News

LGBCE sticks with draft proposals

ABC warding proposal for South Ashford

LGBCE Final Recommendations for wards in South Ashford

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) have published their Final Recommendations for ward boundaries for Ashford Borough Council (ABC).

The arrangement, fails to address the issues created by the shape of Victoria Ward and creates a worse situation than the existing boundaries. There is a now a smaller area of Watercress with only tenuous links to the remainder of the ward and a larger area north of the railway line, which as well as the Town Centre includes the new Crescent West development, Godinton Road and adjacent streets and the whole of Cobbs Wood industrial estate.

South Ashford Community Forum had put forward proposals for more compact, separate wards for South Ashford and Ashford Town Centre but LGBCE have adopted the arrangement originally proposed by ABC.

Vehicle Online Shopping Fraud

Action FraudFraudsters have been advertising vehicles and machinery for sale on various selling platforms online. The victims, after communicating via email with the fraudster, will receive a bogus email which purports to be from an established escrow provider (a third party who will keep the payment until the buying and selling parties are both happy with the deal).

These emails are designed to persuade victims to pay upfront, via bank transfer, before visiting the seller to collect the goods. The emails also claim that the buyer (victim) has a cooling off period to reclaim the payment if they change their mind. This gives victims the false sense of security that their money is being looked after by this trustworthy third party, when in fact it is not and the money has gone straight to the fraudster.

Protect yourself:

  • When making a large purchase such as a new car or machinery, always meet the seller face to face first and ask to see the goods before transferring any money.
  • If you receive a suspicious email asking for payment, check for spelling, grammar, or any other errors, and check who sent the email. If in doubt, check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.
  • Contact the third party the fraudsters are purporting to be using to make the transaction. They should be able to confirm whether the email you have received is legitimate or not.
  • False adverts often offer vehicles or machinery for sale well below market value to entice potential victims; always be cautious. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

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.

Action Fraud 12 June 2017
www.actionfraudalert.co.uk/da/182306/Vehicle%20Online%20Shopping%20Fraud.html

SACF June 2017 Meeting

THubert Fountainhe June 2017 Meeting of South Ashford Community Forum will take place
at 7:00 pm
on 28th June 2017
at South Ashford Baptist Church
Brookfield Road, TN23 4EY

The Agenda can be downloaded from this link and the Minutes of the March Meeting here. Both can also be downloaded from the Minutes and Agendas page.

We hope to be able to announce the result of the Council’s Bid for funds for Victoria Park from HLF and update on the Council’s plans for Victoria Park. There is also potential news about another major development in South Ashford.

Please do encourage your friends, colleagues and acquaintances, that live or work in South Ashford to come to this meeting.

Election Results

The results of the General Election and Victoria Ward By-election are:

Ashford constituency results

Name of candidate Party Votes  % of Votes
Damian GREEN Conservative  (Elected) 35,318  59
Sally GATHERN Labour 17,840  30
Adrian GEE-TURNER Liberal Democrat 3,101  5
Gerald O’BRIEN UKIP 2,218  4
Mandy ROSSI Green 1,402  2
The turnout was: 68.69%

Damian Green is therefore re-elected as MP for the Ashford constituency.

Victoria ward results

Name of candidate Party Votes
Charles SUDDARDS Labour  (Elected) 1,052 45
David ROBEY Conservative 753  32
James GALLOWAY Liberal Democrat 260 11
Serge GOLDENBERG UKIP 181 8
Maria PIZZEY Green 99 4
Turnout was 56.82%.

Charles Suddards now joins Cllr Dara Farrell (Labour) as ward member for Victoria.

Your vote matters

Your vote matters - don't lose itWhatever you are doing tomorrow, remember to take time to vote in the General Election and, if you live in Victoria Ward, the Ashford Borough Council By-election.

If you need help at the polling station please ask. You can be accompanied by a companion if you need their assistance.

Polling stations are open from 7:00am to 10:00pm. The address of your Polling Station is shown on your Polling Card. You can also find the location from the search facility on the Ashford Borough Council website – www.ashford.gov.uk/where-can-i-vote

You do not need your Polling Card to vote but you must be registered to vote.

If you have applied to vote by post, you cannot vote in person at the polling station. However, on polling day you can return your postal vote to the polling station (before 10pm) or to the Returning Officer at Ashford Borough Council (before they close) if you do not want to post it or it is too late to post it. It should be sealed in the return envelope provided.

The Candidates for the General Election and Victoria Ward By-election are listed in our post of 12 May 2017 https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/05/12/election-candidates-announced/

#YourVoteMatters #GE2017

Agreement brings money to Victoria Park

The Section 106 Agreement for the North Travis Perkins site in Victoria Crescent, signed last week, includes a contribution of £ 21,514 for the ‘Victoria Park Improvement Project’. This will be added to contributions of £ 270,002 from the Powergen site development, £ 150,000 from the Victoria Way development.

In addition to in excess of £ 440,000 from Section 106 contributions, the results of an application by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Parks for People funding are expected by the end of this month. Although there are, as yet, no confirmed detailed plans, ABC 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. from the HLF funding.

The Section 106 Contributions will be used for other elements of the Victoria Park and Watercress Fields Masterplan adopted by ABC’s Cabinet on 10 March 2016. (more…)

How ABC spends the Borough’s money

Ashford Borough Council is now making available its annual accounts for inspection for the financial year 2016-17.

Those accounts are available for members of the public to view between 9am and 4.30pm from 5th June until 14th July 2017 at the Civic Centre in Tannery Lane, Ashford, or online at www.ashford.gov.uk/budgeting-accounts.

During this period anyone may inspect or make copies of the accounts, books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other related documents of the Council for that financial year, which ended on 31stMarch 2017.

This is in accordance with Section 25 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

An appointment must be made before anyone inspects the accounts. To do so, please contact the council’s Head of Finance & IT on 01233 330540.

Anyone wishing to raise objections to the accounts as presented should address their concerns to the auditor Elizabeth Olive, Grant Thornton UK LLP at Grant Thornton House, Melton Street, London NW1 2EP

A guide to your rights can be found at: www.nao.org.uk/code-audit-practice/council-accounts-a-guide-to-your-rights/

Ashford Borough Council 02 June 2017
www.ashford.gov.uk/news/showing-you-how-we-spend-the-boroughs-money-2nd-jun-1631/

Make sure donations go to genuine charities

Generous public should make sure donations go to genuine charities supporting the victims in Manchester

Charity Commission and partners issue advice on safer giving

The Charity Commission, together with organisations helping the victims, have issued advice on safer giving in the wake of the terrorist attack in Manchester. The action follows steps taken by the Virgin Giving website after the Westminster attack, to suspend payment to site users until they had verified that the money would go to those for who it was collected.

The Charity Commission is encouraging people wishing to support the victims of this week’s terrorist attack in Manchester to donate to a genuine charitable appeal.

It says that the great British public are always generous in their support for charities and this has already been reflected via the many giving sites set up to support the victims and families of the appalling attacks in Manchester.

The Charity Commission, Greater Manchester Police, the British Red Cross, and the Lord Mayor of Manchester are urging people wishing to help to give to the We love Manchester appeal, launched by the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s Charitable Appeal Trust or to other registered charities. (more…)

Electrical safety outdoors

Long summer days mean sunbathing, sizzling barbeques and pottering in the garden. Although electricity makes gardening much easier, wet conditions and contact with the ground means that the risk of injury or death from electric shock is much greater than the risk from using electrical equipment indoors. Read Electrical Safety First’s tips to ensure that the only thing sizzling this summer will be the sausages!

Although electricity makes gardening much easier, wet conditions and contact with the ground means that the risk of injury or death from electric shock is much greater than the risk from using electrical equipment indoors.

Electricity and water don’t mix, so whether it’s pouring from the heavens or there’s still dew on the ground, don’t use electrical equipment outdoors until it is dry.

By following simple safety rules every time you work in the garden, you can easily avoid a serious accident. (more…)

Warm weather fire risks

Enjoy the warmer weather but be aware of fire risks

If you are out and about enjoying the warmer weather over the Bank Holiday weekend, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) asks that you keep safety in mind.

Whether you are going camping, having a barbecue with friends and family or just out and about enjoying the great outdoors, please be mindful of how quickly a fire can start.

Smouldering cigarette butts thrown from car windows or dropped onto grass verges are a common cause of grass and heath fires. The sun’s rays magnified through broken glass or even the heat from a vehicle parked in the long grass of a make-shift field car park can spark a blaze.

Nearly 40 per cent of all the fires KFRS attended were outdoor fires including woodland, grassland, crops, etc. Sixty per cent of these (around 1000 fires) were believed to have been started deliberately and 45 per cent of these by youths (10-17 year olds).

KFRS Area Manager, Mark Rist explains: “Every year, outdoor fires destroy acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Whether started accidentally or deliberately these types of fires spread much quicker than expected, particularly when vegetation is dry. They cause a great deal of damage and also tie up valuable firefighting resources which could be saving lives elsewhere.

“A number of outdoor fires are started deliberately, often by children and young people who think its harmless fun but what may have been intended to be just a small fire, can quickly spread out of control. Starting fires on purpose is dangerous and a waste of time and money. With half term approaching, we’re asking parents to talk to their children to make sure they understand they could be putting lives at risk, including their own.”

  • Tell-tale signs that your child could be starting fires include:
  • Do their clothes smell of smoke?
  • Are they using or carrying matches and lighters for no particular reason?

If you are concerned in anyway contact the KFRS’ Firesetters team on 01622 692121 or email firesetters@kent.fire-uk.org for advice on how to deal with the problem.

Mark ended: “We would like local people to help us by reporting suspicious behaviour to CRIMESTOPPERS anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the Police on 101. If you spot a fire, please help us by reporting it immediately, rather than presuming someone else has already made the call. Give as much information as you can including location and nearby landmarks to help our crews respond quicker and to minimise the amount of damage that these devastating fires can cause.”

Kent Fire and Rescue Service 26 May 2017
www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/may-2017/enjoy-the-warmer-weather-but-be-aware-of-fire-risks/