Consultation

Victoria Park and Watercress Fields

Victoria Park and Watercress Fields

Ashford Borough Council

Parks for People: Explore Victoria Park and Watercress Fields

Have you discovered Ashford’s largest and most central park yet?

There’s something for everyone at Victoria Park and Watercress Fields; including a wealth of history, exciting play spaces, interesting ecology, and quiet spaces to relax.

Download a plan of Victoria Parks and Watercress Fields.

The park has a pivotal role to play in connecting residents with the town’s history, the local area and the built, cultural and natural heritage of the site. Not only that, but it also a great space to explore the environment and access the great outdoors.

Funding

Now Ashford Borough Council (ABC) are looking to make the park an even better place to visit, with thanks to support from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. ABC have secured initial funding to develop a £3.7m restoration and improvement project.

Plans for Victoria Park

The future aims include Green Flag status for the park, building upon the opportunities for community engagement and participation, promoting outdoor activities, and enabling volunteers to gain new skills.

How you can help

ABC looking to form an active Friends Group for joined-up community participation and to enable local residents to shape the future of the area.

Please tell us what you think by completing a short online survey
www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Ashford-Victoria_Park.

To help ABC develop the plans, we’d love to hear what you think about the park and what changes you would like to see.

Sign up to the newsletter

If you would like to receive a regular newsletter (via the ABC website) that will provide an update of news, events and project progress, please provide your email address, and we will be in touch.

 

Get in touch

If you would like to get in touch, or to find out more about the project,
please email the team. victoriapark@ashford.gov.uk

Minerals and Waste Plan Consultation

Kent County CouncilEarly Partial Review of the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-30 and
Mineral Sites Plan – Options Consultation

Kent County Council

Opens: 19 Dec 2017
Closes: 27 Mar 2018

The Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-30 (KMWLP or the Plan) sets out the minerals supply and waste management capacity provision for Kent up until the year 2031. Following the adoption of the KMWLP in July 2016, further assessments have been undertaken which suggest that the level of waste management capacity required to maintain net self-sufficiency differs from that which was anticipated to be needed when the KMWLP was prepared. In order to ensure that Kent benefits from an up-to-date strategy for waste management capacity the County Council is seeking to undertake an early partial review of the KMWLP to amend several of the policies relating to waste management.

Furthermore, the County Council also seeks to improve the clarity of the policies relating to minerals and waste safeguarding; this should improve their effectiveness when used in practice. This is a part of the Early Partial Review of the Plan at this time.

Parallel to the early Partial Review Consultation referred to above the County Council is holding a public consultation on the Option Sites for the Minerals Sites Plan. This is a Regulation 18 consultation to gather the views of the general community, groups, organisations, mineral operators, other Kent authorities (at the Parish and Borough/District levels) and individuals on what the County Council considers to be potential mineral sites required to supply a steady and adequate quantity of mineral resources to meet the objectives of the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan (KMWLP) 2013-30.

Additional supporting evidence documents and Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Reports have been published to support the consultation. Since the start of the consultation the evidence base been updated as follows:

Information concerning the site areas of the following Minerals Site Options:

  • West Malling Sandpit, Ryarsh
  • Chapel Farm, Lenham
  • Lydd Quarry Extensions, Lydd

Assessment of the suitability of mineral site options with respect to the Green Belt.

  • A separate evidence addendum has been prepared that summarises the updates and this can be found on the above website.

To engage in the above consultations, please click here.

The period for the  consultations is 19th December 2017 to 27th March 2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Minerals and Waste Planning Policy team.

Email:  mwlp@kent.gov.uk

Phone:  03000 413328

Consultation Summary

Name The Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-30
Description Kent County Council is seeking to undertake an early partial review of the KMWLP to amend several of the policies relating to waste management.
Dates From 19 Dec 2017 at 00:00 to 27 Mar 2018 at 23:59.
Status Open
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, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells
Consultation Topic General interest, Environment and countryside, Planning and planning applications, Recycling, rubbish and waste management
Consultation Methods Online survey / questionnaire / forms
Contact Details Email:  mwlp@kent.gov.uk

Phone:  03000 413328

‘Opt-out’ consent for organ donation in England consultation

Introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England

Department of Health and Social Care

Opens: 12 December 2017
Closes: 6 March 2018

Summary

The government wants views from as many people as possible on plans to make it easier for people to give consent to be an organ donor.

Consultation description

The Department of Health and Social Care have launched a consultation about organ and tissue donation. The government wants to know what people think about proposed changes in which people are considered willing to be an organ donor after their death, unless they have ‘opted out’.

They want to find out what people think of how the changes to the system should be made, and what else they think the government needs to consider.

The defining issues of the new system are:

  • how much say families have in their deceased relative’s decision to donate their organs
  • when exemptions to ‘opt-out’ would be needed, and what safeguards would be necessary
  • how a new system might affect certain groups depending on age, disability, race or faith

Documents

Consultation on introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england/consultation-on-introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england HTML

Quick Read: organ and tissue donation consultation
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england/quick-read-organ-and-tissue-donation-consultation HTML

Impact Assessment: organ donation opt-out
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/666518/Organ_Donation_Opt-Out_Consultation_Impact_Assessment.pdf PDF, 707KB, 24 pages

Have your say on organ donation

https://engage.dh.gov.uk/organdonation/

Department of Health and Social Care 12 December 2017
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england

ABC Budget Consultation

Budget Consultation 2018/19

Ashford Borough Council

Opens 29 December 2017
Closes 7 February 2018

At the last Ashford Borough Council cabinet meeting, members agreed a draft budget for the 2018-19 financial year, which begins on 1st April 2018.

The draft budget is presented to Council members at a time when the Chancellor of the Exchequer has just delivered his 2018 Autumn Budget to parliament. It is also set against the backdrop of the negotiations to leave the European Union, which continue to cause uncertainty.

Please read ABC’s draft budget summary document to help you take part in our budget consultation for the 2018-2019 financial year. We would value your feedback on our proposals.

2018-19_budget_consultation [pdf] 1295KB www.ashford.gov.uk/media/5384/2018-19_budget_consultation.pdf

The budget contains a large amount of information, so we felt it might be beneficial to outline the key points below:

Council tax

It is proposed that Ashford Borough Council increases its element of council tax by £3.50 per year for the average band D property, increasing the amount payable to Ashford Borough Council from £154 to £157.50 per year– please note this is based on the Ashford element of council tax only and will be adjusted to reflect your property band.

For context, even if all the other local authorities in Kent froze their council tax Ashford would still be setting the lowest council tax in Kent.

The council proposes to increase its element of council tax by £3.50 (which equates to 2.28%) as government allows councils to increase their council tax by 2% or £5, whichever is greater. So, although ours is proposed to increase by 2.28%, this is within agreed parameters.

The council’s Corporate Plan is focused on the delivery of business and housing growth as well as income generation from commercial activities – such as the £42m Elwick Place project, which is on budget and on schedule. The commercial approach needs time to mature and so for now we propose to increase council tax, however the future ambition of the council is to do so by a smaller amount every year. For example, last year the council raised council tax by £4. This year it proposes to do so by £3.50.

Ashford will still set the lowest council tax in Kent. (more…)

Health watchdog consults on future aims

Shaping our Future

Healthwatch

Opens: 08 November 2017
Closes: 03 January 2018

Healthwatch the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services, launched in 2012. Since then, in partnership with local Healthwatch, they have worked hard to understand what people want from care services and make sure that those who run services hear these views.

They are now developing their strategy for 2018 – 2023.

Between June and September 2017, they asked the public, professionals and local Healthwatch a number of questions to help shape their future focus. They invite you to take part in the next phase of their strategy.

They asked people where they should focus their efforts to have the biggest impact.

The ideas people shared largely focussed on the following areas:

  • Working to improve existing care, particularly the access people have to support, and the avoidable differences in people’s experience of health and social care across the population.
  • Mental health and care for older people were also common issues where people wanted to see improvements.
  • Making it easier for more people to have an equal say in decisions that affect them by tackling barriers, such as public awareness and professional attitudes.
  • Ensuring that communities are involved in shaping future health and social care services.
  • Supporting a stronger, more consistent Healthwatch network – from the service the public receives, to the way the network works together to achieve change.
  • Maintaining the independence of the network and working in partnership with others to improve health and social care services.

What this means for their work

People’s feedback has helped inform the development of three aims for their future.

  1. Empowering you and your community to have your say

    We want to make sure people can access the information they need to take control of their health and care, make informed decisions and shape the services that support them.

  2. Providing a high quality Healthwatch service for you

    We want to support a consistently high quality Healthwatch service for people who want to share their views or find information about health and social care. We also want to help local Healthwatch to champion people’s views effectively and make sure that local health and social care services truly reflect people’s needs.

  3. Making sure your views help improve health and social care

    We want people’s views to drive health and social care – ensuring you get access, on an equal basis with others, to support that works for you, as well as helping to shape future services for your community.

Download “Shaping our Future”
www.healthwatch.co.uk/sites/healthwatch.co.uk/files/20171107_-_shaping_our_future.pdf

They would like to hear your views on these aims.

Have your say via the Healthwatch website
www.healthwatch.co.uk/resource/shaping-our-future

Strategic priorities for Kent Police consultation

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner

As Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott sets the strategic priorities for Kent Police.

Earlier this year he published Safer in Kent: The Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan.The plan is kept under constant review and is regularly updated in line with what local communities want.

Mr Scott wants to know what matters most to you, so please take the time to fill out our short survey and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to fill one in as well. You do not need to provide your name or any contact details if you do not wish to.

A summary of responses will be published here when the Safer in Kent Plan is next updated.

Please remember that the Safer in Kent Plan only sets the strategic priorities for Kent Police – it cannot amend or change the way officers are deployed or the way operational decisions are made. These are matters for the Chief Constable to determine. The PCC’s job is to hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of the plan and its strategic objectives on your behalf.

Consultation on pharmacy needs in Kent

pharmacy logo

2018 Pharmaceutical needs assessment consultation

Kent County Council

Opens: 25 November 2017
Closes: 22 January 2018

How often do you use your local pharmacy? Does your town need more? These are some of the questions being put to Kent residents in a new consultation.

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments (PNAs) are used by commissioners such as Kent County Council and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to identify local health needs that could be addressed by these services, and by NHS England to decide whether to approve applications for new pharmacies in an area.

Residents and health professionals are being urged for their views in a brief questionnaire. KCC Deputy Director of Public Health, Allison Duggal said: “We have a statutory responsibility to look at the need for pharmaceutical services in Kent and the essential services they currently provide, including dispensing, providing support and advice on health and medicines, collection of medicine waste and supporting public health campaigns. We’d like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation so we can shape the future of pharmaceutical services in the county.”

The important role that pharmacists can play is highlighted in the NHS England ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign which KCC supports, urging people feeling under the weather this winter to avoid A&E, and to instead consider visiting their local pharmacy for quick, early advice. This is especially important over the winter months – when people are more likely to become ill or feel poorly.

Going to the pharmacy early will give you access to medication and advice on common ailments, but they can also:

  • provide expert advice to manage long term conditions and let you know if you need to see your GP or make a hospital appointment;
  • Give you advice on how to care for an elderly relative or friend who has a bad cough, trouble breathing, cold or sore throat.

(more…)

KMFRA Safety and Wellbeing Plan and Budget Consultation

Kent Fire and Rescue LogoSafety and Wellbeing Plan 2018

Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority

Opens: 23 October 2017
Closes: 14 January 2018

The Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority (KMFRA) has published its Safety and Wellbeing Plan for 2018 and is consulting the public on the plan and Council Tax for 2018/19.

The plan outlines the work of Kent Fire and Rescue Service and what it aims to achieve over the coming year.  Prevention remains a top priority for the Service.  This includes continuing to provide fire safety and other advice, such as how to stay warm in the winter, to the most vulnerable in the county such as frail elderly people and those with disabilities.  We are also looking to provide extra support to those living in sheltered accommodation through advice to the elderly residents and those managing the buildings.

Alongside the plan KMFRA is consulting on the level of Council Tax for next year.  As a result of a planned approach the Authority has managed to make the necessary savings, whilst still maintaining good emergency cover across the county, investment in frontline services and new technology to help crews fight fires more effectively.

The 2018/19 Council Tax options being consulted on are:

  • Option one – a 0% increase
  • Option two – an increase of just under 2% for a Band D household – that is an increase of less than 3p a week per household.  This option would allow the Authority to continue with its plan to deliver an efficient and effective service to local people whilst being able to make planned efficiency savings in a way that would have least impact on service delivery
  • Option three – an increase of over 2%, if there is flexibility to do so within the referendum limit (the Government has not yet confirmed if it will limit the amount by which local authorities can increase Council Tax without a costly referendum – last year it was 2%).  Each 1% increase amounts to around 1p a week for a band D household.

Main document

Title
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018.pdf (910KB)

Consultation survey

Supporting information

Title
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 – Review of Impacts of 2nd pump moves.pdf (1.62MB)
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 – Risk Profile Update 2017.pdf (7.42MB)
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 – Review of Impacts of Emergency Medical Response.pdf (534KB)
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2016/18 – Ashford Risk Profile (5.97MB)
application/pdf Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2016/18 – Ashford Operational Activity Analysis (3.74MB)

Take part in our consultation

Give us your views on the Authority’s Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 and the Council Tax consultation for 2018/19.

Please complete the survey, which includes the text of the Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018, before 9am on 15 January 2018.

You can also download a copy of the Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2018 and all the supporting documentation using the links on the right-hand side of this page.

The outcomes of the consultation will be reported to the meeting of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority to be held on 13 February 2018.

If you have any questions about the Safety and Wellbeing Plan or would like a paper copy of the report documents or survey sent to you, please:

Safety and Wellbeing Plan
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
FREEPOST NAT 9369
Maidstone
ME15 6BR

Addendums

As part of the consultation process, we have committed to correcting information which is highlighted to us as not being clear, or is incorrect.

KCC Infant Feeding Support Consultation relaunched

Kent County CouncilCommunity Infant Feeding Support

Kent County Council

Opens: 23 Oct 2017
Closes: 3 Dec 2017

The consultation, originally launched on 18th July, has been reviewed and is relaunched here as outlined in Paul Carter’s statement posted on the Kent County Council consultation page on 4 August.

We would like to hear your views on proposed changes to how Community Infant Feeding Support is provided in Kent. Currently generic support is provided by the Health Visiting Service and specialist support is provided by PS Breastfeeding CIC.

The proposed model is that from 1st April 2018 the Health Visiting Service (provided by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT)) will deliver all infant feeding support.   In designing the proposed model, Kent County Council has looked to ensure that families are still able to access the support they need, at the same time as making best use of the existing professional skills and resources within the Health Visiting service.

KCC is confident that Health Visitors can now deliver generic and specialist breastfeeding services in addition to the mandatory universal contacts and support it provides, and therefore does not wish to commission provision which duplicates the health visiting offer. (more…)

KCC Budget Strategy 2018/19

Draft Budget Strategy 2018/19

Kent County Council

Opens: 12 Oct 2017
Closes: 3 Dec 2017

Kent County Council 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 your money wisely. The Councillors you elect have some big decisions ahead and we would value your advice and suggestions before taking them. We’d like to hear your views on these challenges as the council sets its budget for next year (April 2018 to March 2019).

John Simmonds MBE, Cabinet Member for Finance, explains the challenges we face in this short video:

KCC Budget 2017 from Kent County Council on Vimeo.

£933m spent on services in 2017/18How we are funded

Funding for our budget comes from many sources in addition to Council Tax, including grants from central government.

Each year we set a budget to decide how much we’re able spend on services for Kent residents and businesses for the next financial year and how much income we need from Government and local taxation to fund this.

£589m savings made over the last 7 years

Our priorities

We prioritise spending on services that make sure children and young people get the best start in life, that communities feel the benefit of economic growth, and that support vulnerable residents to live independently.

Our strategic statement annual report gives details of how we are ensuring every pound spent in Kent is delivering better outcomes for Kent’s residents, communities and businesses.

£62.5m funding gap 2017/18 to 2018/19The Big Challenge

In recent years the amount of money available from Government has been decreasing while demand and cost for council services has been increasing. We expect this trend to continue in coming years.

Since 2010 we have made savings of £589 million to offset these challenges and continue to protect and invest in services. 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 frontline services.

We have less funding from Government but there is increased pressure on spending as a result of rising demand for services, inflation and the living wage. This means that despite the £589m savings we have already made, we still have considerable savings to find now in the years to come.

2018/19 consultation documents

2017/18 budget

Have your say on our 2018/19 budget

We are asking questions about:

  • Council Tax
  • budget strategy (how KCC plans for the future)
  • how aware people are about the financial challenge most councils face.

There is also an opportunity to give any general views or suggestions you may have.

To make sure you have all the information to help you give an informed response, we have prepared a short summary to be read before answering the questions.

Take part in our consultation

The consultation closes on 3 December 2017.