News

Christmas Recycling and Refuse Collections

A reminder that during the festive period your recycling and refuse collection days will be altered. Check out the Calendar below for the changes.

WeekNormal Collection DayRevised Collection Day
RecyclingMon 21 DecemberMon 21 December
Tue 22 DecemberTue 22 December
Wed 23 DecemberWed 23 December
Thu 24 DecemberThu 24 December
Fri 25 DecemberMon 28 December
RefuseMon 28 DecemberTue 29 December
Tue 29 DecemberWed 30 December
Wed 30 DecemberThu 31 December
Thu 31 DecemberSat 2 January
Fri 1 JanuaryMon 4 January
RecyclingMon 4 JanuaryTue 5 January
Tue 5 JanuaryWed 6 January
Wed 6 JanuaryThu 7 January
Thu 7 JanuaryFri 8 January
Fri 8 JanuarySat 9 January
Mon 11 JanuaryNormal Service resumes

There will be no garden waste collection over the Christmas period.

Side waste, ie textiles, small electricals or batteries still cannot be collected.

Stagecoach Christmas Service update

Stagecoach logo

With amended services running over the festive period, check Stagecoach Christmas timetables before you travel.

Please plan ahead as some services may be busier than normal and try to take the most direct route available.

There’s great value travel for all! Kids go for just £1    with any adult ticket or concession pass and for travel after 6pm there’s our unlimited ‘eveningrider‘ ticket for just £3 on the Stagecoach Bus App.

This year will feel a bit different, but Stagecoacj are planning to run a variety of bus services on Boxing Day (subject to any local lock-down restrictions). Checkout the links to the Boxing Day bus timetables below.

Monday 21 – Wednesday 23 DecemberNormal school holiday service
Thursday 24 December (Christmas Eve)Normal school holiday service but some early finishes -see below for more information
Friday 25 December (Christmas Day)No service
Saturday 26 December (Boxing Day) No buses on Ashford routes.
Sunday 27 DecemberNormal Sunday service
Monday 28 December Normal Bank Holiday (Sunday) service
Tuesday 29 – Wednesday 30 December Normal school holiday service
Thursday 31 December (New Years Eve) Normal school holiday service but early finishes- see below for more information.
Friday 1 January (New Year’s Day) No service
Saturday 2 January Normal Saturday service
Sunday 3 JanuaryNormal Sunday service
From Monday 4 January Normal school day service

Buses that finish early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve,

Route AD – The last bus is 20:55 from Bank Street.

Route B – The last bus is 20:45 from Kennington and 20:42 from Bridgefield.

Route C – The last bus will leave Ashford Int’l Rail Station at 21:06, from Lees Road at 21:25 and William Harvey Hospital at 21:31.

Route G – The 23:20 from Ashford Int’l Rail Station to Godinton Park will not run.

You must not leave or be outside of your home or garden except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’.

Stay safe when you travel

Remember, unless you’re exempt, you must wear a face covering throughout your journey. Please use contactless payment where you can, keep your distance from other passengers and take your litter with you.

Travelling is easier with the Stagecoach Bus App

Did you know we’ve added colour-coded buses to our live map in the app?
It’s great to help you find the quieter times to travel.

Download the app

Customer Help Hub Opening Times

Email Stagecoach at CustomerHelpSE@stagecoachbus.com 
(Mon – Fri not including Bank Hols, 09:00-17:00)

Tweet them at @StagecoachSE
(Mon – Fri not including Bank Hols, 09:00-17:00)

Call us on 03456 00 22 99
(Mon – Fri not including Bank Hols, 10:00-12:00 & 13:00-15:00)

Follow them on Instagram @Proud2Serve_SE

You can reach the Stagecoach help hub team up to 3pm on Christmas Eve. They reopen on Tuesday 29 December until 3pm on Thursday 31 December then reopen on Monday 4 January 2021.

Need more information or have a question?
Click here for Stagecoach  Help & Contact   services. 

Stagecoach UK Bus
https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/south-east/christmas-and-new-year-bus-times

Kent in Tier 4

The whole of Kent is now under the new Tier 4 (Stay at Home) Coronavirus rules.

You must stay at home other than for specified reasons.

The restrictions apply throughout the the Christmas period.
You cannot participate in a Christmas Bubble.

Meeting Friends and FamilyWork and BusinessEducation
No household mixing, aside from support bubbles and two people meeting in public outdoor spacesEveryone must work from home unless they are unable to do so.Early years settings, schools, colleges and universities open during term time. Registered childcare, other supervised activities for childcare purposes, and childcare bubbles permitted
ExerciseRetailPersonal Care
You can leave your home to exercise by yourself, with your household or support bubble, or with one person from another household. Outdoor sport allowed but gatherings limit applies except for youth and disabled sport.Essential shops can open. Non-essential retail must close and can only open for click-and-collect and delivery.Closed
Bars, Pubs and RestaurantsIndoor LeisureEntertainment
Hospitality closed, aside from sales by takeaway, drive-through or delivery.ClosedIndoor entertainment closed. Some outdoor attractions may remain open.
TravellingAccommodationOvernight Stays
You must stay at home and only travel for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. if you must travel, you should stay local, and reduce the number of journeys you make. You must not leave a Tier 4 area or stay overnight away from home. Residents in Tiers 1 — 3 should not enter ‘Fer 4 areas. Do not travel abroad if you live in a Tier 4 area unless an exemption applies.Closed (with limited exceptions)You must not stay overnight away from home. Limited exceptions apply.
Places of WorshipWeddings and Funerals
Open for private prayer and communal worship, but cannot interact with anyone outside household or support bubble.Funerals of up to 30 people permitted
Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to six.
Weddings of up to six can continue in exceptional circumstances.
Residential CareClinically Extremely Vulnerable
You can visit relatives in care homes with COVID-secure arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits.The Clinically Extremely Vuinerable are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments.

Clairvoyant and Psychic Scams

Stop the Scammers

Our second post for Friends Against Scams’ Scamnesty Month, raising awareness of scams, focusses on Clairvoyant/Psychic scams.

Have you received post out of the blue telling you that you need to purchase a ‘lucky’ charm for protection?

Have you received post saying wonderful things have been seen in your future – all you need to make it come true is to send money or purchase an item?

If you or loved ones receive letters, emails, phone calls like this or are told this face to face, be warned it is a scam.

Find out more about Scams

ARE YOU or someone you know, inundated with scam mail? Tempted to respond to it? Keen to help track down the criminals behind scams and help put a stop to their activities?

IF YES to any of the above then why not become a Scam Marshal for National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team.

To get advice or report a scam contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline or telephone 0808 223 1133
Report a Scam

Kent County Council Public Protection

Lottery/prize draw scams

Friends Against Scams are running a Scamnesty Month to raise awareness of scams. This week they are focussing on Lotteries and prize Draws.

Lottery/prize draw scams say you’ve won a large amount of money. They may tell you to keep it a secret & pressure you to respond quickly.

If you or loved ones receive letters like this, be warned it is a scam.

Read how to protect yourself from Lottery/prize draw scams

Find out more about Scams

ARE YOU or someone you know, inundated with scam mail? Tempted to respond to it? Keen to help track down the criminals behind scams and help put a stop to their activities?

IF YES to any of the above then why not become a Scam Marshal for National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team.

To get advice or report a scam contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline or telephone 0808 223 1133
Report a Scam

Homeplus application deferred again.

Members of Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee have again, this evening, deferred making a decision on a proposal to redevelop the Homeplus site at the junction of Beaver Road and Avenue Jacques Faucheux.

The application was originally considered by the Committee on 17th June 2020 when the Committee voted to defer a decision ‘for Officers to seek clarification and scheme amendments as necessary from the applicant to deal with … … improvements to the overall quality of design across the whole site based on Members’ comments on design issues …’

The application was due to be considered again on 16th September but was withdrawn from the agenda to address Habitat Regulations matters – believed to relate to the potential impact arising from excessive nutrients from waste water discharges on wetland sites at Stodmarsh.

At this evening’s Committee Meeting the Committee again deferred the application because they considered that the applicants had not fully addressed the issues raised at the June meeting.

Members also expressed concern that all developer’s Section 106 obligations would be deferred as the development did not meet nationally set viability limits.

Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Consultation

Kent County Council, Kent and Medway CCG

Kent’s Strategy for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 2021-2024

Opened: 02 December 2020
Closes: 04 February 2021

Kent County Council and the NHS in Kent and Medway are keen to hear your views and opinions about their new special educational needs and disabilities strategy for children and young people in Kent.

The strategy sets out our ambitions to make sure that all children in Kent have equal access to support and education that meets their unique needs and that they and their families are supported to live their best life.

It also explains how we will shape our services for children and their families in a way that improves wellbeing, resilience and learning in our communities.

The strategy has been prepared jointly by Kent County Council and the NHS in partnership with children and young people, parents and carers, Kent PACT and other key stakeholders.

We recommend you read the draft Strategy before completing the questionnaire using the link at the bottom of the post.

Consultation Documents

Supporting Documents

Respond

Kent County Council
kccconsultations.inconsult.uk/consult.ti/sendstrategyconsultation/consultationHome

ABC Consult on new homes in Harper Road

Ashford Borough Council

Harper Road Development

Open: 26 November 2020
Closes: 15 January 2021

Ashford Borough Council are consulting on a proposal to demolish 24 council owned garages in Harper Road and construct 4 houses.

The Council are holding an online consultation in place of a consultation event at a local public venue due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Following the consultation the Council will consider comments received and where possible adapt the proposals before they are submitted as a full planning application.

The proposal is for four x 2-bedroom houses. The intention is that they will be allocated to people on ABC’s housing waiting list needing social and affordable rental homes. ABC aim to set affordable rent levels on these homes that are around 60-80% of market rent levels in the area. This is to ensure the homes are genuinely affordable to those who are housed in them. These levels will be within the Local Housing Allowance.

ABC anticipate, that subject to obtaining the relevant planning permissions, work would begin on site within a year and that the build time will be around eight months.

The video below explains the development.

Further information and the opportunity to take part in the consultation can found on the ABC Consultation portal at
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/consult.ti/harperroad/consultationHome

South Ashford Community Forum would be prepared to host an online resident’s meeting. Please contact us if you would like to attend such a meeting.

Kent: Tier 3 Coronavirus Alert

The UK Government has allocated Tier 3 Alert level to the whole of Kent and Medway, despite Ashford having only 126 cases per 100,000 population at 26 November 2020, compared with the national average of 201 cases per 100,000 1.

The following is a summary of restrictions that will apply to Kent and Medway from 2nd December:

Meeting Friends and Family

No mixing of households indoors, or most outdoor places, apart from support bubbles.

Maximum of six in some outdoor public spaces (e.g. parks, sports courts, public gardens).

Bars, pubs and restaurants

Hospitality is closed, with the exception of sales by takeaway, drive-through or delivery.

Retail

Open

Entertainment

Indoor venues closed

Personal Care

Open

Travel

Avoid travelling out of the area, other than where necessary such as for work, education, youth services, medical attention or because of caring
responsibilities.

Reduce the number of journeys made where possible.

Overnight stays

No overnight stays outside of local area, unless necessary for work, education or similar reasons.

Accommodation

Closed (with limited exceptions such as work purposes or where people cannot return home)

Work and business

Everyone who can work from home should do so.

Education

Early years settings, schools, colleges & universities open.

Registered childcare, other supervised activities for children and childcare bubbles permitted.

Places of worship

Open, but cannot interact with anyone outside household or support bubble.

Weddings and funerals

15 guests for weddings, civil partnerships and wakes; 30 for funerals.

Wedding receptions not permitted.

Exercise

Classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but people should avoid higher-risk contact activity.

Group exercise activities and sports indoors should not take place, unless with household or bubble.

Organised activities for elite athletes, under-18s and disabled people can continue.

Indoor leisure e.g gyms and swimming

Open

Large Events – Elite Sport, Live Performances & Business

Events should not take place; Drive-in events permitted.

Cabinet Office: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-winter-plan/covid-19-winter-plan

1. Kent County Council

Action Fraud warn of ‘too good to be true’ Black Friday deals

Action Fraud is warning the public to take extra care when shopping online, ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as shoppers search for bargains and gifts for loved ones in the run up to Christmas.

Action Fraud launched its #FraudFreeXmas campaign with a stark warning about ‘too good to be true’ Black Friday deals. Figures reveal reports of online shopping fraud have surged by 30% over the pandemic as many of us continue to shop online in light of current restrictions.

Figures from Action Fraud show that criminals conned 17,405 shoppers out of almost £13.5 million over the Christmas period last year, an increase of over 20% when compared to the same period in 2018.

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said:

“Christmas is an incredibly busy time for us all. Many shoppers get caught up in the excitement of Black Friday, so it can be easy to rush into making a quick purchase online to secure a bargain.

“Unfortunately, criminals will see this as an ideal opportunity to take advantage of shoppers and will tempt them with the promise of cheap deals.

“We advise that you’re cautious of where and who you’re buying from. Our figures show that most scams last year involved mobile phones and electronics, so always shop with official retailers and don’t be enticed by deals that seem too good to be true. Where possible, use a credit card when shopping online as this will offer you more protection if anything goes wrong.

“Follow our simple advice to enjoy shopping online safely and ensure you’re not left empty handed this Christmas.”

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale events last year (25th November 2019 – 8th December 2019), over £3 million was lost to criminals as shoppers reported buying mobile phones (15%), vehicles (9%) and electronics (8%), on sites such as Facebook, eBay and Gumtree, only to have the items never arrive.

Over half of victims were male (55%) aged 20 to 29 (19%) residing in cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds and Bristol.

This year, Action Fraud will highlight a different type of fraud, and provide important protect advice, every week during December to prevent people from getting conned out of the Christmas they deserve, starting with online shopping and auction fraud ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

To protect yourself from falling victim to online shopping or auction fraud, remember the following:

Choosing where you shop: If you’re making a purchase from a website or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first. Look online for reviews of the website or person you’re buying from. If you’re purchasing an item from an online marketplace, you can view the seller’s feedback history before going ahead with the purchase.

Payment method: Use a payment method that offers buyer protection, such as a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers  will help you get your money back if the item is faulty or damaged, or if it never arrives.

Staying secure online: Use a strong, separate password for your email account. Criminals can use your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping. You should also enable two-factor authentication (2FA), where possible, which gives your online account additional protection by double checking that you really are the person you claim to be, when logging in. For further information about how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk.

Watch out for phishing emails or texts: Some of the emails or texts you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. If you’re unsure, don’t use the link and visit the website directly instead. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, you can report it by forwarding the email to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service at report@phishing.gov.uk. You can report suspicious texts you have received by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad.

When things go wrong: Anyone can fall victim to fraud. If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Action Fraud
https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/action-fraud-launches-new-campaign-to-fight-back-against-fraud-this-christmas