Environment

HLF Funding for Victoria Park

Hubert FountainA bid by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has led to the award of £ 167,000, as the first stage of a proposal for £ 3.2 million, from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund England’s Parks for People programme. The funds will be used toward the development stage of the Council’s Victoria Park and Watercess Fields Masterplan.

Chris Dixon,  Arts and Cultural Industry Manager at ABC, commented to South Ashford Community Forum, when the application was submitted, “The priority for the programme is to conserve the existing heritage of the designated park, intending to make a significant difference to heritage, people and communities in the area. It is a two stage application process. The first stage is to develop a more detailed second round proposal. We are at the very earliest point, with no confirmed detailed plans, but have an ambition to:

  • refurbish the Hubert fountain and piazza;
  • reintroduce or recognise lost cultural and natural heritage elements;
  • provide a volunteers compound and other community facilities; and
  • put in place a range of community events and activities including a new ‘Friends Group’ etc.

The award follows the signing of a number of Section 106 agreements that allocate nearly £ 470,000, due to be paid on occupation of local developments.

Parks face threat of decline with severe consequences

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee report on public parks warns that parks are at a tipping point and face a period of decline with potentially severe consequences unless their vital contribution to areas such as public health, community integration and climate change mitigation is recognised.

Councils should publish strategic plans

The Public parks report highlights considerable challenges for the sector including reduced council spending, with parks management budgets cut by up to 97 per cent, the need for parks to compete with other services for funding, and planning policy not giving them enough weight, particularly as a result of pressures to increase housing supply.

The Committee call on councils to publish strategic plans, which recognise the value of parks beyond leisure and recreation and set out how they will be managed to maximise their contribution to wider local authority agendas, such as promoting healthy lifestyles, tackling social exclusion and managing flood risk. It is hoped these plans will open up parks to support and funding beyond their usual budgets and service areas.

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has included improvement to parks and open space in its corporate plan
www.ashford.gov.uk/the-five-year-corporate-plan-for-aspiration-action-and-achievement-2015-2020

The Victoria Park and Watercress Fields Masterplan was adopted by ABC’s Cabinet on 10 March 2016 
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2016/03/04/victoria-park-masterplan/
(more…)

KCC Freight Action Plan Consultation

Freight Action Plan Front CoverFreight Action Plan for Kent

Kent County Council

Opens: 16 Jan 2017
Closes: 12 Mar 2017

Introduction

Kent is unique in its strategic location in the country as a gateway to mainland Europe. Despite the positive economic benefits road freight brings to the county and UK, the negative implications are felt across the county. The Freight Action Plan for Kent includes nationally and locally important priorities such as Operation Stack and the provision of overnight lorry parking as well as looking into HGV routeing and the powers that KCC can use to reduce the negative impacts of road freight. The plan incorporates a refresh of the original Freight Action Plan but brings it up to date with what we have already achieved and what we will plan and continue to do to mitigate the negative impacts of road freight in Kent. (more…)

Eat well and win £1000 to spend at Evans Cycles

Change4Life LogoHeart Breakfast’s James and Becky have teamed up with Kent County Council to support Change4Life, helping to keep families fit and eating healthy this winter and give you the chance to win £1,000 to spend on new bikes and accessories!

Change4Life is all about developing healthier eating habits – swapping naughty treats for healthy snacks, cutting down on sugar and trying to banish saturated fat.

So why not try and get lots of tasty fruit and veg into your diet this winter and make the family more active? Wrap up warm and head to the park, take the dog for a crisp morning walk, jump on your bikes at the weekends or have a kick about in the garden. Don’t be a couch potato this season, get outside and have fun!

Keep your eyes peeled for the Get Up And Go characters on TV too as they can help you and your whole family make small changes this winter – meaning when it comes to it, you’ll know how to make good choices.

Find out more here including healthy lunchbox ideas, fun ways to get active and more to get your family to Change4Life!

Win £1,000 to spend on Bikes and Accessories at Evans Cycles!

Watch Heart Breakfast’s James and Becky and vote for your favourite healthy recipe on the form below*, and you could be winning a whopping £1,000 to spend on bikes and accessories thanks to Evans Cycles in Maidstone!

https://promo.heart.co.uk/change4life/index.php

Christmas Recycling & Refuse Collections

During the festive period, your recycling and refuse collections may take place on different days. Check the calendar below.

Ashford Borough Council are giving every household in the borough one additional recycling bag this Christmas! You will receive a plastic envelope which has all your 2016/17 Christmas collection dates on it, and inside you will find one clear plastic bag for you to put additional Christmas recycling in. Simply place your clean Christmas recycling in the clear bag and leave it next to your recycling bin on collection day

Week Normal collection day Revised collection day
Recycling Mon 26 Dec Wed 28 Dec
Tues 27 Dec Thurs 29 Dec
Wed 28 Dec Fri 30 Dec
Thurs 29 Dec Sat 31 Dec
 Fri 30 Dec Tues 3 Jan
Refuse  Mon 2 Jan Fri 13 Jan
 Tues 3 Jan Thurs 5 Jan
 Wed 4 Jan Fri 6 Jan
 Thurs 5 Jan Sat 7 Jan
 Fri 6 Jan Mon 9 Jan
Recycling  Mon 9 Jan Tues 10 Jan
 Tues 10 Jan Wed 11 Jan
 Wed 11 Jan Thurs 12 Jan
 Thurs 12 Jan Fri 13 Jan
 Fri 13 Jan Sat 14 Jan

Collections will resume normal service on Monday 16 January 2017.

All refuse and recycling should be out for colleclion by 6am over Chrislmas and New Year. Please note collections may lake place up la one day laler than shown.

There will be no garden or bulk colleclions for two weeks; w/c 26/12/16 and w/c 02/01/17.

The clinical colleclion service will be moved from Mon 26 Dec to Tues 27 Dec. All olher clinical collections will remain lhe same.

www.ashford.gov.uk/christmas-collection-dates

Sustainable

Everyone – I’ll minimise the amount I drive, or not drive at all. I’ll get about by walking, cycling or public transport as much as I can, for road safety, the environment and my health.

Driver advice: sustainable

#brakepledge
#roadsafetyweek

Why go eco?

By choosing sustainable travel, we can all help to reduce the road safety, public health, environmental and economic costs to society of our over-reliance on cars. Fewer cars on the road mean fewer road deaths and injuries, less congestion, less emissions and more pleasant, sociable communities.

Whether it’s doing the school run on foot or bike, walking to the local shop instead of driving to the supermarket, or taking public transport to work instead of driving, incorporating active and sustainable travel into your routine can be really simple, and it’s a great way to stay active, save money, and do your bit for the environment.

Use Brake’s carbon footprint calculator to see the environmental impact of your driving.
Share their interactive resource to spread the ‘Drive less, live more’ message. 

Do you need to drive?

GO20-Cars

Two-thirds (64%) of all UK journeys and 40% of journeys less than two miles are made by car, many of which could be made on foot or bike, or by public transport. While each trip may not seem like much, it all adds up to a lot of unnecessary car use.

For each journey you make by car, ask yourself if there’s a more sustainable and healthy option. If it’s a short journey, could you walk or cycle? You can use Sustrans’ website to explore walking and cycling routes in your area and work out the safest, most pleasant way to get to your destination on foot or bike. Get into the habit of leaving the car at home for these shorter journeys and you’ll spend less money on petrol and feel healthier for the exercise – plus you’ll be helping to make your area a nicer, less polluted place.

For longer journeys could you take a bus, train or coach instead? If you book in advance, the cost of tickets can often work out cheaper than what you’d spend on petrol and you can sit back and relax without the stress of driving. You can look up public transport options by region at www.traveline.info/.

Commuting

If you drive to and from work, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to switch to a sustainable commute, which may be quicker, cheaper, healthier and less stressful. Research shows that people who commute by walking and cycling better able to concentrate and are less stressed. Look online at your local travel information to see what sustainable transport options you have, including bus routes, train services and safe cycle paths.

If you want to cycle to work but don’t own a bike, find out if your employer participates in the government’s Cycle to Work initiative, which allows you to purchase a new bike (and related equipment like cycle paths) tax-free, and pay monthly straight from your salary. If they aren’t signed up to the scheme, direct a relevant member of staff to details of the benefits to employers and encourage them to sign up. Read Brake’s advice on cycling.

Safe cycling

GO20Cyclist

Cycling is healthy, low-cost and environmentally friendly way to travel. Go to Brake’s cycling advice pages for further information on how to keep safe while cycling.

If you have to drive

If there are journeys that you have to make by car, there are some simple steps you can take to minimise the negative impacts of this on you and the people around you:

  • Make the Brake Pledge, a simple six point pledge to help keep you and others safe on the road and prevent needless tragedies.
  • Keep to a lower speed and avoid harsh braking and acceleration to produce fewer emissions and improve fuel efficiency. In particular, slow down to 20mph or below in built up areas, even where the speed limit is 30. It’s unlikely to affect your journey time significantly, but it will mean your car is less polluting because there is less speeding up and slowing down, and  it will mean you’re helping to make roads safer for people on foot and bike. See our advice on speed.
  • The same principle applies on faster roads. For each 5mph you drive over 60mph, you use 7% more fuel. Slower is not only safer, but it’s better for the environment and will save you money on petrol
  • Plan your journeys more efficiently. If you have a number of errands to do or journeys to make, can they be combined into the same trip? Make sure you still allow plenty of time for driving at safe, slow speeds, possible hold-ups, and breaks every two hours.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. A well maintained vehicle produces fewer emissions and is more fuel efficient. Simple things like keeping your tyres well inflated, cleaning or replacing dirty air and fuel filters, and regularly changing your oil can improve fuel efficiency. Read our advice on vehicle maintenance.

Brake driver advice: sustainable
www.brake.org.uk/schools-communities/make-the-brake-pledge/27-whats-happening/1285-driver-advice-sustainable

Make the Brake Pledge

Make the Brake PledgeBrake’s vision is a world where streets are pleasant, unpolluted, and safe for everyone to use freely. Sign the Pledge and help make our
vision a reality.

Safer roads

Every day 5 people die on UK roads, and over 60 are seriously injured – every one causes needless devastation, trauma and suffering.

Brake is asking everyone to help end this needless suffering by spreading the word in Road Safety Week about the life-saving importance of the Pledge.

www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/pledge

#brakepledge
#roadsafetyweek

About Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, coordinated annually by Brake and involving thousands of schools, organisations and communities each year.

Brake is a road safety charity that works to prevent road death and injury, make streets and communities safer, and supports the victims of road crashes. Brake founded Road Safety Week in 1997 as an annual event to raise awareness about road safety and promote steps that everyone can take to stop these needless deaths and injuries year-round.

Road Safety Week aims to inspire communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages during the Week and beyond. It also provides a focal point for professionals working in road safety to boost awareness and engagement in their work.

All sorts of people get involved – nurseries, schools, youth clubs, army bases, community campaigners, employers, sports clubs, fire officers, local authorities, paramedics, driving instructors …. you name it!

Pilgrims Ashford Christmas tree collections

Raffles the bear is looking forward to helping with Pilgrims Ashford Christmas Tree Collections again this year!

Raffles the bear is looking forward to helping with Pilgrims Ashford Christmas Tree Collections again this year!

Ashford Borough Council residents can recycle their real trees again this year with Pilgrims Hospices ‘Tree Recycling’ Christmas tree collections.

Just register your details and, in return for a chosen donation to the hospice, we will visit your home in the new year to pick up your tree.

Give to charity; get rid of your Christmas tree

Every £20 raised by the hospice scheme could cover the cost of 1 hour’s care from a Pilgrims nurse – on the ward, in patients’ own homes or in the community.

Christmas tree collections: dates

Doorstep collections take place across the Ashford Borough on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January 2017.

Contact Pilgrims Hospice Ashford for more information on 01233 504111 or click here to register online. (more…)

Recycle smarter!

Biffa staff will continue to check what is being placed in recycling bins to try and ensure that the loads collected are clean and can be recycled. If Biffa find an unrecyclable item in your recycling bin, the crew will not collect it for that week. Your recycling bin will be collected upon your next recycling collection, provided the correct items are present.

Read the tops tips and useful information below to make sure you’re recycling smart.Do not line your recycling container with bags

  • Do not put carrier bags/plastic sacks of items into your green recycling bin. Carrier bags and plastic sacks themselves cannot be recycled as part of this service.
  • Sanitary waste items such as nappies are not recyclable. Please place them in your grey refuse bin.
  • Food waste packaging should be emptied of its contents and rinsed before placing in your green recycling bin.
  • Garden waste should be placed in your brown recycling bin – not the green recycling bin.
  • Do not put dark plastic food trays (from microwave meals for example), or crisp packets in your green recycling bin. Please place them in your grey refuse bin.

Public Spaces Protection Order consultation

ABC Crest

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 7 November 2016
Closes: 28th November 2016

Introduction

Ashford Borough Council has launched a consultation on the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) for four areas within the borough. The consultation began at 9am on Monday 7th November 2016 and runs until midnight on Monday 28th November 2016.

PSPOs allow councils to tackle ant-isocial behaviour which takes place in a specific, geographical area (as opposed to criminal behaviour orders and injunctions which are directed at individuals). A PSPO is tailored for defined activities, meaning that anyone carrying them out in an area under one of these orders can be prosecuted.

The areas within the consultation have been identified by the council, police reports and complaints received from local residents for nuisance issues. Examples of these include anti-social behaviour, drinking and urinating in public.

The four proposed areas are; the churchyard in the Ashford town centre, the Coney Bear site in South Ashford, the town centre and Singleton Lake. (more…)