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We can email you copies of all the news releases issued by the Council, along with other items of interest from the Council's website, every week.

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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!

Share a #HomeSafeSelfie - Safer Travel at Night

Transport for London (TfL) is encouraging people to take and share a #HomeSafeSelfie and pledge to never take an illegal minicab home, as part of its latest Safer Travel at Night campaign.

People are encouraged to help stop the use of un-booked, illegal minicabs by posting a selfie - a photo of themselves via social media - when they're home safe after a night out using the hashtag #HomeSafeSelfie. TfL wants to tap into the trend of friends and particularly young women texting each other to say they are home safe and is urging them to also post a selfie and pledge that they won't take illegal minicabs home.

The 2014 Safer Travel at Night campaign aims to make people aware of the dangers of picking up un-booked minicabs off the street, such as robbery and sexual assault. In 2013/14 the number of cab related sexual offences in London fell by 15 per cent compared to the previous year, with specific rape offences down 30 per cent.

However, one incident is too many and the Safer Travel at Night initiative is dedicated to driving this down further. Over 700 arrests were made in 2013/14 for illegal touting for hire, and over 8,000 since 2003. Through Safer Travel at Night and #HomeSafeSelfie TfL wants to remind everyone that:

A minicab that has a licence or sticker in the window (or a driver who has a badge) still needs to be booked in advance with a licensed minicab firm;

You should never take a minicab offered by a bouncer or someone in a high visibility jacket with a clipboard outside a venue;

• A minicab driver that approaches you directly on the street is acting illegally;
• If you approach a minicab directly, only the driver knows where you're going, which isn't safe;
• If any of the above takes place your minicab isn't booked and therefore is not safe and illegal

A number of celebrities are supporting the Safer Travel at Night and #HomeSafeSelfie
Campaign including singer-songwriter, Little Nikki, and Cuckoo and Doctor Who actress, Holly Earl, who have already posted selfies to their Twitter and Instagram followers. Other celebrities including X Factor star, Amelia Lily and Some Girls actress Adelayo Adedayo are also keen to encourage their fans to stop using unbooked minicabs and will post their selfies soon.

TfL is asking people to get involved by sharing their selfies via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the campaign hashtag. TfL offers a free-to-download Cabwise app, which provides a quick and easy way to book a licensed minicab and get home safely.

For more information on Safer Travel at Night or TfL's Cabwise app visit www.tfl.gov.uk

Ever thought of becoming a carer?
Do you have a room to spare at home?

We are looking for local people to become Shared Lives Carers, to provide both long-term and short-term (respite) accommodation within their own home. You must have a bedroom to spare, live in the borough, as well as a commitment and genuine desire to help others. After being carefully vetted, carers are provided with full training and ongoing support. Shared Lives Carers receive a fee, with the amount paid varying depending on the needs of the person being cared for.

This may include a person with a learning or physical disability, or an older person who wishes to share a family home in the local community.

As part of Shared Lives Week, the Community Living and Support Scheme (London Borough of Bexley) will be in the Bexleyheath Broadway Shopping Centre (outside Vision Express) on the 13th and 14th October 2014. Please feel free to drop by and have a chat.

Community Salt Warden Volunteers

Do you live on a road that isn't routinely gritted during the winter months? Do you live on a sharp bend or on an incline where it is difficult to access in the snow? If the answer to these questions is yes, you or someone in your household may be interested in becoming a 'Community Salt Warden'.

Following a successful pilot scheme last year, the Council has residents across the borough that have volunteered to spread rock salt on their roads, during icy or snowy conditions

All Community Salt Wardens are supplied with rock salt. It is distributed in boxes, the same size as the standard recycling boxes so it can be easily stored on resident's properties.

If you are interested in becoming a Salt Warden for your road and would like further information, please contact Jennie Beckett on 020 8303 7777 or e-mail jennie.beckett@bexley.gov.uk

Details of the Winter Maintenance Service is available at Winter gritting

Old Bexley Music Society

On Wednesday 1 October the Old Bexley Music Society start their 65th season with a cello and piano recital, Lionel Handy, cello and Nigel Clayton on the piano. The recital will start at 7.30pm at Townley Theatre, Townley Grammar School, Townley Road, Bexleyheath DA6 7LB.

Membership for the season costs £35, guests £9 per concert. Membership includes 6 concerts with excellent artists; there is also a proposed outing to the Barbican by coach.

For more information call 020 8306 0353.

New Reuse Hotline

Do you have a good condition bulky item that could be used by someone else?

Rather than sending it straight for disposal call the Re-use hotline direct on 020 3142 8506 or London Borough of Bexley 020 8303 7777 and book a collection from inside your property.

The London Borough of Bexley is working in partnership with the London Re-use Network, to provide an innovative new collection service to give unwanted furniture and other household items a new lease of life - for the same price as arranging a bulky waste collection.

By donating items you no longer want or need, you can be assured they will be given a second life and benefit someone less fortunate in your local community whilst helping the environment.

All items must be in a good, clean, re-usable condition. No rips, tears, or stained items are accepted. All soft furnishings must have the appropriate Fire Safety labels must be attached and intact.

Residents with more than one item to dispose of can use this scheme as long as more than 50% of all your items are suitable to be re-used.

Over 150 items such as wardrobes, arm chairs, sofas, beds and furniture, working white goods and televisions are able to be collected in this scheme.

To find out more please visit Bulky waste or www.londonreuse.com. Alternatively call us using the telephone numbers provided above.

Stoptober is back

Set a Quit Date with Bexley's Stop Smoking Team during October and take advantage of the effective support and treatment programme available from all Bexley GP practices and some pharmacies.

Regular support is available from the Specialist Stop Smoking Team at the following locations:

Mondays: Erith District Hospital - appointments between 10am - 12 noon

Tuesdays: Queen Mary's Hospital Sidcup - appointments between - 5:30pm - 8pm

Wednesdays: Quit Bus outside Morrisons Erith - open access - 9:30am - 1:30pm

Sidcup Library - appointments between 5pm - 7pm

Thursdays: Central Library, Bexleyheath - Drop-in between 4:45pm - 6:45pm

Call Bexley's Stop Smoking Team now on 0800 783 2514 or visit Stop smoking to increase your chance of successfully completing the 28 day challenge.

Picking up on community spirit

Six community spirited residents from Blackfen and Lamorbey have been working closely with the Council to help keep the borough looking clean and tidy by piloting a scheme during the summer called 'Community Litter Pickers.'

The volunteers have all been provided safety advice from the Council, gloves, bags, hi-viz vests and a litter pickers and carry out litter picking around the areas they live in the borough.

Colin Larkin from Longmeadow Road, Sidcup said: I have always picked up litter as I pass it on the street - I just hate seeing our area looking untidy. I walk regularly, so it really is no trouble sparing half an hour picking up the odd fizzy drink can or chip wrapper while I do it, plus there is something really rewarding about seeing the area all nice and clear. It's just such a shame that some people think it's okay to litter in the first place."

Cllr Don Massey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm said: "The commitment from these residents who have volunteered to litter pick in their own spare time is helping to keep the Borough and clean and pleasant place to live and work. The Council cannot be everywhere at once, so having residents who are willing to enhance the services we already provide is really beneficial for us all."

The scheme is being rolled out borough-wide over the next few months and currently the Council is seeking volunteers from the Sidcup, Longlands, Blendon and Penhill, Cray Meadows, St Mary's and Crayford wards.

To find out more about the scheme, contact Jennie Beckett on 020 8303 7777 or email jennie.beckett@bexley.gov.uk.

Green Chain events

Bexley is blessed with having some amazing heritage sites to explore and discover, including Danson House, Hall Place and Gardens and Lesnes Abbey.

The latter, set in formal gardens and ancient woodlands- has recently secured Lottery funding and is one of the star attractions visitors can enjoy when walking along the pioneering Green Chain Walk- a 50 mile network of footpaths that stretches from Erith Riverside in the all the way to Dulwich Park.

If you would like to discover more about the history and heritage of some of these special places, you can now download free audio trails that tell you all about them. To find out simply visit the Green Chain web site below.

The events listed below are a snapshot of what's on offer on the Green Chain this autumn. For more information about individual events just click on to the "What's On" page of the website www.greenchain.com, or sign-up to the quarterly events update by emailing events@greenchain.com

The Green Chain 21 mile Megawalk finishing at Erith Riverside
Location: Outside Crystal Palace Railway Station
Date: 27 September 2014
Time: 9.15am - 7.30pm

Franks Park, Belvedere
A walk around the park on grass, gravel and trodden mud paths.
Location: Fox House Road (off Erith Road, near the fire station)
Date: Mondays
Time: 10.30am

Green Chain Walk-7 mile walk from Falconwood to Erith via Lesnes Abbey
Location: Falconwood Station
Date: 25 October 2014
Time: 9.45pm

Bostall Woods
A 45-60 minute walk through ancient woodland.
Location: By Bostall Heath Car Park/Bowling Green, Longleigh Lane
Date: Tuesdays
Time: 10.30am

Updated edition of the Bexley Business Guide and Directory out now

The updated Bexley Business Guide and Directory is now available from Council information points around the borough and online.

The guide and directory offer contact details for more than 2,000 local businesses across a wide variety of sectors. Businesses can submit their details to the online database free of charge at www.burrows.co.uk/bexley

It also offers practical information on support and guidance available from the London Borough of Bexley, local and national business organisations and other key partners, to help local companies expand and develop. Advice on finding finance, skills training, importing and exporting, networking and much more is provided. The guide also lists contact details for a wide range of services provided by the London Borough of Bexley, including business rates, licenses, parking and waste.

Council staff also use the directory to find local suppliers to provide goods, works and services, as part of the 'think local first' initiative.

The Bexley Business Guide and Directory is available in print, online at www.burrows.co.uk/bexley and in CD-ROM format.

The printed directory can be found at sites including Bexley's libraries, Resources plus offices in Erith High Street, Erith Town Hall and the Thames Innovation Centre. It is also available at the Holiday Inn in Bexley Village and the Marriott Hotel, Bexleyheath.

CD-ROMs are available on request from the Council, by emailing business@bexley.gov.uk or calling 020 8303 7777 and asking for the Business Support Team.

Silver Sunday Celebrations - 2014

Last year Age UK Bexley joined the Silver Sunday celebrations, thanking older people and their contribution to our community with an afternoon tea for some of our frailer older people.

This year we have expanded this to 4 events, with the emphasis on making the most of life and the opportunities that are about for the over 60s. We are having a weekend of celebrations ranging from a party to mark our first year of running the Memory Café to a traditional Sunday roast.

We are delighted to partner with the Westwood Centre in Welling and the Northumberland Heath Baptist Church as we grow this event, and we are grateful for their support and contribution.
Age UK leaflets and other information will be available at all the events, so come along and find out what is going on for older people in the Borough!

For more information call Paul Goulden on 020 8300 0883.

Townley Grammar School selected as a representative to raise standards in education alongside the Prime Minister

Townley Grammar School has been selected as an example of good practice in education alongside David Cameron in the 2014 Parliamentary Review. The publication, which has several versions based on key policy areas, has the involvement of the Prime Minister, leading Cabinet ministers including George Osborne and Nicky Morgan, and other outstanding organisations and leaders who have discussed how they've responded to political and economic challenges as a learning tool to their peers.

The Education Edition of The Parliamentary Review also consists of a political commentary, summarising the year in education along with events in Westminster. The commentary is written by two of the UK's leading journalists - Sean Coughlan and Mark D'Arcy - the BBC's Education and Parliamentary correspondents respectively.

The representatives selected are used as an example of best practice to leaders in the public and private sector.

Girls cricket in Bexley

The Indoor Winter season for the cricketing girls in Bexley got under way on Sunday 21 September at Erith Leisure Centre when two teams of under 14 girls from far and wide played out a close ''Chocolate Box Challenge'' match. Seal's Squeal (315-4) beat Tyler's Tigers (285-9) by 30 runs with result being in the balance up till the last pair of the winning side got to the crease. The girls have a full programme ahead of them during the winter.

For further information contact John Daniels johnwilliamdaniels@gmail.com

Return to this week's Bexley Bulletin.

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