News

Extension lead sparks fire

We add advice from Electrical Safety First to an urgent safety warning issued by firefighters after an extension lead overheated, starting a house fire in Hamstreet, near Ashford last night (Tuesday, 7 November).

The blaze was discovered by a neighbour just before 8pm who heard the smoke alarms sounding and went into the house. The occupant was not home at the time so the neighbour attempted to put the fire out, taking in smoke in the process.

Three fire engines were sent to the end-of-terrace property and arrived to find smoke billowing from the rear of the house. They gave the neighbour oxygen therapy before handing him into the care of an-off duty paramedic for precautionary checks.

Ashford Watch Manager, Kevin Surridge said: “A breathing apparatus team found a coiled up extension reel that was run to a tumble drier in a first-floor rear bedroom, had sparked the blaze.”

Firefighters made sure the fire was completely out and cleared smoke and fumes from the property using a special fan.

Kevin added: “As the weather cools down, we start to use more electrical appliances around our homes, but my advice would be to only use them when you are there, never leave them running while you’re asleep or away from your home.”

With Christmas next month, homeowners will soon be thinking about decorating their homes with lights and are asked to please keep safety in mind – don’t overload sockets, use circuit breakers and make sure extension leads are fully unwound to prevent overheating.

Kevin ended: “Just because there might be space to plug in four appliances on an extension lead, it doesn’t mean it’s always safe to do so. Make sure your home and family are safe from the devastating effects of fire this winter by having working smoke alarms and testing them regularly.”

The fire damage was limited to the room of origin, but caused extensive heat and smoke damage to the first floor.

If you have any concerns about keeping yourself or a friend or relative safe, get in touch with Kent Fire and Rescue Service by email or phone.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service 8 November 2017
www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/november-2017/extension-lead-sparks-fire-in-hamstreet-home/

Electrical Safety First Advice regarding extension leads and heaters

Extensions and cables

The more wall sockets you have in your home the less you will need an extension cable or adapter. However, many portable electrical items like lamps and radios are supplied with relatively short cables. So sometimes it is unavoidable not to have to use one, but beware of the following dangers.

  • Damaged cable, due to leads being walked over, continually bent at the same point or stored badly.
  • You can trip or fall over taut, over-stretched cable.
  • Leads on power tools frequently become tangled, leading to one of the conductors eventually failing – this could cause danger.
  • Overuse of multi-way adapters or adapter blocks, which increases the risk of fire

An extension lead should only be used when it is not possible to reach a wall socket with the equipment cable. When the use of an extension cable is unavoidable – follow these simple suggestions:

  • Only use an extension lead which was bought ready-assembled.
  • We recommend that no extension lead be more than 15 metres long.
  • Only use extension leads fitted with suitably insulated connectors and plugs. (Never join two lengths of flexible cable by twisting the bare ends of wires together.)
  • Position an extension lead carefully to prevent any risk of damage.
  • If the cable has to cross a pathway, cover it with a rubber protector strip.
  • Always check that leads, plugs and sockets are undamaged.
  • Always check the extension lead plug contains the correctly rated fuse for the equipment being used.
  • If using a cable drum extension lead, it should be completely unwound to avoid overheating.
  • For general use, 2-core extension leads should not be used.

www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/around-the-home/extensions-and-leads/

Electric heaters

  • Never leave portable heaters unattended
  • Never leave them on whilst sleeping
  • Ensure that they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over
  • Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains
  • Never buy second hand halogen heaters
  • Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead – these can easily be overloaded and cause fires
  • Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged, don’t use it

www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2014/11/playing-with-fire-consumers-are-risking-lives-by-using-portable-heaters-incorrectly/

Romney Marsh Road Closure – 31st October

A2042 Romney Marsh Road, Ashford Temporary prohibition of drivingKent County Council

A2042 Romney Marsh Road, Ashford

Temporary prohibition of driving

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 — Section 14 (2) as amended by
The Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991

Kent County Council gives notice that A2042 Romney Marsh Road, Ashford will be closed to through traffic, on 31“ October 2017 for one night.

The road will be closed between Kimberley Way Roundabout and Newtown Road Roundabout.

The alternative route is via Norman Road, Beaver Road, Beaver Lane, Brookfield Road, Leacon Road and Victoria Road.

It is planned that the road will be closed between 19:00 hours and 05:00 hours.
It is estimated the works will be compiete by midnight.

The closure is necessary to enable urgent carriageway repairs to be carried out by Kent County Council.

South Ashford charities bid for Community Fund grants

Two charities based in South Ashford are bidding for grants from the Aviva Community Fund. Both Homestart Ashford and Beaver Community Trust have submitted bids.

You increase the likelihood of these projects winning funding by registering and giving up to 10 votes for the projects you would like to receive funding – either share the votes between the two local charities or give all ten votes to either one of them.

The description of the bids and links to vote are given below: (more…)

KMFRA Safety and Wellbeing Plan and Budget Consultation

Kent Fire and Rescue LogoSafety and Wellbeing Plan 2018

Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority

Opens: 23 October 2017
Closes: 14 January 2018

The Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority (KMFRA) has published its Safety and Wellbeing Plan for 2018 and is consulting the public on the plan and Council Tax for 2018/19.

The plan outlines the work of Kent Fire and Rescue Service and what it aims to achieve over the coming year.  Prevention remains a top priority for the Service.  This includes continuing to provide fire safety and other advice, such as how to stay warm in the winter, to the most vulnerable in the county such as frail elderly people and those with disabilities.  We are also looking to provide extra support to those living in sheltered accommodation through advice to the elderly residents and those managing the buildings.

Alongside the plan KMFRA is consulting on the level of Council Tax for next year.  As a result of a planned approach the Authority has managed to make the necessary savings, whilst still maintaining good emergency cover across the county, investment in frontline services and new technology to help crews fight fires more effectively.

The 2018/19 Council Tax options being consulted on are:

  • Option one – a 0% increase
  • Option two – an increase of just under 2% for a Band D household – that is an increase of less than 3p a week per household.  This option would allow the Authority to continue with its plan to deliver an efficient and effective service to local people whilst being able to make planned efficiency savings in a way that would have least impact on service delivery
  • Option three – an increase of over 2%, if there is flexibility to do so within the referendum limit (the Government has not yet confirmed if it will limit the amount by which local authorities can increase Council Tax without a costly referendum – last year it was 2%).  Each 1% increase amounts to around 1p a week for a band D household.

Main document

Title
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018.pdf (910KB)

Consultation survey

Supporting information

Title
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 – Review of Impacts of 2nd pump moves.pdf (1.62MB)
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 – Risk Profile Update 2017.pdf (7.42MB)
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 – Review of Impacts of Emergency Medical Response.pdf (534KB)
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2016/18 – Ashford Risk Profile (5.97MB)
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2016/18 – Ashford Operational Activity Analysis (3.74MB)

Take part in our consultation

Give us your views on the Authority’s Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 and the Council Tax consultation for 2018/19.

Please complete the survey, which includes the text of the Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018, before 9am on 15 January 2018.

You can also download a copy of the Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 and all the supporting documentation using the links on the right-hand side of this page.

The outcomes of the consultation will be reported to the meeting of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority to be held on 13 February 2018.

If you have any questions about the Safety and Wellbeing Plan or would like a paper copy of the report documents or survey sent to you, please:

Safety and Wellbeing Plan
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
FREEPOST NAT 9369
Maidstone
ME15 6BR

Addendums

As part of the consultation process, we have committed to correcting information which is highlighted to us as not being clear, or is incorrect.

KCC Infant Feeding Support Consultation relaunched

Kent County CouncilCommunity Infant Feeding Support

Kent County Council

Opens: 23 Oct 2017
Closes: 3 Dec 2017

The consultation, originally launched on 18th July, has been reviewed and is relaunched here as outlined in Paul Carter’s statement posted on the Kent County Council consultation page on 4 August.

We would like to hear your views on proposed changes to how Community Infant Feeding Support is provided in Kent. Currently generic support is provided by the Health Visiting Service and specialist support is provided by PS Breastfeeding CIC.

The proposed model is that from 1st April 2018 the Health Visiting Service (provided by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT)) will deliver all infant feeding support.   In designing the proposed model, Kent County Council has looked to ensure that families are still able to access the support they need, at the same time as making best use of the existing professional skills and resources within the Health Visiting service.

KCC is confident that Health Visitors can now deliver generic and specialist breastfeeding services in addition to the mandatory universal contacts and support it provides, and therefore does not wish to commission provision which duplicates the health visiting offer. (more…)

Modelling Advanced Fee Fraud Alert

Action FraudThe National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed that Fraudsters have been setting up fake adverts on social media (including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and job browsing websites to dupe people into believing they are recruiting for prospective models.
Once victims show interest in the job, the fraudsters contact potential victims on the false promise of a modelling career and subsequently advise the victims to come in for a test shoot.

The fraud can then potentially be carried out in two ways;

Firstly, the fraudsters can pressurise the victims in sending an upfront fee to book a slot for the test shoot. Once they have received the upfront fee, the victim will never hear from the fraudsters again.

The second possible method is that the fraudsters will take the advance fee that the victim sends for a photo shoot and arrange a photo shoot with the victim. After the photo shoot, the fraudsters will contact the victim after a few days and convince them that their shoot was successful and offer them a job as a model. The victim will then be asked to sign a contract and pay another upfront fee, usually to secure the modelling contract.

Fraudsters are also creating fake adverts for supposed modelling opportunities for children which do not exist. Fraudsters will inform parents or guardians that a potential career in modelling awaits their child. This tactic convinces the parent or guardian to sign up their child and send an advance fee.

The suspects will also convince the victim that in order to become a model, they will need to have a portfolio. The fraudsters will recommend a number of packages and stress that if a package is not paid for in advance, the process of becoming a model cannot continue.

Over a two year period (September 2015 – August 2017), an average of 28 reports of advance fee modelling frauds have been received per month by the NFIB. In August 2017, 49 Action Fraud reports of this fraud type were received and may continue to rise. The total loss in August 2017 alone was over £71,000.

Tips for staying safe:
Carry out your own research prior to paying any type of advance or upfront fee.

Be wary if you are asked to pay for a portfolio, as many legitimate agencies will cover that cost.

Don’t give your bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on the relevant agency.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Burnt to a crisp

Kent Fire and Rescue LogoKent Fire and Rescue Service responded to reports of a kitchen fire in Ashford at 9.30am this morning, .

Two fire engines rushed to the first floor maisonette in Brookfield Road and found that the cooker had inadvertently been switched on, setting light to a multipack box of crisps that had been left on the hob.

Ashford Watch Manager, Kevin Surridge said: “The household left their home but the man and woman went back inside after borrowing a fire extinguisher from a neighbour. They were given oxygen as the scene before being handed into the care of South East Coast Ambulance Service.”

Two firefighters in breathing apparatus used a hose reel to damp down the small fire and a special fan to clear the smoke.

Kevin added: “This incident highlights the need to take extra care in the kitchen, please don’t use your cooker as an extra storage space. If you have an electric hob it’s worth switching it off at the power socket when not in use, especially if you have young children or pets in the house who might knock the switch on accidentally.”

The small fire caused minor smoke damage throughout the maisonette and fire crews left the property just before 11am.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service 18 October 2017
www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/october-2017/burnt-to-a-crisp/

Protect yourself and others from abuse

Stop Adult AbuseWith each kind of abuse, neglect, undue pressure or assault, there is often someone who knows it is happening or suspects that something is wrong. Please use the contact numbersbelow to report abuse or seek advice if you feel you are being abused, or think somebody is at risk of harm or abuse. You can ask someone you trust to help you.

If possible, let the person who is being abused know help is available and include them in the decision to seek help. You could share this leaflet with them, unless doing so may place them at further risk.

What happens after abuse is reported?

If you report abuse:

  • Every report of abuse is taken seriously.
  • You will be listened to and asked to provide information about the situation.
  • You will be encouraged to give your name to enable your concerns to be followed up.
  • Professionals will make enquires about the concerns.

They will contact the adult at risk to involve them in the safeguarding process wherever possible, unless to do so may place them at further risk initially.

If you think you or another person is at risk of harm or abuse

please contact 03000 41 61 61 NGT Service 18001 03000 41 61 61

Outside of normal office hours: 03000 41 91 91 NGT Service 18001 03000 41 91 91

If someone is in immediate risk contact the emergency services on 999

For further information go to:  www.kent.gov.uk/adultprotection

#StopAbuseKent

KCC Budget Strategy 2018/19

Draft Budget Strategy 2018/19

Kent County Council

Opens: 12 Oct 2017
Closes: 3 Dec 2017

Kent County Council provides a huge range of essential services to the people of Kent and when times are tough it is more important than ever to spend your money wisely. The Councillors you elect have some big decisions ahead and we would value your advice and suggestions before taking them. We’d like to hear your views on these challenges as the council sets its budget for next year (April 2018 to March 2019).

John Simmonds MBE, Cabinet Member for Finance, explains the challenges we face in this short video:

KCC Budget 2017 from Kent County Council on Vimeo.

£933m spent on services in 2017/18How we are funded

Funding for our budget comes from many sources in addition to Council Tax, including grants from central government.

Each year we set a budget to decide how much we’re able spend on services for Kent residents and businesses for the next financial year and how much income we need from Government and local taxation to fund this.

£589m savings made over the last 7 years

Our priorities

We prioritise spending on services that make sure children and young people get the best start in life, that communities feel the benefit of economic growth, and that support vulnerable residents to live independently.

Our strategic statement annual report gives details of how we are ensuring every pound spent in Kent is delivering better outcomes for Kent’s residents, communities and businesses.

£62.5m funding gap 2017/18 to 2018/19The Big Challenge

In recent years the amount of money available from Government has been decreasing while demand and cost for council services has been increasing. We expect this trend to continue in coming years.

Since 2010 we have made savings of £589 million to offset these challenges and continue to protect and invest in services. These savings have focussed on the transformation of services, which means delivering better outcomes at lower cost, and working in more efficient ways. This has allowed us to continue to protect frontline services.

We have less funding from Government but there is increased pressure on spending as a result of rising demand for services, inflation and the living wage. This means that despite the £589m savings we have already made, we still have considerable savings to find now in the years to come.

2018/19 consultation documents

2017/18 budget

Have your say on our 2018/19 budget

We are asking questions about:

  • Council Tax
  • budget strategy (how KCC plans for the future)
  • how aware people are about the financial challenge most councils face.

There is also an opportunity to give any general views or suggestions you may have.

To make sure you have all the information to help you give an informed response, we have prepared a short summary to be read before answering the questions.

Take part in our consultation

The consultation closes on 3 December 2017.