Editor Robert Barman 01233 623232 firstname.lastname@example.org News editor Alastair Irvine 01233 623232 airvine@the kmgroup.co.uk Sport email@example.com Text: Text EXPRESS followed by your message to 87474. Please include your name and postcode. Messages must not be more than 160 characters and will be charged only at your standard network rate. Please visit kentonline.co.uk/terms for texting terms. Advertising Tel 01233 623232 Fax 01233 626545 Advertisement manager Kim Billings, 01233 623232, firstname.lastname@example.org Classified advertising Tel 01233 623232. Newspaper sales (including delivery, distribution, competitions, reader offers and subscriptions): Office hours, answerphone thereafter: 0800 525450 Head office: Medway House, Ginsbury Close, Thomas Longley Road, Medway, City Estate, Strood, Rochester ME2 4DU. Tel 01622 717880, Fax 01622 710937. Complaints: Any complaint about any aspect of this newspaper should be made to the editor, Robert Barman, 01233 623232 email@example.com Customer Services (for advertising queries): email customerservices@ thekmgroup.co.uk 0800 0855810
Council tax rises this year were capped by the government at 1.99%. For very low taxing authorities, this meant a very small rise. As you may know, Ashford’s element of council tax is the lowest in Kent and one of the lowest in the country. Last week, the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, gave Ashford and other authorities with very low council tax special dispensation to raise their element of council tax by up to £5 for the forthcoming financial year.
Cabinet took the view that it would not recommend raising council tax by the full £5 but by £4.55 a year. If approved on February 18 by full council, the £4.55 rise will result in the charge for band D properties being £150 for the 2016-17 financial year. A rise, equating to around 38p per month, which would enable us to partly address the reduction in grant funding from central government. The average district council tax for band D properties in Kent is set to rise to £190.35 for 2016-17.
Ashford’s element of council tax has been frozen for the past two financial years. While we collect all the council tax, we only receive 11p out of every £1 collected. The remainder goes to Kent County Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue and the parish councils.
We are proud to offer the lowest council tax in Kent, and will continue to keep taxes and charges as low as possible.
I was pleased to see that demolition work has begun on the old 1960 Spearpoint Pavilion, in preparation for the new Kennington community building. It is something I know all local people have wanted for a long time. ABC members and officers have worked hard, along with the Kennington Community Forum, user groups and the Ashford & District Sunday Football League, to make this happen.
We are delighted to welcome five new local designers and artists into Made In Ashford in Park Mall. The Little Red Hen Jewellery, Nicola Jennings Art, Mulberry Glass Art, Juju Art and Somnus & Seb have joined the existing businesses. Made In Ashford opened last October, and has had a positive response from visitors, who love its unique products.