News

Census scam

Kent residents targeted by UK Census text scam

Kent residents are being targeted by a text scam, pretending to be from the UK Government Census 2021. The text will say that information is missing from your application.

What happens:

You receive a text message pretending to be from UK Government Census.
The text will say that information is missing from your application.
You will be directed to a website to update your details to avoid a £1,000 penalty.

What to do:

This is a SCAM

Do not click on any links. The website is designed to steal your personal and financial details.

Report scams to Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.

Please warn vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours.

Report it

Read about how and why you might be contacted by officials working for the ONS on the census website:

The Census does not ask for your telephone number, email address or bank details.

Remember Do not click links in emails, social media posts or messages (text, What’s App, Messenger etc.),unless you are sure they are legitimate. Type web addresses into your browser for official websites of banks, government departments etc..

Kent County Council Public Protection
https://mailchi.mp/kent/residents-targeted-by-census-scam?e=5d620a3416

Powergen Plots 1 & 2 begin

Plot 1
Studio Flats17
1-Bed Units 130
2-Bed Units110
Total Plot 1257
Plot 2
Studio flat 16
1-bed Units 41
2-Bed Units 84
3-Bed Units 2
Total Plot 2 143
Total Plots 1 and 2400
Plots 1 and 2
Accommodation Schedule

Construction of the proposals for Powergen Plots 1 and 2 has commenced in the last few weeks.

Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee voted to permit the proposals in June 2016 for 400 apartments, with final approval being granted in November 2016, as part of hybrid application 15/01671/AS. The application included full details for Plots 1 and 2 while Plots 3,4 and 5 were in outline.

The accommodation proposed is tabulated to the right:

The completion of this development will be a valuable contribution to Ashford Borough Council’s Five Year Housing Land Supply which was 295 dwellings short in July 2020.

Land ownership

A subsidiary of the UK arm of Scandinavian letting company ‘Neighbour’ had purchased the land for plots 1 and 2 and it was intended that they would be built before Plots 3, 4 and 5. In the event the land for Plots 3,4 and 5 was purchased by GRE Assets, who commenced the construction, have completed a number of blocks, with work on those remaining ongoing.

In December 2018 the name of the company owning Plots 1 and 2 was changed from Neighbour Ashford Ltd. to Victoria Road Developments Limited.

In August 2019 the company that financed the purchase of the land, Lendinvest Security Trustees, obtained an order to appoint a receiver for Victoria Road Develepments.

In October 2019 the an application was made to Ashford Borough Council for a certificate  confirming that access works were undertaken lawfully to implement a start of the approved development of the site. The application was been submitted to confirm that the planning approval has not expired hence allowing the site to be sold with planning permission.

However, on 21 April 2021 Victoria Road Developments remained the registered owners of the site and Lendinvest the Lenders.

Previous proposal

The previous proposal for the site, the Zedhome scheme, was permitted on appeal. It included 519 dwellings on Plots 1 and 2 sites plus 8000m2 of commercial and other non-residential uses. in blocks up to the equivalent of 16 storeys. The whole development (including the Plots 3, 4 and 5 sites comprised 1000 dwellings plus commercial and other uses.

PCC Election result

The result of the election for Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent Police Area is:

Name of Candidate

Description

Number of Votes

SCOTT, Matthew RichardThe Conservative Party Candidate237,278
OYEWUSI, Omolola Joanna
Known as Lola Oyewusi
Labour and Co-operative Party103,807
COLLEY, Graham DavidLiberal Democrats69,464

South Ashford Election Results

The results of the elections for posts representing South Ashford held on 6th May 2021

Name of Candidate

Description

(if any)

Number of Votes

Kent County Council

Ashford South Division

ROSS, DirkThe Conservative Party Candidate1407 Elected
FARRELL, DaraLabour Party1319
PIZZEY, Thomas PaulThe Green Party263
BEHRENS, Wilhelm HeinrichLiberal Democrats232

Kent County Council

Ashford East Division

CAMPKIN, Steven RobertThe Green Party1854 Elected
GALPIN, Graham HaroldThe Conservative Party Candidate1428
JOSEPH, SojanLabour Party596
HARRISON, Garry GeorgeIndependent149
STROLZ, Samuel JohnLiberal Democrats136

Ashford Borough Council

Beaver Ward

BROOKS, TrevorThe Conservative Party Candidate468 Elected
JONES, Dylan AlexanderLabour Party402
HARRISON, Garry GeorgeIndependent105
PIZZEY, Thomas PaulThe Green Party70
STAMP, Jacqueline MaryLiberal Democrats64

How to vote if you are self isolating

Ways to vote

If you can’t get to a polling station because

and you were not aware of the circumstances on 20th April, you can apply for am Emergency Proxy Vote.

You should ask somebody you trust to vote in accordance with your wishes to vote on your behalf.

Download the appropriate Emergency Proxy Voting Application (use links above) complete it and arrange for it to be delivered to the Civic Centre. You should apply as soon as possible but this can be any time up to 5pm on polling day.

Ask your Proxy to go to the polling station named on your polling card (see our post regarding polling stations in South Ashford), and tell the staff that they are voting on your behalf by Emergency Proxy. Tell them who you want to vote for in each election in which you are voting: Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent County Council and, if you live in the ward, Ashford Borough Council Beaver Ward (see our list of candidates).

Your vote is yours alone

Remember: Your Vote is Yours Alone

You must not allow somebody else to use your polling card or vote on your behalf unless they have been nominated on a Proxy Voting Application.

Only nominate somebody you trust to vote in accordance with your wishes.

If you need information about voting:

South Ashford Polling Stations

The following is a list of polling stations in South Ashford.

Your polling card will give your Electoral Register Number but if you don’t have it use the map above.

You do not need your polling card to vote but must be on the electoral register.

If you applied to vote by post and have received your postal voting form you must post it or deliver it to the Civic Centre by 10pm on Thursday 6th May or hand it in at any polling station on polling day (6th May). You must not vote at a polling station if you have voted by post.

You will not be able to vote if you did not register to vote by 19th April 2021. If you have not done so, Register to Vote now for future elections.

Do not allow anybody else to use your polling card or your postal voting form if you have not applied to vote by proxy.

Situation of Polling Station StationNumberRanges of electoral register numbers of
persons entitled to vote thereat
Beaver Green Primary School, Cuckoo Lane4BE1-1 to BE1-1451
South Ashford Baptist Church, Brookfield Road5BE2-1 to BE2-2032
St Francis Church Hall, Cryol Road6BE3-1 to BE3-1248
Gateway Church, The Riverside Centre, Clockhouse71VI2-1 to VI2-742
Ashford Community Church, Francis Road73VI4-1 to VI4-1939
St Francis Church Hall, Cryol Road7BE3X-1 to BE3X-6
United Reformed Methodist Church, Cade Road45NO1-1 to NO1-1195/1
Christchurch Community Hall, Christchurch Road46NO2-1 to NO2-893/1
Polling stations in South Ashford

Local election candidates

Ballot box

Below we list the candidates standing to serve South Ashford in elections to be held on 6th May for:

  • Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent Police Area
  • Kent County Council member for Ashford South Division
  • Ashford Borough Council member for Beaver Ward

We have requested election statements from all parties / candidates. Those that we have received can be viewed by clicking the candidate’s name.

Police and Crime CommissionerKent Police Area
Colley, Graham DavidLiberal Democrats
Oyewusi, LolaLabour and Co-operative Party
Scott, Matthew RichardThe Conservative Party Candidate
Kent County Council
Ashford South Division
(includes area served by ABC Beaver and Victoria Wards)
Behrens, HeinLiberal Democrats
Farrell, DaraLabour Party
Pizzey, ThomThe Green Party
Ross, DirkThe Conservative Party Candidate
Kent County Council
Ashford East Division
(includes area served by ABC Norman Ward)
Campkin, SteveThe Green Party
Galpin, GrahamThe Conservative Party Candidate
Harrison, Garry GeorgeIndependent
Joseph, SojanLabour Party
Strolz, Samuel JohnLiberal Democrats
Ashford Borough CouncilBeaver Ward
Brooks, TrevorThe Conservative Party Candidate
Harrison, Garry GeorgeIndependent
Jones, Dylan AlexanderLabour Party
Pizzey, ThomThe Green Party
Stamp, Jacqueline MaryLiberal Democrats

Step 2

COVID-19:
Restrictions in England
From 12 April

Meeting OthersOvernight staysEducationWork and business
You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble.
You can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six people or two households.
Domestic overnight stays are allowed, but you must only stay with members of your household or support bubble.Early years settings, schools and colleges are open for all students.
Students on practical university courses can return. Students and staff will be regularly tested. Other Higher Education students should continue to learn remotely.
You should work from home if you can.
Retail and personal careBars, Pubs and RestaurantsAccommodationLeisure and sporting facilities
All retail open. Hairdressers, beauty and nail salons open.Open outdoors for groups of six people or two households. Those that serve alcohol must provide table service.
Closed indoors.
Campsites and self-contained holiday accommodation open for visits with your household or support bubble only. Hotels, hostels and B&Bs closed.Gyms, indoor sports facilities and spas open for use on your own or with your own household or support bubble.
Saunas and steam rooms closed.
EntertainmentPublic BuildingsResidential CareShielding
Outdoor settings and attractions, such as zoos and theme parks open for visits of two households, or in a group of up to six people.
Drive-in-events open for visits with your household or support bubble.
Indoor entertainment closed.
Libraries and community
centres open
People who live in a care home in England will be allowed two named regular indoor visitors.Clinically extremely vulnerable people in England are no longer
advised to shield, but should continue taking extra precautions such as minimising social interactions and shopping at quieter times of the day.
Domestic travelOverseas travelPlaces of WorshipWeddings and Funerals
You should minimise travel as much as possible. Avoid the busiest times and routes – plan your journey and what you need at your destination ahead of timeYou must not go on holiday abroad. You could be fined £5,000 for travelling abroad without a legally permitted reason.Places of worship open and communal worship is permitted, but you must not mix indoors with anyone outside your household or support bubble.Funerals can continue with up to 30 attendees. Weddings, outdoor receptions, and commemorative events such as wakes can take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).

For more information and detailed guidance visit: gov.uk/coronavirus

Complete the Census

The census tells government, local authorities, the health service and other statutory service providers what our needs are now, and what they’re likely to be in the future. Information you give informs where billions of pounds of funding is spent on things like transport, education and health.

Every household will have received a letter, or will receive one this week, telling them to complete the Census and giving a Household Access Code.

If you cannot complete it online you should request a paper copy by calling 0800 141 2021 (automated service) or asking somebody to request one for you at census.gov.uk.

You can complete it as soon as you get the letter (or paper form) but the information needs to be accurate for Sunday 21st March. You can start filling in details and save your answers to complete the rest of the questions later.

You should complete it on 21 March or as soon after as later.

The form asks questions about your household and about individuals within it. If you want to complete your individual information separately from others within your household you can request an individual access code.

Contact from the ONS.

Neither the ONS support team or their contractors will call or visit you on or before 21 March to collect information.

If you do not complete the census they may contact you to encourage you to submit your form.

The ONS census team will carry out the Census Coverage Survey after the census date to sample the accuracy of the census data. The survey is not to test that individual households have given true information. You will receive a card beforehand and the interviewers will provide identification if they call. You are not obliged to participate in the survey.

Data security and privacy

The census in England and Wales is run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS and the statistics they generate are independent from government.

Government departments dealing with any applications you’ve made, or any payments or services you receive, cannot see your census information. For example, it cannot be used to influence benefit claims, a residency application, immigration status or taxes. Landlords, or any private organisation, will not be able to see your personal information either.

Census records will be kept secure for 100 years. Only then can future generations view them, for example, those interested in family history.

Stagecoach back to school service changes

Full service levels restored from Monday 8 March

Stagecoach logo

Stagecoach bus services in Kent and East Sussex will step up to 100% from Monday 8 March. Full pre-COVID school day timetables will be restored on most routes. Stagecoach are pleased to finally be able to return to normal service and welcome the support from   Kent County Council that has enabled this to happen.

Dedicated school services in Ashford

As when schools were last fully open, many school day bus journeys will be running as ‘dedicated schools services’. This means they will only be available for young people to board if travelling to and from their place of education. The general public will not be able to use them, and, in-line with government instructions, these buses will be able to carry more passengers. Unlike normal service buses which have a limited seating capacity, these dedicated schools services will allow the near maximum seated capacity of the bus.

All dedicated schools services will have a special destination display that shows ‘School Service’ at the front of the bus, alternating with the route number and destination. As these ‘dedicated schools services’ are for students only, morning journeys will only stop to pick-up students and drop them at school/college. On the way home in the afternoon the ‘dedicated schools service’ will collect students from school/college and then operate as drop-off only at all other stops.

If you travel to and from school, please check out our schools information web page for the latest news:

Kent schools information

Also from 8 March, Kent County Council have confirmed that concessionary travel passes will no longer be accepted for travel before 09:30am.

Despite this increase in service levels, it’s vital that if you need to make a bus journey, you follow the government rules. Face coverings must be worn (unless you are medically exempt) and windows on most bus types should be left in the open position to allow the flow of fresh air. Capacity is limited to help with social distancing and you should be mindful to keep a safe distance from others (unless travelling with someone from your household bubble).

Want to know how to travel safely by bus? Stagecoach have taken a range of measures to help protect you when travelling. Their buses are clean, safe and ready to go. If you’re planning on travelling and are concerned about what to do, check out this guide. We’ve also put together a ten-point guide to help understand the measures that are in place. Find out more here.