Kent County Council (KCC) Consultation
Perhaps some members will wish to comment
The urgent reason for this release is the impending closure of the Kent County Council Consultation on possible revisions of various services due to financial cuts.
The services are: Children’s Centres and Youth Hubs, Public Health Services for Children and Families, Community Services for Adults with Learning Disabilities, Community Learning and Skills (Adult Education), and Gateways. The Consultation closes on Sunday.
What are we KCC proposing?
- Having fewer permanent buildings, meaning that some of our buildings would close – we want to keep buildings in areas where they are needed the most.
- Co-locating more of our services, meaning more than one service would be available from some of the buildings you might visit.
- Continuing to deliver some services by outreach, which means they do not take place in a dedicated or permanent space but move around to when and where they are needed.
- Ensuring residents can continue to access services and information online.
“Our proposals have been designed by considering where there is greatest need for our services.”
For fuller information and to personally add to the consultation, use the link: https://letstalk.kent.gov.uk/community-services-consultation [KCC Maidstone]
The Chair has drafted points of concern based mainly upon past GF meetings and experience of KCC’s past performance and is sending them out to Go Folkestone members who just about have enough time to suggest amendments so that we can present it as a group effort. If you wish to do your own, use the Link. Please copy any ideas to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline is Sunday 26th March, but as I will be sending in the final version early that evening, please try and get remarks and copies of your submissions to the above emails by the morning of 26th March.
Go Folkestone understands the background to KCC closures and other ideas, and its 300 members will try and propose some constructive parameters and ideas.
Firstly, we urge the County Council to reach out to the various De Haan organisations which are doing a lot for youth. This means F51, which includes a boxing club as well as the skate park and might have limited space for other groups. Also, the Three Hills’ Sports Centre which again is a big building with a sports’ grounds, including a new athletics’ track catering massively for youth already. It clearly may have some space and ideas even if it doesn’t financially contribute to KCC programmes. They are aware of your consultation now.
Secondly while GF has limited things to say about some of these Consultation areas, being mainly an Over 50s organisation, we do have strong views over other County Council areas that must not suffer. Please don’t move resources from planning and transport work because in our representations in those areas currently we have seen some signs of strain in that KCC have been stretched on planning comments, on work on cycling projects such as the Cheriton cycling proposals and the like. Please don’t move resources from green ideas such as tree planting, and indeed use more youth in Green Canopy projects such as trees for schools.
Thirdly, as well-informed locals, Go Folkestone members can see that there is potential to save money by co-location and using existing buildings. The Civic Centre in Castle Hill Avenue has big spaces if the County Council can use them at Mates’ Rates and possibly share staff. The magnificent Grace Hill Library, which we are anxious to safeguard as a facility and as a building of beauty, is near to the Youth Hub in Grace Hill, which has disadvantages of layout and access. The new small meeting room in 11 Grace Hill, being built currently, may be a very cheap venue for KCC exhibitions, interviews etc. We do feel that Motis House is probably quite an accessible and bargain location for County Council functions, being edge of town but near a bus route, and that Dover Road roundhouse is an excellent location because of the needs of the district and the parking and public transport provision there.
Fourthly if you wish to use other cheaper and unorthodox volunteer avenues for youth and green policies look at enthusiasts’ groups such as Cycle Shepway and the Youth Centre in Bradstone Avenue, or even the re-activating Folkestone Music Town group and the Junior Chess Club, both of which are expanding.
Go Folkestone are also willing to help with all ages on tree planting and watering projects, and even give journalistic or website experience, if you wish to contact us via email@example.com.
Go Folkestone is a community group of 300+ local people which carries out projects, publishes a magazine and comments on local developments.