Consultation

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South Ashfprd Community ForumWe have made it easier to find information about public consultations by government and statutory bodies. All of our news items relating to consultations are now listed under Local Information / Consultation on the website menu. All new posts relating to consultations will start with the title of the consultation, the organisation launching the consultation and the opening and closing dates.

We will not respond to all consultations listed here, but when we do, our responses will be available from our Publications page

Ashford split by new boundary plans

The Ashford Parliamentary Constituency will be separated from the majority of the Borough under Initial Proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission for England.

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is currently conducting a review of parliamentary constituency boundaries on the basis of rules most recently updated by Parliament in 2020. These latest rules retain 650 constituencies for the UK Parliament as a whole, and require constituencies that are proposed or recommended to comply with strict parameters, in particular as far as the number of electors in each constituency is concerned.

The BCE has published its ‘Initial Proposals’, which will see South Ashford in the same Constituency as Hawkinge and Elham but different to that of Great Chart and Kingsnorth.

The existing Ashford Parliamentary Constituency boundary, shown as a narrow blue line, follows the Borough boundary, thicker green line, other than an area to the east, which includes Ruckinge, Aldington and Brabourne, and is part of the Folkestone and Hythe Constituency.

The Initial Proposals published by BCE will see the Borough split across three constituencies, with boundaries shown red against the green Borough boundaries.

  • Ashford urban area, including the Town Centre, Stanhope and Singleton will be in a constituency which extends eastward to Hawkinge and Wingmore.
  • The south and west of the Borough, including Aldington, Ham Street, Wittersham, Tenterden, Kingsnorth and Great Chart will be in a new Weald of Kent Constituency, which stretches as far as the outskirts of Maidstone and includes Boughton Monchelsea, Loose and Nettlestead.
  • The northern part of the Borough including Chilham, Bilting, Boughton Lees, Sandyhurst Lane, Westwell and Charing will become part of the Faversham and Mid-Kent Constituency with with villages as far west and north as Bredgar, Radfield and Conyer.

The primary criteria for the new boundaries is that apart from five specified exceptions – every constituency recommended must have an electorate (as at 2 March 2020) that is no less than 95% and no more than 105% of the ‘UK electoral quota’. The UK electoral quota for the 2023 Review is, to the nearest whole number, 73,393.
Accordingly, every recommended constituency (except the five ‘protected’ constituencies) must have an electorate as at 2 March 2020 that is no smaller than 69,724 and no larger than 77,062.

The BCE may take into account in establishing a new map of constituencies for the 2023 Review:

  • special geographical considerations, including in particular the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency;
  • local government boundaries as they existed (or were in prospect) on 1 December 2020 (see paragraph 16 above);
  • boundaries of existing constituencies;
  • any local ties that would be broken by changes in constituencies; and
  • the inconveniences attendant on such changes.

BCE have published a guide to the Review:
boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/2023-review/guide-to-the-2023-review-of-parliamentary-constituencies/

You can comment on the proposals on the BCE consultation website www.bcereviews.org.uk/.

Comments must be made by Tuesday 2nd August 2021.

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.

BT consult on removal of telephone boxes

We’d like to remove payphones in your area so please tell us your views. Our 90 day consultation ends on 9 November 2020

Dear Chief Planning Officer,

We’re continually reviewing the demand for our payphones and we’ve identified 8 public payphones in your area that aren’t being used enough. We’re proposing to remove them under the 90 day consultation process. The list of payphones is attached.

To make sure that the local community are fully informed, we’ve placed consultation notices [including the posting date] on these payphones. A sample notice is attached.

Why do we want to remove payphones?

Overall use of payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is diminishing all the time, with at least 98 per cent of the UK having mobile coverage. This Is important because as long as there is mobile network coverage, it’s possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no
coverage from your own mobile network provider.

Also, Ofcom’s affordability report found that most people no longer view payphones as essential for consumers in most circumstances.

How can a community keep a red phone box?

This is a great opportunity for local communities, councils and charities, to adopt their red phone box and make it an asset for everyone to enjoy. People across the country are using them for everything from defibrillators to foodbanks. It ‘ s really simple to do and costs just £1 – http://bt.com/adopt

What we’re asking you to do

We’d welcome your feedback on whether the payphones are still needed and we’d appreciate your help.

Ofcom’s statement following their 2005 review of universal service in the telecommunications market gives the responsibility to the local authority to consult with the local community on the removal of payphone service. They would normally expect these consultations to involve other public organisations such as parish or community councils and work within the terms of the Communications Act 2003.

What to do next

Please complete and return the attached annex with your decision on each payphone by email to btp.authorisation.team@bt.com. Please retain proof that the email was sent or apply a read receipt.

  • Just select agree if you’re happy for us fo remove it.
  • If the local community wish to adopt, please provide their contact details and we’ll do the rest.
  • If you decide to object, you’ll need to complete the last column with your reasons. You must be able to objectively justify your decisions based upon telephony needs. Annex 1 in Otcom’s fullguidance about removing phone boxes states that BT’s Universal Service Obligation applies to the telephone, not the phone box. The guidance also details the appeals process we must follow for unreasonable objections. It would, for example, be inappropriate for a local authority to object to removal of a public call box because it is
    a local landmark or on ‘heritage’ grounds.

We’ll assume you have no objection to the removal of a payphone if information on the form is incomplete or an adoption does not proceed.

If you’ve got any questions, please email us at btp.authorisotion.team@bt.com.

AddressPostcode
Jcn Christchurch Road / Jemmett Road AshfordTN23 4QD
Jcn Christchurch Road / Beaver Road Ashford TN23 7ST
Opp Public House / The Street Egerton Ashford TN27 9DJ
Newtown Green Ashford TN24 0PL
Jcn Twelve Acres / Hunter Avenue Willesborough Ashford TN24 0HA
Jcn Kenbrook / Tile Kiln Road Kennington Ashford TN24 9NT
Jcn Lower Vicarage Road / Faversham Road Kennington Ashford TN24 9AJ
Nr Car Park Market Place Charing Ashford TN27 0LP

KFRS customer promise consultation

Fire service personell

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) are consulting on their Customer Promise

KFRS exist to help keep you safe whether at work, home or as you move around Kent and Medway. They deliver services for everyone working and living in our changing community. They aim to give people advice and support in order to reduce the risk of fire and other emergencies as they go about their daily lives. Of course, accidents still happen and they aim to provide an excellent emergency response when it is needed, meeting the needs of every individual involved.

The KFRS customer promise sets out what you are entitled to expect from them, and what they expect from our staff. It also outlines the standards that they have set in the key areas of service that they know are important to you. And because a statement is simply a statement, you will find quantifiable targets by which their performance can be measured in their action plans. Above all, it is their commitment to provide you with an assured level of service, giving you the peace of mind that they are working to help you stay safe in your home, at work and when you’re out and about in Kent and Medway.

There when you need them

  • Everyone in Kent has a right to expect an excellent response from Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
  • They will always seek to innovate so we can deliver a service that meets changing local needs.
  • To develop a better understanding of our customers’ needs so they can provide services that fit your needs and accessible advice to help you keep yourself, your home and your business safe.

Respect, fairness, compassion

  • KFRS recognise without bias the rights, needs and dignity of others in all our contact with you.
  • They will work to see things from our customers’ perspective and treat everyone with compassion, fairness and respect
  • They will ensure all people, but particularly those with a disability; lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people (LGBT); ethnic minority people; older people; and people from minority faiths, are aware of ther services, feel confident to access them and understand how they can be adapted to meet individual needs.

Working with you to deliver good value services

  • KFRS will seek your views and listen to your feedback to help them shape and deliver services.
  • They will continue to deliver the best service they can by setting targets and honestly reviewing performance to see where they can improve.
  • They will spend public money in a way that maximises community benefits.
  • They will take a common sense approach to our work with partners including police, ambulance and public health to save money, avoid waste and build safer, resilient communities.
  • They will continue to work in a way that minimises their impact on the environment.

To listen, learn, and resolve your problems

  • KFRS will make it easy for you to contact them. 
  • Staff will listen and deal with you in a professional, friendly way, avoiding jargon and taking responsibility to resolve your issue.
  • They will respect and protect your privacy and personal data. They maintain a secure network and servers to safeguard your data against malicious activity.
  • Despite best efforts they occasionally make mistakes. When things do go wrong, they want you to feel confident that they will listen and deal with your complaint quickly and learn lessons to improve their services.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service
https://www.kent.fire-uk.org/about-us/our-customer-promise/

KCC Draft 5 Year Plan

Kent County Council

Opens 6 January 2020
Closes 17 February 2020

The 5 Year Plan (Kent County Council’s [KCC] strategic statement) is their flagship strategy. It unites the council with clear outcomes and objectives.

Tell them what you think and help make Kent the best place to live, work, play, learn and invest in.

The Leader, Roger Gough, talks about the importance of your views on the draft 5 Year Plan.

Read the video transcript.

Over the past 5 months KCC have been listening to:

  • Kent residents
  • young people
  • businesses
  • voluntary and community sector organisations
  • its staff
  • its partners across public services.

They have heard about what is important to quality of life in Kent and what people’s priorities are.

Based on what they have heard, they have developed a draft plan. The plan shapes what they will do, what they will prioritise spending money on and how they will work together with their partners over the next 5 years.

The plan sets out 7 draft outcomes for Kent:

Enterprise and investment

Making Kent an ambitious and successful county, with high quality jobs, skilled workers, enterprising businesses and thriving town centres and rural areas.

Securing sustainable infrastructure

As Kent grows, working with partners to put in place the infrastructure that communities need, including roads, school places and utilities.

Connected transport and communities

Keeping Kent’s roads and pavements well maintained and safe, keeping traffic flowing and improving public transport so everyone can get around the county.

A cleaner and greener Kent

Keeping our streets, towns and parks tidy and clean, protecting the green areas and coasts that make Kent so special and leading the way on tackling the climate emergency.

Stronger and safer Kent communities

Continuing to bring communities together so everyone feels involved and supported and working with partners to make sure everyone feels and stays feeling safe.

Opportunities for children and young people

Giving children the best start in life, providing effective early help when families need it and making sure every young person gets the education, skills and experiences they need for a successful future.

Quality health, care and support

Helping people to live well, working with partners to improve people’s physical and mental health and resilience and providing quality social care when people need it.

Each outcome has a set of more specific objectives that KCC will work with partners to deliver. We will also stand up for Kent’s interests with government.

Now they are keen to hear your thoughts about it so we can make changes before publishing the final version.

Tell them what you think

They recommend that you read their 5 Year Plan consultation document (PDF, 678.4 KB) before responding to the consultation questionnaire.

They’d like to hear your views on:

  • how well the 7 draft outcomes reflect what is important to your quality of life
  • how well the draft objectives will help them to deliver each of these outcomes.

The consultation will close on 17 February 2020.

Respond to the draft 5 Year Plan consultation questionnaire

If you can’t complete the questionnaire online, use the Word version of the questionnaire (DOCX, 175.7 KB)

Consultation documents:

Alternative formats

If you need any of the consultation materials in an alternative format or language please email alternativeformats@kent.gov.uk or call 03000 42 15 53 (text relay service number: 18001 03000 42 15 53). This number goes to an answering machine, which is monitored during office hours.

KCC Budget

Kent County Council (KCC) provides a huge range of essential services to the people of Kent, spending over £1.5 billion each year. The government’s settlement for next year assumes modest increases in Council Tax together with some additional grants. This will mean KCC have additional funding, however, these increases are still likely to be insufficient to fully fund the rising costs of council services.

There are some big decisions ahead and KCC would value your views before setting next year’s council budget (April 2020 to March 2021).

Give us your views on the 2020-21 budget

You can read more below about council services and spending.

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Public Spaces Protection Orders

ABC Crest

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 24 September 2019
Closes: 15th November 2019

Introduction

Ashford Borough Council is consulting on the renewal of its Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) in four areas of Ashford. This will allow the Council to continue to maintain a range of measures to address anti-social behaviour and help to improve community safety and the local environment in these areas.

The four areas have been in operation for the last three years having been identified as necessary by the council and police following reports and complaints received from local residents. Since their introduction the number of anti-social behaviour complaints has reduced. 

The areas covered are Ashford Churchyard Passage, the Coney Bear site (near Torrington Road, South Ashford), the Town Centre itself and Singleton Lake

(more…)

Have your say on how health services are commissioned

STP Logo

Transforming health and social care in Kent and Medway

Opens: 11 September 2019
Closes: 23 September 2019

The NHS in Kent and Medway is seeking your views on how health services are commissioned (planned and purchased).

At the moment we are one of eight GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across Kent and Medway, responsible for planning and spending the health budget to meet local needs. 

Although we and the other CCGs have much to be proud of over the last six years, the GPs who chair the CCGs, including our clinical chair, now believe the CCGs should merge to form a new single clinical commissioning group for Kent and Medway, which would also be led by GPs.

A single Kent and Medway CCG would:  

  • provide a ‘bird’s eye view’ of health priorities for people across Kent and Medway based on a detailed understanding of local health needs, so that care can be planned effectively for everyone
  • identify where challenging health problems can be shared and tackled
  • allow the consistent commissioning of some services – such as cancer, mental health, children’s services and prevention – across Kent and Medway
  • focus on the health, wellbeing and care needs of the whole population
  • reduce management and administration costs across Kent and Medway.

There was a survey earlier this summer to get people’s initial views on the suggested changes. They include GP practices working much more closely together, and all the services in given areas (such as east Kent) joining up care for local people. Building on the feedback from that survey, we’d now like to find out your views about the specific proposal to create a single clinical commissioning group (CCG) for Kent and Medway.

In June, we published a leaflet Helping local people live their best life which set outs more details. This included a survey which ran until August, to get people’s initial views on the suggested changes. They include GP practices working much more closely together, and all the services in given areas (such as east Kent) joining up care for local people.

Building on the feedback from that survey, we’d now like to find out your views about the specific proposal to create a single clinical commissioning group (CCG) for Kent and Medway.

The survey is open until 23 September. Please complete it and share with your friends, colleagues and family as your views are important to us.

NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group
11 September 2019
https://www.ashfordccg.nhs.uk/news/blog/?blogpost=11417

Railway timetable consultation

December 2019 Timetable Consultation

London & South Eastern Railway

Closes: 09 September 2019

Southeastern are consulting on proposed timetable changes for December 2019

The proposals will have a positive impact on Southeastern’s passengers, with faster Highspeed services, faster Mainline services, and more reliable Metro services. As a result of the proposals, passengers may see the timings of their regular service changed by a few minutes. Southeastern are consulting with their passengers and stakeholders to get their views on these proposals.

Download December 2019 timetable proposal  

Southeastern are also seeking feedback on some broader proposed changes, further ahead in May 2020. 

Please use the link below to participate. 

Complete the online feedback form (on SurveyMonkey)