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December 2014 Monthly Archives

Nick urges local residents to have a ‘Safe Xmas’ when donating to charity

December 8, 2014

charity commission

Nick Hurd, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, is urging residents to give safely to charities this Christmas by remembering the ‘Safe Xmas’ acronym developed by the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, and the Fundraising Standards Board, the self-regulatory body for UK fundraising.

Both regulators will also be issuing the advice on social media, which can be found by following #SafeXmas.

Christmas is a traditional time for giving and charities work hard to raise money during this time to fund their work throughout the year. The general public give generously to charity and in a survey of people’s giving habits last Christmas, 85% of people said they give directly to charity at Christmas, donating an average of around £40 to the good causes they care about.*

Almost all collections are genuine, but some people will try to abuse the generosity of others for their own gain. With some charities and supporters having experienced fraud, it is vital that the public know that their donations are going to the right place. The Charity Commission and FRSB have come together to issue a few simple tips for giving with confidence this Christmas.

 

#SafeXmas

Search for a charity’s name, registration number and landline on fundraising materials

Ask to see a collector’s ID badge and don’t be afraid to ask questions

Find the FRSB tick logo, showing that the charity’s fundraising is regulated

Ensure the collection device is sealed

 

Xtra information about charities can be found at www.gov.uk/charity-commission

Make sure clothing collection bags are clearly branded with a charity’s details

Always check email and web links are genuine before donating

Still unsure? Contact your favourite charity direct and donate

 

Nick Hurd, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, calls on local residents to give safely this Christmas, saying:

“People here in Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner are incredibly generous in giving both time and money to good causes at Christmas. Many charities will be relying on these donations to fund vital services that continue throughout the year and nobody can afford for those donations to go astray.

“If you are asked to give money to charity and something doesn’t feel quite right or you just want to be completely sure, take a good look at the fundraising materials, follow the ‘Safe Xmas’ tips and, if in doubt, get in touch with the charity you want to support directly.”

 

Paula Sussex, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, said:

“It’s great to see that people are still extremely generous to charities at Christmas, and throughout the year. We’d like to remind the public that by taking a few small steps when donating, you can ensure that your money goes to the right place.

“Whilst incidents of fundraising fraud are rare, they do sadly occur. Don’t be put off from giving – instead, help keep charities accountable by using the resources available to make checks when giving this season. Use the Online Register, ask questions and have a ‘Safe Xmas’ this year knowing you’ve made a difference.”

 

Alistair McLean, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Standards Board, said:

“Although bogus fundraising remains rare in the UK, it is essential that we all do what we can to make it increasingly difficult for criminals to cheat charities and their supporters. For donors, this means being aware and, if in doubt, making a few simple checks before giving. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to contact the charity with your queries.

“Above all, keep on giving. Your donations could make a critical difference to the good causes you care about this Christmas.”

For more information on fundraising regulation, go to the FRSB website, to the Charity Commission’s guidance on GOV.UK or to the Commission’s newly published fundraising statement which signposts readers to the correct regulator for any issues they wish to raise.

Shot in the arm for local employment

December 5, 2014

Nick Hurd Flu Jab 171114

Nick Hurd MP got more than he bargained for when he visited Sharman’s Pharmacy which has been an integral part of the Northwood community for over 120 years.

 

He was there to hear first-hand about the difference that the new Employment Allowance had made to new job opportunities. Sharman’s Pharmacy have used the new allowance to take on an extra pharmacist which has allowed them to offer new services.   The new employee lost no time in persuading Nick Hurd to have his flu jab, and 500 other vaccinations administered to local patients by their pharmacists over the last 8 weeks.

 

The employment allowance is takes up to £2,000 off the National Insurance bill of every employer and is open to businesses, charities and community amateur sports clubs. The allowance means a business could now hire someone on £22,400 a year, or four people working full-time on the minimum wage, without paying any employer national insurance at all. In total up to 1.25 million employers will benefit from the allowance, with 450,000 taken out of paying the tax on jobs altogether.

 

Nick Hurd said

 

“The owners of Shermans were quite clear. The new Employment Allowance had been the nudge they needed to offer a new job.  I got the point, in this case literally.  So I am very keen that other employers in the area are aware of the opportunity and I want to try and help make it easy for them to grow and create more jobs.”

 

The other important message the NHS is trying to get across is that we should try to use pharmacies as the first port of call, which will reduce demands on the already overstretched A&E and GP services.

 

If you think you, or anyone else will benefit from this new allowance and would like to know more information, this website can tell you more https://www.gov.uk/employment-allowance

Critical response to Harrow Council’s “Take Part” Consultation on Harrow Cuts

December 1, 2014

Harrow Arts Centre With Cllrs

Harrow Council are not alone in facing the challenge of  budget cuts. There is no point just blaming the Government. Other Councils. like neighbouring Hillingdon, have made huge savings while keeping residents happy. I am worried by this consultation which is incoherent; short term and insults the intelligence of residents. What is needed is a medium term plan that puts the needs of residents first, and treats all areas of Harrow fairly. Priority must be given to measures that take cost out  of running the Council rather than reduce front line services that are valued by residents” .

My response to Harrow Council’s Take Part Consultation with both stinging criticism and constructive offers of help can be found here;  Response to consultation letter 281114 final