Category: Money

Thameslink staff embrace the outdoors in support of Autism Bedfordshire

Staff from across the Thameslink network joined forces to run, walk, jog and cycle throughout the month of June to raise money for Autism Bedfordshire.

Hailed ‘Challenge 50,’ each fundraiser had to complete 50 kilometres of their chosen form of exercise. With usual community events on hold due to the pandemic, Bernie Lee – station manager for Bedford, Flitwick and Harlington – thought it was more important than ever to raise awareness and vital funds for the charity and is thrilled that the team have beaten their £1,000 target

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Universal Credit: What you need to know as job-hunting rules restart

From today (1 July 2020) people claiming Universal Credit will begin to see a return of job-seeking requirements. These have been paused since 30 March due to COVID-19.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said work coaches will be calling all claimants to help them prepare for work, although what people will need to do will depend on their Claimant Commitment. This is a document people need to agree to as part of getting Universal Credit.

The types of job-seeking activities people will be asked to do will vary depending on factors. Such as their health, current circumstances and which “conditionality” group they have been placed in.

There are four groups, which set out the tasks they’re expected to complete to receive their full benefit payment.

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Charities call for council tax reform ahead of August debt D-Day

The UK’s three largest debt charities – Citizens Advice, Money Advice Trust and Stepchange – have written to the Local Government Minister to call for urgent action on council tax.

The charities are urging the government to implement simple measures that could protect millions of people from the prospect of spiralling council tax debt

Following legislation which comes into effect on Wednesday 24 June, the ban on face-to-face bailiff collection will now come to an end on 23 August.

This is the same day as protections from eviction end for people in the private rented sector and comes at a time when redundancies are expected to rise.

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Drivers granted 7 month photocard licence extension

A new EU regulation automatically extends licence from the date of expiry

Drivers with a photocard driving licence due to expire between 1 February and 31 August 2020 will be granted a 7 month extension from the date of expiry the DVLA has announced today (4 June 2020).

This will help drivers to make necessary journeys without having to get a new photograph to renew their licence.

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Coronavirus childcare: Is there a right to time off?

Citizens Advice has set out what parents and guardians can do if they’re struggling to juggle childcare and work during the coronavirus pandemic. with the launch of a new webpage – Coronavirus – if you need to be off work to care for someone.

The charity said that its frontline advisers have helped many parents who are struggling with childcare due to the closure of schools and nurseries while family and friends are unable to help.

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Bedford Borough Council: Pay your council tax on the phone or online

Bedford Borough Council is asking vulnerable groups and those self-isolating to pay their Council Tax over the phone or online, instead of paying it in person.

Residents that normally pay their Council Tax at the Post Office or at a Payzone shop are being advised to use a different method of payment if they can. Particularly if they are in vulnerable groups, e.g. over 70’s, self-isolating, and are concerned about going out to make a payment.

Residents can call the Council’s telephone payment service to pay their Council Tax on 01234 718061 (24 hours a day) or visit www.bedford.gov.uk/payments. Residents can also setup a direct debit to pay their Council Tax by calling 01234 718097.

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Citizen Advice calls for further fixes to coronavirus safety net

Citizens Advice fears the government’s action to protect workers during the coronavirus pandemic could be undermined by confusion and patchy use of the job retention scheme by some employers.

The charity’s advisers are seeing cases of people at risk of slipping through the safety net, despite potentially being entitled to government support.

Citizens Advice research found around 6 million people in the UK (18% of the total workforce) have already seen their hours cut, been laid off or made redundant.

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