News

Dirty chimneys cause fires – keep it swept

As the weather starts to cool down, you might be thinking of lighting your open fire, wood  burning stove or other ‘real flame’ appliance and using your chimney again.  An open fire or stove can be a focal point in your home but if they’re not properly maintained and regularly cleaned they can dramatically increase your risk of having a fire.

Dirty chimneys cause fires – keep it swept

  • Have your chimney and flue inspected and swept at least once a year for coal and twice if you are burning logs.
  • A clean chimney can help prevent fires and structural damage to your property.
  • Regular cleaning of your chimney or flues will eliminate the build up of soot and clear obstructions such as loose bricks, bird or animal nests, leaves and debris.
  • Avoid overloading the grate or build fires too high.
  • Dispose of ash safely and appropriately.
  • Be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Things you can do:

    • Check for moss or grass growing out of your chimney – it’s a sign it needs repair and if you had a chimney fire, could lead to smoke spread in your property.
    • Does your chimney lean to one side? Or is the top of it missing? Some damage may not be noticeable because it is located inside the chimney. However that damage could allow a chimney fire to spread into the roof or other parts of your home
    • If there are missing or cracked mortar joints or bricks, this is a sign your chimney needs repair. Look out for crumbling mortar falling onto your fireplace or stove.
  • Only burn suitable fuels and don’t overload the grate.
  • Always use a fire guard and if you have pets or young children consider using a safety guard.
  • Make sure that the fire is out before going to bed at night or leaving the house.
  • Do not dry or air clothes on a fireguard or close to the fire.
  • Regularly check for smoke from defective brickwork in the loft when the fire is alight and avoid storing items too close to the chimney stack.
  • Make sure no sparks or fumes can escape through cracks or broken bricks.
  • Never interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or air bricks.
  • Avoid too much clutter being stored in your loft as this will make it much easier for a chimney fire to spread.
  • Have working smoke alarms fitted on every floor of your home and test them regularly.

(more…)

Have your say

We want to hear what those who live and work in South Ashford think about issues that affect them.

As proposed at our meeting on 5th September we are promoting online discussion of such matters.

We will post any information we receive about such issues here on our website and on our Facebook Page. We have also created a Facebook Group where you can join the discussion.

Join in now:

On this website

To comment on any post on the website click on the post title to open the post, then add your comment. To prevent spam spoiling the discussion, your post may not be displayed immediately but will be checked and approved by an administrator providing that it complies with our rules.

We don’t normally show planning applications on the front page; you can find and comment on them on Local Information/Planning and Development/Planning Notice. We turn off commenting when the application has been decided.

If there is something we have missed contact us

Facebook

Most news posts on the website are shared to our Facebook Page you can comment there but those news items we think are worthy of discussion we will also share to our new Facebook Group where you can join in. We will ask where you live and to agree to abide by the Group rules when you join. We welcome input from those who live or work outside of the South Ashford Community Forum area.

Facebook Page: @SouthAshford CF www.facebook.com/SouthAshfordCF/

Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/SouthAshfordCF/

If we have missed something you can post it on our Facebook Group providing that you comply with our Rules

Minutes of the Meeting

You can view the minutes of our meeting on our Minutes and Agendas page

Kent Household Waste Recycling Centres Consultation

Kent County Council

Opens: 6 September 2018
Closes: 1 November 2018

Introduction

Kent County Council (KCC) is seeking the views of service users, members of the public and other interested parties, on a proposal to charge for the disposal of non-household waste at the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), sometimes known as the ‘tip’.

Non-household waste included in this consultation;

Soil, rubble and hardcore
Plasterboard
Even if originating from a domestic property, these materials are to be treated as non-household waste in accordance with the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012.

In recent years the amount of waste from household alterations and building works that is being brought to our HWRCs has increased. Furthermore, with neighbouring authorities adopting charging, this will have an impact on KCCs HWRCs with regards to cross border usage.

Therefore, we are proposing to introduce charges, which are in line with other councils, to recover the cost of dealing with these types of non-household waste, and continue to offer a disposal option. These charges are intended to help KCC achieve critical savings while still maintaining a comprehensive service for residents.

KCC is proud to have made significant progress in its environmental performance over the past 10 years. More than 99% of Kent’s household waste is now recycled, treated or recovered to produce energy, with less than 1% sent to landfill.

Have your say

Your participation in this consultation and views on this proposal are important and will help KCC to carefully consider options and inform any decision.

We recommend you read the consultation document which can be found in the ‘Documents’ section below. To take part in, please fill in the online questionnaire which is available by clicking on the link below.

This consultation closes on 1 November 2018.

Alternative formats: If you require any of the consultation material in an alternative format or language please email alternativeformats@kent.gov.uk or call 03000 421553 (text relay service number: 18001 03000 421553). This number goes to an answering machine, which is monitored during office hours.

Privacy: Kent County Council collects and processes personal information in order to provide a range of public services. Kent County Council respects the privacy of individuals and endeavours to ensure personal information is collected fairly, lawfully, and in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation. To see a copy of our Privacy Notices please click here.

KCC recommend using Google Chrome if viewing and downloading consultation documents from mobile devices.

Respond

Details

Consulting Organisation Type Kent County Council
Consulting Organisation Name Kent County Council
District / Borough areas affected by the consultation Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells
Consultation Topic General interest, Recycling, rubbish and waste management
Consultation Methods Online survey / questionnaire / forms
Contact Details If you have any questions about the proposal, or require paper copies of any of the supporting documents, please contact: wastedisposalstrategy@kent.gov.uk or 03000 41 73 73

Kent County Council   06 September 2018
https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/wasteconsultation/consultationHome?

Sale of energy drinks to children consultation

Department of Health and Social Care

Opens: 30 August 2018
Closes: 21 November 2018

Energy drinks are soft drinks that contain higher levels of caffeine than other soft drinks, and may also contain a lot of sugar (though low- or zero-calorie energy drinks are available). Evidence suggests that excessive consumption of energy drinks by children is linked to negative health outcomes such as headaches, sleeping problems, irritation and tiredness.

Under current labelling rules, any drink, other than tea or coffee, that contains over 150mg of caffeine per litre requires a warning label saying: ‘High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women’. Despite the warning labels, however, children are still consuming these drinks; recent evidence shows that more than two thirds of UK children aged 10-17, and nearly a quarter of those aged 6-9, are energy drink consumers.

We are hearing strong calls from parents, health professionals, teachers and some industry bodies and retailers for an end to sales of high-caffeine energy drinks to children. Many larger retailers and supermarkets have voluntarily stopped selling energy drinks to under-16s. While we recognise the efforts of retailers who have already acted, there are still many retailers who continue to sell these drinks to children. Legislating to end the sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to children would create a level playing field for businesses and create consistency, helping ensure that children do not have access to energy drinks in any shop.

We are therefore consulting on ending the sale of energy drinks to children, but we are aware that the evidence base around these products and their effects is complex. We want to use this consultation to gather further views and evidence on the advantages and disadvantages of ending the sale of energy drinks to children, and on alternative options, before making a decision.

Documents

Consultation on ending the sale of energy drinks to children PDF, 269KB, 12 pages

Impact assessment: ending the sale of energy drinks to children PDF, 644KB, 46 pages

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. 

Give Your Views

Online Survey

Department of Health and Social Care 30 August 2018
https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/obesity/sale-of-energy-drinks-to-children/

Evidence-Based Interventions Consultation

Evidence-Based Interventions programme

NHS England

Opens: 4 July 2018
Closes 28 September 2018

Overview

Research evidence shows some intervetions (medical procedures and treatments) are not clinically effective or only effective when they are performed in specific circumstances. And as medical science advances, some interventions are superseded by those that are less invasive or more effective.

At both national and local levels, there is a general consensus that more needs to be done to ensure the least effective interventions are not routinely performed, or only performed in more clearly defined circumstances.

NHS England has formed a new national collaboration with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), NHS Clinical Commissioners and NHS Improvement’ GIRFT (Getting It Right First Time) programme to turn this consensus into action – the Evidence Based Interventions Programme. This programme is counterpart to the items that should not be routinely prescribed in primary care programme launched in early 2018, www.england.nhs.uk/medicines/items-which-should-not-be-routinely-prescribed/.

The proposals have been jointly developed by NHS England, NHS Clinical Commissioners, the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges, NICE and NHS Improvement’s GIRFT programme in collaboration with the Royal Colleges and patient groups such as Healthwatch.

The proposals aim to reduce avoidable harm to patients, save precious professional time, help clinicians maintain their professional practice in line with the changing evidence base, create headroom for innovation and maximise value and avoid waste for patients and taxpayers.

NHS England are publicly consulting on the design principles of the programme, the interventions we should target initially and proposed clinical criteria, the activity goals we should set and delivery actions, including proposed new terms in the NHS Standard Contract.

During the consultation period NHS England are also hosting face to face events and a series of webinars (online meetings), to gather further clinical, professional and patient views. This will include patient and public events, webinars for CCGs and providers, an event co-hosted by Healthwatch England for their members, events jointly run with Age UK, NHSCC, the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, The NHS Youth Forum and Choices. Please contact NHS England at england.ebinterventions@nhs.net to learn more about these events.

You can read more about the Evidence Based Interventions programme on the NHS England website, www.england.nhs.uk/evidence-based-interventions/.

Initially targeted interventions

17 interventions are proposed to targeted initially:

Interventions that should not be routinely commissioned

  1. Snoring Surgery (in the absence of OSA)
  2. Dilatation and curettage (D&C) for heavy menstrual bleeding in women
  3. Knee arthroscopy for patients with osteoarthritis
  4. Injections for nonspecific low back pain without sciatica

Interventions that should only be commissioned or performed when specific criteria are met

  1. Breast reduction
  2. Removal of benign skin lesions
  3. Grommets for Glue Ear in Children
  4. Tonsillectomy for Recurrent Tonsillitis
  5. Haemorrhoid surgery
  6. Hysterectomy for heavy menstrual bleeding
  7. Chalazia removal
  8. Arthroscopic shoulder decompression for subacromial shoulder pain
  9. Carpal tunnel syndrome release
  10. Dupuytren’s contracture release
  11. Ganglion excision
  12. Trigger finger release
  13. Varicose vein surgery

Consultation documents

What happens next

Responses will be taken into account and considered fully before deciding the final approach. Any wording which, following consultation, we determine should be added to the NHS Standard Contract will be included in the 2019/20 version of the Contract, to be published later this financial year.

Give Your Views

Online Survey

SACF September 2018 meeting

The next meeting of South Ashford Community Forum will take place
at 7:00 pm
on 5th September 2018
at South Ashford Baptist Church
Brookfield Road, TN23 4EY

The Agenda can be downloaded from this link and minutes of the previous meeting here or both from the Minutes and Agendas page on the South Ashford website.

Proposal to change the operation of South Ashford Community Forum

As a result of falling attendance at meetings, making the Forum less representative of those who live and work in South Ashford, the Agenda includes a proposal to change the way that South Ashford Community Forum operates. The proposal is that we cease to hold public meetings and move the discussion to internet based forums, which more people may be willing to participate in. Whilst I appreciate that this may prevent participation by a few residents that have attended meetings in the past, I believe that if the Forum is to retain any relevance we need to involve more people and that this will be a means of achieving that.

We would be pleased to hear your views on this at the meeting.

Public access defibrillators

You may have seen on the local news that British Heart Foundation are working with other organisations to create a database of Public Access Defibrillators. Known as the National Defibrillator Network this will allow any member of the public to quickly locate a defibrillator when one is needed. Unfortunately the service is not likely to be ready for several months.

In the meantime defibrilllators can be registered on the existing database operated by HeartSafe, who supply defibrillators. A defibrillator does not have to be supplied through HeartSafe to be included on its database.

If you know of an organisation that has a public access defibrillator please ask them to register it on HeartSafe.
www.heartsafe.org.uk/AED-Locations

Kent Fire and Rescue Service now have defibrillators at all fire stations.

 

Respond to your Annual Enquiry Form

The Electoral Registration Officer for Ashford has sent an annual enquiry to the addresses of all registered voters in Ashford.

You must respond to this form even if there are no changes to make:

  • by completing the hard copy and returning it,
  • completing the information online at the address given on the form
  • providing the information by phoning the number given

If you do not respond members of your household will be removed from the Electoral Register, so you will not be able to vote in future elections, and you could be fined £1000.

Did you know?

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

  • In one 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

Am I registered?

If you do not receive an Annual Enquiry Form or have any questions about Electoral Registration you can contact Electoral Services on 01233 330402. Please note Electoral Services will not discuss your registration with anyone else including family members.

Beware of bogus SSAFA collectors

Please be aware that there are bogus collectors purporting to be from SSAFA, they are operating on a door to door basis in Kent.

  • SSAFA does not conduct door to door collections.
  • All SSAFA collections are conducted at organised events, never door to door.
  • All SSAFA volunteers carry photographic Identity Cards.

These bogus collectors are operating in the Dover and Folkstone area and there have been further reports of bogus caller activity from other areas of Kent.

In the event that these bogus operators call on you, this is the action you should take.

  • Politely decline to contribute whatever is requested.
  • If you feel afraid or threatened by a doorstep caller, phone 999. For non-urgent calls, phone Kent Police 101.
  • If someone knocks on your door claiming to work for SSAFA, report it to SSAFA directly on 01622 792363.

NEVER agree to work being done by or paying cash to someone you have just met on your doorstep.

Report it

If you have you fallen victim to a doorstep criminal? Report it to KCC.

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact the Citizens Advice consumer service

Give safely to SSAFA

You can give to SSAFA

  • online at https://www.ssafa.org.uk/give
  • by telephone: 020 7463 9225
  • by post: send a cheque made payable to SSAFA toSSAFA
    The Armed Forces Charity
    4 Dunstan’s Hill
    London EC3R 8AD

SSAFA  16 July 2018