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Hundreds of listings for unlawful face mask exemption badges removed following Trading Standards crackdown

Hundreds of unlawful eBay listings for so-called face mask exemption badges have been removed following a crackdown by Sutton Trading Standards.

The listings posed a serious risk to public health during the COVID-19 pandemic and their removal is part of Sutton Council’s on-going efforts to ensure the health and safety of residents.
 
Sutton Council officers worked closely with eBay to remove more than 700 listings. 
 
Among those were about 500 posts for the unlawful sale of UK Government ‘Face Mask Exemption’ badges, with many sellers advertising bulk buys together with messages designed to undermine public health controls.
 
Sutton Council’s Trading Standards team monitors both physical retail premises and online sales to ensure coronavirus health regulations are being followed, as part of their community protection role.
 
Councillor Jayne McCoy, deputy leader of the Council, said: “Sutton Council takes public health extremely seriously and, thanks to the efforts of our Trading Standards Officers, these unlawful badges have been removed from sale.
 
“Profiteering from false exemption badges is a despicably low act and hurts the more vulnerable people who we should all be looking out for.”
 
Using face coverings is a key action that we can all take to stop the spread of coronavirus – even if we don’t have symptoms or think that we have the virus.

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Code word launched for those who are experiencing domestic abuse – ANI


Ask for ANI

The Government has launched a new code word scheme, where if you are experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help you can ask for ‘ANI’ in any participating pharmacy. ANI stands for Action Needed Immediately but is pronounced Annie. If a pharmacy has the ‘Ask for ANI’ logo on display, it means they are ready to help you.

The pharmacy will offer you a private space, provide you with a phone and ask if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services. Read more. 
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Sutton Uplift can help with workshops designed to support specific needs of borough residents

Wellbeing Workshops and 1:1 Support 
As we continue to manage living in these uncertain times, looking after our wellbeing is more essential now than ever. Sutton Uplift are here for you. The Sutton Wellbeing Service are offering a series of wellbeing workshops designed to support your specific needs, these are all free to attend for residents of Sutton or those registered with a Sutton GP. For those seeking individual support, they also offer one-to-one sessions focusing on practical support needs. The workshops they are currently offering are:

Relaxation and Self-Care
Self-Confidence and Assertiveness
Overcoming Anger and Irritability Coping with Stress
Long Term Conditions
Sleep
Mastering Motivation
Living Well with Diabetes
Living Well with Arthritis
Maintaining Your Wellbeing as a Parent or Carer 

To book your place, call or email the Wellbeing Service on: 0800 032 1411 / 020 3513 4044 or suttonwellbeing@swlstg.nhs.uk. You can also sign up for a workshop on Eventbrite by searching for ‘Sutton Uplift’. 

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Get involved in Age Friendly Sutton events

Age Friendly Sutton Events 
Join Age UK Sutton to share your views on a variety of topics, so we can help to create a plan that will make Sutton a more Age Friendly place to live. To book your place, please call 0208 082 0002 or email agefriendly@ageuksutton.org.uk.

Healthy Living – Monday 25th January, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Feeling Connected in the Community – 10:00am – 11:30am
Health and Care Provision – 10:00am – 11:30am
Volunteering and Employment Opportunities – 10:30am – 12:00pm

Find out more

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Virtual Magic Carpet Appeal takes flight to enchant children while in hospital

A new charity appeal to fund an interactive, digital ‘magic carpet’ for the young patients in Casey Ward at Epsom Hospital has just launched, with the soaring aim of bringing a ‘whole new world’ to the hospital’s dedicated childrens’ ward.
With a mobile projector, motion sensor and interactive mat, the magic carpet experience allows moving graphics and games to appear on the ground and reacts to movements – meaning patients can be transported to virtual seasides, or take part in a dance-off challenge!
And even more importantly, play can be touchless while the mat is easy to clean and sanitise between users. It comes with lots of pre-installed dancing and competitive games as well as educational themes to encourage physical activity, mental and sensory stimulation.
Jessica Start, Play Specialist at Epsom Hospital, said: “In the current environment, this would be a game changer for our lovely young patients. We know that children of all ages will enjoy its virtual technology – a toddler can pretend to splash around in the sea while a teenager can have a virtual kick-about. That’s why we’ve launched an appeal to try and get one for Casey Ward this year. We do know that times continue to be tough for people but if you are someone who can make a small donation, we would be immensely grateful.”
The Magic Carpet Appeal aims to raise the £8,000 needed to purchase and install the equipment. If you would like to make a donation and are able to spare some money at this time of year, you can do so at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/Casey-Carpet
People are also very welcome to take on a sponsored challenge to fundraise for this appeal (or any other service at Epsom and St Helier) – please email the Charity Team at team@esthcharity.org.uk for more information and support.

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Cafe fined £1,000 for repeatedly flouting COVID-19 restrictions

A cafe that put people’s lives at risk by repeatedly flouting COVID-19 restrictions has been fined £1,000 by Sutton Council officers.

The Borough’s Regulatory Services, working with the Metropolitan Police, was tipped off after the cafe continued to serve customers inside its premises – in clear contravention of national safety measures designed to curb the pandemic.

 Despite multiple visits, advice and warnings, the owner still allowed people to eat and drink while seated in the cafe, at times even trying to conceal the activity from officers.

Councillor Jayne McCoy, deputy leader of Sutton Council said: “We will not hesitate to take enforcement action against businesses that continue to breach the regulations, despite our advice and guidance.

“Officers from our Environmental Health and Trading Standards team conduct patrols to help and encourage businesses to comply with the restrictions and where they are able to trade, to do so covid securely.

“Already we have conducted more than 2,000 visits or checks and the vast majority are working within the restrictions designed to protect public health.”

The current national lockdown means hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants, and cafes are not permitted to serve food or drink for consumption inside their venues and can only be sold for takeaway or click and collect.

Support grants are available for businesses affected by local restrictions or national lockdown.

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Sutton Council proposing cameras at all trial low traffic area schemes

Sutton Council is proposing to use cameras at all its trial low traffic area schemes following feedback from the borough’s emergency services and resident concerns about emergency service access.

The move would see existing barriers and planters removed from all sites.

The proposal will be one of the key recommendations at the next meeting of the Council’s Environment & Sustainable Transport Committee when councillors will review the borough’s Safer, Active, Greener Streets programme after its first four months of operation.

Two of the five trial schemes – Butter Hill and Worcester Park – are currently enforced with cameras. The switch, if agreed by councillors, will mean that enforcement at any other schemes will be by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

The Council communicates with the borough’s emergency services on a weekly basis about how its trial Safer, Active, Greener Streets schemes are operating. Following their feedback, the Council is proposing to remove any physical barriers and replace them with cameras to allow emergency services access to all parts of the borough.

Councillors will discuss the proposals at their meeting on 28 January and will be asked to back the move as part of the borough’s response to the pandemic and supporting the emergency services locally.

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New Mill Quarter faces further power outage

Following a further power outage earlier today at New Mill Quarter in Hackbridge, the Council has requested an urgent meeting with the site developer, Barratts.

The London Fire Brigade were called out this morning due to vapour emissions from the Block P electricity substation. A mechanical failure caused heat supplies to fail. 

Power was restored to homes in the morning, but any resident still experiencing issues with their heat supply should please contact SDEN.

Council leaders will be demanding action on the ongoing problems being experienced by residents at New Mill Quarter due to works by Barratts, and stressing that the situation is unacceptable to the Council.

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Pop up cycle lanes around Sutton High Street removed

Sutton Council has removed the pop-up cycle lanes in Throwley Way and St Nicholas Way.

The trial measures were launched in September 2020 to create a dedicated space for people to cycle and provide a safer, active, greener travel alternative to the car for journeys to Sutton town centre as the first lockdown restrictions were relaxed.

Recent traffic survey data and consultation feedback have highlighted that the trial has not achieved its objectives – the number of cyclists has not grown and car use has returned to pre-lockdown levels.

The cycle lanes were part of Transport for London’s capital-wide Streetspace programme to protect public health by creating space for social distancing. Streetspace measures also encourage active travel transport choices, such as walking and cycling, due to the ongoing reduced public transport capacity.

The decision to remove the cycle lanes was taken under delegated powers by officers based on traffic survey results and responses to the council consultation on the cycle lanes.

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NHS warning about scams linked to Covid-19 vaccination

The NHS in south west London is warning people to be on their guard for scams linked to the coronavirus vaccine that aim to get their financial details and steal money.

It follows reports that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the Covid-19 vaccination.

Dr Nicola Jones, local GP and GP lead for the roll-out of the vaccine in south west London, said: “The vaccine is a vital part in our defence against Covid-19 and we know people are excited about getting their jab, but sadly it also means being aware that opportunistic scammers and fraudsters will be looking to take advantage of the roll-out.

“Coronavirus vaccines are only available on the NHS. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge – at no point will you be asked to pay. When it is the right time, you will be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you to receive your vaccine.”

The NHS will never:

  • Ask you for your bank account or card details
  • Ask you for your PIN or banking password
  • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • Ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.  

No entry will be granted to any vaccination site without an appointment and people are urged not to call their GP to get an appointment, everyone should wait until they are contacted by the NHS.

Anyone who has concerns about whether an approach is genuine should speak to their local GP surgery.

Anyone receiving a call they believe to be fraudulent should hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.