News

Your Council Tax bill

We will all be getting the bill for Council Tax within the next day or two.

We tell you how much more you will be paying this year and where your money goes.

The table below shows the increase in the precept charged by each authority and the the total for a Band D property.

Increase by precepting authority for Band D.

As in previous years Kent County Council has been allowed to add an additional sum off 2% of their precept for Adult Social Care.

The next table shows how this affects the annual and monthly payments for all properties.

Change in Council Tax for all property bands in unparished area.

Note: Ashford Borough Council normally debits one payment of an odd amount then nine rounded payments. The table shows the average.

We exclusively show how much you pay for the services of all of the precepting authorities.

Approximate amount paid for services from Band D Property Council Tax.

References:
Kent County Council
www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/corporate-policies/budget-book
Ashford Borough Council
www.ashford.gov.uk/benefits-and-council-tax/council-tax/council-tax-information/
Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority
www.kent.fire-uk.org/about-us/financial-information/council-tax/council-tax-2019-20/
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner
www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/what-we-do/setting-the-kent-police-budget/

Appeal against refusal for motorcycle workshop

The applicant has appealed a decision by Ashford Borough Council to refuse an application to change an industrial unit in Eastmead to a motorcycle workshop.

Alexander Motorcycles currently located on Ellingham Industrial Estate applied, in December 2017, to change the use of Airtech House in Eastmead Avenue from industrial/commercial use to a motorcycle workshop. Ashford Borough Council refused the application in, August 2018, because “The proposed change of use would give rise to an unacceptable level of noise and disturbance to residents within the locality which cannot be adequately mitigated. As a result, the residential amenity of the occupiers of dwellings in the locality would be significantly harmed to their detriment. “

Alexander Cadenhead, a director of Alexander Motorcycles, submitted an appeal against the decision on 3rd February of this year.

Ashford Borough Council planning case ref: 17/01873/AS
Planning Inspectorate case ref: APP/E2205/W/19/3221781

HMO Application refused

A retrospective planning application for change of use of a chalet bungalow in Bond Road as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has been refused by Ashford Borough Council.

The application by Mr. Scott Bayliss, the owner of a number of houses in multiple occupation in South Ashford, to allow the 40 Bond Road to be used for occupation by seven people was refused on the grounds of insufficient parking provision. Although the application showed two parking spaces on the frontage of the property, these do not exist and no application was made for a dropped kerb. It is also thought that there is insufficient space on the property to accommodate two parking spaces meeting ABC’s parking standards.

Since October 2010 a planning application has not been needed for change of use of a dwelling house (Planning Class C3) into a Small HMO (Planning Class C4), however if more than six unrelated persons occupy and share amenities, planning permission is still required. When the Permitted Development rules came into force ABC made a Direction under Article 4 of the legislation which effectively removes the Permitted Development status for Small HMOs in Aylesford Green, Beaver, Little Burton Farm and South Willesborough wards.

South Ashford Community Forum AGM

The Annual General Meeting of South Ashford Community Forum will be held

  • at 7:00 pm
  • on Thursday 28th February
  • at South Ashford Baptist Church
    Brookfield Road, TN23 4EY

Agenda items are:

AGM

  • Previous minutes
  • Report
  • Future of SACF
    proposal to change the operation and constition of the Forum
  • Election of Committee

Ordinary Meeting

  • Previous minutes
  • Council Tax
  • Victoria Park
  • Health: Sustainability and Transformation Plan
  • Development
    • Local Plan
    • East Stour Park
    • Halstow Way
    • Poplars

All who live or work in South Ashford are welcome

Future of South Ashford Community Forum

A proposal to change the way that the Forum operates will necessitate a change of the constitution. Please click on the links below to download copies of the:

Halstow Way appropriation notice

View from open space

Following our announcement that Ashford Borough Council have submitted a planning application for the construction of 17 affordable rented apartments on the Noakes Meadow public open space (refer to our post dated 26 October 2018), the Council have now published a notice of their intention to appropriate the site for the purpose.


Local Government Act 1972 Sections 121(1) & 122(2b)

Land known as land at Halstow Way

Notice is hereby given that Ashford Borough Council intends to appropriate for housing purposes land having an approximate area of 3,347 square metres at Halstow Way. This land consists of open space. A plan of the land is available to view at the Customer Contact Centre of Ashford Borough Council.

Any objections to the intended appropriation must be made in writing and addressed to: – Mr T W Mortimer, Corporate Director (Law and Governance) & Monitoring Officer, Ashtord Borough Council, Civic Centre,Tannery
Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1 PL, quoting reference DSJ/H6-383

Objections must be received no later than 8th March 2019.

Dated this 7th February 2019.

T W Mortimer
Corporate Director (Law and Governance) & Monitoring Officer
Ashtord Borough Council

ABC Elections

Some of the candidates for the election of councillors to Ashford Borough Council in May are beginning their campaigns.

Following the Electoral Review of Ashford Borough in 2016/17 there will be substantial changes to the wards in South Ashford. Make sure you know which ward you will be in.

When the candidates have been announced we will publish their details.

If you haven’t alread done so, Register now to Vote:

www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Norman Road Scheme Consultation

A public consultation on a proposed residential scheme at East Stour Park, Norman Road, Ashford

The proposals are for a residential-led scheme including: –

  • Up to 240 apartments;
  • Associated car parking for the development;
  • Creation of riverside parkland and flood storage area;
  • Creation of a wetland park

Quinn Estates have organised a public exhibition to give local residents and stakeholders an opportunity to see plans of our proposal and to speak to core members of the project team. The aim is to understand the views and ideas of the local community so that the development proposals can evolve to take account of feedback.
Quinn Estates would like to invite elected representatives to attend, prior to the main consultation event to enable any questions/queries to be answered.

The events will be held on:

  • Wednesday 6th March 2019

Public Exhibition –

  • 16:30 until 20:00.
  • At the Ashford Railway Club,
  • Bath Meadow, Beaver Road,
  • Ashford, Kent, TN23 7RR


For more information, please contact
01227 831 212 | www.quinn-estates.com | quinnestates@quinn-estates.com


Victoria Park plans submitted

Masterplan for proposals

The planning application for proposals to be included in a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for improvements to Victoria Park have been submitted for planning permission.

The proposals include the extension to existing nursery building to create new cafe provision. Improvements to entrances on public highway, resurfacing and extension to existing car park, new CCTV, lighting columns adjacent to new cafe, new feature play equipment. Restoration and repairs to landscape features – paths, planting, seating, ecological improvements etc., a new path along the boundary of Watercress Fields and the refurbishment of the listed Hubert Fountain.

Implimentation of the proposals is subject to the bid by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which is expected to be submitted this month, being successful. The results of the bid are expected late summer of this year.

Proposed replacement building

The ABC planning case reference is 19/00054/AS

Emerging ideas for the former Mecca Bingo site

Following the discussion at the June 2018 meeting of the South Ashford Community Forum, Ashford Borough Council have published emerging proposals for the former Mecca Bingo / Odeon site.

High streets up and down the country are facing challenging times due to online shopping and the changing way town centre are being used. This means they need to reinvent themselves and what they offer to residents and visitors.

The Council is looking to regenerate the town centre so that:

  • it is an attractive and safe place to live and visit, where people feel welcome and have a sense of community and belonging
  • it offers unique and fun experiences for everyone to enjoy in the daytime, evening and at night
  • it is a thriving place that is accessible, easy to navigate and well managed.

The former Mecca/Odeon site and the adjacent Vicarage Lane car park presents a unique opportunity to drive forward these objectives which could bring more people to the town centre and provide better facilities for residents.

The Council would like to hear your views.

To see more details and participate in the survey go to www.ashford.gov.uk/mecca

Tips for talking about mental health

Talking about mental health is not always easy. But starting a conversation doesn’t have to be awkward, and being there for someone can make a huge difference.

It’s important that conversations happen at times and in places that feel natural. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about our feelings when we are doing something else. Driving in the car; jogging around the park; eating breakfast in the cafe. The more typical the setting, the less unusual and uncomfortable the conversation can feel.

There is no right way to talk about mental health, but these tips will guide you to make sure you’re approaching it in a helpful way. 

1. Ask questions and listen 

Asking questions can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, and it will help you to understand their experience better. Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgemental – such as “how does that affect you” or “what does it feel like?”

2. Think about the time & place 

Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you are doing something else. You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic. However, don’t let the search for the perfect place put you off!

3. Don’t try & fix it 

It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try to resist the urge to offer quick fixes to what they’re going through. Learning to manage or recover from a mental health problem can be a long journey, and they’ve likely already considered lots of different tools and strategies. Just talking can be really powerful, so unless they’ve asked for advice directly, it might be best just to listen.

4. Treat them the same 

When someone has a mental health problem , they’re still the same person as they were before. And that means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you’d normally do.

5. Be patient

No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That’s ok – the fact that you’ve tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up another time.

And there are lots of things you can do to support them even if you’re not talking:

  • Doing things together
  • Sending a text to let them know you’re thinking of them
  • Offering to help with day-to-day tasks.

Are you hoping to start a conversation today?Read Lauren’s 5 tips for starting a conversation about mental health Read Lauren’s tips

Time To Change

Mental health help and support services

If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help.

Time to Change focuses on challenging stigma and discrimination in society, so they’re not able to provide individual or emergency support for people in crisis. But there are lots of people who can. They are listed here:

Samaritans

Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Email: jo@samaritans.org
Website: www.samaritans.org

Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.

Mind Infoline

Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday) or text 86463
Email: info@mind.org.uk
Website: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines

Mind provides confidential mental health information services.

With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental health problems, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind works in partnership with around 140 local Minds providing local mental health services.

Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line

Telephone: 0300 5000 927 (9.30am – 4pm Monday to Friday)
Email: online contact form
Website: http://www.rethink.org/about-us/our-mental-health-advice

Provides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them, as well as giving help to health professionals, employers and staff. Rethink also runs Rethink services and groups across England.

Saneline

Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm-10:30pm)
Website: www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/helpline

Saneline is a national mental health helpline providing information and support to people with mental health problems and those who support them.

The Mix

Telephone: 0808 808 4994 (11am-11pm, free to call)
Email: Helpline email form
Crisis Support: Text ‘THEMIX’ to 85258.
Website: www.themix.org.uk/get-support

The Mix provides judgement-free information and support to young people aged 13-25 on a range of issues including mental health problems. Young people can access the The Mix’s support via phone, email, webchat, peer to peer and counselling services.

ChildLine

Telephone: 0800 1111
Website: www.childline.org.uk

ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor for free about anything – no problem is too big or too small. 

Elefriends

Website: http://elefriends.org.uk/

Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. Elefriends is run by Mind. 

If you’re a carer needing support you can contact all of the above as well as Carers Directand the Carers Trust, both of whom are able to provide support and advice on any issues affecting you.

Live Well Kent

Telephone: 0800 567 7699
Email: info@livewellkent.org.uk
Website: http://livewellkent.org.uk/

Live Well Kent helps people improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. It is a free service for anyone over 17. Live Well Kent is delivered on behalf of Kent County Council and the NHS by two charities, Porchlight and Shaw Trust.

Release the Pressure

Telephone: 0800 107 0160
Website: www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/release-the-pressure

Life can get really tough sometimes, but talking can help. We have a highly trained and experienced team waiting to provide you with confidential support to get you back on track.

What should I do if I’m supporting someone in a crisis?

If the person seems really unwell, and you are worried about their safety, you should encourage them to seek help.

How to support someone in crisis