Consultation

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South Ashfprd Community ForumWe have made it easier to find information about public consultations by government and statutory bodies. All of our news items relating to consultations are now listed under Local Information / Consultation on the website menu. All new posts relating to consultations will start with the title of the consultation, the organisation launching the consultation and the opening and closing dates.

We will not respond to all consultations listed here, but when we do, our responses will be available from our Publications page

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

Improving urgent stroke services in Kent and Medway Consultation

The Clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Medway (Ashford, Canterbury and Coastal, Dartford Gravesham and Swanley, Medway, South Kent Coast, Swale, Thanet, and West Kent), along with NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group in London, and NHS High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group in East Sussex.

Opens 02 February 2018
Closes 20 April 2018

Stroke services can be separated into three areas: prevention; urgent care during a stroke; and rehabilitation. This consultation document is focused on changes to the urgent stroke services provided in hospitals across Kent and Medway.

Improving stroke services is part of a wider programme across Kent and Medway involving all the local NHS organisations, Kent County Council and Medway Council.
We are looking at what needs to be done differently to bring about better health and wellbeing, better standards of care, and better use of staff, funds and other resources. The changes to hospital-based stroke services are being developed alongside and in alignment with other work on improving hospital services, developing more local care outside of hospitals, and improving mental health and social care. We believe it is imperative that we move forward with a decision on improvements to stroke services, but we will continue to align stroke improvements to our wider sustainability and transformation partnership programme.

You can find out more about our sustainability and transformation partnership and the other projects at kentandmedway.nhs.uk.

If you would like to find out more about stroke, the symptoms and what to do if you or someone you know has a stroke visit www.nhs.uk/actfast.

Read the consultation document

https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stroke-consultation-documents/

Review the supporting information

https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stp/stroke-supporting-information/

Respond to the consultation

https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stoke-consultation-questionnaire/

Meetings and events

Below are details of the confirmed listening events taking place during the stroke consultation nearest to Ashford. More events will be added over the coming days. Please refer to https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stroke-consultation-listening-events/ for the latest list.

Our consultation on urgent stroke services stretches across 10 clinical commissioning group areas and we plan to hold a minimum of two open discussion meetings in each CCG area, one in the day and one in the evening. However, we are happy to look at scheduling more if there is sufficient demand. There has been a relatively short space of time since we were able to confirm definite dates for the start and duration of the consultation period, and in some areas we are still confirming dates and venues for meetings. This is a priority as we know people will want to have as much time as possible to get the dates in their diaries.

Date Day Time Town Venue Register to attend CCG area
 05/03/2018 Monday 18:30 to 20:30 Ashford Ashford College Click here NHS Ashford
04/04/2018 Wednesday 10:00 to 12:00 Ashford Singleton Environment Centre Click Here NHS Ashford

Frequently asked questions

https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Stroke-consultation-FAQs-01-02-18.pdf

 

Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople consultation

Help shape our Local PlanGypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Issues and Options

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 21 Feb 2018
Closes: 6 Apr 2018 at 17:00.

Ashford Borough Council are committed to meeting the identified needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community within the borough. In order to meet this need, the Council is in the process of developing a Development Plan Document for Gypsies and Travellers.  This document seeks the views of the Gypsy and Traveller communities, residents and stakeholders, on the issues and options for Gypsy and Traveller site selection in Ashford.

The issues and options outlined within this consultation are not a statement of intention by Ashford, instead they are designed to highlight the key themes and suggested options upon which they need your views. Consultation on the issues and options report and consideration of the responses to consultation will assist the Council to analyse the merits and drawbacks of all the practical options available for providing sites for Gypsies, Travellers and travelling showpeople. As part of this issues and options consultation, they are seeking to identify suitable sites to consider for inclusion as Gypsy, Traveller and travelling showpeople sites within the DPD.  Suggestions for the inclusion of specific sites are an important aspect of consultation on this particular Issues and Options report.

The format of the consultation is to provide some background information and then pose a series of questions to help guide responses, and there is the opportunity to raise further issues and options as part of this consultation. (more…)

Victoria Park Community Consultation Event

Victoria Park Community Consultation Event

Saturday 21st April

Ashford Borough Council have secured initial funding to develop a £3.7m restoration and improvement project for Victoria Park and Watercress Fields, thanks to support from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. The Council are working with a number of specialists who will help us to undertake historic research about the park, explore ideas for activities, events, schools resources and training, as well as developing designs for restoration and improvement works.

Come along to Victoria Park, meet the project team, find out what’s been happening and give them your views

Open consultation: Regulations for a safeguard energy tariff

Data sharing regulations for a safeguard energy tariff

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS)

Opens 12 February 2018
Closes 26 February 2018

Consultation description

DBEIS looking for views on adding a safeguard energy tariff imposed by Ofgem (the regulator) for vulnerable consumers on standard variable and fixed-term default tariffs to the list of fuel poverty measures for which public authorities can share data with gas and electricity suppliers for the purpose of assisting households in fuel poverty.

Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 gives government powers to share personal information across organisational boundaries to improve public services. It says what data can be shared and for which purposes, and includes safeguards to ensure that the privacy of citizens’ data is protected. www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/30/contents/enacted

Part 5 allows data sharing between specified public authorities and energy suppliers for the purpose of alleviating fuel poverty. The data sharing must be for use under one of the fuel poverty measures listed in section 36(3) of the Act. The list currently includes measures such as the Warm Home Discount and the Energy Company Obligation scheme.

Other fuel poverty measures, such as Ofgem’s proposed safeguard tariff for vulnerable consumers at risk of fuel poverty, are not currently covered by list, so this consultation is about adding it to the list.

Documents

Data sharing regulations for a safeguard energy tariff PDF796KB14 pages
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/680665/Data_sharing_regulations_for_a_safeguard_energy_tariff.pdf

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/data-sharing-regulations-for-a-safeguard-energy-tariff#attachment-2539405-accessibility-request

Victoria Park and Watercress Fields

Victoria Park and Watercress Fields

Ashford Borough Council

Parks for People: Explore Victoria Park and Watercress Fields

Have you discovered Ashford’s largest and most central park yet?

There’s something for everyone at Victoria Park and Watercress Fields; including a wealth of history, exciting play spaces, interesting ecology, and quiet spaces to relax.

Download a plan of Victoria Parks and Watercress Fields.

The park has a pivotal role to play in connecting residents with the town’s history, the local area and the built, cultural and natural heritage of the site. Not only that, but it also a great space to explore the environment and access the great outdoors.

Funding

Now Ashford Borough Council (ABC) 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. ABC have secured initial funding to develop a £3.7m restoration and improvement project.

Plans for Victoria Park

The future aims include Green Flag status for the park, building upon the opportunities for community engagement and participation, promoting outdoor activities, and enabling volunteers to gain new skills.

How you can help

ABC looking to form an active Friends Group for joined-up community participation and to enable local residents to shape the future of the area.

Please tell us what you think by completing a short online survey
www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Ashford-Victoria_Park.

To help ABC develop the plans, we’d love to hear what you think about the park and what changes you would like to see.

Sign up to the newsletter

If you would like to receive a regular newsletter (via the ABC website) that will provide an update of news, events and project progress, please provide your email address, and we will be in touch.

 

Get in touch

If you would like to get in touch, or to find out more about the project,
please email the team. victoriapark@ashford.gov.uk

Minerals and Waste Plan Consultation

Kent County CouncilEarly Partial Review of the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-30 and
Mineral Sites Plan – Options Consultation

Kent County Council

Opens: 19 Dec 2017
Closes: 27 Mar 2018

The Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-30 (KMWLP or the Plan) sets out the minerals supply and waste management capacity provision for Kent up until the year 2031. Following the adoption of the KMWLP in July 2016, further assessments have been undertaken which suggest that the level of waste management capacity required to maintain net self-sufficiency differs from that which was anticipated to be needed when the KMWLP was prepared. In order to ensure that Kent benefits from an up-to-date strategy for waste management capacity the County Council is seeking to undertake an early partial review of the KMWLP to amend several of the policies relating to waste management.

Furthermore, the County Council also seeks to improve the clarity of the policies relating to minerals and waste safeguarding; this should improve their effectiveness when used in practice. This is a part of the Early Partial Review of the Plan at this time.

Parallel to the early Partial Review Consultation referred to above the County Council is holding a public consultation on the Option Sites for the Minerals Sites Plan. This is a Regulation 18 consultation to gather the views of the general community, groups, organisations, mineral operators, other Kent authorities (at the Parish and Borough/District levels) and individuals on what the County Council considers to be potential mineral sites required to supply a steady and adequate quantity of mineral resources to meet the objectives of the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan (KMWLP) 2013-30.

Additional supporting evidence documents and Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Reports have been published to support the consultation. Since the start of the consultation the evidence base been updated as follows:

Information concerning the site areas of the following Minerals Site Options:

  • West Malling Sandpit, Ryarsh
  • Chapel Farm, Lenham
  • Lydd Quarry Extensions, Lydd

Assessment of the suitability of mineral site options with respect to the Green Belt.

  • A separate evidence addendum has been prepared that summarises the updates and this can be found on the above website.

To engage in the above consultations, please click here.

The period for the  consultations is 19th December 2017 to 27th March 2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Minerals and Waste Planning Policy team.

Email:  mwlp@kent.gov.uk

Phone:  03000 413328

Consultation Summary

Name The Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-30
Description Kent County Council is seeking to undertake an early partial review of the KMWLP to amend several of the policies relating to waste management.
Dates From 19 Dec 2017 at 00:00 to 27 Mar 2018 at 23:59.
Status Open
Consulting Organisation Type Kent County Council
Consulting Organisation Name Kent County Council
District / Borough areas affected by the consultation Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells
Consultation Topic General interest, Environment and countryside, Planning and planning applications, Recycling, rubbish and waste management
Consultation Methods Online survey / questionnaire / forms
Contact Details Email:  mwlp@kent.gov.uk

Phone:  03000 413328

‘Opt-out’ consent for organ donation in England consultation

Introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England

Department of Health and Social Care

Opens: 12 December 2017
Closes: 6 March 2018

Summary

The government wants views from as many people as possible on plans to make it easier for people to give consent to be an organ donor.

Consultation description

The Department of Health and Social Care have launched a consultation about organ and tissue donation. The government wants to know what people think about proposed changes in which people are considered willing to be an organ donor after their death, unless they have ‘opted out’.

They want to find out what people think of how the changes to the system should be made, and what else they think the government needs to consider.

The defining issues of the new system are:

  • how much say families have in their deceased relative’s decision to donate their organs
  • when exemptions to ‘opt-out’ would be needed, and what safeguards would be necessary
  • how a new system might affect certain groups depending on age, disability, race or faith

Documents

Consultation on introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england/consultation-on-introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england HTML

Quick Read: organ and tissue donation consultation
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england/quick-read-organ-and-tissue-donation-consultation HTML

Impact Assessment: organ donation opt-out
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/666518/Organ_Donation_Opt-Out_Consultation_Impact_Assessment.pdf PDF, 707KB, 24 pages

Have your say on organ donation

https://engage.dh.gov.uk/organdonation/

Department of Health and Social Care 12 December 2017
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england

ABC Budget Consultation

Budget Consultation 2018/19

Ashford Borough Council

Opens 29 December 2017
Closes 7 February 2018

At the last Ashford Borough Council cabinet meeting, members agreed a draft budget for the 2018-19 financial year, which begins on 1st April 2018.

The draft budget is presented to Council members at a time when the Chancellor of the Exchequer has just delivered his 2018 Autumn Budget to parliament. It is also set against the backdrop of the negotiations to leave the European Union, which continue to cause uncertainty.

Please read ABC’s draft budget summary document to help you take part in our budget consultation for the 2018-2019 financial year. We would value your feedback on our proposals.

2018-19_budget_consultation [pdf] 1295KB www.ashford.gov.uk/media/5384/2018-19_budget_consultation.pdf

The budget contains a large amount of information, so we felt it might be beneficial to outline the key points below:

Council tax

It is proposed that Ashford Borough Council increases its element of council tax by £3.50 per year for the average band D property, increasing the amount payable to Ashford Borough Council from £154 to £157.50 per year– please note this is based on the Ashford element of council tax only and will be adjusted to reflect your property band.

For context, even if all the other local authorities in Kent froze their council tax Ashford would still be setting the lowest council tax in Kent.

The council proposes to increase its element of council tax by £3.50 (which equates to 2.28%) as government allows councils to increase their council tax by 2% or £5, whichever is greater. So, although ours is proposed to increase by 2.28%, this is within agreed parameters.

The council’s Corporate Plan is focused on the delivery of business and housing growth as well as income generation from commercial activities – such as the £42m Elwick Place project, which is on budget and on schedule. The commercial approach needs time to mature and so for now we propose to increase council tax, however the future ambition of the council is to do so by a smaller amount every year. For example, last year the council raised council tax by £4. This year it proposes to do so by £3.50.

Ashford will still set the lowest council tax in Kent. (more…)

Health watchdog consults on future aims

Shaping our Future

Healthwatch

Opens: 08 November 2017
Closes: 03 January 2018

Healthwatch the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services, launched in 2012. Since then, in partnership with local Healthwatch, they have worked hard to understand what people want from care services and make sure that those who run services hear these views.

They are now developing their strategy for 2018 – 2023.

Between June and September 2017, they asked the public, professionals and local Healthwatch a number of questions to help shape their future focus. They invite you to take part in the next phase of their strategy.

They asked people where they should focus their efforts to have the biggest impact.

The ideas people shared largely focussed on the following areas:

  • Working to improve existing care, particularly the access people have to support, and the avoidable differences in people’s experience of health and social care across the population.
  • Mental health and care for older people were also common issues where people wanted to see improvements.
  • Making it easier for more people to have an equal say in decisions that affect them by tackling barriers, such as public awareness and professional attitudes.
  • Ensuring that communities are involved in shaping future health and social care services.
  • Supporting a stronger, more consistent Healthwatch network – from the service the public receives, to the way the network works together to achieve change.
  • Maintaining the independence of the network and working in partnership with others to improve health and social care services.

What this means for their work

People’s feedback has helped inform the development of three aims for their future.

  1. Empowering you and your community to have your say

    We want to make sure people can access the information they need to take control of their health and care, make informed decisions and shape the services that support them.

  2. Providing a high quality Healthwatch service for you

    We want to support a consistently high quality Healthwatch service for people who want to share their views or find information about health and social care. We also want to help local Healthwatch to champion people’s views effectively and make sure that local health and social care services truly reflect people’s needs.

  3. Making sure your views help improve health and social care

    We want people’s views to drive health and social care – ensuring you get access, on an equal basis with others, to support that works for you, as well as helping to shape future services for your community.

Download “Shaping our Future”
www.healthwatch.co.uk/sites/healthwatch.co.uk/files/20171107_-_shaping_our_future.pdf

They would like to hear your views on these aims.

Have your say via the Healthwatch website
www.healthwatch.co.uk/resource/shaping-our-future