Sage advice for shoppers this Christmas

Stop! Think! Don’t swim with the Loan Sharks this Christmas! They never let you go!

From the Community Safety Officer at Chiltern District Council

As the Christmas shopping season gets into full swing, Chiltern and South Bucks District Council’s Community Safety Team are asking people to think again before borrowing money to avoid debt spiralling out of control.

At this time of year it is all too easy to get persuaded to use high cost ‘buy now pay later’ catalogues, payday loans, doorstep lenders and even loan sharks. All these sources of credit will lead to high interest rates and in the case of loan sharks, intimidation and possibly harm. Check out the following advice:-
Most loan sharks start out friendly, but their behaviour changes when payments are missed.
Few loan sharks advertise; they are often heard of by word of mouth.
Most loan sharks offer little or no paperwork.
Many loan sharks will refuse to tell you how much you owe, how long you will be paying off the debt
Many loan sharks will increase the debt and add additional amounts.
Many loan sharks take items as security including passports, bank cards or benefit cards.
Many loan sharks resort to intimidation, threats and violence. REMEMBER if you have borrowed from a loan shark you have not committed a crime, they have.
If you do need a loan to help with the cost of Christmas, you could join your local credit union, M for Money. Credit unions offer safer, affordable loans to people who may turn to high-risk borrowing like payday lenders. As well as providing excellent value for savers, the community bank also helps support people with poor credit history, or those who find managing their finances difficult, to prevent them falling prey to loan sharks and high-interest loan companies. The scheme enables members to save small amounts at favourable rates of interest, and borrow when necessary.

You can join the credit union at or emailing or phoning 020 8756 3866.

If you believe you have borrowed from a loan shark, contact the England Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence. There are a number of ways you can contact the team, by phoning the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222, by email to or you can find out more from the webpage which is

Before committing to ‘borrow’ always read the small print. Ask any lender to explain the total cost of paying back the money borrowed, including any hidden charges.

Village Pub Night: 17th Nov 6:30-10:30pm

Come and enjoy some home cooked food, a selection of drinks, traditional pub games and the opportunity to meet with friends and neighbours.

Everyone is welcome as always, as are offers of help on the evening either setting up, doing a shift on the bar or clearing up at the end. Email if you’d like to help out 🙂

Christmas parties for residents, young and old!

This year there will be two Christmas celebrations at the village hall for residents at either end of the spectrum.

On Saturday 2nd December from in the afternoon there will be a Christmas party for under 11s from 3-5pm with some entertainment and festive nibbles, and the opportunity to meet Santa!

The following day, Sunday 3rd December from 12:30pm, we’re hosting a lunch for senior citizens – tomato soup, roast turkey with all the trimmings, Christmas pud and tea and coffee. All plus some festive entertainment.

There is no charge to attend either of these community focused events, the only restriction is that those attending must live in either Bellingdon or Asheridge.

To help us plan for these – rapidly approaching – events, anyone interested in attending (or who would like to register their children or a neighbour to attend) is asked to please contact the organisers as soon as possible on 01494 773198 (please leave a message if unanswered) or by email to so we don’t run out of festive goodies.


November 25 is White Ribbon Day – an annual national campaign against domestic violence.

Your Community Safety Partnership is once again supporting the campaign encouraging residents, especially men to wear a white ribbon as a visible pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

From Monday 20th November through to Friday 24th November, white ribbons and information will be available in the reception area of Chiltern District Council Offices in Amersham and South Bucks District Council offices in Denham.

If you are affected by domestic abuse – whether you are a man or a woman – or you are concerned for someone else, a directory of support services is available on both councils’ websites at or

In an emergency always call 999

Take a stand against violence towards women and make the white ribbon pledge.

Hannah Tomlin

Community Safety Officer, Chiltern District Council 

Hawridge & Cholesbury School Christmas Bazaar

We are delighted to invite you all to our Christmas Bazaar, Saturday 2nd December 11:00am to 2:00pm.

Whether you want to entertain the kids, pick up a gift or enter our raffle to win a wonderful prize (including Lego, Mad Squirrel beer, Usborne Books, £50 John Lewis voucher, champagne & more) we would love to see you.

Please contact if you have any queries. Thank you for your support of our wonderful village school.

Winter Newsletter

The next edition of the quarterly village newsletter is scheduled for distribution at the beginning of December. Any items – articles or photos – for inclusion should be submitted to the editor by 22nd November please on or contact@bellingdon.con

Safety Tips – Keeping Your Home Secure This Autumn

With the clocks going back resulting in darkness in late afternoon and then with the month during which Christmas shopping and festivities are underway, our Neighbourhood Police Officer PC Kevin Flint has asked if I would remind locals that the criminal element are more active this time of year, seeking opportunities to relieve us of our possessions from houses and any unlocked vehicles as well as the vehicles themselves.

For more advice please sign for the Thames Valley Police Alerts

Luckily we live in an area where crime levels are low in fact very low locally. We should not be complacent. However PC Kev Flint said the following are of particular relevance in the rural areas with gaps between houses, no street lighting, few pedestrians passing by, and easy access from fields behind many properties.

  • A bit of a giveaway that a house is unoccupied is the absence of house lights after dark, Always leave some lights on at front and back as well as upstairs and downstairs and invest in some time-switches to give the impression someone is indoors. Leave a tv on and leave doors ajar so lights at the back are glimpsed from the front and vice versa.
  • Criminals look out for empty houses once cars have set off to collect children from school in mid afternoon, so leaving lights on even when it is still light is a good idea.
  • If you go out around Christmas keep presents out of view, including ones beneath the Christmas tree.
  • Each year presents are stolen from cars in the driveway that have been left unlocked / unattended whilst packages are being offloaded.
  • Keep garages closed and out buildings locked with expensive equipment secured with padlocks and chains.
  • Keep cars on driveways locked at all times and car keys ideally hidden from view and definitely out of reach of grabbers poked through letterboxes.
  • Be suspicious about unknown individuals lurking around or vehicles hanging around on the road or in neighbours driveways late in the day when – often difficult to judge with so many delivery vans these days – but err on the side of reporting sightings including car reg numbers straight away to police on 999 if something is happening or otherwise on, 101 then post Grapevine making clear police have been informed.

A small group from the rural parish areas around Chesham meet with Thames Valley Police Neighbourhood team once every three months or so to review the nature of crime incidents and trends and learn about initiatives etc. We would welcome some additional members of the local villages to join us. If interested please get in touch. Chris Brown

Have a fright free Halloween

From the Community Safety Officer at Chiltern District Council

Halloween is a night of innocent fun for many youngsters, but for elderly or vulnerable residents, it can be distressing and frightening.

To help make the 31 October trick or treat celebration enjoyable for everyone, Thames Valley Police is working with Chiltern District Council and South Bucks District Council’s Joint Community Safety Team to encourage residents to display posters in their front windows to indicate whether or not they welcome Halloween callers.

The posters show either a smiley Halloween image to indicate trick or treaters are welcome, or a sad face to indicate callers should not knock on that door. Posters can be picked up free of charge from Chiltern District Council Offices, King George V Road in Amersham, HP6 5AW or you can download one Residents without access to a printer can request posters by calling 01494 586535.

People planning to go trick or treating are asked to look out for the posters and be considerate of others. Tricks like throwing eggs, graffiti, or other vandalism will be treated as criminal damage and the police will prosecute anyone found breaking the law.

Trick or treating has become a tradition which many householders are only too happy to be part of. For some, however, it can be a truly upsetting and very frightening time. These simple posters give a clear message as to whether the resident is prepared to join in the Halloween fun or not.

Extra police will be on duty during the Halloween period to ensure that inappropriate behaviour is challenged and resolved. Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated at any time of year.  Anyone affected by the few individuals who use trick or treating as an excuse to commit antisocial behaviour can report it to Thames Valley Police on 101. In an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.

If you are concerned about Halloween, the advice is:

·    Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there. Use your spy-hole or look out of a window, and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.

·    Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone in case you need to phone them.

·    If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know you will be on your own at Halloween. If you are a coordinator, please identity people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance.


[Of course, you can always indicate your willingness for trick-or-treaters to call by placing lit pumpkin(s) outside your property as many in our village have done for years – Ed]

Community Pub Night 27th October

Friday 27th Oct 6:30-10:30pm

Come and enjoy some home cooked food, a selection of drinks, traditional pub games and the opportunity to meet with friends and neighbours.

Everyone is welcome as always, as are offers of help on the evening either setting up, doing a shift on the bar or clearing up at the end. Email if you’d like to help out 🙂