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

Civic centre reception: Closed; please contact us via email customer.care@ashford.gov.uk or on our social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn).

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.

Household Waste+

All recycling and waste services are currently running as normal. Rubbish collection is a high priority council service, provided by Biffa and we will do everything possible to keep it going whatever the circumstances. We are asking residents to ensure all domestic waste is in sealed bags. Anyone who is suffering with symptoms of COVID-19, please take the following extra precautions: 
  • 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.  
If there are any changes or disruptions to recycling and waste services we will update this page and our social media pages. 

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.

Council Tax and Benefits+

If your income has been affected by the recent Coronavirus outbreak, and you are unable to pay your council tax, there are several options: 


A-Z of Other Services

Allotments+

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.

Business Support+

Information on the support in place for businesses from the government is available on the government website.

View our Coronavirus advice for businesses page.

Cemeteries+

All cemeteries are open and burials are being booked and going ahead as normal. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines when visiting any cemetery.

Community Sports Sites+

All borough council sports sites are closed. 

Corporate Property+

We are following the government’s advice on any grants available to businesses, with more information on our business pages. In some cases your insurance may cover you. However, if you are one of our tenants, please continue to pay your rent. If you find that you are getting into difficulty then please contact us as soon as you can.  

Council Meetings+

There will be no public meetings of the council or its committees or sub committees until further notice. 

Dog Warden+

Dog warden service is operating as normal.

Domestic Abuse+

The One You Shop is closed. If you need assistance, please contact the following:

If you are in danger please call 999 immediately.

Elections+

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.

Environmental Health+

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.

Events+

All council events have been cancelled until further notice. Including: Create Festival, VE Day celebrations. 

Grounds Maintenance (Aspire)+

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.

Leisure Centres+

All borough council sites are now closed.

Licensing+

We are currently unable to process applications for new licences. We will continue to process licence renewal applications as quickly as possible to support existing businesses and licensees. All applications should be sent electronically to licensing@ashford.gov.uk. Find out more information on Licensing Coronavirus disruption page.

Lifeline+

We would like to assure all clients that your lifeline will continue to be answered and dealt with as normal.
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.

Mayor’s Engagements+

The Mayor’s diary has been cleared until further notice.  

One You Shop+

The shop is closed including access to the changing places facility. This also means that if you usually use the One You Shop for food boxes, please visit one of the alternative distribution points below: 
  • 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  
In addition, these sites are also providing food vouchers to vulnerable members of the community who are most in need. 

Parking+

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. 

Planning+

In line with MHCLG guidance, we will be implementing the flowing measures until further notice:    

Relaxation of some planning restrictions

The government have relaxed planning restrictions on pubs and restaurants allowing them to operate as takeaways during this difficult period.

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 planning.help@ashford.gov.uk.

Pre-application advice

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

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.

Play Areas and Parks+

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.

Public Toilets+

The following public toilets currently are still open: Victoria Park and New Rents. And we are cleaning them more often. The Changing Places toilet in the One You Shop is now closed.

Street Naming and Numbering+

Manual submission of requests is not possible until further notice.  All applications must be submitted using our online form and online payment tools.


KCC Services

Many public services are provided by Kent County Council (KCC), including the following:
  • Road repairs (potholes)
  • Recycling sites
  • Street lighting
  • Education
  • Social care
  • Bus passes
  • Libraries

View the latest updates on these services on the KCC website.