Ashford Voice


Welcome to our festive issue of Ashford Voice

With Christmas almost upon us, we'd like to say Merry Christmas to all our readers!

And what better way to celebrate the festive season than with a Christmas competition where you could win an iPad Mini!  ENTER NOW

In case you need to contact the council or access services over the festive break, we have lots of useful Christmas council information for you. In this issue:


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Ashford Voice

See you in 2018!


Our News

Latest news

Christmas recycling and refuse information 2017/2018

During the festive period, recycling and refuse collections may take place on different days so Ashford Borough Council is letting residents know about the changes.

Check the calendar below, and read on for tips on how to recycle more this Christmas and find out how you can recycle your Christmas tree.

 Christmas bin collection image

Download the Christmas Refuse and Recycling Collection leaflet [pdf] 2139KB

Normal collections resume on Monday 15 January.

All refuse and recycling should be out for collection by 6am over Christmas and New Year. Please note collections may take place up to one day later than shown, with possible extra collections on Saturdays.

Garden waste Christmas bin collections

There will be NO garden or bulk collections for two weeks - week commencing 25 December 2017 and week commencing 1 January 2018.

Find out more about garden waste recycling.

When's my collection day?

If you're unsure when your bins will be emptied, you can lookup your bin collection day and also download your collection calendars.

Recycling tips and advice

Recycle family

Not sure which festive items go in what bin? Check our handy guide below

Green recycling bin

  • Christmas cards
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Crackers
  • Paper wrapping paper
  • Tin foil and foil serving trays
  • Champagne, wine and beer bottles/cans
  • Soft drink containers
  • Sweet tins

Grey refuse bin

  • Bubble wrap, plastic packaging
  • Polystyrene
  • Broken decorations
  • Tinsel
  • Foil wrapping paper
  • Corks

Food caddy*

  • Leftovers
  • Turkey carcass

*Visit for handy recipes for those festive leftovers!


  • Don’t use plastic bags in your green or brown bins
  • Your bin lids must close completely and bin straps must be removed before collection day
  • Dark plastic food trays, crisp packets and plastic/carrier bags should be placed in your grey refuse bin
  • Please place sanitary waste in your grey refuse bin
  • Food waste packaging should be emptied of its contents and rinsed before placing in your green recycling bin
  • We cannot collect any side refuse next to your grey bin – make sure you are recycling everything you can

Don’t forget!

Put those broken Christmas lights or any electrical decorations or items in a plastic carrier bag on top of your refuse bin, and we will take them away!

Ashford’s household waste and recycling centre in Brunswick Road, Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate will be open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day 


Christmas tree recycling

xmas tree

If you aren’t keeping your living tree, please take it to Ashford’s Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate for recycling.

If you subscribe to our garden recycling service, you can place your cut up tree in your brown wheeled bin and we will collect it.

Find out more and sign up to our garden recycling collection service.



Focus On

Win an iPad with Ashford Voice

Tis the season for a festive competition, and we're giving away an iPad Mini!

All you have to do is guess how many decorations are on the town centre Christmas tree!

Submit your answers via Facebook to Ashford Voice or email your guess to

Good luck!

Competition closes on 1st January 2018.

voice comp


Terms and conditions

  • One entry per person
  • Only valid email addresses will be entered into the competition
  • Employees of Ashford Borough Council and their immediate family are not eligible to enter competitions
  • Winning entries will be drawn at random after closing date
  • Winners will be notified by email, and must respond within one week of receiving their notification email or the prize will be redrawn
  • Judge's decision is final
  • By entering competitions winners agree that we may use their details and photo for publicity purposes
  • The prizes are as offered, they are non-transferable and there is no cash alternative

Free parking this weekend for Christmas shoppers

Don't forget, you can park for free on Sunday 24th December* in all council owned car parks in Ashford and Tenterden!

The only exceptions will be Vicarage Lane car park in Ashford and the Recreation Ground Lane car park in Tenterden (Waitrose) on Sunday 24th December where normal tariffs will apply.

free parking icon

This seasonal parking offer is in addition to the existing free parking scheme that is available in selected council-run car parks at certain times e.g. free after 3pm in Edinburgh Road. Don’t forget that all car parks run by Ashford Borough Council are free after 6pm all year round.

After 6pm, you can also use the parking bays in Ashford High Street, North Street and Bank Street for free as charges no longer apply.

Why not try out our new car park at Elwick Road, opposite the college, for a new stop to park for your Christmas shopping.

Find out more about parking in the borough on the council website.

Your Community

Continue in the festive spirit with Pilgrims Hospices’ Tree Recycling

When Christmas is over and your tree begins to look a little bedraggled, why not continue the spirit of goodwill by donating your tree to Pilgrims Hospices?

The east Kent-based charity, which provides specialist palliative care, is once again offering its popular Tree Recycling scheme to all residents living in the Ashford borough.

Last year the charity raised more than £17,000 from its festive recycling service, which sees volunteers collect old Christmas trees from homes in exchange for a chosen donation.

Cllr Clair Bell, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Land Management, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Pilgrims Hospices’ Tree Recycling scheme once again, and pleased to highlight such a worthy cause.

“It is the perfect opportunity for residents not only to support this excellent charity, but also dispose of their Christmas tree in an eco-friendly way.”


If you have a tree over 10ft high, the Pilgrims Hospices ask that you mention this upon registration so they can make special collection arrangements.

Community Fundraising Manager, Victoria Friar, said “Pilgrims Hospices are delighted to be working in partnership with Ashford Borough Council again. Tree Recycling is a great way for local residents to support Pilgrims by making a chosen donation in return for having our volunteer crews collect their Christmas tree in January. 

“Donations totalled over £17,000 last year which could fund over a month of our expert nursing care..”

If you would like to get involved, make sure you register before January 7th as collections take place on the weekend of the 13th and 14th January.

Sign up for the Tree Recycling service direct at or call 01233 504111.

Pilgrims Hospices encourage residents to post their festive tree photos to the charity’s Facebook page at /Pilgrimshospices or tweet them at @PilgrimsHospice using the hashtag #PilgrimsTreeRecycling


Still time to visit Father Christmas!

There's still time to pop into town, finish off your Christmas shopping and take the kids to see Father Christmas!

Father Christmas will be in his cosy grotto in Park Mall, complete with twinkling fairy lights and snowy surroundings on the following days:

Saturday 23rd December, 11am - 4pm
Sunday 24th December, 10am - 4pm

Children can meet Father Christmas, and receive a hand-wrapped present for a cost of £2.

Find the grotto in Park Mall

Enter our Elfie Selfie competition!

We are running an Elfie Selfie competition in Park Mall. To enter the competition head to Unit 25, Park Mall, next to Made in Ashford, and take your best ‘Elfie Selfie. Simply post the picture to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag @loveashford using the hashtag #elfieselfie to be in with the chance to win a £100 Love2Shop voucher.

For more details about the Elfie Selfie competition keep an eye out on Don’t forget you can visit the website all year round to discover all the latest local deals, lifestyle blogs and events.

Elfie Selfie competition details

For more information visit


Your Council

Christmas council opening times

In case you need to contact the council over the Christmas break, below are details of the festive opening hours for the Civic Centre, Ashford Gateway Plus and Tenterden Gateway.


Festive opening hours

Ashford Borough Council’s opening hours vary across the festive period. Please find listed below the Christmas/New Year opening times for:

ABC Services at the Civic Centre

Monday 18th December Normal hours
Tuesday 19th December Normal hours
Wednesday 20st December Normal hours
Thursday 21st December Normal hours
Friday 22nd December Normal hours
Monday 25th December Closed
Tuesday 26th  December Closed
Wednesday 27th December Closed
Thursday 28th December Normal hours
Friday 29th December Normal hours
Monday 1st January Closed
Tuesday 2nd January Normal hours


ABC Customer Services at the Civic Centre

Monday 18th December Normal hours
Tuesday 19th December Normal hours
Wednesday 20th December Normal hours
Thursday 21st December Normal hours
Friday 22nd December Normal hours
Monday 25th December Closed
Tuesday 26th December Closed
Wednesday 27th December Closed
Thursday 28th December Normal hours
Friday 29th December Normal hours
Monday 1st January Closed
Tuesday 2nd January Normal hours


ABC Services at Tenterden Town Hall

Monday 18th December Normal hours
Tuesday 19th December Normal hours
Wednesday 20th December Normal hours
Thursday 21st December Normal hours
Friday 22nd December 9am to 12 noon
Monday 25th December Closed
Tuesday 26th December Closed
Wednesday 27th December Closed
Thursday 28th December Closed
Friday 29th December Closed
Monday 1st January Closed
Tuesday 2nd January Normal hours




The 12 days of Christmas..recycling!

Christmas is a time for indulgence and swapping presents. We eat more, drink more and receive new gifts, but this also means that we create more waste.

Here’s some top tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle more over the festive season. So let’s all Jingle All the Way to our recycling bins!












Don't let food poisoning ruin your Christmas holiday

If there’s one thing guaranteed to ruin your Christmas meal out with friends, family or colleagues, it’s a nasty bout of food poisoning.

But if you’re eating out, how do you know if the restaurant owner takes food hygiene seriously?


The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rates eateries and other places that sell food on their hygiene standards, based on inspections carried out by Ashford Borough Council. What’s more, these ratings are available for everyone to see.

This national scheme, developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities, rates food outlets on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom (which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’ to a top rating of five ‘very good’).

You can check the food rating online at, via a free phone app, or look for the distinctive green and black rating sticker that businesses are encouraged to display.

If you’re organising a Christmas gathering with family, friends or work colleagues at a local restaurant, pub or hotel don’t just examine the menu, also check what their hygiene rating is too.

What's On

What's On

Want to know what festive events are happening in the borough this month? Check out our events listings below. You can also find out what's on in Tenterden every month with the TENTERDEN EVENTS DIARY

Got a great event or a  meeting you want to promote? Email us at to have it listed here.


Visit Father Christmas

22nd - 24th December
Park Mall, Ashford Town Centre

Treat the kids to a visit to Father Christmas. Admission costs £2 per child which includes a hand wrapped present.  

Ice Skating

Until 2nd January, 12pm -  7pm
Eastwell Manor, Eastwell Park, Boughton Lees, Ashford, TN25 4HR

Get in the spirit of Christmas with Santa’s reindeer, mulled wine and mince pies, plus the chance to do some shopping from our Christmas boutique. Get your skates on down to Eastwell Manor this Christmas. Prices start from £14.50pp for adults and £9.50pp for children under 12. Call  01233 213000 for more information.

Rapunzel Pantomime

19th - 27th January 2018
1.30pm and 7.30pm performance's

Ashford’s annual family pantomime is back and promises to be bigger than ever before! Join Rapunzel, Muddles, Dame Dotty alongside a hilarious local cast in this hair-raising, fun-packed family pantomime based on one of the most loved fairytales of all time! 

Open Mic at Stag Coffee

26th January 2018, 7pm
Stag Coffee, 108-110 High Street, Ashford.

A night of poetry, music, spoken word and songs. Come along to perform or watch! Contact Francesca for more details on 07877 461555.

Contact Us

Contact us

Contact Ashford Voice

Contact Us


Phone: 01233 330719

Write: Ashford Voice, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL

For news and features ideas/submissions, please email with the subject NEWS

For events, please upload all details to the Events Calendar

For Your Community listings, please upload details to the Groups and Club directory

How to contact Ashford Borough Council 

See our opening hours over the Christmas break

Social media

You can contact us via social media.

Contact Ashford Borough Council on TwitterTweet @AshfordCouncil

Like Ashford Borough Council on FacebookLike Ashford Borough Council 

Watch Ashford Borough Council on YouTubeWatch Ashford Borough Council


Write: Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL

All our face-to-face enquiries are now by appointment only at the Civic Centre, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 3.45pm.

Book an appointment to see us at a time that suits you.

Civic Centre opening hours

Venue Day Time
Civic Centre
Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PL
Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5pm
Call Centre
For all council enquiries
Monday - Friday 8.30am - 4pm
Customer Services Monday - Friday
This is an appointment-only service.

9am - 4pm
Last appointment time is 3.50pm.

Fast Track Desk
Copying/scanning evidence and documents
Monday - Friday 9am - 4pm
Tenterden Town Hall
Town Hall, 24 High St, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6AN
Monday - Friday 9am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 4pm
Appointments are available.


Town Centre Action Team (T-CAT)

Email: Twitter: @ashfordcouncil #tcastashford


County Council Services and Useful Information

Kent County Council 

24 hour helpline: 03000 247 247

Environment & waste: 03000 247 600

Highways and transport (including roadworks, potholes and street lighting): 03000 41 81 81

Kent libraries: 03000 41 31 31

Social care & health: 03000 41 61 61

Trading standards for East Kent: 03000 41 20 20

Trading standards for West Kent: 03000 412000

Emergency Services Dial 999 in an emergency only.  Dial 101 for non-emergency calls to your local police 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Kent Police non-emergencies: 101

Ashford Community Safety Unit: 01233 330891

William Harvey Hospital: 01233 633331

Leisure & Tourism Stour Centre 01233 663503 Julie Rose Stadium 01233 613131 Kingsnorth Recreation Centre 01233 503846 Pitchside & Courtside 01233 896511

Other useful phone numbers

Environment Agency floodline  0345 988 1188

Housing Benefit Fraud: 0800 854 440

Fraud against Ashford Borough Council 0800 021 3262

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