News

Help build up plans for Victoria Park

Ashford Borough Council have secured initial funding to develop a £3.7m restoration and improvement project. They are looking to make the park an even better place to visit, with thanks to support from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery
Fund and Big Lottery Fund.

21st April 2018

9:30am – 3:30pm

Get involved

Come along and take part, we’d love to hear what you think about the park and what changes you would like to see.

Fun activities for all the family to enjoy featuring:

  • Mini sports day
  • Giant board game
  • Fantasy spending

Activities will take place by the fountain in the park.

 

Magazine Debt Fraud Alert

Fraudsters are cold calling victims nationwide and tricking them into paying a debt for magazine advertisement subscriptions that do not exist.

How does this fraud work?

Victims receive a telephone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt.

Over the phone the fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription.

The fraudsters use a variety of magazine names and publishers and are using the names such “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. These are names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies.

Bank transfer

Fraudsters then request that the debt be repaid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses, they threaten to visit the victim’s home or place of work to recover the debt that is owed.

Once the money has been transferred, victims are not provided with receipt details of the payment or contact details. Later when victims make enquiries, they’ll discover that the debt did not exist, and often that no advertisement was placed.

This type of fraud is nationwide. Since 2017, there have been 52 reports relating to this fraud. From the reports received, there are a range of different businesses and individuals being targeted.

How to protect yourself:

Listen to your instincts: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.
Stay in control: always question cold callers. Always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.
Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: A legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to us.

Visit Take Five and Cyber Aware for more information about how to protect yourself online.

Action Fraud  5th April 2018
www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/fraudsters-claiming-to-be-bailiffs-tricking-people-into-paying-fake-debts-apr18

Road Closure: Newtown Road

From 16th April – November 2018

Newtown Road junction with Romney Marsh Road [A2042]

These works form part of the expansion of Ashford Designer Outlet.

Changes to local roads and pedestrian walkways surrounding the centre are part of a long-term project to make roads safer and improve traffic flows.

The changes will include the introduction of a signalised junction and a pedestrian crossing, which will make it easier for people to move between the International Station, the town centre and Ashford Designer Outlet. This will include a complete re-landscape of the area.

When will the roadworks finish?

The works will begin on Monday 16th April and will run until November 2018. The maintenance and improvement projects have been carefully planned to allow road works to be completed safely, while keeping disruption to road users to a minimum.

Where are the roadworks?

Due to the nature of the works, Newtown Road will be closed at the junction with Romney Marsh Road [A2042]. There will be no access to Ashford International Station and its car parks from Romney Marsh Road [A2042].

A fully signed diversion route will be in place via Orbital Park Roundabout and Crowbridge Road. Access to the centre is uneffected. Please refer to the below maps.

Who is doing the work?

The works are being led by McLaren and delivered by Walker Construction.

How can I avoid them?

Drivers are advised to check their route and allow extra time for their journeys where needed, especially at peak times.  McLaren and Walkers Construction have released a series of tips to help drivers navigate the improvement works during peak periods:

  • Check conditions on the roads and possible detour routes prior to making your journey
  • Use alternative routes to avoid road works where possible
  • Familiarise your changes in route prior to driving
  • Follow the yellow directional signage for diversion routes
  • Obey road signage for the safety of you and the workforce

Who can I talk to about these works?

Please email enquiries@ashfordexpansion.co.uk if you have a question.

McArthurGlen
https://outlets.mcarthurglen.com/en/uk/designer-outlet-ashford/whats-on/planned-improvement-works/

Stroke Consultation deadline extended

The Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups for the Kent and Medway Stroke Review has taken the decision to extend the stroke consultation by one week. The consultation will now close at midnight on Friday 20 April.

The reason for this is that during the week of bad weather in late February and early March, we had to postpone a number of listening events, which have been rescheduled, and in response to feedback we have scheduled a number of additional events. Whilst these events will be concluded by the 13 April it is important to allow time for those attending to consider what they have heard and respond to the consultation. The extension would allow this and take into account time lost due to bad weather.

Transforming health and social care in Kent and Medway 29 March 2018
https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stp-workstreams/stroke/stroke-consultation-extended-to-friday-20-april-2018/

For more information on the consultation please see our previous post

https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2018/02/27/improving-urgent-stroke-services-in-kent-and-medway-consultation/

Bonfire spreads to bungalow

Ashford firefighters are warning residents about the risks of leaving bonfires unattended, following a callout to Ashford where a fire spread to a house.

Crews were called to reports of a fence alight in a garden Arcon Road. When they arrived they discovered that an unattended bonfire has spread to a garden gate, as well as the PVC window frames and guttering of a semi-detached bungalow.

Crews used a hose reel to contain the fire and prevent it spreading to the roof of the building, and drag rakes to expose hotspots in a heap of burning rubbish.

Ashford watch manager Mark Scott said: “Crews managed to bring this fire under control and minimise the damage to the house, but a few minutes more and we would have been facing a much larger incident.

“Our advice would be to find other, more environmentally friendly, ways of disposing of rubbish, such as taking it to your local recycling centre. If you do have a bonfire, make sure it is built well away from fences, buildings, trees and garden sheds, that it’s kept to a manageable size and that it’s not left unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with water.”

There were no reported injuries.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service  20 March 2018
www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/incidents/?entryid2=15482

Refuse collections

Waste and food binsAshford Borough Council’s refuse collection contractor, Biffa, will be collecting grey refuse bins this week.

Residents that have not had their refuse bin collected since the week commencing 26th of February and have a full bin are asked to bag additional waste, using refuse bags, and place it next to their grey bin so it can be collected in the upcoming week.

Please note that excess waste placed in carrier bags will not be taken.

ABC appreciates residents patience and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Ashford Borough Council 12 March 2018
www.ashford.gov.uk/whats-on/news/refuse-and-recycling-collections-update-12th-march/

Domestic Abuse Bill Consultation

silhouette of figureTransforming the response to domestic abuse

Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Opened 8 Mar 2018
Closes 31 May 2018

Domestic abuse comes in many forms, shattering the lives of victims and their families, and in recognition of this the government has put forward proposals for new laws which would transform our approach to this terrible crime.

The consultation launched today (Thursday 8 March) by the Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Justice Secretary David Gauke, will seek views on measures to be included in the government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill.

To ensure they get this landmark legislation right the Government now want to hear from all those who have been affected by abuse, from survivors, front line professionals, charities and the public, to gather views on how, together, we can best put a stop to it once and for all.

This consultation seeks to address domestic abuse at every stage from prevention through to rehabilitation. It references the connections and provisions of cross-sector agencies and departments and reinforces the Government’s aim to make domestic abuse everyone’s business.

By consulting the Government aims to harness the knowledge and expertise of victims and survivors, support organisations and research experts. They are also interested in the views of professionals across policing, criminal justice, health, welfare, education and local authorities who deal with these issues everyday.

The main aim through this work is to prevent domestic abuse by challenging the acceptability of abuse and addressing the underlying attitudes and norms that perpetuate it. This consultation asks questions under four main themes with the central aim of prevention running through each.

  • Promote awareness – to put domestic abuse at the top of everyone’s agenda, and raise public and professionals’ awareness.
  • Protect and support – to enhance the safety of victims and the support that they receive.
  • Pursue and deter – to provide an effective response to perpetrators from initial agency response through to conviction and management of offenders, including rehabilitation.
  • Improve Performance – to drive consistency and better performance in the response to domestic abuse across all local areas, agencies and sectors.

For each of these themes the current position is outlined and any potential areas identified where it is thought more could be done. These areas will be at different stages of development, and the accompanying questions will reflect this. In some instances feedback will be requested on specific proposals, whilst in others evidence or experiences will be asked for to further understand the problem.

The consultation includes some topics which are complex and/or technical.

Participate in this consultation

There are two versions of the consultation questionnaire:

Full version
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation/

Short Version
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation-short-version/

Documents

Transforming the response to domestic abuse 1.8 MB (PDF document)
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation/supporting_documents/Transforming%20the%20response%20to%20domestic%20abuse.pdf

Government takes action to tackle domestic abuse
Home Office and Ministry of Justice  08 March 2018
www.gov.uk/government/news/government-takes-action-to-tackle-domestic-abuse

Doorstep criminal alerts

Kent County Council have issued two alerts of fraudulent activity:

Bogus Police and Trading Standards Officers

Kent Trading Standards and Kent Police have received reports of criminals contacting residents by phone or in person claiming to be a Police or Trading Standards Officer. They will often refer to some previous poor work that might have been carried out and falsely claim the people involved have been arrested or are already in court.They insist the resident pays money which will be reimbursed after the court hearing.

The Police, Trading Standards, or the Court, would never ask for money – under any circumstances.

This type of fraudulent activity is on the rise so please report calls or visits to Kent Police. Residents that have previously been victims of doorstep crime are particularly at risk so please warn neighbours, friends and/or relatives if you think they may be targeted.

Report to Kent Police on 101 or at your local Police station.

Report it to Kent Police online
www.kent.police.uk/services/report-online/kent-police-online-reporting/

Criminals taking advantage of the bad weather

Doorstep criminals will take advantage of the current bad weather. Anyone calling at your home offering to do work on your roof, guttering, driveway, or inside your property, should be treated with caution.

Accepting work from a doorstep criminal can result in paying much more than you intended for very poor, unnecessary and sometimes dangerous work.

If you require work done to your home get at least three quotes and never give a doorstep caller cash.

For a list of Kent County Council approved traders

Please look out for neighbours and report any suspicious doorstep criminals to us.

Report it

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/ or

phone 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Kent County Council Public Protection  01 March 2018