Coronavirus Service Disruption
The following is a list of known service changes as a result of the COVID-19 virus. This is a rapidly-moving situation, please accept our apologies for any errors or omissions. This page will be updated regularly to give the most accurate picture, so keep checking back for updates.
Affected service list – Last updated Friday 27 March 2020
Processing times (all): We are endeavouring to deal with all enquires as quickly as possible but this is a very challenging situation. We are reassigning resources to priority areas.
- sealing personal waste such as tissues and disposable cleaning cloths in smaller plastic bags
- storing these bags for 72 hours before bagging
- double bagging this type of waste
- placing these double bagged bags in your refuse wheeled bin (grey bin)
- please avoid contaminating the recycling.
Kent County Council has announced the closure of their Household Waste and Recycle Centres. KCC staff working at these centres have been redeployed to support the transfer stations to keep them operational.
- If your savings are below £10k (£16k for pensioners) you may be entitled to Council Tax Reduction. To estimate your entitlement you can visit https://www.entitledto.co.uk/
- If you do qualify for help towards paying your Council Tax, you can make a claim online
- If your savings are above £10k or you don’t qualify for Council Tax Reduction, but your income has dropped or you are experiencing cash flow problems you can contact us and we can either reduce your instalments temporarily, or spread them over 12 months rather than the usual 10 months. To discuss your Council Tax instalments please contact email@example.com
- If you are still struggling to make payments during this time you can make an application for an Exceptional Circumstances Payment. You don’t need to qualify for Council Tax Reduction to make a claim for Exceptional Circumstances Payment.
- If you would like to talk through your options our Welfare Intervention Officers can help
A-Z of Other Services
If you have an allotment, you can keep tending to it as the government count this as exercise.
Please maintain social distancing and keep 2m away from other people.
Remember that the virus can spread through surface contact so if you touch anything like a gate, padlock or tool that someone else has used, that you wash your hands with soap and water, or use a proper hand sanitiser.
The One You Shop is closed. If you need assistance, please contact the following:
- Rising Sun Domestic Violence and Abuse Service – Confidential Helpline – 01227 452852. This line is available 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
- Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge - 0808 2000 247 or the Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327. www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
- Domestic Abuse Support Services in Kent and Medway - www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk
- Karma Nirvana - You can request a call back through their website at https://karmanirvana.org.uk/contact/. You can also call 0800 599 9247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
- Victim Support Kent is open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm on Saturday. Call 0808 168 9276 and leave your details, or talk on live chat online 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
- Refuge www.refuge.org.uk/refuge-responds-to-covid-19
If you are in danger please call 999 immediately.
Applications to register to vote via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by post will be processed as usual. All scheduled elections are postponed for 12 months. No by-elections will be held until further notice.
Appointments to view the electoral register will not be available until further notice. Queries by email, telephone or post will be answered in the normal manner.
We are particularly interested in any non-food business that is now providing a food service, to ensure that all relevant hygiene rules are being followed. This also applies to community organised food services. All those supplying food are legally required to register their activity on the government website. This a free service and is easily completed.
If you are planning to start or expand hot and/or cold food delivery business, there are several controls that you need to have in place so you can do this safely on food business coronavirus advice page.
The Council’s Aspire Landscape Management team will continue to carry out grounds maintenance work at safety critical sites where line of site must be maintained; and also where trees have become/threaten to become unstable and must have action taken/be felled and cleared. No non-urgent tree work will be undertaken until further notice.
The team will also continue to maintain lifebelts alongside water courses.
Aspire will also maintain public access to parks and open spaces (unless national guidance changes) and ensure the safety and appearance of those sites. This will involve a tractor driver only, isolated from the public in the cab, and also single staff working on hand-operated power tools only, all while continuing to observe rules on social distancing.
Any potential new clients, at this time, you can still apply and have a lifeline installed by our contractor. This is being assessed daily and on calling the AMC to enquire about a lifeline then this will be discussed.
Manual submission is not possible until further notice. All applications must be submitted using our online portal or via the NLIS service.
- St Mary’s Church, Willesborough, Ashford, TN24 0YR. Tel: 07583418386 (Monday, Wednesday Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm only)
- Uprising Community Hub, Brooke Road, Ashford, TN24 8HN
- Gateway Church, Clockhouse, Beaver Road, Ashford
- St Francis’ Church, Cryol Road, South Ashford
- Bright City Church, 28 Bank Street, Ashford
Before travelling please ensure your journey complies with the restrictions put in place by the government.
Our civil enforcement officers are primarily be working on duties essential to supporting community services rather than normal parking duties. They are still dealing with significant parking incidents which are reported to the council e.g. to ensure free flow of traffic for emergency vehicles, to respond to reports of dangerous parking and protecting parking provision for disabled and blue badge holders.
We are allowing residents who are permit holders to park their vehicles for free in our car parks in order to free up the residential areas which will no doubt become more congested with more people being at home. You will need to display your parking permit.
Key workers are also able to park for free in our car parks and on-street parking bays. Charges are still in force in all council car parks.
All car parks open except for Edinburgh Road.
All expired permits will be honoured for a one-month grace period.
We are keeping the situation under constant review and updates will be provided here.
Relaxation of some planning restrictions
Submission of planning applications
Submission of planning applications will need to be by electronic submission, via the Planning Portal. In current circumstances, it is not possible for us to process manual submissions.
Commenting on planning applications?
Please use the online comment tool to make your representations on planning applications. Manual comments, will not be processed.
Staying up to date with planning applications
Due to current restrictions, neighbour notification letters will need to be suspended. We would therefore encourage people to sign up to our ‘applications near me’ facility on our website in order to receive alerts of applications according to your preferences. Parish councils will continue to be notified.
Submission of materials for discharge
The submission of physical materials for approval in order to discharge a condition will not be possible. Photographs of materials should be submitted instead to email@example.com.
At the current time the pre-application service for new enquiries is being suspended. Existing pre-app meetings to discuss planning proposals will no longer take place in person. Should a meeting be essential during this period, arrangements will be made for virtual meetings to take place, appreciating the limitations this may bring. Meetings however will be at officers' discretion.
Site visits are being considered on a case by case basis. If entering the site is a necessity, then the site visit will be delayed until it is considered safe to do so.
Parks are still open and are being maintained as normal. If you do go to a park for your one permitted piece of exercise per day please maintain social distancing.
Please note that play areas are closed. However there is evidence that people are removing or destroying closure signs and allowing their children to use the park. The council is replacing the signs in an attempt to deter the public from using these sites during the outbreak.
Manual submission of requests is not possible until further notice. All applications must be submitted using our online form and online payment tools.
- Road repairs (potholes)
- Recycling sites
- Street lighting
- Social care
- Bus passes