and you were not aware of the circumstances on 20th April, you can apply for am Emergency Proxy Vote.
You should ask somebody you trust to vote in accordance with your wishes to vote on your behalf.
Download the appropriate Emergency Proxy Voting Application (use links above) complete it and arrange for it to be delivered to the Civic Centre. You should apply as soon as possible but this can be any time up to 5pm on polling day.
Ask your Proxy to go to the polling station named on your polling card (see our post regarding polling stations in South Ashford), and tell the staff that they are voting on your behalf by Emergency Proxy. Tell them who you want to vote for in each election in which you are voting: Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent County Council and, if you live in the ward, Ashford Borough Council Beaver Ward (see our list of candidates).
Remember: Your Vote is Yours Alone
You must not allow somebody else to use your polling card or vote on your behalf unless they have been nominated on a Proxy Voting Application.
Only nominate somebody you trust to vote in accordance with your wishes.
The following is a list of polling stations in South Ashford.
Your polling card will give your Electoral Register Number but if you don’t have it use the map above.
You do not need your polling card to vote but must be on the electoral register.
If you applied to vote by post and have received your postal voting form you must post it or deliver it to the Civic Centre by 10pm on Thursday 6th May or hand it in at any polling station on polling day (6th May). You must not vote at a polling station if you have voted by post.
You will not be able to vote if you did not register to vote by 19th April 2021. If you have not done so, Register to Vote now for future elections.
Do not allow anybody else to use your polling card or your postal voting form if you have not applied to vote by proxy.
Situation of Polling Station Station
Ranges of electoral register numbers of persons entitled to vote thereat
You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble. You can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six people or two households.
Domestic overnight stays are allowed, but you must only stay with members of your household or support bubble.
Early years settings, schools and colleges are open for all students. Students on practical university courses can return. Students and staff will be regularly tested. Other Higher Education students should continue to learn remotely.
You should work from home if you can.
Retail and personal care
Bars, Pubs and Restaurants
Leisure and sporting facilities
All retail open. Hairdressers, beauty and nail salons open.
Open outdoors for groups of six people or two households. Those that serve alcohol must provide table service. Closed indoors.
Campsites and self-contained holiday accommodation open for visits with your household or support bubble only. Hotels, hostels and B&Bs closed.
Gyms, indoor sports facilities and spas open for use on your own or with your own household or support bubble. Saunas and steam rooms closed.
Outdoor settings and attractions, such as zoos and theme parks open for visits of two households, or in a group of up to six people. Drive-in-events open for visits with your household or support bubble. Indoor entertainment closed.
Libraries and community centres open
People who live in a care home in England will be allowed two named regular indoor visitors.
Clinically extremely vulnerable people in England are no longer advised to shield, but should continue taking extra precautions such as minimising social interactions and shopping at quieter times of the day.
Places of Worship
Weddings and Funerals
You should minimise travel as much as possible. Avoid the busiest times and routes – plan your journey and what you need at your destination ahead of time
You must not go on holiday abroad. You could be fined £5,000 for travelling abroad without a legally permitted reason.
Places of worship open and communal worship is permitted, but you must not mix indoors with anyone outside your household or support bubble.
Funerals can continue with up to 30 attendees. Weddings, outdoor receptions, and commemorative events such as wakes can take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).
The census tells government, local authorities, the health service and other statutory service providers what our needs are now, and what they’re likely to be in the future. Information you give informs where billions of pounds of funding is spent on things like transport, education and health.
Every household will have received a letter, or will receive one this week, telling them to complete the Census and giving a Household Access Code.
If you cannot complete it online you should request a paper copy by calling 0800 141 2021 (automated service) or asking somebody to request one for you at census.gov.uk.
You can complete it as soon as you get the letter (or paper form) but the information needs to be accurate for Sunday 21st March. You can start filling in details and save your answers to complete the rest of the questions later.
You should complete it on 21 March or as soon after as later.
The form asks questions about your household and about individuals within it. If you want to complete your individual information separately from others within your household you can request an individual access code.
Contact from the ONS.
Neither the ONS support team or their contractors will call or visit you on or before 21 March to collect information.
If you do not complete the census they may contact you to encourage you to submit your form.
The ONS census team will carry out the Census Coverage Survey after the census date to sample the accuracy of the census data. The survey is not to test that individual households have given true information. You will receive a card beforehand and the interviewers will provide identification if they call. You are not obliged to participate in the survey.
Data security and privacy
The census in England and Wales is run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS and the statistics they generate are independent from government.
Government departments dealing with any applications you’ve made, or any payments or services you receive, cannot see your census information. For example, it cannot be used to influence benefit claims, a residency application, immigration status or taxes. Landlords, or any private organisation, will not be able to see your personal information either.
Census records will be kept secure for 100 years. Only then can future generations view them, for example, those interested in family history.
Stagecoach bus services in Kent and East Sussex will step up to 100% from Monday 8 March. Full pre-COVID school day timetables will be restored on most routes. Stagecoach are pleased to finally be able to return to normal service and welcome the support from Kent County Council that has enabled this to happen.
Dedicated school services in Ashford
As when schools were last fully open, many school day bus journeys will be running as ‘dedicated schools services’. This means they will only be available for young people to board if travelling to and from their place of education. The general public will not be able to use them, and, in-line with government instructions, these buses will be able to carry more passengers. Unlike normal service buses which have a limited seating capacity, these dedicated schools services will allow the near maximum seated capacity of the bus.
All dedicated schools services will have a special destination display that shows ‘School Service’ at the front of the bus, alternating with the route number and destination. As these ‘dedicated schools services’ are for students only, morning journeys will only stop to pick-up students and drop them at school/college. On the way home in the afternoon the ‘dedicated schools service’ will collect students from school/college and then operate as drop-off only at all other stops.
Also from 8 March, Kent County Council have confirmed that concessionary travel passes will no longer be accepted for travel before 09:30am.
Despite this increase in service levels, it’s vital that if you need to make a bus journey, you follow the government rules. Face coverings must be worn (unless you are medically exempt) and windows on most bus types should be left in the open position to allow the flow of fresh air. Capacity is limited to help with social distancing and you should be mindful to keep a safe distance from others (unless travelling with someone from your household bubble).
Want to know how to travel safely by bus? Stagecoach have taken a range of measures to help protect you when travelling. Their buses are clean, safe and ready to go. If you’re planning on travelling and are concerned about what to do, check out this guide. We’ve also put together a ten-point guide to help understand the measures that are in place. Find out more here.
Ashford borough Council have notified us of a phone scam around council tax which is currently in circulation.
This particular scam involves calls from a company called Greystone Recovery. The caller claims to have information relating to incorrect council tax banding and saying that the recipient is entitled to refunds.
These calls are not coming from the council, and are unrelated to genuine text messages that get sent out from the council about council tax arrears.
If you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of a call, whether they claim to be calling from the council, or another organisation, it is important to hang up and not give any information to the caller.
If you think your house may be in the wrong Council Tax Band read Martin Lewis’s advice on Money Saving Expert on how to check and and request re-assessment. Do read the whole of the article as, although there is no charge for re-assessment, it includes warnings about what could happen if the current banding is correct or too low.
There are a number of legitimate companies named Greystone or Grey Stone. We are not aware of any which provide Council Tax recovery services.
Over 70s and shielded patients encouraged to book now
Anyone aged 70 and over or on the Shielded Patients List (because they are clinically extremely vulnerable) who has not yet had a first dose vaccine can use the National Booking System to book an appointment. You do not need a letter from the NHS.
Members of the public not in these groups still need to wait for a letter.
You can book for yourself or on behalf of a relative. The person being vaccinated will need to be registered with a GP. You’ll need the name, date of birth and home postcode of the person being vaccinated. The person’s NHS number is helpful but not essential.
You can use the national booking service to arrange an appointment at one of three large vaccination centres or seven community pharmacy-led services in the county.
The nearest vaccination centre is in Folkestone
Pharmacy services are running in:
New Romney Pharmacy, vaccinations at New Romney Old School
Pharmacy2U, Maidstone, vaccinations at Odeon Cinema, Lockmeadow.
There is no restriction on where you live, you can book at any of these sites if slots are available.
All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
Kent and Medway CCG expect all people in these groups to have been invited to be vaccinated by 15th February 2020.
The full Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) list of priory groups is is on gov.uk
How do I make an appointment for my vaccination?
Do not contact NHS or your GP to ask for a vaccination, they should contact you. If you are over 70 years of age and have not been invited by 15th February contact your GP then (please remember that your GP surgery is very busy use the contact methods given on their website).
Where are vaccinations being given?
In Ashford urban area vaccinations are currently being given at:
St, Stephens Medical Centre for patients of the Ashford Medical Partnership: Willesborough Health Centre, Singleton Health Centre and St Stephens Health Centre
Musgrove Park Medical Centre, Ashford foe patients of Ashford Stour PCN: Hollington Surgery, Kingsnorth Medical Practice, New Hayesbank Surgery, Sellindge Surgery, Sydenham House Medical Centre and Wye Surgery and