Democracy

‘Building Better Places’ report welcomed

Civic Voice - talking civic senseA House of Lords Committeee have released a report titled Building Better Places

Civic Voice have welcomed the report in a press release, emphasising the recommendations for maintaining and improving local control and community engagement in the planning process, and preservation of the historic environment:

The House of Lords Committeee on National Policy for the Built Environment have released a Report of Session 2015-16 titled Building Better Places last week. The report (which is available here) covered areas such as the recent trends in the built environment, creating better places through design, quality and standards, building for the long-term, delivering more housing and local leadership, delivery and skills. Members of the committee included Baroness Andrews, who works with Civic Voice to raise our issues in the House of Lords. (more…)

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…)

Register to Vote

  • your-vote-mattersThis May elections will take place for Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
  • The referendum on whether or not the UK should stay in or leave the European Union could take place as early as June this year.

If you are not registered to vote you will not be able to take part in these ballots.

Make sure you are counted

A review of Ashford’s electoral boundaries is due to take place this year.

Electoral ward sizes are based on the number of voters in the wards. The ward sizes can affect many issues dealt with by Ashford Borough Council.

If you are not registered to vote you won’t be counted.

Did you know?

Many organisations rely on your being on the Electoral Register as evidence of your identity.

  • In a recent example a family were not permitted to stay in planned holiday accommodation because they were not on the Electoral Register.
  • You are unlikely to be able to open a bank account, take out a loan or mortgage or get a credit card if you are not registered to vote

(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 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

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