News

Brookfield Post Office Temporary Closure

The Post Office has announced that, regrettably, following the resignation of the postmaster and the withdrawal of the premises for Post Office use the Brookfield Post Office will be closing temporarily on Wednesday 24 October 2018.

Adam Williams of Post Office wrote: “Looking after a nationwide network of Post Office services, we have a responsibility to make sure every service makes the best possible use of resources, while ensuring that customers can still access our products and services. I can assure you that we will continue to work to find a solution that will provide a Post Office service to the local community.

“If you have any questions you would like to raise about this matter, please write to me via the National Consultation Team at the address shown at the end of the letter. Please note that your comments will not be kept confidential unless you expressly ask us do so by clearly marking them “In Confidence”.

“Any future changes to service provision would be handled in line with our Principles of Community Engagement. A copy is available at the end of this letter.

“We would like to apologise for the inconvenience the temporary closure may cause. We hope that our customers will continue to use the Post Office and full details of alternative Post Office services in the area are shown at the end of this letter.

“We will write to you again once I have any news about our plans for future service provision.”

Contact Post Office:

email: comments@postoffice.co.uk

online: www.postofficeviews.co.uk/

FREEPOST Your Comments

Alternative branches:

Kingsnorth Road Post Office

Kingsnorth Road
Ashford
TN23 6HZ

Services

The same range of services will continue to be available with the addition of dollar Travel Money and On Demand Travel Insurance.

Access and facilities

This branch has automatic wide door and level access at the entrance.

Transport/parking

Forecourt parking is available outside. There are local buses serving the surrounding area.

Distance

This Post Office service is located approximately 0.8 miles away from Brookfield branch, along varied terrain.

Opening times

Monday 07:00 – 21:00
Tuesday 07:00 – 21:00
Wednesday 07:00 – 21:00
Thursday 07:00 – 21:00
Friday 07:00 – 21:00
Saturday 07:00 – 21:00
Sunday 07:00 – 21:00

Singleton Post Office

Singleton Centre
Singleton
Ashford
TN23 5GR

Services

The same range of services will continue to be available with the addition of Car tax, comprehensive range of Travel Money
and On Demand Travel Insurance.

Access and facilities

This branch has automatic wide door and level access at the entrance.

Transport/parking

Off road parking is available nearby. There are local buses serving the surrounding area.

Distance

This Post Office service is located approximately 1.1 miles away from Brookfield branch, along varied terrain.

Opening times

Monday 06:00 – 22:00
Tuesday 06:00 – 22:00
Wednesday 06:00 – 22:00
Thursday 06:00 – 22:00
Friday 06:00 – 22:00
Saturday 06:00 – 22:00
Sunday 07:00 – 22:00

Security Guidance for Smart Devices

Consumer Guidance for Smart Devices in the Home

Smart or internet-connected devices, such as smart TVs, music speakers, connected toys or smart kitchen appliances can bring great benefits to your daily life. However, without taking steps to secure all of your internet-connected products, you and your data could be at risk from someone getting unauthorised access to your device or account. Developed by the UK government and industry experts, this guidance will help you manage the security of your devices and help protect your privacy.

Setting-up your device

  • Read and follow the set-up instructions for the device. These are often found in an app downloaded onto your smartphone, tablet or from a paper manual and guide that comes with the product.
  • Check device instructions to see if you need to create an account on the manufacturer’s website, or download any other recommended apps.
  • If you are prompted to enter a password during the set-up process that is easy to guess, (such as ‘admin’ or ‘00000’), you should change it. Guidance on creating a strong password can be found on the Cyber Aware website. www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-yourself/passwords/

Managing your account

  • To set-up and manage your device, you may need to create or use an existing account on the manufacturer’s website. This account may allow you to add a new device or link your smartphone to your devices. You should ensure that your account has a strong password.
  • For added security, if the device or app offers Two Factor Authentication which provides a second layer of security, (such as a text message to your phone) you should enable it. This is particularly important if the account contains your personal data or sensitive information or is linked to something that may impact your or another persons physical safety.
  • Some products allow you to access or control them when you are away from your home’s Wi-Fi network; such as, to view security camera footage. Consider whether you need to make use of this feature, as products may allow you to disable it either in the app settings or within your account.

Keep updating your software and apps

Much like your laptop and smartphone, software and app updates help keep your devices secure. You should:

  • Check whether you can set-up and enable automatic updates (on the app or on your online account).
  • Install the latest software and app updates. These updates should download and install automatically on your device. If not, then you should install them straight away so you have the latest security protections. You should be prompted when a new update is ready to install, usually via a pop-up message or in the settings menu in the app or device menu.

If you become aware of an incident and think it affects your device

#CyberAware
www.cyberaware.gov.uk/

Download this guidance

www.getsafeonline.org/themes/site_themes/getsafeonline/resources/Consumer_Guidance_for_Smart_Devices_in_the_Home.pdf

 

KCC Budget Consultation

Budget Consultation 2019-20

Kent County Council

Opens:11 October 2018
Closes: 21 November 2018

Kent County Council (KCC) 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 money wisely. We need to make some big decisions and would value your views before setting next year’s council budget (April 2019 to March 2020).

How KCC are funded£967m planned spend

Funding for the KCC budget comes from many sources in addition to council tax, including grants from central government. About a third of the council’s budget is made up of money we receive from council tax. Each year we decide how much we can spend on services for Kent residents and businesses for the next financial year, compared to how much funding we’re likely to get from the government and local taxation.
www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget/how-we-are-funded

KCC prioritises spending on services that:

  • make sure children and young people get the best start in life
  • help communities feel the benefits of economic growth by being in work, healthy and enjoying a good quality of life
  • help older and vulnerable residents to be safe and supported with choices to live independently.

These are KCCs strategic priorities. The Strategic Statement Annual Report details how every pound spent in Kent is used to deliver better outcomes for Kent’s residents, communities and businesses.
www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/corporate-policies/increasing-opportunities-improving-outcomes

The Big Challenge

£640m savings over 8 yearsSome councils are in severe financial difficulty and are now being forced to make some tough decisions, including reducing services to a minimum. KCC is not one of these authorities.

In recent years the amount of money available to local councils from the government has decreased while demand and cost for council services has increased. We expect this trend to continue in the future.

Since 2010, we have made savings of £640 million to offset these challenges. 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 and invest in front line services.

However, there is also increased pressure on spending because of the rising demand for services, inflation and the living wage. This means that despite the £640 million savings KCC have already made since 2010, they still have a considerable shortfall to find now (around £94 million in 2019-20) and in years to come.

You can find out more about the council’s finance and budget (www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget), including what they spend their money on (www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget/spending) and council tax (www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget/council-tax).

What do you think?

We’d like to hear your views on:

  • Council Tax – is a modest rise acceptable if it helps to sustain the services that you value most?
  • The future of KCC services – are they focussing on the right priorities or have we got some things wrong?
  • How can KCC improve their communication with you – so that you are aware of the challenges they face now and in the future?

Please read the budget consultation document before completing the online questionnaire.
https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/965314/41994469.1/DOCX/-/Budget_Consultation_Information_Document.docx

The consultation will close on 21 November 2018.

Complete the online questionnaire
https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/DraftBudgetStrategy201920/answerQuestionnaire?qid=5376387

Consultation documents

For more details on the UK’s public finances and the terms used to describe them see the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Brief Guide to Public Finances (http://obr.uk/forecasts-in-depth/brief-guides-and-explainers/public-finances).

Kent County Council  11 October 2018
www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/finance-and-budget/our-budget

Events to explore potential options for health services change in east Kent

The NHS is holding eight public events to discuss potential options for changing hospital and local care services in east Kent.

At these events, between 30 October and 20 November, doctors and other NHS leaders will discuss with local people:

  • the benefits change could bring
  • how services outside hospitals are developing to maximise the care people get locally
  • how the two options for hospital services might affect people across east Kent
  • the next steps towards public consultation.

Caroline Selkirk, Managing Director of the four NHS clinical commissioning groups in east Kent*, said: “This is the next step in conversations we’ve been having with staff, patients and the public over recent years about why change is needed to health and care services in east Kent and how services could be improved.

“We have done a great deal to respond to what people in east Kent have told us they need, such as access to more appointments with GPs and nurses, including in the evening and at weekends; joining up care for people with the most complex conditions; and starting to hold more outpatient clinics in local communities.

“We have also been looking in depth at two potential options to improve hospital services in east Kent.

“These informal meetings with local communities, ahead of any formal public consultation next year, are a chance for local people and organisations representing patients to hear more about our work so far, and to help us understand the potential impact of the options we are currently looking at. We want to continue to gather a range of insights on the latest phase of our work.  What people tell us will be considered by the joint committee of east Kent clinical commissioning groups, before it decides whether both potential options for changes to hospital services go forward to public consultation.”

If you cannot make it to the events, there will be more information about the proposals added to www.kentandmedway.nhs.uk/eastkent shortly and an online survey will be open from mid-October.

You can register for one of the events online at www.kentandmedway.nhs.uk/eastkent. Alternatively, you can email info.eastkent@nhs.net or call 01622 211940 to reserve a place.

Date & time Venue
Wednesday 31 October

9.30am registration
9.45am – 12.45pm

Club Room, Elwick Club, Church Road, Ashford TN23 1RD
Thursday 15 November

6.15pm registration
6.30pm – 9.30pm

Holiday Inn (Ashford Central), Canterbury Road, Kennington, Ashford TN24 8QQ

 

NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group  04 October 2018
www.ashfordccg.nhs.uk/news/blog/?blogpost=10939

Extra appointments at GP practices

Ashford Clinical Commissioning GroupFrom 1 October, extra evening, weekend and bank holiday appointments are available in east Kent to help patients get the care they need, when they need it.

This is part of a national drive to improve access to GP practice services and give people the opportunity to have an appointment at a time that suits them.

The extra appointments, which may be provided by a GP, nurse, physiotherapist, paramedic practitioner or other health professional, are for routine, non-urgent care. The extra slots are available between 6.30pm and 8pm each weekday.  There are also appointments on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

They will not necessarily be at patients’ usual GP practice, but the health professionals treating them will be able to see their full medical records, with their consent.  Patients who need an appointment will be allocated the most suitable clinician for their need.

Dr Navin Kumta, chair of NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:  “We know that people sometimes have to wait to see a nurse or doctor and we believe the new longer hours will be of particular help to commuters, parents with young families, and other people who find it difficult to get to their practice during normal working hours.

“Anyone wanting to make an appointment should contact their GP practice in the first instance.  Trained reception staff will know where and when appointments are available, and with which healthcare professional, and will be able to book the patient in. Patients should advise the receptionist if they particularly want an evening or weekend appointment.

“These extra appointments will be available for pre-booked care.  It’s important to remember that anyone who needs medical assistance when their practice is closed should continue to dial NHS 111.”

To make sure that the new appointments system works well for patients, the CCG would like to encourage people to tell us about their experiences of them. Anyone with comments or queries can email the patient experience team:nelcsu.engagement@nhs.net

NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group  02 October 2018
http://www.ashfordccg.nhs.uk/news/blog/?blogpost=10929

What to do with metal

Ashford Borough Council collects metal cans and packaging in your green recycling bin.

RECYCLING TIPS

  • Give your tins, cans and foil wrappers a quick rinse to remove any remnants of food
  • Squash or compress items to make more room in your bin
  • Where possible, please remove the labels on tins and cans and place them in your green bin
  • Fully remove the sharp lid from ring-pull cans and place them back in the empty can

WHAT METAL CAN I RECYCLE AT HOME?

Yes please No thanks
Aerosols Metalised plastic film
Drinks cans Paint cans
Aluminium and steel food tins
Sweet and biscuit tins
Metal lids from glass jars
Aluminium foil
Foil trays

Other metal items are accepted at the Household Waste Recycling Centre at Cobbs Wood

Do the scrunch test!

An easy way to tell if an item is made from foil or metalised plastic film is to do the scrunch test. Scrunch the item in your hand – if it remains scrunched, it means the item is made from foil which can be recycled. If it springs open, it is likely to be metalised plastic film which cannot be recycled.

Recycle Now
www.recyclenow.com/recycle-week-2018

Ashford Borough Council
www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/recycling-and-refuse-service/recycling/

Chart Road unlikely to affect Chart Road

Work being carried out by South East water is unlikely to affect traffic on the A28, Chart Road.Details were exhibited today at Godinton Village Hall of work proposed to reinforce the water supply in preparation for the construction of 5000 homes at Chilmington Green. Whilst works may cause disruption on Godinton and Repton Park, the 200m of pipe to be laid along Chart Road will be laid in the verge avoiding any need for disruption to traffic.

Work will also be carried out on Ashford Road and Magpie Hall Road in Kingsnorth.

https://corporate.southeastwater.co.uk/ashford

Proposed works in KingsnorthProposed works in Godinton and Repton

What to do with paper and card

Ashford Borough Council collects paper and card in your green recycling bin.

Large cardboard boxes can be flattened and left beside your green bin.

PAPER RECYCLING TIPS

  • Paper is a valuable recyclable material but only when it is clean.
  • Remove any plastic wrapping from newspapers and magazines – this can be recycled with plastic bags at larger supermarkets.
  • If you scrunch paper and it doesn’t spring back, then it can be recycled.

Cardboard recycling tips

  • Tape, polystyrene and plastic inserts need be removed from cardboard packaging.
  • Glitter, badges and batteries should also be torn off greeting cards.
  • Egg boxes and rolls from kitchen towel and toilet rolls can be home composted.
Yes please No thanks
Newspapers and supplements Paper that is stained with foodstuffs, grease, paint or dirt (e.g. greaseproof or baking paper, kids paintings)
Magazines, brochures and catalogues Hygiene/sanitary products (e.g. nappies, wipes, sanitary towels)
White paper (e.g. computer paper, letters) Used paper towels
Shredded paper Tissues
Telephone directories Cotton wool and make up pads
Junk mail and flyers Wet wipes
Envelopes (including those with a window) Sticky papers (e.g. Post-it notes, sticky labels or paper tape)
Non-paper gift wrap or bags (e.g. foil-based gift wrapping)
Crisp or sweet packets or wrappers
Wallpaper and decoration paper
Cardboard boxes (e.g. cereal & dishwasher tablet boxes) Card that contains foodstuffs, dirt or paint
Corrugated cardboard Glitter covered greetings cards
Online delivery boxes and cardboard envelopes Food and drink cartons
Greetings cards without glitter
Egg boxes
Brown paper

PAPER – HOW IS IT RECYCLED?

Recycle Now
www.recyclenow.com/recycle-week-2018

Ashford Borough Council
www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/recycling-and-refuse-service/recycling/

What glass can I recycle at home?

Help make a difference this Recycle Week. If you don’t already recycle, now’s the time to start.

Glass bottles and jars are widely recycled. Ashford Borough Council collects glass for recycling.

 

WHAT GLASS CAN I RECYCLE AT HOME?

Yes please No thanks
Bottles of any colour, e.g. wine, beer, spirits Glass cookware, e.g. Pyrex, microwave plates
Jars, e.g. sauces, jam, baby food Drinking glasses
Non-food bottles, e.g. perfume, aftershave, face creams Ceramics, e.g. crockery, earthenware
Vases
Nail varnish bottles
Mirrors
Light bulbs and tubes

WHY CAN’T I RECYCLE SOME GLASS ITEMS?

Some types of glass do not melt at the same temperature as bottles and jars. If they enter the glass recycling process it can result in new containers being rejected. These items should be recycled separately – check with your local household waste recycling centre.

HOW TO RECYCLE GLASS BOTTLES AND JARS

  • Put lids and caps back on. This reduces the chance of them getting lost during the sorting process as they can be recycled separately.
  • Empty and rinse – a quick rinse will do. Leftover liquid can contaminate other recyclables which may mean they aren’t recycled.
  • At bottle banks, blue glass goes in with green glass.
  • Corks should be removed from bottles before they are recycled but can be home composted.

GLASS BOTTLES AND JARS – HOW ARE THEY RECYCLED?

Recycle Now
www.recyclenow.com/recycle-week-2018

Ashford Borough Council
www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/recycling-and-refuse-service/recycling/