News

Homeplus decision deferred

Homeplus proposals elevation

Yesterday evening (17 June 2020), Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee deferred a decision on the proposal by A Better Choice for Property for the redevelopment of the Homeplus site on the corner of Beaver Road and Avenue Jacques Faucheux. The reasons sited were quality of design and massing of the proposals. The vote to defer was taken after a motion to Refuse the application failed. A motion to Permit was not seconded.

The meeting papers and a link to view the recording of the meeting are at: 
https://ashford.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=139&MId=3821
The application is at:
https://planning.ashford.gov.uk/Planning/details.aspx?systemkey=113996

NHS Test and Trace

NHS Test and Trace service is now in operation.
You may be contacted by the Service if:
▪️You have tested positive for Coronavirus or
▪️You have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Coronavirus.

Be aware of scammers taking advantage of the launch of the service.

For accurate detailed information about the service go to
https://www.nhs.uk/…/coronavirus-c…/testing-for-coronavirus/

The NHS Test and Trace service will contact you by email, text or phone.
Text messages will come from the NHS. Calls will come from 0300 0135000.
Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian’s permission to continue the call.

If you have tested positive for Coronavirus:

You’ll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.

On the contact tracing website, you’ll be asked for information including:
▪️your name, date of birth and postcode
▪️if you live with other people
▪️any places you’ve been recently, such as a workplace or school
▪️names and contact details of any people you were in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started (if you know these details)
If you cannot use the contact tracing website, you’ll be asked for this information over the phone.

The NHS Test and Trace service will not:

▪️ask for bank details or payments
▪️ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
▪️ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
▪️ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

Do not click links in texts or emails
Do not press 1 if you are telephoned

Stagecoach timetable changes

Stagecoach are increasing some services across the South East from 1st June 2020

From Monday 1st June there’ll be a phased uplift in bus services. At first this will be on some of the busier routes in Kent, but as government lock-down restrictions ease, you will begin to see more buses return to service in other parts of the South East.

The services changing on the 1st June 2020 include:

Ashford routes; 1/1A, 2A, 10X, 11, 111, 123 & 666

Thanet routes; 8/8X, 48, 48A, Loop

Dover routes; 61 (evenings), 90 & 15

Please note that timetables are being updated more frequently than usual at this time, so please check our latest temporary timetables below before you travel:

Temporary timetables

10-steps to staying safe when you travel:

  1. Plan ahead, allow extra time for your journey and try to travel at off-peak times, where possible.
  2. Wear a face covering if you can.
  3. Use contactless to pay or have the correct change.
  4. Buses will have limited capacity. If your bus has a BUS FULL sign please be prepared to wait for the next bus.
  5. Let people off the bus before you get on.
  6. Keep a safe social distance from others, 2m apart where possible – at the bus stop and on board.
  7. Sit in the window seat, leaving the seats in front and behind you empty and don’t sit directly behind the driver.
  8. Only one person can sit on a double seat, unless you’re with a member of your household.
  9. Don’t stand on the bus.
  10. Wash or sanitise your hands before and after your journey.

As more people return to work, to help keep everyone safe we have reduced the number of seats available on our buses to promote social distancing. Please plan ahead and avoid the busiest times of day if you can and see below our 10-steps to travelling safely at this time.

Stagecoach UK Bus 30 May 2020
https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/south-east/government-coronavirus-measures–changes-to-bus-services
https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/national/covid-19-travelling-safely

Bank Holiday Bus Times

To serve key workers who need to travel on May Bank Holiday (Monday 25th May), Stagecoach will be running their current Monday to Saturday service on most routes.

There are a few routes that will not operate on Monday 25th May:

Route 649 in Canterbury will not operate
Route 93 in the Dover area will not operate
Routes 312 and 313 to and from Rye will not operate
Routes 95, 96 and 97 in the Bexhill area will not operate

Route 5 in Seasalter will be operated by Regent, view Regent timetable

For more details of these and the current timetables in place across the South East, see below:

Temporary timetables

Organ donation opt-out

Today, a new system of consent for organ and tissue donation in England has gone live. Under the new system, known as ‘opt out’ or ‘deemed consent’, people over 18 years of age in England will now be considered to have agreed to donate their organs and tissue after death, except where they made a decision to opt out.

Donating organs will remain a personal decision

While the new system is now live, people will continue to be able to record their decision to opt out at any point and the simplest way to do so is on the NHS Organ Donation website.

It’s important that everyone takes the time to discuss their choices on donation with their families, whatever their preference may be.  Get the facts about organ donation to help you decide

The new system comes with necessary safeguards

Children below 18 years, people who have been ordinary residents for less than 12 months in England and people who lacked capacity for a significant time, will be excluded. 

Earlier in the year the Department of Health and Social Care announced a further safeguard, following our 12-week public consultation the previous year. This will ensure that the new system will only apply to routine transplants, to help those waiting for a life-saving or life-enhancing transplant.

Novel and rare transplants will be excluded from deemed consent when they become available in the UK. 

Amazon Grant Scam

Kent Police Cybercrime unit have received reports of a new phishing attempt purporting to be from Amazon, asking customers whether they would like to apply to the Amazon Grant relief fund, to receive a grant of up to £1,000. The recipient is asked to click on a link if they wish to be enlisted.

We have received reports of the same scam being attempted by telephone.

Don’t click on links in emails and messages

https://twitter.com/kentpolicecy…/status/1260143824585863169

Other Covid-19 scams

See our list of Covid-19 related scams

#TakeFive 

Stop – Challenge – Protect 

#scamaware #cyberprotect

Report Fraud

Wearing a face covering does not protect you.

The UK Government is now recommending the use of face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distances might not be maintained.

If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example, on public transport or in some shops.

Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you.

However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.

Face coverings do not replace social distancing.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough and/or high temperature), you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this.

A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards.

Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.

Wearing a face covering

It is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.

A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.

Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off and after use. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.

Do not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose. Once removed, make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched.

You should wash a face covering regularly. It can go in with other laundry, using your normal detergent.

When wearing a face covering, take care to tuck away any loose ends.

Home made face coverings

You can make face-coverings at home. The key thing is it should cover the mouth and nose.

Instructions for making face coverings:

Cabinet Office, 11 May 2020
www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-outside-your-home/staying-safe-outside-your-home
Public Health England, 11 May 2020
www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

Public spaces / outdoor activities / exercise

There will be a limited number of things you can do from Wednesday 13th May that you cannot do now:

  • spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing
  • meet one other person from a different household outdoors – following social distancing guidelines
  • exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines
  • use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person while staying 2 metres apart
  • go to a garden centre

At all times, should continue to observe social distancing guidelines when you are outside your home, including ensuring you are 2 metres away from anyone outside your household. As with before, you cannot:

  • visit friends and family in their homes
  • exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre, or go swimming in a public pool
  • use an outdoor gym or playground
  • visit a private or ticketed attraction
  • gather in a group of more than two (excluding members of your own household), except for a few specific exceptions set out in law (for work, funerals, house moves, supporting the vulnerable, in emergencies and to fulfil legal obligations)

If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home – this is critical to staying safe and saving lives.

Recycling Centre reopens from 15 May

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) will open from Friday 15 May for essential use.

It’s important for you to limit use of these restricted slots, as they should be used for emergency waste disposal.

To be able to visit a HWRC you must book a slot in advance. Please note that booking slots are very limited to maintain social distancing for staff and visitors.

Booking will be available from Wednesday 13 May 2020

Note that the demand is high: there was a queue of 17500 to get on to the online booking form at Wednesday lunchtime; there is likely to be a long wait time on the phone.

Who can visit

You will only be able to book one trip in any 4 week period to ensure everyone can use the site safely.

Please note that the restricted vehicle and voucher scheme still applies. If you have a restricted vehicle you must apply for a voucher.

See our previous post for links to KCC and ABC pages giving information about other council services.

Kent County Council
https://www.kent.gov.uk/waste-planning-and-land/rubbish-and-recycling/visiting-a-hwrc-during-coronavirus