Next week (from 18-24 October) is National Identity Fraud week. Wandsworth traditionally is one of the worst places in the country for identity theft, despite the problem gaining more and more exposure.

It only takes a few carelessly discarded items for your identity to be stolen, and it’s worth taking a few moments to make sure anything that can be used to prove your identity of residence is securely destroyed.

You can find out more about on the National Identity Fraud Prevention Week website.

Alternatively, because Wandsworth is such a hotspot next Wednesday (20 October) will see the council, local police are running a series of roadshows at:

  • Northcote Library, 12 noon – 2pm
  • Battersea Library, 12 noon – 2pm
  • Sainsburys Garratt Lane, 12 noon – 3pm
  • MacMillian Way (next to the Health Centre), time to be confirmed

As well as advice the sessions will also have shredders, ID protection stamps and security scissors.

I’ve become a regular visitor to the Wandsworth Junior Citizen scheme over the years, and never fail to be impressed.

The scheme runs twice a year for year five children and exposes them to controlled risk, teaching them about potential danger and how they can be safe in a variety of situations. Yesterday I was observing (along with a representative from the Department of Children who was keen to see what we do) children from two Putney Schools – Brandlehow and Our Lady Queen of Heaven – being put through their paces by the council staff, police, fire service, paramedics and volunteers.

One of the amazing things is how much potentially life saving information is absorbed when the day is combined with the work done in schools – during the simulated fire (complete with smoke) Brandlehow pupils knew exactly what to do before the firefighters even told them!

It one of those schemes of which I am very proud, since it makes a real difference and I have no doubt has probably saved a few lives in the 20 years it has been running.

Fairy cake and a cup of teaThings are getting quieter as we get close to Christmas. While we don’t have a ‘recess’ like Parliament (since we don’t sit, but meet every six weeks or so) the council carries on, there are no formal meetings over the Christmas period.

That’s not to say we do nothing. Obviously all the council staff have been working away providing their usual excellent service. And I’ve been doing various bits and pieces, but it makes for a fairly sparse end-of-week posting.

A lot of the stuff I’ve been doing is in preparation for the start of the year and the first committee meeting – discussing the agenda and reviewing and amending the reports.

I’ve also had some of my general meetings to discuss the broader issues and progress on specific projects and this morning had a fascinating session with the fire brigade on how they target their prevention work. Like crime and ill-health we are not all exposed to equal risk, so the fire brigade do a lot to target their prevention work where it will have the biggest impact.

But generally the week has been quiet from a council point of view, giving me a great opportunity to catch up, get on top of things and start preparing for 2010.