News

New rules on multiple occupation

Landlords with properties across the Ashford borough are being urged to prepare for changes to the rules governing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

From 1 October 2018, all HMOs with five or more people comprising of two or more family units will require a licence to operate. Currently an HMO licence is only required if a property is over three or more floors, so the main change is the removal of the number of storeys from the HMO definition.

The changes are contained in The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018. The government estimates that the changes will mean an extra 160,000 properties will need to be licensed in England, with Ashford Borough Council estimating that up to 150 properties will need to be licensed across the borough.

The new legislation will also introduce minimum space standards for bedrooms. Rooms sleeping one adult must be no smaller than 6.51m2. And any rooms sleeping two adults must be no smaller than 10.22 m2. Rooms slept in by children aged 10 or younger must be no smaller than 4.64 m2.

Where minimum space standards are not being met, councils will be able to grant a period not exceeding 18 months to rectify the situation. Landlords must also provide adequate receptacles for the storage and disposal of household waste produced at the property.

Landlords are required to apply for a licence before 1 October and comply with any changes needed to be made. If, after this period you have not complied with the new scheme, you could face serious penalties, including hefty fines and criminal prosecution.

For more information on the changes and to make an application, contact Ashford Borough Council on privatesectorhousing@ashford.gov.uk

Ashford Borough Council  19 June 2018
www.ashford.gov.uk/whats-on/news/storey-time-for-landlords-under-new-rules-on-multiple-occupation-19th-june/

SACF June 2018 Meeting

The next meeting of South Ashford Community Forum will take place

  • at 7:00 pm
  • on 13th June 2018
  • at South Ashford Baptist Church
    Brookfield Road, TN23 4EY

The Draft Agenda is:

1         Welcome

2         Police & Crime

  • Police report
  • Crime statistics
  • At risk of going missing

3         Ashford Town Centre

Cllr Graham Galpin, will give a presentation on Ashford Town Centre

4         Minutes of meetings of 21st March 2018

Comments/Acceptance

Matters Arising

5         Councillors’ reports

5.1     Borough Council

5.2     County Council

6         Victoria Park

Friends Group

Consultations

7         Planning and Development

7.1     Development Proposals

  • Poplars (see post below)
  • Halstow Way
  • Hillyfields Rise
  • Lantern House, St. Stephen’s Walk
  • Klondyke Site

7.2     Local Plan

8         Health

Online GP consultations

9         Any Other Business

If a matter for discussion is raised that is not on this agenda, the Chair may make it a future agenda item.

10      Future Meetings

 

The Draft Agenda can also be downloaded from Minutes and Agendas page on the South Ashford website. If there are any items that you would like added, please contact us by 4th June.

We are pleased that Cllr. Graham Galpin will give a presentation on Ashford Town Centre.

Please do encourage your friends, colleagues and acquaintances, that live or work in South Ashford to come to this meeting. If they would like to be added to our email distribution list they can register via Mailchimp

Poplars, Beaver Lane – Redevelopment Consultation

Ashford Borough Council is proposing a redevelopment of the Poplars, Beaver Lane, to 30 units as independent living for older people.

They are holding a public consultation event

  • from 4.00pm to 6.00pm
  • On 5th June 2018
  • At United Church Hall
    Cade Road, Ashford TN23 6JE

Ashford Borough Council want to engage with local residents and keep you informed and hear your views on the proposals. This is only part of the consultation process and they will be happy to receive correspondence via email, telephone or in person.

If you are unable to attend this event and wish to discuss the proposals or have any questions, please contact them:

  • email: site queries@ashford.gov.uk,
  • telephone: 012333 333311, or
  • visit the Civic Centre in person

Fraud Alert for TSB Customers

Action Fraud have issued two fraud alerts regarding customers of TSB.

The first warns of an increased risk of phishing attacks following the problems recently experienced by TSB.

The second warns of an increase in the number of “port out” fraud cases reported by TSB customers. Fraudsters are number porting a victim’s telephone number to a SIM card under their control and then using the number to access the victim’s bank accounts.

Protect Yourself

Whilst the advice given by Action Fraud is particularly relevant to TSB customers at this time, it should be followed by everybody:

  • Don’t assume an email or text is authentic:

    Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Phone numbers and email addresses can be spoofed, so always contact the company directly via a known email or phone number (such as the one on the back of your bank card).

  • Clicking on links/files

    Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected text or email. Remember, a genuine bank will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your full PIN or password.

  • If you have received a suspicious TSB email,

    please do not respond to it, report it to Action Fraud www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_phishing and also forward it to emailscams@tsb.co.uk

  • PAC Code notifications

    If you receive an unsolicited notification about a PAC Code request, contact your network provider immediately to terminate the request. Also notify your bank about your phone number being compromised.

  • Requests to move money:

    A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account.

  • Every Report Matters.

    If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to us online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

  • Visit Take Five and Cyber Aware

    for more information about how to protect yourself online.
    https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/
    https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/

(more…)

Online GP Consultations

Your thoughts on ‘online consultations’ – an alternative way to have a consultation from your GP.

NHS England

Opens 8 May 2018
Closes 15 June 2018

NHS England is supporting local NHS GP practices to offer their patients alternative ways to have a consultation with a GP or other practice-based health professional online via the internet, rather than waiting for the next available appointment to attend in person – we are referring to this as ‘online consultations’.

Online consultations are a way for patients to contact their GP practice without having to wait on the phone or take time out to come into the practice. Using a smartphone, tablet or computer, you can contact your practice about a new problem or an ongoing issue. You can ask questions or tell your GP about your symptoms. The practice will ensure your contact is dealt with by the right person in the team, helping ensure you are served as quickly and appropriately as possible. Sometimes this will mean you will need a phone call with the GP or nurse, or an appointment at the practice, and this will be arranged as usual.

NOTE: Online consultations are an alternative service – it is still possible to do other things on the practice website such as seeing test results and your medical record, ordering a repeat prescription or booking an appointment.

Places that are using online consultations already have found a number of benefits:

  • Patients were able to get a quicker response, rather than waiting for an appointment in person
  • It is more convenient as patients they do not have to travel to their GP practice or wait for the next available appointment.
  • GPs were able to provide more appointments for patients, offering the same level of consultation, diagnosis and necessary actions (such as referral or a prescription) as patients would get in a face to face appointment;

It doesn’t matter if you have not used online consultations yourself – your views are still of interest to the NHS. THIS IS NOT ABOUT HOSPITAL APPOINTMENTS.

Your views are valuable to us and we would appreciate it if you could find the time to complete this survey by Friday 15 June 2018. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Insight collected from this survey, along with other forms of engagement, will be analysed by NECS (North of England Commissioning Support) on behalf of NHS England. This insight will help determine the most appropriate support and resources needed for both practices and patients to adopt online consultations as an enhancement to currently available online services.

You can find out much more about the programme on the NHS England website.

Give Your Views

Online Survey

Personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets consultation

A consultation on extending legal rights to have for personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets

Department of Health and Social Care

Opens: 6 April 2018
Closes: 8 June 2018

Within the NHS, there is an ever-growing shift towards personalisation of health and care. It is clear that choice and personalisation matter to people; uptake of personalised health and care plans within the NHS has increased annually since implementation, and evidence suggests that by providing individuals with more choice and control over how their individual needs are met, outcomes often improve, satisfaction often increases, and the package of care can often be delivered in a more cost-effective manner.

Personal health budgets are the current mechanism to deliver this. Currently however, only certain groups have a right to personal health budgets. This consultation therefore exlplores extending this right to other groups who we believe could benefit from a more personalised approach to their health and care.

There is also ongoing work across the country, looking into how personal health budgets and personal budgets in social care, can be aligned into a single, integrated, personal budget, wrapped around the individuals holistic health and social care needs. This consultation also therefore seeks your views on extending specific groups rights to an integrated personal budget, and also explores the potential to incorporate additional funding streams into that budget, if the individual so wishes.

Give Your Views

Online Survey

At Risk of Going Missing

Helping emergency services find missing vulnerable people FAST

A potentially life-saving form could help police and search teams find vulnerable missing people quicker.

The ‘At Risk of Going Missing’ form provides quick, detailed information about a person’s background and history to help police to identify priority areas to search, often speeding up the time taken to find them, particularly if the person is living with dementia.

In support of Dementia Action Week which runs from 21 to 27 May, Kent Search and Rescue (KSAR), in collaboration with Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS), and the National Police Air Service, have produced a video that shows how a completed form can help partners work together to quickly find a missing person when they have detailed information about a person’s habits and interests.

Every year, Kent Police receives approximately 10,000 missing person reports and an increasing number of these are for people living with dementia.

The form, which is handed out by all agencies, allows police, Kent Search and Rescue and Kent Fire and Rescue Service to gather as much useful information as possible. It gives an indication of someone’s mobility, preferred mode of travelling, routes frequented, general health issues and significant places they are likely to gravitate towards. This form enables all this information to be documented in advance.

Completed forms are kept in a safe place by families or carers so they can be found quickly if the person is reported missing. They are also stored on police systems, meaning officers have easy access to the information when needed most.

Phil Morris, Community officer at Kent Search and Rescue said: “We have produced this video message in support of Dementia Action Week in the hope that it will help people understand how important a completed “At Risk” form can be and, in doing do so, encourage more families to fill in the form if they are caring for someone who is living with dementia, or who may go missing for another reason.

Please don’t wait until the person goes missing. Download the form from the Kent Police, KSAR or KFRS website(s) and fill it in today! The information that you record in the form may give us the one important clue that we need to help find your missing loved-one…when every second counts.”

Assistant Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “Our aim is to make sure that if people living with dementia become lost or go missing that we can do our best to return them home as quickly as possible so they don’t come to any harm.

“By filling in this form officers can gather as much information as possible, as quickly as possible so would encourage anyone who lives with someone with dementia to fill in the form.  It could save a life.”

Chris Colgan, Assistant Director Response & Training at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, and a member of the KSAR board of trustees, said: “Keeping safe is important for us all, however it can become difficult to maintain safety if you or someone you know is living with dementia, particularly if living alone. This form is a really useful tool, and can help us and partner agencies to find a missing person with dementia more quickly, reducing the chance of someone getting into harm’s way, and even saving a life.”

Watch the ‘At Risk of Going Missing Video’ https://vimeo.com/268997659

Kent Fire and Rescue Service   21 May 2018
(Issued jointly with Kent Police, Kent Search and Rescue and National Police Air Service)
www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/may-2018/helping-emergency-services-find-missing-vulnerable-people-fast/

Planning application for Klondyke site

A planning application has been submitted for 93 dwellings on the site of the Klondyke Works in Newtown. This site, which is to the south of Newtown Road, adjacent to the Ashford to Hastings railway line had previously been earmarked for a model railway centre but was found to be too expensive to develop.

The current proposal is for 41 1 bed 1 person apartments and 52 2 bed 3 person apartments.

Details of the application can be found on our planning notice page:
Site of former Klondyke Works, Newtown Road
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2018/04/27/site-of-former-klondyke-works-newtown-road-2/