May 20th, 2013
Falcon Rural Housing has almost finished developing five affordable homes comprising of two 3 bedroom houses, one 2 bedroom house, and two 2 bedroom flats.
These properties are available for rent to single people, childless couples and families. All applicants must have a local connection to Milverton or an adjoining parish.
Falcon Rural Housing is now looking for tenants for the above new homes. We will be advertising the properties for rent on the Homefinder Somerset Letting system between Wednesday 29th May and Sunday 2nd June 2013. If you want to be considered for one of these properties you must register your bid on the Homefinder Somerset website at www.homefindersomerset.co.uk
More details can be obtained by contacting Falcon Housing on telephone 01823 667343 during office hours OR e-mail email@example.com.
April 26th, 2013
April sees the Avon & Somerset police taking part in a national week of awareness about distraction burglary and rogue trading.
These criminals often prey on vulnerable, elderly and disabled people, tricking them into letting them into their homes, overcharging for incomplete or poor work – or taking money for work that is never actually carried out.
Throughout April, neighbourhood police teams have been out raising awareness with elderly people and urging young people to look out for their relatives and neighbours.
Here are some top tips on staying safe from rogue traders and distraction burglars:
- If you’re not sure who’s at your door, don’t open it.
- Call a neighbour, family member or friend nearby to come along and check out the caller before you open the door to them.
- Genuine callers will make an appointment to see you and will happily come when you have someone with you.
- To check someone’s identify, use a telephone directory – don’t use a number given by the caller as it may be bogus.
- Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home – put it in a bank or Post Office account.
- Keep your doors and windows secure at all times.
- If you suspect a bogus caller is at your door, call 999. They would rather be called to a false alarm than not called at all.
Remember, it’s your doorstep and your decision!
March 12th, 2013
Most of our tenants live or work in a rural setting and many have dogs which they exercise in the countryside. However it is spring and there will be many sheep and lambs in the fields, so please remember that it is at this time of year, when sheep and lambs are at their most vulnerable and your pet could cause problems with livestock.
On the Quantocks Hills from 1st March to the 31st July dog owners are required by law to keep their dogs on a lead when being walked across open access land. In all other areas of the countryside dogs should be kept under close control. It’s not just the physical attacks that cause harm but simply allowing a dog to chase sheep may cause ewes to abort or become injured.
If your dog does kill or cause harm to livestock, you can be liable for a significant fine and for the value of the livestock harmed – your pet may also be dispatched, the cost of which will also have to be borne by you. Moreover, if your dog is actually seen in action harassing livestock it could be shot on sight.
Remember if you actually witness an attack in progress this should be reported to the Police or if on the Quantocks Hills directly to the Quantock Hills AONB Office on 01823 451884.
February 7th, 2013
Following the Governments cuts to legal aid Shelter has decided that as from 2013 they will not bid for new regional legal aid contracts in Somerset. This will very likely lead to the closure of their services in Somerset and therefore they will not be taking on new clients requiring housing, debt or welfare benefits advice from 31st January 2013.
The Shelter helpline on 0808 800 4444 will continue to be available to all clients in Somerset and they can also be contacted via the website at www.shelter.org.uk .
February 6th, 2013
If you are currently receiving a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and aged between 16 & 64 years, you can expect the Department for Works & Pensions (DWP) to be writing to you about the introduction of the replacement benefit known as Personal Independence Payment or PIP. Claimants will be invited to make a claim for PIP to replace their DLA payments when it ends for them. At present there are no plans to replace DLA payments for those under 16 or those aged 65 years or over. From June new claims in our area will be for PIP and any claim for DLA from someone under the age of 16 years or over 64 years will be taken as a claim for PIP.
For more information visit
January 9th, 2013
The government has introduced a 1% cap on annual rises in working-age benefits and some tax credits, arguing it is vital to cutting the deficit.
Benefits set to be capped
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Elements of housing benefit
- Maternity allowance
- Sick Pay, Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, Adoption Pay
- Couple and lone parent elements of working tax credits and the child element of the child tax credit
The “impact assessment” published by the government suggested single parents would be most affected by the cap, losing £5 a week or about £250 annually over the three year period, and the majority of working age households in receipt of state support are likely be an average of £3 a week worse off.
Benefits have historically risen in line with inflation and, without any change, would have been due to go up by 2.2% in April. The government has said that with public sector pay rises capped at 1%, a similar limit should apply to working-age benefits.
January 3rd, 2013
Cases of the winter vomiting bug norovirus have exceeded 1.1 million this winter.
People are only infectious after falling ill and the virus could still be spread for up to a week after recovering.
Norovirus is highly contagious and can be transmitted by contact with an infected person or even contaminated surfaces. When you experience the symptoms you must take particular care to disinfect the area where you were sick, any surfaces close by and to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water.
- Regular hand washing with soap and water or hand sanitiser is the most important action in preventing spread of winter vomiting bugs and other infections. Therefore, every time you enter and leave your room wash your hands with the hand gels available at all entry and exit points.
- Advise your visitors to do the same.
- Any food open to the air can become contaminated; do not keep open food in your room.
- Wash fruit immediately before you eat it.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds before you eat and after you use the toilet.
November 6th, 2012
From April 2013 the Government is introducing a new rule for those on housing benefit; it is being referred to as the ‘Bedroom Tax’ will affect all those under the age of 62 years who are receiving housing benefit.
Under the Governments new Housing Benefit bedroom entitlement the following person or people will be entitled to 1 bedroom only;
- Single Person (Aged 16years +)
- 2 children under the age of 10 (of a different sex)
- 2 children under the age of 16 (of the same sex)
How will this affect you?
If you are considered to be under-occupying your property, your benefit will be reduced. If you are under-occupying by 1 bedroom, the reduction will be 14% or approximately £10 – £13 per week depending if you are in a 2, 3 or 4 bedroom house. If you are under-occupying by 2 or more bedrooms then the reduction will be 25% or approximately £22 – £24 per week depending if you are in a 3 or 4 bedroom house.
If you are under-occupying you need to consider the following:
- Should you be moving to a property with fewer bedrooms?
- Can you afford to pay the shortfall between your rent and housing benefit every week?
- Consider taking in a lodger.
- Make sure you are claiming all the benefits you may be entitled to by visiting www.dircet.gov.uk and using the ‘Benefits adviser’ service.
If you decide to look to exchange your home, you may wish to send a Falcon Housing application form to us as well as registering your interest in moving on www.homefindersomerset.co.uk or www.devonhomechoice.co.uk web site. There are other national home swap agencies such as www.homeswapper.com but all will charge to use their services.
Remember if you do not pay your rent you could lose your home, so should you wish to discuss this issue further, please contact Falcon Housing on 01823 667343.
October 15th, 2012
After falling victim to government cuts, the various youth clubs in West Somerset will reopen during October and November 2012– thanks to the efforts of a Minehead community group.
Somerset County Council announced in April it would no longer directly provide youth services, so staff from Minehead EYE have been working with the clubs in Minehead, Watchet, Williton, Carhampton, Luxborough and Stogursey to get them open again.
Funding has been found from youth opportunity funds, housing associations, parish councils and other bodies to keep all six clubs open at least one night a week for another year.
Minehead EYE will employ the youth workers and oversee the clubs, alongside parish and town councils and committees.
Check out your local notice boards to find out more.
October 2nd, 2012
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid. As from 1st October 2012 the current minimum wage rates will be increased.
There are different levels of NMW, depending on your age and whether you are an apprentice. The current rates (from 1 October 2012) are:
- £6.19 – the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
- £4.98 – the 18-20 rate
- £3.68 – the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
- £2.65 – the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
Entitlement to the NMW
There is a Pay and Work Rights Helpline and for confidential help and advice on the NMW call 0800 917 2368 the helpline gives confidential help and advice on the NMW and can handle calls in over 100 languages
Most workers in the UK over school leaving age are legally entitled to be paid at least the NMW and all employers have to pay it to you if you are entitled to it. It makes no difference:
- if you are paid weekly or monthly, by cheque, in cash or in another way
- if you work full time, part time or any other working pattern
- if you work at your employer’s own premises or elsewhere
- what size your employer is
- where you work in the UK
You are entitled to the NMW even if you sign a contract agreeing to be paid at a lower rate. This is regardless of whether you sign of your own free will or because your employer persuades or makes you. The contract will have no legal effect and you must still be paid the proper rate.