CHARGED WITH MAN­AG­ING GROWTH

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - JUNCTION 10 -

MARTIN BA­CON joined Ash­ford’s Fu­ture in 2003 and was charged with over­see­ing the de­vel­op­ment of 31,000 homes and the cre­ation of 28,000 jobs un­der the Gov­ern­ment’s growth agenda. The quango is based on the sev­enth floor of Ash­ford’s Char­ter House and its work is over­seen by a board of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ash­ford coun­cil, Kent County Coun­cil, gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and oth­ers. Its prin­ci­pal job is to drive for­ward in­vest­ment and han­dle ma­jor re­gen­er­a­tion projects that are of­ten funded through gov­ern­ment grants. Among those it has been in­volved with are im­prove­ment work at Junc­tion 10 of the M20, the re­mod­elling of the town cen­tre ring road and plans for a park and ride at the War­ren. But it has also faced crit­i­cism about the lack of jobs and grow­ing fears that Ash­ford is in dan­ger of be­com­ing a com­muter town. Mr Ba­con had been chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Civic Trust and be­fore that, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Reigate and Banstead coun­cil. He was con­nected to Kent through a job he had as tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor with Can­ter­bury City Coun­cil for eight years from 1984. This week, the space where he parked his sil­ver BMW at Char­ter House was empty but the web­site run by the quango con­tin­ued to fea­ture him as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor.

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