It’s safe to say that the north of England’s military community is one that’s used to change, but this year and next will be a busy one for families moving in or out of the area as Op Faran – the name given to the army 2020 moves – comes into effect.
The rebasing programme has been delayed by the current health pandemic, but it’s about to get going again, and AFF is on hand to help you through the process…
In Catterick Garrison, 2 YORKS are moving to Episkopi in Cyprus and the Royal Dragoon Guards are heading to Warminster, Wiltshire.
Meanwhile, 1 YORKS are coming to Catterick along with The Scots Guards from Aldershot. From the north west, 2 LANCS are off to Pirbright, being replaced by 2 MERCIAN who are returning from Cyprus.
AFF’s regional managers and co-ordinators have been working together with all units to ensure you’re fully prepared for your move. We’ve attended movement briefs, unit recces and held regular drop-in clinics for families overseas, in Wiltshire and in the north before lockdown, and we’ve continued to support you virtually over the summer.
Since starting as AFF’s rebasing co-ordinator, Carole Rudd has dedicated a large amount of her time to liaising with units. “It’s important that the whole community feel supported, with a friendly face they can go to if issues arise,” she says. “Working alongside the AFF north team, we visited Catterick and York to chat with units rebasing to the Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA), which will hopefully help the community.”
Carole was part of the summer 2019 rebasing programme moving from Germany to SPTA. Here, Carole shares some top tips she learned from her own experiences…
Do your admin – it’s your responsibility to cancel any existing contracts attached to the house such as utilities including your landline and WiFi, subscriptions, window cleaner etc. Failure to do this could see you incur extra charges. The post office redirection service (at a cost) is useful to capture any mail after you’ve moved.
School places – as soon as you have your address, apply through your new area’s local authority. Information on schools can be found on their websites or via the HIVE. If your child has special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND), it’s worth contacting the new school for a chat with their SENCO. Keep your child’s current school in the loop too; they can help with the transition and this can help settle your child in. Register any additional needs and/or disability with AGAI 108.
Healthcare – ensure you de-register from your current doctor and dentist, requesting your NHS number for registration at your new location. Go to nhs.uk
Don’t forget to…
Renew your Continuity of Education Allowance eligibility certificate.
If your child has SEND, register with the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) – DYCP-CEAS-Enquiries@mod.gov.uk
Visit Forces Families Jobs to look for work in advance. FFJ can also help with your CV.
Apply for a certificate of good conduct if you’re coming back from overseas – more at aff.org.uk
Claim NI credits if you’ve been based overseas – go to gov.uk
- Use the Amey website
- Follow the guidance.
- Use the correct paint, don’t patch paint.
- Remove pre-payment meters.
- Ask the HIVE for details of cleaning companies.
- Pack up trampolines and swings and lay down seeds early to give the grass a chance to grow back.
- Keep a copy of your move-in paperwork and 14-day report.
- Fill in your 14-day report by noting any damage to the property. Send it to the address on the form within the timeline.
- Take photographs of any damage and the state of furnishings at move-in. Make sure these are dated online or on the image, attach them to your 14-day report and keep a copy.
- Ensure that your address is on every sheet of paperwork at move-out and that both you and the accommodation officer sign each sheet. If you disagree regarding a charge, tick the relevant box and make sure that you both sign the page. Take photos as evidence.
- Not signing the page doesn’t mean that you won’t be charged – you need to sign to show that you have seen and disputed the information Amey provides to DIO.
- Score out any spare lines on the charges part of the form before you sign it.
- To dispute charges, follow the process outlined in the letter. If your challenge is unsuccessful, raise a stage two complaint in writing to DIO.