Ashford Voice


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Sing out for all local music acts, apply-to-play Create Music Festival


Ashford’s Create Music Festival is back and organisers are once again on the hunt to find the right mix of new and established acts to take on the four live music stages.

Since its first festival in 1995, Create has become one of the largest free music events in the South East, growing in reputation through hosting national headline acts, nurturing the local music scene, and growing the offer of arts entertainment on and off the park.

Last year one of the most successful ska bands of the 2-tone era, The Selecter, headlined the Ashford College Main Stage. The Bay Rays, the latest act to arise from Kent headlined the Revelation Stage, and a range of local artists and groups performed on the County Square Community Stage and the Ashford College DJ Stage.

If you think you have what it takes to entertain the estimated 12,000 music lovers who attend across the course of the day, and would like to be in with a chance to play on Saturday 21st July 2018, then you’re invited to apply online. Performers of all genres, from bands, DJs, singer-songwriters and performance poets are all encouraged to sign up. We are especially trying to encourage acts from the local community and live digital and electronic acts. 

The closing date for entries is 12noon on Thursday 1st March 2018.  Apply online

Providing more Domestic Abuse services


Domestic abuse services will continue to expand in Ashford, thanks to the success of a strong multi-agency network programme.

Cabinet members earlier paid tribute to the Ashford Domestic Abuse Forum, which works alongside professionals in the health, police, fire, voluntary, local authority and charitable sectors to support those seeking help.

The charity’s achievements include the Ashford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop, and an ever-growing series of victim programmes.

Additional funding has already been secured to provide a support network for both adolescent girls and boys, young women, and a specialist one-to-one service for children affected by domestic violence.

The Ashford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop, a weekly drop-in centre where victims can receive advice and support, received 443 visitors between July 2016 and June 2017 – a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2015-16. The Ashford One Stop Shop is open every Tuesday between 9.30am and 12.30pm at The Willows Centre, Brookfield Road.

Ashford Borough Council funds the full-time domestic abuse coordinator post, as well as providing money towards an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA), who is the primary contact for victims of domestic abuse. The council was also successful in bidding for funds to provide emergency accommodation to female victims of domestic violence.

Find more information on other services available and other One Stop Shop’s across the county. 

Look out for new recycling stickers


To build on Ashford’s fantastic recycling success so far and to help our residents remember which items they can place in their recycling bin, we have created a handy sticker with clear pictures of waste items that can be recycled.

The council’s contractor, Biffa, will be placing the stickers on the lid of the green recycling bins from Monday 5th March.

Any unrecyclable item has the potential to contaminate a whole load, which could represent as many as 500 households that have carefully separated the right materials for recycling, which is why we are encouraging residents to look at the handy sticker and recycle smart. We also hope this will help us to avoid penalties from rejected loads which costs the council and taxpayers money.

Cllr Clair Bell, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Land Management, said: “Ashford is doing a tremendous job at recycling and last year we found out we were the best recycling local authority in Kent for a third consecutive year. However, we are always striving to improve our performance by ensuring the recycling collected is of the highest quality, and we need our residents to help us achieve this.

“We hope the stickers encourage residents to recycle as much as possible and act as a useful reminder of the items that can be placed in their green bin.”

Any additional clean recycling can be placed in a clear plastic bag can be left out on recycling week ready for Biffa to collect. Any waste not in a clear plastic bag will not be collected. You can maximise space in your green recycling bin by flattening cardboard boxes and plastic bottles.

Creating a safe environment around Ashford International railway station


A new zebra crossing on Station Approach and the relocation of the taxi waiting area to the Stour Centre car park now creates a safer environment for all around Ashford International railway station.

Pedestrians now have an easy, safe and more direct route to the Commercial Quarter, college and town centre thanks to a new zebra crossing situated between the station and International House.

As part of the improvements to create a safer environment around the station forecourt, the taxi waiting facilities have been relocated to the Stour Centre car park. The new location will allow more taxis to wait until space is available on the taxi rank (from seven currently to 17), reduce vehicle congestion and improve the general flow of vehicles around the station entrance.

Ashford’s taxi drivers will benefit from a safer taxi queuing system and a more comfortable and quiet area to wait for customers in.

These initiatives were developed following consultation with a number of stakeholders, including taxi drivers. An online consultation received over 70 replies and detailed discussions were held with taxi drivers at two taxi forums.


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