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Want to book a library PC online?

Did you know that you can now book a library PC online? Simple - go to https://arena.yourlondonlibrary.net/web/bexley/home and book your slot. It's free to book and free to use!

Look out for important voter registration information

As part of the borough's annual voter registration canvass, households in the London Borough of Bexley will soon be receiving a form asking residents to check whether the information on the electoral register for those living at their address is correct.

Bexley will start delivering the forms from 8 August. This is to make sure that the electoral register is up-to-date and to identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.

In May 2016 there will be Greater London Authority elections for the London Mayor and London Assembly. You must be registered in order to vote, so to make sure that you have your say, simply check the form when it arrives and return it as soon as possible.

It's particularly important that anyone who has moved address recently looks out for the form to check that they are on it and registered properly. Not being on the register, not only affects your ability to vote, but also your credit rating (as credit agencies check the register before allowing transactions such as mortgages and mobile phone contracts).

Benefits such as housing and care assistance also depend on recipients being registered.

If you're not currently registered, we'll send you information explaining how to do this or you can go online to apply to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

You can return the form by post, or alternatively, if there are no changes to be made, you can simply confirm by phone, text or go online. Even if there are changes to be made, you can do so online. The deadline for using these services is 15 November.

Residents with any questions can contact the elections team at elections.office@bexley.gov.uk or tel 020 8303 7777 and ask for electoral services.

Summer in Thamesmead

Things are really hotting up in Thamesmead this summer.

From week-long literacy programmes to Capital Clean Up events, sports courses, nature and environmental events and a free family fun day with a bonus 30th anniversary international football match thrown in, the Peabody Group is offering it all during the school summer holidays.

For more information on summer courses and events in Thamesmead this summer visit www.sportingclubthamesmead.co.uk/ or www.trust-thamesmead.co.uk/events or call 020 8320 4488 or 020 8320 4470.

Danson Play Day 2015

Danson Play Day will take place on Wednesday 5 August at the Danson Centre, Brampton Road, Bexleyheath DA7 4EZ from 11.30am to 3pm.

A day of fun activities for children of all ages. Events will include: donkey rides, inflatables, cheerleading and dance, football, tennis, trampoline, art and craft and much more.

Tickets booked in advance cost £3 per child, entry on the door will cost more.

For more information call 020 8303 6052 or visit www.dansonyouth.org.uk

Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends will be holding meetings in Bexley libraries to help create communities which are more dementia friendly.

Their aim is to give people an understanding of dementia, and the small things that we can do to help make a difference.

Sessions will be held on:

• Saturday 8 August 10.30 am-11.30am at Central Library Bexleyheath
• Saturday 5 September 10.30am-11.30am at Sidcup Library.

For more information or to book a place contact Megan Jones on 07971 176373, e-mail megan.rebecca.jones@googlemail.com alternatively you can sign up at www.dementiafriends.org.uk

Low uptake of shingles vaccination among London's over 70's

New figures released by Public Health England (PHE) show that only around 40% of Londoners eligible for a free shingles vaccine have taken up the offer. The vaccine is currently offered free on the NHS routinely to those aged 70 years old; there is also a catch-up campaign which (this year) targets 78 and 79 year olds.

The shingles vaccination programme was first introduced in September 2013 and in time will work towards offering immunisation to all 70 to 79 year-olds. However, low uptake in London is putting these vulnerable groups at risk of developing shingles.

Shingles is a very itchy, painful, burning group of blisters caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox (varicella-zoster) virus. The rash commonly affects one area of the body, often the chest, and can last up to four weeks.

Shingles can be a severe and debilitating illness. For some people pain persists for several months after the rash has disappeared (known as post herpetic neuralgia or PHN). One in five people who get shingles go on to develop PHN in the affected area, and some people are left with pain lasting for years.

It is a common misconception that if you have had chickenpox you are immune to the virus for life; however it lies dormant in the nervous system and can reactivate when the immune system is weakened.

As people get older their immune system naturally weakens, which is why people aged 70 and over are more likely to get shingles. Along with being at higher risk of developing shingles, those over 70 are also more likely to suffer from shingles for longer; it is often more painful and can be fatal in one in 1000 cases.

The shingles vaccine is available year-round, and once vaccinated you are protected for at least 5 years.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/who-can-have-the-shingles-vaccine.aspx

Commissioning of local GP practice services in Bexley

Bexley Primary Care Joint Committee

Meeting held in public at 6pm on Thursday 6 August 2015 at Charlton Athletic Football Club

The Primary Care Joint Committees of the six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in south-east London and NHS England will meet in public to discuss the planning, commissioning and contracting of general practice services on Thursday 6 August at 6pm.

Primary Care Joint Committees are committees of the local CCG governing body and NHS England who have formally agreed to commission local general practice services.

Whilst each CCG focuses on its local borough-based services, the six CCGs in south-east London have agreed to work together with NHS England, as the contract holders for general practices, and meet to:

• Plan primary medical services (including carrying out and responding to local needs assessments)
• Review and seek to improve and support the development of local general practice
• Manage and ensure the commissioning of good quality services within the budgets available to pay for them

CCGs and NHS England recognise the importance of high-quality, safe and accessible primary care services and are committed to working together to secure them locally.

The second meeting of the Bexley committee will be held in public together with the other five borough committees in south east London on:

Thursday 6 August 2015 between 6pm and 8pm, at Charlton Athletic Football Club, the Valley, Floyd Road, London, SE7 8BL.

These are meetings held in public and members of the public are invited to attend. Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing Gilbert.George2@nhs.net by midday on Wednesday 5 August 2015.

The six CCGs in south east London are: NHS Bexley CCG, NHS Bromley CCG, NHS Greenwich CCG, NHS Lambeth CCG, NHS Lewisham CCG and NHS Southwark CCG

Return to this week's Bexley Bulletin.

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