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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

KMFRA Survey and Council Tax consultation

Safety and wellbeing plan update 2018

Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority

Chairman’s introduction

Chairman KMFRAThis year we wanted to take the opportunity to give local people an update on the work we do and the range of services we provide. Please take a few minutes to read the information below, or look at the infographic on this page (use the Zoom link to see a much larger version) and fill this short survey and consultation* about next year’s Council Tax.

As customers and taxpayers, we always aim to provide you with value for money and the best service we can. Though thankfully I know that many of you have never needed to call on us in a crisis, I hope you are reassured that we will always be there when you need us.

Like everyone in the public sector, finances are tight, but we have managed to make significant savings of around £26m since 2010, much of which has been re-invested in our frontline service. We also work closely with police, ambulance, Kent County Council, Medway Council and others to share expertise and resources and deliver efficient services to keep the public safe.

The Home Office inspection team will be here in the New Year and we expect to hear the outcome of that in 2019. If you want to read more about our work and plans please have a look at our Customer and corporate plan and you can also sign up to email alerts about incidents in your area or to get safety advice.

Nick Chard
Chairman – Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority (more…)

Options for changes to hospital and local care services survey

Following our post regarding listening events to discuss potential options for changing hospital and local care services in east Kent, alongside the public meetings and other engagement activity, Transforming health and social care in Kent and Medway have a survey open until 25 November for you to share your views on the current proposals. Please read this information about the potential changes before completing the survey.

If you are attending one of the listening events, information given may help you to complete the survey.

The survey link is: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/EastKentNHS2018/

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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

Local Plan to 2030 – Main Modifications September 2018

Help shape our Local PlanAshford Borough Council

Opens: 13 September 2018
Closes: 26 October 2018

Ashford Borough Council is now consulting on Main Modifications to the Ashford Local Plan 2030, following the hearing sessions of the examination and the post hearings advice note received from the Inspectors. The consultation proposes changes to the Ashford Local Plan 2030 Submission Version.

The consultation runs for a period of six weeks from Thursday 13th September 2018 until 5pm on Friday 26th October 2018.

The Main Modifications can be read in full online here Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/consult.ti/MainMods_LocalPlan/view?objectId=10346612#10346612, or can be downloaded using the following link: Schedule of Main Modifications
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/41055525.1/PDF/-/1_Schedule_of_Main_Modifications_ABC_PS_19.pdf

Changes that are proposed to the policies map are included within the consultation documents above and can also be viewed on the Council’s interactive map at the following link: Online policies map
http://newmaps.ashford.gov.uk/EXTLocalPlan2030/default.aspx

The Local Plan is supported by a number of background documents, including the evidence base, submission and examination documents, that can be found via the following link: https://www.ashford.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/local-plan-to-2030/examination-documents/

The Council is also consulting on an Addendum to the Sustainability Appraisal: Sustainability Appraisal Addendum
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/40900293.1/PDF/-/SA_Addendum_Sep_2018_ABC_PS_21.pdf 

The following additional documents have been produced to support the changes proposed in the consultation:

Habitats Regulations Assessment Statement
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/40900389.1/PDF/-/HRA_Position_Statement_September_2018_ABC_PS_22.pdf and
Settlements Matrix
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/40900357.1/PDF/-/Settlements_Matrix_ABC_PS_23.pdf

How to make comments

The Council is inviting you to make comments on the Main Modifications between:

Thursday 13th September 2018 and Friday 26th October.

Comments must be received by the Council by 5pm on Friday 26th October 2018.

The easiest way to make comments is through this consultation portal, where you can add comments directly to each modification through the following link:
Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/consult.ti/MainMods_LocalPlan/view?objectId=10346612#10346612

Alternatively you can also download and print copies of the document and representation forms from the links at the bottom of this page.

The consultation is focused only on the Main Modifications. The consultation is not an opportunity to repeat or raise further representations about other parts of the Local Plan or to seek wider changes. All previous comments have already been considered by the Inspectors.

In commenting on the ‘Main Modifications’ to the Local Plan the emphasis should be on whether the Local Plan, taking account of the proposed modification, is ‘legally compliant’ and that it is ‘sound’.
The following guidance note explain what these terms mean and will aid making comments on these issues. Guidance Note 2
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/40921061.1/PDF/-/Guidance_Note_2_on_Legal_Compliance_and_Soundness.pdf

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

Public Rights of Way strategy consultation

Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2018 – 2028

Kent County Council

Opened: 20 Jun 2018 at 09:00
Closes: 12 Sep 2018 at 23:59

Kent residents are being asked for their opinions on the Kent County Council’s plans for maintaining and improving public footpaths and bridleways.

KCC has launched a 12-week consultation on its Public Rights of Way strategy for the next 10 years.

The vision outlined in the council’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan is: “To provide a high quality, well-maintained PROW network, that is well used and enjoyed. The use of the network will support the Kent economy, encourage active lifestyles and sustainable travel choices, and contribute to making Kent a great place to live, work and visit.”

The plan identifies the following themes:

  • Active lifestyles – how use of the network has the potential to improve health and wellbeing;
  • Evolution of the network – changes required to meet current and future needs;
  • Knowing what’s out there – how the provision of information removes barriers to use;
  • Well-maintained network – how poorly maintained public rights of way act as a barrier to use;
  • Rights with responsibilities – responsible management and use of the network promoting good relationships;
  • Efficient delivery – why the Public Rights of Way and Access Service must use resources available to secure the greatest benefits for the public.

However, members of the public have the chance to say whether these themes are the correct priorities and make other suggestions.

The consultation is open until 12 September, and the questionnaire can be completed online at www.kent.gov.uk/rightsofwayimprovementplan. To request hard copies of any consultation materials, residents can email alternativeformats@kent.gov.uk or telephone 03000 421553.

Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “Our Public Rights of Way and Access Service looks after a network of about 4,300 miles of footpaths and bridleways, giving the public access to the county’s wonderful countryside and coastline.

“Officers have been carrying out detailed research and analysis to produce this plan, which builds on the achievements of the past 10 years.

“I hope the public will take the opportunity to give us their views on how much they value the service and offer their own ideas on its future plans.”

Have your say

The vision of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan is to provide a high quality, well maintained Public Rights of Way network, that will support the Kent economy, encourage active lifestyles and sustainable travel choices, and contribute to making Kent a great place to live, work and visit.

The plan set out our vision for the Rights of Way network and how KCC will work towards delivering this over the next 10 years. KCC would like your views on the Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2018 – 2028 to ensure that it meets the needs and expectations of Kent residents.

The draft Strategy is available to download from the ‘Documents’ section below. Please let KCC know your thoughts by completing the online questionnaire (via the ‘Respond to this Consultation’ section below).

KCC have published a copy of our Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for you to read and make comments on via the consultation questionnaire.

Your responses will be compiled into a consultation report, which will help produce the final version of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan.

Please note this consultation closes at midnight on 12 September 2018. 
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Poplars, Beaver Lane – Redevelopment Consultation

Ashford Borough Council is proposing a redevelopment of the Poplars, Beaver Lane, to 30 units as independent living for older people.

They are holding a public consultation event

  • from 4.00pm to 6.00pm
  • On 5th June 2018
  • At United Church Hall
    Cade Road, Ashford TN23 6JE

Ashford Borough Council want to engage with local residents and keep you informed and hear your views on the proposals. This is only part of the consultation process and they will be happy to receive correspondence via email, telephone or in person.

If you are unable to attend this event and wish to discuss the proposals or have any questions, please contact them:

  • email: site queries@ashford.gov.uk,
  • telephone: 012333 333311, or
  • visit the Civic Centre in person