Community Councils

Community Council Campaign – Close-out letter

The following letter has been sent to all residents in the unparished area of South Ashford:

 

Dear Resident

Early in December of last year, Ashford Borough Council completed a review of how local communities in Ashford are represented and governed. If you are a registered voter living in South Ashford you would have had the opportunity to vote in the ballot on whether or not you wanted a Community Council for South Ashford. Voters in the other unparished areas of Ashford also voted on whether they wanted a Community Council in their areas. In South Ashford, of 9,220 voters, 906 voted for a Community Council and 1,492 voted against. Although the Council stated that the results of the ballot were non-binding they have decided not to create a Community Council for South Ashford.

For sixteen years South Ashford Community Forum has been representing the views of people living and working in the unparished area of South Ashford and helping to communicate those views to Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council and other statutory organisations. Following the decision of the Council we will continue to provide that representation and will be redoubling our efforts to ensure that we are representative of as many of those who live and work in South Ashford as possible. To do this we need to hear your views and invite you to our next meeting. (more…)

Community Council Decision

ABC CrestFollowing a ‘lively’ debate, Ashford Borough Council have this evening (10th December), as expected, decided not to create a Community Council in South Ashford, Central Ashford or North Willesborough., they did however, vote to create Community Councils in Kennington and South Willesborough and Newtown.

South Ashford Community Forum will continue to to represent the views of people living and working in South Ashford and to help communicate those views to Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council and other statutory organisations.

Community Council News

Ashfored Borough CouncilAshford Borough Council’s Selection and Constitutional Review Committee have recommended that the Council follow the Community Governance Review ballot outcome; creating Community Councils in Kennington and South Willesborough and Newtown, not in South Ashford, Central Ashford and North Willesborough. The final decision will be taken at a full Council Meeting next Thursday, 10th December.

The Minutes of the meeting will be available on the ABC Committee page

Community Council ballot outcome

Even though we are aware that, as stated in the original literature sent to residents, the results of the ballot (for and against) are non-binding on the Council and are one part of the consultation process, we are disappointed with the voting, .

Whilst we appreciate that the Borough Council were trying to maintain neutrality, they could have been more informative regarding the precept. Many people saw the top figure quoted of £88 pa and assumed that the Community Council precepts could be similar. The Council’s literature didn’t indicate why Tenterden’s precept is so large and hence not likely to be representative of the urban areas. This fuelled ill informed statements made against the creation of Community Councils. The situation was not helped by the minimal coverage in the local press, despite this potentially being the biggest change in local governance, in the Borough, since 1974.

If the Borough Council do not create a Community Council for South Ashford, South Ashford Community Forum will continue do its best to represent the views of the residents and will seek increased support from the Borough Council to enable us to do this more effectively.

South Ashford Community Forum 9th November 2015


Kentish Express 12 November 2015

Kentish Express p27

Community Council ballot votes published

Have your say in Community GovernanceAshford Borough Council have announced the details of the ballot included in their Community Governance Review urban area consultation.

Of 9,220 eligible voters in South Ashford, 2,409 responded to the ballot, 2,398 were valid votes, 906 voted yes and 1,492 voted no.

The Council’s press release announcing the vote says: (more…)

Last week for Community Council comments

Ashfored Borough CouncilThose who, haven’t done so, and wish to comment on Ashford Borough Council’s Draft Recommendation, that propose a Community Council for South Ashford have until this coming Friday, 30th October, to submit their comments.

The draft recommendations can be downloaded from Community Governance Review page on the Council’s website.

You can use the links below to respond to the consultation.

Consultation on proposed community councils

Or submit your comments by email to review@ashford.gov.uk

or write to the Council at:

CGR
Legal Services
Civic Centre
Tannery Lane
Ashford
Kent
TN23 1PL

Read more about Community Councils

 

 Community Council logo

Yes_check.svgVote Yes for a Community Council

Democracy:

We want to improve democratic representation in South Ashford

Identity:

We want to strengthen the identity of South Ashford by putting it on the local government map.

Investment:

We want to invest in initiatives that directly benefit our community with the money we raise.

Give South Ashford a Voice

We believe that the South Ashford can be better. And we think that the people who are best placed to make it better are those who live here. We want to empower our community to deliver positive change and have a real voice in how we are governed.

Every community in England and Wales has the power to set up a local council if they want one. There are nearly 300 local councils across Kent

South Ashford Community Council area
(more…)

SACF registered as Parliament Week Partner

Parliament Week - Do democracySouth Ashford Community Forum has registered as a Parliament Week Partner.

Parliament Week 2015 runs from 16th – 22nd November and is a programme of events and activities that connects people with Parliament and democracy in the UK.

The Forum’s Parliament Week meeting on 17th November will include a discussion on Local Councils and the opportunity they provide for all who live in the Community to be involved in decisions on local matters.