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Constituencies, wards and local councils

Constituencies (a.k.a. parliamentary constituencies): each electing one Member of Parliament (MP) every 5 years to the House of Commons (Parliament). There are 650 constituencies in the UK.Wards (a.k.a. electoral divisions or electoral wards) is the primary unit of English electoral geography for borough and district councils, county councils or city councils. Each ward elects either one or two councillors to be members of the local council. There were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK and each ward has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward population can vary substantially.Local council is made up of a number of Councillors (Cllr) who meet regularly to make decisions about the direction of the council and the work it does for the community. As elected bodies local councils are responsible to their local community. Attending a council meeting is the best way to find out what they do and how they make decisions. Members of public can attend public council meetin…

Easy way to make regular payments

Regular Debit Card Payment

Pay regular bills automatically, such as magazine subscriptions, using your debit card. The payments are agreed between you and the company or organisation, often by telephone. If you need to cancel a payment, you'll need to speak directly to the organisation that set it up.

This is different from Direct Debit (DD) because you can cancel DD at any time, but you need to speak directly to the organisation first to cancel regular debit card payment.

Direct Debit 

DD is convenient to pay regular bills such as gas or electricity automatically, direct from your account. You can cancel DD payments at any time online, via telephone banking or in a branch, and you have also to remember to cancel them with the organisation that set them up.

When you fill a direct debit form, you may notice that there is a "Direct Debit Guarantee", so what is the Direct Debit Guarantee? Simply speaking, Direct Debit Guarantee means two things: one is the amounts to be paid or the payment dates "guaranteed", another is security guaranteed, if something goes wrong, you may get an immediate and full refund.

Standing Order

Set up regular payments for a fixed amount to transfer money to a different bank account, like setting up an allowance for your child. In banking, standing may refer payment is continuing without cessation or change because standing order payment amount is fixed and the payment is long-lasting unless you cancel it.
What’s the difference between the Standing Order and Direct Debit? Standing orders are customers' instructions to their bank to pay a set amount, to a named beneficiary, at regular intervals (say on the 1st of the month) – either for a specific period of time or until cancelled. Direct debits are customers' authority for beneficiaries to claim payments (variable in amount and frequency) from the customers’ accounts, and customers’ instructions to their bank to allow the taking of those payments. A standing order requires the customer's bank to send the money. A direct debit requires the beneficiary to claim the money. Typically, a standing order might be used to pay a fixed amount to a savings account or to a local club. A direct debit is more likely to be used to make payments that can vary from time to time – such as mortgage instalments or utility bills. The day-to-day advantage of a direct debit over a standing order is that, as and when the payment amount changes, the beneficiary will claim the new amount automatically – after telling the customer of the change, normally 14 days in advance. With a standing order, customers need to give their bank new instructions each time a change is needed.

What happens when a payment is missed? or simply speaking, if there is no fund in your account to pay. By Direct Debit, if a payment is missed, the supplier can request the missed payment on a number of occasions. If the payments are continually missed over a period of time, the customer's bank will cancel the direct debit. The customer pays a significant transaction fee when payments are missed: fees are also charged for every occasion that the supplier requests a missed payment (this adds up very quickly). But, by standing order, the payments are only made if there are sufficient funds in the account. Payments cannot be backdated. If a payment is missed, the standing order will still operate at the next payment date. A bank will usually accept and set up all standing order mandates on their system.

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