Kent Fire and Rescue Service will shortly have around 73 defibrillators that they wish to donate to Community groups, charities etc. The units will be free but given on the understanding that from handover maintenance and responsibility for  the units stays with the successful bidders.

Contact us to be put in touch with KFRS



Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople consultation

Help shape our Local PlanGypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Issues and Options

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 21 Feb 2018
Closes: 6 Apr 2018 at 17:00.

Ashford Borough Council are committed to meeting the identified needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community within the borough. In order to meet this need, the Council is in the process of developing a Development Plan Document for Gypsies and Travellers.  This document seeks the views of the Gypsy and Traveller communities, residents and stakeholders, on the issues and options for Gypsy and Traveller site selection in Ashford.

The issues and options outlined within this consultation are not a statement of intention by Ashford, instead they are designed to highlight the key themes and suggested options upon which they need your views. Consultation on the issues and options report and consideration of the responses to consultation will assist the Council to analyse the merits and drawbacks of all the practical options available for providing sites for Gypsies, Travellers and travelling showpeople. As part of this issues and options consultation, they are seeking to identify suitable sites to consider for inclusion as Gypsy, Traveller and travelling showpeople sites within the DPD.  Suggestions for the inclusion of specific sites are an important aspect of consultation on this particular Issues and Options report.

The format of the consultation is to provide some background information and then pose a series of questions to help guide responses, and there is the opportunity to raise further issues and options as part of this consultation. (more…)

Friends of Victoria Park first meeting

Friends of Victoria Park first meeting

  • Hubert Fountain6:00pm
  • Monday 5th March
  • Civic Centre,
    Tannery Lane,TN23 1LP

Ashford Borough Council have secured initial funding to develop a £3.7m restoration and improvement project for Victoria Park and Watercress Fields, thanks to support from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. The Council are working with a number of specialists who will help us to undertake historic research about the park, explore ideas for activities, events, schools resources and training, as well as developing designs for restoration and improvement works.

As part of the project The Council are setting up a Friends of Victoria Park group. Please do come along to this first no commitment evening, you can find out more about what a friends group does and how you can get involved.

Victoria Park Community Consultation Event

Victoria Park Community Consultation Event

Saturday 21st April

Ashford Borough Council have secured initial funding to develop a £3.7m restoration and improvement project for Victoria Park and Watercress Fields, thanks to support from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. The Council are working with a number of specialists who will help us to undertake historic research about the park, explore ideas for activities, events, schools resources and training, as well as developing designs for restoration and improvement works.

Come along to Victoria Park, meet the project team, find out what’s been happening and give them your views

Halstow Way redevelopment consultation

View from open space

Did you attend the event yesterday evening, 21st Feb?

South Ashford Community Forum would like to know your views.

  • Do you live in the immediate vicinity of the Noakes Meadow open space? Did you receive a notice of the event?
  • Affordable housing is desperately needed in Ashford and the Council have used some land they own to produce excellent small developments.
  • The land on which these flats are to be built is designated open space. the Council are proposing that S106 money from this development and others is used to improve the remainder of the space, to compensate for the reduction in area. Is this an appropriate use of open space.
  • The plans allow for 28 car parking spaces to comply with the requirement in the draft local plan but data indicates that car ownership in flats in Ashford is 1 car per 2 dwellings. Should this much space be used for parking?
  • Is the location appropriate for 3 storey development about 12m to to ridge?
  • The proposals show the site fenced. Does it need to be, or is this creating a ‘gated community’.
  • What will the impact be on the existing residents of Halstow Way?


KMFRA announces Council Tax increase

The Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority (KMFRA) met on 13 February and agreed the Council Tax for the Authority for 2018/19.

The agreed that the KMFRA element of Council Tax should be increased by 2.95% which is an annual increase 4p a week (£2.16 a year) for a household in a Band D property. This is higher than that originally announced and follows the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government’s announcement of an increase in the amount by which authorities could increase their precept without a referendum.

We show the total Council Tax for a Band D property in the unparished areas of Ashford.

The table shows the annual Council Tax for a Band D property

Authority 17/18 % Rise £ Rise 18/19
Kent County Council 1,178.82 4.99% 58.82 1237.64
Ashford Borough Council 154.00 2.28% 3.50 157.50
Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority 73.35 2.95% 2.16 75.51
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner 157.15 7.64% 12.00 169.15
Total 1563.32  4.89% 76.48 1639.80


Open consultation: Regulations for a safeguard energy tariff

Data sharing regulations for a safeguard energy tariff

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS)

Opens 12 February 2018
Closes 26 February 2018

Consultation description

DBEIS looking for views on adding a safeguard energy tariff imposed by Ofgem (the regulator) for vulnerable consumers on standard variable and fixed-term default tariffs to the list of fuel poverty measures for which public authorities can share data with gas and electricity suppliers for the purpose of assisting households in fuel poverty.

Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 gives government powers to share personal information across organisational boundaries to improve public services. It says what data can be shared and for which purposes, and includes safeguards to ensure that the privacy of citizens’ data is protected.

Part 5 allows data sharing between specified public authorities and energy suppliers for the purpose of alleviating fuel poverty. The data sharing must be for use under one of the fuel poverty measures listed in section 36(3) of the Act. The list currently includes measures such as the Warm Home Discount and the Energy Company Obligation scheme.

Other fuel poverty measures, such as Ofgem’s proposed safeguard tariff for vulnerable consumers at risk of fuel poverty, are not currently covered by list, so this consultation is about adding it to the list.


Data sharing regulations for a safeguard energy tariff PDF796KB14 pages

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Mum saves son from toxic battery smoke

A quick-thinking mum saved her son from toxic smoke after a charging bag containing a remote control car battery, exploded.

The popping sound of the charging bag bursting at 11.15pm on Friday, 10 February, prompted Karen Major, to check on her 11-year-old son in bed.

Upon opening his bedroom door she found Sam fast asleep surrounded by thick grey smoke, with the battery charging in its charging bag on the floor next to him – burning the carpet.

She woke her son, turned the power off and got out of the house as quickly as she could before calling 999.

Once Kent Fire and Rescue Service was on the scene, crews entered the home wearing breathing apparatus and removed the battery in the bag. They then used a pressure fan to clear the property of smoke.

Karen said: “I was watching a film downstairs when I heard the popping noise and then noticed an acrid smell. When I saw what had happened in Sam’s room I considered throwing the battery out of the window, but I decided the best thing to do was to get Sam and I out to safety and call Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

“I truly believe the charging bag saved Sam’s life. If the battery hadn’t of been in the bag, I think things would have been very different. I will never let those type of batteries be charged in the bedroom again, especially not on carpet, and I’ll always use a charging bag.

“I contacted the toy manufacturer, not to blame them, but to urge them to encourage customers to buy charging bags when purchasing these sorts of batteries – they’re only about £7.”

Jason Visser, Watch Manager for Southborough said: “Sam’s mum did the right thing and got both of them out of the house as quickly as possible. This incident could have had a very different ending if the battery wasn’t in a charging bag – Sam had a very lucky escape. The overheating battery had the potential to be a silent killer – there were no flames, just toxic smoke and fumes.

“We were also able to fit new smoke detectors in the property.”

Following this near miss, Kent Fire and Rescue Service is reiterating safety precautions around charging batteries:

  • When charging batteries place them on a non-flammable surface in a room with a smoke detector. Avoid carpet, sofas etc.
  • Follow the manufactures’ charging guidelines and use recognised and recommended chargers and charging leads
  •  Where possible use a charging bag
  • Avoid charging batteries or any electrical items overnight or if you leave the house
  • Be sure to have at least one smoke detector installed per floor of a property

Kent Fire and Rescue Service  16 February 2018

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.


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

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.

Postnatal Depression

Craft Attack & Jigsaw

Support & Therapy Groups

Around 10-15% of new mothers in the UK suffer from postnatal depression (PND). It usually develops within the first 6 weeks after birth, but can develop at any point within the first year.

Symptoms may include feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope, suffering from low moods, anxiety, panic attacks, and experiencing irregular sleeping patterns and difficulty in bonding. This in turn may lead to feelings of guilt, anger, irritability, negative thoughts and feeling helpless and isolated, even when supported by loved ones.

Craft Attack

offers an environment of respite for mums finding it difficult to cope. The group uses arts and crafts to help mums explore what they are experiencing and how they are feeling, whilst providing the opportunity to meet others in a similar position and find mutual support within the group. There is no obligation to engage with the craft activities and certainly no expectation to produce masterpieces! Refreshments and lunch are provided.


is a group for mums ready to explore what they are experiencing through talking with others in a similar position, facilitated by an experienced counsellor. Refreshments are provided.

Crèche and Care

A crèche is provided for babies and pre-school children, allowing mums to attend the groups in the knowledge their child is looked after in a safe crèche environment.

“Craft Attack has been the best support for me during a really difficult time” – Craft Attack attendee (2016/17)

The Groups

Using Big Lottery funding we offer places for up to 10 mums with PND and the groups run every Monday for 10 weeks. Craft Attack lasts two hours (12.30 – 2.30) in a relaxed and confidential environment. Jigsaw lasts one and a half hours also in a safe and confidential environment. Both groups offer support to mums with symptoms of PND and may address other aspects of anxiety and depression associated with PND.

Qualified and experienced counsellors attend the groups and are available for you to speak with in relation to matters that may be affecting you and the care of your baby. Be assured that information shared is treated in the strictest confidence.


Transport can be provided for those who need it from the Ashford area; the transport will collect you from your home address and will return you back once the session has finished. Child seats can be included, please let us know in advance.

How you will benefit:

  • We will provide a confidential and safe place in which to support you.
  • We will enable you to meet people in a similar situation to develop new friendships.
  • We will support you in exploring feelings and emotions brought about through postnatal depression and early parenting challenges.
  • We can provide support that meets your individual needs: respite, group therapy or individual counselling / therapy.
  • We will work with you to build confidence and self-esteem to enable you to change your current position.

Would you like to know more?


Ashford Counselling Service
The Paul Bower Centre
123 Church Road
Kent TN24 0JQ
Tel: 01233 610083