PAYING BILLS JUST GOT EASIER!

From 4th December 2017, Tewkesbury Borough Council is pleased to announce that it will be teaming up with PayPoint and the Post Office in order to enable residents to pay their bills at any PayPoint or Post Office outlets.

As of April 2018, all council tax bills will also contain a barcode, and just like any other payments needing to be made to the council; residents will be able to pay through PayPoint or a Post Office. Individuals will no longer need to make a special trip to the council offices and it should make paying bills even easier.

The council would like to remind residents that paying their bill online, through the council website, is also a quick and easy option; and they don’t even have to leave the house! For more information about paying online, please follow the link to the ‘pay for it’ section of the council website at www.tewkesbury.gov.uk/do-it-online#pay-for-it

Further information can be found here.

UPDATE ON ROAD WORKS FROM THE COUNTY COUNCIL

Local County Councillor Robert Vines provides a quick update on some of the major transport issues Gloucestershire County Council has been progressing.

• The Shurdington Road between the Morrisons Roundabout and the Brockworth bypass was resurfaced in the late summer.
• The A417 Crickley Hill to Cowley Roundabout ‘Missing Link’ solution appears to have slipped backwards. After about 15 years of hard work there seemed to be a consensus that the Brown Route option was the favoured way forward, but with a new consultation exercise in process, all options are now back on the table.

• M5 junction 10 – the need for a four-way junction is still being assessed, the local MP’s have been briefed in the hope they can push this forward.

POOR BROADBAND ON COOPERS EDGE

BT’s Community Fibre Partnership Team have advised us that Cabinet 42 is going to upgraded to fibre as part of their commercial deployment with an expected go live date of the end of June 2018.

If you are one of the 450 properties waiting for superfast broadband from another cabinet, that has already been fibre-enabled, you shouldn’t have to wait for more than one or two months. If it is taking longer than this it suggests that BT/Openreach has been dragging its heels. It ought to be fairly simple for BT to upgrade a fibre-enabled cabinet (it can add in extra hardware, or tack a smaller cabinet on alongside), and it shouldn’t, in theory, take BT long to do this.

Please therefore let us know how long you have been waiting. If you have been in limbo for more than two months please email us with your name, address, how long you have been waiting and who you have been in contact with. We will then collate these responses and submit a formal complaint to BT’s High Level Complaints Team.
Send your details to this email – hucclecotepc@supanet.com

CLEANER REQUIRED FOR PINEHOLT VILLAGE HALL

The parish council is looking for a reliable cleaner for the Pineholt Village Hall starting in January 2018 – we need someone for three mornings per week (7 – 8.30 a.m.)for general cleaning duties. If you are interested please call the parish clerk on 01452 612485 or email hucclecotepc@supanet.com for further details.

PINEHOLT VILLAGE HALL

Thank you to those that came to our open day on Saturday, lots of people came to view the new and improved facilities and a number of new bookings were taken.

We still have some evening availability and day time slots. If you are looking for a new venue for your class or somewhere to hold a birthday party please get in touch on 01452 612485.

PINEHOLT VILLAGE HALL – OFFICIAL RE-OPENING 30TH SEPTEMBER 2017

After four months of construction activity and an investment of over a £100,000 at Hucclecote Parish Council’s Pineholt Village Hall, the work has now been completed.

The building work has involved the creation of an additional community space that is now available to local residents, clubs and societies, the creation of a new Community Information Hub, the installation of improved toilet and kitchen facilities and the building of a large store room where regular hirers can now lock away their equipment.

Automatic doors and level entrances have also been installed making the building fully accessible, and an enlarged children’s play area has been created alongside the building. Additional office space has also been created for the parish clerk and her assistant.

We would like to invite you to our official re-opening on Saturday 30 September between 14.00 and 16.00, when parishioners and local clubs and societies can inspect the much-improved facilities. Please RSVP to Sarah Moore, 01452 612485 or email hucclecotepc@supanet.com by 25th September 2017.

 

Village Hall improvements

Work on upgrading Pineholt Village Hall is now nearly finished; and it’s looking rather good. If you know of any clubs or societies that are looking for a venue for anything from dance and fitness classes, to nursery groups, training sessions and family celebrations/parties get in touch with our parish clerk. The main hall is 10m x 7m; there’s a NEW smaller community space (about 6m x 3m) and an upstairs space arranged as a boardroom with seating for 12. We also have a massive new store room for regular users who need somewhere to store their equipment. With level entrances, decent kitchen facilities and masses of free parking (and very moderate hire charges) it could be ideal for your event.

We currently have room availability on Monday, Tuesday and Friday evenings and various other day time slots. Further details of the rooms available are on the village hall page or call the office (07716 122319) for details.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS TO THE POOR BROADBAND ON COOPERS EDGE?

We have been in touch with Fastershire and its team has helped us to get a clearer idea about the ‘problem’ and it has helped us to identify a couple of potential solutions.

The problem

There appear to be just over 700 new properties on Coopers Edge (along and to the north of Lobleys Drive) which are currently showing on BT’s Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) database. Of these 97 can already access a superfast broadband service (this doesn’t necessarily mean they are getting superfast; it just means they can order a service if they want it).

However, there are also more than 450 homes that are served by BT superfast cabinets that are on an upgrade ‘waiting list’. This means they are connected to a fibre but the capacity of that cabinet to serve more premises needs to be improved. The complexity of these improvements will vary by cabinet, but an upgrade will be required before the residents it serves can get a superfast service. This may be the reason that ISPs are telling residents that superfast is ‘not available’, rather than that it will be available by a specified date.

The biggest problem seems to be those homes served by Cabinet 42, which hasn’t been fibre-enabled. The data suggests there are 134 homes that are connected to this one – some (but not all) of the properties in Arlington Road, Burroughs Close, Hazel Way, Lancaster Road, Juniper Way, Robinswood Close, Roselle Drive, Stearman Road, Sycamore, Walk Yew Tree Road and Walnut Close seem to be the main ones affected. Coopers Edge School is also linked to Cabinet 42.

In an ideal world the housebuilders responsible for the new homes would have been liaising in the early planning stages with BT and Virgin’s New Sites Teams. This might then have ensured that advance broadband capacity was facilitated as the homes were being built. It appears this didn’t happen.

The solutions?

Demand is key to the delivery of a decent broadband service – if there’s lots of it, BT will upgrade its cabinets (as it will ultimately get a fee every month for each connection it facilitates). BT is also required to meet specified service levels – if it doesn’t meet these quality standards it gets its knuckles rapped by the Government.

There appear to be two tactics that can be employed to sort the problem – one for the 450 homes that are currently on BT’s ‘waiting list’; and one for those that are currently linked to Cabinet 42.

If you are one of the 450 properties waiting for superfast broadband from a cabinet that has already been fibre-enabled you (in theory) shouldn’t have to wait for more than one or two months. If it is taking longer than this it suggests that BT/Openreach has been dragging its heels. It ought to be fairly simple for BT to upgrade a fibre-enabled cabinet (it can add in extra hardware, or tack a smaller cabinet on alongside), and it shouldn’t, in theory, take BT long to do this.

It is therefore vital to know how long you have been ‘waiting’. If you have been in limbo for more than two months please email us with your name, address, how long you have been ‘waiting’ and who you have been in contact with. We will then collate these responses and submit a formal complaint to BT’s High Level Complaints Team.

Send your details to this email – hucclecotepc@supanet.com

If you are linked to Cabinet 42 (the one that hasn’t been fibre-enabled yet) it may be possible to enable it by working with BT’s Community Fibre Partnership Team. The parish council has recently enquired with this Team, asking it to detail what it would cost to upgrade the cabinet and what top-up might be required to make it viable.

Once we know the cost there are a number of options open to us. For example, because the school is linked to cabinet 42 this may automatically trigger a pot of funding towards the cost. And, if the upgrade cost is fairly modest, there may be other grants or sources of finance that we could also explore.

Campaign to try to get a decent broadband service across Coopers Edge

The parish council is aware that several streets on the Coopers Edge site have a poor broadband speed (less than 30 MBps). So we want to put pressure on Fastershire to include these streets in its plans to bring a super high speed fibre optic service to the majority of homes in the county.

To do this we need to have a clear information about how many homes currently have a poor connection. If your broadband service is less than 30MBps please do the following: –

· Go to Hucclecote Parish Council’s Facebook page and add your name, house number, and street name.
· If you know for a FACT that your neighbours have a similar poor service please identify/list all the homes affected (and tell your neighbours not to bother to add their information, as we don’t want to have duplicate listings)
· The more we get the better chance we have of getting Fastershire to do something – so tell you friends and neighbours and share this across any other social media that might help. And if you know of any lists/petitions or whatever that may already be circulating please take a photo of the list and post this to us via Facebook too.
· We need this information by close of play on 16 July.

IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT LEAVING YOUR CONTACT DETAILS ON FACEBOOK EMAIL OUR PARISH CLERK WITH YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS
hucclecotepc@supanet.com

The Parish will then write to the chief executive of Fastershire urging them to include all the homes on our list in its programme of works.

We may also ask everyone to send their own letters to them too (we’ll provide a sample that you can adapt) . If Fastershire’s post box is awash with letters from disgruntled residents it will add extra pressure.

SUPER FAST BROADBAND FOR MOST RESIDENTS BY END OF 2018

The company behind plans to improve the quality of broadband to almost every home in the county (Fastershire) has unveiled details of its latest £12.8m programme of works. This should, in theory, result in most homes in Huccelecote receiving broadband speeds of 30Mbps or more by the end of 2018.

At a presentation to parish councils on Monday evening Fastershire explained that a contract had been awarded to Gigaclear (the company that has recently provided high speed fibre connections to 6,500 homes in the Cotswolds), and this contract should see a further 33,000 homes linked up to the optical fibre network. This would take coverage to 97 per cent of all homes in the county. The Gigaclear system seems to have been hugely successful in its earlier phases and it routinely delivers fantastic speeds of 1,000 Mbps.

The Gigaclear contract should be good news for most Hucclecote residents who currently get a poor broadband connection. However, there will still be some areas that won’t (at present) get a fibre connection (for example the rural properties in Stump Lane). And those residents who live in areas of Coopers Edge that currently get a poor service will need to get organised to ensure their homes are included in the work.

This is what everyone who currently gets a slow speed (below 30MBps) needs to do :-

• Go to the Fastershire website (www.fastershire.com) and on the landing page click on ‘Home’ if you are a resident, or ‘Business’ if you are from a local company. Then key in your postcode.
• If Fastershire is planning to provide fibre to your front door the website should tell you; if your property isn’t included in the current programme you will probably get a message that says something like “we will explore a number of solutions in order to provide you with access to faster broadband. This may take the form of a contract extension with an existing supplier or a bespoke grant and we hope to have more information available later in the summer”.
• If this is the case it is VITAL that you then fill in the Contact form – you can find it here – http://www.fastershire.com/contact-us
• In the box labelled ‘Enquiry’ make it clear that you don’t currently get a good connection (remember anything below 30 MBps is eligible). You might stress how vital a good connection is to you – for example if you work from home, or to enable you to keep in contact with or monitor a vulnerable relative. The stronger you make the case, the better the chances of getting Fastershire to include your home in the roll out programme later this year or early in 2018.

For those remote properties that fall into the ‘three per cent’ that don’t fit in the planned programme there is some hope too. For example, if a residential property can ‘team up’ with a nearby business they may be able to piggy back on a new connection to the business (businesses will generally be prioritised).