needs a liberal voice in government to stop Labour and the Conservatives from lurching to the extremes of left and right.

Liberal Democrats will cut less that the Conservatives and borrow less than Labour, giving a heart to the Conservatives and a backbone to Labour.

Only the Liberal Democrats can deliver both a stronger economy and a fairer society, creating opportunity for everyone.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2015: Message from Nick Clegg

A message from Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, 70 years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Last week, I was privileged to sit down and talk with one of the bravest, most remarkable people I’ve ever met – Zigi Shipper. Zigi was just 11 years old when he first escaped deportation from the Lodz ghetto where he’d been living with his paternal grandparents. When the ghetto was liquidated in 1944, Zigi and his grandmother were rounded up and taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau. His grandfather had already died of starvation.

By the time he was 16, Zigi had witnessed and experienced unimaginable horrors. But, despite it all, his story is one of true courage and hope. As a Holocaust survivor, Zigi has dedicated his time to ensuring that the millions of Jewish people who were persecuted and killed by the Nazi regime are never forgotten.

Now 85, Zigi travels to schools to tell children and young people across the country his story. I met him with 2 dedicated, young Ambassadors of the Holocaust Educational Trust, who took part in a visit I made to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2012.

Learning about the Holocaust is not just a history lesson. It is one of the most powerful antidotes we have to anti-Semitism and extremism whenever and wherever it may occur. And, we all have a responsibility to ensure that the testimonies of Zigi and other survivors of the Holocaust continue to be told for generations to come.

This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and 20 years since the genocide in Sbreneicia in Bosnia.

So, on this day and in the weeks, months and years that follow, please take a moment to remember the victims of the Holocaust and all subsequent genocides. Together, we can honour their memory in the best way possible – fighting hatred and ensuring their voices live on.

(Photo above by Pimke on Wikimedia Commons. Used under Creative Commons).

Today’s conviction is an important step forward ending Female Genital Mutilation

Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone has said the conviction of an Egyptian doctor who performed an illegal female genital mutilation operation on a 13 year-old is a step forward in ending FGM across the world.

The doctor was today (Monday 26 January) convicted of manslaughter after Suhair al-Bataa died following the operation in 2013.

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In her role as an International Development Minister, Lynne started the campaign to end FGM within a generation.

Commenting Lynne said:

“This is a hugely important step forward in the international campaign to end FGM. I wholeheartedly congratulate those tireless campaigners working in Egypt, Britain and across the rest of the world.

“Today’s landmark ruling shows we are one step closer to ending FGM within a generation.”

Appeal from Humberside Police following fire at property on Rutland Street.

Humberside Police are regarding a fire at a property on Rutland Street in Grimsby on Saturday 24 January 2015 as suspicious.

An amount of refuse which had been collected in the garden of the property appears to have been deliberately set alight sometime around 0245hrs on Saturday 24 January 2015.

Part of the property was damaged by the fire although nobody was injured as a result of the blaze.

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have information in connection with this incident and ask for witnesses to call 101 quoting crime reference number AC/2093387 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.